24 AUGUST 1878, Page 3

One of Professor Huxley's remarks on the awful stupidity evinced

by mankind in sticking to any groove of intellectual habit -which had once been found useful, received a curious illustration in the very copy of the Times in which his address was reported, —in an irritated Alpine traveller who wrote to that journal to complain of mountaineers in the same inn in Switzerland, who would get up at unearthly hours and stamp about in mountain- boots, and shout and laugh, without regard to the feelings of those 'Who were only separated from them by thin wooden partitions, and who wanted to sleep, instead of climb. Now if "H. W. J." had written to the English paper which is published at Berne, he might have hoped that his labour would not be quite wasted. But to send a wigging to his noisy compatriots through the Times newspaper of four days later, was launching a sort of literary boomerang, in curious deference to the power of blind habit. We should not wonder if a good many people wrote to the Times to find fault even with themselves, just by way of getting a burden off their consciences. It is the English nineteenth century's favourite set-off against a good many failures of personal effort, not to men- tion a few failures of penitence, to cast your burden on the Times, which we need not say, never bears it ; and does not often even endure it when it is so vain a burden as "H. W. J.'s."