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imaginable. The fox did say the grapes were sour; the wolf did fix an unconscionable quarrel upon the poor little lamb which he wanted to devour; and the lion did really express to the man his candid opinion upon the favouritism of portraitpainting. At all events, the youthful imagination sees no absurdity in the idea. This brings me to my subject-Is fable entirely wrong in these little matters, and have not all animals a language of their own? Have not birds a language which other birds understand? and insects? and for that matter, fishes? In the pride of our superior knowledge, we assert of ourselves that Man is the only animal who kindles a fire, cooks food, makes clothes, and is endowed with the faculty of articulate speech. While granting our own monopoly of fire-making, cookery, and tailoring, are we quite sure that we do not arrogate to ourselves a little too much superiority when we claim that to us alone is accorded the glorious privilege of language? Philosophers are very dogmatic on the subject. "However much," says Professor Max Müller, "the frontiers of the animal kingdom have been pushed forward, so that at one time the line of demarcation between animal and man seemed to depend on a mere fold of the brain, there is one barrier which no one has yet ventured to touch -the barrier of language." The professor proceeds to quote Lord Monboddo and John Locke. The first says that "" as yet no animal has been discovered in the possession of language, not even the beaver, who of all the animals we know, that are not like the ourang-outang, of our own species, comes nearest to us in sagacity. Locke says, "The power of abstracting is not at all in brutes; and the having of general ideas is that which puts a perfect distinction between man and brutes. For it is evident we observe no footsteps in these of making use of general signs for universal ideas; from which we have reason to imagine that they have not the faculty of abstracting or making general ideas, since they have no use of words or of other general signs." Are not these philosophers a little too confident?


We know that there are many creatures on the earth which are utterly unconscious of the existence of man; and we might, if we were not too proud, ask ourselves, in like manner, if there may not be many things in the animal creation of which man is necessarily unconscious. IfI walk through the woods on a bright summer's day, or sit under the oaken or beechen shadows, I am conscious of a tide and tremor of life around me. I hear the birds singing, twittering, and chattering, each species with its own peculiar note. I hear the bees and the flies buzzing with more or less vigour, pertinacity, and volume of sound; while a faint echo comes from the distant pastures of the bleating of sheep, the lowing of cattle, the barking of shepherds' dogs, and the lusty crowing of the cocks in the farm-yard. I ask myself whether all these various sounds may not be as many languages, perfectly intelligible to the creatures which speak them to each other, though unintelligible to me. I know that some animals-the dog especially-understand many words that I employ, if I speak emphatically, and that my own dog will do what I tell him; but, if I do not understand what one dog says to another, whose fault is it, mine or the dog's? Man may doubtless claim that he has a larger vocabulary than the inferior creation. He has wants more numerous, ideas more abundant; hopes, fears, recollections, and aspirations, unknown perhaps to their limited intelligence, and must consequently have a language more copious than theirs. Language keeps pace with knowledge, intelligence, and imagination. A Shakespeare may require fourteen thousand words to express all his thoughts, and tell all his marvellous stories; a scientific writer, obliged to be accurate, may require a few thousand more; a modern gentleman, of average education, may manage to express all his wants, wishes, and emotions, and carry on the usual intercourse of life and society, with four thousand; while an ordinary peasant in some of our rural districts sometimes gets on satisfactorily to himself, his family, and his associates, with about five hun

friend the dog, may be susceptible of a great variety of meanings, according to the tone and accentuation he gives to those fundamental words or syllables of his language, or the number of repetitions either of the "bow" or the "wow?" Sometimes, when a dog barks, he will omit the "bow" altogether, and say, "wow! wow! wow!" very sharply and


dred, and can manage to transact all his business with his horse in half a dozen. And as it does not follow that we can truly call such a peasant a man without a language, even when speaking to his horse, neither does it follow in the case of a quadruped, that may have but four or five, or even but one word or sound to express its meaning, that such quadruped is without a language which its fellow-rapidly; and it can be scarcely supposed quadrupeds may understand? A single that so very intelligent a creature has no sound, with a rising or a falling accent, or reason for this little change in its customary a stronger or weaker emphasis, may ex- phraseology. Mr. Max Miller positively press different meanings; and the same states that "no animal thinks, and no sound, repeated, twice, thrice, or four animal speaks, except man.' Every one times, with the rising or the falling accent who has made a friend of an animal-and at the first, second, third, or fourth repe- there are few who have not-must distition, may contain a whole vocabulary pute the first part of this assertion. When for the simple creatures who emit and a dog is presented with a bone after he understand the sound, and whose wants has had his dinner and satisfied his hunand emotions are as circumscribed as ger, he thinks the bone is too good to be their speech. rejected, and it would be wise in him to put it into a place of safety, to be ready when required, just as a man puts his money in the bank. Accordingly, he takes his opportunity to go into the garden and bury it; and, if watched in the process, will dig it up again with his nose, and carry it off to a safer spot. Is not this thinking? When I put on my hat and overcoat, and take my walking stick from its accustomed place in the hall, my dog thinks, and speedily knows, that I am going out; and very plainly asks me, not only by the sudden sparkling of his expressive eyes and the wagging of his equally expressive tail, but by a succession of joyous barks and yelps, whether I mean to take him along with me; and, if I refuse the request, very plainly expresses his sorrow for my decision.

Professor Max Müller supplies us with an illustration in point. He says that in the Chinese, the Annamitic, and likewise in the Siamese and Burmese languages, one single sound does duty in this way for a great variety of meanings. "Thus,” he says, in Annamitic, 'ba,' pronounced with the grave accent, means a lady or an ancestor; pronounced with a sharp accent, it means the favourite of a prince; pronounced with the semi-grave accent, it means what has been thrown away; pronounced with the grave circumflex, it means what is left of a fruit after the juice has been squeezed out; pronounced with no accent, it means three; pronounced with the ascending or interrogative accent, it means a box on the ear. Thus,

Ba, Bà, Bâ, Bả

is said to mean, if properly pronounced. 'Three ladies gave a box on the ear to the favourite of the prince.'



In our own and in several European languages identical sounds have various meanings; the English "box" being one example, and the French "sang," "s'en,' "sans," cent," another. If we consider this subject without a prejudice, may we not see reason to think that the "Bow! wow! wow!" of our estimable


Mr. Max Müller says elsewhere in his lecture, that "language and thought are inseparable." If this statement be correct, it follows from his own showing, that if we can prove the possession of a faculty for thinking in the members of the inferior creation, we must admit that they may possess a language which they may thoroughly understand, and which may be quite sufficient for the expression of their limited ideas. It is difficult to believe that the crow has not two or three,


the lex non scripta of their community which calls for reprobation or punish'ment. At all events, something marvellously like a trial takes place, with a judge or presiding officer, and the whole community for the jurors. The prisoner, looking dejected, penitent, and woebegone, is perched in the middle. A series of caw-cawings ensues, which, as Lord Dundreary might say, "no fellow can understand," but which cannot be otherMr.wise than intelligible to the sachems and members of the corvine tribe-or why should the sounds be uttered? — and which, protracted sometimes for twenty or thirty minutes, or even for an hour, results in a decision of some kind. If the defendant flies away comfortably with the judge and jury at the conclusion of the council, we have a right to suppose that he has been acquitted. If, on the contrary, as often happens, the whole tribe pounce upon him with beak and claw, and peck him to death, screeching and cawcawing all the while, we must suppose, on the same principle, that he has been found guilty of some crime or other— perhaps of being hopelessly unwell—sentenced to death, and executed accordingly. If there be thought in these matters among the birds, is it not right, even according to the theory of Mr. Max Müller and the other philosophers, to suppose that there is language also? And ́if a stray rook or crow happened to make its way into the Central Criminal Court while a trial was pending, and perched himself, like Edgar Poe's raven, on the top of a bookcase or the cross-beam of a door, and listened attentively to the pleadings, to the examination of the witnesses, and the judge's charge, without understanding a word that was said, would Mr. Crow or Mr. Rook be justified, if he could get back to his comrades in the woods, in asserting that men had no articulate language?

If, descending in the scale of creation from the quadrupeds and birds that emit sounds which are perfectly audible to themselves and us-whatever those sounds may mean-to that lower world of insect life which emits little and sometimes no

and the nightingale at least a dozen notes
in its voice, and that these notes may not,
in their interchange, reiteration, and
succession, expresses ideas with which
crows are familiar, and whole poems or
histories, such as nightingales love to tell
and repeat to one another; and that any
one of the many notes in the sweet song
of the skylark may not, according to its
accentuation, or even to its place in the
gamut, express as many shades of mean-
ing as the Annamitic "ba" of which
Max Müller discourses.

Most people who are gifted with the faculty of observing, and blessed with the privilege of enjoying, the sights and sounds of nature, and who have either resided in, or been frequent visitors to, the country, must at one time or other have remarked the actions and behaviour of crows and rooks, or, in the quaint language of the old Scottish poet, Alexander Montgomery, must have listened to, and been "deaved with the din

"And jargon of the jangling jays,

The craiking craws, and keckling kays.” No one who has at all studied the habits of these birds will think it a very daring assertion that the cry or sound of "caw" may be as susceptible of a variety of meanings as the Annamitic “ba," or the English "box,” or the French "sang," or the canine "bow-wow!"—and that its duplication into "caw! caw!" or into a still greater number of repetitions, is not without a purpose and signification as intelligible to the birds which utter as to those which hear them. The rooks and crows have often been observed to hold public meetings of all the individuals in the tribe or colony-male and female -to debate on matters of importance. As far as we know and can understand the objects of these assemblages, the tribe is summoned to decide whether a sickly bird is so sickly as to be beyond hope of recovery, and therefore to be put out of its misery, they having no doctors among them; whether an interloper from a neighbouring colony has not violently or surreptitiously endeavoured to establish himself among them; or whether he has not committed some other offence against

sound that our ears can detect, we may still discover reason to believe that they may have some power of speech-possibly by means of sound, possibly by means of touch and signs. Take bees and ants as familiar examples. When the bees in a hive select one particular bee, and station her at the entrance--like a hall-porter at a club in Pall-Mall-and assign to her the duty, which she well performs, of allowing none but members of the hive to pass in, is it not certain that the functionary has been chosen for sufficient reasons from out the rest, and informed of the wishes of the community? This cannot be done without a language of some sort, whether of the eye, the touch, or the expression of a sound or series of sounds. When black ants make war against red ants, for the purpose of taking the children of the latter into captivity and making slaves of them, is war declared without preliminary consultation? and, if not, must not these belligerent Formicans have a language?

Without dogmatising on the subject, a student of Nature may be permitted to express his belief that the all-wise and infinitely beneficent Creator has not only given to every living creature, great or small, the capacity for enjoyment, and the consequent capacity for pain, but the power of expressing to its own kind its joy or sorrow, its fears, its wishes, and its wants; and that man is not so wholly a monopolist of speech and reason as the philosophers have imagined.

It may be fairly argued that the nonexistence of speech among animals, and even among insects, is (to use the Scottish law phrase) "not proven." The sun may spread around a very great and glorious radiance, and a candle may emit a very small glimmer; but there is light in both cases. Man's reasoning powers, and the speech that accompanies them, when compared with the reasoning faculty and the speech of all the inferior inhabitants of the globe, may be as greatly in excess of theirs as the noonday sunshine is in excess of the ray of a farthing candle; but the least particle of reasoning power is reason as far as it extends. What we call

instinct is but a kind and degree of reason, and, in a world full of balances and compensation, its very inferiority has its com. pensation in the fact that, unlike reason, instinct never goes wrong. If animals cannot understand our language unless in very few instances of ordinary occurrence and when accompanied by sign, gesture, and the expression of the eye, neither can we understand their language, except it have the same mute accompaniments. Emmerson says, "that we are wiser than we know;" I say, it is possible, with all our undoubted superiority, and all our pride of intellect, that we are not so wise as we think.



NEVER did the painter's eye rest on a more beautiful scene than I beheld from the ridge. The fleecy vapours still hung around the mountain-tops, and mingled with the ascending volumes of smoke; the patch of sea sparkled in the rays of the morning sun, but its light was eclipsed by the flashes which gleamed from the masses of armed men below. Looking to the left towards the gorge, we beheld six compact masses of Russian infantry, which had just debouched from the mountain-passes near the Tchernaya, and were slowly advancing with solemn stateliness up the valley. Immediately in their front was a regular line of artillery, of Two at least twenty pieces strong. batteries of light guns were already a mile in advance of them, and were playing with energy on the redoubts, from which feeble puffs of smoke came at long intervals. Behind these guns, in front of the infantry, were enormous bodies of cavalry. They were in six compact squares, three on each flank, moving down en échelon towards us, and the valley was lit up with the blaze of their sabres, and lance points, and gay accoutrements. In their front, and extending along the intervals between each battery of guns, were clouds of mounted sl

mishers, wheeling and whirling in the they gathered up their skirmishers with front of their march like autumn leaves great speed and in excellent order-the tossed by the wind. The Zonaves close shifting trails of men, which played all to us were lying like tigers at the spring, over the valley like moonlight on the with ready rifles in hand, hidden chin- water, contracted, gathered up, and the deep by the earthworks which run along little peloton in a few moments became a the line of these ridges on our rear; but solid column. Then up came their guns, the quick-eyed Russians were manoeuvring in rushed their gunners to the abandoned on the other side of the valley, and did redoubt, and the guns of No. 2 Redoubt not expose their columns to attack. Below soon played with deadly effect upon the the Zouaves we could see the Turkish dispirited defenders of No. 3 Redoubt. gunners in the redoubts, all in confusion Two or three shots in return from the as the shells burst over them. Just as I earthworks, and all is silent. The Turks came up, the Russians had carried No. I swarm over the earthworks, and run in Redoubt, the furthest and most elevated confusion towards the town, firing their of all, and their horsemen were chasing muskets at the enemy as they run. Again the Turks across the interval which lay the solid column of cavalry opens like a between it and Redoubt No. 2. At that fan, and resolves itself into a "long moment the cavalry, under Lord Lucan, spray" of skirmishers. It laps the flying were formed in glittering masses- the Turks, steel flashes in the air, and down Light Brigade, under Lord Cardigan, in go the poor Moslem quivering on the advance; the Heavy Brigade, under plain, split through fez and musket-guard Brigadier-general Scarlett, in reserve. to the chin and breast-belt! There is no They were drawn up just in front of their support for them. It is evident the Rusencampment, and were concealed from sians have been too quick for us. The the view of the enemy by a slight "wave" Turks have been too quick also, for they in the plain. Considerably to the rear of have not held their redoubts long enough their right, the 93rd Highlanders were to enable us to bring them help. In drawn up in line, in front of the approach vain the naval guns on the heights fire to Balaklava. Above and behind them, on the Russian cavalry; the distance is on the heights, the marines were visible too great for shot or shell to reach. In through the glass, drawn up under arms, vain the Turkish gunners in the earthen and the gunners could be seen ready in batteries, which are placed along the the earthworks, in which were placed the French intrenchments, strive to protect heavy ships' guns. The 93rd had origi- their flying countrymen; their shot fly nally been advanced somewhat more into wide and short of the swarming masses. the plain, but the instant the Russians The Turks betake themselves towards the got possession of the first redoubt they Highlanders, where they check their flight, opened fire on them from our own guns, and form into companies on the flanks of which inflicted some injury, and Sir Colin the Highlanders. As the Russian cavalry Campbell "retired" his men to a better on the left of their line crown the hill position. Meantime the enemy advanced across the valley, they perceive the Highhis cavalry rapidly. To our inexpressible landers drawn up at the distance of some disgust we saw the Turks in Redoubt half-mile, calmly waiting their approach. No. 2 fly at their approach. They ran in They halt, and squadron after squadron scattered groups across towards Redoubt flies up from the rear, till they have a No. 3, and towards Balaklava; but the body of some 1,500 men along the ridge horse-hoof of the Cossack was too quick - lancers, and dragoons, and hussars. for them, and sword and lance were busily Then they move en échelon in two bodies, plied among the retreating herd. The with another in reserve. The cavalry, yells of the pursuers and pursued were who have been pursuing the Turks on the plainly audible. As the Lancers and right, are coming up to the ridge beneath Light Cavalry of the Russians advanced, us, which conceals our cavalry from view.

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