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      It is no uncommon thing for a skilled latheman to lock the slide rest, and resort to hand tools on many kinds of work when he is in a hurry. CHAPTER XIV

      Another method by which Aristotle strove to overcome the antithesis between life as a mechanical arrangement and life as a metaphysical conception, was the newly created study of comparative anatomy. The variations in structure and function which accompany variations in the environment, though statically and not dynamically conceived, bring us very near to the truth that biological phenomena are subject to the same general laws of causation as all other phenomena; and it is this truth which, in the science of life, corresponds to the identification of terrestrial with celestial physics in the science of general mechanics. Vitality is not an individualised principle stationed in the heart and serving only to balance opposite forces against one another; but it is diffused through all the tissues, and bestows on them that extraordinary plasticity which responds to the actions of the environment by spontaneous variations capable of being summed up in any direction, and so creating entirely new organic forms without the intervention of any supernatural agency.

      The figure of a girl rose out of a bower of palms and ferns and stood before Gordon Bruce with a shy welcome in her violet eyes. Just for a moment Bruce found himself contrasting this fresh English beauty with the Lalage Southern loveliness to the detriment of the latter. There was a purity and sweetness, a wonderful tenderness of expression about Hetty Lawrence that had always appealed to Bruce.

      "And so am I. You've done as much for her as if she were your own, but all the same I should not be sorry if somebody claimed her. I've never had the slightest doubt that she is no relation to the Countess at all.""Ah, well, even the great Napoleon made a mistake or two."

      "Yes, you thought you were deceiving me."


      "That's flattering to me. But I thought you liked the Countess."



      The shrill clatter of the telephone bell tinkled in the next room. The ring was repeated in a few seconds imperiously.