10 January 1922, Dornach
Dr. Steiner: Much knowledge is required really to answer a question like the one posed last time, and we have already considered it from a number of different angles. Because anything relating to reproduction of living beings must be thoroughly understood, I wish to make use of the time today to speak a bit more about this question from a completely different perspective.
There's something peculiar about a remark recently made by an American who came to the conclusion, based on statistics — a favorite innovation of our time that is increasingly pursued in America — that the people who acquire the greatest intelligence are always born in the winter months. Naturally, these statistics should not be taken to mean that a person born in the summer months would have to be stupid. The statistics refer only to the majority. In any case, this American made the statement that, according to statistics, those born between December and the middle of March grow up to be the smartest people.
Something is indicated here that is difficult to study in humans, because with human beings everything possible can interfere. It does indicate, however, that living beings in general — and man is first of all a living being — depend in a certain respect on the course of the year and its influence on them.
Statements like the one made by this American surprise people today only because they know far too little about the real processes of nature. Perhaps this American will meet the same fate as that of a certain professor who once measured human brains; he drew up statistics and found in every instance that women's brains are smaller than those of men. Since, in his opinion, a smaller brain indicates less intelligence, he concluded that all women have less intelligence than men — now he was a famous man! He became famous for finding that the brains of women are smaller than those of men. Now, sometimes autopsies are performed on famous people after death, just because they are famous, and this happened to the professor. His brain was removed, and it turned out that the brain of this man was much smaller than all the women's brains he had examined!
Similarly, if he were not embarrassed to make it known, it might turn out that this American was himself born in the summer. If he were born in the summer, one would have to say that according to his own theory he could not be too clever; therefore, his theory could not be particularly valuable. But you see, there is something behind all these matters after all, and this something can lead to the most significant issues when studied in the right way.
I wish to tell you something today that definitely pertains to the question posed by Mr. R. You see, the conditions relating to reproduction can actually be studied only in animals and plants, because in humans they depend on so many other factors that they cannot be studied properly. If you take what I told you the day before yesterday, that is, that humans, women as well as men, influence the egg cell or semen through drinking, you will see that this alone makes it impossible to study their reproduction correctly. Now, animals are rarely in the habit of getting drunk. In them, conditions thus remain much more pure, and one can study the matter more purely. The most important aspects of the problem are such that dissection of animals for the purpose of such study is quite unnecessary. Through dissection one really discovers the least of all. To begin with, I shall tell you something that is not based on dissection but on positive results that were obtained by men who did not work according to theories but with practical experience. What I will relate to you has to do especially with the beavers in Canada.
These beavers can be encountered around here only in zoos or, stuffed, in laboratories, and they actually appear to be rather clumsy. Such a beaver has a rather clumsy head and body, the front legs are quite thick, and the hind feet are webbed so he can swim. Its strangest feature is its tail, which looks almost like an instrument; it is quite flat and is, in fact, the beaver's most ingenious aspect. What he has behind him is his most ingenious tool. People who have observed beavers do not know at first what they use these tails for, and they have thought up all sorts of incorrect ways of explaining them.
The beaver is a most unusual animal. When one becomes acquainted with a beaver in his own habitat, it is found to be an extremely phlegmatic animal, something that is also evident in those in our zoos. It is so phlegmatic that one cannot really do anything with it. You can attack a beaver, grab for it, but it will not defend itself. The beaver itself will never attack no matter how much it is provoked. It is a completely phlegmatic creature.
These beavers live mainly in such areas as large swamps or short rivers, and they live in a most remarkable way. When spring arrives, a beaver looks for a spot near a lake or river, digs a burrow in the mud, and spends the entire summer living like a true recluse alone in this burrow. This beaver sits the whole summer in this reclusive summer dwelling like a phlegmatic monk passing the time in his summer house! It is only a hole that he digs in the earth, but he does it in total isolation.
When winter approaches — already when late fall comes — the beavers emerge from their burrows and congregate in groups of two to three hundred. They come in all their “phlegmatic-ness” (“Phlegmatischheit”) and form communities. Naturally, those that had mated earlier are among them. A female beaver had prepared her isolated home so that it was suitable for children; the male lived nearby in his own burrow. Now, all these families gather together.
In their slow, phlegmatic way, the beavers proceed to look for a suitable locality. Though it is sometimes difficult to observe because of their phlegmatic temperament, one group will prefer a lake, another a short river, which they follow downstream to a point that appears particularly suited to their purposes. After they have investigated the area, the whole group gathers together again. Near the lake or river, there are usually trees. It is really remarkable how these clumsy beavers now suddenly become extraordinarily skillful. They make use of their front feet — not their hind feet, which are webbed so they can swim — more cleverly than a man handles his tools. Using their front paws and sharp teeth, they gnaw branches off trees and even cut through tree trunks. Then, when a group of them has enough branches and felled trees, they drag them either into the lake they have chosen or into the river.
These animals then push the branches and trees in the lake to the selected spot. Those who have dragged their trees into the river know full well that the river itself will carry them. They only steer the branches so that they won't drift to the side. In this way, all the branches and trees are transported to the spot they have chosen either on the lake's shore or alongside the stream.
Having arrived there, those who have chosen a lake — having transported the trees to the shore — immediately begin constructing so-called lodges. The others, who have picked a river, do not begin with the building of lodges; they first proceed to construct a network of branches. These are interlaced with each other (sketching) until they form a proper network. When the beavers have built up such a wall, they add a second by fetching more branches, all of the same length; in this way, they make a wall two meters or more thick. Thus, you see, the animals dam up the river; the water must flow over it, and underneath it they have free space. Only now, having finished their dam, this wall, do they build their lodge into the wall so that the river flows over it.
When the beavers have accumulated enough branches, and their wall appears thick enough to them, they haul in other material such as ordinary chunks of earth. They fashion a kind of loam from it and putty up the dam on all sides. The beavers first erect a wall, just like real architects. Those who select the lake site, however, don't need a dam and therefore don't try to build one.
After this wall is built — in the case of those who choose the lake, it begins immediately — the beavers begin constructing little lodges from the same material. They look like clay barrels (sketching), but they are real little houses, constructed like braided mats. They are puttied up so well that the small amount of water that seeps into the space can do the beavers no harm. Such a beaver lodge is never constructed in a part of the stream where the water freezes. Imagine how ingenious this is! As you know, water only freezes on its surface; if one dives deep enough, one comes to still or flowing water, neither of which freezes at that depth. Precisely at the level where the water never freezes, these beavers build their dwellings.
Each of these lodges has two floors. There is a floor built in here (sketching), and below it is the entrance. The beavers can run up and down in the lodge; they live upstairs and keep their winter supplies downstairs. They haul in the food they need for the winter, and when it is all stored, the beaver family moves into this lodge, remaining always near the other families.
There the beaver families live until spring, when they once again move to their solitary dwellings. During the winter, the food supplies are brought up from the lower floor, and in this way the beavers sustain themselves. As I said, when summer comes, they seek out their solitary burrows, but during the winter they are together. They lead their social life in beaver villages on the bottom of lakes or in streams by the side of the dam they have so skillfully constructed.
From all that has been observed, even beavers in zoos work solely with their teeth and front paws, never with their tails. Although it is formed most ingeniously, the tail is never used for work. There are many descriptions that claim that beavers employ their tails in working on their constructions, but that is a delusion; it is simply not true. Beavers do possess especially well-developed front legs and teeth, and they use them more cleverly than a man uses his tools.
You know that natural history classifies the various animal species, and among the mammals are the beasts of prey, bats, the ruminants, and so forth. Among the mammals are also the so-called rodents. Our rats, for example, are rodents. The beaver's structure actually puts it in the rodent family.
In any book on natural history, you will find that the rodents are described as the most stupid of mammals; hence, the beaver as individual animal is reckoned among the least intelligent mammals. One can say that the beaver, when studied as a single animal, appears above all as a terribly phlegmatic little rascal. Its phlegmatic temperament is so great that it can appear about as clever as phlegmatic humans appear: they show no interest in anything. The beaver is therefore awfully stupid, but it also accomplishes all these extraordinarily clever feats! For beavers, then, one can say that Rosegger's saying concerning man does not apply: “One is a human being, two are folks, if there are more, they are dumb animals.” 1Note by translator: In the German text, this saying by the Austrian poet, Peter Rosegger, is rendered in untranslatable Austrian dialect: “Oaner is a Mensch, zwoa san Leit, san's mehra, san's Viecher.” Rosegger said this not about beavers but about human beings. He means that when many people meet together, they become stupid. There is something true in this. In a crowd, people become confused and do make stupid impressions, though there certainly are intelligent people among them!
We can say that the opposite is the case with beavers. One is stupid, but several are a little cleverer. 2Here Rudolf Steiner mimics the same Austrian dialect and says, “Oaner is dumm, und mehra san a bissel gescheiter.” When two or three hundred gather together in the autumn, they become most clever, they become real architects. Though we humans do not tend to be particularly sensitive to the special beauty of the constructions of beavers, this is due to our human taste, but the beaver lodge is really as trim as the beaver is clumsy.
Now, much research can be done on why the beavers are so clever when they congregate. An important indication lies in the fact that the beavers begin their activity in the fall; by day, however, one sees little of this activity. The construction of such a dam and beaver village — it is really an entire village that they lay out — takes place very quickly and is often finished in a matter of days. They are seen doing little during the day, extraordinarily little, but they work feverishly at night. Thus, the beaver's cleverness is brought about first by winter and second by night. Here lie the real clues for the study of this whole matter.
When people study, however, the first principle should be to avoid too much speculative thinking. This might sound strange, but you will understand what I mean. Man does not become especially intelligent through speculation. As a rule, if he ponders over something that he has observed, nothing particularly clever will result. If one wishes to understand the phenomena of the world, therefore, one should not rely too much on speculation; one's speculation is not at all the important thing. Should the facts call for it, one should think, but one's main attention should not be directed toward brooding over something one has observed as a means of figuring it out. Instead, other facts should be looked at, compared with the problem at hand, and a connection sought between them. The more one connects various facts, the more one learns to recognize in nature. People who have only brooded over nature have really not discovered anything more weighty than what they knew in the first place.
When a person becomes a materialist, he speaks materialistically about nature, because that is what he is to begin with. He does not discover anything new. When a man speaks idealistically about nature, he does so because he is an idealist to begin with. In almost all instances, it can be proven that through speculation people discover only what is made evident through what they had already become. Correct thinking only results when one simply allows the facts to guide one.
Now I will add another group of facts to those concerning the beaver, facts that will lead you to the correct clues, not through speculation but simply through a comparison of the facts. I have already referred to the wasps and told you of an observation about wasps made by Darwin. Today, I would like to point this out again.
The wasps make ingenious nests for themselves. Though faintly resembling beehives, the walls of these wasps' nests do not consist of wax but of actual paper. Secondly, the whole process differs from that of the bees. There are wasps' nests, for example, that are built first by digging up the ground; then something resembling a pouch is made. It is constructed somewhat like a beaver lodge, but it is put together with tiny twigs or whatever wood the wasps can find, which they work and shape in the right way so that they end up with a covering, a pouch-like covering that is somewhat thick. It is in this that they build their little nest. There they build their different floors. The cells are hexagonal, just like the bee's honeycomb, and are enveloped by a paper covering. They are like the floors in a building, and there are sometimes many of them, one above the other.
Everything inside the nest is fashioned of paper. The pouch-like outer covering, however, is not made of paper but of other materials, that is, of tiny twigs or bits of wood that are first split before being used. All this is woven into a network and then puttied up. That is what the outer covering consists of, and it is either built in a hole in the ground or fastened with putty to something up in the air. Within the pouch are the individual cells, into each of which an egg will be laid.
This is the story, then, with wasps. You can imagine that wasps are extraordinarily susceptible to the weather. Only some of one year's wasps survive until the following spring, but it doesn't matter if the others don't survive as long as one or two females from a nest remain. In winter they seek out a sheltered little nook where they as females can live scantily, and they hibernate there. In spring, these females emerge from their hiding places and are ready to lay their eggs. Interestingly enough, a special variety of wasps hatches from all these eggs in spring. These wasps that are hatched in spring, growing very quickly and not yet having cells, proceed immediately to construct such cells. Flying around in whole swarms, they look everywhere for materials with which to build a nest properly. This work continues all summer long. These wasps construct the cells there.
The wasps that hatch from eggs laid in spring have a specific characteristic; that is, they are all sterile and cannot reproduce. With these wasps there is no reproduction. Their reproductive organs are so stunted that reproduction is out of the question. So, the first thing the wasp does in spring is to produce an army of workers for itself that are sexless and terrible drudges; they toil throughout the summer.
I have known natural scientists who considered it a goal worth striving for to manipulate humans so as to produce sexless individuals. They would not have families and would only toil, leaving reproduction to a select few as with the wasps.
Well, the fact is that the sexless wasps toil away all summer. When summer is over, the female begins to lay eggs that produce males and females. As a rule, it is the same female that laid the sexless eggs earlier. Now she lays eggs from which, in autumn, males and females emerge.
The males develop into rather puny creatures. By comparison, the sexless wasps are quite robust workers. The males turn out to be stunted and cannot do much of anything. They have just enough time to feed for a while, mate, and then die. Truly, these male wasps play a rather sorry role. They are hastily hatched in fall, they must feed a little, and then they impregnate the females; after that, having accomplished their goal, they die. That is the last thing they do.
Among some types of wasps, the males are a bit hardier. Here things are really curious. Though it is only an exception, it resembles the behavior of certain spiders. With certain spiders, something remarkable is the case. You see, the female spiders consider the males good for nothing but fertilizing them. The males are permitted to approach the females only when they are ready for fertilization, never before. Before, the females generally don't permit the males to come near them; first they must be mature enough for the fertilization. Now, as I said, the following also occurs occasionally, as an exception, among wasps. Among spiders, which are, after all, lower creatures, when a female notices a greedy little male approaching, she places herself in a spot that is not easily accessible to him and even more difficult for him to leave. There the female waits for him, lets fertilization occur, and then lets him try to leave. When he comes up against an obstacle, the female quickly pursues him and bites him until he's dead. Here, the female spider herself sees to it that the male dies. Such is the case with some spiders. Just imagine, when the male has carried out his function, he must be killed, because he no longer serves a purpose.
Among wasps, however, the males die as a rule by themselves, because they have expended so much energy during their mating activity that they have no strength left and so perish. The sexless wasps die at the same time. After toiling all summer, they all die in the fall. The sexless and the male wasps die, and only the females remain. Of these, many also succumb to the cold of winter. Only those few survive that have found a secure shelter. They make it through to spring, lay eggs, and the whole cycle starts anew. So, in spring and summer only sexless wasps are born. Not until late fall, approaching winter, can the sexually active wasps be born.
These are the facts, you see, that must be observed. It is very important to connect these with other facts, since this shows us how much the sex life of animals is connected with the seasons of the year. The sex life of animals is very strongly connected with the course of the year.
Let us assume that it is summer. The earth is extraordinarily exposed to the sun's effects. The sun sends down light and warmth to the earth. Direct exposure to sunlight causes one to sweat; one notices the sun's effects by one's own condition. Neither the beaver nor the female wasp expose themselves directly to sunlight; they are always in some cave-like dwelling. In their holes they benefit from the sun's light and heat only indirectly through the earth. Thereby, as winter approaches they receive quite definite qualities. Just think, toward winter the wasps receive a quality that makes them capable of producing sexually active offspring.
What does this signify? The female wasp is exposed throughout the summer to the sun's heat and light and produces sexless wasps. You can therefore say that the effects of the sun are such that they actually destroy the sexuality of the wasps. It is quite obvious from this fact that the sun with its light and heat, which are reflected by the earth, has the effect of destroying the reproductive tendencies. This is why, when spring comes and warmth and sunlight prevail, the wasps produce sexless offspring. Only when winter approaches, when therefore the sun's heat and light no longer have the same intensity, do the wasps gain the strength to produce offspring with reproductive organs. This clearly demonstrates that the seasons of the year have a definite influence.
Now, if we turn from the wasps to the beavers, we must say to ourselves, the beaver is an extremely stupid, phlegmatic animal! It is stupid and phlegmatic to the highest degree. Wonderful. But where does it spend the summer? It stays in the ground in its solitary burrow, allowing heat and light that comes into the burrow to penetrate its body, so that it actually absorbs all the summer sunlight and warmth. When this absorption is completed in the fall, the beaver begins to look for other beavers, and together they become clever. It employs a cleverness that it does not possess as a single animal. Now, suddenly, as they gather together, the beavers become clever. Naturally, as single animals they could never construct all those beaver villages. The first step of choosing a suitable site is already clever.
This clearly illustrates what I pointed out last time: the cleverness that is in a creature must first be gathered, just as water is collected in pitchers. What does the beaver do while as a single animal it lives like a hermit in its summer house? The beaver gathers sunlight and the sun's warmth for itself — or so we say, because all we can perceive is the sun's light and warmth. In truth, the beaver gathers its intelligence. Along with sunlight and warmth, intelligence streams from the cosmos down upon the earth, and the beaver gathers it for itself; now the beaver has it, and it builds. With the beaver you can see in reality what I recently presented to you as a picture.
Something else now becomes comprehensible: the beaver's tail. Compare it with what I said about the dog's tail, the dog's tail being its organ of pleasure and therefore the soul organ of the dog. The dog wags its tail when it is happy. In the beaver's case it is so that within its tail, which the animal does not use as a tool but which is formed most ingeniously, the beaver has its accumulated intelligence. With it the animal directs itself. This means that the beaver is really directed by the sun's warmth and light. They are contained in the tail and have become intelligence. This is really the communal brain of this beaver colony.
These tails are the means by which the sunlight and warmth produce cleverness. The beaver does not employ its tail as a physical instrument; it uses its front paws and teeth as physical instruments. The tail, however, is something that has an effect; it has an effect just as when a group is being driven forward by somebody from behind. In that case, it is somebody driving them. Here it is the sun, which, through the beavers' tails, still has an aftereffect in winter and constructs the beaver village. It is the intelligence that comes down from the sun to the earth with light and warmth that does the building.
Naturally, what descends here as soul and spirit from the universe affects all the other creatures, including the wasps. How does it affect the wasps? When the female is exposed to the sun — meaning the sun's earthly effect, which it enjoys in its earthen hole — the force in the wasp's offspring that can bring forth more offspring is destroyed. The wasp can produce only sexless insects under the sun's influence. Only when the wasp is not so strongly exposed to the sun's heat, in autumn, and is still full of vitality — not subdued as in winter — does the force develop in it to bring forth sexually active wasps. This once again demonstrates plainly that what comes from the earth produces the sexual forces, whereas that which comes from the universe produces intelligence and kills the sexual forces. In this way a balance is brought about. When the wasp is more exposed to the earth, it develops sexual forces; when the wasp is exposed more to heaven — if I may use this word here — it does not develop sexual forces but produces sexless wasps instead. These sexless insects have in themselves the cleverness to construct a whole wasps' nest. Who, in fact, builds this nest? The sun builds it through the sexless wasps!
This is a most important point, gentlemen. In truth, the wasps' nests, as well as all the beavers' construction, are built by the cleverness that flows to earth from the sun. This is plain to see when all the facts are brought together. That is why I said to you that all speculation indulged in after something has been observed doesn't do a bit of good. Only when facts are compared and related to each other is a sound opinion gained.
People simply look at the isolated facts; this is why there is so much that is not to the point. They think to themselves, “Now, when one observes beavers, one observes beavers, and afterward one speculates about beavers. When one observes beavers, what does one care about wasps?” But one discovers nothing if one fails to observe something that is seemingly so far removed from the beaver as the wasp. If one were to look at the wasp, one would see that wasps' nests are also constructed through the cleverness that comes to us from the sun.
The sun's effects can still be observed in a tame beaver in a cage, although the animal need not be tame, because it is so phlegmatic, but needs only to be in captivity. When the sun's effects cease to be so strong and instead the earth influences it, even the caged beaver begins its winter activities. It tries to bite through the wires of its cage. This is said to be the beaver's instinct. Anybody can say “instinct”; that is just a word. Such words are like empty containers into which everything is poured that one knows nothing about. If one wishes to explain something like instinct, however, one reaches the point where one must say: it is indeed the sun! Gentlemen, it really is so. In this manner, through the pure facts, one comes to recognize how the cosmic surroundings of the earth affect living beings.
Now it is no longer so surprising that some American comes to say that those humans born in the months from December to March most readily acquire intelligence. In the case of human beings, matters have become quite complicated. Everything in man tends toward his becoming independent from all that animals are still dependent upon. You must therefore consider the following. Persons born between December and March were conceived between March and May. Their births date back to conceptions that took place in the spring nine months earlier, between March and May, and hence to a time approaching summer. According to everything I have explained today, the sun's effects are always stronger then. So, what does the sun do? It subdues human sexual forces just a little — not completely, because man is more independent than the animals — and these subdued sexual forces become forces of intelligence. That is why such a person has an easier time of it, while those born in summer must work somewhat more at acquiring their cleverness. That can happen, but it is true that humans have different predispositions. Those conceived in spring and born the following winter tend to acquire forces of intelligence more easily than those born at other times.
All this must be known so that these differences can be compensated for through education. In man, this can be done. Wasps, however, cannot be educated to produce sexless offspring that build nests in winter, nor can beavers be educated to overcome nature, as we say, to a certain degree. You can see from this that to overcome something is different for man from what it is for animals. In the animals, the soul-spiritual element depends completely on cosmic development. It simply depends on the sun for wasps' nests and beaver lodges to be built.
Something else can be seen in the beaver. In fall, these beaver hermits that have spent the entire summer in seclusion come together in groups of two and three hundred, and only then, as groups, can they employ the intelligence bestowed by the sun. They can use it as groups, not individuals. Individually, they could never accomplish this; it must be the work of the group.
With human beings much can be accomplished by the individual that animals can only accomplish in groups. This is why in anthroposophy we say that with animals the soul life exists only in groups — hence, group souls. Man, however, has his individual soul.
Now, this is most interesting. I once told you what the human thigh bone looks like, for example. In the beaver, it really is not the same, but a human thigh bone looks like an extraordinarily delicate, beautiful work of art. In it there are beams, quite ingeniously constructed. A human being is actually built up in such a way that, when observing him correctly, one can say: he builds everything in himself that the beaver builds outwardly. By nature, he builds everything in himself that the beaver builds outwardly. The question then arises: where does all that is so wisely and ingeniously constructed within a human being originate? If the beaver construction originates from the sun and its surroundings, the human organization also originates from the sun. We are, indeed, not earthly beings but sun beings and have only been placed on the earth. What for? You can see when you consider this matter.
From the earth the wasps have the power to produce sexual offspring. Man must be on the earth in order to have his reproductive force. By comparison, he has another force that is more rational, which he gets from the cosmic surroundings. We can see quite clearly that man gets his intelligence from the cosmic surroundings, and the reproductive force he gets from the earth. One could go further and show how the moon is related to the earth, but there is no more time today. We can go into that another time. You can see, however, that if facts are viewed correctly they lead you to realize that the world is really a unity and that we are dependent also upon the earth's surroundings, which consist not merely of a shining, warming sun but also of a clever sun, an intelligent sun. This is extremely important, because the individual questions that you pose can be answered better in this way. You see that the reproductive force, which I described to you last time, is related to drinking. Why are they related in such a way that a little drinking does not make such a difference but heavy drinking does? You can figure this out from the following.
What is alcohol? Wine demonstrates what alcohol actually is, because wine, which only wealthy people can afford to drink, has the most harmful effect. Beer is less harmful for the reproductive organs than wine. Beer affects other organs more — the heart, kidneys, and so forth — but the alcohol in wine and, of course, especially the alcohol in hard liquor, affects the reproductive organs.
Where does the substance contained in wine and hard liquor originate? It originates through the influence of the sun's forces! This substance needs the whole summer to mature. Now you can see why it becomes harmful to the reproductive organs. When one drinks, the reproductive organs are subjected to what has been absorbed inwardly in the way food is, to what should be absorbed solely by way of the sun itself, the sun's shining. This takes its toll. Man drinks something that the sun produces outside of him. It becomes a poison through this. When the warmth of the sun is taken into the system in the right way, however, the organism itself produces the small quantity of alcohol it. needs, as I have explained. In drinking alcohol, man really admits an enemy into his system, because what is introduced in the right way from outside turns into a poison when it is consumed inwardly, and vice versa. I have demonstrated this to you in the case of phosphorus. So, what works in alcohol is what the sun has produced in it, because the sun has matured it. When the sun shines on us, it is the other way around; then we must absorb warmth and light from outside. When we consume alcohol, however, we warm ourselves inwardly. The same force that is our friend when we make use of it outwardly becomes our enemy when we use it internally.
The same is also true in nature. There are forces in nature that work beneficially from one direction, but when they work from the opposite direction they work as poisons. We can gain comprehension only when we examine this in the right way.
I wanted to add this so that you could understand better everything that relates to Mr. E's question. Now think all this over. Should you wish to ask further questions, I hope to be here next Saturday.