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(and especially as to its habits in England *), is still capable of roaming for considerable distances, in search of food, and for change of climate. But, as to its haste to return home (half domesticated as it makes itself in this country), I should not wonder if, besides its love of what it has been removed from, and besides its means of recovering the road, there is a fear, also, in a strange situation, which drives it quickly back again.”
“I am not sure, sir," said Mr. Gubbins, “ that I know what you allude to as the fear ?”
“That birds and beasts of the same species,” an. swered Mr. Paulett,“ are far from being cordial with each other, if they are in any manner rendered mutu. ally strange, is a fact well known; and I think it very probable that their feelings of this sort may make them the enemies of such as are found in a strange district or portion of country, to the degree, that a stranger, forced into such a situation, would fly, through fear, to his own district or country, with the least possible delay. It is observed of dogs, that in the streets and squares of Constantinople, where, as in other cities, towns, and villages of Asia, Africa, and Europe, they live in large numbers, by public encouragement, but without particular masters or homes ; that those animals, upon some principle or mutual understanding wholly undiscoverable by their human neighbours, they divide the city and its suburbs into districts among themselves; and are never known to pass out of their own district into any district of others: “ The dogs of Constantinople (as is related by a modern English traveller) belong to everybody and to nobody. The streets are their homes; they are littered * See Keeper's Travels, chap. XX.
and reared in the streets. As they subsist entirely on charity, and what they pick up, instinct teaches them a division of labour; and therefore, in the same manner as a well regulated society of beggars has separate walks for its members; they divide the city and its suburbs into districts. Were a dog found in a strange quarter, he would infallibly be torn to pieces by the resident dogs; and so well are they aware of this, that no argument—not even a bone of roast meat,—will induce a dog to follow a person beyond his district; a singular and well-authenticated fact. We caressed, for experiment, one of these animals, whose post, with many others, was near the Meleri Khan; we daily fed him, till he became fat and sleek, and carried his tail high, and was no longer to be recognised for his former self. With his physical, his moral qualities improved. He lost his currishness, and when his patrons approached, expressed gratitude by licking their hands, &c.; yet he would never follow them beyond an imaginary limit, either way, where he would stop, wag his tail, and look wistfully after them till they were out of sight, and then return to his post. Once only I saw him overstep his limit; he was very hungry, and we were alluring him with tempting food; but he had not exceeded twenty yards when he recollected himself, and ran hastily back * !! Now I think it probable,” continued Mr. Paulett, " that in a wild state, all animals observe distinctions of place of a similar kind t. It is an instinct (if we are so to call it, and not more properly a practice from experience), which may be needful for their preservation; first, as in the case of these Constantinopolitan dogs, in keeping to themselves (that is, to the brethren of the same community) that supply of food which the place affords; and secondly, in securing their bodies against violence, to which the same consideration of food, and even of lodging and shelter, would expose them from foreign invaders. The flocks, or rather clouds of gannets, sea-pelicans, or Solan geese, which, in the summer season, inhabit the great insular rock of Ailsa in the Frith of Clyde, while they dwell and migrate, in general terms, always together; yet, though their rock, or place of lodging and shelter, is so large as to rise eleven hundred feet above the level of the sea, and to be much more than three thousand feet in length, and two thousand feet in breadth ; and though the ocean all around them, and its shoals of silver herrings (still less capable of being counted than the gannets, and than they and all their fellow-feeders upon herrings), are open to them for food; they still preserve inviolably a separation of communities ; arrive in the spring in separate though large parties; depart in the autumn in separate though large parties ; live and build upon the rock in the same separate parties, and on separate parts; and if, by the arrival of a boat, a general alarm is given to the whole feathered population, they take to their wings in separate clouds or parties; each party, as it wheels and screams around and above the rock, in whiteness and in multitude most like a snow-storm, occupies only its own district (so to call it) in the air, above or below its fellows, and never intermixes; just like the dogs of Constantinople and elsewhere. I suspect, too, that there is the same natural instinct in mankind, or the same natural habit, from whatever source arising ; first as to families, and
* Slade's Travels in Turkey, &c.
+ The same distribution into districts is observed among the Wild Dogs at this moment originating and multiplying in Van Diemen's Land.
then as to tribes, races, neighbourhoods, and communities; and such as only gives way, or becomes softened and regulated, under the influence of civilization, when the motives to the previous practice have lost their force. It has often been observed, that in savage and barbarous stages of society, to be a stranger, is to be considered an enemy, and that only a neighbour is a friend : in truth, these are the very meanings of the words in question. I could say much, in proof of the truth of what I assume, by showing, that it is against this natural instinct, or this primitive habit in man, that moralists and lawgivers have expressly laboured, in insisting upon the rights of hospitality, which is the virtue directly opposite to the vice referred to; and in the general inculcation of philanthropy, or of the love of our fellow-creatures far and near. But the real corrective of the vice, or at least of the habit, is civilization, and the protection and resources which it gives to those who enjoy it; thus removing their fears as to the violence of strangers, or as to the failure of food, or lodging, or shelter, from the presence and the wants of strangers. The fear of which I speak, makes every nation jealous of the incursion of foreigners within its frontier; makes it regard every such incursion as an invasion; and makes it resent every such invasion by force of arms. I think, then, that animals act by their species as men act by their species, and through the same motives and necessities; and that what I speak of is really a natural instinct, or rather an experimental principle, in men as well as in the inferior animals, is, as I think, further proved, by the fact, that the human imagination has even ascribed a similar jealousy, and similar inhospi. tality toward strangers, to the fairies, genii, gods, or spirits, which it has also supposed to inhabit, though invisibly, the same countries and districts as man. kind. In Ireland, a tempest is sometimes ascribed to the conflicts of the respective armies of fairies, invading and repelling the invasions of each other, from different provinces, counties, baronies, and townlands; and this quite consistently with what has every where been imagined of those imaginary personages, and with what Shakspeare has put into the mouth of Oberon, when that fairy complains, that the wranglings between himself and his Titania had oppressed the swains with winds and floods, and loss of harvests, and every other misfortune of inverted and destructive seasons. By the superstition thus observed in Ireland, the same instinct is attributed to fairies, as that which, in my view, is implanted in men; and it is here that we have the natural explanation in addition to all other) of the violence and barbarity with which the Irish peasantry treat the foreigners or strangers who attempt to settle among them; that is, to hold lands, or in any other manner to divide the means of subsistence with them; and to the same instinct we are to refer the clannish devotion and exclusiveness of the Highland Scotch. I conclude, therefore, that your Robin was too unsafe, even from his own species, while in a strange district, not to make all the haste home that he possibly could !"
“I doubt not but that you are right in this particu. lar,” said Mr. Gubbins; "and yet I am perplexed that you appear to allow so little to instinct, that wonderful, and that incomprehensible guide of the inferior ani. mals ?”
“I allow little or nothing more to instinct, in the inferior animals, than in men. I think that they are