Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/234

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224
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

velop the medusa form is hindered by the early unfoldment of the superior tendency to sexual development, which exhausts the vital energies and absorbs or prevents the formation of other tissue adapted to the lower life-purposes. The needs of this highest life-power tyrannize over all lower powers, and as soon as it appears all other development ceases. In most animals it is the final step, after all lower stages are completed. Here it is occasionally the initial step, and exhausts the developmental powers before any of the lower stages have appeared.

In plants the same principle holds good. Active nutrition checks development, and unfoldment ceases at the leaf or the root stage. For full development, nutrition must be checked; when a partial resting-stage succeeds, higher transformation sets in, and the sexual bud or the flower individual appears. In many cases hints of the leaf stage of development are displayed. In others this stage is completely aborted. Thus the leaf-bearing individual, in its lack of power to reproduce itself, and in its structural and functional differences from the flower individual, is closely analogous to the case of neuter insects as compared with the sexual forms. In plants, also, we have instances of the aborted development of the sexual forms, closely analogous to those seen in the Hydrozoa. Thus, in these remarkable phenomena of development there seems to be a close relation between the tenants of the two great kingdoms of life.

 

MASSON'S INTERPRETATION OF CARLYLE.[1]

THERE is nothing sadder or more painful in the history of literature than that eclipse of the reputation of Thomas Carlyle which resulted from the publication after his death of various books, biographic and autobiographic, which came as a new revelation of the inner life and personality of the great author. Professor Masson, of the University of Edinburgh, was one of his old and intimate friends, and one of his most ardent admirers. It was but natural, therefore, that when the great reaction came, so injurious to Carlyle's reputation, his friend should find himself called upon to say something in vindication of that apparently much-damaged reputation. Professor Masson's two lectures, delivered before the Philosophical Institution of Edinburgh in February of the present year, give an extremely interesting view of Carlyle's character, opinions, and labors, and certainly go far to vindicate him from much of the reproach that fell upon his name through the publications that quickly followed his death. We have

  1. "Carlyle Personally and in his Writings." Two Edinburgh lectures by David Masson. Macmillan & Co.