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LAMARCK,

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Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 104 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LAMARCK, , JEAN BAPTISTE PIERRE ANTOINE DE MONET, CHEVALIER DE (1744-1829), French naturalist, was born on the 1st of August 1744, at Bazantin, a village of Picardy. He was an eleventh child; and his father, lord of the manor and of old family, but of limited means, having placed three sons in the army, destined this one for the church, and sent him to the Jesuits at Amiens, where he continued till his father's death. After this he would remain with the Jesuits no longer, and, not yet seventeen years of age, started for the seat of war at Bergenop-Zoom, before which place one of his brothers had already been killed. Mounted on an old horse, with a boy from the village as attendant, and furnished by a lady with a letter of introduction to a colonel, he reached his destination on the evening before a battle. Next morning the colonel found that the new and very diminutive volunteer had posted himself in the front rank of a body of grenadiers, and could not be induced to quit the position. In the battle, the company which he had joined became exposed to the fire of the enemy's artillery, and in the confusion of retreat was forgotten. All the officers and subalterns were killed, and not more than fourteen men were left, when the oldest grenadiers seeing there were no more French in sight proposed to the young volunteer so soon become commandant to withdraw his men. This he refused to do without orders. These at last arrived; and for his bravery he was made an officer on the spot, and soon after was named to a lieutenancy. After the peace, the regiment was sent to Monaco. There one of his comrades playfully lifted him by the head, and to this it was imputed that he was seized with disease of the glands of the neck, so severe as to put a stop to his military career. He went to Paris and began the study of medicine, supporting himself by working in a banker's office He early became interested in meteorology and in physical and chemical speculations of a chimerical kind, but happily threw his main strength into botany, and in 1778 published his Fiore francaise, a work in which by a dichotomous system of cont: asting characters he enabled the student with facility to determine species. This work, which went through several editions and long kept the field, gained for its author immediate popularity as well as admission to the Academy of Sciences. In 1781 and 1782, under the title of botanist to the king, an appointment obtained for him by Buffon, whose son accompanied him. he travelled through various countries of Europe, extending his knowledge of natural history; and on his return he began those elaborate contributions to botany on which his reputation in that science principally rests, namely, the Dictionnaire de Botanique and the Illustrations de Genres, voluminous works contributed to the Encyclopedia Methodique (1785). In 1793, in consequence of changes in the organization of the natural history department at the Jardin du Roi, where he had held a botanical appointment since 1788, Lamarck was presented to a zoological chair, and called on to lecture on the Insecta and Vermes of Linnaeus, the animals for which he introduced the term Invertebrata. Thus driven, comparatively late in life, to devote his principal attention to zoology instead of botany, he had the misfortune soon after to suffer from impaired vision; and the malady resulted subsequently in total blindness. Yet his greatest zoological work; the Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vet-Ores, was published from 1815 to 1822, with the assistance, in the last two volumes, of his eldest daughter and of P. A. Latreille (1762-1833). A volume of plates of the fossil shells of the neighbourhood of Paris was collected in 1823 from his memoirs in the Annales des Museums. He died on the 18th of December 1S20. The character of Lamarck as a naturalist is remarkable alike for its excellences and its defects. His excellences were width of scope, fertility of ideas and a pre-eminent faculty of precise description, arising not only from a singularly terse style, but from a clear insight into both the distinctive features and theresemblances of forms. That part of his zoological work which constitutes his solid claim to the highest honour as a zoologist is to be found in his extensive and detailed labours in the departments of living and fossil Invertebrata. His endeavours at classification of the great groups were necessarily defective on account of the imperfect knowledge possessed in his time in regard to many of them, e.g. echinoderms, ascidians and intestinal worms; yet they are not without interest, particularly on account of the comprehensive attempt to unite in one great division as Articulata all those groups that appeared to present a segmented construction. Moreover, Lamarck was the first to distinguish vertebrate from invertebrate animals by the presence of a vertebral column, and among the Invertebrata to found the groups Crustacea, Arachnida and Annelida. In 1785 (Hist, del'Acad.) he evinced his appreciation of the necessity of natural orders in botany by an attempt at the classification of plants, interesting, though crude and falling immeasurably short of the system which grew in the hands of his intimate friend A. L. de Jussieu. The problem of taxonomy has never been put more philosophically than he subsequently put it in his Animaux sans vertebres: " What arrangement must be given to the general distribution of animals to make it conformable to the order of nature in the production of these beings?" The most prominent defect in Lamarck must be admitted to have been want of control in speculation. Doubtless the speculative tendency furnished a powerful incentive to work, but it outran the legitimate deductions from observation, and led him into the production of volumes of worthless chemistry without experimental basis, as well as into spending much time on fruitless meteorological predictions. His Annuaires Meteorologiques were published yearly from 'Soo to 181o, and were not discontinued until after an unnecessarily public and brutal tirade from Napoleon, administered on the occasion of being presented with one of his works on natural history. To the general reader the name of Lamarck is chiefly interesting on account of his theory of the origin of life and of the diversities of animal forms. The idea, which appears to have been favoured by Buffon before him, that species were not through all time unalterable, and that the more complex might have been developed from pre-existent simpler forms, became with Lamarck a belief or, as he imagined, a demonstration. Spontaneous generation, he considered, might be easily conceived as resulting from such agencies as heat and electricity causing in small gelatinous bodies an utricular structure, and inducing a " singular tension," a kind of " erethisme " or " orgasme "; and, having thus accounted for the first appearance of life, he explained the whole organization of animals and formation of different organs by four laws (introduction to his Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vertebres, 1815):- I. " Life by its proper forces tends continually to increase the volume of every body possessing it, and to enlarge its parts, up to a limit which it brings about. 2. " The production of a new organ in an animal body results from the supervention of a new want (besoin) continuing to make itself felt, and a new movement which this want gives birth to and encourages. 3. " The development of organs and their force of action are constantly in ratio to the emplcyrnent of these organs. 4. " All which has been acquired, laid down, or changed in the organization of individuals in the course of their life is conserved by generation and transmitted to the new individuals which proceed from those which have undergone those changes.' The second law is often referred to as Lamarck's hypothesis of the evolution of organs in animals by appetence or longing, although he does not teach that the animal's desires affect its conformation directly, but that altered wants lead to altered habits, which result in the formation of new organs as well as in modification, growth or dwindling of those previously existing. Thus, he suggests that, ruminants being pursued by carnivora, their legs have grown slender; and, their legs being only fit for support, while their jaws are weak, they have made attack with the crown of the head, and the determination of fluids thither has led to the growth of horns. So also the stretching of the giraffe's neck to reach the foliage he supposes to have led to its elongation; and the kangaroo, sitting upright to support the young in its pouch, he imagines to have had its fore-limbs dwarfed by disuse, and its hind legs and tail exaggerated by using them in leaping. The fourth law expresses the inheritance of acquired characters, which is denied by August Weismann and his followers. For a more detailed account of Lamarck's place in the history of the doctrine of evolution, see EvoLuT'oN. LA MARGHERITA, CLEMENTE SOLARO, COUNT DEL (1792–'869), Piedmontese statesman, was born at Mondovi. He studied law at Siena and Turin, but Piedmont was at that time under French domination, and being devoted to the house of Savoy he refused to take his degree, as this proceeding would have obliged him to recognize the authority of the usurper; after the restoration of the Sardinian kingdom, however, he graduated. In '8'6 he entered the diplomatic service. Later 4 returned to Turin, and succeeded in gaining the confidence and esteem of King Charles Albert, who in 1835 appointed him minister of foreign affairs. A fervent Roman Catholic, devoted to the pope and to the Jesuits, friendly to Austria and firmly attached to the principles of autocracy, he strongly opposed every attempt at political innovation, and was in consequence bitterly hated by the liberals. When the popular agitation in favour of constitutional reform first broke out the king felt obliged to dispense with La Margherita's services, although he had conducted public affairs with considerable ability and absolute loyalty, even upholding the dignity of the kingdom in the face of the arrogant attitude of the cabinet of Vienna. He expounded his political creed and his policy as minister to Charles Albert (from February 1835 to October 1847) in his Memorandum storico-politico, published in 1851, a document of great interest for the study of the conditions of Piedmont and Italy at that time. In 1853 he was elected deputy for San Quirico, but he persisted in regarding his mandate as derived from the royal authority rather than as an emanation of the popular will. As leader of the Clerical Right in the parliament he strongly opposed Cavour's policy, which was eventually to lead to Italian unity, and on the establishment of the kingdom of Italy he retired from public life. LA MARMORA, ALFONSO FERRERO (1804–1878), Italian general and statesman, was born at Turin on the '8th of November '804. He entered the Sardinian army in 1823, and was a captain in March 1848, when he gained distinction and the rank of major at the siege of Peschiera. On the 5th of August '848 he liberated Charles Albert, king of Sardinia, from the Milan revolutionaries, and in October was promoted general and appointed minister of war. After suppressing the revolt of Genoa in 1849, he again assumed in November '849 the portfolio of war, which, save during the period of his command of the Crimean expedition, he retained until 1859. Having reconstructed the Piedmontese army, he took part in the war of 1859 against Austria; and in July of that year succeeded Cavour in the premiership. In '86o he was sent to Berlin and St Peters-burg to arrange for the recognition of the kingdom of Italy, and subsequently he held the offices of governor of Milan and royal lieutenant at Naples, until, in September 1864, he succeeded Minghetti as premier. In this capacity he modified the scope of the September Convention by a note in which he claimed for Italy full freedom of action in respect of national aspirations to the possession of Rome, a document of which Visconti Venosta afterwards took advantage when justifying the Italian occupation of Rome in '87o. In April 1866 La Marmora concluded an alliance with Prussia against Austria, and, on the outbreak of war in June, took command of an army corps, but was defeated at Custozza on the 23rd of June. Accused of treason by his fellow-countrymen, and of duplicity by the Prussians, he eventually published in defence of his tactics (1873) a series of documents entitled Un po' piic di luce sugli eventi dell' anno 1866 (More light on the events of '866) a step which caused irritation in Germany, and exposed him to the charge of having violated state secrets. Meanwhile he had been sent to Paris in '867 to oppose the French expedition to Rome, and in 1870, after the occupation of Rome by the Italians, had been appointed lieutenant-royal of the new capital. He died at Florence on the 5thof January '878. La Marmora's writings include Un episodio del risorgimento italiano (Florence, 1875); and I segreti di stato nel governo constituzionale (Florence, '877). See G. Massani, Il generale Alfonso La Marmora (Milan, 188o). LAMARTINE, ALPHONSE MARIE LOUIS DE PRAT DE (1790-1869), French poet, historian and statesman, was born at Macon on the 2'st of October 1790. The order of his surnames is a controversial matter, and they are sometimes reversed. The family of Lamartine was good, and the title of Prat was taken from an estate in Franche Comte. His father was imprisoned during the Terror, and only released owing to the events of the 9th Thermidor. Lamartine's early education was received from his mother. He was sent to school at Lyons in '8o5, but not being happy there was transferred to the care of the Peres de la Foi at Belley, where he remained until 1809. For some time afterwards he lived at home, reading romantic and poetical literature, but in 1811 he set out for Italy, where he seems to have sojourned nearly two years. His family having been steady royalists, he entered the Gardes du corps at the return of the Bourbons, and during the Hundred Days he sought refuge first in Switzerland and then at Aix-en-Savoie, where he fell in love, with abundant results of the poetical kind. After Waterloo he re-turned to Paris. In '8'8–'8'9 he revisited Switzerland, Savoy and Italy, the death of his beloved affording him new subjects for verse. After some difficulties he had his first book, the Meditations; poetiques et religieuses, published (1820). It was exceedingly popular, and helped him to make a position. He had left the army for some time; he now entered the diplomatic service and was appointed secretary to the embassy at Naples. On his way to his post he married, in 1823, at Geneva a young English lady, Marianne Birch, who had both money and beauty, and in the same year his Nouvelles meditations poetiques appeared. In 1824 he was transferred to Florence, where he remained five years. His Last Canto of Childe Harold appeared in 1825, and he had to fight a duel (in which he was wounded) with an Italian officer, Colonel Pepe, in consequence of a phrase in it. Charles X., on whose coronation he wrote a poem, gave him the order of the Legion of Honour. The Harmonies poetiques et religieuses appeared in 1829, when he had left Florence. Having refused an appointment in Paris under the Polignac ministry, he went on a special mission to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg. In the same year he was elected to the Academy. Lamartine was in Switzer-land, not in Paris, at the time of the Revolution of July, and, though he put forth a pamphlet on " Rational Policy," he did not at that crisis take any active part in politics, refusing, however, to continue his diplomatic services under the new government. In 1832 he set out with his wife and daughter for Palestine, having been unsuccessful in his candidature for a seat in the chamber. His daughter Julia died at Beirut, and before long he received the news of his election by a constituency (Bergues) in the department of the Nord. He returned through Turkey and Germany, and made his first speech shortly after the beginning of 1834. Thereafter he spoke constantly, and acquired considerable reputation as an orator,—bringing out, moreover, many books in prose and verse. His Eastern travels (Voyage en Orient) appeared in '835, his Chute d'un ange and Jocelyn in 1837, and his Recueillements, the last remarkable volume of his poetry, in 1839. As the reign of Louis Philippe went on, Lamartine, who had previously been a liberal royalist, something after the fashion of Chateaubriand, became more and more democratic in his opinions. He set about his greatest prose work, ' the Histoire des Girondins, which at first appeared periodically, and was published as a whole in 1847. Like many other French histories, it was a pamphlet as well as a chronicle, and the subjects of Lamartine's pen became his models in politics. At the revolution of February Lamartine was one of the first to declare for a provisional government, and became a member of it, with the post of minister for foreign affairs. He was elected for the new constituent assembly in ten different departments, and was chosen one of the five members of the Executive Committee. For a few months indeed Lamartine, from being a Romantic revival, but he went far in that direction. He availed himself of the reviving interest in legitimism and Catholicism which was represented by Bonald and Joseph de Maistre, of the nature worship of Rousseau and Bernardin de Saint Pierre, of the sentimentalism of Madame de Stael, of the medievalism and the romance of Chateaubriand and Scott, of the maladie du siecle of Chateaubriand and Byron. Perhaps if his matter be very closely analysed it will be found that he added hardly anything of his own. But if the parts of the mixture were like other things the mixture itself was not. It seemed indeed to the immediate generation so original that tradition has it that the Meditations were refused by a publisher because they were in none of the accepted styles. They appeared when Lamartine was nearly thirty years old. The best of them, and the best thing that Lamartine ever did, is the famous Lac, describing his return to the little mountain tarn of Le Bourget after the death of his mistress, with whom he had visited it in other days. The verse is exquisitely harmonious, the sentiments conventional but refined and delicate, the imagery well chosen and gracefully expressed. There is an unquestionable want of vigour, but to readers of that day the want of vigour was entirely compensated by the presence of freshness and grace. Lamartine's chief misfortune in poetry was not only that his note was a somewhat weak one, but that he could strike but one. The four volumes of the Meditations, the Harmonies and the Recueillements, which contained the prime of his verse, are perhaps the most monotonous reading to be found anywhere in work of equal bulk by a poet of equal talent. They contain nothing but meditative lyrical pieces, almost any one of which is typical of the whole, though there is considerable variation of merit. The two narrative poems which succeeded the early lyrics, Jocelyn and the Chute d'un ange, were, according to Lamartine's original plan, parts of a vast " Epic of the Ages," some further fragments of which survive. Jocelyn had at one time more popularity in England than most French verse. La Chute d'un ange, in which the Byronic influence is more obvious than in any other of Lamartine's works, and in which some have also seen that of Alfred de Vigny, is more ambitious in theme, and less regulated by scrupulous conditions of delicacy in handling, than most of its author's poetry. It does, however, little more than prove that such audacities were not for him. As a prose writer Lamartine was very fertile. His characteristics in his prose fiction and descriptive work are not very different from those of his poetry. He is always and everywhere sentimental, though very frequently, as in his shorter prose tales (The Stone Mason of Saint-Point, Graziella, &c.), he is graceful as well as sentimental. In his histories the effect is worse. It has been hinted that Lamartine's personal narratives are doubtfully trust-worthy; with regard to his Eastern travels some of the episodes were stigmatized as mere inventions. In his histories proper the special motive for embellishment disappears, but the habit of in-accuracy remains. As an historian he belongs exclusively to the rhetorical school as distinguished from the philosophical on the one hand and the documentary on the other. It is not surprising when these characteristics of Lamartine's work are appreciated to find that his fame declined with singular rapidity in France. As a poet he had lost his reputation many years before he died. He was entirely eclipsed by the brilliant and vigorous school who succeeded him with Victor Hugo at their head. His power of initiative in poetry was very small, and the range of poetic ground which he could cover strictly limited. He could only carry the picturesque sentimentalism of Rousseau, Bernardin de Saint Pierre and Chateaubriand a little farther, and clothe it in language and verse a little less antiquated than that of Chenedolle and Millevoye. He has been said to be a French Cowper, and the parallel holds good in respect of versification and of his relative position to the more daringly innovating school that followed, though not in respect of individual peculiarities. Lamartine in short occupied a kind of half-way house between the 18th century and the Romantic movement, and he never got any farther. When Matthew Arnold questioned his importance in conversation with Sainte-Beuve, the answer was, " He is important to us," and it was a true answer; but the limitation is obvious. In more recent years, however, efforts have been made by Brunetiere and others to remove it. The usual revolution of critical as of other taste, the oblivion of personal and political unpopularity, and above all the reaction against Hugo and the extreme Romantics, have been the main agents in this. Lamartine has been extolled as a pattern of combined passion and restraint, as a model of nobility of sentiment, and as a harmonizer of pure French classicism in taste and expression with much, if not all, the better part of Romanticism itself. These oscillations of opinion are frequent, if not universal, and it is only after more than one or two swings that the pendulum remains at the perpendicular. The above remarks are an attempt to correct extravagance in either direction. But it is difficult to believe that Lamartine can ever permanently take rank among the first order of poets. The edition mentioned is the most complete one of Lamartine, but there are many issues of his separate works. After his death some poems and Memoires inedits of his youth were published, and also two volumes of correspondence, while in 1893 Mlle V. de Lamartine added a volume of Lettres to him. The change of views above referred to may be studied in the detached articles of MM. Brunetiere, distinguished man of letters, an official of inferior rank in diplo- revolution. Lamartine did not himself go the complete length of the macy, and an eloquent but unpractical speaker in parliament, became one of the foremost men in Europe. His inexperience in the routine work of government, the utterly unpractical nature of his colleagues, and the turbulence of the Parisian mob, proved fatal to his chances. He gave some proofs of statesman-like ability, and his eloquence was repeatedly called into requisition to pacify the Parisians. But no one can permanently carry on the government of a great country by speeches from the balcony of a house in the capital, and Lamartine found himself in a dilemma. So long as he held aloof from Ledru-Rollin and the more radical of his colleagues, the disunion resulting weakened the government; as soon as he effected an approximation to them the middle classes fell off from him. The quelling of the insurrection of the 15th of May was his last successful act. A month later the renewal of active disturbances brought on the fighting of June, and Lamartine's influence was extinguished in favour of Cavaignac. Moreover, his chance of renewed political pre-eminence was gone. He had been tried and found wanting, having neither the virtues nor the vices of his situation. In January 1849, though he was nominated for the presidency, only a few thousand votes were given to him, and three months later he was not even elected to the Legislative Assembly. The remaining story of Lamartine's life is somewhat melancholy. He had never been a rich man, nor had he been a saving one, and during his period of popularity and office he had incurred great expenses. He now set to work to repair his fortune by unremitting literary labour. He brought out in the Presse (1849) a series of Confidences, and somewhat later a kind of autobiography, entitled Raphael. He wrote several historical works of more or less importance, the History of the Revolution of 1848, The History of the Restoration, The History of Turkey, The History of Russia, besides a large number of small biographical and miscellaneous works. In 1858 a subscription was opened for his benefit. Two years afterwards, following the example of Chateaubriand, he supervised an elaborate edition of his own works in forty-one volumes. This occupied five years, and while he was engaged on it his wife died (1863). He was now over seventy; his powers had deserted him, and even if they had not the public taste had entirely changed. His efforts had not succeeded in placing him in a position of independence; and at last, in 1867, the government of the Empire (from which he had perforce stood aloof, though he never considered it necessary to adopt the active protesting attitude of Edgar Quinet and Victor Hugo) came to his assistance, a vote of £2o,000 being proposed in April of that year for his benefit by Emile 011ivier. This was creditable to both parties, for Lamartine, both as a distinguished man of letters and as a past servant of the state, had every claim to the bounty of his country. But he was reproached for accepting it by the extreme republicans and irreconcilables. He did not enjoy it long, dying on the 28th of February 1869. .. As a statesman Lamartine was placed during his brief tenure of office in a position from which it would have been almost impossible for any man, who was not prepared and able to play the dictator, to emerge with credit. At no time in history were unpractical crotchets so rife in the heads of men as in 1848. But Lamartine could hardly have guided the ship of state safely even in much calmer weather. He was amiable and even estimable, the chief fault of his character being vanity and an incurable tendency towards theatrical effect, which makes his travels, memoirs and other personal records as well as his historical works radically untrustworthy. Nor does it appear that he had any settled political ideas. He did good by moderating the revolutionary and destructive ardour of the Parisian populace in 1848; but he had been perhaps more responsible than any other single person for bringing about the events of that year by the vague and frothy republican declamation of his Histoire des Girondins. More must be said of his literary position. Lamartine had the ad-vantage of coming at a time when the literary field, at least in the departments of belles lettres, was almost empty. The feeble school of descriptive writers, epic poets of the extreme decadence, fabulists and miscellaneous verse-makers, which the Empire had nourished could satisfy no one. Madame de Stael was dead; Chateaubriand, though alive, was something of a classic, and had not effected a full Faguet, Lemaitre, &c., and in the more substantive work of Ch. de Pomairols, Lamartixze (1889); E. Deschanel, Lamartine (1893); E. Zyrowski, Lamartine (1896) ; and perhaps best of all in the Preface to Emile Legouis' Clarendon Press edition of Jocelyn (1906), where a vigorous effort is made to combat the idea of Lamartine's sentimentality and femininity as a poet. (G. SA.)
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