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sant labour, and not less than twenty years of interesting study.'
The reader will please to observe, that whatever Mr Darwin may advance against Species, as a recognized distinction in nature, he, nevertheless, continually acknowledges it, and founds much of his reasoning on its existence, at the risk of the most manifest contradiction. Hence he says -. 'It need not be supposed that all varieties, or incipient species, necessarily attain the rank of species' (54), an expression by which we clearly see that he means species as a resting-place for varieties, as the last step of their promotion. And again: 'On the view that species are only strongly marked and permanent varieties, and that each species existed as a variety we can see,' &c, &c. . . (503). Here Permanency is, without any circumlocution, made 'a characteristic of Species,' and coupling this with the other statement that varieties are advanced to the rank of species, it is plain enough that Mr Darwin feels that to be a reality which it is the object of his whole book to disprove. How indeed would it be possible for a naturalist to compose a long treatise on the origin of Species, and not acknowledge the palpable fact that plants and animals are arranged in certain permanent partitions, and that owing to these partitions they always remain the same?
Now we have seen that Mr Darwin acknowledges both indirectly and directly that Permanency is a character of Species, an acknowledgment which of course would be fatal to his theory; but Mr Darwin so often deals fatal blows with his own hands against his own system, without any apparent suspicion of having done it any injury, that we need not be surprised at his continuing the controversy as if nothing unusual had happened.
It is not our business to reconcile but to state the contradictions we find in the Theory. Now though permanency is thus attributed to species, it certainly is not the author's intention that we should understand this literally; for if so, how, according to his Theory, have all existing animals appeared on the scene? They are all altered forms of antecedent species, which have been swept away in the struggle for life. Species have been changed repeatedly in the millions of ages of geological time. The nearest approach therefore that we can make by conjecture to any elucidation of this confusion is, that species may be considered permanent in historical, but mutable in geological time. If the learned author has any other meaning than this, he has failed to make it intelligible; but even with this interpretation the contradiction does not disappear, and the general result amounts to this, that the grand principle of the system may be expressed as Mutable Permanency.
In the mean while we may be amused as well as instructed with noticing Mr Darwin's opinions on the questions before us, at the time he wrote his Researches in the cruise of the Beagle. In speaking of certain birds found in Terra del Fuego, he says: 'When finding, as in this case, any animal which seems to play so insignificant a part in the great scheme of nature, one is apt to wonder why a distinct species should liave been created; but it should always be recollected that in some other country perhaps it is an essential member of society, or at some former period may have been so' (354). And again: 'Unless we suppose the same species to have been created in two different countries, we ought not to expect any closer similarity between the organic beings on opposite sides of the Andes, than on shores separated by a broad strait of the sea' (400). And once more : 'We see the whole series of animals, which have been created with peculiar kinds of organization, are confined to certain areas, and we can hardly suppose these structures are only adaptations to peculiarities of climate or country, for otherwise animals belonging to a distinct type, and introduced by man, would not succeed so admirably even to the extermination of the aborigines. On such ground it does not seem a necessary conclusion that the extinction of species more than their creation should exclusively depend on the nature (altered by physical changes) of the country' (212).
Here we have passages acknowledging Species as an established distinction in animal life, and as created to be so, for on the subject of creation Mr Darwin speaks in his Researches with the utmost clearness. In describing the pit-fall of the lion-ant as seen in South America, he says, 'There can be no doubt but that this predacious larva belongs to the same genus with the European kind, though to a different species. Now what would the sceptic say to this? would any two workmen ever have hit upon so beautiful, so simple, and yet so artificial a contrivance? It cannot be thought so, One Hand Has Surely Worked
THROUGH THE UNIVERSE' (527).
These striking words we have ventured to place as the motto to our title-page.
SPECIES AS DEFINED BY NATURALISTS.
The theory which is here under consideration has this essential character, that it denies the fixedness of nature and invests all living organisms with inherent mutability. Alterations, transmutation, and 'conversion' into new states and forms of life, even into those most unlike previously existing states and forms, have been the destiny of all beings, and will—in degree at least—be yet their destiny. Every plant and every animal, and even man himself, have come to their present actual condition through multiplied transformations; and every creature is still progressing towards some ' improvement,' till, as it is believed, perfection will be ultimately attained. These changes, which have always an object of individual improvement, are effected by matter itself, without the intervention of any controlling Intellect or Power superior to matter; organisms can change themselves in the lapse of ages, when such a place is open for them in existence that it will be for the benefit of the individual organisms that change should take place. This change however is not the result of the will and intention of the animals, for even plants have acquired all their peculiarities and 'contrivances' in this way—the changes take place by the gradual accumulation of profitable additions or diminutions of quality. It is a result in all cases, but never a design.
Such being the theory, we meet it with the fact that in nature there is an insurmountable obstacle to this mutability, and that in consequence of it no such changes can take place, nor ever have taken place—and this obstacle is usually known by the term 'Species.' It is however to be remembered that the term is an invention of the human intellect, an abstract idea based on long-continued observations of nature—but that the word Species has no natural existence. This is a point not to be forgotten, for I find that Mr'Darwin makes his attacks on Species as if we believed that this ideal classification had an independent and real existence, so that if he can invalidate the term Species he seems to think he has got rid of his most formidable antagonist, or at any rate he hopes that we may think so. The term may stand for all that it is worth—and certainly the day has not yet come for abandoning it; in the mean time this is an unalterable fact, that there is in nature a barrier preventing this imaginary mutability, by an arrangement which is known to exist in organized beings, and this arrangement, by general consent of physiologists, constitutes the divisions and boundaries of species.
This is the question now for our inquiry. We have seen what Mr Darwin has said on the subject; we will now adduce the opinions of other writers on Natural History.
M. Flourens says: 'II y a deux caracteres qui font juger de l'espece, la forme, oula ressemblance, et le/ccondite. Mais il y a longtemps que j'ai fait voir que la ressemblance, la forme, n'est qu'un caractere accessoire. L'espece est d'une fecondité continue, ce qui prouve qu'elles ne sont pas sorties de l'espece, qu'elle ne sont que l'espece, qui s'est diverse