But he was now learning from Spencer that he never had known, and that he never could have known had he continued his sailing and wandering forever.
And here was the man Spencer, organizing all knowledge for him, reducing everything to unity, elaborating ultimate realities, and presenting to his startled gaze a universe so concrete of realization that it was like the model of a ship such as sailors make and put into glass bottles.
But Herbert Spencer had shown him not only that it was not ridiculous, but that it was impossible for there to be no connection.
Arthur and Norman, he found, believed in evolution and had read Spencer, though it did not seem to have made any vital impression upon them, while the young fellow with the glasses and the mop of hair, Will Olney, sneered disagreeably at Spencer and repeated the epigram, "There is no god but the Unknowable, and Herbert Spencer is his prophet.
The fact that Spencer was very little read was for some time a source of surprise to Martin.
But what's all that got to do with Herbert Spencer anyway?
I suppose you'll be telling me next that you read Spencer on her recommendation - only you didn't.
The tame moral reading of the face of nature, together with such democratic interpretations of life as those suggested by Herbert Spencer, are signs of a physiological condition which is the reverse of that bounding and irresponsible healthiness in which harder and more tragic values rule.
Now, to understand his position correctly we must show his relationship to the two greatest of modern evolutionists--Darwin and Spencer.
Spencer Brydon had his reasons and was growingly aware of them; they seemed to him better each time he was there, though he didn't name them all to his companion, any more than he told her as yet how often, how quite absurdly often, he himself came.
Spencer Brydon meanwhile held his peace - for the moment; the question of the "evil" hours in his old home had already become too grave for him.