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tions in which an animal becomes involved during the whole course of its life, cases must sometimes occur, in which the natural instinct, that is not guided by reason, but merely developed mechanically, operates very improperly and quite the contrary way to what it ought to do, or in which, at least, it fails of completely effecting the object of nature ? Every thing in nature has its limits, its deficiencies, and its exceptions : how, then, should the instincts of animals alone be exempt from them? Traces of these deficiencies, and of this perverse application, are but too frequently met with in the animal kingdom. Though most animals follow a natural instinct in the selection of their food, and readily distinguish and reject such substances as are pernicious ; still naturalists demonstrate, that they frequently choose the wrong
and greedily eat poisonous vegetables which kill them. Many animals cannot distinguish food that has been most manifestly impregnated with poison, from any other; though they immediately recognize those aliments which they need for their subsistence by much less perceptible signs. A horse, which is so dainty in his food, when left to himself cannot resist the inclination to drink when he is overheated, and this error costs him his life. He wounds himself with great stupidity when a sprig of thorn is fastened beneath his tail, by pressing it violently against his haunches; whereas he need but raise it to spare himself the pain. The extreme difficulty, also, of removing a horse from a stable which is on fire, is a well-known fact; and, in consequence of this obstinacy, he is consumed with it. In the rutting season, many animals exhaust themselves to such a degree that it is a long time before they recover their strength. In short, it must be admitted that, in many cases, the instincts of Nature precisely counteract their objects, and that nothing is farther from truth than that they are infallible.
Man, who in one point of view is an animal, just as every animal is in one point of view a machine, has his appropriate animal appetites, as other animals have theirs. So little difference is there, in this respect, between him and the brutes, that on this side he can claim no superiority over them. For his preservation he has, in common with them all, hunger and thirst, the dread of pain, and concern for his life; he defends himself like them, and like them he propagates his kind. Moralists must testify the ill-success of their lessons, when they tend to bring the actions which men perform by means of their animal instincts under the control of prudence and reason.
Such instincts, then, we have also in our diseases ; and it is as clear as the sun that they are but consequences of the unusual sensations which we experience in a state of disease. The craving for drink in fever, the impulse to counteract putrefaction of the humours by acids, to alleviate pain by rubbing and chafing the contracted nerves, to perform all sorts of violent motions, &c. are but the effects of feelings according to which the machine changes, and, with its new excitements, aims, as it were, at new objects, of which the soul, however, neither comprehends nor knows any thing.
Much as it behoves us to respect these instincts of the sick as the almost immediate impulses of Nature, still we should go too far were we to believe that these instincts, in the human animal at least, were infallible, and ought absolutely to be followed. Far from it!-our appetites, considered by themselves, have the same defects as those of
all other animals; and as they are not, any more than the latter, effects of our reason, but mere operations of the animal machine, they are not to be more highly regarded in us than in the brutes. We should drink cold water, when overheated, with the same avidity as the horse, did not reflection or experience forbid us.
The instinct of propagation impairs our constitutions much more than those of animals. Our urinary vessels hold a stone that is passing through them as firmly as the stupid lobster holds his leg in his claw; and, to afford relief, the physician must correct this perversion of the maxim, which is so applicable to an infinity of other cases, in order to save us from destruction. It is frequently the case, that, when the stomach is overcharged, we have the same appetite for food as if it were empty, and we should injure our health were we blindly to obey this impulse. Ebn Athir, an Arabian writer, relates, that the Caliph Abdalmelek was attacked by a disease which, according to the physicians, could not fail to prove mortal in case of his drinking any thing. His thirst, however, became so violent, that, unable to endure it any longer, he ordered his son Valid to give him some drink. Valid, who loved his father, would not gratify him in violation of the express prohibition of the physicians. The Caliph then applied to his daughter, Fatime, and Valid still opposed the fulfilment of his wish ; when Abdalmelek became angry, and threatened to disinherit his son if he persisted in his disobedience. He was therefore obliged to comply; and no sooner had the Caliph swallowed the fatal draught of water, than he swooned, and shortly afterwards expired. If this example be liable to suspicion, still the natural antipathies in diseases are instincts of nature as well as the appetites; and yet persons in hydrophobia, who have such a horror of water, are tormented with thirst. In short, were it necessary, I could adduce a great number of facts to prove that the instincts of Nature, both in health and in disease, are frequently as fallible and as perverse as in the irrational animals.
The animal instincts of man lose, moreover, much of their weight with physicians, because reason and sophistry interfere too much in this business of Nature, though it is above their comprehension. There is no end to our refinement upon our appetites, and this renders a matter already sufficiently ticklish and intricate, so uncertain, that the instances of men who have benefited themselves by obeying their animal instincts are very rare. It is almost impossible for us to leave these instincts, even if we would, in their natural purity; because, in all our animal actions, and in our very feelings, reason always interferes, and we cannot impose silence on the soul. Hence, our patients often deem that an impulse of Nature, which is a mere suggestion of their reason or imagination ; and even if they really feel such an impulse, their sophistry does not fail immediately to pervert it. This bungling of the soul in the laboratory of Nature justly renders the animal instincts of man so problematical to physicians, that they are always extremely cautious hcw they gratify them. Nor does it appear that we shall ever gain a much better insight into this matter than we have yet done ; for the instincts of animals are a work out of the most secret cabinet of Nature, into which we never shall penetrate.
It is, therefore, my duty to exhort my readers in the most serious manner, neither to give way too confidently to their natural instincts,
nor entirely to oppose them. Each of their appetites is a dangerous temptation for them. Nature will not suffer us to keep them in absolute subjection; neither will she bear us harmless if we blindly give ourselves up to their control. Where, in this case, is the middle way? I cannot tell: and if I could, of what benefit would it be? Middle ways are difficult to keep; they are ways upon which neither physicians nor patients are commonly found.
THE TREASURES OF THE DEEP.
What hid'st thou in thy treasure-caves and cells ?
- Pale glistening pearls, and rainbow-colour'd shells,
We ask not such from thee.
Earth claims not these again!
Man yields them to decay !
Give back the true and brave !
-But all is not thine own!
-Restore the Dead, thou Sea !
THE WINDS.-A DIALOGUE.
Spirit 1.-Hark!—what trampling sound is nigh, —
'Tis above us,-in the sky?-
Shall we call them, Master fair?
One is sweeping o'er the wave
On his breast his head is bow'd-
Piercing through his stormy hair :
Forked like the serpent's tongue!
Give thy word!
islands,-to bright jutting crags,
The sounds are nearer : once more, Spirits, appear!
For I was bred
And the serpent rattles his scaly rings.
When her white heart crack'd in the burning blue :
And awoke with their mother's shrieking throes. 2nd W. And, see, what I gather'd when Nile was bare !
It lay on a crocodile's forehead square,
But I saw it, and liked its lustre well,
And I swore by the power
BRITISH GALLERIES OF ART.-NO. VII.
Lord Egremont's Gallery at Petworth. To those who possess the happy skill of extracting delight from that which, as yet, is but an imagination to them—who have faith enough to believe before they see, as well as after—there are few things more pleasant than to travel through the whole length of a long summer's day,—
“ From morn to morn, from noon to dewy eve," with the certainty constantly present to them, of seeing, at the end of their journey, some object, or set of objects, the sight of which they have been looking forward to and reckoning upon as one of the ends for which they were living in the past, and which, when they have thus appropriated it, is to become one of the means by which they are to live in the future. A feeling of this kind turns every thing we see into beauty,-- like the imagination of the youth who is journeying towards his mistress—in Mr. Crabbe's tale of "The Lover's Journey;" and that which it finds beautiful, it contributes not only to heighten and multiply, but to impress upon the senses, and through them on the memory, in a way that nothing else can not even the most strenuous and predetermined efforts of the will. To those who have not already seen the princely domain of the Earl of Egremont at Petworth, I would fain convey such a notion of it, that till they set out to visit it for themselves, it may thus dwell in the distance before them, like a bright spot in the land of promise ; secure that, when they do visit it, I shall not, in so