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sition, just superior to the laws of matter, just below the sphere of intelligence; how correct such opinions may be, I leave with you, reader, to decide. Perhaps this book may fall into the hands of a metaphysician; one who loves to live in a mist of his own gathering; who puzzles himself sadly with terms. I can easily conceive how he might lose himself in an abstraction
upon mind and thought, and ideas, as I have spoken of them; and how, as a partial compensation for such a loss, he might discover some shocking absurdity in these, my views; if so, I wish him much joy in his Columbus-like enterprise; but to me, the acquisition of one truth is of infi. nitely greater value than all this; with the farmer, a little wheat amply rewards me for passing a dozen bushels through the mill; one caution the thresher always gives; it applies equally well here, and soʻI repeat it; "take care; don't turn too fast !”
It is related of the celebrated Exeter 'Change elephant, that one day, while feeding upon some potatoes, one of them chanced to roll away out of his reach. After making several ineffectual attempts to recover it with his long, flexible trunk, suddenly changing his manner of operation, as if he under. stood the law of action and reaction, he blew it violently against the opposite wall, whence rebounding, the potato speed. ily shared the fate of it less roving companions. We do not suppose that this noble animal understood the philosophy of the schools, but he acted philosophically, brute as he was. He evinced the possession of capabilities which fitted him, not merely for a life in his native jungles, but which could even adapt him to the peculiar circumstances of a life and a prison in London.
Dr. Darwin, an eminent, but in some instances, a fanciful naturalist, tells us, that in a ramble, he saw a wasp tugging at
a fly quite as large as itself, and after many struggles to bear it off, relaxed its hold, and proceeded with Turkish dexterity; to relieve the ponderous captive of its head. This being done, it succeeded in rising with the prize, only to experience a fresh difficulty; the broad wings of the fly greatly impeded the flight of the wasp, and it again alighted to renew its sur. gical operations. First, it sawed off one wing, then the other, and once inore seizing its victim, disappeared.
There is a park in England, which in the time of Crom. well was called Hare Park, but from the fine thorn trees in it, is now called Bushy Park. It is said that the old bucks which are kept in this enclosure, rear themselves upon their hinder legs, and entangling their horns in the low and spread. ing branches, shake off the coveted fruit, and then eat it at their leisure. It is a fact, well known to the apiarist, that bees, before sending out a colony, dispatch scouts or agents to select a suitable spot for a settlement, and shape their course according to the report of their little spies. What emigrant ever acted wiser? The dog, too, has been the hackneyed theme of eulogy, but by no means an unworthy one. Who does not remember instances of a sagacity almost incredible, of death-enduring affection and gratitude? Who ever saw a dog travel round the road that makes right angles, when in haste, and not rather leap the fence, and plunge into the thicket or the stream to take the hypotenuse of the triangle, thus practically demonstrating a proposition in Euclid. There is one fact on record, which is too good in itself, and too much to my purpose to be repressed in this connection. A dog that had lost his master, at length traced him to the junction of three roads. After traveling a short distance upon one of them, his keen scent testified that his master had not passed that way, so returning to the common point, he set off upon the
second branch; here, too, he was disappointed. What did he do? Return to the main road? Nothing of this. Had he possessed speech, he would have said something like the fol. lowing : “My master has gone on neither the first nor second of these roads, therefore he has taken the third; but here I am, at a distance from that unlucky angle, the commencement of my trouble, but away across those fields, I see the third fork winding over the hill; I can save a trifle in time by striking across, so here I go!" Is there any thing fanciful in attributing a process like this to a brute, and as Mrs. Hemans wrote, a “lordly” one? Investigation acquaints us that this is not a solitary instance of brute logic, which Whateley himself cannot excel. There, too, is Ulysses' dog, old Argus! He asks not a line from me to perpetuate his memory, for the incident was long ago embalmed by the poet, singing, how on the return of the Grecian prince, after a long absence of twenty years, and in a beggar's garb, his faithful dog recognized him, though forgotten by his own son; but let the poet tell it :
“He knew his lord; he knew and strove to meet :
eyes, Saluto his master, then, of joy, HE DJES!” What child has not heard of the life boat of the gnat, or how the sprightly red squirrel, land lubber as he is, turns sailor, and committing his little life to a broad chip or a bit of bark, hoists his bushy sail to the wind, and glides obliquely across the wide stream?
Instinct may impel the little mariner to change his location, but intelligence fits out the bark and trims the tiny sail.
CHAPTER I V.
The church-going dog—The philosophical fox-The memory of
horses-Pociical cxiraci--The elephani-His intelligenceHis gratitude --The migralion of birds-Bryant's lines.
I recollect of hearing, from a credible source, of a dog that displayed an extraordinary church-going propensity, which in his bipedal companions, would have been iruly commenda. ble. Rain or shine, cloudy or clear, it mattered not, the dog might be seen closely following at his master's heels, and pacing with becoming gravity up to the well-remembered seat, beneath which he retired to meditate and muse. This at length became a souice of annoyance to the master, for the mischievous children in the adjacent pew, would sometimes give Towser a pinch, or some careless man, inadvertently set
foot upon his tail, at which, though rather amiable, the canine • propensities of the animal would be manifested in an incipi. ent growl from his lurking place. Then sundry juvenile tunes would be pitched; as many mothers eye the hapless owner of our hero with no doubisul glance, and the worthy clergyman took disconcerted. This state of things waxing worse and worse, became intolerable, and one sabbath morning, the master with an insidious whistle, lured Towser within his reach, and tied him securely in the barn. He fawned, whined, yelped, growled and even snarled, but it would not do, and he remained at home. Another week passed, and Sunday came again. The man went to the door Towser, Towser !” but no Towser appeared; he went to the shed, the barn, the stable, but no deg was visible. Puzzled at the cir. cumstance, he wended his way to meeting, and there, by the door, sat the dog, with all the dignity of a sexton in the early days of Connecticut, eyeing his belated master, as much as to say, "rather behind the time, this morning, sir," and in he walked to the accustomed pew. The next sabbath, and the next, the performance was reacted, until the master, amused at the intelligence of the dog, in anticipating his designs, suf. fered his companionship unmolested. What truant boy ever acted wiser in a course of rebellion; evading what he did not dare to meet, in remembering the day, and in fact, in adopting the only course by which he could accomplish his object; viz: to attend church? How much of memory, of judgment and of shrewdness such an act necessarily implies, I will not attempt to determine, but if this is only one of a multitude of instincts, I am willing that my conduct, in writing this book, in laying plans for the future and in all the varied business of life, should be attributed to one or another of the thousand and one instincts with which a man who entertains such notions, would, in the generosity of his heart, unhesi. tatingly bestow upon me.
Dr. Fish of Boston, tells us, that once when riding by a frozen pond, he observed a fox crossing the ice. With char. acteristic caution, his foxship stopped ever and anon, as if to calculate the chances for a ducking. At length he came to a spot of thin ice, more suspicious than any he had passed; here he hesitated again, put out, first his right foot, then his left, and bore gently upon the dangerous territory, being par. ticularly careful to suffer the principal responsibility of his precious self, to rest upon the three remaining pedals, but no, the ice was superlatively thin, and would not do; any body else might venture; not he. What was to be done? Some favorite scheme of petty burglary must be sacrificed, some day-dream of plump fowls and gabbling geese must vanish into thin air, if a passageconld not be effected. After thinking