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friend had a little helpless leveret brought to him, which the servants fed with milk in a spoon; and about the same time his cat kittened, and the young were dispatched and buried. The hare was soon lost, and supposed to be
way of most fondlings, or to be killed by some dog or cat. However, in about a fortnight, as the master was sitting in his garden in the dusk of the evening, he observed his cat, with tail erect, trotting towards him, and calling with little short inward notes of complacency, such as they use towards their kittens, and something gamboling after, which proved to be the leveret which the cat had supporter with her milk, and continued to support with great affection. This was a granivorous animal nurtured by a carnivorous and predaceous one!
Why so cruel and sanguinary a beast as a cat, of the ferocious genus of Felis, the murium leo, as Linnæus calls it, should be affected with any tenderness towards an animal which is its natural prey, is not so easy to determine. Theis strange affection probably was occasioned by that desiderium, those tender maternal feelings, which the loss of her kittens had awakened in her breast; and by the complacency and ease she derived to
herself from the procuring her teats to be drawn, which were too much distended with milk, till from the habit she became as much delighted with this foundling as if it had been her real offspring
This incident is no bad solution of that strange circumstance which grave historians as well as the poets assert, of exposed children being sometimes nurtured by female wild beasts that probably had lost their young. For it is not one whit more marvellous that Romulus and Remus, in their infant state, should be nursed by a she wolf, than that a poor little sucking leveret should be fostered by a bloody grimalkin.
But besides the different qualities enumerated, besides reflection and sagacity often in an astonishing degree, and besides the sentiments and actions prompted by social or natural attachments, certain brutes seem on many occasions inspired with a superior faculty, a kind of presentiment or second sight as it were, with regard to events and designs altogether unforeseen by the rstional beings whom they concern. Of the faculty alluded to, various instances will probably consist with the knowledge or the recollection of most of our readers: we shall therefore only recite the following on account of its unques
tionable authenticity. At the seat of the late earl of Lichfield, three miles from Blenheim, there is a portrait in the dining-room of Sir Henry Lee, by Johnston, with that of a mastiff-dog which saved his life.
It seems a servant had formed the design of assassinating his master and robbing the house; but the night he had fixed on, the dog which had never been much noticed by Sir Henry, for the first time followed him up stairs, got under his bed, and could not be got from thence by either master or man: in the dead of night, the same servant entered the room to execute bis horrid design; but was instantly seized by the dog and being secured, confessed his intentions. There are ten quaint lines in one corner of the picture, which conclude thus:
But in my dog, whereof I made no store,
Upon what hypothesis can we account for a degree of foresight and penetration such as this? Or will it be suggested, as a solution of the difficulty, that a dog may possibly become capable in a measure of understanding human discourse, and of reasoning accordingly; and that, in the present instance, the villain had either uttered his design in soliloquy, or imparted it to an accomplice, in the hearing of the animal ?
It has been disputed, (says the editor of the Encyclopedia Brittanica ) whether the brutes have any language whereby they can express their minds to each other; or whether all the noise they make consists only of cries inarticulate, and unintelligible even to themselves. We
We are, however, too little acquainted with the intellectual faculties of these creatures to be able to determine this point. Certain it is, that their passions, when excited, are generally productive of some peculiar cry ;
but whether this be designed as an expression of the passion to others, or only a mechanical moíion of the muscles of the larynx occasioned by the passion, is what we have no means of knowing. We may, indeed, from analogy, conclude, with great reason, that some of the cries of beasts are really expressions of their sentiments; but whether
one beast is capable of forming a design, and communicating that design by any kind of language to others, is what we submit to the judgment of the reader, after giving the fol, lowing instance, which among others is brought as a proof of it'by father Bougeant. A sparrow finding a nest that a martin had just built, standing very conveniently for him, possessed himself of it.
The martin, seeing the usurper in her house, called for help to expel him. A thousand martins came full speed, and attacked the sparrow; but the latter being covered on every side, and presenting only his large beak at the entrance of the nest, was iuvulnerable,and made the boldest of them who durst approach him repent of their temerity. After a quarter of an hour's combat, all the martins disappeared. The sparrow (thought he had got the better, and the spectators judged that the martins had abandoned their undertaking. Not in the least. Immediately they returned to the charge; and each of them having procured a little of that tempered earth with which they make their nests, they all at once fell npon the
sparrow, and inclosed him in the nest to perish there, though they could not drive him hence. Can it be imagined that the martins could have been able to hatch and