the animals are rendered more visible, so or yellow, in the form of either flower that, from the juices of their body being or fruit, have been found, while since unpleasant to the odor or taste, the very even in the carboniferous period traces conspicuousness of their appearance pre of insect life exist, these insects must vents them from being molested.

have sought their food in the Powerless Thirdly. — Sexual colors, due to volun. plants then living. Such insects would tary sexual selection.

have carried the fertilizing pollen from Fourthly: - Typical colors, with regard plant to plant, forming a more sure methto which none of the above causes seem od of impregnation than the wind, and the to exist, but which seem to depend upon plants which were the most attractive peculiar elements or chemical compounds to insects would gain an advantage in in the soil, water, or atmosphere, or upon the general competition for place on the special organic substances in the vegeta- earth's surface; thus insect - fertilized tion of the locality which they inhabit. plants would gradually gain ground on

Thus in the first three of these groups the anemophilous division, not only on the perception of color by animals is this account, but also because the seedlooked upon by Mr. Wallace as an un- lings due to such cross fertilization are deniable fact, the apparent use of the the more vigorous. The brilliantly colcolor in the animals which belong to ored Aowers being most easily perceived them being to protect them from others, would be more likely to be fertilized by to warn others, or to attract others. the insects, and the growth of large col

Plants also are shown by Mr. Wallace ored petals might be thus explained, to have acquired some of their colors while their color also renders the existby the power of attracting insects which ence of a color-sense most probable in such colors give them, the visits of such the insects by which they were fertilinsects being necessary for their fertili-ized. This color-perception would again zation a point which has been brought become more and more perfect in the

more fully by Sprengel, Darwin, insects, owing to the advantage which Müller, Hildebrand, Delpino, and other their improved color-sense would give observers.

them in their search for food. Mr. The subject of the perception of col. Grant Allen also points out that the colors or of the color-sense was very ably or.perception, which has been shown to discussed by Mr. Grant Allen, in a work exist now in many insects, such as bees,* on the color-sense published in 1879. wasps, ants, and others, would have been After pointing out in what color-percep- inherited from such ancestors, and the tion consists, and how it would seem to fact that insect-fertilized flowers are, as a be the special function of the cones of rule, large, brilliant, and colored, while the retina, since these are wholly want. those which are wind-fertilized are small, ing in nocturnal animals, and are most green, and inconspicuous, affords another thickly massed near the central part of proof of the existence of such color-perthe retina where color-perception is most ception. acute, he discusses the history of the Supposing, again, the power of perceive appearance of color, and of its first per:

* My brother, Sir John Lubbock, has not only shown ception. Mentioning that, as Brongni: experimentally what had until then been a matter of art stated, three periods of geological inference, that ants, bees, and wasps can distinguish vegetation may be supposed to have ex. have a decided preference for blue.

colors, but in the case of bees has proved that they isted, he points out that these, which are It is perhaps even more interesting that ants, and called “the age of acrogens or ferns, only to perceive all the colors that we can see, but also

some other articulate animals (daphnias), appear not the age of gymnosperms or conifers, and the ultra-violet rays, which are invisible to us. the age of angiosperms or true-seeding John Lubbock observes (Trans. Linn. Soc., 1881, p. plants,” might be termed the age of fow-1327that case every ray of homogeneous light which

we can perceive at all erless plants, the age of anemophilous or it seems probable that these ultra-violet rays must wind-fertilized flowering plants, and the make themselves apparent to the ants as a distinct and

separate color (of which we can form no idea), but as age of entomophilous or insect-fertilized unlike the rest as red is from yellow, or green from flowering plants, the former fowers be. violet. The question also arises whether white light ing those in which the pollen of the male to these insects would differ from our white light in

At any rate, as feve flower is wasted to the stigma of the fe- of the colors in nature are pure colors, but almost all male fower by means of the wind, where lengths, and as in such cases a visible resultant would

arise from the combination of rays of different waveas in the latter it would be carried there be composed not only of the rays which we see, but of by insects.

these and the ultra-violet, it would appear that the

colors of objects, and the general aspect of nature, Thus it was that during long geologi. must present to them a very different appearance from cal ages no signs of red, orange, blue, what they do to us.' VOL. XXXVIII.



[ocr errors]


ing color to be similarly inherited by existence, and accepting in toto the theory every vertebrate animal, he expresses his of evolution, he believes the earliest anibelief that man is the descendant of an mal eyes to have been cognizant of light arboreal quadrumanous animal of frugiv. and its negation only; the discrimination orous habits, who shared, like other ver- of form he believes to have followed, and tebrates, the power of perceiving color. lastly the perception of color. Color-perHe points out that man now possesses a ception, first aroused in insects by the very perfect color-sense, equally pro- hues of flowers, and in simple marine nounced in all varieties of the ies, animals by the animal organisms around from the highest to the lowest. That the them, he believes to have been handed latter point is true is proved not only by down from the latter to fishes and reptiles, the works of travellers and others respect and more remotely to birds and mammals; ing modern savages, but by information that quadrumanous animals being frureceived from missionaries, government givorous possess color-sense in a high officials, and others living among uncivil. degree; while man, the supposed descendized races. That the color-sense existed, ant of these fruit-eating quadrumana, posseemingly in an equally developed condi- sesses very perfect color-perception, direct tion, in ancient times is rendered probable investigations showing all existing men by the character of the ancient monuments to have like color-perceptions, while hisin Egypt, Assyria, and other parts. He tory shows the same to be true of all also points out the traces of color-percep- earlier races. tion which exist in the Old Testament. I would allude, lastly, to a paper read In the very first chapter of Genesis we at the Anthropological Society of Berlin hear of the green herb (v. 30). Isaac par. by Dr. Rabl Rückhard, in 1880, upon took of red pottage (Gen. xxv. 30). Joseph the historical development of the color had a coat of many colors; the Israelites sense. From this we learn that Fridhiof in the desert were enjoined to wear Holmgren, the Swedish physiologist, sug. “ribands of blue” (Numb. xv. 38). Rahab gested a few years ago a new plan of agrees with the spies to hang out scarlet testing color-perception, namely, by means thread as a signal. The curtains of the of variously colored wools. A skein of tabernacle were to be made of “fine wool having a certain color, as, for intwined linen, and blue, and purple, and stance, light green on the one hand, or scarlet, and fringed with loops of blue” red on the other, being placed before the (Exod. xxvi. 1). The veil was to be of person whose perception is to be tested, the same three colors (Exod. xxvi. 31), as he is desired to choose from among a were the hangings for the door (Exod. large number of variously colored wools xxvi. 36) and the gate of the court (Exod. those which seem to him to be of the xxvii. 16). The breastplate of the priest same color. Should the perception of (Exod. xxviii. 15) was to be " of gold, of color not be in a developed condition, or blue, of purple, and of scarlet.” In Solo should color-blindness exist, colors are mon's temple also the veil was to be “of indicated as similar which to those with blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine good color-perception appear of different linen” (2 Chron. iii. 14). In these pas- hues. Thus, for instance, red and green, sages, though the exact meaning of the or blue and grey, might be regarded as of Hebrew words used may not be given in the same color, whilst the ordinary eye the English translation, the difference would recognize their dissimilarity. By seems to be but slight, the words trans- such means it was found that the 'inhab. lated “blue, and purple, and scarlet” itants of the polar regions, Nubians, and being perhaps more correctly rendered other uncivilized races, had a highly de- blue purple, red purple, and crimson." veloped color-sense ; that in some cases

There are also indications that percep- with few, vague, and undecided names for tion of color existed in the bronze and color, good color-perception existed : it even in the stone age. Thus while does not therefore follow that, because colored ornaments and beads have been the vocabulary of any race is limited, their found in the Swiss lake dwellings which perceptions must necessarily be the same. are supposed to have belonged to the Hugo Magnus, mainly owing to these bronze age, stones remarkable for their facts, acknowledged that the conclusions color seem to have been chosen in the which he had previously deduced were stone age, not only for use, but also for not borne out by actual observations, and ornament. Grant' Allen, therefore, be. now lays down propositions which are lieves color-perception to have been de- more or less identical with those of Rückveloped at an earlier period of animal | hard, namely:

[ocr errors]


Firstly. - That all savage nations hith-gren among the Swedish Laplanders and erto tested have a sense of color which other inhabitants of the Arctic regions, does not differ from that of civilized na. the observations of Virchow and others tions.

upon Nubians and Lapps, brought them Secondly. – That perception of color to the same conclusion. There is, thereand designation of color have nothing to fore, no deficiency in color-perception do with each other, and that it is not safe among the uncivilized tribes now living, to conclude from a deficiency of language as would probably be the case had the that there exists a cor

orresponding defi- color-sense only been developed within ciency of perception.

the last few thousand years. The ancient III. We have now to consider the value monuments, again, of Mycenæ, Assyria, of the different arguments brought for and Egypt show how developed the perward.

ception of color was when they were built. It would be the simplest and best way Indeed Mr. Owen Jones, in his “Gramto regard this, firstly, as to the develop mar of Ornament,” states his belief, with ment of color-perception in man in his regard to Egyptian monuments, that the toric or pre-historic times; and, secondly, more ancient the monument the more as to its gradual and progressive develop- perfect is the art. “ Monuments," he ment in the animal kingdom.

states, “erected two thousand years beFirstly, then, as to its development in fore the Christian era are formed from man within historic times.

the ruins of still more ancient and more It will have been observed that the perfect buildings. Whether the lotus and arguments in favor of the gradual devel. papyrus were taken as symbolizing the opment of the color-sense within historic food for the body and mind, the feathers times are merely philological — that is, of rare birds, the palm-branch, or other derived from the inexact and scanty way type of ornament, that ornament, however in which the names of colors are used in conventionalized, is always found to be literature, and that observations among true. We are never shocked by any mis. the uncivilized races now living show, as application or violation of a natural prinHugo Magnus asserts, that the perception ciple.” He also says: “The architecture of color is not indicated by the variety of of the Egyptians is thoroughly polychroterms used to express it. The fact, there- matic — they painted everything — there. fore, that the names of colors are seldom, fore we have much to learn from them on or inaccurately, used, does not prove the this head. They dealt in flat tints, and perception of color to be equally at fault. used neither shade nor shadow, yet found If, again, the perception of color has no difficulty in poetically conveying to the become so perfect within the last three mind the identity of the object they de. or four thousand years, it would be nat- sired to represent.” The Assyrian style ural to suppose that some uncivilized of painting was also supposed by him to races would now be in the same condi- be “the remains of a more perfect style tion as regards perception of color as of art yet to be discovered.” Ancient men at the time when the Vedas or Zend monuments, therefore, lead to the same avesta were written, who did not distin- conclusion that the development of the guish accurately between the different color-sense cannot have occurred within colors of the solar spectrum in their writ- the last three or four thousand years. ings. Such, however, is not found to be The Old Testament Scriptures point to the case, even the least civilized savages the same conclusion. being found to have good color-percep. There are, as bas been said, indications tion. This was found to be the case by that color perception was also developed Mr. Grant Allen among a large number in man in pre-historic times. Colored of uncivilized races in Europe, Asia, Af- articles belonging to the bronze or stone rica, America, and the Pacific islands, age indicate the existence of a good colleading him to the conclusion that color-or-sense in those times, and so great an perception is absolutely identical through. authority as the late Dr. Rolleston was of out all branches of the human race. In opinion that the general character of the many cases, however, the color-terms pre-historic remains could leave no doubt used were few and incomplete, as, for in the mind of an expert that priinitive instance, among the hill tribes of India, man possessed a considerable perception who, though they can distinguish the dif- of color. ferent colors, use the same term to express Whatever, therefore, man has left be. blue, green, and violet. Similarly the hind tends to show that he has always observations made at the request of Holm-possessed good color-perception.

[ocr errors]

Secondly, as to the gradual and pro- may be made with respect to the power of gressive development of color-perception distinguishing form, and there is no eviin the animal kingdom in which Mr. Grant dence to show that the improvement took Allen believes.

place in one direction earlier than in the I would ask whether there is any proof other. Neither does any proof exist that that color.perception, being first aroused color-perception has been handed down in insects by the hues of flowers, and in with gradually increasing perfection from simple marine animals by the animal or one species to another of the animal ganisms of their environment, was handed kingdom. If everything has reached its down froin the latter to fishes and reptiles, present form, its present condition, by and so on to birds and mammals? What evolution, color- perception must have proofs does Mr. Grant Allen offer of this done the same, but as yet there is no evisuggestion ? Surely none. It is very dence to show how and through what possible that the insects living in the car- stages this evolution took place. It was boniferous period may have sought their not my intention to discuss in this paper food in the flowerless plants of that age, the general principle of evolution, which that the few colored plants – colored, we owe to Darwin, and which has been so perhaps, owing to their chemical compo- ably advocated by Spencer and others. I sition — would offer special attraction to merely wished to point out that the color. the insects by means of which they were sense, considered alone, las not yet been fertilized, while at the same time the col- shown to have reached its present condior-sense would become more perfect in tion by means of such a process; that these insects owing to the increased power there is no proof that in mankind the colof procuring food which such an advan-or-sense has improved either in historic or tage would give them. Similarly it may pre-historic times, and that the suggestion well be that color-perception became more of its gradual development through the perfect in simple marine animals on ac- animal series, however probable such a count of the advantage, whether protec- view may be from general considerations, tive, attractive, or other, which the color is founded on theory, and not on actual sense would give them. But can we observation. MONTAGU LUBBOCK. deduce from these possibilities that the latter “handed down the power of perceiving color to fishes and reptiles, and more remotely to birds and mammals ” ?

From Temple Bar. Surely all we can say is, that the color

EMILIA: AN EPISODE. sense in insects would become more and more perfect owing to their method of procuring food, and that the power of per- THE scene is a little mountain inn, ceiving color, by means of which they do backed by dark, forest-clothed peaks, so, would be inherited by their insect de about which sullen clouds were gathering. scendants which are now living, while Before the inn-door stood three horses marine animals would similarly bequeath with ladies' saddles, held by a guide ; to their posterity the same.power. apart from these, a little farther off, was a

IV. Lastly, then, to what conclusions light open carriage into which a horse was does the consideration of this subject being harnessed. On a paved terrace adbring us ?

joining the inn, and raised a few feet I would again repeat the question to be above the road, stood a gentleman in a solved which was mentioned at the begin- grey travelling suit, with an open letter in ning of this article, “Is there evidence his hand. He was a man of about thirty, to show that the power of perceiving color with a thoughtful, sensitive, rather worn has been gradually and progressively ac- face, and a brown moustache, which he quired?” Reasons, more or less "con-smoothed slowly as he read. His was the clusive, have been given for believing carriage that was being made ready for that, as far as man is concerned, no such departure; awaiting it, he stood leaning gradual development can be shown to against the low parapet that ran round the have taken place. To what conclusion terrace and overhung the valley, absorbed must we cone as to such development oc- in the perusal of his letter. Its contents curring in the animals of past ages? We were not new to bim; the handwriting, have seen that the power of appreciating clear and decided, without needless flourcolor would become more and more per- ishes, was his own ; the letter had been fect in those animals which live upon col written hardly an hour ago in the little ored food; the same statement, however, inn-room, whilst some trout was being



its tones,

fried for his midday meal, and he was breast-pocket, with another glance at the reading it through once more now, before sky, he crossed the terrace with leisurely enclosing it finally in its envelope. steps, and re-entered the inn. “Let us take it for granted once for

He turned into a little room on one side all, Emilia,” so the words ran

" that

of the passage which ran through the our marriage was a mistake ; that, circum- house, that he might pay for the trout and stanced as we were, neither of us with a

red wine off which he had lunched half an heart free, we did wrong in allowing our whilst the inn-keeper was counting out

hour before. There was a minute's delay selves to be influenced by others, interested perhaps — let us take all this for some change, and through an open door, granted, I say — what then? Are we to English voices and English speech were allow that mistake to ruin our lives? plainly audible from the dining-room on When you left me, six months after our

the opposite side of the passage, marriage, did

“I think it always rains in the moun. solve the problem? It

you is not so, in my experience, not by such tains,” said a sweet, rather plaintive young precipitate action, that the problems of voice : " I remember last year in Sivitzer. life are solved. Ours, 1 grant, was a hard land, don't you, Sophy? how it went on

I one; but I think that faith, patience and day after day — and it is just the same friendship, might have helped its solution here. I don't mind for myself, but for more than a rash step which I resented you, Emmy, with your delicate throat, it

is bitterly at the time, but which I have long


very since forgiven, knowing under what mis

An inaudible reply from a speaker fur

ther within the rooin apparently; and then apprehension it was you labored. Know

another voice was heard with decision in ing that you thought I had deceived

you, I wonder the less that you should have acted as you did. But you have long

“But you ought to mind, Emmy: since known that you were mistaken, ană Really your attacks are no trime, either I think you niust sometimes have been for yourself or for any one else. 'I wishi sorry that you would listen to no explana

we had taken a carriage for the excursion tion, that you refused to see me, that you of this rain ceasing, and we shall be per

to-day, instead of riding. I see no chance left my letters unopened. I should have been more urgent, if I had not fancied

fectly drenched before we get home.” forgive me, Emilia, if I am wrong, that

Lawrence had got his change by this you were not altogether sorry for the pre-Through the open door of the dining

time; he stepped back into the passage. that refusing to be happy under my room he had a glimpse of three ladies in roof, you were glad rather of any reasonable excuse for returning to your own

riding-habits; two of them, both young friends. But after three years, are you dow; the third was seated at the table

and handsome, were standing by the win. still in the same mind? Is your life so

He happy, is the thought of me so intolera- with her back towards Lawrence. ble, that you absolutely refuse to face a chestnut hair beneath the drooping feather

could see nothing but some twists of future in which I should have a part? For of her hat, the curve of one ear, one slen. myself, I onfess that I see no reason why two honest people should not make der, ungloved hand supporting her head, up their minds to what is irreparable, whip. But the color of the hair, the turn

whilst the other played with her ridingand, patient to bear with each other, should not agree to share the burthen ol of the head, the shape of the hand, the life, which with the weight of the past seemed not unfamiliar to Lawrence.

attitude at once listless and graceful,

He upon it, I, for my part, own I sometimes find very heavy

half-made a step forward, but paused, hes

itating, before he crossed the threshold; A clap of thunder and some large drops then abruptly turning, passed again to the of rain startled the reader; he looked up outer door. The thunder was rolling at the sky; the rolling clouds had gath- away across the mountains, but the clouds ered overhead; a storm was imminent. were settling into grey, impenetrable mist His eye glanced rapidly to the signature overhead and around; it was raining of the letter: “ Henry Lawrence; ” and heavily now, no thunder-sbower, but a folding the paper, he replaced it in the steady downpour that left no hope of imenvelope, which he closed. For a mo-mediate change. ment be considered the address : “ Mrs. “It will pour the whole afternoon,” said Lawrence, Hôtel de Paris, Bagnères de the same sweet, half-plaintive voice that Luchon ;” then placing the letter in his had spoken before.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »