The facit indignatio replaces the Gracchi. Under the Caesars, there is the exile to Syene; there is also the man of the Annales.
The Staten Islanders, it should be stated, had done nothing to merit this treatment; but Indian logic interprets the legal maxim "Qui facit per alium, facit per se," as meaning that if one white man cheats him, he can get his satisfaction out of the next one who happens in sight.
Clearly appreciate the force of this analogy, and all the arguments against the origin of species by selection, based on the absence of transitional forms, fall to the ground. And Mr. Darwin's position might, we think, have been even stronger than it is if he had not embarrassed himself with the aphorism, "Natura non facit saltum," which turns up so often in his pages.
The expulsion of the Moors, the crowning crime and madness of the reign of Philip III., found in him a hearty advocate and defender. Non facit monachum cucullus, it was not his hood and girdle that made him a monk; he was thoroughly saturated with their spirit before he put them on. But he was the noblest courtier and the kindliest bigot that ever flattered or persecuted.
On the other hand, the fact that instincts are not always absolutely perfect and are liable to mistakes; that no instinct has been produced for the exclusive good of other animals, but that each animal takes advantage of the instincts of others; that the canon in natural history, of "natura non facit saltum" is applicable to instincts as well as to corporeal structure, and is plainly explicable on the foregoing views, but is otherwise inexplicable, all tend to corroborate the theory of natural selection.
How would he like it, if he happened to be a Turk himself, finding his nation thus implicitly undervalued? For clearly, in undervaluing the Byzantine resistance, he does undervalue the Mahometan assault. Advantages of local situation cannot eternally make good the deficiencies of man. The facit of history does not here correspond with the numerical items.
Marcellinus did not stand in need of a man to advise, but of a man to assist him; his servants were afraid to meddle in the business, but this philosopher gave them to under stand that domestics are suspected even when it is in doubt whether the death of the master were voluntary or no; otherwise, that it would be of as ill example to hinder him as to kill him, forasmuch as: "Invitum qui servat, idem facit occidenti."
But now you call these the apexes of the intellectual pyramid: it would, however, seem that between the broad, heavily burdened foundation up to the highest of the free and unencumbered peaks there must be countless intermediate degrees, and that here we must apply the saying natura non facit saltus.
Nay, according to the well-known line, “facit indignatio versus;” not the words alone, but even the rhythm, the metre, the verse, will be the contemporaneous offspring of the emotion or imagination which possesses him. “Poeta nascitur, non fit,” says the proverb; and this is in numerous instances true of his poems, as well as of himself.
The truth of this remark is indeed shown by that old but somewhat exaggerated canon in natural history of "Natura non facit saltum." We meet with this admission in the writings of almost every experienced naturalist; or, as Milne Edwards has well expressed it, Nature is prodigal in variety, but niggard in innovation. Why, on the theory of Creation, should this be so?