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sooner perish than resign its place, was likewise instituted by him at the same time.

Thus, in Goethe's opinion, nature always makes use of the same parts. Nature is inexhaustible in the modification and realization of the archetype; but to that which has once attained realization cleaves the tenacious power of persistency, a vis centripeta, of which the profound basis is beyond the influence of anything external. Hence, if he speaks of daily completion and transformation by means of reproduction, he understands, with respect to the animal which has attained realization, merely that course of development or metamorphosis which is an image of inexhaustible phenomenal nature. The influences which Nature has exercised upon the parts, he pictures to himself as still present; but of an actual transformation of existing species into new ones, such as is required by the modern Darwinian doctrine of Descent, Goethe does not speak at all.

In his view, what was it, then, that was to be transformed? Surely not the archetype. He says, indeed, "Thus the eagle fashioned itself by the air for the air, by the mountain top for the mountain top. The mole fashions itself to the loose soil, the seal to the water, the bat to the air ;" and generally, "the animal is fashioned by circumstances to circumstances." But the illustrations which he gives in the Sketch of A.D. 1796, show plainly that he thought, not of any transformation of existing forms, but of mere modes of manifestation of the type and archetype as they exist in given species. He then says, "The serpent stands high in organization. It has a decided head, with

a perfect auxiliary organ,-a consolidated lower jawbone. Only its body is indefinitely long; and the cause of its being so is that it expends neither material nor power upon auxiliary organs. As soon as these make their appearance in another form, as, for instance, in the lizard, though only short arms and legs are produced, the indefinite length must at once contract, and a shorter body takes its place. The long legs of the frog necessitate a very short form for the body of this creature, and by the same law, the unshapely toad is laterally extended." It is well to bear in mind this somewhat trivial passage, that we may not see more in the poetic glorification of the Metamorphosis of Animals than it really contains.

When Goethe says in the magnificent poem:

"" 'Hence, each form conditions the life and acts of the creature,
And each fashion of life, with reflex forcible action,
Works on the form:"*

it sounds, as we must admit, extremely seductive. But we are sobered, or rather led to the right standpoint, by reading his fascinating remarks on d'Alton's skeletons of the rodents (1824). It is there made manifest that Goethe had not the remotest idea of an actual transformation of a rodent into any other animal by the force of external influences.

The reader may judge for himself. "Let us contemplate the animal in the neighbourhood of water; as the so-called water-hog it wallows, pig-like, on the marshy shore; as a beaver it is seen building by fresh waters;

* Also bestimmt die Gestalt die Lebensweise des Thieres,
Und die Weise des Lebens, sie wirkt auf alle Gestalten,
Mächtig zurück--—

next, still requiring some degree of moisture, it burrows in the earth, and at least loves concealment, hiding with coquettish timidity from man and other animals. Finally, when the creature arrives at the surface, it hops and frisks, so that it carries on its existence erect, and even moves to and fro on two feet with marvellous rapidity. Transferred to completely dry land, we at last find the decisive influence of the airy eminence and the allvivifying light. The animal is endowed with the greatest ease of movement; it acts and works with consummate skill, until a bird-like motion passes into an apparent flight."

Thus does Goethe elaborate the influence of environment and external conditions upon the modifications of form; it is in vain to look for the actual forms that are modified. The beaver is not transformed into the mouselike burrower, the mouse into the jumping mouse, nor the jumping mouse into the squirrel, nor does the latter become a jerboa; but the "ceaseless progressive transformation" is perceptible only to the eye of the imagination. In reality, moreover, Goethe sees only adaptation. Greatly as he is inclined to attribute modifications to the effect of external conditions, he speaks with no less decision on the contrary side. "The parts of the animal, their relative form, their conditions, their special characters, determine the requirements of the creatures' existence;" and if within the restricted circle of forms, we nevertheless find that infinite modifications of form become possible (Sketch, 1796), this is only to be deduced from the individual species exhibited as modifications of the archetype, by Nature, ever one and ever creative.

With the word Species, we reach the most important point in our account of Goethe's theory of nature; if indeed we have not already unquestionably proved that he can in no way be regarded as a true precursor of Darwin. Darwin and his adherents maintain the variability of the so-called vegetal and animal species. The question is simply whether Goethe was or was not, like his contemporary Lamarck, convinced of this mutability. If he says on one occasion that "from the seed, plants are developed, ever diverging and variously determining the mutual relations of their parts," this is ambiguous in itself; it may refer either to the origin of new species, or to the variability of species by nature immutable. Another time he speaks of the "purpose of Nature" in the horse.

I can find but one single passage in Goethe's writings in which there is a question of an actual transformation of a creature, if not into a new species, at least into a very marked and persistent variety. In 1820, a Dr. Körte gave a description of a primæval bull found in the neighbourhood of Halberstadt, and instituted comparisons and reflections, how under the influence of domestication our highly modified cattle had been evolved from the former. This relic, and another in Thuringia (1821), which latter specimen was obtained by him for the Museum at Jena, gave him an oppor tunity of coinciding with Körte, and of illustrating by an actual incident, the possibility of this doubtless easy transformation.

But from this to the transformation of species there is still a long way, and Goethe did not traverse it. We' have just seen that the idea of deriving single animals

now existing from extinct "ancestral races," was not unfamiliar to him. Nor would his remark, "For we have the most distinct remains of organic creatures which were unable to perpetuate themselves by active reproduction," exclude his having accepted generally the immediate connection, based on direct reproduction, of the animal world with fossil races entirely differing in structure. For it is quite true that many species, genera and groups, passed through, not their prime only, but also their decline and total extinction antecedent to the present era. Yet more. " In Aphoristic Annotations," which he terms problems, written previous to the year 1823, he speaks of "characterless races, which it is scarcely permissible to assign to a species, as they lose themselves in boundless varieties," and he contrasts them "with races possessed of a character, which they exhibit afresh in all their species, so that they may be ascertained in a rational method." Goethe rests on this fact to illustrate his idea of metamorphosis; and we have no right to explain the characterless or "disorderly" races in a Darwinian sense, as being those of which the forms are not established, while those which possess a character are divided into easily distinguishable species, because a host of intermediate forms have succumbed in the struggle for existence. He gave this problem to his intelligent young friend, Ernst Mayer, that he might work it out, and impart his reflections to his instructor.

Mayer says: "The more readily the former (the genera possessing character) are arranged, the more difficult it is to dispose of the latter (those which possess no character). But any one who observes them with

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