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upon the enormous duty then paid upon salt, which duty no sooner was removed than the process for extracting soda from salt came into general use, from which hour the kelp trade sank and sank until it had well-nigh vanished altogether. For many years hardly a kelpfire burnt along the shore; whole villages were reduced to the brink of starvation, and hundreds both from here and from the west of Scotland emigrated to America. At last, but not until years afterwards, a new kelp trade sprang into existence,--at first feebly, gradually increasing to a considerable industry. This time the trade however was not.in .black' weed kelp but in red’ (chiefly the different species of Laminaria); not for the production of soda but of iodine, and although the prices have never again attained to anything like what they were in former years, on the other hand this disparity is partly balanced by the fact that “the cutters of the black weed had to pay high rent to the land proprietor, since the weed grows between high and low water, while the red all grows below the low water mark. Some proprietors, however, charge a small sum for the right to collect the "claddagh' (weed driven inshore in winter-time) "and others a royalty per ton for leave to spread and burn the kelp upon their land.'! l'nfortunately the fatality which overtook the original makers of kelp seems still to be pursuing their successors. Again the prices have gone down, and again the fires are beginning to be extinguished, and whether a new opening will once more arise to resuscitate the trade remains to be seen.
But the day is wearing on; our men have a good seven or eight miles to row us homeward; so, having hauled the dredge on board, and comforted our captures with a fresh supply of salt water, we put the boat about, and once more make for the entrance of the Killary. Back again, past the islands, each with its narrow jagged hem of foam ; past Salrock with its church and its trees, over which the rooks are now loudly cawing; past the long green ridge which divides the two bays; in again at the narrow mouth of the Killary, where vicious-looking black reefs and murderous tooth-like points of rock gnash at us from either side. Here for a moment the surf runs high, but as we advance further and further it seems as if the smooth water came forward to meet us. The long Atlantic swell drops behind; the very breeze dies away, unable to get over the barriers to right and left. The surface, as far ahead as we can see, is broken up
into a succession of lines and ripples, dividing and surrounding spaces of absolutely still water. Even the light seems diminished as we exchange the shining league-wide surface of the sea for the comparatively narrow and darkened space which is all that intervenes between the promontory on the one hand and the mountain on the other. Glancing back towards the entrance, the islands seem sleeping in the afternoon haze. Small white puffs of cloud still hang upon the
I'Seaweeds of Iar ('onnaught.' J. H. Kinahan, Quarterly Journal of Science, vol. vi. p. 331.
summit of Mweelrea, or go floating leisurely away through space. Lower, but not seemingly so very much lower, our eyes rest upon a ledge where formerly year after year a pair of eagles built their nest and reared their young. Now, alas ! it is deserted, the last eagle of the Killarys having been shot some eight or nine years ago for the crime of lamb-stealing.
Pleasant as our whole excursion is, perhaps this hour of return is the pleasantest of all. Our captures are all safely disposed at the bottom of the boat. Our dredge too is tucked securely away under the thwarts, and we are no longer to be baunted with visions of its being stuck in sandbanks, or jammed fast between inexorable rocks. The labours (such as they are), of the day are over, and the further labour of sorting and arranging our captures is still to come. We have not even the steering to think of, that science being necessarily reduced to a minimum when there is only one way, and it is impossible to go wrong. We have nothing to do but to sit at our ease and enjoy the scene ; to watch the gradual unfolding of the landscape, point appearing beyond point, headland beyond headland; the long blue lane of water stretching away for miles ahead; the silent hills crowding down one before the other to the very brink. If it is the salmon season, then at every point we pass, curaghs, with their nets on board, are waiting till the fish are seen to rise. When this happens, out fly a couple from opposite directions, dropping their nets behind them as they go, and a great and mighty hubbub arises, the men splashing the enclosed space violently with their oars, and shrieking as only a Connaught man can shriek, and he only when he gets excited. Perhaps, on the whole, it is pleasanter when nothing of the sort is going on, and a few puffins and kittiwakes, or possibly a solitary heron poaching on his own account, are the only things to be seen. Then as we creep nearer and nearer to the foot of the hills the silence seems to settle. A gleam caught from some passing cloud spreads over the dull face of the bay; the grey boulders and dark Silurian cliffs turn a faint violet in the glow. From the nearest shore comes a sound of trickling water, and the sleepy wish wish' of the waves against the rocks. We too feel ourselves yielding to the influences of the hour; slipping away into a sort of dreamy semiconsciousness, a midway state between sleep and waking, wbich lasts perhaps till we are aroused by hearing our keel come crunch upon the sand with a thump which sends the water flying out of every pot and pan. Wood-pigeons, roused at our approach, rise noisily out of the busbes; a belated cuckoo responding loudly from the little bill above. All the chimneys of our small temporary abode are smoking hospitably, and, as we leave the boat and clamber hastily up the stone-strewn path, suddenly a faint but very suggestive smell of baked potatoes seems to be wafted down to us upon the evening air.
MAN'S PLACE IN NATURE.
When the Royal Agricultural Society held its meeting in Carlisle last summer, I was called upon to preach a sermon at the special service for which, according to a good custom of some years' continuance, the society makes arrangements. The congregation consisted chiefly of the herdsmen and others brought together by the great exhibition. A very interesting occasion it was; and it seemed to me that the nature of the congregation, and the thought of the collection of animals, in the midst of which our church-tent was pitched and our worship was conducted, might suggest as the most suitable topic for consideration the difference between man and beast. Accordingly I spoke upon this great subject; and I think now, as I did then, that it was as good a subject as I could have chosen.
But of course it was not possible to do more than touch the fringe of so vast a question in a sermon, especially in a sermon to such a congregation; and I have felt a temptation, ever since the meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society, to develop somewhat more carefully and systematically thoughts which were in my mind when I preached to the herdsmen. The consequence has been, that I have determined to put together some thoughts concerning Man's Place in Nature '—a grand subject, if not a novel one-a subject which has, however, presented of late years some novel aspects, and is worthy therefore of continued consideration.
It is true that there are certain points of view, from which if we regard the subject we may make very short work of it. Man's place in nature as most of us would be willing to concede) is that of facile princeps; he is the lord and master of all; he stands unique amongst the creatures of God; his attributes and his destiny are such as to separate him, not only in degree, but in kind, from all other living beings. Divine and human testimony combine to establish this view; and it will assist me to introduce those considerations which will form the substance of this essay, if I first refer to the testimony of which I speak, and dwell for a few moments upon it.
The Holy Scriptures are built upon the hypothesis of the supremacy and the unique position of man in creation, as upon a foundation. Indeed, it may be said that every religion which ever has been, or ever can be established in the world, is based upon this ; men may deify and worship bulls, and cats, and crocodiles, as the ancient Egyptians did; but the deifiers and worshippers must have been, and doubtless were, quite sensible of their own superiority to the creatures which they so treated. For my purpose, however, it will be sufficient to observe the remarkable manner in which the only religion in which most of us are likely to feel much interest, is expressly and professedly built upon the supremacy of man. The great purpose, almost the only purpose, of the opening chapters of Genesis would seem to be the laying of this foundation. The first chapter of Genesis is not an essay on geology, but an essay on man. • Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth.' So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him ; male and female created He them.'. • The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Passages such as these are the foundation-stone of that religion, which alone influences, to any extent, the minds of the most civilised and advanced of the nations of the world.
In truth the hypothesis of the possibility of a revelation, or indeed of a religion of any kind, implies an antecedent hypothesis as to the unique and supreme position of man. Without the supposition of man being a creature capable of a revelation from God, it is manifest that the whole conception of the Bible, Old Testament and New alike, evaporates and vanishes. No one, I suppose, would care to argue that even the highest amongst the beasts was susceptible of even the lowest degree of religious feeling.
But something analogous to this may be said with regard to literature not claiming, like the Holy Scriptures, a divine origin. The utterances of poets and philosophers must be taken into account in any system of anthropology; the very existence of poetry and philosophy, like the existence of religion and sacred books, is a fact to be taken into account in estimating man's position. With regard to their utterances, I confess that I would rather trust a poet as an expounder of man, than I would trust a student of natural history; I do not say that either is to be followed blindly without consulting the other; each has his own department, and each is perhaps liable to be led astray, so as to see one profile of the human face, and one only; but if we must have one side of humanity chosen as the principal subject of examination, the spiritual side, which presents itself to the poet or the philosopher, is grander, more humar, more worthy of study, than the physical or animal side. I would even venture to say that in a matter of this kind, the prophetic insight of the true poet is more powerful as a means of investigating
truth, than the babit of accurate observation of physical phenomena which distinguishes the student of natural history.
Make Shakespeare in this, as in most other things we may, the spokesman for the whole family of poets. Remember Hamlet's words : What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculties ! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a God!' Shakespeare knew nothing about the evolution of man from inferior forms, and even if he had I do not think that the knowledge would have interfered with his conclusion; but I venture to assert that such words as those which I have just quoted are more deeply and solemnly true, and throw more light upon man's constitution, than much which has been put forward by physical students.
Let me give one more poetical utterance. It is in a lower key and much less forcible than Shakespeare's, but I think it worthy of production because it exhibits very keenly that complicated constitution of man's nature which so utterly differences him from other creatures, and which makes it so absolutely clear that he must have a class entirely appropriated to himself.
Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world."
I have connected philosophers with poets as exponents of man's place in nature. It is not that the philosophers, either ancient or modern, have been entirely of one mind on the subject, and that we can consequently point to certain conclusions as having the unanimous verdict of the whole philosophic tribe. On the other hand, the opinions held have been most various, and these opinions have divided philosophers into different schools, both in ancient and in modern times. But the mere possibility of the discussions in which the most thoughtful men have been engaged in all ages, the formation of schools, the earnestness with which arguments have been carried on concerning man's greatest good, the grounds of duty, the nature of his desting, and the like great human questions, all this seems by itself to prove, or rather to postulate, the unique position of man and the high elevation of that position. Socrates and Plato, Cicero and Seneca, studied man's place in nature with such light as they could find ; and Pascal, with a brighter light shining
· Pope's Essay on Man.