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No. 3397 August 14, 1909.
1. Charles Darwin.
By August Weismann CONTEMPORARY REVIEW 387
British Art at Venice. By Marcus B. Huish
The Humpback. By J. J. Bell. (To be concluded.).
England Through American Eyes.
From Anti-Arctic Regions.
CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL 427
The Setting Down of Birds' Songs.
The Reforms. By Mr. S. H. Swinny, M. A., Editor of the Positivist
HINDUSTAN REVIEW 443 445
A PAGE OF VERSE
The Hulk in the Estuary. By W. G. Hole
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THE HULK IN THE ESTUARY. For then, when secretly, with stifled
sighs, He sprawls, a stranded hulk, along the
And eager speech suppressed as though mud,
for shame, Undecked, with gaping sides and
The waters in the dreary channels rise broken back, Half-way between the reach of highest Through his poor broken frame,
And pitifully steal flood
And bathe each gaping wound, each Which far on either hand
rueful scar, Makes headway up the slack
In dream he feels the waves beneath Of slimy channels when the full moou
his keel, calls
And once again puts out across the bar. And that soiled limbo, neither sea nor
land, Whereto the last reluctant ebb-wave Erelong from off the moon the black crawls.
And lo! a vast sky-bounded ocean All day above the dismal flats the gulls
space, Hover and sweep with glint of snowy
O'er which with smothered bows and wings;
high uplift Or crowd with raucous laughter round
Of canvas silvery white the pools
He speeds before the race Where, drifted by the tide,
Of constant trade winds down the Lie stranded obscene things,
world's convex Cast forth in darkness from the up
Of purple seas, wbile in the sudden stream town,
light, From which the lustral water turns
With shadows dappled, gleam his spotaside
less decks. Till storm shall give it strength to wash them down.
Ah, happy he, assured upon his quest He sees upon the ebb, with waftage That somewhere, washed by that unslow,
charted flood, The outbound ships-a younger, might- Lie blissful realms of time still unposier brood
sessed! Down to their business on the great What though he claims our tears, deep go,
Unmasted on the mud And watches the return,
By daylight, if, with spread of shadowy Upon the evening flood,
sail, Of vessels, gliding laden to the quays. Adventurously bound all night he steers Remotely touched by disregard and Through magic seas beyond all mortal stern
hail! With the high sternness of the outer seas.
And empty though he lies-empty no Yet, stranded on the mud-a sorry shape
less Stained red by rust, blackened When up the channels thrust the mornthough by flame
ing tides He still, day gone, has power to make And deepen round him till at last they escape
press From that which in the light
With muffled shocks and jars Establishes his shame,
Through his decrepit sidesAnd with immitigable spirit bears The midnight wave that floods his un. The scorn of all things living, since at
decked hold, night
Gathering the largess of the quiet stars, His commerce is with life surpassing
Freights him with rare imponderable theirs.
gold. The Spectator.
W. G. Hole.
CHARLES DARWIN. *
Forty-one years ago, when I deliv- Nevertheless, a reflection of the disered my inaugural address as a profes- coverer's glory falls upon those who, sor of this University, I took as my about the end of the eighteenth and subject “The Justification of the Dar- the beginning of the nineteenth cenwinian Theory.” It is a great pleasure tury, were able to attain to the conto me to be able to lecture again on ception of evolution, notwithstanding the same subject on the hundredth an- the incomparably smaller number of niversary of the birth of Darwin. facts known to them. As one of these
This time, however, I need not speak pioneers we must not omit to mention of justifying the theory, for in the in- our own poet Goethe, though he rather terval it has conquered the whole threw out premonitory hints of a the. world. Yet there remains much that ory of evolution than actually taught may be said-much, indeed, that ought it. “Alle Gestalten sind ähnlich, doch to be said at the present time. In my keine gleichet der andere, und former lecture I compared the theory deutet der Chor auf ein geheimes of descent or evolution to the Coper- Gesetz.” nican Cosmogony in its importance for The "secret law" was the law of the progress of human knowledge, and descent, and the first to define this idea there were many who thought the com- and to formulate it clearly as a theory parison extravagant. But it needs no was, as is well known, also a Darwin, apology now that the idea of evolution Charles Darwin's grandfather Erashas been thoroughly elaborated, and has
mus, who set it forth in his book, become the basis of the science of life. “Zoonomia," in 1796.
A few years You know that Darwin was not the later Treviranus, a botanist of Bremen, only one, and was not even the first to published a book of similar purport, whom the idea of evolution occurred; and he was followed in 1809 by the it had arisen in several great minds
Frenchman Lamarck and the German half a century earlier, and it may
Lorenz Oken. therefore be thought an injustice to
All these disputed the venerable Mo. give, as we now do, almost all the saic mythos of creation, which had till credit of this fruitful discovery to Dar- then been accepted as a scientific docuwin alone.
ment, and all of them sought to show But history is a severe and inex- that the constancy of species throughorable judge. She awards the palm
out the ages was only an appearance not to him in whose mind an idea first due, as Lamarck in particular pointed arises, but to him who so establishes out, to the shortness of human life. it that it takes a permanent place in
But Cuvier, the greatest zoologist of scientific thought, for it is only then
that time, a pupil of the Stuttgart that it becomes fruitful of, and an in
Karlsschule, would have none of this strument for, human progress.
The idea, and held fast to the conception credit for thus establishing the theory
of species created once for all, seeing of evolution is shared with Charles
in it the only possible explanation of Darwin only by his contemporary, Al- the enormous diversity of animal and fred Russel Wallace, of whom we shall plant forms. have to speak later.
And there was much to be said for * An address delivered at the University of
this attitude at that time, when the Freiburg on the occasion of the Centenary of Darwin.
knowledge of facts was not nearly
comprehensive enough to afford a se- eagerness towards special problems in cure and scientific basis for the theory all the domains of life, and the followof descent. Lamarck alone had at- ing period may well be characterized tempted .to indicate the forces from as that of purely detailed investigawhich, in his opinion, the transmuta- tion. tion of species could have resulted. Great progress was made during this It was not, however,
because period; entirely new branches of scithe basis of fact was insufficient that ence were founded, and a wealth of the theory of the evolution of organic unexpected facts was discovered. The nature did not gain ground at that development of individual organisms, time; it was even more because such of which little had previously been foundation as there was for it was not known, began to be revealed in all its adhered to. All sorts of vague specu- marvellous diversity: first, the developlations were indulged in, and these con- ment of the chick in the egg; then of tributed less and less to the support of the frog; then of insects and worms; the theory the more far-reaching they then of spiders, crustaceans, starfishes, became. Many champions of the “Na- and all the classes and orders of molturphilosophie” of the time, especially luscs, as well as of backboned animals Oken and Schelling, promulgated mere from the lowest fish up to man himself. hypotheses as truths; forsaking the Within this period of purely detailed realm of fact almost entirely, they at investigation there falls also the distempted to construct the whole world covery, in animals and plants, of that with a free hand, so to speak, and lost smallest microscopically visible buildthemselves more and more in worthless ing-stone of the living body, the cell, phantasy.
and this discovery paved the way for This naturally brought the theory of the full development of the newlyevolution, and with it “Naturphiloso- found science of tissues, histology. phie,” into disrepute, especially with In botany the chief progress in this the true naturalists, those who pa- period was in regard to the reproductiently observe and collect new facts. tion and development of the lower The theory lost all credence, and sank plants, or cryptogams, and the discovso low in the general estimation that ery of alternation of generations, a it came to be regarded as hardly fit- mode of reproduction that had previting for a naturalist to occupy himself ously been known in several groups of with philosophical conceptions.
the animal kingdom, in polyps and This was the state of matters on- medusæ, in various worms, and later wards from 1830, the year in which the in insects and crustaceans. final battle between the theory of evo- At the same time it was found that lution and the old theory of creation the proposition, which had hitherto was fought out by Geoffroy St. Hic been accepted as a matter of course, laire and Cuvier in the Paris Academy. that an egg can only develop after it Cuvier triumphed, and thus it came has been fertilized, is not universally about that an idea so important as valid, for there is a development withthat of evolution sank into oblivion out previous fertilization-parthenoagain after its emergence, and was ex- genesis, or virgin birth. punged from the pages of science so Thus, in the period between the completely that it seemed as if it were Napoleonic wars and 1859, an ever-infor ever buried beyond hope of resur- creasing mass of new facts was acrection.
cumulated, and among these there Scientific
turned with were so many of an unexpected nature
that further effort was constantly be- Let us now consider the development ing put forth to elucidate detailed of this remarkable man, and note the processes in every domain. This was steps by which he attained to his life. desirable and important, was, indeed, work. Charles Darwin was born on indispensable to a deeper knowledge of the 12th of February, 1809, the same organic nature. But, in the endeavor year in which Lamarck published his to investigate details, naturalists for “Philosophie Zoologique.” But he had got to inquire into the deeper causes not sucked in the doctrines of that and correlations, which might have en- evolutionist, or of his own grandfaabled them to build up out of the ther, Erasmus Darwin,
with his wealth of details a more general con- mother's milk. His youth fell within ception of life. So great was the re- the period of the reaction from philoaction from the unfortunate specula- sophical speculation, and he grew up tions of the so-called "Naturphilos- wholly in the old ideas of the creation ophie," that there was a tendency to of species and their immutability. His shrink even from taking a comprehen- birthplace was the little town of sive survey of isolated facts, which Shrewsbury, near the borders of might lead to the induction of general Wales, where his father was a highly principles.
respected physician, well-to-do even acHow deep was the oblivion into cording to English standards. which the philosophical conceptions of If
think of Darwin's later the beginning of the century had sunk
achievements we are apt to suppose by the middle of it may be gathered that the bent towards natural science from the fact that, in my own student must have been apparent in him at a days in the fifties I never heard a the- very early age, but this was not the ory of descent referred to, and I found case, at least not to a degree sufficient no mention of it in any book to which to attract the attention of those about I had access. One of the most famous him. It is easy now, of course, to say of my teachers, the gifted anatomist, J. that the pronounced liking for ranging Henle, had written as a motto under his about wood and field, and collecting, picture, “There is a virtue of renuncia- quite unscientifically, plants, beetles tion, not in the domain of morality and minerals, foreshadowed the future alone, but in that of intellect as well." naturalist. Even as a boy Darwin was This sentence was entirely obscure to an enthusiastic sportsman and an exme as a student, because I knew noth- cellent shot, and the first snipe he ing of the intellectual excesses of the brought down excited him so much “Naturphilosophie,” and I only under- that he was hardly able to reload.' stood later, after the revival of interest But he must have been not merely a in general problems, that this insistence sportsman but an eager observer, esupon the virtue of intellectual renun- pecially of birds, for at that time he ciation was intended as a counteractive wondered “in his simplicity" that every to the over-speculations of that period. gentleman was not an ornithologist, so This was one-sided, but it was a nec- much
he attracted by what essary reaction from the one-sidedness
"I can say the same of myself, for although in the opposite direction which had in my boybood I did not shoot birds, I had a
passion for butterfly-hunting. When I saw preceded it.
the rare Amenitis populi resting on the ground The next swing of the pendulum was
in front of me for the first time, I became so
excited that I could not at first throw my net, brought about by Charles Darwin in and when I did throw it, though my arm was
usually very accurate, I struck the butterfly 1859 with his book on "The Origin of obliquely over the wing with the iron ring of
the net. The traces of this awkward aim are Species."
visible on the wing to this day.