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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Memory and Design            61

design, or as when a man runs up against another in the
street and knocks him down without intending it. This is
undesign within design.

Fancied insults are felt by people who see design in a con-
nection where they should see little connection, and no design.

Connection with design is sometimes hard to distinguish
from connection without design ; as when a man treads on
another's corns, it is not always easy to say whether he has
done so accidentally or on purpose.

Men have been fond in all ages of ascribing connection
where there is none. Thus astrology has been believed in.
Before last Christmas I said I had neglected the feasts of
the Church too much, and that I should probably be more
prosperous if I paid more attention to them: so I hung up
three pieces of ivy in my rooms on Xmas Eve. A few months
afterwards I got the entail cut off my reversion, but I should
hardly think there was much connection between the two
things. Nevertheless I shall hang some holly up this year.

It seems also designed, ab extra (though who can say
whether this is so ?), that no one should know anything what-
ever about the ultimate, or even deeper springs of growth
and action. If not designed the result is arrived at as effectu-
ally as though it were so.

Accident, Design and Memory

It is right to say either that heredity and memory are one
and the same thing, or that heredity is a mode of memory,
or that heredity is due to memory, if it is thereby intended
that animals can only grow in virtue of being able to recollect.
Memory and heredity are the means of preserving experiences,
of building them together, of uniting a mass of often confused
detail into homogeneous and consistent mind and matter,
but they do not originate. The increment in each generation,
at the moment of its being an increment, has nothing to do
with memory or heredity, it is due to the chances and changes
of this mortal state. Design comes in at the moment that a
living being either feels a want and forecasts for its gratifi-
cation, or utilises some waif or stray of accident on the