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The sewing machine man probably left a markets are well supplied with cotton few months too soon ; it is difficult to in- goods, and the enterprise of an English troduce anything new in a backward firm has already developed an important country, but perseverance is sure to bring business in the manufacture of carpets. its own reward.
I think I have said enough to show that Among enterprises which appear to me there is room for the merchant who prolikely to succeed in Persia, I would sug- ceeds with caution. I am also confident gest a combined agency for English cut- that many profitable industries might be lery, hardware, and fire-arms. All these started, though on a small scale at first; articles of English manufacture are highly and I would instance, as possible openings, prized in Persia, but I know of no ware- the collection and proper packing of dried house where such goods are kept in stock. fruits, the cleaning and pressing of cotton, A shop for carriage building, light iron the washing, sorting, and packing of wool, work and repairs would, I think, find full the revival of the silk industry and manuand remunerative employment in Tehran. factures, and the erection of oil and flour Spades, axes, files, and saws of good make mills. and material are almost iippossible to ob- In conclusion I will only repeat the old tain ; good English cloth and high-class English proverb, “Strike while the iron fancy textiles are hardly to be found at all is hot." I think the iron is now hot in in the bazaars, and glass-ware, domestic Persia, and I hope to see my countrymen and fancy, is almost entirely supplied from striking with precision, caution, and perBohemia by the Trebizond route. The severance. -Nineteenth Century.
Among the traditions and legends which methods finer, but these very methods time has consecrated, and which have been bring us to close quarters with phenomena woven into the texture of barbaric and which, although within reach of exact incivilized religions, the common essence of vestigation, are, as regards their essence, which is the exploration of everything, involved in a mystery which is the more those on the origin of life and death have profound the more it is brought into conlarge place. The events that touched man trast with the exact knowledge we possess closely in his personal surroundings were of surrounding conditions." the subjects of his earliest guesses, and That knowledge is, however, not dumb colored his interpretation of more remote respecting the origin of death. There are phenomena.
differences of opinion as to the causes But the explanations which satisfy an whereby death has come into the world, uncritical and pre-scientific age no longer but there is common agreement as to its pass unchallenged by an age which is con- universality. It is concerning this that we tent rather to confess ignorance than to have erred. There are living things, as accept theories which do not square with the sand by the seashore innumerable, facts. And, so far as the origin of life is which have escaped, and will continue to concerned, the veil remains unlifted. escape, the cominon lot, at least until a Schwann's discovery of the cell as the ba. frozen or frizzled earth shall make all life sis and theatre of vital function transferred upon it impossible. They are not indethe problem of life's beginning from the structible, for obviously severe injury, enorganism to the unit of which it is built emies, subjection to intense heat, to poiup, and it seemed as if the secret lay with sons, and other agencies, may destroy in grasp. But, as Dr. Burdon Sanderson them. Neither do they escape that molecremarks in his Address to the Biological ular death which is a condition of life Section of the British Association at its everywhere, in the destruction of old recent meeting, that which has served to mankind and its replacement by new manexplain so much remains unexplained. kind. What is meant is, that since the “Our measurements are more exact, our beginning of their life on this planet that
life has known no death by senile decay or toplasm, with faint approach toward unby definite arrest. Among them there is likeness in parts in an external layer and not, as there is among other organisms, in a nucleus toward the centre. It lives procession after procession of mortal gen- in water, and is constantly changing its erations ; so long as the conditions which shape, whence its name, moving about by are necessary for their life are fulfilled pushing out blunt pseudopods or false fcet. they continue to live, and they thus carry It takes in food and ejects undigested parthe power of an endless life in themselves. ticles at any point of its body ; in brief, Unlike Tithonus, to whom the gods gave every part does everything, performing all immortality, but withheld from him the the functions of life as fully as the higher blessing of eternal youth, they sigh not animals, the differences between them and for “the lot of happier men that have the it being in their highly specialized repower to die,” for, while all else waxes sponse to surroundings. For it also reold, “as doth a garment," they remain sponds to these, the response taking the the same, fresh with the freshness of un- simple form of change of shape, in which fading juvenescer.ce. Well might they, lies the germ of the complex nervous syshad they but mouths, smile at the claims tems of many.celled organisms. Someof long descent which we higher organ- times, under certain conditions—as of isms, in our pride of birth, are ever vaunt, drought, frost, and other adverse influing ; as it is, we come and go, shadows ences-it dries up, investing itself in a pursuing shadows, and these organless au- cyst or wall-a process known as encysttomata reck pot, for before Homo pithecus ment-during wbich it continues in a torthey were. If not, like Wisdom herself, pid state, resuming active life when fabrought forth “ before the mountains, vorable conditions recur. In brief, its many of these among our mightiest ranges state is one of sleep, “ the ape of death.” are their juniors, uplifted from waters It sets at defiance the rules of arithmetic where they flourished æons ago. Un in multiplying by division. When, by troubled by anxious search after an elixir the assimilation of food, it has reached a vitæ, by haunting dread of death, or by certain size, it divides equally at the kermelancholy born of dyspepsia, for them, nel, or nucleus. The protoplasm distribnot by them, has been solved the riddle of utes itself around each nucleus as the two the painful earth ; to them given the glory part company to grow and divide again in at which Virtue aims, of" going on like manner, and so on ad infinitum, each
not to die.' Only one drawback half being a separate individual exactly like have they to their inmortal life : they do its fellow, and passing through the same not know that it is theirs ; could they stages of growth and fission. There is know it, that moment would it be taken nothing novel in this description of the from them.
behavior of one-celled organisms, whether But let us advance from the vague and they be animals or plants ; the novelty lies general to the precise and special, and de- in the inference deduced therefrom, that scribe in detail what manner of things death is not, as has hitherto been comthese are.
monly assumed, an inevitable attribute of Everybody who is interested in his an- living matter, but that it has been acquired cestry knows that living things are grouped as an adaptation which first appeared under two main divisions—the one-celled when, in consequence of a certain comand the many-celled. The one-celled plexity of structure, an unending life beamong animals include the lowest and came disadvantageous to the species. This simplest forms, and the many-celled among theory has been expounded animals include all organisms from sponges ported with skill and clearness by a disupward to human beings.
tinguished biologist, Dr. Aug.' WeisNow it is the one-celled which alone mann, in some papers on the Duration of are immortal, and the evidence of this lies Life and on Life and Death, forming part in their structure and process of multipli- of a remarkable volume, entitled Essays cation. Both characteristics are well shown upon Heredity and Kindred Biological in the Ameba, which may be taken as a Problems, recently issued by the Claren. type of all unicellular forins.
don Press. Dr. Weismann contends that This organism is a minute, jellylike, ir- the process of multiplication by fission regularly-shaped particle of granular pro- does not involve the death of either part. .
There is no cessation of vital functions ; organ which performs it-fell into two each part starts on an independent career, groups-somatic or body-cells, and germwithout break of continuity, and possessed cells. The body-cells, to which the work of the same constitution. “There are,” of nutrition fell, ultimately formed the Dr. Weismann remarks, no grounds for larger group, and became, by slow dethe assumption that the two halves of an grees, more and more modified as their amæba are differently constituted inter- functions were subdivided. As these nally, so that, after a time, one of them changes took place, the power of reprowill die, while the other continues to live. ducing various parts of the organism was Such an idea is disproved by a recently lost (although among certain lower apidiscovered fact. It has been noticed in mals this power is still retained in some one of the foraminifera, and in other low degree), while the power of reproducing animals of the same group, that when di- the whole individual became concentrated vision is almost complete, and the two in the germ-cells alone. halves are only connected by a short strand, These cell-unlikenesses were brought the protoplasm of both parts begins to about by the action of natural selection, circulate, and for some time passes back- the agent which determines the fate and ward and forward between the two balves. fortune of life-forms. From the dawn of A complete mingling of the whole sub- life the structures best adapted to sur. stance of the animal, and a resulting iden- rounding conditions have been victors ; tity in the constitution of each half, is whatever features have proved useful have thus brought about before the final sepa- been seized upon by natural selection and ration" (p. 26).
secured dominance. The enormous mass Neither can we say that the parent ani- of the lower forms have persisted to this mal has died, unless it is also maintained day, because the balance established bethat the man of to-day is no longer the tween them and their surroundings bas resame individual as the boy of twenty years mained unaltered. But wherever the balago. In the growth of man ueither the ance between living things and their structure nor the components of structure surroundings has been disturbed, new deremain precisely the same ; the material is mands have been made upon them, to constantly changing. But the individuality which they responded, or, failing that repersists, and this holds equally good of the sponse, perished. Hence it is in the first primordial ameba, as of somewhat more complexity of structure, the first departure highly organized one-celled animals, such from simplicity, that the seeds of death as the infusoria, which possess a rudimentary mouth and short gullet, through which For that death becomes a necessity. So food and oxygen pass to the body cavity. far as its occurrence by natural causes is
If, then, the one-celled organisms are concerned, we know that as organisms get immortal, how came the many-celled, older (although this applies more to ani. which have been developed from them, to mals than to plants, in which the cells, as lose this power of unending life ? Ob- they becoine liquefied or converted into viously, through differences of structure ; wood, are overlaid with new cells) their they kept not their first estate, but
of work and of renewal is lessened. must needs be other than they were. With The cells which form the vital fabric of the clustering of single cells together there tissues are worn by continual use ; the necessarily resulted differences of position, waste exceeds the repair, and death ultisome being outside and some inside ; in mately ensues because a worn-out tissue other words, they were nearer to or farther cannot forever renew itself and because a from the influences of the surroundings or capacity for increase by means of cell-di.
environment." Thereby arose differ- vision is not everlasting, but finite." Why ences of function. Their position deter- there should be this limit to cell-division mined the work which they had to do, we cannot say, but it is clear that with the which work, speaking broadly, is of two modifications of organs according to the kinds ; taking in and assimilating food, work which they discharge there results a and reproduction. Hence it came to pass subtler structure which is less easy to rethat the cells, after infinitely slow devel. pair and is shorter of duration.
The oneopment of these functions--the function celled organisms have found salvation in always determining the structure of the simplicity
We are, therefore, driven to the con- eral centuries. And, after maturity is clusion that since there is, prima facie, no reached, larger animals require longer time reason why growth should be limited, or than smaller animals to secure the preserwhy function should come to an end, vation of the species. The explanation of death must have been brought about by this, as pointed out by both Leuckart and natural selection, which determines sur- Herbert Spencer, is that the absorbing vival or extinction from the standpoint of surface of an animal only increases as the utility alone. There needs no showing square of its length, while its size increases that it is to the advantage of the species as the cube ; and it therefore follows that that individuals should die. Their im- the longer an animal becomes the greater mortality would be harmful all round; will be the difficulty experienced in aspay, impossible, unless vigor remain un- similating any nourishment over and above impaired, and the multiplication of off- that which it requires for its own needs, spring does not overtake the means of and therefore the more slowly will it resubsistence. “For it is evident," as Mr. produce itself.” We, however, find corRussel Wallace remarks in a note which responding duration of life among animals he bas contributed to Dr. Weismann's of very different size. For example, the essay, " that when one or more individ- toad and the cat live as long as the horse, uals have provided a sufficient number of the crayfish as long as the pig, and the successors, they themselves, as consumers pike and carp as long as the elephant. In of nourishment in a constantly increasing an interesting appendix, from which these degree, are an injury to those successors. and the following facts are quoted, Dr. Natural selection, therefore, weeds them Weismann cites the case of a sea-anemone out, and in many cases favors such races which lived not less than sixty-six years. as die almost inmediately after they have It was placed by Sir John Dalzell in a Jeft successors," as e.g., among the male small glass jar in the Edinburgh Botanical bees, the drone perishing while pairing, Gardens in 1828, being then, as death being due to sudden nervous shock. panions with other individuals reared from
In dealing with this question of the the egg period, fully seven years old. It origin of death a distinction should be died a natural death in August, 1887. drawn between the body-cells and the The rate at which an organism uses up germ-cells. While the functions and re- its energy determines, in some degree, its sults of the cells which build up and nour. : length of life. But although inertness, ish the body are limited to the life of the as hibernating animals and pensioners individual of which they are the sum- show, promotes longevity, an active life is total, no such limit can be imposed upon not necessarily a short one, unless, as folks the germ-cells. Those which have fulfilled say, the candle is burned at both ends. their function are endowed with actual im- Where we find activity and brevity of life, mortality, because of the persistence of this is due to the quicker attainment of the their influence through unnumbered gen- twofold purpose of life, the reaching maerations. If in the natural death of the turity and the propagation of offspring, individual the germ-cells must also die, Birds are prominent examples of rapid that natural death becomes a cause of ac- energy-users, but knowledge of the ages cidental death to the germ-cells which are which they reach in a wild state is very thereby prevented from exercising their difficult to obtain and impossible to verify. functions of reproduction.
A pair of eider ducks were observed to And, as the death of the individual be. make their nest in the same place for comes a necessity, being of advantage to twenty years, and it is believed that these the species, so is it with the duration of birds sometimes reach the age of nearly the individual life. Although there is one hundred years. A cuckoo, recogsome relation between size and longevity, nized by a peculiar note in its call, was the duration of the period of growth and heard in the same forest for thirty-two length of life being, speaking generally, consecutive years. Humboldt tells of a longest in the largest animals, there is parrot, concerning which the Indians said no fixed relation between the two. The that they could not understand it because largest organisms live the longest, some it spoke the language of an extinct tribe ! trees reaching an age of six thousand Captive eagles and vultures have lived years, and some animals, as wbales, sev- above a century, and Dr. Weismann refers
to the case of a falcon which reached the Put into briefest form, the sum of what age of one hundred and sixty-two years.
has been said is as follows :Among insects the range of life.duration Death is not an essential attribute of differs widely, from the imago of certain living matter, because one-celled organmay-flies, which lives only four or five isms never die a natural death. hours, to the celebrated queen-ant which Many-celled forms have a natural limit Sir John Lubbock kept alive for fifteen of life. years, and which continued to lay fertile As many-celled forms are descended eggs, although there had been no male in from one-celled forms this limit of life the nest for fourteen years previously. must have been acquired when the cells But such longevity is confined to the fe. became modified into body-cells and germmales, which have to nourish their young cells. until birth, a long life for the males being This modification was brought about by useless to the species.
the action of natural selection, which has This is the key to the whole question. also determined the duration of the indi. Length of life is only ruled in minor de- vidual life. gree by size and constitution, it is the That duration does not extend beyond needs of the species which determine it. the needs of the species. In the larger number of life-forms the ser- Although death has entered into life, vice which the parents render is at an end there has been no break in life-continuity when offspring are produced in sufficient since its appearance on the earth. The number to secure the species from extinc- highest life-form is derived from the lowtion ; then natural selection gets rid of est life-form through an unbroken chain. them as cumberers of the ground. It is But we know life only as derived from only where the duty of looking after the life ; we can assert nothing concerning its offspring falls to the parent that we find life beginning ; we know that it had a beginprolonged beyond the reproductive period, ning, and that it will have an end. as in the case of all mammals and birds.
(Not many years ago a King died in the Rajpoot States. His wives, disregarding the orders of the English against suttee, would have broken out of the palace had not the gates been barred. But one of them, disguised as the King's favorite dancing-girl, passed through the line of guards and reached the pyre. There her courage failing, she prayed her cousin, a baron of the court, to kill her. This he did, not knowing who she was.] :
Udai Chand lay sick to death
In his hold by Gungra hill.
A cry that we could not still.
All night the barons came and went,
The lords of the outer guard ;
That clinked in the palace yard.
In the golden room on the palace roof
All night he fought for air ;