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Arist. ; HUt. Anim. viL 8. 





P E E E A E. 

" You have not allowed for the wind, Hubert, 
said Locksley, in " Ivanhoe ; " " or that had been 
a better shot." 

I remember, when I was in Newfoundland, some 
five-and-twenty years ago, the disastrous wreck 
of the brig Elizabeth, which belonged to the 
firm in which I was a clerk. The master had 
made a good observation the day before, which 
had determined his latitude some miles north of 
Cape St. Francis. A thick fog coming on, he 
sailed boldly by compass, knowing that, according 
to his latitude, he could well weather that promon- 
tory. But lo! about midnight the ship plunged 
right against the clifis of Ferryland, thirty miles 


to the south, crushing in her bows to the wind- 
lass ; and presently went down, the crew barely 
saving their lives. The captain had not allowed 
for the polar current^ which was setting, like a 
sluice, to the southward, between the Grand Bank 
and the land. 

When it was satisfactorily ascertained that the 
heavenly body, now known as Uranus, was a 
planet, its normal path was soon laid down ac- 
cording to the recognised law of gravitation. But 
it would not take this path. There were devia- 
tions and anomalies in its observed course, which 
could in nowise be referred to the operation of 
any known principle. Astronomers were sorely 
puzzled to explain the irregularities, and to re- 
concile facts with laws. Various hypotheses were 
proposed : some denied the facts ; that is, the 
observed places of the planet, boldly assuming 
that the observers had been in error : others sug- 
gested that perhaps the physical laws, which had 
been supposed to govern the whole celestial 
machinery, did not reach so far as Uranus' s orbit. 


The secret is now known : they had not allowed 
for the disturbances produced hy Neptune, 

In each of these cases the conclusions were 
legitimately deduced from the recognised premises. 
Hubert's skilled eye had calculated the distance ; 
his experience had taught him the requisite angle 
at which to shoot, the exact amount of force 
necessary, and every other element proper to in- 
sure the desired result, except one. There was an 
element which he had overlooked ; and it spoiled 
his calculations. He had forgotten the wind. 

The master of the ill-fated brig had calculated 
his latitude correctly ; he knew the rate of his 
vessel's speed ; the compass had showed him the 
parallel on which to steer. These premises ought 
to have secured a safe conclusion ; and so they 
would, but for an unrecognised power that vitiated 
all ; he was not aware of the silent and secret 
current, that was every hour setting him to the 
south of his supposed latitude. 

The path of Uranus had been calculated by 
the astronomers with scrupulous care, and every 
known element of disturbance had been consi- 

a 3 


dered; not by one, but by many. But for the 
faxjt that the planet had been previously seen in 
positions quite inconsistent with such a path, it 
would have been set down as beyond controversy 
correct. Stubborn fact, however, would not give 
way ; and hence the dilemma, till Le Verrier sug- 
gested the unseen antagonist. 

I venture to suggest in the following pages an 
element, hitherto overlooked, which disturbs the 
conclusions of geologists respecting the antiquity 
of the earth. Their calculations are sound on the 
recognised premises ; hut they have not allowed for 
the Lato of Prochronism in Creation. 

The enunciation of this principle will lie in 
a nut-shell; the reader will find it at p. 124 ; or 
p. 347. All the rest of the book is illustration. 

I do not claim originality for the thought which 
I have here endeavoured to work out. It was 
suggested to me by a Tract, which I met with 
some dozen years ago, or more ; the title of which 
I have forgotten : I am pretty sure it was anony- 
mous, but it was published by Campbell, of 
1, Warwick Square. Whether it is still in print 


I do not know; I never saw another copy. If 
the author is alive, and if he should happen to 
cast his eye on this volume, he will doubtless 
recognise his own bantling, and accept this my 

The germ of the argument, however, I have 
found, since these pages were written, in " The 
Mineral and Mosaical Geologies," of Granville 
Penn (1822). The state of physical science when 
he wrote did not enable him to press the argument 
to a demonstration, as I have endeavoured to do ; 
for he could not refer to structural peculiarities as 
sensible records of past processes, iitseparcihle from 
newly created organisms, 

I would not be considered as an opponent of 
geologists ; but rather as a co-searcher with them 
after that which they value as highly as I do. 
Truth. The path which I have pursued has led 
me to a conclusion at variance with theirs. I 
have a right to expect that it be weighed ; let it 
not be imputed to vanity if I hope that it may 
be accepted. 

But what I much more ardently desire is, that 


the thousands of thinking persons, who are scarcely 
satisfied with the extant reconciliations of Scrip- 
tural statements and Geological deductions, — ^who 
are silenced but not convinced, — may find, in the 
principle set forth in this volume, a stable resting- 
place. I have written it in the constant prayer 
that the God of Truth will deign so to use it ; 
and if He do, to Him be all the glory ! 

P. H. G. 

Martchurch, Torquay, 
October, 1857. 



The Cause. 

Evidence of the Senses often delusive — Dedactions of Reason 
fallible — Essentials sometimes overlooked — Discrepancy be- 
tween Scripture and Geological Conclusions — Painful Dilemma 
— Efforts to escape from it — Supremacy of Truth — Various 
Attempts at Eeconciliation — ^Denouncers — Opinions of Brown 
— Blackwood — Macbrair — Ure — Penn — Young — Cockbum — 
Miller — Sedgwick — Turner — Sumner — Chalmers — Harris — 
Gray— Conybeare— Hitchcock— Pye Smith—" Protoplast "— 
Babbage — Powell — " Vestiges" — Amplitude of Choice 

Page 1—29 


The Withess for the Maoro-Chhonoloot. 

A Court of Inquiry — The Witnesses — Testimony of One — Strata 
of Thames Tunnel — of Hertfordshire — of Yorkshire — of the 
Globe — Granite— Granitic Strata — Organic Remains — Silurian 
System — Corals — Trilobites — MoUusks — Devonian System — 
Old Red Sandstone — Its Formation — Fishes — Carboniferous 
System— Coral Limestone — Millstone Grit-^Coal — Predomi- 
nance of Carbonic Acid — Extent and Thickness of Coal-Fields 
— Formation of Coal — Conjecture as to its Age — Antediluvian 
Theory untenable — Sauroid Fishes — Earliest Reptiles — Foot- 
prints of Frogs 80—58 

««.■ "■■ — 



Thb Samb — (continued,) 

Distnrbancea of Strata — Internal Heat — Changes of Land and 
Sea — New Red Sandstone — Footprints — Labyrinthodon — ^Lias 
Formation — Crinoids — Ammonites — Belemnites — Fishes — 
Marine Reptiles — Ichthyosaur — Plesiosanr — European Archi- 
pelago — Oolitic Formation — Cycads — Megalosaur — Bat- 
Lizards — Iguanodon — Hylaaosaur — Earliest Mammal — 
Chalk Formation — Infusoria — Diatomaceae — Their Minuteness 
and Numbers — Chambered Cephalopods — Mosasaur — ^End of 
Secondary Formations — Convulsions — Basalt — Uprearing of 
Mountain Chains — ^London Clay — Plants and Animals — Fishes 
— Reptiles — Birds — Mammals-^Anoplotherium — Condition of 
Europe — Dinotherium — Mastodon — Mammoth — ^Trees — Crag 
Formation— Tertiary Fauna — Bone Cares — Kirkdale — Erratic 
Blocks — Glaciers — Sloths — Marsupials — Birds — Raised 
Beaches — Human Period — Moho — Present Cosmical Opera- 
tions — River Deltas — Coral Reefs — Volcanoes — Changes of 
Level — Earthy Deposits— Stalagmite — Shells — Recapitulation. 



The Cross-Examination. 

Grandeur of the Evidence — Proposed Line of Objection — It is 
but circumstantial — Example of Confusion of Thought — Ana- 
lysis of the Reasoning — Dependent on the exhaustive Power of 
Observation — Relation of Precedence and Sequence — Of Cause 
and Effect— Forc« of my Position 102—109 


The Creation of Matter— The Persistence of Species . 1 1 — 1 12 



The Course of Nature a Circle — Illustrations — Scarlet Runner — 
Lady-fem-^Hawkmoth — Plumularia — Cow — Universality of 
the Law — Creation an Irruption into a Circle — ^False Witness 
to Past Processes — Prochronism andDiachronism — Phenomena 
illusory — Becapitulation 113 — 126 


Parallels and Precedents. 


Ideal Tour on Creation-Day — Chronological Investigations — 
Queried Age of a Tree-fern — Data for the Inquiry — Develop- 
ment of the Leaves — Leaf-scars— Report — Its manifest Error 
— Selaginella — Bamboo — Couch-grass — Screw-pine — Pashiuba 
— Sugar Palm — Areca — Rattan — Agave— Traveller's Tree- 
Butterfly Flower — Orchis — Gladiolus — Grass-tree— White Lily 
— Testudinaria — Caflfer-Bread — Fig — Banyan — Euphorbia — 
Tulip-tree — Bignonia — Loranthus — Prickly Pear — Mangrove 
— Silk-cotton-tree — Locust-tree — Restriction of the Inquiry — 
Uniform Testimony to Untruth 127 — 181 


Parallels and Precedents. 

{Invertebrate Animals.) ^ 

Resumption of the Examination — Sea Pen — Millepore — Madre- 
pore — Organ-pipe — Medusa— Sea-urchin —Feather-star — Tape- 
worm — Serpula — Terebella — White-ant — Goliath-beetle — 
Gnat — Case-fly — Melicerta — Julus — Buprestis — Shore-crab — 
Barnacle — Lepralia — Botryllus — Clavagella — Prickly Venus 
— Scorpion Stromb — Tiger Cowry — Thorny Murex-— Pearly 
Nautilus— Cuttlefish 182—239 




Paballels Ain> Pbkoedshts. 

( Vertebrate Animals,) 

Ezamination of the Vertebrata— Sword-fish — Gilt-head — LaminsB 
of Scales — Shark — ^Arrangement of Teeth — Their Stmctnre — 
Tree-frog—- Metamorphosis — ^Rattlesnake — Crocodile — Tortoise 
— Laminae of Plates — Skull of Cassowary — ^Peacock — Hnm- 
ming-bird — Trogon — Stracture and Qrowth of Feathers — 
Whalebone of Whale — Horn of Ibex — Horn of Stag — Teeth of 
Horse — Of Babiroussa — Of Hippopotamus — Tusk of Elephant 
— Molars of Elephant 240—278 


Parallels and Pbeoedehts. 


Examination of Primal Man — Blood — Its Formation— Its Oxy- 
genation — Nails — Hair — Bones — Teeth — All formed by suc- 
cessive Processes — Stature— -Thyroid Cartilage — Beard — Deve- 
lopment of Teeth — Proportion of Bloods — Condition of Skele- 
ton—Navel—False Conclusion 274—291 


Paballels and Precedents.' 

^ (Oernis.) 

Assumption of adult Development at Creation — Its Reasonable- 
ness — The Position waived — ^Assumption of the Germ-Hypo- 
thesis — Double Cocoa-nut — Coral Tree — Tulip — Earth-pea — 
Hangrove — Medusa— Connexion of Germs with Parent — In 
Echinoderms — In Annelids— In Insects — Egg of Butterfly — Of 
Nut WeevU— Of Bots— Of Ichneumon— Of Pill Chafer— Of 
Gall-fly— Of Lace-fly— Of Spider— Of Gipsy Moth— Of Coccus 


— Of Saw-fly — Of Cockroach— «-0f Dirt-dauber — Metamorphosis 
of Star-fish — Eggs attached to Brachionus — Viviparous Pro- 
geny of Kotifer — Of Asplanchna— Of Daphnia — Egg-purse of 
Shark — Economy of Surinam Toad — Egg of Fowl — Pectus of 
Kangaroo— Umbilicus 292—334 



Uniformity of Results— Prochronism of Organic Nature — Phe- 
nomena inadequate to settle Chronology — Historic Testimony- 
alone oracular — Familiar Illustration — Objections met— Ana- 
logy between an Organism and a World — Illustration from a 
Tree — Analogy between ihe Life of a Species and that of an 
Individual — History Divinely Projected — Grand Plan of Na- ' 
ture — Diachronic Existence not necessary — Deceptive Pheno- 
mena inseparable from Created Organisms — Illustrations abun- 
dant — Hypothesis of the Life-history of the Globe — Suppo- 
sition of 1857 being the Era of Creation — What its State 1 — 
Minuteness and Verity of Proofs of Life present no Difliculty 
— Coprolites — FsBcal Residua in newly-created Animals — Cy- 
clical not Organic Condition the Test of Prochronism — ^lU^js- 
trations from the inorganic World — Rivers — Ocean Currents 
—Celestial Bodies — Velocity of Light — Records of Entities 
actually passed — ^"No Tree has Leaves" — Plates of Testudi- 
naria — Leaf-scars of Palm — Column of Nerita — Spines of 
Murex— Madreporic Plate of Cribella— Hilum of Seed — ^Navel 
of Mammal — Alignment of ** Great and Small" — Old Hypo- 
thesis of Lusus Naturoi — ^Demonstration of a Law — Effect of 
this Principle on the Study of Geology — Summing up. 




Geological Section of Yorkshire 85 
Calymene Blumenbachii ... 41 

Cephalaspis 44 

Labyrinthodon 57 

Snake-necked Marine Lizards . 59 
Megalosaurus Bucklandi ... 61 

Bat-lizards 62 

HylseosauruB armatus ... 63 

Mammoth 74 

Moho 84 

Germination of Scarlet-runner . 1 14 

Diagram of Bean 116 

„ Fern 117 

„ Hawkmoth . . . 119 

„ Polype 120 

„ Cow 121 

Leaf-Bcars of Tree-fern . . .132 

Roots of Iriartea 139 

Traveller's Tree 148 

Corm of Gladiolus 153 

Section of Lily-bulb . . . .157 

Testudinaria 159 

Eacephalartos 162 

Twig of Tulip-tree 167 

Youqg Plant of Loranthus . .171 

Silk-cotton Tree 175 

Section of Exogenous Tree . .179 
Muricated Madrepore . . . .185 


Organ-pipe 187 

Comatula and Young . . . .194 

Serpula 200 

Goliath Beetle and Pupa-case . 206 

Larva of Case-fly 209 

Melicerta 210 

Lepas 218 

Botryllus 224 

Clavagella 226 

Dione Veneris 228 

Murex tenuispina 233 

Scale of Gilt-head 242 

Plates of Tortoise 251 

Growth of a Feather .... 254 

Horns of Stag 258 

Skull of Babirouisa .... 262 
Skull of Hippopotamus ... 266 

Skull of Elephant 267 

Growth of Hair 278 

Section of Human Tooth . . .282 

Garden Tulip 298 

Germination of Earth-pea . . 800 

Seed of Mangrove 303 

Lace-fly and Eggs 312 

Brachionus with Eggs . . . 322 
Pregnant Asplanchna .... 323 

Hen's Egg 32» 

Gyroceras 371. 

O OM^AAO:^. 



*' Is there not a cause? "—1 Sam. xvii. 29. 

An eminent philosopher has observed that 
" nothing can be more common or frequent than 
to appeal to the evidence of the senses as the most 
unerring test of physical eflTects. It is by the 
organs of sense, and by these alone, that we can 
acquire any knowledge of the qualities of external 
objects, and of their mutual effects when brought 
to act one upon another, whether mechanically, 
physically, or chemically ; and it might, therefore, 
not unreasonably be supposed, that what is called 
the evidence of the senses must be admitted to be 
conclusive, as to all the phenomena developed by 
such reciprocal action. 



" Nevertheless, tlie fallacies are numberless into 
which those are led who take what they con- 
sider the immediate results of sensible impressions, 
without submitting them to the severe control and 
disciplined analysis of the understanding." * 

If this verdict is confessedly true with regard to 
many observations which we make on things im- 
mediately present to our senses, much more likely 
is it to be true with respect to conclusions which 
are not " the immediate results of sensible impres- 
sions," but are merely deduced by a process of 
reasoning from such impressions. And if the 
direct evidence of our senses is to be received with 
a prudent reserve, because of this possibility of 
error, even when we have no evidence of an oppos- 
ing character, still more necessary is the exercise 
of caution in judging of facts assumed to have 
occurred at a period far removed from our own 
experience, and which stand in contradiction (at 
least apparentj^rtm^^cie, contradiction) to credible 
historic testimony. Nay, the caveat acquires a 
greatly intensified force, when the testimony with 
which the assumed facts are, or seem to be, at 
variance, is no less a testimony than His who 
ordained the "facts," who made the objects of 

* Dr. Lardner ; Museum of Science and Art, vol. i. p. 81. 


investigation ; the testimony of the Creator of all 
things ; the testimony of Him who is, from eternity 
to eternity, "'O X^ETAHS '©£02 " ! 

I hope I shall not be deemed censorious in 
stating my fear that those who cultivate the phy- 
sical sciences are not always sufficiently mindful 
of the ^^ Humanum est errarey What we have 
investigated with no little labour and patience, 
what we have seen with our eyes many many times, 
in many aspects, and under many circumstances, we 
naturally believe firmly ; and we are very prone to 
attach the same assurance of certainty to the infe- 
rences we have, hond fide^ and with scrupulous 
care to eliminate error, deduced irom our observa- 
tions, as to the observations themselves ; and we 
are apt to forget that some element of error may 
have crept into om* actual investigations, and still 
more probably into our deductions. Even if our 
observations be so simple, so patent, so numerous, 
as almost to preclude the possibility of mistake in 
them, and our process ,of reasoning from them be 
without a flaw, still we may have overlooked a 
principle, which, though perhaps not very obvious, 
ought to enter into the investigation, and which, 
if recognised, would greatly modify our conclu- 

B 2 


In this volume I venture to suggest such a 
principle to the consideration of geologists. It will 
not be denied that Geology is a science that stands 
peculiarly in need of being cultivated with that 
salutary self-distrust that I have above alluded to. 
Though a strong and healthy child, it is as yet 
but an infant. The objects on which its senses 
have been exercised, its Ta fiXcTrofieva, are indeed 
plain enough and numerous enough, when once 
discovered; but- the inferences drawn from them, 
its ySeySa/a, find their sphere in the most venerably 
remote antiquity, — an antiquity mensurable not by 
years or centuries, but by secula seculorum. And 
the dicta, which its votaries rest on as certitudes, 
are at variance with the simple literal sense of the 
words of God. 

I am not assuming here that the Inspired Word 
has been rightly read ; I merely say that the plain 
straightforward meaning, the meaning that lies 
manifestly on the face of the passages in question, 
is in opposition with the conclusions which geolo- 
gists have formed, as to the antiquity and the 
genesis of the globe on which we live. 

Perhaps the simple, superficial sense of the 
Word is Aot the correct one ; but it is at least that 
which its readers, learned and unlearned, had been 


generally content with before ; and which would, I 
suppose, scarcely have been questioned, but for what 
appeared the exigencies of geological facts. 

Now while there are, unhappily, not a few infi- 
dels, professed or concealed, who eagerly seize on 
any apparent discrepancy between the works and 
the Word of God, in order that they may invalidate 
the truth of the latter, there are, especially in this 
country, many names of the highest rank in phy- 
sical (and, among other branches, in geological) 
science, to whom the veracity of God is as dear as 
life. They cannot bear to see it impugned ; they 
know that it cannot be overthrown; they are 
assured that He who gave the Word, and He who 
made the worlds, is One Jehovah, who cannot be 
inconsistent with Himself. But they cannot shut 
their eyes to the startling fact, that the records 
which seem legibly written on His created works 
do flatly contradict the statements which seem to 
be plainly expressed in His word. 

Here is a dilemma. A most painful one to the 
reverent mind ! And many reverent minds have 
laboured hard and long to escape from it. It is 
unfair and dishonest to class our men of science 
with the infidel and atheist. They did not rejoice 
in the dilemma; they saw it at first dimly, and 


hoped to avoid it.* At first they believed that 
the mighty processes which are recorded on 
the " everlasting mountains " might not only be 
harmonized with, but might afford beautii'ul and 
convincing demonstrations of Holy Scripture. They 
thought that the deluge of Noah would explain 
the stratification, and the antediluvian era account 
for the organic fossils. 

As the "stone book" was further read, this 
mode of explanation appeared to many untenable ; 
and they retracted their adherence to it. To a 
mind rightly constituted, Truth is above every 
thing : there is no such thing as a pious fraud ; 
the very idea is an impious lie : God is light, and 
in Ilim is no darkness at all ; and that religion 
which can be maintained only by dissembling or 
denying truth, cannot proceed from "-Him that is 

* As Cuvior, Buckland, and many others. On the question 
whether the phenomena of Geology can be comprised within the 
short period formerly assigned to them, the Rev. Samuel Charles 
Wilks long ago observed : "Buckland, Sedgwick, Faber, Chalmers, 
Conybearo, and many other Christian geologists, strove long 
with themselves to believe that they could : and they did not 
give up the hope, or seek for a new interpretation of the sacred 
text, till they considered themselves driven &om their position 
by such fiicts as we have stated. If, even now, a.reasonable, or 
we miyJU say possible solution were offered, tJiey tooidd, we feel 
persuaded, gladly revert to their original opinion." — Christian 
Observer, Aug\ist, 1834. 


Holy, Him tliat is True," but from him who " is 
a liar, and the father of it." 

Many upright and ardent cultivators of the 
young science felt that truth would be compromised 
by a persistence in those explanations which had 
hitherto passed current. The discrepancy between 
the readings in Science and the hitherto unchal- 
lenged readings in Scripture, became manifest. 
Partisans began to array themselves on either side ; 
some, jealous for the honour of God, knew little of 
science, and rushed into the field ill-prepared for 
the conflict; some, jealous for science, but little 
conversant with Scripture, and caring less for it, 
were willing to throw overboard its authority alto- 
gether : others, who knew that the writings were 
from the same Hand, knew therefore that there 
must be some way of reconciling them, and set 
themselves to find it out. 

Have they succeeded? If I thought so, I would 
not publish this book. Many, I doubt not, have 
been convinced by each of the schemes by which 
the discrepant statements have been sought to be 
harmonized. Each of them has had sufficient plau- 
sibility to convince its propounder ; and, probably, 
others too. And some of them have attained a 
large measure of public confidence. Yet if any one 
of them is true, it certainly has not commanded uni- 


versal assent. Let ns examine how far they agree 
among themselves, who pn)pose to reconcile Scrip- 
ture and Science, ''the Mosaic and the Mineral 

And first, it is, perhaps, right to represent the 
opinions of those who stand by the literal accepta- 
tion of the Divine Word. There have been some, 
indeed, who refuse to entertain the question of re- 
conciliation, taking the high ground that, as the 
Word of God is and must be trpe, it is impious to 
set any evidence in competition with it. I cannot 
but say, my sympathies are far more with these 
than with those who, at the opposite pole of the 
argument, would make scientific deduction para- 
mount, and make the Word go to the wall. But, 
then, we ought to be quite sure that we have got 
the very Word of Grod ; and, so far from being im- 
pious, it seems highly proper and right, when con- 
flicting evidence appears to flow out of what is 
indubitably God's work, to examine afresh the 
witnesses on both sides, that we may not make 
either testify what it does not. 

Those good men who merely denounce Geology 
and geologists, I do not quote. There are the facts, 
" written and engraven in stones," and that by the 
finger of God. How can they be accounted for ? 

Some have recourse to the assumption that the 


natural processes by which changes in the earth's 
surface are now going on, may have operated in 
antediluvian times with a rapidity and power of 
which we can form little conception from what we 
are cognisant of. The Rev. J. Mellor Brown takes 
this ground, adducing the analogies of steam-power 
and electricity, as effecting in a few moments or 
hours, what formerly would have required several 
days or weeks to accomplish. 

" God's most tremendous agencies may have been 
employed in the beginning of his works. If, for 
instance, it should be conceded that the granitic or 
basaltic strata were once in a state of fusion, there- 
is no reason why we should not call in the aid of 
supposition to produce a rwpid refrigeration. We 
may surround the globe with an atmosphere (not 
as yet warmed by the rays of the newly kindled 
sun) more intensely cold than that of Saturn. The 
degree of cold may have been such as to cool down 
the liquid granite and basalt in a few hours, and 
render it congenial to animal and vegetable life ; 
while the gelid air around the globe may have been* 
mollified by the abstracted caloric."* 

A writer in Blackwood (xli. 181 ; xlii. 690), in 
like manner, adheres to the literal sense of Genesis 

* Reflections on Geology. 



and the Decalogue, and alludes to "the great 
agencies — the magnetic, electrical, and ethereal 
influences — prohably instrumental in all the pheno- 
mena of nature/' as being far more powerful than 
is generally suspected. 

Mr. Macbrair — who does not, however, appear, 
from the amount of his acquaintance with science, 
competent to judge of the physical evidence — sup- 
poses stratification to have proceeded with immense 
rapidity, because limestone is now deposited in 
some waters at the rate of six inches per annum. 
Because a mass of timber, ten miles in length, was 
collected in the Mississippi, in thirty-eight years, 
he considers that a " capital coal field " might be 
formed in a single century. Alluvial strata are mud 
lavas ejected from volcanoes. The whole difficulty 
of fossil remains is got rid of by ignoring the dis- 
tinctions of species, and assuming that the ancient 
animals and the recent ones are identical. The 
Pterodactyle and the Plesiosaurus he does not 
allude to.* 

According to Dr. Ure, — "The demiurgic week 
... is manifestly composed of six working days like 
our own, and a day of rest, each of equal length, 
and, therefore, containing an evening and a mom- 

* Geology and Geologists. 


ing, measured by the rotation of the earth round 
its axis . . • Neither reason nor revelation will justify 
us in extending the origin of the material system 
beyond six thousand years from our own days. 
The world then received its substance, form, and 
motions from the volition of the Omnipotent." 

His theory of the stratification extends over the 
whole an^tediluvian era. He supposes that succes- 
sive irruptions of the central heat broke up the 
primitive strata and deposited the secondary and 
tertiary. " The basaltic or trap phenomena lead to 
the conclusion that such upheavings and subver- 
sions were not confined to one epoch of the antedi- 
luvian world, but that, coeval with its birth, they 
pervaded the whole period of its duration . . . The 
Deluge — that universal transflux of the ocean — 
was the last and greatest of these terraqueous con- 
vulsions." * 

Another clas^of this school of interpreters refers 
the stratification of the earth, either to the deluge 
alone, or to that convulsion conjoined with the one 
which is considered to have taken place on the third 
day of the Mosaic narrative. Perhaps the most 
eminent writer of this class is Mr. Granville Penn, 
whose opinions may be thus condensed. 

* New System of Geology. 


He supposes that this globe has undergone only- 
two revolutions. The first was the violent rupture 
and depression of the surface to become the bed of 
the sea, and the simultaneous elevation of the other 
portion to become dry land, — the theatre of terres- 
trial existence. This first revolution took place 
before the creation of any organized beings. The 
Second revolution was at the "Noachic Flood, when 
the former bed of the sea was elevated to become 
the dry land, with all its organic accumulations of 
sixteen centuries, while the former land was corres- 
pondingly depressed and overflowed. " The earth 
must, therefore, necessarily exhibit manifest and 
imiversal evidences of the vast apparent ruin 
occasioned by its first violent disruption and de- 
pression; of the presence and operation of the 
marine fluid, during the long interval which suc- 
ceeded ; and of the action and effects of that fluid 
in its ultimate retreat."* • 

Mr. Fairholme f so nearly agrees with the above, 
that I need not quote his opinions in detail. 

Another class, represented by Dr. Young and the 
Kev. Sir W. Cockbum, Dean of York, have main- 
tained with considerable power, backed by no mean 
geological knowledge, that the deluge is a sufficient 

* Mineral and Mosaic Geologies, p. 480. f Geology of Scripture. 


vera causa for the Gratification of the globe, and for 
Ae fossilization of the organic remains. 

Dr. Young supposes that an equable climate 
prevailed all over the globe in the antediluvian 
period. ** Were the highest mountains transferred 
to the equatorial regions, the most extensive oceans 
removed towards the poles, and fringed with a bor- 
der of archipelago, — while lands of moderate height 
occupied most of the intermediate spaces, between 
these archipelagos and the equatorial mountains ; 
then a temperature, almost uniform, would prevail 
throughout the world." This "perpetual summer" 
would account for the prodigious quantities of ani- 
mal and vegetable remains : — every region teemed 
with life. 

At the Flood, " the bed of the ocean must have 
been elevated, and the dry land at the same time 
depressed," an expansive force acting from below to 
heave up the ocean's bed. To this agency are at- 
tributed the vast masses of granite, gneiss, basalt, 
and other rocks of igneous origin, which seem to 
have been forced upwards in a state of fusion, into 
their present lofty stations. The ancient bed of 
the ocean may have consisted of numerous layers 
of sand, clay, lime, and other substances, including 
corals and marine shells, — to a certain degree 



consolidated into rocks. By the-^rogressive rising 
of the waters and the currents so made, fresh mate- 
rials would be conveyed to the depths of the ocean, 
so that the magnesian limestone, the saUferous 
beds, the lias, &c., would be deposited.* 

The Dean of York, in like manner, considers that 
the convulsions produced by the Deluge, are suffi- 
cient to account for all the stratification and fossil 
remains. That the gradual rise of the waters, and 
their penetration into the recesses of the rocks, 
would cause successive volcanic eruptions; the 
earlier of which would inclose marine fishes and 
reptiles ; then others in turn, the pachyderms and 
great reptiles of the plains ; and, finally, the crea- 
tures more exclusively terrestrial. That these re- 
peated heavings of mighty volcanoes raised great 
part of what had been the bottom of the sea, above 
its level, and that hence the present land had been 
for sixteen centuries under water. That the animals 
which entered the ark, were not selected till after 
many species had already perished in the earlier 
convulsions, and hence the number of extinct 
species now exhumed.t 

My reader will kindly bear in mind that I am 
not examining these opinions ; I adduce them as 

* Scriptural Geology, passim, t Letter to Buckland, 15, et seq. 


examples of the diversity of judgment that still 
prevails on a question which some affect to con- 
sider as settled beyond the approach of doubt. 

A totally different solution of the difficulty has 
been sought in the hypothesis, that the six "days" 
of the Inspired Record signify six successive periods 
of immense though of undefined duration. This 
opinion is as old as the Fathers at least,* and not 
a few able maintainers of it belong to our own 
times. It has been put forth, however, with most 
power, by a late lamented geologist, whose wonder- 
ful vigour of description and felicity of illustration, 
have done, perhaps, more than the efforts of any 
other living man, to render his favourite science 

Perhaps I can scarcely set his views in a more 
striking light than he himself has done in his own 
peculiarly graphic report of a conversation, which 
he sustained with some humble inquirers in the 
Paleontological Gallery of the British Museum. 

" I last passed," says Mr. Hugh Miller, " through 
this wonderful gallery at the time when the attrac- 
tion of the Great Exhibition had filled London 
with curious visitors from all parts of the empire ; 
and a group of intelligent mechanics, fresh from 

* Origen, Augustine, &c 


some manufacturing town in the midland counties, 
were sauntering on through its chambers imme- 
diately before me. They stood amazed beneath 
the dragons of the Oolite and Lias ; and, with more 
than the admiration and wonder of the disciples of 
old, when contemplating the huge stones of the 
Temple, they turned to say, in almost the old words, 
* Lo ! master, what manner of great beasts are 
these? ' * These are,' I replied, * the sea-monsters 
and creeping things of the second great period of 
organic existence.' The reply seemed satisfactory, 
and we passed on together to the. terminal apart- 
ments of the range appropriated to the tertiary 
organisms. And there, before the enormous mam- 
mals, the mechanics again stood in wonder, and 
turned to inquire. Anticipating the query, I said, 
' And these are the huge beasts of the earth, and 
the cattle of the third great period of organic 
existence ; ■ and yonder in the same apartment, you 
see, but at its farther end, is the famous fossil Man 
of Guadaloupe, locked up by the petrifactive 
agencies in a slab of limestone.' The mechanics 
again seemed satisfied ; and, of course, had I en- 
countered them in the first chamber of the suite, 
and had they questioned me respecting the orga- 
nisms with which it is occupied, I would have told 


them that they were the remains of the herbs and 
trees of ih^ first great period of organic existence. 
But in the chamber of the mammals we parted, 
and I saw them no more." * 

A large and influential section of the students 
of Geology' regard this hypothesis as untenable. 
Generally they may be described as holding that 
the history which is recorded in the igneous and 
fossiliferoas strata does not come into the sacred 
narrative in any shape. As, however, that naxra* 
tive commences with " the beginning," and comes 
down to historic times, the facts so recorded must 
find their chronology within its bounds. Their 
place is accordingly fixed by this school of inter- 
pretation between the actual primordial creation 
(Gen. i. 1), and the chaotic state (ver. 2). 

Let us hear an able and eloquent geologist. 
Professor Sedgwick, on the hypothesis just men- 
tioned of the elongation of the six days : — 

" They [certain excellent Christian writers on 
the subject of Greology] have not denied the facts 
established by this science, nor have they con- 
founded the nature of physical and moral evidence ; 
but they have prematurely (and, therefore, without 
an adequate knowledge of all the facts essential to 

* Testimony of the Rocks, p. 144* 


the argument) endeavoured to bring the natural 
history of the earth into a literal accordance with 
the Book of Genesis ; first, by greatly extending 
the periods of time implied by the six days of 
creation ; and secondly, by endeavouring to show 
that under this new interpretation of its words, 
the narrative of Moses may be supposed to com- 
prehend, and to describe in order, the successive 
epochs of Geology. It is to be feared that truth 
may, in this way, receive a double injury ; and I 
am certain that the argument just alluded to has 
been unsuccessful." — ** We must consider the old 
strata of the earth as monuments of a date long 
anterior to the existence of man, and to the times 
contemplated in the moral records of his crea- 

Many able theologians, who, though well ac- 
quainted with natural science, can scarcely be 
considered as geologists, have been satisfied with 
this solution of the problem. 

Thus Sharon Turner : — 

*' What interval occurred between the first crea- 
tion of the material substance of our globe, and 
the mandate for light to descend upon it, whether 
months, years, or ages, is not in the islightest 

* Discourse (5th Ed.), 115. 


degree noticed [in the Sacred Record]. Geology- 
may shorten or extend its duration, as it may find 
proper." * 

Thus the present Archbishop of Canterbury : — 

" We are not called upon to deny the possible 

existence of previous worlds, from the wreck of 

T^hich our globe was organized, and the ruins 

of which are now furnishing matter for our 

curiosity." t 

Thus Dr. Chalmers : — 

" The present economy of terrestrial things was 
raised about six thousand years ago on the basis of 
an earth then without form and void ; while, for 
aught of information we have in the Bible, the 
earth itself may before this time have been the 
theatre of many lengthened processes, the dwelling- 
place of older economies that have now gone by, 
but whereof the vestiges subsist even to the 
present day, both to the needless alarm of those 
who befriend Christianity, and the unwarrantable 
triumph of those who have assailed it." f 

Thus Dr. Harris : — 

" The first verse of Genesis was designed to 
announce the absolute origination of the material 
universe by the Almighty Creator; and, passing 

• Sac Hiat. of World, t Bee. of Creation, t Nat. Theology. 


by an indefinite interval, the second verse describes 
the state of our planet immediately prior to the 
Adamic creation ; and the third verse begins the 
account of the six days' work," * 

Thus Mr. Gray : — 

^' Tliat an antecedent state of the earth existed 
before the recorded Mosaical epoch, will clearly 
come out to view by the consideration of tiie terms 
used in the second verse. There was at that 
period, according to the express Mosaic record, 
anterior to the six days* reduction into order, 
existing earth and existing water. ^^ f 

Probably the majority of our ablest geologists, 
men who have devoted their lives to the study and 
elucidation of geological phenomena, are to be found 
among those who advocate this scheme of recon- 
ciling those phenomena with the statements of the 
Holy Scriptures. Thus one of the earliest culti- 
vators of the science, the Kev; Dr. Conybeare : — 

" I regard Gen. i. 1 as an universal proposition, 
intended to contradict all the heathen systems 
which supposed the eternity of matter or poly- 
theism ; and ver. 2 I regard as proceeding to take 
up our planet in a state of ruin from a former 
condition, and describing a succession of pheno- 

* Pre- Adamite Earth. t Harmony of Scripture and Geology. 


mena eflfected in part by the laws of nature 
(which are no more than our expression of God's 
observed method of working), and in part by the 
immediate exercise of Divine power in directing 
and creating." * 

Dr. Hitchcock, President of Amherst College, 
U.S., gives in his adhesion to this principle. After 
summing up the evidence in favour of the earth's 
high antiquity, he inquires, " Who will hesitate to 
say that it ought to settle the interpretation of the 
first verse of Genesis, in favour of that meaning 
which allows an intervening period between the 
creation of matter and the creation of light ? This 
interpretation of Genesis is entirely sufficient to 
remove all apparent collision between Geology and 
revelation. It gives the geologist full scope for 
his largest speculations concerning the age of the 
world. It permits him to maintain that its first 
condition was as unlike to the present as possible, 
and allows him time enough for all the changes of 
mineral constitution and organic life which its 
strata reveal. It supposes that all these are passed 
over in silence by the sacred writers, because 
irrelevant to the object of revelation ; but full of 
interest and instruction to the men of science who 

* Christian Observer, 1884. 


should afterwards take pleasure in exploring the 
works of God. 

" It supposes the six days' work of creation to 
have been confined entirely to the fitting up the 
world in its present condition, and furnishing it 
with its present inhabitants. Thus, while it gives 
the widest scope to the geologist, it does not 
encroach upon the literalities of the Bible ; and 
hence it is not strange that it should be almost 
universally adopted by geologists, as well as by 
many eminent divines." * 

Dr. Pye Smith, accepting the immense undefined 
interval between the event of the first verse, and 
the condition chronicled in the second, held the 
somewhat remarkable opinion that the term "earth" 
in that verse, and throughout the whole description 
of the six days, is " designed to express the part 
of our world which God was adapting for the 
dwelling of man and the animals connected with 
him." And that portion he conceived to have 
been " a part of Asia, lying between the Caucasian 
ridge, the Caspian Sea, and Tartary on the north, 
the Persian and Indian Seas on the south, and the 
high mountain ridges which run at considerable 
distances on the eastern and western flank." 

• Religion of Geology, Lect. ii. 


The whole of the six days' creation was con- 
fined, on this- hypothesis, to the re-stocking, 
with plants and animals, of this limited region 
after an inundation caused by its subsidence. The 
flood of Noah was nothing more than a second 
overflowing of the same region, by " an elevation 
of the bed of the Persian and Indian Seas, or a 
subsidence of the inhabited land towards the 
south." * 

The author of " The Protoplast " has made 
the very original suggestion, that the geological 
periods may have occurred during the paradisaical 
condition of man, which he thinks was of an in- 
definitely protracted duration, human chronology 
commencing at the Fall. 

" We have no data in Scripture from which to 
gather certain information, and Adam may have 
lived unfallen one day^ or millions ofyears^ The 
years of the first man's mortal life began to be 
reckoned when his immortality ceased. He was 
nine hundred and thirty years old : f he had been 

• Scripture and Geology. * 

t I am not replying to any of these conflicting opinions ; else^ 
with respect to this one, I might consider it sufficient to adduce 
the ipfUsima verba of the inspired text. Not a word is said of 
Adam's being *' nine hundred and thirty years old ; ** the plain 
statement is as follows : — ''And aU the days thai Adam lived 
were nine hundred and thirty years.** (Gen. v. 5.) 


nine hundred and thirty years gradually decaying, 
slowly dying. 

" It may, indeed, be said that no man could have 
survived those convulsions of nature, of which 
traces have been discovered in the earth's crust. 
I would reply to this; — First, that we have no 
reason to suppose that these changes affected the 
whole globe at once ; they may have been partial 
and successive ; and the world's Eden may have 
been a spot peculiarly exempted from their in- 
fluence. Secondly, that Adam's body before the 
fall was not constituted as ours now are ; it was 
incorruptible and immortal : physical phenomena 
could have had no deleterious effect upon him." 
" Why should we find any difficulty in supposing 
that the geological changes which appear to have 
passed upon the globe, after its creation, and 
hefore its curse, were to the first man sources 
of ever-renewing admiration, delight, and advan- 

" Inclining to the belief that both the animal 
fall and the animal curse were considerablv ante- 
cedent to the sin of Adam, I see no difficulty in 
the admission, that animal death may also have 
prevailed prior to that event."* 

* " Protoplaafc,** pp. 58, 59 ; p. 325 ; 2d. Ed. 



While all those writers whose opinions I have 
cited, feel it more or less incumbent on them to 
seek a reconciliation between the words of Inspi- 
ration and the phenomena of Geology, there are 
not a few who decline the task altogether. Some 
eminent in science seem, by their entire avoid- 
ance of the question, to allow judgment to go by 
default. Others more boldly deny that the two 
can be accommodated. 

Mr. Babbage appears to think the archaic 
Hebrew so insuperably obscure a language, that 
no confidence can be put in our constructions of 
its statements ; an opinion which, if true, would 
make the revelation of God to us, with all its 
glorious types, and promises, and prophecies, 
more dubious than the readings of Egyptian 
papyri, or the decipherment of Assyrian cunei- 

On this notion, however, Dr. Pye Smith ob- 
serves : — " All competent scholars, of whatever 
opinions and parties they may be in other respects, 
will agree to reject any imputation of uncertainty 
with respect to the means of ascertaining the sense 
of the language." 

Others find no difficulty in imderstanding the 

Hebrew, but in believing it. 




Professor Baden Powell sees in the plain, un- 
vamished narrative of the Holy Spirit, only myth 
and poetry : it " was not intended for an historical 
narrative'* at all; and he thinks (I hope incor- 
rectly), that there is a pretty general agreement 
with his views. 

" Most rational persons," he says, "now acknow- 
ledge the failure of the various attempts to recon- 
cile the difficulty [between Geology and Scripture] 
by any kind of verbal interpretation ; they have 
learnt to see that the * six days of thousands of 
years' have, after all, no more correspondence 
with anything in Geology than with any sane 
interpretation of the text. And that the ' immense 
period at the beginning,' followed by a recent 
literal great catastrophe, and final reconstruction in 
a week, is, if possible, more strangely at variance 
with science, Scripture, and common sense. Yet 
while they [viz. the * rational persons,'] thus view 
the labours of the Bible-geologists as fruitless 
attempts, they often do not see—," &c &c.* 

Of course this gives up the authority of Scrip- 
ture altogether;' and, consistently enough, the 
author is severe upon the prevalent " indiscrimi- 
nate and unthinking Bibliolatry." " If in any 

* Unity of Worlds (1856), pp. 488, 493. 



instance the letter of the narrative or form of 
expression may be found irreconcilably at vari- 
ance with 'physical truth^ we may allow, to those 
who prefer it, the alternative of understanding 
them either as religious truths, represented under 
sensible images, or as descriptions of events 
according to the preconceptions of the writers^ 
or the traditions of the age." 

The author of " Vestiges of the Natural History 
of Creation " propounds a theory of organic origin 
much more worthy of God, than that "mean 
view," which supposes Him " to come in on fre- 
quent occasions with new fiats or special inter- 
ferences." Coolly bowing aside His authority, 
this writer has hatched a scheme, by which the 
immediate ancestor of Adam was a Chimpanzee, 
and his remote ancestor a Maggot ! 

In reviewing this array of opinions, is there not 
sufficient ground for regarding with caution the 
claim to certainty which has been boldly put forth 

* "A geological truth must command our assent as power- 
fully as tliat of the existence of our own minds, or of the Deity 
himself; and any revelation which stands opposed to such truths 
fMut he false. The geologist has therefore nothing to do with 
revealed religion in his sdentifio inquiries." — £dinb, Betiew, 
XV. 16. 



for the conclusions of Geology? It cannot be 
denied that there is here room for a very consider- 
able amplitude of choice among discordant hypo- 
theses. All cannot be true, unless on the principle 
which was claimed for the Church by the Coimcil 
of Trent — " Gum enim ecclesta dtiarum eajxm- 
tianum ubertate gaudeat, non esse earn ad unius 
penurxam restrtgendam / " I do not for a moment 
intend to put all these hypotheses and assump- 
tions on the same level. They vary widely 
as to their tenableness, and as to their prevalence. 
But if we leave out of view the fears of those who, 
from insufficient acquaintance with science, are 
not competent to adjudicate on its positions, and 
those who despise or decline Biblical authority 
altogether on this subject, we have still a some- 
what wide range to choose from. Shall we accept 
the antediluvian^ or the diluvian stratification? 
the six ages or the six days of creation ? the irrup- 
tions of internal fire that occurred chiliads hefiyre 
Man was made — those during his protracted para- 
disaic state, or those at the time of the Flood? — 
the extension of the Mosaic record to universal 
nature, or its limitation to a region of south-western 
Asia f 

I am not blaming, far less despising, the efforts 



that have been made for harmonizing the teachings 
of Scripture and science. I heartily sympathise 
with them. What else could good men do ? They 
could not shut their eyes to the facts which Geology 
reveals : to have said they were not facts would have 
been simply absurd. Granting that the whole truth 
was before them — the whole evidence — they could 
not arrive at other conclusions than those just 
recorded ; and, therefore, I do not blame their 
discrepancy inter se. The true key has not as yet 
heen applied to the wards. Until it be, you may 
force the lock, but you cannot open it. Whether 
the key offered in the following pages will open 
the lock, remains to be seen. 




" You shall weU and truly try, and a true deliverance make, and 

a true verdict give, according to the evidence."— (/vry Oaih.) 

A High Court of Inquiry has been sitting now 
for a good many years, whose object is to deter- 
mine a chronological question of much interest. 
It is no less than the age of the globe on which 
we live. Counsel have been heard on both sides, 
and witnesses have been called, and most of the 


judges have considered that an overwhelming 
preponderance of testimony is in favour of an 
immeasurably vast antiquity. A single Witness 
on the other side, however, has deposed in a con- 
trary sense: and, though he has said but little, 
some of those who have heard the cause attach 
such weight to his testimony, that they do not 
feel satisfied to let it be overborne. Counsel on 


the former side have, indeed, cross-examined the 
Witness, and dissected his testimony with much 
skilly and they contend that what he said has been 
misunderstood by the minority ; and that, as his 
words may at least bear a sense which would not 
contradict those of the opposing witness, the clear, 
copious, and unvarying deposition previously made, 
ought to command the verdict of the Court, 

The minority are silenced, but not satisfied j they 
know not how to give up the Witness on whose 
veracity they have been wont to rely; but they 
are unable to answer the arguments brought 
against him. 

Counsel for the Brachy-chronology speaks. " We 
respectfully ask the Court for another hearing. 
Will our learned brother permit his witness 
briefly to recapitulate his testimony, and we will 
endeavour to examine it once more ; for we think 
we shall be able to detect some flaw -in it?*' 
Rule granted. . 


The following, then, is the substance of what 
the witness deposes. He is not a living witness ; 
his testimony, therefore, is not oral, but written — 
lithographed, in fact. It consists of a number of 


documents, which are couched in a language and 
character not to be understood without some pre- 
vious study, but yet very capable of translation — 
very clear and unmistakeable. The following, 
I say, is a condensed summary of the leading 

If a curious person had watched the process of 
making the excavations that were preliminary to 
the boring of the Thames Tunnel, he would have 
obs^ved that the labourers exposed successive 
layers of earth, differing much in colour, con- 
sistency, and general character. First, an accu- 
mulation of soil, consisting of decayed vegetable 
and animal matter, mingled with broken pottery, 
and other rubbish of man's production, was re- 
moved ; then a layer of sand, gravel, and river 
mud ; then a bed of reddish clay ; then a layer of 
clay, mixed with silt or fine sandy mud ; then 
a thin layer of silt, much filled with shells ; then 
ia stratum of stiff blue clay ; then a layer of clay 
of more mottled character, containing a portion of 
silt, and some shells ; then a stratum of very firm 
clay, so solid that it required to be broken with 
wedges ; then a bed of gravel and sand of a green 
colour ; and finally, a similar layer, but of a 
coarser texture. 



In the course of the hundred feet or so of per- 
pendicular depth ^thus exposed, he would have 
seen a succession of layers, apparently deposited 
Upon one another. But as yet he would have 
formed a very inadequate notion of the stratifica- 
tion of the earth's crust 

With the knowledge thus gained, however, let 
him now make a little excursion into Hertford- 
shire ; we will suppose at the time when the 
Cuttings for the Great Northern Railway were 
being made. When he came near Cheshunt, he 
would see that the London clay, which he found 
underlying the Thames, crops out, or disappears 
by the stratum coming obliquely to the surface; 
He would see, however, another bed of clay — the 
plastic clay — beneath this, which now forms the 
superficial stratimi, and continues to do so, till he 
gets beyond Hertford. There this stratum crops 
out ; and the chalk, which for some time he has 
seen to underlie the plastic clay, now comes to the 

' Business or pleasure calls him to Bridlington 
on the Yorkshire coast ; and he determines to 
make a pedestrian tour across the diameter o 
England to Whitehaven. He soon recognises the 
chalk, which constitutes the Wolds, and rises to 



about 800 feet above the sea level. Below its 
escarpment he traces the Kimmeridge clay, the 
uppermost of a series of strata more than 2,000 
feet in thickness, that constitute the Oolitic 
system — including, among others, the cq^ralline 
oolite, the calcareous grit, the combrash, thin, but 
rich in fossils ; the lower sandstone and coal of 
the Cleveland hills, the alum shale, the marlstone, 
and the lower lias-shale. 

Then comes a stratum of the saliferous svstem or 
the new red sandstone, with the red marls, perhaps 
not much short of a thousand feet deep. Below 
them the observer finds the strata of the magnesian 
limestone formation, for nearly 400 feet, resting 
on the great coal formations of vast depth. Of 
these the coal field of the West Kiding is not 
less than 4,000 feet in depth, and beneath it lie 
the millstone grit, and the mountain limestone, 
2,600 feet more, the latter displayed in noble 
grandeur on the faces of those wall-like precipices 
that inclose the romantic dales of the Swale and 
the Ure, and that subsequently tower in magni- 
ficent altitude on the sides of Pennygant and 



Cumbrian Slate formation 

Mountain Limestone . . « 


Magnetian Limestone . • 

New Red Sandstone . . . 


Bath Oolite 

Coralline Oolite 

Kimmeridge Claj .... 

Speeton Clay 

Red Chalk 

White Chalk 
DUuTium . . 

Hougill Fells. 


Coal District. 

Vale of York. 

Tabular Hills, 

Vale of Pickering. 



On the western escarpment of the Pennine ridge, 
just as the traveller is entering Westmoreland, he 
would detect the bottom of the limestone ; and here 
he would have an opportunity of seeing, what is 
rare in these parts, a stratum of the old red sand- 
stone, lying between the former and the slaty 
rocks of the Cumbrian formations. And here at 
length, in the wild and magnificent scenery of 
these mountains, he sees the primitive and tran- 
sition series, the greenstone, the sienite, and the 
granite, each of which is discernible in succession 
on the face of one or other of the lofty Fells of 

Our traveller now comes home, and, musing on 
what he has seen, counts up some thirty or more 
distinct strata lying in regular succession one on 
another. But he has not seen all the world, nor 
even all England ; but he reads the results of many 
independent observations, and finds that while, for 
the most part, the strata which he has seen axe 
common to the whole suriEace of the globe, and 
while the order of their superposition is invariable 
everywhere, others are in some parts added, while 
perhaps some of those which he has observed are 
locally absent. Thus he is able to form a more 
distinct idea of the stratification of the earth's 


drost as a whole. It is composed of about forty 
distinct formations, generally increasing in thick- 
ness as we go downwards, so that the whole can- 
not be much less than ten miles in depth, supposing 
them in any locality to be all present, and to be 
lying in the horizontal plane. 

Mathematicians have satisfactorily determined 
that the mean density of the globe is about five- 
and-a-half times that of water, or about twice that 
of granite, a fact inconsistent with any other sup- 
position than that the interior is occupied by 
substances maintained in a fluid state by intense 
heat. The lowest point that has yet been patent 
to human observation is occupied by the granite, a 
compound rock, which bears evident marks of 
having been once in a state of fusion, and of 
having cooled slowly, and that under immense 
pressure, contracting and crystallizing as it parted 
with its heat. There is every reason to believe 
that the granite is not defined at its inferior sur- 
face, but that it merges into the molten mass, 
probably still solidifying. 

After the outer portion of the granite had cooled 
sufficiently to become solid, there is evidence that 
it was covered by water, agitated by powerful 
currents, and probably in a heated state. The 


action of these currents disintegrated the rock, and 
deposited the constituent substances at the bottom 
of the sea — on the surface, and in the hollows, of 
the granite. For there is reason to think that the 
contraction of the primitive rock in the process of 
cooling, produced irregular undulations or crump- 
lings of the surface, and frequent fractures and 
dislocations, elevating some parts and depressing 
others. The gneiss, the mica-schist, and the claj- 
slate, which are found immediately overlying the 
granitic rock in strata of vast thickness, are but 
the components of granite, separated and re- 
arranged. ''If we imagine common granite 
coarsely pounded, and thrown into a vessel of 
water, it will arrange itself at the bottom of the 
vessel in a condition very much like that of gneiss, 
which is indeed nothing else than stratified 
granite. If the water in which the pounded rock 
is thrown is moving along at a slow rate, and the 
clayey portion of the granite, called fdapar, 
happens to be somewhat decomposed, as it often 
is, then the felspar (which is so truly clay that it 
makes the best possible material for the use of the 
potteries) and the thin shining plates of mica, will 
be carried further by the water than the lumps of 
white quartz or flint sand, which, with the other 



two ingredients, made up the granite; and the 
two former will be deposited in layers, which, by 
passing a galvanic current through them, would in 
time become mica-schist. If the mica were absent, 
or if the clay were deposited without it, owing to 
any cause, then a similar galvanic current would 
turn the deposit into something like clay-slate."* 

The deposition of these strata, being formed out 
of granite, supposes the pre-existence of that rock ; 
and as they occur in vast thicknesses, even of many 
thousand feet, then separation^ deposition, and re- 
consolidation must have occupied, however rapidly 
we may suppose the processes to have been accom- 
plished, considerable periods of time. 

In these lower rocks, no trace of organic remains 
has been found. The shoreless ocean that covered 
the cooling surface of the earth*s crust, harboured 
no polype or sponge, no rhizopod or infiisoriumy 
and the angles and clefts of the granite were fringed 
by no fucus, or conferva : all was waste and void. 
And if certain parts were elevated above the waters, 
the bleak and barren points were not clothed with 
grass, or moss, or even a lichen, and no animal 
wandered over their ridges. Or, if such did exist, 
either in land or water, all vestiges of their presence 

* AxiBted'fl Anoient World, 18. 



have been destroyed by the agency of the intense 
heat that subsequently prevailed. 

But, in the numerous strata that overlie the rocks 
of granitic origin, there are found, in varying 
abundance, proofs that, when they were deposited^ 
the surface of oUr earth had become the abode of 
organic life. Zoophytes lived in the ocean, some 
of which were engaged in secreting lime from the 
water, and depositing it in coral-reefs ; stalked and 
jointed Star-fishes waved like lilies of stone from 
the submerged rocks ; Sea-worms twined over the 
mud ; mailed Crustaceans swam to and fro ; and 
MoUusks, both bivalve and univalve, crawled over 
the ledges or reposed in the crevices. The remains 
of these occur in the Silurian rocks that lie imme- 
diately on the primitive granitic formations of 
Cumberland and North Wales. The construction 
of the coral-reefs of that deposit, in particular, 
must have occupied a lengthened period, continuing 
to go on, "month after month, year after year, 
century after century, until at length the depth 
changed, in which they could most conveniently 
live, or, owing to some other cause, their labours 
were brought to a close, and they disappeared from 
amongst existing species."* 

* Ansted's Ancient World, $0. 



- Not a aingle species, or even a single genus of 
those early strata, is identical with any that existB 
■now. The Coral-polypes, for instance, while allied 
to onrs, are goite distinct from them, though 
endowed with sitmUr powers and habits, so that 
we may reason from analogy on the laws of their 
deposits. The Trilobites were allied to the tiny 
water-fleas {&ito7nostraca) of the present day : like 
the Oniecidm (wood-lice, hnttons, &c.} of onr gar- 
dens, they had the habit of rolling their plated 
^dies into a ball These are found in great num- 
bers, their remains often heaped on one another. 

eiundtdi backvlBiT. 

6. nllednpi tide t lew. 

The MoUusca of those seas were chiefly of the 


class Cephalopoda — one of the least populous now- 
a-days, but then existing in vast number and 
variety ; the Brachiopoda, Conchifera, and Gastro- 
poda, were, however, well represented also. 

Such were the inhabitants of the sea during the 
Silurian period, in which a series of soUd deposits 
were made, the aggregate, probably, exceeding 
50,000 feet in thickness. Each deposit, though 
not more than a few inches in depth, ^' is provided 
with its own written story, its sacred memoranda, 
curing „ of .he ^^ »a .*r ^ p». 
vailed, and of the perfect uniformity of plan." 

Over all these, however, we see laid the strata of 
the Devonian system, especially the old red sand- 
stone, which in some places attains a thickness 
of 10,000 feet It is composed of a coarse agglo- 
meration of broken fragments of the old granitic 
rocks, rolled and tossed about, apparently by the 
ever-breaking waves of shingle-beaches, until the 
hardest stones are worn into rounded pebbles by 
long and constant attrition. 

An examination of the old red sandstone, as is 
seen in Herefordshire, will aid us in forming a 
notion of the time required for its production. It 
is composed of fragments obtained by the dis- 
integration of more ancient rocks, which, by a long 


process of rolling together in a breaking sea, or in 
the bed of a rapid current, have lost all their angles. 
The pebbles, thus worn, have at length settled, — 
the heaviest lowest, — and the whole has been con- 
solidated into firm rock. " In many places," says 
Dr. Pye Smith, " the upper part of this vast form- 
ation is of a closer grain, showing that it was 
produced by the last and finest deposits of clayey 
and sandy mud, tinged, as the whole is, with 
oxides and carbonates of iron, usually red, but 
often of other hues. But, frequently, the lower 
portions, sometimes dispersed heaps, and, some- 
times, the entire formation, consist of vast masses 
of conglomerate, the pebbles being composed of 
quartz, granite, or some other of the earliest kinds; 
and thus showing the previous rocks, from whose 
destruction they have been composed. Let any 
person first acquire a conception of the extent of 
this formation, and of its depth, often many hun- 
dreds, and, sometimes, two or three thousand feet ; 
(but such a conception can scarcely be formed 
without actual inspection;) then let him attempt 
to follow out the processes which the clearest evi- 
dence of our senses shows to have taken place ; and 
let him be reluctant and sceptical to the utmost that 
he can, he cannot avoid the impression that ages 




umnmerable mBBt have rolled over the world, in 
the making of this single formation."* 

Here, Fishes are added to the Invertebrate Ani- 
mals. A sort of Shark with the mouth terminal, 
instead of beneath the head was the earliest repre- 
sentative of this class Bat closely following on 
this were some cunons species enveloped in plate 
mail and remarkable for the singnlan^ of their 
forms as the Cephalaspis and the Henchthys. 

This great period passed awaj, and was socceeded 
by that of the Carbomferoua deposits, indicative 
of a vast change in the physical character of the 

* SetiptUM Mid Geology, 371. (Ed. 18SS.) 


earth's surface and atmosphere. This change of 
character may be briefly summed up as consisting 
of an immense abundance of lime in the ocean, and 
of an equally vast charge of carbonic acid in the 

Strata of limestone, 2,500 feet in thickness, 
were accumulated in the ocean by the labours of 
Coral-polypes, allied to, but totally distinct from, 
those which had previously existed in the primary 
system. On the floor of a shallow sea, which 
then occupied the middle of what is now England, 
the coral reefs rose perpetually towards the day, 
atom by atom, the strata on which they were 
founded slowly and steadily sinking ever to a 
lower level, while successive generations of the 
industrious zoophytes wrought upwards, to main- 
tain their position within reach of the light and 
warmth. What period of time was requisite for 
the aggregation of coral structure to the perpen- 
dicular thickness of 2,500 feet ? 

While this was going on, other Invertebrata 
were living in the shallow seas, mostly differing 
from the older species, which had become by this 
time extinct. Encrinites and Sea-urchins existed ; 
some Foraminifera were astonishingly abundant ; 
tlie Cephalopoda and the Brachtopoda presented a 


vast variety of species; and about seventy sorts 
of Fishes, mostly Sharks, characterised the age. 

On the coral limestone lies a sort of conglome- 
rate, known as the millstone grit ; and on this is 
laid that source of Britain's eminence, the coal. 
The coal measures of South Wales are estimated 
at 12,000 feet in thickness. The profusion of 
vegetable life that must have combined to make 
the coal in these, has no parallel in this age ; no, 
not in the teeming forests of South America, or 
the great isles of the Oriental Archipelago. The 
circumstances which favoured this enormous de- 
velopment of plants, seem never to have been 
repeated in subsequent ages, since the coal 
measures which are found in the later strata are 
thin and inconsiderable, compared, with those we 
are considering. 

M. Adolphe Brogniart suggests that in this 
period, from some source or other, carbonic acid 
was generated in vast abundance ; or, at least, that 
it existed in the air, in a far greater proportion 
than it does now ; and it is singularly confirmatory 
of his view, that terrestrial animals, to which this 
gas is fatal, have left almost no traces of their 
existence, during the age of these vast forests — a 
circumstance otherwise strange and unaccountable. 


"Those parts," says Mr. Ansted, "of the great 
caibonifetoos series ■which generally include the 
beds of coral, consist of muddy and sandy laeds, 
alternating with one another, and with the coal 
itself. Some of them would appear to he of 
fresh-water, and some of marine origin ; and they 
ahonnd, for the most part, with remains of the 
leaves of Ferns and fem-like trees, together with 
the crushed trunks of these and other trees, whose 
snbstaace may have contributed to form the great 
accumulatJons of bitumiDised and other vegetable 
carbon obtained irom these strata. 

" It is not easy to communicate such an idea of 
beds of coal as shall enable the reader to under- 
stand clearly the nature of the circumstances under 
which they may have been deposited, and the time 
required for this purpose. The actual total thick- 
ness of the different beds in England varies con- 
siderably in different districts, but appears to 
amount, in the Lancashire coal-field, to as much 
as 150 feet. In North America there is a coal-field 
of vast extent, in which there appears at least as 
great a thickness of workable coal as in any part of 
England ; while in Belgium and France the thick- 
ness is often much less considerable, although 
the beds thicken again sdll further to the east. 


" But this account of the thickness of the beds 
gives a very imperfect notion of the quantity of 
vegetable matter required to form them ; and, on 
the other hand, the rate of increase of vegetables, 
and the quantity annually brought down by some 
great rivers, both of the eastern and western con- 
tinents^ is beyond all measure greater than is the 
case in our drier and colder climate. Certain 
kinds of trees which contributed largely to the 
formation of the coal, seem to have been almost 
entirely succulent, and capable of being squeezed 
into a small compass during partial decomposition. 
This squeezing process must have been conducted 
on a grand scale, both during and after the forma- 
tion of separate beds ; and each bed in succession 
was probably soon covered up by muddy and 
sandy accumulations, now alternating with the 
coal in the form of shale and grit-stone. Some- 
times, trunks of trees caught in the mud would 
be retained in a slanting or nearly vertical posi- 
tion, while. the sands were accumulating roimd 
them; sometimes the whole would be quietly 
buried, and soon cease to exhibit any external 
marks of vegetable origin.* 

* " It is by no means unlikely that some beds of coal were 
deriyed from the mass of vegetable matter present at one time 
on the surface^ and submerged suddenly. It is only necessary 


" To relate the various steps In the formation of 
a bed of coal, and the gradual superposition of 
one bed upon another, by which at length the 
whole group of the coal-measures was completed, 
would involve an amount of detail little adapted 
to these pages ; and when it is remembered that 
the woody fibres, after being deposited, had to be 
completely changed, and the whole chairacter of 
the vegetable modified, before it could be reduced 
to the bituminous, brittle, almost crystalline 
mineral now dug out of the earth for fuel, it will 
rather seem questionable whether the origin of 
coal was certainly and necessarily vegetable, than 
reasonable to doubt the importance of the change 
that has taken place, and the existence of extra- 
ordinary means to produce that change. Nothing, 
however, is more certain than that all coal was 
once vegetable ; for in most cases woody structure 
may be detected under the microscope; and this, 
if not in the coal in its ordinary state, at least in 
the burnt ashes which remain after it has been 
exposed to the action of heat, and has lost its 

to refer to the accounts of vegetation in some of the extremely 
moistj warm islands in the southern hemisphere, where the 
ground is occasionally covered with eight or ten feet of decaying 
vegetable matter at one time, to be satisfied that this is at least 



bitaminoos and semi-crystalline character. This 
has been too well and too frequently proved by 
actual experiment, to require more than the mere 
statement of the fact." * 

An eminent practical geologist thus essays to 
guess the age of the coal-fields, and of the sand- 
stone that underlies it. 

"The great tract of peat near Stirling has 
demanded [for its formation] two thousand years ; 
for its registry is preserved by the BrOman works 
below it. It is but a single bed of coal. Shall we 
multiply it by 100? We shall not exceed, — far 
from it, — did we allow 200,000 years for the pro- 
duction of the coal-series of Newcastle, with all its 
rocky strata. A Scottish lake does not shoal at the 
rate of half a foot in a century ; and that country 
presents a vertical depth of far more than 3,000 
feet in the single series of the oldest sandstone. 
No sound geologist will accuse a computer of ex- 
ceeding, if he allow 600,000 years for the produc- 
tion of this series alone. And yet what are* the 
coal deposits, and what the oldest sandstone, com- 
pared to the entire mass of the strata ? " f 

The conjecture, that the whole of the vegetable 

* Ansted's Anc. World, 75. 

t M'Culloch'8 System of Geology, i. 506. 


material now constituting the coal, was the growth 
of the antediluvian centuries, and that it was 
floated away and deposited by the flood, is un- 
tenable. In not a few instances trunks are found 
broken, and worn by water-action ; but the great 
mass warrants the conclusion that trees of vast 
dimensions and of close array — dense, majestic 
forests, such as now occur only in the most humid 
regions of the tropics — were submerged in their 
native abodes, lying where they fell, and where 
they have left the impressions, side by side, on the 
upper and under surfaces of the shale, of their 
delicate peculiarities of structure, which would 
have been totally obliterated, if the trees had been 
sea-borne and shore-rolled, as pretended. The 
result of a careful and minute examination of 
fhe phenomena of coal, by Mr. Binney, is, that 
the vegetable matter now forming coal had grown 
in vast marine swamps, subjected to a series of 
subsidences with long intervals of repose ; that the 
trees, and perhaps smaller plants, were submerged 
under tranquilwtxtQT, in the places of their growth ; 
and that very inconsiderable portions, if any, of 
the beds, are owing to drifting.* 

Origin of Coal. 
D 2 


While the coal was in process of deposition, the 
sea was occupied with Invertebrata, not widely 
differing from those which had marked the pre- 
vious eras. 

Fishes, however, were advancing in develop- 
ment ; and several new and strange forms, some 
of them of gigantic dimensions and formidably 
armature, were introduced. These were chiefly 
remarkable for their affinities with Reptiles (whence 
they are often called Sauroid Fishes) ; and one of 
them — Megalichihya — was furnished with jaws of 
serried teeth, surpassing those of the crocodile. 
With these were associated other and more ordinary 
Fishes ; and swarms of Sharks of many species, 
and varying much in size, roved through the sea, 
maintaining the same pirate character as their 
representatives of our modem seas — fierce, subtle, 
voracious, and powerftJ. 

At this time, too, appeared the earliest Beptiles, 
chiefly of the Amphibia sub-class. Some of these 
are known only by their foot-prints; and the 
late Hugh Miller has graphically described the 
appearance of some of these, which he met with 
marking the roof of a coal-mine, four hundred 
feet below the surface. These must have been 
Batrachia of large size, as the fore feet were 


thirteen inches apart across the breast.* They 
will be alluded to again. 

With these exceptions, remains of terrestrial 
animals are, as has already been observed, rare in 
this formation. 

Testimony of the Rocks, p. 78. 





'* AlwMyN (llNiruvt vory pUln oftMVH : bewiuro le«t ft iinftke auddenly ttftrt out 
U|Min you, til Oip nIiiiiip of itomt» ooncttnled und utterly unexpected difficulty." 
-WaNNHN: Law Stutlh*. 

\Vk hrtvo hithorto Ikhmi conaidoring the strata as 
if tlioy Imtl nMUftinod pornmnout when once depo- 
Hitod, M\ihj(H't to no changis 8ave the successive 
HupovpoHitiou of other strata upni them. But this 
in vorv far fi\>m Innng true. Knormous displace- 
u\outii» uphoaviug8, I'ontortions, and fractures, are 
oWorvod in tho strata, which toll of mighty forces 
havinjy In^on at work upon them at>er their forma- 
tion* T\\i> oxplanativm of tlio;?o phenomena is due 
to tho intornal )u^at> which evor ai\d anon seems 
to \HMUH^ntrato its action on sn^me special point, 
9k^H>kin^ and tindiu^ vent tor itself by some altera- 
tion in tho aln^adv cv^nsv^Udatod cnutt. 


Sometimes, the mode of action has been the 
transmission of tmdulations through the crust, 
producing earthquakes, cracking and forcing apart 
strata already petrified, and bending and variously 
contorting those that have but partially become 
solid. Sometimes, the fiery impulse is sufficiently 
concentrated to break through the superincumbent 
materials, forcing a passage for the molten and in- 
candescent rock, which then flows forth from the 
surface, penetrates into the cracks and fissures of 
the fractured strata, and frequently spreads into 
the hollows and over the summits of the latest 
, formations. 

It is owing to such causes as these, that we find 
the rocky layers so often inclined at various angles 
to the horizon, instead of being parallel to it, as 
they would be of course deposited; occasionally 
standing quite perpendicularly, and even to a small 
extent reversed. The outcropping of formations, 
the long lines of cliff running across a country in 
parallel series, ("crag and tail,") the dipping of 
strata from some central point or ridge, and the 
non-correspondence between the bottom of one 
stratum and the top of the underlying one, — are 
all phenomena of this sort of powerful action, which 
has been more or less energetic at all periods. 


After the deposit of the Old Red Sandstone, the 
internal fire appears to have enjoyed a lull of its 
energy, if not a complete cessation, until the Coal 
Measures were complete. Then the long tranquil- 
ity was again broken, and concussions so extensive 
and violent ensued, that hardly a single square 
mile of country can anywhere be found which is 
not full of fractured and contorted strata, the record 
of subterranean movements, which mostly occurred 
between the Carboniferous and thePremian deposits. 

The effects of these convulsions were manifest 
in the changed relations of land and sea, existing 
continents and islands being dislocated, severed, 
and swallowed up, while others were elevated from 
the depths of the previous ocean. 

It was from the wave-worn materials thus ob- 
tained from pre-existing strata, that the New Rcji 
Sandstone was consolidated. It consists chiefly of 
sand and mud, with few organic, remains ; and the 
hiatus thus found, in animals and vegetables, seems 
to be almost a complete one between the organisms 
of the preceding and the succeeding periods. 

The most interesting traces of the earth's tenants 
during the New Red formation, consist of foot- 
tracks impressed by the progress of animals along 
the yielding mud between the ranges of high and 


low tide. They afford a lemarkable example (not, 
I think, EufSciently dwelt on) of the extreme 
.rapidity with which deposits were consolidated; 
since the tracks moat have heen made, and the 
material consolidated, during the few hours, at most, 
that interreued between the recess and the reflux of 
the tide ; since, if the mnd had not so soon become 
solid, the flow of the sea would have instantly 
obliterated such marks, as it does now on our shores. 

The principal animal, whose footprints have been 

identified, was an enormoua Frog {Lahyrtnthothn), 

as big as a hippopotamus, but apparently allied, in 

its Berried teeth, and in the bony plates with which 



it was covered, to the Crocodiles, which were its 

Tt is carious that marks in the same material 
have chronicled the serpentine trail of a Sea-worm, 
the scratchings of a Crab, the ripple of the wavelets, 
and even the drops of a passing shower ; the last 
revealing, by their margins, the direction of the 
wind hj which the slanting rain was driven. 

If the Triassic formations display but little evi- 
dence of organic existence, the lack is supplied by 
the abundance of such records, which is contained 
in the Oolitic system, and specially in its lowest 
component, — the Lias. Animals now existed in 
profusion, but of species which were for the most 
part peculiar. The coral-making Polypes existed 
not (or very rarely) in the seas of that age, but 
lime was secreted by an unusual number of Crinoid 
Echinoderms, which seem to have fringed the rocks 
and floating pieces of timber, much as Barnacles 
do now. 

Among the Molliisca now began to appear the 
inhabitants of those very elegant shells, the Am- 
monitesy allied to the Nautilus of our Southern 
seas, which may be considered as the lingering 
representative of those swarms of shelled Cepha- 
lopoda. They were accompanied by their near 


relationa, the Belemniies, more reBembling a Cnttle, 
with a long internal, pointed shell. 

Fishes, chiefly belonging to a curionBly aimed 
tribe of Sharks, together with some enclosed in 
bony-mail like pavement, were present in the shal- 
lows, where the Lias was probably deposited. 

But the most characteristic animals were great 
marine Reptiles of strange and uncouth forms to 

which the present world presents us no known 
analogy. One of these was the IchthyMaurug, 
which closely resembled a porpoise in form, but 

;.ik^ tml, ami 'rvo p«ni ->£ 3ftfi<il»i: a montii xc 
irtfa sT/mt "Siv^^luBi tjf^edi. and <?miiTmn» <7«u 
Aiu^tlMr imn -w^^ i^x. of die PfjummMmrmm, xazceij 
li^iwr in arise rhan Itn JdlDtr, irhiisk in t&e ontime if 
iti^ ryyi7 it nt^seinhb^ : It irasi ^iaringmaheiL Haw- 
4^:91^^ rv7 an ezMkvrriinarj lemstii of tUKk^ slender 
anH Yvraii-'iilK. ^tAtunirtiiur of diirtjar OKry^T^rQebnE^ 
it ^M» CO i:he Interesit of thaie greac marfni^ 
ft^:pnie», dut ivrr^nnd dieir ftuffil afceletniia axe 
preaerw*! pelliy» of excrement lamwn as Copro- 
Uti(*:a, eAnttonin^ fbb(nneni:?t of bone, ti^eidL ami jcalei 
of i^h^f whiivh oleaarlj rereal die natme of ticir 
1W(^ f A y>Tne ifMt:^^^ die iicomadL and intiea' 
tmes* 0/ dieiie ^e:kt eamfToronsi ereaoirear filled widi 
h«t/-dtgeaee4 fSryy}, harre left indobctabie ttacea of 

Ap^f the $reoi^;i^7 of the Glo1)e ehangecL 
ff^fw land^ arof^. from the ^ea^ aad old lands par- 
tinittj or wh^tly ^tanlc. The German Ocean, and 
part <^ Western YMTf^i^.^ fA our mapa, were a great 
^orrp of tnUkuAn, The ()fAitic fi>rmatioti waa depo- 
Aite^.r T}ie p^f^^sil chara^er of the organization 
^/f thin jftmrffl fhtff^fA little from tliat of the Lias. 
N#7ir f//rm» of plantn^ Hoch an Cyeadem, were 
at/fiff/lant, with con«i(k;rable numbers of Corals, 


EDcrinitea, Sea-orchins and Mollneka. MacrurouB 
Crustacea, much like those of out times (but essen- 
tially different in species), inhabited the sea, and 
some Beetles and Flies represented the Inaects of 
the land. The FiBhes and Marine Iteptiles were 
pretty much the same with those of the Lias, though 
they received some important additions. 

It is, however, among the terrestrial Vertehrata 
that we must look for the characteristic organisms 
of this age. And these are, still, Reptiles. The 
huge Megahaaurui, with a body as big as an 
elephant's, stood high on his legs, and stretched 
open a pair of gaping jaws, set with jagged teeth. 


The Pterodaeti/les flew about, — camivorooB lizards, 
with the body and wings of hata * except that the 

membraoe waa stretched upon the enonnoualy 
developed little finger; — creatnree, perhaps, the 

* Mr. Newman Huggests that they were "msTHupial bats" 
(Zoolaipst, p. 129). I luve adopted his attitudes, bot have not 
•ntured to give them nuunniBlian ears. 


most unlike to anything familat to as, of all fossil 
forms. And, in the marshj' margins of the great 
river valley which formed theWealden of our South- 
eastern districts, the giant Iguanodon, and his fellow, 
the HyVeosauTua, waged their peaceful warfare on ' 
the succulent plants that became their unresisting 

The circle of animal life was completed in this 
epoch, thus far, that every class was represented by 
some one or more of its constituent species No 
fossil skeletons of Birds have, indeed been found 
BO low as the Oolite, but numerous foot-pnnts of 
some of the Grrallatores are found m a sandstone 
of this period and in the Stonesfield slate, which 

4* TffK mTsfssm WE 

\n c:f^fpcmi^0)fr9^ int\\ it. » ^jeniM of Xianiauilia Ium 
hfim 4if>)e^7«>n>4, — % ?fmpXi Harmifm), allied to the 

TJm: 4»irati/>T> of tli« OoJitic periiMl miuit hare 
be^ conffi'lerkhte;. '^ The Ii«9 :9ea-bf>ttoiii wan 
iWH&5w4e4 fiffft by a wnrfy, aiMl then by a cakan^iu 
riep^t,an#l fbe animals were itwviiiied aeeoniin^y. " 
The ^Jep^t of cartvwiate of lime, wiiich took place 
THi4er cirrmmfitances that caofied it tr> attraet amnnd 
itiif r\r>^n\en the organie particles, wbenee the name 
-^^ii&f ''(*iJfi;f-«rtone; i« denveAy was not eoiitintioiui, 
but f«!peat^y{ at Int^rv^W The $9helli9 of XblltwlM 
wf^tv> (i4»v'i»]r>^A in ^M abdiuianee) and aecomti- 
Iatiort« of the«e (imt\^A thick bands, which con- 
solidated into layei^ of shell-liniestoner Three 
hnndTwI fe/f;t of strata^ largely composed of org^ic 
remains^ were ^vrmed before the clay was deposited 
which mwlfir the Stonci^eld and contemporaneond 

(hscp, more the iry land frank, probably by slow 
wjccessive j^bfridences, and the «ea flowed many 
fathoms fleep above the great Knropean archipelago. 
AnrI i>pon its q|iiiet bottom settled down, first a 
fevr sandy and clayey beds, and then the great 
layer of the Chalk. 

Creatures of ^ftrf minute sisse and low grades of 


organization were now playing a very important 
part. A large portion of the lime that was depo- 
sited, in the form of a pnre carbonate, was doubtless 
supplied by the Coral structures, which were ex- 
ceedingly numerous; the polypidoms being gnawed 
down by strong-jawed fishes that fed upon the 
Zoophytes. Foramtnifera also were abundant, and 
contributed to the supply. 

Nodules of flint exist in the Chalk, sometimes 
scattered, sometimes arranged in bands. Two 
sources are indicated for this substance. One is 
Sponge^ the most common kinds of which are 
composed of skeletons of siliceous spicula; and 
these can be discerned with the microscope in the 
interior of the chalk-flints. But millions upon 
millions of Infusoria swam through the waters, 
and many of these were encased in siliceous loricae, 
while the rocks and seaweeds were firinged with 
as incalculably numerous examples of siliceous 
DiatomacecBj whose elegant forms are recognisable 
without diflSculty throughout the Chalk. The 
inconceivable abundance of these forms may be 
illustrated by the often-cited fact, that whole strata 
of solid rock appear to be so exclusively composed 
of their solid remains, that a cube of one-tenth of 
an inch is computed by Ehrenberg to contain five 
hundred millions of individuals. 


The increase of these organisms is very rapid, 
and their duration proportionately short; but 
allowing for this, what period would elapse before 
the successive generations of entities, of which 
forty-one thousand millions are required to make 
a cubic incn, would have accumulated into solid 
strata fourteen feet in thickness ? 

Without pausing to examine the whole Cre- , 
taceous fauna, we may observe that the Mollusca 
with chambered shells — ^the Ammonites and their 
allies — ^were developed in singular variety and 
profusion during this period, after which they 
suddenly disappeared from the ocean. The Fishes 
present little that is remarkable ; of Birds, few, and 
of Mammals, no remains exist ; and the Eeptiles, 
while not absolutely extinct, are few and rare. 
One great marine form, however, the Mosasaurtis, 
was added to their number. 

At length the sea ceased to deposit chalk, and 
its bed appears to have been slowly elevated, until 
all the animals that had inhabited the waters of 
that formation were destroyed ; so that their race 
and generation perished.* The grand epoch of 
Secondary Formations was closed. 

♦ In Tennant'B " List of Brit. Fossils " (1847), but two species 
— a Brachiopod and a Qastropod — are mentioned as common to 
the Chalk and the London Clay. They are Terd>raMa striaiula, 
and Pyrula Smithii, 



It was followed by an extensive disruption of 
the then existing strata, and by. changes and 
modifications so great as to alter the whole face of 
nature. " It would appear that a long period of time 
elapsed before newer beds were thrown down, since 
the chalky mud not only had time to harden into 
chalk, but the surface of the chalk itself was much 
rubbed and worn/' During this protracted period, 
eruptions of molten rock occurred of enormous extent, 
producing the Basaltic formation which covers the 
Chalk in the north of Ireland, and in some of the 
Hebrides. In the south of Europe the Pyrenees 
were elevated, and the Apennines and Carpathians 
were pushed to a greater altitude than before, if 
they were not then formed. The Alps and the 
Caucasus also experienced a series of upward 
movements, continuing through a considerable 
range of the Tertiary epoch. 

The rich collections of vegetable remains — chiefly 
fruits and seeds — that have been made from the 
London Clay, show that the earliest land of this 
period was clothed with a great abundance and 
variety of plants ; and these are of such alliances 
as would now require a tropical climate. Many 
species of Palms, Screw-pines, Gourds, Piperacea^ 
Mimosemy and other Leguminosmy Malvacea, and 



Oonifera^ dropped their woody pods and fruits 
where now tjiese pages are written; and the 
animals manifest no less interesting an approxi- 
mation to existing forms than the plants. The 
Zoophytes, the Echinoderms, the Foraminifera, the 
Worms, the Grostacea, the MoUosca, the Fishes and 
the Reptiles of the Eocene beds, exhibit a great 
preponderance of agreement with those that now 
exist, 80 far as genus is concerned^ though the 
species are still almost wholly distinct. The 
approximation is particularly marked in the Mol- 
luscous sub-kingdom, by the almost entire disap- 
pearance of the hitherto swarming Brachiopod and 
Cephalopod forms, and the progressive substitution 
for them of the ConchifBra and Gastropoda^ which 
had, however, throughout the Secondary epoch, 
been gradually coming forward to their present 
predominance in nature. 

Among the Fishes, the Placoid type was dimi- 
nished in number ; and those that were produced 
were mostly Sharks and Rays, of modem genera ; 
but the chief difference was the paucity of those 
mailed forms (Ganoids), which were so abundant 
during the Oolitic period. On the other hand, the 
Ctenoid and Cycloid forms, which had begun to 
make their appearance in small numbers in the 


Chalk , are well represented. In both this deficiency 
and this plenitude, there is a very decided approach 
to existing conditions ; for the Ganoids are almost 
unknown with us, while the last-named two orders 
are abundant. Representatives of our Perches, 
Maigres, Mackerels, Blennies, Herrings, and Cods, 
were numerous ; distinct, however, from the jpresent 
species. But not a single member of the great 
Salmon family was yet introduced. 

The great Saurian Eeptiles had entirely disap- 
peared, and were quite unrepresented in the tertiary 
beds, except by a Crocodile or two, and a small 
Lizard. Turtles were, however, numerous, both of 
the marine and lacustrine kinds ; and there is an 
interesting stranger, in the form of a large 
Serpent, allied to our Pythons, some twenty feet in 

Birds and Mammals began now to assume their 
place on the land. The London Clay presents us 
with a little Vulture ; and the Paris basin contains 
remnants of species representing the Raptores, the 
B^sores, the Grallatores, and the Natatores. 

The Quadrupeds came in in some force; not 
developed from the lowest to the highest scale of 
organization ; for the Monkey and the Bat occur 
in sands, certainly not later, if not earlier, than the 


London Clay, contemporaneously with the Racoon, 
and before the existence of any Rodent or Cetacean. 
Some Camivora, as the Wolf and the Fox, roamed 
the woods, but the character of the epoch was 
given by the Pachyderms. 

These, however, were not the massive colossi 
that browse in the African or Indian jungles of our 
days ; no Elephant, no Rhinoceros, no Hippopota- 
mus was as yet formed. But several kinds of Tapir 
wallowed in the morasses ; and a goodly number of 
largish beasts, whose affinities were with the Pachy- 
dermata, while their analogies were with the Rumi- 
nantia, served as substitutes for the latter order, 
which was wholly wanting. These interesting 
quadrupeds, forming the genus Anoplotherium, 
were remarkable for two peculiarities, — their feet 
were two-toed, and their teeth were ranged in a 
continuous "fceries, without any interval between the 
incisors and the molars. They varied in size from 
that of an ass to that of a hare. 

The physical conditions of our earth, when it 
was tenanted by these creatures, is thus described : 
— " All the great plains of Europe, and the districts 
through which the principal rivers now run, were 
then submerged ; in all probability, the land chiefly 
extended in a westerly direction, far out into the 



Atlantic, possibly trending to the south, and con- 
necting the western shores of England with the 
volcanic islands oflf the west coast of Africa. The 
great mountain chains of Europe, the Pyrenees, 
the Alps, the Apennines, the mountains of Greece, 
the m(yuntains of Bohemia, and the Carpathians, 
existed then only as chains of islands in an open 
sea. Elevatory movements, having an east and 
west direction, had, however, already commenced, 
and were producing important results, laying bare 
the Wealden district in the south-east of England. 
The southern and central European district, and 
parta of western Asia, were the recipients of calca- 
reous deposits (chiefly the skeletons of Foramini- 
fera)y forming the Apennine limestone; while 
numerous islands were gradually lifted above the 
sea, and fragments of disturbed and fractured rock 
were washed upon the neighbouring shallows or 
coast-lines, forming beds of gravel covering the 
Chalk. The beds of Nummulites and Miliolites, 
contemporaneous with those containing the Sheppey 
plants and the Paris quadrupeds, seem to indicate 
a deep sea at no great distance from shore, and 
render it probable that there were frequent alter- 
nations of elevation and depression, perhaps the 
result of disturbances acting in the direction already 
alluded to. 



" The shores of the islands and main land were, 
however, occasionally low and swampy, rivers 
bringing down mud in what is now the south-east 
of England, and the neighbourhood of Brussels, 
but depositing extensive calcareous beds near 
Paris. Deep inlets of the sea, estuaries, "and the 
shifting mouths of a river, were also affected by 
numerous alterations of level not sufficient to 
destroy, but powerful enough to modify, the animal 
and vegetable species then existing ; and these 
movements were continued for a long time." * 

After the elevation of the mountain summits of 
Europe above the sea, and while the same causes 
were still in operation, deposits were being made 
in the narrow intervening seas of the Archipelago, 
such as the present south of France, the valleys 
of the Rhine and Danube, the eastern districts 
of England and Portugal. These deposits were 
partly marine and partly lacustrine; the former 
consisting largely of loose sands, mingled with 
shells and gravel. In Switzerland is a thick 
mass of conglomerate ; and in the district around 
Mayence, there is a series of fresh-water lime- 
stones, and sandstones charged with organic 

The changes which took place during this com- 

• Ansted'fl Anc. World, 267. 


paratively recent epoch were not sudden, but 
gradual; the results of operations which were 
probably going on without intermission, and 
perhaps have not yet ceased. The land was more 
and more upheaved, till at length, what had been 
an archipelago of islands became a continent, and 
Europe assumed the form which it bears on our 

The most interesting addition to the natural 
history of the Miocene, or Middle Tertiary period, 
was the Dinotherium — a huge Pachyderm, twice as 
large as an elephant, with a tapir-like proboscis, 
and two great tusks curving downward from the 
lower jaw. It was, doubtless, aquatic in its 
habits, and possibly (for its hinder parts are not 
known), it may have been allied to the Dugong 
and Manatee, those whale-like Pachyderms, 
with a broad horizontal tail, instead of posterior 

Other great herbivorous beasts roamed over the 
new-made land. The Mastodons, closely allied to 
the Elephant, had their head-quarters in North 
America, but extended also to Europe. And the 
Elephants themselves, of several species, were 
spread over the northern hemisphere, even to the 
polar regions. The Hippopotamus, the Bhinoceros, 




and other creatiues, now exclusively tropical, were 

also inhabitants of the same northern latitudes. 

From some specimens of Elephants and Rhino- 
ceroses of this period, which seem to hare been 
Varied in aralanchee, and thus to have been pre- 
aerred &om decomposition, even of the more tran- 
sitory parts, as muscle and skin, we learn some- 
thing of the cUmate that prevailed. The very 
fact of their preservation, by the antiseptic power 
of frost, shows that it was not a tropical climate 
in which they lived ; and the clothing of thick 


wool, far, and hair, which protected the skin of 
the Mammoth, or Siberian Elephant, tends to the 
same conclusion. At the same time, those regions 
were not so intensely cold as they are now. For 
the district in which the remains of Elephants 
and their associates are found, in almost incredible 
abundance, is that inhospitable coast of northern 
Asia which bounds the Polar Sea. 

The trees of a temperate climate — the oak, the 
beech, the maple, the poplar, and the birch — which 
now attain their highest limit somewhere about 70** 
of north latitude, and there are dwarfed to minute 
shrubs, appear then to have grown at the very 
verge of the polar basin ; and that in the condition 
of vast and luxuriant forests, perhaps occupying 
sheltered valleys between mountains whose steep 
sides were covered with snow, already become 
perennial, and ever and anon rolling down in 
overwhelming avalanches, such as those which 
now occasionally descend into the valleys of the 
Swiss Alps. 

The coast of Suffolk displays a formation known 
as the Crag — a local name for gravel — which rests 
partly on the chalk ; but, as it lies in other parts 
over the London Clay, it is assigned to the later 
Tertiary, or what is called the Pleiocene period. It 




is divided into the coralline and the red crag, the 
latter being uppermost where they exist together, 
and therefore being the more recent. The Coralline 
Crag is nearly composed of corals and shells, the 
former almost wholly extinct now ; but the latter 
containing upwards of seventy species still existing 
in the adjacent seas. The Ked Crag contains few 
zoophytes, but is remarkable for the remains of 
at least five species of Whales. Other Mammalia 
occur in this formation, among which axe the red 
deer and the wild boar of modem Europe. 

The gradual but rapid approximation of the 
Tertiary fauna to that of the present surface is well 
indicated by Mr. Lyell's table (1841) of recent and 
fossil species in the English formations :— 


Eocene . . . 
Miocene . . 
Older Pleiocene 
Newer Pleiocene 
Post Pleiocene 

Per-centage No. of 
Localities. of fossils 

recent, compared. 

London and Hamp- ) i q« o 
shire ) 

Red and Coralline ) on 4.^ on 
Crag,Suffolk. . .} 20 to 80 

MamaliferoTis or Nor- ) gn 4^ 70 
wich Crag . . . . ) 

Marine strata near 
Glasgow . . . 

Fresh-water of the val- 

85 to 90 
99 to 100 


ley of the Thames . ( 

It is to this period that are assigned the animals 
whose bones are found in astonishing numbers in 
limestone caverns, as, for example, that notable 


one at Kirkdale, in Yorkshire, which was examined 
by Professor Buckland. 

This is a cave in the Oolitic limestone, with a 
nearly level floor, which was covered with a deposit 
of mud, on which an irregular layer of sparry 
stalagmite had formed by the dripping of water 
from the low roof, carrying lime in solution. 
Beneath this crust the remains were found. 

Of the animals to which the bones belonged, six 
were Camivora^ viz. hy(Bnaj felisj bear, wolf, fox, 
weasel; four Pachydermata^ viz. elephant, rhino- 
ceros, hippopotamus, horse ; four Ruminanttay viz. 
ox, and three species of deer ; four Bodentta, viz. 
hare, rabbit, water-rat, mouse ; five Birds, viz. 
raven, pigeon, lark, duck, snipe. 

The bones were almost universally broken ; the 
fragments exhibited no marks of rolling in the 
water, but a few were corroded ; some were worn 
and polished on the convex surface ; many indented, 
as by the canine teeth of carnivorous animals. In 
the cave the jteculiar excrement of hyaenas {album 
grcecum) was common ; the remains of these pre- 
dacious beasts were the most abundant of all the 
bones ; their teeth were found in every condition, 
from the milk-tooth to the old worn stump ; and 
from the whole evidence Dr. Buckland adopted 



the coDclusioD, in which almost every subsequent 
writer has acquiesced, that Elirkdale Cave was a 
den of hyasnas during the period when elephants 
and hippopotami (not of existing species) lived in 
the northern regions of the globe, and that they 
dragged into it for food the bodies of animals 
which frequented the vicinity.* 

Thus in these spots we find, observes Professor 
Ansted, " written in no obscure language, a portion 
of the early history of our island after it had 
acquired its present form, while it was clothed 
with vegetation, and when its plains and forests 
were peopled by many of the species which still 
exist there; but when there also dwelt upon it 
large carnivorous animals, prowling about the 
forests by night, and retiring by day to these 
natural dens/' 

In our own country, and in many other parts of 
the world, we find fragments of stone distributed 
over the surface, sometimes in the form of enor- 
mous blocks, bearing in their fresh angles evidence 
that they have been little disturbed since their 
disruption, but sometimes much rubbed and worn, 
and broken into smaller pieces, till they form what 
is known as gravel. In many cases the,original 

* Reliquiso Diluvianso. 


rock firom which these masses have been separated 
does not exist in the vicinity of their locality ; and 
it is not till we reach a distance, often of hundreds 
of miles, that we find the formation of which ihey 
are a component part. 

Various causes have been suggested for the 
transport of these erratic blocks, of which the most 
satisfactory is the agency of ice, either as slow- 
moving glaciers, or as oceanic icebergs. 

" The common form of a glacier," says Professor 
J. Forbes, " is a river of ice filling a valley, and 
pouring down its mass into other valleys yet 
lower. It is not a frozen ocean, but a frozen 
torrent. Its origin or fountain is in the ramifica- 
tions of the higher valleys and gorges, which 
descend amongst the mountains perpetually snow- 
clad. But what gives to a glacier its most peculiar 
and characteristic feature is, that it does not belong 
exclusively or necessarily to the snowy region 
already mentioned. The snow disappears from its 
surface in summer as regularly as from that of the 
rocks which sustain its mass. It is the prolonga- 
tion or outlet of the winter-world above ; its gelid 
mass is protruded into the midst of warm and pine- 
clad slopes and green-sward, and sometimes reaches 
even to the borders of cultivation." * 

* TimyelB through the Alps, p. 19. 


The glacier moves onward with a slow but 
steady march towards the mouth of its valley. 
Its lowest stratum carries with it numerous frag- 
ments of rock, which, pressed by the weight of the 
mighty mass, scratch and indent the surfaces over 
which they move, and sometimes polish them. 
These marks are seen on many rock-surfaces now 
exposed, and they are difficult to explain on any 
other hypothesis than that of gkcial action. 

But the alternate influence of summer and 
winter — the percolation of rain into the mountain 
fissures, and the expansion of freezing — dislodge 
great angular fragments of rock, which fall on the 
glacier beneath. Slowly but surely these then 
ride away towards the mouth of the valley, till 
they reach a point where the warmth of the climate 
does not permit the ice to proceed; the blocks 
then are deposited as the mass melts. But if the 
climate itself were elevated, or if the surface were 
lowered so as to immerse the glacier in the sea, 
it would melt throughout its course, and then the 
blocks would be found arranged in long lines or 
moraines, such as we see now in many places. 

Tf the glacier-valley debouch on the sea, the 
ice gradually projects more and more, until the 
motions of the waves break off a great mass^ which 
floats away, canying on its surface the accumula- 


tlon of boulders, gravel, and other dSbris which it 
had acquired during its formation. It is now an 
iceberg, which, carried by the southern cun-ents, 
approaches a warmer climate, melts, and deposits its 
cargo, perhaps hundreds of leagues from the valley 
where it was shipped, and as fresh as when its com- 
ponent^/rw«to were detached from the primitive rock. 

If the abundance of such erratic blocks and 
foreign gravel seem to require a greater amount of 
glacial action than is now extant, it has been 
suggested that the volcanic energy which elevated 
Europe may have been succeeded by a measure of 
subsidence before the land attained its present 
permanent condition. Hence there may have been, 
during the Tertiary epoch, mountain chains of 
great elevation, sufficient to supply the glaciers, 
which, on their subsidence, melted on the spot 
where they were submerged, or floated away as 
icebergs on the pelagic currents, till they grounded 
on the bays and inlets of other shores, which were 
subsequently elevated again. 

Thus a large portion of the animals which then 
inhabited these islands (up to that time, perhaps, 
united to the continent) would be drowned, and 
many species quite obliterated, a few alone re- 
maining to connect our present fauna with that of 



the submerged area, when the land rose again to 
its existent state. 

It wonld not materiallj augment the force of 
the evidence alreadj adduced on the question of 
chronology, to examine in detail the fossil remains 
of South America, Australia, and New Zealand. 
The gigantic Sloths* of the first, the gigantic 
Marsupials of the second, and the gigantic Birds 
of the third, however interesting individuallj, and 
especially as showing that a prevailing type 
governed the &una in each locality then as now — 
are all formations of the Tertiary period, and some 
of them, at least, seem to have run on even into the 
present epoch. Indeed, it is not quite certain that 
tiie enormous birds of New Zealand and Madagas- 
car are even yet extinct. 

* Prof. Owen, in his admirable accoont of the Mylodim, ha^ 
mentioned a fact which brings ns yeiy yiTidly into contact with 
its personal history. He shows that the animal got its living 
by OTertnming vast trees, doing tiie work by main strength, and 
feeding on the leaves. The fitll of the tree might oocaaianally 
pat the animal in peril; and in the spedmoi examined th^re is 
proof of such danger having been incorred. The ddiU had 
nndeigone two fractores daring the life of the animal, one of 
which was entirely healed, and the otiier partially. The former 
exhibits the outer taUes of bone broken by a fracture four inches 
long, near the orbit. The other is more extensiTe, and behind, 
being five inches long, and three broad, and over the brain. 
The inner plate had in both these cases defended the brain firom 
any serioas injury, and the animal seems to have been reoovering 
from the latter accident at the time of its death. 



The phenomenon of raised sea- beaches is one of 
great interest, and seems to be connected with the 
alternate elevations and depressions of the Tertiary- 
epoch, perhaps marking the successive steps of the 
upheaval of the land. In several parts of England 
the coast-line exhibits one or more shelves parallel 
with the existing sea-beach, and covered with 
similar shingle, sand, and sea-shells. And the 
same phenomenon is exhibited on a still more 
gigantic scale in South America. Mr. Darwin* 
found that for a distance of at least 1,200 miles 
from the Rio de la Plata to Ae Straits of 
Magellan on the eastern side, and for a still 
longer distance on the west, the coast-line and the 
interior have been raised to a height of not less 
than 100 feet in the northern part, but as much as 
400 feet in Patagonia. All this change has taken 
place within a comparatively short period ; for in 
Valparaiso, where the effect if most considerable, 
modem marine deposits, with human remains, are 
seen at the height of 1,300 feet above the sea. 

At what exact point, geologically, the period of 
human history begins, it is impossible to say. No 
evidence of Man's presence has occurred older than 
the latest Tertiary deposits, which insensibly merge 

* NaturaliBt's Voyage, pa$mm. 


into the Alluvial. It seems certain that human 
remains have been found in chronological associa- 
tion with those of animals long extinct, and there 
appears no reason to doubt that some species of 
animals, as the Irish Deer, the Moa of New- 

Zealand, and the Dodo of the Mauritius, have dis- 
appeared from creation within a period of a few 
centuries.* It is not improbable that the last of 

• The ladionB of North Amerioa tnew that the U«atodon 
had a trunk ; a fact which (though the suatomist infers it from 


the Moho race may have lived only long enough 
to grace the pages of the " Birds of Australia," 

It is as important as it is interesting, to observe 
that the same kinds of physical operations have 
been, within the present epoch, and are still, going 
on, as those whose results are chronicled in the 
rocks. Strata of alluvium are constantly being 
ormed on a scale which, though it does not 
fiuddenly affect the outline of coasts, and therefore 
appears small, yet is great in reality. 

The Ganges is estimated to pour into the Indian 
Ocean nearly 6,400 millions of tons of mud every 
year; and its delta is a triangle whose sides are 
two hundred miles long. The delta of the Missis- 
sippi is of about the same size, and it advances 
steadily into the Gulf of Mexico at the rate of 
a mile in a century. 

The accumulation of river-mud is gradually 
filling up the Adriatic Sea. From the northern- 
most point of the Gulf of Trieste to the south of 
Ravenna, there is an uninterrupted series of recent 
accessions of land, more than a hundred miles in 
length, which, within the last twenty centuries, 

the bones of the skuU) it is difficult to imagine them to be 
acquainted with, except by tradition from those who had seen 
the living animaL 



have- increased from two to twenty miles in 

The coral-polypes are working still with great 
energy. Mr. Darwin mentions two or three 
examples of the rate of increase, one of which 
only I shall cite. In the lagoon of Keeling Atoll, 
a channel was dug for the passage of a schooner 
built upon the island, through the reef into the sea ; 
in ten years afterward, when it was examined, 
it was found almost choked up with living coral. 

Volcanic action is busy in many parts of the 
earth, pouring forth clouds of ashes and torrents of 
molten rock; and instances are not wanting in 
which new islands have been raised from the bed 
of the ocean by this means, within the sphere of 

Slow and permanent changes of level are still 
being produced on the earth's crust. The bottom 
of the Baltic has been, for several centuries at 
least, in process of continuous elevation, the effects 
of which are palpable. Many rocks formerly 
covered are now permanently exposed; channels 
between islets, formerly used, are now closed up, 
and beds of marine shells have become bare. On 
the other hand, the whole area of the Pacific 
Polynesia seems subsiding. 


Deposits are being made by waters which hold 
earthy substances in solution. The principal of 
these is lime. Several remarkable examples of 
this kind are quoted by Sir Charles Lyell, in one 
of which there is a thickness of 200 or 300 feet of 
travertine of recent deposit, while in another a 
solid mass thirty feet thick was deposited in about 
twenty years. He also states that there are. other 
countless places in Italy where the constant 
formation of limestone may be seen, while the 
same may be said of Auvergne and other volcanic 
districts. In the Azores, Iceland, and elsewhere, 
silica is deposited often to a considerable extent. 
Deposits of asphalt and other bituminous products 
occur in other places.* 

The floors of limestone caverns are frequently 
strewn with fossil bones, which are imbedded in 
stalagmite, and this incrustation is still in progress 
of formation. It is remarkable that in this deposit 
alone we obtain the bones of Man in a fossil con- 
dition. The two creations, — the extinct and the 
extant, — or rather the prochronic and the dia- 
chronic — here unite. But there is no line of de- 
marcation between them; they merge insensibly 
into each other. The bones of Man, and even his 

* Ansted; Phys. Geogfrapby, 82. 


implements and fragments of pottery, are found 
mingled with the skeletons of extinct animals in 
the caves of Devonshire, in those of Brazil,* and 

* An interesting fact relating to the Brazilian caves was com- 
municated to Dr. Mantell. ''M. Claussen, in the course of his 
researohes, discovered a cavern, the stalagmite floor of which 
was entire. On penetrating the sparry crust, he found the usual 
ossiferous bed; but pressing engagements compelled him to 
leave the deposit unexplored. After an interval of some years, 
M. Claussen i^in visited the cavern, and found the excavation 
he had made completely filled up with stalagmite, the floor 
being as entire as on his first entrance. On breaking through 
this newly-formed incrustation, it was foimd to be distinctly 
marked with lines of dark-coloured sediment, alternating with 
the crystalline stalactite. Reasoning on the probable cause of 
this appearance, M. Claussen sagaciously concluded that it arose 
from the alternation of the wet and dry seasons. During the 
drought of summer, the sand and dust of the parched land 
were wafted into the caves and fissures, and this earthy layer 
was covered during the rainy season by stalagmite, from the 
water that percolated through the limestone, and deposited 
calc-spar on the floor. The number of alternate layers of spar 
and sediment tallied with the years that had elapsed since his 
first visit ; and on breaking up the ancient bed of stalagmite, he 
found the same natural register of the annual variations of the 
seasons ; every layer dug through presented a uniform alterna- 
tion of sediment and spar ; and as the botanist ascertains the 
age of an ancient dicotyledonous tree from the annual circles of 
growth, in like manner the geologist attempted to calculate the 
period that had elapsed since the commencement of these ossi- 
ferous deposits of the cave; and although the inference, from 
want of time and means to conduct the inquiry with precision, 
can only be accepted as a rough calculation, yet it is interesting 
to learn that the time indicated by this natural chronometer, since 
the extinct mammalian forms were interred, amounted to many 
thousand years," — {Petrifactions aind tJieir TeachingSf p. 481.) 


in those of Franconia. In Peru, some scores of 
human skeletons have been found in a bed of 
travertine, associated with marine shells; the 
stratum itself being covered by a deep layer of 
vegetable soil, forming the face of a hill crowned 
with large trees. 

From a very interesting paper by M. Marcel de 
Serres, it appears indubitable that the existing 
shells of the Mediterranean are even now passing 
in numbers into the fossil state, and that not in 
quiet spots only, but where the sea is subject to 
violent agitations. Specimens of common species, 
" completely petrified, have been converted into 
carbonate of lime at the same time that they have 
lost the animal matter which they originally con- 
tained. Their hardness and solidity are greater 
than those of some petrified species from tertiary 

" In the collection of M. Doumet, Mayor of 
Cette, there exists an anchor which exhibits the 
same circumstances, and which is also covered 
with a layer of solid calcareous matter. This 
contains specimens of Pecten, Cardium, and Ostrea, 
completely petrified, and the hardness of which is 
equal to that of fossil species from secondary 
formations. On the surface of the deposit in 


which the anchor is imbedded, there are An&mtce 
and Serpulce, which were living when the anchor 
was got out of the sea ; these present no trace of 
alteration." * 

Thus we have brought down the record to an 
era embraced hj human history, and even to indi- 
vidual experience; and we confidently ask. Is it 
possible, is it imaginable, that the whole of the 
phenomena which occur below the diluvial de- 
posits can have been produced within six days, 
or seventeen centuries? Let us recs^pitulate the 
principal facts. 

1. The crust of the earth is composed of many 
layers, placed one on another in regular order. All 
of these are solid, and most are of great density and 
hardness. Most of them are of vast thickness, the 
aggregate not being less than from seven to ten miles. 

2. The earlier of these were made and consoli- 
dated before the newer were formed ; for in several 
cases, it is demonstrable that the latter were made 
out of the dSbrts of the former. Thus the compact 
and hard granite was disintegrated grain by grain ; 
the component granules were roUed awhile in the 
sea till their angles were rubbed down ; they were 
slowly deposited, and then consolidated in layers. 

* Biblioth^que Univers., Mareh, 1852. 


3. *A similar process goes on again and again to 
form other strata, all occupying long time, and all 
presupposing the earlier ones.* 

4. After some strata have been formed and soli- 
dified, convulsions force them upward, contort them, 
break them, split them asimder. Melted matter is 
driven through the outlets, fills the veins, spreads 
over the surface, settles into the hollows, cools and 

5. After the outflowing and consolidation of these 
volcanic streams, the action of running watei; cuts 
them down, cleaving beds of immense depth through 
their substance. Mr. Poulett Scrope, speaking of 
the solidified streams of basalt, in the volcanic dis- 
trict of Southern France, observes : — 

** These ancient currents have since been cor- 
roded by rivers, which have worn through a mass 
of 150 feet in height, and formed a channel even 
in the granite rocks beneath, since the lava first 
flowed into the valley. In another spot, a bed of 
basalt, 160 feet high, has been cut through by a 
mountain stream. The vast excavations effected 

* " It is now admitted by aU competent persons, that the for- 
mation even of those strata which are nearest the surface, must 
have occupied vast periods, probably millions of years, in amving 
at their present state.'* — Babbagb, Mnth BridgevDcUer TretUise, 
p. 67. 


by the erosive power of currente along the valleys 
which feed the Ardfeche, since their invasion by 
lava-cnrrents, prove that even the most recent of 
these volcanic eruptions belong to an era incalcu- 
lably remote." * 

6. A series of organic beings appears, lives, 
generates, dies ; lives, generates, dies ; for thousands 
and thousands of successive generations. Tiny 
polypes gradually build up gigantic masses of coral 
— mountains and reefs — microscopic foraminifera 
accumulate strata of calcareous sand; still more 
minute infusoria — ^forty millions to the inch — make 
slates, many yards thick, of their shells alone. 

7. The species at length die out — a process which 
we have no data to measure,t though we may rea- 

* G«ology of Central France. 

t ** Though perfect knowledge is not possesied, yet there are 
reaeons for believing that the duration cd life to testacean indi- 
ridualfl of the present race is sereral years. But who can state • 
the proporUon which the arerage length of life to the individual 
mollusc or conchifer, bears to the duration appointed by the 
Creator to the species ? Take any one of the six or seven thou- 
sand known recent species ; let it be a Buccinum, of which 120 
species are ascertained, (one of which is the commonly known 
wheJh ;) or a Cyprceaf comprising about as many, (a well-known 
species is on almost every mantel-piece, the tiger-cowry;) or an 
Ottrea (oytter)^ of which 180 speoiei are described. We have 
reason to think that the individuals have a natural life of 
at least six or seven years ; but we have no reason to suppose 
that any one species has died out, since the Adamic creation. 
May we then, for the sake of an illustrative argument, take the 


sonably conclude it very long. Sometimes the 
whole existing fauna seems to have come to a sudden 
violent end ; at others, the species die out one by 
one. In the former case suddenly, in the latter 
progressively, new creatures supply the place of the 
old. Not only do species change ; the very genera 
change, and change again. Forms of beings, 
strange beings, beings of uncouth shape, of mighty 
ferocity and power, of gigantic dimensions, come 
in, run their specific race, propagate their kinds 
generation after generation, — and at length die out 
and disappear ; to be replaced by other species, 
each approaching nearer and nearer to familiar 

8. Though these early creatures were unparal- 
leled by anything existing now, yet they were 
animals of like structure and economy essentially. 
We can determine their analogies and affinities; 
appoint them their proper places in the orderly 
plan of nature, and show how beautifully they fill 

duration of testacean species, one "with another, at one thousand 
times the life of the indiTidual f Kay we say six thousand years ? 
We are dealing very liberally with our opponents. Tet in ex- 
amining the vertical evidences of the cessations of the fossil 
species, marks are found of an entire change in the forms of 
animal life ; we find such cessations and changes to have occurred 
MANY times in the thickness of but a few hundred feet of these 
late-rocks." — ^Dr. J. Pyb Smith, ScripUire and Oeologyt 6th Ed. 
p. 376. 


hiatuses therein. They had shells, crusts, plates, 
bones, horns, teeth, exactly corresponding in struc- 
ture and function to those of recent animals. In 
some cases we find the young with its milk-teeth 
by the side of its dam with well-worn grinders. 
The fossil excrement is seen not only dropped, but 
even in the alimentary canal. Bones bear the 
marks of gnawing teeth that dragged them and 
cracked them, and fed upon them. The foot-prints 
of birds and frogs, of crabs and worms, are im- 
printed in the soil, like the faithful impression of 
a seal.* 

9. Millions of forest-trees sprang up, towered 
to heaven, and fell, to be crushed into the coal 
strata which make our winter fires. Hundreds 

* " One of the laminated formations [in Auvergne] may be 
said to furnish a chronometer for itself. It consists of sixty feet 
of siliceous and calcareous deposits, each as thin as pasteboard, 
and bearing ux)on their separating surfaces the stems and seed- 
vessels of small water-plants in infinite numbers ; and countless 
multitudes of minute shells, resembling some species of our 
common snail-shells. These layers have been formed with evi- 
dent regularity, and to each of them we may reasonably assign 
the term of one season, that is a year. Now thirty of such layers 
frequently do not exceed one inch in thickness. Let us average 
them at twenty-five. The thickness of the stratum is at least 
sixty feet; and thus we gain, for the whole of this formation 
alone, eighteen thousand years." — Dr. J. P. Smith, Scri^twrt and 
Otology, Bih. Edition, p. 187. 


of feet measure the thickness of what were once 
succulent plants, but pressed together like paper- 
pulp, and consolidated under a weight absolutely 
immensurable. Yet there remain the scales of their 
stems, the elegant reticulated patterns of their bark, 
the delicate tracery of their leaf-nerves, indelibly 
depicted by an unpatented process of " nature- 
printing," And when we examine the record, — 
the forms of the leaves, the structure of the tissues, 
we get the same result as before, that the plants 
belonged to a flora which had no species in common 
with that which adorns the modem earth. Very 
gradually, and only after many successions, not of 
individual generations, but of the cycles of species, 
genera, and even families, did the vegetable creation 
conform itself to ours.* 

10. At length the species both of plants and 

* " This fact has now been verified in aUnost all parts of the 
globe, and has led to a conviction that at successive periods of 
the past the same area of land and water has been inhabited by 
species of animals and plants as distinct as those which now 
people the antipodes, or which now co-^xist in the arctic, tempe- 
rate, and tropical zones. It appears that from the remotest 
periods there has been ever a coming in of new organic forms, 
and an extinction of those which pre-existed on the earth ; some 
species having endui'ed for a longer, others for a shorter time ; 
but none having ever re-appeared, after once dying out" — 
L yell's Elements of Geologjf, p. 275. 



animals grew,— not by alteration of their specific 
characters, but by replacement of species by 
species — more and more like what we have now 
on the earth, and finally merged into our present 
flora and fauna, about the time when we find the 
first geological traces of man. 

11. During the course of these successive cycles 
of organic life, the map of the world has changed 
many times. Up to a late period the ocean washed 
over Mont Blanc and Mount Ararat ; the continent 
of Europe was a wide sea ; then it was a Polynesia, 
then an Archipelago of great islands, then a Con- 
tinent much larger than it is now, with England 
united to it, and the solid land stretching far away 
into the Atlantic; — then it sank again, and was 
again raised, not all at once, but by several stages, 
each of which has left its coast line, and its shingle 
beach. All these changes must have been the 
work of vast periods of time. 

" Excepting possibly, but not certainly, the 
higher parts of soma mountains, which at widely 
different epochs have been upheaved, and made to 
elevjite and pierce the stratified masses which once 
lay over them, there is scarcely a spot on the 
earth's surface which has not been many times 
in succession the bottom of the sea, and a portion 


of dry land. In the majority of cases, it is shown, 
by physical evidences of the most decisive kind, 
that each of those successive conditions was of 
extremely long duration ; a duration which it 
would be presumptuous to put into any estimate 
of years or centuries ; for any alteration, of which 
vestiges occur in the zoological state and the 
mineral constitution of the earth's present surface^ 
furnishes no analogy (with regard to the nature 
and continuance of causes), that approaches in 
greatness of character to those changes whose evi- 
dences are discernible in almost any two continuous 
strata. It is an inevitable inference, unless we are 
disposed to abandon the principles of fair reasoning, 
that each one of such changes in organic life did 
not take place till after the next preceding condi- 
tion of the earth had continued through a duration, 
compared with which six thousand years appear 
an inconsiderable fraction of time." * 

12. The climate of our atmosphere has under- 
gone corresponding mutations. At one time the 
Palms, the Treefems, the Cycads of the tropical 
jungles found their congenial home here : the Ele- 
phant, the Bhinocerosy and the Tiger roamed over 
England; nay, dwelt in countless hosts on the 

* J. I^SmHh,ScriptareaiidQ6ology, 5ihEd., p.09. 



northern shores of Siberia : then the climate gra- 
dually cooled to a temperate condition: then it 
became cold, and glaciers and icebergs were its 
characteristic features : finally it became temperate 

13. The icebergs and the glaciers were the ships 
and railways of past epochs ; they were freighted 
with their heavy but worthless cargoes of rock- 
boulders and gravel, and set out on their long 
voyages and travels, over sea and land, sometimes 
writing their log-books in ineffaceable scratches on 
the rocky tables over which they passed, and at 
length discharging their freights in harbours and 
bays, on inland plains, on mountain sides and 
summits, where they remain unclaimed, free for 
any trader in such commodities, without the cere- 
mony of producing the original bill of lading. 

Let the remainder be told in the words of one of 
our most eloquent and able geologists. Professor 

" The fossils demonstrate the time to have been 
hng, though we cannot say how long. Thus we 
have generation after generation of shell-fish, that 
have lived and died on the spots where we find 
them ; very often demonstrating the lapse of many 
yean for a few perpendicular inches of deposit. 


In some beds we have large, cold-blooded reptiles, 
creatures of long life. In others, we have traces 
of ancient forests, and enormous fossil trees, with 
concentric rings of structure, marking the years of 
growth. Phenomena of this kind are repeated 
again and again; so that we have three or four 
distinct systems of deposit, each formed at a dis- 
tinct period of time, and each characterised by its 
peculiar fossils. Coeval with the Tertiary masses, 
we have enormous lacustrine deposits; sometimes 
made up of very fine thin laminae, marking slow 
tranquil deposits. Among these laminae, we can 
find sometimes the leaf-sheddings and the insects 
of successive seasons. Among them also we find 
almost mountain-masses of the Induatce tubulatoe 
[the cases of PhryganeoB], and other sheddings of 
insects, year after year. Again, streams of ancient 
lava alternate with some of these lacustrine tertiary 

'^ In central France^ a great stream of 4ava caps 
the lacustrine limestone. At a subsequent period 
the waters have excavated deep valleys, cutting 
down into the lacustrine rock-marble many him- 
dred feet ; and, at a newer epoch, anterior to the 
authentic history of Europe, new craters have 
opened, and fresh streams of lava have run down 



the existing valleys. Even in the Tertiary period 
we have thus a series of demonstrative proofe of a 
long succession of physical events, each of which 
required a long lapse of ages for its elaboration. 

" Again, as we pass downwards fix)m the bottom 
Tertiary beds to the Chalk, we instantly find new 
types of organic life. The old species, which exist 
in millions of individuals in the upper beds, dis- 
appear^ and new species are found in the chalk 
immediately below. This fact indicates a long 
lapse of time. Had the chalk and upper beds 
been formed simultaneously at the same period 
[as the supporters of the diluvial theory represent], 
their organic remains must have been more or less 
mixed; but iiiejf are not. Again, at the base of 
the Tertiary deposits resting on the Chalk,''we often 
find great masses of conglomerate or shingle, 
made up of chalk-flints rolled by water. These 
separate the Chalk from the overlying beds, and 
many of •the rolled flints contain certain petrified 
c%aK;-fossils. Now, every such fossil proves the 
following points :~ 

" 1. There was a time when the organic body was 
alive at the bottom of the sea. 

'' 2. It was afterwards imbedded in the cretaceous 


"3, It beciune petrified; a very slow process. 

" 4. The Chalk was, by some change of marine 
currents, washed away, or degraded, [t. e. worn 
away under the atmosphere by the weather and 
casualties, a process slow almost beyond descrip- 
tion,] and the solid flints and fossils [thus detached 
firom their imbeddings], were rolled into shingles. 

** 5. Afterwards, these shingles Were covered up, 
and buried under Tertiary deposits. 

" In this way of interpretation, a section of a few 
perpendicular feet indicates a LONG lapse of time, 
and the co-ordinate fact of the entire change of 
organic tjpes, between the beds above and those 
below, falls in with the preceding inference, and 
shows the lapse of time to have been vbby long."* 

* In Dr. Pye Smithes Scripture and Geology, p. 882, (Ed. 1855.) 



" When the fact itself cannot be proved, that which comes nearest to the 
proof of the fact is the proof of the circumstances that necessarUy and 
usually attend such facts ; and these are, called presumptions, and not 
proofs, for they stand instead of the proofs of the fact, till the contrary be 
proved." — Gilbxkt; Law or Etidemck. 

Such, then, is the evidence for the macro-chro- 
nology. I hope I have summed it up fairly ; of 
cburse, many details . I have been forbidden to 
adduce by want of space, but they would have 
been of the same kind as those brought forward. 
I am not conscious of having in any degree 
cushioned, or concealed, or understated a single 
proof which would have helped the conclusion. 

A mighty array of evidence it certainly is, and 
such as appears at first sight to compel our assent 
to the sequent claimed for it. I must confess that 
I have no sympathy with the reasonings of those, 
however I honour their design, who can find a 
sufficient cause for these phenomena in the natural 


Operations of the Antediluvian centuries, or in the 
convulsion that closed them. 

But is there no other alternative ? Am I com- 
pelled to accept the conclusions drawn fix)m the 
phenomena thus witnessed unto^ as undeniable 
facts, since they refuse to be normally circum- 
scribed within the limits of the historic period? 
I verily believe there is another, and a perfectly 
legitimate solution. 

My first business is to examine, and, if I can, 
to disprove this testimony. If I can show the 
witness to be liable to error ; if I can adduce a 
principle which invalidates all his proofs ; if I can 
make it undeniably manifest that, in a case pre- 
cisely parallel, similar conclusions, deduced from 
exactly analogous phenomena, would be notoriously 
false ; if I can do this, I think I have a right to 
demand that the witness be bowed out of court, as 
perfectly nugatory and worthless in this cause. 

In the first place, there is nothing here but 
circumstantial evidence; there is no direct testi- 
mony to the facts sought to be established. Let 
it not seem unfair to make this distinction ; it is 
one of great importance. No witness has deposed 
to actual observation of the processes above enu- 
merated; no one has appeared in court who 


declares he actoallj saw the living Pterodactyls 
fljing about, or heard the winds sighing in the 
tops of the Lepidodendra. You will say, " It is 
the same thing ; we have seen the skeleton of the 
one, and the crushed trunk of the other, and 
therefore we are as sure of their past existence as 
if we had been there at the time." No, it is not 
the same thing; it is not quUe the same thing; 
NOT QUITE. Strong as is the evidence, it is not 
quite so strong as if you had actually seen the 
living things, and had been conscious of the 
passing of time while you saw them live. It is 
only by a process of reasoning that you infer they 
lived at alL* 

* I would yentore respectfollj to suggest that the following 
argument by Mr. Babbage is vitiated throughout by a conf oundiug 
of the phenomena observed with the conclusions inferred from 

" What, then, have those accomplished, who have restricted 
the Mosaic account of the creation to that diminutive period, 
which is, as it were, but a span in the duration of the earth's 
existence, and who have imprudently rejected the testimony of 
j the sentet, when opposed to their philological criticisms ? The 

very arguments which Protestants have opposed to the doctrine 
ol transubstantiation, would, if their view of the case were 
correct, be equally irresistible against the Dock of Genesis. But 
let us consider what would be the conclusion of any reasonable 
being in a parallel case. Let us imagine a manuscript written 
three thousand years ago, and professing to be a revelation from 
the Deity, in which it was stated that the colour of the paper 
of the very book now in the reader^s hands is black, and that 


The process is something like this. Here is an 
object in a mass of stone, which has a definite 
form, — the form of the bone of a beast. The more 
minutely 70U examine it^ the more points of 
resemblance you find ; you say, If this is a bone, 
it ought to have so and so^condyles, scars for the 
attachment of muscles in particular spots, a cavity 
for the reception of marrow, a mark for the insertion 
of the ligament ; you look for each of these, and 
find all in the very conditions you have prescribed ; 
it is not only a bone, but a particular bone, the 
thigh-bone, tor instance. Here in the same block 
of stone is another object : you work it out ; it is 
another bone ; its joint accurately fits the pre- 
ceding; it answers precisely to the tibia of a 
mammal Other bones at length appear, and yoii 
have got a perfect skeleton, no port redundant, 
none wanting ; the most minute, the most elalx>- 
rate, the most delicate portions of the osseous frame 

the colour of the ink in ih# diAMoiert whieh h* it now teading 
U white. With that reasoaable doubt of hU own individua] 
faculties which would become the inquirer into the truth of a 
statement said to be derived from bo high an origin, he would 
ask all those around hini, whether to their senses the paper 
appeared to be blaek, and the ink to be whUe, If he found the 
senses at other individuals agree with his own, then he would 
undoubtedly pronounoe the alleged revelation a forgeiy, and 
those who propounded it to be either deceived or deoeiven ." — 
Ninth Bridgtwater TrtaHu, p. 68. 



of a mammal are present, and every one exactly 
correspondent to the rest in size, in maturity, in 
fiU Each bone, out of the scores, displays exactly 
those characters, and no other, which an anatomist 
would have said beforehand it ought to have. 
Allowing for the difference of species, the skeleton, 
when worked out of its matrix, and set up, is 
precisely like that of the little beast at whose 
death you were actually present, whose bones you 
cleaned with your own hands, and mounted for 
your own museum. It would be as reasonable to 
deny that the one is the skeleton of a real animal 
as the other. 

Thus far there is matter of fact — observed, wit- 
nessed fact; you have foimd in a stone a real 

You immediately infer that this skeleton once 
belonged to a living animal, that breathed, and 
fed, and walked about, exactly as animals do now. 
This conclusion seems so obvious and unavoidable, 
that we naturally conclude it to rest on the same 
foundation as the fact that the object is a skeleton, 
or that it was in the stone. But really it rests on 
a totally different foundation; it is a conclusion 
deduced l^y a process of reasoning from certain 
assumed premises. 


Myriads, perhaps millions of skeletons of animals 
like this one have come at different times under 
Iiuman observation, which have been obviously 
referrible to creatures that, within the same sphere 
of observation, had been alive. No similar skeleton 
has ever come within the range of recorded observ- 
ation that could be referred to any other source 
than that of a quondam living animal. On these 
premises you build the conclusion that a skeleton 
must, at some time or other, have belonged to a 
living animal. And it may seem an impregnable 
position ; but yet its validity altogether depends on 
the exhaustive power of human observation. If I 
could show, to your satisfaction, that a skeleton 
might have existed ; still more, if I could show 
you that a skeleton miLst have existed ; still more^ 
if I could prove* that myriads of skeletons, pre- 
cisely like this, must have existed, without ever 
having formed parts of antecedent living bodies ; 
you would yourself acknowledge that your con- 
clusions were untenable. The utmost you could 
affirm, would be, that possibly, perhaps probably, 
the skeleton you had found in the stone had at 
some time belonged to a living Imimal, but that, 
80 far as any recognised premises exist, there 
was no certainty about it • . 


But the premises have not been fairly stated. 
Tliere is more than the relation of precedence and 
sequence in wliat we know of the connexion 
between skeletons and living animals ; there is the 
relation of cause and effect. It is not only that 
universal experience has declared the fact that 
every skeleton was once part of a liviug body ; it 
has shown that the very structure and imturc of 
the skeleton implied the living body. The skeleton, 
in ^vcry part, displays a regard for the advantages 
of the living animal ; it is built expressly for it ; 
by itself it is nothing — a machine without any 
object; its joints, ita cavities, its apophyses, its 
processes, all have special reference to tissues and 
organs which are not here now, but which belong 
to the living body. 

And then experience has shown that the skeleton 
ia made in a particular manner. The bone is 
deposited, atom by atom, in living organic cells, 
which axe formed by living blood, which implies a 
living animaL The microscopic texture of your 
stone-girt skeleton does not differ from tliat of the 
skeleton which you cleaned from the muscles with 
your own hands; and therefore you infer that it 
was constructed in the same way, namely, by the 
blood of a living body. 



Well, I como back, notwithstanding^ to my 
position, — that your right to affirm this must 
altogether depend on the exhaustive power of that 
experience on which you build. And it will be 
overthrown, if I can show that skeletons have been 
made in some other way than by the agency of 
living blood. 

Can I do this? I think I can. At least I 
think I can show enough greatly to diminish, if 
not altogether to destroy, the confidence with 
which you inferred the existence of vast periods of 
past time from geological phenomena. I can 
adduce a principle, liaving the universality (within 
its proi)er sphere) of LAW, hitherto unrecognised, 
whose tendency is to invalidate the testimony of 
your witness. 



"A little philosophy inclineth a man's mind to atheism; but depth in 
philosophy hringeth men's minds about to religion ; for while the mind of 
man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, 
and go no farther; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate 
and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity." — Bacon. 

" ' What was the opinion of Pythagoras concerning wildfowl f ' 
' That the soul of our grand-dam might haply inhabit a bird.' 
' What thinkest thou of his opinion ? ' 
' I think nobly of the soul, and in nowise receive his opinion.' " 


As without some common ground it is impossible 
to reason, I shall take for granted the two follow- 
ing principles : — 


I. The creation of matter. 
II. The persistence of species. 

I. If any geologist take the position of the 
necessary eternity of matter, dispensing with a 
Creator, on the old ground, ex nihilo nihil Jit, — 
I do not argue with him. I assume that at some 
period or other in past eternity there existed nothing 


but the Eternal God, and that He called the uni- 
verse into being out of nothing. 

II. I demand also, in opposition to the deve- 
lopment hypothesis, the perpetuity of specific 
characters, from the moment when the respective 
creatures were called into being, till they cease to 
be. I assume that each organism which the Crea- 
tor educed was stamped with an indelible specific 
character, which made it what it was, and distin- 
guished it from everything else, however near or 
like. I assume that such character has been, and 
is, indelible and immutable; that the characters 
which distinguish species from species now, were 
as definite at the first instant of their creation as 
now, and are as distinct now as they were then. 
If any choose to maintain, as many do, that species 
were gradually brought to their present maturity 
from humbler forms, — ^whether by the force of 
appetency in individuals, or by progressive deve- 
lopment in generations — ^he is welcome to his 
hypothesis, but I have nothing to do with it. 
These pages will not touch him. 

I believe, however, there is a large preponderance 
of the men of science,* at least in this country, 

* Dr. Pye Smith <»lli the hypothesis of progreasiYe derelop- 
ment ** the crade impertinence of a few foreign sophists,"- 


who will be at one with me here. They acknow- 
ledge the almighty ^^ of God, as the energy which 
produced being ; and they maintain that the spe- 
cific character which He then stamped on his 
organic creation remains michangeable. 

he Btates as a ftaot^ *'that all the great geologists repudiate sudi 
a notion with abhorrence, and giye physical evidence of its falfle- 
hood." — Scripture wnd Otology, (5th Ed.) p. 420. See also 
Professor Owen in '' Rep. Brit. Assoc."' 1842 ; Professor Sedg- 
wiok, in "Discourse on Stud, of Camb.;" Professor Whewell, 
in "Hist of Inductive Sdences;" Professor Anstedj in "Anc. 
World ;*'&c. 



rov rpoxov rnt ^ci^ffCtM*'* — JamXI ilL 6. 

The course of nature is a circle. I do not mean 
the jplan of nature ; I am not speaking of a circular 
arrangement of species, genera, families, and classes, 
as maintained by MacLeaj, Swainson, and others. 
Their theories may be true, or they may be false ; 
I decide nothing concerning them ; I am not al- 
luding to any plan of nature, but to its course, 
cursusy — the way in which it runs on. This is a 

Here is in my garden a scarlet runner. It is 
a slender twining stem some three feet long, beset 
with leaves, with a growing bud at one end, and 
with the other inserted in the earth. What was 
it a month ago ? A tiny shoot protruding from 
between two thick fleshy leaves scarcely raised 
above the ground. A month before that? The 
thick fleshy leaves were two oval cotyledons, closely 
appressed face to £Etce, with the minute plumule 

114 LAWS. 

between them, the wliole enclosed in an unbroken, 
tightly -fitting, spotted, leathery cost. It was a 
hean, a seed. 

LAWS. 115 

Was this the commencement of its existence ? 
O no ! Six months earlier still it was snugly lying, 
with several others like itself, in a green fleshy pod, 
to the interior of which it was organically attached. 
A month before that, thig same pod with its con- 
tents was the centre of a scarlet butterfly-like 
flower, the bottom of its pistil, within which, if 
you had split it open, you would have discerned 
the tiny beans, whose history we are tracing back- 
wards, each imbedded in the soft green tissue, but 
no bigger than the eye of a cambric needle. 

But where was this flower? It was one of many 
that glowed on my garden wall all through last 
summer ; each cluster springing as a bud from a 
slender twining stem, which was the exact counter- 
part of that with which we commenced this little 

And this earlier stem, — what of it? It too had 
been a shoot, a pair of cotyledons with a plumule, 
a seed, an integral part of a carpel, which was 
a part of an earlier flower, that expanded frx)m an 
earlier bud, that grew out of an earlier stem, that 
had been a still earlier seed, that had been — 
and backward, €ui infinitum, for aught that I can 

The course, then, of a scarlet runner is a circle. 



without beginning or end :— that is, I mean, with- 
out a natural, a normal beginning or end. For at 
what point of its history can you put your finger, 
and say, " Here is the commencement of this orga- 
nism, before which there is a blank ; here it began 
to exist?" There is no such point ; no stage which 
does not look back to a previous stage, on which 
this stage is inevitably and absolutely dependent. 

To some of my readers this may be rendered 
more clear by the accompanying diagram : — 

stem ~ 







legume • 

See that magnificent tuft of Lady-fern on yonder 
bank, arching its exquisitely cut fironds so elegantly 

LAWS. 117 

on every side, A few years ago this ample crown 
was but a single small frond, which you would 
probably not have recognised as that of a Lady- 
fern. Somewhat earlier than this, the plant was 
a minute flat green expansion (jprothalliLs), of no 
definite outline, very much like a Liverwort This 
had been previously a three-sided spore lying on 
the damp earth, whither it had been jerked by the 
rupture of a capsule {theca). For this spore, though 
so small as to be visible only by microscopic aid, 
had a previous history, which may be traced with- 
out difficulty. It was generated with hundreds 


•poralftond *^*"\** 


prothallus fertil* frond 


spora »<wu» 



monif in on^/ of many capsules, which were crowded 
U)iff*X)u*r, hiUvMh the oval bit of membrane, that 
Kovunul one of the brown spotA {sort), which were 
ditvftlopwl in the under Hurface of the fronds of an 
earlier Lady-fern. That earlier individual had in 
turn paMHed through the same stages of sporal 
frond, prothalluH, spore, theca, sorus, frond, prothal- 
luH, i4pore, theea, sorus, frond, prothallus, &c. — ad 

TluH Houudnig-wingcd Ilawkmoth, which like 
a gigantic bee is buzzing around the jasmine in 
the deept^niug twilight, hovering ever and anon to 
probe the starry llowcrs that make the evening air 
almost palpable with fragrance, — this moth, what 
** story of a life ** can ho tell? Nearly a year of 
existoTUH^ ho htvs sinnitas a helpless, almost motion- 
loss puiMV, buriod in the soft earth, from whence he 
has omorgi>d but this evening. About a twelve- 
mouth agi> ho >VHS a great fat green caterpillar ^ 
with Au an^hing horn o\-er his rump, working ever 
hanlor and hanlor at devouring poplar leaves, and 
gtv>wii\g over fatter and fatter* But before that he 
hail one day burst forth a little wriggling worm. 
tVvntt a globular egg glued to a leaf. Whence came 
the egg? It was de\*eloped within* the ovary of 
a parent Hawkuioth« whose histonr b bat an end- 

LAWS. 119 

less rotation of the same stages, — pupa, larva, egg, 
moth, pupa, larva, &c. &c. 



" — — larva — - 

Behold this specimen of Plumularta, a shrub-like 
zoophyte, comprising within its populous branches 
some twenty thousand polypes. Every individual 
cell, now inhabited by its tentacled Hydra, has in 
its turn budded out from a branch, which was 
itself but a lateral process from the central axis. 
And this was but the prolongation of what was at 
first a single cell, shooting up from a creeping 
root-thread. A little earlier than this, there was 
neither cell nor root-thread, but the organism 
existed in the form of a planuley a minute soft- 



bodied, pear-shaped worm, covered with cilia, that 
crawled slowly over the stones and sea-weeds. 
Whence came it? A few hours before, it had 
emerged from the mouth of a vase-like cell, one of 
the ovarian capsules, which studded the stem of an 
old well-peopled Plumularia-shrub, and which had 
been gradually developed from its substance by a 
process analogous to budding. And then if we 
follow the history of this earlier shrub backward, 
it wiU only lead us through exactly correspondent 
stages, primal cell, planule, ovarian capsule, stem, 
and so on interminably. 

polype -. 







Once more. The cow that peacefully ruminates 
under the grateful shadow of yonder spreading 
beech, was, a year or two ago, a gamesome heifer 
Avith budding horns. The year, before, she was a 
bleating calf, which again had been a breathless 
foetus wrapped up in the womb, of its mother. 
Earlier still it had been an unformed embryo ; and 
yet earlier, an embryonic vesicle, a microscopically 
minute cell, formed out of one of the component 
cells of a still earlier structure, — the germinal 
vesicle of a fecundated ovum. But this ovum, 
which is the remotest point to which we can trace 












embr. vesicle 

- embryo 

122 LAWS. 

the history of our cow as an indlviduaL was, before 
it ass Jd » distinct individuality, an u^distin- 
goishable constituent of a viscus, — ^the ovary, — of 
another cow, an essential part of her structure, a 
portion of the tissues of her body, to be traced 
back, therefore, dirough all the stages which I have 
enumerated above, to the tissues of another parent 
cow, thence to those of a former, and so on, through 
a vista of receding cows, as long as you choose to 
follow it. 

This, then, is the order of all organic nature. 
When once we are in any portion of the course, we 
find ourselves running in a circular groove, as end- 
less as the course of a blind horse in a mill. It is 
evident that there is no one point in the history of 
any single creature, which is a legitimate beginning 
of existence. And this is not the law of some 
particular species, but of all : it pervades all classes 
of animals, all classes of plants, from the queenly 
palm down to the protococcus, from the monad up 
to man : the life of every organic being is whirling 
in a ceaseless circle, to which one knows not how 
to assign any commencement, — I will not say any 
certain or even probable, but any possible^ com- 
mencement. The cow is as inevitable a sequence 
of the embryo, as the embryo is of the cow. 

LAWS. 123 

Looking only at nature, or looking at it only with 
the lights of experience and reason, I see not how 
it is possible to avoid one of these two theories, the 
development of all organic existence out of gaseous 
elements, or the eternity of matter in its present 

Creation, however, solves the dilemma. I have, 
in my postulates, begged the &ct of creation, and 
I shall not, therefore, attempt to prove it. Creation, 
the sovereign fiat of Almighty Power, gives us the 
commencing point, which we in vain seek in nature. 
But what is creation? It is the sudden bursting 
into a circle. Since there is no one stage in the 
course of existence, which more than any other 
a£fords a natural commencing point, whatever stage 
is selected by the arbitrary will of God, must be 
an xm-natural, or rather a preter-natural, commenc- 
ing point 

The life-history of every organism commenced 
at some point or other of its circular course. It 
was created, called into being, in some definite 
stage. Possibly, various creatures diffS&red in this 
respect ; perhaps some began existence in one stage 
of developmenti some in another ; but every sepa- 
rate organism had a distinct point at which it began 
to live. Before that point there was nothing ; this 


124 LAWS. 

particular organism had till then no existence ; its 
history presents an absolute blank ; it teas not. 

But the whole organisation of the creature thus 
newly called into existence, looks back to the 
course of an endless circle in the past. Its whole 
structure displays a series of developments, which 
as distinctly witness to former conditions as do 
those which are presented in the cow, the butterfly, 
and the fern, of the present day. But what former 
conditions? The conditions thus witnessed unto, 
as being necessarily implied in the present organi- 
sation, were non-existent ; the history was a perfect 
blank till the moment of creation. The past con- 
ditions or stages of existence in question, can indeed 
be as triumphantly inferred by legitimate deduction 
from the present, as can those of our cow or but- 
terfly ; they rest on the very same evidences ; they 
are identically the same in every respect, except in 
this one, that they were unreal. They exist only 
in their results ; they are effects which never had 

Perhaps it may help to clear my argument if I 
divide the past developments of organic life, which 
are necessarily, or at least legitimately, inferrible 
from present phenomena, into two categories, sepa- 
rated by the violent act of creation. Those unreal 

LAWS.' 125 

developments whose apparent results are seen in 
the organism at the moment of its creation, I will 
call prochronic, because time was not an element 
in them ; while those which haVe subsisted since 
creation, and which have had actual existence, I 
will distinguish as diachranic, as occurring during 

Now, again I repeat, there is no imaginable 
difference to sense between the prochronic and the 
diachronic development. Every argument by which 
the physiologist can prove to demonstration that 
yonder cow was once a foetus in the uterus of its 
dam, will apply with exactly the same power to 
show that the newly created cow was an embryo, 
some years before its creation. 

Look again at the diagram by which I have 
represented the life-history of this animal. The 
only mode in which it can begin is by a sudden 
sovereign act of power, an irruption into the circle. 
You may choose where the irruption shall occur ; 
there must be a bursting-in at some point. Suppose 
it is at " calf;" or suppose it is at " embr. vesicle." 
Put a wafer at the point you choose, say the latter. 
This then is the real, actual commencement of a 
circle, to be henceforth ceaseless. But the embry- 
onic vesicle necessarily implies a germinal vesicle, 

126 LAWS. 

and this necessitatee an ovum, and the ovum neces- 
sitates an ovaiy, and the ovaij necessitates aiT 
entire animal, — and thus we hare got a qnarter 
round the circle in back development; we are 
irresistibly carried along the prochronic stages, — 
the stages of eidstence which were before existence 
commenced, — ^as if thej had been diachronic, 
actoallj occurring within onr personal experience. 
If I know, as a historic foct, that the circle was 
commenced where I have put my wafer, I may 
begin it there ; but there is, and can be, nothing 
in the phenomena to indicate a commencement 
there, any more than anywhere else, or, indeed, 
anywhere at all. The conmiencement, as a fact, I 
must learn from testimony; I have no means what- 
ever of inferring it from phenomena. 

Petmit me, therefore, to repeat, as having been 
proved, these two propositions : — 

All organic nature moves in a circle. 

Creation is a violent irruption into the 
circle of nature. 



" Where watt thou when I laid the foundations of the earth! declare, if 
thoQ hast understanding."— -Job xxxriii. 4. 

Since every organism, considering it, throughout 
its generations, as an unit^ has been created, or 
made to commence existence, it is manifest that it 
was created or made to commence existence at 
some moment of time. I will ask some kind 
geological reader to imagine that moment, and to 
accompany me in an ideal tour of inspection among 
the creatures, taking up each for examination at 
the instant that it has been called into existence. 
Do not be alarmed ! I am not about to assume that 
the moment in question was six thousand years 
ago, and no more; I -will not rule the actual date 
at all ; you, my geological friend, shall settle the 
chronology just as you please, or, if you like it 


better, we will leave the chronological date out of 
the inquiry, as an element not relevant to it. It 
may have been six hundred years ago, or six 
thousand, or sixty times six millions ; let it for the 
present remain an indeterminate quantity. Only 
please to remember that the date was a reality, 
whether we can fix it or not ; it was as precise a 
moment as the moment in which I write this word. 
Well then, like two of those "morning stars" 
who, when " the foundations were fastened," 
" shouted for joy,'* we will, in imagination, take 

our stand on this round world at exactly 

minutes past o'clock, on the morning of the 

th of , in the year B.C. . The noble 

Tree-fern before us {Alsophila aculeata) has this 
instant been called into being by the creating voice 
of <xod. Here it stands, lifting up its columnar 
stem, and spreading its minutely fretted fronds all 
around, in a vaulted canopy above our heads, 
through the filagree work of whose expanse the 
sunbeams play in a soft green radiance. It has 
this instant been created. 

But I will suppose, further, that we have the 
power to call into our council some experienced 
botanist ; who is not acquainted, as we are, with the 
fact of this just recent creation, and whom we will 

PLANTS, 129 

ask to give us his opinion on the age of this 
beautifdl plant. 

The Botanist — '" You wish to ascertain the age 
of this Alsophila, I know of no data by which 
this can be determined with precision, but I can 
indicate it approximately^ Let us take it in order. 
The most recent development is the growing point 
in tha centre of the arching crown of leaves. 
Around this you would see, if your eyes were 
above the plane, close ring-like bodies, or> perhaps, 
more like snail-shells, protruding from the growing 
bud ; then young leaves, partially opened in various 
degrees, but coiled up scroll-wise at their tips, and 
around these the elegant fretted fronds, which 
expand broadly outwards in ^ radiating manner, 
and arch downwards. 

" Now every one of these broad fronds was at 
first a compactly coiled ring; but it has, in the 
course of development, uncoiled itself, growing at 
the same time from its extremity, and from the 
extremity of each of its formerly wrapped-up 
pinnae and pinnules, until at length it has attained 
the expanse you beholds This process has cer-« 
tainly occupied several days, 

^* But let us look farther. The outermost fronds 
that compose this exquisite cupoU^ you see, are 


nearly naked ; indeed, the extreme outermost are 
quite naked, being stripped of their verdant honours, 
their pinnaB and pinnules, and left mere dry and 
sapless sticks, — ^the long and taper midribs of 
what were once green fronds, as graceful as those 
that now surmount them. Some of them, you 
see, are hanging downward, almost detached 
from the stem, and ready to drop at the first 
breath of wind. Now remember, each of these 
brown unsightly sticks was once a frond, that had 
passed through all the steps of uncoiling from its 
circinate condition. This whole process has cer- 
tainly occupied several months. 

" Look, now, below these withered midribs, 
lifting up the most drooping of them. The stem 
is marked with great oval scars; and see, this old 
frond-rib has come off in my hand, leaving just 
such a scar, and adding one more to the number 
that were there before. And look down the stem ; 
it is studded all over with these oval scars. There 
are a hundred and fifty at least; but I cannot 
count them nearly all, for towards the lower part 
they become more undefined, and the growth of 
the stem has thrown them further apart; and 
besides, there is, as you observe, a matted mass of 
tangled rootlets, like tarred twine, which, springing 

PLANTS. 131 

from between the lower scars, increases downwards, 
till the whole inferior extremity of the stem is 
encased in the dank and reeking mass. 

" You can have no doubt that every one of 
these soars indicates where a leaf has grown, where 
it has waved its time, and whence, after death and 
decay, it at length sloughed away. The form of 
the uppermost, which are not distorted by age, 
agrees exactly with the outline of the bulging base 
of the candelabrum-like frond ; the arrangement of 
the scars is that of the fronds ; and you may notice 
in every scar marks wheace the horseshoe-shaped 
plates of woody fibre have been broken ofi^, which 
once passed into the interior of the stem from the 
midrib of the frond. 

" These scars, then, are ocular demonstrations of 
former fronds ; we may no more doubt that fronds 
were once growing fr<Mn these spots, than we may 
that the green and leafy arches were once coiled 
up in a circinate vernation. They are the record 
of the past history of this organism, and they 
evidently reach far back into time. The periodic 
ratio of development of new fronds may be, perhaps, 
roughly estimated at six in the course of a year. 
Now there are about a dozen unfolded or unfolding, 
as many withering midribs, and about a hxmdred 



and fifty leaf-scars that we caii count with ease, 
not reckoning such as are indistinct, nor such as 
are concealed beneath the tangled drapery of roots. 

" I have no hesitation, tjien, in pronouncing this 
plant to be thirty years old ; it is probably much 
older, bat it is, at least, as old as this." 

Such is the report of our botanical adviser ; such 
in his aigoment ; and we canuot but admit that it 

PLANTS. 133 

is invulnerable ; his conclusion is inevitable, but 
for one fact, which he is not aware of. There ta 
one objection, however, to which it is open— a fatal 
one ; you and I know that the Tree-fern is not five 
minutes old, for it was created hut this moment. 

Here is another act of creation. It may be the 
same day as that of the Tree-fern, or one as remote 
as you please from it, before or after. A few 
moments ago this was a great mass of rough, naked 
limestone, but by creative energy it has been sud- 
denly clothed with a luxuriant mantle of Selaginella. 
How exquisitely beautiful the aggregation of flat- 
tened branching stems, studded with their tiny 
imbricated leaflets of tender green, bloomed with 
blue ! and how thick and soft the carpet that thus 
conceals the angles and points and crevices of 
the unsightly stone ! Broad as is this expanse of 
verdure, covering many square yards without a 
flaw, and rooted as it is at ten thousand points of 
its creeping stem, we shall yet find that it is one 
unbroken structure. Our friend the botanist would 
infer unhesitatingly that every part of this wide- 
spread ramification has originally proceeded from 
one central shoot, and that several years' gi'owth 
must have concurred to form this compact mass. 

Yet toe know that such an inference would be 


false. The plant has been this instant called into 

On the snmmit of this rounded hill is a very 
different plant from the last. Beautiful it also is, 
but grandeur and majesty are its leading attributes. 
It is a dense and massiye clump of the Tulda 
Bamboo. How noble these straight-jointed stemK, 
cylinders of polished green, shooting their points 
right upwards, and towering to a height of eighty 
feet ! The numerous panicles of tufty blossom are 
gracefully bending fix)m the summits, and from the 
tip of every branch, nodding in the breeze. There 
are scores of the tall stems, as straight as an arrow, 
beset at eyeiy joint with diyerging borisontal 
branches, crossing and recrossing in inextricable 
confusion. And see, amidst the crowd, there are 
others as thick and tall, but without a sing^ side- 
shoot, dothed, howcTer, to atone fisr the deficiency', 
in swaddling-clothes peculiarly their own. 

These swathed stems are infrmt shoots, — ^vigor- 
ous and promising children, indeed ; these browii 
triangular shfariis, covered with down, are the 
dodiingof infimcy; llicj increase in number, and 
are doaer togeAer towaids die summit of the 
ahoot, where die growing point is lapidty extending. 
When die stems hsve attuned their foil height. 

FLAMTg* 135 

these sheaths will &11 off, the polished shafts will 
stand revealed in their glossjr beauty, and the 
lateral pointed branches will at once start forth 
from everj joint, and pierce horizontallj through 
the dense tangled bnsh. 

Now these yonng shoots do not bear testimony 
to so great an age as yon wonld suppose. The 
whole seventy feet of their altitude have been at- 
tained within thirty days t But then their massive 
size and vigour indicate a mature age in the clump. 
For all the hundred stems that *are crowded 
together in this dense Bamboo-clump are or- 
ganically united ; they are parts of one and the 
same plant, the root-stock of which has been 
creeping to and fro year after year, sending up in 
constant succession its arrowy stems, until it has 
attained the present magnificence. Many years 
must have elapsed between the present condition 
of the grove, and thijj; of the slender blade that 
shot up from the tiny seed in this spot. 

Yes, so you may thinL But it is not so, for 
the great Bamboo-clump has been created in its 
pride and glory this very hour ! 

Yonder is a considerable area of land covered 
with the green blades of young wheat, and very 
healthy and strong it looks. No, it is Couch-grass ! 


The whole green sward which we see is a single 
pUnt ; the creeping stem of which has spread its 
ramifications in all directions beneath the surface 
of the soil ; and still the long succulent shoots are 
extending in every direction, as shewn by the green 
leaf-blades. This is a rapidly growing plant, it is 
true ; yet^till there must be an accumulated growth 
of many months here, if not years! No, it was 
created this morning. 

Contrasting with this humble grass, observe that 
luxuriant Screwpine. See its singular crown of 
foliage at the summit of its equally singular stem. 
Its great prickle-edged stiff leaves grow in long 
diagonal rows, each sheathing its successor, and 
alternating with those of the next row. How rich 
and fragrant an odour is diffused from its crowded 
blossoms ! 

Every one of those sword-like leaves is, of course, 
the record of a period of time. A tree of this size 
makes a " screw," or imperfect spire, of leaves in 
about three years; and there are about sixteen 
pairs of leaves' in each screw, which will give us 
nearly eleven leaves for the development of each 
season. Now, on the trunk, there are numerous 
waved lines quite covering its surface, which are 
the traces of old leaves that have in succession 

PLANTS. 137 

been produced and decayed away ; — the trunk is, 
in fact, composed of these leaf-bases. By counting 
these, we may obtain then an approximate notion 
of the age of this plant; — an approximate notion 
only, because in its young stages the development 
of leaves probably took place more rapidly than it 
does now. There are then on this trunk about one 
hundred and fifty horizontal rows of scars, and each 
row numbers four leaf-bases, so that the trunk is 
inscribed with an autographic record of six hundred 
leaves. If then we reckon eleven leaves as the 
produce of a single season, and add the four screws 
which are still flourishing, we shall obtain a result 
of about fifty-five years as the age of this Pandantis. 
This, for the reason just assigned, would probably 
be considerably too much; perhaps, forty years 
would be nearer the truth. 

There are, however, other marks of age here, 
though they are less definite. The great hardness 
of the surface-wood, which we perceive on trying 
to indent it, is an indication of age, as it is pro- 
duced by the successive bundles of woody fibre, 
which, year after year, have passed down from each 
leaf, curving, in their descent, towards the cir- 
cumference of the stem, and, therefore, constantly 
augmenting the density of the outer portions. 


Another very curious proof of age is seen in the 
number of aerial roots which descend from various 
points of the trunk towards the soil. You would 
at first be inclined to think them posts, which a 
carpenter had set to " shore up " the tree, as props 
to prevent its being blown down. And truly this 
is their purpose ; but they are natural adjuncts, not 
artificial. These thick rods, some of which have 
not yet reached the ground, have been shot forth 
in turn from the stem, in order to afford it additional 
support in the loose sandy soil. And mark, by the 
way, a beautiful contrivance here. Because the 
growing tender extremity of the root has to pass 
through the sun-parched air in its progress towards 
the earth, there is a curious exfoliation of its 
extremity, forming a sort of cup, which, collecting 
the scanty dews, retains sufficient moisture for the 
refreshment of the spongy rootlet. Now, I say, 
these supporting roots, since they must have origi- 
nated from the trunk, after the latter had attained 
a considerable height, are so many evidences — and 
cumulative evidences — of age, though their testi- 
mony cannot be so well made to bear on a*known 
period as that of the leaf-bases. 

Should we not then be amply warranted in 
asserting this Screw-pine to be many years old, if 


we were not assured that, aa a fact, it has been 
this instant created? 

A phenomenon analogous to that which we hare 
joBt observed is presented by yonder Fashiuba 
Palm (Iriartea exorhiza). Its straight arrowy stem 
has shot ap to the height of fifty feet, like a slender 


iron column. On the summit there is the usual 
divergent crown of leaves that distinguishes this 
most graceful and queenly tribe ; and at the foot, 
a tall open cone of roots, strangely supporting the 
column on its apex. 

"But what most strikes attention in this tree, 
and renders it so peculiar, is, that the roots are 
almost entirely above ground. They spring out 
from the stem, each one at a higher point than the 
hist, and extend diagonally downwards till they 
approach the ground, when they often divide into 
m^ny rootlets, each of which secures itself in the 
soil. As fresh ones spring out from the stem, those 
hehw become rotten and die off; and it is not an 
uncommon thing to see a lofty tree supported 
entirely by three or four roots, so that a person 
may walk erect beneath them, or stand with a tree 
seventy feet high growing immediately over his 

" In the forests where these trees grow, numbers 
of young plants of every age may be seen, all 
miniature copies of their parents, except that they 
seldom possess more than three legs, which gives 
them a strange and almost ludicrous appearance."^ 

This tall Pashiuba before us, however, is sup- 

• WaUaoe*8 "Padms of the Amazon,** p. 35. 

PLANTS. 141 

ported on several scores of roots, in various stages 
of development, some descending through the air, 
some already fixed in the soil. As the presence of 
these, moreover, implies the decay and disappear- 
ance of earlier ones, their number and height may 
be accepted as a fair testimony to the age of the 
tree ; independent of what we might have deduced 
from the trunk and other sources. (My reader will 
bear in mind, that, throughout this chapter, I am 
supposing that we have the opportunity of seeing 
each organism at the moment following that of its 
creation.) The Iriartea before us, then, notwith- 
standing its marks of maturity, is* but — a new-bom 
infant, I was about to say, rather — a new-made 

Another and more massive Palm appears, where 
a moment ago there was nothing but smooth ground 
and empty air. It is the Sugar Palm (Sagtierus 
sacchartferjy remarkable in its appearance for the 
swathes of what looks to be sackcloth of hair, in 
which its stem is enveloped. Each of its great 
pinnate leaves forms with the dilated base of its 
midrib a broad sheath, which springs out of a 
loose fold of this coarse cloth that is wrapped 
around it. And not only the bases of the still 
flourishing leaves are swathed in this natural textile 


fabric, but the dead and dry leaf-bases of the former 
leaves, which may be traced all down the stem. 
But let OS look at this strange cloth : what is it ? 
It is composed of the exterior fibres of the leaf- 
bases themselves, which in process of growth have 
partially separated themselves, and jfrom which the 
parenchyma and the lamina have decayed away. 
The appearance of a woven fabric is deceptive; 
there is no interlacing; but its semblance is pro- 
duced by the fibres lying in layers one over the 
other, and by some of them having a direction at 
right angles to the others. Originally all the fibres 
were parallel and longitudinal, but as they have 
been, in the growth of the leaf, pulled out laterally, 
the main fibres, which are indefinitely divisible, 
have adhered to each other at various parts, and 
the result has been that innumerable constituent 
fibrillar have been stretched across firom fibre to 

Every square inch, then, of this sackcloth tells 
of the lapse of time ; these horse-hair-like fibres 
were once green and vascular, enclosing a soft 
pulp ; in short, they were a part of a verdant leaf; 
the reduction of each congeries of veins to this 
condition was a work of time, and this has been 
effected by many leaf-bases in succession. 

PLANTS. 143 

An examination of this gomuU^ as it is called, 
does not indeed help ns to identify the actual 
interval lapsed in the history of the plant ; but we 
may arrive at this from other considerations. The 
great sheathing bases themselves remain in num- 
bers attached to the upper portion of the stem, though 
the greater portion of the midrib with the pinnae has 
decayed and fallen ; and in the lower part, where 
even the bases have disappeared, still broad lateral 
scars are left, marking off the stipe into horizontal 
rings, which are not less conclusively certain evi- 
dences of the former existence of similar bases, and 
therefore, still earlier, of leaves. 

The Sugar Palm developes and matures on an 
average six leaves every year.* On counting the 
dry leaf-bases, and the scars, I find on this trunk, 
a hundred and twenty: besides which there are 
about a dozen expanded leaves, and two visible, 
which are not unfolded. A hundred and thirty- 
four leaves then have left proofs of their existence 
here ; which divided by six, gives about twenty- 
two years as the ase of this Palm. This is the a^^e 
of thl tree. howevJ. since it began to fonn a .Z, 

but several years of infancy must be added to Ae 


* Rozbargb. 


sum, during which its fronds sprang in successior 
from the surface of the soil. 

Look at this Areca, By-and-by it will grow tc 
the loftiest stature attained by any of its tribe, and 
its noble crown of leaves will wave on the summil 
of a slender pillar a hundred and fifty feet in 
height. But at present it has no stem at all ; the 
widely arching leaves' diverge from a central point 
which is below the surface of the soil. Here, then, 
are no dead leaf-bases ; here are no old historical 
scars: — have we any evidence of past time here? 
Yes, surely. See this fully developed leaf. It is 
composed of a stout midrib, along the two opposite 
edges of which grow, like the beards of a feather, 
narrow sword-like leaflets, separated from each 
other by intervals of about two inches. But this 
pinnate condition, — ^which is so inseparable from 
the developed leaf of a great division of the Palm 
tribe, that our idea of a palm-leaf almost always is 
that of an enormous feather, — is by no means the 
original state. Observe this young leaf which is 
not yet thoroughly expanded; the leaflets are, 
indeed, separated everywhere, except that the tips 
of all are connected by a very narrow ribbon of the 
common green lamina, which runs from one to 
another. In the ftilly opened leaves, this has been 
torn apart and is not distinguishable. 

PLANTS. 145 

But, let us carefully open this still younger leaf, 
which is protruding like a thin green rod, or rather 
like a closed fan, from the centre of the crown. 
We must handle it delicately, for it is very tender. 
Now you see it is not pinnate at all ; the leaf is 
as entire as a Musa leaf, which, indeed, it much 
resembles, except that each half is folded trans- 
versely, and then these transverse folds are packed 
one on another longitudinally, fan-fashion. Each 
of the transverse folds answers to a future leaflet. 
It is the development of the midrib in length that 
tears asunder the divisions of the lamina, and con- 
verts them into separate, and by-and-by remote, 

It is manifest then that every leaflet on the mid- 
rib of a pinnate-leaved Palm is a record of past 
time, as real as the leaf-bases on the trunk, inas- 
much as, in each case, there is ocular proof that 
the conditions of existence are different from what 
they have been. And yet in this case, the evi- 
dences are fallacious, since the Areca before us has 
even now been created. 

Here, is an extraordinary plant. Though no 
thicker than your little finger, it will be found 
almost a quarter of a mile in length.* This is a 

* Rumph, y. 100. 

f4^f ¥K¥Ki,i,¥,iff. k^U ¥¥¥4>¥^U¥.t/f%. 

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wiflihi ilif^f ^rr fmir fft^mkn, (tut ili/;M« ffuuwivi*. 
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iM Mi|;W, i'MfUiUAy w« ftHfifiM iMmiKfi i/i tlik Ifi4i- 
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We pass on, and pause feefore a noble example 
of one of the stateliest of plants, — the Traveller's 

Tree ( Urania spedoaa). It is a great Musaceous 
plant, resembling one ijf those fans which in the 

PLANTS. 149" 

Southern States of America are made by ladies out 
of the broad tail-feathers of a turkey. Its leaves, 
of vast size, consist of a broad oblong lamina of 
the most brilliant green hue, divided equally by 
a midrib which descends in a smooth cylindrical 
petiole, much longer than the lamina (which is 
itself eight feet or more in length). Each leaf- 
stalk terminates below in a. great demi-sheath, out 
of which springs another, in a zigzag or distichous 
fashion, the whole diverging, as they rise, in the 
same plane. 

Below the alternately-sheathing leaves, of which 
there are but eight at present existing, there are 
the bases of others, now dead, which, when alive, 
evidently followed the same arrangement; and 
these give place yet lower to rings, each partly 
surrounding a massive conical stem. 

I fear we have no criterion for determining the 
exact age of such a plant as this from actual obser- 
vations on its rate of growth. From the fewness 
of its existing leaves they probably endure a con- 
siderable time; but at all events here are indu- 
bitable evidences of successive generations of leaves 
which are now past and gone ; some of which are 
represented by withered rib-bases, while older ones 
have left but the scars which indicate the positions 


on the trunk where once they stood. Here are 
distinct testimonies to the lapse of a considerable 
period of time since the magnificent Urania began 
its existence. Yet we should err egregiously by 
giving credence to them, since these developments 
are 2X[ prochronic. 

" What a lovely butterfly ! " Nay, it is a flower : 
though it dances in the air with an insect's flutter- 
ing flight, and seems to present in its broad wings 
of yellow and orange, and in its long and slender 
members, an insect's form and hues, it is but a 
flower fixed at the end of a lengthened stalk, which 
hangs from a mass of leaves and bulbs, seated in 
the fork of this huge mahogany-tree. 

We will neglect the flower, curious and beautifiil 
as it is, and examine this crowded mass of roots 
and fleshy leaves and oval bulbs. 

Tracing the slender lengthened footstalk to its 
origin, we see that it springs from the lower part 
of a flat, ovate, or nearly round, ridged, pseudo- 
bulb, of a purplish-green hue, of which there are 
many, much crowded together. The point of issue 
of the flower-stalk is concealed by an enveloping * 
husky scale, which is the withered condition of a 
former leaf. From the base of another bulb a thick 
obtuse cone is pushing forth, which is the com- 

PLANTS. 151 

mencement of a new leaf-shoot ; and here is one 
considerably advanced. In this latter there is 
nothing very remarkable; it is a thick growing 
shoot, formed by fleshy leaves nearly doubled 
together, each sheathed by its predecessor. But 
soon this will cease to grow, and the point will 
dilate into an oval bulb, which will be a reservoir 
of nutriment for the future flower. In fact it will 
add another to the matted mass of bulbs which are 
already accumulated, crowned with two great thick, 
leathery, ovate, brown-spotted leaves, and marked 
with the scars of the leaves which are now growing, 
but which will then have sloughed away. 

In this Onddmniy then, we have evidently a record 
of many bygone processes. Before the flower could 
open, the flower-stalk must have been developed ; 
before this, the pseudo-bulb must have been formed; 
before this, there must have been a well-formed 
leaf-shoot, which must have been first a conical 
bud pushing forth from some anterior bulb ; — or, 
if that shoot had been the first of the mass, then it 
must have looked back to a seed, which of course 
looked back to the capsule of a pre-existent flower, 
and so on. 

Yet this is all fallacious ; for the Butterfly-flower 
is but just created. 


As beautiful, if less curious, is the crowded spike 
of purple blossom that adorns the tall stalk of this 
terrestrial Orchis. The flower-stalk springs from 
the midst of a few large spotted leaves, which termi- 
nate below in an irregular fleshy tuber of glutinous 
consistence. This tuber is shrivelled, and is in 
process of exhaustion and decay ; but a horizontal 
stem has pushed out underground, which has at 
its extremity a second tuber, as yet immature, but 
plump and swelling. This growing tuber contains 
the elements of the leaves and flower-spike of next 
season: the shrivelling one. was, last year at this 
period, in exactly the same condition as the swell- 
ing one is now ; it too was pushed out horizontally 
from a preceding one which was then shrivelling, 
and so backward. These pre-existing stages can 
with certainty be announced by the vegetable 
physiologist ; who yet would be deceived in this 
instance, because the plant has been but just 

This elegant Oladiolua that displays its tall spike 
of crimson blossoms from the midst of its flattened 
folded leaves, affords us a similar example of retro- 
spective energy. If I dig away the light soil from 
around its base, I discover two globose conns, fleshy 
swellings of the stem, accumulations of nutriment 

PLANTB. 153 

obtained duriDg the vegetative activity of the 
plant, and destined to support it during the season 
of inaction, and therefore stored up for that purpose. 
The uppermost of these globose eorras is that of 
the present season ; it is as yet small and imma- 
ture, being in process of formation by the assi- 
milation, consolidation, and deposition of new 
matter by the action of the leaves. This is sheatlied 

in the tubular bases of the leaves, which expand 
above ; and it is seated on a larger, riper, and more 
spherical corm, which is wrapped in a btown fibrous 
skin. This is the matter which was deposited in 


the course of last spring and summer, and the 
brown skin is the remains of the leaves of last 
year. This corm has remained inactive, since the 
decay of last year's leaves, until this winter, when 
the root fibres, which we see descending from the 
lower surface, began to form, and an upward pro- 
longation of the stem followed, which, as it grew, 
swelled into the upper corm. 

In the centre of the under surface of the corm of 
last season, in a depression surrounded by the 
white root-fibres, there are some almost decayed 
remains of a deep brown hue. These are the last 
vestiges of the preceding year's corm, and they 
exhibit the condition in which the large corm will 
be next spring, when the small half-formed one 
will be in the state and position of this larger one, 
and will in like manner be surmounted by its 
rising successor. 

Thus there are in this plant ocular proofs of two 
years' history before the present; yet these proofs 
are invalidated by the fact of its. creation this day. 

Behold now that singular plant, the Grass-tree 
[Kingia australis), displaying what seems an im- 
mense tuft of wiry grass elevated on the summit 
of a trunk which is formed of the united bases of 
myriads of decayed leaves, the representatives of 

PLANTS. 155 

many generations of these organs- The sUvery 
leaves which constitute the existing crown, and 
the numerous spikes of blossom which stand up in 
a circle diverging from the midst of them, give to 
this plant a most striking effect That, however, is 
not our present concern, but the evidences which 
we may be able to gather from it of a previous 
history. For some distance below the living leaves, 
the trunk is connected by the withered, hanging, 
but still persistent leaves of several successive 
developments, a ragged drapery, of which we might 
certainly say — 

" when unadom'd, adom'd the most.'* 

The lower portion of the stem is, however, desti- 
tute of the decayed leaves themselves, the lozenge- 
formed bases of them alone remaining, still separa- 
ble, indeed, but sufficiently compact to make in the 
aggregate a sub-cylindrical column of loose texture, 
which may in familiar parlance be termed a trunk. 
This portion is marked by alternate enlargements 
and constrictions of the outline, wiiich appear to 
indicate seasonal growths. 

The specimen before us is about twenty feet in 
height, exclusive of the crown ; supposing these 
swellings to mark a year's growth, and to be con- 
tinued in the same proportion on that part of the 


trunk which is masked by the decayed leaves as 
on the exposed part, we should conclude this tree 
to be about thirty-five years old; for there are 
about thirty-four such swellings, each of which 
contains about four hundred of the lozenge-shaped 
bases of the fallen leaves.* 

Kemember, however, that we are looking at the 
Grass-tree, not as it now appears on the sandy 
plains of Western Australia, in the nineteenth 
century, but as it came out of the hands of its 
Almighty Creator at some precise but unknown 
period of past time. 

This White Lily, crowned with its cluster of 
nodding flowers, magnificently beautiful, each a 
fair emblem of the spotless purity of a noble 
virgin — if we remove the soil from its base, we 
shall find that the stem springs out of a fleshy 
bulb. This is covered with thick yellow scales, 
by taking away each of which in turn, we see 
that the bulb is made up of such, surrounding the 
central mass which has pushed upward, in the 
form of the stalk, with its leaves and flowers. 

* My observations rest on the fine specimen of this plant 
preserved in the British Museum. Dr. Harvey, however, says, 
" The growth of the trunk in Kingia is very slow, and a speci- 
men about ten feet high may probably be some hundreds of 
years old." Report of Dubl. Univ. ZooL and Bot. Assoc, for 
Feb. 25, 1867. See the note infra on page 188. 


PLANTS. 157 ■ 

Now the wtole of this beautiful array wkicli' we 
see waa formed last summer, when, if we had 
divided the bulb longitudinally, we eboald have 

seen every leaf, every tiny blossom, folded toge- 
ther, and moat snugly packed within the encircling 


scales, which are, indeed, undeveloped leaves ; 
while from the base of the bulb so formed we 
should have seen pushed up on the outside of it, 
but yet within the common envelope of the exte- 
rior scales, the flower-stem of last season. There 
could not possibly have been this raceme of virgin 
blossom, if it had not been formed during the 
preceding season within the bulb; so that its 
existence is a record of a year's growth at least. 

Yet this is the first hour of the lovely Lily^s 
life ; an hour ago it was not. 

The face of the rugged cliff that rises perpen- 
dicularly above us was, a few moments ago, quite 
naked and bare, or diversified only by a few 
stunted prickly shrubs that sprang from its cre- 
vices. Now, by the mighty fiat , of God, it is in 
an instant festooned from top to bottom with a 
mo5t graceful drapery of round pale-green leaves, 
and slender stems no thicker than whipcord, and 
multitudes of spiral tendrils that climb, and hook, 
and catch, and entwine among the thorny bushes, 
and around the angles and prominences of the 
rock. We trace this curtain of verdure down- 
wards, and find that it resolves itself into some 
half a dozen of wiry stems, that issue from dif- 
ferent points of the surface of what seems a 

boTildet of brown stone, or a block of rougb-Iiewn 
timber, at tKe foot of the cliff. 

This angalar block is, however, worthy of closer 
examination. It is of no definite form, huge and 
uncouth, lying as if cast accidentally on the 
ground. Its whole surface is divided into a mul- 
tittide of polyhedral pieces, that look as if they 


had been cut into these forms by human art. 
Each division has a small angular face, and its 
sides display close parallel lines, all following the 
directions and angles of the outer face, but each line 
enclosing a slightly wider area than the one above 
it. These woody plates closely resemble in their 
angular forms and their concentric lines the plates 
of a Tortoise's shell, and hence our botanical 
friend, to whom we will appeal for an opinion as 
to the age of the block, will call the generic name 
Testudinaria. * 

" Well, I cannot give you any very precise 
judgment on the matter. The block itself is the 
tuber of a sort of yam, which grows above ground 
instead of below. It is a woody mass of great 
age. The angular plates are the bark, and they 
are so divided in consequence of the gradual 
growth of the tuber, tearing open its periphery to 
obtain more room. The concentric lines on the 
edges of the plates will not give us any adequate 
idea of the age of the mass, f<3r though they indi- 
cate seasonal growths, the earlier layers have been 
worn away in the lapse of ages, and there are 
many layers of bark that have not yet been burst 
by the expansive force of the growing wood. It 
is known that these blocks are of very slow 

PLANTS. 161 

growth ; in tropical regions they last, with scarcely 
perceptible increase, from generation to generation. 
From such vague data as we possess, I might 
loosely conjecture this tuber to be a thousand 
years old." 

We thank our scientific friend, and think it a 
very satisfactory report on an organism, which we 
saw called into existence five minutes ago, before 
our eyes. 

Come away; for I wish you to look at this 
Encephalartos. A horrid plant it is, a sort of 
caricature of the elegant. Palms, somewhat as if a 
founder had essayed a cocoa-nut tree in cast iron. 
Out of the thick, rough, stiff stem spring a dozen 
of arching fironds, beset w\th sharp, sword-shaped 
leaflets, but having the rigidity of horn, of a 
greyish hue, all harsh and repulsive to excess. 
In the midst of this rigid coronal sits the fiiiit, 
like an immense pine-cone. 

The swelling column that constitutes the stem 
is but a mass of pith, surrounded by a thin case of 
wood, and enclosed by the remains of former 
leaves. The whole surface is covered with the 
lozenge-shaped scars of these, in vast number. 
Thousands of these there must be in this trunk 
of eight feet high, and a foot thick. The leaves 



of the existing crown are few and very durable, 
so that it would be no unreasonable conjecture to 
suppose that this great Cycadaceous plant is seven 
or eight centuries old. 

Ntty, for this also has been created even now ! 

What shall we saj to this singular phenomenon ? 
Observe yonder gigantic Fig {F^us Australia) 
growing out of the face of that vast rocky pre- 
cipice. It is not so much to the massive grandeur 

PLANTS. 163 

of the trunk, nor to the wide-spread head of dense 
foliage, that I call your attention, as to the broad 
expanse of roots, from the thickness of your body 
to that of your little finger, which have crossed 
and interlaced and separated and re-united, in all 
imaginable ways, imtil the whole forms a great 
flat network of wood, investing the surface of the 
rock, and following all its projections and angles 
with singular faithfulness, for a space of many 
square yards. 

Would you not say, admitting that the Figs are 
rapid growers, that many years must have elapsed 
since the minute seed was dropped in yonder 
crevice, by some vagrant parrot that wiped his 
beak after breakfast on the point of rock ? Would 
you not say that many years must have passed 
from the time when the tiny shoot peeped from 
the rocky chink, to the present moment, when the 
leafy honours of the crown above and the woody 
wall of the roots below combine to repay the pro- 
tection which the plant in infancy received from 
its stony foster mother? 

Of course you would ; and most truly too, did 
you not know that the Fig-tree is now rejoicing in 
the first hour of its new-created being. 

So with its 'noble congener here, the many- 



tranked Banyan [Ficus Indica). Although not an 
old tree, its canopjr of broad downy leaves is 
already supported by so many secondary trunks, 
that it is not easy to say which of the larger stems 
is the mother trunk, and which the hopeful daugh- 
ters. Every one of these stems, some just pro- 
truding from the horizontal limbs, others hanging 
midway between the leafy roof and the earth, 
some just inserting their slender spongy tips into 
the soil, others thick and pillar-like — ^is an evidence 
of progressive development, and therefore of lapsed 
time ; only for the qualifying fact, that the develop- 
ment in this case is prochronic. 

Here is the great Euphorbia grandidens of Africa. 
Its stout trunk is marked with a number of holes, 
some four or five inches apart, arranged in perpen- 
dicular rows. In some cases they are rather 
depressions or pittings than holes, and look like 
what would result from borings made with an 
auger in pitch in warm weather, the margins of 
which had nearly closed subsequently. What is 
the explanation of these marks? They are all 
records of time. From each of these spots once 
grew one of those angular prickly branches, that 
look like our commonest sorts of Cactus, and which 
are now confined to the summit of the trunk. 

PLANTS. 165 

arching out from it, somewhat like the branches 
of a candlestick. 

It is the habit of this plant, when the stem has 
acquired a certain thickness, that the branches 
should, after a time, decay and drop off at the 
point of their union with the trunk, or rather a 
little below the surface, so as to leave the shallow 
holes or pits which we see. After their decadence, 
the growing bark gradually swells aroimd the 
scars, and has a tendency to obliterate them. 
This may account for the non-appearance of them 
on the lower parts of the stem. 

Here, then, are demonstrations of several suc- 
cessive stages of development. First, the stem 
must have been in existence before any lateral 
branches could have sprung from it. Secondly, 
the branch shot out. Thirdly, it put forth its 
spines and leaves. Fourthly, it died and sloughed 
away. Fifthly, the growing bark encroached on, 
and finally obliterated the cicatrice. 

In this individual, all these stages are illusory, 
or rather they are prochronic. 

See this noble Tulip-tree {Liriodendron tulipi- 
ferum), a giant of this primeval forest ; its towering 
trunk is crowned with a head of large massy 
foliage, of a rich deep verdure, among which 


shine numbers of great golden tulip-like blossoms, 
as fragrant as beautiful. 

It is, however, the leaves that grow on the 
terminal twigs that I wish you specially to notice. 
These, which, as you see, are large, and of a 
remarkably elegant form, are fixed at the end of 
long petioles, which are set alternately on the twig. 
Notice, now, the manner of their development; 
the young imexpanded leaves grow within two 
large leaf-like bracts, forming an oval sac, which, 
as the young leaf increases, swell, and at length 
bursty aud are left on each side of the base of the 
leaf-stalk. There is a succession of these. On 
this growing twig, for instance, I find three leaves 
already expanded (a a a in the accompanying 
figure), and as many pairs of these bracts {b b b) 
at their bases ; the twig is terminated by a pair (c) 
convex outwardly, and whose edges are in contact 
with each other ; if, now, I cut off one of these (as 
represented at rf), I expose the next leaf (e) folded 
together, and bent downward, in its pretty manner 
of vernation ; beside it is another pair of bracts (/), 
whose edges are not only in contact, but mutually 
adherent, and that with considerable force. On 
tearing these apart, I discover another smaller leaf, 
and another smaller pair of adhering bracts, which 

PLANTS, 167 

again contain a similar set, only yet more minute, 
and so on in sacceasion, till I can no longer trace 

Now it ia manifest that the uppermost of the 
three leaves, together with the developing termini 
bud, was at one time enclosed in the pair of bracta 
immediately below its base ; that, before that, the 
middle leaf, with all above it, was similarly Incar- 


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PLANTS. 169 

In an earlier stage there were eight lobes, and, 
earlier still, four, which was the commencing 
number; the duplication having proceeded in 
each case by the fission of each of the existing 
lobes into two.* 

Now though this phenomenon will aflford us, on 
the data we at present possess, no insight into the 
age of the plant, considered as an actual chrono- 
logical period, an examination of a transverse 
section would always determine which stage is 
then present, and, by consequence, how many 
previous stages have been passed through. And 
thus we obtain a distinct clue to the former history 
of the organism, though we cannot mark it off into 
months and years. 

Yet the fact of creation stultifies all the con- 
clusions that we might form firom such premises ; 
since it does, tj>80 facto^ contradict every such thing 
as a previous history. 

On this Anona there is an intruder more strictly 
parasitical; it is a Loranthvs, with long, club- 
shaped, richly-coloured blossoms. The branches 
of the supporting tree — a nurse who feeds her 
foster-child on her' own vital juices — are over- 
spread for a large space with the shoots ; which, 

* Gaudichaud : Recherches Q^n. sur rOrganographie, p. 129. 


springing each from its own disk, appear like so 
many distinct individuals, but are really all parts 
of a single plant, springing from a single seed. 
(For this curious fact we are indebted to the obser- 
vations of Mr. Griffith, who has investigated the 
singular history of these parasites.) 

The ripe seeds firmly adhere to the substance 
on which they are applied, by means of their 
viscid envelope, which soon hardens into a trans- 
parent glue. In the course of two or three days, 
the radicle curves towards its support, and, as soon 
as it reaches it, becomes dilated and flattened. An 
union is gradually formed between the woody 
system of the parasite and that of the stock, after 
which the former lives exclusively on the latter, 
the fibres of the sucijer-like root of the parasite 
expanding on the wood of the support in the form 
of a jpatS cToie. Up to that time the parasite had 
been nourished by its own albumen, which is now 
exhausted. As soon as the young parasite has 
acquired the height of one or two inches, when an 
additional supply of nourishment is required, a 
lateral shoot is sent out, which is, especially 
towards the point, of a green colour. This at one, 
or two, and subsequently at various points, adheres 
to the support by means of sucker-like produc- 

PLANTS. 171 

tions, which are precieely similar in Btructnre and 
mode of attachment to the original semipal one. 
The fibres of the parasite never penetrate beyond 
their original attachment ; in the adnlt the sncket- 
bearing shoots fireqoently run to a considerable 
distance, many plants being literally covered with 
pfurasltes, all of which hare originated from one 
and the same seed.* 

In this case, again, how delusive would be any 
■ On the daTelupment of LomtUhiu, fee. Linn. Tr. xviiL p. 71. 

1 2 


inference of actual lapse of time deduced from the 
condition of a' plant, which had been created as an 
adult capable of reproducing its race ! 

Here is a great impenetrable thicket of Prickly 
Pear. The delicate sulphur-hued flowers expand 
their broad bosoms to the sun, and the swelling 
fruit beneath is already putting on its lovely blush 
of crimson. How curious are the leafless but leaf- 
like dilatations of the stem — these flat oval plates 
of parenchyma, studded with clusters of woody 
and most acute spines ! Every one of these ex- 
pansions is an expression of time, as they are of 
course successive, though several may be formed in 
a single season ; and not only so, but the tufts of 
spines, which grow at the points of intersection of 
crossing lines, in a network pattern, are all suc- 
cessive, appearing in turn as the expanded joint of 
the stem grows out. 

The jointed dilatations themselves are, however, 
transitory ; in the slow lapse of years the common 
woody axis enlarges, and the interspaces between 
the oval plates become gradually filled up ^th 
cellular tissue, and thus are obliterated; the stem, 
as may be seen in the central part of this spreading 
thicket, becoming round, almost smooth, and of 
dense woody texture. " This condition is the 

PLANTS. 173 

result of many years," you say. It is so, in the 
ordinary course of nature ; but in the case before 
us, it has been educed in a totally different 
manner, and by a totally different energy, viz. 
prochronically, by the omnipotent fiat of the 

We have emerged from the forest glooms, and 
are come within the light and the music of the 
sparkling sea. And here at its margin, washed by 
its wavelets, there has been suddenly created a 
Mangrove tree {Bhizophora), destined to be, doubt- 
less, the fruitful parent of a grove, which by and 
by will fringe this flat and muddy shore for miles, 
shutting out the light- and air which now freely 
play over the beach, and keeping in, beneath a 
long canopy of dense and leathery foliage, the 
murky vapours which will rise from the decom- 
position of its successive exuviations. 

A^ yet it is a single tree, but in its perfection of 
maturity. And see how characteristically we find 
here that singular structure, or rather habit, which 
in Mangroves of normal development would be 
the effect of age. The trunk springs from the 
union of a number of slender arches, each forming 
the quadrant of a circle, whose extremities pene- 
trate into the muddy soil. These are the roots of 


the tree — there are no others — ^that shoot out in 
this arched form from the base, or " crown" of the 
stem, taking a very regular curve of six feet or 
more in length before they dip into the mud. The 
larger arches send out secondary shoots from their 
sides, which take the same curved form, but in a 
direction at right angles to the former ; and thus a 
complex array of vaulted lines is formed, which, to 
the crabs that run beneath — ^if they were only able 
to institute the comparison, must be like the roof- 
groins of some Gothic church, supposing the inter- 
spaces to be open to the sky. 

Now, normally, it would require a lapse of 
several years from the first dip of the radicle of 
the seed into the soft soil, to form these arches, 
and to lift the axis of the tree a foot or eighteen 
inches above the surface. But here the same result 
is achieved in a moment, by the exercise of crea- 
tive power. 

Look at this Eriodendron, What a magnificent 
accumulation of vegetable cells is here ! Its colossal 
trunk rises in naked majesty, a massive column, to 
the height of a hundred feet, without a branch. 
' And then what branches I Those limbs them- 
selves are of the bulk of ordinary forest trees ; they 
break out, three or four on the same plane, and 

radiate koiizoiitallj' to a vast distance, supporting 
a noble flat " roof of inwoven shade." 

Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this 
majestic tree is found at the foot of the trunk, 


which sends out vast spurs, radiating in all direc- 
tions, and extending to a circle of seventy or 
eighty feet in diameter. These spurs take the 
form of perpendicular walls of timber, commonly 
not more than six or eight inches thick, pretty 
equal in their thickness throughout, and varying 
in height from fifteen or twenty feet, where they 
spring from the trunk, to the point where they 
enter the soil. 

Now the Silk-cotton tree has not had this form 
through its life. When young, say up to twenty 
or thirty years old, there was no appearance of 
spurs ; the trunk was covered with a green bark, 
and was studded with great triangular low spines, 
an inch in diameter. And, what had a curious 
effect, the middle of the stem swelled into an ovate 
form, quite symmetrical on all sides. But, as years 
passed, the ventricose form of the trunk was gradu- 
ally lost ; the bark became of a hoary grey hue 
or even almost white ; the three-sided prickles dis- 
appeared from the bole, and were retained only on 
the upper surfaces of the limbs; and the great 
lateral buttresses began to fill up the angles which 
had hitherto existed between the trunk and the 
main horizontal and superficial roots. 

I called the noble tree before us an accumulation 

PLANTS. 177 

of vegetable cells. And viewed in that aspect, 
what an irresistible evidence of the lapse of time 
does this vast organism present to ns ! since the 
whole of this immense structure originated in a 
single cell, which, by repeated acts of self-division* 
(or, possibly, other modes of reproduction), has 
gradually built up the mass. 

Yet such a retrospect would be most fallacious 
in the case before us, since the plant, as a perfect 
compound organism, with its parts — ^root, trunk, 
limbs and leaves, and its tissues — cellular, fibrous, 
and vascular, has been produced by the instan- 
taneous putting forth of the Divine volition. 

Once again. More gigantic even than the 
towering Ceiba, this immense Locust-tree [Hymen- 
cea) appears to penetrate the very sky with its 
crown of foliage, which is so remote from the * 
earth, that our eyes cannot avail to discern the 
forms of the leaves. The straight columnar trunk, 
like some triumphal monument in the midst of a 

* " Each and every plant is at first a celL" — " New cells can 
never be formed externally to, but only within, other cells 
ak'eady formed." (A. Braun, on the Veg. Indiv.) 

'* The process of the propagation of cells, by the formation of 
new cells in their interior, is an universal law in the vegetable 
kingdom." (Schleiden ; Grondziige). 

" Cell-formation in plants takes place only in the cavities of 
older cells.** (Mohl, on the Veg. CelL) 




great metropolis, is of so vast a bulk that a dozen 
of such men as you and I could scarcely embrace 
it with stretched arms and joined hands.* 

Can our friend, the vegetable physiologist, help 
us here to form a notion of the time which would 
be required for the production of this tree in the 
ordinary way? It is the last favour we will ask 
of him to-day. Come, Sir, give us your thoughts 
on the matter. 

The Botanist — " There is a principle which, 
in trees of this character, namely, such as are of 
exogenous structure, wiU determine the age with 
very close accuracy. Each generation of leaves 
sends down woody fibres, which unite into a 
cylinder on the outside of the wood previously 
formed, and beneath the bark. 

" Now, as these cylinders are in general suffi- 
ciently distinct, in those trees which renew their 
leaves but once in a year, it will be enough to 
coimt the concentric circles which appear on a 
transverse section of the trunk, and we shall obtain 
the number of years during which the tree has 
existed. In the case of this great Locust, the rule, 
to be sure, is rather difficult' of application in that 
way ; a transverse section of this trunk would cost 

* See Yon Martius, on the Brazilian Locusts. 

PLAKT9. 179 

a little labour. But with this circular saw, which 
I always carry about with me for investigations of 
this sort, I can take out a horizontal cylinder on 
each of two or three sides of the tree, by counting 
the layers in which I can form a tolerably accm^fe 
estimate of the number in the whole diameter. 

" See ; in these cylinders, which do not mate- 
rially differ, there are aeventy-two layers in a toot, 
that is, each layer is one-sixth of an inch wide. 
The trunk is, at the part I have tested, about fifty 
feet in diameter, or twenty-five feet in radius; 
which would therefore contain just eighteen hun- 
dred such layers. As the deposition of new wood, 


however, is generally more abundant in youth and 
middle life than in age, the layers are probably a 
little wider, that isj fewer in a given space, as we 
approach the centre. For this we must make 
allowance, and may conjecture that this tree is 
probably not less than one thousand five hundred 
years old," 

Now whether the premises of the botanist will 
bear out this conclusion or not, is not a vital ques- 
tion. For the question at issue is, not, How long 
it has lived, but, Whether it has lived at all, before 
the present moment. It .is enough for our point 
that the tree does, in its concentric zones, afford 
ocular evidence of successive epochs of growth. 
And the proof of this would be equally good, if 
ten layers were deposited in a year, or if one 
deposit were made every ten years ; equally good, 
if there weire fifteen hundred zones, or if there 
were but five. It would be easy to confirm the 
testimony of the zones by that of other parts of 

the structure. The dimensions of the tree itself 


bear a fixed and, to a certain extent, recognisable 
ratio to its age ; every leaf on a given twig has 
been successively developed fix)m a leaf-bud, the 
opening of which and its elongation into a twig 
occupied, normally, a definite period ; each bough, 

PLANTS. 181 

each of those mighty limbs, was once a twig, was 
once an undeveloped leaf-bud, whose expansion to 
its present condition was a process, of which time 
was an inseparable and, within certain limits, a 
mensurable element. . 

If, then, we were precluded from examining any 
other organism, as it proceeded from the formative 
hand of its Creator, than this single tree, we should 
be amply warranted in inferring a past existence 
(be it longer or shorter, which is no matter) from 
the phenomena of its structure, which inference 
the fact of its creation would flatly contradict. 


{Invertebrate Animals.) 

« There is a kind of character in thy life 
That to th' observer doth thy history 
Fully unfold. — — " (Shakspeare.) 

Leaving the vegetable kingdom, those organisms 
which, though beautiful indeed and instructive, are 
yet inanimate, let us seek others which are en- 
dowed with a higher style of life, a life which is 
distinguished by a measure of consciousness of 
the exterior world, and a perception of relations to 
it. Let us look for animals. 

We retrace our steps to the verge of the rippling 
sea, where the belt of umbrageous Mangroves 
fringes its margin. Beneath the arching roots of 
these are now reposing in the warm sunlit shallo,ws 
many creatures which number this as the first day 
of their existence. It is their natal, or rather (to 
make a word) their creatal day. 

Here is a specimen of the Sea-pen (Pennatula), 
closely resembling a rather thick and fleshy feather. 


with its quiU-end inserted in the tenacious marl 
which constitutes the floor of the sea along this 
shore, and with the greater part of its body, in- 
cluding all the pinnated portion, erect, and waving 
lightly in the gentle swell of the bay. Its central 
stem is beset on each side with about twenty-five 
horizontal purple pinnae, and each pinna bears 
from five to fifteen polypes with eight tentacles 

. Let us wade out to yonder reef. See this great 
mass of Millepore, growing in thin irregular per- 
pendicular plates, which join each other at various 
angles, so as to form a large open honeycomb-like 
structure, much resembling the second stomach of 
an ox. It is covered with what appears a thin 
stratum of fawn-coloured jelly, but this consists of 
innumerable disks, which protrude from myriads of 
orifices not larger than those produced by the 
punctures of a fine needle ; as we may discern by 
touching the soft slimy surface, when the whole 
retires, and leaves apparent only the white stony 
surface dotted with numberless holes, within which 
the disks have disappeared, and whence they will 
again presently re-appear. 

Here too is a massive shrub of stone, a noble 
example of the Muricated Madrepore. It consists 


of a great multitude of short branches, which are 
themselves branched and branched again, every 
part covered with little mammillary warts, and 
pierced with innumerable holes in which stand 
radiating plates of the common stone. Out of 
these plated orifices, especially those towards the 
tips of the branches, for the older ones are empty 
and dead, we see perpetually peeping forth, ex- 
panding for an instant, and then coyly withdraw- 
ing, lovely little green disks, surrounded with 
thread-like tentacles ; and from the extreme end of 
each branch there protrudes one exactly similar to 
the rest in all respects, except that it is nearly 
twice as large. Here then are the living architects ; 
these have secreted within their gelatinous mem- 
branes the calcareous atoms, whose aggregate 
forms the stony shrub before us. 

Shall we try to estimate the number of polypes 
that have been occupied in building this tree? 
There are about a himdred branches, which, taken 
one with another, and followed along the sinuous 
course of their many branchlets, we may estimate 
to average a continuous length of eight feet each ; 
that is, 800 feet of branch in all. Now we may 
consider these branches as averaging a thickness 
of two inches and a half in circumference, which 


givea TI8 a surfitce of 24,000 square inclieB. 
Finally, there are about ten polype-cells ia each 
square inch ; and thns theA are or have been in 
this coral-mass, neatly a qoarter of a million 
of polype inhabitants. 

But look at this dark crimBon ediRce ot many 
stories, tier above tier, each horizontal floor of 
red stone sustained by a multitude of slender cylin- 
drical pillars. When we look closely at them, we 
see that the pillars are tubes, perforating one or 
more of the floors, from the lowest tier to the 


Have we any clue to the age of these corals, or 
to that of either of them, supposing we did not 
know that they have been created to-day ? Not 
definitely, perhaps ; but indefinitely we have, cer- 
tainly. In the case of the Sea-pen, the polypes 
have all been formed in succession ; as also in that 
of the stony Millepore and Madrepore, with this 
addition, that every newly formed polype deposited 
an increase to the stony substance, which thus 
went on increasing till the great foliated or rami- 
fied mass that we see was formed.* And so, with 
this series of floors and piUaxs, which is the soHd 
portion of another coral-polype, the Organ-pipe 
{TvMpora mv^ica). 

Every one of these stories has been formed in 
succession. From the tips of some of the tubes 
we see protruding an elegant polype of an emerald- 
green hue, having eight starry tentacles, and giving 

* The origin of coral-stocks is minutely described by Ehren- 
beig, in the Abhandl. for 1832, where he makes the following 
remarks : — " The coral mass is neither a mere structure com- 
posed of many animals arbitrarily conjoined, as Ellis supposed ; 
nor one single animal with many heads, or with simple furca- 
tions, as Cavolini maintained ; nor a vegetable stem with animal 
flowers, as Linneeus expressed it ; it is a body of families, a 
living tree of consanguinity; the single animals belonging to it, 
and continually developing upon the primoury ancestw, are 
entirely isolated within themselves, and capable of complete 
independence, although tmahle to achieve it.'* 



off from its base an enveloping membrane, whicli 
spreads over the rim of the tube and descends on 
the ontside to the floor. By means of this vascular 
membrane, both tube and floor have been formed. 
Calcareous particles, deposited, one by one, in its 
substance, gradually built up the tube of the 

primary polype, or probably the tubes of the first 
eeries, the basement or ground-floor. When these 
tubes had arrived at a certain height, all simul- 
taneously began to develope the fleshy membrane 
}iorizontally, which expanded nntil that from each 
touched that from its neighbour, with which it 
united. Meanwhile the calcareous deposition went 


on in this korizontal layer, and thus the first floor 
was made. 

Now from the living vascular upper surface of 
this layer sprang up at certain spots buds,* off- 
shoots of the common flesh, which soon rose into 
columns, and, by a process of calcareous deposition, 
became tubes with terminal polypes, which in turn 
spread out a horizontal layer, and thus the second 
floor was built. Hence a new race of polypes 
budded, which by and by formed the third floor ; 
and so on in succession until the series had attained 
the height which we see. 

If we assume one of these stories to be the 
growth of a year,t we have ocular evidence in this 
specimen of six years' age, for here are six succes- 
sive floors. But no : for it was created complete, 
as we see it, this very hour. 

Yonder goes a Medusa^ pumping its way 
laboriously, yet not ineffectively, just beneath the 

* This is not quite in accord with Lamouroux's account ; 
but it is more consistent with what we know of polype-growth 

t We lack precise data on which to found conclusions as tu 
the actual rate of growth of many animals. Sir John Dalyell's 
&mouB Actinia, now in the possession of Dr. Fleming, affords 
U8 a proof that the Zoophytes are long-lived, and slow in at- 
taining maturity. It wiU be readily seen, however, that the 
argument in the text does not depend on the actual period 
evolved. The lapse of a period of time, no matter how long, 
is the only essential point. 


surface of the clear wave. It is a great affair, 
nearly a foot in diameter. Have we, from merely 
examiningits appeaxance andstractoe,any criterion 
by which we can guess whether it has lived an hour, 
or a year, or ten years ? Surely we have ; for this 
mass of clear jelly is composed, like all other 
organic bodies, of cells, which have been gradually 
generated, by nutrition and assimilation, from the 
embryo.* This process must have occupied many 
months, if not several years ; but the history of 
this Medusa did not begin when it took its present 
umbrella-like form. Shall we trace it back a little 
farther ? 

At some time back, then, this creature detached 
itself as the terminal one of many little saucer- 
like bodies, which had been for some time pre- 
viously forming by the gradual constriction of a 
thick fleshy stem. Before the constriction began 
to be visible, this stem was the body of a white 
Hydraform polype, affixed by its base, and 
furnished at its free extremity with thirty-two 
tentacles. It had lived several years in this form, 
developing many Hydroid polypes, just like itself, 

* " All the component cells of any one organism may be con- 
sidered as the descendants of the primordial ceU in which it 
originated." {Dr. Carpenter; Comp. Physiol; p. 396. 4th Ed.) 


by successive gemmations. Before it took this 
shape, which it assumed gradually, its tentacles 
being developed in geometrical progression, 32 
from 16, from 8, from 4, — it was a soft ovoid 
planule clothed with vibratile cilia, which swam 
freely in the sea, like an Infusorium. 

Thus the physiologist would confidently assign 
to this Medusa an existence of several years, as an 
independent organism; nor could his conclusions 
be controverted, except by the knowledge of the fact 
that the Medusa has been but just now created. 

We pass on. Here is an Echinus. Let it be 
borne in mind still, that we have, in idea, the 
power of pursuing our researches on each creature 
at the moment which follows that of its creation ; 
and that, when that actually was is of no conse- 
quence to our investigation. 

Here then is this new-made Echinus sphosra, a 
somewhat conical globe of three inches diameter, 
which is covered with a forest of spines, pedicel- 
larisB, and suckers, and which glides majestically 
along, with an even but slow progress, over rock 
and reef. Its vitals are enclosed in a hollow box 
of calcareous shell, which is built up of nearly a 
thousand pieces. This specimen, which is rather 
below than above the average size, is formed of 


ten meridional rows of large plates (the inter- 
ambnlacral), and ten of small (the ambnlacral). 
The former series are each composed of thirty-two 
plates^ making in all three hundred and twenty ; 
the latter have just double that ntimber, making 
six hundred and forty ; thus this Urchin's box is 
built up of nine hundred and sixty plates ; every 
one of which is of definite shape and adgle, and 
fits into the angles of its fellows with the accuracy 
of the most skilfiilly constructed cabinet-work. 

Now every one of these plates is im eloquent 
witness to the past life-history of the Sea-urchin. 
For the reason why the enclosing box is made of 
so many pieces is, that it might gradually expand 
and enlarge its capacity with the ever increasing 
requirements of the soft organs within. Every 
plate is enveloped by a vascular flesh, from which 
the calcareous particles are deposited in a constant 
and perfectly uniform ratio ; and thus all the con- 
stituent plates are continually enlarged by additions 
to both the internal and external surfiices (in- 
creasing their strength), and to their sutural 
margins (increasing their combined capacity), until 
the adult dimensions are attained. 

The size of the new-bom Echinus is not nearly 
equal to that of one of these plates, and the 


progressive increase of the plates by deposition on 
their edges has certainly taken several years to 

The same result is inferrible from the structure 
of the spines with which every plate is armed. 
Each of these is a very long cone of calcareous 
matter, arranged in minute oval chambers, divided 
by thin 'glassy walls, and deposited particle by 
particle from the thin stratum of living flesh 
with which each has been invested from its first 
embryonic development. 

But of tliis Echinus^ as of the Medicsa before, we 
find a history anterior to either box or spines. Its 
first appearance in this stage of existence was as a 
barely-visible circular disk, constructed on the 
outside of the stomach of a singular transparent 
organism, much like a Medusa, but of a domular 
form with four or six legs, stifiiened by calcareous 
rods, and a crowning pinnacle. For some unde- 
fined time this gelatinous dome had been gliding 
with a stately movement through the open sea, 
before there was the least trace of the disk, which 
afterwards grew to the Echinus. In its earliest 

* I conclude so ; because I have kept specimens of EchinuSf 
not full grown, in healthy condition, for nearly a year, without 
any perceptible increase in their dimensions. 


condition the dome itself was a soft, spherical, 
mulberry-like Infiisorium, covered with vibratile 
cilia ; this altered its form to that of a three-sided 
pyramid, and this to the vaulted dome. 

Clearly, therefore, we have a right to infer a 
past history of the Urchin, and that of not a few 
distinct stages. But no ; the specimen has com- 
menced its history within an hour I 

Yonder Feather-star ( Comatula) notice ; which, 
having just now started into mature life at the 
almighty fiat of its Creator, goes careering joyously 
through the sea, expanding and contracting its 
many -jointed and feathery arms, as if it had been 
accustomed to the alternation for a long life, and 
ever and anon settling itself by grasping the points 
of rock with its dorsal claws. You would hardly 
think that those flexible and slender arms were 
made of stone : yet they are ; every joint of the 
stems and of their pinnas is a vertebra of stone 
(precious stones, you will say — topaz and ruby — 
from their brilliant hues), which has been formed and 
deposited atom by atom, by the slow and gradual 
process of secretion of calcareous matter ; the lime 
having been primarily collected from the sea-water 
which held it in solution. At least, such is the 
physiological deduction. 



But there was a penod in the Oomatvlas hiatoiy 
when it was not a free swimming star, but a lily- 

like flower of ten slender fringed petals, seated at 
•the emnmit of a long stalk, with a central columnar 
azu of stone. Before that, the flower-head had 


a bud-like figure, and the petals were minute and 
destitute of lateral fringes ; and earlier still, it was 
a tiny gelatinous club without any development of 
stone, aflixed by a spreading base, and shooting 
forth from the top a few pellucid processes. Earlier 
still, it was, no doubt, an infasory-like gemmule, 
clothed with cilia. 

Through all these successive stages, which, of 
course, occupied a considerable period of time, we 
should certainly affirm the Feather-star to have 
passed, did we not know that it has this very hour 
burst into existence. , 

That Panther, whose tawny far studded with 
black rosettes appeared so beautifcd as he bounded 
with agile grace from glade to glade just as we 
emerged from the forest, contains within his intes- 
tines, though you cannot see it, a mature Tape- 
worm. The body of this parasite consists of some 
hundreds of square flattened segments, each of 
which includes a complicated generative apparatus, 
equal to the production of thousands of fertile ova. 
Is not this an evidence of age? For, first of all, 
consider that the formation of each of these hun- 
dreds of joints has been a work of development 
from the anterior parts ; and therefore they record as 
many distinct and successive processes as there are 

K 2 


segments. And, secondly^ remember that the Tcenia 
did not commence existence as a Tosniay nor in the 
conditions in which it now exists, within the 
bowels of the Panther. It looks back to another 
form, and to another living nidus. 

There was a time when this parasitic creature 
had no ribbon-like body of flattened generative 
segments. There was, indeed, the same curious 
head, a tiny globose knob at the extremity of 
a slender neck, famished with the same array as 
now, of rows of hooks and sucking disks. But in 
place of the segments, the neck merged into a 
membranous bladder distended with clear fluid. 
It was not a Tcenia then, but a Cysticercus. 

Its home was at that time the interior of a 
living animal on whose vitalized juices it was 
sustained, but that animal was widely dilSerent 
from its present patron. It was an Antelope, that 
cropped the wiry grass and aromatic shrubs of the 
arid plain. 

Earlier still, the germ of this Tcenia was an egg 
lying on the ground, having been discharged from 
the rectum of another Panther, in the bowels of 
which it had been developed by one of the segments 
of a former Tcenia. 

Let us now trace the history of this organism 


onwards from the point at which we have arrived 
in our retrograde researches. 

The parent Tosnia^ still snugly ensconced inits 
obscene abode, partially matured and then sepa- 
rated the ultimate generative segment, containing 
many thousands of ova, far advanced towards 
perfection. The detached segment now became 
enclosed in the fasces of the Carnivore, and was at 
length discharged, enveloped in the pellet. The 
eggs, acquiring matririty, were hatched, and the 
infant worms, individually, scattered themselves 
among the snrronnding heLge .• 

One of these was devoured with the herbage by 
a grazing Antelope, and having safely escaped the 
perilous ordeals of mastication and rumination, 
passed into the stomach of that Buminant, whence 
it soon made ita way by some unknown but un- 
erring route to the liver, in the parenchyma of 
which organ it rapidly developed the cyst, which 
gave to the present stage its proper character. 

The Antelope fell a prey to the ferocious Cat ; 
its flesh was quickly digested in the stomach, but 

* I am not aware that thiB stage of the Entozoon has been 
actually observed ; but from what we know of its previous and 
subsequent history, the correctness of the statement in the text 
wiU scarcely be disputed. (See Prof. Owen : Comp. Anat. of 
Inverteb. Ed. 2. p. 74.) 


the gastric juice produced no effect on the Cyati- 
cercus. This parasite had merely changed its 
residence for one more commodious, or at least 
more suitable for its further development. It pre- 
sently attached itself to the walls of the intestine 
by means of its oral hooks and suckers, and, getting 
rid of its vesicular sac, with its fluid contents, pro- 
bably by absorption, it began to develop, joint 
by joint, that immense ribbon, which it possesses 
now, and which constitutes it a Tapeworm. 

Such is the "strange eventful history" of this 
» repulsive creature ; a history legitimately deducible, 
in all its stages, from its presently-existing condi- 
tion. But it is a history altogether illusory. The 
Tomia never was a Gysticercus : the Panther is as 
yet guiltless of capricide : it is this moment called 
into being, and the Tapeworm begins existence 
within it. 

This lump of red sandstone that has been rolled 
about in the sea, till all its points and angles are 
worn smooth, is now roughened again by the 
close and firm adhesion of extraneous substance, 
in the form of a cluster of shelly pipes, which 
twine irregularly over the surface of the boulder, 
and then start up erect with open mouths. These 
are the tubes of a species of Serpula, and the worm 


itself 18 seen now slowly emerging from one of 
them, and introducing its conical stopper, and 
elegant fans of white and scarlet filaments, to the 
genial daylight. 

Observe, however, that the tubes are not of the 
sajne diameter throughout. At the point where 
they start up from contact with the stone, they are 
considerably smaller than at the tip; and if we 
trace back the adherent portion along its tortuous 
course, we find that it constantly diminishes until 
it is but a slender white thread of stone. Now 
this slender extremity was formed first ; and as 
the worm itself grew, so it progressively required 
a larger and yet a larger habitation; which was 
readily provided of the due dimensions, because 
the material, which is limestone, was secreted by 
the swollen collar of the worm, and being freely 


poured out as required, was moulded of the proper 
calibre by the rotatory motion of the animal, com- 
bined with the special use of certain tactile organs 
for the purpose. 

The shelly tubes themselves afford us ocular 
evidence not only of their progressive formation, 
but also of the successive steps by which this was 
effected. For at certain intervals of their length 
we perceive rings of the common stony substance, 



■ffhicli mark the rim or mouth of the tnbe as it 
existed after each periodic increase. The mouth 
of the tube is, as we see, slightly expanded in 
a trumpet fashion ; but as the general vylindrical 

figure is to be maintained, the next deposit of 
calcareous matter is not made at the very edge of 
the lip, but on a ring a little way within the 
margin, whence it is carried up, leaving the former 
margin slightly projecting. 
Who could hesitate to assert that a history of 


past time is legibly written in the annolations of 
these stony tubes ? And yet the creatnres, with 
their tubes, have been but this instant created. 

But here is a tube of quite another construction, 
though inhabited by a kindred worm. It is wholly 
built up of sand, the inimitable architecture of the 
indwelling Terebella, who has thus succeeded in 
performing a task which defied the efforts of that 
too industrious artizan, — the familiar of the re- 
nowned Michael Scott.* Our worm has certainly 
spun a rope of sand, and one which holds together 
with surprising tenacity. 

The instrument which our little architect wrought 
with are the long tentacles, which, like a tangled 
tuft of yellow sewing-cotton, twist and twine over 
the floors of sandy pools. Nothing at first sight 
seems less adequate for the purpose than those 
very slender, soft, and flexible threads. Dr. Wil- 
liams shall tell us how they are used. "They 
consist of hollow flattened tubular filaments, fur- 
nished with strong muscular parietes. The band 
may be rolled longitudinally into a cylindrical 
form, so as to inclose a hollow cylindrical space, if 
the two edges of the band meet ; or a semi-cylin- 
drical space, if they only imperfectly meet. This 

* See Notes to " Harmion." 
K 3 


inimitable mechanism enables each filament to take 
up and firmly grasp, at any point of its lengthy a 
molecule of sand ; or, if placed in a linear series, 
a row of molecules. But so perfect is the dispo- 
sition of the muscular fibres at the extreme firee 
end of each filament^ that it is gifted witb the two- 
fold power of acting on the sucking and on the 
muscular principle. When the tentacle is about to 
seize an object, the extremity is drawn in, in con- 
sequence of the sudden reflux of fluid in the hollow 
interior ; by this mevement a cup-shaped cavity is 
formed, in which the object is securely held by 
atmospheric pressure ; this power is, however, 
immediately aided by the contraction of the circular 
muscular fibres. Such, then, are the marvellous 
instruments by which these peaceful worms con- 
struct their habitations."* 

Since the slender tentacles are the implements 
by which the sand-tube is thus built up, it is 
manifest that the existence of the tube must be 
subsequent to the existence of the tentacles. But 
the Terebelh, was at one time without tentacles ; so 
that its history certainly reaches back to a date 
anterior to the Existence of a tube. Several stages 
of life have intervened between that distinguished 

Report on Brit. Annelida, p. 194.' 


by the present worm-form, and its infant condition, 
when it swam as a ciliated undivided monad. 

So, at least, we conclude from physiological 
data ; but our conclusions are false, because contra- 
dicted by the ieijct that the mature animal with its 
case has been just now created. 

Let us forsake the ocean-shore, and walk again 
through the glades of the virgin forest. A White- 
ant (Termes) crosses our path, and, by tracking him 
home, we speedily discover his dwelling, an enor- 
mous structure composed of gnawed wood cemented 
with an animal secretion, and formed into thin but 
very firm and hard layers. Swarms of labourers 
are passing in and out; and, on our breaking away 
a portion of the edifice, out come crowding the 
warriors, with formidable jaws extended widely, 
ready for the fight. In the interior we find nume- 
rous chambers stored with food, and nurseries 
occupied by young and eggs, the number of which 
is every hour increasing by the oviposition of the 
gravid female, — the queen of the city — ^who is 
lodged in an apartment in the very centre of the 

The entire edifice has been built around her ; she 
is the hope of the colony, the only mother in this 


vast assemblage. It is therefore through her that 
we must look for a past history ; and in her we 
find it. Some months ago, when she was not more 
than one thousandth part as large as she is now, 
though then adult, she migrated from some other 
city not less populous than this is now. It was 
just before the periodical rains, when, at the time 
of the great annual swarming, myriads of winged 
males and females were evolved from the pupa 
state, and flew out from their native city. This 
individual female was found by some of the workers 
that now compose this colony, and was imme- 
diately selected to be at once their prisoner and 
their queen. 

We thus trace our great egg -laying Termes to a 
city of last year's building, in which for a time 
she was in an immature condition as a nymph, and 
before that passed a still less-developed stage as 
a larva. Hence her life-history goes yet farther 
back to an egg, originally laid by a former female 
in exactly the same circumstances as those in which 
we find this guarded and immured individual. 

Thus we reason ; but the female, with her host 
of attendants, and the house, which is inseparable 
from their present stage of existence, has been 
created to-day. 


See that creature which with loud ringing 
hum is whirling round and round the tassel-like 
blossoms of this noble Eugenia. You would think 
it a bird from its massive size, but it flashes and 
sparkles in the sun, like a great jewel. Now it 
suddenly Rights on one of the crimson flowers, 
and you may perceive that it is a beetle ; — a beetle 
of vast size, and glittering like a lump of burnished 
metal; — it bears the name of Goliath, — a giant 
clad in polished armour. 

This is his first hour of existence ; now for the 
first time has his nervous system responded to the 
stimulus of the sweet air and genial sunshine. An 
hour ago he had no nervous system ; no system of 
any sort; no life; no being; no anything; — ^he 
was not until this hour. 

Yet if we were to ask a firiend conversant with 
entomology his opinion on the age of this insect, 
he would immediately give it ; not, however, as an 
opinion, for he would repudiate the uncertainty 
which such a word implies, but as an indubitable 
fact, resting on the infallible grounds of constant 
observation and undeviating experience. 

" This fine Goliathvsj' he would say, " has not 
long, probably, emerged firom a hollow case of oval 
form, made of particles of earth agglutinated 


tuKutliCT by a secretion from tiie mouth of the 
larvu, and concealed under the Bui&ce of the 
Kn)Uiul. Within that sepulchre it has left its 
t'«n>nii;iitH, — the shrivelled skin of the pnpa, in 
wliii^lt it IimI been wrapped up motionleaB like 

tt niunnny, for several weeks prior to its appear- 
ance as a glittering beetle. The construction of 
tlie oval coll was the last act of the larva, a thick, 
niasay, heavy-bodied grub, ivhieh had fattened for 
years by feeding on the roots of plants beneath the 
soil. Four years pasBcd away* while yon beetle 

' Wb haTB DO dlreol oburratioDB, that I Km mwore of, on tko 
Urval itete of the Afrioan Ooliathi ; but their near ally, the Celo- 


lay on its side, darkly labouring at this occupation ; 
and before that it was a minute egg for some 
weeks. The specimen before us cannot be far 
short of five years old." 

No such thing: the witness is at fault: the 
Golxaihu8 is not an hour old. 

Take notice of the swarm of Gnats, which, like 
a dim cloud, are uniting in choral dance and song 
in the beam of the setting sun. Every member of 
the band that " winds his shrill horn," has had an 
aquatic before he had an aerial existence. A week 
was spent, in lobster-shape, with two breathing 
tubes on the summit of his body, in passing alter- 
nately from the bottom to the top of yonder 
stagnant pool, and then back from the top to the 
bottom. And a month was occupied in pretty nearly 
the sdme employment, but in another mask, — in 
fish-like form, with the star-tipped breathing-tube 
projecting from the side of the tail. But for some 
months earlier still it was a little lenticular egg, 
which was agglutinated with a number of others 
into an oval concave boat, that floated to and fro 
on the surface of the pool. 

And there was something worth observing in 

nia awraia of Europe, passes four years in the grujb condition, 
as does also the Mdolontha vulgaris, another lamellicom beetle. 
The Lucanvs cervu8,or Stag-beetle, continues a larva for six jears. 


that tiny skiff of eggs ; for it did, in its artful 
construction, carry the evidence of time back to 
a former generation. The eggs individually and 
separately would have sunk to the bottom of the 
water ; it was, however, essential to their life that 
they should be in contact with the air as well as 
with the water. Hence they were so arranged in 
the aggregate, that the mass should swim, though 
the constituent individuals could not. To effect 
this, ^the parent Gnat, resting on the calm surface 
of the pool, crossed her two hind legs, and laid an 
egg perpendicularly in the angle so made : others 
were added in succession, all maintaining the per- 
pendicular position, all glued together by a cement 
that resists water, but so arranged, the crossed legs 
being still the mould, that the outline should be 
spindle-shaped, while the summits of the central 
eggs, being a little lower than those of the outer 
ones, gave a concavity to the boat. So buoyant 
was it when finished, and the mother^s legs with- 
drawn, that even a drop of water falling full upon 
it from above, would have failed to submerge it. 
There it floated, week after week, and month after 
month, all through the winter, till the genial sun 
of spring hatched the fish-like larvae to begin their 
wriggling existence beneath the surface. 



Now may we not say with confidence, that the 
sounding- winged insect looks back to the pupa, the 
pupa to the larva, the larva to the egg-boat ? And 
more, that the form of the boat, — a form so essential 
that it could not have lived without it, — looked back 
to the crossed feet of the mother-gnat, the impress 
of whose angle its extremities sustained ? 

Of course we might reason thus : but yet we 
should be at fault ; for the ringing swarm of merry 
Gnats has been this very evening created. 

The Case-flies [Phryganea) that look like deli- 
cate moths of sober-brown hue, flitting over the 
surface of the pond, have, like the Gnats, spent a 
considerable time under water. When they were 
larvae, they industriously col- 
lected small shells, fragments of 
stone, bits of reed, and the like 
matters, and, connecting them to* 
gether with strong silk, made out 
of them slender tubes, in which 
they sheltered their soft bodies 
from harm, while their hard po- 
lished heads and shoulders pro- 
jected from the open end. And 
after having lived through the 
winter (at least, but I rather think 




more than one winter) in this state, each closed up the 
entrance of his castle, by spinning across its open 
end, a transverse screen of lattice-work, made of very 
strong and stout silk, which, while it should serve 
the purpose of keeping out evil-minded intruders, 
during the helpless inaction of the pupa, should at 
the same time^ admit the free ingress and egress of 
water necessary for its respiration. 

The life of the larva, and the exercise of these, 
its curious instincts, are, together with the duration 
of the pupa stage, inseparable precedents of the 
imago state in which we now observe the flying 
insects. No, not- " inseparable ; " for in-^this case, 
at least, they had no existence in time ; they are 
prochronic developments. 
^i^^\ In this pond at our feet there is an 
object worthy of a moment's observation, 
minute though it is, for it is only visible 
as a speck to the unassisted eye. On 
one of the whorl-filaments of this tuft 
of Myriophyllum, there stands up a 
cylindrical tube, firmly adherent to the 
plant by its foot, but free at its upper 
end. Small as it is, this chimney .is 
built up of hundreds of pellets, solid, 
round, and yellow; placed in sym- 





metrical order, and firmly cemented together. What 
has made this tube ? Ha! here is the little architect 
ready to answer for himself; he thrusts out his head 
and shoulders from his chimney-top, and announces 
his scientific cognomen as Melicerta rtngens. 

Look! he is in the very act of building now. 
Did you see him suddenly bow down his head and 
lay a brick on the top of the last course ? And 
now he is busy making another brick ; his mould 


is a tiny cup-shaped cavity just below his chin : 
his material the floating floccose atoms of vegetable 
refuse. Cilia along his flower-like face collect these 
atoms into a stream, and pour them into the cup ; 
and cilia within the cup whirl them rapidly round 
and round in many rotations, until with the aid of 
mucus they are somewhat consolidated into a round 
pellet. The brick is made, and nothing remains 
but that it be deposited next the former, in regular 
progression, and this is done by the tiny ri/cTODV, 
suddenly bending his head forward, and bringing 
the chin-cup with exact precision to the spot. 

And how long has he been engaged in this piece 
of work? Little more than a day. It was com- 
menced yesterday, when the creature was not more 
than one-third as large as he is now. But he had 
lived a few hours before the commencement of 


5 his work. He was a rover before he began to be 

a house-keeper. In that early stage of youth -and 
freedom, before he had made up his mind to settle in 
life, he had no chin-cup, no flower-like face, and of 
com'se no tube. A cylindrical gelatinous pellucid 
worm, he issued out of the egg, with a brush of 
cilia on his crown, and danced waywardly through 
the water. While thus occupied, his form under- 
went some preliminary modifications, and at length 
was suflGiciently matured, to enable him to choose 
a spot for the passing of his fature life, and to 
commence the building on which he is still 

Not so. The pellet which he deposited when 
we began to look at him, was the first he had 
ever made ; he had been created but that moment ; 
and all the previous pellets of the case bad been 
called into being just as we saw them. They 
were built up prochronically. 

I tear a piece of bark from the trunk of this 
half-decayed tree, and have disclosed amidst the 
rank-smelling damp and rotten wood, a large 
JuhiSy a slow-moving creature, with some hundred- 
and-fifty little twinkling feet. As this specimen 
has attained its adult condition, it must be at least 
two years old ; for it does not acquire its reproduc- 


tive organs and perfect development till that 

This creature has passed through a rather 
curious history of evolutions. The egg from which . 
it was produced was lodged in a chamber exca- 
vated by the parent, a few inches below the 
surface of the rotten mould. From this egg pro- 
ceeded a little kidney-shaped body, without limbs 
or motion, completely enveloped in a swathe of 
delicate transparent membrane. About a fort- 
night it remained in this helpless state, during 
which its organs had been forming out of the 
constituent cells, by repeated subdivision, and 
definite arrangement. At length it burst its cere- 
ment, and a minute Julus appeared, not more 
than shfth of an inch in length, composed of a 
head with antennae, and a body of eight segments, 
of which the first tliree carried each a pair of legs. 

All the multitudinous limbs which^we see in 
this adult have been produced in successive moult- 
ings, and all the numerous segments have been pro- 
duced by the subdivision of the last but one, — that 
is the joint preceding the anal one, — six at a time. 

By the time the little animal was ready for the 
second sloughing, that is, in about a week after 

* Fabre ; Ann. d. Sd. Nat. ; iu. 1855. 




I ■ 










] the preceding, three more pairs of feet were seen, 

which had budded from the fourth, fifth, and sixth 

i * . 

I segments, but which were as yet closely .packed 

i'. down beneath the investing skin ; the seventh seg- 

. ment also was obscurely marked into six divisions, 

j The skin was now thrown ofi^, and these changes 

were perfected ; the little Julus now had six pairs 
of feet, and thirteen segments. 

This process was repeated again and again ; the 
new limbs always developing on the segments 
last produced, and six new segments being always 
formed out of the existing penultimate. And by 
this gradual succession of development, the animal 
has attained the number of limbs and segments 
which we now perceive. The antennse and the eyes 
have likewise passed through successive stages. 

We have a right to infer the lapse of a period 
sufficient to produce these changes, for we see 
their indubitable results ; but our inference would 
only lead us astray, because we have not allowed 
for a disturbing influence, — that of the Law of 
Creation. This is the Julus's first hour of life. 

See, on the trunk of that towering Cedrela^ a 
round hole, out of which a large Beetle is in the 
act of emerging. It is a noble Buprestisy encased 
in glittering mail, of the most reftdgent metallic 


splendour, crimson, gold, and green. Can we find 
any clue to his age? Yes: the white grub has 
rioted and fattened in its burrows in the timber of 
this tree for many years ; ever gnawing away with 
its homy auger-like jaws the solid wood in tortuous 
galleries, which constantly enlarged, as it progres- 
sively grew, while its wake, as it advanced, was 
partially filled by its ordure. The old tree is, no 
doubt, perforated, through and through, by its 
winding corridors, as large as your middle finger. 
As soon as the vermin had passed this his nonage, 
which, as I say, may have occupied a dozen years 
at least,* he sank into his short pupa-sleep, and 
here we see him paying his first visit to the light 
of day. 

True ; this is his first experience of daylight, and 
indeed of anything ; for all the pupa-sleep and the 
larva-labour were prochronic in this case. The 
Beetle is just created. 

Hark to that hollow roar! There is no mis- 
taking that majestic sound. It is the voice of the 
many-sounding sea. Yonder through the trees 
we catch a glimpse of its shining face, and here 
we are at the verge of the clifis, against whose 

* B. eplendida has been aBcertained to have existed, as an 
inmate of the wood of a table, for more than twenty years. 
(Linn. Trans. ; x. 899.) 


feet the waves are breaking in white foam. We 
will clamber down to the rocks. 

In this weed-fringed tide-pool there is a fine 
specimen of the Shore-crab {Carcinus mamas). It 
is a male just arrived at the perfection of adult 
age ; its carapace smooth and wholly dark-green 
in hue, its under parts rufous orange. Its claws 
are large and sharp; and the promptitude with 
which it presents these formidable weapons, ex- 
tended to the utmost, shows how conscious it is of 
its warlike powers. 

To all appearance this Crab is several years 
old ; ^ I mean in this his present perfect or imago 
form. When this form was first assumed, the 
diameter of the carapace was not more than an 
eighth of an inch ; it is now two inches ; a great 
many periodical sloughings of the crust must have 
occurred to accomplish this sixteen-fold increase. 

But four distinct metamorphoses were passed 
before the commencement of this form. There was 
the Grapsoid form with the outline of the carapace 
nearly parallel-sided, and the dentations on the 
sides. Before this there was the Megalopa form, 

* The rate of increase in dimensions shown by specimens of 
this species, now so frequently kept in Aqnaria» warrants this 
assertion ; though how many years a Crab takes to attain adult 
size, no exact observations, so far as I know, testify. 



witi the carapace ovate, and the abdomen project- 
ing behind. Before this there was the Zoea form, 
with the carapace rising into a tall erect spine, 
sessile eyes, no claws, and the abdomen a slender 
jointed cord ending in a triangular plate. And 
before this, there was the egg, which was laid by 
the mother Crab, and carried by her for a consi- 
derable time attached to the false feet of her 

All these evidences of age, clear and unanswer- 
able though they are, are yet fallacious, because 
the Crab has been created but this morning. 

On this sea- washed branch of a tree, which has 
been blown off by some tempest, and carried into 
the ocean, there is a single Barnacle {Lepas). It 
consists of a hand of many pairs of fringed fingers, 
protected by a shell of five pieces, and a long 
flexible cartilaginous stalk, by the lower extremity 
of which it adheres to the timber. 

The shelly valves are all crossed by strongly 
marked lines ranning over their snrfacea in a direc- 
tion parallel with each other, and with the outer 
margins of each valve. These, like the corre- 
sponding foliations in the tube of the Serpula, indi- 
cate the successive stages of growth ; the outlines 
of every valve having stood at each of these growth 



lines in saccesciioD. On each of the acntal valres 
in this indiTidual I can count about 260 growth- 
Unes : if we snppose one of these to be made in a 
week,* and the increaae to proceed nnifoimlj 
throughout the jeax, we must conclude the valve 
to have beeu just five years in making. 

This ammal, like others we have already ex- 
amined, had, moreover, a history before the first 

* The ezuTia of tlie oim are ilougbed from the HnlmidtB 
tboDt ereiy veek m Bummer, and perlupa this proocM U 
!■ with an ad^tion to the Yaina. 


vestige of a valve was formed. It had passed 
through several metamorphoses ; in its pupa stage 
it had the form of a Cypria^ and in this condition 
it first became adherent ^to the timber : before this 
it was a larva, having a general resemblance to 
another Waterflea, the Cyclops^ e^ecially in its 
younger stages: in this state it moulted several 
times. Kor was this the beginning of its life ; for 
there was the stiU earlier condition common to aU 
these classes of animals, vis. that of the egg, which 
was laid and carried for some time by the parent 
Barnacle, and at length hatched while within the 
valves of her shell. 

Thus, through a course of several years we are 
able to trace back the existence of this Girriped; to 
its parent of a former generation. But our conclu- 
sions are altoge^r vitiated by the simple fiEu^t that 
this individual is the first of its species ; it never 
had a parent ; it never was an egg« 

From the rocky pool before us I have picked up 
a rough pebble, the surface of which is incrusted 
with a delicate work of stony lace. This fabric, 
too fine to be resolved by the imassisted eye, con- 
sists of the oval cells of a £^)6cies of Lepralui^ 
There are some hundreds of cells in this patch, 
which altogether does not cover a square inch of 

L 2 


the pebble ; and they are all made after one pat- 
tern, and set in a veiy regular manner, in qnin- 
canx. Each is a minute slipper-shaped box of 
stone, with the orifice set round with spines for the 
protection of the inmate, a transparent, elegant, 
and sensitive Polypide, which bears on its head 
a coronet of ciliated tentacles. 

I am not going to describe the interesting struc- 
ture and economy of this atom of life ; but merely 
wish to direct your attention to one point, — the 
evidence which it affords of the lapse of past time. 

Every one of these hundreds of stony cells, 
together with its living tenant, was normally pror 
duced by a process of gemmation; each having 
budded forth from the side of its predecessor as a 
knob of clear gelatinous flesh, in the midst of which 
was developed, first the cell, and then thepolypide, 
— ^the latter appearing in a rudimentary condition, 
and gradually acquiring its proper organs, before 
the orifice of the cell was opened. 

I said every one of the cells was thus formed ; 
but I ought to have excepted a single cell, which, 
though in nowise differing from the rest in form or 
structure, had a very different origin. This was 
the primal cell, and its beginning was as follows : 

A minute atom of a scarlet hue, and of a semi- 


elliptical shape, was one day whirling round and 
round with rapid gyrations in the open sea. It 
was of soft consistence, covered with strongly 
vibrating cilia, and furnished with some stouter 
setae. After enjoying its motile instincts awhile, 
it settled down on this pebble, and became station- 
ary. Presently it secreted and deposited calcareous 
matter around it, like a coating of the thinnest 
glass, the red parenchyma receding from the hyaline 
wall towards the centre. 

Soon an orifice with thickened edges appeared 
on the upper side, and minute spines grew from 
the edges, which quickly lengthened. It was now 
a Lepralia cell, and now the polypide was deve- 


loped, and protruded its mouth from the orifice, 
surroimded by its elegant bell of ciliate tentacles. 
This solitary cell became the parent of hundreds 
more, by the gemmative process which I have 
already described. 

But the red swimming atom; — whence came 
that ? Well, it was shot out from the interior of a 
previous Leprtdia^ the result not of a gemmative 
but of a generative act. It originated in another 
patch similar to the one which incrusts this pebble, 
and that, in like manner, and by exactly similar 
stages, looked back to an anterior patch, and so on. 


Plansible as this inference is, it is Mae ; for the 
little aggregation of cells and poljpides has been 
called into existence by the Divine ^fictt, this very 

We are still at the sea-shore. Within the long 
and narrow crevices into which these low-lying 
ledges of shale are split, innumerable tafte of sea- 
weed,— olive, purple, and green, — are perpetually 
waving in the wash of the sea. On one of these 
branching shrubs of Phylhphora, there is adhering, 
apparently cast there by accident, an irregular mass 
of pellucid jelly. It 'firmly cleaves to the alga, 
enclosing the bases of several branches within its 
£rm but gelatinous substance. 

This knob of jelly is a compound animal of the 
genus Botryllua^ and it has just been created as we 
see it. In order to understand its nature, look at 
it more closely. 

Enclosed in the clear purplish-grey jelly, in the 
midst of scattered lighter specks, we see several 
star-like figures of bright hues, in which yellow 
and red are predominant ; the symmetrical arrange- 
ment of which pleases the eye, and reminds us of 
some ornamental pattern designed by human art. 
Each star is composed of several (three, seven, ten 
or more) pear-«hiped animals, with their smaller 


ends meeting in the centre around a common orifice, 
from which a current of water is discharged. 

Now this assemblage of animals bears evidence 
of progressive development. Some time ago a 
tiny egg was discharged from a parent Botryllus^ 
which presently produced a little active tadpole- 
like larva, called a "spinule." This swam ac- 
tively by means of its wriggling tail ; but at length 
it settled head downward on this piece of sea-weed. 
Immediately the head adhered, by an efiused 
cement. to L support; the taU nowU-Uy dis- 
appeared; and the round head, in the midst of a 
mass of jelly-like cement, began to display h.o 
orifices on itd surface. It soon assumed a pear-like 
shape, and thus the first Botrylhia was formed. 

From the side of this " pear,*^ another was deve- 
loped by gemmation, and a third on the opposite 
side ; the smaller ends of all were in contact, and 
the orifices 'of these extremities began to merge into 
one ; whiie the large ends diverged. A fourth and 
a fifth "pear "were successively produced in the 
same mode, until a star or " system " was formed. 
Me^whil. Ae ,»r..ndi,g L> .f U^g jell, 
had been commensurately enlarging, and a new 
Botryllua^ separate from the other star, had been 
produced in the jelly, which was the commencing 


poiut of a second sjstein ; and thus, by degrees, 
the compound mass of systems has grown to its 
present state of development. 

iltuliBd ; e, (IM till ilMKlBd ; /, Um jr^ung So- 

Tliia process has been one of time : the adhesion 
of the " Bpiaole " took place in about sixteen hours 
after its escape &om the egg. The appearance of 


the two orifices was when the little animal was 
four days old ; and bj the end of a week a second 
"pear" had budded. The attainment of the 
present condition may have occupied about six 

Nay ; time has been no element in this deve- 
lopment ; it is prochronic development ; it is the 
development of creation, not of nature* 

Behold that ruffling of the smooth surface of the 
water; it is caused evidently by the forcible 
ejection of a current from some source a little way 
beneath the surface. Yes, it proceeds from the 
orifice in this mass of calcareous grit ; where the 
protruding pipe of. sheU indicates the snug fortress 
of a Clavagella. I will carefully break away a 
little of the soft stone, and we shall see the curious 
structure more clearly. Hal I have split off a 
piece which nicely exposes the whole burrow, 
without having materiaUy injured the creature or 
his shell. 

You see it is a bivalve MoUusk with one valve 
firmly imbedded and cemented into the stony wall 
of its chamber. But the hinder end of this valve 
is continued into a shelly tube, intended to protect 
the siphons, which is carried through the galley 
forming the entrance into the chamber, and opens 



by a wide orifice in the free water outside. It is 
to this tnbe diat I call your attention. 

Yon observe that on its outer snr&ce there are 
several foliated expansions of the shelly substance, 
surrounding it like so many fiiUe at pretty regalar 
intervals. Each of these foliations is a permanent 
record of a certtun epoch. The terminal one is 
the mar^ of the tube-wall everted. The one 
below this was at some past period the evetsion of 
the margin at what was at that time the extremity. 
The third frill had in like manner terminated the 
tube still earlier ; and so with the fonrth and fifth. 



It is impossible to look Ht these e:^an6ions, iahd 
not to believe thut thej have been formed ih snc^ 
cession, in this way, by the periodic growth of the 

There was a time when the first AiU was not 
commenced; when the creature was a Mollnsk 
with simple valves. But even thift was not the 
beginning of its histoiy. It was as a swimming 
Infnsoiy with a broad ciliated disk, and a lashing 
jlagellum^ that the creature commenced its inde- 
pendent career; i»id it was doubtless in this 
condition ♦ that it found its way into the burrow 
of some Saxicava. Here its tiny transparent 
valves were secreted; the left valve was soon 
cemented to the chamber ; and then the creature 
began to secrete and ibitn the' tube around its 
siphons, which wail pti9igt^/Sik9^ enlarged, and 
adorned at every i^ngjb of elMgfMatfn by these 
witnessing £rilb»"#AMte t&^ixiMlif Is recorded in 
imperishable stone. 

What can be more irresistible than such evi- 

* Mr. Broderip Bapposes it to have had the power of swim* 
ing freely, and of seeking its future habitation, as a bivalve ; 
but LoY^ bad not then made known to ns the embryogeny 
and metamorphosis of the dmehifera. It is much more pro- 
bable that the case is as 1 haye ventured to assume in the 


dence aM tliis ? And yet we mast take exception 
to it on the groimd that this is tbe Yeij honx of 
the animal's creation. 

The elegant spinotis shell-fish that -we discern 
yonder, hi^-bnried in the sandy floor of the sea — 
I mean that lilac-tinted Prickly Venus [Dtone 
Veneris) needs no shelly protection for its siphons, 
which, aa you may observe, are protruded to a great 
length. But a lesson not less instructive than 
that taught by the tabe-frills of the Glavaffella is 
inculcated by the valves of the Dione. Near the 
hinder margin of each valve there is a ridge which 
tuns from the beak to the front edge, a ridge which 

bears the series of long slender shelly spines, that 
imparts Buch a charm to this shell, 
i^ach of these spines records an interval in the 


growth of the shell. There are sixteen distinctly 
enumerable ; each of which may possibly mark a 
year's growth. The increase of bivalves, how- 
ever, is slow ; and it may be that a longer interval 
than a year has intervened between spine and 
spine. For if we look more closely at this beauti- 
fal shell, we see that the whole exterior of both 
valves is marked with concentric foliated ridges, 
which are also indubitable lines of growth; and 
that these are twice or thrice as numerous as the 
spines, from one to five being intercalated between 
those which support the prolongations of the 
shelly substance. 

Each of these concentric lines has a histoiy. 
Every line, as well as every spine, has been pro- 
duced by a protrusion and eversion of the glandu- 
ligerous edge of the mantle, which then secreted 
and poured out a copious deposit of calcareoup 
matter along the margin of the previously existing 
valve. In this species each periodic deposit took 
the form of a ridge slightly elevated above the 
general surface ; and, because the turned up margin 
of the mantle invested the edge of the valv^ 
already formed, therefore the uew layer, with its 
elevated ridge, was concentric with the last edge, 
which was concentric vrith the previous one, and 


SO on, the common centre of all being the beak 
{umho) at the back of the valve* 

The spines were formed in a manner essentially 
nimilax. At evety second or third period of in- 
crease, the margin of the mantle, which is very 
versatile and protrusile, was thrast out, at the 
point which corresponds to the spines, into a long 
fleshy groove, by the reduplication of its edge. 
Within this groove the calcareous secretion was 
poured out ; and after it had been allowed a few 
moments to harden or "^e^," the mantle-groove 
was cautiously withdrawn, and a new spine was 
exposed, as a produced end to the foliated ridge. 

Yet, though this is the normal and natural mode 
of production, both of the concentric line and of 
the spines, it would be illusory to conclude that 
they have been so produced in the present ex- 
ample. The entire formation of tiie Dione before 
us has been ab-normal and preter-natural : it has 
been created, not hom^* the whole development so 
legibly written on the shell has been prochronic. 

There goes the Scorpion Stromb {Pteraoercts 
ddorpto), crawling over the rocks with protruded 
head and tentacles, and bearing his massive house 
on his back. This shelly house of his will afford 
us a good example of structural development. 



The great dilated lip, and the long finger-like 
processes of its edge, had no existence in the 
jouthfiil days of the shell; thej are marks of 
adult age: when young, the shell was simply 
spiral, with a thin straight lip bounding a narrow 

Obserre iko m far more beautiM creature by its 
side, the Tiger Cowry [Gyprcea tigris). Its shell 
is now entirely enveloped in the meeting wings of 
the great fleshy mantle, which is mottled with 
changing hues; and its foot or crawling disk 
covers a ^ace three or four times as large as the 
shell. On lifting it in our hand, the whole of this 
array of soft flesh has been rapidly retracted, and 
has wholly disappeared within that v^ narrow 
orifice, bordered with toothed projections, on the 
under side of the sh^U, which we can hardly 
believe capable of receiving a twentieth part of 
the bulk that has vanished within it. And now 
we see nothing but the shell, with its smooth 
rounded back, marked with dark spots, its white 
inferior surface cleft by this longitudinal denticulate 
aperture, and its brilliant porcellanous varnish 
over the whole. 

Now here is evidence of change and progress 
again. This Cowry-shell is vexy unlike that of 


an Oliye, with a simple spire, an oval body, a 
smooth thin lip, and a wide orifice ; and as nnlike 
that of a Nautilus. Yet it has passed through 
both of these stages before it was disguised as we 
see it now. When it escaped fix>m the egg-shell, 
it was a minute Pteropod^ with two great ciliated 
disks, inhabiting a transparent nautiloid shell, and 
swimming giddily about in a revolying fashion. 
By and by, the tiny shell increased, and the outer 
whorl lengthened, putting on a long-oval figure. 
Then— that is, after a considerable period occu- 
pied in increasing the dimensions of the shell in 
this form — ^it began to assume the adult appear- 
ance. The outer lip, which had hitherto been 
thin, gradually thickened and encroached upon the 
spire, and the mantle began to secrete and deposit 
on the outer surface the coat of glassy enameL 

At length the thickening of the lips proceeded 
to such an extent as almost to conceal the spire, 
and to reduce the aperture to a narrow line, the 
edges of which were now thickly plaited with the 
tooth-like ridges so characteristic of the genus. 
The lobes of the mantle now protrude through this 
aperture; and, expanding on each side, have depo- 
sited all over the exterior of the shell a coat of 
glassy enamel, studded with dark round spots or 


clouds, which entirely conceab the sar£iice with 
the markings that were formerly visible upon it. . 

Yonder Thorny Woodcock {3lwex tenutapina) 
i$ a still m(»e striking shell than either, and one 


whose periodic growths are peculiarly well marked. 
It is covered at regular intervals with rows of 
shelly spines, still longer and more numerous than 
those we lately admired in the Diane. Each 
series crowns a thickened ridge, which runs across 
the whorl, as regards the direction of its growth, 
but longitudinally as regards the general figure of 
the shell. 

Now, the increase of the aliell in the Univalves 
is performed almost exactly as in the Bivalves ; 
namely, by the protrusion and eversion of the 
mantle on the existing edge. And, therefore, each 
of these thorny ridges, separated as they are by an 
interval of just two-thirds of a whorl, marks the 
termination of a new growth, the shelly matter 
rising up at the margin in this thickened ridge, 
which bristles with elongated points. 

In this specimen we can trace ten such ridges, 
whence we legitimately infer ten distinct periods 
through which this animal has passed, besides the 
nautiloid stage imder which all the creatures of 
this Class commence existence. 

Yet, since each of these three imivalves has 
been this day created, these inferences are decep- 
tive. The Scorpion-shell was never otherwise 
than dilated and digitated. The Cowry has never 


had a lip that was not tliickened, nor an exterior 
that was not poreellanous. The Woodcock h^s 
never known a moment in which its thorns were 
less numerous than thej are now. 

Notice that fine roimd shell carried along the 
floor of the sea, by means of a great fleshy tortoise- 
shell-coloured* body, which, with a head of many 
spreading tentacles applied to the ground, crawls 
with a tolerably quick progress.f It is the Peaxly 

The amplitude of the beautiful nacreous shell is 
by no means a measure of the dimensions of th^ 
animal; for this merely isits within the shallop 
mouth, like a Welsh fisherman in his coracle. If 
we remove the creature, we shall find the cavity 
bounded by a pearly floor, in the centre of which 
is a slender tube running down ^om it. On 
breaking away this floor, we expose an empty 
chamber, with a similar pearly floor, through 
which passes the shelly tube, continued through 
the middle of the chamber, and running down to 
the next. Thus we should find the whole interior 
of the shell occupied by a Beries of these empty 
chambers, fifty or upwards in number, each less 
than its predecessor (rather successor, if we regard 

* Bennett. t Bumphius. 


them in the order of development), until we can 
trace them no longer in the minute centre of the 

Without dwelling on the function of these 
chambers, farther than to say that they appear 
admirably contrived to make the animal with its 
shell either heavier or lighter than the surrounding 
fluid, by forcing water into them through the tube, 
and thus condensing the contained air, or by 
relaxing the pressure, and alloyring the elasticity 


of the air to exclude the water, — our business is 
just with the formation of the septa, as an evidence 
of periodic development.* 

" The septa are formed periodically, but it must 
not be supposed that the shell-muscles ever become 
detached, or that the animal moves the distance of 
a chamber all at once. It is most likely that the 

* The periodical formatioD of these septa in the progress of 
growth is analogous to that of the projecting external plates in 
the Wendletrap, and of the rows of spines in the Mivrex; but 
those external processes consist of the opake calcareous layer of 
the shell, whilst the internal processes in the NcmHltu consist of 
the nacreous layer, like the septa in the TurriteUa. Thus the 
embryo NaiUilm at first inhabits a simple shell, like that of 
most univalTe Mollusca, and manifests, according to the usual 
law, the general type at the early stage of its existence ; although 
it soon begins^ and apparently before having quitted the ovum, 
to take on the special form. — ^Ptof. Owen*8 Lect, on Irwertebrate 
Anim, p. 598, 2d Ed. 


adductors grow only in front, and that a constant 
waste takes place behind, so that they are always 
moving onward, except when a new septum is to 
be formed ; the sypta indicate periodic reate," * 

These periodic alternations of rest and action, 
however,' it is obvious, can never have really 
existed in an organism which has but this instant 
been created. The appearances, therefore, which 
indicate them, are illusory, considered as testi- 
monies to actual time. 

You are aware that what is often spoke of as 
the "bone" in this Cuttlefish {Sepia officinalis)^ 
is only a concealed shell; and I need not to 
dissect the animal to acquaint you that it is a 
highly interesting structure. A deservedly emi- 
nent physiologist shall describe it for us. 

" The outer shelly portion of this body consists 
of homy layers, alternating with calcified layers, 
in which last may be seen a hexagonal arrange- 
ment. The soft, friable substance, that occupies 
the hollow of this boat-shaped shell, is formed of 
a number of delicate plates, running across it from 
one side to the other in parallel directions, but 
separated by intervals several times wider than 
the thickness of the plates ; and these intervals 

t Woodward's « JCunud of the MoUusoa^" p. 88. 


are in great part filled up by what appear to be 
fibres, or slender pillars, passing from one plate 
or floor to another. A more careful examination 
shows, however, that instead of a large: number 
of detached pillars, there exists a comparativelj 
small number of very thin sinuous laminae, which 
pass from one surface to the other, winding and 
doubling upon themselves, so that each lamina 
occupies a considerable space. Their precise 
arrangement is best seen by examining the 
parallel plates, after the sinuous lamin® have 
been detached from them ; the lines of junction 
being distinctly indicated upon these. By this 
arrangement, each layer is most eflfectually sup- 
ported by those with which it is connected above 
and below; and the sinuosity of the thin interven- 
ing laminaB, answering exactly the same purpose 
as the " corrugation " given to iron plates for the 
sake of diminishing their flexibility, adds greatly 
to the strength of this curious texture, which is at 
the same time lightened by the large amount of 
space between the parallel plates that intervenes 
between the sinuosities of the laminae.'' * 

Now the delicately thin calcareous plates have 
aU been formed in succession, '^ the first formed 

* Carpenter, on the Microscope, &o., p. 602. 


being at the outer part and posterior termi- 
nation of the shell, and the succeeding new 
layers extending always more forwards than the 
edges of the old."* They exhibit then many 
hundreds of distinct deposits, each the result of 
a separate process ; each the work of a definite 
period of time. The " cuttle-bone " is an auto- 
graphic record, indubitably genuine, of the Cuttle- 
fish's history. 

Yes, it is certainly genuine ; it is as certainly 
autographic : but it is not true\ That Cuttle has 
been this day created. 

* Grant's Comp. Anai., 53. 


{Vertebrate Animals.) 

*' The organisation of the body at each epoch may be tnily said to be the 
resHltant of all the material changes which it has undergone during the 
preceding periods." — Dr. Carpenter; Human Phffsiology, p. 903. 

The Invertebrata then agree in one story, and 
that story is the same as what the plants had 
told us before. Ijet us try if the Vertebrate 
creatures bear them out. 

From this promontory we can look far down 
into the clear profundity of the still and smooth 
sea. What is that large object that plays hither 
and thither yonder, now shooting ahead, now 
resting on his oars, now turning on his course, 
now cutting the surface, now descending to the 
depths ? It is a full-grown Sword-fish, some ten 
feet long. We are sufficiently near him to discern 
that he has one short but high dorsal fin, near the 
head, and a minute one close to J;he caudal, the 
whole intermediate region -being smooth. But 
this is a mark of adult age ; for in early life this 


same species is furnished with one long and high 
dorsal, which is continuous from the occiput to the 
vicinity of the tail-fin. The remotely divided 
dorsal here tells of many years of life ; but tells 
deceitfully, for the Swordtish is but just created. 

Ha ! the Swordfish has darted away, like light- 
ning, after a finny victim. See with what doublings 
and windings he pursues it, and how the terrified 
prey uses all its powers to escape from its gigantic 
enemy ! Now they near the shore ; and now the 
frightened quarry has leaped out of the sea upon 
yonder flat shelf of rock, where it lies gasping and 
floundering, delivered indeed from its pursuer, but 
only to die by being drowned in the air. We 
will descend from the cliffs, and look at it. 

It is a Gilthead ((7Ary«opAry« aurata). Life is 
extinct now; but the brilliant colours and fine 
metallic reflections are scarcely dimmed — the 
silvery belly — the azure fins — ^the sides that gleam 
like polished steel, inlaid with bands of burnished 

I will pluck a scale from this brilliant silvery 
surface. Its hinder, or fi«e edge, is beset with fine 
flexible crystalline points, arranged in many suc- 
cessive rows, overlapping each other. The front, 
or attached edge, is cut in a scolloped pattern, the 



extremities of undulatioas that radiate from a com- 
mon point behind the centre. The whole siir&ce, 
except the hinder portion that is studded with im- 
bricated points, is covered with an immense multi- 
tude of fine concentric lines, which follow the form 
of the general outline. These are marks of sncces- 
siye increase ; for ever7 one of the lines is the mar- 
gin of a lamina, the aggregation of which makes np 
the thickness of the scale. The laminee can be sepa- 
rated bj long maceration in water ; and then we 
see that they are laid one on another in regular 
order, the uppermost being the smallest, and the 
first formed the last made which is the largest, 
Iwing now in contact with the skin. 

Every scale is therefore a document, on which 
is indelibly written the record of a multitude of 
processes, all effected in the past history of the 
fish. The snccessively deposited laminie are 


exactly analogous to those of calcareous substance 
in the shell of the bivalve ; * and the evidence is 
of exactly the same character as what we lately 
xead off from the valve of the Dione. But, just as 
in that example, too, the overruling fact of recent 
creation precludes our deduction of time from the 
e^dence, since it proves the development to have 
been prochronic. 

I see yonder a more terrific tyrant of the sea 
than the Swordfish. It is the grisly Shark {Gar^ 
charodon). How stealthily he glides along, cutting 
the glittering surface of the sea with his dorsal, 
and now and then protruding just the tip of the 
upper lobe of his caudal in the wake of the other ! 
Let us go and look into his mouth; for neither 
animals nor. elements present any impediments to 
these investigations of ours. Is not this an awfril 
array of knives and lancets ? Is not this a case of 
surgical instruments enough to make you shudder ? 
What would be the amputation of your leg to this 
row of triangular scalpels, each an inch and a half in 
diameter? moved, too, by these powerftil muscles? 

But observe the arrangement of these most 
formidable teeth. They are not confined to a 
single row as ours are, but each is succeeded by 

* See Jones's General Outline, p. 506. (Ed. 1841.) 



another lying^ behind it, that by another, and 
another, and another, — ^why, there are a dozen 
ranks of teeth, lying regularly packed one behind 
the other. The object of this arrangement is 
a constant supply of new teeth, as those in use 
become broken off, or wasted by the sloughing 
away of the exterior half-ossified crust of the carti- 
laginous jaw, to which their base is &stened by 
ligaments. Only one row, the outer one, is in use 
at once, and this row stands erect ; the others lie 
flat on each other (more and more completely as 
they recede from the outer row) ; a reserve of 
weapons in readiness for use, when those now 
employed are done with. There is a continual 
growth of the surface to which the teeth are 
fastened, from within outwards; so that each of 
the reserve rows will in turn be brought to the 
edge of the jaw, when it will be thrown up into 
the erect position, while the preceding, now turned 
out of the mouth by the gradual eversion of the 
surface, sloughs away and disappears as an useless 
incumbrance. It follows, therefore, that the teeth 
which we now see erect and threatening, are the 
successors of former ones that have passed away, 
and that they were once dormant like those we see 
behind them. 


But perhaps you may say, What evidence is 
there that these ever had any predecessors? that 
they were not originaUy the front rank as they are 
now? A very fair question. 

In the first place, the great size of the tooth 
indicates maturity; and is in keeping with the 
dimensions of the animal, — some twenty feet or 
so, — ^which are those of an adult, if not a full- 
grown individual. But adult age implies previous 
youth and infancy, and a gradual growth from the 
length of a few inches to this formidable size. The 
teeth are found in the embryo Shark when not 
more than a foot long ; and it is evident that many 
successive generations of teeth have passed away 
between those pristine lancets of a line in diameter, 
and these of an inch and a half. 

But stay ; there is a peculiarity in the structure 
of these present teeth, which surely indicates their 
place to be far on in the succession. Each is seen 
to be finely serrated on its two outer edges, — a 
provision which, of course, makes them more 
effective dividers of flesh and bone. But this 
structure is not found in the teeth of young indi- 
viduals, which up to a period comparatively ad- 
vanced, have simply cutting edges. 

Hence we are compelled by the phenomena to 


infer a long past existence to this animal, which 
yet has been called into being within an hour. 

On yonder twig sits a beautiM little Tree-frog, 
which you would be ready to mistake for a leaf of 
more than usually emerald hue, but for the glit- 
tering eye, and the line of yellow edged with 
purple that passes down the side. Do you notice 
the frequent gulpings of the throat? Those are 
the periodic inspirations of air, by which the crea- 
ture brieathes; for, having no ribs, by means of 
which to depress, and so to expand, the thoracic 
cavity, the Frog swallows the air by a voluntary 
action. These air-gulps afford us another example 
of the sort of evidence we are searching for ; they 
are so many proofs of a past history. For the 
Tree-frog has not always swallowed air ; there was 
a period in its life when it had no lungs ; when it 
was an aquatic animal, as exclusively a water- 
breather as any fish. Fish-like in form it was 
then, as well as in hcibit; it was a tadpole with 
a long compressed muscular tail, and with external 
gills of several branches, but as destitute of lungs 
as it was of limbs. Any physiologist, looking at 
our little green Tree-frog, would pronounce without 
hesitation on the stages through which it has 
passed ; and would describe with the most perfect 


Gonfidence the order in which they took place ; the 
gradual absorption of the branchiae, the develop- 
ment of the lungs, the shrinking up and final 
disappearance of the tail, the budding forth of the 
tiny rudimentary limbs, the hinder pair first, then 
the fore pair, and the subsequent division of their 
extremities into toes ; — the metamorphosis of the 
little fish into a little batrachian, and the gradual 
growth and maturation of the latter, — these are 
facts, — ^the physiologist would say, — as sure both 
as to their actuality and as to their order, as that 
the Frog is a Frog. 

Ah ! but the physiologist is not aware of a fact, 
which invalidates all his conclusions based upon 
experience, — ^the fact that the little Tree-firog has 
been created but this very instant. 

Hark! that rattling noise is an admonition to 
us to tread circumspectly. It is the vibration of 
the homy caudal appendages of a Eattlesnake. 
And I see the reptile coiled up under yonder 
shadowing leaf. But our presence is a privileged 
presence^ and so we may handle and examine him 
with impunity. The organ which produces this 
sound is composed of a number of hollow homy 
capsules, each one fitting into the next, in which 
it is retained loosely by a protuberance of its 


surface. These, being agitated at the will of the 
animal, produce that sound which we just now 
heard. The capsules are developed periodically, 
one being added to the number already existing 
every year, until as many as forty are accumu- 
lated.* This individual, therefore, having five- 
and-:twenty rattles, must be five-and-twenty years 

This Snake, however, has had no past years ; it 
has had no yesterday. Its existence commenced 
this hour. 

Here crouches, among the thick reeds, the 
Leviathan of the rivers, the mailed Crocodile. His 
body, invested with bony ridged plates, that rise 
into strong serrations along the tail, seems clothed 
with power; and his long rows of interlocking 
teeth, unveiled by lips, appear grinning with per- 
petual rage. An experienced herpetologist would 

* Such is the common statement. Di*. Harlan, however, 
observes that " the rattle is cast anouaUy [with the sloughed 
skin], and, consequently, no inference as to the age of the animal 
can be drawn from the number of pieces which compose the 
rattles." {J(mm. Acad. Nat, Sci. ; v. 368.) I confess this 
appears to me to be a non sequitwr ; for is it not quite possible 
that one may be added to the number annually, without involving 
the tMstual perpetuity of the preceding ones ? It is evident that 
the increase must take place at some time or other, and it 
seems to me more likely to occur at the sloughing of the skin> 
that is, annually, than either oftener or seldomer. 


not fail to find many evidences of age in this huge 
reptile. First of all, he would point to its mon- 
strous size; then to the breadth and massive 
thickness of the dermal plates. " The head," he 
would say, " in the ruggedness of its surface, shows 
the same thing, for in youth it was comparatively 
smooth ; and also in the form of its outline ; for 
in this example its length is double its breadth, 
whereas in youth, these measurements were nearly 
^ equal. These conical teeth, too, are by no means 
the same individual teeth which existed at first. 
If you look at the base of one, you will see that it 
is hollow, and that the sides of this portion are 
already in process of absorption ; that this hollow 
cone is a sheath for another tooth beneath, which 
is destined to replace it ; as this has itself replaced 
its predecessor. The large size of the teeth which 
we see, therefore, which accords with the dimen- 
sions of the jaws, is not a condition induced by 
gradual growth, but by a succession of sloughings 
and replacements ; and hence the present teeth, in 
their size, point conclusively to others which have 
preceded them, but which have disappeared." 

Yet nothing can be more certain, than that, in 
this Crocodile, which has been created to-day, the 
successive teeth thus witnessed to, are but ideal, 




dukt i» prochronic, teeth ; and that oQ die odier 
indications of die lapse of time, in die develop- 
ment of this indiyidnal, are liable to the some 

See this solemn, slow-going Tortoise, shnt itp 
in his hi^-domed house of bones* It is the 
beantifal T^Mudo pardalu, well named from the 
plates being elegantlj spotted and splashed with 
black on a pale-jellow grotmd, like the for of the 
panther. This is a rather large individaal, and 
the number of concentric lines on die plates of his 
armour, — or may I not rather say the t3e$ where- 
with his house is roofed? — ^is commensnrately 
great. You see what I mean. Each of the 
angular plates has a small nuclear lamina, not in 
the centre of the area, for the derelopment has 
been one-sided, but on the highest part. This 
was the plate in its earliest form, or at least the 
earliest of which any trace is left; for probably 
there were others yet earlier and smaller, which, 
on ftcc^;unt of their thinness, have been rubbed 
away in the travels of the old wanderer. From 
this nucleus^ the plate has been successively 
enlarged, to correspond with the general growth 
of the animal, by repeated additions of new 
laminae to the inferior surface ; each new lamina 


being a little wider io every directioB than that 
which preceded it, thongh not equally on all the 
marine ; and thns the plates assumed the form of 
a very low cone, as you see, always preserving 
the specific outline, and manifesting the stages of 
increase, by the projecting edges of the successive 
laminss, exactly as we saw lately in the scales of 
the fish. 

Whether these lammse are increased in an 
annual ratio, I am not sore, nor is it important. 
There are, I find, about forty-five concentric lines 
on one plate in this specimen, besides others 
which are evanesc^t. Hence it would be quite 
legitimate to infer that this Tortoise has passed 
through at least forty-five distinct periods of life, 

m^mmmmmm^H^m^mmm^^^^^m^^^^^^^^ n i i i ■ i . i ^mjm 


each of which has left a legible record of its 

And yet, this moment, in which we look at it, 
is the very first moment of its life ; the concen- 
tric layers are evidences of processes that never 
occurred, except prochronically. 

See yonder stately bird, nearly of the hoight of 
man, marching among the luxuriant musa-groves, 
and feeding on the succulent fruits. There is 
nothing very admirable in its coarse, black, hair- 
like plumage; but the rich hues of its naked neck, 
azure, purple, and scarlet, of the most vivid inten- 
sity, attract the gaze. The most remarkable 
feature in its physiognomy, is the singular, tall 
ridge of horn on its head^ which, like the crested 
helmet of some mailed warrior, imparts an air of 
martial prowess to the bird, little in accordance 

with its peaceful habits. 


This protuberance is altogether a development 
of age. The skull, in the youth of the Cassowary, 
was scarcely more elevated than that of a chicken; 
but in the lapse of years, the bony ridge, encased 
in horn, has gradually elevated itself to the height 
which it now possesses. 

Here again we have a record of time, which is 
belied by the fact of the bird's recent creation. 



What is the glorious train of the Peacock, all 
filled with eyes, but a false witness of the same 
kind ? It leads us to infer that the bird is three 
years old at least, since before that period, the 
covert feathers, which are to form the splendid 
ornament of maturity, are not developed. 

What are the lengthened tail-plumes of most 
refulgent blue, that adorn the Fork-tailed Hum- 
ming-bird [Trochilus forficatu8)\ what the gor- 
geously golden tail of the Resplendent Trogon ; 
what the elegant lyre-shaped feathers of the 
Menura ; what the lustrous plumage of the Birds 
of Paradise,— all of which have been but this 
hour created, — but so many testimonies, unworthy 
of confidence, to a past history ? 

But, further, every individual feather of this 
beautiful array of plumage concurs in bearing its 
unblushing witness to the same untruth. What 
says the physiologist, who is able to re^ oflf these 
autographic records ? 

" A little while ago, the tips of these feathers 
were seen each protruding firom the extremity of 
a thick, opaque tube; and a little while before 
that, the tube itself was a closed capsule, im- 
bedded in a deep follicle of the skin. If you had 
then cut open the capsule, you would have found 



hiB mouth in feeding, is drained . of the sea- 
blubbers, the worms, the moUusks, and other small 
matters, which constitute the subsistence of this 
vast body. 

Now each of these four hundred plates, some 
twelve feet in length, has grown from a minute 
sort of bud, in the upper jaw. Its base is hollow, 
resting on the formative pulp which is developed 
from the gum. The pulp is understood to be the 
immediate origin of the hairj fringe, while a 
dense vascular substance, seated between the bases 
of the plates, forms the plate itself. When the 
plate reaches a length, its diameter has 
become greatly attenuated, and its tip is constantly 
breaking away, leaving the hair projecting. There 
is therefore a continual disappearance of the sub- 
stance of the plates at the tips, and a continual 
growth at the base to supply the deficiency ; and 
even more, at least during the period of adole- 
scence, because the actual dimensions of the plates 
have to be increased in the ratio of the growth of 
the whole animal. 

Here, again, we read a record of past history. 
The Whale is known to be a long-lived animal ; 
and a period of many years must have passed in 
bringing these plates of baleen to their present 



maturity. Yet the vast organism before us has 
been created in its vastness but to-day. 

On the most prominent shelf of yonder pre- 
cipice, a sharp buttress of naked limestone, stands 
an Ibex, guarding, like a watchful sentinel, the 
herd in the sheltered valley which own his leader- 
ship. The pair of noble horns, which are at once 
his defence and his pride, are marked throughout 
their ample curve with semi-rings, or knobs, on 
their anterior side. These aflford us an infallible 
criterion of the animal's age. 

We can count in this Ibex fourteen of such 
prominent bosses. Now the horn in these animals 
18 not shed during life, but consists of a persistent 
sheath of homy substance, enveloping a bony 
core. Until full adult age, both the core of bone 
and the sheath of horn are continually growing ; 
and in the spring, when there is au unusual 
augmentation of vital energy in the system, the 
increase is more than usually rapid. At this 
season, the new matter deposited in the corneous 
sheath accumulates in the form of one of these 
bosses, each of which is therefore produced at the 
interval of a year. As the first boss appears in 
the second year of the animal's age, we have but 
to add one to the number of the bosses on each 



hom, and we have the number of years which it 
has lived. The Ibex before us is just fifteen 
years old. 

Yon Stag that is rubbing his branchy honours 
against a tree in the glade,— can we apply the 

HORN 8 or STAG; 

In their successiye developments. 

same criterion to him ? Not exactly : for the horns 
of all the Deer-tribe are of a diflferent structure 
from those of the Caprados. They, are bones of 
great solidity, not invested with any corneous 


sheath,, but clothed for a certain portion of their 
duration with a living vascular skin, and are 
shed every year during life and as constantly 

Yet the bony horns of the Stag are no less sure 
a criterion of age, at least up to a certain period — 
than are those of the hollow-homed Ibex. In the 
spring of the second year of the Fawn, the horns 
first appear, seated on bony footstalks that spring 
from the frontal bone. The skin that covers these 
knobs begins to swell and to become turgid with 
blood supplied by enlarging arteries. Layers of 
bone are now deposited, particle by particle, on 
the footstalks, with surprising rapidity, producing 
the budding horns, which grow day by day, still 
covered by the skin, which grows also in a corres- 
ponding ratio. This goes on till a simple rod of 
bone is formed, without any branches. When this 
is complete, the course of the arteries that supplied 
the skin is cut oflf by fresh osseous particles de- 
posited in a thick ring around the base. The 
enveloping skin then dies, and is soon rubbed 

After a few months, the connexion of the now 
dead bone with the living is dissolved by absoi'p- 
tion, and the horns fall off. 


The next spring they are renewed again, but now 
with a branch or antler ; and the whole falls again 
in autumn. Every spring sees them renewed, but 
always with an increase of development ; and this 
increase is definite and well-known ; so that the 
age of a Stag, at least of one in the vigour of life, 
can be readily and certainly stated. 

For example, the individual Stag before us, now 
browsing so peacefully, has each horn composed of 
the following elements : — the beam, or main stem ; 
two brow-antlers ; one stem-antler, and a coronet 
of four snags, or royal-antlers, at the summit. 
This condition is peculiar to the seventh develop- 
ment, to which if we add one year for the hornless 
stage of fawnhood, we obtain eight years, as, 
beyond all doubt, the age of this Stag. 

Both of these examples, however, the Ibex and 
the Stag, though so conclusive, and seemingly so 
irrefragable, are rendered nugatory by the opposing 
fact of a just recent creation. 

See this Horse, a newly created, really wild 

** Wild as the wild deer, and untaught, 
With spur and bridle undefiled/' — 

his sleek coat of a dun mouse-colour, with a black 
stripe running down his back, and with a full 



black mane and tail. He has a wild spiteful glance ; 
and his eye, and his lips now and then drawn 
back displaying his teeth, indicate no very amiable 
temper. Still, we want to look at those teeth of 
his. Please to moderate your rancour, generous 
Dobbin, and let us make an inspection of their 
condition ! 

Now notice these peculiarities. The third pair 
of permanent incisors have appeared, and have 
attained the same level as their fellows ; all are 
marked with a central hollow on the crown, the 
middle pair faintly: the canines have acquired 
considerable size ; they present a regularly-convex 
surface outwardly, without any marks of grooving 
on the sides; their inner side is concave; their 
edges sharp ; the third permanent molar has dis- 
placed its predecessor of the milk set, and the 
sixth is developed.* 

This condition of the teeth infallibly marks the 
fifth year of the Horse's age. A year ago the 
third incisor was only just rising; the canines 
were small, and strongly grooved, and the third 
milk grinder was yet existing. A year hence, the 
central incisors will be worn quite flat, and their 
marks obliterated ; the canines will be fully grown 

• Martin "On the Horse," p. 111. 

In tM thU:kKlM '4 thin inttm*^ K''"^^ i^Mih-. tu 
tliwt ix « fftlnr'/nwM ; I'd an Kxamin* him, II«ie 
tit )ff, nlfn/Mmlfni'^r^wl in tlii* t/^ftpoot. Gentle 
N*rlti« wHU ttc! circHlMr tiMk, plcww to open T'onr 
|/rMl/ fw/titli [ Ihrr, «r« fi»ir iitcuwni in the tipper 
Jfiw ) lU imn Unu thfrn ware ttfas, Tlie canines of 


the game jaw haying pierced through the flesh and 
«kin of the face, have grown upward and curved 
twckward like horns ; naj, thej have nearly com- 
pleted a circle, and are threatening to re-enter the 
skull ; once these tuaka had not hroTcen from the 
gums. There are two premolars : once there were 
fovnr. There are three molars, of which the first is 
worn quite smooth : once this surface was crowned 
with four cones ; hat the third molar had not then 
appeared* • 

Away to a broader river. Here wallows and 
riots the huge Hippopotamus. What can we 
make of his dentition ? A strange array of teeth, 
indeed, is here; as uncouth and hideous a set 
as you may hope to see. Yes, but the group is 
instructive. We will take them in detail. 

Look at the lower jaw first. Here are two large 
projecting incisors in the middle, with their tips 
worn away obliquely on the outer side, by the action 
of their opponents in the upper jaw, which are also 
worn inwardly. The outer incisors, both above 
and below, are also mutually worn in like manner. 
The lower canines form massive tusks, curved in 
the arc of a circle, ground away obliquely by the 
upper pair; which are short and similarly worn 
on their front edges. There are three pre-molars 


I-4IMI I l-fM *MII I flM'MlI'Mfl' 

ih'H' ¥iHini innflii \inl H -wf »'Im/I "'Hf f.h-ll; 

fiif^m t'h tif \n * ttfOu't I •♦'* ji'tih*titil fih U" '.t »• /■ •«. 
U^^^f•f^ hiffiff ^ ItUli ntni' uitn lit- -n /|..f'».l. 

Hifh'tlSl hff Hf tii //H tot Mr"' "h t/'/J ..If I. 
/////^'- '/^ I' "■• *tfl ftifit * fS, ot ff,t f ifhh -.i I- /,'.'!, /,r; 

• *#/,•>■ */"/ x / / // /o . ■ y, . « , // /^ . 

/ ■ // 


course, he would have starved. In a natural con- 
ditiou the mutual wearing begins as soon as the 
surface of the teeth come into contact with eacli 
other ; that is, as soon as they have acquired 
a development which constitutes them dt for use. 
The degree of attrition is merely a question of 
time. There is no period that can be named, sup- 
posing the existence of the perfected teeth at all, 
iu which tlie evidence of this action would not be 
■visible. How distinct an evidence of past action, 
and yet, in the case of the created individual, how 
illusory I 


" Trampling his path through wood and brake, 
And canes, which, crackling, fall before his way, 
And tassel-grass, whose silvery feathers play 
O'ertopping the young trees, — 
On comes the Elephant, to slake 
His thirst at noon, in yon pellucid springs. 
Lo ! from his trunk upturn'd, aloft he flings 
The grateful shower : and now 
Plucking the broad-leaf *d bough 
Of yonder plane, with waving motion slow, 

Fanning the languid air, 
He waves it to and fro." 

We will not be content with admiring the vast 
size of the fine Dauntelah, and the majesty of his 
air and movement, and the intelligence manifested 
in all the actions of the " half-reasoning " beast, as 
he explores the amoenities of the young world to 
which he has but this morning been introduced. 
We are out on another sort of scent : let us try if 
we can glean any light from him on our present 

And, first, we cannot fail to notice his fine pair 
of tusks curving upwards almost to a semicircle. 
Each tusk is composed of a vast number of thin 
cones of ivory, superimposed one on another ; ever 
increasing by new ones formed within the interior 
at the base, and moulded upon the vascular pulp 
which fills the cavity, and by which the solid ivory 
is constantly secreted and deposited. Each new 



cone pushes farther and fiirthei out those pre- 
Tiooslf deposited, and thus the tusk ever grows in 
length K& it increases in age. 

How many years have these tusks occupied in 

attaining theii present diameter and length ? We 
cannot tell; without a transverse section we 
cannot determine the number of layers of which 


each consists: and if we could, we should yet 
require to know what ratio exists between the 
deposition of a cone of ivory and a fixed period of 
time. The cones, however, in a tusk of these 
dimensions, are very numerous, for they are but 
thin ; and it is enough for our purpose that they 
have occupied the same number of periods of time 
for their formation, . though we cannot precisely 
indicate the length of these periods. 

Leaving the tusks, which are the upper incisors, 
let us now examine the molars. And there is 
in these a remarkable peculiarity of development, 
which will assist us greatly m our chronic inqui- 
ries. Before we look at them it may be as well to 
consider this peculiarity. 

The Elephant has, from first to last, six, or per- 
haps eight, molars on each side of each jaw ; but 
there are never more than two partially, or one 
wholly, in use at once. They have originally an 
uneven surface, produced by the extremities of a 
, number of what may be- considered as so many 
finger-like constituent teeth, arranged in transverse 
rows, covered by hard enamel, and cemented toge- 
ther by a bony substance. These points are 
gradually worn down by the process of mastication, 
and then the compound tooth appears crossed by 


narrow cartonches, or long ovals of enamel, in- 
dented at their margins. 

" The first set of molars, [i. e. the first compound 
molar] or milk teeth, begins to cut the jaw eight 
or ten days after birth, and the grinders of the 
upper jaw appear before those of the lower one. 
These milk-grinders are not shed, but are gradually 
worn away during the time the second set are 
coming forward; and as soon as the body of the 
grinder is nearly worn away, the fangs begin to 
be absorbed. From the end of the second to the 
beginning of the sixtli year, the third set come 
gradually forward as the jaw lengthens, not only 
to fill up tli'iK a<Ulitional space, but also to supply 
the place of thin Hi'cond set, which are, during tlie 
same poriiHl, gra.liially worn away, and have their 
fangs tibmirlmil. Knun tlus beginning of the sixth 
to tlio riul of th(i ninth year, the fourtli set of 
grindcrn vaiiu^ ftaward to supply the gradual waste 
of the ihinl mU. In this manner to the end of 
life, the Klcphaut obtains a sot of new teeth, as 
the old on(»H l)<*c.()nie unfit for the mastication of 

its food. 

<* The milk-grinders consist each of four teeth, 
or Uwilnd' ; the second set of grinders of eight or 
nine laniitur ; the third set of twelve or thirteen ; 


wmff iff tf^/Hf,, f>»A tyn/'^U ffMfi m f^d fnWf t/fffM4 

hMihhiii in fifni tiiSAH'A fftl 0^/ /t^^^i^ mmmiiA'^ 

tUifiJliiH f/ffftm iffUf piny triO^ « pfffftm^'M MiHumi 
t)fiH } iitiH tM0in\ pfttt'/mmn mh mni ta^ttrnf^S thmu 
iff rtf^if t^fifffWfff UffiiUiff imnHf Mui H itMmf^m 


tract of dentine, with its wavy border of enamel, is 
exposed ; finally, the transverse plates themselves 
are abraded to their common baae of dentine, and 
a smooth and polished tract of that substance is 
produced. From this basis the roots of the molar 
are developed, and increase in length, to keep the 
worn crown on the grinding level, until the repro- 
ductive force is exhausted. When the whole 
extent of a grinder has thus successively come into 
play, its last part is reduced to a long fang sup- 
porting a smooth and polished field of dentine, 
with sometimes a few remnants of the bottom of 
the enamel folds at its hinder part. Then, having 
become useless, it is attacked by the absorbent 
action, by which, and the pressure of the succeeding 
tooth, it is finally shed." * 

With these physiological facts ascertained, let 
us proceed to the determination of the actual age 
of our noble Dauntelah. The molar in present use 
has a length of about nine inches, and a diameter 
of three and a half. Its crown is crossed by about 
eighteen enamel-plates ; of which the anterior ones 
are much worn away, while the hinder ones can 
scarcely be counted with precision, as they have 
not wholly cut their way through the gum. The?e 

* Owen*8 Odontogr. p. 631. 



characters indicate the fifth molar (or set of molars) 
of the whole life-series. And the following facts 
will help us now to fix the actual age, at least 

The first molar cuts the gum at two weeks old, 
is in full use at three months, and is shed in the 
course of the second year. The second cuts the 
gum at about six months, and is shed in the fifth 
yepjr. The third appears at two years, is in full 
use about the fifth year, and finally disappears 
about the ninth year. In the sixth year the fourth 
breaks from the gum, and lasts till the animal's 
twenty-fifth year. The fifth cuts the gum at the 
twentieth year, is entirely exposed soon after the 
fortieth, and is thrust out about the sixtieth year, 
by the advance of the sixth molar, which appears 
at about fifty years old, and probably lasts for half 
a century more. If others succeed this, — a seventh 
and even an eighth, as some assert, — these would 
carry on the Elephant's life to two or three centu- 
ries, in accordance with an ancient opinion, which 
is in some degree countenanced by modem obser- 

To come back, then, to the case before us, since 
the fifth molar has its fore part much worn, and 
the posterior laminae scarcely yet protruded from 


the gum, it follows that this Elephant is now not 
far from the fortieth year of his life, a deduction 
which well agrees with the dimensions of his tusks, 
and his appearance of mature rigour. 

Can you detect a flaw in this reasoning ? And 
yet how baseless the conclusion, which assigns a 
past existence of forty years to a creature called 
into existence this very day ! 






" Once, in the flight of ages past, 

There lived a Man, — and who was het 
Mortal, howe'er thy lot be cast, 
That man resembled thee." — Moktoomxilt. 

We have knocked at the doors of the vegetable 
world, asking our questions ; then at those of the 
lower tribes of the brute creation, and now at those 
of the higher forms; and we have received but 
one answer, — varying, indeed, in terms, but essen- 
tially the same in meaning, — ^from all. And now 
we have one more application to make ; we have, 
still in our ideal peregrination, to seek out the 
newly-created form of our first progenitor, the 
primal Head of the Human Bace. 

And here we behold him ; not like the beasts 
that perish, but — 


Of far nobler shi^, erect and taU, 
Godlike erect, with native honour clad, 
In naked majesty, aa lord of all.'' 

MAN. 275 

The definitive question before us is this : Does 
the body of the Man just created present us with 


any evidences of a past existence, and if so, what 
are they? And that we may rightly judge of the 
matter, we will, 'as on former occasions, call in the 
aid of a skilful and experienced physiologist, to 
whom we will distinctly put the question. 

The ^hysiologisi 8 E^ort 

In replying to your inquiry concerning the 
proofs of a past existence in the Man before me, 
I must treat of him as a mere animal, — a creature 
having an organic being. 

And, first, I find every part of the surface of 
his body possessing a nearly uniform temperature, 
which is higher than that of the surrounding at- 
mospliere. There is, moreover, on all parts of the 
body, a tinge of redness, more or less vivid in 
certain regions. The heat, and the carnation tinge, 
alike indicate the presence of blood, arterial blood, 
diffused throughout, and, in particular, occupying 
the capillaries of the superficial parts. Every 
drop of this blood is preceded and succeeded by 
other drops, every one of which has been impelled 
out of the heart by its constant contractions. 


But the very existence of this blood supposes 
the pre-existence of chyle and lymph, out of 
which it has been constructed. The chyle was 
formed out of chyme, changed by the action of the 
pancreatic and biliary secretions. Chyme is food, 
chemically altered by the action of the gastric 
juice. So that the blood, now coursing through 
the arteries and veins, implies the previous process 
of the reception of food. And these pancreatic and 
biliary secretions, which are essential to the con- 
version of chyme into chyle,— and therefore into 
blood, — do you ask their origin ? They were pre- 
pared, the one by the pancreas, the other by the 
liver, from blood already existing, — ^blood pre- 
viovsly formed of chyle with the addition of bile, 
&c. — ^and so indefinitely. 

Again, the blood in these capillary arteries is of 
a bright scarlet hue, which it derives from its being 
charged with oxygen. This it received in the 
lungsj parting at the same time with the carbon 
which it had taken up in its former course. The 
lungs then must have existed before the blood 
could be where and what it js, viz. arterial blood 
in the capillaries of the extremities ; before it was 
driven out of the heart, since it was transmitted 
from the lungs through the pulmonary veins into 

MAN, 277 

the heart, thence to be pumped into the arterial 

But since all the tissues of the hody are formed 
from the blood, the lungs were dependent on 
already-existing blood for their existence. And 
as the formative and nutrient power is lodged 
exclusively in arterial blood, the very blood out 
of which the lungs were- organized was dependent 
on lungs for oxygenation, without which it would 
have been effete and useless. 

Here then is a cycle of which I cannot trace the 

But further. On the extremities of the fingers 
and of the toes, there are broad homy nails. These 
I trace down to the curved line where they issue 
from beneath the skin, and whetice every particle 
of each nail has issued in succession. They are 
composed of several strata of polygonal cells, 
which have all grown in reduplications of the 
skin, forming compressed curved sheaths [fol- 
licles) ; stratum after stratum of cells having 
been added to the base-line, as the nail per- 
petually grew forwards. About three months 
elapse from the emergence of a given stratum 
of cells, before that stratum becomes terminal; 
and tlierefore each of these twenty-four fingei^ 



and toe-nails ie a witness to three months' past 

The head is clothed with luxuriant hair, com- 
posed of a multitude of indiridual fibres, each of 

which is an epidermic appendage, essentially 
eimilar to the nails. Every hair is contained at 
its basal extremity in a delicate follicle, where it 

MAN. 279 

terminates around a soft vascular bulb, made up 
of blood-vessels and nerves. On the surface of 
this living bulb the homy substance is continually 
secreted and deposited in layers, each of which in 
succession pushes forward those previously made, 
till the tip extrudes from the follicle of the skin, 
after which it continues to grow in the same way, 
as an external hair. The tip is gradually worn 
away; and thus the constant growth cannot, in 
general, cause it to exceed a certain given length. 
Each of the thousands of hairs with which Ais 
majestic head is clothed, bears witness to past 
time ; and as the increase of hair is about an inch 
per month, and as this hair is about four inches in 
length, we have here thousands of witnesses to at 
least four months of previous history. 

The bones which make up the firm and stately 
fabric about which this human body is built, are 
no productions of a day. Long before this they 
existed in the form of cartilages. In these, minute 
arteries began to deposit particles of phosphate of 
lime, around certain centres of ossification, doing 
their work' in a determinate order, and in regular 
lines, so as to form continuous fibres. These 
fibres, aggregated, and connected by others, soon 
formed a texture of spicula or thin plates. 



Now take as an example a cylindrical hollow 
bone, as that of the thigh. Here the spicula were 
arranged longitudinally, parallel to the axis of the 
bone : preserving the general form of the cartilage 
which constituted its scaffolding. 

But the bone required a progressive increase in 
size. In its early state, moreover, it was not 
hollow, but solid. Changes must have taken place 
to bring it to its present dimensions and condition. 
These were effected by the actual removal of 
some parts, simultaneously with the deposition of 

At a certain stage of ossification, cells were 
excavated by the action of the absorbent vessels, 
which carried away portions of bony matter 
lying in the axis of the cylindrical bone. Their 
place was supplied by an oily matter, which is 
the marrow. As the growth proceeded, while 
new layers were deposited on the outside of the 
bone, and at the end of the long fibres, the inter- 
nal layers near the centre were removed by the 
absorbent vessels, so that the cavity was further 
enlarged. In this manner the outermost layer of 
the young bone gradually changed its relative 
situation, becoming more and more deeply buried 
by the new layers which were successively 

MAN. 281 

deposited, and which covered and surrounded it ; 
until by the removal of all the layers situated 
near to the centre, it became the innermost layer, 
and was itself destined in its turn to disappear, 
leaving the new bone without a single particle 
which had entered into the composition of the 
original structure.* 

These processes have been the slow and gradual 
work of years, of the lapse of which years the 
bones are themselves eloquent witnesses. 

Within the mouth there are many teeth. I will 
not now speak of their exact number, nor of some 
other particulars concerning them, because I mean 
to return to them presently; but I look only at 
their general structure and origin. Each tooth 
consists of three distinct parts, the central portion, 
which is ivory ; the exceedingly hard, polished, 
glassy coat of the crown, which is enamel ; and 
a thin layer of bone around the fang, which is the 

Before either of these appeared, a minute papil- 
lary process of vascular pulp was formed in a 
cavity of the jaw. Over the pulp was spread an 
excessively thin membrane, which secreted from 
tlie blood, and deposited, a thin shell of bony 

* Penny Cyclopoedia; art, Bonb. 


matter, or ivory, moulded on the form of the 
pulp. Successive layers of ivoiy were then added, 
from within; the pulp diminishing in a corre- 
sponding ratio. The cavity of the jaw at the same 
time deepened, and the pulp lengthened downward 

into the space thus provided , layers of bony 
snbstance being gradually deposited upon it, as 

MAN. 283 

The cavity itself was lined with a thick vas- 
cular membrane, united to the papilla at its base. 
Within the space lying between this membrane 
and the pulp, there was deposited from the wall of 
the former a soft, granular, non-vascular sub- 
stance, known as the enamel organ. The cells on, 
the inner surface of this substance then took the 
form of long, sub-parallel prisms, set in close 
array, perpendicular to the surface of the tooth. 
Earthy matter was progressively deposited in 
them, by which they became the exceedingly 
dense and hard enamel of the crown. The 
cement of the fang was then formed by a slight 
modification of the process which had produced 
the enamel. 

Here, then, are several distinct and important 
processes, effected in regular and immutable suc- 
cession, each requiring time for its performance, 
and all ujideniably witnessed-to by the structure 
of every tooth here seen. 

As I have thus proved the fact of life existing 
in this human body for some time previous to the 
present moment, I now proceed to inquire how 
far its structure may throw light on the actual 
duration of that past life. How far can we 
ascertain its chronology ? 


The stature of the Man before me is about six 
feet. An infant at birth is from eighteen to 
twenty-one inches in length. At ten years old 
the average stature is about four feet. Six feet 
may be taken as the full adult height of man ; 
and this is attained from the twenty-first to the 
twenty-fifth year. The stature of this individual 
would therefore indicate an age not less than 
twenty-one years. 

On the front of the throat I perceive a strongly- 
marked, angular prominence, formed by the union 
of the two plates of the thyroid cartilage. The 
prominence of this angle is due to the enlarge- 
ment of the larynx ; and it is accompanied by a 
deepening of the pitch of the voice, producing the 
full rich sounds that we have this instant heard, as 
the Man chanted his song of praise. These tones, 
and this projection of the thyroid cartilage, are 
equally distinctive marks of puberty, and do not 
appear till about the sixteenth or seventeenth year. 

The chin, and sides of the face, are clothed 
with a dense bush of crisp hair, — the beard. This 
is a distinctive mark of the adolescent period, and 
may be taken as indicating an age not less than 
twenty years. 

On again examining the mouth, I find the teeth 

MAN. 285 

are thirty-two in number ; viz., four incisors, two 
canines, four pre- molars, and six true molars, in 
each jaw. None of these existed (at least visibly) 
during the first seven years of life ; in that period 
they were represented by the milk-teeth of in- 
fancy. The appearance of the middle pair of 
incisors occurred at about the eighth year; the 
lateral incisors at nine; the first pre-molars at 
ten; the second at eleven; the canines at about 
twelve ; the second molars at thirteen or fourteen ; 
and the third molars, or denies sapientice, at about 
seventeen or eighteen. 

The state of the dentition, then, points to an 
age certainly not less than the period just named. 
How much more it may be, we must gather fi-om 
other sources. 

I come now to certain phenomena which are 
not appreciable to us on mere external examina- 
tion ; but which I am able with certainty to pre- 
dicate. And the first of these is the proportion of 
arterial to venous blood in the capillaries. In 
infancy, the arterial capillaries contain far more 
blood than the capillary veins ; in old age, the 
proportion is exactly reversed ; whereas, in matu- 
rity, the ratio is just equal. Now, here there is a 
very small preponderance of arterial blood, indi- 


eating a period but slightly remote from maturity 
on the side of youth; well agreeing with the 
conclusion arrived at from previous premises, of 
some twenty to five-and-twenty years. 

Other and more marked manifestations occur 
in the condition of the skeleton. In the spine, I 
find the spiruyus and transverse processes of the 
several vertebrae are completed by separate epi- 
physes, the ossification of which does not com- 
mence till after puberty, and the final union of 
which with the body of the bone does not occur 
till about the age of twenty-five years. 

Each vertebra, moreover, has attained a smooth 
annular plate of solid bone, covering a surface 
that was previously rough and fissured, which is 
invariably added at the same period. 

The ossification of the sacrum also has reached 
its culminating point. At the age of puberty, the' 
component vertebrae began to imite from below 
upwards, and the two highest have now coalesced ; 
which also marks a period of life not earlier than 
the twenty-fifth year. The whole imited mass, 
moreover, is famished on each side with thin bony 
plates, the appearance of which is no less charac- 
teristic of the same age. 

Each of the rihs is here furnished with two 

MAN. 287 

epiphyses, one for the head and the other for the 
tubercle ; the ossification of these began soon after 
puberty; but their union with the body of the 
bone, as presented here, has taken several years to 

To come to the limbs, we find the shoulder-blade 
presenting three epiphyses, one for the coracoid 
process, one for the cLcromiony and one for the 
lower angle of the bone, the ossification of which 
begins soon after puberty, their union with the 
body of the bone taking place between the ages of 
twenty-two and twenty-five years. The clavicle 
has an epiphysis at its sternal end, which begins 
to form between the eighteenth and twentieth 
years, and is united to the rest of the bone a few 
years later. The consolidation of the shoulder- 
bone {humerus) is completed rather earlier; the 
large piece at the upper end, which is formed by 
the coalescence of the ossific centres of the head 
and two tuberosities, unites with the shaft at about 
the twentieth year ; whilst its lower extremity is 
completed by the jujiction of the external condyle, 
and of the two parts of the articulating surface 
(previously ujiited with each other), at about the 
seventeenth year, and by that of the internal con- 
dyle in the year following. The superior ^physes 



of the arm-bones {radius and ulna) unite with 
their respective shafts at about the age of puberty ; 
the inferior, which are of larger size, at about the 
twentieth year. The epiphyses of the metacarpal 
and phalangeal hones (those of the hand and 
fingers) are united to their principals at about 
the twentieth year. In the Lower Extremities, 
the process of ossification is completed at nearly 
the same periods as that of the con;esponding 
parts of the Upper. The consolidation of the hip- 
bones [ilium, ischium, and pubis) to form the os 
innominatum, by the ossification of the triradiate 
cartilage that intervenes between them in the 
socket of the thigh [acetabulum), does not take 
place until after the period of puberty; and at 
this time additional epiphyses begin to make their 
appearance on the crest of the ilium, on its ante- 
rior inferior spine, on the tuberosity of the ischium, 
and on the inner margin of the pubes, which are 
not finally joined to the bone imtil about the 
twenty-fifth year.* 

The concurrence of these conditions in the 
skeleton, the nearly balanced ratio of the bloods, 
the perfected dentition, the beard, the deepened 
voice, the prominent larynx, and the stature, com- 

* Dr. Carpenter's Human Physiol, p. 916. (Ed. 1855.; 

MAN. 289 

bine to point out, with infallible precision, the age 
of this Man, as between twenty-five and thirty 

So far, then, we can with certainty trace back 
the history of this beings as an independent 
organism ; but did his history then commence ? O 
no ; we can carry him much farther back than 
this. What means this curious depression in the 
centre of the abdomen, and the corrugated knob 
which occupies the cavity?* 

This is the Navel. The corrugation is the 
cicatrice left where once was attached the um- 
bilical cord, and whence its remains, having died, 
sloughed away. This organ introduces us to the 

* Sir Thomas Browne, indeed, denies Adam a navel ; I pre- 
sume, however, physiologists will rather take my view. Sir 
Thomas did not know that the prochronism which he thought 
absurd pervaded eveiy part of organic structure. The following 
is his verdict : — 

'* Another Mistake there may be in the Picture of our first 
Parents, who after the manner of theyre Posteritie are bothe 
delineated with a Navill : and this is observable not only in 
ordinarie and stayned peeces, but in. the Authenticke Draughts 
of Vrbin, Angelo, and others. Which, notwythstandynge, 
cannot be al]pwed, except wee impute that vnto the first Cause, 
which we impose not on the second ; or what wee deny vnto 
Nature, wee impute vnto Naturity it selfe ; that is, that in tiie 
first and moste aocomplyshed Peece, the Creator aflTected Super- 
fluities, or ordayned Parts withoute all Vse or Offyce." — Pseu- 
dodoxia Bpidemica, lib, v. ; cap. v. 




MAN. 289 

bine to point out, with infallible precision, the age 
of this Man, as between twenty-five and thirty 

So far, then, we can with certainty trace back 
the history of this beings as an independent 
organism ; but did his history then commence ? O 
no ; we can carry him much farther back than 
this. What means this curious depression in the 
centre of the abdomen, and the corrugated knob 
which occupies the cavity?* 

This is the Navel. The corrugation is the 
cicatrice left where once was attached the um- 
bilical cord, and whence its remains, having died, 
sloughed away. This organ introduces us to the 

* Sir Thomas Browne, indeed, denies Adam a navel ; I pre- 
sume, however, physiologists will rather take my view. Sir 
Thomas did not know that the prochronism which he thought 
absurd pervaded eveiy part of organic structure. The following 
is his verdict : — 

'* Another Mistake there may be in the Picture of our first 
Parents, who after the manner of theyre Posteritie are bothe 
delineated with a Navill : and this is observable not only in 
ordinarie and stayned peeces, but in. the Authenticke Draughts 
of Vrbin, Angelo, and others. Which, notwythstandynge^ 
cannot be al]pwed, except wee impute that vnto the first Cause, 
which we impose not on the second ; or what wee deny vnto 
Nature, wee impute vnto Naturity it selfe ; that is, that in the 
first and moste aocomplyshed Peece, the Creator aflTected Super- 
fluities, or ordayned Parts withoute all Vse or Oifyce." — Pseu- 
dodoxia Bpidemica, lib. v. ; cap. v. 



foetal life of Man ; for it was the link of connexion 
between the unborn infant and the parent ; the 
channel, through whose arteries and veins the 
oxygenated and the eflfete blood passed to and from 
the parental system, when as yet the unused lungs 
had not received one breath of vital air. 

And thus the life of the individual Man before 
us passes, by a necessary retrogression, back to the 
life of another individual, from whose substance 
his own substance was formed by gemmation ; 
one of the component cells of whose structure was 
the primordial cell, from which have been deve- 
loped successively all the cells which now make 
up his mature and perfect organism. 

How is it possible to avoid this conclusion? 
Has not the physiologist irrefragable grounds for 
it, founded on universal experience? Has not 
observation abundantly shown, that, wherever the 
bones, flesh, blood, teeth, nails, hair of man 
exist, the aggregate body has passed through 
stages exactly correspondent to those alluded to 
above, and has originated in the uterus of a 
mother, its foetal life being, so to speak, a budding 
out of hers? Has the combined experience of 

MAN. 291 

mankind ever seen a soKtary exception to this 
law? How, then, can we refuse the concession 
that, in the individual before us, in whom we find 
all the phenomena that we are accustomed to 
associate with adult Man, repeated in the most 
exact verisimilitude, without a single flaw — how, 
I say, can we hesitate to assert that such was his 
origin too ? 

And yety in order to assert it, we must be pre- 
pared to adopt the old Pagan doctrine of the 
eternity of matter ; ex mhilo nihil Jit. But those 
with whom I argue are precluded from this, by my 
first Postulate. 

O 2 


( Oerms.) 

** Every cell, like every individual Plant or Animal, is the product of a 
previous organism of the same kind." — (Dr. Cabpenter, Comp. Physiol. 

In the preceding examples I have assiimed that 
every organic entity was created in that stage of 
its being which constitutes the acme of its pecuUar 
development; when all its faculties are in their 
highest perfection, and when it is best fitted to 
reproduce its own image. From the very nature 
of things I judge that this was the actual fact;* 

* Blackwood, in an excellent article on Johnston's Physical 
Oeography (April, 1849), says :— " Adam must have been created 
in the full possession of manhood ; for if he had been formed 
an infant, he must have perished through mere helplessness. 
When God looked on this world, and pronounced all to be 
* very good,'— > which implies the completion of his purpose, 
and the perfection of his work— is it possible to conceive that 
he looked only on the germs of production, on plains covered 

GERMS. 293 

since, if we suppose the formation of the primitive 
creatures in an undeveloped or infant condition, 
a period would require to lapse before the increase 
of the species could begin ; which time would be 
wasted. To those, indeed, who receive as autho- 
rity the testimony of the Holy Scripture, the 
matter stands on more than probable ground ; for 
its statements, as to the condition of the things 
created, are clear and full : they were not seeds, and 
germs, and eggs, and embryos,— but "the tree 
yielding fruit whose seed was in iteelf,"-" great 
whales," — "winged fowl," — "the beast of the 
earth," — and " man." * 

But I do not mean to shield myself behind 
authority. I have begged the^/ac* of creation ; but 
not the truth, nor even the existence, of any historic 
document describing it. It is essential to my 
argument that any such be left entirely out of the 

with eggs, or seas filled with spawn, or forests still buried in 
. the capsules of seeds ; on a creation utterly shapeless, lifeless 
and silent, instead of the myriads of delighted existence, all 
enjoying the first sense of being?*' 

And an eminent Qeologist considers the position indisputable, 
as regards man : — ** To the slightest rational consideration it 
must be evident, that the first human pair were created in the 
perfection of their bodily organs and mental powers.** — (Dr. J. 
P. Smith; "Script, and Geol.;" 219.) 

♦ Gea I 12, 21. 26, 27. 


question ; and, for the present, I accordingly ignore 
the Bible. 

It is possible that some opponent may object to 
my assumption of maturity in created organisms. 

" Your deductions may be sound enough," such 
an one may say, " provided your newly-created 
Locust-ti-ee had so many concentric cylinders of 
timber, your Tree-fern had a well-developed stem 
of leaf-bases, your Coral a great aggregation of 
polype-cells, your Tortoise a carapace of many- 
laminated plates, your Elephant a half-worn set 
of molars, and your Man a thoroughly ossified 
skeleton. But how do you know that either of 
these organisms was created in. this mature stage ? 
I will not deny that each was created, — ^was called 
suddenly out of non-entity into entity; but I 
believe, or at least I choose to believe, — that each 
was created in the simplest form in which it can 
exist ; as the seed, the gemmule, the ovum, the — 

Pray go on 1 you were about to say " the infant," 
or " the foetus," or " the embryo," probably ; pray 
make your selection : which will you say ? 

" Well, I hardly know. Because, if I choose 
the new-bom infant, you will say. Its condition 
implies a nine months' pre-existence, certainly; 

GERMS. 295 

not to speak of the absurdity of a new-bom infant 
being east out into an open world without a parent 
to feed it. If I say, The foetus, or the still more 
incipient embryo, I involve, at once, a pre-existent 
mother. I am afraid you have me there ! " 

I think I have. However, let us take up the 
matter orderly, and proceed on the supposition 
that my previous examples must be all cancelled, 
and the question argued de novo, on the assump- 
tion that each organism was created in its least 
developed condition. 

It will not be considered necessary, I suppose, 
to look at any intermediate condition of the 
organisms. The argument which is based upon 
the leaf-scales of the Fern or the Palm would 
essentially apply to either of these plants when it 
first issues from the ground. At the period when 
it comprises but a single frond, the botanist would 
no more hesitate in pronouncing that the organism 
had passed through stages previous to that one, 
than he would when it possesses an elongated 
stipe ; though, in the latter case, the evidences of 
the pre-existence are more patent to the unin- 
structed eye. He would say. The single frond 
implies, with absolute necessity, a spore in the one 
case, a seed in the other ; and we need not to see 


either, to be assured that this must have preceded 
the leaf-stage. 

But you go farther back still. " The plant was 
created as a seed." Let us renew our imaginary 
tour at the epoch, or epochs (as many as you 
please), of creation, on this supposition. 

Here is a very young plant of the curious 
Seychelles Palm or Double Cocoa-nut [Lodoicea 
Sechellarum). A single frond is all that is yet 
developed, and this is as yet imexpanded, the 
pinn86 being still folded on the mid-rib, like a 
fan. Trace the frond down to its base. It springs 
from a thick horizontal cylindric process, which 
has also shot down a radicle into the soil. We 
trace the cylindrical stem along the surface of the 
soil, and find, lying on the ground, among the 
grass, but not buried, a great double nut, some- 
thing like the two hemispheres of a human brain, 
or like a common cocoa-nut, half split open and 
healed. Out of this the thick stem has issued; 
and we find that it is only the cotyledon of the 
seed, that has prolonged its base in the process of 
germination, in order to throw up, clear of the nut, 
the plumule and radicle. 

We look at the great nut, and find, on the 
woody exterior of the fibrous pericarp, at the side 

GERMS. 297 

opposite to tliat whence issues the cotyledon, a 
broad scar. What is this ? It is the mark left by 
the severance of a footstalk^ which united the fruit 
to the parent plant. This great drupe was once a 
small ovary seated in the centre of a three-petaled 
flower, which, with many others, issued out of a 
great spathe, a mass of inflorescence, and hung 
down from the base of the leafy coronal of an 
adult palm-tree. This scar is an irreproachable 
witness of the existence of the parent palm. 

Here, lying on the dry and dusty earth, is a 
brown flat bean of great hardness; This is a seed 
destined by and by to produce that splendid tree 
Erythrina crista-galli. But it has been just 

This bean bears on one of its edges an oval 
scar, very distinctly marked, called the hilum. 
This was the point of attachment of a short 
column, by which the seed was united to one of 
the sutures of a long pod, in the interior of which 
it lay, in company with several others like itself. 
This great legume or pod had been the bottom of 
the pistil of a papilionaceous flower, crowned by 
a tiny stigma, lodged in a sheath formed by the 
united stamens, and surrounded by a corolla of 
refalgent scarlet petals. 



Of comae such a flower was not an independent 
organiam; it was one of man^ that adorned a 
great tree, the hiatoiy of whose life would cany 
us back through sereral generations of human 

This single infolding leaf, that ia jnst shooting 

GERMS. 299 

from the soil, so small and feeble, — what of this ? 
There are certainly no concentric cylinders of 
timber here : can we trace a previous history 
of this? 

Yes: by carefully removing the soil from the 
base, we see that it originates in a flat yellow seed 
— the seed of a Tulip. Here again we have no 
difficulty in detecting evidence of its former 
attachment. A great number of these seeds were 
once closely packed one on another, in each of the 
three carpels that constituted the capsule. And 
this capsule had been the oblong, three-sided 
ovary, which formed the body of the pistil in some 
beautiful Tulip. 

Do you observe these two round fleshy leaves, 
just peeping from the sandy earth ? They are the 
earliest growths of a plant of Ardchis hypogcea. 
In this case again, to understand the true relations 
of this organism, we must expose it wholly to 

Beneath the surface of the earth, then, I find that 
these seed-leaves are the two halves {cotyledons) of 
a kind of pea, which was formerly enclosed in 
a wrinkled skinny pod. But what is most inter- 
esting is that the pod is here, the cotyledons 


sKootiug out of it. And, attaclied to one end of 
the pod, here ia a slender stalk, now withered 

and dry, which projects out of the ground into 
the air. 

Now here we have a beautiful link of connexion 
, with the past. The plant before ua does not ripen 
its seeds, and then drop them to care for them- 
aelves, as most plants do. "The young froit, 
instead of being placed at the bottom of the calyx, 
as in other kinds of pulse, is found at the bottom 

GERMS. 301 

and in the inside of a long slender tube, which 
looks like a flower-stalk. When the flower has 
withered, and the young fruit is fertilized, nothing 
but the bottom of the tube with its contents 
remains. At this period a small point projects 
from the summit of the young fruit, and gradually 
elongates, curving downwards towards the earth. 
At the same time the stalk of the fruit lengthens, 
until the small point strikes the earth, into which 
the now half-grown fruit is speedily forced, and 
where it finally ripens in what would seem a most 
unnatural position,"* 

The young plant before us has been this 
moment created, and created in this incipient stage 
of growth : and yet there is, even here, an indu- 
bitable evidence, so far as physical phenomena 
can afford it, of a past history. It would be 
utterly impossible to select any stage in the 
life of the Earth-pea, which did not connect 
itself, visibly and palpably, with a previous 

Let us return to the shore-loving Mangrove. 
You object to my assumption that it was created 
as a tree, with a well-branched stem elevated 

* Penny Cyclop. ; art. Abachis. 


upon a series of arching roots ; and to my deduc- 
tion of pre-lapsed years for the formation of those 
roots. Very well. I give it up. You allow 
that the primitive Mangrove was created in some 
stage, but you contend for the germ-stage, the 
simplest condition of the plant, whatever that 
might be. 

Now, where shall we find it ? In the first pair 
of developed leaves ? They certainly point back 
to the cotyledons. To the cotyledons, then, let 
us look. 

Lo ! the young plant is germinating before its 
connexion with the parent is severed. It is the 
singular habit of this tree, that its seeds are 
already in a growing condition, while they hang 
from the twig. Each seed is a long club-shaped 
body, with a bulbous base and a slender point, 
more or less produced. While it yet hangs from 
the branch, the radicle and crown of the root 
begin to grow, and gradually lengthen, until the 
tip reaches the soil, which it penetrates and thus 
roots itself; while those which depend from the 
higher branches, after growing for a while, drop, 
and, sticking in the mud, throw out roots from 
one end, and leaves firom the other. 


What have you gained, 
then, in this caae, by going 
back to the germ? The 
germ as deciBiTelj Eisserts 
its onginatioQ irom an ^- 
ready exiating organism — 
the parent tree — aa the flou- 
rishing tree witnesses its I 
gradoal development &om a 
germ The Mangrove could , 
not by possibdity have been 
created in any stage, con- 
sistent with the identity of 
the species with that which 
we behold now in the nine- 
teenth century, — that did 
not show ocular evidence of 
a previous history ; — evi- 
dence from the nature of 
things fallacious. 

It would be merely tiresome to go on through 
the vegetable kingdom. In every plant the sim- 
plest condition — viz. that of a spore or seed — 
depends on some development, or process, or series 
of processes, that have preceded it. Nor does the 
lapse of time between the previous process and the 


apparent result at all destroy tteir necessary con- 
nexion. In the case of the curious Misseltoes, the 
ovule does not appear till three months after the 
pollen has been shed ; but when it does appear, its 
existence as an organism capable of developing 
the characteristic form of its species, is as truly 
dependent on the previous existence of the pollen, 
as if not an hour had intervened. 

Supposing the essential conditions of vegetable 
organisms to haVe been at the first what they are 
now; in other words, supposing specific identity 
to have been always maintained, — which I have 
demanded as a postulate for this argument, — it 
appears to me demonstrable, that every plant in 
the world presented at the moment of its creation 
evidences oi prochronic development, in nowise to 
be distinguished from those on which we firmly 
rely as proving the lapse of time. 

But is the case otherwise in the animal 
world ? 

We traced back the history of. our Medusa 
through its marvellous series of gemmative deve- 
lopments, till we reached the minute Infusory-like 
gemmule, which is its simplest form. Now it is 
quite legitimate to assume that ihis^ and not the 
pulmonigrade umbrelliform stage, was the one in 

GERMS. 305 

which the new-created Medusa began existence. 
.Have we, then, got rid of the evidence of past 
time, which we deduced from the successive 
changes through which the adult had passed? 
What is this ciliated planule, and whence comes 
it ? It is the embryo discharged from the fringed 
ovary of a female Medusa ; it has already passed 
through several changes of colour and form. It 
is now of a deep yellow colour ; it has been violet ; 
it has been colourless : it is now shaped like 
a dumb-bell ; it was a globule ; it had been a 
mulberry-mass. Yet earlier, it had been a com- 
ponent cell of the ovarian band, which divided 
the generative cavity from that of the stomach, ^in 
the parent Medusa. 

In Uke manner the ciliated gemmule from which 
was formed the "pluteus" of the Urchin, was 
dependent on the existence of a parent Urchin; 
the monadiform germ from which was developed 
the pentacrinus of the Feather-star, was origi- 
nally hidden in the ovarian tubes of a parent 
Feather-Star: the infant Serpula that deposited 
the first atoms of calcareous matter as a com- 
menced tube, had begun its own existence in 
the body of a parent Serpula. 

It is true the evidence of the connexion between 


the germ and the parent is not in these low forms 
always patent to the eye ; it is physiological. But 
it is not less conclusive to one who is able to 
appreciate its force. A physiologist is as sure 
that every germ, every ovum, in the Invertebrate 
animals, was produced by an animal of a former 
generation, as he is of the same fact in a Mammal, 
where his eye can see the scar of the umbilical 

In many instances there is stronger, or rather 
more obvious and ordinarily appreciable, evidence 
of the link between the present and the past 
generation, than the physiological dependence. 
The world of Insects, which, from its immensity, 
and from the high organic rank of its members, 
affords us so exhaustless a mine of economical 
wonders, — is rich in examples to the point. A few 
of these I shall cite. 

The eggs of many Insects are not dropped any- 
where, at random ; for, as the newly-born young 
have limited powers of locomotion, and yet are in 
general able to subsist only on some particular 
kind of food, it is necessary that their birth should 
occur in the immediate proximity of such food : and 
therefore that the egg should be so placed. Now 
this circumstance would not be specially note- 

GERMS. 307 

worthy if the locality selected for the deposition of 
the egg were the same as that in which the parent 
insect had been accustomed to find its own private 
enjoyments: we should reasonably say that the 
eggs were placed here, because the parents iap- 
pened to be here. The case, however, is very 

We never find the egg of the Peacock Butterfly 
adhering to the leaf of a cabbage, nor that of the 
Garden White to the leaf of a nettle; but the 
nettle is invariably selected for the former, and a 
cruciferous plant for the latter. 

Yet there is nothing in the individual wants or 
likings of the Butterfly, in either case, to account 
for this. Both the one and the other flutter 
through the sunny air, alight to drink the water of 
some slushy pool, rest on the expanding flowers 
and probe them for nectar, or suck the exuding 
juices of an over-ripe firuit But when did you 
ever see the gorgeous-eyed Peacock feeding on 
a nettle, or the White on a cabbage ? Eagerly as 
they seek these plants, it is solely for the purpose 
of depositing their eggs where instinct teaches 
them their unborn progeny will find suitable 

Supposing, therefore, we had found the egg of 


either of these butterflies at the moment of its 
creation, we should assuredly have found it on the 
nettle or the cabbage (as the case might be) ; 
because to suppose it in any other situation would 
be equiyalent to supposing it so placed as that the 
end of its creation — the life of the species created 
— woidd be ipsofucto frustrated. But, finding it so, 
the question naturally arises, — ^Why here, and not 
elsewhere? and the only possible answer, on the 
ground of phenomena, is. Because the parent chose 
this situation for it. And thus we are inevitably 
thrown back to an anterior generation, which is 
equivalent to past time'. 

Again, if we had seen the egg of the Nut Weevil 
{Balamnus nucum) just come from the creative 
hand of God, we should certainly have found it 
within the immature soft-shelled hazel-nut, because 
there alone would the grub when hatched meet 
with " food convenient for" it. And yet if we had 
sought (ignorant of the fact of its recent creation) 
the reason of its being there, our acquaintance with 
entomology would have pointed to the parent 
beetle, who, with her jaws placed at the tip of 
a long slender snout, had bored a tiny hole in the 
tender shell, and had then projected the egg from 
her abdomen into the interior. 

GERMS. 309 

The eggs of the (Estridoe — for example, the 
Worble of the Ox ( (Estrus horns) or the Bot of the 
Sheep ( (E. ovis) — ^would be discovered in no other 
circumstances than beneath the skin of the former, 
and at the edge of the nostrils of the latter. For 
these are the respective situations in which the egg 
is always deposited, that of the Worble hatching 
in sttUy and tbrming a superficial abscess in com- 
munication with the external air, and that of the 
Sheep-bot producing a larva which crawls up the 
nostrils of the poor animal, till it finds a suitable 
resting-place in the frontal sinuses of the skull. 
To suppose the egg in any other circumstances 
than those which I have mentioned, would be 
to consign it to certain destruction. Yet does not 
its presence there bear witness to the eclectic care 
of the parent Gradfly, whose unerring instinct knew 
liow to seek and select the right position? 

If you had set yourself to look for the egg of a 
Ptmpla manifestator, a common Cuckoo-fly, where 
would you have looked for it, but in the fatty 
tissues of a wild bee's grub, that was lodged in a 
deep hole in some old post ? If you had sought 
elsewhere, you would surely have been disap- 
pointed. And would not its presence there bear 
testimony to the lengthened ovipositor of the well- 


known brisk and busy fly, and to its remarkable 

The grub of the Pill Chafer or Tumble-dung 
Beetle {Phanoeus) feeds on the ordure of Mammalia. 
And, in order that the newly-hatched young may 
have a copious supply of food at hand, the parent 
chafer with its jaws detaches a mass of recent 
ordure, which it then rolls over the ground with its 
hind feet, until it acquires a globular form, and 
a coating of earth or sand. An egg is then depo- 
sited in the centre of the ball, which is rolled into 
a hole made in the earth to receive it. The 
coating of earth drying and hardening, keeps the 
interior of the mass fresh and moist imtil the 
young grub is hatched, when it at once begins to 
devour its savoury and delicate provision. 

It would be vain to search for the egg of a 
Gynips except within a vegetable gall, or at least 
within the tissues of a plant that are going to 
produce one. Take as an example G, quercuBy 
which produces the spongy excrescence well known 
as the common Oak-apple. The female Gall-fly 
is ftimished with an ovipositor in the shape of 
a very fine curved needle, with which she punc- 
tures the tender bark of an oak shoot, lodging an 

* Linn. Trans, iii 23. 

GERMS. 311 

egg in the perforation. Stimulated by some fluid, 
probably, which is poured into the wound at the 
same time, the sap forms a peculiar tissue around 
the egg, swelling into a large ball, on which the 
young grub begins to feed eagerly, and in which 
it finds the only nutriment on which it could 

Now, if we had found the egg of a Gall-fly 
newly created, .we should certainly have found it 
in a gall; and the gall would have afforded us 
indubitable evidence of the wounding of the vege- 
table tissues, and of the organ, secretion, and 
instinct of the tiny fly by which the process had 
been effected. The evidence would be irresistible, 
but of course it would be fallacious. 

Let us now look at a few examples in which the 
egg is found in invariable association not merely 
with something that the parent has found for it, 
but with something that has proceeded from her, 
a part of herself. 

Of this nature are the eggs of that beautiful, but 
most cacodious, lace-winged fly, Chryaopa perla. 
If you had seen one of these (or more) at the 
instant of its creation, you would have seen a tiny 
oval body placed at the extremity of an elastic 
footstalk half-an-inch in length, and as fine as 


a hair, standing erect from the surface of a leaf. 
This thread is composed of a gummy secretion, 


evolved in a gland attached to the oviduct of the 
female Lacefly. When she deposits an egg, she 
first exudes a drop of this gum on the surface of a 
leaf, and then, elevating her abdomen, the viscid 
substance is drawn out in a thread, which pre- 
sently hardening in the air, the egg is left at the 
tip of the filament. An experienced entomologist, 
on seeing this object, would have no hesitation in 
declaring the origin of the footstalk to be the gum- 
gland of the female Ghrysopa ; and yet he would 
certainly have drawn a false inference in the case 
that I am supposing. 

OERMS. dl3 

Many Spiders enclose their eggs in an envelope, 
the produce of their own bowels. Take an inte- 
resting example, as narrated by the eloquent 
Mr. Kirby. " There is a Spider common under 
clods of earth {Lycosa saccata), which may at once 
be distinguished by a white globular silken bag, 
about the size of a pea, in which she has deposited 
her eggs, attached to the extremity of her body. 
Never miser clung to his treasure with more tena- 
cious solicitude than this spider to her bag. 
Though apparently a considerable incumbrance, 
she carries it with her everywhere. If you deprive 
her of it, she makes the most strenuous efforts for 
its recovery ; and no personal danger can force her 
to quit the precious load. Are her efforts in- 
effectual ? a stupefying melancholy seems to seize 
her ; and, when deprived of this first object of her 
cares, existence itself appears to have lost its 
chartns. If she succeeds in regaining her bag, or 
you restore it to her, her actions demonstrate the 
excess of her joy. She eagerly seizes it, and with 
the utmost agility runs off with it to a place of 

" The attachment of this affectionate mother is 
not confined to her eggs. After the young spiders 
are hatched, they make their way out of the bag 



by an orifice which she is careful to open for them, 
and without which they could never escape ; and 
then, like the young of the Surinam toad {Sana 
pipa), they attach themselves in clusters upon her 
back,- belly, head, and even legs; and in this 
situation, where they present a very singular 
appearance, she carries them about with her, and 
feeds them until their first moult, when they are 
big enough to provide their own subsistence."* 

I waive the argument derived firom the fact of 
the apparent necessity of the mother's care for the 
new-bom young. But the mother's care is, indis- 
pensable to the appearance of the young at all ; 
not only because the eggs are the produce of 
her ovary, but also because the envelope which 
protects them is the produce of her spinning- 

There is a furry moth, by no means uncommon, 
known to collectors as the Gipsy [Hypogymna dis- 
par)y the eggs of which require to be protected by 
an elaborate covering, either from extremes of 
temperature, from light, or from certain electric 
conditions of the atmosphere. The protection is 
afforded at the expense of the hair which clothed 
the mother herself. Her ovipositor is ftimished 

* Introd. to Entom. ; Lett. xi. § 2. 

GERMS. 315 

with a pair of nippers, by means of which she 
plucks off her own hairs, and makes with them 
a flat cushion on the surface of a leaf. On this she 
deposits her eggs in successive layers ; and when 
the full number is laid, she covers them with a 
roof of hair, slanting downwards and outwards 
from an apex, so artfully arranged, like the thatch 
of a cottage, as effectually to throw off water ; each 
layer of hairs overlapping the preceding, and all 
preserving the same direction, so that, when 
finished, the work resembles a smooth and well 
brushed piece of fur. 

If, then, a patch of eggs newly-created had been 
subjected to our inspection, we should have found 
them snugly protected by their conical roof of 
thatch ; and when we came to examine the thatch 
microscopically, we should have found it composed 
of the hairs of Hypogymna. And tiius again we 
should have an indubitable and yet deceptive 
record of a preceding existence. 

The numerous species of the genus Coccus, to 
which we are indebted for cochineal, lac, and other 
products valuable in commerce, afford me an illus- 
tration of my argument, more striking than any of 
the above. In the case of tiie lac insect (C lacca)^ 
for example, tiie female resembles a little hemi- 



spherical scale on the twig of a tree. At a certain 
period of her life, a pellucid, glntinons substance 
begins to exude from the margins of her body, 
which by and by completely covers it, cementing 
her firmly to the branch, from which she never 
afterwards moves. She now proceeds to lay her eggs, 
which one by one as they are extruded are thrust 
under her, between her abdomen and the sur£EU^ 
of the branch. The result of this is, that when the 
wliole are laid, they occupy pretty nearly the same 
position in relation to the mother as they did 
before, with this exception, that the abdominal 
integuments, which before were beneath them, are 
now above them, and are in close contact with 
those of the back, so that both together make 
a double, but still a thin, arched roof over the 
heap of eggs, which are thus protected till the 
hatching of the young, when they eat their way 
out of their long dead mother. 

Let me now make my usual application. You 
say the Coccus was created not an adult insect, 
which would involve the prochronic stages* of its 
metamorphosis, but as a germ, that is an egg (for 
the germ of an insect is an egg, and nothing else) : 
well, here is a batch of Coccus-eggs just created, 
covered with the scaly roof which is necessary to 

GERMS. 317 

their* existence. But this scale is not a record of 
the mother, but the mother herself, a prochronic 
mother^ of course I 

Other genera of this wonderfiil class of animals 
jrield us evidences of a somewhat different cha- 
racter, in the structures which the parents form for 
the reception of their eggs. 

One of the most complex and elaborate pieces 
of mechanism found in any animal organ is the 
ovipositor of the Sawflies {Tenthredtntdce). I can- 
not here describe it at length; it may suffice to 
say that it consists of two saw-plates, working 
separately and in opposite directions, the teeth of 
which are cut into finer teeth ; and two supporting 
plates, very similar to the saws in shape and 
appearance. The whole flat side of the saw is, 
moreover, covered with minute sharp points, which 
give the action of a rasp to the instrument, in 
addition to that of saw. 

By means of this complicated apparatus the 
parent fly cuts a groove in the twig of the proper 
shrub, say, a rose-bush. When it is made, the 
plates are slightly separated, and an egg is laid in 
the groove. The saw is now withdrawn, and a 
frothy secretion is deposited, which appears to be 
intended, by its hardening, to prevent the growth 



of the wood from closing upon the egg, before the 
time of hatching arrives. 

If, then, any of the species of Tenthredo had 
been called into primal existence as an egg, it 
must have been Avithin such a groove as this ; and 
the groove, if carefully examined, would have 
presented evidences of having been formed and 
filled by the curious implement of the parent fly. 

Those obscure and obscene Insects, the Cock- 
roach tribe {Blattadce), secrete an extraordinary 
covering for the protection of their eggs, " Instead 
of being laid separately, the eggs are, when depo- 
sited, enclosed in a homy case, or capsule, variable 
in its form in different species, but generally of a 
more or less compressed oval shape, resembling a 
small bean. There is a longitudinal slit in the 
margin of the capsule, each side of which is 
defended by a narrow serrated plate, fitting closely 
to its fellow. The inside of this egg-case is divided 
into two spaces, in each of which is a row of sepa- 
rate compartments, every one enclosing an egg, so 
that the whole resembles the pod of some legumi- 
nous vegetable. This capsule, with its precious 
contents, is constantly carried about by the female 
for a week or a fortnight, and is then fastened, by 
means of a glutinous fluid, in some safe locality. 

The slit of the capsule id $tix>ngly c\vaUHl x\ ith 
cement, so as to be even stronger than the other 
parts. In this capsule the young larva> AVt^ 
hatched, and immediately discharge a Auid which 
softens the cement, and enables them ti> push oiH>n 
the slit, through which they cscajh^ ; ntVr their 
exit the slit shuts again so closely, that it apiH^ar* 
as entire as before. In some spccicj^ it would AOt>ni 
that the females themseh*ea liberate thoir oflApriug 
by seizing the capsule when the larvae are fit for 
escape, and tearing it with the aid of tlteir fore- 
legs from end to end, by which moann the oncUmed 
larva) are set at liberty.''* 

Tt is impossible to read this description without 
being reminded of the manner in which tlie boau 
or other leguminous seed links itself with u fortucr 
generation by means of the dchiHcont legume, 
itself a production of the parent plant. And the 
same reasoning applies to tliis case, an to the 
other; — the egg, if the Blatta was created iu 
that stage, would triumphantly show iu the pod 
with which •it was covered, a record of pant 

So, once more, with the immcnmi trilxsM of Moli- 
tary Bees, Wasps, and Spheges. I MJiail tuention 
* Joom; Nat Hi«t Aniin. ; U. \5\. 


but one example, from my own experience. It Is 
the Dirt Dauber {Pelopceus jlavipes) of North 
America. The female of this elegant fly, when 
about to lay her eggs, builds up a tubular nest of 
cells with fine mud, which she makes by mingling 
and kneading road-dust wdth her saliva. Each 
tube consists of several cells, separated by trans- 
verse partitions of the mortar ; and in each, before 
she closes it up, she lays a single egg, which she 
then covers with spiders which are to constitute 
the food of the grub when hatched, and to last it 
during the whole period of its larval growth. 
Dead spiders would not do, for their bodies would 
either dry up, or become putrescent long before 
the young grub could devour them. On the other 
hand, if a number of these fierce and carnivorous 
creatures were immured, in health, they would soon 
destroy one another. To obviate this, the parent- 
fly ingeniously stings every spider just sufficiently 
to paralyse, without killing it. Thus nearly a 
score of living spiders are packed away in a cell 
scarcely larger than a lady's thimble; and thus 
they remain fresh and succulent food for the larva, 
not only till it is ready to begin its eating task, 
but even to the close of its repast. 

I think this a particularly instructive example. 

OEBMS. 321 

The Pelopoms was indubitably created ; for it exists. 
As indubitably it was created in some stage of its 
cyclical life-history. If as an imago, then I press 
the argument from the necessity of its previous 
metamorphoses. If as a pupa, or a larva, or an egg, 
each of these conditions of life was entirely passed 
as an inmate of the mud-walled cottage ; which 
cottage was built and stocked with food by the 
industry and skill of the parent-fly. The grub 
could not have lived without the stored spiders ; 
the spiders could not have been stored [normally) 
without the agency of the fly. 

In some other instances the connexion between 
germ and parent is patent to the eye. The beau- 
tiful Starfish, Gribella, passes through all its infant 
metamorphoses, changing from an ovum to an 
Infasory, thence to a Pluteus (or what is analogous 
to it), thence to a Starfish, all in the marsupium 
provided for the occasion, by the drawing together 
of the arms of the patient mother. The female 
Brachionus carries its deposited eggs attached to 
the hinder part of its body ; and thus we can trace, 
through their transparent coats, the gradual de- 
velopment of the organs of the embryo, — the 
coloured eye, the rotatory cilia, the complex 
mastax, — and even detect the vigorous movements 



of these and other parts, while yet carried hither 

and thither by the parent. 

Bat farther, in the class firom which I have 
taken this last illustratiou-^that of the BOTIFBOA — 
there are examples of Tiviparous genera ; and 
these, because of the perfect transparency of all 
the integuments, are peculiarly instructive and 
germane to my argument. 

In Eotifer macrurua the ovaiy with its germinal 
vesicles is distinctly seen occupying one side of 
the animal. From this one of the vesicles enlarges, 
until it becomes a long-oval translucent sac, nearly 

filling the whole left side of the visceral cavity. 
A kind of spasmodic movemeDt is soddenly ob- 
served in this oblong ovum, and instantly we see, 
in its place, a well-developed living young j as 
distinctly visible as if it were excluded. It lies 
in a bent position, with its foot upturned ; is nearly 
half the length of the parent ; is furnished with a 
proboscis, with a pair of crimson eyes, with ciliary 
wheels, with a mastax whose toothed hemispheres 

frequently work vigorously, and with all the 
viscera proper to the species. 

In the beautiful, comparatively large, and econo- 
mically singular genus, A^lanchna, the same 


process of development can be watched with per- 
fect faciKty through every stage. 

In the body of the female parent, as transparent 
as the clearest glass, the band-like ovary is seen 
floating in the visceral cavity, with several ova in 
various degrees of advancement. We trace one 
of these till it becomes a manifestly living young 
in the ovisac, lying along at the bottom of the 
parental cavity, more than one-third of whose 
volume is occupied by it: — supposing it to be a 
female infant. All its organs, — the eyes, the jaws, 
the stomach, the pancreatic glands, the ovary 
unth its niccleif the muscles, the rotatory cilia, &c. 
can be traced with the utmost distinctness long 
before birth, and its motions are strong and 

Neither in this case, nor in that of Rotifer^ does 
the young animal pass through any metamorphosis ; 
the unborn yoimg has the full development of the 
parent, in every respect but size. In each case, 
the visible life-history of the individual commences 
not at birth, but at a period long antecedent, if 
indeed it can be said to commence at all, where, 
we see it gradually developed from a nucleus, 
which was an integral part of the parental ovary, 
even before that parent^ s birth. 


GERMS. 325 

In the case of the amusing little Water-fleas 
{Dapknta), we have another example of viviparous 
• generation, which, owing to the same cause as in 
the RoTiFERA, — the transparency of the integument, 
can be followed through all its stages "by the eye 
of the observer. The eggs of this little Crustacean 
are deposited in a special chamber within the 
valves of the parent, where they are hatched. 
The young remain in their receptacle for a period, 
which varies according to the temperature, but 
long enough for them to undergo important changes 
in structure, and to pass their first moult.* 

Here, again, it is impossible to select a condition 
which does not take hold of a pre-existence ; for 
the youngest independent stage is dependent on 
earlier stages ; and the^e are passed in visible 
connexion with the parent. 

It is true there is in this genus, another mode 
of reproduction, by means of eggs which are thrown 
off enveloped in an organic covering, called the 
ephippium. If this condition be selected for the 
argument of my supposed opponent, I reply that 
it amounts to nearly the same thing ; only the case 
will then come into the category of those animals 

• Of. Mr. Lubbock (Proc. Roy. Soc. Tiii 854), with Dr. Baird 
(Brit Entomostr. p. 82). 


whose earliest stages are protected by cover- 
ings formed from the body of the parent, — like 
the Hypogymna^ and the Cockroach, already 
alluded to. 

Where then, in these species, can we possibly 
select a stage of life, which is not inseparably and 
even visibly connected with a previous stage? 

If we come to the vertebrate creatures, the 
argument becomes assuredly not less convincing. 
The formidable Shark, which we considered as a 
well-toothed adult ready for slaughter, let us 
suppose to have been created in the harmlessness 
of infancy. It is a slender thing, some ten or 
twelve inches long, bent upon itself, inclosing in 
the ring thus made, the vitellus or yelk-bag, the 
contents of which are in process of being absorbed 
into the abdomen. But the whole, — Shark, yelk- 
bag, and all — ^is imprisoned in a brown homy 
capsule, that looks like a pillow-case, with long 
tapes appended to the four comers. 

This very peculiar protecting capsule points 
clearly to a peculiar structure in the parent. The 
embryo was not inclosed in the pillow-case, at its 
first formation ; but, in the course of its descent 
from the ovary through the oviduct, it had to pass 
a region of the latter, where was a thick glandular 

GERMS. 327 

mass, — the nidamental gland, — ^whose office it was 
to secrete a dense layer of albumen, with which 
the embryo became invested. This substance took 
the form of the flattened purse, or pillow-case, 
with produced angles, above described, and on its 
exclusion from the duct assumed a very tough 
homy consistence, and a dark mahogany colour. 

The comparative anatomist would, therefore, with- 
out the least hesitation, refer the origin of the 
investing capsule to the nidamental glands of the 
female Shark; but supposing the embryo to be 
but just created, his physiological science would 
only lead him to a false conclusion. 

If the Tree-frog afibrded us evidence of pre- 
existent time, in the metamorphosis which it must 
naturally have experienced from the tadpole to the 
reptilian condition, what shall we say to that 
strange and uncouth member of the same class, — 
the Surinam Toad {Pipa) ? Little would be gained 
by selecting the germ-stage, as the presumed epoch 
of creation in this case ; for, according to the ex- 
traordinary economy of this genus, the male acts 
as midwife, and the female as wet-nurse, to the 
hopefrd progeny. 

" As fast as the female deposits her eggs, the 
male who attends her arranges them on her broad 


back, to the nnmber of fifty or upwards. The 
contact of these eggs with the skin appears to 
produce a sort of inflammation ; the skin of the 
back swells, and becomes coTered with pits or 
cells, which enclose each a single egg, the sur&ce 
of the back resembling the closed cells of a honey- 
comb. The female now betakes herself to the 
water; and in these cells the eggs are not only 
hatched, but the tadpoles undergo their metamor- 
phosis, emerging in a perfect condition, though 
yery small, after a lapse of eighty-two days from 
the time in which the eggs were placed in their 
respective pits." 

To a tyro in animal physiology it might seem 
that the smooth rounded egg of a bird or a lizard, 
presents an example of an organism in the simplest 
possible condition, and in a stage which, if any 
can be, is independent of anything that went 

But is it so ? Let us see. Here is the eg^ of 
the common Fowl. I take it in my hand, and 
perceive nothing but an uniform, smooth, hard, 
white surface. This I break, and find that it is a 
thin layer of calcareous substance, which, on micro- 
scopical examination, proves to be composed of 
minute polygonal particles, so agglutinated as to 

GlEBUS, 029 

leave open spaces in the interstices of their conti- 
guous angles. 

Below this calcareous shell I find a membr&ue 
{membrana putaminig), which seems, from its thin- 
ness in most parts, to be single, but which is sepa- 
rated into two layers at the large end of the egg. 

Within this membrane there is another {the 
chalaza) which, closely enveloping the yelk, passes 
oflF from it towards each extremity of the egg in 
the form of a twisted cord. 

Then comes a delicate membrane {memh. vitelli) 
in close contact with, and enveloping the orange- 
coloured yelk ; which latter carries, on one point 
of its globular surface, the thin llcatoderm or 
germinal membrane. 


The yelk-globe, fastened by its twisted chalaz^e, 
is suspended in a glairy fluid (albumen), which 
fills the space between it and the rnemhrana 
putaminis. This fluid, though apparently homo- 
geneous, is really composed of many layers, and 
the innermost of these it is which is condensed 
into the chalxiza. 

Such, then, is the complex structure of this ap- 
parently simple object. What light can it throw 
on our inquiry ? 

Each of these component parts bears witness to 
a succession of past periods. The yelk with its 
germ was first formed, escaping naked, or clothed 
only with its own excessively delicate membrane, 
from its ovisac into the oviduct. Through the 
course of this tube it now slowly descended, re- 
ceiving successive investments as it proceeded. 
The albumen was deposited layer upon layer from 
the mucous membrane of the upper part of the 
oviduct ; the first depositions condensing into the 
chalaza. By and by it came down to a region 
of the oviduct where a tenacious secretion was 
poured out, which, investing the albumen, soon 
hardened into a substance resembling thin parch- 
ment, and formed the memhrana putaminis / two 
successive layers of this were deposited, betweeu 

GERMS. 331 

which a bubble of gas, chiefly composed of oxygen 
generated in the interval, was inclosed. Then it 
descended still farther, to a part where the lining 
membrane of the duct was endowed with the 
power of secreting calcareous matter, which, as 
above stated, was deposited in a thin layer of 
polygonal atoms. And now, having received all 
its components, and having arrived at the orifice 
of the duct, the egg was laid. 

Here, then, there is abundant evidence of suc- 
cessive processes, which must have preceded the 
existence of this complete and perfect egg. But 
there is yet one more evidence which I have re- 
served to the last, because it is peculiarly distinct 
and palpable, even to the senses. 

The chalaza, we see, is twisted at each pole of 
the yelk-globe, until it resembles a piece of twine : 
what is the meaning of this ? It was, as I 
observed, deposited as a loosely enveloping mem- 
brane in the upper part of the oviduct ; the yelk- 
globe, however, was progressively descending ; and, 
as it descended, it contintmlly revolved upon its 
aocia; by means of which rotation the investing 
membrane was gathered at each pole into a spirally 
twisted cord, stretching from the yelk to the ends 
of the membrana putaminis. Thus it presents us 


with an unmistakeable record of what took place 
in the earlier periods of the descent. 

We saw distinct traces of the past in the struc- 
ture of a feather. But the feathers have already 
begun to develop before the young bird leaves the 
egg. And the structure of the egg carries us back 
to the oviduct of the parent-fowl. 

At what stage of existence, then, could a bird, 
by possibility, have been created, which did not 
present distinct records of prochronic develop- 

If we come to the Mammall^, the impossibility 
of finding such a stage becomes only more and 
more obvious. For it is a law in physiology, that 
the higher the grade of organization assigned to 
any being, the more it is assisted in infancy by 
the parent. 

" This law is remarkably exemplified in the 
class Mammalia, which unquestionably ranks at the 
head of the animal kingdom, in respect to degree 
of intelligence and general elevation of structure. 
It is the imiversal and most prominent character- 
istic of this class, that the young are retained 
within the body of the female parent, until they 
have made considerable progress in their develop- 
ment ; that, whilst there, they derive their support 

GERMS. 333 

almost immediately from her blood ; and that they 
are afterwards jnourished for some time by a secre- 
tion which she affords." * 

The foetus of the Kangaroo, when expelled from 
the womb, is scarcely more than an inch in length. 
Its limbs and its tail are indeed formed, but the 
imperfect creature has been compared to an earth- 
worm, for the colour and semi-transparency of the 
integument. In this condition it is unable to find 
and seize the nipple, and equally unable to draw 
sustenance therefrom, by its own unaided efforts. 
The milk is ejected, by the mibscular action of the 
mother, into the throat of the foetus, and there is 
a peculiar and beautiful contrivance to obviate the 
danger of the injected fluid's passing into the 
trachea instead of the oesophagus. 

Yet, from this helpless naked condition to that 
of the active, well-clothed, experienced young, able 
to quit the maternal pouch at will, and flee to it 
for protection, there is a well-understood and per- 
fectly appreciable concatenation of stages, each of 
which looks back to, and depends on, those pre- 
viously existing. And, during the whole of these, 
the mother's presence is necessary to the comfort, 

* Dr. Carpenter: Comp. PhyB. ; p. 615. 


and, for the greater part of them, to the very exis- 
tence of the infant. 

Thus, once more, there is no condition of the 
animal, on which we may fix, as being so simple, 
as to have no retrospective history. 

The umbilical cicatrix I have already alluded 
to ; but I may be permitted to mention it again ; 
because, in all the higher Mammalia, at least, it 
exists, throughout life, an eloquent witness to the 
organic connexion of the individual with a mother, 
and therefore to her pre-existence. If it were 
legitimate to suppose that the first individual of 
the species Man was created in the condition 
answering to that of a new-bom infant, there 
would still be the need of maternal milk for its 
sustenance, and maternal care for its protection, 
for a considerable period ; while, if we carry on 
the suggested stage to the period when this provi- 
sion is no longer indispensable, the development of 
hair, nails, bones, &c., will have proceeded through 
many stages. And, in either condition, the navel 
cord or its cicatrix remains, to testify to something 
anterior to both. 



** We have no experience in the creation of worlds." 


We have passed in review before us the whole 
organic world : and the result is uniform ; that 
no example can be selected from the vast vegetable 
kingdom, none from the vast animal kingdom, 
which did not at the instant of its creation present 
indubitable evidences of a previous history. This 
is not ^ut forth as a hypothesis, but &s a necessity ; 
I do not say that it was jrrdbahly so, but that it 
was certainly so ; not that it inay have been thus, 
but that it could not have been otherwise. 

I do not touch the inorganic world : my ac- 
quaintance with chemistry is inadequate for this : 
perhaps the same law does not extend to the 
inorganic elements: perhaps their developments 
and combinations are not, like the economy of 
plants and animals, essentially and exclusively 


cyclical : perhaps carbon and oxygen and hydro- 
gen could be created in conditions, which obviously 
did not depend on any previously existing condi- 
tions. This I do not know : I neither aflSrm nor 
deny it. But I think I have demonstrated in these 
pages, that such a cyclical character does attach to. 
and is inseparable from, the history of all organic 
essences ; and that creation cati be nothing else 
than a series of irruptions into circles : that, sup- 
posing the irruption to have been made at what 
part of the circle we please, and varying this con- 
dition indefinitely at will, — we cannot avoid the 
conclusion that each organism was from the first 
marked with the records of a previous being. But 
since creation and previous history are inconsistent 
with each other ; as the very idea of the creation 
of an organism excludes the idea of pre-existence 
of that organism, or of any part of it ; it follows, 
that such records are/a&e, so far as they testify to 
time; that the developments and processes thus 
recorded have been produced without time, or are 
what I have called prochronic. 

Nor is this conclusion in the least degree affected 
by the actual chronology of creation. The phe- 
nomena were equally eloquent, and equally false, 
whether any individual organism were created six 


thousand years ago, or innumerable ages ; whether 
primitively, or after the successive creations and 
annihilations of former organisms. 

The law of creation supersedes the law of nature; 
so far, at least, as the organic world is concerned. 
The law of nature, established by universal ex- 
perience, is, that its phenomena depend upon' 
certain natural antecedents : the law of creation 
is, that the same phenomena depend upon no ante- 
cedents. The philosopher who should infer the 
antecedents from the phenomena alone, without 
having considered the law of creation, would be 
liable to form totally false conclusions. In order 
to be secure from error, he must first assure him- 
self that creation is eliminated from the category of 
facts which he is investigating ; and this he could 
do only when the facts come within the sphere of 
personal observation, or of historic testimony. Up 
to such a period of antiquity as is covered by 
credible history, and within such a field of observa- 
tion as history may be considered fairly cognisant 
of, — ^the inference of physical antecedents from 
physical phenomena, in the animal or vegetable 
world, is legitimate and true. But, beyond that 
period, I cannot safely deduce the same conclu- 
sion ; because I cannot tell but that at any given 




moment included in my inquiry, creation may have 
occurred, and have been the absolute beginning of 
the circular series. 

The question of the actual age of any species, 
whether plant or animal, is one which cannot be 
answered, except on historic testimony. The 
sequence of cause and effect is not adequate to 
answer it; for a legitimate use of this principle, 
supposing it the only element of the inquiry, would 
inevitably lead us to the eternity of all existing 
organic life. 

One of the familiar street-exhibitions in the 
metropolis is a tiny coach and horses of glittering 
metal ; which, by means of simple machinery, course 
round and round the margin of a circular table. Let 
us suppose two youths of philosophical turn to come 
up during the process. They gaze for a while, and 
one asks his companion the following question. 

" How long do you suppose that coach has been 
running round ? " 

" How long ! for an indefinite period, for aught 
I know. I have counted twenty-two turns, and 
can see no change : nor can I suggest any point 
where the course could have begun." 

Here a shrewd lad, carrying a grocer's basket, 
breaks in. 


" Oh no ; there have been only six-and-twenty 
turns altogether. Four turns had been made when 
you came up. The whole began by the man 
taking the carriage out of a box ; then he set it 
down out there, just opposite to us, and gave it a 
little push with his finger, and it has been running 
ever since. I saw him do it." 

Now perhaps you will say that a glance at the 
machinery beneath the table would show in a 
moment how many turns had been made, and how 
many could be made. Very true : but what if tbe 
tramp had locked up his clock-work, and would 
not let you look at it ? 

The only evidence worth a rush is that of the 
lad who saw the whirligig set a-going. 

I wish it to be distinctly imderstood that I am 
not proving the exact or approximate antiquity of 
the globe we inhabit. I am not attempting to 
show that it has existed for no more than six 
thousand years. I wish this to be distinctly stated, 
because I am sure I shall meet with many opponents 
unfair enough, or illogical enough, to misrepresent 
or misunderstand my argument, and sound the 
trumpet of victory, because I cannot demonstrate 
that. AU I set myself to do, is to invalidate the 
testimony of the witness relied on for the indefinitely 



remote antiquity; to show that in a very large and 
important field of nature, evidence exactly analo- 
gous to that relied on would inevitably lead to a 
false conclusion, and must, therefore, be rejected, or 
received only contingently ; received only as indi- 
cative of probability, and that only in the absence 
of any positive witness to the contrary. 

Perhaps it may be objected, that there is no 
sufficient analogy between the phenomena from 
which the past history of a single or^nism is 
inferred, and those from which the past history of 
a world is inferred. Is there not? 

Permit me to repeat an illustration I have 
already used. The geologist finds a fossil skele- 
ton. His acquaintance with anatomy enables him 
to pronounce that the objects found are bones. He 
sees cylinders, condyles, cavities for the jnarrow, 
scars of attachment of muscles and tendons, fora- 
mina for the passage of nerves and blood-vessels ; 
he finds the internal structure, no less than the 
form and surface, such as to leave not a doubt that 
these are real bones. Now universal experience 
has taught him that bones imply the existence of 
flesh ; that flesh implies blood ; that blood implies 
life; that life implies time. He therefore concludes 
unhesitatingly, that this skeleton was once alive, 



and that time passed over it in that living con- 

Is not this process of reasoning exactly parallel 
to that which he would have pursued if he had 
examined an animal the moment after its creation, 
(supposing this fact to be unknown to him,) and by 
which he would in like manner have inferred past 
time ? And where is the vital difference between 
the two cases, which would operate to make a con- 
clusion which is manifestly false in the one case 
necessarily true in the other ? 

One of the most eminent of living botanists has 
set forth in striking terms the parallelism which I 
am suggesting. Speaking of the shoot as the vege- 
table individual, and the woody trunk as a kind 
of ever-accumulating gromid, which supports suc- 
cessive generations of shoots, he uses the foUoTvong 

" The history of the grand development of nature 
on the surface of our globe presents an analogy, 
which may perhaps serve to set this relation in a 
clear light. The successive geological formations 
superposed during the course of countless ages, 
present, buried in their depths, the traces of as 
many formations of the organic world, each of 

-wiivik itxt^mi Vae. ih/Kn i^ixpemr siecntani of die 
'^■nW "srlth * new life, until iz irjXLtui ita owu gaew^ 
in tlu^ .^tu*i!ei»iiin^ &>manr>a. viu>n sk new xsptimnq 
^ orgatnic life took itii pl^us^ In die same wac^, die 
Af>^:m Off a tree ui sk Bmlt»tra££&il jcrouod, ia wiMXii^ 
uji^TS the hiiicoty of «xlier grow^.^ is legihiy prt- 
■WTT^ The nnmher of die woody layeta indiea£» 
tke nnmber of die genera^ioni) wiueh Iut?e pemhe«L 
tL ^. the age of die whole tree : a diacmct aannal 
ring » d-ie monument of a TigoTotM ieaaocu aa in- 
AiAUt^fX OT^e ''.f a bod .^ea^jin. a .^iekij one (w^aeix 
iii often fonnd afnr>n^ iiesiihr ooen indLasm die 
nnhealthine»i of the fi>Iiage of that partieolar jcaz. 
Tl^»e praetiiaied woodman (»n deerpher ntanr ftcti 
of the paiit in the layer* o^ the trunk ; -e. ^, a g'^oH 
*^aiwn for foliage or for j^ed, <iainage fcj frost w 
by nweeti, Ac/'* 

In order to perf<>M the analogy hetweea an 
organi;«m and the worM, sio ati to »}y>w that the 
law whieh preraiU in the one obtainii aUo in the 
other, it wonH he ner;ei>KM{ry to prove that the 
development of tiie physneal hUtfoj of the woriri 
h drrm^^r, Kke tJiat already ?ihown to eharaeteriiie 


the course of organic nature. And this I cannot 
prove. But neither, as I think, can the contrary- 
be proved. 

• The life of the individual consists of a series of 
processes which are cyclical. In the tree this is 
shown by the successive growths and deaths of 
series of leaves : in the animal by the development 
and exuviation of nails, hair, epidermis, &c. 

The life of tke species consists of a series of pro- 
cesses which are cyclical. This has been suffi- 
ciently illustrated in the preceding pages, in the 
successive developments and deaths of generations 
of individuals. 

We have reason to believe that species die out, 
and are replaced by other species, like the indi- 
viduals which belong to the species, and the 
organs which belong to the individual. But is 
the life of the species a circle returning into itself? 
In other words, if we could take a sufficiently large 
view of the whole plan of nature, should we dis- 
cern that the existence of species S necessarily 
involved the pre-existence of species 7, and must 
inevitably be followed by species e ? Should we 
be able to trace the same sort of relation between 
the tiger of Bengal and the fossil tiger of the 
Yorkshire caves, between Elephas Indicus and 


ElepJias priimffenitis, as subsists between the 
leaves of 1857 and the leaves of 1856 ; or between 
the oak now flourishing in Sherwood Forest and 
that of Robin Hood's day, from whose acorn it 

I dare not say, we should; though I think it 
highly probable. But I think you will not dare 
to say, we should not.'\ 

It is certain that, when the Omnipotent God pro- 
posed to create a given organism, the course of that 

* It may be objected that Elephaa primigenitu is absolutely 
distinct from E. Indicus. I answer, Yes, spedjically distinct ; 
and so am I distinct from my father, — individually distinct. But 
as individual distinctness does not preclude the individual from 
being the exponent of a circular revolution in the life-history of 
^ the species, so specific distinctness may not preclude the species 
from being the exponent of a circular revolution in some higher, 
unnamed, life-history. 

+ " We may assert of the individual, as well as of the species, 
that it completes the cycle of its existence in a succession of 
subordinate generations; while, on the other hand, we may 
affirm of the species, that, like the individual, it exhibits a de- 
terminate cycle of development." " The species itself may be 
regarded as an inferior ' momentum' of a still more comprehen- 
sive cycle of development." — I>r. A, Braun, ** On the Vegetable 

** The species is an individual of a higher rank." — Zanle : Ele- 
ments of Botanical Sciencey vi. 11. 

** Species, like individuals, have a certain limited term of ex- 
istence. It is the fact, that, according to some general law^ 
species of animals are introduced, last for a limited period, and 
are then succeeded by others performing the same office."^ — 
Ansted!s Ancient World, 52, 54. 


organism was present to his idea, as an ever re- 
volving circle, without beginning and without end. 
He created it at some point in the circle, and gave 
it thus an arbitrary beginning ; but one which in- 
volved all previous rotations of the circle, though 
only as ideal, or, in other phrase, prochronic. Is 
it not possible — I do not ask for more — that, in 
like manner, the natural course of the world was 
projected in his idea as a perfect whole, and that 
He determined to create it at some point of that 
course, which act, however, should involve pre- 
vious stages, though only ideal or prochronic ? 

All naturalists "have speculated upon the great 
plan of Nature ; a grand array of organic essences, 
in which every species should be related in like 
ratio to its fellow species, by certain aflSnities, with- 
out gaps and without redimdancies; the whole con- 
stituting a beautiful and perfect unity, a harmonious 
scheme, worthy of the infinite Mind that conceived 
it. Such a perfect plan has never been presented 
by any existing fauna or flora ; nor is it made up 
by uniting the fossil faimas and floras to the re- 
cent ones ; yet the discovery of the fossil world has 
made a very signal approach to thejilling up of the 
great outline; and the naore minutely this has been 
investigated, the more have hiatuses been bridged 



over, which before yawned between species and 
species, and links of connexion have been supplied 
which before were lacking.* 

It is not necessary, — at least it does not seem so 
to me, — that all the members of this mighty com- 
monwealth should have an actual, a diachronic ex- 
istence; anymore than that, in the creation of a man, 
his foetal, infantile, and adolescent stages should 
have an actual, diachronic existence, though these 
are essential to his normal life-history. Nor would 
their diachronism be more certainly inferrible from 
the physical traces of them, in the one case than in 
the other. In the newly-created Man, the proofs 
of successive processes requiring time, in the skin, 
hairs, nails, bones, &c. could in no respect be dis- 
tinguished from the like proofs in a Man of to-day ; 

* " The tinit^ of the plan of organization, and the regular 
succession of animal forms, point out a hegmning 6f this great 
kingdom on the surface of our globe, although the earliest 
stages of its development may now be effaced : and the con- 
tinuity of the series though all geological epochs, and the 
gradual transitions which connect the species of one formation 
with those of the next in succession, distinctly indicate that 
they form the parts of one creation, and not the heterogeneous 
remnants of successive kingdoms begun and destroyed : so that, 
while they present the best records of the changes whicl^ the 
surface of the globe has undergone, they likewise afford the best 
testimony of the recent origin of the present crust of our planet, 
and of all its organic inhabitants." — Dr. Grant, in Br. Sci. An- 
nualfor 1839. 


yet the developments to which they respectively 
testify are widely different from each other, so far 
as regards the element of time. Who will say that 
the suggestion, that the strafu of the surface of the 
earth, with their fossil for as and faunas, may pos- 
sibly iehng to aprochronic development of the itiighty 
plan of the life-history of this world, — who will 
dare to say that such a suggestion is a self-evident 
absurdity ? If we had no example of such a pro- 
cedure, we might be justified in dealing cavalierly 
with the hypothesis ; but it has been shown that, 
without a solitary exception, the whole of the vast 
vegetable and animal kingdoms were created, — 
mark! I do not say m^y have been, but must 
have been created — on this principle of a pro- 
chronic development, with distinctly traceable 
records. It was the law of organic creation. 

It may be objected, that, to assume the world to 
have been created with fossil skeletons in its crust, 
— skeletons of animals that never really existed, — is 
to charge the Creator with forming objects whose 
sole purpose was to deceive us. The reply is 
obvious. Were the concentric timber-rings of a 
created tree formed merely to deceive ? Were the 
growth lines of a created shell intended to deceive ? 
Was the navel of the created Man intended to 


deceive him into the persuasion that he had had a 

These peculiarities of structure were inseparable 

* Dr. Harris has the following observations : — 
"Why might not God have created the crust of the earth, 
just as it is, with all its numberless stratifications, and diver- 
sified formations, complete ? And the analogy for such an 
exercise of creative power is supposed to be found in the creation 
of Adam, not as an infant, but as cm advM; and in the pro- 
duction of the full-sized trees of Eden. To which the reply is 
direct : the maturity of the first man, and of the objects around 
him, could not deceive him by implying that they had slowly 
grown to that state. His first knowledge was the knowledge of 
the contrary. He lived, partly, in order to proclaim the fact of 
his creation. And, could his own body, or any of the objects 
created at the same time, have been subjected to a physiological 
examination, they would, no doubt, have been found to indicate 
their miraculous production in their very destitution -of aU the 
traces of an early growth ; whereas the sheU of the earth is a 
crowded storehouse of evidence of its gradual formation. So 
that the question, expressed in other language, amounts to this : 
Might not the God of infinite truth have enclosed in the earth, 
at its creation, evidence of its having existed ages before its 
actual production ? Of course, the objector would disavow such 
a sentiment. But such appears to be the real import of the 
objection ; and, as such, it involves its own refutation." — Pre- 
Adamite Earth, p. 83. 

Now this reasoning appeared, doubtless, very triumphant to 
the worthy Doctor; and yet a very little acquaintance with 
physiology would have taught him that he was enimciating an 
absurdity. The very supposition which he considers as self- 
refuting, is an indubitable physiological fact. I have abundantly 
shown, in the text, that the cells which compose the tree or the 
animal are as undeniable evidences of past processes as the con- 
centric cylinders of timber, or the superposed layers of bone 
and scale. 


from the adult stage of these creatures respectively, 
without which they would not have been what 
they were. The Locust-tree could not have been 
an adult Hymenoea, without concentric rings; — 
nay, it could not have been an exogenous tree at 
all. The Diane could not have been a Diane with- 
out those foliations and spines that form its generic 
character. The Man would not have been a Man 
without a navel. 

To the physiologist this is obvious; but some 
unscientific reader may say. Could not God have 
created plants and animals without these retro- 
spective marks ? I distinctly reply, No ! not so as 
to preserve their specific identity with those with 
which we are familiar. A Tree-fern without scars 
on the trunk! A Palm without leaf-bases! A 
Bean without a hilum ! A Tortoise without laminae 
on its plates ! A Carp without concentric lines on 
its scales ! A Bird without feathers ! A Mammal 
witliout hairs, or claws, or teeth, or bones, or 
blood I A Foetus without a placenta ! I have 
indeed written the preceding pages in vain, if 

I have not demonstrated, in a multitude of exam- 


pies, the absolute necessity of retrospective pheno- 
mena in newly-created organisms. But if it can 
be undeniably shown in one singte example^ our 


failure to perceive it in ninety-nine other instances 
would in nowise invalidate the deduction from 
that one. Granted that you can triumphantly 
convict me of a non-sequitur, in ninety-nine out 
of ev^^ry himdred of the cases in which I have 
attempted to show this connexion ; still, if I have 
conclusively proved that in one solitary instance 
an animal or a plant was created with but one 
solitary evidence of pre-development, the principle 
for which I contend is established. 

I trust, however, it does not rest on one example, 
nor on twenty, nor on a hundred. It may be thought 
that I have multiplied my illustrations needlessly : 
ten times as many might have been given. I 
wished to show that the proof is of a cumulative 
character: a single good example would, indeed, 
have established the principle; but I wished to 
show how widely applicable it is ; that it is, 
indeed, of universal application in the organic 

If, then, the existence of retrospective marks, 
visible and tangible proofs of processes which were 
prochronic, was so necessary to organic essences, 
that they could not have been created without 
them, — is it absurd to suggest the possibility (I do 
no more) that the world itself was created under 



the influence of the same law, with visible tangible 
proofs of developments and processes, which yet 
were only prochronic ? 

Admit for a moment, as a hypothesis, that the 
Creator had before his mind a projection of the 
whole life-history of the globe, commencing with 
any point which the geologist may imagine to 
have been a fit commencing point, and ending 
with some unimaginable acme in the indefinitely 
distant future. He determines to call this idea 
into actual existence, not at the supposed com- 
mencing point, but at some stage or other of its 
course.* It is clear, then, that at the selected 
stage it appears, exactly as it would have appeared 
at that moment of its history, if all the preceding 
eras of its history had been real. Just as the new- 
created Man was, at the first moment of his exis- 
tence, a man of twenty, or five-and-twenty, or 

* I here assume the life-history of the glohe to be represented 
by a straight line, because I cannot prove it to be a circle. I 
cannot even imoffine its circularity. I do not mean the possi- 
bility ; — I can imagine that : but the mode I cannot conceive. 
This, however, does not disprove the possibility. If man's 
science extended not beyond the accumulated observations of his 
own life, he would probably be quite incompetent to conceive 
how the life-history of such a tree as the Oak could be a circle ; 
if he had never seen more than one individual, which was a tree 
when he was bom, and continued to flourish till bis death. 


thirty years old ; physically, palpably, visibly, so 
old, though not really, not diachronically. He 
appeared precisely what he would have appeared 
had he lived so many years. 

Let us suppose that this present year 1867 had 
been the particular epoch in the projected life- 
history of the world, which the Creator selected as 
the era of its actual beginning. At his fiat it 
appears ; but in what condition ? Its actual con- 
dition at this moment : — whatever is now existent 
would appear, precisely as it does appear. There 
would be cities filled with swarms of men ; there 
would be houses half-built; castles fallen into 
ruins ; pictures on artists' easels just sketched in ; 
wardrobes filled with half- worn garments; ships 
sailing over the sea ; marks of birds' footsteps on 
the mud ; skeletons whitening the desert sands ; 
human bodies in every stage of decay in the 
burial-grounds. These and millions of other traces 
of the past would be found, becaitse they are found in 
the world now ; . they belong to the present age of 
the world ; and if it had pleased God to call into 
existence this globe at this epoch of its life-history, 
the whole of which lay like a map before his 
infinite mind, it would certainly have presented all 
these phenomena; not to puzzle the philosopher. 


but because they are inseparable from the condi- 
tion of the world at the selected moment of irrup- 
tion into its history; because they constitute its 
condition ; they make it what it is. 

Hence the minuteness and undeniableness of the 
proofs of life which geologists rely on so confi- 
dently, and present with such justifiable triumph, 
d6 not. in the least militate against my principle. 
The marks of Hyssnas' teeth on the bones of 
Kirkdale cave ; the infant skeletons associated 
with adult skeletons of the same species ; the 
abundance of coprolites ; the foot-tracks of Birds 
and Reptiles ; the glacier-scratches on rocks ; and 
hundreds of other beautiful and most irresistible 
evidences of pre-existence, I do not wish to under- 
value, nor to explain away. On the hypothesis 
that the actual commencing point of the world's 
history was subsequent to the occurrence of such 
things in the perfect ideal whole, these phenomena 
would appear precisely as if the facts themselves 
had been diachronic, instread of prochronic, as was 
really the case.* 

* The existence of Coprolites — the fossilized excrement of 
animals - -has been considered a more than ordinarily triumphant 
proof of real pre-existence. Would it not be closely paraUel with 
the presence of fsoces in the intestines of on animal at the 
moment of creation ? Tet this appears to me demonstrable. It 


Perhaps some one will say, " All this might be 
tenable, supposing the world were an organism. 
Your argument goes to show that organic essences 
in every stage of their existence present proofs of 
pre-existence ; but what analogy is there between 
the lifeless inorganic globe (in which evidences of 
past processes are apparent, independent of the 
fossil organisms), and a living organic being, — 
plant or animal?" 

I answer. The point in the economy of the 
organic creatures, on which their prochronism rests, 
is not the organic, but the circular condition of 
their being. The problem, then, to be solved, 
before we can certainly determine the question of 
analogy between the globe and the organism, is 
. this : — Is the life-history of the globe a cycle ? If 
it is (and there are many reasons why this is pro- 
may seem at first sight ridiculous, and wiU probably be repre- 
sented so ; but truth is truth. I have already proved that blood 
must have been in the arteries and veins of the newly-created 
Man (vide p. 276, supra), and that blood presupposes chyle and 
chyme; but what became of the indigestible residuum of the 
chyme, when the chyle was separated from it ? Would it not, 
as a matter of course, be found in the intestines ? If the prin- 
ciple is true, that the created organism was exactly what it 
would have been had it reached that condition by the ordinary 
course of nature, then faecal residua must have been in the 
intestines, as certainly as chyle in the lacteals, or blood in the 


bable), then I am sure prochronism must have been 
evident at its creation, since there is no point in 
a circle which does not imply previous points. At 
all events, geologists cannot prove that it is not. 

Wherever we can discern a cyclical condition, 
there the law of which I am treating must hold 
good ; and it certainly obtains in other things 
beside organisms. When the inorganic crust of 
the globe was first cleft to contain rivers, whence 
jcame the water that flowed through the fissures ? 
A river is the produce of rivulets, which issue 
from mountain springs ; these originate in the 
water that percolates through the soil ; and this is 
derived from the rains, and snows, and dews, that 
are deposited from the atmosphere. But there 
would be no deposition from the atmosphere if the 
water had not first been carried up by evaporation; 
and the vaporable fluid is obtained from the 
moistened soil; from the lakes and rivers; and 
from the seas and oceans, whose loss is perpetually 
recruited from the flowing rivers. Here, then, we 
get a circle closely analogous to that of organic 
being. Was a given drop of water created as 
a component particle of a running stream? Its 
position and condition looked back to the mountain 
spring whence it must naturally have issued. Was 


it called into being in the spring? It looked up 
to the surface, whence it must have oozed. Was 
it formed on the surface? It looked to the clouds, 
whence it must have dropped. Was it created in 
the cloud ? It looked down to the surface of the 
lake or sea, whence it must have been raised. Was 
it created in the lake? It looked to the river, 
whence it must have flowed. 

The chief pelagic currents, which have hitherto 
so often been the destruction of the navigator, but 
which may yet become his able and subject 
servants, flow in circular systems. There is such 
an one in the southern part of the Indian Ocean, 
known as the Hurricane Region ; another immense 
one ever running round and round the North 
Pacific ; and, above all, that wondrous river of hot 
water — a river whose well-marked banks are not 
solid earth, but cold water — the Gulf Stream. 

" The fruit of trees belonging to the torrid zone 
of America is aYinually cast ashore on the western 
coasts of Ireland and Norway. Pennant observes 
that the seeds of plants which grow in Jamaica, 
Cuba, and the adjacent countries, are collected on 
the shores of the Hebrides. Thither also barrels 
of French wine, the remains of vessels wrecked in 
the West Indian seas, have been carried. In 1809 


His Majesty's ship Little Belt was dismasted at 
Halifax, Nova Scotia, and her bowsprit was found, 
eighteen months after, in the Basque Koads. The 
mainmast of the Tilbury, buried off Hispaniola in 
the Seven Years' war, was brought to our shores."* 

These facts are dependent on the eastward set 
of this majestic current; and so is another great 
physical fact of immeasurable importance to us ; — 
the superiority in temperature of the western 
shores of Europe over the eastern shores of North 
America. The harbour of St John's, Newfound- 
land, is frequently fast closed by ice in the month of 
June ; yet the latitude of St. John's is considerably 
south of that of the port of Brest, in France. 

Impelled by the rotatory motion of the earth, 
and by the trade-wind, f the equatorial waters of 
the Atlantic are ever urged, a broad and rapid 
river, into the Caribbean sea, and the Gulf of 
Mexico, the narrowing shores of which compress 
the stream as in a funnel. The Andes here present 
a slender but impregnable barrier to its further 
progress westward ; and the trend of the Isthmus 

* Blackwood; April, 1849; p. 412. 

f Strictly speaking, the current is a lagging behind of the 
water, which cannot keep pace with the speed communicated to 
the solid crust of the globe at its equatorial regions. The trade* 
wind is owing to the same cause. 


turns it to the northward. Still finding no outlet, 
the impatient current, like a wild-beast pacing 
round its cage, courses the Gulf of Mexico, doubles 
the peninsula of Florida, and pursues its way first 
to the north-east, and then to the east, crossing the 
Atlantic in a retrograde direction, until it laves 
with its warm billows the coasts of Europe. Here 
it turns to the southward, and after embracing the 
" Fortunate" isles that lie off the African shores, — 
the Azores, the Madeiras, and the Canaries, — it 
joins the great equatorial set beneath the trade- 
wind, and returns on its westward course. 

This mighty circulation of water must have been 
going on from the instant that the earth commenced 
rotating on its axis, or (granting this to have been 
chronologically subsequent) from the instant the 
Atlantic occupied its present bed. Whether 
sooner or later, it commenced at some instant ; but 
at that instant all the previous elements of the 
circle were presupposed, and a boundless succes- 
sion of former circles. An intelligent stranger, 
looking on the movement immediately after its 
commencement, but ignorant of its origin, would 
not be able to assign any limit to its past duration. 
From his observation of the velocity of the current 
in different parts of the circle, he would say with 


confidence, — " Tliese identical particles of water, 
which I see now urged on their ceaseless course 
towards the middle of the North Atlantic, were, 
yesterday morning at this hour, in the latitude of 
the mouth of the Chesapeake ; on the morning be- 
fore, ofi* Cape Hatteras; on the morning before 
that, oflf Cape Lookout ;" and so backwards inter- 

Whether the economy of the globe is circular, or 
not, I am not in a position to show. But its move- 
ments certainly are ; and so are the movements of 
all the myriad worlds with which astronomy is con- 
versant. Asteroids, planets, satellites, comets, suns, 
— ^nay, even the stellar universe itself — obey in 
their motions^ the grand universal law of circularity. 
Take any one of these; — our Moon. When its 
orbital motion commenced, it commenced at some 
point or other of the circle which it describes in its 
course around the earth. The pre-existence, or at 
least the co-existence, of the Earth, and also that 
of the Sun, are necessary to its motion. Supposing 
it possible for a spectator, furnished with modem 
astronomical knowledge, to have looked at that 
inst^uat on the newly-spun orb, would he not con- 
fidently have inferred, from its position at that 
moment, its position a week before ? Would he 


not have felt able to indicate with unhesitating 
certainty the solar and lunar eclipses of a centur 
or a chiliad before, just as he now calculates th( 
time of the eclipse that marked the death of Heroc 
the Great ? Undoubtedly he would ; for he woulc 
assume the constancy of those movements whicl 
modern science has deduced from the observations 
of many centuries ; and, granting him the fact oi 
their constancy, we could not invalidate his con- 
clusions. Yet what would he have shown ? The 
conditions and phenomena of bodies before they 
had begun to exist. The conditions are legiti- 
mately deducible ; but they are prochronic condi- 

The mention of the celestial orbs suggests to 
remembrance the famous argument for the vast 
antiquity of the material universe, foimded on the 
time which is required for the propulsion of light. 
I believe it owes its origin to Sir William Herschel. 

Speaking of the known velocity of light in con- 
nexion with the immense distance of certain 
nebulae, that eminent astronomer made these re- 
marks : — 

" Hence it follows, that, when we . . . see an object 
of the calculated distance at which one of these 
very remote nebulae may still be perceived 


the rays of light which convey its image to the 
eye must have been more than nineteen hundred 
and ten thousand, that is, almost two millions^ 
of years on their way ; and that, consequently, so 
many years ago, this object must already have had 
an existence in the sidereal heavens, in order to 
send out those rays by which we now perceive 
it." * 

The notion has been amplified, with some inter- 
esting details, by a writer in the Scottish Congrega- 
tional Magazine for January 1847 ; who thus throws 
the statements into a tabular form, and comments 
on them. 


From the Moon, light comes to the earth in 1^ second 
„ the Sun „ ,, in 8 minutes 

„ Jupiter „ „ in 52 „ 

Uranus „ „ in 2 hours 

a fixed Star of Ist magnitude — S to 12 years 

2d » 20 

» »| ^** M ^^ ft 

„ „ 8d „ 80 M 

M W 4*^ ft ^5 „ 

„ „ 5th ,, 66 „ 

M ft ^th I, 96 „ 

f, ,f 7th „ 180 

» » 12th „ 4000 

** Now, as we see objects by the rays of light 
passing from those objects to our eye, it follows 
that we do not perceive the heavenly bodies, as they 

* Philosi Traos. for 1802 ; p. 498. 



Mi rim r/pnaxnion. 

fi^p. Hi t>M5 rrK/rw#?fit //f //wr m^inf( tJi^ri, }mi tut ih^f 
«f45r« *t tJi#j tiwM? tJM5 fin/* (A light J// frbich iri? $^m 
ihi^tt Mi ih^fm hpiimn, Thm wtt^t w^. Ufffk *t tli^? 
rri/x/Ti^ tr^/ im?^. >i^, w/t im «Ji^/ « <iit IJm? r«//f«^it //f 

MtA a t\tUkrU^ \t^m^. ; fm innUan'Af w#5 n^A St^r ri//t 
*i i\w. numt^ii //f Ji^r riiiirig kiffim iitn \umy/m^ l/tit 

\tH H\f\tt9iifn i/p UH i/f h«v^/ jnni \rtum^A iU*'. rrM^/liiUi^ 
ium %\fi'M4\y \tHmt^A it \fy H mmnU'M, H^/^ iu Wkt*, 

i^A 4npiU^f f^d HM i$t in Mi i\m m/ptiu^ti *A om 
ftMUMui( a nipr)ti tA hirri^ \mi tm \%h wmm //2 mmnU'M 
W//r#5, Mfhum fi\f\ft'Mfn iff m^ wA hh h#5 in hi t)i#j 
m^mt^ti <A <Mr tVmufVKriun hiutf imi n$k \tK wmm H 
ymrn \fft^yunuAy. Atu\ * ninr <A itn*. liih tfikiffti' 
tii/J^/ \ff*'Mt^tiM iUmlf i/f mtf #?/#? M it wiuf iffiH) y^rn ' 
Mf(o: Wf ihnif nnffpfrtm ntu'}t « utitr t// >iav#'. \ft^i^.u 
WftuiUiSkiM f^/Hftf y^Mrn \Huskf ii w^mM iiiin ift*. 
VmhU tm ii$^y tMh^n^n m%Hm*A fin i^f^Hf y^Mrn i// 
e^/rrM? ; //r, nn\f\fimK a niMf (A iitn immf. $un^u\UuU 
\$tA if^jfiti i^tMUA Hi t}i^/ iim^/ Dm^ Intm^MiAm UAi 
Vjffyfdf ii will fud \m p^im^hU tm iit^, tmriU tm 
WMiy 7W y^Mrn frfm ii$u$ AuU^,^^ 

iUamtiMf m$A Mi tirni nif^i nnMUMW^M}^^. m$ iitin 
Mrig$nmti ^ ii f«tU t// iiw. t^imtiA }f^m i}$^, n\mMf' 

THE </>»ax'«oy. 363 

toidk f4f0wr iArnvi^ thA irjctrin^ of procbromsm* 
TfiM!;re m n<i4bm;r m<ire improl>able in the nodorn 
that tfa^ fi^utihU. urAnbdkon was created at the 
iAm^STf^n ^e; iTfth all the pre^reqniiiite andala- 
tfOfw yrr^nhrr/rtir^f t^ian in the wAvm that blood waa 
created in the f'jg\fi\\zrif:n of the fim human bodj. 
The latter ire hare »een Ufhtz ha : h the former 
ari itniff/fmilAlity 'f 

It wiajr perha[/i) J^e uaid : — '* The traces of pro- 
ebrz/riixfA yon have adduced in created organisms 
majr be frrante/l^ \j^/'Aum they are inseparable from 
the f/re^urne/J vjfuAiUou of those organisms re- 
spectively. The bl/K;^l in the vess/;ls, the hair, the 
teeth, the nail^, rnay afford evid/^rices of fiast pro- 
eess^'H ; t/Mt tlM'.n th^/M; are only fmst utages of what 
yet exists. The ryy^^, hoivever, is not fmrallel with 
the f/;ssil skeletz/ns, many of wliirii liave no ruin- 
nexion wifh anythin|< now exislin^f, Tlie I'/m- 
vA'MifU'. rin^s of a timti^'.r in'.^. an*. I'Msi'.niial fo \\n 
M/liilt stat^;; but Ifow is the i^%\nU'UVA*. of thif phro- 
tliwJyU'. or tlie Mt'ytilln*^riuin I'SSi'iifisI Ut flist of tlir 
rti'A'.ui Ihtu'o vnhivn^ or tlie Ho\\\\\ AnM'.rifsn Hloth? 
(Jan you show in iImi ni'W fntum\ rri'Stiirn any 
tra<:e of mmie orf^sn whiih do<'N not vinuts ini«» itN 
|;reseni ly/nditi/^n of InOnir, of s«;methin^ which 
has /(uiie |/as^'d swsjr V " 

H 3 


Perhaps I can. The very concentric rings of 
the tree are considered by botanists as, in some 
sense, dead. The paradoxical dictum of Schleiden, 
-7-" No tree has leaves,"* — is grounded on this 
circumstance, that the woody portion of the mass 
is the inert result of former generations, and that 
the present race of leaves is growing, not out of 
the woody portion of the tree, but out of its her- 
baceous extremities, " which grow upon the woody 
stem as upon a ground^ formed by the process of 
vegetation. This common ground, namely, the 
woody stem, which is almost lifeless in comparison 
with the herbaceous parts engaged in active growth, 
is annually covered with a vigorous sheath under 
the protecting bark ; and this sheath is the ground 
of the nourishment of all the vegetating herbaceous 
extremities." f 

The polygonal plates into which the bark of the 
Testudi/Miria divides, not only show many super- 
posed laminsB, at any given moment of its adult 
condition, but also bear witness, in the broad exis- 
t^t 8xur£suie of each one, to former laminae, yet 
old^r Aan the oldest now present, which have dis- 
integri^ted and dropped gS. 

The Palm and the Tree-fern show, in their trunk- 

• Beitrage, p. 152. t Dr. A. Braun, On the Veg. Indiv* 


scaxs, evidences of organs which have completely 
died away and disappeared ; while, between these 
scars and the generation of living fronds, there is, 
at any given moment of the tree's history, a series 
of fronds which are quite dead and dry, but which 
have not yet disappeared. 

The Neritay a genus of beautiful shells from the 
tropical seas, dissolves away and removes, in the 
progress of growth, the spiral column, which ori- 
ginally formed the axis of development; so that, in 
adult age, the spiral direction of the whole testifies 
to the past existence of a column which has quite 

In that species of Murex^ which, on account of 
the long and slender rostellum, and the spines with 
which it is covered,? is known to collectors as the 
Thorny Woodcock (J/, tenuispina)^ the shelly 
spines of the earlier whorls would interfere with 
such as came, in process of development, to be 
superposed on them ; for they cross the area which 
is to be the cavity enclosed by the advancing lip. 
They are, however, removed by absorption ; but 
not so completely but that traces may still be dis- 
covered where they formerly existed : evidences of 
the quondam existence of what exists no longer. 

* See ante, p. 283. 


Towards one side of the upper surface of the 
pretty Stat-fish, Onbella rosea, (as in many other 
species of Star-fishes,) there is a curious little mark, 
known as the madreporic plate, the use of which 
has greatly puzzled naturalists. Sars, the Nor- 
wegian zoologist, has unveiled the mystery.* The 
young larva, before it assumes the stellar form, is 
furnished with a sort of thick column, divided into 
four diverging clubbed arms, which are adhering 
organs, ancillary to locomotion. In the process of 
development, however, new locomotive organs' are 
formed ; and this four-fold column, being no longer 
needed, sloughs away; and that so completely, 
that not a trace of its existence remains, except this 
scar^ or " madreporic plate ; " which is therefore a 
permanent record of something that has quite 
passed away. 

But the closest parallel to the relation borne by 
the skeleton of an extinct species to an extant one, 
is presented by that of the hilum to a seed, or of 
the umbilicus to a mammal. Each of these is a 
legible and undeniable record of a being, whose 
individuality was totally distinct from that of the 
being by which it is presented, and of which all 
vestiges have disappeared, save this record. Nor 

• Fauna Littor. Norveg. ; i. 47. 


is the parallel founded on obscure or rare examples ; 
both the umbilicus and the hilum are generally 
conspicuous; and both are extensively found in 
their respective kingdoms, the former pervading 
the viviparous Vertebrata, the latter characterising 
the whole of the cotyledonous types of vegetation. 
Once more. An objection may arise to the re- 
ception of the prochronic principle, on the ground 
that the examples I have adduced are not to be 
compared, in point of grandeur, with the mighty 
revolutions, which are presumed to have written 
their records in the crust of the globe ; and tliat 
hence no analogy can be fairly drawn from one to 
the other. To the philosopher, however, there is 
no great or small, as there is none in the works of 
God. We have every reason to believe that He 
has- wrought by the same laws in all portions of 
his universe : the principle on which an apple falls 
from the branch to the ground, is the same as that 
which keeps the planet Neptune in the solar system. 
I have shown that the principle of prochronic de- 
velopment obtains wherever we are able to test it ; 
that is, wherever another principle, that of cydtcism, 
exists ; whether the cycle be that of a gnat's 
metamorphosis, or of a planet's orbit. The dis- 
tinction of great or small, grand or mean, does not 


apply to it. If it cannot be proved to be universal, 
it is only because we are not suflSciently acquainted 
with some of the economies of nature to be able to 
pronounce with certainty whether they are cyclical 
or not. I am not aware of any natural process, in 
which its existence can be absolutely denied. 

And this makes all the difference in the world 
between my position and that of the old simple- 
minded observers, with which a superficial reader 
might think it to possess a good deal in common. 
A century ago, people used to talk of lusus naturce; 
of a QiQxt&.m plastic power in nature ; of abortive or 
initiative attempts at making things which were 
never perfected ; of imitations, in one kingdom, of 
the proper subjects of another, (as plants were sup- 
posed to be imitated by the frost on a window- 
pane, and by the dendritic forms of metals). 
Still later, many persons have been inclined to take 
refuge from the conclusions of geology in the abso- 
lute sovereignty of God, asking, — " Could not the 
Omnipotent Creator make the fossils in the strata, 
just as they now appear? " 

It has always been felt to be a sufficient answer 
to such a demand, that no reason could be adduced 
for such an exercise of mere power; and that it 
would be unworthy of the Allwise God. 


But this is a totally different thing from that for 
which I am contending. I am endeavouring to 
show that a grand LAW exists, by which, in two 
great departments of nature at least, the analogues 
of the fossil skeletons were formed without pre- 
cxistence. An arbitrary acting, and an acting on 
fixed and general laws, have nothing in common 
with each other. 

Finally, the acceptance of the principles pre- 
sented in this volume, even in their fullest extent, 
would not, in the least degree, affect the study of 
scientific geology. The character and order of the 
strata ; tlieir disruptions and displacements and in- 
jections ; tlie successive floras and faunas ; and all 
the other phenomena, would be facts still. They 
would still be, as now, legitimate subjects of ex- 
amination and inquiry. I do not know that a 
single conclusion, now accepted, would need to be 
given up, except that of actual chronology. And 
even in respect of this, it would be rather a modi- 
fication than a relinquishment of what is at present 
held ; we might still speak of the inconceivably 
long duration of the processes in question, pro- 
vided we understand ideal instead of actual time ; 
— ^tliat the duration was projected in the mind of 
God, and not really existent. 

K 3 


The zoologist would still use the fossil forms of 
non-existing animals, to illustrate the mutual ana- 
logies of species and groups. His recognition of 
their prochronism would in nowise interfere with 
his endeavours to assign to each its position in the 
scale of organic being. He would still legitimately 
treat it as an entity ; an essential constituent of the 
great Plan of Nature ; because he would recognise 
the Plan itself as an entity, though only an ideal 
entity, existing only in the Divine Conception. 
He would still use the stony skeletons for the in- 
culcation of lessons on the skill and power of God 
in creation ; and would find them a rich mine of in- 
struction, aflfording some examples of the adapta- 
tion of structure to function, which are not yielded 
by any extant species. Such are the elongation of 
the little finger in PterodactyltLS^ for the extension 
of the alar membrane ; and the deflexion of the 
inferior incisors in Dinoiherium, for the purposes of 
digging or anchorage. And still would he find, in 
the fossil forms, evidences of that complacency in 
beauty, which has prompted the Adorable Work- 
master to paint the rose in blushing hues, and to 
weave the fine lace of the dragonfly's wing. The 
whorls of the Oyroceras, the foliaceous or zigzag 
sutures of the Ammonites^ and the radiating pat- 


tern of Smiihia, are not less elegant than anything 
of the kind in existing creation, in which, however, 
they Lave uo parallels. In short, the readings of 
the " stone book" will be found not less worthy of 
God who wrote them, not less worthy of man who 

deciphers them, if we consider .them as prochroni- 
cally, than if we judge tliem diachronically, pro- 

Here I close my labours. How far I have suc- 
ceeded in accomplisliing the task to wliich I bent 
myself, it is not for me to judge. Others will 
determine that; and I am quite sure it will be 
determined fairly, on the whole. To prevent 
misapprehension, however, it may be as well to 


enunciate what the task was, which I prescribed, 
especially because other (collateral, hypothetical) 
points have been mooted in these pages. 

All, then, that I consider myself responsible for 
is summed up in these sentences :— 

I. The conclusions hitherto received have been 
but inferences deduced from certain premises : the 
witness who reveals tiie premises does not testify- 
to the inferences. 

II. The process of deducing the inferences has 
been liable to a vast incoming of error, arising 
from the operation of a Law, proved to exist, but 
hitherto unrecognised. 

III. The amount of lie error thus produced we 
have no means of knowing ; much less of elimi- 
nating it. 

IV. The whole of the facts deposed to by this 
witness are irrelevant to the question ; and the 
witness is, therefore, out of court. 

V. The field is left clear and undisputed for the 
one Witness on the opposite side, whose testimony 
is as follows: — 

"In six days Jehovah made heaven and 



Agave, 147. 

Ammonites, appearance of, 58. 

profusion of, 65. 
Amphibia, footprints of, 52, 56. 
Anoplotherium, 69. 
Antediluvian hypothesis, 9. 

untenable, 51. 

Babbage, Mr., opinions of, 25. 

Babiroussa, 262. 

Bamboo, 134. 

Banyan, 164. 

Barnacle, development of, 217. 

Basalt, formation of, 66, 91. 

Beaches, raised, 83. 

Beard, 284. 

Beetle, egg of, 310. 

Belemnites, 58. 

Bignonia, 168. 

Birds, earliest, 69. 

gigantic, 82. 

feathers of, 253. 
Blackwood, opinions of, 9. 
Blocks, transport of, 78. 
Blood, 275, 285. 
Bones, structure of, 279. 
Botryllus, metamorphoses of, 222. 
Brachionus, eggs of, 321. 
Bracts, development of, 166. 
Brown, Rev. J. M., opinions of, 9. 
Bulbs, growth of, 153, 156. 
Buprestis, 214. 
Butterflies, eggs of, 307. 
Butterfly-flower, 160. 

Cabbage-palm, 144. 
Carboniferous deposits, 44. 

Case-flies, 209. 
Cassowary, 252. 
Caverns, bone, 76, 88. 
Ceiba, 174. 
Cephalaspis, 44. 
Chalk formation, 64. 
Chalmers, Dr., opinions of, 19. 
Chronology of globe, 30, 339. 
Circularity of organic life, 118, 

336, 351. 
Clavagella, 225. 
Coal, age o^ 50. 

extent of, 4d! 

origin of, 47. 
Coccus, economy of, 315. 
Cockburn, Rev. Sir W., opinions 

of, 14. 
Cockroach, egg-case of, 318. 
Conybeare, Dr., opinions of, 20. 
Coprolites, 60. 
Coral polypes, 40, 41, 45. 

activity of, 86. 
Couch-grass, 135. 
Cow, circular life of, 121. 
Cowry, 231. 

Crab, metamorphoBiB of, 216. 
Crag and tail, 55. 

formation, 75. 
Crinoids, abundance of, 58. 
Creation, extent of, 22. 

fact of, 110. 

law of, 887, 868. 

periods of, 15. 

What is ifi 123. 
Cribella, metamorphosis of, 821. 
Crocodile, 248. 
Cuckoo-fly, egg of, 309. 




Cumbrian formations, 36. 
Currents, oceanic, 356. 
Cuttle-fish, shell of, 2371 
Cycads, 60. 
Cjclicism, 336, 351. 

of the globe, 354. 

of inorganic nature, 355. 

of celestial orbs, 359. 
Cysticercus, 196. 

Daphnia, economy of, 325. 
Dauber, economy of, 320. 
Days of creation, 15. 
Deductions, fallible, 2. 
Deer, Irish, 84. 
Deltas, 85. 
Deposits, earthy, 87. 
Depressions and elevations, 81. 
Development hypothesis. 111. 
Devonian formations, 42. 
Diachronism, 125, 346. 
Diatomacese in chalk, 64. 
Dinotherium, 72, 370. 
Dione, 228. 

Disturbances of strata, 54, 66. 
Dodo, 84. 
Double cocoa-nut, 296. 

Earth-pea, germination of, 299. 
Echinus, 190. 
Eggs of fowl, 328. 

of insects, 306. 
Elephant, dentition of, 266. 

fossil, 73. 
Elevations and depressions, 81. 
Encephalartos, 161. 
Euphorbia, 164. 
Erythrina, 297. 

Fairholm, Mr., opinions of, 12. 
Feather, growth of, 253. 
Feather-star, 193, 305. 
Fig, Australian, 162. 

Indian, 164. 
Fishes, cycloid, 68. 

earliest, 44. 

sauroid, 52. 

Fishes, scales of, 242. 
Foetus of kangaroo, 333. 
Footprints, 57. 
Foraminifera, 64, 70. 
Frog, 57. 

Gall-fly, egg of, 310. 
Ganges, delta of, 85. 
Geography, changes of, 60, i 

Geology, in need of caution, 4 
Germs, hypothesis of, 294. 
Gilt-head, 241. 
Glaciers, theory of, 79. 
Gladiolus, 152. 
Globe, chronology of, 30. 

cyclicism of, 354. 

density of, 37. 
Gnats, egg-raft of, 207. 
Goliathus, 205. 
Granite, 37. 

decomposition and recc 
struction of, 38. 
Grass-tree, 154. 
Gray, Mr., opinions of, 20. 
Grit, 46. 

Gulf-stream, 356. 
Gyroceras, 371. 

Hair, growth of, 278. 
Harris, Dr., opinions of, 19. 
Hawkmoth, 118. 
Hertfordshire, strata of, 33. 
Hippopotamus, 263. 

fossil, 73. 
Hitchcock, Dr., opinions of, 2! 
Horns of ibex, 257. 
stag, 258. 
Horse, 260. 

Hylseosaurus, 62. • 

Hypotheses, variety of, 27. 

Ibex, 257. 
Ichthyosaurus, 59. 
Iguanodon, 62. 
Infusoria in chalk, 64. 
Insects, eggs of, 306. 
Iriartea, 139. 



Julus, 212. 

Kangaroo, foetus of, 333. 
Kirkdale cave, 77. 

Labyrinthodon, 57. 

Lace-fly, egg of, 311. 

Lady-fern, 116. 

Law of creation, 337, 368, 371. 

Leaf-Bcars of fern, 130. 

Lepralia, 219. 

Lias, 58. 

Light, velocity of, 360. 

LUy, 166. 

Limestone coral, 45. 

Locust-tree, 177. 

London clay, 67. 

Loranthus, 169. 

" Lu8U8 Naturce,^ 368. 

Macbrair, Mr., opinions of, 10. 
Madrepore, 183. 
Mammal, earliest, 63. 
Mammoth, 73. 
Man, introduction of, 83. 

structure of, 275. 
Mangrove, 173. 

germination of, 301. 
Marsupials, 82. 
Mastodon, 73. 
Medusa, 188, 304. 
Megalosaurus, 61. 
Melicerta, 210. 

Miller, Hugh, opinions of, 15. 
Millepore, 183. 
Moa, 84. 
Moho, 84. 

Moon, cyclicism of, 359. 
Mosasaurus, 65. 
Moth, eggs of, 314. 
Mountains, upheaving of, 66, 70. 
Mnrex, 233, 365. 

Nails, growth of, 277. 
Nature, circularity of, 113. 

plan of, 345, 369. 
Nautilus, 285. 


Navel, evidence from, 289, 334. 
Nerita, axis of, 365. 
Noa^B flood, 6. 

(Estridsd, economy of, 309. 
Oolitic system, 58, 60 ; duration 

of, 63. 
Opossum, 63. 
Organ-pipe, 185. 
Organic life a circle, 113, 122. 
Organisms, earliest, 40. 
Orchis, 152. 

Palm-leaf, young, 145. 
Penn, Mr., opinions of, 11. 
Phenomena, evidence of, delu- 
sive, 337. 
Plants of London clay, 67. 
"Plastic power," 368. 
Plates of tortoise, 250. 
Plesiosaurus, 59. 
Plumularia, 119. 
Powell, Professor, opinions of, 26. 
Prickly pear, 172. 
Prochronism, 125, 346, 368. 

dependent on cyclicism, 354. 
" Protoplast," opinions of, 23. 
Pterodactyle, 62, 870. 

Raindrops, 58. 
Kattan, 145. 
Rattlesnake, 247. 
Reptiles, Marine, 16, 59. 
Rhinoceros, fossil, 73. 
Roots, aerial, of fig, 163. 

of iriartea, 139. 

of mangrove, 173. 

of pandanus, 188. 
Rotifera, viviparous, 322. 

Sackcloth of palms, 141. 
Sandstone, age of, 50. 

new red, 56. 

old red, 42. 
Saw-fly, eggs of, 317. 
Scale of fish, 242. 
Scarlet-runner, economy of, 118. 



Screw-pine, 186. 
Scripture, eSoirU to reconcile 
with geology, 5. 

literal sense of, 4. 
Sea-urchin, 191, 805. 
Sea-pen, 182. 
Secondary epoch, 66. 
Sedgwick, Professor, (m past time, 

opinions of, 17. 
Selagmella, 188. 
Senses, evidence of, 1. 
Serpent, earliest, 68. 
Serpula, 198, 305. 
Sharks, 52, 58, 243. 

egg of, 326. 
Shells, now fossilizing, 89. 
Shore-crab, 216. 
Silk-cotton tree, 174. 
Silurian fonnations, 40. 
Skeleton, human, 286. 
Skeletons, eyidenee from, 105, 

Sloths, fossil, 82. 
Smith, Dr. Pye, opinions of, 22. 
Smithia, elegance of, 871. 
Species, persistence of, 110. 
Spider, eggs of, 313. 
Stag, 258. 
Star-fish, madreporic plate of, 

Stars, light from fixed, ^61. 
Stature of man, 284. 
Strata^ distorbances of, 54. 

number of, 37. 
Strombus, 230. 
Sugar-palm, 141. 
Sumner, Dr., opinions of, 19. 
Surinam toad, 327. 
Sword-fish, 240. 

Tapeworm, 195. 
Tapir, 69. 

Teeth of babiroussa, 262. 
Teeth of crocodile, 249. 

elephant, 268. 

hippopotamus, 263. 

horse, 261. 

man, 281, 285. 

shark, 243. 
Termes, 203. 
Terebella, 201. 
Tertiary epoch, 66, 

&una, 76. 
Testimony, divine, 2 j dear to 
many scientific men, 5 ; by 
some rejected, 8. 
Testudinaria, 158. 
Thames Tunnel, strata of, 32. 
Thyroid cartilage, 284. 
Timber, rings of, 178, 342, 349. 
Tortoise, 250. 
Tour of inspection, 127. 
Traveller's tree, 148. 
Tree-fern, age of, 128. 
Tree-frog, 246. 
Trilobites, 41. 
Truth, value of, 7. 
Tulip, seed of, 298. 
Tulip-tree, 166. 

Turner, Sharon, opinions of, 18. 
Tusk of elephant, 266. 

Ure, Dr., opinions of, 10. 

Venus, prickly, 228. 

" Vestiges," hypothesis of, 27, 1 1 1. 

Volcanic action, 55, 66, 86. 

Weevil, economy of, 308. 

Whalebone, 255. 

White ant, 203. 

World, projected histoiy of, 351. 

Yorkshire, strata of, 33. 
Young, Dr , opinions of, 13. 



In the summer of 1855, I met^ at Ilfracombe, on the coast of North 
Deyon, a small p&rtj of ladies and gentlemen, who formed themselves 
into a Class for the study of Marine Natural History. There was much 
to be done in the way of collecting, much to be learned in the way of 
study. Not a few species of interest, and some rarities, fell imdcr 
our notice, scattered as we were over the rocks, and peeping into the 
pools, almost every day for a month. Then the prizes were to be 
brought home, and kept in little Aquariums for the study of their 
habits, their beauties to be investigated by the pockot-lens, and the 
minuter kinds to be examined under the microscope. An hour or 
two was spent on the shore every day on which the tide and the 
weather were suitable; and, when otherwise, the occupation was varied 
by an indoors' lesson, on identifying and compiring the characters of 
the animals obtained, the specimens themselves affording illustrations. 
Thus the two great desiderata of young naturalists were attained 
simultaneously; they learned at the same time how to collect, and 
how to determine the names and the zoological relations of the speci- 
mens when found. 

A little also was effected in the way of dredging the sea-bottom, and 
in surface-fishing for Medusae, &c. ; but our chief attention was directed 
to shore-collecting. Altogether, the exx>erimont \i'as found so agreeable, 
that I propose to repeat it by forming a similar party every year, if 
spared, at some suitable part of the coast. 

Such ladies or gentlemen as may wish to join the Class should give 
in their names to me, early in the summer; and any preliminary 
inquiries about plans, terms, &c. shall meet the i-equisite attention. 


MAKTCuracH, Torquay, 
Oct, 1857. 


Early in 1858, (d.v.) loill he pvhliahed, the First Number 





In bi-monthly Numbers, each containing 32 pp. 8vo. and a coloured 

plate. Price Is, 6d. 

Mr. Gosbe has for some years been collecting materials for a 
complete history of our native Sea- Anemones, with illustrations of 
every species, drawn and coloured by himself from living specimens. 

In order to farther this project, which is now in immediate prospect, 
he respectfully invites the co-operation of his kind scientific friends at 
various parts of the British and Irish Coasts, who may materially assist 
him by transmitting to him specimens of all species that are not 
common everywhere. 

An Anemone of medium size may be safely sent by post, in a small 
tin-canister, vnthottt water, but with a small tuft of damp sea-weed, rag, 
or blotting-paper, to maintain a moist atmosphere around the animal. 
A piece of paper should be pasted round the canister, to secure it, and 
also to receive the address; and the whole would probably come within 
the weight covered by a twopenny or fourpenny stamp. It is impor- 
tant that no rattling of water be audible, and that no exudation take 
place ; as in either case, the package would be detained at the Post- 

Makychurch, ToaavAY, 
October, 1857. 



*^%'Sf^f>^^^f w w w «^^> ■* « 




With TwENTT-siGHT Plates, some coloured. Post 8vo. 21«. 

•♦ The channing book now before us ... . The lively pages of this graphic and 
well-illustrated volume .... We know of no book where that beautiful family, the 
Sea-Anemones, are more graphically described and brought before the eye of the 
reader." — Frcuer** Magazine, Oct. 1853, 

" This charming volume, which we so strongly recommend to our readers .... 
largely enters into the private history [of the Sea- Anemones and other Zoophytes], 
and to the attractions of an engaging style and healthy piety, adds the accompani- 
ment of elaborately coloured drawings of the animals themselves." — Leisure JTouft 
Feb. 9, 1854. 

"Scarcely have we pronounced a most favourable opinion of Mr. Gosse's ' Natu- 
ralist's Sojourn in Jamaica,' than we are called upon to review another book firom 

the same pen, equally beautiful, equally amusing, and equally instructive 

This is a fit companion to the ' Sojourn ; ' like that, it is a series of pictures which 
it must delight the lover of natiu« to look upon .... the animals of the sea are 
here revealed to us in all their moat attractive tonns."— Zoologist, Oct. 1853. 

♦• The present will ably support the previous character of its talented author." — 
Natural History Review, Jan. 1854. 







Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged. 
Post 8vo. with coloured and uncoloured Illustrations, I7s. 

" Thos^ who have had the gratification of spirit-companionship with Mr. Gosse 
in his former rambles, will rejoice to find themselves again by his side on the shores 
of Dorset. He has the art of throwing the ' purple light ' of life over the marble 
form of science ; and while satisfying the learned by illustrations and confirmations 
of what they knew before, he delights the seekers of knowledge, and even of 
amusement, by leading them into profitable and pleasant paths * which they have 

not known ' The volume ought to be upon the table of every intelligent 

sea-side visitor. It would be injustice to close these remarks without paying a 
tribute to the singular beauty, both of design and execution, of the plates which 
accompany the work." — Globe, June 22, 1854. 

"To all who have looked with interest upon the collection of marine aquatic 
animals in the Zoological Gardens, and observed with attention their wondrous de- 
velopment of form and function, this book, by an eminent lover of Nature's marvels, 
will be a delightful and welcome companion. Mr. Gosse has himself dived into the 
bejewelled palaces which old Neptune has so long kept reluctantly under lock and 
key, and we find their treasures set before us with a freshness and fidelity which 
aflford welcome and instructive lessons to naturalists of all ages. . . . It is a charm- 
ing little volume, and an admirable pocket companion for visitors to the sea-side." — 
Literary Gazette, Julv 15, 1854. 

" The beautiful little work now before us Every page of this fascinating 

work is quotable. ... A fitting ornament for the drawing-room idiW^"— Chambers's 
Journal, Aug. 1854. 








Second Edition. Foolscap 8vo. 2s. 6d. 

'* This little Handbook appears to contain every information that can be required 
for a commencement : and will, doubtless, prove highly acceptable to those who 
interest themselves in marine zoology." — Annals of Natural History, Feb. 1866. 



SUntord UrWvanHy UbrwiM 

3 6105 032 239 464 


^^^m Stanford, Caliiomn ^H 

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