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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

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Material for Erew/ion Revisited    293

" It is not our business," he used to say, " to help students
to think for themselves—surely this is the very last thing that
one who wishes them well would do by them. Our business is
to make them think as we do, or at any rate as we consider it
expedient to say we do."

He was President of the Society for the Suppression of
Useless Knowledge and for the Complete Obliteration of the

They have professional mind-dressers, as we have hair-
dressers, and before going out to dinner or fashionable At-
homes, people go and get themselves primed with smart
sayings or moral reflections according to the style which
they think will be most becoming to them in the kind of
company they expect.

They deify as God something which I can only translate by
a word as underivable as God—I mean Gumption. But it is
part of their religion that there should be no temple to Gump-
tion, nor are there priests or professors of Gumption Gump-
tion being too ineffable to hit the sense of human definition
and analysis.

They hold that the function of universities is to make
learning repellent and thus to prevent its becoming danger-
ously common. And they discharge this beneficent function
all the more efficiently because they do it unconsciously and
automatically. The professors think they are advancing
healthy intellectual assimilation and digestion when they are
in reality little better than cancer on the stomach.

Let them be afflicted by an epidemic of the fear-of-giving-
themselves-away disease. Enumerate its symptoms. There
is a new discovery whereby the invisible rays that emanate
from the soul can be caught and all the details of a man's
spiritual nature, his character, disposition, principles, &c. be
photographed on a plate as easily as his face or the bones of
his hands, but no cure for the f. o. g. th. a. disease has yet
been discovered.

They have a company for ameliorating the condition of
those who are in a future state, and for improving the future
state itself.

People are buried alive for a week before they are married