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to morals; some things affect him in one way, fome in another; some correct and regulate mankind; other things point out their nature and origin.
And when I am enquiring after the reason why Nature first made
gave him the pre-eminence over all other animals; do you think that such an enquiry bears no relation to manners? if you do, you are mistaken ; for how will you know what manners best suit a
first find out what path it is best for man to pursue ? unless you inspect his very nature. Then indeed
you will understand what you are to do, and what to avoid; when you
have thoroughly learned what you owe to your nature and constitution as man.
I would fain learn, you say, how to covet less, and less to fear: root out all superstition from me; teach me, that what is called felicity, is light and vain ; and that by the accesson of one syllable, it becomes the reverse, infelicity. Know then, I will some day gratify your request, by exhorting to the practice of virtue and scorning vice: and though some perhaps may think me too severe in this respect, I will steadily persist in persecuting iniquity, bridling in the most refractory affections, restraining such pleasures as necessarily end in pain and sorrow, and in thwarting every idle wish.
idle with. For why? we have often wished for the greatest of evils; and have received that with joy and congratulation, against which we afterwards so bitterly exclaim (6). In the mean while permit me to discuss a few things, however wide they may seem from this purpose.
The question was, whether all animals have a certain sense of their condition or constitution (c). And that they have such a sense, is chiefly manifest from their so aptly and expeditiously moving their limbs, as if they had been particularly instructed and bred up therein. There is a certain agility in all their different parts ; as the artist useth his tools with ease and readiness; and the pilot knows to steer his thip: and the painter, having set before him many various colours picks out, or forms, that which he thinks will give the best likeness; and with a Vol. II.
quick eye and ready hand passeth between the pallet and the image represented. So ready and nimble is an animal in the use of each several motion. We are apt to admire just actors, in that their hand is expreffive of every affection; and a proper attitude and gesticulation attend on the different flow of words; what these do by art, animals do by na
None of them find any difficulty in moving their limbs; nor hesitate in the use of them. They come into life with this knowledge; and are born, as it were, with such particular instructions.
But it is said, that animals move their limbs in such an apt manner, because if they were to move them otherwise it would give them pain. According to this opinion then they act by compulsion ; 'tis not the will, but fear that directs them to a proper motion. But this is false; they are flow upon compulsion : agility is a voluntary motion; and so far is the fear of pain from inciting thereto, that they will endeavour at their motion, though they suffer pain by it. Thus an infant, who is learning to use his feet and to stand upright, as soon as he begins to try his strength, falls down, and not without tears riseth again as often, 'till by frequent exercise and much pain he hath attained the habit Nature designed him. Some animals of a very hard back being turned thereon, will twist themselves, and throw out their feet and scramble with them, 'till they are replaced in their proper position. The tortoise, for instance, when laid upon his back, is not supposed to feel much pain, yet through desire of his natural posture, he is restless, and struggles, nor will cease his endeavours 'till he hath recovered his feet. There is in every animal therefore a sense of their constitution; and from hence proceeds the prompt use of their limbs ; nor can we have any greater sign that they came into life with this knowledge, than that no animal is ignorant in the use of his body,
Constitution, it is said, as you define it, is the governing principle of the mind, under such a modification with regard to the body. But as this is so perplexed and fubtle, and what you yourselves scarce know how to express; how all an infant understand it! All animals dould have been logicians, that they might comprehend this definition, which is obscure and
unintelligible to a great part of the better learned among yourflors. There would be some force in this objection, if we Mhould allow that the animals themselves understand this definition of constitution. But constitution itself is much easier understood from Nature than it can be from any definition or expreilion (d). The infant knows not what is meant by the word confiitution, but he well knows his own; neither does he know what an animal is, but he perceives himself to be an animal; and also understands in the gross, summarily, and obscurely, his own conftitution.
We likewise know that we have a foul: but what the soul is, where it is, of what quality, and from whence it is, we know not (e). The same sense that we have of the soul, though we know not its nature and situation ; such a sense have all animals of their constitution. For they must necessarily be sensible of that, by which they are sensible of other things; they must needs be sensible of that, which they obey; and by which they are governed: there is not one of us, but who knows there is somewhat within him, that stirs up his powers to action; but what it is he knows not. As infants, fo likewise other animals, have a certain sense of their principal part, though it be not clear enough, nor so express, as to form a just notion of it.
You say, it is objected again, that every animal is at first reconciled to his constitution ; but that the constitution of man is rational; and therefore is man reconciled to himself, not as merely to an animal, but as to a rational animal; for in that is man dear to himself, as being man; how then can an infant be reconciled to a rational constitution, when as yet he is not rational ? Every age
of life hath its own constitution. There is one constitution to infants, another to youth, and another to old age, and all are reconciled to their present condition. An infant hath no teeth, he does well without them: he cuts his teeth: this condition agreeth likewise with his age: as that herb, which in a little time will become bread-corn, hath one state, when tender and scarce rising above the furrow; another when it is grown up; and though the stalk indeed be flender, yet it is strong enough to bear its weight; another when it begins to change Y y 2
colour, and ripen for the barn; in whatever state it is, it maintains the same, and in all respects is accommodated thereto. Thus I say there is an age peculiar to infants, another to children, another to youth, and another to maturity; yet I am still the same person I was, when a boy, when a young man.
So though the constitution of every man is continually changing, there is the same respect and agreeableness in every change: for it is not the boy, nor the young, nor the old man, ihat Nature recommends to my care, but myself ($). Therefore the infant is reconciled to that constitution which he then hath as an infant, not to that which he shall hereafter have when a young man. Neither, though some greater and better state may remain, into which he shall one day pass, is not this also in which he was born suitable to Nature.
At first, every animal is reconciled and a friend to self. For there must be some quality to which other qualities may be referred. I seek pleasure. For whom? Myself. Therefore I take care of myself. I fly from danger? For whose fake? My own.
Therefore am I cautious. If then I am directed by self-preservation; felf-preservation must be before all things. And this we see in all living creatures; nor is it ingrafted in, but born with us. Nature bringeth forth her
young, and would preserve them: and, because the nearer our defence is the more safe we are, she hath committed the charge of every one to himfelf; and therefore, as I have said elsewhere, young animals as soon as they come from their dam, or see the light, know immediately what is hurtful to them; and fly from those things that threaten death. Nay such as are in danger from birds of prey, are afraid even of the shadow of those birds when flying over them. No animal comes into life without the fear of death.
It is asked indeed, how an animal, just brought forth, can understand what is either salutary or destructive? But first the question is, whether he does understand this, not how he understands it? And that they have such understanding is manifest from this, they will do nothing more than what they fo understand. Why does not the hen fly from the peacock or the goose, when the flies from the hawk with all speed, a much less bird, and not known to her before? Why are chickens afraid of a cat, but not of a dog? It is plain they know what will hurt them, without having learned this from experience: for they are afraid before they have made any trial of their danger. And then that
you may not think this happens by chance, they neither are afraid of other things than what they have cause to fear, nor do they ever forget that such are their enemies. Their flight from what is pernicious is ever answerable to this their defensive care and diligence.
Besides, the longer they live, they are not less afraid; from whence it is apparent that this comes not by custom, but from the natural love of their own welfare. What custom teacheth is learned Nowly, by degrees, and in various ways: but whatever Nature proposes comes alike to all, and at once. If you desire to know, I will tell
every living creature comes to the knowledge of what will prove destructive to him. He perceives himself to consist of flesh, and consequently knows whereby flesh may be cut, or burned, or bruised. Such animals then as are armed for mischief, he concludes to be his enemies, and of an hostile disposition. There is a connexion between these things. For as every animal is at once endowed with the sense of selfpreservation, such things as tend thereto they readily perceive, and dread what is like to be hurtful.
Now this dread of, and rejecting, contraries is natural; and what Nature directs, is done, without forecast, without deliberation. See you not with what art and subtlety the bees form their little cells (8) ? what amazing concord there is between them in dividing the labours of the day! See you not that no art of man can imitate the curious texture of the spider's web (b)! What pains does she take in the just difposition of the threads! some are woven in a strait line by way of foundation; others are entwisted circularly, and growing still finer but closer spread, are a net to catch flies, her destined
Now this art is innate, not taught her, and therefore none of these animals are more learned than others of the same kind. Every spider of the kind spins