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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"


The Germs of Erewhon and of Life
and Habit

Prefatory Note

THE Origin of Species was published in the autumn of 1859,
and Butler arrived in New Zealand about the same time and
read the look soon afterwards. In 1880 he wrote in Unconscious
Memory (close of Chapter I): "As a member of the general
'public, at that time residing eighteen miles from the nearest
hitman habitation, and three days' journey on horseback from
a bookseller's shop, I became one of Mr. Darwin's many en-
thusiastic admirers, and wrote a philosophic dialogue (the most
offensive form, except poetry and books of travel into sup-posed
unknown countries, that even literature can assume] upon the
Origin of Species. This production appeared in the Press,
Canterbury, New Zealand, in 1861 or 1862, but I have long lost
the only copy I had."

The Press was founded by James Edward FitzGerald, the
first Superintendent of the Province of Canterbury. Butler
was an intimate friend of FitzGerald, was closely associated
with the newspaper and frequently wrote for it. The first
number appeared 2$th May, 1861, and on 2^fJi May, 1911, the
Press celebrated its jubilee with a number which contained
particulars of its early life, of its editors, and of Butler ; it also
contained reprints of two of Butler's contributions, viz. Darwin
among the Machines, which originally appeared in its columns
13 June, 1863, and Lucubratio Ebria, which originally
appeared 29 July, 1865. The Dialogue was not reprinted
because, although the editor knew of its existence and searched
for it, he could not find it. At my request, after the appearance