Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

your heel,

A DUBLIN STREET DANCE.

A HOLIDAY INVITATION. There's nothing in life like a Jig or a Reel ; Come, friend, with me, if simple thoughts conFirst a tap with your toe, then a drum with sole ;

To our glad session bring no wiser brain; And now double shuffle, and next heel-and-toe, Come where betwixt the mountain and the And then turn your partner as over you go.

plain

The billowy uplands of the Border roll. And as you grow warmer your muscles grow

Better than yon bleak Alps to travail'd soul free,

This half-way heaven; and happier far to And looser your ankle, and looser your knee;

gain, And you're in your glory: hurroo ! arrah, then

Than heights of ecstasy o'er gulfs of pain, Old men become boys, and gossoons become the grey-green hills of sober self-control.

Be wisely passive; strive not here to find ;
But ope thy heart, and, when the hills have

sway,
Play faster the music! it isn't a wake :
Yes, faster and loud, till you make the walls About thy spirit all his witchery wind,

Let the great minstrel of the Border-lay shake.

Or travel to the height of Wordsworth's mind, And see, as the notes our shoe-leather inspire, From the cold English pavement

And with some glorious sonnet crown the we tread

day. out the fire.

Spectator.

J. R.

men,

a

*

a

Till age tells at last, and the elders drop off ;
And as each turns his tail, all the young col-

leens scoff ;
While them that remains, though they hallo

THE AUTUMN CROCUS. and whoop, 'Tis as plain as a pike they're beginning to Nor peeped to welcome the cuckoo's wing.

It answered not to the voice of spring, droop.

It blanched not pale with the whitening thorn,

Nor blushed with poppies in autumn corn. And now, at long last, there remain but one

But it came with the coming of winter chill, pair,

And mist lay heavy upon the hill.
Who a balo of glory and eminence wear, “No more winter,” I said, and lo!
Forby they have danced all the company down: It passed and left me before the snow.
With a naggin of whiskey the darlings let's
crown!

O, had it come with the birds in spring
Spectator.

A. F. G.

It might have passed on the swallow's wing.

Love that with spring's first shoots is born * A well-known Irish grievance, that Dublin is paved Is fitly garnered among the corn. with English paving-stones.

But to come with the passing of autumn chill,
And fly ere winter had Aed the hill !
Be born with Indian summer's glow,
And then lie buried beneath the snow !
St. James's Gazette.

W. D.

IN MEMORY OF

THE RIGHT HON. H. FAWCETT, M.P. And he is gone now out of all men's sight Who sightless fought his way, nor failed one

hour; Matched Fate with Will's indomitable power, Rose up from sickness and confronted Night. “ Others may flee,” he said; “I stay to fight.”

Fighting, he saw his dread opponent cower

As human strength o'er his began to tower, While the blind Victor's brows were wreathed

with light.

TO DELIA.
THINK not that with your gay apparel
I fain would quarrel.
'Tis but a niggard who denies
To Beauty her accessories.
As well condemn the violets blue
For sparkling in the morning's dew,
Or meadows, when enriched they be
With springtime's sweet embroidery.

True heart! We feel in England and o'er sea
The whole of thy great life-work nobly

planned; Not only for thyself the victory,

But in thy triumph triumphs all thy land, Which, sad from end to end for loss of thee, Of civic heroes counts no life more grand.

PHILIP BOURKE MARSTON.
Athenæum.

But, when the cunning of the dress
Provokes a proud self-consciousness,
When girdle's clasp and riband's tie
Permit the thrills of vanity,
When flowing silks and lace I see
Eclipsing sweet simplicity —
Then, of a surety, I confess
I love not art but artlessness.

St. James's Gazette.

.

From The Edinburgh Review. the Christian era there is the science of nature, ARISTOTLE'S HISTORY OF ANIMALS.*

and especially the science of animals. There OF all the great intellects that have are all at once the three sciences, zoology, added lustre to the world of thought and physiology, and anatomy, created with their philosophy, the name of Aristotle stands fundamental principles, their method, their prominently forth; so comprehensive and elementary classifications, framework, and prinpiercing a genius, such indefatigable zeal cipal details ! There they are, created in such and untiring industry could not fail to be a way that they seem at first without prece

dent, and that they remain for more than twenty productive of great results; for twenty centuries without receiving the slightest incenturies his name and authority held the crease! Zoology, properly so calied, physiol. whole civilized world in awe. What are ogy, and comparative anatomy, have remained Aristotle's merits as a teacher of biology, even to us very nearly such as Aristotle has and what is the real value of his scientific constituted them; and if in our days they have writings ? Widely different opinions have made immense progress, it is by remaining been held. On the one hand, the late Mr. faithful to the way which he has pointed out G. H. Lewes says:

for them. (Preface, pp. lii., liii.) It is difficult to speak of Aristotle without M. Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire thus seems exaggeration — he is felt to be so mighty, and to endorse all that Buffon, Cuvier, and is known to be so wrong. History, surveying others have written in praise of Aristotle's the whole scope of his pretensions, gazes on works on natural history. Let us briefly him with wonder. Science, challenging these notice the language of these two great separate pretensions and testing their results, French zoologists : regards them with indifference - - an indifference only exasperated into antagonism by the Aristotle's History of Animals [says Buffon] clamorous urgency of unauthenticated praise. is perhaps even now the best work of its kind; It is difficult to direct the opposing streams of he probably knew animals better, and under criticism into the broad equable current of a more general views than we do now. Although calm appreciation, because the splendor of his the moderns have added their discoveries to fame perpetuates the memory of his failure, those of the ancients, I do not believe that we and to be just we must appreciate both. His have many works on natural history that we intellect was piercing and comprehensive ; his can place above those of Aristotle and Pliny. attainments surpassed those of every known philosopher; his influence has only been ex

Again, in speaking of Aristotle's plan, in ceeded by the great founders of religions which he takes man as a model, and comNevertheless, if we now estimate the product pares the difference between the parts of of his labors in the discovery of positive truths, man and those of other animals, Buffon it appears insignificant when not erroneous. says, “ He accumulates facts, and does not None of the great germinal discoveries in sci- write one useless word.” ence are due to him or to his disciples.

The laudatory language of the illustri. On the other hand, the learned French ous Cuvier is equally strong, and, indeed, translator of Aristotle's words, M. Bar. as M. Saint-Hilaire says, is manifested by thélemy Saint-Hilaire, after lamenting the more animated expressions. “Of all the loss of many of Aristotle's works, re.

sciences, that which owes the most to marks :

Aristotle is the natural history of animals.

Not only did he know a great number of Opposite a monument so beautiful, so colos. species, but he studied and described sal, there is still astonishment such as was felt them after a vast and luminous plan by Cuvier. Three centuries and a half before which, perhaps, none of his successors

1. Histoire des Animaux d'Aristote. Traduite have approached.” Again, “ 'The principal en Français et accompagnée de Notes perpétuelles. divisions still followed by naturalists in Par J. Barthelemy Saint-Hilaire, Membre de the animal kingdom are due to Aristotle, l'Institut, Sénateur. Three vols. Svo. Paris : 1883.

2. Aristotle : A chapter from the History of Science, and he indicated several to which they including Analyses of Aristotle's Scientific Writings. have returned in these later times, after By George Henry Lewes. London: 1864. 3. Aristotelis de Animalibus Historiæ Libri X.

having unfortunately diverged from them.” Textum recensuit Jul. Cæs. Scaligeri versionem dili- Everywhere Aristotle observes facts genter recognovit F. G. SCHNEIDER. Lipsiæ : 1811. with attention.” Speaking of the “His.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

tory of Animals,” Cuvier writes : “I can- | justified in the unqualified praises they not read this book without being ravished have so enthusiastically bestowed on his with astonishment. Indeed, it is impos- natural history writings will be seen bysible to conceive how a single man was and-by, when we bring before our readers able to collect and compare the multitude some of his own statements concerning of particular facts implied in the numerous various animals or physiological questions general rules and aphorisms contained in which he discusses. The subject does this work, and of which bis predecessors not concern itself with Aristotle's splendid never had any idea.” But it is, above all, and, perhaps, unrivalled genius, his logisays M. SaintHilaire, in his “ Lectures cal power of thought, his comprehensive on the History of the Natural Sciences,” and penetrating mind, his love of truth, in the College of France, at the close of his appreciation of a true method, his clear his life, that Cuvier shows himself a pas- intellect and his extraordinary diligence; sionate admirer of the Greek naturalist. it has nothing to do with the great relative

We cannot reproduce the exact expressions value of his scientific writings, considered which the incomparable professor uses, since at the time in which he lived; all unprejuhis lectures were not corrected by his hand; diced students of zoology, whether of the but if they have not preserved the form of his past or the present, are willing to do glad style, they give at least his thought, and they homage to the " Father of Natural His. preserve a faithful trace of the most ardent tory," and delight to read the numerous and deliberate enthusiasm. In his eyes “ Aris- admirable and correct accounts of the totle is the giant of Greek science; before animals of which he treats; they will recAristotle, science did not exist; he created it ognize in his treatise “On the Parts of from fragments. One cannot read his History of Animals' without being delighted with

Animals,” its great value and interest in astonishment. His zoological classification

the history of science, both on account of leaves few things to be done by the ages which the materials it furnishes, and because it have come after him. His work is one of the is one of the earliest attempts to found greatest monuments that the genius of man biology on comparative anatomy; they has raised to natural science.”

will admit his treatise “On the Genera. These reiterated praises are regarded by

tion and Development of Animals "to be his recent French translator as decisive.

his masterpiece in science, will recognize On the other hand, the language of Cuvier,

its true greatness, and “be surprised and in the opinion of the late lamented En delighted to find how often Aristotle glish scholar and physiologist, George

seems at the highest level of speculation, Henry Lewes, "passes all bounds permis.

even when they compare his statements sible to sincere enthusiasm; the more so

with the results of the most advanced because of the authority attached to his embryologists.” The question does not own eminent name. Others speak with

concern itself with these points: it has

а like exaggeration, but not with a like

reference to the claim made by Aristotle's authority."

too ardent panegyrists, that he discovered M. Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire, in his in. a system so perfect as to leave to us little terestiny preface to his translation of the

if anything to alter; that in several in. “ History of Animals,” quotes the opin

stances he anticipated modern discoveries, ions of other naturalists of note, who ex

and that his descriptions are marvels of press themselves more or less strongly in accuracy and research. How far such praise of Aristotle's scientific works, such statements are true must be discovered as Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Flou. by the simple test of reading Aristotle's rens, Littré, Milne-Edwards, C. Claus,

own words: we must verify ; we must see

what he has actually written; we are not Victor Carus, etc., and then proceeds to consider the opinion expressed by Mr. compelled to follow Cuvier, still less Buf. G. H. Lewes, as a critic who is unable to

fon. The enquirer will think of the wellfollow in the rear of the enthusiastic pane

known line, gyrists of the Greek philosopher.

Nullius addictus jurare in verba magistri, To what extent Aristotle's admirers are and will form an independent judgment;

[ocr errors]

enu

*

he will refuse to follow blindly any master, scientific research.” It is true that Ariseven though he be a Cuvier. He will totle has exemplified groups of animals bear in mind the words of a learned En which agree with many of the modern glish physician and author of the seven- classes, orders, and genera, but their relateenth century: “ The mortallest enemy tive value is not so defined. His nine unto knowledge, and that which hath done books in the “ History of Animals the greatest execution upon truth, hath merate the differences of animals in been a peremptory adhesion unto author. almost all conceivable respects: the ority; and more especially, the establishing gans of sense, of motion, of nutrition, the of our belief upon the dictates of an interior anatomy, the exterior covering, tiquity." To the task of a searching the manner of life, growth, generation, enquiry Mr. G. H. Lewes applied himself and many other circumstances; but Arisabout twenty years ago, and, although toile appears to have had no appreciation some persons may think that he has been of the law of the subordination of charin some cases too severe upon Aristotle, acters; the same denomination, viz., yévos, we consider that, on the whole, his criti. genus, is applied by bim to each of his cism is just, and that he has amply proved groups, though in some cases he distinhis case, not against the philosopher bim- guishes the greater from the less. Agassiz self, but against his exaggerating eulo says: “ Aristotle cannot be said to have gists. He has properly placed Aristoile proposed any regular classification. He on a lower, yet still an exalted position on speaks constantly of more or less exten. the pinnacle of zoological fame.

sive groups under a common appellation, ** Aristotle's zoological classification evidently considering them as natural dileaves few things to be done by the ages visions, but he nowhere expresses a conwhich have come after him.” This is viction that these groups may be arranged Cuvier's statement. Had Aristotle any methodically so as to exhibit the natural idea of forming a systematic classification affinities of animals.” of any kind? On this question there is The aim of classification, as Mr. G. H. great difference of opinion. Some think Lewes remarks, is to group animals in that Aristotle purposely abstained from such a manner that each class and genus forming any system, but had merely a shall indicate the degree of complexity vague general idea of classification, which | attained by the organism, and thus the as little resembled a system as a mere external form betray the internal strucjotting down of all the letters of the ture; but no such scheme ever entered alphabet would resemble an essay; others the head of Aristotle; he only wished to discover a system in it so perfect as to mark out the obviously distinctive characleave nothing scarcely to alter. There ters by which the common eye could recis no doubt that Aristotle had certain ognize each class or genus. Men had wide and indefinite views of classification, before him “spontaneously grouped anito borrow the words of Whewell, which, mals as four.footed, winged, aquatic, terthough not very exact, are still highly restrial, oviparous, etc.," and had, in vague creditable to him. The honor due to the general terms, thus grouped together anistupendous accumulation of zoological mals under these respective heads. We knowledge which Aristotle's works con. may call this, if we will, a rude sketch of tain cannot be tarnished by our denying a classificatory system. Moreover there him the credit of a system which he never are certain indications in his writings that dreamed of, and which from the nature of Aristotle more or less adopted the system the progress of science could not possibly then in use; not unirequently he mentions be constructed at that period. " Classi- certain families or groups wbich he says fication is one of the latest results of are “ without a name,” have never

ceived a name,” and it is noticeable that * Sir Thomas Browne's Works, i., p. 39, ed. Boho.

he never proposes names for these anonyŤ See Küib: Aristoteles Thiergeschichte, in zehn Büchern, übersetzt und erläutert von Dr. Ph. H. Küib.

mous groups, which we should expect be Stuttgart, 1856.

would have done had he intended the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

re.

forination of a grand philosophical system which to refer, but if Aristotle's account of classification. He uses only two formal of the elephant is more correct than that terms of classification, yévós and eidos; the of Buffon, we are sorry for Buffon. Aris. former denoting an assemblage of dif- totle speaks many things correctly of the ferent animals which have some general elephant, but some very incorrectly, and resemblance to each other: it may be it is quite a question whether he ever saw equivalent to the modern terms, family, this animal in his life; be this as it may, order, or class; the latter generally is ap- he affirms that it has no nails on its toes, plied to what we understand by species. though he correctly refers to the toes

M. Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire's remarks which are scarcely distinguished. The on Aristotle's classification are, on the nails of the elephant are one of the whole, very just indeed: –

“points ” which the natives of India alThe feeble side of Aristotle's zoology (he well-bred animal, and are nearly always

ways regarded as one of the marks of a says) is the classification The author never explained it in a systematic manner, and it conspicuous. M. Saint-Hilaire tells us in would be rather hazardous to seek to extract a note on this passage * that Camus and it from the works through which it is dispersed. MM.. Aubert and Wimmer consider this However, Aristotle did not confound all the passage an interpolation. Let us take species in a common disorder; between them another point: the “grey-headed error” he positively indicated classes, although these that the elephant has no ots. Aristotle classes are too few and indistinct. The prin says, “ The elephant is not so constructed cipal are those of animals which have blood, as to be unable to sit down and bend his and those which have not any; those of the legs, as some persons have said, but from vivipara, ovipara, vermipara ; those of the his great weight he is unable to bend quadrupeds, the birds, the reptiles, cetacea, fish, insects; and, lastly, those of the molluscs, them on both sides at once, but leans crustacea, testacea, and the zoophytes. That is either to the right side or the left, and not, one must confess, a classification in the sleeps in this position ;” the elephant, rigorous sense of the word; but if one thinks of that is to say, having bent one foreleg, the difficulties presented, even in our time, by cannot then bend the other so as to kneel classification, one will be inclined to indul- with both, which is contrary to fact. Aris. gence, and excuse in Aristotle a defect which totle demolishes the absurd statement that is compensated for by so many other merits. the elephant has no joints, in this passage A regular arrangement of all animated beings in his .. was impossible at the time in which he wrote, but in his treatise on the “

History of Animals ” (ii. 1, $ 4), whatever may have been his genius. There

Progressive was necessarily a multiplicity of observations Motions of Animals ” (IIepi IIopeias Zúwv, of detail which time only could accumulate, cap. 9. p. 709, ed. Bekker), he seems to and even to-day the materials are not yet suffi- leave it doubtful whether the elephant has cient. But however incomplete Aristotle's joints in its knees. After showing that classification may be, it ought always to figure without inflexion there can be no progresin science history, because it is the first in date sion, he says: " Progression, however, is and encloses the principal elements of all those possible without inflexion of the leg, in which have followed. " It comes immediately the same manner as infants creep; and before the classifications of Linnæus and Cuvier, as the historians of zoology have well there is an ancient story of this kind about seen. (Preface, p. cxvii.)

elephants, which is not true, for such ani.

mals inove because inflexion takes place From the above extract, it will be seen in their shoulderblades or hips.” The how widely and how justly Aristotle's existence of such animals without knees French translator differs from Cuvier, is again supposed by this remark: “Since who states that “ Aristotle's zoological the members are equal, inflexion must be classification leaves few things to be done made either in the knee or in some joint, by the ages which have come after him.” if the animal that walks is destitute of

Let us now enquire how far Cuvier's knees(uyóvatov). If Aristotle had ever other statement that “everywhere Aris- seen an elephant move, is it not probable totle observes facts with attention," is that he would have spoken more decid. true. Cuvier, already in all his glory,” edly and correctly on these points ? says M. Saint-Hilaire, “ does not hesitate Schlegel indeed asserts that the accounts to say that the history of the elephant is of the elephant are the result of frequent more exact in Aristotle than in Buffon, and minute actual examination of both and in speaking of the camel he praises sexes of this animal, and that what he Aristotle for having perfectly described and characterized the iwo species.” We is genuive, as the context clearly shows by the paren

* Hist. An. iii. 9, § 3. Beyond a doubt the passage have not an edition of Buffon at hand to thesis. See Schneider's Annot. ad loc., iii., p. 147.

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »