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turn in the muscles or twist in the fibres of any one, which does not render them more proper for that particular animal's way of life than any other cast or texture of them would have been.
The most violent appetites in all creatures are lust and hunger. The first is a perpetual call upon them to propagate their kind; the latter to preserve themselves.
It is astonishing to consider the different degrees of 30 care that descend from the parent to the young, so far as is absolutely necessary for the leaving a posterity. Some creatures cast their eggs as chance directs them, and think of them no farther, as insects and several kinds of fish; others, of a nicer frame, find out proper 35 beds to deposit them in, and there leave them, as the serpent, the crocodile, and ostrich; others hatch their eggs and tend the birth, till it is able to shift for itself.
What can we call the principle which directs every different kind of bird to observe a particular plan in the 40 structure of its nest, and directs all of the same species
to work after the same model? It cannot be imitation; for though you hatch a crow under a hen, and never let it see any of the works of its own kind, the nest it makes shall be the same, to the laying of a stick, with all the 45 other nests of the same species. It cannot be reason; for were animals indued with it to as great a degree as man, their buildings would be as different as ours, according to the different conveniences that they would propose to themselves.
Is it not remarkable, that the same temper of weather, which raises this genial warmth in animals, should cover the trees with leaves, and the fields with grass, for their security and concealment, and produce such infinite swarms of insects for the support and sustenance of 55 their respective broods?
Is it not wonderful that the love of the parent should be so violent while it lasts, and that it should last no longer than is necessary for the preservation of the young?
But notwithstanding this natural love in brutes is 60 much more violent and intense than in rational creatures, Providence has taken care that it should be no longer troublesome to the parent than it is useful to the young; for so soon as the wants of the latter cease, the mother withdraws her fondness, and leaves them to pro- 65 vide for themselves; and what is a very remarkable circumstance in this part of instinct, we find that the love of the parent may be lengthened out beyond its usual time, if the preservation of the species requires it: as we may see in birds that drive away their young as soon 70 as they are able to get their livelihood, but continue to feed them if they are tied to the nest, or confined within a cage, or by any other means appear to be out of a condition of supplying their own necessities.
This natural love is not observed in animals to ascend 75 from the young to the parent, which is not at all necessary for the continuance of the species: nor indeed in reasonable creatures does it rise in any proportion, as it spreads itself downwards; for in all family affection, we find protection granted and favors bestowed are greater 80 motives to love and tenderness than safety, benefits, or life received.
One would wonder to hear skeptical men disputing for the reason of animals, and telling us it is only our pride and prejudices that will not allow them the use of 85 that faculty.
Reason shows itself in all occurrences of life; whereas the brute makes no discovery of such a talent, but in what immediately regards his own preservation or the
56. In what other place might this paragraph have been put?
90 continuance of his species. Animals in their generation are wiser than the sons of men; but their wisdom is confined to a few particulars, and lies in a very narrow compass. Take a brute out of his instinct, and you find him wholly deprived of understanding. To use an instance 95 that comes often under observation.
With what caution does the hen provide herself a nest in places unfrequented, and free from noise and disturbance! When she has laid her eggs in such a manner that she can cover them, what care does she take in 100 turning them frequently, that all parts may partake of the vital warmth! When she leaves them, to provide for her necessary sustenance, how punctually does she return before they have time to cool, and become incapable of producing an animal! In the summer you see 105 her giving herself greater freedoms, and quitting her care for above two hours together; but in winter, when the rigor of the season would chill the principles of life, and destroy the young one, she grows more assiduous in her attendance, and stays away but half the time. When 110 the birth approaches, with how much nicety and attention does she help the chick to break its prison! not to take notice of her covering it from the injuries of the weather, providing it proper nourishment, and teaching it to help itself; nor to mention her forsaking the nest, 115 if after the usual time of reckoning the young one does not make its appearance. A chemical operation could not be followed with greater art or diligence than is seen in the hatching of a chick; though there are many other birds that show an infinitely greater sagacity in all the 120 fore-mentioned particulars.
But at the same time the hen, that has all this seeming ingenuity (which is indeed absolutely necessary for the propagation of the species), considered in other respects, is without the least glimmerings of thought or
She mistakes a piece of chalk for an 125 egg, and sits upon it in the same manner; she is insensible of any increase or diminution in the number of those she lays; she does not distinguish between her own and those of another species; and when the birth appears of never so different a bird, will cherish it for her 130 own. In all these circumstances which do not carry an immediate regard to the subsistence of herself or her species, she is a very idiot.
There is not, in my opinion, anything more mysterious in nature than this instinct in animals, which 135 thus rises above reason, and falls infinitely short of it. It cannot be accounted for by any properties in matter, and at the same time works after so odd a manner, that one cannot think it the faculty of an intellectual being. For my own part, I look upon it as upon the principle of 140 gravitation in bodies, which is not to be explained by any known qualities inherent in the bodies themselves, nor from any laws of mechanism, but according to the best notions of the greatest philosophers is an immediate impression from the first Mover, and the Divine energy 145 acting in the creatures. L.
XX. SIR ROGER IN COURT
[No. 122, July 20, 1711.]
Comes jucundus in via pro vehiculo est.
PUBLIUS SYRUS, Fragments.
A MAN's first care should be to avoid the reproaches of his own heart; his next to escape the censures of the world. If the last interferes with the former, it ought to be entirely neglected; but otherwise there cannot be 131-133. Does Addison establish his point or evade it?
4. But might not the world be right and the man wrong? Note the reservation implied in ll. 7-10.
5 a greater satisfaction to an honest mind than to see those approbations which it gives itself seconded by the applauses of the public. A man is more sure of his conduct when the verdict which he passes upon his own behavior is thus warranted and confirmed by the opinion 10 of all that know him.
My worthy friend Sir Roger is one of those who is not only at peace within himself, but beloved and esteemed by all about him. He receives a suitable tribute for his universal benevolence to mankind in the re15 turns of affection and good-will which are paid him by every one that lives within his neighborhood. I lately met with two or three odd instances of that general respect which is shown to the good old Knight. He would needs carry Will Wimble and myself with him to 20 the county assizes. As we were upon the road, Will Wimble joined a couple of plain men who rid before us, and conversed with them for some time; during which my friend Sir Roger acquainted me with their characters.
"The first of them," says he, "that has a spaniel by 25 his side, is a yeoman of about an hundred pounds a year, an honest man. He is just within the Game Act, and qualified to kill an hare or a pheasant. He knocks down a dinner with his gun twice or thrice a week; and by that means lives much cheaper than those who have not 30 so good an estate as himself. He would be a good neighbor if he did not destroy so many partridges; in short, he is a very sensible man, shoots flying, and has been several times foreman of the petty jury.
26. The Game Act of the time of James I, which allowed no one to shoot game who had an income of less than forty pounds per annum. If any did so, his guns, bows, crossbows, etc., might be taken from him as a malefactor by any one who had an income of one hundred pounds per
27-30. What is satirized in this sentence?
32. Why does Sir Roger mention that the yeoman shoots flying?