And, in alluding to these footnotes, it is impossible to repress some feeling of annoyance that the valuable work of the Abbé should, in an evil hour, have fallen into the hands of a writer who has thought fit often, in a few brief and contemptuous words, summarily to dismiss and overrule those conclusions which were the result of a life spent on more intimate terms with natives than any I have ever been able to hear of.
I always think that footnotes to a letter are a mistake, but there are one or two things I should like to explain. Margery knows that this is not so. She knows that there is a silent letter in front of the "r," which doesn't do anything but likes to be there. Obviously, if nobody is going to take any notice of this extra letter, it doesn't much matter what it is.
On the other hand, not every source mentioned in the footnotes is included, for sometimes these references are merely incidental; and especially does this apply in the case of lectures or magazine articles, some of which were later included in books. Nor is there any reference to works of fiction.
This basic clash of ideas and wills is but one of the forces reshaping our globe swept as it is by the tides of hope and fear, by crises in the headlines today that become mere footnotes tomorrow. Both the successes and the setbacks of the past year remain on our agenda of unfinished business.
I suppose Butler kept all these out of his notes because he considered that they had served their purpose; but they have not hitherto appeared in a form now accessible to the general reader. All the footnotes are mine and so are all those prefatory notes which are printed in italics and the explanatory remarks in square brackets which occur occasionally in the text.
Quotations and footnotes are not, as it has been imagined, a mere display of erudition they are a duty towards the source from which they are taken, and a duty to its author; moreover, they are a duty towards the reader, who as far as possible should be placed in a position himself to judge the value and nature of the information presented, and, finally, they are a necessary indication of the extent of the author's responsibility.
And I'm not a scholar or a historian; I'm a pick-and-shovel field archaeologist a highly skilled and specialized grave-robber and junk-picker and there's more pick-and-shovel work on this planet than I could do in a hundred lifetimes. This is something new; I was a fool to think I could turn my back on it and go back to scribbling footnotes about Hittite kings."
His frozen classical mind blossomed under the sunny stimulus of the Renaissance scholar. He entered upon a second boyhood a real boyhood, this time, full of enthusiasms and adventures into flowery by-paths of learning. Monsignor Perrelli absorbed him. He absorbed Monsignor Perrelli. Marginal observation led to footnotes; footnotes to appendixes. He had found an interest in life.
Thus Taine in his monstrously false history of the Revolution revels in footnotes; you have but to examine a batch of them with care to turn them completely against his own conclusions they are only put there as a sort of spiked paling to warn off trespassers.
Why should it be so hopeless to suggest an edition of the "Golden Bough" with footnotes by Mr. Lang and Mr. Fraser's replies? There are all sorts of books to which Mr. Lang might add footnotes with infinite benefit to every one. Mr. Mallock, again, is going to explain how Science and Religion stand at the present time. If only some one would explain in the margin how Mr.