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come together, they do not meet to confer upon the expediency of perpetuating their species. As an abstract proposition, they care not the value of a barley-corn, whether the species be perpetuated, or not: they follow their sensations; and all those consequences ensue, which the wisest, counsels could have dictated, which the most solicitous care of futurity,' which the most anxious concern for the sparrow-world, could have produced. But how do these consequences ensue? The sensations, and the constitution upon which they depend, are as manifestly directed to the
which we see fulfilled by them; and the train of intermediate effects, as manifestly laid and planned with a view to that purpose : that is to say, design is as completely evinced by the phænomena, as it would be, even if we suppose
operations to begin, or to be carried on, from what some will allow to be alone properly called instincts, that is, from desires directed to a future end, and having no accomplishment or gratification distinct from the attainment of that end.
In a word; I should say to the patrons of this opinion, Be it so: be it, that those actions of animals which we refer to instinct, are not gone about with any view to their
consequences, but that they are attended in the animal with a present gratification, and are pursued for the sake of that gratification alone : what does all this prove, but that the prospection, which must be somewhere, is not in the animal, but in the Creator !
In treating of the parental affection in brutes, our business lies rather with the origin of the principle, than with the effects and expressions of it. Writers recount these with pleasure and admiration. The conduct of many kinds of animals towards their
young, has escaped no observer, no historian of nature. “How will they caress them,” says Derham, “ with their affectionate notes; lull and quiet them with their tender parental voice; put food into their mouths; cherish and keep them warm ; teach them to pick, and eat, and gather food for themselves ; and, in a word, perform the
of nurses, deputed by the Sovereign Lord and Preserver of the world, to help such young and shiftless creatures!" Neither ought it, under this head, to be forgotten, how much the instinct costs the animal which feels it; how much a bird for example, gives up, by sitting upon her nest'; how repugnant it is to her organization, her habits, and her plea
An animal, formed for liberty, suh
mits to confinement, in the very seasoti
I never see a bird in that situation, but I recognize an invisible hand, detaining the contented prisoner from her fields and groves, for the purpose, as the event proves, the most worthy of the sacrifice, the most important, the most beneficial.
But the loss of liberty is not the whole of what the procreant bird suffers. Harvey tells us,
that he has often found the female wasted to skin and bone by sitting upon
eggs. One observation more, and I will dismiss the subject. The pairing of birds, and the non-pairing of beasts, forms a distinction between the two classes, which shows, that the conjugal instinct is modified with a reference to utility founded in the condition of the offspring. In quadrupeds, the
animal draws its nutriment from the body of the dam. The male parent neither does, nor can contribute any part to its sustentation. In the winged race, the young bird is supplied
by an importation of food, to procure and bring home which, in a sufficient quantity for the demand of a numerous brood, requires the industry of both parents. In this difference, we see a reason for the vagrant instinct of the quadruped, and for the faithful love of the feathered mate.
We are not writing a system of natural history; therefore we have not attended to the classes, into which the subjects of that science are distributed. What we had to observe, concerning different species of animals, fell easily, for the most part, within the divisions, which the course of our argument led us to adopt. There remain, however, some remarks
upon the insect tribe, which could not properly be introduced under any of these heads; and which therefore we have collecta ed into a chapter by themselves.
The structure, and the use of the parts, of insects, are less understood than that of
quadrupeds and birds, not only by reason of their minuteness, or the minuteness of their
parts (for that minuteness. we can, in some measure, follow with glasses), but also by reason of the remoteness of their manners and modes of life from those of larger animals. For instance: Insects, under all their varieties of form, are endowed with antenna, which is the name given to those long feelers that rise from each side of the head ; but to what common use or want of the insect kind, a provision so universal is subservient, has not yet been ascertained : and it has not been ascertained, because it admits not of a clear, or very probable, comparison, with any organs which we possess ourselves, or with the organs of animals which resemble ourselves in their functions and faculties, or with which we are better acquainted than we are with insects. We want a ground of analogy. This difficulty stands in our way as to some particulars in the insect constitution, which we might wish to be acquainted with. Nevertheless, there are many contrivances in the bodies of insects, neither dubious in their use, nor obscure in their structure, and most properly mechanical. These form parts of our argument.
I. The elytra, or scaly wings of the genus of scarabæus or beetle, furnish an example of this kind. The true wing of the animal is a