26 Elementary Morality The Oracle in Erewhon The answer given by the oracle was originally written concerning any vice—say drunkenness, but it applies to many another—and I wrote not " sins " but " knows " : * He who knows aught Knows more than he ought; But he who knows nought Has much to be taught. God's Laws The true laws of God are the laws of our own well-being. Physical Excellence The question whether such and such a course of conduct does or does not do physical harm is the safest test by which to try the question whether it is moral or no. If it does no harm to the body we ought to be very chary of calling it immoral, while if it tends towards physical excellence there should be no hesitation in calling it moral. In the case of those who are not forced to over-work themselves—and there are many who work themselves to death from mere inability to restrain the passion for work, which masters them as the craving for drink masters a drunkard—over- work in these cases is as immoral as over-eating or drinking. This, so far as the individual is concerned. With regard to.the body politic as a whole, it is, no doubt, well that there should be some men and women so built that they cannot be stopped from working themselves to death, just as it is unquestionably well that there should be some who cannot be stopped from drinking themselves to death, if only that they may keep the horror of the habit well in evidence. * The two chapters entitled " The Rights of Animals " and " The Rights of Vegetables " appeared first in the new and revised edition of Erewhon 1901 and form part of the additions referred to in the preface to that book.