Samuel Butler's Canterbury Pieces By Samuel Butler

 -   Mark me well,
Matter as swift as swiftest thought shall fly,
And space itself be nowhere.  Future Tinleys
Shall bowl - Page 27
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Mark Me Well, Matter As Swift As Swiftest Thought Shall Fly, And Space Itself Be Nowhere.

Future Tinleys Shall bowl from London to our Christ Church Tennants, And all the runs for all the stumps be made In flying baskets which shall come and go And do the circuit round about the globe Within ten seconds.

Do not check me with The roundness of the intervening world, The winds, the mountain ranges, and the seas - These hinder nothing; for the leathern sphere, Like to a planetary satellite, Shall wheel its faithful orb and strike the bails Clean from the centre of the middle stump. * * * * * Mirrors shall hang suspended in the air, Fixed by a chain between two chosen stars, And every eye shall be a telescope To read the passing shadows from the world. Such games shall be hereafter, but as yet We lay foundations only. CLAUD. Thou must be drunk, Horatio. HOR. So I am.


{1} We were asked by a learned brother philosopher who saw this article in MS. what we meant by alluding to rudimentary organs in machines. Could we, he asked, give any example of such organs? We pointed to the little protuberance at the bottom of the bowl of our tobacco pipe. This organ was originally designed for the same purpose as the rim at the bottom of a tea-cup, which is but another form of the same function. Its purpose was to keep the heat of the pipe from marking the table on which it rested. Originally, as we have seen in very early tobacco pipes, this protuberance was of a very different shape to what it is now. It was broad at the bottom and flat, so that while the pipe was being smoked the bowl might rest upon the table. Use and disuse have here come into play and served to reduce the function to its present rudimentary condition. That these rudimentary organs are rarer in machinery than in animal life is owing to the more prompt action of the human selection as compared with the slower but even surer operation of natural selection. Man may make mistakes; in the long run nature never does so. We have only given an imperfect example, but the intelligent reader will supply himself with illustrations.

End of Canterbury Pieces, by Samuel Butler

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