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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

232              Titles and Subjects

hated. He finds out that he was really at last caressed by
the Huxleys and Tyndalls as one of themselves.

A Collection of the letters of people who have committed
suicide; and also of people who only threaten to do so.
The first may be got abundantly from reports of coroners*
inquests, the second would be harder to come by.

The Structure and Comparative Anatomy of Fads, Fancies
and Theories; showing, moreover, that men and women
exist only as the organs and tools of the ideas that dominate
them ; it is the fad that is alone living.

An Astronomical Speculation: Each fixed star has a
separate god whose body is his own particular solar system,
and these gods know each other, move about among each
other as we do, laugh at each other and criticise one another's
work. Write some of their discourses with and about one
another.

Imaginary Worlds

A world exactly, to the minutest detail, a duplicate of
our own, but as we shall be five hundred, or from that
to twenty thousand, years hence. Let there be also
another world, a duplicate of what we were five hundred
to twenty thousand years ago. There should be many
worlds of each kind at different dates behind us and ahead
of us.

I send a visitor from a world ahead of us to a world behind
us, after which he comes to us, and so we learn what happened
in the Homeric age. My visitor will not tell me what has
happened in his own world since the time corresponding to
the present moment in our world, because the knowledge
of the future would be not only fatal to ourselves but would
upset the similarity between the two worlds, so they would
be no longer able to refer to us for information on any point
of history from the moment of the introduction of the dis-
turbing element.

When they are in doubt about a point in their past history
that we have not yet reached they make preparation and
forecast its occurrence in our world as we foretell eclipst**^
and transits of Venus, and all their most accomplished his-
torians investigate it; but if the conditions for observation
have been unfavourable, or if they postpone consideration