UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Samuel Butler and the Victorian compromise Grant, John Douglas 1941

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1941_A8 G7 S2.pdf [ 5.68MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0105624.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0105624-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0105624-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0105624-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0105624-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0105624-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0105624-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0105624-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0105624.ris

Full Text

SAMOEL BUTLER AND THE TICTORIAlf COMPROMISE by John Douglas Grant - o -A Thesis submitted i n P a r t i a l F u l f i l m e n t of The Requirements f o r the Degree of M A S T E R OIF A R T S i n the Department of ENGLISH LANGUAGE and LITERATURE The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia A p r i l , 1941. SJMJEL BUEIER AND THE VICTOEIiffl' COMPROMISE Part 1 : The Development of B u t l e r ' s Philosophy of Compromise pages 1 to 12. Pa r t 2 : I n E v a l u a t i o n o f B u t l e r ' s Compromise pages 13 to 36. Biblio g r a p h y : pages 37 to"45. SAMUEL BUTLER AND THE VICTORIAN COMPROMISE. Pa r t 1. The Development of B u t l e r 1 s Philosophy. I f , as Freud has argued I n The Future of An I l l u s i o n , r e l i g i o u s doctrines are i l l u s i o n s , even delusions, cLuite incompatible w i t h r e a l i t y , Samuel B u t l e r i n h e r i t e d a very u n r e a l world. H i s immediate ancestry boasted a grandfather, a f a t h e r , and two uncles a l l devoted to preaching the f a i t h of the "high and dry" branch o f the Church of England. The Reverend Thomas B u t l e r was a "kind of human Sunday", such as Ernest, i n The Way of A l l F l e s h , thought a l l clergymen were expected t o be. And a p e c u l i a r l y V i c t o r i a n Sunday at that. "Lest the Sabbath should be profaned by walking i n the sunshine, the Macaulay c h i l d r e n had been f o r -bidden to> worship at churches more than a c e r t a i n distance from the p a r e n t a l abode." And l e s t the young Samuel should be profaned by w o r l d l y p u r s u i t s , he was taught to k n e e l before he could w e l l crawl, and • 3 to say the Lord's prayer before he could do more than l i s p . Thomas kept by; him a book o f precepts f o r everyday use; h i s God-fearing f i n g e r s could e a s i l y t u r n to "Break your c h i l d ' s w i l l e a r l y , or he w i l l break yours l a t e r on" ,4 So the father vargued " i f h i s a t t e n t i o n flagged or h i s memory f a i l e d him, here was an i l l weed which would grow apace, unless i t were plucked out immediately, and the only way to. pluck i t out was to whip him, or shut him up i n a cupboard, or dock him some of the small pleasures of childhood." 5 1. Freud, S. The Future of An I l l u s i o n , ch.6. 2. Massingham, H.J. & Hugh and others, ed. , The Great V i c t o r i a n s , p.260. 5. B u t l e r , S. The Way of A l l Flesh.-""ch^...go. . 4. Jones, F. Memoir, p. 20. 5. The Way of A l l Flesh, ch.20. Of course there was s c r i p t u r a l permission f o r t h i s sadism. Habakkufc had described how the Father i s omnipresent and omnipotent."'" I n f a c t , there i s much evidence to show that the Rev. Thomas B u t l e r conceived of him-s e l f as an Old Testament god. He was v i n d i c t i v e ; he was a jealous god; he would brook no r e s i s t a n c e ; he exacted t r i b u t e from h i s worshippers and d i s -pensed favors to those who had no other gods before him. I t i s tempting to trace a l l o f B u t l e r ' s mental complexity back to h i s r e l a t i o n s w i t h h i s f a t h e r . But to r e c a l l the boyhood of Charles Darwin puis l e s s s t r a i n on one p a r t i c u l a r school o f psychology. Charles's f a t h e r l i v e d a u s e f u l , extrovert l i f e as a country doctor; u n l i k e the Reverend Thomas B u t l e r , he never had. to seek compensation i n h i s household f o r the sham of h i s p r o f e s s i o n . So Charles l i v e d a healthy, e f f o r t l e s s boyhood, c o l l e c t i n g p l a n t s , muddling through school, and f i n a l l y g i v i n g up a l l thought of entering the Church. No rancour, no f a n a t i c i s m , remained to p r e j u d i c e a mind that was t o devote i t s e l f f o r f o r t y years to the p a t i e n t , • c o l l e c t i o n o f s c i e n t i f i c data. . '••/\V^e;.yo'u^'-Samuel knew''ho. such peace o f mind, no such e q u i l i b r i u m o f s p i r i t ; h i s d i s p o s i t i o n became contorted and i n c o n s i s t e n t . Constantly dominated b y / h i s f a t h e r , h i s mind came to deride a u t h o r i t y even w h i l e t h i s very d e r i s i o n had to seek compensation i n herd-wor.ship. He castigated the vested i n t e r e s t s o,f the s c i e n t i s t s and sneered at the smugness of the .clergy; but upon Handel and Homer and P a u l i he fawned, His mind never grew to m a t u r i t y , because i t could never r i d I t s e l f of e a r j y t h e o l o g i c a l training,. 1. Habakkuk. ch. 3. 2. Darwin, C. The L i f e and L e t t e r s of Charles Darwin. T o l . l . c h . 1 . 3. B u t l e r ' T h e Way o f A l l F l e s h , ch. 15. Though he smashed more i d o l s probably than any other nineteenth century f i g u r e , i t was "by p u t t i n g f i r e - c r a c k e r s under t h e i r pedestals" and not by seeking to understand and cope w i t h the force that created the i d o l s . This he was fundamentally unable to do; the r e l i g i o n i s m of the B u t l e r home, wi t h i t s Tahwehistic f a t h e r , prevented i t . B u t l e r began h i s j o u s t i n g at r e l i g i o n i n 1855 when at Cambridge. He wrote two parodies on the Simeonites, the ".gloomy, seedy-looking c o n f r e r i e " 1 Of E v a n g e l i c a l s at S t . Johns. L i k e Ernest, hewas at t h i s time "something of a Saul and took pleasure i n persecuting the . e l e c t , not --- that he had any hankering a f t e r s kepticism, but because, l i k e the farmers i n h i s f a t h e r ' s v i l l a g e , though he would not stand seeing the C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n : made l i g h t of, he was not going to see i t taken s e r i o u s l y . " B u t l e r , however, d i d not cast much doubt upon the theology.which he was a s s i m i l a t i n g i n preparation f o r holy orders. H i s t u t o r s never suggested that there was another side t o C h r i s t i a n evidences. So he decided to i n v e s t i g a t e f o r himself; he s t a r t e d work upon a c a r e f u l reading 3 and re-reading of the Greek testament. Jones comments that B u t l e r had no i n t e r e s t at t h i s stage i n proving whether C h r i s t i a n i t y was, or was not, the true f a i t h ; he was merely l o o k i n g f o r ground to form an o p i n i o n as to whether i t was true or not. The f i r s t breach w i t h C h r i s t i a n dogma reveals the curious l i t e r a l working of B u t l e r ' s mind. P a r t of h i s p a r o c h i a l work as a l a y a s s i s t a n t was that of teacher to a night c l a s s of boys. He made enqui r i e s as to which, of the boys had been baptized. He was " s e r i o u s l y and p a i n f u l l y 1* The Way, ch. 47. 2. Jones, E. Memoir. V o l . 1. p. 58. 3. i b i d . p. 60. shocked" to f i n d "that ho one, merely judging by t h e i r • conduct and character, would ever have been able to separate the sheep from the goats." l So shocked i n f a c t was B u t l e r , that he declined o r d i n a t i o n , and set s a i l f o r New Zealand. On the voyage out he suddenly stopped saying h i s prayers,.age twenty-four. This c o n s t i t u t e s the second of h i s " h e r e s i e s " , a c t s _ o f sloughing o f f some of the e x t e r n a l p a r t s o f h i s b e l i e f . I t i s remarkable how free of passion was B u t l e r ' s " r e v o l t " . There i s none of the melodramatic wagers w i t h the Almighty so v i t r i d l y described by Edmund Gosse, nor any of the p r u r i e n t blasphemy o f the younger D r e i s e r s , Butler's- development was so." c e r e b r a l that I question, whether the r e a l core o f r e l i g i o u s f e e l i n g s was ever touched. He put i n two years as a New Zealand g r a z i e r , and boasts i n a l e t t e r to h i s cousin, P h i l i p Worsley,.of a " g r a d u a l change from my o l d narrow bigoted tenets to my f a r happier present l a t i t u d i n a r i a n i s m . t t A. But t h i s change i n h i s s p i r i t u a l l i f e was as fundamental as the d i s -appearance of acne pimples i n the maturing youth. He c o u l d - ; s t i l l w r i t e i n 1861, • " I b e l i e v e Jesus C h r i s t to have been the Son of God as much now as ever." 5 A year and a h a l f l a t e r , August 14th, 1862, B u t l e r w r i t e s ''I came to see that -the death of Jesus C h r i s t was not real.. .... For the present I renounce; C h r i s t i a n i t y altogether. You say people must have something to b e l i e v e i n . I can only say that I have not;found my d i g e s t i o n impeded si n c e I have l e f t o f f b e l i e v i n g i n what does not appear t o be supported.by s u f f i c i e n t evidence." p, 1. Jones, E., Memoir, V o l . I. p. 61. S. Gosse, E. Father and Son. ch.2. 5. D r e i s e r , T. Dawn: An Autobiography. 4. Jones, F. Memoir, p. 97. 5. i b i d , quoted p. 96. 6. i b i d . p. 98. The underlined clause i s the crux o f the matter here. B u t l e r . i s not s t r i c t l y accurate i n saying that he had renounced C h r i s t i a n i t y altogether. What he had renounced was the gospel v e r s i o n of the death and r e s u r r e c t i o n of Jesus. I n The Evidence f o r the Resurrection o f Jesus C h r i s t as givem by the Eour E v a n g e l i s t s c r i t i c a l l y examined, a pamphlet p r i n t e d anonymously, B u t l e r advanced h i s own v e r s i o n of the r e s u r r e c t i o n . In i t , he f'came to the conclusion t h a t C h r i s t d i d not die upon the cross, but that he swooned and recovered consciousness a f t e r h i s body had passed i n t o the keeping o f Joseph of Arimathea." 1 In other words,. B u t l e r sought f o r and obtained a c e r t a i n lowest common denominator among the discrepancies of the four gospel,accounts. And from h i s body of .agreement the' c r u c i a l m i r a c l e of C h r i s t i a n teaching i s transformed i n t o a very n a t u r a l phenomenon. I wonder j u s t how " c r i t i c a l l y examined" was the evidence. Jones says p "those were not the days of comparative; r e l i g i o n . " But, they were f o r some men. Max M u l l e r had published h i s Essay on Compar-a t i v e Mythology i n 1856, and Ruskin can assert i n 1867 t h a t " " f o r the l a s t h a l f - c e n t u r y , the soundest scholars and t h i n k e r s of Europe" held to t h i s theory: "that the mass o f r e l i g i o u s S c r i p t u r e contains! merely the best e f f o r t s which wekhow h i t h e r t o to have been made by any o f the races of men towards the d i s c o v e r y of some r e l a t i o n s w i t h the s p i r i t u a l world; that they are only trustworthy as ex-pressions of the e n t h u s i a s t i c v i s i o n s or b e l i e f s o f earnest men oppressed by the world's ; darkness, and have ho more a u t h o r i t a t i v e c l a i m on our f a i t h than the r e l i g i o u s specul-a t i o n s and h i s t o r i e s of the Egyptians, Greeks, P e r s i a n s , and Indians." 3 . . 1. Jones, E. Memoir. "ps-HSd-. (the Evidence i s not a v a i l a b l e i n the U n i v e r s i t y l i b r a r y ) . 2. Jones, E. Memoir, (c) p.120 3. Ruskin, C o l l e c t e d Works, pp.349-350. To 1.17 ( L i b r a r y Ed.) The urge to b r i n g comparative evidence to bear on the dogmas of C h r i s t i a n -i t y was i n the a i r i n the s i x t i e s . But B u t l e r ' s probing mind was pot-bound by h i s e a r l y t r a i n i n g . He was kept from s t r e t c h i n g out i n t o the thorough-going i n f i d e l i t y o f Soger Wendover i n Robert Elsmere. He was 'content to r e j e c t a paramount do c t r i n e of C h r i s t i a n i t y , and yet to remain a C h r i s t i a n . 1 B u t l e r never passed on to i n v e s t i g a t e the p o s s i b i l i t y o f .Christ's r e s u r r e c t i o n i n the body as a pagan myth, or to question the h i s -t o r i c a l evidence f o r the existence o f any such person as Jesus. This, hes-it a n c y o f mind i s an important phase i n B u t l e r ' s mental development. He s t i l l could not unlearn the long- apprenticeship to h i s f a t h e r i n the Langar r e c t o r y / " The F a i r Haven is>but an extension of the arguments set down i n The Evidence. B u t l e r , i n the character o f John P i c k a r d Owen plans t o enter sympathetically and thoroughly i n t o the d i f f i c u l t i e s o f the un- . b e l i e v e r . The proper method o f defending the f a i t h , he decided, was not to dismiss••'.-airily a l l o b j ections to the t r u t h of C h r i s t i a n i t y . Rather these o b j e c t i o n s should be s c i e n t i f i c a l l y examined and reasonably refuted; only then.would the foundations of b e l i e f be sound. Under cover of irony, and guided by Candour (the p i l o t that i s t o le a d men i n t o the F a i r Havem), But l e r concludes: > "What remains as the most reasonable view to be taken concerning H i s disappearance? S u r e l y the one that was t a k e n - — namely, that He had ascended b o d i l y i n t o Heaven'and was s i t t i n g at the r i g h t hand of God the Father. Where e l s e could He be?" g 1. B u t l e r , S. Notebooks p.352. 2. B u t l e r , S. The F a i r Haven, p. 267. :Th.B p i t i l e s s , unanswerable: i r o n y o f t h i s f i n a l query marks B u t l e r ' s r e l i g i o u s coming-of-rage. He had taken i n the s t u p i d and l e f t the clever /people a good deal i n doubt, j u s t as ,he wished to do. 1 Up to t h i s p o i n t i n h i s career, B u t l e r had attacked the supernatural i n C h r i s t i a n i t y , con-tent, to,,batter dowh i t s miraculous features. From now on, the greater p a r t o f h i s l i f e I s given over to p u t t i n g a new superstructure upon the o l d foundation. He had l a i d the: ghost o f Jesus C h r i s t , 2 but. was now determined to, prove that H i s Father was very much a l i v e . And here B u t l e r ' s r e l i g i o n becomes h a r d l y .distinguishable from h i s science; h i s biology becomes com-p a t i b l e w i t h h i s continuing b e l i e f i n God. The f i n a l compromise w i l l be discussed and c r i t i c i s e d l a t e r i n t h i s essay. I t i s necessary now to fol l o w .the. s c i e n t i f i c development of. B u t l e r ' s mind. B u t l e r had read t h e . O r i g i n of Species while he was i n New Zealand, and was so g r e a t l y a t t r a c t e d to the book th a t he undertook to defend I t against a :"contemptuous r e j o i n d e r " o f the Bishop o f Wellington. ~ This correspondence developed i n t o the Book o f the Machines i n Erewhon. The protagonist f o r the d e s t r u c t i o n o f the Erewhonian machines w r i t e s : " R e f l e c t . u p o n the extraordinary advance which machines have made: during the l a s t few hundred years, and note how slo w l y : ;the : animal and vegetable kingdoms are advancing.. The more, h i g h l y organised machines are creatures not so much o f yesterday, as of i h e l a s t f i v e minutes, so to speak, i n comparison w i t h past time. Assume f o r the sake o f argument that conscious beingsjhave e x i s t e d f o r some twenty m i l l i o n years;, see what s t r i d e s machines have made i n the l a s t thousand." 4 This i s the language of,the convert to Darwinism, arguing that machines. 1. L e t t e r s between Samuel B u t l e r and Miss Savage, c.,. p.74. 2. Jones, F. Memoir, ch.27. , 3. i b i d . pp. 100-1 >• 4. B u t l e r , S. Erewhon. p. 237. - 8 -c o n s t i t u t e a new species, r a p i d l y becoming b e t t e r equipped f o r s u r v i v a l i n the, struggle w i t h man f o r l i f e . Some of the reviewers of Erewhon thought B u t l e r was poking fun at Darwin."1'- B u t l e r wrote to t e l l Darwin that h i s theory of the machines only a f a n t a s t i c theory. Yet w i t h i n a year, he was using t h i s p l a y f u l fantasy as a petard w i t h which' to h o i s t Darwinism. Why? The more Butler- thought,, the.more he questioned n a t u r a l s e l e c t i o n as a means of v a r i a t i o n . He seemed t o care not a whit t h a t Darwin had p o i n t e d out at length that n a t u r a l s e l e c t i o n was the "main but not the e x c l u s i v e " means of m o d i f i c -a t i o n . 2 . B u t l e r ' s r e l i g i o u s l y - t r a i n e d mind saw that Darwin's theory gave no "cause" f o r v a r i a t i o n s . I n h i s summing-up of the work of the e a r l i e r e v o l u t i o n i s t s . s u c h as Lamarck, Erasmuss Darwin et a l , , he says: "the causes that have l e d to one's being born f i t t e r are more noteworthy f a c t o r s o f m o d i f i c a t i o n than the f a c t o r that an animal, if.:.born f i t t e r f o r i t s c o n d i t i o n s . w i l l commonly survive longer i n the .struggle f o r e x i s t -ence." 3 I f a l l change was simply l e f t to the f o r t u i t o u s s u r v i v a l of i n f i n i t e s a m a l v a r i a t i o n s , where d i d mind come in? Darwin would have s a i d / " I don't know; here are my observed data, and here i s a theory, n a t u r a l s e l e c t i o n , which seems to give a c l e a r , systematic account o f ' t h e i r workings. Take i t or leave i t . " B u t l e r , the son. of the r e c t o r y , could not leave the i m p l i c -a t i o n of such a dispassionate study, namely, that Darwin had l e f t the universe q u i t e mindless, q u i t e devoid of i n t e l l i g e n c e . The d i v i n e mind of C h r i s t i a n i t y had d i r e c t e d B u t l e r ' s universe up t i l l t h i s time; now that I t 1. S t i i l m a n , C.G. Samuel B u t l e r , p.-. 118, 2. , Massingham. o p . c i t . p.120. 3. B u t l e r , S. Igyolutioh Old and Hew, ch. 20, quoted p. 300 Memoir. had: become inadequate, a s u b s t i t u t e must be found. "He could not r e t u r n to the Jewish and C h r i s t i a n idea of : a God designing h i s creatures from outside; he saw, how-ever, no reason why the i n t e l l i g e n c e should not be i n -si d e . " • ]_ Every molecule of matter now becomes f u l l of w i l l and consciousness f o r B u t l e r . The l i n e between animate and inanimate, organic and i n o r g a n i c , disappears _and even the stones become our poor r e l a t i o n s . -•God - the Known and God the Unknown i s the most extended d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s pantheism o f B u t l e r ' s . By nature an " e i r e n i c o n " ( B u t l e r ' s own ; s i g n i f i c a n t word), t h i s essay t r i e s w i t h great p l a u s i b i l i t y to bridge the gap between the mindless universe of Darwinism and the God-controlled world of the theologians. I t i s a subtle and t i c k l i s h document to come at. -The arguments are seemingly l o g i c a l , but the words on which the arguments proceed are s l i p p e r y to a degree. , I t i s a. masterpiece of d i a l e c t i c , worthy o f Newman. - .. / The Known God i n t h i s book i s the animal and vegetable world, a Person whose, e v o l u t i o n i s the Mystery of h i s Incarnation. For proof of the common ancestry o f everything: the common s o u l of t h i s Person i s the memories which a l l l i v i n g forms: prove by t h e i r a c t i o n s that they possess; i t s body (an impersonal person.') i s the "many-member ed outgrowth of proto-plasm, the ensemble of animal and vegetable l i f e . " A feature of t h i s Credo i s that i t can o f f e r i m m o r t a l i t y without troublesome r e s u r r e c t i o n from the dead. Everyone, the j u s t and the unjust, continue to l i v e i n God, that i s , .1. Jones, E. Memoir., p.300. 2. B u t l e r , S. Unconscious Memory, pp. 275 et seq. 5. B u t l e r , S. God, the Enowh and God the Unknown, pp.62-88; the summary given here i s e s s e n t i a l l y i n B u t l e r ' s own words. - io -the animal.and, vegetable world, because o f the e f f e c t they have produced Upon the u n i v e r s a l l i f e . This Known God knew beforehand the "kind of thing!' he required; moreover, he could take the necessary steps to b r i n g •bhe various forms: of l i f e i n t o being, because he r e c o l l e c t e d having passed through the same stages himself. (A v a r i a t i o n on the b i o l o g i c a l statement: "Ontogeny r e c a p i t u l a t e s phylogeny"). What of, the Unknown God? This i s another p e r s o n a l i t y much vaster than our known God; i t i s composed of Gods "as our,God i s composed of a l l the l i v i n g forms on earth and as a l l these l i v i n g forms are composed of c e l l s . • Beyond t h i s second God we cannot at present go, nor should we wish to do so, i f we are wise." 1 (A v a r i a t i o n on the astronomical concept o f i n f i n i t e systems beyond our •solar system). The production of t h i s e i r e n i c o n was hot simply an academic exercise f o r B u t l e r . At the time he was t r y i n g to b r i n g about a rapprochement bet-ween Science and the Church. He c a r r i e d on.a long intercourse w i t h the Rosminian Fathers, and even toyed w i t h the idea of j o i n i n g the Roman C a t h o l i c Church. " I f the Church of Rome would only develop some doctrine o r , I know not how, provide some means by which mem l i k e myself, who cannot pretend to b e l i e v e i n the miraculous element of f C h r i s t i a n i t y , could yet j o i n her as a conservative strong-h o l d , I f o r one should do so." 3 This f l i r t a t i o n w i t h Rome continued i n correspondence which B u t l e r had wit h Professor St. George Mi v a r t . 1. B u t l e r , S. God The Known and God the Unknown, p. 88. 2. :, B u t l e r , S. E v o l u t i o n Old and Hew. Appendix to 2nd Ed. 3. I b i d . Ch. 2, quoted p. 570, Memoir. - 11 -. There i s not much to add to B u t l e r ' s declared philosophy, as o u t l i n e d above. In Luck or Gunning? as the Main Means of Organic Cunning, he expands, the two p r i n c i p a l p oints which he has already made i n L i f e ; and Habit and E v o l u t i o n , Old and. Hew; (a) t h a t : h e r e d i t y can be explained by the use o f memory, and (b) that e v o l u t i o n must proceed under the c o n t r o l of an i n t e l l i g e n c e , must respond t o , a designing w i l l . Embryologists knew that a human foetus passed through the more r u d i -mentary stages of animal l i f e before i t came to maturity. Once i t was only a mass of c e l l s . As d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n proceeded, these c e l l s became succe s s i v e l y f i s h , r e p t i l e , b i r d , i n the embryo. B u t l e r explained t h i s r e c a p i t u l a t i o n as remembering by the i n d i v i d u a l of the e v o l u t i o n of the race. Eurther, at b i r t h , c e r t a i n f u n c t i o n s , e.g., d i g e s t i o n and c i r c u i l -a t i o n , come " n a t u r a l l y " to the c h i l d . These are "memories" that man and countless e a r l i e r evolved forms have r e c a l l e d and, acted upon so oftea i n the aeons ,of time, that they can now do them "unconsciously." The memory of other a c t s , such as walking on two l e g s , p l a y i n g the piano, i s comparatively recent; i n these, man has l i t t l e "race consciousness" to f a l l , b a c k upon, so he must "take thought" before attempting them, and so frequently makes mistakes. I t i s i n the handling of these new s i t u a t i o n s that v a r i a t i o n s occur. When the organism encounters u n f a m i l i a r c o n d i t i o n s , t h a t i s , conditions towards which i t cannot make an i n s t i n c t i v e o r "unconscious" response, the w i l l or i n t e l l i g e n c e i s brought i n t o p l a y . The i n d i v i d u a l ' s "sense of need" :t,o cope w i t h the u n f a m i l i a r produces a v a r i a t i o n , perhaps - 12 -i n f i n i t e s m a l , . and by a succession o f such, new species evolve. And so a new God, streamlined to comply with, the p r i n c i p l e s of e v o l u t i o n , i s put i n t o c i r c u l a t i o n . The. very essence of Luck or Gunning? " i s to i n s i s t on the omnipresence o f a mind and i n t e l l i g e n c e throughout the universe to which no name can be so f i t t i n g l y a pplied as God. Orthodox the book i s not, r e l i g i o u s . I do . v e r i l y b e l i e v e and hope i t i s ; the whole scope i s d i r e c t e d .against, the present mindless, mechanical, m a t e r i a l i s t i c view of nature." 1 Such i s the mature synthesis which B u t l e r a r r i v e d at i n 1887. Before we pass on to, an examination of t h i s philosophy, i t may be u s e f u l t o tabulate the elements which i t derives from i t s two parents, r e l i g i o n and science. • -Religion. 1. acceptance of a god. 2. b e l i e f i n immortality. 3i, a designed universe. 4. acceptance of c e r t a i n :, questions upon f a i t h . 5. a m y s t i c a l f e e l i n g to-: wards Nature, coupled w i t h a readiness to i p e r s o n i f y i t . , Science 1. acceptance-of the p r i n c i p l e s o f e v o l u t i o n , and some of the i m p l i c -a t i o n s of t h i s d o c t r i n e . 2. use o f c e r t a i n features of "the s c i e n t i f i c method", e.g., (a) observation o f n a t u r a l phenomena,, such as i n h e r i t e d t r a i t s . (b) a d i s t r u s t about proceeding upon evidence that i s not v e r i f i a b l e - which i m p l i e s d i s t r u s t o f w r i t i n g s that churchmen accept because they are " i n s p i r e d . " (c) formulation o f t h e o r i e s based - upon t h i s observation, that i s , a desire to proceed from the known to the unknown. - 13 -P a r t S. ,An .Evaluation of B u t l e r ' s Compromise. If t i s s e c t i o n of the essay w i l l discuss the l i m i t a t i o n s and weaknesses of the o r i g i n a l compromise reached by B u t l e r , as described i n P a r t 1. Some of the relevant i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s compromise w i l l then be r e l a t e d to B u t l e r ' s thought and work, i n p a r t i c u l a r , to (a) h i s b e l i e f i n i n s t i n c t rather-than reason (b) h i s d i s t r u c t of genius (c) h i s appeal to the average . •, ..(4)...;-..iai.e • foimatiQn p-f -Mb opinions .:In P a r t .1, S u t l e r ' s e a r l y l i f e was sketched and the conclusion reached that the mature B u t l e r had not outgrown the r e l i g i o u s t r a i n i n g o f h i s youth. I t was shown that he remained e s s e n t i a l l y a r e l i g i o u s person, though unorthodox, and, at times, impious. He discarded prayers, b e l i e f i n the i n s p i r a t i o n of the B i b l e , and dependence upon the miraculous i n C h r i s t i a n i t y . These, the outward and v i s i b ' l e signs of an inward f a i t h , stood condemned by h i s reason, which simply found them i n c r e d i b l e and un-necessary. The inward f a i t h , the product o f B u t l e r ' s e a r l y youth, remained, however, and gained a new outward aspect when Darwin and h i s work eon-fronted him.. :;^.-,;Whe'ii"-,this. happened, B u t l e r found that he must choose between a world operating s o l e l y on the laws o f n a t u r a l causation, and a world c o n t r o l l e d by a supernatural Mind. On pages 8-10 i t was indicated, what B u t l e r decided, to. do. Instead of making a c l e a r l y defined choice, he e f f e c t e d a c o n c i l i a t i o n of the,two a l t e r n a t i v e s . This took the form of a theism, which - 14 -po s t u l a t e d a mind i n the organism, to the sum working of which mind B u t l e r gave the name of God, ' \ • ' • ••'*:ThISv^ 8L"s .tiife- fundamental "ccangpromise -of ••Batler ,s l i f e . I wish to argue here that a compromise such as t h i s between orthodox r e l i g i o n on the one hand, and science on the other, i s an I m p o s s i b i l i t y , on r a t i o n a l grounds.. He who attempts i t does so at the r i s k o f b l u n t i n g , so to speak, the t o o l s of h i s mind. The r e s u l t i n g "philosophy", or body of ideas that came from B u t l e r ' s mind, i l l u s t r a t e s , as I hope to show, the. confusion which a r i s e s when these blunted i n t e l l e c t u a l t o o l s are used to weld two i r r e c o n c i l a b l e ways o f t h i n k i n g . To r e c a p i t u l a t e s l i g h t l y . The God of B u t l e r ' s childhood had absolute c o n t r o l of the universe; he was omnipotent and omnipresent. The b e l i e v e r :$p/Him- la'aVid doubt the Divine W i l l brought the best o f a l l p o s s i b l e order in t o the world. I t the o t h e r po l e , the s c i e n t i s t , the man who believed i n only what h i s I n t e l l e c t t o l d him could be constantly tested and v e r i f i e d , p a i d no a t t e n t i o n to any f i n a l c o n t r o l or order. One of these men, Gharles Darwin, accumulated evidence over many years which suggested that new species of l i f e evolved simply by/natural s e l e c t i o n . B u t l e r ' s t h e o l o g i c a l "hang-over" prevented him f a c i n g up to t h i s d i s -covery of science with, I n t e l l e c t u a l i n t e g r i t y . H i s mind had been f o r so long accustomed t o p u t t i n g a l l c o n t r o l i n t o the hands of a God, that i t was t e r r i f i e d to contemplate the l o g i c a l r e s u l t s o f Darwin's hypothesis, namely, a Hature based upon i n v a r i a b l e causation. H u t l e r proceeded to argue that unless the organism adapts i t s e l f by use of a mind,, then i t f o l l o w s that a l l l i f e i s based upon chance, and we - 15 -are what we are as the r e s u l t o f a s e r i e s of q u i t e u n i n t e l l i g i b l e accidents. The i n t e l l e c t u a l confusion inherent i n t h i s argument a r i s e s from the pro-j e c t i o n of p u r e l y human a t t r i b u t e s i n t o a cosmic f i e l d . The terms "chance" and,"accident" have r e a l l y no meaning i n the n a t u r a l processes. These .terms describe human experiences which the human mind has not yet grasped, or which i t has not had the p r e - v i s i o n to c o n t r o l . . So, to take care of chance and accident i n the universe, B u t l e r had ;%o impose'- an-:int'eliigenoe. upon. some'.Incomprehensible I n f i n i t e . That i s , he set up the immanent god of a l l t h e i s t s . At the same time he postulates a god w i t h "personal" elements, w i t h such human f a i l i n g s that i t becomes almost an anthropomorphic being. "The i n t e l l i g e n c e that operates i n the 'ensemble of animal and vegetable l i f e ' i s 'only quasi-omnipotent and quasi-a l l -wise' - — i n r e t u r n f o r the l i m i t a t i o n s we have , assigned to Him, we render i t p o s s i b l e f o r men to b e l i e v e i n Him, and love Him, not w i t h t h e i r l i p s only, but w i t h ' t h e i r hearts and l i v e s . " 1 To make the best of both worlds, B u t l e r thus holds to a r e l i g i o n w i t h a f a l l a c i o u s b a s i s . Many of h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l ideas stem from t h i s o r i g i n a l i l l o g i c a l i t y , B u t l e r ' s abhorrence.of the hard and f a s t r u l e s of l o g i c i s a case i n p o i n t . Throughout h i s l i f e B u t l e r b e l i e v e d i n the supremacy of the i n s t i n c t over any appeals to the i n t e l l e c t , F a i t h , f o r him, not l o g i c , 'becomes the supreme a r b i t e r , because " l o g i c i s l i k e the sword - - those Who"appeal to i t • s h a l l p e r i s h by i t . " 2 I t seemed to B u t l e r , and to many others i n the nineteenth century b e t t e r versed i n science than he was, that 1. .- B u t l e r , S. God the Known and God the Unknown, p.72 and passim i n ch. V I I . , 2. B u t l e r , S. Notebooks, p.530. the work of/the s c i e n t i s t was being pursued to a l o g i c a l and therefore absurd extreme i n r e v e a l i n g the mindlessness of the universe. So h i s p r a i s e i s reserved f o r the Lamarcks and the Buffons who apparently offered a mean between evolutionary and r e l i g i o u s thought. By only a s l i g h t ex-t e n s i o n , i t i s easy to see how t h i s p r a i s e came to spread to a l l people who could avoid extremes/who could l e a d a l i f e of moderation, being s u c c e s s f u l In t h e i r own way, without g i v i n g too much thought t o the matter. The I t a l i a n peasant was such a person, because, by asking no reasons of Mother Church, he leads an i n s t i n c t i v e l y s u c c e s s f u l existence, q u i t e without thought.' People who can so l i v e are the "best" f o r B u t l e r . " B e l i e f i n i n s t i n c t , or f a i t h , 'consists i n holding that the i n s t i n c t s o f the best men and women are themselves an evidence which may not l i g h t l y be set aside.'" 1 The exemplars f o r B u t l e r are the self-possessed, confident w o r l d l i n g s who are never embarrassed, whose s a v o i r f a i r e , is; s u f f i c i e n t to cope with a l l s i t u a t i o n s . They know i n s t i n c t i v e l y how to wear clothes and i n s t i n c t i v e l y how.to come by an easy manner w i t h a p r o s t i t u t e . Towneley and P a u l l are god-like creatures when judged by these standards. S c i e n t i s t s , on the other hand, are not content w i t h t h i s b e l i e f i n i n s t i n c t . Tor them i t i s too s u b j e c t i v e a q u a l i t y upon which to base behavoir. They were constantly and aggressively probing, asking f o r proof of matters that other people j u s t knew. They, a l l s p e c i a l i s t s and geniuses, refused to l i v e as the m i l l - r u n of people d i d ; t h e i r work had a d i s t u r b i n g e f f e c t upon order. " I t u n s e t t l e s mores and i s therefore immoral," s a i d 1. B u t l e r , S. The Way of A l l F l e s h , p. - 17 -B u t l e r . 1 ^True, some change should be permitted to everyone, but only a peck, whereas genius wants many sacks f u l l . "There i s a myth among some Eastern n a t i o n that at the b i r t h o f Genius an unkind f a i r y marred a l l the good g i f t s o f the other f a i r i e s by depriving i t of the power of knowing where to stop." 2 S c i e n t i s t s , f o r B u t l e r , are men who do not know where to stop. They refuse to adhere to the "nice s e n s i b l e c l a s s who know what's what rather than to the d i s c o v e r i n g class.". 3 So, f o r three decades B u t l e r c a r r i e d a chip on h i s shoulder, and went out of h i s way to i n v i t e a l l geniuses, i n t e l l e c t u a l s , and s p e c i a l i s t s to knock i t o f f . He wanted to take issue w i t h them over t h e i r neglect of the a c t i v i t i e s which were the common property of mankind; .those a c t i v i t i e s i n which s e n s i b l e people p a r t i c i p a t e e a s i l y and without fuss because t h e i r forebears i n pre-human generations have given them an "unconscious .knowledge" of t h e i r working. These average people are the touchstone of a l l m o r a l i t y f o r B u t l e r . To know what's what, he simply watched the i n s t i n c t i v e behavior o f the sensible common man. He could do nothing e l s e , considering the compromise he had made i n spinning h i s b e l i e f s out o f two incompatible worlds, orthodox r e l i g i o n and science. This set o f b e l i e f s , B u t l e r ' s " r e l i g i o n " , could give no r a t i o n a l b a s i s f o r e t h i c s , because i t was i n I t s e l f funda-mentally i r r a t i o n a l . So j u s t where B u t l e r ' s r e l i g i o n should have taken imperative command of man — in h i s everyday l i f e ~ i t f a i l s most S t r i k i n g l y . B u t l e r does not even attempt to base h i s own behavior on i t . He simply r e f e r s a l l problems to a P a u l i or Tones or Mrs. Boss. 1. B u t l e r , S. Notebooks, p. 176. 2. i b i d . 3. H u t l e r , S. L i f e and Habit, p. 34. This consensus.gentium, an appeal to the court of the u n i v e r s a l agree-ment o f sane, s e n s i b l e , average people b r i s t l e s w i t h problems, F i r s t , how ;can B u t l e r show that t h i s m a j o r i t y o f ordinary men r e a l l y agree upon the subjects that he assumes they do? A l f r e d Cathie, F e s t i n g Jones, Mrs. Boss, the "mean" w i t h which B u t l e r had most contact, have l e f t no record of having committed (or even o f being able to commit),themselves upon the multitude of vexing questions that s p l i t s o c i e t y . He found i t " r e f r e s h i n g " to have people l i k e A l f r e d about him, making s t u p i d remarks about the s o l a r ' ' ' l system which he could not understand. But t h i s c o t e r i e o f sane, s e n s i b l e mediocrity, very simply found agreement upon contentious matters by never considering them at a l l . These companions s u i t e d B u t l e r because they f l a t t e r e d him by p r o v i d i n g an admiring claque, because they t o l d him when to : change h i s f l a n n e l s and socks, and because, g e n e r a l l y , they l e f t him free to weave h i s own f a n t a s i e s around the problem of the ev o l u t i o n of l i f e , the question o f t r u t h , and so on. Upon these problems there was profound disagreement, but B u t l e r was not aware o f i t because h i s mind had no contact with the people who thought about such things. A l l of Butler's, rancour i n the row w i t h Darwin i n d i c a t e s a man who i s not at home i n a d i s i n t e r e s t e d i n t e l l e c t u a l d i s c u s s i o n . He shunned a l l h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l contemporaries because he f e l t they could not run t h e i r l i v e s - so s u c c e s s f u l l y as Cathie, Boss,.and Jones, who, ins t e a d of questioning t r u t h , simply l i v e d so as to give themselves the l e a s t t r o u b l e . 1. Jones, F. Memoir, p. 125. - 19 -What makes f o r freedom from t r o u b l e , what i s convenient, then, i s the •• t r u t h . "111 we should aim at i s the most convenient way of loo k i n g a t a t h i n g -- the way that most s e n s i b l e people are l i k e l y to f i n d give them l e a s t t r o u b l e • . f o r some time t o come. I t i s not t r u e that the sun used to go around the earth u n t i l Copernicus's time, but i t i s true that u n t i l Copernicus's time i t was convenient to us to ho l d t h i s . " 1 Convenient f o r whom? The College o f Cardinals would have f e l t i t of great convenience to them i f Copernicus had not spread the r e s u l t s of h i s Invest-i g a t i o n s . And Bishop Wilberforee c e r t a i n l y f e l t Darwin (and no doubt B u t l e r ) " to be an inconvenience. There i s always some vested i n t e r e s t that i s concerned w i t h the propagation o f e r r o r , that f i n d s i t economically or - s o c i a l l y o r p o l i t i c a l l y u s e f u l to have e r r o r u n i v e r s a l l y agreed to by a l l " s e n s i b l e " people. But even i f i t I s f e l t that e r r o r Is not perpetuated by t h i s method, and t h a t "common sense" does accumulate a residue of t r u t h •which expedites progress, the p o s i t i o n of the s c i e n t i s t s and philosophers remains unexplained. These are not men who f i n d t r u t h "what they can 3 acquiesce i n w i t h the l e a s t discomfort." Rather t h e i r work tends con-s t a n t l y to d i s t u r b the s e t t l e d pools of opinion of the average mind. From t h i s disturbance* i f v i o l e n t enough, a new set of opinions, perhaps 5 s l i g h t l y modified, takes possession of the " n i c e , sensible*' people. Ordinary, nice?}] s e n s i b l e , men become an obsession w i t h B u t l e r . "Homer t e l l s us about some one who made i t h i s business — .< always to e x c e l and to stand higher than other people. What an uncompanionable disagreeable person he must have been! .Homer's heroes g e n e r a l l y came to a bad end and I doubt not that t h i s gentleman, whoever he was, d i d so sooner or l a t e r . " 4 1. , B u t l e r , S. Notebboks..... p. 503. 3, B u t l e r , S. Further E x t r a c t s from the Notebooks of Samuel Butler.P.514. 3. Brlghtman, E.S. An Intro d u c t i o n to Philosophy.. p.59-41. (My c r i t i c i s m through here has been suggested by the e a r l y p a r t of t h i s book). 4. Bu t l e r , . S . The Way of A l l Flesh, p. 84. - 20 -B u t l e r ' s heroes are made ordinary so that, he or " h i s neighbors" can com-prehend them; yet h i s - v i l l a i n s he damns by making them ordinary. "Why should the b o t a n i s t , g e o l o g i s t or o t h e r - i s t give him-s e l f such a i r s over the draper's a s s i s t a n t ? " 1 he asks. And answers t h a t , i n h i s view, i t takes as much i n t e l l i g e n c e and labor to c l a s s i f y the s u b - d i v i s i o n s of t e x t i l e l i f e as i t does to master the d e t a i l s o f any other "great branch o f science." So Darwin i s reduced to the l e v e l o f a c l e r k i n Shoolb'red's drapery department,'and B u t l e r ' s sour grapes are sweetened accordingly. Homer i s dethroned, and h i s place taken by a young woman^Nausieaa, "a p r e h i s t o r i c Jane Austen", 2 whose work he renders,for h i s s e n s i b l e mediocre neighbors, i n t o "Tottenham Court Road E n g l i s h " . Shakespeare, to B u t l e r , was an ordinary E l i z a b e t h a n who would have been much greater had he writtem l e s s , and gossiped more to us about himself and h i s times and the people he met i n London and at Stratford-on-Avon; Mr. W.H. ceases to be a peer, and takes up the same rank as the author of the sonnets. And Mr. P o n t i f e x , who shares w i t h Alethea a l l of B u t l e r ' s sympathies i n The Way of A l l F l e s h , i s e s s e n t i a l l y an ordinary man. "Granted that Mr. Po n t i f e x ' s was not a very exalted .. character, ordinary men are not. required t o have very exalted characters. I t i s enough.if we are of the same moral and mental stature as the "main" or "mean" part o f men — that i s to say as the average." 4 The ordinary people are not the i n t e l l e c t u a l s , the s p e c i a l i s t s , the dealers i n extremes. They are people who would accept B u t l e r ' s theism, 1. B u t l e r , S. Notebooks, p. 218. 2. Jones, F. Memoir, v. 2 p. 106 3. B u t l e r , S. , Notebooks, p.114. 4. . Butler,' S. The Tfay o f A l l Flesh, p.83. - 21 -who would not quibble and press home i t s j i l l o g i c a l i t i e s . They are the people who form opinions without making l o g i c the supreme a r b i t e r . How then, are these opinions formed? I n considering a d i f f i c u l t question, according to B u t l e r , "we th i n k a l t e r n a t e l y f o r s e v e r a l seconds together of d e t a i l s , even the minutest seeming important, and then of broad general . . p r i n c i p l e s , whereupon l a r g e d e t a i l s become unimportant.» 1 There f o l l o w periods when we r e s o r t to r u l e s and l o g i c to help us, and others i n which. "the unwritten and unwriteable common sense o f grace d e f i e s and over-rides the law." 2 .This v i c t o r y of the "deductive f i t s " i s most B u t l e r i a n . From here on, • how this.mental pabulum f i n a l l y becomes opinion i s a m i r a c l e , l i k e food becoming f l e s h and blood, " i n v o l v i n g the s t u l t i f i c a t i o n of every i n t e l l i g i b l e p r i n c i p l e on which thought and action^ are based." 3 Let,us f o l l o w the a s s i m i l a t e d opinion'of the i n d i v i d u a l a l i t t l e f a r t h e r . By " a s s i m i l a t e d " B u t l e r means that the o p i n i o n must have become as much a p a r t of him as the corpuscles o f h i s blood. The i n d i v i d u a l does hot think about these; unconsciously, they course through h i s blood-stream. A secure o p i n i o n i s one that has become such an i n t e g r a l p a r t of h i s mind that he heed take no thought f o r i t . Then he can a f f o r d t o be temperate i n expounding i t , . The most heated c o n t r o v e r s i a l i s t s , B u t l e r would say, are those who are most u n c e r t a i n of t h e i r opinions, and must r e s o r t to argument to c l i n c h a matter. 1. B u t l e r , S. Notebooks p.165. 2. i b i d . 3. . i b i d . - 22 -Argument tends t o k i l l ideas because i t seeks to hurry them i n t o popular acceptance. : "Ideas and. opinions, l i k e l i v i n g organisms, have a normal r a t e of growth which cannot be e i t h e r checked or forced beyond a c e r t a i n point. 1* 1 To propagate an unpopular opinion^ the propagandist should be e s p e c i a l l y c a r e f u l not, to outrage c o n v e n t i o n a l i t i e s , and " i f .possible, he should get the rep u t a t i o n of being w e l l -to-do i n the world." 2 1. B u t l e r , S. Notebooks, p.163. 2. i b i d . (So, according to B u t l e r , I presume the s o c i a l i s t leader would have more opportunity of making his ideas s t i c k i f he has money enough to mingle w i t h , and i n f l u e n c e , the p e t t y bourgeoisie. And so the J.'..;', philosopher o f r a d i c a l ideas should be s t r i c t l y a ''one-woman" man. The recent case of Bertrand R u s s e l l (see Time, issues of March 11 and 25, 1940) at the -College of the C i t y o f Hew York might be used as a touchstone f o r t h i s argument of B u t l e r ' s . Would R u s s e l l ' s ; : in f l u e n c e upon contemporary opinion have been greater, i f while debunking the s a n c t i t y of marriage vows, he had seen f i t to l i v e ~ ; a, model, monogamous existence? Or has the spectacle o f an eminent i n t e l l e c t u a l , courageously l i v i n g according to h i s p r i n c i p l e s , w h i l e being attacked by r e l i g i o u s o b s c u r a n t i s t s , brought h i s opinions into-great respect among the majority o f people? B u t l e r would probably have assented to the former, overlooking the f a c t (as pointed out above), that the suppression of enlightenment among the masses i s , u s u a l l y procured by c e r t a i n vested i n t e r e s t s , and tha t , t o make a new opinion (no matter how true i t may be i n theory) become one w i t h t h i s organised d i s t o r t i o n i s l i k e asking a f i s h to l i v e i n poisoned water. R e b e l l i o n can change opinions.) Note the i n t e r p l a y of c o n t r a s t i n g elements i n t h i s method of forming opinions — the point and: counterpoint of i n d u c t i o n and deduction, the d e t a i l s i n g e n e r a l i t i e s , and r i c e versa, the l o g i c a l i n the unreasonable, and v i c e versa, — i n a l l , the constant aversion to anything l i k e an 'absolute. I f e e l here that B u t l e r i s v i n d i c a t i n g h i s own habit of mind, a h a b i t that does not ask f o r p o s i t i v e and f i n a l evidence. He i s " r a t i o n -a l i s i n g " h i s own i n a b i l i t y to be a r a t i o n a l person. The a l l - w i s e and s e n s i b l e average of the p u b l i c does not have to t h i n k out an opinion; i t j u s t "knows" as much as s u i t s i t s convenience. To what extent are B u t l e r ' s own opinions a r r i v e d at i n t h i s way? At the end o f h i s Notebooks, B u t l e r l i s t s the f o l l o w i n g as some of the " f i n d s " of h i s l i f e . 1. "The emphasising the analogies between crime and disease." In Erewhon B u t l e r ' s s a t i r e i s d i r e c t e d against the s t u p i d i t y of the E n g l i s h who, while aware of and sympathetic towards b o d i l y i l l n e s s e s , could not b r i n g themselves t o see that most crime was nothing but mental i l l n e s s . The Erewhonian judge d e l i v e r s h i s sentence: . ; " P r i s o n e r at the bar, you have been accused of the, great crime of labouring under pulmonary consumption, and ,- a f t e r an I m p a r t i a l t r i a l before a jury of your country-men, you have been found g u i l t y . I t pains me much to see one who i s yet so young, and whose prospects of • l i f e were otherwise so e x c e l l e n t , brought to t h i s d i s -• • t r e s s i n g c o n d i t i o n by a c o n s t i t u t i o n which I can only regard as r a d i c a l l y v i c i o u s ; but yours i s no case f o r compassion; t h i s i s not your f i r s t offence;.:-- You •; were convicted of aggravated b r o n c h i t i s l a s t ^ y e a r . " 1. B u t l e r , S. Notebooks pp. 575-577. - 24: -I t i s . a l l very w e l l f o r you to say that you came of unhealthy parents and had a severe accident i n your childhood which permanently undermined your c o n s t i t -u t i o n ; excuses such as these are the ordinary refuge of the c r i m i n a l ; but they cannot f o r one moment be l i s t e n e d to by the ear of j u s t i c e . " 1 -The worth of any analogy i s that i t i l l u m i n a t e s the unknown by r e l a t i n g i t to the known. Here B u t l e r reasons from the accepted opinions o f a l l s e n s i b l e people regarding b o d i l y i l l n e s s e s and, by analogy, pleads that the m a j o r i t y may come to accept a s i m i l a r a t t i t u d e towards mental d i s -orders. That t h i s o p inion has become p a r t i a l l y " a s s i m i l a t e d " to the aver-age body of thought of the twe n t i e t h century can be seen i n our p s y c h i a t r i c study of crime, w i t h i t s emphasis upon therapeutic rather than p u n i t i v e treatment. 2. "The emphasising also the analogies between the development o f the organs of our bodies and of those which are not Incorporate w i t h our bodies and which we c a l l t o o l s or machines." This i s one of B u t l e r ' s leading ideas. I t i s sketched i n Erewhon ~i i s a p r i n c i p a l theme In L i f e and Habit, and i s o f t e n r e f e r r e d to i n Luck or Cunning? As before, i n the preceding " f i n d " , B u t l e r could assume a body of knowledge that was beginning to commend i t s e l f to the m a j o r i t y of " s e n s i b l e " people, namely, ev o l u t i o n . By g r a f t i n g h i s own theory upon the accepted evolutionary p r i n c i p l e s , he could e f f e c t a compromise t h a t , by i t s absence of shock, would meet w i t h general acceptance. I n the Book of the Machines i n Erewhon, B u t l e r sets f o r t h h i s idea that t o o l s are extra.-corporeal limbs which we have manufactured, "jfeohineis 1- " B u t l e r , S. Erewhon - pp, 115-114, S. B u t l e r , S. Erewhon. ch. .23,24,25. S. B u t l e r , S. Luck or Cunning? see pp. 8G-81, 89 et seq.^-- 25 -"Machines are the supplementary limbs which man has made for' h i m s e l f through h i s i n t e l l i g e n c e and sense of need. They are only extensions to h i s p h y s i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . " 1 S i x years l a t e r , i n L i f e and Habit, B u t l e r had come to believe t h a t , by a simple extension o f t h i s Erewhoniah p r i n c i p l e , we could e a s i l y t h i n k of our limbs as machines, as t o o l s which we have manufactured through our desire or need f o r them. A wooden l e g i s "nothing but a bad k i n d of f l e s h l e g , and a f l e s h l e g ( i s ) only a much b e t t e r k i n d of' wooden l e g than any creature could be expected to manufacture i n t r o -s p e c t i v e l y and consciously." 2 3. "The c l e a r i n g up the h i s t o r y of the events i n connection w i t h the death, o r r a t h e r c r u c i f i x i o n , of Jesus C h r i s t ; and a reasonable explan-a t i o n , f i r s t , of the b e l i e f on the p a r t of the founders of C h r i s t i a n i t y t hat t h e i r master had r i s e n from the dead and, secondly, of what might f o l l o w from b e l i e f i n a s i n g l e supposed mira c l e . " This " f i n d " covers a p e r i o d i n B u t l e r ' s t h i n k i n g on r e l i g i o n that dates from The Evidence f o r the Resurrection (1865) and The Eai r , Haven (1873) to Erewhon R e v i s i t e d (.1901)'. In the f i r s t book he was w i l l i n g to present a "reasonable explanation" of how the f o l l o w e r s of Jesus came to believe He had r i s e n from the d e a d — i n d i c a t i n g a p e r f e c t l y n a t u r a l occurrence, (ante. p. 5) In The E a i r Haven (ante. p. 7) B u t l e r proceeded to knock the props from under C h r i s t i a n i t y by demolishing, w i t h masterly i r o n y , the supernatural Resurrection. And f i n a l l y , i n Erewhon R e v i s i t e d , he goes on t o show the great s t r u c t u r e of c l e r g y - i n s p i r e d supernaturalism that can be reared on a very n a t u r a l occurrence, i f only i t can be accepted as a m i r a c l e . 1. S t i l l m a n , C.G. Samuel B u t l e r , p. 120. 2:. B u t l e r , S. L i f e and Habit, p. 243. - 26 -Mr. Higgs escaped from Erewhon i n a balloon. When he returns twenty years l a t e r , t h i s feat has become a miraculous.thing. He himself has been d e i f i e d as the Sunchild,. and made the c e n t r a l f i g u r e i n the new r e l i g i o n , Sunchildism. A vast s t a t e church has sprung up, and keeps the myth a l i v e through r e l i c s and t e s t i m o n i a l s , glosses and " c o n j e c t u r a l emendations." A l l of t h i s i s s a t i r e upon.the development of r e l i g i o n s i n general, and upon C h r i s t i a n i t y i n p a r t i c u l a r . Such a monstrous develop-ment ,in Erewhon was the i n e v i t a b l e r e s u l t of the machinations of the extremists, the enthusiasts, who must carry a b e l i e f to an extreme instead of "reasonably" t r y i n g to make i t f i t i n w i t h the b e l i e f s o f moderate, sens i b l e people. Consider B u t l e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of the three members of the Erewhonian professional- classes w i t h whom Mr. Higgs has most contact. Hanky, the Professor of Worldly Wisdom, i s the scheming f a n a t i c without peer. He i s s c i e n t i f i c a t t i t u d e incarnate f o r B u t l e r , unscrupulous, p l a u s i b l e , h e a r t l e s s ; a man constantly on '"the a l e r t f o r h i s own aggrandise-ment and that of h i s order. Deceit and l i e s w i l l be h i s stock i n trade. "Hanky.is everything that we i n England r i g h t l y or wrongly b e l i e v e a t y p i c a l J e s u i t to be." Could any more damning i n s u l t be flung at Darwin, Huxley, and t h e i r kind? On the other hand, Panky, the Professor of Unworldly Wisdom, "must persuade hims e l f of h i s own l i e s , before he i s quite comfortable 2 about t e l l i n g them, to other people." He i s what " i n England would be 3 c a l l e d an extreme r i t u a l i s t . " E ventually he w i l l become the t o o l of 1. B u t l e r , S. Erewhon R e v i s i t e d , pp. 288-289. 2. i b i d . ;' ,5." i b i d . '• ' - 27 -Hanky because the church i s not clever enough to r e s i s t the w i l e s o f the s c i e n t i s t s . That i s , i n time the church w i l l f a l l a v i c t i m to " n a t u r a l s e l e c t i o n " , and a l l that i t stands f o r . I t w i l l be forced out of e x i s t -ence by the z e a l o t s , the Hankys, of the s c i e n t i f i c h i e r a r c h y . 1 The t h i r d Irewhonian p r o f e s s i o n a l i s the mean between these two extremes, Dr..Downie, Professor of Logomachy, and author of the best-s e l l e r , The A r t o f Obscuring Issues. But evem the moderate doctor i s not untouched by B u t l e r ' s venom: "He had earned a high r e p u t a t i o n f o r s o b r i e t y of judg-ment by r e s o l u t e l y r e f u s i n g to have d e f i n i t e views on any subject; so safe a man was he considered, that while s t i l l q u ite young, he had been appointed to the l u c r a t i v e post o f Thinker i n Ordinary t o the Royal -Family." 2 ; :But nevertheless Dr. Downie comes nearer to B u t l e r ' s own r e l i g i o u s views 3 than: e i t h e r Hanky or Panky. I n h i s preface to Erewhon R e v i s i t e d , B u t l e r avows that he has always professed h i m s e l f a member of the En g l i s h Broad Chureh. And Dr. Downie i s B u t l e r ' s enlightened Broad Churchman. He i s the man who would keep the s p i r i t of r e l i g i o n from g e t t i n g beyond the ken o f ordinary men, from f a l l i n g i n t o the c o n t r o l of s c i e n t i f i c z e a l o t s and r e l i g i o u s b i g o t s . • • . _J . • "He w i l l n e i t h e r preach nor w r i t e against i t (Sunchildism), but he w i l l l i v e lukewarmly against i t , and t h i s i s what the Hankys hate. They can stand e i t h e r hot or cold, but they are a f r a i d of lukewarm." 4 I t was the Dr. Downies who alone could prevent a " b l a t a n t , bastard science" stepping In to replace an antiquated Church of England. They would balance the corruptions of the one against the other, a c t i n g 1. B u t l e r , S. Erewhon.-. Rev i s i t ed. pp.288-289, and S t i l l m a n , C.G. , v Samuel B u t l e r , pp.287-288. 2. Bu t l e r , S . Erewhon R e v i s i t e d p. 89. 3. op. c i t . pp* v i , v i i . 4. op. c i t . p.288. - 28 -prudently, without haste.or open dissent, o r extreme measures. They would, according to Butler., never get the p e r f e c t t r u t h , but they would get a. v e r s i o n o f Sunchildism as near to t r u t h as i t was ever possible, to come. And t h i s v e r s i o n would be appealing to s e n s i b l e , mediocre people. Higgs' advice to h i s son, as they are about to p a r t , summarizes i t : "get r i d of cock-and-bull s t o r i e s , i d e a l i s e my ' unworthy s e l f , and, as I s a i d l a s t night, make .. < me a peg on which t o hang your own best thoughts — - B u t i f Hankylsm triumphs, come what may you must get r i d o f i t , f o r he.and h i s school w i l l tamper.with the one sure and e v e r l a s t i n g word o f God revealed to us by human experience." 1 4. ... "The perception that personal i d e n t i t y cannot be denied between parents and o f f s p r i n g without at the same time denying i t as between the d i f f e r e n t ages (and hence moments) i n the l i f e o f the i n d i v i d u a l and, as a c o r o l l a r y on t h i s , the a s c r i p t i o n of the phenomena of heredity to the same source as those o f memory." This c o r o l l a r y I have discussed above on page 11. . Having con-cluded t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l ' s , h e r e d i t a r y experiences are but the remembrance o f p a r a l l e l stages i n the development of the race, B u t l e r i s forced to ask how the i n d i v i d u a l can remember the experience o f the race unless he 2 a c t u a l l y took p a r t i n that experience himself. There i s no answer except "personal i d e n t i f y " . As there i s i d e n t i t y between parent and o f f -spr i n g j so there must a l s o be between a l l generations back to the p r i m o r d i a l c e l l . ; I t i s g e n e r a l l y conceded that the man of eighty i s the same person as the baby a few hours o l d . I t i s not so widely h e l d that the same baby i s even c l o s e r i n i d e n t i t y to the embryo one hour before b i r t h than to the 1. B u t l e r , S. Erewhon R e v i s i t e d , p. 288. 2. S t i l l m a n , C.G, Samuel B u t l e r , p. 122. - 29 -ol d man. .So, the man I s i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the embryo back to the impregnate ovum, and, even f a r t h e r , to the ovum before impregnation and the spermatozoon which impregnated i t , and u l t i m a t e l y to the p r i m o r d i a l c e l l even, "which again w i l l probably, t u r n out to be but a b r i e f r e s t i n g - p l a c e . " ' 8 C l a r a S t i l l m a n brings the proceedings together as fo l l o w s : "The generations are to l i f e what successive phases of p e r s o n a l i t y are to the i n d i v i d u a l , though some of them may e x i s t simultaneously or overlap as phases of p e r s o n a l i t y do too." 3 B u t l e r ' s _ " f i n d " here i s i n h i s adumbration of,the c o n t i n u i t y o f the germ plasm, a matter now i n s c i e n t i f i c acceptance. His methods, o f a r r i v i n g at i t again f o l l o w the B u t l e r i a n p r i n c i p l e s as i l l u s t r a t e d throughout t h i s s e c t i o n o f the essay. From the obvious and known i d e n t i t y between 'the d i f f e r e n t ages o f the i n d i v i d u a l , the eighty year o l d man and the one hour o l d c h i l d , B u t l e r can p r o j e c t h i s own theory of the i d e n t i t y of parent and o f f s p r i n g through a l l time. He can thus, by analogy, i n v i t e the mind of the s e n s i b l e majority to add another c u b i t to t h e i r mental s t a t u r e , without oomf us i o n and without shock. 4 5. "The t i d y i n g up of the e a r l i e r h i s t o r y of the theory of evolu t i o n , " .  • -: 'and 6. "The exposure and discomfiture o f Charles Darwin and Wallace and t h e i r f o l l o w e r s . " I n one of h i s notes B u t l e r says that America was too b i g to have been discovered a l l a t once. " I t would have been b e t t e r f o r the graces i f i t had been discovered i n pieces o f about the s i z e o f France and 1. B u t l e r , S. L i f e and Habit, pp. 84 et seq.q.. 2, i b i d . £p.86 5. S t i l l m a n , G.G. Samuel B u t l e r , p. 125. 4. i n B u t l e r , S. E v o l u t i o n , Old and Hew. - 33 -w r i t e r s , not i f o r the connoisseur, but f o r the sens i b l e and a r t i s t i c a l l y i n c l i n e d Cathies and P a u l i s and Joneses. J u s t i c e must be done to F e r r a r i and Tabachetti i n the eyes of the multitude, not of the s p e c i a l i s t . Their wort must be set moving again i n the common t i d e of knowledge. The s i x t e e n t h o f h i s " f i n d s " reads "In Narcissus and Ulysses I made an attempt, the f a i l u r e of which has yet to be shown, to r e t u r n to the p r i n c i p l e s of Handel and take them up where he l e f t o f f . " This i s the p r e s c r i p t i o n which B u t l e r had f o r the making of a l l a r t . The greatest a r t i s t s are those which attach themselves to t h e i r predecessors and grow out of those whom they f i n d most congenial. 1 Thus Beethoven grew out of Haydn and Mozart, Mozart grew out of Haydn, Haydn grew out of Domenico S c a r l a t t i and Emmanuel Bach, each adding a l i t t l e leaven to the whole lump. M u s i c a l c o m p o s i t i o n becomes thus a s i n g u l a r l y simple and pr o s a i c a r t . ;The''composer,'to''be s u c c e s s f u l , should f i t i n t o the current mode of the "prevalent "school" In h i s own country. He should f e e l no 2 scruples about l i f t i n g even a dozen pages from a predecessor;"' a f t e r a l l , only a sm a l l percentage of any music can be o r i g i n a l . To be enjoyable, a piece of music must not shock us by i t s strangeness; i t must always have hooks upon which we can,hang our e a r l i e r a s s o c i a t i o n s . "He who loves music w i l l know what the best men have done, and hence w i l l have numberless passages from older w r i t e r s f l o a t i n g at a l l times i n h i s mind, l i k e germs i n the a i r , ready to hook themselves on t o any-t h i n g of an associated character. " 3 1. B u t l e r , S. Notebooks, p. 126. 2. i b i d . p. 124. 3. i b i d . p. 126. - 30 -Germany at a time." 1 H i s q u a r r e l w i t h the Darwinians took shape from h i s b e l i e f that they would not consider e v o l u t i o n too b i g a subject to be discovered by one man. I t seemed t o B u t l e r that the po p u l a r i z e r s of one man's theory were now being h a i l e d as discoverers. The Cuviers, Huxleys, Tyhdalls, and Romaneses had conspired to elevate t h e i r hero above a l l r i v a l s , and to snu f f out the d i s c o v e r i e s o f Buffon, Erasmus Darwin, and 2 Lamarck. So B u t l e r expounded the views o f these "forgotten" men to r e l i g h t a n . i n t e r e s t i n pre-Darwinian e v o l u t i o n (and, o f course, t o give chapter and verse i n h i s personal pique with Darwin). The worship of Darwin was outdoing the worst features o f the worship of C h r i s t . A man, B u t l e r notes, may say what he l i k e s about C h r i s t but he must be very c a r e f u l how he attacks Mr..-Darwin. ... "'How many more v i c t i m s must be s a c r i f i c e d before wrong-headed vestrymen w i l l obey the teachings of science?' (Globe, 1878) Here we have ex a c t l y the s p i r i t of the Hebrew prophets." ^ To c l e a r away t h i s specious reverence, to Inform s e n s i b l e , average men of the long t r a d i t i o n o f evol u t i o n a r y thought that they were h e i r s to without b e n e f i t o f Darwin, was B u t l e r ' s i n t e n t i n E v o l u t i o n Old and Mew. B u t l e r took men through the f i e l d s o f e v o l u t i o n and showed them flowers 5 which they had not been before. His note, fourteen years a f t e r the p u b l i c a t i o n of E v o l u t i o n Old and New i n d i c a t e s that the expedition had hot been i n v a i n : .1. B u t l e r , S. Further E x t r a c t s from the Notebooks, p. 158. 2. i b i d . £.42. 3. i b i d . p. 137. 4. i b i d . p.107. 5. B u t l e r , S. Notebooks, p. 375. - 31 -"To t a l k about t h i s (the inheritance of acquired c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ) w i t h the average Darwinian s c i e n t i s t i s l i k e t a l k i n g about Home Rule with a Gladstonian. The Gladstonian i s not l i k e l y to leave o f f avowing that he has the best of the argument, and the common sense of the country, however apathetic and incurious i t may have been, i s not l i k e l y to l e t the Gladstonian have h i s own way now that i t i s beginning to wake up to the s i t u a t i o n . n 1 9. "The r e s t i t u t i o n to Giovanni and G e n t i l e B e l l i n i o f t h e i r p o r t r a i t s i n the Louvre and the f i n d i n g o f f i v e other p o r t r a i t s of these two p a i n t e r s of whom Crowe and C a v a l c a s e l l e and Layard maintain that we have no p o r t r a i t . " 10. "The r e s t o r a t i o n t o Holbein of the drawing i n the B a s e l Museum c a l l e d La Danse." 8 11. "The c a l l i n g a t t e n t i o n to Gaudenzio F e r r a r i and p u t t i n g him before the p u b l i c w i t h something l i k e the emphasis that he deserves." 12. "The discovery o f a l i f e - s i z e d statue of Leonardo da V i n c i by Gaudenzio F e r r a r i . " 13. "The unearthing of the Flemish s c u l p t o r Jean de Wespin ( c a l l e d Tabachetti i n I t a l y ) and of Giovanni i n t p n i o Paracca." The impulses that drove B u t l e r to make these a r t i s t i c " f i n d s " were probably very mixed. He blamed'his own shortcomings i n a r t upon the academy which he attended. The academic s p i r i t b l i g h t e d everything from "the Pope to the War O f f i c e . " 3 So the shallow deductions and " t a c i t / overweening conceit of l h f a l l i b i l i t y " o f the academies-had B u t l e r i n a constant s t a t e of opposition. He admires Swinburne f o r r e f u s i n g to j o i n an E n g l i s h Academy of L e t t e r s , and f e e l s i t a compliment that he h i m s e l f 4 was not asked to j o i n . Academicians were the f a d d i s t s of-the a r t s f o r 1. B u t l e r , S. Further E x t r a c t s from the Notebooks, p. 287. 2. I have not been able to locate any. acknowledgment by a r t c r i t i c s o f t h i s p a r t i c u l a r " f i n d . " " 3. B u t l e r , S. Further E x t r a c t s from the Notebooks, p.326. 4. i b i d . p. 316. - 32 -B u t l e r , people who paint bad p i c t u r e s and hope some day they w i l l t u r n out to be appreciated works o f a r t . "The academies and u n i v e r s i t i e s are the servants' h a l l s of a r t , l i t e r a t u r e , and science. The t a l k that goes on i n them i s the servants' h a l l gossip ; of these three great f a m i l i e s . The masters are the outside people whose money the academicians are t r y i n g to catch; unfortunately these outsiders are too apt, l i k e many other masters, to give t h e i r servants c r e d i t f o r knowing as much and working as hard and d i s i n t e r e s t e d l y as they pretend to do, and . ere long to transform them" i n t o masters." 1 B u t l e r therefore f l e d to the cantons o f Northern I t a l y and Austria,, to the chapels at Y a r a l l o and Saas-Fee, places so out of the way that t h e i r p a i n t i n g s and decorations had not yet f e l t the clammy hand of the academicians. These places were vantage p o i n t s f o r B u t l e r , where he was the unchallenged master, f u l f i l l i n g h imself by drawing the p u b l i c ' s a t t e n t i o n to a r t treasures, and i n v i t i n g them to judge without the conceit and priggishness of the c r i t i c s intervening. Furthermore, when B u t l e r discovered works o f F e r r a r i and Tabachetti and Paraoca, and "re s t o r e d " a Holbein to I t s r i g h t f u l owner-ship, he had emancipated him s e l f from the s e l f - o p i n i o n a t e d f a d d i s t s o f th e academies. He had compensated h i m s e l f f o r h i s own a r t i s t i c m ediocrity, and had served n o t i c e on the c r i t i c s that while I t might please them to condemn h i s own work, here was s t i l l a man who could do things whieh average s e n s i b l e people would appreciate i n s p i t e of academicism. I n these " f i n d s " B u t l e r has common sense opinion constantly i n mind. He i s Interested i n " r e s t o r i n g " and "discovering" p a i n t e r s and 1. B u t l e r , S. Further E x t r a c t s from the Notebooks, p.295. 2. • B u t l e r , S. A Medieval G i r l s ' School and A r t i n the Y a l l e y of Saas, essays i n The Humour of. Homer. - 3 4 -This .advice of compromise f o r a r t i s t s , t h i s t i m i d i t y about t r y i n g .the new and hesitancy: about l a y i n g the o l d aside, produces f i r s t class i m i t a t o r s , but never In s p i r e d a r t i s t s . . I t f o s t e r s the sedulous apes of music, the B u t l e r s and the Joneses,, but i t cannot account f o r the Beethovens and the Mozarts. The greatest o f musicians (and p a i n t e r s and writ e r s ) , e x i s t almost i n s p i t e of t h e i r predecessors. By no c r i t i c a l accident i s Beethoven's seventh symphony considered superior to h i s f i r s t and second. Note t h a t . a l l of t h i s p o s i t i v e work of Butler's^ career he c a l l s " f i n d s " . I t i s impossible to be a p r o f e s s i o n a l s c i e n t i s t or discoverer or s p e c i a l i s t without at some time making a f i n a l appear to r a t i o n a l c r i t i c i s m ) i t i s p o s s i b l e , however, to be an earnest amateur, wandering around i n the a r t s and sciences l i k e a learned guide p o i n t i n g out things which the average people have not seen i t i s p o s s i b l e to do. a l l t h i s , without-having to give c r i t i c a l , i n t e l l e c t u a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r one's " f i n d s . " Ho more equipment i s necessary than what i s needed "to p i c k up i n the p u b l i c place sovereigns that other people would not n o t i c e , " A quick eye and an I n q u i s i t i v e mind are the p r e - r e q u i s l t e s . B u t l e r c e r t a i n l y had both of these q u a l i t i e s , but was f a r from being an i n t e l l e c t u a l g i a n t . He seems t o have f a l l e n between, the t r o professions of a r t i s t and s c i e n t i s t , and t h i s dilemma, I submit, springs from h i s o r i g i n a l compromise between r e l i g i o u s orthodoxy and the science of e v o l u t i o n . i ; B u t l e r , S. Notebooks, p.375. - 35 -B u t l e r ' s f a i l u r e as a c r e a t i v e a r t i s t bears out t h i s contention. This great advocate of f a i t h , of i n t u i t i o n , j u s t lacked enough f a i t h , enough " i n s p i r a t i o n " , to make himse l f the a r t i s t of genius. H i s p o r t r a i t s look" l i k e touched-up passport p i c t u r e s , and h i s one l a r g e canvas, Mr. Heatherley's Holiday ^might w e l l serve as a stage back-drop. The only t h i n g remembered i n B u t l e r ' s poetry i s a blasphemous r e f r a i n to h i s t i r a d e against the c i t y o f Montreal f o r h i d i n g i t s Discobulus from the p u b l i c View; the-sonnets have dropped out of sight because t h e i r competent stru c t u r e cannot hide t h e i r mawkish sentiments. H i s music takes up where . 1 Handel l e f t o f f and r e s u l t s i n i m i t a t i o n . B u t l e r ' s r e a l competence l a y i n the p o i n t i n g of s a t i r e , which i s j u s t a method of r e v e a l i n g the f o l l i e s and i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s of things as they are. He e x c e l l e d i n the drawing o f analogies, i n p e r c e i v i n g over-looked matters, and i n helping the average fmind t o a s s i m i l a t e them. 1. This i s a somewhat prejudiced c r i t i c i s m of B u t l e r ' s music. I have not had an opportunity to hear i t . But from reading some of the l i b r e t t o s , and considering B u t l e r ' s m u s i c a l , t r a i n i n g under Rockstro, I gather h i s work ,1s second r a t e . Furthermore, I think i t can be argued that B u t l e r ' s one novel i s not, i n a l l s t r i c t n e s s , the work o f a f u l l y c r e a t i v e a r t i s t . The Way of A l l F l e s h i s semi-autobiographical; the p l o t was made f o r him by h i s own l i f e and the l i v e s of the members of h i s own family; the characters are h i s own f r i e n d s and enemies. B u t l e r has used t h i s ready-made m a t e r i a l without attempting to shape i t according to a pattern. Soethe work l a c k s a$: unity; the i n c i d e n t s , even where they have relevance, are strung together. Perhaps i f B u t l e r had been more i n t e r e s t e d i n c r e a t i n g a novel than he was i n making an autobiographical t a l e , he might have succeeded i n b r i n g i n g borne order i n t o h i s m a t e r i a l . - 36 -'•A l l of' t h i s work then of B u t l e r ' s i s the product of a man who was at home i n the v/orld n e i t h e r o f the r a t i o n a l i s t , who l i v e s by reference p r i n c i p a l l y to h i s i n t e l l e c t , nor of the a r t i s t , who l i v e s , i n the main, by reference to h i s f a i t h . The dilemma remains when the whole broad f i e l d of B u t l e r ' s philosophy i s surveyed: B u t l e r ' s l i v e l y mind and s c i e n t i f i c reading would not allow him to be the complete mystic who would ask f o r no other proof than that which f a i t h would give him. B u t l e r seems to hover r a t h e r p i t i f u l l y between a complete b e l i e f i n r a t i o c i n a t i o n and a consistent t r u s t i n f a i t h . I submit that he could hot do otherwise because of the fundamental compromise of h i s l i f e , namely, h i s attempt to g r a f t an i n t e l l e c t u a l f a c u l t y on to the r e l i g i o u s f a i t h which had p e r s i s t e d from h i s childhood. The r e s u l t i n g confusion l e d him i n t o the forming of a "philosophy" that depended upon i n s t i n c t , common sense, vague non-committals ; i n a word, i n t o becoming an/earnest compromiser between extremes i n a l l questions. ' ( i ) BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE. Henry J e s t i n g Jones' Samuel B u t l e r , a Memoir i s , of course, the most exhaustive record of the l i f e and w r i t i n g s o f B u t l e r . I t s inform-a t i o n i s based upon years o f personal contact w i t h B u t l e r , i t s s t y l s i s easy, and i t s format handsome without being showy. (Macmillans) I f there are any adverse c r i t i c i s m s at a l l to be made of the two volumes, they, might be: (a) Jones' u n c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e towards h i s master; the f a i t h f u l puppy-dog a t t i t u d e pervades most of the book. (b) The f a i l u r e to i n d i c a t e the estrangement that took place between the two men a f t e r Jones became f i n a n c i a l l y independent of B u t l e r . (Muggeridge makes much o f t h i s omission i n The Earnest A t h e i s t , pp.150-155). I t does f o r me weaken the a u t h o r i t y of the l a t t e r h a l f of Volume I I . (c) Jones' own l i m i t e d background. So o f t e n i n the books I f e e l i t would be i l l u m i n a t i n g to have B u t l e r ' s ideas and work t i e d i n with a wider s o c i a l or p o l i t i c a l context i n Europe. Jones i s not the man capable o f doing t h i s . The notebooks and Eurther E x t r a c t s from the Notebooks were my most f r u i t f u l source of B u t l e r i a n ideas (not excepting such longer works as Erewhon, etc.) Almost every note has i n i t the germs of a long essay. - 38 -Malcolm Muggeridge's The Earnest A t h e i s t i s the most sheerly s t i m u l a t i n g book on B u t l e r which I have read. I t i s a suave, w i t t y , almost cunning piece of debunking that leaves B u t l e r a p i t i f u l misanthrope and "Jones a conscientious hypocrite. Mr. Muggeridge's book i s the p e r f e c t antidote f o r Mrs. R.S. Garnett's Samuel B u t l e r and h i s Eamily Relations — 228 pages of gushing whitewash. Mrs. Garnett c l i n g s to some r e l a t i o n s h i p with the B u t l e r f a m i l y ( a c t u a l l y her grandfather was brother to B u t l e r ' s mother), and her unwavering a t t i t u d e i s "my r e l a t i v e s r i g h t or wrong, but —". The perverse Samuel j u s t misunderstood h i s parents and s i s t e r s . J.M. Robertson's H i s t o r y o f Ereethought i n the Nineteenth Century I read f o r a d e t a i l e d study o f the r e s i s t a n c e made by orthodox thought to the ?iork of the e v o l u t i o n i s t s . Robertson himself was a f r e e t h i n k e r . Samuel B u t l e r , a M i d - V i c t o r i a n Modern, hy C.G. S t i l l m a n I consider the most i m p a r t i a l , l u c i d biography and e x p o s i t i o n of B u t l e r ' s ideas whieh the l i b r a r y has. - 39 -( i i ) THE WORKS OE SAMUEL BUTLER. B u t l e r , Samuel, A l p s and sanctuaries o f Piedmont and the Canton. T i c i n o , London, A,C. E i f i e l d , 1913. Butler, : Samuel. : The Authoress o f the: Odyssey, where and when she wrote, who she was, the use she made o f the I l i a d , and how the poerm grew under.her hands, London, Jonathan Cape, 1922. B u t l e r , Samuel. B u t l e r i a n a , London, Mfonesueh Press, 1952. B u t l e r , Samuel. Erewhon; or, Over the range, London, A.G. E i f i e l d , 1919. B u t l e r , Samuel. Erewhon r e v i s i t e d twenty years l a t e r , both by the o r i g i n a l discoverer o f the country and by h i s son, London, A.C. E i f i e l d , 1920. B u t l e r , Samuel. E v o l u t i o n , o l d and new; or., The theo r i e s of Buff on, Dp-. Erasmus Darwin, and Lamarck, as compared with that o f Charles Darwin, London, Jonathan Cape, 1921. B u t l e r , Samuel. The f a i r haven; a work i n defence of the miraculous element i n Our Lord's m i n i s t r y upon earth, both as against r a t i o n a l i s t i c impugners and c e r t a i n orthodox defenders., by the l a t e John P i c k a r d Owen, wi t h a memoir of the author by W i l l i a m B i c k e r s t e t h Owen. London, A.C. E i f i e l d , 1915. B u t l e r , Samuel. God the known and God the unknown. The 1879 a r t i c l e s r e p r i n t e d from "The Examiner" w i t h a p r e f a t o r y note by R.A. S t r e a t f e i l d , London, A.C, E i f i e l d , 1909. B u t l e r , Samuel. Eurther e x t r a c t s from the notebooks o f Samuel B u t l e r ; chosen and ed. by A.T. Bartholomew, London, Jonathan Cape, 1954. B u t l e r , Samuel. The humour o f Homer, and other essays, ed. by R.A. S t r e a t f e i l d , London, A.C. E i f i e l d , 1915. B u t l e r , Samuel. The I l i a d rendered i n t o E n g l i s h prose f o r the use of those who cannot read the o r i g i n a l , London, A.G. E i f i e l d , 1914. B u t l e r , Samuel. L e t t e r s between Samuel B u t l e r and Miss E.M.A. Savage, 1871-1885, London, Jonathan Cape, 1935. B u t l e r , Samuel, L i f e and h a b i t , London, A.C. E i f i e l d , 1916. B u t l e r , Samuel. Luck, or cunning, as the main means of organic m o d i f i c -a t i o n ? London, Jonathan Cape, 1922. - 40 -B u t l e r , Samuel. The note-books of Samuel B u t l e r . S e l e c t i o n s arranged and ed, by Henry t e s t i n g Jones: w i t h an i n t r o d u c t i o n by Francis Hackett, New York, E.P. Dutton, 1917. B u t l e r , Samuel. The Odyssey rendered i n t o E n g l i s h prose f o r the use of those who cannot read the o r i g i n a l , London, Jonathan Cape, 1922. B u t l e r , Samuel. Shakespeare's sonnets reconsidered and i n part r e -arranged wit h i n t r o d u c t o r y chapters, notes, and a r e p r i n t of the o r i g i n a l 1609 e d i t i o n , London, A.C. F i f i e l d (Pref. 1899) B u t l e r , Samuel. Unconscious memory: a comparison between the theory of Dr. Ewald Hering — and the "Philosophy of the Unconscious" of Dr. Edward von Hartmann; w i t h t r a n s l a t i o n s from these authors, and p r e l i m i n a r y chapters bearing on " L i f e and hab i t , " " E v o l u t i o n , o l d and new," and Mr. Charles Darwin's e d i t i o n of Dr. Krause's "Erasmus Darwin", London, David Bogue, 1880, ~ B u t l e r , Samuel. The way of a l l f l e s h , London, A.C. F i f i e l d , 1920-- 4=1 -( i i i ) BIOGRAPHICAL AM) CRITICAL WORKS. Bekker, W.G. , .An h i s t o r i c a l and c r i t i c a l review of Samuel B u t l e r ' s l i t e r a r y works, Rotterdam, 1925. Cahnan, G i l b e r t . Samuel Bu t l e r ; a c r i t i c a l study. ..London, M. Seeker, 1915. C u n l i f f e , J.VI. , ed. , E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e during the l a s t half-century,, (contains "Samuel B u t l e r " , by J e f f e r s o n B. F l e t c h e r ) , Hew York, The Macmillan company, 1925. " . Garhett, Mrs. R.S. Samuel B u t l e r and h i s f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s , New York, E.P. Dutton & co., 1926. Joad, C.E.K. Samuel B u t l e r (1835-1902), London, L. Parsons, 1924. Jones, Henry Te s t i n g , Samuel B u t l e r , author, of "Erewhon" (1855-1903) a • memoir, 2 v o l s . London, Macmillan and co. , l i m i t e d , 1920. Massingham, H.J, The great V i c t o r i a n s (contains "Samuel B u t l e r " by H.C. O ' N e i l l ) , London, Penguin Books l t d . , 1938. Muggeridge, Malcolm. The earnest a t h e i s t ; a study of Samuel B u t l e r , London, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1936. Rattray, R.E. Samuel B u t l e r , a chron i c l e and an i n t r o d u c t i o n , London, Duckworth,: 1955. S i n c l a i r , May. A defence of idealism; some questions and conclusions, (Oh. I . "The pan-psychism o f Samuel B u t l e r " ) . New York, The Macmillan company, 1917. S t i l l m a n , G.G. Samuel Butler,, a m i d - V i c t o r i a n modern, Hew York, V i k i n g press, 1932. - 42 -(iv ) GENERAL WORKS. Brlghtman, E.S. An I n t r o d u c t i o n to philosophy, New York, H. Holt amd company> 1925.. Bury, - J. B. The idea ...of progress: an enquiry i n t o i t s o r i g i n and growth, London, Macmillan and co., l i m i t e d , 1920. Cyrano, de Bergerac, Savinien, Voyages to the moon and the sun, t r . , by Richard Aldington, w i t h an i n t r o d u c t i o n and notes, London, Routledge & sons l t d . , 1923. Darwin, Charles. On the o r i g i n o f .species by means of n a t u r a l s e l e c t i o n or the p r e s e r v a t i o n of favored races i n the struggle f o r l i f e , London, John Murray, 1888. Darwin, E r a n c i s , ed. The l i f e and l e t t e r s o f Charles Darwin, i n c l u d i n g an auto-biographical chapter, 3 v o l s . London, John Murray, 188V. Davies, A; Mbrley. E v o l u t i o n and i t s modern c r i t i c s , London, Thomas Murby & co., 1937. , Eay, C.R. L i f e and labour i n the nineteenth century. Cambridge, at the U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1920. Ereud, S, The future of an I l l u s i o n , New York, Horace L i v e r i g h t and the I n s t i t u t e o f psycho-analysis, 1934. Gosse, Edmund. Eather and son, a study of two temperaments, 8th ed. New York, Charles S c r i b n e r ' s sons, 1921. Morley, John. On compromise, Macmillan & Co., London, 1928. Robertson, J.M. A h i s t o r y of freethought i n the nineteenth century; To l s . 1-2, London, Watts & co., 1929. : Robertson, J.M.' E x p l o r a t i o n s (essays "Professor James's P l e a f o r Theism" and "Professor on R e l i g i o u s Experience"), London, Watts & co., (n. d. ) Robertson, J.M. Modern humanists reconsidered, London, Watts & Co., 1927. Routh, H.T. Towards the twentieth century, New York, The Macmillan company, 1937. Ruskin, John Time and Tide, London, George A l l e n , 1905. (Tol. 17 of L i b r a r y Ed.) - 43 -R u s s e l l , Bertrand. The s c i e n t i f i c outlook. London, George A l l e n & Unwin, 1931. Shaw, G.B. Back to Methuselah (Preface) London, Constable and company, 1928. Somervell, B.C. E n g l i s h thought i n the nineteenth century, London, Methven & co., l t d . , 1929. Spencer, Herbert. The study o f sociology. Hew York, D. Appleton and company, 1889. T r i l l i n g , L. Matthew Arnold, Hew York, W.W. Horton & co., 1939. - 44 - . (v) . PERIODICALS, ARTICLES AND REVTWS. Ayres, C.E, "Hush.' i t ' s B u t l e r " , New Republic, vol. 40, p.48, September 10, 19E4. Davis, H.J. " D u p l i c i t y o f Samuel B u t l e r " , Canadian Eorum, v o l . 16, pp. 24-^25, March, 1937. Ervine, S t . J . "Centenary o f Samuel B u t l e r , " F o r t n i g h t l y Review, v o l . 144, pp.698-710, December, 1935. Golding, L. "On the t r a i l of Samuel B u t l e r " , L i v i n g Age, v o l . 327, pp.207-8, October 24, 1925. Gosse, E. "Samuel B u t l e r " , Edinburgh Review, Jamuary, 1920. Graves, R. " G a l i l e o of mares' nests",. L i v i n g Age, v o l . 320, pp.180-5* January 26, 1924. Grendon, Eeljbc. "Samuel B u t l e r ' s God", North American Review, v o l . 208, pp. 277-286, August, 1918. Joad, C.E.M. " V i n d i c a t i o n of Samuel B u t l e r " , L i v i n g Age, v o l . 329, pp.270-4, May 1, 1926. Lappin, H.A. "Un-Victorian V i c t o r i a n " , Bookman, March, 1920. Lee, V. "Back to B u t l e r : a me t a b i o l o g i c a l commentary on G.B.S.", Hew Statesman, September 24, 1921. McCarthy, Desmond. "Author of Erewhon", Quarterly Review, January, 1914. MacDonald, W.L. "Samuel B u t l e r and E v o l u t i o n " , Horth American Review, v o l . 223, pp. 626-S1?, December, 1926. Mather, E.J., J r . , "Samuel B u t l e r of Erewhon," Hation, December 29,1910 Moore, C.L. • "Author of Erewhon", D i a l , October 16, 1913. Hevinson, ••H.W. "The E a i r Haven" (review), Hation (London), October 25, 1919. "Hew Samuel B u t l e r Correspondence," L i v i n g Age, v o l . 319, pp. 240-1, November 3, 1923. - 45 -O'Toole, H.E. " L i f e from the i n s i d e " , Nineteenth Century, v o l . 105, pp. 698-704, May, 1929. Phelps, W.L. "Advance of the E n g l i s h novel," Bookman, June, 1916. Sampson, C. "Enfant t e r r i b l e o f l i t e r a t u r e , " L i v i n g Age, v o l . 324, pp.265-7, January 31, 1925. S t i l l m a n , C.G-. " L i t e r a r y and s c i e n t i f i c work of Samuel B u t l e r , " North American Review, August, 1916. Wilson, Edmund. " S a t i r e of Samuel B u t l e r , " New Republic, v o l . 75, pp. 35-7, May 24, 1933. Woolf, Leonard. "Samuel B u t l e r , " Nation (London), November 17, 1925. Woolf, Leonard. "The F a i r Haven" (review), Nation, London, February 25, 1924. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0105624/manifest

Comment

Related Items