Alps And Sanctuaries Of Piedmont And The Canton Ticino By Samuel Butler






































































 -   The first period, from the chamois track
to the foot road, was one of millions of years; the second, from - Page 40
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The First Period, From The Chamois Track To The Foot Road, Was One Of Millions Of Years; The Second, From

The first foot road to the Roman military way, was one of many thousands; the third, from the Roman to

The mediaeval, was perhaps a thousand; from the mediaeval to the Napoleonic, five hundred; from the Napoleonic to the railroad, fifty. What will come next we know not, but it should come within twenty years, and will probably have something to do with electricity.

It follows by an easy process of reasoning that, after another couple of hundred years or so, great sweeping changes should be made several times in an hour, or indeed in a second, or fraction of a second, till they pass unnoticed as the revolutions we undergo in the embryonic stages, or are felt simply as vibrations. This would undoubtedly be the case but for the existence of a friction which interferes between theory and practice. This friction is caused partly by the disturbance of vested interests which every invention involves, and which will be found intolerable when men become millionaires and paupers alternately once a fortnight - living one week in a palace and the next in a workhouse, and having perpetually to be sold up, and then to buy a new house and refurnish, &c. - so that artificial means for stopping inventions will be adopted; and partly by the fact that though all inventions breed in geometrical ratio, yet some multiply more rapidly than others, and the backwardness of one art will impede the forwardness of another.

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