Samuel Butler: The Way of All Flesh

73. CHAPTER LXXIII (continued)

He still, therefore, stuck to science instead of turning to literature proper as I hoped he would have done, but he confined himself henceforth to enquiries on specific subjects concerning which an increase of our knowledge--as he said--was possible. Having in fact, after infinite vexation of spirit, arrived at a conclusion which cut at the roots of all knowledge, he settled contentedly down to the pursuit of knowledge, and has pursued it ever since in spite of occasional excursions into the regions of literature proper.

But this is anticipating, and may perhaps also convey a wrong impression, for from the outset he did occasionally turn his attention to work which must be more properly called literary than either scientific or metaphysical.

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