« AnkstesnisTęsti »
organs of touch and prehension. Almost all the cleverest creatures possess some mechanism for grasping an object, so as to feel it on both sides, and gain a real tactual knowledge of its shape and solidity. For example, men and monkeys, the head and crown of the mammalian race, have hands with opposable thumbs, supplemented amongst our more distant quadrumanous relations by a prehensile tail. The elephant, second in sagacity to the monkey alone amongst the lower animals, has his very flexible and delicate trunk, with which he can embrace the boles and branches of trees, or lift up a man bodily from the ground. Moreover, at its tip, he possesses a still more discriminative tactile organ in the lip or finger, with which he can pick up a needle from the floor or gather small crumbs out of a bed of straw. This lip is largely supplied with nerves of touch, which make it probably almost as sensitive as our own tongues, and perhaps far more so than the tips of our fingers. Now, we must remember that the elephant (as Dr. Bastian well remarks) is really the wisest wild animal we know, save only our own ape-like allies; for elephants will not usually breed in captivity, and almost every one that we see has been captured as an untamed roamer among the forests of Ceylon or the Himalayan valleys. They have thus never enjoyed the same advantages of education as the dog and the horse, which have been domesticated by man for thousands of generations, and have accordingly inherited mulated effects of long intercourse with a superior race. But the elephant's cleverness is all his own. He has learned and developed it for himself in the course of his wanderings up and down the world, forever seeing and handling with curiosity every new object that comes in his way.
Again, if we look at the pouched animals, like kangaroos and wombats, we shall find that they are, as a rule, extremely stupid. The great kangaroo himself is said to be so hopelessly silly, that when he is beaten he turns to bite the senseless stick, instead of attacking the person who wields it. But there is one of these marsupials which shows great intelligence and cunning, so that its name has become as proverbial in America for sagacity as that of the fox in EnglandI mean the opossum. Now, the opossum is remarkable for the possession of a hand on its hind feet, with an opposable thumb, almost as perfect as the monkey's. Furthermore, many species of opossum have a prehensile tail, which stands them in good stead as a grasping organ. It is this faculty of grasping and handling things which accounts for their superior intelligence. The brain has become hereditarily enriched with all kinds of nervous connections answering
to the tactual facts disclosed to them by their developed organs of touch.
Similarly, amongst birds, as Mr. Spencer also points out, the parrots are universally acknowledged to rank first in intellectual order: and they are equally distinguished for their very hand-like claws, with which they can firmly grasp a nut or a lump of sugar, holding two toes on the opposite side from the other two, in a manner exactly analogous to the use of our own thumbs. Besides, the upper half of their bill is very freely movable, being specially articulated to the skull for that express purpose; and the advantage which parrots derive from this peculiarity must have been noted by everybody who has watched them climbing their cages, and holding on to the wires by beak and claws together. In fact, Polly is always handling and mumbling everything she comes across, with obvious curiosity to know what it is really like. Hence, once more, the high intelligence of the parrots as a tribe, derived from their large and varied experience of external bodies, both personal and inherited.
I might, if I liked, go on to show conversely that most animals with very ill-developed tactile organs have usually a low grade of intellectual development. But I have probably said enough already to illustrate the general principle involved, which is, briefly speaking, this : An animal cannot really know any object by merely seeing it : in order fully to understand the nature of the object, it must also feel it, handle it, grasp it all round. Thus alone can it translate the symbolical language of sight into the real language of touch. Visible forms and colours require to be reduced to tactual shapes and to solid or liquid resistances before they are really comprehended. Touch, as Mr. Herbert Spencer puts it, is the mother-sense of all the senses. Thus, those animals which can best feel a body on every side, and learn experimentally its material composition, are those which have the fullest groundwork for the growth of intelligence, and which consequently display, as a rule, the greatest sagacity of all.
Starting from this general principle, derived from Mr. Herbert Spencer, it appears difficult at first sight to account for the acknowledged cleverness of the dog and the horse. To be sure, in the latter case, Mr. Spencer calls attention to the extreme mobility of the horse's upper lip, which is constantly used for feeling and testing objects around it in a manner that remotely suggests the elephant's trunk. But this mobile lip seems hardly enough by itself to account for the equine intelligence, especially when we remember the excessive rigidity of the uncloven and seemingly toeless hoof. Again, even the long and intimate intercourse with man is scarcely alone NO. 1797:
suciar: 1 z ce tigt faculäss of dogs. Other animals, Gesame ir 3: DI. in the same developed intellectual
Test m:25 Terber that, on the whole, the intelligence zmit seass 3 Toportionate tɔ the intimacy of their ASSOCIO E SETT, 2.d to the variety or frequent change in rem TI erzie, the sheep, though descended from the da CCT ent sae o goats, has never had anything to do excee to feed e Tow woi and make mutton ; his wits have Den besserad by close intercourse with his keepers, and he as carenizded as the enemies whom in his wild state he Soud have to escape of his own cunning or fleetness of foot. He has consequency degenerated, under domestication, into the stupidest and beaviest of a care an.mais The cow, being constantly milked and otherwise terded, besides being sometimes used for draught, has associated more closeiy with men, and has kept more of its original sagacity, in spite of the demoralising influences of its usually lazy life. The horse and the camel-forming part of the famly, almost--are far more conspicuously sensible, as is also that muchalused but really clever creature, the domestic donkey. But the dog has been the favourite companion of man from the days of the Danish shell-mounds downward. He has been associated with his master in the chase, in the home, in the sheep-walk, in the kitchen; at meals, at games, and at battles; by day and by night, sleeping and waking, in sickness and health ; as a servant, a hunter, a fetcher and carrier, a drawer of sledges, a driver of sheep, a fighter, an acrobat, and a theatrical performer. He has learnt the meaning of human language, and he has grown to a dim comprehension of human domestic and mercantile pursuits. The variety of his experiences has naturally engendered a wide and comprehensive intelligence, far above that of any other domesticated species. Yet this intelligence
. could never have been developed, even under such favourable circumstances, if there had not been great natural ability as a substratum for the acquired faculties.
How, then, can we account for so much potentiality of intellect in the dog, who has no special organ of touch, like the monkey's hand or the elephant's trunk? I believe we must take refuge in the sense of smell. This sense is of so little intellectual importance amongst human beings that we are apt to overlook its immense value to the lower animals. But a few anatomical considerations will show as how lange a part it probably plays in the consciousness of many Ini menn our dumb relations.
i xu the head of a man, we shall find in it a large and
highly developed optic centre, directly connected with the eye and the nerves of sight, and having numerous side connections with other parts of the brain. This large nervous mass accurately reflects the extreme importance of sight in the human system. Our world is mainly a world of visible objects, corrected and interpreted by the indications of our sense of touch and of our muscular activity. We think of things chiefly as we see them, and very little as we smell them or taste them. Accordingly, we find that in man the olfactory lobes, which stand to the sense of smell in the same relation as the optic centres stand to the sense of sight, are small and inconspicuous. They have, apparently, but few connections with other parts of the brain, and they do not answer to any large and important associations of ideas. We find our consciousness of smells is merely isolated, while our consciousness of sights is continuous and closely interwoven with all our thinking. Forms and colours, actual and ideal, make up the greater part of our material universe. When we think of Paris, or of Switzerland, or of our friend Jones, our ideas are mostly ideas of their visible aspect, and very little suspicion of any other sense than sight enters into our mental picture.
On the other hand, if we cut open the head of a dog, we find a large and developed optic centre, much the same as man's; but we also find a very big and very important olfactory lobe, having an immense number of lateral connections with every other part of the brain. The dog's nose is an organ almost, if not quite, as important to him as his eyes, and entirely analogous to our own fingers. If you and I see any object which we do not know, and if we are anxious to learn more about its nature, we go up to it and handle it. But if my dog Anacharsis sees anything of the same sort, he cannot handle it; so he smells it instead. When he has carefully sniffed at it all round, and compared the smell with all similar or contrasting smells in his well-stored memory, he knows the object, just as you and I do when we have handled it. He may then proceed to tear it with his teeth, or to worry it, or to leave it disdainfully alone as a thing not worthy his exalted notice. But the essential acts in his cognition of it are the seeing and the smelling, just as with us they are the seeing and the handling. Note, too, that, while sight in both cases supplies us with what we may call distant information about the object, it is smell in the dog, or handling in ourselves, which gives us the ultimate and final knowledge of what the thing is in itself-of its inner and intimate nature. If Macbeth sees an airy dagger, we ask him whether he can grasp it also; a dog, under similar circumstances, would go up and take a
55 szke in for a moment by his
F he has made an olfactory wets mind is set at rest imme*I* rez ošten imposes upon him
s tas that it is a dead feather
> I a possional way, but they like
S or tror almost everything, as 252 251 SS
Anacharsis knows me, ** ***** beire by his nose alone.
2 come, and cover my face TS me & oace by some, to us, 1 ENZ. De rit recognise the same
sate that have been taken off. If I * orta identical pebble by
Ise the very ground on which
I memento of my presence më can back a human scent a ons amos: incredible to human
Anacharsis at this moment, VI 32 ratt, soiffing away at every
Ta separate and distinguishable án s ne nast, no doubt; for if ukese #bo has walked over
Krust have some faint
es which have touched it. 21 Imrsk wall scent hundreds
satie even by our defective SCH. the idea that passing A e keeper senses, on all the * road Thus, the smells which a ne miverse are probably just Siswich make up the whole 1 sacrciess coalesce with the
es Our shrivelled little 5.3.3 once possessed by our Sesume a rery occasional and
mendoned above, however, show Sursi semembers, smells far better Feminara. O odoars is joined to an
11. he same cirection. Anacharsis