Your current location:home >meat >it was in this room where I read my Bible and books and text

it was in this room where I read my Bible and books and

time:2023-12-03 08:39:30 Source: Originally writtenedit:meat

core tips


In confirmation of the views concerning mechanism which we have been advocating above, it must be remembered that men are not merely the children of their parents, but they are begotten of the institutions of the state of the mechanical sciences under which they are born and bred. These things have made us what we are. We are children of the plough, the spade, and the ship; we are children of the extended liberty and knowledge which the printing press has diffused. Our ancestors added these things to their previously existing members; the new limbs were preserved by natural selection and incorporated into human society; they descended with modifications, and hence proceeds the difference between our ancestors and ourselves. By the institutions and state of science under which a man is born it is determined whether he shall have the limbs of an Australian savage or those of a nineteenth-century Englishman. The former is supplemented with little save a rug and a javelin; the latter varies his physique with the changes of the season, with age and with advancing or decreasing wealth. If it is wet he is furnished with an organ which is called an umbrella and which seems designed for the purpose of protecting either his clothes or his lungs from the injurious effects of rain. His watch is of more importance to him than a good deal of his hair, at any rate than of his whiskers; besides this he carries a knife and generally a pencil case. His memory goes in a pocket-book. He grows more complex as he becomes older and he will then be seen with a pair of spectacles, perhaps also with false teeth and a wig; but, if he be a really well-developed specimen of the race, he will be furnished with a large box upon wheels, two horses, and a coachman.

it was in this room where I read my Bible and books and

Let the reader ponder over these last remarks and he will see that the principal varieties and sub-varieties of the human race are not now to be looked for among the negroes, the Circassians, the Malays, or the American aborigines, but among the rich and the poor. The difference in physical organisation between these two species of man is far greater than that between the so-called types of humanity. The rich man can go from here to England whenever he feels inclined, the legs of the other are by an invisible fatality prevented from carrying him beyond certain narrow limits. Neither rich nor poor as yet see the philosophy of the thing, or admit that he who can tack a portion of one of the P. and O. boats on to his identity is a much more highly organised being than one who cannot. Yet the fact is patent enough, if we once think it over, from the mere consideration of the respect with which we so often treat those who are richer than ourselves. We observe men for the most part (admitting, however, some few abnormal exceptions) to be deeply impressed by the superior organisation of those who have money. It is wrong to attribute this respect to any unworthy motive, for the feeling is strictly legitimate and springs from some of the very highest impulses of our nature. It is the same sort of affectionate reverence which a dog feels for man, and is not infrequently manifested in a similar manner.

it was in this room where I read my Bible and books and

We admit that these last sentences are open to question, and we should hardly like to commit ourselves irrecoverably to the sentiments they express; but we will say this much for certain, namely, that the rich man is the true hundred-handed Gyges of the poets. He alone possesses the full complement of limbs who stands at the summit of opulence, and we may assert with strictly scientific accuracy that the Rothschilds are the most astonishing organisms that the world has ever yet seen. For to the nerves or tissues, or whatever it be that answers to the helm of a rich man's desires, there is a whole army of limbs seen and unseen attachable; he may be reckoned by his horse-power, by the number of foot-pounds which he has money enough to set in motion. Who, then, will deny that a man whose will represents the motive power of a thousand horses is a being very different from the one who is equivalent but to the power of a single one?

it was in this room where I read my Bible and books and

Henceforward, then, instead of saying that a man is hard up, let us say that his organisation is at a low ebb, or, if we wish him well, let us hope that he will grow plenty of limbs. It must be remembered that we are dealing with physical organisations only. We do not say that the thousand-horse man is better than a one-horse man, we only say that he is more highly organised and should be recognised as being so by the scientific leaders of the period. A man's will, truth, endurance, are part of him also, and may, as in the case of the late Mr. Cobden, have in themselves a power equivalent to all the horse-power which they can influence; but were we to go into this part of the question we should never have done, and we are compelled reluctantly to leave our dream in its present fragmentary condition.


The following brief essay was contributed by Butler to a small miscellany entitled LITERARY FOUNDLINGS: VERSE AND PROSE, COLLECTED IN CANTERBURY, N.Z., which was published at Christ Church on the occasion of a bazaar held there in March, 1864, in aid of the funds of the Christ Church Orphan Asylum, and offered for sale during the progress of the bazaar. The miscellany consisted entirely of the productions of Canterbury writers, and among the contributors were Dean Jacobs, Canon Cottrell, and James Edward FitzGerald, the founder of the PRESS.

When Prince Ferdinand was wrecked on the island Miranda was fifteen years old. We can hardly suppose that she had ever seen Ariel, and Caliban was a detestable object whom her father took good care to keep as much out of her way as possible. Caliban was like the man cook on a back-country run. "'Tis a villain, sir," says Miranda. "I do not love to look on." "But as 'tis," returns Prospero, "we cannot miss him; he does make our fire, fetch in our wood, and serve in offices that profit us." Hands were scarce, and Prospero was obliged to put up with Caliban in spite of the many drawbacks with which his services were attended; in fact, no one on the island could have liked him, for Ariel owed him a grudge on the score of the cruelty with which he had been treated by Sycorax, and we have already heard what Miranda and Prospero had to say about him. He may therefore pass for nobody. Prospero was an old man, or at any rate in all probability some forty years of age; therefore it is no wonder that when Miranda saw Prince Ferdinand she should have fallen violently in love with him. "Nothing ill," according to her view, "could dwell in such a temple--if the ill Spirit have so fair an house, good things will strive to dwell with 't." A very natural sentiment for a girl in Miranda's circumstances, but nevertheless one which betrayed a charming inexperience of the ways of the world and of the real value of good looks. What surprises us, however, is this, namely the remarkable celerity with which Miranda in a few hours became so thoroughly wide awake to the exigencies of the occasion in consequence of her love for the Prince. Prospero has set Ferdinand to hump firewood out of the bush, and to pile it up for the use of the cave. Ferdinand is for the present a sort of cadet, a youth of good family, without cash and unaccustomed to manual labour; his unlucky stars have landed him on the island, and now it seems that he "must remove some thousands of these logs and pile them up, upon a sore injunction." Poor fellow! Miranda's heart bleeds for him. Her "affections were most humble"; she had been content to take Ferdinand on speculation. On first seeing him she had exclaimed, "I have no ambition to see a goodlier man"; and it makes her blood boil to see this divine creature compelled to such an ignominious and painful labour. What is the family consumption of firewood to her? Let Caliban do it; let Prospero do it; or make Ariel do it; let her do it herself; or let the lightning come down and "burn up those logs you are enjoined to pile";--the logs themselves, while burning, would weep for having wearied him. Come what would, it was a shame to make Ferdinand work so hard, so she winds up thus: "My father is hard at study; pray now rest yourself--HE'S SAFE FOR THESE THREE HOURS." Safe--if she had only said that "papa was safe," the sentence would have been purely modern, and have suited Thackeray as well as Shakspeare. See how quickly she has learnt to regard her father as one to be watched and probably kept in a good humour for the sake of Ferdinand. We suppose that the secret of the modern character of this particular passage lies simply in the fact that young people make love pretty much in the same way now that they did three hundred years ago; and possibly, with the exception that "the governor" may be substituted for the words "my father" by the young ladies of three hundred years hence, the passage will sound as fresh and modern then as it does now. Let the Prosperos of that age take a lesson, and either not allow the Ferdinands to pile up firewood, or so to arrange their studies as not to be "safe" for any three consecutive hours. It is true that Prospero's objection to the match was only feigned, but Miranda thought otherwise, and for all purposes of argument we are justified in supposing that he was in earnest.

The following lines were written by Butler in February, 1864, and appeared in the PRESS. They refer to a visit paid to New Zealand by a team of English cricketers, and have kindly been copied and sent to me by Miss Colborne-Veel, whose father was editor of the PRESS at the time that Butler was writing for it. Miss Colborne-Veel has further permitted to me to make use of the following explanatory note: "The coming of the All England team was naturally a glorious event in a province only fourteen years old. The Mayor and Councillors had 'a car of state'--otherwise a brake--'with postilions in the English style.' Cobb and Co. supplied a six-horse coach for the English eleven, the yellow paint upon which suggested the 'glittering chariot of pure gold.' So they drove in triumph from the station and through the town. Tinley for England and Tennant for Canterbury were the heroes of the match. At the Wednesday dinner referred to they exchanged compliments and cricket balls across the table. This early esteem for cricket may be explained by a remark made by the All England captain, that 'on no cricket ground in any colony had he met so many public school men, especially men from old Rugby, as at Canterbury.'"