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Fatherland. The very title " Professor " is instinct
with honor. In America any man, poor or rich,
ignorant or learned, corn-doctor or savant, may ap-
pend " Professor" to his name, and no one shall say
him nay nor give him the greater honor. But in
Germany the title of professor is conferred on a man
by the government and carries with it a fixed social
position and dignity like that of admiral or general.

And of all the distinguished company of German
professors and German scientists none is better
known the world over than Professor Ernst Haeckel
of the University of Jena. What Huxley did to
establish Darwinism in England, Haeckel has done
on the Continent. Haeckel has been called the
German Huxley, as Huxley was called the English
Haeckel. He and the distinguished codiscoverer
of the theory of development, A. R. Wallace of Eng-

A German Professor 135

land, are the last of the great militant evolutionists.
He has lived to see the beliefs for which he fought
so strenuously forty years ago become the firmly es-
tablished foundation of natural science, to see the
theory of progressive development applied in ways
of which Darwin perhaps never dreamed, to see it
spread from biology until it has covered nearly the
whole range of human knowledge. Forty years ago
Haeckel was one of the few thinkers of Europe who
supported the theories set forth in " that extravagant
book," the " Origin of Species." Now any boy
of the schools will tell glibly how man got his ears
and why the fine hair of his forearm curves upward
instead of downward-

In June, 1900, I visited Professor Haeckel at his
home in Jena, where he has lived hemmed in by his
books during most of the active years of his life. He
comes upon one as a great and genial presence — a
man of robust build, both erect and strong, with a
thick white beard and keen blue eyes set about with
wrinkles of humor. The shake of his hand is warm,
and his voice is full and hearty. As you see him
among the trees of his garden he wears a broad-
brimmed black hat with a dome-like crown. He
calls it his " Creation Hat," and he tells you that
two just like it are sent to him every year by a man
whom he has never seen, but who admires his " Nat-
ural History of Creation." He has, indeed, a quaint

Seen in German^

story for everything : as he opens the cabinets in his
museum he introduces a big chimpanzee as your
nearest relative, and then he goes on to show you
why the chimpanzee is more closely related to man
than the baboon or the orang-outang. He remembers
how he came by the baby chimpanzee in the next
case. It had belonged to a travelling menagerie,
and, as he informs you, it had agreeably chosen to
die just as the menagerie was coming into Jena.

" It is not often that a professor of zoology has
such a fine chimpanzee die at his front door," he

Presently he shows you a collection of pictures,
from exquisite engravings on stone which are to form
a part of his new work, " Art Forms of Nature."
They are pictures of the lower forms of animal life,
medusa, radiolaria, corals, sponges, and many other
forms, and both in drawing and in coloring they are
superb. You learn that he himself Is the artist who
has produced this work, making the drawings and
coloring them with his own hand. You suggest how
admirably some of these forms of life might be used
by an artist for unique and beautiful decorative
effects. Instantly he points to the ceiling of his
study, and there, painted true to color, is a huge
likeness of that delicately beautiful creature of the
sea, the medusa.

" I have often suggested the use of these forms of

138 Seen in Germany

life for decorative effects," he says ; " the artist must
always go back to nature for his best motives."

Professor Haeckel's study is a homely, quiet room
upstairs in the Zoological Institute of Jena, A table
in the centre is crowded with mounted animals. As
Professor Haeckel talks with you, his hand rests on
a curious specimen of trunk fish from the Mediter-
ranean Sea. At his elbow stands a big black ape
with its skeleton counterpart, and at one side there
is a fine specimen of that most rare and interesting
animal, the duckbill, — the mammal that lays eggs,
which has been of such value as evidence to com-
parative zoologists. Over his desk in the corner
there are pictures of Darwin and of Johannes Miiller,
the latter being the leading German zoologist in the
first half of the nineteenth century. These two men,
with Professor Gegenbaur, who preceded Haeckel
in the chair of zoology at Jena, may be said to have
shaped Haeckel's career. It was the " Origin of
Species," read at a time of doubt and indecision,
that inspired the young Haeckel to his life-work ; it
was Miiller who schooled him in the new way of
studying nature. Some one has said of Miiller :
" To him every look into a microscope was a ser-
vice to God." His way of learning nature's secrets
was to go directly to nature. The best of his life
was spent in the fields and on the seashore watching
things as they grew.

A German Professor 139

"If once you begin studying this magical world of
the ocean," he once said to Haeckel, " you will see
that you cannot be rid of it."

And thus it was that Haeckel, freshly convinced
of the theory of evolution, which indeed he had seen
foreshadowed in Goethe, began the minute study of
the radiolaria, sponges, corals, and medusce which
was afterwards to yield such rich fruit in estab-
lishing the truth of Darwinism. Of a statue bust
of Miiller Haeckel says :

"Sometimes if I am wearying of work I have only
to look at It to win fresh force."

Everywhere about Haeckel's workroom are books,
books in German, English, French, Italian, Russian
— one of the most complete of libraries on Darwin-
ism. Professor Haeckel speaks and reads English
and Italian almost as easily as he does German, and
he is also conversant with French and the Scandina-
vian tongue. His own books and their different
translations and editions fill a good-sized case. One
is at a loss to understand how one man could pos-
sibly have done so much writing in addition to such
a cloud of other work. Here is his first great work,
the " General Morphology of Organisms," in two
thick volumes published seven years after the "Origin
of Species." It was written at fever heat to drown
the sorrow over the loss of his first wife, — a sorrow
which nearly overcame him. He worked so hard at it

140 Seen in Germany

that it left him broken in health, and, after all, it was
so much in advance of the thought ot the day that it
made little general impression although it won him,
perhaps, a more valuable reward in the friendship of
Darwin and Huxley. But the book to-day cannot
be obtained for many times its original price. In
this library also is Haeckel's greatest popular work,
"The Natural History of Creation," which has been
translated into twelve languages, reaching its fourth
edition in English. It is a wonderfully illuminative
and conclusive book to one who would understand
the theory of development as applied to the descent
of man from the lower forms of animal life, and this
in the face of the fact that many people will not agree
with Professor Haeckel in his conclusions as to reli-
gious faith. Then there are his monumental works
on the radiolaria, on the sponges and corals, on the
medusae and siphonophorae, the five huge volumes of
reports on the " Challenger " expedition, and his new
(1896) "Systematic Phylogeny," which he regards as
his last and most important contribution to science.
It comprehends in three volumes on an immense scale
a systematic arrangement of the vegetable and animal
worlds, living and extinct, on the basis of the theory
of evolution, with man at the top and with the low-
est, non-nucleated cell at the bottom. Haeckel has
written a book of travel, relating his experiences in
a voyage to Ceylon — a fascinating book it is too,

Haeckel at his Microscope

142 Seen in Germany

and of such popular interest that it has had two
translations into English and has run through a
paper-covered edition in Anierica. His last book,
the " Die Weltrathsel " (World-Riddles), which ap-
peared in 1899, has had an unusual sale for a book,
of science. In its German edition it is a thick
octavo volume of several hundred pages, and yet it
was written complete in two months. Professor
Haeckel's methods of writing this volume will per-
haps explain why he has been able to accomplish so
much. During all of the two months while he was
at work he reached his desk at six o'clock every
morning, and he wrote steadily, with a short inter-
mission for dinner, until eight o'clock in the evening.
During that time he was secluded in his laboratory,
he wrote no letters and saw no visitors, it being
understood that he was on a vacation in Italy.

" One can accomplish much in forty years," he

Another thing that impresses one who comes to
know Professor Haeckel is the amount of work which
he does with his own hands. His writing is all done
by pen ; most of the pictures in his books are the
work of his own brush and pencil ; his collections of
sea creatures, numbering many thousands, have been
made largely by his own hand ; and often he has
done the preserving and mounting, even writing the
labels himself When he travels — and he has been

A German Professor 143

half the world over — he travels alone, believing that
he can thus accomplish more work.

" I am not a friend of many assistants," he says.

There can be no doubt that Haeckel's surround-
ings have contributed much to the volume as well
as to the high quality of his accomplishment. If
there ever was an ideal spot for the unhampered
work of a student and thinker, that spot is Jena, a
small, quiet, quaint town, removed from the great
highways of traffic and shut in from the world with
splendid green hills. Professor Haeckel takes you
to the window of his study — a view unsurpassed.
In the distance rises a spur of mountain where the
castle of a mediaeval baron once stood, and nearer at
hand, hemming in the laboratory itself, there is a
beautiful garden which excludes all but glimpses of
the town. A pear tree just in front of the window
is heavy with white blossoms and busy with bees ;
just beyond it there is a rustic arbor, shaded from the
sun. When Professor Haeckel leaves his work he
goes out through a quiet lane walled in with foliage,
and a few steps brings him to Ernst Haeckel Street,
— so named in his honor by the citizens of Jena, —
and then to his house on the hill, also set among
abounding foliage. The shady lane which is his
daily walk is a historic spot in Jena. A hundred
years ago here walked Goethe and Schiller arm in
arm, going out from Schiller's house, which one sees

1 44 Seen in Germany

from the window of Professor Haeckel's laboratory.
And here is the bench on which they sat and here
the stone table ; the inscription above will tell about
it in Goethe's own words (to Eckermann) : "At

Schiller'' s Lane, Je?ia

this old stone table have we two often eaten and
exchanged good and great words." Here in this
garden, also, Schiller wrote his " Wallenstein," in
1798. And a more peaceful spot there is nowhere

A German Professor 145

in the world than this garden on a sunny June
morning. Goethe saw in imagination the great
scheme of life, the developing process of nature,
when Darwin was a mere boy ; and were it not for
his fame as a poet he might still be famous for his
daring scientific speculations. It is-oiie of those
curiously interesting things that Haedkel should
have come to work out the great theory of evolution
in the spot where Goethe dreamed it, even using
some of the same instruments which Goethe had
used in his investigations half a century or more
before. In all of his books Haeckel mentions
Goethe constantly : he has been a deep student of
Goethe's poetry, and it is possible that it is Goethe's
influence that fired the scientific imagination which
has given Haeckel's work its greatest claims to

Not content with showing the magnificent view
from his windows, Haeckel will take you up to the
roof. He goes up two steps at a time, although
he is now past sixty-six years old.

Away back when he was a student in the uni-
versity he won fame as an athlete at the famous
"Turnfest" at Leipzig in 1863, earning a crown
of laurel for breaking the record for the running
broad jump. And the vigor of his younger man-
hood has never deserted him.

On the roof one may see the country for miles in

146 Seen in Germany

every direction — magnificent mountain spurs and
green valleys, each with its little stream, and each
with a clustering hamlet of red-tiled houses. Pro-
fessor Haeckel tells you that the country is rich in
orchids, and that the cliffs, besides being beautiful,
are most interesting geologically. Attempts have
been made a number of times to tempt Haeckel
away from Jena by offers of more important and
much better paid places — by the Universities of
Vienira, Wiirzburg, Strasburg, and Bonn, but he
will not leave these perfect surroundings.

In addition to his original researches in science,
his writing, his lecturing, and university work, which
is considerable, one is astonished by the genius
Haeckel has expended in avocations, albeit strenuous
avocations. At his home he has over two thou-
sand paintings, mostly water colors, some of them
of considerable size, besides other thousands of
sketches in ink, crayon, and pencil. These do not
include his scientific studies of microscopic and other
forms of life, which have been used in his books.
Among them there are landscapes, and figure scenes
painted in Ceylon and India, ruins in Rome, ice-
bergs and mountain scenery in Norway, beautiful
sea pictures in Corsica and the Canary Islands,
and desert scenery in Africa. Professor Haeckel
showed me over sixty of these paintings made in
Corsica last year. This work has been done for

A German Professor


the pure pleasure it has brought; but Haeckel
thinks it has had greater influence in sharpen-
ing his powers of observation, of making him a
good seer, for without observing closely and care-
fully one cannot reproduce accurately in drawing or
color. Going over these pictures, one could not help
being impressed with the boundless enthusiasm and
joy of life that still remained to this young-old man.
What keen pleasure the mountains and the ocean
had given him as he painted ; how interested he was
in this curious rock formation, or that splendid
clump of palms ! One reading his book on Ceylon
feels this same spirit of almost boyish delight in
every happening and mishappening of the voyage.
It is an admirable tonic for one who no longer sees
how good the world is.

Years ago, Haeckel tells you, it was his ambition
to be a traveler, to see ev^ery part of the world, —
a scientific traveler, who should make his discov-
eries of value, but his father preferred to have him a
doctor. So he studied at Wiirzburg and Berlin, and
presently was graduated and began practising in
Berlin. He relates that in the first year he had
three patients all told, but that might have been be-
cause he gave the hours of consultation on his plate
as from five to six in the morning. When he found
that he could not be a traveler, he was fired for a
time with the ambition to be a painter, and all the

148 Seen in Germany

while he was working prodigiously along scientific
lines with Muller and others. But the " travel
bacillus," as he calls it, was ever active within him,
and years later he was able to make many of the
voyages of which he had dreamed in his youth. In-
deed, at the time of my visit to Jena, Haeckel was
preparing for another voyage to Java and the Celebes.
Ever since Dr. Eugene Dubois's discovery in Java
of the remains ot that curious ape-man, the Pithe-
canthropus erectus, which has been called the " Miss-
ing Link," Professor Haeckel had especially desired
to visit again this cradle of the human race. His
chief object was not to seek for other remains of
these first men, and yet he hoped to return with
much new scientific material. I asked him it he was
not afraid of fever in these tropical countries.

" I never have had a touch of it," he said ; " I
attribute this to the fact that I am not much of a
believer in alcoholic stimulants. Foreigners in those
countries usually over-drink and over-eat."

Haeckel's great service to science has been in ex-
tending and applying the theory of evolution. In
his "On the Origin of Species" Darwin had merely
intimated his belief that man himself might also be
the result of an evolution from lower forms, but this
speculation was so extraordinary that it was left out
of the German translations which fell into Haeckel's
hands. Haeckel's ready scientific imagination, how-

Professor Ernst Haeckel, Jraivn from life by George Varian

150 Seen in Germany

ever, supplied this deficiency and he at once began his
efforts to prove the descent of man. He was the first
to outHne the pedigrees of the higher animals, showing
the development of each and filling in the " missing
links" with fossil forms wherever possible, and where
impossible suggesting hypothetical forms, and thus
he was able to construct an ancestral tree beginning
with the simple non-nucleated cell, and reaching
upward to man. It was he who first discovered the
beginnings of life, minute masses of living matter,
or protoplasm, without form and without nucleus.
To this he gave the name monera, and he showed
how it developed into the higher form of cell repre-
sented by the egg cell, having a nucleus, or germ.
Many of the terms now in familiar use in zoology,
such as phylum, ontogeny, phylogeny, gastrula,
metazoa, acrania, coeloma, gonad^s, were invented by
Haeckel to suit the necessity of his great classifica-
tion schemes. It was Haeckel, also, who first brought
out strongly the embryological proofs of the theory
of development, giving rise to what is known as
Haeckel's " fundamental biognetic law." According
to this law every living man is a condensed recapitu-
lation of the whole story of creation. He begins a
single cell just as the earth's first living creature began
with the monera and simple unicellular protista, and
he develops swiftly through all the stages of life, just
as the race has developed through millions of years.

A German Professor 1 5 1

Nothing could be of greater scientific importance
than the working out of this profoundly wonderful
parallelism between the development of the individual
and the development of the race. By means of it
Professor Haeckel was able to solve many of the
difficulties which lay in the path of the application
of Darwin's theory and to supply many missing
links. His work along these lines is admirably set
forth in "The Natural History of Creation." The
tracing and comparison of the embryonic develop-
ment of man, whom he calls a " peculiar two-legged
mammal," with the development of the lowest forms
of animal life, like sponges and the radiolaria, involved
an immense amount of the most difficult original re-
search. In the course of this work he discovered,
named, and described many thousands of new species
of the lower forms of animal life, giving them nearly
all Greek names. In 1868, nine years after the
appearance of Darwin's great book, he published
" On the Development of the Human Race," and
since that time he has been the most indefatigable
of workers in completing and correcting the pedigree
of mankind. He believes now that the story is
complete. Other facts may be added, but they
will be details, not essential to what may be called the
plot of the story.

1 asked Professor Haeckel what, in his opinion,
would be the next stages of development in mankind.

152 Seen in Germany

" It will be mostly mental, the evolution of a
better and finer brain," he said; "when man's brain
began to develop rapidly there was no further need
for great changes in his body. And yet some physi-
cal changes are still going on. Man will probably
lose some of his teeth, there being not the use for
them that there was, and there are signs that the little
toes will also disappear, leaving man a four-toed
animal. But these changes are of small significance
compared with our mental development."

There are, however, as Professor Haeckel points
out, tremendous influences at work in developing
mankind — a vast and fascinating field of study.
Man being a product of natural evolution and de-
velopment, his institutions must necessarily be a like
product, and the application of the theory to political
and social economy, statecraft and education, are most
hopeful fields of work for future thinkers.

" Life was never more complex than it is to-day,"
said Professor Haeckel, " and there is no prophesy-
ing the exact lines of future development. Man at
present seems to be developing or retrograding in
masses — by nations, and yet under very different
influences. Here in Germany the tendency is all
toward the centralization of power in the govern-
ment, the removal of individual responsibility, and
the working together of large masses of men as one
man. In America the tendency has been different :

A German Professor


there the individual is developed, he has great powers
and responsibilities — the man is the unit. Who shall
say how these great influences will work out ? "

Speaking at another time of the beautiful and

Professor Haeckel lecturing in his Class Room

accurate pictures of animals and plants now obtain-
able where thirty years ago there were almost none,
Professor Haeckel mentioned this as an instance
of one of the lesser and yet important influences of
modern life. Pictures convey ideas swiftly and accu-

I 54 Seen in Germany

rately, therefore they serve as a new and powerful
factor in education — scientific education in particu-
lar. A man may become comparatively familiar
with the animal forms ot the world in a short time,
through the perfect pictures now obtainable, whereas
a tew years ago it would have taken a lifetime.

Then there are other influences to which Professor
Haeckel has often called attention. In Europe there
is the influence of what Haeckel calls military selec-
tion — all the young men being taken at a certain
age, removed from productive labor or study, and
put through exactly similar training for one or two
years. In America there is no such influence. How
will such training or lack of it develop the race?
Haeckel also speaks of medical selection as one of
the powerful modern influences. Medical science
has made great strides in the past few years : it saves
many lives that otherwise would have been lost and
frequently it keeps people with dangerous diseases
alive for years. This must necessarily swell the
population largely, the crowding bringing with it
new influences. Professor Haeckel also sees other
problems in the medical preservation of the weak.

Then there is a still more powerful influence, at
work : the earth is now almost wholly inhabited ;
there are few new places for immigration and the
development of virgin land — the two influences
which have had so great a share in the progress

A German Professor 155

of the world during the hist tew hundred years.
The contest must now change. Instead of dis-
covering and setthng new continents, there must
set in a terrible new struggle for existence between
the older nations, for instance, in commerce and
trade, and the strongest, most easily adaptable, most
resourceful nations will win. Professor Haeckel
spoke of the remarkable retrogression of the Latin
races during the past few decades as a striking in-
stance of this new struggle — especially the retro-
gression of once powerful Spain. He also called
attention to the sudden upward progress of Japan.
It is as ever the struggle between the species for
existence, and the sharper the struggle within certain
limits, the greater the development of the strong.

I asked Professor Haeckel what in his opinion
were the next great avenues of development in scien-
tific research.

" I believe," he said, "that the nineteenth century
has been the golden era of science — that there will
never again be so many discoveries of profound

Indeed, he is of the opinion that there are no more
great universal generalizations to be made — like the
law of the conservation of energy, the attraction of
gravitation, and the theory of natural evolution. He

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