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Page 1 - ... the immutability of species, may be influenced by this volume; but I look with confidence to the future, to young and rising naturalists, who will be able to view both sides of the question with impartiality. Whoever is led to believe that species are mutable will do good service by conscientiously expressing his conviction; for thus only can the load of prejudice by which this subject is overwhelmed be removed.
Page 81 - The text contains not only a description of each egg and its varieties, but also a very full account of the life-history of each bird. ... If we may conceive the works of Yarrell and Hewitson rolled into one, with corrections, emendations, and important additions, and with woodcuts as well as coloured plates, such a work is Mr. Seebohm's.
Page 2 - ... has been stated that I attribute the modification of species exclusively to natural selection, I may be permitted to remark that in the first edition of this work, and subsequently, I placed in a most conspicuous position — namely, at the close of the Introduction the following words : "I am convinced that natural selection has been the main but not the exclusive means of modification.
Page 44 - had been at work. But if, further, we could see that these very modifications, though hurtful or useless at the time when they first appeared, became in the highest degree useful at a much later period, and are now essential to the full moral and intellectual development of human nature, we should then infer the action of mind, foreseeing the future and preparing for it, just as surely as we do, when we see the breeder set himself to work with the determination to produce a definite improvement...
Page 49 - The production of a new organ in an animal body results from the supervention of a new want continuing to make itself felt, and a new movement which this want gives birth to and encourages.
Page 55 - Now, what explanation does the law of Natural Selection give — I will not say of the origin, but even of the continuance and preservation — of such specific varieties as these ? None whatever. A crest of topaz is no better in the struggle for existence than a crest of sapphire. A frill ending in spangles of the emerald is no better in the battle of life than a frill ending in the spangles of the ruby.
Page 49 - Given the motive power which Lamarck suggested, and Mr. Darwin's mechanism would appear (with the help of memory, as bearing upon reproduction, of continued personality, and hence of inherited habit, and of the vanishing tendency of consciousness) to work with perfect ease.
Page 87 - Karennee, the book is also enriched with an account of his own personal experiences during a fourteen years' residence in Pegu. One great characteristic of this book is its conciseness. In the present volume of 430 pages, four hundred species are disposed of, and yet the principal references are given, as well as descriptions of all the species. In fact, the book quite comes up to our idea of what a model " handbook " should be, and there is no doubt that it will be simply invaluable to the collector...
Page 85 - Under this title it is proposed to publish a series of quarto volumes upon the fauna and flora of the whole of Mexico, from the valleys of the Rio Grande and Gila on the north, Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, British Honduras, and the Columbian state of Panama as far south as the Isthmus of Darien.
Page 2 - Now it is distinctly enunciated by Mr. Darwin that the spontaneous variations upon which his theory depends are individually slight, minute, and insensible. He says (Animals and Plants under Domestication, Vol. II. p. 192): ' Slight individual differences, however, suffice for the work, and are probably the sole differences which are effective in the production of new species.