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very new, nor very varied. It would correct scale. We do not often find not contain much that is great, except, this primitive satisfaction in real life, perhaps, of lyrical poetry; it would con- and the function of art, in the mind of tain much that is commonplace, and the ordinary man, is to supply it. He very little that is at all eccentric. The may know better, or rather he may ordinary man or woman longs instinc- have learned better, but he re-reads in tively to see the evident well put, to get accordance with his instinct, not his that answer to his or her own mental training. expectancy which the ear gets from a
FIFTY YEARS OF EVOLUTION.
The most significant ch ter in Mr.
It was the endeavor of a sciFrancis Darwin's presidential address entific instrument, made for purely mato the British Association last week terialistic purposes, for mechanical lay in its illustration of a treatment of nieasurements, to take account of pheevolutionary doctrine which is nothing nomena where psychical differences less than a reversal of that employed came in. The higher the order of orby its earlier exponents. When Charles ganic life to which such treatment was Darwin, by the publication of his applied, the more futile, or, at least, "Origin of Species," provided the rising inadequate, it proved to be. The crownscientists of bis age with a clear gen- ing futility was reached by Herbert eral conception of organic evolution, Spencer's attempt to build a theory of driven home by a vast array of induc- ethical progress upon a play of feelings, tive evidence, its first effect was to which, in the last resort, are the pupfortify the philosophy of mechanical pets of physical forces moving by medeterminism by which Herbert Spencer chanical necessity. and others were laboring to explain the Our leading scientific men to-day universe through an extension of phy- have mostly abandoned this attempt to sical formulæ. Research into origins use Darwinism, or any other evolunaturally impels towards attempts to tionary doctrine, as a philosophy of naexplain the later in terms of the ear- ture or of life. For the most part lier, the higher in terms of the lower. they admit that science must confine To explain man, as animal, by linking herself to quantitative analysis, using him historically with lower animals, to for her tools assumptions and hypothbuild a more or less continuous bridge
which are only applicable for along which the lowest organic forms such purposes, and the absolute validwere seen passing towards higher and ity of which lies outside her consideramore complex forms, to resolve the tion. They confess that while she can nature of these organic forms and their describe the processes of inorganic and modes of advance into mechanical organic phenomena, she cannot operations of matter and energy moving plain them as a completely intelligible along lines of least resistance, to sum- system. This recogniton of the necesmarize the entire process from the or- sary limits of physical explanation is, derly movements of the stars to the no doubt, largely responsible for the most delicate adjustments of human growing tendency, particularly among conduct in terms of molecular economy, biologists, to reverse the entire method all this was an intellectual necessity of and to apply concepts and formulæ de
rived from the study of higher phenom- in a dark room after it has gone to ena to the study of the lower. Thus sleep at night, it will be found next Mr. Francis Darwin, in his fascinating day in the light position, and will again survey of a large department of organic assume the nocturnal position as evenscience, brings to his assistance, for in- ing comes on. We have, in fact, what terpreting the actions of plants and seems to be a habit built by the alterlowest animal forms, such terms as native of day and night.” Such con“habit” and “memory," taken directly duct, less "reasonable," less economical, from psychology. When he imputes to than that of the stentor, nevertheless plants or worms changes of structure involves a curious capacity for acand behavior which he is driven to ex- quiring habit, by association of stimuli, plain in such psychical terms, it is not which is, after all, nothing else than particularly important to decide the physical equivalent for the associawhether this use implies some sort of tion of ideas in human memory.
That consciousness in them, or whether he a whole rising school of botanists and is forcing an extension of the meaning biologists should have selected the term of "habit” and “memory," or is using "race memory" as most suitable to dethe language of "mere metaphor.” The scribe the modus operandi of specific point is that he finds it convenient, and development is exceedingly instructive. even necessary, to work downwards in- Mr. Darwin's main theme was, instead of upwards by the application of deed, nothing else than an exposition analogies which involve psychical or of the utility of this application. When quasi-psychical interpretations of phe- an organism is subjected to an outer nomena commonly classed as physical, stimulus there occurs, not only an iminstead of following the older method. mediate reaction on its part, but, in
Readers of his paper will generally many, probably all, cases, some moragree that he justifies this method. It phological change which registers the is difficult to deny something akin to
stimulus and its first reaction. This memory to the stentor. “If a fine jet register forms a latent memory in the of water is directed against the disc of sense of a capacity of regulating future the creature, it contracts like a flash' action by past experience. Whether into its tube. In about half a minute the effects of such stimuli through it expands again, and the cilia resume memory and habit are confined to the their activity. Now we cause the cur- individual organism, or can also be rent to act again on the disc. This transmitted to offspring is a question time the stentor does not contract, into which it is impossible for us to which proves that the animal has been enter, though it involves very important in some way changed by the first stim- consequences in the theory of organic ulus. Here is a capacity for learning progress. Spectators who have watched and for adjusting future conduct to the heated controversy that has waged what is learnt. The physical structure so long round Weismann's doctrine of of the creature has been altered by its “the continuity of the germ-plasm," first experience, so it "reacts" differ- with its implication of the non-inheriently against the second. It is hard to tance of acquired characters, are redeny that here is “physical memory," or lieved to recognize dstinct signs of comto refuse to recognize that our con- promise. The preposterous claims of scious memory also implies a similar absolute immutability and immobility physical apparatus of change. Or, made for the germ-plasm by its earlier again, take the force of habit in plant prophets have been so greatly modified life. "If a sleeping plant is placed as to give reasonable hopes for a re
statement of the relations between the chanical analysis. Though Dr. Halsoma and the germ-plasm which shall dane does not throw much light upon enable each new generation to reap at the new intellectual organon that is releast some of the fruit of ancestral ex- quired he incidentally discloses the naperience. If Mr. Darwin's interesting ture of the most fundamental defect in speculation of an elaborate system of the evolutionary doctrine regarded as nervous telegraphy, communicating an "explanation.” The whole apparaevery physical excitation from one part tus of stimulation and reaction, memory of the organism to all other parts, in- and habit, natural selection, transmiscluding the germ-plasm, should be veri- sion by heredity, which evolutionary fied, we seem well upon the way to a science sets up, consists of instruments consistent view of something more than for manipulating, economizing, and the mere mechanics of organic develop- converting into growth and progress a ment in the individual and the species. flow of what used to be termed “vital For the practice of summoning the con- energy.” It is not merely the question cepts of the higher sciences to help in for ignoring which Charles Darwin has interpreting the lower, based, as it is, been so often criticized, how the “variupon the underlying and supreme hy- ations" which are the condition and pothesis of the unity of nature, will material for natural selection are certainly be carried further, with the brought about, but the further quesresult of a continually closer co-ordina- tion of conceiving the creative or protion of spiritual with mechanical inter- ductive flow of energy which pulses pretation. It is primâ facie unlikely through the whole organic and inorthat the logical requirement of contin- ganic) process.
One does not explain uity will allow Mr. Darwin, or any the part played by the Nile in the econother scientist, to insist upon the purely omy of Egypt by the most accurate acphysical character of the “memories" count of the construction and working and "habits” he imputes to plants. In- of water-gates, dams, canals, and other deed, Mr. Darwin is absolutely open- irrigation works, if one neglects to exminded upon this, as upon so many plain the rise and flow of the Nile itother matters. "It is," he admits, "im- self. It is the dim perception that phypossible to know wliether or not plants siology has been trying to do something are conscious; but it is consistent with like this that underlies the demands of the doctrine of continuity that in all the "vitalists." But it is a criticism living things there is something psy- applicable not to physiology alone, but cbic, and, if we accept this point of to the whole trend of evolution in the view, we must believe that in plants hands of science. When Lamarck's there exists a faint copy of what we conception of organic changes, as know as consciousness in ourselves." wrought by the pressure of a fund of
Hardly less significant as a recogni- desire or will enabling animals to adapt tion of the inadequacy of the older evo- their structure to the satisfaction of tionary method is the frank avowal by their needs, collapsed before the rise of Dr. Haldane of the failure of the physi. Darwinism, nothing was put in its co-chemical explanation of life to ex- place. Darwinism did not substitute orcise “the spectre of vitalism.” Phy- any new conception of a fund of evosics and chemistry between them have lutionary progress, it merely sought to failed to cope with physiological phe- explain better than Lamarck how such nomena because their methods are me- a fund would be utilized by Nature. chanical and there is something in all The anima in animate Nature is still life, even the lowest, which baffles me- commonly ignored. This remained possible, nay, almost inevitable, so long ciple," the growing tendency of these as a purely mechanical conception of scientific thinkers to employ concepts causation was applied, for such concep
derived from the higher processes of tion only adinits the registration of re- conscious life to give meaning to the sults and not the direct realization of current of evolution marks a distinct efficient causes. It is a significant ad- advance towards a natural philosophy, vance in scientific method to recognize, in which the course of development from so clearly as do Mr. Darwin and Dr. simpler to more complex, nay, from Haldane, that the mechanical treat- "dead" to living matter,and from "mere" ment requires to be fortified by a more life to consciousness in its highest detruly “vital" method, and by hypothe- gree, shall be envisaged as a continuous ses which transcend the realm of chem- transformation of a flow of universal istry and physics. Though it may not energy, the dual character of which, be possible for a biologist, as such, to physical and psychical, shall constitute "put salt upon the tail of ital prin- the final working hypothesis of science.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS
ties woven into a fascinating pattern, the book is not likely soon to be surpassed. Henry Holt & Co.
It was only in his youth that John Ruskin was in the habit of "dropping into verse" and the Poems which are included in the Universal Edition of Ruskin's Works, of which E. P. Duttou & Co. are the American publishers, were all written between the ages of 15 and 26. They have a delicate touch, and some of them show a surprising mastery of the technique of verse. An introduction is supplied by Mr. G. K. Chesterton, who is always diverting, whatever his theme.
“Angel Esquire," Mr. Edgar Wallace's new novel, is a story of a treasure guarded not only by deadly devices but by a cryptogram which the author leaves unexplained to madden the careful reader. A gang of burglars and murderers; a lawyer, apparently the soul of integrity, but really worse than the gang; a baronet in disguise, and police officers of high degree contend over the treasure, and Angel Esquire, detective, sits up aloft and outwits every body to the reader's entertainment. As a tissue of impossibili
A delightfully intimate contribution to the knowledge of Mr. Gladstone's character is made in the slender vol. ume “Mr. Gladstone at Oxford" (E. P. Dutton & Co.). The writer, the only clue to whose identity is found in the initials C. R. L. F. on the title-page, was resident at All Souls' College, Oxford, during Mr. Gladstone's famous visit in 1890, and being thrown into close association with Mr. Gladstone during that visit, and being a close listener to his remarkable conversation, conceived the happy thought of writing down every night, for the information of a devoted admirer of the great statesman, all that he could remember of the conversations and the incidents of the day. It is these informal letters which make up the present volume. There are portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone.
In his “The Sense of the Infinite," Mr. Otto Kuhns has done a beneficent work for those who, unable to accept almost wasted. Broadway Publishany formal creed, still long for definite ing Company. perception of something above and beyond finite things. Mr. Kuhns con- “The garden city" is already someceives that there is essential unity of thing more than a dream, and now apthe transcendental element lying at the pears a formidable rival, the farm vilheart of art, literature, and religion, lage of which Mr. Ramsey Benson and that this unity may be perceived writes in "A Lord of Lands," a happily at times by any humble seeker for en- suggestive title. This story of city lightenment also he opposes that families removed to virgin soil, each theory which finds a pathological ba- provided with a house and a holding sis for many of the finer traits of hu- ample to maintain it, sufficient to enman nature and reduces their manifes- rich it if wisely managed, is put into tations to symptoms of disease. The the mouth of a former workman, origiwork is a history of the transcendental nally shrewd beyond the average, but as it has made itself felt in the popular so educated by the necessities of agriconsciousness, and although it will cultural life, that he stands on the hardly be as successful as small senti- same level as the managers of great mental volumes of vagueness and quo- manufacturing enterprises or schemes tations, it is sure to find a welcome. of transportation. He minutely deHenry Holt & Co.
scribes the progress of the little colony,
giving all necessary figures, and by Miss Caroline Mays Brevard owes it delicate touches and light lines his to her readers greatly to enlarge her character and those of his neighbors are tiny manual, “Literature of the South," sharply defined; and one does not miss for although it is not so small as to the illustrations with which such books conceal her knowledge of the subject, ordinarily abound. The story has or the sense of proportion enabling her something to say not only to men and justly to parcel out her few pages, it boys, but to women and girls, and is too small to contain the information should be in the school libraries and on implied by the title. Devoting three the tables of the boys' reading rooms. chapters to the revolutionary and pre- Matthew Fitzgerald is an excellent revolutionary periods, she follows them specimen of the rarest type of Irishwith others on Audubon, Poe, Legaré, man, the type endowed with humor Simms, the war poetry and subsequent and imagination instead of the more literature, Timrod, Hayne and Lanier. showy and common gifts of wit and Of the seven authors named, she gives fancy; the type which leads because it good but brief critical biographies with understands itself, and being lord of chronologies, and, at intervals she gives itself is fitted to become "A Lord of brief literary chronologies and all with Lands.” A book giving such a chareasy mastery. One regrets that her acter to the world would have no small printer has misspelled Poe's middle value, even were it otherwise trivial. name, and that the author does not Henry Holt & Co. think that Mrs. William Somerville who inspired Pinkney's “A Health,” de- The worst trait of the Irish ward serves special mention quite as much boss, his readiness to use ward, city, as Florida White, for whom Wilde State, or the entire country to serve his wrote: "My life is like the summer personal desires, and dislikes, has been rose." Above all, the book needs an slighted if not entirely overlooked by index; without it much good work is most writers of the American political