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and tusks, a tail, a sting, a trunk, or a proboscis. It is likewise observed by naturalists, that it must be some hidden principle distinct from what we call reason, which instructs animals in the use of these their arms, and teaches them to manage them to the best advantage ; because they naturally defend themselves with that part in which their strength lies, before the weapon be formed in it; as is remarkable in lambs, which, though they are bred within doors, and never saw the actions of their own species, push at those who approach them with their forehead, before the first budding of a horn appears.
I shall add to these general observations an instance, which Mr. Locke has given us of Providence even in the imperfections of a creature which seems the meanest and most despicable in the whole animal world. « We may,” says he, “ from the make of an oyster, or cockle, conclude, that it has not so many nor so quick senses as a man, or several other animals: nor if it had, would it, in that state and incapacity of transferring itself from one place to another, be bettered by them. What good would sight or hearing do to a creature, that cannot move itself to or from the object, wherein at a distance it perceives good or evil? And would not quickness of sensation be an inconvenience to an animal that must be still where chance has once placed it, and there receive the afflux of colder or warmer, clean or foul water, as it happens to come to it.”
I shall add to this instance out of Mr. Locke another out of the learned Dr. MORE, who cites it from CARDAN, in relation to another animal which providence has left defective, but at the same time has shewn its wisdom in the formation of that organ in which it seems chiefly to have failed. “ What is more obvious and ordinary than a mole? and yet what more palpable argument of Providence than she? The members of her body are so exa actly fitted to her nature and manner of life: for her dwelling being under ground where nothing is to be seen, nature has so obscurely fitted her with eyes, that naturalists can scarce agree whether she have any sight at all, or no. But for amends, what she is capable of for her defence and warning of danger, she has very eminently conferred upon her; for she is exceeding quick of hearing. And then her short tail and short legs, but broad fore-feet armed with sharp claws; we see by the event to what purpose they are, she so swiftly working herself under ground, and making her way so fast in the earth as they that behold it cannot but admire it. Her legs therefore are short, that she need dig no more than will serve the mere thickness of her body; and her fore-feet are broad that she may scoop away much earth at a time; and little or no tail she has, because she courses it not on the ground, like the rat or mouse, of whose kindred she is; but lives under the earth, and is fain to dig herself a dwelling there. And she making her way through so thick an element, which will not yield easily, as the air or the water, it had been dans gerous to have drawn so long a train behind her; for her enemy might fall upon her rear, and fetch her out, before she had compleated or got full possession of her works."
I cannnot forbear mentioning Mr. Boyle's remark upon this last creature, who I remember somewhere in his works observes, that though the mole be not totally blind (as it is commonly thought) she has not sight enough to distinguish particular objects. Her eye is said to have but one humour in it, which is supposed to give her the idea of light, but of nothing else, and is so formed that this idea is probably painful to the animal. Whenever she comes up into broad day she might be in danger of being taken, unless she were thus affected by a light striking upon her eye, and immediately warning her to bury herself in her proper element. More sight would be useless to her, as none at all might be fatal, I have only instanced such animals as seem the most
imperfect works of nature; and if Providence shews ita self even in the blemishes of these creatures, how much more does it discover itself in the several endowments which it has variously bestowed upon such creatures as are more or less finished and compleated in their several faculties, according to the condition of life in which they are posted.
I could wish our Royal Society would compile a body of natural bistory, the best that could be gathered together from books and observations. If the several writers among them took each his particular species, and gave us a distinct account of its original, birth and education ; its policies, hostilities, and alliances, with the frame, and texture of its inward and outward parts, and particularly those that distinguish it from all other animals, with their peculiar aptitudes for the state of being in which Providence has placed them, it would be one of the best services their studies could do mankind, and not a little redound to the glory of the All-wise Contriver,
It is true, such a natural bistory, after all the disquisitions of the learned, would be infinitely short and defective. Seas and deserts hide millions of animals from our observation. Innumerable artifices and stratagems are acted in the bowling wilderness and in the great deep, that can never come to our knowledge. Besides that there are infinitely more species of creatures which are not to be seen without, nor indeed with the help of the finest glasses, than of such as are bulky enough for the naked eye to take hold of. However, from the consideration of such animals as lie within the compass of our knowledge, we might easily form a conclusion of the rest, that the same variety of wisdom and goodness runs through the whole creation, and puts every creature in a condition to provide for its safety and subsistence in its proper station.
Tully has given us an admirable sketch of natural history, in his second book concerning the Nature of the Gods; and that in a stile so raised by metaphors and descriptions, that it lifts the subject above raillery and ridicule, which frequently fall on such nice observations when they pass through the hands of an ordinary writer.
ABIGAILS (male) in fashion among the ladies, No. 55.
neycomb, No. 77. The occasion of this absence, ibid. and
out of Bruyere, ib.
From another that is a fine flesh-painter, 41.
Affectation, a greater enemy to a fine face than the small-pox,
No. 33. It deforms beauty, and turns wit into absurdity, 38.
coxcomb, ib. the way to get clear of it, ib.
affliction labours to be invisible, ib.
sion of one of their country men, ib.