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please you, well; and if not, you will be prepared for such a
It is almost unnecessary to say, that I have availed myself of books in the composition of this work; that many of the facts contained in these pages may be found interspersed throughout the voluminous writings of Drs. Good, GRISCOM, DUNGLISON, Rusu and Bell; and if the discerning reader discover anything here, of which he can trace no ancient and honorable lineage, why I suppose he must call it mine. Especially would I acknowledge my indebtedness to PROFESSOR KENDRICK, for the kind words of counsel and encouragement which he has often spoken; for the countenance which he has given to my little labors, and to which some of these pages bear ample testimony.
In this connection, I may be allowed to mention the name of Rufus TIFFANY, of Michigan; the grateful recollection of whose faithful friendship and efficient aid in the gloomy hour of illness and disappointment, no distance can absolve, no time obliterate, till Memory's tablets shall be broken, and Gratitude's fountain dried up.
Somebody has said, that a preface is to the reader, what the desert was to the Israelites. I cannot help thinking how unhappy the pilgrim's lot, when, after a dreary sojourn in the prefatory wilderness, no promised land appears to bless his eyes, and while I think, I lay down my pen and stop. HAMILTON, June 8, 1842.
B. F. T.
Language of Inanimate Nature.
Charles; language of ihe violet; the lily; the camomile; the
Instinct, Intelligence and Reason.
CHAPTER I. What we owe to Nature; brutes have language;
brutes have ideas; what they would be without language; the
scale of being; instinct in the vegetable world; instinct and
intelligence in the animal kingdom; illustrations.
CHAPTER II. The duck; complex nature of sucking, swallowing
and respiration; definition of instinct; not sentient; not intelor
ligent; examples; the office of intelligence; its relation to
instinct; few animals destroy life wantonly; the skill of birdsin
nidification; color of the eggs; individual and generic instinct. 73
soning of a dog: Ulysses' dog: tie squirrel turued sailor. 73
Though reluctant to step between an Author and his readers, I yet cannot iefuse to comply with the request of my young friend and former pupil, that I should accompany his debut before the public, with a few introductory remarks. Having read a portion of the following work in manuscript, and examined its sheets since they have issued from the press, it is my conviction that it spreads before the reader a most interesting page in the book of knowledge, and that, though immediately designed for youth, there are very few who may not reap from its perusal, both pleasure and instruction.
The Author treats of language. His design is, to exhibit the various methods by which ideas are imparted to the mind, both from inanimate and animated nature. He thus discus. ses the whole subject of natural and artificial language, ascending through every gradation, from the simple dialect of the vegetable kingdom, to the complicated mechanism, and manifold utterances of human speech. The field which he explores, is one equally extended and attractive, and in directing into it the steps of youth, and leading the way, he has rendered to them an invaluable service.
To follow the Author through the various topics discussed,
would be a work of supererogation. I will here only allude to his interesting speculations on Instinct, Intelligence and Reason. Whether the distinctions which the Author has drawn on these abstruse and difficult subjects, are entirely satisfactory, I will not undertake to decide. Some may re. gard him as having solved the problem, while others will -hesitate to give a decided assent to his theory. Be that as it
may, all will regard it as highly ingenious, and worthy of examination. We know not, indeed, that the darkness which invests these mysterious points, will ever be wholly dissipated; yet we greet gladly every ray of light that may be shed
We welcome every well authenticated fact, even though we hesitate to yield an unqualified assent to the theory it is adduced to support. To him who fails to be convinced, yet the facts accumulated by the Author on these points will lose none of their intrinsic interest.
A delightful feature of the present work is the wide extent to which it draws illustrations from Natural History. Should it thus have the effect of awakening in the minds of youth, a deeper love of nature—a stronger relish for the pure pleasures which she waits to lavish on her votaries-a desire to drink deep of the delicious health-giving draught which sparkles in her ever-flowing cur, a most important object would be accomplished, and the toil of the Author, I doubt not, abundantly rewarded. Surrounded, as we are, by the endlessly diversified scenery of nature-her thousand forms of beauty alluring the eye-her thousand melodies ravishing the ear-her treasure house of unexhausted wonders lying open to our entrance-how little do we appreciate the extent and richness of her stores ! In what inexcusable ignorance are we content to remain, suffering our eyes to roam heedless and