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herself from the procuring her teats to he 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 unquestionable authenticity. At the seat of the late earl of Lichfield, three miles from Blenheim, there is a portrait in the dining-roon) 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 his 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, whereef 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 dig 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 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 motion 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 fols, 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 spárrow 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
concert the design of them altogether, without speaking to each other, or without some medium of communication equivalent to language ?
As beasts have understanding, so they must have a language,or method of communicating their knowledge, advice, and assistance to each other. If they could not understand or be understood by each other, they could neither give nor receive any comfort
, assistance, or help from society; and without such a communication, it would be absolutely impossible for suchi a society to subsist. In a word, no more communication, no more society. It is impossible that the turtle, that is fond of his mate, should be at a loss for proper expressions to discover the tenderness, the jealously, the anger, the fears, he entertains for her; in the several incidents of life, that must arise betwixt the most loving couple in the course of cohabitation. He must scold. her when she plays the coquet; he must bully the sparks that make attempts upon her virtue; he must be able to understand when she calls to him, &c. Enter into a wood, where there are a parcel of jays, the first that sees you, gives the alarm to the whole company
Let a cat shew herself in a garden, the very first sparrow or swallow, that per