Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/845

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THE THEORY OF TITTLEBATS.

fluence of habit and heredity, we think that this explanation of Mr. Spencer's is still too exterior. There is an intimate connection, both physiological and psychological, between the cry of distress and the distress itself. The part of heredity and selection is simply to augment more and more the kind of internal sonorousness by which one being responds to the emotion of another. And why does this sonorousness become stronger as the being has more intelligence? Because, its power of representation having increased, it can represent to itself with more vivacity what other beings, and in due order itself, feel. But intellectual sympathies are less the true conditions of the affective life than organic sympathies. Intellectual sympathies present a kind of intermittent character; but the sympathies of the organs among one another never wholly cease till death; and from this results a constant necessity for sympathy with others which is the extension of the concert that was begun in our organism.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from the Revue des Deux Mondes.

 

THE THEORY OF TITTLEBATS.

THE last theory of tittlebats of which I remember to have heard anything was that broached by Mr. Pickwick in connection with his profound and celebrated researches into the origin of the Hampstead Ponds. The suggestion of a causal connection between organism and environment, thus implied by the very title of Mr. Pickwick's paper, might lead one to suppose that the philosopher of the Fleet may have been really an early evolutionist, a Darwinian before Darwin, and an unconscious precursor of the now fashionable biologists, who account for everything on the Topsy principle of supposing that it "growed so." For undoubtedly the tittlebat was developed in, for, and by his native ponds, and any comprehensive theory of his existence and history must necessarily begin with the environment that produced him. Unfortunately, however, nothing now remains of Mr. Pickwick's valuable disquisition, except the bare title, enshrined among the posthumous papers of the club that bore his name; and I am therefore compelled, in reconstructing the theory of tittlebats on my own account, entirely to ignore the labors of my distinguished predecessor, and begin again de novo from the very outset.

The name itself of the tittlebat, I regret to say, appears in Mr. Pickwick's lost memoir in so debased and corrupt a form as scarcely to be recognizable to the philological student. His true title, I need hardly remark in this age of inquiry, ought to be stickleback; and he is so called in virtue of the stickles, spines, thorns, or prickles which represent and replace the first dorsal fin in all his kindred. But though the stickleback is so small a fish as even to have excited the