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within; had mind no existence, and thought no world of its own, still we should ever admire the mirror-eye as a speci. men of inimitable skill, and the mirrored world as surpassingly beautiful; but reader, there are other images, there is a mind, and such a world, and such a connection.
Suppose that the countenance of that dear friend, which was so accurately pictured upon the retina of your eye, "should be changed," as yours and mine will be, and he borne away.
The faithful copy would be no longer there; other forms would occupy the curtain that he had so often filled; but could you not see him yet? Close your eyes;
the face—the mouth-the smooth brow—the hair,—so very like! the smile, just as ever! Yes, the voice too, as he calls your
There he stands before you, as clearly seen as when health mantled his cheek and thought lighted his eye! Years glide away, but when you will, the dead is with you.
Ah! This is that other image! No longer sensible and material, it has become a mental and immaterial idea* now; a mere sensation upon the eye at first; next, mind perceived and stamped it as its own; then memory seized and fixed it there, and now by recollection you can bring it up and see it still! 'Tis thus the mind is peopled from without; thus they come thronging in, that make the inner world; thus eye and ear are antechambers to the mind, where these sensations come, but wait not long, but quick perceived, become the property of mind—your own.
What treasures such as these can youth acquire, and then when age comes on, when eyes are dimmed and ears grow dull, the winter hours of life will sweetly pass, in working up the harvest that you gathered in; you coin them, then,
* An idea is an image; generally applied to images of tho mind.
anew; you put your image on them, and your name; you shape them in new forms of beauty; analyze, compare. This; this is THINKING. Then when you send them forth, they are your own, and there is a pleasure in such a thought.
What a world of ideas should a person acquire during a single year; what vast material for thought! You perceive that ideas and actual thinking are entirely distinct; as much so, as the rough trunk of mahogany, and the skill which is employed and increased in fashioning the stubborn wood into the elegantly carved and polished sofa. Dr. Webster's diction. ary contains a vast number of ideas or their representatives, but who ever imagines, for a moment that it is a thinking being ? Then there is another thing: in the exercise of your mental powers, you are constantly strengthening and developing them; every effort which you make adds to your ability,
and I never heard of a sane man who lived so long that there was no farther improvement to be made, no new ideas to be acquired. Every individual possesses, or should possess, a trea. sure of his own, whose value he is constantly increasing, either by refining what is already amassed, or by accumula. ting. The wisest man in our world, would make but a poor figure, if, relying upon his own resources, he should cast off the social bond. A common interest unites men in neighborhoods and nations; a consciousness of individual ignorance and weakness cements that bond; every person, no matter how humble the sphere may be, in which he moves, contrib utes something to the common treasure; and thus, though no stockholder in this mental bank could succeed alone, yet by uniting, all may pass along through life, if not without difti. culty and danger, at least, in some degree, prepared to avert the one and obviate the other; and this is effected by the in terchange of thought.
How can this desirable end be attained ? That internal world of yours, is concealed from my gaze, locked in the hid. den recesses of your own bosom.. The key! the key! What power can throw open the portals of this new creation? Doubtless you have anticipated the reply; language is this mental key. Whatever thing extrinsic, can impress the sen. ses of an animate being, is language.
How important then, is the relation which language sustains, to the welfare and happiness, not of man only, but of a large portion of the animal creation; for who can doubt that many: of the inferior animals are susceptible of ideas; that they do receive them day by day; that they are somehow retained in the animal life or spirit, or by whatever term you may please to designate it; that at a subsequent period they are recalled or come unbidden, no matter which; that they are communi. cated to their companions by gesture or sound, and that these communications are evidently understood and answered ?
No one who has merely cast a glance now and then, at the dog or the chickens, can for a moment question the existence of these facts; nevertheless it may appear strange, to you, that I speak of the language of brutes, yes of the very insects; but it would be a matter of surprise to me, if, while I am in. troducing facts that may serve to elucidate this truth, you yourself could not adduce others within your own observation, which would be equally apposite and conclusive.
How new and noble the aspect which animated nature would then present; a talking multitude of happy beings, a world of mutual intelligence! And though, only an occas: ional passage in these diversified dialects would be intelligi. ble, yet to the thoughtful mind, it would open a glorious field for long and delightful contemplation. Then, were our senses more acute, and our knowledge of the works of Deity
more extensive, we should never make the complaint so ofteri uttered, "I feel lonely," but "at the farthest verge of the green earth,” we should be constantly engaged in succouring those whose little organs proclaimed them in distress; in rejoicing with the creature that hums his pleasures, and in listening to the thoughts (if thoughts they have) of the inferior animals, as they chirp, warble or tiek them forth.
Then the desert and the solitary place would be transform. ed into the resort of thronging thousands, and rendered vocal with "a boundless song.'
From the bee that beats his reveille* within the spacious cup (befitting orchestret) of the dew-gem'd Hollyhock, to the hollow roar of the lion, as it reverberates along the arid plains of his native wilds; throughout the whole diapasont of the animate creation, the devout listener would hear one uni. versal hymn to the great source of light and life. How beautifully true are the words of the poet :
"The loneliest path, by mortal seldom trod,
* The beat of drum at daybreak; pronounced re-vel-ya,
INSTINCT, INTELLIGENCE AND REASON.
What we owe to Nature—Brutes have language-Brutes have
ideas-What they would be without language-The scale of
"A watcher of the clouds and of the stars,
Whose laughter fills the mountains !” and if, like her, you are ready to exclaim, "Oh! to hear their blessed sounds again!" then am I quite repaid for all my toil. Many a thought that steals into the mind, as if some shadowy being had whispered soft and low into the ear, is of Nature's own bestowing; but shall we linger longer here, or turning to the animate world, contemplate language as employed by birds, beasts and insects, in communicating their ideas to one another? Have they language, too? Yes, reader, even brutes have language; abandon the notion, if you entertain it, that the varied voices from the field and the for. est, the carol of joy, the cry of fear, the call of love, or the discordant tones of anger, are an idle, unmeaning jargon, the mere clank of engines; reject as equally unfounded, the