Oldalképek
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

From The Saturday Review.
AGAMOGENESIS.

imagining for himself a unit followed by some inches of ciphers. Surely there is something almost touching in the consideration that all the mighty hordes which we see swarming over our rose-trees and geraniums, our orchards and hop-gardens, are orphansorphans too of so peculiar a kind that they not only have no fathers, but never had any. Nothing, however, can be better established than the fact. Subsequent observers have repeated Bonnet's experiments with results in all essential respects the same. They have obtained a large number of successive broods; and one of them, Kyber, has even shown that if the supply of warmth and food be kept up,

THE long word which heads this article was invented by an eminent French naturalist, M. de Quatrefages, and applied by him to those singular modes of reproduction without the influence of sex which have now been observed to obtain very extensively in both the animal and the vegetable worlds. The occurrence of this kind of multiplication was first clearly demonstrated by Bonnet, in the middle of the last century. Stimulated by Reaumur, the patient author of the Insectologie instituted a very remarkable series of investigations upon those well-known pests of the garden and green-house, the Aphides-"blight-insects;" agamic reproduction will go on for two or

or "plant-lice" as they are commonly called. A newly-born Aphis was carefully issolated, and the twig which served as the insect's pasture-ground and residence, having its end inserted into a vessel of water, was covered over with a glass shade. Bonnet, holding his captive, as he says, exultingly, "more safe than Danae in her tower," watched its proceedings with an assiduity, and recorded them with a Boswellian minuteness, which would be ludicrous if they were not almost sublime; and he had his reward in the discovery that, under these circumstances, the Aphis gave rise not merely to a single living offspring, but to fourscore! More than this -one of these young, treated in the same way, yielded like results. Its isolated progeny again exhibited the same faculty; and as long as Bonnet kept up his observations-viz., for nine successive broods, the power of agamic production showed no symptoms of exhaus

tion.

three years without a symptom of diminished energy. More than this-the researches of the numerous excellent naturalists who have of late years applied themselves to the inves tigation of the lower animals have brought to light a great number of parallel cases, not only among other insects, but in other divis ions of the animal kingdom and in the vege table world; so that there is now a large and compact body of evidence all tending to show that "Lucina sine concubitu." the favorite miracle of a past age, is among many living beings an orderly and normal occurrence.

There is for instance, a plant-the Colobogyne ilicifolia-discovered at Moreton Bay, in Australia, some twenty years ago, and thence sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, where it has grown and flourished, and may be seen in full vigor. Like the rest of the order (Euphorbiacea) to which it be longs, the Cælobogyne is dioecious-that is to say, the stamens and pistils are not only situThe Aphides make their appearance early ated in different flowers, but these flowers are in spring. The number in each family, and borne by distinct plants. The pistil-bearing the time required for the maturity of its or female plant is the only one which has members, vary with the temperature and the hitherto been discovered, and yet, year after supply of food; but on an average it may be year, the Cælobogyne has formed its fruit and safely assumed that there are a hundred fertile seeds to all appearance as well as if its Aphides in a brood, and that a newly-born staminiferous mate were blooming in the next Aphis requires not much more than a fort- parterre. Nor must it be supposed that the night to attain to full propagative capacity. vagrant pollen of some nearly allied plant During the warm months, therefore, thirteen has, in this case, been substituted for that of or fourteen broods may be reckoned upon, and the lawful partner. The seedling Colobogyne supposing all the young to come to maturity, exhibits no trace of hybridism, and microthe number of Aphides which may thus pro-scopic investigation shows clearly that the ceed from a single ancestor is past all concep- seed has been formed without the influence of tion. We might calculate it mathematically for the reader, but he will gain just as real a notion of the quantity, and save our type, by

any pollen.

The isolated female Daphnic, or "waterfleas," produce brood after brood of young;

[ocr errors]

several kinds of butterflies have been observed to be endowed with the same marvellous faculty; and the remarkable observations of Von Siebold have, it would seem, established the fact, that, among bees, the drones are always produced from eggs which have been subjected to no influence but that of the maternal parent. These facts so obviously tend to bring the masculine sex into contempt-as at most an qrnamental excrescence, and by no means an essential ingredient in the order of nature —that we almost wonder they have not been seized upon and turned to account by some of the strong-minded. The doctrine of no paternity" might appropriately find a place beside that of "free maternity" already advocated on Transatlantic platforms by masculine females probably transmigrated Aphides. But, in truth, the argument would be somewhat one-sided and its application hasty. Even among the blight-insects, nature, with all her aberrations, shows a fondness for old fashions. True it is, that the Aphis born in spring may give rise, in vestal seclusion and innocence that cannot fall away, to countless millions of winged or wingless successors. True it is, also, that under favorable circumstances, there would seem to be no limit to the continuance of this mode of reproduction. But it is no less certain that, under ordinary conditions, as the cold weather approaches, or as food falls short, broods of males and ordinary females are produced. While the viviparous Aphides were either winged or wingless, these true females (with possibly an exception) never possess wings and never bring forth living young, but lay eggs, and then, like the males, die. The eggs, hidden in cracks of the bark of hardy plants, or protected by the covering scales of their buds, pass through the winter in security, and when the returning warmth of spring rouses their latent life, they are hatched, and give rise to the viviparous agamic young. Thus, under ordinary conditions, the Aphides pass through a sort of cycle of changes. The egg hatched in the spring produces either winged or wingless forms, which give rise spontaneously to either winged or wingless living young. This process is repeated, without known limits, until the temperature or the supply of food falls below a certain amount; then oviparous, wingless females, and winged, or wingless males are produced, and give rise to eggs, like those in which living beings in general take their origin.

That separate individual existence which we call a man or a horse is the total product of the development of a single egg. If we are to apply the term "individual" with the same meaning to the Aphis, then all the millions which are developed from one Aphis in the course of a spring and summer are, in physiological strictness, but the equivalent of a single man or horse. They are, so to speak, independent fragments of the one physiological individual; and when we look closely into the matter, we find that these independentlyexisting fragments are developed in precisely the same way as those portions of an organism which always remain connected together. The germ of every living being is a mass without distinction of parts; and all that we term organs, limbs, viscera, leaves, flowers, and so forth, are produced by the budding of this mass, and the gradual modelling of the buds into the form required.

In the highest animals and plants the various buds remain united—the co-operation of each being more or less necessary to the efficient action of all its fellows; but in the lower forms of life, whether vegetable or animal, no such “natural piety" unites the parts of the germ, or even of the adult; and hence portions of its substance may become detached and assume an independent life. Thus portions of the tissue of the Liverwort, or of the bulbiferous lily, grow out and eventually separate themselves as free organisms. Thus the common fresh-water polype thrusts forth from the walls of its body processes which become new and independent Hydra. But these independent buds are in no respect, save their separation, distinct from those which united together, form the tree or the branched zoophyte; and a long series of insensible gradations connects those organisms whose components, as in the zoophyte, are united by the slightest tie of interdependence with those whose constituent buds are wholly incapable of continued separate existence.

The apparently anomalous reproduction of the viviparous Aphis reduces itself to a case of budding. In the terminal chamber of the tubes which, in the viviparous form, represent the ovary of the true female, bodies precisely resembling young ova are contained; and these, becoming successively detached, gradually develope within the body of the parent into young Aphides, which are eventually born alive. The process is precisely similar

[graphic]

in principle to that by which the bud of a fit into contact with that element, and it will plant is developed, and, as in the plant, re- by and by become a young Aphis-leave it quires for its completion nothing but warmth to itself, and it will eventually be resolved and nourishment.

So much the microscope and the scalpel reveal to us in all cases of agamogenesis-in all, the young animal is formed by budding from the old. But if the question is asked, why certain animals and certain parts of animals possess the power of giving rise to such buds, and others do not, physiology is silent. The most careful scrutiny of the rudiment of the egg in the oviparous Aphis fails to detect any lifference between it and the germ of the young of the viviparous Aphis; but there is nevertheless a strong constitutional tendency, fit may be so called, impressed on each, and Impelling it to a widely different course from that followed by the other. The one, as we have seen, spontaneously passes into a living young-the other increases in size, but otherwise remains almost unchanged, except by becoming enveloped within a hard case, specially perforated for the admission of the one element which is wanting to its activity. Bring

into its constituent particles. Truly this is a marvellous difference, but not more wonderful or more mysterious than that which obtains amidst the homogeneous elements of the germ itself, and which determines that, of two masses undistinguishable by any test which we can apply, one shall become a brain, another a liver, and another a heart. When physiologists have found an explanation for these common and every-day phenomena, they may try their hands with some chance of success upon such secrets of nature as Agamogenesis.

In the meanwhile, let us rejoice in the vast field of inquiry opened up for us by the rever ent investigation of one of the humblest and lowest of created things; and let us candidly acknowledge that there was method in the madness of the French savan, when he proposed to call the decennium marked by Bonnet's discovery "l'Epoque des Pucérons."

German Equivalents for English Thoughts. By would be found, for instance, that his prophecy Madame Bernard.

A COLLECTION of some eight thousand English words or phrases, rather in common than literary use, with their equivalents in German. The arrangement is alphabetical; the primary object seems to be to familiarize the student with colloquial expressions, for the book is not designed as a conversation, though many of the phrases can be used for question or reply. The author forestalls an objection that some of the examples may be "too familiar," by which she doubtless means phrases like "die game," gift of the gab," &c. If such terms were presented in English, it would have been better always to mark by an explanatory note the precise forco of the German equivalent.-Spectator.

[ocr errors]

SYMPTOMS OF INCIPIENT INSANITY.-An alienist physician of judgment and experience would be able to point out, in the circle of society with which he is acquainted, nearly all the men who are very likely to become insane; but were he imprudent enough to make known this invidious prescience, it would be found that his judgment differed widely from the opinions on this subject which are current in the world. It

would not rest upon those men who are called eccentric. Eccentricity more frequently depends on a disregard of public opinion in trifling and nonessential matters than upon any twist or perversion in the mind of the individual. The eccentric man is often a large-hearted and a courageous man, and, as such, one of the last to become insane. The ominous forethought of the physician would rather rest upon the man over susceptible concerning the good opinion which others may entertain of him; the suspi cious and timorous man, who hears scandal be fore it is spoken, and apprehends the commence has not at bottom of his heart a sincere liking ment of every possible mischief; the man who for his fellow creatures, but who is querulous and contentious, and who perpetually finds him self in disaccord with the world. This is the type of man whom predisposing and exciting causes are most likely to plunge into insanity. Psychological Medicine.

THE following simile, contained in one of Tobin's comedies, is said to have been levelled at Cumberland :-" He sits there in his closet expecting inspiration, like an old rusty conductor waiting for a flash of lightning."

No. 746.-11 September, 1858. Enlarged Series, No. 24.

CONTENTS.

[ocr errors]

Correspondence-First Atlantic Telegram-New

Books,

1. Women Artists,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

2. Autobiography of Lola Montez,
3. Success of the Atlantic Telegraph,.
AMERICAN: N. Y. Tribune, N. Y. Herald, N. Y.
Times, N. Y. Courier, N. Y. Journal
of Commerce, N. Y. Express, News,
Boston Journal, Montreal Pilot,
North and South.

BRITISH: Times, Post, News, Shipping Gazette,
Telegraph, Liverpool Times, Liver-
pool Journal.

4. Half Hour with a Fighting Man,

5. A Tale of the Foreign Office,

6. Chateaubriand,

7. Edward's Personal Adventures,
8. A Wife by Advertisement
9. The Expected Great Comet,.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

North British Review,

853

[blocks in formation]

POETRY.-The Cable, 845. She is not Listening now 845, The Patter of Little Feet,

845.

SHORT ARTICLES.-Voice of the Last Prophet, 816. Charity, 816. Suiting the Action to the Word, 816. Little Attention, 816. Good Idea, 816. Wives of Clever Men, 816. Mammon Worship, 816. The Future a Sealed Book, 816. Patience, 816. Love and Judgment, 816. Excellency of Christ, 825. The Sabbath, 825. Copyright in Europe, 844. Teaching of Physical Science, 849. Mr. Thackeray Described, 849. Unwilling Ferryman, 849. Woman's Love, 852. Jeremy Taylor, 871. Judicial Humor, 871. Canonical Books of the New Testament, 871. Translations from the German, by Carlyle, 877. Novels and Novelists, 877. Insect Physic, 877. Life, 877. Story of a Boulder, 880. Christian Island Discovered, 880.

PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY BY

LITTELL, SON & Co., Bofton; and STANFORD & DELISSER, 508 Broadway, New-York.

For Six Dollars a year, remitted directly to either of the Publishers, the Living Age will be punctually forwarded free of postage.

Complete sets of the First Series, in thirty-six volumes, and of the Second Series, in twenty volumes, handsomely bound, packed in neat boxes, and delivered in all the principal cities, free of expense of freight, are for sale at two dollars a volume.

ANY VOLUME may be had separately, at two dollars, bound, or a dollar and a half in numbers.

ANY NUMBER may be had for 12 cents; and it is well worth while for subscribers or purchasers to completeany broken volumes they may have, and thus greatly enhance theirvalue.

[graphic]

From The New York Courier, 27 Aug.
FIRST NEWS DESPATCH.

It is a seal, avouching, as it would seem, the pleasure of Heaven that the aspirations for human concord and brotherhood which the laying of this cable has so marvellously evoked, shall not return void; and so we should recog nise it if we had half the free full faith of the old Pagans. With what new life would such events and accompaniments have invested the stately shapes of old mythology, and with what new glory invested them!

VALENTIA, August 25. A Treaty of Peace has been concluded with China, by which England and France obtain all their demands, including the establishment of embassies at Pekin, and indemnification for the expenses of the war. THE first news despatch of the Atlantic Cable is an announcement of PEACE. Every thing seems to combine to inaugurate this co-linking of the two worlds with happiest omens. It was no common coincidence that the semi-centennial celebration of nearly the oldest theological institution in the land, and one which has probably had a wider influence than any other upon its religious history-that this occasion which brought together an almost unexampled multitude of those whose business it is to preach the gospel of peace, should have been signalized and forever made memorable, by the advent, at the very height of its exercises, of such startling intelligence; it was no common coincidence that the same intelligence should have reached the sovereigns of England and France just when they had met, on one of the most memor- THE tameness of the English rejoicings over able occasions of their reigns, to renew to each the Atlantic Telegraph is in marked contrast other most solemn pledges of peace and friend- with the jubilant character of the American ship, and alliance. And it is now no common demonstrations in honor of the great event. coincidence that the very first business service rendered by this mighty agent is to herald peace -to herald it, when it was unlooked for, and from the only spot on the globe where international war existed. A peace too of mightiest import, for with it comes the entrance of the oldest Empire of the world into the family, of nations, and the throwing open, to the march of civilization, gates behind which lie a third of the human race. China is no longer to be an isolated land; ambassadors from the civilised Powers are now to take up their residence in her capital; and perfect freedom of intercourse is henceforth to be her established law. The habits of ages are to be broken up; the arrogance which treats the rest of the world as out side barbarians is to disappear; and the Chinese are now also to join in the wonderful march of the nations towards unknown, unlooked-for, destinies. The conclusion of this treaty of peace with China forms an epoch in the history of the Eastern World; and it is a sublime fact that the first commission of that wire which flashes intelligence to the Western World is to proclaim that epoch. It is an augury for good.

THE TELEGRAPH IN FRANCE.-The news of the successful laying down of the Atlantic cable scarcely excited any attention in France. They do not appear to appreciate the magnitude of the event, nor do they comprehend for a moment the value of this enterprise to themselves even. The news is just seven days old, and not a single journal has yet contained an editorial on the subject. Their notices are confined to the short dispatches that came to them from Valentia in the columns of the London journals. From the Paris correspondence of the New York Commercial Advertiser.

This is due to two causes; the English do not make near so general a use of the telegraph as the Americans. The press and the people employ it much less, the rates are higher, and the habits of the people are less accustomed to the go-ahead notions which the telegraph represents. Another reason is that the masses of the English people concern themselves much less with public matters. Those who understand the telegraph know all about it, and know very little about any thing else. The people are more phlegmatic and not so easily aroused to a sense of the importance of the work, or to any great enthusiasm over it, even if its importance were fully appreciated. Moreover the space devoted to the accounts of the celebration by the telegraphic despatches here, spread the news simultaneously all over the land, and the euthusiasm in one place kindled it in another, till the whole country blazed with fire works and rung with the reverberating echoes of cannon. In England they care much less about it; and they take with more coolness the things that they do care about.-Providence Journal

NEW BOOKS.

PROCEEDINGS OF THE DEDICATION OF THE,
BUILDING FOR THE PUBLIC LIBRARY OF
THE CITY OF BOSTON. 1 January, 1858.
Prepared and Printed by authority of The
City Council.

SHAHMAH IN PURSUIT OF FREEDOM; OR THE
BRANDED HAND. Translated from the ori-

ginal Showiah, and edited by an American
Citizen. Thatcher and Hutchinson, New
York.

THE AGE; A COLLOQUIAL SATIRE. By Philip
James Bailey, Author of Festus. Ticknor
and Fields, Boston.

SERMONS. Preached at Trinity Chapel, Bright-
on, by the late Rev. Frederick, W. Robertson
M.A., the Incumbent. Third Series. Tick-
nor and Fields, Boston.
COMING HOME. By the
Catch
a Sunbeam "
James Monroe and Co.

« ElőzőTovább »