11 APRIL 1891, Page 3

Sir Lyon Playfair told a good story of the late

Professor Bonamy Price's at the Civil Engineers' dinner on Wednesday, but did not tell it very well. He said that the Professor had asked his political economy class the question, "What is a man?" and that one of the young ladies, rightly understanding it to refer to man in his economical aspects, replied, "A man is a creature of progressive desires." That is not how the learned Professor told his story to the present writer. He said that he had asked, "What is the moving force in all civilising processes?" and that this clever young woman replied, "Pro- gressive desire." We are pretty sure that Professor Bonatny Price, who was always apt and definite in his questions, would never have asked an economical class so pointless a question as, "What is a man ?" And if he had, we do not think that " A creature of progressive desires" would have been a good

answer to the question. There are many men who are not creatures of progressive desire, because there are many men who have not in them the moving force which produces civilisation.