The one who had looked up at first and frowned but made
Zoe reiterated her question, What was to be done?
Miss Gale turned to her with a smile. _"We_ have got nothing to do but to point out these abominations. The person to act is the Russian autocrat, the paternal dictator, the monarch of all he surveys, and advocate of monarchial institutions. He is the buffer between the poor and all their ills, especially poison: he must dig a well."
Every eye being turned on Vizard to see how he took this, he said, a little satirically, "What! does Science bid me bore for water at the top of a hill?"
"She does _so,"_ said the virago. "Now look here, good people."
And although they were not all good people, yet they all did look there, she shone so with intelligence, being now quite on her mettle.
"Half-civilized man makes blunders that both the savage and the civilized avoid. The savage builds his hut by a running stream. The civilized man draws good water to his door, though he must lay down pipes from a highland lake to a lowland city. It is only half-civilized man that builds a village on a hill, and drinks worms, and snakes, and efts, and antediluvian monsters in limeless water. Then I say, if great but half civilized monarchs would consult Science _before_ they built their serf huts, Science would say, 'Don't you go and put down human habitations far from pure water--the universal diluent, the only cheap diluent, and the only liquid which does not require digestion, and therefore must always assist, and never chemically resist, the digestion of solids.' But when the mischief is done, and the cottages are built on a hill three miles from water, then all that Science can do is to show the remedy, and the remedy is--boring."
"Then the remedy is like the discussion," said Fanny Dover, very pertly.
Zoe was amused, but shocked. Miss Gale turned her head on the offender as sharp as a bird. "Of course it is, to _children,"_ said she; "and that is why I wished to confine it to mature minds. It is to you I speak, sir. Are your subjects to drink poison, or will you bore me a well?--Oh, please!"