But if each step of the process of reduction were to be inherited, not at the corresponding age, but at an extremely early period of life (as we have good reason to believe to be possible) the rudimentary part would tend to be wholly lost, and we should have a case of complete abortion.
If one could observe the strangely painful, equally coarse and refined comedy of European Christianity with the derisive and impartial eye of an Epicurean god, I should think one would never cease marvelling and laughing; does it not actually seem that some single will has ruled over Europe for eighteen centuries in order to make a SUBLIME ABORTION of man?
For instance, high sex ratios at birth in some Asian countries are now attributed to sex-selective abortion and infanticide due to a strong preference for sons.
The will in man Bears goodly blossoms; but its ruddy promise Is, by the dripping of perpetual rain, Made mere abortion: faith and innocence Are met with but in babes, each taking leave Ere cheeks with down are sprinkled; he, that fasts, While yet a stammerer, with his tongue let loose Gluts every food alike in every moon.
On this same principle--and bearing in mind, that when organs are reduced in size, either from disuse or selection, it will generally be at that period of life when the being has to provide for its own wants, and bearing in mind how strong is the principle of inheritance--the occurrence of rudimentary organs and their final abortion, present to us no inexplicable difficulties; on the contrary, their presence might have been even anticipated.
attributes some of these demises to abdominal trauma in the case of women workers subjected to heavy labours in the workshop and to marital discipline in the home but by far the vast majority to neglect, private or official, culminating in the exposure of newborn infants, the practice of criminal abortion or in the atrocious crime of infanticide.
He was one of the numerous and varied legion of dullards, of half-animate abortions, conceited, half-educated coxcombs, who attach themselves to the idea most in fashion only to vulgarise it and who caricature every cause they serve, however sincerely.