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Haeckel, his life and work 

Wilhelm Bolsche, Joseph McCabe 



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I 



HAECKEL 

HJ8 LIFE AND WOR& 



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TRAVELS OP A NATURALIST IN 
NORTHERN BUROPB. By J. A. Hastib. 

EnowN, F.R.R.E., F.Z.S., Joint Author of " Fauna 
of the Moray Basin," " A Vertebrate Fauna of 
Orkney," &o., &o. With 4 Maps, 2 Coloured Plates, 
ftmd many niaslmtloiii. 8 toIs. SaiaU B091I Oto» 
cloth. Limittd EdiUon. IJQiform irllh "Itenuk 
oi ibe Mocay Bmui." £$ 3*. nek 

THE NATURE AND ORIGIN OF LIVING 
MATTER. By H. Chaki.tox Bastiak, M.A., 
M.D. (London), F.B.S., f .L.b., i^niehtua Professor 
of the PrinetptoB and PiaotiM of Modldno^ and of 
Olinical Mcdioiaa at University College, London. 
Wifcb 76 Plates. Madiam 8fo, oloih. xsa. 6d. ael. 

THB BIRDS OF MIDDLESEX. By J. B. 
Habtiko, F.Z.B., F.L.B. Fnlly lUaaicated. Dmkj 
8to, cloth. 158. net. 

THE AGE OF THE EARTH, AND OTHER 
GEOLOQiCAL STUDIES. By W. J. Solids, 
I1L.D.. D.80., F.B.8., PMlaiaor of Geology in tlie 
University of Oxford. lUiialBated. Demy 8fOt 
cloth. loa. 6d. aeb 

HOW TO KNOW THB STARRY HEA- 
VENS. By EdwabO Ibvtwo. With Charts?, 
Coloured Plates, Diagrams, and many Engravings 
of FbotograpkM. Demy 8vo, cloth. 6d. nel. 



LoNiXMi : T. FISHER UNWIN. 



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ERNST HAECKEL 

From the Painting by Franz von Lcnbach, 1899 

(Reproduced in Jugcod.") 



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ILLUSTftATIoNS 



K HER (. .\ A' i rv 



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ERNST HAECKEL. 

From the Painting by Franz von Lcnback. 1899 
(RcproJoccd tD " Ja#cn4.") 



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HAECKEL 



HIS LIFE AND WORK 



vr 

WILHELM BOLSCHE 




JOSEPH McCABB 



WITH THUtTBIII ILLinTlATIONi 



LONDON; T. FISHER UNWIN 
I ADELPHI TERRACE. MCMVI 



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Contents 

Introduction 

CHAPTER I 

TiART.V YoiTPH 

flHAPTBR n 

At the University 

CHAPTER m 

Thb Radiolaria . 

CHAPTER TV 

Dahwin . . . 

CHAPTER V 

Thb Soiemtific Conqbess of lb63 



6 CONTENTS 

ohapteb vi 

The "General Morphology" 

CHAPTER Vn 

Growth of Ideab . 

CHAPTER VTII 

The CBOwyiNG Years 

LmES .... 



List of Illustrations 



Habokbl ...... FranH^neoe 

Fttm llhf paituiiig by Fnm» ««» Ltnbaeh, 

Jmka ...... Facing p. 42 

A FuBmo Pabtt di HsuooiiAia) » 1865 „ 70 

Emu HatekO, Ankm Dokm, BiOard Ontf, Max 
MmkH Pktro MardiL 

A RADiOLABuy . „ 94 

Haxckbl . . „ 126 

Habckbl m 1880. . . . „ 164 

Haeokbl m 1890 . . . • >• 178 

Habgsbl's Vilia at Jema . . • <* 316 
HABTiKgr. AKD Hia Assistant MuOiUCHO-MACLAT 

AT IiAMlABOTV, 01 TBB OavABIBS, 1867 „ S44 



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8 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

A SiFHOMOPHOBB. .... Focing p. 348 

Haeckbl in 1874 . . . . „ 272 

Haeckel in 1896 . . . . „ 292 
JVOM a photograph by GabHA Jfoc, 

AT Qbnoa, 1904 . . . M 300 



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Introduction 



ONE of tho adminUe nuudnw thai orystaUises 
the better Moeeoor eq^iieooe of men feminds 
US that m nnut ^'ny nothing bat good of the 
dead." Unhappily, we have taken the words of 

our sage fathers in too large a seriBe. A feeling 
has grown amongst us that we hhuuid " say 
nothing good except of the dead," at leaet as 
mgairds those who differ from us. So has many 
a man gone £ram the voiid ivith Jittle saspicion of 
the a^iedation that might have wanned him in 
the last chill years ; many a man snnk into the 
grave with the h^rsh echo of dishonouring words 
still rumbling iu his oars. It may be that our 
ideas, our truths, would not suffer greatly if we 
could patiently endeavour to tzaoe the commnnity 
ol hnmaiie ^^^^a that lies bfiniiath the wide ffnlfs 
that cftffli separate ns inWliwiiiiiHllj from eaoli 
otiier. 

Professor Ernst Haeckel is one of those com- 
bative figures of all tiir^e who take misuDcler- 

staoding as a part of their lomantio career. If he 

t 



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10 INTRODUCTION 

had ahnt hixoBeli mthin the laboratory, as some of 
his gifted ooUeagoes did, all the world would 

honour him to-day. His vast range of biological 
knowledge, almost without parallel in our specialist 
days, fitted him for great scientific achievements. 
His superb special contributions to biology — ^his 
studies of radiolaria, sponges, mediis», Sec, — give 
ample evidence of it. As things are, he has, 
fessor Hertwig says, written his name m letters 
of Hght in the history of science." He holds four 
gold medals for scientific research (Cothenius, 
Swamraerdam, Darwin, and Challenger), four 
doctorates (Berlin, Jena, Edinburgh, and Cam- 
bridge), and about eighty diplomas from so many 
amversities and academic bodies. But he was 
one of those who oannot bnt look ont of the 
windows of the laboratory. His intense idealism, 
his sense of what he felt to be wrong and untrue, 
inflamed by incessant travel and comnumion with 
men, drove him into tlie iield of battle. In the 
din and roar of a great conflict his name has 
passed on to a million lips and become the varied 
war-cry of fiercely contending parties. A hmidred 
Haeckels, grotesque in their unhkeness to each 
other, circulate in our midst to-day. 

The present work is a plain study of the person- 
ality of Haeckel and the growth oi his ideas. The 
character cl Haeckel was f oiged amid circum- 
stances that have largely passed away from the 
sdentifio world of onr tame. The featime, even, 

of the ^vorld he has worked in of recent years in 
Germany are so different from our own that no 



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IKXEODUCnON 



11 



Englishman oan understand him without sober 
study of his life. He has often been called " the 
Darwin of Germany." The phrase is most mis- 
leading. It suggests a comparison that is bound 
to end in untruth and injustice. In the same year 
that Haeokel opened his Darwinian oampaign in 
Qetmany he won the prise for the long jump — a 
record jump. It is the note of much in his 
character. He was no quiet recluse, to shrink 
from opposition and hard names, but a lusty, 
healthy, impetoooSy intxepid youth, even when his 
hair had worn to grey. A stoiy is told of how, 
not many yeais ago, the GnoA Doke of Weimar 
playfully ralHed him, in the midst of a brilliant 
company, on his behef in evolution. To the horror 
of the guests, he slapped the powerful no])!e on the 
shoulder, and told him to come to Jena and see 
the proofs of it. In his seventy-first year we find 
him severely censuring his Emperor--4he emperor 
of many fortresses— in a pnblio lecture at Berlin, 

How his yigonr and his resentment arose as 
barrier after barrier was raised before him : how his 
scorn of coinproniise was engendered and fed : how 
he accumulated mountains of knowledge in obncure, 
technical works before he formulated his sharp 
didactic oonolosions: all this is told in the following 
story. For good or ill he has won an inflnence in 
this ooimtry, and his story should be read. It 
is, in itself, one of rare and varied interest, and it 
is told by one of the most brilliant penmen of 
modem Germany, his former pupil, now a dis- 
tinguished biolo(^st» Professor Wilhelm Boisohe. 



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12 INTKODUOTION 

The tune seemt to lum oome in England for 
the publication of some authoritative piotare d 

the great biologist and controversialist. One work 
of his circnlates by the huiidi'ed thousand amongst 
UAy and haa had a deep and iaftting ixdluenoe on, 
the thoughts of lairge oltfoeo of HMD. Hia in- 
flnenoe is haidly lest in Fnnee and Italy, ae weU 
aa in Germany ; hb doctrinea have, m &ct, been 
translated into fifteen different tongues. The 
deep, sometimes bitter, controversy that they have 
enpendered must have led to a desire to know more 
of the man and his making. The attempts that 
have been made heie and theie to '^oonatmot" 
him fxoxsL hia ideas litemj wn^yynfy ng fj^^ 
leader will see, very far removed from the lealilj. 
Behind all the strained inferences from doctrines, 
behind aJl the didionourmg epithets, theio is a 
genial, warm, deeply artistic, intensely idealist 
natuie, sung with enthusiasm by poets who have 
known him. Onoe, in playful soientifio moodi 
Haeokel tried to explain his own oihairaoter in his 
famifisir terms of heiedify and environmeikt. He 
came of a line of lawyers, straight, orderly, inexor- 
able men. He had lived and worked in quiet Jena, 
in the beautiful valley of the Saale. But he did 
not speak of that iargei: eaviionment — ^the field ol 
battle, stretohing far away, beyond the oalm Thn- 
ringian hills, to the ends of Boiope. We most 
plaoe Haeekel's ardent and hi^-minded natme in 
that field, face to face with his opponents, if we 
would understand him. 
For the supplementary chapter I have drawn 



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INTBODUCTION 



13 



freefy on another Uographloal skelch by one of 
Haeokel's pupils, Br. Brdtonbaoh, and o^er flonroes. 

For the illustrations I am indebted chiefly to 
Professor Haec kel himself, and can only otter 
him in xetom this grateful effort to lift his in- 
Bjgmng and impressive personality above the duBt 
and olond of a great oontroveiay. 

JOSEPH MoCABE. 



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CHAPTER I 



BABLT YOUTH 

~Y AM wholly a child of tile nineteenth oen- 

JL tury, and with its close I would draw the 
line under my life's work." Thus does Professor 
Haeokel speak of himseU. There is a note of 
gentle resignation in the words, bat the time is 
coming when men will give them a difierent 
meaning. Whatever greater achievemente may 
be wrought by a fatnre generation in the service 
of truth and human welfare, their work will be but 
a continuation of the truth of our time, as long as 
humanity breathes. On the intrepid, outstandmg 
figures of the nineteenth century will shine a light 
that is pecnliaidy theirs, an illnminatlon that men 
will dwell on for ever^— as we look back, in 
personal life, on the yonng days of love. It 
was a Btroug love that biuughl our cenlury to 
birth. 

The soul of humanity has for lour centuries 

been passing through a grim crisis. 

Let OS imagine ourselves for a moment before the 

noUe pamting by Michael Angelo in the Siztine 

10 



Id 



H^VECKEL 



Obapel at Borne. What artl What utter reve- 
lation of the power of man's mind f Bnt, we ask, 

what material did the genius of humanity choose 
in those days for the manifestation of its giant 
power? The last judgment: the Christ descending 
at the blare of the last trumpet, to reward the 
faithful and banish the sinner into everlasting 
pain: the Ahnightj^ breathing Hie iqpirit into 
Adam» €x mystieally nphmlding Eve from the rib 
ol the man. There was no " s3mibolio " intention 
in the picture ; the deepest feeling of hundreds 
- — nay, thousands — of yenrf^ wrts embodied in it. 
The artist merely gave an imperishable external 
form to the most treaeiired troth of hie jdme. 

Yet, alowiy and giadoaUy, what a mighty 
ehange has oome about I 

Columbus has ^[liled dver the blue seas, and a 
new side of the earth Has in the violet haze of the 
dawn. Copernicus sees the ball of the earth roll 
round the son through space, by force of some 
myateiiaiis law. Kepler dreams of the woild- 
haimoiiy tiial will leplaoe ttie ever-aoting Deity, 
and disoovm at length an muaepeeted regularity 
in the framework of the heavens. Galileo turns 
his new optic tube to the stars, and at once the 
heavens are changed, not only for the calculating, 
mathematioal mind, bat even for the eye of sense : 
there are jagged peaks on the nsoon, satellites 
eiieHng about Jnpiter, a wildeniess of staza lying 
across the WSky Way, spots on the son, rings 
round Saturn. Giordano Bruno shatters the 
ancient crystalline vault of the firmament ; every 



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BABLY TOrTH 



17 



"fixed star" in the Milky Way is to him a 
flaming sun, the pulsing heart oi a whole world, 
in which, perohanoe, human hearts like ours thxob 
and leap on a hundred planets. The red, mur- 
derous flames of hate dose over Bnmo, bat they 
cannot dim the light of the new stars. It is in 
the eye and the biam of the new men that arise, 
and will nevermore fade from them. 

The seventeenth century, opening amid the last 
glaxe of the martyr-fires, qnickeas with a imgae 
yearning and ezpeotation. 

In the eighteenth centniy the old world breaiks 
up. From the new stars, from the new world, 
new ideas come. On all sides is the crash and 
roar of contiict. Dread flames break out in the 
sooial, moral, and aesthetic life of men. But the 
oentmy ends in the birth of a greater artist than 
Michael Angelo. 

€k>ethe, on the mom of the nineteenl^ century, 
paints a new Sixtine Chapel in his poetry. But 
he no longer depicts the old ideas. He speaks of 
God-Nature. To him God is the eternal force 
oi the All. His thoughts turn no longer on 
Creation and the Last Judgment. An eternal 
evolntion is the sonroe of his inspiration. He 
regards the whole nniyerse as a single, im- 
measurable revelation of spirit. But this spirit is 
the rhythmic outflow of iniinite developments. It 
becomes Milky Way and sun and planet, blue 
lotus-flowers and gay butterfly. At last it takes 
the form of man, and reads the stars as an open 
book. In Homer and Ooeihe it directs the style 



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18 



HAECKEL 



and tiie pen; in Miohael Angelo and Baphadi it 
gmdea the penoil and the farmh. 
All this nnfoldB in Goethe, aa in a yimaa vith 

yet half-opened eyes. 

Then the nineteenth century begins. Nature is 
its salvation, the salvation ot its most practioal, 
moat real need. It moat atroggle for ita exiatenoe, 
like any other oentmyi hat it liaa new and 
improved weapona for the atniggle. AO the 
earlier ages were hnt poor Uanderm. The 

lightning iiashed on the naked savage, and he 
fell on his knees and prayed, powerless as he was. 
In the eighteenth century it dawned on men's 
minds that this might be some foroe of nature. 
The nineteenth eentniy aeta ita loot on the neok 
of the demcm of thia fdroe, pieaaea him into ita 
aervice, playa with him. Ita thooghta and woida 

flash along the lightning current, as if along new 
nerve-tracks, that begin to circle the globe. Man 
becomes lord of the earthy from the uppermost 
asoie down into the dark, cold abysses of the 
ooeani from the ioy pole to the hoining tropioal 
desert And at length man tnzna his thonghta 
upon himadf . 

Man, his arm resting on the splendid instru- 
ments of modem research, raises his hand to his 
brow, and turns philosopher. He becomes at onoe 
more bold and more modeat than ever. 

What Goethe had aeen ia viaion xiaea before 
him now in ahaip^ almoet hasd ontJine frooi hia 
own real life-wofk. He baa eneoeeded in brmging 
nature and its forces to his feet, because it wa^> 



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EARLY YOUTH 



19 



flesh of bis flash and hlood of his hlood. He is its 
child. A thonBand iongass pEodaim the trath io 
him, a nal^e, almost simple, revelation of lealiify. 

He digs in ihe earth, and ancient bonos and skulls 
tell him vaguely of the past. Snch once was ho, 
devoid of civilisation, at the verge of the animal 
world. He searches his frame through and 
through for farther light. There is the farain, 
ivhare the thoughts ovowd together. Theie is tibe 
cell, that builds tip the whole body, the oeU that 
so closely resembles the lowest of all living 
things, not yet distinct enough to be either 
ammai or plant. Here are the forms that he 
successively assumes in iiis mother's hody, before 
he is bom— fmas that oaa hardly be ^ngfeingnwiMMi 
from those cl the animal at the same stage of 
development. From almost divine heights he has 

sunk down to the beast, to the primitive cell— nay, 
deeper still, to the elementary, force-impelled 
matter of the umverse. 

But this early picture dissolves at once in an 
ennobling and inspiring tmth. Nature beoomes 
man. In this he presses once moxe to the heart 
of tiie most-high. Nature is God. GoeAe sang 
oi God-Katuie. The new God pulses in every 
wave of man'B blood. In Michael Angelo's picture 
Grod breathes his spirit into Adam. The new 
Adam of the nineteenth century is God's spirit, in 
body and sonl, from the veiy fixst« for he is 
Nature. He needs no mors. When he looks up 
to tiie shining stars, he looks into the eyes of God 
and his own. lie hab come down li om tliobe stars 



2b 



HAECKEL 



like the bright dew in whioh ihey are now 

mirrored. He belongs to them, bat they also are 
m iiini. All-Nature: and he is a part of Nature. 
All- development : and he is a phase of the 
development. 

That is the great philosophical dream of the 
nineteenth-century worker. His hand is black 
with labour, bat his spirit is loll ol light, the light 
of the stars and of the world. 

No one can understand the greatness of a man 
like Ernst Haeckel who has not learned this 
melody. Nature is not a iiat surface: it is an 
ooean. When Columbus crossed the seas in his 
three frail barques long ago to seek a new world in 
the distant hase, he little dreamed that the gray 
waters buried other new worlds a thousand yards 
beneath his keel — worlds of the deep-sea, into 
which our age has slowly dipped with its dredges. 
Bo we in turn may run our eye over the blue 
surface of nature, and think ol its mysterioas 
gold-lands and spioe-islands, without suspicion of 
all that outspreads beneath our keeL Yet that 
glorious day on which Columbus found "his 
land" is an inspiration to us, his remote grand- 
children. The iite we are going to examine will 
bring before, us such a morning of discovery. 
Columbus went in quest of Zipangu (as he oaUed 
Japan), and he found America. Noi one of us^ 
however gifted he be, can be quite sure that» in 
leading humanity, he is not saiUng into another 
such heroic error. Let us say that at once to all, 
friendb and opponents. America or Zipangu — ^iet 



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EABLY YOUTH 



21 



it be so. Perhaps any man might have found 
Zipaugu, while only the genius oouid reach 

• • • • • 

When GuBlaT Freiytag, who had a most happy 
quality for vritiiig memoliB, was compofiing his 
admirable Pictures from the Past of Gerrnany^ he 

sought in each period some prominent miin of 
plain and downright character, yet who had some- 
thing typical of his age in his sentiments, as it 
tiie time-spirit spoke through him. In this quest 
he twice (in the fourth voliimei for the period 
from the dose of the eighteenth oentoxy to the 
Wars of Freedom) lit upon earlier members of 
Haeckel's family. The first was Haeckers 
grandfather on the mother's side, Christoph 
Sethe ; tlie second was his father, Goonciilor 
Haeckel. 

This simple fact shows the stuff of Haeckel's 
race. ^The older Bethe was an important man 

in his time. He left to his children manuscript 
memoirs of his eventful life, which have, un- 
fortunately, been only sparsely used by Freytag, 
though the whole deserved to be regarded as a 
source of history. The general ^ts in relation 
to him were collected by Heimann HMer, who 
was not merely interested in the jurist beoanse 
he was one himself, but was brought into touch 
with him as a result of his brilliant studv of Heine. 
Setbe's eldest son, Christian, the uuele of Ernst 
Haeckel, is the well-known friend of Heine's youth 
to whom the poet dedicated the Fresoo-sonnets 



22 



HA ECKEL 



in bis Book of Songt mi mote the fineit of his 
wdf lettan. Tbis Gfaristtaa Beiha (he died on 

May 31, 1867, being then Provincial Director of 
lievenue at Stettin), was a lawyer, like his father, 
and the father himself came of a legal family. 
Haeckel's own father, uioreover, the husband of 
one of Ghrisiian's sisters, was a State Gonncillor 
ftk the time of his death, and his elder brother 
was ft Ftoviodal CoimdUor. Thus Haeoikel's 
genealogical tree spreads into the legal profession 
in a curiously complex way. 

We naturally reflect for a moment if we could 
ianoy Saeckel himself as a lawyer. It is hardly 
possible. He would at least have been a very 
zebelHons member of the profession, and have 
been sadly laoking in regpeot for the TeneraUe 
traditions and powdered wigs of the court — 
assuming, of couiso (which a mere layman has 
no right to question), that there oup;ht Rtill to 
be such traditions and costumes in the profession. 
In his vigorous Middle of the Universe he has, 
from his scientiflo point of mw, bconght strioti i res 
against the legal profession that leave nothing 
to be desired in the way of candour, when we 
recollect the long tradition of his family. In its 
lingering in the rear of the progress of the times 
the whole science of law seemed to him to be a 

riddle of the nniverse." The jurist is apt to be 
respeoted as an embodiment of onr highest onltiue. 
In reality that is not the case. The distinetivo 
object of his concern, man and his soul, is only 
su^er^cially studied in the preparation for the law. 



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EARLY YOUTH 23 

and so we still find amongst jniiste tibe most 
extiaoidinaiy Tiswi m to the freedom of tiie iviUi 
leBponsibOity, and so on. ^^Moet of our legal 

students pay no attention to anthropology, psy- 
chology, and evolution, the first requisites for 
a Gorrect appreciation of human nature. They 
*haye no time' lor it. It is nnfoitanatefy aU 
absorbed in a prafanmd study of beer and wine and 
the * noUe art * of fsnoing ; and the rsst of flieir 
Talnable time is taken np in learning some 
hundreds of paragraphs from the books of law, 
the knowledge of which is supposed to qualify the 
jurist to fill any position whatever in the Btate." 

The student of psjohology, however, oannot 
fail to see that the disposition that led so many 
membeis ol Haeokel'e fiunily into the legal 
profession was also developed in himself to some 
extent. There is perhaps no other scientiBt of 
his time with such an imperious craving for clear- 
ness, for clean lines and systematic arrangement. 
At least in the whole of the Darwinian period 
no other has made so great an effort to oonvert 
the seattered flight of phenomena in ilie realm of 
hfe into the even course of so many fixed laws.** 
In many of his writings this tendency to formulate 
laws is so pronounced that the layinan instinctively 
has an impression of dogmatism on the part of 
the author. This has been grossly misunderstood, 
and made to play an important part in the oon« 
trovenial work of his opponents. The truth is 
that this sharp outlook and pronounced tendency 
to formulate dear and unambiguous laws'' in 



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S4 HABCKBL 

the ^inmial and plant worlds is a matter of tem- 
perament as mooh as o£ iadgm^t. It is very 
possible that we have here an heieditazy tmt» 
an ixmate aversioii tor disorder and oonfasion— f or 
a thoughtless rashing ahead without clear ideas 
and plan. The trait was the more important and 
helpful as a man of Haeckel's type was sure to 
be one of the most active revolationaries in his 
science, even apart from Darwinian ideas. It 
would be diffioalt to find another retainer in any 
gieat pro^oe of thought who, immediately after 
effecting a complete overthrow ol the older ideas, 
has hastened so quickly to build up the new, to 
devise a nomenclature and a classiiication down to 
the smallest details, and hand on at once to his 
Buccessoxs a splendid order once more. Zoology, 
which seemed to cnunble into chaos after Darwin's 
Tictory and the collapse of the old framework^ 
came out of HaeckePs hands, after barely two 
years' work, in the shape of a new and graceful 
Darwinistic structure — not, indeed, perfect and 
finally completed, bat entirely habitable for the 
young generation. They conld add new stones 
as they thonght fit, or pierce new windows, and 
80 on ; bnt at all events the chaos was tenninated 
at a critical moment by this iron man of order. 
I will only add, to complete the picture, that one 
of the three doctorates that Hacckel holds to-day 
is that of law (an honorary degree), in addition 
to his qualifications in philosophy and medicine. 
He now only lacks the theological degree, bnt I 
fear that he will neither take the trouble to secure 



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BARLT YOUTH 



2S 



it nor have it oonfenred on him as an honomy 
distixielioii for his merit in that department. 

The Sethes and Haeckels of the earlier gene- 
Tati<Hi were not merely sealons fnristS) but also 

characteristic figures of Napoleonic and post- 
Kapoleonie Prussia. Christoph Sethe, the patriarch 
of the maternal line, was Privy Gooncillor oi the 
Pmssian Government at Cleve at the begmning 
ci the last decade of the eif^teenth oentmy, 
thongfa he was then young. When the Fienoh 
ooonpied the country he accompanied the Govern- 
ment to Miinster, in 1802, which had become a 
Prussian town. But the stalwart German was 
pursued even there by the detested Napoleonists, 
He was sent to Diisseldoif as General Procniator 
in 1806, and eame into dangevons conflict with 
the French anthoriiies shortly before the Emperor's 
faU. The mobilisation of the troops for the cam- 
paij^ of 1812 had led to a disturbance amongst 
the workers. Sethe's sense of patriotism and 
justice was afronted by the arbitrary proceedings 
of the French. He was summoned to give an 
accoont at Paris, the chief object being to retain 
him — the most powerM official in ttie Bhine 
district and not a very safe man — as a hostage 
during the crisis. It ^^ as at Paris that he made 
the finest phrase of liis life. Eoederer, the 
minister, tried to intimidate him with the threat 
that the Emperor might have a dangerous man 
like him shot at any moment. **Yon will have 
to diooi the law first," replied Sethe. We are 
often reminded of this saying in the biography 



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i6 HAEGKEL 

of SeMie's grandson. If Haeoteei had been bnmed 
ftfe the tteke like Oioxdano BranOi he would have 
thought of noUimg bat the **hiw^' thn law of 

truth and freedom that they would bum with him. 

Christoph Sethe continued to play an impor- 
tant part in the service of Pmssia, to which, of 
oonrse, he returned, together with the Bhinelandg, 
afler Napoleon's fall. He waa deetmed to live 
through the terrible leaotioa vnder Frederie 
William the Third, and the fiery ontbnrat onder 
his successor. iVftor thu early death of his wife 
their youngest daughter, Bertha, managed his 
house and large family. 

She lived nntil her death (April 1, 1904) in 
her qnieti nnpretentioiie home in one of the large 
empty etreete behind the Tieigarien at Berlm, 
reaching the age of ninety-two, bat never losing 
her freshness of mind and memory. In my many 
happy talks with the aged lady the succeeding 
periods seemed to melt together. The small, old 
fomitnre and the anoient, ever-ticking olock made 
me forget, in dreamy twilight hours, that the 
zed glaie in the sky above the honaea b^ond, that 
faintly lit up the old-time room, was the reflec- 
tion fi'om the twentieth century of the elcctrio 
flames that Hashed on the great modern city. 
On the tahle lay the latest part of Haeckel's 
(her nephew) fine illustrated work for artistically 
minded scientists and sdentifically minded artiato 
— the Art'formi in Naiwn. The dear old lady 
spoke with pride of her knowledge of the ** radio- 
laiia," the liiybleiiuuB umcellular ooean-dweilers, 



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EARLY YOUTH 



dawvibed in Haeokel'i splendid monograph^ tba 
flinty ahelli of iddoh m aanongst tHiA iinert artirtio 

IreastireB of natoe. She called them the '^dear 
radiolaria " with all the tenderness of the 
emotional man of science who had felt a sort of 
psjckic reiation, a living affinity, to the tiny 
ndomoopic Btmagers he had been the first to 
anao^ and deeoribe in tlieir tbonaanda. Smiling, 
with quiet pride, she told me how her nephew 
Tinted her, when he oame to Berlin; how, with 
the unassuming ways of this sound stock, be 
chose to sleep in the clothes-drying loft; how 
he invited his friends to come and hear of his 
voyages and work, bringing thirty ol them to shaie 
a single dish ol hening-sslad in his naive way, and 
how, as they oontinned io ponr in, he made seats 
for them of boards and tubs, and fed them with his 
wonderful genius for anecdote so that none went 
away fastinf^. She dwelt with entire satisfautiun on 
the last, the "zoological" phase, ol the Haeckel- 
Sethe hoase. Yet it all blended softly with the 
old and the past of nearly a oentmy ago. Over 
the patriaiolml foinitnre hnng the oil painting of 
Christoph Sethe, with the large Eoman nose 
that runs through the family down to Ernst 
Haeckel hi nisei f, and gives the chief feature to 
his otherwise soft prohle. Under a glass shade, 
in the old ^«hion of oar grandfathers that we 
periiaps do not sufficiently appreoiate, was a fine 
boat of Sohleieimacher. He was a friend ol the 
Sethes. Bertha Sethe was confirmed by him. 
lie died four days before Ernst Haeckel was 



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HABOKBL 



bom, on 1^'ebruary 12, 1834. The sister came from 
the grave to attend the mother of the new-bom 
ohild. A littie £aot of that ohttraeter aeenui 
to pour oat a broad stream of light. The reUgions 
sense was strong in the Sethes, bat it was not of 
the rigid conventional character. It came from 
the depths of human destinies, of individual 
experience. In those depths it is always found 
associated with that other fundamental quality 
of homan ezperienoe and inner life^a seal for 
the tmtlu Sohleiermaoher, the Good, had endea- 
voured within the limits of his time (if not of onr 
time) to erect a new and firmer Christendom. 
Darwinism might very well have a(3jnf;ted itself to 
this new Chxistendouiy that needed no record of 
miracles from disputed historical works to support 
it, but sought the holiest ideal prophetically in the 
symbolic conception and the development of i^e 
true, the good, and the beautiful. Had Schleier- 
liiacher read the Natural Histori/ of Creation, or 
later theologians shared his temper, one wonders 
how much exaggeration and bitterness might have 
been spared on either side. But religion was not 
prq^ared to dissociate itself from " the Ohuroh/' 
and with the Church there could be no compromise. 
Thus one*8 thoughts travelled from the radiolaria in 
Haeckel's latest publication and the old bust of 
Schleiermacher, winch was protected by its glass 
shade, in this home of old-world piety, from the 
wicked ^es of the twentieth century. 

An elder sister of Bertha Sethe and daughter 
of the old Christoph Se^ had married the much 



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29 



older lawyer. Earl HaeAd, in the twenties. The 
fiiBt-frait of this marriage was Emit Haeokel's 

elder brother, Ihe Provincial Councillor Haeokel 
who died a few years ago, a high-minded and 
sensitive man. He remained throughout life 
faithful to the striot traditional forms of religious 
experienoe, in spite of ail his admiration lor his 
giftod sodogioal brother. 

The second and last ehild did not appear tmtil 
ten years later. Ernst Haeckel was born on the 
16th of Febrnary, 1834, shortly after the death 
of Schleiermacher, as X have explained. Most of 
what I know of hiB earliest years was told me by 
his venerable amit Berfcha. 

His &ther died long ago, in 1871. Gnstav 
Freytag has pointed ont how eagerly he drank 
m the morning air of the dawning freedom before 
1813. For many years he was at a later date 
a very close friend of Gueisenau. He was an 
earnest, oonscientious, upright man, with no 
particular artistio arabesques to his life, and at 
the same tune no errors. The victories of 1870 
lit up the red sunset of his da3r8. He was one of 
those happy folk who thouj^ht that all was accom- 
plished in the gn ut achievtiut nts of those days, 
and had little suspicion of what was still to come. 
The mother survived him for many years. Her 
son^s Iiufion Travels was dedicated to her on her 
eighty-fourth birthday, Noyember 22, 1883. The 
dedication ran: "Thou it was who from early 
child iioud fostered in me a sense for the infinite 
beauties of nature; thou iiast ever watiohed my 



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30 HAECKEL 

ehangefol oaieer wiUi ail 4ha oembw oaxe and 
thought that we oompiees in the one phrase — a 

mother^s love." 

Ernst Haeckel was bom at Potsdam, but in the 
same year the iather was transferred to Merseburg, 
whf re the child was brought up. It was not his 
deetiny to be a child of Berlin. Saxony remained 
essentially his home in many respects. We oan 
always see in him something dt this home iliat looks 
down on its children irom its great green hills. The 

cold lines of the streots of the metropolis and the 
melancholy of the Brandenburg pme-f crests cannot 
be traced in him. In later years Berhn aasomed 
more and more in his thoog^ts the shape of an 
antipodal city. His works axe foil of the sharpest 
strictures on Berlin sdenoe. It was at an earlier 
date the city of Bhrenberg and Beiohert, whom 

he did not love , later it was associated vvilh Da 
Bois-Reymond and Virchow, who gradually be- 
oame his bitterest opponents. But he detested 
it generally as the home of Privy Councillors, 
of science in the Proonistean hed of official 
supervision. When he compared what he himself 
had done at Jena wi& the slenderest possible 

appliLinces, and what, in his jud,qinent, had been 
done by the heads of the Berlin schools in their 
princely institutes, he would humorously — though 
it has been taken veiy seriously — ^lay down the 
** natural law" that tiie magnitude of the scientific 
achievement is in inverse proportion to the siae 
of the sdentiflo insMtnte. The official people at 
Berlin did not iail. to make a biting retort to 



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EABLY YOUTH 



31 



tlMie BadiMl striotaMH-tha* in 18B1, wh«ii ha 
wanted to go to Oeylon, he was formally refused 

assistance by the Berlin Academy from the travel- 
ling-lee (then at liberty) attached to the Humboldt 
foundation. He made the journey without their 
assistanoe, and had the splendid revenge of giving 
us, in the description of this very voyagei the most 
brilliant aoooont of the tropios that has appealed 
in Germany sinoe the time of Humboldt. It was 
a finer contribution to tlio general ideal of the 
Humboldt foundation than the timid pajnnent of 
a hundred pounds could have secured. However, 
we are anticipating. Before that time he was to 
Mgend a short bat hmfj period at Berlin in the 
flftiesi in the best days of his youth— a Berlin of 
a different soientifio oharaoter from the present 
city, being at once less pretcntioas and more pro- 
found, whichever the reader chooses to dwell on. 

Certain traits could be recognised unmistakably 
in the boy. He had a great love of nature, of 
light, oolonr, and beauty, of flowers and trees and 
butterflies, ol the sun and the blue heavens. 
There was also a etrong sense ol independence and 
individuality. This did not imply thafe he was 
lacking in gentler feeling. It is said that he would 
do anything that he was asked but nothing that 
it was sought to compel him to do. The little fair, 
bliie-eyed lad would sit quietlly il they gave him a 
daisy to pull to pieees. First he would, as if he 
were a student analysing it, detach the white leavea 

from the central yellow ground. Then be would 
careiuiiy replace them, piece by piece, round the 



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32 



HABCKBL 



yellow centre, clap his little hands and cry oat, 
" Now iVs all Eight again." It is a veiy pretty 
trait that tradition has preserved. In the play of 

the child we seem to see the chief lines of the 
man*s character like two branches of a tree ; the 
analytic work of the scientist and the recon- 
stmctive tendency of the artist who restores the 
dissected world to harmony. 

His exoenent training in ttiose early years 
fostered his feeling lor natare and his sense of 
independence with wise adaptation to the personal 
character of the boy. The mother gladly culti- 
vated his love of nature. On the deeper develop- 
ment of his character a decisive influence was 
exercised, with every regard for freedom^ hy a 
friend of the family, the pfaysioiaii Basedow. His 
ideal was ednoation without oompnlsion, by means 
of a sort of constant artificial selection and culti- 
vation of the good that grew up spontaneously in 
the soul of the child. The father, a great worker, 
was content to give a word of praise occasionally ; 
to nrge him to go to the root of things always, and 
never to ooqiiet idly with his own sonL If the 
yonng dreamer stood at the window and looked np 
at the clouds, his father would pat him on the 
shoulder and say, "Every minute has its value 
in this world. Play or work — but do something." 
It was, in a sense, the voice of the restless nine- 
teenth oentnry itself tliat spoke. The whole life 
of the youth and the man was to he an eternal 
proof ti^t he had heard the message. He has 
pressed unweaiymgly forward, as few oilier men 



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BABLY T01?rH 



83 



have done. There was ever something in him of 
the mountaineer^ hunying on and watohing every 
hour that he may leaoh the snmrnit. The day 
of teat may oome afterwards, down below in the 

valley. In truth, it never came. It is well known 
that the man wrote some of his most difficult, most 
Widely read, and most controyerted works subse- 
quently in a few mouths, enoroaohing upon his 
nigiit's rest until his health was endangered. In 
a remote Gingaleee village in Ceylon, where the 
enervating tropioal dimate foroes even i^e strongest 
to indulge in the afternoon siesta, he tells himself 
that, in view of the great expense of the journey, 
each day is worth a five-pound note. He refuses 
to sleep long hours or take the siesta, rises at five 
in the morning, and uses the hottest hours of the 
day, from twelve to lour, for **anatomioal and 
mieroBOopio work, observing and drawing, and lot 
packing up the material collected.'' He met to 
the full the claim of the nineteenth century, for 
all the inner poetic tendency of his character. 
Such a character he must have had to become 
a philosopher, as he has done ; but it lay, as it were, 
in deeper recesses of his being. To the eye of the 
observer he seemed to be ever rushing on with 
a watch in his hand until old age. When we think 
of the enormous number of problems and the vast 
range of mteix^sts that brought him into the front 
rank in the nineteenth century, we may say that 
he advanced at a pace that would have given 
oonoem to the aged adviser of his youth in his 
small world. 

8 



BAEGEML 



In the long run we may say o! aQ ednoaiion m 

of the physician m the old saying, " The best doctor 
is the one we don't need, because we are not 
ill." Haeckel was sent to tke sohooi at Merseburg. 
This instruction came to a close in his eighteenth 
year. He thoii^t of sonie of bis old teaohem 
with affectioii forty years afterwarda. On ^be 
whole his later opinion of the usual schooling was as 
severe as that of many of his contemporaries. In 
his General Morphology (1866), his most profound 
work, he speaks of the "very defective, perverse, 
and often really mischievous instniotion, by which 
we are filled with absurd enars, instead of natural 
tamths, in our most impresskmahle years." Sixteen 
years afterwards (in a speech delivered at Eisenach) 
he hopes that the triumphant science of evolution 
** will put an end to one of the greatest evils in our 
present system of education — that overloading of 
the memoiy with dead material that destroys the 
finest powersi and prevents the normal develop- 
ment of either mind or body." ''This overload- 
ing," he says, is due to the old and ineradicable 
error that the excellence of education is to be 
judged by the quantity of positive facts committed 
to memory, instead of by the quality oi the real 
knowledge imparted. Hence it is especially advis- 
able to make a more oarefol selection of the matter 
of instniotion both in the higher and the elemen- 
tary schools, and not to give precedence to the 
faculties that burden the memory with masses of 
dead facts, but to those that buildup the judgment 
with the living play of the idea of evolution. Let 



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AABLT YOrTH 



36 



onr tortnred children learn only half what they do, 
bat learn il better, and the next generation will be 
twice as Bound as the piesent one in body and soul. 
The lefonn of edncaticMi, which, we tnuA, will be 
bioD^t aboai by introdnoing the idea of evolaiiony 
must apply to the mathematical and scientific, as 
well as the philological and historical sections, 
because there is the same fault in them all, that 
far too mnch mateiial is injected, and far too httie 
attention is paid to its digestion." Seventeen 
yeacB later again, in the BiddUofthe TJnmme^ the 
elementaiy Bchodb are seyerely handled. Soienee 
is still the Cinderella of the code. Our teachers 
regard it as their chief duty tc» impart ** the dead 
knowledge that has come down from the schools of 
the Middle Ages. They give the hrst place to their 
giammatioal gymnastics, and waste time in im- 
parting a ' tboioogh knowledge ' of the daaaioal 
tongues and foreign history.'* There is no question 
of cosmology, anthropology, or biology; instead of 
these the memory is loaded with a masb of philo- 
logical and historical facts that are quite useless 
either from the theoretioal or the practical point 
of Tiew.*' In these expressions, which recur con- 
stantly thxoofi^nt the whole of a thonghtfoi life* 
we oan clearly see a very intense general experience 
of youth, and this is a more valuable document 
than any individualised complaint against this or 
that bad teacher m particular. 

However, Haeokel (who, in point oi fact, took 
eTOTthing seriously and would have all in the 
oleareet oider) made a Teiy thoiotigh appiopiiation 



1 



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HABOKBL 



of his Latin and Greek. When the new Dar- 
winian zoology and botany needed several hundred 
new Latin-Greek teohnical terms in after-years, he 
showed himself to be an inventor of the fiigt rank 
in thiB depaztment. No other aoiantiBt has made 
anything like the same adroit use of (lie olaBsic 
Tooabolaiy for the pnrpoBes of the new system «id 
created a new terminology for the entirely new 
science. His creations were certainly ingenious, 
and not without grace at times ; in other cases, as 
was almost inevitable, they were less pleasing. 
And to ibis we most add thonsands of names of 
new speoieB which he had to ooin, asthedisooverer 
of radiolaria, mednsA, sponges, Ac. In the radio- 
laria alone he has formed and published the names 
of more than 3,500 new species. I fancy that even 
the oldest pastor of the most fertile congregation 
has never condaoted so many ohiistenings. In 
eaoh case it was necessary to impose two names, 
the generic and specific. We may weO expect to 
find a few that will not last, but the reader is 
amazed at the philological creative power of this 
busy godfather and the inexhaustibility of his 
vocabulary; they show far more than the usual 
training in homanities* 

His real predilection was pronounced enongh in 
those early years. It was what the classical peda- 
gogue would regard as child's play and waste of time 
— 250ology and botany. A large double window in 
his parents' house was fitted up as a conservatory, 
and plants were gathered very zealously. His love 
of botany was so gvsat that any one woold have 



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37 



pKmoonoed bJm a boftonirt in the making. But 
&te detennined that he was to be a zoologist. Jn 

his eleventh year the boy, while paying a visit to 
his uncle Bleek (a professor of theology !) at Bonn, 
spent a whole day searching the remotest comers 
of the Siebengebirg for the Erica einerea, which he 
bad beard oonld not be fonnd in any other part of 
Gennany. At the Menebnig aohool be bad two 
ezoellent teadhen, Gandtner and Kail Ckide, who 
fostered Ins inclination, and changed it from a 
mere collector's eagerness into the finer enjoyment 
of the scientific mind. The yonng student wrote 
a contribution to Garcke'e Flora Hallensis. The 
professional decision gives many a troubled hour. 

It is signifioant to find that as the novice tended 
his herbarimn it dawned on him that there was a 

weak point somb where in the rigid classification 
given in the manuals of botany. The hooka said 
that there were so many fixed species, each invari- 
ably recognisable by certain characters. But when 
the yonth tried to diagnose his plant-treasnzes in 
praotioe by these rales, there seoned to be always 
a lew contraband species smuggled in, Uke ^e 
spectres in the Wahlpurgib night to w-hich the sage 
vainly expostulates, " Begone : we have explained 
yon away«" Often the individual specimens would 
not agree with the lore of the boo^. There were 
disorepanoiss ; sometimes they eat aoross one type, 
sometimes anotheri and at times thqr ehameleaely 
stretched aoross the gap between one rabrio and 
another. What did it mean ? Were there really 
no fixed species'? Was ''species " only an idea, 



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HABCKBL 



and waa the leaHty of the plant-world in a atate of 
fltiz like the sea? Teachers and books insiBted 

that the " species ** is, in its absolute nature, the 
basis of all botanical science, the great and sacrod 
foundation that the Moses of botany and zoology, 
Linn^, had laid down for ever. How oonld it 
be 80? 

The mature worker wonld look back on this 
dilemma of his youth with a smile of satisfiiotion 

thirty years afterwards. He would know then 
what sort of a nut it was that he was trying to 
oiaok in his early speoolations. It was nothing 
less than the magnificent problem that presented 
itself to Darwin, the cmdal qnestion of the fiziiy 
or vaziabilitj of species. '^The problem of the 
constancy or transmntation of species," he wrote, 
arrested me with a lively interest when, twenty 
years ago, as a boy of twelve years, I made a 
resolute but fruitless efort to determine and dis- 
tinguish the 'good and bad species ' of black- 
hemes, willows, roses, and thistles. I look back 
now with lond satis^ction on the concern and 
painful soeptioism that stirred my youthful spirits 
as I wavered and hesitated (in the manner of most 
* Sfood classitiers,' as we called them) whether to 
admit only ' good ' specimens into my herbarium 
and reject the ' bad,' or to embrace the latter and 
form a complete chain of transitional forms be- 
tween the *good species* that wonld make an end 
of all their * goodness.' I got out of the difficulty 
at the time by a compromise that I can recommend 
to ail classiiLers. I made two ooliections. One, 



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BARLT YOUTH «^ 

anaDgedon official lines, offered to thesympatheiio 
obflerver ail the speoies, in 'typioal' speoimens, 
as radically distmot foxnuy each deoked with its 
pretty label; the other was a private oollection, 
only shown to one trusted friend, and contained 
only the rejected klnda that Goethe so happily 
called ' the oharaoterless or diaorderly races, which 
we hardly dare ascribe to a species, as they lose 
tiiemselyee in infinite Tarieties/ such as rabns, 
saliz, Terbascnm» hieracinm, rosa* dTBHun, 4feo. Jul 
this a large number of specimens, arranged in a 
long series, il hist rated the direct transition from 
one good species to another. They were the 
officially forbidden fruit of knowledge in which I 
took a secret boyish delight in my leisure hoars." 

These little somples, however, did not interfere 
with what he &lt to be the chief interest of botany. 
The ooUeoting of plants hsmnonises well with a 
general love of nature and a passion for wandermg 
over hill and vallt^y. Long walks had already 
become a ^tore of his life. The scientiho interest 
made it si^erflnons to have a companion. Botany 
went with him eveiywhere as his lady-love, and 
remained ever ftdthfol to him. I have preferred 
to travel alone most of my life," he used to say to 
me; "I never feel ennui when I am alone. My 
love of and interest in nature are much better enter- 
tainment than conversation." One of the features 
in this interest at all times, even in later years, 
was botanical reseaioh. The material for it is 
fomifl everywhere. Darwin, a great traveller with 
an mrasniJly strong appredatian of good soeneiy, 



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HASOKEL 



has Baid that the traveller who would combine the 
parsnit of knowledge with esthetic satiBfaotion 
most he ahove all a botanist (in the closing retro- 
spect of his NaturaUst^s Voyage Round the Worlds 
one of the finest passages in the work). Whenever 
Haeckel spoke in later years of his adopted Jena, 
he never failed to explain, amongst the other excel- 
lent qualities of the little university town, that so 
many fine orchids grew in its woods. When he 
left Jena to make the long voyage to Ceylon, his 
last look was at the drops of dew that sparkled like 
pearls " in the dark blue calices of the gentians, with 
their tender lashes, that so richly decked the grass- 
covered sides of the railway cutting." The Letters 
from Indidy that described his voyage, owes a good 
deal of its pecnliar chaim to his skill in botanical 
desmption. I know no other work that approaches 
it in conveying so effective an idea of the luxuriant 
vegetation of the tropics. 

In those early years there was one particular 
point of dose union between botany and the sense 
of beauty. It was only two years before Haeckel's 
fourth that Qoetbe» the man who had put into 
inimitable verse new and pregnant tmths d 
botany, passed to his rest at Weimar. 

It is no longer a special distinction of any 
pruiiiiuent personality of the nineteenth century to 
have been influenced by Goethe. It is a kind of 
natural necessity from which one cannot escape. 
All that is great in the centnry can be traced 
back to Goeti^. He flows beneath it, like a dark 
stream through the bowels of a mountain. Here 



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41 



and there the ilauks open and the stream becomes 
visible ; nofc a restless bubbling spring, but a broad 
mirror. There is, however, a closer followmg of 
Goethe. There are a few strong spirits that have 
beea ooosgioiibIj inspired by him from the first 
in all their thoughts; have throughout life felt 
tiiemselTes to be the ftpostles of the '^gospel of 
Goethe " ; and m every new creation of their own 
have held that they did but reflect or expand 
his ideas, did but carry on his prinoiples to these 
farther conclnsions. Haeckel is, in his whole 
work, one of this smalls band ; his whole peison- 
ality is» in &ot, one of its most oonspiooons 
manifestations in the second half of the century. 

In Goethe we find the basic ideas of his philo- 
sophy. Goethe took from him his God, and gave 
him a new one : took from him the external, 
transoendental God of the Chnrohes, and gave 
him the Qod that is in all things^ in the eternal 
development of the world, in body and sonl alike, 
the God that embraces all reality and being, 
beside whom there is no distinct " world," no 
distinct ** sinful man," no special beginning or 
end of things. When Haeckel found iumseif, at 
the highest point of his own path, by the side of 
Darwin, he was the first to see and to insist that 
Darwin was bnt a stage in the logical development 
of Gk>eihe's ideas. ^ 

Pate decided that Haeckel should be even 
externally in some sense an heir of the Goethe 
epoch. Jena, the university that Goethe had 
regarded with sooh aiection, and at which Sohiller 



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HAECKEL 



had tofled with his heurt's blood in " sad, splendid 

years," owes its fame m the last third of the 
century to Haeckel. It is not an excess of 
adulation, but a simple truth, to say that among 
the general public and abroad the reputation of 
Jena passes diiectiiy from Goethe, Sohiller, and 
Fiohte to Haeokel. His name stands for an epoch 
in the life of Jena, like theirs; all that lies 
between is forf^^otten and unknown. In the 
district itself it is as if the old epochs and the 
new came into direct touch. 

I shall noTer forget the hour when this thought 
oame upon me in all its force. It was on a 
enowless December day, when the dying fixe of 
antomn still lingered on the trees and bashes 
where the blackbirds sung in front of the obser- 
vatory. The table and seat of sandstone stood 
out bleakly. A tablet indicated, in phrases of 
Goethe's, that Schiller had dwelt there. It was 

was bom. There the 
two often sat in conyersation — the conversation of 
two of tiie greatest minds of the time, each in his 

way a master spirit. To-day the little dome of 
the observatory looks down on the spot ; il is not 
a luxurious building, but it is a stage in the 
onward journey, a symbol of the nineteenth 
century as it leaps into the twentieth. A little 
fiffther off rises the modem stmctare of the 
Zoological Institute. In Goethe's day no one 
dreamed that such a building would ever be seen. 
It was opened by Haeckel in 1884. The zoo- 
logioal coUeotion it houses was ohiefly brought 



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BARLY TOUTU 48 

together under his direction. Amongst its trea- 
sures are, besides Haeckel's corals and the like, 
the outcome of the travels of Semon and Kiikeu- 
thai in Australia and New Gninea — Elands whose 
veij ontline oonld barely be tiraoed in the misi 
when Schiller was a professor at Jena. At the 
entrance there are two stuffed orangs, our distant 
cousins. One wall of the lecture-hall is covered 
with huge charts depicting the genealogical tree of 
life, as it is drawn up by Haeokel. With what 
eyes SohiUer wonid have devoured them! Yet 
olassio traitB are not wanting. From Haeokel's 
fine stody in the Institute the eye &lls on the 
Hausberg, " the mountain-top from which the red 
rays stream." It is the room in which the deep- 
sea radiolaria of the Challenger Expedition were 
studied, a zoolpgioal campaign in depths of the 
ocean that were stranger to Schiller's days than 
the surface ol the moon is to us. Behind this 
Gk)ethe-SohiIler seat at the observatoiy there is a 
natural depression full of willows that reminds us 
of the time when all was country here. But just 
beyond it is a modem street — " Ernst Haeckel 
Street," as it was named, in honour of him, on the 
occasion of his sixtieth Inrthday. dose to it is 
the villa wbeie be has lived for many years witli 
his devoted famfly, full of wonderful reminiscences 
(oil-paintings and water-colours from iiis own 
hand) of his many travels. In Schiller's day a 
voyage to Ceylon would have been a life's work. 
To-day it is an episode in an infinitely richer and 
broader life. On the stone seat now we see the 



proud and handsome fignre of the man himself, 
recalling pleasantly the masters who have stood 
here before him, the wide hat covering the white 
hair that is belied by tha rosy cheeks ; a straight 
and strong figiue, yet zeyealiog in the finer hnes 
of the laoe the senmtiire, asthetio temper that 
does not look on soientifio inyeetigation as a bnital 
power of the dissecting knife, bnt remembers he is 
the heir of G-oethe, even in the Zoological Institute 
yonder. Over my mind came the feeling of a 
strange rebirth of things. X fait that life is an 
eternally new and mystic resurrection, immeasnr- 
aUy more wondeifal and profoond than all the 
cmde ideas of lesomotion that hare yet prevailed. 
A mind snoh as we love to picture to ourselves in 
our ideal of the future histornm must seek the 
eternal and constant features in all change, even 
in two epoohs that are so distinot and in the men 
who have lived in them. It is our incorrigible 
Bohoolmaeter diiq^tion that divides things. In 
the real world tli^ must he one straight line of 
development. To-day the highest is sought in the 
melody of immortal verse : to-morrow a Zoological 
Institute rises on the spot where the poet had 
stood. 

It is said that the hoy did not come under the 
inflnenoe of Goethe withont some diffieiilty. His 
mother did not like Ooethe ; she preferred SohiUer. 

Goethe was too great for every tme soul to follow 

him in his arduous path. Weimar itself had more 
than once been disposed to desert him. How 
much more tiie genei^l pubiio in its conventional 



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letters t How mmj fell away from bim when he 

published the iioiyiaii Elegies, and again when 
he brought out the Elective Affinities. In 
Haeckers youth people remembered Bome's narrow 
and hostile gtnotnres. Goethe began to penetrate 
into the Gennaii lamilj as a elaesio in spite ol the 
general feeling. Bnt the Geiman family was stiU 
fnx below him. He had gradually to lift it np 
from its Philistine level. At fcunes it rebelled 
against him, as every stubborn level does against 
a peak. It waa his aunt Bertha that iirst put 
Goethe's works into the boy's hands. He received 
them as a deli^tfol piece of moral oontraband. 

Gottfried Seller has finely deeorihed, about Hbe 
same period, in his Qreen Henry ^ the effect of Baoh 
a revelation on a sensitive yoimg man. A book- 
seller brings to the house the whole of Goethe's 
works, fifty small volumes with red covers and 
gilded titles. The yoong Swiss Heiniiohy Keller's 
piotnre of himself, reads the volumes unceasingly 
for thirty days, when fliey are taken away because 
bis mother cannot pay for them. But the thirty 
days have been a di'eam to the boy. He seems to 
see new and more brilliant Btare in the heavens as 
he looks up. When the books are removed, it is 
as if a choir of bright angels have left the room* 
**I went out into the open air* The old town on 
the hilly the rooks and woods end river and sea 
and tiie lines of the mountains lay in the gentle 
light oi the March sun, and as my eye fell on 
them I felt a pure and lasting joy that I had never 
known be^nre. It was a generous love oi aU that 



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HAECKEL 



liTes, a love that lespeois the light and lealim 
the import of each thing, and feds the connected- 
nees and depth of the world. This love is higher 

than the artificial affection of the individual with 
selfish aim that ever leadR to pettiness and 
caprice ; it is higher even than the enjoyment and 
detachment that come of speoial and lomantio 
affeotionB; it alone can give ob an imohangiag 
and lasting glow. Eveiytiiing now oame hefoie 
me in new and heantifnl and remarkable forms. 
I began to see and to love, not only the outer 
form, but the inner content, the nature, and the 
history of things.'' The poet compresses his 
experience into one episode. In real life it comes 
slowly, step by step. In fine, a third element was 
bom in the yomig botanist and lover of beauty-^ 
Goethe's view of life behind all else : that widoh 
Goethe liimself called " objective." The mystic 
might call it a return to God : but it was Goethe's 
God. 

Three other books inflneneed Haeckel in his 
sohool-daysy besides the works of Goethe. The 
first was Homboldt's Atpeets of NaAwre. This is 
another work that has had an effect on all the 

sensitive spirits of the nineteenth century. It is 
most unjustly depreciated by the young, hlasS 
generation of our time, which dislikes the older 
style. In the first two volumes of the Oomos we 
see the play of a great mind wherever we look 
for it. 

Then came Darwin's NaiwaUtfB Voyage romd 

Hie World, The ardent youth had yet ^oq 



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EARLY YOUTH 47 

BQspioicm what ike name would one day mean to 

him. Darwin was then regarded as a completed 
work on which final judgment had been rendered. 
He was appreciated as a traveUer, a student of the 
geology of South Amerioa, and especially as the 
gifted inveatigatoir ol the wonderful ooral leefe of 
the Indian Ocean. His name stood thus in all the 
manuals, close even to that of Humboldt. Pro- 
bably the young reader thought he had died long 
before. At all events, no one had a presentiment 
that this quiet naturahst and student of corals was 
about to light a torch that would fiame over the 
world. The chief advantage that Haeckel drew 
fcom the two woite was an ardent desire to see tb» 
tropics, with their virgin forests and blue coral 
seas. It has come to so many after reading these 
works, and persisted in their lives as the vivid 
image of a dream, like that which drove Goethe to 
Italy — the dream of a home of the soul that most 
one day be sought. 

The third book was Sohleiden's The Flani and 
448 Life, Matthias Jacob Schleiden was then in 
the best of his power, and had an mlluence that 
amounted to fascination on many of llie \ o anger 
men. Behind him lay a tembie struggle. He 
had begun his career as a lawyer, and had been so 
unfortunate that he even attempted his life. With 
his iuterest in botany a new life began, and he 
worked with the energy of one raised from the 
dead. He was certainly an original thinker. His 
name is known to us to-day especially as the 
founder of the oeU-theoiy. This is the greatest 



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HABCKEL 



diBtdnotioii that he has earaed. But at that time 
he had a mnoh more general importanoe as a 

leader in the struggle to introduce a certain method 
of scientific research. A somewhat obscure epoch 
was coming to a close, a more or less superficial 
natural philosophy having sought to replace sound 
investigation. The straggle had ended with the 
deoidve viotoEy ci the simple disooveiy of fiiots. 
There was eyerywhere a yagae feeling that the 
progress of scieuce was best secured by a bald 
enumeration and registration of bones, of the joints 
in the hmbs of inseots, or of pollen-filaments, 
rather than by the romantic and spirited leaps of 
natural philosophy oyer all the real problems into 
the heayens aboye. The question now arose 
whether narrow method reslly exhausted the 
nature of things; whether scientific specialism, 
with its laurels of victory, would not prove in the 
end an equally dangerous enemy. What was 
^' better " for the time being might be very far 
irom resJly good." , It was here that Sohleiden 
stepped in. He fought against tiie preyailing 
spedalism, at first in his own particular proyinoe 
of botany. He did not, indeed, take up the cause 
of the exploded pyrotechnics of the older natural 
philosophy, but pleaded for more general critical- 
philosophioal methods. These must be preserved 
in any eironmstances. The great botanist, he said, 
is not the man who oan determine ten thousand 
speoies of plants aooording to the reoeiyed models, 

but the man of clear lo;^ le an d Wide deductions 
from his lore. Botany must be conceived as a 



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distinot bnmoh of general thonght ; otherwise it is 
woiihlesS) and its herbarium may rot umotioed in 

the corner and its discoveries be the outcome of 
blind hazcard. Sehleicion himself had no perception 
of the great idea that Darwin was to bimg into his 
province afterwards — ^the idea of the variability of 
species and of evolatioii, wliioh bioii|^t to a oriti- 
oal stage the question whether the botanist was to 
be merely a subordinate museum-secretary or a 
creative thinker, a prophet of nature to whom 
plants wonld be part of a general philosophy, a 
part of God in thQ ideal sense of evolution. Yet 
Schleiden's sunple warning oiy made a deep im- 
pression on many of the yoimg men eBpeda%. 
There was a note of aspiration in it» an assnrance 
that they were waiting for a sun that imui rise 
somewhere. lie was a master of language. There 
was the stuff of the poet in him. His works strayed 
out far beyond the range of his own province. 
Haeokel himself did the same work in later years. 
It is no wonder that Sohleiden had a magieal 
inflnenoe over him. In this case, indeed, it seamed 
as if the attraction was to determine his own 
career. 

Schleiden taught botany at Jena University. 
H leckel was still in the higher forms of his school 
at Merseburg, and reraained there when his father 
resigned his position in the State servioe, and 
eventoaOy removed to Beilin. At this time the 
ardent botanist dedded to adopt the sdenee of 

plants as his life-study when his final examination 

was over. Sohleiden would teaoh him how to 

4 



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HAECKBL 



combine philoaophj with botany. Then he would 
try to roam o^ the world as a praotieal botanist 

and visit the far-off zones where Mother Earth 
poured out her cornucopia of forms so generously. 

While still in the higher form at school he made 
a preliminary visit to Jena. Everything seemed 
80 pleasant and channing. He niade the jonmey 
on foot. These long walks have always been his 
pride— to start ont like a travelling scholar, with 
hardly anything in his pocket, to live on bread and 
water, and sleep in the hay at night ; but to enjoy 
to the full all the incomparable delights that the 
great magician, nature, provides for the faithful 
novice — scenery, beantifol orchids, thoughts of God^ 
Goethe, and the wodd. It was in 1849 that he 
visited Jena. He has described it himself : ^* After 
I had reverently admired the Goethe-room in the 
cay tie of Domburg, I wandered, on a hot July day, 
over the phady meadows to Jena, singing lustily 
with my gay comrades. As I entered the venerable 
old market-place I found a troop ol lively students 
in front of the Burgkeller, with colonied caps and 
long pipes, singing, and drinkmg the famous Idch* 
tenhain beer from wooden tankards. It made a 
great impression on me, and as I took a tankard 
with tht 111 I made up my mind that I would some 
day be one of them." 



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T was botany itself that thwarted ail the so 



happilj. Booms wm taken at Jena, at the 
Easteir ol 1862, for ttie advanoed rtndy under 
Sehleiden, Then the indefatigable ooUeotor had 

an adventure on a oold Maroh day. He spent 
hours in the wet meadows by the river Saale, 
searching for a rare plant, the squill (Scilla 
bifoUa). He met with the fate of the angler in 
the stoiy, who fell into the water in his haste 
to eeeore his hig pike. He landed the fish, bnt 
not himself. The plant was fonnd, bnt Haeokel's 
zeal was punished with a severe rheumatism. 
He had to go iiome to his parents iit Berlin to 
be tended. At Berlin he begins his studios, and 
the event to some extent decides his career. It 
would now be many years before he would see 
Jena agam; and through his efforts it would 
become one of the leading sohools, not of botany, 
but of soology — a sehool of pMUaophAoai soology, 
however, m the sense of Bchleiden. 




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HAECKEL 



Berlin had secured a botonirt of ihe first rank 

a year before, Alexander Braun. He, too, was 
a thoughtful botanist, who would in his way a^ree 
very well with Schleiden. He was convinced that 
botany did not whoUy consist in the determina- 
tion of new plant-fonns and the abnost fruitless 
effort to set np a system on whioh all porticnlar 
diagnoses would be rigidly played as on a piano. 
He believed that there must be a more profound 
conception of it, which tnouIcI take "form," as 
such, as one of its problems, and would aim, not 
at the formation of as large a ooUeotion as possible, 
but at the oonstraction of a science ixa which 
Gk)ethe bad long ago found a name— morphology, 
or the science ^ forms. It happened that Braon 
was a friendly visitor at the house of Haeckel's 
parents at i>erlin. The now convalescent fresh- 
man became devoted to him, body and soul ; they 
became close friends, not merely master and 
pnpil. Berlin at that time afforded many an 
opportunity for practical botanising. Bare manh- 
plants then flourished in the bed of the Spree, 
which has since been cleared. The Botanical 
Garden was full of good things. Haeckel used 
to tell with pride, long afterwards, with what 
readiness he flung himself into the work, practical 
as well as theoretical, on these ezcnrsions with 
Professor Braon. ^^On one of our botanical 
expeditions we wanted to get a floating chara 
from a pond. Braun took off his boots in his 
usual way in order to wade to the spot. But I 
was before him. I quickly undressed, forgot my 



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iianghty rheumatism, and swam to the spot, to 
hring him a qnantitj of the plant he wanted. 

That was my £rst piece of heroism, perhaps my 
greatest." 

But iu ail this pleasant botanising there was 
no serious ontlook on his future proibssion. 
fiaeokel's father, with his official way of looking 
at things, oonld not reconcOe himself to soientific 
leeearoh as an avooation. It is an old belief 
that the way to all preoccupation Vr iiii the science 
of living things lies through medicine. One may 
question that to-day. It was the rock on which 
Darwin nearly came to giiei A man may be 
a yeiy gifted botanist, yet be quite unfitted for 
the medical profession. One must have a real 
Tooation to become a physician, more than for 
any other calhng, or else it is a hopeless blunder. 
The talents are divided in much the same way 
as between the historian and the soldier. It is 
true that the two may be united, but it is eqaaliy 
tme that very good historians have made yeiy 
poor soldiers. 'What the medical man learns in 
his studies is, of conrse, always yalnable. Bnfc 
it oilers no test of personal talent for scientific 
research, nor should it be sapposL ti that a capacity 
of this kind would be able, by mere formal study, 
to acquire the true quaJities of a physician. We 
mnst learn to appreciate the physician's calling too 
much ever to look on it as an incidental occupation. 
It always reminds me of the amiable notion of the 
Philistine, that a man with a txim for poetry 
must £r8t take up some sohd prulession, and then. 



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HABCKEL 



onoe be is in tiie saddle/' poor oat venee in his 
leisnre hours. Poetry can never be a mistress: 
it demands marriage or nothing. Otherwise — 
well, we have instances enough. 

Haeckel himself afterwards said that he only 
acceded to his father's wish, that he should stadj 
medicine, with a botanical mental tesemtion. 
He thoogbt of going throng^ the discipline 
conscientiously until he became a physician, and 
then secure a place as ship's doctor, and travel 
over the world and see the tropics. Things turned 
out very differently. He never became a medical 
man such as bis father had wished^ but be passed 
oyer the profession into ecology. Botany ze- 
mained the lost and neyer-forgotten love of bis 
youth. When we look back on his whole career 
we can see that he was, on the whole, fortunate. 
Zoology afforded a richer, more abundant, and 
more varied material at that time* It proved 
to be more philosophical." He mnt after bis 
other's asses and found a kingdom. But to bim 
personally it seemed to be an unmistakable re- 
nunciation — the first in an active career that 
was to see many resignations. 

• • • • • 

*<He goes farthest who does not know where 
be is going," 

Haeckel once applied this motto to himself 
and bis star, in a humorous after-diimer speech. 

With this kind of safe predestination he reached 
Wiirtzburg in the autumn of 1852 as a medical 
student. Medicine had in those days received 



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an entirely new theoietical basis from Wurfczbuig 
— a ham that was oaloolated to attiaot a young 
inqtiirer, who brought mnoh more of the general 

Faubt-spirit to his work than aspiration to the 
profession and the doctor's oap, or the practical 
side. 

Let us reoall for a moment how medicine had 
giadaally reached the position of an independent 
science. Medicine waa the outcome of a remote 
m3rth]oal epoch. It was content with the effect 

of certain venerable traditional medicaments on 
the living body, but knew little or nothing of 
the inner structure of the body on which it tried 
xte drugs. The dissection and exan^ illation of 
even a corpse was regarded as a deadly sin^ and 
was Tisited with seonlar pnnishment. Sdentifio 
medicine did not exist until this prohibition was 
removed; its iirst and most necessary foundation 
was anatomy, the science of the bodily structure 
and its organs. The art of cutting up " bodies 
had seemed too revolting. Moreoyer, no sooner 
science of anatomy been founded than 
the range of the human eye itself was consideraUy 
enlarged. The microscope was invented. A new 
WOiid came to hght in the dissect. ion of the hody. 
Beyond their external appearance it revealed the 
internal composition of the Tanous organs. The 
eye sees a shred of skin, a piece of intestine, or 
a section of the liver. The microscope &stens on 
a tiny paitide of this portion of the body, and 
reveals in it a deeper layer of unsuspected 
Bbructures. It is well known in the history of 



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HABOKESL 



mioxoaoopic discoyeiy that the moze powerful 
lensee and the improved methods of research were 
only gradually mtiodaoed, and enabled stodents 
to fomid a new and mnoh profoonder anatomy. 

As 800U as this science appeared it was given 
the special name of " histology/* or the science 
of the tissues (hista). Its particular achievement 
is the discovery that in man, the animal, and 
the plant, all parte at the body prove, when 
snffioiently magnified, to be composed of small 
living elements, which are known as cells. The 
discovery of the cell was made in the latter part 
of the third decade of the nineteenth century. 
These cells join together in homogeneous groups 
in order to accomplish one or other function in the 
body, and thus lorn its tissues." Their intricate 
stmctnze is nniavelled by the histdcgist, micro- 
scope in hand. It is evident that in this way 
a new basis was provided for anatomy, and there- 
fore also for medicine. In the fifties Wiirtzbnrg 
was the leading school of histology, or the science 
of these tissues composed of cells. Albert Eolliker, 
professor of anatomy tbeie since 1847, published 
his splendid Manual of Histologif at the very time 
"whtm Haeckel was stadying under him. Frans 
Leydig, a tutor there since IS-iQ, \v;is working 
in the same direction. The third member of the 
group, made professor in 1849, was Eudolf 
Yirohow, a yonng teacher then in his best years. 
It was Yiicfaow who did most to bring practical 
m edicin e into line with histology. As ihe vital 
processes in tho hmnan body seemed to him, with 



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his strict histologioal onilook, to be traoed back 
always to the tissod-baOdixig odls, ha oomdndad 
that disease also, or the pathological oondition 

of the body, and therefore the proper tield of tho 
medical man, was a prooees in these cells. Man 
seemed to him to be a cell-state " : the tisanes 
were the various active social strata in this state : 
and disease was, in its ultimate sooioei a confliot 
in the state between the citiBenSy the tissoe- 
forming cells, that normally divide the work 

amongbt them for the common guud. l^athology 
must be cellnlar pathology. The science was 
already being taught by Virchow at Wiirtzburg, 
and the dry bones of it were covered with flesh 
lor his hearers. Bat his ideas were not published 
nntil a few years afterwards (1858). 

In the first three terms Haeckel stadied chiefly 
undt;r Kolliker and Leydig. They taught him 
auimal and human embryology, as it was then 
conceived. Embryology was the science of the 
development of the individual animal or man^ 
the description of the series of changes that the 
chick passes through in the egg or the hmnan 
embryo in ^e womb. This science, also, had 
been profoundly a flee ted by the mvention of the 
microscope. Firstly, the spermatozoa, the active, 
microscopically small particles in the animal and 
human sperm, had been discovered. Then, in 
the twenties, £arl £mat von Baer had discovered 
the hmnan ovmn. The relation of these things 
to the cell-theory was dear. It was indnbitable 
that each of these male bpeimato2^oa and each 



• 



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HAECKEL 



female amm waa a oeU. They zodlted together 
and were blended into a new cell in the «ct of 
procreation, and from this, by a prooess of repeated 

cleavage of cells, the new individual was developed 
with all ills millions of cells and all the elaborate 
tissues that these cells united to form. A whole 
world of marvellous featmres oame to light, but the 
key to the nnriddling o£ them was still wanting. 

However, the Wnrtsborg eohool was at least 
agreed as to method^ which was the main thing ; 

its leaders were determined to pretss on to the 
solution of these piobiems on purely scienliiic 
lines. Everything was to be brought into a 
logical relation of cause and efieot^ and there 
was to be no intmsion of the snpematnia!, no 
mystidsm. Natnial laws most be traced in the 
life of the cells and in the history of the OTum 
and tile embryo. The cells vrere to be regarded 
in the same way as the astronomer regards his 
myriads of glittering bodies. In this way the 
science of histology had been founded, and 
embryology had assmned ft scientific character 
in the hands of Yon Baer. The microscope kept 
the attention of students to facts, and did not 

sufEer thern to lose themselves m the clouds. 
Thus a foundation-stone was laid in Haeckel's 
thoughts which he would never discard. 

In the later years of the Darwinian controversy 
he was destined to easoB into sharp conflict with 
both Yirohow and ESUiker. Eaoih of them came 
to look on him as the sober hen does on the 
naughty cluck it hai» brought nito the world, 



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thai madly tries to swim on the treacheroiis 

waters of Darwinism. But forty years afterwards 
— after many a knife-edged word had been thrown 
in the struggle — the aged Kolliker was one of 
those who entered their names in the list of men 
of fldeiioe who eieoted a bust in the Zoological 
Institiite at Jena in honour of Haeokel's sixtieth 
birthdaj. 

However, it different, an apparently 

trivial, yet, as it turned out, most momentous 
interest that quickened him during these Univer- 
sity years. 

The impulse to miorosoopio researoh, that had 
led to the iomidation of histology and embryology, 
had brought about a third great advance which 

had an irnportaut bearing on zoology. Wlien we 
stroll along the beautiful bhore of the Mediter- 
ranean at Naples to-day, with eyes bent on the 
blue surface from which Capri rises like a siren, 
and on the oload-oapped Yesnvins with its violet 
streaks of lava catting across the green oonntry, 
we notice in the foreground of the picture a stout 
building, with very large wiudoNss, planted with 
the boldness of a parvenu amongst the foliage. 
It is the " Zoological Station," built by Dohrn, 
a German zoologist, at the beginning of the 
seventies. Anton Dohm was one of Haeekel's first 
pupils, and was personally initiated by him into 
the study of marine life, at Heligoland in 1885. 
Zoologists wlio work in the station to-day find it 
very comfortable. Little steamers with dipping 
apparatus bring the inhabitants of the bay to 



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60 HAEGILEL 

* 

them. Tbim is a large aquarium at hand. You 
Bit down to your miorofloope^ and work. The 

material is " fresh to hand " every day. There 
are now many of these stations at well-exposed 
spots on the coast in varioas conntries — sea- 
obsenratories^ as it were, in whioh the student 
ezamineB his marine objects mnoh as the 
astronomer obseryes his planets and oomets and 
double stars at night. To-day, when a young 
man is taking up zoology, and he is asked what 
university he is going to, he may say that he 
is going down to the coast, to Naples, to do 
praotioal work. When the long vacation comes, 
swaxms of professors go from the inland towns 
to one or ottier seaside place, as &r as the purse 
win take tiiem. All this is a new thing nnder 

the sun. The zoologist of the olden days siit in 
his study at home. He caught and studied \\hat- 
ever was found in his own district. The rest came 
faj post — skins, skeletons, amphibians and fishes 
in spirit, dried insects, hard sheUs of cmstaoea, 
moBsels and snails of all sorts; but only the 
shells always, the hard, dry parts of star* 
iishes, sea-urchins, corals, &c. Animals of the 
rarest character were thrown away because they 
Qould not very well be preserved in spiht and 
sent from the North Sea or the Mediterranean 
to Frolassor Dry-as-dnst. In tikis state of things 
the advanoe in miciosoopio woik bronght no 
advantage. Bnt at last it dawned on students 
that the sea is the cradle of the animal world. 
Whole stems of animals Hounshed there, and 



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tiheie only* ET617 waTB was foil of inzminenible 
mioroeoopio creatoes, of ihe most inslinicidYe 

forms. Amongst them were found the young 
embryonic forms of familiar animals. At last the 
cry, "To the sea,'* was raised. The older 
professor of zoology had Bofiered from a kind of 
hydrophobia. It was not possible to teach "very 
muck at Berlin abont the anatomy, histology, and 
embryology of the sea-mfohm horn a few dried 
flmty sheila. At Wurtzburg, animals were subtly 
discussed by men who bad never made a journey 
to see them, while they were trampled mider foot 
eyeiy day by the visitoiB bathing in Heligoland. 
They must move. It was not necessaiy to go 
xomid the world: a holiday joomey to the Nortih 
Sea or the Mediterranean would snffioe. Every 
cultured man had always considered that he must 
make at least ono pilgrimage to classic lands 
before his education was complete. It was only 
a question of ^hatigitig niaterial. They were not 
to confine themselves to examining mined temples 
and aqoednotSy bnt to taike their mioiosoopes down 
to the coast, draw a baoketfnl of sea-water, and 
examine its living contents — -the living medusa 
and sea-urchin, and the living world of the 
swarming infusoria. But it was like the rending 
of the great oortain of the temple. Zoology 
seemed to expand ten-fold, a hnndred-fold, in a 
moment. A room in an obscure inn by the sea, 
a microscope, and a couple of glasses of salt-water 
with sediment every morning — and the finest 
studies at Paris and London were as ploughed 



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68 HAECOXi 

land, without a single blade, in face of tlua 
leyelation. It was a Noah*e ark in the epaoe of 

a pmch of suufl. 

One day the young medical student heard, in 
the middle of his histology and zoology, that 
£dlliker had come baok from Messina. He had 
been atadying lower maxine li^ there. In 1863, 
two young men were together in the Ghiienbeig 
foieet near Wtbrtebnrg. One of them, Kail 
Gegenbaur, had been abroad with Kolliker. With 
his impressions still fresh, he tells Haeckel about 
his zooiogioal adventures in the land of the 
Oydopa. 

GegenbanTi eight years older than Haeckel, was 
bybirthandednoational^oal WfkrtBbnzger. He, 
too, had studied medicine, and had practised at the 

hospital. But he had already advanced beyond 
that. His stay at Messina had been devoted 
entirely to zoological purposes. A year later he 
would be teaching anatomy at Wiirtzbuig, and a 
year later still he would be called to Jena. From 
that tune he began to be known as a master of 
comparative anatomy — especially after 1859, when 
his Elements of the science was publibhed, a ciasaio 
in its way that still exercises some influence. 

There is nothing romantic in his career^ nor 
could we seek any element of the kind in a 
man of Qegenbaor's character. But his young 
and undecided companion seemed to catch sight 
of a new ideal as he spoke. He would complete 
his medical studies, and then shake himself free 
of surgery and hospital, lie would take his 



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miomoope down Soatii^ where the snowy summit 
of Etna towered aboTe the orange-trees, and study 

the beautiful marine animals by the azure sea 
and the white housos, in the orange-laden air, and 
drink in ideas at the magic fount of these wondarfui 
animal forms, and live out the lusty, golden years 
of yonth on the toest ooast in Eniope. From 
that moment Haeokd felt a leetless inspiration. 
He had no idea what it was that he was going to 
investigate at Messma ; and he cerfeainly did not 
know when and how he was to get there. But 
he continued his medical studies with a vague 
hope that it was only preliminary work ; that some 
day he wonid do what lus friend Qegenbanr liad 
done. 

They were very good friends, these two. They 
were drawn together by the strong magnetism of 
two true natures that understood each other to 
the golden core, though in other respects they 
were as difierent as poflsihle. Gegenbamr was no 
enthnsiast. His ideal was to keep oool to the 
very heart.*' Bnt he was at one with Haeokel 
in a feeling for a broad ontlook in scientific re* 

search. He never shrfuik from kiri^^e cDnnoctionsor 
vast deductions, as long as they were led up to by 
a sober and patient logic. This logical character 
he afterwards recognised in Darwin's idea of 
evolntion, and so the friends onoe more found 
themselTes in agreement, and for a long time 
they were a pair of real Darwinian Dioscuri. 
This feeling for moderation and at the same time 
for far-reaching logic was combined in G^enbaor 



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HAECKEL 



with a certoitt steady and imening independenoe 
of ohaiBoter. He made little noiiey but he neTer 
swerved from his aim. What he aooomplished 

with all those q^ualities, in many other provinces 
besides Darwinism, cannot be told here. It may 
be read in the history of zoology. He had, as iax 
as suoh a thing was possible^ a restful influence 
of the most uaefiil ohazaoter on Haeokel. If we 
imagine what Darwinism would have become in 
the mneteenth oentnry in the hands of snoh men 
as Gegeubaur, without Ilaeckol, we can appreciate 
the difference in temperament between the two 
men. With Gegenbaor eyolution was always a 
splendid new technical instrument that no layman 
must touch for fear of spoiling it. With Haeokel 
it became a deyouzing ware, thai will one day, 
perhaps, give its name to the century. In other 
natures these differences mi^^ht have led to open 
conflict. But Haeckel and Gegenbaur show us 
that, like so many of our supposed " differences," 
they can at least live together in perfect accord 
in the freshest years of lifsi each bearing ^t in 



• • • • • 

When wc find Haeokel intimate iu this way with 
Gegenbaur, his senior by eight years, we realise 
how close he was at that time to the whole of the 
Wiirtzburg circle The two generations were not 
yet sharply divided, as they subsequently were. 
Most of ttiem fought either with or against him at 
a later date, but they belonged, at all erents, to 
the same stiatuni. But the spht between the two 



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ganeiationB Mi when one pronoimoed the 
name of Johaiones MtUldT} of Berlin — Ohe physiolo- 
gist (not ^e historian). 

All who then taught hiBtolo^, embryology, 
comparative anatomy, or cellular pathology at 
Wuriebaj^ had sat at his feet, either spiritually 
or in person. Johannes Miiller, born at the 
beginning of the oentnzy, was appointed Professor 
of Anatomy and Physiology at Berlin the year 
before Haeokel was bom. That indioates the 
distance between them. It was iu Miiller's incre- 
dibly primitive laboratory that, as Haeckel tells, 
the theory of the animal cell was established by 
his assistant, Theodor Schwann, after Schleiden 
had proved the vegetal oell. MMer himself had 
fonnded histology in his own way. He was the 
real piurent of the idea that the soologist ought 
to go and \York by the sea. We have a model of 
this kind of tn ork and at the same time a superb 
work for embryologioal matters in Miiller's epoch- 
making Studies of the LarvcB and Metamorphoses 
of the Eehinoderms* He had brooght oomparatiYe 
anatomy beyond the stage of Onvier, to a point 
where Gegenbanr oonid begin. From his sohool 
came liudolf Virchow, who applied the cell-theory 
to medicine, and Emil du Bois-Keymond, who 
opened out a new path in physiology by his studies 
of animal electricity. Miiller had done pioneer 
work with remarkable yigonr in all the Tarions 
brancihes of reeearoh, divergmg afterwards to an 
enormous extent, that pnrsne these methods. 
The many-headed (young and half-young) geneia- 



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HABOKBL 



tion, in whioh Haeokel was growing, saw the whole 
previous ganenition embodied in ^e single name 
of MuJler. He seemed to be a kind ci scientific 
Winkelried, ezoept that the fifty spears he boze on 

his breast were so many lines of progress eman- 
ating from him alone. 

Johannes Miiller had the great and splendid 
gift of never lying on the shoulders of his pupils 
with an Alpine weight of aathoriiy. It was a 
secret of his pezsonsJity that we admize bat can 
hardly express in words to-day. Everybody learned 
from him what a groat individuality is. He 
exerted a kind ol moral suggestion in teaching men 
to be free, great, enlightened, and true. His 
pupils have worked at the development of his ideas 
with absolate freedom. No part of them was to 
be regarded as sacred, and, as a matter of ^t| 
in the chiel qnestions no part has remained* 

One approaches the inner life of a man like 
Miiller with a certain timidity, and asks how he 
became what he was. There can be no question 
that the fundamental trait of his character was a 
peonliarly deep religions feeling. At heart he was 
a mystic. The whole magic of his personal influ- 
ence sprang from these depths. By profession he 
was a physiologist, an exact scientist. Never did 
he swerve a hair's breadth from the iron laws of 
research. But beneath it all was a suppressed 
glow of ^rvour. Sveiy one who understood him, 
every one who was a true pupil of his» learned it by 
a kind of hypnotism. Externally he was all foi 
laborious investigationi whether in dissecting a 



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star-fish for yon or classifying fishes — though he 
would have a full sense of your ardent longing for 
an inner trust in life and a philosophy of life. Both 
elements might change considerably in the pnpil : 
the meihod of mTOBtigatioQ ^wiihoat — ^fehe ideal of 
ttie oampxehennve mion withm. But what neTor 
leift any man who had followed MQller was the 
warning cry that these things, within and without, 
should go together ; that, in the larger sense, it is 
not possible to count the joints in the stalk of an 
encrinite without feeling a thrill in the deepest 
depth of the mind and the heart. 

It is 80 oommon a apeotade in histoiy for dia* 
dptes to condemn their masters with oold smiles 
that we forget how pitiful it ih. No pupil of 
Johannes Muller has ever felt that he had done 
with him, and might quit him with ingratitude. 
He had pupils, it is true, who did not lack behef 
in themseWes, and who became fiunous enough to 
give them a sttise of power ; men who have even* 
tnallyoome to conclusions diametrically opposed to 
those that MUller had taught them. Yet they re- 
spect him. Living witnesses still tell of the glance 
that bored into you, and could not be evaded. 
Bat there must have been a greater power in the 
man ihan this pieiroing glance. It was a glance 
that survived the gravei and laid on one a duty ; 
a glance that shot np in the darkness of memory 

if the duty was not fullilled— -the duty of going to 
the fouudation of things. Whether you are exam- 
ining the larva of an echinoderm or the hght of a 
distant star, Qod is there. Whether yon e^lain 



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HAECKEL 



your eohmodenn-lairya in this way or that ; whether 

you believe your star to be a sun or a burnt-out 
cinder ; whether you conceive God in this way or 
another — you shall feel that the bhdge is there 
in ahaolutely eTezything. Every glance into the 
rnksvoeoope is a service of God. It was Goethe's 
deepest son that threw a great, ladiaat spark out 
of this cnrions, dark, angular, immteUigible jewel. 

Such a man was bound to be more than Kolliker, 
Virchow, and Gegenbaur to Haeckel. Miiller was 
still teaching at BerliHi and Haeckel's best star 
brought him to sit in reality at the feet of the 
great teacher, who could so well ^eak soul to 
sool to him* 

At the Easter of 1854 Haeokel returned from 
Wiirtzburg to Berlin. He was now twenty years 
old, and it was at this juncture that, to use his 
own phrase, the vast impression of Miiller fell on 
him. A portrait of MtQler still hangs over the 
desk in his study in the Zodogiosl Institute at 
Jena. If I ever become tixed at my work,*' he 
says, ^'I haye only to look at it to get new 
strength." The influence of the much older man, 
who, however, died at a far earlier age than 
Haeckel will do, only lasted for a short time. But 
Haeokel has preserved a memory of him that is 
only eclipsed by the memory of one other man — 
Darwin. HfUler did not Uve to read Darwin's 
decisive woik, so that these two great ideals <ji 

Haeckers never crossed each other, either for good 
or evil. He himself felt that there was a pore 
evolation from one to the other in his mind. 



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In the summer of 1854 he studied comparative 
anatomj under Miiller, for which Koiiiker had 
suffioiently prepared him. He has recorded his 
first impreesionB. ''I soon got to know Idm 
penonally, bat I had so great a leapeot for him 
that I did not Tentnxe to approaeh him more 
closely. He gave me permission to work in tho 
museum. I shall never forget the hours I spent 
there, drawing skulls, while he walked up and 
down, especially on Sunday afternoons. Often 
when he went past me I wanted to ask him some- 
thjng« I went up the step with beatmg heart and 
todc hdd of tile belli bat retomed withoat ven- 
turing to say anything.'* Miiller took some notice 
of the zealous young student}. When the long 
vacation came round in August, and the master, 
following the new custom, packed up his bundle 
in order to spend two months on practical work 
by the sea, ha allowed Haeokel to go with him. 
MiUler's son and the later Professor La Yalette 
joined the party. They went to Heligoland. 
Miiller taught his pupils his simple method of 
studying the living subject, There was no witch- 
craft in it, but it had had to be invented by some 
one. They pat oat to sea in a small boat. A litUe 
net d lintfi or fine g^aae, with a wide opening and 
short body, was fauttened on a pole. The month of 
the net was thrust directly under the surface or a 
httle deeper, vertically to the surface, and the boat 
was slowly rowed forward. The contents of the 
filtered sea-water remained in the meshes of the 
net, and were from time to time emptied into a 



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oonteiiiiiig sea-water. I ahall neTer/' says 

Haeckel, "forget the astonishment with which I 
gazed for the first time on the swarm of transparent 
marine animals that Miiller emptied out of his fine 
net into the glass vessel ; the heautifnl medley ot 
graoefol medium and irideeoent otenophores, anow- 
like eafitte and Beipeiit-eliaped tomopteri% the 
masses of oopepods and sohizopculs, and the marine 
larvsB of worms and echinoderms." Miiller called 
these very line and generally transparent creatures, 
of whose existence no one hitherto had had any 
idea, "pelagic sweepings (from pelagos, the sea). 
More leoentiy the word " n^cton (swimming 
matter) has been anbstitnted fot hia plmwe. Ai 
we now send whole expeditionB over i^e seas to 

study " oancton," the word has found its ^v:ly into 
ordmary literature. The regular [uiglers who were 
then in Heligoland must have looked on this subtle 
work with a butterfly net as a sort of pleaaant 
jo)[e bom ton the profeeaional brain. The yomig 
student must hare made an improadon on them 
with his yigoor, though he had not yet tamed 

himself into a niarine mammal, living half in the 
water for days together. They called him a sea- 
deyil." What pleased the master most in him 
was the talent he already showed of qnioUy 
sketohing the tiny^ perishable eieatnre from the 
snifaoe of the sea while it was fresh. Faeckel had 
been passionately fond of drawing from his eariy 
years. Now the old bent agreed with the now zeal 
for zoology. " You aviU be able to do a great deal," 
Mullar said to him. <^And when onoe you are 



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Fishing in Heliooland in 1863. 

Anton Dohrn Kichartl (iieef Emst Haeckel 

(Naples). (NfarburK). I]<rna). 

Max Salverda Pietro Marchi 

(Utrecht). (Florence). 



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fMxAy interested in this fairy-land of the sea, yon 
will find it difficult to get away from it." The 
dream of MeBbina, that Gogenbaur had conjured 
upi seemed to draw nearer. 

These lively days at Heligoland provided 
Haackei with the material fat his first little aoo- 
logical essay. It dealt with the deyelopment oi 
the ova of certain fishes (On the Ova of the Beom^ 
beresoces, pii 1)1 i shed in Muller*s Arckiv for 1855). 
Muller lent liiiii ova frcim tiie Berliu collection to 
complete his study. It is the same volume of the 
Arckw in which, in Beiohert's introduction, the 
great eonttoversy breaks out oyer Yirohow's preg- 
nant assertion that each human being is a state 
composed of millions of individual cells. 

Haeckel remained with Muller at Berlin for the 
whole Winter, and was drawn more and more into 
the province oi comparative anatomy, or, to speak 
more correctly, zoology. The official Professor 
of Zoology at Berlin at the time was really the 
aged Lichtenstem, who had occupied the chair 
since 1811. Haeckel has humorously described 
himself in later years as self-taught in his own 
subject, saying that he had attended many most 
excellent colleges^ but never visited an ofticial 
school of aoology. The only opportunity to do so 
at the time was under Xichtenstein, but that 
professor bored him so much that he could not 
attend his lectores. Lichtenstein wm a venerable 
representative of the old type of zoologist; his 
ideal w^as to give a careful exterual description 
oi the species on the strength oi specimens ohosen 



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HAECKEL 



from a well-stocked mnfleiim. A whole world lay 

between these surviving f(jl lowers of Linn^ and 
the splendid school of Johannes Miiller. 

However that may be, the fact was that imdei 
these aUozing attiaotions Haeokel's studies were 
diiftiiig from the medical ptafessioa to an impe- 
oanioiia art." But aa medioal wod[ had heen 
chosen, if only as a temporary occupation, 
Haeckel had to tear hunseif away from the great 
magnet, at the Easter of 1855, by removing to 
a different phi4>e. He chose, as the least intoler- 
able compromise, to return to Wiirtzburg. At all 
events we fnd him spending three tenns thm. 
I have already said that Badolf Tirohow was one 
of the distingoished WtLrtsburgers at the time 
who sought most keenly the solution of the new 
problems of biolog}^ on the medical side. Hence 
Yirchow had to help liim to Md the bridge 
between the work he really loved and the work 
he was obliged to do. As a fact, Yirchow directed 
the whole of his stndies on this side in the three 
terms. 

Virchow was not bo fascinating as Johannes 
Miiller, oven in liis best years. But it was some- 
thing to be initiated into medical science by such 
a man. A later generation has, unfortunately, 
grown accustomed to see mental antipodes in 
Yirchow and Haeckel. Li 1877 they had a 
controversy with regard to the freedom of science 
that echoed through the whole world of thought, 
"iet seventeen years afterwards Haeckel himself 
(who was furst attacked by Yirchow), looking back 



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on the days he spent at Wtirtzborg, had nothing 

but grateful recognition to say of Virchow. ''I 
learned," he says in 1894, in the three terms I 
spent under Yirobow the art oi the £nest analytic 
observation and the most ligoroos oontrol of what 
I observed. I was his assjetaat for some time, 
and my notes were especially praised by him. 
But what I chiefly admired in him at Wiirtzburg 
was his wide outlook, the breadth and philosopliio 
character of his scientific ideas.** 

The theory that Virohow put before his pupils 
was pure Monism, or a unified conception of the 
world without any distinction of physical and 
metaphysical. Lifo was deflned, not as a mystic 
eccentricity in an orderly nature, but plainly as 
a higher form of the great cosmic mechanism. 
Man, the object of medical science, was said to be 
merely a higher vertehratei subject to the same 
laws as the rest. 

Wecansee very well that ibis was quite natural. 
H there was any man likely to put forward snoh 
views it was Virchow. He had passed through 
Muller^s school, but was now one of the younger 
group who, even during Miiller's life, were gradu- 
ally adopting certain very profound views on life 
and muHf without any particular resistance on the 
master's port. The chief characteristio of nearly 
the whole of this group was the lack of the vol- 
canic stratum below of deep and personal religious 
feeling ; in Miiller this had been throughout life 
an enchamed Titan among the rocks of his logical 
sense oi realities, yet it had given a gentle glow 



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HAECKBL 



and movement to the floor of his mind. Badolf 

Virohow was the coolest, boldest, and clearest- 
minded of the group. He went to the opposite 
extreme. Tf Miiller was standing on a volcano, 
whioh he only repressed by the giant iorce of his 
will — a nature that was above all master of itself — 
Virohow, on tfie oontraay, was standing on a 
glaoier, and he had never taken the trouble to 
conceal it. I should not venture to count him 
amongst the instinctively Monistic minds, in the 
sense of Goethe, to whom the unity of God and 
nature, the inorganio and the organic, the animal 
and the man, oomes as an ardent and irresistible 
feeling. Bat it would have been stiange if, in 
those years and in the middle of the whole scien- 
tific current of his time, his own organ, his icy 
logic, had not led him to the same conclusion ; 
that it is a simpler method of research to 
believe in natural law alone, to regard the living 
meiely as a oomplez play of the same forces that 
we have in physios and chemistry, and to consider 
man, with the bodily frame of an ape-like mammal, 
to be really such an auimal. 1 believe, indeed, that 
Virchow never abandoned this simple solution in 
his own mind at any part of his career. The con- 
troversy he afterwards engaged in ran on dif^ent 
lines. It seems to me that at an eaxfy stage of 
his development he heoame oonvinoed that there 
must be limits to soientiflo inquiry, not on logical, 

but on di[)lomatic g]"ounds ; because it is not an 
absolute agency, but only a relatively small force 
amongst many more powerfol institutions, the 



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Church, the State, and so on. Hence it would 
liave to respect limitation3 that were not drawn 
from its own nature ; in given cases it would have 
to keep eileiit in order not to jeopardise its exist- 
ence as % whole. It is my finn beliel that this 
diplomatio attttade as saoh would lead to tiie 
destruction of all pursuit of the truth. It 
carefully excludes the possibility of any further 
martyrdoms, but at the cost of science's own 
power to illumine the world. In mj opinion the 
free inveatigatioa at the troth is an aUoMe 
zight. GhmoheSy Statee, sooial ozdero, moral 
precepts, and aU that is connected with them, 
have to adjust themselves to this investigation, 
and not the reverse. 

However, the point is that under Virchuw — 
more particularly under Yiiohow, in fact — Haeckel 
would be ednoated into the geneml attitude with 
legaxd to Qod, nataie, lile» and man, to which he 
has since devoted his whole energy. In spite of 
Goethe — and who would be likely to take Goethe 
as his guide in his twenty-hrst year ? — the firdent 
young student was as yet by no means hrmly 
seated in the saddle. He grubbed, and sought^ 
and lejeoted. In his Middle of the Univene he 
t fJ lff OS t ^<fc^ he " 4 ft ^^ di H I the ffl^yjj^t if ffl b^^tift^ in 
his twenty-first year in lively disoossions *' with his 
free-thinking comrades, ..." although the study 
of human anatomy and physiology, and the 
comparison of man's frame with that of the other 
animals, had already greatly enfeebled my faith. 
I did not entirely abandon it, aiter hitter stniggieSi 



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HABCKBL 



until my medical studies were completed, and I 
began to practise. I then came to understand 
Fanst's saying, *The whole sorrow of humanity 
oppressefl me.' I found no more of the inhnite 
benevolence of a loving father in the hard school 
of life than I oonld see of * wise j^videnoe ' in the 
struggle for exiBtenoe.*' 

When the three terms of medical training were 
over, he received another impulse to his own 
particular interest in science. Kolliker invited 
him in Aogusti 1856, to spend the two months' 
holiday with him on the Biviera. It was the 
first Mediterraoean sohod of aooiogy, though as 
yet only a kind of payment on aoooont.*' On the 
journey the acquaintance of the zoologica.1 

museum at Turin and its well-travelled director, 
Filippo de Filippi, and he saw the grandeur of 
the Maritime Alps on the Col di Tenda. The 
master, Kdiliker, Heinrioh MdUar^ Earl Knp&r 
(afterwards professcw at Mmuoh), and he established 
themsehres at Nioe, and fished for an sorts of 
crea^tures with the Miiller net at Villcfranche. 
Fortunately, Miiller himself happened to be visiting 
the Eiviera at the sajne time, and they received 
a direot stimulus from him. The first xesolt of 
this journey in the sommer and autnmn was th at 
Haeokel seomed his degree with a loologiosl- 
anatomidd work, instead of with a strictly medical 

treatise. As he had done from Heligolaind two 
years before, he now brought home from the 
Mediterranean the material for a short technical 
theme. He again spent the winter at Berlin to 



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pat it together. It was an histological study of 
the tissues of crabs, and therefore lay in the 
province of the articulates, an animal group, it is 
cuiious to note, which he has not entered into 
more folly in the oeiuBe of his long and wied 
work as speolal inTeafcigaitor. At Nice he made a 
thorough study of the nerve-tabes of the spiny 
lobster and other available marine crustacea, 
and discovered several remark able new structural 
features in them. At Berim he entered upon 
a minute microscopic study of the common craw- 
fish. His dissertation lor the dootoiate embodied 
the main lesolts of his leseaxoh. It was entitled 
Mi§ qtMuKUm Atikusi fiim(MU^ and was 
printed in March, 1857. It appeared the same 
year in an enlarged form in MtQler's Archiv, 
with the title The Tissues of the Craw-fish, 
On Maroh 7th he received his medical degree, 
Bhrenbeig, the great authority on the infasoriat 
piesiding. In the oostomairy way the yoong doctor 
had to annoonoe and defend several theses. One 

of them is rather amusing in view of later events. 

He most vigorously contested the possibility of 
" spontaneous generation.*' The meaning of the 
phrase is that somewhere or at some time a living 
thing, animal or plant, has arisen, not in the form 
of a seed or germ or sprout from a paient living 
thing, bat ae a direet development oat of dead, 
inorganic matter. Haeckel had not made a 
personal study of the subject. What he said in 
his thesis was merely a iaithiul repetition of 
Miiller's opinion. At that thne it was believed 



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7B HAECEMi 

that soienoe had empirioally disproved spontaneoas 
generation. An old popular belief held that iieaa 
and lice were bom every day from non-living dirt 
and doBty but that had been refuted long before. 
IS^o egg, no animal: every living thing develops 
from an egg. This had been laid down as a fixed 
rule. When the mieroeoope revealed an endleee 
number of tiny creatures in every drop of stagnant 
water, in the air and the dust and the Boil, 
it was a question whether the rule was not 
wnmg. Suxely these simplest of all living things, 
appaarant^i wwe bom by spontaneous generationf 
However, the qnestion was believed to have been 
settled in two ways. Schwann, the co-discoverer 
of the cell-theory, had made certain experiments 
which seem to prove directly that even these tiny 
beings, the infosoiia and baoteriay were never 
fiumed in a vessel containing water and dead 
matter, if it had been oaielnlly assured beforehand 
that the minute living germs of these fiuiimals that 
floated in the air could not penetrate into the vessel. 
At the same time Ehrenberg and others stoutly 
denied that the infusoria were the ^< simplest" 
organisms, or that they oould oonoeivably be bom 
in that way* They declared that the infusoria 
were ^^perfeot orgamsms'* in spite <d Hmt small- 
ness. The belief that these tiny creatures consisted 
of one cell," and so formed, as it wore, the 
wltimate elements of the plant and auimai worlds 
on the lines of the oell-theoiy, was seriousfy 
menaced, and apparently on the way to be destroyed. 
Finsllyi the tapewonn and similar parasites had 



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AT THB UNIVERSITY 79 



been declared to evolve by a kiud of spontaneous 
generation fiom the contents of the intestines. 
But this also was proved to be untrue. Thus 
ihm ma ample matehal for a solid dogma: there 
wae no snok thing ae spontaneous geneiation. 
The dogma, moTOoyer, harmonised with the pve- 
vailing belief in a special vital force and a radical 
distinction between the living and the dead, which 
was still shared in a subtle iorm by even a man 
like Milller* The dogma was ftxemulated. Spon- 
taneous gBDeration was stniok oat of the soientiiio 
▼ocabnlary as nnsdentiflo and a popular saper- 
stition. The young doctor, duly initiated into these 
ideas of the time, could not resist the temptation 
to give his own kick to the fallen theory. Yet 
how strangely things have changed since then t 
Two years afterwards Haeokel oeased to believe 
in a special Tital force; he was now absolutely 
convinoed that there were unicellular beings ; his 
whole theory of life seemed to denmud spontaneous 
generation as a postulate, and he even doubted 
the force of the experiments of Schwann and 
others. Haeokel himself became the keenest 
apostle of the theory of spontaneoos generation. 
'Whenerer it is mentioned to«day, we think of the 

weight of his name which he has cast m the scale 
in its favour. So the leaves change even in the 
forest of Boience ; yesterday green, to^y red and 
failing, to-morrow green once more. On the same 
branch as the dogmas we find the correctives 
growing, that will at length split them open and 
cast them as empty husks to the ground. 



80 



HABCKEL 



The bistoiy of Haeokel*B medioal dootoiate can 

be written in a few plain and touching lines. After 
receiving his degree he was scut by his prudent 
fathar, to keep him away from crahs and other 
mcmsteis of the deep, to Vienna for a term, to do 
hospital work under Oppolser, Skoda, Hebra, and 
Siegmnnd. AH tiiat we find recovded of this term 

is tliat his old love of botany revived in earnest. 
Immense quantities of dwarf Alpine plants were 
ooilected. When the traveller passed by the spot 
twenty-foor yean afterwards on a qniet autumn 
Snndaji on hia way to take ship at Trieste for the 
tropical lofeets and giant trees of Ceylon, the 
memory of Schneeberg and the Eose-Alp came 
upon him like a dream. However, the hospital 
work, together with a short span of cramming in 
the winter at Berlin, most have bad some effect, 
as he passed the State-ezanunation in medicine. 
In March, 1858, he was a practising physician." 
He had in his hand the crown of pradent ambition 
— and he felt like a poor captive. There was one 
source of consolation — Johannes Miiller. While 
one was near him there was a possihility of more 
real work. He discussed with him the plan of 
the study of the derelopiiient of the gregftiinsa 
(parasitio protosoa), which he wanted to conduct 

in Miiller's laboratory in the summer of 1858. 
Then he was stricken, like so many others, with 
the thunderbolt of the news of Miiller's sudden 
death, on April 28th of the same year. What 
must he do now? He began to practise. It is 
said on his own authority that he fixed the hours 



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I 



I AT THB umvBBsrrT 81 

of consultation from five to six in the morning 1 
The result was that during a whole year of this 
philanthropic ocoapation he had only three patients, 
not one of whom died nnder his earnest attention. 
This snooess was enough lor my dear taiheri" 

says Ilaockcl. Wc can well believe it. 

The kindly old man consented to one more year 
of quite extravagant study, in which all was to 
come right. It was to be a year of travel, in Italy, 
fie was to devote himsell to the study of marine 
animals, not merely for pleasnie, bnt earnestly 
enough for him to find a basis for his life in the 
result. This he succeeded in doing. Like the 
children of fortune, who at the very moment when 
they cannot see a step before them make a move 
that the Philistine regards as the safest and last 
I refogOi Haeokel beoomes engaged ttiat very year to 

I his cousin, Anna Sethe. After that, in January, 

, 1859, he goes down to the coast. He makes for 

tlie blue Mediterranean, which he already knows 
will prove anything but an unprofitable sea " for 
him. He will conjure up treasures of soienee from 
its ciystal depths with bis Mfkller-net ; then on 
to fortune, position, marriage, and the future. The 
fates have added a world-wide repute, if they have 
denied many a comfort. 



6 



I 



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CHAPTER III 

THE BADIOLAEIA 

IN ^6 Jannaiy oi 1869 Haeckel, then in his 
iweniy-fifth yaar, oftme to Itttly with the 
ctotemdnatioii ''to do it thoioughlj." By the 
antumn the body of the peninsnla had been covered 

down to Naples, Capri, and Isohia. The winter, 
until April, IHGO, was spent at Messina. 

There are plenty of very strenuous students, 
later PriTy OounoUlors as well as arohmlogists 
and 80ol<^|i8tS| who find a year in Italy a veiy 
simple inatter. They arriTe, make the due round 

of sights, and llien at once disappear into, some 
library or institute, burying themselves like moles 
in aome special work or other, just as they would 
do at borne. The only time you can see them is 
a?er their Munioh beer in tiie evening; and if 
there are a number of them together they smoke 
their cigars and sing a G-erman student*s song, as 
they would do at home. These good folk have very 
difierent dispositions behind their goggles, but they 
have never been lit up by the fire of G-oethe. They 
are quite content to write home like the churlish 
Herder ; Italy is pretty enough in Gk>ethe's writmgs, 



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THE BADIOIiABIA 88 

but one ought not to go there oneself. The 
modern scholar of this type may add that the 
cigars are bad and beer dear. Yexy different was 
HaflcA»l*s TOfdiet. <*In 8ioily I wasneaxlytiiKiowxi 
out of my line and made a landscape-painter.*' 
The aesthetic man in him was the first to lift up 
his arms with vigour under this new, free, inspiring 
Bun. His words are no idle phrase. The moment 
he tried it Haeokel discovered that he had a genuis 
for landso^te-painting. Even in regard to this 
gift we see the troth of what I have already said 
in other coimections ; the sternest materialists and 
scientific revoiutionaiies of the nineicoath century 
were men of considerable artistic power. There 
was the solid Yogt, a painter and poet ; Moleschotty 
the sool-oomrade of Hermaim Hettner; Stranss, 
who wrote some poems of great and lasting beaniy; 
Fenerbaeh, and others. Even BUohner, the boldest 
and most advanced of them all, has written poetry 
under a pseudonym.* Darwin took only two 
books with him in tho httle cabin of his ship, 
Lyell's Geology and ^o^aMu Lati. There is a 
complete gaUeiy of fine water-oolomrs in Haeokel's 
house to-day that have been brought from three 
quarters of the globe. His son Walter has in- 
herited the artistic gift, and become a painter. It 
might be said that a good landscape-painter would 
hardly recompense as for the loss of the philosopher 

* Biichner'B brother tells how, when Liiclwig furtively 
brought to biui the mauuscnpt of Force aiui Matter, he at once 
gnessed it was a romaaoe or an epio that to iniioh Moral work 
had bMn MMiidad on. rTnBs.1 



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84 



HABOKSL 



and scientist that Haeckel became in the nine- 
teenth centiiry. The simple steel pen, the inspired 
pencil of the thinker, did more for humanity in his 
hand than oonld have been done by the most 
splendid oolonr-symphaoieB of the moek intpiied 
landscape-painter. I have often thon^t tihis as I 
looked over, in the evening at Haeokel's house, the 
then unpublished treasures of his artistic faculty. 
A work like his Histciri/ of Creation has counted 
lor a stratum in the thought of humanity. What 
are even the masterpieoee of a Hildebrandt in 
comparison with it 1 Yet there was undoubtedly the 
note of genius in these drawings ; some of them 

showed luore than Hildebrjindt's cleverness (we 
know to-cliiy that Hildebrandt's highly coloured 
pictures did not even approximate to the real 
natural light of southern scenes) and glow ol 
oolour. It seemed to me that here again the man 
had dreams of a lost lore: a dream of tiie gay, 
wandering pittore^ who asks nothing but a sunset 
in violet, carmine, and gold, instead of being the 
sober unriddlerof the world's problems. Since that 
time the house of Fr. Eugen KohleTi to which we 
owe the fine new edition of Namnann^s classio 
work on birds, with its ooioiired plates, has under- 
taken to publish Haeokel's water-colours, as 
" Travel Pictures," in a splendid and monu- 
mental work. 

During the year in Italy all these gifts were 
empl(^ed together. Italy was ezaotiy the land for 
Haeekers temperament, with its mixture of lof(y 
olassio elements and natural beanty and simple, 



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THB BADIOLASIA 



85 



naive Tmpretentiuusness. For the first time he 
felt that he was a cosmopoiitan student. He had 
never been a devotee of the student's beer-feastft. 
He had no need of alcoholic Btimnlant. Gegen- 
banr of WOxiBburg, tihe inaatiaUe smoker, onoe 
said to him in joke, "If you would only smoke, 
we might make something out of you." It was 
doue, in any case. His perBonal inclinatioiiB were 
in his favooi : an illimitable love of travel, good 
spiiits that rose in firoportion to the absurdity of 
his aooommodationj and a simple delight in eveiy- 
ihing hmnan that enabled him to talk and trayel 
with the humblest as if they were hib ec^uais. He 
spent a night with a young worker in a haystack, 
and when he was asked what he was, he pomted 
to his paint-box and brash: House-painter." 
*'I thought so when I saw yon/' said the yonth, 
and be asked Haeekel to start a workshop together 
with him. Italy was the ideal land for a visitor 
of that tjrpe. There was no part of the world 
from which he was so pleased to receive re- 
cognition in his years of fame as Italy; and he 
reoeived it in abnndanoe, for the appreciation 
was mntnaL 

I will add a page here that was supplied for the 
present work by a friendly hand, a man who is a,b 
well known to thousands as Haeekel himself — 
Hermann Allmers, the poet of the fens, chief of 
Frisia, and splendid fellow," as Haeekel has called 
him. He died in the spring of 190S at an advanced 
age. He met Haeekel in Italy, and tells the story 
ill iiib vexse anti pxobe. iuxt^' ^earb after their 



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meeting he wroie me that Haecikel was ^^tiie finert 

man iia ever met.'* 

JMk tliou ramember tiie mftgio ai^t, 
A mght I nmr eaaae to lee^ 
Thai faroaght tis both to laofaU? 
How Bmooth the boat fltiled gsntiiy in. 

How silent was the great broad bay 
Uniitterably noble and aablime. 

In all its star-lit loveliness, 

Ab eky and sea met in embrace. 

With fairy-light the waters gleamed 

As helm ploughed gi luly through the waye^ 

And overhead a deep red glow 

Yesnyias from its larva poured. 

We WH» yet etnoigm at tiie iamb. 
One hour alone had eaoih the other seen, 

Yet something nxged us both to speak — 
To q»eak, anon, from heart's great daspL 

To speak of all we held of worth, 
All that had led us to the spot. 
All the fair gifts of happy fnte, 
And the untoward accLULtiLs of life; 
Of distant home, of iailiLrlaud, 
Of the fail days of beaut j 6 (^uest. 
Hand olasped in hand we told oar joy: 
Need I leoall II tan the misi? 

In fine ol thy dear bve thou told'el 
And Baoied filenoe fell on thee. 
On moved the barque with leisured pace 
AjtstoRA ih* defioer ailainift of thA hay. 

Behind us vanished Posilippo 
And Jiaja's gull and Cape Aiiaeno. 
Ab Pnxdda passed slowly by 
The gentle dawn stole o'er tlie night, 



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THB RAmOLABLL t7 

And Epomeo'a hend wnn lit, 
With the first rays of new-born sun, 
And Ischia, nobler than our dreams, 
Uprose before our wondering eyes. 
Above, mantled in its own loveliness, 
Calling us sweetly from the bay 
Up io iiB genUe, Yine-oloiilMd heights, 
Siil xftdlttil t*l>iiMii1iwift1i[ 

How thou and I lb* ^ad days spent 
Ihoa Imowwl mSL And now? 
Now all is ruin and daoay, 
A ghastly tomb. We'll let H res*. 
Think rather of the linked lives 
We spent, and the whole joy oi earth, 
That never more will gladden na 
While sun and stars pi earn overhead. 
What was it opened then our hearts ? 
What was it forged the golden cliairi ? 
It thou know'bt it woli, comrade— 

The sailing on that magio night." 

''Yes, dear reader, whenever I let these verses 
and their splendid truth vibrate again in my soul 
— and how often and how gladly I do it I — I haye 
to say, Snoh days thon shtdt never know again^ 
such happy entrance into another's heart. And 
Vv liat a heart it was that bared itself to me wilh all 
it hid and would soon reveal 1 We were in a cafe 
at Naples, a copy o£ the Allgemeine Zeitung lying 
between him and me. It was in the best part of 
the spring of 1869. We both leaohed to it, and 
told onr names, and the friendship was began. 
* You must excuse me,' Haeckel said, 'I have to 
go to Ischia to-night by the market-boat.' *To 
Iflohift? That's good; I am going there myseil. 



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88 



HAECKEL 



* I am yeiy glad, because I heard I was to be alone. 
It staarto at nine o'dook.' That was aU that had 
passed between ns befofe the croesmg. What I 

have described in tbe above verses only began 
when we, the only Germans on board, made our- 
selves oomfortabie on the open deck. Before the 
jonmey was over we were intimate £ciends, and 
have remained Mends in joj and sorrow to this 
moment, though the mental difieienoes between 
us are enormous. However, Casamicciola brought 
us together in a wonderful way. We had common 
qnarters, and always went out together for walks 
or botanising ; we were never separated when we 
painted or diew, as Haeokel did with real passion. 
On the thixd mnmingi when we found some laxe 
thermal plants In an ahnost broiling meadow and 

discovered nearly the same spot the ruins of an 
ancient Roman b^ith, the remarkable coincidence 
afileoted us so much that we embraced each other 
joyously and dedicated the rest of oar flask to them. 
We bo^ felt that we ooold not do otherwise. So 
we pleasantly enjoyed the magnificent scene that 
lay at our feet from the height of Epomeo. We 
stripped ofi nearly the whole of our clothes, and 
dipped, in almost primitive nakedness, in the warm 
muddy streams that shot up out oi the dark depths 
nnder a growth of tendrils and ferns. We shonted 
oaty * How fine it is in these warm and beanti- 
folly shaded brooks ! How delightful it must be in 
the ravines of Atlas! We must go there.' We 
spent more thau a whole day in the most marvcl- 
loos ravines of Atlas, though neither of us had 



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THE R^DIOLABIA 



89 



the least idea of them. But we determined to 
make the journey there, and sketched it out in 
detail, to be uxicLertakeu as soon as we left Italy. 
He oontiaoted a perfect feyer for trayellixig. We 
Trate four weeks in Pagano's ezoeUent inn aft Oapri 
with a few artistB, and he completely lost bimself 
with delight. He became intimate with the 
young artists ; being hitherto surrounded by men 
of scientific interests, he had avoided them. The 
intennediary between Haeckel and them was 
mysell I UkeA no one better than genial artists. 
Now Haeokd was seised with a passion for painting 
landscapes day after day. He was especially 
interested in the most fantastically shaped rooks. 
On the other hand, he neglected his marine 
animals, and did not return to them entirely 
until he got to Messina, where he devoted him- 
self to the iidiolaii% which were destined to play 
so important a part in his work. Darwin, who was 

soon to dominate his whole thought, had little 
significance for him at that time, as the struggle 
for life had not yet been discovered. We rarely 
spoke of it, bat talked constantly of Johannes 
MfUIer. He was Haeckd's ideal, as long as I 
kept in touch with him. He slso spoke often and 
generously of his university friends, Dr. W. D. 
Focke, who was his special botanical comrade, Dr. 
Dreyer and Dr. 8trabe, who were his chief friends 
at the nniversity at Wurtzburg. The ordinary 
hfe and pleasures oi the student, snd their heayy 
heer<drinking, were a torture to hint ; he avoided 
them as much as possible. Very often I could 



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00 



not understand how it was that I brought him 
to the highest pitch of gaiety, whereas on all his 
earlier travels, espeoially when botany was still 
his favourite sdence, he would, after the oommon 
meal, withdraw quietly wil^ Me books and pkats 
to tiia Bolikide of his own loom. Yet he ooold 
be the gayest of all. In fact, his hearty and 
wonderful laugh, in all notes up to the very 
highest, rings over and over again in the memory 
of any man who has once heard it ; it is the frank 
lan^ter of a glad human heart. And whoever has 
seen the deep eameetness with whioh the great 
fiMnentist threw himeelf into the study of the 
most arduous problems would be astounded to 
hear it.*' 

• • • • • 

The Stnit of Messina is the pearl of Italy. In 
my opinion it is finer than Naples. The huge 
voloano and the deep bine strip of water, that 

seems to be coLiiiiiod bctwecu the white coasts like 
some fabulous giant-stream, give a feeling of 
sublimity beside which the Bay of Naples seems 
but an idyll in the memory. The colours are 
more viiid; yon think yon would oatch hold of the 
bine bodily if yon put yonr hand in the water. 
It is a land of ancient myths. The Gyolops 
hammer their work m Etna. Scylla and Charj bdis 
link 111 the Strait. Oncej in the days of Homer, 
when the sun of civihaation still lay on a comer of 
Asia, a dim Munohhansen-world was lived hare, 
BQoh as we find to-day in the heart of Afrioa or 
New Guinea. Bat timea changed. Zoologiata 



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THE RADIOLABIA 9i 

came and fished with Muller-nets for tiny trans- 
parent sea-oreatures in the gentle periodic 
currents, that may once have given rise to the 
iageadol BojUaaiidChiiybdifl. There is no pkoe 
moie fitTOQiable for the purpose than the huboar 
of Messina. The basin is open only at one spot, 
to\sards the north. The westerly wind is cut 
off from the town by the mountains, and can do 
no harm. Even the detested southern wind, the 
siioooo, that lashes the Strait till it is white 
with foam, cannot enter. There is only the 
north wind that diires ilie wator into the 
basin. The waves it brings in aro full uf millions 
of sea-animals, which accumulate in the mil-de- 
sac of the harbour. In iaot, if the sirocco has 
previously been blowing in the Strait and 
gathered great Bwarms of animals from the 
southern parts at the month of the harbour, and 
then the north wind drives them all inside, the 
whole of the water seems to be alive with them. If 
you dip a glass in it, you do not get water, but 
a sort of animal stew," the hving things making 
np more ot the balk than the flnid— little oryBtal- 
line ereatoresy mednssB, salp», comstaeea^ yermaliay 
and others of many ^ds. 

It was at this classic spot that Haeckel would 
lay the foundation of iiis fame as a zoologist, by 
the study of a group of minute creatures that 
appealed equally to the sssthetio sense by the 
mjsterions beauty of their, focms. There oan be 
little donbtthat we oan see in this, not onlyafortn- 
nate accident, but al&o tlia play oi bunie hidden 



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02 



HABCKEL 



affinity. lu sucli a spot tiie artist in Hacckcl 
could compromise with the zoologist. His aesthetic 
nature had revelled in landscape, peasantry, and 
BODg. Now the Miiller net and the miomoope 
levealed a new world of hiddaa bean^ that nooB 
had appxeoiated befave him. In ddTotiiig himself 
to it he was still half engrossed in his qnest of 
beauty; but the other half of him was rapidly 
attaining a mastery of serious zoology. 

It is a oozomon belief that assthetic appreoiation 
oeasM as soon as we sit down to the microscope. 
There is the magnifioent Une Strait of Messina. 
Yonr eye, embracing its whole Imigth, drinks in 
its beauty in deep draughts. Wh^it will your 
microscope make of it ? Its field can only take 
in a single drop of water, and this does not grow 
more bine when yon thus analyse it. Let science 
go farther afleld : this is the land of beaaty* All 
those doetiines of histology, embryology, and so 
on, bnilt on the microscope, are thought to be 
poles removed from sBsthetic enjoyment. They 
dissolve ever3rthing — ^man's soft, white skin, the 
perfumed leaf of the rose, the bright wing of the 
hntterfly— *into '^oells. ' It is maze ignoranoe to 
talk in tills way. Nature's beanty is by no means 
so thin a covering that the microscope most 
at once pierce through it. liather does it reveal 
to us in incalculable wealth a whole hrinament 
of new atarsy a new world of beauties, if we 
choose the ri^t way to see them, fiaeokel 
did ohoose the right way. 

At his veiy flxst dips into tiie harbour of 



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THM HADIOIABIA OS 

Messina, in October, 1859, he got certain cnrions 
limips and strips of jelly. The local fishermen 
called them ovi di mare (sea -eggs). It was, in 
iact, natural enough to regard these inert creatures 
as airings oi moilaBO-eggs, when their real nature 
was unknowxi. Bat our yonng student already 
knew what th^ were. They were social ra^M' 

laria. 

The word " radiolariuui," from radim (a ray), 
means a raying or radiating animal. It is di£&- 
cult for the inexpert to imagine the stniotiue 
of one of these oieatores. Sfo most first put 
entirely on one side all the features that he 
usually associates with an animal." The radio- 
larian lives, moves, has sensations, breathes, eats, 
and reprodaceSi but in a totally different way 
from that we are accustomed to see. Its hody 
oonsists essentially of a particle of homogeneons 
living matter. There is merely a firmer nndeos 
in the centre of it, and the soft gelatinous matter 
is thickened at the surface to form a kind of 
capsule. Otherwise there is no trace of any 
real ''organ.'' The little blob of jelly eats — 
hot it has no stomach; it eats with its whole 
body, its soft, jelly-lika substance closing entirely 
oyer particles of food and absorbing them. It 
breathes (with the animal type of respiration) — 
but it has neither lungs nor gills ; the whole 
hody takes in oxygen and gives oft carbonic acid. 
It swims aboot^yet it has neither legs nor fins; 
the pnlpy mass of its body flows, when it is 
necessary, into a crown of streamers or loose pro- 



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HASCKSL 



cesses, that keep the body neatly balanoed ; when 
they are no longer required, they sink back into 
the gelatinous mass. We study the " histology ** 
of these onrioas (Kwial-living oreatues under a 
poweifal mi«ro80opd» As I have eiplajiiedi <ihe 
tiinies and ocgaiui ol the ^yg^^f^^ iiytjm ^iff Kyyf^if 
ap Dttdsr Ihe nnemoope into a moet ingeniously 
constructed network of tiny living gelatinous 
corptiBcles with a nucleus in the centre — the cells. 
Bat our radiol u ian has no more got tissues 
eompoBed of oelle than it baa stomaob or longs 
or any other Grgask, It is merely a sin^e oeU 
witii a nncleua and a jolly-like body. Yet in 
this c;ise the single cell is a wholo individual, 
a complete animal, that lives, moves, eats, 
breathes^ and so on. The radiolanan is, in com* 
parison with the splendid oell-tapestij of the 
higher ammals, a poor little atom of life* It 
most be put deep down in the animal series. 
What a vast distance I Above is man, built of 
myriads of cells woven into the most ingenious 
tissues and the most perfect organs for each 
function of life; below we have the radiolarian, 
in which a shigle cell must disohaige all the 
vital fanotions, beoanse its whole body is merely 
one cell. But there is another wonder. This 
tiny particle of living slime, floating in the blue 
waves at Messina, hardly more visible than a 
drop oi spittle, has a most remarkable quality. 
It is able to assimilate a kind ol matter that 
the ohemist calls silioioos (flinty) matter— the 
stuff that forms, when it is crystallised hi chemical 



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To/uc«p.»*. 



I Google 



* 



THE KADIOIARIA 95 

parity, the well-known foek-orysial. This flint 

matter (and sometiniGB a similar substance) is 
then exuded again by the radioiarian — no one 
knows quite iiow — from its gelatinous bodj, and 
built into so beautiful a foim that even a child 
will (dap its handa and oiy, " How lovely I " when 
it sees it thiongh the mioiosoope. We may put 
it that the vadiolarian forms a coat of mail for 
itself from this siliceous matter: we may at 
the same time call it a float or buoy. The hard 
flinty structure serves to keep it balanced when 
it is swimming, jnst as when a loose piece of 
jelly attaches itself to a cork disk. Thns a ronnd 
trellis-work shell is formed about the animal, 
and through the apertures it thrusts gelatinous 
processes that act as oars, and can be put forth 
or drawn in at will ; outside this shell, again, may 
be all sorts of straotnxes, snch as sJgvag shaped 
rods, radiating stan, handles cf streamers, and 
so (m. It is a most wonderful sight. It is as 
if each class of these beings had. its private taste, 
and, in virtue of a kind of tradition, built a dif- 
ferent type of flinty skeleton from all the others. 
Here begins the pecoliar artistic wizardry of these 
tiny and lowly creatnvss, that lifts them at once 
high up in the scale of animated natorai objects 
with a great display of beauty. We find every 
possible variation of ornament within the limits 
of the particular type: an infinite number of 
crystalline and superb variations on the theme 
of treUis-worki stacs, radiating shields, crosses, 
and halberds* They give an impression at once 



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M HAEOKEL 

of human art-work, to there is nothing else in the 
whole of natoze with which we may compare them. 
The radiolarian, tharefore, is an animal of the 
utmost simplicity of bodily frame that, by some 
force or other, creates the highest and most 
yahed beauly that we find anywhere in natoie» 
living or dead, below the level of human art. 

HaeokePs good genins brought him to these radio- 
laria. Until tlie winter of 1859-1860 lie knew very 
little about them. When a radiolarian dies it a 
soft body naturally melts away and perishes. 
But tiie art<*work of its life, the star or shield ol 
fliniy matter, lemainB; it either mnke to the bottom 
or is washed ashore, where numbers of them may 

accumulate. If a pinoh of mud or sand from the 
shore is put under the microscope the observer will 
see lovely artistic fragments, and ask what is the 
meaning of the miracle. Ehrenberg, the venerable 
Berlin microsoopist, was the first to have the ex* 
perienoe. He was not in the habit of going to the 
sea himself, but had specimens sent to him, and 
found in them shells of the radiolaria. Though 
they wore so small, their artistic quality seemed 
to him to be so great that he assumed they 
were built by very advanoed animals of the star- 
fish or sea-nzohin type. That there were nni- 
oellnlar protosoa wi^ a simple gelatinous body 
and no higher organs he stoutly denied, and he 
had the support of his leading contemporaries 
everywhere. But his ooUea^uei Johannes Miiller, 
who fished in the sea himself, oame across Hving 
specimens in the Mediterranean in the first half 



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THE RADIOUlRIA 97 

of the fifties. It appeared that they were really 
very lowly animals at least. Miiller christened 
them the radiolaria, olassitied the fifty species 
that be disoarered, and at his death left the 
sabjeot well prepared for the first student who 
shoiild go more folly into it. His final work on 
them did not appear until after his death, in 
1858, tbtj sunset-glow of his brilliant soicntifio 
career. Perhaps he would have gone more deeply 
into the mysteries he had encountered but for a 
cnriona aoddent. Jost as he discovered the snb- 
ject, two years before his death, he had a terrible 
experience. The ship in which he was returning 
from a holiday in Norway was wrecked. A 
favourite pupil of his was drowned, and he himself 
narrowly escaped by swimming to land. After that 
he oonld not be induced to enter a boat during his 
last trips to the sea, and so the thorough study of 
these most graceful inhabitants of the Mediter- 
ranean wab abandoned. But when Haeckel fished 
at Yillefranche with KuUiker of Wiirtzburg, and 
Mtiller was at Nice^ he was urged by the master, as 
a kind of testamentary injnnotion, that something 
might be done*' with the radioloiia. And when he 
fished np a pretty crown of sooially-tinited radio- 
laria on iiist rowing over the MessiiKi harbour, lie 
thought it would be a grateful oUt ring to the 
memory of the dead hero of his zoological dreams 
to continue the study of the radiolaria. At once 
he seemed to enter the treasnie-hoose of a ftory 
tale. When the campaign was ended in the Mes- 
sina harbour in April, 1860, he had discovered no 

7 



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96 



HAfiCKfilL 



less than 144 new species, and each species proved 
a ireah master of decorative art. At the same 
time he studied the nature of the gelatinooB body. 
Ehranberg'g theory was destroyed for e?6r. Grant- 
ing that there were certain difficoltieB (dnoe 
explained away) in the way of admitting the exist- 
enoe of real uni( ( Uular creatures, he at all events 
gathered an enormous amount of new and helpful 
in&Ncmation as to the nature of these soft, almost 
organiees beings and of the slimy living matter 
(oalled sareode or protoplasm) of which th^ were 
composed. His mind matured rapidly in these 
quiet days at Messma, wiiile hia aesthetic nature 
was plunged in admiration of the lieauty of the 
siliceous coats. The last scruple with regard to 
the old story of creation fell from him like the 
corering d a pupa. If a naked bit of slime lilce 
the radiolarian could form from its body this 
glorious artistic structure, why may not man also, 
as he paints his pictures under the glow of Italy's 
colour, be merely a natural being, of like texture to 
the radiolarian ? And if this radiolarian had in its 
]iSe built up the crystalliney rhythmic stractnre, why 
may there not be merely a difference of degree, not 
of kind, between the dead " crystal and the 
" living " radiolarian ? 

In May, 1860, Haeckel returned from Messina 
to Berlin, He brought with him splendid draw- 
ings of file perishable body of his treasures, 
niunberB of prepared i^iecimensi and whole bottles 
full of their imperishable shells. On the 17th d 
September, 1860, he made the £rst communi- 



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THE KADIOLARIA 



cation ol his difloamses to his odleagnoB in the 



IB 




m 





EOnigBberg. Yurohow was amongst his admiring 
audience. On the 13th and the 20th of December 
in the same year Peters read a short account in 
tho Badin Academy of 8cienc6 tb^t drew xnoxe 
g«ii«nl attention. He set to wodc on a fine 
monograph, with s^endid plaiei and with all hia 
oonohiaions in the text. Befcm it was finished, 
however, ho had a number uf personal experienoes 
and changes of mind. Gegenbaur had in the 
meantmie been appointed Professor of Anatomy 
at Jena. Before he started for Italy, Haeckel 
had Tisited his liiend at Jena dnxing the oele* 
faration ol tiie third oentenaiy ct the nniyersity. 
"We spent a very happy time there," Haeckel 
wrote afterwards, "enjoying the beautiful pros- 
pect (from the heights of the Haale valley) and 
the Thnringian beef-saosa^ies.'' Now there were 
move serious things to disonss. Gegenbanr's lot 
had onoe seemed to him a kind of model Now 
a part of it was fulfilled : he had been to Messina. 
Meantime Gegenbaur had advanced a station. 
Haeckel wanted to follow him, and get a position 
at Jena. There was no soch thing as a pro- 
fessoiship of zoology or a aoologieal institote 
there, hut all that mij^i— nay, most— he ohanged 
some day. What Gegenbaur was doing left 
plenty of room for another chair to be set up. 
And to be with his best friend ! 

In March, IBQl^ Haeckel completed the IHitser- 
t§iii0 fro vema legendi at Jaoa that he had 



100 



quickly decided on. It dealt, of course, with 
his new field: the limit and the system of the 
animal group to which the zadiolaiia belonged, 
the rhisopodg. He was immediately appointed 

private teaclier at Jena, and found iiimaelf iu 
the lovely valley of the Saale, beneath the moun- 
tain about whose sumioit the red rays lingered. 
He bad been drawn from Berlin to Messina to 
find a home — a home for evor — in the inoresaing 
stress. 

In the following year, 1862, the official position 
of Extraordinary Professor of Zo ology was created, 
and this brought him close, even externally, to 
Qegenbaur. Eyexything was, it is true, in a 
yery primitiYe condition at firat. In Angost he 
manied Anna Sethe— a sonny dream of fresh 
young happiness. In the same year he published 
his Monograph on the Badiolaria^ a huge folio 
volume with thirty-five remarkably good copper- 
plates, such as our more rational but slighter 
teohnical methods no longer dare produce* Wa- 
gensohieber, of Bedin, the last of the fine soien- 
tifio copper etchers, had been in constant personal 

touch with Ilaeckel, and reproduced his original 
drawings in inayterly style. With this work 
Haeckel was fully esUbhahed in his position 
a professional zoologist. It is still one of the 
finest monographs that was issued in the nine- 
teenth century ; from the literary point of Tiew, 
also, it was one of the purest and most lucid 
works of its kind, full of great and earnest 
thoughts, and without any luttemesa — a work, 



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THB BABIOLABIA 101 

perhaps, that Haeckel has not since equalled. The 
most influential and oiiicial sdentists of the time 
bad to respect this work : poenbly with the sole 
exception of the aged Ehreiibeig» to whom it dealt 
a deadly blow in thie depaitoietit, without, of 
courae, undervaluing his great antecedent services. 
He never even studied it sufficiently to be able to 
quote the title of it correctly. 
Neyertheless, a flame broke oat at one spot in 



m 


m 


1 





whole flgoze would etand out in the red reflection 

of its glow — a figure really great, solitary, suddenly 
deserted by all the bewigged and powdered 
professors — Haeckel himself, as the world has 
come to know him. 



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CHAPTEB IV 



BABWDT 



E 0ti]] oeldbrate, at a distance of centuries, 



V V the return of the birthday of great 
men. In reality it is a mistake. We ought to 
celebrate the hour when not merely life, but the 
idea of their Ufe^ quickened them. That ie the 
really important birth that caUs for oommemo- 
ration. Lnther's real birthday was when he 
nailed his theses to the church door. Then was 
bom the Luther that belongs to the world. Over 
the world- cradle of Coiumbas shines, not the 
trivial and evanescent planet given in his horo- 
scope, bat the little red flickering star of Gnsna- 
hani, the light that ha saw from the shore on the 
night before he landed on an island of the New 
World. 

Life is a voyage of discovery to the man who 
passes through it. He looks out with his child* 
eyes and disooyers the worid — at the bottomi 
disoovers only himself. But one day a greater 
Tdl is torn from betee his self. Genins, the 

greater I, stirs withm him like the biitterlly in 
its narrow pupa-case. For the world at large 





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DARWIN 



106 



that is the hour when the great man is bom 
who will leave his mark on it. 

Haeokel's biography only begins on a certain 
day, if we look aii it lightly and broadly. Until 
that day ha is maialy a young man, an onigrowth 
from a rich old oivilinaiion : a young man who 
has felt in him a straggle between artistic and 
scientific tendencies, like so many : who has 
vacillated between the choice of a paying pro- 
fession and researoh for its own sake, and has 
decided for the foimer, like so numy: who has 
chosen aoology, and begon to work bard on 
professional lines at his science: and who has 
been told prophetically that he will one day do 
something, though alons^ a line where much has 
been done already. In the whole of this develop- 
ment we have as yet no indication of the real 
tenor d his life. 

It comes first with the name of Darwin. The 
arabesque (3f a very difierent life begiuii to blend 
with that of his own. 

In the February of the year in which Haeckel 
was bom (1834), twenty-eight years before the 
point we have anived at> Charles Darwin was 
onasctentifio sspedition toBonthAmerica. There 
is a romantic element in the earlier story of this 
journey. The naked Fuegians had stolen a boat 
from an English Government ship that was en- 
gaged in making geographical measorements, 
towards the olose of the twentiesi on the wild 
coast of Tiena del Foego. FitsBoy, the oaptam^ 
anested a few ol the nattves, brought them on 



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104 



HABOKSL 



board as hostas^es, and in the end took them with 
him to iiiagland. They were to be instructed 
in morality and Christianity and then taken hack 
to their people, in order to introdnoe these el^ente 
of civilisation, for the advantage of flhipwreoked 
sailors or distressed travellers who might fall m 
with them. We feel a breath of the spirit of 
Eousseau in it. As a fact nothing came of the 
device. The good Fuegians were dothed and 
improved by civilised folk for a year or two, 
retained home, immediately abandoned their 
trousers and their Christianity, and remained 
naked savages. But the bringing home of these 
hostages led, in the early thirties, to a new 
expedition of FitzHoy to Tierra del Fuego. The 
Govemment dueoted him to draw up further 
charts, and he looked abont for a man of science 
to accompany him. 

The man piovcd to be Charier Darwin, then 
in his twenty-sGcoiid year. 

The son of a prosperous provincial phyaiciaa, 
he had began to study medicine without much 
success, and was transfened to theology, only 
to find after three years d study that he was 
as Httle fitted to become a country clergyman 
as a country doctor. He had an unconquerable 
love of scientific investigation. He collected all 
kinds of things, and desired to travel, without 
any very dear idea of his destiny. A chance 
introduction came to tiie young man as a god- 
send, and he joined FitzBoy's expedition to 
South America. Once more, it was this journey 



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DABWIN 105 

that made him Darwin," the mighty intelleotu&l 
loxoe in the zuneteenth oentuxy. 
Darwin found an idea in South Amerioa. Yon 

have to examine it very cloeely to appreciate it 
clearly. Let us recapitulate very briefly the 
hundred years of zoology and botany that had 
gone before. 

In the eighteenth oentuxy Linn^ diew up, fot the 
fixst time, a gieat catalogue of plant and animal 
speoies. Each species had a solid Latin name, 
and was provided with its particular label, by 
which every representative of the species could 
be recognised at once. Then the spedes were 
hiaoketed togetheir in larger gionps, and a general 
system was formed* It was an immense soientific 
adTanoe, and is still generally appreciated as snoh. 
But we have to make ono reserve. It is uot man 
that separates things ; nature, or rather God who 
created natore, has already distinguished them. 
In this xeq^eo4 soology and botany are of Qod. 
The various speoies ol ^ants and anhnals are some- 
thing firmly established hy Gk)d. Tske the polar 
bear, the hippopotamus, the girafe, or a particular 
species of palm, or vine, or rose. There they are, 
and all that man has to do is to learn their 
specific characters in order to determine and 
name themt 

Behind all this we really hare the ancient idea 
of the Mosaio story of creation. God made the 

animals and plants, species by species, put them in 
their places, and said to man, "Name them as 
you think ht, classify them, putting the like to- 



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HASOKSL 



gether and separatmg the unlike.'' So God spake 
to Adam when he stood before hiin» naked as a 
Faegian. Lmii4 oomes on the scene some six 
thoasaad yean afterwairds to set aboatthis naming 

and arranging in earnest. But that docs not make 
much difference. There are the species created by- 
God. They have ceaselessly reproduced them- 
selves since the days of Paradise aoooarding to the 
command to inciease and mnltiplyi each one in its 
0WBL kind, so that the polar beaf has only begotten 
polar bears, the giraffe giraffes, the hippopotamus 
hippopotami. Thus, in spite of death, the primitive 
Paradise is still there, and Linne, the oflficial pro- 
fessor at Upsala, with his venerable wig and 
embroidered coat, can take np the work o! the 
nalBsd Adam with a good conscience, and foiish 
what the patriarch had not been able to do. 

Linne died in 1778 (about tiic time v.iicn Goethe 
was beginning the Iphigenia and Willielm Meister) 
in the loll fame of all these achievements and all 
his hypotheses £n»n the giraffe to God. £*if^ 
years dapsed betwesn this and Darwin's Toyage ; 
hot in those fifty years the following process is 
accomplished : — 

An increasing number of bones aud other relics 
of animal species, that exist no longer, were dug 
out of the earth. In South America the skeleton 
was found of a gianl-sbth, the megatheiiam, the 
rsmains ol a d lanrsr the 

elephant, that no traveller eonld find living in the 

country. The famous mammoth-corpse came to 
light in the ice oi Siberia; an entirely strange 



bigiiized by 



DABWnr 107 

elephant with carved tusks ajid a red woolly coat. 
Iolitl^06«iizi were iouad m the rooks in England, 
and BO on. All thaso eztinot'* speoieB had to be 
named and aimnged in the ayiitem. A special 

scientific indication was put on them, which 
means " extinct." But this was nofc enough for 
thought — which cannot be entirely dispensed 
with," as some one well said, eTsn in exact 
swenoe* 

Where did these eztinot spedes come from? 

What is their relation to the Creator ? Were they 
created long ago in Paradise witii the others, and 
afterwards conveyed in the ark, only to disappear 
in the ooorse ol time ? And what was the cause 
ol their disi^peaimnce ? Most we condude that 
pairl ol what Adam saw was not aTsilaUe for Linn6 
and his pupils ? These four remains, a few bones 
here and there, do not tell us much about them. 

Therefore, speoies may perish: many of them 
have pehshed. 

There was someihimr new in this« something 
that obsoored the dear lines oi eadier science. 
However, a way of escape was fomid. It was 

claimed that these grotesque monsters — ichthyo- 
sauri, megatheria, mammoths, &c.. — represent an 
earlier creation, with which Adam had nothing to 
do. Onvier developed the theoiy in his grandiose 
way in 1819. Before the cr e a t i on ol the animal 
and plant spedes that Adam lomid m Paradies 

there was a long series of periods in the history of 
the earth, each of which had its own animal and 
plant population. It was in one of these pedods 



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108 HAEGKBL 

that the forests f^rew which we find fossilised in our 
coal. In aaother tha ichthyosauri, gigantio liaaids, 
filled the ooean. In a thixd the hideons mega- 
therinm dragged along its hnge bamey and bo on. 
It is trae that there is nothing in the Bible abont 
these ancient and extinct periods ; but the Mosaic 
verses move quickly — they press on to come to man. 
The repeated oreatioas of the animal and plant 
worlds are summed np in a single one. We most 
read something between the lines. 

Apart from that, eyerything is olear. Henoe 
the ancient species were made fixed, solid, and 
unchangeable by God just Hke the later species 
that Adam found in Paradise, and that still exist. 
Without the will of God they oould no more have 
died out than the aotoal ones ; and there were no 
hmnan beings there to destn^ them. Bat the 
divine action intervened. At the end of each of 
these old-world periods a terrible spectacle 
was witnessed. The heavens poured out their 
punishing floods; the seas were heated to steam 
by fiaiy masses of rook that were smnmoned by the 
divine power from the boweb of the earth. In 
the oonrse of a single day the carboniferoiis forests 
were swallowed up ; the megatheria disappeared, 
legs uppermost, like flies in butter, in the sand 
dunes of the ternble iloods. 

The might of the oreative aot was eqoalled by 
the mij^t of the destmction. The soienoe of these 
vast new oreations and divine revolutions before 
Adam's birth was called geology. It lived in peace 
with Lmne s theory of fixed species. Its parent, 



bigiiized by 



BAIiWiN 109 

Cimery waB ao gieai a geniiui that it Beemed quite 
impoadUe that he had made a mistaike. Before 

twenty years were out he the opinion of 

a contemporary and equally able geologist, declared 
to be certainly wrong on one point. 

Lyell wrote a magnifioent work in which he 
proved, from the poixit of Tiew of soieiitifio geology, 
that the whole story of these teirible zevolutioxiB 
was a fiction. There are no such sharp seotioiis in 
the early history of the earth. Everything goes 
to show that throughout the whole period of the 
earth's dsYelopment the same natural laws have 
been at work as wefindto-day. It is true that the 
xelatiye positions of sea and land, hill and valley, 
forest and desert, have often changed; bat very, 
very slowly, in the courbo of millions of years. A 
single drop of water, constantly fallini^, will hollow 
oat a stone. In these miiiions of years the water 
has swept away rooks here, and formed new land 
by the aoonmolation of sand there* In these 
miDioDS of years the sand has been oompiessed 
into the gigantic masses that tower above us to-day 
as sandstone mountains ; they are formed of sand 
that was origmaily laid like mud, layer by layer, on 
the floor of the ocean. 

It was all veiy plansible ; it seemed to pictnre 
an eternal flow ci things in which there was no 
room for God. The changes in the earth's sorfaoe 
were easily brought about without calastrophes, in 
the course of incalcnlable ages. God was excluded 
from geological discussions of the formation of hill 
and dale. And when it was folly realised, it 



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110 



bmoght ihe qnettion of i^eoiet to the front onoe 
mom. 

It was imponnble to retreat amply to LiimA^i 

position. Lyeli by no means denied Cuvier'a 
vaiiuus periods in the earth's development as such. 
He belieTed, moreoYOTi that the plMit and animal 
popnlatioDB wore different in these epochs. When 
the f oieatB floariBhed which have f onoed the maee 
ol our cofll-meaBnieB there were no iohthjroeaiiri ; 
when the ichthyosauri came there were no longer 
any carboniferous forests ; with the ichtiiyosauri 
there were no megatheria, and the last ichthyo- 
saurus was extinct before the megatheria ardved. 
All that Lyell rejected was the gieat diirine cata* 
strophes. But when these were abandoned, it was 
no longer poedble to attribnte the end " of tiie 
extinct species to a divine act. We were faoed 
with tlie blow and natural conversion of terrestrial 
things in the course of endless ages. 

Species most ha^ been liaUe to be destroyed 
by puxely natural oaoses. The catastrophes were 
abandoned, yet species had been destroyed. And 

^vhon that was granted — it was the devirs iittia 
iinger^ — a further conclusion was inevitable. If 
species have died out slowly and naturally in 
the history of the earth, and new i^wcies have 
made their iq[ipeazaiioe at the same timet may not 
these new species have u/ritm slowly and xuiAmrally ? 
Suppose these simple and purely natural causes, 
that had brought about the extinction of certain 
species, had been for others the very starting-point 
id development ? In (me word : il the eztincticm 



bigiiized by 



DABWIN 



m 



was not due to a mighty divuie iuterierexioe} waa it 
not conceivable that the origin alBO may not have 
needed «Qoh? 
One more dednotion, and the demon of know* 

ledgLi had hold of the entire hand. May not this 
natural extinction and natural new-birth have been 
directly connected in many cases? As a fact, 
some of the species had been wholly extirpated. 
But others had provided the living material of 
the new anivals ; they had been tr€uuformed into 
these apparently new species. That was the 
decisive deduction. It did away with the need 
of any sudden crcatiou. It merely made a claim 
that was appalling to the Linn^an prinoipies ; 
namely, that spedes may ohange. In the oonzse 
of time and at a favomaUe spot one speoies may 
be transfovmed into anotiier. 

Another fairly obvious deduction could be made. 
Who brought about tbe transformation ? Lyell 
proved that, without any catastrophes, terrestrial 
tilings are eonstantly changing — the water and the 
land, the moontains and the valleya, and even the 
dimate. In this gradoal dbumge tiie envhonments 
of living things were at length altered to sucii au 
extent that they were bound to cause a change 
in the organisms. However, different species 
reacted in difiEerent ways. Some gradually died 
oat* Others adaoted themselves to ^s^a naw 
oonditions; just as, in hnman a&iis, one race 
breaks down under changed conditions while 
another rises to a higher and richer and new 
stage on that very acconnt. No creation! Merely 



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112 



HAKOKBL 



transi()ruia,Uoii8 of species, development of new 
foijus from older ones by adaptation to new, 
naturally modiiied conditions. Even zoology and 
botany were without the finger of God from the 
earliest days. 

Of oonme theve was no traoe of these latter 
deductions in Lyell. But they pressed themselves 
with an irresistible and decisive force on the mind 
of one of his first readers, Darwin. 

fie took Lyell's book with him to South 
America. Step by step the logio of it forced him 
to admit that this was what most have taken place 
somewhere. First the idea of extinct specicd" 
became a concrete picture to him there, a sort of 
diabohc vision. The whole substratum of the pam- 
pas is one colossal tomb of strange monsters. The 
bones lie bare at eyery outcrop. Megatheria, or 
giant-doths, as large as elephants, and with thigh- 
bones three times as thick as that of the elephant, 
able to break off branches in the primitive forests 
with their paws : armadilloes as big as rhinoceroses, 
with coats as hard as stone and curved like 
barrels; gigantic Hamas, the macrouchenias, 
compared with which the modem speoimens are 
Liliputians ; mastodons and wild horses, of which 
America was entirely free even in the days of 
Columbus, and lion-like carnivoreii with terrible 
sabre-teeth. There they ail are to-day — extinct, 
lost, buried in the deserted cemetery of the 
pampas-loam. 

When the young Darwin stood by these grores, 
like Hamlet, he did not know how closely this 



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DARWIN 



113 



ghost-world came to our own day. At that time 
the armour of the gigantio armadillo, the gly ptodon, 

that had formed shelters over the heads of the 
hnmaii dwellers in the pampas, like Esquimaux 
huts, had not yet been discovered. The cave of 
Ultima Esperanaa in Patagonia had not been 

no one had seen the red-haired coat 
of the sloth as large as en ox, the grypotheriom 
(a relative of the real megatherium), cut by some 
prehistoric human hand, amongst a heap, several 
yards deep, of the animal's manure — m such pecu- 
liar circumstances as to prompt the suggestion that 
the giant-sloths had been kept tame in the cavern, 
as in a cyclopean staUe, by prehistoric Indians. 
Darwin thought the remains were very old, though 
this by no means lessened the inspiration. 

As our geological Hamlet speculated over these 
bones of extinct monsters, the ideas of Linn^ and 
OnTier straggled fiercely in his mind with the 
new, hfiietical ideas inspired by Lyell. How was 
it that idiese ancient, extinct aninud forms of 
America resembled in every detail and in the most 
marked characteristics certain Hving American 
animals? Before him were the relics of past 
slo^i acmadilloes, and giant-llamas. In the actual 
America, also, there were sloths, armadilloes, and 
llamas, thongh with some difference. And no- 
where else on earth, either in past or present 
time, were there sloths, armadilloes, and llamas. 
Guvier had replied, Gk>d had pleased to create 
those ancient megatheria, glyptodons, and ma- 
eronchenias of America. Then, one day, he sent 

8 



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114 HABCKEL 

his deetraotiTe oatMrtrophe, and swept Ihem all 

away, as a bponge goes over the table. Then, 
in the empty land, he created afresii the sloths, 
armadilloes, aad llamas of to-day. But why had 
God made the new animals so lil^ the old that the 
modem aoologiet has to class the megatherinm in 
the same narrow group as the actual sloth, the 
ancient glyptodon with the modern aimadiiio, and 
80 on? 

Darwin, who had studied theology, was onshaken 
with legard to God himself. Howeyer, something 
occurred that occurs so often and with snoh good 
result in the history of thought. It appeared to 

him that the notion of a direct creation is by no 
means the simplest way of explaining things, but 
the most puzzling and complicated. Darwin 
believed in Lyell. There had been no destructiye 
catastrophe at all to sweep away the megatherium 
and its companions. They had disappeared 
gradually, by natural means. Was it not much 
more rational to suppose that the actual sloths and 
armadilloes came into being gradually, by natural 
means? Part of the old animal population had 
not perished, but been transformed into the actual 
species. HhBie was a bond of relationship be- 
tween the past and the present. One or other 
grotesque and perhaps helpless giant form may 
have completely disappeared in the course of time. 
But the golden thread of life was never entirely 
broken. Other and more fortunate species had 
preserred the type of the sloth, the armadillo, and 
the llama ; they had developed naturally into flie 



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liTing animftk of Amenoa. QoA might remain at 

the groundwork of things. He had launched 
matter into space, and impressed natural laws on 
it. But these suiiiced for the further work. They 
created America. They developed the mammal 
into the sloth and the aimadillo in the days of 
the megatherimn and the glyptodon. They main* 
tained these types in the country, in a straight 
line of development ; the progressive principle of 
life bringing about the extinction of certain forms, 
and transforming others by a more £tting adapta- 
ttcm to their environment. 

Darwin always lootkad baek on this first oonfliot 
of his ideas in preeenee of the dead sheUs and 

boues of the ancient pampas animals as an hour 
of awakening. It was the birth of his humanity m 
the higher sense. It is of interest to us because it 
ooinGidei exactly with the date of Haeokel's birth 
in the ordinary seme. 

In Darwin's fine acooont of his voyage, whioh is 
mostly arranged m the form of a diary, wo find a 
passage written on the east coast of Patagonia on 
January 9, 1834, and the next on April Idth. In 
the meantime the ship had made a short sigBag 
oonrse, whioh is spoken ol in another eonneotion> 
But the interyal between the two dates is taken 
np with a passage on these gigantic animals, the 
reasons for their extinction and the striking fact 
of their bodily resemblance to the living animals of 
South America. This remarkable resemblance,** 
we read, between the dead and the lining animails 
of one and the same oontinent will yet, I doubt 



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HAECKKL 



not) throw more light on the appearanoe of organio 

beings on the earth than any other class of facts." 
This is clearly a su miliary of Darwin's deepest 
thoughts at the time. Haeckel was bom on 
February 16th of the same year^ 1834. Thus the 
bodily birth of one of the two men whom we 
Qonoeiye to^y as Diosonri ooinoidee with the 
spiritual rebirth of the other. Bnt it would be 
nearly thirty yoarii before they would meet inspirit 
never to part again. At the very beginning of 
their acquauitance Darwin wrote a letter to Haeckel 
(October 8, 1864) in which he speaks of the earliest 
suggestions of his theory. The Hamlet-honr comes 
back Tiyidly to his memory. I shall nerer forget 
my astomsliiiiciit \viicn i dug out a gigantic piece 
of armour, like that of a living armadillo. As I 
reiieoted on these facts and compared others of a 
like nature, it seemed to me probable that closely 
leUted species may have descended from a common 
ancestor." 

However we take it, Darwin then saw for the 
first time that iiis diiliculty about the niutal)ility 
of species was from the first, in his own mind, a 
difficulty about God. He began his doubts with 
the andeat armadillo ; he ended with Qod* 

On the return journey from South Americay which 
amounted to a cuKnmmavigaidon of the globe, the 
struggle was renewed at the Gralapagos islands. 
Volcanic forces had raised these islands from the 
bed of the ocean in oomparatiTely recent times. 
They were, therefore, bound to be a virgin proTOioe 
at the time. Now, however, the wails of the crater 



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were clothed with vegetation, birds flew after insects, 
I and gigantic turtles and lizards lived on the shores. 

Whence did these plants and animals come?- 
Darwin ezamines them. They have Bsa tmnsual 
appearance, and aeem to point to Amerioa. Yet 
not a single species is now wholly Amerioan ; each 
has I its peculiarities. An historical controversy 
arises over the islands, and men range themselves 

I _ 

j in parties once more. Empty islands emerge from 

! the blue waters. How are they to be populated ? 

There are two poasihiUtieB. One is that 0od 
has created the animals and plants— Oalapa^ 
animals and plants. But in that ease why has he 
created them entirely on the American model, 
while diverging from it in small details ? The 
second possibility is that the animals and plants 
were brought by the cnzrent or the wind from the 
neighboaimg Amerioan ooast; they are Amerioan 
plants and animals. After landing on the islands, 
thoy adapted themselves to thcif new surroundings, 
and were altered. Hence both the resenil)lance 
and the difference. The theory assumes, of course, 
that speoies are mutable. If that is so, we can 
explain everything''— without God« 

But the greatest and tensest straggle began 
when Darwin retomed home. He approached the 
most audacious, but most striking fact, for his pur- 
pose. Up to this the question had been w hether 
new species ware produced by God or by natural 
neoessity. Now a third element was introdoced, 
man himself. He also alters speoies, as a hreeder 
of pigeons, rahUts, aheep. He has done it with 

I 



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HAECKBL 



finooess for age8-'^<Knly the Lum^ and Gayiers 

had not noticed the faot. How does he aooom- 
plish it? 

A breeder desires to give his sheep huer wool. 
He eiamines the wool of a thonsand sheep. The 
difference between them is so alight that it is of 
no praotioal oonseqnence. Bnt the farmer selects 
the male sheep out of the thousand that has the 
best quality of wool, and the corresponding female. 
He crosses the two. Their young have wool of 
a slightly improved qoalityi and he picks oat the 
best amongst them once moze for cioeaing. He 
continues this through seyend generations. At 
last, with his continuous selection and crossing, 
the quality of the wool increases so much that 
any one can recognise it at once, and it has a 
distinct cultural yalue. In this way improved 
races of animals and large nmnhezs of fine flowers 
have been produced by bzeeden: by artificial 
selection of the fittest to repfodnce in each genera- 
tion. This was done by man — ^not by God, not 
by nature in remote times, but under our very 
eyes, by man. 

Now for an analogous process without man. 
Let cor sheep live wild in any country. No 
human breeder has any interest in them: God 
does not seem to interfere with them. They live 
on and on, for thousands of years, generation after 
generation. Here again, in the wild state, we hnd 
the same slight variations in the quahty of the 
wool. One sheep has a thicker coat than another. 
For thouaands of years the faot is without signifi- 



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oanoe. Then ooours a alow ohange of the envu 
romneiii. The dunate beoomeB ooider. Perhapi 
an ioe-age sets in, sneh as our eariih seems to have 

passed through, many times. There are two alter- 
natives. A very hard winter roay set in at onoe 
and ail the sheep peiiah, because their woolly coat 
is too thin in all cases. That would mean the 
eztinotioii of a whole speoies. Bat the severe 
oold may oome on gradoally. The winters are 
more trying. So many sheep perish in the first 
winters ; but so many others survive. Whicli will 
sorviye ? Naturally, those that happened to have 
the thicker ooats. Those alone live on to the 
apingy and zeprodnoe. The following year the coat 
is thicker all lomid, as the lambs all oame from 
relatively thick-coated parents. The winter 
decimates them again, and the thickest coated 
survive once more, and so on. The pressure of 
external conditionSy the struggle for Hfe," selects 
jnal ae man does. Only the best adapted indivi- 
duals survive and xeprodooe. 

The whole earth is a vast field of splendid 
adaptations. The tree-frogs are green because 
only green frogs are preserved ; all the others are 
destroyed. The arctic hare is white on the snow» 
the deeert-foz yellow. For a thousand reasons 
in the conrse of the earth's development these 
backgronnds— white, yellow, green ; snow, desert, 
forest, &c. — have themselves been constantly 
changing under the action of Lyell's changes in 
the crust of the earth. Hence constantly fresh 
adi^tationsy with a oertsin peroentage of complete 



120 



HAECKEL 



ezfciiiotioiui. Li thdse oeaealefls new adaptatioiu we 
aee a piotixze of an eternal progrefisive developinent* 
Always a finer eeleoiien : always better material : 

natural thiDgs alw ays selecting and bein,i^ selected. 
Man is superiluoas in this world-aid, eternal pro- 
oess. And God, too, is superduous. 

That was Darwin's last and deoisiye thooght. 
Divine action was exdnded from the whole pro- 
vinoe of animal and plant spedes. It does not 
matter whether or no the shrewd idea of natoral 
selection solves the whole problem. Why speak 
of wiiole," when all problems are really un- 
fathomable ? He left open the question of the 
origin of the first slight variationsi the first inoiease 
in the fineness or tfaiokness of the sheep's wool» for 
instance. He left open the question of the inner 
nature of tho process — and a good deal more. But 
these things did not affect the great issue. 

What Darwin did was to show for the first 
time how we might conceive the natnral evoln- 
tion of species ; to soggest that the miiade of 
the purposive adaptation of organisms to their 
environment could be explained by purely natural 
causes without introducing teleological and super- 
natural agencies to bring the disharmony into 
harmony. The older mind and logic had seen the 
action of God eveiywhere; the new thought sjid 
logic were gradually restricting his sphere. Dar« 
win took away a whole province from the teleolo* 
gist when he merely set up the idea of selection. 
He towered above hmisolf in that moment. 
Natural philosophy wrested aooiogy and botany 



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DABWIN lai 

from the bands of lAanA and Gn^der. It destn^ed 
the old idea of a design in the interest of natural 
law and the general unity of nature. " Allah need 
create no more." We cannot emphasise it too 
maoh: it was the oonoeivability that settled the 
question. Dairwin had shown that ^4t might 
ha^e been so/' and tills possibilitf stood lor the 
first time in zoology and botany opposed, with all 
the weight of logic, to the other theory, which was 
no more understood, but was supplied by imagina- 
tion to M a gap — ^the idea of a special creation 
of eaoh animal qpeoies, the idea that the green 
t roe -'fe o g, had been created amongst the foliage 
Inst as he was. The feebler fancy gave way to 
the better. In this concession lay whole sciences 
that would have to be entirely transformed on the 
strength at Darwin's achievement. 

Nanow-minded folk have tned to make light 
oi the mere "possibility/' ereating a distinotion 
between tmth and logical theory. As if all tmth 
were not solely in the humau mind 1 What an 
age can conceive is true to that age. There is 
nothing higher in the bounda of time and the 
development in which we are involved. All truth 
and sdenoe began for hmnanity in the form ol 
possibilities. Oopemions's theory was only a 
possibility when it first came. All that we call 
human culture has come of the putting together 
of thousands upon thousands of these possibilities, 
like so many stones. It is no use raising up 
against it the fi^^ent oi absohite troth," The 
main point wie that Darwin raised the oonoeiY- 



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HA£CKBL 



abittfycl a natoial origin of species by the modifier 
tion of older fonns, which were driven oeasdessly 

to new adaptaitioiis under Liie sUess of the struggle 
for life, to such a pitch that the older possibility 
of a creation of each species and its deliberate 
adaptation by Biipemataral action sank lower and 
lower. It was a pore oonfliot of ideas ; the greater 
overcame the smaller — now smaller. 

Darwin's work, tiiu Ot igin of SpecieSy was pub- 
lished on November 24, 1859, after twenty-live 
years of study. He kept the theory of selection 
to himself iot moie than twenty years. The 
whole of the young generation from the beginning 
of the thirties, to which Haeokel belonged, grew 
up without any suspicion of it. Apart from the 
constant ill-health thali hindered his work, Darwin 
was tortured with anxiety lest he should be treated 
as an imaginative dilettante with his heretical 
ideaa. in the Boientifio ciroles of the middle of the 
oentnxy one was apt to be disdainfully put down 
as a windy natural philosopher" if one spoke 

of the evohition of animal and plant species " 
and the hke. The word had become the scare- 
crow of the ezaot, professional scientiflo workers ; 
mnoh as when commercial men Dear 
me, the man's a poet." Hanoe Darwin wanted 
to provide a most solid fonndatkm of resdsroh for 
Ins work, and then to smuggle it into the house 
like a goblin in a jar. 

He took his task so seriously that, as Lyell 
afterwards wrote to him, he might have worked 
on until his hundredth year without aver being 



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DABWIN 



ready in the senie he wished. Chanoe had to 

intervene, and bring forward one of the younger 
men, who almost robbed him of the title of 
discoverer. Wallace arrived independently at the 
idea of selection, and he was within a hair's 
fareadth of being the first to publish it. The aged 
scholar at Down had tOHKnne forward. Then the 
great book was published, and Wallace disappeared 
in its shadow. 

In Darwin's opinion it was only a preliminary 
extract, and he added many supplementary 
Tdumes as time went on. As a faot it was so 
S0?erely elaborated that even the thoughtful 
layman, possibly with a sympathy for the idea, 

was almost, if not wholly, unable to dl*^est the 
proofs, it had to be "translated" iur the majority 
of Darwin's educated countxymen. On the other 
hand, this mass of facts was partly strange and 
new to the professional bicdogists. What did so 
many of the museum-soologists know, for instance, 
of the results and problems of the practical breeder ? 
"That belongs to the province of my colleague 
who teaches agriculture, not to mine." His 
proo& were taken indiscriminately from zoology, 
botany, and geology. But at that time it was woe 
to the man that mixed up the various branehaa 
of research. The professor of zoology could not 
control tho botanical material, and vice versd. 
There was, in addition, the general dishke of the 
natural-philosophical nucleus. It was imposaihle 
to suppose that this very individual book, trane- 
grnsning eveiy rule, should at once meet with 
wide encouragement, or even ordinary appreciation. 



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In England Darwin's repute as a traveller and 
geologist, and the personal respect felt for him, had 
Boiue effect. Then came a small circle of friends, 
Hooker, Huxley, eveHy to some extent, the aged 
Lyell, wha had seen the maimacnpt before pab- 
Uoationf and had at oiioe ataried a moie or leas 
brisk propaganda. In the first six months three 
editions ui tlic work were sold, so that it was reiid 
by a few thousand men. As a rnle there was at 
that time less dread ol natural philosophy'' in 
England than elsewhere. Bat pious minds were 
alarmed at the stniggle against God " that was 
based on the exact data of aoology, botany, and 
geology. 

Drirwin had made that the salient point, as a 
glance at the work shows, since he closes with 
a reference to the Deity. He said it was a 

grand*' ^w of the Creator to sappose that 
he had ereated only the flrat forms of life on the 
earth, and then left it to natural laws to develop 

tliuse germs into the various species of aniuiais 
and plants. It was prudent to restrict the tiieistio 
oondiot« God was merely excluded from the origin 
of speeies. Natural selection did not apply to the 
farther problem of the origin of the primitlYe 
life-forms and of life itself. Theism ooold retain 
tiiem. There was something boothin^^ psycho- 
logically in the phrase, which was uiten attacked 
subseqaently^ and did not represent Darwin's 
later views. It mm oharaeteristio of Darwin's 
gentle diapodtian. 
He did not start oat from the position that God 



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125 



does not exist, and that we mnst, at all costs, 
seek natural causes for the origin of thin^^s. He 
had not abandoned the idea of the clerical pro- 
fesaiou because he had loati belief in God, but 
beoause he had mdte aitraotioii lor oatobiog 
bnttorflies and ahooting bizds. Still a film tbeisty 
be bad been oanTinoed, as a oaiidid geologisi, 
by Lyell's demonstration that God had had 
nothing to do with the monldiuf]^ of hill and 
valley or the distribution of land and water* As 
a candid zoologist and botanist he had then con- 
Tinoed himself that the analogous changes in 
the animal and plant worlds had needed no divine 

intervention. 

As yet, however, he saw no reason to draw rnnro 
radical conclusions, lie sought, as far as honour 
permitted, a certain peace of thought by asking 
whether this indirect action of the penonal Bnler 
over snob vast provinces did not enhance the 
idea of him instead of detracting from it. 

Goethe would have been prepared, on his 
principles, to recognise the step taken in the 
direction of natural law as a victory for our in- 
creasing knowledge of and xeverence for the Deity* 
For him a natnral law was the will of Gbd ; if 
natural selection created species, be would have 
seen merely the will of Qod in selection. But 
Darwin had not yet advanced so far, and still 
less could this be expected in his pious readers. 

However, we find a onrions confession a few 
paragraphs before the theistic condnsion of the 
book. It runs: ^'Light wiU be thrown on the 



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HAECKEL 



origin and history of hnmanity." Light, that is to 
say, from the theory of the transformation of species 
by natural selection. The words contained the 
promise oi a new twilight of the gods. In the 
ixmooeat days, when the Oieator stood in person 
behind each speoies of animal and plant, Lizm^ had 
seen no great innovation in his defining man as 
a definite species, the highest species of mammal. 
God had created the polar bear and the hippo- 
potamus, Qmem said, as well as man. That man 
had transgressed the command in Paradise, fallen 
into iin, needed salvation, and so on, was another 
matter altogetiier. Wi& Darwin the innovation 

was incalculably important. 

On his theory the various species of animals 
had been developed from eaoh other, without 
a new oreative act. If man was an animal speoies 
in this sense, he also mnst have originated from 
other animals; and that would he bitter. The 
phrase shows that Darwin already saw clearly, 
and had abandoned his beUef in a special creat.ioa 
of man. But this point was bound to make more 
bad blood than all the rest put together. God, 
now restricted to the direct production of the first 
living tilings, had lost man as well as the animals. 
Moreover, whatever interpretation was pnt upon 
the Mosaic narrative, the very scarce of theistio 
belief, the Bible, was called into question. How 
had we come to know of this story of divine 
creations ? By the Bible, the vehicle of revelation. 
Bnt this Bible was the work ol man, and man was 
mmiwtil within the boonds of natore, from which 



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117 



God had been exdnded. How oould he loftm any- 
thing from revelation? The biblical writers had 
clearly only made conjee tiires. Some of them — 
with regard to Adam, for instance — were certainly 
incorreot. There was nothing in the Bible about 
evointian by means of eeleotion. Indeed, was not 
the whole pfetoie of a oreating Deity an enor 7 
These thoughts were bound to press upon the 
religious mind with all their logical force. When 
they did so, the very foundations of theology 
beoame insecure, to a far more serious extent than 
Darwin's modeiato oondnsion suggested. When 
the book fell on this oontentioos groond, it was 
boimd, even if it wm only read In the last two 

pages, to provoke vast waves of hostility a<:,^ainst 
its heretical zoology and botany, especiaily in 
Kmgland. 

« • • • • 

Haeokel was in Italy when the WQrk--th6 wsA 
of hi$ life, too, as the seqnel shows^was published. 

We have seen where he was : in sight of the blue 
sea, penetrating for the first time into a special 
section of zoology, the radiolaria, and making 
it his own. He was far from theorising, for the 
first years of reality were npon him. He retomed 
to Berlin at tiie beginning of May, 1860, bringing 
his study of the radiolaria, and resolved to pubhsh 
it in comprehensive form. Here he learned for 
the first time that a ''mad" work by Darwin 
had appeared, that denied the venerable Irin^i^an 
dogma of the immutability of speoies. 
Oscmsn official soienoe was now invaded from 



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two sides at once. Haeokd had ntomed like a 

new man from the fiieshness of Italy; and Darwin's 
work, translat/ed by Bronn, was bnngin^^ some 
slight extract of the Enc^Iish student's thoughts, 
like a draught of old golden wine. They were 
bound to meet this time. 

The aged Bromi» a Oennan naturalist of distino- 
tion and merit, had found the Origin of 8peeie» 
interesting^; enough, at least, to deserve the trouble 
of translation. But his interest in it was very 
restricted. He was one of the thoughtful students 
of the days following Onvier, and was not of the 
kuid to pin his &ith to one man. The appeatanoe 
of the plant and animal speoies in the Tarioas 
terrestrial periods, so sharply separated by Cuvier 
himself, showed unmistakably an ascent from 
lower to higher forms. The hsh is placed lower in 
the system than the mammal. At a oertain period 
there were i&shes livings bat no mammals as yet. 
At another period the only plants on the earth were 
of the decidedly lower group of the cryptogams 
(ferns, shore-grasses, club-mosses), and these were 
succeeded by pines and palm-ferns, and finally by 
the true palms and foliage-trees. Guvier's theory 
of ereaiion had to take account of this. Agassis, 
who held firmly to the fresh creation of species in 
each new epoch, conceiyed the Oreator as an artist 
who improved in his work in the course of time. 
Each new achievement was better than the pre- 
oeding. It was rather a curious idea of the 
Oreator! 

Others, who did not waton to nse the idea of 



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Deity quite so naively as Agassiz in zoology and 
botany, conceived a 'Maw of deveiopmeut " within 
liie itself. It was a time when belief in a vital 
faroe'* was uniyersal. li^ixig things had their 
peonliftr foroe, whioh was not found in lifelesB 
tilings. The Ule-pnndple might be at woik in the 
law of development. It would living things 
higher and higher in the succeeding geological 
epochs. It was a vague theory, though it purported 
to cover not only the faot but the machinery of 
development. In tiie oonrse of ages it brought 
abont the appearanee of new speoies. Those who 
held this idea of an immanent law of eyolntion 
rejected the older notion of a personal Deity, 
putting in an appearance suddenly at the beginning 
of the secondary period and creating the ichthyo- 
sanh ^<oat of nothing." They looked upon 
OttTier's eataetrophes, to whieh Agassiz* still olmug, 
with a toQoh of Lyell's soeptioism. The ^^law 

of evolution " had been the deus ex ma chin a of 
the long procession of life-forms. One day a lish 
ceased to give birth to little hshes in the maimer 
of its parents. The <<law of evolution" was at 
work in its ots, and suddenly little iehthyosanxi 
were developed from them. Thns, again, a lisard 
was believed to have engendered young mammals 
one day. One student would hold that the tran- 
sition was quite abrupt in this sense. Another 
would think it more gradual, and approach the 
idea ol a slow traoslcnrmation of a fish into a 
^aid, and a lisard into a mammal, or a tree-fern 
into a palm-fern, and this into a true palm. At 

0 



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the bottom they were all agreed that the whole 
inner law of erolntion had nothing whatever in 
oommon with the other laws of natoie and was 

not subordinate to them. They did not hold an 
evolution in harmony with tlie great mechanism 
of naturai laws. Their principle got astride of 
natural laws at certain points, like a little man, 
and tamed them in this or that direction. 

Very little philosophic reflection was needed to 
show that i^ey had merely replaced the Creator with 
a word. The older Dualism remained. On one side 
was the raw material of the world with the ordinary 
natural laws ; on the other side a lord and master, 
the law of eyolation, playing with the laws as it 
pleasedi and monlding the material into new life* 
. forms in an adyandng series. It is tnie that they 
no longer pictured to themselves a venerable being 
with a white beard creating the ichthyosauri, 
but the fhiger of God remained in the law of 
evdation, attenuated into a speoial and spectral 
form. The God that acted from withont was 
banished, bnt the ^' impulse from within/' reduced 
to a mere skeleton in substanoe, was put upon the 
throne. 

The advocates of the law of evolution had 
assuredly done much in preparing the way for 
Darwui, as they had insisted that certain admoces 
in detail were ondeniaUeandbmlt np theoriesfrom 
the chaotio material provided by special research — 

especially seeing that some of the ablest naturalists 
of the time were amongst thorn, who determined 
to retain speculation in zoology and botany. But, 



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DA&WIN 



131 



on the other hand, it cannot be questioned that 
the confused nature of their fundamental idea, 
which, in fact» was not far removed from the theo- 
logioal notum of the vital loroe» gave ilie rigid ftnd 
" exact " academio workers an apparait right to 
reject aU speculation on the possibility of an evolu- 
tion of species as an unscientific dream. The aged 
Bronn was in 1860 one of the most prudent and 
sober of the advocates of the inner principle of 
evolutioa. He candidly acknowledged that D^^rwin 
had strack a severe Uow at the great idea 6t his 
life, on one side at least. Darwin's work not 
merely dismissed God to the wings as a personality, 
but even left no room for the finger of God, for his 
spiritual writing on the walls of the living world* 
It fonnd evidence of natmal U^ws alone. From 
them came» if not life itself^ at all events selec- 
tion, adaptation, and evolution by virime of this 
increasing adaptation — the higher advance that 
converted the fish into a lizard and the lizard into 
a mammal. The fine old worker, with an age of 
indefatigable labour behind him, though he had 
not got beyond the idea of a "law of evolntion,*' 
looked on Darwin with a mixtim of fear and 
admiration as he cut into the very heart of these 
problems. He added amiable notes to the work 
to the efieot that one would like to go so far, but 
the distance was intunidating. In ^t, he omitted 
altogether from his tianslation tiie very important 
phrase that light would be thrown on the origin 

of man." It would be a terrible affair, he thought, 
if the discusBion were at onee turned on this. 



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112 Wi^ienifiZT, 

Man himself owing his origin neither to God nor 
the finger of God, bat to natural selection in the 
aedmary oourse of natural lawA 1 It was not to be 
ihought oi. Henoe the phrase was struck oat, as 
qoito too ccfattvag^tt in liii cOmm» adnuiftUe 
worik* 

Bronn had himself become something of a 
revolutionary amongst his colleagues by the 
translation. The rigidly ** exact workers crossed 
themselves before the Germanised work. Most o£ 
Ihe ovQliitioiUite " in the oldsr maae h$d hj no 
naaaiis tbe btmhamie to speak eraoi of a " possi- 
bility " like the patriarch Bronn. From the first 
Darwin was — Haeckel was the first to experi- 
ence it — branded with the anathemas of the two 
Ofl^te schools ol soienoe in Gannaoj. On the 
one hand the rigoroos end exact wockezs dadaied 
that his teaohing wee poie metaphysios^ beoanae 
it sought to pro^e evdnium end eontmplated 
vast ideal connections. On the other hand the 
Duah'st metaphysicians denounced him as an 
empiiio of the worst character, who aought to 
lepkoe the gieat ideal elemente in the world by 
a few misemUe natoiml neoesaitiee. It is 
■gnifioeiit to find that Sohopsnhaiier, the brilliant 
thinker, regarded the Origin of Sj^i^cies as one of 
the empirical soapsud or barber books produced 
by exact investigation, which he thoroughly 
despised from his metaphysieal point of view. 
And there were abeady (theve exe more to-day) 
whde schools of loology and botany that looked 
upon Darwin's theoretical explanations as un- 



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DABWIN 



133 



sdenMo « myeliowm," « metaphyBies," and " phi- 
losophy in the worst sense of the word.** 

Haeckel read the dangerous book at Berlin in 
May, 1860. *' It profoundly moved me," he writes 
to ma, "afc the fint laadiag. Bui aa otf the 
Beilin magnateB (wilh tint on^ ezoeptdon ol 
Alexander Bmnn) were agwnsl it, I ooold make 
no headway in my defence of it. I did not 
breathe freely until I visited Ge^enbaur at Jeua 
(Jonei 1860} ; my laug conversations with him 
finally ooiiflnned my oon-notum ol the troth ol 
Danriniam or Vm>«fc\Fmi^m . 

It waa, theiefm, in the eritical daya imme- 
diately before or during the negotiations with 
Gegenbaur which led to his setting up as a 
private teacher at Jena. The names of Darwin 
and Jeoft imite ohronoiogioally in HaeckePs life—' 
two gseait names that vara to bear him into the 
"very^ deptha of hia oareer, and thai h»V8 their loota 
in the same hour. 

We may ask what it was in the book that 
" profoundly moved " the young student of the 
radiolaria. The name of Braon only partly 
exj^aina the matter, aa Braon ma an evolationiat 
of the aame ^ype aa Brona. He iraa amiablj 
disposed to meet it, tat did not openly enter on 
the new path. We must go deeper. We then 
understand it clearly enough, if we leooUeot 
Haeokel's bent in the last few years. 

He had no kmger any scruples with regard to 
reijgion. The Qod of tmditian had been entiiely 
rafiaoed in him hy Gkwthe'a God, who did not 



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134 



SABOKBL 



staad oatndo of, bnt mm one witb, mitiiie. 

There is nothing within, nothing without : for 
what is within is without." There was not a 
kernel, God, and a shell, Nature. " Nature has 
xieither kemal nor shall : it is both together." 

The jem speat in sontliani Italy bad oertainly 
bdped to biiiig oat m strongly as possible the 
oontrast between Gbethe's conception and the 
conventional idea of God as an extramundane 
Creator. No surroundings are more apt to do 
this than the Bomanoe peoples of the Mediter- 
ranean. In the northern, Protestant ooontries the 
eoolesiastical tradition ci Deity has slways a 
spiritiial dement, a kind of vagna resolution into 

moral laws, that in some measure approach, 
natural law, though one made by man. There is 
no trace of this in Naples and Sicily. The super- 
natural there is the saint, the madonna; they 
nenefarate nnceasinidT into the natual raalitr. in 
every little detail of life and oondnot. The 
antithesis of the poor cosmic machinery and the 
ever-present heavenly help and supersession of it 
is raised to a supreme height in the popular belief. 
Miracles are not relsgated to earlier days and 
andent books. They are eq^eotedi affiimedy and 
believed eveiy day. The saint fills the net ol the 
fisherman as he chases the ediUe onttle-fisfaes by 
torchlight. The saint makes the storm that 
threatens the hoat — makes it suddenly out of 
nothing. The madonna can arrest in a second 
the glowing stream of lava that rolls towards the 
village from YesavioSy and il bnndrsds ol them 



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DARWIN 186 

mute in ardeat prayer and the making of towb, 
ihe "will be appeaaed and do it. Bveiy hair on a 
man'a liead is twofold ; tibere ia the natural hair 
and a hair thai oan at any mom^t be changed, 

transformed, annihilated, or created afresh from 
nothing, hy divine power. The man who has 
lived in this atmosphere of praotioal Dualism for 
years must be saturated to his innermost being 
with a feeling of the absolute oontradiction 
between this conception of God and nature and 

Goethe's philosophy. If he is to fullovv Qocthe, 
this ancient extramuudane, ever-interfering Deity 
must be given up without the least attempt at 
oompromise. 

Xhna Haeckel'B position was inoompttiably more 
radioal than Darwin's from the T6iy first* B[e no 
longer believed in a Creator, either in whole or 
part. 

He asked himself, therefore, how he could now 
explain certain things in nature. He had learned 
fiom tiie great Johannes MWer that speoies were 
nnohangeabla, and it waa impossible to concaiye 

the spontaneous generation of the living from the 

dead. The essence, the predominant element 
of the living thing was the mysterious, purposive 
"vital force." The ^t of these three ideas of 
the master's to be surrendered entirely by him was 
the "vital force. Byen in Mfiller's lifetime, and in 
his own laboratory, so to say, his pupil, Dn Bois- 
lieymond, made the tirst great breach iu the 
doctrine with his famous study of animal 
electricity, a really pioneer piece of work, especially 



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186 



HASGKSL 



I 



as regards method, at that time. It was now 
more than ever probable that there was no more a 
special vital foroe besides the simple nakual foroeg 
thftii there was a Qod distinct from natue. The 
animal or the plant was a wondaiM oatoome of 
the same laws that had bcdlt the crystal or the 

globe. The sharp distinction between livnig and 
dead matter fell into the wabte-babket, where so 
many other Dualistic tags lay, out o£t by the 
shears of science. 

Bat if one of Milller's theses was abandoned, 
another was retained as a real blessing wi^ aO the 
mure tenacity by his pupils — the thesis that even 
the scientific investigator shall always ''think" — 
nay, even philosophise.** Miiller called it using 
one's imagination," in his desire to emphasise it. 
Now it was certsinly a fair philosophic deduction 
from Da Bois-Beymond's discoyeries that one 
ought no longer to be so rigid as regards the 
possibility of spontaneous generation. If the 
same natural forces are at work in the organic 
and the inorganic, the living and the dead, it is 
no longer inconceiTable theoretically that life and 
inorganic matter only differ in degree, not in kind. 
The distinction might become so slender— either 
now, or at least in past times— that an apparent 
** spontaneous generation " mi^ht really take place. 

Here again, it is plain, Haeckel had a greater 
freedom than Darwin. Working gradually from 
above, Darwin desisted when he came to spon- 
taneoos generation, and left room for God. 
Haeckel came into an open £eld, believing that; 



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DARWIN 



137 



ftboTB wsa no eternal Deity and that spontaneona 
genaiatkm itadf was by no means a fotbiidling 

conception. The problem for hhn was merely, 
how he could work upward through the plants and 
animals oi all geological periods until he reached 
man. He was bound to seek to dispense even 
hm with the histoiioal Tital lofOSt and azplam 
eraything by the great nalaial laws of the 
cosmos. 

It was in this frame of mind that he received 
Darwin's book. Can it be in the least surprising 
that it '^profoundly moved" him. It opened out 
to him the whole way, just as he desired it. 
liUller's third thesiSi the inmmtability of speoies^ 
hrofcs down. 'But what did it matter?' It was 

now possible for the first time to construct a 
philosophical zoology and botany in Miilier's sense, 
without any vital force and without God. 

At the same time this rapid and impulsive 
aoceptanee of Darwin's theoiy was nol meidj a 
deeisiTe moment in Haeokel's intelleotaal devek>p> 

ment; it was bound to be, even externally, a most 
important step in his career. The theistic con- 
troversy was forced on his attention. It passed 
out of the province of his inmost li&, that had 
hitherto only been disonssed in oonrenatioii with 
intimale fnends, into the professional wotk of his 
most serious and public occupation — into zoology, 
into the radiolaria at which he had been working 
for years. 

We must realise clearly wiiat it most have 
meant at that time lor a yoiuoig aoologisty who 



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HAJBCEBL 



wanted to do rigofOtiB piofesdonal work and had 
qniokiy dedded to seitte at Jena in order to begin 
hifl career as an official teacher, to hecome '^a 

Darwinian " in conviction and open confession. 
It might cost him both hia official position and his 
Bcienti&o future; and this at the very moment 
when he had jnat seonied them, or was in a better 
ponticm to aeonze them. We have here lor the 
flist time the open manifestation of a principle in 
Haeckers life that he had hitherto only used 
inwardly, in application to himself. The truth 
must be told, whatever it cost. Shoot me dead, 
morally, materially, or bodily, as you will: bat 
jou will hftfe to shoot the law first, 

Darwin's ominons book had been available in 
Bioinn*B ^ranslalson lor two years. The German 
professional zoologists, botanists, and geologists 
almost all regarded it as absolute nonsense. 
Agassiz, Qiebel, Keierstein, and so many othersy 
laughed until they were red in the bMse, like a 
riotons fiist-nig^t poUio that has made np its 
mind as to the absordity of tiie play from the 
first act, and torment the author as the cat 
torments a mouse. Then Haeckel gave to the 
world his long-prepared Mmwgraph on tJie Madio* 
laria (1862), the work with which he endeayonrs 
to estahUsh— in fhns^ most establish—his position 
as an exact investigator, even amongst the 
academic scholars of the opposite camp. All goes 
very smoothly for many pages of the work. A 
few traces of heresy may be detected about 
page 100. The passage deals with the relation ol 



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139 



ocgftn to iSidiTidiialy in oonneotion with tiie aooial 
fpdoies of ndiolairia that livo in oommimitieB. It 

is a sabject that Haeckel took up with great 
vigour later on, as we shall see. Here it affords 
him an opportunity to say a word about the 
general foaion of things in the world of life, in 
ODDontion to onr lisid divisionB in oUunifioeiidon. 
Qfgan and indiyidnal pass into eaoh other ivithoni 
any fixed limit. That, he says, is only a repetition 
of the relaticm of the plant to the animal. We 
cannot establish any fixed limitations between 
them. What we set up as snoh are only man's 
abatraotionB. In naiuie itaell we new find theae 
anbjeotiTe abatraot ideaa of limitation <*inoor* 
porated purely, hot alwaya fading away in gradual 
transitions ; here, again, the scale of organisation 
rises gradually from the simplest to the must 
complex, in a oontinuous development," How- 
ever, these are words that might haye been written 
by Sohleidan or Unger or Bronn before Darwin'a 
time. 

Yet there is something in the work that would 
have been a jet of ice-cold water to the Agassizs 
and Giebels. This brilliant new Extraordinary 
Professor of Zoology and Director of the 2iOO- 
logioal Mnaeom at Jena Vrnnaadfy" as it aaje 
on the title page, aooepta Darwin in a certain 
onambigaous passage late in the text. 

It is necessary to bring to light once more 
this passage, buried in a work that is not easily 
aooeaaible, an expensive technical work separated 
from oa by lour deoadee now. It ia worth doing 



HAECKEL 



8a, not only on aooonnt ot the cooxige it displaced 
at the time, bat also as * doemnent idating to the 

great controversy of the nineteenth century. It is 
found on pages 231 and 232, partly in the text, 
but for the most part in a note. Lnmediately 
after gtving the table of classification Haeekei goes 
on to say : I canaol leave this general aoeoont 
of the lelatioDahip of the vasions families of the 
radiolaria wii^oot drawing special attention to the 

numerous transitional forms that most intimately 
connect the different groups and make it difficult 
to separate them in classification, to some extent." 
It is interesting to note that in spite of onr veiy 
deleotiTe knowledge of theiadiolana it is neverthe- 
less possible to snange *^a fairly oontmnons chain of 
related forms." He would like to draw particular 
attention to this, because " the great theories that 
Charles Darwin has lately put forward, in his 
Origin of Bpedes in Uke Flant and Animal World 
hif Natural SMeetim^ or TJm PreservaUon of ih§ 
Improved Baces in the Struggle far Life, and which 
have opened out a new epoch for systematic 
biology, have given such importance to the 
question of the affinities of organisms and to 
proofs of continuous concatenation that even the 
smallest oontzibiition towaids the further sdntioa 
of these proUems must be welcome.'* He then 
endeavours in the text, without any more thee 
retical observations, practically to construct a 
''genealogical tree of the radiolaria," the first of 
a large number of such trees in the future. He 
takes as the piimitive ladioladan a simple tieUis* 



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DiA&WIK 141 

worked globule with centrifugal radiating needles, 
embodied in the HeliospJmra. " At the same 
time/' he says, charactehstiicaily, this doea not 
impl^ in the least that all the radiolacU must 
lum dBjeeaded from this piimitiTe foim ; I nwraly 
show thttt, M ft mattor of ^t, all lliMe vtezy 

varied forms may be derived from such a common 
fundamental type." In other words, once more^ 
it is concewahle- — a golden word even long after- 
wavdb. The first gen^ogical tree/' a tahle of 
the ralftted lamilies» tob^onilieBy and genaift of 
the ladiolarift,*' arranged in order tern the higher 
forms down, and connected with lines and brackets, 
comes next. The text deals thoroughly with the 
possibihty of descent. This closes the first and 
general part of the monograph. Bat there is a 
long nole at this point in the teit, whexe Darwin's 
title is eifced, that giyes ns his first appreoiation 
of Darwin in detail. It begins: I cannot refrain 
from expressing here the great admiration with 
which Darwin's able theory of the origin of species 
has inspired me. £e^eoially as this epoch-making 
work has for the most part been nnfavonrahly 
reoeiTed by eor Gecmsa profsisors of soienee» 
and seems in some cases to haye been entixefy 

misunderstood. Darwin himself desires his theory 
to be submitted to every possible test, and ' looks 
confidently to the young workers who will be 
pr^ared to examine both sides of the question 
impertially. Whoever leens to the view thftt 
species are ehangeaUe will do ftserriee to seienee 
by a conscientious statement of his conviction ; 



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143 



¥¥A1Bf!glBT. 



only in tiiat way can we get rid of the mountain 
of prejudice that at present covers the subject,* 
I skare this view entirely," Haeckei oontdnnes, 
**vaA an that aooount feel that I must exprees 
hexe my belief in ttie mntabilitj o£ q^eoieB and 
tihe teal geoeelogieal lelation of all organisms. 
Although I hesitate to accept Darwln*8 views and 
hypotheses to the full and to endorse the whole of 
his argument, I cannot but admire the earnest, 
floientifio attempt made in his work to explain all 
the phenomena of oiganio nainie on taxoad and 
oonrislent pxuusiplee and to Bnbstitato an in- 
telligible natural law for tmintelligible miracles. 
There may be TDore error than truth in Darwin's 
theory in its present form, as the first attempt 
' to deal with the subject. Undeniably important 
aa axe the principles of natoxal aeleotiony the 
struggle for life» the xelation of organisms to each 
other, the diyergence of oharaetera, and all the 

other principles employed by Darwin in support of 
his theory, it is, nevertheless, quite possible that 
there are just as many and important prinoipiee 
still quite unknown to us that have an eqnal or 
even greater infloenoe on the phenomena of organio 
natoxe. This is the fiist great attempt to con- 
struct a scientific, physiological theory of the 
development of organic life and to prove that the 
physiological laws and the chemical and physical 
foioes that rule in nature to-day must also have 
been at work in the world of yesteirdaj." Haeokel 
then refers to Bronn, the translator of the book. 
With Bronn he calls Dsfwin's theory the fertilised 



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DABWIN 



148 



egg from which the truth will gradually develop ; 
the pupa from which the loog-soaght natural law 
wUl emeige. And he oopdadeB; ^'The ohief 
defect d the Darwiniaa theoxy is that it throws 

no light on the origin of the primitiye organism— 
probably a simple cell— from which all the others 
havo descended. When Darwin assumes a special 
oreative aot for this first species, he is not oon- 
aistent and, I think, not quite sinoexs* fioweTer, 
apart from these and other defeots, Darwin's 
theory has the imdjing merit of bringing sense 
and reason into the whole subject of the relations 
of living things. When we remember how every 
great reform, every important advance, meets with 
a resistance in proportion to the depth of the 
prejudices and dogmas it assails, we shall not be 
surprised that Darwin's able theory has as yet met 
W'lth httle but hostility instead of its well-merited 
appreciation and test." There is yet no question 
of man and his origin. But what he says is very 
bold for the time ; and before a year is out we 
shall h i m drawing t he most dangerous con- 
dnsion of all. And it is loimd, not in a late page 
and note in a stout technical volume, but in 
the pitiless glare of the sunlight, in the most 
prominent position that could then be given to it 
in German soientifio coltoxe. 



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CHAPTEB V 



TBI WSMMTSWSO OOKOBIM 01 186S 

rihe fleoood deoftde of the aiaetottiih oeniary, 
Oken had inspired the formation of large 
public gatherings of German naturalists and 
physicians. Oken was one of the advanced 
thinkers who felt that all teohnical aciiMioe 
m the end only ptepAiaitoiy to the great 
woik of edaoatiiig the people. In hie opinioii 
the naturalist, even if he spent his whole life 
in investigating the filaments of plants or the 
limbs of inBeots, was a pioneer of culture. In 
any case theae gatherings were a very good 
piaotioal move at the time. In a time of temble 
reaotkiL on all eidee a feeling oame at last even 
to the reohiee of eenenoe tiiat, besidee the teohnioal 

value oi his work, it ought to do something 
towards lifting his fellows out of the rut they 
were falling into. They felt that if all ideals 
were going to be loeti the ultimate aim of 
special leeeanslh wonid perish with them. Oken 
took Txp a position of demooratio opposition. He 

was soon joined b}' Alexander von Humboldt, who, 
with the same feeling at heart, gave the work a 



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THB SCUSNXmC OONGBBSS OF 1803 146 

oerfcain polish of scientific and impartial dignity. 
There are features of his work that amuse us 
to-day, bat those were evil days, and every 
partiole of goodwill had to be appraoiatod. 
HoweraTi there was a eerioiis dilftoolty* 

The bolder elenMnte met in oongresses, and 
encouraged each other m the pursuit of their 
ideal. But it at once became clear in their 
public discussions that some of their purely 
aoientific diaooveries were dangerous and heretical 
in moh a peiiod d leaotion. Tbm or that bad 
hitherto been buried innnoently in SGieotifio mono- 
graphs, quite unknown to the crowd, and the 
author might be a royal councillor, receive decora- 
tions, and almost be an elder of the Church. 
Suddenly, by means of these assemblies, the sin- 
fnlneew of idl this lose about snaili or inseots or 
vertebrates was broo^t to light and pat before 
the piolane pnUie, and there was much angw. 
The whole of scientific research was full of secret 
plots, heresies, and bombs— against God, 

There was a most appalling illustration of this 
in the Scientifio OongresSi heldinSeptemberyl868* 
Kotbing is more amnsiiig to-day than to nm 
tbrongb the yellow and ahnost mihnown papers 
of the Congress. They are illuminating to some 
extent. An idea that belongs to humanity is 
openly brought into the debate for the first time. 
Ages lie behind this hour. We must grant all 
that savonis of boman oomedyi of triviality mm^ 
in snob an assembly, but after all we must see 
in it the swell and cla^ of great waves, iiaeckel 

10 



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U6 



HABCKEL 



spoke for the first time on Darwm's theory, at a 
spot from which the waves were bound to spread 
through ihe whole ecientific oultoxe of the land. 
YiiohoWy aftewBfds his hitter opponent, eapported 
him. All the deepest queetiims and oooBeqiienoeB 
of Darwhuim were mooted with the fint Tibnmt 
accents. It was a great and unforgettable hour. 

The lirst speaker at the Congress on the Sunday 
evemngy Beptember 19, 1863, was Haeckel. We 
mnBt remember the charm that attached to his 
peraon even ontwavdly, the direct oham that did 
not need any aUnaion to his growing repnte in 
zoology. It was the charm that had been felt 
by the simple folk of uncultured Italy, who had 
never heard even the>name of the science. Darwin 
was never a handsome man from the scsthetic 
point of view. When he wanted to sail with 
Boy, it waa a very near qneatton whether the 
splenetic captain would not reject him because 
he did not like his nose. His forehead had so 
striking a curve that Lombruso, the expert, could 
put him down as having the idiot-physiognomy '* 
in hie Gmim$ €md Jiuam^, At ttie time when 
he wrote the Otigm of 8p&oiei he had not the 
patriarchal beard that is ineeparable from hie 
image in our minds ; he was bald, and liis chin 
clean shaved. The prematurely bent form of the 
invalid could never have had much effect in such 
a place, no matter what respect was felt for him. 
Haeckdy yoong and handsome^ wis an embodi- 
ment id the mmt mma «» eorpore rnno. He roee 
above the grey heads of soiencei as the type of 



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THE SOIBNTIFIO OONQBESS OF 1863 U7 



the yoimg, fresh, brilliant generation. It was an 
opponent at tiiis Congress, who sharply attacked 
the new ideas, that spoke of the " colleague in 
the freshness of youth " who had brought forward 
the subject. He brought mth him the highest 
thing that a new idea can aaaodate with: the 
breath of a new generation, of a youth that greets 
ail new ideas vvith a smiling courage. Behind 
this was the thought of Darwin himself, a wave 
that swept away all dams. 

The speech was as dear as crystal, and is still 
nsefbl as an introdaction to the Darainian 
question. He at once strikes the greatest and the 
dominant note. Darwin means a new philosophy. 
All organisms descend from a few primitive forms, 
possibly from one ; and man is one of these 
organisms. What Darwin had merely hinted in 
his concluding passage, what the aged Bronn had 
ezdoded altogether from his translation as too 
dangerous, was now set forth emphatically in the 
very beginning of his speech. "As regards man 
himself, if we are consistent we must recognise 
his immediate anoeston in ape-hke mammals; 
earlier still in kangaroo-like marsnpials ; beyond 
these, in the secondary period, in lizard-like 
reptiles; and finally, at a yet earlier stage, the 
primary period, in lowly organised fishes.** 

There is something monumental in this passage, 
as in the previous confession of Darwinism in the 
Mono^aph on ^ BadioUiria. Others may have 
come to suoEkilar condnsions at the time on reading 
Darwin's woik. Here we have ttie prolsseian 



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WkEOKEL 



made at the peyohologiottl moment, a trompet- 

blast that sent its thrilling alarm from the 
threshold of a new age, for friend or foe to hear. 
The speech gives a slightly exaggerated account 
of the struggle that already existed. AH was in 
oonfoBien. Soienoe was bfeaJdng up into two 
oampB. On the one ride evolntian and progress, 
on the other the creation and immutability of 
species. Already there are distinguished leaders 
of science in favour of evolution. It is time to 
discuss the matter in foil puhlioity — and the thing 
is done. 

There was, let me say pazenthetically, on the 
Continent at least no question at tihat ^me ol 

this clear division, or even of a fierioiis agitation. 
It was partly this speech, together with Haeckel's 
next work, that was to bring it about. To the 
highest authorities the snbjeot seemed to be below 
the IsvA of disoQflrion. We mnst reoall a 
passage that the Professcnr of Zoology at GOttin- 

gen, Keferstein, had written a year before in the 
Gottinger GeUkrie Anzeiger. "It gives great 
satisfaction to the earnest soienti&o worker^" we 
ready ''to see a man like Agassiz, with an 
anthority based on the finest aocilogioal wodu, 
reject nnieservedly a theory [Darwin's] that 

would discredit the whole work of classifiers for 
a century, and to see that the views built up by 
several generations and the general consent of 
humanity hold a stronger position than the views 
of a single indi^doal, however eloquently th^ 
may be stated/* Tbm is no idea in this of two 



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DHB SGIBNTIFIO OONGBBBS OF 1863 149 



regular camps of scientists. Huraanity is adduced 
as the one paxtj ; against it stands the anarchist, 
tiyiiig to blow ap Che work of oentnrieBy DorwiiL 
Btit tihat gave no conoem to the yomig oiaior; 
ho Mw a whob docade of tuooeiB in tbs ftnl 

attack. 

He rolled off geology. Cuvier's theory of 
catastrophes, Linn^'s belief in the immatabiiity 
of spedea-^ll a purely theologioal oosmogony. 
The philosophicaL iheoiy of oroliition" lises 
behind it like a Ifene Tekel Pharshim. 

All living things, including those of past 
geological epochs, form one great genealogical tree. 
The word, the new leading word for zoology and 
botany, comes oat with a flash. What is the 
sjBtem that has been awaited so long? It is 
the genealogioal tree of life on our planet. Ite 
rooie lie deep in the remote past. ^'The thousands 
of green leaves on the tree that clothe the younger 
and fresher twigs, and differ in their height and 
breadth from the trunk, correspond to the living 
ipedes of animals and plants ; these are the moie 
adTanoed, the farther they are removed from the 
primeval stem. Hie withered and laded leaves, 

that we see on the older and dead twigs, represent 
the ruany extinct species that dwelt on the earth 
in earlier geological ages, and oome closer to the 
primeval shnple stem-fomi the moie remote they 
are from ns." 

This was the great new idea for aoienee to 
work upon. Paleontology, the scienoe of past 
life, found at last a oommon task with botany 



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150 HAECKSL 

and Boology. Haeckel's own programme for 

decades was unfolded. This phrase, too, was a 
birth-hour. In all the struggle that has followed 
fts io the ^'how" of evolution this figure of the 
tree with the verdant hranches as the new field 
of aoologiofti ttnd botuiioftl worky and the withered 
branbhes for the paleontologist, has never been 
abandoned. A symbol from the living world itself, 
the branching tree, had at last taken a decisive 
place in the science and the classitication of 
living things. With splendid clearness the speech 
then enumerates the Darwinian principles : vana- 
tion, heredity, the struggle for Itfe, seleotion, and 
adaptation. A vast duration is claimed for the 
geological epochs in the sense of Lyell; and it 
is pointed out that there is a progressive advance 
of forms thioogiioat these periods. Special stress 
is laid on the erer-adyancing) ever-nplifting 
element in evolution. Man is again introduced 
into the subjeot. He has "evolved'' from the 
brutalily of the animal. Language itself has been 
naturally developed." (What a shrewd per- 
spective in such a brief phrase! How the 
philologists would stare !) So the law ol 
advance'' traverses the whole field of culture. A 
fiery passage follows : " Reaction in political, 
social, moral, and scientific life, such as the 
selfish efforts of priests and despots have brought 
about at every period of history," cannot per- 
manently hinder this advance. The advance " 
is " a law of nature," and " neither the weapons 
of the tyrant nor the anathemas of the priest 



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THE SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS OF 1863 161 



oan ever rappma it." We liaftr again the older 
Sethe ihiindeniig his intzepid reply: *^Toa vnH 
haye to shoot the law first.*' 

At tiie close he glaaices brielly at the difficulties 
the theory presents. We must regard even the 
first heginuiugs of life as the outcome of 
evolution.'' Naturally. Darwin's God has no 
use for this prophet. Bat how shall we oonoeiTe 
it? Was the Hbmg that first developed from the 
inorganic a simple cell, such ii being as those 
that now exist in such numbers as independent 
heings on the ambiguous frontier of the animal 
and vegetal worlds ? " Or was it a partiole of 
plaam merely, '^like oertain amoshoid orgamsme 
that do not seem to have attained yet tiie 
organisation of a cell " ? Again the simple 
question contained a whole programme. 

Schleiden had first shown in 1838 that the 
body o£ any plant can be dissolved into tiny 
living oorpiuoles, whioh he called " cells," beoanse 
they often had the appearance of a filled honey- 
comb. A year later Schwann proved, in Johannes 
Muller's laboratory, that the higher animal also 
is a. product of these cells. The cell was re- 
cognised as the living unit that composed the 
oak and the rosOt the elephant and the worm. 
Man himself, in fine, was hot a pyramid of these 
cells— or, to speak more accurately (as ea<^ cell 
has its own lUe), an immense community of cells, 
a cell-state. 

Yirchow had, as we saw, laid the greatest stress 
on this last and most important deduction from 



152 HAECKEL 

the oeU-iheoiy a flhait time before* He looked 
Qpmi every individiiilmaaasfbmyvterioasidtara]^ 

— a plurality of cells. Pathology, the science of 
disease, must take account of this. Plealth was 
the harmonious co-operation of the oeii-state; 
diflease was the falling-away of sonie of the cells 
to apeoial work that injured or destroyed the whole 
oommnnity. This oonoeption had inangncated a 
new epoch in medicine, making it a consoiously 
ministering art in the service of the living human 
natural organism. The Darwinian had now the 
task of showing the validity ^his conception in 
hie own proTinoe. The genealogical tree of the 
ammals and plants mnst at onoe be drawn up in the 
form of a genealogical tree of the cell. The cells had 
combined to form higher and higher communities, 
and each higher species of animal or plant was in 
reality one of these social constraotions. But this 
comj^ezity was <»ily found in the npper bianohes. 
The lower we desoend, the simpler we find 
organisms. The lowest forms of life represent 
cruder, simpler, and more primitive cell- structures. 
And the final conclusion was that all the cell- 
ooQunonities or states must have been evolved 
bom onattaohdd individuals whose whole body 
consistod of a single oelL We eannot sfcrictly oall 
these lowesfc forms of lifo either animals or plants ; 
they can only be likened to the smgle cell. 
Though Haeokel himself did not know it at the 
time, ail his [pretty radiolaha at Messina belonged 
to this oategory. The whole swaim of bacilli and 
baoteiia fell into this wodd of the nniosUiilais.'' 



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lUE BCIENXmC OONGEESd OF 1863 153 



B^Mokel's words threw » brOMfloii light on the 

question. Not only the simplest forms of life are 
nnicellulars ; the primitive forms also were. With 
them b^an the colossal geuealogioal tree that 
branohefl oat through the millions of yam of the 
earth's history. If ai^jrthing on the earth has 
arisen by spontaneous genemMon out of dead 
matter, at the commenoement of all life, it must 
have been a cell, or a still simpler particle of 
livijQg plasm more or less resembling one. It is 
trae that the point is put in the form of a question ; 
bnt the veil has been torn away* Qiym one oelly 
tile whole genealogieal tree grows oiiy in ifirtne of 
Darwin's laws, until it reaches its highest point 
in man. 

The conclusion of the speech greets Darwin as 
the Newton of the organio worldy a phrase that 
has often been repeated since. 

« • • • ♦ 

Let us tarn over a few pages more in the faded 
record of the sitting. Fourteen years later he 
would speak again at a scientific confess, and 
speak on Darwinism. He would then put it 
forward no longer as a hi^ bnt a fnlfilment^ of 
whiidh he showed one Ottering faoel And no 
other than Bndolf "Virbhow, his fonneif teaefaer, 

would oppose him and deliver his famous speech 
on the freedom of science in the modern State 
and its abuse by Darwin's followers. This was 
at Monieh in 1877. The least of his hearers 
would remember that Yirohow had spoken, like 
HaefiM, at Stettin fwurtsm yesis pievioiislj. 



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m HAECKEL 

Bat m rnnrt nndenlMid tibe ifajity*axtli speech 
if we are to midentand the thirty-aeventh. 

It was the seoond sitting, on September 22nd. 
Virchow spoke on "the alleged materialism of 
modem science." The subject was not provoked 
by Haeckel, but by Sohleiden^ the botftmst^ the 
parent of the oeli-theoiy. The oontvaveny over 
materialism had zaged fuioiuly for many years. 
We need only mention Bftohner (whose Force and 
Matter appeared in 1865) and Carl Yogi. There 
was an element of necessity, but a good deal of 
superficiality in the controversy, as it was than 
oondnoted. Eziednoh Albert Lange has given ns 
a masteirly history of it. At this moment it was 
particularly instmctiye to point ont the difier^oe 
between general philosophical skirmishing with 
words and a really able piece of work that, though 
it had a technical look, suddenly added a new 
province to philosophy on which every doubting 
Thomas conld lay his hands. However, flfthleiden 
had not advanced. Cnzionsly enough, he, the 
first discoverer of the cell, attacked Virchow's 
theory of man as a cell-state as a typical materialist 
extravagance. 

He had published a heated essay, and Virchow 
defended himself. He gave mxh. a remarkable 
and oharaoteristio expression of his inmost feeUngs 
that it is worth while disinterring it. It is a very 
rare thing for a thoughtful man to give a natural 
philosophical speech that begins with crystalline 
clearness of logic and then makes a most ouiious 
$aUo martaU at the ciitioal point. 



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Ernst Hai-( kei., iS8o. 
Rcproductd (torn the Saturlicht Schdp/Mn^igeschichU. 



To fmce p. 154. 



I Google 



THE SCIENTIFIO C0N6EESS OF im 155 

He opens with a vigovoiis pioteet that there 

can be no quarrel about the materialism of science 
with the " spiritual " and the ''privately-orthodox." 
Such peo(de must regard all investigation of '' this 
world" as aimless. The only thing of value for 
ihem is ^^the neact world*'; the hest attitade 
towards this life is as erase an ignorance as 
possible, and so all science is worthless. The 
words are so sharp that he was interrupted and 
had to explain that he was not attacking anybody 
personally. He waa only speaking **with the 
candour of a scientific worker, who is in the hahit 
of calling things by their proper names.'* (At this 
point there was some applanse.) Hence he is not 
speaking of materialism, he says, on that account, 
bat because of certain objections from men of 
science, who said that philosophic speculation led 
ns ont of our way. flchleiden had branded the 
theory of man as a cell-state, the conception of 
man as, not an absolute, but a federal unity, as 
materialism. But this conception is not a philo- 
sophical theory at all ; it is a fact. It is a piece 
of scientiiic truth, like the law of gravitation. He 
recurred to the old and often-qnoted definition: 
the kmd d research that brings sncih facts to light 
has nothing ^ate^er to do with philosophy. On 
the other hand, ''materialism," in so far as it 
expresses a general theory of the world, is a 
philoaophy. Hence the simple investigation of 
&ots as such can neither be dubbed mateziahstic 
nor said to have a philosophic tinge. 
There are many dbjeotioaa to this striot 



m 



TTABClCELt 



ddimitation of the pmvinoeB ol the hmnaii mind, 
as Yirchow lays it down in the old style. It is 
true that materialism is a real philosophy, especially 
in the form current at the time and given to it by 
Yogt and Buchner. But it is a question wiieiher 
ire see, obeerve, or myestigaito at aU, if we oom** 
piMdyezdiidephiloeophy; whether ihephiloeophio 
thought can he really pumped out of even the most 
rigorous aud exact " observation of facts," like air 
in the air-pump ; whether there are any such 
things as purely objeotive ''iaots" in this sense 
in any human brain* And it is also a question 
whether the facts* however ohjeotiyely we regard 
ttiem, do not arrange ttemselves, when they are 

numerous, in logical series, which force us to draw 
conclusions as to the unknown by the very laws of 
probafailiiiy ; in other words, whether they do not 
always produoe a jphilosophy in the long run. 
However, theee questions axe all well within the 
pure atmosphere of soieaoe. It is Tirehovr's 
practical conolnsions that are interesting ; and he 
goes on to draw them freely. 

The man of science gives us no dogmatic 
philosophy of any kind, but facts. But for these 
faots lor the research leads to them he 
must have an ahtoht^tcly free path. No power can 
legitimately stand in his way that does not offer 
him more of what he regards as his palladium — 
facts. And, curiously enough, when we think of 
later events, the illustration that Yirchow takes 
in 1868 to enforoe this is^-4he Darwinism that 
HaeeU had just pat before them. 



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THE SCIENTIIIC GONGBBSS OF 1863 157 

Haeekel and Vivdhow were frieiidly ooDeagaes 
at the time. We ba^e already said that Haeekel 

"was Virchow*s assistant at Wiirtzburg. Kot only 
as a man, but especially as a scientist, Virchow 
was then (and long afterwards) greatly admired by 
him. The idea ci the oell-atate got into his 
blood; it waa one of the baaea on wbkh be built 
up ihe Darwimui theory. Though be bad ne'ver 

recognised tliia distinction between the mere 
investigation of facts and philosophic reflection 
on them, he respected Virchow as a master of 
methodologioal edneation. What was method " 
at the bottom but philoaopbyl Waa not the 
method that ezpremly ^collided "mmolee,'' that 

sought always the natural law and the causal 
connection and the continuous series, a 
''philosophy"? This was the only method 
taught midar Virchow as long as Haeokel worked 
mUh him. At the time the divergenoe ol their 
ideas was not shown more openly. The one 
called philosophy " what the other said was 
"the purely objective method of investigating 
the truth." The figure of Pilate rises up behind 
the dilemma with his question : ''What is troth?" 

HoweWy Vizdhow takes Darwinism by way of 
aa eiample of wbiob he approves, a point that 
to be established in the province of pure 
facts. In the Munich speech of 1877 there are 
polite references to " Herr Haeekel." As Herr 
Haeekel says." "As Herr Haeekel supposes." 
At Stettin we find Heir Haeekel deeonbed as 
«<my friend Haeokel/* with whom "I quite agree," 



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158 



HAEGKEL 



An, Haeokel bimaelf, by the way, wm ftill 
oon^oed — in his essay On ih$ QeneraUon of 

Waves in Living Particles — ^two years before the 
schismatic Council oi 1877 that Virchow iiad ha,d 
a decisive in£aezice on his own Darwinian career. 
"If I have oontribated anything myself in an 
elemeniaiy way to the hailding<-np of the idea of 
evoliition, I owe it for the most part to theoeUnlaar- 
biological views with which Yirchow's teaching 
penetrated me twenty years ago." " As Herr 
Haeckel supposes," was the cool repayment of 
this sincere ezpiession of gratitude. However, 
that is another matter. Let ns retom to Stettin. 
We leadi where '* my &iend Haeolral " oomes in, 
that he has shown how sdentific research (the 
pur© investigation of facts witliout the least 
tincture of pliilosophy) has gone on to deal with 
the great question of the creation of man." It 
is merely conceded that there axe still certain 
small outstanding difficulties, as, for instance, at 
the root of the genealogical tree. Aoeording to 
Darwin it is conceivable that there were four or 
five prnnitive forms of life. Haeckel is inclined 
to restrict them to a single stem-cell. It seems 
to him (Virchow) that there may have been a 
number of difierent beginnings of li^. We have 
here the opening of the oontroyersy as to the 
monophyletic (from one root only) or poljrphyletio 
(from several roots) development of life, which is 
still unsettled as far as the commeucement of hie 
is concerned, but a very secondaiy question. It 
would be w^ if there had never been any more 



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THB SGIBimilO C0NGBBS6 OF 1863 150 



serious difierence between Haeokel and Virohow. 
The speaker himself thinks it an unimportant 
maiftor beside the great question of freedom for 
flcientific inquiry. One thing is as dear to him 
as it is to Haeoksl. The bibiioal dogma of avsaMon 
has broken down. It is impossible to take senonsly 
any longer the breathing of the breath of Hie into 
a lump of clay, if these Darwinian ideas are Bound. 
Once it is fully proved that man descends irom 
the ape, no tradition in the world will ever 
sappzess the Sdentifio inqnizy alone cm 

eoneot itself. And what it holds to be established 
nrast be lespeoted beyond its frontiers as weH. 
"What does he mean by "beyond its frontiers"? 
He means, as he makes it clear here, the same as 
Haeckel himself. " Church and State/* he says, 
mnst " leoonoile themselTee to the faot that with 
the advanoe of sdence certain changes are bound 
to tske ^aoe in the general ideas and beliefs from 
which we build up our highest conceptions, and 
that no impediment must be put in the way of 
these changes ; in fact, the far-seeing Government 
and the open-minded Church will always assimilate 
these advanoing and dereloping ideas and maike 
them fmitfnl." 'What moie do we want 7 

If this were the conclusion of Yirchow's speech, 
it would be merely a conlirmation of Haeokel's — 
the kind of support that the older worker can give 
to ardent youth, though on different grounds. But 
the doven loot has still to pe^ ont. I believe 
tfaat> in the pore strags^e of ideas, we can determine 
here, in 1863, precisely the point where Virohow 



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160 



HAECKMi 



&lte»&]lB into ft ifaA that luw nniittwg jn oonuocion 
with the ideal draggle of the veaUy free and 

liberating thought of huinanity. We come to the 
great salto vwrtale^ which one must see from 1863 
onward iu order to imderakuid the Yirohow of 1877. 

The passage is the more interesting as it refers 
to one ol the ohief stages in the development of 
Haeekel^s mind. The ooneeption of man as a cell- 
state, established by Virchow in so masterly a 
fashion, involved a very curious conclusion. This 
conolasion, however we take it, came so close to 
the roots of eveiy philosophy that it justified 
Sohleiden to some extent when he protested that 
the whole oeUnrtate theory was a phibsophioal 
element. 

If the human body is composed of millions 
of ceils ; if all the processes and functions, the 
whole life of the body in Yizchow's sense, are 
merely the smn of the vital prooesses and fanotions 
of these milUons of indiTidoal cells; is not what 
we call the soul " really the prodnot of the 
milhons upon millions of separate Boula of these 
cells ? Is not man's soul merely the state-soul, 
the general spirit of this gigantic complex of 
tiny eell-sools? The lowest living things we 
spc^ of I which consist of a sinc^ cell, showed 
nnmistakafale signs of having a psychic life. 
There was nothing to prevent us from thinking 
that in the combination of these various cells 
into communities each of them brought with 
it its little psychic individuality. And just as 
the individnal bodies of the cells combined ez- 



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THE SCIENXmC CX)NGRESS Oh 1863 161 



iemaUy to fonn ilie new individual of the htmiaii 

body, so the cell-souls would enter into a spiritual 
combination to form the new psychic individuality 
of the human mind. I say there was nothing 
to prevent us from thinking this, in the line of 
dednoiiaiis from the plain principles of the oell- 
Btate theoiy which Vinshow claimed to be a naked 
"fact." Philosophically, however, an immense 
number of questions, problems, doubts, and hopes 
lurked behind it. The whole conception of indi- 
viduality took on a new aspect. First, in the 
material sense; the individual hmnan being 
seemed to be^ bodiJty, only the conneotmg bracket, 
as it were, d oonntless deeper individuals, ihe 

cells. But it was more significant on the spiritual 
side. The individual human soul could be ana- 
lysed into millions of smaller psychic individu- 
{Jities, the cell-sonls, of which it was the sum. 
The miified ego, the oonscioasness of self and 
unity of tiie psychic damp, *^man," remained 
as the connectiuii of all the cell-souls. A ray 
of light was thrown on the deep mystery of the 
origin of individuahties, material and spiritual. 
Haeckel devoted himself afterwards to the question 
with all his energy* But at the time it was 
Yiiohow wh0| unconsdouBly enough, started the 
great wave that welled up from the depths of 
his theory. 

He had marked out his path very clearly in 
the first part of his speech. Scientific research 
collects facts. It puts them before us without 
any reference to philosophy* The less philosophy 

11 



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162 



HAECKEL 



film IB in file inveflligalioiL of fftcte the better* 
Bat file o4her tida of fiie maftter is xu> power 

in heaven or on earth has anything to say as 
regards its work on things that it holds to be facts. 
The only possible logical conclusion from this, 
wilh reference to the question of the cell-soul, 
WM for the mTeetigator of faote to eej: Mwm in 
ligpeel of file psyohie lils we go oar way end 
look neither to right nor left, whatever oonclasions 
and assumptions the philosopher makes. Yirchow 
acted very diiierently. 

He first grants that this dissolution of man 
into a federal unity oi countless cells wmsi some- 
how affleot the ** unified soul." We are o om pelled 

to set up a plurality eren in fiie psyehio Hie/' 
He has reached the limit of his radicalism. We 
t^xpoct him to continue : Hence, as in the case 
of the Mosaic stoxy oi creation, of Darwinism, of 
the cell-theozy as a whole, so here we men of 
Boienoe go oar way uunoved; even if fiie whole 
of the teaching that has hitherto prevailed in 
philosophy and theology in regard to the soul 
breaks down, we simply go our way, and do 
not ask anybody's permission. This he does 
not do. Ta^e one step farther, he says, and 
we *^oan eaailiy helieve that it is neeessaiy to 
§sp^ up oar whole psyoUo life in this way and 
ascribe a soul to each individoal cell.*' Haeckel 
believed a little later that this was necessary; 
that the most rigorous logic compt lled uf? to 
do it. But, says Yirchow suddenly, we must 
protest most vigorously against this. This da- 



* 



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THE SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS OF 1863 m 

daelioit bam the odlmMe ihecnry raaeiieB a point 

where ''science is incompetent,*' namely, "the 
facts of consciousness." Taboo ! The path of 
ihe scientific inqoirer is barricarded. What follows 
mt8 on no soientific groiuidsy Imt is a sort of 
oonfoMion. Up lo Ihe pieseiil naiozal aoieiioe 
haa not be«a Mb to say anything as to the real 
nature, the locality, and the gronnd of oonseioas- 
ness. " Hence I have always said that it is 
wrong to refuse to recognise the peculiar character 
of these facts of consciousness that dominate 
our whole higher life, and to yield to the penonal 
oittving to bring these &otB of oonadonaDese into 
aooorfl with an iodependeDt soul, a spiritiial foroe^ 

and let the iudividual formulate his rid i^i^ious feeling 
accordiiiG^ to his conscience and disposiiion. That 
iS| I think, the point where science makes its com- 
piomisewith the GharoheByieoognising that this is 
a province that eaoh can mrtiy as he will, either 
pntfog his own intsiprataticm on it or accepting the 
traditional ideas ; and it must be sacred to others." 
The direction of the logic is clear enough. The 
apphcation of the cell-state theory to psychic life 
most lead to the problem of consciousness. Bat 
we mnsl not follow it, beeaose soienoe has nearer 
yet penetiated into tUs province. It is the pRk 
vinoe of peaceful compromise with the Ghnrohy*' 
and we must respect it. 

It seems to lue that the explanation is clear. 
The whole lield of conflict that Haeokel found 
wUhm the science of his time is openedont, thongh . 
Yitohow was hy no means disposed at that time to 



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m HAECKEL 

take DftTWiniBm as an example of the thing to be 
aToided, as he did at Mimioh fourteen years after- 
wards. The kind of scientific inquiry that Vir- 
ohow advocated is ^vhat was called " exact ** at a 
later period* It kept clear of all pMlosophical 
Bpeonlatibny and repeated over find over again that 
it was only oonoemed with faoie* It had, however, 
another oaxd to play— peaoe with the OhoioheB." 

Philosophy was shunned in order to leave a free 
field for the Churches to build in. Then the exact 
scientist took his hat and said, I am afraid I am 
inoompetent, and the philosopher is incompetent^ 
to do anything hexe; let the Ghnxoh take the 
vaoant chair, with my compliments. No philo- 
sophy : on this we wiU make war to the knife. This 
is a point where science makes its compromise 
with the Churches.** No one can understand 
Haeckers career who does not grasp this anti- 
thesis* The contrast between Haeckel and Yir- 
chow, known to all the world since 1877, is clearly 
indicated. Yirohow^s speech in 1877 is obscoxe. 
We must go back to 1863 to get beiimd the 
veil— the veil that hides Virchow, that is to s;iy, 
the most prominent representative of the hostility 
to Haeckel. We cannot nnderstand otherwise 
how this yawning gnlf came about between 
Haeckel's ideas and a sdiool that profeased to 
follow " exact ** research. Haeckel was building 
up a natural philosophy which, starting from the 
solid foundation of scieutihc research and its 
results, went on to further, and greater, and more 
far-reaching iesnes, that conld not be seen, but 



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I 



THE SCIENXmc; CONGK^bb OF 1863 165 



oonlcl be reached philoeophioally by more or lees 

happy deductions from the scientific data. It 
might or might not have lasting value in points of 
detail. He was suhjeot to the law of evolatioxi. 
He worked with analog7» and the things he corn- 
paced thereto were ever ohanging. Xb was all the 
same to him* Jn any oaee dawning glimmer 
of the perfect light broadened out and lit up 
vague outlines even in the cloud-wreathed un- 
known. The others worked in such a way as to | 
leave beeide them provinces of a virgin white- \ 
neeSy nnioudied by thought or logic. At tunes jt 
they dipped into these provincee^ and celebrated * 
tiieir reconcUiation-festaval with " the Churches." . 
The layman coutiuued to think that the Churches ' 
Wielded an absolute authority ; that the scientist, 
abandoning his natural philosophy, came to pay 
ihem tribute. This dtoation has done infinite 
mischief, more than the wildest and even obviooaly 
perrerse philosophy ever did. It put the edentist 

in the position of a tolerated vassal in the world of 
thought — the world that the Churches had held in 
chains for ages. Woe to the man who ventured 
to discuss conscionsnees " I Not because science 
had bat the slender proportions of a pioneer in that 
field, and because there was a danger of it making 
great mistakes with its natural philosophy. No, 
but because the white neutral field began her© that 
we had agreed to respect — we " exact " scientists 
and the Churches.*' This was the real reason 
why Yirofaow and so many gthen who advooated 
the striot investigation of facts had foif cited the 



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UABCKM* 



right to oppose HaeckePs bolder natural philosophy 
and its conclusion — will have forfeited the right, at 
least, in the judgment of a future and more im- 
partial generation. They did not oppose him on 
the iiiiM of an equal seal for the irafth, hat on mnoh 
lower and reaotionary lines. Their ooneemwaa not 
for the absolute triumph of truth, but for a com- 
promise with certain forces in public life whose 
supremacy was not grounded on logip bat on 
inherited external power. It reqnixed a oertaan 
aminnnt nf <ili>l<iffnatiio thzewdnefls to enter into this 
oompromifle, in ^iew of thepraotioal power of theee 
foroes. Haeckel never had this " shrewdness.** 
We gran I that. But it is certainly a confusion of 
all standards when the shrewdness of the individual 
triee to entrench itself behind oetensible claims of 
edentifio method; when teeeuoh abandona all 
advance on oertain ddes on the plea of " exact- 
ness " instead of philosophising — and then itself 
makes use of this exactness for compromising with 
an ecclesiastical tradition that only diiiers from 
real philosophy in its antiquity and rigidify, ita dia- 
dain of rational aigament> and its employment of 
ieoolar weapons that oertain histoiioal 
have put in its hand without any merit on its 
own part. 

The darkest cloud that hung menacingly on the 
horiwm of Darwinism came from this quarter. At 
the moment we iie dealing with it did not caoae 
mnoh concern. TUs eariy Darwinism thrilled 

with optimism as with the magic of spring. 
Haeckel had to speak once more in the course of 



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THE SCIENTIFIC COiSGBESS OF 1863 167 



the Oongreis. The geologist, Otto Volger, mede a 
polite but energetic protest ageinst the new theory 

in the iiiia,! sitting. It was a curious councclioii of 
tilings that brought Volprer into such a position. 

Yolger is the man who saved for Germany the 
yenerable Goethe^honse at Fraokfort^-the-Main. 
The Free Qenxum Chapter leoeiTsd it from him 
as a gift. The action has nothing to do with 
geology, but it stands in the annals of cnlture. 
Thus th(3 sliadow of Goethe came to Stettin, to be 
present at the open hirth of Genxum Darwinism — 
GoethOt who had onoe stood on the Teiy bnnk of 
the evdutioiiaiy ideas. And the man who brought 
him was a geologist who felt numd to attaok the 

ideas of Darwin aud ilaeckel f 

No part of became in the succeeding 

decades so fruitful for Darwinistic purposes as 
geology. It might very well be called a continuous 
acgumeDt for Darwin; from the little slab of 
6olenholen Jmrassio sohist that yielded, in 1861, 
the iirst impression of the circheopteryx, the 
real connecting link between the lizard and the 
bird, to the incomparable discoveries oi Othniel 
Marsh, Cope, and Amej^ino in America, which 
pot whole seotioiis of the genealogioal tree of the 
mammals befoie ns, on to the sknll and thigh- 
bone of the ape-man (pithecanthropus) of Java, 
found by Eugcn Dubois, which brings so vividly 
home to us the transition from the gibbon to man. 
Bat, as if it had been soared away by the new idea 
of erolotion and its demand lor proof, the most 
and the best of this material was not forthcoming 



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I 



168 HAEGKEL 

outil after Darwin was pretty Urmly established 
everywhere. At the earlier date we are dealing 
with it was quite possible for a geologist to play 
the soeptio with a shadow of jnstifioation. We 

need not go into the point to-day. It is ancicnt 
history. But there is an incidental point in 
Yolger's oriticism and the reply it provoked from 
Haeckel that oalls for notioe. 

Yolger declared that Darwinism in general was 
an unsupported hypothesis, bat he made a oon- 

cessiou. The species of animals aud plants need 
not be absolutely unchangeable. The only thing 
that is impossible is a continuous upward direction 
in evolution. All the gronps of living thingSi even 
the highest, may have been present together £rom 
the earliest days. Local changes in the distribn* 

tiun of lanel ruicl water, cV:c.j must have brought 
about a certain amount of variation in life-forms. 
But after briei divergences all would return to the 
original type. The proper symbol of the story of 
life is the wave that rises ont of the sea and sinks 
back into it. There was no snch thing as a 
steady advance, a wave that never sank back 
into the water. The real image of human life 
is the analogy of its obvious development : youth, 
matohty, then old age and bade once more. The 
speaker nrged in plausible terms that this concep- 
tion retained the idea of an '^eternal becoming/' 
which is better than a rigid fulfilment. As if an 
eternally advancing evolution did not include this 
''eternal becoming." Haeckel spoke immediately 
after Yolger. He not only attacked the weak 



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THE SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS OF im 169 



points of the geologist, but went on to the deeper 
philosophic question. The notion of a perennial 
circular movement " is " inconsistent with all 
the facts of human history.'* If we appeal to 
sentiment, I must say that this circular theory 
has no attraction for me» whereas the Darwinian 
idea of a progressive evolution seems the only one 
consistent with the nature of man." The story 
of the animals and plants is subject to "the law 
of progress '* just as much as human history. 

In these words of Haeckel*8 we have a clear 
indication of the optimistic temper of Darwinism 
at the time. They tonch a question of fimda- 
mental importance for the value of the new theory: 
the question whether, in spite of all it destroyed, 
in spite of its disseverance fiom the idea of God, 
it brought with it a new ground of oonciliationi 
a conviction of the ever-advancing growth of the 
wodd and ever greater achievements f Gk>d was 
replaced by natural law. There was no longer 
any " design " beyond fche simple and unchang- 
ing course of natural laws. Well, what were 
these natural laws going to do for us? Were 
they giving us a wodd that would become more 
and more harmonious, that was on the whole an 
advancing organism, that would be an increasing 
embodiment of Gt)d — the God within nature, not 
without, God at the end of things, after aeons of 
worlds that seemed to break up like the indivi- 
dual in the struggle for existence^ yet were eternal 
in the mighty essence thai was tossed on isom 
world to worid like a gram of dust and was 



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170 



UAECKKL 



made the stftrimg-poliit of inffaEiiMj new and 

more complex iiiovcincntii ? Or — was the work 
of these natural laws but a ceaseless poking and 
thrastuag and bubble-blowing without any mnar 
meaning? Was it the play of waves that xise 
and fall, and rise and fall again, in the ooean, 
an eternal melting into smoke and nothingness? 
Was the whole of "evohiiion" an absuhitely 
meaningless play of innumerable tendencies, not 
one of which would ever oome to anything? 

This note also was found in the first melody. 
Something woold have been laddng if it had 
not been stmok. Here again there conld be a 
parting of ways, not only in the crowd, but 
amongst the thoughtful. The whole stnrsfs^le of 
optimism and pessimism might be dragged in. 
At all events, the problem was bound to be 
pointed oat from the start. 

When Yolger, not a bad opponent at the bottom, 
and Haeckel had made their speeches, indicating 
at once certain lasting antitheses within the 
subtle philosophy of Darwinism, Yirchow doses 
the debates and the Oongreas with a nuNtt 
dangeroiiiB blessing. In essentiala he is onoe more 
on the side of Haeekel. He suggeets that geology 
should be allowed to mature a little before linaJ 
judgment is passed. The strongest evidence for 
eYolution is found in embryology (the science of 
the embfyonio forms and uterine development of 
living speoiee of anunala). The piopheoy was 
fotfiOed, if ever prophecy was, and in Haeokel'a 
own most particular field of work. But, in fine — 



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THE SCIBNTIFIC CONGEESS OW im 171 

he returns to his point — the main thing is ihe 
"pnrsnit of truth.'* And since "the most earnest; 
ecclesiastical teachers" declared that ^^God is 
truth,'* he ooald not do better than close with a 
reminder (I qaote bim verbaUm) of ^^the com- 
promige that may be effected between edence and 
the Church.** Translated into plain language, 
that means : My dear children, fight it out as you 
will, but respect the Church always as the main 
thing, and yon will do well, however mnch yon 
differ. Dhns dosed thii wimarkahle Sdentific 
Gongre6a--a8 qnietly as a bomb that smokes noise- 
lessly, like a whiff from a tobacco pipe. But one 
day it will burst. 



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CHAPTEE VI 



THS speech at ihe Soieniifio GongzeBS in 1868 
was the first open confession that Haeckel 
felt bound to make. But the real work for the 
new ideas began on his return to Jena. Nothing 
was further from Haeokel's thoughts at that time 
than the idea of beoomiiig merely the populaiiser 
of Darwinism in Oermany. He has ofton been 
spoken of since in lay circles as such. It is en- 
tirely wrong. He had the courage to recognise 
his debt whenever he contracted one ; and cer- 
tainly Darwin supplied the groundwork of his 
colonr<*8Qheme. But he was muoh too independent 
and individnal in his natoze not to take the axe 
in his own hand at once and begin to hew away 
himself. 

Darwin had strengthened his book with a large 

amount of the test material that aoology and 

botany ooold sapj^y. But there was something 

else to be done: a theoretical treatment of a 

general character with dcTerly grouped iUnstra* 

m 



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THE ••GENERAL MORPHOLOaT" 173 



tions from the facts already provided by two 
sciences, and to reconstruct these sciences from 
their foundations on the basis of the new theory. 
At that time HaeokeJ was dsang an incrediUe 
amoimt of work, with body and xnmd. He had 
an iron constitution. In the year of the Stettin 
speech he won a laurel crown at the Leipsic . 
athletic festival for the long jump, with a leap of 
twenty feet. His physical strength seemed so 
ixMzhauBfcible that hia boat, Engelmann, put a 
ptdt of heavy mm dnmb^bella in his bed, in ease 
he should want to take exercise during the night. 
He had a proportionate strength of mind. Every- 
thing seemed to promise very well for the next 
few years, so that he ooold devote his whole health 
and stiength to the great task oi his life. His 
teaohing did not give him vary mnoh tronUe in 
a small university like Jena, that was only just 
beginning to have a scientific name. The happi- 
ness of his home life, with a highly gifted woman 
who shared all his ideas with the freshness of 
youth, began to ohain the restless wanderer with 
pleasant bonds to his plaee. He, of oonrse, ex- 
pected to have his sea-holiday in the old way for 
the study of his little marine treasures, but other- 
wise he remained quietly in the valley of the Saale. 
The warmth of genial and most stimulating 
friendships gattiered about his life. With iiis 
oomfortable material position he set to work 
on his great task nnder the best anspioes. 

He would have had at the start material enough 
to work upon without Darwin. From MiUler's 



174 



HAECKEL 



hB fftfll had anothfir tpMud tiltm of mateialf 

similar to the radiolaria, the mednssB. 

The ahip cuts through the ocean. It riseB like 
a lofty fortress from the iUimitable blue plain, 
wiih the wliito clouds on the horizon. No 
land haa been in sight tor daya. Teiteday a poor 
windoboma bntiorfly realed on iha deok. To-day 
it is gone^ and all is sea. Then they suddenly 
appear silently in the blue mirror : mysterious 
discs, red as the auemones on a Boman meadow 
in ipiing, goldan as the autumn leaves on a dark 
pood in pttky thon bluSf Hka a V g^^ fr f* hliio 
floating on the ganml aauze. They are the me- 
du8». At one time the sails Qirough a whole 
swarm of them — thousands, hundreds of thousands, 
millions, a veritable njilky way of coloured stars. 
On the next day they have ail gone. No inhabi- 
tant of the ocean Beema to be so doee to it aa 
tbia eraatnre. The whok animal is only a shade 
more substantial than the water. Ton take it ont, 
and try to catch hold of it. It stmgs your hand 
like a nettle: that is its one weapon. But it is 
already destroyed, melted away, a foxmless uothiu^. 
Yon pat it on a piaoe ol Uotting-paper, and it 
dries op into the speotal ontUna of a shadow, a 
tiny lat-spot," snmnMiry <tf its whde eoristenoe. 

Yet this soap-bubble of the water is a real 
animal. Its transparent body is shaped like a bell, 
and J2U)ve8 through the water by regular contrac- 
tion and expansion, like the lung in breathing. 
Where the olapper of the bell should be, we find 
a sfcomaoliy with a month for eating, hanging down 



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THB ''GBNEBAL MOKPHOLOaY** 175 



from the curved upper part. At the edge of the 
curved surface are many long fibrils that close on 
the approaobing prey and paralyse it by their 
■ting. Then it thrasts it into its mouth and 
iwaUowt ihft objeol into the ttomaoh. Tha 
medusa is, a! oowse, a vety lowly ereatiire, but 
it is much more advanced in organisation than 
the tiny radiolarian. The radiolarian consists of a 
Bingie cell. The medusa is a ceil>state) a oommu- 
mtj of coimkleis oells with a division of laboor 
amongit them. Soma ol the oeUs iom the wall 
of the bell, some the stinging flueads, some the 
devouring and digesting stomach. In this the 
medusa comes nearer to man than the radiolarian. 
Some of the ceils see to the reproduction oi the 
mednsa. Ova and spermatozoa are detached from 
the oell«oonimimify of the medusa's body, blsod 
together, and thus fonn the germ of a new 
medusa. In most eases the process is eorions 
enough. Prom the germ-cell we get at first, not 
a real medusa, but a polyp that attaches itself to 
the ground, a little oxeatore that may be remotely 
compared to the pretty water^-lUies that meet the 
eye in an aqnarinm. Then the polyp prodnees 
SOTiething like a plant that grows buds, the real 
medusae ; it may produce these out of its sub- 
stance as buds, and they then float away like 
detached fiowecs, or (in other species) it may 
gradually ohange itself into a ehain of mednsg, 
of whioh the uppennost is detadied flnrt» then the 
next, and so on. 

Since this peculiar method oi leproductioii 



170 



HAECKEL 



beoame known, in ttie thirlieB or forties, the 

medusa) were regarded as amongst the most 
interesting objects in the whole of zoology. They 
of ered an extremely difficult taak to the investi- 
gator who would cm to take np the atndy of 
them. 

When Haeokel wa« with Johannes Muller in 

Heligoland in 1854 he made acquaintance with 
them for the first time. His artistic eye was 
caught with their beauty, aa it was afterwarda 
with the radiolaria* Never shall I foiget," lie 
aaya, ^'the delicti with whioh» aa a atadent ot 
twenty yeara I gaaed on the first Tiara and Irene 
[species of medus®] , and the lirst Ghnjsaora and 
Cyavm^ and endeavoured to reproduce their 
beautiful forms and colours/' His predilection 
for the medoatd never disappeared. At Nice 
in 1806 he met them again in the Meditenaneen. 
Gegenbanr's 8heUih of a OUusifieatim of ihe Me^ 

duscB provided studies with a starting-point, 
just as ^Tuller's writiiigs did afterwards for the 
radiolana. At Naples and Messina he completed 
hia mastery of them. When he had done with 
the sadiobria for tiie time after pnbliahing the great 
monograph of 1802, the next taak that loomed np 
on his hurizQn was the need for a " monograph on 
the luediisap." It would be a long time, however, 
before he could complete the work in any fulness. 
A work of Agassis that purported to do it, but, in 
hia opinion, only eonfoaed the anbjeot— he dialiked 
both the Agaealtw, fattier and son, and the fattier 
became one of his bitterest opponents on the 



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THE "GENERAL MOBPHOLOGY** 177 



Darwmian qimtion-^gftye him a negatdve impube 

to the study. He thought it would be best to 
deal with one family of the medusae after another 
m separate uxouograpiis, as tixne pci mitted. The 
first of these essays appeared in 1864 and 1865, 
and dealt with what aie known as the " snouted- 
medii8»" (ger^onida). The first Yolmne of tiie 
complete work was not published until fourteen 
years afterwards. If Haeckel had decided to work 
as a specialist he would have had material enough 
here to occnpy him ioliy throughout the whole 

even longer. The keen student 
of the radiolaria would be succeeded by the equally 
kiien student of the modusse. More folio volumes 
would have accumulated, with beautiful plates, 
such as only the technical student oi zoology ever 
takes out of the library. His name, like that of 
his friend Gegenbaur almost, would never have 
reached the crowd. 

It was the influence of Darwin that prevented 
this. His attention was turned in another direction, 
and we begin to reahse the fuU greatness of his 
power when we remember that he nevertheless 
continued with unfailiTig qualify to publish such 
detailed studies as those on the meduse. 

Darwinian ideas were fermenting intensely in 
his mind at that time. The most audacious prac- 
tical and theoretical problems arose from the 
fundamental theory, and forced themselves on him 
at every moment. A great deal was sketohed in 
outline in the Stettkt speech, but the serious 
scientifio work would have to be begun on his 

12 



178 



nlnm to imm, in Us mw. Kifl» lie 

Iwo feAtoKM of Duwin^fl lyBtom masii be givm a 

completely new and original complexion. Firstly, 
the bottom of the tree, where life begins. Secondly, 
iha crown ol all tarreatrial evolution : isha manoex 
in which man is ooimeoled with the tree. It wss 
bis philoeophie vein tiiai seftUed bolh pointed the 
filiiloeophy of unity the* Bought to replaoe God by 
natural development, both below and above , in 
regard to the primitive cell and in regard to man. 
jBufe the way in which he set about it was very far 
lemofed Iran all conventional philosoptiy* The 
whole ngonr ol his pgofessioiisl aoology foond 
ezpiession in it. And that was veally the novelty 
of it. The same conclngions might have been 
drawn by any dozen ordmary phjlusophers, once 
they got on the right track. Even they could see 
that, if two and two are four, one and one eve two» 
and three times three nine. Haeekel went veiy 
difierently, and much moie prafoandly) to woik. 

As an old pupil of Virchow's he applies the cell- 
theory to Darwinism — in the lower stage. The 
first living things, the roots of the great tree of 
life, oonnsted of a single celL The logic of the 
oell-theoiy iteell went ss far as this* Bnt is the 
individnsl cell the simidest of all Uving fonns? 
Here there was a long-standing oontzorersy as to 
definitions. At first the ceil was regarded literally 
as a kind of chamber, like the c ell in the honey- 
comb. Then it was found that the jeUy-lilWy 
mobile matter within the oeU-chamber was the 
ssnential element, the Tahicle ol life. Finallyy it 



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Ernst Haf.ckei., 1890. 
From a rtlitf-portrait modelled by Kopf, of Rome. 



To fact p. 178. 



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TH£ '*a£N£BAL MO&PHOLOGY 179 



was possible to conceive this slimy snbstance with- 
out any firm membrane, without a chamber. In- 
side it, however, there was always (it was tb60 
thon^^t) a thiok and havd substance, the niioleiuk 
If ft ft*! was the fan^^TOff n i tJ and only reaUy sstsn^ 
tial Imrm, tiie Darwinian pnmitiTS and initial type 
of all terrestrial life must have been a similar 
drop of livinci: matter with a sohd central nucleus^ 
a nucleated individual cell. 

How ooald we pass from this primitive cell to 
ttia inocganio," the lifeless," the ''dead," the 
mdinaiy matter of stone, nusial, and 073rBtal? 
Haeokel believed that it was possible to make a 
step in that direction — ^not theoretically and philo- 
sophically, but practically — by showing that there 
weie still living things on the earth that did not 
come np to the definition of a true eell, tiiingii that 
had not yet a nnolens in their soft gelatinons body. 
He discovered a number of tiny creatores that had 
a homogeneous particle of livmg matter for body, 
and showed no trace of a nucleus. The nucleus 
seemed to be the first beginning of an organ. It 
wse altogether wanting in them. 

To these moat primitlTe of all lining things he 
gave the name of monera^ or the absolntely 

simple." 

In these investigations it is very diflficnlt to 
determine whether one of these tiny drops dt plasm 
has % more or lees transpaient nnelene or not. It 
has often been affirmed in later years that these 
monera of Haeokel's did not oorrespond to their 
description as hvmg thm^s without a nucleus, or 



ISO HAEGKEL 

creatures that were below the level of the true cell. 
It is, at all events, certain that there are to-day 
large numbers of the imicelliilar beings known as 
the baotoina in whioh no nodenB hiiB yet been dia* 
ooveied by the most soeptioal Thomas with the 
most powerful miorosoopes and best tedmioal 
appliances of our tune. It is the same with the 
chromacea (chroocDcci, oscillaria, nosfcoc-alg*), 
very lowly |)riinitiv6 plants whose whole body oon- 
Bists of a globide or gnuinle of Uiing plaam. How- 
ever, here again tiie qnestion is no longer of the 
first importanoe, now that evolntion is entirely 
and generally accepted. At the time we are dis- 
cussing the method chosen was all-important. 
Haeckel drew no conclusions without a solid basis. 
He believed he eonld give ocular proof of the 
existence of beings that were below the level of Uie 
cell. It was dear, at all events, that research in 
this department was only in its beginning, ^lud 
could pour out wonder after wonder before the 
world recovered from its first fnght over Dar- 
winism. 

Then there was the other end of the system — 
man. Here again it was not merely a question of 

concluding on philosophic grounds that man mud 
have descended from the lower animals. Huxley 
had dealt in fkigland with the question of man 
and the ape on the strict Hnes of zoology. He 
came to the important oondnsion that man difiem 
lea soologioally from the highest apes, the gorilla 
and chimpanzee, than they do from the lowest apes. 
He proved his point by a technical study of skulls 



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THB «*aBNERAL MOBPHOLOGY*' 181 

and brains, not from ab^^tract philosophical prin- 
ciples. It could be demonstrated in the nmseum 
or zoological institute to any student with some 
knowledge of anatomy as easily as the esdstenoe 
and position of any paddcnlar bone in the skeleton. 
Haeokel went even farther. 

He constructed a genealogical tree stretching far 
below the apes. Next to them came tb(; lemurs. 
The lemur, the ghostly nocturnal inhabitant of 
Madag»8oar, oame from the Australian macsnpial 
QDlngaroo^ Ao.). The marsnpial oame bom the 
dnok-bill ; the dnok-bHl from the fiaard ; the lusaid 
from the salamander ; the salamander from the 
dipneust or mud-fish ; this from the sturgeon or the 
shark, and the shark from the lamprey. Below 
the lamprey, at the lowest limit of the Tertebrate 
kingdom, was the amphioms (or lanoelet). This 
mnst haTe oome from the worm — ^it was not at all 
clear how, at that time. Aiid so the series ran on 
down to the unicellular protozoa, the amoebae and 
the monera. 

The oonstmotion of this tree would have been 
impossible for one who had not already done 
gigantio work. The whole of the new system of 

animals and plants, conceived in the form of a 
genealogical tree, had first to be sketched in outline. 
Then the narrower thread that led up to man, the 
Anadne-thread of God-Natore, would gradually 
oome to light. 

Both ends of the system, the lower one in the 
monera, the upper one in man, were first 
thoroughly treated by him in lb6d, and in part 



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m 



HAECKEL 



Bomewhftt later. Hit «Kliaii8tiTe Mcmgrcuph <m 

tJie Momra was not published until 1868. Man's 
genealogical tree was privatoly circulated at Jena 
in two esaftys in October and NoTember 1865. 
Tbey were pnbHshed in the Yirohow-Holtzendorff 
ooUeetioii in 1868 The Origiii and Qttaakgioal 
Tree of the Human Baoe'*). Bnl in bo4h oaees 
the substance of the work, as an accumulation 
of facts, is much older. And this work was, of 
coarse, only possible in connection with a number 
of further oonclusions : in regard to spontaneous 
aiHWflfw daniTi- IiIa and doftth_ the orvsibal end the 
oeU, tiie malhematioal form of oiganinns, the 
nature and limits of individuality, the method of 
research, the new natural piuiosophy, God, and 
80 on. 

It was an enonnoiie programme, with a Paca- 
diaaie fieehneBa. B wything was new and great ; 
and all came from one brain. There was only 

one man with whom he discussed hie ideas as 
they formed, Carl Gegenbaur, who has undoubtedly 
had a great, if unconscious, influence on them. 
Haeckal'fl grateful reoognition of Gegenbaor's help 
in later yearn was eadleea and touching. ^* Then 
it wae," he writes to him a litUe later, " that led 
me to begin my academic teaching at our beloved 
Jena six years ago, at tlie Tlmringian university 
in the heart of Germany, that has, like a beatuig 
heart, sent out its living waves of freedom and 

mind over Germany lor three hondred | 
yean. At this nnnery of Genaan philosophy and 
science, under the protection of a free State whose 



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THE "QBNBRAL MORPHOLOaY ISS 



fmotif nim ever gat« * irfoge to fiee qpaeoh 
Aiid hstve linked thoir ^a"^ lor 0vcv with ths 
lefonn iiMy?<emeiit, golden age ol Gbrmiia 

poeti-y, I was able to work in aasooiation with thee. 
Here we built up our common structure of science 
in the liappiest diviaioxi of labour, teaching and 
learning ooididly from each otheri in the my 
toome in ifbUk Ooetha began hie stodiee of * the 
morphology of organieme' e helf-eentory before, 
and partly with the same scientific means, the germs 
of comparative and philosophic' science that lie 
had scattered. We have shared with each otiier as 
brothers the happiness and the sorrow that oame 
in the hard straggle lor Ule, and our soientiflo 
efforts ha?0 been so intimately blended and so 
mutually helpful, through our daily workinij^ and 
talkni;^^ together, that it would have been impossible 
for ^ther of us to determine the particular share 
of eaoh in oar spiritnal oommnnism. I oan only 
say in a general way that the little my restless and 
impulsive yonth oonld offer thee here and there 
is out of all proportion to the enormous amount I 
have received from thee, eight years my senior, a 
more experienced and mature man." 

Goethe stood behind the iiiends as the quiet 
ffemuB loci, giving his blessing to all who worked 
in his spirit on ihe old spot. Nor was the plaoe 
itself without inHuence. Much," Haeckei writes, 
•'may have been even the outcome of the common 
uplifting enjoyment of nature that was afforded as 
by the artistic lines of the Jena hills, as thsy 
brought before as onoe more at sunset the magio 



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HAECKEL 



of tile CftlabiiAii lyiimntMiifl hw tbA col(nir-hfinDOiiv 
of fhdir pnrple and gold bankB of doad and their 
violet shadows." 

** What are the hopes, what are the plans, that 
man, the creature of a day, builds up ? " 

The words were written by a poet, in his fatal 
iUness, at the spot whore the two stnmg sprits 
now woiked. In the midst of all his hopes and 
plans Haeokel was straok hj a Niobe-shaft. On 
JFebruary 16th, 1864, just on his thirtieth birth- 
day, his wife, only in her twenty-ninth year, in the 
loll force oi mind and ol love, suooombed to blood- 
poisoning. 

I tnm to the thick vdnme of Haecfcel's Ham* 
graph cn the Medm$a. Part I. : " System of the 
Medusce : " with an atlas of forty beautiful plates : 
published by G-ustav Fischer, of Jena, in 1879, 
Few people except 2ooiogistB with a technical 
interest in it have ever opened this Tolnminoos 
work— why should they f It is a heavy work, with 
dry diagnoses. The anthor seems to be far away 
from all general questions, if ever he was, in the 
utter stillness of his study. This pure accumula- 
tion of matter for truth's sake does not reaoh the 
ear of the world. It lays np material for remote 
days, before which the individnal fades away; it is 
merely catalogued material of the most technical 
character. Yet, as I turn over the pages, I 
seem to see a little image from time to time 
that is almo&t like the rose-red or golden-brown 
medusa in the sterile, inimitable ocean. In tmth 
neither ocean nor book is sterile ; but they are grey 



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THB *«a£NSBAL MOBPHOLOGY ' ia5 



and broad. And just as the swimming medusa 
gladdens me in the one, so a little personal trait 
of the author does in the other. It is in the ohoioe 
of the Latin names. A littte crown is woven 
thAtmiitee sBskhetioB iMid soienoe. I find splendid 
oamee, fii?eiited hy the Ptofessor, on all sides. 
But I notioe that his heart was in these things. 
He has discovered new species of medus®, and 
must christen them. As he turns over his Latin 
or Greek lexicon a ray of humanity steals into the 
most severe sdentifU) soul at such moments* I 
read thai a disoo^mednsa is called the Nausicaa 
phaacum : I observed the Naunecta phmacum 
in April, 1877, at Corfu, on the shore of Phaeaoa, 
in the heart of the Nausicaa." A cyaneid is given 
the fine name of the Melimna formosa. It is 
noted^ with great regxet» that so fine and dassio 
a name for a medusa" as Oeeama must be stmdk 
out on scientific gronnds. Amongst descriptions 
of species in a severe scientific tongue that 
unnerves the timid reader, amongst gonodf?, st) les, 
*perradial bundles of tentacles, and oeellar bulbs, 
we find, qpnqpoiof the medusa, Li$uria EHiobetka : 
**Ab Forbes dedicated the prettj genns LiaM 
hhndma to a * blond Elisabeth/ I do the same, 
and wish to honour, not only St. Eli^^aboth of 
Thuriugia, but also the 'blond Elizabeth* of 
Immermann and my own dear daughter Elisa- 
beth/' 

Then, in the middle of the large irolmne, we 
find the following passage on page 189. A mednsa 

in given the name of Mitrovoma Annus, The 



I 



186 HABOKBL 

HUM wai gmn ai TilkieMuhft, nwr Mice, fai 

April, 1864. This medusa had a fairy-like appear, 
ance " to its discoverer ; its tentacles hung down 
like a mass of blond hair ! " A note to the name 
tolls OS that it was given " in memory of my dear, 

]ft^9^^^BQi^^'^b^^"))^^^^C^)9^^P^l^b^b^HE^ ^RRK^^^p ^^^Ulftllk ^SI^B^MIlKi^^v 3!^^ l^fc 

ghmionM to do ■ninislhing dnmig mf earthi^ 

pilgrimage for sdenoe and humanity, I owe it 

for the most part to the blessed influence of my 
gifted wife, who was torn from me by a premature 
end in 1864." In the Art-fonm in Nature ^ 

Haaokal's woik of 1809, we find a mednaa Dm^ 
mcmma Amumihe sinukily — after ttiirty-five 
yeara— apoehoi^ised : The f^ieoillo name of this 

pretty disco-medusa., one of the most beautiful and 
mterestini( of all the medasje, immortalises the 
memory of Anna Bathe, the gifted and laiined wife 
Qxmk 1SS6, died 1864) to whom the author of 
this work owea ibe happieBt jeaca of Ida lile." 

If one would fathom tiie deptha of human 
emotion one must reilect what these words, in 
such a context, contain; it is the last gentle 
vibration of a most deep inner experienoe break* 
ing out into this proaaio, soientifia matexiaL A 
medusa is a iiiviali possib^ a funny ttung, to 
the layman. The man of aeienoe looks deeper 
into it, and sees a wonderful revelation of nature; 
the eye of Goethe's God shines on him from it. 
Bui when he has devoted years to the most 
eareful study of it, it asaomea also a naive indi- 
vidual inteieat lor him, aa the oompanion d hie 
aoUtary honra of obaeorvatfon In the heart of 



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THE ^QEm&Ah MOBFHOLOGY ' 187 



nature, far from all the whirl and hustle of tibe 

world. Only the deepest and most intimate feelings 
break out in such moments. And here they have 
left their moaument — in a Latin name that Bcienoe 
wiU go on eoldly enlemg in ite eatalogoei lor 
ages U> oosoB. It seems to me ihet this eimple 
faot tells OS more of the character of this tme- 
hearted man, in whom nothing human was lacking, 

than long narratives could. 

■ • • • • 

When the eged Sethe saw the break-op in 1806 
of the Slile of Ftassby in the inTohienihilitj of 
which he had believed m ft gospel, he sought 

refuge in the comfort of work. "I succeeded in 
benumbing my mind: T experienced in myself 
that hard work is a soothing balsam, oo-operating 
with our tardy healing force." The gnuidsoci» 
wonnded in a moie teniUe way and eat to the very 
heart, tried the same remedy. 

Thirty years afterwards, when crowns were 
prepared and speeches delivered in honour of 
Haeckel's sixtieth birthday, when the whole of 
Jena fdted him as their own, and the veil fell from 
his macUe host in the Zodlogioal Ihstitntey to 
which seven handled of the best known names in 
German and foreign science had contributed, the 
hero of it all went back to that dark hour. " I 
thought at the time that I ooold not survive the 
Uow, thought my life was olosed, and purposed to 
bring togrfher idl the new ideas that Darwin's 
theory of evolution had evoked in me in a last 
great work. That was the origin, amid bitter 



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188 



HAECKKL 



struggles, of the Generelle Morpliologie. It was 
written and printed in less than a year. T lived 
the liie ot a l^dxmiti gave mysell barely three or 
four boars sleep a day, and wocked all day and half 
the ni^t. My habite were so aaoetio that I leally 
wonder I am aHTe and weU before yon to-day." 

In Ills hour of collapse Haeckel sat down and 
wrote "the book of his life." There were only two 
alternatives for a book written iu such ciroam- 
stanoea. It would be either very bad or very good* 
When a yonng man in his thixtiee throws hhuself 
into a great effort of this kind and writes a work 
that he conceives as a testament— -a work in which 
he will speak for the last time, but will say every- 
thing — ^it is a desperate test of all that he has done 
in his three decades of life and is abont to give to 
the world. In this ease the test snooeeded beyond 
all ezpeetation. 

The General Morphology of Oyyankms * was 
published in IbtiG, with the sub-title : " G-eneral 
elements of the science of organic forms, mechani- 
oally gvonnded on the theoiy of descent as reformed 
by Charles Darwin." It consists of two tfaiidc 
▼olnmes of small pxint, containing more than 1,900 
pages. The preface is dated September 14, 186G, 
It is now one of the most important w orks in the 
whole mental output of the second half of the nine- 
teenth century. In respect of method of scientific 
research it is a landmark by which we may charac- 
terise and appraise the whole haU-centary. For 

* This work of Professor Haeckel's bAs not beea translated 
ink) Rnglish {^Trans.] 



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TH£ « GENERAL MORPHOLOGY** 189 



general Uologioal olassifioatioii it inaugurates a 

new epochs as had been done fifty years before by 
Cuvier, and again fifty years eaiiier by Linn^. 
What it did for zoology in the narrow sense was 
thirty yeaiB afterwards summed ap in one phrase 
by a inciter of acknowledged competence, Biohaid 
Heriwig : '* Few workshave done as mnob towaids 
raising the intellectual level of zoology.'* Among 
Haeokers own achievements, great and varied as 
they are, this work occupies the highest place. 
Setting aside certain special pieces of researchi 
and legaiding bim mainly as a man of great ideas, 
we find his whole prognomne in this work. The 
Hiftary of Greatim, ^at has taken his name far 
and wide over the globe beyond the frontiers of 
zoolo.^y, is only an extract from this work. He 
put his heart in it. The others are only the im- 
proved blood-vessels of his system of ideas, parfcly 
duplications, parity simplifications* I do not say 
this either in blind admiration or in criticism, bnt 

as the expression of a plain fact. Posterity will 
turn to this wcn'k when, either m hostility or in 
sympathy, it wishes to appreciate Haeckel.* 

His contemporaries did not accept the work 
withont diffionlty. It came ont withont noise, 
exerted a trsmendons inflnence in a qniet way, 
and at last disappeared altogether from the book- 
shops. It is still attacked, but has never been 
refuted. At libraries one finds, as I know from 
experience, that it is always "out," and therefore 

♦ Profcssoi Huiley described Lhd Gam/ai MorpJiology as " one 
of the greatdfti soientifio works ever published." [Traas.] 



190 



HAECKEL 



niiiit be raid o(midmalfy. It ie fotrnd oocMionnlly 
al fleeond-band booiawQem; m uttiqnamn prioe 

runiiiii.i:( to five pounds and more is put on it, 
after forty years' active production on the part of 
its author. At present you could count on your 
fingers the German wodks that have this distinc* 
tian of bemg highly prioed and oat of print. Que 
fliioh is Visoher'B MsliheUe$^ and another is the 

first edition of Gottfried Keller's Green Henry. 
Keller had threatened any cue who ever attempted 
to republish this first edition (afterwards modified 
hat not impxoved by him) thai their hand voold 
not leel gaietty in the gnm. Baft the price of 
the woric went ap amongst antiqaarian«. I feel, 
in speaking of HaeckePs General Morphology ^ that 
I am describing a book which has become so rare 
that one must treat it as something new, a codex 
that 18 only accesaihie to a few. It ia oertamly 
not known to the general reader. 

Let me endeavoar in a few words to giro a 
general idea of the chief contents of the work. 

All the inteilectual forces that had had any 
infiuence upon Haeckel now concentrated for a 
sapieme achievement. First of these was Goethe, 
wbo supplied the titfte^ "Morphology.*' In its 
simplest signifieatkm moiphology is merely ''the 
science of forms.*' If I take houses, furniture, 
statues, fishes, fiowers, crystals, &c., and only 
regard and describe their forms, I am a morpho- 
legist in the literal sense of the word. But when 
Goethe invented the teem he sooght to give it 
a more 



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THE "GENERAL MORPHOLOGY" 191 



ci eufiar dftyB) hai eieadytfioiit^ «fe Jena m 1807. 
We lum, lie tays, mikaxal ol^Mlf befm ns, 

especially living objects. We try to peuetrate the 
secrets of their nature and their action. We are 
not merely observers, but pMiosopherB. It is from 
this point of view that we ap^aoftoh tbe nbject. 
It agpem to nt thftt tha beit way to piiooeed is 
to leptxaite the vuxkm parte. Sneli a prooedaie 
seems calculated to take us very far. Chemistry 
and anatomy are instances of this analytic kind 
of research, and both are greatly esteemed and 
succewfai. But this method has its limitationa* 
**We oan easily hmik up tha Mving thing into 
ite eleuianta) but wa oaimol pot these togattiar 
again and restore them to life. We cannot do 
this in the case of many inorganic, to my 
nothing of organic, bodies." What are we to do? 

Hence," Gk>etha oontinaes, even scientifio men 
haTa at all thncm had an impiilea to Beaognisa 
living things as sndh, to grasp eonneatedlj their 
external visible and tangible parts, and take 
these as mdicatioos of the inner life, and thus in 
a sense to corapass the whole in one glance." 

Henoe we Und at tha threshold ot art and know- 
ledge and science a Bombar of attempts to 
estsMish alahoiata a tfl ifn fte that wa may 
aaD mofpMo^" 

Perhaps Goethe's meaning can be realised best 
if one takes a great work of art— say, the Venus 
of Mile — and imagines how these diiierent kinds 
of knowledge would deal with it. Pwaly ana- 
lytia anatomy would dissolve tha saparb artislio 



192 



HAKOKBTi 



form intio a rubbish -heap of bits of marble. 
GhexxuBtry would stall further break up these bits 
of marble into the ohemioal elemente of whioh. 
eray Uook of maiiUe is ultimately oomposed. 
The ^^foim** would disappear altogether. But in 
this case the form means — the Venus of Milo. 
We see afc once that we need another branch of 
science and investigation besides anatomy and 
chemistry: we need a morphology, or science of 
ihe complete form in whioh the block of marble 
is moulded into the Yenns of Mila Li the case of 
our work of art, morphology would be identical with 
aesthetics, or at least with a branch of it. There 
can be no doubt that the first and most imperative 
need for the establishment of a special science of 
moxphology arises from artistic and CBsthetio 
feelings. It is not without significance that it 
was founded by the poet GoethC) and elaborated 
with such great success in the nineteenth century 
by the born artist Haeckel. However, that does 
not prevent the analogy of the Venus of Milo, 
which happens to be a creation of human art, 
being applied egually to eveiy indi^oalifled fonn 
in natura, to every crystal, plant, and animal. 
Goethe himself immediately transferred his mor- 
phology into the province of botany with such 
vigour that the term is still regarded, in ite 
narrower sense, as a technical botanical expression. 
It extends, however, to the whole world in so 
far as its contents come before us in forms." 
When Haeckel adopted the term he deliberately 
restricted it, in harmony with the general deiimtion, 



Diniti?ed by 



THE "BENERAL MOEPHOLOGY" 193 



by eaUing Wb work the "Morphology of Organ- 
isms," or the science of the forms of ammai^i and 
plants. 

But there was one danger in the oonoeption 
of a morpholep of animals and plontSi namely, 
the danger of taking it to mean a purely external 
deEK»iption : so many thousand speoies of plants, 

soberly describocl, labelled, and numbered, a huge 
cabinet of stuSed sldiis, a lierbarium of hn^y. A 
whole soientific school had really taken it in this 
sense since Gk>ethe's time ; much as if one were to 
think mthetioB consisted simply in foiming an 
iUnstrated oatalogae of all the art-treasnres in the 
world, a realistic catalogue in wiiich the marble 
statues from the Parthenon and the Moses of 
Michael Angelo would simply be given as number 
so-and-so in dass so-and-so. 

Haeokel was presenred from tiiis school by his 
more immediate masters, as well as by Gkiethe 
himself; firstly by Johannes MLilicr, then by the 
botanist Schleiden, finally by the influence of 
Gegenbaur. There was at the time enough, and 
more than enough, of this external museum- 
morphology. It was far from Haeckers intention 
to prodnce a new compendium, in several yolumes, 
of this kind of science of plants and animals. 
His morphology was to be " general," to have a 
broader range, be a programme. As Eichard 
Hertwig said very happily at a later date, he 
saw his science, not as it then was, but as it ou^JU 
to be, in his opinion. 

The science of forms was to be in the fullest sense 

13 



104 



HABCKEL 



a "pliiloiophy of terns.'* '^ZooJogtoilplukMOiihy'* 
WM tibe name ifiren by the hafiiefls Lfunairok, in 

France a century ago, to a work that appeared in 
the year that Darwin was born, and anticipated 
his most advanced thoughts. Haeckel, also, gave 
a new philosophy of Boology and botany." The 
title embodiee the megio fomnla that gvm him 
ooniage to take np feaolntely onee more iStm 
proscribed word, that seemed to have been scalded 
and spoiled for ever in the witches' cauldron of 
*^ natmai philosophy " ; it spoke of the theory of 
deeoeot as reformed by Ghailee Darwin." Two 
eob-tltlei divided the work into two aeetlonB from 
the start. The first part was, the oritieal elemente 
of the liif't haiucal science of the developed forms 
of organisms (animal and plant) : the second part 
was, the same elements of the menhanioal science 
of the developing foraia of organisms. 

In these titles we see the deeisiYe advanee 
beyond Johannes MlQler. As Qoethe had afaeady 
declared, luorphoiogy as such can be formed mto 
a real and profound science. It will then not 
ooniine itself pedantically to a registration of forms. 
It will compare them with eaoh other, and seek 
the hidden law in the stiagi^ing phenomena. It 
will mark ont broad lines that will enable the 
human mind to grasp its objects in all their fulness. 
Johannes Miiller had only been able to confirm 
that in the narrower sphere of biology. This was 
the nerve that gave vitality to soology and botany, 
and made them a province of the mind in the 
* Id^b^ sense. But the qnestion nowwas: which 



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THB <«0ENm4L MOIlPHOIX)aY*' 105 



laws were detected, and in which category of 
thought were they to be found ? Miiller had the 
theory, but was weak on the practical side. There 
Wiie the forms*' of laiimals and plants. What 
mm it Omt leally oonneoted tbam? Wluit mm 
the leaUty that eomgpooded to the philoeophie 
craving of the inteUigenoe ? MuUer's next school, 
the generation immediately preceding Haeckel, 
that of Dn Bois-Eeymond, Yirchow, and many 
others, had apparently indioated the soliitiaii. 
They had replaced MoUer^i vague general con- 
ception of the laws of morphology and life, which 
was undermined by older influences, by a single 
great demnnd. We want to grasp nature as a 
unity. At one point in nature we have reached 
de^ end apparently fundamental factors — in 
physieB and Ghemistty end their phun natozai 
laws or loioee. Now let ns try, starting Irom 
the idea of unity and from the plainest of all 
philosophical principles, that of proceeding from 
the known to the unknown, to reduce the forms 
and phenomena of life to these natural laws of 
ohemistry and phyaioB, Let ns find out whettier 
the whole form-world of the ammak and planta — 
in other words, tiie whcde province d morphology 
in the narrower sense — can be traced to the same 
natural laws that we have in ch( mical and physical 
phenomena. The globe is the object of ohemistxy 
and physios. Shall these iew green or other- 
ooloaxed things that lie at the limit of the air, 
water, and rooks, a small minority in nature, the 
tiungs we call animak and plants, aiouia m hLia 



196 



HABCKBL 



whole world be exempt from the action of these 
laws ? It is immateriai that Miiller's best pupils, 
Du Bois in his later years and Yirohow at an early 
date, departed more or less from this consistent 
position d theirs into philosophic and other side* 
paths. The younger generation, to which Haeckel 
belongs, that only came into direct touch with 
Miiller in his last years, heard no other gospel. 
What further advance was to be made? In 
chemistry and physics they had before them the 
deep stratum that yielded good mechanical laws. 
The first stage of physiology after Miiller, as we 
find it, for instance, under Du Bois-Reyrnond, 
yielded some good indications for the organic. But 
was the whole of morphology to be remodelled ? 
Was the vast labyrinth of the thousands and 
thousands d animal and plant forms in the 
museum to be reduced to mechanical laws, oorre- 
gponding to those of physics and chemistry, and 
be explained by them ? 

Darwin brought salvation. Now that he had 
appeared, Haeckel felt that he could begin to work. 
The hour and the man were come. 

Darwin made it possible for him to raise 
morphology to a penetrative science, equal to 
physics and chemistry, and so to make a step 
towards the unity of our knowledge of a unified 
world. Hitherto the morphology of the animals 
and plants had been in coiiiusion. Ood, imsgined 
in the form of a higher man, had dehberately 
created the organic forms, the palm, the moss, the 
turtle, and the man. He had constructed them on 



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THE "GENERAL MORPHOLOGY" 197 



a definite plaa» as a man makes machines. Now» 
it appeared, the deeper stratom was peeping out 
even here. Laws that had built the heavens and 
the earth reached, by way of the Darwinian theories 
of selection and adaptation, to the moss and palm, 
the turtle and man. 

It was Haeokel's peculiar distinotion to take op 
Ais path as the right one. It was then alic^ether 
new; to-day, even in the eyes of an opponent, it 
has at least the solid and consistent support of 
a considerable party. Li later years, apart from 
open deserters from the free and uncompromising 
puisnit of tmth like Yiiohow, a school of zoologists 
a&d botanists has been formed that will not re- 
cognise in Darwinism a reduction of vital phe- 
nomena to the simple chemico-physical laws of 
the rest of nature. They look upon it partly as 
inaccurate in its allegations of fact, partly as a 
nebolons oonfosion, if not, as I have already eaid, 
as a false mystioism or metaphysic. In the opinion 
of these critics, whose own confused ideas very 
often leave little to be desired in point of nebulosity, 
and who frequently try to drive out the devil by 
means of the deviPs grandmother (a matter we 
cannot go into here), Haeckel had made a great 
mistake in thinking that Darwinism would solve 
the Du Bois-Virohow problem of reducing all living 
things to the laws of lifeless matter. Even these, 
however, must candidly acknowledge that in doing 
so he was the victim of his consistent and hononr« 
able inquiry. At all events he must logically have 
seen the correct line at that time as it is recognised 



HAECKBL 



to-day bj tUf aali-Duiiiiiiaii bat probiMdly 
meohftiiUMil sohool Hk indffidna] error oaa only 

have been that he was deceived as to the trae 
course of the line, and so clung to Darwinism. 
However, we have said enough on this point. 

Haeolsel himself) at the time be was prodnoing 
his greatest wodi:, saw in Danrin the absdnte 

open Sesame to dl the doors of i^osophio 
morpholo.gy. With this Sesame came an entirely 
new impulse, naraely, to write the natural history 
of the animai and plant iorm. It was just the 
same as lAm Mthetios peroeiTos a new world, 
a woiid that akoe is worthy of it, the moment it 
passes from the making of a mere eatalogne of the 
world*s art-treasures to the knowledge of even one 
Bingle law of artistic creation, in virtue of which 
one single work of art has heen aotuaUy built up. 

It is impossible to begin with more general 
consideratioDs than this book does. The method 
of sdentifio research genersJly is explained in 
order to give an idea of the new Darwinian mor- 
phology. With a calmness that must have made 
most of the contemporary zoologists and botanists 
shivery the disoredited idea of natural philosoidiy is 
restored from the lumber-room. " All true sdenoe 
is philosophy, and all true philosophy is seienee. 
And in this sen^e ail true science is natural 
phiiusophy.** 

The various periods in the development of 
morphology are oooUy schematised. These epochs 
are diaracteiised 1^ the vietssitudes of the straggle 
between the simple desaription of forms in the 



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THB ««GBNnAL MORPHOLOGY ** m 



animal and plant worlds and the philosofkhio 
ttxpoiition of iha km thai lie behind theee fanos. 
In the eighteenth oemtoiy, nnder linnd, there is 
a period of pnrely external deaeriptioii and dasfli- 

fioatiou. It is sncceeded in the first third of the 
nineteenth centnry by a triumph of the philosophic 
traatment of animal and plant forms. This in- 
croftflea with Goethe and Lamaieky and growa into 
the older (and now generally abnaed) imaginatiTe 
natural philosophy. Then there ia a general 
reaction ; with Cuvier comes the least philoso- 
phical of methods, though at the time it is a real 
adTanoe. While lonn^ only gave an external 
deaorip4ioa of forma and oatalogned them, Onvier'a 
epoch penetrated to the inner atrootore, the inner 
world of lotma, and ihna rendered great aerrkse. 
The last and greatest workers of the period, 
Miiiler, Schleiden, &o., give the signal for a re- 
action in the hoar of its chief triumph. Haeckel 
now follows this up as ^'the element of iaot in 
their ideaa." With Darwin he inangoratea the 
fourth epoch, the trinmph of natoral philosophy 
for the second time. Bui it is now far deeper and 
clearer; it embodies all the ?^ood that preceded, 
all that CuYier and his followers have done, without 
the irresolution of earlier days. Now that we ha^re 
atodied the hymg form in ita innermoat atraotoie, 
aa waa never done before^ in the earlieet atages 
of embryonic development in the ovum and womb, 
m the past geological periods of the earth's history, 
we will tIMt over this foim^ think with ail the 
meana at our command, reaaon, ayntheaia-^Tea 



200 



iniaginationy when it is neoefisaiy to press on to 
the great final oondosion, a new sjnthecdB ol the 
defectiye podtive data* What does Johaimes 
Mftiiler say ? " Imagination is an indispensable 

servant ; it is by means of it we make the 
combinations that lead to important discoveries. 
The man of science needs, in harmonious co- 
operatian, the discriminating force of the analytic 
intelligenoe and the generalising force of the 
synthetic imagination." That is spoken from 
the cleptlis of Haeckei's heart, and he drives it 
home. 

Nothing is more amusing than to find Haeckei's 
later opponents saying, a^ropo9 of any particular 
question, that his statement cq^rings from his 
" imagination," as if it were something wholly un- 

bcientilic that the naturalist must shun like the 
pest; or again, that Haeckel here or there falls a 
victim to the deadly enemy of ail scientiHc re- 
search, natural philosophy. It is pointed out to 
him as a great disooveiy which he must approach 
in a proper penitential spirit — ^to him who has 
discussed these matters so unequivocally in his 
first theoretical work. 

As a fact, these methodological chapters in the 
first volume are as dear as crystal. The titles 
will seem strange to the man who thinks he can 
do without any philosophical instruction in zoology 
and botany, and wants to hear only of cells, 
tissues, stalks, leaves, bones, scales, and so on, 
in a general morphology. One chapter has the 
heading; ''Empuicism and Philosophy (JEixperi- 



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THE "GENERAL MOBFHOLOGY * 201 



enoe and Knowledge)/' Another heading nms: 

"Analysis and Synthesis.'* Then there are : 
"Induction and Deduction," "Dogmatigm and 
Criticism," " Teleology and Causality (Vitalism 
and Meohaniam)," Baalism and Monism." The 
last thiee aniitfaetic headings are united under a 
general title as "Critiqiie of Soientific Methods 
that are Mutually Exclusive." Such a title illu- 
mines the whole bilualiou like a flash of lightning. 
Many years afterwards Haeckei himself said of his 
General Morphology that it was a oomprehensiYe 
and diffioolt work that had found few readers. At 
least the whole of this £ist and most difficnlt part 
of the book must be defended against the criticism 
of its parent. If it is far I tom adequately appre- 
ciated to-day, especially by professional philoso- 
phers, that is certainly not due to its style, which is 
a model of oleamessin the eyes of any one with the 
least philosophioal cnltore. The real evil was that 
people did not look to it for instruotion from the 
piijlosophical side. The title, Morpholog>' of 
Organisms," had a technical sound. The empty 
space between professional philosophy and pro- 
fessional soology is wide enoti|^ to-day, but it 
was far wider thirty-fonr years ago* Books like 
Bftohner's superficial and popular Force and 
Matter^ or Haeckel's own later work, the History 
of Creation^ that can only be regarded as a brief 
and inoomplete popular extract in comparison with 
the Qmeral Morphology^ with ail its peculiar 
literary charm, stole into the philosophy of the 
time like foxes with burning straw tied to their 



202 



HAECKEL 



tails. Ftotenonal philoaopheni ime written 
whole Hbrariet on them. The meitor racMiUa » 

fundamental defect in academic philosophy: it 
has little or no sympathy with real sciontiiic 
work ; in fact, it studiously avoids such sympathy 
in the consoiottaneflB of its own wdakness. Henoe 
it has, like every other layman with general inter<* 
ests, to wait lor attempta to populaziae Boientifio 
work hefore it oan know what is going on 
in the serious camp. The man who wants to-day 
to criticise the mechanical conception of nature 
should first make himself acquainted with these 
ehaptera of the Morphologic. How many know 
the mere title of the wAf How many even 
of those who evinoe great hostilify ^riienever 
Haeckcrs name is mentioned ? 

The book contains much more than the rjietho- 
dological introduction. This only takes up the first 
hundred pages, hat it contains the whole pro- 
gramma We start off, therefore, under full sail 
lor a new epoch of thought, for natural philosophy ; 
but we must keep an alert iiiiud. The deeper 
task, that Darwin only gave the means of accom- 
plishing, was to reduce aU living things, animal 
or vegetal, to the inorganio. The laws of life 
must he merely certain complioations of the 
simple laws that are eooountered directly in 
chemistry and physics, and rule throughout 
nature. It must be one of the first aims of a 
general philosophic mx)rphQlogy to open out a 
path in this direction. 

The livinir what is i^all^ tliA dead " T»gat 



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THE *«eBNEBAL M0BPH0L06T" 203 



b6 WKBptsnA* JAaoffs tliMS rigid khigidoiiis^ 

animal, plant, and mineral — needed definitions in 
harmony with the new ideas. Haeckel himself 
had discovered the monera," the hying particles 
of plasm that did not seem to have reaohed the 
8l»ge of the troe call. Heve^ olearly, mm the 
lowest tevel of the liviiig. At the lai&e tiine we 
reach the most complex specimen of the inorganic 
from the morphological point of view — ^that is to 
say, the most interesting in its individual form — 
the crystaL The differences hegin to give way. 
What marreUonsly eimihur liixiotio(Dfl t Fcom ^ 
dead xaother-water is built up, purely by ofaemioo- 
physical laws, the beautiful structure of the crystal. 
From the lowest living particle of plasm without 
any special organs, as we see in the radiolaria, 
are formed the beautiful silioeons frames that 
Haeckel had ooUeoted in sooh qnaatitiee at Mes- 
sina* Is it more than a hair's hreadth to pass from 
one to the other? The deeper we go in the study 
of living things, the slighter become the differences 
that separate them from ''dead matter." On the 
other hand, the higher we go in the stmotore of 
oiystalsi the more striking is the resemblanoe to 
the liiing thing. Two chains of thought seem to 
be started. What we call " dead " is reaUy alive : 
\\ liat we call living is really subject to the same 
laws as the " dead." The solution is found in 
complete Monism. Living and dead are not 
antithetio. Natore is one ; though we see it in 
difflmnt stages at developmeni We call one of 

moneron. 



204 



HAECKBL 



or the pioiosoon; another the plant, another the 

animal. Hifltorioally it all hangs together. The 

same laws hold sway throughout. In fi*aming my 
arbitrary definitions I can say either that the dead 
is living, or that the living does not difEer 
eiaentiaUy from the dead. In the ohain of living 
things man oomes from the primitiTe oell, the 
moneron. Thia in its tam has developed from 
something earlier — "nalunilly" developed. The 
very idea of life forces us to seek the predecessors 
oi the monera. Hence we speak of spontaneous 
generation/' as what was dead according to our 
ordinary use of language has b^gon to live. In 
point of fact it is merely development of a unified 
whole. There is no gap, no leap, no act that is 
not natural. The dead and the living never were 
really antithetic. 

The insistent statement that not only does the 
living approach the inorganic, but the inorganic 
approaches the living, is quite Haeckelian.'* 
The study of the life " of crystals is one of tho 
best parts of the book. Later generations will 
appreciate it. We are much too narrow to-day 
when we merely reflect that life, even the life of 
man, can be traced by evdution down to what we 
call dead matter. We forget that this ^'matter" 
is already high, since it potentially contains life, 
and even man, the crown of life. Many people 
imagine that the derivation of man from *^dead 
matter " is equal to turning a king into a beggar. 
They do not reflect that, on the other hand, a 
beggar is turned into a king. When I say that life 



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THB GENERAL MOBPHOLOGT" 205 



arose one day ont of the inorganic^ or thalaorysM 

was tamed into a cell, my statement leally involves 
the complementary truth that the inorganic poten- 
tially contains liie in itself. Otherwise we have 
the old miracle over again of something heing pro- 
dnoed out of nothing, in spite of our spontaneous 
generation. Haeokel has always been dear on this 
point. His later studies of the soul of the atom 
and the plastidnle only carry ont the absolutely 
logical treatment of the question that we find in 
these chapters of the first Toimne of the Morpha- 

InoidentaQy the qneetion is raised whether the 

plant or the animal was evolved first Animal and 
plant are, of course, not rigidly distinct from each 
other. They are only the two great branches of 
the Darwinian evolution of living forms, and are 
united at the bottomi however much they diverge 
above. Gegenbanr had represented tbis years 
before (1660) in a figure that Haeokel quotes in 
ins Monograph on tlie Badiolana in 1862. The 
whole kmgdom of living thinc^s must be conceivod 
^* as a oonneoted series, within which we find two 
lines diTerging from a eonmion oentre and repre- 
senting a gradual differentiation and development 
of orgaoisatlon.'* The terminal points of these 
lines (the highest plant and the highest ammal) 
are very different from each other, but the dif- 
ference grados^j disappears as we go hwck towards 
the oommon oentre, and the lowest stages in each 
can hardly be distinguished from each 
other. For these lowest stsges Haeokel now 



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206 



HAEGKEL 



OMfias 006 % plan tbat very qaiokly faroed itself 

on him. 

He forms them into a new kingdom of life. To 
the animal and plant kingdoms he adde the primi- 
tive reaim o£ ihe beings that showed mieqaivooal 
Bigns d the pofloeesion of lifSi yei were neiUier 
^tm^ia iiQip pl ffn^, He grv6S thfUTi the neme d 

Protists." To botany and aoology is now added 
protistology. 

The name "protists" (frora protisto7i, the very 
first) is f amiMac to every one in biology to-day. If 
protastology has not yet been seonzely established 
as a f^eoial braiudi of soisnoei that is due to the 
eifonmstaaoe that a striot limit oaimot be deter- 
mined on either the plant or the animal side, so 
that the botanist encroaches on the province at 
one point and the zoologist at another. Bat when 
we remember that Haeokd's protista inolade the 
weU-known baoiUi, on which whole libraries axe 
aeewninlating to-day, it is dear tiiat tlie province 
must be definitely marked off at some date in the 
near future, whether one accepts Darwinism or no. 

These important innovations in teohnicaJ biology 
show very clearly how soimd and froitfnl the new 
"nattnal philosophy " was. We have to go badi: 
to the mteoaUe and atterly impxaoticaUe systems 
of Hegel, Schelling, and Steffen, which were 
immediately rejected as the tritiing of dilettanti ^ or 
even to much that the admirable Oi^ did on the 
scientific side, if we would measnre the whole 
distance between what people ondeistood in the 
sixties by *<natiual philosophy'' and the seal 



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veformed philosophy that Haeokel gave to l^e 

world. This becomes cleaxer at every step we take 
in his work. 

The first book has determined the method that 
kads to snocphologjr, the soieaee o£ lonas. The 
■eoond has ranged the organic forms — protists, 

l^ants, and animiJcH- over against the inorgonio or 
*' dead " forms, as far a.s this is possible from the 
new evolutionary point of view. We feel that the 
third book will pass on to Darwin, and explain the 
world of organic f oms by the Darwinian laws of 
evolution* Then the pKognunme would be oaitied 
oat in its main laatiiTes. 

But Haeckel writes two whole books before he 
comes to this, and they are, perhaps, the most 
characteristic in the work. He only adopted " 
the theory of evolatiomin the aanae that he applied 
it &r more tboroiigfaly than Dandn to ivaotioal 
IiroUema. In ttieae two books he is entirely him- 
self. They are, at the same tim^, the most diffi- 
cult in the w ik. Even to-day they place him on 
a lofty and lonely height apart from the great and 
strenuous controversy over Darwinism. I believe 
that the tune will yirt oome that wiU folly appie* 
ciate these books. Through them HaedreJ will 
play a part in philosophy of which we have at 
present no prevision. 

There is a word that is inseparable from the 
word form — individuality. Mor|^hology, whioh 
does not aDalyse, but etodiee the lonn-onities m a 
whole in the Bense of Goethe'e defimtioB, oomee 
from the nature of things to deal with the indi- 



208 HA£GKEL 

"vidual* In our artirtio iUnatialaon the Yeuns of 
Milo, as a form-unity, is an sBsthetic indiTidnafilpfr. 
When its fomi is destroyed, its individuality 
perishes. 

Let as apply this to any one of the higher 
plants or animalB. Take a tiuild, for instaooe. A 
definite indi'vidoal embodies the definite fomi to 
whioh I give the name. This form as snoh is 

Liitin ly lost if I cut up the turtle nntO it is un- 
recogiiisable. The limit of morphological study 
seems to be, just as in the case of the Venus of 
Miio, the intetghty of the individual turtle. Yet 
in the living turtle wefind an enormous di£EBienoe« 

If I grind the Yenus of Milo into dust, I am at 
once in a totally diiieient world with this dust. I 
am amongst the raw material of nature, untouched 
by »Bthetic inliaenoe. JB'rom this oaloareous powder 
I can, in leality or imagination, pass on to ihe 
world of oiystals, moleoules, and atoms. In that 
oase I shi^ have done with esthetio moxphol<^. 
I come to the morphology of the inorganic, a very 
different branch. What do we find in the case of 
the living turtle ? 

It is true that I can break up the turtle into 
sunple chemical substances. Jji that oase I make 
the same transition ; I abandon organic morpho* 
logy, and pass, with the same salto rnortale as in 
the case of the Venus of Milo, to the lower science 
of inorganic morphology. 

But when I examine the structure of the living 
individual tnrtte before me I notice a i^ial 
feature. Let us suppose that I brealc up the Venus 



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THE ''GENERAL MOKPHOLOGY" 209 



ol Ido only to ft oertain degree ; or, with less 

vandalism, I do not break it up, but light up its 
inner structure to some extent by a sort of liontgen- 
xay apparatus. And suppose I found that this one 
SBsthetic individnality is made up of millions of 
mnoh SBialler ftndaBslihetioally finer andmoremiified 
images. I do not mean of miUions of repetitions 
of the large Venus in miniature, but of real and 
nnmistakable little works of art, each of which, 
regarded separately and without any injury to its 
narrower individuality, might be just as excellent 
ft subject for fldsthetic eoounination as the whole 
Yenns* 

This is, of course, nonsense as regards the Venus 
of Milo. There is nothing of the kind in it. I 
have given the paradoxical supposition merely for 
the purpose of showing what we really find in the 
ease of the turtle. 

When the organic ^indiTidnal turtle is doeely 
studied it breaks up first into so many simpler 
organic individuals, which undoubtedly belong as 
such to the province of organic morphology. They 
are the celhn The theory of Schleiden, Schwann, 
and Virohow here oomee into direct touch with 
morphology. ETOiy higher animal or plant has 
its own individuality ; and within this individuality 
there is a conglomerate, a community, or a state, of 
individuals of a lower order, that have their own 
life and their corresponding individual life-form. 
Man himself, the highest of animalsi is a cell-state. 
So Yirohow taught. Each one of ns is an in- 
dividual, and as snch an object of morphology. 

u 



ZkO 



HA£!CK£L 



The cell, each single cell in each of us, is also an 
individual, and as such is equally an object of 
morphology. Hence it is the task of the morpho- 
logy of organisms, not only to describe these higher 
indMdiiftlities as snoh, bat also io look m tibsm m 
glass-lioiisesy as it were, with so insay sfafthss, 
divisions, and smaller hoases within of a lower 
rank. These internal arrangements have to be 
described, piece by piece, with the same ^dehty. 

This will probably suffice to oonvey a general 
idea of the sabjeofe. Oymdj^ the gnat week that 
ought to foim tfaa geneinl paii of BMupboiogy at 
this point was the precise determination of all 
these various layers of individuality that are found 
in the animals, plants, and protists, and, as we 
rise upward, enter into moro and mors oompleJL 
xelatioiis to eaoli other. 

The difietenoe between, saj, a turtle or a man 
and the cell which combines in its millions to 
form them is not the only one. Between them 
we seemed to find individunlised, or almost indi- 
vidualised, links. Think of the idea of an oxgan. 
What is my heart f It is made of » nnmber of 
oell-indxvidiials, Uke my idiole frame. Bnt these 
cells form a sort of intermediate individuality in 
me. We may cfo further. What is a segment 
of a worm? What is an arm of a star-fish? 
They have so much independence that they can 
conMnne to live, rapidly ptodnoing new oells and 
forming a new worm or star-fish of the higher 
individnal type, if they are cut off. The anange- 
ment is still more diHicult in the case of the 



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plant. Where in their case shall we find the 
Btages of individuality that correspond to the 
animal-liimuui ? The cells axe distiinot in both 
cases. The individaal plant -ceU corresponds to 
the mdmAaal aninuil-oelL But what it Hbrnt m 
ihe phint ihst ooarBcpoods to me^ as the mtrimal- 
huinan multicellular individual? Does the oak- 
tree, for instance? Certainly, the oak is an 
indmdual. But it seems that it is the single 
sprout of it that corresponds to what I am, 
Wliat ia iha; saUaon of the tna to tlua nprnAf 
Hm oar ideas grow dim and oonfased. We 
human^individuals unite to form certain higher 
communities. The word social " reminds us of 
the iauA: then we have the nation, the race, 
humanity. At ieaat the eadier of these sta^ 
eectanily peiloim wioiui oomfaiiied iimetioiia, 
and ava undeiatood to fonn, or widi to form, 
new individuals. We speak of the social organism, 
the body ui the people, the soul of the people, 
and so on. 

We see that still more clearly in the oaae of 
tba animak aboat na* Individiiala, tiiat oone- 
i^ond to oar eonoeption of an indiTidoal man, 

combine and form stocks and colonies, with 
division of labour. We find this in the medusae, 
corals, anemones, tnnicates, and vermalians. One 
of these animal atoeks, to which onr huQMi aooial 
oombinationa only ogneqpond in a mnoih wider 
flenae, givaa aa m itaga tlmt ia roprouented by 
the tree in the plant-world. Infinite perspectives 
open oat, and also infinite complications. Xniiuite 



212 



HABCKEL 



pioUeiiiB Bpiiog up for morphology to deal witii; 
it must make its way through the labyrinth of 

these complicated types of individualisation. 

The matter still inure intricate if T begin 
at the bottom of the biological series and proceed 
apwacdfl. I, many am an indiiridiial of a oertain • 
stage in my own ooUeotiTe aotiTity. It is true 
that I am made up of millions of o^-indiyidnals, 
but when we look at the whole these are merely 
e lementary units. But take a being from the 
protiftt- world that is too lowly to be either animal 
or plant. In loepeot of its whole activity it is an 
individnal just as mnoh as I am, and thatafoie 
in this regiftrd at the same stage as I. At the 
same time it consists of a single cell. The dis- 
tinction in me between unit and whole does not 
exist in it. Its unit is the whole. It would seem 
a SiflTirphean t^ to reduce all this to a system. 

Yet that is just what Haeokel has done. 

With orysttUline deamess he separatee and 

reuriites and arranges everything, from the 
primitive organic individual, that is not yet a 
trae cell — the monera he had himself discovered 
— upward* Organic morphology begins with them 
as its first objeot, the first complete individnahty, 
the first fom." AO that lies below it is beyond 
the province of morphology. The last conceivable 
organic individuality is, perhaps, the atom ; and 
that is not the concern of morphology. We start 
from the organic. Above the pre-oellular indivi* 
duab and the true oells the next f orm-onities are 
the oigans. Above the organs, after a few snbtle 



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THS "^GfiNSBAL MOBPHOLOGY^ 213 



intennediate stages, are the persons." Thus a 
new word is given to what we have hitherto 
oonventionally called an individual," when we 
wanted to denote a turtle, a bird, a man, or an 
higher animal ae a whole. To this conresponda 
in the plant the sprout. The stage above the 
"person" is the "stock." We might also call it 
the social individual ; in the plant- world it is 
the tree, in the coraJ the coral-stook, in the hnman 
ease the eooial combination of a nnmber of men 
for common action. 

We are reminded of Virchow*8 speech, and how 
" consciousness " was dragged into the debate 
on the cell-state. What psychological perspectives 
are opened out by this doctrine of individuahty ! 
Each iorm-oniiy, each single indiyidnaliiy in l^e 
series, with a sonl I Bonis combining for common 
action,' and forming higher psychic nnities ! There 
is no detail in Haeokel's whole life-work in which 
he speaks nioie boldly and freely and philosophi- 
cally than he does here. His Inoid treatment raises 
to a higher stage a philosophic qnestion that has 
occupied thintors for ages. 

That is the third book. The fourth takes np 
a different subject. Let us adopt in organic 
morphology this wonderful theory of individuality, 
the theory of stages within the form. Then let 
OS turn to consider impartially the vast multi- 
tude of Uving fonns* "Haw can we now ammge 
this infinite confusion by merely looking at it ? 
Artificial classification has attempted it a 
hundred times, and always without success. On 



21i HAfiCKBL 

this side there is only one way to proceed — Uie 
Bttathematical. 

I study them with sixictiy mathematical %ures. 
I detoimme their ttm^ and the maihematioal 
aspeote ot their foxms. Feasibly tb»t wiU gtfB 
a inraeiloal reaolt ; ihe onl j kind of artifidal ayBiem 
that can be acconirnodated with tlui Darwinian 
theory, and perhaps render it sissistance by the 
aharpneaa of its lines. Does it answer ? Take a 
ovyatal, a apedmen from inoiganic morphology. 
The deaciiptioii ol it ia snaoeptibla ot a atnotly 
mattieiiiatioal finm. Nofw tafea a alar-fish, a woim, 
a human being. We find that even these organic 
stnictnres have a mysterious relation at bottom 
to certain mathematioai, stereometric locms. We 
might almost say, to certain forms of human 
thought. Bverything in the oiganio wodd ia in a 
state of flux. Bat thioogh the whole moving 
stream we can trace the outline of one stable 
element, something like a mathematical idea. A 
sort ot riatoniam of the living iorxm vaguely takes 
shape. 

ITaftoteftl sDeaka of liniWi aTfflii op ^nig t. radii, and 
aU kinds of idiythmio atmetnrea. It does seem that 

the countless individual forms of living things fit 
into a scheme of a limited number of mathematical 
forms. Strictly speaking this is not a real mor- 
phology of living things. We only find these clear 
and rigid forma schamatioally in the wild profa- 
skm of forma ot tho protista, plants, and animals. 
They are only a reminiscence of the laws of the 
purely inorganic, which the eye of the observer 



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THE "GBNBBAL IfORPHOLOGY** SIS 



jQsk dflfteoto as iihe lowest stetom. Henoe 
Haeokel calls tibk seoiion tbe ^^pmitorpfaalQgy" 

It is trae that this section, which essays to 
compress all liviui^^ things into a very simple 
aob«m6) is the hardest to read in the whole work. 
A nimber of strange and diffioolt woids ha?e to 
be inTented to ttds stereomeirio scheme to wliioh 
he would lednce the animal and ftmns. 

Hacckel himself declared, twenty years at'terwards 
(in the second part of the Mtmoijrajili on IJ/e Madio- 
laria)y that this stereometry of organic forms had 
ioand httle favour in biology especially on 
acconnt ci the difficult and con^oated nomen- 
datme." But he had complete confldenoe as to 
the snbsfcanoe of it» eren alter 00 gveat a lapse of 

time. 

In point of fact we have here, it seems to me, 
a gigantio preparatory work, not so much for the 
strict pmpcse of dassificationi as for a real 
philosophy d botany and aoolcgy that will be 
fomid^ some day. Has zecnnenoe <rf sharp 
stereometric structures, not only in the crystal, 
but also, if less clearly, in the bioloo^cal world, 
will one day prove an important source of know- 
ledge, in a sense that is not even dear in 

We are already entering npon a period that 

has a glimpse of the truth that the deepest power 
of Beethoven's music, or Goethe*s poetry, or 
Baphael s painting, or Michael Angelo's sculpture 
is a mysterious leyelation of the most subtle mathe* 



2B16 



HAEOKJflL 



malieal lelations and efiteoto — prodaoed without 
ooDBoioiiB peroeption of these lelatioiiBi though a 
human mind is at work in them. In spite of all 

our " consciousness," the obscure intuitive power 
at work in theBC human artistic achievements 
dijffers very little from the curious fofoe with 
which a radiolaiian builds up its little house in the 
deep sea or a oasewoim fiia on its fine, xhythmio, 
snaiMike coat. In both we have the same pro- 
found, crystal-like conistruclive power that brought 
forth the wings of the butterfly, the feathers of 
the bird, the bodily frame of all the animalft and 
plants, that hannonises so well with strict mathe- 
matioal forms. In Beethoven and Raphael it is 
not more conscious or unconscious, not clearer or 
vaguer, not more mystical or more natural, than 
in the poorest worm or the microscopically small 
radiolarian. The aesthetics of the twentieth oen- 
tuzy will take up these ideas. 

• • » . • 

It is a great work. How few there are in the 
whole of the nineteenth century that show the 
wealth of ideas we find in the first yolume alone.* 

And this ib only one volume. We have as yet 
said nothing of the idea that is of the gresitest 

* Tfaa Mttdsr may be intenaled to know ihaft HMohal giTes 
ft popular ■amniaiEy ci ham early work oo IndiTidiialiiy and on 
the mathematioal types of oigaoiama in » mora raoent work. 
Tbia baa been IranaUled into Bn^Uali with lb« title The 
Wowitn cf LifL The two efaaplera thai deal witti theae 
qoeationa ace omitted from the abri^lged eheiq^ edition. 
[Trana.] 



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THB ''GBNBBAL MOBFHOLOGT*' 217 



oonseqiieiioe in oonneotion with Haeckers own 
development. He was a Barwiman fiom 1862 
onwards. After 1866 and the pnUioation of 

the General Morphology we find him dominated 
in all his work by one single idea from the 
Darwinian group. He brought this idea so 
efieotively to the front, improved and developed 
it so assiduously, and applied it in so many ways, 
that it has come to be regarded as his own most 
characteristic work. It is inseparable from his 
name. Whatever the future may be, wherever 
HaeokeFs name is uttered people will add the 
phrase that was made peculiarly his after 1B66, 
that oolonrs and pervades all his works-^teohnioal, 
popular, polemical, or philosophical — as much as 
the word ** Monism.** It is the phrase : the bio- 
genetic law. 

Here and there even in the first volume of the 
Morphologij a note is struck that the reader cannot 
clearly understand. It increases in the second 
volume until it dominates the whole book. 

The phrase is known far and wide to-day. This 
is partly due to HaeckePs own insistence on it, 
but perhaps still more to the real value of the 
idea itself. It crops up in a hundred difiexent 
fields— piychology, ethics, philosophy, even in art 
and nethetics. I have been aUe to trace it even 
into modem mysticism. For the moment I will 
only point out that it has been attacked and 
misstated with real fanaticism, in spite of the 
splendid and perfectly dear account of it that 
Haeokal has given. 



m HAScnL 

The proper place to read of it is, as I said, the 
seoond Tolume of the Mofphologp. Hhm tolome 
has to gm an aooonnt of the eToliitio& of organic 
forms. What is given rather casually, almost 

Socratically, in Darwin is now developed into a 
number of strict laws. This method of expounding 
more or less hypothetical^ new, and insecure ideas 
in ^6 ioim of lawa has sinoe been frequently 
aitaeked. Some have been led by it to take the 
ideas as so many dogmas, and even to learn 
the 1;l\v8 by heart as if they were texts in Scripture. 
Others have then laid the blame of this dogma- 
tic interpretation on Haeckel himself. It is quite 
troe that iheie waa the poflaifaility of a miaonder- 
etanding. People do not always think lor 
themselves, and the statement of a proposition ' 
in the form of a law may prove a pitfall for them. 
The blind learning of them by heart is always 
mischievous. On the other hand, it might be lu^ed 
that the statement of the ideaa in this bald way 
affocds the best opportunity for a thoroiigli and 
rational oritidsm of them, precisely because they 
give such pregnant expression to the writer's 
meamng. I do not find that order and strict 
logioal definitions have ever done any ham of 
ttiemsehresy whateror it is that is pot in order 
and defined. On the contrary. People moat 
c<Mifiise order sometimes with real dogmatism. 
Oi this there is not a word in the whole book, 
wiaile at an important juncture the reader is 
actuaUy warned to be on his guard against undue 
pressuw. In this/' we read in the twentieth 



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THB GENERAL MOEPHOLOGY" 219 



duq^y *'we do sot wUi to draw op a body q£ 
laws of oigaiiio morphology, but to giire hintB and 

suggestions for drawing them up. A science that 
is yet only in its cradle, like the morpholof^^y of 
orgamsms, will have many imporiaut ohangea 
to imdaKgo before it ean witnre to olaim for its 
ganecal p r op o wti qiis the rank ci absolute and 
QneKoeptionable natiiral laws." 

How ever tlici»t may be, it was in this provisional 
detimtion of laws that the famous biogenetic law 
first took shape, and with it a spirit entered into 
Darwinism in the narrower sense that was never 
again 

Let US onoe more take a simple illustration from 

facts. Take a green aquatic frog and a libii, bay 
a pike. 

Both of them have a solid vertebral column in 
their irameSi and therefore both must be classed 
amongst the vertebrates. But witbin the limits 
of this group they difler very oonsiderably from 

each ouher. The frog has four well-developed 
legs, its body terminates in a tail, and it breathes 
by means of lungs, like a bird, a dog, or a human 
being. The fish has fins^ it swims in the water 
kv imMiwtt fill tiiiMa fim and its inn^ roddfir-lihe 

tail, and it breathes the air eontained m the water 

by means of gills. When we arrange the verte- 
brates in a series, with man at their head, it is 
perfectly clear that the frog stands higher than the 
fish in regard to its whole stmctore. It is lower 
than the limidy the faird» or the mammal, but at 
the same ibne it is aliMle nearer to these three than 



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220 



HAECKEL 



thefishiB. That was xe(X)giiifl6d long ago by liiiinei 
who aasigned them a oomsponding raB^ The 

flsbes are the lowest group of the vertebrates ; the 
frogs belong to the group immediately above them. 
Now let us see how one of these frogs is developed 
to-day. The frogs are oviporoiis (egg-laying) 
animals* The mother frog lays her eggs in the 
water, and in the ordinary oonrse of natme a new 
little frog develops from eaoh of tiiese eggs. Bnt 
the object that develops from them is altogether 
different from the adult frog. 

This object is the familiar tadpole. At first it 
has no l€gs» bat it has a long oar*4ike tail, 
with whioh it can make its way briskly in the 
water. It breathes in the water by means of gills 
just like a fish. It is only when the tadpole grows 
four legs, loses its tail, closes up the gills at its 
throat, and begins to breathe by the mouth and 
Inngs instead, that it becomes a teal fn^. There 
can be no donbt ^rtiatever that the tadpole is very 
mnoh more like the fiih in all the most important 
particulars than the frog. Between the frog-egg 
and the frog itself we have a sta^^e of development 
in eaoh individual case of which we might ahnoat 
say that the yoong frog has first to torn into a 
fish before it can become a frog. 

How are we to explain this^ 

At first people supposed something like the 
following : All beinf;^8 in nature are admirably 
adapted to their enviroument and their life-con- 
ditions. Whatever be the ei^lanatton of it, it is 
a simple fact. Now, the frog lays its eggs in the 



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THB "6£N£RAii MOKFHOLOaY ' m 



water. The young ones develop from these egge, 

and find themselves in the water. The mobb 
practical adaptation for them is to swim about by 
means of a tail and breathe by means of gills like the 
fish. They do not leaoh land until later, and they 
creep on to it and have an equipment of the oppo- 
site oharaoter, with legs and Inngs. 

But thib expUuKition throws no light on the 
question why the iiosf lays its eggs in the water. 
However, there might be some utility or other, 
flome need lot proteotiony for imrtanoe» in that. 
Let UB take a few other oaeee. 

There are several species of tree-frogs, and toads, 
and closely related amphibia like the salamanders, 
that do not lay their eggs in the water. Some 
of them bury them in folds of their own external 
sldn, others (such as the Alpine salamander) retain 
them within the mother's body, as the mammals do. 
The yonng animtds deyelop there from the eggs. 
Even there, however, where there is no question 
of aquatic life, the young frogs, toads, and sala- 
manders first assume the fish-form. The young 
frogs and toads have fin-like tails, and all of them 
have gills. There seems to be some tnUemal law 
of developmaDt that forces the frog and its rdatives 
to pass through the fish-stage in their iiiclividual 
evolution even when there is no trace whatever 
of any external utility. 

Now let ns examine the matter as Darwinians 
and belieyers in evolntion. 

There are reasons on every hand for believing 
that the Iiogb and salamanders, whieh now stand 



222 



higiier in ckunAiotMm thin ilie fldim, w«e 

developed from the fishes in earher ages in the 
course of progressive evolution. Once upon a time 
they were iislifia. If that ia ao, the oudooa 
phenomenon we hm been oonddering really 
inDani that ^i^^ young fxog munnhlftii its jSi4- 
anessian. In Mob oud to^y the frog's egg fixst 
produces the earlier or ancestral stage, the lish. 
It then develops rapidly into a frog. In other 
words, the individual development reoa^atnlates 
u impartant chapter of the earlier history of the 
whole face of froga. PoMng thia In the focm of 
m law, H mna: eaoh new indhidnal mnafc, in ila 
development, pass rapidly through the form of its 
parents' ancestors before it assumes the parent form 
itself. II a new individual frog is to be developed, 
and if the anceatoia of the whole frog-stem wave 
fiahea,ihe firat tibiag to develop from the frog'a egg 
will be a fid^ and it wiU only later aeaiutte the lom 
of a frog. 

That is a simple and pictorial outliue of what 
we mean when we speak of the biogenetic law." 
We need, of courae, muoh more than the one 
feog*fiah fact beloie we can ereot it into a law. 
Bat we have only to look round na, and we find 
similar phenomena m common ae pebbles. 

Let us bear in mmd that evolution proceeded 
from certain amphibia to the lizards, and from 
tbaao to the birda and mammala. That ia a long 
jouniey, bat we have no altamativa. If the 
amphibia (aoeh aa the frog and the aalamander) 
desoend from the flahea, all the higher classes i:^ 



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THB ^aSNEBAL MOBFHOLOGY" 818 



to mm biBiiiif mml alao lam done so. Henoe 

the law must have transmitted even to ourselves 
this ancestral form of the jSfill-brcathing fish. 

What a mad idaa^ maay will say; that man 
■hould ai oxm time be a tadpdb lilse the frogl 
And yet— Hhete'B no hel^ in pmyer, as Falstoff 
Bijd-«-<e¥eii the Inmiaii fuefiu of embryo paseee 
through a stage iu the womb at which it shows 
the outline of gills on the throab just like a fish. 
It is the same with the dog, the horse, the 
ktogmOy the dnok-mole, the bird, the orooodiki 
the totle» the lisaid; they all have the same 
straotoie. Nor is this an isolated fact. Fran the 
fish was evolved the amphibian ; from tiiis came 
the lizard; from the lizard, on Darwinian principles, 
the bird. The lizard has solid teeth in its mottth ; 
the biid has no teeth in its beak. That is to iay» 
it has none ithdaif; bat it had when it was a 
lisard. Hieie, tiien, we have an intsnnediate 
stage between the fish and the bird. We must 
expect that the bird-embryo in the egg will show 
some trace of it. As a matter of fact it does so. 
When we eramine yomig parrots in the 0gg we 
find that they haye teeth in their months betee 
the biU ii fooned. When the bet wae jfast 
discovered, the real intermediate form between the 
lizard and the bird was not known. It was 
afterwards discovered at Solenhofen in a fossil 
impression from the Jurassic period. This waa 
the aioheopteiTx, lAdok had feathen like % teti 
bird, and yet had teetti in its month like the liiaid 
when it liired on earth. The instance is instructive 



224 UAEQKEL 

in two ways. In the fint place it fltaowB that we 

were quite justified in drawing our conclusions as 
to the past from the bird's embryonic form, even if 
the true transitional form between the lizard and 
the bird were never discovered at all. In the 
second pkoe, we flee in the jronng bird in the egg 
the vepiodnction of two confleontive ancestral 
stages: one in the fish-gills, the other in the 
lizard-like teeth. Once the law is admitted, there 
can be nothing strange in this. If 07ie ancestral 
stage^ that of the fish, is reproduoed in the young 
animal belonging to a higher group, vrhy not 
several?— why not all of them? No doubt the 
ancestral series of the higher forms is of enormous 
length. What an immense number of stages there 
must have been before the fishl And then we 
have still amnhibian. the lizard. the bird 
or i^ ftm ^ ft lj up to man* 

Why should not the law run: the whole ancestral 
series must be reproduced in the development of 
each individual orgauism ? We are now in a 
position to see the whole bearing of Haeckel's idea, 
and at the same time to appreciate his careful 
restrictions of it. 

First, let us see a little of the history of the 
matter, la the first third of the nineteenth 
century a number of pro -Darwinian ideas of 
evolution flitted about like ghosts in natural 
philosophy, as I have already said* The evo- 
lutionaxy ideas of Goethe and Lamarck are well 
known to-day. Another thinker of great influence | 
was Loients Oken, ^o established the oustom of 



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THE GENERAL MOBPHOLOaY" 286 



hdding adentiflo oongreBses. Okon had been 

constantly occupied with embryology, the science 
of the development of the individual organism. 
He was at all events acquainted with ail that was 
known at the time on the sabject. I open an old 
volume, wietohedly printed on bloiting-paper, of 
Oken'B Gentrdl NaiwraH Hutonj fcr aU Beadert 
(1833), and turn to a passage in the foorth volume 
(the first to be issued) on page 470. 

We read that the caterpillar of the buttorliy 
xeeembles the animal form at a stage of develop- 
ment that lies below the insect — ^the wonn. Oken 
says: "There is no doubt that we have here a 
striking resemblance, and one that justifies us 
in thinking that the development in the ovum is 
merely a repetition of the story of the creation of 
the animal groups." Oken was quite aware that 
the ohiok in the egg had giil-sUts like the fidi. 
He bases his idea on that &ot. He was veiy close 
indeed to the theory that Haedkel has so wonder- 
fully elaborated. However, he was greeted with 
laughter. His theory was treated as an absurdity 
from 1833 to 1866. It cannot be denied that he 
was himself partly to blame for this. Oken made 
two serious mistakes. On both points Haeehel is 
perfectly clear and sonnd. Moreover, the theory 
oi natural evolution that made it possible for us to 
speak of " ancestors " was still a Cinderella in the 
days of Oken. No sooner was it rehabilitated than 
the principle of the old theoiy dL emfaiyonio forms 
returned once more. 
Darwin himself at once appealed to it, bat it 

16 



I 



2» MAEDKSL 

wm reaerved £or Hfteckel to develop its full 
imporkbnoe. He ooneoted it in two partioolanu 
Ok6iii f tf*^ K?ff ftdiniveni hsA niide ml imloitiiiuiie 
■uitake. They believed in a genealogiettl tree of 

all living things, but they conceived it on the lines 
of the old classification. Linne had enumerated j 
in aoooesBion: mmwxdB, birds, ampMbia, fiBhes, 
inseoto, and womB. He put tbem in one gtaight 
ilne, which is oarUiniy the beet airengeniflnt for 
ffenend purposes. Bat when Okeii came with the ' 

idea of nabiiral evolution, he at once took this 
series as the outline of a genealogical tree. The 
luammais descended from the birds; the £&hes 
fEom the insects ; and so on. If that were really 
the OMC) the htgheflt animala would be expected to 
leprodnce aU the animal and plant stages in the ] 
course of their embryonic development, on the lines 
of the theory. The human being would have to : 
be, successively, not only a lisacd and a hsh, but 
even a biid, a beetie» a crab, and so on. This was 
by no means home ont by the facts, and so the I 
theory seemed to be discsedited. 

Now let us glance at Ilaeckel's genealogical ] 
tables. "We find eight of them, artistically drawn, | 
at the end of the second volume. The '^genea- | 
logical tiee" is given in the form of a branching 
tree, or as a huge £oiest*like growth of stems some 1 
of which only meet in the ultimate roots. There 
is no trace in Haeokel*s designs of the sort of 
Eiffel-Tower arrangement that the Linnean system 
involved. At the bottom we iind the protists, the 
most primitive loons of iiis. Fxam this point two 



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THB ''GiEJSnSRLL MOBFHOLOG Y " m 



panJlel steme diverge, thai ol tiie woimak and 

that of the plants ; they never touch each other 
after this point, and bo cannot be expected to be 
xepKodaced m the embxyomo forms. Then the 
anmud Btom is split up almost ai the loot into at 
least five independaot hrandhas* each of nhioh 
pmsiies its separaite line of dsrvelopiiieiit. One 

culminates in the insects, above the worms and the 
cruBfcacea, A totally independent stem issues in 
the vertebrates, and this in turn breaks into numj 
difierent branch^ BagrondthelisaKdSylorinstanoey 
we ^1*^^ the derslppiiisnt of thenanmials and Mirdsi 
whioh nm on as separate and parallel lines. It 
was mere nonsense to expect a mammal in its 
embryonic development to assume the form of 
a bird, ok a orab, or a beetle, or a masBoiy or a 
mednsa, even if the biogeuetio lanr were estab- 
lished ten times over. 

The second mistake made by Oken was to 
declare that, wliatever it cost, the law most be 
observed ever}^where. He exiimined the butterfly. 
It passed through two curious embryonic stages: 









M 



ooExespondedtothe worm; thait might be plaiuihly 
oontended. Bnt the pupa also mnst stand to 

something. Between the worm and the insect in 
classification was the crustacean. It had a hard 
flball: so had the pupa. Coasequently, the pupa 
IS a reproduction of the orustacea-stage. Bnoh 
wore the bold chess moves d the older theorist. 

Haeokel ftrst estftUished that these was snek a 
Uung ab tihe bio^netio law. There la a iunda- 



228 



menial norm, which is made oleair to us in 

embryology and can at the same time (remember 
the instance of the lizard-like teeth in the bird- 
embiyo) give us most wonderful suggestions as to 
the line of ancestral development. But it haa 
oertain limitationai as we will now show* 

The adaptations in the sense of the Darwinian 
laws have aSectcd the animal's embryonic life more 
and more, the higher the tree of life grew. The 
long recapitulation of the ancestral stages often 
oame into oonfliot with the young individual's need 
for proteotion. The result was that the biogenetic 
law found itself restrioted by the Darwinian laws 
of adaptation. The too lengthy succession of an- 
cestral portraits was abbreviated and couipressed. 
Whole stages of embryonic or larval development 
were interpolated that had nothing to do with 
tiiese anoestral portraits, but waie desianed for the 
proteotion of the fcstns. The butterfly pupa is 
really an mstructive instance of this description. 
It does not reproduce a crab-stage, nor has there 
been any stage in the ancestry of the butterfly 
when they lived throughout life in pupa-houses. 
The pupa is simply a later adaptation in the 
development of the butterfly, a protective stage in 
which it accomplishes the transition from the 
caterpillar-form in much the same way as the 
young bird develops under the protection of the 
hard egg-shell. Thus only a faint and shadowy 
trace has been left of the real ancestral forms, 
though this tnu)e is an extremely instmctiye one. 
But we must not expect the impossible from it. 



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THB <<eENBRAL MORPHOLOOT" 229 



In this way our naked and crude biogenetic law 
aBsumeB a more finished and scientifio fonu : the 
embiyonio de^opsnent ot the individiial is a 
oondensed, abbreyiated» and to Bome extent modi- 
fied epitome of the evdationary history of its 
ancestors. That is more modest, but it is a 
oorreot expression of the facts. The essential point 
of the older idea was not in itself wrong ; all that 
was done was :io explain the gaps, and leaps^ and 
oontradiottons in it. 

Now that Oken's share in the theory has been 
properly appreciated, we may notice another little 
historical detail. In the period immediately aftor 
his time these ideas were ridiouled by men of 
fldenee, great and small, bnt they ware not exaotty 
« done to death/* Agassis, the most prononnoed 
creationist and daalist of all the nineteenth-oentory 
zoologists, expounded them occasionally as a 
curious instance of the divine action. In fact, he 
looked upon the whole of zoology as a mystic 
cabinet of ooriositiee — ^the more oniions the better. 
Thns he came to play with this idea and confirm 
it, but merely took it at first' as a fine figure of 
speech. Agassiz is a tragical form. IIo survived 
Darwin, much in the same way that many an 
elegant mot-de-mlon ou the rights of man survived 
the French BeTolation« Suddenly the whole stroc- 
tnre of his ideas seemed to fall about him. 'Wherehe 
had played with roses, he now found toiohe& He 
reeled like a smitten man, and cried out against 
the horrid monsters that broui^^ht him pain and 
bitterness. His anxiety began with Darwin, even 



290 



HABOKEL 



as regarded the qnestion of the embryo. But there 
was another, a man far away in Soatii Amariofty 
thai iiumMed il--ibatB Mtmtf * 

Bom m 1839^ one of the ineet piaoaeni in ao»^ 
logical work, Prite MtOler had wished 1k) become % 
higher teacher, but had abandoned his plan on 
account of the oath that had to be taken by every 
servant of the State. In 1849 he wrote to the 
MJnieliy xe^pieefeiiij^ that he nughl be allowed to 
dispeiue with the temula **6o help me God, 
tiuoa^ Jesus Ghrisl." Meeting with a refusal, he 
went to South Araerica, and began a solitary life as 
a student in the primitive forest, and sought to accu- 
mnlate valuable zoologioal material. Darwin called 
hun'^thekiDgofobiermB." In Idft^hepohliehed 
an essay of ninety-foiir pages with the tiUe For 
jDarwin. He revived and improved the old idea 
of Oken's, and made fresh contributions to the 
natural history of the Crustacea that were literally 
stupefying. W© may pay that the point that he 
believed hM9 had established, in virtue of the law, in 
regard to the genealogioal tree of the orustaoea, 
was afterwards, with apparent justice, called into 
question, even by supporters of the law such as 
Arnold Lang. That, however, did not diminish 
the extent ol his influence at the time. Haeekd 
has generously adknowledged how etraugly he felt 
thai faifluenoe himself. Neverthelest all that has 
been smd about Haeckel's priority in fully applying 
and shaping the law, and in its final formulation, 
is perfectly correct. 

\yhftn yT f^ft^if^ had mafisfld his inatftrial he had 



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THE "GBNEKAL MQBFHOLOGX- SS31 

ftnl to maAe the neoMary Uanm for Mnmnging it 

distinctly. In the language of the old legend, ho 
called the day day, and the night night. To the 
story of ancestral development, or the evolution 
d Uie steni) he gave the name oi phflogenof^ or 
•t6m-bistoi7(pib|floii<B8t6m). Tbe imd oiroiilatat 
vary widely to-day. The story of the devebpment 
of the individual until it reaches maturity was 
then called ontogeiuj (on -being), which coincides 
generally with embryology (though it may also 
inoiude the growth of the child). The law then 
ran: Ontogeny is an ahhraviated and freqnentiy 
diflamnged epitome of phylogeny. Special atteop 
tion was drawn to the qoalificationB abbreviated 
and " disarranged." 

Here again two fresh names were invented. In 
80 far as the embryonio development is a true 
lecaptolatian d the itam-histoiy) it ia called 
palmgen$9i$^ at lepetition of the ancestral tiaits* 
When the development is altered by new adap- 
tations it is called ce?ioge7mis, ** foreign " or " dis^ 
torbing *' developjncnfc. 

It has been objeoted by amall-minded (Cities that 
Haeckel forces nature to mar its own woik. The 
real meaning is quite dear if we bear in mind the 
Mnnder of Oken. In this case " distmiied develop- 
ment " is merely an expression oL the faet that the 
laws we invent are ideal forms, and not always con- 
venient realities. We learn by heart that the earth 
is a globe, and its orbit is an ellipse. Neither of 
the two propositiotts is strictly accurate ; no mathe- 
maliosl jBgue even haa objeotHe reaU^. By the 



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232 



HAECKSL 



sheer ateaction of the mter of the ooean to the 
oontinents the earth has a& irregularity of shape 

that it is barely possible to express m words. To 
call the path of the earth round the sun, coa- 
Btantly alteriug as it doesy and fitiii further cam- 
plioated hy the sun's owi movement, a reai ellipse 
is the greatest nonsense oonceiTaUe. 

In this sense every natural law is snbjeot to dis- 
turbances, though these in turn are the outcome of 
natural laws. If wc do not cavil over the name, 
we &Qd that the idea it stands for is of the greatest 
consequence for any further use of the biogenetic 
kw. Unless it is borne in mind, the law, especially 
in the hands of the inexpert, falls into hopeless 
confusion. We read so often that the ancestral 
history is identical \^ith the embryonic develop- 
ment. The one is a recapitolation of the other* 
This supposed law is then applied in psychology, 
asstheiics, and many other directions. If it 
sncoeeds, there is jubilatioin. If it doeenot sncoeed 
(as it does not in a thousand cases), the whole 
blame is thrown on Haeckel. People discover that 

the biogenetic law breaks down here," and they 
throw over Darwinism altogether. 

The second Tolnme of the Morphology is the 
standing palladium against all this nonsense. It 
marks off the real readers and follo^^ Grs of Haeckel 
fi'om the superficial talkers who run after him 
because he is famous, and will leave him unscru- 
pulonsly for any other celebrity of the hoar. 

The book must be read. Even in this seccmd 
volume an incredible amount of matter is corn- 



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THE "(xExN'EEAL MORPHOLOGY" 2S3 



pcessed. An introduction, consisting of a hnncbed 

and sixty pages of small type, gives us an idea 
of the new system. This is the first scheme of a 
leal '^natond classij&oation " of living things. 
From this we pass to special morphology. Bat 
ibis feaileas skatoh of the specialiaed genealogioal 
tree, according to the new ideas, puts general 
morphology in its true light. We are made to feel 
that it is not all mere theory. To-morrow- -nay, 
to-day — the whole practice of zoology and botany 
will have to be remodelled on the new principles. 
Off with the lod of the ark ! The whole museum 
must be cleared out. We want new divisions, new 
labels. The old controversy between the Nomina- 
lists and the Realists seemed to have come to life 
once more. How students had played with the 
word ''affinity " as a symbol. The lemurs were 
^^lelated'* to the apes, and to other groups of 
mammals. The star-fishes were related to the 

sea-urcliius, to tlie eucrinites. The word had, 
in fact, led to a certain amount of arrangement ; 
the stuffed ox dried or preserved specimens in 
the museum were 'placed side by side. Suddenly 
the whole thing became a reality. The things 
that were related*' to each other had really 
been connected historically in earlier ages. The 
lemurs were the progenitors of the apes. Behmd 
them were a series of other mammals. Star-fishes, 
sea-urchins, and encrinites, fonned a definite 
branch of the great treci and were historically 
connected; not (qmibolically, but in a real extinct 
common ancestor. 



284 



HAECKEL 



li Wft0 a VMi wofk. A nn^e man had at first 

the whole kingdom ia his hands, had to reject the 
old lines of demarcation and create new ones. 
There was a certain advantage at the time. Since 
draer^s time an tmm^^A quantify of new dia* 
ooYeriea had aoeumiilated for tfaa oanttnietion of a 
syBteBU of Hying things. Mfiller, Siebold, Lenekart, 
Vogt, and many others, had done a gieat deal 
of preparatory work. All this was of great assis- 
tance to the man who now came forward with 
ooQiage and a talent for oiganiaation. Nevar- 
thutloflii it Pioodcid real geninay togetiber with ahnost 
hoimdlesB knowledge, to aooompli^ the task. We 
must remember how reactionary (even apart from 
the question of evolution) was the systematic work 
of distinguished and assuredly learned zoologists 
hke Qiebel at that time; they worked on in a 
hnmdnun way as if the more advanced students 
did not exist. How difEerent it has all become 

since Haeckel'.s thorough reform of classification ! 
We are astounded to-day at the skill with whii h he 
drew lines in his very hrst sketch that were so 
near to the pemuumt truth. I need only point 
to the new sohOTiM^ of the dassifioatioa of 
vertebrates. A good deal of his work was, of 
courbe, bound to be defective, because the facts 
were not yet known; fur instance, in hxing the 
point at wiiich the vertebrates may have evolved 
from the invertebrates. It was not until a year 
later that the diaoovery of the embiyonio develop- 
ment of the aseidia by Kowalewsky threw hgU cm 
this. Again, there was the solution of the problem 



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TH£ «*GBNEBAL MOBPHOLOGT*' 286 



of the ultimate root-connection of the great 
parallel animal stems. In this matter Haockel 
bimseii luroaglit iUumiiuUiioii by his gastrsei^ 

On the nfliole flus syBtemofeic bxtrodootion to 
the seoond Tolnnie would fas've soffieed of i^mM to 

seoare for Haeckel a prominent position in the 
history of zoology and botany. He himself was 
chiefly proud of the fact that it was the hrst 
natnral-philoaophioal system on the new lines to 
meet the ligosoas demands of aoademio sofenoe, 
and indeed to revolnl^onise aoademio sdenee. TkoB 
enhances hie complete triumph in the last two 
books of the volume. First man is introduced, 
with absolute clearness and deoisivenesSy into the 
system of evolved natural beings, as otowb of the 
animal world, but snbjeot to the same laws as the 
animal t a 'vertebfatei a mammal^ niioee nearest 
relatives arc the anthropoid apes. Thus at last the 
" R3^Rtem of nature" was complete. Tt embodied 
the unity of nature. It formed the framework of 
facts lor a nnified natural philosophy, Monism* 
The monumf the ^* one,'^ emhraoing all things, that 
included nature in itself and itself in natnze, 
became the last scientilic delinition of what people 
called " God." 

Thus the volume, which had begun the system 
of nature with the monera, closes with a chapter 
<8k the Monistio Qod— the God in natore/* The 
oonoeption of God in hnman &shioii is rejected. 
Man is merely a vertebrate, a mammal, adapted in 
his whole struotore to our little planet. A supreme 



236 HAECKEL 

Being to whom we ascribe omiiipieeenoe ooald not 
possibly be confined within &e nanow limits of 

this vertebrate and mammal organisation. When 
we try to do so we fall into unshapely conceptions 
ih&i are wholly unworthy of the mo^i exalted of all 
wordSy ideas, and beings. It is in this Odmeotioa 





m 







** gaseous vertebrate," that hM so often been qnoted 

and attacked since. He means to b^lj that we are 
driven to such debasing and senseless definitions 
it we do not recognise in God the essence of the 
whole system of things ; if we formonr idea of him 
arbitrarily on any particnlar property of things 
within tiie system. We mnst beware — as he ex- 
pressly says — of such confused and unworthy 
comparisons. 

" Our philosophy," Haeckel continues, " knows 
only one God, and this Almighty God dominates 
the whole of nature withoat esoeption. We see 
bis aetiTity in all phenomena withont exception. 
The whole of the inorganic world is subject to him 
just as much as the organic. If a body fails hfteen 
feet in the ^st second in empty space, if three 
atoms of oxygen unite with one atom of sulphur to 
fonn snlphnric add, if the angle that is formed by 
ike contignons snri^tces of a eolmnn of rook-crystal 
is always 1^20 degrees, these phenomena are just as 
truly the direct action of God as the flowering of 
the plant, the movement of the animal, or the 
thought of man. We all exist ' by the grace of 
Otodf* the stone as well as the water, tiie radio- 
as well as the pine, the gorilla as well as the 



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THB **aENBBAL MCmPHOLOQY" 237 

Bmperor of CSiixia. No oilier oonoe|itioii of God 

except this that sees his spirit and force in all 
natural phenomena is worthy of his all -enfolding 
greatness; only when we trace all forces and all 
movemente, all the forms and properties of matter, 
to 0od» as the mtaineir of all thingB, do we reaoh 
the hnman idea and leverenoe for him that really 
corresponds to his infinite greatness. In him we 
live, and move, and have uur being. Thus does 
natural philosophy become a theology. The cult 
of nature passes into that service of God of which 
Goethe says : ^ Asamedly there ie no noUer rever- 
ence for God than that springs np in oar heart 
from conversation with nature.' God is almighty : 
he is the sole sustamer and cause of all things. In 
other words, God is the universal law of causality. 
God is absolntely perfeot; he cannot act in any 
other than a peifeotly good maimer; he cannot 
therefore act arbitrarily or freely—- Godis neoessity. 
God is the sum of all force, and therefore of all 
matter. Every conception of God that separates 
him from matter, and opposes to him a smn of 
forces that are not of a divine nature, leads to 
amphitheism (or ditheism) and on to polytheism. 
In showing the nnity of the whole of natnrsi 
Monism points ont that only one God exists, and 
that this God reveals himself in all the phenomena 
of nature. In grounding all the phenomena of 
organic or inorganic nature on the universal law 
of oansaUtyy and exhibiting them as the ontoome of 
* efBknent oanses/ Monism proves that Qod is the 
neoessaiy oaose of all things and the law itsell In 



laoogmsing none but divine foioes in nature, in 
pfocdaiming all naioxal laws to be divine, Monim 
riees to the greftteel end mosl lofty ooooepfeian of 

which man, the most perfect of all things, is 
capable, the conception oi the unity of God and 
nature.** 

The book closes with tiieae words and a qwMHaa 
frosn Qoethe* It bed opened witb • qoototion 
from Ooettie. Goetiie rane tiuoogh the whole of 

the two oncrgctic volumes like an old and vener- 
able anthem. The stalwart fighter not only traces 
bis whole Monistic philosophy to Gk)6tbe: not 
Oioly owes to bim ihe veiy idea of morphology. In 
fiooli of the ieoond end mm etdoyy Derwinistio 
vdame he hae a dedioatioa to the fonnden of 
the theory of evolnMon," and between Darwin 
and Lamarck we find the name of Goethe. It 
was Haeckel's hrm conviction that Goethe not 
only beUeved in the onity of God and nature, 
bat literally in the natoial evolntion ol the 
varioQB ipeoieB of animele and plants from eaob 
other. In this conviction, which claims Goethe 
explicitly for Darwin, he has never been shaken, 
although his own friends and convinced evolu- 
tiooists (Oaoar Schmidt, for inatanoe) have often 
opposed him on the point. 

Hnoh has been written sinoe Ae days of the 
Qeneral Morphology both for and against this 
Goethe-Darwin theory, but I cannot see that we 
have got much further with it. I still find that 
a candid study <ji some of Goethe's smaller 
wnangSt soon as 



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THB ««GENBRAL MOBFHOLOGT* 



Studies, the criticism of D'Aiion's BLoth* 
amd Fackjfdefmi (whioh is very important), and 
several otiien, oompeb ne to think that Qoetibe 
really believed, in a sMldngly Darwinian way, 

in a slow transformation and evolution of animal 
and plant species in virtue of purely natural 
laws; and that he always laid great stress on 
this idea of hie as an original notion, far in 
advanoe of the proloMBonri aoianoe of his time. 
We not only have several dear passages, bat 
the whole point of his argument really rests on 
this idea. Hence, apart alto^u^ther from the 
pedantry that tries to make a oahalistic mysteiy 
out of Goethe's works^ and always reads B for A 
and 0 lor it does seem that there was troth 
in Haeokel's first view ol the matter, in spite of 
all the ink that has been shed over it and the 
vast amount of word-sphttmg exegesis. Darwin- 
ism has, in a certain sense, its German side, even 

^part from all that Haaokel has done for it. 
« • • • • 

This was the book, then, that the deeply 

afllictecL author wrung from himself as his testa- 
ment.** It was written and printed with unprece- 
dented speed. When the first copies were issued, 
the author had a feehng that he had naaily done 
ior himself." He ooold not sleep. The state 
of his nerves gave great oonoem to his friends, 
who were watching him most anxiously. With 
a stolid fatalism, as if nothing mattered now, he 
yielded to their pressing advioe, and decided to 
travel ior a time, far away on the hlne Atlantio, 



340 



HABOEBL 



at ihd gate to ail the glories of tba tropics, 
there is an island, Tenerifie, that was counted 
one of the isles of the bleet " in the old Boman 
days. A huge volcano rises from it, and on its 

flanks we find all the zones of the geography of 
plants, as in a model collection. Humboldt hm 
given UB a splendid description of it» as the iirst 
station of his voyage to the tropios. The man 
who has some feeliBg for the beauty of Nataze»" 
he says, *^will find a more powerfol restorative 
than climate on this lovely island. No place in 
the world seems to me better calculated to banish 
ftoxxow and restore peace to an embittered soul." 
Haeckel went there. 

It was not an expensive jonmeyy but it came as 
a fresh greeting from Nature. It was a new ocean 

after the long studies on the MediLerrauean. 
What might it not afiord in the way of medusae 
and other zoological prizes when the general 
beauty of the landsci^e, that had enchanted 
Humboldt, had been folly enjoyed. With a 
mingling of his overflowing passion for Natore, and 
the gloomy falahsiii that told him this would be 
his " last voyage " after his " last book,*' he asked 
permission to leave Jena in the autumn of 1866, 
when the printing of the Morphology was com- 
pleted, and set ont. It was no more to be his 
last voyage than the Morphology to be his last 
testament. Although still subdued with resigna- 
tiuii in his inner life, he csune home in the spring 
of 1867 with a new elasticity of body and mind, 
reetor^ by the infioence of tiie palms and bananas 



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THE "GENERAL MOEPHOLOG Y 241 

and sparge, Mid fyraeed for the gieat ttrag^ of his 

Kfe that was now to begin in earnest. 

The voyage had really two aims. To see the 
volcano above a palm-olad oomtj with the Atlantic 
Ooeaa biixiging its mednw; and to work for 
Darwitt. 

A personal ocmneotkm belvreen the two had 

already been formed as a matter of course. 
Darwin, almost coniiuecl for years to bis isolated 
home at Down owing to his constant ill*heaith> 
had leoeiTed a copy of the Badiolaria^ and the 
ooneepondenoe had begun. The work had as yet 
met with little eneonragement from the ranks 
of exact scientists. It cannot have been a matter 
of indilTcrence to Darwin personally that so dis- 
tinguished a work, a real model of professional 
research, had oome over to him. Proofs of the 
Morphology were sent over to Down before the 
boc^ was ready for puhlioation. Darwin read 
German with difficulty, but in this case he was 
stimulated to make an unusual effort. At last 
Haeckel himself made his appearance at the 
master's home. It seemed as though he had to 
visit him in person to leoeive his hlessing. It 
was, at all events, a happy moment in the history 
of Darwinism when the two men first met wiiobd 
names will be inseparable in literature. 

This was in October, 1866 ; Darwin had sent his 
oaniage to bring Haeckel from the station. A 
smmy antomn morning smiled on the homely and 
beautiful English landscape with its bright woods 
and golden broom and red erica and evergreen oaks. 

16 



2i2 



HABCKEL 



Haeckel has desoribed their first meeting. " When 
the carnage drew up before Darwin's house, with 
its i^ and its shadowy elms, the gxeat scientist 
stepped out of ttie shade of the ereeper-ooveved 
porch to meet me. He had a tall and venerable 
appearance, with the broad shoulders of an Atlas 
that bore a world of thought : a Jove-hke forehead, 
as we see in Gbethe, with a lofty and broad vault, 
deeply fonowed by the plough of intellectaal 
work. The tender and friendly eyes were over- 
shadowed by the great roof of the prominent 
brows. The gentle mouth was framed in a long, 
silvery white beard. The noble expression of the 
whole face, the easy and soft voice, the slow and 
carefnl pronnnciation, the natural and simple 
tenor of his conversation, took my heart by storm 
in the first hour that we talked together, just as 
his great work had taken my intelligence by storm 
at the first reading. I seemed to have before me 
a venerable sage of ancient Greece, a Socrates or 
an Aristotle/' 

They were delighted to meet each other, for 
they were like natures, in their best qualities. 
Darwin had more passion in him than he ever 
expressed, and behind all Haeckel's impetuosity 
there was the naive and yielding temper of the 
child. He poured out his anger agamst the 
stubborn and bewigged professors who still held 
out against the luminous truth of the theory of 
evolution. Darwin put his hand on his shoulder, 
smiled, and said they were rather to be pitied 
than blamed, and that they could not keep back 



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THE ''GENERAL MORPHOLOGY 243 



penoaaently the Btream of truth. At heart, 
however, he was delighted with his fieiy pupil. 
They were to fight their hattle shoulder to 

shoulder for seventeen years. During all those 
years there was never the slightest disturbance 
of their friendship. Darwin knew well what an 
auxiliary he had in HaeckeL It is true that he 
wrote him a wonderful letter ocoasionally, in 
which he used the right of a senior to warn 
Haeckel not to deal so violently with his oppo- 
nents. Violence only had the eUect of making 
onlookers side with the party you attacked. We 
must he careful not to he too hasty in setting 
things up as positiye truths, as we see evezy day 
people starting from tiie same premises and coming 
to opposite conclusions. But he was generally at 
one with Haeckel, and had the good spirit to 
acknowledge it openly. When Haeokers History 
of Creation raised up the most extreme parties, 
and started the cry that a distmoidon must he 
drawn at once between Darwin*s real scientific 
ideas and Haeckel' s desperate excursions into 
natural philosophy, Darwin said, in the Descent 
of Marly which he had begun much earlier, but 
did not publish for some time, that he would 
never have written his book if he had then known 
HaeokePs HUtory of CretUim, Haeckel had 
anticipated so much that he wished to say. 
And when Virchow attacked Haeckel in 1877, 
Darwin spoke very severely of the opponents who 
would make the eternal freedom to teach the 
truth dependent on the accidental conditions of 



814 



HABGEBL 



a modem State. Haeckel visited him twioe at 
Down. On Febmaxy 12, 1882, he sent Darwin 
his ooDgiatnlations on his seyenty-thiid birthday 
from the snniinit of Adam's Peak in Ceylon. 
This was his li^st greeting. Darwin died two 
months afterwards. There was a touch of 
romance in this last communication of the two 
great warriors. On the sommit of the mountain, 
almost as sharp as a needle, and 2,500 yards above 
the Indian Ocean, a tiny temple of Bnddha hangs 
like a stork's nest suspended by chains. Bnddha 
is believed to have left his footprints on the rocks 
here. The Moharumedan tradition, however, say3 
it was done by Adam as he stood on one foot and 
bemoaned the loss of Paradise. In front of this 
holy trace, a depression in the rock ahont a foot 
long, Haeckel made a speech to his travelling 
companions, and they broke the neck of a bottle 
of lihine wine to Darwin's health. It is no little 
stretch of humanity's pilgrimage, from Adam to 
Buddha and on to Darwin. 

In October, 1866, Haeckel had a companion in 
a teacher from Bonn, Richard Qreeff (afterwards 
professor of zoology at Marburg). They took ship 
from London to Lisbon, where they were long 
detained for quarantine, though the annoyance 
was somewhat relieved by the discovery of an 
interesting medosa in the brackish water of the 
Tagos. They then went to Madeira and Tenerifie, 
not right into the tropics, but where they might 
get a breath of it, as it were. Two of HaeckePs 
pupils, who both became well known afterwards. 



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Ernst liAKrkKi. and his assisiant Mikm i hu-Maclav 
AT Lan/akuib, in thk Canamibs, 1H67. 



To fact p. 244. 



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THE "GENERAL MORPHOLOGY- 245 



IfiUiieho-MaoIay and Fd, wero with them. QieefiE 
hsB given a full aooonnt of tibe jonmey in a whole 

Tolame (published at Bonn, 1868), and Haeckel 
has written of it in two articles, one of which (in 
the fifth volume of the Zeitschrift der GeaelUchaft 
fOir Erdkimde^ Berlin, 1670) is a perfeot master* 
piece of narrative and deeoription of eoeneiy. 
After a long eearoh they choee as the hest 
station for studying marine animals, especially 
the medusae, the little island of Lauzarote, 
instead of one of the chief islands. Here they 
fished and drew, in the manner taught by 
Johannes MtUler, for three months, from Decem- 
ber, 1866, to February, 1867. It is not exactly 
an ideal place. ** Imagine yourself dnrnped down 
on the luour 1 " Haeckel said afterwards in his 
description of it. A piece of arid land that looked 
like a strip of the Sahara in the middle of the 
ocean. There is liaidly any water, and the 
vegetation is oonespondingly meagre. Aoroes 
the middle of tiie island stafetohes a chain of 
volcanic craters, and old lava-ficlds run down 
from them as far rs the coast. Everything; of 
zoological interest in the plaoe was to be found 
in the sea* There they found abundance. As in 
Messina, certain local cnnents drove the rich 
animal plancton together nntil there were literally 
rivers or streets oi tiny aniiiuds. One had only 
to dip in one's nets and glasses, and bring up 
whole shoals with every drop of water. 

Haeckel had come cMefly to study the medim. 
But this led him on moch further to a great 



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Boologioal problem. In his Gmeral Morphology 

he iiiid expounded his brilliant ideas uii the subject 
of individuality, and now he encountered in the 
defiii one of the greatest marvels of animaJ 
individuality, fie had shown how the higher 
indiyidnal is always made op of a oommaziity, 
a kind of state, of lower indiyidoals. In the 
simplest instance there are the cells. Each of 
them is an iiulividual. Millions of these indi- 
viduals, banded together with division of labour 
for great collective operations, make up the human 
frame, and therefore the human individiial/* 
In the same way otiien form a beetle, a snail, or 
a single medusa. Sometimes, however, these 
hio^her individuals enter in turn into social 
combinations to form stiU liigher communities. 
Human beings form sooial commonwealths, with 
division of labour among the individuals. Bees 
and ants form their o<nnmanitie6 in the same 
way. But in the latter cases the texture of the 
community seems to be much looser than in the 
preceding one. It is not so easy for the imagina- 
tion to grasp a human commonwealth or a colony 
of bees as a real "over-individual." It is, tbere^ 
fore, extremely instmotive to find that at least 
one animal community of this kind is of so firm 
a texture that even on the most superficial 
exammation it is recognised at once as an 
individuaL This is found in one of the groups 
of the medose, the siphonophores, or sooial 
meduso. 

A number of single medusae, each of whieh 



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THE "GENER^lL morphology** 247 



corresponds to what we regard as the individual 
man, combine and form a new body, a social 
indiyidaal. As citizens of this new state they 
have introdaced the most ngid division of labour. 
One medusa does nothing but eat, and it thus 
provides nourishment for the rest, as they are all 
joined in one body. Another accomplishes the 
swimminj^ movement ; another has been converted 
entirely into a reproductive organ. In a word, 
the whole has become a ^^miity" once moroi 
equipped with its various ozgans Uke any laige 
body. Sometimes thonsands of separate medns» 
enter into the structure of one of these wonders 
of the deep. And as each of the medusae is 
generally a very pretty, iiower-like creature, the 
social gronps with their oharming ooloors look 
like floating garlands of flowers made of trans- 
parent and tinted or3r8tal. Their beanty would 
soon lix Haeckel's attention, but their bearing on 
his theory of individuality would give them an 
even greater value. For several years he had 
seaiohed most attentively in the animal world for 
these over-individuals'* of the hi^^iest class. In 
the morphology he had had to be oontent with 
an old illustration of something of the kind, the 
star-fish. It was supposed to be a combination 
of vermalians. In this case the hypothesis has 
bioken down^ though there was a good deal to be 
said for it at flist» and it was abandoned by him 
afterwards. But now, when he saw enormous 
numbers of siphonophores in the animal streams 
at Lanaarote, he entered upon a decisive study of 



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248 



the meaning of these veal ^< sooial animale.*' A 

Bocial luedusa has so great an appearance of uuity 
thai hhose who discovered it first did not believe 
it was a comixiumty, but a very complicated 
individaal medusa. Yogt (1847) and Lenckart 
(1861) had denied this, and deeiaied it to be a 
■ooial gronp. Bat the oontrovmy was still going 
on, as there was much diilcrence of opinion as to 
the meamng of "social" and "state." Haeckel 
now succeeded at Lanzarote in tracing lor the fizst 
time the dsYelopment of one of these siphono- 
phoies from the ovum. He was aUe to show that 
tram the OTom only a single simple medusa is 
developed. This, then, becomes the parent of the 
community ; it produceB the rest of the members, 
not by a new sexual generation, but by budding 
oat from itself, until the whole garland of oon- 
neoted indiTidoals is ready to oonstitate the new 
over^indiTidaal, or the oommanity. These lomi- 
nous investigations were published three years 
afterwards (1869) in a work that was crowned by 
the Utreoht Society of Art and Bcience (The 
Embffoloffff of the Si^honqphoraf with fourteen 
plates, pabUshed at Utcacht). Bat Haeokel 
xetarned time alter time in later years to tius 

group of animals with such great philosophic and 
j^oological interest. When he had put before him 
in the eighties the whole of the siphonophores 
bnnight home by the splendid Ohallenger exp&ii- 
tion, he eombined the material with the zesalts of 
his own stadies in a fine work, whioh was indaded 
(in Engiibh) in the publications o£ the Challenger 



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To face p 24S 



Google 



THE **GKN£IiAL MOliFHOLOGT*' U9 



series 9i London, as the 96ih Tdome of the 

Zoology of the Challenger, 1888. The voluminous 
work is illustrated with fifty masterly plates, sorae 
of them coloured, by Haeckel himself. The most 
important part of the text was also published in 
Gteman at Jenai with the title, Bygtem a/ ^ 
Svphonophcrm. There is a good popular aooonnt 
of the siphonophore question in his lecture on 
** The Division of Labour in Nature and in 
Human Ldfe " (1869). A few of these beautiiol 
forms are slso given on coloured plates in bis 
illustrated work, Art-form in Nature. Every 
tbonghtfol man ought, whatever his position is 
as regards HaeckePs ideas, to glance at this 
material that he has so vigorously and dearly 
presented. 

While he was conducting this research into 
the embryonic devdopment of the siphonophozes, 
Haeckel made certain experiments on phenomena 

that have lately been made the subject of a special 
" experiment ill mechanical embryology" by Rome 
of his pupils, particularly Professor Eoux, of Halle. 
He cat up siphonophore ova into several pieces at 
the commencement of their development, and saw 
an incomplete social mednsa devek^ from each 
fragment. 

Thus the journey, like the earlier one to 
Messina, brought the indefatigable student into 
touch once more with a philosophical animal." 
Tiiis sione woold have made it well wortii the 
trooUe. How many more ol the kind the fotore 
might still have in reserve for him I In the (^uiet 



^0 



ilAECKEL 



months at Puerto del Axtecajae^ <m LaauBarote^ he 
WB0 gnduaUy veetored to his Bpuritnal balance. 

Nature had taken much from him, but she offered 
him an inexhaustible return, llis (elasticity and 
vigour oi frame had been restored before he left 
Teneriffe. In a twenty-two hours' tour, only 
inteirapted 1^ two honra' sleep, he had olimbed 
to the highest sumnit ci the Peslc, in sadh an 
unfavourable season (in the November snow) that 
the native guides would not go any farther in the 
end; all those who were with him except one 
stopped short a little way from the top. The 
short rest at the sanunit (4,128 yards above the 
sea-level, on the ioy edge of the crater) was 
greatly enjo3'ccl by him. He cuuld see over a 
distance of 6,700 square miles, as much as one- 
fourth of the whole of Spain. The extraordinary 
range and height of the horizon gives one a va^e 
idea of the infinitjy ol spaoei The deep onbrdDen 
silenoe and tiie oonsoioosness that we have left 
all animal and vegetal life far behind, produce a 
profound feeling of solitude. One feels oneself, 
with a certain pride, master of the situation that 
has been secured with so much trouble and risk. 
Bat the next moment one feels what we really are 
— ^momentary waves in the infinite ooean of life, 
transitory combinations of a comparatively small 
number of organic cells, which, in the last resort, 
owe their origin and signiiicance to the pecuhar 
ohemioal properties of oarbon. How small and 
mean at snoh momentB do we find the little play 
of human pasflionB that i^^^flft itself fsr below in 




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THE «« GENERAL MORPHOLOGY ** 251 



the imonts of civilisation ! How great and exalted 
in compariflon does free Nature seem, as it unrolls 
before ns, in one ^ael piotnie, the whole majesty 
and splendour of its oreattTe power 1'* Thus he 

himself describes the moment. Something of that 
feeling of exalted solitude entered into his life. 
He stood film and ondazed — oome what might. 



CHAPTEB VII 



OBOWTU OF nnsAB 

AT Easter, 1867, Haeckel returned to Jena 
through Morocco, Madridi and Pans. He 
spent a few of ihe pleaaant epring weeks at the 
Strait of Qibraltar and in the South of Spain. In 

the fine bay of Algeciras (opposite to Gibraltar on 
the west) the current of the Strait brought swarms 
of interesting medusae, siphonophores, and other 
" planoton-animals " into his net. In his sohtary 
walks through the moimtain foreatB of Andalnsia^ 
in the inoomparable Moorish palaoes and the 
cathedrals of Seville and Cordova, Granada and 
the Alhambra, he gazed on that wealth of Spain 
in treasures of Nature and Art which had excited 
his boyish imaginatum in the vivid pictures of 
Washington Irving. 

With his return home a crisis occurred in his 
career, from our biographical point of view, such 
as we hnd at one point or other in the lives ol 
all great men. Up to the present ttie eonrse of 
his life has advanced steadily onward, so ttiat tiie 
simple chronological order afforded the most 



GROWTH OF IDSAS tfS 



natural thread for our narrative. With this crisis 
his activity broadens oat more. His ideas, almost 
all of which are preseutod in the Qm&nd MorpJi^ 
chgif, torn a great and oontmnoiu slemt wfaieh 
ttirowB oQi a laige or a small flower on one eide or 
other, according to the stimulns received. His life 
crystallises about Jena ; however many journeys 
he makes, he always feels that he will return to his 
oentre at Jena. Nothing in his later care^ ever 
shook him hem this ideal and personal base. 

In the summer alter bis return to Jena, 1867, 
he married Agnes Huschke, daughter of the dis- 
tinguished Jena anatomist. He shares the 
happiness of this second marriage down to the 
prssent day. Of their three ohiWren, the son is 
now a gifted artist at M miioli ; the elder daughter 
is the wife of Professor Hans Meyer, proprietor of 
the Leipsio Bibliographical Institute, who is par- 
tioulacij known in aoienoe by his ascent of the 
Kilimsndschars ; the younger daughter is still at 
home with her parents. 

He never leaves the University of Jena — and it 
never abandons him. It is a kind of spiiitual 
marriage. In 1865) when the sky was still free 
from clouds, he was invited to take a position al 
WMabnigy his old sohodl-plaoe* He declined the 
invitation, and was then appointed ordinary pro- 
fessor at Jeua. Then the evil days came. The 
conoluBions of his Morphology were popularised by 
himselfi and went out far and wide amongst the 
masses. People opened their eyes to find that this 
audaeious scientist was making war iqpon Qod " 



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264 



HAECKEL 



out of his zoology. At length the dMcuit question 
arises whether a mind of that type can be retained 
in the honourable podtioii <rf offidal professor. 
The Philistines are in arms. The quiet, stubborn 

group, that has vegetated unchanged, like a de- 
moralised parasitic animal, from Abdem to Sohilda, 
through thousands of years of the free development 
of the mindy boyoots the professor and his family 
for a time. The Philistines appeal from their 
safe corner to tlie authorities to intervene. Ouce, 
towards the close of the sixties, the situation 
threatened to become really critical. The head of 
the governing body of the umversity at the time 
was Seebeck, a distinguished man who by no 
means shared Haeckel's views, but had a just 
feeling of Haeckel's honourableness and mental 
power. In the middle of the struggle Haeckel 
approaches him one day, and says that he is pre- 
pared to resign his position, a sacrifice to his 
ideas. Seebeck replied, '*My dear Haeckel, you 
are still young, and you will come yet to have more 
mature views of life. After all, you will do less 
harm here than elsewhere, so you had better stop 
here." At Jena they still tell a similar story that 
happened on another occasion. A stem theologian 
presented himself in person at the chateau of Karl 
Alexander, Grand Duke of Weimar, and begged 
him to put an end to this scandal of the professor- 
ship of Haeckel, the aroh-heretio. The Grand 
Duke, educated in the Weimar tradition of Qbethe, 
asked, "Do you think he really believes these 
things that he publishes ? ^* Most certainly he 



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GBOWTH OF IDEAS 



265 



does,** was the prompt reply. "Very K^ofl," said 
ihe Grand Puke, then the msxi aiiupiy does the 
same as ytm do.*' 

daeokd femained a piofeBSor ai Jena; and 
when the current subsided a little, he was not 
insensible of their liberality. He remained faithful 
to Jena, though even Vienna, amongst other places, 
offered him a podtion (1871). Under his guidance 
soological *' Jena flotuishad like a poor orplian 
that has suddenly been enriched. At one stroke 
the university was lifted to the position of an 
intellectual metropolis for the whole of the young 
scientifio generatton of the last qoartsir of the 
oentniy. The best of the younger men that fill 
flie biological positioiis in Gtermany io-day (and 
many others) were educated under Haeckel. Many 
of these pupils became opponents of his eventually, 
but they all went through his (s^tem* He had a 
further satisfaction. He not only attracted the 
young men to Jena, but he conjured up as if by 
magic the financial resources for improving the 
external advantages of the place for teaching and 
working. His style of zoology," which was at 
the same time ^< natural philosophy/' brought 
people to his assistance who would never have 
been won by a narrowly technical zoologist, no 
matter how learned he was. Twice men were 
induced for his sake " — that is to say, induced 
by the magnetic force of hischa^ningperlEK>nality-- 
to leave large legacies to be spent on the onmrsity 
under his direction; once it was the Countess 
Bose, another time Paul von Bitter of Basle. 



256 



HAEGKEL 



Bitter aJone gftve snffioieiii io finmd two pK>- 

fessorships at Jena for the express purpose of 
teaching the Bcienoe of phyiogeny that Haeckel 
had created. 

AU ihzoiigh period of hit long tfaiy at Jena 
ihtti foOomd we traee ftseries of no n *^""<^ hoHdttv 
jonmeyB. In these joameys he need to odleot 
the best material for his professional research, 
following the method he had learned from Miiller 
at HeligoJand, and bad |»ractised at Meesina and 
Lansizota. At the same time these tnmis weie, 
like the eadier ones, the bath of etemal youth and 
health for ** the other soul in his breast ' ' ; the 
artist, the lusty wanderer, T might almost say the 
inveterate Bohemian in him, waa then allowed to 
hate his spell of mmg and gaiety* In Jena ha 
took deeper and deeper root as time went on. 
There was soinothing in iiim in this respect of a. 
Persephone impulse, an alternation of winter and 
summer in his lite. When the days of hard and 
wearing work weie past» he would have to nub 
away into the free air, down to the Une sea, to far 
and happy Nature. Here I am a man — dare he a 
man." The duty of the zoologist of Muller's 
school to go down to the sea to work came to his 
rich temperament, which inolnded so mnoh more 
than mm ^'piofaiisional reasonsy" with a qilendid 
sense of Persephone-life : half his time in the odd 
North studying animal skeletons and dead bones 
by the burning lamp, the other half in the glare of 
the sun of reality, in living nature at its best. I 
will only quote summarily a few dates of these 



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GBOWTH OF IDEAS 257 



travels. In ib(i9 he spent the autumn vacatiuii 
in Scandiuavia. In 1871 he was in the island of 
Lesina in Dalmatia, where he, the arch-heretio, 
lived in a monartefy with a joliy abbot. From 
beantiitil Bagnsa he made m intereetiiig ezcimdozi 
to Oattaro and Montenegro. In 1873 he went to 
Egypt and Asia Minor, visiting Athens, Con- 
stauUiiopie, Brussa, and the ^lack bea. The 
cnhnination of this jonmej was a visit to the 
splendid o(»al banks of Tor, in the Bed Sea. The 
Khedive, Ismail Paoha, put a Government steamer 
at his disposal lor ihe journey. The excursion has 
been superbly described by Haeckel himself m the 
little volmne, The Corak of Arabia (1876). The 
same volume oontains the first specimens of his 
landscapes in water-odonr. He spent the spring 
of 1875 in Corsica and Sardinia. On that oocasion 
Oscar Hertwig discovered, in his presence, the 
process o£ fertilisation in the sea-urohin; his 
disooveries will long remain a tuning-point in 
the history of omr knowledge of seznal generation 
(one of the deepest mysteries in nature). In the 
autumn of 187G he was at work on ihe coast of 
Great Britain, and reached as far as Ireland. In 
the spring of 1877 he was at Ithaoa and Coifa; 
in the aatnmn we find him on the Biviera. In 
1878 he went first to Fiume and Pola on the 
Adiiaiic, and afterwards on an Atlantic excursion 
to Brittany, I>jonQandy, and Jersey. In the 
autnmn of 187d he was in Holland and Scotland. 

In 1881 he made the second longest jonzney of 
his life. He secured permission to absent himself 

17 



258 



HAKCKEL 



from the umwnritj for nx monUiSy and mmt to 
OeyloiL He left Jena on the Btii (A October, end 

did not retaru until April 21, 1882. The traveller 
and aesthete in him revelled in this first plunge 
ink) the tropics. How he was taken to tiio 
Anohantod land of Tn^ia in the Xilovd eteainflr 
Hdios, a pretty lemimBoenoe of the beliogoa ** 
(sun- ^£u&T/a name he had himself inventod ; how 
he greeted his beloved medusae in their beautiful 
kopioal ioims of the Indian Ocean ; ixow ha lived 
in tbe exeoiable bat thoroughly tropioal and in- 
tereefcing 'Whiat-Biingalow at Colombo^ when 
myBtioiim and an unholy joy in card-playing 
occupied him until philosophic zoology came to 
crown and redeem everything ; how he set up his 
zoological laboratory far from the world at tlu) 
Gingalaae village of BeUigemma (which he inter- 
preted helia gemma^ tbe ^'pretty jeweFO^ and 
iished with ins Aluiler net fur radiolaria, medusifi, 
and biphonopiiorce, for six whole weeks, to the 
intense bewilderment of the naked children of the 
palms ; how he at laet penetrated into the wildeet 
virgin foreets of Geylon, where one heard the heavy 
tread of the elephant and the roar of the panther 
— all this he has described in his Visit to d^ylon^ 
the freshest expression of his temperament, which 
belongs nttorly to the tee, artistic half of his life, 
when Persephone has her aommer days in the 
land of flowers. 

He himself regarded this journey, happy and 
favoured to the very last unnute, as a crown and 
oonolnsion cf his tiavels that could never be sor- 



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QBOWTE OF IDEAS 2S0 



^pmmmL Bvi many a long hour to be spent in 

travel after fehat, and he was to make one journey 
that left Geylon far behind him in the Indian 
Ocean. In the spring of 18B7 he made a pilgrim- 
ifie to the HqIt ImdAJ* JenuBlem lad the JDoad 
6ea, DamaflKHW and Lebanon. On ihu journey he 
spent a delightful month on the islcind of Rhodos. 
In 1889 he had a pleasant time on the beautiful 
ialand of Elba. In 1890 he visited Algiers, where 
hie innooiml flkBtoheB hie enniftiniftftl knife 
bcooc^t eiuqfdoion on him ; they emeted him end 
threatened to shoot him as a spy. He has described 
the incident in his genial wiiy in his Alget'ian 
Bemmiicmcei which ie, uniortanately, lost in a 
beak number of some magajrine or other, like so 
menj ot the aketofaee ol his tmyele. In 1897 he 
trftveUed oyer the whole of Bamni^ from Finhmd 
to the Caucasus, and visited Tiilis, Colchis, and 
the Crimea. In the autumn of 1892 he accompanied 
Sir John Munaji of the Challenger expedition, 
an a smaU deep-aea inTestigatioa on the ooiet of 
Sootknd. In the ipnng of 1803 and 1897 he was 

at work once more in his beloved Medsma,, where 
he was now honoured as a world-famous guest. 
In the autumn of 1899 he olimbed the Sabine and 
Oorsioan hilk. As the seoond deoade after his 
flzst {omney to the tn>]^os oame to an end^ he 
seemed to regard all he had done so &r as a smdl 
payment on account. In his sixty-sixth year he 
ielt the home-siokness " for the tropics ouoe more 
with anoh intenai^ that he qniokly made up his 
mind to go as far as the eqoaion Be left Jena an 



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r 



260 HAECKEL 

August dl, 1900, and (after a bnef yisit to the 

exhibition at PariB) took ship at Genoa, on 
September 4th, for Singapore. His beloved Italy 
had ^vided part ol the cost of the journey. In 
the pieTioiu year the Boyal Aoademy of Soienoe at 
Tmin hadawaided him theBressa-priaeCooiisisting 

of 10,000 lire) on account of hi;> Sysiematio 
l-]iijlofjeny. Once more the tropics revived the 
great iiapreMion made on him in his earlier viiit* 



1 




i 


fi7 



and sailed farther aonth. He landed at Singapore 
on September 27th, and sixteen days afterwards 
went on to J;iva, and thus crossed the equabor at 
last, iie enjoyed to the full the charms of the 
landfloape with its volcanoes and virgin foreata, 
dmlng hia stay with Trenb at BniteoBOigy at 
Tjibodaa, Mid daring his long journey across the 
greater part of the island. At Tjibodas he cele- 
brated the close of the nineteenth century [German 
oalonlation] by painting a water-colour of the 
smokeHsanopy over the smomit of the voloano 
Gedeh, tonohed and gilded by the east rays of the 

sun on ihc last day of 1900. On January 23, 1901, 
he went from Batavia to Sumatra, crossed the 
Sunda Strait in sight of the famous volcanic ruins 
of Ezakatoa, and spent six weeks in Padang on 
the sooth-'WeBt ooast of Sumatra. This delay was 
largely involuntary, and due to an injury to his knee, 
caused by stumbling over a rail during a \isifc to 
an engineering establishment; but the time was 
by no means lost in the middle of such glories, 
(hi March Blst he landed in Europe (at Naples) 



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GUOWTH OF IDBAS 261 



onoe more, after a sale voyage. The notos he made 

during his journey yielded another chiiimi ng work, 

Letters from the East Indies and Malaysia (1901). 

His spint of entoipxifle is inexhaostibley and still 

oontinii6B. 

• • • « • 

Within this frame of his career we have now 
to study a growth of ideas and :^ continuance of 
xesearoh that tell of vigour, consistency, and 
snooess in eveiy line. It unfolds logioaUy like a 
great work of art. 

The General Morphology stands at the parting 
of two ways. It afforded a programme of an 
in^te amount of fresh technical research — ^the 
elaboration of his studies in detail, of promor- 
phology, of his theory of indrvidoalityi and of the 
phylogenetio system of Hying things ; and the 
strengthening of the laws of evolution, especially 
the great biogenetic law. On the other hand, there 
was the purely philosophic work to be done : the 
gathering together of the general threads that 
ran through his work, and the building of a new 
philosophy of life, based on 'd> new story of creation, 
from the atom to the moiieron, from the inoneron 
to man, and the whole to be comprised and 
oontained in Ood. In a word, he might proceed 
in either of two ways from the Morphology : he 
might construct academic zoology afresh, or he 
might write a work on the new Grod. 

When he came home from Lanzarote, the two 
ways seemed to ooincide in front of him ; his work 
had| indeed, opened them out as <me. But external 



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HABOEBL 



oircomstanoes intervened. As things are^ it was 
only his axiademic coUeasfnes that had any right to 
the new biology. A new book on (iod and ogeation 
would go oat to the puUioMui and abnenL** 
Inteteal most be lit up amongst tibe people at laxge^ 
where there was as yet only the faintest spark. It 
appeared, moreover, that most of his academic 
colleagues in 1867 had no wish to enter on the new 
path he had opened out. A new generation would 
haTe to grow up fliet. The MorpMogy^ 
which Haeokel on his travels had expected s^ least 
a revulution, met at first with an icy silence. There 
was hardly any discussion of it, and no excitement 
whatever. Haeckel quickly made up his mind* 
He must torn in the other direction. Oegenbanr 
oonsoleB him. He has given too much — twenty 
dishes instead of one. He must serve up the best 
part of the work on one dish, and it will be taken. 
Haeckel agrees with him to some extent, but his 
heavy technical artillery cannot be simplified so 
easily as that The only possible thing to do is to 
give an extract of it, which will make the broad 
lines of the system clear. But as soon as that is 
done, he sees that the extract is still only the 
general philosophical part of it, and will not appeal 
to the general puhiio. 

It vras snch Tefleotions as these tiiat led to the 
writiu^ of his Histary of Creation, a popular 
work.* 

The chapters of this work were first delivered 
* TrtndiMl into BngUab with thssbmtll^^ LteiHy^thft 



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GROWTH OP IDEAS 268 



Oially to students, in the form oi lectures, and 
foimed a kind ol introdiiotion to morphology. Tho 
leotoes, T<eitaining their lighter form, then 

corabiued to make the book. It was published in 
1868, a small volume in a very primitive garb. 
The sucoeiB of the work was unprecedented. 

Zootogy iod botany iraw treated pfaikMophicaUy 
in the Morphology. That did not sent the pro- 
fessional scientists, who (as I said) crossed them- 
selves when they saw "natural philosophy." In 
the History of Creation the great problems of 
philosophy aie dealt with soooeseiYely on Dar- 
winian Unee, from the aodogioal and botanioal 
point of view. It was like the sinking of a deep 
well amongst general thoughtful readers. People 
felt at last what a power science had become. The 
old riddles of life were studied in a new light with 
the aid of this book. There was no predeoesaor in 
this field. Haeokel was absolntely the first to 
appeal to the general rea»der in this \\ay. It is 
true that what he gave them was, strictly speaking, 
only an extract from his own Morphology^ espe- 
cially the seoond vdume. Bat as he now arranged 
his matter chronologically, he concerted his ontline 
of a world-system into a " world-history " — a real 
** history of natural creation." In the "Pictures 
of Nature ' in the hrst volume of his Coimoi 
Humboldt had tried to bring the natural world 
before his readers as a great panoramay to be taken 
in at one glance. But he strictly confined his 
study of nature to the things that actually exist ; 
how they oame to exist was not, he intimatedi 



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264 



HABCKEL 



a subject of soientifio inquiry. Haeckel prooeeds 
to this further task. His panorama of nature does 
not stand out rigidly before us ; it develops, under 
the eyes of the obseryer^ from the formless nebulft 
to the intelligeiit hanuuDi being. E^en on the 
suifaoe this was seen to be a prodigious advance. 
Very plain, but very attractive, it makes its way 
by the fuicc of its convincing dialectic, and places 
no reliance on the fireworks of ihetoric. The 
subtle power of it lies in the arrangement of the 
&cts, which sndd^y assume the form of a logical 
chain instead of being a shapeless chaos. Even if 
all the main ideas of the work were false, we should 
be compelled to regard it as one of the cleverest 
works that was ever written, from the dialeoticid 
point of view» But the essence of this devemess 
is the way in which the grouping of &e ^ts is 
made to 3^eld the philosophic evolution, which is 
the thoughtful basis of the work. As the world 
proceeds in its natural development from the 
nebolar cosmic raw-material nntQ it oolminatee in 
the ape and man, the reader finds himself at the 
same time iidvancing aloii^^^ a series of general 
philosophic conclusious with regard to God, the 
world, and man. If at the end he has retained the 
whole series of what are to him more or less new 
scientific detailsy he is bonnd to find himself cao^t 
in a strong net of philosophic conclusions. 

In view of all this we can easily understand the 
different reception that the book met with from 
friend and foe. People who had already assented to 
the main issnes of the work on general grounds of 



GEOWTH OF IDEAS 265 



proiMilnlity, were ddigbted to find these imes 

decisively estEiblished by the plain facts of science. 
On the other hand, those who would have none of 
Haeckers phUosophy now felt oompeiled, in view 
of this dieadiul work, to call these alleged hotB of 
fldenoe themeelTee into qoeeUon. Li fim of fliis 
hostility it was some disadvantage that the History 
of Creation contained a vast amount of technical 
matenal (suoh as the geueaiogical trees, the Dar- 
winian lawB| the eiplanation ol the facts of embiy- 
ology, Ao.) that oonld only be pxesentodsunmiaiily 
in it, whOe the proper teohnioal descsdiption and 
justification of them was buried in the thick 
volumes of the MorpJiology, Haeckel said, over 
and oyer again, that a certain thing had been so 
folly estaUkhed by him eeientifically in the other 
work that he was now at liberty to take it as a 

fact; and he accordingly built it up as Buch with- 
out prejudice into the compact structure of the 
popular work. Headers who wanted to go further 
into the disonsaion of these facts had to look npthe 
leleyant passages in the larger book. Bnt the 
great bulk of his opponents — amongst whom we 
must count even many professional scientists — had 
never read the two volumes of the Morp/iology. 
They merely took the brief statement in the Miiiory 
of OreaHonf whicih wae really little more than a 
reference, and made a yiolent attack on the fact " 
it was said to convey. 

This led to a great deal of confusion. As in this 
case a controversy oyer some petty zoological 
detaQ waa always a ^^etroggle about Ood»" and so 



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I 



I 



206 HAJECKBL 

agitated tiie oppcment down to IhAmofk aaoiel iold^ 
of his philosophy, tiia nsoal ooUMqiienoeB did nol 
hSl to put in an appearanoeL Haeefal was branded 

and calumniated personally. There has never 
been any apostle in the wodrld that some sect or 
other has no4 decried as a logne and evil-doer, 
simply beoanse he was an apostle. Whemer 
Haedkel has made nse ol any material fhat did 
not seem to be absolutely sound in every re^^pect, 
he was not simply accnsed of makin?:^ a mistake, 
not even of ignoranosi bat the whoie thing has 
been pat down al once to dishonesty and the 
worst type of bad faith. 

One should bear in mind how very generally 
pioneer work of this kind is liable to err. Further, 
in the History of QreaUoa there is the danger 
involved in the popniar presentation ol the lesnlts 
of sdentifto lesearoh. Any man who has written 
popular woiIes, or delivered lecttnes to the genefal 
piiljlic, knows what this means. There is httle 
common measure between them. The truths of 
sdenoe are in a state of constant flax ; it is of their 
essence to be so. To fish oat a pwoe from this 
stream, fix it, and magnify it for the pablio with a 
broad beam of light, really amounts in prniciple to 
an alteration of it ; it is putting a certain pressure 
on things, and giving them an arbitrary shape. 
The work of popolarising tmths is so holj a thing 
in its aim that this risk has to be nm. We most 
take things as they are. We have two alternatives: 
either not to popularise at all, or to take the 
apparatus with ail its defects. We can ^*"^^Tiiffh 



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I 



eBOWra OF IDKAB m 



these according to our skill ; but there ip a sub- 
jeotive limil to this sldU in ftU of He. 

Tbte ftzBl edition <rf the Eiiianf of OfsMon-- 
Haeokere ftwt attempt at popnlariBing — ^had a good 
deal of inequality m this respect. To begin with, 
the book had the air of an extempore deliverance. 
ItB 81100688 was very largely due to its being cast in 
this loim. Bui iheie was a good deal that oonld 
bo imfnoved here and there, and was improved in 
the later editions of the work. In the tenth 
edition, as we now have it, it is a splendid work in 
regard to the iUostrations, for instance. But the 
first edition was merely provided with a lew very 
enide woodoots in outline. Some d them were 
very clumsy. In comparing different embryological 
objects the same blocks were nsed sometimes, 
and this would give rise to misunderstanding in 
the mind of the reader. For instanooi there was 
question of demonskating that certain objects^ 
such as the human ovum and the ovum of some 
of the related higher mammals, were just the same 
in their external outlines. This fact is quite correct 
and established to-day. If I draw the outline, and 
write underneath it ttiat as a type it is i^plieable 
to aU known ova of tiie higher mammals, inohiding 
man, there is no possibility of misunderstanding. 
But if I print the same illustration three times 
with the suggestion that they are three different 
manunal-ova» the general reader is easity iqst to 
think, not only that they are identical in tiie 
general scheme of this outline, but also in internal 
structure. He imagines that the ova of man and 



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HABOKBL 



the ape are just the same even in their microscopic 
and chemioal features. This leads to a contra- 
dictum between the ilioBtration aiid what Heeokel 
ezpTOBsly sajrs in the test We lead that there 10 
indeed an external resemblance in shape between 
these ova^ but that there is bound to be a great 
difference in internal structoret since an ape is 
developed from the one apd a human being 
developed fiom the other« It wonld have been 
bettor if the general reader, who is not familiar 
with these outline pictures, had been more em- 
phatically informed in the text below the illustration 
that even the outline is to be taken as a general 
and ideal Boheme. In this sense we mnet oertaanly 
admit that ttie illnstration was bad, sinee it would 

lead to a misunderstanding of the clear words of 
the text. But what are we to say when the oppo- 
nents of Haeckel's views viciously raise the cry of 
" bad faith " on the ground of a few little siipa 
like this, and suggest that he deliberately tried to 
mislead his readers with false illustrations? 
Amongst the general public, in so far as it was 
hostile to Haeokely the charge blossomed out into 
the most omions forms. Some deolared that the 
whole stoiy of a lesemblanoe between man's ovnm 
and embryo and those of other animals was an 
invention of Professor Haeckel's ; others — we even 
read it now and again in our own time — went so 
far as to say that the human ovum and embryonic 
forms only existod in Haeckel's imagination. All 
these wild ohaxges are of no avail. The homan 
ovaui, vviiich cuneajjunds entirely in itm general 



GROWTH OF IDEAS 269 



sohame to fhat of the other higher mamnials, was 

not dieooyered in 1868 by the wicked Haeokel, but 
in 1827 by the great master of einbryological 
research, Carl Ernst von Baer. The considerable 
external resemhlanoe, at oertain etagee of develop- 
meiit, between the embiyoB of reptiles^ birdSi and 
mammals, indnding man, was deoiaiyely established 
by the saine great scientist. These really remark- 
able stages in the development of the human 
embryo, during which, in aocordance with the 
biogenetio law, it shows olear traoes oi the gill-alits 
of its fish-aaoestors, and has a ooneeponding fin- 
like structure of the four limbs and a very con- 
siderable tail, can be seen l)y the general reader at 
any time in the illustrated works oi His, Ecker, and 
Edlliker (Haeokel's ohief opponents) or in any 
illustrated manual of embryology, and their fall 
force as evolutionary evidence can be appreciated. 
Any man that constructs his philosophy in such a 
way that, in his conviction, it stands or falls with 
the existence of these embxyomo phenomenal is in 
a veiy delieate position^ apart altogether from 
Haeokel. His philosophy will oollapse, even if the 
History of Creation had never been written. 

These curious discussions did not seriously inter- 
fere with the success of the book. In thousands 
and thonsands of minds, in 1868, this httle work 
proved the grain of seed that led on in time to 

serious thought. From that time onward liaeckel 
knew that he had not only scientific colleagues and 
aoademio pupils, but a crowd of followers. When 
he made an ezonxsion into the northern part of the 



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no HAB0K3BL 

Sahara, as far as the first oasis, twenty-two years 
afterwards, he met an arlut there. They talked 
phikMnphy, and tha maa, nol knowing Haaatoil, 
naively veoommended him to sludy the HiHmry of 

Oftation as likely to give him most help. The 

little incident shows us something of the <,^reat 

pioneer work dam by the volume, something of iia 

qpiriiual oitminuiimgalton of iha globe. 

• • * • 

Thus the spiritual nucleus of the General 
Morpliology is introduced, with <,u*eat ability, to 
mach wider oirde than Haeckel had dreamed of 
when he gave tbe Morpholo^ to hie ooUeagoee 
Bat the agitation gmdnally spread into aoiifleinift 
obdee. On the wliole ttie Darwinian ideas pmned 
iu everywhere by their own irresistible weight. 
Haeckel's more particular concern, however, was 
to aeoiue the recognition of one single point in the 
laiger gionp of i^fm the gieat biogenetio law. 
This was for many yeazsthe pivoton whioh almost 
all the discussions with him and about hiui turned. 

He himself did not at first conceive his law as 
a matter of controversy, but as a method that 
most be bioaght into a position of pvaotioal ntiiitj. 
An opportonity to do this aiose immediately. 

While he was at Lanzarote he began to ti^e an 
interest in a second group of lowly Liuiiiuils besides 
the ttiphonophoxes, namely the sponges. When 
the general reader hesBS the word sponge he 
mnst modify his oidinaiy idass a little. In the 
present instanoe he must not lliink of the plaiits, 
belonging to the fungi-gronp, such as iihe morel 



GROWTH OF IDEAS 



271 



Mid eognale fcmnt, ihal Me often odUed 

in conimou parlance, lie must think rather 
of the sponge he uses in his bath. The bath- 
Bponge is ft structure made up oi voiy tough^ 
elMiliOy hoaiy fibres. This steaofeme is oiiginaUy 
the skeleto&y m it wexe, of certain Miimals th»t 
are known as sponge-animals " or, briefly, 
sponges ; they have nothing to do \\ ith the spongy 
mushrooms I spoke of. At the same time idiese 
socially-liTing spcmges are snob oniioas oreatures 
thai it wu dispoled for a long time whether they 
were real aninmls or not. There was a second 
controversy in regard lo Ihcm fco whero the 
** individual " began — what was a single ammal, 
and what a cooperative colony of Miimals. The 
latter point eJooe wonld have been enough to 
diieol Haeckel's attention to this gioop after he 
had, in the case of the siphonophorcb, gone so 
deeply into the mystery of combined individuals, 
formipg a new state-individoaL" His own 
opinion eventnaUy was that ae a matter of faot in 
the majority of oaeea the whole qponge is a atook 
or colony of separate sponge indiyiduals closely 
connected together. Tiiey had not, indeed, any- 
thing like the ingenious method of division of 
laboor that we find in 

faety the sponges are in all respecta nmeh more 
lowly (Mganiaed anhnals than the mednsa. But 

they were certainly true animaU. And in the 
middle of his eliorts to prove this Haeckel tra- 
velled into an entirely new field of reseMob, lying 
ha beyond the theory of individuaJiljy. 



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27:i HAECKEL 

As there is an onomiOQs number of dififareul 
sponges, he had confined his slodies from tibe 

first to a single gronp of them that might be 
taken as typical. He ohose the caicispongisB (cal- 
careoos spoiigds)^ which had been the least studied 
np to ihafc time. As the name obTioosiy impliesi 
these sponges form their internal framewoi^ or 
skeleton, not of clastic homy fibres like the 
common bath-spouge, but of solid calcareous 
needles or spines. They secrete these oat of the 
soft snbstanoe of their bodies just as the radio- 
huia do their pretty silioeons houses. Haeckd 

was engaged for Hve years, from 18G7 to 1873, in 
a profound and careful study of the natural his- 
toxy of the calcispuagi». Then he published the 
resolts in his Manoffraph on the Oaiaitipangia^ 
consisting of two Tolnmss of text and an atlas of 
sixty fine plates. 

The first result was that the calcispongise 
afforded a splendid proof of the impoesiUlity of 
drawing sharp limits between species in the per- 
petnaUy dereloping animal wcnrld* In their case 
the different varieties passed constantly out of 
each other aud back into each other in a way 
that would have made a classifier of the old type 
distracted. But Haeckel had travelled far beyond 
the position of his boyhood, when he had timar- 
OQsIy concealed the bad species that woold not 

tit into the system. He said humorously that m 
the case of the calcispungiLi' you had the choice 
of <iiftingniahiTig qdc gcnus With three speoies, or 
three genera with 2S9 species^ or 113 genera with 



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Eknst Hakckei., 1874. 



To fact />. 272. 



Digitized by Google 



GBOWTH OF IDBAS m 



691 species. All this confusion was saved by the 
Darwinian idea of not setting up absolutely rigid 
okssegy iamiiies, genera, and species. Bat even 
thk mw noi yet the tmexitM point. 

As hd had done in the oaie d thenf^Mmophora, 
Haeckel endeavoured to derive as much informa- 
tion as possible from the *' oiitosfeny," or embrycjmc 
deTeiopmfiaty of the calcispongiae. He eatablisbed 
In iome oaees, it eeemed to him, that a ain|^ 
oalotsponge-mdividnal at fint and np to a oertam 
stage developed from the ovnm in the same way 
as a medusa or a coral or an anemone. The fer- 
tilised ovum, a single cell, divided into two cells, 
then iereral, and at last formed a whole cluster of 
oeUa. In this olnster the cells arranged themaelvefl 
at the emfooe, and left a hdlofr oaTity within. 
Then two layers of cells were forxiied, hke a double 
skin, in the wall of this vesicle, and an opening 
waa left at one qpot in the wail of it. Thus we 
got a fitee-ewimniing emhEjo, with a month, an 
external skin, and an internal digestive akin or 

membrane. Then the ereature attaches itself to 
the iloor of the sea and becomes a real sponge, 
partly by developing along its characteristic lines, 
and parUy (in moat oaaes) by psodooing other 
ipongee from iteelf in the fovm of bade, like the 
siphonophore, and so forming an elaborate colony, 
to \s hioh we give collectively the title of "a 
sponge." Theae facts led to the following re- 
flections. 

This original derelopmoit from the ofnm, fint 
into an emhiyo with tibe foim at a imaU globe or, 

18 



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874 



HAECKEL 



more oorreotty, an oval body ooiudfltiiig of two 

layers of cells and having a hole at one pole — in 
other words, a creature with nothing but dsm^ 
siomaoh, and mouth — was founds onnoudj ftnnwgh^ 
in ottier animala besides the mediiw, oonla, and 
sponges. We ha^e the same oonrse of develop- 
meut in representatives of the most varied gronps 
of animals. There are worms, star-fishes, crabs, 
and snails that develop in the same way. In fact, 
it was proved in this veiy year (1867) that the lowest 
of the yertebrates, the amphioxns (or lancelet), 
develops in the same way. And this was not all. 
In the ontogeny of all the higher animals right 
up to man (inclusive) we Und a state of things 
that most olosely lesembles the ssme developmentw 
At all events, the fertilised ovun gives rise in all 
cases to a cluster of cells ; this cluster forms 
Bomeihmg like a flattened or elongated vesicle 
with a single-layered wall ; the single layer of cells 
is doubled, and in the building np of the body one 
half makes the external ooat or sidn and the other 
half the internal lining or membrane. Haeokel 
reflected on the whole of tho facts, and drew 
his conclusions. This very curious agreement 
in the earlier embryonic fonns must be interpreted 
in terms of the biogenetic law. In the case of 
the higher animals the forms have been prof oondly 
inodiiied by cenogenesis. In the lower animals 
they are almost or altogether a pure recapitulation 
of the real primitive course of the development 
of the animal kingdom. In the earliest times 
animals were erolved in something like the foUow- 



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GBOWTH OF IDEAS 275 



ing way. First, the primitive unicellular protozoa 
came together and formed crude social bodies, 
dusters of cells that kepi together, but had no 
flpedal diviiion of labour. As all the memben in 
the duster preseed to the surhoe, in order to 
obtain their food, they came to form, not a solid 
mass of cells, but a hollow vesicle with a wall 
of ceils. Then the iirst division of labour set in. 
Certain oella, those that ware situated at the 
anterior pole, and so were better placed to reodye 
the floating food as the animal moved along, 
became the eat ing- cells of the group ; they pro- 
vided nourishment for the others, as the nutritious 
sap ciroulated through all the cdls in the duster, 
as we find in the case of the siidicmophores. As 
these feeding-cells multiplied rapidly at the fore 
part of the animal, a depression was formed at that 
pole of the body. In the end the bail or vesicle 
was doubled in upon itself, until it oame to have 
the fonn of a oup with a douUe-Iayered wall. 
Externally were the cells in the skin that effected 
movement and feeling, and afforded protection ; 
inside, forming the internal wall, were the eatmg- 
or stomadi^ceUs* An opening remained at the 
top— the opening of the cup or Tase-like body. 
The food entered by it: it was virtually the 
** mouth." Thus was formed a primitive multi- 
celhilar animal with division of labour. If we 
imagine it attaohing itself to the bottom by its 
lower pde, we can see that it would easily become 
a sponge of the simplest kind, a polyp, a coral, or, 
detaching itself once more, a medusa. If we 



276 



MAEO££t 



imagine it swimming ahead in the water or 
creeping along the ground ia such a way as to 
aBSome a bilataral symmetrical structure, like a 
Mb^ with right ud leffe» baok and beliy^ and 
an anna behind, we have a woim. This woan 
developed, under the aotion of the Darwinian 
laws, iiiLo a blar-liyh in one case, a crab or insect 
ia another, a snail or mussel in another, and 
laally into the amphinrtia, which led on through 
the wtebialei to the human Inm^ But the 
mjiteriona seriee of fomie alwaja lemained in 
the tlevelopment of the individual from the egg, 
pointing more or less clearly to the earlier stages : 
omm, olaster of cells, bali, two cell-layers in a 
cnp-ehaped form, akin, atotnaflh, and numth. AU 
animahi that eiihibit thie firimitive soheme belong 
to one great stem. It was not until this skin- 
stomach-mouth animal was formed that the tree 
branched out — evolving into sessile, creeping, 
swimming, and other forms. Ijet ns giTe a name 
to ifaia phylogenetto (aneestnl) fonn, whkh staoda 
at the great parting of the ways in the animal 
world, as embryology proves. Leaving aside its 
innumerable relatives in the phmitive days, it 
must have difieied essentially from all other living 
things al the time— all the piotists and the plants 
— by its poBweesion of a skin, stomadi, and motttii. 
Gaster is the Greek for stomach. Let us, there- 
fore, call this primitive parent of all the sponges 
polyps, medusa}, worms, cnistaoe% insects, snails, 
mussels, cephalopoda, AAes, salamandeis, liMids, 
birds, mftniF ftftl ffi and man, the gaHntt^ the primi- 



GBOWTH OF LDfiAB 277 



tive-stomach or primitivo-gut animal. The cor- 
responding embryonic form uiay be distinguished 
from it aa the gastrula. There are still many 
liying speeieB of animalu tliAt aie rary litUe 
Iiighar in oiigaiuBation than {he gaainea-fom* 
The P&mmatodiscus gastrulaemu, disooTered by 
Montioelli in 1895, corresponds entirely to it. 
And the gastrula is iound, at X ficud^ with astonish- 
ing ragolanty in its pireoke gaitaa^fonn in 
lepieBentatime of all the higher groups of animals. 

That is an outline of the famous gasinsa- 
theory, that Haeckel discovered when he was 
engaged in studying the oalcisponges. It was 
first published in his large Monograph on the Gal- 
ckpotiffim in 187S, elabomted in his 8tudie$ of 
the GoMirmarilmf^ in 1878, 1875, and 1876 
(published in one volume in 1877), and geneiiiily 
expounded, together with the biogenetic law, in 
(amongst other works) his polemioai essay, The 
aims end methods of modem embryology " (1875). 
This discovery, in Haeekel's opinion, now made 
the biogenetic law a real search-light in the 
exploration of the obscure past. It indicated a 
third oiitioal point in the great genealogical tree. 
Already we had the root (the monera) and the 
orown (man) ; now we had the point from whioh 
the various real animal stems radiated like the 
umbel] ai^ branches of a single large bloom. 
Through it the Darwinian system had been 
converted into the greatest praoiieal refotm of 
animal olassffleation. If this gaatnea-tbeofy 
waa oomoty it was an inoaloolaUe gain for 



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HAEGiLEL 



sooiogy. The difficulty of it, cm the other haxid, 
lay in the infinite modifioations of the embryonio 

processes in detail that had been brought about 
by oenogenesis ; almost eveiywhere this had more 
or less obBCored the original features. On the 
whole it gftTe rise to tiie greatest and most 
&r-rea<dnng discussion tiiat has taken {dace in 
zoology for the last thirty years, apart from the 
Darwinian theory itself. To-day, at the close 
of these three deoades, there are only two aJtema- 
tives. One is that there is still an abaohitely 
mysterions and hidden law of ontogeny, that 
compels countless animals over aud over again 
to pass through these embryonic forms and 
assume a likeness to the gastraea. After all the 
eagerness with which the whole school oi enxhryo- 
logists opposed to Haeokel have sought, up to 
our own day, to establish suoh a direct law, we 
have not yet got the shado w of a clear formulation 
of it. The other alternative is that Haeckel is 
right in believing that he has discovered the 
correct formula in his phylogenetic interpretation 
of embryonic processes in accordance with the 
biogenetic law. If that is so, the gastraia- theory 
is the crown of all his labours in technical zoology 
proper. Let us wait another thirty years. 

The scientific oontroversy over the gastrsda- 
theory was in full swing when Haeokel entered 

upon another bold experiment in the direction 
of the biogenetic law. He thought it would be 
useful, instead of framing wider hypotheses, to 
take one single instance of one of the highest 



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GBOWTH OF IDBA8 



279 



animals, and trace the whole parallel of its em- 
bryonic and aaoestial deyelopmant dowa to its 
finest details. It would serve as an ezoellent 
object-lesson. He would take it, not from some 

remote corner of the system, such as the sponges or 
medusffi, but from the very top of the tree, where 
pahngenesis and cenogenesis seemed to have 
oolminated in an ineztricahle oonfosion. But what 
example conld be more appropriate and eflectiTe 
than the most advanced of all living things— 
man. He would write a monograph on man on 
an entirely new method; would ahow ontogeny 
and phylogeny oonfinning each other down to 
the smallest detail. It was another great enter- 
prise. And this partionlar subject was so inte* 
restmg that it would appeal strongly to the general 
readers of his History of Creation as well as to 
the academic sdentists. Man was a suhject of 
snoh obvionsness and importance to the layman 
that in this case tiim was really no professional 
limitation of interest at all. Every detail in the 
most technical treatment of the subject would be 
taken into account, and evoked his strongest 
sympathy. 

When Haeokel had folly matured this plan, 
he produced his Anthropogeny,* The word, 
founded on the Greek, means the genesis " or 

evolution of man." 

The woik is a very aUa oomUnation of two 

* The fifth edition is translated into Kuglisii, with all the 
plates and illuslrationAi onddr Ui« title of ThA EvokUionqf 



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280 



HABC: 



different aims. On the one hand it aSords the 
technical stodeot the outline of a wkolly new 
and distinotiye manual a£ hnioan anbryolagy 
(up to a oerlain azfcenft) and genenl anatomy ; 
and thift ie intimately bonnd up by his m«ihod 
with a kind of historical introduction to Lrenrr:il 
antbropolocy. At the same time the hook forms 
a second part of the History of Creation. It 
builds np the most important chapter of the 
later work, fiam the philosophioal p<Hnt of view, 
namely, that which dnds with the origin of man, 
into a fresh volume ; and it represents the first 
popular treatment of embryology on broad philo- 
sophic lines — a thing that had neyer been at- 
tempted before. Springing ap bom this douUa 
root, the work is oertainly one of tibe most suc- 
cessful tilings in tho whole of HaeokePs literary 
career. Moreover, it is not merely a compendium 
of a larger work, like the Si$tary of Creation. In 
spirit and form it is an original work, and grm 
his Tery best to the reader. As &r as its 
general effect is concerned, the do ubk -address of 
the work has had its disadvantages. The academic 
students who were hostile to it have once more 
aeleoted for attack certain esoresoenoes and gaps 
that were merely due to the exigencies of popular 
treatment. On the other hand, the general 
reader found it, in spite of the popular form, on 
which Herculean labour had been spent — one has 
only to think of the details of embiyology*^ 
book that was not to be "read'' in the ordinary 
sense of the word, but studied. The first edition 



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GROWTH OF XDKA8 SSI 



appeared in 1874. A fifth edition has now been 
published, equipped with the finest illustrations, 
bokh from tha artisiao and ihe science pmnt of 
YieWy that have ever appeared in a popular woik 
on embzyologj. We find in the Anthropogmy 
all that the nineteenth century has learned or 
surmised with regard to the ancestral history of 
mankind Eiwn the gastrM^thaoiy — the gastrsea 
belonging to man's dizact anoestxy—- is dealt witii 
in popular ^on as far as this was possiUa 

When tliG Antliropotfen^vfm published Hacckers 
public position became more stormy than ever. 
In professional okdea a number of tiie embryolo- 
gists had tahen np sa attitude ol opposition to 
him; the most heated of them attael»d his 
popular works continuaJly on the ground that 
he was popularising, not the real results of 
official Boi e noe» but his own personal opinions. 
There was a great deal of troth in that. The 
only question was, whioh wonM stand best with 
the fntnre, his or their personal opinion ? It does 
rjot alter the subjectivity of opinions that a few 
people here and there combine and pretentiously 
constitute themsel'ves into a science.'' Posterity 
will deal coolly enough with their collective 
deoisioas. It wiU take eyery man of sdenee as an 
individual, and merely ask wiiicii of them came 
nearest to the trubh. The name, the official 
science, will pass into the grave with many titles 
and deoorations. AP I that will remain in men's 
minds is the star of tiie personality in its relation 
to the great constellation oi contemporary human 



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282 



HAECKBL 



tnitti. How0v«r, as legftrds ihe partioular 

embryological attacks of these opponents, it seoms 
to me to-day especially characteristic th?it sucii 
people are more aud more abandoning the idea 
that it is only a qaestion of oontesting oertain 
DarticiiUur dednotioiis of Haeokel's toiSdn the 
limits of Darwinism. They find themselves 
increasingly compelled to tliiow Darwinism 
OYerboard altogether. Instead oi its attempts 
to explain phenomena they are putting forwaid 
a confused daim of diieot meehanioal eizplaiia- 
tions," or relying on the scmorotis old iduaBe, 
started in 1859, an ''immanent law of evolution," 
or retreating into a despairing attitude of " I don't 
know.'* These clearer divisions will make it 
vexy mnch easi^ for posteril^ to pass its judg- 
ment on the situation. 

After the embryologibts wo have a considerable 
group of opponents on the anthropological side. 
The objecUons o£ these anthropological critics 
have in the oonrse of time nanowed domi to the 
single argoment that no transitional fonn between 
man and the ape has yet been discovered. And 
for many years now this position has not been 
held on serious soientiHc grounds, but rather on 
ingenious and strained hypotheses* Beoanse we 
now have, in the bones found at Jaya by Bugen 
Dubois in 1694, the remains of a being that 
stands precisely half-way between the gibbon and 
man. Hence what is called the anti -Darwinian 
and especially anti-Haeckelian school of anthro- 
pology to-day is mainly distinguished for its 



GROWTH OF n>BAB 283 



preference oi more risky and more subtle hypotheses 
instead of plain oondnsions from obTions facts. 
Fmally» there is the theologioal opposition to 
Haeokel that increased with every book in which 

he put his ideas before the general public and 
helped them (in their boundless professional 
wisdom) to reaUse the danger of the situation. 

The year 1877 was a oiitioal one in this xespeofc. 
In the middle of his stmggleB Haeokel retained 
all the simplicity of his nature. He saw that the 
idea ui evolution was triumphing over all obstacles 
and rapidly seooring the allegiance of the best 
men <^ the time. On the 18th ol September, 1877, 
he spoke of this with nnrestrained delight at 
the scientific congress at Munich. He described 
the theui'y of evolution as 'Uhe most import.ant 
adyance that has been made in pure and applied 
sdenoe/' Then Bodolf Yirohow delivered a 
speeoh at the same congress. 

There is no doubt whatever that in the period 
since Virchow had indicated a neutral field in 
1863, in which science might elect " its com- 
promise,'' Haeckel had boldly invaded that 
provinoe. In the pievionB year he had pablished 
a little work called The PeriffmeiU of the Plas- 
tidiileSf or the Generation of Waves in Vital 
Particles, It was delivered in lecture-form at the 
medical-scientiiic congress at Jena in November, 
1875, and then printed on theooeasiofnof Seebeok's 
jubilee^ May 9, 1876. Fbssibly it is the least 
known of all Haeckel' s works, though in my 
opinion it is one oi the most valuable in regard 



\ 



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HAEOKEL 



to the prophetic breadth of its intaition. It essays 
to establish a theory of heredity. In dealini,^ \\ ith 
this deepest mjakaj of life psychic factors are 
pmned into serroe wiyioul mem. Not only is 
the oali-foal pot inio ptomnMim, baft the oell 
in torn i« remrfTed inio a number of emaBer nnits, 
tiic plastidules. Each plastidule is then conceived 
as a psychic unity. The souls of the plastidules 
ara endowed with mamory; that is the root of 
hflKecttty. Thqr learn; thai it the pajmhologioal 
expreeaion ol adaptation* The Uttle wcnk offen 
a suggestion of a psychology of Darwinism that 
may very well become the nucleus of the whole 
Darwinian stmotuie in the twentieth oeatuxy. 
But at the iiine it me qnite obviona that a man 
with fliioh ideas aa theae waa bneaking with Instj 
fist through the sacred net that spread before 
Virchow's reserved province. The hour had come, 
therefore, for Yirchow to feel that he must expel 
the idea of evoliitioii from tfato whole field of 
■oianoe, and not meielj fioni embryology and 
anthropology. 

It is very insiaruotive to note how Virchow 
shiited his position a little in accordance with the 
time. In his judgment aojenee hmd to make 
peaoe. It had to make oonoeBOona in certain 
directions. In IMS he had spoken of the raling 
Giiurches.'* Now, in 1877, he speaks of the 
freedom of science in the "modern State." The 
gieat KuUurkamfSff had set in* The Church was 
for the time being poweiless in faoa of the State. 
Henoe Yizelunr now plays off tlie State as the 



OBOWTH OF IDBAS M 



J 



guardian of his tabooed provinoe. This time 
Darwinism if sappoBod to be ibnateniiig thevu^ 
field in whidi we exael sdeQtifte make our peaoe 
nitii the Stale. At the right momeiit he adioitly 
points out that the Social Democrats have taken to 
Darwinism. Every man on deck, then. That 
miiBt not go any further. At the bottom it wae 
the old oQQteek if one lajni down ae a geoeral 
prinoiiile tiiat the aoieiitiflo fmmit and pieeeni^ 

raent of truth has to respect neutral provinoeB a&d 
make concessions, every change in current affairs 
will demand a fresh application of it. To-day it is 
■ome Choioh or other, to-moROW a State, the next 
daj the momentafy oode of morale, aiid lastly 

some bumbledom or other that renews the pro- 
hibition to dissect corpses, becanse our dissecting 
knives disturb the peace of mind of our Phihstine 
neighbouHL Haeekel piahliahed a eharp reply to 
Yirohow (Fn$ 8eimc$ amd Fr9$ TeaMnff^ 1878), 
in which he sought to show amongst other things, 
taking his stand on his political principles, that 
Booialism and Darwinism have nothing to do with 
each other. 

I will not go more fjoSty into the eo nb foiye iBy 
here. U one provhioe of knowledge ie to reoeiTe 

light from another at all, we must admit that 
there is only one general truth. All stationary 
or reactionary political interest is irreconcilable 
with the theory of ofolntion. That ie olear from 
the my meaning dttieworde. As to the duceotion 

in which we must seek real political and social 
progress opinions are bound to diiier very con- 



286 



HAECKfiL 



siderably; it may be shown that the laws of 
evolution which have selected the various species 
of plants acid animaU can only be used very 
spttriagly and cantionsly for the pnomofcton of 
hmiuui progress. Bot I believe ttiaA is quiie an 
immaterial point in this toMbt of ViFehow'B 
attack. The real influence of Darwinism on 
political questions is not the chief question. The 
prip^plA we have to detemiine is whether the 
freedom of aoientifio iweaxoh and tiie teadhing erf 
whai the individual stodent beUeives he bas dia- 
oovered to be true are to have " external " 
restrictions or not. The question is whether 
inquiry and teaching axe to be regarded merely 
as things ''toJanted" and inteifeied with at will 
amongst the varioos elements of modem life; or 
whether they are not to be considered the very 
bed-rock of civilisation, and every agency that has 
power lor the moment is not doomed whei^vei 
it oomes into eoUisum with them. 

In this momentous dnd of the two men who 
were regarded at the time as unquestionably the 
most distinguished scientists in Germany it seemed 
to most people for a time that Haeckel had gone 
off altogether into general and public questions 
with regaxd to the aim of reseaxoh and philosophy. 
He seemed to lend odonr to the belief as he 
published, in quick succession, a number of new 
popular lectures {Gell-BouU and Sotd-ceUsy 1878, 
and The Origin and EvokiHon of the Sense- 
crgam^ 1878), and at the same time pnUished 
a eoUeetied volome of older and xeoent Euoffi 



GROWTH OF IDEAS 287 



on the Theory of EvokUum (one part in 1878, a 
second in 1879| and a new and enlarged edition in 
1902). As a matter of {aot, we find him in these 
years ooonpied with a small bat partiotdarly 

well-lit field of his whole work. It was not 
merely that in a few years he buried himself in 
the primitive forests of Ceylon, in order to pnrsne 
his special stadies fur lemoved from all dTiIisation 
for months together. Just at this date appealed 
the great monograph on tho medusre, which he 
had at length concluded. The first volume (The 
System of the MeduscF^ with 40 colooied plate?) 
was pablished in 1879, and the seoond {The 
D&ep-tea Medusm of the OhaU&nffer BaspediHan 
and the Organisms of the Medusas, with 32 plates) 
in 1881. And while these splendid volumes 
showed his academic colleagues that he had no 
mind to xemain entirely on the cater battlements 
as a philosophic ohampion, he plunged up to the 
ears in a new special study of a range that would 
have made even the most enthusiastic specialist 
recoil. 

From Deoember, 1872, to ICay, 1876, the English 
had condnoted a peaceful entezpzise that will be 

for ever memorable. A staff of distinguished 
naturalists had gone on the ship Challenger to 
explore the depth, temperature, and bottom of 
xemote seas. With the aid of the best applianeea 
specimens of the mud from the floor of the ocean 
(sometimes more than a mile in depth) were 
brought up at 354 dif erent spots. It was known 
from earlier deep-sea explorations that this slime 



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Qo Ihe floor of the ocean, from a oertam ooas^lmiii 
into the deepest parts, is composed for the most 
part of the microscopically small shells of little 
marine animals. The Hving oreatnzit that form 
ihaae shellB swim in Iheivaler of the ooean, parUy 
bM the snrfaoe and partly at vadoma depths beneath 

it. When they die the Httle hard coat of niciil 
sinks to the bottom, and as there are millions upon 
milli^a of them hving in the sea, thick deposits 
aie giadiiaUj lonned at the bottom thai oanaiBt 
ahooei wtiatAj of theae mkaoaoopic aheUa. The 
animals in question are primitive little creatures 
consibtniL; of a single cell, of the type that Haeckel 
has called Protists/' Even in Ehrenberg's time 
it had beoD noticed that amongBt the shells in the 
deepHM^ mud tbeie nany baaidos ehalhy rtwllff^ a 
number of fraoefnl flinty ooate that dearly pointed 
to the radioiaria. The Challenger expedition now 
made the great discovery that vast helds at the 
Boor of the ooean, especially of the Pacific, were 
ooveiad afanoat asohiflivelj with theae flinty aheila. 
It waa seen at onoe that the lew hmidied apeciea 
of radioiaria that had hitherto been described by 
Haeckel and others wore only a very small part of 
the maseep of radioiaria found in the ooean« The 
lyeoimena of the depoatta whioh waie oafafoily 
preserved and brought home by the OkdSUan^er 
contained such an immense number of unknown 
species with their flinty shells faultlessly preser\ ed, 
that it was necessary to reconstruct the whole of 
thia wonderful group of animak. And who could 
be batter qnaUfiad ior the work than the man 



GROWTH OF IDSAS 280 



who had already made a name by im study of the 
radioiaria, Haeckel? 

Whfin the TgngHah Goranment oame to pnUiah 
ihe leenlto of the Ohattmiger ezpedition m a 
monumental work (of fifty volumes), he was 
entrusted with the work ou the siphon oph ores, the 
corneous sponges, and all the ladiolana in the 
collection. For ten years, from 1877 to 1887, 
Haeckel devoted every available hour to the 
work of aelectuig the radiolarian sheUs vnSi his 
miciosoope from these specimens of the deep-sea 
deposits, and naming, describing, and drawing the 
new species. When he began his task 810 species 
of radioiaria were known to science. When he 
came to his provisional oonclnsion, ten years 
afterwards, though his nuiterial was noL yet 
exhausted, there were 4,818 spocie<? and 739 genera. 
They are described in the splendid work that he 
wrote for the OhaUenger Beport. It consists of 
two vdnmes of text (in English) with 2,750 pag^ 
and 140 large plates, with the title, Report on the 
Badiolaria collected hy H.M,8. CJiallenger, In 
the preparation of these plates (and in the illus- 
tration of all his later works) he had the very 
valuable assistance of the gifted Jena designer and 
lil^ographer, Adolph Giltcii. A good deal of new 
information with regard to the living body of the 
radioiaria had come to light since 1862. In 
particular it had now been settled beyond question 
that tiiey consisted merely of a single cell. There 
was, therefore, a good opportnnity of reconstructing 
the Monograph of 1862 with the new and more 

19 



HAECKEL 



comprehensive work. The chief contents of tiie 
English woik (with a selection of the plates) were 
then published in Crerman, and appeared in 1887 
and 1888 aa the seoond, third, and fourth parte 
of die Monograph an ike Badiolaina. A sort of 
BuppIeiiMiitaiiy essay on the methods of studying 
the radiolaria and cognate "plancton" animals %v as 
published separately with the title of Plancto/Uc 
studies (1890). Thoag)i it was a moderate and 
taotfol oxitiioism of the methods of some of his 
ooUeagues in this kind of work, it was '^refuted*' 
by them in a way that it would be difficult to 
{{ualify — in other words, it was fruitlessly assailed 
with charges of the most general but most un- 
pleasant oharaoter. In the English Beport we find 
two other Tolmnes afterwards from Haeckel — the 
volume on the siphonophorffi in 1888, and the 
Report on the Deep-sea Keratosa colUcted by H.M.8. 
Challenger in 1889; these agam opened up new 
obapters in soology. The OhaUeng&r work is the 
crown of Haeotars stadias as a speoiaBst. Tosome 
extent the oonolnsion of it closes an epoch in his life* 

Wo Will only touch briefly on what he has done 
since. It has not yet passed into the region of history. 

The latest years in Haeckel's oonstmctive work 
are oharaotehsed mainly by one idea. He had 
often been pressed to watk up afresh the material 

01 hiii General Morphology, lie has not done so in 
the form that was expected, but choso a form of 
his own. In the £rgt place he took the systematic 
introduction to the second yclnme, which had been 
the first able attempt to draw up the genealogical 



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mowTH OF n>BA8 aei 



tree of the living world, branoh by branoh, and, 
with ihe mftlierial that had aoonmolated in the 

snbsequent thirty-fenr years, built it up into a 
separate work. It had consisted fonnerly of IGO 
pages : now it formed three volumes of 1,800 pages. 
There were forty years of inoeesant study embodied 
in it. It had the title SyMtemaUo Fkglogmug:^ 

a sketoh of a natural system of organisms on the 
basis of their steni-history.'* The first volume 
(dealing with the protists and plants) appeared in 
1894 ; the second vein me (dealing with the in- 
vertebrate animalB) in 1896| and the third (dealing 
with the vertebrates) in 1895. Closely oonneoted 
with it is his special systematic study of the 
stem-history of the echinoderms (star- fish, 
with particular reference to paleontology {The 
ampharidea and cy$toidea in the Wcfrh m Gom- 
memoraHan of Karl Geganbanto'^ 1896). 

His aoademic ooDeagnes had hardly begun to 
master this new phylogeny when Haeckel once 
more roused a general agitation by woxkmg up the 
philosophic nucleus of the Morphology in a more 
general form than he had done in the MUtory of 
OreaHon. This new work was The Biddle of the 
Universe, *' a popular study of the Monistic philo- 
sophy." f It was, he declared, his philosophical 
testament. In a few months 10,000 copies of the 
work were add, and a later cheap popnlar edition 

* It hM aol bsea tnntkloa into Bngtfih. A neentfe n- 
vlawBT In Nahtn pmnoiiiiafid il to be HaaolDal's besi wonk. 

tldtomDy, ttie tltla Is « Wodd^BiaaiflB," or "Worid- 
FtoUAms." [Tuns.] 



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ran to more than 100,000 copies. It has also been 
translated into fourteen different languages. The 
ooukoversy it ezoited hm not yet died away. 
Alieady a flappleme&taiy vohiiiie, The Wimden of 
Life, has followed it (ld04). Haeokd had been 
%vorking in this department with great vigour for 
many years. He only made one appearance at :i 
German scientific congress since the Virchow aftaii*. 
That was on September 18, 1882, in quiet and 
unoontroTendal form. A little ezoitemeni was 
oansed amongst those who saw their salvation in 
keeping the gentle Darwin far apart fro in the 
impetuous Haeckel when he read a rather free 
philosophical confession of Darwin's. Their taotios 
broke down as the deceased Darwin passed into an 
historical personality and disappeared horn the 
struggle of contendini^ parties. In 1892 Haeckel 
wrote with great vigour in the militant Berlin 
journal, the Freie Buh ne, on the new alliance of the 
Ohnieh and political partiesin G^rmai^y oriMoising 
the political sitnation on genersl philoeo^iioal 
principles, and in opposition to Virchow's spirit of 
compromise. Tn the same year he delivered at 
Altenhurg a lecture on " Monism as a connecting 
link between religion and science." In this he 
took a oondliatory line, and showed how his philo- 
sophic views oonld be reconciled with any really 
sincere pursuit of truth, whatever aim it professed 
to have. The address closed with the words : 
May God, the spirit of the good, the beautiful, 
and the troe, grant it." However, both his 
oritioism and his attempt at conciliation only led 




Ernst Hakckei., 1896. 
From a photograph by Gabritl Max. 



To fact p. mri. 



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GROWTH OF IDBAS 293 



to further and more bitter attacks in certain 
quarters. His only reply was to bring out the 
fizBt numbeiB of a fine iUaBiraied woxk— a work 
ihȤ oame firom a qoile different depih of his 
rich personality. This was the Art-forms in 
Nature [not translated], a collection of beautiful 
forms oi radiolaria., sponges, siphonophores, (&c., 
for artiste and admirers of the beaatifal. It was a 
work snoh as he alone coold prodnoe. In the 
storm didst thou begin : in the storm shalt thon 
end," he might have said to himself, in the words 
of David btrauss. The storm never left him. In 
ite mood was flimg off with ready pen the Middle 
of the Univene, "Up, old warrior, gird thy 
loinst " as we read in Stranss. 

« 

The biographioal sketch of a living man does not 
dose with a stroke, but with three stars. They 

glow still, these stars. Under their influence much 
may yet happen — much struggle, much pea<5e. 
In view of the general situation of our time there is 
little hope that the last stretch of this eztra- 
oidinaiy career will be spent in peacoj thon^^ 
behmd it all lies the peace-loving soul of an 
artist. But if B Meckel's career is to be one of 
struggle to the last hour, he may console him- 
self with the noble words of Goethe : — 

And when at lencrth the long gray lashes fall 
A gentle hght will broaden o'er the scon6y 
In whose efiPulgence onr remoter sons 
Will read the liuaaments of yonder stairs, 
And in the loftier view to which they rise 
Of God and man a loftier image hold." 



GHAPTEB Vm 



nm oBowHive tbabs 

[By JOBKi'H McCAliKj 

WiLEN Professor Bolsche closed his bio- 
giaphioai sksioh in 1900 with Hhe thzee 
stars tliAt « Btm ^wed/' he had Uttla 
how widely they would yet flame out before they 
passed from the firmament of biography to that of 
history. As it has proved, Haeckel was then only 
entering npon the period of vast popular inflnence 
which forma the clofling part of hia remarkable 
caroer. He had in 1000 a few thoiuaiid thonghtbil 
readers in several countries beside his own. To- 
day he is read by hundreds of thousands in 
Germany, Englandi Eranoe, and Italy, and the 
fourteen different transIationB of his most popular 
work have oanied his ideas over the whole world. 
Today the thoughts of this professor of zoology in 
an obscuiL' Orrnian town are discussed eagerly by 
bronzed arid blackened artisans in the workshops 
of London^ Paris» and Tokio, as well as ttuonghont 
Qennany. The reader will have notioed in the 



THE CROWNING TEABS 205 



earlier chapters that the most dignified and dis- 
dainfnl of Haeokel'e opponentB hxwe been the 
aoademic pbiloeophers. In the year 1905 a Berlin 

professor of philosophy, a stern oritio of his 
system, devotes a long special section of his 
History of J^hUoso^h^ *ince Kant to Haeckel and 
his kmg-ooptemned epecnlaticme. Why? Beoanae, 
to quote his oondnding aentenoee, *'the iar- 
reaching impulse that Haeckel has given iritL never 
more die out. He has become a sower of the 
future. The glad echo that his words have found 
in a hundred thousand breasts must stir eveiy 
representative of roUng power in Ghnrch and 
Sdenoe to make a closer sdf-examinaUon, a closer 
scrutiny of received ideas. Docs not the thought 
press irrc riislibly upon us that somehow or other 
we have entered upon the wrong path in car 
modem development ? " * 

In an earlier chapter Professor Bdlsdie tells the 
moving story of the writing of the General Morph- 
ology : the young man making his masterly appeal 
to the scientists of Gtermany, which he tiiinks they 
will read over his grave. There is a singular par- 
allel to this in Haeckel's attitude at the time when 
BSKsche closed his work. Haeckel had just written 
another " last will Jiiid testament," another proud 
and defiant utterance of what he felt to be the 
tro& about Gk>d and man and natnre. Once more 
he seemed to see the marble gates at the close of 
his career, and his sombre glance fell romid on a 

* Dr. Otto Gnunsow's Qtich%chU der Fhiiosophie idt Kani, 



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world that was, he thought, sinking into reaction. 
This time he appealed to the people. The five 
years that have followed have witnessed an extia- 
oidinary response on the part of the people. 
With the speed of a popular roiiiauce his work 
has flown through Europe. He has received a 
hundred proofs that, at all events, the ideas he 
thinks to be fraught with salvation for hamanity 
are being considered and discussed in wide 
circles that bad never before known that there 
was a " riddle of the universe.'* He has been 
urged in the heart of the Sahara to read his 
own works. He has met, as he travelled on an 
Alpine railway, cultured nuns who told him they 
had learned evolution from Professor Haeckers 
works." He has looked down with mingled feehng 
on the wild applause of a gathering of thousands 
of SociaUsts. He has been immortalised — strangest 
and last of all apotheoses — in an academic history 
of philosophy ! 

The present chapter will tell the story of these 
five stirring years. It will aim at conveying 
to the English reader, by plain presentment of 
&ctS| a full picture of the activity that has 
attracted or distracted tiie attention of so many 
m the last few years. If Dr. Gramzow is right, 
if through these hve years of indefatigable 
labour the aged scientist has become a sower of 
the future," it is well for friend and foe to 
understand him. 

There is only one respect in which one's 
personal feeling may be allowed to tinge such 



Digitized by 



THB OBOWNXNG YEARS 307 



a nanative as this* For good or eyil HaeckeVs 
great inflaenoa on our genemidoii Ib a reality. 

It is the biographer's duty to reoord and measnre 
it: the reader's to appraise it. The future 
hlBtorian of the dramatio course of humanity's 
ideals most he left to inteipret it in eosmio perspeo- 
tim Do the stars emit, or do th^ grow thinner 
and colder in ihenr light, o^er this great stirring f 

The far-dialjant generation, that will have reached 
the bummit of the hill, will know. We who, with 
narrow horizon, are ontting oar fond paths up 
the slope, ha^e bat the poor loxaries of faith and 
hope. Tet there is one aspeot of Haeokel's reoent 

hfe that makes us almost forget the cosmic issues. 
These five years have been, in Hteral truth, 

crowning years" of his aims. For all the 
slights and insolts that have been showered on 
the grim worker he has had a rioh recompense 
of honour and love. Even if his ideas are to 
fade and wither like his laurel crowns, it will be 
something for a future historian to record that 
a gentler and more genial light fell about his 
dosing years. As QrimuBow says : He Med to 
give OS his best." 

An event that Professor Bolsohe has only 
briefly alluded to in his last crowded chapter 
was a fitting inaognraticm of the last decade of 
Haeokel's career. On the 17th of Febraaxy, 
1894, his sixtieth birthday was celebrated at Jem. 
The lover of nature and of the silent study passes 
uneasily through such functions, but the student 
of Haeokel's hie must dwell on it. Jena, had for 



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HAECKBL 



some years realised that world-fame somehow 
attached to the straight, smiling figure that it saw 
paflsipg daily to the J2k)ologioal Institute. It had 
witoasaed the graye prooedora of the boyoot in the 
•ixtieB. It had liMid diatingoialied leadera ol 
Churches, hke Professor Michelis, brand his works 
as "a fleck of shame on the escutcheon of 
Gemuuiy," aa attack on the foandatiouB of 
leUgum iad mocality/* stymptom at aenile 
maimflnnuu" It Baw all these unworthy ettaoks 
sink into confusion, and a new era begin. li 
heard of greater universities competing for their 
professor and his refusal to leave them. It saw 
Bismarok fall on bis neok and kiss him repeatedly 
whe&y in 1892, he headed the deputation to invite 
him to Jena ; and it noted how tiie Prinee aheo- 
lutely refused to drive through their town unless 
Haeckei comes with me" in the carriage. It 
gave his name proudly to cm of its fine new 
streets. 

In February, 1894, Jena witnessed a remarfcaUe 

celebration — remarkable not only to those who 
had lived with him in the sixties. A luarble 
boat of Haeokel was unveiled by Professor Hert- 
wig) with noble speeoh» in the Zoologioal Institute. 
A festiTe dinner, sadi aa Oermaiis alone oaa 

conduct, was held in the famous Luther-Hostel. 
More than a thous;ind letters and telegrams 
poured in from aii parts of the world, and scores 
ol jonmals awoke the interest of Qermanj. I 
have before me the piiwtely-paUished report m 
the celebration, autographed to Agnes HaeoksL" 



THB CROWNING YBABS M 



Two lists in it catch the eje. One is a list 
of Haeokel'B publications. Apart from hte long 
and munfiioiiB artiolea in Bcientifio jonmals he 
liaa written lorfey-two worlcB (18,000 pages, 

frequently quarto) in thirty-three jrears. All but 
two are pure contributions to acience : some of 
them are classical monographs of original re- 
searoh; moat aie beantifnUy iUnatrated hy him- 
self. The seoond list gi^ee the names of those 

who have contributed towards the marble bust 
by Professor Kopf, of Eome. It is worthy of 
science. It includes hve hundred university 
piofiessois and heads of aoademio institatums in 
ail parts of the worid, from Bnunl and the States 
to Algiers and Egypt and India. In their name 
Professor Hertwig greeted Haeckel as one who 
has written his name in letters of hght in the 
history of soienoe/* From Italy the Minister 
of Pnblio Instmction sent the ftdlowing telegram : 
" Italy, that yon love so much, takes cordial part 
in all the honours tliat the civilised nations of the 
earth are heaping on you in commemoration of 
your sixtieth birthday* In the name of the 
Italian UniTarsities, whioh loye yon so mnoh and 
so mnelh admire yonr nndying work, I BcnA ym a 
heartfelt greeting and wishes for a lon^-; and happy 
and active career." Dr. Paul von Hitter gave 
70,000 marks [shillings] for the erection of a 
monnment to Haeokel at Jena when the honr 
oomes. He had pmionsly given dOO^OOO marks 
to be spent in the furtherance of Haeokel's 
scientiiic views. 



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The story so vividly unfolded by Professor 
Bdlsche has explained how the estrangement arose 
between Haeckel and so many of his sdentific 
oolleagiies in Gennany. ItisnotaMttlegmti^yuig 
to find the nameB of some of hie oritioa amongst 
the subscribers to his festival. Tlie personality, 
the aim, the self sacrifice of the man, no less than 
his difltingaiahfld speoial ooukihationB to fiGieace, 
had won a saperb reoognition« 

In the years 1804-6 Haedkel published the 

SystcmaLio Pliylogenij. **We may differ," says 
Professor Arnold Lang of it, "as to the value of 
speoial or even fundamental opinions in it, but 
we most stand before this wozk in astonishment 
and admixation : astonishsMnt at the Tast lange 
of his knowledge—it would seem that one head 
could Goutaiu no more : admiration of the intellec- 
tual labour with which the various phenomena are 
oonneoted and the gigantio mass of material ia 
xedooed to Older." The Royal Aoademy of Bdenoe 
at Turin judged the work the best that had been 
published in the last four years of the nineteenth 
century, and awarded its author the Bxessa prise, 
a snm oi 10,000 lire. 

In Angnsty 1896| he made a farther visit to 
England. The International Congress of Zoology 
met at Cambridge, and Haeckel was invited to 
deliver an address. He chose his ever-present 
theme — the evolution of man. The long leotuie, 
or essayi has been translated fay Dr. Gadow nnder 
the title, Th$ LoMt Link The title is somewhat 
misleading, as only a page or two are devoted to 



THE GBOWNING YEARS 301 



" the last link" (Hherwise the little oflen 

students a most excellent summary of " our 
present knowledge of the evolution of man," the 
title which Haeckel gave it. 

But (he last period of HaeokeL'e osreer is 
ftaaoeiated ohieQy with, and is zeaUy iiuuigiiialed 
by his nowfiunons Biddle of the Universe ^ published 
in 1899. To understand that work, to avoid the 
extremes of praise and censure that have been 
lavished on it» one must put oneself in Haeokel's 
position at the dose of the last oentnxy. Mir. 
WellB has given as a foreeast a! the ooming 
social order in which the intellectual few are 
separated by a wider and deeper gulf than ever 
from the workers and the women of the world. 
That keen-eyed and jodioioiis sodal writer has 
akeady modified his foreeast, bat there were 
symptoms enough of the possibility of such an 
issue a few years r^o. In Germany the si^^s 
were ominous to a man like Haeckel. The older 
Liberalism to which he belonged by tradition and 
conyiotion seemed in danger of being ground to 
dust between the opper and the nether stones of 
the new political mill — the increasing strength of 
Social Democracy and the increasing and con- 
sequent alliance of Conservative Kaiserism with 
the still powerful Oatholio ChurdL Haeckel 
distrusted the power of Demos much as Benan 
did when he wrote his sombre dialogues in the 
seventies ; and a political alliance with the Vatican 
opened out to him the grim prospect of a return 
to the Middle Ages. The freedom of reseansh 



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HAfiCKBL 



and teaching for which he had fought with 
imspahng vigour was, lie thoughti imperilled by 
the n«w aUianoe) no lew than lha very exutenoe 
at 011II1U6 WM endangmd by the triumph of 
Social Democracy. His academic oolleagnee 
remained in that iaolaiion which he had ever 
latterly resented. 

In fiioe of tfaui nloatioii, ufaioh seemed to gcaw 
mole mxaohn aa the last yean ol the oentmy 
dragged on, bit seal for tratfi and progveaa had 
but one outlet. He nmst appeal to the people. 
He must take the conciuBiona he had so laboriously 
worked oat in hia Sf^tematic Phytogeny y and kaiia- 
late them from eoientifio hievoi^yphioB mto a 
demcytio tongue. He most nail hia theaea with 
his own baud on the cathedral door, like the 
great monk whose work seemed in danger of 
perishing. The partial aucceas of his SUtory of 
OrecUum was encouraging, though that work had 
only penetrated into the first oirde beyond Ae 
sacred academic enclosure, and was still unknown 
to the crowd. Gathering his strength for what 
he believed to be his final effort, he blew a blast 
that would reach the for-off shop and ^toty. It 
moat be no gentle note, no timid snggeation that 
the scientific imk of the nineteentibi century had 
thrown doubt on current religious notions. He 
was quitting the stage. He believed these things 
were true, were estabhshed. The world mnst 
listen to them, moat diaonaa them; and then the 
twentieth omitniy would paaa its informed radiot 
uver his grave. 



THE (JXiOWNING YEARS 303 

Sobe wj»tosTigoioiifl|aaimi»ti]ig,an amikm- 
ing hook. It nmrt be rnd m this ocmtezl. The 

charge of " dogmatisin " so often hurled rd it is not 
without humour. It is generaUy raised by men who 
in the sama breath bold ibeir trutba so dogmalioally 
that tbejr zMent bis my qaoBl&om. Tbey bagf/k^ 
too, that tbo obiel oimoliisioiifl of tbe BiddU aie 
references to the lar,t;er work in which, soundly 
or unsoundly, they are provided with massive 
iooudations of Boientifio matariai. In Engiand 
tbm is aome ezonie, as tba lavgar work is im- 
tratudated and imknowii ; thougii one may resent 
tbe critic who charges Haeckel with egoism for 
his constant references to his other works and then 
proceeds to ridioule the siendemeas of tbe ioonda" 
tioDs of bis tbeoxies. Furtber, it is too oflen 
foigotten tbat Haeokel opens bis mik with a rare 
warning to the reader tbat bis opinions are 'very 
largely "subjective" and his command of other 
subjeota than biology is very " unequal.'* In line, 
bis constant and exaggerated allusions to the 
oppodtioii he enooonteis from his solentiflo 
eoJleagiies is, for any candid leader^ a sufficient 
corrective of " dogmatism." 

The work lit up at once a flame of controversy 
tbat has hardly yet diminished in Germany. 
Students have told me how, when some prolessoir 
dropped the well-known name in tbe ooone of his 
lecture, the class would spUt at once into two 
demonstrative sections. Ten thousand copies of 
the libxaiy edition of the work were sold within 
a lew monthSy and it qmoUy nn to eight 



d04 



HAECKEL 



editions. This remarkable success irritated hia 
opponents, and the wide range of the subjects 
touched in the work gave them opportunities* 
Germany was deluged mSx pami^iletB of oBbom 
and defence. Some of HaeokePB pnplb replied io 
his opponents, but the master himself smiled 
through the storm. His chief critics were men 
with no competenoe in biology, and he was not 
minded to oomply with their etiatagem of witii* 
drawing attention from the sAbstantial poaitions 
of the work. Dennert, the philologist, swept 
together all the hard sayings about Haeckel that 
the fierce struggle of the preceding twenty years 
had produced— Paulsen and Adickes, tiie meta- 
phyaicians, pomed philoflophic acorn an. his 
pretensions to constmot a theory of knowledge. 

Adickes, in pai'ticnlar, met him with a vigorous 
fusillade of pure Kantism. Tt is a curious com- 
mentary on this long philosophic disdain to lind 
Haeckel awarded a prominent place amongst the 
philosophers since Kant.*' 

Two points in this connection are noteworthy. 
Hae( kel's first sin against the ruling metaphysio 
of the nineteenth century was his naive realism.'* 
He had dared to think he could break beyond 
the channed cizcle of our states of conscioiisneBs. 
He had dreamed that a real material worid lay 
here in space before the human mind came into 
existence; that a living, palpitating humanity, 
not a bloodless phantasm in the mind, called for 
our most solemn efiorts. Where the ordinaiy 
reader saw a traism the metaphysicians recognised 



THE CKOWNING YEARS 305 



a deadly an, and langhed Homeno laughter. 

To-day we have, both in England and Germany, a 
strong claim arising amongst the metaphysicians 
themselves for a return to a realist basis. 
Haeckel's second and diief ein was hie olaim to 
have thrown light on the evolntion of eonsoioiia- 
ness and his disdain of all study of mind that 
was not grounded ou evolution. To-day Gram- 
zow writes; "The criticism which he makes of 
Kant's theoiy of knowledge from the evolutionary 
point ol view is the greatest advanoe that philo- 
sophy has made in that branch sinoe Kant's time.'' 
The most violent critics of the Riddle were the 
theologians. It would be improper here to enter 
into the controversy, and indeed Haeckel has 
paid little attention to his oiitios of late yeaiB. 
Some time ago a Oennan religions msgasine was 
sent to me in which one of his leading critics had 
written a shameful article with the aim of aliena- 
ting him from me. I at once wrote to him, and 
reoeiyed a letter brimming OTer with his hearty 
langhter at the idea that he might have taken any 
notice of what they said. The eminent ecclesias- 
tical historian, Professor Loofs, made a ponderous 
attack on his incidental reference to the birth of 
CSbxist. As Loofs himself denied the divinity and 
supematiiral birth ol Ohrist, Haeckel UiLt little 
inclination to enter on a serious argnment about 

the human parentage. The theologian was 80 
much hurt that he used language, as far as was 
consistent with a broad view of the theologioal 
dignify, that came within legal limits, and then 



Ml 



BLUBCSBL 



qnoted to Haackei the pa^e aud letter in the 
German code on wbioh be teka aetioal 
Bui % gmii oounfeerpoifle io iliMe faitlflr attMfa 
afttecks forgot, as Gramzow says, that 

** there is an ethic for the critic as well as for the 
man of science " — had now been provided. Men 
like Dr. Sohmidt, Dr* Biaatonbach, PipfoMor 
B<daQhe» and PMtaaar Yenmn nlBad to flittr 
maaier, and oonveyed • joBter image d hhn 
:ind his work to the public. The ominous 
silence of the great biologists was felt to mean 
that hia views ware, in anbatanoa, no heresy 
to Hum. -The man'a iraxm and anttuiaiasiio 
■eal lor troth and humanity, hia eamesfc 
eilorts to pierce the barriers that shut oil thtj 
treaRxiroa of science from the mass, could not bo 
ignored. A oheapar edition of his work was 
^fWnand ftd i and it waa aoon in tha handa oi > 
than 150,000 seadm. Ckrantry after oomtky 
imported his "gospel of Monism,*' the stirring 
agitation spread to France, England, America. 
Italy, and on until it reaohad Australia and Japan. 
To-d»j fdutoen tranalatums of the JBdddU bear 
hia taanhing to the anda of tiie wodd. 

IMlenaad be'aald hm ol the Haaekiel oonM- 
versy in this country. I remember well the day 
whan the (xerman work was submitted to me with 
a view to pnhlioation. It did not seem to have 
the atnfE ol a oonflagmtiott in it. I hanaidftdl a 
gnesa that it wonld aell a thooaand oo^nob, and 

thought th;it it (-'unta,iued so valuable a description 
of the evolution oi mind that it should be publiahad. 



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THE OBOWMNG YEABS 307 

It has sold, with rather less than the usual adver- 
tising, with no special machinery for pressing it 
Buch as is at the f3ommand of religiooB worlo^ 
a ikBB sold aboat 100»000 copies. The sueoees of 
the work aitoonddd us. While wb were being 
accased of " thrusting it down people's throats " 
we could not have arrested its circulation, had 
we wished, without positively refusing to republish 
it. Indeed, the last hhrary edition has long been 
out of pnnt, though still in fEequent demand It 
has made Haeokers a ftutmUar name in circles 
where even Spencer has been heard to be described 
as a great balloonist." Clergymen have written 
to their journals saying how they heard the 
Monistio philosophy disoossed groups of paviora. 
Sir Leslie Stephen iM me, on his death-bed, bnt 
with a inumentary flabh of his old humour, how 
an Orkney clergyman had written to him for 
consolation, as it was circulating amongst the 
fishecs of that ulHma tkule.* 

From the seething agitation he had asonsed 
Professor Haeckel cheerfully withdrew in the 
autumn of 1900 to make his long journey to Java. 

* The rf^ader who desires a suDimary of the critioiams 
{MMSed on the work may consult Dr. Schmidt's Dcr Kampf um 
die WeltrdUiacl for Germany, and my own HatA-.kris Critics 
Answered for England. The only biologist of competence who 
has written on ii in this country is Proi. ljlo^d-MQiga.n 
{CmUciiiporary Beview, 1903), but his reply is indireot. Sir 
Oliver Lodge has raeentiy deall with it length in his Life 
amd Matter, btit the diatiiigaished pbygieist'f oonoeplioii of lUe 
IS i& ezlraaw and geneiil d ii l B rcw i r iHlh the faiologifto d 



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HABOKEL 



He now lived under the public e3'e, and amusing 
constructions were put on his movements. Ameri- 
can joomaliam arrived, by its peculiar methods^ At 
tiie knowledge thai he had gone in quart of booeB 
of the mamng Unk," A few bones of a half- 
human, half-ape form had been discovered on the 
suuili coast of Java a few years previouyl3% and the 
trained American imagiQation quickly constructed 
a theory, whioh ae qmddy crystaUised into iaak 
Haeokel had been heavily snbeitoed by an Ameirioan 
millionaire to disooTer more bonee of the ape-man 
of Java. Not to be outdone, oiher journals added 
a rival subsidy (from the American Government) and 
a rival search. The sober truth was that Haeckel 
had naed hie Bresaa prise fund, with a sabsi^ 
from the Bitter fond at Jena, to make a stady of 
botany and marine life in the tropics. He was 
within a huiuired miles of the spot where Dabois 
had found hi& interestmg rehcs, but made no afbit 
to go further. For him the erolntion of man rested 
on too maaaiTe a fonndatian for a few bones to 
increase its solidity. Once more he brought home 
huge cases of preparations, a large number of 
sketches (some of them touched up by Verestcha- 
gin» who was returning on the boat &om Ohina), 
and material for the inevitable book. Aub Jma- 
Unde is a charming and finely illustrated woA of 
travel, but has not been translated. 

Before he left Jena he had, with his charac- 
teristic urbanity and diligence, given personal 
replies to about a thousand letters he had received 
apropos of his Biddle of the Unihme, The episto* 



THE CBOW^ING YEARS 309 



lary flood rose higher than ever on bis return. The 
Btriis^'gle had spread to England and Frauoe. He 
had leimned to a oanldion of oontroveny. He 
qtiiefely mnmed his ieaohing at the nniyerBity and 
attacked his still formidable literary programme. 
Day after day the a^^^ed scholar — he was now in 
his sixty-seventh year — briskly stepped up to the 
podium at the Zoological Institate and delivered his* 
lectoxes, drawing his objects with a- few quick 
strokes on the board or exhibiting the plates pre- 
pared by Giltsoh. He noted with a quiet gleam of 
satisfaction that a few ladies now ventured into 
the Materialist" circle* The new century had 
begnn. 

In 1902 he issued the cheap edition of the 

Middle, of which 180,000 copies have been sold in 
Germany, with a reply to its critics. " The great 
struggle for truth/' he wrote to his friend. Dr. 
Breitenbach, " grows fiercer said fiercer, the more 
my work is attacked by the clergy , the metaphysical 
schoolmen, and the erudite Philistines. I am 
coiitmuaily receiving lively and sometimes enthusi- 
astio letters of congratulation irom ail parts of the 
world." In the meantime he was engaged upon 
two important works, which he published in 1908. 

The earlier edition of the Anthrapogeny, of which 
Professor Bolsche has written, was undergoing a 
thorough revision. Kew evidence was pouring in 
every year in support of his sketch of the genealogy 
of hnmanity. Dubois had discovered what is now 
admitted to be an organism midway between the 
highest ape and the earliest prehistoric man. 



310 



HAECKEL 



Selenka had pabiished wonderful studies of the 
anthropoid apes. Friendenthal and others had 

s'bown the literal blood-relationship of the higher 
apes and man by a series of beautiful experiments. 
He must once more gather together the enormoos 
mass ot facts, and marshal them with his old com- 
mand. For six months he worked incessantly on 
the new edition. A hundred pages of matter were 
added to it, a hundred fresh iUustrations. Greal 
and exactix^ as the task would have been for a 
younger man, the work appeared in 1903 in a 
form that silenced criticism. I need only qoote a 
sentence from the notice of it that was pabiished 
in the Daily Telegraph by one of our leading 
literary critics, when it was issued in this country. 
'^It is a grand conception, this of the great 
physiologist, that every man, in the brief term of 
his prenatal development, should go through these 
successive changes, by which raan has, in countlLSs 
ages, been evolved frora the primitive germ- 
cell; and it is triumphantly vindicated in The 
Evolution of Man, It is impossible to do justice 
in words to the patience, the labour, the specialised 
skill and industry involved in the preparation 
of this monumental work." And one has ouly 
to compare this latest edition with the previous 
one to see at a glance the complete transformation, 
and realise the freshness and force of mind of the 
aged biologist. 

In the face of such a work, with its towering 
structure of proof from embryology, comparative 
anatomy, and paleontology, one must look leniently 



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THE CROWNING YEAHS Sll 



cm some of Ha^ekd's Tetmnoes to lollow-aiittiio- 

pologists like Virchow. It is not many years since 
the great patholo^st declared emphatically at a 
acientifio coDgress that ^'we could just as well 
oono«ive man lo hare deaoended iioin a aheep or 
an elephant aa from an ape.'' When a leading 
anthropologiat could say such things in 1894, a 
strain is laid on our charity. Darwin's words, 
written in a letter to Haeckel, press on us once 
more: Virohow'seondaotisafaamefal, andl trost 
he will one day feet the ahame of it" ProfeBsor 
Babl has lately contended thai hie deceased father- 
in-law (Virchow) admitted the evolution of man in 
private. We cannot wonder if Haeckel merely 
retorts : So much the more shame on his pnblio 
ntlerancee.'' Snoh things mnat, at least, be borne 
in mind when one reads Haeokel's severe judgment 
on some of his great contemporaries. 

The Evolniiofi of Man not only offers the com- 
plete proof of its thesis — a proof accepted by every 
prominent bidogist in Sngland and by many pre- 
lates (snoh as the Bishop of London and the Bean 
of Westminster) — but affords also interesting proof 
of Haeckel's artiBtic gifts. Some of the best plates 
in the work are executed by him. But in the same 
year, 1908, he gave a more popolar eyidenee of it. 
In detached nnmbera he published the large and 
beautiful volume of his Art-forms in Nature, In 
this work he depicts with remarkable success 
hundreds of the most beautiful forms that his long 
study of maiine life had brought before him. A 
fine ezpreeaion of the man's dual nature, the work 



818 



HABCKEL 



appaala with equal force to the SBstibete and the 
Boiflntirt. And during the long honxs tihat he wm 
peering into hie mimeoope and sketohmg iiw 

delicate and graceful forms, the din and roar of ibe 
mighty controversy he had aroused was breaking 
in with every post. By the end of the year he had 
reoeiYedmoie than d^OOO lettore in connection with 
the Middle o/ ih$ XfmoenB. Scoirilona letten and 
idolatrous letters, sober letters and fantastic letters, 
flowed upon the Zoological Institute, where he 
worked with pen and pencil, and were duly read. 
He merely defended himself by posting to eaoh 
oonespondent a printed form that he woold soon 
issue a new work in which the further questions 
would be answered. He had given his life to 
science and humanity, and would not withdraw for 
the well-eamedreet. And from a thousand pulpits 
over Buiope and Ameiioa the aged and self -eaori- 
fioing worker was being denonnoed and durioatared 
to audiences who had not the remotest kno^vledgu 
of his aims and his work. A friend of niiue heard 
a minister in an important Glasgow church assure 
his oongiegation from the pnlpit that "Haeokel 
was a man of notoriously licentioas life ; he had 
heard it from a friend of Haeckel's." At the 
very time when Haeckel was buried in his splendid 
artistic work, the Ghrutian Wo)'ld F^iMpit was 
issuing a sermon in which Dr. HorUm was ex- 
plaining the personal factor in Haeckel. " He 
is an atrophied soul, a being that is blind on the 
spiritual side," the popular preacher dechired. 
From the turmoil Haeckel withdrew once more 



THE OBOWNING Y£ABS 313 

to his beloved Italy. There ims uiotber reason 

for his flight. His seventieth birthda}- was ap- 
proaching. He had declared at the hanquet given 
in his honour on the occasion of his sixtieth birth- 
day, that if he lived for the fleventieth he mold 
**bnry himBelf in some dark oomer ci the 

Tlnirin^Kin forest, far away fi'Oni nil fcsti\'itics." 
BtroniiouB and exacting as the ten years had been, 
he now found himself on the threshold of his 
eighth deoede of hie. His viie, also, was ailing^ 
and they both piooeeded to the Italian Biviera 
at the beginning of the winter. Few of his 
friends were informed \vhere he was. "I want,'* 
he wrote to me, to pass my seventieth birthday 
in peace/' He settled at BapaUo^ and at onoe 
oonunenoed his favoniite fishing for the tiny in- 
habitants of the Mediterranean. The "cloistral 
quietness " of the little town, the daily prospect 
of the blue Mediterranean, the solitary walks 
in the wild gorges of the Ligurian ApennineSi 
and the uplifting sight of their focest-erowDed 
moimtain-altarB " restoied hk freshness of spirit. 

Once more a vast labour lay before hinn He 
had promised a work that would answer all 
biological questions addressed to him in the 5,000 
letters of his oorreepondents. He had all the 
queries, all &e criticisms of his views, all the 
latest literature of the subject, tu digest into a 
compact volume. The result was a new worlv of 
657 pages. The Wonders of Life, a remarkable 
snmmaiy of his aodogical and botanical know- 
ledge, with ezoarsions into psychology, soioidey 



314 



HAECKEL 



twenty solid and wdl-wnmged olMptas w« 

written in fonr months. 

"Promptly at 5," he wrote in December, "T 
dm ftwakeudd by Ihd bdUs of tlie cburoh hard 
by. I wite ontiiNioiidy mta 12. AftocafrngBl 
Innoh and a short lest, the afteniocm k devoted 
to a walk or to water -colour sketches. The longer 
days allow* me to sit and paint in the open sdr 
tt&tal iivQ, Our quiet evemagBy from 5 to 10, axe 
spent in reeding and in writing lettere. The 
intemiption for dinnes, fnm 7 to 8, gives ne an 
opportunity to exohange jokes over onr * ololetxal 
li^'" the veteran naturalist, of " notori- 

onsly licentious life " (the words of the Glasgow 
preacher were spoken at this very period), ap- 
pcoaohed hia A i gl ht h dtwade ol life— of wof k* 

He Temeined at Bepello nntil the birthday had 

passed, but his address had meantime become 
widely known , and the miniatnre postal arrange- 
ments at liapallo were severely taxed. listtarsy 
tel^gEvms, flowers, and other gifts— mostly siNin* 
teneons ezpressUms of gratitade from ^'nnknown 
readers of the Middle ofths Universe " — reminded 
him of the larger world that now appreciated 
him. A still larger number of letters and gifts 
reached Jena inm all parts of the world. 
Hnndieds of Gennan jonmab and pedodioak 
devoted long and generous artii^ to the dis- 
tinguished worker, and little festive commemora- 
tions were held at |many of the universities. At 
Znnohi Professor Conrad KeUer end SrofesaQr 



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THB OBOWNING TEARS 315 



Arnold Lang delivered speeches wliich have since 
been puhiiahed. Jena sent a deputation consisting 
o£ a nnmbeir of its profenoni to Tiait the hero in 
pmcm at Bapallo. Befltooting on these mnarkable 
demonstrations and the extraordinary correspond 
denoe that eonlinually reaches Haeckel, one 
is disposed to repeat of liim the phrase apphed to a 
great heretical teaoher of the Middle Ages, Peter 
Abflard: Never was men so lo^-^d so 
hated/' 

A featnre of the coinuiemoration that peculiarly 
gratified Him was the special festive number of the 
German students' lively periodical, Jugemd^ pub- 
lished at Muzdoh. On Febmaiy 16th it appeared 
as a " Haeokd number/' full of sprightly anecdote 
and generous appreciation, and bearing on its 
cover a striking reproduction in colour of the 
Leubach portrait. His letter of thanks to the 
journal shows that the repose and the beauty of 
Italy, and the outburst of aieetion his birthday 
has provoked, have set him perfectly atune to hfe 
once more. Ah ! Prithee stay, thou art so fair," 
he almost says in the Goethe phrase, as he hails 
the moment fleeing." He goes on to deprecate the 
effort to make '^a learned man" of him. <<Tbat, 
alas, I am not. We have in Germany many 
professors and teachers who are more learned, and 
have read far more books than your poor Jena 
schoolmaster. But from my earliest youth, since 
I tore up flowers and admired butterflies in my 
fourth year, I haye yielded to the indination of my 
heart and studied incessantly one great book— 



316 



HAECKEL 



Nftlaxe. This giMlest d all bookB lam taught 
me to know the tnie God, the Gk)d of Spmoea and 

Goethe. Then as physiciaii I saw human Hfe in 
all its heights and depths, and in my many travels 
through half the globe I learned the inexhaustible 
splendour of the eazth. And I haye honeeUy tried 
with all my modeet powers, to Toprodooe witii pen 
and pencil a part of what I saw, and reveal it to 
my fellows. I have had to fight many a hard fight, 
and in my hatred of lies and hypocrisy and 
decayuig traditions I have at times stmok a shaip 
note. But I trust, dear Youths that thon wilt not 
judge all that harshly in so old and storm-tried, 
a warrior, and that thon wilt go on to stand with 
me, shoulder to shoulder, fighting for the spirrtual 
progress of hmnanify, %hting in the oanse of the 
great trinity of the trae, the good, and the 
beantifnl." 

The work he had composed in four months at 
Bapallo, The Wonders of Life^ was issued on his 
return. It has not had the stonny success of its 
predeoessor. The fatot is instraotim This woik 
oontains a fuller proof of the ohief adentifie 
pofidtions of the Biddle. It is, therefore, more 
technical and more difficult to read. Amonpt 
other matters, it oontains a fine summaiy of 
those speoulatons on the msthematioal forms of 
organisms and the idea of individuality of whioh 
Proi'essor Bulschc has written so appreciatively. 
It must be recognised that Haeekel has fulfilled a 
duty in thus providing the general reader with 
a fuller biological proof of his Uieses. If that 



THE CROWNING Y£ABS 



317 



esfciniable person, the general reader, betrays less 
eagerness for the fuller proof, we must remember 
tiMA for ages he has been taught to diszQgaid such 
a thing as proof.*' It is the general reader that 
maikes Haeokel didactio. It is Haeokel's opponents 
who made the general reader. However, the great 
bulk of TJie Wonders of Life is true to its title. It 
is an mtensely interesting summary of biological 
facts. For the rest, if it oontains speonlations 
that nm beyond the evidenoe (though based on it) 
who is bettor qualiiiecl to open up these new paths 
than men with the enormous rano^e of knowledge 
that Haeckel has? I agree with you/' one of 
the first biologists in England wrote to me recently, 
" that Haeokel is one of the first liying biologists. 
There are not any others who have the same 
wide knowledge and experience and consequent 
'point of view.' He knows his zoology > botany, 
physiology, and pathology, also gedogy, and has 
travelled, and has a keen interest in and knowledge 
of no small degree of philology, archeology, and 
ethnography.'* 

Haeckel was in Italy once more in the autumn 
of 1904, and although he did little quiet travel and 
no fishing lor radiolaria it is probable that no visit 
to the oonntry ever afforded him snch satisfaction. 
One great shadow lay over the beautiful land and 
its genial race whenever he visited it — a gross and 
almost impenetrable superstition. Turn oil the 
great routes of Italy, with their splendid cathedrals, 
and visit the small towns and villages. See the 
scum of Naples tearing the clothes from each other 



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aJbynes of vioe and gwwwMHi ttiai aie oovond 
elbeta«Dy bj tibis fonsftl and onlorely pfaofcioe of 

religion. Haeckel had seen all thsul with sad ejes 
for many a year. 

In 1904 a UUk institatmi fcbat oalled iteU 
«<The Intunurtwial GongnM of FEeottuDfan" 
annoonoed that ii wcmM hold ils amuial gathoring 
at Rome. The pope — the new pope, friend of 
the royal house — lodged a feeling protest with 
the authahiies. The piiesto poured ultiftmmatoij 
ifaeknio over ihoir poo|ld until violanoe aeemai 
inevilaUd. The Italian OovanimenVa only reply 
was to grant the heretics all the privileges that 
were ever given to the great Catkolic pil^^mages: 
to put at their disposal its finest institution, the 
CoUegio Bntnano, and to sand its Minister of 
Pablio Instmotkm to open the Coogxees. YelecaD 
vnaixm naA as Haeckel, Berthelot, Sahneron, 
Sez^gi, Denis, and Bjomsen, gladly announced 
their adhesion. Paris sent a thousand delegates ; 
Spain nearly a thousand ; Italy her thooeande. 
Whole mimioipalitieB in Italy and Fraaee (even 
that of Paris) took park. The Latin world was 
aflame with rebellion. We met, seven thousand 
strong, in the heart of iiome, and Rome — the jade 
—smiled prettily as we marched up the Via Yenti 
fiettemfare. as it had —aii^ nti**ft on nrnfmsniionn of 
C^bdOi and then on psooesaions of Gathcriioe. 

Haeckel was greeted with a wild demonstration 
as he stepped on to the platform in the great 
CkirHU of the College* Straight and proud, white 



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THE CBOWmSQ TEARS 819 



with age bat pink with more than the freshness of 
a yonng man, he adjured them in fntile Qerman, 
in vmoe, to f onn themselves into 

a new Chnrch, the great Association of Monists. 
Few heard and less understood him, but his name 
was on every heart and his reception superb. 

A week afterwards I picked up a London journal 
in an ItaUan hotel, and read — as hundreds of 
Utoasands had done— that a miserable Freethought 
conference had been held at Borne ; that its rowdy 
proceedings had disgusted the scholars who had, iu 
a misguided moment, lent their names to it. Thus 
are we infonned at times. I remembered Seigi's 
enthosiastic oomments at the olose. "Emagnifioo, 
e magnifico," was all he could gasp. I remembered 
Haeckel's exultation as we walked home to his 
Aibergo Santa Chiara, and Berthelot's deep joy. 
The same scholars, except Bj<»nsen, took part in 
the Ckmgrees at in 1905, when 100,000 of us 
were nobly received by the Conseil Municipal. 
But Haeckel was too unwell to come. Nature has 
laid her hand on him at length, and bade him 
hang his weapons on the wall. He can but hope 
to remain a passiya qectator for a few yean more 
of that vast stirring of the Latin peoples whidi he 
has so much contributed to bring about. 

His last active cifort was the deh'very of three 
lectures at Berlin in the spring of 1905. He has 
always avoided pnUic lectnrss as much as possible. 
His poor voice and compantive nervousness make 
the work unattractive. A severe attack of influenza 
sap|»6d ius strength in the winter of 1905, and he 



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320 



HAECKBL 



has been unable to eliminate its unpleasant conse- 
qaences. But the opportunity of enforoing his 
gospel in the capital ol the Bmpire, where the 
VirohowB and Du Boie-Beymonds had ruled so 

long made him deaf to the counsels of prudence. 
He chose as his theme the controversy in regaxd 
to evolution, and gave three spirited lectures. The 
changed world came home to him vividly enough. 
A vast and enthusiastic gathering of admirers in 
one of the finest halls in Berlin : outside, at the 
very door, his clerical opponents distributing hand- 
bills that oilered a choice selection of the most 
venemous attacks on his person and work. The 
lectures are now available in English under the 
title of Last Wofrds tm Evohition, 

The present state of Haeokel's health forbids 
him to hope that he will do any more active work. 
As I write, he lies in his villa, in " Haeokel Street," 
overlooking the handsome Zoological Institute, 
which he raised, and tiie little university town 
that he has made known to the world. Beyond 
the graceful hills that cradle it, he sees the dark 
waves tossing that he has worked so hard to set in 
motion. In Germany the alliance of the Emperor 
with the Catholics saddens him, but — the Jesuits 
arc acceptuig evolution, over the fresh grave of 
Virchow. Abroad his ideals, even his ideas, are 
making triumphant progress. He thinks of the 
vast changes that have taken place since he stood 
out, almost alone» reckless of aU but honour and 
truth, at the Stettin Congress in 1863. * Das Leben 
ist schon,'* he still repeats. What will men say of 



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THE CROWNING YBAB8 321 



him when the lineB of histoiy draw in, and the 
ditio will have the proper perspeotiTe? I believe 
no great worker ever thought less about it. 

Through inexorable labour, through constant sacri- 
fice, through storms of painful obloquy, he has lived 
his ideals, if he has made mistakes — been mortal* 
Those ideals are an enduring oontribation to the 
good. The first, the motto of his young days, 
was Impavidi progrediamur — ' ' Let us march on 
fearlessly." The second, the motto of his later 
years, was : ''The good, the true, and the beautiful, 
are the ideals, yea the gods, of onr Monistio 
philosophy." 



21 



Bibliography 



Tab fdOowing is a liti of tiie worin by Profbiior Haitokd 
ibrt ham beeii tnadtfted inlo Bng^^ 

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••A Visit to Coylon." TraoBlation (by Olara BeU) of the 
Indische Beuebrie/e. 1633. 

**B0port oa the Budiolaria oollected by H.M.S. OhaUenger:* 
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Report on the Siphonophorae collected by H.M.S. Clial- 
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plates.] 1S88. 

"Beport on the Poop urn Eeratosa collected by H.M.S. 
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a24 



BIBUO0RAPHY 



" Planktonic studiee." TnnBUtion (by a W. Field) of 
Flankton-sMien, 1891. 

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(by J. Gilchrist) of MonismuB, 1894. 

'•The Lasl link." Tnntlalioii (by Dr. G«dow) of Ifaa 
OamfatU^s Leotm <m Bvolnlioii. 1808. 

*• The Riddlo of the TTniverse.** Translation (by J. MoCabe) 
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"The Wonders of Ufo." TtMsIa^n (by J« MbCebe) of 
Dit Lebentwimdtr. 19M. 

"The Evolution of Man." T^nnalaikion (by J. McCabe)of 
the 6th edition of the AnthropofmnU, [906 ]^., 612 iUne- 
teations, and 80 plates.] 1906. 

" Last Words on Evolution/' Translation (by J. MoGabe) of 
Dtr Kmgf um dm Sntwiekehmgt-CMatdun, 1906. 



GOMPLETB LIST OF PBOP. HAECEBL'B WOfiKS 

(■lOLinra ov ABnous m Mwramc pniomosi^* no.) 

"Detelisqiilbiiadain AstaeifiirHakiUs.'' Dissertatio inanga- 
ralls hiitologioa. [48 pp. and d plales.] 1867. 

*' De rhizopodum finibus et ordinibas." Diss, pro venla 
Isgeodi impetraoda. 1861. 

"Die Radiolarien (Bhizopoda radiaria)." [Vol. i., 672 pp. 
fol , vol ii., 30 plates.] iB62. 



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BIBLIOaBAFHY 326 

"Beitrage mt Naturgeschichte der Hydromedusen. Die 
FamlUe der BasselquaJilen (Medasm Geryomdm)," [204 pp. 
and 6 plates.] 1865. 

**G^n«veUe Morphologia dw OiginlwfiMi." [VoL i, xzxii 
and 574 pp and % platM; voL IL, dz and 462 pp. and 8 
pbtea.] 186& 

"Natiirliche Schopfungsgeaoluohte." [068 pp. and 9 plateg.] 
1868. [l(Hh edition, 1902.] 

" Uber die Entstehiug imd den Stammhanm det Memwhao- 

gftiffhlftriitff." 1868* 

" Zur EutwickBlungsgcsGhichte der Siphonophoren." 
Crowned by the Utreoht Sooieby of Art and Science. [124 pp. 
4to and 14 plates.] 1869. 

I860. 

"Dai Leben in den groesten Meerestiefen." 1870. 

MBiokgiMhAStodiML" [184 pp. and 6 plate] 187a 

Die Kalksohwiimme {Ctdcispomjia^)." [Vol. L, xvi and 484 
pp. ; vol li., 418 pp. ; vol iii, 60 plates.] 1872. 

*'Anlhropogenla^ od«r BnfewlolBBlvngsgeselilelite das lC«n> 
•bhflo." [zviii and 782 pp., 12 platii, and 210 vmdenli.] 
1874. 

uAiafaiMhaKoEaUen.'' 1876. 

" Die Perigenesis der Piastiduie oder die Weilunztinguag der 
Lebenstheilohen." 1876. 

" Btddlea mr Cbrtnaiithaoria." (970 pp. and 14 piaitaa.] 
1877. 

" Dio houbige Kotwiokdlangaldhre im Verkaltnisse snr 
Gesammtwiaaengchaft." 1877. 

«* Ma WiaMoaofaafl nnd Me Uita." [106 pp.] 1878 



326 BIBUOGBAFHT 

«« Das Protistenroioh/* [104 pp^ 58 woodoate.] 187a 

*' Gesammelte popidte VorMga dem Oebioto dor 
Bntwidkalmigglahrd," [181 pp., 50 woocUnli.] 187a 

" Das System der Medasen." [xxx and 672 pp. and 10 
piakes.J 1879. 

''GeMmmeltepopnlixoVoftEige/' YoLU. [164 pp. and 80 
noocloato.] 1879. 

" Daa System dor Acraspeden." [813 pp. and 20 pl&te8.J 
ISSO. 

" Meiagenens imd HypogenariB von Awfdia amrUa* [86 pip. 
and 3 plales.] 1881. 

•* Die Tiefsee-Medusen der Ciialienger-Reise und der Oz^gan- 
ismus der Medusea." [205 pp. aod 32 plates.] 1881. 

'•IndifloheBdaalniafo.*' [380 pp.] 1883. 

Die Natorananhaming voa Dairwin, Goalfae, und fianiardi." 
1883. 

"Gnmdriss einer allgemeiner Naturgeschichto der Badio- 
larieo." [248 pp. 4k> and 64 plates.] 1887. 

*'IM« Aeaalbariaii odar Mtipyleen BadJoMan.*' [33 pp. 
and IS pbftoa.] 1888. 

" Dio Phseodarien odor oaanopyleen Badiolariett." [88 pp. 
and dO plates]. 188a 

«* Plaaktoa-studien." [112 pp.] 189a 

"Der Mooismva ala Band swiaoheo Beligbn und Wiaaan* 
aohaft." 1883. 

Zwc Phylogenie der AustraHsohen f'auna." 1893. 

"Die Syatamatiaeha Fhyl^gania." [8 vola., 1,800 pp.] 
1894. 

Die Ampborideeu und Oystoideen." 1896. 



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BTBUOGRAFHY 327 

" Ueber unsere gegenwtirlige Kenntnlaa vom UiBproDg dm 
Menaoben." 1898. 

IMe Welbiilifel.'' [478 pp.] 1899. 
" Am Inwilindft." [260 pp., 60 illustefttions.] 1901. 

"Antliiopogeiiie.'* [(Kb edition, 991 pp., 30 plates, and 519 
illnsteatimis.] 1908. 

" Kunstformea der Nalor." [100 large ooloored platea and 
fcexk] 1901 

«* Die Lebenswiinder." [567 pp.] 1904. 

**Ern8t Haeckel's Wanderbilder." [Series of phate of his 
oU-paintixige aod wator>oolottr iaudsoapes.] 1905. 

Der Kamp! mn den BntwidkeloogMManken." [112 pp. 
and 4 platee.] 1906. 



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Index 



Adam's Peak, Haookel on, 214 
Adaptations, embryonic, 2^ 
Adaptation to environment, 119 
Adidces, Professor, 3D1 
Adriatic, visit to the, 2&Z 
Esthetic element in Haeckel, M 
Affinities o{ animals, 
Agassi2, 222 

„ on creation, 12B 
Alexander, Karl, Grand Doke of 

Weimar, 25A 
Algeciras, Haeckel at, 252 
Algiers, Haeckel arreated in, 259 
Alluiors, Hermann, 83 
Alpine salamander, the, 221 
America, the discovery of, 2Q 
Amphioxns, the, 274 
Amphoridea and Cytoidea^ the, 

2&1 

Angelo, Michael, paintings of, 15 
Anthropogenic^ the, 279, BQ9 
Anthropologioal critics, Haeckel's, 
288 

Arabia, coral-fishing in, 252 

Archeoptcryx, the, 167, 228 
Arctic hare, the, 119 
Art and mathematics, 21fi 
Art'fomu in Nature, the, 26, 293, 
811 



Artificial selection, 117 
Artistic gifts of Haeckel, 83-4 
Asia Minor, travels in, 257 
Aspects of Nature, 4fi 
Association of Monists, 319 
Athletic festival, Haeckel at the 
178 

Atom, the, 212 
Aut ImuHnde, 808 



B 

Bacilli, the, 206 

Bacteria, the, 18Q 

Basedow, 82 

Belligemma, 258 

Berlin, Haeckel's criticism of, 8Q 

„ , lectmres at, in 1905, 819 
Bcrthelot, 318, 819 
Bjomsen, B., 818, 819 
Bible, the, 126 
Biogenetic law, the, 219 
Bird, evolution of the, 228 
Birth of Haeckel, 29 
Birthday, celebration of Haeckel's 

sixtieth, 292 
Birthday, celebration of Haeckel's 

seventieth, 814 
Birthdays, real determination of, 

K2 



an 



330 



INDEX 



Bismarck, esteem of, for ELaeckel, 

2as 

Bleek, Profossor, 32 

Bose, Countess, liberality of, 255 

Botany, Haeckel's early love of, 86 

Braun, Alexander, 52 

Bressa prize, the, ^Xl 

Bronn, 128 

Bmno, Qiordano, Id 

Butterfly, development of the, 227 

0 

Caloispongi®, tiie, 272 

„ , embryology of the, 
2IS 

Calumniation of Haeckel, 266, 2^ 
Cambridge, Haeckel at, 3QQ 
Canaries, voyage to the, 2^ 
Catastrophic theory, the, 108 
Cfttholicigm in Germany, 301 

„ , lower features of, 184 
Cell, discovery of the, 56i fig 

„ , nature of the, 133. 
Cell-Boul, the, 161 
CeU-aouU and Soul-celU, 286 
Cell-state, the, 51 

u , man as a, 160 
Cell-theory, the, and Darwinism, 

128 

Ccnogenesis, 281 

Ceylon, Haeckel's life in« 8S 

„ , visit to, 2^ 
Challenger exp^tion, the, 2^ 
Chromacea, the, ISO 
Chryaorat 126 
Classical studies, 35 
Classification, HaeckeVs reform of, 
283-4 

Colombo, Haeckel at, 258 
Columbus, I63 20 

Compromise, Yirchow advooates, 
163-171 

Congresses, founding of scientific, 
144 



Consciousness. Virohow on, IfiS 
Copernicus, Ifi 
CoraU of Arabia^ the, 257 
Craw-fish, study of the, 22 
Creation, difficulties of, 98 
Crystal, life of the, 2)3 
Cuvier's theory of creation, IQZ 
CyofMO, 12fi 

D 

Dalmatia, visit to, 257 

Darwin's oondemnation of Vir- 

chow, fill 
Darwin, Haeckel's intercourse with, 
211 

„ in South America, 103 
„ on botany, 32 
„ , physiognomy of, 146 
„ , reasoning of, 117-20 
„ , theism of, 124 
Darwinism accepted by Haeckel, 

laa 

«< Dead " matter, 203 

Death of Haeckel's wife, 1S4 
Deep-tea Meduaa, the, 287 
Degree, dissertation for the, 22 
Dennert, Prof., 304 
Deicent of Man^ the, 243 
Design, abandonment of, 169 
Desmonema Anmuethe the, 186 
Dissection, 55 

Division of labour, essay on, 249 
Doctorates held by Haeckel, 24 
Dogmatism, alleged, of Haeckel, 

28. 218. 303 
Dohm, Anton, 59 
Down, Haeckol's visit to, 241 
Dubois, Eugen, 167^ 309 
Du Bois-Beymond, 135 

E 

Education, Haeckel on elementaiy, 
M 

Egypt, visit to, 267 



INDEX 



331 



£<hrenberg, 78, 96 
Electivo Ajffiniiiet, the, 45 
SImbryonic diagrams, Haeckel's 

early, 268 
Kmbryology, fil 

„ and evolution, 120 

in Haeckel's works* 
268. 28Q 

Bmhryology of the Siphonophorat 
the, 248 

Emotional character of Haeckel, 
196-7 

Engehnann, 178 

Erica cinereu, search for the, 
81 

Ernst Haeckel Street," 411 

Essay, Haeckel's first, 71 
Mmay* on tJte TJuory o/Evolution^ 

Evolution, intemal law of, 130 

n ci species, 114 
Bvolution of Man, the, 279, 310 
Exact " scientists, 13L 132, 164 
Extinct species, 107 
ExiiactioQ of species, 112, 119 

P 

Family of Haeckel, the, 2/22 

Filippo de Filippi, 76 

Fish, nature of the, 219 

FitzRoy, Captain, 103 

Flora UaUentUt contributioo to 

the, 37 
FoI,245 

For Darwin, 28Q 
F<m:e and Matter, 201 
Forms, science of, 190^ 
Form-unities, 207 
Free Seience and Free Teaching, 
386 

Freedom of research, 75, IM 
French rule in Prussia, 25 
Freytag, Gustav, 21, 28 
Friedcnthal, 310 



Frog, the, 219 
„ , evolution of the, 222 

G 

Galapagos Islands, Darwin in the, 

llfi 
Galileo, Ifi 
Gandtner, 37 
Gastraea, the, 276 
Gastrsea-theory, the, 278 
Gastmla, the, 277 
Gegenbaur, Earl, 62=:4 
Genealogical tree of organisms, 149. 

152,226 
Qenerelle Morphologie, the, 1^ 
Genius, 102 
Geology, 108 

„ and evolution, 167 
Oeryonidm, the, 171 
Gill- slits in the human embryo, 

269 

GUtsch, Adolph, 289 
Glyptodon, the, 112 
Gneisenau, 29 

God, Haeckel's conception of, 188-5, 
236 

„ , the new conception of, Ifi 

Goethe, 17 

„ , evolution in works of, ^8 
„ on morphology, 19QJ. 

Goethe's influancc on Uaockel, 41-6 

Gramxow, Otto, on Haeckel, 225 

Greece, visit to, 257 

Greefif, Richard, 244 

Greek, Haeckel's knowledge of, 36 

Oreen Henry, 45 

Gryptotberium, the, 113 

Gude, Earl, 31 

H 

Haeckel abandons theology, 75^ ISS 
, {esthetic element in, 88, 
18fi 

„ , ancestry of, 21 



332 



INDEX 



Haeokel and Darwin, 127, 211 
„ „ Gegenbaor, 62 
„ „ Miiller, 62 
„ „ Virchow, 163^ 2S4 
„ as a physician, 8Q 
It „ trayeller, 2£ifi 
„ al Down, 211 
,, at Stettin, Ufi 
„ , birth of, 29 
„ , boyhood of, 31-3 
„ , early education of, 34-50 
„ embraces evolution, 1&7 
„ , family of, 253 
u , first marriage of, liXl 
„ goes to Jena, IDQ 
„ , honours awarded to, 10, 

298. 300 
„ in Heligoland, 02 
„ in Italy, 82 
H in the Canaries, 2iQ 
„ , medical training of, Zfi 
„ , parents of, 2S 
u , personal charm of, lifi 
„ , political views of, 2Q1 
„ , reoent popnlarity of, 295 
u reconstmots zoology, 181 
„ , religion of, 2HQ 
„ , second marriage of, 25B 
„ , university training of, 51 

Haeckel, Councillor Karl, 29^ 32 
„ .Walter, S3 

HaeckeVa CriUct Answered, 

Heine, 21 

Heligoland, the first journey to, fifi 
Heliosphicra, the, 111 
Heliozoa, the, 25S 
Heredity, a theory of, 281 
Hertwig, Oscar, 257 
Hertwig, B., ISft 
Histology, 56 

History of Creation, the, ^2 
History, unity of, 44 
Holy Land, travels in the, 228 
Horton, Dr., on Hocckel, 312 



Hilffer, Hermann, 21 
Humboldt, 46, 111 

,, foundation, the, 21 
Huschke, Agnes, 253 
Huxley on the origin of man, I9Q 

I 

Illustrations, chsurges against 

Haeckel's, 267-8 
Imagination in science, 2D0 
Indepcndence,Haeckel'fi early sanse 

of, 81 

Indische Reisehrirfe, the, 261 
Individuality, nature of, 20L 211 

„ , stages of, 209 
Infusoria, the, 

International Congress of Free- 
thinkers, the, 316 
Irme, 176 

Isohia, journey to, 87 

Italy, appreciation of Haeckel in 

299 

„ , Haeckel's first visit to, 82 
J 

Java, ape«man of, 167. 808 
It » voyage to, 260, 308 

Jena, 12 

„ , Haeckel's first visit to, 50 
Jugend, Haeckel number of, S15 
Jump, Haeckel's record, 173 
Jurist, Haeckel as a, 22 

E 

Eeferstein, Professor, on Dar- 
winism, 118 

Keller, Gottfried, 15 

Kepler, 16 

KoUiker, Albert, 56 

Konigsberg, Congress at, 5J9 

Kopf, Professor, bust of Haeckel by, 
299 

Kiikenthal. 12 
Kultwrkampf, the, 281 



INDEX 



333 



L 

Lamprey, the, IMl 
Lancolet, the, ISl 
Lang, Professor A., on Haeokel, 
Lange, F. A., IM 

Language, evolution of, 150 
Lanzarote, Haeckel at, 245 
La4t Link, the, SQQ 
Lcut Words on Evolution, the, 32Q 
Latin, Haeckel's knowledge of, 8fi 
" Law of development," VHQ 
Law, training for the, 28 
Lawyers in Haeckel's family, 22 
Lemur, the, 181 
Ley dig, Frsintz, 56 
Lichtenstcin, Professor, 71 
Life, earliest forms of, l&l 

„ , origin of, 124 
Linn^, clasaification of, 1Q& 
Literary production of Haeokel, 299 
Lizard, evolution of the, 222 
Lizzia Elizabethis, the, 185 
Lloyd>Morgan, Professor, 807 
Lodge, Sir Oliver, 807 
Loofs, Professor, 80& 
Love of nature in Haeckcl, 81 
LyeU's reform of geology, 109 

Macrauchenia, the, 112 
Mammoth, the, 106 
Man, creation of, 128 

„ , evolution of, 180-1. 279 
Man's genealogical tree, 181 
Marine animals, study of, 60 
Marriage, Haeckel's first, 100 

„ „ second, 252. 

Mastodon, the, 112 
Materialism and idealism, IM 
Mathematical types of form, 214 
Matter, potentialities of, 204 
Mechanical embrj'ology, 24fl 
Medical studies of Haeckel, 22 
Medusae, the, 174i 246 



Megatherium, the, 106, 112 
Merseburg, SO 
Messina, 90 

Metaphysics, Haeckers views on, 
304 

Method, analysis of scientific, 200 
Meyer, Frau, 263 
Microscope, beauty in the, 92 
Miklucho-Maclay, 24fi 
Miracles in modem Italy, 184 

Missing link," the, 808 
MUrocoma Anrux^ the, 185 
Moleschott, 83i 154 
Monera, the, US 
Monism, 73, 203, 217 
MorUtm as a Connecting Linle^ the 

292 

Monograph on the Calcispongugt 
the, 272 

Monograph on the Meduta, the, 
185 

Monograph on the Monera^ the, 
182 

Monograph on the JRadiolariat the, 
100, Iffi 

Monophyletic theory of life, the, 
158 

Morphology, the science of, 190 

„ , history of, 199 
Mosaic story of creation, 105. lOQ 
Mottoes, Haeckel's, 821 
Mouth, the primitive, 275 
Mailer, Frits, 280 

„ , Johannes, flft-fl 

„ , death of, 80 
Miiller-net, the, 69 
Munich, Haeckel and Virchow at, 

157. 288 
Murray, Sir John, 259 

N 

Naples, Haeckel at, 87 
Natural law, relativity of, 282 
„ philosophy, 48 



334 



INDEX 



Natural selection, 119^^20 

Nature and God, 2Q 

Naturalist's Voyage romtd the 

World, i& 
Nausicaa phiBOcwm, the, 185 
Nineteenth century, work of the, 

m 

Nomenclattire, scientific, 1^ 
Naclens, the, 128 

O 

<&en, L., Mi 
„ on embryonio development, 

224 

Ontogeny, 2&1 

Optiaiiam of early Darwinians, 166 
Orvgtn and Evolution of the 8enae- 

organ*, 286 
Origin of Species, the, 122 
Ov«r*individualB, 241 
Ovi di mare, 98 
Ovnm, the, 268, 223 

„ , discovery of the, fifi 

P 

Paleontology, 149 
Palingenesis, 231 

Punpas, fossil remains in the, 112 
Paris, Freethought Congress at, 
819 

Pathology, Yirchow'B reform ol, 52 

Paulsen, Professor, 804 

Peak of Teneri£fe, Haeckel climbs 

the, 25Q 
Pelagic sweepings, 2Q 
Pemrnatodiscvs gmtrukteeus, the, 

222 

Persephone-impulse, the, in 

Haeckel, 256 
Philosophy and observation, 156 

,, and science, 202 
Philosophy, Haeckel's work in, 

805 

Phylogeny, 2^ 



Physician, Haeckel m a, SQ 

„ , qnalitiea of the, 53 
Pithecanthropus, the, 167, 808 
Plaukton, 20 
Plankton-studies, 2SQ 
Plant or unlmftl, priority of the 

20fi 
Plastidnles, 

Political views of Hee^l, 
Polyps, 125 

Popular works, why written, 282 
Potsdam, Haeckel's birthplace, 80 
Private teacher, Haeckel a£, 100 
Profession, choice of a, 58 
Professor of Zoology, Haeckel 

appointed, IQQ 
Progressive evolution, 1^ 
Promorphology, 215 
Protestant religion, character of 

the, 184 
Protists, the, 206 
Protistoloj^, 2C^ 
Puerto del Arrecise, 250 
Pupa, the, 222 

R 

Babl, Professor, 811 

Badiolaria, the, 98, 289 

„ , shells of the, 95 
„ , system of the, 140 

Rapallo, Haeckel at, 818 

Bealism of Haeckel, 304 

Report on the Deep-sea Keraiosa, 
the,»Q 

Report on the RaMolaria, the, 2ffl 
Riddle of the Universe, the, ^ 

^ 301-7 
Bitter, Paul von, donation of, 255. 

Biviera, marine study on the, 26 
Bocks, formation of the, 109 
Boederer, 25 

Bomance nations, religion of tlM 



INDEX 



335 



Borne, Freethought Congrass at, 
816 

Bonx, Professor, 249 
BuBsia, travels in, 259 

8 

Scandinavia, visit to, 257 
SchiUer, 42, 43 
Schleiden, M. J., 42 
Schleiermacher, 27-8 
Schmidt, Dr., 803 
School-days at Mersebnrg, 84 
Schopenhauer on Darwinism, i&2 
Schwann, Theodor, 66 
Scientific method, variations of, 48 
Sctlla bi/olia, search for the, 51 
Scotland, visit to, ^ 
Sea-urchin, fertilisation of Uie, 221 
Seebeck refuses Haeckers rcsigna* 

tioD, 254 
Semon , 43 
Sergi, Professor, 219 
Sethe, Anna, 81j IQQ 

„ , Bertha, 23 

„ , Christian, 21^ 22 

„ , Christoph, 21j 26 
Siphonophores, the, 246 
Social Democrats, the, 285, SOI 
Soul, unity of the, 161 
Spain, Haeckel's visit to, 253 
Specialism in science, 4fi 
Species, early difficulties about, 

„ idea of fixity of, 105 
Sponge, nature of a, 271 
Sponges, Haeckel's study of the, 
220 

Spontaneous generation, Haeckel's 

early opposition to, 71 
Spontaneous generation, possibility 

of, IM 

Stereometric structures, 215 
Stephen, Sir Leslie, 807 
Stettin, Congress of, 145 



Stocks, animal, 211 

Strauss, 88 

Straggle for Ufc, the, Ufi 
Studuao/theQtutraa-theory, the, 

Sumatra, Haeckel in, 200 
Superstition in Italy, 815 
System of the Medusa^ the, 287 
System of the 8ip}u)nophoT4Bf Uie, 
249 

Systematic Phytogeny, the, 291 
T 

Tadpole, the, 220 

Teeth in young parrots, 223 

Tenerifife, 240 

Terminology created by Haeckel, 
86 

Theological critics of Haeckel, 296, 
805 

Theology, Haeckd's rejection of, 

75rfi 
Tiara, 12fl 
Tierra del Fuego, 108 
Tiseues of the Craio-/f«A, tiie, 71 
Tjibodas, 2fiQ 

Training, early, of Haeckel, 82 
Transformiam, HI 
TranslatioDa of Haeckel's works, 
294 

Travel Pictures," 84 
Travels of Haeckel, 25fi 
Tree-frog, the, 119 

U 

Unicellular animals, 94, 98 
Unity of nature, the, 285 

Unnncleated orgGunisms, 180 
Utrecht Society of Art and 
Science, 248 

▼ 

Venus of Milo, the, 191 
Vienna, medical studies at, ^ 



336 



INDEX 



I* 



ft 



VUlefranche, fiehing at, Ifi 
Virchow, Rudolf, 661 12 

at Stettin, 153-171 
Haeckel's conflict with, 
lA 

n on the ovolntion of man, 

an 

Vuit to Ceylon, the, 25fl 
Vital force, the, 135 
Vogt, ^ IM 
Volger, Otto, 162 

W 

Wallace, A. R., and Darwin, 123 
Weimar, Qraud Duke of, 254 



W<mder» of Life, the, 292, 813 
Works, number of Haeckel's, 299 
Worm, evolntion of the, 2Ifi 
Wttrtzburg, Haeckel at, 54 

, invitation to the Uni- 
versity of, 253 



Zipangu, 2Q 

Zoological Inetitate, the, 42 
„ philosophy, IM 
„ Station at Naples, iiS 

Zoology, reconstruction of, by 
Haeckel, M 
•I , the old and the new, fiQ 



XJHWm BBOTHERB. ISItmLD, THE ORXSHAM PBRIS, WOKXXO AWD MNDOM. 



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