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venerated; in Mexico the lapwing; storks in Morocco ; bulls in Benares. The serpent was worshipped by the Lithuanians, the Samogitians, the Africans of Mozambique, and the natives of Calicut. In Surinam this reptile is still sacred ; and its visits are regarded as highly fortunate :-Its colours are resplendently beautiful. The serpent was once also worshipped in Greece ; and Vishnu, the Indian god, is frequently represented under its form. In May, 1819, a golden image with five heads, made of pure gold of Ophir, was discovered among the Paishwa's family deities. It weighed 370 tolas ; and the serpent-headed god was represented in the act of contemplating the creation of the world. The Hindoos never molest snakes. They call them fathers, brothers, friends, and all manner of endearing names ; and, on the coast of Guinea, snakes are reverenced so highly, that, in Bosman's time, a hog happening to kill one, the king ordered all the swine to be destroyed.
REASON IN ANIMALS.
That beasts have reason has been argued by Plutarch”, Montaigne, and many other writers, with great force of argument. That it extends to birds and insects, and even to fishes, is equally probable. Nor was the poet so excursive as he has been esteemed, when he fabled fish to be able to communicate to each other, that the waters of the Euxine were more pure, soft, and agreeable, than those of any other sea. It is impossible, at present, to state how far animal reason extends ; since even leeches are endowed with retrospective faculties. For when salt has been sprinkled over their backs, in order to make them disgorge, salt being a poison to most insects, they retain its impression so firmly, that they will not, till they have recovered perfect health, stick
# De Solertia Animal. c. xii.
to a wound afterwards with any pertinacity. Serpents will even obey the voice of their masters: the trumpeter bird of America will follow its owner like a spaniel : and the jacana frequently acts as a shepherd to poultry. It preserves them in the fields all the day from birds of prey, and brings them home regularly at night. In the Shetland Islands there is a gull, which defends the flock from eagles ; it is, therefore, regarded as a privileged bird. The chamois, bounding among the snowy mountains of the Caucasus, are indebted for their safety, in some degree, to a peculiar species of pheasant. This bird acts as their sentinel ; for as soon as it gets sight of a man it whistles ; upon hearing which the chamois, knowing the hunter is not far distant, sets off with the greatest activity; and seeks the highest precipices or the deepest recesses of the mountains.
Eagles, and some other birds, not only live in pairs, but procreate, year after year : they hunt together ; and the male feeds the female, during the time of incubation. What is this but a species of marriage? Man has the power neither to eat, to walk, nor to speak, until he is taught. Being the most helpless of animals, the utmost of his earliest power is to suck, to move his limbs, and to weep. Nor is he the only animal, that has the divine faculty of contemplation. Though the most intimate acquaintance with vegetable anatomy discovers no organ, that bears any analogy with the seat of animal sensation, it would nevertheless betray a species of ignorance to deny sensation to plants. It would betray a still greater to deny reason to animals ; since the faculty of imagination is proved by their capacity of dreaming.
In the menagerie of the Jardin des Plantes at Paris, was a crane, which Mons. Valentin brought from Senegal. This bird was attended by that merchant, during the voyage, with the most assiduous care ; but, upon landing in France, it was sold, or given, to the Museum of Natural History. Several months after its introduction, Valentin, arriving at Paris,
went to the menagerie, and walked up to the cage in which the bird was confined. The crane instantly recognised him ; and when Valentin went into its cage, lavished upon him every mark of affectionate attachment.
That animals possess parental and filial affections, friendly dispositions, and generous sympathies, is known even to superficial observers. The artifices, which partridges and plovers employ to delude their enemies from the nest of their young, are equally known. The hind, when she hears the sound of dogs, puts herself in the way of her hunters; and, choosing her ground, takes an opposite direction to that in which she left her fawns. The love of this animal, too, for its native haunts, is not unfrequently exemplified. A farmer at Mount Vernon, in the state of Kentucky, having domesticated a female deer, lost her during one whole spring and summer. After an absence of several months, however, she returned with a young fawn by her side ; and, on her arrival, seemed to take great pleasure in showing her young.
Grief, too, works in a lively manner upon animals. I knew a dog that died for the loss of its master; and a bullfinch, that abstained from singing ten entire months on account of the absence of its mistress. On her return it resumed its song. Lord Kaimes a relates an instance of a canary, which, in singing to his mate, hatching her eggs in a cage, fell dead. The female quitted her nest; and, finding him dead, rejected all food, and died by his side. Homer was not so extravagant, as some may be inclined to esteem him, when he makes the proud horses of the proud Achilles weep for the loss of their master : for horses, I have little doubt, can regret; and their countenances frequently exhibit evident marks of melancholy.
Some animals are more truly sensitive to the value of liberty than men. Vipers, when in a state of bondage, never take their annual repose ; and leeches will breed in confinement only when placed in situations, somewhat resembling their natural positions a. But, without recurring to many of those instances, which the page of nature so copiously records, we may borrow an instance from the borders of the Delaware. The mocking birds of that region will not live in cages ; and so entirely free are they, by nature, that when a nest is procured, placed in a cage, and hung out, the parents will come, indeed, three or four times to feed their young; but, finding them incapable of release, they will give them poisonous food, in order to release them from captivity. I will not vouch for the truth of this ; but the Delawarians believe, and Captain Aubury has recorded it.
* Sketehes, vol. ii. p. 19.
Democritus contended, that men learnt music and architecture from birds; and weaving from spiders. The hippopotamus is said to have taught the art of bleeding; goats the uses of dittany ; snakes the properties of fennel : and the ibis the use of clysters. The wild hog of the West Indies, when wounded, repairs to the balsam tree; and, rubbing itself till the turpentine exudes, cures itself. To this animal, therefore, the Indians esteem themselves indebted for a knowledge of the healing powers of balsam.
Animals have many of their faculties superior to men. Birds, in general, have a quicker sight; dogs, camels, and storks a livelier scent; and fishes an acuter sense of touch : though some blind men are said to have the faculty of feeling colours. Frogs and bees perceive the approach of rain long before it comes. The bee has, also, a very peculiar instinct, in returning from the distance of several miles to its own hive; though it can see only three inches before it. The nautilus, too (it is said "), will quit its shell in the deep, and return to it again. But the superior reason of man not only enables him to surpass the strength of lions, as in the instances of
* They will breed, for instance, in a trough, the bottom of which is covered, to a certain thickness, with clay.
Trav, vol. ii. p. 248. · The fluctuation of the waves, one may reasonably suppose, will admit this but seldom. Some naturalists, indeed, deny the phenomenon altogether.
Samson a ; David b: Benaiah ~; and Hercules : but even to guard against the collective hostility of the entire animated world. · That fishes have the sense of hearing has been proved by Rondeletius, Abbé Nollet, and other naturalists. The Bramins calling to the fish in many of the sacred streams of India, they come from their recesses, feed out of their benefactors' hands, and even suffer them to handle them. I had once the pleasure of shaking a seal by the fin in one of the most public streets of London. 'This animal had a lively sense of hearing, and would do various things its master desired it to do. It was of a cold day in November, and yet it absolutely panted with heat. Renard d says, he ħad a fish, of the lophius genus, which followed him about like a dog. This, however, is not only dubious and improbable, but, I should suppose, impossible.
Spiders also have the auricular sense, and they are not insensible to music. Other insects have the olfactory power. In some parts of the Arctic circle the air is impregnated with the fragrance of the linnea borealis, round the twin blossoms of which myriads of mosquitoes °, hover, as if enchanted with its odour, and “ inflict,” says a recent traveller, “ the most envenomed stings upon the hand of any one who presumes to pluck them.” Some insects exercise no little ingenuity in robbing those flowers, the nectar of which they find a difficulty in procuring. Those, which have not a proboscis sufficiently long to penetrate the honeysuckle from within, tap it below, and suck the honey as it flows at the bottom.
Locusts and summer flies display an astonishing method in their flight. There is nothing in nature to compare with them. The former fly in bodies, generally the eighth part of à mile square in extent; and yet, such is the order and regua Judges, xiv. v. 6.
bi Sam, chap. xvii. v. 3. 5.
c 2 Sam. xxiii. v. 20. d Hist. des Poissons, tom. ii. e Clarke, Scandinavia, 309, 4to.