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nearly allied and strongly resembling each other, could be clearly pointed out, that the connexion between those widely separated, could be traced and determined. The world then, indeed, began to be astonished at the unknown and unexpected richness of the animal and vegetable kingdoms. Year after year added to the multitudes already seen and distinguished; every country poured forth its peculiar productions in almost inexbaustible abundance. And after a century distinguished by the most unremitted exertions, by the most adventurous, toilsome, persevering, and even hazardous enterprizes, the tide of discovery still rolls on with an unabated momentum, the labourers multiply in the vineyard, all find employment and share in the triumphs of success, and the limits of the great kingdoms of nature are still as undeterminate as on the proud day when the Systema Naturæ was first offered as a guide and a companion to the lovers of natural history.
There is also another important service which artificial systeis rendered, perhaps, incidentally to the cause of science, which ought not to pass unnoticed. Besides bringing to view, as we have just stated, the materials for the construction of natural systems, without which the knowledge necessary for their formation, could, perhaps, never have been obtained, they aided in ascertaining the use and comparative value of many organs in the animal and vegetable economy. All, in truth, that have had any claim to notice, have been founded on some affinities which it was important to understand. Some have been fortunately established on features or principles, intimately and essentially identified with the foundation of science itself. And in the discussions to which each system successively gave rise, as we have already had occasion to remark, the comparative value of the character upon which each was based, became better understood. Indeed, it was in these discussions that the value of every feature and every function that constitute, by their union, the physical whole of each individual, began to be studied, and the true principles of all classification to be clearly unfolded.
But, however we may discuss or compare the particular methods which have been devised for the systematic arrangement of all material substances, on the great importance of classification itself, there can be little doubt. It seems, indeed, extraordinary, that enlightened minds should have questioned its value; that Buffon, and some distinguished naturalists, who, even at the present day adopt his prejudices, should disclaim all assistance from the labours of even the most enlightened writers who have devoted their talents to this subject. For if it is
almost necessary to our welfare to investigate the composition and structure of all natural bodies, the progress and duration of existence in every department of nature. If our comfort, our safety, our power, are affected by the results of these researches-if it is beneficial to study the different organs, by which their various habits, and faculties and modifications of existence are produced and supported, in order to compare them intelligently and usefully with the functions and powers bestowed on man, it is obvious that we should know the nature of the object we propose to examine, and be able to indicate to others the identical individual or substance we have investigated. Without the means of communicating this information, error and confusion would soon become inextricable; the discoveries of each individual would perish with him, unless, like the esoteric doctrines of the ancient philosophers, they were communicated orally to the scholars whom he should personally instruct, and who would preserve by memory or by symbols, the truths and mysteries which had been intrusted to their care. By what accident, by what investigation, without this technical aid, could a second inquirer discover and identify an object that had already been described, and which he might wish to examine or to employ. The thousands or hundreds of thousands of individuals who compose an army, if thrown into disarray, would form only one tuinultuous and confused crowd, in which no one'member could readily be found, nor would there be any index to guide an inquirer; but let this disordered mass be once skilfully arranged, let this collected multitude be distributed into proper and well-ordered ranks, into divisions, brigades, regiments, battalions, companies, platoons, then let army be added to army, let multitudes be heaped on multitudes, let the garb, the arms, the standards, be diversified as far as imagination can devise, yet each individual could then be immediately traced, each would have at all times his appropriate position.
So it is in nature. The fields over which we roam, are cov, ered with vast multitudes of differing plants; these nourish myriads of animated beings, diversified in their forms, variegated in their colours, distinct in their habits; the sea itself supports its own vegetable tribes, and its sentient forms in an almost interminable series ; even the solid crust of the earth is furnished with its inorganic productions in wonderful profusion. In this labyrinth, where the unpractised eye is dazzled, the untutored mind bewildered; where, to our first impressions, the harmony of the universe seems discord, its simplicity wildness, and its order inextricable confusion, it is science only that can guide our steps and illuininate the intricate mazes we are invited
to explore. It is her task to disclose the mysterious arrangements of nature, to designate the tribes and families her parental care has formed, and to mark the tie by which each is connected with, and the limit by which each is separated from every surrounding family.
In this effort many are now seriously and sedulously engaged, and the progress of their discoveries has been rapid and impor
Until, however, natural arrangements shall be so far completed that their truth shall be rendered obvious and unquestionable, and their application familiar, it will be necessary to avail ourselves partially of artificial systems, in which every object is arranged upon some principle, permanent, invariable, easily known, as the words in a dictionary, which are placed, not according to any natural connexion, nor to any philosophical deduction from origin, structure or meaning, but to the accidental position of the letters of an alphabet, in itself artificial.
In the progress of discovery, new substances, new forms, new relations are brought to light. It becomes necessary to determine under what names they shall be made known, and in what terms they shall be described. It has been the boast of modern science that it has created a language for its discoveries, and been enabled to explain them in phrases not vague or ambiguous, but definite and appropriate. Yet objections have been made and continue still to be made to this very language and to the terms of science. Many have considered them as tending to obscure what they profess to explain, others view them as opposing obstacles to the study and progress of science itself. They have been reproached for rendering difficult what might have been made familiar, and for clouding under the veil of a mysterious nomenclature, that which, in common language, might have become perspicuous. These objections merit some consideration, at least some reply.
Among the evils most lamented in modern times by critics, by metaphysicians, by men of science generally, no one has been more frequently mentioned than the defects and obscurities of language--no one more complained of, than the necessity of using terms, which, having different significations, when applied to different objects, wbich being employed in different senses by men having different views and capacities, create constant ambiguity and error, and frequently confuse even those who seek to investigate, not to embroil truth. It has been the constant effort of science to remove this evil, to establish as it advanced, terms at once new and explicit, which being employed only in a prescribed manner and in a restricted sense, should enable those who use them to avoid all equivocal phraseology.
In what manner shall we announce newly noticed substances or modes of existence, new accidents or qualities of matter, new forms which it may be necessary to describe ? Shall we give new significations to old terms, adding to the many meanings they already possess, and increasing, to use the language of the mathematicians, by a new power the chances of confusion-or shall we have recourse to the worst of all remedies, perpetual circumlocution. In every department of life, we are accustomed to technical expressions, which use has rendered familiar. We are not always conscious of the fact, even when we feel its advantages. The most common implements of art are, in truth, known by technical expressions employed to convey by a single term a complex idea. A saw, a chisei, an axe, are terms of this description, and who would wish to renounce their use, and to describe at length whenever it should be necessary to mention them, either by their forms or by their uses, the objects which they represent? Each day, as science advances, we are requiring and gaining new terms, and as long as they are created to express new modifications of forms, new substances, new combinations or new relations, these terms all tend to render science more perspicuous and accurate. Anatomy has found it necessary, in order to explain correctly the structure of the human frame, to give to each bone, each muscle, each ramification of nerve, artery or vein, distinct names, and every person who has occasion to write or speak on anatomical subjects, feels the advantage of having the means of expressing his opinions with clearness and precision. The terms of geoinetry are all purely technical and scientific, and in proportion, as the definition of these terms has been simple and accurate, have been the accuracy and value of the science. Every science requires an equal advantage. It is not by a multitude of terms that knowledge is retarded, but by ambiguous expressions, by changes made from caprice, by alterations in established names for trivial or unimportant advantages, particularly when not called for by the progress of knowledge. Where terms are capable of improvement, it is proper to point out their defects, but unless they are positively inaccurate, unless they lead to error, it is not necessary nor advantageous to be perpetually changing them. In the present state of science, we cannot say what name to each organ, or even to each individual, is absolutely the most appropriate. A time will come when a great and thorough reform in language as well as in system must take place, but we are not yet prepared for this experiment. Many doubts must be removed, many obscurities cleared away, many things made known which
VOL. IV.NO. 8.
are now hidden, before we can hold a mirror up to nature and reflect her lights and shades correctly, before we can thoroughly describe her wide domains, ber vast creations, distinguish her varied productions, and distinctly define every class, every order, every genus, every species, giving to each its real and essential character, its complete and peculiar description, and its appropriate name.
We thus claim for natural history only what has been freely conceded to all other sciences, its proper systems and its peculiar terms.
And we have made these preliminary remarks, because no objections are now more frequent to the study of natural history, than those arising from its language and its classification. It is the wish of many that this study should be made popular as it is called, without adverting to the consequence that this popular form would deprive it of every accurate feature, every discriminating power. 'We might, it is true, give the individual history of a few objects, such as the horse, the ox, the dog, because to the members and organs, and functions of those animals which are well known, names have already been given, which, although technical, use has consecrated; and by analogy, these names might be extended to other objects, similar in their form. But when we examine beings of a different structure, how can we apply the same terms without producing confusion and even error. Shall we give, for instance, to the Antennæ of insects, on account of their number and position, the name of horps, when the former are jointed, flexible, capable of being moved in many directions, and are organs of feeling or of other sense, rather than weapons of offence? Shall we give to the Elytræ of certain orders of the same animals, on account of their position and occasional motion or expansion, the name of wings, wben, in fact, their only purpose appears to be to cover and protect the real and delicate wings of the insect when not expanded. Every organ or substance, every form or structure should, therefore, have its own name, and receive its appropriate definition. The nature of each substance or being would then be easily known, the relations of each substance or being could readily be discovered. New beings or substances could take their place amid the old without confusion, and while the boundaries of nature would appear constantly to be enlarged, the symmetry of its arrangements would never be disturbed. This is the task which natural science undertakes to accomplish, the object to which the attention of its votaries should be undeviatingly applied. When these preparatory labours are all surmounted—when the composition and forms of the mineral; the structure, the organs of the vegetable and animal king