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fellow hunts him in turn. He seeks for blood when he has no use for it.
A multitude of distempers torment him, as if his body was intended for a magazine of pain ; and a greater internal agony at times afflicts him, when he bas no pain, so that his features become distorted beyond recognition. He weeps and sighs and laughs, and blushes and turns pale. Sometimes a trifling sound uttered, or a change of attitude or look in the presence of another, is the signal for collisions which endanger and destroy life. A sense of impending evil drives him when no evil is near. Strange forebodings visit him; and often, sick and weary of life, he cuts it short and follows the original monad away into non-existence.
Strange creature, this, to be thus affected without cause ! Queer, that he should have inherited these peculiarities from his ancestor who had none of them! Whence came they all ? Natura non facit saltum.
But let us not suffer any of these paltry objections, which in the interest of science may not be passed over without mention, to obscure our view of the great fact of the true origin of the race to which we belong.
Here we repose. There is nothing like science to bring comfort and rest; to leave the unreal and visionary and take firm footing on substantial ground.
Lest tbe inquiry should be raised, at this point, how these varied peculiarities of the man-animal, so far as they are brought to view, are to be accounted for, as if they were about to be slurred over; to what environments of soil, climate, objects of nature or condition, they are to be attributed; we shall take no pains to conceal our purpose to dodge this question altogether. It is none of our concern. We must adhere to science. We have no presumptions to entertain. pose simply to take the animal as we find him, the creature that he is, just as we would any other; and having observed his habits and his disposition, his wants and ways, without inquiring how he happened to come by them, treat him accordingly with fairness and with justice.
Then such as he is, and is shown by his origin to be," being so fathered," what ought to be expected and demanded of him in the line of conduct and of action. Actions of such a
character that they pass without the special notice or censure of others would seem to need no rule or guide by which to judge them, and may be disregarded. They take care of themselves or concern chiefly the actor alone. It is only when interference with the wants, wishes, liberties or rights of others gives them a different character, that they become proper subjects for inquiry or the treatment of the actor assumes any importance.
One man steals, takes or withholds what belongs to you, or to another than himself, and what you claim he has no right to. Another lays violent hands upon his fellow and puts an end to his life. Another lies in wait for a defenseless woman and inakes her the victim of his lust. Still another slanders
. his neighbor and inflicts untold misery by a vicious lie. All these and other similar acts, you are wont to say, demand punishment for the offender. Why? What is the matter?
? What has he done to justify it? and what good end is to be served by all the trouble and outlay needed to bring him to justice—as you term it—and apply the penalty? Shall he be punished because the statute says so ? That is no reason or a very trivial one. Science goes behind the statute and demands the reason why. Is it because you say, or think, or feel, that such conduct tends to social disorder and must therefore be suppressed, and everybody else unites in the same judgment ? Just wait a minute and let us see; for we may all be wrong, and there may be some mistake about this, and it may not be so bad after all. Neither must be be punished, to repair the evil done; for that is impossible. Nor to reform the culprit; for it is not worth it and no such result is assured. Nor even to deter others from like offences; for few or none will be thus affected by it. And none of these reasons has any foundation in science, which we have accepted for our guide. It makes the creature trouble, interrupts his enjoyment, stands in the way of his development, discourages his best efforts, and casts a cloud over his life ; prevents the proper fulfillment of those duties for which he is fitted, stunts the growth of those powers and faculties which he has inherited and impairs his usefulness as a member of the
a What wonder that, exposed to all these disadvan
tages, the progress and advancement of the species should be retarded ?
This punishing business is, in fact, all wrong. It is the wan. ton and gratuitous infliction of suffering without cause and without any adequate gain. Let science speak! She understands the case ; and upon the basis of sound reason she declares that we have no liberty to judge or deal with this offending creature by any severer rule than bis nature warrants, the terms of our philosophy applicable to his case prescribe. This is the limit. Your ox gores his mate or his driver, so that he loses his life: will you hang or otherwise kill this offender? Your dog runs off with your dinner, or is out in the field and practices a deception by which you lose your game: will you shoot or imprison the dog ? But you
tell me that the man-murderer or thief knows better. Does he? What does that mean? If by this is intended that he knows something better than the gratification of the wants and inclinations of his nature, that is something new. What is it? and how did he find it out? This is what we wish to learn in the first place. The monkey didn't tell him. So far as we have been able to discover, that individual bas said noth. ing on the subject, nor any of his ancestors. Then he never learned it in any proper scientific way. It is only imaginary. The fact is, that the creature is, and knows, just what, and so much
he has inherited, and has come to him by those unerr. ing laws of the Universe which gave him being and fixed his place and sphere of action; and no other, and no more. To these he must be held submissive. By these he must be tried and judged ; and to these will we adhere. If you insist upon finding something else, some foreign ingredient, lodged in his nature, simply to furnish you an opportunity to lay the foundation for making further and extortionate demands of him, no such presumption can be allowed. It is not there. No way has been provided for it to get there. There is no source discovered from which it could have come. Where is the article kept? and how is it obtained? The noble animal is not to be thus abused by being charged with any fancied infusion from supernatural agencies, in order that you may thrust upon him any such faculty as a sense of accountability for his conduct. It is purely visionary. Science knows nothing of it. Natura non facit saltum.
It must be admitted that this pretended knowledge of good and evil which is injected into the present favorite system of dealing with this much-exalted and highly-evolved being, and so punishing him from time to time for obeying and following out his propensities, is without warrant and out of the course of nature. Whenever he happens to want what somebody else has, and takes it for his own happiness and delectation; or when he sees fit to put somebody else out of the way so as to have freer scope for action; or when he seeks to gratify his passions at the expense and against the will of the weaker; this is his mission. It is his privilege. Hands off! Let him alone! The fittest survives, as the sequel shows. Let as not violate kind nature's laws. Just let the man have a fair chance and a good time. Give him an even show with the other mammals. He knows best what he wants and the best way to get it. Don't interfere with his prerogatives. You can't change his nature. Science forbids that. These things he will do, and must, because he can, and wants to, and you can't help it. Then let him have comfort and satisfaction in them, like the rest of his brother animals. It is a pity that he should not fare as well as they. Let him stand on a level with the horse, the dog, and the monkey, and all those glorious and happy tribes and races of the earth that have preceded him, have acted their several parts in peace and gone to their rest without being missed or mourned by their successors. Don't single him out and embitter his brief existence by imposing conditions of conduct which he can never faltill. Why more than all others should he be thus molested ?
It is a mistake to suppose that I am forbidden, by nature's laws, to take the life of a member of the race to wbich I happen to belong, if I choose to do so, any more than is the porpoise or the playful panther. Still harder is it to show that, by nature's laws, a man may not appropriate his neighbor's goods or indulge and gratify his appetite whenever and wherever he chooses to find the means. Who can judge so well as he of the deinands or necessities of his case? Why may I not kill of their force or obligation. As well attempt to measure a chain of lightning, or the force of a can of dynamite, by the quart. It won't apply.
Until you can point me to some authority or power which I recognize as rightfully competent to say to me," thou shalt" and “ thou shalt not,” and which has the means to detect and call me to account and punish me for violating such command every time, whether any other creature knows of it or not, I acknowledge no other master than myself, no rule to guide me but my own wants and inclinations; and them I will obey, for they are nature's laws and there is nothing higher than they. Neither reason nor science brings to view any such authority; and I am therefore at liberty to kill, rob, burn, and lie, at pleasure, subject only to the risk of such inconveniences to myself as others may chance to visit upon me in case of detection.
Do the inquiries then arise, how and whence comes the knowledge of right and wrong, and the force of obligation, if any,
which it brings ? Many have asked the same questions all along and every day. We profess no greater wisdom than reason and science reveal to us; and they pronounce these things fictions.
So let us move on and let these have their sway. Society can get along quite well without troubling itself with these matters. It is only a menagerie on a large scale or a sort of zoological garden without the cages.
Then if any one sees proper to club his mother-in-law, let him only fortify himself with the reflection that the tiger or the hyena would have done the same under much lighter provocation, and with no abject fear of being called to account for the little diversion. It is nature's work, and the fittest survives. The race will be struggling up. If another will be mean and parsimonious, let him consider himself the highly evolved expansion of some molecule of past ages, which helped to finish out a flea; and let him draw courage and comfort from the thought, claim his origin and exercise his privilege. Or if it be the chosen prerogative of another, to lie, steal, plagiarize, or play the debauchee, let him sustain himself by selecting for his grand prototype, the frog, the civet, the opossum, the serpent, or the fox, and content himself with the reflection that he is of the same nature and the same kind of stuff as they, and enjoy