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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

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86                Mind and Matter

night-gown was not so well pinned on and, instead of being
full of steady wind like the others, kept blowing up and down
as though she were preaching wildly. We stood and laughed
for ten minutes. The housewife came to the window and
wondered at us, but we could not resist the pleasure of watch-
ing the absurdly life-like gestures which the night-gowns
made. I should like a Santa Famiglia with clothes drying in
the background.

A love story might be told in a series of sketches of the
clothes of two families hanging out to dry in adjacent gardens.
Then a gentleman's night-shirt from one garden, and a lady's
night-gown from the other should be shown hanging in a
third garden by themselves. By and by there should be
added a little night-shirt.

A philosopher might be tempted, on seeing the little
night-shirt, to suppose that the big night-shirts had made it.
What we do is much the same, for the body of a baby is not
much more made by the two old babies, after whose pattern
it has cut itself out, than the little night-shirt is made by the
big ones. The thing that makes either the little night-shirt
or the little baby is something about which we know nothing
whatever at all.

Our Organism

Man is a walking tool-box, manufactory, workshop and
bazaar worked from behind the scenes by someone or some-
thing that we never see. We are so used to never seeing more
than the tools, and these work so smoothly, that we call
them the workman himself, making much the same mistake
as though we should call the saw the carpenter. The only
workman of whom we know anything at all is the one that
runs ourselves and even this is not perceivable by any of our
gross palpable senses.

The senses seem to be the link between mind and matteró
never forgetting that we can never have either mind or matter
pure and without alloy of the other.

Beer and My Cat

Spilt beer or water seems sometimes almost human in its
uncertainty whether or no it is worth while to get ever such