C. That Is Nonsense; As You Asked Me What Impression I Derived From
The Book, So Now I Ask You, And I Charge You To Answer Me.
F. Well, I assent to the justice of your demand, but I shall comply
with it by requiring your assent to a few principal statements
deducible from the work.
C. So be it.
F. You will grant then, firstly, that all plants and animals
increase very rapidly, and that unless they were in some manner
checked, the world would soon be overstocked. Take cats, for
instance; see with what rapidity they breed on the different runs in
this province where there is little or nothing to check them; or even
take the more slowly breeding sheep, and see how soon 500 ewes become
5000 sheep under favourable circumstances. Suppose this sort of
thing to go on for a hundred million years or so, and where would be
the standing room for all the different plants and animals that would
be now existing, did they not materially check each other's increase,
or were they not liable in some way to be checked by other causes?
Remember the quail; how plentiful they were until the cats came with
the settlers from Europe. Why were they so abundant? Simply because
they had plenty to eat, and could get sufficient shelter from the
hawks to multiply freely. The cats came, and tussocks stood the poor
little creatures in but poor stead. The cats increased and
multiplied because they had plenty of food and no natural enemy to
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