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some time before in the woods of Caune, in France, looking after acorns and roots, upon which he subsisted, was met, in the same place, toward the close of the year 1798, by three sportsmen, who seize'd upon hi.n at the instant he was climbing a tree to evade their pursuit. He was brought to Paris, his senseës being in such a state of inertia, as render'd him " vasily inferior, with regard to discernment, to the more intelligent of domestic animals ;' his voice, most of all imperfect, uttering onely a guttural and uniform sound. The onely monosyllables he is able to uiter, and to which he annexes no idea or meaning are lait, la, li or lli, ob diie! (the repetition, of a parrot, of ob dieu!) Whatever wants or ideas he has are express’d by things or signs ; as, for instance, if he wish to drink, he points to a pitcher ; if, to dine, he lays the cloth on the table, and presents to madame Guerin, his governess, the plates, that she may go into the kitchen to fil them : but, in short, every one should read, with attention, the interesting accounts of citizen P. J. Bonnaterre, and E. M. Itard, physician to the national institution of the medical society of Paris : the latter of which is intitled (in the Engleish translation) " An [A] historical account of the discovery and education of a savage man, or of the first develope.
ments, physical and moral, of the young savage caught in the woods near Aveyron, in the year 1798: London, printed for R. Phillips, No. 71, St. Pauls church-yard. 1802. 8vo.
“ Important as it may be,” says the sensible and eloquent Rousseau, “ to judge rightly of the natural state of man, to take a view of his origin; and to examine him, as it were, in the embryo state of his species; i fhal not presume to trace the successive improvements of his organization. I hal not stay to enquire, allso, of the animal system, what he might have been in the begining, in order to become at length what he actually is ; whether his long nails were, at first, as Aristotle supposeës, onely crooked talons; his whole body, like that of bears, cover'd with hair; or whether he walk'd upon all-fours, with his looks directed toward the earth, and conline'd to a horizon of a few paceës extent, at once pointing out the nature and limits of his ideas .... To strip this being, now, thus confiituteëd, of all the supernatural gifts which he may have receive'd, and of all the artificial facultys which he must have 'by Now degrees acquire'd, to consider him, in a word, such as he must have come from the hands of Nature, i behold in him an animal weaker than fome, and Jess active than others; but, takeing all things
together, the most advantageously organize'd of any.* I see him satisfying his thirst at the first brook in his way; finding his bed at the foot of the same tree, which afforded him a repast, and, behold! all his wants are supply'd .... Had Nature," he says, “ deftine'd man to be healthy, i could, allmost, venture to declare that a state of reflection is a state contrary to Nature, and that a thinking man is a deprave'd animal ... Be the origin,” he observes, “ of language and that of society (both which he has ablely and successfully explain'd] as they may, it may be, at least, infer'd, from the little care which Nature hath takeën to assemble mankind by mutual wants, and to facilitate the use of speech, that she has contributeëd few, preparations to their sociability, and has lent as little assistance to the pains they have takeën in the formation of fo. cietys. It is impossible, in fact, to conceive why, in a state of nature, one man 'should stand more in need of the assistance of another, than a monkey or a wolf of the assistance of another animal of the same kind .... I know," he proceeds, “ it is incessantly repeated, that man
* His organization seems to differ very little, if at all, from that of the ourang-outang, which all he here says suits just as wel, as it does man in a state of nature; if, in fact they be not one and the same.
would, in such a state, have been a most miserable creature; and, indeed, if it be true, as i think i have prove'd,* that he must have live'd many ageës, without haveing either desire or opportunity of emergeing from such a state, this circumstance would onely serve as the grounds of accusation against Nature, and not against the being which she had thus unhapyly constituteëd. But if i rightly comprehend the use of the term miserable, it is a word which either has no mean
* « The more we reflect,” he has say'd, " on this subject, the greater appears the distance between mere sensation and the moft fimple science : it is, indeed, impossible to conceive how man, by his own powers alone, without the aid of communication, and the spur of necessity, could have got over so great an interval. It is not improbable that many ageës elapsed before mankind beheld any other fire than that of the heavens. What a multiplicity of accidents must have concur'd to bring them acquainted with the most common useës of that element? How often must 'they not have fuffer'd it to expire or be extinguish'd, without knowing the art or means of reproducing it? and how often may not such secrets have dye'd with the discoverer?... Let it be consider’d," he ads, “ how many ideas we owe to the use and practice of speech; how far gram. mar exerciseös the understanding, and facilitates its operations. Let us reflect on the inconceiveable pains and infinite space of time bestow'd on the first invention of languageës. To these reflections join the precedeing, and then judge how many millions of ageës muft elapse in the successive developement of those intellectual operations of which the human mind is capable.” (P. 183, &c.)
ing at all, or signifys onely a painful privation of something, or a state of suffering either in body or soul. Now i should be glad to have it explain’d to me what kind of misery a free agent, whose heart is at ease, and whose body is in health, can possiblely suffer. I would ask, alllo, which is most likely, a focial or a natural life, to become insupportable to the persons who enjoy it?.... In instinct alone, the favage man possess'd every thing requisite for him to live in a Itate of nature; and with an improve'd understanding he has but just enough to support life in a state of society."*
· *. On tbe inequality of mankind; an admirable treatise, worthy of repeated perusal.
It is highly probable, that, if man, in a state of nature, has had no instinctive or inarticulate sound, which is possess'd, at any rate by many, if not most, animals, he has got his language from the crys or noiseës of other species. The great point, in which, according to mister Barrow, the invention of the Hottentots appears to have been exercise’d, is in the construction of their language. “Of all the methods,” he says, “ that have been adopted in language by different nations for the purpose of expressing objects and.conveying ideas in a clear and unequivocal manner, that which has been hit upon by the Hottentots is, certainly the moft extraordinary. Allmost all their monofyllables, and the leading syllable of compound words, are thrown out of the mouth with a sudden retraction of the tongue from the teeth on the palate against one of which it had been press’d, according to the signification of the word about to be utter'd; for the fame found with the dentals wil