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SECT. I. General Observations on the Vegetable King- ib
of Coral Reefs - - - 156
III. Vegetables as a Source of Food - 164
IV. Vegetables as applicable to Medicine - 171
V. Vegetables as applicable to the Arts, &c. 176
CHAP. IX. ADAPTATION of ANIMALs To THE PHYsICAL
CoNDITION of MAN - - - 183
SECT. I. General Observations on the Animal Kingdom ib.
II. Geographical Distribution of Animals - 187
III. The Camel - - - - 188
IV. Domestication of Animals - - 194
W. Animals as a Source of Food - - 198
VI. Manufacture of Sal Ammoniac - -
VII. Animals as a Source of Clothing, &c. -
CHAP. X. ADAPTATION of THE ExtERNAL World to THE
ExERCISE of THE INTELLECTUAL FACULTIES
of MAN - - - - 205
Sect. I. On the Rise and Progress of Human Know- .
II. Opinions of Lucretius on the constitution of
Matter in general; and on the Nature of
Light, Heat, Water, and Air - - 214
III. Opinions of the Ancients on the Organization
and Classification of Animals - -
IV. On those Animal Forms called Monsters, or
Lusus Naturae - - - 248
CHAP. XI. Conclusion - - - - 251
APPENDIX - - - - - 257
ADAPTATION OF EXTERNAL NATURE
PHYSICAL CONDITION OF MAN.
The Physical Condition of Man.
WHEN Hamlet, in contemplating the grandeur of creation, breaks forth into that sublime apostrophe on man—“How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a God! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!” who does not feel elated by the description? who does not feel conscious of its truth?
Nor is its truth the less admissible, because the poet, in concentrating the powers of his imagination on the excellences of that work of creation which bears the stamp of the Creator's image, has omitted to present to our view the reverse of the impression, the frailty namely of our fallen nature: for although, on moral and religious considerations, each indivi
dual is bound habitually to take the one view in conjunction with the other; in a simply philosophical contemplation of human nature we are not precluded by any reasonable barrier, from taking such a partial view of the subject as the occasion may suggest. In the present instance, indeed, I am strictly called upon to consider, not the moral, but the physical condition of man ; and to examine how far the state of external nature is adapted to that condition; whether we regard the provisions made for the supply of man's wants, either natural or acquired; or those which are made for the exercise of his intellectual faculties. The following treatise naturally, therefore, divides itself into two parts: in the first of which it is intended to investigate and describe the physical condition of man; in the second, the adaptation of external nature to that condition. But a wide field here opens to our view: for man cannot, under any circumstances, be considered as an insulated being; or unconnected with the rest of animated nature. He is indeed but one link in the great chain of animal creation; and not only does the contemplation of his condition lose half its interest, if separated from the contemplation of the condition of other animals; but it cannot be satisfactorily investigated without that aid. And, again, animal life itself is but one among many modes of existence, by which the Creator has manifested his omnipotence; and which it is necessary to contemplate in connexion with the general phenomena of nature, in order to show the superiority of that province, at the head of which human beings have been placed. In attempting however to form a just estimate of the physical condition of man, we must not regard him merely under the aspect of savage or uncivilized life, and consider this as his natural state: for it may be presumed that, at the present day, such a puerile view of the question is not for a moment entertained by any one capable of philosophical reflection. In fact, in as many different states as man does actually exist, civilized or savage, so many are his natural states. If any indeed could be pre-eminently called his natural state, it would be that of civilization: for not only does experience show that his natural tendency is towards such a state; but we know, from the highest authority, that the existence of man is connected with a moral end; (with more indeed than a moral end; since morals have immediately a relation to this life only, while man is destined for a future;), and a moral end is hardly attainable in an uncivilized state of society.
THE more familiar objects of that external world by which man is surrounded are usually distributed into three kingdoms, as they are called; the animal, vegetable, and mineral: but for the purpose of this treatise it will be necessary to take into our account the phenomena of the atmosphere also.
The atmosphere principally consists of the air which we respire; (a form of matter so subtle, in all its states, as to be invisible;) together with a variable proportion of water, of which a part is always retained in close combination with the air; and, like the air itself, exists always in an invisible state. There are also diffused through the atmosphere those still more subtle agents, heat and electricity. But all these, though of so subtle a substance, are in their occasional effects the most powerful agents of nature. For, omitting the consideration of their silent but wonderful operation, as exhibited in the process of vegetation, and in many other processes less open to observation, let us consider the occasional effects of air in the violence of a tornado; or of water, in the inundation of a rapid river: or let us contemplate the effect of either an indefinite diminution or increase of heat; on the one hand, the natural process of animal