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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

and of Life and Halit          45

of office and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy
takes—these will be entirely unknown to them. If they
want " feeding " (by the use of which very word wre betray
our recognition of them as living organism) they will be
attended by patient slaves whose business and interest it
will be to see that they shall want for nothing. If they are
out of order they will be promptly attended to by physicians
who are thoroughly acquainted with their constitutions;
if they die, for even these glorious animals will not be exempt
from that necessary and universal consummation, they will
immediately enter into a new phase of existence, for what
machine dies entirely in every part at one and the same
instant ?

We take it that when the state of things shall have arrived
which we have been above attempting to describe, man will
have become to the machine what the horse and the dog are
to man. Pie will continue to exist, nay even to improve, and
will be probably better off in his state of domestication under
the beneficent rule of the machines than he is in his present
wild state. We treat our horses, dogs, cattle and sheep, on
the whole, with great kindness, we give them whatever ex-
perience teaches us to be best for them, and there can be no
doubt that our use of meat has added to the happiness of the
lower animals far more than it has detracted from it; in
like manner it is reasonable to suppose that the machines
will treat us kindly, for their existence is as dependent upon
ours as ours is upon the lower animals. They cannot kill us
and eat us as we do sheep, they will not only require our
services in the parturition of their young (which branch of
their economy will remain always in our hands) but also in
feeding them, in setting them right if they are sick, and
burying their dead or working up their corpses into new
machines. It is obvious that if all the animals in Great
Britain save man alone were to die, and if at the same time
all intercourse with foreign countries wTere by some sudden
catastrophe to be rendered perfectly impossible, it is obvious
'that under such circumstances the loss of human life would
'be something fearful to contemplate—in like manner, were
mankind to cease, the machines would be as badly off or even
worse. The fact is that our interests are inseparable from
theirs, and theirs from ours. Each race is dependent upon