Samuel Butler's Canterbury Pieces By Samuel Butler

 -   There can
be little doubt that a series of researches in this branch of
experimental physiology, which might be carried - Page 30
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There Can Be Little Doubt That A Series Of Researches In This Branch Of Experimental Physiology, Which Might Be Carried

On at no great loss, would place zoologists in a far better position with regard to a subject which is

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" 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, 1863.]

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.

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