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fome 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
him 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 “ vastly 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 utter, 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 figns ; 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 intitle'd (in the Engleish translation) “ An [A] historical account of the discovery and educațion pf a favage man, or of the first developements, 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. Svo.
“ 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 shal not presume to trace the succesfive 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 ac 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 conSne'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 received, 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 some, and less active than others; but, takeing all things
together, the most advantageously organize'd of any.* I see him fatisfying 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, “ destine'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 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 fociability, and has lent as little assistance to the pains they have takeën in the formation of societys. 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 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 lived many ageës, without haveing either desire or opportunity of emergeing from such a state, this cir. cumstance 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
* His organization seems to differ very little, if at all, from that of the ourang-oulang, which all he here fays suits just as wel, as it does man in a ftate of nature ; if, in fact they be not one and the same.
* “ 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 elapfe'd 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 muft they not have suffer'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 confider’d,” he ads, “how many ideas we owe to the use and practice of speech; how far grammar exercisees 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 mitlions of ageës muft elapfe 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, allso, which is most likely, a social or a natural life, to become insupportable to the persons who enjoy it?.... In instinct alone, the savage man possefs'd every thing requisite for him to live in a state of nature ; and with an improve'd understanding he has but just enough to support life in a state of society."*
* On the 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 found, 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 most 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 fignification of the word about to be utter'd; for the same found with the dentals wil