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of the whole year. Besides, it appears that most of these numbers are too high. Sometimes Mr Rudolph contradicts himself—i. e., he tells us that the Musa paradisiaca has the largest leaves in the whole vegetable creation-" Die gröszten Blätter welche die Natur aufzuweisen hat," page 108; but subsequently he informs us that the net-palm, Manicaria saccifera, in Brazil, has undivided leaves of great tenacity, growing to the enormous size of 20 feet by 6, page 234. Certainly he cannot assert that the very easily lacerated leaves of the Musa ever attained so prodigious dimensions. In fact he himself states their size as 8 or 10 by 2, therefore only one-third of the size above mentioned. Mr Rudolph tells us (page 242), that the doom-palm (Cucifera thebaica) has its polar limit at Cairo. In this he has been wrongly informed. The Cucifera thebaica has its northern limits some degrees farther to the south than Cairo.
It is also a mistake that every peasant in Egypt cultivates a field full of arrowroot (page 242). Certainly about Cairo and in the whole Delta, the cultivation of this plant is very seldom seen, and almost entirely unknown.
He mentions Syria as belonging to the fatherland of Phoenic dactylifera (page 115); but more correctly, he says (page 244), that in the most southern coasts of Palestine, the fruit of the date-palm still ripens, which observation correctly implies, that almost the whole of Syria where the dates do not ripen cannot be the fatherland of the date-palm. In fact, it is seen there rarely, and only as an ornamental tree.
To ten of the cedars on Mount Lebanon, Mr Rudolph ascribes the age of from 3000 to 6000 years, but omits to mention how he arrived at this remarkable fluctuation between about 3000 or 6000 years.
Speaking (page 266) about California, he omits to mention the Wellingtonia gigantea and Taxodium sempervirens, which certainly belong to the most remarkable botanical phenomena of these regions. Also in the chapter on coniferous trees (pages 30-32), no mention is made of these giants. This omission creates the more surprise when we find the Wellingtonia gigantea represented on the adjoined plate. About the Araucaria imbricata, we read on page 31 statements which require some amendment. Mr Rudolph says, that this tree, like unto our own coniferæ, casts off its elder branches and leaves, so that its crown is confined to one-fourth of its entire height. Now, this is neither the case with Araucaria imbricata nor with our own coniferæ. Neither our Abies nor the greater part of our firs cast off their branches. This happens only where trees grow so closely together that the lower branches are suffocated. This may be observed among oaks and beeches as well as among coniferous trees, most of which, where they are not crowded, have a tendency to retain their lower
branches, so as to form beautiful obelisks or pyramids rather than crowns. So the Araucaria imbricata, where its growth is neither confined by gregarious trees, nor restricted by the gardener's knife, lets the branches of its lowest verticil rest on the ground around the stem, and represents when young, if seen from a distance, a dark-green globe, and later an elongated oval, standing like the egg of Columbus.
According to page 30, the coniferous plants are all distinguished by the straightness and slimness of their stems; but at page 390, we find a picture of Pinus pumilio spreading its crooked stem over the ground, and we might add easily another half-dozen exceptions to what Mr Rudolph states to be the characteristic growth of the coniferæ.
Notwithstanding this and other mistakes, the work is a most agreeable manual of phyto-geography. The author has the aim and ability to imitate in his descriptions Humboldt and other masters of style. He has correct views of the importance and the necessary limitations of phyto-geography. If he goes on improving his pages, not merely negatively by avoiding errors, but also positively, by looking at plants such as they are with the precision of systematic botanists, and consulting the writings of Alphonse Decandolle, Weddell, Delondre, Hasskarl, Junghuhn, and other observers, his volume, without losing its attractions for the general reader, will become valuable as a scientific handbook.
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. By CHARLES DARWIN, M.A. 8vo. London: Murray,
"His reason ought to conquer his imagination.”—Darwin.
In the olden time, and in early science, there were many wild and extravagant theories proposed, and their existence lasted for a longer or shorter period, not according to the value of the arguments or facts by which they were supported, but just as the. attacks by which they were assailed were numerous and persevered In modern days, within the last few years, an anonymous book appeared, the object of which was again to bring before the world of science the origin of the human race and the theory of development. It was so plausibly, so popularly written, and brought forward such an array of what seemed to be facts, apparently gathered from the latest authorities, that by many it was thought dangerous for the general reader, and its principles were
challenged and grappled with, discussed and knocked down, by men standing high in science and theology, heads of universities, and by practical workers in the field of nature, who could observe and judge for themselves whether the facts stated were real or not. And thus it was, that instead of the "spirit being laid" it was roused, and the minds of men of various professions, from the army to the church, aye, and of women too, have been stirred up, and they have thought it necessary, for the correction of views judged to be erroneous, to place upon record what they considered the only true version in volumes of the most varied colouring both inside and out. It is true, that previous to the publication of the anonymous book, allegations had been made against geologists for asserting facts which were said to controvert the Mosaic account of creation. The theory by Agassiz of a black as well as a white Adam, published in an American periodical, and republished in this country by the late Professor Jameson, with most of the objectionable passages suppressed,-the appearance of the works of Nott and Gliddon, and the translation of some of the physiophilosophical works of the Germans, all somewhat prepared the way for these books, but the matter was finally clenched by the celebrated battle of the Vestiges, and authors both small and great, are now most numerously developed. Among others, from whom we might have expected better things, "Omphalos" hints at our misunderstanding the language of the sacred record, and makes the origin of all things a very easy matter, by an instantaneouslyformed universe, with its various strata, containing ready-made fossils and footprints, glacial scratches and ripple-marks. Agassiz, in his remarkable Essay on "Classification," goes back to the ancient maxim, "Omnia ex ovo;" while the author, the title of whose work we have placed at the head of this article, is convinced that the development theory is the only true solution of the difficulties of the question, and goes boldly into the subject in all its branches, backed by a powerful name and reputation, and supporting himself by a mass of so-called facts. The "Origin of Species" coming before the public under such auspices, and so ably treated as the subject undoubtedly is, we feel constrained not to pass over the work in silence; besides, the time has now gone by when such questions are to be compromised. The more these matters are sifted the sooner we shall reach the truth where attainable at all, and that need not be feared. The facts of geology, where there is an apparent discrepancy, must be explained; and the man of development must have some stronger arguments than he has yet used, to prove that a bear may become a whale, or that an apteryx flew to New Zealand and lost its wings there by disuse.
Mr Darwin states that he has made a large collection of facts, too voluminous for publication in his present work, in which he has only introduced such as bore immediately upon his subject. We
regret this much, because we cannot reason upon them nor estimate their value, and it is upon those so-called facts that the whole truth or untruth of his theory rests. Many of his positions are stated hypothetically; some of the statements given as facts are questionable, or are given on the authority of a "careful or good observer," whose careful or good qualities we are not allowed to judge of; and when we read such passages as that we have placed in a note below, we lose some of the faith we had placed in the great research and learning of the man, and feel almost inclined to doubt the capability of his mind now to judge impartially. With such a range and plasticity as Mr Darwin pleads for, we know not where to stop-centaurs, dryads, and hamadryads, and all those remarkable forms we enjoyed so much as schoolboys to read about, but were taught to look upon as mere poetic fancy, may have been really our old progenitors in a transition state to improvement; and when so convinced, with how much pity shall we look down upon the Carsons and Dunbars, Sandfords and Pillans, and blame that ignorance which kept our young minds in such darkness. The "virginei volucres," then supposed to be "peculiar" to the Strophadic Isles, so beautifully figured in the old editions of Virgil; the dangerous siren which is thus described, "desinit in piscem mulier formosa superne," may have all lived; and in latter days, if we follow Darwin, "I can see no difficulty in believing" that mermaids once filled our seas, and that the much disputed sea-serpent exists, or at all events did so within historic time,
"Prone on the flood, extended long and large,
Notwithstanding our scepticism of Mr Darwin's theory, the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" is not a book to be trifled with. The author is well known as a man of reputation in science, who has travelled over a great portion of the world, observing as he went; and he does not hide his name, like some ashamed Vestigian, but boldly propounds his theory, and tells us on what it is based. The whole subject, however, is so extensive, that it would require a book as large as Mr Darwin's to go over his ground, or answer his paragraphs seriatim; and we shall only be able to notice its great principle, Variation and its laws, and how far these develop, or, as it is termed, improve themselves in a natural state, as it is on this that nearly the whole theory of development under natural selection rests.
*"In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours, with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water. Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were constant, and if better adapted competitors did not already exist in the country, I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale.” (P. 184.)
Before entering upon this, however, we must explain what "Natural Selection" means. We were for some time at a loss to understand this until we came to Darwin's explanation, "If variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterised will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life; and from the strong principle of inheritance they will tend to produce offspring similarly characterised. This principle of preservation I have called, for the sake of brevity, NATURAL SELECTION." At the beginning of the same chapter, he has added to this, "On the other hand, we may feel sure that any variation in the least degree injurious would be rigidly destroyed;" and he includes "sexual selections" as a powerful assistant. The theory is then based upon the animal inclination and capability to vary, and the plasticity of certain groups of animals in a state of domestication is brought forward to show the range to which this may take place.
"Variation" in domesticity, by crossing, or under artificial circumstances, is widely different from that in a state of nature. It will not be denied, we presume, that animals were created for the use of mankind. Man was to have dominion over them. In the great group of ruminants among quadrupeds, and rasorial forms among birds, the provision for becoming serviceable to man, breeding in confinement or restraint, and accommodating themselves to circumstances, whether of climate or country, is very marked. These, from the beginning, were made use of; and a few other animals, such as the dog, were, from the very earliest historic periods, chosen to associate with and assist man; and there is no reason to insist that any of those should have a mingled origin; for, if Mr Darwin will apply the same arguments which he has used in the case of the pigeons, all the varieties of which he acknowledges to be descended from one stock (C. livia), there does not seem any great difficulty in believing that most, if not all, our domestic animals have also sprung from some one wild animal, although we cannot with certainty now point that one out. The early domesticated animals were cared for and tended, and various points we know were esteemed of more or less value; and, as man became more luxurious and civilised, animals from a distance were introduced and crossed, and the improvement (as it was termed) of cattle and sheep became almost a science; and those breeds and varieties which had a tendency to be most easily fattened, to yield the greatest quantity, or richest milk, or the finest wool, were assiduously cultivated. But this was all artiThe slightest inattention deteriorated these breeds (that is, returned them nearer to the original form), and those improved animals, differing from anything in nature, cannot be naturally kept up. Man's species will not last. And here is just the check which God has interposed. These animals are created for