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independent of the syntax which may happen to belong to the language of their speaking friends." They do not say, “ black horse,' but ‘horse black;' not ‘Bring a black hat,' but ‘Hat black bring;' not 'I am hungry, give me bread,' but ‘Hungry me, bread give." We need hardly observe that these modes of construction answer every practical purpose, while, as we recently remarked, they could never by any possibility have been inherited from speaking ancestors. Thus we have here absolute proof positive of the independent and spontaneous activity of the human intellect in forming and expressing its own concepts or abstract ideas-entities at the opposite pole of psychical, cognitive life, to senseperceptions and sensuous universals.
This innate intellectuality, this spontaneous, purposive, voluntary expression of concepts in manual language, is made specially clear in the following passage,* which shows how the deaf and dumb first give expression to that part of their communication which they are most anxious to impress on their hearer : “ If a boy had struck another boy, and the injured party came to tell us, if he was desirous to acquaint us with the idea that a particular boy did it, he would point to the boy first. But if he was anxious to draw attention to his own suffering, rather than to the person by whom it was caused, he would point to himself and make the act of striking, and then point to the boy.” Mr. Romanes quotes † an answer given by a deaf and dumb pupil to the Abbé Sicard. But the answer is far more remarkable for the highly abstract conception it ex* p. 115.
ť p. 116.
pressed than for the order of its expression. To the question, “Who made God ?” he replied, “God made nothing." This was the same construction as he employed for affirming that a shoe was made by the shoemaker, i.e. “The shoe made the shoemaker.” Thus, by "God made nothing," he meant, God was not made by anything, i.e, is self-subsisting!
The deaf and dumb, we are told,* express a conjunctive sentence “by an alternative or contrast; 'I should be punished if I were lazy and naughty,' would be put, ‘I lazy, naughty, no !-lazy, naughty, I punished, yes !' Obligation may be expressed in a similar way; I must love and honour my teacher,' may be put, ‘Teacher, I beat, deceive, scold, no!-I love, honour, yes !””
Of course this is a roundabout form of language, compared with oral expression ; but, though longer, it is fully as complete logically.
As an example of extremely elaborated gesture-language, we may cite Colonel Mallery's version † of a narration of the parable of the Prodigal Son by signs : “Once, man one, sons two. Son younger say, Father property your divide : part my, me give. Father so.Son each, part his give. Days few after, son younger money all take, country far go, money spend, wine drink, food nice eat. Money by-and-by gone all. Country everywhere food little : son hungry very. Go seek man any, me hire. Gentleman meet. Gentleman son send field swine feed. Son swine husks eat, seeself husks eat want-cannot-husks him give nobody. Son thinks, say, father my, servants many, bread enough, * p. 117.
7 p. 118.
part give away can-I none—starve, die. I decide : Father I go to, say I bad, God disobey, you disobeyname my hereafter son, no—I unworthy. You me work give servant like. So son begin go. Father sar look : son see, pity, run, meet, embrace. Son father say, I bad, you disobey, God disobey-name my hereafter son, no
-I unworthy. But father servants call, command robe best bring, son put on, ring finger put on, shoes feet put on, calf fat bring, kill. We all eat, merry. Why? Son this my formerly dead, now alive : formerly lost, now found : rejoice.”
Colonel Mallery's testimony is also priceless as showing that these unfortunates have and can give plain expression to the most abstract of all concepts—that of “ being" or "existence.” He tells us that the sign used by deaf-mutes to express it is “stretching the arms and hands forward, and then adding the sign of affirmation.”
The abstract cognition, “time,” is also clearly sig. nified * in such ways as the following : “Sleep done, I river go ;” meaning, “When I have had my sleep, I will go to the river.”
The idea of equality is also signified by deaf-mutes by extending the index fingers side by side—as when repeating that expression in the Lord's Prayer, “ As in Heaven.” We see, then, how intellectual concepts and distinct statements may be made with the copula remaining latent and implicit, while the most lofty abstractions, even such a supremely abstract idea as existence, may be intellectually conceived and clearly expressed by this wonderful language of gesture.
* p. 119.
In his next (seventh) chapter Mr. Romanes applies himself to the consideration of articulation.
He begins by referring, as we have before done,* to the occasional meaningless articulations of idiots, some birds, young children, and certain savages and lunatics. He tells us f of one of his own children who was very late in beginning to speak, but who “at fourteen and a half months old said once, and only once, 'Ego.'”. This fact is cited as one instance out of many, to show (what we also affirm) that meaningless articulation is "spontaneous and instinctive, as well as intentionally [and we say, also unintentionally] imitative.” He also quotes from Mr. Tylor, to the effect “that even bornmutes, who never heard a word spoken, do of their own accord and without any teaching make vocal sounds more or less articulate, to which they attach a definite meaning, and which, when once made, they go on using afterwards in the same unvarying sense.”
This, we may be told, is simply the result of inheritance from many generations of speaking ancestors. But we may reply, How about those who first articulated? Why are we not to suppose such actions to have been instinctive? We know that instinct is a radically distinct faculty,f not to be explained by either lapsed or actual intelligence, or by mere reflex action, but rather as a special modification of that sensori-motor power which we know also exists in us now. How else could the language of gesture have arisen? And if we allow an instinctive activity to primitive gesture, why not also to primitive articulation? When once any one has a meaning to convey, he must, if he can succeed in conveying it, convey it by some visible, audible, or tactile sign. The employment of any one must be due to an internal impulse, and the employment also of any one kind of sign is fundamentally as wonderful as are either of the others. If existent dumb sign-making is due to ancestral speech, and ancient speech due to still more ancient gesture—as Mr. Romanes represents—to what was the original gesture due ?
* See “ On Truth," p. 197. † p. 122. # See “On Truth,” pp. 358–366, 515-518.
As we have already pointed out,* the nervous anatomical conditions which favoured and were further developed by one kind of expression, could never have favoured the other.
We are quite sure that Mr. Romanes is entirely sincere and honest, and does not see the equivocal nature of his argument. Nevertheless, to represent that the origin of each kind of language was developed from the other, and to withdraw whichever conception of origin an inquirer may seem disposed to select, is practically to shuffle with ideas in a way which reminds us not a little of the well-known "three-card trick.” To this question we shall, however, be compelled to revert† when we come to examine Mr. Romanes's eighth chapter—that on “the relation of tone and gesture to words.”
Our author candidly makes the noteworthy admission † that it would "be wrong to say that a higher faculty is required to learn the arbitrary association between a particular verbal sound and a particular act