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Page 94 - There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.
Page 93 - When we no longer look at an organic being as a savage looks at a ship, as something wholly beyond his comprehension; when we regard every production of nature as one which has had a long history...
Page 122 - The astonishment which I felt on first seeing a party of Fuegians on a wild and broken shore will never be forgotten by me, for the reflection at once rushed into my mind— such were our ancestors.
Page 82 - Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life, or more difficult — at least I have found it so — than constantly to bear this conclusion in mind. Yet unless it be thoroughly engrained in the mind, the whole economy of nature, with every fact on distribution, rarity, abundance, extinction, and variation, will be dimly seen or quite misunderstood.
Page 83 - But on looking closely between the stems of the heath, I found a multitude of seedlings and little trees which had been perpetually browsed down by the cattle. In one square yard, at a point some...
Page 86 - The limbs divided into great branches, and these into lesser and lesser branches, were themselves once, when the tree was small, budding twigs ; and this connexion of the former and present buds by ramifying branches may well represent the classification of all extinct and living species in groups subordinate to groups.
Page 86 - ... extinct and living species in groups subordinate to groups. Of the many twigs which flourished when the tree was a mere bush, only two or three, now grown into great branches, yet survive and bear the other branches ; so with the species which lived during long-past geological periods, very few have left living and modified descendants.
Page 152 - It is a marvelous reflection that the whole of the superficial mould over any such expanse has passed, and will again pass every few years, through the bodies of worms. The plough is one of the most ancient and most valuable of man's inventions; but long before he existed the land...