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ought, when nearly adult, to be trained to energy and perseverance, and to have her reason and imagination exercised to the highest point, and then she would probably transmit these qualities chiefly to her adult daughters." Here we have a plan of women's higher education according to the great evolutionist, although he does not assert that it is the essential and desirable one; but given a certain object, here is the best method of securing it. "The whole body of women, however, could not be thus raised, unless during many generations the women who excelled in the above robust virtues were married, and produced offspring in larger numbers than other women."
The doctrine that man is descended from some less highly organised form, Darwin asserts in his concluding chapter, rests on grounds which will never be shakennamely, the similar structure and course of development of embryos of the higher animals, and vast numbers of facts of structure and constitution, rudimental structures, and abnormal reversions. The mental powers of the higher animals graduate into those of man. Language, and the use of tools, made man dominant. The brain then immensely developed, and morality sprang from the social instinct. Comparing and approving certain actions and disapproving others, remembering and looking back, he became conscientious and imaginative. Sympathy, arising in the desire to give aid to one's fellows, was strengthened by praise and blame, and conduces to happiness. "As happiness is an essential part of the general good, the greatest happiness principle indirectly serves as a nearly safe standard of right and wrong.
But with the less civilised nations reason often errs, and many bad customs and base superstitions come within the same scope, and consequently are esteemed as high virtues and their breach as heavy crimes."
The belief in God, the author says, is not innate or intuitive in man, but only arises after long culture. As to the bearing of the evolution theory on the immortality of the soul, Darwin thinks few people will find cause for anxiety in the impossibility of determining at what period in the ascending scale man became an immortal being. "The birth, both of the species and of the individual, are equally parts of that grand sequence of events, which our minds refuse to accept as the result of blind chance. The understanding revolts at such a conclusion."
The bearing of the Darwinian doctrine on some important practical questions for society leads to the remark that, while man scans with scrupulous care the pedigree of his animals, when he comes to his own marriage he rarely or never takes any such care. Perhaps Darwin was somewhat in error here; and, also, he seems to have underrated the unconscious tendency to act according to natural law, which has no doubt influenced mankind largely. He lays down the principle that both sexes ought to refrain from marriage if markedly inferior in body or mind, or if they cannot avoid abject poverty for their children. When the laws of inheritance are thoroughly known, he says, we shall not hear ignorant members of our legislature rejecting with scorn a plan for ascertaining, by an easy method, whether or not consanguineous marriages are injurious to man. But Darwin is by no means in favour of any restriction on man's
natural rate of increase; for it is the greatest means of preventing indolence from causing the race to become stagnant or to degenerate. Only, there should be open competition for all men; and the most able should not be prevented by laws or customs from succeeding best and rearing the largest number of offspring.
In summing up on the entire subject, Darwin expresses himself with more than his wonted vigour and point. On the one hand, he endeavours to disarm opposition by quoting heroic monkeys as contrasted with degraded barbarians; on the other hand, he welcomes the elevation of man so far above his barbarous ancestors. Finally, he takes his stand upon truth, as against likes and dislikes. "The astonishment which I felt on first seeing a party of Fuegians on a wild and broken shore will never be forgotten by me, for the reflection at once rushed into my mind-such were our ancestors. These men were absolutely naked and bedaubed with paint; their long hair was tangled, their mouths frothed with excitement, and their expression was wild, startled, and distrustful. They possessed hardly any arts, and, like wild animals, lived on what they could catch. They had no government, and were merciless to every one not of their own small tribe. He who has seen a savage in his native land will not feel much shame, if forced to acknowledge that the blood of some more humble creature flows in his veins. For my own part, I would as soon be descended from that heroic little monkey, who braved his dreaded enemy in order to save the life of his keeper; or from that old baboon, who, descending from the mountains, carried away in triumph his young comrade
from a crowd of astonished dogs-as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies, offers up bloody sacrifices, practises infanticide without remorse, treats his wives like slaves, knows no decency, and is haunted by the grossest superstitions.
"Man may be excused for feeling some pride at having risen, though not through his own exertions, to the very summit of the organic scale; and the fact of his having thus risen, instead of, having been aboriginally placed there, may give him hopes for a still higher destiny in the distant future. But we are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with the truth as far as our reason allows us to discover it. I have given the evidence to the best of my ability; and we must acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man, with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men, but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system-with all these exalted powers-Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin."
The reception accorded to "The Descent of Man" was more excited than that of "The Origin of Species." The first large edition was quickly exhausted, and discussion or ridicule of the book was the fashionable recreation. Mr. Punch, week after week, reflected passing opinion. One of his Darwinian ballads on our ancestors is worth quoting from :
"They slept in a wood,
Or wherever they could,
For they didn't know how to make beds ;
They hadn't got huts,
They dined upon nuts,
Which they cracked upon each other's heads.
For a comb, brush, or soap,
Or towels, or kettle, or fire;
They had no coats nor capes,
From these though descended,
Though still we can grin and backbite;
We cut up each other,
Be he friend or brother,
And tails are the fashion-at night.
Is all speculation—
We gamble in various shapes ;
So Mr. Darwin
May speculate in
Our ancestors having been apes."
The Athenæum was unbelieving, but not denunciatory. The Edinburgh Review declared the doctrine of natural selection hopelessly inadequate to explain the phenomena of man's body; although its truth and falsehood had no necessary connection with the general theory of evolution: some law as yet unknown being looked for. Darwin's attempt to explain the evolution of mind and the moral sense is regarded as failing in every point. "Never, perhaps, in the history of philosophy, have such wide. generalisations been derived from such a small basis of fact." The Quarterly Review now acknowledged that