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make an extemporized grate and boil a kettle in the wood, when a much more efficient grate, full of lighted coals, is already boiling some other kettle at home?); and if they somewhat unduly prolong a research, the full meaning of life is, after all, not exhausted by the experiences of a mill-horse, and it is well to remember that so soon as we cease to take pleasure in our work, we are most likely sacrificing one part of our humanity to the altar of some other, and probably less worthy, constituent.

I may now say a few words on the scope of the investigations which are to be described in the present treatise. To some extent this is conveyed by the title; but I may observe that, as the “primitive nervous systems” whose physiology I have sought to advance are mainly subservient to the office of locomotion, in my Royal Society papers upon these researches I have adopted the title of

Observations on the Locomotor System” of each of the classes of animals in question. It is of interest to notice in this connection that the plan or mechanism of locomotion is completely different in the two classes, and that in the case of each class the plan or mechanism is unique, i.e. is not to be met with elsewhere in the animal kingdom. It is curious, however, that, in the case of one family of star-fish (the Comatula), owing to an extreme modification of form and function presented by the constituent parts of the locomotor organs, the method of progression has come closely to resemble that which is characteristic of jelly-fish.

There is still one preliminary topic on which ] in their search are most likely to approach the keen happiness of childhood ? If so, the image of the red sea-stars bespangling a mile of shining sand, or decorating the darkness of a thousand grottoes, must be joined with the image, no less vivid, of those crystal globes pulsating with life and gleaming with all the colours of the rainbow, which are perhaps the most strange, and certainly in my estimation the most delicately lovely creatures in the world.

It is with these two kinds of creatures that the present work is concerned, and if it seems almost impious to lay the "forced fingers rude” of science upon living things of such exquisite beauty, let it be remembered that our human nature is not so much out of joint that the rational desire to know is incompatible with the emotional impulse to admire. Speaking for myself, I can testify that my admiration of the extreme beauty of these animals has been greatly enhanced-or rather I should say that this extreme beauty has been, so to speak, revealed—by the continuous and close observation which many of my experiments required : both with the unassisted eye and with the microscope numberless points of detail, unnoticed before, became familiar to the mind; the forms as a whole were impressed upon the memory; and, by constantly watching their movements and changes of appearance, I have grown, like an artist studying a face or a landscape, to appreciate a fulness of beauty, the esse of which is only rendered possible by the per cipi of such attention as is demanded by scientific

me of sin, it must be 1. sonable ground for na star-fish is capable that there is no such : the animals are alive r; for the insectivorous nibit even more phywi capability of rapid

is the case with the to consider. And if ubject to Mr. Darwin's un account of its not tissues did not suffer son is logically bound rot on similar grounds kinning potatoes and

koruples can arise with ; living organism, some

shown for supposing being living, is also such reasonable ground of these low animals. capability in any case i upon our own experi

analogy, we must con11 question vanishes long n so low in the scale as

ir within the limits of red direct evidence that ?lore highly elaborated < are about to consider, feel that it is desirable to touch before procedding to give an account of my experiments, and this has reference to the vivisection which many of these experiments have entailed. But in saying what I have to say in this connection I can afford to be brief, inasmuch as it is not needful to discuss the so-called vivisection question. I have merely to make it plain that, so far as the experiments which I am about to describe are concerned, there is not any reasonable ground for supposing that pain can have been suffered by the animals. And this it is easy to show; for the animals in question are so low in the scale of life, that to suppose them capable of conscious suffering would be in the highest degree unreasonable. Thus, for instance, they are considerably lower in the scale of organization than an oyster, and in none of the experiments which I have performed upon them has so much laceration of living tissue been entailed as that which is caused by opening an oyster and eating it alive, after due application of pepper and vinegar. Therefore, if any one should be foolish enough to object to my experiments on the score of vivisection, a fortiori they are bound to object to the culinary use of oysters. Of course, it may be answered to this that two blacks do not make a white, and that I have not by this illustration succeeded in proving my negative. To this, however, I may in turn reply that, for the purpose of morally justifying my experiments on the ground which I have adopted, it is not incumbent on me to prove any negative; it is rather for my critics to prove a positive. That


is to say, before convincing me of sin, it must be shown that there is some reasonable ground for supposing that a jelly-fish or a star-fish is capable of feeling pain. I submit that there is no such ground. The mere fact that the animals are alive constitutes no such ground; for the insectivorous plants, are also alive, and exhibit even more physiological “sensitiveness” and capability of rapid response

to stimulation than is the case with the animals which we are about to consider. And if any one should go so far as to object to Mr. Darwin's experiments on these plants on account of its not being demonstrable that the tissues did not suffer under his operations, such a person is logically bound to go still further, and to object on similar grounds to the horrible cruelty of skinning potatoes and boiling them alive.

Thus, before any rational scruples can arise with regard to the vivisection of a living organism, some reasonable ground must be shown for supposing that the organism, besides being living, is also capable of suffering. But no such reasonable ground can be shown in the case of these low animals. We only know of such capability in any case through the analogy based upon our own experience, and, if we trust to this analogy, we must conclude that the capability in question vanishes long before we come to animals so low in the scale as the jelly-fish or star-fish. For within the limits of our own organism we have direct evidence that nervous mechanisms, much more highly elaborated than any of those which we are about to consider,

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