Chambers's Cyclopaedia of English Literature; A History Critical and Biographical of Authors in the English Tongue from the Earliest Times Till the Present Day, with Specimens of Their Writing Volume 3

Chambers's Cyclopaedia of English Literature; A History Critical and Biographical of Authors in the English Tongue from the Earliest Times Till the Present Day, with Specimens of Their Writing Volume 3

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1903 edition. Excerpt: ...America, I found myself surrounded by peculiar species of birds, reptiles, and plants, existing nowhere else in the world. Vet they nearly all bore an American stamp. In the song of the mocking-thrush, in the harsh cry of the carrion-hawk, in the great candlestick-like opuntias, I clearly perceived the neighbourhood of America, though the islands were separated by so many miles of ocean from the mainland, and differed much from it in their geological constitution and climate. Still more surprising was the fact that most of the inhabitants of each separate island in this.small archipelago were specifically different, though most closely related to each other. The archipelago, with its innumerable craters and bare streams of lava, appeared to be of recent origin, and thus I fancied myself brought near to the very act of creation. I often asked myself how these many peculiar animals and plants had been produced: the simplest an-cr seemed to be that the inhabitants of the several islands had descended from each other, undergoing modification in the course of their descent; and that all the inhabitant, of the archipelago had descended from those of the nearest land, namely America, whence colonists would naturally have l)een derived. But it long remained k me an inexplicable problem how the necessary degree of modification could have been effected, and it would have thus remained for ever had I not studied domestic productions, and thus acquired a just idea of the power of Selection. As soon as I had fully realised this idea. 1 saw, on reading Malthus On Population, that Natural Selection was the inevitable result of the rapid increase of all organic beings; for I was prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence by having long studied the...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 860 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 43mm | 1,506g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1236610571
  • 9781236610577