One of the most interesting if not one of the most
important in natural history."
I fear that both you and your readers will be dead sick of Darwin,
but the above is worthy of notice. My compliments to the "Savoyard."
Your obedient servant,
May 17th. A. M.
DARWIN AMONG THE MACHINES
"Darwin Among the Machines" originally appeared in the Christ Church
PRESS, 13 June, 1863. It was reprinted by Mr. Festing Jones in his
edition of THE NOTE-BOOKS OF SAMUEL BUTLER (Fifield, London, 1912,
Kennerley, New York), with a prefatory note pointing out its
connection with the genesis of EREWHON, to which readers desirous of
further information may be referred.
[To the Editor of the Press, Christchurch, New Zealand, 13 June,
Sir - There are few things of which the present generation is more
justly proud than of the wonderful improvements which are daily
taking place in all sorts of mechanical appliances. And indeed it is
matter for great congratulation on many grounds. It is unnecessary
to mention these here, for they are sufficiently obvious; our present
business lies with considerations which may somewhat tend to humble
our pride and to make us think seriously of the future prospects of
the human race. If we revert to the earliest primordial types of
mechanical life, to the lever, the wedge, the inclined plane, the
screw and the pulley, or (for analogy would lead us one step further)
to that one primordial type from which all the mechanical kingdom has
been developed, we mean to the lever itself, and if we then examine
the machinery of the Great Eastern, we find ourselves almost
awestruck at the vast development of the mechanical world, at the
gigantic strides with which it has advanced in comparison with the
slow progress of the animal and vegetable kingdom.