Purchase one of 1st World Library's Classic Books and help support our free internet library of downloadable eBooks. 1st World Library-Literary Society is a non-profit educational organization. Visit us online at www.1stWorldLibrary.ORG - THE discourse on "Evolution and Ethics," reprinted in the first half of the present volume, was delivered before the University of Oxford, as the second of the annual lectures founded by Mr. Romanes: whose name I may not write without deploring the untimely death, in the flower of his age, of a friend endeared to me, as to so many others, by his kindly nature; and justly valued by all his colleagues for his powers of investigation and his zeal for the advancement of knowledge. I well remember, when Mr. Romanes' early work came into my hands, as one of the secretaries of the Royal Society, how much I rejoiced in the accession to the ranks of the little army of workers in science of a recruit so well qualified to take a high place among us. It was at my friend's urgent request that I agreed to undertake the lecture, should I be honoured with an official proposal to give it, though I confess not without misgivings, if only on account of the serious fatigue and hoarseness which public speaking has for some years caused me; while I knew that it would be my fate to follow the most accomplished and facile orator of our time, whose indomitable youth is in no matter more manifest than in his penetrating and musical voice. A certain saying about comparisons intruded itself somewhat importunately.
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"Contains, substantially, the lectures ... delivered, in the spring of 1863, at the Royal college of surgeons of England ..." Known primarily as the protagonist of evolution in the controversies immediately following the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species late in 1859, zoologist Huxley studied and wrote on a wide range of subjects, including education, philosophy, evolution and religion. "In 1863 he delivered a course of lectures at the College of Surgeons 'On the Classification of Animals, ' and another 'On the Vertebrate Skull'. The scrupulous care with which he endeavored to verify by actual observation every statement made in his lectures rendered the labor of preparation very great. Sir William Flower describes the way in which he would spend long evenings at the College of Surgeons, dissecting animals available among the stores, or making rapid notes and drawings, after a day's work in Jermyn Street. The consequences were twofold; the vivid impression of his own recent experience was communicated to his hearers, and the work of preparation became at once an incentive to further research and a means of pursuing it" (DNB).