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My principal reason for undertaking the translation of Dr. Fritz Müller’s admirable work on the Crustacea, entitled ‘Für Darwin,’ was that it was still, although published as long ago as 1864, and highly esteemed by the author’s scientific countrymen, absolutely unknown to a great number of English naturalists, including some who have occupied themselves more or less specially with the subjects of which it treats. It possesses a value quite independent of its reference to Darwinism, due to the number of highly interesting and important facts in the natural history and particularly the developmental history of the Crustacea, which its distinguished author, himself an unwearied and original investigator of these matters, has brought together in it. To a considerable section of English naturalists the tone adopted by the author in speaking of one of the greatest of their number will be a source of much gratification.
In granting his permission for the translation of his little book, Dr. Fritz Müller kindly offered to send some emendations and additions to certain parts of it. His notes included many corrections of printers' errors, some of which would have proved unintelligible without his aid, some small additions and notes which have been inserted in their proper places, and two longer pieces, one forming a footnote near the close of Chapter 11, the other at the end of Chapter 12, describing the probable mode of evolution of the Rhizocephala from the Cirripedia.
Of the execution of the translation I will say but little. My chief object in this, as in other cases, has been to furnish, as nearly as possible, a literal version of the original, regarding mere elegance of expression as of secondary importance in a scientific work. As much of Dr. Müller’s German does not submit itself to such treatment very readily, I must beg his and the reader’s indulgence for any imperfections arising from this cause.
W.S.D.LONDON, 15th February, 1869.
It is not the purpose of the following pages to discuss once more the arguments deduced for and against Darwin’s theory of the origin of species, or to weigh them one against the other. Their object is simply to indicate a few facts favourable to this theory, collected upon the same South American ground, on which, as Darwin tells us, the idea first occurred to him of devoting his attention to “the origin of species,—that mystery of mysteries.”
It is only by the accumulation of new and valuable material that the controversy will gradually be brought into a state fit for final decision, and this appears to be for the present of more importance than a repeated analysis of what is already before us. Moreover, it is but fair to leave it to Darwin himself at first to beat off the attacks of his opponents from the splendid structure which he has raised with such a master-hand.
F.M.DESTERRO, 7th September, 1863.
Chapter 1. Introductory.
Chapter 2. The Species of Melita.
Chapter 3. Morphology of Crustacea.
Chapter 4. Sexual Peculiarities and Dimorphism.
Chapter 5. Respiration in Land Crabs.
Chapter 6. Structure of the Heart in Edriophthalma.
Chapter 7. Developmental History of Podophthalma.
Chapter 8. Developmental History of Edriophthalma.
Chapter 9. Developmental History of Entomostraca, Cirripedes, and Rhizocephala.
Chapter 10. On the Principles of Classification.
Chapter 11. On the Progress of Evolution.
Chapter 12. Progress of Evolution in Crustacea.