Imatges de pÓgina


No one can call himself into life: no one can choose the period, the climate, the nation where

No. XLIV. PHYSIOLOGY OF THE BRAIN. he shall see the light of day: no one can fix the

manners, the customs, the laws, the form of the government, the religion, the prejudices, the superstitions, with which he shall be surrounded from the moment of his birth: no one can say, I will be servant or master, elder or younger; I will have robust or feeble health, I will be a man or woman; I will have such temperament, such inclinations or talents; I will be foolish, idiotic, simple, intelligent, a man of genius, violent or calm, of a sweet or peevish temper, modest or proud, heedless or circumspect, cowardly or inclined to debauchery, submissive or independent; no one can determine the prudence, or the folly of his instructors; the hurtful or useful examples he shall meet, the results of his connections, fortuitous events, the influence which external things shall have on him, the condition of himself or his parents, or the sources of the irritation which his passions and his desires shall experience. So far as the relations of the five senses to external objects, so far as the number and the functions of the viscera and the limbs have been fixed in an immutable manner-so far is nature the source of our inclinations, our sentiments, our faculties. Their reciprocal influeuce, their relations with external objects, have been irrevocably determined by the laws of our organisation.


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HAVING SATISFACTORILY, I HOPE, cleared up all matters of doubt with respect to the soundness of my doctrines thus far, I will now proceed to state my views of


We have seen that, under the name of materialism, very different things have been included; it is the same with fatalism.

If it be affirmed that everything in the world, and even the world itself, is necessary; that whatever is and happens, is the effect of chance or of a blind necessity, and that no Supreme intelligence ever has, or at present does concern itself with existing objects, this doctrine is a species of fatalism, which differs very little from atheism. But this fatalism has nothing in common with the doctrine which asserts the innateness of the faculties of the soul and mind, and their dependence on organisation. I cannot, therefore, in this

sense be accused of fatalism.

Another species of fatalism is, that by which it is taught that, in truth, there exists a Supreme Being, the Creator of the Universe, as well as of all the laws and all the properties which exist in it; but that he has fixed these laws in an immutable manner, so that what happens, cannot happen otherwise. In this system, man is necessarily drawn along by the causes which lead him to act, without his will having any influence. His actions are always a necessary result, without voluntary choice, and without moral liberty; they are neither punishable nor meritorious, and the hope of future recompense vanishes, as well as the fear of future punishment.

This is the fatalism of which superstitious ignorance accuses the physiology of the brain; that is to say, the doctrine of the functions of the noblest organ on earth. I have incontestably proved, that all our moral and intellectual dispositions are innate; that none of our propensities, none of our talents, not even understanding and will, can manifest themselves independently of this organisation. Add to this, that man has no part in endowing himself with the faculties proper to his species, nor, consequently, with such and such propensities and faculties. Now, must we infer that man is not master of his actions? that there exists no free choice, and consequently, can be no merit or demerit in any action?

Before refuting this conclusion, let us examine, with all the frankness worthy of true philosophy, to what degree man is subjected to the immutable laws of creation; to what extent we must acknowledge a necessity, an inevitable destiny or fatalism? To disentangle these confused notions, is the best means of placing the truth in a clear light.

Man is obliged to acknowledge the most powerful and most determinate influence of a multitude of things on his happiness or misery, and even on his whole conduct, without being able, of his own will, to add to or diminish this influence.


As it does not depend on us to hear and see, when objects strike our eyes and our ears, so are our judgments the necessary results of the laws of thought. Judgment," says M. de Tracy, with reason, "is independent of the will, in this sense-that when we perceive a real relation between two of our perceptions, it is not free for us to feel it otherwise than as it is; that is, as it must appear to us by virtue of our organisation, and such as it would appear to all beings organised like ourselves, if placed precisely in the same position. It is this necessity which is essential to the certainty and reality of all our knowledge. For, if it depended on our fancy to be affected by a large thing as if it were small, by a good thing as if it were bad, by a true thing as if it were false, there would no longer exist any reality in the world, at least for us. There would be neither largeness nor smallness, good nor evil, falsehood nor truth-our fancy alone would be everything. Such an order of things cannot be conceived, and it implies inconsistency."

Since the primitive organisation, the sex, age, temperament, education, climate, form of government, religion, prejudices, superstitions, &c., exercise the most decided influence on our sensations, ideas, and judgments, and the determinations of our will; on the nature and force of our propensities and talents, and consequently on the primary motives of our actions, we must confess that man, in many of the most important moments of his life, is subjected to the power of destiny, which sometimes fixes him to a rock, like the inert shell-fish, and sometimes raises him in the whirlwind, like the dust.

It is not then surprising, that the sages of Greece, the Indies, China, and Japan, that the Christians of the east and west, and the Mahometans, should have mingled with their several

From periods

doctrines this species of fatalism. the most remote, men have derived from the Deity our moral and intellectual faculties; in all ages it has been taught that all the gifts of men come from heaven; that God from all eternity has chosen the elect; that man, of himself, is incapable of any good thought; that all the difference which exists between men, with respect to their qualities, comes from God; that it is only those, to whom it has been given by superior power, who are capable of certain actions; that each one acts according to his innate character-evil, just as the fig-tree does not bear grapes, nor the vine figs, and as sweet water cannot flow from a bitter fountain; in fine, that all cannot find out the mysteries of nature, nor the secrets of God.


It is this same fatalism, this sam inevitable influence of superior powers, which has been taught us by the fathers of the Church. St. Augustine would have this same doctrine preached, in order to exhibit clearly the belief of the infallibility of Providence, and our entire dependence on God. "As," says he, no one can give himself life, so no one can give himself understanding." If some persons do not understand the truth, it is, according to him, because they have not received the necessary capacity to comprehend it. He refutes the objections, which would be hence drawn, against the justice of God; and remarks, that the grace of God has no more distributed temporal goods equally to all, such as address, strength, health, beauty, genius, and tastes for the arts and sciences, riches, honors, &c. St. Cyprian had already said, that we ought not be proud of our qualities, for we have nothing of ourselves.

If men had not always been convinced of the influence of external and internal conditions on the determinations of our will or our actions, why, at all times, and among all nations, should they have made laws, civil and religious, to subdue and direct the desires of men? There is no religion which has not ordained abstinence from certain meats and drinks, fasting, and the mortification of the body. From Solomon down to our own days, I know no observer of nature, who has not acknowledged that man, both physically and morally, is wholly dependent on the laws of creation.

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Others add, that in order to decide that anything is an evil, we must know-what man cannot know, the immense and universal end of creation.

Others, in fine, not being able to deny the existence of moral evil, explain its origin by freewill. But as soon as we admit free-will, we presuppose moral good and evil; for, what would free-will be, if there were not two distinct things, good and evil, between which the free man can choose? May it not even be objected, that this same boasted free-will, since it occasions so much

is itself an evil? The instant we recognise free-will, does not man find himself on the slippery edge of the precipice? It is said, and I also say, that man abuses his liberty; but what motive has man to abuse it, unless something stirs within to excite him to illegal actions?

I am bitterly reproached for admitting in man, innate evil inclinations, and propensities to injurious acts; and my antagonists especially, never fail to remark, that among these evil inclinations are found the propensity to theft, and the propensity to murder.

Let these admirers of the excellence of the human species answer me why, in all ages and in all countries, men have robbed and murdered, and why no education, no legislation, no religionneither prison, hard labor, nor the wheel, have yet been able to extirpate these crimes? Could these men have robbed and murdered for the sole pleasure of exposing themselves to these dangers without any temptations? Will you throw the fault on their ancestors, as if their example had given rise to these unholy inclinations? Then explain to me-how the first examples could have occurred, and how children, and grand-children, who had dispositions essentially good, should have become so powerfully disposed to robbery and murder, contrary to their nature?

Besides allowing it to be education, and not nature, which gives us vicious propensities, the difficulty always remains the same, because education is not in the power of him who receives it; and education never could develop either good or evil inclinations, did not their germs positively belong to human nature. In vain will you endeavor, by any education, to change the pigeon into an eagle, and the eagle into a pigeon.

Unhappily, it is not robbery and murder only which prove the evil dispositions of men. The just man always has had, and always will have reason to complain, with Moses, of the bad actions and dispositions of men. The Lord said that the malice of men, who lived on the earth, was extreme, and that all the thoughts and purposes of their hearts were altogether wickedness.-Gen. vi. 5. Men always have been, and always will be, inclined to all sorts of perverse actions; they have always been besieged by temptations within and without; they always have been, and always will be, tormented by carnal desires, covetousness, ambition, pride, &c. The world never has ceased, and never will cease, to be the theatre of all vices; such as lying, calumny, jealousy, envy, avarice, usury, immodesty, vengeance, adultery, perjury, rape, incest, idolatry, drunkenness, discord, enmity, injustice, &c.

The good man draws good things from the good treasure of his heart, and the wicked man draws evil things from the evil treasure of his

heart. St. Luke vi. 45. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.-Matt. xv. 19. They are full of all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, disputes, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, deceitful, proud boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents; without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.-Epistle to Rom. i. 29-31. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness: idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.-Galatians v. 1921. In this world ve are born with our temptations, and the flesh sometimes leads us to do good works, and sometimes excites us to do bad ones. [S. Gregory, Hom. ii.] As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one.-Rom. iii. 10. For the good that I would, I do not but the evil that I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then, a law, that when I would do good evil is present with me. Rom. vii. 19-21. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Nulla mens est, nulla anima, quæ non recipiat etiam malarum motus agrestes cogitationum.-S. Ambros. lib. de Noe. &c. No man can say that he perceives in his thoughts, in his propensities, nothing but what is innocent and virtuous. Let him who, with his hand on his heart, will contradict this, take the first stone and cast it at me.

Thus it is in vain for you to be humbled for your weakness and your imperfection, you must acknowledge the moral as well as the physical evil, and submit yourself for both to the incomprehensible decrees of the Creator. Both exist, not as some say, because the Creator permits it; for such a state of things would suppose on the one hand a mere accident, and on the other, the impotence of the Creator; but they exist because they enter into the plan of eternal Providence. As temporal advantages are distributed unequally and without any respect of persons, so physical evils frequently happen without the fault of him who is the subject of them. Is there not a continual opposition in all nature? Do not the air, the earth, and the water, offer a perpetual scene of destruction and production, of suffering and pleasure? What have animals done, that man, to whom they render the most useful services, should feed them ill, and maltreat them in every way? If parents beget children in the excesses of debauch, why must the children themselves expiate the fault? When the storm carries away the house of the idle rich man, does it spare the poor and industrious vinedresser? "There is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness."-Eccles. vii. 16 "All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good, and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not; as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that

sweareth, as he that feareth an oath. This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event to all; yea, also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead."-Ibid, ix. 2, 3. "I returned, and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. For man also knoweth not his time; as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in a snare, so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them."-Ib. ix. 11, 12.

I have said that evil dispositions and perverse inclinations, enter into the plan of eternal Providence. In fact, what would those say, who affect to act as the apologists for the happiness and the virtue that is to come, if it was proved to them that, without propensity to evil, there would be neither virtue, nor reward, nor punishment? For, as we have already said, what can be called liberty, if we do not mean by this expression the power of choosing between good and evil? If men had no propensity except for good, where would be the possibility of doing evil? And without this possibility, on what could we found the idea of vice and virtue, the merit and demerit of actions? He who does not do evil, because nothing tempts him to do so, is certainly to be envied; but he cannot pretend to virtue, nor to the merit of actions. What would be the merit, the chastity, of those of whom JESUS says that they came eunuchs from their mothers' womb? Why boast so much the denial of one's self, if it supposes no injurious propensities which one has succeeded in subduing? All philosophers, ancient and modern-Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, Pascal, Kant, as well as the fathers of the Church, have founded the notion of virtue on the victory which we obtain over our vicious propensities. Can the old man who has passed his youth in dissoluteness be called continent, and moderate, because his desires have abandoned him? It is precisely those evil propensities, which many persons consider incompatible with the glory of God, with the dignity of man, and the welfare of society, which give to man the possibility of being virtuous and vicious: it is only by means of these, that actions can have merit or demerit; and whoever should extinguish in man the belief in perverse inclinations, would also extinguish in him the fear of punishment, and the hope of future reward.


It is a sign of wisdom never to be cast down by silly trifles. If a spider should break his thread twenty times, just twenty times will he not mend it again? Make up your mind to do a thing in compass, and you will assuredly accomplish it. Fear not, if trouble come upon you. Keep up your spirits, though the day be a dark one. Uniformity of temperament is a great blessing:

"Troubles never stop for ever, The darkest day will pass away."


IN THE LAST FLOWER-SHOW but one, of the Royal BOTANIC SOCIETY, there was exhibited in one of the tents, by Messrs. Rollisson, a by no means conspicuous-looking shrub, labelled-the "Wax-Insect Tree of China." By many, doubtless, the shrub in question was passed unnoticed; lost in the blaze of floral splendor by which it was surrounded. But all those who are in any measure acquainted with the controversies to which it has given rise, and its greal value in an economical point of view, will like to know more about it.

The inhabitants of the Celestial Empire have, it seems, great use for candles. Their gods can not be worshipped acceptably without them, and no one ventures abroad after dark without a candle and lantern. Hence the consumption of these articles is very great. As among ourselves, both tallow and wax candles are used; the latter being the more costly. Prior to the thirteenth century, wax candles were made in China exclusively from bees' wax; but at that time a discovery was made of a new kind of wax, the product of another and very different insect from the bee. This, from its superiority, gradually, and in the end entirely, superseded the former material, and came to be exclusively used-being known under the name of Pe-la, or insect wax.

The excellence and peculiar qualities of this substance have long attracted the notice of Europeans, and accounts have at different times been published, both of the insect itself, and the tree or plant it feeds upon. But such discrepancies have appeared in these accounts, that we have hitherto been in the greatest uncertainty upon the subject. Very recently, however, investigations have been made, which have thrown great light upon it. The chief of these have been made the subject of a long and interesting article in "The Pharmaceutical Journal," by Mr. Daniel Hanbury, from which much of our information on the subject has been derived.

And first as to the insect itself. The Abbe Grossier considers it a species of Coccus; Sir George Staunton, on the contrary, regards it as belonging to the Cicada family; and, as nobody can decide where doctors disagree, the matter has remained undecided. By the persevering exertions, however, of Mr. William Lockhart, of Shanghae, the question may now be considered definitively settled. That gentleman has transmitted to England, within the last three months, specimens of the crude wax, with some of the insects embedded in it. These were exhibited on the 7th of February, by Mr. Hanbury, before the Entomological Society. Mr. Westwood, on examining them, pronounced them to be an undescribed species of Coccus, to which he has applied the name of Coccus sinensis.

In the absence of the male insect, and from the imperfect condition of the specimens, a complete scientific description is impossible. The existing remains consist of a dry, hollow, nearly-spherical mass-frequently somewhat shrivelled, externally shining, and of a deep reddish brown color. This mass or shell, which is the full-grown body of the female insect, varies in diameter from three-tenths to four-tenths of an inch. It has a linear opening on one side, indicating the part at which it was

attached to the branch, and is besides frequently perforated with one or more small holes. Besides these large females, the wax contains, imbedded in its under-surface, an abundance of minute insects in a younger state, which are probably the real producers of the wax. In form, they are not unlike little oval woodlice.

Now as to the plant on which the insect is found. This has been most generally supposed to be the Ligustrum Lucidum. M. Julien, in the Comptes Rendus, endeavored to show, some years since, that the insect was found on four different plants,-viz., Ligustrum Lucidum, or glabrum ; Rhus succedanea, Hibiscus Syriacus, and a plant called in China Tchala, the botanical name of which is unknown. Mr. Fortune considers, however, that these conclusions are erroneous. He states that he has seen the Ligustrum Lucidum growing abundantly about Ningpo and Shanghae, but never observed the wax insect upon it, and is absolutely certain that it is not in those districts cultivated for that purpose. Mr. F. goes on to state, that he received from the French Consul at Shanghae two trees, brought by the Catholic missionaries, from the province of Sychuen, where the culture and manufacture of the wax are principally carried on. These he feels convinced are really those on which the insect feeds; they are totally distinct from the Ligustrum, or any of the other plants mentioned by M. Julien, being deciduous and greatly resembling the Ash. In support of this, it should not be omitted, that a single leaflet found imbedded in the wax sent home by Mr. Lockhart, and exhibited before the Entomological Society by Mr. Hanbury, bears such a resemblance to Mr. Fortune's plant, as to leave no doubt that it belongs to the same species; fully proving that the ash-like plant from Sychuen is at least one producer of the wax insect. We say one, because it is still undetermined whether or not it is confined to a single species. This was the plant which was exhibited at the Park by Messrs. Rollisson. Both Messrs. R. and Mr. Fortune state their belief that it will prove hardy.

A few particulars respecting the culture of this insect wax, and its nature and uses, will form an appropriate conclusion to our present notice. They are taken from the article in the Pharmaceutical Journal above referred to:

"In the spring, the cocoons containing the eggs of the insect are folded up, by the cultivators, in leaves-sometimes of the ginger plant-and suspended at various distances, on the branches of the tree which is to be stocked. After having been thus exposed for from one to four weeks, the eggs are hatched-and the insects, which are white, and of the size of millet seeds-emerge and attach themselves to the branches of the tree, or conceal themselves beneath its leaves. Some authors state, that the insects have at this period a tendency to descend the tree; and to obviate this difficulty the Chinese keep the gravel perfectly bare, so that they are induced to ascend. Fixing themselves on the branches, the young insects speedily commence the formation of a white waxy secretion, which, becoming harder, suggests the idea of the tree becoming covered with hoar-frost. The insect becomes, as the Chinese author says, changed into (gradually imbedded in?) wax. The branches of the tree are now scraped, the collected

matter forming the crude wax. Dr. Macgowan estimates the annual produce of Chinese wax at not far short of 400,000lbs. The only considerable importations into England that I am aware of were in the years 1846 and 1847, when nearly three tons were imported into London. Some of this wax, sold in April 1847, fetched 1s. 3d. a pound, a price too low, I believe, to be remunerative, and no further importation, that I know of, has since taken place. In China, candles are made of the insect wax per se, but more commonly of a mixture of it with some softer fatty substance. To give to these softer candles a hard coating, they are dipped into melted insect wax-often colored red with alkanet root, or green with verdigris. As a medicine, the insect wax is used by the Chinese both externally and internally for a great variety of ailments. Grosier-besides mentioning its employment as an application to

wounds-states that it is sometimes swallowed to

the extent of an ounce at a time, as a stimulant, by those about to speak in public."


THE EARWIG, which is one of our most common insects, is, to the generality of people, an object of unconquerable dislike. Shakspeare asks, What's in a name?" In the case of this little insect, we have an instance that the corruption of a name, by the omission of even a single letter, is of considerable importance. Had the name of this insect continued as it originally was—namely, Earwing (from the resemblance which the wing of this creature is supposed to bear to the ear)-we should not, in all probability, have been burdened with the grossly erroneous and terrifying idea, that this little animal is in the habit of insinuating itself into the human ear. It naturally creeps into crevices and holes, and it may occasionally attempt to enter the ear; but the auditory member is too well protected by its own secretion and membrane to allow of any such intrusion.

The most remarkable facts connected with the history of the earwig are, that the eggs are hatched by incubation of the old earwig; and that the young earwigs, for a considerable time, are dependent upon the protection of the old one, who broods over them, and fosters them with all the tenderness of parental affection. If the young ones are disturbed, or scattered or if the parent is taken away from them, she will, on the first opportunity, collect them together again, and brood over them as carefully as before-allowing them to push her about, and cautiously moving one foot after another, for fear of hurting them.

These interesting circumstances have been repeatedly witnessed. De Geer, a celebrated French naturalist, took a female carwig, which he found sitting on a heap of eggs, and

placed her, for observation, in a box halffilled with earth. The eggs he scattered in various places. She however soon removed them, one after another, carrying them between her jaws; and in two or three days he

saw that she had collected them all into one

place, where she remained without quitting them for a moment. In due time the young ones were hatched-in figure precisely resembling the parent, except in being without wings; they also differed in color, being perfectly white. He fed them, from time to time, with bits of apples, and saw them change their skin several times. The mother died; and her offspring, like true cannibals, devoured nearly the whole of her body.

In the larvæ state, earwigs are very lively little animals; running about with great agility, even from the instant they leave the egg. On their metamorphosis to the perfect insect, part of the skin bursts, and gives full play to the wings.

Gardeners, and especially the cultivators of flowers, are loud and deep in their complaints against those interesting little creathat they claim, sans ceremonie, the right of tures; and certainly it must be acknowledged pasturage in almost every cultivated spotthe only law which they seem to acknowledge being the universal one of self-preservation. Whether they have an original and indefeasible right to the food which they thus appropriate, or whether we, as lords of the soil, have a right to exterminate them, are questions we will leave in the hands of the


The only certain method of destroying which is best effected by hollow tubes laid earwigs is, as Kollar observes, to catch them; here and there in orchards and flower beds. The common reed is fit for this purpose; but the hollow stem of the sunflower is even more so, as the insects are eager in the pursuit of the remains of the sweet pith. They are also easily caught between the folds of paper, or in pieces of cloth or linen laid on the morning, after their nocturnal rambles; the ground. They creep into these traps in and may be easily shaken out and killed at pinks and carnations place the feet of their any time of the day. Hower-stands in vessels of water. This certainly prevents the earwigs from creeping— but not from flying upon the plants.

Some amateurs of


that a man can escape from his own deed-be it Ir is starting on a false principle, to suppose good or bad. As soon as he has committed it, he has given it an existence, an individuality, which he can never destroy. It becomes independent of him; and goes into the world, to deal its influence in widening circles far beyond his view.

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