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Chapter 2 HOUSING, TRAVEL AND POPULATION QUESTIONS

  • When every allowance has been made for the material changes which the progres_f this century threatens, it is easy to see that certain present-day problem_ill continue to trouble our successors. Some things which perplex ourselve_ill, I think, work out their own remedy. Others will remain the subject o_olutions not difficult to be imagined in advance.
  • One chief difficulty which will infallibly confront the immediate future, an_ven the future that is more remote, arises out of the simple fact that th_ace of man tends to increase numerically at a speed greater than our device_or its accommodation can quite conveniently cope with. The population of th_orld not only increases, but increases at compound interest. Nor is this all.
  • Improved sanitation, better habits of life, and the progress of medicine, prolong lives that in the conditions of last century would have bee_hortened, and the rate of increase is thus further accelerated, a_ndividuals who in different conditions would have died, live on, perhap_eproducing their species, and thus intensifying the population problem.
  • Against these influences may be set the effect of the restrictions imposed b_ome civilised peoples on the birth rate, which Mr Roosevelt calls "rac_uicide." These practices, just now increasingly prevalent, retard the rate o_ncrease, but do not at present stop our increase : they alleviate, but do no_ure the difficulty of over-population. Artificial physiological checks o_opulation, if I am right in certain other conjectures to be presentl_eveloped, will not form part of the permanent morality of the new age, partl_ecause, with more enlightenment, they will be voluntarily abandoned o_uperseded, and partly because the necessity for them will have disappeared, having worked out its own cure.
  • But with all this it would be folly to anticipate that the population of th_ivilised world will not have greatly increased before the end of the perio_ontemplated by the present inquiry : and this brings us face to face with tw_ery important questions — those of housing and transport. Where shall w_ive, and how shall we move from place to place— above all, how shall w_roceed from home to the scene of work and thence home again every day, in th_uture ?  Shall we indeed thus move back and forth at all ?
  • The answer to the last question bifurcates somewhat. In the early future of (say) twenty or thirty years hence, probably the greatest tendencies will b_owards concentration on the one hand and exceedingly rapid transport on th_ther. What the ultimate practice will be, it should not be difficult to gues_hen we see how these tendencies are likely to work themselves out.
  • During the last twenty-five or thirty years of the nineteenth century th_endency of workers in great cities was more and more towards suburban life, men travelling to and from the cities in increasing numbers, to increasin_istances, and at increasing speeds. Even mechanics, even labourers and th_ther humbler wage-earners (to say nothing of clerks not earning much more, but spending their money in a different manner) nowadays travel considerabl_istances to their work. But in spite of what is complacently regarded (b_ailway and tramway directors) as rapid conveyance, there is lately manifes_n increasing impatience against the time subtracted from men's leisure by th_wo daily journeys, an impatience very naturally increased in the case o_anual workers of both sexes by the utter inadequacy of the legislativ_ontrol imposed upon railway and tramway companies.
  • Crowded trams and trains, with desperate men and weak women fighting a dail_attle for conveyance before all the cheap trips have been made, inflict _hameful degradation upon the class for which Parliament makes illusor_rovision in railway and tramway Acts. As a consequence of this difficulty, and also because of the early hour at which the companies are allowed to ceas_arrying working-folk at the workmen's fare, many men and women are compelle_o waste some hours of their scanty leisure every day between the arrival o_heir trains and the opening of their workshops, a cruelty for which the blam_ay be pretty equally apportioned to Parliament and the company directors. Th_esult of it is that many of the poor prefer the evil of overcrowding i_ities before the greater evil of wasted time and degrading travel. As tim_oes on, no doubt the monopolists of transportation will be compelled, a_heir own necessities increase and so bring them under the hand of th_egislature, to serve more adequately the necessities of the majority. Bu_ven so, and as long as the effective speed of conveyance is limited by th_ack of permanent-way space and the necessity for frequent stations, th_mpatience even now manifested, and manifested chiefly by the class whic_uffers least from loss of time in travel, will lead to concentration. Takin_ondon as an example, it may be said that the Victorian ao;e was the acre o_he suburbs. But few people now live in the suburbs of London who can affor_o live anywhere else. Either they move right out into the country, seeking _pot on some main line where the greater distance and less-frequent trai_ervice is made up for by speedy and uninterrupted journeys; or they come int_ondon and occupy houses or flats within easy reach of their workin_eadquarters. The suburbs are given over to those who cannot afford either o_hese expedients, or who, having been brought up there, are retained by a sor_f inertia. Ultimately, as the demand for town space becomes intensified, tw_hings will happen. First of all, the restrictions which many cities, ignorin_he freedom of New York and Chicago, impose upon the erection of excessivel_igh buildings, will go by the board. The shutting out of sunlight and fres_ir will be the subject of compensations to be presently explained, an_hirty, forty, fifty or a hundred-storey houses, and houses which perhap_urrow to some distance underground, will, by virtue of the sam_ompensations, house a vast, concentrated population impatient of dail_ravel. As the demand for homes increases, and even the high buildings canno_ope with it, the cities will push their way outwards, repopulating th_ebuilt suburbs. This kind of thing will have a tendency to correct itself.
  • Rents will be high in proportion to position near the centre. But a limit o_oleration will be reached, and as certain improvements will have bee_ffected in transport, there will ultimately be a reaction, and people wil_gain go right out to the country, as long as there is any country left.
  • Before discussing these improvements, however, it will be convenient t_xamine the conveniences, social and sanitary, of the homes of the new age.
  • The greatest convenience of all, no doubt, will be the modification an_artial elimination of the domestic servant. There is every reason to believ_hat the great difficulties of the servant question as at present experience_ill solve themselves, forming in part an instance of the moral changes, accompanying material invention but only partly resulting from it, which th_ew age is certain to experience. It is usual to lay the blame of th_nsatisfactory character and atrocious inefficiency of the domestic servant_f our own day on the institution of free education. They are much more due t_he absence of any education worthy of the name, and to the imperfec_ivilisation of modern houses. Thirty-five years or so are but an instant i_he life of an institution so overwhelmingly more important in it_ossibilities than any other subject of legislation as State-compelle_ducation of the people. No one appears to have recognised that character- making, which Herbert Spencer called the most important object which ca_ngage the attention of the legislator, is the only true object of education, free or otherwise. When politicians have talked of the necessity of nationa_ducation, the argument they have used was that Germans are better chemist_han we are. When they praised the usefulness of modern languages it was i_erms of commercial utility. "Modern languages, in fact" (a recent criti_emarked), "make a good bagman." It is inept to despair of free educatio_ecause free education has produced no very satisfactory results whil_onceived of as a process of shoving undesired knowledge into the children o_he poor. Looking, as everyone not hidebound by pessimism must look, for _reat enlightenment of the law-giving class when the system of party politics, already beginning to show signs of decay, has ceased to hold all legislatio_n its blighting hand, we have every reason to expect that the true uses o_ducation will be perceived and attained long before the end of the perio_ontemplated when we speak of the new age. And then, one very great factor i_he servant question will have been satisfactorily solved, even if othe_onditions have not conducted us nearly all the way to the solutio_eforehand.
  • For, while making every allowance for the evil effects of education, wrongl_onceived and improperly administered, on the character of women destined t_ecome servants, it must be allowed that much of what we call the servan_ifficulty could be cured now, and will unquestionably be cured before long, by inventions capable of abolishing the grievances which lead to it. Thes_rrievances are real and remediable. I do not refer to the confinement, restraint and gross lack of consideration on the part of employers which lea_oung women of the class from which servants are drawn to prefer labour i_actories and elsewhere, in conditions far less comfortable, before domesti_ervice ; but to our utter lack of ingenuity in removing the irksomeness an_egradation of much domestic labour. Some coming inventions calculated t_mprove the lot of Mary Jane will now be described.
  • In the first place (as Mr H. G. Wells has pointed out, without apparentl_eing aware that buildings already exist in which some of his ideas have bee_nticipated), modern rooms, equally with those of all time, seem to have bee_onstructed so as to make it as difficult as possible to keep them clean.
  • Square corners and rectangular junctions of wall and floor, wall and ceiling, will certainly before long be replaced everywhere by curves. But the work o_ouse cleaning will be rendered easy and unlaborious by another invention, already indeed in existence on a large scale, but eventually capable of bein_endered portable. I mean a contrivance for applying a vacuum to any desire_pot. There is a very ingenious but rather noisy engine already in use fo_umping the dust out of carpets, curtains and furniture. In the houses of th_uture handy contrivances of various shapes, all independent of any engine, will be found, furnished with elastic nozzles on the outside and with som_ort of appliance capable of instantly exhausting the air within. Such _tensil wheeled over the floor will remove instantly every particle of dus_rom the surface and below the surface of the carpet, at the same time pickin_p any such ddbris as scraps of paper, pins, and other decidua of the previou_ay. A similar instrument, differently shaped, will clean the curtains, supposing curtains to be still in use at the time, and will dust the chair_nd tables —though there will not be anything like so much dust as there i_ow, nearly all kinds of combustion being abolished. The kitchen fire will o_ourse be an electric furnace: "o' my word we'll not carry coals." Lightin_ill all be electric, and no doubt wireless. The abolition of horse traffic i_ities, and the use of the vacuum apparatus which will be continuously at wor_n all streets, keeping them dry and free from mud, will practically remov_he necessity for boot brushing, even supposing that we shall still wear boots : every man and woman in dressing will pass a vacuum instrument over his an_er clothes and oret rid of even the little dust existing—for we shall be mor_nd more intolerant of dirt in any form, having by that time fully realise_ow dangerous dirt is. The new age will be a clean age. A lady of the yea_000 who could be miraculously transported back to London at the presen_oment would probably faint (they will not have ceased fainting) at th_ntolerable disgustingness of what is, I suppose, now one of the cleanes_ities in the world, even if the cruelty of employing horses for traction, an_he frightful recklessness of allowinof them to soil the streets in whic_eople walk, did not overpower her susceptibilities in another way.
  • Cooking will perhaps not be done at all on any large scale at home, in flat- homes at all events ; and in any case, for reasons which will hereafter becom_pparent, cooking will be a much less disgusting process than it is to-day. I_o case will the domestic servant of a hundred years hence be called upon t_tand over a roaring fire, laid by herself, and to be cleaned up by hersel_hen done with, in order to cook the family dinner. Every measure o_eat—controllable in gradations of ten degrees or so—will be furnished i_lectrically-fitted receptacles, with or without water jackets or stea_ackets : and unquestionably all cooking will Lbe done in hermetically-close_essels.
  • We shall not much longer do most of our cooking- by such a wasteful an_nwholesome method as boiling, whereby the important soluble salts of nearl_ll food are callously thrown away. As, for reasons to be developed hereafter, it is quite certain that animal food will have been wholly abandoned befor_he end of this century, the ddbris of the kitchen will be much mor_anageable than at present, and the kitchen sink will cease to be, during _reat part of the day, a place of unapproachable loathsomeness. On the othe_and, its conveniences will have been greatly increased. It is difficult t_nderstand how the old-world fashion of (for instance) "washing up" plates an_ishes can have endured so long. Of course, in the new age, these utensil_ill be simply dropped one by one into an automatic receptacle; swilled clea_y water delivered with force and charged with nascent oxygen; dried b_lectric heat; and polished by electric force; being finally oxygen-bathed a_ superfluous act of sanitary cleanliness before being sent to table again.
  • And all that has come off the plates will drop through the scullery floor int_he destructor beneath to be oxygenated and made away with.
  • Here we have most of the distasteful elements of domestic service got rid of.
  • Naturally lifts of various kinds, driven by the same force (whatever it is) which lights andwarms the house, will be everywhere in evidence. The plan o_ttaining the upper part of a small house by climbing, on every occasion, _ort of wooden hill, covered with carpet of questionable cleanliness, will o_ourse have been abandoned : it is doubtful whether staircases will be buil_t all after the next two or three decades. And it is likely that the mor_efined sentiment of the new age will recoil before the spectacle of menia_ervice at the table. Not because they will despise, but because they wil_espect, their domestic assistants, hostesses will dislike to have thei_uests waited upon in a servile manner during meals by plush-breeched flunkey_f the male, or neat-handed Phyllises of the female, sex. Well-arranged house_ill have the kitchen on a level with the dining-room, and the dividing wal_ill be so contrived that a table, ready laid at each course, can be made t_lide through it into the presence of the seated guests. An immense amount o_unning to and fro between kitchen and dining-room, and of lifting food an_able-ware into and out of elevators, will thus be obviated, to the vas_astronomic improvement of the meal and the salvation of servants' time.
  • Naturally the bedrooms of the new age will have many amenities lacking to ou_wn. It is not too much to anticipate that we shall have learned enough o_lumbing to be able to connect baths, wash-basins and other necessary-fitting_ith the drains without poisoning ourselves, and the inconvenient modern "
  • wash-stand " with its unreticent adjuncts will decently disappear. It canno_e very long—probably it will only be a few years—before some kind o_easonable control is exercised over the technical education of plumbers.
  • [[1]](footnotes.xml#footnote_1)
  • Thus the bedroom of the new age will be a much more convenient an_atisfactory apartment than the one we slept in last night, and anothe_rksome and unelevating part of the domestic work of our servants will b_liminated. But the sleeping-apartments, and indeed all apartments in cit_omes, will contain yet another very valuable and necessary article o_urniture—the oxygenator. Nearly all the unhealthiness and the pinched, wear_reyness of town-dwellers to-day could be cured by fresh air. Everyone i_amiliar with the improvement which can be effected in the health an_ppearance of a city family by even a short visit to the seaside or th_ountry—an improvement which it happens to be fashionable just now t_ttribute, in the former case, to the presence of ozone in the sea air. Th_act that hoHday-makers are able to endure the smell of slowly-decayin_eaweed with a dash of putrescent fish about it, which is called "sea-air,"
  • without injury, and even to pick up health in the presence of it, is more du_o the absence of carbon dioxide and other deleterious gases of the towns tha_o anything else. The beneficent effects of country air are practically al_ue to the power possessed by green vegetation of superoxygenating th_urrounding air. The atmosphere of cities, or at all events of city homes, will presently be freed from the products of combustion and respiration, an_ndowed with a slightly-increased proportion of oxygen, by artificial means.
  • And especially in bedrooms, rendered to-day stuffy and unhealthy by th_diotic fear of night air which an effete tradition has handed down to us, will this reform be in evidence. Prudent people to-day insist on large bedroo_indows — preferably of the French - door pattern—and keep them wide open al_ight. But this is attended by inconveniences in cold and wet weather; an_hile our grandchildren will still keep their windows open all night in al_eathers, they will not be content with this alone. There will be a chemica_pparatus hidden away in some corner, or, built into the wall, which wil_bsorb carbon dioxide and at the same time slowly give off a certain amount o_xygen—just enough to raise the oxygenation of the air to the standard of th_est country places. And similar appliances will be at work in the streets o_ur cities, so that town air will be just as wholesome, just as tonic an_nvigorating, as country air. If the theory that the presence of ozone (tha_s, allotropic oxygen) in the sea air is beneficent stand the test of time, n_oubt ozonators will form part of these appliances : but in any case, as th_igh buildings of the new age will keep out the sunlight, electric light, carrying all the ray-activity of sunlight, and just as capable of fosterin_ife and vegetation, will serve the streets. Thus, so far as hygiene goes, town life will be on a par with country life: but many people will prefer th_ountry, and means will have to be provided to render homes in the countr_ompatible with work in the cities. This brings us to the question o_ransport.
  • I do not think that people will, within the next hundred years at all events, travel to and from work in flying-machines. But no doubt the system of railwa_ransport will be revolutionised. What makes suburban travel so slow is, no_o much lack of speed on the part of the trains, as the necessity for frequen_toppage. You cannot satisfactorily run a train at sixty miles an hour an_top it every minute or so: otherwise sixty miles an hour would be quite fas_nough, for some decades at least, to satisfy all requirements of suburba_raffic, though it would be, and indeed is, ridiculously inadequate for long - distance travelling. The expense of increased permanent-way hampers railwa_anagement, and as there is no possibility of getting more land to increas_he number of available tracks, some method will have to be devised fo_unning one train over the top of another—perhaps to the height of severa_toreys, not necessarily provided with supporting rails : for we may ver_onceivably have discovered means by which vehicles can be propelled above th_round in some kind of guide-ways, doing away with the great loss of powe_aused by wheel friction ; that is to say, the guides will direct, but no_upport, the carriages. The clumsy device of locomotive engines will have bee_ispensed with. Whatever power is employed to drive the trains of the nex_entury will certainly be conveyed to them from central power-houses.
  • But, as the reader has been already reminded, it is the stoppages which are s_asteful of time on a suburban railway : and they are also wasteful of force.
  • Now in all respects the new age will be economical. One thing that will hav_o be perfected is the art of getting up speed. Look, as you go home to-night, at the way your train gathers speed on leaving a station. Observe what a lono_ime it is before it can attain its full velocity. A large part of the tota_ime you require in order to reach the suburbs is consumed in this manner. _undred years hence trains will almost jump to full speed, somewhat as _otor-car jumps to-day. In collecting passengers at suburban stations, th_rain, a hundred years hence, will perhaps not stop at all. It will onl_lacken speed a little ; but the platform will begin to move as the trai_pproaches, and will run along beside it, at the same speed as the trai_tself, so that passengers can get in and out as if the train were standin_till. When all are aboard, the doors will be closed all together by th_uard, and the platform will reverse its motion, and return to its origina_osition ready for the next train.
  • With trains travelling at quite 200 miles an hour—and certainly nothing les_ill satisfy the remoter suburbanites of next century— frightful accident_ould occur if precautions were not taken. The moment two trains are in th_ame section of line they will be automatically cut off from the source o_ower, and their brakes will at the same time bring them to a standstill. _assenger who put his head out of the window of a train travelling at thi_peed would be blinded and suffocated ; so the windows will be glazed, th_xygenators and carbon-dioxide absorbers in each carriage keeping the ai_weet, and other suitable appliances adjusting its temperature. There will b_o such thing as level crossings; wherever the road crosses the line ther_ill be bridges, provided with an endless moving track (like the automati_taircase at the Crystal Palace), to carry passengers and vehicles across. O_ourse horses will long since have vanished from the land, except a_nstruments of the pleasure of a few cranks who affect the manners of tha_ffete period, the year 1900.
  • And the omnipresence of high-speed vehicles will in itself have eliminate_uch danger of accident. It is not to be supposed that the unresting march o_echanical improvement will have failed to have its effect on the people. Ma_imself will have progressed. He will be cleverer in avoiding accidents.
  • Cities will be provided with moving street-ways, always in action at two o_ore speeds ; and we shall have learned to hop on and off the lowest spee_rom the stationary pavement, and from the lower speeds to the higher, withou_anger. When streets cross, one rolling roadway will rise in a curve over th_ther. There will be no vehicular traffic at all in cities of any size; al_he transportation will be done by the roads' own motion. In smaller towns, and for getting from one town to another, automatic motor-cars will exist, coin-worked. A man who wishes to travel will step into a motor-car, drop int_ slot-machine the coin which represents the hire of the car for the distanc_e wants to travel, and assume control. Here again the progress of man wil_ome into play. Everyone will know how to drive a motor-car safely. If yo_oubt it, consider for a moment the position of a man of 1800 suddenl_ransported into a street of modern London. He would never be able to cros_t; the rush of omnibuses, motors and bicycles would confuse and frighten him.
  • Imagine the same man trying to use the underground railways of to-day, or t_et up to town from a busy suburb in the morning. He would either be kille_ut of hand or left behind altogether from sheer inability to enter the train.
  • We may safely suppose that the ocean ships of a hundred years hence will b_riven by energy of some kind transmitted from the shores on either side. I_s absolutely unquestionable that no marine engine in the least resemblin_hat we know to-day can meet the requirements of the new age. The expense o_riving a steamship increases in such a ratio to its size and speed that th_conomic limits of steam propulsion are foreseen. Probably the ships of a.d.
  • 2000 will differ entirely in appearance from those we know. Just as roa_riction is the bugbear of the railway engineer, so water-resistance is th_ugbear of the marine engineer. The ships of a hundred years hence will no_ie in the water. They will tower above the surface, merely skimming it wit_heir keels, and the only engines they will carry will be those which receiv_nd utilise the energy transmitted to them from the power-house_shore—perhaps worked by the force of the very tides of the conquered ocea_tself.
  • The housing problem is so intimately and visibly connected in our minds wit_he growth of population that the more vital entanglement of the latter wit_he food question is hardly perceptible except to economic experts. Th_rdinary newspaper reader is not in a position to trace the intimat_ignificance of prices; indeed, he often regards it as rather a good thin_hat wheat should fetch a good price per quarter, forgetting that low price_or commodities mean increased purchasing power for money, and a bette_tandard of life for the people. When such elementary implications as this ar_verlooked, it is hardly remarkable that the more obscure connection o_opulation with prices is never thought of. Yet it is obvious that unless th_ources of supply increase more rapidly than the consuming population, price_ust rise—in other words, the purchasing power of money must diminish.
  • Wages, to some extent, will no doubt rise also, but as competition seriousl_ffects the markets for manufactured goods and machinery, and the increase o_opulation not only tends to raise prices of commodities, but also restrict_he rise of wages, relief will have to be found in economies of various sorts.
  • The standard of comfort in working families must improve considerably; partl_ecause the demand for improvement, taking the shape of industrial combinatio_nd trade-unionism developed to a high degree, will be more and more clamorous ; partly because of public feeling. What is currently called the growth o_entimentalism in modern life is really the development of modern conscience.
  • No doubt the abolition of judicial torture was at one time regarded as a mar_f absurd sentimentality; and the opinion has already been expressed that _ast amelioration of public morality is in store for the new ag-e. A orea_lement in the conflict between comfort on the one hand and competition on th_ther will be economy of means. That is why the new age will, among othe_hings, be an age of economy.
  • In the matter of food, chiefly, a great saving can be effected. Nothing i_ore painfully ludicrous—I use the incongruous collocution advisedly—than th_pectacle every winter of money being laboriously accumulated for th_rovision of free meals for the poor, and spent, to a great extent, s_astefully as on meat soups and white bread. The crass ignorance of the poor, who will not touch wholemeal bread, and indeed regard the offer of it a_omething in the nature of an insult; and who cannot be induced to believ_hat meat is one of the least satisfactory and most expensive forms o_ourishment, is of course responsible in great part for this error. If w_ould get our nitrogen from pulses, nuts, and use vegetable fats derived fro_uts, and bread made from entire wheat-kernels finely ground (instead of bein_nly half ground as in most " brown breads") [[2]](footnotes.xml#footnote_2) our "free dinner" charities would be able to feed at least twice or thre_imes as many people for every pound collected as they do at present. But th_roposal would probably excite an outcry and we should hear that the poor wer_eing treated as animals and that we fain would fill their bellies with th_usks that the swine do eat. But all kinds of influences will tend t_liminate flesh from the dietary of the new age. "Growing sentimentalism,"
  • already in arms against the use of animals for highly necessary scientifi_nvestigations, will, as it develops, be revolted bv the idea of killinor fo_ood ; and the refine-ment of the future will come to regard the eating o_ead bodies as very little better than cannibalism. Moreover, the constantl_ncreasing demand of the new age upon bodily and nervous energies will cal_or nourishment suited to their supply. This, and the wastefulness of second- hand food, will banish all flesh from the bill of fare. Fish will be eate_onger than meat. But more than anything else, the need for economy wil_eform our dinner-tables, and eventually all food will have to be obtaine_irectly from the soil, if we are to have food enough to nourish our overgrow_opulation at all. We shall not be able to afford to waste the ground o_asturage. We must use it to produce cereals, nuts and fruits, which are no_nly a much more remunerative crop, but will also use up in their assimilatio_ar less nervous and peptic energy—energy which we shall need to make the mos_f. The cereal foods—products of wheat, barley, maize, and perhaps still (to _ertain extent) oats—which will form the staple of our diet, will be partiall_ooked at the granaries by dry heat; they will need very little treatment a_ome. Vegetables, cooked, not in the wasteful manner now in vogue, but b_onservative methods which will preserve their valuable saline constituents, will have to be prepared in our own kitchens; but pulse in various forms (a_ease, lentil flour, etc.) will be supplied to us almost wholly cooked. _heap, nourishing and delicious dietary will thus be made available.
  • Finally, the reader will not be unprepared for the opinion that alcohol, as _everage, must inevitably disappear. Not only because the price of intoxicant_s an unproductive expenditure (and we shall have to be more and more thrift_s time goes on) but because the nerves of the new age would never stand them, must all alcoholic beveraofes be regarded as destined to obsolescence: and th_egislative aspect of this question must presently be touched upon. Already _onsiderable part of the people, in no way influenced by the illogical ide_hat the abuse of a commodity by one class calls for the abstention from it o_nother, refrains from alcohol simply because its use inflicts too great _train on the system. A good many people even now find it necessary to abstai_rom tea or from coffee for precisely similar reasons; while the highly- organised nervous systems of others find in the latter a stimulant capable o_ll the advantages of alcohol (and they are many) and not without some of it_enalties. I think it quite likely that when alcohol is gone, the nerves o_he future may find it necessary to place the sale of tea and of coffee unde_estrictions similar to those at present inflicted upon the trade in alcohol: and it is quite certain that morphia, cocaine, chloral, perhaps ether, an_imilar products, will have to be very jealously safeguarded within the nex_ew years.
  • Differing from many writers, I do not regard this development of the nervou_ystem as a mark of degeneration. On the contrary, it is a part of the grea_nd rapid adaptation which is bound to take place in the constitution of ma_imself [[3]](footnotes.xml#footnote_3)  to the rapidly-changing conditions o_is environment, his life, and the duties he will have to fulfil. To overloo_he certainty of such adaptations is to be blind to all history, an_specially to all recent history. The men and women of the new age will diffe_rom ourselves in much the same sorX of way as we differ from our great- grandfathers. They will differ more only because the progress of the centur_hich we have lately begun will be so much more rapid and various than thos_f the century before—itself the period of enormously the greatest change_ince the world began to be civilised.