Imágenes de páginas

Presumption is our natural and original Infirmity: The most wretched and frail of all Creatures is Presumption an Man, and yet, withal, the proudest: He fees Infirmity natuand feels himself lodged here in the Dirt and rai">Men. Nastiness of the World, nailed and riveted to the worst, the most stagnated, and most corrupted Part of the Universe, in the lowest Story of it, and the farthest from the Arch of Heaven, on the same Floor with Animals of the worst Condition of the three Species p; yet, in his Imagination, he soars above the Orb of the Moon, and cast* the Sky under his Feet.

By the Vanity of this fame Imagination he makes himself equal with God, attributes to himself Di- D , o- ,

As- • 1 J J r 1 • BjixibalRight

vine Qualities, withdraws and leparates him- he claims the self from the Croud of the other Creatures, Superiority«-' carves for the Animals his Brethren and Com- *"V^* ^'~ panions, and distributes such a Portion of Faculty and Force to them as he thinks fit. How does he know, by the Strength of his Understanding, the internal and secret Motives of the Animals? From what Comparison, betwixt them and us, does he infer them to be so stupid as he thinks them? When I play with my Cat, who knows whether Puss is not more diverted with me than I am with Puss? We divert each other with Monkey Tricks. If I have my Time of beginning, or leaving off, she also has her's. Plato, in his Picture of the Golden Age, under Saturn, reckons, among the principal Advantages that a Man then enjoyed, his Communication with the Beasts, of which, inquiring and informing himself, he knew their true Qualities, and wherein they differed, by which he acquired a very perfect Intelligence and Prudence, and led his Life more happily than we can do. Need we a fuller Proof to judge of human Impudence with regard to . Beasts? This great Author was of Opinion, that Nature, in the greater Part of the corporeal Form, which she had given them, had Regard only to the Use of the Prognostications that were drawn from them in his Time. The


■f That is to fay, vwith the Animals of the Terrestrial Species, always creeping upon the Earth, and therefore of a worse kind than the two other ■ Species that fly ki the Air, or swim in the Water.

Defect which hinders the Communication betwixt us and them, why is it not as bad for us as for them? 5Tis yet to determine, where the Fault is, that we do not understand one another', for we don't understand them anymore than they do us: For this very Reason they mayreckon us Beasts, as we do them. 'Tis no great Wonder if we do not understand them, any more than we do the Basques and the Troglodites; And yet some have boasted, that they understood them; as, for Instance, Apollonius Thyaneus q, Melampus r, Tirejas, Tbales, &c. And since, as Cosmographers fay % there are Nations that revere a Dog for their King, they must, of Necessity, put some Construction upon his Voice and Motions. 'We must take Notice of the Parity there is betwixt us: The Beasts' ^e ^ave a t0-'erab^e Understanding of their communicate Sense, and the Beasts have of our's much to their Thoughts the fame Degree: They threaten, caress, and to ope another^ jntreat us, and so do we them: As for the asive as en. we p]ajnjy difcover) that there is a full

and intire Communication betwixt them, and that not only those of the fame Species, but even of different Species, understand one another.

Et ?nutæ pecudes, et deniquesecla ferarum,
Diffimiles fuerunt voces variasque clnere,
Cum metus cut dolor est, out cum jam gaudia gliscunt \

i. e.

The tamer Herds, and wilder sort of Brutes,
Tho' we, and rightly too, conclude them Mutes \
Yet utter dissonant and various Notes
From gentler Lungs, and more distended Throats j
As Fear, or Grief, or Anger do them move,
Or as they near approach the Joys of Love.

The Dog has a certain kind of Barking, by which the Horse knows he is angry •, and another manner of Barking, which gives him no Fear.: Even in the very Beasts,


1 ApoIIodoras, lib. i. c. 9. sect. 11. 'Id. lib. iii. c. 6. sect. 7. • Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. vi. sect. 30. Ex Africa parts Ptocmlari, Pnet** fbante qui caiiem pro iege halent, motu ejus imperia augurantes. 'Lucret. lib. v. v. 1058, i£c.

that make no Noise at all, we easily conclude, from the social Offices we observe amongst them, that they have some other Way of Communication: Their very Motions serve the fame as Language,

Non alia longe ratione atque ipsa videtur
Protrahere ad gestum pueros infantia lingua *.

i. e.

As Infants do, for Want of Words, devise Expressive Signs, they speak with Hands and Eyes.

and why not, as well as our dumb Folks, dispute, argue* and tell Stories by Signs; I have seen some so ready ac this, that, really, they wanted nothing of the Perfection of making themselves understood: Lovers are angry, reconciled, intreat, thank, make Assignations, and, in shorts speak every Thing by their Eyes.

El stlentio encor suole
Haver priegbi e parole w.

i. e.

Silence itself, in the fond Lover,
His am'rous Passion will discover.

Would you think it? With our very Hands we require,, promise, call, dismiss, threaten, pray, supplicate, deny, refuse, interrogate, admire, number, confess, repent, fear, confound, doubt, instruct, command, incite, encourage, swear, testify, accuse, condemn, absolve, affront, despise, defy, despite, flatter, applaud, bless, humble, mock, reconcile, recommend, exalt, entertain, rejoice, complain, grieve, repine, despair, wonder, exclaim, keep Silence, and what not j and all this with a Variation and Multiplication, even to the Emulation of Speech: With the Head we invite, dismiss, own, disown, give the Lye, welcome, honour, reverence, disdain, demand, refuse, rejoice, lament, caress, rebuke, submit, huff, exhort, threaten, assure, and inquire: Would you think it, the same with the Eye-brows? with the Shoulders? There's not a Motion

"Lucret. lib. v. v, Iojs, tie. * 4minig of Tajso, Atto ii. Del.

^ioro, v. 34, 35. .

tion that docs not speak both a Language intelligible, without Discipline, and a public Language •, from whence it follqws, that, considering the Variety and distinguished Use of the others, this ought rather to be judged the proper Language of human Nature. , I omit what Necessity particularly suggests, on a sudden, to those who are speechless; the Alphabets on the Fingers, Grammars in Gesture, and the Sciences that are only by them exercised and expressed; nor do I mention the Nations which, Pliny fays % have no Language but nutus motusque membrorum j if. e. the Nods and Motion of the Limbs. An Ambassador from the City of Abdera, after a long Speech he made to Agis, King of Sparta, demanded of him, What Answer must 1 return to my Fellow-Citizens? Tell them, said he, that I have given thee Leave to fay what thou wouldst, and as much as thou wouldst", without ever speaking a Word T, Is not this a silent Way of speaking, and very easy to be understood? As to the rest, what kind of Sufficiency is there in us, which we do not observe in the Operations of which i^b- tne Ar>imals? Is there a Police regulated with served in the more Order, diversified with more Charges Behaviour of and Offices, and more inviolably maintained

isth^Crea^son tilan that °f the BeeS? IS iC t0 be imagined»

es re ion. ^o regular a Disposition of Actions

and Offices could be made without Reason and Prudence?

His quidemfignis at que hac exempla sequulit
EJfe apibus par tern divina mentis, et haustus
Æthereos dixere \

i. e.

Some, from such Instances as these, conclude That Bees, in part, with Reason are endu'd. The Swallows, that we fee, at the Return of the Spring, searching all the Corners of our Houses for the most commodious Places wherein to build their Nests, do they seek without Judgment, and, out of a thousand, chuse the fittest for their Purpose, without Discretion? And, in that


* Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. vie. p.

i Plutarch, in his notable Sayings of the Lacedemonians, at the Word Jgte.

• Virg. Georg. lib. iv. v. 219, £sV, . <

elegant and admirable Architecture of theirs, can the Birds prefer a square Figure to one that is round, an obtuse Angle to a right one, without knowing their Qualities and Effects? Do they first bring Clay, and then Water, without knowing that the Moisture of the latter softens the Hardness of the former? Do they line their Palace with Moss or Feathers, without foreseeing that it would be more soft and easy for the tender Limbs of their Young? Do they covet Shelter from the rainy Winds, and place their Lodgings towards the East, without knowing the different Qualities of those Winds, and considering that one is more comfortable to them than another? Why does the Spider make its Web thicker at one Place than another, and why make one sort of Noose now, and rhen another, if it has not Deliberation, Thought, and Conclusion? . ;...'..

We sufficiently discover, in most of their Works, how much Animals excel us, and how unable our „-, 0

A i ,„ r ii," 1 at oupentritt

Art is to imitate them. We fee, nevertheless, of Nature to that, to our more coarse Performances, we Art, an Inseapply all our Faculties, and the utmost Stretch r">"rwhkh of our Minds: Why do we not set as muchVa- TMZ?fZ lue upon them? Why should we attribute to this Principle I know not what natural and servile Inclina- in favour of tion the Works that excel all that we can the£aa&' a~ do both by Nature and Art? In this, before &a'*J we are aware, we give them a great Advantage over us, in making Nature, with the Tenderness of a Mother, accompany and lead them, as it were, by the Hand, to all the Actions and Conveniencies of their Life, whilst she abandons us to Chance and Fortune, and to fetch, by Art, the Things that are necessary for our Preservation; at the same Time denying us the Means of being able, by any Instruction or Struggle of the tJnderstanding, to attain to the natural Capacity of Beasts •, so that their brutal Stupidity does, in all Conveniencies, surpass all that our Divine Intelligence Really, at .this Rate, we should have good Reason to call her a very unjust Stepmother; but it is nothing so, our Polity is not so irreguJar and deformed. . .,

Vol. II. M Nature

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