This etext was prepared by Amy E. Zelmer.
ON THE ADVISABLENESS OF IMPROVING NATURAL KNOWLEDGE*
by Thomas H. Huxley
[footnote] *A Lay Sermon delivered in St. Martin's Hall on
Sunday, January 7th, 1866, and subsequently published in
the 'Fortnightly Review'.
This time two hundred years ago--in the beginning of January,
1666--those of our forefathers who inhabited this great and ancient
city, took breath between the shocks of two fearful calamities: one not
quite past, although its fury had abated; the other to come.
Within a few yards of the very spot on which we are assembled, so the
tradition runs, that painful and deadly malady, the plague, appeared in
the latter months of 1664; and, though no new visitor, smote the people