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those of the inferior animals: but it has been affirmed, that they want retrospect or foresight, and that they act under immediate impulses. The foresight which many display respecting the weather; the reflection exhibited in watching their prey; the care with which the dog guards his master's clothes; the expedients which the bee plans, when it has been defeated in the construction of its cell, disprove the affirmation ; nay, the operations of thought may be traced in the dog's countenance; and the dreaming of the animal, with its not infrequent attempts to bark, is an evidence of thought, and is produced by reflection on ideas in the memory during its restless sleep and what is such reflection but thought? Animals are also capable of acquiring knowledge, which is an important answer to the theory of mere instinct ; their sagacity in obeying the instructions of man places this beyond dispute. Dogs know the difference between the property of their masters and others : they find it when lost : they learn, that infants are to molest them with impunity; they distinguish between those who are welcome and those who are unwelcome: they mark times and periods, and evince numberless instances of their capacity of instruction and observation. Facts, as curious and as convincing, have also been recorded of various species, many of which fall under our continual notice. The manner in which birds teach their offspring to fly, in which the duck teaches its young to dive, and the alternation of example, reproaches, caresses, force, remove all doubts respecting the question of education in animals. To these other examples are added, in which doubt, hesitation, prudence, experience, and other powers of mind are proved to exist in the inferior creation, in which it is irrefutably shown, that they exercise a reasoning process, in many cases not only controlling an instinct, but even established habits.
This chapter leads the author to an inquiry concerning the language of animals. He argues, that the difficulty of distinguishing sounds not in the diatonic and chromatic scale rapidly increases, as the ratios approach nearer to each other, till at length to imperfect ears dissimilar notes appear the same ; and that many cannot even distinguish between neighbouring enharmonic tones, except in the case of a chord, or a false unison ; whence he infers, that we shall never produce enharmonic melodies, because unintelligible to our organizations. But it is suggested, that such melody is intelligible to the birds, which produce it; that they may therefore both hear and discriminate those unsteady sounds which they produce, and which should constitute their language, though we cannot. It is inferible, that in the animal races there is a higher power in the nerves of the senses, than we possess :-in the nightingale and thrush we distinguish a variety of sounds and articulations, because they approach to that musical scale which is adapted to our sense of hearing ; but NO. IV.VOL. II.
we cannot doubt, that in birds whose tones are less definite, there are sounds which we cannot distinguish, and that in the song of the nightingale and thrush there is much more than we hear, and that it is better understood by them than by us. From prejudice we assume that it is not a language, because we do not understand it: we should be equally justified in deciding respecting a foreign tongue unknown to us. We are too apt to argue from our own imperfections. That animals possess the power of discrimination for the purposes of language, is manifested by wild birds and domestic fowls recognising the voices of their own partners and offspring, and by the sheep knowing the bleat of its own lamb. The Doctor humorously adds, that the objurgations of an assembled multitude of Welsh do not exceed in articulate and discriminable sounds the noise of a rookery; and that, if the speakers had the forms of quadrupeds, we should unhesitatingly decide that their noise was not speech :-we know that it is language, but our ears do not impart to us the information. The application of this remark is obvious.
As the range of the ideas of animals is limited, so must be their modes of expression: but we perceive, that gregarious and social animals act together under peculiar sounds. Familiar examples of various and vocal language exist in the duck tribe, followed by correspondent actions, such as marshalling their flight, &c.; thus, the decoy-duck easily performs its treacherous office. The proofs of a mutual intelligence which horses, dogs, rats, mice, and beavers afford to us, render the possibility of their conduct incomprehensible without the admission of some language common to each separate species; and the variation of tones in birds under peculiar circumstances,—such as sparrows quarrelling, the sounds of the domestic fowl at the appearance of a hawk, its note before sitting, its call to its young, and equally noted cases in other animals—seems to advance the notion to an established truth. In singing birds also is frequently found a language, not heard in their natural state ; one, as it were, directed to ourselves, and proportioned to their domestication, or our familiarity with them: the same observation may be made on other domesticated animals. Besides, if an animal can learn the meaning of words in a language not its own, and regularly and consistently act upon them, as has been remarked in the dog, the horse, and the mule, it is a most extraordinary conclusion which pronounces their natural sounds to be without one.
The next subject of Dr. Macculloch's pen is the system of adaptations and corrections in creation, which is discussed with equal ability and perspicuity, and brought most forcibly to bear on the general proof—that all which is, was planned and executed by God; that we are but students of his works, and should not overlook him, who has given to us the power of knowing himself.
We have now arrived at the fourth division of the work. It commences with a discussion on the power of the Deity. If we view him in the light of a mechanic and chemist, governing the physical universe by mechanics and chemistry, this attribute will be manifested in full splendour. The human artist is in every way limited, but not so the Deity; his power cannot be comprehended within bounds. It is as easy for Him to say the word, or will every motion of materials known and present to him, as for the human spirit to will those within its power through the intervention of muscular force, which is but an intermedium between the human will and these effects. The hypothesis of an ancient philosophy, that matter in all its forms is the body of the Deity, which is acted upon by his Spirit in any manner which he may desire, is illustrative of this idea. This Dr. Macculloch exemplifies by a consideration of the varieties in the animal creation, in a manner still more familiar and striking, in which he skilfully refutes some of the errors in philosophy. It would, indeed, be very difficult to find throughout the language any chapter on natural history equal to this; it is so rich in diversity of matter, that it cannot be epitomized. This department of his subject the author compares with the variety in plants and minerals, in which he exhibits the universal cleanliness of vegetable productions and animals; showing the provisions made for the salubrity of the atmosphere and waters. Thus, several beasts and birds of prey are furnished with instincts which cause the consumption of carcases ; and different larvæ are appointed, which are destined to this food; and for the same purpose, instinct is implanted in almost every animal to seek concealment when about to die. Thus does creation teach us the Creator's will; and the picture here drawn involves all the organized creation and even the inorganic world.
“ The soil, the rocks, the sand, the surface of the earth is everywhere clean, or there are provisions for rendering it so, when it has become foul : it is under the influence of man alone that we must seek the reverse, as it is beneath his interference that we find all the disorders of creation.” From the interminable varieties and the inexhaustible invention which these subjects display, the boundless resources and the infinite power of the Creator become apparent: and in all these the consideration of the final object is of the utmost value in science.
In connexion with the preceding arguments, Dr. Macculloch passes to a dissertation on the light of marine animals. He first establishes the existence of absolute darkness in the depths of the sea, from experiments which have been made for the sake of ascertaining at what thickness of water light is excluded; and as many fishes select these deeper parts, he argues that there must be some remedy for such a world without light, the habitation of the most active and rapacious animals of the creation,
“ A remedy for the interception of the sun and the absence of light was wanted : day could not be brought into the depths of the ocean, for the laws of light forbade it; yet, to at least the mutual pursuit of its inhabitants, that was indispensable. It remained for Him who created the difficulty, to invent the remedy.” Thus, there is an independent source of light beneath the ocean,
,—the animal was designed to be seen amidst utter darkness, -accordingly, it is rendered luminous, or becomes a source of light to itself. To this property philosophers have applied the vague term, phosphorescence. By this provision deep-residing fishes and the Doctor's investigations have shown that some predatory kinds are immovably fixed to the bottom, at depths of 6000 feet, where darkness is eternal,) find means of there existing; and those which seek their prey at night, are enabled to obtain their support. This is confirmed by the effect of luminous bodies on fishes:--the bright silvery skin of the bait is the attraction, and some will even seize shining metal or a brilliant feather. Thus, the ancients, the inhabitants of the Mediterranean, and savage nations, used nocturnal lights in fishing :-they are still not only the fishermen's guide, but are in reality the bait: they are the object of the animal's pursuit, which only follows it for the expected prey.
One light belongs to vital action, the other is engaged with dead matter; exemplifying two exertions of Divine wisdom, two specific efforts of Divine power, which naturalists have hitherto confounded. In living marine animals, the light is brilliant, often of different colours, and commonly confined to one portion or organ, under the command of the will and dependent on life, since it disappears at death or capture: but shortly after death, a pale uniform light renders the whole body luminous, which luminous matter can be detached and diffused through water, which the living light cannot. This light is anterior to putrefaction, though naturalists have considered it as its result. This substance, which is continually seen at sea, belongs not to the water itself, for it only exists where animals are present; and seamen, aware of the difference between blue and green water, know that the former rarely contains such animals, and is as rarely luminous. The light of the living animal is sometimes snow-white, sometimes the electric blue, or of a greenish tinge, or inclined to red, or yellow, or even scarlet. Hence, above a shoal of fish a sheet of fire resembling submarine lightning has been seen, and in the tropical regions the surface of the sea sometimes resembles a plain of snow. The larger fishes have occasionally produced flashes under the water; and the line of light which has been found to follow the descent of rope is occasioned by the disturbance of the smaller animals. On this principle similar phenomena may be explained. This light being under the command of the animal when pursued, it defends itself by obscuring it: which has been ascertained by those which have been detained ;- for though their light had been steadily shining, yet when irritated or disturbed they have sometimes totally extinguished it, sometimes merely obscured it; and it has been remarked, that the latter takes place at a slight alarm, the former at repetitions of it. We doubtless argue many of the inferior marine animals to be wanting in vision, from the inadequacy of our discriminative powers; but even where it is assuredly absent, as in the Medusæ and Beroes, they have a perfect sense of luminous objects, and will “pursue a moving candle as correctly as a fish could have done, and will crowd round the single opening for the admission of light, which has been left in a darkened vessel.”
The power of God is next examined by the modes of motion in animals, and the organized structures in animals and plants. The first instance which the Doctor selects, is the egg, in its process of producing the animal:—this he calls a very complex machine--machinery rather than architecture, but one built upon an invisible foundation through the approximation of atoms. Nor is the wonder of this process diminished by the supposition of a pre-existent form: and the minute manner in which he describes it, shows a combination of thought and power, which leaves all human art at an immeasurable distance. In the eye, one arterial mouth manufactures nerves, another the tough globe, a third the brown paint, a fourth the cornea, others the membrane, the muscular fibres and the different ornamental colours of the iris: others again produce the ciliary processes, the crystalline fibres for the lens, its enveloping membrane, the cellular membrane of the vitreous humour, the water which fills this, besides various other operations familiar to physiologists. As God's power is known by his works, what greater proof can we require than such as subjects like these offer to our contemplation? This partial view of the eye may be extended to every part of the organization of the animal:
-how great then must the Artist be! how infinite His power!
Thus, we perceive many and different parts, various, complex, and yet unnumbered machineries, produced by means of one instrument and one material, and for ever reproduced, according to patterns which never vary, complicated and diverse as we see them to be. Thus, every separately qualified artery becomes a distinct chemical apparatus, however it may resemble others in appearance. The same reflections arise from a consideration of the vegetable structure and growth:-—the acorn will display the required analogy. The opacity of its structure disables us indeed from witnessing the process of growth, as in the chicken; but it is a miniature-plant, though we know not how the branches are produced, or their vessels related to those of the trunk. Yet, the great Mechanist, who has given life, here commands a pattern: he impresses on the initial vessels of the germ the effort