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The important chapter which closes this work was 
included in a public lecture which I delivered at the 
meeting of Naturalists and Physicians held this year at 
Wiesbaden ; my purpose being, as I am willing to con- 
fess, to ascertain, by experience, whether on this signifi- 
cant subject I had struck the right note to suit a circle 
of hearers and readers not hampered by prejudice. 

After the reception given to this fragment, which I 
also issued in a separate pamphlet, under the title of 
" The Doctrine of Descent, in its application to Man " 
(Die Anwendung der Descendenzlehre auf den Mens- 
chen), I venture to hope that the whole may find a 

With the exception of the Ecclesiastico-political 
question, no sphere of thought agitates the educated 
classes of our day so profoundly as the doctrine of de- 
scent. On both subjects the cry is, "Avow your colours!" 


We have, therefore, endeavoured to define our standpoint 
sharply in the introduction, and to preserve it rigidly 
throughout the work. This is, indeed, a case in which, 
as Theodor Fechner has recently said, a definite deci- 
sion has to be made between two fundamental alter- 
natives. May our exposition afford a lucid testimony 
to this dictum of one of the patriarchs of the philo- 
sophical view of nature. 

Strasburg, October iWi, 1873. 

Oscar Schmidt. 



INTRODUCTION— Summary of the Results of Linguistic Inquiry 
— Positive Knowledge preliminary to the Doctrine of 
Descent — Belief in Miracle— The Limits of the Investi- 
gation of Nature i 


The Animal World in its Present State 24 

The Phenomena of Reproduction in the Animal World. . 39 

The Animal World in its Historical and Pal.eontological 

Development 60 


The Standpoint of the Miraculous, and the Investigation 
OF Nature— Creation or Natural Development— Linn.cus 
— Cuvier—Agassiz— Examination of the Idea of Species . 82 


Natural Philosophy— Goethe- Predestined Transformation 

according to Richard Owen — Lamarck 104 




Lyell and Modern Geology— Darwin 's Theory of Selection 
—Beginning of Life 127 


Heredity— Reversion— Variability— Adaptation— Results of 
Use and Disuse of Organs— Differentiation leading to 
Perfection 165 


The Development of the Individual (Ontogenesis) is a Re- 
petition OF THE Historical Development of the Family 
(Phylogenesis) 195 


The Geographical Distribution of Animals in the light of 

THE Doctrine of Derivation 222 

The Pedigree of Vertebrate Animals 248 

Man 283 





1. Legs of Bird and Chick 9 

2. Medusa, Tiaropsis Diadema 31 

3. Stauridium. Medusa, Cladonema Radiatum . . -43 

4. Spermatozoa 45 

5. Section of Larva of Calcareous Sponge . . . -Si 

6. Embryo of Hydrophilus Piceus 53 

7. Sessile Stage of Crinoid 56 

8. Larva of Crayfish 56 

9. Graptolites 69 

10. Trilobites remipes 70 

11. Pal/EONiscus . 72 

12. Larva of Echinoderm 197 

13. Larva of Sea-Snail 200 

14. Stauridium. Cladonema 203 

15. Hydractinea carnea 204 

16. Larva of Parasitic Crustacea 207 

17. axolotl 2c8 

18. Amblystoma 209 

19. Ammonites Humphresiakus 214 

20. Ancyloceras 216 

21. Section of Larva of Calcareous Sponge . . . .217 

22. Larva of Lancelet 251 

23. Larva of Ascidian 253 

24. Full-grown Ascidian 255 

25. Impression of Tail of Arch^opteryx 266 

26. Skeletons of Feet : Anchitherium, Hipparion, Horse . 274 


Introduction— Summary of the Results of Linguistic Inquiry — Positive Know- 
ledge preliminary to the Doctrine of Descent— Belief in Miracle— The 
Limits of the Investigation of Nature. 

A CRAVING to understand existence pervades mankind, 
and the life of every self-conscious individual. Every 
system of philosophy has endeavoured to penetrate into 
the nature of things, and has originated in the attempt 
to apprehend the coherency of those great series of 
material and spiritual phenomena, of which man flat- 
ters himself that he is the centre or the end. 

Some quiet themselves by emphasizing the contrast 
between mind and body, idea and phenomenon ; others, 
by the catchword of identity ; some have deemed them- 
selves and the world in the most beautiful harmony ; 
others, from the times of the Buddhists, in the 6th cen- 
tury B.C., to the eccentric saints of the present day, the 
followers and reformers of Schopenhauer's system, re- 
gard the world as a mere accumulation of discomfort 
and conflict, from which the sage may escape by a 



complete withdrawal into himself, and a return, by the 
force of an iron will, to an absence of needs and to 

In all these endeavours to be reconciled and contented 
with the world, the consciousness of man has made no 
very important progress. Marvellous as are the attain- 
ments of our generation, whether in the domain of 
individual sciences, or in the sphere of commerce and 
industry, it is scarcely less wonderful how little certain 
oi advanced is the opinion of the multitude on general 
questions. Even now, as much as in the days of 
Aristophanes, the multitude, and likewise many men 
of "culture," allow themselves to be imposed upon 
by empty jargon. We no longer burn witches, but 
verdicts of heresy still abound. As the basis of sci- 
entific medicine, our experimental physiology enjoys 
unexampled encouragement, and a general instinctive 
recognition unparalleled in former times ; but these 
do not prevent the door from remaining open, in all 
classes of society, to the most audacious quackery. 

We have only to look round at the spiritualists and 
summoners of souls, who now form special sects and 
societies ; at the advocates of cures by sympathy and 
incantation, and we can but marvel at the extensive 
sway of a superstition hardly superior to the Fetichism 
of a race so alien to ourselves as are the negroes. 
These are only individual cases of the very widespread 
lack of judgment, which prevails wherever the supposed 
enigma of human existence is concerned. Millions and 
millions who would turn away indignantly if required to 
believe that anything not entirely natural occurred in the 
most complicated machine, in the most elaborate product 


of the chemical retort, or in the strangest results of phy- 
sical experiment, are yet disposed to seek a dualism 
behind the processes of life. Wherever, also, the ex- 
planation of life, and the reduction of vital phenomena 
to their true natural causes is concerned, they would 
wish to deny point-blank the possibility of such ex- 
planation or such knowledge, and to refer life to an 
unapproachable and mystic domain. Or, if the solu- 
tion of the problem of life be admitted in the abstract, 
at least something peculiar, and a different standard from 
that by which other living beings may be measured, is 
required for the beloved Self. 

If we thus see, on the one side, a great portion of our 
contemporaries either standing before the most impor- 
tant of all problems in utter perplexity and helpless- 
ness, or solving it by the theology of revelation, we 
may, fortunately, point, on the other side, to the goodly 
host of those who, since the development of science 
has admitted of it, have encountered the investigation 
of man's place in nature with sincere interest, and have 
weighed the problem with intelligence. 

This craving for a knowledge based on philosophical 
and natural science, became apparent about a century 
ago, and coincided with the first beginnings of linguistic 
science. It is the more appropriate to allude here to 
this, as the theories of the origin of language are 
profoundly affected and influenced by opinions as to 
the origin of Man, and vice versa. 

The result of an inquiry, made in 1580, as to the lan- 
guage of Paradise, having been that God spoke Danish, 
Adam Swedish, and the serpent French, Leibnitz, 
in his letters to Newton, first attempted to regulate the 

B 2 


method of linguistic research by recommending as its 
basis the study of the more recent and known lan- 
guages. And when, in the middle of last century, the 
two opinions, that language was invented or revealed, 
were sharply opposed to each other, and when Siissmilch 
(1764), in contradiction to Maupertuis and Jean J. 
Rousseau, had established that invention was not possi- 
ble without thought, nor thought without language, and, 
therefore, that the invention of language was a self-con- 
tradiction, Herder opportunely entered the lists with 
his work on language (1770), which formed an epoch in 
the science. 

According to him, language begins with imitations 
of sounds, at first almost unconscious; the tokens, 
as he expresses it, by which the soul distinctly recalls 
an idea. He makes language develop itself from the 
crudest beginnings, by the increasing need of such 
verbal tokens ; and shows that with the development 
of mankind, the store of words must also have uncon- 
sciously and instinctively increased. The multiplicity 
of languages is due to the dispersion of nations, whose 
idiosyncrasies are reflected in the various languages. 
Thus Herder long ago pointed out the importance of 
a psychology of nations. He was joined by Wilhelm 
von Humboldt, whose opinions form the basis of the 
present science of language, and who held that the imi- 
tations of sounds are instinctively crystallized into words, 
and that with this formation of words and language 
thought commences. It follows from the nature of these 
beginnings, that language is the natural expression of 
the spirit of a people ; that it docs not stand still, but 
is for ever in process of transformation. 


The science of language, with its great results, dis- 
plays the most important side of human nature — man 
in the elevation which he has gradually acquired above 
the rest of the living world^but it displays this side 
alone. Although the founders of linguistic inqi.iry, of 
whom we have already spoken, had already represented 
man as first acquiring reason and becoming man, by 
means of language proceeding from primitive rudi- 
ments, they were, nevertheless, satisfied to assume the 
privileged position of man as an absolute endowment, 
or a self-evident axiom. This continued as long as 
natural science was limited to a merely superficial clas- 
sification of organisms, 

Man, as consisting of flesh and blood, seemed, indeed, 
akin to the higher animals ; but so long as their descent, 
their actual consanguinity was not discussed, so long as 
nothing was demanded beyond their juxtaposition, ac- 
cording to the analogy of their characteristics, without 
any scrutiny of the deeper causes of their divergence 
or similarity, man indisputably occupied the highest 
grade in the system of living beings. Linnaeus places 
man in the order of Primates, together with bats, le- 
murs, and apes, without, on that account, being accused 
from pulpit and from chair of an assault on the dignity 
of mankind. Bufi"on, likewise, was able, unrebuked, to 
indulge his whim, by specially discussing our race in 
his description of the ass. 

Only when, quite recently, the world became aware 
that the word " afiinity," hitherto uttered with supreme 
indifference, was henceforth to be taken seriously and 
literally, since that which is akin is also the fruit of one 
and the same tree, a beam of joyful recognition thrilled 


through those to whom man appeared a being com- 
pletely within the bounds of nature. But others, who 
can think of man only as a being absolutely endowed 
above his natural surroundings, could not fail to regard 
as a sort of crime the deduction which an all-embrac- 
ing theory applied with relentless logic to man. 

The interest with which the modern theory of kindred 
and descent has been received does not, therefore, 
proceed from friends alone, but quite as much from 
antagonists, who perceive, more or less distinctly, the 
danger with which the new doctrine threatens their 
standpoint of miracle. 

Even in England the opposition to the great Eng- 
lishman, with whose name the revolution is connected, 
has been very considerable, especially since it became 
evident that, true to himself, he includes man also 
within the range of his researches, and purposes to 
apply to him all the consequences of his doctrine. But 
it appears to me that the dispute and the agitation are 
still keener on this side of the channel, where Darwin- 
ism is meat and drink to the daily papers, and to the 
philosophical and theological periodicals. 

This phenomenon is obvious to all eyes, and we 
are convinced of the deep importance of the subject 
which, whether we take part for, or against it, must 
influence our whole theory of life. Here too that has 
happened to many, which so often happens in ques- 
tions the difficulties of which are veiled by an apparent 
general familiarity. Every one thinks himself capable 
of deciding about life, and, since to non-scientific per- 
sons the notorious relationship with apes is the alpha 
and omega of the doctrine of Descent — since the most 


confused heads are often most thoroughly convinced of 
their own pre-eminence — on no subject do we so fre- 
quently hear superficial opinions, mostly condemnatory, 
and all evincing the grossest ignorance. 

I wish then to render the reader able to survey 
the whole ramified and complicated problem of the 
doctrine of Descent, and its foundation by Darwin, and 
to enable him to understand its cardinal points. But 
we must first dispose of a preliminary question of uni- 
versal importance and special significance, which is 
frequently ignored by philosophical and theological 
opponents, that is, the question of the limits of the in- 
vestigation of nature. For if it were an established prin- 
ciple that the mystery of the living is different from 
that of the non-living, that the former might be disclosed, 
but that the latter is shrouded in a veil which never can 
be raised, as is even now so frequently asserted, then, 
indeed, all research directed towards the comprehension 
of life would be utterly vain and hopeless. 

But if the possibility of investigating life and its origin 
be not opposed by any d prioj'i scruples, still more, if 
the limits of investigation and knowledge, which un- 
doubtedly exist, are no other for animate nature than 
for the inanimate world of matter, we may venture to 
approach our task. This will be most adequately effected 
by making ourselves somewhat familiar with the object 
of the doctrine of Descent, restricting ourselves, however, 
to the animal world. If I say then that we must obtain a 
foundation for the theory of derivation or descent, for the 
doctrine of the gradual and direct development of the 
higher and now-existing organisms from lower ancestral 
forms — in short, for the doctrine of the continuity of 


life, we must begin with a survey of the animal forms 
now spread over the earth. As astronomy begins with 
the mere classification of the stars and constellations, 
and the knowledge of their apparent motions, so do 
we also range our material in large groups, and this 
in the manner offered by the historical development of 

What first strikes the observer of the animal world 
is, that it consists of apparently innumerable forms. 
The primary requirement is discrimination and arrange- 
ment. In the first stages of their development, zoology, 
as well as botany and mineralogy, necessarily consisted 
of mere descriptions, of a knowledge of objects in a 
state of completeness. Physics and chemistry, on the 
other hand, deal with the investigation of phenomena 
directly referring to their origin, that is to say, with series 
of phenomena mutually connected as causes and effects, 
the knowledge, of which, therefore, leads at once to 
results satisfactory and tranquillizing to the mind. This 
description, at first limited to the exterior, was gradually 
extended to the interior, because zootomy and com- 
parative anatomy, even more than fifty years ago, had 
advanced so far in the accumulation of endless details 
that Cuvicr then ventured to found the Natural System. 

But this delineation of the animal world required 
completion on two sides, and, as the science proceeded 
towards perfection, it received it almost simultaneously 
on both. To the knowledge of the existence of an 
animal belongs also the description of its origin. I 
say emphatically, " the description," for the history of 
animal development is not as yet in itself a natural 
science in the same sense as the mathematico-physical 


sciences ; it is a mere description of nature. But it 
yields a far more accurate knowledge. In many cases 
it discloses, for the first time, the significance of organs, 
and gives to comparative anatomy the confirmation, 
and frequently the possibility of interpretation. The 
wing of a bird, in its individual parts, may be traced 
back without difficulty to 
the anterior extremities of a 
reptile or a mammal. But 
the leg of a bird, as a com- 
plete organ does not har- 
monize with the leg of other 
vertebrata until the develop- 
ment of the bird in the egg 
reveals that the disposition 
of the segments and of the 
articulations is precisely the 
same in both cases, and that 
the apparent anomaly is 
produced merely by the 
subsequent anchylosis of 
bones, which generally re- 
main separate. 

The complete leg of the 
bird (A) shows us at a, the 
femur, or thigh bone, and 
at d, the tibia, or lower leg 
bone ; but instead of the 
bones of the tarsus and me- 
tatarsus, the latter of which 
afi"ords attachment to the fig. i. 

toes, we find only the long bone c, and at its lower 


extremity a small bone supporting the four toes. Earlier 
writers were content to say that the astragalus (c) re- 
places the tarsus and metatarsus. But this is not the 
case ; for the chick in the egg (B) shows that the bird's 
leg consists of the thigh, or femur (a), and the shank or 
tibia (d), two tarsal (m ;/), and three or four metatarsal 
bones (c), and the toes, or phalanges ; that the upper 
tarsal bone is anchylosed with the tibia, and the lower 
one with the consolidated metatarsus. Only thus do 
we obtain a true perception of the fact manifested in 
A, although the cause of the fact does not as yet 

The next example is rather more difficult. With- 
out the history of development, comparative anatomy 
is incapable of explaining why man possesses three 
little bones in the auditory apparatus, the bird only one. 
The history of development shows that out of the ma- 
terial which in man is applied to the formation of the 
malleus and incus, two other portions of the skull are 
evolved in the bird, having little or nothing to do with 
the auditory mechanism. In short, the history of deve- 
lopment, which describes the gradual formation of the 
organism, is at every step a beacon to comparative 
anatomy. In itself, however, the history of development 
does not as yet exceed the rank of a merely descriptive 
branch of erudition. 

But if we now perceive how the evolutionary stages of 
individuals represent series from the lower to the higher, 
analogous to the various members existing side by 
side in the same group of animals, — how, for instance, 
the mammal passes through stages at which the lower 
vertebrata remain fixed, — a connection, at first sight 


mysterious, is indicated between the evolution of the 
individual and the general constitution of the animal 
world. This connection requires a scientific solution, a 
reduction to causes, and this all the more urgently be- 
cause their relations, though as yet hidden, are rendered 
more probable by a third series of phenomena, the 
conquest of which is likewise the achievement of natural 
history. We allude to the record of the primaeval 

Therefore, the knowledge of paI?2ontological facts 
also forms part of the indispensable basis of our opera- 
tions. Geology entered the right track forty years 
ago. We now know that the world was not made 
backwards, but originated by gradual formations and 
metamorphoses ; we may — nay, we must, infer that, at a 
definite epoch of refrigeration, life appeared in a natural 
manner, that is to say, without any incomprehensible 
act of creation ; and during this slow transformation of 
the earth's crust, v/e see living beings also gradually 
increasing, differentiating, and perfecting themselves. 

Yet more. As was first convincingly proved in detail 
by Agassiz, one of the most vehement antagonists of the 
theory of descent, we behold the palasontological or his- 
torical series of organisms in the same sequence as the 
phases of the development of the individual. There are 
here vast chasms yet to be filled up by future observa- 
tion, though in many points we must not altogether 
despair of success. But that the process of palaion- 
tological development is, in general, the one indicated, 
is disputed only by naturalists, who, like Barrande, 
years ago anchored themselves to inalterable convictions 
in science, as in creed, to dogmas. 


These groups of facts, thus mutually referring to each 
other, must be, in some degree, examined by any one 
desirous of understanding them. In other words, we 
must first review this vast material, before we turn our 
attention to the magic spell which sifts and makes it 
comprehensible. The toil is great, but the reward is 
glorious ! For, as regards the organic world, the craving 
inherent in the human mind for the knowledge of reasons 
— the need of causality, is satisfied singly and solely by 
the doctrine of Descent. As yet we do not regard it as 
complete ; in many special cases it still owes us an 
answer ; but, on the whole, it does as much as any other 
ingenious theory has done ; it interprets by a single prin- 
ciple those great phenomena which without its aid remain 
a mass of unintelligible miracles. In a word, it raises 
the knowledge of organic nature to a science. Even now 
much of mere professional knowledge is wont to style 
itself science. But as the doctrine of Descent includes 
all life, it cannot stop on approaching Man. Were we 
doubtful as to the origin of language, or even forced to 
admit total ignorance on this point, we could not, from 
the existence of language, deduce the inapplicability to 
man of the doctrine of Descent, without, as it seems to 
us, arbitrarily breaking the chain of ratiocination. 

We will now return to the preliminary question already 
indicated, as to the limits of the investigation of nature. 
It is the more important, as incompetent judges are 
wont to assert, that these limits are exceeded. The 
frivolity of the logic by which such accusations are ren- 
dered' plausible to the multitude surpasses all licence. 
We open, for instance, Luthardt's " Apologetic Lectures 
on the Fundamental Truths of Christianity," (" Apolo- 


getische Vortrage liber die Grundwahrheiten des Chrlst- 
enthums,") and see how he defends the reality of 
miracles. " Miracles," he says, *' are not even miracles. 
They do not even repeal the laws of nature ; they merely 
release single occurrences from the dominion of those 
laws, and place them under the law of a higher will and 
a higher power. Of this we have many analogies in lower 
spheres. If my arm hurls a stone into the air, this is 
contrary to the nature of the stone, and is not an effect 
of the law of gravitation, but the interposition of a 
higher power and a higher will, producing effects 
which are not the effects of the inferior powers. These 
powers and these laws are not hereby repealed, but still 

Let us pause a moment. To say that it is contrary to 
the nature of the stone that gravity should be apparently 
overpowered for a few moments by muscular agency, is 
physically absurd. The stone remains the same weight, 
its nature is wholly the same, even while in the motion 
of projection ; and it is utterly unjustifiable and so- 
phistical to prate about muscular force as a higher 
power opposed to gravity. If the stone weighs two 
hundred-weight, where is the higher power then.'* 

But when the champion of supernaturalism has mis- 
led and prepared his hearers by his worthless analogy^ 
he proceeds : " Thus in the miracle, a higher causality 
interposes, and evokes an effect which is not the effect 
of the concatenation of those lower causalities, and yet 
subsequently submits to these concatenations. But this 
higher causality ultimately coincides with the highest 
moral objects of existence. To serve them is nature's 
highest and most glorious pursuit. Therefore if miracle 


stands in connection with these objects, if its conditions 
are moral and not arbitrary, it is not contrary to nature 
and its purpose, but in the highest sense conformable 
to it." 

Thus as soon as belief in miracle comes into conflict 
with the investigation of nature, it says : " You overstep 
your limits, and must here suspend your judgment. 
It is a question of a higher moral object ; the domain 
of ethics is higher than that of physics, and therefore 
a higher causality, which physicists have no right to 
criticise, has suspended the chain of cause and effect 
with which you naturalists are familiar." This passage\ 
in which one of the most learned and honoured 
champions of the belief in miracle lays down, like a 
sophist, the limits of the investigation of nature, is, 
however, among the most moderate of its kind. But our 
point of view and our logic differ radically from that 
of antagonists of this description, in one particular, 
namely, that to us the opposite to knowledge is igno- 
rance, whereas they supplement knowledge by a so- 
called higher knowledge, and by faith. 

While holding by the maxim of Pico della l^.Iirandola, 
*' Philosophy seeks. Theology finds, Religion possesses 
the Truth," ^ it is forgotten that there are truths and 
truths. The subjective visions and sensations of sound 
by which the mentally diseased are excited and alarmed, 
are to them a reality, yet a reality quite different to that 
of the sights and sounds received through the healthy 
organs of the senses. Philosophy and science seek that 
truth which is deduced from the palpable connection 
of things. But the other truths, so often negatived by 
the former, are generally impalpable, and are incom- 


mensurable with scientific truths. We will therefore 
abide by the words of Goethe : 

Whoso has art and science found, , 

Rehgion, too, has he; 
Who has nor art nor science found, 

His should rehgion be.* 

And now, having provisionally averted uncalled-for 
objections and conflicts with ambiguous ideas, we may 
quietly consider the limits of natural science. Let us 
first pause at the address delivered with general approval 
by the physiologist Dubois-Reymond, at the fiftieth 
assembly of German Naturalists and Physicians. He 
made reference to a passage in the classical works of 
Laplace, in the Introduction to the Theory of Science, 
which we cannot refrain from quoting in full. The 
author of the "Mechanism of the Heavens," says: "Pre- 
sent events are connected with the events of the past by 
a link resting on the obvious principle that a thing cannot 
begin to exist without a cause which produces it. This 
maxim, known by the name of the Principle of Sufficient 
Cause, extends likewise to events with which it is not 
supposed to come in contact. Even the freest will can- 
not evoke them without a determining impulse." "We 
must, therefore, regard the present condition of the uni- 
verse as the consequence of its former, and the cause 
of its future, condition. A mind, for a given moment 
acquainted with all the forces which animate Nature, 
and the reciprocal relations of the entities of which it is 

* Wer Wissenschafft und Kunst besitzt, 
Hat auch Religion ; 
Wer jene beiden nicht besilzt, 
Der habe Rehgion. 


composed — possessed, moreover, of powers of compre- 
hension sufficient to submit all these facts to analysis, 
would be able to reduce to a single formula the motions 
of the largest heavenly body and of the lightest atom. 
To such a mind nothing would be uncertain, and the 
future, like the past, would lie open before it. The 
human mind in all the perfection which it has been able 
to give to astronomy, offers but a faint image of such 
a mind as this." "All efforts of the human intellect in 
the search for truth tend to approach the mind above 
portrayed, but will always remain infinitely removed 
from it." 

The Prussian physiologist then quotes the " Thou 
art like the Spirit whom thou comprehendest" of Faust ;* 
and is of opinion that, in the abstract, the formula of 
the universe is therefore not impenetrable to the human 
intellect But we own we are cordially indifferent to an 
abstract perfection which never comes to light, and 
regard the unattainableness of this vague formula of 
the universe as a very endurable limit to human inquiry. 
But independently of the dubious consolation of the 
formula of the universe, we must agree with Dubois- 
Reymond, when he considers that the limits, before 
which the highest conceivable intelligence must pause, 
are also insurmountable to man. 

In accordance with the views now prevailing among 
physicists and biologists, Dubois-Rcymond has thus 
specified the only limit given to the investigation of 
nature': "The knowledge of natural science, more closely 
defined above, is no real knowledge. In the attempt to 
comprehend the constant, to which the mutations in 

* Du gleichst dem Geist, den du begreifst. 


the material world may be traced back, we stumble on 
insoluble contradictions. An atom contemplated as a 
minute, indivisible, inert mass, from which forces ema- 
nate, is a chimera. In the impossibility of compre- 
hending the nature of matter and force lies the only 
limit to the knowledge of natural science." 

These propositions require some elucidation. Beyond 
the subdivision mechanically possible, we must think of 
substance or matter as consisting of particles ultimately 
indivisible. Of these atoms, according to the present 
standpoint of science, we are obliged to admit as many 
different species as are not chemically reducible to more 
simple elements. Now there is no doubt that these 
atoms are, in the actual sense of the word, imaginary, 
hypothetical quantities ; and theory seems to indicate 
that all matter, in the most different phenomena in the 
material world, is based on a single species of atom. 

Every manual of physics or physiology will show 
that, in order to understand and calculate the properties 
of these atoms and their combinations into the ingre- 
dients of compound bodies, susceptible of chemical 
analysis, they are ideally represented under various 
material forms, spherical, cubical, &c. ; furthermore, that 
in their combinations and co-operations as bodies, they 
must be contemplated as surrounded by a rarefied 
atmosphere of an universally diffused ether. But the 
atom itself, and therefore the nature of matter, is 
something incomprehensible, unattainable. In these 
atoms, forces are inherent, which display themselves in 
attractions and repulsions, and in motion in general. 
But the final cause of these motions, and how far these 
motions are, as it were, identical with the existence of 



the atoms, is likewise included in the incomprehensi- 
bility of matter. 

" If we pass over this," says Dubois-Reymond again, 
" the universe is approximately comprehensible. Even 
the appearance on the earth of life in the abstract does 
not render it incomprehensible. For life in the abstract, 
contemplated from the standpoint of the theoretical 
investigation of nature, is merely the arrangement of 
molecules in a state of more or less stable equilibrium, 
and the introduction of an exchange of material, partly 
by their own elastic force, partly by motion trans- 
ferred from without. It is a misapprehension to see 
anything supernatural in this." 

This is the point which is usually contested wdth the 
greatest vehemence. If all the motions and states of 
quiescence of the inanimate world can be thoroughly 
explained, the inexplicable must commence with the 
basis of life. The imputation cast upon the reasoning 
powers by this assumption may be formularized as 
follows, in the question put by another sound and 
thoughtful physiologist, A. Pick : * " Are the charac- 
teristics of such a particle, as already explained, 
applicable and effective during the period of its sojourn 
in an organism ? Thus, for instance, will the motions 
of a particle of oxygen be affected and altered by a 
neighbouring particle of hydrogen, in accordance with 
the same laws, when one or both form part of an 
organism, as when they are out of it ? " 

To reply in the negative is to avow the vitalistic 
conception of life, that is, to take refuge in unknown 
forces quite extraneous to matter, and to admit that 
the self-same particle can vary its nature, according 


to whether it be internal or external to an organism, 
is, in other words, to affirm a miracle. If this is weighed 
against the physical view, '' which in its perfection 
reduces every organic process to a problem of pure 
mechanics," it may be done in the certainly impartial 
words of the naturalist just quoted : " I am of opinion 
that the mechanical view of organic life is demonstrated 
only when all the motions in an organism are shown to 
be the effects of forces, which at other times also are 
inherent in the atoms. But similarly I should regard 
the vitalistic view as proved, if in any case a particular 
motion actually observed to take place in an organism 
were shown to be mechanically impossible. At pre- 
sent, neither is to be thought of. Nevertheless, if a 
decision must be made without full proof, I provisionally 
profess myself unequivocally in favour of the mechanical 
view. Not only does it recommend itself d priori by 
its superior probability and simplicity, but the progress 
of scientific development raises it almost to a certainty. 
When it is seen how certain phenomena — such as the 
evolution of animal heat, which it was formerly believed 
could be explained only by vital force — are now ascribed, 
even by those who in general assume the existence of 
a special vital force, to the universally active forces of 
the material particles, we find ourselves almost forced 
to the conviction that by degrees all the phenomena 
of life will become susceptible of mechanical explana- 

For the elucidation of the example just given of animal 
heat, let us observe that modern physics have learnt to 
know heat as a peculiar mode of motion. The motion 
of the hammer as it falls upon the anvil is not lost, but 

C 2 


is transformed into the atomic motion of the places 
struck, a motion, invisible, it is true, but sensible as 
heat. But likewise the combination of the particle of 
oxygen introduced into the animal body by the respi- 
ration, with the un-oxygenated constituents of the blood, 
is a motion subject to computation, and manifesting 
itself as oxydation, combustion, or the evolution of 
animal heat. This chemical act of combustion keeps 
the animal steam-engine in motion. 

In this way, by the application of mechanical prin- 
ciples, modern physiology has traced to their causes a 
great number of organic processes, and the phantom of 
vital force, which formerly reigned paramount over the 
whole intestinal canal, incited the glandular cells and the 
muscular fibres to their offices, and glided along the 
nerves, now scarcely knows where to breed disturbance. 

Thus the investigation of nature does not shrink from 
enrolling life and the processes of life in the world of the 
comprehensible. We are foiled only at the conception of 
matter and force. But we are much further advanced 
than Schopenhauer and his adherents, who for the idea of 
Force substitute that of Will ; for we have analyzed into 
their several self-conditioned momenta a multitude of 
processes, which the word " Will," incomprehensible in 
itself, is supposed to explain in their totality ; and much 
further also than the fashionable philosopher of the day, 
von Hartman, who regales us with the agency of the 
'* unknown " in the domain of the organic world. 

"And yet," Dubois-Reymond thus formulates another 
limit, " a new incomprehensible appears in the shape of 
consciousness even in its lowest form, the sensation of 
desire and aversion. It is, once for all, incomprehen- 


sible how, to a mass of molecules of nitrogen, oxygen, 
hydrogen, carbon, phosphorus, and so on, it can be 
otherwise than indifferent how they lie or move ; here, 
therefore, is the other limit to the knowledge of natural 
science. Even the mind imagined by Laplace cannot go 
beyond this, to say nothing of our own. Whether the 
two limits to natural science are not, perchance, identical, 
it is, moreover, impossible to determine." 

In these last words the possibility is indicated that 
consciousness may be an attribute of matter, or may 
appertain to the nature of the atoms. And we may 
add, that the attempt has of late been repeatedly made 
to generalize the sensory process, and to demonstrate 
it to be the universal characteristic of matter, as by 
von Zollner, in his work on the Nature of Comets, 
which has created such a justifiable sensation. He 
holds that, if by means of delicately-formed organs 
of sensation it were possible to observe the molecular 
motions in a crystal mechanically injured in any part, 
it could not be unconditionally denied that the motions, 
hereby excited, take place absolutely without any simul- 
taneous excitement of sensation. We must either re- 
nounce the possibility of comprehending the pheno- 
menon of sensation in the organism, or " hypothetically 
add to the universal attributes of nature, one which 
would cause the simplest and most elementary opera- 
tions of nature to be combined, in the same ratio, with 
a process of sensation." 

It might be imagined that reflections of this kind 
would lead to the delusive abysses of speculation ; but 
if, still speaking only of organisms, we descend from 
the manifestations elicited by sensations of desire and 


aversion in the higher consciousness of man and of the 
superior animals, till we see all reaction to external ex- 
citation dwindle into the scarce perceptible motions of 
the simplest protoplasmic animalculae, it is evident that 
there can be no question here of either consciousness 
or will. We cannot then separate the idea of those 
sensations of desire and aversion, by which mo- 
tions are excited, from the elementary attributes of 
matter, as we are wont to do v/ith regard to the 
higher animals.* 

In precisely the same sense. It was said some years 
ago by one of the most talented investigators of lan- 
guage — Lazarus Geiger, now unfortunately deceased:^ 
" But how is it, if further down, below the world of 
nerves, a sensation should exist which we are not capa- 
ble of understanding .-* And it probably must be so. 
For as a body that we feel could not exist unless it 
consisted of atoms that we do not feel, and as we could 
not see a motion were it not accompanied by waves 
of light which we do not see, neither could a complex 
living being experience a sensation strong enough for 
us to feel it also, in consequence of the motion by 
which it is manifested, if something similar, though far 
weaker and imperceptible to us, did not occur in the 
elements, that is to say, in the atoms. If we only con- 
sider that we are as little capable of knowing that the 
falling stone feels nothing, as that it does feel ; it is 
fully open to us to decide, in accordance with the 
greatest probability, that the world is susceptible of 

We have examined the limits which the investigation 
of nature has prescribed for itself. The organic world, 


far from rearing itself before us as an incomprehensible 
entity, invites us to fathom its nature, and promises to 
reflect fresh light upon the inanimate world. 

We must now pass in review a great portion of ani- 
mate nature, and shall then arrive at the same con- 
clusion as the linguistic inquirer, to whom — we again 
quote his words — " it became, on historic grounds, incon- 
trovertibly certain that man has risen from a lower, an 
animal grade." 



The Animal World in its Present State. 

In order to approach the doctrine of Descent, and to 
prepare for its necessity, we purpose next to pass in 
review a main part of its object, — the present condition 
of the animal world in its general outlines. Organisms, 
as every one may see, are distinguished from ^nimate 
bodies by a certain mutability of existence ; a sequence 
and alternation of phenomena, combined with constant 
absorption and expulsion of matter. These changes, 
which are ultimately molecular motions, and are there- 
fore calculable, definable, and susceptible of investiga- 
tion, take place in particles in a state of saturation — that 
is to say, soaked in water and aqueous fluids ; and this 
peculiar, yet purely mechanical condition, suffices for the 
explanation and comprehension of many of the neces- 
sary phenomena of life. Experience shows that this 
capacity for saturation, and this mobility, essentially 
characterize the combinations of carbon ; and the sum 
of these motions and displacements, of which a great 
part has already been susceptible of mathematically cer- 
tain investigation, is termed Life. 

Now it is impossible to resist the impression that 
there are simple and composite, lower and higher, living 
beings ; and we likewise feel, more strongly than words 
will express, a certain antithesis between the plant and 


the animal. Poetically regarded, the plant is the passive 
organism as described by Riickert : 

•• I am the garden flower 
And meekly bide the hour, 
The guise, with which you come 
Within my narrow room." * 

The antithesis of the passive, quiescent plant and the 
pugnacious active animal diminishes, however, as we 
descend in the scale of both kingdoms. The more 
highly developed animal evinces its animal nature by 
the vivacity with which it reacts to external influences 
and excitations. In the lower animals the phenomena 
of life assume a more vegetal character, and in -many 
groups of lower beings, which Haeckel has recently 
comprised under the name Protista, we see the pro- 
cesses of metamorphosis of tissue, nutrition, and repro- 
duction taking place, indeed, but in a manner so simple 
and undifferentiated, that we too must attribute to these 
beings a neutral position betwixt plants and animals. 
We gain the conviction that the roots of the vegetal 
and animal kingdoms are not completely sundered, but, 
to continue the simile, merge imperceptibly into each 
other by means of a connective tissue. In this inter- 
mediate kingdom the much derided " primordial slime " 
(Urschleim) of the natural philosophers has regained 
its honourable position. Many thousand cubic miles of 
the sea-bottom consist of a slime or mud composed in 
part of manifestly earthy inorganic portions, in part of 

* " Ich bin die Blum' im Garten 
Und muss in Demuth warten, 
Wann und auf welche Weise 
Du trittst in meine Kreise." 


peculiarly formed chalk corpuscles, still perhaps ambigu- 
ous in their nature (the Coccoliths and Rhabdoliths), 
and finally, which is the main point, of an albuminous 
substance which is alive. 

This living slime, the so-called Bathybius, does not 
even exhibit individuality, or the definiteness of a 
separate existence ; it resembles the shapeless mineral 
substances, each particle of which bears the character- 
istics of the whole. 

The conception of an organism as a being composed 
of various parts, with various offices or functions, and 
appearing under a definite form gradually developed, is 
in our day so inherent and intuitive, that it is only with 
great exertion that we are able to accommodate our- 
selves to the idea of a living mass either absolutely 
formless and undefined, or defined arbitrarily and acci- 
dentally. Let any one, who either cannot or will not 
do this, pause for a moment to contemplate another 
simple being — for instance, Haeckel's " Protamoeba." 
A small albuminous mass increases by the absorption 
of nutriment, and by the appropriation of matter, until 
it reaches a certain circumference, and then propagates 
itself by spontaneous fission into two equal parts. To 
our means of observation, these and similar beings are 
the simplest organisms devoid of organs. While ac- 
centuating the limits of research as restricted by inade- 
quate means of observation, we maintain the validity 
of Rollet's retort,' that our reason cannot properly 
admit such homogeneous organisms, performing all the 
functions of life solely by means of their atomic con- 
stitution ; that we are dealing with the still utterly 
unknown structure of the molecules formed by the 


aggregation of atoms ; and that if Brlicke says, " Apart 
from the molecular structure, we must also ascribe to 
living cells another structure of a different order of com- 
plexity, and this is what we denote by organization," 
we must likewise ascribe this yet unknown combination 
to the Monera of Haeckel. 

But independently of this complexity of the molecular 
structure, it is of extreme importance to the investiga- 
tion of animate nature to have become acquainted with 
bodies which present the simplest structure to the as- 
sisted eye, and to anatomical research. The substance 
which characterizes them is found again in plants as 
well as in animals ; and plants and animals must now 
be regarded as two classes of organisms, in which the 
processes of self-preservation and reproduction have, in 
different ways, assumed the character of a higher com- 
plexity and development, by the differentiation of the 
originally homogeneous substance into various morpho- 
logical structures and organs. 

As we shall have another opportunity of expressing 
an opinion in regard to the beginnings of animal life, 
and its points of contact with protista and plants, we 
shall transfer ourselves from the dubious boundary line 
into the midst of the animal kingdom, in order to master 
our subject by sifting and arranging it. 

The first impression of infinite variety is succeeded by 
another, that there are lower and hiq-her animals. On 
this point complete harmony prevails. For if, from teleo- 
logical considerations, invalid in our eyes, the nature of 
every creature were said to be perfect, that is, in corre- 
spondence with its purpose or idea, every one takes it for 
granted and self-evident that a standard of excellence 


exists, without taking account of the scale by which it 
rises or sinks. This standard will, however, soon be made 
manifest by the comparison of a lower with a higher 
animal. Let us select the fresh-water polype and the bee. 

The little animal, several lines in length, which in 
our waters usually lives adhering to a plant, is a 
hollow cylinder, of which the body-wall is formed of 
two layers of cells, a layer of muscles, and a supporting 
membrane, which gives consistency to the whole, and 
may be compared to a skeleton. The mouth is sur- 
rounded by arms of similar construction, and varying in 
number from four to six. The surface of the body is 
studded with numerous little stinging vesicles, which 
by their contact stun any smaller animalculae straying 
within the reach of the polype, and render them an 
easy prey. This is, in a few words, the construction of 
the animal. It possesses no arterial system, no special 
respiratory apparatus ; the functions of the nerves and 
the sensory organs are performed by the individual parts 
of the surface. Reproduction is usually effected by the 
budding of gemmules, which fall off at maturity, but 
occasionally also by the produce of very simple sexual 

On the other hand, hours do not suffice to describe 
the structure of a bee. Even externally, its body, 
which possesses so highly complicated a structure, pro- 
mises a rich development of the interior. The man- 
ducatory apparatus can be rendered comprehensible 
only by comparison with the oral organs of the whole 
insect world. The various divisions of the alimentary 
canal are each provided with special glands. The rich 
psychical life, all the actions which imply intelligence, 


calculation, and perception of external situation, are 
rendered possible by a highly developed nervous system, 
and the marvellously complex sensory organs combined 
with it, of which the eyes are especially remarkable. 
Independently of the generative organs, consisting of 
manifold parts of greater or less importance, the history 
of the multiplication and development of the bee de- 
mands a study of itself 

The function, and therewith the rank and value, of the 
bee's body seem to us higher than that of the polype in 
proportion as it is more complex. The superior com- 
plexity and variety of the parts is anatomically evident, 
and similarly the higher phase of the life. The superior 
energy of the existence, the functional capacity and per- 
fection of the bee as contrasted with the feebleness of 
the polype, is obviously a result, or more correctly an 
expression, of the greater mechanical and physiological 
division of labour. In one animal, as in the other, life 
is spent in the function of self-preservation and the 
maintenance of the species, or reproduction ; in both, 
the cycle of phenomena is limited, unbroken ; but the 
means of execution are very different, and therefore 
the general effect is different. In the variety and 
correlation of the organs destined for the different 
manifestations of life, we have a standard for the rank 
of the animals. This rank has a twofold character, 
general and special. In other words, the position of 
an animal in the system is defined, first, by the 
general attributes, which it has in common with the 
forms harmonizing with it in the main characters 
of their organization ; and, secondly, by the more 
special characteristics, which place the animal in its 


own rank and station among its own immediate 

Some insight into this classification of the animal 
kingdom is naturally indispensable to any one, who 
wishes to test and understand its reasons, and to render 
an account of it is an essential part of our task. 

Since Cuvier's reconstruction of Zoology in the early 
part of this century, our science has been familiarized 
with the expression "type," or "fundamental form," 
introduced, long before, by Buffon. Cuvier, by ex- 
tensive dissections and comparisons, first proved that 
animals were not, as people were formerly inclined to 
suppose, made on a last or shaped upon a block ; but 
that they fall into several great divisions, in each of 
which expression is given to a peculiar constitution, 
arrangement, and distribution of the organs ; in short, 
to a peculiar style. The sum of these characteristic 
peculiarities, as well as the whole of the species united 
in it, was termed a *' type." Various views, it is true, 
even now prevail as to the extent of several of these types 
or families, as we will already term them ; but if we dis- 
regard the dubious, and in many ways suspicious, exis- 
tences, generally comprised under the name of primordial 
animals, there is a general agreement as to the following 
number, but less as to the sequence of the animal types, 
than as to those groups, each of which has its peculiar 
physiognomy and special characteristic structure. 

The class Coelenterata includes the Polypes and 
Medusae, and in the closest connection with it stands 
the interesting class of the Spongiadae, especially in- 
structive as affording direct evidence of the doctrine of 
Descent. The organs of these animals are nearly always 



arranged radially round an axis, passing through the 
dorsal and ventral pole. The cavity, which in most 
other animals — for instance, in man — is termed the 
abdominal cavity, the space between the intestinal wall 
and the abdominal parietes, is deficient in them ; but, 
on the other hand, from the stomach proceed in general 
various kinds of tubes and branchia, which to a certain 
extent replace the abdominal cavity. P'ig. 2 represents a 

Medusa, Tiaropsis Diadema, after Agassiz. The darkly- 
shaded organs form the so-called coelenteric apparatus. 

Of the Echinoderms, the reader is probably ac- 
quainted, at least with the star-fish (Asterias) and the 
sea-urchin (Echinus), of which the general form is like- 
wise usually radiate. Besides a peculiar chalky deposit, 
or greater or less calcification of the skin covering, a 
system of water-canals forms a characteristic of this 
family. With these are connected the rows of suckers, 
which, by protrusion and retraction, serve as organs of 
locomotion. On account of the radiate structure pre- 
vailing among the Echinoderms, Medusae, and Polypes, 


Cuvier believed them to be more nearly related, and 
introduced them alto""ether, under the name of Radiata. 
This similarity, however, is only superficial, for whilst, 
on the one hand, anatomy discloses the great difference 
of the Coelenterata and Echinodermata, the history of 
evolution still more decidedly banishes the Echinoderm 
from this position, and connects them more closely with 
the next division. 

In this, that of the Vermes, the systematizer of the 
old school finds his real difficulty ; in so many ways do 
they deviate from each other, so great is the distance 
between the lower and the higher forms ; and after 
deducting the distinctive marks of orders, so little 
remains as a common character, so variegated is the 
host of smaller scattered groups, and even of single 
species, which demand admittance to the system of the 
Vermes. If we attempt to describe their typical nature 
in a few words, it must be something like this : The 
Vermes are more or less elongated, symmetric animals, 
which possess no actual legs, but effect their locomotion 
by means of a muscular system, closely combined with 
the integuments, which frequently become an actual 
muscular cylinder. To this we will add, that the per- 
plexities and difficulties in reference to points of classi- 
fication are transformed into sources of knowledge for 
the adherent of the doctrine of Descent. 

The relations of the previous family with the type of 
the Articulata is so conspicuous, that the " kinship " 
of the two was never questioned, even by the older 
zoologists. The very name of one, the highest division 
of the Vermes, that is, of the Annelids, or segmented 
worms, indicate this connection. This distinctive mark 


of the Crustacea, Arachnida, Myrlopoda, and Insecta, is 
that their bodies are constructed of sharply-defined rings 
or segments, the legs, antennae and mandibles likewise 
sharing in this segmented character. A faithful expres- 
sion of this segmentation is afforded by the nervous 
system, which lies, ladder-like on the ventral side, that is, 
beneath the intestinal canal, nearly encircling the gullet 
with its anterior loop. The display of segmentation is 
favoured by a deposit of horny substance, which gives a 
skeleton-like stiffness to the integuments. 

The direct reverse is shown in the integuments of 
the Mollusca, our mussels, snails, and cuttle-fish. For 
although so many are supplied with protecting scales 
and shells, these are mere excretions from the actual 
skin, which remains soft, and characteristically moist 
and slimy, owing to the secretions of numerous glands 
contained in it, and has an inclination to lay itself in 
folds, and form a mantle-like investment to the body. 
The body therefore remains more or less clumsy ; it pos- 
sesses none of the grace of the Articulata, and especially 
of the insect ; it is destitute of segmentation, and this 
deficiency is likewise evinced in the nervous system. 
This consists only of a ring, encircling the oesophagus, 
and a few smaller ganglia. 

We shall most readily come to an understanding as 
to the Vertebrata, the family with vv'hich man is insepa- 
rably united. The essential part is the vertebral column, 
that portion of the internal and persistently bony or* 
cartilaginous skeleton, in which the main portion of the 
nervous system is contained. 

It is thus established that the systematic classification 
of the animal kingdom is based on certain prominent 



characteristics of form and internal structure ; and it is 
very easy to select from every type forms in which the 
distinctive marks, comprised in the systematic diagnosis, 
may be displayed in full perfection. But this is imme- 
diately succeeded by a further observation, that of gra- 
dations within the type. When we previously compared 
the polype and the bee, and were obliged to assign to 
each a very different rank, a portion of this difference 
of grade is certainly due to the difference of the family; 
but the forms united by family characteristics likewise 
diverge widely from each other, and the systematist 
speaks of lower and higher classes within every type, of 
lower and higher orders within every class. 

Reason is compelled to this by the same considerations 
which forced themselves upon us in the comparison of the 
polype and the bee. Why does the mussel stand lower 
than the snail .^ Because it does not possess a head, 
because its nervous system is not so concentrated and 
so voluminous, because its sensory organs are more de- 
fective. In one, as in the other, the structural material 
is present in quantities sufficient for the completion of 
the type ; but in the snail it is more developed, and the 
single circumstance of the integration of various parts to 
form the head confers a higher dignity upon the snail. 
It is needless to illustrate this gradation within the 
families by further examples ; the most superficial com- 
parison of a fish with a bird or a mammal, of one of 
the parasitic Crustacea with a crayfish or an insect, 
shows, as the older zoology represented it, that in the 
actual forms the ground plan, or "ideal types," find 
very diversified expression. 

A further result of this descriptive inquiry is the 


tree-like grouping of the members of the same family. 
The reciprocal relations of the various families can- 
not be represented in a simple line ; though in former 
days more importance was attributed to the general 
indications of the relative value of the types. On the 
other hand, descriptive zoology had long been compelled 
to devise tables of affinity for the S3^stematic subdivisions, 
descending even to species according to the criterion of 
anatomical perfection ; and these found expression only 
in diagrams of highly ramified trees. Branches ap- 
peared which terminated after a brief extension ; others 
are greatly elongated with numerous side branches ; in 
every branch characteristic phenomena and series are 
made manifest. 

Let us attempt it with the Vertebrata, for example. 
Even with the fishes we fall into great perplexity ; 
which to place at the end as being the highest. But 
take which we will, the sharks or our teleostei, the am- 
phibians cannot be annexed in a direct line, nor does the 
elongated branch line of the latter merge, as might be 
imagined, into the reptiles. The birds, on their side, 
offer a sharp contrast to the mammals, and this separa- 
tion and divergence extend to all the subdivisions. We 
must figuratively represent family branches, clusters of 
genera, and tufts of species, which latter ramify into 
sub-species and varieties. With this representation of 
the tree-like distribution of the system, we shall gladly 
revert to the comparison of the members of different 
types, with reference to their functional value. The bee 
in itself is manifestly a far more complex organism than 
the lowest fish-like animal, the lancelet ; and in these two 
we compare a low form of a high type, and a high form 

D 2 


of a low type. By varying and combining comparisons of 
this sort, and taking account of the points of connection 
between the various types, to which we shall immediately 
refer, the figure of the systematic trees completes itself 
into one vast tree, of which the main branches are re- 
presented by the types. 

Had the systematizers of the old school been familiar 
with the construction of plants and animals, they would 
have first established the diagnoses and distinctive cha- 
racters, and then called to life the types and their species ; 
for their chief torment has been, that the diagnoses are 
liable to so many exceptions, and that the characters 
of the fundamental forms are without any absolute value. 
Roughly and generally speaking, polypes are radiate in 
form, but not a few are bilateral, or symmetric on two 
sides. Most snails possess well-marked mantle-folds, but 
we can scarcely speak of the testa of many thoroughly 
worm-like slugs. 

Head and skull seem an inalienable mark of the 
vertebrata, yet the lancelet has no such head, but merely 
an anterior end. Nevertheless, it may be objected, it 
has a vertebral column ; yet this, the special badge of 
nobility of the vertebrate animals, like the auditory appa- 
ratus, and the notochord, is, even if only transiently, a 
possession of the Ascidians, a class of animals which 
in their mature condition do not bear the remotest re- 
semblance to the Vertebrata. When we become aware 
of these deviations from so-called laws of form and 
structure, seemingly well established, we are prepared 
for a manifest failure of the system, in regard to con- 
necting forms, and forms of uncertain position in the 


If the result of the systematic sifting and arrange- 
ment within the individual types can be comprised in 
diagrams of trees, forms intermediate to the members 
of the types, classes, orders, &c., follow as a matter of 
course. For if the figure be correct, every ramification 
of the branches must include species diverging very 
slightly from the species standing in the lowest portions 
of the bough from which it branches off. And thus all 
systematizing, in fact, amounted to the insertion of the 
right intermediate forms between each two forms devi- 
ating from each other in a higher degree ; nay, in some 
cases, intermediate forms were sought where none exist. 
The older zoology always regarded the duck-mole (Or- 
nithorhynchus) as the mammal most nearly allied to the 
birds, though the cause of the bird-like appearance of 
the lowest mammal known, is by no means to be sought 
in a direct relationship, but in a remote cousinhood. 

But we must draw attention, not to these connecting 
forms, which natural history assumes as perfectly self- 
evident, but to those which are, as it were, inconvenient 
to systematic description, and threaten to render illusory 
the groundwork so laboriously gained. There are some 
fish- like animals, the Dipnoi, (Lepidosirens and their 
congeners) with the characters of Amphibians. The 
Infusoria possess many characteristics of the so-called 
primordial animals, but in other ways they differ from 
them, and point to the lowest Turbellaria. A minute 
animal inhabiting our seas in countless multitudes, i.e. 
the Sagitta, is neither a true annelid nor a legitimate 
mollusc. The class of the Radiata fits neither into the 
system of the actual Annulosa, nor into that of the true 
Articulata, yet provision must be made for it in the 


system ; and any one who clings to the typos as ideal 
and inalterable fundamental forms, falls into sad per- 
plexity how to dispose of his Radiata. 

Example after example might be thus accumulated 
to show that the rigid partitions of the system are 
scarcely raised before they are again broken down in 
every direction ; and this in direct ratio with the increase 
of special science. As before said, descriptive natural 
history necessarily gained this experience. It then 
spoke of exceptions and deviations, without being able 
to adduce any reason why the classes and types should 
be able to break through their limits, and indeed most 
frequently without feeling any need of accounting for 
the failure of the rigid system. 



The Phenomena of Reproduction in the Animal World. 

The faculty of giving existence to new life is part of 
the evidence of life. A crystal does not reproduce 
itself, it can only be resolved into its elementary consti- 
tuents ; and in the natural course of things, or in an 
artificial manner, these may be induced to form another 
crystalline combination. But this is not that con- 
tinuity of reproduction which links individual to indivi- 
dual, is not procreation wrapped in a cloud of mystery. 
Herein, it seems, consists a stubborn opposition. Yet, 
if the distinction between animate and inanimate nature 
has been recognized as one not entirely absolute ; 
especially if the possibility, nay even the necessity, has 
been perceived of the primordial generation or parent- 
less origin of the lowest organic beings from inorganic 
matter (of which more hereafter), and if the nature of 
nutrition and growth is understood to be entirely 
dependent on the power of obtaining material, — the 
mystery of reproduction henceforth disappears. Gene- 
ration is no longer a mystical event ; and the origin of 
an organism in or from an organism, the emission or 
development of innumerable germs, may, like the 
origin of a new crystal, be analyzed into the motions 
of elements, as yet accessible only to the eye of imagi- 


nation. By this we mean to say that in the province of 
reproduction the Hmits of inquiry are neither narrow 
nor pecuHar. We will therefore now proceed to describe 
the process of reproduction and development in the 
animal kingdom. 

If, as must be generally admitted, the most essential 
characteristics are common to the highest and the lowest 
life, — and it is only the complexity of the vital processes, 
together with the variety of the parts by which they are 
performed, that give rise to graduated diversities, — it 
will, of course, be in the simplest organisms that we shall 
most readily recognize the nature of these vital processes. 

The simplest beings, discovered by Haeckel, such as 
the Protamoeba, those minute albuminous masses of sar- 
code, increase to a certain extent. Why these dimensions 
should vary only within definite narrow limits, and why, 
on attaining a certain extent, the molecules should 
gravitate into two halves, we do not know ; at any rate 
it is an affair of relations of cohesion, theoretically 
susceptible of computation. It is enough that at a 
certain size the coherence of the parts is loosened in a 
central zone, the individual becomics faithless to its 
name, and divides into two halves, of which each from 
the moment of separation begins an individual life, 
while from the commencement of the fission prepara- 
tions were being made for their self-dependence. This 
is the simplest case of reproduction, a multiplication 
by division. Frequently, however, it does not stop 
at bisection ; the motion of the minute constituents, 
which causes the fission, proceeds in such a manner that 
the halves are again divided, and the quarters yet again, 
the whole being thus divided into a greater number of 


portions, and the parent-creature is resolved into a 
swarm of off-shoots. 

This multipHcation by mere division of the mass pre- 
supposes that the organism thus reproducing itself pos- 
sesses no high complexity. The bisection of a beetle 
or a bird is inconceivable as a means of propagation. 
Yet Stein's valuable observations on the reproductive 
process of the Infusoria, make us acquainted with 
organisms standing far above these simple so-called 
Monera, of which the subdivisions undergo a series of 
profound metamorphoses, before separating as self- 
dependent individuals. This transformation, combined 
with fission, leads to reproduction by gemmation. 

As the fission of these low organisms depends on the 
attainment of a certain limit of growth conditional on 
adequate nourishment, the case now more frequently 
occurs that the individual discharges the superfluity of 
material obtained at a definite part of the body, and 
forms a bud or gemmule. We are already acquainted 
with reproduction by gemmation in the simplest organ- 
ism, the cell ; for all healing and cicatrization in higher 
beings, even to the re-integration of the mutilated limbs 
^ of amphibians, is effected only by the reproduction by 
fission and gemmation of the elementary morphological 
constituents. But it- lies in the nature of the process 
of gemmation, that it should extend far higher than 
fission in the scale of organisms ; it is the origination 
of a new being from one already existing, the latter, 
meanwhile, preserving its individuality wholly or for 
the greater part, and yet being able to transfer to the 
progeny its own characteristics in their full integrity. 

The simplest case of gemmation is where the parent 


animal produces one or more gemmules similar to itself, 
capable in their turn of producing similar gemmules. Of 
this, every collection of corals gives numerous examples, 
and shows how the diversified appearance of the several 
genera of coral depends merely on minor modifications 
of this mode of reproduction. Yet single corals exist 
in which, on careful comparison, not only may accidental 
deviations be already discerned, but regularly recurring 
variations between parent and progeny, as Semper has 
recently shown in Madrepores and Fungiform corals. 
This brings us to the highly-important phenomenon of 
Alternate Generation, which we must elucidate by a 
few examples before entering upon the nature of sexual 

Figure 3 shows in A a polype-shaped being with 
cruciform tentacles, on which its discoverer, Dujardin, 
bestowed the generic name of Cross-polype, or Stauri- 
dium. This animal, growing like a polype upon a stalk, 
forms above its lower cross, gemmules which make their 
appearance as spherical balls, gradually assume a bell-like 
shape, and detach themselves on attaining the structure 
and form of a Medusa or sea-nettle. The Medusa (termed 
Cladonema Radiatum, Fig. 3 B) is thus the offspring of 
its utterly dissimilar parent, the Stauridium ; it repro 
duces itself in the sexual method, and from its eggs 
proceed Stauridia. The two generations thus alter- 
nate; the cross-polype is an intermediate generation in 
the development of the Medusa, so that the sexual genera- 
tion never originates directly from its egg. 

In the tape-worm, we have an illustration of the same 
process, only in a somewhat more complicated form. 
It is known that from the intestinal canal of individuals 



afflicted with tape-worm, issue so-called somites or seg- 
ments of the tape- worm. These somites are usually 
filled with such an extraordinary number of ova that 
they seem like mere packets of eggs. It appears, how- 

FlG. 3. 

ever, from the evolutionary history of the tape-worm, 
and its relations with other annulosa, namely with 
leeches and Turbellaria, that notwithstanding their in- 
completeness and deficiency of organs, these somites are 
equivalent to sexually mature individuals ; or, according 
to Haeckel's definition, are endowed with personality. 
If the tape-worm now comported itself like most other 
animals, somites would be directly developed from its 
eggs. But to this there is a very circuitous proceeding. 


If the egg of a tape-worm, by chance and good luck, 
strays into a congenial stomach, — for example, the egg 
of the human tape-worm, Toenia solium, into the stomach 
of a pig, the embryo wanders out of the stomach in 
which it quitted the egg, and makes its way into the 
muscles, Avhere it swells out into a sort of cyst. This 
cyst is the first intermediate generation. It produces a 
peg-shaped gemmule, which, however, fails of its object 
as long as the "bladder worm," or " Gargol," remains in 
the flesh of the pig. It is only when this comes, raw or 
imperfectly cooked, into the human stomach, that the 
time has arrived for the release of the pupa. It emerges 
from its parent the cyst, and the pupa, in which we now 
recognize the head and thorax of the tape-worm imago, 
represents a second intermediate generation. Its pro- 
ductiveness is forthwith displayed; it becomes elon- 
gated, and as its ribbon-like form increases, shooting 
out from the posterior portion of the cervix, the more 
distinctly marked become the transverse stripes and 
"somites ;" in other words, the individuals of the third 
or sexual generation. 

In the evolutionary cycles just discussed, there is an 
alternation of asexual and sexual reproduction ; and 
before examining some other cases of asexual multi- 
plication, we must make ourselves acquainted with the 
facts of sexual reproduction. 

The characteristic of this is, that it requires for the 
generation of the new individual the union of two 
different products or morphological elements, the ovum 
and the sperm. The ovum is always, in the first in- 
stance, a simple cell, of which the nucleus is termed the 
germinal vesicle, and the nucleole the germinal spot. 


In many animals It Is provided with a sheath or memibrane 
of its own ; in others it remains naked, and in that case 
frequently displays the remarkable movements of pro- 
toplasm. The germ-cells of different classes of animals 
vary considerably in their microscopic dimensions ; 
nevertheless, in the whole animal kingdom, from the 
sponges and polypes up to the mammals inclusive of 
man, they are essentially similar. Nor do non-essential 
differences appear until the primitive germ-cell is more 
abundantly provided with yelk and albumen, and has 
surrounded itself with a specially thick and perforated 
shell, as in insects and fishes, or with a peculiarly 
formed sheath, in the shape of a double concave lens, 
as, for instance, in some Turbellaria. As a rule, the 
ova are formed in special organs, 
the ovaries. The other sexual 
element, the sperm, contains, as 
its peculiar active constituents, 
the spermatozoa (fig. 4 s), which 
consist of a pointed, elliptic, or / 

occasionally of a hook-shaped, ^'^- ■*• 

head, and a thread-like body. As long as the sperm 
is capable of fecundation, the filamentous appendage 
performs serpentine movements, and the development 
of the spermatozoa from cells, as well as the comparison 
of their movements with the vibrating movements 
of ciliated and flagellate cells, enable us to recognize 
them also as modified cell structures. 

The vehement dispute of last century between Evo- 
lutionists and Epigenists has now a merely historical 
interest. The former maintained that either in the ovum 
or in the sperm-corpuscle the whole future organism 


was prefigured in all its parts, and that it hence required 
only the development of the infinitely minute organs 
already existing. The others, who carried off the victory, 
saw in the ovum the yet undifferentiated material which 
subsequent to fecundation had still to be transformed into 
the various morphological elements and organs. But it 
is scarcely twenty years ago since the process of fecunda- 
tion was discovered, and since it was proved that at least 
one sperm corpuscle, and, as a rule, several or many, 
must penetrate into the interior of the ovum and unite 
materially with its substance in order to produce an 
effectual fecundation. 

The course of our demonstration obliges us to place 
sexual in sharp contrast with asexual genesis. But 
here, again, recent times have produced a series of 
equalizing and conciliatory observations which must 
not be neglected by us, bent as we are on tracing the 
antecedents of the doctrine of evolution, and demon- 
strating the transition taking place throughout organic 
Nature. In the cases of alternate generation selected 
above, the generations which do not produce ova and 
spermatozoa, reproduce themselves by external gemma- 
tion. Now, there is manifestly no great physiological 
difference if the deposition of the material from which 
the progeny is formed takes place, not externally, but 
in and by special internal organs. One of the most 
familiar examples occurs in the evolutionary cycle or 
alternate generation of the genus Distoma of the 
Entozoa. In the ventral cavity of one larval genera- 
tion arise cell-spheres, or germs, which develope into 
the second generation — the Cercaria. 

Great excitement was likewise aroused by the dis- 


covery of the germ-formation of the larvae of a di- 
pterous insect (Cecidomyia, Miastor). In the ventral 
cavity of the maggots of these flies arises a second 
generation of maggots, of which the origin was primarily 
attributed to a simple germ-formation, until it was 
shown that these germs proceed from the situation of 
the sexual glands (which in many insects are deve- 
loped at a very early stage), and must therefore be 
regarded as unfertilized ova. The second generation 
of maggots lives at the expense of its parent, consumes 
its fatty substance, and afterwards destroys the other 
organs ; while of the pelican-like parent nothing finally 
remains but the skin, as a protecting cover to the 
offspring, which very soon emerges. 

Without mentioning other cases in which it may be 
questionable whether germs or unfertilized ova attain 
development, we will point out a few of those in which 
development, without fecundation, is established with 
complete certainty. The queen bee, partly from the 
natural course of its life, partly from various accidents 
in which fecundation could not take place, lays regularly 
a number of unfertilized eggs, from which issue drones, 
or male individuals ; or if exceptionally eggs are laid 
by workers, which are imperfectly developed female 
bees not susceptible of fecundation, these eggs likewise 
produce drones only. Von Siebold's highly interesting 
experiments on the reproduction of a wasp (Polistes 
Gallica), have shown that the hybernating fertilized 
females, who found a new colony in the spring, deposit 
eggs whence issue female individuals, and occasionally 
males. This virgin generation then produces eggs from 
which males are developed. With various butterflies, 


on the contrary, the unfertlhzed eggs produce females 
only ; and it is the same with several of the lower 

We will now revert to the consideration of the evolu- 
tionary processes displayed in sexual reproduction after 
fecundation has taken place. Development invariably 
commences with a process of cell-formation, the bifurca- 
tion or formation of the germinal membrane, after the 
completion of which, instead of the one primitive cell, 
a large number of cells are usually in existence, as the 
material for the distribution and construction of the 
embryo. Ova developing parthenogenetically, without 
fecundation, likewise commence their development by 
this multiplication of cells ; and even the ova of ani- 
mals, in which development never takes place without 
previous fecundation, exhibit an incomplete bifurcation, 
if not fertilized at a certain stage of maturity. This 
process, it is true, has been as yet demonstrated only in 
the ova of the frog and the domestic fowl ; but these 
cases are sufficient to divest the bifurcation of the 
character of an independent phenomenon, exclusively 
restricted to sexual reproduction. 

Even before the appearance of C, E. von Baer's really 
classical and fundamental work on the " Evolutionary 
History of Animals " (Entwickelungsgeschichte der 
Thiere),^ the view, founded on incomplete observations, 
had become established, that in the various stages of 
their development the higher animals passed through 
the forms of the lower ones. In this, natural philosophy 
did not confine itself to the limits of the types ; and 
hence did not pause at the hypothesis that the mam- 
malian embryo was successively a fish, an amphibian, 


and in a certain sense, by a particular gradual evolution 
of the organs, a bird also, but made the embryo like- 
wise repeat and surpass the lower types. To this false 
tendency, acting on vague analogies, a stop was put by 
the great naturalist just named. He showed that a 
number of coincidences might, indeed, be demonstrated 
between the embryo of the higher and the permanent 
form of the lower animals, but that this resemblance 
rested essentially on the fact that in the embryo of the 
higher animal the differentiation of the general funda- 
mental mass had not yet set in, and that in the progress 
of development it passes through stages which are per- 
manent in the series of inferior animals. 

On the other hand, he positively repudiated the asser- 
tion that the embryos of the higher types actually pass 
through forms permanent in the lower ones. He says 
that the type of each animal seems from the first to 
fix itself in the embryo, and to regulate its whole 
development. As regards the vertebrate animals in 
particular, the further we go back in the history of their 
development, the more do we find the embryos alike, 
both on the whole and in the individual parts. " Only 
gradually do the characters appear which mark the 
greater, and later those which mark the smaller divi- 
sions Af the Vertebrata. Thus from the general type 
the special one is evolved." 

Von Baer thus held that the analogy consisted only in 
the embryonic states of the various animal fqrms; but he 
was obliged to go beyond the circle of the types, and he 
thought it probable that among all embryos of verte- 
brate, as well as invertebrate animals, developed from a 
true ovum, there is a confoi-mity in the condition of the 



germ at a period when the type has not yet manifested 
itself. This led him to the question, ''Whether, at the 
beginning of development, all animals are not essen- 
tially alike, and whether a common primordial form 
does not exist for all .^ " "It might," he finally thinks, 
" be maintained, not without reason, that the simple 
cyst-like form is the common fundamental form from 
which all animals are developed, not merely in idea, but 

When the barrier which it was formerly thought 
necessary to erect between asexual multiplication and 
multiplication caused by fecundation had been recog- 
nized as non-existent, and it was perceived that all 
development amounts to the multiplication and meta- 
morphosis of the primitive germ or egg-cell, the cell 
was necessarily regarded, in the acceptation of the older 
investigators, as the common fundamental form. But 
although the descriptive history of evolution does not 
go back to this elementary organism, and considers 
even the bifurcation as merely a preparation for actual 
development, at any rate the earliest rudimentary larval 
conditions of different types may be compared with 
each other. 

The discoveries of the last ten years with reference 
to this subject are so numerous, and such striking 
analogies have been advanced, that we must needs go 
much further than, at that time, was possible for Von 
Baer. It is not merely a question of those general 
analogies in the segregation of tissues from an indifter- 
ent rudimentary mass, but of homologies in the distri- 
bution, form, and composition of the embryos and larvae, 
of which the after effects are of profound importance 



to the later and actual typical impress. With this object, 
let us consider the larva of a calcareous sponge at. the 
stage which Haeckel has designated as the Gastrula 

The diagram gives the section of a larva of this 
description, which at this period is nothing more than a 
stomach provided with an orifice (fig. 5 <? ) ; its wall con- 

FIG. 5- 

sists of two strata, or layers of cells. The cells of the 
external stratum are distinguished from those of the 
inner one by their elongated form, and the possession of 
filaments serving as organs of locomotion. All subse- 
quent development and differentiation, certainly not 
very important in the sponges, may be traced to modi- 
fications of these two membranes ; the external mem- 

E 2 


brane (Ectoderm, or Exoderm) and the internal mem- 
brane (Entoderm). And this phase of the cihated 
larva, with its twofold strata, its primitive ventral cavity 
and mouth, recurs in the Ccelenterata, v/ith slight varia- 
tions in the Echinoderms, in some of the Annulosa, in 
the Sagitta, the Ascidians, and the Lancelet. From 
the analogy of all these animals, and especially of the 
last, we shall be able hereafter to derive important 

But if no weight be attached to the presence of 
these filaments of the external layer, which is, moreover, 
justified by the relation of the filament to the cell, and 
if it be acknowledged as the essential significance of 
the larval arrangement, that from its two laminae the 
collective organs derive their origin, then to the animals 
above enumerated must be added, not only almost the 
whole of the Articulata, but likewise the remainder of 
the Vertebrata, as in them, immediately after the appear- 
ance of the primitive striae, follows their separation into 
two cell-layers, or membranes. Respecting the deriva- 
tion of the third or middle germinal lamina, and the 
share of the two primitive laminae in its formation, 
observers are not agreed. 

Only from this point does the development of the great 
animal groups take various directions, and it is the im- 
mortal merit of Von Baer to have fixed these types of 
development, independently of the fundamental forms, 
established by Cuvier on zoological and anatomical con- 
siderations, and he thereby laid a far deeper foundation 
for the existence of these types. We will illustrate our 
meaning by two examples. 

When the ovum of the articulate animal has sur- 



rounded itself with a germinal membrane, a portion of it 
thickens into a long germinal stria, resembling an elon- 
gated ellipse. This is the rudiment of the ventral side of 
the future animal. A groove then divides it into the two 
germinal laminae, and transverse striae next make their 
appearance, the indications of the so-called primordial 
segments. The symmetrical disposition of the organs, 
and the integration of the body out 
of consecutive segments, is herewith 
initiated. All further development 
emanates from these primordial seg- 
ments, which are the standard of the 
Annelids or higher Vermes ; while in 
the Articulata, projections and ap- 
pendages of these segments develop 
into feelers, manducatory apparatus 
and legs, and by their heterogeneous 
integration in the regions of the 
head, and of the middle and posterior 
portions of the body, give rise to the 
vast variety within the type. In each 
particular case we see what is special 
emanate from what is more homogeneous and undiffer- 
entiated, and this is likewise corroborated by the more 
advanced phase portrayed in the diagram (fig. 6). It 
represents the embryo of the great black-beetle (Hydro- 
philus piceus) on its ventral side. The antennae (/), the 
three pair of oral appendages (;;/), and the three pair of 
legs, are as yet little distinguished. In the further course 
of development, the lateral portions grow towards the 
back, in the centre of w^hich they finally meet. As 
compared with the Vertebrata, it may hence be said 


that the Articulata have their navel on their backs. 
Conversely, it is the characteristic of the evolutionary 
type of the Vertebrata that the position of the germ 
corresponds with the dorsal side of the animal. The 
formation of the dorsal groove, which subsequently 
closes to form the canal of the spinal cord, as it is 
gradually enveloped in a sheath growing from below, 
is followed by the formation of transverse plates, the 
pre-vertebral plates. The side plates lying outside of 
these grow towards the ventral side, and finally merge 
in the navel. The position of the actual vertebral 
column, consisting of separate vertebrae, is always 
originally occupied by a cartilaginous band, the noto- 
chord (chorda dorsalis), and, as from this axis, the germi- 
nal matter transforms itself into a tube above as well as 
below, — into the spinal marrow with its sheath, and the 
ventral cavity with the intestinal canal, — Von Baer con- 
sidered this mode of development as bi-symmetrical. 
The development of the Articulata he regards as simply 
symmetrical, and the development of the Molluscs 
he designated as massive. The justification of this is 
that the elongation produced by segmentation and the 
repetition of similar parts and sections of the body 
implicit in segmentation generally, — the metameric for- 
mation, as it is termed by Haeckel, — is totally foreign to 
the Molluscs. 

We must now again repeat, that somewhat extensive 
observations of the evolutionary forms of different ani- 
mals lead at once to the belief that the embryos and 
evolutionary phases of higher animals are transiently 
more closely related to the complete and definitive con- 
ditions of the lower animal-forms, at least of the same 



family ; whence arose the fixed idea that the embryo of 
the higher animals passes through the forms of the lower 
animals. When natural philosophy, more especially in 
Germany, had elaborated this doctrine in a rather fan- 
tastical manner, and had proclaimed that Man was the 
sum of all animals, in structure, as w^ell as in develop- 
ment, ** the doctrine," says Von Baer, "of the uniformity 
of individual metamorphosis w^ith the vague metamor- 
phoses of the w^hole animal kingdom necessarily acquired 
great weight, when, by Rathke's brilliant discovery, ger- 
minal fissures were demonstrated in the embryos of 
mammals and of birds, and the appropriate vessels 
were soon afterwards actually revealed." 

The exaggerations and false inferences drawn from 
general analogies, and the vague ideas of types hover- 
ing above the whole, and regulating individual develop- 
ment, were wittily chastised by Von Baer. 

" To convince ourselves that a doubt as to this doctrine 
is not utterly groundless, let us imagine that the birds 
had studied the history of their development, and that 
it w^as they who now investigated the structure of the 
mature mammal and of man. Might not their physio- 
logical manuals teach as follows ? — ' These quadrupeds 
and bipeds have much embryonic resemblance, for their 
cranial bones are separate ; like ourselves during the 
first four or five days of hatching, they are without . 
a beak ; their extremities are tolerably like each other, 
as are ours for about the same time ; not a single true 
feather is to be found on their bodies, only thin feather- 
shafts, so that, even in the nest, we are more advanced 
than they ever become ; their bones are not very hard, 
and like ours, in our youth, contain no air at all ; they 



are utterly destitute of air-sacs, and their lungs, like 
ours in early infancy, are not full-grown ; a crop is com- 
pletely wanting; gullet and gizzard are, more or less, 
merged in a sac, all conditions very transitory in us, 
and, in most, the nails are awkwardly broad, as with us 
before breaking the shell ; the bats, which appear the 
most perfect, are alone able to fly ; not the others. And 
these mammals which, so long after birth, are unable to 
find their own food, and never rise from the ground, 
fancy themselves more highly organised than we ? ' " 

FIG. 7. Fig. a 

Nevertheless, there remains the fact of the parallelism 
of individual development with the systematic series to 
which the individual belongs ; and, among thousands of 
examples, we will select some of the most accessible and 
convincing. Polypes have always been placed systemati- 
cally below the Medusae ; in the development of many 


Medusas (co np. Fi^. 3, p. 43), a polype-like condition is 
interposed. The crinoid (Comatula), very common in 
the Mediterranean, is in its mature condition freely 
movable. This definitive development is, however, pre- 
ceded by a sessile stage (Fig-. 7), during which the 
body is attached to a stalk. During the larval period 
the animal resembles the permanently sessile genera, 
which, by all systematic rules, and by their geological 
position, occupy a lower rank in the series of echino- 
derms. The crabs, or anourous Crustacea, are raised by 
sundry characteristics above their long-tailed congeners, 
among which is the fresh-water crayfish. In the course 
of development they pass through the long-tailed stage, 
as is shown in the larva (Fig. 8). It is by the abor- 
tion of the tail, w^hich is employed by the long-tailed 
species as a natatory organ, that they become more 
fitted for running, and some of them for terrestrial life, 
as they are, in a measure, released from a burden. 

One of the systematic series included in the Vcrtebrata, 
leads through the reptiles to the birds. Now, if, in the 
physiological reflections which Von Baer put into their 
beaks, the birds, as v/ill appear later, were mistaken in 
boasting of their feathery garb in contrast to mammals 
and to man, they have, nevertheless, carried it a stage 
further than the reptiles, for the scale is the embryonic 
rudiment of the feather. Likewise, the tarso-meta- 
tarsal joint of the embryonic bird, with which we are 
already conversant (p. 9), and which is distinguished 
from the ankle-joint of mammals and of man, by its 
lying not between the leg and the tarsus, but in the 
tarsus itself, remains, as a definitive condition in the 
reptile, in the embryonic condition which in the bird it 


rapidly passes through. Although mammals are never 
actual fish, there is much that is fish-like in the em- 
bryonic phases of their organs ; the embryonic fissures 
in the thorax correspond with the germinal branchial 
fissures; the formation of the brain may be traced to 
the complete brain of the lampreys and the sharks, &c. 

In order to refute the doctrine that the embryo passes 
through the whole animal kingdom. Von Baer was con- 
tent to prove that it never changes from one type to 
another. He repudiated the other, and more probable 
part of this theory, that is, that, at least within the types, 
the higher groups, in their embryonic phases, repeated 
the permanent forms of the lower ones, by terming it a 
question of mere analogies. The embryo, as it is gradually 
perfected by progressive histological and morphological 
differentiation, necessarily accords, in this 7'cspect, with 
less developed animals in proportion to its youth. " It 
is, therefore, very natural that the embryo of the mammal 
should be more like that of the fish, than the embryo of 
the fish is like the mammal. Now, if the fish be regarded 
merely as a less perfect mammal (and this is an un- 
founded hypothesis), the mammal must be considered 
as a more highly developed fish ; and, in that case, it is 
quite logical to say that the embryo of the vertebrate 
animal is originally a fish." ^" 

VVe have been somewhat faithless to our intention of 
confining ourselves in this chapter to facts only. The 
facts are too apt to provoke reflections, and we have, 
moreover, repeated these reflections merely as historical 
facts ; we must now inquire whether they are really 
capable of satisfying us. I think not. It is by no 
means a merely histological and morphological differen- 


tiation which causes the resemblance of the higher in- 
complete, to the lower complete forms. To limit our- 
selves to one example : it is quite incomprehensible 
why the ear-bones of the mammal should be developed, 
by the circuitous process of the formation of germinal 
fissures, if it were a mere question of histological and 
morphological differentiation. This explanation fails 
also with regard to the whole class of the phenomena 
of purposeless and abortive organs, and, finally, the 
"evolutionary type" itself as it rules the groups and 
regulates individual development, still remains without 
an explanation. 



The Animal World in its Historical and Palnsontological Development. 

It is SO easy to observe that the earth's crust, from the 
deepest valleys to the highest mountain top contains 
innumerable animal remains, that even antiquity could 
not fail to notice it. But some two thousand years 
passed by before a correct knowledge was attained of 
the relations of these remains to the present world. 
Some thought they were sports of nature, products of 
creative power leading to no special object, but in a 
certain measure to be regarded as exercises prelimi- 
nary to the actual creation of life ; others considered 
the fossils as remains of living creatures, indeed, but 
of such as still existed, and which had been destroyed 
by overflows and subsequent withdrawals of the sea. 
The legend of the universal deluge, especially, derived 
great support from this second opinion. Only vv^hen, 
at the end of last century, the stratification of the earth's 
crust was revealed to science, after the outlines of a 
history of the solar system and of a special history 
of the earth or geology had been indicated by Kant 
and Laplace, only then arose the possibility and neces- 
sity of a real palaeontology, or knowledge of pre- 
historic life. At the beginning of this century it was 
discovered that the fossils corresponding with the stra- 


tificatlon of the earth's crust follow each other in regular 
sequence, and that in this sequence they differ from the 
present creation, as they do from each other. 

We must make ourselves acquainted with the order of 
succession of these strata. They are the shelves in 
which the vegetable and animal remains lie stored. To 
arrange them was certainly possible only by taking the 
organisms w^hich they contained as guides or clues. 
We, however, shall take this arrangement as our data, 
and, with the object we have in view, we shall naturally 
consider only those strata and rocks in which fossils — 
using this word in its widest interpretation — are or might 
be contained, those, namely, which are proved to be 
sedimentary, i.e. aqueous deposits. Our information is 
limited to a great part of Europe, numerous districts of 
America, and scattered points of the rest of the world. 

The following table gives the the arrangement of the 
sedimentary strata from above downwards : — 

1. Alluvium. 

2. Diluvium. 

3. Tertiary formation. 


4. Cretaceous formation. 

Sinon. = White Chalk and Chalk Marl 

Turon. = Part of the Chalk Marl 

Kinoman, = Upper Greensand 


Neocoman (Wealden). 
Jurassic formation or Oolite. 
Upper White Jura (Malm). 
Middle Brown Jura (Dogger). 
Lower Black Jura (Lias). 

of English 
See p. 307 of 
Page's Ad- 
vanced Text 
L Book. 


6. Triassic formation or New Red Sandstone. 

Keuper or Variegated Marls, 


Variegated Sandstone. 

7. Permian formation or Dyas 

Zechstein (Magnesian Limestone or Dolomitic Conglomerate). 
Rothliegendes or Red Conglomerate. 

8. Carboniferous formation. 

Coal Measures. 
Millstone Grit. 
Mountain Limestone. 

9. Devonian formation. 
TO. Silurian formation. 

11. CamlDrian formation. 

12. Laurentian formation. 

Although we are not writing on geology, a short 
explanation of these strata will be requisite, as their 
mutual relations also throw light on the nature and 
distribution of the contemporaneous organisms. All 
displacements of earth which we now see occurring by 
means of rain, rivers, sea and other natural forces 
which have taken place in historic times, in short, in 
the so-called Present, such as the great delta deposits, 
and the moraine formations of our glaciers, are ascribed 
to the Allnviuin. 

It was formerly supposed that its limits might be dis- 
tinguished from the Dihivimn by the appearance of 
man, but as it is now, and always has been impossible 
to affirm anything positive respecting that epoch, and 
as, although a portion of the organisms of which the 
remains occur in the Diluvial strata is extinct, much 
more still exists, these two formations are inseparably 

To the Diluvium belong the vast mud deposits of 
the great rivers, alternating with sand banks, the clay 
and loess formations caused by the removal of the soil 


by the drainage of the glaciers and the floods of running 
water, which at one time increased periodically to a 
degree truly colossal. The diluvial period, as it seems, 
includes, both in Europe and America, a repeated glaci- 
fication of countries and vast portions of the world, of 
which the present state of Greenland may now give 
some idea. 

The period of the series of strata, comprised under 
the name of the tertiary formation, may be regarded 
as that during which, at least, the skeleton of the pre- 
sent continents finally attained its integral configuration. 
Within its limits fall the erection and upheaval of the 
great mountain chains, the Cordilleras, Alps, Himalayas, 
and others ; the outlines of the continents were, mean- 
while, in constant movement. This phenomenon, how- 
ever, persists throughout all formations, and, as the 
geological characteristic of the tertiary formation, more 
stress should be laid on the separation of the earth's 
surface into climatic zones, approximating to the zones 
of the present age. The names of the subdivisions are 
intended to indicate the relation of the animals then 
living to those of our world, as it was supposed that in 
the eocene the first animals identical with present 
species were to be found, more in the miocene, and, yet 
more, in the pliocene. 

To the chalk formation belong rocks of very various 
kinds, which can be reduced to one great geological 
period by means of tlicir contents. If the quartzose 
sandstone of Saxon Switzerland represents this forma- 
tion in the centre of Germany, it is from the white chalk 
of England and Northern France that it took its name. 
In America, the sandstone has been in a great measure 


ground down into sand, and in other places the strata 
are purely chalky or marly. Pjut the vagueness of the 
limitations of strata in situation, and still more in time, 
may be estimated by the fact that we are fully justi- 
fied in speaking of the chalk formation now going on, 
as is shown by the investigations of Carpenter and 
W. Thompson on the constitution of the deep sea- 
bottom of the Atlantic. To the early chalk period 
belongs a great fresh-water deposit, and likewise the 
Wealden, a formation of peat and bog occasioned by 
upheavals, which contains a number of remains of fresh- 
water and terrestrial animals, besides a peculiar sort of 

The oolitic strata appear more definite, mostly lying 
regularly over each other in distinct deposits, more rarely, 
as in the Alps, raised up by later dislocations. The rocks 
themselves, betray that the depositions took place in 
wide seas, for the most part calm or deep, and this is 
rendered a certainty by the scanty vegetal remains and 
the far more abundant animal remains which they con- 
tain. In the apparently very sharp limitation of the 
oolitic formation, both above and below, the older geo- 
logy found a main prop for the assertion, that compara- 
tively quiet periods of long duration alternated with 
catastrophes destroying and re-creating everything. To 
avoid any misapprehension we must, however, add that 
the oolitic period already possessed vast and highly 
integrated continents, as it will likewise be seen that 
during this era the higher terrestrial animals made 
their appearance. 

The characters shown by the three great divisions 
of the triassic formation are very various, especially as 


they are developed in Germany. The German portion, 
judging by its influxes, must be regarded as a forma- 
tion of strands and bays ; its more highly integrated 
equivalent in the Alps as a huge oceanic deposit. The 
Muschelkalk (which is missing in England), with its 
layers of rock salt and rich remains of oceanic organisms, 
is likewise a marine formation. Of the origin of the 
stratified variegated sandstone, so-called from its varied 
colouring, with its clays, marls, and frequent vast enclo- 
sures of gypsum, w^e obtain some idea from our present 
formations of sandy shores and dune^. Like these, the 
deposition of the variegated sandstone afforded but 
scanty opportunities of enclosing animal and vegetal 
remains, but very notable footprints have been preserved, 
such as might now be formed and preserved, if the 
marks imprinted on the damp sand were filled up with 
fine clayey particles torn by a storm from some adjacent 
shore, and subdivided in the sea, 

As the diversified appearance of the superimposed 
planes of antediluvian plants and animals of course 
depends essentially on the nature of their former abodes, 
and as the nature of the individual districts of each 
plane must then, as now, have influenced the character 
of the organisms by which it was inhabited, we will 
indicate the causes which thus affect life in its form and 
manifold variety. In order to complete our view of the 
origin of the Earth's crust, and the dependence of the 
organic on the configuration of the inorganic world, we 
will leave a geologist, Credner, to describe the relations 
of the dyassic and carboniferous formations : " In regions 
where the carboniferous (coal) formation is typically 
developed, it consists of a series of stratifications, the 



lower one chalky (mountain limestone), the middle one 
conglomerated or arenaceous (millstone grit), and the 
upper one carboniferous (coal measures); hence a marine, 
a littoral and a marsh or fresh-water formation. It is 
easy to imagine the cause of this phenomenon ; it de- 
pends on the secular elevation of the primaeval sea 
bottom, on which was deposited first the marine moun- 
tain limestone ; secondly, as it rose to the surface, the 
shingle and coarse sand of the shore ; and finally, on 
persistent elevation, the products of marshes, lagunes, 
and estuaries. If it now happened that some portions 
of the infant continent covered with the latter (that is 
to say, with the productive carboniferous strata), were 
seized with an opposite movement, and therefore sank, 
there would be deposited on the surface now again 
gradually becoming the bed of the sea, precisely similar 
forms, only in inverse order to that which occurred 
during the period of elevation. 

And, in fact, this phenomenon is exhibited by those 
portions of the earth's surface which shortly after the 
formation of the coal measures again sank below the 
sea. In Germany and England the productive coal 
measures are followed by a sandstone and conglomerate, 
therefore a littoral formation, exactly like the quartzose 
sandstone and millstone grit which underlies them ; and 
above this a limestone, dolomite and gypsum formation, 
corresponding to the mountain limestone, the low^est 
member of the carboniferous system. On account of 
the division which is displayed in profound palaeon- 
tological and petrographical diversities, the formation 
thus developed and composed is designated as the 
Dyas. The separate phases of this cycle of occur- 



rences, by which the carboniferous and Dyassic forma- 
tions were evolved, are accordingly (reading from above 
downwards) : 

5. Deep Sea. 


4. Siibsidence Littoral 
beneath the forms. 

3. Quiescence. Freshwater 
Marsh forms. 

2. Upheaval' 
above the 

I. Deep Sea. 




rate and 


rate and 





Magnesian «^ 

Red Sand- 

Coal mea- 
sures, Red 
Coal fields. 


rous Lime- 


rous forma- 

From this account it is also manifest that in cases of 
incomplete elevation, such as took place in North 
America, the formation of the middle period is either 
disturbed or totally omitted, and that it may depend on 
local causes and the duration of the oscillations if, 
as in the Russian Permian formations, corresponding to 
the German Dyas, the boundaries of the subdivisions 
are more or less obliterated. 

The two series of strata beneath the mountain lime- 
stone, and reaching the depth of more than 3000 and 
6000 metres, the Devonian and Silurian formations, 
are the lowest, and therefore the first which clearly 
bear the mark of their origin as marine deposits. Both 

F 2 


groups were formerly comprised under the name of 
Transition rocks, or Graywacke formation. In them 
also sandy, clayey, and chalky rocks alternate with one 
another, already exhibiting modifications of a local 
nature, from which, towards the carboniferous period, 
issued the first beginnings of continental upheaval. 

The granite, gneiss and slate, which as primary rocks, 
or primitive formations, originated before the Silurian 
rocks, are for the most part sediments of hot or very 
warm primaeval seas, which have undergone manifold 
internal changes from pressure and heat. Till recently, 
they were likewise termed the Azoic group, as contain- 
ing no vestiges of life, when the discovery of the 
Eozoon and its unlimited occurrence in the Laurentian 
strata of Canada, proved that the required conclusion to 
the series had actually taken place. 

With this Eozoon we begin the enumeration of the 
antediluvian animals from below upwards. The remains 
of this creature consist of a more or less irregular system 
of chambers with cretaceous walls, of which the interior 
is filled with serpentine or pyroxene. It was attempted 
to deny the organic origin of this cretaceous testa, which 
may best be compared to the shells of the Foraminifera. 
But renewed researches have substantiated that although 
in the great mass of the Eozoon rocks occurring in vast 
strata, metamorphosis has rendered it nearly, if not 
quite, impossible to recognize the true nature of the 
body, pieces here and there occur with the chambering 
so distinctly marked, and a tubular structure peculiar 
to the Foraminifera, which exclude any other interpre- 
tation than that of a living being resembling the low 
Foraminifera. This is of great significance, as the pro- 


fusion of life met with in the Silurian and Devonian 
strata presupposes an immeasurably long antecedent 
period during which life had already existed and gradu- 
ally increased to the multitudes of the Silurian era. 
We discover in it but scanty remains of marine plants, 
and only marine animals ; but these are so heterogeneous 
and varied in form, that they alone would oblige us to 
infer the existence of coasts, shallow or deep oceanic 
regions, and a number of geographical conditions on 
which we see the variety and extent of animal life to be 
dependent. Besides numerous forms of 
corals more nearly allied to still exist- 
ing families, we find the quite peculiar 
group of Graptolites (fig. 9), which, 
although not actual polypes, might be 
ranged next to the so-called Medusa- 
polypes, and thus justify the inference 
that preparation was being made for the 
appearance of the higher forms of the 
Coelenterata, the Medusae. 

The Articulata are represented by the 
Trilobites (fig. lO, Trilobites remipes), 
a crab-like form which recalls the pre- 
sent group of the Lamellibranchiata, but 
has not hitherto admitted of any closer definition, as 
in none of the many thousand specimens examined, 
of the forms (about 2000) known in the Silurian and 
Devonian strata, have the legs been preserved. In these 
three-lobed crabs, the head, trunk, and tail distinctly ap- 
pear, as well as the threefold transverse division. The 
two composite eyes already indicate a high grade of 
organization. The power of rolling themselves up, 

FfG. 9- 



which they have in common with several of the crabs 
now inhabiting shallow waters and coasts, and likewise 
their general habit, allow us to infer that they also were 
denizens of coasts. 

The Molluscs were mainly represented by Brachiopoda 
and Cephalopoda. However, as Bivalves and Gaster- 

FiG. 10. 

opodawere also in existence, the appearance of this, the 
most ancient molluscous fauna known, differs from the 
present one only in its numerical proportions, and in the 


circumstance, certainly very important, that of the 
Cephalopoda the Nautilus alone is found. The Brachio- 
poda soon attain to their highest development, and have 
lingered on till now in a greatly reduced state. Among 
the Conchifera, the Dimyariae take the lead in the course 
of the later period ; and with regard to the Gasteropods, 
we will merely observe that they constantly increase in 
infernal complexity and variety as they approach more 
recent periods, and that the terrestrial and fresh-water 
species are occasionally found in the carboniferous 
formation, though in number and variety they belong 
primarily to the Tertiary era. To the Cephalopoda we 
must return again. Of the Vertebrata in the Silurian 
strata we know only the remains of peculiar Fishes whose 
kindred must be sought among the sharks and rays. 

In the period of the Devonian or upper Transition 
rocks, the surface of the earth had assumed, at least in 
places, a more smiling appearance. Here begins the 
first record of terrestrial plants. As to the character of 
the fauna, the rapid decrease of the Trilobites is worth)- 
of notice, and the appearance of the important genus 
of the Cephalopoda, Clymenia, subsequently replaced 
by the Ammonites. Above all, we must note the 
increased abundance of fish which still form the sole 
representatives of the Vertebrata, and held undisputed 
sway in the seas of that period. Besides the sharks, there 
are the mailed Ganoids. It is true, the fish, the hinder 
part of which is here portrayed (Fig. 11, Palseoniscus), 
belongs only to the upper Coal and Zechstein formation ; 
but it is necessary even now to point out the character- 
istics of the true Ganoids which floundered about the 
Silurian seas in somewhat extraordinary forms. Agassiz 



terms them Placoids, from the rhombic scales, provided 
with a layer of enamel highly favourable to preserva- 
tion, and covering the whole surface in oblique rows. 

The vertebral column, as in the sharlcs, enters the upper 
flap of the tail and renders it strikingly unsymmetrical. 
The Ganoids are, as comparative anatomy has proved 
with certainty, a development of the shark-like fishes, if 
not decidedly of a higher grade. The Ganoids, there- 
fore, presuppose the shark. 

The carboniferous period owes its name to the enor- 
mous accumulation occurring in its midst, of the 
remains of terrestrial plants, fern-like Calamites, and 
more especially of Sigillaria and Lepidodendra, stand- 
ing between vascular Cryptogams and Conifers. They 
formed tropical bog-forests, such as Franz Unger some 
years ago attempted to restore in an ingenious compo- 
sition. In these steaming primaeval forests, differing 
from the early beginnings of antecedent periods by 
their extent and luxuriance, new phases of animal 
life become manifest — scorpions, myriapods, and in- 
sects — in other words, air-breathing Articulata, and 
likewise the first air-breathing Vertebrata. The latter, 


the Cheirotheria, or Labyrinthodonta (colossal Batra- 
chians) possess pre-eminently amphibian characters, and 
exhibit, for example, several important characteristics of 
the Batrachian skull, whereas their skin-covering recalls 
the scale-armour of the Saurians. Thus we find cha- 
racters combined which are subsequently divided among 
different groups. There are also traces of huge sea-lizards. 
But here, and likewise in the magnesian limestone for- 
mation, these amphibian-like animals still keep in the 
background amid the profusion of Ganoids, which espe- 
cially characterizes some of the strata of the magnesian 
limestone formation, the Kupferschiefer, or cupriferous 
marl formation. For the sake of classification, the Zech- 
stein is not unfitly supposed to conclude a great period 
of organic development : the series of formations from 
the Silurian to the end of the Zechstein is termed palse- 
azoic ; and those which follow, the Trias, Oolite, and 
Cretaceous formations, are summed up as mesozoic. 

The Trilobites, the mailed Ganoids, and others have 
now disappeared, and the enormous development of 
reptile life stamps this middle period. The Trias as 
yet possesses no true Teleostei. The Labyrinthodonta 
still predominate; while the Archaeosauros and the Pro- 
terosaurus, which had already appeared in the Dyas, are 
replaced by more numerous forms approximating to the 
true reptiles. One single discovery in the upper member 
of the Trias — the teeth of a predatory marsupial — has 
supplied us with the most ancient traces of a mammal. 
It might be inferred, even from the petrographic cha- 
racter of the oolitic strata, that this era must have been, 
on the whole, far more favourable to the development of 
animal life than the more perturbed Triassic period, or 


that at least a more copious preservation of organic 
remains might be expected, for the ooHtic strata are 
mostly depositions which have taken place without dis- 

And so it proves. The Placoids and Ganoids hitherto 
predominating in the ocean almost without a foe, now 
found overwhelming enemies in the true sea-lizards, or 
Enaliosaurians, especially the Ichthyosaura and Plesio- 
saura. The head is like a lizard or a crocodile, the ver- 
tebral column fish-like, and, as Gegenbauer has shown, 
the extremities also recall the simpler classes of sharks. 
Their coprolites likewise allow us to infer with full cer- 
tainty, a very peculiar construction of the middle portion 
of the intestinal canal. They possessed a spiral intes- 
tine like that of the sharks and their congeners. These 
animals are therefore noteworthy, not only on account 
of their striking external appearance and the part they 
play in nature's household, but, like the Labyrintho- 
donton, as mongrel and connecting forms of reptiles 
and of fish. 

In addition to these animals, we must distinguish 
among the marine fauna the Ammonites, which now 
appear in vast masses, and the Nautili, the second chief 
form of the ancient Cephalopods, the study of which 
has recently promised to contribute essentially to the 
decision of the most important points in our science. 
In combination Avith them, the Belemnites abound with 
their multitudinous species, originating in the Trias. 
They are proved to be the predecessors of dibranchiate 
Cephalopoda, which now predominate. On the chalk 
plains of Eichstadt and Solnhofen, belonging to the 
White Jura, are also preserved impressions, resembling 


drawings, of Medusae, which show that even at that time 
this class had reached the state in which it still exists. 

The terrestrial fauna of the Jurassic period is like- 
wise enriched by new forms and groups. We find the 
first true crocodiles, tortoises, and the most remarkable 
variation of the Sauroid type, the winged lizard or 
Pterodactyl. It is evident from their well-preserved 
skeletons that the wing membrane was stretched, as in 
the bat, between the posterior and anterior extremities. 
Behind, it extended to the foot, while in front, it obtained 
a corresponding addition by the elongation of the little 
finger. A first and only bird has likewise been found 
in the well-known resting-places of the Pterodactyls, in 
the lithographic slates of Solnhofen in Bavaria (Arch^- 
opterix lithographica). The most remarkable peculiarity 
of this bird, recognizable by the most minute impression 
of its feathers, is the long tail, bordered by two rows of 
rigid feathers. The head is unfortunately crushed beyond 
recognition. The inferior order of Mammals already 
mentioned, the Marsupials, were also present, as is shown 
by the enclosures of the middle Oolite of England and 
the upper Oolite of the Purbeck strata. 

The ornithic animals of the chalk, are more remark- 
able intermediate forms than the Archseopteryx, and 
these by their hour-glass-shaped vertebrate bodies are 
directly connected with the sea-lizards of the Jura, and 
also possess teeth ; this may, however, be the case with 
the Archseoptcryx also. We shall return later to these 
creatures, which fill up a void hitherto painfully sensible. 
During this new period the Ammonites were most abun- 
dant, and then became extinct, after going through a 
stage of degenerate forms which may be observed in the 


Turrilites, Scaphites, Baculites, and others are considered. 
The prime of the great sea-hzards is also past, but the 
marshes of the Wealden period harboured new forms 
of colossal land-lizards. The long-tailed cray-fishes are 
joined by the true crabs, the most highly developed 
forms of the class. In the Oolite and Chalk also occur 
the chief of the sea-urchin-like Echinoderms. As yet we 
have not mentioned the class of Echinodermata, in order 
that we might here point out in conjunction several of 
the more important phases of their geological occurrence. 
Desor,* a distinguished judge of this class, has lately 
examined how in this large group of Echina^ the pro- 
gress of organization is gradually manifested, on which 
occasion he was induced to make some general reflec- 
tions on the principle of progression, as applied to 
the Echinoderms, probably known to all our readers in 
their representatives the star-fish and sea-urchins. If 
articulate, as w^ell as vertebrate, animals attain a higher 
grade of development by the differentiation of the con- 
secutive segments of the body, the superior unity, and 
therewith higher perfection, of the Echinoderm's body 
is evinced when the spines, or so-called antimera, give 
way to the unity of the whole. 

The more distinct these elements are, that is to say, the 
more independent they remain, the lower is, not only the 
articulate animal, but also the Echinoderm. Accord- 
ingly, the star-fish, and to some extent the feather-stars, 
stone-lilies, or crinoids, occupy the lowest rank. But 
here, unluckily, palaeontological tradition likewise aban- 
dons us. Only so much is certain, that in the older 
fossiliferous strata both divisions are abundantly repre- 

* Bulletin de la Societe des Sciences Naturelles de Neufchatel, IX. 2. 


sented. A highly remarkable and important interme- 
diate form is also known, found in the upper Silurian 
strata of Dudley (Eucladia Johnsoni), the more impor- 
tant as but few transitional forms between one order 
and another have been hitherto discovered. The rela- 
tion of the star-fish to the sea-urchins is still indistinct. 
On the other hand, the bridge from the stone-lilies to 
the sea-urchins is tolerably apparent. The true Crinoids 
are sessile, and with them are connected, in the carbon- 
iferous formation, the no longer sessile Cystoids and 
Blastoids, with which are associated the Tessellae, more 
resembling the sea-urchins. Now the Dyas and Trias 
are still poor in true Echinse ; the Jura, on the contrary, 
very rich ; and in this great period the extraordinarily 
heterogeneous transformations of the Echinse are slowly 
accomplished, and may be traced, step by step, from 
the Lias, the earliest oolitic formation, to the coral 
limestone. At first the Cidaridse predominate ; they 
are joined in the Oolite by the EchinoconidcX and Cassi- 
dulidae. In the upper layers of the Jura, the sharper 
separation of the species becomes characteristic. 

Desor shows how this development, accompanied by 
temporary quiescence, is connected with the nature of the 
sea-bottom at the time. " The law of progress," he sa^/s, 
" is displayed in the circumstance that it is the lowest of 
the Echinae, the Regularse and Endocyclicce, which pri- 
marily appear, first in the form of the Tessellae, then as 
Cidaridae ; while the most perfect Spatangae, with the 
most distinctly marked bilateral form, make their ap- 
pearance last of all. Between these extremes we find 
a host of genera and species distinguished from one 
another by mere shades, so that of two allied genera it is 


often difficult, nay, impossible, to state which is the more 
perfect. Progression is only to be shown collectively ; 
in the concrete case it can rarely be demonstrated." 

The Echinse still predominate in the chalk. Recent 
discoveries of analogous animals, with soft and flexible 
persistent integuments, confirm what was theoretically 
extremely probable, that from them proceeded the high- 
est existing order of the Holothuria or Sea-cucumbers ; 
and thus the division of Echinoderms conforms to the 
universal experience of the ascent from the lower and 
undifferentiated to the higher forms. 

With the Tertiary period dawns the state of things 
now existing. Palms and arboraceous plants charac- 
terize the vegetation. The animal world has likewise 
remained essentially the same from the earliest sections 
of the Tertiary period until now, as we shall more 
elaborately set forth in the chapter on Geographical Dis- 
tribution. In the most ancient formations the Fishes, in 
the middle the Reptiles, were conspicuous in the world 
of life as the representatives of the highest development; 
now when the continents, not indeed without sundry 
local oscillations, are approximating to their present 
configuration, the impress of the Mammalia becomes 
predominant. Under the influence of elevations and 
depressions, of several glacial periods, and the more 
sharply defined limits of the climatic zones, frequent 
displacements occurred in the vegetal and animal world, 
accompanied by differentiation and further develop- 
ment. As we have alread^- mentioned, the course of our 
inquiries will bring us back to this subject. 

At the time when geologists believed in the rigid parti- 
tion of the earth's periods of development and the sharply 


separated succession of the evidence in its favour, that is 
to say, of the systems of stratification, the fixed concep- 
tion of a fossil was, that whatever had hved before the 
appearance of man on the threshold of the Alluvial 
period was fossil. It has been proved that the existence 
of man is far more ancient ; that species and races which 
surrounded the cradle of mankind have become extinct ; 
hence that they, like the Mammoth, for example, are 
fossil to us only, and not to our diluvial forefathers ; 
while many other animal forms which existed before 
man have been preserved till now. On the whole, from 
the Tertiary period forwards, the herbivorous Mammals 
precede the Carnivora. The monkeys appear only 
shortly before man. 

Notwithstanding many gaps in the palaeontological 
record, the progress of development is manifest in the 
organic world, including the vegetal kingdom. No fossil 
animal controverts the system. On the contrary, the most 
varied adjustments and accommodations are afforded by 
the antediluvian animals. If, for instance, the present 
Pachyderms are sharply distinguished from the Rumi- 
nants, an unbroken bridge between them is established by 
the extinct forms. If the present time shows us only 
single scattered genera of the Edentata, the Diluvial 
period exhibits a considerable number under far more 
heterogeneous forms. Thus in the types as in the divi- 
sions of the classes, the system advances from the older 
to the more recent periods ; while the more ancient groups 
gradually increase and then diminish, as newer, more 
perfectly or specifically integrated forms, are interposed. 
The former either vanish entirely or outlast the more 
recent periods, and continue in scanty remnants down 


to the present day. The formations mostly have their 
characteristic organisms, but almost everywhere the con- 
necting links have been exhibited. Everything conduces 
to show that it is a question of evolution, not revolution. 
Wherever there seems to be a sudden break, the case is 
the same as in the revolutions of human history, in which 
likewise only reforms long-prepared, and practically 
necessary, come to a rapid issue. 

If we sum up the result of the comparison of fossil with 
living animal life, we are first of all struck by the accord- 
ance between the grades succeeding one another in the 
order of time, and the members now ranged side by side 
in the system. Secondly, when this is confirmed, the 
parallelism betw^een the geological succession of animals 
and the grades of the individual development of present 
animals follows as a matter of course. Agassiz, in his 
great work on fossil fishes, pointed out this fact with 
irresistible force, and confirmed it in his later writings by 
renewed, valuable, and convincing observations on the 
investigations of the development and growth of corals. 
The same examples w4iich served in the preceding 
chapter to illustrate the parallelism of individual de- 
velopment with the systematic stages, may be repeated 
here; though many newer and very striking instances 
have been brought to light by the special researches 
of the last ten years. To express this relation, Agassiz 
introduced the term *' embryonic types," or " embryonic 
representatives." Thus the stalked stone-lilies are the 
em.bryonic types of the present genus Comatula ; the 
most ancient Echinae are the embryonic representatives 
of the higher families of the Clype^istrae and Spatangae; 
the Mastodon, on account of its persistent molar teeth, 


is the embryonic type of the elephant, which only transi- 
torily possesses such teeth. If the term implies nothing 
further than the vague assertion of "the working of 
the same creative Mind through all times and upon the 
v/hole surface of the globe," '^ scarcely any solution is 
obtained. Let us rather, v/ith Riitimeyer in his admi- 
rable researches on fossil horses,'* allow our attention to 
be drawn by these and similar facts "to a close connec- 
tion between the phases of development in the individual 
and in the species," that is, to a natural connection. 

All who absolutely require a personal God in the 
current history of creation, draw from these facts no 
other inference than that their God had the whim of 
producing at first imperfect and subsequently more and 
more perfect organisms, and of applying in the develop- 
ment of the last reminiscences of the first. 

As worthless as the formula of embryonic types is 
another, invented by Agassiz, for the chapes in v/hich, 
in some fossil groups, mechanical and physiological 
results were imperfectly obtained, and for which provi- 
sion is made in later organisms by other more adequate 
and perfect arrangements. These are his "prophetic 
types." The Pterodactyl is, for example, supposed 
to stand in this relation tov/ards the bird. Does this 
quibble aid in the comprehension of either one or the 
other.? Is any rational idea obtained if, besides the 
prophecy of the Pterodactyl, the geologically antece- 
dent insect is regarded as its prophet, or the bird as 
the forerunner of the bat } There is no sense at all 
unless the prophet becomes the progenitor, which in 
these cases cannot be supposed. 



The Standpoint of the Miraculous, and the Investigation of Nature— Creation 
or Natural Development — Linnaeus— Cuvier—Agassiz— Examination of 
the Idea of Species. 

" I hear your message well, it cannot wake my faith. 
To faith is miracle her dearest child."* 

Having quoted these words of Faust, we will proceed 
without further digression to examine the standpoint 
occupied by the Natural Philosopher with regard to a 
domain where the sceptre is wielded, not by the lucid 
intellect, but by the imagination looking through coloured 
glasses ; not by Logic, but by arbitrary ideas ; where 
the laws of causality are turned upside down; a domain 
where, indeed, many unquestionably honourable men 
still feel themselves at home, but which at best fosters 
only pious self-deception, and indolence of mind. 

We must take up a decided position without regard 
to consequences, as after the discussion of the actual 
record of the animal world in its three aspects, 
namely, its present tenantry of complete forms, the 
evolution of the individuals, and the historical suc- 
cession during the earlier periods of the earth's forma- 
tion, — after this superficial work of registration and 
enrolment, the actual study of our subject must begin. 

* " Die Botschaft hor'ich wohl, allein mir fehlt der Glaube. 
Das Wunder ist des Glaubcns liebstes Kind." 


This is, however, the case only with those to whom the 
miracle of creation is absolutely without existence ; 
whereas an observer, who regards any miracle, how- 
ever slight, or any sort of disturbance of the order of 
nature, as possible, must deem his science of Biology 
complete with the erudition formerly propounded, and 
subsequently extended by countless items of special in- 
formation. We cannot therefore do otherwise than give 
to Goethe's maxim, " Belief is not the beginning, but the 
end of all knowledge," the interpretation that belief is 
incompatible with knowledge, and that hence belief in a 
creation of life is incompatible with the investigation 
of it. 

But if Life did not originate in an incomprehensible 
manner, it must have been developed. Many decades 
elapsed before this idea with its consequences could be 
stated ; and in order to comprehend the obstinacy 
with which the contrary was maintained, and a circle of 
opinions allowed to take root, against which modern 
Biology alone has waged a successful war, it is necessary 
to call to mind some of the chief epochs in the history of 
Geology, and their representatives. This will naturally 
lead us to the point whence the shaft of knowledge has 
been sunk. 

After the middle of the last century, Comparative 
Anatomy, almost independently of systematic Zoology, 
took a prosperous course, and became far richer in 
ideas than this descriptive Natural History. One of its 
maxims, however, was accepted without examination — 
the constancy and immutability of species ; and this 
maxim forms the centre of the views entertained by 
Linnaeus. The continued authority of this great de- 

G 2 


scrlber of Nature, is rendered comprehensible only by 
the confident style as well as by the neatness of his 
diagnoses, by which, with a single stroke, he put an end to 
the indefinite character of Natural History, and appeared 
to contemporaries and posterity as a lawgiver. The 
exaltation of species as the basis of all systematic com- 
prehension had never been so explicitly proclaimed. 
His opinions culminate in the maxim, ^"^ " Reason teaches 
that at the beginning of things, a pair of each particular 
species was created." But with Llnnceus this said reason 
looks rather strange, for it is subservient to the strictest 
Scriptural belief, and he endeavours to harmonize his 
geological conceptions with this standpoint. 

One very effective geological phenomenon was espe- 
cially striking to him, namely, the upheaval of a great 
portion of the Scandinavian coast. It proceeds more 
rapidly than the subsidence of another part ; its phe- 
nomena are far mightier ; and thus the idea might be 
formed that the continent had risen from the sea in 
regular progression. " I believe that I am not straying 
far from the truth," he says, " if I affirm that in the 
infancy of the world all the mainland was submerged 
and covered by an enormous ocean, save one single 
island in this immeasurable sea, on which all animals 
dwelt and plants grew luxuriantly."'^ 

It follows that all species of plants likewise existed in 
this lovely garden, as it is expressly said that Adam 
named every animal ; consequently all insects must 
have been assembled in Paradise, but insects cannot be 
imagined without plants. Linnaeus then makes the first 
attempt at animal geography by making the animals 
disperse themselves from this centre. But the summary 


of his idea of species is invariably, "We reckon as many 
species as the Infinite Being created at the beginning."*^ 
And his authority was so powerful that the age of 
Voltaire and of Diderot devoutly accepted this obvious 
dogma, and transmitted it to posterity as a maxim 
impossible to question. 

Linnaeus was, however, so little of an anatomist that 
in this province Zoology required a completely fresh 
foundation, and, in the capacity of a second Linnaeus, 
Cuvier stood forth.^^ His school styles itself the school 
of facts, yet it was by no means without a tincture of 
philosophy. On the contrary, the definite and simple 
nature of his principles and deductions could not fail to 
be imposing. He epitomized the summary of his obser- 
vations as "Laws of Organization;" and he applied the 
teleological view, the principe des causes finales, with 
great advantage to the knowledge and restoration of 
antediluvian animals. The question of the persistency 
or mutability of species thrust itself forcibly upon him. 
For this an external cause was given by the Egyptian 
expedition and the investigation of mummified animals. 
Etienne Geoftroy St. Hilaire and Lamarck attacked the 
persistency of species, and held that, especially consider- 
ing the stability of external conditions, the Egyptian 
period was far too short for the identity of the mummies 
with the species now extant, to make it possible to infer 
the immutability of species; but the question was curtly 
despatched and silenced by the predominating school 
of Cuvier. 

Meanwhile, Cuvier not only increased the accumu- 
lation of facts, but, as we have already hinted, he 
grouped them so happily and with such philosophical 


skill that he undoubtedly approached the object at which 
he aimed — the Natural System. He supplied the first 
reliable information respecting extinct species. With 
regard to those which had replaced them in subsequent 
periods, he was not, as is generally supposed, an un- 
qualified partizan of new creations, but he refrained 
from any fixed opinion. " I will not," he says,^^ 
"positively afhrm that for the production of the present 
animals a new creation was required. I merely say 
they did not live in the same locality, and must have 
come from elsewhere." GeofTroy Saint Hilaire, on the 
contrary, does not doubt that the animals now living are 
descended, by an unbroken succession of generations, 
from the extinct races of the antediluvian age. 

Cuvier's method involved the danger of introducing 
dogmatism into natural science, and it is therefore 
justifiable to refer in this place to one of Cuvier's imme- 
diate disciples only recently deceased — Louis Agassiz, 
who in the most rigidly didactic manner adheres to the 
systematic categories, and invests them with fine-sound- 
ing definitions as "embodied creative ideas." ''^ Accord- 
ing to him, species belong to a particular period in the 
world's history, and bear definite relations to the physical 
conditions predominant at the time, as well as to the 
contemporaneous plants and animals. Species are 
founded on well-defined relations of individuals to one 
another and the world in which they live, as well as on 
the proportions and mutual relations of their parts, and 
on their ornamentation. 

Individuals, as representatives of species, bear the 
closest relations to one another ; they exhibit definite 
relations also to the surrounding element, and their 


existence is limited within a definite period. Of genera 
he says, " Genera are groups of animals most closely 
connected together, and diverging from one another 
neither in the form nor in the composition of their 
structure, but simply in the ultimate structural pecu- 
liarities of some of their parts." " Individuals, as repre- 
sentatives of genera, have a definite and specific ultimate 
structure, identical with that of the representatives of 
other species." 

We may pronounce these definitions to be mere 
phrases, and inquire with Haeckel : " Of what nature 
are these ' ultimate structural peculiarities of some of 
their parts ' which are supposed alone to define the 
genus as such, and to be exclusively characteristic of 
each genus } We ask every systematizer whether he 
may not equally well apply this definition to species, 
varieties, &c., and whether it is not finally the ' ulti- 
mate structural peculiarities of some of their parts ' 
which produce the characteristic forms of the species, 
the variety, &c. In vain do we search in the " Essay 
on Classification " for a single example of the manner 
in which, for instance, the genera of oxen or antelopes, 
the races of hysenas and dogs, or the two great genera 
of our fresh-water bivalve shells, the Unio and Ano- 
donta, are actually distinguished by "the ultimate struc- 
tural peculiarities of some of their parts." Several of 
these definitions given by Agassiz may be interchanged 
point-blank, so general and merely negative are their 
statements. He characterizes the classes " by the man- 
ner in w^hich the plan of the type is executed as far as 
ways and means are concerned." The orders, ** by the 
degree of com.plication of the structure of the types." 


These phrases are interchangeable, but, Hke all dogma- 
tism, they make a great impression on those who from 
ignorance of the facts are incapable of criticising for 
themselves, and they are readily quoted to confute an 
unbelieving investigation of nature by one made in 

It might be thought that if the affair were so simple, 
and systematic ideas so firmly fixed, nothing would be 
easier than to establish the system. And so Agassiz 
maintains. He says that if a single species of any of 
the great animal groups were present, and admitted of 
investigation, the character of the type, class, family, 
genus, and species, might be determined. The weak- 
ness of this and similar statements may best be demon- 
strated by examining the basis of all dogmatic system, 
— the " species." If this idea be mutable, if the species 
be not given once for all, but variable, according to 
time and circumstances, the implications of the higher 
and more general ideas of genus, family, &c., must 
necessarily ensue. The keenest and most logical criti- 
cism on the deeply-rooted scholastic idea of "species" 
was made by Haeckel,''' after Darwin, in his classical 
work on the " Origin of Species," had completely ex- 
posed the old doctrine and practice of zoology and 
botany. In what follows we shall adhere to Haeckel. 

We have seen above that Linnaeus accepted the Crea- 
tion as an irrevocable scriptural doctrine, and it is really 
absurd that many naturalists who have long abandoned 
any other dogma, should abide by this one. Therefore 
as the Bible mentions the creation of species, this legend 
was made the basis of all science. It is true there are 
not now many vrho appeal to scriptural testimony. 


Those who defend the stability of species rather imagine 
that, with Cuvier, they are entitled to interpret facts in 
their own favour ; whereas they partly remain uncon- 
sciously involved in hereditary prejudice, and partly 
contrive to be deliberately blind to all that evidently 
contradicts the immutability of species. 

Since Linnaeus referred to the Creation, he attributed 
the individuals to a species, of which the pedigree 
ascended in direct line to the pair which proceeded 
from the hand of the Creator. Owing to the state of 
science in general, an examination of this pedigree was 
totally impossible in his time ; and, indeed, with the 
strict reliance on sacred tradition, it was scarcely neces- 
sary. Cuvier, although a very unprejudiced and cool 
observer, nevertheless radically accepted the Linnaean 
definition of species. According to him, the species 
is the aggregate of individuals descending from one 
another and from common ancestors, and of those 
who resemble them as strongly as they resemble one 

"In this definition," says Haeckel, "to which the 
majority have ever since more or less closely adhered, 
two things are obviously required of an individual as 
belonging to a species : in the first place, a certain 
degree of resemblance or approximate similarity of 
character ; and secondly, a kindred connection by the 
bond of a common descent. In the numerous attempts 
of later authors to complete the definition, the chief 
stress is laid sometimes on the genealogical consangui- 
nity of all the individuals, sometimes on morphological 
uniformity in all essential characters. But it may be 
generally asserted that in the practical application of 


the idea of species, In the discrimination and nomencla- 
ture of the individual species, the latter criterion alone 
has almost always been employed, while the former has 
been entirely neglected. Later, it is true, the genea- 
logical idea of the common descent of all individuals of 
each separate species was supplemented by the physio- 
logical definition that all the individuals of every species 
are capable of producing fertile offspring, by intercross- 
ing, whereas sexual intercourse between individuals of 
different species produces only sterile offspring or none at 
all. In practice, however, it was considered quite enough 
if, among a number of extremely similar animals under 
investigation, uniformity in all essential characters could 
be established, and no inquiry was made whether these 
individuals ascribed to the same species were actually 
of common origin, and capable, by crossing, of pro- 
ducing fertile offspring. The physiological definition 
was no more applied in the practical discrimination of 
animal and vegetal species, than was the pre-supposed 
common descent from a single ancestral pair. On the 
other hand, two closely allied forms wxre distinguished 
v/ithout scruple as two different 'good species,' when- 
ever in a number of similar individuals examined a con- 
stant difference could be demonstrated, even though of 
a merely subordinate character. Here, again, no pains 
were taken to ascertain whether the two different series 
were not really descended from common ancestors, and 
were really capable of generating in conjunction only 
sterile hybrids, if any." 

That this radical condemnation of the post-LInnDean 
manufacture of species is not too severe, is shown by 
one fact among others ; that within the fraternity such 


utter discord as to the limitations of species prevailed, 
and still prevails, that no agreement can be arrived at 
respecting- the basis of the description of species, the 
" essential characteristics." Although Agassiz lays down 
the diagnosis of the species, a decision is required in each 
case as to the mutual relations of the parts, the orna- 
mentation, &c. As in the absence of birds'-nests, snail- 
shells, butterflies, &c., it is impossible, when it comes to 
the erection of species, to pre-determine what may be 
the " essential characteristics " of the species they are to 
form, subjective opinions and arbitrary decisions have 
full play; and within a certain domain, well known by its 
forms, there are among the systematizers no two autho- 
rities who are agreed as to the number of species into 
which the material before them should be divided. 

The most unbridled license in the manufacture of 
species prevailed, however, among the Palaeontologists 
during a period when, in the endeavour to fix the sub- 
divisions of geological strata as accurately as possible by 
means of their organic contents, the separation of species 
was carried incredibly far, into the most minute and often 
into individual deviations. A certain mutability of species 
could not fail to obtrude itself on the most purblind eye ; 
ramifications were made of sub-species, sports of nature, 
and varieties characterized by " less essential " peculiari- 
ties acquired by means of climate and inheritance. 
There was, however, always a reservation that their 
crosses with one another and with the main species 
should produce fertile offspring, whereas towards other 
species their relations were identical with those of the 
main species. Of course, in this separation of the 
species into sub-species, subjective opinion was even 


less fettered by tradition and law than in the definition 
of species. The literature of ornithology during the last 
forty years could furnish thousands of the strangest 
examples of the Babel-like confusion which was thus 

There is no question that a great, perhaps the greater, 
number of organisms now existing are in a condition 
in which, according to their internal and external re- 
lations, they may be characterized by Natural History 
as. so-called species, and for the purpose of recognition 
and scientific treatment in general, must needs be so 
characterized. But this stabiHty, as may be shown both 
directly and by analogy, is under all circumstances only 
temporary, and we have whole classes of organisms to 
which it is impossible, even with the widest reservations, 
to apply the old idea of species, with its immutability of 
essential characteristics. If we are able to furnish incon- 
trovertible proofs of the existence of such non-specific 
groups, the old system and the dogma of species are once 
for all set aside, and the positive basis of a new doctrine 
is secured. This evidence is supplied in two directions. 
Some classes of organisms in their present state vacillate 
and fluctuate in form, in such a manner that it is utterly 
impossible to fix the characteristics of species or genus. 
They are in an extreme grade of mutability, which, in 
others, has given way to an apparent state of repose. 
Other series of facts, exhibiting the most obvious muta- 
bility of species, are displayed by certain antediluvian 
groups in the succession of forms called '* species." 

Even before the appearance of Darwin's work on the 
" Origin of Species," Carpenter, in the course of his 
researches on the Foraminifera, arrived at the con- 


elusion, proved In special instances, that In this group 
of low organisms which secrete the most delicate cal- 
careous shells, there could be no question of " species," 
but only of " series of forms." Forms w^hich the sys- 
tematists had reduced to different genera and families, 
he beheld developing themselves from one another. 
These Foraminifera are, however, so simple in structure, 
the history of their individual evolution or Ontogenesis 
is, as yet, so little known ; they contribute so little 
microscopic detail, which might formulate the law of 
transmutation of species, that the champions of persist- 
ency of species might still seek refuge in the assertion 
that Carpenter's series of forms are mere varieties, and 
only prove that the true '' species " have not yet been 

We may now turn with advantage to the class of the 
Spongladae, the importance of which in the question of 
species I was the first to point out.^^ With them, as I 
summed up my researches, it is not as with the Forami- 
nifera, merely an affair of the general habit of the form, 
of the variable grouping of the chamber systems ; but the 
variability exists still more specially In the microscopic 
detail than in the coarser constituents. In the Forami- 
nifera we may speak of microscopic forms, but not pro- 
perly of microscopic constituents. But in the sponges 
we discern the transformation of the finer morphological 
constituents, the rudimentary organs, and we thereby 
gain an insight into the mutability of the whole. In this 
respect the calcareous sponges are somewhat differently 
circumstanced from the rest, and from the silicious 
sponges in particular. In the former, the variability of the 
microscopic parts is limited to a smaller circle of forms, 


whereas the habit of the series of individuals is incredibly 
pliable. This pliability of the whole body is not lacking 
in the silicious sponges ; in the genus Tedania, for in- 
stance, established by Gray from some of my earlier 
Reniera, we see how their stubbornly coherent needle- 
like forms recur from Trieste to Florida and Iceland, 
under the most heterogeneous disguises. In some varie- 
ties, however, one of these spicula already manifests a 
tendency to deviations. 

This very point, the possibility of tracing in detail 
the metamorphoses of organs, which, on the assumption 
of their stability, appeared to provide the system with 
the most substantial basis for the erection of genera and 
species, renders the investigation peculiarly attractive. 
Even among the Algierian sponges, I have adduced 
striking examples, and they accumulate in proportion 
as the horizon is extended. We arrive gradually at the 
conviction that no reasonable dependence can be placed 
on any "characteristic;" that with a certain constancy 
in microscopic constituents, the outward bodily form, 
with its coarser distinctive marks, varies far beyond the 
limits of the so-called species and genera ; and that, 
with like external habits, the internal particles, which 
we looked upon as specific, are transformed into others, 
as it were, under our hands. "Any one" — thus con- 
cludes this section of my work on the Fauna of the 
Atlantic Sponges, — " who, with regard to sponges, 
makes his chief business the manufacture of species and 
genera, is reduced ad absurditin, as Haeckel has shown 
with exquisite irony in his Prodrome to the Monograph 
on the Calcareous Sponges." 

In my specific researches I confined myself essentially 


to the sillcious sponges, and by thousands of microscopic 
observations, by measurements, by drawings, by facts 
and inferences, had produced evidence, which acute op- 
ponents of the immutabihty of species had not brought 
forward before me, that in these sponges, species and 
genera, and consequently fixed systematic unities in 
general, had no existence. The other division of the 
same class, the calcareous sponges, had been treated 
with unrivalled mastery by Haeckel in his IMonograph.^^ 

He was able not only to confirm my statements, but, 
owing to the smaller compass and the greater facility 
of observing the group selected for study, to advance 
with more sequence and continuity from the observation 
of details to the whole, to portray its morphology, 
physiology, and evolutionary history with the utmost 
completeness. He then challenged the obstructive 
party with the assertion that, according to subjective 
opinion, either one or 591 species of calcareous sponges 
might be accepted, but " that no absolute species exists, 
and that species and varieties cannot be sharply sepa- 
rated." Whoever after these demonstrations cleaves to 
the phantom of species, without either proving that 
the facts have been falsely observed, or that they 
may be interpreted otherwise than in favour of the 
stability of species, — whoever, as Agassiz has recently 
done, ignoring any such researches, publicly asseverates 
that in no single case has the mutability of any species 
been exhibited, — scarcely preserves the right to partici- 
pate in the great controversy by which Natural Science 
is now perturbed. 

There is, however, as we have already mentioned, a 
second direction in which the mobility of " species " must 


be demonstrated, not the direction of breadth, but of 
height and depth. This mutabihty of the Spongiad^ 
affords the extremely important evidence that, so to 
speak, an entire class has, even now, not attained a state 
of comparative repose. But to confirm the mutability 
of species, evidence of mutability in lapse of time is 
justly demanded ; the transition of the forms succeeding 
one another historically in the strata of the earth. 

A highly instructive example of the transmutation of 
species occurring in the lapse of time, and one which 
may at all events be banished from the limits of varieties, 
is offered by the Tellina (Planorbis multiformis) occurring 
in the fresh-water chalk of Steinheim, in Wiirtemberg. 
The deposit, derived from the Tertiary period, contains 
the residue of a small lake, and may be divided into 
about 40 petrographically distinguishable layers. " In 
the whole series of strata," says Hilgendorf,^* ''the 
varieties of Planorbis multiformis are distributed in such 
a manner that individual layers are characterized as 
successive strata, by the exclusive occurrence or by the 
predominance of single or several varieties which, within 
the layer, remain constant or slightly variable, but to- 
wards the limits of the next layer, lead by transitions to 
the succeeding forms. The intermediate layers furnish 
evidence that the other forms originated by gradual 
metamorphosis from the earlier ones ; they moreover 
render it possible to range form to form, and to trace the 
evolution backwards; hence it becomes manifest that 
what above seemed distinctly divided, meets below. 
Thus arises a pedigree richly endowed with main and 
side branches." The forms diverge so greatly, and are 
so constant in the main zones, which tell of periois of 


repose, that, in accordance with the old conchological 
practice, they would be unreservedly claimed as species, 
if the connecting links were not too conspicuous and the 
territory too circumscribed, and if the geological period, 
which must, however, be reckoned at least by thousands 
of years, were not considered too insignificant. 

But what the case of Steinheim exhibits in miniature 
was taking place on a large scale during the great geo- 
logical periods, and the zeal of some Palaeontologists, 
such as Waagen, Zittel, Neumayr, Wiirtenberger," has 
had the effect of proving, at least with respect to the 
important division of the Ammonites, the utter impossi- 
bility of separating them into " species." The study 
of Ammonites has shown that from fossil remains 
important inferences may be made as to the whole 
organization, and that, in combination with the observ- 
able modifications of the shell, simultaneous and pro- 
found metamorphoses of certain determining soft parts 
must have taken place. If it is now proved, as it has 
been by these investigators, that the so-called '* species " 
which characterize the great Jurassic and cretaceous 
formations, are connected in the same manner as 
the varieties of the Steinheim snail, as mere morpho- 
logical series of variable constancy and duration, they 
who will not allow even this evidence to rouse them 
from their innate drowsiness, are like the ostrich which 
prefers not to see the danger. Neumayr is such a cool and 
cautious observer, that he allows nothing to pass current 
but that which is absolutely certain. It is true he holds 
it to be " extraordinarily probable " that in all forms 
these gradual transitions have taken place, yet in one 
case only does he demand unqualified assent, namely, 



that he has proved " that Perlsphlnctes aurigerus (0pp.) 
of the Bathonians, and Perisphinctes curvirostrus of the 
zone of the Cosmoceras Jason (Rein), are connected in 
such a manner by intermediate occurrences that it is 
impossible to draw a Hmit. 

L. Wiirtenberger appHed his researches to thousands 
of samples from the groups of the Planulate Ammonites 
with ribbed shells, and of the Annate Ammonites with 
prickly shells. In summing up his results he says, 
among other things : " How among the Ammonites of 
the Planulate and Armate groups, the species are to be 
branched off from one another, I should be reluctant and 
unable to give any instructions, for to me this question 
appears utterly hopeless. For in groups of fossil organ- 
isms, in which, as in the present case, so many connect- 
ing links between the most extreme forms are actually 
before us, that the transition is regularly carried on, the 
species is far less susceptible of apprehension than in the 
organic forms of the present world, which at least denote 
the existing limits of the great pedigree of the organic 
world. With respect to these fossil forms, it is funda- 
mentally indifferent whether a very short, or a somewhat 
longer portion of any branch be honoured by a special 
name, and looked upon as a species. The prickly Am- 
monites, classified under the name of Armata, are so 
intrinsically connected, that it becomes an impossibility 
to separate the accepted species sharply from one 
another. The same observation applies also to the 
group of which the manifold forms are distinguished 
by their ribbed shells, and termed Planulata." It has 
further transpired that the Armata, or Custata, originated 
from the Planulata. 


We shall return later to Wiirtenberger's preliminary 
communications. It was our object here to inform our 
readers how and where modern natural inquiry sets aside 
the phantom of species, and to enable them to judge for 
themselves what series of observations are opposed to 
the asseverations that in no single case has evidence 
been given of the transition of one species into another. 
For the old school falls into the dilemma of proclaiming 
whole orders and classes to be *' species," and the species, 
formerly so beautifully defined, to be varieties. 

The untenableness of the physiological part of the 
definition of species has been conclusively shown first by 
Darwin and afterwards by Haeckel. It is known that 
even in a state of freedom good species not infrequently 
breed together, and that domesticated species, such as 
the horse and the ass, have been crossed for thousands 
of years. But hybrids, the produce of this intercourse, 
were supposed to be only exceptionally fertile, and at 
any rate not to produce fertile progeny for more than a 
few generations. On the other hand^ it was considered 
certain that the produce of crosses among varieties are 
fertile in unbroken succession. The dogma of the ste- 
rility of hybrids was formed without any experimental 
or general observation, and by ill-luck was apparently 
confirmed by the most ancient and best known hybridi- 
zations of the mule and the hinny. To this familiar 
example, in which the fertility of hybrids proves abortive, 
we will oppose only one case of propagation successfully 
accomplished in recent times through many generations; 
that, namely, of hares and rabbits, two " good species " 
never yet regarded as mere varieties. 

The numerous and varied forms of the domestic dog 

II 2 


were pronounced ex cathedra to be varieties of the same 
species, as their crosses are productive. But after read- 
ing Darwin's careful comparison of the reports as to 
the relations of certain species of v/olves with the dogs 
of savage nations, and of the European wolf with the 
Hungarian dog, we must agree with Darwin in thinking 
it as extremely probable that in various parts of the 
world, and at various periods, wild species of the genus 
Canis were domesticated, of which the crosses produce 
fertile progeny to an extent almost unlimited. 

It is the same with the domestic cat. With the forms 
of the European domestic cat, the case is such that it 
is scarcely possible to doubt its origin partly from a 
Nubian species, and partly from the European wild- 
cat. The inferences thus moved in a circle ; forms be- 
long to the same species, because they may be fruitfully 
crossed ; and because they may be fruitfully crossed, 
they belong to the same species ; and, on the other hand, 
because such and such forms, when crossed, produce no 
fertile progeny, they constitute different species; and 
because they are different species, they generate no fertile 
offspring. The cases of persistent fertility in hybrids are 
certainly not frequent, but they are nevertheless so well 
certified that the contrary statement is in plain contra- 
diction to the facts. But conversely, the proposition 
that mongrels, the products of crosses among varieties, 
are fertile, thus generally stated, is likewise untenable. 
The variety which has been evolved in Paraguay from 
our domestic cat, pairs no longer with its ancestral stock, 
nor does the tame European guinea-pig with the wild 
ancestral stock of Brazil. 

But even if, in general, crosses between varieties are 


more easily effected, and more often produce fertile off- 
spring than the unquestionably rarer crosses of species 
the frequent failure of crosses between species com- 
pletely accords with the modification of species in the 
lapse of time, as shown above. Provisionally, let us 
hold nothing to be established but that, as to fertility 
and the capability of persistent reproduction, the 
conditions of mongrels and of hybrids are essentially 
similar and differ only in degree, and that on these 
properties, no closer definition or limitation can be 

If the older definitions of species go back to Paradise, 
and derive existent species lineally from ancestral pro- 
genitors, miraculously created from the first and never 
modified, the ingenuous statements of Linn?eus show that 
all this was accepted as self-evident, and that no thought 
was given to the proof, which would indeed have been 
impossible to obtain. A letter from George Forster to 
Peter Camper, dated May 7th, 1787, proves however 
that, even in the last century, the voices of more far- 
sighted naturalists were raised against this superficial 
treatment of the idea of species. Systems, he said, were 
founded on this idea, yet everything was uncertain as 
long as this expression was not irremovably fixed. But 
hitherto all definitions of this word were hypothetical, 
and in themselves anything but clear. If we are to 
accept as many species as were created, how is a 
created species to be distinguished from one produced 
by the intermixture of several others ? To fall back 
upon the Creation is to lose oneself in the Infinite 
and the Impalpable. " This will never enable us to 
understand anything ; and definitions which rest on an 


inexplicable foundation, on a mystery, ought to be pro- 
scribed from science for evermore." 

Without owning allegiance to any theory whatever, 
we are constrained to recognize the fact, that in various 
groups of organisms there even now exists such an 
instability of form, and such a degree of variability, 
that it is patent how constrained and artificial is their 
systematic separation. In many other groups, in most 
orders of the Mammalia, for example, this phase of 
mobility has been replaced by a certain quiescence, and 
the forms now presenting themselves for observation 
and comparison are so well defined from one another, 
that they fit into the system without difficulty as " good 
species." But if the "good species" are to be judged 
by the experiences made in regard to the " bad " ones, 
and if the preposterous hypothesis is not laid hold of, in 
contravention to all healthy human understanding, that 
** good species " originated in a miraculous manner inac- 
cessible to our cognition, w^hereas the " bad species " are 
susceptible of analysis, — the other alternative alone is 
possible, that, as Haeckel says, if we knew them thg- 
roughly, all species without exception would, in the sense 
of the species-makers, be "bad species." We are also 
acquainted with a sufficient number of bad species to be 
capable of inferring the general law w^ith certainty. 
Nevertheless, all further corroboration and discovery of 
bad species is acceptable. Regarded formerly by the 
systematists only as incumbrances and as stones rejected 
by the builders, they have now become the corner-stones 
of science. 

Is species therefore, we again inquire, to be entirely 
abandoned ? Not so, for several reasons. Even assuming 


that so-called good species, in the sense of the systematists, 
have no existence, human intellect, in the endeavour to 
obtain a general view, would be compelled to denominate 
the forms, unless all scientific treatment was to be ren- 
dered impracticable. But the retention of species is more 
over scientifically justifiable and necessary, if only the 
determining impulses be taken into account, and the 
definition reduced to harmony with reality. Species 
is not constituted merely of analogous individuals, for 
even the sexes, in the course of development, and without 
transformation, diverge considerably from one another. 

But if we remember the transmutation of shape taking 
place by stages in organisms subject to metamorphosis, 
and the regular sequence of forms alternating with one 
another in heterogenesis, we shall be obliged to speak, 
not of individuals, but of the cycles of reproduction 
which comprise the various phases and series of indi- 
viduals. These remain persistent as long as they exist 
under the same external conditions. How far time in 
itself affects existence and decay is unknown. At any 
rate, time, as well as the external conditions of time, is 
a factor in the mutation of species. While we regard 
species as absolutely mutable, and only relatively stable, 
we will term it, with Haeckel, " the sum of all cycles of 
reproduction which, under similar conditions of exist- 
ence, exhibit similar forms," 



Natural Philosophy — Goethe — Predestined Transformation according to 
Richard Owen— Lamark. 

We have hitherto confined ourselves essentially to the 
contemplation of the phenomena of the animal world as 
facts, avoiding as far as possible any examination of the 
correlation of these facts, or any criticism of the attempts 
to explain them. It was nevertheless necessary to single 
out from the history of our science some few impulses of 
which the after-effects extend to the present time, and 
of which a knowledge is conducive to the comprehension 
of prevailing views, tendencies, and prejudices. For this 
reason we again revert to the evolutionary history of 
Biology and Comparative Anatomy, that we may trace 
the present currents to their sources. Since the middle 
of last century, there has been no lack of leading ideas 
in the organic natural sciences, such, for instance, as are 
contained in BufTon's magnificent project of a picture of 
the world. But if it is a question of a single compre- 
hensive solution of the organic world, we are at once 
reminded of the claims preferred by Natural Philo- 
sophy in the first decades of this century, to explain the 
universe ; to derive from the whole, not only matter 
in the abstract, but the being and origin of organic 
bodies. When the Philosophy of Identity began to 

OKEN. 105 

found the laws of the ]\IInd without the study of the 
body, and in its own fashion had proved the identity of 
the corporal and spiritual world by means of imponder- 
ables and non-organic bodies, their constructions neces- 
sarily extended to organisms. 

This attempt to generalize the principles of Schelling 
was made by Oken '^'' when in his system he conceives 
all Nature to be a process of evolution. In his opinion, 
natural science is the science of the eternal modification 
of God, that is of Mind, in the world, and is thus in the 
widest sense, Cosmogony. Everything, when contem- 
plated as part of the genetic process of the whole, 
involves, besides the idea of existence, also that of 
non-existence, or position and negation, as it rises into a 
higher idea. These contrasts include the category of 
polarity, which manifests itself in motion, the life of all 
things. The simpler elementary bodies aggregate into 
higher forms, which are mere higher powers of tlie former, 
as their causes. Hence the various classes of bodies 
represent parallel series, each corresponding with and 
modifying the order of the other ; classes of which the 
rational arrangement follows with inherent necessity from 
their genetic coherence. But in individuals, these lower 
series again become apparent during the period of de- 
velopment. The antagonisms in the solar system of 
the planets and the sun, repeat themselves in plants 
and animals ; and as light is the principle of motion, the 
animal has the advantage of independent motion, above 
the vegetal organism which pre-eminently belongs to the 
earth. Embryology receives its due in a general propo- 
sition. "Animals perfect themselves gradually, adding 
organ to organ in the self-same manner as tlie individual 


animal is perfected." But in Man, as the highest animal, 
the whole animal world is contained ; he is the actual 

If Natural Philosophy be the expression and logical 
connection of all well-observed facts, we could not now 
designate as Natural Philosophy, Oken's well-rounded 
system, laid down in 3562 propositions, with their in- 
ferential conceits of Position, Negation, and Polarity, 
the absolutely meaningless formula of + O — without 
any real penetration of the subject-matter. Various 
and important incitements to research were nevertheless 
supplied by it, and we have been the more anxious to 
call attention to this system, as it implies at least as 
much as the vague formulae and ideas of " intrinsic de- 
velopment," the " principle of progress," the " conversion 
of the lower into the higher," and the whole litany of 
indecision and indistinctness. 

In this chapter we shall not adhere to chronological 
succession, but merely characterize various theories of 
organic nature ; and we may therefore now revert to 
Goethe, who in Haeckel's opinion forestalled his age on 
the great question which forms the subject of this book, 
and deserves to be honoured as the independent founder 
of the theory of descent in Germany.'^ We cannot 
ascribe this importance to Goethe, for we must deny 
the very cardinal-point on which Haeckel lays most 
weight, — that Goethe regards species not merely as 
modified phenomena of the variable idea of the genus, 
but as the sum of bodies modifiable in the concrete. 
What principally induces us to make detailed mention 
of Goethe is his penetration of the idea of type, which 
since the time of BufTon had been for two genera- 

GOETHE. 107 

tions the lodestar of a higher research unknown to the 
pure systematizers. Goethe elaborated this idea in his 
own mind on the basis of a certainly remarkable special 
knowledge of organic matter, and undeniably reached 
the threshold of the solution. That his scientific activity 
was a necessary effusion of his nature, I have demon- 
strated in the treatises here cited. Additional evidence 
has been given by Helmholtz and Virchow. 

Goethe's notes on his position towards nature, and his 
researches, comprise a period of more than fifty years. 
About the year 1780, there appears, under the title of 
"Die Natur," a sort of Hymn to Nature, concluding 
with the beautiful words which make him seem a pure 
Pantheist : " She placed me in it ; she will also lead me 
forth ; I trust myself to her. She may dispose of me. 
She will not hate her work. I spake not of her. No, 
whatever is true and whatever is false, she spake it all. 
All is her fault, and all is her merit." And shortly 
before his death, in March, 1832, he threw his whole soul 
into the scientific controversy as to the different methods 
of the investigation of nature and the fundamental 
principles of study, which rose high in the midst of the 
French Academy between the two renowned represen- 
tatives of the inductive and deductive tendencies, Cuvier 
and GeoftVoy St. Hilaire. What Goethe here laid down 
in the evening of his days, is a sort of scientific profes- 
sion of faith, and it inspires the greatest admiration to 
behold the venerable octogenarian standing on the pin- 
nacle of time, and above all parties, with the same 
principles which with his own powers he had framed 
for himself five-and-forty years before, in the prime of 


In the height of his genius, when Goethe, standing at 
the centre of the hfe of Weimar, frequently withdrew 
from the bustle of the town and court, he received the 
first suggestions of the " Metamorphosis of Plants." He 
was irresistibly attracted to the varying phenomena of 
vegetal life, and he could but muse on the implied unity 
and rule underlying this variation. This was a fresh 
source of agitation, which pursued him when, in 1787, he 
forcibly tore himself from the influences of Weimar and 
fled to Italy. There, in Sicily, he found the solution of 
the riddle : the leaf seemed to be the rudimentary organ 
of vegetal structure. And when, after his return, a new 
star rose for him in Christiana Vulpius, he laid down 
the quintessence of his ideas on the Metamorphosis of 
Plants in that exquisite poem, of which the lines — 

" All forms have a resemblance, none is the same as another, 
And their chorus complete points to a mystical law, 
Points to a sacred riddle, — " * 

are present to all who ever made themselves acquainted 
with the muse of Goethe. He now saw in the various 
parts of the plant what he had learnt to see with the 
eye of the imagination, which he considers essential to 
the Naturalist, — the harmonizing principle. " The 
same organ may be expanded into a compound leaf, or 
contracted into a simple stipule or scale. According to 
different circumstances, the self-same organ- may be 
developed into a peduncle or an unfruitful branch. The 
calyx, by over-hastening itself, may become the corolla, 
and conversely, the corolla may approximate to the 

* AUe Gestalten sind ahnlich, und keine gleichet der andern, 
Und so deulet der Chor auf ein geheimes Gesetz, 
Auf ein heiliges Riithsel 

GOETHE. 109 

calyx. Thus the most varied structures of plants 
are rendered possible, and he who in his observations 
keeps these laws always before his eyes will derive from 
them great alleviation and advantage." These few lines 
contain the pith of the doctrine of the Metamorphosis 
of Plants which so greatly agitated his contemporaries 
during the first quarter of this century. The many- 
sidedness of the idea made it inevitable that the 
notion, once grasped, should extend to the remainder 
of the organic world. Before Goethe, no naturalist had 
regarded insects otherwise than as a given sum of indi- 
vidual forms, distinguishable by certain definite charac- 
teristics. Their internal structure had certainly been 
disclosed by some few great men, such as Malpighi, 
Swammerdam and Lyonet, but a real comparison of 
species and genera had never been contemplated ; still 
less an explanation of the body by its parts. This 
Goethe accomplished, and with true genius ; for to his 
theory, and with perfect truth, the rings which in the 
insect are ranged from the head to the tail, presented 
themselves, like the vegetal organs, as mere modifications 
of one and the same rudimentary organ. There, the 
leaf in the abstract, the primordial leaf or plant — here 
the ring. 

With this — it was in 1796, in the discourses on the pro- 
ject of a general introduction to Comparative Anatomy — 
he enunciated a truth which was not recognized till more 
than forty years later, by one of the most distinguished 
zoologists, Milne Edwards, and applied to the knowledge 
of the animal world. This is the idea of the develop- 
ment of organic beings by the heterogeneous evolution 
of their fundamentally similar parts. Of this the cater- 


pillar and butterfly serve as an example. "Imperfect 
and evanescent a creature though the butterfly may be 
as to its species, Vv^hen compared to the mammal, in the 
metamorphosis which it accomplishes before our eyes, it 
nevertheless exhibits the superiority of a more perfect 
over a less perfect animal. This consists in the deci- 
siveness of its parts, the security that none can be put 
or taken for the other ; that each is destined for its 
function, and remains constant to it for ever." Now, 
however, in the most perfect creatures, the Vertcbrata, 
there appeared before Goethe's eye, a similar rudimentary 
organ, metamorphosing itself within the individual ; this 
was the vertebra. He followed it in its transformations 
along the vertebral column. Impossible as it may be, 
by placing together the first vertebra of the neck with 
the last tail bone to infer their identity, it becomes 
manifest in the gradual transition. 

But what lies in front of the first vertebra of the 
neck ? Is the cranium something absolutely different, 
something new, not identical with the vertebral column ? 
This was another perturbing thought which pursued 
Goethe's every footstep. He pondered and compared ; 
it could not be otherwise ; the cranium must belong 
to the vertebral column, must be nothing more than a 
part of the vertebral column. Through the vacillations 
of his conceptions, he was, as he later expresses himself 
on another occasion, " as an honest observer transported 
into a sort of frenzy." Then, when in 1790 he picked 
up a bleached sheep's skull in the Jewish cemetery at 
Venice, *' the derivation of the cranium from the verte- 
bral bones was revealed to him." The more special 
history of Comparative Anatomy has shown how ex- 

GOETHE. 1 1 1 

tremely fruitful was this supposed discovery, although 
the subject is far more complex than Goethe and his 
followers imagined. 

We must commemorate yet another genuine dis- 
covery made by Goethe, which exhibits his very peculiar 
method. It relates to the inter-maxillary bone in 
man. About 1780, he was studying osteology at Jena, 
under the guidance of Loder, an anatomist of some 
renown. It is evident that all liigher animals possess 
a bone, the so-called inter-maxillary bone, supporting 
the upper incisor teeth. "The strange case now oc- 
curred," relates Goethe, "that the distinction between 
apes and men was made by ascribing an inter-maxillary 
bone to the former, and none to the latter ; but as this 
part is mainly remarkable as the upper incisor teeth are 
set in it, it was inconceivable how man should have the 
incisor teeth and lack the bone." It was inconceivable 
to him because, from the comparisons of Nature, he had 
framed the idea " that all divisions of the creature, 
singly and collectively, may be found in all animals." 
To make man an exception, not to be measured by the 
same pattern, was repugnant to his mind. Man must 
have an inter-maxillary bone ; and, contrary to the 
opinions of the greatest anatomists of that period, such 
as Peter Camper, he demonstrated how in man this 
inter-maxillary bone, although it subsequently becomes 
almost undistinguishably anchylosed with the actual 
supra-maxillary bone, nevertheless exists^ quite dis- 
tinctly, as a separate part during development and early 

From this narrative we have gained a good deal. In 
the contemplation of individuals and details, Goethe 


found no pleasure. Nature and natural objects, as ex- 
istent and complete, merely inspired the wish forthwith 
to examine their origin and its cause. To judge of 
things by their final causes, according to an assumed 
purpose pre-determincd by Providence, he deemed " a 
melancholy expedient " which must be entirely set aside. 
For this method of contemplating Nature, as pursued 
by him, in which all living things are to be conceived 
as intrinsically connected, the external as an indication 
of the internal form, he created the name of Morpho- 
logy, the doctrine of form. He examined " how Nature 
lives by creating ;" and from amazement at the eternal 
formation and transformation, from the perplexity into 
which he was plunged by the manifold variety of forms, 
we see him emerge by seeking and finding primordial 

Even before the realization of the metamorphoses of 
plants, we find him surrounded by bones and complete 
skeletons in his scientific ossuary at Jena ; he thought 
he had found a lodestar in the erection of an anatomical 
Type, an universal symbol, " in which the forms of all 
(vertebrate) animals were potentially contained, and by 
which each animal may be described according to a 
certain arrangement." " Experience must first teach us 
which are the parts common to all animals, and wherein 
these parts differ. The idea must control the whole, 
and in a genetic manner deduce the universal model." 
Thus by an abstract of the individual, w^e are to possess 
ourselves of a certain archetype. As man could not be 
taken as a standard for animals, and conversely, the in- 
finite complexity of man could not be fully explained 
by animal organization, something fluctuating between 

GOETHE. 113 

the two must be summoned to solve the problem. To 
this archetype, itself incapable of representation, — to 
this abstraction, and to this alone, — Nature, according to 
Goethe, was bound to adhere in her work of creation, 
" without being able, in the slightest measure, to break 
through or overleap the circle." 

If it be attempted to make it appear that Goethe 
actually proclaimed the doctrine of Descent, or was 
even in a poetical sense its inspired prophet, either too 
much value is attributed to his enunciations of "cease- 
less progressive transformation," and such like, or the 
sense which he connected with them is not appreciated. 
Now let us take the following passage, which Haeckel 
looks upon as decisive. " Thus much we should have 
gained ; that we may fearlessly affirm all the more perfect 
organic beings, among which we include Fishes, Amphi- 
bians, Birds, Mammals (and at the head of the latter, 
I\Ian), to be formed according to an archetype, which 
merely fluctuates more or less in its very persistent parts, 
and moreover, day by day, completes and transforms 
itself by means of reproduction." Is it here meant, 
perchance, that the persistent are contrasted with the 
non-persistent parts .'' By no means. 

Even prior to Geoffroy Saint Hilairc, Goethe had 
spoken of a law, which is, however, no law, nor even an 
expression of facts, namely, that Nature in her work has 
to deal with a given quantity of material to which she 
must adapt it. He does not seem to have been aware 
that Aristotle had affirmed the same, that Nature, if 
she enlarged an organ, did so only at the expense of 
another. A second of the supposed fundamental laws 
discovered by the Frenchman, that an organ would 



sooner perish than resign its place, was hkewise in- 
stituted by him at the same time. 

Thus, in Goethe's opinion, nature always makes use 
of the same parts. Nature is inexhaustible in the 
modification and realization of the archetype ; but to 
that which has once attained realization cleaves the 
tenacious power of persistency, a vis centripeta, of which 
the profound basis is beyond the influence of anything 
external. Hence, if he speaks of daily completion and 
transformation by means of reproduction, he under- 
stands, with respect to the animal which has attained 
realization, merely that course of development or meta- 
morphosis which is an image of inexhaustible pheno- 
menal nature. The influences which Nature has exer- 
cised upon the parts, he pictures to himself as still 
present ; but of an actual transformation of existing 
species into new ones, such as is required by the modern 
Darwinian doctrine of Descent, Goethe does not speak 
at all. 

In his view, what was it, then, that was to be trans- 
formed } Surely not the archetype. He says, indeed, 
"Thus the eagle fashioned itself by the air for the 
air, by the mountain top for the mountain top. The 
mole fashions itself to the loose soil, the seal to the 
water, the bat to the air ;" and generally, " the animal is 
fashioned by circumstances to circumstances." But the 
illustrations which he gives in the Sketch of A.D. 1796, 
show plainly that he thought, not of any transforma- 
tion of existing forms, but of mere modes of mani- 
festation of the type and archetype as they exist in 
given species. He then says, " The serpent stands 
high in organization. It has a decided head, with 

GOETHE. 115 

a perfect auxiliary organ, — a consolidated lower jaw- 
bone. Only its body is indefinitely long ; and the 
cause of its being so is that it expends neither material 
nor power upon auxiliary organs. As soon as these 
make their appearance in another form, as, for instance, 
in the lizard, though only short arms and legs are pro- 
duced, the indefinite length mus-t at once contract, and 
a shorter body takes its place. The long legs of the 
frog necessitate a very short form for the body of this 
creature, and by the same law, the unshapely toad is 
laterally extended." It is well to bear in mind this 
somewhat trivial passage, that we may not see more in 
the poetic glorification of the Metamorphosis of Animals 
than it really contains. 

When Goethe says in the magnificent poem : 

" Hence, each form conditions the life and acts of the creature, 
And each fashion of life, with reflex forcible action, 
Works on the form :" * 

it sounds, as we must admit, extremely seductive. But 
we are sobered, or rather led to the right standpoint, by 
reading his fascinating remarks on d'Alton's skeletons 
of the rodents (1824). It is there made manifest that 
Goethe had not the remotest idea of an actual trans- 
formation of a rodent into any other animal by the 
force of external influences. 

The reader may judge for himself. " Let us contem- 
plate the animal in the neighbourhood of water ; as the 
so-called water-hog it wallows, pig-like, on the marshy 
shore ; as a beaver it is seen building by fresh waters ; 

* Also bestimmt die Gestalt die Lebensweise des Thieves, 
Und die Weise des Lebens, sie wirkt auf alle Gestalten, 

Miichtig zuriick 

I 2 


next, still requiring some degree of moisture, it burrows 
in the earth, and at least loves concealment, hiding with 
coquettish timidity from man and other animals. Finally, 
when the creature arrives at the surface, it hops and 
frisks, so that it carries on its existence erect, and even 
moves to and fro on two feet with marvellous rapidity. 
Transferred to completely dry land, we at last find the 
decisive influence of the airy eminence and the all- 
vivifying light. The animal is endowed with the greatest 
ease of movement ; it acts and works with consummate 
skill, until a bird-like motion passes into an apparent 

Thus does Goethe elaborate the influence of environ- 
ment and external conditions upon the modifications of 
form ; it is in vain to look for the actual forms that are 
modified. The beaver is not transformed into the mouse- 
like burrower, the mouse into the jumping mouse, nor 
the jumping mouse into the squirrel, nor does the 
latter become a jerboa; but the "ceaseless progressive 
transformation " is perceptible only to the eye of the 
imagination. In reality, moreover, Goethe sees only 
adaptation. Greatly as he is inclined to attribute 
modifications to the efi"ect of external conditions, he 
speaks with no less decision on the contrary side. *' The 
parts of the animal, their relative form, their conditions, 
their special characters, determine the requirements of 
the creatures' existence ;" and if within the restricted 
circle of forms, we nevertheless find that infinite modi- 
fications of form become possible (Sketch, 1796), this 
is only to be deduced from the individual species 
exhibited as modifications of the archetype, by Nature, 
ever one and ever creative. 

GOETHE. 117 

With the word Species, we reach the most important 
point in our account of Goethe's theory of nature ; if 
indeed we have not already unquestionably proved that 
he can in no way be regarded as a true precursor 
of Darwin. Darwin and his adherents maintain the 
variabihty of the so-called vegetal and animal species. 
The question is simply whether Goethe was or was 
not, like his contemporary Lamarck, convinced of this 
mutability. If he says on one occasion that ** from 
the seed, plants are developed, ever diverging and 
variously determining the mutual relations of their 
parts," this is ambiguous in itself; it may refer either 
to the origin of new species, or to the variability of 
species by nature immutable. Another time he speaks 
of the "purpose of Nature" in the horse. 

I can find but one single passage in Goethe's writings 
in which there is a question of an actual transformation 
of a creature, if not into a new species, at least into a 
very marked and persistent variety. In 1820, a Dr. 
Korte gave a description of a primaeval bull found in 
the neighbourhood of Halberstadt, and instituted com- 
parisons and reflections, how under the influence of 
domestication our highly modified cattle had been 
evolved from the former. This relic, and another in 
Thuringia {1821), which latter specimen was obtained 
by him for the Museum at Jena, gave him an oppor- 
tunity of coinciding with Korte, and of illustrating by an 
actual incident, the possibility of this doubtless easy 

But from this to the transformation of species there 
is still a long way, and Goethe did not traverse it. We 
have just seen that the idea of deriving single animals 


now existincf from extinct " ancestral races," was not 
unfamiliar to him. Nor would his remark, *' For we 
have the most distinct remains of organic creatures 
which were unable to perpetuate themselves by active 
reproduction," .exclude his having accepted generally 
the immediate connection, based on direct reproduction, 
of the animal world with fossil races entirely differing 
in structure. For it is quite true that many species, 
genera and groups, passed through, not their prime only, 
but also their decline and total extinction antecedent to 
the present era. 

Yet more. In "Aphoristic Annotations," which he 
terms problems, written previous to the year 1823, he 
speaks of " characterless races, which it is scarcely per- 
missible to aGsign to a species, as they lose themselves in 
boundless varieties," and he contrasts them "with races 
possessed of a character, which they exhibit afresh in 
all their species, so that they may be ascertained in a 
rational method." Goethe rests on this fact to illustrate 
his idea of metamorphosis ; and we have no right to 
explain the characterless or " disorderly " races in a 
Darwinian sense, as being those of which the forms 
are not established, while those which possess a character 
are divided into easily distinguishable species, because a 
host of intermediate forms have succumbed in the 
struggle for existence. He gave this problem to his 
intelligent young friend, Ernst Mayer, that he might 
work it out, and impart his reflections to his instructor. 

Mayer says : " The more readily the former (the 
genera possessing character) are arranged, the more 
difficult it is to dispose of the latter (those which possess 
no character). But any one who observes them with 

GOETHE. 119 

earnestness and persevering zeal, and is not totally 
deficient in intuitive tact, cultivated by exercise, far 
from being perplexed by them, will assuredly, amidst 
all their varieties of form, very soon detect the true 
species and their characters. But if indeed, in any one 
genus rich in forms, no limit to which nature herself 
adheres should be discovered, what should hinder us 
from treating it as a single species, and all its forms 
as so many varieties ? • As long as the evidence is 
wanting, which it is not likely will ever be produced, 
that no species whatever exists in nature, but that every, 
even the remotest form, may be evolved from the other 
by intermediate links, — till then we must be allowed to 
rely upon the course already indicated. Let the master 
now instruct the scholar, or, according to ancient custom, 
support him." And he does support him, for in his 
morphological writings he adopts his pupil's enuncia- 
tions on the problem as a testimony of entire commu- 
nity of mind and soul. 

There can be no question that Goethe's thoughts on 
organic nature were more profound than those of his 
contemporaries. But we must not forget that the cardi- 
nal idea of a modifiable archetype prevailed among 
eminent men both before and with Goethe, as I have 
shown in my little work known to the profession, " The 
Development of Comparative Anatomy " (Die Entwick- 
elung der vergleichenden Anatomic, 1855). If in his 
popular lectures, Peter Camper amused his audience by 
a diagram in which he evolved a beautiful female figure 
from a horse ; if he says that he is so entirely absorbed 
in studying the whale and comparing it with the human 
structure that every girl, pretty or ugly, appeared to him 


like a dolphin or a cachelot ; this was because he startec 
from an archetype or fundamental form. Goethe was 
only more consistent, and notwithstanding the " painful 
consequences," insisted on the inter-maxillary bone in 
man as in the ape. 

Goethe says in 1807 • " If plants and animals be con- 
templated in their most imperfect condition, it is scarcely 
possible to distinguish them. This much, however, we 
may say, that from a kindred so close as scarcely to be 
discriminated, emerge creatures which, as plants and 
animals, are perfected in two different directions, so that 
the plant finally attains its glory in the tree, durable 
and rigid ; the animal in man, in extreme mobility 
and freedom." But this is nothing more than the re- 
petition, symbolically embellished, in Goethe's "method 
of investigating, knowing, and enjoying," of a proposi- 
tion already propounded by Buffon fifty years before, 
and subsequently varied in many ways. 

Nor is it Goethe who, in his Sketch of 1796, first urges 
the very suggestive comparison of identical organs in 
the same body ; this was already done by Vicq d'Azyr 
in 1786. In a word, the conception of type, arche- 
tyP^» ground-plan {dcssein pj^mitif), was an acquisition 
of that age, which was merely expressed by Goethe in 
a more pregnant and many-sided manner, and which 
appears the more alluring as he combined with it the 
idea of motion and mobility, but, owing to his excessive 
craving for symbols, he did this in a figurative sense. 

When Goethe imagines that he has discovered '' laws," 
he labours under the same delusion as that in which 
naturalists have rocked themselves from the last century 
down to the most recent times, v/hen they accept a mere 


corroboration of facts for an explanation of those facts, 
for their reduction to their causes. He is acquainted 
with a " spiral tendency " and a ** vertical tendency " in 
plants, and they at once become " fundamental laws of 
life." Now in root and stem we undoubtedly see 
a vertical tendency downwards and upwards ; we see 
convolutions and tendrils ; we have, moreover, been 
able to analyze these facts into simpler physical and 
physiological phenomena, without having arrived at 
the innermost cause, the actual law. 

Goethe's opinion as to man's place in Nature is implied 
in what has been already said. That he, a creature and 
a product of Nature should form an exception to the 
animal so obviously resembling him, he c6uld not 
admit. He must remain therefore unconditionally with- 
in the type, "of which the parts are perpetually modi- 
fied in all races and species of animals." But we have 
now, I think, furnished sufficient evidence that this and 
similar enunciations apply only to the potential varia- 
bility of the archetype which has found expression in 
the races and species. Hence man also is to him a 
product allied to the animal, only by the idea of the 
type, and not by actual propagation and descent. This 
is the solution which he sought respecting the "most 
beautiful organization." And with this he was content. 

From Goethe to our contemporary Richard Owen 
seems a wide leap. But if it was our object to produce 
in Goethe a stage of natural inquiry which contents 
itself with a formula of the correlation of living things, 
dazzling indeed, but ultimately vague, the renowned 
English comparative anatomist will show us how it is 
possible to take even the final step and arrive at the 


conclusion that consanguinity is the sole solution of the 
similarity of species, and how, nevertheless, by clinging 
to miracle and dualism, the fruit of the truth just recog- 
nized, may be suffered to elude the grasp.^" 

By the personal incitement of Cuvier, under whom he 
studied in 1830, R. Owen endeavoured to gain a clear 
perception of the basis of homologies. If Cuvier had 
derived the agreement of organs from teleology by 
saying that organs are alike because and if they have 
like functions to perform, Owen, in Goethe's fashion, 
seized upon an archetype to explain the existence of 
uniformity amid multiplicity and diversity of detail. 
The series which repeat themselves in the organism, 
such as the vertebrae, and a regular succession in the 
organisms themselves seemed to him not comprehensible 
as miraculous creations, but only as the result of natural 
laws and operating causes, which produce the species in 
regular sequence and gradual completion, such laws and 
causes being the servant of predetermining intelligent 
Will. '' 

As a scholar pre-eminently familiar with the fossil 
animal world, it could not remain unknown to this 
English naturalist that the more remote the geological 
period, the more general and the less specialized is the 
organization of the species. He was able to trace this 
particularly in the dentition of mammals, and specially 
also in the condition of those domestic animals which 
begin with the earliest Tertiary times and gradually 
assume the ungulate character. Thus to the question 
whether species -originate by miracle or by law, he 
replies that he presumes the latter to be in constant 
operation. This " law " is, however, something quite 


different from what science is wont to designate by that 
name. Why does the horse exist ? Because it was pre- 
destined and prepared for man by the Deity."''^' This 
is supposed to occur by means of the *' derivative law." 
But this again is a word which conveys no meaning, 
a phrase which imphes that the horse has become a 
horse because it was so to be. The predecessors of the 
horse modify themselves for the interest of man, who 
does not as yet exist, but is already taken into account 
by the intelligent Will. 

These ancestors of the horse might therefore be 
compared to the sports of Nature ; the transformation 
takes place, not because from inherent reasons it must 
take place, but because it so pleases the intelligent Will. 
We must beg to decline such ''natural laws" as these. 
Owen says, " I deem an innate tendency to deviate from 
the parental type, operating through periods of adequate 
duration, to be the most probable nature or way of 
operation of the secondary law, whereby species have 
been derived one from the other.^^ From the Ichthyo- 
saurus to Man, he sees the connection of descent ; he 
denies that the influence of circumstances is decisive; he 
rejects a dozen times any sort of miracle ; but the next 
moment he cleaves to miracle again, namely, to an innate 
tendency towards a certain future development not im- 
posed by circumstances and dependent on them, but 
conducive to a special purpose. 

Thus deal the trimmers, who, through fear of conse- 
quences, appease their scientific consciences with a word. 

We now come to a courageous writer, whose principal 
work, "La Philosophie Zoologique,""* was overlooked 
and well-nigh forgotten for half a century, until it 


was restored to merited honour by Darwin, but more 
especially by Haeckel, and quite recently in France by 
Ch. Martins. This is J. B. Lamarck, who first formu- 
lated the doctrine of Descent, and in 1804 actually 
propounded all the propositions which Darwin has con- 
structed afresh and more completely. Lamarck pro- 
claimed that it is merely our limited powers of compre- 
hension that demand the erection of systems, whereas 
all systematic definitions and gradations are of artificial 
nature. We may be assured that nature has produced 
neither orders, families, genera, nor immutable species, 
but merely individuals which succeed one another, and 
resemble those from whom they descend. But these 
individuals belong to infinitely divergent races, which 
continue so long as they are unaffected by any cause pro- 
ducing alteration. Starting from species, like ourselves, 
he demonstrates their instability. From comparisons of 
the facts of hybridization and the formation of varieties, 
he inferred " that all organizations are true productions 
of Nature, gradually evolved in the course of a long suc- 
cession of ages ; that in her progress. Nature began, and 
even now always begins again, with the formation of the 
simplest organic bodies, and that she directly forms these 
only, namely, those lowest living beings which have been 
designated as spontaneous generations." 

Variations and transformations supervene, according 
to Lamarck, through external influences ; in the lapse 
of ages they become essential difi*erences ; so that, after 
many successive generations, individuals which originally 
belonged to another species ultimately find themselves 
converted into a new one. The limited period of our 
existence has accustomed us to a standard of time so 


short as to give rise to the vulgar and false hypothesis 
of stability and immutability. The transformation is 
effected by the obligation of the individual to accom- 
modate itself to the altered conditions of life. Fresh 
circumstances elicit fresh requirements and fresh activi- 
ties. Great weight must be laid on the use or disuse 
of organs. " In every animal still in the course of de- 
velopment, the more frequent and sustained use of an 
organ gradually fortifies, developes and enlarges it, and 
endows it with strength proportional to the duration of 
this use ; while the persistent disuse of an organ imper- 
ceptibly weakens and deteriorates it, diminishes its effi- 
ciency in an increasing ratio, and ultimately destroys it." 
" And thus," he says, *' nature exhibits living beings 
merely as individuals succeeding one another in genera- 
tions ; species have only a relative stability, and are 
only transiently immutable." 

Lamarck touches upon the struggle of each against all 
(I. 99, and elsewhere), but does not discover the term 
Natural Selection. He is fully conscious of the two 
factors, heredity and adaptation, but his theories and 
convictions lack the emphasis of detailed evidence. 
Yet his subtle apprehension of life may be evinced by 
his interpretation of instinct. According to him, all 
acts of instinct are effected by incitement, exercised 
upon the nervous system by acquired inclinations 
{penchans acquis); and these acts, not being the product 
of deliberation, choice, or judgment, certainly and un- 
erringly satisfy the requirements experienced and the 
inclinations resulting from habit. But if these inclina- 
tions to maintain the habit and renew the actions 
related to them, are once acquired, they are henceforward 


transmitted to the individuals by means of reproduc- 
tion, which maintains the structure and the disposition 
of the parts in the condition attained, so that the same 
inclination pre-exists in the young individuals before 
they put it in practice. This explanation, as Darwin 
has shown, certainly does not suffice for all the facts of 
instinct, yet it stands far above the modern " Philosophy 
of the Unconscious " (Philosophic des Unbewussten), 
which places the organisms by which the instincts are 
effectuated, under the sway of an extraneous metaphy- 
sical Beinc^ who governs it in subservience to design/^* 



Lyell and Modern Geology — Darwin's Theory of Selection — Beginning 
of Life. 

Ever since mankind has consciously laboured in the 
field of intellect, pre-eminent men have existed, who, 
reasoning more rapidly than their contemporaries, have 
outstripped them in the apprehension of great truths 
and the recognition of important laws. But it is a 
great temptation to set too high a value on these anti- 
cipations ; and in all cases in which these intellectual 
exploits are concerned, it will be discovered that, so to 
speak, they floated in the air, and that it was merely a 
keener scent and a so-called intuition resting on uncon- 
scious inferences, which exalted the privileged being 
above his less sharp-sighted neighbours. 

Great scientific crises, revolutions in the domain of in- 
tellect, are prepared long beforehand ; the watch-word 
rarely comes too early and is seldom pronounced in 
accents unintelligible to contemporaries ; as a rule, if 
the change has not been altogether gradual and almost 
unperceived, but if on the contrary the veil has been 
suddenly drawn aside by one of these chosen spirits, 
scales fall, as it were, from the eyes of fellow-labourers 
and spectators, and the rapidity with which the new 


theory makes its way affords the best evidence that It 
took shape and was proclaimed at the proper moipent. 

That the doctrine of Descent was Ukewise no utterly 
startling apparition, even though it leapt forth from the 
head of Darwin, its greatest representative, like an armed 
Minerva — of this we have cited at least a few of the many 
vouchers. That its time had come, — that it was indeed 
more than time, unless the science of the nature of life, 
and Biology in general, was to be unduly backward, — 
is shown by the development of Geology, which thirty 
years prior to Darwin, after many favourable forecasts, 
struck upon the right road to the knowledge of causes. 
The doctrine of the formation and evolution of the 
earth, especially in its earlier phases, during w4iich Life, 
in the sense generally attached to the word, originated 
and became permanent on our Planet, — this science of 
Geology is intimately allied with our important theme. 
Modern Geology, especially as connected with the name 
of Charles Lyell, must sooner or later have necessitated 
an analogous treatment of vegetal and animal lore, and 
we can only wonder that the crisis was so long delayed. 
The exposition of the doctrine of Descent must, there- 
fore, be introduced and initiated by a reference, however 
brief, to modern Geology. 

The first edition of Lyell's " Principles of Geology " 
appeared in 1830. The tenth, published in 1866, gave him 
an opportunity of professing his full adhesion to the 
Darwinian doctrines, to the development of which he 
had given so great an impulse. Since 1872, the eleventh 
edition of this masterpiece has been before the world. 
It treats of the Investigation of the lasting effects of 
causes now In operation, as data from which inferences 


as to past ages may be drawn. Lyell termed these 
effects an autobiography of the earth. *' The forces 
now operating upon earth are the same in kind and 
degree as those which in the remotest times produced 
geological changes." 

Probably, in consequence of the havoc caused by local 
floods and earthquakes, a belief in great and universal 
catastrophes was formed at a very early period ; and to 
the Indian and Egyptian legends on this subject Lyell 
appends the remark, that the traditional connection of 
such catastrophes with a belief in repeated and universal 
corruption of morals may be easily explained. 

At the end of the last century, the opinion was here and 
there expressed that the submergence of large extents 
of land, and the emergence of others, had taken place 
slowly ; and the doctrine was in preparation that the 
mineral masses fall into various groups, succeeding one 
another in definite order. Werner then appeared and 
founded the special science of " Geognosy." He was 
not the first to see and teach the regular succession of 
rocks, but the sensation which he caused was uni- 
versal. From his time dates the violent controversy of 
the Vulcanists and Neptunists, and into the midst of 
this controversy fell Cuvier's great discoveries on the 
animals of the Tertiary formation in the vicinity of 
Paris. By the works of Cuvier and Lamarck on fossil 
animals, the differences betwixt ancient and modern 
organisms became apparent, and Cuvier's views, zoolo- 
gical as well as geological, gained the victory. The 
conviction was gradually established that long ages of 
repose and quiescence alternated on earth with shorter 
periods of universal catastrophes and revolutions."^^ 



Even after the appearance of Lyell's '' Principles of 
Geology," the hypothesis of catastrophes received its 
special completion by Elie de Beaumont's theory of the 
structure and genesis of mountain chains. From the 
first, however, Lyell interposed, and derived the following 
conclusion from a comparison of the slow but continued 
and perceptible upheavals and subsidences occurring 
in historic times, with the various modifications which 
organisms had meanwhile undergone. " In a word, the 
movement of the inorganic world is obvious and pal- 
pable, and might be likened to the minute-hand of a 
clock, the progress of which can be seen and heard ; 
whereas the fluctuations of the living creation are 
nearly invisible, and resemble the motion of the hour- 
hand of a time-piece. It is only by watching it atten- 
tively for some time, and comparing its relative position 
after an interval, that we can prove the reality of its 

Careful observation and logical deduction had thus 
arrived at conclusions diametrically opposite to the 
assertions of Cuvier, who inferred the geological catas- 
trophes mainly from the striking difference of successive 
organisms. While botanists and zoologists prosecuted 
their studies on Cuvier 's system, Geology was being 
metamorphosed under the hands of Lyell and his adhe- 
rents. He proceeded from the most tangible basis. 
That it rained during the era of the coal formation, as 
it now rains, may be seen by the impress of rain-drops 
on the levels of that formation. The actions of rivers, 
the sediments of deltas, previously neglected, were now 
studied, and likewise the colossal mud deposits, such as 
are exhibited by the Nile and the Amazon, and also the 

DARWIN. 131 

destructive work of the irregular motions of the sea, 
and the partly destructive, partly formative work of its 
regular currents. Calculations were made of the 
ploughing, grating, and grinding of glaciers, of the 
substances which mineral springs dissolve and deposit, 
of the displacements of material effected by existing 
agencies, of the manner in which the outlines of land 
and sea are altered by elevation and subsidence. 
Similarly, the comparison of ancient and modern coral 
reefs and oyster banks showed that these silent builders 
have not changed their habits. In short, the hypo- 
thesis of extraordinary events and forces, unheard of in 
our present era, seemed quite unnecessary ; time only, 
and the continuous development of the earth's crust, 
were rendered evident. 

The stage for reiterated acts of new creation of organ- 
isms had thus collapsed, and the hypothesis of such 
miraculous new creations became an anachronism, for 
which a well-merited end was inevitably prepared by 
the appearance of Darwin. With Darwinism, the doc- 
trine of Descent is an historical necessity. 

Charles Darwin was born in 1809, and, as the Natu- 
ralist attached to the Beagle in her voyage round the 
world, under Captain Fitzroy, in 183 1-7, he enjoyed 
an opportunity of accumulating rich experiences. His 
important work on Coral Reefs gave the first adequate 
explanation of the phenomena resulting from the co- 
operation of geological movements, and the organic 
agency of the coral animal ; his Monograph on Cirri- 
pedes bears witness to the exemplary care with which he 
can observe and systematically work out the relations of 
the minutest details. We make this remark, as the 

K 2 


Opponents of the great inquirer endeavour to suppress 
his merits and authority by maintaining that he is pro- 
perly a mere dilettante, dealing with general abstrac- 
tions,'''* a stranger to the keen observation which takes 
full account of facts. How Darwin arrived at the idea 
which has made an epoch in science, he has himself 
made known in the introduction to his first work on 
the doctrine of Descent, namely, the '' Origin of 
Species ;"■''" and in more detail in a letter to Haeckel, 
published by the latter in his " History of Creation " 
(Natiirlichen Schopfungsgeschichte). 

" Having reflected much on the foregoing facts, it 
seemed to me probable that allied species were de- 
scended from a common ancestor. But during several 
years I could not conceive how each form could have 
been modified so as to become admirably adapted to 
its place in nature. I began, therefore, to study do- 
mesticated animals and cultivated plants, and after 
a time perceived that man's power of selecting and 
breeding from certain individuals was the most power- 
ful of all means in the production of new races. Having 
attended to the habits of animals and their relations to 
the surrounding conditions, I was able to realize the 
severe struggle for existence to which all organisms are 
subjected ; and my geological observations had allowed 
me to appreciate to a certain extent the duration of 
past geological periods. With my mind thus prepared 
I fortunately happened to read Malthus's " Essay on 
Population;" and the idea of natural selection through 
the struggle for existence at once occurred to me. Of 
all the subordinate points in the theory, the last which 
I understood was the cause of the tendency in the 


descendants from a common progenitor to diverge in 

That organisms are variable and not fixed in rigid 
forms, is a phenomenon so general that variability passes 
current as a self-evident property of organic existence. 
In the next chapter we shall inquire how far everything 
organic is necessarily subject to mutability. On the 
existence of this property rests the artificial breeding, 
or selection by man, consciously and unconsciously 
exercised from the earliest commencement of hunting 
and agriculture, of which, as Darwin says, "the impor- 
tance mainly lies in the power of selecting scarcely 
appreciable differences, which are nevertheless found to 
be transmissible, and which can be accumulated until the 
result is made manifest to the eye of every beholder." 
In the " Origin of Species," as an example of methodic 
selection in the production of breeds, Darwin has chosen 
the pigeon, to the breeding of which he zealously devoted 
himself for many years. 

The pigeon is specially adapted to the purpose of 
scientific observation of the phenomena of breeding, 
because, owing to its monogamic habits, it is easy to 
control, because it may be brought in a short time to 
striking variations, because the records of its breeding 
are tolerably complete, and, finally, because it is one of 
the few domestic animals of which the ancestral stock 
is scarcely open to a doubt. 

The chief races produced by the fanciers may be 
grouped as follows. The Pouter Pigeons have a 
moderate beak, elongated legs and body, their ceso- 

* Mr. Darwin has himself been good enough to re-write his letter from the 
German text. He kept no copy of the original M S. 


phagiis is of great size, barely separated from the crop, 
and is capable of inflation. A second group includes 
Carriers, Runts, and Barbs, which possess in common 
a long beak, with the skin over the nostrils swollen 
and often carunculated or wattled, and the skin round 
the eyes bare and likewise carunculated. To another 
group, with shorter beak, and the skin round the eyes 
only slightly developed, belongs the Fantail, in which 
the normal number of twelve tail feathers may rise to 
forty-two with aborted oil-gland ; also the Tumbler, in 
which the beak becomes extremely short, and a sickly 
disposition of the brain, produced and exaggerated by 
selection, and manifesting itself by tumbling, has been 
transmitted for more than 250 years, and has become 
established as the characteristic of a race. In the fourth 
group) the Trumpeter occupies a prominent position, on 
account of its peculiar voice ; likewise the Laugher, or 
Indian turtle-dove, comprising several sub-races scarcely 
differing in structure from the rock-pigeon (Columba 
livia). The latter is divided into several geographically 
distinct races, ranging from the coasts of the Faroe 
Islands and Scotland to the shores of the Mediter- 
ranean and to India ; and the most minute investi- 
gation, whether the incredibly divergent faces of 
domestic pigeons are derived from eight or nine wild 
species or solely from the wide-spread rock pigeon, 
results decidedly in favour of the latter alternative. 
Proportional dimensions, colouring, and parts of the 
skeletons which differ from one another far more widely 
in the various races than they do in well marked species 
of the same genus, or even family, are modified under 
the hand and according to the will of man ; and, more- 


over, pre-eminently in the pigeon may be traced the 
phenomenon which has been termed the " correlation 
of growth," and consists in the fact that, with the in- 
tentional modification of an organ by means of selection, 
one or more other organs are drawn into sympathy and 
unintentionally transformed into characteristics of a race. 
Darwin's minute researches on the formation of races 
in the pigeon are recounted in his second work on the 
theory of Descent, "The Variation of Animals and Plants 
under Domestication," in which the most detailed investi- 
gations respecting other domestic animals are also to be 
found. Whoever hr.s had occasion to inspect one of the 
modern exhibitions of poultry, must have been astonished 
at the diversity of the different races, and the purity and 
uniformity within each race. Though not quite so posi- 
tively as in the case of the pigeon, yet with approximate 
certainty, the domestic fowl appears to be derived from 
a single ancestral stock, the Indian Gallus Bankiva. The 
cumulative power of selection by man is likewise testified 
by the various races of pigs bred within the last century 
by the English farmers from an intermixture of the 
native and Indian races, differing in general appearance, 
colouring, size of ears, length of legs, and also partially 
in fertility. Our attention is, however, more closely 
drawn to the two races of Southdown sheep and Short- 
horn cattle, which, as well as the choicest breeds of pigs, 
have been for some years past particularly esteemed on 
the continent. These and many other races have been 
bred with definite purposes, and for certain domestic and 
commercial advantages, and one and all bear testimony 
to the plasticity of species. 

Artificial selection operates by establishing peculiarities 


originally variable, and on their first accidental appear- 
ance usually perceived only by the careful eye of a 
connoisseur. But not a few cases are likewise certified 
in which an accidental deformity and a new character 
appearing suddenly even in a single individual have lent 
themselves to the rapid formation of a race. "Thus," 
as Darwin relates,*' "in 1791 a ram lamb was born in 
Massachusetts, having short, crooked legs and a long 
back like a turnspit dog. From this one lamb the otter 
or ancon semi-monstrous breed was raised ; as these 
sheep could not leap over the fences, it was thought that 
they would be valuable ; but they have been supplanted 
by merinos, and thus exterminated. These sheep are 
remarkable from transmitting their character so truly, 
that Colonel Humphreys never heard of but one ques- 
tionable case of an ancon ram and ewe not producing 
ancon offspring." — " A more interesting case has been 
recorded in the Report of the Juries for the Great Exhi- 
bition (185 1), namely, the production of a merino ram 
lamb on the Mauchamp farm in 1828, which was remark- 
able for its long, smooth, straight, and silky wool. By 
the year 1833, Mr. Graux had raised rams enough to 
serve his whole flock, and after a few years more he was 
able to sell stock of his new breed. So peculiar and 
valuable is the wool, that it sells at 25 per cent, above 
the best merino wool ; even the fleeces of half-bred 
animals are valuable, and are known in France as the 
Mauchamp merino. It is interesting, as showing how 
generally any marked deviation of structure is accom- 
panied by other deviations, that the first ram and his off- 
spring were of small size with large heads, long necks, 
narrow chests, and long flanks; but these blemishes 


were removed by judicious crosses and selection. The 
long-, smooth wool was also correlated with smooth horns ; 
and as horns and hair are homologous structures, we can 
understand the meaning of this correlation. If the 
Mauchamp and the ancon breeds had originated a cen- 
tury or two ago, we should have had no record of their 
birth, and m.any a naturalist would, no doubt, have 
insisted, especially in the case of the Mauchamp race, 
that they had each descended from or been crossed with 
some unknown aboriginal form." 

If with the refined culture of races on lars^e estates, 
v/e compare the slight attention bestowed on domestic 
animals in small peasant farms, remote from the cheering 
intercourse of the world, and then descend to the treat- 
ment by savages of their few domestic animals, or their 
sole tame creature, the dog, conscious artificial selection 
gradually decreases ; but wherever man attaches to his 
abode either plants or animals, selection is at least 
unconsciously exercised. The powerful animal, the par- 
ticular plant which yields the most abundant nutriment, 
are employed for propagation without any special fore- 
thought, and unconscious selection is thus undistinguish- 
able from that which is methodically practised. The 
initiation and progress of the production of races is 
naturally facilitated by the power of placing the animals 
selected for breeding, in a new environment and fresh 
conditions of life, and the formation of new races is 
favoured by the case with which it is possible to hinder 
the crossing of forms in course of construction, with races 
already existing. 

Unquestionably many races of domestic animals are 
not in a condition in which they can be termed new 


species ; that is to say, in regard to the new characters 
evolved by breeding, they are in a state of merely artificial 
stability ; and, if abandoned to accidental or irregular 
intermixture with the aboriginal or other races, they 
gradually revert to their primitive form. But it is ar- 
bitrary and erroneous to assert that all unconsciously 
or consciously bred races, without exception, are no new 
species, and would all relapse if left to a state of nature. 
Granting that all the races of fowls were left to them- 
selves, we must certainly admit the possibility that in 
India some few forms would change back into the Bankiva 
fowl. It is, however, evident that, in Europe and America, 
from any semi-feral races of fovvds the aboriginal Indian 
race would never reappear, but at the most some few new 
wide-spread mongrel forms would arise, remaining con- 
stant according to geographical districts. No one has 
yet been able to assert that the wild dogs of the East, 
entirely released from the control of man, have become 
v/olves or jackals, their presumptive ancestors. They 
become "jackal-like," by which every one expresses that 
the dog which became and was bred a domestic animal 
thousands of years ago, preserves its acquired specific 
characteristics even under circumstances most favour- 
able to their destruction. 

This statement, that domestic animals are no new 
species, is the more unfounded, as of several domestic 
animals the aboriginal stock is totally unknov/n ; among 
these are the sheep and goat, respecting the ancestors 
of which only vague conjectures can be framed. The 
most ancient race of sheep known to us, — that with ram- 
like horns, found among the lake dwellings of Switzer- 
land, throws no light upon the subject; and empirically 


to observe the reversion of the modern sheep to its 
aboriginal form is utterly impossible. That the horse 
is derived from a striped aboriginal species is probable; 
but notwithstanding the many generations during which 
the great herds of feral horses in South America have 
propagated themselves undisturbed, no such species 
has been produced. Riitimeyer's minute researches on 
domestic cattle have shown that, in Europe at least, 
three well-defined species of the Diluvial period have 
contributed to their formation, Bos primigenius, longi- 
frons, and frontosus. These species once lived geo- 
graphically separate, but contemporaneously ; and they 
and their specific peculiarities have perished, to rise 
again in our domestic races. These races breed to- 
gether with unqualified fertility; in the form of skull 
and horns they recall one or other of the extinct 
species ; but collectively they constitute a new main 
species. That from their various breeds, the three or 
any one of the aboriginal species would ever emerge in 
a state of pristine purity, would be an utterly ludicrous 

In all these domestic animals — dog, sheep, goat, horse, 
and cattle — the transformation was initiated in an era of 
civilization in which there was no idea of artificial breed- 
ing in the modern sense, and in which the main factor of 
transformation, independently of involuntary and uncon- 
scious selection, consisted simply in the altered mode 
of life. This introduces us to variations in a state of 
nature, and to Natural Selection. Natural as well as 
artificial selection both rest on the undisputed fact of 
the idiosyncrasies of the most closely allied vegetal and 
animal individuals; and it has already become manifest 


that doubtful species are not exceptional, as the old 
school was wont to imagine, but that it is merely owing 
to an inadequate knowledge of the material out of which 
species are constructed, that all species are not looked 
upon as doubtful and artificial. 

Let us here again call to mind that in many thou- 
sand cases the most rigid systematizers are unable 
to state where their species begin and end ; of which 
Darwin, as an instance, cites a communication by 
H. C. Watson, that 182 British plants, usually regarded 
as varieties, have each been claimed as independent 
species by individual botanists.''^ Darwin's immortal 
service consists in having shown what is the power 
which operates upon the existing variable individuals 
and species, and what results this operation must pro- 
duce. He found the key in the word which has become 
a badge and common property of our age, " the struggle 
for life,"*- and has thus given the foundation and theory 
of a doctrine of which the truth had long before been 
manifest to an intellect such as that of Lamarck. He 
founded the doctrine of Descent on the theory of selec- 
tion, when he proved that in nature the struggle for 
existence occasions a selection of the best and fittest, 
comparable to artificial breeding, and giving rise to new 
races and new species. 

The struggle for life, this hellinn omnium contra 
omnes, is, moreover, an undisputed and undeniable fact, 
which we here accept in its widest relations. Not only 
does the beast of prey war against the graminivorous 
animals, which again strive to keep their balance by 
superior multiplication, speed, and cunning; the gradual 

* For Wallace's share in this honour, see the end of this chapter. 


advance of a plant is likewise a struggle with natural 
obstacles; and the conquest which it gains usually injures 
other plants in their conditions of life. If the powers 
of multiplication of any given organism were to operate 
absolutely and unrestrictedly, each being would, in a 
short series of years, claim for itself the whole surface of 
the earth, or all the waters of the sea. But each holds 
the other in check ; and with the living foes of each 
creature are associated the climate and all the influences 
of the surrounding conditions, and of the alternation of 
the seasons, to which the body must accommodate itself. 
Organisms live only at the cost of, and for the profit of, 
others ; and the peace and quiet of nature sung by the 
poet is resolved under the searching eye into an eternal 
disquiet and haste to assert and maintain existence, 
amid which it is only the thought of the visible and 
necessary progress that can rescue the observer from a 
pessimist view of the world. 

The simplest examples of the relations of mutual 
dependence of living beings are, however, the best and 
most conclusive ; but the vast consequences depending 
on circumstances and connections apparently insignifi- 
cant, and the extreme complexity of the mechanism by 
which equilibrium is maintained, have been exhibited by 
Darwin in some examples, which, frequently as they have 
been repeated, we shall also allow ourselves to reproduce. 
Whereas, to the South and North of Paraguay feral cattle, 
horses, and dogs abound in profusion, they are wanting 
in Paraguay itself. " Azara and Rengger have shown that 
this is caused by the greater number in Paraguay of a 
certain fly, which lays its eggs in the navels of these 
animals when first born. The increase of these flies, nu- 


merous as they are, must be habitually checked by some 
means, probably by other parasitic insects. Hence if 
certain insectivorous birds were to decrease in Para- 
guay, the parasitic insects would probably increase, and 
this would lessen the number of the navel-frequenting 
flies ; then cattle and horses would become feral, and 
this would certainly greatly alter (as indeed I have 
observed in parts of South America) the vegetation, 
and this, again, would largely affect the insects, and 
this the insectivorous birds, and so on, in ever-increas- 
ing circles of complexity." 

Another example out of Darwin's store is perhaps even 
more striking. " I find from experiments that humble- 
bees are almost indispensable to the fertilization of the 
heartsease (Viola tricolor), for other bees do not visit this 
flower. I have also found that the visits of bees are 
necessary for the fertilization of some kinds of clover ; 
for instance, 20 heads of Dutch clover (Trifolium repens) 
yielded 2,290 seeds, but 20 other heads, protected from 
bees, produced not one. Again, 100 heads of red clover 
(T. pratense) produced 2,700 seeds, but the same number 
of protected heads produced not a single seed. Humble- 
bees alone visit red clover, as other bees cannot reach 
the nectar. It has been suggested that moths may fer- 
tilize the clovers ; but I doubt whether they could do so 
in the case of the red clover, from their weight not being 
sufficient to depress the wing-petals. Hence we may 
infer as highly probable that, if the whole genus of 
humble-bees became extinct or very rare in England, 
the heartsease and red clover would become very rare 
or wholly disappear. The number of humble-bees in 
any district depends in a great degree on the number 


of field-mice, which destroy their combs and nests ; and 
Colonel Newman, who has long attended to the habits 
of humble-bees, believes that more than two-thirds of 
them are thus destroyed all over England. Now, the 
number of mice is largely dependent, as every one 
knows, on the number of cats ; and Col. Newman says, 
* Near villages and small towns I have found the nests 
of humble-bees more numerous than elsewhere, which I 
attribute to the number of cats that destroy the mice. 
Hence it is quite credible that the presence of a feline 
animal in larre numbers in a district mijjht determine, 
through the intervention first of mice and then of bees, 
the frequency of certain flowers in that district' " 

The closer the kindred of the competitors, the more 
ardent is the struggle for the existence ; for the more 
adjacent organisms differ in their requirements, the less 
do they interfere with one another, and the more will 
each be able to exhaust the resources of the vicinity for 
its own benefit. This seems to be flatly contradicted 
by the great series of associated plants and animals ; 
but on closer inspection they also form no exception to 
the rule, as, often by their very number they render 
existence possible and easy to one another, and increase 
exactly in the degree permitted by the stock of nutri- 
ment. If among associated plants or gregarious animals 
a surplus production occurs, competition and conflict in- 
stantly commence, and life is regulated in every respect 
exactly as in species less remarkable for the number of 

Our proposition that the vehemence of the struggle 
rises with the closeness of the kindred, is thus univer- 
sally valid. Such a rapid war of extermination is rarely 


waged as that between the black rat (Mus rattus) 
and the brown rat (Mus decumanus) ; and we far more 
frequently imagine that harmonious intercourse exists 
between the members of the same species sharing the 
same habitation, as, for instance, the hare and the deer, 
than that they are anxiously striving to maintain exist- 
ence. Yet this is not the case. The two great motive 
powers, the preservation of the individual and the pre- 
servation of the species, are unremitting instigations to 
warfare, and under their influence every living being, 
plants inclusive, joins in conflict with its congeners of 
the immediate vicinity. 

In this competition for nutriment, combined with 
defence against all possible enemies and other rivals 
for the remaining privileges of existence, the strongest 
gains the advantage, or the most crafty, the most 
skilful — in short, the one that can measure itself against 
its rivals armed with any sort of superiority. Not 
only in the struggle for mates, but on every occasion 
of competition, the weaker individuals are beaten off, 
and a selection of the strongest and the best takes place. 
But the primarily slight, — often scarcely perceptible, ad- 
vantages, mental as well as bodily, which aided these in- 
dividuals to conquer and survive the other members of 
the species who were weaker and destitute of accidental 
advantages, have a prospect of being transmitted, and 
in the following generations of becoming established 
and increased by repeated selection. This selection is 
therefore a natural and necessary course of things ; and 
it applies, not in a merely general and vague manner, 
as in the external habit, size, and strength of the indi- 
vidual, but, owing to the actual variability and plasticity 


of the organic morphological constituents, single parts 
and organs may be modified and perfected in definite 
advantageous directions, so as to secure for the race and 
species a higher position in the surrounding world. 

Besides the general results of the right of the strongest, 
another very influential phenomenon comes into play 
where the desire for propagation is concerned, which 
Darwin has designated as " sexual selection," and elabo- 
rated in great detail in his work on the " Descent of 
Man," In this we must consider, first, the formation of 
sexual peculiarities in the males, and the secondary 
characters by which they are aided in the courtship of 
the females ; and only secondly the reactions of these 
peculiarities on the alteration and progress of the species 
in general. 

The fundamental idea of Darwin's theory of selection 
is therefore, that the cumulative power of selection 
exercised by man in the breeding of races, is, in nature, 
replaced by the struggle for life ; and that in the course 
of time, by the cumulation of advantages primarily 
slight and becoming more and more prominent, lower 
organisms are converted into higher ones. The process 
is incessant. " It may be metaphorically said, that na- 
tural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing through- 
out the world the slightest variations, rejecting those 
that are bad, preserving and adding up all that are 
good ; silently and insensibly working, whenever and 
wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each 
organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic 
conditions of life." ** 

The following chapters will introduce us more nearly 
to this theory, its truth, possibility, application, and con- 



firmation ; meanwhile we will at once make ourselves 
acquainted with some of the objections offered to it, 
either to the theory of selection in particular, or to the 
theory of selection combined with the doctrine of trans- 
formation as a whole ; the most important of which 
Darwin has already considered and answered. 

If, so it is said, all living beings stand in distinct and 
uninterrupted connection with one another, what has 
become of the infinitely numerous intermediate forms 
which must necessarily have existed ? Our eyes turn 
first to the organisms now living, and as, in accordance 
with the theory, they are assumed to be the terminal 
twigs of an infinitely ramified tree, which must obviously 
press hard upon one another, and must each indepen- 
dently diverge in all directions as varieties, we ask for 
the intermediate forms of the species now existing side 
by side. 

We may now appeal to the evidence already given 
(p. 92. &c.), that in complete and extensive groups of 
organisms, modern scientific research has been able to 
discern nothing else than intermediate forms. Similarly, 
the journey undertaken by Kerner in his little book on 
" Good and Bad Species," in company with the botanist 
Simplicius, from the West of Europe to the East, will 
furnish an amusing number to the reader eager for 
further material. The extension of the various species 
of Cytisus which this naturalist has minutely investigated, 
likewise exhibits the uninterrupted existence of connect- 
ing forms on the territorial boundaries of species of which 
the centres of propagation are more or less remote. 
From all these instances, which may be reckoned by 
thousands, it may be inferred that a large proportion 


are in a phase of relative stability. That for this reason 
their intermediate forms must be looked only for in the 
past, is as little surprising ; it in no way impugns the 
truth of the doctrine of Descent ; and the demand for 
intermediate forms between these local and temporarily 
stable forms merely proves how little those who make it 
have appreciated the nature of Descent. 

But the objection mainly concerns those intermediate 
forms by which the species are connected with the 
aboriginal species preceding them in order of time. 
According to the theory, the species now living are 
connected with the aboriginal species by forms identical 
in quality with varieties, the "species in process of 
formation ;" the aboriginal species with others still 
more ancient, and so on ; so that an infinite number 
of forms must have existed. We have already shown 
(p. 97, &c.) that in an excess of zeal palaeontologists have 
set up species, also to be reckoned by thousands, where 
merely transitional forms and varieties actually existed ; 
we have mentioned that a number of distinguished 
palaeontologists of the present day are endeavouring to 
remedy the errors of their predecessors, and to exhibit 
the uninterrupted transitional series from the lower to 
the more recent strata, where the others with lavish in- 
genuity imagined they had discerned specific characters. 
Still it must be admitted that the amount of transitional 
forms as yet actually found are a vanishing quantity, 
as compared with the countless multitude which must 
have existed. 

But this deficiency may be satisfactorily explained. We 
know only a very small proportion of the fossiliferous 
strata, and, with as much justice as Lamarck in the be- 

L 2 


ginning of this century, we may point even now to the 
poverty of the collections. Wherever the palaeontolo- 
gist now lays his hand he finds intermediate forms, and 
day by day the material accumulates as it is required. 
Nevertheless, too much is demanded, and the conditions 
of preservation are misunderstood, if it be supposed 
that all intermediate forms that ever existed were, by 
their bodily constitution, either wholly or partially 
adapted to preservation, and must therefore have been 
actually preserved. On the contrary, the greater number 
have assuredly vanished without a trace. At least half of 
all geological deposits have been destroyed again during 
slow upheavals. For from the time at which a sea- 
bottom formerly lying at a profound depth, with its 
well-preserved enclosures, is again raised within the 
reach of superficial movements, it may be crumbled and 
corroded, and the fossils contained in it now share the 
fate which usually befalls the remains of the denizens 
of marshy shores, they are triturated by the surf. 

To this must be added the important consideration that 
the forms by which the transition is effected will mostly, 
not as individuals, but as forms, have had a briefer period 
of existence than the persistent varieties appearing to us 
as species, as may be seen, among other instances, in 
the instructive discoveries at Steinheim. In this parti- 
cular, the periods of transition from one geological plane 
to the next, resemble the boundary regions of two geo- 
graphical districts. The tract of transition from one to 
the other is specially suited to give rise to the transfor- 
mation of appropriate organisms. But this transforma- 
tion is accomplished and established first in the new 
district. Thus in the geological series, transitional periods 


are periods of relative disturbance. During their con- 
tinuance the exigency of adaptation and transformation 
was at its height, botli in the vegetal and animal world ; 
the conditions of existence at the same time most 
unfavourable ; the number of individuals in those species 
which succeed in effecting their transformation is neces- 
sarily reduced, and could increase again only in the 
subsequent periods of repose. It is therefore not sur- 
prising that the catalogue of intermediate forms is so 
defective ; and their scarcity is remarked upon only by 
those who are determined to feel the want of them. For 
the establishment of scientific evidence in favour of the 
doctrine of Descent we have them in superabundance. 

With the supposed deficiency of transitional forms is 
connected another frequent objection, namely, that in 
repeated instances whole groups of kindred species have 
suddenly appeared. If intermediate morphological and 
anatomical gradations are elsewhere visible, in these 
groups, the pterodactyls, birds and others, there is no 
coherence and connection with any aboriginal species 
previously or contemporaneously existing. This allega- 
tion is one of the feeblest and most vapid, if raised 
after the attempt has been made to account for the 
absence of intermediate forms. It is only a particular 
case in the alternative that either all species originated in 
the natural manner indicated by the perfectly adequate 
number of transitional forms at hand, or all by miracle. 
In the cases v;hich are here brought forward as heavy 
artillery, the gap to the aboriginal species is certainly 
greater than where there is merely a leap from species 
to species or to genus. But the explanation given ot 
the less striking intervals scarcely needs extension to 


suffice here also. The obscurity overshadowing- the 
extraction of the birds is just beginning to clear up. 
Why should not the origin of pterodactyls become 
more distinct in the next few years ? 

A special difficulty is seemingly prepared for the 
theory by the highly integrated organs, particularly by 
the apparatus of the senses, with their very complex 
mechanism. In truth, taking, for example, the eye of 
the Vertebrata, we must not even say of the higher Ver- 
tebrata alone, that its marvellous structure is w^ell fitted 
to excite the liveliest doubts as to descent and selection. 
As a matter of fact, however, the series of vertebrate 
animals does not exhibit the series of lowly beginnings 
which we must assume as having once existed. For 
the eye of the fish is little inferior in complexity to 
the optic organ of the mammal, wdiilst the lancelet 
is completely eyeless, and therefore affords no clue. 

In other orders of animals, however, we still see in the 
systematic series of the present era every possible gra- 
dation, and thus possess a representation of the manner 
in which in the palaeontological series the perfect organ 
Avas gradually evolved from the simplest rudiments. 
The lowest crabs present the simplest mechanism 
imaginable, sensitive to light ; other crabs of higher de- 
velopment possess eyes somewhat more perfect, not only 
sensitive to light, but capable of forming images, and 
between these eyes and those of the decapodous crab, 
so extremely perfect of their kind, a host of optic struc- 
tures are represented, which clearly show that these 
organs are also subject to the law of slow accumulation 
and establishment of small advantages. 

With regard to the auditory and olfactory apparatus, 


every manual of comparative anatomy affords testimony 
that the series of vertebrate animals now living, present 
series of development which negative the sudden and 
incomprehensible origination of these organs in an im- 
mediate state of completion. How they appeared in 
yet lower grades than are exhibited in the true fishes 
of the present time we may learn in part from the 
lancelet, and in part we may picture to ourselves from 
the corresponding sensory apparatus of the lower Mol- 
lusca, Articulata, and Annulosa. With reference to the 
objections to his doctrine arising from the arrangements 
of the most perfect organs, Darwin has said that he 
would abandon his whole theory if it can be shown 
that any of these organs could not possibly have been 
formed from lower grades, by improvement slowly ac- 
quired. This demonstration no one has yet undertaken, 
nor will it ever be undertaken with success, as every 
deeper penetration into the comparative anatomy of the 
sensory apparatus affords evidence to the contrary. In 
order to understand the presumptively faultless sensory 
organs and their derivation from a lower grade, it is of 
supreme importance to bear in mind the circumstance 
first exhibited by Helmholtz in the eye, that besides a 
number of perfections, they likewise possess a number 
of imperfections, and purposeless or obstructive arrange- 

But we must examine another point, which may 
awaken doubts as to the admissibility of the doctrine 
of Descent, though, strangely enough, it has as yet been 
turned to little account by adversaries, and only inci- 
dentally touched upon by Darwin. In the " Origin of 
Species," he states, that H. C. Watson, we know not 


where, has opposed to the Divergence of Character, or 
the incHnation of varieties and species to deviate from 
one another, a Convergence of Character. It is con- 
ceivable, he thinks, that species derived from different 
genera, might sometimes approach each other so 
closely that they would be classed in the same 
genus. The author of the theory of Selection has beei\ 
content to point out the great improbability of such an 
event, which, moreover, in this simplicity would scarcely 
impugn the origin and truth of the theory. " If two 
species of two allied genera both produced a number of 
new and divergent species, I can believe that they might 
sometimes approach each other so closely that they 
would, for convenience' sake, be classed in the same new 
genus, and thus two genera would converge into one ; 
but from the strength of the principle of inheritance, 
and from the two parent species already differing, and 
consequently tending to vary in a somewhat different 
manner, it seems hardly credible that the two new 
groups would not at least form different sections in the 
same genus.'"*^ 

We here see a theoretical objection theoretically 
refuted. But although the probability of a convergence 
carried to absolute similarity is extremely slight, and 
it receives no support from the palaeontological record, its 
utter a priori impossibility must not be rashly asserted ; 
and in my researches on the Sponges of the Atlantic, I 
have pointed out groups of species approximating so 
closely as to be scarcely distinguishable. Chalina and 
Reniera are two distinct genera, actually belonging to 
different families. It is highly probable that the genus 
Chalinula, with its extremely variable species, are 


branches of the ChaHna, not the converse ; and the forms 
of Reniera hkewise merc^e in species not constant in 
any cliaracter, and which the most careful observer is 
unable to distinijuish from the Chalinula. Therefore, if 
the convergence or approximation of branches of various 
origin cannot be rejected in the abstract, the most pro- 
pitious case of coincidence is, nevertheless, limited to 
the province of analogous formations, where, under like 
conditions of adciptation, difterent families have been 
driven to like expedients and differentiations, producing 
complete similarity. A general survey of the organic 
world likewise teaches us that in the higher regions this 
overlapping of the ends of dissimilar parentage becomes 
more and more incredible, and, as is shown by my study 
on sponges, they can, in any case, occur only where the 
organisms consist of very simple factors, highly variable 
in a few directions, and very easily affected by external 

When we referred above to the possibility of no 
slight objection to the doctrine of Descent, we spoke 
of another case of convergence. We mean, namely, 
those similar final results in divergent series by which, 
in highly organized groups of animals, of which the 
reciprocal connection can be traced only through low 
aboriginal forms, certain important organs exhibit the 
greatest uniformity of arrangement and integration. 
It is, as yet, quite undecided where and when the true 
insects separated themselves from the water-breathing 
crabs ; nay, some naturalists incline to the opinion that 
these two classes are derived from a more remote 
common ancestor. Thus much is extremely probable, 
that the severance between crabs and insects took place 


when the development of their optic apparatus had not 
attained the degree of perfection which we now find in 
the stalk-eyed crabs and insects. They nevertheless 
agree not merely in their coarser conditions, but, as 
Max Schultze has demonstrated, even in their minutest 
microscopic details. If the idea of design as a principle 
of explanation is excluded in this case also, as will be 
shown below, and as is self-evident from our standpoint, 
and if simple heredity in the two series must be excluded 
likewise, some other adequate solution must be sought. 

The case of the converging species of sponges may 
throw a light, feeble though it be, upon the obscure pro- 
cesses of the organic laboratory. Let us here again 
recall that maxim of Goethe, which we have already 
cited : " The animal is formed by circumstances for 
circumstances." Perhaps this maxim may in future be 
brought into play, for it is actually a question of in- 
vestigating how surrounding conditions, the agencies 
acting on the sensory apparatus, can exercise on simple 
matter such an influence, that the otherwise widely 
differing descendants of the various possessors of this 
simple material or incomplete organs, have acquired a 
more complete organ, not only working in a similar 
manner, but of similar construction. Darwinism has 
never yet pretended to have explained everything ; 
neither will it be wrecked on this point, but, on the con- 
trary, will only have supplied fresh incitements to more 
profound researches, crowned by beautiful results. 

Another example of approximation in divergent 
series is afforded by the eyes of the highest molluscs, 
the Cephalopods, as compared with those of the Ver- 
tebrata ; in this instance, however, it does not go 


beyond an analogy, though a striking one. It Is only 
the microscopic structure of the nerve membrane, 
which is extremely similar in both divisions, with the 
exception of the reversed sequence of the layers 
from inwards, outwards. The case, considered in the 
abstract, appears highly complicated, and without a 
prospect of solution; but it becomes marvellously 
simplified, as we have already hinted, if the question 
is thus generalized : In what manner are the still un- 
differentiated terminations of the nerves affected by the 
specific operation of the waves of light and sound, &c., 
so as to assume the form and construction of specific 
peripheral organs ? It may be long before these relations 
are fathomed ; our only concern is to defend the theory 
from the reproach of inadequacy, by showing the scope 
for investigation according to our point of view. 

When Darwin had brought to light the effects of 
natural selection in reproduction and derivation, and 
applied this principle to all the phenomena of the 
organic world, the systematic school was effectually 
subdued by that same doctrine of Descent, thus fortified 
and established, after which Lamarck had striven in 
vain. The systematic school classified organisms accord- 
ing to external and internal resemblances. Whence 
this greater or smaller accordance, whence the gra- 
dation and the heterogeneity, it knew not how to 
tell. It was thought that much was gained when the 
fundamental forms of types were spoken of, even though 
no account was given of the intrinsic nature of these 
types, floating like ideas above the phenomena. Now 
the type has become the family, and the systematizers 
have the plain task of restoring and combining the 


pedigrees of the various groups of living beings. The 
knowledge of these pedigrees has now for the first time 
a truly scientific purport, as compared with the old 
system of types; for the genealogical trees cannot be 
constructed without a knowledge of their growth, and 
of the causes which produced their branches, twigs, and 
shoots. Each family thus includes all the forms derived 
from one simple original form. The old systematic 
school was obliged to content itself with working out 
the classification of the individual types, and defining 
their limits, and then balancing the types against each 
other on general morphological and physiological 
principles, in order to estimate their relative value, all 
without any consciousness of the natural causes of these 
actual relations. The doctrine of Descent connects the 
original forms of the types afresh from the point of 
view of consanguinity, and descends deeper and deeper, 
down to the simplest organisms, and the beginning of 

But before we attempt to come to an understanding 
as to the origin of life, one of the pillars of the doctrine 
of Descent, it seems appropriate to allude to the question 
whether natural selection, of which the means and effects 
will bemore minutely elucidated in the following chapters, 
is capable of explaining all the modifications of organic 
beings, and whether selection must always be summoned 
to aid in the explanation of these transformations ? In 
other words, whether the theory of selection answers all 
the requirements of the doctrine of Descent, or whether 
it is capable and in need of amendment ? We may do 
this with the more impartiality, as the acute author of 
the book entitled *' The Unconscious from the Stand- 


point of Physiology and the Theory of Descent (Das 
Unbewusste vom Standpunkt der Physiologie and Des- 
cendenztheorie)/^ has again recently observed that the 
truth of the doctrine of Descent is independent of the 
bearings and adequacy of the Darwinian theory. 

" This circumstance," he says, " is misunderstood by 
the majority of Darwin's opponents ; when they adduce 
arguments for the inadequacy of natural selection in 
the struggle for life, they usually fancy they have 
adduced just as many arguments against the reliability 
of the theory of Descent. But the two have no direct 
connection with one another ; for it might be possible 
that Darwin's theory of natural selection was absolutely 
false and unserviceable, and the doctrine of derivation 
true notwithstanding ; that only the causal medium of 
the derivation of one species from another was different 
from that stated by Darwin. Similarly, it might be 
possible that, although the mediate causes of transition 
discovered by Darwin were partially effective, — on the 
other hand, transitional phenomena existed which could 
not as yet be explained by this hypothesis ; that this 
therefore required either an auxiliary hypothesis supple- 
menting that of Darwin, or even a co-ordinating prin- 
ciple of explanation, as little discovered now as was the 
Darwinian theory twenty years ago. Such imperfect 
knowledge of the causes operating in the transition of 
one form into the other, can prejudice the general 
truth of the doctrine of Descent as little as the absence 
of intermediate forms, or the uncertainty, still exist- 
ing in many cases, of the derivation of any given form. 
If even in former times, when all knowledge of the 
causes by which transition is effected was still wanting, 


the doctrine of Derivation seemed certain to the greatest 
minds, on philosophical and a priori grounds, there can 
be still less doubt as to the theory of Descent, now 
that Darwin and Wallace have plainly shown that in- 
dubitably the most important, if not the all-sufficing 
cause of transition is everywhere effective, and in many 
cases sufficient." 

We wished to set forth these words of a talented philo- 
sopher for the benefit of those who are so unreasoning as 
to pour away the child with the bath-water, and fancy 
that they have slain the doctrine of Descent when they 
have been lucky enough to raise a few cavils against 
Darwin's theory of selection. Does the theory of selec- 
tion fulfil every requirement .'' It accomplishes many 
and great things, but in some cases it seems to be in- 
adequate, and in other cases it is not requisite, as the 
solution of the formation of species is found in other 
natural conditions. 

Moritz Wagner, a decided adherent of Metamorphosis 
and an enthusiastic admirer of Darwin, endeavoured to 
establish a " law of migration," namely, that " the migra- 
tion of organisms and the formation of colonies by them 
is the necessary condition of natural selection."'*^ In 
his opinion, new species arise only when smaller com- 
munities of individuals, in process of forming varieties, 
are geographically isolated, as in this manner only is 
intercrossing precluded with their stationary congeners, 
who do not participate in the transformation ; and rever- 
sion and disappearance of characters as yet not fixed 
is thus avoided. That isolation often acts very favour- 
ably on the formation of species is a fact almost univer- 
sally acknowledged and easily verified by insular fauna. 


but that the formation of species can take place only 
with the assistance of isolation has been effectively 
refuted by Weismann.''^ He has shown that an "inter- 
crossing of the incipient variety with the aboriginal form 
is not avoided by isolation;" and by the very favourable 
instance of the lake of Steinheim, among others, he has 
exhibited the formation of new species in the midst of 
the old ones. On Haeckel's remark that in the asexual 
propagation of the lower beings, the influence of inter- 
crossing was not to be feared, Wagner had already re- 
stricted the necessity of isolation to the higher organisms 
with separate sexes. But Weismann most justly insists 
that Wagner's ** law of migration " is deprived of all 
foundation by one of the most remarkable examples of 
the formation of varieties on the same territory, namely, 
the fact of the separation of the sexes, as to the deriva- 
tion of which from species once hermaphrodite, all (the 
believers in Creation naturally excepted) are assuredly 
of one accord. 

As we have already mentioned, it seems that if the im- 
pulse to form varieties once exists, the tendency spreads 
rapidly. Steinheim, with its Planorbis multiformis, is 
specially propitious to the demonstration of these 
periods of variation. If isolation coincides with such 
a period, it effects the establishment of new varieties 
into species without the aid of natural selection. As 
Darwin admits in his work on the origin of Man, he 
formerly bestov/ed too little attention on the forma- 
tion of so-called morphological species. By this we 
mean, species not distinguished from their aboriginal 
stocks by any physiological advantages, and hence not 
superior to them, in which therefore the principle of 


selection in the "strict Darwinian sense is inapplicable. 
Two species of butterflies, differing only in a few specks 
or pencilings, or the notches on the wings, are in 
our estimation of perfectly equal physiological value ; 
they are morphological species. Weismann sets up 
the proposition that " the colouring and penciling of 
the upper surface of the wing in butterflies are to be 
regarded as purely morphological characters, excepting 
in cases of mimicry and protective uniform colouring." 
He shows also by other examples that, " under certain 
circumstances and within a comparatively small range, 
new as well as morphological characters may be estab- 
lished by the effects of isolation only." The inapplica- 
bility of natural selection to the evolution of purely 
morphological variations was first pointed out by 
Nageli.''^ With reference to this subject, Darwin with 
magnanimous modesty observes : " I now admit, after 
reading the essay by Nageli on plants, and the remarks 
by various authors with respect to animals, more espe- 
cially those recently made by Professor Broca,^" that, in 
the earlier editions of my ' Origin of Species,' I probably 
attributed too much to the action of natural selection 
or the survival of the fittest. I have altered the fifth 
edition of the ' Origin ' so as to confine my remarks 
to adaptive changes of structure. I had not formerly 
sufficiently considered the existence of many structures, 
which appear to be, as far as we can judge, neither bene- 
ficial nor injurious, and this I believe to be one of the 
greatest oversights as yet detected in my work."^' 

We are disposed to think that the oversight with 
which Darwin charges himself is not so great, as it is 
here a question of the more indift'"erent species, not affect- 


ing the great phenomena of progressive development, 
and of which the origin is perfectly comprehensible by 
variability alone, or in any case, as we have seen, by 
variability with the co-operation of isolation. The value 
of natural selection is in no way deteriorated by the 
possibility of explaining the purely morphological 
species without its aid. In certain cases of mimicry, 
or the formation of natural protective masks and imi- 
tations, and for the explanation of organic beauty, 
natural selection seems inadequate. But what does this 
prove, but that, as all know, future generations must 
needs carry on the edifice } The additions which the 
presence of the theory of selection has been able to 
supply are scarcely worthy of mention. 

As the type has become the family, and the system, 
as the shortest expression of the kindred relations of 
organisms, requires at the root of the genealogical tree 
a number of the lowest and simplest organisms, or per- 
haps one single primordial form, we must come to an 
understanding as to the problem of the beginning of life. 
Even quite recently, in March 1873, Max MuUer, in 
accordance with an opinion shared by many, has again 
proclaimed " the Darwinian theory vulnerable at the 
beginning and at the end."'^ Whether any considerable 
points of attack are offered by the final proposition of 
Darwinism, namely, the application of natural selection 
to man, and his sole characteristic peculiarity, language, 
we shall have another opportunity of inquiring. But 
what the renowned linguist terms the vulnerable begin- 
ning of Darwinism, the origin of life, has in fact nothing 
to do with actual Darwinism, or natural selection, unless 
the principle of selection be extended to the inorganic 



world of matter. But the objection which endeavours 
to cut away the ground from under the doctrine of 
Descent, not the theory of selection, and represents the 
origin of life as incomprehensible and supernatural, we 
naturally regard as an attempt to gain a precedent for 
the supernatural creation of language. Between begin- 
ning and end, we naturalists may do as we please. 

But it is strange that the very side which is so ready 
to reproach us with a want of philosophic method and 
induction, should here, where the material substratum 
is deficient, dispute the claims of the investigation of 
nature to its logical inferences. In the last page of 
the " Origin of Species," Darwin says : ** There is 
grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, 
having been originally breathed by the Creator into 
a few forms or into one ; and that, whilst this planet 
has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of 
gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms 
most beautiful and most wonderful have been and 
are being evolved." In this concession, Darwin has 
certainly been untrue to himself; and it satisfies neither 
those who believe in the continuous work of creation 
by a personal God, nor the partizans of natural evolution. 
It is directly incompatible with the doctrine of Descent, 
or, as Zollner ^^ says : *' The hypothesis of an act of 
creation (for the beginning of life) would not be a logi- 
cal but a merely arbitrary limitation of the causal series 
against which our intellect rebels by reason of its inherent 
craving for causality. Whoever does not share this crav- 
ing is beyond help, and he cannot be convinced. To 
hold the beginning of life as an arbitrary act of creation, 
is to break v/ith the whole theory of cognition." 


The verdict, as to the beginning of life, is commonly 
dependent on the standpoint adopted with respect to 
the possibility of primordial or spontaneous generation 
(generatio equivoca). This course is, in our opinion, 
only half correct. The subtlest experiments on spon- 
taneous generation, whether from organic matter or 
from constituents not yet combined into molecules of 
organic matter, have proved indecisive on both sides. 
Neither the impossibility nor the possibility can be ex- 
perimentally demonstrated ; it always remains open to 
the sceptic to say, if nothing appears, that the failure of 
spontaneous generation is due to the conditions of the 
experiment ; or if anything does make its appearance, 
that, notwithstanding every precaution, germs made 
their way into the infusion. Opinion as to continued 
prim.ordial genesis still taking place, is thus a mere 
emanation of the general theory of nature held by each 
individual. To any one who holds open the possibility 
that, even now, animate may be evolved from inanimate 
existence, without the mediation of progenitors, the first 
origin of life in this natural method is at once self-evident. 
But even if the proof were given, which never can be 
given, that in the present world spontaneous generation 
does not occur, the inference would be false that it never 
did occur. When our planet had reached the phase 
of development in which the temperature of the surface 
admitted of the formation of water and the existence 
of albuminous substances, the quantitative and qualita- 
tive conditions of the atmosphere were different from 
what they now are. A thousand circumstances now 
beyond our control, and as to the possible nature of 
which it is needless to speculate, might lead to the pro- 

M 2 


duction of protoplasm, that primordial organism, from 
the atoms of its constituents. 

Hence the beginning of life at some bygone period 
is likewise not susceptible of demonstration ; but the 
commencement of animate being at some definite era 
of development is a logical necessity, and by no means 
a vulnerable point in the doctrine of Descent.^'' 

We have already incidentally mentioned a man who, 
although not so eminent as Darwin, has the glory of 
having independently discovered the law of natural 
selection, and of having, after Darwin had come forward 
with his fundamental work, supported the theory of 
selection by a profusion of original observations. This is 
Alfred Russell Wallace.^^ In a paper, published in 1855, 
he demonstrated the dependence of the flora and fauna 
on the geographical position and geological nature of 
the district of propagation, and the close connection of 
the species, according to time and habitat, with kindred 
species previously existing ; and in a second work, in 
the year 1858, on the inclination of varieties to deviate 
without limit from the original type, we find a dis- 
quisition on the importance of the struggle for exist- 
ence, the consequences of adaptation, the selection of 
the most useful, and the replacement of the earlier 
species by the establishment of the more valuable 
varieties. We shall repeatedly have occasion to draw 
upon the rich supplies of his researches. 



Heredity — Reversion — Variability— Adaptation — Results of Use and Disuse of 
Organs--Differentiation leading to Perfection. 

The two properties of organic being which determine 
and regulate the relation of the offspring to the pro- 
genitors, and which not only assign to individuals their 
position in the surrounding world, but also help them to 
attain it, are transmission or heredity, and adaptation. 

Heredity is the conservative, adaptation, the pro- 
gressive principle. Yet all heredity is not directed to 
immutability, and many cases of adaptation involve 
morphological and physiological retrogression. For the 
elucidation of the inherited peculiarities of organisms, we 
reconstruct their pedigree ; by the characters acquired by 
adaptation, we test the pliability of organisms in the 
lapse of time, and trace the ramifications of the pedigree. 
Groups of organisms, in w^hich the conservative principle 
predominates, certainly evince their powers of endurance 
in the struggle for existence, but they make no advance 
in physiological value, and are outstripped by the more 
progressive groups which yield to obstacles and profit by 
them, a course of which human life also aftords so many 

As the phenomena of heredity are usually more obvious 
than the results of adaptation, the latter was almost 


entirely neglected by naturalists in former days. And 
indeed what comparison in organic nature can be made 
so frequently and universally as the resemblance of 
the offspring to the parent ? An anatomist, it is true, 
quaintly attempted to work out the proposition that the 
resemblance in the children is not dependent on heredity, 
but is the result of identical and similar influences, cus- 
toms, and habits, prevalent in families. But this para- 
doxical theory requires no special refutation. It is 
quite true that similar habits and similar external im- 
pulses elicit a certain similarity of demeanour and 
appearance ; but if the little son of the pompous mil- 
lionaire apes his father, it cannot be said that he has 
likewise mimicked his large or small nose, &c., or has 
acquired it by a similar call for adaptation. We have 
only cursorily alluded to this quibble, in flagrant contra- 
diction as it is with every experience; and, in conformity 
with general opinion, we corroborate the transmission of 
the parental characteristics to the offspring. The breeders 
of animals in particular has occasion to observe these 
transmissions specially, and to evolve their astounding 
progress from the combination and reciprocal influence 
of the various forms and degrees of heredity. 

It is well known that not only are normal conditions 
transmitted, but monstrosities are also reproduced through 
several generations, and, as we have seen in the instance 
of the crook-legged sheep of Massachusetts, may even be 
established as the characters of a race. A mere reference 
to the inheritability of morbid tendencies, bodily and 
mental, will enable us to realize this intrinsic connection 
of the offspring to the ancestors. Only since the theory 
of selection has rendered the modalities of the transmis- 


sion of bodily characters a subject of more profound 
study, have general and national psychology been im- 
pelled to estimate the influence of heredity in the province 
of the mind, and demonstrate how, in the various races 
and families of nations, the molecular peculiarities of the 
brain, the tendency of character and intelligence of the 
individuals, and whole series of ideas, conform both in 
vigour and purport to the laws of heredity. 

It is manifest that the key to the phenomena of he- 
redity must be looked for in the process of reproduction. 
The molecular motions and disturbances, the incon- 
ceivably minute mechanical transfers which take place, 
do not, indeed, admit of observation. They are, however, 
no more "obscure" and "enigmatical," as they are so 
readily termed, than the invisible, but not supernatural 
motions, on the control and calculation of which the 
stately edifice of theoretic Chemistry and Physics se- 
curely rests. With the advance from asexual to sexual 
reproduction, and from the simple to the more perfect 
organisms, the difficulty of representation increases, but 
not that of abstract comprehension. If a low organism, 
a monad, divides itself, the divided individuals differ from 
the parent individual only in their inferior bulk, and the 
difference of their functions is, as to quality, nil. 

So, too, where gemmules and germs separate from a 
parent organism, the dov/er of the offspring is so large 
that identity in form and function of progenitor and 
progeny appears self-evident and natural. But the sexual 
reproduction of composite organisms is, as we have 
known since the old doctrine of the aura seminalis was 
refuted, also a separation of material portions of the pa- 
rental organisms. It is still a mechanical process which 


is not incomprehensible, and seems inexplicable only if 
we make the naturally futile attempt to bring sensibly 
before us the infinitely minute agencies which operate 
both mechanically and chemically. In the " Variation of 
Plants and Animals," Darwin has set up a provisional 
hypothesis of Pangenesis. He says that all phenomena 
of heredity and reversion would thereby be rendered 
possible, tliat in every elementary or cellular portion of 
the organism innumerable gemmules are produced, which 
are hoarded up in the reproducti/e elements, in every 
ovum, in every sperm corpuscule, and might remain 
latent during hundreds of generations, and only then 
exhibit their powers in reversion.^*' This hypothesis, it 
appears, has met with no ready approbation, probably, 
as it seems to us, because, in the attempt to meditate 
upon it, the sensible representation forces itself forward 
only to prove inadequate. But if it be steadfastly borne 
in mind that in Protoplasm, as RoUet " appropriately 
terms it, the most complex phenomenal forms of life 
possess a most persistent witness of their connection 
with the simplest, it follows that the general laws 
shown to be true or probable with reference to the 
simplest organisms, must be applicable to the most 
perfect also. This holds good also in reproduction, 
which, in its fundamental phenomena, offers nothing 
that cannot be based upon molecular physics applied 
to colloidal living substance capable of imbibition, and 
thus divested of vitahstic dualism. 

The more highly complex is an organism, that is, the 
greater the differentiation in the development from the 
protoplasm of the germ-cell to maturity, the more 
heterogeneously docs heredity display itself. These 


modes of heredity have been defined by Darwin, 
and yet more systematically by Haeckel, as "laws of 
inheritance," and corroborated by them by a profu- 
sion of examples. If heredity may be termed the 
conservative element in the life of species, we may also 
speak in particular of a conservative heredity, by 
which the old, long-established characteristics and pe- 
culiarities are transferred. The more stubbornly a 
character is transmitted, or, what amounts to the same, 
the greater the number of families, genera, and species, 
over which a character is extended, the more ancient 
must it be considered, the earlier did it appear in the 
ancestral stock. In most cases, this conservative he- 
redity occurs in an unbroken succession of generations, 
an observation on which it is needless to enlarge, 
as it may be daily made by every one. But con- 
servative heredity may likewise display itself inter- 
mittently, either when merely individual characters of 
the ancestors reappear after lying dormant for one, 
several, or many generations, — a phenomenon desig- 
nated as Atavism, or reversion, — or when the species 
is composed of a regular alternation of variously con- 
stituted generations and individuals. This particular 
sort of reversion is termed Alternate Generation, or 

No one is surprised if children exhibit the bodily 
or mental features of their grand-parents which were 
suspended in the parents. But most frequent and 
striking is the atavism of domestic animals and culti- 
vated plants, a stubborn antagonist to breeders. Of no 
domestic animal is the aboriginal stock known with such 
approximate certainty as that of the pigeon. Now there 


are races of pigeons purely bred for several centuries, 
and in colour and shape transformed into new creatures, 
which yet from time to time spontaneously, or by 
crossing with other conspicuous races, produce birds 
which, in colouring and characteristic pencilings of 
black bars on wings and tail, resemble the wild rock- 

" I paired," says Darwin,*^ " a mongrel female 
barb-fantail with a mongrel male barb-spot, neither 
of which mongrels had the least blue about them. 
Let it be remembered that blue barbs are excessively 
rare ; that spots, as has been already stated, were 
perfectly characterized in the year 1676, and breed 
perfectly true ; this likewise is the case with white 
fantails, so much so that I have never heard of white 
fantails showing any other colour. Nevertheless, the 
offspring from the above two mongrels was of exactly 
the same blue tint over the whole back and wings as 
that of the wild rock-pigeon of the Shetland Islands ; 
the double black wing-bars were equally conspicuous ; 
the tail was exactly alike in all its characters, and the 
croup was pure white." 

Another reversion frequently to be observed is the 
striping of the feral domestic cat of Europe, in which 
it resembles the wild-cat so closely as to be scarcely 
distinguishable. Darwin has collected evidence from 
which we may infer that the wild ancestral stock of 
the horse was striped, and this evidence includes the 
appearance of striped individuals. But yet another 
strange phenomenon in horses may be interpreted by 
atavism. Foals are occasionally born with supernumerary 
toes. This " monstrosity " can be explained only by 


reversion to the three-toed historical ancestors of the 
present genus. These vouchers are sufficient. 

All the phenomena of artificial breeding, as well as 
natural selection, serve to show that not only the cha- 
racters descended from past ages, but also those subse- 
quently and most recently acquired, may be transmitted 
to posterity. This is progressive heredity. Without 
it, improvement and progress would be impossible ; and 
its own possibility is the direct result of the nature of 
reproduction. The newer a useful modification, the less 
has it hitherto been able to place itself in correlation 
with the entire organism, the less is the reproductive 
system as yet affected by it ; the more uncertain and 
fluctuating, therefore, is the transfer by propagation ; 
breeding, or natural selection, is requisite to convert the 
potentiality of progress into a fact, and gradually to 
enrol this fact among the conservative inheritances. 

Progressive heredity is naturally more complex where 
the sexes are separate, where sexual selection asserts 
its rights, and the advantages of one sex are fostered 
by the taste of the other, and are then either trans- 
ferred exclusively to the sex benefited by its secondary 
characters, or turned to the profit of the whole species. 
As a rule, the males are endowed with these advantages, 
and have transmitted them incompletely to the females. 
We will explain ourselves by a single example. In the 
order of insects termed Orthoptera (or straight-winged), 
the males, by rubbing their wing-covers together, or by 
stroking them with the lower portion of their hind legs, 
are able to make a music attractive to the females. 
Von Graber, a distinguished modern entomologist, has 
shown ^^ that the teeth of the stridulating instruments of 


these animals are merely modified hairs ; that their con- 
struction may be explained by their use ; and that in all 
probability they have been perfected by sexual selec- 
tion, the best and loudest musicians being the most 
favoured wooers. With one single exception, the females 
of the Orthoptera are dumb, but many possess traces of 
the stridulating apparatus peculiar to the males. Con- 
trary to the older opinion, that it was merely a case 
of transmission emanating from the males, Graber has 
made it " more than probable that the resonant ner- 
vures of the females — of the stridulating Ephippigera 
vitium — have been gradually developed independently 
of the males, but in the same manner." In other cases, 
on the contrary, the feebly developed nervures of the 
females, unfit to produce audible stridulations, seem to 
be an inheritance from the males. 

Heredity at corresponding periods of life is a well- 
known phenomenon. The tendency to disease is trans- 
mitted from the father or the mother to the child to 
break out at the age at which they suffered. Generation 
after generation, the milk teeth make room for the per- 
manent teeth at a corresponding time. But all special 
cases are mere results of the general law of develop- 
ment, by which in the individual characters appear in 
the sequence in which they were historically acquired 
and became susceptible of transmission. Heredity, at a 
definite age after the period at which we consider actual 
development to be complete, is after all only a continu- 
ation of the embryonic development, beginning with 
fission, germ and ovum, of which the ninth chapter will 
teach us the signification. In this development of the 
individual, or ontogenesis, as will be shown below in 


more detail, processes are frequently abridged or totally 
omitted which once, while they were being acquired 
and after they had been established, occupied a longer 
period, but in the course of selection either became of 
less importance to the individual, or preserved a physio- 
logical value only as phases of transition. 

The second great class of characters, namely, those 
which have been newly acquired and depend on adap- 
tation, pre-suppose the mutability of the organism. 
This is a fundamental phenomenon of organic bodies. 
It is inherent in the minutest morphological constituents, 
in protoplasm, and in cells, and in the morphological ele- 
ments evolved from them, the pervading and determining 
individual life of which results in the collective life of 
the creature. The organic morphological element is 
in a state of saturation ; it is continually imbibing and 
emitting, and its stability is therefore constantly depen- 
dent on the supply of material for its functions. For 
nutrition, which generally and wholly determines the 
external appearance and the nature of the individual, is 
accomplished by the innumerable cells and their deriva- 
tives. Every fluctuation of supply in any part of the 
organism, nay, in any point in the surface of a microsco- 
pic reef-builder, must necessarily involve a modification of 
textural parts, or of integrated textural groups or organs. 
Mutability is thus a character resulting from the 
intrinsic nature of organism, and dependent on external 
conditions which determine quantity and form, as 
well as the development and transformation of the 
elementary constituents, or their abortion and retro- 
gression. These effects may be exhibited in a polype- 
stem, which as a whole represents the individual, in its 


single polypes,, the cells and morphological elements. 
The single individuals are alike in their constitution, 
but are usually very different in size and development, 
even in those species in which the differentiation un- 
questionably produced by selection has not led to 
polymorphism or separation into personal groups per- 
forming different functions. The weal or the woe of 
our polypes is greatly dependent on the position which 
they occupy upon the stem ; the supply of nutri- 
ment primarily furnished to the single individuals is 
unequally and variably apportioned according to cur- 
rents and tides. Hence on each polype-stem there are 
regions where the single polypes are especially thriving, 
others where they are just able to maintain themselves, 
others where they cannot keep their balance. But as 
the polype-stem is traversed by a canal system convey- 
ing the nutritive fluid and connecting the several cells, 
the superfluity of the well-situated cells goes to the 
benefit of those for whom a worse lot was prepared by 
their accidental position, and conversely. These rela- 
tions, which, complex as they seem, are very simple for 
our comparison, determine the form and appearance of 
the polype-stem. Among a hundred thousand stems, no 
two will be found absolutely alike. 

To return to the mutability of organisms, even if 
two individuals of the same species are bred under 
the most similar conditions imaginable, it has never 
been possible to pronounce them absolutely alike. 
That mutability is slighter in lower than in higher 
organisms, is a prejudice frequently repeated and forti- 
fied by the old dogma of species. The doctrine of 
descent and selection would fare ill if the case were 


SO. But as the shepherd unerringly knows the ph^-- 
siognomy of his sheep where an excursionist from the 
town sees only a general sheep's face, so to an attentive 
naturalist, in most of the lower organisms, the specific 
type resolves itself into as many varieties as individuals, 
irrespectively of the cases in which no specific type can 
be established. 

As modification under given conditions, adaptation is 
thus as little an unknown quantity as heredity, but is 
merely a function of the mechanical character of muta- 
bility, or, in the widest sense of the word, of nutrition. 
Adaptation takes place when the organism or its parts 
are pliable and plastic to external influences, when they 
conquer and make use of them. Climate, light, humidity, 
nutriment, are hindrances or advantages that directly or 
indirectly affect the organism, and are all actively con- 
cerned in it. Surrounded by organisms, we see them 
without exception adapting themselves to circumstances; 
and if our only object is to be convinced of the formative 
influence of the mode of life, this is most readily done 
in the case of domestic animals. In his studies on the 
pig, H. von Nathusius, perhaps the most scientific of the 
celebrated breeders, shows how in the simplest cases, 
where the looseness of cultivated soil has facilitated the 
labour of grubbing, the skull of the domestic pig is ar- 
rested, by the softer structure of the cranium, at the 
immature form of the wild boar, and how those extreme 
shapes of the head in cultivated breeds, characterized by 
the bending and shortening of the face, and the impossi- 
bility of closing the jaw in front, are entirely the result 
of their altered mode of life. It is known that men, 
animals, and plants, removed far from their previous 

t76 the doctrine of descent. 

abode to a new and strange environment, after a longer 
or shorter effort of the organism to domesticate itself, 
either die out, or else accommodate themselves to the 
new conditions and become acclimatized. Every accli- 
matization is therefore an adaptation, accompanied by 
modifications more or less perceptible. Thus, in conse- 
quence of the varied conditions of life, there is a wide 
divergence among races of men who, by their kindred 
language, are of the same origin, not to mention those 
whose relations linguistic inquiry has not yet decided. 
How different is the idiosyncrasy of the Englishman 
from that of the Hindoo ! Physically and psychically, 
they represent two remarkable sub-races of which the pe- 
culiarities must be ascribed to adaptation, — in the latter, 
to a climate which requires a vegetable diet, and, eliciting 
neither bodily nor mental energy, favours a dreamy 
sensuaHty ; in the former, to a country which is in every 
particular the opposite of the Indian original home. 
Similarly, the annual alternation in the vital phenomena 
of so many organisms, designated as hybernating ani- 
mals, is a case of adaptation. It is changed the moment 
the organism is exposed to another climate, or rather 
acclimatization is essentially the accommodation of the 
hybernating animals to the new climate. 

In all these examples we have the results of direct 
adaptation, in which the power of resistance in the 
individual comes Into play, as does cumulative adapt- 
ation in artificial, and the survival of the fittest in 
natural, selection. In all cases of adaptation, one or 
several organs are primarily concerned, either actively 
or passively; and only inconsequence of the resulting 
modifications are the other organs drawn into sym- 


pathy. This may be termed correlative adaptation. It 
might be supposed that the most perspicuous examples 
would be afforded by parasitic animals, in which, with 
the alteration of the aliment and of the alimentary 
apparatus, especially of the manducatory portions, is 
usually combined a transformation and retrogression, 
often extending to the total extinction of the locom.o- 
tive organs, and of the entire segmentation of the body. 
But, although the limits are difficult to define, the cause 
of these associated modifications in the locomotive and 
alimentary apparatus consists less in their reciprocal 
sympathetic influence than in their simultaneous disuse. 

It is, however, by correlative adaptation that, for in- 
stance, in the short-beaked races of pigeons, the middle 
toe and astragalus are shortened, and that in the long- 
beaked races these organs have shared in the elongation. 
In the case, however, in which short beaks are combined 
with short feet, a certain share in the shortening of the 
feet is also owing to disuse ; while where the pigeon- 
fancier took pleasure in the elongation of the beak by 
cumulative selection, the correlative elongation of the 
foot took place in spite of disuse. The most important 
group of correlative modifications or adaptations, always 
using this word in its widest acceptation, relates to the 
sphere of the sexes. Direct attacks on the generative 
organs manifest their effects on all the rest of the 
organism, as is best shown in animals of both sexes 
castrated for the market or for labour. 

We have already seen that the degree of perfection 
attained in the orders of the Articulata, Annulosa 
Vertebrata, and partially in the Radiata also, depends 
on the integration of the originally similar parts lying 



behind or by the side of one another; hence on the 
division of labour. This Haeckel has designated 
divergent adaptation. It gives rise to the remark- 
able polymorphism, which appears especially in the 
marvellous forms of the Hydra tuba; and, higher up, in 
the segmentation of the classes of the Termites and 
the Bee, &c. 

So far as modification coincides with adaptation, the 
direct adaptations hitherto discussed may be opposed 
by a series of indirect adaptations. Among these may 
be comprised a series of phenomena of which the causes 
do not fall within the life of the individual, but are to 
be sought in influences by which the parents were 
affected. It is obvious that we here come into contact 
with the province of heredity in a manner well known 
to breeders. Thus H. v. Nathusius, in his studies on 
the formation of the pig's skuU,''^ says : — " From the 
facts here collected, it is plain that the transmission, the 
transfer of the form of head from the parents to the 
offspring, does not unconditionally ensue. If the form 
of skull, which we will briefly term the cultivated form, 
be the product of nutrition and mode of life, hence of 
external influence, — if it can be differently formed in the 
same individual, and is therefore not constant, — in that 
case the heredity of this form cannot be spoken of 
without qualification. The form itself will not be trans- 
mitted to the offspring, but only the tendency to the 
form. This may be inferred from the circumstance 
that from generation to generation, and to a certain 
degree, the form increases in peculiarity. If we rear a 
common with a thoroughbred pig, and if we allow 
exactly the same influences of nutriment and keeping 


to operate upon both, and in equal measure, we shall 
not obtain the same form of head. The development 
of the form of head must therefore be aided by a pre- 
existing tendency, and we must hence regard it as 

Haeckel likewise propounds ai law of individual 
adaptation, which expresses the fact that, notwith- 
standing the closest kinship, individuals diverge in 
many ways. The cause of this difference, chiefly con- 
spicuous in the individuals of the same litter or brood, 
is, so far as it is not due to adaptation, inherent in 
the germs, and is transferred to them by fluctuations 
and differentiations in the conditions of nutrition in 
the parents, mostly beyond our ken. Other phenomena 
of indirect adaptation are exhibited in the occurrence 
of malformations, of which the causes must be looked 
for only in disturbances of nutrition in the parental 
organisms by which the progenitors themselves were 
not perceptibly affected. Here also belong the cases 
in which influences which have affected one sex only 
are manifested exclusively in posterity in the same 
sex. As may be seen, these processes, of which the 
initiation is entirely withdrawn from observation, are 
closely connected with the most obscure province of 

An extremely interesting and important form of 
adaptation is the so-called mimicry, or protection by 
means of colouring and form. The first discoveries 
on this subject were made by Bates, the well-known 
" Naturalist on the Amazon ; " the greater part were 
subsequently added by Wallace. In South America, 
the family of butterflies named Heliconida is extra- 

N 2 


ordinarily extensive; they are remarkable for their 
elongated wings, body, and antennae, and for the beauty 
of their colours. It might be imagined they were 
exposed to the persecutions of insectivorous birds and 
other animals ; but this is not the case, for they have a 
disagreeable smell, which, in all likelihood, renders them 
obnoxious. Their smell and flavour are thus a protection, 
as the birds and lizards who have once seized them by 
mistake are certain, ever after, to leave them unmolested. 
Now, as the insectivora do not test the individual case, 
but have adopted a general repugnance to the aspect of 
the Heliconidae, if other butterflies resembled the Heli- 
conidae without possessing the bad smell, they would 
participate in the security to life enjoyed by the Heli- 
conidae in proportion as they approach their external 
appearance. This case has actually occurred, for Bates 
discovered a number of species of the otherwise very 
different genus, Leptalis, of which each almost undis- 
tinguishably resembles one of the Heliconidae both in 
colour and form. The Leptalidae have also adopted the 
flight of the Heliconidce, share their habitats, and, 
although without the offensive smell, fly about with 
impunity. This state of things would be impossible if 
the Leptalidae were not considerably in the minority, so 
as to be in a measure hidden by the Heliconidae. 

Wallace has proved that species protected by mimicry 
of other animals are invariably in the minority, and 
often very rare in comparison with the species which 
they imitate. Neither the explanation that like condi- 
tions of life produced like results, nor the hypothesis 
that, in some cases at least, the mimicry consists in 
reversion to a common original species, is in any way 


satisfactory. Many cases can be interpreted only by 
natural selection, those, namely, where from the first, 
before the imitation had begun, such a resemblance 
already existed between the imitating and imitated 
forms as to render confusion possible ; where, therefore, 
the resemblance so conducive to the preservation of 
those in which it was the strongest, needed only to be 
increased by natural selection. Darwin ^"^ is also of 
opinion ''that the process probably has never com- 
menced with forms widely dissimilar in colour." 

A peculiar, simpler and long known mimicry, is when 
animals have accommodated themselves in colour to 
their habitats in such a manner as not to attract the 
attention of their enemies, and likewise to deceive their 
prey. Who, in the days when he chased butterflies, did 
not learn how difticult it is to recognize certain evening 
and nocturnal flyers on the bark of trees, as they quietly 
sit with their dusky brown or gray-striped or speckled 
wings, outspread in a roof-like shape.-* The tree locusts 
and Mantidae can look so deceptively like leaves or 
twigs, that it is only by the touch that one can be 
assured of their real nature. Wallace relates that one 
of the Phasmidse (Ceroxylus laceratus),v/hich he obtained 
at Borneo, was so covered with pale olive-green excres- 
cences, that it looked like a stick covered with moss. 
The Dyak who brought him the animal declared that, 
although alive, it was really overgrown with moss, and 
the naturalist himself was only convinced of the con- 
trary by the closest examination. 

A remarkable example of advantageous colouring, 
within easy reach of many of our readers, is exhibited 
in most species of the flat-fish (Pleuronectidae), now so 


frequently kept in aquaria. Observe the gray or 
brownish speckled creatures, as with a few strokes of 
their fins they partially cover their upper surface with 
sand. They need not bury themselves entirely, for it is 
only by close examination that their bare skin can be 
distinguished from the sandy bottom, and under this 
partly artificial, partly natural veil and mask, the animal 
waits for its prey. 

In many animals provided with protective colouring 
the phenomena are more complex, and explanation 
by natural selection is far more difficult; for they are 
able voluntarily to adapt their colour to circumstances, 
or else their colour changes by involuntary reflexes. 
Verany's unsurpassable observations on the Cephalo- 
poda have acquainted us with the range of colours 
at the disposal of these Molluscs, and to this may be 
be joined Brehm's description of the changes of colour 
in the chameleon. On these highly complex cases 
some light is thrown by the simpler instances in which 
the manifestly protective colouring has become fixed in 
skin and plumage, and the concurrence of other circum- 
stances scarcely admits of any other explanation than 

On this point, Wallace's interesting researches on bird's- 
nests are especially instructive. The great majority of 
female birds which sit in open nests possess brown or gray, 
in short, unobtrusive plumage. No contradiction will be 
offered to the statement that any casual modifications 
of plumage, which would more readily betray the sitting 
bird to its enemies, would have no prospect of becoming 
constant. The converse follows naturally with regard 
to colouring which brings the bird into harmony with 


its environment ; and an important guarantee of the 
correctness of this interpretation of facts is afforded by 
the other observation, that most female birds with gaily 
coloured or speckled plumage sit in covered and con- 
cealed nests. It must be added, that the construction 
of nests is not determined by the absolute rules of a 
blind instinct, but is modified by the experience of the 
animals, an experience of which we are indeed scarcely 
able to perceive the development, except with the age of 
the individual, but which, at least in several cases, has 
been proved to be the progress of the species. 

Natural selection has an important accessory in the 
modifications produced by the use or disuse of organs. 
Compulsion to more diligent use, inducements to dis- 
use, are involved in the varying conditions of life. In 
both cases it is therefore a question of adaptation. 
Looking at nature, profound modifications are most 
readily demonstrated as the consequence of disuse ; but 
artificial selection gives numerous examples of both 
sorts, especially where disproportionate use of certain 
organs is combined with simultaneous disuse of others. 
Such products of selection with disproportionate use are 
the racer and the dray-horse. 

The blindness of cave animals admits of no explana- 
tion, but that, with the increasing uselessness of the eyes 
during accommodation to cave life, the exchange of 
material in the less active organs gradually diminished, 
and atrophy was initiated. The accuracy of these 
theoretical observations is enforced by the observation 
that the nearest kin of many blind cave animals, espe- 
cially of insects and spiders, reside in the vicinity of 
the cave, and that those cave animals which inhabit pas- 


sages only partially obscure, possess less atrophied optic 
apparatus. A singular gradation occurs among the 
burrowing mammals, and Darwin °^ cites an example 
admirably illustrating the loss of sight in consequence 
of the mode of life. " In South America a burrowing 
rodent, the Tuco-tuco, or Ctenomys, is even more 
subterranean in its habits than the mole ; and I was 
assured by a Spaniard, who had often caught them, that 
they were frequently blind ; one which I kept alive was 
certainly in this condition, the cause, as appeared on 
dissection, having been the inflanmiation of the nicti- 
lating membrane. As frequent inflammation of the 
eyes must be injurious to any animal, and as eyes are 
certainly not necessary to animals having subterranean 
habits, a reduction in their size, with the adhesion of the 
eyelids and growth of fur over them, might in such case 
be an advantage ; and, if so, natural selection would 
constantly aid the effects of disuse " 

In the classes of flying animals, a large number have 
left off flying ; and we find their flying apparatus in an 
aborted or incomplete condition, which perverse judg- 
ment and reasoning alone can regard as a state of 
progressive development from yet simpler rudiments. 
If throughout the great family of the Coleoptera, genera 
and species are to be found with imperfect flying appa- 
ratus, consolidated wing covers, &c., if the whole family 
of Staphylina^ does not possess the power of flight, no 
one dreams of considering them as arrested forms; 
but it is conceivable that the mode of life in which 
they differ from the other members of their order and 
class, gradually superinduced in their flying ancestry the 
habit of not flying, and at the same time the atrophy 


of the organs of flight. With this was combined, as 
these beetles show, no degradation of organization, but, 
on the contrary, a higher and extremely advantageous 
development of other organs, the manducatory and 
locomotive apparatus. A general reduction of the 
power of flight has been shown in the beetle fauna of 
many islands. Thus in Madeira, of 550 species, over 
200 fly imperfectly or not at all, and for this there is 
no explanation but natural selection. Here the less 
good and enterprising flyers had the advantage, while 
the others were blown into the sea and eliminated. 
The non-application of a previously attained special 
perfection is advantageous in the " struggle for 

In several families of lizards, some genera are ser- 
pentine, as they are termed, which, with elongated 
bodies, possess either fore-legs only (Chirotes), or 
merely rudimentary hind-legs (Pseudopus), or no ves- 
tiges of legs (Anguis). They bear the same relation 
to the great class of normally four-legged lizards as 
the non-flying insects to their own class. They have 
not been arrested in their development, nor are they 
animals in process of evolving four legs ; but, as 
Fiirbrlnger has demonstrated from the history of 
development and comparative anatomy, their limbs, 
and — if these arc entirely absent — the remains of the 
pectoral and pelvic arches and the sternum bear 
indubitable marks of the abortion of a once com- 
plete apparatus. Further comparison shows that this 
atrophy reaches its climax in the snakes, but that it 
is compensated for by the ribs and intercostal muscles 
havincr undertaken the work of the limbs. Here, 


again, disuse and adaptation coincide as well as 

In the class of birds is repeated the spectacle we 
have just witnessed in beetles and reptiles. In some 
few families and smaller groups, individual species are 
deprived of the power of flight, and one whole large 
systematic group is characterized by the incapacity of 
flying. In our opinion, there was a direct connection 
between the inducements to disuse and its conse- 
quences in the case of the dodo, which, with its few 
congeners, so promptly fell a sacrifice to its helplessness 
on the discovery of the lonely islands which they had 
probably inhabited for thousands of years without dis- 
turbance. In no other way has the northern penguin 
(Alca impennis) at some time obtained the curtailment 
of its wings ; and the scanty but wide-spread remains of 
the order of flightless birds indicate a period at which, 
in a more peaceful environment, their far more nume- 
rous wingless ancestry made less use of their pinions, and 
natural selection endowed them with greater strength 
and nimbleness of leg. The effects of disuse of the 
organs of locomotion are likewise directly exhibited by 
artificial selection. 

Use and disuse, combined with selection, elucidate 
the separation of the sexes, and the existence, otherwise 
totally incomprehensible, of rudimentary sexual organs. 
In the Vertebrata especially, each sex possesses such 
distinct traces of the reproductive apparatus character- 
istic of the other, that even antiquity assumed herma- 
phroditism as a natural primaeval condition of mankind. 
The technical proofs of the homologies concerning these 
partly manifest, partly internal and hidden relations, are 


given in the manuals of comparative anatomy. We 
shall merely indicate the manner in which the theory 
of selection is here borne out. It is self-evident that 
in hermaphrodite animals, fluctuations in the sexual 
sphere must take place, in which one half or the other 
will predominate. Should these fluctuations be suffi- 
ciently strong for natural selection to take possession 
of them, the productive power of the less active portion 
will gradually decrease, and finally, with the extinction 
of the physiological character and the function, nothing 
will be transmitted but the morphological remains, as a 
mockery to the theory of special design or teleology. 
Here and there only occurs a reversion more or less 
striking, connected, however, almost exclusively with 
the adjunctive organs, and the secondary sexual cha- 
racters, by which we mean, not those acquired by either 
sex, but originally common to both. The tenacity 
with which these rudiments of sexual organs are in- 
herited is very remarkable. In the class of mammals 
actual hermaphroditism is unheard of, although through 
the whole period of their development they drag along 
with them these residues, borne by their unknown an- 
cestry no one can say how long. 

Unless we suppose that parasitic animals were created 
simultaneously with their hosts from the dust of the 
earth, — man and his tapeworm, and other disagreeable 
guests, — and thus put an end to the discussion, this 
entire province has to be explained by descent, with 
the special co-operation of disuse. The proposition to 
be demonstrated in the next chapter, that the evolu- 
tionary history of the individual represents the history 
of the species, will show the influence of the disuse of 


particular organs on the configuration of the various 
parasites. The parasitic Crustacea are perhaps the most 
instructive, as they present the most complete systematic 
series, exhibiting the gradual atrophy of the organs 
which accompanies the ever-increasing connection of 
the parasite with his host. In several orders of intes- 
tinal worms, the alimentary canal has become entirely 
unnecessary ; but they exhibit neither intermediate 
forms nor phases of development. It is different, 
however, with the parasitic Crustacean, for here the 
young, locomotive, and well-integrated being has 
its prototype in definitive generic forms permanently 
locomotive, from which, after adhesion, it deteriorates 
into a mere motionless sac. All these animals, in- 
cluding the intestinal worms, have acquired tiieir 
position and status (and this is the true significance of 
parasitic life) by the apparent degradation of their 
organization. They are, almiost without exception, dis- 
tinguished by their reproductive power ; and on this, 
owing to the easy supply of nutriment, without any 
exertion of the other parts of the organic system, the 
whole bodily activity could be concentrated. 

We have hitherto demonstrated that organisms are 
urged to continual differentiation by the unremitting 
struggle for existence. For the cultivation of morpho- 
logical species, natural selection, moreover, seizes on the 
modifications arising from the mere variability of the 
organism, and implying no ph}-siological advance. But 
sooner or later these are also inevitably drawn into the 
vortex of competition. After what has been already 
said, this fact is so self-evident as to need no further 
proof. Even did we not see the infinite variety of 


organisms, a divergence into novelty must needs be 
inferred on d priori grounds, from the existence of 
the simple and uniform, and the necessity of adapta- 
tion to altered external conditions. But with develop- 
ment in various directions, under the guidance of 
natural selection, progress is necessarily combined. It 
is one of the greatest services rendered by the theory 
of selection, that it has finally broken with the notion of 
design, which hitherto invested the organic world with 
perfection externally bestowed, and even in the pro- 
vince of intelligence and morality, where it is said with 

So grows the Man as grow his greater aims,* 

has secured admittance for the uniform method of 
natural science. 

It is highly remarkable how the teleological view 
of nature could be so long upheld, and is still in 
part upheld, by theological influence although in the 
whole organic world we behold a merely relative per- 
fection, and the manifest and multifarious arrangements 
adverse to design in every grade of organisms, bear a 
bad testimony to the external directing Power. The 
perfection exhibited by comparative anatomy, and the 
estimate of physiological functions is, under all circum- 
stances, the result of adaptation and selection. In the 
struggle of all against all, those individuals win who 
in any degree excel their fellows in the division of 
labour, which, if the direction of activity be altered, 
often obliges them to disuse organs which were once of 
service, but in the new conditions are useless, and, it 
may be generally said, have become injurious. 

* Es wiichst der Mensch mit seinen grossem Zwecken. 


Artificial selection — and here we may speak of design 
— produces perfection when, by mechanical and physio- 
logical labour (the latter especially by means of suit- 
able nutriment), it exercises the particular parts which 
are to be perfected, and propagates the advantages 
obtained. What we term natural selection is the epitome 
of the improvements acquired by specialization in the 
process of adaptation. The most faithful image of this 
gradually acquired specialization is afforded by the 
development of the individual, where from the undif- 
ferentiated, by constantly increasing differentiation, the 
mature animal is evolved in the plenitude of its ph\sio- 
logical functions. That in the various animal groups 
certain grades of perfection are attained, is an uncon- 
troverted fact ; but every closer investigation shatters 
the idol of design. The organism of the bird might 
induce us to consider it, in the abstract, as modified 
for the purpose of flight. But if design be allowed to 
watch over the good flyers, the idea of design must be 
abandoned with respect to the non-flyers, and, if some 
idea is indispensable, adaptation must have its due. 
Herewith the whole theory is broken down, and it will 
be the same in every other case. 

How organic perfection stands with reference to the 
idea of design, has been acutely and clearly expressed 
by the author of the " Unconscious" {" Unbcvvussten"). 
The theory of descent teaches that there is no inde- 
pendence of the conditions co-operating in an organic 
phenomenon ; rather that its increasing divergence from 
a common neutral point was an effect of the same causes. 
The theory of selection makes us acquainted with one 
of these causes, and unquestionably the most important 


as one, which, by purely mechanical compensative phe- 
nomena, produces advantageous results. The theory of 
descent merely casts doubts on the teleological principle 
by withdrawing the basis for positive proof, but the 
doctrine of selection sets it directly aside, so far as it is 
able to extend its explanation. For natural selection 
in the struggle for existence, the extermination of the 
less appropriate, and the survival and perpetuation of the 
fittest and most appropriate, is a process of mechanical 
causality of which the steady conformity to law is 
nowhere infringed by any teleological controlling meta- 
physical principle. This, however, produces a result 
essentially corresponding to design ; that is to say, it 
naturally bestows on organisms the highest capacity 
for life under given circumstances. Natural selection 
solves the apparently insoluble problem of explaining 
fitness as a result, without calling in the aid of design 
as a principle. 

In each family — for, as we have seen, what zoologists 
once designated type, has in the doctrine of Descent 
become the family — in each family lies the potentiality 
of a certain grade of perfection ; and when the main 
outline of the family character is established, we see a 
development taking place, of which the potentiality is 
inherent in the tendency of the character, the realization 
and necessity in the external conditions. Hence to us 
also, progress is development, but not towards a pre- 
destined and pre-established harmony. Karl Ernst v. 
Baer,*^* anxious to rescue design, or at least the " pur- 
pose" — in short, predestiny, in the evolutionary series of 
Nature, says : " Every cause engenders a process which 
again works on towards another purpose." But why 


purpose ? Ought it not rather to be : Every cause 
engenders a process which again works on towards 
another process ? The further we go back, the deeper 
and more general is the grade, and the various ramifica- 
tions at their peripheral ends have either halted, or 
arrived at very different grades. 

An objection frequently made against this result of 
the doctrine of Descent is, that if all are pressing for- 
ward towards perfection, how is it that, besides the 
higher, so many lower members of the family are able 
to maintain themselves, and how can the lower families 
hold their own against the higher, in the struggle for 
existence ? In presence of the irrefutable facts of pro- 
gress, it is enough to point out that the lower forms 
could and can continue to exist wherever they could 
find space as well as the other necessaries of life. 
While they here underwent only slight modifications, 
elsewhere the needful selection led to more profound 
metamorphoses ; and on a subsequent geographical dis- 
placement, the newly transformed beings, accustomed to 
other conditions of existence, were again able to share 
sea and land with the stationary species. P'or as diver- 
sity is restored now by selection, and the demands for 
nutriment and other necessaries are likewise different, 
a partial remission in the struggle must take place. 

The preservation of a great many inferior organisms 
is evidently favoured by the circumstance that just be- 
cause they are simpler, their propagation is more easily 
effected. Hence although, especially in limited districts, 
amid violent competition of superior varieties, countless 
species must suffer extirpation, yet the struggle for 
existence and perfection do not exclude the existence 

CHANCE. 193 

of lower forms. But teleology, as it seems to us, still 
owes an explanation of what has been explained by 
the theory of selection. The retardation of the lower 
organisms, notwithstanding the internal pressure and the 
appointed purpose, is incomprehensible. 

But, it is frequently asked, if you will not hear of 
a "principle of perfectibility" inherent in organisms 
(Nageli), of the " divine breath as the inward impulse 
in the evolutionary history of nature " (Braun), of 
*' tendency to perfectibility " implanted by the Creator 
(R. Owen), even of the " striving towards the purpose " 
(v. Baer), can chance be supposed to have produced 
these marvellous higher organizations ? To this it may 
be plainly answered, that this chance, to which purblind 
humanity allots so great a part wherever the personal 
interference of a superior Being or the universal "crea- 
tive and productive principle" is not at hand, has no 
existence in nature, and that our conviction of the truth 
of the doctrine of derivation is due to its adjustment 
of the phenomenal series as causes and effects. Let 
us remember, and fancy ourselves in possession of, the 
formula of the universe of Laplace^ by the aid of which 
all future evolutions might be computed in advance. 
With our limited powers, it is true, it is retrospec- 
tively alone that certainty can be approached in the 
calculation and discrimination of the series. In this 
we must obliterate the word chance, for causality, as v/e 
understand it, makes chance entirely superfluous. Any 
one who transports himself to the commencement of an 
evolution, who, for instance, fancies himself present at 
the genesis of the reptiles, may, from his antediluvian 
observatory, look upon the development of the reptile 



into the bird as a "chance," if he does not peradventure 
regard it as predestined. To us, who trace the bird 
backwards to its origin, it seems the result of mechanical 

Let us now recapitulate what we have gained by 
the doctrine of Descent, based on the theory of selec- 
tion ; it is the knowledge of the connection of organisms 
as consanguineous beings. The greater the accordance 
of internal and external characteristics, the closer is the 
kinship. The further we trace the pedigree to its origin, 
the fewer become the characters persisting to these 
roots, the more do these characters reveal themselves as 
acquisitions in the lapse of time. As we eliminate these 
acquisitions and the inherited characters, the further 
we probe, the more do we restrict and reconstruct the 
pedigrees of the various groups.*^"^ 

We do the very thing which in linguistic inquiry 
is deemed extremely natural and scientific. The ideas 
and words common to the individuals of a linguistic 
family are the inheritance from the intellectual and 
linguistic property of the original people, from which 
the pedigree of the family has ramified. This so-called 
*' chance " prevailed in the formation of the derived 
languages neither more or less than in the evolution 
of organisms from their original forms. 



The Development of the Individual (Ontogenesis) is a Repetition cif the 
Historical Development of the Family (Phylogenesis). 

Although the palaeontological record is full of gaps, 
it is nevertheless unmistakable, as even most of the 
opponents of the doctrine of Descent are ready to admit, 
that from the older to the more recent period, a progress 
takes place from the lower to the higher grades of 
organisms, which is likewise exhibited in the system of 
the present vegetal and animal world ; and that in 
many ways embryonic development as well as meta- 
morphosis and heterogenesis, — in a word, individual 
development (" Ontogenesis," Haeckel) suggests a com- 
parison with these palseontological series, as well as 
with the systematic order of succession. The paral- 
lelism of the palaeontological and the systematic series 
is either a miracle, or it may be accounted for by the 
doctrine of Descent. There is no other alternative. 
And the doctrine of Descent fully 'bears the test ; it 
shows how the derivation of the present organisms from 
those previously existing rests on the transmission of 
the characters of the progenitors to the offspring and 
the acquisitions of the individuals. The phenomena of 
individual development or Ontogenesis admit of no other 
choice ; either they remain uncomprehensible, or they 

O 2 


Stand the test of the doctrine of Descent and submit to 
the great general principle. 

If we scrutinize the countless facts of reproduction and 
development, they certainly admit of classification ; they 
range themselves in analogous and homologous groups ; 
types of development become apparent ; we speak of 
development without metamorphosis, of transformation, 
and heterogenesis. But what necessary relation the 
alternating forms, the shapes appearing in heterogenesis, 
bear to the complete animal or the sexually developed 
chief representative of the species ? why so many animals 
undergo no transformations, but emerge " complete " from 
the egg ? why the species belonging to the same class 
or **' type " possess the same type of development and 
process of construction ? — these and similar questions as 
to the interpretation of the tangled mass of facts press 
themselves upon us. And they are also tests of our 
theory of derivation. The doctrine does as much as has 
been done by r.ny great hypothesis in its special applica- 
tion ; and if it gives a satisfactory reply to all, or at 
least to nearly all, pertinent questions, these are so many 
witnesses and proofs of its truth, which, according to all 
scientific custom and justice and philosophic method, 
will remain valid until the falsity of the inductions and 
inferences has been demonstrated and a better hypothesis 
substituted in its stead. 

The first proposition derived from the doctrine of 
Descent in explanation of the facts of individual de- 
velopment may run thus : accordance in the outlines 
of development is based on similar derivation; or, 
somewhat differently stated : accordance in the out- 
lines of individual dev.elopment is accounted for by 


similarity of derivation. As we already know, C. E. 
V. Baer first demonstrated that the members of the 
great divisions of the animal kingdom agreeing in the 
outlines of their organization testify their coherence by 
a special "type of development." This fact was always 
looked upon as self-evident, although, if it were not 
derived from descent, it would be the greatest miracle. 
This is therefore the place for us to review some of the 
fundamental forms of development which we partially 
considered in the third chapter, and at the same time 
to elucidate the meaning of these types with the aid of 
the doctrine of derivation. 

We will take the Echinoderm as our first example. 
Although from the anatomical comparison of a crinoid, 
a star-fish, a sea-urchin, and a sea-cucumber or holothuria, 
the close kindred of these various divisions of echino- 
derms is easily deduced, they yet deviate wonderfully 
from one another in outward shape and in the construc- 
tion of the skeleton. The relative value of the difference 
between a holothuria and a star-fish, a sea-urchin and a 
comatula, may be compared to the difference between 
a mammal and a bird, an amphibian and a fish. Never- 
theless, with some few exceptions which have a special 
meaning, these various echinoderms leave the egg in a 
larval state almost identical. The larva (Fig. 12) is 
boat-like in form, with a curved mar- 
gin bent over at both ends like a 
deck. This border is edged with a 
continuous row of cilia, by the agency 
of which the little boat is moved. A 
short digestive canal, provided with fig. 12. 

a gastric enlargement, is the first essential organ of this 


body. We will not describe the highly complex transfor- 
mations of the larva here into an ophiura, there into a 
sea-urchin, and here again into a sea-cucumber ; but we 
will only inquire what can be the cause of this accord- 
ance in the earliest stages of individual development. 
There is no reasonable answer but the derivation of all 
echinoderms known to us from an older form, in the 
development of which our larva likewise appeared, and 
from which this common phase of development was 
transmitted to the whole family. But it is allowable to 
ask, further, how from a bilateral larva, one, that is, 
symmetric on two sides, should be evolved in animals 
of radiate structure, as are the greater number of mature 
echinoderms ? 

On this point Haeckel instituted a conjecture which 
at first exasperated the systematizers of the old school, 
but which now gains more and more footing, and is sup- 
ported by the most recent comparative investigations, 
such as those of Hoffmann " On the Minute Anatomy 
of the Starfish " (" Ueber die feinere Anatomic der 
See-Sterne"). The boat-shaped larva of the Echino- 
derms, especially a modification occurring in the star- 
fish, strikingly resembles a certain larval type of the 
marine Annelida. And as in the structure and distribu- 
tion of the parts of the rays of the echinoderms, espe- 
cially of the star-fish, an unmistakable resemblance with 
the relative distribution and succession of parts of the 
Annelids is observable, Haeckel regards the Echinoderms 
as an offshoot of the Annelids. He considers that the 
oldest, and to us unknown, echinoderms originated as 
annelid stems ; the anterior end of the bilateral annu- 
lose parent-animal budding out gemmules in a radiate 


arrangement. This gemmation, or, in other words, this 
stem structure, still occurs in Echinoderms, inasmuch as 
some species of star-fish possess such powers of repro- 
duction as to enable a single arm or ray, when torn off, to 
complete itself into a whole animal. Nay, Kowalewsky's 
observations render it highly probable that the separa- 
tion of rays, and their completion by gemmation, is in 
some species a normal process. Haeckel's hypothesis 
is thus laughed at only by those who are afr.aid to think 
or reason. 

In the famiily of the Mollusca, the so-called navicula 
larva testifies the kinship of at least two of the great 
classes. The third and most advanced class, that of 
the cuttle-fish, had perhaps lost their distinctive badge 
even in those primaeval times when, under the somewhat 
lower forms of the Tetrabranchiata, they left their shells 
in the Silurian strata. But the bivalve shells, or Lamelli- 
branchiata, and the snails, widely differing in anatomical 
development, and constituting two natural classes, have 
a common larval form, or, if the larvae display different 
shapes, a highly distinctive common larval organ, the 
velum. The accompanying diagram gives on the right 
the navicula of a cockle-shell as seen from behind. At 
the anterior end, two fleshy lobes have been formed, edged 
with cilia, by the vibrations of which the young animal, 
even in the egg, performs spiral twisting motions ; in 
the midst of the cilia rises a little prominence, furnished 
with a longer filament. These ciliated lobes or vela, 
merging into one another, are shown on the left in the 
larva of a sea-snail (Pterotrachea), as seen nearly in 
profile, and in the phase in which the eyes and auditory 
apparatus, the foot and operculum, as well as a delicate 



shell, have made their appearance. Here also, from the 
plane of the velum, a small fleshy protuberance juts out, 
without any special purport. The distribution of the 
velum, the period at which this larval organ makes its 

Fig. 13. 

appearance, its position towards the testa, head, mouth, 
and foot, and its subsequent effacement, one and all 
coincide exactly in the two classes. It is as yet of only 
a relatively small number of marine shells and slugs 
that we know the evolutionary history; yet we may infer 
that in these animals remaining in their original home, 
this heirloom has been generally preserved. Even genera 
which in their mature state scarcely recall the type of 
the MoUusca, as the boring mollusks (Dentalium Teredo), 
have preserved the phase of the navicula. On the other 
hand, in the branchiate fresh-water snails (Paludina) 
the velum is little developed, and in the land snails, 
which differ most widely from their marine kindred, the 
velum is entirely obliterated, as it is also among fresh- 
water mussels. If in these animals adaptation and 
migration to land has had this effect on embryonic and 
post-embryonic development, we must suppose that in 


the Cephalopoda, notwithstanding their continued so- 
journ in salt water, other causes have produced the loss 
of the velum phase, and the course of development 
peculiar to it. 

With respect to the other fundamental forms of de- 
velopment, we may refer to the third chapter. The 
construction of the higher Articulata points to annulose 
progenitors, more or less corresponding to the annelids 
of present times ; and, again, the gradual increase of the 
segments of the larval annelids, which may be com- 
pared to the process of gemmation, leads from these 
higher Vermes to the lower ones with unsegmented 
bodies. All vertebrate animals, man included, if they 
do not preserve through life an unsegmented vertebral 
column, not separable into single vertebras, are raised 
as embryos from this condition into their higher and 
definitive phase. That they should pass through this 
common embryonic condition is prohibited by all other 
mechanical causes but that of a common derivation 
from primordial forms which possessed an unsegmented 
vertebral column, no cranium or an imperfect one, and 
either no brain or one little differentiated from the 
spinal cord. Karl Ernst v. Baer, who, while we write 
these pages, raises his voice against the doctrine of 
Descent, has established the fact of types of develop- 
ment, and the course, within these types, from the 
undifferentiated to the special ; but by the words 
*' type of development," the fact is paraphrased, not ex- 
plained ; and, as we cannot repeat too often, we prefer 
the distinct idea of derivation to the supposition of 
an unknown higher Power manifesting itself after an 
incomprehensible fashion in the types of development. 


If the concatenation of the series by direct derivation 
and heredity be disallowed, it is absolutely inconceiv- 
able why the supreme creative Power, Nature, or the 
personal God, should have bound all higher animals to 
the same common stages of early development, and here- 
by exposed them to such manifold purposeless arrange- 
ments and great dangers. Of the millions of young 
oysters which annually escape from the egg, the majo- 
rity perish under the disadvantages of external condi- 
tions, because the oyster has not yet divested itself of 
the ancient heirloom of the roving navicula. It has 
been able to compete successfully in the struggle for 
existence, only because, like most of its congeners, it is 
enormously prolific. This may be understood ; but that 
a personal Creator, merely on principle, in order to keep 
the oyster within the type of development, should have 
endowed it with the phase of the navicula, in this case 
so extremely unpractical, can be accepted, like much 
other nonsense, only as matter of faith. 

If accordance in the outlines of development has 
generally shown itself derivable from similarity of de- 
scent, we may now proceed to the explanation of those 
phenomena of development known to us as hetero- 
genesis and metamorphosis. In these, the historical 
stages of development of whole classes and orders are 
inherited in the development of the individual ; a pro- 
position which is merely the corollary and application of 
what has been already intimated. In no class is there 
such a profusion of the phenomena of heterogenesis, 
readily submitting to explanation, as in that of the 
Medusae. We have already (p. 43) become acquainted 
with the origin of the Cladonema from the polype-like 



Staurldluin. The Medusa is the sexually mature form of 
the cycle of the species ; its ova develope into polypes, 
which constitute the intermediate form in their develop- 
ment; that is to say, it is not transformed into the 

Fig. 14- 

animal from which it is derived, but produces gemmules. 
Only in this generation does the species revert to the 
sexual form. 

We shall understand this alternation of generations 
if we begin with the simplest Medusa polypes. Such 
a one is the annexed Hydractinea carnea, of which 
the female individual is portrayed. Compared with 
the intermediate form, Stauridium, the preliminary 
phase of the Cladonema, reproducing itself asexually, 



the Hydractinea seems superior, inasmuch as it is itself 
a sexual form. The zone of spherical protuberances in 
the middle of the body are the ovaries or egg capsules 
corresponding to the sperm capsules of the male indi- 
vidual. Heterogenesis does not take place in our Hy- 
dractinia, but, as in the development 
of the ovum of the Cladonema into the 
Stauridium, there is a transformation 
of a ciliated lava into a sessile polype. 
But it is obvious that the part which 
in the Hydractinia is played by the 
male and female sexual organs is per- 
formed in the generative cycle of the 
Cladonema by the sexual animals. By 
following the transition from the de- 
pendent organ into the independent 
animal, we find the solution and ex- 
^^' '^' planation of the process termed he- 

terogenesis. Between the genera reproduced like the 
Hydractinia, and those reproduced like the Cladonema, 
there are many others, of which the propagation shows 
the gradual transition of the rudimentary sexual organs 
into the sexual animal. We may so arrange the genera 
of the " Medusa polypes" as to exhibit how the parts 
which in the Hydractinia are mere capsules, generating 
and enclosing the ova, become more and more perfect. 
They acquire a s]*ecial branch of the alimentary canal 
and blood-vessels, and are provided with the marginal 
papillae characteristic of the Medusae, and constituting 
their peculiar sensory organs. In short, what in one 
member of the systematic series may be termed an 
organ, is, in the next, the Medusa separating itself and 


becoming a new generation ; the sexual organ has 
become the sexual animal. 

Now as the individual development of the Clado- 
nema, and other Medusae similarly propagated, corre- 
sponds with the systematic series of the Medusa polypes, 
the only reasonable and credible explanation of the 
ontogenesis of those Medusae in which heterogenesis 
occurs, is that, in them, the historical development of 
the genus has become fixed. Neither the egg nor 
the hen were created. Before the delicately tinted 
Medusae populated the primaeval ocean in lonely splen- 
dour, the Medusa polypes on the constantly changing 
shores were the sole representatives of the still infant 
class. Why single genera, like the Hydractinia, re- 
mained strictly conservative while others in various 
degrees paid homage to progress, whether and how 
the struggle for existence and survival of the fittest 
were here concerned, it is certainly impossible to prove 
in the individual species. But the general impression 
is decisive, and also the circumstance that the theory 
is consistent with the facts. 

The evolutionary history of the intestinal worms leads 
to the same reflections and results. These animals, 
widely differing in their structure, were either created in 
or with their hosts, or else they have become habituated 
to them in a natural and direct manner. We may surely 
disregard the third alternative, that they were led by 
an innate " obscure impulse." According to our doctrine, 
the worms now passing the whole or a portion of their 
lives as parasites on or in other organisms, are descended 
from free and independent animals, and the periods oc- 
curring in their development, during which parasitic life 


is exchanged for independent phases, signifies a rever- 
sion taking place systematically in all individuals to the 
once permanent condition of their progenitors. Of the 
Trematoda or Flukes, and Cestoda or Tapeworms, be- 
loncfincf to the class of the Platelmintha Suctoria, the 
latter have diverged the most from their starting-point ; 
their adaptation to life within other animals has rendered 
the alimentary canal superfluous, and their generations 
and transformations hence point less to their progenitors 
than is the case with a number of other Trematoda, with 
which many anatomical characters prove them to be 
closely related. Both, moreover, share the characters of 
their class with the free-living Turbellaria. From such 
as these, that is to say, from forms approximate to the 
present Turbellaria, the Trematoda and Cestoda must 
be descended, and with this agrees the free roving phase 
which the larva of the Fluke (Distomum) undergoes as 
the so-called Cercaria, and previously as a rotating 
spherical body. 

Many of the ciliated Nematoids, or thread-wormxS, 
too, — the division which includes the Ascarides among 
others, — have in their infancy a stage of independent 
life, during which they cannot be distinguished from 
the infantine forms of their m.ore numerous kindred, 
which never adopt a parasitic life, and chiefly inhabit 
the sea. The transition to parasitism, as recapitulated 
by ontogenesis, was nothing more than an extension 
to a new territory offering advantages of nutriment; 
and on this point it is highly instructive to compare 
the Nematodes with the systematic series of the leech- 
like Suctoria (Trematoda), so excellently described 
by Van Beneden. We here find all the transitions 



from independent predatory genera to others occasion- 
ally parasitic, and again from these to others which 
on leaving the egg immediately attach themselves for 
life. Here, as elsewhere, parasitism seems an adaptation 
to new habitats, which is recorded in the biography of 
the individual with a reminiscence of the previous form. 
The circumstances of the parasitic worms are repeated 
by the parasitic Crustacea, as, moreover, a probably 
primordial form of the crab family is preserved in 
the metamorphoses of several orders of this large and 
diversified, though coherent class. The larva, which, 
it may safely be assumed, 
approximates closely to 
the primordial form, was 
at one time taken for an 
independent genus and re- 
ceived the name of Nau- 
plius. Hence a Nauplius 
phase is spoken of, which 
obtains especially among 
the lower Crustacea, the 
Copepoda, parasitical Crus- 
tacea and Cirripedes, and 

the remarkable Rhizopoda connected with them ; but 
is not wanting in the highest order, the decapodous 
stalk-eyed crab. We shall later have to make acquaint- 
ance with the so-called curtailed development which 
among the crabs has been adopted by the decapods, and 
it was formerly supposed by all. Were this actually 
the case, we should still, by analogy, infer their connec- 
tion with the other orders repeating the Nauplius phase 
in the course of their development; but it was a welcome 



discovery of Fritz Miiller's that a shrimp (Peneus) still 
begins its development as a Nauplius ; whereas all the 
other members of the order, as far as they are known, 
leave the egg in the higher Zoea phase (p. 50). As of 
the hundreds of stalk-eyed crabs, scarcely a dozen have 
been hitherto examined as to their development, it 
will not be doubted that, with regard to the Nauplius 
phase, some resemble the Peneus of the Brazilian coast. 
But even were this case to prove unique in the order, 
it would suffice as a living witness of the connection 

Fig. 17. Axoiotl. 

between the presence of the decapods and the primor- 
dial crabs. There can be no other view of this subject. 
The Nauplius phase in the development of the Peneus 
is either a shining testimony in favour of the doctrine 
of Descent, or a senseless paradox. 



After what has gone before, the transformation of the 
Amphibians needs no elucidation. Their predecessors 
were water-breathers, whose form and mode of Hfe are 
more faithfully preserved by the long-tailed Amphibians, 
the tritons, and salamanders, than by the frogs. In 
our tritons, sexual maturity not rarely commences in 
the larval state, hence in a phase which was definitive 
in the progenitors of the present genera. There is, 
indeed, one species, the Mexican Axolotl, which nor- 
mally propagates itself during the larval phase. Auguste 

Fig. t8. Amblystoma. 

Dumerll's observation is highly interesting, that of the 
thousands of Axolotls that he bred at Paris, some few 
advanced beyond the grade of development hitherto 
known in them, i.e. they lost their gills, changed the 



shape of their bodies not inconsiderably, and from gill- 
breathers, and aquatic animals became lung-breathers 
and terrestrial animals. It needs further observation to 
ascertain whether (what is, however, very improbable), in 
their home, all Axolotls, after having propagated them- 
selves in their larval state, undergo the metamorphosis 
into salamander-like animals (Amblystoma), or whether 
the transfer to Europe and the consequent entire change 
of the circumstances of life gave the impulse to a pro- 
p-ressive transformation of these few individuals, which, 
by the continuance of these conditions, would in future 
o-enerations extend to more and more individuals, and 
finally become the characteristic of a new species. 

The examples of Ontogenesis, or individual develop- 
ment, hitherto examined, had the peculiarity that the 
sexual animal does not issue directly from its egg like 
the Phoenix from its ashes, but had to pass through 
various forms and existences in which the progenitors 
of the species again become alive and palpable. We 
must now inquire how this development is related to that 
form of reproduction which the systematizers, completely 
in accordance with the facts, yet without any corre- 
sponding meaning, have termed " direct development," 
or "development without heterogenesis or metamor- 
phosis } " The ciliated embryos of many Medusae are not 
converted into polype-like intermediate forms, but pass 
directly into Medusae. The greater number of higher 
crabs do not leave the egg as Nauplia, but as more or 
less perfect decapods. The bird, the mammal, and 
man are all at birth "similar to their parents." Con- 
sidering that the processes of heterogenesis are in them- 
selves by no means advantageous to or " in harmony 


with design" — we have only to remember the fate of 
the tapeworm's eggs — that by the larval state the 
period of infancy and weakness is prolonged, and the 
period of maturity and efficient care for the continuance 
of the species delayed, it follows that curtailments and 
reductions, consequent on adaptation have, as advan- 
tageous modifications, a prospect of perpetuation. As 
in Amphibians the prolongation of the larval phase may 
be effected by natural circumstances and artificial ex- 
periments, so in like manner a compression of the phases 
. of transformation, and a general curtailment of the 
metamorphosis is imaginable. In the class of Amphi- 
bians we have, in fact, several examples of curtailed and 
modified metamorphosis which bridge over the apparent 
chasm between development with and without transfor- 
mation, and render direct development comprehensible 
as being gradually acquired. Amphibians will endea- 
vour to extend themselves wherever they are invited by a 
sufficient supply of insects, and the black salamander of 
the mountains (Salamandra atra) has even overcome the 
impediment which might have been deemed insurmount- 
able, the absence of water for its larvae. It does not lay 
its eggs like its congeners, but only two are received 
into the oviduct, and the fluids secreted from its walls 
replace the marsh to them and to the larvae which 
emerge from them. Here, and not when separated from 
the parent, do the gills make their appearance, while the 
other eggs, gradually following, are devoured by the 
hungry larvae. The metamorphosis of the black sala- 
mander, respecting which, unluckily, no recent investi- 
gations have been made, thus takes place within the 
parental body, and there is no difficulty in imagining 

P 2 


the acquisition of this peculiarity by the necessity of 
adaptation. If the mode of Hfe of the marsupial frog, 
which carries its young in a membranous fold of the 
back, and the Surinam toad, of which the larvse live 
singly in the chambers of a kind of honeycomb on the 
back, were better known than they are, we should 
assuredly arrive at the same results as with the black 
salamander. In the absence of other knowledge, the 
observations of M. Bavey, Marine Pharmaceutist at 
Guadaloupe, first published in 1873, are of the highest 
importance.^^ A frog of those parts (Hylodon Martini- 
censis) goes through its whole metamorphosis in the 
Ggg. In the egg it has gills and tail ; and from the brief 
remark that the island contains only rapid running 
streams, and nowhere stagnant waters or marshes, it 
appears that this is also a case in which adaptation 
modifies and curtails development. 

If, after this introduction, w^e now examine the so- 
called direct development with more attention, it may 
in every way be compared to the metamorphosis of 
the Hylodes of Guadaloupe. Direct development is 
a transformation in the ovum ; and in the cases in 
which it occurs, the phases of embryonic development 
are repetitions, more or less distinct, of the historic 
development of the family. We will only particularize 
in the embryonic life of the Vertebrata (in which 
metamorphosis does not take place), some phases that 
are stages of curtailed transformation, and recapitu- 
late the permanent condition of their progenitors. It 
has been repeatedly mentioned that in all vertebrate 
animals, the vertebral column is first laid out as an 
unsegmented cord and an unsegmented sheath for the 


spinal cord. This is the permanent state of the lower 
fishes. In the higher Vertebrata also, the brain at 
first consists of vesicles, lying one behind the other, 
which is the persistent form of the lower groups. The 
embryonic heart of mammals and birds begins in the 
form of a tube, and subsequently acquires the com- 
munications between the chambers, which in the 
reptiles never close. In the Amphibians, the branchial 
arches really bear gills during the larval state. They 
are not wanting in the embryos of reptiles, birds, and 
mammals, any more than the fissures through which, in 
fish and the larvae of Amphibians, the water passes off 
after being inhaled. Must we again set forth the only 
possible explanation of these facts 1 

Before referring to the phenomena which testify the 
emanation of families from a common root, we will cite 
one of the most important evidences of recent times, 
which traces the genesis of species through a great 
geological period, and exhibits in detail the relations 
of the development of the individuals to that of the 
species, genus, and family. We mean L. Wurten- 
berger's contribution to the geological evidence of the 
Darwinian theory, to which we have already appealed 
(p. 97). It relates to the two families of Ammonites, the 
Planulata and Armata ; of which, according to Wiirten- 
berger's researches, the latter are developed from the 
former, as the ribs of the Planulata gradually pass into 
the spines of the Armata. Of special interest to us are 
the following passages of the preliminary communication 
on the discoveries obtained from thousands of specimens, 
and which will probably not be made public, with all the 
vouchers, for some years to come. " It gave me parti- 



cular pleasure," says Wurtenberger, " when, after divers 
careful comparative studies, I at last detected an inter- 
esting and simple conformity to law in the variations of 
the Ammonites. Namely, on the first appearance of a 
modification which subsequently attains essential import- 
ance in an entire group, it is only slightly indicated on a 
portion of the last convolution. Towards more recent 
deposits, this modification is more and more plainly 
shown, and then advances, following the spiral course of 

Fig. 19. Ammonites Iluniphresianus. A form analogous to the Planulata. 

the shell ; that is to say, it gradually takes possession 
of the central turns also, as we trace the forms to higher 
strata. This reproduction in younger stages of life of 
modifications first occurring at a more advanced age, 
makes but slow progress, so that we see the older forms 
repeated with great persistency in the central turns. 
Frequently a modification of this sort has taken posses- 
sion of only a small part of the convolutions, when a 
new one already appears at the outside, and follows the 


first. Thus searching through the strata from below 
upwards, we see modification after modification begin- 
ning at the outer part of the Ammonites, and advancing 
towards the centre of the discs. The innermost convo- 
lutions often resist these innovations with great persis- 
tency, so that we usually find upon their surface several 
of these states of development closely compressed, as 
the shell of the individual Ammonite begins with the 
old morphological type, and then adopts the modifica- 
tions in the same order in which they follow in vast 
periods in the geological development of the groups 

"The Ammonites," he says moreover, "thus obtain 
at an advanced and maturer age — only when they have 
gone through the development inherited from their 
parents, and as much as possible in the same manner as 
their parents — the power of modifying themselves in a 
new direction, that is to say, of adapting themselves to 
new conditions ; yet these modifications may then be 
transmitted to the offspring, so as to appear in each 
subsequent generation a trifle earlier, until this phase of 
development in its turn characterizes the greater portion 
of the period of growth. But this last and longest 
phase of development scarcely ever suffers itself to be 
supplanted by new ones, formed in like manner; heredity 
operates so powerfully, that a period of development 
thus once predominant, is repeated in the infancy of the 
Ammonites, even though but slightly indicated. Hence 
in an individual Ammonite from a recent stratum, the 
periods of development compressed and forced back 
upon the innermost convolutions, must appear in the 
same succession in which they wrested the dominion 


from one another. It is extremely interesting to study 
the development of the Inflata of the upper white Jura, 
which follow the Ammonites liparus (whose externally 
visible convolutions display only one row of spines), and 
carefully break off convolution by convolution. Towards 
the middle there is a region in which there are always 
two rows of spines ; nearer the centre the innermost row 
disappears ; soon afterwards the outer one also ; and the 
nucleus, some millimetres in diameter, now appears for 
about half a turn as a Planulatum, with distinct ribs, 
which, towards the beginning, likewise disappear. Thus 
even the Planulate ribs, which prevailed among the 
Liassic ancestors of these Inflata, and were supplanted by 
the spines as early as in the brown Jura, still distinguish 
these later and essentially modified descendants during 
a short period of their youth." 

Wiirtenberger further shows how 
these relations can be simply ex- 
plained by the Darwinian theory 
alone ; " without it we should have 
only an extraordinary problem." 

It was natural to test the applica- 
bility of the theory of selection also 
on the forms allied to the Ammonites, 
such as the Ancyloceras; namely, the 
genera in which the convolutions do 
not touch and partially conceal one 
another, as in genuine Ammonites, 
and which, as late comers and side 
shoots of the group, seemed des- 
FiG. 20. Ancyloceras. tlncd to dccay. Sclcctlon and dccay .^ 
Wiirtenberger shows how the abandonment of contact 



in the convolutions was to the spinous Ammonites an 
advantage which would be established by selection. If 
other palaeontologists consider the fluctuations of form 
accompanying the relaxation of the closed spiral as 
evincing the decline of the group, no contradiction 
seems to be implied, for what was originally used as an 
advantage by natural selection, proved injurious in its 

As we have seen, the earliest states are obliterated to 

such a degree by curtailment of development that the 
indication of the nature of the progenitors continually 
diminishes. But our theory necessarily leads to the 
conviction that the families within which we have as 
yet been able to compare Ontogenesis with Phiogenesis, \J 


constantly approximate in their origin, and vindicate the 
expectation that at least here and there, in the indi- 
vidual development of single representatives of the 
various families, witnesses of their common derivation 
should come to light. This likewise occurs, and to 
such a degree that in the earliest larval stages a 
link is established between the lowest and the highest 
animals. If a number of groups of the lowest living 
beings, in which the various vital functions of nutrition, 
irritability, motion, and reproduction are supplied by 
amorphous protoplasm, — if these be separated, as by 
Hacckel, into a neutral kingdom, owing to the absence 
of sexual reproduction, we must likevWse agree with 
him in attributing to the SpongiadcX ranking next to 
the Protista, the name of animals, on account of their 
sexual propagation and the nature of their embryonic 
development and first larval phases. 

Haeckel has bestowed on one larval stage of the 
calcareous sponges the title of Gastrula, wherein the 
animal represents a sac, or, in otlicr w^ords, a stomach 
provided with a mouth-like orifice. The walls are 
formed of two rows of cells, the outer one consisting of 
ciliated cells ; that is to say, each cell is furnished with 
a long filament. At the orifice of the sac, the outer row 
merges into the inner one, and from these two mem- 
branes the body of the sponge is constructed in a definite 
manner. Now, if this Gastrula larva reappears in the 
Coelenterata, Polypes, and Medusae, in which the gradual 
development from the two membranes, the entoderm 
and ectoderm, into the most complex forms has long 
been known ; and if, as Haeckel has further shown, the 
osculum, or larger opening of the spongiadas may be 


closely compared with the mouth of the polype and 
medusa, and the great central cavity of the sponge with 
the stomach of the others, of the canal system with 
the canals and cavities of the Coelenterata, — then, in 
combination with the host of other facts, implying and 
supporting the doctrine of Descent, the inference is 
inevitable that in the Gastrula we have a testimony 
of the consanguinity of the Spongiadae and Coelen- 
terata. But this Gastrula reappears in the Holothuria ; 
hence in the Echinoderms, in the Sagitta, in the 
Ascidians, which will be more narrowly examined in 
the pedigree of the Vertebrata, and finally in the 
Lancelet; and we, therefore, hold ourselves justified 
in regarding this coincidence of the earliest states of 
development in difi"erent families, as the remnant of 
the common root, which in other families, as in the 
Articulata, for example, has been lost in the cur- 
tailment of development. The significance of the 
" germinal membranes " in the Vertebrata was recog- 
nized even by Pander, and in the suggestive works of 
V. Baer ; the extension and application of this observa- 
tion to the whole animal kingdom, for which we are 
especially indebted to Kowalewsky, marks one of the 
greatest advances in the science of comparative de- 

The reader unacquainted with the detailed researches 
of our science, has already been called upon to observe 
that there are opponents of the theory of selection, such 
as Owen, who nevertheless accept the doctrine of Descent 
as incontestable. Even rejecting natural selection, the 
parallelism of Ontogenesis with Phylogenesis may also 
be brought into the natural connection maintained by 


US, on the assumption of an unnatural or supernatural 
guidance which converts this apparently natural unity 
into a miracle. Quite recently, A. Braun has pointed out 
the accordance of the botanical system, and therewith 
of pal?eontological succession, with the development of 
the individual plant, when he says :^^ — " In the further 
elabor?.tion of the natural system, the gradation of the 
vegetal kingdom, and, at the same time, the relation of 
the system to the history of development, becomes more 
and more spontaneously and incontrovertibly manifest. 
The Acotyledons are verified as Cryptogams, as they 
were already considered by the old botanists of pre- 
Linnsean times, and their relation to the Pha^nogams is 
thus more clearly pronounced. The Cryptogams are 
separated into two essentially different divisions, 
in which gradation is likewise distinctly pronounced 
(cellular and vascular Cryptogams, Thallophytes and 
Kormophytes) ; between the perfect Phsenogams and 
the Cryptogams an intermediate grade has been shown, 
that of the Gymnosperms. But most important of all 
is the circumstance that the four chief grades ascer- 
tained in the vegetal kingdom accurately correspond 
with the grades of development occurring in the indi- 
viduals of all the higher plants ; — the germ, the vegeta- 
tive stem, the blossom and the fruit." But why this 
parallelism is to be most important of all, if it is not 
to lead us to the knowledge of true causality, is beyond 
our comprehension. We can well imagine that the 
"inherent causes" and the "Principle of Perfection" may 
be welcomed as the rcfiigutm ignoraiiticE, but not that 
they can really satisfy inquiry. For our own standpoint, 
the accordance of the results of botanical investic^ation 


must be extremely important, but It is for the palpable 
reason that the theory thereby gains the support and 
corroboration of another great series of facts. 

If the accordance of the evolution of families has 
once been followed up to the Gastrula, we shall not 
pause there, but must regard the similarity of the sperm 
corpuscules and germ cells from the Spongiadae to the 
Vertebrata as a primordial common property, con- 
necting the animal and vegetal world ; and prior to the 
acquisition of which, only those modes of reproduction 
took place which have been maintained among Protista 
and in heterogenesis. 

As the common basis of sexual reproduction in the 
various families argues a common origin, asexual re- 
production, directly connected as we have seen it to 
be with sexual propagation, by means of unfecundated 
eggs and germs, leads us constantly further towards the 
beginning of life. But the cell furnished with a nucleus 
and sheath is inseparable from the protoplasmic cor- 
puscule devoid of nucleus or sheath, on the growth and 
fission of which rests the reproduction of the lowest 
living beings. 

Their origin from inorganic matter, as we have set 
forth above, is a postulate of sound human under- 
standing. To this beginning we are led, not, as the 
opponents of the doctrine of Descent are wont to say, 
by a dogmatic after-philosophy, but by the unpre- 
judiced consideration and computation of the facts of 
individual development,*'* 


The Geographical Distribution of Animals in the light of the Doctrine of 

Although ever since the century of the great geo- 
graphical discoveries, material has been accumulating 
for a geography of plants and animals, the foundations 
of scientific botanical geography (apart from George 
Forster's observations) were first contained in Hum- 
boldt's celebrated "Ideas on the Physiognomy of Plants" 
(Ideen zu einer Physiognomik der Gewachse). It is the 
first description of vegetal forms, comprising the entire 
area of the earth, and the manner in which, singly or 
combined, they lend a characteristic impress to the 
landscape of their region of distribution, and again on 
their side harmonize with the other factors of the scene. 
The celebrated founder of Climatology, who circled the 
terrestrial globe with lines of equal temperature, of 
equal inclination and declination of the magnetic needle, 
and divided it into dry and rainy zones, knew better 
than any of his contemporaries that the animal and 
vegetal world depended on all these factors. Yet 
neither he nor his followers, before Darwin, rose higher 
than the description of Nature, which had already 
checked Buffon in his grand picture of Nature, '' Les 
Epoques de la Nature." 
A natural result of the extraordinary extension of 


the geographical horizon and the profundity of special 
research was the more careful ascertainment of the 
regions of distribution of animal and vegetal families, 
and of their more prominent species, in which, as we 
have already said, either no questions were asked as to 
the causes of distribution, or the matter was facilitated, 
as by Louis Agassiz, who did not, like Linnaeus, derive 
each species from a pair, but supposed them to be 
created in suitable numbers of individuals in their own 
regions of distribution. It cannot be expected that 
any solution was hereby given to the questions which 
now force themselves upon us, such as why, under like 
natural conditions, like species are not always to be 
found, and conversely ? Why very similar species fre- 
quently appear under external conditions entirely dis- 
similar ? What is to be thought of the mutual relations 
of the so-called vicarious forms ? &c. 

As Riitimeyer has recently observed, in his excellent 
treatise "On the Derivation of the Animal World of 
Switzerland" ("Ueber die Herkunft der schweizerischen 
Thierwelt " ^"), Buffon had already remarked the repe- 
tition of the African in the American fauna ; how, for 
example, the lama is a juvenescent and feeble copy of the 
camel ; and how the puma of the New represents the 
lion of the Old World. Still, by the mere word " repre- 
sentative" or "vicarious form" nothing is gained, and 
a true apprehension of these facts is obtained singly and 
solely if we meet the inquiry with the assumption that 
camel and lama, puma and lion, are of common deriva- 
tion, and that their diverse development was in the 
lapse of time favoured and determined by the separa- 
tion of the habitats of their progenitors. 


Another example of so-called vicarious or "analogous" 
species, affording an easier basis for induction, is provided 
by the comparison of the snails of Southern Europe, 
and especially of Spain, with those of North Africa, on 
which we are indebted to Bourguignat for some excel- 
lent observations. In accordance with other botanical 
and zoological facts, he has established that the shell 
fauna of Spain and North Africa forms a whole, so that 
the Algierian snails appear a mere appendage to those 
of Southern Europe, nothwithstanding the separation 
by the Straits of Gibraltar. Now it is proved that, in 
geologically recent times, this region of North Africa 
was in fact a peninsula of Spain, and that its union 
with Africa was effected on the north by the rupture 
of the Straits of Gibraltar, and on the south by an 
upheaval to which the Sahara owes its existence. The 
shores of the former Sea of Sahara are still marked by 
the shells of the same snails that live on the shores of 
the Mediterranean. But all North African species are 
not identical with those of Spain ; of many African 
sorts, only " analogous " species are found on our side. 
Now if certain Spanish species do not themselves occur 
in Africa, but are yet replaced by very similar forms, 
our standpoint at once connects with the otherwise 
unmeaning word " analogous " species the idea of the 
common derivation of the forms replacing one another, 
and of the local variations superinduced by isolation 
and altered conditions. 

A severe test is applied to those who believe that 
species were separately created, by the air-breathing 
land snails (pulmo-gasteropoda), when it is seen that in 
isolated islands and island groups these earth-bound 



animals, migrating with so much difficulty, have attained 
an extraordinary diversity. In the Madeira Islands, 
134 species of pulmo-gasteropoda were reckoned about 
ten years ago, of which only 21 were to be found in 
the Africo-European fauna. These and the 113 other 
species are mostly confined to narrow districts and single 
valleys. Are we to suppose that the 113 species for 
Madeira, and the 21 species for Madeira and Africa 
with Europe, were each separately created ? Must we 
not much rather infer that a connection at one time 
existed between Europe and the present island group 
of Madeira, and that these 21 species remained 
what they were before the separation ; while from 
unknown species still appearing in analogous forms 
upon the continent emanated the remarkable profusion 
of new species ? They, and their comrades on other 
isolated islands, were spared a conflict many sided, 
and they doubtless afford a favourable example of 
Wagner's law of migration, as with the difficulties of 
locomotion, and the improbability of a large subsequent 
arrival, the secluded individuals, under even slightly 
different influences, had had a prospect of diverging 
from the parent species. 

The unscientific opinion, that under like, or nearly 
like, external conditions, like or similar organisms 
were created in great numbers, receives a severe blow 
by the perception that the direct reverse has frequently 
occurred. Why has America no horses in the present 
era, although it is proved that the horses introduced, 
thrive capitally ? It is not necessary for us to explain 
why the fossil horses which existed in America, as well 
as in the Eastern hemisphere, became extinct without 



leaving any progeny — we do not know the cause, 
though we may yet be able to fathom it ; but in this 
and all similar cases the adherents of the doctrine ot 
Creation must confess the inadequacy of their theory 
of belief. 

Our exposition has shown that the species now extant 
are the progeny of organisms previously existing ; the 
present apportionment on the earth is therefore a 
consequence of the distribution of the progenitors of 
the present organisms, and of the manifold displace- 
ments of land and water by which they were indirectly 
or directly affected. We cannot hope ever to picture 
to ourselves a faithful representation of the perpetual 
transformations of the surface of the earth. Only, if 
this could be accomplished, and if we, moreover, had an 
accurate register of the animals at each period inhabiting 
the former islands, continents, and oceans — only then 
could the distribution of the present organisms be 
thoroughly fathomed and established. But in thus ac- 
knowledging the incompleteness of our statistical means, 
w^e are at least able to lay down with certainty the course 
of inquiry. We must, in the first place, proceed in the 
method of the older vegetal and animal geography 
to ascertain the natural limits and regions of distribu 
tion ; and, secondly, to collate these facts with the facts 
of the distribution of the former progenitors of the 
present animate world as it was determined by the 
geological conditions of those times. It is needless to 
say that Darwin has furnished the outlines for this work 
also. But among his followers two are specially worthy 
of distinction : Wallace, with his researches on the 
Malay Archipelago/'' abounding in subtle observation ; 


and Riitlmeyer, in his treatise already cited. In what 
follows we may essentially adhere to the latter. 

Our knowledge of the regions of distribution of the 
animal world is still extraordinarily deficient. What do 
we know, for instance, of the occurrence of marine ani- 
mals ? Few years only have elapsed since the depths of 
the sea w^ere rendered accessible to research, and the 
result has almost entirely upset our earlier notions of 
the geological significance of the sea-bottom and its 
habitability. After the strong impulse given by Maury 
to the investigation of the physical condition of the sea, 
we are now occupied in ascertaining the submarine tem- 
peratures and currents, the constitution of the sea-bottom, 
the occurrence of deep-sea organisms, and the conditions 
of their existence. We are therefore just beginning to 
collect the material for a future geography of marine 
organisms. Among terrestrial animals, certain groups 
of which the actual distribution can be defined, are use- 
less for our general purpose. 

Butterflies, for instance, which are an easy prey to 
currents of air, defy geological barriers, and, above all, 
that important partition which from the tertiary era 
has been erected, or rather excavated in the bottom of 
the sea, between Australia and India.^' It is the same 
with bats, and also with migratory, predatory, and 
aquatic birds ; while, as Wallace shows, the other orders 
of this class are in tropical regions very reliable and 
stable inhabitants of their often limited districts, seem- 
ingly suggestive of migration. Exclusive of these, 
there remains therefore little more than the Mammalia, 
whose extraction may be inferred wath certainty from 
a comparison of their present cantonments (Cantonirung), 

Q 2 


— an expression which we borrow from Riitimeyer, — 
with the encampments of their former kindred, whence 
are derived general points of view as to the causes of 
the present geographical apportionment of organisms. 

If in the preliminary establishment of facts we there- 
fore confine ourselves to the Mammalia, exclusive of 
whales and bats, a superficial survey is enough to show 
that not only single species, but families also, have each 
a certain region of greatest density of occurrence, a 
focus of distribution, and that from thence radiations 
have taken place according to the convenience and fit- 
ness of the territory. Lion and tiger, elephant and 
camel, range over a definite area ; the monkeys of the 
New World differ from those of the Old World not only 
geographically, but also in family characteristics. Mar- 
supials are chiefly concentrated in Australia ; sloths and 
armadilloes in South America. And these examples, 
easy to multiply, indicate how individuals of widely 
dispersed species, and the species themselves, emanated 
from single points of the earth's surface and flowed over 
the territory of distribution now occupied. When to 
this observation is added the other, that in past eras 
also the same groups had the same centres of distri- 
bution, — for instance, Brazil not only harbours sloths 
and armadilloes now, but was once peopled by more 
numerous and partly colossal species of these families, 
and Australia has furnished the most numerous and 
important fossil remains of Marsupials, — the cogniz- 
ance of this persistent localization becomes very signi- 
ficant, and we account for the "repetition" of these 
forms by derivation. 

Now if the centres of distribution, at the first glance 

oraoiN OF ISLANDS. 229 

extremely numerous, can be brought into closer union 
and reduced to the smallest number possible, as by our 
theory the Mammalia have but one point of derivation, 
and if we can herewith harmonize the geological succes- 
sion of the organisms examined, or, in other words, har- 
monize the horizontal distribution with the vertical or 
historical sequence, animal geography will then approach 
the solution of its task. Wallace and Riitimeyer's works 
are therefore an important advance, as the former has 
given detailed evidence that the fauna of the complex 
and extensive Australio-Indian Archipelago is by no 
means self-dependent, but consists merely of offshoots 
of the continents ; and the latter, in a grand survey of 
the entire surface of the earth, has reduced the centres 
of distribution to the simplest proportions as yet 

The comparison of insular and continental faunas is 
naturally of great interest. For should it appear that, 
with respect to the animal world, islands are one and all 
mere appendages of the continents, the problem would 
at once be vastly simplified. If we follow Peschel's 
luminous exposition of the origin of islands,^"^ we have 
first to deal with the fragments of continents. A great 
number of islands, such as Great Britain and the great 
Asiatic islands, may be recognized at once as fragments 
of still existing continents. On the other hand, Mada- 
gascar and the Seychelles are not, as might be con- 
jectured, a segment of Africa, but the remnant of a 
former continent very peculiar in its flora and fauna. 
Other islands originate either from submarine volcanoes 
or from corals, and in the latter case the structure is 
founded on sinking land. It naturally follows that on 


volcanic and coral islands only such animals will be 
encountered as reached them by swimming or flying. 
The presence of Mammals pre-supposes human agency 
or extraordinary accidents. The older the islands, the 
richer are they in organisms. Islands detached from 
continents will, on the contrary, be rich in proportion 
as they are recent, of which Great Britain bears witness. 
The more divergent is their fauna, the longer must be 
the time which has elapsed since their separation. Thus, 
for instance, we may view the relations of Tasmania 
and Australia ; and if New Zealand was ever connected 
with the old Australian continent, the separation occur- 
red at an epoch so remote that it throws no light upon 
the physiognomy of the animal world of New Zealand, 
and vice versd. 

In the account of his travels in the Malay Archipelago, 
Wallace has given a pattern of animal-geographical 
research. Years before, G. Windsor Earl had pointed 
out that the great islands of Sumatra, Borneo, and Java, 
are connected with the Asiatic continent by a shallower 
sea ; while a similar shallow sea assigns New Guinea 
and several adjacent islands to Australia, with which 
they have a common characteristic in the Marsupials. 
Wallace has defined this partition more minutely with 
a line marked by a deeper submergence of the sea- 
bottom. It is drawn below the Philippine Islands, 
and, having Celebes to the south, passes through the 
straits of Macassar and separates the two small islands 
of Bali and Lombok. We will now follow Wallace's 
description (" Malay Archipelago "), with various omis- 

" It is now generally admitted that the present dis- 


tribution of living things on the surface of the earth is 
mainly the result of the last series of changes that it has 
undergone. Geology teaches us that the surface of the 
land and the distribution of land and water is every- 
where slowly changing. It further teaches us that the 
forms of life which inhabit that surface have, during 
every period of which we possess any record, been also 
slowly changing. As to the Malay Archipelago, we find 
that all the wide expanse of sea which divides Java, 
Sumatra, and Borneo from each other, and from Malacca 
and Siam, is so shallow that ships can anchor in any 
part of it, since it rarely exceeds forty fathoms in depth: 
and if we go as far as the line of a hundred fathoms, we 
shall include the Philippine Islands and Bali, east of 
Java. If, therefore, these islands have been separated 
from each other and the continent, by subsidence of the 
intervening tracts ot land, we should conclude that the 
separation has been comparatively recent, since the 
depth to which the land has subsided is so small. — But 
it is when we examine the zoology of these countries 
that we find what we most require — evidence of a very 
striking character that these great islands must have 
once formed a part of the continent, and could only have 
been separated at a very recent geological epoch. The 
elephant and tapir of Sumatra and Borneo, the rhino- 
ceros of Sumatra and the allied species of Java, the 
wild cattle of Borneo and the kind long supposed to be 
peculiar to Java, are now all known to inhabit some 
part or other of Southern Asia. None of these large 
animals could possibly have passed over the arms of the 
sea which now separate these countries, and their presence 
plainly indicates that a land communication must have 


existed since the origin of the species. Among the 
smaller mammals, a considerable portion are common 
to each island and the continent ; but the vast physical 
changes that must have occurred during the breaking up 
and subsidence of such extensive regions have led to the 
extinction of some in one or more of the islands, and 
in some cases there seems also to have been time for a 
change of species to have taken place. Birds and insects 
illustrate the same view, for every family, and almost 
every genus of these groups found in any of the islands, 
occurs also on the Asiatic continent, and in a great num- 
ber of cases the species are exactly identical. Birds 
offer us one of the best means of determining the law 
of distribution ; for though at first sight it would appear 
that the watery boundaries which keep out the land quad- 
rupeds could be easily passed over by birds, yet prac- 
tically it is not so ; for if we leave out the aquatic tribes 
which are pre-eminently wanderers, it is found that the 
others (and especially the Passeres, or true perching 
birds, which form the vast majority) are generally as 
strictly limited by straits and arms of the sea as are 
quadrupeds themselves. As an instance, among the 
islands of which I am now speaking, it is a remarkable 
fact that Java posesses numerous birds which never pass 
over to Sumatra, though they are separated by a strait 
only fifteen miles wide, and with islands in mid-channel. 
Java, in fact, possesses more birds and insects peculiar to 
itself than either Sumatra or Borneo, and this would 
indicate that it was earliest separated from the con- 
tinent; next in organic individuality is Borneo; while 
Sumatra is so nearly identical in all its animal forms 
with the peninsula of Malacca, that we may safely 


conclude it to have been the most recently dismembered 

" The Philippine Islands agree in many respects with 
Asia and the other islands, but present some anomalies 
to indicate that they were separated at an earlier period, 
and have since been subject to many revolutions in their 
physical geography. 

"Turning our attention now to the remaining portion 
of the Archipelago, we shall find that all the islands, 
from Celebes to Lombock eastward, exhibit almost as 
close a resemblance to Australia and New Guinea as the 
Western Islands do to Asia. It is well known that the 
natural productions of Australia differ from those of Asia 
more than those of any of the four ancient quarters of 
the world differ from each other. Australia, in fact, 
stands alone ; it possesses no apes or monkeys, no cats 
or tigers, wolves, bears, or hyenas, no deer or antelopes, 
sheep or oxen, no elephant, horse, squirrel or rabbit ; 
none, in short, of those familiar types of quadruped 
which are met with in every other part of the world. 
Instead of these, it has Marsupials only, kangaroos and 
opossums, wombats and the duck-billed platypus. In 
birds it is almost as peculiar. It has no woodpeckers 
and no pheasants, families which exist in every 
other part of the world ; but instead of them it has 
the mound-making brush-turkeys, the honeysuckers, the 
cockatoos, and the brush-tongued lories, which are found 
nowhere else upon the globe. All these striking pecu- 
liarities are found also in those islands which form the 
Austro-Malayan division of the Archipelago. 

" The great contrast between the two divisions of the 
Archipelago is nowhere so abruptly exhibited as on 


passing from the Island of Bali to that of Lombock, 
where the two regions are in closest proximity. In Bali 
we have barbets, fruit thrushes, and woodpeckers ; on 
passing over to Lombock these are seen no more, but 
we have abundance of cockatoos, honeysuckers, and 
brush-turkeys, which are equally unknown in Bali or in 
any island further west. The strait is here fifteen miles 
wide, so that we may pass in two hours from one great 
division of the earth to another, differing as essentially 
in their animal life as Europe does from America.^ It 
we travel from Java or Borneo to Celebes or the Mo- 
luccas, the difference is still more striking. In the first, 
the forests abound in monkeys of many kinds, wild cats, 
deer, civets and others, and numerous varieties of squirrels 
are constantly met with. In the latter, none of these occur, 
but the prehensile-tailed cuscus is almost the only ter- 
restrial mammal seen, except wild pigs, which are found 
in all the islands, and deer (which have probably been 
recently introduced) in the Celebes and the Moluccas. The 
birds which are most abundant in the Western islands 
are woodpeckers, barbets, trogons, fruit-thrushes, and 
leaf-thrushes ; they are seen daily, and form the great 
ornithological features of the country. In the Eastern 
islands these are absolutely unknown, honeysuckers and 
small lories being the most common birds ; so that the 
naturalist feels himself in a new world, and can hardly 
realize that he has passed from the one region to the other 
in a few days, without ever being out of sight of land. 

" The inference that we must draw from these facts 
is undoubtedly that the whole of the islands eastwards, 

* This is too vaguely expressed. It would be nearer the mark to say, as 
Europe does from South America. (O. Schmidt.) 


beyond Java and Borneo, do essentially form a part of a 
former Australian or Pacific continent, although some of 
them may never have been actually joined to it. This 
continent must have been broken up not only before the 
Western islands were separated from Asia, but pro- 
bably before the extreme south-eastern portion of 
Asia was raised above the waters of the ocean ; for a 
great part of the land of Borneo and Java is known to 
be geologically of quite recent formation; while the very 
great difference of species, and in many cases of genera 
also, between the productions of the Eastern Malay 
islands and Australia, as well as the great depth of the 
sea now separating them, all point to a comparatively 
long period of isolation." 

" It is interesting to observe among the islands them- 
selves how a shallow sea always intimates a recent land 
connection. The Aru islands, Maisol and Waigiou, as 
well as Jobic, agree with New Guinea in their species of 
mammalia and birds much more closely than they do 
with the Moluccas, and we find that they are all united to 
New Guinea by a shallow sea. In fact, the lOO-fathom 
line round New Guinea marks out accurately the range 
of the true Paradise birds. 

" It is further to be noted — and this is a very interesting 
point in connection with theories of the dependence of 
special forms of life on external conditions — that this 
division of the Archipelago into two regions character- 
ized by a striking diversity in their natural productions, 
does not in any way correspond to the main physical or 
climatal divisions of the surface." We will further 
quote only the following : " Borneo and New Guinea, as 
alike physically as two distinct countries can be, are 


zoologically wide as the poles asunder ; while Australia, 
with its dry winds, its open plains, its stony deserts, and 
its temperate climate, yet produces birds and quadru- 
peds which are closely related to those inhabiting the 
hot, damp, luxuriant forests which everywhere clothe the 
plains and mountains of New Guinea." 

Wallace gives the most specific proofs that, as the 
parts of this Archipelago approach one another like 
separated extremities of two continents, they bring with 
them two entirely different fauna. Similarly, the Medi- 
terranean and West Indian Archipelagos are devoid of 
any peculiar character, and are completely dependent 
on the adjacent continents for their animal life and 
vegetation. We have already discussed Madeira and its 
land snails. Insular faunas therefore do not require the 
hypothesis of more centres of creation than are offered 
by the continents ; and Riitimeyer has endeavoured 
to trace the extraction of birds and mammals to two 
centres of derivation. A great series of animal-geo- 
graphical facts is explicable only on the hypothesis of the 
former existence of a southern continent, of which the 
Australian mainland is a remnant. The present Marsu- 
pials are concentrated in Australia. Their occurrence 
in the south-western portion of the Malay Archipelago, 
including New Guinea, seems like a radiation from that 
centre. No single token makes it appear that the 
Marsupials existing in former periods in the northern 
hemisphere, from the Jura forwards, had migrated to 
meet those which were pressing on from the southern 
continent towards the equator. Only as to the opossum, 
so widely extended in South America, could a question 
arise, which is however solved by the examination of a 


host of congeners, one and all alien to the population 
predominant in America, and indicating importation 
probably in the Tertiary period ; unless it be assumed, 
with Riitimeyer, " that implacental mammals were 
created out of Australia as well as in it." 

Among the first to be mentioned are the wingless 
birds, that is, those which are anatomically and syste- 
matically connected, and which we now find scattered 
over continents and some of the larger islands. The 
cassowary of New Holland and America, the extinct 
giant birds of Madagascar and New Zealand, the 
African ostrich, which has advanced from the south 
northwards, cannot have originated in their present 
isolation. The same considerations are forced upon 
us by the mammals named Bruta by Linnseus, and 
by modern zoologists termed Edentata, by reason of 
their imperfect dentition, among which, accepting the 
latter definition, must be included the Ornithorhyncus, 
or duck-mole of Tasmania. These duck-moles incon- 
testibly occupy the lowest grade among the mammals 
now extant ; but the other true Edentata are no less 
alien to the higher orders, and their occurrence in South 
America on the one hand, and in South Africa and 
South Asia on the other, as well as the impossibility 
of tracing them from a common centre in the northern 
hemisphere, points to the vanished land of the south, 
where perhaps the home of the progenitors of the Maki 
of Madagascar may also be looked for. 

" Or," says Riitimeyer, " does the hypothesis of a Polar 
land, once possessing an abundance of animal life, partly 
covered by the ocean and partly by a coat of ice, appear 
an unfounded assumption to us who now witness the 


elevation of a similar frozen surface in the northern 
hemisphere, and are surrounded in the Alps by a still 
existing — in our glacial drift by a scarcely vanished — 
arctic scene? Or need the conjecture that the almost 
exclusively graminivorous and insectivorous Marsupials, 
sloths, armadilloes, ant-eaters, and ostriches, once pos- 
sessed an actual point of union in a southern continent, 
of which the present flora of Terra del Fuego, the 
Cape, and Australia, must be the remains, — need this 
conjecture raise difficulties at a moment when from their 
fossil remains Heer restores to our sight the ancient 
forests of Smith's Sound and Spitzbergen ?" 

Having ventured to reconstruct the southern conti- 
nent, with its strange fauna, of which the remains are 
so widely dispersed, Rutimeyer casts about for more 
specific evidence in favour of the hypothesis to which 
the course of the world's formation everywhere gives 
rise, that fresh-water animals and likewise terrestrial 
animals came up from the sea. Hence the notably 
small division of sirenoid fish (Lepidosiren, Proto- 
pterus), which breathe air during the dry season of the 
year, must not be considered reptiles adapting them- 
selves to aquatic life, but the reverse. The organ which 
in fish served as a hydrostatic apparatus, the swim blad- 
ders, becomes in them the lung. Thus we must go 
back from terrestrial to aquatic tortoises, and from them 
to those denizens of the sea which are allied to the 
Enaliosaurians, so frequent in the Jurassic strata. The 
evolutionary and biographical history of the land crabs 
shows us in the plainest manner how the inhabitant of 
the sea becomes a terrestrial animal ; a special problem 
which, as we have already mentioned, Fritz Miiller has 


completely solved and capitalized, in his essay, " for 
Darwin." Of the sirens, commonly but erroneously 
reckoned among the Cetacea, and of which the majority 
prefer remaining at the mouths of large estuaries, one 
entire species has penetrated into the great inland lakes 
of Africa ; and certain species of salmon as well as the 
sturgeons, which alternate periodically between salt and 
fresh water, are in the phase of gradually forsaking 
ocean life. From my special experience, I may add 
that the brackish-water sponges are certainly dependent 
on the marine families, and that the fresh-water species 
unmistakably point to these brackish forms. 

If in all these cases we are dealing with gradual 
transformation, and more or less voluntary adaptation, 
there is no lack of conspicuous instances of forcible 
and almost sudden severance ; of upheavals by which 
former sections of the ocean became inland seas. What 
were the modifications undergone by the fish and crabs 
secluded with them, is shown by the fine observations 
of Loven on the animals of Lakes Wener and Wetter, 
and of Malmgren on those of Ladoga. The latter brings 
evidence that the salmon-trout of the Alps (Salmo 
salvelinus) is derived from the Polar Sea, and is own 
brother to the Scandinavian Salmo* alpinus. 

Riitimeyer pronounces the opinion that by more 
minutely tracing the relations of the fresh-water fauna 
to those of the denizens of the ocean, the cosmopoli- 
tanism of fresh-water animals will be explained, as well 
as the relation of antarctic to arctic life. For the pre- 
sent, however, these two great animal groups, as regards 
the higher, warm-blooded classes, are somewhat sharply 
contrasted. It is only from scanty remains that we 


know that so early as the Jurassic era, the northern 
hemisphere was peopled by Marsupials, but, it is evident, 
not densely. We must suppose that, retaining their 
character, the Marsupials of the southern continent 
tested and proved their powers of adaptation, whereas 
on the other side of the equator a race of mammals of 
completely different cast proceeded from them. This is 
the race which still characterizes the whole surface of 
the earth from the north to the point of contact with 
the more stable remnants of antarctic life. While with 
reference to their origin we can appeal only to reason 
and inference, the historical connection between the 
mammalia now peopling the Old and the greater part 
of the New World, and their predecessors up to the 
most ancient Tertiary periods, is manifest to our eyes. 

The remains of the earliest mammals here to be con- 
sidered, are found in the Eocene deposits of Switzerland, 
and in corresponding strata in France and the south of 
England. From the southern edge of the Jurassic 
plateau, neither the Alps nor any other land was visible, 
and the ocean which washed its shores has been traced 
as far as China. The mammalia of this period, as far as 
they are known, amount, according to the synopsis made 
by Rlitimeyer in 1867, to at least 70 species. The 
majority are ungulate, therefore Graminivora ; of these, 
by far the greater number Pachydermata. Now, when 
the entire world scarcely maintains so many Pachyderms, 
this ratio is quite disproportionate. In Europe, the pig 
alone represents this division, and Ruminants everywhere 
predominate. In its present animal population, Africa 
might be approximately compared to Eocene Europe. 
But as to these Ungulates must be added a large num- 


ber of Carnlvora, resembling the Viverrlda (polecats, 
martens, &c.) and hyenas, and as viverridae exist in 
Africa as well as in Asia, and as, moreover, the musk 
ruminants represented in this primitive fauna are 
now likewise Asiatic and African, and, finally, as the 
French opossums of those ages still live in Central and 
South America, " we gain an impression that the most 
ancient Tertiary fauna of Europe is the source of a 
truly continental animal society now represented in the 
tropical zone of both worlds, but most emphatically in 

Far more heterogeneous is the picture of the higher 
animal life of the middle and more recent Tertiary 
periods which we reconstruct from the numerous and in 
parts highly prolific repositories of these remains. To 
draw narrower limits within these periods is imprac- 
ticable ; from place to place, from stratum to stratum, 
there is coherence ; nowhere does a species appear that 
might not be derived from another ; and our authority 
says that anatomy, morphology, palaeontology, and geo- 
graphical distribution, seemed to impress no doctrine 
upon him with such energy and pertinacity as that 
separate species of a genus, species without any historical 
and therefore without any previous local link to any 
original stock, do not exist." The most celebrated 
repository of Tertiary mammals is Pikermi, a short 
distance from Athens, an accumulation of skeletons 
complete and in fragments, which pre-supposes a pro- 
fusion of animals, of which at any rate the most densely 
inhabited regions of Africa may, according to Living- 
stone's descriptions, give us an idea. 

Again the Carnivora give way to the Graminivora, 



though the feline beasts of prey make themselves con- 
spicuous ; and among the great Tertiary beasts of prey 
are some which have a range as great as the tiger of the 
present age. The territory of the extinct sabre-toothed 
tiger (Machairodus) at that time extended over a great 
part of America and Europe. Let us also mention that 
the canine animals appear somewhat later, and that the 
bears are of still more recent origin. At this period the 
most abundant material still favours the ungulates. 
Cloven feet still preponderate. Pigs and musk-animals 
are the most constant. But the tapir, in shape like the 
older forms, is now joined by the rhinoceros, the true 
horses, and the elephants. If the origin of the rhinoceros 
is somewhat obscure, the extraction of the mastodon, the 
older form of the elephant, is hitherto quite unknown." 
And yet though we search in vain through the known 
mammalian fauna of the Eocene period for the most 
nearly allied parent forms, there are numerous tokens 
that even in Europe and Asia, " most of the Eocene 
must be regarded as the true root forms of the Miocene 
genera." (R.) This is shown by the discoveries at 
Nebraska in North America, where important genera, 
which, like the Palaeotherium, disappeared from the Old 
World in the Eocene period, took refuge in company 
wdth newer genera. We likewise find there, intermediate 
forms between the lama and the camel, which in this 
case alone gives its true significance to the once un- 
meaning word, vicarious genera. At Nebraska we 
moreover find the triple-hoofed horse (Anchitherium), 
and we hence know the origin of the single-hoofed 
horse of the Old and New Worlds. 

What has happened in the Old World since that age 


is confined to the extinction of many Pachydermata, a 
displacement of the rhinoceros, elephant, tapir, and 
hippopotamus, and an extremely abundant development 
of the true ruminants and the cattle which proceeded 
from them with an exaggerated form of head. Bears 
and canine species occupy the territory where viverridae 
and hyenas once predominated ; but as "numerous locally 
and historically limited species, a large number — among 
the smaller fauna a majority- — of Miocene races remain in 
possession of the ancient and probably constantly increas- 
ing habitat." (R.) " In this gradual change of things, 
no one will be able to discern aught but phenomena of 
the same order of which we are still the witnesses." (R.) 
How circumstances occurred in America has been 
described in a masterly style by Riitimeyer as follows : 
" America affords a basis for the distribution of animals 
completely different from that of the Old World. 
In the latter, ridges, open only in places, divide the 
entire continent into mountainous zones, and corres- 
pond to the distribution of temperature. Thus in a 
twofold manner they prescribe a definite range east 
and west to the extension of animals ; while a mip-ra- 
tion from north to south is impeded less by the height 
of the mountains than that on their summit the north 
comes into contact with the scorching south. Behind 
this wall, moreover, in the expanse from the Caspian 
Sea to China, there is a zone of steppes and deserts 
which fences in the animals more effectually than the 
mountain chains. In America, not beasts of prey alone, 
but graminivora also, may advance without hindrance 
from the regions of the lichen on the Mackenzie River, 
through the pine forests of Lake Superior, to the land ot 

R 2 


the magnolia in Mexico ; 40° — 50° of latitude separate 
the extremes which meet in the Himalayas, and the vast 
plains and huge river systems seem almost to solicit 
immigration. The accordance of the whole faunas of 
Mexico and Guiana, moreover, shows how little the 
isthmus of Panama checks the advance to South 
America, where again one mighty fluvial system trenches 
upon the other without any lofty partitions ; nor is there 
any arid desert in the whole extent from the Canadian 
seas to Patagonia." 

**We shall probably not be wrong in ascribing the 
remarkable extension of fossil and present mammals of 
America in a great measure to this circumstance. As 
we have seen, the Miocene fauna of Nebraska is the 
offspring of the Eocene fauna of the Old World. The 
Pliocene animals of Niobrara, which are buried in the 
same district as Nebraska, but on more recent arenaceous 
strata, still further corroborate this statement : elephants, 
tapirs, and many species of horses, scarcely differ from 
those of the Old World ; the pigs, judging by their 
dentition, are descendants of European miocene 
Palaeochoeridae. The ruminants are represented by the 
same genera, and partially by the same species, as in 
the analogous strata of Europe, as deer, sheep and 
buffaloes ; neither do the carnivora or the minute animal 
life offer an exception. Many genera of an entirely 
Old- World cast have in the lapse of time penetrated 
far into South America, and there died out shortly 
before the arrival of man, or perhaps by his co-opera- 
tion, as was the case with the two species of mammoth 
of the Cordilleras and the South American horse, whose 
present successors reached this insular continent by a 


far shorter road. Even a species of antelope and two 
other horned ruminants (Leptotherium) found their way 
to Brazil. Two sorts of tapir, of which the dentition, 
even in Cuvier's eyes, is scarcely distinguishable from 
the Indian species ; two species of pigs, still bearing 
in their milk-teeth unmistakable characters of their 
aboriginal form ; and a number of deer, besides the 
lamas, a later and originally American offshoot of the 
Eocene Anoplotheria — are one and all living remnants 
of this ancient colony from the East, which did not 
reach its dwelling-place without copious losses on 
its long pilgrimage. It can scarcely be doubted that 
many of the beasts of prey which in the Diluvium of 
South America retained their family character more 
than they do now, must have arrived there in the same 
manner. Let us now remember that even the Eocene 
Caenopithecus of Egerkingen distinctly pointed to the 
present apes of America, and that the Didelphidae (Opos- 
sums) lie buried in the same European soils. It might 
almost appear that it was pre-eminently the division 
of arboreal quadrumana which, with the opossums, 
domesticated itself in the vast forests of their new abode, 
and, receiving a fresh impulse, gave rise to a multitude 
of special forms, without however having, even in the 
present times, reached the pitch of development 
attained by their cousins who had remained behind in 
the Old World. 

" We may now appropriately return to our previous 
remark that this migration of animals did not find the 
south of the New World destitute of mammals, but 
rather already occupied by the toothless representatives 
of antarctic, or at least of southern animal life. The 


diluvial fauna of South America collected by Lund, 
Castlenau, and Weddell, from the Brazilian caves, and 
the alluvium of the Pampas, among the 1 18 species cited, 
actually includes, in addition to those already mentioned, 
as being of probably Old-World pedigree, no less than 
35 species of Edentata, and these animals of consider- 
able bulk. Not reckoning the 36 rodents and bats, and 
the smaller fauna in general, they constitute nearly half 
of the larger diluvial animals of South America. The 
assemblage of Edentata previously settled in these 
regions thus held their own against the invasion from 
the north. 

It is comprehensible that the same external causes 
which led the march of the children of the north con- 
stantly further, may likewise have invited the members 
of the antarctic fauna to extend themselves northwards. 
As we even now encounter the incongruous forms of 
the sloth, the armadillo, and the ant-eater in Guatemala 
and Mexico, in the midst of a fauna in great part con- 
sisting of races still represented in Europe, we also find, 
even in diluvial eras, gigantic sloths and armadillos 
ranging far into the north. Megalonyx Jeffersoni, and 
Mylodon Harlemi, sentries of South American origin 
thrown out as far as Kentucky and Missouri, are a 
phenomenon as heterogeneous in the land of the bison 
and the deer, as is the mastodon in the Andes of New 
Granada and Bolivia. Over the whole enormous extent 
of both portions of the New Continent, the mixture 
and interpenetration of two mammalian groups of com- 
pletely diverse families, constitutes the most conspicuous 
feature of its fauna ; and it is significant that each 
group increases in the abundance of its representatives 


and in the originality of their appearance as we approach 
its point of derivation." 

Hence, on both sides of the ocean, north of the very 
sinuous boundary of the antarctic or southern fauna, 
we find ourselves still in the midst of the diluvial animal 
world, which extended itself, by a bridge in the vicinity 
of the North Pole, from the old continents to the 
mainland of America, and there for a longer period 
retained its ancient appearance in the mastodons and 

There, as well as here, the present order of things — 
the cantonment of animals — has been in many ways 
determined and modified by mighty glacifications and 
prolonged periods of refrigeration. Hence the accord- 
ance of so many plants of the extreme north with 
Alpine plants after the Eocene vegetation had made its 
entry from the east. Since that age, the reindeer has 
been forced back to the north, and the musk ox has 
been expelled and exterminated from the Old World. 
The elephants, fleeing before the ice, have not returned ; 
and the mammoth, immigrating with a rhinoceros from 
the north-east, has been destroyed with his associate. 
Others of his comrades, such as the primaeval ox, died 
out only a few centuries ago as wild cattle ; others, 
like the buffalo and the beaver, are nearly extinct as 
denizens of Europe ; and others again, the deer and 
roe-deer, will perish with the forests and the game-laws. 
But of almost all the species of which we search for 
the extraction. Palaeontology supplies us with the his- 
tory and derivation ; and in derivation we find the 
causes of geographical distribution sketched in vivid 



The Pedigree of Vertebrate Animals. 

The final result towards which the doctrine of Descent 
directs its efforts, is the pedigree of organisms. To 
work it out is to collect the almost inconceivable pro- 
fusion of facts accumulated in the course of about a 
century by descriptive botany and zoology, including 
comparative anatomy and the history of development, 
and to submit the existing special hypotheses to a minute 
scrutiny and renewed verification. We have therefore 
claimed in behalf of the doctrine of Derivation the 
privilege on which the progress of science generally 
relies — that of investigating according to determined 
points of view, and accepting probabilities as truth in 
the garb of scientific conjecture or hypothesis. It is 
manifest that when the doctrine of Descent first made 
its appearance with the arguments proposed by Darwin, 
it was only possible to indicate the most general outlines 
of this great pedigree, which it was the special task of 
the new direction of science to demonstrate in all its 
details. But however and wherever specific research 
was attempted, either the results contributed the form 
of some part of the great pedigree, or there was, from 
the first, reason to pre-suppose certain kinships, and the 


conjecture was tested. The further an inquirer has 
carried his survey of the conditions of organization in 
any of the larger groups, the less will he be able to 
divest himself of the genealogical idea in his every act 
and thought. 

All this is so self-evident, that one would scarcely sup- 
pose that the use of this method could have been made 
a subject of reproach to the doctrine of Descent. Never- 
theless, it frequently occurs, and the champions of the 
doctrine of Descent are blamed for often speaking of 
mere probabilities, forgetting tliat even in cases in which 
the probability ultimately proves false, the refuted hy- 
pothesis has led to progress. Of this the science of 
language has recently borne testimony. It is well known 
that linguistic comparison within the family of Indo- 
Germanic tongues suggested the reconstruction of the 
primitive language which formed their common basis. 
Johannes Schmidt'* now proves that the fundamental 
forms disclosed may have originated at widely different 
periods, and hence that the primitive language, regarded 
as a whole, is a scientific fiction. Nevertheless, inquiry 
was essentially facilitated by. this fiction, and with it 
was intimately connected the formation of a pedigree of 
the Indo-Germanic linguistic family, as a hypothesis 
supported by many indications. A bifurcation was 
assumed into a South European language, with Greek, 
Italian, and Celtic ramifications, and another language, 
from a second division of which proceeded the funda- 
mental language of North Europe and the Aryan funda- 
mental language. Although Johannes Schmidt has 
demonstrated that this pedigree is false, as the existence 
of Slavotic shows the impossibility of the first division 


assumed, the value of the hypothesis is undiminished. 
It was the road to truth. 

In our science Haeckel has made the most extensive 
use of the right of devising hypothetical pedigrees as 
landmarks for research. It matters nothing that he has 
repeatedly been obliged to correct himself, or that others 
have frequently corrected him ; the influence of these 
pedigrees on the progress of the zoology of Descent is 
manifest to all who survey the field of science, not to 
mention that in the last ten years a series of researches 
have conclusively fixed their results in good pedigrees. 
As we propose to give merely an introduction to the 
doctrine of Descent, we shall content ourselves with 
showing how the system or the pedigree is constitu-ted 
in its application to the single group of the Vertebrata. 



? Enaliosau 



Primordial Vertebrata. 

As we have seen above, the most important indications 
of the pedigree of the species are contained in the evo- 


lutionary history of the individual. Only, if all verte- 
brate animals testified their family connection by agree- 
ing inter sc in the distribution of the germ as well as 
in the fundamentally important organs, the spinal cord 
and the vertebral column, this token of their descent 
from inferior animals, which is unconditionally demanded 
by the theory, seemed to be entirely wanting. In other 
words, it seemed that in all vertebrate animals the 
memory of their original derivation had been obliterated 
by curtailed development (comp. p. 211). Thus the case 
remained until Kowalewsky a few years ago studied the 
development of the lancelet (Amphioxus), the lowest 
vertebrate animal known, and showed that in this crea- 
ture the typical phenomena of vertebrate development 

Fig. 22. Larva of the Lancelet after Kowalewsky. 

are preceded by the phases required by the theory. 
We have already made acquaintance with this form of 
development (p. 51, &c.), and we here again point out its 
profound significance. It is only when the Amphioxus 
has passed through the phase of the vibrating, sac-like 


gastrula larva that the future dorsal side becomes flat- 
tened, and the protuberances arise, which shortly after 
close into the sheath of the spinal marrow, while under- 
neath originates this important cellular column, the 
chorda dorsalis, or notochord. With this the lancelet 
becomes a vertebrate animal, and the preceding phases 
do not (according to the view at one time inculcated 
by C. E. V. Baer respecting such phenomena) recall 
the inferior and undeveloped in general by the ab- 
sence of differentiation, but they agree in genesis and 
distribution, in the differentiation of their cellular layers, 
and in their totality, with the Gastrula phases of inver- 
tebrate animals. 

We are therefore fully justified In regarding these 
first incidents in the evolution of the Amphioxus as a 
reminiscence of the roots of the pedigree of the Verte- 
brata ; and this direct indication of the descent of 
vertebrate from invertebrate animals is supported by a 
second and no less important discovery by the Russian 
naturalist. It is, that during their development a num- 
ber of the Testacea of the division of the Ascidians 
temporarily possess a spinal cord, and the rudiments 
of a vertebral column. Kowalewsky's researches have 
been ratified on all essential points and in many ways 
extended by Kupfer, and the facts which interest us 
may be explained by the diagram, Fig. 23, representing 
the point of the larva of an Ascidian in a somewhat 
advanced stage. The bulk of the Ascidian larva consists 
of a body of which our figure shows the whole, and a 
rudder-like tail. The appendages projecting from the 
body on the right are organs of adhesion, by means of 
which the larva fixes itself for its definitive transforma- 


tion. At the orifice of the mouth is formed ; d 
developes into the branchial cavities and the intestinal 

Fig. 23. 

canal, and we will incidentally remark that in the lance- 


let also, the anterior end of the primitive intestine 
becomes the branchial cavity. But with reference to the 
vertebrate animals, the most important parts of the Asci- 
dian larva are the following. It possesses a true spinal 
cord with a vesicularly expanded brain {ra). The distri- 
bution and position of this organ agrees accurately with 
the corresponding parts of the vertebrate animal, and 
Kupfer has even discerned the rudiments of nerves 
{s s s), which, if the observation is confirmed, will still 
more incontrovertibly establish the homology of the 
organ in question with the spinal cord of the Vertebrata 
and the nerves proceeding from it in pairs. But we 
know that it is not the spinal cord alone, but its combi- 
nation with the vertebral column which constitutes the 
characteristic feature of the vertebrate animal. This ver- 
tebral column the Ascidian larva likewise possesses {c) 
in the form of the noto-chord, and, as in the vertebrate 
animal, this embryonic vertebral column lies between 
the intestine and the spinal cord. So far goes the ac- 
cordance ; henceforth, the development of this part, so 
important to the vertebrate animal, becomes retrogres- 
sive in the Ascidian. The rudder-like tail, with the 
spinal cord contained in it, and the noto-chord, are cast 
off when the animal becomes fixed ; the larval brain 
which promised so well, shrinks into an insignificant 
nervous ganglion, and the complete animal gives no 
cause for suspecting its analogy with the Vertebrata. 

These laborious observations prove that the Vertebrata 
are not the sole proprietors of the spinal cord and verte- 
bral column, but received these organs as a heritage from 
lower grades of organization as their progenitors. It 
does not occur to the Darwinists to regard man as the 



direct offspring of the present apes ; neither do they 
infer from these observations on the Ascidian larva that 
vertebrate animals are descended from the Ascidians. 
Their accordance much rather forces us to assume an 
unknown primordial vertebrate family, springing from 
some branch of the heterogeneous 
division of the Annulosa. From 
these diverged on one side the Tes- 
tacea, who might perhaps be called 
mischanced vertebrata, and on the 
other the true vertebrate animals/^ 

The Amphioxus which lives in the 
sand in shallow places on various 
coasts, and is daily caught by thou- 
sands at Messina for example, is five 
or six centimetres in length, and is 
compressed after the manner of a 
fish, pointed at both ends, and semi- ^^^- =4. Fuu-ffrowu Asddian. 
transparent whilst alive. It possesses no trace of limbs, 
at the posterior end only a pair of minute membranous 
margins, the indication of dorsal and caudal fins, and is 
so simple in its internal structure that it is usually, 
though inaccurately, termed a fish. Its skeleton is 
limited to the noto-chord, and some minute cartilaginous 


rods at the mouth and gills. It has no brain, and, 
except a small ciliated sac, perhaps to be interpreted as 
an olfactory organ, no sensory apparatus ; the heart is 
tubular. And thus between the lancelet and other 
true fishes there exists so wide a difference that the 
possibility remains open that the fishes passed through 
some other course of developm.ent than phases Hke 
that of the Amphioxus. 


Our knowledge of the genealogy of the fishes may be 
laid down in the following diagram : — 






The Marsipobranchii (Cyclostomi), it is true, exhibit 
important peculiarities, such as deficiency of limbs, entire 
absence of bony plates or scales on the integument ; but 
the brain, heart, and vertebral column (which, although 
persistently cartilaginous, is far superior to that of the 
Amphioxus), show their direct coherence with the fishes. 
Fossil remains of these animals, universally known in 
the genus lamprey (Petromyzon), are not forthcoming, 
and, at the most, only their horny teeth could have been 

After these manifest gaps in our knowledge, the suc- 
ceeding orders of fishes present themselves in a connec- 
tion all the more conspicuous. The starting-point is 
formed by the Elasmobranchii, to which belong the true 
chimeras, sharks, and rays. Brain and gills testify their 
kindred with the Marsipobranchii. In the construction 
of the cranium, facial bones, pectoral and pelvic arches, 
and the anterior extremities, heart and intestine, they 
exhibit forms to which, as Gegenbaur has shown in his 


well-known observations, the homologous parts of the 
Ganoids are related either as progressive developments 
or as reductions. Huxley has also prepared the way for 
a correct apprehension of these relations. To be fully 
convinced of this, detailed study is certainly requisite ; 
for in its absence it is impossible to imagine, how in the 
Elasmobranchii the true branchial apparatus is wanting, 
and how the cartilaginous arch, which, in them, replaces 
the gills, is applied in the Ganoids, partly as the palate, 
and partly as the attachment for the true lower jaw, while 
the internal gills of the former, become the external 
gills of the latter ; how in the skeleton of the anterior 
extremities, a gradual simplification may be exhibited, 
step by step, from the sharks and rays to the Ganoids, 
and especially the sturgeon, — a process of which the two 
extremes are reached in the Teleostei on the one side 
and the higher Vertebrata on the other — in the latter 
in the multiform perfection of the arm and hand. 

Of the Ganoids only scattered remnants survive, the 
sturgeon family and some few American and African 
genera, of which, as Riitimeyer says, a flight into fresh 
water has been the salvation. They just suffice to 
explain the relation of this once extraordinarily exten- 
sive group, to the Elasmobranchii as well as the Teleostei. 

In the Teleostei, the metamorphosis of the organ- 
ization of the Elasmobranchii initiated in the Ganoids, 
is carried yet further. It is only with great qualifica- 
tion that they can be termed " more highly developed," 
in the skeleton perhaps, to which older zoologists attri- 
buted too much importance. Brain, heart, the form of 
the extremities, and the reproductive system, are indeed 
distinct developments which, in combination with tlie 
external shape and integuments, have exhibited great 



powers of adaptation, but have not proved capable of 
any further development. Comparative anatomy has 
vainly spent much labour in attempting to trace the 
condition of the higher animals from the spec'al organ- 
ization of the Teleostei, or to explain the peculiarities 
of the Teleostei from above downwards. It was labour 
lost, for the solution is to be reached only by the 
method indicated in the derivation of the Teleostei, 
through the Ganoids, from the shark-like fishes. 

Hence, at the present period, a development is con- 
cluded with the Teleostei, and we must look to another 
grade for the transition from the fishes to the amphibians. 
We find one in the order of the mud-fishes (Dipnoi), 
scantily represented by only few species (Lepidosiren 
Protopterus). These fish-like animals, living in American 
and African rivers which dry up in the hot season ol 
the year, are fish by right of their skeleton and scales, 
and some other characteristics ; .the skull, however, 
almost resembles that of an amphibian, and they also 
provisionally use their swim-bladders as lungs ; and by 
thus breathing alternately water and air, they set before 
us the transition of the gill-breathing larvae of the 
amphibians to the phase of air-breathing. Of the true 
fishes at the present time, they most nearly approach 
the family of the Crossopterygii, represented by the 
African Polypterus ; and the discovery of a very re- 
markable Australian fish, the Ceratodus, confirms this 

Through forms thus resembling the Dipnoi, the 
advance from the fishes to the amphibians was probably 
accomplished. But, as a scientific friend, profoundly 
versed in the history of development, has pointed out 
to me, — supporting his remark on the comparison of the 


respiratory organs of the IMarsIpobranchii with those 
of the amphibians, — it is possible that frogs and sala- 
manders may be directly descended from beings closely 
analogous to the division of the Marsipobranchii termed 
Myxine. It is to be hoped that this highly interesting 
observation may soon be made public. We gather 
from the general Ontogenesis of the amphibians, that 
the tailed forms are the most ancient. This is also 
the case with the eldest amphibian-like animals, the 
Labyrinthodont.«. From their reniains (Archegosaurus 
and others), chiefly contained in the Carboniferous for- 
mation, we have learnt that they had incomplete limbs 
or none, that their ventral side was partially provided 
with bony plates, the vertebral column fish-like, and 
that their skull, with some of the characters of the 
present amphibians, combined others which remind us 
partly of certain bony Ganoids, and partly of the 
reptiles which subsequently appeared. Now if in the 
singularly elongated snake-like Coecilia, which is how- 
ever v/ithout tail or limbs, some peculiarities of the 
skull of the Labyrinthodont appear again, we must 
own our utter ignorance as to the actual progenitors of 
this, as well as of the two other living orders of the 
Coecilia and the Batrachians. Here, therefore, we are, 
as we have said, thrown entirely on the evolutionary 
history of the individual. By what right we may 
frame a picture with great probability approaching the 
truth, the reader may have gathered from our previous 

Among the tailed amphibians, it is not only in 
Ontogenesis that we see the passage from gill to lung- 
breathing ; the systematic series from the proteus to 
the triton and the salamander, likewise exhibits this 

S 2 



physiological ascent, linked with various morphological 
transformations, which may similarly be shown between 
the ancient and modern specimens of the Labyrintho- 
donts. The Batrachians, indeed, rise higher in develop- 
ment than the Coecilia ; but, as the friend above men- 
tioned informs me, they more nearly approach the 
Myxine in the construction of the internal gills of their 
larva. We shall obtain a general view of the reptiles 
by means of the appended diagram, in which we shall 
avoid any minute systematic designations. 





























Present Age 







Tertiary Period 


















The class presents a very comprehensive picture, 
although only four orders now exist, of which two, the 
lizards and the snakes, are scarcely to be separated. 
That the snakes, which first appear in the Tertiary 
period, are a direct offshoot from the lizards, is reduced 
to a certainty by comparative anatomy and the history of 
development. In the various families of lizards we see 
the absence of feet occurring in conjunction with the 
elongation of the body and the multiplication of the 
vertebrae ; and the modifications peculiar to the skull of 
the " true " snakes are likewise represented in the syste- 
matic series in every gradation, beginning with the skull 
of the true lizard. We cannot specify the fossil genera 
in which the transformation was initiated ; but in this 
case a doubt would be only a capricious denial. It is 
otherwise with the remaining orders, which in the be- 
ginnings, hitherto accessible to us, exhibit diversities so 
decidedly marked, that in none has it been possible to 
trace a direct descent from any known member of 
another. Prof Huxley, a great authority on the anatomy 
of these animals, says on this subject as foMows : — 

" If we ask, in what manner the earliest representatives 
of these orders are distinguished from their living or 
latest known representatives, we shall find, in all cases, 
that the amount of difference in itself is remarkably 
small in comparison with the length of time during 
which the order has existed. So far as I know, there is no 
fact to show that the later Plesiosauria, or Ichthyosauria, 
exhibit an advance upon the earlier members of the 
group. It is not clear that the Dinosauria of the weal- 
den and of the Cretaceous formations are more highly 
organized than those of the Trias ; and even where a 


dififerentlatioii of structure is to be observed, as in the 
Lacertilia, or Crocodilia, it goes no further than a modi- 
fication of the form of the articular surfaces of the verte- 
brae, or of the degree to which the internal nasal aper- 
tures are surrounded by bone. The osteological difter- 
ences, which alone are exhibited by fossil remains, have 
doubtless been accompanied by many changes in the 
organization of the destructible parts of the body ; but 
everything tends to show that the amount of change in 
the organization of reptiles since their first known ap- 
pearance upon the earth, is not great in itself ; and is 
wholly insignificant, if we take into consideration the 
lapse of time, and the changes of the surface of the 
globe, which are represented by the Mesozoic and Ter- 
tiary formations. 

" From the point of view of the evolution hypothesis, 
it is necessary to suppose that the Reptilia have all 
sprung from a common stock, and I see no justification 
for the supposition that the rapidity of their divergence 
from this stock was greater before the epoch of the 
Trias than it has been since. Consequently, seeing 
that the approximation of the oldest known representa- 
tives of the different orders is so slight, reptiles must 
have lived before the Trias for a length of time, com- 
pared with which that which has elapsed from the 
Triassic epoch until now is small — in other words, the 
commencement of the existence of reptiles must be 
sought in a remote palaeozoic epoch." 

Comparison thus points us back to ages which afford 
no record of the actual derivation of this class. Even 
the Ichthyosauria and Plesiosauria, so frequently men- 
tioned in conjunction, deviate widely from one another 


in very essential characters, which refer their supposed 
common origin to a remote period. Wc will mention 
only the fin-like extremities of the former, which are 
of an obviously piscine type. We are thus thrown 
back vaguely on such mixed forms as may have been 
analogous to the Labyrinthodont ; nay, the ques- 
tion arises whether the Ichthyosauria alone, or per- 
haps the Plesiosauria with them, did not diverge 
from the fishes independently of the other branches of 
the reptile family ; an eventuality which is taken into 
account in the pedigree at p. 250. A certain resem- 
blance with the skull of the tortoises (Chelonia) is 
exhibited by that of the Dicynodonta. In them also 
the jaws, as appears from their shape, were manifestly 
cased in horny sheaths ; but at the same time the upper 
jaw contained two huge tusks, and it is scarcely possible 
to imagine a direct transition from the Dicynodonta, ap- 
pearing in the Trias, to the more recent tortoise. In some 
particulars of the skull, as well as in the situation of the 
posterior nasal apertures, the forms of older crocodiles 
exhibit an affinity with the lizards, from the older and 
unknown forms of which they probably branched off. 
The winged saurians, or Pterodactyles, may also be a 
branch of the lizards. They have gained by adaptation 
several characters, such as the shape and lightness ot 
head, the length, slenderness, and pneumatic character 
of the tubular bones, which they share with the birds. 
But it is not in them, but in the division comprising 
several families which Huxley terms Ornithoscelidae, 
or reptiles with the legs of a bird, that we must look for 
the actual progenitors of the birds. For among them 
one of the most important characters of the birds is, in 


some genera, in course of preparation, so that in the 
full-grown animal its origin may still be recognized ; 
in others, as the genus Campsognathus, it is accom- 
plished. We allude to the peculiarity already discussed 
in p. 10, that the upper portion of the tarsus is anchy- 
losed with the tibia, the lower with the metatarsus, and 
that the ankle-joint is hence inserted into the tarsus. 

All existing reptiles are sharply distinguished from 
the Amphibians and Fishes by several phenomena ac- 
companying their development. They possess two 
organs enveloping the embryo ; the amnion, which is 
essentially a protecting sheath, and the allantois, by 
which the foetal circulation, nutrition, and respiration is 
regulated and carried on. In the Batrachians we find 
indications at least of the allantois, and must suppose 
that the greater part of the fossil reptiles had already 
adopted this advance in general organization. It implies 
an advance, inasmuch as animals developed by the aid 
of the amnion and allantois make further progress during 
the embryonic phase than is the case with the inferior 
Vertebrata, and that they hence leave the egg with greater 
powers of resistance. We must ascribe the adoption 01 
the amnion and allantois to remote periods of amphibian 
and reptile development, for the additional reason that 
the possession of their embryonic sheaths and organs 
is shared by the birds which are descended from true 
reptiles, and by the mammals which cannot be descended 
from true reptiles. 

The birds are, anatomically, so closely allied to the 
reptiles, that Huxley, who has carried out the com- 
parison most rigorously, has joined the two classes into a 
greater systematic unit, under the name of Sauropsida, 


or lizard-like animals. The scale of a lizard and a 
feather seem to be totally different things ; but in their 
first rudiments they are completely identical, and the 
feather has a far greater analogy with the scale, than with 
the hair. The plumage, which seems to impress a spe- 
cific character upon the bird, is therefore to be traced 
from the formation of scales. Of the internal soft organs, 
we will only remark upon the heart and lungs. All the 
older geologists placed the heart of the bird on the same 
level with that of the mammal and of man ; in its specific 
arrangements, however, it is only to be interpreted by 
the heart of the reptile, and the wind-pip.e is not ramified 
as in the mammal. That the reptiles exhibit a gradual 
transition to the leg of the bird, has been repeatedly 
pointed out. The pelvis of the bird, which is remarkable 
for the length of the pubis and ischium, and is open in 
front, likewise represents only a slight advance in develop- 
ment upon the pelvic structure already shown in several 
of the Ornithoscelidse. Thus Huxley says with reference 
to the ischium of the Hypsilophodae, that " the remark- 
able slenderness and prolongation of the ischium give it 
a wonderfully ornithic character." Finally, in the skull, 
peculiarities possessed by the bird in contrast with the 
mammal, such as the simple condyle of the occiput, the 
quadrate bone, the cochlea of the auditory labyrinth, the 
composition of the lower jaw, its articulation with the 
skull by the intervention of the quadrate bone, &c., are 
not specific characters of the bird alone, but of reptiles in 
general. This similarity of type in reptiles and in birds 
is perfectly manifest from the comparison of living birds 
with living reptiles. But the proof that the bird is 
derived from the reptile is rendered unimpeachable by 



the discoveries, scanty as they are, of fossil intermediate 
forms. The pelvis and leg of the Ornithoscelidae have 
already been discussed. But in the 
slates of Solnhofen we have more- 
over become acquainted with the 
Archaeopteryx, a bird unfortu- 
nately mutilated and in many 
ways damaged by pressure (Fig. 
25, impression of the tail of the 
Archa^opteryx Macrurus, Ow), but 
exhibiting a very valuable and 
interesting intermediate stage be- 
tween the tail of a reptile and a 
bird. Among existing birds, the 
Nandu, or American ostrich (Rhea), 
alone possesses numerous separate 
caudal vertebrae ; but the tail of 
this bird projects so little, that it 
in no way recalls the tail of a lizard. 
Now the Archseopteryx exhibits a 
long tail, bordered by two rows 
^'''- =^- of stiff feathers, of which the 

impression remains in extraordinary preservation. The 
skull of this valuable specimen, now in the British 
Museum, is so much injured, that no idea can be framed 
of its construction. It is impossible to decide whether 
the jaws bore teeth. The example of the tortoises 
shows that within the reptile type the formation of teeth 
was replaced by horny sheaths, without a correlated 
development of the power of flight ; the Pterodactyles, 
on the other hand, combine with the power of flight a 
light head, provided nevertheless with numerous teeth. 


The obscurity which surrounded these parts of the old 
antediluvian birds has been cleared up by a discovery by 
the American naturalist, Marsh. He found in the upper 
Chalk of Kansas the remains of tv/o genera of birds, 
which by their bi-concave vertebrae remind us of the 
characteristics of the ancient reptiles, and by this alone 
present extremely valuable intermediate stages, but 
which, moreover, bore teeth in both jaws. These teeth 
are small and sharp, and were so numerous that in the 
lower jaw of the cnimal named Ichthyornis dispar, 
twenty might be counted on each side. 

Thus we are now quite clear as to the kinship of the 
bird. It is a reptile adapted to aerial life, and those 
birds which we see more estranged from flight have 
acquired the characters correlated with more or less 
incapacity for flight only by means of retrogression. It 
fares the worse with the internal arrangement of this 
class of animals. Partly from their geographical distri- 
bution, partly from anatomical indications, especially of 
the skull, it may be inferred that the ostrich-like birds 
are not, in virtue of their strength of leg and adeptness 
in running, the youngest members of their class and the 
most nearly allied to the mammals, but that they are 
the oldest of those nov/ living. The nature of the 
imperfection of their wings shows, as we have said, that 
they are in a state of arrest or retrogression. Beyond 
this general experience it is impossible to go. If we 
contemplate the bird as a flying animal, those of course 
rank highest which have learnt to fly the best. This 
palm avowedly accrues to the birds of prey as a whole, 
although other orders are not deficient in pre-eminent 
flyers. Brehm and others hold the parrots, because 


of their docility, to be the highest birds. But all this 
is arbitrary, and can only accidentally correspond with 
the true and unknown ramification of the ornithic branch 
in the pedigree of the Vertebrata. 

The most ancient known remains of the Mammalia 
are found in the Trias. They occur somewhat more 
frequently in the central Mesozoic strata, and they all 
belong to Marsupial animals. Now as Marsupials, in 
comparison with the inferior classes of vertebrate ani- 
mals from which they must be derived, are very highly 
developed, and as in the Monotremata (Duck-mole, 
Ornithorhyncus, and Porcupine ant-eater, Echidna,) we 
possess mammals which are manifestly far beneath 
the Marsupials, we are referred entirely to conjecture 
and inference for the origin of the mammals. These 
point to amphibian-like beings, in which certain pe- 
culiarities of the mammalian skull, such as the double 
condyle of the occiput, were prefigured, and which 
by the formation of the amnios and allantois ap- 
proached the true reptiles. These progenitors of the 
Mammalia are not, however, represented in any order 
of reptiles or amphibians now extant. The pedigree 
(p. 269) in which we have grouped the more accurately 
known fossil Mammalia with those now living, contains 
considerable gaps, and rests in a great measure on 
hypothesis, but it gives, nevertheless, with approximate 
probability a correct representation of the consanguinity 
of the orders, and in comparison with the system as it 
was constructed in the school-books prior to the revival 
of the doctrine of Descent, it must be esteemed a great 
and suggestive advance. 




As regards the structure of their skull, the constitution 
of the pectoral arch, and their persistence in the phase 
(embryonic in other mammals) in which the rectum 
and the urinary and genital ducts open into a single 
cloaca, the Monotremata (Ornithorhynchus, Echidna), 
limited to Australia and Tasmania, are the lowest mem- 
bers of their class, and must be considered as remnants 
of a division reaching from indeterminable past ages 
down to the present time. It may be presumed that 
the Marsupials were developed from an analogous grade. 
Their powers of adaptation have been chiefly testified 
in Australia, where the subdivisions of the order, usually 
designated as families, are, in dentition and habits of life, 
developed in a manner analogous to several of those 
orders which appear on the second great scene of mam- 
malian developrnent, namely, the Northern hemisphere. 

Far advanced beyond the Monotremata as to skeleton, 
they remain on a low grade with respect to the repro- 
ductive system, and are implacental, like the Monotre- 
mata. That is to say, the embryonic blood-vessels do not 
enter into those close relations with the blood-vessels of 
the maternal ovary, by which the more perfect develop- 
ment of other mammals within the mother's womb is 
effected. This character and the correlative formation of 
the pouch in Vv^hich to carry the immaturely born off- 
spring, bind together the various families of Marsupials, 
which deviate from one another like other orders. 

With the exception, therefore, of the two orders named, 
in all mammals the embryo is attached to the maternal 
organism by the so-called placenta. The blood-vessels 
of the developing offspring which reach the wall of the 
uterus by the intervention of the allantois, form coils 


and loops, between which grow similar offshoots and 
appendages of the blood-vessels of the ovary, so that 
through the walls of the contiguous blood-vessels an 
abundant exchange of fluids takes place between the 
two, and therewith a prolonged nutrition and a further 
and more complete development of the fcetus. The 
higher character of the placental mammals, usually 
plainly evinced by their anatomical relations, is thus 
based on the existence of the placental mass. All inter- 
mediate grades are, however, wanting which would 
entitle us to infer with certainty the direct transition 
from implacental to placental mammals. The Edentata, 
(Bruta), manifestly the lowest of placental mammals, 
are so devoid of any nearer morphological relations 
with the Marsupials, that we must needs be content to 
assume generally, on these indications, supported by 
geographical distribution and geology, that they repre- 
sent a very ancient branch of the placental mammals. 
As we saw in the tenth chapter, they are scattered 
remnants which can only by compulsion be united 
into a single order. Sloths, armadilloes, ant-eaters, 
differ from one another at least as much as rodents, 
insectivora, and bats. The doctrine of Descent is not 
discredited because it is unable to account for these 
fragments of bygone animal life, but in the absence 
of data it is for the time in presence of an impos- 

To ascertain the relationships of other orders, the 
modern systematizers, and also the supporters of the 
system of Descent, have thought fit to lay great stress 
on the presence or absence of the so-called decidua. 
This requires a short explanation. In many orders of 


mammals, the vascular processes and vllii of the wall 
of the ovary become so closely connected with the foetal 
portion of the placenta, that at birth the entire mem- 
branous coating of the ovary is detached and thrown out 
with it. In others, the vascular villi are not so closely 
adherent ; they yield without important lacerations, and 
hence no deciduous membrane (Membrana decidua) is 
ejected. Now, as it appears to me, the specific conditions 
of the formation of the decidua have been far too little 
compared to justify our inferring any close affinity from 
the mere fact that portions of the coating of the ovary 
are lost in parturition. Much rather it must be unre- 
servedly admitted that the formation of decidua might 
be occasioned by subordinate circumstances of the most 
varied kinds, and hence in orders only remotely allied, 
or allied merely as placental mammals. We therefore 
consider the decidua to be a subordinate systematic 
feature where anatomical and morphological reasons 
are opposed to it. 

We go yet further. In the modern system the form 
of the placenta is likewise employed in the grouping of 
organisms. If among the Deciduata, lemurs, rodents, 
insect ivora, bats and monkeys, are classed together as 
orders with discoidal placenta, this combination is cer- 
tainly supported by a series of other reasons, and it is 
quite probable that within this group of orders the form 
of the placenta is due to homology, that is to Descent. 
But when beasts of prey, elephants and the Daman 
(Hyrax) are further cited as orders with zonary pla- 
centa, we find ourselves in the same position as when 
the decidua was reckoned decisive as to the closer 
affinity; and we are of opinion that the subordinate form 



of the placenta might similarly arise in different ways, 
just as it has been variously developed in the well-sub- 
stantiated division of the Ungulata. To corroborate our 
view by example, we are certainly unable to make any 
positive statements as to the derivation of the Probos- 
cidae. It is, however, none the less certain that nothing 
positive is implied by the customary classification by 
reason of their zonary placenta. But we shall more 
nearly approach the truth if we place this branch of 
unknown origin typically nearer to the Ungulata than 
to the beasts of prey. If, moreover, as non-deciduate 
mammals, the Cetacea are held to be more closely 
aUied to the Ungulata than to the Carnivora, which 
are deciduate, — in our eyes, this circumstance is not 
decisive, as more important reasons argue that the 
Cetacea were first developed from carnivorous genera. 

In our exposition of the geographical distribution of 
animals, we derived instruction from Rutimeyer with 

Rhinoceroses. Tapirs. 






reference to the relationships of the Ungulata in 
particular. In no other division do we possess such 




abundant fossil material. In the older Tertiary strata 
we encounter the remains of two Ungulate families, 
the Palaeotheridae and the Anoplotheridae, essentially 
distinguished from, one another by their dentition, 
and forming the starting-points of the groups of Un- 
gulates of which some now appear so greatly isolated. 
The root to which these two families lead back is un- 
known ; on the other hand, partly from the direct 
comparison of these genera with the present Ungulata, 
partly from numerous intermediate links found in the 
Miocene, Pliocene, and Diluvium, it appears that, in the 
lapse of time, the separation which characterizes the 
present age was initiated, and the seeming isolation was 
produced by the extinction of the intermediate links. It 
was this isolation which induced the older systematizers 
to institute three orders of Ungulata. 

The special pedigree emanating from the Palaeotheridae 
includes, among the present Ungulata, the horse, tapir, 

and rhinoceros. The transi- 
tion from the Palseotherium 
to the horse may be directly 
traced, and this, moreover, 
in the two most important 
characters, the dentition and 
the feet. In the Anchithe- 
rium and Hipparion, the 
transformation from the tri- 
dactyle to the unidactyle 
Ungulate is accomplished ; 
and Riitimeyer's brilliant re- 
searches have shown how, in 
the milk dentition of each genus, the definitive dentition 

Skel eton of the foot. 
num. (H) Hipparion. (E) Horse. 



of the aboriginal genus is repeated, and Phylogenesis is U. 
unequivocally expressed in Ontogenesis. The Anchi- ' 
therium is a three-toed horse, in which, however, the 
middle toe has already undertaken the chief task. But 
in the Hipparion the two side toes are entirely raised 
from the ground, and by disuse are brought to the con- 
dition of arrest which is completed in the horse. 

In the constitution of the molar teeth the tapirs have 
remained most faithful to the ancestral type. The cir- 
cumstance that the tapir has four toes in front, whereas 
the Palseotheridae known to us, have three shows, how- 
ever, that the genus Palaeotherium cannot have been 
the ancestral stock of the tapirs. P'or the supposition 
that the tapir acquired the fourth toe is contrary to all 
experience respecting the formation of the extremities. 
Rhinoceroses are also four-toed in front, and their close 
kindred with the tapirs is testified by the structure of 
their toes and a series of details in the skeleton. 

Hippopotami, Pigs. Tragulidse. Deer. Antelopes. Oxen, 


An isolated branch of the Palaeotheridae seems to be 
the fossil genus Macrauchenidae, which combines the 

T 2 


characteristics of the horse and rhinoceros with those 
of the camel. How far the latter, as ruminants, are 
directly connected with the Macrauchenidae, or whether 
the form of their skull, approaching that of the horse, 
points to actual homology, it is for the present impossible 
to say. 

The Anoplotheridae are likewise distinguished by a 
sort of undifferentiated dentition, from which a number 
of specific forms might deviate in different directions. 
The Tragulida^ are descended from them in a direct 
line ; they form a small group not unlike the musk 
animals, and are confined to South Africa and Southern 
Asia. As chewing the cud, they are more nearly allied 
to the other typical ruminants with which we are ac- 
quainted ; but, on the other hand, they occupy an inter- 
mediate position towards the other non-ruminants of the 
division, of which the whole was united in the pre-historic 
world through the Anoplotherids. The Suidee, or pig- 
like animals, were very profusely represented in the 
Eocene and Miocene periods. From a side branch of 
their predecessors, reaching up to the Anoplotheridae, are 
descended the river-horses, or hippopotami. The function 
of ruminating is, as we know, correlated with a complex 
structure of the stomach as well as a peculiar mechanism 
of the cesophagal groove. It is naturally impossible to 
determine in which fossil animals these arrangements 
originated ; yet it seems to have occurred at a very 
early period. Perhaps the more highly integrated struc- 
ture of some non-ruminating genera, such as the hippo- 
potamus and the peccary, may have been transmitted 
from the age of the Anoplotheridae, and the very con- 
spicuous accordance of the ruminating Tragulidae with 


the Anoplotherldae stamps the latter with tolerable 
certainty as ruminants. 

Disregarding the camels, already mentioned as of 
doubtful origin, the typical ruminants separate into the 
deer-like and the horned. Through the hornless musk 
animals, the deer are connected with the Tragulidse and 
the older genera. The giraffes form a side branch. But 
although the Helladotherium, nearly allied to the giraffe 
and at one time inhabiting the Athenian territory in 
herds, and the colossal Sivatherium, found in the spurs of 
the Himalayas, afford some clue to the position of the 
giraffes, so entirely isolated in the present world, the 
details of their derivation still remain very obscure. 

From the antelopes to the closely allied — in fact, 
scarcely separable — genera of goat and sheep, and 
similarly to the oxen, the systematic as well as the palae- 
ontological series, and likewise the ontogenetic phases, 
present transitions undeniably evincing family relation- 
ship. Besides the relations of the milk dentition of the 
filial to the ancestral genera, which Rutimeyer has also 
followed minutely, great interest attaches to the gradual 
transformation of the skull, which reaches its extreme in 
the oxen, and advances from the antelope and sheep, 
through Ovibos, Bubalus (buffalo). Bison, to Bos (ox). 
In the latter, the erect position of the frontal bone attains 
its utmost grade, and this transformation of the skull of 
the antelope is repeated in the calf. 

The usual classification of the Sirenia, or sea-cows, with 
the Cetacea, was decidedly a systematic misconception, 
arising from one-sided and, moreover, merely superficial 
consideration of the locomotive organs. All other 
characteristic indications — above all, the structure of 


the skull and the nature of the teeth — remove them 
from the Cetacea as much as they approximate them 
to the Ungulata. In the hippopotamus we have a 
member of this order nearly converted into an aquatic 
animal. We must think of the Sirenia as originally 
emanating from some unknown genera, which probably 
branched off at a very early period. 

A very uncertain position is occupied by the Hyra- 
coidae, now represented only by a few species of the 
genus Hyrax. To say that their characteristics recall 
at once the Ungulates, the Rodents, and the Insectivora, 
affords no explanation. Considering the great impor- 
tance of the molar teeth in deciding derivation, the 
chief stress should perhaps be laid on their similar- 
ity in the hyrax and the rhinoceros, and we hence 
regard the hyrax as an offshoot of an old Ungulate 

With respect to the progenitors of the Proboscldse, we 
refrain from any conjecture. 

Later than the Graminivora,the Carnivora, and espe- 
cially the beasts of prey, seem to have appeared on the 
scene of arctic animal life. Granting the possibility 
(and it is scarcely possible to do otherwise) that pla- 
cental formations may have originated in various ways, 
the possibility likewise exists that the Carnivora, and 
indeed other orders too, such as the Rodents especially, 
may be direct descendants of carnivorous Marsupials. 
The oldest beasts of prey known are feline, or resemble 
the Viverridse and hyenas. Then come the Canidse, 
and latest of all the Ursidse. In skull, dentition, and 
extremities, the seals and walruses (Pinnipedea) consti- 
tute a side branch. Although there can be no idea of 


any special affinity between the otter and the seal, the 
comparison of the two will aid us in imagining how from 
true beasts of prey and terrestrial animals the strange 
figure of seals and walruses must have proceeded. 

If the conjecture already propounded should be 
confirmed, that the detachments and ejections of 
the placenta, which constitute the phenomena of the 
decidua, assume very heterogenous forms in groups 
belonging to the same family, and may be alike in 
others no more nearly related, the Cetacea would be 
installed in our pedigree in the vicinity of the beasts of 
prey. Between a lion and a whale an angle is enclosed, 
containing a countless multitude of intermediate forms. 
But we must always bear in mind that our business is, 
not to bridge over the chasms between the present 
peripheral ends of the series of development represent- 
ing the extreme forms, but to discover the points of 
derivation and attachment. Fossil whale-like animals 
are known in the Tertiary period, such as the Zeuglo- 
don and Squalodon. The remains of the former colossal 
genus are kept in good preservation at Berlin, where 
Johannes Miiller discovered their relations to both seals 
and whales. The dentition is seal-like; in the skeleton 
there is much similarity with the whales ; and although 
the Zeuglodoins must have been preceded by a great 
series of species, and followed by another of consider- 
able, if not equal, length, before the present Cetacea 
proceeded from them, a development of this sort seems, 
nevertheless, extremely probable and natural. By their 
still perfect dentition and the still proportionate dimen- 
sions of the skull, the Delphinoidae are the oldest mem- 
bers of the true Cetacea. They were joined by the 


Sperm whales or cachelots (Physeteridae), and the last 
members are the right whales (Balaenidse). This is 
evinced by the fact that the whalebone or baleen plates 
are developed only after the rudimentary teeth have 
made their appearance in the jaws of the embryo, a 
heritage from the profusely and persistently toothed 

In the Lemuridse, the system unites the heterogeneous 
remains of a collection of animals which, by reason of 
their prehensile hind feet with their opposable hallux, 
were regarded as fellow-members of the order of 
" true apes." The connecting link is not their anato- 
mical constitution — they diverge widely in the form of 
the skull and in dentition — but rather their geographi- 
cal distribution, restricted to Madagascar and a few 
advanced posts of Asia. Undue influence has also 
been allowed, certainly very unscientifically, to a certain 
peculiar outlandish impression which they make upon 
the observer. The constitution of their skull refers 
them to a very low grade in the scale of the mammalia. 
If we view them as a whole, they exhibit no general 
relations with any particular order of mammals, but, 
according to the individual genera, point to those orders 
which, like themselves, possess discoidal placenta ; the 
majority of reasons favour the hypothesis that the 
Lemuridas now living are the last and little modified 
offshoots of a division of mammals at one time far 
more richly developed, and that Rodents, Insectivora, 
Cheiroptera, and Apes, are twigs of this great branch. 

The Rodents are particularly interesting, because, in 
conjunction with stubborn persistency in the very cha- 
racteristically constituted dentition, accompanied by 


several peculiarities of skull, they manifest the most 
extraordinary power of adaptation to arboreal and 
steppe-life, to land and water. The Insectivora, although 
not nearly so rich in species, offer a similar spectacle of 
adaptations by which their genera have become almost 
repetitions of the Rodents ; and the Cheiroptera (bats), 
in their most numerously represented division, may be 
regarded as a side branch of the Insectivora, if they 
have not proceeded directly from animals resembling 
the Lemurid^. 

In what geological period the monkeys were evolved 
from lemur-like forms we do not know. The few fossil 
monkeys with which we are acquainted belong to the 
higher families of apes, and pre-suppose a long series 
of ancestors. The same conjecture is forced upon us 
by the geographical isolation of the American monkeys 
from those of the Old World, which is also combined 
with considerable anatomical differences, although it 
could not occur to zoologists or comparative anatomists 
to deny their close systematic affinity. 

The relation of the lower to the higher apes requires 
further discussion, which we shall combine with our 
disquisition on the relation of man with the monkeys. 




When Goethe declares, "We are eternally in contact 
with problems. Man is an obscure being ; he knows 
little of the world, and of himself least of all,"^® — he 
almost repeats what J. J. Rousseau says in Emile/^ 
" We have no measure for this huge machine (the 
world) ; w^e cannot calculate its relations ; we know 
neither its primary laws nor its final cause ; we do not 
know ourselves ; we know neither our nature nor our 
active principle." 

Such and such-like quotations are wont to be made 
to us as justifying and confirming assertions of the 
narrowness of our powers of understanding, and of the 
limits of science. But in Anthropology we cannot pos- 
sibly attribute any greater authority to the worthy J. J. 
Rousseau than to a Father of the Church ; and to the 
Goethe, whose casual utterances are transmitted to pos- 
terity by Eckermann, we oppose the other Goethe, who 
in the fulness of youthful vigour, exclaims — 

Joy, supreme Creation of Nature, feeling the power 

All sublimest thoughts, which lifted her as she made thee, 

In thyself to re-echo * 

and who conceives the most beautiful organization, as he 

* Freue dich, hochstes Geschopf der Natur, du f uhlest dich fiihig 
Ihr den hochsten Gedanken, zu dem sie schaffend sich aufschwang, 
Nachzudenken ^° 


designates man, to be in perfect harmony with these 
subHmest thoughts. 

Our previous reflections and deductions would lack 
their conclusion were man to be excluded, — could not 
and must not all that is said of the genesis and connec- 
tion of animal being, be directly applicable to the know- 
ledge of his nature also. The repugnance to the doctrine 
of Descent, the doubt with regard to it, the indignation 
lavished upon it, are all concentrated on its applicability 
and application to man ; and if the body be perforce 
abandoned to us, the mental sphere of man is at least 
to remain inscrutable, a noli tangere to the investigation 
of nature. A few years ago, it was a consolation to the 
opponents of the doctrine of Descent that Darwin had 
not directly pronounced himself with respect to man. 
Anger was vented on his adherents, who had out- 
darwined Darwin. To this was added the unfortunate 
misapprehension that the champions of the doctrine of 
Descent made the human race proceed from the en- 
noblement of the orang, chimpanzee, or gorilla — in short, 
from extant apes. 

But from the first appearance of the Darwinian doc- 
trine, every moderately logical thinker must have re- 
garded man as similarly modifiable, and as the result of 
the mutability of species ; and Darwin has now told us, 
in his work on the " Descent of Man," why he did not 
enunciate this self-evident inference in his first book ; 
he did not wish thereby to strengthen and provoke pre- 
judice against his view. Knowing human weakness, he 
withheld the conclusion. " It seemed to me sufficient," 
he says, " in the first edition of my ' Origin of Species,' 
that by this work ' light would be thrown on the origin 


of man and his history/ and this implies that man must 
be included with other organic beings in any general 
conclusion respecting the manner of his appearance on 
this earth." 

Nay, Darwin himself has now gone further, and, to 
the terror of all who can scarce imagine man except as 
created shaven and armed with a book on etiquette, he 
has sketched a certainly not flattering, and perhaps in 
many points not correct, portrait of our presumptive 
ancestors in the phase of dawning humanity. 

Before we seriously discuss this serious subject, we will 
take leave to quote a more superficial verdict given by 
a clever essayist.*' " Let us suppose, merely as a joke, 
that Nature, which we see everywhere advancing from 
the most simple to the complex, from the lower to the 
higher, had not suddenly waived this law in the presence 
of man ; that she had not suddenly given up her evolu- 
tion for his sake ; that she had not suddenly begun in 
him a new creation ; but that here, as elsewhere, she had 
proceeded quietly, gradually, naturally, and that man 
were thus nothing more than the last link of the inter- 
minable series of animals, nothing more than a ' de- 
veloped ape.' The first thought that would then 
obtrude itself upon us, would be that the facts were not 
altered in the slightest degree ; that man would remain 
as he is, with the same shape, the same face, the same 
gait, the same gestures, the same dispositions, powers, 
feelings, thoughts, and with the same dominion over the 
apes as heretofore. This is very simple, very self-evi- 
dent, but also very important. For it confers on him — 
on man — the powerful sensation that, as he now is, he is 
a being of a quite peculiar kind, very different from 


even the most kindred creature ; and, moreover, that 
this peculiar nature is his most pecuhar property, whether 
he received it as a ready-made gift, or worked it out 
laboriously from a lower condition in tens of thousands 
of years. But if his present constitution is not in the 
slightest degree injured by his (assumed) animal origin, 
neither can his aims and tasks, his endeavours and voca- 
tions — in short, his whole future — be any other than, from 
his entire nature, he must imagine and believe it to be. 
Or must the cultivated portion of mankind be really so 
profoundly dismayed by the idea of descending from 
apes, that in despair at the impossibility of maintaining 
and improving the civilization, which by no means fell 
into their lap like ripe fruit, but which was painfully 
acquired, they would abandon their business and pur- 
suits, their forms of law and government, their arts and 
sciences, and sink to the level of the Australian bush- 
men — that they would let go that by which they had 
raised themselves so far above the apes, and by which 
they are constantly raising themselves still higher, merely 
because it was once difiicult to raise themselves above 
these apes even by a hair's breadth .? But what man 
destined by nature for a ruler, would have refused to 
grasp the crown because his father was a hind ? Or 
what born Raphael would have forsworn palette and 
pencil, because his parent had been a sign-painter ? 
Mankind, like each individual, will use and improve its 
powers because it has them, not because it has obtained 
them from hither or thither." 

We give these transient fireworks their due, but we 
require more profound arguments whence to derive the 
final verdict. To the votaries of the doctrine of Descent, 


its application to man is a simple deduction from a 
general law, gained by the method of induction. As 
Goethe postulated the inter-maxillary bone in man 
even before he had seen or proved it, so must the doc- 
trine of Descent extend to man all its results and more 
or less plainly demonstrated laws. The deduction is 
effected by the accumulated observations of compara- 
tive anatomy, evolutionary history, and palaeontology, 
checking and confirming one another. Thus, for all 
who are not satisfied with belief in miracle and sub- 
jection to the hypothesis of a revelation, nothing remains 
but the doctrine of Descent. To apply it to man is not 
more hazardous, but, on the contrary, as inherently neces- 
sary, as it is for us zoologists to make use of it in judg- 
ing some polype hitherto unknown, a star-fish or a mouse. 
This our adversaries deny. Man, they say, has qualities 
which separate him absolutely from the animal, and, 
assuming the doctrine of Descent generally, preclude its 
applicability in this one case. To this assertion, so fre- 
quently to be heard, we will, in the first instance, oppose 
a general remark as to the apprehension of human 

It is commonly overlooked that, quite regardless of 
the validity of the doctrine of Descent or even of its 
existence, there is a notable inconsistency in the idea of 
humanity. The philosophy of history has regarded 
mutability, which is, in fact, capability of progress, as 
the essence of human nature. But if any sort of in- 
separable dependence of the mind upon the body be 
admitted, as is the case with all but an extreme 
spiritualistic party, the progress of mental power in 
mankind was inconceivable without some parallel trans- 


formation of the bodily substratum extending beyond 
the limits of mere variabiHty. Even on the assump- 
tion that the mind forms its own organ, the brain, 
the specific idea of man would necessarily have con- 
sisted in bodily improvement, as contrasted with the 
supposed rigidity of the animal organism. For, in 
principle, it is the same whether changes take place 
perceptibly in arms and legs, or imperceptibly to the 
eye, in the molecules of the brain. We are, therefore, 
only retrieving the shortcomings of philosophy when 
we attribute to the bodily mutability of man the exten- 
sion which accrues to it from the applicability of the 
doctrine of Descent to the particular case. 

The bodily accordance betwixt man and animal leaves 
the doctrine of Descent so little to desire, that the ap- 
prehension of Mephistopheles lest grovelling humanity 
should finally be alarmed at his likeness to the Deity, 
might far rather be applied to his likeness to the animal. 
The human body, like the body of every animal, points 
in its evolution to an elaboration from the undifferen- 
tiated to the specialized form. The general distribution 
of the body and the development of the several organs 
is common to man and all mammals, and in the earlier 
stages of the embryonic state to all vertebrate animals, 
and indicates this general kinship. The existence there- 
fore of a discoidal placenta (unless we prefer a special 
reiterated new creation of this organ of development, in 
which the Creator adhered to the pattern of the placenta 
of the lemurs, rodents, insectivora, bats, and apes) reduces 
us to the alternative that in the natural and to us unknown 
development of man, chance, or some quite different 
chain of causes, led in this case, as in the other, to the 


discoidal placenta, or that the accordance is based on 
consanguinity with the discoido-placental mammals. We 
have already (p. 272) objected to the inference that all 
mammalian orders are akin, should be drawn with cer- 
tainty from the superficial accordance of the placenta, 
and we must therefore justify ourselves now, when we 
lay a stress on the accordance of the placenta of man 
and apes. The orders mentioned above all possess a 
placenta of small extent and discoidal form. In the 
shape of this disc, and in the number and distribution 
of the blood-vessels in the umbilical cord by which the 
foetal respiration and nutrition are carried on, sundry 
varieties occur. Thus in the family of the Pithecoid 
apes, the placenta falls into two discs, whereas the 
umbilical cord agrees with that of man ; in t-he American 
apes, on the contrary, the placenta is simple and the 
blood-vessels are different. In the orang and gorilla we 
know nothing of these organs, but the chimpanzee agrees 
with man, in that it has a simple discoidal placenta 
with two conducting (arteriae umbilicales) and one re- 
conducting vessel (vena umbilicalis). 

With a general similarity of the human placenta with 
that of the discoido-placental mammals, man is specifi- 
cally nearer to one at least of the so-called Anthropoid 
apes, than this one is to the other apes. And thus the 
constitution of the placenta is certainly of great impor- 
tance in discriminating the systematic position of man. 
Enormously improbable as is the chance contemplated 
above, equally probable and solely credible is con- 
sanguinity ; and with regard to general organization, in 
any specific comparison of man with the mammalia, the 
apes must occupy the foreground. 


This comparison has been admirably conducted by 
Huxley and Broca.^^ The latter has set himself the task 
of investigating, solely as a descriptive anatomist and 
zoologist, regardless of all dispute as to principle, and 
undisturbed by the doctrine of Descent, whether the 
anatomical constitution of man, as compared with that 
of the ape, justifies, on general zoological principles, the 
union of the two in a single order — Primates. Huxley 
proves that the anthropomorphous apes (gibbon, chim- 
panzee, orang, gorilla) differ from the lower apes much 
more than from man ; and that if we are obliged to 
assume the reciprocal consanguinity of the apes, the 
common derivation of the anthropomorphous apes and 
man is at least equally natural. 

Between the peripheral members of the systematic 
groups of monkeys — for instance, between the American 
Sahuis and the Old-World Pavians and Anthropomorpha 
— notable differences exist in the constitution of the limbs 
and other parts of the skeleton, together with the soft 
parts belonging to them, in the muscles especially, as 
well as in dentition and the structure of the brain. It 
is false to call apes quadrumana, for within the order 
of the apes the contrast between hand and foot makes 
its appearance in its essential anatomical attributes, 
and in the anthropomorphous apes, in the gorilla espe- 
cially, it is almost as distinct as in man. 

Luca, the anatomist renowned for his careful measure- 
ments of the cranium, imagines that he has discerned 
a highly important demarcation between man and the 
ape. In the ape, the three bones forming the axis 
of the skull, the basi-occipital bone, and the two sphe- 
noid bones, lie almost in a line, whereas in man there 



is a double flexure of this axis ; moreover, in the apes 
the angles increase with age, which in man decrease, and 
vice versa. Likewise in man the occipital foramen 
becomes more horizontal with age, more vertical in the ape. 
But all this shows only, what the doctrine of Descent 
asserts, that the two series, ape and man, diverge from 
one another, and that the youthful individuals are more 
alike than the older ones, — that the ape as he growls be- 
comes more bestial ; man, as the riddle of the sphinx 
already intimated, more human. The flexure of the 
basal bone and the horizontal position of the occipital 
foramen occasions the upright gait, wherewith the 
differentiation between hands and feet is completed. 
This flexure of the cranial axis may therefore still be 
emphasized as a human character, in contradistinction 
to the apes ; the peculiar characteristic of an order can 
scarcely be elicited from it ; and especially as to the 
question of Descent, this circumstance seems in no way 

Not only as regards hand and foot, but also in denti- 
tion and brain, the anthropomorphous apes approach 
man much more nearly than they do the inferior wide- 
nosed monkeys of the New World. These, have six 
molar teeth, and their brain displays the imperfec- 
tions of the brain of the lemurs and rodents. Like 
the monkeys of the Old World, on the contrary, the 
anthropomorphous apes possess five molar teeth, and 
every portion of the human brain, even to the hippo- 
campus minor, is likewise present. The dispute as 
to this insignificant portion of the brain, which 
R. Owen claimed as an exclusively human charac- 
teristic, possesses a merely historic interest, since, 


in conjunction with the posterior corner of the lateral 
ventricle, it has been exhibited by a number of distin- 
guished anatomists in the orang and chimpanzee. 

Thus, for those who will not relinquish their hope of 
finding specific distinctions betv/een the brain of man 
and ape, there remain only the furrows and ridges on the 
surface of the cerebrum, the so-called convolutions of the 
brain. But here, again, it is in vain to look for funda- 
mental differences, unless the chief stress is to be laid 
upon the circumstance that in the human embryo the 
folds commence in the frontal, in the apes in the supra- 
orbital lobes. The constant convolutions common to 
all human brains are seen in the orang and chimpanzee. 
These convolutions are lost, or rather exist in less per- 
fection, in the apes approaching the Anthropomorpha ; 
they are totally absent in the Ouistitis. But so great 
is the resemblance of the brain of the two apes mentioned, 
with that of man, that, as Broca says, " it requires the 
eye of an experienced anatomist to discriminate, in 
drawings reduced to the same dimensions, their brain 
from the human brain, especially if the object of compa- 
rison selected, be the brain of negroes or Hottentots, 
which are more simple than those of white men." A 
desperate attempt to rescue a specifically human cere- 
bral character was made by the lamented Gratiolet, 
the anatomist, of Paris. Man was to be distinguished 
by the so-called transitional or bridging convolutions. 
These transitional folds are convolutions, by which 
the posterior lobes of the cerebrum are joined to the 
anterior and lateral portions. But Broca has lucidly 
demonstrated that it is the same with this as with 
other characteristics, and that the transitional folds in 

U 2 


the orang-, for instance, are far more like those of man 
than of the chimpanzee, and that the differences which 
exist can at the most have the value of specific or 
generic characters. 

The distance between the lower and higher apes is 
far greater than between the latter and man ; and if the 
consanguinity of the entire apedom is decisive in favour 
of Darwinistic views, there can be the less doubt of the 
kindred connection of the Old-World apes to mankind. 
But the form of the mature skull and of the dentition 
(to lay a stress upon these organs), preclude the idea 
that the direct ancestors of man are to be found among 
the apes now living. The cheap jest, produced with so 
much glee, of inquiring why we do not behold the in- 
teresting spectacle of the transformation of a chimpanzee 
into a man, or conversely, of a man by retrogression into 
an orang, merely testifies the crudest ignorance of 
the doctrine of Descent. Not one of these apes can 
revert to the state of his primordial ancestors, because, 
except by retrogression — by which a primordial condi- 
tion is by no means attained — he cannot divest himself 
of his acquired characters fixed by heredity ; nor can 
he exceed himself and become man ; for man does 
not stand in the direct line of development from the 
ape. The development of the anthropoid apes has 
taken a lateral course from the nearest human progeni- 
tors, and man can as little be transformed into a gorilla 
as a squirrel can be changed into a rat. Man's kinship 
with the apes is, therefore, not impugned by the bestial 
strength of the teeth of a male orang or gorilla, or by the 
crests and protuberances on the skulls of these animals. 
A renowned zoologist, one of the few who adhere to the 


old belief, has taken the useless trouble of proving that 
the skull of the orang could not possibly be transformed 
into the human head. As if the doctrine of Descent had 
ever asserted such nonsense ! The bony skull of these 
apes has reached an extreme, comparable to that of our 
domestic cattle. But this extreme appears only gra- 
dually in the course of growth, and the calf knows little 
of it, but possesses, as we have already mentioned, the 
cranial form of its antelope-like ancestors. In the pre- 
sent antelopes, and likewise in goats and sheep, this 
form, transitory in the calf, has remained stable. Now, 
as the youthful skull of the anthropomorphous apes exhi- 
bits, with undeniable distinctness, a descent from proge- 
nitors with a well-formed and still plastic cranium, and a 
dentition approximating to that of man, the transforma- 
tion of these parts in conjunction with the brain, the 
latter by reason of its persistently small volume, has, as 
it were, struck out a disastrous path, while in the human 
branch, selection has effected a higher conservation of 
these cranial characters. 

With this falls also the objection recently raised by the 
venerable Karl Ernest v. Baer, that it is inconceivable 
how, from the monkey's feet, arranged for climbing and 
grasping, the human foot, adapted for flat treading and 
walking, should be evolved in the struggle for existence. 
The tendency to oppose the big toe to the others, that is, 
to a prehensile foot, is known to be a human attribute, and 
this tendency is certainly inherited. How far the capa- 
city for climbing may have been developed in the pri- 
mordial ancestors, is as much unknown as these primordial 
ancestors themselves. Thus the aptitude in climbing 
shown by most of the present monkeys is only remotely 


connected with the inaptitude of man, and as a criterion 
of consanguinity, can hardly be taken into consideration. 

While requiring by logical deduction, a common origin 
for man and the anthropomorphous apes, the doctrine of 
Descent, as it is almost superfluous to say, repudiates the 
senseless demand for intermediate forms between man 
and the gorilla. What future times may perhaps dis- 
cover, are intermediate forms which go back to the com- 
mon point of derivation of the present apes and of man. 
And thus, notwithstanding the very close relations already 
discussed, there remains the chasm which is approxi- 
mately expressed by the comparative weights of the 
lowest human brain yet measured and the brain of the 
gorilla. The brain of a bushwoman, normally eflicient 
after the manner of her tribe, amounted to 2 lbs. 4 ozs. 
(Cuvier's brain weighed 4 lbs. 4 ozs.), that of a gorilla 
may be estimated, from the capacity of the cranium, 
at about i lb. 6 ozs., which gives the approximate 
ratio of 3 : 2. But exalted above the animal as man 
may feel himself in his bodily nature, in this again he 
forms no exception, as many animal forms occupy an 
equally isolated position with reference to their unmis- 
takably nearest kindred. 

Need we imagine a twofold creation of vertebrate 
animals) because the lancelet is now separated from the 
fishes by a whole scale of intermediate forms no longer 
extant ? The example of the horse is, among others, 
highly instructive in this tase. Let us bear in mind that, 
in the nature of the limbs and teeth, this genus differs 
far more from all other extant graminivora than man 
differs from the ape. Had not the fossil ungulates been 
found which demonstrate the common origin of the horse 


with the didactyles and multidactyles, we should still not 
deem the horse a special miraculous creation, but incon- 
trovertibly deduce his true kinship with the other ungu- 
lata. This pure deduction is not requisite, as the proge- 
nitors of the horse are present in conspicuous remains ; 
and, as we have already seen, elicited in R. Owen, half 
a century ago, the conviction of a direct m.etamorphosis 
of the tridactyle genera into the unidactyle. Our acquaint- 
ance with the tridactyle horses was a lucky chance ; they 
were indigenous in those parts of Europe which have 
been most diligently laid bare and explored in behalf cf 

But that our museums are still destitute of the fossil 
progenitors of man, is not more strange than the defi- 
ciency, hitherto existing, of intermediate forms, which, 
for example, would conclusively decide the position of 
the Dinotherium in the system. We will also refer again 
to the elephants, who, with their nearest ally, the 
mastodon, occupy towards the other Pachydermata a 
position elucidated by no fossils, and far more isolated 
than that of man to the apes. We hope herewith to 
have shown that the argument that, by peculiarities not 
bridged over, — by upright gait, comparative hairlessness, 
chin, preponderance of brain, &c., — man betrays a posi- 
tion absolutely apart, cannot be admitted by comparative 
anatomy and palaeontology. The demand, therefore, that 
the adherents of the doctrine of Descent should produce 
the intermediate forms which at one time necessarily 
existed, can be made only by dilettantes to whom the 
province of life, as a whole, has remained a sealed book. 

As we observed before, the bodily nature of man is 
sometimes ceded to natural inquiry as a means of more 


certainly rescuing the other side of the dualism. But 
here, too, we will not be defrauded of our say and our 
own opinion. The mental powers of man, in their origin, 
growth, and effects, are likewise susceptible of investiga- 
tion, and psychology only too long thought it possible 
to elude physiology. Let us, therefore, proceed in good 
heart to a short examination. 

It is universally admitted that a certain relationship, 
or analogy, exists in the psychical capacity of the higher 
animals and man. Reason alone, it is said, — the essence 
of psychical agencies by which man attains self-con- 
sciousness, and rises to abstract conceptions, combines 
ideas, especially religious ideas, and lives in art and 
science, — this the animal does not possess. We reply 
that animals certainly do not possess this degree of 
mental development, but neither docs man possess it 
in lower phases of evolution. 

The soul of the new-born infant is, in its manifestations, 
in no way different from that of the young animal ; 
these manifestations are the functions of the infantine 
nervous system; with this they grow and are developed 
together with speech. The grade to which this de- 
velopment rises is generally dependent on the preceding 
generations. The psychical capacities of each indi- 
vidual bear the family type, and are determined by 
the laws of heredity. For it is simply untrue that, 
independently of colour and descent, each man, under 
conditions otherwise alike, may attain a like pitch of 
mental development. As a proof of this primary 
equality of mankind, single instances of gifted 
negroes and Indians are held up to us. But these 
have behind them unnumbered generations practised 


in multifarious employments, skilled in human inter- 
course, even if it be one-sided ; and if these rare pheno- 
mena are thoroughly investigated, they still remain 
behind the average individuals of advanced races. Now 
it is certain that in each race, each individual passes 
through grades in the scale of mental development, 
which, in perfect analogy with the laws of anatomical 
development, are universally valid ; whereas, as we 
have seen, the psychological peculiarities of the race be- 
come valid. But it is in mankind as in the individual ; 
in the lapse of time, it has acquired those higher powers 
of mind which we call Reason. 

History shows, and no one denies, a mental advance, 
but only in nations which have taken part in history, 
and only so long as this part and the exercise of the 
mental organs has been continued. But inferior human 
races exist — we may also call them human species — 
which are related to the others, as are lower animals to 
higher. It might even be given as the characteristic of 
the genus man, that its species occupy such extraor- 
dinarily different grades of mental condition. We are 
not misled by the contrary statements of missionaries 
and other philanthropists ; by the talk of human dignity 
and divine resemblance ; nor do we seek for consolation 
in the development still to be expected in all nations 
which have hitherto lagged behind. It is indeed self- 
evident from the theory of descent and selection, that 
many of the races now standing far behind in a mental 
point of view will in future have made a great advance. 
But for others, if we contemplate the ethnology and 
anthropology of savages, not from the standpoint of 
philanthropists and missionaries, but as cool and sober 


naturalist?, destruction in the struggle for existence as 
a consequence of their retardation (itself regulated by 
the universal conditions of development), is the natural 
course of things. 

If we examine the mental condition of mankind, and 
compare it with the psychical capacities of animals, we 
must not take the average Indian or European as our 
standard, but the Australian and Papuan races, which 
in body also have remained at a grade which the other 
more favoured races outgrew in pre-historic times long 
past. Many, it is true, overcome all difficulties, inas- 
much as, assured of an equalizing human dignity as of 
a dogma needing no further foundation, they are ready 
with the assertion that it is impossible to doubt that 
they have retrograded from a higher mental develop- 
ment and sunk into barbarism. But if this possibility 
might be admitted as regards some few races, such as 
the Fuegians ; in others, in the Australians for instance, 
any real evidence of this previous more elevated condi- 
tion is wanting. 

The superior mental prerogatives which are supposed 
to separate man from the animal, hinge more or less on 
the following points. 

Man alone, it is said, is capable of development or 
progress. Specifically, human is all progress regulated 
and effected by human speech, for many animals like- 
wise possess the gift of communication. But if we are 
not to imagine man as having advanced from all eternity, 
the question is, how was this advance initiated, and the 
whole concern is fundamentally reduced to the problem 
of the origin of language. We will return to this subject. 
Progress in general is not however to be denied to the 



animal. Who can question that some canine races, of 
which the descent from stupid jackals and wolves is as 
good as certain, have raised themselves mentally far above 
their ancestry ? Who, that has read the comprehensive 
investigations of H. Miiller, the brother of our Fritz 
Miiller, can doubt that the honey-bee, as it gradually 
attained its bodily advantages and peculiarities, de- 
veloped likewise the higher mental powers, correspond- 
ing with the more minute and complex organism of her 
brain ? Man — such is the thesis we propound, reserving 
the question of language — differs from many animals 
only in the degree and means of progress. It is there- 
fore unscientific to contrast humanity and animality in 
the abstract. 

Man alone, it is further maintained, has a free will. 
In so far as the more highly developed man acts in 
accordance with philosophical, moral and religious 
principles, for which he is indebted to education and 
instruction — in so far as he is able to apprehend ideals, 
and strive after them with his own mental and bodily 
power, this command of will may be readily admitted, 
although we know that this " freedom " is likewise the 
collective result of natural causes. But the more simple 
and uniform the conditions of life, the more do the 
dealings of men lose the semblance and character of 
freedom, and the more does the individual act after the 
will of the tribe — I might say, of the herd — that is to say, 
instinctively. In this case actions are not performed 
even with the astounding premeditation with which 
some few happily organized individual animals of some 
few species turn the circumstances to account with 
apparently complete free will. The free will of the 


morally elevated man, is no common property of all 

Man alone, and all men, are supposed to have a con- 
science. We consider, on the contrary, that conscience, 
which is known to be utterly lost in many individuals 
of even the most civilized nations, is, like moral will, 
a result of education in some few races and tribes. Fear 
of detection after a bad action, is not conscience ; and 
that well-trained dogs have sensations of conscientious 
shame far superior to the animal terror of savage 
cannibals after they have wrought the murder of their 
fellow-men, it is impossible to deny. Of this, evidence 
in profusion is accumulated in the anthropological com- 
pilations of Waitz. 

That a consciousness of the Divine existence is a 
fundamental property of all men, we likewise hold in 
question. It is, again, an established phrase that the most 
barbarous nations are guided by emotions and cravings, 
however obscure, towards the unknown God. This 
assumption is as old as the well-known attempt to prove 
the existence of God, " De qiio omniinn natiLva couseutit^ 
id verum esse necesse est " (That in which all intuitively 
agree, must necessarily be true). How often has this 
saying of Cicero been thoughtlessly repeated .'' This idea 
of God is, however, as little intuitive as the discrimination 
of good and evil by the conscience. Others maintain 
the contrary. Thus Gerland says of the Australians : ^" 
" The statement that Australian civilization indicates a 
higher grade is nowhere more clearly proved than here 
(in the province of religion), where everything resounds 
like the expiring voices of a previous and richer age ; 
but we in no way receive the impression that we are 


dealing with stagnation or incomplete development. 
Thus the idea that the Australians have no trace of 
religion or mythology is thoroughly false. But this 
religion is certainly quite deteriorated, and has degene- 
rated into a wild, disjointed, and often incredibly absurd 
demonology, into a superstitious fear of apparitions." 
, But when a few lines later in the work quoted, we are 
informed that the natives to the west of the Liverpool 
range, ascribe everything in nature which they cannot 
explain to the Devil-Devil, and that this is manifestly 
only a name, derived from the English Devil, for a Deity 
of whom they have not preserved any distinct conception, 
the shallowness of this evidence in favour of the hypo- 
thesis of a previous standpoint, now sunk into oblivion, 
enables us to infer the value of the other instances. We 
have far more reason to believe this low state of mental 
development in harmony with the bodily condition, 
v/hen we hear that the natives of the Gulf of St. Vincent 
and the neighbourhood of Adelaide are extremely hairy, 
and that even the brown-coloured down of the children 
is so abundant and so long, that the skin of boys of 
five or six years of age assumes a furry appearance. 
But, contrary to all experience and history, we are 
required to believe ^* that the inhabitants of the northern 
parts of Australia are the most aboriginal, for "they 
are the most civilized, as well as the best developed, in 
mind and body ; they only are fixed in one dwelling- 
place ; and in any case the supposition is easier and 
more natural that the other natives should have de- 
generated, with their eternal wanderings, than that the 
former, fixed by the more convenient territory, should 
have raised themselves." 


This inverts all that has hitherto been called anthro- 
pology. Moreover, thfere are even very advanced nations 
without any consciousness of God. Schweinfurth relates 
that the Niam-Niam, that highly interesting dwarf people 
of Central Africa, have no word for God, and therefore 
it must be supposed, not the idea ; and Moritz Wagner 
has given a whole selection of reports on the absence 
of religious consciousness in inferior nations. When, in 
spite of all these corroborations, it is always retorted 
afresh that even among the lowest savages some sort of 
feeling of superior powers is manifested, the dispute 
finally results in mere verbal criticism, which has no 
farther interest for the doctrine of Descent. 

And yet we cannot leave this subject without alluding 
to a fact, universally known, but, strange to say, not as 
yet employed in this connection, and which, as it would 
seem, is by itself sufficient to invalidate the assertion 
that the idea of God is immanent in human nature. We 
mean the fact that many millions in the most cultivated 
nations, and among them the most eminent and lucid 
thinkers, have not the consciousness of a personal God ; 
those millions of whom the heroic David Strauss became 
the spokesman when he adopted for his own the motto 
of his favourite, Ulrich von Hutten : I have dared it — 
Jacta est alea ! 

And now as to Language ? All modern philologists 
agree that languages are developed, and that most pro- 
bably all linguistic families pass through three stages. In 
the stage of the radical languages all words are roots, 
and are merely placed side by side. In the second stage, 
that of the agglutinated languages, one root defines the 
other, and the defining root ultimately becomes merely 


a determinative element. Finally, in the inflected 
languages, the determinating element, of which the 
determinating significance has long vanished from the 
national consciousness, unites into a whole with the 
formative element. As we have said, this development, 
in which retrogression takes an extensive share, is uni- 
versally admitted. Opinions differ only as to the origin 
of the linguistic material, which the acuteness of the 
philosophers extracts in the guise of ** roots." A great 
authority, Max Miiller,*^ discerns in the existence of the 
roots evidence of the absolute separation of man from 
the animal. While Locke says that man is distinguished 
from the animal by the power of forming general ideas, 
the philologist ought to say that human language is 
distinguished from the animal capacity of communica- 
tion by the power of forming roots. To trace up all 
words to imitation and exclamatory sounds is inadmis- 
sible, as we most frequently come upon roots of fixed 
form and general meaning which are inexplicable in 
themselves. He deems the existence of these ready- 
made roots, before which linguistic science stands help- 
less, an insurmountable impediment to the apprehension 
of man as a link in the general evolution of organisms. 

This point excepted, this excellent scholar naturally 
admits all those phenomena of heredity, acquisition, 
and degeneration, which are manifested in the laws of 
language, and find their most perfect analogies in our 
doctrine of Descent. If, for instance, we compare Zend 
with Sanscrit, and hear several of its words explained, 
we are at once reminded of the rudimentary organs and 
their significance. A host of anomalies are, like the 
isolated organisms of present times, primaeval and 


peculiarly normal remnants and witnesses of bygone 
linguistic periods. In short, down to the minutest 
details, linguistic research stumbles on accordance and 
analogies with the doctrine of the derivation of 
organisms. And, forsooth, we are to halt before the 
origin of language as before a something incomprehen- 
sible and inscrutable ! 

This is not done, however, by the majority of com- 
parative linguists in the present day. Though Max 
Miiller calls the roots *' phonetical fundamental types 
produced by a power inherent in human nature," though, 
according to him, man in a more perfect state possessed 
the power of giving to the reasonable conceptions of his 
mind a better and more subtle expression, the talented 
Lazarus Geiger ^' terms the hypothesis of a now extinct 
power of forming languages, and the other hypothesis con- 
nected with it, of a primordial state of higher perfection, 
a recourse to the incomprehensible and a return to a 
standpoint of mysticism. For that which is not under- 
stood is not necessarily incomprehensible. It is not our 
business to side with Geiger, who attributes an essential 
share in the ejaculation of words to the visual percep- 
tions, or with Bleek, G. Curtius, Schleicher, Steinthal, and 
many others, who assign to the imitation of sounds the 
first place in the evocation of language. This much is, 
however, certain, that although those who are not critical, 
find Max Muller's standpoint highly convenient, in 
science, it is unique. In this province, interwoven as it 
is with the investigation of nature, the greater number 
of authorities, on linguistic grounds, comparative and 
philosophical, have been forced to the conclusion that, 
from an irrational primordial state, man-like beings 


gradually became human, while with language, the work 
of many years, reason made its appearance. 

As early as 185 1, when the doctrine of Descent was 
still unheard of, Steinthal *^ says : " As language arises, 
mind originates." Ten years after Darwin, Geiger 
writes: "Language created reason; before language, man 
was irrational." To him, and to all who have abandoned 
the standpoint of mysticism, "man is a genus springing 
from an animal condition by means of the origin and 
unfolding of his idiosyncrasy. And this conclusion is not, 
as orthodoxy and reaction are anxious to impress upon 
the multitude, borrowed from Darwinism, but deduced 
from linguistic inquiry in its own way, only by a scientific 
method. It need only be indicated that, as Geiger has 
historically proved in so many instances, "slow develop- 
ment, the emergence of contrast from imperceptible 
deviations, is the cause that the same word acquires 
various meanings ;" that the creation of language there- 
fore rests upon this process, and nowhere makes its ap- 
pearance suddenly and abruptly ; that the so-called laws 
of sound are habits of sound ; that the special meaning 
which a sound has acquired in lapse of time is always the 
result of mere chance, or, in other words, of development. 

This deduction of linguistic inquiry most fully con- 
firms the result of natural inquiry. And any one Vv'ho 
takes the trouble to follow the course of linguistic science 
will be convinced that its champions, except, perhaps, 
Bleek, Schleicher, and Friedrich Miiller, are labouring 
rather to discredit, than to acknowledge, the influence of 
the doctrine of Descent. All the higher is our estimate 
of it, and therewith the most powerful objection to the in- 
clusion of man in the great law of derivation is set aside. 


The rest is Incidental and a matter of detail. The 
question so often ventilated, and now thoroughly worn 
out, whether mankind is descended from one or more 
pairs, is solved by the inference that the stock in which 
language first arose, separated itself gradually from its 
animal progenitors, and that the selection which led to 
language and reason necessarily took place among large 
communities of individuals. The scriptural conception 
of the unity of the human race would be more nearly 
approached if all linguistic families pointed to a single 
source. But if it could be shown that certain linguistic 
families lead to utterly discordant roots, the investiga- 
tion of nature might furnish the inevitable corollary that 
language originated in various parts of the world, — 
in other words, that a separation into species took 
place before selection had reached the point of forming 
language. The latter case is by far the most probable, 
and is, in fact, received as the only one possible by most 
of the linguists occupied with this question, and is most 
especially defended by Friedrich Miiller.^'^ *'At the 
time," he says, " when there were races and no nations, 
man was a speechless animal, as yet, entirely destitute 
of the mental development which rests upon the agency 
of language. Independently of the premisses unfolded 
by natural history, this hypothesis is forced upon us by 
the contemplation of the languages themselves. The 
various families of languages, which linguistic science 
is able to discriminate, not only presuppose, by their 
diversity of form and material, several independent 
origins, but, within one and the same race, they point to 
several mutually independent points of origin." 

In order to afford the reader some notion of the con- 



nectlon of the families of nations, we give the subjoined 
pedigree, in which Friedrich Miiller closely adheres to 
Haeckel's sketch. 

/ -s 


/^ S 









/•g r. 





'7 'S 

/ _ 







6 \ 





|5 \ 







^ Q 


























\bc g 

•- ^y^^^ 




s ^y^ 
























^ 2 

■C bo 



J '^ 

c: (u 













3 > 

-.^ ii 





akes m 


I of species 


races of 





s b 


regarded as no 



X 2 


while the present forms of man are distinguished only 
as races. On this subject, we shall not lavish many 
words, since, examined in the light, it is an affair of words 
only. In the order of Primates, man constitutes a single 
family, and represents it by a single genus. Whether 
Negroes, Caucasians, Papuans, American-Indians, &c., 
be called species or races, matters little. The facility of 
intercrossing the different nations would favour their 
characterization as races ; but as the crossing of species 
does not differ in principle from the crossing of races, 
and as to the bodily varieties displayed in colour, 
hair, skull, limbs, and other characters are added the 
profound differences of language, the division of the 
genus homo into species, diverging into many races, 
seems after all more natural. But ultimately, as in the 
question of species in general, the individual feeling of 
each person proves decisive. Whether it was a lucky 
hit to found the division of mankind on the position 
of the hairs, in tufts or equally distributed upon the 
scalp, and furthermore on the section of the hair, 
whether it be more flat and oval or circular in form, 
and finally on the inclination to curl or to lie stiff and 
smooth, the future must decide. 

The twelve races cited in the table given above, may 
be characterized by the aid of natural history ; and as 
v/ithin the limits of the best known races, languages 
and families of languages m.ay be found, which preclude 
any common origin, it follows that the formation of 
language began only after the still speechless primordial 
man had diverged into races. In geological periods and 
primordial history, all chronology is extremely decep- 
tive : we may, nevertheless, acquiesce in an estimate 


made by Friedrich Miiller as to the development of 
the languages of the Mediterranean races. The lin- 
guistic families of the nations dwelling chiefly in the 
basin of the Mediterranean are Basque, Caucasian, 
Hamito-Semitic and Indo-Germanic languages. "The 
languages of these four families," says Friedrich Miiller, 
"are, as is generally accepted by the most competent 
linguists, not mutually related. If we therefore see 
that the Mediterranean race includes four families of 
people in no way related to one another, the inference 
is obvious that, as each language must be traceable 
to a society, the single race must have gradually fallen 
into four societies, of which each independently created 
its own language. A further inference is, that the 
race, as such, does not acquire a language ; for, were 
this the case, race and language would now be co- 
extensive, which is not the case. 

" We must therefore assume that at the time when 
the various nations of the Mediterranean race were one,. — 
the time when man belonged to no nation, but merely 
to a race, — mankind was destitute of language. Miiller 
considers 3000 years approximately sufficient for the 
period elapsing between the divergence of the race into 
still speechless societies, and the epoch at which they 
formed nations, separated and characterized by lan- 
guages ; a period which might seem to many, estimated 
as far too short. If the ancient civilized people of Egypt 
be now added on, and the period of its conjectured 
migration from Asia computed, "the year 6,500 before 
the commencement of our chronology seems to be the 
earliest epoch at which we may speak of a Hamito- 
Semitic primaeval people in the north of Europe." There- 


fore a Mediterranean race already existed 12,000 years 
ago. But what space of time was requisite to enable 
primitive man to separate into races, is entirely beyond 
computation, and the more so as not the slightest trace 
of him has hitherto been found. 

With the invariable testimony of Geology that the 
periods of the terrestrial strata imperceptibly merged 
into one another, and that, especially from the Ter- 
tiary, through the Diluvial period, to the present age, 
continuity has been only locally interrupted, the ques- 
tion of the "fossil man," formerly looked upon as 
cardinal, has assumed another aspect. In Europe, man 
lived with the mammoth and the rhinoceros with a 
bony nasal partition (Elephas primogenius, Rhinocerus 
tichorhinus). It has been asserted that European man 
existed as early as the upper Tertiary age, but the evi- 
dence is disputable. Such remains as we have of this 
oldest man known to us, display a high grade of develop- 
ment, and certainly belong to the period at which man 
had already found in language the implement where- 
with gradually to free himself from the dross of his 
lowly origin. Whether the primitive man be found or 
not, his origin is certain. 

IfVtrvw ^.^- nuXZk/^ 


' Luthardt, Apologetische Vortriige. 7 Vortrag. P. 129. 

^ Philosophia quaerit, theologia invenit, religio possidet veri- 

^ Tageblatt der Naturforscher-Versammlung in Leipzig, 1872. 
P. 12. The discourse was also printed separately. 

* A. Fick, Physiologic, i860. 

• Any one who wishes to be more deeply instructed in the 
problem of sensation, as an universal primary characteristic of the 
constituent elements of ma.tter, may be referred to the very lucid 
and interesting work, " Das Unbewuste vom Standpunkt der 
Physiologic und Descendenztheorie" (Berhn, 1872). Pubhshed 

^ L. Geiger, Ueber den Ursprung der Sprache. (Stuttgart, 
1869.) P. 207. 

7 RoUet, Ueber Elementartheile und Gewebe und deren Unter- 
scheidung. Rollet, Untersuchungen, etc. 1871. 

s Karl Ernst v. Bar, Ueber Entwickelungsgeschichte der 
Thiere, Beobachtung und Reflexion, 1828. 

» lb. I. 223. 

10 lb. I. 230, &c. 

" Credner, Elemente der Geologic, 1872. P. 253. 

12 Agassiz, Essay on Classification, 1858. " It exhibits every- 
where the working of the same creative Mind, through all times, 
and upon the whole surface of the globe." 

^^ Riitimeyer, Beitrage zur Kenntniss der fossilen Pierde. 
Verhandlung der naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Basel, 1863. 
III. 642. 

1^ The passages are from an occasional address— Oratio de 
ellure habitabili— contained in the Amcenitates academicae. " Initio 


rerum ex omni specie viventium unicum sexus par fuisse creatum, 
suadet ratio." 

^' lb. Non multum a veritate me aberratiim confido, si dixerim, 
omnem continentem terram fuisse in infantia mundi aquis sub- 
mersam et vasto oceano obtectam, praeter unicam in immenso 
hoc pelago insulam, in qua commode habitaverint animalia omnia 
et vegetabilia Isete germinaverint." 

^^ Tot numeramus species, quot ab initio creavit infinitum ens." 

^'^ Geoffroy St. Hilaire wrote to Cuvier : " Venez jouer parmi 
nous le role de Linne, d'un autre legislateur de I'histoire naturelle." 

^^ Ossements fossiles. 

'^ L. Agassiz, An Essay on Classification, 1859. P. 253: — 

" As representatives of Species, individual animals bear the 
closest relations to one another ; they exhibit definite relations also 
to the surrounding element, and their existence is limited within a 
definite period. 

" As representatives of Genera these same individuals have a 
definite and specific ultimate structure, identical with that of the 
representatives of other species," etc. See also P. 261 : — 

" Branches or types are characterized by the plan of their struc- 

" Classes, by the manner in which that plan is executed, as far 
as ways and means are concerned ; 

" Orders, by the degrees of complication of that structure ; 

" Families, by their form, as far as determined by structure ; 

" Genera, by the details of the execution in special parts ; and, 

" Species, by the relations of individuals to one another, and to 
the world in which they live, as well as by the proportions of their 
parts, their ornamentation," etc. 

2° Haeckel, Generelle Morphologic der Organismen (Berlin, 1866). 
II. 323, &c. 

^' L'espece est — "la reunion des individus descendant I'un de 
I'autre et des parents communs, et de ceux qui leur ressemblent 
autant qu'ils se ressemblent entr'eux." Cuvier, Le Regne Animal. 

-^ O. Schmidt, Die Spongien der Kiiste von Algier, 1868, and 
Versuch einer Spongienfauna des atlantischen Gebietes, 1870. 

^^ Haeckel, Die Kalkschwamme, Eine Monographie in Zwei 
Banden, Text und einem Atlas mit 60 Tafeln Abbildungen (Berlin, 


2^ Hilgendorf, Ueber Planorbis multiformis in Steinheimer Siiss- 
wasserkalk. Monatsbericht des Berliner Akademie aus dem Jahre 
1866. P. 474, &c. 

^^ Waagen, Die Formenreihe des Ammonites subradiatus. 
Beneke's Beitrage, 1869. Vol. 2. 

Zittel, Die Fauna der altern Cephalopoden fiihrenden Tithonbil- 
dungen. Palaontologische Mittheilungen, 1870. 

Neumayr, Jurastudien. Jahrbuch der geologischen Reichsanstalt, 

L. Wiirtenberger, Neuer Beitrag zum geologischen Beweise der 
Darwin' schen Theorie, 1873. 

2^ Darwin, The Variation of Plants and Animals under Domesti- 
cation 1868. 

^"^ L. Oken, Die Zeugung, 1805. Lehrbuch der Naturphiloso- 
phie, 1 809-1 1, Pt. 3. 

28 I have borrowed the following account from my essay : " Wae 
Goethe ein Darwinianer ?" (Was Goethe a Darwinist?) Gratz, 
Leuschner and Lubinsky, 1871. 

Also another small work of mine : " Goethe's Verhaltniss zu den 
organischen Naturwissenschaften" (Berlin, 1852). To the pas- 
sages given in the text, which might make Goethe appear as a 
Darwinist, I may add the following from Eckermann's " Gesprache 
mit Goethe" (3 Ed. p. 191). " Thus man has in his skull two 
empty cavities. The question why ? would not go far, whereas 
the question how? teaches me that these cavities are remains 
of the animal skull, which in those inferior organisms exist to 
a greater degree, and are not entirely lost even in man, notwith- 
standing his higher elevation." 

^^ A somewhat depreciative opinion of Goethe's importance in 
this sphere is pronounced by V. Carus in his " Geschichte der 
Zoologie" (Miinchen, 1872). The reader may compare : " How 
little, notwithstanding his repeated study of anatomy, he had 
gained a true insight into the structure of animals, as determined 
by law, is testified by his Introduction to Comparative Anatomy. 
He finds no other means of harmonizing the dry details of descrip- 
tive anatomy, and the morphology which vaguely hovered before 
him, but by indicating the idea of a primitive type for animals, 
which he is, however, unable to define or to render in any way 
palpable by more general indications. His whole idiosyncrasy 


made such a type a necessity to him, not scientifically, but aestheti- 
cally," etc. P. 590. 

^° R. Owen has declared his attitude towards the doctrine of 
descent in the concluding chapter of his "Manual of the Com- 
parative Anatomy of the Vertebrata." It is published sepa- 
rately under the title of "Derivative Hypothesis of Life and 
Species," 1868. 

lb " such cause being the servant of predetermining 

intelligent will." 

22 " No one can enter the saddling-ground at Epsom before the 
start for the Derby, without feeling that the glossy-coated, proudly- 
stepping creatures led out before him are the most perfect and 
beautiful of quadrupeds. As such, I believe the horse to have 
been predestined and prepared for man." lb. P. 11. 

^^ " I deem an innate tendency to deviate from parental type, 
operating through periods of adequate duration, to be the most 
probable nature or way of operation of the secondary law whereby 
species have been derived one from the other." lb. P. 22. 

^•* Lamarck, Philosophie Zoologique (Paris, 1809). In the text 
allusion is made to the following passages : — 

" Ainsi Ton peut assurer que, parmi ses productions, la nature n'a 
rdellement forme ni classes, ni ordres, ni families, ni especes con- 
stantes, mais seulement des individus qui se succedent les uns aux 
autres, et qui ressemblent a ceux qui les ont produits. Or ces 
individus appartiennent a des races infiniment diversifiees, qui 
se nuancent sous toutes les formes et dans tous les degres 
d'organisation, et qui chacune se conservent sans mutation tant 
qu'aucune cause de changement n'agit sur elles." I. 22. 

" La supposition presque generalment admise, que les corps 
vivans constituent des especes constamment distinctes par des 
caracteres invariables, et que I'existence de ces especes est aussi 
ancienne que celle de la nature meme, fut etablie dans un temps 
ou Ton n'avait pas suffisament observe, et ou les sciences naturelles 
dtaient h. peu pres nulles. Elle est tous les jours ddmentie aux 
yeux de ceux qui ont beaucoup vu et qui ont longtemps suivi la 
nature." I. 54. 

" Les especes n'ont rdellement qu'une Constance relative h. la 
duree des circonstances dans lesquelles se sont trouves les indi- 
vidus qui les reprdsentent." I. 55. 


" — les considerations, et nous font voir — 

" I. Que tous les corps organises de notre globe sont de verita- 
bles productions de la nature, qu'elle a successivement executdes 
h. la suite de beaucoup de temps. 

" 2. Que dans sa marche la nature a commencd et recommence 
encore tous les jours, par former les corps organises les plus 
simples, et qu'elle ne forme directement que ceux-la, c'est k dire 
que ses premieres ebauches de I'organisation, qu on a designees 
par I'expression de generations spontanees. 

" 3. Que les premieres ebauches de I'animal et du vegetal etant 
formees dans les lieux et les circonstances convenables, les facultes 
d'une vie commengante et d'un mouvement organique etabli ont 
necessairement developpe peu a peu les orgaiies, et qu'avec le 
temps elles les ont diversifies ainsi que les parties. 

" 4. Que la faculte d'accroissement dans chaque portion du corps 
organise etait inherente aux premiers effets de la vie ; elle a donne 
lieu aux differens modes de la multiplication et de regenerations 
des individus ; et que par la, les progres acquis dans la composi- 
tion de I'organisation et dans la forme et la diversite des parties 
ont ete conserves. 

" 5. Qu'a I'aide d'un temps suffisant, des circonstances qui ont 
dte necessairement favorables, des changemens que tous les points 
de la surface du globe ont successivement subis dans leur etat, en 
un mot, du pouvoir qu'ont les nouvelles situations et les nouvelles 
habitudes pour modifier les organes des corps dou^s de la vie, 
tous ceux qui existent maintenant ont et6 insensiblement formes 
tels que nous les voyons. 

" 6. Enfin, que d'apres un ordre semblable de choses, les corps 
vivants ayant eprouve chacun des changemens plus ou moins 
grands dans I'etat de leur organisation et de leurs parties, ce qu'on 
nomme espece parmi eux a ete insensiblement et successivement 
ainsi forme, n'a qu'une Constance relative dans son etat, et ne peut 
ainsi etre aussi ancien que la nature." I. 65, &c. 

" La progression dans la composition de I'organisation subit, ga 
et la, dans la serie generale des animaux, des anomalies operdes par 
I'influence des circonstances d'habitation et par celle des habitudes 
contractees." I. 135. 

" Dans tout animal qui n'a point ddpassd le terme de ses 
developpemens, I'emploi plus frequent et routind d'un organe 


quelconque fortifie peu h. peu cet organe, le developpe, I'agrandit, 
et lui donne une puissance proportionn^e k la duree de cet emploi ; 
tandis quel e defaut constant d'usage de tel organe I'affaiblit 
insensiblement, le d^tdriore, diminue progressivement ses facultes, 
et finit par le faire disparaitre. 

" Tout ce que la nature a fait acquerir ou perdre aux individus 
par I'influence des circonstances ou leur race se trouve depuis 
longtemps exposde, et par consequent, par I'influence de I'emploi 
pr(!dominant de tel organe ou par celle d'un defaut constant 
d'usage de telle partie, elle le conserve par generation aux nou- 
veaux individus qui en proviennent." I. 235. 

" La volonte dependant toujours d'un jugement quelconque 
n'est jamais vdritablement libre ; car le jugement qui y donne 
lieu est, comme le quotient d'une opdration arithmdtique, un 
rdsultat necessaire de I'ensemble des elements qui I'ont formd." 

" Les animaux contractent, pour satisfaire k cesbesoins, di verses 
sortes d'habitudes, qui se transforment en eux en autant de 
penchans, auxquels ils ne peuvent rcsister et qu'ils ne peuvent 
changer eux memes. De Ik I'origine de leurs actions habituelles 
et de leurs inclinations particulieres, auxquelles on a donnd le nom 
d'instinct. Ce penchant des animaux a la conservation des habi- 
tudes et au renouvellement des actions qui en proviennent, dtant 
une fois acquis, se propage ensuite dans les individus, par la voie 
de la reproduction ou de la generation, qui conserve I'organisation 
et la disposition des parties dans leur dtat obtenu, en sorte que ce 
meme penchant existe deja dans les nouveaux individus, avant 
meme qu'ils I'aient exerce." I. 325. 

35 The acute author of the book, " Das Unbewusste" defines 
instinct in essentially the same manner as Lamarck. " In this 
sense it may be said that every instinct is in the last instance by 
its origin an acquired habit, and the proverb that ' habit is 
second nature ' thus receives the unexpected supplement that habit 
is also the beginning and origin of the first nature, i.e., of instinct. 
For it is always habit, z'.e., the frequent repetition of the same 
function, which so firmly impresses the mode of action, however 
acquired, upon the central organs of the nervous system that the 
predisposition thus originated becomes transmissible." p. 182. 

36 The highly important doctrine which Lyell has substantiated 


with his rich experience is also distinctly and concisely enunciated 
by Lamarck in the Philosophic Zoologique : — 

" Si I'on considere, d'une part, que dans tout ce que la nature opcre 
elle ne fait rien brusquement, et que partout elle agit avec lenteur 
et par d^gres successifs, et de I'autre part que les causes particu- 
lieres ou locales des desordres, des bouleversemens, des deplace- 
mens, etc., peuvent rendre raison de tout ce que Ton observe a la 
surface de notre globe, et sont n^anmoins assujetties a ses lois et 
a sa marche gdnerale, on reconnaitra qu'il n'est nullement necessaire 
de supposer qu'une catastrophe universelle est venue culbuter et 
detruire une grande partie des operations memes de lanature." 1. 80. 

^^ Principles of Geology. 

2^ In 1870, as well as in 1872, the majority in the French 
Academy bore this testimony to Darwin. The reiterated proposal 
of electing him a member was certainly not rejected until such 
men as Milne-Edwards and Quatrefages had made the stand- 
point clear to the scientific judges. 

S9 Origin of Species. Fifth Ed. 1872. 

The other works cited are, " The Variation of Animals and 
Plants under Domestication," 1868; "The Descent of Man and 
Sexual Selection," 2nd ed., 1871; "Expression of the Emotions in 
Man and Animals," 1872. 

^° Malthus (1798) investigated the conditions of the increase and 
decrease of human population. He finds that the rise in popula- 
tion is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence, and that 
the growth increases in proportion to the means of subsistence, 
setting aside some special impediments easily discovered. These 
impediments, which always keep the population below the amount 
warranted by the means of subsistence, are moral restraint, crime, 
and misfortune. Malthus depicts the struggle for existence without 
pronouncing the word ; he demonstrates that the dreams of a 
future blissful equality of all mankind on the earth transformed 
into a vast garden, are based upon delusions. Each individual 
must much rather labour indefatigably to ameliorate his position. 
By the experience of breeders and gardeners he knows that 
animals and plants may be improved and ennobled. No organic 
ennoblement of the human race as a whole is perceptible, nor can 
the human race be ennobled save by condemning the less perfect 
individuals to celibacy. 


These, and similar thoughts in the work of MaUhus, first sug- 
gested Darwin's theory, as he has informed us. 

'*^ Variation of Animals and Plants. I. loo. 

^^ Two treatises by A. Kerner are also very instructive with 
regard to the question of species : " Gute and Schlechte Arten." 
(Innsbruck, 1866.) And " Die Abhangigkeit der Pflanzenwelt von 
Klima und Boden. Kin Beitrag zur Lehre von der Enstehung und 
Verbreitung der Arten, gestiitzt auf die Verwandtschaftsverhiiltnisse, 
geographische Verbreitung und Geschichte der Cytisusarten aus 
dem Stamme Tubocytisus D.C." 1869. Kerner's latest work, " Die 
Schutzmittel des Pollens" (Innsbruck, 1873) is likewise an admirable 
investigation of the variability, adaptation, and formation of species. 

*3 Origin of Species. 13th ed. p. 84. 

'*'* Origin of Species. 13th ed. p. 96. 

^^ Origin of Species. 

^* P. 7. The following pages contain an epitome of the objec- 
tions offered to the inadequacy of the theory of selection. 

"*" Moritz Wagner, Die Darwin'sche Theorie und das Migrations- 
gesetz der Organismen, 1848. 

''* Nageli, Enstehung und Begriff der naturhistorischen Art. 
(Sitzungsberichte der bairischen Akademie der Wissenschaften), 
1865. Nageli's later investigations (Sitzungsberichte der mathe- 
matisch-physikalischen Klasse der Miinchner Akademie, 1872, 
p. 305) confirm the doctrine of descent. He shows that the grega- 
riousness of merely allied species and their varieties proves more 
favourable to the formation of species than isolation. " The asso- 
ciated forms — of certain Alpine plants — have, as it were, recipro- 
cally modified one another ; they exhibit, to express myself thus, 
a specific social type, which is different in each assemblage, and 
therefore iii every neighbourhood. This fact incontrovertibly 
shows that the forms have altered since they were associated. 

" The specific social type consists in their showing a notable 
accordance in certain characteristics, while in others they repre- 
sent extremes, and in these sometimes exceed all their congeners 
in other districts. 

" From these facts it follows undoubtedly that the movem.ent in 
the cenobitic forms {i.e. living together) is divergent. For extreme 
characteristics are developed in them, whereas the eremitical 
forms exhibit a medium in their characteristics. 


" Nageli proves that since the glacial period an alteration 
has taken place in Alpine plants, and the manner in which it 

^^J. Broca, UOrdre des Primates. Parall^le anatomique de 
I'homme and des singes, 1870. 

^* Descent of Man, p. 367. 

^' At the time at which we write, we have before us, unfortunately, 
only the incomplete reports of the daily papers, and the syllabus 
of Professor Max Mailer's "Three Lectures on Mr. Darwin's 
Philosophy of Language." 

^^ Zollner, " Ueber die Natur der Kometen" (i ed. p. 305). 

5'* For the further instruction of the reader, we will allow another 
Philosopher and Naturalist to speak respecting the primordial com- 
mencement of life, to our apprehension so simply accountable. 
The hypothesis of origin is under discussion. In the critical 
examination of the " Philosophie des Unbewussten" (7) it runs 
thus, p. 22. The " Philosophie des Unbewussten" says, p. 558 : 
" It is probable that before the origin of the first organisms, 
organic combinations existed which (p. 556) were under the influ- 
ence of a damp atmosphere, abounding in carbonic acid, and of a 
higher temperature, light, and stronger electric influences. If these 
presuppositions are adopted, and the consideration added that if 
conditions thus favourable to primordial generation once existed, 
which they must have done — they probably endured during con- 
siderable geological periods — the inference is in truth inevitable 
that in lapse of time and with change of circumstances, these 
organic substances aggregated into innumerable combinations. 
Among these innumerable modes of arrangement, groupings and 
combinations, by far the greater portion must remain at the grade 
of form, because it has not attained the needful chemical 
composition and physical properties ; a very much smaller portion 
of the results produced by these combinations of organic materials 
might perhaps transitorily approach the organic form or even actu- 
ally assume it, yet without possessing the constitution necessary to 
maintain it permanently ; a third and yet smaller portion might 
perhaps maintain this form for itself in the exchange of material, 
about as long as the approximate duration of life of one of the 
most primitive of the present Protists, yet lacked those properties 
which preserve the species by division and reproduction after the 


natural extinction of the individual ; a fourth portion might 
possess the properties requisite for self-preservation as well as for 
the preservation of the genus, yet lacked that peculiar tendency 
to vary (Philosophic des Unbewussten, p. 591), or at least that ten^ 
dency to vary in the particular direction which was alone capable 
of leading to development into higher forms ; and finally a fifth 
portion possessed this property in addition to the others. It is the 
progeny of the fourth and fifth classes of our division which still 
populates the ocean and the earth.* From which species of 
JMonera proceeded the advanced development of the Infusoria ; 
whether from one still living or from an extinct species we do not 
know as yet ; but this much we may accept as certain, that the 
majority of the Protists that we still know, belong to that fourth 
class which is incapable of development. The persistence of the 
ephemeral creations of our second and third classes would natu- 
rally be secured only so long as circumstances continued favour- 
able to their renewed primordial generation, but from the teleo- 
logical standpoint the first class must be described as that of the 
completely abortive attempts at creation." 

These, and similar more or less interesting fancies to which we 
attribute no great importance, are all derived from Haeckel's 
hypothesis of Autogony (" Generelle Morphologic der Organis- 
men," 179 seq.), which he set up after his beautiful discoveries on 
the simplest organisms now existing — the Moncra and the Protists. 
From this work we select the following passage : — " Doubtless we 
must imagine the act of autogony, the first spontaneous origin of 
the simplest organisms, to be quite similar to the act of crystal- 
lization. In a fluid, holding in solution the chemical elements 
composing the organism, in consequence of certain movements of 
the various elements among themselves, certain points of attraction 
are formed, at which the atoms of the organogenetic elements 
(carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen) enter into such close contact 
with one another that they unite in the formation of a complex 
ternary or quaternary molecule. This primary group of atoms — 
perhaps a molecule of albumen — now acts like the analogous crystal- 

* It is a simpler and more probable explanation that these low organisms 
continue to exist because there is room for them. They remain in spite of 
differentiation and in consequence of differentiation. 


line molecule, attracting the homogeneous atoms dissolved in the 
mother wather ; and they now likewise coalesce in the formation of 
similar molecules. The albuminous granule thus grows and trans- 
forms itself into a homogeneous organic individual, a structureless 
moner or mass of plasma, like a Protam^eba, &c. Owing to the 
easy divisibility of its substance, this moner constantly tends to- 
wards the dissolution of its recently consolidated individuality, but 
when the constantly preponderating absorption of new substance 
outweighs the tendency to disintegration, it is able to preserve life 
by the exchange of material. The homogeneous organic individual, 
or moner, grows by means of imbibition (nutrition) only until the 
attractive power of the centre no longer suffices to hold the whole 
mass together. In consequence of the preponderating divergent 
movements of the molecules in diff"erent directions, two or more 
centres of attraction are now formed in the homogeneous plasma, 
which henceforth act attractively on the individual substance of the 
simple mould, and thereby induce its fission, or partition, into two 
or more portions (reproduction). Each part forthwith rounds itself 
again into an albuminous individual, or mass of plasma, and the 
eternal process begins again, of attraction and disruption of the 
molecules, producing the phenomena of exchange of substance, or 
nutrition, and reproduction." 

Relying on the known peculiarities of the combinations of 
carbon, Haeckel has attributed to this substance the most im- 
portant part in his representation of the first development of life 
and the physiological phenomena of the lowest organisms. This 
is the " carbon theory " so strongly deprecated by his antagonists. 
Minds would be less heated on the subject were it remembered 
that a refutation of this " adventurous attempt," as Haeckel terms 
it, to assist the idea of genesis, would not change a hair in the 
compulsory logical necessity of acknowledging the evocation of 
life by natural means. The arguments against the carbon theory 
have been developed, among others, by Preyer, " Ueber die Erfor- 
schung des Lebens (Jena, 1873). It is shown that carbon, in its 
present terrestrial conditions, points almost exclusively to organic 
origin, and, as yet, no source of carbon has been demonstrated 
adequate for the first formation of living bodies on the earth. 

"A. R. Wallace, The Malay Archipelago (3rd ed. : London, 



1872), and Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection (2nd 
ed.: 1871). 

5^ " The hypothesis of Pangenesis, as applied to the several great 
classes of facts just discussed, no doubt is extremely complex, but 
so assuredly are the facts. The assumptions, however, on which 
the hypothesis rests cannot be considered as complex in any 
extreme degree ; namely, that all organic units, besides having the 
power, as is generally admitted, of growing by self-division, throw 
off free and minute atoms of their contents, that is, gemmules. 
These multiply, and aggregate themselves into buds and the sexual 
elements ; their development depends on their union with other 
nascent cells, or units, and they are capable of transmission in a 
dormant state to successive generations. 

" In a highly organised and complex animal, the gemmules thrown 
off from each different cell, or unit, throughout the body must be 
inconceivably numerous and minute. Each unit of each part, as it 
changes during development — and we know that some insects 
undergo, at least, twenty metamorphoses — must throw off its 
gemmules. All organic beings, moreover, include many dormant 
gemmules derived from their grand-parents and more remote pro- 
genitors. These almost infinitely numerous and minute gemmules 
must be included in each bud, ovule, spermaozoon, and pollen grain. 
Such an admission will be declared impossible, but, as previously 
remarked, number and size are only relative difficulties, and the 
eggs or seeds produced by certain animals or plants are so 
numerous that they cannot be grasped by the intellect." Darwin, 
Variations of Animals and Plants, II. 526. 

^7 A. Rollet, Ueber die Erscheinungsformen des Lebens und den 
beharrlichen Zeugen ihres Zusammenhanges. Almanach der kais. 
Akademie der Wissenschaften (Wien, 1872). 

5** Darwin, Variations of Animals and Plants, I. 200. 

59 V. Graber, Ueber den Tonapparat der Locustiden, ein Beitrag 
zum Darwinismus. Zeitschrift fur wissenschaftliche Zoologie. 

Vol. 22. 

^" Hermann v. Nathusius, Vorstudien fiir Geschichte und Zucht 
der Hausthiere zunachst am Schweineschadel, 1864. 

" lb., p. 108. 

«- Descent of Man, I. 412. 



^^ Origin of Species. 13th ed., p. 171, 

^^ Lamarck also constructed a pedigree at the end of his "Philo- 
sophic Zoologique," in which he disposes of the greater number 
of classes, while he attributes to the remainder another point of 
derivation. He thus assumes in the animal kingdom two primordial 
forms derived from primordial generation. His scheme is as 
follows : — 


Servant a montrer I'origine des differents animaux. 











Mammales amphibiens. 

Mammales onguicules. 

■■••... M. cetacdes. 

"■•• M. ongulds. 

A comparison of this pedigree with the one which we now set up 
is extremely interesting, and shows the progress of our knowledge. 

Y 2 


^^Zum Streit liber den Darwinismus, " Augsburger Allgemeine 
Zeitung," 1873, No. 130. 

^^A short preliminary communication in the " Revue Scienti- 
fique" (Paris, 1873). No. 37. 

^"^Braun, Ueber die Bedeutung der Entwickelung in der 
Naturgeschichte (Berhn, 1872). 

" The vegetal kingdom shows us — 

" I. Plants, which in their vegetative development of the germ, 
exhibit a sexual generation, mostly in a thallus-like form. (Thallo- 
gens, Bryophytes, the Thallophytes of the authors, and Charas and 

"II. Plants in which the first generation is transitory, and only 
the second develops into the vegetative, leaf-forming stem, with- 
out, however, advancing to the stage of phenogams. (Acrogens 
Cormophytes, the ferns, &c.) 

" III. Plants in which metamorphosis advances as far as the 
formation of a blossom, yet without reaching the final formation, 
that of the formation of the carpel. (Phenogams without real 
fruit, gymnospermic Anthophytes.) 

" IV. Plants which reach the final and highest conclusion of 
vegetable development, that of true fructification. (Angiospermic 
Anthophytes ; Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons as secondary 

^^ As we have discussed in this chapter individual development 
with reference to historical development, we must also notice the 
strange opposition to the doctrine of descent offered by Kolliker. 
He has laid down his views in his " Monographic der Penna- 
tuliden," and, in a separate pamphlet, bearing the title of " Mor- 
phologic und Entwickelungsgeschichte des Pennatuhdenstammes, 
nebst allgemeine Betrachtungen zur Descendenzlehre " (Frank- 
furt, 1872). Whereas Darwinism derives the continuity and 
harmony of the organic world from variability, natural selection, 
heredity, and adaptation — in short, from palpable, visibly efficacious 
causes — Kolliker is of opinion " that the same general formative 
laws which govern inorganic nature hold good also in the organic 
kingdom, and hence a common pedigree and a slow transformation 
of one form into another are entirely unnecessary for the explana- 
tion and comprehension of the accordance of the forms and series 


of forms of the animate world" (p. 3). Except decided dualists, no 
one disputes the first part of Kolliker's thesis. But the identifica- 
tion of the development of the organic individual, excluding the 
law of heredity, with the simple process of crystallization, or any 
other operation of chemical combination repeating itself under 
given conditions, scarcely needs a detailed refutation. Kolliker 
says, and tries to prove, that the so-called monophyletic hypo- 
thesis, according to which the different families of organisms are 
derived from a single primordial form, has to struggle with insur- 
mountable difficulties; that the hypothesis of descent from many 
families (polyphyletic) possesses more probability. If this be 
admitted, then — and here comes a bold leap of the imagination — 
the adherent of the polyphyletic hypothesis finds himself in a 
position to attribute different pedigrees and primordial forms not 
only to the higher divisions, but even to their genera, and to assume 
their independent origin. Nay, it even seems credible that the 
self-same species may appear in different pedigrees ; as by the 
incontrovertible supposition of general laws of formation, it cannot 
be seen why like primary shapes should not, under certain circum- 
stances, be able to lead to hke final forms (see p. 21). Nay, this 
hypothesis does more, for " even if individuals of the same species 
occupy remote localities, as, for instance, Pennatula phosphorea, 
Funiculina quadrangularis, Renilla reniformis, &c., it is surely more 
fitting to assume their independent origin." Kolliker's polyphyletic 
hypothesis put an end to all difficulties, and, among others, it ex- 
plains the so-called "representative forms" to be mentioned in our 
tenth chapter ; for, from " this standpoint, it is credible that these 
forms are not genetically connected, but belong to different pedi- 
grees" (p. 23). And all this, and much more, is supposed to be 
conceivable, because the world of organisms, in its consecutive 
development, follows intrinsic causes or definite laws of formation, 
" laws which, in a perfectly definite manner, urge on the organisms 
to constantly higher development." At the same time, Kolliker 
deliberates (p. 38) whether, just as here germs and buds, so also 
free existing youthful forms of animals did not possess the power 
of striking out a development different from the typical one, which 
freedom must be severely mulcted by the law of development, 
which can and must create individuals of the same species at the 


opposite poles. Kolliker (p. 44) thus sums up his fundamental 
view — " that in and with the first origin of organic matter and of 
organisms, the whole plan of development, the collective series of 
possibilities, were also potentially given, but that various external 
impulses operated determinatively on individual developments, and 
impressed a definite stamp upon them," Notwithstanding the 
scientific dress, dualism is here complete ; whereas, Physics and 
Chemistry make their laws, applying to inorganic as well as to 
organic nature, comprehensible in their form, purport, and effects, 
Kolliker knows nothing of the constitution of his laws. The 
doctrine of natural selection allows us to recognize the causes and 
effects of heredity and adaptation, and establishes the phenomenal 
series under the form of laws. But laws which are founded only 
on a plan which is to be carried out prospectively and in subser- 
vience to this dower of imperfect organisms, are ignored by natural 

^^ Ueber die Herkunft unserer Thierwelt. Einezoo-geographische 
Skizze von L. Riitimeyer (Basel, 1867). We have made copious 
use in our text of this extremely instructive writing. 
?» A. R. Wallace, Malay Archipelago. P. 10, &c. 
7^ G. Koch, Die indo-australische Lepidopteren-Fauna in ihren 
Zusamnenhang mit den drei Hauptfaunen der Erde. (i Ed. Ber- 
lin, 1873.) 

72 Peschl, Neue Probleme der vergleichende Erdkunde, 1870. 
7^ All the more distinct is the affinity of the Mastodon and the 
Elephant. Between the pliocene Mastodon Borsoni and the Elephas 
primigenius, twenty species are interposed, among which are our 
still living species, the Indian and African elephants. The limits of 
the two genera are hereby entirely obliterated. According to 
other statements, the Elephas primigenius (the mammoth) falls 
into at least four geographical varieties, which join on to the 
American species. A dwarf species. of elephant is found in the 
caves of Malta, which in dentition attaches itself to the African 

7^ Joh. Schmidt, The Relationships of the Indo-Germanic Lan- 
guages. 1872. 

75 Various antagonists of the doctrine of descent have vented 
their moral dismay in the most poignant expressions, precluding 


any scientific discussion, on finding that the pedigree of the Verte- 
brata, and therewith of man, is actually traced beyond the verte- 
brated animals to so low a being as the Ascidians. It is otherwise 
with the critics of Kowalewsky's and Kupffer's observations, who 
acknowledge the facts, but think themselves obliged to differ in 
their interpretation. One of these is A. Giard, in his work on 
the " Embryogenie des Ascidiens." (Archive de Zoologie experi- 
mentale, Paris, 1872.) The pupil of Lacaze Duthiers says : — "La 
chorde et I'appendice caudale sont chez la larve Ascidienne des 
organes de locomotion d'un importance assez secondaire malgr^ 
leur g€Tv€x2X\X.€, pour qii^07i les voie disparaitre presqiie enticrement 
dans le genre Molguia, ou ils sont devenus inutiles par suite des 
mceurs de I'animal adulte ; I'homologie entre cette chorde dorsale 
et celle des vertebres n'est done qu'une honiologie d^adaptatio7t 
determinee a remplir I'iodentite des fonctions, et n'indique pas de 
rapports de parente immediate entre les vertebres et les Ascidiens." 
The author thus denies the consanguinity of the vertebrate animals 
and Ascidians, and traces back to adaptation the resemblance 
approaching identity occurring in the organs of the two. The 
inferences in these few sentences appear to us utterly at fault. 
The circumstance that in Molguia, and many other Testacea, de- 
velopment takes a narrower course, makes as little alteration in the 
importance of the facts as, for instance, the Nauplius development 
of the Peneus observed by Fritz Miilier, or the Navicula of the 
Molluscs, is prejudiced by the fact that the other Decapods have 
forfeited the Nauplius phase, or the Landsnails the navicula phase. 
But it is simply incomprehensible in what the identity of functions 
is to consist which in the Vertebrata was capable of producing 
the notochord, with, it is particularly to be remarked, the spinal 
cord (which M. Giard entirely forgets) ; and, in the other case, 
the " homologie d'adaptation." We, on the contrary, see these 
organs performing different functions, because in the one they 
remain of fundamental importance through life, and not in the 
other. Thus we conversely lay the stress on the morphological 
identity accompanying functional difference. M. Giard adduces 
no facts. 

7*^ T. H. Huxley, Manual of the Anatomy of the Vcrtebrated 
Animals. German Ed. 


"7 March, American Journal of Sciences and Arts, February, 


'^ Eckermnn, Gesprache mit Goethe. II. 152. 

^^ Rousseau, Emile (GEuvres, Paris, 1820, IX. 17). " Nous n'avons 
point la mesure de cette machine immense ; nous n'en pouvons 
calculer les rapports ; nous n'en connaissons ni les premieres lois, 
ni la cause finale ; nous nous ignorons nous-memes ; nous ne con- 
naissons ni notre nature, ni notre principe actif." 

^^ Metamorphose der Thiere. 

81 R. Valdck in the " Presse," 1865, No. 327. 

8^ Huxley, Man's Place in Nature, 1863. Manual of the Anatomy 
of the Vertebrated Animals. 

^3 Broca, L'Ordre des Primates. Parallcle anatomique des 
I'Homme et des Singes. (Paris, 1870.) 

^' Waitz, Anthropologie der Naturvolker, 6 thl., p. 796. Bear- 
beitet von Gerland. 

^' Do. p. 708. 

8fi " Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung," 1873, Nos. 92-94. Beilage, 

^^ I heard the lectures delivered at Strasburg by this scholar, 
'* Ueber die Resultate der Sprachswissenschaft," with great interest 
and advantage. 

^^ L. Geiger, Der Ursprung der Sprache, 1869, p. 37. 

*" Steinthal, Der Ursprung der Sprache, 1851. 

^^ Fr. M tiller, Allgemeine Ethnographie. Wen., 1873. 

I N D E X. 

Agassiz, L. ii, 80, 86, 223. 
Alca impsnnis, 186. 
Amblystoma, 210. 
Ammonites, 71, 74, 97. 
Amniotes, 250. 
Amphibians, 209, 258, 264. 
Amphioxus. See Lancelet. 
Anchitherium, 242, 273. 
Ancyloceras, 216. 
Anguis, 185. 
Annelids, 32, 198. 
Annulosa, 260. 
Anoplotheridas, 274, 
Anteater, 246. 
Antelopes, 273, 277. 
Apes, 280, 288. 
Arachnida, 33. 
Archaeopteryx, 72, 265. 
Archaeosauros, 83. 
Archegosauros, 258. 
Armadillos, 228, 246. 
Articulata, 32, 53, 72, 201, 219. 
Ascarides, 206. 
Ascidians, 36, 219, 252. 
Axolotl, 209. 

Baer, C. E, von, 48, 191, 197, 201, 

219, 293. 
Balenidas, 280, 
Barraude, ir. 

Bathybius, 26, 

Batrachians, 72, 258, 264. 

Bats, 228, 246 269. 

Bavey, 212. 

Bears, 243. 

Beaumont, Elie de, 130. 

Beavers, 247. 

Bees 28, 47. 

Beetles, 185. 

Bflemnites, 74. 

Bf neden, Van, 209. 

Birds, 227 232, 250, 265. 

Bison, 277. 

Elastoids, jj, 

Bleek, 304. 

Bos, 277. 

BoLirguignat, 224. 

Brachiopoda, 70. 

Braun, 193, 220. 

Brehm, 182, 267. 

Broca, Prof. 160, 187. 

Briicke, 25. 

Bruta, 237, 271. 

Bubalos, 277. 

Buffaloes, 244, 247. 

Buffon, 5. 

Butterflies, 227. 

Cachelots, 280. 
Camels, 223. 



Camper, P. loi, 119. 

Campsognathus, 264. 

Canidas, 278. 

Carnivora, 241, 273, 278. 

Carpenter, Dr. 64, 93. 

Cassowaries, 237. 

Cassidulidas, 77. 

Cats, 100, 170, 234. 

Cecidomyia, 47. 

Cephalopoda, 70, 154, 201. 

Ceratoda, 258. 

Cercaria, 46. 

Ceroxylus laceratus, 181. 

Cestoda, 205. 

Cetacea, 238, 273, 279. 

Chalina, 154, 

Chalinula, 154. 

Cheiroptera, 280. 

Chelonia, 263. 

Chimpanzee, 288. 

Chirotes, 185. 

Cidaridas, 77. 

Cirripedes, 207. 

Civets, 234. 

Cladonema Radiatum, 42, 202. 

Clymenia, 71. 

CIypeastr.:e, 80. 

CoccoHths, 26. 

Cockleshell, 199. 

Coecilia, 259. 

Coelenterata, 31, 218. 

Coenopithicus, 245. 

Coleoptera, 184. 

Comatula, 80, 197. 

Conchifera, 71. 

Copepoda, 207. 

Corals, 42. 

Crabs, 150, 153, 207, 210, 238. 

Credner, 64. 

Crinoid, 56, 76. 

Crocodiles, 75, 260, 262. 

Crossopterygii, 258. 

Ctenomys, 184. 

Curtius, G. 304. 

Cuscus, 234. 
Cuttlefish, ir. 
Cuvier, 30, 85. 
Cyclostomi, 256. . 
Cytisus, 146, 

Darwin, 131, 184, 248. 
Deciduata, 272. 
Deer, 234, 246, 275. 
Delphinoidoe, 279. 
Dentalium Teredo, 200. 
Desor, 76. 
Dicynodonta, 260. 
Didelphidoe, 245. 
Dinosauria, 261. 
Dinotherium, 295. 
Dipnoi, 37, 256, 258. 
Distoma, 46, 206. 
Dodo, 186. 
Dogs, 99, 138. 
Dubois-Reymond, 15, 20. 
Duck-mole, 237. 
Dujardin, 42. 
Dumeril, A. 209. 

Earl, G. Windsor, 230. 

Echidna, 270. 

EchincE, 76, 80. 

Echinoconidae, 'jj. 

Echinodermata, 31, 'j6. 

Edentata, 79, 237, 246, 269, 271. 

Elasmobranchii, 256. 

Elephants, 80, 231, 242, 247, 269, 310. 

Enaliosaurians, 74, 238, 260. 

Endocyclica, 77. 

Eozoon, 68. 

Ephippigera vitium, 172. 

Eucladiajohnsoni, 76. 

Feather stars, 76. 
Pick, A. 18. 
Fisk, 260, 264, 



Foraminifera, 93. 
Forster, G. loi. 
Fowls, 135. 
Frogs, 258. 
Flirbringer, 185. 

Ganoids, 71, 256. 
Gargol, 44, 
Gasteropoda, 70. 
Gastrula, 51, 218, 257. 
Gegenbauer, 74, 256. 
Gerland, 300. 
Gibbon, 289. 
Giraffes, 277. 
Goats, 277. 
Goetlie, 100. 
Gorilla, 288. 
Graber, Von, 171. 
Graminivora, 240, 
Graptolites, 69. 
Gratiolet, 291. 
Guinea-pig, 100. 

Haeckel, 40, 89, 178, 198, 218, 250. 
Heer, 238. 

Helladotherium, 277, 
Helliconidce, 179. 
Herder, 4. 
Hilgendorf, 96. 
Hipparion, 273. 
Hippopotamus, 242, 275. 
Holothuria, 78, 197, 217. 
Honeysuckers, 233. 
Horses, 81, 170, 225, 242, 273, 295. 
Humboldt, W. von, 4, 222. 
Huxley, 257, 264, 289, 307. 
Hydractinea carnea, 203. 
Hydra tuba, 178. 
Hydrophilus piceus, 53. 
Hyasnas, 243, 278. 
Hylodon Martinicensis, 212. 
Hypsilophodas, 265. 
Hyrax, 269, 277. 

Ichthyornis dispar, 267. 
Ichthyosauria, 74, 260. 
Inflata, 216. 
Infusoria, 269, 280. 
Insecta, 32. 
Insectivora, 269, 280. 

Kangaroos, 233. 
Kerner, 146. 
Korte, Dr. 117. 
Kowalewsky, 199, 219, 251. 

Labyrinthodonta, 72. 
Lacertilia, 262. 
Lama, 223, 245. 
Lamarck, 85, 124, 148. 
Lamellibranchiata, 199. 
Lancelet, 36, 150, 219, 251. 
Laplace, 15. 
Leibnitz, 2. 
Lemurs, 269, 280. 
Lepidosirens, 37, 238, 258. 
Leptalidas, 180. 
Leptotherium, 245. 
Linnaeus, 5, 84. 
Lions, 223. 
Lizards, 185, 261. 
Locke, 303. 
Lories, 233. 
Luca, 289. 
Luthardt, 12, 
Lyell, Sir C. 128. 

Machairodus, 242. 

Macrauchenidas, 273. 

Madrepores, 42. 

Mammals, 73, 240, 250, 264, 269, 277. 

Mammoths, 79, 244, 247. 

Man, Tii, 201, 269, 288. 

Mantidae, 181. 

Marsh, 267. 

Marsipobranchii, 256. 

Marsupial frog, 214. 

Marsupials, 73, 75, 228, 238, 250, 269. 


Martens, 241, 247. 

Mastodon, 81. 

Maupertuis, 4. 

Maury, 227. 

Mayer, Ernst, 118. 

Medusae, 31, 202, 210, 218. 

Megalonyx Jeffersoni, 246. 

MoUusca, 33, 199. 

Monera, 27. 

Monkeys, 79, 234, 269. — 6"^^ Apes. 

Monotremata, 269. 

Muller, Friedrich, 305. 

Mliller, H. 299. 

Muller, Johannes, 279. 

Muller, Max, 161, 208, 238, 303. 

Musk animals, 242. 

Mylodon Harlemi, 246. 

Myriapoda, 32. 

Myxine, 258. 

Nageli, 160, 193, 
Nathusius, H. von, 175, 178. 
Naumayr, 97. 
Nauplius, 207, 2 ID. 
Navicula, 199, 
Nematoids, 206. 

Oken, 105. 

Ophiura, 198. 

Opossums, 233, 245. 

Orang, 288. 

Orniscelidae, 260. 

Ornithorhyncus, 37, 237, 270. 

Orthoptera, 171. 

Ostrich, 237. 

Ouistitis, 291. 

Ovibos, 277. 

Owen, R. 121, 193, 390. 

Oxen, 247, 275. 

Oysters, 201. 

Pachyderms, 79, 240, 242. 
Palaeochoeridce, 244. 

Palceoniscus, 71. 

Pateotheridce, 273. 

Paludina, 200. 

Pander, 219. 

Pavians, 289. 

Peneus, 208. 

Petromyzon, 256. 

Phasmidoe, 181. 

Physeteridas, 280. 

Pigs, 175, 178, 242, 244, 275. 

Pigeons, 133, 170, 177. 

Pinnipedce, 278. 

Placoids, 71. 

Planorbis multiformis, 96. 

Platelmintha Suctoria, 205, 

Platypus, 233. 

Plesiosaurians, 74, 260. 

Pleuronectid2c, 181. 

Polecats, 241. 

Polistes Gallica, 47. 

Polypes. 28, 30, 174, 203, 218. 

Polypterus, 258. 

Primates, 308. 

Proboscidae, 273. 

Protamceba, 26, 40. 

Proterosaurus, 73. 

Proteus, 259. 

Protopterus, 238, 258. 

Pseudopus, 185. 

Pterodactyls, 75, 250, 263, 266. 

Pterotrachia, 199. 

Pulmo-gasteropoda, 224. 

Puma, 223. 

Quadrumana, 245. 

Radiata, 31. 
Rathke, 55. 
Regularas, jj. 
Reniera, 94, 154. 
Reptiles, 250, 264. 
Rhabdoliths, 25, 



Rhinoceros, 231, 242, 247, 273, 310. 
Rhizopoda, 207. 
Rodents, 246, 269, 278, 280. 
Rollet, 26, 168. 
Rousseau, J. J. 4. 
Ruminants, 79, 240, 277. 
Riitimeyer, 81, 222, 227, 236, 257, 273, 

Sagitta, 37, 216, 219. 

Sahuis, 289. 

Saint Hilaire, E. G. 85. 

Salamanders, 209, 211, 258. 

Salmon, 239. 

Sauria, 260. 

Sauropsida, 264. 

Scaphites, 76. 

Schleicher, 304. 

Schmidt, Johannes, 249. 

Schulze, Max, 154. 

Sea-cows, 277. 

Sea-cucumbers, 'jj, 197. 

Seals, 269. 

Sea-snails, 198. 

Sea-urchins, 'j6, 197. 

Semper, 42. 

Serpents, 260, 
Sheep, 136, 244, 277. 
Shrimp, 208. 
Siebold, Von, 47. 
Sirens, 238, 269, 277. 
Sivatherium, 277. 
Sloths, 228, 246. 
Snails, 224. 
Snakes, 185. 
Spatangse, 'jj, 80. 
Spongiadce, 30, 93, 218. 
Squalodon, 279. 
Starfish, 76, 197. 
Stauridium, 42, 202. 
Stein, 41. 
Steinthal, 304. 

Stone-lilies, -jS, 80. 
Strauss, D. F. 302. 
Sturgeons, 238. 
Suctoria, 206. 
Suidas, 276. 
Surinam toad, 212. 
Siissmilch, 4. 

Tapeworm, 43, 205. 
Tapirs, 231, 242, 273. 
Tedania, 94. 
Teleostel, 256. 
Tellina, 96. 
Termites, 178. 
Tessellas, 77. 
Testacea, 250, 252. 
Tetrabranchiata, 199. 
Thompson, W. 64. 
Threadworms, 206. 
Thrushes, 234. 
Tiger, 241. 
Taenia solium, 44. 
Tortoises, 75, 238, 260, 263. 
Tragulidas, 275. 
Trematoda, 205. 
Trilobites, 69. 
Tritons, 209, 259. 
Trogons, 234. 
Tuco-tuco, 184. 
Turbellaria, 37, 45, 205. 
Turrilites, 76. 

Unger, F. 72. 

Ungulates, 240, 242, 269, 273, 277. 

Ursidas, 278. 

Verany, 182. 

Vermes, 32, 2or. 

Vertebrata, 33, 154, 185, 250, 264, 

Viverridae, 241, 278. 


Wagner, M. 158, 302. 
Waitz, 300. 
Wallace, 164, 230. 
Walruses, 279. 
Watson, H. C. 151. 
Werner, 129. 
Whales, 269, 280. 
Wolves, 100, 
Wombats, 233. 


Woodpeckers, 234. 
Worms, 205. 
Wiirtenberger, 97, 213. 

Zeuglodon, 279. 
Zoea, 208. 
ZoUner, 21, 162. 

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Daily Revieiv. , , , 

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" May be recommended as manly, sensible, and I \son\ix&zoriX\\\^:'— Pall Mall Gazette. 

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ROUND THE WORLD IN 1870. A Vohtme of Travels, with Maps. 
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Mental and the Physical in their Mutual Relation. By R. S. "Wyld, 
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SCIENTIFIC LONDON. By Bernard H. Becker, i vol. Crown 8vo. 5,^. 

An Account of the History and present Scope of the following Institutions 
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and Art 
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a Manual of Geometry on the French Sj'stem. By J. R. IVEorell. 

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late Aural Surgeon to Guy's Hospital. Post 8vo. With Illustrations. Price xis, 6d. 

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]Vo?'ks Ptiblished by Henry S. -King (5^ Co., 9 


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ICE AND GLACIEilS. By J. Tyadall, liLi.D., F.R.S. With 26 Illus- 
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Fourth Edition. 
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Balfour Stewart. With Fourteen Engravings. Price 55. 

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Henry Maudsley. Price 5^. 

Second Edition. 
IX. THE NEW CHEMISTRY. By Professor Josiah P. Cooke, 

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X. THE SCIENCE OF LAW. By Prof. Sheldon Amos. Price ^s. 

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AND SCIENCE. By John -William Draper, M.D., L.L.D. Professor in 

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TRY. By Dr. Hermann Vogrel (Polytechnic Academy of LeriinJ. \Mtn 74 

XV. OPTICS. By Professor Lommel (University of Erlangen). Proftisely 

By M. C. Cooke, M.A., LL.D. Edited by the Rev. M. J.Berkeley, 
M.A., F.Ii.S. Profusely lUustrated. 

65, Cornhill ; e- 12, Paternoster Roiu, Lo?idon, 

Works Published by Henry S. King &> Co., 

The International Scientific S^^ies— continued. 

Forthcoming Volumes. 


On Parasites in tlie Animal Kingdom. 


The First Principles of the Exact Sciences ex- 
plained to the non-mathematical. 

Prof. T. H. HUXLEY, LL.D., F.R.S. 

Bodily Motion and Consciousness. 


The Physical Geography of the Sea. 


The Old Chemistry viewed from the New Stand- 


Mind in tlie Lower Animals. 

Sir JOHN LUBBOCK, Bart., F.R.S. 

The Antiquity of Man. 


F^m and Habit in Flowering Plants. 

Mr. J. N. LOCKYER, F.R.S. 

Spectrum Analysis : some of its recent results. 


Protoplasm and the Cell Theory. 


Money: and the Mechanism of Exchange. 


The Brain as an Organ of Mind. 

Prof. A. C. RAMSAY, LL.D., F.R.S. 

Earth Sculpture : Hills, Valleys, Mountains, Plains, 
Rivers, Lakes ; how they were produced, and 
how they have been Destroyed. 

Prof. RUDOLPH VIRCHO W (Berlin Univ. ) 

Morbid Physiological Action. 


Physical and Metaphysical Phenomena of Life. 


An Introduction to Gener£d Chemistry, 

Prof. WURTZ. 

Atoms and the Atomic Theory. 

The Negro Races. 


Zoology since Cuvier. 


Chemical Synthesis. 


General Physiology of Muscles and Nerves. 

Prof. JAMES D. DANA, M.A., LL.D. 

On Cephalization ; or, Head-Characters in th& 
Gradation and Progress of Life. 

Prof. S. W. JOHNSON, M.A. 

On the Nutrition of Plants. 


The Nervous System and its Relation to the 
Bodily Functions. 

Prof. W. D. WHITNEY. 

Modern Linguistic Science. 

Prof BERNSTEIN (University of Halle). 

Physiology of the Senses. 

Prof. FERDINAND COHN (BreslauUnlv.) 
Thallophytes {Algse, Lichens, Fungi). 

Prof. HERMANN (University of Zurich). 

Prof. LEUCKART (University of Leipsic). 
Outlines of Animal Organization. 

Prof. LIEBREICH (University of Berlin). 
Outlines of Toxicology. 

Prof. KUNDT (University of Strasburg}. 
On Sound. 

Prof. REES (University of Erlangen). 
On Parasitic Plants. 

Prof. STEINTHAL (University of BerlinX 

Outlines of the Science of Language. 

P. BERT (Professor of Physiology, Paris}. 
Forms of Life and other Cosmical Conditions. 

E. ALGLAVE (Professor of Constitutional 
and Administrative Law at Douai, and of 
Political Economy at Lille). 

The Primitive Elements of Political Constitutions 

P. LORAIN (Professor of Medicine, Paris). 

Modem Epidemics. 

Prof. SCHUTZENBERGER (Director of 
the Chemical Laboratory at the Sorbonne), 
On Fermentations. 

The Functions of Organic Chemistry. 

Mons. DEBRAY. 

Precious Metals. 

Mons. P. BLASERNA (Professor in the 
University of Rome.) 
On Sound; The Organs of Voice and of Hearing, 

65, Co7'Jihill ; 6^ 12, Paternoster Row, London. 

Works Published by Henry S. King &> Co., ii 


THE BETTER SELF. Essays for Home Life. By the Author of '' The 
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A CLUSTER OF LIVES. By Alice King-, Author of "Queen of 
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Contents.— Vittoria Colonna— Madame Recamier— A Daughter of the Stuarts- 
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Madame Cottin — Song of the Bird in the Garden of Armida. 

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" A very pleasant and readable book." 


"Mr. Buchanan is a writer whose books the 
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GLANCES AT INNER ENGLAND. A Lecture delivered in the United 
States and Canada. By Edward Jenkins, M.P., Author of " Ginx's Baby," &c. 
Crown Svo. Price ss. 

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OUR LAND LAWS. Short Lectures delivered before the Working Men's 
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POWERS OF CHILDREN, especially in connection with the Study of Botany. Bj- 
Eliza A. Youmans. Edited, with Notes and a Supplement, by Joseph, 
PayTie, F.C.P., Author of "Lectures on the Science and Art of Education," &c. 
Crown 8vo, 7.S. 6d. 

flowers at first hand, not merely to be informed of 
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Exanii?ier. I 

WORKS BY JOSEPH PAYNE, Professor of the Science and Art o^ 
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The True Foundation of Science Te.\ching. A Lecture delivered at the 
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Fkobel and the Kindergarten System of Elementary Education. A 
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65, Cornhill ; and 12, Paternoster Rote, London. 

J I 'oris FublisJicd by Henry S. King & Co., 


MOUNTAIN WARFARE, illustrated by the Campaign of 1799 in Switzer- 
land, being a translation of the Swiss Narrative compiled from the works of the Archduke 
Charles, Jomini, and others. Also of Notes by General H. Dufour on the Campaign of 
the Vatteline in 1635. By Major-General Shadwell, C.B. With Appendix, 
Maps, and Introductory Remarks. 

This work has been prepared for the purpose of illustrating by the well-known cam- 
paign of 1799 in Switzerland^ the true method of conducting warfare in mountainous 
countries. Slany of the scenes of this contest are annually visited by English tourists, 'and 
are in themselves full of interest ; but the special object of the volume is to attract the 
attention of the young officers of our army to this branch of warfare, especially of those, 
whose lot may hereafter be cast, and who may be called upon to take part in operations 
against the Hill Tribes of our extensive Indian frontier. 

RUSSIA'S ADVANCE EASTWARD. Based on the Official Reports of 

Lieut. Hugo Stumm, German Military Attache to the Khivan Expedition. To which is 
appended other Information on the Subject, and a Minute Account of the Russian Army. 
By Capt. C. E. H. Vincent, F.R.G-.S. Crown 8vo. With Map. 6j. 

" Captain Vincent's account of the improve- I tenant Stumm's narrative of one of the most bril- 
ments which have taken place lately in all branches liant military exploits of recent years is Captain 
of the service is accurate and clear, and is full 1 Vincent's own account of the reconstruction, 
of useful material for the considefation of those j under Milutin, of the Russian Army. Few books 
who believe that Russia is still where she was left will give a better idea of its progress than this 
by the Crimean war." — Athenanm. brief survey of its present state and latest achieve- 

"Even more interesting-, perhaps, than Lieu- | \a&\\\.."— Graphic. 


EEGULAR SOLDIER; a Conservative View of the Armies of England, Past, 
Present, and Future, as Seen in January, 1874. By A Public ScllOOl Boy. i vol. 
Crown Svo. Price ss. 

" Deserves special attention. ... It is a good 
and compact little work, and treats the whole 
topic in a clear, intelligible, and rational way. 
There is an interesting chapter styled " Historical 
Retrospect," which very briefly traces all the main 

steps in the growth of the English army from the 
tfme of the Anglo-Saxons. The writer is at great 
pains to examine the real facts concerning enlist- 
ment into the different branches of the army at 
the present day." — If'esti>iinstcr Review. 


By Capt. A. von Goetze. Translated by Col. G. Grraham. Demy Svo. With 
Six Plans. 

VON STEINMETZ. By Major von Schell. Translated by Captain E. O. 
Hollist. With Three Maps. Demy Svo. Price 10s. 6d. 

able contribution to the history of the great 

" A very complete and important account o-f the 
investment of Metz." 

" The volume is of somswhat too technical a 
character to be recommended to the general 
reader, but the military student will find it a valu- 

struggle ; and its utility is increased by a capital 
general map of the operations of the First Army, 
and also plans of Spicheren and of the battle-fields 
round Metz."— y^A« Btt/i. 


VON GOEBSN. By Major von Schell. Translated by Col. C. H. VOn 

Wrig-ht. Four Maps. Demy Svo. Price 9^. 

has he succeeded, that it might really be imagined 
that the book had been originally composed in 
English. . . The work is decidedly valuable to a 
student of the art of war, and no military hbrary 
can be considered complete witliout it."— Horn: 

" In concluding our notice of this instructive 
work, which, by the way, is enriched bj' several 
large-scale maps, we must not withhold our tribute 
of admiration at the manner in which the translator 
has performed his task. So Uaoroughly, indeed, 

VON MANTEUFFEL. By Col. Count Hermann von Wartensleben, 

Chief of the Staff of the First Army. Translated by Colonel C. H. VOn Wrig"llt. 
With Two Maps. Demy Svo. Price 9^. 

"Very clear, simple, yet eminently instructive, 1 estimable value of being in great measure the re- 
is this history. It is not overladen with useless de- cord of operations actually wftnessed by the author, 
tails, ii written in good taste, asid possesses the in- I supplemented by official documents." — Atlu7iceii»t. 

65, Co7'nhiU ; &> 12^ Paternoster KoWj London. 

Works Published by Henry S. Klii^ &^ Co., 13 

Military \Yor\^s— continued. 

Based on the official reports of the German Artillerj'. By Captain Hoffbatier 
Instructor in the German Artillery and Engineer School. Translated bv Cant E O ' 
Eollist. Demy 8vo. With Map and Plans. Price 21J. 

" Captain Hoftbauers style is much more simple I able and instructive book ; whilst to his brother 
and asjieeable than those of many of his comrades officers, who have a special professional interest rn 
and fellow authors, and it suffers nothing in the hands the subject, its value cannot well be overrated"— 
of Captain Hclhst, whose translation is close and I Academy. 
faithful. He has given the general public a read- \ 

By Captain Hug-o Helvig-. Translated by Captain Gr. S. Schwabe. 

With 5 large Maps. In 2 vols. Demy 8vo. Price 245-. 

" It contains much material that may prove use- I and that the translator has performed his work 
ful to the future historian of the war ; and it is, on most cx<zd\tA\i\Y."—Atke>ta7t»t. 
the whole, written in a spirit of fairness and !im- j "Captain Schwabe has done' well to translate it, 
partiality. . . It only remains to say that the work ; and his translation is admirably executed.'"— />«// 
is enriched by some excellent large scale maps, | Mall Gazette. 

AUSTRIAN CAVALRY EXERCISE. From an Abridged Edition 
compiled by Captain Illia Woinovits, of the General Staff, on the Tactical Regula- 
tions of the Austrian Army, and prefaced by a General Sketch of the Organisation, &c., 
of the Cavalry. Translated by Captain W. S. Cooke. Crown 8vo, cloth. Price js. 

"Among the valuable group of works on the r ' Austrian Cavalry Exercise' will hold a good and 
military tactics of the chief States of Europe which useful i>\a.Qs."—West7imister Review. 
Messrs. King are publishing, a small treatise on 1 

History of the Organisation^ Eqjiipaicnf, and JVar Services of 

Published Official and other Records, and various private sources, by Major Francis 
W. Stubbs, Royal (late Bengal) Artillery. Vol. I. will contain War Services. The 
Second Volume will be published separately, and will contain the History of the 
Organisation and Equipment of the Regiment. In 2 vols. Svo. With Maps 
and Plans. [Preparing: 

VICTORIES AND DEFEATS. An Attempt to explain the Causes which 
have led to them. An Officer's INIanual. By Col. R. P. Anderson. Svo. 14^-, 

"The young officer should have it always at [ " The present book proves that he is a diligent 
hand to open anywhere and read a bit, and we 
warrant him that let that bit be ever so small it 
will give him material for an hour's thinking." — 
United Sei-vice Gazette. 

student of military history, his illustrations ranging 
over a wide field, and including ancient and mo- 
dern Indian and European wAxiaxt."— Standard. 


Instructor of Tactics at the Military College, Neisse. Translated by Colonel 
Edward Newdig'ate. Crown Svo, limp cloth. Price ■:ls. 6d. 

"An exceedingly useful kind of book. A valu- 
able acquisition to the military student's library. 
It recounts, in the first place, the opinions and 
tactical formations which regulated the German 
army during the early battles of the late war ; e.x- 

plains how thee were modified in the course of 
the campaign by the terrible and unanticipated 
effect of the fire ; and how, accordingly, troops 
should be trained to attack in future \idiXS."— Naval 

a 7id Military Gazette. 


AND SKETCHING. Compiled for Non-Commissioned Officers and Soldiers of all 
Arms. By Capt. C. E. H. Vincent. Square cr. Svo. 2S. 6d, 

language, definitions of varieties of ground and the 

" This manual takes into view the necessity of 
everj' soldier knowing how to read a military map, 
in order to know to what points in an enemy's 
countrj' to direct his attention ; and provides for 
this necessity by giving, in terse and sensible 

advantages they present in warfare, together with 
a number of useful hints in military sketching. "- 
Ka-jal a7td Military Gazette. 

V.C, M.P. 

The Abolition of PuRCHA-t^E and the 
Army Regulation Bill of 1871. Crown 
Svo. Price One Shilling. 

Army Reserves and Militia REFOR^?s. 

Crown Svo. Sewed. Price One Shilling. 
The Story of the Sipeksessions. Crown 

Svo. Price Sixpence. 

6^, Corjihill ; 6^ 12, Paternoster Pozv, London. 

14 Works Published by Henry S. King 6^ Co., 

Military Works — continued. 

AND FEBRUARY, 1871. Compiled from the Official War Documents of the Head- 
quarters of the Southern Army. By Count Hermann von "Wartensleben, 
Colonel in the Pru'^sian General Staff. Translated by Colonel C. H. VOn "Wrigrllt. 
Demy 8vo, with Maps. Uniform with the above. Price 6s. 

By Major W. von Scherff. Translated from the German by Colonel Lumley 
Graliam. Demy 8vo. Price -js. 6d. 

" The subject of the respective advantag^es of 
attack and defence, and of the methods in which 
each form of battle should be carried out under 
the fire of modern arms, is exhaustively and ad- 
Second Edition. Revised and Corrected. 

Captain A. von Bog-uslawski. Translated by Colonel Ltimley G-raham, 

late iSth (Roj'al Irish) Regiment. Demy 8vo. Uniform with the above. Price js. 

the German Armies' and 'Tactical Deductions') 

mirably treated ; indeed, we cannot but consider 
it to be decidedly superior to any work which has 
hitherto appeared in Entjlish upon this all-import- 
ant subject." — Standard. 

"We must, without delay, impress brain and 
forethought into the British Service ; and we can- 
not commence the good work too soon, or better, 
than by placing the two books (' The Operations of 

we have here criticised in every military library, 
and introducing them as class-books in every tac- 
tical school." — United Service Gazette. 


A Brief Description of its Organization, of the different Branches of the Service, and 
their "Role" in War, of its Mode of Fighting, &c. By a Prussian General. 
Translated from the German by Col. Edward Newdigate. Demy Svo. Price 5^-. 

"The work is quite essential to the full use of 

the other volumes of the ' German Military Series,' 

which Messrs. King are now producing in hancl- 

some uniform style." — United Serz'ice Magazine. 

Every page of the book deserves attentive 

study .... The information given on mobilisation, 
garrison troops, keepiug up estabhshment during 
war, and on the emjiloyment of the different 
branches of the service, is of great value." — 


FROM SEDAN TO THE END OF THE WAR OF 1870-71. With large 
Official Map. From the Journals of the Head-quarters Staff, by Major William 
Blume. Translated by E. M. Jones, Major 20th Foot, late Professor of Military 
History, Sandhurst. Demy Svo. Price 95-. 

of works upon the war that our press has put forth. 
Our space forbids our doing more than comr.-:end- 
ing it earnestly as the most authentic and instruc- 
tive narrative of the second section of the war that 
has yet appeared." — Saticyday Review. 

" The book is of absolute necessity to the mil 
tary student .... The work is one of high merit." It 
— United Se7~vice Gazette. 

" The work of Major von Blume in its English 
dress forms the most valuable addition to our stock 

HASTY INTRENCHMENTS. By Colonel A. Brialmont. Translated 

by liieut. Charles A. Empson, B.A. With Nine Plates. Demy Svo. Price 6i-. 

" A valuable contribution to military literature." 1 " It supplies that which our own text-books give 
—Athencemn. but imperfectly, viz., hints as to how a position can 

" In seven short chaptei-s it gives plain directions best be strengthened by means . . . of such extem- 
for forming shelter-trenches, with the best method porised intrenchments and batteries as can be 
of carrying the necessary tools, and it offers prac- | thrown up by infantry in the space of four or five 
tical illustrations of the use of hasty intrenchments hours . . . deserves to become a standard military 
on the field of h:i.X.l\t."— United Serz'ice Magazitie. \ yiox\i."—Sta7idard. 

STUDIES IN LEADING TROOPS. Parts I. and II. By Colonel von 

Verdy du Vernois. An authorised and accurate Translation by Lieutenant 
H. J. T. Hildyard, 71st Foot. Demy Svo. Price 7^-. 

obsen-ant and fortunately-placed staff-officer is in 
a position to give. I have read and re-read them 
very carefully, I hops with profit, certainly with 
great interest, and beUeve that practice, in the 
sense of these ' Studies,' would be a valuable pre- 
paration for manceuvres on a more extended 
scale." — Berlin, June, 1872. 

*,* General Beauchamp Walker says of 
this work : — " I recommend the first two numbers 
of Colonel von Verdy 's ' Studies ' to the attentive 
perusal of my brother officers. They supply a 
want which I have often felt during my serz'ice in 
t4iis country, namely, a minuter tactical detail of 
the minor operations of war than any but the most 

DISCIPLINE AND DRILL. Four Lectures delivered to the London 

Scottish Rifle Volunteers. By Capt. S. Elood Page. CheaperEdition. Cr. Svo, \s. 

"The very useful and interesting work." — I " An admirable collection of lectures." — Ti?nes. 
Volunteer Service Gazette. \ 

65, Cornhill ; *£>» 12, Paternoster Row, Lo7idon, 

Works Published by Hairy S. King &> Co. 


Mi lit ary Wo rk s—confimied. 

CAVALRY FIELD DUTY. By Major-General von Mirus. Translated 
by Captain Frank S. Russell, 14th (King's) Hussars. Cr. 8vo, cloth limp. 7.r. 6d. 
"We have no book on cavalry duties that at all intelligently, his value to the army, we are confi- 
approaches to this, either for completeness in dent, must be increased one hundredfold Skir- 
details, clearness in description, or for manifest mishing-, scouting, patroUing, and vedotting are 
utility. In Its pages will be found plain instructions now the chief duties dragoons in peace should be 
for every portion of duty before the enemy that a practised at, and how to perform these duties 
combatant horseman wiU be called upon to per- effectively is what the book tQSi<±ts"— United 
form, and if a dragoon but studies it well an-d Set vice Magazine. 



Met, and the Recurrence of Famines in India Prevented. Being No. i of 
" Occasional Notes on Indian Aftairs." By Sir H. Bartle E. Frere, G.C.B., 
G-.C.S.I., &C. &C. Crown 8vo. With 3 Maps. Prices.?. 


5 Volumes, in 2 Volumes, demy 8vo. Price 285'. 

"Lovers of sport will find ample amusement in 
the varied contents of these two volumes." — A Hen's 
Indian Mail. 

" Full of interest for the sportsman and natural- 
ist. Full of thrilling adventures of sportsmen who 
have attacked the fiercest and most gigantic 

specimens of the animal world in their native 
jungle. It is seldom we get so many exciting inci- 
dents in a similar amount of space . . . AVell suited 
to the libraries of country gentlemen and all those 
who are interested in sporting matters."— Civii 
Service Gazette. 

Second Edition, Revised and Corrected. 
THE EUROPEAN IN INDIA. A Hand-book of Practical Information 

for those proceeding to, or residing in, the East Indies, relating to Outfits, Routes, 
Time for Departure, Indian Climate, &c. By Edrmind C. P. Hull. With a 
Medical Guide for Anglo-Indi.a.ns. Being a Compendium of Advice to Europeans 
in India, relating to the Preservation and Regulation of their Health. To which is 
added a Supplement on the Management of Children in India. By R. S. Mair, 
M.D., F.R.C.S.E., late Deputy Coroner of Madras. In i vol. Post 8vo. Price 6j-. 

"Full of all sorts of useful information to the 
English settler or traveller in India." — Stan(ia>-d. 

" One of the most valuable books ever published 
in India— valuable for its sound information, its 
careful array of pertinent facts, and its sterling 

common sense. It supplies a want which few 
persons may have discovered, but which everybody 
will at once recognise when once the contents of 
the book have been mastered. The medical part 
of the work is invaluable." — Calcutta Guardian. 


of Advice to Europeans in India, relating to the Preservation and Regulation of their 
Health. With a Supplement on the Management of Children in India. By R. S. Mair, 
M.D., F.R.C.S.E.-lateDeputyCoronerof Madras. Post 8vo, limpcloth. Price 3^. 6rf. 

TAS-HIL UL KALAM; or, Hindustani Made Easy. By Captain 

"W. R. M. Holroyd, Bengal Staff Corps, Director of Public Instruction, Punjab. 
Crown 8vo. Price 5^. 

"As clear and as instructive as possible."— i mation, that is not to be found in any other work 

" Contains a great deal of most necessary infor- 

the subject that has crossed our path."— /foMe- 

vard Mail. 

EASTERN EXPERIENCES. By L. Bowring-, C.S.I., Lord Canning's 
'^'Private Secretary, and for many years Chief Commissioner of Myeore and Coorg. 
Illustrated with Maps and Diagrams. Demy Svo. Price i6j. 

"An admirable and exhaustive geographical, 
polirical, and industrial survey."— A theni^7i7n. 

"Interesting even to the general reader, but 
especially so to those who may have a special con- 
cern in that portion of our Indian 'Empire."— Post. 

" This compact and methodical summary of the 
most authentic information relating to countries 
whose welfare is intimately connected with our 
o\\i\."— Daily News. 

65, Cor?ihiU I 6^ 12, Paternoster Po7v, london. 

1 6 Works PuhUshed by Henry S. King 6^ Co., 

India and the East — continued. 

FOR INDIA. Edited by J. S. Laurie, of the Inner Temple, Earrister-at-Law ; 
formerly H.]\I. Inspector of Schools, England; Assistant Royal Commissioner, Ireland ; 
Special Commissioner, African Settlement ; Director of Public Instruction, Ceylon. 

"Tliese valuable little works will prove of real I who intend entering the Civil Service of India.''— 
service to many of our readers, especially to those | Civil Service Gazette. 

The following Works aj'e now ready: — 

s. d. 

Maps and Historical Appendix, 
tracing the growth ®f the British 
Empire in Hindustan. 128 pp. cloth i 6. 


E,EADER, stiff Hnen wrapper . .06 

READER, stiff linen wrapper . .06 

III the Press. 
INDIA. HISTORY, in a series of alternating 

Reading Lessons and Memory Exercises. 

Second Edition. 


Pictures drawn from life. By Major-Gen. Sir George Le Grand Jacob, 
K.C.S.I., C.B. In I vol. Crown 8vo. Price -js. 6d. 

" The most important contribvition to the history 
of Western India during the iCiutinies which lias 
yet, in a popular form, been made public."— 

' ' Few men more competent than himself to speak 
authoritatively concerning Indian affairs." — Stun- 


CURRENCY, UPON a new and extended system, embracing Values from One 
Farthing to One Hundred Thousand Pounds, and at rates progressing, in Sixteenths of 
a Penny, from \s. gd. to 2 J. 3^'. per Rupee. By Donald Fraser, Accountant to the 
British Indian Steam Navigation Company, Limited. Royal 8vo. Price 10s. 6d. 

"The calculations must have entailed great I houses which have dealing's with any country where 
labour on the author, but the work is one which we the rupee and the Engfish pound are standarc'! 
fancy must become a standard one in all business ' coins of currency." — hiveniess Courier. 


THE WONDERFUL LIFE. Fcap. 8vo. With a Map and Illuminated 

Frontispiece. 2S. 6d. [Jiist out. 

This slight and brief sketch is merely the story of the life and death of our Lord. It has been 
\vritten for those who have not the leisure, or the books, needed for threading together the frag- 
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searched diligently for the smallest links which might serve to complete the chain of those years of a 
life passed amongst us as Jesus of Nazareth, the Carpenter, the Prophet, and ths Messiah. This littTe 
book is intended only to present the result of these close investigations made by many learned men, in n 
plain continuous narrative, suitable for unlearned readers. 

CASSY. Twentieth Thousand. With Six Illustrations, \s. 6d. 

THE KING'S SERVANTS. Twenty-eighth Thousand. With Eiglit 

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Part I.— Faithful in Little. Part II.— Unfaithful. Part III.— Faithful in Much. 

LOST GIP. Thirty- sixth Thousand. With Six Illustrations, is. 6d. 


65, Cornhill ; 6^ 12, Paternoster Row, London. 

Works Published by Henry S. King &> Co., 17 

Books for the Young and for Lending Iav.v^s.VsIy.'-,— continued. 

DADDY'S PET. By Mrs. Ellen Ross (Nelsie Brook). Third Thousand, 
Small square, cloth, uniform with " Lost Gip." With Six Illustrations. Price xs. 

"We have been more than pleased with this I "Full of deep feeling and true and noble senti- 
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LOCKED OUT; A Tale of the Strike. By Ellen Barlee. ^Yith a 

Frontispiece. i.y. ^d. 


with some Lessons in Latin, in Easj' Rhyme. By Sara Coleridgre. A New Edition. 
With Six Illustrations. Cloth, ^s. 6d. 

AUNT MARY'S BRAN PIE. By the Author of " St. Olave's," "When I 
was a Little Girl," <S:c. Small crown 8vo. With Five Illustrations. 3^. 6d. 

Second Edition. 


With Four Illustrations. Price 3^-. 6d. 

Contents. — Seeking his Fortune. — Oluf and Stephanoff. — What's in a Name? — 
Contrast. — Onesta. 

"These are plain, straightforward stories, told 
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"They are rom.intic, entertaining-, and deci- 
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We can answer for it that this volume will find 
favour with those for whom it is written, and that 
the sisters will hke it quite as well as the brothers." 
— AthenceiDH. 


I. Elsie Dinsmore. Cr. 8vo. Price 35-. 6d. I III, Elsie's Holidays at Roselands. 
11. Elsie's Girlhood. Cr. 8vo. Price 3^. 6^/. | Crown 8vo. Price 3^. 6^. 

Each Story is independent and complete in itself. 
They are published in uniform size and price, and are elegantly bound and illustrated. 

"We do not pretend to have read the history I "Elsie Dinsmore isafamilinr name to a world 
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tions, and by dips here and there, we can safely youthful experiences, winning a general mterest. 
give a favourable ^.zzo^x■aX."—U'est)7l^nster Revieiu. \ —AthencEian. 

THE LITTLE WONDER-HORN. By Jean Ingrelow. A Second 

Series of "Stories told to a Chihi." With Fifteen Illustrations. Cloth, gilt. Price 35. 6d. 

' ' We like all the contents of the ' Little Wonder- I " Full of fresh and vigorous fancy : it is worthy 
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Hall Gazette. 

Second Edition. 
THE AFRICAN CRUISER. A Midshipman's Adventures on the West 
Coast of Africa. A Book for Boys. By S. Whitcliurch Sadler, R.N., Author 
of " Marshall Vavasour." With Three Illustrations. Crown 8vo. Price 3^. 6^. 

"A capital story of youthful adventure .... Sea- 1 "Sea j-ams have always been in favour with 
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season than * The African Cruiser.' "—Hour. ,' sailor, is orammed fuU of adventures.' —Tunes. 

Third Edition. 
BRAVE MEN'S FOOTSTEPS. A Book of Example and Anecdote f^ r 
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trations, by C. Doyle. Crown 8vo. Price -^s. 6d. 

"A readable and instructive voliune." — Exa- | win the favour of those who, in choosing a gift for 

'■r.-.ner. a boy, would consult his moral development as 

''The little volume is precisely of the stamp to I wellas his temporary pleasure."— £>«iVj'7V/(?,?r<T//t. 

65, Corn/nil ; d^ 12, Paternoster Row, London. 

1 8 Wo?'ks Published by Henry S. King &^ Co., 

Books for the Young and for Lending Libraries — contimted. 

Second Edition. 
PLUCKY FELLOWS. A Book for Boys. By Stephen J. Mac Kenna, 

With Six Illustrations. Crown Svo. Price 3^. 6c/. 

."This is one of the very best ' Books for Boys 'I "A thorough book for boys . . . written through- 
which have been issued this year." — Morni7tg out in a manly, straightforward manner that is sure 
Adve7'tiser. \ to win the hearts of the z\\\\<lx<x\,"—Lo)idon i^ociety . 

Second Edition. 

Georg-e MacDonald. With 9 Illustrations by Arthur Hug-hes. Cr. 8vo. 35. td. 

" The cleverest child we know assures us she lias I will, we are convinced, accept that verdict upor, 
read this story through five times. JNIr. Macdonald j his little work as f\.\\2L\."—Sfectafor. 

THE TRAVELLING MENAGERIE. By Charles Camden, Anthoy 

of " Hoity Toity." With Ten Illustrations by J. Mahoney. Crown Svo. 3^.6^. 

"A capital little book. . . . deserves a wide I " A very attractive storj-. "—/'.■.';'' /.'c 0//;i?i;;/. 
circulation among our boys and girls." — Hour. \ 

the French of Eug-ene Pelletan. By Colonel E. P. De li'Hoste. In fcap. 
8vo, with an Engraved Frontispiece. New Edition. Price y. 6d. 

" A touching record of the struggles in the cause | pure love, and the spectacle of a household brougl 
of reHgious liberty of a real man." — Graphic. tip in the fear of the Lord. . . ." — Uhistrau 

"There is a poetical simplicity and picturesque- London Neiis. 
ness ; the noblest heroism ; unpretentious religion ; I 

THE DESERTED SHIP. A Real Story of the Atlantic. By Cupples 
Howe, Master Mariner. Illustrated by Townley Green. Cr. Svo. Price 3.^. 6d> 

"Curious adventures with bears, seals, and other I the story deals, and will much interest boys who 
Arctic animals, and with scarcely more human have a spice of romance in their composition." — 
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Camden. With Eleven Illustraticns. Crown Svo. Price 2,^. 6d. 

" Relates very pleasantly the history of a charm- I them to do right. There are many shrewd lessons 
ing little fellow who meddles always with a kindly | to be picked up in this clever little s\.ozy."—Pubiu 
disposition with other people's affairs and helps | Opinion. 

THE 3OY SLAVE IN BOKHARA. A Tale of Central Asia. By 

David Ker, Author of "On the Road to Khiva," &;c. Crown Svo, with 
Four Illustrations. Price 55-. 


with Nine Etchings. Square crown Svo. is. 

SLAVONIC FAIRY TALES. From Russian, Servian, Polish, and 
Bohemian Sources. Translated by John T. Naak(5, of the British Museum. Crown 
Svo. With Four Illustrations. Price 5^. 

" A most choice and charming selection and thirteen Servian, in Mr. Naak^'s modest but 

The tales have an original national ring in them, serviceable collection of Siaz'onic Faijy Tales. 
and will be pleasant reading to thousands besides Its contents are, as a general rule, well chosen, 
children. Yet children will eagerly open the '■ and they are translated with a fidelity which 
p.nges, and not willingly close them, of tlie pretty | deserves cordial praise . . . Before taking leave 
volume."— 5/««</nrra?. of his prettily got up volume, we ought to mention 

^ "English readers now have an opportunity of ^ that its contents fully come up to the promise heli] 

becoming acquainted with eleven Polish and eight out in its preface." — Acadony. 
Bohemian stories, as well as with eight Russian 1 


WOMANHOOD. By Mrs. G. S. Eeaney. Cr. Svo. With a Frontispiece. 5.?, 

d^, Cornhill ; 6^ 12, Paternoster Row, Lo7idon. 

Works Published by Henry S. King & Co., 19 

Books for the Young and for Lending Libraries— cwz//;/?/^^/. 

Mac Kenna. Crown Svo. With Six Illustrations. Price 5^. 

"Consisting- almost entirely of startling stories of 
military adventure . . . Boys will find them suffi- 
ciently exciting reading."— T'zwjt^j. 

"These yarns give some very spirited and in- 
teresting descriptions of soldiering in various parts 
of the \iox\6.:'—Spectator. 

" Mr. Mac Kenna's former work, ' Plucky Fellows, ' 
is already a general favourite, and those who read 
the stories of the Old Dragoon will find that he has 
still plenty of materials at hand for pleasant tales, 
and has lost none of his power in telling them well." 

FANTASTIC STORIES. Translated from the German of Richard 
Leander, by Paulina B. Granville. Crown 8vo, With Eight full-page Illustra- 
tions, by M. E. Fraser-Tytler. Price 5^. 

"Short, quaint, and, as they are fitly called, fan- I "'Fantastic' is certainly the right epithet to 
tastic, they deal with all manner of subjects."— apply to some of these strange tales."— ir.v.f;/;.«e;r. 
Ctcardtan. \ 

Third Edition. 

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c 2 

20 Works Published by Henry S. King c^' G?., 



Messrs. Henry S. King & Co. have the pleasure to announce that 
tliey are issuing an Edition of the Laureate's works, in Ten Monthly 
Volumes, foolscap 8vo, at Half-a-Crown each, entitled ''The Cabinet 
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follow in f": order : — 

Vol. ^'ol. 










Volumes I. to YII. are now ready. 
Subscribers' names received by all Booksellers. 

Rcduciion in prices of Mr. Tennyson'' s Works : — 


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POEMS. Small 8vo 6 o 


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,, ,, Collected. S;nall Svo. 70 



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IN MEMORIAM. Small Svo 40 

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,, ,, ,, cloth, gilt edges . . . .40 

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LIBRARY EDITION OF MR. TENNYSON'S WORKS. 6 vols. Post Svo, each 10 6 

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*^j* All the above are kept in leather bindings. 

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somely bound. With Illustrations and Portrait of the Author. Price 7^-. (d. 
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These are the only coviJ>lete Ejiglish Editions sanctioned by the Author. 
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writer preserved such an even level of merit "Some of the purest and tenderest poetry of this 
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%* The above four hooks may also be had handsomely bound ui 
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THE DISCIPLES. A New Poem. By Mrs. Eamilton King-. Second 

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"Mrs. King can write good verses. The de- ^unqualified admiration and \ira.iss."— Daily Tele- 
scription of the capture of the Croats at Mestre is I ^ra/A. ... , 

extremely spirited ; there is a pretty picture of the I " Throughout it breathes restramed passion and 
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her previous attempt. Even the most hostile critic 1 

ASPROMONTE, AND OTHER POEMS. By the same Author. Second 

Edition. Cloth, 4^. 6t/. 

"The volume is anonymous, but there is no reason 1 ' The Execution of Felice Orsini.' has much poetic • 
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siasm in the cause espoused ; and one of them, | •' The verse is fluent and free. —S/cctacor. 

ARYAN : or, the Story of the Sword. A Poem. By Herbert Todd, M.A., 

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WORKS. Collected Edition, in 3 Vols., 
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Vol. IL— " Ballads and Poems of Life ;" 
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Vol.III. — "Coruiskeen Sonnets;" "Book 
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POEMS. By Annette F. C. Knight. Fcap. 
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Howell. Fcap. 8vo. Cloth, ss. 

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Boswell, M.A. 0.\on. Crown 8vo. 5s. 
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lVo?'ks Published by Henry S. King &> Co., 


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OTHER POEMS. By Patrick Scott, 
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Second Edition. 
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'No extracts could do justice to the exquisite 

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wjouglit harmonies of some of these poems. "- 
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air.' — Graphic. 

Second Edition. 
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" The most noteworthy poem is the 'Ode on a 
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"We have but space to commend the varied 
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'• I'lKleniably well written." — Examiner. 

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65, Cornhill ; 6^ 12, Paternoster Row, London. 


Works Published by Henry S. King d^ Co. 


HIS QUEEN. By Alice Fisher, Author of 
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of the Mine. By John Saunders, Author 
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MALCOLM : A Scottish Story. By George 
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B. Markewitch. Translated from the 
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W..\KMSTREY. By Phihp Sheldon, 

3 vols. ^ 

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Russell Gray, 2 vols. 

IDOLATRY. A Romance. By Julian 

awthorne, Author of "Bressant." 2 vols. 

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If the figures are mostly phantoms, they are 

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"The character of the Egyptian, half mad, 

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Manetho is a really fine conception .... That 
there are passages of almost exquisite beauty 
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BRESSANT. A Romance. By Julian 
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" One of the most powerful with which we are 
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"We Shall once more have reason to rejoice 
whenever we hear that a new work is coming out 
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VANESSA. By the Author of " Thomasina," 
" Dorothy," &c. 2 vols. Second Edition. 

THOMASINA. By the Author of" Dorothy," 
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AILEEN FERRERS. By Susan Morley. 
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able." — Hour. 

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" An interesting novel." — Vanity Fair. 
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TWO GIRLS. By Frederick Wedmore, 
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"A carefully-written novel of character, corj- 
trasting the two heroines of one love tale, an 
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CIVIL SERVICE. By J. T. Listado. 

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" A very charniirg and amusing story . . . The 
characters are all well drawn and life-like .... It 
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kind." — Civil Service Gazette. 

" A story of Irish life, free from burlesque and 
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MR. CARINGTON. A Tale of Love and 
Conspiracy. By Robert Turner Cotton. 
In 3 vols. Cloth, crown Svo. 

" A novel in so many ways good, as in afresh 
and elastic diction, stout unconventionality, and 
happy boldness of conception and execution. 
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TOO LATE. By Mrs. Newman. 2 vols. 

"The plot is skilfully constructed, the charac- 
ters are well conceived, and the narrative moves 
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. . . The reader who opens the book will read it 
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19th Century. An Autobiograph3^ r vol. 
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Countess Von Bothmer. 3 vols. 
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able."— Z^.jj/y AVrrj. 

THE HIGH MILLS. ByKatherine 

Saunders, Author of " Gideon's R&ck," 
Sec. 3 vols. 

65, Cornhill ; 6^ 12, Paternoster Po7C', London. 

Wo7'ks Published by Henry S. King &> Co., 



SEPTIMIUS. A Romance. By Nathaniel 
Hawthorne. Second Edition. i vol. 
Crown 8vo, cloth, extra gilt. 9^. 

The AtheiKZJitn says that " the book is full of 
Hawthorne's mos characteristic writing." 

EFFIE'S GAME; How she Lost and 
HOW SHE Won. By Cecil Clayton. 

2 vols. Crown 8vo. 

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JUDITH GWYNNE. By Lisle Carr. 
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CHESTERLEIGH. By Ansley Conyers. 

3 vols. Crown Svo. -- 

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HONOR BLAKE : The Story of a Plain 
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" A story which must do good to all, young and 
old, who read it." — Daily Ncivs. 

HEATHERGATE. A Story of Scottish 
"Life and Character. By a new Author. 
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"Its merit lies in the marked antithesis of 
strongly developed characters, in different ranks 
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their marked nationaUty." — Atheitieitin. 

Arthur Griffiths. 2 vols. 

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MIRANDA. A Midsummer Madness. By 
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" Not a dull page in the whole three volumes." 
• — Standard. 

" The work of a man who is at once a thinker 
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