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ner that she can cover them, what Care does she take in turning them frequently, that all Parts may partake of the vital Warmth? When she leaves them to provide for her neceffary Suftenance, how pun&ually does she return before they have time to cool, and become incapa. ble of producing an Animal? In the Summer you see her giving her self greater Freedoms, and quitting her Care for above two Hours together; but in Winter, when the Rigour of the Season would chill the Principles of Life, and destroy the Young one, she grows more afli. duous in her Attendance, and Itays away but Half the Time. When the Birth approaches, with how much Nicety and Attention does she help the Chick to break its Prison ? Not to take Notice of her covering it from the Injuries of the Weather, providing it proper Nov. rishment, and teaching it to help it felf; nor to mention her forsaking the Nest, if after the usual Time of reckoning the young one does not make its Appearance. A Chymical Operation could not be followed with grea. ter Art or Diligence, than is seen in the hatching of a Chick; tho' there are many other Birds that shew an infinitely greater Sagacity in all the forementioned Particulars. · BUT at the same time the Hen, that has all this feeming Ingenuity, (which is indeed absolutely necessary for the Propagation of the Species) considered in other Respects, is without the least Glimmerings of Thought or common Sense. She mistakes a Piece of Chalk for an Egg, and sits upon it in the same Manner: She is insensible of any Increase or Diminution in the Number of those she lays : She does not distinguish between her own and those of another Species; and when the Birth appears of never so different a Bird, will cherish it for her own. In all these Circumstances which do not carry an immediate Regard to the Subsistance of her self or her Species, she is a very Ideot.
THERE is not, in my opinion, any thing more myfterious in Nature than this Instinct in Animals, which thus rises above Reason, and falls infinitely short of it, It cannot be accounted for by any Properties in Matter, and at the same time works after so odd a Manner, that one cannot think it the Faculty of an intellectual Being.
For my own Part, I look upon it as upon the Principle of Gravitation in Bodies, which is not to be explain’dby. any known Qualities inherent in the Bodies themselves, nor from any Laws of Mechanism, but according to the beft Notions of the greatest Philosophers, is an immediate Impression from the first Mover, and the Divine Energy a&ing in the Creatures,
Thursday, July 19.
--Jovis omnia plena. Virg. S I was walking this Morning in the great Yard that
belongs to my Friend's Country House, I was
wonderfully pleased to see the different Workings of Instinct in a Hen followed by a Brood of Ducks. The : Young, upon the sight of a Pond, immediately ran into
it; while the Step-mother, with all imaginable Anxiety,
hovered about the Borders of it, to call them out of an Ele3 ment that appeared to her so dangerous and destructive, As
the different Principle which acted in these different Ani. mals cannot be termed Reason, so when we call it Ina stinct, we mean something we have no Knowledge of. To me, as I hinted in my laft Paper, it seems the imme. diate Direction of Providence, and such an Operation of the supreme Being, as that which determines all the Portions of Matter to their proper Centres. A Modern Phi. losopher, quoted by Monsieur Bayle in his learned Dir.
fertation on the Souls of Brutes, delivers the same Opi1 nion, tho’in a bolder Form of Words, where he says,
Deus eft Anima Brutorum, God himself is the Soul of Brutes. Wbo can tell what to call that seeming Sagacity
in Animals, which directs them to such Food as is pro, * per for them, and makes them naturally avoid whatever · is noxious or unwholesome? Tully has observed that a
Lamb no sooner falls from its Mother, but immediately' Hi and of its own Accord applies it self to the Teat. Dam. 4 pier, in his Travels, tells us, that when Seamen are
thrown upon any of the unknown Coasts of America, they never venture upon the Fruit of any Tree, how temipeing soever it may appear, unless they observe that it is marked with the Pecking of Birds; but fall on with. out any Fear or Apprehension where the Birds have been before them.
BUT notwithstanding Animals have nothing like the use of Realon, we find in them all the lower parts of our Nature, the Passions and Senses in their greatest Strength and Perfection. And here it is worth our Observation, that all Beasts and Birds of Prey are wonderfully subject to Anger, Malicé, Revenge, and all the other violent Passions that may animate them in search of their proper Food; as those that are incapable of defending them. felves, or annoying others, or whose Safety lies chiefly in their Flight, are suspicious, fearful and apprehensive of every thing they fee or hear; whilft others that are of Allistance and Ufe to Man, have their Natures softned with something mild and cra&table, and by that means are qualified for a Domestick Life. In this case the Paffions generally correspond with the Make of the Body. We do not find the Fury of a Lion in so weak and defenceless an Animal as a Lamb, nor the Meekness of a Lamb in a Creature fo armed for Battel and Afault as the Lion. In the same manner, we find that particular Animals have a more or less exquisite Sharpness and Sagacity in those particular Senfes which most turn to their Advantage, and in which their Safety and Welfare is the most concerned,
NOR muft we here omit that great Variety of Arins with which Nature has differently fortified the Bodies of several kind of Animals, such as Claws, Hoofs and Horns, Teeth and Tusks, a Tail, a Sring, a Trunk, or a Proko. Scis. It is likewise observed by Naturalists, that it must be some hidden Principle, distinct from what we call Rete fon, which inftru&ts Animals in the Ufe of these their Arms, and teaches them to manage them to the best Advantage ; because they naturally defend themselves with that part in which their Strength lies, before the Weapon be formed in it ; as is remarkable in Lambs, which tho' they are bred within Doors, and never faw the Actions of their own Species, push at those who approach them with
their Foreheads, before the first budding of a Horn appears.
I shall add to these general Observations, an Instance which Mr, Locke has given us of Providence, even in the Imperfections of a Creature which seems the meanest and molt despicable in the whole animal World. We may, says he, from the Make of an Oyster, or Cockle, conclude, that it has not so many nor so quick Senses as a Man, or feveral other Animals: Nor if it had would it in that State and Incapacity of transferring it self from one place to another, be better'd by them. What good would Sight and Hearing do to a Creature, that cannot move it self to, or from the Object, wherein at a distance is perceives Good or Evil? And would not Quickness of Sensation be an Inconvenience to an Animal, that must be still where Chance has once placed it, and there receive the Afflux of colder or warmer, clean or foul Water, as it happens to come to it.
I shall add to this. Instance out of Mr. Locke, another out of the learned Dr. Moor, who cites it from Cardan, in reJation to another Animal which Providence has left Defective, but at the same time has shewn its Wisdom in the Formation of that Organ in which it feems chiefly to have failed. What is more obvious and ordinary than a Mete? and yet what more palpable Argument of Providence than She? The Members of her Body are so exaftly fitted to her Nature and Manner of Life: For her Dwelling being under Ground where nothing is to be seen, Nature has so obscurely fitted her with Eyes, that Naturalists can scarce agree whether she have any sight at all or no. But for amends, what is she capable of for her Defence and Warning of Danger, she has very eminently conferred upon her; for she is exceeding quick of Hearing. And then her bort Tail and Mort Legs, but broad Fore-feet armed with sharp Claws, we fee by the Event to what Purpose they are, the so swiftlig working herself under Ground, and making her way so fast in the Earth, as they that behold it cannot but admire it. Her Legs therefore are short, that she need dig no more than will serve the meer Thickness of her Body; and her Fore-feet are broad that the may fcoup away much Earth at a Time ; and little or no Tail she has, because the courfes it not on the Ground, like the Rat or Mouse, of whose Kindred she is, but lives under the Earth, and is fain to dig her self a Dwelling there.
And she making her way thro' fo. thick an Element, which will not yield easily, as the Air or the Water, it had been dangerous to have drawn so long a Train behind her; for her Enemy might fall upon her Rear, and fetch her out before She had compleated or got full Possession of her Works. · I cannot forbear mentioning Mr. Boyle's Remark upon this last Creature, who, I remember, somewhere in his Works observes, that tbough the Mole be not totally blind (as it is commonly thought,) she has not Sight enough to distinguish particular Objects. Her Eye is said to have but one Humour in it, which is supposed to give her the Idea of Light, but of nothing else, and is so formed that this Idea is probably painful to the Animal. Whenever she comes up into broad Day she might be in Danger of being taken, unless she were thus affected by a Light striking upon her Eye, and immediately warning her to bury her self in her proper Element. More Sight would be useless to her, as none at all might be fatal.
I have only instanced such Animals as seem the most imperfect Works of Nature, and if Providence hews it felf even in the Blemishes of these Creatures, how much more does it discover it self in the several Endowments which it has variously bestowed upon such Creatures as are more or less finished and compleated in their several Faculties, according to the Condition of Life in which they are posted ? · I could wish our Royal Society would compile a body of Natural History, the best that could be gathered together from Books and Observations. If the several Writers among them took each his particular Species, and gave us a distinct Account of its original, Birth, and Education; its Policies, Hoftilities and Alliances, with the Frame and Texture of its inward and outward Parts, and parti.cularly those that distinguish it from all other Animals, with their peculiar A pritudes for the State of Being in which Providence has placed them, it would be one of the best Services their Studies could do Mankind, and not a little redound to the Glory of the All-wise Contriver.
It is true, such a Natural History, after all the Disquifitions of the Learned, would be infinitely Short and De. fective. Seas and Desarts hide Millions of Animals from ouř Observation, Innumerable Artifices and Stratagems