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who believe in its imperfection, and many | boy guileless of mathematics set himself to of the other school, accept the theories test the 47th proposition of the book of both of evolution and natural selection, Euclid, by constructing paper squares corwholly or in part, there is no doubt responding to the sides of a right-angled but Mr. Darwin claims the great majority triangle, then, cutting up the small squares, of geologists. Of these, one is in himself try to fit the pieces into the larger, and faila host, the veteran Sir Charles Lyell, who, ing to do this with exactitude, conclude of having first devoted whole chapters of the the problem, as the reviewer does of the first editions of his · Principles' to estab- theory, that it is “an ingenious and plausilishing the doctrine of especial creations, ble speculation, marking at once the ignoabandons it in the tenth, and this too on the rance of the age and the ability of the phishowing of a pupil; for, in the dedication losopher.” of his earliest work, * The Naturalist's Voy The most formidable argument urged by age,' to Sir Charles Lyell, Mr. Darwin the reviewer is, that “the age of the inhabstates that the chief part of whatever merit ited world, as calculated by solar physics, himself or his works possess, has been de- is proved to have heen limited to a period rived from studying the Principles of Ge- wholly inconsistent with Darwin's views.” ology.' I know no brighter example of he- This would be a valid objection, if these roism, of its kind, than this, of an author views depended on those of one school of thus abandoning, late in life, a theory geologists, and if the 500,000,000 years, which he had for forty years regarded as which the reviewer adopts as the age of the the very foundation of a work that had world, were, as an approximate estimate, given him the highest position attainable accepted by either astronomers or physicists. among scientific writers. Well may he be But, in the first place, the reviewer assumes proud of a superstructure raised on the that the rate of change in the condition of foundations of an insecure doctrine, when the earth's surface was vastly more rapid at he finds that he can underpin it, substitute the beginning than now, and has gradually a new foundation, and, after all is finished, slackened since; but overlooks the consesurvey his edifice, not only more secure, quence that, according to all Mr. Darwin's but harmonious in its proportions, than it principles, the operations of natural selection was before; for assuredly the biological must in such cases have been formerly corchapters of the tenth edition of the Princi- respondingly more rapid ; and in the second, ples' are more in harmony with the doctrine of are these speculations as to the solidity of slow changes in the history of our planet the earth's crust, dating back over 500,than were their counterparts in the former 000,000 years, to be depended upon ? In editions.
his great work the author quoted gives as To the astronomer's objections to these possible limits 20,000,000 or 400,000,000 theories I turn with diffidence; they are al- years, and other philosophers assign to the most vehemently urged in what is in many habitable globe an age far exceeding the respects the cleverest critique of them that longest of these periods. Surely in estiI have hitherto met with, and which ap- mates of such a nature as the above, that peared in the North British Review. It is are calculated from dates that are themselves anonymous. I am ignorant of its author, hypothetical in a great degree, there are no
regret to find that, in common with principles upon which we are warranted in the few other really able hostile critiques, assuming the speculation of the astronomer it is disfigured by a dogmatism that con- to be more worthy of confidence than those Erasts unfavourably with Mr. Darwin's con- of the biologist. siderate treatment of his opponents' methods A former most distinguished President, and conclusions. The author starts, if I and himself an astronomer, Prof. Whewell, read him aright, by professing his unfamil- has said of astronomy " that it is not one iarity with the truth and extent of the facts of the lessons of science, but the one of upon which the theories of evolution and perfect science, the only branch of human natural selection are founded, and goes on knowledge in which we are able fully and to say that “the superstructure based on clearly to interpret Nature's oracles, so them may be discussed apart from all doubts that by that which we have tried we receive as to the fundamental facts.". The liberty a prophecy of that which is untried.” Now, thus to discuss no one may dispute or cur- while fully admitting, and proudly as every tail, but the biologist will ask, to what end scientific man ought, that astronomy is the can such discussion lead? Who would at- most certain in its methods and results of tach much weight to the verdict of a judge all sciences, that she has called forth some passed on evidence of which he knew neither of the highest efforts of the intellect, and that the truth nor the extent ? As well might a her results far transcend in grandeur the
of any other science, I think we may hesitate 15,874 years as the age of the inhabited before we therefore admit her queenship, her globe. perfection, or her sole claims to interpreta Prehistoric archæology now offers to lead tion and to prophecy. Her methods are us where man has hitherto not ventured to mathematics; she may call geometry and tread. Can we, while pursuing this inquiry, algebra her handmaidens, but she is none separate its physical from its spiritual asthe less their slave. No science is really pect, will be the uppermost thought in perfect: certainly not that which lately the minds of many here present. To sepaerred 2,000,000 miles in so fundamental a rate them, I believe, is indeed impossible; datum as the earth's distance from the sun. but to search out common truths that under Have Faraday and Von Heer interpreted lie both is permitted to all. It has been well no oracles of nature fully and clearly ? said of all truth by Mr. Disraeli, that " It Have Cuvier and Dalton not prophesied and is the sovereign passion of mankind.” And been true prophets ? Claims to queenship it should be emphatically so in the minds do not accord with the spirit of science; engaged in this search, where religion and rather would I liken the domain of natural science should speak peace to one another, knowledge to a hive, in which every comb if they are to walk hand in hand in this our is a science, and Truth the one queen over day and generation. them all.
A great deal has been said and written It remains to say a few words on some of late about the respective attitudes of reprospects which this Norwich meeting ligion and science; and my predecessor, the opens. A new science has dawned upon Duke of Buccleuch, dwelt on it in his Adus — the early history of mankind. Pre- dress last year with great good sense and historic archæology (including as it does good taste, and pointed out how much the the origin of language and of art), is the progress of knowledge depended on this latest to rise of a series of luminaries that attitude being mutually considerate and have dispelled the mists of ages and re- friendly. During the first decades of my placed time-honoured traditions by scien- scientific life the word science was rarely, tific truths. Astronomy, if not the queen, within my experience, heard in the pulpits yet the earliest of sciences, first snatched of these islands; during the succeeding, the torch from the hands of dogmatic teach- when the influence of the * Reliquiæ Diluviers, tore up the letter and cherished the anæ ' and the · Bridgewater Treatises' was spirit of the law. Geology next followed, still felt, I often heard, and always welbut not till two centuries had elapsed, nor comed it. But now, of late years, science indeed till this our day, succeeded in di- is more frequently named than ever; but vesting religious teaching of many cobwebs too often with dislike or fear than with trust of scientific error. It has told us that ani- and welcome. mal and vegetable life preceded the appear The Rev. Dr. Hannah, in an eloquent ance of man on the globe not by days, but and candid contribution to the Contempoby myriads of years; and how late this rary Review (No. 21, September, 1867), knowledge came we may gather, from the has quoted a long list of eminent clergyfact that the late Mr. Lawrence, in his Lec- men of all denominations who have adorned tures delivered so late as 1818, says of the science by their writings and religion by extinct races of animals, “that their living their lives. I do not ignore their contribuexistence has been supposed, with con- tions, still less do I overlook the many brilsiderable probability, to be of older date liant examples there are of educated preachthan the formation of the human race." ers who give to science the respect due to And, last of all, this new science proclaims it. But Dr. Hannah omits to observe that man himself to have inhabited this earth the majority of these honoured contributors for, perhaps, many thousands of years be- were not religious teachers in the ordinary fore the historic period — a result little ex- sense of the word, nor does he tell us in pected less than thirty years ago, when the what light many of their scientific writings Rev. W. V. Harcourt, in his address to the were regarded by a large body of their Association at Birmingham ("Reports,' p. brother clergymen - those resident in the 17), observed that “Geology points to the country especially -- from whose pulpits conclusion that the time during which man- alone an overwhelming proportion of the kind existed on the globe cannot materially population ever heard the name of science. differ from that assigned by Scripture," În return, let each pursue the search for referring, I need not say, to the so-called truth - the archæologist into the physical, Scripture chronology, which has no warrant the religious teacher into the spiritual hisin the Old Testament, and which gives tory and condition of mankind." It will be
in vain that each regards the other's pur- of the finite, and shifts its ground to meet suits from afar, and, turning the object- the requirements of every new fact that glass of his mind's telescope to his eye, is science establishes and every old error that content when he sees how small the other science exposes. Thus pursued natural looks. To search out the whence and theology is to the scientific man a delusion, whither of existence is an unquenchable in- and to the religious man a snare, leading stinct of the human mind; to satisfy it man too often to disordered intellects and to in every age and in every country has atheism. adopted creeds that embrace the history of One of our deepest thinkers, Mr. Herhis past and future, and has eagerly' ac- bert Spencer, has said :—.“ If religion and cepted scientific truths that support the science are to be reconciled, the basis of creeds. And but for this unquenchable in- the reconciliation must be this deepest, widstinct I for one believe that neither religion est, and most certain of facts, that the nor science would have advanced so far as power which the universe manifests to us is they have in the estimation of any people. utterly inscrutable.” The bond that unites Science has never in this search hindered the physical and spiritual history of man, the religious aspirations of good and ear- and the forces which manifest themselves in nest men, nor have pulpit cautions, which the alternate victories of mind and of are but ill-disguised deterrents, ever turned matter over the actions of the individual, inquiring minds from the revelations of are, of all the subjects that physics and science.
psychology have revealed to us, the most A sea of time spreads its waters between absorbing and perhaps inscrutable. In the that period to which the earliest traditions investigation of their phenomena is wrapped of our ancestors point, and that far earlier up the past and the future, the whence and period when man first appeared upon the the whither of existence; and after knowlglobe. For his track upon the sea man vainly edge of these, the human soul still yearns, questions his spiritual teachers. Along its and thus passionately cries, in the words of hither shore, if not across it, science now a living poet (F. T. Palgrave) — offers to pilot him. Each fresh discovery
To matter or to force concerning pre-historic man is as a pier
The all is not confined ; built on some rock its tide has exposed,
Beside the law of things and from these piers will one day spring
Is set the law of mind; arches that will carry him further over its
One speaks in rock and star, deeps. Science, it is true, may never And one within the main, sound the depths of that sea, may never In unison at times, buoy its shallows or span its narrowest And then apart again ; creeks; but she will still build on every And both in one have brought us hither, tide-washed rock, nor will she deem her That we may know our whence and whither. mission fulfilled till she has sounded its profoundest depths and reached its further
The sequency of law shore, or proved the one to be unfathom
We learn through mind alone,
We see but outward forms, able and the other unattainable upon evi
The soul the one thing known ;dence not yet revealed to mankind. And
If she speak truth at all, if in this track one bears in mind that it is
The voices must be true a common object of religion and of science
That give these visible things to seek to understand the infancy of its ex These laws their honour due, istence, that the laws of mind are not yet But tell of One who brought us hither, relegated to the teachers of physical sci- And holds the keys of whence and whither. ence, and that the laws of matter are not within the religious teacher's province, these may then work together in harmony and
He in his science plans
What no known laws foretell; with goodwill. But if they would thus work
The wandering fires and fixed in harmony, both parties must beware how
Alike are miracle : they fence with that most dangerous of all
The common death of all, two-edged weapons, natural theology-a The life renewed above, science falsely so-called when, not content Are both within the scheme with trustfully accepting truths hostile to
Of that all-circling love ; any presumptuous standard it may set up, The seeming chance that cast us hither it seeks to weigh the infinite in the balance Accomplishes his whence and whither.
From The Spectator. many a poor household would perish of
Starvation, however, does not seem the
order of the day in Loch Scresort. On VIEWED in the soft sparkling light of a wind- landing, and making for the first hut at less summer morning, Loch Scresort is as hand, we find the cow, with her calf by her sweet a little nook as ever Ulysses mooned side, tethered a few yards from the dwellaway a day in during his memorable voy- ing, two pigs wallowing in the peat mire age homeward. Though merely a small close by, and at least a dozen cocks, hens, bay, about a mile in breadth, and curving and chickens running to and fro across the inland for a mile and a half, it is quite shel- threshold, where a fresh, well-fed matron, tered from all winds save the east, being with a fine smile for the stranger, salutes flanked to the south and west by Haskeval us in the Gaelic speech. With that fine and Hondeval, and guarded on the north- old grace of hospitality which has fled for ern side by a low range of heathery slopes. ever from busier scenes, she leads us into In this sunny time the sheep are bleating her cottage - a “but and a “ben." from the shores, the yacht lies double, The apartment into which we are shown, yacht and shadow, and the still bay is despite the damp. earthen floor and milpainted richly with the clear reflection of dewy walls, is quite a palace for the Highthe hills. On the northern point of the lands; for it has a wooden press bed, loch, where the old red sandstone is piled in wooden chairs and table, and a rude cuptorn fantastic heaps high over the sea, board, shapen like a wardrobe; and the gulls innumerable sit and bask. “ Croak! walls are adorned, moreover, by a penny croak !" cries the monstrous hooded crow at almanack and a picture cut out of the IUustheir backs, perched like an evil spirit on trated London News. Drink for the gods the very head of the cliffs, and squinting is speedily handed round, in the shape of fiercely at the far-off sheep. A bee drones foaming bowls of new milk fresh from the drowsily past the yacht, completing the udder - a cup of welcome invariably ofsense of stillness and pastoral life.
fered to the traveller in any Highland Scattered along the southern side of the dwelling that can afford it. A few friendly bay are a few poor cottages, rudely built words warm up the good woman's heart, of stone and roofed with peat turfs, and at and she begins to prattle and to question. the head of the loch is a comfortable white- She is a childless widow, and her** man washed house, the abode of Captain Mac- was drowned. She dwells here all alone; leod of Dunvegan, the tenant of the island. for all her relatives have emigrated to CanThere is, moreover, a rude stone pier, ada, where she hopes some day to join where a small vessel might lie secure in them. On hearing that we have passed any weather, and off which a battered old through Glasgow, she asks eagerly if we brigantine is even now unloading oatmeal know a woman called Maggie, who sells and flour. Casting loose the punt, we row eggs; the woman's surname she does not over to the vessel, and begin a chat with remember, but we must have noticed her, the shrewd-looking old skipper, who is as she is splay-footed and has red hair. superintending the passage of the sacks in- She has never been further south than Eig, to a skiff alongside. In that extraordinary and hence her notion of big cities. She dialect called Gaelic-English, which may be longs very much to see Tobermory and its described as a wild mingling of Gaelic, bad great shops, - also to look up a distant Irish, and Lowland Scotch, he gives us to kinsman, who has flourished there in trade. understand that he is at once the owner She tells us much of the laird and his famiand master of his craft, and that he cruises ly — the “folk in the big house ;” they from island to island during the summer, are decent, pious people, and kind to the bartering his cargo of food for whatever poor. Will she sell us some eggs? Well, marketable commodities the poor folk of she has not heard the price of eggs this the place may have prepared. His great season, but will let us have some at fivetrade is with the fishers, who pay him in pence a dozen. She loads the pilot with a dried fish, chiefly ling and cod; but all is basketful of monsters, and we go on our fish that comes to his net, and can be any- way rejoicing. how cashed in the South. Doubtless the Casting our eyes up the hill as we leave odds of the bargains are quite on his side. the cottage, we meet a pair of steadfast In answer to our queries as to the general eyes regarding us over a knoll a few yards condition of the islanders, he shakes his distant; and lo! the head and antlers of a grey head dismally, and gives us to under- noble stag, a veritable red deer from the stand that but for him, and such as him, I peaks. He has wandered down to prey
upon the little patch of corn, from which that in wild weather twist down like lightthe widow with difficulty drives him and his ning to the hidden lakes below. mates many times in the day. A royal Far down westward there is a long low fellow! Conscious of his immunity, he line, as of cloud on the horizon. That is stares coolly at us with his soft yet power- the Outer Hebrides, our Ultima Thule. ful eye. We approach nearer - he does The low levels are veiled by distance, but not move — a pistol-shot would stretch him the hills and promontories, — now a dull low; but suddenly espying our retriever, headland, beyond a stretch of highland, who has lingered behind, lapping up some loom clearly here and there through the spilt milk, he tosses his head disdainfully, mist. With a feeling distantly akin to that and turns to go. As the dog runs towards of the old wanderers of the seas, gazing him, he breaks into a trot, then bounds from their frail barks at the cloud of unexsuddenly over a boulder, and is off at full plored demesne, we eye our far-off quarry. speed. The dog pursues him eagerly, but A far flight for the tiny Tern, on seas so the fleet-footed one speeds silently away, great and strange! Weary with a longfloating lightly upward to the heights, and reaching gaze, our eye drops downward on leaving his panting pursuer far behind. the western side of the isle whereon we
But the eye, following him upward, rests stand. The low glassy swell of the Minch on the peaks, and is sublimed by a sudden breaks in one thin, creamy line against that sense of the silences broken only by the awful coast, – a long range washed steep red deer's splash in some dull tarn. Fad- into cliffs and precipices, and unbroken by ing gradually upward from deep green to a single haven or peaceful creek. When ashen grey, mingling softly into the white the mists and vapours gather here, and the little cloud that poises itself on the highest south-wester comes pouring in on, these peak of all, the mountains lie in the crystal- shores, and the sea rises and roars as it line air of a hazeless summer day. Every can roar only on rocky coasts, many a rock comes out clear, every stream shows its brave ship goes to pieces yonder. There intense white seam against the hillside, and is here no hope on this side of time. Not the knolls of crimson heather in the fore- a soul is there to look on from the land, and ground seem visible to the tiniest leaf.
he who drifts living as far as the shore is The temptation is too great, and we are dashed to pieces on its jagged wall. There soon vigorously facing the lesser range of is no pause, no suspense. A crash, a heights. On all the knolls around us the shriek, and the vessel is churned into spinwhite canna-grass waves in the wind, and drift and splintering planks. the yellow iris peeps among the green After a long ramble, we regain our punt, twigs of under-grass, and in the hollows and are soon busy hoisting sail on board here, where the peat is cut and piled for the yacht, for a fresh breeze has sprung up, drying, we stop and pluck bog asphodel
. which should waft us swiftly on to Canna. Higher we speed, knee-deep now in the Up goes the Tern's white wings, and we fly deep-red heather, — from which the dog buoyantly away, the faint scent of honeyscares moor fowl under our very feet. The suckle floating from the rocks as we round air rarefies, full
, as it were, of holier, deep- the jagged point of the bay. It is the last er breath. The deep red of the heather farewell of Loch Scresort, - the last sweet dies away into brown and green, and yet breath of a sweet place. The sun shines, a few paces further, only green herbage the spray sparkles, and with happy hearts carpets the way, - boulders thicken, the and backward-looking eyes, we speed along hillside grows still more steep, till at last, on the joyful gentle sea. quite breathless with exercise and the sharp The breeze stiffens, blowing on fine air, we get among the greystone cliff's quarter, and the little Tern, though she and hugely piled boulders of the peaks. carries a double reef in the mainsail, has
The great glorious world lies still around soon about as much as she can bear; but us,-mountains, peaks, and their shadows in cheerily she foams through it, veritably a crystal sea. Close at hand, to the north- “ like a thing of life," fearless, eager, quivward, see Canna, with her grim shark's ering through every fibre with the salt teeth of outlying rock cutting up here and fierce play, — now dipping with a stealthy there out in the westward ocean; and be- motion into the green hollow of the waves, bind her tower the Coolin Hills of Skye, then rising, shivering on their crest, and sharpening into peak on peak, blue mists glancing this way and that like a startled brooding on their base, but all above bird ; drifting sidelong for a moment as if snowed over with livid layers of basalt, and wounded and faint, with her white wing seamed with the black forked bed of torrents, trailing in the water, and again, at the LIVING AGE. VOL. XI.