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Darwin had collected have never been made known. The cause is well known to have been the continued pressure of ill-health. The work on Domesticated Animals was thus delayed many years, after which came the labour of bringing out a much enlarged edition of the Origin of Species. The Descent of Man was, apparently, at first intended to be a comparatively small book, but a difficulty connected with the origin of the distinctive peculiarities of the two sexes led to an investigation of this subject throughout the animal kingdom. This was found to be of such extreme interest, and to have such important applications, that its development with the completeness characteristic of all the writer's work led to the production of two bulky volumes, followed by another volume on the Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, not less instructive. None of Darwin's works has excited greater interest or more bitter controversy than that on man; and the correction of the numerous reprints, and of a final enlarged edition in 1874, was found to be so laborious a task as to convince him that any such extensive literary works as those projected and announced six years previously must be finally abandoned. This, however, by no means implied cessation from work. Observation and experiment were the delight and relaxation of Darwin's life, and he now continued and supplemented those numerous researches on plants we have already referred to. A new edition of an earlier work on the Movements of Climbing Plants appeared in 1875 ; a thick volume on Insectivorous Plants in the same year ; Cross and self-Fertilisation in 1876; the Forms of Flowers in 1877 ; the Movements of Plants, embodying much original research, in 1880; and his remarkable little book on Earthworms in 1881. This last work is highly characteristic of the author. In 1837 he had contributed to the Geological Society a short paper on the formation of vegetable mould by the agency of worms. For more than forty years this subject of his early studies was kept in view; experiments were made, in one case involving the keeping a field untouched for thirty years,—and every opportunity was taken of collect
1 About this time he said to the present writer : “When I am obliged to give up observation and experiment, I shall die.” And he actually did continue his experiments to within a few days of his death.
ing facts and making fresh observations, the final result being to elevate one of the humblest and most despised of the animal creation to the position of an important agent in the preparation of the earth for the use and enjoyment of the higher animals and of man.
The sketch now given of Darwin's work, though it may have seemed tedious to the reader by its length, is yet in many respects imperfect, since it has given no account of those earlier important labours which would alone have made the reputation of a lesser man. None but the greatest geologists have produced more instructive works than the two volumes of Geological Observations, and the profound and original essay “On the Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs ”; the most distinguished zoologists and anatomists might be proud of the elaborate "Monograph of the Cirripedia," of which a competent judge says: "The prodigious number and minute accuracy of his dissections, the exhaustive detail with which he worked out every branch of his subject—sparing no pains in procuring every species that it was possible to procure, in collecting all the known facts relating to the geographical and geological distribution of the group, in tracing all the complicated history of the metamorphoses presented by the individuals of the sundry species, in disentangling the problem of the homologies of these perplexing animals, etc.—all combine to show that, had Mr. Darwin chosen to devote himself to a life of morphological work, his name would probably have been second to none in that department of biology,”1 while the numerous researches on the fertilisation and structure of flowers and the movements of plants, would alone place him in the rank of a profound and original investigator in botanical science.
Estimate of Darwin's Life-Work Yet these works, great as is each of them separately, and, taken altogether, amazing as the production of one man, sink into insignificance as compared with the vast body of research and of thought of which the Origin of Species is the brief epitome, and with which alone the name of Darwin is associated by the mass of educated men. I have here
1 Nature, vol. xxvi. p. 99.
endeavoured, however imperfectly, to enable non-specialists
That he has done this is the sufficient answer to his critics and to his few detractors. However much our knowledge of nature may advance in the future, it will certainly be by following in the pathways he has made clear for us; and for long years to come the name of Darwin will stand for the typical example of what the student of nature ought to be. And if we glance back over the whole domain of science, we shall find none to stand beside him as equals; for in him we find a patient observation and collection of facts, as in Tycho Brahe; the power of using those facts in the determination of laws, as in Kepler, combined with the inspirational genius of a Newton, through which he was enabled to grasp fundamental principles, and so apply them as to bring order out of chaos, and illuminate the world of life as Newton illuminated the material universe. Paraphrasing the eulogistic words of the poet, we may say, with perhaps a greater approximation to truth
ABBOTT, C. C., on American palæo- | Ampelidæ, sexual colouring and nidifi-
cation of, 126
Anderson, Mr. W. Marshall,
cranium from N. American mound,
Andes, very rich in humming-birds, 323
Angræcum sesquipedale, 146
Animal colours, how produced, 357
life in tropical forests, 271
of savages, 192
an example of Darwin's re.
Anthrocera filipendulæ, 84
opinion among, to origin of
conflicting views of, harmonised,
in North America, 433
numbers of, in India and Malaya,