Erasmus Darwin quotes

  • [Retirement] is a dangerous experiment, and generally ends in either drunkenness or hypochrondriacism.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Retirement #Dangerous #Drunkenness

  • The Reproductions of the living Ens From sires to sons, unknown to sex, commence... Unknown to sex the pregnant oyster swells, And coral-insects build their radiate shells... Birth after birth the line unchanging runs, And fathers live transmitted in their sons; Each passing year beholds the unvarying kinds, The same their manners, and the same their minds.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Running #Father #Son

  • Organic life beneath the shoreless waves Was born and rais’d in Ocean’s pearly caves First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass, Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass; These, as successive generations bloom, New powers acquire, and larger limbs assume; Whence countless groups of vegetation spring, And breathing realms of fin, and feet and wing.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Spring #Ocean #Moving

  • No radiant pearl which crested Fortune wears, No gem that twinkling hangs from Beauty's ears, Not the bright stars which Night's blue arch adorn, Nor rising suns that gild the vernal morn, Shine with such lustre as the tear that flows Down Virtue's manly cheek for others' woes.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Stars #Night #Blue

  • Soon shall thy arm, unconquer'd steam! afar Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car; Or on wide-waving wings expanded bear The flying chariot through the field of air.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Air #Wings #Car

  • In fact, Darwin's own grandfather anticipated the central tenet of Lamarckism by some seven years: "All animals undergo perpetual transformations; which are in part produced by their own exertions... and many of these acquired forms or propensities are transmitted to their posterity."
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Animal #Years #Grandfather

  • A fool is a man who never tried an experiment in his life.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Men #Fool #Experiments

  • So erst the Sage [Pythagoras] with scientific truth In Grecian temples taught the attentive youth; With ceaseless change how restless atoms pass From life to life, a transmigrating mass; How the same organs, which to-day compose The poisonous henbane, or the fragrant rose, May with to-morrow's sun new forms compile, Frown in the Hero, in the Beauty smile. Whence drew the enlighten'd Sage the moral plan, That man should ever be the friend of man; Should eye with tenderness all living forms, His brother-emmets, and his sister-worms.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Brother #Hero #Eye

  • I am sorry the infernal Divinities, who visit mankind with diseases, and are therefore at perpetual war with Doctors, should have prevented my seeing all you great Men at Soho to-day-Lord! what inventions, what wit, what rhetoric, metaphysical, mechanical and pyrotecnical, will be on the wing, bandy'd like a shuttlecock from one to another of your troop of philosophers! while poor I, I by myself I, imprizon'd in a post chaise, am joggled, and jostled, and bump'd, and bruised along the King's high road, to make war upon a pox or a fever!
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Kings #Sorry #War

  • I much condole with you on your late loss... pains and diseases of the mind are only cured by Forgetfulness;--Reason but skins the wound, which is perpetually liable to fester again.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Pain #Loss #Mind

  • Opium is the only drug to' be rely'd on-all the boasted nostrums only take up time, and as the disease [is] often of short duration, or of small quantity, they have gain'd credit which they do not deserve.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Drug #Credit #Disease

  • The hypochondriac disease consists in indigestion and consequent flatulency, with anxiety or want of pleasurable sensation.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Science #Anxiety #Disease

  • By firm immutable immortal laws Impress'd on Nature by the GREAT FIRST CAUSE, Say, MUSE! how rose from elemental strife Organic forms, and kindled into life; How Love and Sympathy with potent charm Warm the cold heart, the lifted hand disarm; Allure with pleasures, and alarm with pains, And bind Society in golden chains.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Nature #Pain #Heart

  • Another thing very injurious to the child is the tying and cutting of the navel string too soon, which should always be left till the child has not only repeatedly breathed but till all pulsation in the cord ceases. As otherwise the child is much weaker than it ought to be, a part of the blood being left in the placenta which ought to have been in the child and at the same time the placenta does not so naturally collapse, and withdraw itself from the sides of the uterus, and is not therefore removed with so much safety and certainty.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Children #Cutting #Blood

  • So the horns of the stag are sharp to offend his adversary, but are branched for the purpose of parrying or receiving the thrusts of horns similar to his own, and have therefore been formed for the purpose of combating other stags for the exclusive possession of the females; who are observed, like the ladies in the times of chivalry, to attend to the car of the victor. The final cause of this contest amongst the males seems to be, that the strongest and most active animal should propagate the species, which should thence become improved.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Animal #Car #Survival

  • Hence when a person is in great pain, the cause of which he cannot remove, he sets his teeth firmly together, or bites some substance between them with great vehemence, as another mode of violent exertion to produce a temporary relief. Thus we have the proverb where no help can be has in pain, 'to grin and abide;' and the tortures of hell are said to be attended with 'gnashing of teeth.'Describing a suggestion of the origin of the grin in the present form of a proverb, 'to grin and bear it.'
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Pain #Together #Bears

  • The mass starts into a million suns; Earths round each sun with quick explosions burst, And second planets issue from the first.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Issues #Earth #Firsts

  • From the sexual, or amatorial, generation of plants new varieties, or improvements, are frequently obtained; as many of the young plants from seeds are dissimilar to the parent, and some of them superior to the parent in the qualities we wish to possess... Sexual reproduction is the chef d'oeuvre, the master-piece of nature.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Parent #Quality #Wish

  • Owing to the imperfection of language the offspring is termed a new animal, but it is in truth a branch or elongation of the parent; since a part of the embryon-animal is, or was, a part of the parent; and therefore in strict language it cannot be said to be entirely new at the time of its production; and therefore it may retain some of the habits of the parent-system. (1794)
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Animal #Imperfection #Parent

  • The great CREATOR of all things has infinitely diversified the works of his hands, but has at the same time stamped a certain similitude on the features of nature, that demonstrates to us, that the whole is one family of one parent.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Hands #Parent #Evolution

  • Some philosophers have been of opinion that our immortal part acquires during this life certain habits of action or of sentiment, which become forever indissoluble, continuing after death in a future state of existence ... I would apply this ingenious idea to the generation, or production of the embryon, or new animal, which partakes so much of the form and propensities of the parent.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Animal #Ideas #Parent

  • To respect the cat is the beginning of the aesthetic sense.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Cat #Aesthetic

  • We hence acquire this sublime and interesting idea; that all the calcareous mountains in the world, and all the strata of clay, coal, marl, sand, and iron, which are incumbent on them, are MONUMENTS OF THE PAST FELICITY OF ORGANIZED NATURE!
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Past #Ideas #Iron

  • Life is a forced state! I am surprized that we live, rather than that our friends die.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Life #Life Is #States

  • There are some modern practitioners, who declaim against medical theory in general, not considering that to think is to theorize; and that no one can direct a method of cure to a person labouring under disease, without thinking, that is, without theorizing; and happy therefore is the patient, whose physician possesses the best theory.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Thinking #Physicians #Disease

  • A fool, Mr, Edgeworth, is one who has never made an experiment.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Fool #Made #Experiments

  • Such is the condition of organic nature! whose first law might be expressed in the words 'Eat or be eaten!' and which would seem to be one great slaughter-house, one universal scene of rapacity and injustice!
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Nature #Law #House

  • The colours of insects and many smaller animals contribute to conceal them from the larger ones which prey upon them. Caterpillars which feed on leaves are generally green; and earth-worms the colour of the earth which they inhabit; butter-flies, which frequent flowers, are coloured like them; small birds which frequent hedges have greenish backs like the leaves, and light-coloured bellies like the sky, and are hence less visible to the hawk who passes under them or over them.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Nature #Flower #Animal

  • Till o'er the wreck, emerging from the storm, Immortal Nature lifts her changeful form: Mounts from her funeral pyre on wings of flame, And soars and shines, another and the same.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Flames #Wings #Shining

  • In fact the a priori reasoning is so entirely satisfactory to me that if the facts won't fit in, why so much the worse for the facts is my feeling.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Feelings #Facts #Evolution

  • E canchis amnia. Everything from shells.
    -- Erasmus Darwin

    #Shells #Evolution