By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Critiques and Addresses
Author: Huxley, Thomas Henry, 1825-1895
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Critiques and Addresses" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.






The "Critiques and Addresses" gathered together in this volume, like
the "Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews," published three years ago,
deal chiefly with educational, scientific, and philosophical subjects;
and, in fact, indicate the high-water mark of the various tides of
occupation by which I have been carried along since the beginning of
the year 1870.

In the end of that year, a confidence in my powers of work, which,
unfortunately, has not been justified by events, led me to allow
myself to be brought forward as a candidate for a seat on the London
School Board. Thanks to the energy of my supporters I was elected, and
took my share in the work of that body during the critical first year
of its existence. Then my health gave way, and I was obliged to resign
my place among colleagues whose large practical knowledge of the
business of primary education, and whose self-sacrificing zeal in the
discharge of the onerous and thankless duties thrown upon them by
the Legislature, made it a pleasure to work with them, even though my
position was usually that of a member of the minority.

I mention these circumstances in order to account for (I had almost
said to apologize for) the existence of the two papers which head
the present series, and which are more or less political, both in the
lower and in the higher senses of that word.

The question of the expediency of any form of State Education is, in
fact, a question of those higher politics which lie above the region
in which Tories, Whigs, and Radicals "delight to bark and bite." In
discussing it in my address on "Administrative Nihilism," I found
myself, to my profound regret, led to diverge very widely (though even
more perhaps in seeming than in reality) from the opinions of a man of
genius to whom I am bound by the twofold tie of the respect due to a
profound philosopher and the affection given to a very old friend. But
had I no other means of knowing the fact, the kindly geniality of Mr.
Herbert Spencer's reply[1] assures me that the tie to which I refer
will bear a much heavier strain than I have put, or ever intend to
put, upon it, and I rather rejoice that I have been the means of
calling forth so vigorous a piece of argumentative writing. Nor is
this disinterested joy at an attack upon myself diminished by the
circumstance, that, in all humility, but in all sincerity, I think it
may be repulsed.

[Footnote 1: "Specialized Administration;" _Fortnightly Review_,
December 1871.]

Mr. Spencer complains that I have first misinterpreted, and then
miscalled, the doctrine of which he is so able an expositor. It would
grieve me very much if I were really open to this charge. But what are
the facts? I define this doctrine as follows:--

    "Those who hold these views support them by two lines of
    argument. They enforce them deductively by arguing from an
    assumed axiom, that the State has no right to do anything but
    protect its subjects from aggression. The State is simply a
    policeman, and its duty, neither more nor less than to prevent
    robbery and murder and enforce contracts. It is not to promote
    good, nor even to do anything to prevent evil, except by the
    enforcement of penalties upon those who have been guilty
    of obvious and tangible assaults upon purse or person. And,
    according to this view, the proper form of government is
    neither a monarchy, an aristocracy, nor a democracy, but an
    _astynomocracy_, or police government. On the other hand,
    these views are supported _à posteriori_ by an induction from
    observation, which professes to show that whatever is done by
    a Government beyond these negative limits, is not only sure
    to be done badly, but to be done much worse than private
    enterprise would have done the same thing."

I was filled with surprised regret when I learned from the conclusion
of the article on "Specialized Administration," that this statement is
held by Mr. Spencer to be a, misinterpretation of his views. Perhaps
I ought to be still more sorry to be obliged to declare myself, even
now, unable to discover where my misinterpretation lies, or in what
respect my presentation of Mr. Spencer's views differs from his own
most recent version of them. As the passage cited above shows. I have
carefully defined the sense in which I use the terms which I employ,
and, therefore, I am not greatly concerned to defend the abstract
appropriateness of the terms themselves. And when Mr. Spencer
maintains the only proper functions of Government to be those which
are comprehensible under the description of "Negatively regulative
control," I may suggest that the difference between such "Negative
Administration" and "Administrative Nihilism," in the sense defined by
me, is not easily discernible.

Having, as I hope, relieved myself from the suspicion of having
misunderstood or misrepresented Mr. Spencer's views, I might, if I
could forget that I am writing a preface, proceed to the discussion
of the parallel which he elaborates, with much knowledge and power,
between the physiological and the social organisms. But this is not
the place for a controversy involving so many technicalities, and
I content myself with one remark, namely, that the whole course of
modern physiological discovery tends to show, with more and more
clearness, that the vascular system, or apparatus for distributing
commodities in the animal organism, is eminently under the control of
the cerebro-spinal nervous centres--a fact which, unless I am again
mistaken, is contrary to one of Mr. Spencer's fundamental assumptions.
In the animal organism, Government does meddle with trade, and even
goes so far as to tamper a good deal with the currency.

In the same number of the _Fortnightly Review_ as that which contains
Mr. Spencer's essay, Miss Helen Taylor assails me--though, I am bound
to admit, more in sorrow than in anger--for what she terms, my
"New Attack on Toleration." It is I, this time, who may complain of
misinterpretation, if the greater part of Miss Taylor's article
(with which I entirely sympathise) is supposed to be applicable to
my "intolerance." Let us have full-toleration, by all means, upon
all questions in which there is room for doubt, or which cannot be
distinctly proved to affect the welfare of mankind. But when Miss
Taylor has shown what basis exists for criminal legislation, except
the clear right of mankind not to tolerate that which is demonstrably
contrary to the welfare of society, I will admit that such
demonstration ought only to be believed in by the "curates and
old women" to whom she refers. Recent events have not weakened the
conviction I expressed in a much-abused speech at the London School
Board, that Ultramontanism is demonstrably the enemy of society; and
must be met with resistance, merely passive if possible, but active if
necessary, by "the whole power of the State."

Next in order, it seems proper that I should briefly refer to my
friend Mr. Mivart's onslaught upon my criticism of Mr. Darwin's
critics, himself among the number, which will be found in this
volume. In "Evolution and its Consequences"[1] I am accused of
misrepresentation, misquotation, misunderstanding, and numerous other
negative and positive literary and scientific sins; and much subtle
ingenuity is expended by Mr. Mivart in attempting to extricate himself
from the position in which my exposition of the real opinions of
Father Suarez has placed him. So much more, in fact, has Mr. Mivart's
ingenuity impressed me than any other feature of his reply, that I
shall take the liberty of re-stating the main issue between us; and,
for the present, leaving that issue alone to the judgment of the

[Footnote 1: _Contemporary Review_, January 1872.]

In his book on the "Genesis of Species" Mr. Mivart, after discussing
the opinions of sundry Catholic writers of authority, among whom he
especially includes St. Augustin, St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Jesuit
Suarez, proceeds to say: "It is then evident that ancient and most
venerable theological authorities distinctly assert _derivative_
creation, and thus their teachings harmonize with all that modern
science can possibly require."[1] By the "derivative creation" of
organic forms, Mr. Mivart understands, "that God created them by
conferring on the material world the power to evolve them under
suitable conditions."

[Footnote 1: Bunsen's "Outlines of the Philosophy of Universal
History," vol. i.p. 349. 1854.]

On the contrary, I proved by evidence, which Mr. Mivart does not
venture to impugn, that Suarez, in his "Tractatus de Opere sex
Dierum," expressly rejects St. Augustin's and St. Thomas' views; that
he vehemently advocates the literal interpretation of the account of
the creation given in the Book of Genesis; and that he treats with
utter scorn the notion that the Almighty could have used the language
of that Book, unless He meant it to be taken literally.

Mr. Mivart, therefore, either has read Suarez and has totally
misrepresented him--a hypothesis which, I hope I need hardly say, I do
not for a moment entertain: or, he has got his information at second
hand, and has himself been deceived. But in that case, it is surely
an imprudence on his part, to reproach me with having "read Suarez _ad
hoc_, and evidently without the guidance of anyone familiar with
that author." No doubt, in the matter of guidance, Mr. Mivart has the
advantage of me. Nevertheless, the guides who supplied him with his
references to Suarez' "Metaphysica," while they left him in ignorance
of the existence of the "Tractatus," are guides with whose services
it might be better to dispense; leaders who wilfully shut their eyes,
being even more liable to lodge one in a ditch, than blind leaders.

At the time when the essay on "Methods and Results of Ethnology" was
written, I had not met with a passage in Professor Max Müller's "Last
Results of Turanian Researches"[1] which shows so appositely, that
the profoundest study of philology leads to conclusions respecting the
relation of Ethnology with Philology, similar to those at which I had
arrived in approaching the question from the Anatomist's side, that I
cannot refrain from quoting it:

[Footnote 1: LONDON, _April_ 1873.]

    "Nor should we, in our phonological studies, either expect or
    desire more than general hints from physical ethnology. The
    proper and rational connection between the two sciences is
    that of mutual advice and suggestion, but nothing more. Much
    of the confusion of terms and indistinctness of principles,
    both in Ethnology and Phonology, are due to the combined
    study of these heterogeneous sciences. Ethnological race
    and phonological race are not commensurate, except in
    ante-historical times, or perhaps at the very dawn of history.
    With the migration of tribes, their wars, their colonies,
    their conquests and alliances, which, if we may judge from
    their effects, must have been much more violent in the
    ethnic, than even in the political, period of history, it is
    impossible to imagine that race and language should continue
    to run parallel. The physiologist should pursue his own
    science unconcerned about language."

It is further desirable to remark that the statements in this Essay
respecting the forms of Native American crania need rectification. On
this point, I refer the reader who is interested in the subject to
my paper "On the Form of the Cranium among the Patagonians and the
Fuegians" published in the _Journal of Anatomy and Physiology_ for

If the problem discussed in my address to the British Association
in 1870 has not yet received its solution, it is not because the
champions of Abiogenesis have been idle, or wanting in confidence. But
every new assertion on their side has been met by a counter assertion;
and though the public may have been led to believe that so much noise
must indicate rapid progress, one way or the other, an impartial
critic will admit, with sorrow, that the question has been "marking
time" rather than marching. In mere sound, these two processes are not
so very different.



ADMINISTRATIVE NIHILISM. (An Address delivered to the Members of
the Midland Institute, on the 9th of October, 1871, and subsequently
published in the _Fortnightly Review_)


_Contemporary Review_, 1870)


ON MEDICAL EDUCATION. (An Address to the Students of the Faculty of
Medicine in University College, London, 1870)


YEAST. (The _Contemporary Review_, 1871)


ON THE FORMATION OF COAL. (A Lecture delivered before the Members of
the Bradford Philosophical Institution, and subsequently published in
the _Contemporary Review_)


ON CORAL AND CORAL REEFS. (_Good Words_, 1870)






to the Geological Society, 1870)


MR. DARWIN'S CRITICS. (The _Contemporary Review_, 1871)


THE GENEALOGY OF ANIMALS. (A Review of Haeckel's "Natürliche
Schöpfungs-Geschichte." The _Academy_, 1869)


Magazine_, 1871)





To me, and, as I trust, to the great majority of those whom I address,
the great attempt to educate the people of England which has just been
set afoot, is one of the most satisfactory and hopeful events in our
modern history. But it is impossible, even if it were desirable,
to shut our eyes to the fact, that there is a minority, not
inconsiderable in numbers, nor deficient in supporters of weight and
authority, in whose judgment all this legislation is a step in the
wrong direction, false in principle, and consequently sure to produce
evil in practice.

The arguments employed by these objectors are of two kinds. The first
is what I will venture to term the caste argument; for, if logically
carried out, it would end in the separation of the people of this
country into castes, as permanent and as sharply defined, if not as
numerous, as those of India. It is maintained that the whole fabric
of society will be destroyed if the poor, as well as the rich, are
educated; that anything like sound and good education will only make
them discontented with their station and raise hopes which, in the
great majority of cases, will be bitterly disappointed. It is said:
There must be hewers of wood and drawers of water, scavengers and
coalheavers, day labourers and domestic servants, or the work of
society will come to a standstill. But, if you educate and refine
everybody, nobody will be content to assume these functions, and all
the world will want to be gentlemen and ladies.

One hears this argument most frequently from the representatives of
the well-to-do middle class; and, coming from them, it strikes me as
peculiarly inconsistent, as the one thing they admire, strive after,
and advise their own children to do, is to get on in the world, and,
if possible, rise out of the class in which they were born into that
above them. Society needs grocers and merchants as much as it needs
coalheavers; but if a merchant accumulates wealth and works his way to
a baronetcy, or if the son of a greengrocer becomes a lord chancellor,
or an archbishop, or, as a successful soldier, wins a peerage, all the
world admires them; and looks with pride upon the social system which
renders such achievements possible. Nobody suggests that there is
anything wrong in _their_ being discontented with _their_ station; or
that, in _their_ cases society suffers by men of ability reaching the
positions for which nature has fitted them.

But there are better replies than those of the _tu quoque_ sort to the
caste argument. In the first place, it is not true that education,
as such, unfits men for rough and laborious, or even disgusting,
occupations. The life of a sailor is rougher and harder than that of
nine landsmen out of ten, and yet, as every ship's captain knows, no
sailor was ever the worse for possessing a trained intelligence. The
life of a medical practitioner, especially in the country, is harder
and more laborious than that of most artisans, and he is constantly
obliged to do things which, in point of pleasantness, cannot be ranked
above scavengering--yet he always ought to be, and he frequently is,
a highly educated man. In the second place, though it may be granted
that the words of the catechism, which require a man to do his duty in
the station to which it has pleased God to call him, give an admirable
definition of our obligation to ourselves and to society; yet the
question remains, how is any given person to find out what is the
particular station to which it has pleased God to call him? A new-born
infant does not come into the world labelled scavenger, shopkeeper,
bishop, or duke. One mass of red pulp is just like another to all
outward appearance. And it is only by finding out what his faculties
are good for, and seeking, not for the sake of gratifying a paltry
vanity, but as the highest duty to himself and to his fellow-men,
to put himself into the position in which they can attain their full
development, that the man discovers his true station. That which is to
be lamented, I fancy, is not that society should do its utmost to help
capacity to ascend from the lower strata to the higher, but that it
has no machinery by which to facilitate the descent of incapacity from
the higher strata to the lower. In that noble romance, the "Republic"
(which is now, thanks to the Master of Balliol, as intelligible to
us all, as if it had been written in our mother tongue), Plato makes
Socrates say that he should like to inculcate upon the citizens of his
ideal state just one "royal lie."

    "'Citizens,' we shall say to them in our tale--'You are
    brothers, yet God has framed you differently. Some of you
    have the power of command, and these he has composed of
    gold, wherefore also they have the greatest honour; others
    of silver, to be auxiliaries; others again, who are to be
    husbandmen and craftsmen, he has made of brass and iron; and
    the species will generally be preserved in the children. But
    as you are of the same original family, a golden parent will
    sometimes have a silver son, or a silver parent a golden son.
    And God proclaims to the rulers, as a first principle, that
    before all they should watch over their offspring, and see
    what elements mingle with their nature; for if the son of a
    golden or silver parent has an admixture of brass and iron,
    then nature orders a transposition of ranks, and the eye of
    the ruler must not be pitiful towards his child because he has
    to descend in the scale and become a husbandman or artisan;
    just as there may be others sprung from the artisan class, who
    are raised to honour, and become guardians and auxiliaries.
    For an oracle says that when a man of brass or iron guards the
    State, it will then be destroyed.'"[1]

[Footnote 1: "The Dialogues of Plato." Translated into English, with
Analysis and Introduction, by B. Jowett, M.A. Vol. ii. p. 243.]

Time, whose tooth gnaws away everything else, is powerless against
truth; and the lapse of more than two thousand years has not weakened
the force of these wise words. Nor is it necessary that, as Plato
suggests, society should provide functionaries expressly charged with
the performance of the difficult duty of picking out the men of brass
from those of silver and gold. Educate, and the latter will certainly
rise to the top; remove all those artificial props by which the brass
and iron folk are kept at the top, and, by a law as sure as that of
gravitation, they will gradually sink to the bottom. We have all
known noble lords who would have been coachmen, or gamekeepers, or
billiard-markers, if they had not been kept afloat by our social
corks; we have all known men among the lowest ranks, of whom everyone
has said, "What might not that man have become, if he had only had a
little education?"

And who that attends, even in the most superficial way, to the
conditions upon which the stability of modern society--and especially
of a society like ours, in which recent legislation has placed
sovereign authority in the hands of the masses, whenever they are
united enough to wield their power--can doubt that every man of high
natural ability, who is both ignorant and miserable, is as great a
danger to society as a rocket without a stick is to the people
who fire it? Misery is a match that never goes out; genius, as an
explosive power, beats gunpowder hollow; and if knowledge, which
should give that power guidance, is wanting, the chances are not small
that the rocket will simply run a-muck among friends and foes. What
gives force to the socialistic movement which is now stirring
European society to its depths, but a determination on the part of the
naturally able men among the proletariat, to put an end, somehow or
other, to the misery and degradation in which a large proportion of
their fellows are steeped? The question, whether the means by which
they purpose to achieve this end are adequate or not, is at this
moment the most important of all political questions--and it is beside
my present purpose to discuss it. All I desire to point out is, that
if the chance of the controversy being decided calmly and rationally,
and not by passion and force, looks miserably small to an impartial
bystander, the reason is that not one in ten thousand of those who
constitute the ultimate court of appeal, by which questions of the
utmost difficulty, as well as of the most momentous gravity, will have
to be decided, is prepared by education to comprehend the real nature
of the suit brought before their tribunal.

Finally, as to the ladies and gentlemen question, all I can say is,
would that every woman-child born into this world were trained to be
a lady, and every man-child a gentleman! But then I do not use those
much-abused words by way of distinguishing people who wear fine
clothes, and live in fine houses, and talk aristocratic slang, from
those who go about in fustian, and live in back slums, and talk gutter
slang. Some inborn plebeian blindness, in fact, prevents me from
understanding what advantage the former have over the latter. I have
never even been able to understand why pigeon-shooting at Hurlingham
should be refined and polite, while a rat-killing match in Whitechapel
is low; or why "What a lark" should be coarse, when one hears "How
awfully jolly" drop from the most refined lips twenty times in an

Thoughtfulness for others, generosity, modesty, and self-respect, are
the qualities which make a real gentleman, or lady, as distinguished
from the veneered article which commonly goes by that name. I by no
means wish to express any sentimental preference for Lazarus against
Dives, but, on the face of the matter, one does not see why the
practice of these virtues should be more difficult in one state of
life than another; and any one who has had a wide experience among all
sorts and conditions of men, will, I think, agree with me that they
are as common in the lower ranks of life as in the higher.

Leaving the caste argument aside then, as inconsistent with the
practice of those who employ it, as devoid of any justification in
theory, and as utterly mischievous if its logical consequences were
carried out, let us turn to the other class of objectors. To these
opponents, the Education Act is only one of a number of pieces of
legislation to which they object on principle; and they include under
like condemnation the Vaccination Act, the Contagious Diseases Act,
and all other sanitary Acts; all attempts on the part of the State to
prevent adulteration, or to regulate injurious trades; all legislative
interference with anything that bears directly or indirectly on
commerce, such as shipping, harbours, railways, roads, cab-fares, and
the carriage of letters; and all attempts to promote the spread of
knowledge by the establishment of teaching bodies, examining
bodies, libraries, or museums, or by the sending out of scientific
expeditions; all endeavours to advance art by the establishment of
schools of design, or picture galleries; or by spending money upon
an architectural public building when a brick box would answer the
purpose. According to their views, not a shilling of public money must
be bestowed upon a public park or pleasure-ground; not sixpence upon
the relief of starvation, or the cure of disease. Those who hold
these views support them by two lines of argument. They enforce them
deductively by arguing from an assumed axiom, that the State has no
right to do anything but protect its subjects from aggression. The
State is simply a policeman, and its duty is neither more nor less
than to prevent robbery and murder and enforce contracts. It is not to
promote good, nor even to do anything to prevent evil, except by the
enforcement of penalties upon those who have been guilty of obvious
and tangible assaults upon purses or persons. And, according to
this view, the proper form of government is neither a monarchy,
an aristocracy, nor a democracy, but an _astynomocracy_, or
police government. On the other hand, these views are supported _à
posteriori_, by an induction from observation, which professes to show
that whatever is done by a Government beyond these negative limits, is
not only sure to be done badly, but to be done much worse than private
enterprise would have done the same thing.

I am by no means clear as to the truth of the latter proposition. It
is generally supported by statements which prove clearly enough that
the State does a great many things very badly. But this is really
beside the question. The State lives in a glass house; we see what it
tries to do, and all its failures, partial or total, are made the most
of. But private enterprise is sheltered under good opaque bricks and
mortar. The public rarely knows what it tries to do, and only hears
of failures when they are gross and patent to all the world. Who is
to say how private enterprise would come out if it tried its hand
at State work? Those who have had most experience of joint-stock
companies and their management, will probably be least inclined to
believe in the innate superiority of private enterprise over State
management. If continental bureaucracy and centralization be fraught
with multitudinous evils, surely English beadleocracy and parochial
obstruction are not altogether lovely. If it be said that, as a matter
of political experience, it is found to be for the best interests,
including the healthy and free development, of a people, that the
State should restrict itself to what is absolutely necessary, and
should leave to the voluntary efforts of individuals as much as
voluntary effort can be got to do, nothing can be more just. But, on
the other hand, it seems to me that nothing can be less justifiable
than the dogmatic assertion that State interference, beyond the limits
of home and foreign police, must, under all circumstances, do harm.

Suppose, however, for the sake of argument, that we accept the
proposition that the functions of the State may be properly summed up
in the one great negative commandment,--"Thou shalt not allow any man
to interfere with the liberty of any other man,"--I am unable to see
that the logical consequence is any such restriction of the power of
Government, as its supporters imply. If my next-door neighbour
chooses to have his drains in such a state as to create a poisonous
atmosphere, which I breathe at the risk of typhus and diphtheria, he
restricts my just freedom to live just as much as if he went about
with a pistol, threatening my life; if he is to be allowed to let
his children go unvaccinated, he might as well be allowed to leave
strychnine lozenges about in the way of mine; and if he brings them up
untaught and untrained, to earn their living, he is doing his best
to restrict my freedom, by increasing the burden of taxation for the
support of gaols and workhouses, which I have to pay.

The higher the state of civilization, the more completely do the
actions of one member of the social body influence all the rest, and
the less possible is it for any one man to do a wrong thing
without interfering, more or less, with the freedom of all his
fellow-citizens. So that, even upon the narrowest view of the
functions of the State, it must be admitted to have wider powers than
the advocates of the police theory are disposed to admit.

It is urged, I am aware, that if the right of the State to step beyond
the assigned limits is admitted at all, there is no stopping; and that
the principle which justifies the State in enforcing vaccination or
education, will also justify it in prescribing my religious belief,
or my mode of carrying on my trade or profession; in determining the
number of courses I have for dinner, or the pattern of my waistcoat.

But surely the answer is obvious that, on similar grounds, the right
of a man to eat when he is hungry might be disputed, because if you
once allow that he may eat at all, there is no stopping him until he
gorges himself, and suffers all the ills of a surfeit. In practice,
the man leaves off when reason tells him he has had enough; and, in
a properly organized State, the Government, being nothing but the
corporate reason of the community, will soon find out when State
interference has been carried far enough. And, so far as my
acquaintance with those who carry on the business of Government goes,
I must say that I find them far less eager to interfere with the
people, than the people are to be interfered with. And the reason is
obvious. The people are keenly sensible of particular evils, and, like
a man suffering from pain, desire an immediate remedy. The statesman,
on the other hand, is like the physician, who knows that he can stop
the pain at once by an opiate; but who also knows that the opiate may
do more harm than good in the long run. In three cases out of four the
wisest thing he can do is to wait, and leave the case to nature. But
in the fourth case, in which the symptoms are unmistakable, and the
cause of the disease distinctly known, prompt remedy saves a life.
Is the fact that a wise physician will give as little medicine as
possible any argument for his abstaining from giving any at all?

But the argument may be met directly. It may be granted that the
State, or corporate authority of the people, might with perfect
propriety order my religion, or my waistcoat, if as good grounds
could be assigned for such an order as for the command to educate my
children. And this leads us to the question which lies at the root of
the whole discussion--the question, namely, upon what foundation
does the authority of the State rest, and how are the limits of that
authority to be determined?

One of the oldest and profoundest of English philosophers, Hobbes of
Malmesbury, writes thus:--

    "The office of the sovereign, be it monarch or an assembly,
    consisteth in the end for which he was entrusted with the
    sovereign power, namely, the procuration of _the safety_ of
    the people: to which he is obliged by the law of nature, and
    to render an account thereof to God, the author of that law,
    and to none but Him. But by safety, here, is not meant a bare
    preservation, but also all other contentments of life, which
    every man by lawful industry, without danger or hurt to the
    commonwealth, shall acquire to himself."

At first sight this may appear to be a statement of the police-theory
of government, pure and simple; but it is not so. For Hobbes goes on
to say:--

    "And this is intended should be done, not by care applied to
    individuals, further than their protection from injuries, when
    they shall complain; but by a general providence contained in
    public instruction both of doctrine and example; and in the
    making and executing of good laws to which individual persons
    may apply their own cases."[1]

[Footnote 1: "Leviathan," Molesworth's ed. p. 322.]

To a witness of the civil war between Charles I. and the Parliament,
it is not wonderful that the dissolution of the bonds of society which
is involved in such strife should appear to be "the greatest evil that
can happen in this life;" and all who have read the "Leviathan" know
to what length Hobbes's anxiety for the preservation of the authority
of the representative of the sovereign power, whatever its shape,
leads him. But the justice of his conception of the duties of the
sovereign power does not seem to me to be invalidated by his monstrous
doctrines respecting the sacredness of that power.

To Hobbes, who lived during the break-up of the sovereign power by
popular force, society appeared to be threatened by everything which
weakened that power: but, to John Locke, who witnessed the evils which
flow from the attempt of the sovereign power to destroy the rights
of the people by fraud and violence, the danger lay in the other

The safety of the representative of the sovereign power itself is to
Locke a matter of very small moment, and he contemplates its abolition
when it ceases to do its duty, and its replacement by another, as a
matter of course. The great champion of the revolution of 1688 could
do no less. Nor is it otherwise than natural that he should seek to
limit, rather than to enlarge, the powers of the State, though in
substance he entirely agrees with Hobbes's view of its duties:--

    "But though men," says he, "when they enter into society, give
    up the equality, liberty, and executive power they had in the
    state of nature, into the hands of the society, to be so far
    disposed of by the Legislature as the good of society shall
    require; yet it being only with an intention in every one the
    better to preserve himself, his liberty and property (for no
    rational creature can be supposed to change his condition
    with an intention to be worse), the power of the society,
    or legislation, constituted by them can never be supposed to
    extend further than the common good, but is obliged to secure
    every one's property by providing against those three defects
    above mentioned, that made the state of nature so unsafe and
    uneasy. And so, whoever has the legislative or supreme
    power of any commonwealth, is bound to govern by established
    standing laws, promulgated and known to the people, and not
    by extemporary decrees; by indifferent and upright judges, who
    are to decide controversies by those laws: and to employ the
    force of the community at home only in the execution of such
    laws; or abroad, to prevent or redress foreign injuries, and
    secure the community from inroads and invasion. And all this
    to be directed to no other end than the peace, safety, and
    public good of the people."[1]

[Footnote 1: Locke's Essay, "Of Civil Government," § 131.]

Just as in the case of Hobbes, so in that of Locke, it may at first
sight appear from this passage that the latter philosopher's views of
the functions of Government incline to the negative, rather than the
positive, side. But a further study of Locke's writings will at
once remove this misconception. In the famous "Letter concerning
Toleration," Locke says:--

    "The commonwealth seems to me to be a society of men
    constituted only for the procuring, preserving, and
    _advancing_ their own civil interests.

    "Civil interests I call life, liberty, health, and indolency
    of body; and the possession of outward things, such as money,
    lands, houses, furniture, and the like.

    "It is the duty of the civil magistrate, by the impartial
    execution of equal laws, to secure unto all the people in
    general, and to every one of his subjects in particular, the
    just possession of those things belonging to this life.

    "... The whole jurisdiction of the magistrate reaches only
    to these civil concernments.... All civil power, right,
    and dominion, is bounded and confined to the only care of
    promoting these things."

Elsewhere in the same "Letter," Locke lays down the proposition that
if the magistrate understand washing a child "to be profitable to the
curing or preventing any disease that children are subject unto, and
esteem the matter weighty enough to be taken care of by a law, in that
case he may order it to be done."

Locke seems to differ most widely from Hobbes by his strong advocacy
of a certain measure of toleration in religious matters. But the
reason why the civil magistrate ought to leave religion alone is,
according to Locke, simply this, that "true and saving religion
consists in the inward persuasion of the mind." And since "such is the
nature of the understanding that it cannot be compelled to the belief
of anything by outward force," it is absurd to attempt to make men
religious by compulsion. I cannot discover that Locke fathers the pet
doctrine of modern Liberalism, that the toleration of error is a good
thing in itself, and to be reckoned among the cardinal virtues; on
the contrary, in this very "Letter on Toleration" he states in the
clearest language that "No opinion contrary to human society, or to
those moral rules which are necessary to the preservation of civil
society, are to be tolerated by the magistrate." And the practical
corollary which he draws from this proposition is that there ought to
be no toleration for either Papists or Atheists.

After Locke's time the negative view of the functions of Government
gradually grew in strength, until it obtained systematic and able
expression in Wilhelm von Humboldt's "Ideen,"[1] the essence of which
is the denial that the State has a right to be anything more than
chief policeman. And, of late years, the belief in the efficacy of
doing nothing, thus formulated, has acquired considerable popularity
for several reasons. In the first place, men's speculative convictions
have become less and less real; their tolerance is large because their
belief is small; they know that the State had better leave things
alone unless it has a clear knowledge about them; and, with reason,
they suspect that the knowledge of the governing power may stand no
higher than the very low watermark of their own.

[Footnote 1: An English translation has been published under the title
of "Essay on the Sphere and Duties of Government."]

In the second place, men have become largely absorbed in the mere
accumulation of wealth; and as this is a matter in which the plainest
and strongest form of self-interest is intensely concerned, science
(in the shape of Political Economy) has readily demonstrated that
self-interest may be safely left to find the best way of attaining
its ends. Rapidity and certainty of intercourse between different
countries, the enormous development of the powers of machinery, and
general peace (however interrupted by brief periods of warfare), have
changed the face of commerce as completely as modern artillery has
changed that of war. The merchant found himself as much burdened by
ancient protective measures as the soldier by his armour--and negative
legislation has been of as much use to the one as the stripping off
of breast-plates, greaves, and buff-coat to the other. But because the
soldier is better without his armour it does not exactly follow that
it is desirable that our defenders should strip themselves stark
naked; and it is not more apparent why _laissez-faire_--great and
beneficial as it may be in all that relates to the accumulation of
wealth--should be the one great commandment which the State is to
obey in all other matters; and especially in those in which the
justification of _laissez-faire_, namely, the keen insight given by
the strong stimulus of direct personal interest, in matters clearly
understood, is entirely absent.

Thirdly, to the indifference generated by the absence of fixed
beliefs, and to the confidence in the efficacy of _laissez-faire_,
apparently justified by experience of the value of that principle when
applied to the pursuit of wealth, there must be added that nobler and
better reason for a profound distrust of legislative interference,
which animates Von Humboldt and shines forth in the pages of Mr.
Mill's famous Essay on Liberty--I mean the just fear lest the end
should be sacrificed to the means; lest freedom and variety should be
drilled and disciplined out of human life in order that the great mill
of the State should grind smoothly.

One of the profoundest of living English philosophers, who is at the
same time the most thoroughgoing and consistent of the champions of
astynomocracy, has devoted a very able and ingenious essay[1] to the
drawing out of a comparison between the process by which men have
advanced from the savage state to the highest civilization, and that
by which an animal passes from the condition of an almost shapeless
and structureless germ, to that in which it exhibits a highly
complicated structure and a corresponding diversity of powers. Mr.
Spencer says with great justice--

[Footnote 1: "The Social Organism:" Essays. Second Series.]

    "That they gradually increase in mass; that they become,
    little by little, more complex; that, at the same time, their
    parts grow more mutually dependent; and that they continue to
    live and grow as wholes, while successive generations of their
    units appear and disappear,--are broad peculiarities which
    bodies politic display, in common with all living bodies, and
    in which they and living bodies differ from everything else."

In a very striking passage of this essay Mr. Spencer shows with what
singular closeness a parallel between the development of a nervous
system, which is the governing power of the body in the series of
animal organisms, and that of government, in the series of social
organisms, can be drawn:--

    "Strange as the assertion, will be thought," says Mr. Spencer,
    "our Houses of Parliament discharge in the social economy
    functions that are, in sundry respects, comparable to those
    discharged by the cerebral masses in a vertebrate animal....
    The cerebrum co-ordinates the countless heterogeneous
    considerations which affect the present and future welfare of
    the individual as a whole; and the Legislature co-ordinates
    the countless heterogeneous considerations which affect the
    immediate and remote welfare of the whole community. We may
    describe the office of the brain as that of _averaging_ the
    interests of life, physical, intellectual, moral, social; and
    a good brain is one in which the desires answering to their
    respective interests are so balanced, that the conduct they
    jointly dictate sacrifice none of them. Similarly we may
    describe the office of Parliament as that of _averaging_ the
    interests of the various classes in a community; and a good
    Parliament is one in which the parties answering to these
    respective interests are so balanced, that their united
    legislation concedes to each class as much as consists with
    the claims of the rest."

All this appears to be very just. But if the resemblances between the
body physiological and the body politic are any indication, not only
of what the latter is, and how it has become what it is, but of what
it ought to be, and what it is tending to become, I cannot but think
that the real force of the analogy is totally opposed to the negative
view of State function.

Suppose that, in accordance with this view, each muscle were to
maintain that the nervous system had no right to interfere with its
contraction, except to prevent it from hindering the contraction of
another muscle; or each gland, that it had a right to secrete, so long
as its secretion interfered with no other; suppose every separate cell
left free to follow its own "interests," and _laissez-faire_ lord of
all, what would become of the body physiological?

The fact is that the sovereign power of the body thinks for the
physiological organism, acts for it, and rules the individual
components with a rod of iron. Even the blood-corpuscles can't hold a
public meeting without being accused of "congestion"--and the brain,
like other despots whom we have known, calls out at once for the
use of sharp steel against them. As in Hobbes's "Leviathan," the
representative of the sovereign authority in the living organism,
though he derives all his powers from the mass which he rules, is
above the law. The questioning of his authority involves death, or
that partial death which we call paralysis. Hence, if the analogy of
the body politic with the body physiological counts for anything, it
seems to me to be in favour of a much larger amount of governmental
interference than exists at present, or than I, for one, at all desire
to see. But, tempting as the opportunity is, I am not disposed to
build up any argument in favour of my own case upon this analogy,
curious, interesting, and in many respects close, as it is, for it
takes no cognizance of certain profound and essential differences
between the physiological and the political bodies.

Much as the notion of a "social contract" has been ridiculed, it
nevertheless seems to be clear enough, that all social organization
whatever depends upon what is substantially a contract, whether
expressed or implied, between the members of the society. No society
ever was, or ever can be, really held together by force. It may seem
a paradox to say that a slaveholder does not make his slaves work
by force, but by agreement. And yet it is true. There is a contract
between the two which, if it were written out, would run in these
terms:--"I undertake to feed, clothe, house, and not to kill, flog,
or otherwise maltreat you, Quashie, if you perform a certain amount of
work." Quashie, seeing no better terms to be had, accepts the bargain,
and goes to work accordingly. A highwayman who garottes me, and then
clears out my pockets, robs me by force in the strict sense of the
words; but if he puts a pistol to my head and demands my money or
my life, and I, preferring the latter, hand over my purse, we have
virtually made a contract, and I perform one of the terms of that
contract. If, nevertheless, the highwayman subsequently shoots me,
everybody will see that, in addition to the crimes of murder and
theft, he has been guilty of a breach of contract.

A despotic Government, therefore, though often a mere combination
of slaveholding and highway robbery, nevertheless implies a contract
between governor and governed, with voluntary submission on the part
of the latter; and _à fortiori_, all other forms of government are in
like case.

Now a contract between any two men implies a restriction of the
freedom of each in certain particulars. The highwayman gives up his
freedom to shoot me, on condition of my giving up my freedom to do
as I like with my money: I give up my freedom to kill Quashie, on
condition of Quashie's giving up his freedom to be idle. And the
essence and foundation of every social organization, whether simple
or complex, is the fact that each member of the society voluntarily
renounces his freedom in certain directions, in return for the
advantages which he expects from association with the other members
of that society. Nor are constitutions, laws, or manners, in ultimate
analysis, anything but so many expressed or implied contracts between
the members of a society to do this, or abstain from that.

It appears to me that this feature constitutes the difference
between the social and the physiological organism. Among the higher
physiological organisms, there is none which is developed by the
conjunction of a number of primitively independent existences into
a complex whole. The process of social organization appears to be
comparable, not so much to the process of organic development, as
to the synthesis of the chemist, by which independent elements are
gradually built up into complex aggregations--in which each element
retains an independent individuality, though held in subordination to
the whole. The atoms of carbon and hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, which
enter into a complex molecule, do not lose the powers originally
inherent in them, when they unite to form that molecule, the
properties of which express those forces of the whole aggregation
which are not neutralized and balanced by one another. Each atom has
given up something, in order that the atomic society, or molecule, may
subsist. And as soon as any one or more of the atoms thus associated
resumes the freedom which it has renounced, and follows some external
attraction, the molecule is broken up, and all the peculiar properties
which depended upon its constitution vanish.

Every society, great or small, resembles such a complex molecule,
in which the atoms are represented by men, possessed of all those
multifarious attractions and repulsions which are manifested in their
desires and volitions, the unlimited power of satisfying which, we
call freedom. The social molecule exists in virtue of the renunciation
of more or less of this freedom by every individual. It is decomposed,
when the attraction of desire leads to the resumption of that freedom,
the suppression of which is essential to the existence of the social
molecule. And the great problem of that social chemistry we call
politics, is to discover what desires of mankind may be gratified, and
what must be suppressed, if the highly complex compound, society,
is to avoid decomposition. That the gratification of some of
men's desires shall be renounced is essential to order; that the
satisfaction of others shall be permitted is no less essential to
progress; and the business of the sovereign authority--which is, or
ought-to be, simply a delegation of the people appointed to act for
its good--appears to me to be, not only to enforce the renunciation of
the anti-social desires, but, wherever it may be necessary, to promote
the satisfaction of those which are conducive to progress.

The great metaphysician, Immanuel Kant, who is at his greatest when
he discusses questions which are not metaphysical, wrote, nearly a
century ago, a wonderfully instructive essay entitled "A Conception of
Universal History in relation to Universal Citizenship,"[1] from which
I will borrow a few pregnant sentences:--

[Footnote 1: "Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in weltbürgerlichen
Absicht," 1784. This paper has been translated by De Quincey, and
attention has been recently drawn to its "signal merits" by the Editor
of the _Fortnightly Review_ in his Essay on Condorcet. (_Fortnightly
Review_, No. xxxviii. N.S. pp. 136, 137.)]

    "The means of which Nature has availed herself, in order to
    bring about the development of all the capacities of man, is
    the antagonism of those capacities to social organization,
    so far as the latter does in the long run necessitate their
    definite correlation. By antagonism, I here mean the unsocial
    sociability of mankind--that is, the combination in them of
    an impulse to enter into society, with a thorough spirit
    of opposition which constantly threatens to break up this
    society. The ground of this lies in human nature. Man has an
    inclination to enter into society, because in that state he
    feels that he becomes more a man, or, in other words, that his
    natural faculties develop. But he has also a great tendency to
    isolate himself, because he is, at the same time, aware of the
    unsocial peculiarity of desiring to have everything his own
    way; and thus, being conscious of an inclination to oppose
    others, he is naturally led to expect opposition from them.

    "Now it is this opposition which awakens all the dormant
    powers of men, stimulates them to overcome their inclination
    to be idle, and, spurred by the love of honour, or power, or
    wealth, to make themselves a place among their fellows, whom
    they can neither do with, nor do without.

    "Thus they make the first steps from brutishness towards
    culture, of which the social value of man is the measure. Thus
    all talents become gradually developed, taste is formed,
    and by continual enlightenment the foundations of a way of
    thinking are laid, which gradually changes the mere rude
    capacity of moral perception into determinate practical
    principles; and thus society, which is originated by a sort
    of pathological compulsion, becomes metamorphosed into a moral
    unity." (_Loc. cit_. p. 147.)

    "All the culture and art which adorn humanity, the most
    refined social order, are produced by that unsociability which
    is compelled by its own existence to discipline itself, and
    so by enforced art to bring the seeds implanted by nature into
    full flower." (_Loc. cit_. p. 148.)

In these passages, as in others of this remarkable tract, Kant
anticipates the application of the "struggle for existence" to
politics, and indicates the manner in which the evolution of society
has resulted from the constant attempt of individuals to strain its
bonds. If individuality has no play, society does not advance; if
individuality breaks out of all bounds, society perishes.

But when men living in society once become aware that their welfare
depends upon, two opposing tendencies of equal importance--the one
restraining, the other encouraging, individual freedom--the
question "What are the functions of Government?" is translated into
another--namely, What ought we men, in our corporate capacity, to do,
not only in the way of restraining that free individuality which is
inconsistent with the existence of society, but in encouraging that
free individuality which is essential to the evolution of the
social organization? The formula which truly defines the function of
Government must contain the solution of both the problems involved,
and not merely of one of them.

Locke has furnished us with such a formula, in the noblest, and at the
same time briefest, statement of the purpose of Government known to


[Footnote 1: "Of Civil Government," § 229.]

But the good of mankind is not a something which is absolute and
fixed for all men, whatever their capacities or state of civilization.
Doubtless it is possible to imagine a true "Civitas Dei," in which
every man's moral faculty shall be such as leads him to control all
those desires which run counter to the good of mankind, and to cherish
only those which conduce to the welfare of society; and in which every
man's native intellect shall be sufficiently strong, and his culture
sufficiently extensive, to enable him to know what he ought to do and
to seek after. And, in that blessed State, police will be as much a
superfluity as every other kind of government.

But the eye of man has not beheld that State, and is not likely to
behold it for some time to come. What we do see, in fact, is that
States are made up of a considerable number of the ignorant and
foolish, a small proportion of genuine knaves, and a sprinkling of
capable and honest men, by whose efforts the former are kept in a
reasonable state of guidance, and the latter of repression. And, such
being the case, I do not see how any limit whatever can be laid down
as to the extent to which, under some circumstances, the action of
Government may be rightfully carried.

Was our own Government wrong in suppressing Thuggee in India? If not,
would it be wrong in putting down any enthusiast who attempted to set
up the worship of Astarte in the Haymarket? Has the State no right to
put a stop to gross and open violations of common decency? And if
the State has, as I believe it has, a perfect right to do all these
things, are we not bound to admit, with Locke, that it may have a
right to interfere with "Popery" and "Atheism," if it be really true
that the practical consequences of such beliefs con be proved to
be injurious to civil society? The question where to draw the line
between those things with which the State ought, and those with which
it ought not, to interfere, then, is one which must be left to be
decided separately for each individual case. The difficulty which
meets the statesman is the same as that which meets us all in
individual life, in which our abstract rights are generally clear
enough, though it is frequently extremely hard to say at what point it
is wise to cease our attempts to enforce them.

The notion that the social body should be organized in such a manner
as to advance the welfare of its members, is as old as political
thought; and the schemes of Plato, More, Robert Owen, St. Simon,
Comte, and the modern socialists, bear witness that, in every age, men
whose capacity is of no mean order, and whose desire to benefit
their fellows has rarely been excelled, have been strongly, nay,
enthusiastically, convinced that Government may attain its end--the
good of the people--by some more effectual process than the very
simple and easy one of putting its hands in its pockets, and letting
them alone.

It may be, that all the schemes of social organization which have
hitherto been propounded are impracticable follies. But if this be so,
the fact proves, not that the idea which underlies them is worthless,
but only that the science of politics is in a very rudimentary and
imperfect state. Politics, as a science, is not older than astronomy;
but though the subject-matter of the latter is vastly less complex
than that of the former, the theory of the moon's motions is not quite
settled yet.

Perhaps it may help us a little way towards getting clearer notions of
what the State may and what it may not do, if, assuming the truth of
Locke's maxim that "the end of Government is the good of mankind," we
consider a little what the good, of mankind is.

I take it that the good of mankind means the attainment, by every
man, of all the happiness which he can enjoy without diminishing the
happiness of his fellow-men.[1]

[Footnote 1: "Hie est itaque finis ad quem tendo, talem scilicet
Naturam acquirere, et ut multi mecum eam acquirant, conari hoc est
de mea felicitate etiam operam dare, ut alii multi idem atque ego
intelligant, ut eorum intellectus et cupiditas prorsus cum meo
intellectu et cupiditate convenient: atque hoc fiat, necesse est
tantum de Natura intelligere, quantum sufficit ad talem naturam
acquirendam; deinde formare talem societatem qualis est desideranda,
ut quam plurimi quam facillime et secure eo perveniant."--B. SPINOZA,
_De Intellectus Emendatione Tractatus._]

If we inquire what kinds of happiness come under this definition, we
find those derived from the sense of security or peace; from
wealth, or commodity, obtained by commerce; from Art--whether it
be architecture, sculpture, painting, music, or literature; from
knowledge, or science; and, finally, from sympathy or friendship. No
man is injured, but the contrary, by peace. No man is any the worse
off because another acquires wealth by trade, or by the exercise of
a profession; on the contrary, he cannot have acquired his wealth,
except by benefiting others to the full extent of what they considered
to be its value; and his wealth is no more than fairy gold if he does
not go on benefiting others in the same way. A thousand men may enjoy
the pleasure derived from a picture, a symphony, or a poem, without
lessening the happiness of the most devoted connoisseur. The
investigation of nature is an infinite pasture-ground, where all
may graze, and where the more bite, the longer the grass grows, the
sweeter is its flavour, and the more it nourishes. If I love a friend,
it is no damage to me, but rather a pleasure, if all the world also
love him and think of him as highly as I do.

It appears to be universally agreed, for the reasons already
mentioned, that it is unnecessary and undesirable for the State
to attempt to promote the acquisition of wealth by any direct
interference with commerce. But there is no such agreement as to the
further question whether the State may not promote the acquisition of
wealth by indirect means. For example, may the State make a road, or
build a harbour, when it is quite clear that by so doing it will open
up a productive district, and thereby add enormously to the total
wealth of the community? And if so, may the State, acting for the
general good, take charge of the means of communication between its
members, or of the postal and telegraph services? I have not yet met
with any valid, argument against the propriety of the State doing
what our Government does in this matter; except the assumption, which
remains to be proved, that Government will manage these things worse
than private enterprise would do. Nor is there any agreement upon the
still more important question whether the State ought, or ought not,
to regulate the distribution of wealth. If it ought not, then all
legislation which regulates inheritance--the statute of Mortmain, and
the like--is wrong in principle; and, when a rich man dies, we
ought to return to the state of nature, and have a scramble for
his property. If, on the other hand, the authority of the State is
legitimately employed in regulating these matters, then it is an open
question, to be decided entirely by evidence as to what tends to
the highest good of the people, whether we keep our present laws,
or whether we modify them. At present the State protects men in the
possession and enjoyment of their property, and defines what that
property is. The justification for its so doing is that its action
promotes the good of the people. If it can be clearly proved that the
abolition of property would tend still, more to promote the good of
the people, the State will have the same justification for abolishing
property that it now has for maintaining it.

Again, I suppose it is universally agreed that it would be useless
and absurd for the State to attempt to promote friendship and sympathy
between man and man directly. But I see no reason why, if it be
otherwise expedient, the State may not do something towards that
end indirectly. For example, I can conceive the existence of an
Established Church which should be a blessing to the community. A
Church in which, week by week, services should be devoted, not to the
iteration of abstract propositions in theology, but to the setting
before men's minds of an ideal of true, just, and pure living; a place
in which those who are weary of the burden of daily cares, should
find a moment's rest in the contemplation of the higher life which is
possible for all, though attained by so few; a place in which the man
of strife and of business should have time to think how small, after
all, are the rewards he covets compared with peace and charity. Depend
upon it, if such a Church existed, no one would seek to disestablish

Whatever the State may not do, however, it is universally agreed that
it may take charge of the maintenance of internal and external peace.
Even the strongest advocate of administrative nihilism admits that
Government may prevent aggression of one man on another. But this
implies the maintenance of an army and navy, as much as of a body of
police; it implies a diplomatic as well as a detective force; and it
implies, further, that the State, as a corporate whole, shall have
distinct and definite views as to its wants, powers, and obligations.

For independent States stand in the same relation to one another as
men in a state of nature, or unlimited freedom. Each endeavours to
get all it can, until the inconvenience of the state of war suggests
either the formation of those express contracts we call treaties,
or mutual consent to those implied contracts which are expressed by
international law. The moral rights of a State rest upon the same
basis as those of an individual. If any number of States agree to
observe a common set of international laws, they have, in fact, set up
a sovereign authority or supra-national government, the end of
which, like that of all governments, is the good of mankind; and the
possession of as much freedom by each State, as is consistent with
the attainment of that end. But there is this difference: that the
government thus set up over nations is ideal, and has no concrete
representative of the sovereign power; whence the only way of settling
any dispute finally is to fight it out. Thus the supra-national
society is continually in danger of returning to the state of nature,
in which contracts are void; and the possibility of this contingency
justifies a government in restricting the liberty of its subjects in
many ways that would otherwise be unjustifiable.

Finally, with respect to the advancement of science and art. I have
never yet had the good fortune to hear any valid reason alleged why
that corporation of individuals we call the State may not do what
voluntary effort fails in doing, either from want of intelligence or
lack of will. And here it cannot be alleged that the action of the
State is always hurtful. On the contrary, in every country in Europe,
universities, public libraries, picture galleries, museums, and
laboratories, have been established by the State, and have done
infinite service to the intellectual and moral progress and the
refinement of mankind.

A few days ago I received from one of the most eminent members of the
Institut of France a pamphlet entitled "Pourquoi la France n'a
pas trouvé d'hommes supérieurs au moment du péril." The writer, M.
Pasteur, has no doubt that the cause of the astounding collapse of
his countrymen is to be sought in the miserable neglect of the higher
branches of culture, which has been one of the many disgraces of the
Second Empire, if not of its predecessors.

    "Au point où nous sommes arrivés de ce qu'on appelle la
    _civilisation moderne_, la culture des sciences dans leur
    expression la plus élevée est peut-être plus nécessaire encore
    à l'état moral d'une nation qu'à sa prospérité materielle.

    "Les grandes découvertes, les méditations de la pensée dans
    les arts, dans les sciences et dans les lettres, en un mot les
    travaux désintéresses de l'esprit dans tous les genres,
    les centres d'enseignement propres à les faire connaître,
    introduisent dans le corps social tout entier l'esprit
    philosophique ou scientifique, cet esprit de discernement qui
    soumet tout à une raison sévère, condamne l'ignorance,
    dissipe les préjugés et les erreurs. Ils élèvent le niveau
    intellectuel, le sentiment moral; par eux, l'idée divine
    elle-même se répand et s'exalte.... Si, au moment du péril
    suprême, la France n'a pas trouvé des hommes supérieurs pour
    mettre en oeuvre ses ressources et le courage de ses enfants,
    il faut l'attribuer, j'en ai la conviction, à ce que la France
    EST désintéressée, depuis un demi-siècle, des grands travaux
    de la pensée, particuliérement dans les sciences exactes."

Individually, I have no love for academies on the continental model,
and still less for the system of decorating men of distinction in
science, letters, or art, with orders and titles, or enriching them
with sinecures. What men of science want is only a fair day's wages
for more than a fair day's work; and most of us, I suspect, would be
well content if, for our days and nights of unremitting toil, we could
secure the pay which a first-class Treasury clerk earns without any
obviously trying strain upon his faculties. The sole order of nobility
which, in my judgment, becomes a philosopher, is that rank which
he holds in the estimation of his fellow-workers, who are the only
competent judges in such matters. Newton and Cuvier lowered themselves
when the one accepted an idle knighthood, and the other became a
baron of the empire. The great men who went to their graves as Michael
Faraday and George Grote seem to me to have understood the dignity of
knowledge better when they declined all such meretricious trappings.

But it is one thing for the State to appeal to the vanity and ambition
which are to be found in philosophical as in other breasts, and
another to offer men who desire to do the hardest of work for the most
modest of tangible rewards, the means of making themselves useful to
their age and generation. And this is just what the State does when it
founds a public library or museum, or provides the means of scientific
research by such grants of money as that administered by the Royal

It is one thing, again, for the State to take all the higher education
of the nation into its own hands; it is another to stimulate and to
aid, while they are yet young and weak, local efforts to the same
end. The Midland Institute, Owens College in Manchester, the newly
instituted Science College in Newcastle, are all noble products of
local energy and munificence. But the good they are doing is not
local--the commonwealth, to its uttermost limits, shares in the
benefits they confer; and I am at a loss to understand upon what
principle of equity the State, which admits the principle of payment
on results, refuses to give a fair equivalent for these benefits; or
on what principle of justice the State, which admits the obligation
of sharing the duty of primary education with a locality, denies the
existence of that obligation when the higher education is in question.

To sum up: If the positive advancement of the peace, wealth, and the
intellectual and moral development of its members, are objects which
the Government, as the representative of the corporate authority of
society, may justly strive after, in fulfilment of its end--the good
of mankind; then it is clear that the Government may undertake to
educate the people. For education promotes peace by teaching men the
realities of life and the obligations which are involved in the very
existence of society; it promotes intellectual development, not only
by training the individual intellect, but by sifting out from the
masses of ordinary or inferior capacities, those who are competent
to increase the general welfare by occupying higher positions; and,
lastly, it promotes morality and refinement, by teaching men to
discipline themselves, and by leading them to see that the highest, as
it is the only permanent, content is to be attained, not by grovelling
in the rank and steaming valleys of sense, but by continual striving
towards those high peaks, where, resting in eternal calm, reason
discerns the undefined but bright ideal of the highest Good--"a cloud
by day, a pillar of fire by night."



An electioneering manifesto would be out of place in the pages of this
Review; but any suspicion that may arise in the mind of the reader
that the following pages partake of that nature, will be dispelled,
if he reflect that they cannot be published[1] until after the day
on which the ratepayers of the metropolis will have decided which
candidates for seats upon the Metropolitan School Board they will
take, and which they will leave.

[Footnote 1: Notwithstanding Mr. Huxley's intentions, the Editor took
upon himself, in what seemed to him to be the public interest, to send
an extract from this article to the newspapers--before the day of the
election of the School Board.--EDITOR of the _Contemporary Review_.]

As one of those candidates, I may be permitted to say, that I feel
much in the frame of mind of the Irish bricklayer's labourer, who bet
another that he could not carry him to the top of the ladder in his
hod. The challenged hodman won his wager, but as the stakes were
handed over, the challenger wistfully remarked, "I'd great hopes of
falling at the third round from the top." And, in view of the work
and the worry which awaits the members of the School Boards, I must
confess to an occasional ungrateful hope that the friends who are
toiling upwards with me in their hod, may, when they reach "the third
round from the top," let me fall back into peace and quietness.

But whether fortune befriend me in this rough method, or not, I should
like to submit to those of whom I am a potential, but of whom I may
not be an actual, colleague, and to others who may be interested in
this most important problem--how to get the Education Act to work
efficiently--some considerations as to what are the duties of the
members of the School Boards, and what are the limits of their power.

I suppose no one will be disposed to dispute the proposition, that
the prime duty of every member of such a Board is to endeavour to
administer the Act honestly; or in accordance, not only with its
letter, but with its spirit. And if so, it would seem that the first
step towards this very desirable end is, to obtain a clear notion of
what that letter signifies, and what that spirit implies; or, in
other words, what the clauses of the Act are intended to enjoin and to
forbid. So that it is really not admissible, except for factious and
abusive purposes, to assume that any one who endeavours to get at
this clear meaning is desirous only of raising quibbles and making

Reading the Act with this desire to understand it, I find that its
provisions may be classified, as might naturally be expected, under
two heads: the one set relating to the subject-matter of education;
the other to the establishment, maintenance, and administration of the
schools in which that education is to be conducted.

Now it is a most important circumstance, that all the sections of the
Act, except four, belong to the latter division; that is, they refer
to mere matters of administration. The four sections in question are
the seventh, the fourteenth, the sixteenth, and the ninety-seventh. Of
these, the seventh, the fourteenth, and the ninety-seventh deal with
the subject-matter of education, while the sixteenth defines the
nature of the relations which are to exist between the "Education
Department" (an euphemism for the future Minister of Education)
and the School Boards. It is the sixteenth clause which is the most
important, and, in some respects, the most remarkable of all. It runs

    "If the School Board do, or permit, any act in contravention
    of, or fail to comply with, the regulations, according to
    which a school provided by them is required by this Act to
    be conducted, the Education Department may declare the School
    Board to be, and such Board shall accordingly be deemed to be,
    a Board in default, and the Education Department may proceed
    accordingly; and every act, or omission, of any member of
    the School Board, or manager appointed by them, or any
    person under the control of the Board, shall be deemed to be
    _permitted_ by the Board, unless the contrary be proved.

    "If any dispute arises as to whether the School Board have
    done, or permitted, any act in contravention of, or have
    failed to comply with, the said regulations, _the matter
    shall be referred to the Education Department, whose decision
    thereon shall be final_."

It will be observed that this clause gives the Minister of Education
absolute power over the doings of the School Boards. He is not
only the administrator of the Act, but he is its interpreter. I
had imagined that on the occurrence of a dispute, not as regards a
question of pure administration, but as to the meaning of a clause of
the Act, a case might be taken and referred to a court of justice. But
I am led to believe that the Legislature has, in the present instance,
deliberately taken this power out of the hands of the judges and
lodged it in those of the Minister of Education, who, in accordance
with our method of making Ministers, will necessarily be a political
partisan, and who may be a strong theological sectary into the
bargain. And I am informed by members of Parliament who watched the
progress of the Act, that the responsibility for this unusual state of
things rests, not with the Government, but with the Legislature, which
exhibited a singular disposition to accumulate power in the hands of
the future Minister of Education, and to evade the more troublesome
difficulties of the education question by leaving them to be settled
between that Minister and the School Boards.

I express no opinion whether it is, or is not, desirable that such
powers of controlling all the School Boards in the country should be
possessed by a person who may be, like Mr. Forster, eminently likely
to use these powers justly and wisely, but who also may be quite the
reverse. I merely wish to draw attention to the fact that such powers
are given to the Minister, whether he be fit or unfit. The extent
of these powers becomes apparent when the other sections of the Act
referred to are considered. The fourth clause of the seventh section

    "The school shall be conducted in accordance with the
    conditions required to be fulfilled by an elementary school in
    order to obtain an annual Parliamentary grant."

What these conditions are appears from the following clauses of the
ninety-seventh section:--

    "The conditions required to be fulfilled by an elementary
    school in order to obtain an annual Parliamentary grant shall
    be those contained in the minutes of the Education Department
    in force for the time being.... Provided that no such minute
    of the Education Department, not in force at the time of the
    passing of this Act, shall be deemed to be in force until
    it has lain for not less than one month on the table of both
    Houses of Parliament."

Let us consider how this will work in practice. A school established
by a School Board may receive support from three sources--from the
rates, the school fees, and the Parliamentary grant. The latter may be
as great as the two former taken together; and as it may be assumed,
without much risk of error, that a constant pressure will be exerted
by the ratepayers on the members who represent them, to get as much
out of the Government, and as little out of the rates, as possible,
the School Boards will have a very strong motive for shaping the
education they give, as nearly as may be, on the model which the
Education Minister offers for their imitation, and for the copying of
which he is prepared to pay.

The Revised Code did not compel any schoolmaster to leave off teaching
anything; but, by the very simple process of refusing to pay for many
kinds of teaching, it has practically put an end to them. Mr. Forster
is said to be engaged in revising the Revised Code; a successor of
his may re-revise it--and there will be no sort of check upon
these revisions and counter-revisions, except the possibility of a
Parliamentary debate, when the revised, or added, minutes are laid
upon the table. What chance is there that any such debate will take
place on a matter of detail relating to elementary education--a
subject with which members of the Legislature, having been, for the
most part, sent to our public schools thirty years ago, have not the
least practical acquaintance, and for which they care nothing, unless
it derives a political value from its connection with sectarian

I cannot but think, then, that the School Boards will have the
appearance, but not the reality, of freedom of action, in regard to
the subject-matter of what is commonly called "secular" education.

As respects what is commonly called "religious" education, the power
of the Minister of Education is even more despotic. An interest,
almost amounting to pathos, attaches itself, in my mind, to the
frantic exertions which are at present going on in almost every school
division, to elect certain candidates whose names have never before
been heard of in connection with education, and who are either
sectarian partisans, or nothing. In my own particular division, a body
organized _ad hoc_ is moving heaven and earth to get the seven seats
filled by seven gentlemen, four of whom are good Churchmen, and three
no less good Dissenters. But why should this seven times heated fiery
furnace of theological zeal be so desirous to shed its genial warmth
over the London School Board? Can it be that these zealous sectaries
mean to evade the solemn pledge given in the Act?

    "No religious catechism or religious formulary which is
    distinctive of any particular denomination shall be taught in
    the school."

I confess I should have thought it my duty to reject any such
suggestion, as dishonouring to a number of worthy persons, if it had
not been for a leading article and some correspondence which appeared
in the _Guardian_ of November 9th, 1870.

The _Guardian_ is, as everybody knows, one of the best of the
"religious" newspapers; and, personally. I have every reason to speak
highly of the fairness, and indeed kindness, with which the editor
is good enough to deal with a writer who must, in many ways, be so
objectionable to him as myself. I quote the following passages from a
leading article on a letter of mine, therefore, with all respect, and
with a genuine conviction that the course of conduct advocated by the
writer must appear to him in a very different light from that under
which I see it:--

    "The first of these points is the interpretation which
    Professor Huxley puts on the 'Cowper-Temple clause.' It is,
    in fact, that which we foretold some time ago as likely to be
    forced upon it by those who think with him. The clause itself
    was one of those compromises which it is very difficult to
    define or to maintain logically. On the one side was the
    simple freedom to School Boards to establish what schools they
    pleased, which Mr. Forster originally gave, but against
    which the Nonconformists lifted up their voices, because they
    conceived it likely to give too much power to the Church. On
    the other side there was the proposition to make the schools
    secular--intelligible enough, but in the consideration of
    public opinion simply impossible--and there was the vague
    impracticable idea, which Mr. Gladstone thoroughly tore to
    pieces, of enacting that the teaching of all schoolmasters
    in the new schools should be strictly 'undenominational.' The
    Cowper-Temple clause was, we repeat, proposed simply to tide
    over the difficulty. It was to satisfy the Nonconformists and
    the 'unsectarian,' as distinct from the secular party of
    the League, by forbidding all distinctive 'catechisms and
    formularies,' which might have the effect of openly assigning
    the schools to this or that religious body. It refused, at the
    same time, to attempt the impossible task of defining what
    was undenominational; and its author even contended, if
    we understood him correctly, that it would in no way, even
    indirectly, interfere with the substantial teaching of any
    master in any school. This assertion we always believed to be
    untenable; we could not see how, in the face of this clause,
    a distinctly denominational tone could be honestly given to
    schools nominally general. But beyond this mere suggestion of
    an attempt at a general tone of comprehensiveness in religious
    teaching it was not intended to go, and only because such was
    its limitation was it accepted by the Government and by the

    "But now we are told that it is to be construed as doing
    precisely that which it refused to do. A 'formulary,' it
    seems, is a collection of formulas, and formulas are simply
    propositions of whatever kind touching religious faith. All
    such propositions, if they cannot be accepted by all
    Christian denominations, are to be proscribed; and it is added
    significantly that the Jews also are a denomination, and so
    that any teaching distinctively Christian is perhaps to be
    excluded, lest it should interfere with their freedom and
    rights. Are we then to fall back on the simple reading of
    the letter of the Bible? No! this, it is granted, would be
    an 'unworthy pretence.' The teacher is to give 'grammatical,
    geographical, or historical explanations;' but he is to keep
    clear of 'theology proper,' because, as Professor Huxley takes
    great pains to prove, there is no theological teaching which
    is not opposed by some sect or other, from Roman Catholicism
    on the one hand to Unitarianism on the other. It was not,
    perhaps, hard to see that this difficulty would be started;
    and to those who, like Professor Huxley, look at it
    theoretically, without much practical experience of schools,
    it may appear serious or unanswerable. But there is very
    little in it practically; when it is faced determinately and
    handled firmly, it will soon shrink into its true
    dimensions. The class who are least frightened at it are the
    school-teachers, simply because they know most about it. It is
    quite clear that the school-managers must be cautioned against
    allowing their schools to be made places of proselytism:
    but when this is done, the case is simple enough. Leave the
    masters under this general understanding to teach freely; if
    there is ground of complaint, let it be made, but leave the
    _onus pro-bandi_ on the objectors. For extreme peculiarities
    of belief or unbelief there is the Conscience Clause; as
    to the mass of parents, they will be more anxious to have
    religion taught than afraid of its assuming this or that
    particular shade. They will trust the school-managers
    and teachers till they have reason to distrust them, and
    experience has shown that they may trust them safely enough.
    Any attempt to throw the burden of making the teaching
    undenominational upon the managers must be sternly resisted:
    it is simply evading the intentions of the Act in an elaborate
    attempt to carry them out. We thank Professor Huxley for the
    warning. To be forewarned is to be forearmed."

A good deal of light seems to me to be thrown on the practical
significance of the opinions expressed in the foregoing extract by the
following interesting letter, which appeared in the same paper:--

    "Sir,--I venture to send to you the substance of a
    correspondence with the Education Department upon the question
    of the lawfulness of religious teaching in rate schools under
    section 14 (2) of the Act. I asked whether the words 'which
    is distinctive,' &c., taken grammatically as limiting the
    prohibition of any religious formulary, might be construed
    as allowing (subject, however, to the other provisions of the
    Act) any religious formulary common to any two denominations
    anywhere in England to be taught in such schools; and if
    practically the limit could not be so extended, but would have
    to be fixed according to the special circumstances of each
    district, then what degree of general acceptance in a district
    would exempt such a formulary from the prohibition? The answer
    to this was as follows:--'It was understood, when clause 14 of
    the Education Act was discussed in the House of Commons,
    that, according to a well-known rule of interpreting Acts
    of Parliament, "denomination" must be held to include
    "denominations." When any dispute is referred to the Education
    Department under the last paragraph of section 16, it will be
    dealt with according to the circumstances of the case.'

    "Upon my asking further if I might hence infer that the
    lawfulness of teaching any religious formulary in a rate
    school would thus depend _exclusively_ on local circumstances,
    and would accordingly be so decided by the Education
    Department in case of dispute, I was informed in explanation
    that 'their lordships'' letter was intended to convey to
    me that no general rule, beyond that stated in the first
    paragraph of their letter, could at present be laid down by
    them; and that their decision in each particular case must
    depend on the special circumstances accompanying it.

    "I think it would appear from this that it may yet be in many
    cases both lawful and expedient to teach religious formularies
    in rate schools.

    "H.I. Steyning, _November_ 5, 1870."

Of course I do not mean to suggest that the editor of the _Guardian_
is bound by the opinions of his correspondent; but I cannot help
thinking that I do not misrepresent him, when I say that he also
thinks "that it may yet be, in many cases, both lawful and
expedient to teach religious formularies in rate schools under these

It is not uncharitable, therefore, to assume that, the express words
of the Act of Parliament notwithstanding, all the sectaries who are
toiling so hard for seats in the London School Board have the lively
hope of the gentleman from Steyning, that it may be "both lawful and
expedient to teach religious formularies in rate schools;" and
that they mean to do their utmost to bring this happy consummation

[Footnote 1: A passage in an article on the "Working of the Education
Act," in the _Saturday Review_ for Nov. 19, 1870, completely justifies
this anticipation of the line of action which the sectaries mean to
take. After commending the Liverpool compromise, the writer goes on to

"If this plan is fairly adopted in Liverpool, the fourteenth clause
of the Act will in effect be restored to its original form, and the
majority of the ratepayers in each district be permitted to decide to
what denomination the school shall belong."

In a previous paragraph the writer speaks of a possible "mistrust"
of one another by the members of the Board, and seems to anticipate
"accusations of dishonesty." If any of the members of the Board adopt
his views, I think it highly probable that he may turn out to be a
true prophet.]

Now the pathetic emotion to which I have referred, as accompanying my
contemplations of the violent struggles of so many excellent persons,
is caused by the circumstance that, so far as I can judge, their
labour is in vain.

Supposing that the London School Board contains, as it probably will
do, a majority of sectaries; and that they carry over the heads of a
minority, a resolution that certain theological formulas, about which
they all happen to agree,--say, for example, the doctrine of the
Trinity,--shall be taught in the schools. Do they fondly imagine that
the minority will not at once dispute their interpretation of the Act,
and appeal to the Education Department to settle that dispute? And if
so, do they suppose that any Minister of Education, who wants to keep
his place, will tighten boundaries which the Legislature has left
loose; and will give a "final decision" which shall be offensive to
every Unitarian and to every Jew in the House of Commons, besides
creating a precedent which will afterwards be used to the injury of
every Nonconformist? The editor of the _Guardian_ tells his friends
sternly to resist every attempt to throw the burden of making the
teaching undenominational on the managers, and thanks me for the
warning I have given him. I return the thanks, with interest, for
_his_ warning, as to the course the party he represents intends
to pursue, and for enabling me thus to draw public attention to a
perfectly constitutional and effectual mode of checkmating them.

And, in truth, it is wonderful to note the surprising entanglement
into which our able editor gets himself in the struggle between his
native honesty and judgment and the necessities of his party. "We
could not see," says he, "in the face of this clause how a distinct
denominational tone could be honestly given to schools nominally
general." There speaks the honest and clearheaded man. "Any attempt
to throw the burden of making the teaching undenominational must be
sternly resisted." There speaks the advocate holding a brief for his
party. "Verily," as Trinculo says, "the monster hath two mouths:" the
one, the forward mouth, tells us very justly that the teaching cannot
"honestly" be "distinctly denominational;" but the other, the
backward mouth, asserts that it must by no manner of means be
"undenominational." Putting the two utterances together, I can only
interpret them to mean that the teaching is to be "indistinctly
denominational." If the editor of the _Guardian_ had not shown signs
of anger at my use of the term "theological fog," I should have been
tempted to suppose it must have been what he had in his mind, under
the name of "indistinct denominationalism." But this reading being
plainly inadmissible, I can only imagine that he inculcates the
teaching of formulas common to a number of denominations.

But the Education Department has already told the gentleman from
Steyning that any such proceeding will be illegal. "According to a
well-known rule of interpreting Acts of Parliament, 'denomination'
would be held to include 'denominations.'" In other words, we must
read the Act thus:--

"No religious catechism or religious formulary which is distinctive of
any particular _denominations_ shall be taught."

Thus we are really very much indebted to the editor of the _Guardian_
and his correspondent. The one has shown us that the sectaries mean
to try to get as much denominational teaching as they can agree upon
among themselves, forced into the elementary schools; while the other
has obtained a formal declaration from the Education Department that
any such attempt will contravene the Act of Parliament, and that,
therefore, the unsectarian, law-abiding members of the School Boards
may safely reckon upon, bringing down upon their opponents the heavy
hand of the Minister of Education.[1]

[Footnote 1: Since this paragraph was written, Mr. Forster, in
speaking at the Birkbeck Institution, has removed all doubt as to
what his "final decision" will be in the case of such disputes being
referred to him:--"I have the fullest confidence that in the reading
and explaining of the Bible, what the children will be taught will be
the great truths of Christian life and conduct, which all of us desire
they should know, and that no effort will be made to cram into their
poor little minds, theological dogmas which their tender age prevents
them from understanding."]

So much for the powers of the School Boards. Limited as they seem to
be, it by no means follows that such Boards, if they are composed of
intelligent and practical men, really more in earnest about education
than about sectarian squabbles, may not exert a very great amount of
influence. And, from many circumstances, this is especially likely to
be the case with the London School Board, which, if it conducts itself
wisely, may become a true educational parliament, as subordinate
in authority to the Minister of Education, theoretically, as the
Legislature is to the Crown, and yet, like the Legislature, possessed
of great practical authority. And I suppose that no Minister
of Education would be other than glad to have the aid of the
deliberations of such a body, or fail to pay careful attention to its

What, then, ought to be the nature and scope of the education which
a School Board should endeavour to give to every child under its
influence, and for which it should try to obtain the aid of the
Parliamentary grants? In my judgment it should include at least the
following kinds of instruction and of discipline:--

1. Physical training and drill, as part of the regular business of the

It is impossible to insist too much on the importance of this part
of education for the children of the poor of great towns. All
the conditions of their lives are unfavourable to their physical
well-being. They are badly lodged, badly housed, badly fed, and live
from one year's end to another in bad air, without chance of a change.
They have no play-grounds; they amuse themselves with marbles and
chuck-farthing, instead of cricket or hare-and-hounds; and if it were
not for the wonderful instinct which leads all poor children of tender
years to run under the feet of cab-horses whenever they can, I know
not how they would learn to use their limbs with agility.

Now there is no real difficulty about teaching drill and the simpler
kinds of gymnastics. It is done admirably well, for example, in the
North Surrey Union schools; and a year or two ago, when I had an
opportunity of inspecting these schools, I was greatly struck with
the effect of such training upon the poor little waifs and strays of
humanity, mostly picked out of the gutter, who are being made into
cleanly, healthy, and useful members of society in that excellent

Whatever doubts people may entertain about the efficacy of natural
selection, there can be none about artificial selection; and the
breeder who should attempt to make, or keep up, a fine stock of pigs,
or sheep, under the conditions to which the children of the poor
are exposed, would be the laughing-stock even of the bucolic mind.
Parliament has already done something in this direction, by declining
to be an accomplice in the asphyxiation of school children. It refuses
to make any grant to a school in which the cubical contents of the
school-room are inadequate to allow of proper respiration. I should
like to see it make another step in the same direction, and either
refuse to give a grant to a school in which physical training is not
a part of the programme, or, at any rate, offer to pay upon such
training. If something of the kind is not done, the English physique,
which has been, and is still, on the whole, a grand one, will become
as extinct as the dodo, in the great towns.

And then the moral and intellectual effect of drill, as an
introduction to, and aid of, all other sorts of training, must not be
overlooked. If you want to break in a colt, surely the first thing to
do is to catch him and get him quietly to face his trainer; to know
his voice and bear his hand; to learn that colts have something else
to do with their heels than to kick them up whenever they feel so
inclined; and to discover that the dreadful human figure has no desire
to devour, or even to beat him, but that, in case of attention and
obedience, he may hope for patting and even a sieve of oats.

But, your "street Arabs," and other neglected poor children, are
rather worse and wilder than colts; for the reason that the horse-colt
has only his animal instincts in him, and his mother, the mare, has
been always tender over him, and never came home drunk and kicked him
in her life; while the man-colt is inspired by that very real devil,
perverted manhood, and _his_ mother may have done all that and more.
So, on the whole, it may probably be even more expedient to begin your
attempt to get at the higher nature of the child, than at that of the
colt, from the physical side.

2. Next in order to physical training I put the instruction of
children, and especially of girls, in the elements of household work
and of domestic economy; in the first place for their own sakes, and
in the second for that of their future employers.

Everyone who knows anything of the life of the English poor is aware
of the misery and waste caused by their want of knowledge of domestic
economy, and by their lack of habits of frugality and method. I
suppose it is no exaggeration to say that a poor Frenchwoman would
make the money which the wife of a poor Englishman spends in food
go twice as far, and at the same time turn out twice as palatable a
dinner. Why Englishmen, who are so notoriously fond of good living,
should be so helplessly incompetent in the art of cookery, is one of
the great mysteries of nature; but from the varied abominations of
the railway refreshment-rooms to the monotonous dinners of the poor,
English feeding is either wasteful or nasty, or both.

And as to domestic service, the groans of the housewives of England
ascend to heaven! In five cases out of six, the girl who takes a
"place" has to be trained by her mistress in the first rudiments of
decency and order; and it is a mercy if she does not turn up her
nose at anything like the mention of an honest and proper economy.
Thousands of young girls are said to starve, or worse, yearly in
London; and at the same time thousands of mistresses of households
are ready to pay high wages for a decent housemaid, or cook, or a fair
workwoman; and can by no means get what they want.

Surely, if the elementary schools are worth anything, they may put an
end to a state of things which is demoralizing the poor, while it is
wasting the lives of those better off in small worries and annoyances.

3. But the boys and girls for whose education the School Boards have
to provide, have not merely to discharge domestic duties, but each
of them is a member of a social and political organization of
great complexity, and has, in future life, to fit himself into that
organization, or be crushed by it. To this end it is surely needful,
not only that they should be made acquainted with the elementary laws
of conduct, but that their affections should be trained, so as to love
with all their hearts that conduct which tends to the attainment of
the highest good for themselves and their fellow-men, and to hate with
all their hearts that opposite course of action which is fraught with

So far as the laws of conduct are determined by the intellect, I
apprehend that they belong to science, and to that part of science
which is called morality. But the engagement of the affections in
favour of that particular kind of conduct which we call good, seems to
me to be something quite beyond mere science. And I cannot but think
that it, together with the awe and reverence, which have no kinship
with base fear, but arise whenever one tries to pierce below the
surface of things, whether they be material or spiritual, constitutes
all that has any unchangeable reality in religion.

And just as I think it would, be a mistake to confound the science,
morality, with the affection, religion; so do I conceive it to be a
most lamentable and mischievous error, that the science, theology,
is so confounded in the minds of many--indeed, I might say, of the
majority of men.

I do not express any opinion as to whether theology is a true science,
or whether it does not come under the apostolic definition of "science
falsely so called;" though I may be permitted to express the belief
that if the Apostle to whom that much misapplied phrase is due
could make the acquaintance of much of modern theology, he would not
hesitate a moment in declaring that it is exactly what he meant the
words to denote.

But it is at any rate conceivable, that the nature of the Deity, and
His relations to the universe, and more especially to mankind, are
capable of being ascertained, either inductively or deductively, or
by both processes. And, if they have been ascertained, then a body of
science has been formed which is very properly called theology.

Further, there can be no doubt that affection for the Being thus
defined and described by theologic science would be properly termed
religion; but it would not be the whole of religion. The affection for
the ethical ideal defined by moral science would claim equal if not
superior rights. For suppose theology established the existence of an
evil deity--and some theologies, even Christian ones, have come very
near this,--is the religious affection to be transferred from the
ethical ideal to any such omnipotent demon? I trow not. Better
a thousand times that the human race should perish under his
thunderbolts than it should say, "Evil, be thou my good."

There is nothing new, that I know of, in this statement of the
relations of religion with the science of morality on the one hand and
that of theology on the other. But I believe it to be altogether
true, and very needful, at this time, to be clearly and emphatically
recognized as such, by those who have to deal with the education

We are divided into two parties--the advocates of so-called
"religious" teaching on the one hand, and those of so-called "secular"
teaching on the other. And both parties seem to me to be not only
hopelessly wrong, but in such a position that if either succeeded
completely, it would discover, before many years were over, that
it had made a great mistake and done serious evil to the cause of

For, leaving aside the more far-seeing minority on each side, what the
"religious" party is crying for is mere theology, under the name
of religion; while the "secularists" have unwisely and wrongfully
admitted the assumption of their opponents, and demand the abolition
of all "religious" teaching, when they only want to be free of
theology--Burning your ship to get rid of the cockroaches!

But my belief is, that no human being, and no society composed of
human beings, ever did, or ever will, come to much, unless their
conduct was governed and guided by the love of some ethical ideal.
Undoubtedly, your gutter child may be converted by mere intellectual
drill into "the subtlest of all the beasts of the field;" but we know
what has become of the original of that description, and there is
no need to increase the number of those who imitate him successfully
without being aided by the rates. And if I were compelled to choose
for one of my own children, between a school in which real religious
instruction is given, and one without it, I should prefer the former,
even though the child might have to take a good deal of theology with
it. Nine-tenths of a dose of bark is mere half-rotten wood; but one
swallows it for the sake of the particles of quinine, the beneficial
effect of which may be weakened, but is not destroyed, by the wooden
dilution, unless in a few cases of exceptionally tender stomachs.

Hence, when the great mass of the English people declare that they
want to have the children in the elementary schools taught the Bible,
and when it is plain from the terms of the Act, the debates in and
out of Parliament, and especially the emphatic declarations of
the Vice-President of the Council, that it was intended that such
Bible-reading should be permitted, unless good cause for prohibiting
it could be shown, I do not see what reason there is for opposing that
wish. Certainly, I, individually, could with no shadow of consistency
oppose the teaching of the children of other people to do that which
my own children are taught to do. And, even if the reading the Bible
were not, as I think it is, consonant with political reason and
justice, and with a desire to act in the spirit of the education
measure, I am disposed to think it might still be well to read that
book in the elementary schools.

I have always been strongly in favour of secular education, in the
sense of education without theology; but I must confess I have been
no less seriously perplexed to know by what practical measures the
religious feeling, which is the essential basis of conduct, was to
be kept up, in the present utterly chaotic state of opinion on these
matters, without the use of the Bible. The Pagan moralists lack life
and colour, and even the noble Stoic, Marcus Antoninus, is too high
and refined for an ordinary child. Take the Bible as a whole; make the
severest deductions which fair criticism can dictate for shortcomings
and positive errors; eliminate, as a sensible lay-teacher would do, if
left to himself, all that it is not desirable for children to occupy
themselves with; and there still remains in this old literature a vast
residuum of moral beauty and grandeur. And then consider the great
historical fact that, for three centuries, this book has been woven
into the life of all that is best and noblest in English history;
that it has become the national epic of Britain, and is as familiar to
noble and simple, from John-o'-Groat's House to Land's End, as Dante
and Tasso once were to the Italians; that it is written in the noblest
and purest English, and abounds in exquisite beauties of mere literary
form; and, finally, that it forbids the veriest hind who never left
his village to be ignorant of the existence of other countries and
other civilizations, and of a great past, stretching back to the
furthest limits of the oldest nations in the world. By the study of
what other book could children be so much humanized and made to
feel that each figure in that vast historical procession fills,
like themselves, but a momentary space in the interval between
two eternities; and earns the blessings or the curses of all time,
according to its effort to do good and hate evil, even as they also
are earning their payment for their work?

On the whole, then, I am in favour of reading the Bible, with
such grammatical, geographical, and historical explanations by a
lay-teacher as may be needful, with rigid exclusion of any further
theological teaching than that contained in the Bible itself. And in
stating what this is, the teacher would do well not to go beyond the
precise words of the Bible; for if he does, he will, in the first
place, undertake a task beyond his strength, seeing that all the
Jewish and Christian sects have been at work upon that subject for
more than two thousand years, and have not yet arrived, and are not in
the least likely to arrive, at an agreement; and, in the second
place, he will certainly begin to teach something distinctively
denominational, and thereby come into violent collision with the Act
of Parliament.

4. The intellectual training to be given in the elementary schools
must of course, in the first place, consist in learning to use the
means of acquiring knowledge, or reading, writing, and arithmetic; and
it will be a great matter to teach reading so completely that the act
shall have become easy and pleasant. If reading remains "hard," that
accomplishment will not be much resorted to for instruction, and still
less for amusement--which last is one of its most valuable uses to
hard-worked people.

But along with a due proficiency in the use of the means of learning,
a certain amount of knowledge, of intellectual discipline, and of
artistic training should be conveyed in the elementary schools; and in
this direction--for reasons which I am afraid to repeat, having
urged them so often--I can conceive no subject-matter of education
so appropriate and so important as the rudiments of physical science,
with drawing, modelling, and singing. Not only would such teaching
afford the best possible preparation for the technical schools about
which so much is now said, but the organization for carrying it into
effect already exists. The Science and Art Department, the operations
of which have already attained considerable magnitude, not only offers
to examine and pay the results of such examination in elementary
science and art, but it provides what is still more important, viz.
a means of giving children of high natural ability, who are just as
abundant among the poor as among the rich, a helping hand. A good old
proverb tells us that "One should not take a razor to cut a block:"
the razor is soon spoiled, and the block is not so well cut as it
would be with a hatchet. But it is worse economy to prevent a possible
Watt from being anything but a stoker, or to give a possible Faraday
no chance of doing anything but to bind books. Indeed, the loss in
such cases of mistaken vocation has no measure; it is absolutely
infinite and irreparable. And among the arguments in favour of the
interference of the State in education, none seems to be stronger
than this--that it is the interest of every one that ability should be
neither wasted, nor misapplied, by any one; and, therefore, that every
one's representative, the State, is necessarily fulfilling the wishes
of its constituents when it is helping the capacities to reach their
proper places.

It may be said that the scheme of education here sketched is too large
to be effected in the time during which the children will remain at
school; and, secondly, that even if this objection did not exist, it
would cost too much.

I attach no importance whatever to the first objection until the
experiment has been fairly tried. Considering how much catechism,
lists of the kings of Israel, geography of Palestine, and the like,
children are made to swallow now, I cannot believe there will be any
difficulty in inducing them to go through the physical training, which
is more than half play; or the instruction in household work, or in
those duties to one another and to themselves, which have a daily and
hourly practical interest. That children take kindly to elementary
science and art no one can doubt who has tried the experiment
properly. And if Bible-reading is not accompanied by constraint and
solemnity, as if it were a sacramental operation, I do not believe
there is anything in which children take more pleasure. At least I
know that some of the pleasantest recollections of my childhood are
connected with the voluntary study of an ancient Bible which belonged
to my grandmother. There were splendid pictures in it, to be sure; but
I recollect little or nothing about them save a portrait of the
high priest in his vestments. What come vividly back on my mind are
remembrances of my delight in the histories of Joseph and of David;
and of my keen appreciation of the chivalrous kindness of Abraham in
his dealings with Lot. Like a sudden flash there returns back upon
me, my utter scorn of the pettifogging meanness of Jacob, and my
sympathetic grief over the heartbreaking lamentation of the cheated
Esau, "Hast thou not a blessing for me also, O my father?" And I see,
as in a cloud, pictures of the grand phantasmagoria of the Book of

I enumerate, as they issue, the childish impressions which come
crowding out of the pigeon-holes in my brain, in which they have lain
almost undisturbed for forty years. I prize them as an evidence that a
child of five or six years old, left to his own devices, may be deeply
interested in the Bible, and draw sound moral sustenance from it. And
I rejoice that I was left to deal with the Bible alone; for if I had
had some theological "explainer" at my side, he might have tried,
as such do, to lessen my indignation against Jacob, and thereby have
warped my moral sense for ever; while the great apocalyptic spectacle
of the ultimate triumph of right and justice might have been turned to
the base purposes of a pious lampooner of the Papacy.

And as to the second objection--costliness--the reply is, first, that
the rate and the Parliamentary grant together ought to be enough,
considering that science and art teaching is already provided
for; and, secondly, that if they are not, it may be well for the
educational parliament to consider what has become of those endowments
which were originally intended to be devoted, more or less largely, to
the education of the poor.

When the monasteries were spoiled, some of their endowments were
applied to the foundation of cathedrals; and in all such cases it was
ordered that a certain portion of the endowment should be applied to
the purposes of education. How much is so applied? Is that which may
be so applied given to help the poor, who cannot pay for education, or
does it virtually subsidize the comparatively rich, who can? How
are Christ's Hospital and Alleyn's foundation securing their right
purposes, or how far are they perverted into contrivances for
affording relief to the classes who can afford to pay for education?
How--But this paper is already too long, and, if I begin, I may find
it hard to stop asking questions of this kind, which after all are
worthy only of the lowest of Radicals.




It has given me sincere pleasure to be here to-day, at the desire of
your highly respected President and the Council of the College. In
looking back upon my own past, I am sorry to say that I have found
that it is a quarter of a century since I took part in those hopes and
in those fears by which you have all recently been agitated, and which
now are at an end. But, although so long a time has elapsed since
I was moved by the same feelings, I beg leave to assure you that my
sympathy with both victors and vanquished remains fresh--so fresh,
indeed, that I could almost try to persuade myself that, after all, it
cannot be so very long ago. My business during the last hour, however,
has been to show that sympathy with one side only, and I assure you
I have done my best to play my part heartily, and to rejoice in the
success of those who have succeeded. Still, I should like to remind
you at the end of it all, that success on an occasion of this kind,
valuable and important as it is, is in reality only putting the foot
upon one rung of the ladder which leads upwards; and that the rung of
a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot
long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher. I trust
that you will all regard these successes as simply reminders that your
next business is, having enjoyed the success of the day, no longer to
look at that success, but to look forward to the next difficulty
that is to be conquered. And now, having had so much to say to the
successful candidates, you must forgive me if I add that a sort of
undercurrent of sympathy has been going on in my mind all the time for
those who have not been successful, for those valiant knights who have
been overthrown in your tourney, and have not made their appearance in
public. I trust that, in accordance with old custom, they, wounded and
bleeding, have been carried off to their tents, to be carefully tended
by the fairest of maidens; and in these days, when the chances are
that every one of such maidens will be a qualified practitioner,
I have no doubt that all the splinters will have been carefully
extracted, and that they are now physically healed. But there may
remain some little fragment of moral or intellectual discouragement,
and therefore I will take the liberty to remark that your chairman
to-day, if he occupied his proper place, would be among them. Your
chairman, in virtue of his position, and for the brief hour that he
occupies that position, is a person of importance; and it may be some
consolation to those who have failed if I say, that the quarter of a
century which I have been speaking of, takes me back to the time
when I was up at the University of London, a candidate for honours in
anatomy and physiology, and when I was exceedingly well beaten by my
excellent friend Dr. Ransom, of Nottingham. There is a person here
who recollects that circumstance very well. I refer to your venerated
teacher and mine, Dr. Sharpey. He was at that time one of the
examiners in anatomy and physiology, and you may be quite sure that,
as he was one of the examiners, there remained not the smallest doubt
in my mind of the propriety of his judgment, and I accepted my defeat
with the most comfortable assurance that I had thoroughly well earned
it. But, gentlemen, the competitor having been a worthy one, and
the examination, a fair one, I cannot say that I found in that
circumstance anything very discouraging. I said to myself, "Never
mind; what's the next thing to be done?" And I found that policy of
"never minding" and going on to the next thing to be done, to be the
most important of all policies in the conduct of practical life. It
does not matter how many tumbles you have in this life, so long as you
do not get dirty when you tumble; it is only the people who have to
stop to be washed and made clean, who must necessarily lose the race.
And I can assure you that there is the greatest practical benefit
in making a few failures early in life. You learn that which is of
inestimable importance--that there are a great many people in the
world who are just as clever as you are. You learn to put your trust,
by and by, in an economy and frugality of the exercise of your powers,
both moral and intellectual; and you very soon find out, if you have
not found it out before, that patience and tenacity of purpose are
worth more than twice their weight of cleverness. In fact, if I were
to go on discoursing on this subject, I should become almost eloquent
in praise of non-success; but, lest so doing should seem, in any way,
to wither well-earned laurels, I will turn from that topic, and ask
you to accompany me in some considerations touching another subject
which has a very profound interest for me, and which I think ought to
have an equally profound interest for you.

I presume that the great majority of those whom I address propose to
devote themselves to the profession of medicine; and I do not doubt,
from the evidences of ability which have been given to-day, that
I have before me a number of men who will rise to eminence in that
profession, and who will exert a great and deserved influence upon
its future. That in which I am interested, and about which I wish to
speak, is the subject of medical education, and I venture to speak
about it for the purpose, if I can, of influencing you, who may have
the power of influencing the medical education of the future. You may
ask, by what authority do I venture, being a person not concerned in
the practice of medicine, to meddle with that subject? I can only tell
you it is a fact, of which a number of you I dare say are aware by
experience (and I trust the experience has no painful associations),
that I have been for a considerable number of years (twelve or
thirteen years to the best of my recollection) one of the examiners in
the University of London. You are further aware that the men who
come up to the University of London are the picked men of the medical
schools of London, and therefore such observations as I may have
to make upon the state of knowledge of these gentlemen, if they be
justified, in regard to any faults I may have to find, cannot be held
to indicate defects in the capacity, or in the power of application of
those gentlemen, but must be laid, more or less, to the account of the
prevalent system of medical education. I will tell you what has struck
me--but in speaking in this frank way, as one always does about the
defects of one's friends, I must beg you to disabuse your minds of
the notion that I am alluding to any particular school, or to any
particular college, or to any particular person; and to believe that
if I am silent when I should be glad to speak with high praise, it is
because that praise would come too close to this locality. What has
struck me, then, in this long experience of the men best instructed in
physiology from the medical schools of London, is (with the many and
brilliant exceptions to which I have referred), taking it as a whole,
and broadly, the singular unreality of their knowledge of physiology.
Now, I use that word "unreality" advisedly: I do not say "scanty;" on
the contrary, there is plenty of it--a great deal too much of it--but
it is the quality, the nature of the knowledge, which I quarrel with.
I know I used to have--I don't know whether I have now, but I had once
upon a time--a bad reputation among students for setting up a very
high standard of acquirement, and I dare say you may think that the
standard of this old examiner, who happily is now very nearly an
extinct examiner, has been pitched too high. Nothing of the kind, I
assure you. The defects I have noticed, and the faults I have to find,
arise entirely from the circumstance that my standard is pitched too
low. This is no paradox, gentlemen, but quite simply the fact.
The knowledge I have looked for was a real, precise, thorough, and
practical knowledge of fundamentals; whereas that which the best of
the candidates, in a large proportion of cases, have had to give me
was a large, extensive, and inaccurate knowledge of superstructure;
and that is what I mean by saying that my demands went too low,
and not too high. What I have had to complain of is, that a large
proportion of the gentlemen who come up for physiology to the
University of London do not know it as they know their anatomy, and
have not been taught it as they have been taught their anatomy. Now, I
should not wonder at all if I heard a great many "No, noes" here; but
I am not talking about University College; as I have told you before,
I am talking about the average education of medical schools. What I
have found, and found so much reason to lament, is, that while anatomy
has been taught as a science ought to be taught, as a matter of
autopsy, and observation, and strict discipline; in a very large
number of cases, physiology has been taught as if it were a mere
matter of books and of hearsay. I declare to you, gentlemen, that
I have often expected to be told, when I have been asked a question
about the circulation of the blood, that Professor Breitkopf is
of opinion that it circulates, but that the whole thing is an open
question. I assure you that I am hardly exaggerating the state of mind
on matters of fundamental importance which I have found over and over
again to obtain, among gentlemen coming up to that picked examination
of the University of London. Now, I do not think that is a desirable
state of things. I cannot understand why physiology should not be
taught--in fact, you have here abundant evidence that it can be
taught--with the same definiteness and the same precision as anatomy
is taught. And you may depend upon this, that the only physiology
which is to be of any good whatever in medical practice, or in its
application to the study of medicine, is that physiology which a man
knows of his own knowledge; just as the only anatomy which would be
of any good to the surgeon is the anatomy which he knows of his own
knowledge. Another peculiarity I have found in the physiology which
has been current, and that is, that in the minds of a great many
gentlemen it has been supplanted by histology. They have learnt a
great deal of histology, and they have fancied that histology and
physiology are the same things. I have asked for some knowledge of the
physics and the mechanics and the chemistry of the human body, and I
have been met by talk about cells. I declare to you I believe it will
take me two years, at least, of absolute rest from the business of
an examiner to hear the word "cell," "germinal matter," or "carmine,"
without a sort of inward shudder.

Well, now, gentlemen, I am sure my colleagues in this examination will
bear me out in saying that I have not been exaggerating the evils and
defects which are current--have been current--in a large quantity
of the physiological teaching, the results of which come before
examiners. And it becomes a very interesting question to know how all
this comes about, and in what way it can be remedied. How it comes
about will be perfectly obvious to any one who has considered the
growth of medicine. I suppose that medicine and surgery first began
by some savage, more intelligent than the rest, discovering that a
certain herb was good for a certain pain, and that a certain pull,
somehow or other, set a dislocated joint right. I suppose all things
had their humble beginnings, and medicine and surgery were in the same
condition. People who wear watches know nothing about watchmaking. A
watch goes wrong and it stops; you see the owner giving it a shake,
or, if he is very bold, he opens the case, and gives the balance-wheel
a turn. Gentlemen, that is empirical practice, and you know what are
the results upon the watch. I should think you can divine what are the
results of analogous operations upon the human body. And because men
of sense very soon found that such were the effects of meddling with
very complicated machinery they did not understand, I suppose the
first thing, as being the easiest, was to study the nature of the
works of the human watch, and the next thing was to study the way the
parts worked together, and the way the watch worked. Thus, by degrees,
we have had growing up our body of anatomists, or knowers of the
construction of the human watch, and our physiologists, who know how
the machine works. And just as any sensible man, who has a valuable
watch, does not meddle with it himself, but goes to some one who has
studied watchmaking, and understands what the effect of doing this
or that may be; so, I suppose, the man who, having charge of that
valuable machine, his own body, wants to have it kept in good order,
comes to a professor of the medical art for the purpose of having it
set right, believing that, by deduction from the facts of structure
and from the facts of function, the physician will divine what may be
the matter with his bodily watch at that particular time, and what may
be the best means of setting it right. If that may be taken as a
just representation of the relation of the theoretical branches of
medicine--what we may call the institutes of medicine, to use an old
term--to the practical branches, I think it will be obvious to you
that they are of prime and fundamental importance. Whatever tends to
affect the teaching of them injuriously must tend to destroy and
to disorganize the whole fabric of the medical art. I think every
sensible man has seen this long ago; but the difficulties in the way
of attaining good teaching in the different branches of the theory, or
institutes, of medicine are very serious. It is a comparatively
easy matter--pray mark that I use the word "comparatively"--it is a
comparatively easy matter to learn anatomy and to teach it; it is a
very difficult matter to learn physiology and to teach it. It is a
very difficult matter to know and to teach those branches of physics
and those branches of chemistry which bear directly upon physiology;
and hence it is that, as a matter of fact, the teaching of physiology,
and the teaching of the physics and the chemistry which bear upon it,
must necessarily be in a state of relative imperfection; and there is
nothing to be grumbled at in the fact that this relative imperfection
exists. But is the relative imperfection which exists only such as
is necessary, or is it made worse by our practical arrangements? I
believe--and if I did not so believe I should not have troubled you
with these observations--I believe it is made infinitely worse by
our practical arrangements, or rather, I ought to say, our very
unpractical arrangements. Some very wise man long ago affirmed that
every question, in the long run, was a question of finance; and there
is a good deal to be said for that view. Most assuredly the question
of medical teaching is, in a very large and broad sense, a question of
finance. What I mean is this: that in London the arrangements of the
medical schools, and the number of them, are such as to render it
almost impossible that men who confine themselves to the teaching
of the theoretical branches of the profession should be able to make
their bread by that operation; and, you know, if a man cannot make his
bread, he cannot teach--at least his teaching comes to a speedy end.
That is a matter of physiology. Anatomy is fairly well taught, because
it lies in the direction of practice, and a man is all the better
surgeon for being a good anatomist. It does not absolutely interfere
with the pursuits of a practical surgeon if he should hold a Chair
of Anatomy--though I do not for one moment say that he would not be a
better teacher if he did not devote himself to practice. (Applause.)
Yes, I know exactly what that cheer means, but I am keeping as
carefully as possible from any sort of allusion to Professor Ellis.
But the fact is, that even human anatomy has now grown to be so large
a matter, that it takes the whole devotion of a man's life to put the
great mass of knowledge upon that subject into such a shape that it
can be teachable to the mind of the ordinary student. What the student
wants in a professor is a man who shall stand between him and the
infinite diversity and variety of human knowledge, and who shall
gather all that together, and extract from it that which is capable
of being assimilated by the mind. That function is a vast and an
important one, and unless, in such subjects as anatomy, a man is
wholly free from other cares, it is almost impossible that he can
perform it thoroughly and well. But if it be hardly possible for a man
to pursue anatomy without actually breaking with his profession, how
is it possible for him to pursue physiology?

I get every year those very elaborate reports of Henle and
Meissner--volumes of, I suppose, 400 pages altogether--and they
consist merely of abstracts of the memoirs and works which have been
written on Anatomy and Physiology--only abstracts of them! How is
a man to keep up his acquaintance with all that is doing in the
physiological world--in a world advancing with enormous strides every
day and every hour--if he has to be distracted with the cares of
practice? You know very well it must be impracticable to do so. Our
men of ability join our medical schools with an eye to the future.
They take the Chairs of Anatomy or of Physiology; and by and by they
leave those Chairs for the more profitable pursuits into which they
have drifted by professional success, and so they become clothed,
and physiology is bare. The result is, that in those schools in which
physiology is thus left to the benevolence, so to speak, of those
who have no time to look to it, the effect of such teaching comes
out obviously, and is made manifest in what I spoke of just now--the
unreality, the bookishness of the knowledge of the taught. And if this
is the case in physiology, still more must it be the case in those
branches of physics which are the foundation of physiology; although
it may be less the case in chemistry, because for an able chemist a
certain honourable and independent career lies in the direction of
his work, and he is able, like the anatomist, to look upon what he
may teach to the student as not absolutely taking him away from his
bread-winning pursuits.

But it is of no use to grumble about this state of things unless
one is prepared to indicate some sort of practical remedy. And I
believe--and I venture to make the statement because I am wholly
independent of all sorts of medical schools, and may, therefore, say
what I believe without being supposed to be affected by any personal
interest--but I say I believe that the remedy for this state of
things, for that imperfection of our theoretical knowledge which keeps
down the ability of England at the present time in medical matters,
is a mere affair of mechanical arrangement; that so long as you have
a dozen medical schools scattered about in different parts of the
metropolis, and dividing the students among them, so long, in all the
smaller schools at any rate, it is impossible that any other state of
things than that which I have been depicting should obtain. Professors
must live; to live they must occupy themselves with practice, and
if they occupy themselves with practice, the pursuit of the abstract
branches of science must go to the wall. All this is a plain and
obvious matter of common-sense reasoning. I believe you will never
alter this state of things until, either by consent or by _force
majeure_--and I should be very sorry to see the latter applied--but
until there is some new arrangement, and until all the theoretical
branches of the profession, the institutes of medicine, are taught in
London in not more than one or two, or at the outside three, central
institutions, no good will be effected. If that large body of men, the
medical students of London, were obliged in the first place to get a
knowledge of the theoretical branches of their profession in two or
three central schools, there would be abundant means for maintaining
able professors--not, indeed, for enriching them, as they would be
able to enrich themselves by practice--but for enabling them to make
that choice which such men are so willing to make; namely, the choice
between wealth and a modest competency, when that modest competency
is to be combined with a scientific career, and the means of advancing
knowledge. I do not believe that all the talking about, and tinkering
of, medical education will do the slightest good until the fact
is clearly recognized, that men must be thoroughly grounded in the
theoretical branches of their profession, and that to this end the
teaching of those theoretical branches must be confined to two or
three centres.

Now let me add one other word, and that is, that if I were a despot, I
would cut down these branches to a very considerable extent. The next
thing to be done beyond that which I mentioned just now, is to go
back to primary education. The great step towards a thorough medical
education is to insist upon the teaching of the elements of the
physical sciences in all schools, so that medical students shall not
go up to the medical colleges utterly ignorant of that with which they
have to deal; to insist on the elements of chemistry, the elements of
botany, and the elements of physics being taught in our ordinary
and common schools, so that there shall be some preparation for
the discipline of medical colleges. And, if this reform were once
effected, you might confine the "Institutes of Medicine" to physics
as applied to physiology--to chemistry as applied to physiology--to
physiology itself, and to anatomy. Afterwards, the student, thoroughly
grounded in these matters, might go to any hospital he pleased for
the purpose of studying the practical branches of his profession. The
practical teaching might be made as local as you like; and you
might use to advantage the opportunities afforded by all these
local institutions for acquiring a knowledge of the practice of the
profession. But you may say: "This is abolishing a great deal; you are
getting rid of botany and zoology to begin with." I have not a doubt
that they ought to be got rid of, as branches of special medical
education; they ought to be put back to an earlier stage, and made
branches of general education. Let me say, by way of self-denying
ordinance, for which you will, I am sure, give me credit, that I
believe that comparative anatomy ought to be absolutely abolished.
I say so, not without a certain fear of the Vice-Chancellor of the
University of London who sits upon my left. But I do not think the
charter gives him very much power over me; moreover, I shall soon come
to an end of my examinership, and therefore I am not afraid, but shall
go on to say what I was going to say, and that is, that in my belief
it is a downright cruelty--I have no other word for it--to require
from gentlemen who are engaged in medical studies, the pretence--for
it is nothing else, and can be nothing else, than a pretence--of a
knowledge of comparative anatomy as part of their medical curriculum.
Make it part of their Arts teaching if you like, make it part of their
general education if you like, make it part of their qualification for
the scientific degree by all means--that is its proper place; but to
require that gentlemen whose whole faculties should be bent upon
the acquirement of a real knowledge of human physiology should
worry themselves with getting up hearsay about the alternation of
generations in the Salpae is really monstrous. I cannot characterize
it in any other way. And having sacrificed my own pursuit, I am sure I
may sacrifice other people's; and I make this remark with all the
more willingness because I discovered, on reading the name-of your
Professors just now, that the Professor of Materia Medica is not
present. I must confess, if I had my way I should abolish Materia
Medica[1] altogether. I recollect, when I was first under examination
at the University of London, Dr. Pereira was the examiner, and you
know that "Pereira's Materia Medica" was a book _de omnibus rebus_. I
recollect my struggles with that book late at night and early in the
morning (I worked very hard in those days), and I do believe that I
got that book into my head somehow or other, but then I will undertake
to say that I forgot it all a week afterwards. Not one trace of a
knowledge of drugs has remained in my memory from that time to this;
and really, as a matter of common sense, I cannot understand the
arguments for obliging a medical man to know all about drugs and
where they come from. Why not make him belong to the Iron and Steel
Institute, and learn something about cutlery, because he uses knives?

[Footnote 1: It will, I hope, be understood that I do not include
Therapeutics under this head.]

But do not suppose that, after all these deductions, there would not
be ample room for your activity. Let us count up what we have left. I
suppose all the time for medical education that can be hoped for is,
at the outside, about four years. Well, what have you to master in
those four years upon my supposition? Physics applied to physiology;
chemistry applied to physiology; physiology; anatomy; surgery;
medicine (including therapeutics); obstetrics; hygiene; and medical
jurisprudence--nine subjects for four years! And when you consider
what those subjects are, and that the acquisition of anything beyond
the rudiments of any one of them may tax the energies of a lifetime,
I think that even those energies which you young gentlemen have
been displaying for the last hour or two might be taxed to keep you
thoroughly up to what is wanted for your medical career.

I entertain a very strong conviction that any one who adds to medical
education one iota or tittle beyond what is absolutely necessary, is
guilty of a very grave offence. Gentlemen, it will depend upon the
knowledge that you happen to possess,--upon your means of applying it
within your own field of action,--whether the bills of mortality of
your district are increased or diminished; and that, gentlemen, is a
very serious consideration indeed. And, under those circumstances, the
subjects with which you have to deal being so difficult, their extent
so enormous, and the time at your disposal so limited, I could not
feel my conscience easy if I did not, on such an occasion as this,
raise a protest against employing your energies upon the acquisition
of any knowledge which may not be absolutely needed in your future



IT has been known, from time immemorial, that the sweet liquids which
may be obtained by expressing the juices of the fruits and stems
of various plants, or by steeping malted barley in hot water, or
by mixing honey with water--are liable to undergo a series of very
singular changes, if freely exposed to the air and left to themselves,
in warm weather. However clear and pellucid the liquid may have been
when first prepared, however carefully it may have been freed, by
straining and filtration, from even the finest visible impurities, it
will not remain clear. After a time it will become cloudy and turbid;
little bubbles will be seen rising to the surface, and their abundance
will increase until the liquid hisses as if it were simmering on
the fire. By degrees, some of the solid particles which produce the
turbidity of the liquid collect at its surface into a scum, which
is blown up by the emerging air-bubbles into a thick, foamy froth.
Another moiety sinks to the bottom, and accumulates as a muddy
sediment, or "lees."

When this action has continued, with more or less violence, for
a certain time, it gradually moderates. The evolution of bubbles
slackens, and finally comes to an end; scum and lees alike settle at
the bottom, and the fluid is once more clear and transparent. But
it has acquired properties of which no trace existed in the original
liquid. Instead of being a mere sweet fluid, mainly composed of sugar
and water, the sugar has more or less completely disappeared, and it
has acquired that peculiar smell and taste which we call "spirituous."
Instead of being devoid of any obvious effect upon the animal economy,
it has become possessed of a very wonderful influence on the nervous
system; so that in small doses it exhilarates, while in larger it
stupefies, and may even destroy life.

Moreover, if the original fluid is put into a still, and heated for a
while, the first and last product of its distillation is simple water;
while, when the altered fluid is subjected to the same process, the
matter which is first condensed in the receiver is found to be a
clear, volatile substance, which is lighter than water, has a pungent
taste and smell, possesses the intoxicating powers of the fluid in
an eminent degree, and takes fire the moment it is brought in contact
with a flame. The alchemists called this volatile liquid, which
they obtained from wine, "spirits of wine," just as they called
hydrochloric acid "spirits of salt," and as we, to this day, call
refined turpentine "spirits of turpentine." As the "spiritus," or
breath, of a man was thought to be the most refined and subtle part
of him, the intelligent essence of man was also conceived as a sort
of breath, or spirit; and, by analogy, the most refined essence of
anything was called its "spirit." And thus it has come about that we
use the same word for the soul of man and for a glass of gin.

At the present day, however, we even more commonly use another name
for this peculiar liquid--namely, "alcohol," and its origin is not
less singular. The Dutch physician, Van Helmont, lived in the latter
part of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century--in
the transition period between alchemy and chemistry--and was rather
more alchemist than chemist. Appended to his "Opera Omnia," published
in 1707, there is a very needful "Clavis ad obscuriorum sensum
referandum," in which the following passage occurs:--

    "ALCOHOL.--Chymicis est liquor aut pulvis summè subtilisatus,
    vocabulo Orientalibus quoque, cum primis Habessinis,
    familiari, quibus _cohol_ speciatim pulverem impalpabilem ex
    antimonio pro oculis tin-gendis denotat ... Hodie autem, ob
    analogiam, quivis pulvis teuerior, ut pulvis oculorum cancri
    summe subtilisatus _alcohol_ audit, hand aliter ac spiritus
    rectificatissimi _alcolisati_ dicuntur."

Similarly, Robert Boyle speaks of a fine powder as "alcohol;" and,
so late as the middle of the last century, the English lexicographer,
Nathan Bailey, defines "alcohol" as "the pure substance of anything
separated from the more gross, a very fine and impalpable powder, or a
very pure, well-rectified spirit." But, by the time of the publication
of Lavoisier's "Traité Élémentaire de Chimie," in 1789, the term
"alcohol," "alkohol," or "alkool" (for it is spelt in all three ways),
which Van Helmont had applied primarily to a fine powder, and
only secondarily to spirits of wine, had lost its primary meaning
altogether; and, from the end of the last century until now, it has,
I believe, been used exclusively as the denotation of spirits of wine,
and bodies chemically allied to that substance.

The process which gives rise to alcohol in a saccharine fluid is known
to us as "fermentation;" a term based upon the apparent boiling up or
"effervescence" of the fermenting liquid, and of Latin origin.

Our Teutonic cousins call the same process "gähren," "gäsen,"
"göschen," and "gischen;" but, oddly enough, we do not seem to have
retained their verb or their substantive denoting the action itself,
though we do use names identical with, or plainly derived from, theirs
for the scum and lees. These are called, in Low German, "gäscht"
and "gischt;" in Anglo-Saxon, "gest," "gist," and "yst," whence our
"yeast." Again, in Low German and in Anglo-Saxon, there is another
name for yeast, having the form "barm," or "beorm;" and, in the
Midland Counties, "barm" is the name by which yeast is still best
known. In High German, there is a third name for yeast, "hefe," which
is not represented in English, so far as I know.

All these words are said by philologers to be derived from roots
expressive of the intestine motion of a fermenting substance. Thus
"hefe" is derived from "heben," to raise; "barm" from "beren" or
"bären," to bear up; "yeast," "yst," and "gist," have all to do with
seething and foam, with "yeasty waves," and "gusty" breezes.

The same reference to the swelling up of the fermenting substance is
seen in the Gallo-Latin terms "levure" and "leaven."

It is highly creditable to the ingenuity of our ancestors that the
peculiar property of fermented liquids, in virtue of which they "make
glad the heart of man," seems to have been known in the remotest
periods of which we have any record. All savages take to alcoholic
fluids as if they were to the manner born. Our Vedic forefathers
intoxicated themselves with the juice of the "soma;" Noah, by a not
unnatural reaction against a superfluity of water, appears to have
taken the earliest practicable opportunity of qualifying that which
he was obliged to drink; and the ghosts of the ancient Egyptians were
solaced by pictures of banquets in which the winecup passes round,
graven on the walls of their tombs. A knowledge of the process of
fermentation, therefore, was in all probability possessed by the
prehistoric populations of the globe; and it must have become a matter
of great interest even to primaeval wine-bibbers to study the methods
by which fermented liquids could be surely manufactured. No doubt,
therefore, it was soon discovered that the most certain, as well as
the most expeditious, way of making a sweet juice ferment was to add
to it a little of the scum, or lees, of another fermenting juice.
And it can hardly be questioned that this singular excitation of
fermentation in one fluid, by a sort of infection, or inoculation,
of a little ferment taken from some other fluid, together with the
strange swelling, foaming, and hissing of the fermented substance,
must have always attracted attention from the more thoughtful.
Nevertheless, the commencement of the scientific analysis of the
phenomena dates from a period not earlier than the first half of the
seventeenth century.

At this time, Van Helmont made a first step, by pointing out that the
peculiar hissing and bubbling of a fermented liquid is due, not to the
evolution of common air (which he, as the inventor of the term "gas,"
calls "gas ventosum"), but to that of a peculiar kind of air such
as is occasionally met with in caves, mines, and wells, and which he
calls "gas sylvestre."

But a century elapsed before the nature of this "gas sylvestre," or,
as it was afterwards called, "fixed air," was clearly determined, and
it was found to be identical with that deadly "choke-damp" by which
the lives of those who descend into old wells, or mines, or brewers'
vats, are sometimes suddenly ended; and with the poisonous aëriform
fluid which is produced by the combustion of charcoal, and now goes by
the name of carbonic acid gas.

During the same time it gradually became clear that the presence of
sugar was essential to the production of alcohol and the evolution of
carbonic acid gas, which are the two great and conspicuous products of
fermentation. And finally, in 1787, the Italian chemist, Fabroni, made
the capital discovery that the yeast ferment, the presence of which
is necessary to fermentation, is what he termed a "vegeto-animal"
substance--or is a body which gives off ammoniacal salts when it is
burned, and is, in other ways, similar to the gluten of plants and the
albumen and casein of animals.

These discoveries prepared the way for the illustrious Frenchman,
Lavoisier, who first approached the problem of fermentation with a
complete conception of the nature of the work to be done. The words
in which he expresses this conception, in the treatise on elementary
chemistry to which reference has already been made, mark the year 1789
as the commencement of a revolution of not less moment in the world of
science than that which simultaneously burst over the political world,
and soon engulfed Lavoisier himself in one of its mad eddies.

"We may lay it down as an incontestable axiom that, in all the
operations of art and nature, nothing is created; an equal quantity
of matter exists both before and after the experiment: the quality and
quantity of the elements remain precisely the same, and nothing takes
place beyond changes and modifications in the combinations of these
elements. Upon this principle, the whole art of performing chemical
experiments depends; we must always suppose an exact equality between
the elements of the body examined and those of the products of its

"Hence, since from must of grapes we procure alcohol and carbonic
acid, I have an undoubted right to suppose that must consists of
carbonic acid and alcohol. From these premisses we have two modes
of ascertaining what passes during vinous fermentation: either
by determining the nature of, and the elements which compose, the
fermentable substances; or by accurately examining the products
resulting from fermentation; and it is evident that the knowledge
of either of these must lead to accurate conclusions concerning the
nature and composition of the other. From these considerations it
became necessary accurately to determine the constituent elements of
the fermentable substances; and for this purpose I did not make use
of the compound juices of fruits, the rigorous analysis of which
is perhaps impossible, but made choice of sugar, which is easily
analysed, and the nature of which I have already explained. This
substance is a true vegetable oxyd, with two bases, composed of
hydrogen and carbon, brought to the state of an oxyd by means of a
certain proportion of oxygen; and these three elements are combined
in such a way that a very slight force is sufficient to destroy the
equilibrium of their connection."

After giving the details of his analysis of sugar and of the products
of fermentation, Lavoisier continues:--

"The effect of the vinous fermentation upon sugar is thus reduced to
the mere separation of its elements into two portions; one part is
oxygenated at the expense of the other, so as to form carbonic acid;
while the other part, being disoxygenated in favour of the latter, is
converted into the combustible substance called alkohol; therefore,
if it were possible to re-unite alkohol and carbonic acid together, we
ought to form sugar."[1]

[Footnote 1: "Elements of Chemistry." By M. Lavoisier. Translated by
Robert Kerr. Second Edition, 1793 (pp. 186--196).]

Thus Lavoisier thought he had demonstrated that the carbonic acid and
the alcohol which are produced by the process of fermentation, are
equal in weight to the sugar which disappears; but the application of
the more refined methods of modern chemistry to the investigation of
the products of fermentation by Pasteur, in 1860, proved that this is
not exactly true, and that there is a deficit of from 5 to 7 per cent.
of the sugar which is not covered by the alcohol and carbonic acid
evolved. The greater part of this deficit is accounted for by the
discovery of two substances, glycerine and succinic acid, of the
existence of which Lavoisier was unaware, in the fermented liquid.
But about 1-1/2 per cent. still remains to be made good. According to
Pasteur, it has been appropriated by the yeast, but the fact that such
appropriation takes place cannot be said to be actually proved.

However this may be, there can be no doubt that the constituent
elements of fully 98 per cent. of the sugar which has vanished during
fermentation have simply undergone rearrangement; like the soldiers
of a brigade, who at the word of command divide themselves into the
independent regiments to which they belong. The brigade is sugar, the
regiments are carbonic acid, succinic acid, alcohol, and glycerine.

From the time of Fabroni, onwards, it has been admitted that the agent
by which this surprising rearrangement of the particles of the sugar
is effected is the yeast. But the first thoroughly conclusive evidence
of the necessity of yeast for the fermentation of sugar was furnished
by Appert, whose method of preserving perishable articles of food
excited so much attention in France at the beginning of this century.
Gay-Lussac, in his "Mémoire sur la Fermentation,"[1] alludes to
Appert's method of preserving beer-wort unfermented for an indefinite
time, by simply boiling the wort and closing the vessel in which the
boiling fluid is contained, in such a way as thoroughly to exclude
air; and he shows that, if a little yeast be introduced into such
wort, after it has cooled, the wort at once begins to ferment, even
though every precaution be taken to exclude air. And this statement
has since received full confirmation from Pasteur.

[Footnote 1: "Annales de Chimie," 1810.]

On the other hand, Schwann, Schroeder and Dusch, and Pasteur, have
amply proved that air may be allowed to have free access to beer-wort,
without exciting fermentation, if only efficient precautions are taken
to prevent the entry of particles of yeast along with the air.

Thus, the truth that the fermentation of a simple solution of sugar in
water depends upon the presence of yeast, rests upon an unassailable
foundation; and the inquiry into the exact nature of the substance
which possesses such a wonderful chemical influence becomes profoundly

The first step towards the solution of this problem was made two
centuries ago by the patient and painstaking Dutch naturalist,
Leeuwenhoek, who in the year 1680 wrote thus:--

    "Saepissimo examinavi fermentum cerevisiae, semperque hoc ex
    globulis per materiam pellucidam fluitantibus, quam cerevisiam
    esse censui, constare observavi: vidi etiam evidentissime,
    unumquemque hujus fermenti globulum denuo ex sex distinctis
    globullis constare, accurate eidem quantitate et formae, cui
    globulis sanguinis nostri, respondentibus.

    "Verum talis mini de horum origine et formatione conceptus
    formabam; globulis nempe ex quibus farina Tritici, Hordei,
    Avenae, Fagotritici, se constat aquae calore dissolvi et aquae
    commisceri; hac, vero aqua, quam cerevisiam vocare licet,
    refrigescente, multos ex minimis particulis in cerevisia
    coadunari, et hoc pacto efficere particulam sive globulum,
    quae sexta pars est globuli faecis, et iterum sex ex hisce
    globulis conjungi."[1]

[Footnote 1: Leeuwenhoek, "Arcana Naturae Detecta." Ed. Nov., 1721.]

Thus Leeuwenhoek discovered that yeast consists of globules floating
in a fluid; but he thought that they were merely the starchy particles
of the grain from which the wort was made, re-arranged. He discovered
the fact that yeast had a definite structure, but not the meaning of
the fact. A century and a half elapsed, and the investigation of
yeast was recommenced almost simultaneously by Cagniard de la Tour in
France, and by Schwann and Kützing in Germany. The French observer
was the first to publish his results; and the subject received at his
hands and at those of his colleague, the botanist Turpin, full and
satisfactory investigation.

The main conclusions at which they arrived are these. The globular,
or oval, corpuscles which float so thickly in the yeast as to make it
muddy, though the largest are not more than one two-thousandth of
an inch in diameter, and the smallest may measure less than one
seven-thousandth of an inch, are living organisms. They multiply with
great rapidity, by giving off minute buds, which soon attain the size
of their parent, and then either become detached or remain united,
forming the compound globules of which Leeuwenhoek speaks, though the
constancy of their arrangement in sixes existed only in the worthy
Dutchman's imagination.

It was very soon made out that these yeast organisms, to which Turpin
gave the name of _Torula cerevisiae_, were more nearly allied to the
lower Fungi than to anything else. Indeed Turpin, and subsequently
Berkeley and Hoffmann, believed that they had traced the development
of the _Torula_ into the well-known and very common mould--the
_Penicillium glaucum_. Other observers have not succeeded in verifying
these statements; and my own observations lead me to believe, that
while the connection between _Torula_ and the moulds is a very close
one, it is of a different nature from that which has been supposed. I
have never been able to trace the development of _Torula_ into a true
mould; but it is quite easy to prove that species of true mould,
such as _Penicillium_, when sown in an appropriate nidus, such as
a solution of tartrate of ammonia and yeast-ash, in water, with or
without sugar, give rise to _Torulae_, similar in all respects to _T.
cerevisiae_, except that they are, on the average, smaller. Moreover,
Bail has observed the development of a _Torula_ larger than _T.
cerevisiae_, from a _Mucor_, a mould allied to _Penicillium_.

It follows, therefore, that the _Torulae_, or organisms of yeast,
are veritable plants; and conclusive experiments have proved that the
power which causes the rearrangement of the molecules of the sugar is
intimately connected with the life and growth of the plant. In fact,
whatever arrests the vital activity of the plant also prevents it from
exciting fermentation.

Such being the facts with regard to the nature of yeast, and the
changes which it effects in sugar, how are they to be accounted for?
Before modern chemistry had come into existence, Stahl, stumbling,
with the stride of genius, upon the conception which lies at the
bottom of all modern views of the process, put forward the notion that
the ferment, being in a state of internal motion, communicated
that motion to the sugar, and thus caused its resolution into new
substances. And Lavoisier, as we have seen, adopts substantially the
same view, (But Fabroni, full of the then novel conception of acids
and bases and double decompositions, propounded the hypothesis that
sugar is an oxide with two bases, and the ferment a carbonate with two
bases; that the carbon of the ferment unites with the oxygen of the
sugar, and gives rise to carbonic acid; while the sugar, uniting with
the nitrogen of the ferment, produces a new substance analogous to
opium. This is decomposed by distillation, and gives rise to alcohol.)
Next, in 1803, Thénard propounded a hypothesis which partakes somewhat
of the nature of both Stahl's and Fabroni's views. "I do not believe
with Lavoisier," he says, "that all the carbonic acid formed proceeds
from the sugar. How, in that case, could we conceive the action of the
ferment on it? I think that the first portions of the acid are due
to a combination of the carbon of the ferment with the oxygen of the
sugar, and that it is by carrying off a portion of oxygen from
the last that the ferment causes the fermentation to commence--the
equilibrium between the principles of the sugar being disturbed, they
combine afresh to form carbonic acid and alcohol."

The three views here before us may be familiarly exemplified by
supposing the sugar to be a card-house. According to Stahl, the
ferment is somebody who knocks the table, and shakes the card-house
down; according to Fabroni, the ferment takes out some cards, but puts
others in their places; according to Thénard, the ferment simply takes
a card out of the bottom story, the result of which is that all the
others fall.

As chemistry advanced, facts came to light which put a new face upon
Stahl's hypothesis, and gave it a safer foundation than it previously
possessed. The general nature of these phenomena may be thus
stated:--A body, A, without giving to, or taking from, another
body, B, any material particles, causes B to decompose into other
substances, C, D, E, the sum of the weights of which is equal to the
weight of B, which decomposes.

Thus, bitter almonds contain two substances, amygdalin and synaptase,
which can be extracted, in a separate state, from the bitter almonds.
The amygdalin thus obtained, if dissolved in water, undergoes no
change; but if a little synaptase be added to the solution, the
amygdalin splits up into bitter almond oil, prussic acid, and a kind
of sugar.

A short time after Cagniard de la Tour discovered the yeast plant,
Liebig, struck with the similarity between this and other such
processes and the fermentation of sugar, put forward the hypothesis
that yeast contains a substance which acts upon sugar, as synaptase
acts upon amygdalin. And as the synaptase is certainly neither
organized nor alive, but a mere chemical substance, Liebig treated
Cagniard de la Tour's discovery with no small contempt, and, from
that time to the present, has steadily repudiated the notion that the
decomposition of the sugar is, in any sense, the result of the vital
activity of the _Torula_. But, though the notion that the _Torula_ is
a creature which eats sugar and excretes carbonic acid and alcohol,
which is not unjustly ridiculed in the most surprising paper that
ever made its appearance in a grave scientific journal[1], may be
untenable, the fact that the _Torulae_ are alive, and that yeast does
not excite fermentation unless it contains living _Torulae_, stands
fast. Moreover, of late years, the essential participation of living
organisms in fermentation other than the alcoholic, has been clearly
made out by Pasteur and other chemists.

[Footnote 1: "Das enträthselte Geheimniss der geistigen Gährung
(Vorläufige briefliche Mittheilung)" is the title of an anonymous
contribution, to Wöhler and Liebig's "Annalen der Pharmacie" for
1839, in which a somewhat Rabelaisian imaginary description of the
organization of the "yeast animals" and of the manner in which their
functions are performed, is given with a circumstantiality worthy
of the author of Gulliver's Travels. As a specimen of the writer's
humour, his account of what happens when fermentation comes to an end
may suffice. "Sobald nämlich die Thiere keinen Zucker mehr vorfinden,
so fressen sie sich gegenseitig selbst auf, was durch eine eigene
Manipulation geschicht; alles wird verdaut bis auf die Eier, welche
unverändert durch den Darmkanal hineingehen; man hat zuletzt wieder
gährungsfähige Hefe, nämlich den Saamen der Thiere, der übrig

However, it may be asked, is there any necessary opposition between
the so-called "vital" and the strictly physico-chemical views of
fermentation? It is quite possible that the living _Torula_ may excite
fermentation in sugar, because it constantly produces, as an essential
part of its vital manifestations, some substance which acts upon the
sugar, just as the synaptase acts upon the amygdalin. Or it may
be, that, without the formation of any such special substance,
the physical condition of the living tissue of the yeast plant is
sufficient to effect that small disturbance of the equilibrium of the
particles of the sugar, which Lavoisier thought sufficient to effect
its decomposition.

Platinum in a very fine state of division--known as platinum black, or
_noir de platine_--has the very singular property of causing alcohol
to change into acetic acid with great rapidity. The vinegar plant,
which is closely allied to the yeast plant, has a similar effect upon
dilute alcohol, causing it to absorb the oxygen of the air, and become
converted into vinegar; and Liebig's eminent opponent, Pasteur, who
has done so much for the theory and the practice of vinegar-making,
himself suggests that in this case--

    "La cause du phénomène physique qui accompagne la vie de la
    plante réside dans un état physique propre, analogue à celui
    du noir de platine. Mais il est essentiel de remarquer que cet
    état physique de la plante est étroitement lié avec la vie de
    cette plante."[1]

[Footnote 1: "Etudes sur les Mycodermes," Comptes-Rendus, liv., 1862.]

Now, if the vinegar plant gives rise to the oxidation of alcohol,
on account of its merely physical constitution, it is at any rate
possible that the physical constitution of the yeast plant may exert a
decomposing influence on sugar.

But, without presuming to discuss a question which leads us into the
very arcana of chemistry, the present state of speculation upon the
_modus operandi_ of the yeast plant in producing fermentation is
represented, on the one hand, by the Stahlian doctrine, supported by
Liebig, according to which the atoms of the sugar are shaken into new
combinations, either directly by the _Torulae_, or indirectly, by some
substance formed by them; and, on the other hand, by the Thénardian
doctrine, supported by Pasteur, according to which the yeast plant
assimilates part of the sugar, and, in so doing, disturbs the rest,
and determines its resolution into the products of fermentation.
Perhaps the two views are not so much opposed as they seem at first
sight to be.

But the interest which attaches to the influence of the yeast plants
upon the medium in which they live and grow does not arise solely
from its bearing upon the theory of fermentation. So long ago as 1838,
Turpin compared the _Torulae_ to the ultimate elements of the tissues
of animals and plants--"Les organes élémentaires de leurs tissus,
comparables aux petits végétaux des levures ordinaires, sont aussi les
décompositeurs des substances qui les environnent."

Almost at the same time, and, probably, equally guided by his study of
yeast, Schwann was engaged in those remarkable investigations into
the form and development of the ultimate structural elements of the
tissues of animals, which led him to recognize their fundamental
identity with the ultimate structural elements of vegetable organisms.

The yeast plant is a mere sac, or "cell," containing a semi-fluid
matter, and Schwann's microscopic analysis resolved all living
organisms, in the long run, into an aggregation of such sacs or cells,
variously modified; and tended to show, that all, whatever their
ultimate complication, begin their existence in the condition of such
simple cells.

In his famous "Mikroskopische Untersuchungen," Schwann speaks of
_Torula_ as a "cell;" and, in a remarkable note to the passage in
which he refers to the yeast plant, Schwann says:--

    "I have been unable to avoid mentioning fermentation, because
    it is the most fully and exactly known operation of cells,
    and represents, in the simplest fashion, the process which is
    repeated by every cell of the living body."

In other words, Schwann conceives that every cell of the living body
exerts an influence on the matter which surrounds and permeates it,
analogous to that which a _Torula_ exerts on the saccharine solution
by which it is bathed. A wonderfully suggestive thought, opening up
views of the nature of the chemical processes of the living body,
which have hardly yet received all the development of which they are

Kant defined the special peculiarity of the living body to be that the
parts exist for the sake of the whole and the whole for the sake of
the parts. But when Turpin and Schwann resolved the living body into
an aggregation of quasi-independent cells, each, like a _Torula_,
leading its own life and having its own laws of growth and
development, the aggregation being dominated and kept working towards
a definite end only by a certain harmony among these units, or by the
superaddition of a controlling apparatus, such as a nervous system,
this conception ceased to be tenable. The cell lives for its own sake,
as well as for the sake of the whole organism; and the cells, which
float in the blood, live at its expense, and profoundly modify it, are
almost as much independent organisms as the _Torulae_ which float in

Schwann burdened his enunciation of the "cell theory" with two false
suppositions; the one, that the structures he called "nucleus" and
"cell-wall" are essential to a cell; the other, that cells are usually
formed independently of other cells; but, in 1839, it was a vast and
clear gain to arrive at the conception, that the vital functions of
all the higher animals and plants are the resultant of the forces
inherent in the innumerable minute cells of which they are composed,
and that each of them is, itself, an equivalent of one of the lowest
and simplest of independent living beings--the _Torula._

From purely morphological investigations, Turpin and Schwann, as we
have seen, arrived at the notion of the fundamental unity of structure
of living beings. And, before long, the researches of chemists
gradually led up to the conception of the fundamental unity of their

So far back as 1803, Thénard pointed out, in most distinct terms, the
important fact that yeast contains a nitrogenous "animal" substance;
and that such a substance is contained in all ferments. Before him,
Fabroni and Fourcroy speak of the "vegeto-animal" matter of yeast.
In 1844 Mulder endeavoured to demonstrate that a peculiar substance,
which he called "protein," was essentially characteristic of living
matter. In 1846, Payen writes:--

    "Enfin, une loi sans exception me semble apparaître dans les
    faits nombreux que j'ai observés et conduire à envisager sous
    un nouveau jour la vie végétale; si je ne m'abuse, tout ce
    que dans les tissus végétaux la vue directe où amplifiée nous
    permet de discerner sous la forme de cellules et de vaisseaux,
    ne représente autre chose que les enveloppes protectrices,
    les réservoirs et les conduits, à l'aide desquels les corps
    animés qui les secrètent et les façonnent, se logent, puisent
    et charriant leurs aliments, déposent et isolent les matières

And again:--

    "A fin de complêter aujourd'hui l'énoncé du fait général, je
    rappellerai que les corps, doué des fonctions accomplies
    dans les tissus des plantes, sont formés des éléments qui
    constituent, en proportion peu variable, les organismes
    animaux; qu'ainsi l'on est conduit à reconnaître une immense
    unité de composition élémentaire dans tous les corps vivants
    de la nature."[1]

[Footnote 1: "Mém. sur les Développements des Végétaux," &c.--"Mém.
Présentées." ix. 1846.]

In the year (1846) in which these remarkable passages were published,
the eminent German botanist, Von Mohl, invented the word "protoplasm,"
as a name for one portion of those nitrogenous contents of the cells
of living plants, the close chemical resemblance of which to the
essential constituents of living animals is so strongly indicated by
Payen. And through the twenty-five years that have passed, since the
matter of life was first called protoplasm, a host of investigators,
among whom Cohn, Max Schulze, and Kühne must be named as leaders, have
accumulated evidence, morphological, physiological, and chemical, in
favour of that "immense unité de composition élémentaire dans tous les
corps vivants de la nature," into which Payen had, so early, a clear

As far back as 1850, Cohn wrote, apparently without any knowledge of
what Payen had said before him:--

    "The protoplasm of the botanist, and the contractile substance
    and sarcode of the zoologist, must be, if not identical, yet
    in a high degree analogous substances. Hence, from this point
    of view, the difference between animals and plants consists
    in this; that, in the latter, the contractile substance, as
    a primordial utricle, is enclosed within an inert cellulose
    membrane, which permits it only to exhibit an internal motion,
    expressed by the phenomena of rotation and circulation, while,
    in the former, it is not so enclosed. The protoplasm in the
    form of the primordial utricle is, as it were, the animal
    element in the plant, but which is imprisoned, and only
    becomes free in the animal; _or_, to strip off the metaphor
    which obscures simple thought, the energy of organic vitality
    which is manifested in movement is especially exhibited by a
    nitrogenous contractile substance, which in plants is limited
    and fettered by an inert membrane, in animals not so."[1]

[Footnote 1: Cohn, "Ueber Protococcus pluvialis," in the "Nova Acta"
for 1850.]

In 1868, thinking that an untechnical statement of the views current
among the leaders of biological science might be interesting to the
general public, I gave a lecture embodying them in Edinburgh. Those
who have not made the mistake of attempting to approach biology,
either by the high _à priori_ road of mere philosophical speculation,
or by the mere low _à posteriori_ lane offered by the tube of a
microscope, but have taken the trouble to become acquainted with
well-ascertained facts and with their history, will not need to be
told that in what I had to say "as regards protoplasm" in my lecture
"On the Physical Basis of Life," there was nothing new; and, as I
hope, nothing that the present state of knowledge does not justify us
in believing to be true. Under these circumstances, my surprise may be
imagined, when I found, that the mere statement of facts and of views,
long familiar to me as part of the common scientific property of
continental workers, raised a sort of storm in this country, not only
by exciting the wrath of unscientific persons whose pet prejudices
they seemed to touch, but by giving rise to quite superfluous
explosions on the part of some who should have been better informed.

Dr. Stirling, for example, made my essay the subject of a special
critical lecture[1], which I have read with much interest, though, I
confess, the meaning of much of it remains as dark to me as does the
"Secret of Hegel" after Dr. Stirling's elaborate revelation of it.
Dr. Stirling's method of dealing with the subject is peculiar.
"Protoplasm" is a question of history, so far as it is a name; of
fact, so far as it is a thing. Dr. Stirling has not taken the trouble
to refer to the original authorities for his history, which is
consequently a travesty; and still less has he concerned himself with
looking at the facts, but contents himself with taking them also at
secondhand. A most amusing example of this fashion of dealing with
scientific statements is furnished by Dr. Stirling's remarks upon my
account of the protoplasm of the nettle hair. That account was drawn
up from careful and often-repeated observation of the facts. Dr.
Stirling thinks he is offering a valid criticism, when he says that my
valued friend Professor Stricker gives a somewhat different statement
about protoplasm. But why in the world did not this distinguished
Hegelian look at a nettle hair for himself, before venturing to
speak about the matter at all? Why trouble himself about what either
Stricker or I say, when any tyro can see the facts for himself, if he
is provided with those not rare articles, a nettle and a microscope?
But I suppose this would have been "_Aufklärung_"--a recurrence to the
base common-sense philosophy of the eighteenth century, which liked
to see before it believed, and to understand before it criticised. Dr.
Stirling winds up his paper with the following paragraph:--

[Footnote 1: Subsequently published under the title of "As regards

    "In short, the whole position of Mr. Huxley, (1) that all
    organisms consist alike of the same life-matter, (2) which
    life-matter is, for its part, due only to chemistry, must be
    pronounced untenable--nor less untenable (3) the materialism
    he would found on it."

The paragraph contains three distinct assertions concerning my views,
and just the same number of utter misrepresentations of them. That
which I have numbered (1) turns on the ambiguity of the word "same,"
for a discussion of which I would refer Dr. Stirling to a great hero
of "_Aufklärung_", Archbishop Whately; statement number (2) is, in my
judgment, absurd, and certainly I have never said anything resembling
it; while, as to number (3), one great object of my essay was to show
that what is called "materialism," has no sound philosophical basis!

As we have seen, the study of yeast has led investigators face to face
with problems of immense interest in pure chemistry, and in animal and
vegetable morphology. Its physiology is not less rich in subjects for
inquiry. Take, for example, the singular fact that yeast will increase
indefinitely when grown in the dark, in water containing only tartrate
of ammonia, a small percentage of mineral salts, and sugar. Out of
these materials the _Torulae_ will manufacture nitrogenous protoplasm,
cellulose, and fatty matters, in any quantity, although they are
wholly deprived of those rays of the sun, the influence of which is
essential to the growth of ordinary plants. There has been a great
deal of speculation lately, as to how the living organisms buried
beneath two or three thousand fathoms of water, and therefore in all
probability almost deprived of light, live.

If any of them possess the same powers as yeast (and the same capacity
for living without light is exhibited by some other fungi) there would
seem to be no difficulty about the matter.

Of the pathological bearings of the study of yeast, and other such
organisms, I have spoken elsewhere. It is certain that, in
some animals, devastating epidemics are caused by fungi of low
order--similar to those of which _Torula_ is a sort of offshoot. It is
certain that such diseases are propagated by contagion and infection,
in just the same way as ordinary contagious and infectious diseases
are propagated. Of course, it does not follow from this, that all
contagious and infectious diseases are caused by organisms of as
definite and independent a character as the _Torula_; but, I think,
it does follow that it is prudent and wise to satisfy oneself in each
particular case, that the "germ theory" cannot and will not explain
the facts, before having recourse to hypotheses which have no equal
support from analogy.



The lumps of coal in a coal-scuttle very often have a roughly cubical
form. If one of them be picked out and examined with a little care, it
will be found that its six sides are not exactly alike. Two opposite
sides are comparatively smooth and shining, while the other four are
much rougher, and are marked by lines which run parallel with the
smooth sides. The coal readily splits along these lines, and the split
surfaces thus formed are parallel with the smooth faces. In other
words, there is a sort of rough and incomplete stratification in the
lump of coal, as if it were a book, the leaves of which had stuck
together very closely.

Sometimes the faces along which the coal splits are not smooth, but
exhibit a thin layer of dull, charred-looking substance, which is
known as "mineral charcoal."

Occasionally one of the faces of a lump of coal will present
impressions, which are obviously those of the stem, or leaves, of a
plant; but though hard mineral masses of pyrites, and even fine mud,
may occur here and there, neither sand nor pebbles are met with.

When the coal burns, the chief ultimate products of its combustion
are carbonic acid, water, and ammoniacal products, which escape up the
chimney; and a greater or less amount of residual earthy salts, which
take the form of ash. These products are, to a great extent, such as
would result from the burning of so much wood.

These properties of coal may be made out without any very refined
appliances, but the microscope reveals something more. Black and
opaque as ordinary coal is, slices of it become transparent if they
are cemented in Canada balsam, and rubbed down very thin, in the
ordinary way of making thin sections of non-transparent bodies. But
as the thin slices, made in this way, are very apt to crack and break
into fragments, it is better to employ marine glue as the cementing
material. By the use of this substance, slices of considerable size
and of extreme thinness and transparency may be obtained.[1]

[Footnote 1: My assistant in the Museum of Practical Geology, Mr.
Newton, invented this excellent method of obtaining thin slices of

Now let us suppose two such slices to be prepared from our lump of
coal--one parallel with the bedding, the other perpendicular to it;
and let us call the one the horizontal, and the other the vertical,
section. The horizontal section will present more or less rounded
yellow patches and streaks, scattered irregularly through the dark
brown, or blackish, ground substance; while the vertical section will
exhibit more elongated bars and granules of the same yellow materials,
disposed in lines which correspond, roughly, with the general
direction of the bedding of the coal.

This is the microscopic structure of an ordinary piece of coal. But if
a great series of coals, from different localities and seams, or even
from different parts of the same seam, be examined, this structure
will be found to vary in two directions. In the anthracitic, or
stone-coals, which burn like coke, the yellow matter diminishes, and
the ground substance becomes more predominant, and blacker, and more
opaque, until it becomes impossible to grind a section thin enough to
be translucent; while, on the other hand, in such as the "Better-Bed"
coal of the neighbourhood of Bradford, which burns with much flame,
the coal is of a far lighter colour, and transparent sections are very
easily obtained. In the browner parts of this coal, sharp eyes will
readily detect multitudes of curious little coin-shaped bodies, of a
yellowish brown colour, embedded in the dark brown ground substance.
On the average, these little brown bodies may have a diameter of about
one-twentieth of an inch. They lie with their flat surfaces nearly
parallel with the two smooth faces of the block in which they are
contained; and, on one side of each, there may be discerned a figure,
consisting of three straight linear marks, which radiate from the
centre of the disk, but do not quite reach its circumference. In the
horizontal section these disks are often converted into more or less
complete rings; while in the vertical sections they appear like thick
hoops, the sides of which have been pressed together. The disks are,
therefore, flattened bags; and favourable sections show that the
three-rayed marking is the expression of three clefts, which penetrate
one wall of the bag.

The sides of the bags are sometimes closely approximated; but, when
the bags are less flattened, their cavities are, usually, filled with
numerous, irregularly rounded, hollow bodies, having the same kind of
wall as the large ones, but not more than one seven-hundredth of an
inch in diameter.

In favourable specimens, again, almost the whole ground substance
appears to be made up of similar bodies--more or less carbonized
or blackened--and, in these, there can be no doubt that, with the
exception of patches of mineral charcoal, here and there, the whole
mass of the coal is made up of an accumulation of the larger and of
the smaller sacs.

But, in one and the same slice, every transition can be observed from
this structure to that which has been described as characteristic of
ordinary coal. The latter appears to rise out of the former, by the
breaking-up and increasing carbonization of the larger and the smaller
sacs. And, in the anthracitic coals, this process appears to have gone
to such a length, as to destroy the original structure altogether, and
to replace it by a completely carbonized substance.

Thus coal may be said, speaking broadly, to be composed of two
constituents: firstly, mineral charcoal; and, secondly, coal proper.
The nature of the mineral charcoal has long since been determined. Its
structure shows it to consist of the remains of the stems and leaves
of plants, reduced to little more than their carbon. Again, some of
the coal is made up of the crushed and flattened bark, or outer coat,
of the stems of plants, the inner wood of which has completely decayed
away. But what I may term the "saccular matter" of the coal, which,
either in its primary or in its degraded form, constitutes by far the
greater part of all the bituminous coals I have examined, is certainly
not mineral charcoal; nor is its structure that of any stem or leaf.
Hence its real nature is, at first, by no means apparent, and has been
the subject of much discussion.

The first person who threw any light upon the problem, as far as I
have been able to discover, was the well-known geologist, Professor
Morris. It is now thirty-four years since he carefully described and
figured the coin-shaped bodies, or larger sacs, as I have called
them, in a note appended to the famous paper "On the Coal-brookdale
Coal-Field," published at that time, by the present President of
the Geological Society, Mr. Prestwich. With much sagacity, Professor
Morris divined the real nature of these bodies, and boldly
affirmed them to be the spore-cases of a plant allied to the living

But discovery sometimes makes a long halt; and it is only a few
years since Mr. Carruthers determined the plant (or rather one of the
plants) which produces these spore-cases, by finding the discoidal
sacs still adherent to the leaves of the fossilized cone which
produced them. He gave the name of _Flemingites gracilis_ to the plant
of which the cones form a part. The branches and stem of this plant
are not yet certainly known, but there is no sort of doubt that it was
closely allied to the _Lepidodendron_, the remains of which abound in
the coal formation. The _Lepidodendra_ were shrubs and trees which put
one more in mind of an _Araucaria_ than of any other familiar plant;
and the ends of the fruiting branches were terminated by cones, or
catkins, somewhat like the bodies so named in a fir, or a willow.
These conical fruits, however, did not produce seeds; but the leaves
of which they were composed bore upon their surfaces sacs full of
spores or sporangia, such as those one sees on the under surface of a
bracken leaf. Now, it is these sporangia of the Lepidodendroid plant
_Flemingites_ which were identified by Mr. Carruthers with the free
sporangia described by Professor Morris, which are the same as the
large sacs of which I have spoken. And, more than this, there is
no doubt that the small sacs are the spores, which were originally
contained in the sporangia.

The living club-mosses are, for the most part, insignificant and
creeping herbs, which, superficially, very closely resemble true
mosses, and none of them reach more than two or three feet in height.
But, in their essential structure, they very closely resemble the
earliest Lepidodendroid trees of the coal: their stems and leaves are
similar; so are their cones; and no less like are the sporangia and
spores; while even in their size, the spores of the _Lepidodendron_
and those of the existing _Lycopodium_, or club-moss, very closely
approach one another.

Thus, the singular conclusion is forced upon us, that the greater and
the smaller sacs of the "Better-Bed" and other coals, in which the
primitive structure is well preserved, are simply the sporangia and
spores of certain plants, many of which were closely allied to the
existing club-mosses. And if, as I believe, it can be demonstrated
that ordinary coal is nothing but "saccular" coal which has undergone
a certain amount of that alteration which, if continued, would convert
it into anthracite; then, the conclusion is obvious, that the great
mass of the coal we burn is the result of the accumulation of the
spores and spore-cases of plants, other parts of which have furnished
the carbonized stems and the mineral charcoal, or have left their
impressions on the surfaces of the layer.

Of the multitudinous speculations which, at various times, have been
entertained respecting the origin and mode of formation of coal,
several appear to be negatived, and put out of court, by the
structural facts the significance of which I have endeavoured to
explain. These facts, for example, do not permit us to suppose that
coal is an accumulation of peaty matter, as some have held.

Again, the late Professor Quekett was one of the first observers
who gave a correct description of what I have termed the "saccular"
structure of coal; and, rightly perceiving that this structure was
something quite different from that of any known plant, he imagined
that it proceeded from some extinct vegetable organism which was
peculiarly abundant amongst the coal-forming plants. But this
explanation is at once shown to be untenable when the smaller and the
larger sacs are proved to be spores or sporangia.

Some, once more, have imagined that coal was of submarine origin; and
though the notion is amply and easily refuted by other considerations,
it may be worth while to remark, that it is impossible to comprehend
how a mass of light and resinous spores should have reached the bottom
of the sea, or should have stopped in that position if they had got

At the same time, it is proper to remark that I do not presume to
suggest that all coal must needs have the same structure; or that
there may not be coals in which the proportions of wood and spores, or
spore-cases, are very different from those which I have examined. All
I repeat is, that none of the coals which have come under my notice
have enabled me to observe such a difference. But, according to
Principal Dawson, who has so sedulously examined the fossil remains of
plants in North America, it is otherwise with the vast accumulations
of coal in that country.

    "The true coal," says Dr. Dawson, "consists principally of
    the flattened bark of Sigillarioid and other trees, intermixed
    with leaves of Ferns and _Cordaites_, and other herbaceous
    _débris_, and with fragments of decayed wood, constituting
    'mineral charcoal,' all these materials having manifestly
    alike grown and accumulated where we find them."[1]

[Footnote 1: "Acadian Geology," 2nd edition, p. 138.]

When I had the pleasure of seeing Principal Dawson in London last
summer, I showed him my sections of coal, and begged him to re-examine
some of the American coals on his return to Canada, with an eye to the
presence of spores and sporangia, such as I was able to show him in
our English and Scotch coals. He has been good enough to do so; and in
a letter dated September 26th, 1870, he informs me that--

    "Indications of spore-cases are rare, except in certain coarse
    shaly coals and portions of coals, and in the roofs of the
    seams. The most marked case I have yet met with is the shaly
    coal referred to as containing _Sporangites_ in my paper
    on the conditions of accumulation of coal (_Journal of the
    Geological Society_, vol. xxii. pp. 115, 139, and 165). The
    purer coals certainly consist principally of cubical tissues
    with some true woody matter, and the spore-cases, &c.,
    are chiefly in the coarse and shaly layers. This is my old
    doctrine in my two papers in the _Journal of the Geological
    Society_, and I see nothing to modify it. Your observations,
    however, make it probable that the frequent _clear spots_ in
    the cannels are spore-cases."

Dr. Dawson's results are the more remarkable, as the numerous
specimens of British coal, from various localities, which I have
examined, tell one tale as to the predominance of the spore and
sporangium element in their composition; and as it is exactly in the
finest and purest coals, such as the "Better-Bed" coal of Lowmoor,
that the spores and sporangia obviously constitute almost the entire
mass of the deposit.

Coal, such as that which has been described, is always found in
sheets, or "seams," varying from a fraction of an inch to many feet
in thickness, enclosed in the substance of the earth at very various
depths, between beds of rock of different kinds. As a rule, every seam
of coal rests upon a thicker, or thinner, bed of clay, which is known
as "under-clay." These alternations of beds of coal, clay, and rock
may be repeated many times, and are known as the "coal-measures;"
and in some regions, as in South Wales and in Nova Scotia, the
coal-measures attain a thickness of twelve or fourteen thousand
feet, and enclose eighty or a hundred seams of coal, each with its
under-clay, and separated from those above and below by beds of
sandstone and shale.

The position of the beds which constitute the coal-measures is
infinitely diverse. Sometimes they are tilted up vertically, sometimes
they are horizontal, sometimes curved into great basins; sometimes
they come to the surface, sometimes they are covered up by thousands
of feet of rock. But, whatever their present position, there is
abundant and conclusive evidence that every under-clay was once a
surface soil. Not only do carbonized root-fibres frequently abound in
these under-clays; but the stools of trees, the trunks of which are
broken off and confounded with the bed of coal, have been repeatedly
found passing into radiating roots, still embedded in the under-clay.
On many parts of the coast of England, what are commonly known as
"submarine forests" are to be seen at low water. They consist, for the
most part, of short stools of oak, beech, and fir trees, still fixed
by their long roots in the bed of blue clay in which they originally
grew. If one of these submarine forest beds should be gradually
depressed and covered up by new deposits, it would present just the
same characters as an under-clay of the coal, if the _Sigillaria_ and
_Lepidodendron_ of the ancient world were substituted for the oak, or
the beech, of our own times.

In a tropical forest, at the present day, the trunks of fallen trees,
and the stools of such trees as may have been broken by the violence
of storms, remain entire for but a short time. Contrary to what might
be expected, the dense wood of the tree decays, and suffers from the
ravages of insects, more swiftly than the bark. And the traveller,
setting his foot on a prostrate trunk, finds that it is a mere shell,
which breaks under his weight, and lands his foot amidst the insects,
or the reptiles, which have sought food or refuge within.

The trees of the coal forests present parallel conditions. When the
fallen trunks which have entered into the composition of the bed of
coal are identifiable, they are mere double shells of bark, flattened
together in consequence of the destruction of the woody core; and Sir
Charles Lyell and Principal Dawson discovered, in the hollow stools
of coal trees of Nova Scotia, the remains of snails, millipedes,
and salamander-like creatures, embedded in a deposit of a different
character from that which surrounded the exterior of the trees. Thus,
in endeavouring to comprehend the formation of a seam of coal, we must
try to picture to ourselves a thick forest, formed for the most part
of trees like gigantic club-mosses, mares-tails, and tree ferns, with
here and there some that had more resemblance to our existing yews and
fir-trees. We must suppose that, as the seasons rolled by, the plants
grew and developed their spores and seeds; that they shed these in
enormous quantities, which accumulated on the ground beneath; and
that, every now and then, they added a dead frond or leaf; or, at
longer intervals, a rotten branch, or a dead trunk, to the mass.

A certain proportion of the spores and seeds no doubt fulfilled their
obvious function, and, carried by the wind to unoccupied regions,
extended the limits of the forest; many might be washed away by rain
into streams, and be lost; but a large portion must have remained, to
accumulate like beech-mast, or acorns, beneath the trees of a modern

But, in this case, it may be asked, why does not our English coal
consist of stems and leaves to a much greater extent than it does?
What is the reason of the predominance of the spores and spore-cases
in it?

A ready answer to this question is afforded by the study of a living
full-grown club-moss. Shake it upon a piece of paper, and it emits a
cloud of fine dust, which falls over the paper, and is the well-known
Lycopodium powder. Now this powder used to be, and I believe still
is, employed for two objects, which seem at first sight to have no
particular connection with one another. It is, or was, employed in
making lightning, and in making pills. The coats of the spores contain
so much resinous matter, that a pinch of Lycopodium powder, thrown
through the flame of a candle, burns with an instantaneous flash,
which has long done duty for lightning on the stage. And the same
character makes it a capital coating for pills; for the resinous
powder prevents the drug from being wetted by the saliva, and thus
bars the nauseous flavour from the sensitive papillae of the tongue.

But this resinous matter, which lies in the walls of the spores and
sporangia, is a substance not easily altered by air and water,
and hence tends to preserve these bodies, just as the bituminized
cerecloth preserves an Egyptian mummy; while, on the other hand, the
merely woody stem and leaves tend to rot, as fast as the wood of the
mummy's coffin has rotted. Thus the mixed heap of spores, leaves,
and stems in the coal-forest would be persistently searched by the
long-continued action of air and rain; the leaves and stems would
gradually be reduced to little but their carbon, or, in other words,
to the condition of mineral charcoal in which we find them; while the
spores and sporangia remained as a comparatively unaltered and compact

There is, indeed, tolerably clear evidence that the coal must, under
some circumstances, have been converted into a substance hard enough
to be rolled into pebbles, while it yet lay at the surface of the
earth; for in some seams of coal, the courses of rivulets, which must
have been living water, while the stratum in which their remains are
found was still at the surface, have been observed to contain rolled
pebbles of the very coal through which the stream has cut its way.

The structural facts are such as to leave no alternative but to adopt
the view of the origin of such coal as I have described, which has
just been stated; but, happily, the process is not without analogy at
the present day. I possess a specimen of what is called "white coal"
from Australia. It is an inflammable material, burning with a bright
flame, and having much the consistence and appearance of oat-cake,
which, I am informed, covers a considerable area. It consists, almost
entirely, of a compacted mass of spores and spore-cases. But the fine
particles of blown sand which are scattered through it, show that it
must have accumulated, subaërially, upon the surface of a soil covered
by a forest of cryptogamous plants, probably tree-ferns.

As regards this important point of the subaërial region of coal, I am
glad to find myself in entire accordance with Principal Dawson,
who bases his conclusions upon other, but no less forcible,
considerations. In a passage, which is the continuation of that
already cited, he writes:--

    "(3) The microscopical structure and chemical composition of
    the beds of cannel coal and earthy bitumen, and of the more
    highly bituminous and carbonaeceous shale, show them to have
    been of the nature of the fine vegetable mud which accumulates
    in the ponds and shallow lakes of modern swamps. When such
    fine vegetable sediment is mixed, as is often the case, with
    clay, it becomes similar to the bituminous limestone and
    calcareo-bituminous shales of the coal-measures. (4) A few of
    the under-clays, which support beds of coal, are of the nature
    of the vegetable mud above referred to; but the greater part
    are argillo-arenaceous in composition, with little vegetable
    matter, and bleached by the drainage from them of water
    containing the products of vegetable decay. They are, in
    short, loamy or clay soils, and must have been sufficiently
    above water to admit of drainage. The absence of sulphurets,
    and the occurrence of carbonate of iron in connection with
    them, prove that, when they existed as soils, rain-water, and
    not sea-water, percolated them. (5) The coal and the fossil
    forests present many evidences of subaërial conditions. Most
    of the erect and prostrate trees had become hollow shells of
    bark before they were finally embedded, and their wood had
    broken into cubical pieces of mineral charcoal. Land-snails
    and galley-worms _Xylobius_ crept into them, and they became
    dens, or traps, for reptiles. Large quantities of mineral
    charcoal occur on the surface of all the large beds of
    coal. None of these appearances could have been produced by
    subaqueous action. (6) Though the roots of the _Sigillaria_
    bear more resemblance to the rhizomes of certain aquatic
    plants; yet, structurally, they are absolutely identical with
    the roots of Cycads, which the stems also resemble. Further,
    the _Sigillariae_ grew on the same soils which supported
    Conifers, _Lepidodendra, Cordaites_, and Ferns--plants which
    could not have grown in water. Again, with the exception
    perhaps of some _Pinnulariae_ and _Asterophyllites_, there
    is a remarkable absence from the coal measures of any form of
    properly aquatic vegetation. (7) The occurrence of marine, or
    brackish-water animals, in the roofs of coal-beds, or even
    in the coal itself, affords no evidence of subaqueous
    accumulation, since the same thing occurs in the case of
    modern submarine forests. For these and other reasons, some of
    which are more fully stated in the papers already referred
    to, while I admit that the areas of coal accumulation were
    frequently submerged, I must maintain that the true coal is a
    subaërial accumulation by vegetable growth on soils, wet and
    swampy it is true, but not submerged."

I am almost disposed to doubt whether it is necessary to make the
concession of "wet and swampy;" otherwise, there is nothing that I
know of to be said against this excellent conspectus of the reasons
for believing in the subaërial origin of coal.

But the coal accumulated upon the area covered by one of the great
forests of the carboniferous epoch would, in course of time, have
been wasted away by the small, but constant, wear and tear of rain and
streams, had the land which supported it remained at the same level,
or been gradually raised to a greater elevation. And, no doubt, as
much coal as now exists has been destroyed, after its formation, in
this way. What are now known as coal districts owe their importance to
the fact that they were areas of slow depression, during a greater or
less portion of the carboniferous epoch; and that, in virtue of this
circumstance, Mother Earth was enabled to cover up her vegetable
treasures, and preserve them from destruction.

Wherever a coal-field now exists, there must formerly have been free
access for a great river, or for a shallow sea, bearing sediment in
the shape of sand and mud. When the coal-forest area became slowly
depressed, the waters must have spread over it, and have deposited
their burden upon the surface of the bed of coal, in the form of
layers, which are now converted into shale, or sandstone. Then
followed a period of rest, in which the superincumbent shallow waters
became completely filled up, and finally replaced, by fine mud, which
settled down into a new under-clay, and furnished the soil for a fresh
forest growth. This flourished, and heaped up its spores and wood into
coal, until the stage of slow depression recommenced. And, in some
localities, as I have mentioned, the process was repeated until the
first of the alternating beds had sunk to near three miles below its
original level at the surface of the earth.

In reflecting on the statement, thus briefly made, of the main facts
connected with the origin of the coal formed during the carboniferous
epoch, two or three considerations suggest themselves.

In the first place, the great phantom of geological time rises before
the student of this, as of all other, fragments of the history of our
earth--springing irrepressibly out of the facts, like the Djin from
the jar which the fisherman so incautiously opened; and like the Djin
again, being vaporous, shifting, and indefinable, but unmistakably
gigantic. However modest the bases of one's calculation may be,
the minimum of time assignable to the coal period remains something

Principal Dawson is the last person likely to be guilty of
exaggeration in this matter, and it will be well to consider what he
has to say about it:--

    "The rate of accumulation of coal was very slow. The climate
    of the period, in the northern temperate zone, was of such
    a character that the true conifers show rings of growth, not
    larger, nor much less distinct, than those of many of their
    modern congeners. The _Sigillariae_ and _Calamites_ were not,
    as often supposed, composed wholly, or even principally, of
    lax and soft tissues, or necessarily short-lived. The former
    had, it is true, a very thick inner bark; but their dense
    woody axis, their thick and nearly imperishable outer bark,
    and their scanty and rigid foliage, would indicate no very
    rapid growth or decay. In the case of the _Sigillariae_, the
    variations in the leaf-scars in different parts of the trunk,
    the intercalation of new ridges at the surface representing
    that of new woody wedges in the axis, the transverse marks
    left by the stages of upward growth, all indicate that several
    years must have been required for the growth of stems of
    moderate size. The enormous roots of these trees, and the
    condition of the coal-swamps, must have exempted them from the
    danger of being overthrown by violence. They probably fell in
    successive generations from natural decay; and making every
    allowance for other materials, we may safely assert that every
    foot of thickness of pure bituminous coal implies the
    quiet growth and fall of at least fifty generations of
    _Sigillariae_, and therefore an undisturbed condition of
    forest growth enduring through many centuries. Further, there
    is evidence that an immense amount of loose parenchymatous
    tissue, and even of wood, perished by decay, and we do not
    know to what extent even the most durable tissues may have
    disappeared in this way; so that, in many coal-seams, we may
    have only a very small part of the vegetable matter produced."

Undoubtedly the force of these reflections is not diminished when the
bituminous coal, as in Britain, consists of accumulated spores and
spore-cases, rather than of stems. But, suppose we adopt Principal
Dawson's assumption, that one foot of coal represents fifty
generations of coal plants; and, further, make the moderate
supposition that each generation of coal plants took ten years to come
to maturity--then, each foot-thickness of coal represents five hundred
years. The superimposed beds of coal in one coal-field may amount to
a thickness of fifty or sixty feet, and therefore the coal alone, in
that field, represents 500 x 50 = 25,000 years. But the actual coal is
but an insignificant portion of the total deposit, which, as has been
seen, may amount to between two and three miles of vertical thickness.
Suppose it be 12,000 feet--which is 240 times the thickness of the
actual coal--is there any reason why we should believe it may not have
taken 240 times as long to form? I know of none. But, in this case,
the time which the coal-field represents would be 25,000 x 240
=6,000,000 years. As affording a definite chronology, of course such
calculations as these are of no value; but they have much use in
fixing one's attention upon a possible minimum. A man may be puzzled
if he is asked how long Rome took a-building; but he is proverbially
safe if he affirms it not to have been built in a day; and our
geological calculations are all, at present, pretty much on that

A second consideration which the study of the coal brings prominently
before the mind of anyone who is familiar with palaeontology is, that
the coal Flora, viewed in relation to the enormous period of time
which it lasted, and to the still vaster period which has elapsed
since it flourished, underwent little change while it endured, and in
its peculiar characters, differs strangely little from that which at
present exists.

The same species of plants are to be met with throughout the whole
thickness of a coal-field, and the youngest are not sensibly different
from the oldest. But more than this. Notwithstanding that the
carboniferous period is separated from us by more than the whole time
represented by the secondary and tertiary formations, the great types
of vegetation were as distinct then as now. The structure of the
modern club-moss furnishes a complete explanation of the fossil
remains of the _Lepidodendra_, and the fronds of some of the ancient
ferns are hard to distinguish from existing ones. At the same time,
it must be remembered, that there is nowhere in the world, at present,
any _forest_ which bears more than a rough analogy with a coal-forest.
The types may remain, but the details of their form, their relative
proportions, their associates, are all altered. And the tree-fern
forest of Tasmania, or New Zealand, gives one only a faint and remote
image of the vegetation of the ancient world.

Once more, an invariably-recurring lesson of geological history,
at whatever point its study is taken up: the lesson of the almost
infinite slowness of the modification of living forms. The lines of
the pedigrees of living things break off almost before they begin to

Finally, yet another curious consideration. Let us suppose that one of
the stupid, salamander-like Labyrinthodonts, which pottered, with
much belly and little leg, like Falstaff in his old age, among the
coal-forests, could have had thinking power enough in his small brain
to reflect upon the showers of spores which kept on falling through
years and centuries, while perhaps not one in ten million fulfilled
its apparent purpose, and reproduced the organism which gave it birth:
surely he might have been excused for moralizing upon the thoughtless
and wanton extravagance which Nature displayed in her operations.

But we have the advantage over our shovel-headed predecessor--or
possibly ancestor--and can perceive that a certain vein of thrift runs
through this apparent prodigality. Nature is never in a hurry, and
seems to have had always before her eyes the adage, "Keep a thing long
enough, and you will find a use for it." She has kept her beds of coal
many millions of years without being able to find much use for them;
she has sent them down beneath the sea, and the sea-beasts could make
nothing of them; she has raised them up into dry land, and laid the
black veins bare, and still, for ages and ages, there was no living
thing on the face of the earth that could see any sort of value in
them; and it was only the other day, so to speak, that she turned a
new creature out of her workshop, who by degrees acquired sufficient
wits to make a fire, and then to discover that the black rock would

I suppose that nineteen hundred years ago, when Julius Caesar was good
enough to deal with Britain as we have dealt with New Zealand, the
primaeval Briton, blue with cold and woad, may have known that the
strange black stone, of which he found lumps here and there in his
wanderings, would burn, and so help to warm his body and cook his
food. Saxon, Dane, and Norman swarmed into the land. The English
people grew into a powerful nation, and Nature still waited for a full
return of the capital she had invested in the ancient club-mosses. The
eighteenth century arrived, and with it James Watt. The brain of that
man was the spore out of which was developed the steam-engine, and all
the prodigious trees and branches of modern industry which have grown
out of this. But coal is as much an essential condition of this growth
and development as carbonic acid is for that of a club-moss. Wanting
coal, we could not have smelted the iron needed to make our engines,
nor have worked our engines when we had got them. But take away the
engines, and the great towns of Yorkshire and Lancashire vanish like a
dream. Manufactures give place to agriculture and pasture, and not ten
men can live where now ten thousand are amply supported.

Thus, all this abundant wealth of money and of vivid life is Nature's
interest upon her investment in club-mosses, and the like, so long
ago. But what becomes of the coal which is burnt in yielding this
interest? Heat comes out of it, light comes out of it, and if we could
gather together all that goes up the chimney; and all that remains in
the grate of a thoroughly-burnt coal-fire, we should find ourselves in
possession of a quantity of carbonic acid, water, ammonia, and mineral
matters, exactly equal in weight to the coal. But these are the very
matters with which Nature supplied the club-mosses which made the
coal. She is paid back principal and interest at the same time; and
she straightway invests the carbonic acid, the water, and the ammonia
in new forms of life, feeding with them the plants that now live.
Thrifty Nature! Surely no prodigal, but most notable of housekeepers!



The marine productions which are commonly known by the names of
"Corals" and "Corallines," were thought by the ancients to be
sea-weeds, which had the singular property of becoming hard and
solid, when they were fished up from their native depths and came into
contact with the air.

    "Sic et curalium, quo primum contigit auras Tempore durescit:
    mollis fuit herba sub undis,"

says Ovid (Metam. xv.); and it was not until the seventeenth century
that Boccone was emboldened, by personal experience of the facts, to
declare that the holders of this belief were no better than "idiots,"
who had been misled by the softness of the outer coat of the living
red coral to imagine that it was soft all through.

Messer Boccone's strong epithet is probably undeserved, as the
notion he controverts, in all likelihood, arose merely from the
misinterpretation of the strictly true statement which any coral
fisherman would make to a curious inquirer; namely, that the outside
coat of the red coral is quite soft when it is taken out of the sea.
At any rate, he did good service by eliminating this much error from
the current notions about coral. But the belief that corals are plants
remained, not only in the popular, but in the scientific mind; and
it received what appeared to be a striking confirmation from the
researches of Marsigli in 1706. For this naturalist, having the
opportunity of observing freshly-taken red coral, saw that its
branches were beset with what looked like delicate and beautiful
flowers, each having eight petals. It was true that these "flowers"
could protrude and retract themselves, but their motions were hardly
more extensive, or more varied, than those of the leaves of the
sensitive plant; and therefore they could not be held to militate
against the conclusion so strongly suggested by their form and their
grouping upon the branches of a tree-like structure.

Twenty years later, a pupil of Marsigli, the young Marseilles
physician, Peyssonel, conceived the desire to study these singular
sea-plants, and was sent by the French Government on a mission to the
Mediterranean for that purpose. The pupil undertook the investigation
full of confidence in the ideas of his master, but being able to see
and think for himself, he soon discovered that those ideas by no means
altogether corresponded with reality. In an essay entitled "Traité du
Corail," which was communicated to the French Academy of Science, but
which has never been published, Peyssonel writes:--

    "Je fis fleurir le corail dans des vases pleins d'eau de mer,
    et j'observai que ce que nous croyons être la fleur de cette
    prétendue plante n'était au vrai, qu'un insecte semblable à
    une petite Ortie ou Poulpe. J'avais le plaisir de voir remuer
    les pattes, ou pieds, de cette Ortie, et ayant mis le vase
    plein d'eau où le corail était à une douce chaleur auprès
    du feu, tous les petites insectes s'épanouirent ... L'Ortie
    sortie étend les pieds, et forme ce que M. de Marsigli et moi
    avions pris pour les pétales de la fleur. Le calice de cette
    prétendue fleur est le corps même de l'animal avancé et sorti
    hors de la cellule."[1]

[Footnote 1: This extract from Peysonnel's manuscript is given by
M. Lacaze Duthiers in his valuable "Histoire Naturelle du Corail"

The comparison of the flowers of the coral to a "petite ortie" or
"little nettle" is perfectly just, but needs explanation. "Ortie de
mer," or "sea-nettle," is, in fact, the French appellation for our
"sea-anemone," a creature with which everybody, since the great
aquarium mania, must have become familiar, even to the limits of
boredom. In 1710, the great naturalist, Réaumur, had written a memoir
for the express purpose of demonstrating that these "orties" are
animals; and with this important paper Peyssonel must necessarily have
been familiar. Therefore, when he declared the "flowers" of the red
coral to be little "orties," it was the same thing as saying that
they were animals of the same general nature as sea-anemones. But
to Peyssonel's contemporaries this was an extremely startling
announcement. It was hard to imagine the existence of such a thing
as an association of animals into a structure with stem and branches
altogether like a plant, and fixed to the soil as a plant is fixed;
and the naturalists of that day preferred not to imagine it. Even
Réaumur could not bring himself to accept the notion, and France being
blessed with Academicians, whose great function (as the late Bishop
Wilson and an eminent modern writer have so well shown) is to cause
sweetness and light to prevail, and to prevent such unmannerly fellows
as Peyssonel from blurting out unedifying truths, they suppressed him;
and, as aforesaid, his great work remained in manuscript, and may
at this day be consulted by the curious in that state, in the
"Bibliothèque du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle." Peyssonel, who
evidently was a person of savage and untameable disposition, so far
from appreciating the kindness of the Academicians in giving him time
to reflect upon the unreasonableness, not to say rudeness, of making
public statements in opposition to the views of some of the most
distinguished of their body, seems bitterly to have resented the
treatment he met with. For he sent all further communications to the
Royal Society of London, which never had, and it is to be hoped never
will have, anything of an academic constitution; and finally took
himself off to Guadaloupe, and became lost to science altogether.

Fifteen or sixteen years after the date of Peyssonel's suppressed
paper, the Abbé Trembley published his wonderful researches upon the
fresh-water _Hydra_. Bernard de Jussieu and Guettard followed them
up by like inquiries upon the marine sea-anemones and corallines;
Réaumur, convinced against his will of the entire justice of
Peyssonel's views, adopted them, and made him a half-and-half apology
in the preface to the next published volume of the "Mémoires pour
servir à l'Histoire des Insectes;" and, from this time forth,
Peyssonel's doctrine that corals are the work of animal organisms has
been part of the body of established scientific truth.

Peyssonel, in the extract from his memoir already cited, compares the
flower-like animal of the coral to a "poulpe," which is the French
form of the name "polypus,"--"the many-footed,"--which the ancient
naturalists gave to the soft-bodied cuttle-fishes, which, like the
coral animal, have eight arms, or tentacles, disposed around a central
mouth. Réaumur, admitting the analogy indicated by Peyssonel, gave the
name of _polypes_, not only to the sea-anemone, the coral animal, and
the fresh-water _Hydra_, but to what are now known as the _Polyzoa_,
and he termed the skeleton which they fabricate a "_polypier_" or

The progress of discovery, since Réaumur's time, has made us very
completely acquainted with the structure and habits of all these
polypes. We know that, among the sea-anemones and coral-forming
animals, each polype has a mouth leading to a stomach, which is open
at its inner end, and thus communicates freely with the general cavity
of the body; that the tentacles placed round the mouth are hollow, and
that they perform the part of arms in seizing and capturing prey. It
is known that many of these creatures are capable of being multiplied
by artificial division, the divided halves growing, after a time, into
complete and separate animals; and that many are able to perform a
very similar process naturally, in such a manner that one polype may,
by repeated incomplete divisions, give rise to a sort of sheet,
or turf, formed by innumerable connected, and yet independent,
descendants. Or, what is still more common, a polype may throw out
buds, which are converted into polypes, or branches bearing polypes,
until a tree-like mass, sometimes of very considerable size, is

This is what happens in the case of the red coral of commerce. A
minute polype, fixed to the rocky bottom of the deep sea, grows up
into a branched trunk. The end of every branch and twig is terminated
by a polype; and all the polypes are connected together by a fleshy
substance, traversed by innumerable canals which place each polype in
communication with every other, and carry nourishment to the substance
of the supporting stem. It is a sort of natural co-operative store,
every polype helping the whole, at the same time as it helps itself.
The interior of the stem, like that of the branches, is solidified
by the deposition of carbonate of lime in its tissue, somewhat in the
same fashion as our own bones are formed of animal matter impregnated
with lime salts; and it is this dense skeleton (usually turned
deep red by a peculiar colouring matter) cleared of the soft animal
investment, as the heart-wood of a tree might be stripped of its bark,
which is the red coral.

In the case of the red coral, the hard skeleton belongs to the
interior of the stem and branches only; but in the commoner white
corals, each polype has a complete skeleton of its own. These
polypes ate sometimes solitary, in which case the whole skeleton is
represented by a single cup, with partitions radiating from its centre
to its circumference. When the polypes formed by budding or division
remain associated, the polypidom is sometimes made up of nothing but
an aggregation of these cups, while at other times the cups are at
once separated and held together, by an intermediate substance, which
represents the branches of the red coral. The red coral polype
again is a comparatively rare animal, inhabiting a limited area, the
skeleton of which has but a very insignificant mass; while the white
corals are very common, occur in almost all seas, and form skeletons
which are sometimes extremely massive.

With a very few exceptions, both the red and the white coral polypes
are, in their adult state, firmly adherent to the sea-bottom; nor do
their buds naturally become detached and locomotive. But, in addition
to budding and division, these creatures possess the more ordinary
methods of multiplication; and, at particular seasons, they give
rise to numerous eggs of minute size. Within these eggs the young are
formed, and they leave the egg in a condition which has no sort of
resemblance to the perfect animal. It is, in fact, a minute oval body,
many hundred times smaller than the full-grown creature, and it
swims about with great activity by the help of multitudes of little
hair-like filaments, called cilia, with which its body is covered.
These cilia all lash the water in one direction, and so drive the
little body along as if it were propelled by thousands of extremely
minute paddles. After enjoying its freedom for a longer or shorter
time, and being carried either by the force of its own cilia, or by
currents which bear it along, the embryo coral settles down to the
bottom, loses its cilia, and becomes fixed to the rock, gradually
assuming the polype form and growing up to the size of its parent.
As the infant polypes of the coral may retain this free and active
condition for many hours, or even days, and as a tidal or other
current in the sea may easily flow at the speed of two or even
more miles in an hour, it is clear that the embryo must often be
transported to very considerable distances from the parent. And it
is easily understood how a single polype, which may give rise to
hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of embryos, may, by this process of
partly active and partly passive migration, cover an immense surface
with its offspring. The masses of coral which may be formed by the
assemblages of polypes which spring by budding, or by dividing, from a
single polype, occasionally attain very considerable dimensions. Such
skeletons are sometimes great plates, many feet long and several feet
in thickness; or they may form huge half globes, like the brainstone
corals, or may reach the magnitude of stout shrubs, or even small
trees. There is reason to believe that such masses as these take a
long time to form, and hence that the age a polype tree, or polype
turf, may attain, may be considerable. But, sooner or later, the coral
polypes, like all other things, die; the soft flesh decays, while the
skeleton is left as a stony mass at the bottom of the sea, where it
retains its integrity for a longer or a shorter time, according as its
position affords it more or less protection from the wear and tear of
the waves.

The polypes which give rise to the white coral are found, as has been
said, in the seas of all parts of the world; but in the temperate and
cold oceans they are scattered and comparatively small in size,
so that the skeletons of those which die do not accumulate in any
considerable quantity. But it is otherwise in the greater part of the
ocean which lies in the warmer parts of the world, comprised within a
distance of about 1,800 miles on each side of the equator. Within the
zone thus bounded, by far the greater part of the ocean is inhabited
by coral polypes, which not only form very strong and large skeletons,
but associate together into great masses, like the thickets and the
meadow turf, or, better still, the accumulations of peat, to which
plants give rise on the dry land. These masses of stony matter, heaped
up beneath the waters of the ocean, become as dangerous to mariners
as so much ordinary rock, and to these, as to common rock ridges, the
seaman gives the name of "reefs."

Such coral reefs cover many thousand square miles in the Pacific and
in the Indian Oceans. There is one reef, or rather great series of
reefs, called the Barrier Reef, which stretches, almost continuously,
for more than 1,100 miles off the east coast of Australia. Multitudes
of the island in the Pacific are either reefs themselves, or are
surrounded by reefs. The Red Sea is in many parts almost a maze of
such reefs; and they abound no less in the West Indies, along the
coast of Florida, and even as far north as the Bahama Islands. But it
is a very remarkable circumstance that, within the area of what we may
call the "coral zone," there are no coral reefs upon the west coast of
America, nor upon the west coast of Africa; and it is a general fact
that the reefs are interrupted, or absent, opposite the mouths of
great rivers. The causes of this apparent caprice in the distribution
of coral reefs are not far to seek. The polypes which fabricate them
require for their vigorous growth a temperature which must not fall
below 68 degrees Fahrenheit all the year round, and this temperature
is only to be found within the distance on each side of the equator
which has been mentioned, or thereabouts. But even within the coral
zone this degree of warmth is not everywhere to be had. On the west
coast of America, and on the corresponding coast of Africa, currents
of cold water from the icy regions which surround the South Pole set
northward, and it appears to be due to their cooling influence that
the sea in these regions is free from the reef builders. Again, the
coral polypes cannot live in water which is rendered brackish by
floods from the land, or which is perturbed by mud from the same
source, and hence it is that they cease to exist opposite the mouths
of rivers, which damage them in both these ways.

Such is the general distribution of the reef-building corals, but
there are some very interesting and singular circumstances to be
observed in the conformation of the reefs, when we consider them
individually. The reefs, in fact, are of three different kinds; some
of them stretch out from the shore, almost like a prolongation of the
beach, covered only by shallow water, and in the case of an island,
surrounding it like a fringe of no considerable breadth. These are
termed "fringing reefs." Others are separated by a channel which may
attain a width of many miles, and a depth of twenty or thirty fathoms
or more, from the nearest land; and when this land is an island, the
reef surrounds it like a low wall, and the sea between the reef and
the land is, as it were, a moat inside this wall. Such reefs as these
are called "encircling" when they surround an island; and "barrier"
reefs, when they stretch parallel with the coast of a continent.
In both these cases there is ordinary dry land inside the reef, and
separated from it only by a narrower or a wider, a shallower or a
deeper, space of sea, which is called a "lagoon," or "inner passage."
But there is a third kind of reef, of very common occurrence in the
Pacific and Indian Oceans, which goes by the name of an "Atoll." This
is, to all intents and purposes, an encircling reef, without anything
to encircle; or, in other words, without an island in the middle
of its lagoon. The atoll has exactly the appearance of a vast,
irregularly oval, or circular, breakwater, enclosing smooth water in
its midst. The depth of the water in the lagoon rarely exceeds twenty
or thirty fathoms, but, outside the reef, it deepens with great
rapidity to 200 or 300 fathoms. The depth immediately outside the
barrier, or encircling, reefs, may also be very considerable; but, at
the outer edge of a fringing reef, it does not amount usually to more
than twenty or twenty-five fathoms; in other words, from 120 to 150

Thus, if the water of the ocean could be suddenly drained away, we
should see the atolls rising from the sea-bed like vast truncated
cones, and resembling so many volcanic craters, except that their
sides would be steeper than those of an ordinary volcano. In the case
of the encircling reefs, the cone, with the enclosed island, would
look like Vesuvius with Monte Nuovo within the old crater of Somma;
while, finally, the island with a fringing reef would have the
appearance of an ordinary hill, or mountain, girded by a vast parapet,
within which would lie a shallow moat. And the dry bed of the Pacific
might afford grounds for an inhabitant of the moon to speculate
upon the extraordinary subterranean activity to which these vast and
numerous "craters" bore witness!

When the structure of a fringing reef is investigated, the bottom of
the lagoon is found to be covered with fine whitish mud, which results
from the breaking up of the dead corals. Upon this muddy floor there
lie, here and there, growing corals, or occasionally great blocks of
dead coral, which have been torn by storms from the outer edge of
the reef, and washed into the lagoon. Shell-fish and worms of various
kinds abound; and fish, some of which prey upon the coral, sport in
the deeper pools. But the corals which are to be seen growing in the
shallow waters of the lagoon are of a different kind from those which
abound on the outer edge of the reef, and of which the reef is built
up. Close to the seaward edge of the reef, over which, even in calm
weather, a surf almost always breaks, the coral rock is encrusted with
a thick coat of a singular vegetable organism, which contains a great
deal of lime--the so-called _Nullipora_. Beyond this, in the part of
the edge of the reef which is always covered by the breaking waves,
the living, true, reef--polypes make their appearance; and, in
different forms, coat the steep seaward face of the reef to a depth of
100 or even 150 feet. Beyond this depth the sounding-lead rests, not
upon the wall-like face of the reef, but on the ordinary shelving
sea-bottom. And the distance to which a fringing reef extends from the
land corresponds with that at which the sea has a depth of twenty or
five-and-twenty fathoms.

If, as we have supposed, the sea could be suddenly withdrawn from
around an island provided with a fringing reef, such as the Mauritius,
the reef would present the aspect of a terrace, its seaward face,
100 feet or more high, blooming with the animal flowers of the coral,
while its surface would be hollowed out into a shallow and irregular
moat-like excavation.

The coral mud, which occupies the bottom of the lagoon, and with which
all the interstices of the coral skeletons which accumulate to form
the reef are filled up, does not proceed from the washing action of
the waves alone; innumerable fishes, and other creatures which prey
upon the coral, add a very important contribution of finely-triturated
calcareous matter; and the corals and mud becoming incorporated
together, gradually harden and give rise to a sort of limestone rock,
which may vary a good deal in texture. Sometimes it remains friable
and chalky, but, more often, the infiltration of water, charged with
carbonic acid, dissolves some of the calcareous matter, and deposits
it elsewhere in the interstices of the nascent rock, thus glueing
and cementing the particles together into a hard mass; or it may even
dissolve the carbonate of lime more extensively, and re-deposit it in
a crystalline form. On the beach of the lagoon, where the coral sand
is washed into layers by the action of the waves, its grains become
thus fused together into strata of a limestone, so hard that they
ring when struck with a hammer, and inclined at a gentle angle,
corresponding with that of the surface of the beach. The hard parts
of the many animals which live upon the reef become imbedded in this
coral limestone, so that a block may be full of shells of bivalves and
univalves, or of sea-urchins; and even sometimes encloses the eggs of
turtles in a state of petrifaction. The active and vigorous growth of
the reef goes on only at the seaward margins, where the polypes are
exposed to the wash of the surf, and are thereby provided with an
abundant supply of air and of food. The interior portion of the reef
may be regarded as almost wholly an accumulation of dead skeletons.
Where a river comes down from the land there is a break in the reef,
for the reasons which have been already mentioned.

The origin and mode of formation of a fringing reef, such as that just
described, are plain enough. The embryos of the coral polypes have
fixed themselves upon the submerged shore of the island, as far out as
they could live, namely, to a depth of twenty or twenty-five fathoms.
One generation has succeeded another, building itself up upon the dead
skeletons of its predecessor. The mass has been consolidated by
the infiltration of coral mud, and hardened by partial solution and
redeposition, until a great rampart of coral rock 100 or 150 feet high
on its seaward face has been formed all round the island, with only
such gaps as result from the outflow of rivers, in the place of

The structure of the rocky accumulation in the encircling reefs and
in the atolls is essentially the same as in the fringing reef. But, in
addition to the differences of depth inside and out, they present
some other peculiarities. These reefs, and especially the atolls, are
usually interrupted at one part of their circumference, and this part
is always situated on the leeward side of the reef, or that which is
the more sheltered side. Now, as all these reefs are situated within
the region in which the trade-winds prevail, it follows that, on the
north side of the equator, where the trade-wind is a north-easterly
wind, the opening of the reef is on the south-west side: while in the
southern hemisphere, where the trade-winds blow from the south-east,
the opening lies to the north-west. The curious practical result
follows from this structure, that the lagoons of these reefs really
form admirable harbours, if a ship can only get inside them. But the
main difference between the encircling reefs and the atolls, on the
one hand, and the fringing reefs on the other, lies in the fact of the
much greater depth of water on the seaward faces of the former. As a
consequence of this fact, the whole of this face is not, as it is in
the case of the fringing reef, covered with living coral polypes. For,
as we have seen, these polypes cannot live at a greater depth than
about twenty-five fathoms; and actual observation has shown that
while, down to this depth, the sounding-lead will bring up branches of
live coral from the outer wall of such a reef, at a greater depth it
fetches to the surface nothing but dead coral and coral sand. We must,
therefore, picture to ourselves an atoll, or an encircling reef, as
fringed for 100 feet, or more, from its summit, with coral polypes
busily engaged in fabricating coral; while, below this comparatively
narrow belt, its surface is a bare and smooth expanse of coral sand,
supported upon and within a core of coral limestone. Thus, if the bed
of the Pacific were suddenly laid bare, as was just now supposed, the
appearance of the reef-mountains would be exactly the reverse of that
presented by many high mountains on land. For these are white with
snow at the top, while their bases are clothed with an abundant and
gaudily-coloured vegetation. But the coral cones would look grey and
barren below, while their summits would be gay with a richly-coloured
parterre of flower-like coral polypes.

The practical difficulties of sounding upon, and of bringing up
portions of, the seaward face of an atoll or of an encircling reef,
are so great, in consequence of the constant and dangerous swell which
sets towards it, that no exact information concerning the depth to
which the reefs are composed of coral has yet been obtained. There is
no reason to doubt, however, that the reef-cone has the same structure
from its summit to its base, and that its sea-wall is throughout
mainly composed of dead coral.

And now arises a serious difficulty. If the coral polypes cannot live
at a greater depth than 100 or 150 feet, how can they have built up
the base of the reef-cone, which may be 2,000 feet, or more, below the
surface of the sea?

In order to get over this objection, it was at one time supposed that
the reef-building polypes had settled upon the summits of a chain
of submarine mountains. But what is there in physical geography
to justify the assumption of the existence of a chain of mountains
stretching for 1,000 miles or more, and so nearly of the same height,
that none should rise above the level of the sea, nor fall 150 feet
below that level?

How again, on this hypothesis, are atolls to be accounted for, unless,
as some have done, we take refuge in the wild supposition that every
atoll corresponds with the crater of a submarine volcano? And what
explanation does it afford of the fact that, in some parts of the
ocean, only atolls and encircling reefs occur, while others present
none but fringing reefs?

These and other puzzling facts remained insoluble until the
publication, in the year 1840, of Mr. Darwin's famous work on
coral reefs; in which a key was given to all the difficult problems
connected with the subject, and every difficulty was shown to be
capable of solution by deductive reasoning from a happy combination of
certain well-established geological and biological truths. Mr.
Darwin, in fact, showed, that so long as the level of the sea remains
unaltered in any area in which coral reefs are being formed, or if the
level of the sea relatively to that of the land is falling, the
only reefs which can be formed are fringing reefs. While if, on the
contrary, the level of the sea is rising relatively to that of the
land, at a rate not faster than that at which the upward growth of
the coral can keep pace with it, the reef will gradually pass from the
condition of a fringing, into that of an encircling or barrier reef.
And, finally, that if the relative level of the sea rise so much that
the encircled land is completely submerged, the reef must necessarily
pass into the condition of an atoll.

For, suppose the relative level of the sea to remain stationary, after
a fringing reef has reached that distance from the land at which
the depth of water amounts to 150 feet. Then the reef cannot extend
seaward by the migration of coral germs, because these coral germs
would find the bottom of the sea to be too deep for them to live in.
And the only manner in which the reef could extend outwards, would
be by the gradual accumulation, at the foot of its seaward face, of a
talus of coral fragments torn off by the violence of the waves, which
talus might, in course of time, become high enough to bring its upper
surface within the limits of coral growth, and in that manner provide
a sort of factitious sea-bottom upon which the coral embryos might
perch. If, on the other hand, the level of the sea were slowly and
gradually lowered, it is clear that the parts of its bottom originally
beyond the limit of coral growth, would gradually be brought within
the required distance of the surface, and thus the reef might be
indefinitely extended. But this process would give rise neither to an
encircling reef nor to an atoll, but to a broad belt of upheaved
coral rock, increasing the dimensions of the dry land, and continuous
seawards with the fresh fringing reef.

Suppose, however, that the sea-level rose instead of falling, at the
same slow and gradual rate at which we know it to be rising in some
parts of the world--not more, in fact, than a few inches, or, at
most, a foot or two, in a hundred years. Then, while the reef would
be unable to extend itself seaward, the sea-bottom outside it being
gradually more and more removed from the depth at which the life of
the coral polypes is possible, it would be able to grow upwards
as fast as the sea rose. But the growth would take place almost
exclusively around the circumference of the reef, this being the only
region in which the coral polypes would find the conditions favourable
for their existence. The bottom of the lagoon would be raised, in the
main, only by the coral _débris_ and coral mud, formed in the manner
already described; consequently, the margins of the reef would
rise faster than the bottom, or, in other words, the lagoon would
constantly become deeper. And, at the same time, it would gradually
increase in breadth; as the rising sea, covering more and more of the
land, would occupy a wider space between the edge of the reef and what
remained of the land. Thus the rising sea would eventually convert a
large island with a fringing reef, into a small island surrounded by
an encircling reef. And it will be obvious that when the rising of the
sea has gone so far as completely to cover the highest points of the
island, the reef will have passed into the condition of an atoll.

But how is it possible that the relative level of the land and sea
should be altered to this extent? Clearly, only in one of two ways:
either the sea must have risen over those areas which are now covered
by atolls and encircling reefs; or, the land upon which the sea rests
must have been depressed to a corresponding extent.

If the sea has risen, its rise must have taken place over the whole
world simultaneously, and it must have risen to the same height over
all parts of the coral zone. Grounds have been shown for the belief
that the general level of the sea may have been different at different
times; it has been suggested, for example, that the accumulation of
ice about the poles during one of the cold periods of the earth's
history, necessarily implies a diminution in the volume of the sea
proportioned to the amount of its water thus permanently locked up in
the Arctic and Antarctic ice-cellars; while, in the warm periods,
the greater or less disappearance of the polar ice-cap implies a
corresponding addition of water to the ocean. And no doubt this
reasoning must be admitted to be sound in principle; though it is very
hard to say what practical effect the additions and subtractions thus
made have had on the level of the ocean; inasmuch as such additions
and subtractions might be either intensified or nullified, by
contemporaneous changes in the level of the land. And no one has yet
shown that any such great melting of polar ice, and consequent raising
of the level of the water of the ocean, has taken place since the
existing atolls began to be formed.

In the absence of any evidence that the sea has ever risen to the
extent required to give rise to the encircling reefs and the atolls,
Mr. Darwin adopted the opposite hypothesis, viz. that the land has
undergone extensive and slow depression in those localities in which
these structures exist.

It seems, at first, a startling paradox, to suppose that the land
is less fixed than the sea; but that such is the case is the uniform
testimony of geology. Beds of sandstone or limestone, thousands of
feet thick, and all full of marine remains, occur in various parts of
the earth's surface, and prove, beyond a doubt, that when these beds
were formed, that portion of the sea-bottom which they then occupied
underwent a slow and gradual depression to a distance which cannot
have been less than the thickness of those beds, and may have been
very much greater. In supposing, therefore, that the great areas of
the Pacific and of the Indian Ocean, over which atolls and encircling
reefs are found scattered, have undergone a depression of some
hundreds, or, it may be, thousands of feet, Mr. Darwin made a
supposition which had nothing forced or improbable, but was entirely
in accordance with what we know to have taken place over similarly
extensive areas, in other periods of the world's history. But Mr.
Darwin subjected his hypothesis to an ingenious indirect test. If
his view be correct, it is clear that neither atolls, nor encircling
reefs, should be found in those portions of the ocean in which we have
reason to believe, on independent grounds, that the sea-bottom has
long been either stationary, or slowly rising. Now it is known that,
as a general rule, the level of the land is either stationary, or is
undergoing a slow upheaval, in the neighbourhood of active volcanoes;
and, therefore, neither atolls nor encircling reefs ought to be found
in regions in which volcanoes are numerous and active. And this turns
out to be the case. Appended to Mr. Darwin's great work on coral
reefs, there is a map on which atolls and encircling reefs are
indicated by one colour, fringing reefs by another, and active
volcanoes by a third. And it is at once obvious that the lines of
active volcanoes lie around the margins of the areas occupied by the
atolls and the encircling reefs. It is exactly as if the upheaving
volcanic agencies had lifted up the edges of these great areas, while
their centres had undergone a corresponding depression. An atoll area
may, in short, be pictured as a kind of basin, the margins of which
have been pushed up by the subterranean forces, to which the craters
of the volcanoes have, at intervals, given vent.

Thus we must imagine the area of the Pacific now covered by the
Polynesian Archipelago, as having been, at some former time,
occupied by large islands, or, may be, by a great continent, with the
ordinarily diversified surface of plain, and hill, and mountain chain.
The shores of this great land were doubtless fringed by coral reefs;
and, as it slowly underwent depression, the hilly regions, converted
into islands, became, at first, surrounded by fringing reefs, and
then, as depression went on, these became converted into encircling
reefs, and these, finally, into atolls, until a maze of reefs and
coral-girdled islets took the place of the original land masses.

Thus the atolls and the encircling reefs furnish us with clear, though
indirect, evidence of changes in the physical geography of large parts
of the earth's surface; and even, as my lamented friend, the late
Professor Jukes, has suggested, give us indications of the manner in
which some of the most puzzling facts connected with the distribution
of animals have been brought about. For example, Australia and New
Guinea are separated by Torres Straits, a broad belt of sea 100 or
120 miles wide. Nevertheless, there is in many respects a curious
resemblance between the land animals which inhabit New Guinea and
the land animals which inhabit Australia. But, at the same time, the
marine shell-fish which are found in the shallow waters of the shores
of New Guinea, are quite different from those which are met with upon
the coasts of Australia. Now, the eastern end of Torres Straits is
full of atolls, which, in fact, form the northern termination of the
Great Barrier Reef which skirts the eastern coast of Australia. It
follows, therefore, that the eastern end of Torres Straits is an area
of depression, and it is very possible, and on many grounds highly
probable, that, in former times, Australia and New Guinea were
directly connected together, and that Torres Straits did not exist.
If this were the case, the existence of cassowaries and of marsupial
quadrupeds, both in New Guinea and in Australia, becomes intelligible;
while the difference between the littoral molluscs of the north and
the south shores of Torres Straits is readily explained by the great
probability that, when the depression in question took place, and
what was, at first, an arm of the sea became converted into a strait
separating Australia from New Guinea, the northern shore of this new
sea became tenanted with marine animals from the north, while the
southern shore was peopled by immigrants from the already existing
marine Australian fauna.

Inasmuch as the growth of the reef depends upon that of successive
generations of coral polypes, and as each generation takes a certain
time to grow to its full size, and can only separate its calcareous
skeleton from the water in which it lives at a certain rate, it is
clear that the reefs are records not only of changes in physical
geography, but of the lapse of time. It is by no means easy, however,
to estimate the exact value of reef-chronology, and the attempts which
have been made to determine the rate at which a reef grows vertically,
have yielded anything but precise results. A cautious writer, Mr.
Dana, whose extensive study of corals and coral reefs makes him an
eminently competent judge, states his conclusion in the following

    "The rate of growth of the common branching madrepore is not
    over one and a half inches a year. As the branches are open,
    this would not be equivalent to more than half an inch in
    height of solid coral for the whole surface covered by
    the madrepore; and, as they are also porous, to not over
    three-eighths of an inch of solid limestone. But a coral
    plantation has large bare patches without corals, and the
    coral sands are widely distributed by currents, part of them
    to depths over one hundred feet where there are no living
    corals; not more than one-sixth of the surface of a reef
    region is, in fact, covered with growing species. This reduces
    the three-eighths to _one-sixteenth_. Shells and other organic
    relics may contribute one-fourth as much as corals. At the
    outside, the average upward increase of the whole reef-ground
    per year would not exceed _one-eighth_ of an inch.

    "Now some reefs are at least two thousand feet thick, which at
    one-eighth of an inch a year, corresponds to one hundred and
    ninety-two thousand years."[1]

[Footnote 1: Dana, "Manual of Geology," p. 591.]

Halve, or quarter, this estimate if you will, in order to be certain
of erring upon the right side, and still there remains a prodigious
period during which the ancestors of the existing coral polypes have
been undisturbedly at work; and during which, therefore, the climatal
conditions over the coral area must have been much what they are now.

And all this lapse of time has occurred within the most recent period
of the history of the earth. The remains of reefs formed by coral
polypes of different kinds from those which exist now, enter largely
into the composition of the limestones of the Jurassic period; and
still more widely different coral polypes have contributed their quota
to the vast thickness of the carboniferous and Devonian strata. Then
as regards the latter group of rocks in America, the high authority
already quoted tells us:--

    "The Upper Helderberg period is eminently the coral reef
    period of the palaeozoic ages. Many of the rocks abound in
    coral, and are as truly coral reefs as the modern reefs of the
    Pacific. The corals are sometimes standing on the rocks in the
    position they had when growing: others are lying in fragments,
    as they were broken and heaped by the waves; and others were
    reduced to a compact limestone by the finer trituration before
    consolidation into rock. This compact variety is the most
    common kind among the coral reef rocks of the present seas;
    and it often contains but few distinct fossils, although
    formed in water that abounded in life. At the fall of the
    Ohio, near Louisville, there is a magnificent display of
    the old reef. Hemispherical _Favosites_, five or six feet
    in diameter, lie there nearly as perfect as when they were
    covered by their flower-like polypes; and besides these,
    there are various branching corals, and a profusion of
    _Cyathophiyllia_, or cup-corals."[1]

[Footnote 1: Dana, "Manual of Geology," p. 272.]

Thus, in all the great periods of the earth's history of which we
know anything, a part of the then living matter has had the form of
polypes, competent to separate from the water of the sea the carbonate
of lime necessary for their own skeletons. Grain by grain, and
particle by particle, they have built up vast masses of rock, the
thickness of which is measured by hundreds of feet, and their area by
thousands of square miles. The slow oscillations of the crust of the
earth, producing great changes in the distribution of land and water,
have often obliged the living matter of the coral-builders to shift
the locality of its operations; and, by variation and adaptation to
these modifications of condition, its forms have as often changed. The
work it has done in the past is, for the most part, swept away, but
fragments remain; and, if there were no other evidence, suffice to
prove the general constancy of the operations of Nature in this world,
through periods of almost inconceivable duration.



Ethonology is the science which determines the distinctive characters
of the persistent modifications of mankind; which ascertains the
distribution of those modifications in present and past times, and
seeks to discover the causes, or conditions of existence, both of
the modifications and of their distribution. I say "persistent"
modifications, because, unless incidentally, ethnology has nothing to
do with chance and transitory peculiarities of human structure. And
I speak of "persistent modifications" or "stocks" rather than of
"varieties," or "races," or "species," because each of these last
well-known terms implies, on the part of its employer, a preconceived
opinion touching one of those problems, the solution of which is the
ultimate object of the science; and in regard to which, therefore,
ethnologists are especially bound to keep their minds open and their
judgments freely balanced.

Ethnology, as thus defined, is a branch of anthropology, the great
science which unravels the complexities of human structure; traces out
the relations of man to other animals; studies all that is especially
human in the mode in which man's complex functions are performed; and
searches after the conditions which have determined his presence in
the world. And anthropology is a section of zoology, which again is
the animal half of biology--the science of life and living things.

Such is the position of ethnology, such are the objects of the
ethnologist. The paths or methods, by following which he may hope to
reach his goal, are diverse. He may work at man from the point of
view of the pure zoologist, and investigate the anatomical and
physiological peculiarities of Negroes, Australians, or Mongolians,
just as he would inquire into those of pointers, terriers, and
turnspits,--"persistent modifications" of man's almost universal
companion. Or he may seek aid from researches into the most human
manifestation of humanity--language; and assuming that what is true of
speech is true of the speaker--a hypothesis as questionable in science
as it is in ordinary life--he may apply to mankind themselves the
conclusions drawn from a searching analysis of their words and
grammatical forms.

Or, the ethnologist may turn to the study of the practical life
of men; and relying upon the inherent conservatism and small
inventiveness of untutored mankind, he may hope to discover in manners
and customs, or in weapons, dwellings, and other handiwork, a clue to
the origin of the resemblances and differences of nations. Or, he may
resort to that kind of evidence which is yielded by history proper,
and consists of the beliefs of men concerning past events, embodied
in traditional, or in written, testimony. Or, when that thread breaks,
archaeology, which is the interpretation of the unrecorded remains of
man's works, belonging to the epoch since the world has reached its
present condition, may still guide him. And, when even the dim light
of archaeology fades, there yet remains paleontology, which, in these
latter years, has brought to daylight once more the exuvia of ancient
populations, whose world was not our world, who have been buried in
river beds immemorially dry, or carried by the rush of waters into
caves, inaccessible to inundation since the dawn of tradition.

Along each, or all, of these paths the ethnologist may press towards
his goal; but they are not equally straight, or sure, or easy to
tread. The way of palaeontology has but just been laid open to us.
Archaeological and historical investigations are of great value for
all those peoples whose ancient state has differed widely from their
present condition, and who have the good or evil fortune to possess a
history. But on taking a broad survey of the world, it is astonishing
how few nations present either condition. Respecting five-sixths of
the persistent modifications of mankind, history and archaeology are
absolutely silent. For half the rest, they might as well be silent for
anything that is to be made of their testimony. And, finally, when the
question arises as to what was the condition of mankind more than a
paltry two or three thousand years ago, history and archaeology are,
for the most part, mere dumb dogs. What light does either of these
branches of knowledge throw on the past of the man of the New World,
if we except the Central Americans and the Peruvians; on that of the
Africans, save those of the valley of the Nile and a fringe of the
Mediterranean; on that of all the Polynesian, Australian, and central
Asiatic peoples, the former of whom probably, and the last certainly,
were, at the dawn of history, substantially what they are now? While
thankfully accepting what history has to give him, therefore, the
ethnologist must not look for too much from her.

Is more to be expected from inquiries into the customs and handicrafts
of men? It is to be feared not. In reasoning from identity of custom
to identity of stock the difficulty always obtrudes itself, that
the minds of men being everywhere similar, differing in quality and
quantity but not in kind of faculty, like circumstances must tend to
produce like contrivances; at any rate, so long as the need to be
met and conquered is of a very simple kind. That two nations use
calabashes or shells for drinking-vessels, or that they employ
spears, or clubs, or swords and axes of stone and metal as weapons and
implements, cannot be regarded as evidence that these two nations
had a common origin, or even that intercommunication ever took place
between them; seeing that the convenience of using calabashes or
shells for such purposes, and the advantage of poking an enemy with a
sharp stick, or hitting him with a heavy one, must be early forced
by nature upon the mind of even the stupidest savage. And when he had
found out the use of a stick, he would need no prompting to discover
the value of a chipped or wetted stone, or an angular piece of native
metal, for the same object. On the other hand, it may be doubted
whether the chances are not greatly against independent peoples
arriving at the manufacture of a boomerang, or of a bow; which last,
if one comes to think of it, is a rather complicated apparatus; and
the tracing of the distribution of inventions as complex as these,
and of such strange customs as betel-chewing and tobacco-smoking, may
afford valuable ethnological hints.

Since the time of Leibnitz, and guided by such men as Humboldt, Abel
Remusat, and Klaproth, Philology has taken far higher ground. Thus
Prichard affirms that "the history of nations, termed Ethnology, must
be mainly founded on the relations of their languages."

An eminent living philologer, August Schleicher, in a recent essay,
puts forward the claims of his science still more forcibly:--

    "If, however, language is the human [Greek: kat ezochhên], the
    suggestion arises whether it should not form the basis of
    any scientific systematic arrangement of mankind; whether the
    foundation of the natural classification of the genus Homo has
    not been discovered in it.

    "How little constant are cranial peculiarities and other
    so-called race characters! Language, on the other hand,
    is always a perfectly constant diagnostic. A German may
    occasionally compete in hair and prognathism with a negro,
    but a negro language will never be his mother tongue. Of how
    little importance for mankind the so-called race characters
    are, is shown by the fact that speakers of languages belonging
    to one and the same linguistic family may exhibit the
    peculiarities of various races. Thus the settled Osmanli Turk
    exhibits Caucasian characters, while other so-called Tartaric
    Turks exemplify the Mongol type. On the other hand, the
    Magyar and the Basque do not depart in any essential physical
    peculiarity from the Indo-Germans, whilst the Magyar, Basque,
    and Indo-Germanic tongues are widely different. Apart from
    their inconstancy, again, the so-called race characters can
    hardly yield a scientifically natural system. Languages, on
    the other hand, readily fall into a natural arrangement, like
    that of which other vital products are susceptible, especially
    when viewed from their morphological side.... The externally
    visible structure of the cerebral and facial skeletons, and
    of the body generally, is less important than that no less
    material but infinitely more delicate corporeal structure, the
    function of which is speech. I conceive, therefore, that
    the natural classification of languages is also the natural
    classification of mankind. With language, moreover, all the
    higher manifestations of man's vital activity are closely
    interwoven, so that these receive due recognition in and by
    that of speech."[1]

[Footnote 1: August Schleicher. Ueber die Bedeutung der Sprache für
die Naturgeschichte des Menschen, pp. 16-18. Weimar, 1858.]

Without the least desire to depreciate the value of philology as
an adjuvant to ethnology, I must venture to doubt, with Rudolphi,
Desmoulins, Crawfurd, and others, its title to the leading position
claimed for it by the writers whom I have just quoted. On the
contrary, it seems to me obvious that, though, in the absence of any
evidence to the contrary, unity of languages may afford a certain
presumption in favour of the unity of stock of the peoples speaking
those languages, it cannot be held to prove that unity of stock,
unless philologers are prepared to demonstrate, that no nation can
lose its language and acquire that of a distinct nation, without a
change of blood corresponding with the change of language. Desmoulins
long ago put this argument exceedingly well:--

    "Let us imagine the recurrence of one of those slow, or
    sudden, political revolutions, or say of those secular changes
    which among different people and at different epochs have
    annihilated historical monuments and even extinguished
    tradition. In that case, the evidence, now so clear, that the
    negroes of Hayti were slaves imported by a French colony, who,
    by the very effect of the subordination involved in slavery,
    lost their own diverse languages and adopted that of their
    masters, would vanish. And metaphysical philosophers,
    observing the identity of Haytian French with that spoken on
    the shores of the Seine and the Loire, would argue that the
    men of St. Domingo with woolly heads, black and oily skins,
    small calves, and slightly bent knees, are of the same race,
    descended from the same parental stock, as the Frenchmen with
    silky brown, chestnut, or fair hair, and white skins. For they
    would say, their languages are more similar than French is to
    German or Spanish."[1]

[Footnote 1: Desmoulins, "Histoire Naturelle des Races Humaines," p.
345. 1826.]

It must not be imagined that the case put by Desmoulins is a merely
hypothetical one. Events precisely similar to the transport of a body
of Africans to the West India Islands, indeed, cannot have happened
among uncivilized races, but similar results have followed the
importation of bodies of conquerors among an enslaved people over and
over again. There is hardly a country in Europe in which two or more
nations speaking widely different tongues have not become intermixed;
and there is hardly a language of Europe of which we have any right
to think that its structure affords a just indication of the amount of
that intermixture.

As Dr. Latham has well said:--

    "It is certain that the language of England is of Anglo-Saxon
    origin, and that the remains of the original Keltic are
    unimportant. It is by no means so certain that the blood of
    Englishmen is equally Germanic. A vast amount of Kelticism,
    not found in our tongue, very probably exists in our
    pedigrees. The ethnology of France is still more complicated.
    Many writers make the Parisian a Roman on the strength of his
    language; whilst others make him a Kelt on the strength of
    certain moral characteristics, combined with the previous
    Kelticism of the original Gauls. Spanish and Portuguese, as
    languages, are derivations from the Latin; Spain and Portugal,
    as countries, are Iberic, Latin, Gothic, and Arab, in
    different proportions. Italian is modern Latin all the world
    over; yet surely there must be much Keltic blood in Lombardy,
    and much Etruscan intermixture in Tuscany.

    "In the ninth century every man between the Elbe and the
    Niemen spoke some Slavonic dialect; they now nearly all speak
    German. Surely the blood is less exclusively Gothic than the

[Footnote 1: Latham, "Man and his Migrations," p. 171.]

In other words, what philologer, if he had nothing but the vocabulary
and grammar of the French and English languages to guide him, would
dream of the real causes of the unlikeness of a Norman to a Provençal,
of an Orcadian to a Cornishman? How readily might he be led to suppose
that the different climatal conditions to which these speakers of
one tongue have so long been exposed, have caused their physical
differences; and how little would he suspect that these are due (as we
happen to know they are) to wide differences of blood.

Few take duly into account the evidence which exists as to the
ease with which unlettered savages gain or lose a language. Captain
Erskine, in his interesting "Journal of a Cruise among the Islands of
the Western Pacific," especially remarks upon the "avidity with
which the inhabitants of the polyglot islands of Melanesia, from New
Caledonia to the Solomon Islands, adopt the improvements of a more
perfect language than their own, which different causes and accidental
communication still continue to bring to them;" and he adds that
"among the Melanesian islands scarcely one was found by us which did
not possess, in some cases still imperfectly, the decimal system of
numeration in addition to their own, in which they reckon only to

Yet how much philological reasoning in favour of the affinity
or diversity of two distinct peoples has been based on the mere
comparison of numerals!

But the most instructive example of the fallacy which may attach to
merely philological reasonings, is that afforded by the Feejeans, who
are, physically, so intimately connected with the adjacent Negritos of
New Caledonia, &c., that no one can doubt to what stock they belong,
and who yet, in the form and substance of their language, are
Polynesian. The case is as remarkable as if the Canary Islands should
have been found to be inhabited by negroes speaking Arabic, or some
other clearly Semitic dialect, as their mother tongue. As it happens,
the physical peculiarities of the Feejeans are so striking, and
the conditions under which they live are so similar to those of the
Polynesians, that no one has ventured to suggest that they are merely
modified Polynesians--a suggestion which could otherwise certainly
have been made. But if languages may be thus transferred from one
stock to another, without any corresponding intermixture of blood,
what ethnological value has philology?--what security does unity of
language afford us that the speakers of that language may not have
sprung from two, or three, or a dozen, distinct sources?

Thus we come, at last, to the purely zoological method, from which
it is not unnatural to expect more than from any other, seeing that,
after all, the problems of ethnology are simply those which are
presented to the zoologist by every widely distributed animal he
studies. The father of modern zoology seems to have had no doubt upon
this point. At the twenty-eighth page of the standard twelfth edition
of the "Systema Naturae," in fact, we find:--


_Dentes primores incisores: superiores IV. paralleli, mammae
pectorales II._

1. HOMO.        Nosce te ipsum.
Sapiens.        1. H. diurnus: _varians cultura, loco._
_Ferus_.   Tetrapus, mutus, hirsutus.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Americanus_ [Greek: a].  Rufus, cholericus, rectus--_Pilis_
                               nigris, rectis, crassis--_Naribus_
                               patulis--_Facie_ ephelitica:
                               _Mento_ subimberbi.
                               _Pertinax_, contentus, liber. _Pingit_
                               se lineis daedaleis rubris.
                               _Regitur_ Consuetudine.

_Europaeus_ [Greek: b].   Albus sauguineus torosus. _Pilis_
                               flavescentibus, prolixis.
                               _Oculis_ caeruleis.
                               _Levis_, argutus, inventor.
                               _Tegitur_ Vestimentis arctis.
                               _Regitur_ Ritibus.

_Asiaticus_ [Greek: g].   Luridus, melancholicus, rigidus.
                               _Pilis_ nigricantibus. _Oculis_
                               fuscis.  _Severus_, fastuosus, avarus.
                               _Tegitur_ Indumentis laxis.
                               _Regitur_ Opinionibus.

_Afer_ [Greek: d].        Niger, phlegmaticus, laxus. _Pilis_
                               atris, contortuplicatis. _Cute_ holosericea.
                               _Naso_ simo.  _Labiis_ tumidis.
                               _Feminis_ sinus pudoris.
                               _Mammae_ lactantes prolixae.
                               _Vafer_, segnis, negligens. _Ungit_ se
                               pingui. _Regitur_ Arbitrio.

_Monstrosus_ [Greek: e].  Solo (a) et arte (b c) variat.:
                            a. _Alpini_ parvi, agiles, timidi.
                               _Patagonici_ magni, segnes.
                            b. _Monorchides_ ut minus fertiles:
                               _Junceae_ puellae, abdomine attenuato:
                            c. _Macrocephali_ capiti conico: Chinenses.
                               _Plagiocephali_ capite antice compresso:

Turn a few pages further on in the same volume, and there appears,
with a fine impartiality in the distribution of capitals and
sub-divisional headings:--


_Dentes primores superiores sex, acutiusculi. Canini solitarii._

       *       *       *       *       *

12. CANIS.           _Dentes primores_ superiores VI.: laterales
                     longiores distantes: intermedii lobati.
                     Inferiores VI.: laterales lobati.
                     _Laniarii_ solitarii, incurvati.
                     Molares VI. s. VII. (pluresve quam in reliquis).

_familiaris_ [Greek: i].  C. cauda (sinistrorsum) recurvata....

_domesticus_ [Greek: a].  auriculis erectis, cauda subtus lanata.

_sagax_ [Greek: b].       auriculis pendulis, digito spurio ad
                          tibias posticas.

_grajus_ [Greek: g].      magnitudine lupi, trunco curvato, rostro
                          attenuato, &c. &c.

Linnaeus' definition of what he considers to be mere varieties of
the species Man are, it will be observed, as completely free from
any allusion to linguistic peculiarities as those brief and pregnant
sentences in which he sketches the characters of the varieties of
the species Dog. "Pilis nigris, naribus patulis" may be set against
"auriculis erectis, cauda subtus lanata;" while the remarks on the
morals and manners of the human subject seem as if they were thrown in
merely by way of makeweight.

Buffon, Blumenbach (the founder of ethnology as a special science),
Rudolphi, Bory de St. Vincent, Desmoulins, Cuvier, Retzius, indeed I
may say all the naturalists proper, have dealt with man from a no
less completely zoological point of view; while, as might have been
expected, those who have been least naturalists, and most linguists,
have most neglected the zoological method, the neglect culminating in
those who have been altogether devoid of acquaintance with anatomy.

Prichard's proposition, that language is more persistent than physical
characters, is one which has never been proved, and indeed admits of
no proof, seeing that the records of language do not extend so far
as those of physical characters. But, until the superior tenacity
of linguistic over physical peculiarities is shown, and until the
abundant evidence which exists, that the language of a people may
change without corresponding physical change in that people, is shown
to be valueless, it is plain that the zoological court of appeal
is the highest for the ethnologist, and that no evidence can be set
against that derived from physical characters.

What, then, will a new survey of mankind from the Linnaean point of
view teach us?

The great antipodal block of land we call Australia has, speaking
roughly, the form of a vast quadrangle, 2,000 miles on the side, and
extends from the hottest tropical, to the middle of the temperate,
zone. Setting aside the foreign colonists introduced within the
last century, it is inhabited by people no less remarkable for the
uniformity, than for the singularity, of their physical characters and
social state. For the most part of fair stature, erect and well built,
except for an unusual slenderness of the lower limbs, the AUSTRALIANS
have dark, usually chocolate-coloured skins; fine dark wavy hair; dark
eyes, overhung by beetle brows; coarse, projecting jaws; broad and
dilated, but not especially flattened, noses; and lips which, though
prominent, are eminently flexible.

The skulls of these people are always long and narrow, with a smaller
development of the frontal sinuses than usually corresponds with such
largely developed brow ridges. An Australian skull of a round form,
or one the transverse diameter of which exceeds eight-tenths of its
length, has never been seen. These people, in a word, are eminently
"dolichocephalic," or long-headed; but, with this one limitation,
their crania present considerable variations, some being comparatively
high and arched, while others are more remarkably depressed than
almost any other human skulls.

The female pelvis differs comparatively little from the European;
but in the pelves of male Australians which I have examined, the
antero-posterior and transverse diameters approach equality more
nearly than is the case in Europeans.

No Australian tribe has ever been known to cultivate the ground,
to use metals, pottery, or any kind of textile fabric. They rarely
construct huts. Their means of navigation are limited to rafts or
canoes, made of sheets of bark. Clothing, except skin cloaks for
protection from cold, is a superfluity with which they dispense; and
though they have some singular weapons, almost peculiar to themselves,
they are wholly unacquainted with bows and arrows.

It is but a step, as it were, across Bass's Straits to Tasmania.
Neither climate nor the characteristic forms of vegetable or animal
life change largely on the south side of the Straits, but the early
voyagers found Man singularly different from him on the north side.
The skin of the Tasmanian was dark, though he lived between parallels
of latitude corresponding with those of middle Europe in our own
hemisphere; his jaws projected, his head was long and narrow; his
civilization was about on a footing with that of the Australian, if
not lower, for I cannot discover that the Tasmanian understood the
use of the throwing-stick. But he differed from the Australian in his
woolly, negro-like hair, whence the name of NEGRITO, which has been
applied to him and his congeners.

Such Negritos--differing more or less from the Tasmanian, but agreeing
with him in dark skin and woolly hair--occupy New Caledonia, the New
Hebrides, the Louisiade Archipelago; and stretching to the Papuan
Islands, and for a doubtful extent beyond them to the north and
west, form a sort of belt, or zone, of Negrito population, interposed
between the Australians on the west and the inhabitants of the great
majority of the Pacific islands on the east.

The cranial characters of the Negritos vary considerably more than
those of their skin and hair, the most notable circumstance being
the strong Australian aspect which distinguishes many Negrito skulls,
while others tend rather towards forms common in the Polynesian

In civilization, New Caledonia exhibits an advance upon Tasmania, and,
farther north, there is a still greater improvement. But the bows
and arrows, the perched houses, the outrigger canoes, the habits of
betel-chewing and of kawa-drinking, which abound more or less among
the northern Negritos, are probably to be regarded not as the products
of an indigenous civilization, but merely as indications of the extent
to which foreign influences have modified the primitive social state
of these people.

From Tasmania or New Caledonia, to New Zealand or Tongataboo, is again
but a brief voyage; but it brings about a still more notable change
in the aspect of the indigenous population than that effected by the
passage of Bass's Straits. Instead of being chocolate-coloured people,
the Maories and Tongans are light brown; instead of woolly, they have
straight, or wavy, black hair. And if from New Zealand, we travel
some 5,000 miles east to Easter Island; and from Easter Island, for as
great a distance north-west, to the Sandwich Islands; and thence 7,000
miles, westward and southward, to Sumatra; and even across the Indian
Ocean, into the interior of Madagascar, we shall everywhere meet with
people whose hair is straight or wavy, and whose skins exhibit various
shades of brown. These are the Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians,
whom Latham has grouped together under the common title of

The cranial characters of these people, as of the Negritos, are less
constant than those of their skin and hair. The Maori has a long
skull; the Sandwich Islander a broad skull. Some, like these, have
strong brow ridges; others, like the Dayaks and many Polynesians, have
hardly any nasal indentation.

It is only in the westernmost parts of their area that the Amphinesian
nations know anything about bows and arrows as weapons, or are
acquainted with the use of metals or with pottery. Everywhere they
cultivate the ground, construct houses, and skilfully build and manage
outrigger, or double, canoes; while, almost everywhere, they use some
kind of fabric for clothing.

Between Easter Island, or the Sandwich Islands, and any part of the
American coast is a much wider interval than that between Tasmania and
New Zealand, but the ethnological interval between the American and
the Polynesian is less than that between either of the previously
named stocks.

The typical AMERICAN has straight black hair and dark eyes, his skin
exhibiting various shades of reddish or yellowish brown, sometimes
inclining to olive. The face is broad and scantily bearded; the skull
wide and high. Such people extend from Patagonia to Mexico, and much
farther north along the west coast. In the main a race of hunters,
they had nevertheless, at the time of the discovery of the Americas,
attained a remarkable degree of civilization in some localities. They
had domesticated ruminants, and not only practised agriculture,
but had learned the value of irrigation. They manufactured textile
fabrics, were masters of the potter's art, and knew how to erect
massive buildings of stone. They understood the working of the
precious, though not of the useful, metals; and had even attained to a
rude kind of hieroglyphic, or picture, writing.

The Americans not only employ the bow and arrow, but, like some
Amphinesians, the blow-pipe, as offensive weapons: but I am not aware
that the outrigger canoe has ever been observed among them.

I have reason to suspect that some of the Fuegian tribes differ
cranially from the typical Americans; and the Northern and Eastern
American tribes have longer skulls than their Southern compatriots.
But the ESQUIMAUX, who roam on the desolate and ice-bound coasts of
Arctic America, certainly present us with a new stock. The Esquimaux
(among whom the Greenlanders are included), in fact, though they
share the straight black hair of the proper Americans, are a duller
complexioned, shorter, and more squat people, and they have still
more prominent cheek-bones. But the circumstance which most completely
separates them from the typical Americans, is the form of their
skulls, which instead of being broad, high, and truncated behind, are
eminently long, usually low, and prolonged backwards.

These Hyperborean people clothe themselves in skins, know nothing of
pottery, and hardly anything of metals. Dependent for existence upon
the produce of the chase, the seal and the whale are to them what
the cocoa-nut tree and the plantain are to the savages of more genial
climates. Not only are those animals meat and raiment, but they are
canoes, sledges, weapons, tools, windows, and fire; while they support
the dog, who is the indispensable ally and beast of burden of the

It is admitted that the Tchuktchi, on the eastern side of Behring's
Straits, are, in all essential respects, Esquimaux; and I do not know
that there is any satisfactory evidence to show that the Tunguses and
Samoiedes do not essentially share the physical characters of the same
people. Southward, there are indications of Esquimaux characters among
the Japanese, and it is possible that their influence may be traced
yet further.

However this may be, Eastern Asia, from Mantchouria to Siam, Thibet,
and Northern Hindostan, is continuously inhabited by men, usually of
short stature, with skins varying in colour from yellow to olive; with
broad cheek-bones and faces that, owing to the insignificance of the
nose, are exceedingly flat; and with small, obliquely-set, black eyes
and straight black hair, which sometimes attains a very great length
upon the scalp, but is always scanty upon the face and body. The
skull is never much elongated, and is, generally, remarkably broad
and rounded, with hardly any nasal depression, and but slight, if any,
projection of the jaws.

Many of these people, for whom the old name of MONGOLIANS may be
retained, are nomades; others, as the Chinese, have attained a
remarkable and apparently indigenous civilization, only surpassed by
that of Europe.

At the north-western extremity of Europe the Lapps repeat the
characters of the Eastern Asiatics. Between these extreme points, the
Mongolian stock is not continuous, but is represented by a chain of
more or less isolated tribes, who pass under the name of Calmucks and
Tartars, and form Mongolian islands, as it were, in the midst of an
ocean of other people.

The waves of this ocean are the nations for whom, in order
to avoid the endless confusion produced by our present
half-physical, half-philological classification, I shall use a new
name--XANTHOCHROI--indicating that they are "yellow" haired and "pale"
in complexion. The Chinese historians of the Han dynasty, writing
in the third century before our era, describe, with much minuteness,
certain numerous and powerful barbarians with "yellow hair, green
eyes, and prominent noses," who, the black-haired, skew-eyed, and
flat-nosed annalists remark in passing, are "just like the apes from
whom they are descended." These people held, in force, the upper
waters of the Yenisei, and thence under various names stretched
southward to Thibet and Kashgar. Fair-haired and blue-eyed northern
enemies were no less known to the ancient Hindoos, to the Persians,
and to the Egyptians, on the south of the great central Asiatic area;
while the testimony of all European antiquity is to the effect that,
before and since the period in question, there lay beyond the Danube,
the Rhine, and the Seine, a vast and dangerous yellow or red haired,
fair-skinned, blue-eyed population. Whether the disturbers of the
marches of the Roman Empire were called Gauls or Germans, Goths,
Alans, or Scythians, one thing seems certain, that until the invasion
of the Huns, they were tall, fair, blue-eyed men.

If any one should think fit to assume that in the year 100 B.C.,
there was one continuous Xanthochroic population from the Rhine to the
Yenisei, and from the Ural mountains to the Hindoo Koosh, I know not
that any evidence exists by which that position could be upset, while
the existing state of things is rather in its favour than otherwise.
For the Scandinavians, wholly, the Germans to a great extent, the
Slavonian and the Finnish tribes, some of the inhabitants of Greece,
many Turks, some Kirghis, and some Mantchous, the Ossetes in the
Caucasus, the Siahposh, the Rohillas, are at the present day fair,
yellow or red haired, and blue-eyed; and the interpolation of tribes
of Mongolian hair and complexion, as far west as the Caspian Steppes
and the Crimea, might justly be accounted for by those subsequent
westward irruptions of the Mongolian stock, of which history furnishes
abundant testimony.

The furthermost limit of the Xanthochroi north-westward is Iceland
and the British Isles; south-westward, they are traceable at intervals
through the Berber country, and end in the Canary Islands.

The cranial characters of the Xanthochroi are not, at present,
strictly definable. The Scandinavians are certainly long-headed; but
many Germans, the Swiss so far as they are Germanized, the Slavonians,
the Fins, and the Turks, are short-headed. What were the cranial
characters of the ancient "U-suns" and "Ting-lings" of the valley of
the Yenisei is unknown.

West of the area occupied by the chief mass of the Xanthochroi, and
north of the Sahara, is a broad belt of land, shaped like a =Y=.
Between the forks of the =Y= lies the Mediterranean; the stem of it
is Arabia. The stem is bathed by the Indian Ocean, the western ends of
the forks by the Atlantic. The people inhabiting the area thus roughly
sketched have, like the Xanthochroi, prominent noses, pale skins and
wavy hair, with abundant beards; but, unlike them, the hair is black
or dark, and the eyes usually so. They may thence be called the
MELANOCHROI. Such people are found in the British Islands, in Western
and Southern Gaul, in Spain, in Italy south of the Po, in parts of
Greece, in Syria and Arabia, stretching as far northward and eastward
as the Caucasus and Persia. They are the chief inhabitants of Africa
north of the Sahara, and, like the Xanthochroi, they end in the
Canary Islands. They are known as Kelts, Iberians, Etruscans, Romans,
Pelasgians, Berbers, Semites. The majority of them are long-headed,
and of smaller stature than the Xanthochroi.

It is needless to remark upon the civilization of these two great
stocks. With them has originated everything that is highest in
science, in art, in law, in politics, and in mechanical inventions.
In their hands, at the present moment, lies the order of the social
world, and to them its progress is committed.

South of the Atlas, and of the Great Desert, Middle Africa exhibits
a new type of humanity in the NEGRO, with his dark skin, woolly hair,
projecting jaws, and thick lips. As a rule, the skull of the Negro
is remarkably long; it rarely approaches the broad type, and never
exhibits the roundness of the Mongolian. A cultivator of the ground,
and dwelling in villages; a maker of pottery, and a worker in the
useful as well as the ornamental metals; employing the bow and arrow
as well as the spear, the typical negro stands high in point of
civilization above the Australian.

Resembling the Negroes in cranial characters, the BUSHMEN of South
Africa differ from them in their yellowish brown skins, their tufted
hair, their remarkably small stature, and their tendency to fatty and
other integumentary outgrowths; nor is the wonderful click with which
their speech is interspersed to be overlooked in enumerating the
physical characteristics of this strange people.

The so-called "Drawidian" populations of Southern Hindostan lead us
back, physically as well as geographically, towards the Australians;
while the diminutive MINCOPIES of the Andaman Islands lie midway
between the Negro and Negrito races, and, as Mr. Busk has pointed
out, occasionally present the rare combination of Brachycephaly, or
short-headedness, with woolly hair.

In the preceding progress along the outskirts of the habitable world,
eleven readily distinguishable stocks, or persistent modifications, of
mankind, have been recognized. I have purposely omitted such people as
the Abyssinians and the Hindoos, who there is every reason to believe
result from the intermixture of distinct stocks. Perhaps I ought, for
like reasons, to have ignored the Mincopies. But I do not pretend that
my enumeration is complete or, in any sense, perfect. It is enough for
my purpose if it be admitted (and I think it cannot be denied) that
those which I have mentioned exist, are well marked, and occupy the
greater part of the habitable globe.

In attempting to classify these persistent modifications after the
manner of naturalists, the first circumstance that attracts one's
attention is the broad contrast between the people with straight and
wavy hair, and those with crisp, woolly, or tufted hair. Bory de
St. Vincent, noting this fundamental distinction, divided mankind
accordingly into the two primary groups of _Leiotrichi_ and
_Ulotrichi_,--terms which are open to criticism, but which I adopt in
the accompanying table, because they have been used. It is better for
science to accept a faulty name which has the merit of existence, than
to burthen it with a faultless newly invented one.

Under each of these divisions are two columns, one for the
Brachycephali, or short heads, and one for the Dolichocephali[1], or
long heads. Again, each column is subdivided transversely into four
compartments, one for the "leucous," people with fair complexions and
yellow or red hair; one for the "leucomelanous," with dark hair and
pale skins; one for the "xanthomelanous," with black hair and yellow,
brown, or olive skins; and one for the "melanous," with black hair and
dark brown or blackish skins.

[Footnote 1: Skulls, the transverse diameter of which is more than
eight-tenths the long diameter, are short; those which have the
transverse diameter less than eight-tenths the longitudinal, are

             LEIOTRICHI.                       ULOTRICHI.
   ______________________________     ____________________________
  /                              \   /                            \
    Dolichocephali. Brachycephali.   Dolichocephali. Brachycephali.
        .... Xanthochroi ....
        .... Melanochroi ....
  _Esquimaux_.    Mongolians.   _Bushmen_.
  _Australians_.                 Negroes.            _Mincopies_(?)

NOTE: _The names of the stocks known only since the fifteenth century
are put into italics. If the "Skrälings" of the Norse discoverers of
America were Esquimaux, Europeans became acquainted with the latter
six or seven centuries earlier_.

It is curious to observe that almost all the woolly-headed people are
also long-headed; while among the straight-haired nations broad heads
preponderate, and only two stocks, the Esquimaux and the Australians,
are exclusively long-headed.

One of the acutest and most original of ethnologists, Desmoulins,
originated the idea, which has subsequently been fully developed by
Agassiz, that the distribution of the persistent modifications of man
is governed by the same laws as that of other animals, and that both
fall into the same great distributional provinces. Thus, Australia;
America, south of Mexico; the Arctic regions; Europe, Syria,
Arabia, and North Africa, taken together, are each regions eminently
characterized by the nature of their animal and vegetable populations,
and each, as we have seen, has its peculiar and characteristic form of
man. But it may be doubted whether the parallel thus drawn will hold
good strictly, and in all cases. The Tasmanian Fauna and Flora are
essentially Australian, and the like is true to a less extent of many,
if not of all, the Papuan islands; but the Negritos who inhabit these
islands are strikingly different from the Australians. Again, the
differences between the Mongolians and the Xanthochroi are out of all
proportion greater than those between the Faunae and Florae of Central
and Eastern Asia. But whatever the difficulties in the way of the
detailed application of this comparison of the distribution of men
with that of animals, it is well worthy of being borne in mind, and
carried as far as it will go.

Apart from all speculation, a very curious fact regarding the
distribution of the persistent modifications of mankind becomes
apparent on inspecting an Ethnological chart, projected in such
a manner that the Pacific Ocean occupies its centre. Such a chart
exhibits an Australian area occupied by dark smooth-haired people,
separated by an incomplete inner zone of dark woolly-haired
Negritos and Negroes, from an outer zone of comparatively pale and
smooth-haired men, occupying the Americas, and nearly all Asia and
North Africa.

Such is a brief sketch of the characters and distribution of the
persistent modifications, or stocks, of mankind at the present day.
If we seek for direct evidence of how long this state of things
has lasted, we shall find little enough, and that little far from
satisfactory. Of the eleven different stocks enumerated, seven have
been known to us for less than 400 years; and of these seven not
one possessed a fragment of written history at the time it came into
contact with European civilization. The other four--the Negroes,
Mongolians, Xanthochroi, and Melanochroi--have always existed in some
of the localities in which they are now found, nor do the negroes ever
seem to have voluntarily travelled beyond the limits of their present
area. But ancient history is in a great measure the record of the
mutual encroachments of the other three stocks.

On the whole, however, it is wonderful how little change has been
effected by these mutual invasions and intermixtures. As at the
present time, so at the dawn of history, the Melanochroi fringed
the Atlantic and the Mediterranean; the Xanthochroi occupied most
of Central and Eastern Europe, and much of Western and Central Asia;
while Mongolians held the extreme east of the Old World. So far as
history teaches us, the populations of Europe, Asia, and Africa were,
twenty centuries ago, just what they are now, in their broad features
and general distribution.

The evidence yielded by Archaeology is not very definite, but, so
far as it goes, it is to much the same effect. The mound builders of
Central America seem to have had the characteristic short and broad
head of the modern inhabitants of that continent. The tumuli and tombs
of Ancient Scandinavia, of pre-Roman Britain, of Gaul, of Switzerland,
reveal two types of skull--a broad and a long--of which, in
Scandinavia, the broad seems to have belonged to the older stock,
while the reverse was probably the case in Britain, and certainly
in Switzerland. It has been assumed that the broad-skulled people of
ancient Scandinavia were Lapps; but there is no proof of the fact,
and they may have been, like the broad-skulled Swiss and Germans,
Xanthochroi. One of the greatest of ethnological difficulties is to
know where the modern Swedes, Norsemen, and Saxons got their long
heads, as all their neighbours, Fins, Lapps, Slavonians, and
South Germans, are broad-headed. Again, who were the small-handed,
long-headed people of the "bronze epoch," and what has become of the
infusion of their blood among the Xanthochroi?

At present Palaeontology yields no safe data to the ethnologist. We
know absolutely nothing of the ethnological characters of the men of
Abbeville and Hoxne; but must be content with the demonstration, in
itself of immense value, that Man existed in Western Europe when its
physical condition was widely different from what it is now, and
when animals existed, which, though they belong to what is, properly
speaking, the present order of things, have long been extinct. Beyond
the limits of a fraction of Europe, Palaeontology tells us nothing of
man or of his works.

To sum up our knowledge of the ethnological past of man: so far as the
light is bright, it shows him substantially as he is now; and, when it
grows dim, it permits us to see no sign that he was other than he is

It is a general belief that men of different stocks differ as much
physiologically as they do morphologically; but it is very hard
to prove, in any particular case, how much of a supposed national
characteristic is due to inherent physiological peculiarities, and
how much to the influence of circumstances. There is much evidence to
show, however, that some stocks enjoy a partial or complete immunity
from diseases which destroy, or decimate, others. Thus there seems
good ground for the belief that Negroes are remarkably exempt from
yellow fever; and that, among Europeans, the melanochrous people are
less obnoxious to its ravages than the xanthochrous. But many writers,
not content with physiological differences of this kind, undertake to
prove the existence of others of far greater moment; and, indeed, to
show that certain stocks of mankind exhibit, more or less distinctly,
the physiological characters of true species. Unions between these
stocks, and still more between the half-breeds arising from their
mixture, are affirmed to be either infertile, or less fertile than
those which take place between males and females of either stock under
the same circumstances. Some go so far as to assert that no mixed
breeds of mankind can maintain themselves without the assistance of
one or other of the parent stocks, and that, consequently, they must
inevitably be obliterated in the long run.

Here, again, it is exceedingly difficult to obtain trustworthy
evidence, and to free the effects of the pure physiological experiment
from adventitious influences. The only trial which, by a strange
chance, was kept clear of all such influences--the only instance in
which two distinct stocks of mankind were crossed, and their progeny
intermarried without any admixture from without--is the famous case
of the Pitcairn Islanders, who were the progeny of Bligh's English
sailors by Tahitian women. The results of this experiment, as
everybody knows, are dead against those who maintain the doctrine of
human hybridity, seeing that the Pitcairn Islanders, even though they
necessarily contracted consanguineous marriages, throve and multiplied

But those who are disposed to believe in this doctrine should study
the evidence brought forward in its support by M. Broca, its latest
and ablest advocate, and compare this evidence with that which the
botanists, as represented by a Gaertner, or by a Darwin, think it
indispensable to obtain before they will admit the infertility of
crosses between two allied kinds of plants. They will then, I think,
be satisfied that the doctrine in question rests upon a very unsafe
foundation; that the facts adduced in its support are capable of many
other interpretations; and, indeed, that from the very nature of
the case, demonstrative evidence one way or the other is almost
unattainable. _A priori_, I should be disposed to expect a certain
amount of infertility between some of the extreme modifications of
mankind; and still more between the offsprings of their intermixture.
_A posteriori_, I cannot discover any satisfactory proof that such
infertility exists.

From the facts of ethnology I now turn to the theories and
speculations of ethnologists, which have been devised to explain
these facts, and to furnish satisfactory answers to the inquiry--what
conditions have determined the existence of the persistent
modifications of mankind, and have caused their distribution to be
what it is?

These speculations may be grouped under three heads: firstly, the
Monogenist hypotheses; secondly, those of the Polygenists; and
thirdly, that which would result from a simple application of
Darwinian principles to mankind.

According to the Monogenists, all mankind have sprung from a single
pair, whose multitudinous progeny spread themselves over the world,
such as it now is, and became modified into the forms we meet with in
the various regions of the earth, by the effect of the climatal and
other conditions to which they were subjected.

The advocates of this hypothesis are divisible into several schools.
There are those who represent the most numerous, respectable,
and would-be orthodox of the public, and are what may be called
"Adamites," pure and simple. They believe that Adam was made out of
earth somewhere in Asia, about six thousand years ago; that Eve was
modelled from one of his ribs; and that the progeny of these two
having been reduced to the eight persons who were landed on the summit
of Mount Ararat after an universal deluge, all the nations of the
earth have proceeded from these last, have migrated to their present
localities, and have become converted into Negroes, Australians,
Mongolians, &c., within that time. Five-sixths of the public are
taught this Adamitic Monogenism, as if it were an established truth,
and believe it. I do not; and I am not acquainted with any man of
science, or duly instructed person, who does.

A second school of monogenists, not worthy of much attention, attempts
to hold a place midway between the Adamites and a third division, who
take up a purely scientific position, and require to be dealt with
accordingly. This third division, in fact, numbers in its ranks
Linnaeus, Buffon, Blumenbach, Cuvier, Prichard, and many distinguished
living ethnologists.

These "Rational Monogenists," or, at any rate, the more modern among
them, hold, firstly, that the present condition of the earth has
existed for untold ages; secondly, that, at a remote period, beyond
the ken of Archbishop Usher, man was created, somewhere between the
Caucasus and the Hindoo Koosh; thirdly, that he might have migrated
thence to all parts of the inhabited world, seeing that none of them
are unattainable from some other inhabited part, by men provided with
only such means of transport as savages are known to possess and
must have invented; fourthly, that the operation of the existing
diversities of climate and other conditions upon people so migrating,
is sufficient to account for all the diversities of mankind.

Of the truth of the first of these propositions no competent judge now
entertains any doubt. The second is more open to discussion, for in
these latter days many question the special creation of man: and even
if his special creation be granted, there is not a shadow of a reason
why he should have been created in Asia rather than anywhere else.
Of all the odd myths that have arisen in the scientific world, the
"Caucasian mystery," invented quite innocently by Blumenbach, is the
oddest. A Georgian woman's skull was the handsomest in his collection.
Hence it became his model exemplar of human skulls, from which all
others might be regarded as deviations; and out of this, by some
strange intellectual hocus-pocus, grew up the notion that the
Caucasian man is the prototypic "Adamic" man, and his country the
primitive centre of our kind. Perhaps the most curious thing of all
is, that the said Georgian skull, after all, is not a skull of average
form, but distinctly belongs to the brachycephalic group.

With the third proposition I am quite disposed to agree, though
it must be recollected that it is one thing to allow that a given
migration is possible, and another to admit there is good reason to
believe it has really taken place.

But I can find no sufficient ground for accepting the fourth
proposition; and I doubt if it would ever have obtained its general
currency except for the circumstance that fair Europeans are very
readily tanned and embrowned by the sun. But I am not aware that there
is a particle of proof that the cutaneous change thus effected can
become hereditary, any more than that the enlarged livers, which
plague our countrymen in India, can be transmitted;--while there is
very strong evidence to the contrary. Not only, in fact, are there
such cases as those of the English families in Barbadoes, who have
remained for six generations unaltered in complexion, but which are
open to the objection that they may have received infusions of
fresh European blood; but there is the broad fact, that not a single
indigenous Negro exists either in the great alluvial plains of
tropical South America, or in the exposed islands of the Polynesian
Archipelago, or among the populations of equatorial Borneo or Sumatra.
No satisfactory explanation of these obvious difficulties has been
offered by the advocates of the direct influence of conditions. And as
for the more important modifications observed in the structure of the
brain, and in the form of the skull, no one has ever pretended to show
in what way they can be effected directly by climate.

It is here, in fact, that the strength of the Polygenists, or those
who maintain that men primitively arose, not from one, but from many
stocks, lies. Show us, they say to the Monogenists, a single case in
which the characters of a human stock have been essentially modified
without its being demonstrable, or, at least, highly probable, that
there has been intermixture of blood with some foreign stock. Bring
forward any instance in which a part of the world, formerly inhabited
by one stock, is now the dwelling-place of another, and we will prove
the change to be the result of migration, or of intermixture, and not
of modification of character by climatic influences. Finally, prove
to us that the evidence in favour of the specific distinctness of many
animals, admitted to be distinct species by all zoologists, is a whit
better than that upon which we maintain the specific distinctness of

If presenting unanswerable objections to your adversary were the same
thing as proving your own case, the Polygenists would be in a fair way
towards victory; but, unfortunately, as I have already observed, they
have as yet completely failed to adduce satisfactory positive proof
of the specific diversity of mankind. Like the Monogenists, the
Polygenists are of several sects; some imagine that their assumed
species of mankind were created where we find them--the African in
Africa, and the Australian in Australia, along with the other animals
of their distributional province; others conceive that each species of
man has resulted from the modification of some antecedent species of
ape--the American from the broad-nosed Simians of the New World, the
African from the Troglodytic stock, the Mongolian from the Orangs.

The first hypothesis is hardly likely to win much favour. The whole
tendency of modern science is to thrust the origination of things
further and further into the background; and the chief philosophical
objection to Adam being, not his oneness, but the hypothesis of his
special creation; the multiplication of that objection tenfold is,
whatever it may look, an increase, instead of a diminution, of the
difficulties of the case. And, as to the second alternative, it may
safely be affirmed that, even if the differences between men are
specific, they are so small, that the assumption of more than one
primitive stock for all is altogether superfluous. Surely no one can
now be found to assert that any two stocks of mankind differ as much
as a chimpanzee and an orang do; still less that they are as unlike as
either of these is to any New World Simian!

Lastly, the granting of the Polygenist premises does not, in the
slightest degree, necessitate the Polygenist conclusion. Admit that
Negroes and Australians, Negritos and Mongols are distinct species,
or distinct genera, if you will, and you may yet, with perfect
consistency, be the strictest of Monogenists, and even believe in Adam
and Eve as the primaeval parents of all mankind.

It is to Mr. Darwin we owe this discovery: it is he who, coming
forward in the guise of an eclectic philosopher, presents his doctrine
as the key to ethnology, and as reconciling and combining all that is
good in the Monogenistic and Polygenistic schools.

It is true that Mr. Darwin has not, in so many words, applied his
views to ethnology; but even he who "runs and reads" the "Origin of
Species" can hardly fail to do so; and, furthermore, Mr. Wallace and
M. Pouchet have recently treated of ethnological questions from this
point of view. Let me, in conclusion, add my own contribution to the
same store.

I assume Man to have arisen in the manner which I have discussed
elsewhere, and probably, though by no means necessarily, in one
locality. Whether he arose singly, or a number of examples appeared
contemporaneously, is also an open question for the believer in the
production of species by the gradual modification of pre-existing
ones. At what epoch of the world's history this took place, again, we
have no evidence whatever. It may have been in the older tertiary,
or earlier, but what is most important to remember is, that the
discoveries of late years have proved that man inhabited Western
Europe, at any rate, before the occurrence of those great physical
changes which have given Europe its present aspect. And as the same
evidence shows that man was the contemporary of animals which are now
extinct, it is not too much to assume that his existence dates back
at least as far as that of our present Fauna and Flora, or before the
epoch of the drift.

But if this be true, it is somewhat startling to reflect upon the
prodigious changes which have taken place in the physical geography of
this planet since man has been an occupant of it.

During that period the greater part of the British islands, of Central
Europe, of Northern Asia, have been submerged beneath the sea and
raised up again. So has the great desert of Sahara, which occupies the
major part of Northern Africa. The Caspian and the Aral seas have been
one, and their united waters have probably communicated with both the
Arctic and the Mediterranean oceans. The greater part of North America
has been under water, and has emerged. It is highly probable that
a large part of the Malayan Archipelago has sunk, and its primitive
continuity with Asia has been destroyed. Over the great Polynesian
area subsidence has taken place to the extent of many thousands of
feet--subsidence of so vast a character, in fact, that if a continent
like Asia had once occupied the area of the Pacific, the peaks of its
mountains would now show not more numerous than the islands of the
Polynesian Archipelago.

What lands may have been thickly populated for untold ages, and
subsequently have disappeared and left no sign above the waters, it
is of course impossible for us to say; but unless we are to make the
wholly unjustifiable assumption that no dry land rose elsewhere when
our present dry land sank, there must be half-a-dozen Atlantises
beneath the waves of the various oceans of the world. But if the
regions which have undergone these slow and gradual, but immense
alterations, were wholly or in part inhabited before the changes I
have indicated began--and it is more probable that they were, than
that they were not--what a wonderfully efficient "Emigration Board"
must have been at work all over the world long before canoes, or even
rafts, were invented; and before men were impelled to wander by any
desire nobler or stronger than hunger. And as these rude and primitive
families were thrust, in the course of long series of generations,
from land to land, impelled by encroachments of sea or of marsh, or
by severity of summer heat or winter cold, to change their positions,
what opportunities must have been offered for the play of natural
selection, in preserving one family variation and destroying another!

Suppose, for example, that some families of a horde which had reached
a land charged with the seeds of yellow fever, varied in the direction
of woolliness of hair and darkness of skin. Then, if it be true that
these physical characters are accompanied by comparative or absolute
exemptions from that scourge, the inevitable tendency would be to the
preservation and multiplication of the darker and woollier families,
and the elimination of the whiter and smoother-haired. In fact, by the
operation of causes precisely similar to those which, in the famous
instance cited by Mr. Darwin, have given rise to a race of black pigs
in the forests of Louisiana, a negro stock would eventually people the

Again, how often, by such physical changes, must a stock have been
isolated from all others for innumerable generations, and have found
ample time for the hereditary hardening of its special peculiarities
into the enduring characters of a persistent modification.

Nor, if it be true that the physiological difference of species may be
produced by variation and natural selection, as Mr. Darwin supposes,
would it be at all astonishing if, in some of these separated stocks,
the process of differentiation should have gone so far as to give
rise to the phenomena of hybridity. In the face of the overwhelming
evidence in favour of the unity of the origin of mankind afforded by
anatomical considerations, satisfactory proof of the existence of any
degree of sterility in the unions of members of two of the "persistent
modifications" of mankind, might well be appealed to by Mr. Darwin
as crucial evidence of the truth of his views regarding the origin of
species in general.



In view of the many discussions to which the complicated problems
offered by the ethnology of the British Islands have given rise, it
may be useful to attempt to pick out, from amidst the confused masses
of assertion and of inference, those propositions which appear to rest
upon a secure foundation, and to state the evidence by which they are
supported. Such is the purpose of the present paper.

Some of these well-based propositions relate to the physical
characters of the people of Britain and their neighbours; while others
concern the languages which they spoke. I shall deal, in the first
place, with the physical questions.

I. _Eighteen hundred years ago the population of Britain comprised
people of two types of complexion--the one fair, and the other dark.
The dark people resembled the Aquitani and the Iberians; the fair
people were like the Belgic Gauls._

The chief direct evidence of the truth of this proposition is the
well-known passage of Tacitus:--

    "Ceterum Britanniam qui mortales initio coluerint, indigenae
    an advecti, ut inter barbaros, parum compertum. Habitus
    corporum varii: atque ex eo argumenta: nam rutilae Caledoniam
    habitantium comae, magni artus Germanicam originem asseverant.
    Silurum colorati vultus et torti plerumque crines, et posita
    contra Hispaniam, Iberos veteres trajecisse, easque sedes
    occupasse, fidem faciunt. Proximi Gallis et similes sunt; seu
    durante originis vi, seu procurrentibus in diversa terris,
    positio coeli corporibus habitum dedit. In universum tamen
    aestimanti, Gallos vicinum solum occupasse, credibile est;
    eorum sacra deprehendas, superstitionum persuasione; sermo
    haud multum diversus."[1]

[Footnote 1: Taciti Agricola, c. 11.]

This passage, it will be observed, contains statements as to facts,
and certain conclusions deduced from these facts. The matters of fact
asserted are: firstly, that the inhabitants of Britain exhibit much
diversity in their physical characters; secondly, that the Caledonians
are red-haired and large-limbed, like the Germans; thirdly, that
the Silures have curly hair and dark complexions, like the people of
Spain; fourthly, that the British people nearest Gaul resemble the

Tacitus, therefore, states positively what the Caledonians and Silures
were like; but the interpretation of what he says about the other
Britons must depend upon what we learn from other sources as to the
characters of these "Galli." Here the testimony of "divus Julius"
comes in with great force and appropriateness. Caesar writes:--

    "Britanniae pars interior ab iis incolitur, quos natos in
    insula ipsi memoria proditum dicunt: marituma pars ab iis,
    qui predae ac belli inferendi causa ex Belgio transierant; qui
    omnes fere iis nominibus civitatum appellantur quibus orti ex
    civitatibus eo pervenerunt, et bello inlato ibi permanserunt
    atque agros colere coeperunt."[1]

[Footnote 1: De Bello Gallico, v. 12.]

From these passages it is obvious that in the opinion of Caesar
and Tacitus, the southern Britons resembled the northern Gauls, and
especially the Belgae; and the evidence of Strabo is decisive as to
the characters in which the two people resembled one another: "The men
(of Britain) are taller than the Kelts, with hair less yellow; they
are slighter in their persons."[1]

[Footnote 1: "The Geography of Strabo." Translated by Hamilton and
Falconer; v. 5.]

The evidence adduced appears to leave no reasonable ground for
doubting that, at the time of the Roman conquest, Britain contained
people of two types, the one dark and the other fair complexioned, and
that there was a certain difference between the latter in the north
and in the south of Britain: the northern folk being, in the judgment
of Tacitus, or, more properly, according to the information he had
received from Agricola and others, more similar to the Germans than
the latter. As to the distribution of these stocks, all that is clear
is, that the dark people were predominant in certain parts of the west
of the southern half of Britain, while the fair stock appears to have
furnished the chief elements of the population elsewhere.

No ancient writer troubled himself with measuring skulls, and
therefore there is no direct evidence as to the cranial characters
of the fair and the dark stocks. The indirect evidence is not very
satisfactory. The tumuli of Britain of pre-Roman date have yielded two
extremely different forms of skull, the one broad and the other long;
and the same variety has been observed in the skulls of the ancient
Gauls[1]. The suggestion is obvious that the one form of skull may
have been associated with the fair, and the other with the dark,
complexion. But any conclusion of this kind is at once checked by the
reflection that the extremes of long and short-headedness are to be
met with among the fair inhabitants of Germany and of Scandinavia
at the present day--the south-western Germans and the Swiss being
markedly broad-headed, while the Scandinavians are as predominantly

[Footnote 1: See Dr. Thurnam "On the Two principal Forms of Ancient
British and Gaulish Skulls."]

What the natives of Ireland were like at the time of the Roman
conquest of Britain, and for centuries afterwards, we have no certain
knowledge; but the earliest trustworthy records prove the existence,
side by side with one another, of a fair and a dark stock, in Ireland
as in Britain. The long form of skull is predominant among the
ancient, as among modern, Irish.

II. _The people termed Gauls, and those called Germans, by the Romans,
did not differ in any important physical character._

The terms in which the ancient writers describe both Gauls and Germans
are identical. They are always tall people, with massive limbs, fair
skins, fierce blue eyes, and hair the colour of which ranges from
red to yellow. Zeuss, the great authority on these matters, affirms
broadly that no distinction in bodily feature is to be found between
the Gauls, the Germans, and the Wends, so far as their characters are
recorded by the old historians; and he proves his case by citations
from a cloud of witnesses.

An attempt has been made to show that the colour of the hair of the
Gauls must have differed very much from that which obtained among the
Germans, on the strength of the story told by Suetonius (Caligula, 4),
that Caligula tried to pass off Gauls for Germans by picking out the
tallest, and making them "rutilare et summittere comam."

The Baron de Belloguet remarks upon this passage:--

    "It was in the very north of Gaul, and near the sea, that
    Caligula got up this military comedy. And the fact proves
    that the Belgae were already sensibly different from their
    ancestors, whom Strabo had found almost identical with their
    _brothers_ on the other side of the Rhine."

But the fact recorded by Suetonius, if fact it be, proves nothing;
for the Germans themselves were in the habit of reddening their hair.
Ammianus Marcellinus[1] tells how, in the year 367 A.D., the Roman
commander, Jovinus, surprised a body of Alemanni near the town now
called Charpeigne, in the valley of the Moselle; and how the Roman
soldiers, as, concealed by the thick wood, they stole upon their
unsuspecting enemies, saw that some were bathing and others "comas
rutilantes ex more." More than two centuries earlier Pliny gives
indirect evidence to the same effect when he says of soap:--

[Footnote 1: Res Gestae, xxvii.]

    "Galliarum hoc inventum rutilandis capillis ... apud Germanos
    majore in usu viris quam foeminis."[1]

[Footnote 1: Historia Naturalis, xxviii. 51.]

Here we have a writer who flourished only a short time after the date
of the Caligula story, telling us that the Gauls invented soap for the
purpose of doing that which, according to Suetonius, Caligula forced
them to do. And, further, the combined and independent testimony of
Pliny and Ammianus assures us that the Germans were as much in the
habit of reddening their hair as the Gauls. As to De Belloguet's
supposition that, even in Caligula's time, the Gauls had become darker
than their ancestors were, it is directly contradicted by Ammianus
Marcellinus, who knew the Gauls well. "Celsioris staturae et candidi
poene Galli sunt onions, et rutili, luminumque torvitate terribiles,"
is his description; and it would fit the Gauls who sacked Rome.

III. _In none of the invasions of Britain which have taken place since
the Roman dominion, has any other type of man been introduced than one
or other of the two which existed during that dominion_.

The North Germans, who effected what is commonly called the Saxon
conquest of Britain, were, most assuredly, a fair, yellow, or
red-haired, blue eyed, long-skulled people. So were the Danes and the
Norsemen who followed them; though it is very possible that the active
slave trade which went on, and the intercourse with Ireland, may have
introduced a certain admixture of the dark stock into both Denmark and
Norway. The Norman conquest brought in new ethnological elements, the
precise value of which cannot be estimated with exactness; but as to
their quality, there can be no question, inasmuch as even the wide
area from which William drew his followers could yield him nothing but
the fair and the dark types of men, already present in Britain. But
whether the Norman settlers, on the whole, strengthened the fair or
the dark element, is a problem, the elements of the solution of which
are not attainable.

I am unable to discover any grounds for believing that a Lapp element
has ever entered into the population of these islands. So far as the
physical evidence goes, it is perfectly consistent with the hypothesis
that the only constituent stocks of that population, now, or at any
other period about which we have evidence, are the dark whites, whom
I have proposed to call "_Melanochroi_" and the fair whites, or

IV. _The Xanthochroi and the Melanochroi of Britain are, speaking
broadly, distributed, at present, as they were in the time of Tacitus;
and their representatives on the continent of Europe have the same
general distribution as at the earliest period of which we have any

At the present day, and notwithstanding the extensive intermixture
effected by the movements consequent on civilization and on political
changes, there is a predominance of dark men in the west, and of fair
men in the east and north, of Britain. At the present day, as from
the earliest times, the predominant constituents of the riverain
population of the North Sea and the eastern half of the British
Channel, are fair men. The fair stock continues in force through
Central Europe, until it is lost in Central Asia. Offshoots of this
stock extend into Spain, Italy, and Northern India, and by way of
Syria and North Africa, to the Canary Islands. They were known in
very early times to the Chinese, and in still earlier to the ancient
Egyptians, as frontier tribes. The Thracians were notorious for their
fair hair and blue eyes many centuries before our era.

On the other hand, the dark stock predominates in Southern and
Western France, in Spain, along the Ligurian shore, and in Western and
Southern Italy; in Greece, Asia, Syria, and North Africa; in Arabia,
Persia, Afghanistan, and Hindostan, shading gradually, through all
stages of darkening, into the type of the modern Egyptian, or of the
wild Hill-man of the Dekkan. Nor is there any record of the existence
of a different population in all these countries.

The extreme north of Europe, and the northern part of Western Asia,
are at present occupied by a Mongoloid stock, and, in the absence of
evidence to the contrary, may be assumed to have been so peopled from
a very remote epoch. But, as I have said, I can find no evidence that
this stock ever took part in peopling Britain. Of the three great
stocks of mankind which extend from the western coast of the
great Eurasiatic continent to its southern and eastern shores, the
Mongoloids occupy a vast triangle, the base of which is the whole of
Eastern Asia, while its apex lies in Lapland. The Melanochroi, on the
other hand, may be represented as a broad band stretching from Ireland
to Hindostan; while the Xanthochroic area lies between the two, thins
out, so to speak, at either end, and mingles, at its margins, with
both its neighbours.

Such is a brief and summary statement of what I believe to be the
chief facts relating to the physical ethnology of the people of
Britain. The conclusions which I draw from these and other facts are
(1) That the Melanochroi and the Xanthochroi are two separate races in
the biological sense of the word race; (2) That they have had the same
general distribution as at present from the earliest times of which
any record exists on the continent of Europe; (3) That the population
of the British Islands is derived from them, and from them only.

The people of Europe, however, owe their national names, not to
their physical characteristics, but to their languages, or to their
political relations; which, it is plain, need not have the slightest
relation to these characteristics.

Thus, it is quite certain that, in Caesar's time, Gaul was divided
politically into three nationalities--the Belgae, the Celtae, and
the Aquitani; and that the last were very widely different, both in
language and in physical characteristics, from the two former. The
Belgae and the Celtae, on the other hand, differed comparatively
little either in physique or in language. On the former point there is
the distinct testimony of Strabo; as to the latter, St. Jerome states
that the "Galatians had almost the same language as the Treviri." Now,
the Galatians were emigrant Volcae Tectosages, and therefore Celtae;
while the Treviri were Belgae.

At the present day, the physical characters of the people of
Belgic Gaul remain distinct from those of the people of Aquitaine,
notwithstanding the immense changes which have taken place since
Caesar's time; but Belgae, Celtae, and Aquitani (all but a mere
fraction of the last two, represented by the Basques and the Britons)
are fused into one nationality, "le peuple Français." But they have
adopted the language of one set of invaders, and the name of another;
their original names and languages having almost disappeared.
Suppose that the French language remained as the sole evidence of
the existence of the population of Gaul, would the keenest philologer
arrive at any other conclusion than that this population was
essentially and fundamentally a "Latin" race, which had had some
communication with Celts and Teutons? Would he so much as suspect the
former existence of the Aquitani?

Community of language testifies to close contact between the people
who speak the language, but to nothing else; philology has absolutely
nothing to do with ethnology, except so far as it suggests the
existence or the absence of such contact. The contrary assumption,
that language is a test of race, has introduced the utmost confusion
into ethnological speculation, and has nowhere worked greater
scientific and practical mischief than in the ethnology of the British

What is known, for certain, about the languages spoken in these
islands and their affinities may, I believe, be summed up as

I. _At the time of the Roman conquest, one language, the Celtic, under
two principal dialectical divisions, the Cymric and the Gaelic, was
spoken throughout the British Islands. Cymric was spoken in Britain,
Gaelic in Ireland._

If a language allied to Basque had in earlier times been spoken in
the British Islands, there is no evidence that any Euskarian-speaking
people remained at the time of the Roman conquest. The dark and the
fair population of Britain alike spoke Celtic tongues, and therefore
the name "Celt" is as applicable to the one as to the other.

What was spoken in Ireland can only be surmised by reasoning from the
knowledge of later times; but there seems to be no doubt that it was
Gaelic; and that the Gaelic dialect was introduced into the Western
Highlands by Irish invaders.

II. _The Belgae and the Celtae, with the offshoots of the latter in
Asia Minor, spoke dialects of the Cymric division of Celtic_.

The evidence of this proposition lies in the statement of St. Jerome
before cited; in the similarity of the names of places in Belgic Gaul
and in Britain; and in the direct comparison of sundry ancient Gaulish
and Belgic words which have been preserved, with the existing Cymric
dialects, for which I must refer to the learned work of Brandes.

Formerly, as at the present day, the Cymric dialects of Celtic were
spoken by both the fair and the dark stocks.

III. _There is no record of Gaelic being spoken anywhere save in
Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man_.

This appears to be the final result of the long discussions which have
taken place on this much-debated question. As is the case with the
Cymric dialects, Gaelic is now spoken by both dark and fair stocks.

IV. _When the Teutonic languages first became known, they were spoken
only Xanthochroi, that is to say, by the Germans, the Scandinavians,
and Goths. And they were imported by Xanthochroi into Gaul and into

In Gaul the imported Teutonic dialect has been completely overpowered
by the more or less modified Latin, which it found already in
possession; and what Teutonic blood there may be in modern Frenchmen
is not adequately represented in their language. In Britain, on the
contrary, the Teutonic dialects have overpowered the pre-existing
forms of speech, and the people are vastly less "Teutonic" than
their language. Whatever may have been the extent to which the
Celtic-speaking population of the eastern half of Britain was trodden
out and supplanted by the Teutonic-speaking Saxons and Danes, it is
quite certain that no considerable displacement of the Celtic-speaking
people occurred in Cornwall, Wales, or the Highlands of Scotland; and
that nothing approaching to the extinction of that people took place
in Devonshire, Somerset, or the western moiety of Britain generally.
Nevertheless, the fundamentally Teutonic English language is now
spoken throughout Britain, except by an insignificant fraction of the
population in Wales and the Western Highlands. But it is obvious
that this fact affords not the slightest justification for the common
practice of speaking of the present inhabitants of Britain as an
"Anglo-Saxon" people. It is, in fact, just as absurd as the habit of
talking of the French people as a "Latin" race, because they speak a
language which is, in the main, derived from Latin. And the absurdity
becomes the more patent when those who have no hesitation in calling
a Devonshire man, or a Cornish man, an "Anglo-Saxon," would think it
ridiculous to call a Tipperary man by the same title, though he and
his forefathers may have spoken English for as long a time as the
Cornish man.

Ireland, at the earliest period of which we have any knowledge,
contained like Britain, a dark and a fair stock, which, there is every
reason to believe, were identical with the dark and the fair stocks
of Britain. When the Irish first became known they spoke a Gaelic
dialect, and though, for many centuries, Scandinavians made continual
incursions upon, and settlements among them, the Teutonic languages
made no more way among the Irish than they did among the French. How
much Scandinavian blood was introduced there is no evidence to show.
But after the conquest of Ireland by Henry II., the English people,
consisting in part of the descendants of Cymric speakers, and in part
of the descendants of Teutonic speakers, made good their footing in
the eastern half of the island, as the Saxons and Danes made good
theirs in England; and did their best to complete the parallel by
attempting the extirpation of the Gaelic-speaking Irish. And they
succeeded to a considerable extent; a large part of Eastern Ireland is
now peopled by men who are substantially English by descent, and the
English language has spread over the land far beyond the limits of
English blood.

Ethnologically, the Irish people were originally, like the people of
Britain, a mixture of Melanochroi and Xanthochroi. They resembled the
Britons in speaking a Celtic tongue; but it was a Gaelic and not a
Cymric form of the Celtic language. Ireland was untouched by the Roman
conquest, nor do the Saxons seem to have had any influence upon
her destinies, but the Danes and Norsemen poured in a contingent of
Teutonism, which has been largely supplemented by English and Scotch

What, then, is the value of the ethnological difference between the
Englishman of the western half of England and the Irishman of the
eastern half of Ireland? For what reason does the one deserve the
name of a "Celt," and not the other? And further, if we turn to
the inhabitants of the western half of Ireland, why should the term
"Celts" be applied to them more than to the inhabitants of Cornwall?
And if the name is applicable to the one as justly as to the other,
why should not intelligence, perseverance, thrift, industry, sobriety,
respect for law, be admitted to be Celtic virtues? And why should we
not seek for the cause of their absence in something else than the
idle pretext of "Celtic blood?"

I have been unable to meet with any answers to these questions.

V. _The Celtic and the Teutonic dialects are members of the same
great Aryan family of languages; but there is evidence to show that a
non-Aryan language was at one time spoken over a large extent of the
area occupied by Melanochroi in Europe_.

The non-Aryan language here referred to is the Euskarian, now spoken
only by the Basques, but which seems in earlier times to have been
the language of the Aquitanians and Spaniards, and may possibly have
extended much further to the East. Whether it has any connection with
the Ligurian and Oscan dialects are questions upon which, of course,
I do not presume to offer any opinion. But it is important to remark
that it is a language the area of which has gradually diminished
without any corresponding extirpation of the people who primitively
spoke it; so that the people of Spain and of Aquitaine at the present
day must be largely "Euskarian" by descent in just the same sense as
the Cornish men are "Celtic" by descent.

Such seem to me to be the main facts respecting the ethnology of the
British islands and of Western Europe, which may be said to be fairly
established. The hypothesis by which I think (with De Belloguet and
Thurnam) the facts may best be explained is this: In very remote times
Western Europe and the British islands were inhabited by the dark
stock, or the Melanochroi, alone, and these Melanochroi spoke dialects
allied to the Euskarian. The Xanthochroi, spreading over the great
Eurasiatic plains westward, and speaking Aryan dialects, gradually
invaded the territories of the Melanochroi. The Xanthochroi, who
thus came into contact with the Western Melanochroi, spoke a Celtic
language; and that Celtic language, whether Cymric or Gaelic, spread
over the Melanochroi far beyond the limits of intermixture of blood,
supplanting Euskarian, just as English and French, have supplanted
Celtic. Even as early as Caesar's time, I suppose that the Euskarian
was everywhere, except in Spain and in Aquitaine, replaced by Celtic,
and thus the Celtic speakers were no longer of one ethnological stock,
but of two. Both in Western Europe and in England a third wave of
language--in the one case Latin, in the other Teutonic--has spread
over the same area. In Western Europe, it has left a fragment of the
primary Euskarian in one corner of the country, and a fragment of the
secondary Celtic in another. In the British islands, only outlying
pools of the secondary linguistic wave remain in Wales, the Highlands,
Ireland, and the Isle of Man. If this hypothesis is a sound one, it
follows that the name of Celtic is not properly applicable to the
Melanochroic or dark stock of Europe. They are merely, so to speak,
secondary Celts. The primary and aboriginal Celtic-speaking people are
Xanthochroi--the typical Gauls of the ancient writers, and the close
allies by blood, customs, and language, of the Germans.




It is now eight years since, in the absence of the late Mr. Leonard
Homer, who then presided over us, it fell to my lot, as one of the
Secretaries of this Society, to draw up the customary Annual Address.
I availed myself of the opportunity to endeavour to "take stock"
of that portion of the science of biology which is commonly called
"palaeontology," as it then existed; and, discussing one after another
the doctrines held by palaeontologists, I put before you the results
of my attempts to sift the well-established from the hypothetical or
the doubtful. Permit me briefly to recall to your minds what those
results were:--

1. The living population of all parts of the earth's surface which
have yet been examined has undergone a succession of changes which,
upon the whole, have been of a slow and gradual character.

2. When the fossil remains which are the evidences of these successive
changes, as they have occurred in any two more or less distant parts
of the surface of the earth, are compared, they exhibit a certain
broad and general parallelism. In other words, certain forms of life
in one locality occur in the same general order of succession as, or
are _homotaxial_ with, similar forms in the other locality.

3. Homotaxis is not to be held identical with synchronism without
independent evidence. It is possible that similar, or even identical,
faunae and florae in two different localities may be of extremely
different ages, if the term "age" is used in its proper chronological
sense. I stated that "geographical provinces, or zones, may have been
as distinctly marked in the Palaeozoic epoch as at present; and those
seemingly sudden appearances of new genera and species, which we
ascribe to new creation, may be simple results of migration."

4. The opinion that the oldest known fossils are the earliest forms of
life has no solid foundation.

5. If we confine ourselves to positively ascertained facts, the total
amount of change in the forms of animal and vegetable life, since the
existence of such forms is recorded, is small. When compared with the
lapse of time since the first appearance of these forms, the amount
of change is wonderfully small. Moreover, in each great group of the
animal and vegetable kingdoms, there are certain forms which I termed
PERSISTENT TYPES, which have remained, with but very little apparent
change, from their first appearance to the present time.

6. In answer to the question "What, then, does an impartial survey of
the positively ascertained truths of palaeontology testify in relation
to the common doctrines of progressive modification, which suppose
that modification to have taken place by a necessary progress from
more to less embryonic forms, from more to less generalized types,
within, the limits of the period represented by the fossiliferous
rocks?" I reply, "It negatives these doctrines; for it either shows us
no evidence of such modification, or demonstrates such modification as
has occurred to have been very slight; and, as to the nature of
that modification, it yields no evidence whatsoever that the earlier
members of any long-continued group were more generalized in structure
than the later ones."

I think that I cannot employ my last opportunity of addressing you,
officially, more properly--I may say more dutifully--than in
revising these old judgments with such help as further knowledge and
reflection, and an extreme desire to get at the truth, may afford me.

1. With respect to the first proposition, I may remark that
whatever may be the case among the physical geologists, catastrophic
palaeontologists are practically extinct. It is now no part of
recognized geological doctrine that the species of one formation all
died out and were replaced by a brand-new set in the next formation.
On the contrary, it is generally, if not universally, agreed that
the succession of life has been, the result of a slow and gradual
replacement of species by species; and that all appearances of
abruptness of change are due to breaks in the series of deposits, or
other changes in physical conditions. The continuity of living forms
has been unbroken from the earliest times to the present day.

2, 3. The use of the word "homotaxis" instead of "synchronism" has
not, so far as I know, found much favour in the eyes of geologists.
I hope, therefore, that it is a love for scientific caution, and not
mere personal affection for a bantling of my own, which leads me still
to think that the change of phrase is of importance, and that the
sooner it is made, the sooner shall we get rid of a number of pitfalls
which beset the reasoner upon the facts and theories of geology.

One of the latest pieces of foreign intelligence which has reached
us is the information that the Austrian geologists have, at last,
succumbed to the weighty evidence which M. Barrande has accumulated,
and have admitted the doctrine of colonies. But the admission of the
doctrine of colonies implies the further admission that even identity
of organic remains is no proof of the synchronism of the deposits
which contain them.

4. The discussions touching the _Eozoon_, which commenced in 1864,
have abundantly justified the fourth proposition. In 1862, the oldest
record of life was in the Cambrian rocks; but if the _Eozoon_ be,
as Principal Dawson and Dr. Carpenter have shown so much reason for
believing, the remains of a living being, the discovery of its true
nature carried life back to a period which, as Sir William Logan has
observed, is as remote from that during which the Cambrian rocks were
deposited, as the Cambrian epoch itself is from the tertiaries. In
other words, the ascertained duration of life upon the globe was
nearly doubled at a stroke.

5. The significance of persistent types, and of the small amount of
change which has taken place even in those forms which can be shown to
have been modified, becomes greater and greater in my eyes, the longer
I occupy myself with the biology of the past.

Consider how long a time has elapsed since the Miocene epoch. Yet, at
that time, there is reason to believe that every important group in
every order of the _Mammalia_ was represented. Even the comparatively
scanty Eocene fauna yields examples of the orders _Cheiroptera,
Insectivora, Rodentia_, and _Perissodactyla_; of _Artiodactyla_
under both the Ruminant and the Porcine modifications; of _Carnivora,
Cetacea_, and _Marsupialia_.

Or, if we go back to the older half of the Mesozoic epoch, how truly
surprising it is to find every order of the _Reptilia_, except
the _Ophidia_, represented; while some groups, such as the
_Ornithoscelida_ and the _Pterosauria_, more specialized than any
which now exist, abounded.

There is one division of the _Amphibia_ which offers especially
important evidence upon this point, inasmuch as it bridges over the
gap between the Mesozoic and the Palaeozoic formations (often supposed
to be of such prodigious magnitude), extending, as it does, from the
bottom of the Carboniferous series to the top of the Trias, if not
into the Lias. I refer to the Labyrinthodonts. As the address of 1862
was passing through the press, I was able to mention, in a note, the
discovery of a large Labyrinthodont, with well-ossified vertebrae, in
the Edinburgh coal-field. Since that time eight or ten distinct genera
of Labyrinthodonts have been discovered in the Carboniferous rocks
of England, Scotland, and Ireland, not to mention the American forms
described by Principal Dawson and Professor Cope. So that, at the
present time, the Labyrinthodont Fauna of the Carboniferous rocks is
more extensive and diversified than that of the Trias, while its chief
types, so far as osteology enables us to judge, are quite as highly
organized. Thus it is certain that a comparatively highly organized
vertebrate type, such as that of the Labyrinthodonts, is capable
of persisting, with no considerable change, through the period
represented by the vast deposits which constitute the Carboniferous,
the Permian, and the Triassic formations.

The very remarkable results which have been brought to light by the
sounding and dredging operations, which have been carried on with
such remarkable success by the expeditions sent out by our own, the
American, and the Swedish Governments, under the supervision of
able naturalists, have a bearing in the same direction. These
investigations have demonstrated the existence, at great depths in the
ocean, of living animals in some cases identical with, in others very
similar to, those which are found fossilized in the white chalk. The
_Globigerinae_, Cyatholiths, Coccospheres, Discoliths in the one are
absolutely identical with those in the other; there are identical, or
closely analogous, species of Sponges, Echinoderms, and Brachiopods.
Off the coast of Portugal, there now lives a species of _Beryx_,
which, doubtless, leaves its bones and scales here and there in the
Atlantic ooze, as its predecessor left its spoils in the mud of the
sea of the Cretaceous epoch.

Many years ago[1] I ventured to speak of the Atlantic mud as "modern
chalk," and I know of no fact inconsistent with the view which
Professor Wyville Thomson has advocated, that the modern chalk is not
only the lineal descendant of the ancient chalk, but that it remains,
so to speak, in the possession of the ancestral estate; and that from
the Cretaceous period (if not much earlier) to the present day, the
deep sea has covered a large part of what is now the area of the
Atlantic. But if _Globigerinae_, and _Terebratula caput-serpentis_
and _Beryx_, not to mention other forms of animals and of plants, thus
bridge over the interval between the present and the Mesozoic periods,
is it possible that the majority of other living things underwent a
"sea-change into something new and strange" all at once?

[Footnote 1: See an article in the _Saturday Review_, for 1858, on
"Chalk, Ancient and Modern."]

6. Thus far I have endeavoured to expand and to enforce by fresh
arguments, but not to modify in any important respect, the ideas
submitted to you on a former occasion. But when I come to the
propositions touching progressive modification, it appears to me, with
the help of the new light which has broken from various quarters, that
there is much ground for softening the somewhat Brutus-like severity
with which, in 1862, I dealt with a doctrine, for the truth of which I
should have been glad enough to be able to find a good foundation.
So far, indeed, as the _Invertebrata_, and the lower _Vertebrata_ are
concerned, the facts and the conclusions which are to be drawn from
them appear to me to remain what they were. For anything that, as yet,
appears to the contrary, the earliest known Marsupials may have been
as highly organized as their living congeners; the Permian lizards
show no signs of inferiority to those of the present day; the
Labyrinthodonts cannot be placed below the living Salamander and
Triton; the Devonian Ganoids are closely related to _Polypterus_ and
to _Lepidosiren_.

But when we turn to the higher _Vertebrata_, the results of recent
investigations, however we may sift and criticise them, seem to me to
leave a clear balance in favour of the doctrine of the evolution
of living forms one from another. Nevertheless, in discussing this
question, it is very necessary to discriminate carefully between the
different kinds of evidence from fossil remains which are brought
forward in favour of evolution.

Every fossil which takes an intermediate place between forms of
life already known, may be said, so far as it is intermediate, to be
evidence in favour of evolution, inasmuch as it shows a possible road
by which evolution may have taken place. But the mere discovery of
such a form does not, in itself, prove that evolution took place by
and through it, nor does it constitute more than presumptive evidence
in favour of evolution in general. Suppose A, B, C to be three
forms, while B is intermediate in structure between A and C. Then the
doctrine of evolution offers four possible alternatives. A may have
become C by way of B; or C may have become A by way of B; or A and
C may be independent modifications of B; or A, B, and C may be
independent modifications of some unknown D. Take the case of the
Pigs, the _Anoplotheridae_, and the Ruminants. The _Anoplotheridae_
are intermediate between the first and the last; but this does not
tell us whether the Ruminants have come from the Pigs, or the Pigs
from Ruminants, or both from _Anoplotheridae_, or whether Pigs,
Ruminants, and _Anoplotheridae_ alike may not have diverged from some
common stock.

But if it can be shown that A, B, and C exhibit successive stages in
the degree of modification, or specialization, of the same type; and
if, further, it can be proved that they occur in successively
newer deposits. A being in the oldest and C in the newest, then the
intermediate character of B has quite another importance, and I should
accept it, without hesitation, as a link in the genealogy of C. I
should consider the burden of proof to be thrown upon anyone who
denied C to have been derived from A by way of B, or in some closely
analogous fashion; for it is always probable that one may not hit upon
the exact line of filiation, and, in dealing with fossils, may mistake
uncles and nephews for fathers and sons.

I think it necessary to distinguish between the former and the latter
classes of intermediate forms, as _intercalary types_ and _linear
types_. When I apply the former term, I merely mean to say that as
a matter of fact, the form B, so named, is intermediate between the
others, in the sense in which the _Anoplotherium_ is intermediate
between the Pigs and the Ruminants--without either affirming, or
denying, any direct genetic relation between the three forms involved.
When I apply the latter term, on the other hand, I mean to express the
opinion that the forms A, B, and C constitute a line of descent, and
that B is thus part of the lineage of C.

From the time when Cuvier's wonderful researches upon the extinct
Mammals of the Paris gypsum first made intercalary types known, and
caused them to be recognized as such, the number of such forms has
steadily increased among the higher _Mammalia_. Not only do we now
know numerous intercalary forms of _Ungulata_, but M. Gaudry's great
monograph upon the fossils of Pikermi (which strikes me as one of the
most perfect pieces of palaeontological work I have seen for a long
time) shows us, among the _Primates, Mesopithecus_ as an intercalary
form between the _Semnopitheci_ and the _Macaci_; and among the
_Carnivora, Hyaenictis_ and _Ictitherium_ as intercalary, or, perhaps,
linear types between the _Viverridae_ and the _Hyaenidae_.

Hardly any order of the higher _Mammalia_ stands so apparently
separate and isolated from the rest as that of the _Cetacea_; though
a careful consideration of the structure of the pinnipede _Carnivora_,
or Seals, shows, in them, many an approximation towards the still more
completely marine mammals. The extinct _Zeuglodon_, however, presents
us with an intercalary form between the type of the Seals and that of
the Whales. The skull of this great Eocene sea-monster, in fact, shows
by the narrow and prolonged interorbital region; the extensive union
of the parietal bones in a sagittal suture; the well-developed nasal
bones; the distinct and large incisors implanted in premaxillary
bones, which take a full share in bounding the fore part of the gape;
the two-fanged molar teeth with triangular and serrated crowns,
not exceeding five on each side in each jaw; and the existence of a
deciduous dentition--its close relation with the Seals. While, on
the other hand, the produced rostral form of the snout, the
long symphysis, and the low coronary process of the mandible are
approximations to the cetacean form of those parts.

The scapula resembles that of the cetacean _Hyperoodon_, but the
supra-spinous fossa is larger and more seal-like; as is the humerus,
which differs from that of the _Cetacea_ in presenting true articular
surfaces for the free jointing of the bones of the fore-arm. In the
apparently complete absence of hinder limbs, and in the characters of
the vertebral column, the _Zeuglodon_ lies on the cetacean side of the
boundary line; so that, upon the whole, the Zeuglodonts, transitional
as they are, are conveniently retained in the cetacean order. And the
publication, in 1864, of M. Van Beneden's memoir on the Miocene and
Pliocene _Squalodon_, furnished much better means than anatomists
previously possessed of fitting in another link of the chain which
connects the existing _Cetacea_ with _Zeuglodon_. The teeth are much
more numerous, although the molars exhibit the zeuglodont double fang;
the nasal bones are very short, and the upper surface of the rostrum
presents the groove, filled up during life by the prolongation of the
ethmoidal cartilage, which is so characteristic of the majority of the

It appears to me that, just as among the existing _Carnivora_,
the walruses and the eared seals are intercalary forms between the
fissipede Carnivora and the ordinary seals, so the Zeuglodonts are
intercalary between the _Carnivora_, as a whole, and the _Cetacea_.
Whether the Zeuglodonts are also linear types in their relation to
these two groups cannot be ascertained, until we have more definite
knowledge than we possess at present, respecting the relations in time
of the _Carnivora_ and _Cetacea_.

Thus far we have been concerned with the intercalary types which
occupy the intervals between Families or Orders of the same class; but
the investigations which have been carried on by Professor Gegenbaur,
Professor Cope, and myself into the structure and relations of the
extinct reptilian forms of the _Ornithoscelida_ (or _Dinosauria_ and
_Compsognatha_) have brought to light the existence of intercalary
forms between what have hitherto been always regarded as very distinct
classes of the vertebrate sub-kingdom, namely _Reptilia_ and _Aves_.
Whatever inferences may, or may not, be drawn from the fact, it is now
an established truth that, in many of these _Ornithoscelida_, the hind
limbs and the pelvis are much more similar to those of Birds than
they are to those of Reptiles, and that these Bird-reptiles, or
Reptile-birds, were more or less completely bipedal.

When I addressed you in 1862, I should have been bold indeed had I
suggested that palaeontology would before long show us the possibility
of a direct transition from the type of the lizard to that of the
ostrich. At the present moment we have, in the _Ornithoscelida_, the
intercalary type, which proves that transition to be something more
than a possibility; but it is very doubtful whether any of the genera
of _Ornithoscelida_ with which we are at present acquainted are the
actual linear types by which the transition from the lizard to the
bird was effected. These, very probably, are still hidden from us in
the older formations.

Let us now endeavour to find some cases of true linear types, or forms
which are intermediate between others because they stand in a direct
genetic relation to them. It is no easy matter to find clear and
unmistakable evidence of filiation among fossil animals; for, in order
that such evidence should be quite satisfactory, it is necessary that
we should be acquainted with all the most important features of the
organization of the animals which are supposed to be thus related, and
not merely with the fragments upon which the genera and species of the
palaeontologist are so often based. M. Gaudry has arranged the species
of _Hyaenidae, Proboscidea, Rhinocerotidae_, and _Equidae_ in their
order of filiation from their earliest appearance in the Miocene epoch
to the present time, and Professor Rütimeyer has drawn up similar
schemes for the Oxen and other _Ungulata_--with what, I am disposed
to think, is a fair and probable approximation to the order of nature.
But, as no one is better aware than these two learned, acute, and
philosophical biologists, all such arrangements must be regarded as
provisional, except in those cases in which, by a fortunate accident,
large series of remains are obtainable from a thick and wide-spread
series of deposits. It is easy to accumulate probabilities--hard
to make out some particular case in such a way that it will stand
rigorous criticism.

After much search, however, I think that such a case is to be made out
in favour of the pedigree of the Horses.

The genus _Equus_ is represented as far back as the latter part of the
Miocene epoch; but in deposits belonging to the middle of that
epoch its place is taken by two other genera, _Hipparion_ and
_Anchitherium_[1]; and, in the lowest Miocene and upper Eocene, only
the last genus occurs. A species of _Anchitherium_ was referred by
Cuvier to the _Palaeotheria_ under the name of _P. aurelianense_. The
grinding-teeth are in fact very similar in shape and in pattern, and
in the absence of any thick layer of cement, to those of some species
of _Palaeotherium_, especially Cuvier's _Palaeotherium minus_, which
has been formed into a separate genus, _Plagiolophus_, by Pomel. But
in the fact that there are only six full-sized grinders in the lower
jaw, the first premolar being very small; that the anterior grinders
are as large as, or rather larger than, the posterior ones; that the
second premolar has an anterior prolongation; and that the posterior
molar of the lower jaw has, as Cuvier pointed out, a posterior lobe of
much smaller size and different form, the dentition of _Anchitherium_
departs from the type of the _Palaeotherium_, and approaches that of
the Horse.

[Footnote 1: Hermann von Meyer gave the name of _Anchitherium_ to _A.
Ezguerrae_; and in his paper on the subject he takes great pains
to distinguish the latter as the type of a new genus, from Cuvier's
_Palaeotherium d'Orléans._ But it is precisely the _Palaeotherium
d'Orléans_ which is the type of Christol's genus _Hipparitherium_; and
thus, though _Hipparitherium_ is of later date than _Anchitherium_,
it seemed to me to have a sort of equitable right to recognition
when this address was written. On the whole, however, it seems most
convenient to adopt _Anchitherium_.]

Again, the skeleton of _Anchitherium_ is extremely equine. M. Christol
goes so far as to say that the description of the bones of the
horse, or the ass, current in veterinary works, would fit those of
_Anchitherium._ And, in a general way, this may be true enough; but
there are some most important differences, which, indeed, are justly
indicated by the same careful observer. Thus the ulna is complete
throughout, and its shaft is not a mere rudiment, fused into one bone
with the radius. There are three toes, one large in the middle and one
small on each side. The femur is quite like that of a horse, and has
the characteristic fossa above the external condyle. In the British
Museum there is a most instructive specimen of the leg-bones, showing
that the fibula was represented by the external malleolus and by a
flat tongue of bone, which extends up from it on the outer side of the
tibia, and is closely ankylosed with the latter bone.[1] The hind toes
are three, like those of the fore leg; and the middle metatarsal bone
is much less compressed from side to side than that of the horse.

[Footnote 1: I am indebted to M. Gervais for a specimen which
indicates that the fibula was complete, at any rate, in some cases;
and for a very interesting ramus of a mandible, which shows that, as
in the _Palaeotheria_, the hindermost milk-molar of the lower jaw
was devoid of the posterior lobe which exists in the hindermost true

In the _Hipparion_ the teeth nearly resemble those of the Horses,
though the crowns of the grinders are not so long; like those of the
Horses, they are abundantly coated with cement. The shaft of the
ulna is reduced to a mere style ankylosed throughout nearly its whole
length with the radius, and appearing to be little more than a ridge
on the surface of the latter bone until it is carefully examined. The
front toes are still three, but the outer ones are more slender than
in _Anchitherium_, and their hoofs smaller in proportion to that of
the middle toe: they are, in fact, reduced to mere dew-claws, and do
not touch the ground. In the leg, the distal end of the fibula is so
completely united with the tibia that it appears to be a mere process
of the latter bone, as in the Horses.

In _Equus_, finally, the crowns of the grinding-teeth become longer,
and their patterns are slightly modified; the middle of the shaft of
the ulna usually vanishes, and its proximal and distal ends ankylose
with the radius. The phalanges of the two outer toes in each foot
disappear, their metacarpal and metatarsal bones being left as the

The _Hipparion_ has large depressions on the face in front of the
orbits, like those for the "larmiers" of many ruminants; but traces
of these are to be seen in some of the fossil horses from the Sewalik
Hills; and, as Leidy's recent researches show, they are preserved in

When we consider these facts, and the further circumstance that
the Hipparions, the remains of which have been collected in immense
numbers, were subject, as M. Gaudry and others have pointed out, to
a great range of variation, it appears to me impossible to resist the
conclusion that the types of the _Anchitherium_, of the _Hipparion_,
and of the ancient Horses constitute the lineage of the modern Horses,
the _Hipparion_ being the intermediate stage between the other two,
and answering; to B in my former illustration.

The process by which the _Anchitherium_ has been converted into
_Equus_ is one of specialization, or of more and more complete
deviation from what might be called the average form of an ungulate
mammal. In the Horses, the reduction of some parts of the limbs,
together with the special modification of those which are left, is
carried to a greater extent than in any other hoofed mammals. The
reduction is less and the specialization is less in the _Hipparion_,
and still less in the _Anchitherium_; but yet, as compared with
other mammals, the reduction and specialization of parts in the
_Anchitherium_ remain great.

Is it not probable then, that, just as in the Miocene epoch, we find
an ancestral equine form less modified than _Equus_, so, if we go
back to the Eocene epoch, we shall find some quadruped related to the
_Anchitherium_, as _Hipparion_ is related to _Equus_, and consequently
departing less from the average form?

I think that this desideratum is very nearly, if not quite, supplied
by _Plagiolophus_, remains of which occur abundantly in some parts
of the Upper and Middle Eocene formations. The patterns of
the grinding-teeth of _Plagiolophus_ are similar to those of
_Anchitherium_, and their crowns are as thinly covered with cement;
but the grinders diminish in size forwards, and the last lower molar
has a large hind lobe, convex outwards and concave inwards, as in
_Palceotherium_. The ulna is complete and much larger than in any
of the _Equidae_, while it is more slender than in most of the true
_Palaeotheria_; it is fixedly united, but not ankylosed, with the
radius. There are three toes in the fore limb, the outer ones being
slender, but less attenuated than in the _Equidae_. The femur is more
like that of the _Palaeotheria_ than that of the horse, and has only
a small depression above its outer condyle in the place of the great
fossa which is so obvious in the _Equidae_. The fibula is distinct,
but very slender, and its distal end is ankylosed with the tibia.
There are three toes on the hind foot having similar proportions to
those on the fore foot. The principal metacarpal and metatarsal bones
are flatter than they are in any of the _Equidae_; and the metacarpal
bones are longer than the metatarsals, as in the _Palaeotheria_.

In its general form, _Plagiolophus_ resembles a very small and slender
horse[1], and is totally unlike the reluctant, pig-like creature
depicted in Cuvier's restoration of his _Palaeotherium minus_ in the
"Os semens Fossils."

[Footnote 1: Such, at least, is the conclusion suggested by the
proportions of the skeleton figured by Cuvier and De Blainville; but
perhaps something between a Horse and an Agouti would be nearest the

It would be hazardous to say that _Plagiolophus_ is the exact radical
form of the Equine quadrupeds; but I do not think there can be any
reasonable doubt that the latter animals have resulted from the
modification of some quadruped similar to _Plagiolophus_.

We have thus arrived at the Middle Eocene formation, and yet
have traced back the Horses only to a three-toed stock; but these
three-toed forms, no less than the Equine quadrupeds themselves,
present rudiments of the two other toes which appertain to what I
have termed the "average" quadruped. If the expectation raised by
the splints of the Horses that, in some ancestor of the Horses, these
splints would be found to be complete digits, has been verified,
we are furnished with very strong reasons for looking for a no
less complete verification of the expectation that the three-toed.
_Plagiolophus_-like "avus" of the horse must have had a five-toed
"atavus" at some earlier period.

No such five-toed "atavus," however, has yet made its appearance among
the few middle and older Eocene _Mammalia_ which are known.

Another series of closely affiliated forms, though the evidence they
afford is perhaps less complete than that of the Equine series,
is presented to us by the _Dichobune_ of the Eocene epoch, the
_Cainotherium_ of the Miocene, and the _Tragulidae_, or so-called
"Musk-deer," of the present day.

The _Tragulidae_ have no incisors in the upper jaw, and only six
grinding-teeth on each side of each jaw; while the canine is moved up
to the outer incisor, and there is a diastema, in the lower jaw. There
are four complete toes on the hind foot, but the middle metatarsals
usually become, sooner or later, ankylosed into a cannon bone. The
navicular and the cuboid unite, and the distal end of the fibula is
ankylosed with the tibia.

In _Cainotherium_ and _Dichobune_ the upper incisors are fully
developed. There are seven grinders; the teeth form a continuous
series without a diastema. The metatarsals, the navicular and cuboid,
and the distal end of the fibula, remain free. In the _Cainotherium_,
also, the second metacarpal is developed, but is much shorter than the
third, while the fifth is absent or rudimentary. In this respect it
resembles _Anoplotherium secundarium_. This circumstance, and the
peculiar pattern of the upper molars in _Cainotherium_, lead me
to hesitate in considering it as the actual ancestor of the modern
_Tragulidae_. If _Dichobune_ has a four-toed fore foot (though I am
inclined to suspect that it resembles _Cainotherium_), it will be a
better representative of the oldest forms of the Traguline series; but
_Dichobune_ occurs in the Middle-Eocene, and is, in fact, the oldest
known artiodactyle mammal. Where, then, must we look for its five-toed

If we follow down other lines of recent and tertiary _Ungulata_, the
same question presents itself. The Pigs are traceable back through
the Miocene epoch to the Upper Eocene, where they appear in the
two well-marked forms of _Hyopotamus_ and _Chaeropotamus_; but
_Hyopotamus_ appears to have had only two toes.

Again, all the great groups of the Ruminants, the _Bovidae,
Antilopidae, Camelopardalidae_, and _Cervidae_, are represented in
the Miocene epoch, and so are the Camels. The Upper Eocene
_Anoplotherium_, which is intercalary between the Pigs and the
_Tragulidae_, has only two or, at most, three toes. Among the scanty
mammals of the Lower Eocene formation we have the perissodactyle
_Ungulata_ represented by _Coryphodon, Hyra-cotherium_, and
_Pliolophus_. Suppose for a moment, for the sake of following out
the argument, that _Pliolophus_ represents the primary stock of the
Perissodactyles, and _Dichobune_ that of the Artiodactyles (though
I am far from saying that such is the case), then we find, in the
earliest fauna of the Eocene epoch to which our investigations carry
us, the two divisions of the _Ungulata_ completely differentiated, and
no trace of any common stock of both, or of five-toed predecessors to
either. With the case of the Horses before us, justifying a belief in
the production of new animal forms by modification of old ones, I see
no escape from the necessity of seeking for these ancestors of the
_Ungulata_ beyond the limits of the Tertiary formations.

I could as soon admit special creation, at once, as suppose that the
Perissodactyles and Artiodactyles had no five-toed ancestors. And when
we consider how large a portion of the Tertiary period elapsed before
_Anchitherium_ was converted into _Equus_, it is difficult to escape
the conclusion that a large proportion of time anterior to the
Tertiary period must have been expended in converting the common stock
of the _Ungulata_ into Perissodactyles and Artiodactyles.

The same moral is inculcated by the study of every other order of
Tertiary monodelphous _Mammalia_. Each of these orders is represented
in the Miocene epoch: the Eocene formation, as I have already said,
contains _Cheiroptera, Insectivora, Rodentia, Ungulata, Carnivora,_
and _Cetacea_. But the _Cheiroptera_ are extreme modifications of the
_Insectivora_, just as the _Cetacea_ are extreme modifications of
the Carnivorous type; and therefore it is to my mind incredible
that monodelphous _Insectivora_ and _Carnivora_ should not have been
abundantly developed, along with _Ungulata_, in the Mesozoic epoch.
But if this be the case, how much further back must we go to find the
common stock of the monodelphous _Mammalia_? As to the _Didelphia_,
if we may trust the evidence which seems to be afforded by their
very scanty remains, a Hypsiprymnoid form existed at the epoch of the
Trias, contemporaneously with a Carnivorous form. At the epoch of the
Trias, therefore, the _Marsupialia_ must have, already existed long
enough to have become differentiated into carnivorous and herbivorous
forms. But the _Monotremata_ are lower forms than the _Didelphia,_
which last are intercalary between the _Ornithodelphia_ and the
_Monodelphia_. To what point of the Palaeozoic epoch, then, must we,
upon any rational estimate, relegate the origin of the _Monotremata_?

The investigation of the occurrence of the classes and of the orders
of the _Sauropsida_ in time points in exactly the same direction.
If, as there is great reason to believe, true Birds existed in the
Triassic epoch, the ornithoscelidous forms by which Reptiles passed
into Birds must have preceded them. In fact there is, even at present,
considerable ground for suspecting the existence of _Dinosauria_ in
the Permian formations; but, in that case, lizards must be of still
earlier date. And if the very small differences which are observable
between the _Crocodilia_ of the older Mesozoic formations and those of
the present day furnish any sort of approximation towards an estimate
of the average rate of change among the _Sauropsida_, it is almost
appalling to reflect how far back in Palaeozoic times we must go,
before we can hope to arrive at that common stock from which the
_Crocodilia, Lacertilia, Ornithoscelida_, and _Plesiosauria_, which
had attained so great a development in the Triassic epoch, must have
been derived.

The _Amphibia_ and _Pisces_ tell the same story. There is not a
single class of vertebrated animals which, when it first appears,
is represented by analogues of the lowest known members of the same
class. Therefore, if there is any truth in the doctrine of evolution,
every class must be vastly older than the first record of its
appearance upon the surface of the globe. But if considerations of
this kind compel us to place the origin of vertebrated animals at
a period sufficiently distant from the Upper Silurian, in which the
first Elasmobranchs and Ganoids occur, to allow of the evolution of
such fishes as these from a Vertebrate as simple as the _Amphioxus_,
I can only repeat that it is appalling to speculate upon the extent to
which that origin must have preceded the epoch of the first recorded
appearance of vertebrate life.

Such is the further commentary which I have to offer upon the
statement of the chief results of palaeontology which I formerly
ventured to lay before you.

But the growth of knowledge in the interval makes me conscious of
an omission of considerable moment in that statement, inasmuch as it
contains no reference to the bearings of palaeontology upon the theory
of the distribution of life; nor takes note of the remarkable manner
in which the facts of distribution, in present and past times, accord
with the doctrine of evolution, especially in regard to land animals.

That connection between palaeontology and geology and the present
distribution of terrestrial animals, which so strikingly impressed
Mr. Darwin, thirty years ago, as to lead him to speak of a "law of
succession of types," and of the wonderful relationship on the same
continent between the dead and the living, has recently received much
elucidation from the researches of Gaudry, of Rütimeyer, of Leidy,
and of Alphonse Milne-Edwards, taken in connection with the
earlier labours of our lamented colleague Falconer; and it has been
instructively discussed in the thoughtful and ingenious work of Mr.
Andrew Murray "On the Geographical Distribution of Mammals."[1]

[Footnote 1: The paper "On the Form and Distribution of the
Land-tracts during the Secondary and Tertiary Periods respectively;
and on the Effect upon Animal Life which great Changes in Geographical
Configuration have probably produced," by Mr. Searles V. Wood, jun.,
which was published in the _Philosophical Magazine_, in 1862, was
unknown to me when this Address was written. It is well worthy of the
most careful study.]

I propose to lay before you, as briefly as I can, the ideas to which a
long consideration of the subject has given rise in my own mind.

If the doctrine of evolution is sound, one of its immediate
consequences clearly is, that the present distribution of life
upon the globe is the product of two factors, the one being the
distribution which obtained in the immediately preceding epoch, and
the other the character and the extent of the changes which have taken
place in physical geography between the one epoch and the other; or,
to put the matter in another way, the Fauna and Flora of any given
area, in any given epoch, can consist only of such forms of life as
are directly descended from those which constituted the Fauna and
Flora of the same area in the immediately preceding epoch, unless the
physical geography (under which I include climatal conditions) of
the area has been so altered as to give rise to immigration of living
forms from some other area.

The evolutionist, therefore, is bound to grapple with the following
problem whenever it is clearly put before him:--Here are the Faunae of
the same area during successive epochs. Show good cause for believing
either that these Faunae have been derived from one another by gradual
modification, or that the Faunae have reached the area in question
by migration from some area in which they have undergone their

I propose to attempt to deal with this problem, so far as it is
exemplified by the distribution of the terrestrial _Vertebrata_, and I
shall endeavour to show you that it is capable of solution in a sense
entirely favourable to the doctrine of evolution.

I have elsewhere[1] stated at length the reasons which lead me to
recognize four primary distributional provinces for the terrestrial
_Vertebrata_ in the present world, namely,--first, the _Novozelanian_,
or New-Zealand province; secondly, the _Australian_ province,
including Australia, Tasmania, and the Negrito Islands; thirdly,
_Austro-Columbia_, or South America _plus_ North America as far as
Mexico; and fourthly, the rest of the world, or _Arctogaea_, in which
province America north of Mexico constitutes one sub-province, Africa
south of the Sahara a second, Hindostan a third, and the remainder of
the Old World, a fourth.

[Footnote 1: "On the Classification and Distribution of the
Alectoromorphae;" Proceedings of the Zoological Society, 1868.]

Now the truth which Mr. Darwin perceived and promulgated as "the law
of the succession of types" is, that, in all these provinces, the
animals found in Pliocene or later deposits are closely affined to
those which now inhabit the same provinces; and that, conversely, the
forms characteristic of other provinces are absent. North and South
America, perhaps, present one or two exceptions to the last rule, but
they are readily susceptible of explanation. Thus, in Australia, the
later Tertiary mammals are marsupials (possibly with exception of the
Dog and a Rodent or two, as at present). In Austro-Columbia the later
Tertiary fauna exhibits numerous and varied forms of Platyrrhine
Apes, Rodents, Cats, Dogs, Stags, _Edentata_, and Opossums; but, as
at present, no Catarrhine Apes, no Lemurs, no _Insectivora_, Oxen,
Antelopes, Rhinoceroses, nor _Didelphia_ other than Opossums. And in
the wide-spread Arctogaeal province, the Pliocene and later mammals
belong to the same groups as those which now exist in the province.
The law of succession of types, therefore, holds good for the present
epoch as compared with its predecessor. Does it equally well apply to
the Pliocene fauna when we compare it with that of the Miocene epoch?
By great good fortune, an extensive mammalian fauna of the latter
epoch has now become known, in four very distant portions of the
Arctogaeal province which do not differ greatly in latitude. Thus
Falconer and Cautley have made known the fauna of the sub-Himalayas
and the Perim Islands; Gaudry that of Attica; many observers that of
Central Europe and France; and Leidy that of Nebraska, on the eastern
flank of the Rocky Mountains. The results are very striking. The total
Miocene fauna comprises many genera, and species of Catarrhine Apes,
of Bats, of _Insectivora_; of Arctogaeal types of _Rodentia_; of
_Proboscidea_; of equine, rhinocerotic, and tapirine quadrupeds; of
cameline, bovine, antilopine, cervine, and traguline Ruminants; of
Pigs and Hippopotamuses; of _Viverridae_ and _Hyaenidae_ among other
_Carnivora_; with _Edentata_ allied to the Arctogaeal _Orycteropus_
and _Manis_, and not to the Austro-Columbian Edentates. The only type
present in the Miocene, but absent in the existing, fauna of Eastern
Arctogaea, is that of the _Didelphidae_, which, however, remains in
North America.

But it is very remarkable that while the Miocene fauna of the
Arctogaeal province, as a whole, is of the same character as the
existing fauna of the same province, as a whole, the component
elements of the fauna were differently associated. In the Miocene
epoch, North America possessed Elephants, Horses, Rhinoceroses, and
a great number and variety of Ruminants and Pigs, which are absent
in the present indigenous fauna; Europe had its Apes, Elephants,
Rhinoceroses, Tapirs, Musk-deer, Giraffes, Hyaenas, great Cats,
Edentates, and Opossum-like Marsupials, which have equally vanished
from its present fauna; and in Northern India, the African types of
Hippopotamuses, Giraffes, and Elephants were mixed up with what
are now the Asiatic types of the latter, and with Camels, and
Semnopithecine and Pithecine Apes of no less distinctly Asiatic forms.

In fact the Miocene mammalian fauna of Europe and the Himalayan
regions contains, associated together, the types which are at present
separately located in the South-African and Indian sub-provinces of
Arctogaea. Now there is every reason to believe, on other grounds,
that both Hindostan, south of the Ganges, and Africa, south of the
Sahara, were separated by a wide sea from Europe and North Asia during
the Middle and Upper Eocene epochs. Hence it becomes highly probable
that the well-known similarities, and no less remarkable differences,
between the present Faunae of India and South Africa have arisen
in some such fashion as the following. Some time during the Miocene
epoch, possibly when the Himalayan chain was elevated, the bottom of
the nummulitic sea was upheaved and converted into dry land, in the
direction of a line extending from Abyssinia to the mouth of the
Ganges. By this means, the Dekhan on the one hand, and South Africa
on the other, became connected with the Miocene dry land and with one
another. The Miocene mammals spread gradually over this intermediate
dry land; and if the condition of its eastern and western ends offered
as wide contrasts as the valleys of the Ganges and Arabia do now, many
forms which made their way into Africa must have been different from
those which reached the Dekhan, while others might pass into both
these sub-provinces.

That there was a continuity of dry land between Europe and North
America during the Miocene epoch, appears to me to be a necessary
consequence of the fact that many genera of terrestrial mammals, such
as _Castor_, _Hystrix_, _Elephas_, _Mastodon_, _Equus_, _Hipparion_,
_Anchitherium_, _Rhinoceros_, _Cervus_, _Amphicyon_, _Hyaenarctos_,
and _Machairodus_, are common to the Miocene formations of the two
areas, and have as yet been found (except perhaps _Anchitherium_) in
no deposit of earlier age. Whether this connection took place by the
east, or by the west, or by both sides of the Old World, there is at
present no certain evidence, and the question is immaterial to the
present argument; but, as there are good grounds for the belief that
the Australian province and the Indian and South-African sub-provinces
were separated by sea from the rest of Arctogaea before the Miocene
epoch, so it has been rendered no less probable, by the investigations
of Mr. Carrick Moore and Professor Duncan, that Austro-Columbia was
separated by sea from North America during a large part of the Miocene

It is unfortunate that we have no knowledge of the Miocene mammalian
fauna of the Australian and Austro-Columbian provinces; but, seeing
that not a trace of a Platyrrhine Ape, of a Procyonine Carnivore, of a
characteristically South-American Rodent, of a Sloth, an Armadillo,
or an Ant-eater has yet been found in Miocene deposits of Arctogaea, I
cannot doubt that they already existed in the Miocene Austro-Columbian

Nor is it less probable that the characteristic types of Australian
Mammalia were already developed in that region in Miocene times.

But Austro-Columbia presents difficulties from which Australia is
free; _Camelidae_ and _Tapiridae_ are now indigenous in South America
as they are in Arctogaea; and, among the Pliocene Austro-Columbian
mammals, the Austro-Columbian genera _Equus_, _Mastodon_, and
_Machairodus_ are numbered. Are these Postmiocene immigrants, or
Praemiocene natives?

Still more perplexing are the strange and interesting forms _Toxodon_,
_Macrauchenia_, _Typotherium_, and a new Anoplotherioid mammal
(_Homalodotherium_) which Dr. Cunningham sent over to me some time ago
from Patagonia. I confess I am strongly inclined to surmise that these
last, at any rate, are remnants of the population of Austro-Columbia
before the Miocene epoch, and were not derived from Arctogaea by way
of the north and east.

The fact that this immense fauna of Miocene Arctogaea is now fully
and richly represented only in India and in South Africa, while it
is shrunk and depauperized in North Asia, Europe, and North America,
becomes at once intelligible, if we suppose that India and South
Africa had but a scanty mammalian population before the Miocene
immigration, while the conditions were highly favourable to the new
comers. It is to be supposed that these new regions offered themselves
to the Miocene Ungulates, as South America and Australia offered
themselves to the cattle, sheep, and horses of modern colonists. But,
after these great areas were thus peopled, came the Glacial epoch,
during which the excessive cold, to say nothing of depression and
ice-covering, must have almost depopulated all the northern parts of
Arctogaea, destroying all the higher mammalian forms, except those
which, like the Elephant and Rhinoceros, could adjust their coats to
the altered conditions. Even these must have been driven away from the
greater part of the area; only those Miocene mammals which had passed
into Hindostan and into South Africa would escape decimation by such
changes in the physical geography of Arctogaea. And when the northern
hemisphere passed into its present condition, these lost tribes of the
Miocene Fauna were hemmed by the Himalayas, the Sahara, the Red Sea,
and the Arabian deserts, within their present boundaries. Now, on the
hypothesis of evolution, there is no sort of difficulty in admitting
that the differences between the Miocene forms of the mammalian
Fauna and those which exist at present are the results of gradual
modification; and, since such differences in distribution as obtain
are readily explained by the changes which have taken place in the
physical geography of the world since the Miocene epoch, it is clear
that the result of the comparison of the Miocene and present Fauna is
distinctly in favour of evolution. Indeed I may go further. I may
say that the hypothesis of evolution explains the facts of Miocene,
Pliocene, and Recent distribution, and that no other supposition even
pretends to account for them. It is, indeed, a conceivable supposition
that every species of Rhinoceros and every species of Hyaena, in the
long succession of forms between the Miocene and the present species,
was separately constructed out of dust, or out of nothing, by
supernatural power; but until I receive distinct evidence of the fact,
I refuse to run the risk of insulting any sane man by supposing that
he seriously holds such a notion.

Let us now take a step further back in time, and inquire into the
relations between the Miocene Fauna and its predecessor of the Upper
Eocene formation.

Here it is to be regretted that our materials for forming a judgment
are nothing to be compared in point of extent or variety with those
which are yielded by the Miocene strata. However, what we do know
of this Upper Eocene Fauna of Europe gives sufficient positive
information to enable us to draw some tolerably safe inferences. It
has yielded representatives of _Insectivora_, of _Cheiroptera_,
of _Rodentia_, of _Carnivora_, of artiodactyle and perissodactyle
_Ungulata_, and of opossum-like Marsupials. No Australian type of
Marsupial has been discovered in the Upper Eocene strata, nor any
Edentate mammal. The genera (except perhaps in the case of some of the
_Insectivora_, _Cheiroptera_, and _Rodentia_) are different from those
of the Miocene epoch, but present a remarkable general similarity to
the Miocene and recent genera. In several cases, as I have already
shown, it has now been clearly made out that the relation between
the Eocene and Miocene forms is such that the Eocene form is the less
specialized; while its Miocene ally is more so, and the specialization
reaches its maximum in the recent forms of the same type.

So far as the Upper Eocene and the Miocene Mammalian Faunae are
comparable, their relations are such as in no way to oppose the
hypothesis that the older are the progenitors of the more recent
forms, while, in some cases, they distinctly favour that hypothesis.
The period in time and the changes in physical geography represented
by the nummulitic deposits are undoubtedly very great, while the
remains of Middle Eocene and Older Eocene Mammals are comparatively
few. The general facies of the Middle Eocene Fauna, however, is quite
that of the Upper. The Older Eocene pre-nummulitic mammalian Fauna
contains Bats, two genera of _Carnivora_, three genera of _Ungulata_
(probably all perissodactyle), and a didelphid Marsupial; all these
forms, except perhaps the Bat and the Opossum, belong to genera
which are not known to occur out of the Lower Eocene formation. The
_Coryphodon_ appears to have been allied to the Miocene and later
Tapirs, while _Pliolophus_, in its skull and dentition, curiously
partakes of both artiodactyle and perissodactyle characters; the third
trochanter upon its femur, and its three-toed hind foot, however,
appear definitely to fix its position in the latter division.

There is nothing, then, in what is known of the older Eocene mammals
of the Arctogaeal province to forbid the supposition that they stood
in an ancestral relation to those of the Calcaire Grossier and the
Gypsum of the Paris basin, and that our present fauna, therefore, is
directly derived from that which already existed in Arctogaea at the
commencement of the Tertiary period. But if we now cross the frontier
between the Cainozoic and the Mesozoic faunae, as they are preserved
within the Arctogaeal area, we meet with an astounding change, and
what appears to be a complete and unmistakable break in the line of
biological continuity.

Among the twelve or fourteen species of _Mammalia_ which are said to
have been found in the Purbecks, not one is a member of the orders
_Cheiroptera_, _Rodentia_, _Ungulata_, or _Carnivora_, which are so
well represented in the Tertiaries. No _Insectivora_ are certainly
known, nor any opossum-like Marsupials. Thus there is a vast negative
difference between the Cainozoic and the Mesozoic mammalian faunae
of Europe. But there is a still more important positive difference,
inasmuch as all these Mammalia appear to be Marsupials belonging to
Australian groups, and thus appertaining to a different distributional
province from the Eocene and Miocene marsupials, which are
Austro-Columbian. So far as the imperfect materials which exist enable
a judgment to be formed, the same law appears to have held good for
all the earlier Mesozoic _Mammalia_. Of the Stonesfield slate mammals,
one, _Amphitherium_, has a definitely Australian character; one,
_Phascolotherium_, may be either Dasyurid or Didelphine; of a third,
_Stereognathus_, nothing can at present be said. The two mammals of
the Trias, also, appear to belong to Australian groups.

Every one is aware of the many curious points of resemblance between
the marine fauna of the European Mesozoic rocks and that which now
exists in Australia. But if there was this Australian facies about
both the terrestrial and the marine faunae of Mesozoic Europe, and
if there is this unaccountable and immense break between the fauna
of Mesozoic and that of Tertiary Europe, is it not a very obvious
suggestion that, in the Mesozoic epoch, the Australian province
included Europe, and that the Arctogaeal province was contained within
other limits? The Arctogaeal province is at present enormous, while
the Australian is relatively small. Why should not these proportions
have been different during the Mesozoic epoch?

Thus I am led to think that by far the simplest and most rational
mode of accounting for the great change which took place in the living
inhabitants of the European area at the end of the Mesozoic epoch, is
the supposition that it arose from a vast alteration of the physical
geography of the globe; whereby an area long tenanted by Cainozoic
forms was brought into such relations with the European area that
migration from the one to the other became possible, and took place on
a great scale.

This supposition relieves us, at once, from the difficulty in which we
were left, some time ago, by the arguments which I used to demonstrate
the necessity of the existence of all the great types of the Eocene
epoch in some antecedent period.

It is this Mesozoic continent (which may well have lain in the
neighbourhood of what are now the shores of the North Pacific Ocean)
which I suppose to have been occupied by the Mesozoic _Monodelphia_;
and it is in this region that I conceive they must have gone through
the long series of changes by which they were specialized into the
forms which we refer to different orders. I think it very probable
that what is now South America may have received the characteristic
elements of its mammalian fauna during the Mesozoic epoch; and there
can be little doubt that the general nature of the change which took
place at the end of the Mesozoic epoch in Europe was the upheaval of
the eastern and northern regions of the Mesozoic sea-bottom into a
westward extension of the Mesozoic continent, over which the mammalian
fauna, by which it was already peopled, gradually spread. This
invasion of the land was prefaced by a previous invasion of the
Cretaceous sea by modern forms of mollusca and fish.

It is easy to imagine how an analogous change might come about in the
existing world. There is, at present, a great difference between the
fauna of the Polynesian Islands and that of the west coast of America.
The animals which are leaving their spoils in the deposits now forming
in these localities are widely different. Hence, if a gradual
shifting of the deep sea, which at present bars migration between the
easternmost of these islands and America, took place to the westward,
while the American side of the sea-bottom was gradually upheaved,
the palaeontologist of the future would find, over the Pacific area,
exactly such a change as I am supposing to have occurred in the
North-Atlantic area at the close of the Mesozoic period. An Australian
fauna would be found underlying an American fauna, and the transition
from the one to the other would be as abrupt as that between the Chalk
and lower Tertiaries; and as the drainage-area of the newly formed
extension of the American continent gave rise to rivers and lakes, the
mammals mired in their mud would differ from those of like deposits on
the Australian side, just as the Eocene mammals differ from those of
the Purbecks.

How do similar reasonings apply to the other great change of
life--that which took place at the end of the Palaeozoic period?

In the Triassic epoch, the distribution of the dry land and of
terrestrial vertebrate life appears to have been, generally, similar
to that which existed in the Mesozoic epoch; so that the Triassic
continents and their faunae seem to be related to the Mesozoic lands
and their faunae, just as those of the Miocene epoch are related to
those of the present day. In fact, as I have recently endeavoured
to prove to the Society, there was an Arctogaeal continent and an
Arctogaeal province of distribution in Triassic times as there is now;
and the _Sauropsida_ and _Marsupialia_ which constituted that
fauna were, I doubt not, the progenitors of the _Sauropsida_ and
_Marsupialia_ of the whole Mesozoic epoch.

Looking at the present terrestrial fauna of Australia, it appears to
me to be very probable that it is essentially a remnant of the
fauna of the Triassic, or even of an earlier, age[1]; in which
case Australia must at that time have been in continuity with the
Arctogaeal continent.

[Footnote 1: Since this Address was read, Mr. Krefft has sent us
news of the discovery in Australia of a fresh-water fish of strangely
Palaeozoic aspect, and apparently a Ganoid intermediate between
_Dipterus_ and _Lepidosiren_.]

But now comes the further inquiry. Where was the highly differentiated
Sauropsidan fauna of the Trias in Palaeozoic times? The supposition
that the Dinosaurian, Crocodilian, Dicynodontian, and Plesiosaurian
types were suddenly created at the end of the Permian epoch may
be dismissed, without further consideration, as a monstrous and
unwarranted assumption. The supposition that all these types were
rapidly differentiated out of _Lacertilia_, in the time represented by
the passage from the Palaeozoic to the Mesozoic formation, appears to
me to be hardly more credible, to say nothing of the indications of
the existence of Dinosaurian forms in the Permian rocks which have
already been obtained.

For my part, I entertain no sort of doubt that the Reptiles, Birds,
and Mammals of the Trias are the direct descendants of Reptiles,
Birds, and Mammals which existed in the latter part of the Palaeozoic
epoch, but not in any area of the present dry land which has yet been
explored by the geologist.

This may seem a bold assumption, but it will not appear unwarrantable
to those who reflect upon the very small extent of the earth's surface
which has hitherto exhibited the remains of the great Mammalian fauna
of the Eocene times. In this respect, the Permian land Vertebrate
fauna appears to me to be related to the Triassic much as the Eocene
is to the Miocene. Terrestrial reptiles have been found in Permian
rocks only in three localities; in some spots of France, and recently
of England, and over a more extensive area in Germany. Who can suppose
that the few fossils yet found in these regions give any sufficient
representation of the Permian fauna?

It may be said that the Carboniferous formations demonstrate the
existence of a vast extent of dry land in the present dry-land area,
and that the supposed terrestrial Palaeozoic Vertebrate Fauna ought to
have left its remains in the Coal-measures, especially as there is now
reason to believe that much of the coal was formed by the accumulation
of spores and sporangia on dry land. But if we consider the matter
more closely, I think that this apparent objection loses its force. It
is clear that, during the Carboniferous epoch, the vast area of land
which is now covered by Coal-measures must have been undergoing a
gradual depression. The dry land thus depressed must, therefore, have
existed, as such, before the Carboniferous epoch--in other words, in
Devonian times--and its terrestrial population may never have been
other than such as existed during the Devonian, or some previous
epoch, although much higher forms may have been developed elsewhere.

Again, let me say that I am making no gratuitous assumption of
inconceivable changes. It is clear that the enormous area of Polynesia
is, on the whole, an area over which depression has taken place to
an immense extent; consequently a great continent, or assemblage of
subcontinental masses of land, must have existed at some former time,
and that at a recent period, geologically speaking, in the area of
the Pacific. But if that continent had contained Mammals, some of
them must have remained to tell the tale; and as it is well known that
these islands have no indigenous _Mammalia_, it is safe to assume that
none existed. Thus, midway between Australia and South America, each
of which possesses an abundant and diversified mammalian fauna, a mass
of land, which may have been as large as both put together, must have
existed without a mammalian inhabitant. Suppose that the shores of
this great land were fringed, as those of tropical Australia are now,
with belts of mangroves, which would extend landwards on the one
side, and be buried beneath littoral deposits on the other side,
as depression went on; and great beds of mangrove lignite might
accumulate over the sinking land. Let upheaval of the whole now take
place, in such a manner as to bring the emerging land into continuity
with the South-American or Australian continent, and, in course of
time, it would be peopled by an extension of the fauna of one of these
two regions--just as I imagine the European Permian dry land to have
been peopled.

I see nothing whatever against the supposition that distributional
provinces of terrestrial life existed in the Devonian epoch, inasmuch
as M. Barrande has proved that they existed much earlier. I am aware
of no reason for doubting that, as regards the grades of terrestrial
life contained in them, one of these may have been related to another
as New Zealand is to Australia, or as Australia is to India, at the
present day. Analogy seems to me to be rather in favour of, than
against, the supposition that while only Ganoid fishes inhabited the
fresh waters of our Devonian land, _Amphibia_ and _Reptilia_, or even
higher forms, may have existed, though we have not yet found them. The
earliest Carboniferous _Amphibia_ now known, such as _Anthracosaurus_,
are so highly specialized that I can by no means conceive that they
have been developed out of piscine forms in the interval between the
Devonian and the Carboniferous periods, considerable as that is. And I
take refuge in one of two alternatives: either they existed in our own
area during the Devonian epoch and we have simply not yet found them;
or they formed part of the population of some other distributional
province of that day, and only entered our area by migration at the
end of the Devonian epoch. Whether _Reptilia_ and _Mammalia_ existed
along with them is to me, at present, a perfectly open question, which
is just as likely to receive an affirmative as a negative answer from
future inquirers.

Let me now gather together the threads of my argumentation into the
form of a connected hypothetical view of the manner in which the
distribution of living and extinct animals has been brought about.

I conceive that distinct provinces of the distribution of terrestrial
life have existed since the earliest period at which that life is
recorded, and possibly much earlier; and I suppose, with Mr. Darwin,
that the progress of modification of terrestrial forms is more rapid
in areas of elevation than in areas of depression. I take it to be
certain that Labyrinthodont _Amphibia_ existed in the distributional
province which included the dry land depressed during the
Carboniferous epoch; and I conceive that, in some other distributional
provinces of that day, which remained in the condition of stationary
or of increasing dry land, the various types of the terrestrial
_Sauropsida_ and of the _Mammalia_ were gradually developing.

The Permian epoch marks the commencement of a new movement of upheaval
in our area, which attained its maximum in the Triassic epoch, when
dry land existed in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, as it
does now. Into this great new continental area the Mammals, Birds, and
Reptiles developed during the Palaeozoic epoch spread, and formed the
great Triassic Arctogaeal province. But, at the end of the Triassic
period, the movement of depression recommenced in our area, though
it was doubtless balanced by elevation elsewhere; modification and
development, checked in the one province, went on in that "elsewhere;"
and the chief forms of Mammals, Birds, and Reptiles, as we know them,
were evolved and peopled the Mesozoic continent. I conceive Australia
to have become separated from the continent as early as the end of
the Triassic epoch, or not much later. The Mesozoic continent must, I
conceive, have lain to the east, about the shores of the North Pacific
and Indian Oceans; and I am inclined to believe that it continued
along the eastern side of the Pacific area to what is now the province
of Austro-Columbia, the characteristic fauna of which is probably a
remnant of the population of the latter part of this period.

Towards the latter part of the Mesozoic period the movement of
upheaval around the shores of the Atlantic once more recommenced,
and was very probably accompanied by a depression around those of the
Pacific. The Vertebrate fauna elaborated in the Mesozoic continent
moved westward and took possession of the new lands, which gradually
increased in extent up to, and in some directions after, the Miocene

It is in favour of this hypothesis, I think, that it is consistent
with the persistence of a general uniformity in the positions of the
great masses of land and water. From the Devonian period, or earlier,
to the present day, the four great oceans, Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic,
and Antarctic, may have occupied their present positions, and only
their coasts and channels of communication have undergone an incessant
alteration. And, finally, the hypothesis I have put before you
requires no supposition that the rate of change in organic life has
been either greater or less in ancient times than it is now; nor
any assumption, either physical or biological, which has not its
justification in analogous phenomena of existing nature.

I have now only to discharge the last duty of my office, which is
to thank you, not only for the patient attention with which you have
listened to me so long to-day, but also for the uniform kindness with
which, for the past two years, you have rendered my endeavours
to perform the important, and often laborious, functions of your
President a pleasure instead of a burden.



The gradual lapse of time has now separated us by more than a decade
from the date of the publication of the "Origin of Species"--and
whatever may be thought or said about Mr. Darwin's doctrines, or the
manner in which he has propounded them, this much is certain, that,
in a dozen years, the "Origin of Species" has worked as complete
a revolution in biological science as the "Principia" did in
astronomy--and it has done so, because, in the words of Helmholtz, it
contains "an essentially new creative thought."[2]

[Footnote 1: 1. "Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection."
By A.R. Wallace. 1870.--2. "The Genesis of Species." By St. George
Mivart, F.R.S. Second Edition. 1871.--3. "Darwin's Descent of Man."
_Quarterly Review_, July 1871.]

[Footnote 2: Helmholtz: "Ueber das Ziel und die Fortschritte der
Naturwissenschaft." Eröffnungsrede für die Naturforscherversammlung zu
Innsbruck. 1869.]

And as time has slipped by, a happy change has come over Mr. Darwin's
critics. The mixture of ignorance and insolence which, at first,
characterized a large proportion of the attacks with which he
was assailed, is no longer the sad distinction of anti-Darwinian
criticism. Instead of abusive nonsense, which merely discredited its
writers, we read essays, which are, at worst, more or less intelligent
and appreciative; while, sometimes, like that which appeared in the
_North British Review_ for 1867, they have a real and permanent value.

The several publications of Mr. Wallace and Mr. Mivart contain
discussions of some of Mr. Darwin's views, which are worthy of
particular attention, not only on account of the acknowledged
scientific competence of these writers, but because they exhibit an
attention to those philosophical questions which underlie all physical
science, which is as rare as it is needful. And the same may be said
of an article in the _Quarterly Review_ for July 1871, the comparison
of which with an article in the same Review for July 1860, is perhaps
the best evidence which can be brought forward of the change which has
taken place in public opinion on "Darwinism."

The Quarterly Reviewer admits "the certainty of the action of natural
selection" (p. 49); and further allows that there is an _à priori_
probability in favour of the evolution of man from some lower animal
form, if these lower animal forms themselves have arisen by evolution.

Mr. Wallace and Mr. Mivart go much further than this. They are as
stout believers in evolution as Mr. Darwin himself; but Mr. Wallace
denies that man can have been evolved from a lower animal by that
process of natural selection which he, with Mr. Darwin, holds to have
been sufficient for the evolution of all animals below man; while
Mr. Mivart, admitting that natural selection has been one of the
conditions of the evolution of the animals below man, maintains that
natural selection must, even in their case, have been supplemented by
"some other cause"--of the nature of which, unfortunately, he does
not give us any idea. Thus Mr. Mivart is less of a Darwinian than Mr.
Wallace, for he has less faith in the power of natural selection. But
he is more of an evolutionist than Mr. Wallace, because Mr. Wallace
thinks it necessary to call in an intelligent agent--a sort of
supernatural Sir John Sebright--to produce even the animal frame of
man; while Mr. Mivart requires no Divine assistance till he comes to
man's soul.

Thus there is a considerable divergence between Mr. Wallace and Mr.
Mivart. On the other hand, there are some curious similarities between
Mr. Mivart and the Quarterly Reviewer, and these are sometimes so
close, that, if Mr. Mivart thought it worth while, I think he
might make out a good case of plagiarism against the Reviewer, who
studiously abstains from quoting him.

Both the Reviewer and Mr. Mivart reproach Mr. Darwin with being, "like
so many other physicists," entangled in a radically false metaphysical
system, and with setting at nought the first principles of both
philosophy and religion. Both enlarge upon the necessity of a sound
philosophical basis, and both, I venture to add, make a conspicuous
exhibition of its absence. The Quarterly Reviewer believes that man
"differs more from an elephant or a gorilla than do these from the
dust of the earth on which they tread," and Mr. Mivart has expressed
the opinion that there is more difference between man and an ape than
there is between an ape and a piece of granite.[1]

[Footnote 1: See the _Tablet_ for March 11, 1871.]

And even when Mr. Mivart (p. 86) trips in a matter of anatomy, and
creates a difficulty for Mr. Darwin out of a supposed close similarity
between the eyes of fishes and cephalopods, which (as Gegenbaur and
others have clearly shown) does not exist, the Quarterly Reviewer
adopts the argument without hesitation (p. 66).

There is another important point, however, in which it is hard to say
whether Mr. Mivart diverges from the Quarterly Reviewer or not.

The Reviewer declares that Mr. Darwin has, "with needless opposition,
set at nought the first principles of both philosophy and religion"
(p. 90).

It looks, at first, as if this meant, that Mr. Darwin's views being
false, the opposition to "religion" which flows from them must be
needless. But I suspect this is not the right view of the meaning of
the passage, as Mr. Mivart, from whom the Quarterly Reviewer plainly
draws so much inspiration, tells us that "the consequences which have
been drawn from evolution, whether exclusively Darwinian or not, to
the prejudice of religion, by no means follow from it, and are in fact
illegitimate" (p. 5).

I may assume, then, that the Quarterly Reviewer and Mr. Mivart admit
that there is no necessary opposition between "evolution, whether
exclusively Darwinian or not," and religion. But then, what do they
mean by this last much-abused term? On this point the Quarterly
Reviewer is silent. Mr. Mivart, on the contrary, is perfectly
explicit, and the whole tenor of his remarks leaves no doubt that by
"religion" he means theology; and by theology, that particular variety
of the great Proteus, which is expounded by the doctors of the Roman
Catholic Church, and held by the members of that religious community
to be the sole form of absolute truth and of saving faith.

According to Mr. Mivart, the greatest and most orthodox authorities
upon matters of Catholic doctrine agree in distinctly asserting
"derivative creation" or evolution; "and thus their teachings
harmonize with all that modern science can possibly require" (p. 305).

I confess that this bold assertion interested me more than anything
else in Mr. Mivart's book. What little knowledge I possessed of
Catholic doctrine, and of the influence exerted by Catholic authority
in former times, had not led me to expect that modern science was
likely to find a warm welcome within the pale of the greatest and most
consistent of theological organizations.

And my astonishment reached its climax when I found Mr. Mivart citing
Father Suarez as his chief witness in favour of the scientific freedom
enjoyed by Catholics--the popular repute of that learned theologian
and subtle casuist not being such as to make his works a likely place
of refuge for liberality of thought. But in these days, when Judas
Iscariot and Robespierre, Henry VIII. and Catiline, have all been
shown to be men of admirable virtue, far in advance of their age,
and consequently the victims of vulgar prejudice, it was obviously
possible that Jesuit Suarez might be in like case. And, spurred by Mr.
Mivart's unhesitating declaration, I hastened to acquaint myself
with such of the works of the great Catholic divine as bore upon
the question, hoping, not merely to acquaint myself with the true
teachings of the infallible Church, and free myself of an unjust
prejudice; but, haply, to enable myself, at a pinch, to put some
Protestant bibliolater to shame, by the bright example of Catholic
freedom from the trammels of verbal inspiration.

I regret to say that my anticipations have been cruelly disappointed.
But the extent to which my hopes have been crushed can only be fully
appreciated by citing, in the first place, those passages of Mr.
Mivart's work by which they were excited. In his introductory chapter
I find the following passages:--

"The prevalence of this theory [of evolution] need alarm no one, for
it is, without any doubt, perfectly consistent with the strictest and
most orthodox Christian[1] theology" (p. 5).

[Footnote 1: It should be observed that Mr. Mivart employs the term
"Christian" as if it were the equivalent of "Catholic."]

"Mr. Darwin and others may perhaps be excused if they have not devoted
much time to the study of Christian philosophy; but they have no right
to assume or accept without careful examination, as an unquestioned
fact, that in that philosophy there is a necessary antagonism between
the two ideas 'creation' and 'evolution,' as applied to organic forms.

"It is notorious and patent to all who choose to seek, that many
distinguished Christian thinkers have accepted, and do accept, both
ideas, i.e. both 'creation' and 'evolution.'

"As much as ten years ago an eminently Christian writer observed: 'The
creationist theory does not necessitate the perpetual search after
manifestations of miraculous power and perpetual "catastrophes."
Creation is not a miraculous interference with the laws of nature, but
the very institution of those laws. Law and regularity, not arbitrary
intervention, was the patristic ideal of creation. With this notion
they admitted, without difficulty, the most surprising origin of
living creatures, provided it took place by _law_. They held that
when God said, "Let the waters produce," "Let the earth produce," He
conferred forces on the elements of earth and water, which enabled
them naturally to produce the various species of organic beings. This
power, they thought, remains attached to the elements throughout all
time.' The same writer quotes St. Augustin and St. Thomas Aquinas,
to the effect that, 'in the institution of nature, we do not look for
miracles, but for the laws of nature,' And, again, St. Basil speaks
of the continued operation of natural laws in the production of all

"So much for the writers of early and mediaeval times. As to the
present day, the author can confidently affirm that there are many
as well versed in theology as Mr. Darwin is in his own department
of natural knowledge, who would not be disturbed by the thorough
demonstration of his theory. Nay, they would not even be in the least
painfully affected at witnessing the generation of animals of complex
organization by the skilful artificial arrangement of natural forces,
and the production, in the future, of a fish by means analogous to
those by which we now produce urea.

"And this because they know that the possibility of such phenomena,
though by no means actually foreseen, has yet been fully provided
for in the old philosophy centuries before Darwin, or even centuries
before Bacon, and that their place in the system can be at once
assigned them without even disturbing its order or marring its

"Moreover, the old tradition in this respect has never been abandoned,
however much it may have been ignored or neglected by some modern
writers. In proof of this, it may be observed that perhaps no
post-mediaeval theologian has a wider reception amongst Christians
throughout the world than Suarez, who has a separate section[1] in
opposition to those who maintain the distinct creation of the various
kinds--or substantial forms--of organic life" (pp. 19-21).

[Footnote 1: Suarez; Metaphysica. Edition Vivés. Paris, 1868, vol. i.
Disput. xv. § 2.]

Still more distinctly does Mr. Mivart express himself, in the same
sense, in his last chapter, entitled "Theology and Evolution" (pp.

"It appears, then, that Christian thinkers are perfectly free to
accept the general evolution theory. But are there any theological
authorities to justify this view of the matter?

"Now, considering how extremely recent are these biological
speculations, it might hardly be expected _à priori_ that writers of
earlier ages should have given expression to doctrines harmonizing
in any degree with such very modern views; nevertheless, this is
certainly the case, and it would be easy to give numerous examples.
It will be better, however, to cite one or two authorities of weight.
Perhaps no writer of the earlier Christian ages could be quoted whose
authority is more generally recognized than that of St. Augustin. The
same may be said of the mediaeval period for St. Thomas Aquinas: and
since the movement of Luther, Suarez may be taken as an authority,
widely venerated, and one whose orthodoxy has never been questioned.

"It must be borne in mind that for a considerable time even after
the last of these writers no one had disputed the generally received
belief as to the small age of the world, or at least of the kinds of
animals and plants inhabiting it. It becomes, therefore, much more
striking if views formed under such a condition of opinion are found
to harmonize with modern ideas concerning 'Creation' and organic Life.

"Now St. Augustin insists in a very remarkable manner on the merely
derivative sense in which God's creation of organic forms is to
be understood; that is, that God created them by conferring on the
material world the power to evolve them under suitable conditions."

Mr. Mivart then cites certain passages from St. Augustin, St. Thomas
Aquinas, and Cornelius à Lapide, and finally adds:--

    "As to Suarez, it will be enough to refer to Disp. xv. sec.
    2, No. 9, p. 508, t.i. edition Vivés, Paris; also Nos. 13--15.
    Many other references to the same effect could easily be
    given, but these may suffice.

    "It is then evident that ancient and most venerable
    theological authorities distinctly assert _derivative_
    creation, and thus their teachings harmonize with all that
    modern science can possibly require."

It will be observed that Mr. Mivart refers solely to Suarez's
fifteenth Disputation, though he adds, "Many other references to the
same effect could easily be given." I shall look anxiously for these
references in the third edition of the "Genesis of Species." For the
present, all I can say is, that I have sought in vain, either in
the fifteenth Disputation, or elsewhere, for any passage in Suarez's
writings which, in the slightest degree, bears out Mr. Mivart's views
as to his opinions.[1]

[Footnote 1: The edition of Suarez's "Disputationes" from which the
following citations are given, is Birckmann's, in two volumes folio,
and is dated 1630.]

The title of this fifteenth Disputation is "De causa formali
substantiali," and the second section of that Disputation (to which
Mr. Mivart refers) is headed, "Quomodo possit forma substantialis
fieri in materia et ex materia?"

The problem which Suarez discusses in this place may be popularly
stated thus: According to the scholastic philosophy every natural body
has two components--the one its "matter" (_materia prima_), the other
its "substantial form" (_forma substantialis_). Of these the matter
is everywhere the same, the matter of one body being indistinguishable
from the matter of any other body. That which differentiates any one
natural body from all others is its substantial form, which inheres
in the matter of that body, as the human soul inheres in the matter
of the frame of man, and is the source of all the activities and other
properties of the body.

Thus, says Suarez, if water is heated, and the source of heat is then
removed, it cools again. The reason of this is that there is a certain
"_intimius principium_" in the water, which brings it back to the
cool condition when the external impediment to the existence of that
condition is removed. This _intimius principium_, is the "substantial
form" of the water. And the substantial form of the water is not only
the cause (_radix_) of the coolness of the water, but also of its
moisture, of its density, and of all its other properties.

It will thus be seen that "substantial forms" play nearly the same
part in the scholastic philosophy as "forces" do in modern science;
the general tendency of modern thought being to conceive all bodies as
resolvable into material particles and forces, in virtue of which last
these particles assume those dispositions and exercise those powers
which are characteristic of each particular kind of matter.

But the Schoolmen distinguished two kinds of substantial forms,
the one spiritual and the other material. The former division is
represented by the human soul, the _anima rationalis_; and they affirm
as a matter, not merely of reason, but of faith, that every human soul
is created out of nothing, and by this act of creation is endowed with
the power of existing for all eternity, apart from the _materia
prima_ of which the corporeal frame of man is composed. And the _anima
rationalis_, once united with the _materia prima_ of the body,
becomes its substantial form, and is the source of all the powers and
faculties of man--of all the vital and sensitive phenomena which he
exhibits--just as the substantial form of water is the source of all
its qualities.

The "material substantial forms" are those which inform all other
natural bodies except that of man; and the object of Suarez in the
present Disputation, is to show that the axiom "_ex nihilo nihil
fit_," though not true of the substantial form of man, is true of the
substantial forms of all other bodies, the endless mutations of which
constitute the ordinary course of nature. The origin of the difficulty
which he discusses is easily comprehensible. Suppose a piece of bright
iron to be exposed to the air. The existence of the iron depends on
the presence within it of a substantial form, which is the cause of
its properties, e.g. brightness, hardness, weight. But, by degrees,
the iron becomes converted into a mass of rust, which is dull, and
soft, and light, and, in all other respects, is quite different from
the iron. As, in the scholastic view, this difference is due to the
rust being informed by a new substantial form, the grave problem
arises, how did this new substantial form come into being? Has it been
created? or has it arisen by the power of natural causation? If the
former hypothesis is correct, then the axiom, "_ex nihilo nihil fit_,"
is false, even in relation to the ordinary course of nature, seeing
that such mutations of matter as imply the continual origin of new
substantial forms are occurring every moment. But the harmonization of
Aristotle with theology was as dear to the Schoolmen, as the smoothing
down the differences between Moses and science is to our Broad
Churchmen, and they were proportionably unwilling to contradict one
of Aristotle's fundamental propositions. Nor was their objection to
flying in the face of the Stagirite likely to be lessened by the fact
that such flight landed them in flat Pantheism.

So Father Suarez fights stoutly for the second hypothesis; and I quote
the principal part of his argumentation as an exquisite specimen of
that speech which is a "darkening of counsel."

    "13. Secundo de omnibus aliis formis substantialibus (sc.
    materialibus) dicendum est non fieri proprie ex nihilo, sed
    ex potentia praejacentis materiae educi: ideoque in effectione
    harum formarum nil fieri contra illud axioma, _Ex nihila
    nihil fit_, si recte intelligatur. Haec assertio sumitur ex
    Aristotele 1. Physicorum per totum et libro 7. Metaphyss.
    et ex aliis authoribus, quos statim referam. Et declaratur
    breviter, nam fieri ex nihilo duo dicit, unum est fieri
    absolute et simpliciter, aliud est quod talis effectio fit ex
    nihilo. Primum propriè dicitur de re subsistente, quia ejus
    est fieri, cujus est esse: id autem proprie quod subsistit et
    habet esse; nam quod alteri adjacet, potius est quo aliud est.
    Ex hac ergo parte, formae substantiales materiales non fiunt
    ex nihilo, quia proprie non fiunt. Atque hanc rationem reddit
    Divus Thomas I parte, quaestione 45, articulo 8, et quaestione
    90, articulo 2, et ex dicendis magis explicabitur. Sumendo
    ergo ipsum _fieri_ in hac proprietate et rigore, sic fieri
    ex nihilo est fieri secundum se totum, id est nulla sui parte
    praesupposita, ex quo fiat. Et hac ratione res naturales
    dum de novo fiunt, non fiunt ex nihilo, quia fiunt ex
    praesupposita materia, ex qua componuntur, et ita non fiunt,
    secundum se totae, sed secundum aliquid sui. Formae autem
    harum rerum, quamvis revera totam suam entitatem de novo
    accipiant, quam antea non habebant, quia vero ipsae non fiunt,
    ut dictum est, ideo neque ex nihilo fiunt. Attamen, quia
    latiori modo sumendo verbum illud _fieri_ negari non potest:
    quia forma facta sit, eo modo quo nunc est, et antea non erat,
    ut etiam probat ratio dubitandi posita in principio sectionis,
    ideo addendum est, sumpto _fieri_ in hac amplitudine, fieri
    ex nihilo non tamen negare habitudinem materialis causea
    intrinsecè componentis id quod fit, sed etiam habitudinem
    causae materialis per se causantis et sustentantis formam quae
    fit, seu confit. Diximus enim in superioribus materiam et esse
    causam compositi et formae dependentis ab ilia: ut res ergo
    dicatur ex nihilo fieri uterque modus causalitatis negari
    debet; et eodem sensu accipiendum est illud axioma, ut
    sit verum: _Ex nihilo nihil fit_, scilicet virtute agentis
    naturalis et finiti nihil fieri, nisi ex praesupposito
    subjecto per se concurrente, et ad compositum et ad formam,
    si utrumque suo modo ab eodem agente fiat. Ex his ergo rectè
    concluditur, formas substantiales materiales non fieri ex
    nihilo, quia fiunt ex materia, quae in suo genere per se
    concurrit, et influit ad esse, et fieri talium formarum;
    quia, sicut esse non possunt nisi affixae materiae, a qua
    sustententur in esse: ita nec fieri possunt, nisi earum
    effectio et penetratio in eadem materia sustentetur. Et haec
    est propria et per se differentia inter effectionem ex nihilo,
    et ex aliquo, propter quam, ut infra ostendemus, prior modus
    effciendi superat vim finitam naturaliam agentium, non vero

    "14. Ex his etiam constat, proprie de his formis dici non
    creari, sed educi de potentia materiae."[1]

[Footnote 1: Suarez, _loc. cit_. Disput. xv. § ii.]

If I may venture to interpret these hard sayings, Suarez conceives
that the evolution of substantial forms in the ordinary course of
nature, is conditioned not only by the existence of the _materia
prima_, but also by a certain "concurrence and influence" which
that _materia_ exerts; and every new substantial form being thus
conditioned, and in part, at any rate, caused, by a pre-existing
something, cannot be said to be created out of nothing.

But as the whole tenor of the context shows, Suarez applies this
argumentation merely to the evolution of material substantial forms
in the ordinary course of nature. How the substantial forms of animals
and plants primarily originated, is a question to which, so far as
I am able to discover, he does not so much as allude in his
"Metaphysical Disputations." Nor was there any necessity that he
should do so, inasmuch as he has devoted a separate treatise of
considerable bulk to the discussion of all the problems which arise
out of the account of the Creation which is given in the Book of
Genesis. And it is a matter of wonderment to me that Mr. Mivart, who
somewhat sharply reproves "Mr. Darwin and others" for not acquainting
themselves with the true teachings of his Church, should allow
himself to be indebted to a heretic like myself for a knowledge of
the existence of that "Tractatus de opere sex Dierum," I in which
the learned Father, of whom he justly speaks, as "an authority widely
venerated, and whose orthodoxy has never been questioned," directly
opposes all those opinions, for which Mr. Mivart claims the shelter of
his authority.

In the tenth and eleventh chapters of the first book of this treatise,
Suarez inquires in what sense the word "day," as employed in the first
chapter of Genesis, is to be taken. He discusses the views of Philo
and of Augustin on this question, and rejects them. He suggests that
the approval of their allegorizing interpretations by St. Thomas
Aquinas, merely arose out of St. Thomas's modesty, and his desire not
to seem openly to controvert St. Augustin--"voluisse Divus Thomas pro
sua modestia subterfugere vim argumenti potius quam aperte Augustinum
inconstantiae arguere."

Finally, Suarez decides that the writer of Genesis meant that the
term "day" should be taken in its natural sense; and he winds up
the discussion with the very just and natural remark that "it is
not probable that God, in inspiring Moses to write a history of the
Creation which was to be believed by ordinary people, would have made
him use language, the true meaning of which it is hard to discover,
and still harder to believe."[1]

[Footnote 1: "Tractatus de opere sex Dierum, seu de Universi
Creatione, quatenus sex diebus perfecta esse, in libro Genesis cap. i.
refertur, et praesertim de productioue hominis in statu innocentiae."
Ed. Birckmann, 1622.]

And in chapter xii. 3, Suarez further observes:--

    "Ratio enim retinendi veram significationem diei naturalis est
    illa communis, quod verba Scripturae non sunt ad metaphoras
    transferenda, nisi vel necessitas cogit, vel ex ipsa scriptura
    constet, et maximè in historica narratione et ad instructionem
    fidei pertinente: sed haec ratio non minus cogit ad
    intelligendum propriè dierum numerum, quam diei qualitatem,
    IMO ET VERITAS HISTORIAE. Secundo hoc valde confirmant alia
    Scripturae loca, in quibus hi sex dies tanquam veri, et inter
    se distincti commemorantur, ut Exod. 20 dicitur, _Sex diebus
    operabis et facies omnia opera tua, septimo autem die Sabbatum
    Domini Dei tui est_. Et infra: _Sex enim diebus fecit Dominus
    caelum et terram et mare et omnia quae in eis sunt_, et idem
    repetitur in cap. 31. In quibus locis sermonis proprietas
    colligi potest tum ex aequiparatione, nam cum dicitur: _sex
    diebus operabis_, propriissimè intelligitur: tum quia non est
    verisimile, potuisse populum intelligere verba illa in alio
    sensu, et è contrario incredibile est, Deum in suis praeceptis
    tradendis illis verbis ad populum fuisse loquutum, quibus
    deciperetur, falsum sensum concipiendo, si Deus non per sex
    veros dies opera sua fecisset."

These passages leave no doubt that this great doctor of the Catholic
Church, of unchallenged authority and unspotted orthodoxy, not only
declares it to be Catholic doctrine that the work of creation took
place in the space of six natural days; but that he warmly repudiates,
as inconsistent with our knowledge of the Divine attributes, the
supposition that the language which Catholic faith requires the
believer to hold that God inspired, was used in any other sense than
that which He knew it would convey to the minds of those to whom it
was addressed.

And I think that in this repudiation Father Suarez will have the
sympathy of every man of common uprightness, to whom it is certainly
"incredible" that the Almighty should have acted in a manner which He
would esteem dishonest and base in a man.

But the belief that the universe was created in six natural days is
hopelessly inconsistent with the doctrine of evolution, in so far as
it applies to the stars and planetary bodies; and it can be made to
agree with a belief in the evolution of living beings only by the
supposition that the plants and animals, which are said to have been
created on the third, fifth, and six days, were merely the primordial
forms, or rudiments, out of which existing plants and animals have
been evolved; so that, on these days, plants and animals were not
created actually, but only potentially.

The latter view is that held by Mr. Mivart, who follows St. Augustin,
and implies that he has the sanction of Suarez. But, in point of fact,
the latter great light of orthodoxy takes no small pains to give the
most explicit and direct contradiction to all such imaginations, as
the following passages prove. In the first place, as regards plants,
Suarez discusses the problem:--

    "_Quomodo herba virens et caetera vegetabilia hoc [tertio] die
    fuerint producta._[1]

    [Footnote 1: "Propter haec ergo sententia illa Augustini et
    propter nimiam obscuritatem et subtilitatem ejus difficilis
    creditu est: quia verisimile non est Deum inspirasse Moysi,
    ut historiam de creatione mundi ad fidem totius populi adeo
    necessariam per nomina dierum explicaret, quorum significatio
    vix inveniri et difficillime ab aliquo credi posset." _(Loc.
    cit._ Lib. I. cap. xi. 42.)]

    "Praecipua enim difficultas hîc est, quam attingit Div. Thomas
    I, par. qu. 69, art. 2, an haec productio plantarum hoc die
    facta intelligenda sit de productione ipsarum in proprio esse
    actuali et formali (ut sic rem explicerem) vel de productione
    tantum in semine et in potentia. Nam Divus Augustinus libro
    quinto Genes, ad liter, cap. 4 et 5 et libro 8, cap. 3,
    posteriorem partem tradit, dicens, terram in hoc die accepisse
    virtutem germinandi omnia vegetabilia quasi concepto omnium
    illorum semine, non tamen statim vegetabilia omnia produxisse.
    Quod primo suadet verbis illis capitis secundi. _In die quo
    fecit Deus coelum et terram et omne virgultum agri priusquam,
    germinaret_. Quomodo enim potuerunt virgulta fieri antequam
    terra germinaret nisi quia causaliter prius et quasi in
    radice, seu in semine facta sunt, et postea in actu producta?
    Secundo confirmari potest, quia verbum illud _germinet terra_
    optimè exponitur potestativè ut sic dicam, id est, accipiat
    terra vim germinandi. Sicut in eodem capite dicitur _crescite
    et multiplicamini_. Tertio potest confirmari, quia actualis
    productio vegetabilium non tarn ad opus creationis, quam ad
    opus propagationis pertinet, quod postea factum est. Et hanc
    sententiam sequitur Eucherius lib. 1, in Gen. cap. 11, et illi
    faveat Glossa, interli. Hugo. et Lyran. dum verbum _germinet_
    communis sententia Patrum.--Basil, homil. 5; Exaemer. Ambros.
    lib. 3; Exaemer. cap. 8,11, et 16; Chrysost, homil. 5 in Gen.
    Damascene, lib. 2 de Fid. cap. 10; Theodor. Cyrilli. Bedae,
    Glossae ordinariae et aliorum in Gen. Et idem sentit Divus
    Thomas, _supra_, solvens argumenta Augustini, quamvis propter
    reverentiam ejus quasi problematicè semper procedat. Denique
    idem sentiunt omnes qui in his operibus veram successionem et
    temporalem distinctionem agnoscant."

Secondly, with respect to animals, Suarez is no less decided:--

    _De animalium ratione carentium productione quinto et sexto
    die facta._[1]

    "32. Primo ergo nobis certum sit haec animantia non in virtute
    tantum aut in semine, sed actu, et in seipsis, facta fuisse
    his diebus in quibus facta narrantur. Quanquam Augustinus
    lib. 3, Gen. ad liter, cap. 5 in sua persistens sententia
    contrarium sentire videatur."

[Footnote 1: _Loc. cit._ Lib. II. cap. vii. et viii. 1, 32, 35.]

But Suarez proceeds to refute Augustin's opinions at great length, and
his final judgment may be gathered from the following passage:--

    "35. Tertio dicendum est, haec animalia omnia his diebus

As regards the creation of animals and plants, therefore, it is clear
that Suarez, so far from "distinctly asserting derivative creation,"
denies it as distinctly and positively as he can; that he is at much
pains to refute St. Augustin's opinions; that he does not hesitate to
regard the faint acquiescence of St. Thomas Aquinas in the views of
his brother saint as a kindly subterfuge on the part of Divus Thomas;
and that he affirms his own view to be that which is supported by the
authority of the Fathers of the Church. So that, when Mr. Mivart tells
us that Catholic theology is in harmony with all that modern science
can possibly require; that "to the general theory of evolution, and
to the special Darwinian form of it, no exception ... need be taken on
the ground of orthodoxy;" and that "law and regularity, not arbitrary
intervention, was the Patristic ideal of creation," we have to choose
between his dictum, as a theologian, and that of a great light of
his Church, whom he himself declares to be "widely venerated as an
authority, and whose orthodoxy has never been questioned."

But Mr. Mivart does not hesitate to push his attempt to harmonize
science with Catholic orthodoxy to its utmost limit; and, while
assuming that the soul of man "arises from immediate and direct
creation," he supposes that his body was "formed at first (as now
in each separate individual) by derivative, or secondary creation,
through natural laws" (p. 331).

This means, I presume, that an animal, having the corporeal form and
bodily powers of man, may have been developed out of some lower form
of life by a process of evolution; and that, after this anthropoid
animal had existed for a longer or shorter time, God made a soul by
direct creation, and put it into the manlike body, which, heretofore,
had been devoid of that _anima rationalis_, which is supposed to be
man's distinctive character.

This hypothesis is incapable of either proof or disproof, and
therefore may be true; but if Suarez is any authority, it is not
Catholic doctrine. "Nulla est in homine forma educta de potentia
materiae,"[1] is a dictum which is absolutely inconsistent with the
doctrine of the natural evolution of any vital manifestation of the
human body.

[Footnote 1: Disput. xv. § x. No. 27.]

Moreover, if man existed as an animal before he was provided with a
rational soul, he must, in accordance with the elementary requirements
of the philosophy in which Mr. Mivart delights, have possessed a
distinct sensitive and vegetative soul, or souls. Hence, when the
"breath of life" was breathed into the manlike animal's nostrils,
he must have already been a living and feeling creature. But Suarez
particularly discusses this point, and not only rejects Mr. Mivart's
view, but adopts language of very theological strength regarding it.

    "Possent praeterea his adjungi argumenta theologica, ut est
    illud quod sumitur ex illis verbis Genes. 2. _Formavit Deus
    hominem ex limo terrae et inspiravit in faciem ejus spiraculum
    vitae et factus est homo in animam viventem_: ille enim
    spiritus, quam Deus spiravit, anima rationalis fuit, et PER

    "Aliud est ex VIII. Synodo Generali quae est
    Constantinopolitana IV. can. 11, qui sic habet. _Apparet
    quosdam in tantum impietatis venisse ut homines duas animas
    habere dogmatizent: talis igitur impietatis inventores et
    similes sapientes, cum Vetus et Novum Testamentum_ _omnesque
    Ecclesiae patres unam animam rationalem hominem habere
    asseverent, Sancta et universalis Synodus anathematizat_."[1]

[Footnote 1: Disput. xv. "De causa formali substantiali," § x. No.

Moreover, if the animal nature of man was the result of evolution, so
must that of woman have been. But the Catholic doctrine, according to
Suarez, is that woman was, in the strictest and most literal sense of
the words, made out of the rib of man.

    "Nihilominus sententia Catholica est, verba illa Scripturae
    esse ad literam intelligenda. AC PROINDE VERE, AC REALITER,

[Footnote 1: "Tractatus de Opere," Lib. III. "De hominis creatione,"
cap. ii. No. 3.]

Nor is there any escape in the supposition that some woman existed
before Eve, after the fashion of the Lilith of the rabbis;
since Suarez qualifies that notion, along with some other Judaic
imaginations, as simply "damnabilis."[1]

[Footnote 1: Ibid. Lib. III. cap. iv. Nos. 8 and 9.]

After the perusal of the "Tractatus de Opere" it is, in fact,
impossible to admit that Suarez held any opinion respecting the origin
of species, except such as is consistent with the strictest and most
literal interpretation of the words of Genesis. For Suarez, it is
Catholic doctrine, that the world was made in six natural days. On the
first of these days the _materia prima_ was made out of nothing, to
receive afterwards those "substantial forms" which moulded it into
the universe of things; on the third day, the ancestors of all living
plants suddenly came into being, full-grown, perfect, and possessed of
all the properties which now distinguish them; while, on the fifth
and sixth days, the ancestors of all existing animals were similarly
caused to exist in their complete and perfect state, by the infusion
of their appropriate material substantial forms into the matter
which had already been created. Finally on the sixth day, the _anima
rationalis_--that rational and immortal substantial form which is
peculiar to man--was created out of nothing, and "breathed into" a
mass of matter which, till then, was mere dust of the earth, and so
man arose. But the species man was represented by a solitary male
individual, until the Creator took out one of his ribs and fashioned
it into a female.

This is the view of the "Genesis of Species," held by Suarez to be the
only one consistent with Catholic faith: it is because he holds this
view to be Catholic that he does not hesitate to declare St. Augustin
unsound, and St. Thomas Aquinas guilty of weakness, when the one
swerved from this view and the other tolerated the deviation. And,
until responsible Catholic authority--say, for example, the Archbishop
of Westminster--formally declares that Suarez was wrong, and that
Catholic priests are free to teach their flocks that the world was
_not_ made in six natural days, and that plants and animals were _not_
created in their perfect and complete state, but have been evolved by
natural processes through long ages from certain germs in which they
were potentially contained, I, for one, shall feel bound to believe
that the doctrines of Suarez are the only ones which are sanctioned
by Infallible Authority, as represented by the Holy Father and the
Catholic Church.

I need hardly add that they are as absolutely denied and repudiated by
Scientific Authority, as represented by Reason and Fact. The question
whether the earth and the immediate progenitors of its present living
population were made in six natural days or not, is no longer one upon
which two opinions can be held.

The fact that it did not so come into being stands upon as sound a
basis as any fact of history whatever. It is not true that existing
plants and animals came into being within three days of the creation
of the earth out of nothing, for it is certain that innumerable
generations of other plants and animals lived upon the earth before
its present population. And when, Sunday after Sunday, men who profess
to be our instructors in righteousness read out the statement, "In
six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them
is," in innumerable churches, they are either propagating what they
may easily know, and, therefore, are bound to know, to be falsities;
or, if they use the words in some non-natural sense, they fall below
the moral standard of the much-abused Jesuit.

Thus far the contradiction between Catholic verity and Scientific
verity is complete and absolute, quite independently of the truth or
falsehood of the doctrine of evolution. But, for those who hold the
doctrine of evolution, all the Catholic verities about the creation of
living beings must be no less false. For them, the assertion that
the progenitors of all existing plants were made on the third day, of
animals on the fifth and sixth days, in the forms they now present, is
simply false. Nor can they admit that man was made suddenly out of the
dust of the earth; while it would be an insult to ask an evolutionist
whether he credits the preposterous fable respecting the fabrication
of woman to which Suarez pins his faith. If Suarez has rightly stated
Catholic doctrine, then is evolution utter heresy. And such I believe
it to be. In addition to the truth of the doctrine of evolution,
indeed, one of its greatest merits in my eyes, is the fact that it
occupies a position of complete and irreconcilable antagonism to that
vigorous and consistent enemy of the highest intellectual, moral, and
social life of mankind--the Catholic Church. No doubt, Mr. Mivart,
like other putters of new wine into old bottles, is actuated by
motives which are worthy of respect, and even of sympathy; but his
attempt has met with the fate which the Scripture prophesies for all

Catholic theology, like all theologies which are based upon the
assumption of the truth of the account of the origin of things given
in the Book of Genesis, being utterly irreconcilable with the doctrine
of evolution, the student of science, who is satisfied that the
evidence upon which the doctrine of evolution rests, is incomparably
stronger and better than that upon which the supposed authority of
the Book of Genesis rests, will not trouble himself further with these
theologies, but will confine his attention to such arguments against
the view he holds as are based upon purely scientific data--and
by scientific data I do not merely mean the truths of physical,
mathematical, or logical science, but those of moral and metaphysical
science. For, by science, I understand all knowledge which rests upon
evidence and reasoning of a like character to that which claims our
assent to ordinary scientific propositions. And if any one is able to
make good the assertion that his theology rests upon valid evidence
and sound reasoning, then it appears to me that such theology will
take its place as a part of science.

The present antagonism between theology and science does not arise
from any assumption by the men of science that all theology must
necessarily be excluded from science; but simply because they are
unable to allow that reason and morality have two weights and two
measures; and that the belief in a proposition, because authority
tells you it is true, or because you wish to believe it, which is a
high crime and misdemeanour when the subject matter of reasoning is
of one kind, becomes under the _alias_ of "faith" the greatest of all
virtues, when the subject matter of reasoning is of another kind.

The Bishop of Brechin said well the other day:--"Liberality in
religion--I do not mean tender and generous allowances for the
mistakes of others--is only unfaithfulness to truth."[1] And, with
the same qualification, I venture to paraphrase the Bishop's dictum:
"Ecclesiasticism in science is only unfaithfulness to truth."

[Footnote 1: Charge at the Diocesan Synod of Brechin. _Scotsman_,
Sept. 14, 1871.]

Elijah's great question, "Will you serve God or Baal? Choose ye," is
uttered audibly enough in the ears of every one of us as we come to
manhood. Let every man who tries to answer it seriously, ask himself
whether he can be satisfied with the Baal of authority, and with all
the good things his worshippers are promised in this world and the
next. If he can, let him, if he be so inclined, amuse himself with
such scientific implements as authority tells him are safe and will
not cut his fingers; but let him not imagine he is, or can be, both a
true son of the Church and a loyal soldier of science.

And, on the other hand, if the blind acceptance of authority appears
to him in its true colours, as mere private judgment _in excelsis_,
and if he have the courage to stand alone, face to face with the abyss
of the Eternal and Unknowable, let him be content, once for all, not
only to renounce the good things promised by "Infallibility," but even
to bear the bad things which it prophesies; content to follow reason
and fact in singleness and honesty of purpose, wherever they may lead,
in the sure faith that a hell of honest men will, to him, be more
endurable than a paradise full of angelic shams.

Mr. Mivart asserts that "without a belief in a personal God, there is
no religion worthy of the name." This is a matter of opinion. But
it may be asserted, with less reason to fear contradiction, that the
worship of a personal God, who, on Mr. Mivart's hypothesis, must
have used language studiously calculated to deceive His creatures and
worshippers, is "no religion worthy of the name." "Incredibile est,
Deum illis verbis ad populum fuisse locutum quibus deciperetur," is a
verdict in which, for once, Jesuit casuistry concurs with the healthy
moral sense of all mankind.

Having happily got quit of the theological aspect of evolution, the
supporter of that great truth who turns to the scientific objections
which are brought against it by recent criticism, finds, to his
relief, that the work before him is greatly lightened by the
spontaneous retreat of the enemy from nine-tenths of the territory
which he occupied ten years ago. Even the Quarterly Reviewer not only
abstains from venturing to deny that evolution has taken place, but he
openly admits that Mr. Darwin has forced on men's minds "a recognition
of the probability, if not more, of evolution, and of the certainty of
the action of natural selection" (p. 49).

I do not quite see, myself, how, if the action of natural selection is
_certain_, the occurrence of evolution is only _probable_; inasmuch as
the development of a new species by natural selection is, so far as
it goes, evolution. However, it is not worth while to quarrel with
the precise terms of a sentence which shows that the high watermark of
intelligence among those most respectable of Britons, the readers of
the _Quarterly Review_, has now reached such a level that the next
tide may lift them easily and pleasantly on the once-dreaded shore of
evolution. Nor, having got there, do they seem likely to stop, until
they have reached the inmost heart of that great region, and accepted
the ape ancestry of, at any rate, the body of man. For the Reviewer
admits that Mr. Darwin can be said to have established:

    "That if the various kinds of lower animals have been evolved
    one from the other by a process of natural generation or
    evolution, then it becomes highly probable, _à priori_, that
    man's body has been similarly evolved; but this, in such a
    case, becomes equally probable from the admitted fact that he
    is an animal at all" (p. 65).

From the principles laid down in the last sentence, it would follow
that if man were constructed upon a plan as different from that of any
other animal as that of a sea-urchin is from that of a whale, it
would be "equally probable" that he had been developed from some other
animal as it is now, when we know that for every bone, muscle, tooth,
and even pattern of tooth, in man, there is a corresponding bone,
muscle, tooth, and pattern of tooth, in an ape. And this shows one
of two things--either that the Quarterly Reviewer's notions of
probability are peculiar to himself; or, that he has such an
overpowering faith in the truth of evolution, that no extent of
structural break between one animal and another is sufficient to
destroy his conviction that evolution has taken place.

But this by the way. The importance of the admission that there is
nothing in man's physical structure to interfere with his having been
evolved from an ape, is not lessened because it is grudgingly made and
inconsistently qualified. And instead of jubilating over the extent of
the enemy's retreat, it will be more worth while to lay siege to his
last stronghold--the position that there is a distinction in kind
between the mental faculties of man and those of brutes; and that, in
consequence of this distinction in kind, no gradual progress from
the mental faculties of the one to those of the other can have taken

The Quarterly Reviewer entrenches himself within formidable-looking
psychological outworks, and there is no getting at him without
attacking them one by one.

He begins by laying down the following proposition: "'Sensation' is
not 'thought,' and no amount of the former would constitute the most
rudimentary condition of the latter, though sensations supply the
conditions for the existence of 'thought' or 'knowledge'" (p. 67).

This proposition is true, or not, according to the sense in which the
word "thought" is employed. Thought is not uncommonly used in a sense
co-extensive with consciousness, and, especially, with those states
of consciousness we call memory. If I recall the impression made by a
colour or an odour, and distinctly remember blueness or muskiness, I
may say with perfect propriety that I "think of" blue or musk; and,
so long as the thought lasts, it is simply a faint reproduction of the
state of consciousness to which I gave the name in question, when it
first became known to me as a sensation.

Now, if that faint reproduction of a sensation, which we call the
memory of it, is properly termed a thought, it seems to me to be
a somewhat forced, proceeding to draw a hard and fast line of
demarcation between thoughts and sensations. If sensations are
not rudimentary thoughts, it may be said that some thoughts are
rudimentary sensations. No amount of sound constitutes an echo, but
for all that no one would pretend that an echo is something of totally
different nature from a sound. Again, nothing can be looser, or more
inaccurate, than the assertion that "sensations supply the conditions
for the existence of thought or knowledge." If this implies that
sensations supply the conditions for the existence of our memory of
sensations or of our thoughts about sensations, it is a truism which
it is hardly worth while to state so solemnly. If it implies that
sensations supply anything else, it is obviously erroneous. And if it
means, as the context would seem to show it does, that sensations are
the subject-matter of all thought or knowledge, then it is no less
contrary to fact, inasmuch as our emotions, which constitute a
large part of the subject-matter of thought or of knowledge, are not

More eccentric still is the Quarterly Reviewer's next piece of

    "Altogether, we may clearly distinguish at least six kinds of
    action to which the nervous system ministers:--

    "I. That in which impressions received result in appropriate
    movements without the intervention of sensation or thought, as
    in the cases of injury above given.--This is the reflex action
    of the nervous system.

    "II. That in which stimuli from without result in sensations
    through the agency of which their due effects are wrought

    "III. That in which impressions received result in
    sensations which give rise to the observation of sensible
    objects.--Sensible perception.

    "IV. That in which sensations and perceptions continue to
    coalesce, agglutinate, and combine in more or less complex
    aggregations, according to the laws of the association of
    sensible perceptions.--Association.

    "The above four groups contain only indeliberate operations,
    consisting, as they do at the best, but of mere _presentative_
    sensible ideas in no way implying any reflective or
    _representative_ faculty. Such actions minister to and form
    _Instinct_. Besides these, we may distinguish two other kinds
    of mental action, namely:--

    "V. That in which sensations and sensible perceptions are
    reflected on by thought, and recognized as our own, and
    we ourselves recognized by ourselves as affected and

    "VI. That in which we reflect upon our sensations or
    perceptions, and ask what they are, and why they are.--Reason.

    "These two latter kinds of action are deliberate operations,
    performed, as they are, by means of representative ideas
    implying the use of a _reflective representative_ faculty.
    Such actions distinguish the _intellect_ or rational faculty.
    Now, we assert that possession in perfection of all the first
    four _(presentative)_ kinds of action by no means implies
    the possession of the last two _(representative)_ kinds.
    All persons, we think, must admit the truth of the following

    "Two faculties are distinct, not in degree but _in kind_,
    if we may possess the one in perfection without that fact
    implying that we possess the other also. Still more will
    this be the case if the two faculties tend to increase in
    an inverse ratio. Yet this is the distinction between the
    _instinctive_ and the _intellectual_ parts of man's nature.

    "As to animals, we fully admit that they may possess all the
    first four groups of actions--that they may have, so to speak,
    mental images of sensible objects combined in all degrees of
    complexity, as governed by the laws of association. We deny to
    them, on the other hand, the possession of the last two
    kinds of mental action. We deny them, that is, the power of
    reflecting on their own existence, or of inquiring into the
    nature of objects and their causes. We deny that they know
    that they know or know themselves in knowing. In other words,
    we deny them _reason_. The possession of the presentative
    faculty, as above explained, in no way implies that of the
    reflective faculty; nor does any amount of direct operation
    imply the power of asking the reflective question before
    mentioned, as to 'what' and 'why.'" _(Loc. cit_. pp. 67, 68.)

Sundry points are worthy of notice in this remarkable account of the
intellectual powers. In the first place the Reviewer ignores emotion
and volition, though they are no inconsiderable "kinds of action to
which the nervous system ministers," and memory has a place in his
classification only by implication. Secondly, we are told that the
second "kind of action to which the nervous system ministers" is "that
in which stimuli from without result in sensations through the agency
of which their due effects are wrought out.--Sensation." Does this
really mean that, in the writer's opinion, "sensation" is the "agent"
by which the "due effect" of the stimulus, which gives rise to
sensation, is "wrought out"? Suppose somebody runs a pin into me. The
"due effect" of that particular stimulus will probably be threefold;
namely, a sensation of pain, a start, and an interjectional expletive.
Does the Quarterly Reviewer really think that the "sensation" is the
"agent" by which the other two phenomena are wrought out?

But these matters are of little moment to anyone but the Reviewer
and those persons who may incautiously take their physiology, or
psychology, from him. The really interesting point is this, that when
he fully admits that animals "may possess all the first four groups
of actions," he grants all that is necessary for the purposes of
the evolutionist. For he hereby admits that in animals "impressions
received result in sensations which give rise to the observation
of sensible objects," and that they have what he calls "sensible
perception." Nor was it possible to help the admission; for we have
as much reason to ascribe to animals, as we have to attribute to our
fellow-men, the power, not only of perceiving external objects as
external, and thus practically recognizing the difference between the
self and the not-self; but that of distinguishing between like
and unlike, and between simultaneous and successive things. When a
gamekeeper goes out coursing with a greyhound in leash, and a hare
crosses the field of vision, he becomes the subject of those states
of consciousness we call visual sensation, and that is all he receives
from without. Sensation, as such, tells him nothing whatever about
the cause of these states of consciousness; but the thinking faculty
instantly goes to work upon the raw material of sensation furnished to
it through the eye, and gives rise to a train of thoughts. First comes
the thought that there is an object at a certain distance; then arises
another thought--the perception of the likeness between the states of
consciousness awakened by this object to those presented by memory,
as, on some former occasion, called up by a hare; this is succeeded
by another thought of the nature of an emotion--namely, the desire
to possess the hare; then follows a longer or shorter train of other
thoughts, which end in a volition and an act--the loosing of the
greyhound from the leash. These several thoughts are the concomitants
of a process which goes on in the nervous system of the man. Unless
the nerve-elements of the retina, of the optic nerve, of the brain, of
the spinal chord, and of the nerves of the arms went through certain
physical changes in due order and correlation, the various states
of consciousness which have been enumerated would not make their
appearance. So that in this, as in all other intellectual operations,
we have to distinguish two sets of successive changes--one in the
physical basis of consciousness, and the other in consciousness
itself; one set which may, and doubtless will, in course of time,
be followed through all their complexities by the anatomist and the
physicist, and one of which only the man himself can have immediate

As it is very necessary to keep up a clear distinction between
these two processes, let the one be called _neurosis_, and the other
_psychosis_. When the gamekeeper was first trained to his work, every
step in the process of neurosis was accompanied by a corresponding
step in that of psychosis, or nearly so. He was conscious of seeing
something, conscious of making sure it was a hare, conscious of
desiring to catch it, and therefore to loose the greyhound at the
right time, conscious of the acts by which he let the dog out of the
leash. But with practice, though the various steps of the neurosis
remain--for otherwise the impression on the retina would not result
in the loosing of the dog--the great majority of the steps of the
psychosis vanish, and the loosing of the dog follows unconsciously, or
as we say, without thinking about it, upon the sight of the hare.
No one will deny that the series of acts which originally intervened
between the sensation and the letting go of the dog were, in the
strictest sense, intellectual and rational operations. Do they cease
to be so when the man ceases to be conscious of them? That depends
upon what is the essence and what the accident of those operations,
which, taken together, constitute ratiocination.

Now ratiocination is resolvable into predication, and predication
consists in marking, in some way, the existence, the co-existence,
the succession, the likeness and unlikeness, of things or their ideas.
Whatever does this, reasons; and if a machine produces the effects of
reason, I see no more ground for denying to it the reasoning power,
because it is unconscious, than I see for refusing to Mr. Babbage's
engine the title of a calculating machine on the same grounds.

Thus it seems to me that a gamekeeper reasons, whether he is conscious
or unconscious, whether his reasoning is carried on by neurosis alone,
or whether it involves more or less psychosis. And if this is true
of the gamekeeper, it is also true of the greyhound. The essential
resemblances in all points of structure and function, so far as they
can be studied, between the nervous system of the man and that of the
dog, leave no reasonable doubt that the processes which go on in the
one are just like those which take place in the other. In the dog,
there can be no doubt that the nervous matter which lies between
the retina and the muscles undergoes a series of changes, precisely
analogous to those which, in the man, give rise to sensation, a train
of thought, and volition.

Whether this neurosis is accompanied by such psychosis as ours, it is
impossible to say; but those who deny that the nervous changes, which,
in the dog, correspond with those which underlie thought in a man, are
accompanied by consciousness, are equally bound to maintain that those
nervous changes in the dog, which correspond with those which underlie
sensation in a man, are also unaccompanied by consciousness. In other
words, if there is no ground for believing that a dog thinks, neither
is there any for believing that he feels.

As is well known, Descartes boldly faced this dilemma, and
maintained that all animals were mere machines and entirely devoid of
consciousness. But he did not deny, nor can anyone deny, that in this
case they are reasoning machines, capable of performing all those
operations which are performed by the nervous system of man when he
reasons. For even supposing that in man, and in man only, psychosis is
superadded to neurosis--the neurosis which is common to both man
and animal gives their reasoning processes a fundamental unity.
But Descartes's position is open to very serious objections, if the
evidence that animals feel is insufficient to prove that they really
do so. What is the value of the evidence which leads one to believe
that one's fellow-man feels? The only evidence in this argument of
analogy, is the similarity of his structure and of his actions to
one's own. And if that is good enough to prove that one's fellow-man
feels, surely it is good enough to prove that an ape feels. For the
differences of structure and function between men and apes are utterly
insufficient to warrant the assumption, that while men have those
states of consciousness we call sensations, apes have nothing of the
kind. Moreover, we have as good evidence that apes are capable of
emotion and volition as we have that men other than ourselves are. But
if apes possess three out of the four kinds of states of consciousness
which we discover in ourselves, what possible reason is there for
denying them the fourth? If they are capable of sensation, emotion,
and volition, why are they to be denied thought (in the sense of

No answer has ever been given to these questions. And as the law of
continuity is as much opposed, as is the common sense of mankind, to
the notion that all animals are unconscious machines, it may safely be
assumed that no sufficient answer ever will be given to them.

There is every reason to believe that consciousness is a function
of nervous matter, when, that nervous matter has attained a certain
degree of organization, just as we know the other "actions to which
the nervous system ministers," such as reflex action and the like, to
be. As I have ventured to state my view of the matter elsewhere, "our
thoughts are the expression of molecular changes in that matter of
life which is the source of our other vital phenomena."

Mr. Wallace objects to this statement in the following terms:--

    "Not having been able to find any clue in Professor Huxley's
    writings to the steps by which he passes from those vital
    phenomena, which consist only, in their last analysis, of
    movements by particles of matter, to those other phenomena
    which we term thought, sensation, or consciousness; but,
    knowing that so positive an expression of opinion from him
    will have great weight with many persons, I shall endeavour
    to show, with as much brevity as is compatible with clearness,
    that this theory is not only incapable of proof, but is also,
    as it appears to me, inconsistent with accurate conceptions of
    molecular physics."

With all respect for Mr. Wallace, it appears to me that his remarks
are entirely beside the question. I really know nothing whatever, and
never hope to know anything, of the steps by which the passage from
molecular movement to states of consciousness is effected; and I
entirely agree with the sense of the passage which he quotes from
Professor Tyndall, apparently imagining that it is in opposition to
the view I hold.

All that I have to say is, that, in my belief, consciousness and
molecular action are capable of being expressed by one another, just
as heat and mechanical action are capable of being expressed in terms
of one another. Whether we shall ever be able to express consciousness
in foot-pounds, or not, is more than I will venture to say; but
that there is evidence of the existence of some correlation between
mechanical motion and consciousness, is as plain as anything can be.
Suppose the poles of an electric battery to be connected by a platinum
wire. A certain intensity of the current gives rise in the mind of a
bystander to that state of consciousness we call a "dull red light"--a
little greater intensity to another which we call a "bright red
light;" increase the intensity, and the light becomes white; and,
finally, it dazzles, and a new state of consciousness arises, which we
term pain. Given the same wire and the same nervous apparatus, and the
amount of electric force required to give rise to these several states
of consciousness will be the same, however often the experiment
is repeated. And as the electric force, the light-waves, and the
nerve-vibrations caused by the impact of the light-waves on the
retina, are all expressions of the molecular changes which are taking
place in the elements of the battery; so consciousness is, in the same
sense, an expression of the molecular changes which take place in that
nervous matter, which is the organ of consciousness.

And, since this, and any number of similar examples that may be
required, prove that one form of consciousness, at any rate, is, in
the strictest sense, the expression of molecular change, it really
is not worth while to pursue the inquiry, whether a fact so easily
established is consistent with any particular system of molecular
physics or not.

Mr. Wallace, in fact, appears to me to have mixed up two very distinct
propositions: the one, the indisputable truth that consciousness is
correlated with molecular changes in the organ of consciousness;
the other, that the nature of that correlation is known, or can be
conceived, which is quite another matter. Mr. Wallace, presumably,
believes in that correlation of phenomena which we call cause and
effect as firmly as I do. But if he has ever been able to form the
faintest notion how a cause gives rise to its effect, all I can say is
that I envy him. Take the simplest case imaginable--suppose a ball in
motion to impinge upon another ball at rest. I know very well, as a
matter of fact, that the ball in motion will communicate some of its
motion to the ball at rest, and that the motion of the two balls after
collision is precisely correlated with the masses of both balls and
the amount of motion of the first. But how does this come about? In
what manner can we conceive that the _vis viva_ of the first ball
passes into the second? I confess I can no more form any conception
of what happens in this case, than I can of what takes place when the
motion of particles of my nervous matter, caused by the impact of a
similar ball, gives rise to the state of consciousness I call pain. In
ultimate analysis everything is incomprehensible, and the whole object
of science is simply to reduce the fundamental incomprehensibilities
to the smallest possible number.

But to return to the Quarterly Reviewer. He admits that animals
have "mental images of sensible objects, combined in all degrees of
complexity, as governed by the laws of association." Presumably, by
this confused and imperfect statement the Reviewer means to admit
more than the words imply. For mental images of sensible objects,
even though "combined in all degrees of complexity," are, and can be,
nothing more than mental images of sensible objects. But judgments,
emotions, and volitions cannot by any possibility be included under
the head of "mental images of sensible objects."

If the greyhound had no better mental endowment than the Reviewer
allows him, he might have the "mental image" of the "sensible
object"--the hare--and that might be combined with the mental images
of other sensible objects, to any degree of complexity, but he would
have no power of judging it to be at a certain distance from him; no
power of perceiving its similarity to his memory of a hare; and no
desire to get at it. Consequently he would stand stock still, and the
noble art of coursing would have no existence. On the other hand,
as that art is largely practised, it follows that greyhounds alone
possess a number of mental powers, the existence of which, in any
animal, is absolutely denied by the Quarterly Reviewer.

Finally, what are the mental powers which he reserves as the especial
prerogative of man? They are two. First, the recognition of "ourselves
by ourselves as affected and perceiving.--Self-consciousness."

Secondly. "The reflection upon our sensations and perceptions, and
asking what they are and why they are.--Reason."

To the faculty defined in the last sentence, the Reviewer, without
assigning the least ground for thus departing from both common usage
and technical propriety, applies the name of reason. But if man is not
to be considered a reasoning being, unless he asks what his sensations
and perceptions are, and why they are, what is a Hottentot, or an
Australian black fellow; or what the "swinked hedger" of an ordinary
agricultural district? Nay, what becomes of an average country squire
or parson? How many of these worthy persons who, as their wont is,
read the _Quarterly Review_, would do other than stand agape, if you
asked them whether they had ever reflected what their sensations and
perceptions are, and why they are?

So that if the Reviewer's new definition of reason be correct, the
majority of men, even among the most civilized nations, are devoid of
that supreme characteristic of manhood. And if it be as absurd as I
believe it to be, then, as reason is certainly not self-consciousness,
and as it, as certainly, is one of the "actions to which the nervous
system ministers," we must, if the Reviewer's classification is to be
adopted, seek it among those four faculties which he allows animals
to possess. And thus, for the second time, he really surrenders, while
seeming to defend, his position.

The Quarterly Reviewer, as we have seen, lectures the evolutionists
upon their want of knowledge of philosophy altogether. Mr. Mivart
is not less pained at Mr. Darwin's ignorance of moral science. It is
grievous to him that Mr. Darwin (and _nous autres_) should not
have grasped the elementary distinction between material and formal
morality; and he lays down as an axiom, of which no tyro ought to be
ignorant, the position that "acts, unaccompanied by mental acts
of conscious will directed towards the fulfilment of duty," are
"absolutely destitute of the most incipient degree of real or formal

Now this may be Mr. Mivart's opinion, but it is a proposition which,
really, does not stand on the footing of an undisputed axiom. Mr. Mill
denies it in his work on Utilitarianism. The most influential writer
of a totally opposed school, Mr. Carlyle, is never weary of denying
it, and upholding the merit of that virtue which is unconscious; nay,
it is, to my understanding, extremely hard to reconcile Mr. Mivart's
dictum with that noble summary of the whole duty of man--"Thou shalt
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and
with all thy strength; and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
According to Mr. Mivart's definition, the man who loves God and his
neighbour, and, out of sheer love and affection for both, does all he
can to please them, is, nevertheless, destitute of a particle of real

And it further happens that Mr. Darwin, who is charged by Mr. Mivart
with being ignorant of the distinction between material and formal
goodness, discusses the very question at issue, in a passage which
is well worth reading (vol. i.p. 87), and also comes to a conclusion
opposed to Mr. Mivart's axiom. A proposition which has been so much
disputed and repudiated, should, under no circumstances, have been
thus confidently assumed to be true. For myself, I utterly reject
it, inasmuch as the logical consequence of the adoption of any such
principle is the denial of all moral value to sympathy and affection.
According to Mr. Mivart's axiom, the man who, seeing another
struggling in the water, leaps in at the risk of his own life to save
him, does that which is "destitute of the most incipient degree of
real goodness," unless, as he strips off his coat, he says to himself,
"Now mind, I am going to do this because it is my duty and for no
other reason;" and the most beautiful character to which humanity
can attain, that of the man who does good without thinking about it,
because he loves justice and mercy and is repelled by evil, has no
claim on our moral approbation. The denial that a man acts morally
because he does not think whether he does so or not, may be put upon
the same footing as the denial of the title of an arithmetician to the
calculating boy, because he did not know how he worked his sums. If
mankind ever generally accept and act upon Mr. Mivart's axiom, they
will simply become a set of most unendurable prigs; but they never
have accepted it, and I venture to hope that evolution has nothing so
terrible in store for the human race.

But, if an action, the motive of which is nothing out affection or
sympathy, may be deserving of moral approbation and really good, who
that has ever had a dog of his own will deny that animals are capable
of such actions? Mr. Mivart indeed says:--"It may be safely affirmed,
however, that there is no trace in brutes of any actions simulating
morality which are not explicable by the fear of punishment, by the
hope of pleasure, or by personal affection" (p. 221). But it may
be affirmed, with equal truth, that there is no trace in men of any
actions which are not traceable to the same motives. If a man does
anything, he does it either because he fears to be punished if he
does not do it, or because he hopes to obtain pleasure by doing it, or
because he gratifies his affections[1] by doing it.

[Footnote 1: In separating pleasure and the gratification of
affection, I simply follow Mr. Mivart without admitting the justice of
the separation.]

Assuming the position of the absolute moralists, let it be granted
that there is a perception of right and wrong innate in every man.
This means, simply, that when certain ideas are presented to his
mind, the feeling of approbation arises; and when certain others, the
feeling of disapprobation. To do your duty is to earn the approbation
of your conscience, or moral sense; to fail in your duty is to feel
its disapprobation, as we all say. Now, is approbation a pleasure or
a pain? Surely a pleasure. And is disapprobation a pleasure or a pain?
Surely a pain. Consequently all that is really meant by the absolute
moralists is that there is, in the very nature of man, something which
enables him to be conscious of these particular pleasures and pains.
And when they talk of immutable and eternal principles of morality,
the only intelligible sense which I can put upon the words, is that
the nature of man being what it is, he always has been, and always
will be, capable of feeling these particular pleasures and pains. _A
priori_, I have nothing to say against this proposition. Admitting its
truth, I do not see how the moral faculty is on a different footing
from any of the other faculties of man. If I choose to say that it is
an immutable and eternal law of human nature that "ginger is hot
in the mouth," the assertion has as much foundation of truth as the
other, though I think it would be expressed in needlessly pompous
language. I must confess that I have never been able to understand why
there should be such a bitter quarrel between the intuitionists and
the utilitarians. The intuitionist is, after all, only a utilitarian
who believes that a particular class of pleasures and pains has an
especial importance, by reason of its foundation in the nature of man,
and its inseparable connection with his very existence as a thinking
being. And as regards the motive of personal affection: Love, as
Spinoza profoundly says, is the association of pleasure with that
which is loved.[1] Or, to put it to the common sense of mankind,
is the gratification of affection a pleasure or a pain? Surely a
pleasure. So that whether the motive which leads us to perform
an action is the love of our neighbour, or the love of God, it is
undeniable that pleasure enters into that motive.

[Footnote 1: "Nempe, Amor nihil aliud est, quam Laetitia, concomitante
idea causae externae."--_Ethices_ III. xiii.]

Thus much in reply to Mr. Mivart's arguments. I cannot but think
that it is to be regretted that he ekes them out by ascribing to the
doctrines of the philosophers with whom he does not agree, logical
consequences which have been over and over again proved not to flow
from them: and when reason fails him, tries the effect of an injurious
nickname. According to the views of Mr. Spencer, Mr. Mill, and Mr.
Darwin, Mr. Mivart tells us, "_virtue is a mere kind of retrieving;"
_ and, that we may not miss the point of the joke, he puts it in
italics. But what if it is? Does that make it less virtue? Suppose I
say that sculpture is a "mere way" of stone-cutting, and painting
a "mere way" of daubing canvas, and music a "mere way" of making a
noise, the statements are quite true; but they only show that I see no
other method of depreciating some of the noblest aspects of humanity,
than that of using language in an inadequate and misleading sense
about them. And the peculiar in appropriateness of this particular
nickname to the views in question, arises from the circumstance which
Mr. Mivart would doubtless have recollected, if his wish to ridicule
had not for the moment obscured his judgment--that whether the law
of evolution applies to man or not, that of hereditary transmission
certainly does. Mr. Mivart will hardly deny that a man owes a large
share of the moral tendencies which he exhibits to his ancestors;
and the man who inherits a desire to steal from a kleptomaniac, or a
tendency to benevolence from a Howard, is, so far as he illustrates
hereditary transmission, comparable to the dog who inherits the desire
to fetch a duck out of the water from his retrieving sire. So that,
evolution, or no evolution, moral qualities are comparable to a "kind
of retrieving;" though the comparison, if meant for the purposes of
casting obloquy on evolution, does not say much for the fairness of
those who make it.

The Quarterly Reviewer and Mr. Mivart base their objections to the
evolution of the mental faculties of man from those of some lower
animal form, upon what they maintain to be a difference in kind
between the mental and moral faculties of men and brutes; and I
have endeavoured to show, by exposing the utter unsoundness of their
philosophical basis, that these objections are devoid of importance.

The objections which Mr. Wallace brings forward to the doctrine of
the evolution of the mental faculties of man from those of brutes
by natural causes, are of a different order, and require separate

If I understand him rightly, he by no means doubts that both the
bodily and the mental faculties of man have been evolved from those of
some lower animal; but he is of opinion, that some agency beyond that
which has been concerned in the evolution of ordinary animals, has
been operative in the case of man. "A superior intelligence has guided
the development of man in a definite direction and for a special
purpose, just as man guides the development of many animal and
vegetable forms."[1] I understand this to mean that, just as the
rock-pigeon has been produced by natural causes, while the
evolution of the tumbler from the blue rock has required the special
intervention of the intelligence of man, so some anthropoid form may
have been evolved by variation and natural selection; but it could
never have given rise to man, unless some superior intelligence had
played the part of the pigeon-fancier.

[Footnote 1: The limits of Natural Selection as applied to Man _(loc.
cit_. p. 359).]

According to Mr. Wallace, "whether we compare the savage with the
higher developments of man, or with the brutes around him, we are
alike driven to the conclusion, that, in his large and well-developed
brain, he possesses an organ quite disproportioned to his
requirements" (p. 343); and he asks, "What is there in the life of the
savage but the satisfying of the cravings of appetite in the simplest
and easiest way? What thoughts, idea, or actions are there that raise
him many grades above the elephant or the ape?" (p. 342). I answer Mr.
Wallace by citing a remarkable passage which occurs in his instructive
paper on "Instinct in Man and Animals."

    "Savages make long journeys in many directions, and, their
    whole faculties being directed to the subject, they gain a
    wide and accurate knowledge of the topography, not only
    of their own district, but of all the regions round about.
    Everyone who has travelled in a new direction communicates his
    knowledge to those who have travelled less, and descriptions
    of routes and localities, and minute incidents of travel, form
    one of the main staples of conversation around the evening
    fire. Every wanderer or captive from another tribe adds to
    the store of information, and, as the very existence of
    individuals and of whole families and tribes depends upon
    the completeness of this knowledge, all the acute perceptive
    faculties of the adult savage are directed to acquiring and
    perfecting it. The good hunter or warrior thus comes to know
    the bearing of every hill and mountain range, the directions
    and junctions of all the streams, the situation of each tract
    characterized by peculiar vegetation, not only within the
    area he has himself traversed, but perhaps for a hundred miles
    around it. His acute observation enables him to detect the
    slightest undulations of the surface, the various changes of
    subsoil and alterations in the character of the vegetation
    that would be quite imperceptible to a stranger. His eye is
    always open to the direction in which he is going; the mossy
    side of trees, the presence of certain plants under the shade
    of rocks, the morning and evening flight of birds, are to
    him indications of direction almost as sure as the sun in the
    heavens" (pp. 207-8).

I have seen enough of savages to be able to declare that nothing can
be more admirable than this description of what a savage has to learn.
But it is incomplete. Add to all this the knowledge which a savage
is obliged to gain of the properties of plants, of the characters and
habits of animals, and of the minute indications by which their course
is discoverable: consider that even an Australian can make excellent
baskets and nets, and neatly fitted and beautifully balanced spears;
that he learns to use these so as to be able to transfix a quartern
loaf at sixty yards; and that very often, as in the case of the
American Indians, the language of a savage exhibits complexities which
a well-trained European finds it difficult to master: consider that
every time a savage tracks his game, he employs a minuteness of
observation, and an accuracy of inductive and deductive reasoning
which, applied to other matters, would assure some reputation to a man
of science, and I think we need ask no further why he possesses such a
fair supply of brains. In complexity and difficulty, I should say that
the intellectual labour of a "good hunter or warrior" considerably
exceeds that of an ordinary Englishman. The Civil Service Examiners
are held in great terror by young Englishmen; but even their ferocity
never tempted them to require a candidate to possess such a knowledge
of a parish, as Mr. Wallace justly points out savages may possess of
an area a hundred miles, or more, in diameter.

But suppose, for the sake of argument, that a savage has more brains
than seems proportioned to his wants, all that can be said is that
the objection to natural selection, if it be one, applies quite
as strongly to the lower animals. The brain of a porpoise is quite
wonderful for its mass, and for the development of the cerebral
convolutions. And yet since we have ceased to credit the story of
Arion, it is hard to believe that porpoises are much troubled with
intellect: and still more difficult is it to imagine that their big
brains are only a preparation for the advent of some accomplished
cetacean of the future. Surely, again, a wolf must have too much
brains, or else how is it that a dog, with only the same quantity and
form of brain, is able to develop such singular intelligence? The wolf
stands to the dog in the same relation as the savage to the man; and,
therefore, if Mr. Wallace's doctrine holds good, a higher power must
have superintended the breeding up of wolves from some inferior stock,
in order to prepare them to become dogs.

Mr. Wallace further maintains that the origin of some of man's mental
faculties by the preservation of useful variations is not possible.
Such, for example, are "the capacity to form ideal conceptions of
space and time, of eternity and infinity; the capacity for intense
artistic feelings of pleasure in form, colour, and composition; and
for those abstract notions of form and number which render geometry
and arithmetic possible." "How," he asks, "were all or any of these
faculties first developed, when they could have been of no possible
use to man in his early stages of barbarism?"

Surely the answer is not far to seek. The lowest savages are as
devoid of any such conceptions as the brutes themselves. What sort of
conceptions of space and time, of form and number, can be possessed by
a savage who has not got so far as to be able to count beyond five or
six, who does not know how to draw a triangle or a circle, and has not
the remotest notion of separating the particular quality we call
form, from the other qualities of bodies? None of these capacities
are exhibited by men, unless they form part of a tolerably advanced
society. And, in such a society, there are abundant conditions by
which a selective influence is exerted in favour of those persons who
exhibit an approximation towards the possession of these capacities.

The savage who can amuse his fellows by telling a good story over the
nightly fire, is held by them in esteem and rewarded, in one way or
another, for so doing in other words, it is an advantage to him to
possess this power. He who can carve a paddle, or the figure-head of
a canoe better, similarly profits beyond his duller neighbour. He
who counts a little better than others, gets most yams when barter
is going on, and forms the shrewdest estimate of the numbers of an
opposing tribe. The experience of daily life shows that the conditions
of our present social existence exercise the most extraordinarily
powerful selective influence in favour of novelists, artists, and
strong intellects of all kinds; and it seems unquestionable that
all forms of social existence must have had the same tendency, if we
consider the indisputable facts that even animals possess the power of
distinguishing form and number, and that they are capable of deriving
pleasure from particular forms and sounds. If we admit, as Mr. Wallace
does, that the lowest savages are not raised "many grades above the
elephant and the ape;" and if we further admit, as I contend must be
admitted, that the conditions of social life tend, powerfully, to
give an advantage to those individuals who vary in the direction of
intellectual or aesthetic excellence, what is there to interfere
with the belief that these higher faculties, like the rest, owe their
development to natural selection?

Finally, with respect to the development of the moral sense out of the
simple feelings of pleasure and pain, liking and disliking, with which
the lower animals are provided, I can find nothing in Mr. Wallace's
reasonings which has not already been met by Mr. Mill, Mr. Spencer, or
Mr. Darwin.

I do not propose to follow the Quarterly Reviewer and Mr. Mivart
through the long string of objections in matters of detail which they
bring against Mr. Darwin's views. Everyone who has considered
the matter carefully will be able to ferret out as many more
"difficulties;" but he will also, I believe, fail as completely as
they appear to me to have done, in bringing forward any fact which is
really contradictory of Mr. Darwin's views. Occasionally, too, their
objections and criticisms are based upon errors of their own. As, for
example, when Mr. Mivart and the Quarterly Reviewer insist upon the
resemblances between the eyes of _Cephalopoda_ and _Vertebrata_,
quite forgetting that there are striking and altogether fundamental
differences between them; or when the Quarterly Reviewer corrects Mr.
Darwin for saying that the gibbons, "without having been taught,
can walk or run upright with tolerable quickness, though they move
awkwardly, and much less securely than man." The Quarterly Reviewer
says, "This is a little misleading, inasmuch as it is not stated that
this upright progression is effected by placing the enormously long
arms behind the head, or holding them out backwards as a balance in

Now, before carping at a small statement like this, the Quarterly
Reviewer should have made sure that he was quite right. But he happens
to be quite wrong. I suspect he got his notion of the manner in which
a gibbon walks from a citation in "Man's Place in Nature." But at
that time I had not seen a gibbon walk. Since then I have, and I can
testify that nothing can be more precise than Mr. Darwin's statement.
The gibbon I saw walked without either putting his arms behind his
head or holding them out backwards. All he did was to touch the ground
with the outstretched fingers of his long arms now and then, just as
one sees a man who carries a stick, but does not need one, touch the
ground with it as he walks along.

Again, a large number of the objections brought forward by Mr. Mivart
and the Quarterly Reviewer apply to evolution in general, quite as
much as to the particular form of that doctrine advocated by Mr.
Darwin; or, to their notions of Mr. Darwin's views and not to what
they really are. An excellent example of this class of difficulties
is to be found in Mr. Mivart's chapter on "Independent Similarities
of Structure." Mr. Mivart says that these cannot be explained by
an "absolute and pure Darwinian," but "that an innate power and
evolutionary law, aided by the corrective action of natural selection,
should have furnished like needs with like aids, is not at all
improbable" (p. 82).

I do not exactly know what Mr. Mivart means by an "absolute and
pure Darwinian;" indeed Mr. Mivart makes that creature hold so many
singular opinions that I doubt if I can ever have seen one alive. But
I find nothing in his statement of the view which he imagines to
be originated by himself, which is really inconsistent with what I
understand to be Mr. Darwin's views.

I apprehend that the foundation of the theory of natural selection is
the fact that living bodies tend incessantly to vary. This variation
is neither indefinite, nor fortuitous, nor does it take place in all
directions, in the strict sense of these words.

Accurately speaking, it is not indefinite, nor does it take place in
all directions, because it is limited by the general characters of the
type to which the organism exhibiting the variation belongs. A whale
does not tend to vary in the direction of producing feathers, nor a
bird in the direction of developing whalebone. In popular language
there is no harm in saying that the waves which break upon the
sea-shore are indefinite, fortuitous, and break in all directions.
In scientific language, on the contrary, such a statement would be
a gross error, inasmuch as every particle of foam is the result of
perfectly definite forces, operating according to no less definite
laws. In like manner, every variation of a living form, however
minute, however apparently accidental, is inconceivable except as the
expression of the operation of molecular forces or "powers" resident
within the organism. And, as these forces certainly operate according
to definite laws, their general result is, doubtless, in accordance
with some general law which subsumes them all. And there appears to
be no objection to call this an "evolutionary law." But nobody is the
wiser for doing so, or has thereby contributed, in the least degree,
to the advance of the doctrine of evolution, the great need of which
is a theory of variation.

When Mr. Mivart tells us that his "aim has been to support the
doctrine that these species have been evolved by ordinary _natural
laws_ (for the most part unknown), aided by the _subordinate_ action
of 'natural selection'" (pp. 332-3), he seems to be of opinion that
his enterprise has the merit of novelty. All I can say is that I have
never had the slightest notion that Mr. Darwin's aim is in any way
different from this. If I affirm that "species have been evolved by
variation[1] (a natural process, the laws of which are for the most
part unknown), aided by the subordinate action of natural selection,"
it seems to me that I enunciate a proposition which constitutes the
very pith and marrow of the first edition of the "Origin of Species."
And what the evolutionist stands in need of just now, is not an
iteration of the fundamental principle of Darwinism, but some light
upon the questions, What are the limits of variation? and, If
a variety has arisen, can that variety be perpetuated, or even
intensified, when selective conditions are indifferent, or perhaps
unfavourable, to its existence? I cannot find that Mr. Darwin has ever
been very dogmatic in answering these questions. Formerly, he seems
to have inclined to reply to them in the negative, while now his
inclination is the other way. Leaving aside those broad questions of
theology, philosophy, and ethics, by the discussion of which neither
the Quarterly Reviewer nor Mr. Mivart can be said to have damaged
Darwinism--whatever else they have injured--this is what their
criticisms come to. They confound a struggle for some rifle-pits with
an assault on the fortress.

[Footnote 1: Including under this head hereditary transmission.]

In some respects, finally, I can only characterize the Quarterly
Reviewer's treatment of Mr. Darwin as alike unjust and unbecoming.
Language of this strength requires justification, and on that ground I
add the remarks which follow.

The Quarterly Reviewer opens his essay by a careful enumeration of
all those points upon which, during the course of thirteen years of
incessant labour, Mr. Darwin has modified his opinions. It has often
and justly been remarked, that what strikes a candid student of Mr.
Darwin's works is not so much his industry, his knowledge, or even
the surprising fertility of his inventive genius; but that unswerving
truthfulness and honesty which never permit him to hide a weak place,
or gloss over a difficulty, but lead him, on all occasions, to point
out the weak places in his own armour, and even sometimes, it appears
to me, to make admissions against himself which are quite unnecessary.
A critic who desires to attack Mr. Darwin has only to read his works
with a desire to observe, not their merits, but their defects, and
he will find, ready to hand, more adverse suggestions than are likely
ever to have suggested themselves to his own sharpness, without Mr.
Darwin's self-denying aid.

Now this quality of scientific candour is not so common that it needs
to be discouraged; and it appears to me to deserve other treatment
than that adopted by the Quarterly Reviewer, who deals with Mr. Darwin
as an Old Bailey barrister deals with a man against whom he wishes
to obtain a conviction, _per fas aut nefas_, and opens his case by
endeavouring to create a prejudice against the prisoner in the minds
of the jury. In his eagerness to carry out this laudable design, the
Quarterly Reviewer cannot even state the history of the doctrine
of natural selection without an oblique and entirely unjustifiable
attempt to depreciate Mr. Darwin. "To Mr. Darwin," says he, "and
(through Mr. Wallace's reticence) to Mr. Darwin alone, is due the
credit of having first brought it prominently forward and demonstrated
its truth." No one can less desire than I do, to throw a doubt upon
Mr. Wallace's originality, or to question his claim to the honour of
being one of the originators of the doctrine of natural selection; but
the statement that Mr. Darwin has the sole credit of originating the
doctrine because of Mr. Wallace's reticence is simply ridiculous. The
proof of this is, in the first place, afforded by Mr. Wallace himself,
whose noble freedom from petty jealousy in this matter, smaller folk
would do well to imitate; and who writes thus:--"I have felt all my
life, and I still feel, the most sincere satisfaction that Mr. Darwin
had been at work long before me, and that it was not left for me to
attempt to write the 'Origin of Species.' I have long since measured
my own strength, and know well that it would be quite unequal to that
task." So that if there was any reticence at all in the matter, it
was Mr. Darwin's reticence during the long twenty years of study which
intervened between the conception and the publication of his theory,
which gave Mr. Wallace the chance of being an independent discoverer
of the importance of natural selection. And, finally, if it be
recollected that Mr. Darwin's and Mr. Wallace's essays were published
simultaneously in the _Journal of the Linnaean Society_ for 1858, it
follows that the Reviewer, while obliquely depreciating Mr. Darwin's
deserts, has in reality awarded to him a priority which, in legal
strictness, does not exist.

Mr. Mivart, whose opinions so often concur with those of the Quarterly
Reviewer, puts the case in a way, which I much regret to be obliged to
say, is, in my judgment, quite as incorrect; though the injustice may
be less glaring. He says that the theory of natural selection is,
in general, exclusively associated with the name of Mr. Darwin, "on
account of the noble self-abnegation of Mr. Wallace." As I have said,
no one can honour Mr. Wallace more than I do, both for what he has
done and for what he has not done, in his relation to Mr. Darwin. And
perhaps nothing is more creditable to him than his frank declaration
that he could not have written such a work as the "Origin of Species."
But, by this declaration, the person most directly interested in the
matter repudiates, by anticipation, Mr. Mivart's suggestion that Mr.
Darwin's eminence is more or less due to Mr. Wallace's modesty.



Considering that Germany now takes the lead of the world in scientific
investigation, and particularly in biology, Mr. Darwin must be well
pleased at the rapid spread of his views among some of the ablest and
most laborious of German naturalists.

[Footnote 1: "The Natural History of Creation." By Dr. Ernst Haeckel
(_Natürliche Schöpfungs-Geschichte._--Von Dr. Ernst Haeckel, Professor
an der Universität Jena.) Berlin, 1868.]

Among those, Professor Haeckel, of Jena, is the Coryphaeus. I know of
no more solid and important contributions to biology in the past seven
years than Haeckel's work on the _Radiolaria_, and the researches of
his distinguished colleague Gegenbaur, in vertebrate anatomy; while
in Haeckel's _Generelle Morphologie_ there is all the force,
suggestiveness, and, what I may term the systematizing power, of Oken,
without his extravagance. The _Generelle Morphologie_ is, in fact, an
attempt to put the doctrine of Evolution, so far as it applies to
the living world, into a logical form; and to work out its practical
applications to their final results. The work before us, again, may
be said to be an exposition of the _Generelle Morphologie_ for an
educated public, consisting, as it does, of the substance of a series
of lectures delivered before a mixed audience at Jena, in the session

"The Natural History of Creation,"--or, as Professor Haeckel admits
it would have been better to call his work, "The History of the
Development or Evolution of Nature,"--deals, in the first six
lectures, with the general and historical aspects of the question,
and contains a very interesting and lucid account of the views of
Linnaeus, Cuvier, Agassiz, Goethe, Oken, Kant, Lamarck, Lyell, and
Darwin, and of the historical filiation of these philosophers.

The next six lectures are occupied by a well-digested statement of Mr.
Darwin's views. The thirteenth lecture discusses two topics which are
not touched by Mr. Darwin, namely, the origin of the present form of
the solar system, and that of living matter. Full justice is done to
Kant, as the originator of that "cosmic gas theory," as the Germans
somewhat quaintly call it, which is commonly ascribed to Laplace. With
respect to spontaneous generation, while admitting that there is no
experimental evidence in its favour, Professor Haeckel denies the
possibility of disproving it, and points out that the assumption that
it has occurred is a necessary part of the doctrine of Evolution. The
fourteenth lecture, on "Schöpfungs-Perioden und Schöpfungs-Urkunden,"
answers pretty much to the famous disquisition on the "Imperfection of
the Geological Record" in the _Origin of Species_.

The following five lectures contain the most original matter of any,
being devoted to "Phylogeny," or the working out of the details of the
process of Evolution in the animal and vegetable kingdoms, so as
to prove the line of descent of each group of living beings, and to
furnish it with its proper genealogical tree, or "phylum."

The last lecture considers objections and sums up the evidence in
favour of biological Evolution.

I shall best testify to my sense of the value of the work thus briefly
analysed if I now proceed to note down some of the more important
criticisms which have been suggested to me by its perusal.

I. In more than one place, Professor Haeckel enlarges upon the service
which the _Origin of Species_ has done, in favouring what he terms
the "causal or mechanical" view of living nature as opposed to the
"teleological or vitalistic" view. And no doubt it is quite true that
the doctrine of Evolution is the most formidable opponent of all
the commoner and coarser forms of Teleology. But perhaps the most
remarkable service to the philosophy of Biology rendered by Mr. Darwin
is the reconciliation of Teleology and Morphology, and the explanation
of the facts of both which his views offer.

The Teleology which supposes that the eye, such as we see it in man
or one of the higher _Vertebrata_, was made with the precise structure
which it exhibits, for the purpose of enabling the animal which
possesses it to see, has undoubtedly received its death-blow.
Nevertheless it is necessary to remember that there is a wider
Teleology, which is not touched by the doctrine of Evolution, but is
actually based upon the fundamental proposition of Evolution. That
proposition is, that the whole world, living and not living, is the
result of the mutual interaction, according to definite laws, of the
forces possessed by the molecules of which the primitive nebulosity of
the universe was composed. If this be true, it is no less certain that
the existing world lay, potentially, in the cosmic vapour; and that a
sufficient intelligence could, from a knowledge of the properties of
the molecules of that vapour, have predicted, say the state of the
Fauna of Britain in 1869, with as much certainty as one can say what
will happen to the vapour of the breath in a cold winter's day.

Consider a kitchen clock, which ticks loudly, shows the hours,
minutes, and seconds, strikes, cries "cuckoo!" and perhaps shows the
phases of the moon. When the clock is wound up, all the phenomena
which it exhibits are potentially contained in its mechanism, and a
clever clockmaker could predict all it will do after an examination of
its structure.

If the evolution theory is correct, the molecular structure of the
cosmic gas stands in the same relation to the phenomena of the world
as the structure of the clock to its phenomena.

Now let us suppose a death-watch, living in the clock-case, to be a
learned and intelligent student of its works. He might say, "I find
here nothing but matter and force and pure mechanism from beginning to
end," and he would be quite right. But if he drew the conclusion that
the clock was not contrived for a purpose, he would be quite wrong.
On the other hand, imagine another death-watch of a different turn of
mind. He, listening to the monotonous "tick! tick!" so exactly like
his own, might arrive at the conclusion that the clock was itself a
monstrous sort of death-watch, and that its final cause and purpose
was to tick. How easy to point to the clear relation of the whole
mechanism to the pendulum, to the fact that the one thing the clock
did always and without intermission was to tick, and that all the rest
of its phenomena were intermittent and subordinate to ticking! For
all this, it is certain that kitchen clocks are not contrived for the
purpose of making a ticking noise.

Thus the teleological theorist would be as wrong as the mechanical
theorist, among our death-watches; and, probably, the only death-watch
who would be right would be the one who should maintain that the
sole thing death-watches could be sure about was the nature of the
clock-works and the way they move; and that the purpose of the clock
lay wholly beyond the purview of beetle faculties.

Substitute "cosmic vapour" for "clock," and "molecules" for "works,"
and the application of the argument is obvious. The teleological
and the mechanical views of nature are not, necessarily, mutually
exclusive. On the contrary, the more purely a mechanist the speculator
is, the more firmly does he assume a primordial molecular arrangement,
of which all the phenomena of the universe are the consequences; and
the more completely is he thereby at the mercy of the teleologist,
who can always defy him to disprove that this primordial molecular
arrangement was not intended to evolve the phenomena of the universe.
On the other hand, if the teleologist assert that this, that, or
the other result of the working of any part of the mechanism of the
universe is its purpose and final cause, the mechanist can always
inquire how he knows that it is more than an unessential incident--the
mere ticking of the clock, which he mistakes for its function. And
there seems to be no reply to this inquiry, any more than to the
further, not irrational, question, why trouble oneself about matters
which are out of reach, when the working of the mechanism itself,
which is of infinite practical importance, affords scope for all our

Professor Haeckel has invented a new and convenient name,
"Dysteleology," for the study of the "purposelessnesses" which are
observable in living organisms--such as the multitudinous cases of
rudimentary and apparently useless structures. I confess, however,
that it has often appeared to me that the facts of Dysteleology cut
two ways. If we are to assume, as evolutionists in general do,
that useless organs atrophy, such cases as the existence of lateral
rudiments of toes, in the foot of a horse, place us in a dilemma. For,
either these rudiments are of no use to the animal, in which case,
considering that the horse has existed in its present form since the
Pliocene epoch, they surely ought to have disappeared; or they are of
some use to the animal, in which case they are of no use as arguments
against Teleology. A similar, but still stronger, argument may be
based upon the existence of teats, and even functional mammary glands,
in male mammals. Numerous cases of "Gynaecomasty," or functionally
active breasts in men, are on record, though there is no mammalian
species whatever in which the male normally suckles the young. Thus,
there can be little doubt that the mammary gland was as apparently
useless in the remotest male mammalian ancestor of man as in living
men, and yet it has not disappeared. Is it then still profitable
to the male organism to retain it? Possibly; but in that case its
dysteleological value is gone.

II. Professor Haeckel looks upon the causes which have led to the
present diversity of living nature as twofold. Living matter, he tells
us, is urged by two impulses: a centripetal, which tends to preserve
and transmit the specific form, and which he identifies with heredity;
and a centrifugal, which results from the tendency of external
conditions to modify the organism and effect its adaptation to
themselves. The internal impulse is conservative, and tends to the
preservation of specific, or individual, form; the external impulse is
metamorphic, and tends to the modification of specific, or individual,

In developing his views upon this subject, Professor Haeckel
introduces qualifications which disarm some of the criticisms I should
have been disposed to offer; but I think that his method of stating
the case has the inconvenience of tending to leave out of sight
the important fact--which is a cardinal point in the Darwinian
hypothesis--that the tendency to vary, in a given organism, may have
nothing to do with the external conditions to which that individual
organism is exposed, but may depend wholly upon internal conditions.
No one, I imagine, would dream of seeking in the direct influence of
the external conditions of his life for the cause of the development
of the sixth finger and toe in the famous Maltese.

I conceive that both hereditary transmission and adaptation need to be
analysed into their constituent conditions by the further application
of the doctrine of the Struggle for Existence. It is a probable
hypothesis, that what the world is to organisms in general, each
organism is to the molecules of which it is composed. Multitudes of
these, having diverse tendencies, are competing with one another for
opportunity to exist and multiply; and the organism, as a whole, is as
much the product of the molecules which are victorious as the Fauna,
or Flora, of a country is the product of the victorious organic beings
in it.

On this hypothesis, hereditary transmission is the result of the
victory of particular molecules contained in the impregnated germ.
Adaptation to conditions is the result of the favouring of the
multiplication of those molecules whose organizing tendencies are
most in harmony with such conditions. In this view of the matter,
conditions are not actively productive, but are passively permissive;
they do not cause variation in any given direction, but they permit
and favour a tendency in that direction which already exists.

It is true that, in the long run, the origin of the organic molecules
themselves, and of their tendencies, is to be sought in the external
world; but if we carry our inquiries as far back as this, the
distinction between internal and external impulses vanishes. On the
other hand, if we confine ourselves to the consideration of a single
organism, I think it must be admitted that the existence of an
internal metamorphic tendency must be as distinctly recognized as
that of an internal conservative tendency; and that the influence of
conditions is mainly, if not wholly, the result of the extent to which
they favour the one, or the other, of these tendencies.

III. There is only one point upon which I fundamentally and entirely
disagree with Professor Haeckel, but that is the very important one
of his conception of geological time, and of the meaning of the
stratified rocks as records and indications of that time. Conceiving
that the stratified rocks of an epoch indicate a period of depression,
and that the intervals between the epochs correspond with periods
of elevation of which we have no record, he intercalates between the
different epochs, or periods, intervals which he terms "Ante-periods."
Thus, instead of considering the Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, and
Eocene periods, as continuously successive, he interposes a
period before each, as an "Antetrias-zeit," "Antejura-zeit,"
"Antecreta-zeit," "Antecocen-zeit," &c. And he conceives that the
abrupt changes between the Faunae of the different formations are due
to the lapse of time, of which we have no organic record, during their

The frequent occurrence of strata containing assemblages of organic
forms which are intermediate between those of adjacent formations, is,
to my mind, fatal to this view. In the well-known St. Cassian beds,
for example, Palaeozoic and Mesozoic forms are commingled, and,
between the Cretaceous and the Eocene formations, there are similar
transitional beds. On the other hand, in the middle of the Silurian
series, extensive unconformity of the strata indicates the lapse of
vast intervals of time between the deposit of successive beds, without
any corresponding change in the Fauna.

Professor Haeckel will, I fear, think me unreasonable, if I say that
he seems to be still overshadowed by geological superstitions; and
that he will have to believe in the completeness of the geological
record far less than he does at present. He assumes, for example, that
there was no dry land, nor any terrestrial life, before the end of the
Silurian epoch, simply because, up to the present time, no indications
of fresh water, or terrestrial organisms, have been found in rocks of
older date. And, in speculating upon the origin of a given group, he
rarely goes further back than the "Ante-period," which precedes that
in which the remains of animals belonging to that group are found.
Thus, as fossil remains of the majority of the groups of _Reptilia_
are first found in the Trias, they are assumed to have originated in
the "Antetriassic" period, or between the Permian and Triassic epochs.

I confess this is wholly incredible to me. The Permian and the
Triassic deposits pass completely into one another; there is no sort
of discontinuity answering to an unrecorded "Antetrias;" and, what
is more, we have evidence of immensely extensive dry land during the
formation of these deposits. We know that the dry land of the Trias
absolutely teemed with reptiles of all groups except Pterodactyles,
Snakes, and perhaps Tortoises; there is every probability that true
Birds existed, and _Mammalia_ certainly did. Of the inhabitants of the
Permian dry land, on the contrary, all that have left a record are a
few lizards. Is it conceivable that these last should really
represent the whole terrestrial population of that time, and that
the development of Mammals, of Birds, and of the highest forms of
Reptiles, should have been crowded into the time during which the
Permian conditions quietly passed away, and the Triassic conditions
began? Does not any such supposition become in the highest degree
improbable, when, in the terrestrial or fresh-water Labyrinthodonts,
which lived on the land of the Carboniferous epoch, as well as on
that of the Trias, we have evidence that one form, of terrestrial life
persisted, throughout all these ages, with no important modification?
For my part, having regard to the small amount of modification (except
in the way of extinction) which the Crocodilian, Lacertilian, and
Chelonian _Reptilia_ have undergone, from the older Mesozoic times to
the present day, I cannot but put the existence of the common stock
from which they sprang far back in the Palaeozoic epoch; and I should
apply a similar argumentation to all other groups of animals.

IV. Professor Haeckel proposes a number of modifications in Taxonomy,
all of which are well worthy of consideration. Thus he establishes a
third primary division of the living world, distinct from both
animals and plants, under the name of the _Protista_, to include the
_Myxomycetes_, the _Diatomaceae_, and the _Labyrinthulae_, which are
commonly regarded as plants, with the _Noctilucae_, the _Flagellata_,
the _Rhizopoda_, the _Protoplasta_, and the _Monera_, which are most
generally included within the animal world. A like attempt has been
made, by other writers, to escape the inconvenience of calling these
dubious organisms by the name of plant or animal; but I confess,
it appears to me, that the inconvenience which is eluded in one
direction, by this step, is met in two others. Professor Haeckel
himself doubts whether the _Fungi_ ought not to be removed into his
_Protista_. If they are not, indeed, the _Myxomycetes_ render the
drawing of every line of demarcation between _Protista_ and Plants
impossible. But if they are, who is to define the _Fungi_ from the
_Algae_? Yet the sea-weeds are surely, in every respect, plants.
On the other hand, Professor Haeckel puts the sponges among the
_Coelenterata_ (or polypes and corals), with the double inconvenience,
as it appears to me, of separating the sponges from their immediate
kindred, the _Protoplasta_, and destroying the definition of the
_Coelenterata_. So again, the _Infusoria_ possess all the characters
of animality, but it can hardly be said that they are as clearly
allied to the worms as they are to the _Noctilucae_.

On the whole, it appears to me to be most convenient to adhere to
the old plan of calling such of these low forms as are more animal in
habit, _Protozoa_, and such as are more vegetal, _Protophyta_.

Another considerable innovation is the proposition to divide the class
Pisces into the four groups of _Leptocardia, Cyclostomata, Pisces_,
and _Dipneusta_. As regards the establishment of a separate class for
the Lancelet _(Amphioxus)_, I think there can be little doubt of the
propriety of so doing, inasmuch as it is far more different from all
other fishes than they are from one another. And there is much to
be said in favour of the same promotion of the _Cyclostomata_, or
Lampreys and Hags. But considering the close relation of the
Mudfish with the _Ganoidei_, and the wide differences between the
_Elasmobranchii_ and the _Teleostei_, I greatly doubt the propriety of
separating the _Dipneusta_, as a class, from the other _Pisces_.

Professor Haeckel proposes to break up the vertebrate sub-kingdom,
first, into the two provinces of _Leptocardia_ and _Pachycardia;
Amphioxus_ being in the former, and all other vertebrates in the
latter division. The _Pachycardia_ are then divided into _Monorhina_,
which contains the Cyclostome fishes, distinguished by their single
nasal aperture; and _Amphirhina_, comprising the other _Vertebrata_,
which have two nasal apertures. These are further subdivided into
_Anamnia (Pisces, Dipneusta, Amphibia)_ and _Amniota (Reptilia, Aves,
Mammalia)_. This classification undoubtedly expresses many of the most
important facts in vertebrate structure in a clear and compendious
way; whether it is the best that can he adopted remains to be seen.

With much reason the Lemurs are removed altogether from the
_Primates_, under the name of _Prosimiae_. But I am surprised to
find the _Sirenia_ left in one group with the _Cetacea_, and the
_Plesiosauria_ with the _Ichthyosauria_; the ordinal distinctness of
these having, to my mind, been long since fully established.

V. In Professor Haeckel's speculations on Phylogeny, or the genealogy
of animal forms, there is much that is profoundly interesting, and
his suggestions are always supported by sound knowledge and great
ingenuity. Whether one agrees or disagrees with him, one feels that
he has forced the mind into lines of thought in which it is more
profitable to go wrong than to stand still.

To put his views into a few words, he conceives that all forms of life
originally commenced as _Monera_, or simple particles of protoplasm;
and that these _Monera_ originated from not-living matter. Some of the
_Monera_ acquired tendencies towards the Protistic, others towards the
Vegetal, and others towards the Animal modes of life. The last became
animal _Monera_. Some of the animal _Monera_ acquired a nucleus, and
became amoeba-like creatures; and, out of certain of these, ciliated
infusorium-like animals were developed. These became modified into two
stirpes: A, that of the worms; and B, that of the sponges. The latter
by progressive modification gave rise to all the _Coelenterata_; the
former to all other animals. But A soon broke up into two principal
stirpes, of which one, _a_, became the root of the _Annelida,
Echinodermata_, and _Arthropoda_, while the other, _b_, gave rise to
the _Polyzoa_ and _Ascidioida_, and produced the two remaining stirpes
of the _Vertebrata_ and the _Mollusca_.

Perhaps the most startling proposition of all those which Professor
Haeckel puts before us is that which he bases upon Kowalewsky's
researches into the development of _Amphioxus_ and of the
_Ascidioida_, that the origin of the _Vertebrata_ is to be sought
in an Ascidioid form. Goodsir long ago insisted upon the resemblance
between _Amphioxus_ and the Ascidians; but the notion of a genetic
connection between the two, and especially the identification of the
notochord of the _Vertebrate_ with the axis of the caudal appendage of
the larva of the Ascidian, is a novelty which, at first, takes one's
breath away. I must confess, however, that the more I have pondered
over it, the more grounds appear in its favour, though I am not
convinced that there is any real parallelism between the mode
of development of the ganglion of the _Ascidian_ and that of the
_Vertebrate_ cerebro-spinal axis.

The hardly less startling hypothesis that the _Echinoderms_ are
coalesced worms, on the other hand, appears to be open to serious
objection. As a matter of anatomy, it does not seem to me to
correspond with fact; for there is no worm with a calcareous skeleton,
nor any which has a band-like ventral nerve, superficial to which lies
an ambulacral vessel. And, as a question of development, the formation
of the radiate _Echinoderm_ within its vermiform larva seems to me
to be analogous to the formation of a radiate Medusa upon a Hydrozoic
stock. But a Medusa is surely not the result of the coalescence of as
many organisms as it presents morphological segments.

Professor Haeckel adduces the fossil _Crossopodia_ and _Phyllodocites_
as examples of the Annelidan forms, by the coalescence of which
the Echinoderms may have been produced; but, even supposing the
resemblance of these worms to detached starfish arms to be perfect,
it is possible that they may be the extreme term, and not the
commencement, of Echinoderm development. A pentacrinoid Echinoderm,
with a complete jointed stalk, is developed within the larva of
_Antedon_. Is it not possible that the larva of _Crossopodia_ may have
developed a vermiform Echinoderm?

With respect to the Phylogeny of the _Arthropoda_, I find myself
disposed to take a somewhat different view from that of Professor
Haeckel. He assumes that the primary stock of the whole group was
a crustacean, having that _Nauplius_ form in which Fritz Müller
has shown that so many _Crustacea_ commence their lives. All the
_Entomostraca_ arose by the modification of some one or other of these
Naupliform "_Archicarida_." Other _Archicarida_ underwent a further
metamorphosis into a _Zoaea_-form. From some of these "_Zoeopoda_"
arose all the remaining Malacostracous _Crustacea_; while, from
others, was developed some form analogous to the existing _Galeodes_,
out of which proceeded, by gradual differentiation, all the
_Myriapoda, Arachnida,_ and _Insecta_.

I should, be disposed to interpret the facts of the embryological
history and of the anatomy of the _Arthropoda_ in a different manner.
The _Copepoda_, the _Ostracoda_, and the _Branchiopoda_ are
the _Crustacea_ which have departed least from the embryonic or
_Nauplius_-forms; and, of these, I imagine that the _Copepoda_
represent the hypothetical _Archicarida_ most closely. _Apus_ and
_Sapphirina_ indicate the relations of these Archaeocarids with the
_Trilobita_, and the _Eurypterida_ connect the _Trilobita_ and the
_Copepoda_ with the _Xiphosura_. But the _Xiphosura_ have such close
morphological relations with the _Arachnida_, and especially with the
oldest known Arachnidan, _Scorpio_, that I cannot doubt the existence
of a genetic connection between the two groups. On the other hand, the
_Branchiopoda_ do, even at the present day, almost pass into the
true _Podophthalmia_, by _Nebalia_. By the _Trilobita_, again, the
_Archicarida_ are connected with such _Edriophthalmia_ as _Serolis_.
The _Stomapoda_ are extremely modified _Edriophthalmia_ of the
amphipod type. On the other side, the _Isopoda_ lead to the
_Myriapoda_, and the latter to the _Insecta_. Thus the Arthropod
phylum, which suggests itself to me, is that the branches of the
_Podophthalmia_, of the _Insecta_ (with the _Myriapoda_), and of the
_Arachnida_, spring separately and distinctly from the Archaeocarid
root--and that the _Zoaea_-forms occur only at the origin of the
Podophthalmous branch.

The phylum of the _Vertebrata_ is the most interesting of all, and is
admirably discussed by Professor Haeckel. I can note only a few points
which seem to me to be open to discussion. The _Monorhina_, having
been developed out of the _Leptocardia_, gave rise, according to
Professor Haeckel, to a shark-like form, which was the common stock
of all the _Amphirhina_. From this "Protamphirhine" were developed, in
divergent lines, the true Sharks, Rays, and _Chimaerae_; the Ganoids,
and the _Dipneusta_. The _Teleostei_ are modified _Ganoidei_. The
_Dipneusta_ gave rise to the _Amphibia_, which are the root of all
other _Vertebrata_, inasmuch as out of them were developed the first
_Vertebrata_ provided with an amnion, or the _Protamniota_. The
_Protamniota_ split up into two stems, one that of the _Mammalia_, the
other common to _Reptilia_ and _Aves_.

The only modification which it occurs to me to suggest in this
general view of the Phylogeny of the _Vertebrata_ is, that the
"Protamphirhine" was possibly more ganoid than shark-like. So far as
our present information goes the Ganoids are as old as the Sharks;
and it is very interesting to observe that the remains of the oldest
Ganoids, _Cephalaspis_ and _Pteraspis_, have as yet displayed no trace
of jaws. It is just possible that they may connect the _Monorhina_,
with the Sturgeons among the _Amphirhina_. On the other hand,
the Crossopterygian Ganoids exhibit the closest connection with
_Lepidosiren_, and thereby with the _Amphibia_. It should not be
forgotten that the development of the Lampreys exhibits curious points
of resemblance with that of the _Amphibia_, which are absent in
the Sharks and Rays. Of the development of the _Ganoidei_ we have
unfortunately no knowledge, but their brains and their reproductive
organs are more amphibian than are those of the Sharks.

On the whole, I am disposed to think that the direct stem of ascent
from the _Monorhina_ to the _Amphibia_ is formed by the Ganoids and
the Mudfishes; while the Osseous fishes and the Sharks are branches in
different directions from this stem.

What the _Protamniota_ were like, I do not suppose any one is in a
position to say, but I cannot think that the thoroughly Lacertian
_Protorosaurus_ had anything to do with them. The reptiles which are
most amphibian in their characters, and therefore, probably, most
nearly approach the _Protamniota_, are the _Ichthyosauria_ and the

That the _Didelphia_ were developed out of some ornithodelphous form,
as Professor Haeckel supposes, seems to be unquestionable; but the
existing Opossums and Kangaroos are certainly extremely modified and
remote from their ancestors the "_Prodidelphia_," of which we have
not, at present the slightest knowledge. The mode of origin of the
_Monodelphia_ from these is a very difficult problem, for the most
part left open by Professor Haeckel. He considers the _Prosimiae_, or
Lemurs, to be the common stock of the _Deciduata_, and the _Cetacea_
(with which he includes the _Sirenia_) to be modified _Ungulata_. As
regards the latter question, I have little doubt that the _Sirenia_
connect the _Ungulata_ with the _Proboscidea_; and none, that the
_Cetacea_ are extremely modified _Carnivora_. The passage between the
Seals and the _Cetacea_ by _Zeuglodon_ is complete. I also think
that there is much to be said for the opinion, that the _Insectivora_
represent the common stock of the _Primates_ (which passed into
them by the _Prosimiae_), the _Cheiroptera_, the _Rodentia_, and the
_Carnivora_. And I am greatly disposed to look for the common root
of all the _Ungulata_, as well, in some ancient non-deciduate Mammals
which were more like _Insectivora_ than anything else. On the other
hand, the _Edentata_ appear to form a series by themselves.

The latter part of this notice of the _Natürliche
Schöpfungs-Geschichte_, brings so strongly into prominence the points
of difference between its able author and myself, that I do not like
to conclude without reminding the reader of my entire concurrence with
the general tenor and spirit of the work, and of my high estimate of
its value.



Professor Fraser has earned the thanks of all students of philosophy
for the conscientious labour which he has bestowed upon his new
edition of the works of Berkeley; in which, for the first time, we
find collected together every thought which can be traced to the
subtle and penetrating mind of the famous Bishop of Cloyne; while the
"Life and Letters" will rejoice those who care less for the idealist
and the prophet of tar-water, than for the man who stands out as one
of the noblest and purest figures of his time: that Berkeley from whom
the jealousy of Pope did not withhold a single one of all "the virtues
under heaven;" nor the cynicism of Swift, the dignity of "one of the
first men of the kingdom for learning and virtue;" the man whom the
pious Atterbury could compare to nothing less than an angel; and whose
personal influence and eloquence filled the Scriblerus Club and the
House of Commons with enthusiasm for the evangelization of the North
American Indians; and even led Sir Robert Walpole to assent to the
appropriation of public money to a scheme which was neither business
nor bribery.[2]

[Footnote 1: "The Works of George Berkeley, D.D., formerly Bishop
of Cloyne, including many of his Works hitherto unpublished, with
Preface, Annotations, his Life and Letters, and an Account of his
Philosophy." By A.C. Fraser. Four vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

[Footnote 2: In justice to Sir Robert, however, it is proper to remark
that he declared afterwards, that he gave his assent to Berkeley's
scheme for the Bermuda University only because he thought the House of
Commons was sure to throw it out.]

Hardly any epoch in the intellectual history of England is more
remarkable in itself, or possesses a greater interest for us in these
latter days, than that which coincides broadly with the conclusion of
the seventeenth and the opening of the eighteenth century.

The political fermentation of the preceding age was gradually working
itself out; domestic peace gave men time to think; and the toleration
won by the party of which Locke was the spokesman, permitted a freedom
of speech and of writing such as has rarely been exceeded in later

Fostered by these circumstances, the great faculty for physical and
metaphysical inquiry, with which the people of our race are naturally
endowed, developed itself vigorously; and at least two of its products
have had a profound and a permanent influence upon the subsequent
course of thought in the world. The one of these was English
Freethinking; the other, the Theory of Gravitation.

Looking back to the origin of the intellectual impulses of which these
were the results, we are led to Herbert, to Hobbes, to Bacon; and to
one who stands in advance of all these, as the most typical man of his
time--Descartes. It is the Cartesian doubt--the maxim that assent may
properly be given to no propositions but such as are perfectly
clear and distinct--which, becoming incarnate, so to speak, in the
Englishmen, Anthony Collins, Toland, Tindal, Woolston, and in the
wonderful Frenchman, Pierre Bayle, reached its final term in Hume.

And, on the other hand, although the theory of Gravitation set
aside the Cartesian vortices--yet the spirit of the "Principes de
Philosophie" attained its apotheosis when Newton demonstrated all the
host of heaven to be but the elements of a vast mechanism, regulated
by the same laws as those which govern the falling of a stone to the
ground. There is a passage in the preface to the first edition of the
"Principia" which shows that Newton was penetrated, as completely
as Descartes, with the belief that all the phenomena of nature are
expressible in terms of matter and motion.

"Would that the rest of the phenomena of nature could be deduced by
a like kind of reasoning from mechanical principles. For many
circumstances lead me to suspect that all these phenomena may depend
upon certain forces, in virtue of which the particles of bodies, by
causes not yet known, are either mutually impelled against one another
and cohere into regular figures, or repel and recede from one another;
which forces being unknown, philosophers have as yet explored nature
in vain. But I hope that, either by this method of philosophizing, or
by some other and better, the principles here laid down may throw some
light upon the matter."[1]

[Footnote 1: "Utinam caetera naturae phaenomena ex principiis
mechanicis, eodem argumentandi genere, derivare licet. Nam multa me
movent, ut nonnihil suspicer ca omnia ex viribus quibusdam pendere
posse, quibus corporum particulae, per causas nondum cognitas, vel in
se mutuo impelluntur et secundum figuras regulares cohaerent vel ab
invicem fugantur et reced ent: quibus viribus ignotis, Philosophi
hactenus Naturam frustra tentarunt. Spero autem quod vel huic
philosophandi modo, vel veriori, alicui, principia hic posita lucem
aliquam praebebunt."--Preface to First Edition of _Principia_, May 8,

But the doctrine that all the phenomena of nature are resolvable into
mechanism is what people have agreed to call "materialism;" and when
Locke and Collins maintained that matter may possibly be able
to think, and Newton himself could compare infinite space to the
sensorium of the Deity, it was not wonderful that the English
philosophers should be attacked as they were by Leibnitz in the famous
letter to the Princess of Wales, which gave rise to his correspondence
with Clarke.[1]

[Footnote 1: "Collection of Papers which passed between the late
learned Mr. Leibnitz and Dr. Clarke."--1717.]

"1. Natural religion itself seems to decay [in England] very much.
Many will have human souls to be material; others make God Himself a
corporeal Being.

"2. Mr. Locke and his followers are uncertain, at least, whether the
soul be not material and naturally perishable.

"3. Sir Isaac Newton says that space is an organ which God makes use
of to perceive things by. But if God stands in need of any organ to
perceive things by, it will follow that they do not depend altogether
upon Him, nor were produced by Him.

"4. Sir Isaac Newton and his followers have also a very odd opinion
concerning the work of God. According to their doctrine, God Almighty
wants to wind up His watch from time to time; otherwise it would cease
to move.[1] He had not, it seems, sufficient foresight to make it a
perpetual motion. Nay, the machine of God's making is so imperfect,
according to these gentlemen, that He is obliged to clean it now
and then by an extraordinary concourse, and even to mend it as a
clockmaker mends his work."

[Footnote 1: Goethe seems to have had this saying of Leibnitz in his
mind when he wrote his famous lines--

"Was wär' ein Gott der nur von aussen stiesse Im Kreis das All am
Finger laufen liesse."]

It is beside the mark, at present, to inquire how far Leibnitz paints
a true picture, and how far he is guilty of a spiteful caricature of
Newton's views in these passages; and whether the beliefs which Locke
is known to have entertained are consistent with the conclusions which
may logically be drawn from some parts of his works. It is undeniable
that English philosophy in Leibnitz's time had the general character
which he ascribes to it. The phenomena of nature were held to be
resolvable into the attractions and the repulsions of particles
of matter; all knowledge was attained through the senses; the mind
antecedent to experience was a _tabula rasa_. In other words, at the
commencement of the eighteenth century, the character of speculative
thought in England was essentially sceptical, critical, and
materialistic. Why "materialism" should be more inconsistent with the
existence of a Deity, the freedom of the will, or the immortality
of the soul, or with any actual or possible system of theology, than
"idealism," I must declare myself at a loss to divine. But in the
year 1700 all the world appears to have been agreed, Tertullian
notwithstanding, that materialism necessarily leads to very dreadful
consequences. And it was thought that it conduced to the interests of
religion and morality to attack the materialists with all the weapons
that came to hand. Perhaps the most interesting controversy which
arose out of these questions is the wonderful triangular duel between
Dodwell, Clarke, and Anthony Collins, concerning the materiality of
the soul, and--what all the disputants considered to be the necessary
consequence of its materiality--its natural mortality. I do not think
that anyone can read the letters which passed between Clarke and
Collins, without admitting that Collins, who writes with wonderful
power and closeness of reasoning, has by far the best of the argument,
so far as the possible materiality of the soul goes; and that, in this
battle, the Goliath of Freethinking overcame the champion of what was
considered Orthodoxy.

But in Dublin, all this while, there was a little David practising
his youthful strength upon the intellectual lions and bears of Trinity
College. This was George Berkeley, who was destined to give the same
kind of development to the idealistic side of Descartes' philosophy,
that the Freethinkers had given to its sceptical side, and the
Newtonians to its mechanical side.

Berkeley faced the problem boldly. He said to the materialists: "You
tell me that all the phenomena of nature are resolvable into matter
and its affections. I assent to your statement, and now I put to you
the further question, 'What is matter?' In answering this question you
shall be bound by your own conditions; and I demand, in the terms of
the Cartesian axiom, that in turn you give your assent only to such
conclusions as are perfectly clear and obvious."

It is this great argument which is worked out in the "Treatise
concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge," and in those "Dialogues
between Hylas and Philonous," which rank among the most exquisite
examples of English style, as well as among the subtlest of
metaphysical writings; and the final conclusion of which is summed
up in a passage remarkable alike for literary beauty and for calm
audacity of statement.

    "Some truths there are so near and obvious to the mind that
    a man need only open his eyes to see them. Such I take this
    important one to be, viz., that all the choir of heaven and
    furniture of the earth--in a word, all those bodies which
    compose the mighty frame of the world--have not any substance
    without a mind; that their being is to be perceived or known;
    that consequently, so long as they are not actually perceived
    by me, or do not exist in my mind or that of any other created
    spirit, they must either have no existence at all or else
    subsist in the mind of some eternal spirit; it being
    perfectly unintelligible, and involving all the absurdity
    of abstraction, to attribute to any single part of them an
    existence independent of a spirit."[1]

[Footnote 1: "Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge,"
Part I. § 6.]

Doubtless this passage sounds like the acme of metaphysical paradox,
and we all know that "coxcombs vanquished Berkeley with a grin;" while
common-sense folk refuted him by stamping on the ground, or some such
other irrelevant proceeding. But the key to all philosophy lies in the
clear apprehension of Berkeley's problem--which is neither more nor
less than one of the shapes of the greatest of all questions, "What
are the limits of our faculties?" And it is worth any amount of
trouble to comprehend the exact nature of the argument by which
Berkeley arrived at his results, and to know by one's own knowledge
the great truth which he discovered--that the honest and rigorous
following up of the argument which leads us to materialism, inevitably
carries us beyond it.

Suppose that I accidentally prick my finger with a pin. I immediately
become aware of a condition of my consciousness--a feeling which I
term pain. I have no doubt whatever that the feeling is in myself
alone; and if anyone were to say that the pain I feel is something
which inheres in the needle, as one of the qualities of the
substance of the needle, we should all laugh at the absurdity of the
phraseology. In fact, it is utterly impossible to conceive pain except
as a state of consciousness.

Hence, so far as pain is concerned, it is sufficiently obvious
that Berkeley's phraseology is strictly applicable to our power of
conceiving its existence--"its being is to be perceived or known," and
"so long as it is not actually perceived by me, or does not exist in
my mind, or that of any other created spirit, it must either have no
existence at all, or else subsist in the mind of some eternal spirit."

So much for pain. Now let us consider an ordinary sensation. Let the
point of the pin be gently rested upon the skin, and I become aware
of a feeling or condition of consciousness quite different from the
former--the sensation of what I call "touch." Nevertheless this touch
is plainly just as much in myself as the pain was. I cannot for a
moment conceive this something which I call touch as existing apart
from myself, or a being capable of the same feelings as myself. And
the same reasoning applies to all the other simple sensations. A
moment's reflection is sufficient to convince one that the smell, and
the taste, and the yellowness, of which we become aware when an
orange is smelt, tasted, and seen, are as completely states of our
consciousness as is the pain which arises if the orange happens to
be too sour. Nor is it less clear that every sound is a state of the
consciousness of him who hears it. If the universe contained only
blind and deaf beings, it is impossible for us to imagine but that
darkness and silence should reign everywhere.

It is undoubtedly true, then, of all the simple sensations that,
as Berkeley says, their "_esse_ is _percipi_"--their being is to be
"perceived or known." But that which perceives, or knows, is mind
or spirit; and therefore that knowledge which the senses give us is,
after all, a knowledge of spiritual phenomena.

All this was explicitly or implicitly admitted, and, indeed, insisted
upon, by Berkeley's contemporaries, and by no one more strongly than
by Locke, who terms smells, tastes, colours, sounds, and the like,
"secondary qualities," and observes, with respect to these "secondary
qualities," that "whatever reality we by mistake attribute to them
[they] are in truth nothing in the objects themselves."

And again: "Flame is denominated hot and light; snow, white and cold;
and manna, white and sweet, from the ideas they produce in us; which
qualities are commonly thought to be the same in these bodies; that
those ideas are in us, the one the perfect resemblance of the other
as they are in a mirror; and it would by most men be judged very
extravagant if one should say otherwise. And yet he that will consider
that the same fire that at one distance produces in us the sensation
of warmth, does at a nearer approach produce in us the far different
sensation of pain, ought to bethink himself what reason he has to say
that his idea of warmth, which was produced in him by the fire,
is actually in the fire; and his idea of pain which the same fire
produced in him in the same way, is not in the fire. Why are whiteness
and coldness in snow, and pain not, when it produces the one and the
other idea in us; and can do neither but by the bulk, figure, number,
and motion of its solid parts?"[1]

[Footnote 1: Locke, "Human Understanding," Book II. chap. viii. §§ 14,

Thus far then materialists and idealists are agreed. Locke and
Berkeley, and all logical thinkers who have succeeded them, are of
one mind about secondary qualities--their being is to be perceived or
known--their materiality is, in strictness, a spirituality.

But Locke draws a great distinction between the secondary qualities of
matter, and certain others which he terms "primary qualities." These
are extension, figure, solidity, motion and rest, and number; and he
is as clear that these primary qualities exist independently of the
mind, as he is that the secondary qualities have no such existence.

    "The particular bulk, number, figure, and motion of the parts
    of fire and snow are really in them, whether anyone's senses
    perceive them or not, and therefore they may be called real
    qualities, because they really exist in those bodies; but
    light, heat, whiteness, or coldness, are no more really in
    them, than sickness, or pain, is in manna. Take away the
    sensation of them; let not the eyes see light or colours, nor
    the ears hear sounds; let the palate not taste, nor the nose
    smell; and all colours, tastes, odours and sounds, as they are
    such particular ideas, vanish and cease, and are reduced to
    their causes, i.e. bulk, figure, and motion of parts.

    "18. A piece of manna of sensible bulk is able to produce in
    us the idea of a round or square figure; and, by being removed
    from one place to another, the idea of motion. This idea of
    motion represents it as it really is in the manna moving; a
    circle and square are the same, whether in idea or existence,
    in the mind or in the manna; and thus both motion and figure
    are really in the manna, whether we take notice of them or no:
    this everybody is ready to agree to."

So far as primary qualities are concerned, then, Locke is as
thoroughgoing a realist as St. Anselm. In Berkeley, on the other
hand, we have as complete a representative of the nominalists and
conceptualists--an intellectual descendant of Roscellinus and of
Abelard. And by a curious irony of fate, it is the nominalist who is,
this time, the champion of orthodoxy, and the realist that of heresy.

Once more let us try to work out Berkeley's principles for ourselves,
and inquire what foundation there is for the assertion that extension,
form, solidity, and the other "primary qualities," have an existence
apart from mind. And for this purpose let us recur to our experiment
with the pin.

It has been seen that when the finger is pricked with a pin, a state
of consciousness arises which we call pain; and it is admitted that
this pain is not a something which inheres in the pin, but a something
which exists only in the mind, and has no similitude elsewhere.

But a little attention will show that this state of consciousness is
accompanied by another, which can by no effort be got rid of. I not
only have the feeling, but the feeling is localized. I am just as
certain that the pain is in my finger, as I am that I have it at all.
Nor will any effort of the imagination enable me to believe that the
pain is not in my finger.

And yet nothing is more certain than that it is not, and cannot be, in
the spot in which I feel it, nor within a couple of feet of that spot.
For the skin of the finger is connected by a bundle of fine nervous
fibres, which run up the whole length of the arm, with the spinal
marrow and brain, and we know that the feeling of pain caused by the
prick of a pin is dependent on the integrity of those fibres. After
they have been cut through close to the spinal cord, no pain will be
felt, whatever injury is done to the finger; and if the ends which
remain in connection with the cord be pricked, the pain which arises
will appear to have its seat in the finger just as distinctly as
before. Nay, if the whole arm be cut off, the pain which arises from
pricking the nerve stump will appear to be seated in the fingers, just
as if they were still connected with the body.

It is perfectly obvious, therefore, that the localization of the
pain at the surface of the body is an act of the mind. It is an
_extradition_ of that consciousness, which has its seat in the
brain, to a definite point of the body--which takes place without our
volition, and may give rise to ideas which are contrary to fact. We
might call this extradition of consciousness a reflex feeling, just
as we speak of a movement which is excited apart from, or contrary to,
our volition, as a reflex motion. Locality is no more in the pin than
pain is; of the former, as of the latter, it is true that "its being
is to be perceived," and that its existence apart from a thinking mind
is not conceivable.

The foregoing reasoning will be in no way affected, if, instead of
pricking the finger, the point of the pin rests gently against it, so
as to give rise merely to a tactile sensation. The tactile sensation
is referred outwards to the point touched, and seems to exist there.
But it is certain that it is not and cannot be there really, because
the brain is the sole seat of consciousness; and, further, because
evidence, as strong as that in favour of the sensation being in the
finger, can be brought forward in support of propositions which are
manifestly absurd.

For example, the hairs and nails are utterly devoid of sensibility,
as everyone knows. Nevertheless, if the ends of the nails or hairs
are touched, ever so lightly, we feel that they are touched, and the
sensation seems to be situated in the nails or hairs. Nay more, if a
walking-stick a yard long is held firmly by the handle and the other
end is touched, the tactile sensation, which is a state of our own
consciousness, is unhesitatingly referred to the end of the stick; and
yet no one will say that it _is_ there.

Let us now suppose that, instead of one pin's point resting against
the end of my finger, there are two. Each of these can be known to
me, as we have seen, only as a state of a thinking mind, referred
outwards, or localized. But the existence of these two states, somehow
or other, generates in my mind a host of new ideas, which did not make
their appearance when only one state was present.

For example, I get the ideas of co-existence, of number, of distance,
and of relative place or direction. But all these ideas are ideas of
relations, and imply the existence of something which perceives those
relations. If a tactile sensation is a state of the mind, and if
the localization of that sensation is an act of the mind, how is it
conceivable that a relation between two localized sensations should
exist apart from the mind? It is, I confess, quite as easy for me to
imagine that redness may exist apart from a visual sense, as it is to
suppose that co-existence, number, and distance can have any existence
apart from the mind of which they are ideas.

Thus it seems clear that the existence of some, at any rate, of
Locke's primary qualities of matter, such as number and extension,
apart from mind, is as utterly unthinkable as the existence of colour
and sound under like circumstances.

Will the others--namely, figure, motion and rest, and
solidity--withstand a similar criticism? I think not. For all these,
like the foregoing, are perceptions by the mind of the relations
of two or more sensations to one another. If distance and place are
inconceivable, in the absence of the mind, of which they are ideas,
the independent existence of figure, which is the limitation of
distance, and of motion, which is change of place, must be equally
inconceivable. Solidity requires more particular consideration, as it
is a term applied to two very different things, the one of which is
solidity of form, or geometrical solidity; while the other is solidity
of substance, or mechanical solidity.

If those motor nerves of a man by which volitions are converted into
motion were all paralysed, and if sensation remained only in the palm
of his hand (which is a conceivable case), he would still be able to
attain to clear notions of extension, figure, number, and motion, by
attending to the states of consciousness which might be aroused by the
contact of bodies with the sensory surface of the palm. But it does
not appear that such a person could arrive at any conception of
geometrical solidity. For that which does not come in contact with the
sensory surface is non-existent for the sense of touch; and a solid
body, impressed upon the palm of the hand, gives rise only to the
notion of the extension of that particular part of the solid which is
in contact with the skin.

Nor is it possible that the idea of outness (in the sense of
discontinuity with the sentient body) could be attained by such a
person; for, as we have seen, every tactile sensation is referred to
a point either of the natural sensory surface itself, or of some
solid in continuity with that surface. Hence it would appear that the
conception of the difference between the Ego and the non-Ego could
not be attained by a man thus situated. His feelings would be his
universe, and his tactile sensations his "moenia mundi." Time would
exist for him as for us, but space would have only two dimensions.

But now remove the paralysis from the motor apparatus, and give the
palm of the hand of our imaginary man perfect freedom to move, so as
to be able to glide in all directions over the bodies with which it is
in contact. Then with the consciousness of that mobility, the notion
of space of three dimensions--which is "_Raum_" or "room" to move with
perfect freedom--is at once given. But the notion that the tactile
surface itself moves, cannot be given by touch alone, which is
competent to testify only to the fact of change of place, not to its
cause. The idea of the motion of the tactile surface could not, in
fact, be attained, unless the idea of change of place were accompanied
by some state of consciousness, which does not exist when the tactile
surface is immoveable. This state of consciousness is what is termed
the muscular sense, and its existence is very easily demonstrable.

Suppose the back of my hand to rest upon a table, and a sovereign to
rest upon the upturned palm, I at once acquire a notion of extension,
and of the limit of that extension. The impression made by the
circular piece of gold is quite different from that which would be
made by a triangular, or a square, piece of the same size, and thereby
I arrive at the notion of figure. Moreover, if the sovereign slides
over the palm, I acquire a distinct conception of change of place
or motion, and of the direction of that motion. For as the sovereign
slides, it affects new nerve-endings, and gives rise to new states of
consciousness. Each of them is definitely and separately localized by
a reflex act of the mind, which, at the same time, becomes aware of
the difference between two successive localizations; and therefore of
change of place, which is motion.

If, while the sovereign lies on the hand, the latter being kept quite
steady, the fore-arm is gradually and slowly raised; the tactile
sensations, with all their accompaniments, remain exactly as they
were. But, at the same time, something new is introduced; namely, the
sense of effort. If I try to discover where this sense of effort seems
to be, I find myself somewhat perplexed at first; but, if I hold the
fore-arm in position long enough, I become aware of an obscure sense
of fatigue, which is apparently seated either in the muscles of the
arm, or in the integument directly over them. The fatigue seems to be
related to the sense of effort, in much the same way as the pain which
supervenes upon the original sense of contact, when a pin is slowly
pressed against the skin, is related to touch.

A little attention will show that this sense of effort accompanies
every muscular contraction by which the limbs, or other parts of the
body, are moved. By its agency the fact of their movement is known;
while the direction of the motion is given by the accompanying tactile
sensations. And, in consequence of the incessant association of the
muscular and the tactile sensations, they become so fused together
that they are often confounded tinder the same name.

If freedom to move in all directions is the very essence of that
conception of space of three dimensions which we obtain by the sense
of touch; and if that freedom to move is really another name for the
feeling of unopposed effort, accompanied by that of change of place,
it is surely impossible to conceive of such space as having existence
apart from that which is conscious of effort.

But it may be said that we derive our conception of space of three
dimensions not only from touch, but from vision; that if we do not
feel things actually outside us, at any rate we see them. And it was
exactly this difficulty which presented itself to Berkeley at the
outset of his speculations. He met it, with characteristic boldness,
by denying that we do see things outside us; and, with no less
characteristic ingenuity, by devising that "New Theory of Vision"
which has met with wider acceptance than any of his views, though it
has been the subject of continual controversies.[1]

[Footnote 1: I have not specifically alluded to the writings of
Bailey, Mill, Abbott, and others, on this vexed question, not because
I have failed to study them carefully, but because this is not a
convenient occasion for controversial discussion. Those who are
acquainted with the subject, however, will observe that the view I
have taken agrees substantially with that of Mr. Barley.]

In the "Principles of Human Knowledge," Berkeley himself tells us how
he was led to those views which he published in the "Essay towards the
New Theory of Vision."

    "It will be objected that we see things actually without, or
    at a distance from us, and which consequently do not exist in
    the mind; it being absurd that those things which are seen at
    the distance of several miles, should be as near to us as our
    own thoughts. In answer to this, I desire it may be considered
    that in a dream we do oft perceive things as existing at a
    great distance off, and yet, for all that, those things are
    acknowledged to have their existence only in the mind.

    "But for the fuller clearing of this point, it may be worth
    while to consider how it is that we perceive distance and
    things placed at a distance by sight. For that we should in
    truth see external space and bodies actually existing in it,
    some nearer, others further off, seems to carry with it some
    opposition to what hath been said of their existing nowhere
    without the mind. The consideration of this difficulty it
    was that gave birth to my 'Essay towards the New Theory of
    Vision,' which was published not long since, wherein it is
    shown that distance, or outness, is neither immediately of
    itself perceived by sight, nor yet apprehended, or judged
    of, by lines and angles or anything that hath any necessary
    connection with it; but that it is only suggested to our
    thoughts by certain visible ideas and sensations attending
    vision, which, in their own nature, have no manner of
    similitude or relation either with distance, or with things
    placed at a distance; but by a connection taught us by
    experience, they come to signify and suggest them to us, after
    the same manner that words of any language suggest the ideas
    they are made to stand for; insomuch that a man born blind and
    afterwards made to see, would not, at first sight, think the
    things he saw to be without his mind or at any distance from

The key-note of the Essay to which Berkeley refers in this passage is
to be found in an italicized paragraph of section 127:--

    "_The extensions; figures, and motions perceived by sight are
    specifically distinct from the ideas of touch called by the
    same names; nor is there any such thing as an idea, or kind of
    idea, common to both senses_."

It will be observed that this proposition expressly declares that
extension, figure, and motion, and consequently distance, are
immediately perceived by sight as well as by touch; but that visual
distance, extension, figure, and motion, are totally different in
quality from the ideas of the same name obtained through the sense
of touch. And other passages leave no doubt that such was Berkeley's
meaning. Thus in the 112th section of the same Essay, he carefully
defines the two kinds of distance, one visual, the other tangible:--

    "By the distance between any two points nothing more is meant
    than the number of intermediate points. If the given points
    are visible, the distance between them is marked out by the
    number of interjacent visible points; if they are tangible,
    the distance between, them is a line consisting of tangible

Again, there are two sorts of magnitude or extension:--

    "It has been shown that there are two sorts of objects
    apprehended by sight, each whereof has its distinct magnitude
    or extension: the one properly tangible, _i.e._ to be
    perceived and measured by touch, and not immediately falling
    under the sense of seeing; the other properly and immediately
    visible, by mediation of which the former is brought into
    view."--§ 55.

But how are we to reconcile these passages with others which will be
perfectly familiar to every reader of the "New Theory of Vision "? As,
for example:--

    "It is, I think, agreed by all, that distance of itself, and
    immediately, cannot be seen."--§ 2.

    "Space or distance, we have shown, is no otherwise the object
    of sight than of hearing."--§ 130.

    "Distance is in its own nature imperceptible, and yet it is
    perceived by sight. It remains, therefore, that it is
    brought into view by means of some other idea, that is itself
    immediately perceived in the act of vision."--§ 11.

    "Distance or external space."--§ 155.

The explanation is quite simple, and lies in the fact that Berkeley
uses the word "distance" in three senses. Sometimes he employs it to
denote visible distance, and then he restricts it to distance in two
dimensions, or simple extension. Sometimes he means tangible distance
in two dimensions; but most commonly he intends to signify tangible
distance in the third dimension. And it is in this sense that he
employs "distance" as the equivalent of "space." Distance in two
dimensions is, for Berkeley, not space, but extension. By taking a
pencil and interpolating the words "visible" and "tangible" before
"distance" wherever the context renders them necessary, Berkeley's
statements may be made perfectly consistent; though he has not always
extricated himself from the entanglement caused by his own loose
phraseology, which rises to a climax in the last ten sections of
the "Theory of Vision," in which he endeavours to prove that a pure
intelligence able to see, but devoid of the sense of touch, could have
no idea of a plane figure. Thus he says in section 156:--

    "All that is properly perceived by the visual faculty amounts
    to no more than colours with their variations and different
    proportions of light and shade; but the perpetual mutability
    and fleetingness of those immediate objects of sight
    render them incapable of being managed after the manner of
    geometrical figures, nor is it in any degree useful that they
    should. It is true there be divers of them perceived at once,
    and more of some and less of others; but accurately to compute
    their magnitude, and assign precise determinate proportions
    between things so variable and inconstant, if we suppose
    it possible to be done, must yet be a very trifling and
    insignificant labour."

If, by this, Berkeley means that by vision alone, a straight line
cannot be distinguished from a curved one, a circle from a square,
a long line from a short one, a large angle from a small one, his
position is surely absurd in itself and contradictory to his own
previously cited admissions; if he only means, on the other hand, that
his pure spirit could not get very far on in his geometry, it may be
true or not; but it is in contradiction with his previous assertion,
that such a pure spirit could never attain to know as much as the
first elements of plane geometry.

Another source of confusion, which arises out of Berkeley's
insufficient exactness in the use of language, is to be found in what
he says about solidity, in discussing Molyneux's problem, whether a
man born blind and having learned to distinguish between a cube and a
sphere, could, on receiving his sight, tell the one from the other
by vision. Berkeley agrees with Locke that he could not, and adds the
following reflection:--

    "Cube, sphere, table, are words he has known applied to things
    perceivable by touch, but to things perfectly intangible
    he never knew them applied. Those words in their wonted
    application always marked out to his mind bodies or solid
    things which were perceived by the resistance they gave. But
    there is no solidity, no resistance or protrusion perceived by

Here "solidity" means resistance to pressure, which is apprehended by
the muscular sense; but when in section 154 Berkeley says of his pure

    "It is certain that the aforesaid intelligence could have no
    idea of a solid or quantity of three dimensions, which follows
    from its not having any idea of distance "--

he refers to that notion of solidity which may be obtained by the
tactile sense, without the addition of any notion of resistance in the
solid object; as, for example, when the finger passes lightly over the
surface of a billiard ball.

Yet another source of difficulty in clearly understanding Berkeley
arises out of his use of the word "outness." In speaking of touch
he seems to employ it indifferently, both for the localization of
a tactile sensation in the sensory surface, which we really obtain
through touch; and for the notion of corporeal separation, which is
attained by the association of muscular and tactile sensations. In
speaking of sight, on the other hand, Berkeley employs "outness" to
denote corporeal separation.

When due allowance is made for the occasional looseness and ambiguity
of Berkeley's terminology, and the accessories are weeded out of the
essential parts of his famous Essay, his views may, I believe, be
fairly and accurately summed up in the following propositions:--

1. The sense of touch gives rise to ideas of extension, figure,
magnitude, and motion.

2. The sense of touch gives rise to the idea of "outness," in the
sense of localization.

3. The sense of touch gives rise to the idea of resistance, and thence
to that of solidity, in the sense of impenetrability.

4. The sense of touch gives rise to the idea of "outness," in the
sense of distance in the third dimension, and thence to that of space,
or geometrical solidity.

5. The sense of sight gives rise to ideas of extension, of figure,
magnitude, and motion.

6. The sense of sight does not give rise to the idea of "outness,"
in the sense of distance in the third dimension, nor to that of
geometrical solidity, no visual idea appearing to be without the mind,
or at any distance off (§§ 43, 50).

7. The sense of sight does not give rise to the idea of mechanical

8. There is no likeness whatever between the tactile ideas called
extension, figure, magnitude, and motion, and the visual ideas which
go by the same names; nor are any ideas common to the two senses.

9. When we think we see objects at a distance, what really happens
is that the visual picture suggests that the object seen has tangible
distance; we confound the strong belief in the tangible distance of
the object with actual sight of its distance.

10. Visual ideas, therefore, constitute a kind of language, by which
we are informed of the tactile ideas which will, or may, arise in us.

Taking these propositions into consideration _seriatim_, it may be
assumed that everyone will assent to the first and second; and that
for the third and fourth we have only to include the muscular sense
tinder the name of sense of touch, as Berkeley did, in order to make
it quite accurate. Nor is it intelligible to me that anyone should
explicitly deny the truth of the fifth proposition, though some
of Berkeley's supporters, less careful than himself, have done so.
Indeed, it must be confessed that it is only grudgingly, and as it
were against his will, that Berkeley admits that we obtain ideas of
extension, figure, and magnitude by pure vision, and that he more than
half retracts the admission; while he absolutely denies that sight
gives us any notion of outness in either sense of the word, and even
declares that "no proper visual idea appears to be without the mind,
or at any distance off." By "proper visual ideas," Berkeley denotes
colours, and light, and shade; and, therefore, he affirms that colours
do not appear to be at any distance from us. I confess that this
assertion appears to me to be utterly unaccountable. I have made
endless experiments on this point, and by no effort of the imagination
can I persuade myself, when looking at a colour, that the colour is
in my mind, and not at a "distance off," though of course I know
perfectly well, as a matter of reason, that colour is subjective. It
is like looking at the sun setting, and trying to persuade oneself
that the earth appears to move and not the sun, a feat I have never
been able to accomplish. Even when the eyes are shut, the darkness
of which one is conscious, carries with it the notion of outness. One
looks, so to speak, into a dark space. Common language expresses the
common experience of mankind in this matter. A man will say that a
smell is in his nose, a taste in his mouth, a singing in his ears, a
creeping or a warmth in his skin; but if he is jaundiced, he does not
say that he has yellow in his eyes, but that everything looks yellow;
and if he is troubled with _muscae volitantes_, he says, not that he
has specks in his eyes, but that he sees specks dancing before his
eyes. In fact, it appears to me that it is the special peculiarity
of visual sensations, that they invariably give rise to the idea of
remoteness, and that Berkeley's dictum ought to be reversed. For I
think that anyone who interrogates his consciousness carefully will
find that "every proper visual idea" appears to be without the mind
and at a distance off.

Not only does every _visibile_ appear to be remote, but it has a
position in external space, just as a _tangibile_ appears to be
superficial and to have a determinate position on the surface of
the body. Every _visibile_, in fact, appears (approximately) to be
situated upon a line drawn from it to the point of the retina on which
its image falls. It is referred outwards, in the general direction of
the pencil of light by which it is rendered visible, just as, in the
experiment with the stick, the _tangibile_ is referred outwards to the
end of the stick.

It is for this reason that an object, viewed with both eyes, is seen
single and not double. Two distinct images are formed, but each image
is referred to that point at which the two optic axes intersect;
consequently, the two images exactly cover one another, and appear as
completely one as any other two exactly similar superimposed images
would be. And it is for the same reason, that, if the ball of the
eye is pressed upon at any point, a spot of light appears apparently
outside the eye, and in a region exactly opposite to that in which the
pressure is made.

But while it seems to me that there is no reason to doubt that the
extradition of sensation is more complete in the case of the eye than
in that of the skin, and that corporeal distinctness, and hence space,
are directly suggested by vision, it is another, and a much more
difficult question, whether the notion of geometrical solidity is
attainable by pure vision; that is to say, by a single eye, all the
parts of which are immoveable. However this may be, for an absolutely
fixed eye, I conceive there can be no doubt in the case of an eye that
is moveable and capable of adjustment. For, with the moveable eye,
the muscular sense comes into play in exactly the same way as with the
moveable hand; and the notion of change of place, _plus_ the sense of
effort, gives rise to a conception of visual space, which runs exactly
parallel with that of tangible space. When two moveable eyes are
present, the notion of space of three dimensions is obtained in the
same way as it is by the two hands, but with, much greater precision.

And if, to take a case similar to one already assumed, we suppose a
man deprived of every sense except vision, and of all motion except
that of his eyes, it surely cannot be doubted that he would have a
perfect conception of space; and indeed a much more perfect conception
than he who possessed touch alone without vision. But of course our
touchless man would be devoid of any notion of resistance; and hence
space, for him, would be altogether geometrical and devoid of body.

And here another curious consideration arises, what likeness, if
any, would there be between the visual space of the one man, and the
tangible space of the other?

Berkeley, as we have seen (in the eighth proposition), declares that
there is no likeness between the ideas given by sight and those given
by touch; and one cannot but agree with him, so long as the term ideas
is restricted to mere sensations. Obviously, there is no more likeness
between the feel of a surface and the colour of it, than there is
between its colour and its smell. All simple sensations, derived
from different senses, are incommensurable with one another, and only
gradations of their own intensity are comparable. And thus so far as
the primary facts of sensation go, visual figure and tactile figure,
visual magnitude and tactile magnitude, visual motion and tactile
motion, are truly unlike, and have no common term. But when Berkeley
goes further than this, and declares that there are no "ideas" common
to the "ideas" of touch and those of sight, it appears to me that he
has fallen into a great error, and one which is the chief source of
his paradoxes about geometry.

Berkeley in fact employs the word "idea" in this instance to denote
two totally different classes of feelings, or states of consciousness.
For these may be divided into two groups: the primary feelings,
which exist in themselves and without relation to any other, such as
pleasure and pain, desire, and the simple sensations obtained through
the sensory organs; and the secondary feelings, which express those
relations of primary feelings which are perceived by the mind; and the
existence of which, therefore, implies the pre-existence of at least
two of the primary feelings. Such are likeness and unlikeness in
quality, quantity, or form; succession and contemporaneity; contiguity
and distance; cause and effect; motion and rest.

Now it is quite true that there is no likeness between the primary
feelings which are grouped under sight and touch; but it appears to me
wholly untrue, and indeed absurd, to affirm that there is no likeness
between the secondary feelings which express the relations of the
primary ones.

The relation of succession perceived between the visible taps of
a hammer, is, to my mind, exactly like the relation of succession
between the tangible taps; the unlikeness between red and blue is a
mental phenomenon of the same order as the unlikeness between rough
and smooth. Two points visibly distant are so, because one or more
units of visible length _(minima visibilia_) are interposed between
them; and as two points tangibly distant are so, because one or more
units of tangible length _(minima tangibilia_) are interposed between
them, it is clear that the notion of interposition of units of
sensibility, or _minima sensibilia_, is an idea common to the two. And
whether I see a point move across the field of vision towards another
point, or feel the like motion, the idea of the gradual diminution of
the number of sensible units between the two points appears to me to
be common to both kinds of motion.

Hence, I conceive, that though it be true that there is no likeness
between the primary feelings given by sight and those given by touch,
yet there is a complete likeness between the secondary feelings
aroused by each sense.

Indeed, if it were not so, how could Logic, which deals with those
forms of thought which are applicable to every kind of subject-matter,
be possible? How could numerical proportion be as true of _visibilia_,
as of _tangibilia_, unless there were some ideas common to the two?
And to come directly to the heart of the matter, is there any more
difference between the relations between tangible sensations which we
call place and direction, and those between visible sensations which
go by the same name, than there is between those relations of tangible
and visible sensations which we call succession? And if there be
none, why is Geometry not just as much a matter of _visibilia_ as of

Moreover, as a matter of fact, it is certain that the muscular sense
is so closely connected with both the visual and the tactile senses,
that, by the ordinary laws of association, the ideas which it suggests
must needs be common to both.

From what has been said it will follow that the ninth proposition
falls to the ground; and that vision, combined with the muscular
sensations produced by the movement of the eyes, gives us as complete
a notion of corporeal separation and of distance in the third
dimension of space, as touch, combined with the muscular sensations
produced by the movements of the hand, does. The tenth proposition
seems to contain a perfectly true statement, but it is only half
the truth. It is no doubt true that our visual ideas are a kind of
language by which we are informed of the tactile ideas which may or
will arise in us; but this is true, more or less, of every sense in
regard to every other. If I put my hand in my pocket, the tactile
ideas which I receive prophesy quite accurately what I shall
see--whether a bunch of keys or half-a-crown--when I pull it out
again; and the tactile ideas are, in this case, the language which
informs me of the visual ideas which will arise. So with the other
senses: olfactory ideas tell me I shall find the tactile and visual
phenomena called violets, if I look for them; taste tells me that
what I am tasting will, if I look at it, have the form of a clove; and
hearing warns me of what I shall, or may, see and touch every minute
of my life.

But while the "New Theory of Vision" cannot be considered to possess
much value in relation to the immediate object its author had in view,
it had a vastly important influence in directing attention to the real
complexity of many of those phenomena of sensation, which appear at
first to be simple. And even if Berkeley was, as I imagine he was,
quite wrong in supposing that we do not see space, the contrary
doctrine makes quite as strongly for his general view, that space can
be conceived only as something thought by a mind.

The last of Locke's "primary qualities" which remain to be considered
is mechanical solidity, or impenetrability. But our conception of this
is derived from the sense of resistance to our own effort, or active
force, which we meet with in association with sundry tactile or visual
phenomena; and, undoubtedly, active force is inconceivable except as a
state of consciousness. This may sound paradoxical; but let anyone try
to realize what he means by the mutual attraction of two particles,
and I think he will find, either, that he conceives them simply as
moving towards one another at a certain rate, in which case he only
pictures motion to himself, and leaves force aside; or, that he
conceives each particle to be animated by something like his own
volition, and to be pulling as he would pull. And I suppose that this
difficulty of thinking of force except as something comparable to
volition, lies at the bottom of Leibnitz's doctrine of monads, to say
nothing of Schopenhauer's "Welt als Wille und Vorstellung;" while the
opposite difficulty of conceiving force to be anything like volition,
drives another school of thinkers into the denial of any connection,
save that of succession, between cause and effect.

       *       *       *       *       *

To sum up. If the materialist affirms that the universe and all its
phenomena are resolvable into matter and motion, Berkeley replies,
True; but what you call matter and motion are known to us only as
forms of consciousness; their being is to be conceived or known; and
the existence of a state of consciousness, apart from a thinking mind,
is a contradiction in terms.

I conceive that this reasoning is irrefragable. And therefore, if
I were obliged to choose between absolute materialism and absolute
idealism, I should feel compelled to accept the latter alternative.
Indeed, upon this point Locke does, practically, go as far in the
direction of idealism, as Berkeley, when he admits that "the simple
ideas we receive from sensation and reflection are the boundaries of
our thoughts, beyond which the mind, whatever efforts it would make,
is not able to advance one jot."--Book II. chap, xxiii. § 29.

But Locke adds, "Nor can it make any discoveries when it would pry
into the nature and hidden causes of these ideas."

Now, from this proposition, the thorough materialists dissent as much,
on the one hand, as Berkeley does, upon the other hand.

The thorough materialist asserts that there is a something which he
calls the "substance" of matter; that this something is the cause of
all phenomena, whether material or mental; that it is self-existent
and eternal, and so forth.

Berkeley, on the contrary, asserts with equal confidence that there is
no substance of matter, but only a substance of mind, which he terms
spirit; that there are two kinds of spiritual substance, the one
eternal and uncreated, the substance of the Deity, the other created,
and, once created, naturally eternal; that the universe, as known
to created spirits, has no being in itself, but is the result of
the action of the substance of the Deity on the substance of those

In contradiction to which bold assertion, Locke affirms that we simply
know nothing about substance of any kind.[1]

[Footnote 1: Berkeley virtually makes the same confession of
ignorance, when he admits that we can have no idea or notion of a
spirit ("Principles of Human Knowledge," § 138); and the way in which
he tries to escape the consequences of this admission, is a splendid
example of the floundering of a mired logician.]

    "So that if anyone will examine himself concerning his notion
    of pure substance in general, he will find he has no other
    idea of it at all, but only a supposition of he knows not
    what support of such qualities, which are capable of producing
    simple ideas in us, which qualities are commonly called

    "If anyone should be asked, what is the subject wherein colour
    or weight inheres? he would have nothing to say but the
    solid extended parts; and if he were demanded what is it that
    solidity and extension inhere in? he would not be in much
    better case than the Indian before mentioned, who, urging that
    the world was supported by a great elephant, was asked what
    the elephant rested on? to which his answer was, a great
    tortoise. But being again pressed to know what gave support
    to the broad-backed tortoise I replied, something, he knew not
    what. And thus here, as in all other cases when we use
    words without having clear and distinct ideas, we talk like
    children, who, being questioned what such a thing is, readily
    give this satisfactory answer, that it is something; which in
    truth signifies no more when so used, either by children or
    men, but that they know not what, and that the thing they
    pretend to talk and know of is what they have no distinct idea
    of at all, and are, so, perfectly ignorant of it and in the
    dark. The idea, then, we have, to which we give the general
    name substance, being nothing but the supposed but unknown
    support of those qualities we find existing, which we imagine
    cannot exist _sine re substante_, without something to support
    them, we call that support _substantia_, which, according to
    the true import of the word, is, in plain English, standing
    under or upholding."[1]

[Footnote 1: Locke, "Human Understanding," Book II. chap, xiii. § 2.]

I cannot but believe that the judgment of Locke is that which
Philosophy will accept as her final decision.

Suppose that a piano were conscious of sound, and of nothing else. It
would become acquainted with a system of nature entirely composed
of sounds, and the laws of nature would be the laws of melody and of
harmony. It might acquire endless ideas of likeness and unlikeness, of
succession, of similarity and dissimilarity, but it could attain to no
conception of space, of distance, or of resistance; or of figure, or
of motion.

The piano might then reason thus: All my knowledge consists of sounds
and the perception of the relations of sounds; now the being of sound
is to be heard; and it is inconceivable that the existence of the
sounds I know, should depend upon any other existence than that of the
mind of a hearing being.

This would be quite as good reasoning as Berkeley's, and very sound
and useful, so far as it defines the limits of the piano's faculties.
But for all that, pianos have an existence quite apart from sounds,
and the auditory consciousness of our speculative piano would be
dependent, in the first place, on the existence of a "substance" of
brass, wood, and iron, and, in the second, on that of a musician. But
of neither of these conditions of the existence of his consciousness
would the phenomena of that consciousness afford him the slightest

So that while it is the summit of human wisdom to learn the limit of
our faculties, it may be wise to recollect that we have no more right
to make denials, than to put forth affirmatives, about what lies
beyond that limit. Whether either mind, or matter, has a "substance"
or not, is a problem which we are incompetent to discuss; and it is
just as likely that the common notions upon the subject should be
correct as any others. Indeed, Berkeley himself makes Philonous wind
up his discussions with Hylas, in a couple of sentences which aptly
express this conclusion:--

    "You see, Hylas, the water of yonder fountain, how it is
    forced upwards in a round column to a certain height, at which
    it breaks and falls back into the basin from whence it rose;
    its ascent as well as its descent proceeding from the same
    uniform law or principle of gravitation. Just so, the same
    principles which, at first view, lead to scepticism, pursued
    to a certain point, bring men back to common sense."


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Critiques and Addresses" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.