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gotten. He would have republished Unconscious Memory himself, had not the latter years of his life been devoted to all-engrossing work in other fields. In issuing the present edition I am fulfilling a wish that he expressed to me shortly before his death. April 1910.
R. A. STREATFEILD
OT FINDING THE “ WELL-KNOWN German scientific journal Kosmos” entered in the British Museum Catalogue, I have pre
sented the Museum with a copy of the number
for February 1879, which contains the article by Dr. Krause of which Mr. Charles Darwin has given a translation, the accuracy of which is guaranteed-so he informs us-by the translator's “scientific reputation together with his knowledge of German.” ?
I have marked the copy, so that the reader can see at a glance what passages have been suppressed and where matter has been interpolated.
I have also presented a copy of Erasmus Darwin. I have marked this too, so that the genuine and spurious passages can be easily distinguished.
I understand that both the Erasmus Darwin and the number of Kosmos have been sent to the Keeper of Printed Books, with instructions that they shall be at once catalogued and made accessible to readers, and do not doubt that this will have been done before the present volume is published. The reader, therefore, who may be sufficiently interested in the matter to care to see exactly what has been done, will now have an opportunity of doing so. 25th October 1880.
| Preface by Mr. Charles Darwin to Erasmus Darwin. The Museum has copies of a Kosmos that was published 1857-60 and then discontinued; but this is clearly not the Kosmos referred to by Mr. Darwin, which began to appear in 1878.
· Preface to Erasmus Darwin.
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION-GENERAL IGNORANCE
ORIGIN OF SPECIES WAS PUBLISHED IN 1859
HERE ARE FEW THINGS WHICH STRIKE us with more surprise, when we review the course taken by opinion in the last century, than the suddenness with which belief in witchcraft and demoniacal possession came to an end. This has been often remarked upon, but I am not acquainted
with any record of the fact as it appeared to those under whose eyes the change was taking place, nor have I seen any contemporary explanation of the reasons which led to the apparently sudden overthrow of a belief which had seemed hitherto to be deeply rooted in the minds of almost all men. As a parallel to this, though in respect of the rapid spread of an opinion, and not its decadence, it is probable that those of our descendants who take an interest in ourselves will note the suddenness with which the theory of evolution, from having been generally ridiculed during a period of over a hundred years, came into popularity and almost universal acceptance among educated people.
It is indisputable that this has been the case; nor is it less indisputable that the works of Mr. Darwin and Mr. Wallace have been the main agents in the change that has been brought about in our opinions. The names of Cobden and Bright do not stand more prominently forward in connection with the repeal of the Corn Laws than do those of Mr. Darwin and Mr. Wallace in connection with the general acceptance of the theory of evolution. There is no living philosopher who has anything like Mr. Darwin's popularity with Englishmen generally; and not only this, but his power of fascination extends all over Europe, and indeed in every
country in which civilization has obtained a footing: not among the illiterate masses, though these are rapidly following the suit of the educated classes, but among experts and those who are most capable of judging. France, indeed, the country of Buffon and Lamarck-must be counted an exception to the general rule, but in England and Germany there are few men of scientific reputation who do not accept Mr. Darwin as the founder of what is commonly called “Darwinism,” and regard him as perhaps the most penetrative and profound philosopher of modern times.
To quote an example from the last few weeks only, I have observed that Professor Huxley has celebrated the twenty-first year since the Origin of Species was published by a lecture at the Royal Institution, and am told that he described Mr. Darwin's candour as something actually “terrible” (I give Professor Huxley's own word, as reported by one who heard it); and on opening a small book entitled Degeneration, by Professor Ray Lankester, published a few days before these lines were written, I find the following passage amid more that is to the same purport:
“ Suddenly one of those great guesses which occasionally appear in the history of science was given to the science of biology by the imaginative insight of that greatest of living naturalists- I would say that greatest of living men-Charles Darwin.”- Degeneration, p. 10.
This is very strong language, but it is hardly stronger than that habitually employed by the leading men of science when they speak of Mr. Darwin. To go farther afield, in February 1879 the Germans devoted an entire number of one of their scientific periodicals ? to the celebration of Mr. Darwin's seventieth birthday. There is no other Englishman now living who has been May 1880.
· Kosmos, February 1879, Leipzig.