Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)
on the Nature and Constitution of Man" (S266a: 1876)
7Mr. A. R. Wallace, F. R. G. S., in a note which he has very obligingly communicated to me on this passage, remarks:--"It is necessary to define accurately what love here means. It appears to me that love between the opposite sexes, is essentially a compound of the affection and the passion; and that this compound often exists in animals."
[[Vol. 1, p. 373]] . . . This neglect in animals, to exercise any preference as regards the objects of their concupiscence, on account of their personal qualities of the nature described, is wholly owing to, and is a conclusive proof of their being destitute therewith of the passion of love, which in man causes the difference, and supplies the deficiency alluded to.9 . . .
9Mr. Darwin, however, questions whether "every male bird of the same species equally excites and attracts the female." (Selection in Relation to Sex, vol. ii. p. 99.) He also asserts that "stallions are so frequently capricious in their choice, rejecting one mare, and without any apparent cause taking to another, that various artifices have to be habitually used." (Ibid, p. 272.) But in both cases the causes of preference may be those connected with concupiscence rather than with love. Has it been shown that beauty in form at all influences their choice, which may depend on the age, health, or general condition of the female?
Nevertheless, as Mr. Wallace has been good enough to point out to me in the following note on this passage: "Mr. Darwin has supported his views by copious facts and observations. It appears to me useless to state the opposite view, without showing what facts support it." The observation and experience of each person who has paid attention to this subject, must therefore be appealed to to determine the point in his own mind. . . .
[[Vol. 1, p. 374]] . . . It appears however most probable, and absolutely certainty here seems to be beyond our reach, that some of the lowest animals in point of instinctive endowment, such as worms, and oysters, and polypi, are wholly destitute of passion of any kind, and possess only sensations, and emotions, and appetites,1 which suffice for all the exigencies of their career. . . .
1 Mr. Wallace, however, asks here, "What is passion but a compound of these three?--Sed vide ante, p. 340.
[[Vol. 2, p. 254]] . . . Wild animals appear unerringly to shun substances, such as particular herbs, which are naturally poisonous;* but they do not detect and avoid those which are artificially rendered poisonous, as by the admixture with them of arsenic. This confirms the view suggested in a former page, that against contrivances and contingencies which are out of the order of nature, no provision has been made in the economy of animal nature. . . .
*Mr. A. R. Wallace however tells me that in his opinion the statement contained in the above paragraph is "unfounded and erroneous."