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INTELLECT OF ANIMALS.
doubtedly the case. Why else does the dog recognise his master? Why is he often seen to look depressed when that master is away, and to start up, all bustle and animation, when his step is heard? Why did the camelopard appear delighted when he recognised among the crowd a native of the country whence he came, if the sight of him did not call up past scenes, and the recollection of the boundless plains on which his eyes first opened to the light? Whence, if the animal had not memory, gratitude too, and the delight arising from the presence of a benefactor, were the emotions shown by the lion of Androcles, in ancient times; in modern ones, the joy evinced by the noble tiger at Oatlands, on hearing the well-known voice of the soldier who had taken care of him during his voyage from India ? We have degraded the animals over whom the Most High has given man supremacy, by considering them as solely occupied in providing for their wants; or, when domesticated, as only ministering to ourselves. Man, formed in the image of his Maker, stands preeminent at the head of creation--the Lord breathed into him the breath of life, and he became a living soul; while out of the ground were formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and these were successively named by Adam as they passed before him. Yet even to them much is given, and whoever is acquainted with their habits must acknowledge the difficulty of distinguishing between that which we term instinct and a certain portion of reason.
Their Creator has assigned to them not only the capability of fear and love, gratitude, memory, and the desire to avoid suf
INTELLECT OF ANIMALS.
fering, but the faculty of knowing how to provide against evils or even to afford assistance when circumstances make it necessary; and a readiness also to profit by experience, either as regards themselves or others. Take, for example, the instance of the St. Bernard dog, who, when sitting at the door of the monastery, saw a poor woman pass by with a young child, and who immediately got up, and followed her till she was overtaken by a snow-storm, upon which he ran back with all speed to procure assistance; that of the cat, who, in jumping upon a chair, had fallen through it in consequence of the seat being taken out, and who would never again seat herself on one without standing on her hind legs to see if all was safe; and, lastly, the fact related of an elephant, who rescued an officer from the paws of an enraged lion, by bending down across the body of the animal a young tree, which pinned him to the ground, and constrained him from excessive pain to let go
But what good, it may be asked, can be derived from considerations which thus tend to raise brute animals in the scale? Much in every way. We are taught, by the knowledge of facts, that animals are susceptible not only of bodily, but mental distress; and hence our own happiness is enhanced by promoting theirs. We are saved from sins of ignorance, and induced to show kindness to those whom the Lord has placed below us, and whom He has given for our use. We are admonished that to inflict on these unnecessary pain, whether bodily or mental, must be displeasing in the sight of Him who is not unmindful of the humblest of his
DUTY OF MAN TO ANIMALS.
creatures ; for is it not said in Holy Writ that the mother and her young shall not both be offered unto the Lord in one day*? The Most High has here regard to the feelings-to the affections-of the animals which He made. He recognises the mutual attachment of the parent and the offspring, and he would not permit either the one or the other to be needlessly distressed.
Wild animals are undoubtedly much happier than the domesticated species, because man has not yet learned that he is appointed, not the oppressor, but the benefactor of his dependents; yet when brought into subjection, and kindly treated, they very commonly choose rather to follow him than to associate with their companions. This peculiarity is very obvious in the species of which we have now to speak, the Merikana (S. rosalia, vul.), Lion Monkey, and the Squirrel Monkey (S. sciurea).
The Merikana is a pretty little animal, with an intelligent physiognomy, and light and graceful movements; he utters a soft and plaintive sound, and his disposition is remarkably pleasing. The only defensive weapons which he possesses are his teeth, but he does not require any other. He lives at peace with all his neighbours, and should a dispute unexpectedly arise, he seems to consider that it is better to avoid hostilities than to return them. He therefore springs into the nearest citadel of boughs, and remains concealed till their displeasure has had time to cool.
When in a captive state, much care is requisite to guard him from atmospheric changes. Cold and
* Levit. xxii. 27, 28.
ANECDOTES OF THE MERIKANA.
damp are injurious to his health ; and as he is fastidiously neat, the greatest attention can hardly satisfy him.
Dirt and negligence annoy him beyond measure, he loses his gaiety, lays aside his endearing ways, and sinks into the deepest melancholy. Remove the annoyance, and he resumes his cheerfulness; his face brightens up, and he knows not how sufficiently to express his thanks. Let it remain, and the Merikana gambols no longer; he will even pine away and die. Equally delicate with respect to eating, it is difficult to provide him with proper food. Nor can he live alone ; solitude unnerves him, it seems to affect him in a degree proportionate to the tenderness and care with which he has been habitually treated. Concerning his mode of life, when free to range at will, no particulars have reached us, but it is most probably similar to that of the squirrel tribe. Like them he harbours among thick clustering foliage, which affords a safe retreat; yet, judging of his natural habits from such as are observable in a captive state, we should pronounce that the elegant Merikana has no permanent abode, either for shelter or repose. Every animal that in a state of nature has
fixed dwelling, such as the squirrel and the beaver, the rabbit and the economic mouse, is endowed with the instinct of keeping it extremely clean; but such was not the case with the one of which we speak while in the French menagerie, though in his person fastidiously neat, and distressed at having his cage neglected.
Nor less engaging is the Squirrel Monkey (S. sciurea) of the Orinoco. This animal is of a
golden hue, and exhales a slight scent of musk. His physiognony may be called infantine, with the same expression of innocence, the same unruffled smile, the same rapid transition from joy to sadness. When his fears are excited, his eyes suddenly become suffused with tears, and he seems to appeal only to the softer feelings of his master for kindness and protection. Apparently a stranger to irritation, his movements are light and airy, rapid and graceful. He delights to watch the lips of a person while speaking, and if allowed to sit upon his shoulder, will often endeavour to pat his teeth or tongue. Like many of the smaller American monkeys, he is remarkably fond of insects, and if the weather be cold, or damp, whether in cage or forest, the brotherhood crowd together, and often courteously salute each other by an interchange of paws and tails.
You may see the Squirrel Monkey at the dawn of day peeping from out his leafy citadel, on the banks of the Orinoco, his clear brown goldentinted fur, fresh with the dew of night, and his bright glancing eye just opened on the wide expanse of waters. Now he brushes his head and coat with his fore-paws, and if he discovers you, the expression of his countenance undergoes a rapid change; at first he looks shy and curious, as if he would not dislike a nearer acquaintance ;
make the slightest movement, or even a leaf rustles from the tree suddenly, he seems afraid, and, darting through the yielding branches, in a moment he is gone.
The Douroucouli (S. trivergata), of Humboldt, is the most remarkable and insulated of the quadrumanous race. He remains listless and inactive