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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 87

A Row of Human Skulls

A Row of Human Skulls,

from the lowest skull that has been found, the Neanderthal skull—skulls from central Africa, skulls from the bushmen of Australia—skulls from the farthest isles of the Pacific sea—up to the best skulls of the last generation—and I noticed that there was the same difference between those skulls that there was between the products of those skulls, and I said to myself: "After all, it is a simple question of intellectual development." There was the same difference between those skulls, the lowest and highest skulls, that there was between the dug-out and the man-of-war and the steamship, between the club and the Krupp gun, between the yellow daub and the landscape, between the tom-tom and an opera by Verdi.

The first and lowest skull in this row was the den in which crawled the base and meaner instincts of inankind, and the last was a temple in which dwelt joy, liberty and love.

And I said to myself it is all a question of intellectual development. Man has advanced just as he has mingled his thought with his labour. As he has grown he has taken advantage of the forces of nature; first of the moving wind, then of falling water, and finally of steam. From one step to another he has obtained better houses, better clothes, and better books, and he has done it by holding out every incentive to the ingenious to produce them. The world has said, give us better clubs and guns and cannons with which to kill our fellow Christians. And whoever will give us better weapons and better music, and better houses to live in, we will robe him in wealth, crowa him in honour, and render his name deathless. Every incentive was held out to every human being to improve these things, and that is the reason we have advanced in all mechanical arts. But that gentleman in the dug-out not only had his ideas about politics, mechanics and agriculture: he had his ideas also about religion. His idea about politics was "right makes might." It will be thousands of years, may bo, before mankind will believe in the saying that "right makes might." He had his religion. That low skull was a devil factory. He believed in hell, and the belief was a consolation to him. He could see