The prevalence of suicide, without doubt, is a test of height in civilization; it means that the population is winding up its nervous and intellectual system to the utmost point of tension and that sometimes it snaps.
There is held to be no surer test of civilization than the increase per head of the consumption of alcohol and tobacco. Yet alcohol and tobacco are recognizable poisons, so that their consumption has only to be carried far enough to destroy civilization altogether.
It is curious how there seems to be an instinctive disgust in Man for his nearest ancestors and relations. If only Darwin could conscientiously have traced man back to the Elephant or the Lion or the Antelope, how much ridicule and prejudice would have been spared to the doctrine of Evolution.