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clucidated; but much remains to be added to this last subject.
The third chapter relates to respiration in different animals. On this fabject, Mr. Smellie is fufficiently accurate and full: He feels a difficulty however in explaining how a toad can exift alive and healthy in the heart of an old elm, or in a block of marble. We suspect, for it is long since we read the differtations quoted, but we have reason to believe the two little words alive' and · healthy are added. In one, if not in both cases, the first suspicion of any thing uncommon arose from seeing blood on the law, which was di. viding the masses. The animal was afterwards found cut in two, and the blood was Aorid. If we are correct, it only remains to say, how the toad could be preserved from change, and this is not difficult, when we consider that air is nécer. fary to animal putrefaction and to evaporation. He might have lain torpid in an accidental wound of the bark of the
tree, or been entangled in the particles of the depositing 'lime-fone, till bis escape by the growth of one or the increase of the other was impossible.
The motion of animals is explained in the fourth chap- . ter, and the fifth relates to inftinas; but when we praise this
chapter, it is for the colle&ion of facts only. The little that : Our author fays, in the explanation, is too vague and inde.
cisive to allow us any room for observation. Instinct, Mr. - Smellie observes, is that original quality of mind which produces particular feelings or actions, when the proper objects are presented to it.' The structure of the bodies is adapted to these powers of the mind, for we never see a mature animal attempting any thing, which he has not organs to perform. These words to us present no particular idea, and he had better have said only, as in the following page, that instincts are internal senses. This explanation would not indeed have been satisfactory, but as it had no appearance of pomp and parade, it would have passed unob. served.
What is said on the senses is sufficiently satisfactory, and our author, resting on Dr. Reid's observation, that without 'a natural, there could have been no artificial language, adds fome carious remarks which we shall transcribe.
"I can perceive only one plaufible objection to this reasoning. If, it may be faid, man were endowed with a natural language, this language must be universal; from what source,
then, can the great diverfity of languages in different nations, - and tribes of the human race, be derived? The solution of this question depends not upon metaphyfical arguments, but
upon fa&t and experience. I have had considerable opportunities of observing the behaviour of children. Infants, when very young, have nearly the same modes of expressing their pleasures and pains, their desires and averfions. There they cominunicate by voice, gesture, and feature, and every infant, whatever be the country, climate, or language, uniformly expresses its feelings almost in the same manner. But, when they arrive at nine or twelve months of age, a different scene is exhibited. They then, besides the general expressions of feeling and defire, attempt to give nanies to particular objects.' Here ariifice begins. In these attempts, prerious to the capacity of imitating articulare founds, every individual infant utters different sounds, or rather gives different names, to signify the same objects of its defire or averfion. Befide this natural attempt towards a nomenclature, infants, during the period above mentioned, (for the time varies according to the health and vivacity of the child), frequently make con. tinued craiious. These orations coolist both of articulate and inarticulate sounds, of which no man can give an idea in writing. But most men, and every woman wlio has nursed children, will perfectly understand what I cannot express. From the fact, that children actually utter different sounds, or give different names to denote the same objects, I imagine, arises all that diverlity of languages, which, by cxhausting time arid attention, retard the progress and improvement both of art and science. If any number of children, or of folitary favages should chance to affociate, the names of objects would soon be settled by imitation and content. By observation and experience the number of names would be augmented, as well as the qualities or attributes of the objects themselves; and, in the progress of time, a new and artificial language would be gradually formed. While this operation is going on in one corner of a country, twenty similar associations and compacts may be forming; or already formed, in different nations, or in - different diftries of the faine nation, all of which would give birth to separate artisicial languages.'
In other passages, our author seems to have attended very minutely to children, and his chapter on infancy, contains many valuable and ingenious observations. The hypothesis of Bonnet, which supposes different generations included in the respective mothers, meets with little quarter. It is," he says, 'not only absurd, but exceeds all the powers of the human imagination to conceive,' yet our author brings some facts, which he admits, equally beyond the powers of the imagination, and when we once proceed beyond that point, ten times, and ten millions of times makes no difference. Bonnet is treated with too little respect by our author, who in natural knowledge ranks as far below him as the germ of
che tenth generacion in a microscopic animal, compared in bulk with its mother. The objects are soon too minute for the most lively imagination to conceive, but the whole system is Supported by the general tenor of nature in all her opera. fions. If the future moth lies concealed under the two first rings of the caterpillar; if one seed contains the miniature of the future plant, each may as well conceal every future generation : it will be denied only by those, whole measure of belief is bounded by the smallest angle. under which a body is perceptible to the eye. The rest of the chapter on the growth and food of animals, is more accurate ; and our author, in this place, gives a more correct view of Spalanzani's and Dr. Steeven's experiments. The chapter on the sexes · of animals and vegetables, we have already glanced at, so far as respects the latter, and on the former subject we find little room for praise or blame.
Some remarks on puberty, on love, and on the transformation of animals, follow, and our author details the different facts relating to each subject with accuracy and propriety. On there, and on the habitations of animals, ia the next chapter, many very curious observations and descrip. tions, collected from observers of the most refpectable cha. racters, occur.
The hostilities of animals give our author room for introducing some interefing remarks, wbich greatly illustrate the nature of animals, and the wife conduct of a superintending Providence. We fufpect, however, that the picture of the leopard is a little overcharged : his ferocity and greediness of blood seem to be exaggerated. The concluding observațions are no less just than elegantly expressed. These, as more particularly Mr. Smellie's own, we shall, in part, transcribe.
Nature, it must be confessed, seems almost indifferent to individuals, who perish every moment in millions, without any apparent compunction. But with regard to fpecies of every descriptions, her uniform and uninierrupted attention to the preservation and continuation of the great system of animation is conspicuous, and merits admiration. Life, it should appear, cannot be supported without the intervention of death. Through almost the whole of animated nature, as we have seen, nothing but rapine, and the deliruction of individuals, prevail. This destruction, however, has its use. Every animai, after death, administers lite and happine's to a number of others. In many animals, the powers of digestion, and of assimilation, are confined to animal fubitances alone. If deprived of animal food, fuch fpecies, it is evident, could not exist. The chief force of this observation, it is admitted,
is applicable solely to the carnivorous tribes, ftri&tly fa de. nominated. But, from the facts formerly enumeraied, and from the daily experience of every man, it is apparent, that, perhaps, no animal does or can exilt totally independent of food that is or has been animated. Sheep, oxen, and all herbivorous animals, though not from choice, and even without confciousness, daily devour thousands of insects. This may be one reason why cattle of all kinds fatten so remarkably in rich pastures; for insects are always most numerous where the herbage is luxuriant. Nature is so profuse in her animated production, that no food can be eat, and no fluid can be drunk, in which animal substances, either in a living or dead state, are not to be found.'
« 'The hostilities of animals, mankind not excepted, give rise to mutual improvement. Animals improve, and discover a fuperiority of parts, in proportion to the number of enemies they have to attack or evade. The weak, and consequently timid, are obliged to exert their utmost powers in inventiog and practising every possible mode of escape. Pure instinct powerfully prompts ; but much is learned by experience and observation. Rapacious animals, on the contrary, by frequent disappointment, are obliged to provide against the cunning and alertness of their prey. Herbivorous animals, as they have litile difficulty in procuring food, are proportionally stupid; but they would be still more stupid, if they had no enemies to annoy them. Man, if his attention and talents were not excited by the animofities of his own species, by the attacks of ferocious animals, and even by those of the infect tribes, would be an indolent, an incurious, a dirty, and an ignorant animal. Those of the human race, accordingly, who procure their food with little or no industry, as we learn from à multitude of travellers and voyagers, are perfe&tly indolent and brutishly stupid. Timid animals never use the arts of defence, or provide against danger, except from three causes, pure instinct, which is implanted in their natures, imitation, and experience. By experience, timid animals are taught the arts of evasion. Flight is instinctive ; but the modifications of it are acquired by imitation and experience.
The artifices,' the society,' and · the docility' of animals, furnish also many facts, which will please and intereft the reader. All this part of the work is executed with great ability, and we lould transcribe fome passages, but that the facts, in general collected from other authors, will furnish nothing new to the naturalist, and we are unwilling to anticipate the entertainment and instruction of general seaders. To abridge these details is imposible and would be useless.
The chapter, on the characters of animals,' fhews Mr. Smellie to be no inaccurate observer ; but we think he pro
ceeds ceeds too far, when he confiders the character of any parti. cular animal, on the human face, as generally connected with the dispofition. We have had occafion to point out some coincidences and some exceptions. His remarks also on the principle of imitation, and the consequences he draws rela pecting its influence on our moral characters, are fingularly juft. He thinks swallows, and some other birds really migrate, and that their appearance in a torpid state, in this kingdom, is accidental. The migration of fish, and partifularly of herrings, is undisputed. There are also some well established instances of the migration of insects ; but theirs is not a regular and constant routine...
Some confiderations on the longevity and diffolution of organized beings, and some remarks on the progressive scale, or chain of beings in the universe, conclude this entertaining volume; a work which we can safely recommend as giving, with a very few exceptions, a confiftent and rational account of the philosophy of the animal kingdom. It contains numerous important facts, and some curious interesting observations. Our author deserves no inconsiderable com mendation for his accuracy and industry: it has been the labour of many years, and, though we have been obliged to object to particular parts, we ought in justice to cominend the work on the whole.
FOREIGN LITERARY INTELLIGENCE. THE extent of the abbé Bertholon's new experiments on the
1 effects of natural and artificial electricity applied to veget. ables, has hitherto deterred us from engaging in this subje:t. But, as some new information has occurred, our account of the progress of science will be incomplete it we deferit anv longer: The abbé's experiments we cannot give at length; they o cur in the Journal d'Histoire Naturelle, in which he is principally engaged,
We gave, fome time fince, an account of M. Ingenhouz's experiments, which seemed to show that it was less to the ciec. tricity, than to some other circumstances in which the electric fied plants were placed, that the more rapid vegetation was ow. ing. These circumstances M. Bertholon examines particularly, and finds little reason to suppose that they can have contri buted to the difference, as they are not so essential to the results, but that their influence may be counteracted by others. The experiments of this philosopher, he contends, are negative on. ly, and they Mould be received with caution, fince so many pofitive ones have been made by different persons, who have drawn opposite conclufions : some of his own, made in 1787, 1788, and 1789, arc next related.