The Victorians were great collectors. They fortified themselves by collecting other men's land and its products ; glorified themselves with collections of children, relations and pompous civic buildings ; and justified it all with a series of facts collected from the Family Bible, and from accounts of primitive men and Evolution. Their attitude to everything was captative ; and only in moments of extreme distraction were they oblative. Those who had recently ‘ arrived ’ loaded glass-fronted cabinets with sets of china—never used, for fear that they would be broken. They could fill their drawing-rooms with hideous statuettes, and cover their mantelpieces with stupid bric-àbrac and an occasional palaeolith—because there was at least one parlourmaid to dust them. Even more intelligent men, less anxious to impress their families and friends, were afflicted with the same disease : their motives were acquisitive rather than artistic or truly scientific; and if there was any philosophy other than that of mere gain, underlying their systematic collection of curios, it was the philosophy of Evolution, and with it the complacent belief in progress from Palaeolithic Man with his pathetic flint scrapers, to the Victorian Superman, with his eighty-bladed Sportsman's knife.