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by extremes of heat and cold, by blows, by falls, by the thrust of weapons, &c., and that the animals which were best warned against these dangers by a sensitive skin, so as to be able to withdraw the body before mischief was done, would benefit so far in the struggle for life. Of two animals in which the differentiation of organs was carried equally far, and in which the same necessity existed for keeping all the limbs sound and whole, under circumstances of equal danger one would be selected to live by its greater sensitiveness of skin-by its capacity, that is, to suffer pain. Is it Sir Charles Bell who tells us of the man who, having lost sensation in one hand, lifted the cover of a pan out of the fire and had the skin of his palm and fingers completely destroyed? It is related in the Life of Drew the metaphysician, that when he and his shipwrecked comrades were brought ashore, nearly dead through exposure and cold, the neighbours unwisely placed their feet very close to the fire, and the sense of pain being absent, they remained in this position till severely injured, so that the scars never disappeared. Confining our view to this physical aspect of the matter, the history of the evolution of life on the globe only confirms the statement made long ago by Dr Rogêt,-"Sensibility to pain must enter as a necessary constituent among the animal functions; for had this property been omitted, the animal system would have been but of short duration, exposed as it must necessarily be to perpetual casualties of every kind." The sensitive nerves "act the part of sentinels, placed at the outposts to give signals of alarm on the approach of danger." There is a higher aspect in which the sense of pain may be viewed, as spurring man
1 Bridgewater Treatise: chapter on Sensation.
to effort and enterprise, and leading to inventions, to the advancement of civilization, and the development of the intellectual faculties; but we should be trenching on a part of the subject which it may be better to reserve. It is also obvious to remark, that while liability to injury is incidental to all living structures, and sensitiveness to pain is beneficently correlated with this liability in the higher organisms, pleasure, for which there seems less absolute need, is made to stream in at all the five gateways of the senses.
§ 2. Direct Marks of Beneficence.
Beneficence in Heredity.—The laws of inheritance, as remarked before, have the appearance of being capricious in their action; but this is only because, like the laws which govern the weather, they are too complicated to be yet understood. Still, one or two things may be noted. When we reflect that in animals low in the scale the sexes are not differentiated, we are carried back in thought to a period in the history of Evolution when there was no distinction of male and female in any species. When we look round upon human society, the foundation of which is the family, and when we reflect upon all that preachers and poets have said and sung of the love of wife and mother, and the purifying influence of affection, we see that the differentiation of the sexes is a principal element in human happiness. And this condition of things has been evolved out of that, by laws of inheritance at present unknown to us, but whose beneficent character must be judged from their fruits! So far as we know, there was no absolute need of life at all so far as we know, life might have been made to stop at the lower stages, before the sexes became dif
ferent, or Evolution might have brought the higher animals upon the stage with this law of a-sexuality still in force.
Another beneficent peculiarity in the working of the laws of inheritance is remarked upon by Mr Darwin himself: "It is indeed fortunate that the law of the equal transmission of characters to both sexes has commonly prevailed throughout the whole class of mammals; otherwise it is probable that man would have become as superior in mental endowment to woman as the peacock is in ornamental plumage to the peahen.' Properly to appreciate this we must bear in mind the great difference between the sexes in some creatures-in most instances to the disadvantage of the female-the apparent ease with which heredity restricts its favours to one sex when it pleases (or, as we might put it, the difficulty it seems to find in transmitting them to both); the fact that the law of unequal transmission is partly followed in man's case, e.g., in regard to the size of the body, the possession of a beard, &c.; and lastly, the tremendous weight it would be on humanity if woman were no better than a domestic animal. In birds, the brightest plumage, the most conspicuous ornaments, and the sweetest gift of song, belong to the males: it is in the males that we find all sorts of crests, wattles, horns, airsacs, plumes, and lengthened feathers springing from all parts of the body; while the females are generally of dull colour and tame appearance. Among insects the female glowworm is destitute of wings and grovels as a worm, while her husband enjoys the freedom of the air: and this is the case also with many moths. But while man is superior to woman in size and strength, in energy, 1 Descent of Man, ii. 328..
DOMESTIC ANIMALS EVOLVED FOR MAN.
perseverance, courage, and in mental power, the difference is not great enough to prevent intellectual sympathy; and woman has the advantage in tenderness, unselfishness, rapid perception, and some other qualities -so that the endowments of the two are complementary, and each has a power of borrowing good from the other.
Beneficence in Variability.—Andrew Wagner, as quoted by Haeckel, considered that domestic animals and plants were created variable for the special benefit of mankind. Of course we now know that all living things are variable; and Mr Darwin is probably right in thinking that the greater variability in our domestic productions is simply due to the artificial conditions under which they have been raised. Dogs are not made variable in order that man may produce a variety which shall pin down the bull for his brutal sport, nor is the organization of pigeons rendered plastic to enable us to produce a breed which shall tumble in the air. But for all this there remains the fact, that some animals are capable of domestication and some are not; that side by side with man there have been planted on the earth creatures suited to his service and capable of affection for him. And if these were not created as they are, but have been evolved from lower forms, pari passu with man's evolution from lower forms, there is something like design and beneficence in this separate education and eventual contact of two beings who, when they meet, are as fitted to work in union as the troops who arrive on a battlefield and the marshal who has come by a different route. Professor Owen has pointed out in public lectures the existence of fossil animals which show an increasing approximation to the forms of the horse and the ox,-an approximation, says the Duke of Argyll, related in
time, as it seems to be in purpose with the coming need of them for the service of man.1 If the Evolution theory is true, the former existence of these animals was to be inferred, as a matter of necessity, from the existence of the domestic animals to-day; but if we discover purpose in the present relation of these creatures to man, the intention must be carried back along the entire line, just because of the inevitable link-to-link character of it. Mr Wallace contends for the guidance of a higher intelligence to make man what he is in brain and faculty, in hand, and skin, and voice. Was it a new thought with this Intelligence when, some millenniums ago, He saw in the interior of Africa the ape-like progenitor of manwho had come on his way thus far without guidancethat the creature was capable of higher things, if the laws of variation, multiplication, and survival were taken under control? That a creature taken in hand at such a stage could be transformed, through the guidance of the variations into certain channels, appears clear to us from the analogy of man's action; but the Higher Intelligence may be supposed to foresee what He will do, and it is reasonable to credit Him with preparing the ground for Himself by guiding the ape-like creature through its previous stages of Evolution as well as through those which are to follow. If this much be allowed there should not be any difficulty in allowing that variation was guided along useful lines to give man the horse for his carrier, the dog for his companion, the sheep and the ox for his food.
In this there would be no want of beneficence to the animals themselves; for though we slaughter cattle and
Reign of Law. See also Huxley on the pedigree of the horse, in Address to Geol. Soc., 1870.