Early draft of Primitive Warfare?

The following handwwritten draft, possibly an early draft for Primitive Warfare is from notebook Miscellaneous No. 4. p. 103 and on after note from Lyell Antiquity of Man p 497

‘(Note) it is true that this broad distinction may be drawn between man & the brutes, thus man is self improvable where th whereas the lower creation are incapable of progressive improvement in the lowest form & only capable of improvement by external influences in the highest. but on the other hand it must be observed that there is (even by the reasoning which is favourable to transmutation) a vast gap hitherto unexplained between the human & the Simian species. Lyel [sic] has in another place pointed [insert] out [end insert] this is the region of Equatorial Africa may probably some day be looked for in a fossil state the link which separates [insert] joins [end insert] man from [insert] to [end insert] the brutes. That this link if it exists, is now extinct, there can be no doubt. the [illegible looks like ‘noral’] connexion can therefore never be traced. it is the shell only that we can hope to find. But in approaching the borders of this gap are there not traces of [illegible looks like assismtation] which may lead us to presume that, if we had the power of following the two species to the point of junction we might then find even the [illegible looks like noral] differences were produced gradually & not suddenly. We find [illegible] certain that it is only the highest of the brute creation that are capable of any improvement & thus the improvement of which [2 words illegible] capable by external influence has no absolute limits. of time be given [?sic] on the other hand the human race in its [2 words illegible, possibly lowest state] is especially distinguishable from the higher by its unimprovability [insert] illegible [end insert] races continue for generations (as shewn in another part of Lyel’s [sic] work) is the same [illegible] of consideration with scarcely any apparent progress. Intellectual progress it must be born [sic] in mind advances in an increasing ratio that increase had already set in before we arrive at the gap which separates us from the lower animals [insert] the higher animals from man [end insert] we must estimate the interval not by analogy with the lower but by bridging the casm [sic] in the direction pointed out by both higher & lower stages. Of these the differences observable between the highest & lowest humans are greater than that [insert] those [end insert] observable between the lowest human & the simian what is there that deters [?] us from supposing these tendencies when approach [sic] towards a junction may not once have joined our ignorance of the geological record is too well known to require exposition here. This much however we may affirm. The evolution against transmutation is merely negative, which exists in its favour is of a positive nature. time alone can bring absolute proof to our minds, in the mean time we must not shut our eyes to a conclusion which appears imminent & which every fresh discovery tends to confirm. A L Fox

[It isn’t clear what the above passage is, he did not publish between 1861 and 1866, but it appears to be an early draft for Primitive Warfare I (1867) where he says:

“By this view we come to look upon even the most barbarous state of man's existence, as a condition, not so much of degradation, as of arrested or retarded progress, and to see that, notwithstanding many halts and relapses, and a very varied rate of movement in the different races, the march of the human intellect has been always onward.

As, in the lower creation, we find no individuals that are capable of self-improvement, though some appear, by their imitative faculties, to contain within them the germs of an improving element, so the aboriginal man, closely resembling the brutes, may have passed through many generations before he began to show even the first symptoms of mental cultivation, or the rudiments of the simplest arts; and even then his progress may have been, at first, so slow, that it is not without an effort of imagination that the civilized races of our day can realize, by means of the implements which he has left us, the minute gradations which appear to mark the stages of his advancement. This appears to be the view taken by Sir Charles Lyell in his “Antiquity of Man”, when, in comparing the flint implements found in the higher and lower-level gravels of the valley of the Somme, he arrives at the conclusion “that the state of the arts in those early times remained stationary for almost indefinite periods”. “We see,” he says, “in our own time, that the rate of progress in the arts and sciences proceeds in a geometrical ratio as knowledge increases, and so, when we carry back our retrospect into the past, we must be prepared to find the signs of retardation augmenting in a like geometrical ratio; so that the progress of a thousand years at a remote period, may correspond to that of a century in modern times, and in ages still more remote man would more and more resemble the brutes in that attribute which causes one generation exactly to imitate, in all its ways, the generation which preceded it.”

AP May 2012

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