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"I saw t'other day at my own house" (says he) "a little fel"low, a native of Nantes, born without arms, who has so "well disciplined his feet to perform the services his hands "should have done him, that in reality his feet have, in a great "measure, forgot their natural office. Moreover, he calls them "his hands; he cuts with them, charges and discharges a pis"tol, threads a needle, sews, writes, puts off his hat, combs "his head, plays at cards and dice; and all this with as much "dexterity as any body; and the money I gave him he carried 66 away in his foot as we do in our hand."

"I knew another, who, when he was but a lad, flourished a "two-handed sword and a halbert, merely by the twisting and "turning of his neck for want of hands; tossed them into the "air and catched them again, darted a dagger, and cracked a "whip as well as any wagonner in France." *

To these facts I have to add another, of which I can speak from my own personal knowledge. It is the case of a young woman of Somersetshire, (her name was Beffin,) who spent several months in Edinburgh many years ago, and who, I believe, is still alive. In one very important respect her natural disadvantages were still greater than Buckinger's, for she had nothing analogous to that cleft or fork in one of his stumps, of which he seems to have made so much use in his mechanical

* Montaigne's Essays, Book I. Chap. xxii. See Translation by Mr. Cotton. A fact of the same kind with the last is mentioned by Gaspar Schott, a learned and very ingenious Jesuit of the seventeenth century.

"Il y a eu des hommes sans bras, chez qui ce vice de conformation étoit com“pensé par une dexterité merveilleuse des pieds, des épaules, &c. Ambroise “Paré parle d'un homme de 40 ans, sans bras, vu à Paris, et qui avec les épau"les, tête, et le col, remplaçoit le service des mains; il vola, assassina, et fut "pendu."—Notice Raisonnée des Ouvrages de Gaspar Schott, à Paris, 1785,

p. 39.

Ambroise Paré, the author here referred to, was a celebrated anatomist of the sixteenth century. The degree of credit due to his testimony may be inferred from his holding the office of surgeon to the king, under the successive reigns of Henry II. Francis II. Charles IX. and Henry III.

The learned translator (Mr. Johnston) of Beckman's History of Inventions has quoted from Camerarius an account of one Thomas Schweiker, born at Halle in Swabia, in the year 1586. Of this person, who was born without arms, Camerarius assures us that he not only saw him write, but make pens with his feet. "Nam cum in editiore loco, qui æquaret altitudinem tabulæ, in qua esculenta ap"posita erant, consedisset, apprehenso pedibus cultro, scindebat panem, et alios "cibos; pedes ea postea, nec non et potum; veluti manus, ori porrigebant. Pe"racto prandio pedibus pingebat, nobis omnibus videntibus, tam elegantes Lati"nas literas ac Germanicas, ut exempla earum, quasi rem insolitam, nobiscum 66 sumeremus. Postulantibus etiam nobis, cultello parabat calamos ad scribendum 66 aptissimos, , quos postea nobis donabat."

To the same translator we are indebted for a reference to a work, in which he says there are several other instances of the same kind. The book is entitled, "Monstrorum Historia Memorabilis a Joanne Georgio Schenkio a Grafenberg "filio, Francofurti, 1609."-Note (G.)

operations. She was accordingly reduced to the necessity (particularly in the execution of her needle-work, in which she eminently excelled,) to employ her mouth, her tongue, and her teeth. In performing the operations of writing and of drawing, she guided her pen or her pencil by pressing it between her cheek and her right shoulder. Her intellectual powers seemed to me far above the ordinary level, and the expression of her countenance (in particular of her eye) was good-humoured and cheerful, yet thoughtful and interesting.

In order to weaken the force of the argument which I am disposed to found on these details, it may perhaps be urged, that such individuals as I now refer to have enjoyed the society of their fellow-creatures, and have derived their intellectual accomplishments from a communication with them, not from their own personal experience. But do not many of the brutes enjoy the society of man, and in what instance have they profited by his instruction, or even learned to copy after his example? It may be said that they are prevented from doing so by the diversity of their natures; but, if this be the case, whence is it that man has derived so many hints from the observation of their instincts, as to give some degree of plausibility to those theories which ascribe to this circumstance the origin of some of the most useful arts of human life?

This last consideration, by the way, seems to me to afford one of the most palpable proofs of the essential distinction between man and brutes, that, though admitted to a constant and familiar observation of human arts, they seem perfectly incapable of deriving any advantage from what is exhibited to their senses. The existence of many of them is rendered more comfortable by human ingenuity, yet none of them is capable of imitating the arts of which they have felt the utility from experience. Many of the domestic animals, for example, love artificial heat; and it is said that monkeys, even in their wild state, have been seen to assemble round fires which had been kindled by men. But none of them ever learned the simple art of throwing in a faggot of wood to keep these fires alive. The dog himself, one of the most sagacious of animals, who has an opportunity every day of witnessing our cookery, and who lives in general on food prepared by the fire, was never observed in a single instance to broil a morsel of raw flesh by laying it on the coals. Slight as this barrier may appear between the animal and rational nature, it seems to be perfectly insurmountable; and, indeed, when we reflect on the mischiefs which might be produced by a rash management of so danger

ous an element, we shall see abundant reason to admire that wise arrangement which, among the various inhabitants of the earth, has confined the use of it exclusively to our own species.

The opinion which I have now been combating is not peculiar to the philosophers of modern France. From the memorabilia of Xenophon it appears that it was current among the sophists of antiquity; and the answer which Socrates gives to it is as philosophical and satisfactory as any thing that could possibly be advanced in the present improved state of the sci


"And canst thou doubt, Aristodemus, if the gods take care "of Man? Hath not the privilege of an erect form been be"stowed on him alone? Other animals, indeed, they have "provided with feet by which they may remove from one "place to another; but to man they have also given the use of "the hand. A tongue hath been bestowed on every other an"imal; but what animal except man hath the power of making "his thoughts intelligible to others?

"Nor is it with respect to the body alone that the gods have "shown themselves bountiful to man. Who seeth not that he "is as it were a god in the midst of this visible creation? so "far doth he surpass all animals whatever in the endowments "of his body and his mind. For if the body of the ox had "been joined to the mind of man, the invention of the latter "would have been of little avail to him, while unable to exe"cute his purposes with facility. Nor would the human form "have been of more use to the brutes, so long as he remain"ed destitute of understanding. But in thee, Aristodemus, "hath been joined to a wonderful soul, a body no less won"derful; and sayest thou after this,-The gods take no care "of me? What wouldst thou then more to convince thee of "their care?" *

A very remarkable passage to the same purpose occurs in Galen's Treatise de Usu Partium. "But, as of all animals, "man is the wisest, so hands are well fitted for the purposes "of a wise animal. For it is not because he had hands that ❝he is therefore wiser than the rest, as Anaxagoras alleged; "but because he was wiser than the rest, that he had there"fore hands, as Aristotle has most wisely judged. Neither

The reader, who is unacquainted with Greek, may peruse this work of Xenophon's (undoubtedly one of the most precious remains of ancient philosophy) in the excellent version of Mrs. Sarah Fielding.

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"was it his hands, but his reason, which instructed man in the The hands are only the organs by which the arts are


These general considerations seem sufficiently to prove, that the powers of the Human Understanding do not admit of comparison with the instincts of the lower animals; the difference between them being a difference, not in degree, but in kind. Perhaps, this is the single instance, in which that regular gradation, which we every where else observe in the universe, fails entirely. The fact is the more striking, as it fails only with respect to the human mind; for the bodily organization of man is distinguished from that of some of the brutes, by characteristics which it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to define. But this only places in a more conspicuous point of view, those intellectual prerogatives to which he owes the undisputed empire of the globe; and which open to him a boundless prospect of progressive improvement, amid tribes doomed apparently to retain for ever their primeval rank in the scale of being.


STILL, however, the metaphysical (or rather the logical) question recurs: What are the particular faculties belonging to Man, which are denied entirely to the Brutes ?

In considering this question, it is proper always to remember, that the degree of evidence which it is possible for us to attain, is, from the nature of the subject, far from being complete. In the case of our own species, we can judge of the intellectual powers of other men, not only from the appearances of intelligence exhibited in their conduct, but from the direct information which they themselves are qualified to convey to us of the operations of which they are conscious. But, in the case of the brutes, all that we know of their nature is collected from outward signs, which are frequently obscure and equivocal; and which, in no instance whatever, afford the same satisfactory information we possess concerning the capacities of the human race. Where their external actions resemble those of man, we are naturally disposed to refer them to the same causes. When a dog howls, for example, in consequence of a blow, we conclude that he feels pain. When he fawns upon his master, after a long absence, we conclude that

* Galen, de Us. Part, 1. i. c. 3.

his apparent flow of affection is founded on something analogous to the power of memory. But still these inferences are not made with the same certainty as those we form concerning the powers of rational beings, who, by describing to us what passes within them, can afford us an opportunity of comparing their intellectual phenomena with our own. Notwithstanding, however, this circumstance, (which must be allowed to invalidate, to a certain degree, the force of our argument,) we are justified, I think, in adopting the foregoing conclusions, by the received maxim in natural philosophy, that similar effects are to be ascribed to similar causes. And it is on this principle that we are entitled, in my opinion, to reject as unphilosophical the Cartesian theory, which represents the brutes as mere machines. One thing is certain, that this is all the evidence which the nature of the subject ad of; and that, if we deny its legitimacy, we put an en ice to the in


* In the greater part of the following passage, Laplace appears to me to reason soundly. The analogy he mentions towards the close of it, between chemical affinities, and what he calls animal affinities is too hypothetical to deserve much attention. Nor should I have thought it worth while to take notice of it here, had it not been for the respect which is justly due to the conjectures, however fanciful, of so illustrious an author.

"L'Analogie est fondée sur la probabilite que les choses semblables ont des cau"ses du même genre, et produisent les incmes effets. Plus la similitude est parfaite, "plus grande est cette probabilité. Alasi nous jugeons sans aucun doute, que des "êtres pourvus des mêmes organes, exécutant les mêmes choses et communiquant "ensemble, éprouvent les mêses sensations, et sont mus par les mêmes desirs. "La probabilité que les animaux qui se rapprochent de nous par leurs organes, "ont des sensations alogues aux nôtres, quoiqu'un peu inférieure à celle qui "est relative aux individus de nôtre espèce, est encore excessivement grande; et "il a fallu toute

les préjugés religieux, pour faire penser à quelques "philosophes. Que aux sont de purs automates. La probabilité de l'ex<istence du sentimen ccroît, à mesure que la similitude des organes avec les "nôtres diminue; mais elle est toujours très forte, même pour les insectes. En voyant ceux d'une même espèce, exécuter des choses fort compliquées exactement de la même manière, de générations en générations et sans les avoir ap<prises; on est porté à croire qu'ils agissent par une sorte d'affinité, analogue à "celle qui rapproche les molécules des cristaux, mais qui se mêlant au sentiment "attaché à toute organisation animale, produit avec la regularité des combinai" sons chimiques, des combinaisons beaucoup plus singulières: On pourroit peut"être nommer affinité animale ce melange des affinités électives et du sentiment. "Quoiqu'il existe beaucoup d'analogie entre l'organisation des plantes et celle "des animaux; elle ne me parôit pas cependant suffisante pour éntendre aux vé"gétaux la faculté de sentir; comme rien n'autorise à la leur refuser."-Essai Philosophique sur les Probabilités, pp. 203, 204.

In this comparison of the regular and complicated operations of certain insects, to the regularity of those chemical combinations which are exhibited in the phenomena of crystallization, Laplace goes, perhaps, a little farther than sound philosophy warrants; but his hypothesis of animal affinities is not without its value, as it affords a decisive proof of the contempt with which he regarded that theory which would represent the ingenuity displayed in the works of some of the insect tribes, as analogous to the mechanical arts of the human species, and as manifest

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