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Title: Buffon's Natural History. Volume V (of 10) - Containing a Theory of the Earth, a General History of - Man, of the Brute Creation, and of Vegetables, Minerals, - &c. &c
Author: Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc de
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber Note

Text emphasis is displayed as _Italic Text._

                           _Barr's Buffon._

                       Buffon's Natural History.

                        A THEORY OF THE EARTH,
                               A GENERAL
                           _HISTORY OF MAN_,
                     OF THE BRUTE CREATION, AND OF
                         VEGETABLES, MINERALS,
                               _&c. &c._

                           FROM THE FRENCH.
                     WITH NOTES BY THE TRANSLATOR.
                            IN TEN VOLUMES.

                                VOL. V.

                      PRINTED FOR THE PROPRIETOR,

                    T. Gillet, Printer, Wild-Court.



                           THE FIFTH VOLUME

                    History of the Brute Creation.


    Chap. I.   _Of the Nature of Animals._                1

    Chap. II.  _Of Domestic Animals._                    88
               _The Horse_                               93
               _The Ass_                                179
               _The Ox_                                 206
               _The Sheep_                              243
               _The Goat_                               264
               _The Swine, the Hog of Siam,
                   and the Wild Boar_                   278
               _The Dog_                                302

_Directions for placing the Plates._

  Page  93, Fig. 18, 19.
       218, Fig. 20, 21.
       243, Fig. 22, 23.
       263, Fig. 24, 25.
       272, Fig. 26, 27.
       290, Fig. 28, 29.
       320, Fig. 30, 31.
       321, Fig. 32, 33, 34, 35.
       322, Fig. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41.
       323, Fig. 42, 43.
       333, Fig. 44, 45.
       334, Fig. 46, 47.
       335, Fig. 48, 49.






As all our knowledge turns upon the relations by which one object
differs from another, if there existed no brute animals, the nature of
the human being would be still more incomprehensible. Having considered
man in himself, ought we not to derive every assistance, by comparing
him with the other parts of the animal creation? We will proceed then
to examine the nature of animals, to compare their organization, to
study their general economy, thereby to make particular applications,
to mark resemblances, to reconcile the differences; and from the
assemblage of those combinations, to distinguish the principal effects
of the living mechanism, and to make a further progress in that
important knowledge of which man is the object.

We will begin by reducing within its proper limits a subject which,
at first view, appears to be immense. The properties of matter which
animals possess in common with inanimate beings come not within our
present consideration, and which we have already fully treated upon.
For the same reason we shall reject such qualities as are found equally
to belong to the vegetable and to the animal. As in the class of
animals we comprehend a number of animated beings, whose organization
is highly different from that of man, as well as from more perfect
animals, so we shall wave the consideration of them, and confine
ourselves to those animals which have evidently the greatest affinity
to us.

But as the nature of man is superior to that of animals, so of that
superiority we shall study to demonstrate the cause, in order that we
may distinguish what is peculiar to man, from what belongs to him in
common with other animals.

Previous to an examination of the minute parts of the animal machine,
and their peculiar functions, let us view the general result of this
mechanism, and, without at first reasoning upon causes, confine
ourselves to an elucidation and description of effects.

An animal has two modes of existence; that of motion, or awake, and
rest, or asleep; and which, while life lasts, succeed each other
alternately. In the former, all the springs of the machine are in
action; in the latter, there is only a part of them so, and this part
acts as well while the animal is asleep as while it is awake, and is
therefore absolutely necessary since the animal cannot exist without
it. It is also independent of the other, as it acts of itself; the
former, on the contrary, depends on the latter, as it cannot exercise
itself alone. The one is a fundamental part of the animal economy,
since it acts continually and without interruption; the other is less
essential, since it acts but by internals.

The first division of the animal economy appears general and well
founded. An animal when asleep is more easy to be examined than when
awake and in motion. This difference is essential, and not a simple
change of situation as in an inanimate body, which may be equally and
indifferently at rest or in motion; for in either of these states
it would perpetually remain, unless constrained to quit it by some
external power or resistance. By its own powers the animal changes its
condition; and naturally, and without constraint, it passes from repose
to action, and from action to repose. The period for awaking returns
as necessarily as that for sleep, and both arrive independent of any
foreign cause; since in either state the animal cannot exist but for
a certain time, and an uninterrupted continuity of either would be
equally fatal, to life.

In the animal economy, therefore, we may distinguish two parts; the
one acts perpetually without interruption, and the other acts only by
intervals. The action of the heart and lungs in animals that breathe,
and of the heart in the foetus, seem to constitute the former as
does the action of the senses, and the movements of the members of the

If we imagine beings endowed by nature with only the first part of this
animal economy, though deprived of sense and progressive motion, would
yet be animated, and differ in nothing from animals asleep. An oyster
which appears to have no external sense or progressive motion, is a
being formed to sleep for ever. In this sense a vegetable is merely
a sleeping animal, and in general every organized being destitute of
sense and motion may be compared to an animal doomed by Nature to a
perpetual sleep.

In animals, then, sleep is not an accidental state, occasioned by the
exertions of their functions while awake. It is, on the contrary,
an essential mode of existence, which serves as a basis to an
animal economy. By sleep our existence begins; the foetus sleeps
continually, and the infant is more often asleep than awake. Sleep,
therefore, which seems to be a state purely passive, resembling that
of death, is, on the contrary, that which a living animal first
experiences, and is the very foundation of life.

Confined solely to that part which acts continually, the most perfect
animal will not appear to differ from those beings to which we can
scarcely give the appellation of animal. As to external functions,
it would be nearly upon a level with a vegetable; for however
different the internal organization of animals and vegetables may
be, the inferences will be the same. They each receive nourishment,
grow, expand, have external motions, and a vegetating life. But of
progressive motion, action, and sentiment, they will be equally
destitute; nor be endowed with any interior or apparent character
by which animal life may be distinguished. Investing, however, this
internal part with senses and members, animal life will presently
manifest itself; and the more this cover shall contain of sense and
members, the more will the animal life be perfect. It is by this
investment that animals differ from each other. The internal part
belongs, without exception, to all animals; and is nearly the same in
all which have flesh and blood. The external cover, however, is widely
different; and it is at its extremities that the greatest differences

In order to elucidate this argument, let us compare the body of a man
with that of a horse or an ox. In each the heart and lungs, or the
organs of circulation, and of respiration, are nearly the same; but the
external cover is highly different. The materials of the animal body,
though the parts are similar to those of the human, vary greatly as to
number, size, and position; and thereby the dissimilitudes in their
respective forms are rendered very wide. Besides, we shall find that
the greatest differences are at the extremities; for in dividing the
body into three principal parts, the trunk, the head, and the members,
we find, that in the head and members, which are the extremities of
the body, consist, the most material difference between man and other
animals. We discover that the greatest difference in the trunk is at
the two extremities; since in men there are clavicles at the upper
extremity, which in animals are wanting; and the under extremity of
animals is terminated by a tail, consisting of a certain number of
exterior vertebræ, which the human body is without. The inferior
extremity of the head also, as the jawbones, and the upper extremity,
as the bones the forehead, differ prodigiously in man and beast.
Finally, by comparing the members of a man with those of other animals,
we plainly perceive it is at the extremities they differ most, as no
two things bear less resemblance to each other, than the human hand
with the foot of a horse or an ox.

Taking the heart then for the centre of the animal machine, we find in
that and other adjacent parts, there is a perfect resemblance between
man and other animals: but the more we remove from this centre,
the more they become different; and when in the centre itself there
is found any difference, then the animal is infinitely more distant
from man, and possesses nothing in common with those animals we are
now considering. In most insects, for example, there is a peculiar
organization of this principal part of the animal economy. Instead of
heart and lungs, they have parts which, being subservient to the vital
functions, have been considered as analogous to those viscera, but
which in reality widely differ from them, both in structure and result
of action, and therefore are insects to the last degree different from
man and other animals. A minute difference in the centrical parts is
always accompanied with an infinitely greater in the exterior parts.
The tortoise, whose heart is of a peculiar structure, is a very
extraordinary animal, and has not the smallest resemblance to any other
animated being.

In considering men, quadrupeds, birds, cetaceous animals, fishes,
reptiles, &c. what prodigious variety do we find in the figure and
proportion of their bodies, in the number and position of their
members, in the substance of their flesh and bones? Quadrupeds have
generally tails and horns; cetaceous animals live in another element,
and though their mode of generation is similar to that of quadrupeds,
yet they differ greatly from them in form, having no inferior
extremities; birds differ still more by their beaks, feathers, wings,
and their propagation by eggs; fishes and amphibious animals are yet
farther removed from the human form, and reptiles have no members.
In the whole exterior covering there is the greatest diversity, the
interior conformation being nearly the same; they have all a heart, a
liver, a stomach, intestines, and organs for generation; these ought to
be considered as parts the most essential to the animal economy, since
they are the most fixed, and least subjected to variation.

But it is to be observed that, even in the cover, there are some parts
more fixed than others. Of all the senses none of these animals are
divested. We have already explained what may be their sensation of
feeling. What may be the nature of their smelling and taste we know
not, but we are assured they all enjoy the sense of seeing, and perhaps
that of hearing also. The senses may be considered, then, as another
essential part of the animal economy, as well as the brain, from which
sensation derives its origin. Even insects, which differ so much in
the centre of the animal economy, have a part analogous to the brain,
and its functions resemble those of other animals; and such as the
oyster, which seems to be deprived of a brain, ought to be considered
as only half-animated, and as filling up an intermediate space between
the animal and the vegetable kingdoms.

As the heart is the centre of the interior part of the animal, so is
the brain the centre of the cover. In like manner as the heart, and
all the interior parts, communicate with the brain and exterior cover,
by means of the blood-vessels, the brain communicates with the heart,
and with all the interior parts, by means of the nerves. This union
appears to be intimate and reciprocal, and though of these two organs
the functions are absolutely different, yet they can never be separated
without the instant death of the animal.

The heart and the whole interior part acts continually without
interruption, and independent of any exterior cause; but the senses
and exterior part act only by alternate intervals, when affected by
external causes. Objects act upon the senses, the senses modify this
action, and carry the impression modified into the brain, where it
becomes what we term sensation. In consequence of this impression
the brain acts on the nerves, and communicates the vibration it has
received; and this vibration it is which produces progression, and all
the other exterior actions of the body. Whenever a cause acts upon a
body, we know that the body also acts upon the cause. Thus objects act
upon animals by means of the senses, and animals act upon the object by
its exterior movements. In general action is the cause, and re-action
the effect.

It may be said, that in solid bodies, which follow the laws of
mechanism, the re-action is always equal to the action; but that in the
animal body it appears that the re-action is greater than the action,
and that the other exterior movements ought not to be considered
as simple effects of the impression of objects upon the senses. To
this objection I reply, that though in certain cases effects appear
proportioned to their causes, there is in Nature an infinite number of
cases where the effects bear no kind of proportion to their apparent
causes. By a single spark of fire a magazine of powder may be set in
flame, and a citadel be blown up. By electricity a slight friction
produces a violent shock, which is communicated to great distances, and
if a thousand persons touch each other, they would all be almost as
much affected by it as if the shock had been confined to each of them
individually. It is not, then, extraordinary that a slight impression
on the senses should produce in the animal body a violent re-action,
and should manifest itself by exterior movements.

The causes we are qualified to ascertain, and the quantity of whose
effects we can precisely estimate, are less numerous than those whose
mode of action is unknown, and of whose proportional relation with
their effects, we are entirely ignorant. Now most effects in Nature
depend on a number of causes differently combined, whose actions vary,
and seem to be determined by no established law, consequently we can
only form a conjectural estimate by endeavouring to approximate the
truth by the means of probabilities.

I pretend not, then, to assert as a demonstrative fact, that
progressive and other exterior movements of animals, are caused solely
by the impression of objects upon the senses. I mention it merely as
likely, and founded on principles of analogy, since all organized
beings, which are destitute of sense, are likewise destitute of
progressive motion, and that all those which possess the one have also
the other.

To illustrate these observations let us briefly analyze the physical
principles of our actions. When an object strikes any of our senses,
and the sensation it produces is agreeable, it creates a desire, which
desire must have a relation to some of our qualities or modes of
enjoyment. The object we cannot desire but either to see, taste, hear,
smell, or to touch. We desire it merely that we may render the first
sensation still more agreeable, or to excite another which is a new
manner of enjoying the object; for if in the moment that we perceive
an object we could enjoy it fully, through all the senses at once, we
should have nothing to desire. The source of desire, then, is our being
badly situated with respect to the object perceived, our being either
too far from, or too near to it. This being the case we naturally
change our situation, because at the same time that we perceive the
object, we likewise perceive the cause which prevents our obtaining a
full enjoyment of it. From the impression which the object produces
upon our senses, then, the motion we make in consequence of that
desire, and the desire itself, solely proceeds.

An object we perceive by the eye, and which we desire to touch, if
within our reach, we stretch forth our hands, and if at a distance
we put ourselves in motion to approach it. A man deeply immersed in
thought, if he is hungry, and there is a piece of bread before him,
he will seize it, and even carry it to his mouth and eat it, without
being conscious that he has done so. These movements are a necessary
consequence of the first impressions of objects, and would never fail
to succeed this impression if other intervening impressions did not
often oppose this natural effect, either by weakening or by destroying
the action of the first.

An organized being void of sensation, as an oyster, whose sense of
feeling is probably very imperfect, is deprived not only of progressive
motion, but even of sentiment and intelligence, as either of these
would produce desire, which would manifest itself by exterior movement.
That such beings are divested of a sense of their own existence I will
not assert, but at least that sense must be very imperfect, since they
have no perception of the existence of others.

It is the action of objects upon the senses which creates desire, and
desire progressive motion. In order to render this truth still more
sensible, let us suppose a man, at the instant his will incites him
to approach an object, suddenly deprived of all his members, his body
reduced to a physical point, to a globular atom, and, provided the
desire still subsists, he will exert his whole strength in order to
change his situation. The exterior and progressive movement depends
not, then, upon the organization and figure of the body and members,
since whatever be the conformation any of being it will not fail to
move, provided it has senses, and a desire to gratify them.

On this exterior organization, indeed, depends the facility, quickness,
direction, and continuity of motion, but the cause, principle, action,
and determination, originate solely from desire occasioned by the
impression of objects upon the senses; and if a man was deprived of
them he would no longer have desire, and consequently remain constantly
at rest, notwithstanding he might possess the faculties for motion.

The natural wants, as that of taking nourishment, are interior
movements, which necessarily create desire or appetite. By these
movements exterior motions may be produced in animals, and, provided
they are not deprived of exterior senses relative to these wants, they
will act to satisfy them. Want is not desire; it differs from it as
the cause differs from the effect. Every time the animal perceives an
object, relative to its wants, desire begins, and action follows.

The action of external objects must produce some effect; and this
effect we readily conceive to be animal motion, as every time its
senses are struck in the same manner, the same movements always follow.
But how shall we comprehend the action of objects creating desire or
aversion? How shall we obtain knowledge of that which operates beyond
the senses, those being the intermediate between the action of objects,
and the action of the animal; a power in which consists the principle
of the determination of motion, since it modifies the action of the
animal, and renders it sometimes null, notwithstanding the impression
of objects?

This question, as it relates to man, is difficult to be resolved, being
by nature so different from other animals. The soul has a share in
all our movements, and to distinguish the effects of this spiritual
substance, from those produced by the powers of our material being
alone, is an object of very great difficulty, and of which we can form
no judgment but by analogy, and by comparing our actions with the
natural operations of other animals. But as man alone is possessed of
this spiritual substance, which enables him to think and reflect, and
as the brute is a being altogether material, which neither thinks nor
reflects, nevertheless acts, and seems to determine, we cannot doubt
but that the principle of the determination of motion is in the animals
an effect altogether mechanical, and absolutely dependant upon its

I conceive, therefore, that in the animal the action on objects on the
senses produces another on the brain, which I consider as an interior
and a general sense, which receives every impression that the exterior
senses transmit to it. This internal sense is not only capable of being
agitated by the action of the senses, but also of retaining for a
length of time the agitations thus produced; and in the continuity of
the agitation consists the impression, which is more or less deep in
proportion as the agitation is more or less durable.

In the first place, then, the interior sense differs from the exterior
senses, in the property which it has of receiving all impressions,
while the exterior senses receive them merely as they relate to their
conformation; the eye, for example, being no more affected by sound
than the ear is by light. Secondly, the interior differs from the
exterior senses, by the duration of the agitations produced by exterior
causes; but in every other respect they are of the same nature. The
interior sense of the brute, as its exterior, is entirely material, and
the effect of mechanical organization. We have, like the animal, this
material sense; and we possess, moreover, a sense of a nature highly
superior, which resides in the spiritual substance, and which animates
and guides us.

The brain of the animal is, therefore, a general sense, which receives
all impressions the external senses transmit to it, and these
impressions continue much longer in the internal than in the external
senses: for instance, the agitations which light produces in the eye,
continues longer than that which sound produces on the ear.

It is on this account that the impressions, which the former transmits
to the interior sense, are more strong than those transmitted by the
latter; and that we represent to ourselves the things which we have
seen much more forcibly than those which we have heard. It is even
found, that of all the senses, the eye is that in which the agitations
are the most durable, and in which, of consequence, though seemingly
they are more explicit, the strongest impressions are formed.

The eye may therefore be considered as a continuation of the interior
sense. It is, indeed, nothing more than one large nerve expanded, and
a prolongation of the organ, in which the interior sense resides. That
in its nature there should be a greater affinity to this internal sense
is not then surprising; and in effect not only its impressions are more
durable, but its properties more eminent than those of the other senses.

The eye represents outwardly the inward impressions. Like the internal
sense, it is active, and expresses desire or aversion, while all the
other senses are wholly passive; they are merely organs formed for
the reception of exterior impressions, but incapable of retaining or
reflecting them.

When with violence, however, and for a length of time any sense is
acted upon, the agitation subsists much longer than the action of the
exterior objects. This is, however, felt most powerfully in the eye,
which will retain the dazzling impression made by looking for a moment
on the sun, for hours and even days.

The brain also eminently enjoys this property, and not only retains the
impressions it receives but propagates their actions, by communicating
the vibrations to the nerves. The organs of the exterior senses, the
brain, the spinal marrow, and the nerves, which are diffused over every
part of the body, ought to be considered as one continued substance,
as an organic machine, in which the senses are the parts acted upon by
the external objects. But what renders this machine so different from
all others is its fulcrum not only being capable of resistance and
re-action, but is itself active, because it long retains impressions it
has received; and the brain and its membranes being of great capacity
and sensibility, it may receive a number of successive agitations, and
retain them in the order in which they were received, because each
impression agitates one part of the brain only, and the successive
impressions agitate the same or contiguous parts, in a different manner.

Should we suppose an animal which had no brain, but possessing an
exterior of great sensibility and extension; an eye, for example, of
which the retina was as extensive as that of the brain, and had the
property of retaining, for a long space, the impressions it might
receive: it is certain, that the animal so endowed would see at the
same time not only the present objects, but also those it had seen
before; and seeing thus the past and the present with one glance, it
would be determined mechanically to act according to the number or
force of the agitations produced by the images which accorded with, or
were contrary to this determination. If the number of images calculated
to create an appetite surpassed those that would produce disgust or
loathing, the animal would necessarily be determined to move, in order
to satisfy that appetite: but if their number and force were equal,
having no particular cause for motion, it would remain perfectly at
rest; and if the number or the force of the images of the former are
equal to the number or the force of the images of the latter, the
animal will remain undetermined, and in an equilibrium between these
two equal powers, nor will he make any movement either to obtain
or to avoid. This I say it would do mechanically, and without the
intervention of memory; for as the animal sees at the same time all
the images, they consequently act, and those which have an affinity
to appetite and desire, counteract those which have an affinity to
antipathy and disgust; and it is by the preponderance of either, that
determines it to act in this or in that manner.

It is evident, therefore, that in brutes the interior sense differs
in nothing from the exterior but in the property of retaining the
impressions it has received, a property by which alone all the actions
of animals may be explained, and some idea obtained of what passes
within them; a property which likewise demonstrates the essential and
infinite difference which subsists between them and us, and from which
may be distinguished in what respects they are similar.

The degrees of excellence in the senses do not follow the same order in
the brute as in the human species. The sense which has the strongest
affinity to thought, is the touch. This is enjoyed by man in greater
perfection than by animals. That which has the strongest affinity
to instinct and appetite, is that of smelling; a sense in which man
must acknowledge an infinite inferiority. Man, then, has the greatest
tendency to knowledge, and the brute to appetite. In the former, the
sense first in point of excellence, is the touch, and smelling the
last; and this difference corresponds with the nature of each. The
sense of seeing is at best uncertain, without the aid of the touch,
and therefore less capable of perfection in the brute than in man. The
ear, though perhaps as perfect in the former as in the latter, is of
much less use to the animal, from the want of speech, which in man is
an appendage to the sense of hearing, an organ of communication which
renders it an active sense; whereas in the other hearing is a sense
almost entirely passive. Man, then, enjoys the senses of feeling,
seeing, and hearing, more perfect, and the sense of smelling more
imperfectly than other animals; and as the taste is an inferior smell,
and has also a stronger relation to appetite than any of the other
senses, there is a sufficient probability to suppose that animals
enjoy it in a more exquisite degree than man. Of this a proof might
be adduced from the repugnance which animals have to certain kinds of
food, and from their natural appetite for such as are proper for them;
while man, unless informed of the difference, would eat the fruit of
one tree for that of another, and even hemlock for parsley.

The excellence of the senses proceeds from Nature; but art and habit
may render them still more perfect. A painter sees, at the first
glance, numbers of shades and differences, which another person will
pass over unnoticed. A musician, always habituated to harmony, receives
a lively sensation of pain from discord. In like manner are the senses,
and even appetites of animals rendered more perfect. Birds may be
taught to repeat words, and imitate tunes; and the ardour of a dog for
the chace may be increased by accustoming him to a certain reward.

In proportion as these senses are acute and perfect does the animal
shew itself active and intelligent. In man the improvement is not
so conspicuous, because he exercises his ear and his eye by means
more rational and ingenious. Those persons who see, hear, or smell,
imperfectly, are of no less intellectual capacity than others; an
evident proof that in man there is something more than an internal
animal sense. This is the soul of man, which is a superior sense, a
spiritual substance, entirely different in its essence and action from
the nature of the external senses.

From this, however, we are not to deny that there is in man an internal
material sense corresponding with the external senses. But what I
maintain is, that the latter is infinitely subordinate to the other;
that the spiritual substance governs it, and either destroys or creates
its operations. In the animal this sense is the determinating principle
of motion, but in man only the means, or the secondary cause.

Let us endeavour to clear up this important point, and let us see what
power this internal material sense possesses, and what it is capable
of producing. The internal material sense receives promiscuously all
the impressions the external senses transmit to it. These impressions
proceed from the action of objects; they only pass over the external
senses, and produce in them but an instantaneous vibration; they
rest, however, upon the internal sense, and produce in the brain,
which is its organ, durable and distinct agitations. These vibrations
create appetite or disgust, inclination or repugnance, according
to the present state and disposition of an animal. An animal, the
instant after its birth, begins to breathe, and to feel the want of
nourishment; the smell, which is the sense of appetite, receives the
emanations of the milk which is contained in the teats of its mother.

The vibrations which this sense undergoes, from the odoriferous
particles, are communicated to the brain, which acting, in its turn,
upon the nerves, the animal is stimulated to open its mouth, to obtain
that sustenance of which it feels the want. The sense of appetite being
less acute in man than in brutes, the infant at its birth feels only
the desire of receiving nourishment, which it announces by its cries,
but it cannot obtain it of itself; it receives no information from the
smell, and is obliged to have its mouth put to the nipple, when the
agitations, excited by the touch and smell, are communicated to the
brain and nerves, and the child makes the necessary motions for sucking
in its nourishment. Solely by the smell and taste, the senses of
appetite, can the animal be informed of the presence of its food, and
of the place where it is, as its eyes are still closed, and would, even
if they were open, in no degree contribute towards the determination of
motion. Vision has a greater relation to knowledge than to appetite,
and in man the eye is open from the moment of his birth; in most
animals it is shut for several days, but in whom the senses of appetite
are far more expanded, and more perfect.

The same remark is alike applicable to progressive motion, and to all
the other exterior movements. A new-born infant can hardly move its
members, and it is a long time before it attains strength sufficient to
change its place, but in a very little time does a young animal acquire
these faculties. In the animal these powers relate solely to the
appetite, which is vehement, quickly developed, and the sole principle
of motion; in man the appetite is weak, more slowly developed, and can
have less influence than knowledge upon the determination of motion;
man is necessarily, in this respect, more backward than the animal.

Every thing concurs then to prove, even in a physical sense, that
brutes are actuated by appetite alone, and that man is governed by a
superior principle. If doubts still exist, it is from our imperfect
conception how appetite alone is capable of producing, in animals,
effects so much resembling those which knowledge produces among
ourselves; and from the difficulty we have to distinguish what we do
in virtue of knowledge, from what we do by the mere force of appetite.
Yet, in my opinion, it is not impossible to dispel this uncertainty.
The internal material sense retains for a long time the agitations it
receives; it is a sense of which the brain is the organ, and by which
all the impressions are received that each of the exterior senses
transmits to it. When, therefore, an exterior impression proceeds from
the senses of appetite, the animal will advance to attain, or draw
back to avoid, the object of this impression. This motion, however, is
liable to uncertainty when produced by the eye or the ear; because,
when an animal sees, or hears, for the first time, he will be agitated
by light or by sound; yet this agitation will be uncertain, since
neither have any relation to appetite. It is only by repeated acts of
seeing and hearing, added to the senses of taste and feeling, that
it will actually advance or recede from objects which become relative
to its appetite. A dog, for instance, who has been tutored, however
violent his appetite, will not seize what might satisfy that appetite,
although he will use every gesture to obtain it from the hand of its
master. Does not this animal seem to reason between desire and fear,
nearly as a man would do, who was inclined to seize upon the property
of another, but was withheld by the dread of punishment? Though this
analogy may be just; yet to render it in effect well-founded, should
not animals be capable of performing the same actions that we perform?
Now the contrary is evident; as nothing do animals either invent or
perfect; in every thing they have an uniformity, and consequently no
reflection. Of this analogy then we may doubt its reality, and may with
propriety enquire, whether it is not by a principle different from
ours that brutes are directed? and whether, without being under the
necessity of allowing them the aid of reflection, the senses they enjoy
are not sufficient to produce the actions they perform?

Whatever relates to their appetites strongly agitates their interior
sense; and on the object of this appetite the dog would instantly
rush, did not this very sense retain the impressions of pain which had
formerly accompanied this action. By exterior impressions the animal
has been modified. This prey is not presented to a dog simply, but
to one which has been chastised every time it obeyed this impulse of
appetite; the agitations of pain, therefore, are renewed when those of
appetite are felt, having been constantly felt at the same time. The
animal being thus impelled at once by two contrary powers, two powers
destructive of each other, remains between them in an equilibrium; and,
as the determinate cause of its motion is counterbalanced, it makes no
effort to attain the object of its appetite. Though the agitations of
appetite and repugnance, or of pleasure and pain, destroy the effect
of each other, in the brain a third vibration takes place, which
accompanies the other two, and this is occasioned by the action of its
master, from whose hand the animal has often received its food; and
as this is in no degree opposed or counterbalanced, it becomes the
determinative cause of motion; and the dog is therefore determined to
move towards its master, and to remain in motion till its appetite is
entirely satisfied.

In the same manner, and upon the same principles, may we explain,
however complicated they appear, all the actions of animals, without
allowing them either thought or reflection; the internal sense being
sufficient to produce all their movements. The nature of their
sensations alone remains to be elucidated, which, from what we have
asserted, must be widely different from ours. "Have animals, it may
be said, no knowledge, no consciousness of their existence? Do you
deprive them of sentiment? In pretending to explain their actions upon
mechanical principles, do you not in fact render them mere machines, or
insensible automatons?"

If I have been rightly understood, it must have appeared that, far from
divesting animals of all powers, I allow them every thing, thought
and reflection excepted. Feelings they have, in a degree superior to
ourselves. A consciousness they also have of their present, though not
of their past existence. They have sensations, but they have not the
faculty of comparing them, or of producing ideas: ideas being nothing
more than associations of sensations.

Each of these objects let us examine in particular. That animals have
feelings, and in a degree even more exquisite than ourselves, I think
we have already evinced, by what we have said of the excellence of
their senses relative to appetite. Like ourselves then, animals are
affected by pleasure and pain; they do not know good and evil, but they
feel it; what is agreeable to them is good, what is disagreeable is
bad, and both are nothing more than relations, suitable, or contrary to
their nature and organization. The pleasure of tickling, and the pain
from a hurt, as they depend absolutely on an action more or less strong
upon the nerves, which are the organs of sentiment, are alike common
to man and other animals. Whatever acts softly upon these organs, is a
cause of pleasure, and whatever shakes them violently, is a cause of
pain. All sensations, then, are sources of pleasure, while they are
moderate, and natural; but so soon as they become too strong, they
produce pain, which, in a physical sense, is the extreme, rather than
the opposite of pleasure.

A light too bright, a fire too hot, a noise too loud, a smell too
strong, coarse victuals and severe friction, excite in us disagreeable
sensations; whereas a delicate colour, a moderate heat, a soft sound,
a gentle perfume, a fine savour, and light touch, please and move
us with delight. Every gentle application to the senses, then, is a
pleasure, and every violent shock a pain; and as the causes which
occasion violent, happen more rarely in Nature than those which produce
mild and moderate effects; and as animals, by the exercise of their
senses, acquire in a little time the habit of avoiding every thing
offensive or hurtful to them, and of distinguishing, and of approaching
such as are pleasing; so without doubt they enjoy more agreeable
sensations than disagreeable ones, and the amount of their pleasures
exceed the amount of their pain.

In man, physical pleasure and pain form the smallest part of his
sufferings or enjoyments. His imagination, never idle, seems
perpetually employed to increase his misery; presenting to the mind
nothing but vain phantoms, or exaggerated images. More agitated by
these illusions, than by real objects, the mind loses its faculty of
judging, and even its dominion; the will, of which it has no longer the
command, becomes a burthen; its extravagant desires are sorrows; and,
at best, its prospects are delusive pleasures, which vanish as soon as
the mind, resuming its place, is enabled to form a judgment of them.

In searching for pleasure, we create ourselves pain; and seeking to
be more happy, we increase our misery; the less we desire, the more
we possess. In fine, whatever we wish beyond what Nature has given is
pain; and nothing is pleasure but what she offers of herself. Nature
presents to us pleasures without number; she has provided for our
wants, and fortified us against pain. In the physical world, there is
infinitely more good than evil; and therefore it is not the realities
but the chimeras which we have to dread: it is not pain of body,
disease, nor death that are terrible; but the agitation of the soul,
the conflict of the passions, the mental anxiety, are those only we
need apprehend.

Animals have but one mode of enjoying pleasure; the satisfying their
appetite by the exercise of their sensations. We likewise enjoy this
faculty, and have another mode of acquiring pleasure, the exercise of
the mind, whose appetite is knowledge. This source of pleasure would
be the more pure and copious did not our passions oppose its current,
and divert the mind from contemplation. So soon as these obtain the
ascendancy, reason is silenced; a disgust to truth ensues; the charm
of illusion increases; error fortifies, itself, and drags us on to
misery; for what misery can be greater than no longer seeing things as
they are; to have judgment perverted by passions; to act solely by its
direction, to appear in consequence unjust or ridiculous to others; and
when the hour of self-examination comes, of being forced to despise

In this state of illusion and darkness we would change the nature of
our soul. She was given us for the purposes of knowledge, and we would
employ her solely for those of sensation. Could we extinguish her
light, far from regretting the loss, with pleasure should we embrace
the lot of idiots. As we no longer reason but during intervals, and
as these intervals are troublesome, and spent in secret reproaches,
we wish to suppress them, and thus proceeding from one illusion to
another, we at length endeavour to lose all knowledge and remembrance
of ourselves.

A passion without intervals is madness; and a state of madness is
the death of the soul. Violent passions with intervals are fits of
folly, a malady of the mind, whose danger consists in its duration and
frequency. In those intervals alone it may be said to enjoy health by
the resumption of wisdom, but prevents it being a state of happiness,
by reflecting on and condemning the past follies.

The generality of those who call themselves unhappy, are men of violent
passions, or rather madmen, who have some intervals of reason; and as
in exalted stations there are more false desires, more vain pursuits,
more unruly passions, more abuses of the mind, than in the inferior,
the rich man, beyond a doubt, is the most unhappy.

But let us turn from these gloomy objects, these humiliating truths,
and take a view of the man of wisdom, who alone is worthy our notice.
Contented with his situation, he who is entitled to this character
wishes not to live but as he has always lived: happy within himself,
he stands in little need of other resources; continually occupied in
exercising the faculties of his mind, he perfects his understanding,
cultivates his talents, acquires new knowledge, and without remorse and
disgust, he enjoys the whole universe by enjoying himself.

A man like this is undoubtedly the happiest being in Nature. To the
pleasures of the body, which he possesses in common with other animals,
he adds those of the mind, which he enjoys exclusively. He has two
methods of being happy, which aid and fortify each other: and if by
indisposition or accident he is subject to pain, his sufferings are not
great: his strength of mind supports him, reason consoles him, and he
feels a satisfaction that he is enabled to suffer.

The health of man is more precarious than that of any other animal; he
is indisposed more frequently, and for a greater length of time, and
dies at all ages; while brutes travel through life with an even and
steady pace. This difference seems to proceed from two causes, which,
though widely distinct, contribute to the same effect. The first is,
the unruliness of our internal material sense; the passions have an
influence on the health, and disorder the principles which animate
us. Almost all mankind lead a life of timidity or contention, and the
greatest part die of chagrin. The second is the imperfection of those
of our senses which have an affinity with the appetite. Brute animals
have a better perception of what is suitable to their nature; they
are not liable to deception in the choice of their food; they are not
guilty of excess in their pleasures; and guided solely by a sense of
their present wants, they satisfy these without seeking new modes of
gratification. As for man, independent of his propensity to excess,
independent of that ardour with which he endeavours to destroy himself,
by endeavouring to force Nature; he hardly knows how to distinguish
the effect of this or that nourishment; he disdains simple food,
and prefers artificial dishes, because his taste is depraved, and
because, from being a sense of pleasure, he has rendered it an organ of
debauchery, which is never gratified but when it is irritated.

It is not surprising, therefore, that we are more subjected than
animals to infirmities; since we know not so well as them, what may
contribute to preserve or destroy health, our experience being less
certain than their perception; nay we abuse the very senses of the
appetite, which they enjoy in such superior excellence, these being to
them the means of preserving health, and to us causes of disease and of
destruction. By intemperance alone more men sicken and die, than by all
the scourges incident to human nature.

From these reflections it would appear, that animals have a more
certain, as well as a more exquisite sensation of feeling than men.
In support of this superior strength of sentiment, we may advert to
their sense of smelling, which some animals enjoy to such a degree that
they can smell further than they can see. A sense like this is an eye
which sees objects, not only where they are, but even where they have
been; it is the sense by which the brute animal distinguishes what is
suitable or repugnant to its nature, and by which it perceives and
chooses what is proper for the gratification of its appetite.

In greater perfection, then, than man, do animals enjoy the senses
which relate to appetite: and though of their present existence they
have a consciousness, of their past they have none. This second
proposition, as well as the first, is worthy consideration. The
consciousness of existence is composed in man of the sensation of his
present, and of the remembrance of his past existence. Remembrance
is a sensation altogether as present as the first impression, and
sometimes affects us more strongly. As these two kinds of sensations
are different, and as the mind possesses the faculty of comparing and
forming ideas from them, our consciousness of existence is the more
certain and extensive, as remembrance more frequently and copiously
recalls past things and occurrences; and as by our reflections we
compare and combine them with those past and present occurrences.
Every man retains within himself a certain number of sensations
correspondent with the different existences or states through which
he has passed; and these sensations, by the comparison which the mind
forms between them, at length become a succession, and a series of
ideas. In this comparison of sensations consists the idea of time;
and indeed all other ideas. But this series of ideas, this chain of
existences, is often presented to us in an order very different from
that in which our sensations reached us; and in this it is that the
difference principally consists in the genius and disposition of

Some men have minds particularly active in comparing and forming ideas.
These are invariably the most ingenious, and, circumstances concurring,
will always distinguish themselves. There are others, and in a greater
number, whose minds are less active, allow all sensations which have
not a certain degree of force to escape, and who only compare those by
which they are strongly agitated. In points of ingenuity and vivacity
these yield to the former. Others still there are, and they form the
multitude, in whom there is so little activity of mind, so little
propensity to think, that they compare and combine nothing, at least at
the first glance; sensations of force, and repeated a thousand times,
are required before their minds will be influenced to compare them, and
form ideas.

The consciousness of our existence being composed, then, not only of
our actual sensations, but of the train of ideas which gave rise to the
comparison of our sensations, and of our past existences, it is evident
that the more ideas we have, the more certain we are of our existence;
that the more we have of intellectual capacity, the more we exist; that
it is by the power of reflection alone that we are certain of our past
existence, and view our future one; the idea of futurity being nothing
more than a comparison of the present with the past inverted, since in
this light the present is past, and the future present.

This power of reflection being denied to animals, it is certain they
cannot form ideas, and consequently their consciousness of existence
is less sure, and less extensive than ours. Having no idea of time,
no knowledge of the past, nor conception of the future, their
consciousness of existence is simple, depends solely on the sensations
which actually affect them, and consists in the internal sentiment
which these sensations produce.

May we not conceive what this consciousness of existence is in animals,
by reflecting on our own state when strongly occupied with some object,
or violently agitated by some passion, which banishes every reflection
upon self? This state we familiarly express by saying, the man is
absent or beside himself; and people are in reality beside themselves,
when they are occupied with sensations actually present to them,
especially if those sensations are so violent and rapid as to allow the
mind no time for reflection. When thus situated we feel pleasure and
pain in all their varieties; therefore, though seemingly without the
participation of the mind, we have a consciousness of our existence.
This state, to which we are occasionally exposed, is the habitual state
of animals; deprived of ideas, and furnished with sensations, they
_know_ not their existence but _feel_ it.

To render more sensible this difference, let us consider minutely the
faculties of brutes, and compare them with the actions of man. Like us
they have senses, and receive impressions from exterior objects; they
have also an interior sense, an organ which retains the agitations
occasioned by those impressions, and consequently sensations which,
like ours, are renewable, and are more or less strong and durable. But
they have neither ingenuity, understanding, nor memory; because they
are denied the power of comparing their sensations, and because these
three faculties of the mind depend on this power.

Have animals no memory? It will be replied, the contrary seems
demonstrably evident. After a considerable absence do they not
recognize the persons with whom they had lived, the places where they
resided, and the roads which they had frequented? Do they not recollect
the punishments, the caresses, the lessons they had received? Though
deprived of imagination and understanding, every thing seems still to
evince they have a memory active, extensive, and perhaps more faithful
than our own. However persuasive these appearances may be deemed, and
however strong may be the prejudices created by them, I presume I can
demonstrate, that they deceive us, and that brute animals have no
knowledge of past events, no idea of time, and of consequence no memory.

In man memory flows from the power of reflection, for the remembrance
of things past supposes not only the duration of the impressions on
our internal material sense, or renovation of former sensations, but
also the comparison which the mind has made of those sensations, or
the ideas it has formed. If memory consisted merely in the renovation
of past sensations, those sensations would be represented to our
internal sense without leaving any determined impressions; they would
present themselves without order or connection, as they do in a state
of intoxication, or in dreams, when they are so incongruous, and so
incoherent, that we immediately lose all recollection of them. Of such
things only as have a relation to others, which preceded or followed
them, do we retain a remembrance; and every solitary sensation, however
powerful, passes away without leaving the smallest trace on the mind.
Now it is the mind which establishes these relations of objects, by
the comparison it makes between them, and connects our sensations by a
continued thread of ideas. As memory consists, then, in a succession of
ideas, so it necessarily supposes the power by which ideas are produced.

But, if possible, to leave no doubt on this important point, let us
enquire into the nature of that remembrance left by our sensations when
they are accompanied with ideas. Pain and pleasure are pure sensations,
and the strongest of any, yet we but feebly recollect them, and with
confusion. All we remember is, that we were pleased or hurt; but
this remembrance is not distinct; we cannot represent to ourselves
either the kind, the degree, or the duration of those sensations by
which we had been so violently agitated; and the less are we capable
of representing those we had but seldom felt. A pain, for example,
which we have experienced but once, which only lasted a few minutes,
and differed from all former pains, would be soon forgotten; we might
recollect we felt great pain, yet, though we distinctly recollected
the circumstances which accompanied it, and the period at which it
happened, we should have but an imperfect remembrance of the pain

Why is almost every thing forgotten that passed during our infancy?
Why have old men a more distinct remembrance of what happened in
their prime of life than what occurred in their more advanced
years? Can there be a stronger proof that sensations alone are not
sufficient to produce memory, and that it exists solely in the train
of ideas which our minds derive from those sensations? In infancy the
sensations are as lively and rapid as in manhood, yet they leave few
or no traces, because at this era the power of reflection, which
alone can form ideas is almost totally inactive; and because in the
moments it does act, its comparisons are only superficial. In manhood
reason is completely developed, because the power of reflection is
in full exercise; we then derive from our sensations every possible
advantage, and form many orders of ideas, and chains of thought,
whereof each, from being often revolved, forms so durable and indelible
an impression, that when old age comes on, those very ideas present
themselves with more force than those derived from present sensations,
because at that period the sensations are feeble, slow and dull, and
the mind itself partakes of the languor of the body. In infancy, the
time present is every thing; in manhood, we equally enjoy the past, the
present and the future; in old age we have little sense of the present,
we turn our eyes to the future, and exist in the past. In the infant
that prattles, and the old man that dotes, reason is alike imperfect,
because they are alike void of ideas; the former is as yet unable to
form them, and the latter has ceased.

An idiot, whose corporeal senses and organs appear to be sound, has,
like us, sensations of all kinds; he will also have them in the
same order, if he lives in society, and is obliged to act as other
men. As these sensations do not create in him ideas, as there is no
correspondence between his mind and his body, and as he is incapable
of reflection, so he is necessarily destitute of memory, and all
knowledge of himself. In nothing does such a man differ from a brute,
as to the exterior faculties, for though he has a soul, and possesses
the principle of reason, yet as this principle remains in a state of
inaction, and receives nothing from the corporeal organs, it can have
no influence upon his actions which are like those of an animal, solely
determined by its sensations, and by a sentiment of its existence and
present wants. Thus the idiot and the brute are beings whose operations
are in every respect the same, because the one has no soul, and the
other makes not any use of it; they are both destitute of the power of
reflection, and of course have neither understanding nor memory.

Should it still be said, "Do not the idiot and the brute often act
as if they were determined by the knowledge of things past? Do they
not distinguish persons with whom they have lived; places where they
have resided; and perform many other actions, which necessarily imply
memory? And does not all this prove that memory proceeds not from the
power of reflection?"

It must already have been perceived, that I distinguish two kinds
of memory, infinitely different in their causes, though somewhat
similar in their effects. The one consists in the impressions of our
ideas; and the other, which I would rather term reminiscence than
memory, is nothing more than the renovation of our sensations, or of
the vibrations by which they were occasioned. The former issues from
the mind, and is much more perfect in man than the latter; which is
produced merely by the renovation of the vibrations of the internal
sense, and is the only memory possessed by brutes or idiots. Their
preceding sensations are renewed by their present ones; the present,
and principal, calls forth the former, and the accessory images; they
feel as they have felt, and therefore they act as they have acted; they
behold together the present and the past, but without distinguishing or
comparing, and consequently without knowing them.

As another proof of the existence of memory in animals, I may be
told of their dreams. It is certain that brutes, while asleep, have
the things represented to them with which they have been occupied
while awake. Dogs bark when they are asleep; and though this barking
is feeble, yet it is easy to distinguish in it the cry of the chace,
accents of rage, sounds of desire, of murmur, &c. It is not to be
doubted, then, but that dogs have a lively and active memory, different
too from that of which we have now been speaking, since it acts
independent of any exterior cause.

To clear up this difficulty, it is necessary to examine the nature
of dreams, and to inquire whether they proceed from the mind, or
depend entirely on our internal material sense. If we could prove
that they reside solely in the latter, it would be an answer to the
objection, and another demonstration, that in brutes there is neither
understanding nor memory.

Idiots, whose minds are without action, dream like other men; therefore
dreams are produced independent of the mind. Let any person reflect
upon his dreams, and endeavour to discover why the circumstances are
so unconnected, and the events so extravagant. To me it appears, that
it is principally because they turn solely upon sensations, and not
upon ideas. With the idea of time, for example, they have no affinity.
Persons are represented whom we never saw, and even those who have
been dead for many years, as alive, and as they formerly were when
living; but we indifferently connect them with things and persons of
the present, or of a different period. Thus it is also with the idea
of place; we must perceive objects where they are not, or we should
not see them at all. Did the mind act in a single instant it would
give order to this incongruous train of sensations. Instead of which
it allows the representations to succeed each other in disorder; and
though each object appears in lively colours, the succession is often
confused, and always chimerical. If the mind is rather roused by the
enormity or force of these sensations, it will in the midst of this
darkness produce a spark of light, and create in the midst of chimeras
a real idea. We then dream, or rather we will think so, for though this
action is but a small sign of the soul, it is yet neither a sensation
nor a dream; it is a thought, a reflection, but being too weak to
dispel the illusion, it mixes with and forms a part of the dream, and
prevents not the representations from succeeding; insomuch, that on
awaking, we imagine we had dreamed the very things we had thought.

In dreams we see much, though we but seldom understand; we are
powerfully agitated by our sensations, images follow each other,
without the least intervention of the mind, either to compare or
reconcile them. We have sensations, then, but no ideas, the latter
being comparisons of the former; so dreams must reside solely in the
internal material sense; and as the mind does not produce them, they
must form a part of that animal reminiscence, of which we have already
treated. Memory, on the contrary, cannot exist without the idea of
time, without a comparison of ideas, and as these extend not to dreams,
it seems to be obvious that they can neither be a consequence nor an
effect, nor a proof of memory. But though it should be maintained
that to some dreams ideas certainly belong; and as a proof of it,
those people be quoted who walk, speak, and converse connectedly while
asleep; still it would be sufficient for my argument, that dreams may
be produced by the renovation of sensations alone, for in consequence
thereof the dreams of animals must be merely of this species, and such
dreams, far from supposing memory, indicate nothing but a material

By no means am I inclined to believe, that persons who walk and
converse while asleep are in reality occupied with ideas. In all such
actions the mind seems to have no concern. Sleep-walkers go about,
return and act, without reflection or knowledge of their situation or
danger; alone are their animal faculties exercised, and even of these
some remain unemployed; and while in this state, a sleep-walker is of
course more stupid than an idiot. As to persons who speak while asleep,
they never say any thing new. An answer to certain common questions, a
repetition of a few familiar expressions, may be produced, independent
of the principle of thought or action of the mind. Why should we not
speak without thought when asleep, since when most awake, and under the
influence of passion, man utters numberless things without reflection.

As to the occasional cause of dreams, by which former sensations
are renewed without being excited by present objects, it is to be
observed, that we never dream when our sleep is sound: every thing is
then in a state of inaction, and we sleep both outwardly and inwardly.
The internal sense, however, falls asleep the last, and awakes the
first, because it is more active, and more easily agitated, than the
external senses. It is when our sleep is less sound that we experience
illusive dreams, and former sensations, those especially which require
not reflection, are renewed. The internal sense being unoccupied by
actual sensations from the inaction of the external senses, exercises
itself upon its past sensations. Of these the most strong appear the
most often; and the more they are strong, the more the situations are
extravagant; and for this reason it is, that almost all dreams either
terrify or charm us.

That the internal material sense may act of itself, it is not necessary
that the exterior senses should be absolutely in a state of repose: it
is sufficient if they are without exercise. Accustomed regularly to
resign ourselves to repose, we do not easily fall asleep: the body and
the members, softly extended, are without motion; the eyes veiled by
darkness, the tranquillity of the place, and the silence of the night,
render the ear useless; alike inactive are the other senses; all is at
rest, though nothing is yet lulled to sleep. In this condition, when
the mind is also unoccupied with ideas, the internal material sense is
the only power that acts. Then is the time for chimerical images and
fluttering shadows. We are awake, and yet we experience the effects
of sleep. If we are in full health, the images are agreeable, the
illusions are charming; but if the body is disordered or oppressed,
then we see grim and hideous phantoms, which succeed each other in a
manner not more whimsical than rapid. It is a magic lanthorn, a scene
of chimeras, which fill the brain, when destitute of other sensations.
We remember our dreams, from the same cause that we remember sensations
lately experienced; and the only difference which subsists between us
and brutes is, that we can distinguish what belongs to dreams, from
what belongs to our real ideas or sensations; and this is a comparison,
an operation of the memory, to which the idea of time extends. While
brutes, who are deprived of memory, and of this power of comparison,
cannot distinguish their dreams, from their real sensations.

I presume, that in treating of the nature of man, I have
demonstratively shewn that animals enjoy not the power of reflection.
Now the understanding, which is the result of that power, may be
distinguished by two different operations. The first is the capacity
to compare sensations, and form ideas from them; the second is
the faculty to compare ideas themselves, and form arguments or
conclusions thereon: by the first we acquire particular ideas, or
the knowledge of sensible objects; by the other we form general
ideas, which are necessary for the comprehension of abstract truths.
Neither of these faculties do the animals possess, because they are
void of understanding; and to the first of these operations does the
understanding of the bulk of men seem to be limited.

Were all men equally capable of comparing ideas, of rendering them
general, they would equally manifest their genius by new productions,
always different from, and sometimes more perfect than those of others;
all would enjoy the power of invention, or at least the talents for
improvement. This, however, is far from being the case. Reduced to a
servile imitation, the generality of men execute nothing but what they
see done by others; they only think by memory, and in the same stile
as others have thought, and their understanding being too confined for
invention, they proceed to follow imitation.

Imagination is likewise a faculty of the mind. If, by _imagination_,
we understand the power of comparing images with ideas; of giving
colours to our thoughts; of aggrandizing our sensations; of perceiving
distinctly all the remote affinities of objects; it is the most
brilliant and most active faculty of the mind of which brutes are still
more destitute than of understanding or memory. But there is another
kind of imagination which depends solely upon the corporeal organs,
and which we possess in common with brutes; it is that tumultuous
emotion, excited by objects analogous or contrary to our appetites;
that lively and deep impression of the images of objects, which is
constantly and against our inclinations, renewed, and forces us to
act without reflection; this representation of objects, which is more
active than even their presence, exaggerates and falsifies every thing.
This imagination is forever hostile to the human mind; it is the source
of illusion, the parent of these passions, which, in defiance of the
efforts of reason, bear us away, and expose us to a continual combat,
in which we are almost always worsted.


The interior man is double, being composed of two principles different
in their nature, and contrary in their action. The soul, that principle
of all knowledge, is perpetually opposed by another purely material
principle. The former is a pure light, accompanied with serenity and
peace, a salutary source, whence flow science, reason, and wisdom;
the latter is a false light, which never shines but in the midst of
darkness and hurricane, an impetuous torrent fraught with error and

The animal principle is first developed. As it is altogether material,
and consists in the duration of vibrations, and the renovation
of impressions formed in the internal material sense, by objects
analogous, or contrary to our appetites, it begins to act as soon
as the body is capable of feeling pain or pleasure. The spiritual
principle manifests itself much later, and is developed and perfected
by means of education; it is by the communication of the thoughts
of others that the infant becomes a thinking, a rational being; and
without this communication it would be fantastic or stupid, according
to the degree of activity or inactivity of its internal material sense.

Let us consider a child, when at liberty, and far from the eye of his
master. By his exterior actions we may judge of what passes within him.
A stranger to thought or reflection, he acts without reason; treads
with indifference through all the paths of pleasure; obeys all the
impressions of exterior objects; amuses himself like a young animal,
in running and bodily exercise; all his actions and motions are without
order, or design. Called on by the person who has taught him to think,
he composes himself, directs his actions, and proves that he has
retained the thoughts which have been communicated to him. In infancy,
the material principle is predominant, and would so continue, were not
education to develop the spiritual principle and to put it in motion.

The existence of these two principles is easily discovered. In life
there are moments, nay, hours and days, in which we may not only
determine of the certainty of their existence, but also of the
contrariety of their action. I allude to those periods of languor,
indolence, or disgust, in which we are incapable of any determination,
when we wish one thing and do another; I mean that state, or distemper,
called _vapours_; a state to which idle persons are so peculiarly
subject. If in this situation we observe ourselves, we shall appear as
divided into two distinct beings, of which the first, or the rational
faculty, blames every thing done by the second, but has not strength
sufficient effectually to subdue it; the second, on the contrary, being
formed of all the illusions of sense and imagination, constrains, and
often overwhelms the first, and makes us either act contrary to our
judgment, or remain inactive, though disposed to action by our will.

While the rational faculties reign, we are calmly occupied with
ourselves, our friends, and affairs. But when the material principle
prevails, we devote ourselves with ardour to dissipation, to all the
pursuits and passions it creates; and are hardly capable of reflecting
upon the very objects by which we are so engrossed. In both these
states we are happy; in the former we command with satisfaction, and
in the latter, we are still more pleased to obey. As only one of these
principles is then in action, and acts without opposition from the
other, we feel no internal contrariety; our self appears to be simple,
because we experience but one impulse. In this unity of action consists
our happiness; for, whenever our reason condemns our passions, or,
from the violence of our passions, we attempt to discard reason, from
that minute we cease to be happy; the unity of our existence, in which
consists our tranquillity, is destroyed; the internal contrariety
commences, and the two contending principles are manifested by doubts,
inquietude and remorse. Of all states, that is the most unhappy in
which these two sovereign powers of human nature are both in full
motion, and produce an equilibrium. Then it is man feels that horrible
disgust which leaves no desire but that of ceasing to exist, no power
but to effect his own destruction, by coolly plunging into himself
the weapons of despair and madness. What a state of horror! in its
blackest colours it is here presented; but by how many gloomy shades
must it be preceded? all the situations approaching an equilibrium
must necessarily be accompanied with melancholy, irresolution, and
unhappiness. From these internal conflicts the body suffers; and from
the agitation it undergoes, languishes and decays.

The happiness of man consists in the unity of his internal existence.
In infancy he is happy, for then the material principle rules alone
and acts almost continually. Constraints, remonstrances, and even
chastisements, affect not the real happiness of children, but are
only accompanied with a momentary sorrow, for as soon as they find
themselves at liberty they resume all the activity and gaiety which
the vivacity and novelty of their sensations can give them. If a
child was left to himself he would be completely happy, but this
happiness would cease and be productive of misery ever after; it is,
therefore, necessary that he should be constrained, though it gives him
a momentary grievance, as it is, in fact, a prelude to all his future
happiness in life.

In youth, when the spiritual principle begins to act, and is capable
of conducting us, a new material sense appears, which assumes an
absolute sway over our faculties, the soul itself seems with pleasure
to incline to the impetuous passions which it produces. The material
principle has, then, more power than ever, for it not only effaces
reason but perverts it, and uses it for its own gratification. We only
think and act to encourage and to gratify some passion; and while this
intoxication lasts we are happy. The external contradictions, and
difficulties, seem to render the unity of the interior existence still
more firm; they fortify the passion, and fill up the languid intervals;
they call forth our pride, and direct all our views towards one object,
all our powers towards effecting one end.

But this happiness passes away as a dream; the charm disappears,
disgust ensues, and a horrid vacuity of sentiment succeeds. Hardly,
on rousing from this lethargy, is the soul capable of distinguishing
itself; by slavery it has lost its strength, and the habit of
commanding; of that slavery it even regrets the privation, and longs
for another master, a new object of passion, which presently disappears
in its turn, and is followed by another passion more transitory still.
Thus excess and disgust succeed each other; pleasure flies, the organs
decay, and the material sense, instead of commanding, has no longer
strength to obey. After a youth like this, what is there left for a
man? A body enervated, a mind enfeebled, and the inability to make use
of either.

It is remarked, that at the middle period of life men are chiefly
subjected to those languors, or vapours. At this period we still run
after the pleasures of youth, not from an absolute propensity but
from habit. In proportion as we advance in years, our ability for the
enjoyment of pleasure decreases, and so often are we humiliated by our
own weakness, that we cannot help condemning our actions and desires.

Besides, it is at this age that the cares and solicitudes of life
begin; we then, whether by accident or by choice, assume a certain
character which it is alway disgraceful to abandon, and dangerous to
support. Full of pain, we tread between contempt and hatred, two rocks
alike formidable; by the efforts we make to avoid them we weaken our
powers, and sink into despondency, for after having experienced the
injustice of mankind, we contract a habit of accounting it a necessary
evil; when we have accustomed ourselves to have less regard for the
opinions of the world than for our own repose, and when the heart,
hardened by the wounds it has received, has become insensible, we
easily attain that state of indifference, that indolent tranquillity,
of which, a few years before, we should have been ashamed. Glory, that
powerful motive of great souls, which seen at a distance appears as
the most desirable object, and excites us to perform great and useful
actions, loses its attractions upon a near approach. Sloth assumes
the place of ambition, and seems to present to us paths less rugged,
and advantages more substantial; but it is preceded by disgust, and
followed by discontent, that gloomy tyrant of every thinking mind,
against which wisdom has less influence than folly.

It is, therefore, from being composed of two opposite principles,
that man has so much trouble to be reconciled with himself; and hence
proceeds his inconstancy, irresolution, and languor. Brute animals,
on the contrary, whose nature is simple, and altogether material,
experience no interior combats, no compunctions, no hopes, nor any

If we were divested of memory, understanding, and every faculty
belonging to the soul, the material part alone would remain, which
constitutes us animals, and we should still have wants, sensations,
appetites, pain, pleasure, and even passion; for what is passion but a
strong sensation, which may be renewed at every instant?

But the great difficulty is to distinguish the passions which belong
solely to man, from those which he possesses in common with the brutes.
Is it certain, or probable, that the latter have passions? Is it not,
on the contrary, allowed, that every passion is an emotion of the soul?
Ought we, therefore, to search any where else, but in this spiritual
principle, for the seeds of pride, envy, ambition, avarice, and of
every other passion by which we are governed?

To me it appears, that nothing which governs the mind forms any part of
it; that the principle of knowledge is not the principle of sentiment;
that the seeds of the passions is in our appetites; that illusions
proceed from our senses, and reside in our internal material sense;
that the mind is at first passive with respect to them; that when it
countenances them, it is subdued, and when it assents to them, it is

Let us then distinguish in the human passions, the physical from the
moral; that is, the cause from the effect. The first emotion is in
the internal material sense; this the mind may receive but cannot
produce. Let us likewise distinguish momentary from durable emotions,
and we shall immediately perceive, that fear, horror, rage, love, or
rather the desire of enjoyment, are sensations which, though durable,
depend solely on the impressions of objects upon our senses, combined
with the remaining impressions of our preceding sensations; and that,
of consequence, those passions we enjoy in common with the brutes. I
mention the actual impressions of objects, as being combined with the
impressions that remain of our former sensations, for neither to man
nor beast nothing is horrible, nor attractive, when seen for the first
time. Of this we have proof in young animals, who will run into the
fire the first time it is presented to them. By reiterated acts, of
which the impressions subsist in their internal sense, do they alone
acquire experience; and though this experience is not natural, it is
not less sure, and is even on that account more circumspect. A violent
motion, a great noise, an extraordinary figure, which is seen or heard
suddenly, and for the first time, produces in the animal a shock of
which the effect is similar to the first movements of fear. But this
sentiment is only instantaneous; for as it cannot be combined with any
preceding sensation, so it must communicate to the animal a transitory
vibration, and not a durable emotion, such as the passion of fear

A young and peaceful tenant of the forests, who suddenly hears the
sound of the huntsman's horn, or the report of a gun, leaps, bounds,
and flies off, by the sole violence of the shock which it has
experienced. Yet if this noise is without effect and ceases, the animal
distinguishing the wonted silence of Nature, composes itself, halts,
and returns to its tranquil retreat. But age and experience render
it circumspect and timid, and having been wounded after a particular
noise, the sensation of pain is retained in its internal sense, and
when the same noise shall be again heard, it is renewed, combines
itself with the actual agitation, and produces a permanent passion, a
real fear; the animal flies with all its might, and frequently never
returns to its usual abode.

Fear, then, is a passion of which brute animals are susceptible, though
they have not, like us, rational or foreseen apprehensions. Of horror,
rage, and love, they are also susceptible; but they have not our
aversions, founded on reflection, our durable hatreds, or our constant
friendships. These passions in brutes imply no knowledge, no ideas, and
are founded solely on the experience of sentiment, or repetitions of
pain and pleasure, and renovation of preceding sensations of the same
kind. Fury, or natural courage, is remarkable in animals which have
experienced and ascertained their strength, and found it superior to
ours; fear is the portion of the weak, but love belongs to all. Love!
thou innate desire! thou soul of nature! thou inexhaustible principle
of existence! thou sovereign power, by which every thing breathes, and
every thing is renewed! thou divine shame! thou seed of perpetuity
infused by the Almighty into all which has the breath of life! thou
precious sentiment, by which alone the most savage and frozen hearts
are softened! thou first cause of all happiness, of all society! thou
fertile source of every pleasure, of every delight! Love! why dost thou
constitute the felicity of every other being, and bring misery alone to

The reason is obvious. Considered in a physical sense, this passion
is good; in a moral one, it is attended with every evil. In what
does the morality of love consist? in vanity; vanity in the pleasure
of conquest, an error which proceeds from our putting too high a
value upon it; the vanity of desiring exclusive possession, of which
jealousy, a passion so base that we are ashamed to own it, is the
constant attendant; vanity in the very mode of enjoying, or even
relinquishing the object of our desires, if the wish of separation
originates with ourselves; but if, instead of forsaking, we are
forsaken by the beloved object, the humiliation is dreadful! and the
discovery that we have been duped and deceived, not unoften hurries us
into despair.

From all these miseries brutes are free. They seek not to obtain
pleasure where it is not to be found: guided by sentiment alone,
they are never deceived in their choice; their desires are always
proportioned to their power of gratification; they feel as much as they
enjoy, and seek not to vary or anticipate them. But Man, in striving
to invent pleasure, only depraves nature; in struggling to create
sentiment, he perverts the intention of his being, and creates in his
heart a vacuum which nothing can afterwards fill.

Every thing good in love belongs to the brutes as well as to man, and
even they, as if this sentiment could never be pure, seem to have a
small portion of jealousy. Among us, this passion always implies some
distrust of ourselves, some distant knowledge of our own weakness,
while brutes are never jealous but in proportion to their strength,
ardour for, and propensity to pleasure. The reason is, that our
jealousy depends on our ideas, and theirs on sentiment. Having once
enjoyed, they desire to enjoy again; and feeling their strength, they
drive away all that would occupy their place. Their jealousy is without
reflection, they turn it not against the object of their love: of their
pleasures alone are they jealous.

But are animals confined merely to those passions we have described?
Are fear, rage, horror, love, and jealousy, the only durable affections
they are capable of experiencing? To me it appears that, independent
of these passions, which arise from their natural feelings, they have
others, which are communicated to them by example, imitation, and
habit. They have a kind of friendship, pride, and ambition, and though
we may be convinced, that in all their operations there is neither
reflection nor thought, yet as all their habits seem to imply some
degree of intelligence, and to form the shade between them and man, it
requires, in a peculiar manner, our strict examination.

Is there any thing exceeds the attachment of the dog to its master?
On the grave that contained his dust has this animal been known to
breathe its last. But (without quoting prodigies or heroes) with what
fidelity does he accompany, follow, and defend his master! With what
eagerness does he solicit his caresses! With what docility does he
obey him! With what patience does he suffer his bad humours, and his
frequently unjust corrections! With what mildness and humility does he
endeavour to be restored to favour! What emotion and anxiety does he
express when his master is absent! and what joy when he returns!--From
all these circumstances it is possible not to distinguish true marks of
friendship? Even among the human species it is expressed in characters
of superior energy.

This friendship is the same as that of a female for her favourite bird,
or of a child for its play-thing. Both are equally blind and void of
reflection; that of the animal is more natural, since it is founded
on necessity, while that of the other is only an insipid amusement,
in which the mind in no degree partakes These childish habits subsist
merely by idleness, and are more or less strong as the brain is more or
less vacant.

Real friendship, however, supposes the power of reflection; it is of
all attachments the most worthy of man, and the only one by which he is
not degraded. Friendship flows from reason alone. It is the mind of a
friend which we love, and to love a mind it is necessary to have one,
and to have made use of it in the attainment of intelligence, and in
comparing the congeniality of different minds. By friendship, then, not
only is implied the principle of knowledge, but also, from reflection,
the actual exercise of that principle.

Thus, while friendship belongs solely to man, attachment may be
possessed by animals; as sentiment alone is sufficient to attach them
to persons whom they often see, and by whom they are fed and nourished.
The attachment of females to their young is produced by the trouble
they have had in carrying them in the womb, and in producing and giving
them suck. If, among birds, some males seem to have an attachment to
their young, and to take care of the females while they are sitting, it
is because they have been employed in the construction of the nest, and
continue to enjoy pleasure with their females long after impregnation.
Among other animals, with whom the season of love is short, that
elapsed, the male is no longer attached to the female; where there is
no nest, no employment, in which they may be mutually engaged, the
fathers, like those of Sparta, have no care for their progeny.

The pride and ambition of animals proceed from their natural courage;
that is, from their sense of their strength, agility, &c. Large ones
hold the small in defiance, and seem to contemn their insulting
audacity. This courage may also be improved by instruction, for, reason
alone excepted, of every thing are brute animals susceptible. In
general they will learn to perform the same action a thousand times; to
do without intermission what they did by intervals; to continue for a
length of time what they at first ended in a moment; to do cheerfully
what at first was the effect of force; to do by habit what they once
have done by chance; and to perform of themselves what they have seen
done by others. Of all the operations of the animal machine imitation
is the most admirable. It is its most delicate and most extensive
mobile, and exhibits the truest copy of thought, and though the cause
of it in animals is altogether material, yet by its effects our wonder
is excited. Men never more admire an ape than when they see it imitate
the actions of men. In fact it is not easy to distinguish some copies
from some originals. Besides, there are so few who can distinctly
perceive the difference between a reality and a counterfeit, that to
the bulk of mankind an ape must always excite astonishment.

Though apes have the art of imitating the actions of men, they are not
a degree superior to other brutes, who all more or less possess the
talent of imitation. In most animals this talent is confined to the
imitation of their own species; but the ape, though he belongs not to
the human species, copies many of our actions; and this he is enabled
to do from his organization being somewhat similar. So nearly, indeed,
do they sometimes carry the resemblance, that many have ignorantly
ascribed that to genius and intelligence, which is nothing but a gross
affinity of figure and organization.

It is from the relations of motion that a dog learns the habit of its
master, from the relations of figure that the ape counterfeits the
gestures of a man, and from the relations of organization, that one
bird repeats airs of music and another imitates speech, which forms
the greatest external difference between man and man, as between
man and other animals, since language in some indicates a superior
understanding and an enlightened mind, in others it barely discovers
a confusion of borrowed ideas, and in the idiot, or the parrot,
it indicates the last degree of stupidity, plainly shewing their
incapacity for reflection, although they may possess every necessary
organ for expressing what passes within.

With ease may it be rendered apparent, that imitation is a mere
mechanical effect, of which the perfection depends on the vivacity
with which the internal material sense receives the impression of
objects, and on the facility of expressing them by the similitude
and the flexibility of the exterior organs. Persons whose senses are
delicate and easily agitated, whose members are active and obedient,
make the best actors, the best mimics, the best apes. Children,
without perceiving it, imitate the habits, gestures, and manners of
those they live with; they have also a great propensity to repeat, and
to counterfeit every thing they hear and see. Young persons who see
nothing but by the corporeal eye, are wonderfully ready in perceiving
ridiculous objects: every fantastic form affects, every representation
strikes, every novelty moves them. The impression is so strong, that
they relate them with transport and copy them with facility and grace.
In a superior degree do they enjoy the talent of imitation, which
supposes the most perfect organization, and to which nothing is more
opposite than a large portion of good sense.

Thus, among men, those who reflect least are the most expert at
imitation: and therefore it is not surprising that we meet with it
in animals, who have no reflection. These ought to possess it in a
higher degree of perfection, because they have nothing within them
to counteract it; no principle by which they may have the desire to
be different from each other. Among men, it is from the mind that
proceeds the diversity of our characters, and the variety of our
actions. Brute animals, by having no mind, have not that _self_ which
is the principle of the difference, the cause which constitutes the
individual. Of necessity, then, when their organization is similar,
or they are of the same species, they must copy each other, do the
same things in the same manner, and imitate each other with a greater
degree of perfection than one man can imitate another. This talent for
imitation, therefore, far from implying that animals have thought and
reflection, is a proof that they are absolutely destitute of both.

For the same reason it is that the education of animals, though short,
is always attended with success. Almost every thing the parent knows
they quickly learn by imitation. The young are modelled by the old:
they perceive the latter approach or fly, when they hear certain
sounds, when they see certain objects, or smell certain odours; at
first they approach or fly without any determinative cause whatever,
but imitation; and afterwards they approach or fly of themselves, in
consequence of their having acquired a habit of doing so whenever they
feel the same sensations.

Having compared man with the brute animal, taken individually, let us
now compare them together collectively, and endeavour at the same time
to ascertain the source of that kind of industry which we observe in
certain species of animals, and those even the meanest and the most
numerous. For this industry, what encomiums have not been bestowed
on particular insects. The wisdom and talents of the bee, observers
speak of with admiration; they are said to possess an art peculiar
to themselves, that of perfect government. A beehive, they add, is
a republic, in which the labour of each individual is devoted to
the public good, in which every thing is ordered, distributed, and
shared, with a foresight, an equity, and a prudence, which is really
astonishing. The government and policy of Athens itself, were not more
exemplary. But I should never have done, were I barely to skip over
the annals of this commonwealth, and to draw from the history of this
insect all the incidents which have excited the admiration of its
different historians.

What can we think of the excess to which the eulogiums on this animal
have been carried? Among other great qualities they are said to possess
the most pure republican principles, an ardent love for their country,
a disinterested assiduity in labouring for the public good, the
strictest economy, the most perfect geometry and elegant architecture.
Notwithstanding these eulogies, a bee ought to hold no greater rank
in the estimation of naturalists than it does in nature; and, in the
eye of reason, this marvellous and so much extolled republic will never
be any thing more than a multitude of small animals, which have no
affinity to man but that of furnishing him with wax and honey.

Let people examine with attention their little manoeuvres,
proceedings, and toils; let them describe exactly their generation,
their multiplication, their metamorphoses, &c.--These are objects
worthy of the attention of a naturalist; but to hear the morals of
insects cried up is insufferable; and I am fully convinced, that by a
strict and rational observer it would be found, that the origin and
superstructure of the various wonderful talents ascribed to bees,
arises from the mother bee producing 10,000 individuals at one time,
and in the same place, which necessarily obliges them to arrange
themselves in some order for the preservation of their existence. Is
not Nature sufficiently astonishing of herself, without attempting
to render her more so, and without attributing to her miracles which
have no existence but in our own imagination? Is not the Creator
sufficiently great by his works; and do we believe we can render him
more so by our weakness? This, were there a possibility, would be the
way to debase him. Who, in effect, has the most exalted idea of the
Supreme Being, he who beholds him create the universe, arrange every
existence, and establish nature on invariable and perpetual laws; or he
who sees him attentive in conducting a republic of insects?

Certain animals unite into societies, which seem to depend on the
choice of those that compose them, and which of consequence has in it a
far greater degree of intelligence and design than the society of bees,
of which the sole principle is physical necessity. Elephants, beavers,
apes, and many other species of animals, assemble together in bodies,
assist, and defend each other. Did we not so often disturb these
societies, and could we observe them with as much ease as those of the
bees, we should, doubtless, meet with a multitude of other wonders;
which still, however, would amount to nothing more than so many
physical relations. A great number of animals, of the same species,
being assembled in the same place, there will necessarily result a
certain arrangement, and a certain order of common habits. Now every
common habit, far from having enlightened intelligence for its cause,
implies nothing more than a blind imitation.

Among men, society depends less on physical agreements than on moral
relations. Man at first measured his strength, his weakness, his
ignorance and his curiosity; he felt that, of himself, he could not
satisfy the multiplicity of his wants; he discovered the advantage he
should have in society; he reflected on the idea of good and evil, he
engraved it in his heart, by the help of the natural light communicated
to him through the bounty of the Creator; he saw that solitude was a
state of danger, and of warfare; he sought for security and peace in
society; there he augmented his power and knowledge, by uniting them
with those of others: and this union is the noblest use he ever made of
his reason. Solely from governing himself, and submitting to the laws
of society, it is that man commands the universe.

Every thing has concurred to render man a social being; for though
large and civilized societies depend on the use, and sometimes on the
abuse of reason, yet they were doubtless preceded by smaller societies,
whose sole dependence was on nature. A family is a natural society,
which is more permanent, and better founded, because their wants
and sources of attachment are more numerous. Far different is man
from other animals: when he is born he hardly exists; naked, feeble,
incapable of action, his life depends on the assistance he receives.
This state of infantine weakness continues for a length of time; and
the necessity of assistance becomes a habit, which alone is sufficient
to produce an attachment between the child and parent. In proportion
as the child advances, he is enabled to do without assistance; the
affection of the parent continues, while that of the child daily
decreases; and thus love ever descends in a much stronger degree than
it ascends: the attachment of the parent becomes excessive, blind,
idolatrous, while that of the child remains cold and indifferent, till,
by the influence of reason, the seed of gratitude has begun to take

Thus society, considered even in the light of a single family, supposes
in man the faculty of reason; among animals which seem to unite
together freely, and by mutual agreement, society supposes experience
and sentiment; and among insects which, like the bees, assemble
together involuntarily, and without design, society implies nothing;
and whatever may be the effects of such associations, it is evident,
they were neither foreseen, nor conceived by those that execute them,
and that they depend solely on the universal laws of mechanism,
established by the Creator.

Let the panegyrists of insects say what they will in their favour,
those animals which, in figure, and organization, bear the strongest
resemblance to man, must still be acknowledged superior to all others,
with respect to internal qualities; and, though they differ from those
of man, though, as we have evinced, they are nothing but the effects,
exercise, experience, and feeling, still are they, in a high degree,
superior to insects. As in every thing that exists in nature there is
a shade, a scale may be established for determining the degrees of the
intrinsic qualities of each animal, by which, when opposed with the
material part of man, we shall find the preference due to the ape,
the dog, the elephant, and, in different degrees, to all the other
quadrupeds. Next to them will rank the cetaceous animals, which, like
the quadrupeds, have flesh and blood, and, like them, are viviparous.
In the third class will be the birds, because they differ more from man
than either the quadrupeds, or the cetaceous animals; and, were it not
that there are beings which, like the oyster and the polypus, seem to
differ from him as much as is possible; the insects would occupy the
lowest class of animated beings.

But if animals are destitute of all understanding, all memory, and all
intelligence; if all their faculties depend on their senses, and are
confined to their experience; whence proceeds that foresight we remark
in several of them? By sentiment alone can they be prompted to provide
in the summer provisions sufficient for their subsistence during
winter. Does not this suppose a comparison of seasons, a rational
inquietude concerning their future support? Why should birds build
nests if they did not know that they should have occasion for them to
deposit their eggs, and to rear their young?

Admitting the truth of these, and many other circumstances which might
be produced; admitting that they are so many proofs of presentiment,
of foresight, and even a knowledge of futurity, in animals, must it
follow, on that account that they are intelligent beings? Were this the
case their intelligence would far surpass our own, for our foresight
is always conjectural. Our notions, with respect to futurity, are, at
best, doubtful; and all the light we have is founded on probabilities
of future things. Brute animals, then, who see the future with
certainty, since they determine beforehand and are never deceived, must
have within them a principle of knowledge greatly superior to man, must
have a soul far more penetrative and acute, a consequence, which, I
presume, is equally repugnant to religion and to reason.

By an intelligence similar to that of man it is impossible that brutes
can have any certain knowledge of futurity, since in that respect, his
ideas are always imperfect, and full of doubt. Then why, on such slight
grounds, invest them with a quality so sublime? Why, without necessity
degrade the human species? Is it not unreasonable to attribute their
source to mechanical laws, established, like all the other laws of
Nature, by the will of the Creator? The certainty with which brutes
are supposed to act, and be determined, might alone convince us, that
every thing they do is merely mechanical. The essential characteristics
of reason are, doubt, deliberation, and comparison; but motions and
actions, which announce nothing but decision and certainty, exhibit at
once a proof of mechanism and stupidity.

Previous, however, to the full admission of these asserted facts,
which seem to lessen those ideas we ought to maintain of the power
and will of our Divine Creator, ought we not to enquire whether they
really exist, or have sufficient ground to support the supposition?
The boasted foresight of ants in collecting sustenance for the winter
is an evident error, since it has been found that during that season
they remain in a torpid state; therefore, this pretended foresight,
supposes them to provide that which it also must have informed them
would be entirely necessary. Is not the sensation that they enjoy their
food with more quiet and tranquillity in their fixed residence, alone
sufficient to account for their conveying thither more than they can
possibly make use of? The same applies to bees, in collecting more wax
and honey than their necessities require. Does not this evince they are
actuated by feeling, and not intelligence, especially if we reflect
that if it proceeded from former experience, that would teach them to
decline such unnecessary labour; which so far from being the case, they
continue to extract wax and honey as long as there is a succession of
fresh flowers, and were it possible to continue that their labours
would never cease.

Field-mice have also been instanced, whose abodes are generally
divided; in one hole they deposit their young, in the other their
food, the latter of which they constantly fill; but here it should be
observed that when they provide those apartments for themselves, the
latter are always small, yet if they find a large hole under a tree
which they chuse for their abode, they fill that also; a fact which
renders it clear they have no intelligence of the nature of their
wants, but are guided by the capacity of the place they select for
depositing their food.

From the same cause may be traced the pretended foresight attributed
to the feathered race; nor is it necessary to suppose the Almighty has
conferred on them any particular law to account for the construction
of their nest. Love is the grand sentiment that excites them to the
laborious undertaking; the male and female feel a mutual attachment,
they wish to be alone, and therefore seek retirement from the bustle
and annoyances of the world; and having sought the most obscure part
of a forest, to render that privacy the more comfortable they collect
straws, leaves, &c. to form a common habitation, wherein they may
enjoy themselves with perfect tranquillity. Some, however, content
themselves with holes in trees, or nests they find which have been
formed by others. But all this does not prove a presentiment of future
wants, but are rather the effects of feeling and organization. A strong
evidence of their ignorance with respect to futurity, nay, even of the
past, or present, may be drawn from a hen's not having the power to
distinguish her own from the eggs of another bird, and not perceiving
that the young ducks which she has hatched, belong not to her; nay, she
will even sit with the same assiduous attention upon chalk eggs, as
upon those from which a produce may be expected. Neither do domestic
poultry make nests, although they are constructed by the wild duck and
wood hen, and this most probably from feeling that security in being
familiarized, which the latter seek for in a retreat and solitude.
The nests of birds, therefore, in my opinion, any more than the cells
of bees, or the food collected by the ant and field-mouse, cannot be
attributed to any particular laws to each species, but depend upon
those feelings arising from the general laws of nature, and with which
every animated being is endowed.

It is not surprising that man, who knows so little of himself, who so
frequently confounds his sensations with his ideas, who so imperfectly
distinguishes the productions of the mind from the produce of his
brain, should compare himself to the brute animals, and admit the
only difference between them depended on the greater or less degree
of perfection in the organs; it is not surprising that he should
make them reason, determine, and understand, in the same manner with
himself, and that he should attribute to them not only the qualities
which he has, but even those he has not. When man, however, has once
thoroughly examined and analyzed himself, he will discover the dignity
of his being, he will feel the existence of his soul, he will cease to
demean his nature, and, with a single glance, he will see the infinite
distance which the Supreme Being has put between him and the brutes.

God alone knows the past, the present, and the future; eternal is
his existence, and infinite is his knowledge. Man, whose duration is
but for a few moments, perceives but those moments: by a living and
immortal Power are those moments compared, distinguished, and arrayed;
and That Power it is which enables man to know the present, judge of
the past, and foresee the future. Deprive him of this divine light and
you deface and obscure his being, you render him merely an animal,
ignorant of the past, without conception of the future, and barely
affectable by the present.



Man changes the natural state of animals by forcing them to obey, and
render him service: a domestic animal is a slave to our amusements or
operations. The frequent abuses he suffers, and the forcing him from
his natural mode of living, make great alterations in his manners and
temper, while the wild animal, subject to nature alone, knows no other
laws than those of appetite and liberty. The history of a wild animal
is confined to a few facts drawn from simple nature; but the history
of a domestic animal is complicated with all the artful means used to
tame and subdue his native wildness: and not knowing how far example,
constraint, or custom, may influence animals, and change their motions,
determinations, and inclinations, the design of the naturalist ought
to be to distinguish those facts which depend on instinct, from
those which are owing to their mode of education; to ascertain what
appertains to them from what they have acquired; to separate what is
natural for them from what they are made to do; and never to confound
the animal with the slave, the beast of burden with the creature of God.

The empire which man has over animals is an empire which revolution
cannot overthrow; it is the empire of the spirit over matter; a right
of nature, a power founded on unalterable laws, a gift of God, by
which man may at all times discern the excellence of his being, for he
does not rule them, because he is the most perfect, strongest, or the
most dexterous of animals. If he was only the first rank of the same
order, the others would unite to dispute the empire with him, but it
is from the superiority of his nature that man reigns and commands: he
thinks, and for this reason is master over beings that are incapable
of thinking. He reigns over material bodies because they can only
oppose to his will a sullen resistance, or an inflexible stupidity,
which he can always overcome, by making them act against each other.
He is master of the vegetable creation, which by his industry he
can augment, diminish, renew, multiply, or destroy. He maintains a
superiority over brutes, because like them he not only has motion and
sensation, but possesses also the light of reason; governs his actions,
concerts his operations, and overcomes force by cunning, and swiftness
by perseverance. Nevertheless, among animals some appear familiar,
others savage and ferocious. If we compare the docility and submission
of the dog with the cruelty and ferocity of the tiger, the one will
appear to be the friend of man, the other his enemy: his empire, then,
over animals is not absolute. Many species can escape his power by the
rapidity of their flight, by the obscurity of their retreats, and by
the elements they inhabit. Others escape him from their minuteness,
while others, who, far from respecting their sovereign, openly attack
him. Besides these, he is insulted by the stings of insects, poisonous
bites of serpents, and teased with many other unclean, troublesome, and
useless creatures, that seem only to exist to form a shade between good
and evil, and to make man comprehend how little respectable his fall
has made him.

But we must distinguish the empire of God from the domain of man: God,
the Creator of all beings, is the sole master of nature. Man has no
influence on the universe, the motions of the heavenly bodies, nor the
revolutions of the globe which he inhabits; over animals, vegetables,
or minerals, he has no general dominion; he can do nothing with
species, his power only extends to individuals; for species in general,
and matter in the gross, belong to, or rather constitute nature.
All things pass away, follow, succeed, decay, or are renewed, by an
irresistible power. Man, dragged on by the torrent of time, cannot
prolong his existence; his body being linked to matter, he is forced
to submit to the universal law; he obeys the same power, and, like the
rest, comes into the world, grows to maturity, and dies.

But the divine ray with which man is animated ennobles and raises him
above all other material beings. This spiritual substance, far from
being subject to matter, has the power of making it obey; and though
it cannot command all Nature, it presides over particular beings; God,
the sole source of all light and understanding, rules the universe and
the species with infinite power; man, who possesses only a ray of this
spiritual substance, has a power limited to small portions of matter
and individuals.

It is by the talent of the mind, then, and not by force, and the other
qualities of matter, that man has been enabled to subdue animals. In
the first ages they were all equally independent; man, after he became
guilty and ferocious, was very unfit to deprive them of liberty.
Before he could approach, know, make choice of, and tame them, it was
necessary that he should be civilized himself, to know how to instruct
and command; and the empire over animals, like every other empire, was
not founded till after society was instituted.

It is from society that man derives his power: from that he perfects
his reason, exercises his genius, and unites his strength. Previous to
the union of society man was perhaps the most savage, and the least
formidable of all creatures; naked, defenceless and without shelter,
the earth to him was only a vast desert peopled with monsters, of which
he frequently became the prey; and even long after, history informs us,
that the first heroes were only the destroyers of wild beasts.

_Engraved for Barr's Buffon_

[Illustration: FIG. 18. _Horse_]

[Illustration: FIG. 19. _Ass_]

But when the human race multiplied, and spread over the earth, and
when, by the aid of the arts and society, man was able to conquer the
universe, he by degrees lessened the number of ferocious beasts, he
purged the earth of those gigantic animals of which we sometimes still
find the enormous bones; he destroyed, or reduced to a small number,
every hurtful and voracious species; he opposed one animal to another,
and conquered some by fraud, others by force; and attacking them by
every rational method he arrived at the means of safety, and has
established an empire which is only bounded by inaccessible solitudes,
burning sands, frozen mountains, and obscure caverns, which now serve
as retreats for the small number of species of ferocious animals that


The noblest conquest ever made by man over the brute creation, is the
reduction of this spirited and haughty animal (_fig. 18._), which
shares with him the fatigues of war, and the glory of victory. Equally
intrepid as his master, the horse sees the danger, and encounters
death with bravery; inspired at the clash of arms, he loves it,
and pursues the enemy with the same ardour and resolution. He feels
pleasure also in the chace, and in tournaments; in the course he is
all fire; but equally tractable as courageous, he does not give way
to his impetuosity, and knows how to check his natural and fiery
temper. He not only submits to the arm which guides him, but seems to
consult the desires of his rider; and always obedient to the impression
he receives, he presses on, or stops, at his rider's pleasure. The
horse is a creature which renounces his very being for the service of
man, whose will he even knows how to anticipate, and execute by the
promptitude of his movements: he gives himself up without reserve,
refuses nothing, exerts himself beyond his strength, and often dies
sooner than disobey.

Such is the horse, whose talents and natural qualities art has
improved, and who with care has been tutored for the service of man;
his education commences with the loss of his liberty, and is finished
by constraint. The slavery or servitude of the horse is so universal,
and so ancient, that we rarely see him in his natural state. They are
always covered with harness when at work, and not wholly free from
their bands even in time of rest. If they are sometimes suffered to
range in the fields, they always bear about them marks of servitude,
and frequently the external impressions of labour and of pain: the
mouth is deformed by the wrinkles occasioned by the bit, the sides
scarred with wounds inflicted by the spur, and the hoofs are pierced
with nails. The attitude of the body constrained by the impression of
habitual shackles, from which they would be delivered in vain, as they
would not be more at liberty. Even those whose slavery is the most
gentle, who are only fed and broke for luxury and magnificence, and
whose golden chains only serve to satisfy the vanity of their masters,
are still more dishonoured by the elegance of their trappings, and by
the plaits of their manes, than by the iron shoes of their feet.

Nature is more beautiful than art, and in an animated being, the
freedom of its movements makes its existence more perfect. Observe the
horses in Spanish America, which have multiplied so fast and live in
freedom; their motions seem neither constrained nor regular; proud of
their independence, they fly the presence of man, and disdain his care;
they seek and find for themselves proper nourishment; they wander and
skip about in immense meadows, where they feed on the fresh productions
of a perpetual spring. Destitute of any fixed habitation, without any
other shelter than a mild sky, they breathe a purer air than those
which are confined in vaulted palaces. Hence wild horses are stronger,
swifter, and more nervous than the greater part of domestic ones; they
have strength and nobleness, the gifts of nature; while the others have
address and gracefulness, which is all that art can give.

The natural disposition of wild horses is not ferocious, they are only
high-spirited and wild. Though superior in strength to the greatest
part of animals, they yet never attack them; and if attacked by others,
they either disdain them as foes, and fly out of their way, or give a
fatal blow with their heels. They unite themselves in troops, merely
for the pleasure of being together, for they have no fear of, but an
attachment for each other. As grass and vegetables are sufficient for
their nourishment, they have quite enough to satisfy their appetites;
and as they have no relish for the flesh of animals, they never make
war with them, nor with themselves. They never quarrel about their
food, they have no occasion to ravish prey from each other, the
ordinary source of contention and quarrels among carnivorous animals.
They live in peace because their appetites are simple and moderate,
and having enough there is no object for envy.

All these circumstances may be observed in young horses which are
brought up and led together in droves; their manners are gentle, and
their tempers social; they seldom shew their ardour and strength by
any other sign than emulation. They endeavour to be foremost in the
course, are animated to brave danger, in crossing a river or leaping a
ditch: and those which in these natural exercises set the example, it
has often been observed, when reduced to a domestic state, are the most
generous, docile, and gentle.

Several ancient authors speak of wild horses. Herodotus says, that on
the banks of the Hypanes, in Scythia, there were wild horses quite
white, and that in the northern parts of Thrace, beyond the Danube,
there were others covered with hair five inches long. Aristotle also
cites Syria; Pliny the northern countries; Strabo, the Alps and Spain;
as places where wild horses were to be found. Among the moderns,
Carden mentions the same thing of Scotland and the Orkneys; Olaus, of
Muscovy; Dapper, of the Isle of Cyprus, which, as he says, contained
wild horses very beautiful, of great strength and swiftness; Struys,
of the Isle of May, one of the Cape de Verds, where he found wild
horses very small. Leo the African also relates that there were wild
horses in the desarts of Arabia and Lybia; and he assures us, that he
saw in the remotest parts of Numidia a white colt with a curled mane.
Marmol confirms this fact, asserting, that wild horses are found in the
desarts of Arabia and Lybia, small, and of an ash-colour; others white
whose manes and coats are short and rough; and that neither dogs nor
tame horses can equal them in swiftness; we read also, in the Letters
Edifiantes, that in China there are wild horses of a very small size.

As almost all parts of Europe are at present peopled, and equally
inhabited, wild horses are no longer found therein. Those in America
originate from European tame horses, transported thither by the
Spaniards; and have multiplied considerably in the vast desarts of this
country. The astonishment and fear which the inhabitants of Mexico and
Peru expressed at the sight of horses and their riders, is a strong
presumption that this animal was entirely unknown in the New World.
The Spaniards carried thither a great number, as well for service as
to propagate the breed. They left them on many islands, and even let
them loose on the continent, where they have multiplied like other wild
animals. M. la Salle, in 1685, saw in the northern parts of America,
near the bay of St. Louis, whole troops of these horses feeding in
the pastures, which were so wild that no one could approach them. The
author of the History of the Buccaniers, says, "That in the island of
St. Domingo, horses are sometimes seen in troops of 500, all running
together; that when they see a man, they all stop; and that one of
them will approach to a certain distance, snorts, takes flight and is
instantly followed by all the rest." He adds, "that he does not know
whether these horses, by becoming wild, have degenerated or not; but
that he did not think them so handsome as those of Spain, though they
are descended from the same breed. They have (continues he) large heads
and limbs, and their ears and limbs are also long; the inhabitants
easily tame them, and afterwards force them to work. To catch them,
nooses made of ropes are spread in places where they frequent; but if
they are caught by the neck they presently strangle themselves, unless
assistance is near; they are then fastened by the body and legs to the
trees, where they are left for two days without either food or drink.
This experiment is sufficient to make them somewhat tractable, and in
a little time they become as much so as if they had never been wild;
and even if by chance they regain their liberty, they never become so
again, but know their masters, and suffer themselves to be retaken
without trouble."

This proves that horses are naturally gentle, and disposed to be
familiar with man; they never seek to quit the abodes of men to
recover their liberty in the forests; on the contrary, they shew
great anxiety to return to their old habitations, where, perhaps they
find but coarse food, always the same, and generally measured out to
them with a sparing hand, without considering the strength of their
appetites. Custom, however, serves them in lieu of what they lose by
slavery. When worn with fatigue, the place of rest is to them the most
delicious; they smell it at a distance, can even find it out in the
midst of large towns, and in every thing seem to prefer slavery to
liberty. The customs to which they have been forced to submit, become
a second nature to them; for horses abandoned in the forests, have
been known to neigh continually to make themselves heard, to gallop
towards the human voice; and even to grow thin and perish in a short
time, notwithstanding they were surrounded with a variety of provender.
Their manners, then, almost wholly depend on their education, which is
accomplished with pains and cares which man takes for no other animal,
and for which he is well requited by their continual services.

It has long been the custom to separate the foals from their mothers
when five, six, or seven months old; for experience has proved, that
those which are suckled ten or eleven months, are not of equal value
with them which are weaned sooner, though they are generally fuller of
flesh. After six or seven months they are weaned; bran is then given
them twice a day, and a little hay, of which the quantity is increased
in proportion as they advance in age. They are kept in the stable as
long as they seem to retain any desire to return to the mares; but when
this desire ceases they are suffered to go out, and led to pasture; but
care must be taken not to suffer them to go out to pasture fasting;
they must have a little bran, and be made to drink an hour before they
are suffered to graze, and should never be exposed to great cold or
rain. In this manner they pass the first winter: in the May following
they may be permitted to graze every day, and to remain out in the
fields till the end of October, only observing not to let them eat the
after-grasss, for if they are accustomed to that delicacy they will
grow disgusted with hay, which ought, however, to be their principal
food during the second winter, together with bran mixed with barley or
oats wetted. They are managed in this manner, letting them graze in the
day time during winter, and in the night also during the summer, till
they are four years old, when they are taken from the pastures, and
kept on dry food. This change in food requires some precaution; for the
first eight days they should have nothing but straw, and it is proper
to administer some vermifuge drinks, to destroy those worms which may
have been generated from indigestion and green food. M. de Gaursault,
who recommends this practice, does it from experience; but at all ages,
and in all seasons the stomachs of horses are stuffed with a prodigious
number of worms. They are also found in the stomach of the ass; and
yet neither of these animals are incommoded thereby. For this reason
worms should not be looked on as an accidental complaint caused by bad
digestion and green food, but rather as a common effect depending upon
the nourishment and digestion of these animals.

Great attention must be paid in weaning young colts, to put them into
a proper stable, not too hot, for fear of making them too delicate and
too sensible of the impressions of the air. They should frequently have
fresh litter and be kept very clean, by frequently rubbing them down
with a wisp of straw. But they should not be tied up or curried till
they are near three years old, their skin being till then too delicate
to bear the comb. The rack and manger must not be too high, as the
necessity of raising their heads to reach their food may give a habit
of raising it in that fashion, and spoil their necks.

When about a year or eighteen months old, their tails ought to be
cut, as the hair will then grow stronger and thicker. From two years
old the colts should be put with the horses and the females with the
mares; without this precaution, the colts would fatigue and enervate
themselves. At the age of three years, or three years and a half, we
may begin to make them tractable; they should at first have a light
easy saddle, and wear it two or three hours every day; they should also
be accustomed to have a snaffle bit in their mouths, and to have their
feet lifted up and struck, to habituate them to shoeing; if designed
for coach or draught horses, they should also wear a harness. At first
a curb should not be used; they may be held by a cavesson, or leather
strap, and be made to trot on even ground, and with only the saddle
or harness on their bodies; and when they turn easily, and willingly
follow the person who holds the leather strap, the rough rider should
mount him and dismount again in the same place, without making him
move, till he is four years old, because before that age the weight of
a man overloads him[A]; but at four years he should be made to walk
or trot, a little way at a time, with the rider on his back. When a
coach horse is accustomed to the harness, he should be paired with a
horse that is thoroughly broke, putting on him a bridle with a strap
passed through it, till he begins to be used to his duty; after this
the coachman may try to make him draw, having the assistance of a man
to push him gently behind, and even to give him some blows to make him
do it. All this should be done before young horses have changed their
food, for when once they are on grain or hay they are more vigorous,
less tractable, and more difficult to break.

[A] This assertion of our author will meet with little credit in the
present day, when daily practice proves they may be completely trained
while rising three years, and have sufficient strength to enter the
lists on the course before they are four.

The bit and the spur are two means made use of to bring them into
order, the former for their guidance, and the latter to make them
increase their motion. The mouth does not appear formed by nature
to receive any other impressions than that of taste and appetite;
but there is so great a sensibility in the mouth of a horse, that,
in preference to the eyes and ears, we address ourselves to it, to
make him understand our pleasure; the slightest motions, or pressure
of the bit, is sufficient to inform and determine his course; and
this organ of sense has no other fault than its perfection. Its too
great sensibility requires particular management, for if it is abused
the mouth of the horse is spoiled, and rendered insensible to the
impression of the bit: the senses of sight and hearing cannot be dulled
in this manner; but in all likelihood it has been found inconvenient to
govern horses by these organs; besides, signs given them by the sense
of feeling have more effect on animals in general than those conveyed
by the eyes or ears. The situation of the eyes of horses, with relation
to those who mount or conduct them, is very unfavourable; and, though
they are frequently conducted and animated by the ear, it appears that
the use of this organ is limited to common horses, because in the
menage they are seldom spoken to; in fact, if they are well broke the
smallest pressure of the thighs, or most trifling motion of the bit, is
sufficient to direct them. The spur is even useless, or at least it is
only made use of to force them to violent motions; and as through the
folly of the rider it often happens, that in giving the spur he checks
the bridle, the horse finding himself excited on one side, and kept in
on the other, only prances and capers without stirring out of his place.

By means of the bridle horses are taught to hold up their heads, and
keep them in the most graceful position, and the smallest sign or
movement of the rider is sufficient to make the horse shew all his
different paces; the most natural is perhaps the trot, but pacing and
galloping is more pleasant for the rider, and these are the two paces
we particularly endeavour to improve. When the horse lifts up his fore
legs to walk, this motion should be performed with spirit and ease,
and the knee sufficiently bent. The leg lifted up should seem as if
suspended for a moment, and when let down the foot should be firmly
rested on the ground without the horse's head receiving any impression
from this motion, for when the leg suddenly falls down, and the head
sinks at the same time: it is usual to ease the other leg, which
has not strength to support the whole weight of the body. This is a
great fault, as well as that of carrying the foot too far out or in.
We should also observe, that when he rests on his heel it is a mark
of weakness, and when he rests on the forepart of his hoof it is a
fatiguing and unnatural attitude that he cannot long support.

Though walking is the slowest of all their paces, his step should be
light, brisk, and neither too long nor too short; his carriage should
be easy, which depends much on the freedom of his shoulders, and is
known by the manner in which he carries his head in walking; if he
keeps it high and steady, he is generally vigorous and quick. When the
motion of the shoulders is not free, the leg does not rise enough,
and the horse is apt to stumble, and strike his foot against the
inequalities on the ground. A horse should raise his shoulders, and
lower his haunches, in walking; he should also raise and support his
leg; but if he keeps it up too long, or lets it fall too slowly, he
loses all the advantage of his suppleness, becomes heavy, and fit for
nothing but to match with another for shew and parade.

It is not sufficient that his walk should be easy, his steps must be
also equal and uniform, both behind and before, for if his crupper has
a swinging motion while he keeps up his shoulders, the rider is much
jolted, and rendered uneasy; the same thing happens when the horse
extends his hind leg so much as to rest it beyond the same place in
which he rested his fore foot. Horses with short bodies are subject to
this fault; those which cross their legs or strike them against each
other, are not sure footed; in general those whose bodies are long, are
the most easy for the rider, because he is at a greater distance from
the two centres of motion, the shoulders and haunches, and therefore
less sensible of the jolting.

The usual method of walking among quadrupeds is to lift, at the same
time, one of the fore legs of one side, and one of the hind legs of
the other. As their bodies are sustained upon four points of support,
which form an oblong square, the easiest manner of moving for them is
to change two at once in the diagonal, in such a manner that the centre
of gravity of the body of the animal may rest always in the direction
of the two points which are not in motion. In the three natural paces
of the horse, the walk, the trot, and the gallop, this rule of motion
is always observed, though with some difference. In the walk there are
four beats, in the movement; if the right fore leg moves first the
left hind leg follows the instant after; then the left fore leg moves
forward in turn, and is followed instantly by the right hind leg; thus
the right fore foot rests on the ground first, the left hind foot next,
then the left fore foot rests, and lastly, the right hind foot, which
makes a movement of four beats, and at three intervals, of which the
first and last are shorter than the middle one. In the trot there are
but two beats; if the right fore leg goes off the ground the left hind
leg moves at the same time, and then the left fore leg moves at the
same time with the right hind one, in such a manner, that there are in
this movement only two beats and one interval; the right fore foot,
and the left hind foot, rest on the ground at the same time, as is
also the case with the left fore foot and the right hind one. In the
gallop there is usually three beats; but as in this movement there is a
kind of leaping of the two fore legs, the right ought to advance more
forward than the left, which ought to remain on the ground to serve as
a point of rest for the sudden jerk he takes: the left hind foot moves
the first, and rests the first on the ground; then the right hind leg
is lifted up conjointly with the left fore leg, and both rest on the
ground together; and lastly, the right fore leg is raised instantly
after the left fore leg and right hind one, and rests last on the
ground: thus in the gallop there are three beats and two intervals; in
the first interval, when the movement is made with haste, the four legs
are, for an instant, in the air at the same time, and the four shoes
may be seen at once. When the horse has supple limbs and haunches, and
moves with agility, the gallop is the more perfect, and the cadence
is made in four times; first, the left hind foot, then the right hind
foot, next the left fore foot, and, lastly, the right fore foot.

Horses usually gallop on the right foot, in the same manner as they
carry the fore right leg in walking and trotting; they also throw
up the dirt in galloping first with the right fore leg, which is
more advanced than the left; and the right hind leg, which follows
immediately the right fore one, is also more advanced than the left
hind leg, from whence it results, that the left leg, which supports all
the weight, and forces forwards the others, is the most fatigued; for
this reason it would be right to learn horses to gallop alternately
on the left and right legs, as they would then bear much longer this
violent motion; this is done in the riding-schools, but, perhaps for
no other reason than in traversing a circle, the centre of which
is sometimes on the right and sometimes to the left, the rider is
compelled to change hands.

In walking the horse almost scrapes the ground with his feet; in
trotting they are somewhat raised; and in galloping they are lifted up
still higher. The walk ought to be quick, light, and sure; the trot
should be firm, quick, and equally sustained, and the hind feet ought
to press forward the fore ones. The horse, in this pace should carry
his head high, and keep his body, straight, for if the haunches rise
and fall alternately at each motion, and if the crupper moves up and
down, and the horse rocks himself, he is too weak for this motion.
If he throws out his fore legs it is another fault; the fore legs
should tread in a line with the hind ones, and always efface their
tracks. When one of the hind legs is thrown forwards, if the fore leg
of the same side rests too long, the motion becomes uneasy from this
resistance, and it is for this reason that the interval between the
two beats of the trot should be short; but, be it ever so short, this
resistance is sufficient to make this pace more uneasy than walking or

The spring of the houghs contributes as much to the motion of
galloping, as that of the loins; whilst the loins use their utmost
efforts to raise and push forward the hinder parts, the spring of the
hough, breaks the stroke, and lessens the shock: thus, the more pliant
and strong are the spring of their houghs, the more gentle and rapid is
their motion in galloping.

Walking, trotting, and galloping, are the most usual natural paces; but
some horses have another natural motion, called ambling, or pacing,
which is very different from the other three, and, at the first
glance appears extremely fatiguing to the animal, notwithstanding the
quickness of motion is not so great as the hard trot or gallop. In
this pace the foot of the horses grazes the ground still more than
in walking, and each step is much longer. But the most remarkable
circumstance is, that the two legs on the same side, for example, the
fore and hind legs on the right side, part from the ground at the same
time, and afterwards the two left legs, so that each side of the body
alternately is without support, which cannot fail to fatigue the animal
very much, being obliged to support itself in a forced balance by the
rapidity of a motion which is scarcely clear of the ground: for if
he raised his feet in this pace, as much as he does in trotting, or
walking quick, he could not fail falling on his side; and it is only
from almost grazing the earth, and the quickness of motion, that he
is enabled to support himself. In the amble, as well as in the trot,
there are but two beats in the motion; and all the difference is, that
in the trot the two legs which go together are opposite, in a diagonal
line; instead of which, in the amble, the two legs on the same side
go together. This pace is extremely fatiguing to the horse, and which
he should never be suffered to use but on even ground, but is very
easy for the rider; it has not the jolting of the trot, because in the
amble, the fore leg rises at the same time with the hind leg on the
same side, and consequently meets with no resistance in the motion.
Connoisseurs assure us, that horses which naturally amble, never trot;
and that they are much weaker than others who have not that pace; in
fact, colts often get into this pace, when they are forced to go fast,
and have not sufficient strength to trot or gallop; and we observe
also, that even good horses, when much fatigued, or begin to decline,
take of themselves to ambling.

We may then look upon this pace as proceeding from weakness or defect;
but there are still two other paces called broken ambles, one between
the amble and the walk, and the other between the trot and the gallop;
both of which are more defective than the amble, and proceed from
great fatigue or weakness in the loins; these paces are frequently
perceivable in almost worn-out post horses.

The horse, of all quadrupeds, with the noblest stature, has the
greatest proportion and elegance in all its parts. By comparing him
with those animals which are superior or inferior to him, we shall
see that the ass is ill-made; that the lion has too large a head; the
legs of the ox too thin and short, in proportion to the size of his
body; that the camel is deformed, and that those monstrous animals, the
rhinoceros and the elephant, are merely rude and shapeless masses. The
great length of the jaws is the principal difference between the heads
of quadrupeds and the human species; it is also the most ignoble mark
of all; yet, though the jaws of the horse are very long, he has not
like the ass, an air of imbecility; nor of stupidity like the ox. The
regularity and proportions of the parts of his head, give him an air
of sprightliness, which is well supported by the beauty of his chest.
He seems ambitious of raising himself above his state of a quadruped,
by holding up his head; and in this noble attitude he looks man in the
face. His eyes are lively and large, his ears well made, and of a just
proportion, without being short, like those of the bull, or too long
like those of the ass; his mane ornaments his neck, and gives him an
air of strength and courage; his long bushy tail covers and terminates
advantageously the extremities of his body. Far different from the
short tails of the stag, elephant, &c. and the naked tails of the ass,
camel, rhinoceros, &c. the tail of the horse is formed of long thick
hair, which seems to come from the crupper, because the stump from
which it grows is very short; he cannot raise his tail like the lion,
but it suits him better hanging down, as he can move it from side to
side, and drive away the flies which incommode him; for though his
skin is very firm, and well furnished with a close thick coat, it is,
notwithstanding, extremely sensible.

The attitude of the head and neck contributes more than all the other
parts of the body to give him a noble appearance; the superior part of
the neck, on which the mane grows, should raise itself in a straight
line from the withers, and, in approaching the head, form a curve
somewhat resembling the neck of a swan. The inferior part ought not to
have any curve, its direction should be a direct line from the chest
to the nether jaw, and a little bent forwards; if it was perpendicular
its beauty would be diminished. The superior parts of the neck should
be slim, with a little flesh about the mane, which should be moderately
ornamented with long sleek hair. A handsome chest and forehand should
be long and raised, but proportioned to the size of the horse; when
it is too long and thin the horse usually throws his head back, and
when too short and fleshy he pushes forwards too much; for the head to
be placed in the most advantageous position, the forehead should be
perpendicular to the horizon.

The head should be lean and small, without being too long: the ears
at a moderate distance, small, straight (but not stiff) narrow, and
well-placed on the top of the head; the forehead should be narrow,
and a little convex; the hollows or spaces between the eyes and ears,
well filled; the eyelids thin; the eyes clear, lively, full of fire,
rather large, and projecting; the pupil rather large; the nether
jaw thin; the nose a little arched; the nostrils large and open, and
divided by a thin partition; the lips thin, the mouth of a moderate
width; the withers raised and sloping, the shoulders flat, and not
confined; the back equal, insensibly arched lengthways, and raised on
each side of the back bone, which should appear indented; the flanks
full and short; the rump round and fleshy; the haunches well covered
with muscular flesh; the stump of the tail thick and firm; the thighs
thick and fleshy; the houghs round before, and broad on the sides; the
shank thin and small; the fetlock strong and covered with a tuft of
hair behind; the pasterns large, and of a middling length; the coronet
rather raised; the hoof black, smooth, and shining; the instep high;
the quarters round; the heels wide and moderately raised; the frog
small and thin, and the sole thick and hollow.

Few horses possess this assemblage of perfection; the eyes are subject
to many faults, which are sometimes difficult to be known. In a sound
eye, we ought to see through the cornea two or three spots of the
colour of soot, above the pupil; for to see those spots, the cornea
must be clear, clean, and transparent; if it appears double, or of a
bad colour, the eye is not good; a small, long, and straight pupil,
encompassed with a white circle, or when it is of a blueish green
colour, the eye is certainly bad.

I shall at present only add some remarks, by which a judgment may be
formed of the principal perfections and imperfections of a horse. It
is very easy to judge of the natural and actual state of the animal
by the motion of his ears; when he walks, he should incline forwards
the points of his ears; when jaded his ears hang low; those which
are spirited and mischievous, alternatively carry one of their ears
forwards, and the other backwards: they all turn their ears to that
side on which they hear any noise, and when struck on the back, or on
the rump, they turn their ears backward. Horses who have the eyes deep
sunk in the head, or one smaller than the other, have usually a bad
sight; those whose mouths are dry, are not of so healthy a temperament
as those which have their mouths moist, and make the bridle frothy. A
saddle horse ought to have the shoulders flat, supple, and not very
fleshy; the draft horse, on the contrary, should have them flat, round,
and thick; if, notwithstanding, the shoulders of a saddle horse are
too thin, and the bones shew themselves through the skin, it is a
defect which proves the shoulders are not free, and consequently the
horse cannot bear much fatigue. Another fault of a saddle horse is,
to have the chest project too forward, and the fore legs placed too
far backward, because he is apt in this case to rest on the hand in
galloping, and even to stumble and fall. The length of the legs should
be proportionable to the height of the horse; when the fore legs are
too long he is not sure-footed, if they are too short, he bears too
heavy on the hand. It is a remark that mares are more liable than
horses to be low before, and that stone-horses in general have thicker
necks than mares or geldings.

The most important thing to be known, is the age of a horse. As they
advance in years the eye-pits commonly sink, but it is from the teeth
that we obtain the most certain knowledge of their age; of these the
horse has 40, 24 grinders, four eye teeth or tushes, and 12 incisive
teeth. Mares have no eye teeth, or if they have them they are very
short; it is from the front and eye teeth alone we are enabled to form
any judgment of their age. The front teeth begin to shew themselves a
few days after the birth of the foal, these first teeth are round,
short, and not very solid; they drop out at different times to make
room for others. At two years and a half the four front middle teeth
drop out, two at top, and two at bottom; a year after four others fall
out, one on each side of the first, which are already replaced; At
four years and a half, four others drop out, always on each side of
those which have been shed and replaced; these four last milk teeth are
replaced by four others, which do not grow near so last as those which
replaced the first eight; and these four last teeth which are called
the wedges, or corner teeth, as those by which the age of a horse is
distinguished; these are easily known, since they are the third, as
well at top as at bottom, beginning to count from the middle of the
extremity of the jaw; these teeth are hollow, and have a black mark
in their cavities. At four years and a half, or five years old, they
scarcely project beyond the gums, and their cavities are plainly seen.
At six years and a half they begin to fill up, the mark also begins
to diminish gradually, till he comes to seven years and a half, or
eight years, when the hollow is entirely filled up and the black mark
effaced. After the animal has attained this period, it is common to
attempt to judge of his age by the eye teeth, or tusks; these four
teeth are placed at the side of those which we have just described.
Neither the eye teeth, nor grinders, are preceded by others which fall
out. Those of the interior jaw usually begin to shoot at three years
and a half, the two of the upper jaw at the age of four, and till the
animal is six years old they are very sharp; at ten years old the
upper ones appear already blunt, worn, and long, because the gum wears
away with age, and the more it appears worn away, the more aged is the
horse. From 10 till 13 or 14 years, there is hardly any indication of
the age; when some of the hairs on the eye-brows begin to grow white;
but this indication is equivocal, since it has been remarked that
horses engendered from old stallions and old mares have the hair white
on the eye-brows by the age of 10 years. There are also horses whose
teeth are so hard that they do not wear, and upon which the black mark
subsists and is never effaced; but these are easily known by the length
of the eye teeth. We may also know, though with less precision, the age
of a horse by the ridges of the palate, which are effaced in proportion
to his age.

By the age of two, or two years and a half, the horse is in a state to
engender; and mares, like all other females, are still more forward;
but these young horses produce only foals ill-shaped, or of bad
constitutions. The horse should at least be four or four years and a
half before he is admitted to the mare, and even that is too early,
unless for draught and large horses. It is necessary to wait till the
sixth year for a fine breed, and the Spanish stallion should not be
admitted before the seventh. The mares may be a year younger; they are
usually in season from the end of March to the end of June; but they
are most fit to receive the male for about fifteen days or three weeks,
and this is the best period for admitting them to the stallion. He
should be chosen with care, handsome, well made, vigorous, perfectly
sound, and of a good breed. To have handsome saddle-horses, foreign
stallions, as Arabian, Turkish, Barbary, and Andalusian horses, are
preferable to all others; and even, notwithstanding their faults, the
English horses may be successfully made use of, because they came
originally from the above-mentioned, and are not much degenerated;
the food being excellent in England, where they are also very careful
in keeping up the breed. The stallions of Italy, especially those
of Naples, are very good, and produce handsome saddle-horses, when
coupled with well-shaped mares, and fine coach-horses when with mares
of a large stature. It is pretended, that in France, England, &c. the
Arabian and Barbary horses usually beget horses larger than themselves,
and that the Spanish horses produce a smaller breed. To have handsome
coach-horses we should make use of Neapolitan and Danish stallions,
or those from Holstein or Friezeland. The stallions should be full
14 hands and a half high for saddle-horses, and fifteen hands for
coach-horses; a stallion should also have a good coat, black as jet,
or of a fine grey, bay, or chesnut. All which seem in their colour
as if they were washed or ill-coloured should be banished from the
breed, as well as those which have white extremities. Besides these
exterior, a stallion should also have the best interior, qualities,
such as courage, docility, spirit, and agility; sensibility in the
mouth, freedom in his shoulders; he should be sure footed, supple in
the haunches, and have a spring in the whole body, but above all in
his hind legs, and should have been well broke and trained. These
particulars it is the more necessary to observe in the choice of
a stallion, because it has been remarked, that he communicates by
generation almost all his good and bad qualities, both natural and
acquired. A horse, naturally morose, gloomy, stubborn, &c. produces
foals of the same disposition: and as the defects of conformation, as
well as the vices of the humours, perpetuate with still more certainty
than the natural qualities, great care should be taken to exclude from
the whole stud all deformed, vicious, glandered, broken-winded, or mad

In these climates the mare contributes less than the stallion to the
beauty of the foal, but she contributes perhaps more to his temperament
and form; thus it is necessary that the mares should be strong and
large bodied, and good nurses, in order to breed beautiful horses.
The Spanish and Italian mares are preferred for an elegant breed,
and those of England for draught and coach-horses. The mares of all
countries may, nevertheless, produce handsome horses, provided they are
themselves well made, of a good breed, and have proper stallions; for
if they are engendered from a bad horse the foals which they produce
will frequently prove defective. In this species of animals, as well
as in the human race, the young frequently resemble their male or
female ancestors; only it appears, that in horses the female does not
contribute so much to generation as in the human species, where the son
oftener resembles the mother than the foal does the mare; and when the
foal resembles the mare which has produced it, it is usually in the
fore parts of the body, as the head and neck.

To judge well of the resemblance of children to their parents, the
comparison should not be made in their youth; we ought to wait till
they are arrived at puberty; for there happens at this period so sudden
a change of the parts that it may be possible to mistake, at the first
glance of the eye, a person whom we have known perfectly well before
that period, but have not seen since. Till after puberty, then, we
ought not to compare the child with its parents, if we would judge
accurately of the resemblance, as then the son frequently resembles
his father, and the daughter her mother, and frequently the child
resembles both at once. Sometimes children resemble the grandfathers or
grand-mothers, and even uncles and aunts. Almost always children of the
same parents are like each other, and all have some family-likeness.
In horses, as the male contributes more to generation than the female,
mares frequently produce colts which are very like the stallion, or
which always resemble their father more than their mother; and when
the brood-mare has herself been begot by a bad horse, it frequently
happens that, though she had a beautiful stallion and is handsome
herself, she shall yet produce a foal which, however in appearance
handsome and well made in its early youth, degenerates as it grows
older; while a well-bred mare produces foals, which though at first
they have an unfavourable appearance, grow handsomer as they advance in

These observations which seem all to concur in proving that in horses
the male has greater influence than the female on their progeny, do not
appear sufficient to establish this fact in an indisputable manner. It
is not impossible, but that these observations may subsist, and yet in
general the mare may contribute as much as the horse to the production
of their issue; for it is not astonishing that stallions, always chosen
out of a great number, generally brought from warm climates, high-fed,
kept and managed with great care, should have the sway in generation
over common mares, bred in a cold climate, and frequently obliged to
labour. But if the beautiful mares of warm countries were selected
out, managed with equal care, and covered by common horses of our own
country, I think there cannot be a doubt but the semblance of the
females would be superior to the males, and that among horses, as well
as in the human species, there would be an equality in the influence
of the male and female in their young, supposing a similarity in the
accordant circumstances. This appears natural, and the more probable,
as it has been remarked in studs that an equal number of male and
female foals are bred, which proves that, at least as far as regards
the sex, the female has equal influence.

Mares are generally in season nine days after their delivery, when
the horse ought to be taken to them, in the choice of which attention
should be paid to his figure being perfect in those parts wherein
the mare may be deficient. The breed of horses, at least such as are
handsome, require an infinite degree of care and attention, and is
accompanied with considerable expence. The mares and foals should be
kept in rich inclosures, and if alternately grazed by oxen and horses
it will be an advantage, as the former constantly repairs the injuries
done by the latter; each of these inclosures should contain a pond,
which is preferable to a running stream, and be also provided with
trees to shelter them from the heat of the sun; when, however, the
winter season commences they should be taken into the stable and be
well supplied with hay.

The stallion should always be kept in the house; he should be fed with
more straw than hay, and be moderately exercised until the season for
covering, when he should be fed plentifully, though with nothing but
common food. If managed with proper care he may be led to 15 or 18
mares with success in the course of the season, which, as we before
observed, continues from the end of March to the end of June.

It has been remarked, that studs, situated in dry and light countries,
produce active, swift and vigorous horses, with nervous legs, and
strong hoofs, while those which are bred in damp places, and in fat
pasturage, have generally large heavy heads, thick legs, soft hoofs,
and flat feet. This difference arises from the climate and food, which
may be easily understood; but, what is more difficult to comprehend,
and essential to be known, is, the necessity of always crossing, or
mixing the breed of horses to prevent their degenerating.

There is in nature a general prototype of each species, from which each
individual is modelled, but which seems in procreation to be debased,
or improved, according to its circumstances, insomuch, that in relation
to certain qualities, there is a strange variety in the appearance of
individuals, and at the same time a constant resemblance in the whole

The first animal, the first horse, for example, has been the exterior
and interior model, from which all horses that have existed, or
shall exist, have been formed; but this model, of which we are only
acquainted with copies, may have fallen off, or arrived at greater
perfection, by multiplying and communicating its form. The original
form subsists entire in each individual; but though there are
millions of individuals, yet no two exactly resemble each other, nor,
consequently, the model from which they are sprung. This difference,
which proves how far Nature is from making any thing absolutely
perfect, and how well she knows how to shade her works, is exactly
the same in the human species, in all animals, and in all vegetables;
and what is singular, the model of what is handsome and excellent is
dispersed through all parts of the earth, and that in each climate
there is a portion thereof, which perpetually degenerates, unless
united with another portion taken from a distant country; so that to
have good corn, beautiful flowers, &c. it is necessary to change the
seeds, and that they never should be sown in the same ground where
they grew. To have fine horses, dogs, &c. it is proper for the males
and females to be of different countries. Without this being attended
to, corn, flowers, and animals, will degenerate, or rather take so
strong a tincture of the climate as to deform and bastardize the
species; the form remains, but disfigured in all the lines which are
not essential thereto; by mixing, on the contrary, the kinds, and above
all, by crossing their breed with foreign species, their forms seem to
become more perfect.

I shall not here enter into the causes of these effects, but indicate
the conjectures which readily present themselves. We know from
experience that animals or vegetables transplanted from a distant
climate frequently degenerate, and sometimes are improved in a short
time. It is easy to conceive, that this effect is produced by the
difference of the climate and food. The influence of these two causes
must at length render these animals exempt from, or susceptible of,
certain affections or certain disorders; their temperament must
gradually change; consequently their form, which depends partly on the
food and the quality of the humours, must also change in their progeny.
This change is indeed almost imperceptible in the first generation,
because the male and female, supposed to be the stock of this race,
being completely grown, had taken their consistence and form before
they were brought from their own country; the new climate, and new
food may, indeed, change their temperament, but cannot have influence
enough on the solid parts, and organs to alter their form, consequently
the first generation will be no ways changed, nor will the original
stock at the time of birth be degenerated: but the young and tender
animal will feel the influence of the climate, and receive a stronger
impression than its father and mother had done. The food will also
have a greater effect, and act upon the organic parts during the time
of its growth, change a little the original form, and produce therein
those seeds of defects which manifest themselves in a very conspicuous
manner in the second generation, where the progeny will not only have
its own defects which arise from its growth, but also the vices of the
second stock. In the third generation, the defects, which proceed from
the influence of the climate and food, combined with those of influence
on the actual growth, will become so visible, that the character of
the first stock will be effaced. Thus animals of a foreign race soon
lose their particular qualities, and in every respect resemble those
of the country. Spanish or Barbary horses, if the breed is not crossed
frequently, become in France, French horses, in the second generation,
and always in the third. We are, therefore, obliged to cross the breed
instead of preserving it, and renew the race at each generation, by
giving the horses of Barbary or Spain, to the mares of the country; and
what is more singular, this renewal of the race, which is only done
in part, produces much better effects than if the renewal was entire.
A Spanish horse and mare in a foreign country do not produce such
handsome horses as those which are bred from a Spanish horse and a mare
of the country; this is easy to be conceived, if attention is given to
the amendment of natural defects, which will be produced when a male
and female of different countries are put together. Each climate, by
its influence, and by that of its food, gives a certain conformation of
parts, which offends either by excess or defects. In a warm climate,
there will be in excess what will be deficient in a cold climate,
therefore, when we join together animals of those opposite climates,
we must expect the produce to be complete; and as the most perfect
work in Nature is that which has the fewest defects, and the most
perfect forms, those that have the fewest deformities, so the produce
of two animals, whose defects exactly counterbalance each other, will
be the most perfect production of its species: they counterbalance one
another the better, in proportion to the distance between the countries
the animals matched together were bred in; the compound that results
therefrom is the more perfect, the more opposite the excesses or
defects of the constitution of the male are to the defects or excesses
of the temperament of the female. Thus the breed is always improved by
matching the mares with foreign horses, and they will always be more
beautiful in proportion as the climates in which the horse and mare
were bred are the more distant, and, on the contrary, the produce will
be much debased by suffering horses of the same race to breed together;
for they infallibly degenerate in a very little time.

The climate and food have not so much influence on the human species
as on animals; and the reason is plain: man can defend himself better
than any other animal from the intemperance of the climate; he is
lodged and clothed suitably to the seasons; in his food also there is
more variety, and consequently it cannot influence all individuals
in the same manner. The defects or excesses which arise from these
two causes, and which are so constantly and so sensibly felt in
animals, are much less conspicuous in men. Besides, as there have been
frequent migrations, as nations are mixed, and great numbers travel
and are dispersed every where, it is no wonder that the human race
should appear less subject to the influence of climate, and that there
should be men strong, well-made, and even ingenious in all countries.
Nevertheless, we may believe, from experience much further back than
memory can trace, that men formerly knew the misfortunes which resulted
from alliances with the same blood; since in the most uncivilized
nations, it has rarely been permitted for the brother to marry the
sister. This custom, which among Christians is a divine law, and
which is practised by other people from political views, is perhaps
grounded on this observation. Policy is never extended in so general
and absolute a manner, unless supported by physical principles: but if
men once discovered by experience that their race degenerated, when
intercourse was admitted between children of the same family, they
would soon have looked upon alliances with other families as a law of
nature, and agreed in not suffering a mixture of blood among their
children. In short, from analogy it may be presumed, that in most
climates men would degenerate, as well as animals, after a certain
number of generations.

Another influence of the climate and food is, the variety of colours
in the coats of animals: those which are wild, and live in the same
climate, are of the same colour, which becomes a little lighter, or a
little darker, in the different seasons of the year; on the contrary,
those which live in different climates are of different colours, and
domestic animals vary so much, that there are horses, dogs, &c. of all
colours, while the stags, hares, &c. are almost uniformly of the same.
The injuries of the climate, always the same, and constantly eating
the same food, produce, in wild animals, this uniformity. The care of
man, the comforts of shelter, the variety of food, efface and vary
the colour in domestic animals; as does also the mixture of foreign
racers, when no care has been taken to assort the colours of the male
and female, which sometimes produces beautiful singularities, as we see
in pied horses, where the black and the white are so whimsically mixed
that they sometimes do not seem the work of nature, but rather the
fancy of a painter.

In coupling horses the colour and height should be attended to; the
shapes should be contrasted, the race should be mixed with opposite
climates, and horses and mares bred in the same stud should never be
coupled together. All these are necessary cautions, and there are still
some others not to be neglected; for example brood-mares ought never to
be docked, because, being unable to defend themselves from the flies,
they are continually tormented, and the constant agitations which the
stings of these insects occasion diminish the quantity of their milk,
which has great influence on the temperament and size of the foal,
which in every respect will be more vigorous as the mother is more
capable of nursing it. It is also preferable to choose brood-mares
from such as have always been kept at grass, and have never been hard
worked. Mares which have been kept in stables on dry food, and are
afterwards put to grass, do not immediately conceive; they must have
time to accustom themselves to this new kind of nutriment.

Although the usual season of mares is from the beginning of April to
the end of June, yet it frequently happens that some are so before that
time; but which it would be better to let pass off, because the foal
in such case would be brought forth in winter, and suffer both from
the intemperance of the season, and badness of milk; and also, if a
mare does not become proud till after the month of June, she should not
be suffered to take horse, because the foal being produced in summer,
cannot acquire strength enough to resist the injuries of the ensuing

Many people, instead of conducting the stallion to the mare, let him
loose in a park, where a number of mares are kept, and leave him
at liberty to single out those which are in season: this method is
good for the mares, and they will breed with more certainty; but the
stallion is more hurt in six weeks than he would be well managed in as
many years.

As soon as the mares are with foal, and their bellies begin to grow
heavy, they must be separated from those which are not so, lest they
should be injured. They usually go with foal eleven months and some
days; they bring forth standing upright, while almost all other
quadrupeds lie down: in some cases, when the delivery is difficult
they require assistance, and when the foal is dead, it is extracted
with ropes. The foal generally presents its head first, as do all
other animals; it breaks the membranes in the birth, and the waters
flow out abundantly; at the same time there is voided several solid
pieces of flesh formed by the liquor of the allantoides: these pieces,
which the ancients have called the hippomanes, are not, as they say,
pieces of flesh fastened to its head; but, on the contrary, separated
by the amnios. The mare licks the foal after its birth, but she does
not meddle with the hippomanes, notwithstanding the assertion of the
ancients, that she devours it immediately.

It is the usual custom to have the mare covered nine days after she
has foaled: not to lose time, and to make all they can from the stud;
yet it is certain, that the mare having a foal and foetus to provide
for, her strength is divided, and she is not able to give them so much
nourishment as if she had only one; it would, therefore, be better, in
order to have excellent horses, to let the mares be covered but once in
two years; they would last longer, and would not be so liable to drop
their foals; for in common studs it is a great thing when, in the same
year, half or two thirds produce foals.

The mares, when with foal, can bear to be covered, though there is
never any fresh conception: they usually breed till the age of 14 or
15 years, and the most vigorous not longer than 18. Stallions, when
they have been taken care of, may engender till they are 20 years old,
or upwards. The same remark has been made of these animals as of men,
viz. that those who have begun too early are soonest incapacitated; for
large horses, which sooner arrive at their growth than delicate ones,
are frequently incapable before they are fifteen.

The duration of the life of horses, like that of every other species of
animals, is proportioned to the time of their growth. Man, who is above
14 years in growing, lives six or seven times as long, to 90 or 100.
The horse, who attains his whole growth in four years, lives six or
seven times as long, that is, to 25 or 30. There are so few exceptions
to this rule that we cannot draw any precedents from them; and as
robust horses are at their entire growth in less time than delicate
ones, they also live less time, seldom exceeding 15 years.

It may be easily seen, that in horses, and most other quadrupeds,
the growth of the hinder parts is at first greater than those of the
anterior, whilst in man the inferior parts grow less at first than the
superior; for in a child the thighs and legs are in proportion to the
body, much less than those of an adult; on the contrary, the hind legs
of a foal are so long that they can touch its head, which they cannot
do when full grown. This difference proceeds less from the inequality
of the whole growth of the anterior and posterior parts, than from the
inequality of the fore and hind feet, which is constantly the case
through all Nature, and is most sensible in quadrupeds. In man the
feet are larger than the hands, and are also sooner formed; and in the
horse the foot forms the greatest part of the hind leg, being composed
of bones, corresponding to the tarsus, metatarsus, &c. It is not,
therefore, astonishing that this foot should be sooner extended than
the fore legs, the inferior part of which resembles the hands, being
composed of the bones of the carpus, metacarpus, &c. When a colt is
just foaled this difference is readily remarked; the fore legs compared
with the hind ones being much shorter in proportion than they are in
the sequel; besides, the thickness which the body acquires, though
independent of the proportions of the growth in length, occasions
more distance between the hind legs and the head, and consequently
contributes to hinder the horse from reaching it when arrived at his
full growth.

In all animals each species differs according to the difference of
climate, and the general result of this variety forms and constitutes
the different races. Of these we can only particularize the most
remarkable, which differ greatly from each other, passing the
intermediate shades, which here, as in every thing else, are infinite.
We have even augmented the number and confusion, by favouring the
mixture of these breeds; and we may be said to have almost inverted
Nature by bringing into these climates the horses of Africa or Asia,
and have so much raised the primitive race of France, by introducing
horses of all countries, that they are not now to be known, there only
remaining some slight traces, produced by the actual influence of the
climate. These traces would be much stronger, and the differences would
be much greater, if the race of each climate were preserved without
mixture; the small differences would be less shaded, and fewer in
number; but there would be a certain number of great varieties, that
all mankind might easily distinguish; instead of which, custom, and
even a long experience, are at present necessary to know the horses
of different countries. On this subject we have only the knowledge
drawn from the accounts of different travellers, and the ablest
riding-masters, such as Newcastle, Garsault, Guerinere, &c. and from
some remarks that Pignerolles, Master of Horse to the King of France,
and President of the Academy of Angers, has communicated.

The Arabian horses are the handsomest known in Europe, they are larger
and more plump than those of Barbary, and equally well shaped, but as
they are not often brought into France, few observations have been made
on their perfections or defects.

The horses of Barbary are more common, they have a long fine neck,
not too much covered with hair, and well divided from the withers;
the head is small and beautiful; the ears handsome and well-placed;
the back short and straight; the flanks and sides round without too
much belly; the haunches thin, the crupper generally long, and the
tail placed rather high; the thighs well formed, and seldom flat; the
legs handsome, well made, and almost without hair; the tendon large,
the foot well made, but frequently the pastern long; they are of all
colours, but most commonly grey. In their paces, they are always very
negligent, and must be often reminded: they are swift and strong,
very light, and well adapted for hunting. These horses seem the most
proper to breed from; and leave it only to be wished they were of
larger stature, seldom exceeding four feet eight inches high. It is
confirmed by experience, that in France, England, &c. they beget foals
larger than themselves. Among the Barbary horses, those of the Kingdom
of Morocco are the best; next, those of the mountains. The horses of
Mauritania, are of an inferior quality, as well as those of Turkey,
Persia, and Armenia. All the horses of warm countries have the hair
shorter and smoother than others. The Turkish horses are not so well
proportioned as those of Barbary; they have commonly the neck slender,
the body long, and the legs too thin. They will, however, travel a
great way, and are long winded; this will not appear surprising if
we consider, that in warm countries the bones of animals are harder
than in cold climates and it is for this reason that, though they have
smaller shank bones, their legs are stronger.

The Spanish horses which hold the second rank after those of Barbary,
have a long, thick, and hairy neck; the head rather large, the ears
long, but well placed; the eyes full of fire, and have a noble
stately air; the shoulders are thick, and the breast large; the loins
frequently rather low, the sides round, and often too much belly;
the crupper is usually round and large, though some have it rather
long; the legs thin, free from air; the pastern is sometimes long like
those of Barbary; the foot rather lengthened like that of a mule,
and frequently the heels too high. Spanish horses of the best breed
are plump, well-coated, and low of stature. They use much motion in
their carriage, and have great suppleness, spirit, and pride. Their
hair is usually black, or of a dark chesnut colour, though there are
some of all colours, and it is but seldom that they have white legs
or noses. The Spaniards have an aversion to these marks, and never
breed from horses that have them, chusing only a star in the forehead;
they however prefer those which have not a single spot, as much as the
French do those with particular marks. But these prejudices are perhaps
equally ill-founded, since there are exceeding good horses with all
kinds of marks, or entirely of one colour. These small differences in
the coats of horses do not, in any manner, depend on their qualities,
or their interior constitution, but originate from external causes, and
even those so superficial, that by a slight scratch on the skin a white
spot is produced. Spanish horses are all marked in the thigh with the
mark of the stud where they were bred. They are commonly of a small
stature, though there are some four feet nine or ten inches in height.
Those of Upper Andalusia are reckoned to be the best, though they are
apt to have the head too long; but this defect is excused in favour of
their excellent qualities: they are courageous, obedient, graceful,
spirited, and more supple than those of Barbary, for which talents they
are preferred to all other horses in the world, for war, for shew, and
for the menage.

The handsomest English horses have in their conformation great
resemblance to those of Arabia and Barbary, from which in fact they
originated: they have, notwithstanding, the head larger, but well
made, the ears longer, but well placed. By the ears alone an English
horse may be known from a Barbary; but the great difference is in
their stature, for English horses are much larger and plumper; they
are frequently five feet high; are of all colours, and have all kinds
of marks; they are generally strong, vigorous, bold, capable of great
fatigue, excellent for hunting and coursing; but they want grace and
suppleness in their shoulders. The race horses of this country are
exceedingly swift, as indeed are the saddle horses in general; of
which I cannot give a stronger proof than by giving an extract of a
letter I received from a British nobleman, (Earl of Morton) dated
London, February 18, 1748, which runs in these words: "Mr. Thornhill,
a post-master of Stilton, wagered that he would ride three times the
distance from Stilton to London, that is 215 English miles, within 15
hours. In undertaking the performance of which, he set out from Stilton
in the morning of the 29th of April, 1745, and arrived in London in
three hours and fifty-one minutes, having taken a relay of eight
different horses on the road; he immediately set out again from London,
and got back to Stilton in three hours and fifty-two minutes, having
changed horses but six times; for the third space he set off again,
and with seven of the same horses he completed it in three hours and
forty-nine minutes, going over the whole space of 215 miles in eleven
hours and thirty-two minutes; an example of swiftness that possibly is
not to be paralleled in ancient history."

The horses of Italy were formerly much handsomer than they are
at present, because the breed for some time has been neglected;
notwithstanding the Neapolitan horses are still handsome, especially
for carriages and draught horses; but in general they have large heads
end thick necks; they are untractable, and consequently not easily
managed; these defects are compensated by their noble form, their
stateliness, and the gracefulness of their motion.

The Danish horses are so superior in make and beauty, that they are
preferred to all others for carriages; some of them are perfectly
moulded, but their number is small; for the conformation of these
horses is seldom regular, most of them have thick necks, large
shoulders, their loins long and low, and the buttocks too narrow for
the thickness of the fore parts; but they are all graceful in their
motions, and in general very good for war, and for state: they are of
all colours, and some are spotted like tygers which are found no where
but in Denmark.

Germany produces very handsome horses, but they are generally heavy,
and short-breathed, though chiefly bred from Turkish and Barbary,
Spanish and Italian horses; for this reason they are not swift enough
for coursing or hunting, whilst the Hungarian and Transilvanian horses
are, on the contrary, light and good coursers. The Hungarians split
their nostrils, with a view, they say, of giving them more breath, and
also to hinder their neighing in battle. I have never had it in my
power to be convinced of this fact, that horses who have their nostrils
slit cannot neigh, but it appears to me that their neighing must be
weaker. It is remarked, that the Hungarian, Croatian, and Polish horses
have the mark in their mouths during life.

The horses of Holland are very good for coach-horses: the best come
from the province of Friesland: there are also some very good ones in
the provinces of Bergues and Juliers. The Flemish horses are greatly
inferior to the Dutch: they have almost all large heads, flat feet, and
are subject to humours; and these two last defects are essential ones
in coach-horses.

In France there are horses of all kinds, but very few handsome ones.
The best saddle-horses come from the Limosin, which resemble much
those of Barbary, and like them are excellent for hunting; but they
are slow in their growth, require great care while young, and must not
be used till they are eight years old. There are also some excellent
foals in Auvergne, Poitou, and in Moroant in Burgundy; but next to
the Limosin, Normandy furnishes the finest horses; they are not so
good for hunting, but are better for war: they have thicker coats,
and sooner attain their full growth. There are many good coach-horses
brought from Lower Normandy, which are lighter than those of Holland.
Franche-Compte, and the country round Boulogne, furnish very good
draught-horses. In general, the French horses have their shoulders too
thick, which in the Barbary horses are generally too narrow.

Having described those horses which are best known to us, we shall now
mention what travellers report of foreign horses with which we are
unacquainted. There are good horses in islands of the Archipelago:
those of the island of Crete were in great reputation among the
ancients for their agility and swiftness; they are at present but
little used even in that country, from its being almost every where
unequal, and very mountainous. The best horses in these islands, and
even in Barbary, are of the Arabian breed. The native horses of the
kingdom of Morocco are much smaller than those of Arabia, but very
light and vigorous. Shaw says, that the breed of Egypt and Tingitania
are preferable to all those of the neighbouring countries; and yet a
century ago there were good horses all over Barbary. The excellence of
these Barbary horses consists in their never stumbling, and in their
standing still whilst the rider dismounts or lets fall his bridle. They
walk fast and gallop with rapidity, but they are never suffered to trot
or amble; the inhabitants of the country looking upon those paces as
rude and ignoble. He adds, that the horses of Egypt are superior to all
others for their height and beauty; but these Egyptian horses, as well
as most of those of Barbary, sprung from Arabian horses, which are,
without contradiction, the most beautiful horses in the world.

According to Marmol, or rather Leon, the African, (for Marmol has
copied him almost word for word) the Arabian horses are descended from
the wild horses of the desarts of Arabia, of which, in ancient times,
large studs were formed, which have multiplied so much that all Asia
and Africa are full of them; they are so swift as to outstrip the very
ostrich. The Arabians of the desart, and the people of Lybia, breed
a great number of these horses for hunting, but neither use them in
travelling nor in their wars. They send them to pasture whilst there is
any grass, and when that fails they feed them with dates and camels'
milk, which makes them nervous, light, and lean. They lay snares
for the wild horses, and eat the flesh of the young ones, which they
affirm is very delicate. These wild horses are small, and are commonly
ash-coloured, though there are also some white ones, and the mane and
the hair of the tail is short and frizzled. Other travellers have given
curious accounts of the Arabian horses, of which we will only mention
the principal circumstances.

Let an Arabian be ever so poor he has horses; they usually ride upon
the mares, experience having taught them that they bear fatigue,
hunger, and thirst, better than horses; they are also less vicious,
more gentle, and will remain left to themselves, in great numbers,
for days together, without doing the least harm to each other. The
Turks, on the contrary, do not like mares, and the Arabians sell them
the horses which they do not keep for stallions. The Arabs have long
preserved with great care the breed of their horses; they know their
generations, alliances, and all their genealogies[B]. They distinguish
their breeds into three classes; the first, which are of pure and
ancient race on both sides, they call nobles; the second are of ancient
race, but have been misallied; and the third kind are their common
horses. The latter are sold at a low price; but those of the first
class, and even of the second, among which some are as good as those
of the first, are extremely dear. They never suffer the mares of the
noble class to be covered except by stallions of the same quality. They
are acquainted, from long experience, with the whole race of their own
horses, and even with those of their neighbours, and know their names,
surnames, colours, marks, &c. When they have no noble stallions of
their own they borrow one of a neighbour to cover their mares, which is
done in the presence of witnesses who give an attestation signed and
sealed before the secretary of the Emir, or some other public person,
in which the names of the mare and horse are written down, and their
whole generation set forth. When the mare has foaled witnesses are
again called, and another attestation is drawn up, which contains a
description of the foal, with the day of its birth. These certificates
enhance the value of their horses and are given to those who buy them.
The price of a mare of the first class is from one to three hundred
pounds sterling. As the Arabs have only tents for their houses, those
tents serve them also for stables: the mare and her foal, husband,
wife, and children, lie promiscuously together; the children will lie
on the body and neck of the mare and foal without being incommoded or
receiving the least injury; nay, the animals seem afraid to move for
fear of hurting them. These mares are so accustomed to live in this
familiarity that they will suffer any kind of play. The Arabs never
beat their mares, but treat them kindly, talk and reason with them;
they take great care of them, always letting them walk, and never
use the spur without the greatest necessity; as soon, therefore, as
they feel their rider's heel they set out with incredible swiftness,
and leap hedges and ditches with as much agility as so many does. If
their riders happen to fall, they are so well trained that they will
stop short even in the most rapid gallop. All Arabian horses are of a
middling size, very easy in their paces, and rather thin than fat. They
are dressed morning and evening regularly with so much care that not
the smallest spot is left on their skins; their legs, mane and tail are
washed; the latter is let to grow long, and seldom combed, to avoid
breaking the hairs. They have nothing given them to eat all day, and
seldom are allowed to drink above two or three times. At sun-set a bag
is fastened round their heads, containing about half a bushel of very
clean barley, which is not taken from them till the next morning when
all is eat up. In the month of March, when the grass is tolerably high,
they are turned out to pasture. At this time the mares are covered, and
immediately after cold water is thrown upon them. As soon as the spring
is past they are taken again from pasture, and have neither grass nor
hay, and seldom straw, all the rest of the year, barley being their
only food. They cut the manes of their foals at a year or eighteen
months old, in order to make it grow thick and long. They mount them
at two years old, or two years and a half at furthest, and till this
age they put neither saddle nor bridle on them. Every day, from morning
till night, all the Arabian horses stand saddled at the doors of the

[B] Of this we have a striking instance in _Pennant's Zoology_, which
contains the following attested paper:

(Taken before Abdorraman, Cadi of Acca.)

"The occasion of this present writing or instrument is hat at Acca, in
the house of Bedi, legal established judge, appeared in Court Thomas
Usgate, the English Consul, and with him Sheikhs Morad Eben al Hajj
Abdollah, Sheikh of the country of Safad: and the said Consul desired,
from the aforesaid Sheikhs, proof of the race of the grey horse which
he bought of him, and he affirmed to be Monaki Shaduhi[1]; but he was
not satisfied with this, but desired the testimony of the Arabs, who
bred the horse, and knew how he came to Sheikhs Morad; whereupon there
appeared certain Arabs of repute, whose names are undermentioned, who
testified and declared that the grey horse which the Consul formerly
bought of Sheikh Morad is Monaki Shaduhi of the pure race of horses,
purer than milk, and that the beginning of the affair was, that the
Sheikh Saleh, Sheikh of Alsabal bought him of the Arabs, of the tribe
of al Mahommedat, and Sheikh Saleh sold him to Sheikh Morad Ebn al Hajj
Abdollah, Sheikh of Safad, and Sheikh Morad sold him to the Consul
aforesaid; when these matters appeared to us, and the contents were
known, the said gentleman desired a certificate thereof, and testimony
of the witnesses, whereupon we wrote him this certificate for him to
keep as a proof thereof. Dated Friday 28 of the latter Rabi, in the
year 1135."


Sheikh Jumat al Faliban of the Arabs of al Mahommadat. Ali Ebn Taleb al
Kaabi. Ibrahim, his brother. Mohammed al Adhra Sheikh Alfarifat. Kaamis
al Kaabi.

[1] _The term for their Noble race._

The breed of these horses is dispersed throughout Barbary; the chiefs
among the Moors, and even among the Negroes along the rivers Gambia
and Senegal, have them of uncommon beauty. Instead of barley, or oats,
they give them maize reduced to flour, which they mix with milk, when
they are inclined to fatten them; and in this hot climate they seldom
let them drink. The Arabian horses are also spread over Egypt, Turkey,
and perhaps Persia, where there were formerly considerable studs. Mark
Paul mentions one in which were 10,000 white mares; and he says, that
in the province of Balascia there was a great number of large nimble
horses, with their hoofs so hard that it was unnecessary to shoe them.

The horses of the Levant, as well as those of Persia and Arabia, have
the frog of the foot very hard; they shoe them notwithstanding, but
with shoes so light and thin that nails may be driven through any part
of them. In Turkey, Persia and Arabia, the custom of taking care and
feeding them is the same. Their litter is made of their own dung, which
is first dried in the sun, to take off the ill smell, then reduced into
powder, and a bed made with it in the stable or tent, four or five
inches thick. This litter lasts a long time, for when soiled, it is
dried in the sun a second time, and again loses its disagreeable odour.

In Turkey there are horses of Arabia, Tartary, and Hungary, beside the
native horses of the country, which are very handsome and elegant, have
a great deal of fire, swiftness and symmetry, but are soon fatigued.
Their skins are so tender that they cannot bear the curry-comb, so
that they are obliged to use a brush, and to wash them with water.
These horses, although handsome, are much inferior to those of Arabia,
and even those of Persia, which are, next to the Arabians, the most
beautiful and the best horses of the east. The pasture of the plains
of Media, Persepolis, Ardebil, and Derbent, is excellent, and by the
order of government, a prodigious number of horses are raised there,
most of which are very handsome, and almost all excellent. Pietro
della Valle prefers the common horses of Persia to the most excellent
of the kingdom of Naples. They are commonly of a middling size; some
are very small, but equal in goodness and strength, while there are
others bigger than the saddle-horses of England. They have small heads
and thin necks; their ears are handsome and well placed; slim legs,
handsome cruppers, and hard hoofs; they are docile, lively, light,
bold, courageous, and capable of bearing great hardships. They run
very swift, without ever stumbling. They are robust, and easily fed,
being kept on barley mixed with straw chopped fine, and are only put
to grass for about six weeks in the spring. Their tails are long, and
the Persians never make geldings. They use coverings to defend their
horses from the injuries of the air, and are particularly attentive in
their care of them: they manage them with a bridle only, and without
employing spurs. Numbers of them are transported into Turkey, but more
to the Indies. Those travellers who are so lavish in their praises of
the Persian horses agree in allowing that the Arabians are superior for
their agility, courage, strength, and beauty; and that they are more
valued, even in Persia, than the horses of that country.

The horses bred in the country are not good. Those used by the grandees
of the country are imported from Persia and Arabia. They give them a
little hay in the day, and in the evening pease boiled with butter and
sugar, instead of oats or barley; this nourishment strengthens and
gives them spirits; without it they would soon decay, the climate being
contrary to their nature. The native horses of India are very small;
some of them are so little that, Tavernier says, the young Prince of
the Moguls, who was about eight years of age, rode on a handsome little
horse, whose height did not exceed that of a large greyhound. It should
seem that extreme hot climates are contrary to the nature of horses.
Those of the Gold Coast, Juida, Guinea, &c. are also very bad. They
carry their heads and necks very low; their walk is so tottering, that
one would imagine they were always ready to fall; they would never stir
if they were not to be continually beat, and the greatest part of
them are so low that the feet of the riders almost touch the ground;
they are most untractable creatures, and only fit to be eaten by the
Negroes, who are as fond of their flesh as they are of that of dogs.
This taste for horse-flesh is common to the Negroes, Arabians, Tartars,
and Chinese. The Chinese horses are no better than those of India, they
are weak, spiritless, ill-made, and very small; those of Corea are not
more than three feet in height. In China almost all the horses are made
geldings; and they are so timid that they cannot be made use of in
war; so that it may with propriety be said that the Tartarian horses
conquered China. Those horses are very fit for war, though commonly but
of a moderate size, they are strong, vigorous, spirited, agile, and
very swift. Their hoofs are hard, but the bottom is too narrow; their
heads are small, their necks long and confined, and their legs are too
long; with all these defects they may be considered as good horses, for
they are not easily tired, and gallop extremely fast. The Tartars live
with their horses in the same manner as the Arabians. When about seven
or eight months old they are mounted by children, who make them walk
or gallop a little way by turns. They thus break them by degrees, and
oblige them to undergo long fastings; but they never mount them for
travelling or hunting till they are six or seven years old, and then
they make them support incredible fatigue, such as travelling two or
three days together without stopping; passing four or five days without
any other food than a handful of grass every eight hours, and also to
go twenty-four without drinking, &c. These horses which are so robust
in their own country become enfeebled and useless, when transported to
China or the Indies; but they succeed better in Persia and Turkey. The
little Tartars have a breed of small horses which they value so much,
that they are not allowed to be sold to foreigners. These horses have
all the good and bad qualities of those of Great Tartary, which shews
how much the same manners and education give the same disposition to
these animals. There are also in Circassia, and in Mingrelia, many
horses which are even handsomer than those of Tartary. There are also
some fine horses in the Ukraine, Wallachia, Poland, and Sweden; but we
have no particular account of their qualities or defects.

If we consult the ancients on the nature and qualities of the horses
of different countries, we shall find, that the horses of Greece,
especially those of Thessaly and Epirus, were held in great esteem, and
were very useful in war; that those of Achaia were the largest then
known; that the handsomest came from Egypt, where there was a great
number, and where Solomon sent to buy them at a great price; that in
Ethiopia the horses did not thrive, on account of the great heat of the
climate; that Arabia and Africa produced the finest horses, but above
all the lightest and best calculated for the chace; that those of Italy
were extremely good; that in Sicily, Cappadocia, Syria, Armenia, Medea,
and Persia, there were excellent horses, remarkable for their swiftness
and agility; that those of Sardinia and Corsica were small, but lively
and courageous; that those of Spain resembled those of Parthia, and
were excellent for war; that there were in Transylvania and in Walachia
swift horses with small heads, large manes hanging down to the ground,
and bushy tails; that the Danish horses were well made and good
leapers; that those of Scandinavia were small, but well made and very
agile; that the Flanders horses were strong; that the Gauls furnished
the Romans with good horses for the saddle, and to carry burthens: that
the German horses were ill-made, and so vicious, that no use was made
of them; that the Swiss had great numbers fit for war; that the horses
of Hungary were also very good; and lastly, that the Indian horses were
small and weak.

From the above facts it results, that the Arabian horses have ever
been, and are still, the first horses in the world, both for beauty
and goodness; that it is from them, immediately, or by the means of
Barbs, that the finest horses in Europe, Africa, and Asia are bred,
that Arabia is perhaps not only the original climate for horses, but
the best suited to their natures, because, instead of mixing the breed
by foreign horses, the Arabs take care to preserve their own purity;
that if the climate is not of itself the best for horses, the natives
have produced the same effects, by the care they have taken, from time
immemorial, to ennoble their breed by putting together only the most
beautiful individuals, and of the first quality; and that by this
attention, pursued forages, they have improved the species beyond what
nature alone would have done in the most favourable climate. We may
also conclude that warm climates rather than cold, but above all, dry
countries agree best with the nature of horses; that in general, small
are better than large horses; that care is as necessary for them as
food; that familiarity and caresses will do more with them than force
and chastisement; that the horses of warm countries have their bones,
hoofs, and muscles, more firm than those of our climates; that although
heat agrees better than cold with these animals, yet excessive heat
does not agree with them; and lastly, that their habit and disposition
depend almost entirely on the climate, food, care, and education.

In Persia, Arabia, and many other parts of the east, it is not
customary to geld horses, although so general a practice in Europe and
China. This operation deprives them of much of their strength, courage,
and fire, but renders them gentle, quiet, and docile. The only seasons
for performing this operation are spring or autumn, great heat and
cold being equally hurtful. With respect to age, they have different
customs in different countries; in some parts of France they geld
horses at twelve or fifteen months old; but the general and best custom
is, not to geld them till two or three years, because, in not doing it
till that age, they preserve more of their masculine qualities. Pliny
says, that they never lose the milk-teeth if they are made geldings
before they have shed them. But this is not a fact; and it is probable
that the ancients grounded this supposition merely on the analogy it
bears to the falling of the horns of the stag, goat, &c. which, in
reality, never fall off after castration. The gelding it is true, can
never engender, but we have sometimes examples of their being able to

Horses of all colours shed their coats, like most animals covered with
hair, once a year, usually in the spring, though sometimes in autumn;
as they are then weaker than at other times, they should have more
care, and be more plentifully fed. There are also horses which shed
their hoofs; this usually happens in humid marshy countries, such as

Geldings and mares neigh less frequently than horses. Their voices are
not so strong, but much more shrill. In all horses we may distinguish
five kinds of neighing, relative to different passions; in the neigh
of joy the voice begins and ends with sharp tones; the horse kicks up
at the same time, but without attempting to strike. In the neigh of
desire, whether of love or attachment, the horse does not kick, and
the voice is dragged to a great length, and ends with a deep sound.
The neigh of anger, during which the horse kicks violently with his
foot, is short and sharp; that of fear, during which he kicks also, is
scarcely longer than that of anger, the voice is hoarse and grave, and
seems as if it came from the nostrils only. This neigh is something
like the roaring of a lion. That of pain is more like groaning, or
breathing with oppression, than of neighing; it is in a grave tone of
voice, and follows the alternatives of respiration. It has also been
remarked, that horses which neigh frequently from joy or desire, are
the best and most generous. Horses, in general, have the voice stronger
than mares and geldings; from the birth the male has the voice stronger
than the female. At two years, or two years and a half, which is the
age of puberty, the voice of males and females, as in mankind, and
other animals, becomes much more strong and deep.

When the horse is impassioned with love he shews his teeth, and seems
to laugh; he shews them also when he is angry, and would bite. He
sometimes puts out his tongue to lick, but less frequently than the ox,
who, notwithstanding, is less sensible to caresses. The horse remembers
ill treatment much longer, and is sooner dispirited, than the ox. His
natural spirit and courage induce him to make every effort, but when he
finds more is expected from him than he is able to perform, he grows
angry, and will not endeavour at all; instead of which, the ox, who is
slow and idle, seldom exerts his utmost, and is not therefore easily

The horse sleeps much less than man, for when he is in health he does
not rest more than two or three hours together; he then gets up to eat.
When he has been much fatigued he lies down a second time, after having
eat; but in the whole he does not sleep more than three or four hours
in the twenty-four. There are even some horses who never lie down, but
sleep standing, which is sometimes the case even with those who do lie
down. It has also been remarked, that geldings sleep oftener and longer
than horses.

Quadrupeds do not all drink in the same manner, though they are all
equally obliged to seek with the head for the liquor, which they cannot
get any other way, except the monkey, macaw, and some others, that have
hands, and consequently drink like men, when a vessel is given to them
which they can hold; for they carry it to their mouths, inclining the
head, throwing down the liquor, and swallowing it by the simple motion
of deglutition. Man usually drinks in the same manner, because it is
most convenient; but he can drink many other ways by contracting the
lips to draw in the liquor, or dipping the nose and mouth deep enough
into it for the tongue to be environed therewith, and then perform
the motions necessary for swallowing; he can also take in a fluid
by the lips alone; and lastly though with more difficulty, stretch
out the tongue, and, forming a kind of little cup, carry a small
quantity of water into the mouth. Most quadrupeds could also drink in
several different ways, but, like men, they chuse that which is most
convenient. The dog, whose mouth is very large, and the tongue long and
thin, drinks by lapping, or licking, forming with the tongue a kind
of cup or scoop, which fills each time with a tolerable quantity of
liquor, and so satisfies his thirst; and this mode he prefers to that
of wetting the nose. The horse, on the contrary, whose mouth is small,
and whose tongue is too short and thick to form a scoop, and who always
drinks with more avidity than he eats, dips the mouth and nose quickly
and deeply into the water, which he swallows largely by the simple
motion of deglutition; but this forces him to drink without fetching
his breath, whereas the dog breathes at his ease while he is drinking.
Horses, therefore, should be suffered to take several draughts,
especially after running; when respiration is short and quick, they
should not be suffered to drink the water too cold, because that,
independent of the cholic, which cold water frequently occasions, it
sometimes brings on rheums, and often lays the foundation of a disorder
called the glanders, the most formidable of all diseases to which this
species of animals are subject; for it is known, that the seat of the
glanders is in the pituitary membrane, and that it is consequently a
real cold, which causes an inflammation in this membrane. Travellers,
who give us a detail of the maladies of horses in warm climates, as
in Arabia, Persia, and Barbary, do not say that the glanders are so
frequent there as in cold climates, and it is for this reason the
conjecture arises, that this malady is occasioned by the coldness
of the water, because the animals are obliged to keep the nose and
nostrils a considerable time under water, which would be prevented by
never giving it to them cold, and by always wiping the nostrils after
they have drank. Asses, who fear the cold more than horses, and who
resemble them so strongly in the interior structure, are not so subject
to the glanders, which may possibly be owing to their drinking in a
different manner from horses; for instead of dipping in the mouth and
nose deeply into the water, they scarcely touch it with their lips.

I shall not speak of the other diseases of horses, it would spin out
Natural History too much to join to the history of an animal that
of its disorders; nevertheless, I cannot leave the history of the
horse without regretting that the health of this useful animal should
have been hitherto abandoned to the care, and too frequently absurd
practice, of ignorant people. The branch of physic, which the ancients
called Veterinaria Medicina, is at present scarcely known but by name.
I am persuaded, that if some physician would turn his views this way,
and make this study his principal object, he would soon find it answer
his purpose, both with respect to reputation and profit: instead of
degrading himself he would render his name illustrious, and this branch
of physic would not be so conjectural and difficult as the other. The
diet, manners, and influence of sentiment, and all other causes of
disorders, being more simple in animals than in man, the diseases must
be less complicated, and consequently more easily investigated, and
treated with success, without mentioning the advantages that would
be derived from the entire liberty of making experiments, trying
new remedies, and to be able to arrive, without fear or reproach, to
a great extent of knowledge of this kind, from which, by analogy,
inferences might be drawn useful to the art of curing mankind.


Africa, it has already been observed, appears to be the original
climate of the horse, and from the country being so dry and warm,
admits many customs that cannot be practised in the northern regions,
at least with any effect. In different countries they not only receive
different food, but are also differently managed. In Arabia and Barbary
they scarcely ever are allowed herbage or grain, but are principally
kept upon dates and camel's milk, which is given them morning and
evening; they are seldom made use of till the seventh year, till when
they suck the camels whom they constantly follow.

In Persia they are always kept in the open air, being sometimes covered
with clothes to preserve them from the inclemency of the weather. The
whole troop are tied to a rope, which is fastened at each end to iron
rods fixed in the ground; they have also ropes tied to their hind legs,
and fastened to pegs in their front, this latter method is to prevent
them from doing any injury to each other; but notwithstanding both
fastenings, they stand perfectly at ease, and have sufficient room to
lie down. The Persians make use of nothing but sand or dry dust for
litter, but the Arabians and Moguls litter their horses with their own
dung dried to a powder. It is the custom in these countries not to let
the horses eat from the ground, or racks, but to constantly put their
barley, and cut straw into bags, which are tied round their necks. In
spring they are fed with grass and green barley, but care is taken
that they should not have too much, upon a supposition they would soon
become fat and useless. They never use bridles or stirrups, but easily
manage their horses with a single snaffle; whips and spurs are also
seldom employed, and one or two strokes of the former is sufficient at
all times to answer every purpose. The horses in Persia are very tall,
strong, and sometimes heavy, and from being so plenty, the best of them
sell at a low price. These people have a practice of tying a rope to
the fore and hind foot on the same side, which teaches them to adopt an
easy pace; they also slit their nostrils, for the purpose, they say, of
making them respire with more ease.

Horses, however, succeed as well in cold as warm countries, if they are
not damp. Denmark, Sweden, and Poland, it is well known, produce fine
and beautiful horses; those in Iceland, where the cold is excessive,
and where they frequently have nothing but dried fish to subsist upon,
though small, are strong and vigorous. In this island the shepherds
tend their flocks on horseback, for they are both plenty, and their
keep is not attended with any expence. When not wanted they are turned
loose into the mountains where they soon become wild; if the owners
want them, they are hunted in troops, and caught with ropes, which is
thought necessary when the mares have foaled, the owners of which put
a mark upon the foals, and then turn them into the mountains again for
the space of three years, and it is generally remarked that those left
in this manner, are more fleet and better than those brought up at

The Norwegian horses possess a peculiarity well adapted to the country,
for they travel through the roughest parts of it, and descend the
steepest declivities, by putting their hind feet under their bellies
with perfect safety. They are small, generally yellow, with a black
stripe along their backs. They are frequently assaulted by the bear,
and if a stallion happens to be among the mares and foals, when
this destructive animal appears, he advances to meet him, and has
the sagacity to attack with his fore feet, in which case he almost
always is conqueror, but if he ever trusts to his hind legs he is as
constantly subdued, the bear in that case leaping upon his back, which
he never quits until he has worried him to death.

The Nordland horses are also small, and it is a pretty general remark,
that the nearer we approach the pole the more diminutive are these
animals. Those of the West Nordland are short and thick; the upper
part of their legs is long, and the under short, and without hair;
they are generally very temperate, sure-footed, and climb the highest
mountains with the greatest steadiness and perseverance. The pasturage
of this country is so rich that the horses are always fat and in
good condition, which however, they soon lose if they are taken to
Stockholm; and by the same rule if a weakly horse is carried to the
Nordland he soon recovers.

The Japanese horses are small, as are also those of China, although in
both places some few are of a tolerable size, which are brought from
the mountainous parts of those countries. Those of Tonquin, according
to M. Rhodes, are strong, of a tolerable size, and very easily managed.

Horses, as before remarked, there is every reason to believe, were
unknown in America on its first discovery, but upon being transported
thither they multiplied in a most surprising manner, especially in
Chili, which, as M. Frezier remarks, is the more surprising, since the
Indians killed many to eat, and numbers through fatigue and from want
of proper care. In the Phillipine Islands also horses that were taken
from Europe increased in an astonishing manner in a very short time.

Horses are suffered to live wild in the Ukraine, among the Cossacks, on
the river Don; here they go in troops of four or five hundred together,
seldom attended with more than one or two men on horseback; they have
seldom any shelter when the ground is even covered with snow, which
they scrape away with their fore feet to get at the pasture; and it
is only in very hard winters, and then but for a few days, that they
are lodged in the villages. These troops have a chief among them,
whom they implicitly obey, and singular as it may appear, he directs
their course, makes them proceed or stop at his pleasure. He seems
also to have a regular command, and regulates all their movements when
attacked by wolves or robbers: in this situation he assumes entirely
the business of a commanding officer, and is busily engaged, during the
whole time, in traversing round the troops, and if he perceives any
out of their places he pushes them in with his shoulder, and actually
compels them to resume their station. Without being arranged by men
they march in perfect order, and pasture in perfect files or brigades,
without ever mixing or separating, notwithstanding they are at perfect
liberty, and without the smallest control. It is no less singular,
that their chief generally maintains his situation for four or five
years, but he no sooner discovers the least symptoms of inactivity than
some one will come out of the herd and attack him; if he conquers he
continues the command, but if subdued he is forced to fall into the
ranks, and the victor becomes chief, and is obeyed by the whole troop.

The horses in Finland, as soon as the snow is off the ground, about
the month of May, leave their stables, and assemble together in a
particular part of the forests, where they form themselves into
different troops, and afterwards no one ever separates from his own
party, or intermixes with any other. When thus divided, each troop
fixes upon a certain district for their pasturage, within the bounds of
which they strictly keep, and never encroach even upon that belonging
to another troop, though adjoining; in this manner they continue to
graze while there remains any pasture, but on that becoming scarce,
they all march off together to another spot, and these marches are
conducted with so much order and regularity that the owners know
exactly where to find their horses when they have occasion for them; in
these cases, when fetched, and having done the service they were wanted
for, they return back of themselves, and again join their own troop.
In this manner they remain till about the month of September, when the
approach of the inclement season induces them to come home, which they
do in troops, and each regularly proceeds to his own stable. At this
time they are generally in good case, but the fatigue they undergo in
the winter, together with the small allowance of provisions, very soon
reduces them. They are small, spirited, and very docile, and roll upon
the snow as familiarly as other horses do on grass.

In the Island of St. Helena there are wild horses, which, although
originally transported from Europe, are extremely savage and ferocious,
and, to avoid being taken, will often leap from very high precipices
into the sea. In the neighbourhood of Nippes there are some not bigger
than asses, but they are strong, bold, and extremely industrious. The
horses in St. Domingo are of a middle size, and though many of them
are caught with ropes, they seldom become docile, but generally remain
restless, and almost unmanageable. In Virginia there are also horses of
domestic origin, yet, from feeding in the woods, are very ferocious,
and hard to be taken, and when caught, they remain exceedingly stubborn.

In some parts of Tartary they make use of large birds of prey to hunt
their wild horses; they are taught to seize him by the neck or head,
upon which he sets off with the greatest speed, and continues running
until he is quite exhausted, without being able to extricate himself
from his tormentor. The wild horses of the Mongous, and Kakas Tartars,
are so swift that they often escape the arrows of the most expert
hunters; they generally keep in large numbers together, and if tame
ones come near they will surround them, unless they instantly take to
flight. There are a great number of wild horses in Congo; they at times
are seen at the Cape of Good Hope, but the inhabitants preferring those
from Persia they are scarcely ever caught.

In the early part of this work I mentioned, that from the observations
of horse-breeders it was the general received opinion, that the male
had more influence upon the offspring: than the female; and I then
suggested some reasons which it rendered to me very doubtful, but
experiments and observations have since convinced me, that the fact
does not only hold good with respect to horses, but also in the human
race, and in every species of animals, that the male has infinitely
more influence on the exterior form of the young than the female, and
that he in fact is the type of the race. Nor does the remark I have
made, that the females constitute the unity of the species in the least
controvert this position, because that cannot be extended further than
her possessing the greater facility in representing the species, but
this point is more amply discussed in this work under the article Mule;
from which it will appear, that notwithstanding the female may have
more influence on the character of the breed, yet from her it never
receives any improvement, which faculty is solely possessed by the male.


If we consider this animal with attention, he appears only to be a
horse degenerated. The perfect similitude in conformation of the
brain, lungs, stomach, intestinal conduit, heart, liver, and other
viscera, and the great resemblance of the body, legs, feet, and the
entire skeleton, supports this opinion. We may also attribute the
slight differences, which are found between these two animals, to the
influence of the climate and food, and to the fortuitous succession of
many generations of small wild horses, which, gradually degenerating,
have at last produced a new and fixed species; or, rather a succession
of individuals alike, all vitiated in the same manner, sufficiently
differing from a horse, to be looked upon as another species. What
appears to favour this idea is, that horses vary much more than asses
in their colour; they have consequently been longer domestic, since all
domestic animals vary much more in their colour than wild ones of the
same species. The greater number of wild horses, of which travellers
speak, are small, and have, like the ass, grey hair, and the tail naked
and frizzled at the end: there are also some wild horses, and even
domestic ones, which have a black stripe on the back, and other marks,
which nearly resemble both wild and domestic asses.

Again, if we consider the difference of the temperament, disposition,
and manners; in a word, the organization of these two animals, and,
above all, the impossibility of mixing the breed, so as to make one
common species, or even an intermediate species, which may be renewed;
it appears a better founded opinion to think that these animals are
of a species equally ancient, and originally as essentially different
as they are at present. The ass differs materially from the horse in
the smallness of the size, largeness of the head, length of the ears,
hardness of the skin, nakedness of the tail, the form of the rump, and
the dimensions of the neighbouring parts, the voice, the appetite,
manner of drinking, &c. Can we then suppose that the horse and the ass
came originally from the same stock? are they of the same family, or
not? and have they not always been different animals?

This question of which philosophers will find the generality,
difficulty, and consequences, and which we treat of in this article,
because it here offers itself for the first time, appertains to the
production of beings nearest to each other, and renders it necessary
that we should consider nature under a new point of view. If from the
immense variety of animated beings which people the universe, we chuse
an animal, or even the body of man, to serve as a foundation to our
knowledge, and to find out, by way of comparison, the other organized
beings, we shall find that each possesses an independent existence,
and that all vary, by different gradations, almost to infinity; there
exists also, at the same time, a primitive and general design, which
we may trace very far, and of which the gradations are much slower
than those of the form, and other apparent relations, for, without
mentioning the organs of digestion, circulation and generation, which
appertain to all animals, and without which they could neither subsist
nor reproduce, there is even in the parts which contribute most to
the variety of the exterior form a prodigious resemblance, which
necessarily calls to our minds an original design, upon which all seem
to have been projected and executed. The body of a horse, for example,
which, by a single glance of the eye, appears so different from the
body of a man, when it is compared part by part, instead of surprising
by the difference, only astonishes by the singular and almost perfect
resemblance, in fact, take the skeleton of a man, bend downwards the
bones of the pelvis, shorten those of the thighs, legs, and arms,
lengthen those of the feet and hands, join the phalanges, lengthen the
jaws, by shortening the frontal bone, and extend the spine of the back,
this skeleton would cease to represent the remains of a human figure,
and would be the skeleton of a horse; for it is easy to suppose, that
in lengthening the spine of the back and jaws we augment, at the same
time, the number of the vertebræ, ribs, and teeth; and it is only by
the number of those bones, which may be looked upon as accessory, and,
by the prolongation, the shortening, or junction, of the others, that
the skeleton of a horse differs from that of the human body. We see
in the description of the horse these facts too well established to
doubt; but, to follow these relations still further, let us consider
separately some essential parts of the structure; for example, we
find ribs in all quadrupeds, in birds, and in fish; and we find the
vestiges even in the shell of the turtle. Let us also consider, that
the foot of a horse, so different in appearance from the hand of a man,
is, notwithstanding composed of the same bones, and that we have, at
the extremity of each of our fingers, the same little bone resembling
a horse-shoe, which terminates the foot of that animal. From this we
may judge if this hidden resemblance is not more marvellous than the
apparent differences; if this constant conformity and design followed
from man to quadrupeds, from quadrupeds to cetaceous animals, from
cetaceous animals to birds, from birds to reptiles, from reptiles to
fish, &c. in which the essential parts, as the heart, intestines,
spine, senses, &c. are always found, does not imply, that, in creating
animals the Supreme Being has followed but one idea, and varied it, at
the same time, in every possible manner, that man may equally admire
the magnificence, execution, and simplicity of the design.

In this point of view, not only the ass and horse, but man, monkies,
quadrupeds, and all animals, may be looked upon as making but one
family; but ought we, therefore, to conclude, that in this great and
numerous family, which the Almighty has conceived and created from
nothing, there are smaller families projected by nature and produced
by time? some of which are composed only of two individuals, as the
horse and the ass; others of several individuals, as the weazle,
the pole-cat, the ferret, &c. and also that in vegetables there are
families of ten, twenty, thirty plants, &c. If these families existed,
in fact, they could only be formed by the mixture, the successive
variation, and the degeneration of the original species; and, if we
admit, for once, that there are families in plants and animals, that
the ass is of the family of the horse, and that he only differs because
he has degenerated; we may say, with as much propriety, that the monkey
belongs to the family of man, and he is a man degenerated; that man and
the monkey had but one common origin, like the horse and ass; that each
family, as well in animals as in vegetables, come from the same origin,
and even that all animals are come from one species, which, in the
succession of time, by improving and degenerating, has produced all the
races of animals which now exist.

The naturalists, who have so easily established families and
vegetables, do not seem to have considered the whole extent of these
consequences, which would reduce the immediate product of the creation,
to any number of individuals however small; for, if it was once proved,
that animals and vegetables were really divided into families, and that
there was a single instance of one species having been produced by the
degeneration of another; if it was true, that the ass was only a horse
degenerated, there would be no bounds to the power of nature, and,
we might, with equal reason suppose, that from one single individual
being, in the course of time, she might have produced all the organized
bodies which are now spread over the universe.

But it is certain, by revelation, that all creatures have equally
participated in the favours of creation; that the two first of each
species, were formed by the hands of the Creator, and we ought to
believe, that they were then nearly such as they appear at present
in their descendants. Besides, since Nature has been observed with
attention, from the time of Aristotle to the present, not a single new
species has been seen, notwithstanding the rapid motion that drags on,
or dissipates the parts of matter, notwithstanding the infinite number
of combinations which must have been in the space of twenty centuries,
notwithstanding the fortuitous couplings of different animals, from
which nothing has ever resulted but vitiated and sterile individuals,
and such as have not been able to become a stock for new generations.
Were the exterior and interior resemblance in some animals still
greater than they are between the horse and the ass, we ought not to
confound these animals, nor give them to one common origin, for if
they, in fact, came from the same stock, we might bring them back to
their original state by new alliances, and undo by time, what time is
already supposed to have done.

We must also consider, that although nature proceeds by gradual, and
frequently by imperceptible degrees, the intervals are not always the
same. The more exalted the species, the fewer they are in number, and
the shades by which they are separated, are more conspicuous; the
smaller species, on the contrary, are very numerous, and have more
affinity to each other, so that we are the more tempted to confound
them together in the same family; but we should not forget that these
families are our own works, that we have made them for the ease of
our memories, that if we cannot comprehend the real relations of all
beings, it is ourselves, not nature that is in fault, who knows not
these pretended families; and, in fact, contains only individuals.

An individual is a separate detached being, and has nothing in common
with other beings, excepting that it resembles, or rather differs from
them. All similar individuals which exist on the earth, are considered
as composing the species of those individuals. Notwithstanding, it is
neither the number nor collection of similar individuals which form the
species, but the constant succession and renewing of these individuals
which constitute them; for, a being which existed for ever would not
be a species. Species, then, is an abstract and general term, the
meaning of which can only be determined on by considering nature in
the succession of time, and in the constant destruction and renewal
of beings. It is by comparing the present state of nature with that
of the past, and actual individuals with former, that has given us a
clear idea of what is called species: for a comparison of the number or
resemblance of individuals, is only an accessory idea, and frequently
independent of the first; for, the ass resembles the horse more than
the barbet the greyhound, notwithstanding the latter are but one
species, since they produce fertile individuals, but the horse and ass
are certainly of different species, since they produce together vicious
and unfruitful individuals.

It is then in the characteristic diversity of the species, that the
shades of nature are the most sensible and best marked; we may even
say, that these shades between the species are the most equal and least
variable, since we may always draw a line of separation between two
species: that is, between two successions of individuals, who reproduce
and cannot mix, as we may also unite into one species two successions
of individuals which would reproduce by mixing. This is the most fixed
point that we have in Natural History; all other resemblances, and
differences that we can make in the comparison of beings, are neither
so constant, real, nor certain. These intervals are the only lines of
separation that will be found in this work; we shall not divide beings
otherwise than they are in fact: each species, each succession of
individuals which reproduce and cannot mix, will be considered apart,
and treated separately; and we shall only make use of families, kinds,
orders, and classes, which are marked out by Nature herself.

Species, then, being nothing more than a constant succession of
individuals alike, and which reproduce, ought only to extend to
animals and vegetables, and that it is only an abuse of the term,
and confounding ideas when used to point out the different kinds of
minerals. We should not then look on iron as one species, and lead
as another species, but only as two different metals, and should be
distinguished by lines of separation different from those made use of
with respect to animals and vegetables.

But to return to the degeneration of beings, and particularly to that
of animals. Let us examine more nearly still, the steps of nature, in
the variety which she offers to our view; and, as the human species
is best known to us, let us observe how far these steps of variation
extend. Men differ in colour from black to white, they differ also
one half in their height, bulk, lightness, strength, &c. and above
all in their understandings; but this last quality having nothing to
do with matter, ought not to be considered here. The others are the
usual variations of nature, proceeding from the influence of climate
and food; but, these differences of size and colour do not prevent
the Negro and the White, the Laplander and Patagonian, the Giant and
Dwarf, from mixing together, and producing fertile individuals; and
consequently these men, so different in appearance, are all of one
species, since this constant reproduction is that which constitutes
distinct species. Besides these general variations, there are others
more particular, which are also perpetrated; such as the enormous legs
of the men who are called of the race of St. Thomas, in the island of
Ceylon; the red eyes and white hair of the Dariens and Chacrelas, the
six fingers and toes in certain families, &c. These singular varieties
are either accidental defaults or excesses, which originating in
some individuals, are propagated from race to race, like hereditary
defects and diseases; but these differences should not be regarded as
forming separate species, since the extraordinary races of these men
with large legs, or six fingers, may mix with the ordinary races, and
produce fertile individuals. The same thing may be said of all other
deformities communicated from parents to their children. Thus far the
errors of Nature, and the varieties among men extend, and if there are
individuals which degenerate still more, those individuals reproducing
nothing, neither alter the constancy nor uniformity of the species.
Thus man constitutes but one and the same species, and, though this
species is perhaps more numerous, inconstant, and irregular in all its
actions, yet the prodigious diversity of nourishment, climate, and so
many other combinations as may be supposed, have not produced beings
different enough from each other to constitute new species, and at the
same time so like ourselves, that we are not able to deny but that we
are of the same race.

If the Negro and the White could not procreate together, or if their
offspring remained unfruitful, they would be two distinct species;
the negro would be to man what the ass is to the horse; or rather, if
the white was the man, the negro would be a distinct animal like the
monkey, and we might with reason think, that the white and the negro
had not the same common origin. But this supposition is denied by the
fact; for since all varieties of men can communicate together and
transmit their kind, all men must have come from the same stock, and
are of the same family.

When two individuals of the same species cannot produce together, it
is possibly occasioned by some slight difference of temperament, or
accidental fault in the organs of generation. For two individuals of
different species, to produce other individuals which do not resemble
the one or the other in no fixed particular, and can consequently
produce nothing like themselves, there needs but a certain degree
of conformity between the forms of their bodies, and their organs
of generation. But what an immense number of combinations are even
necessary, even to suppose that two animals, male and female, of a
certain species, have so much degenerated as to form a new species,
and are no longer able to produce with any of their own kind but
themselves! And also to suppose that the production of these two
degenerated animals should follow exactly the same laws which are
observed in the procreation of perfect animals; for a degenerated
animal is itself a vitiated production, and how can a vitiated,
depraved origin, become a new stock, and not only produce a constant
succession of beings, but even to produce them in the same manner, and
by following the same laws which reproduce animals, the origin of which
are pure and uncorrupted?

Although we cannot demonstrate that the production of a new species,
by degeneration, is a thing impossible in nature, yet the number of
probabilities to the contrary render it incredible, for if some species
have been produced by the degeneration of others, if that of the ass
absolutely originated from the horse, it can only have happened by a
succession of imperceptible degrees, and there must necessarily have
been a greater number of intermediate animals, the first of which would
have differed but slightly in its nature from the horse, and the latter
would have approached by degrees to that of the ass. Upon the ground
of this supposition we might ask, what is become of these intermediate
beings? Why do we not see their representatives, their descendants? and
why do the two extremes alone remain?

The ass is then an ass, and not a horse degenerated; a horse with a
naked tail. The ass is neither a stranger, an intruder, nor a bastard;
he has like all other animals, his family, his species, and his rank;
his blood is pure and untainted, and although his race is less noble,
yet it is equally good, equally ancient, with that of the horse. Why
then is there so much contempt for an animal so good, so patient, so
steady, and so useful? Do men despise, even among animals, those which
serve them best and at the smallest expence? We educate the horse,
take care of, instruct, and exercise him, whilst the ass is abandoned
to the power of the lowest servant, or the tricks of children, so that
instead of improving, he must lose by his education, and if he had not
a fund of good qualities he would certainly lose them, by the manner in
which he is treated. He is the sport of the rustics, who beat him with
staffs, abuse, overload, and make him work beyond his strength. We do
not consider that the ass would be in himself, and, with respect to us,
the most beautiful, best-formed, and most distinguished of animals, if
there were no horse in the world; he, however, holds the second instead
of the first rank, and it is from that only he appears to be of no
value. It is comparison alone degrades him; we look at, and give our
opinions, not of himself, but comparatively with the horse. We forget
that he is an ass, that he has all the qualities of his nature, all
the gifts attached to his species, and only think of the figure and
qualities of the horse which are wanting in him, and which he ought not
to have.

He is naturally as humble, patient, and quiet, as the horse is proud,
ardent, and impetuous; he suffers with constancy, and perhaps with
courage, chastisement, and blows; he is moderate both as to the
quantity and quality of his food; he is contented with the hardest
and most disagreeable herbs, which the horse, and other animals, will
leave with disdain; he is very delicate with respect to his water,
for he will drink none but the clearest, and from rivulets which he
is acquainted with; he drinks as moderately as he eats, and does not
put his nose in the water through fear, as some say, of the shadow of
his ears: as care is not taken to comb him, he frequently rolls on the
grass, thistles, and in dust. Without regarding his road, he lies down
and rolls as often as he can, and seemingly to reproach his master
for the little care he takes of him, for he never wallows in the mud
or in the water; he even fears to wet his feet, and will turn out of
his road to avoid it; his legs are also drier and cleaner than those
of the horse; he is susceptible of education, and some have been seen
sufficiently disciplined for a public shew.

When young, they are sprightly, handsome, light and even graceful, but
they soon lose those qualities either from age or bad treatment, and
become slow, stubborn, and headstrong. The ass is ardent in nothing
but love, or rather when under the influence of that passion he is
so furious that nothing can retain him; he has been known to exhaust
himself by excessive indulgence, and die some moments afterwards. As
he loves with a kind of madness, he has also the strongest attachment
to his progeny. Pliny assures us, that when they separate the mother
from her young, she will go through fire to recover it. The ass is
also strongly attached to his master, notwithstanding he is usually
ill-treated; he will scent him at a distance, and distinguish him
from all other men. He also knows the places where he has lived, and
the ways which he has frequented. His eyes are good, and smell acute,
especially with regard to females; his ears are excellent, which has
also contributed to his being numbered among timid animals, who it is
pretended have all long ears, and the hearing extremely delicate. When
he is overloaded, he shews it by lowering his head and bending down his
ears: when greatly abused, he opens his mouth and draws back his lips
in a most disagreeable manner, which gives him an air of derision and
scorn. If his eyes are covered, he remains motionless; and when he is
laid down, and his head so fixed, that one eye rests on the ground and
the other being covered with a piece of wood, he will remain in that
situation without endeavouring to get up. He walks, trots, and gallops
like the horse, but all his motions are smaller and much slower. He
can however run with tolerable swiftness, but he can hold it only for
a small space, and whatever pace he uses, if he is hard pressed, he is
soon fatigued.

The horse neighs, but the ass brays; which he does by a long,
disagreeable, and discordant cry, by alternative discords of sharp and
flat. He seldom cries but when he is pressed by love or appetite. The
she-ass has the voice clearer and more shrill; those that are gelded,
bray very low, and though they seem to make the same efforts, and the
same motions of the throat, yet their cry cannot be heard very far.

Of all the animals covered with hair, the ass is least subject to
vermin, which apparently proceeds from the peculiar hardness and
dryness of the skin, and for the same reason he is less sensible than
the horse to the whip, and stinging of flies.

At two years and a half old the first middle incisive teeth fall out,
and the others on each side soon follow; they are renewed at the same
time, and in the same order as those of the horse. The age of the
ass is also known by his teeth in the same manner. From the age of
two years and a half, the ass is in a state to engender; the female
is still more early and quite as lascivious, so that unless she is
beaten to allay her ardour, she seldom conceives. The usual time of
her being in heat is May or June; when pregnant it soon goes off, and
at the tenth month milk is found in her dugs; she brings forth at the
twelfth, and frequently there are found solid pieces of flesh in the
liquor of the amnios, resembling the hippomanes of a foal. Seven days
after delivery she is capable of receiving the male, so that we may say
she is constantly rearing and engendering. She only produces one foal,
and we have scarcely ever heard of her having two. At the end of five
or six months the foal may be weaned, and it is even necessary if the
mother is pregnant. The stallion ass should be chosen from the largest
and strongest of his species; he must at least be three years old,
but should not exceed ten; his legs should be long, body plump, head
long and light, eyes brisk, nostrils and chest large, neck long, loins
fleshy, ribs broad, rump flat, tail short, hair shining, soft to the
touch, and of a deep grey.

The ass, like the horse, is three or four years in growing, and lives
also like him 25 or 30 years; it is said the female usually lives
longer than the male; but, perhaps, this happens from their being often
pregnant, and at those times having some care taken of them, instead
of which the males are constantly worn out with fatigue and blows.
They sleep less than the horse, and do not lie down to sleep, except
when they are exceedingly tired. The male ass lasts also much longer
than the stallion; the older he is the more ardent he appears, and
in general the health of this animal is much better than that of the
horse; he is less delicate and not near so subject to maladies. The
ancients knew of no disease they had but the glanders, and which, as we
have already said, they are much less subject to than the horse.

There are among asses different races, as among horses, but they are
much less known, because they have not been taken the same care of,
or followed with the same attention; but we cannot doubt that they
originally came from warm climates. Aristotle assures us, that there
were none in his time in Scythia, nor the other northern countries, nor
even in Gaul; which, he says, is too cold a climate, and adds, that
a cold climate either prevents them from procreating their species,
or causes them to degenerate, which is the reason they are small
and weak in Illyria, Thrace, and Epirus. They are still the same in
France, though they have been for many ages naturalized, and though
the coldness of the climate is much lessened within these two thousand
years, by the number of forests destroyed, and marshes dried up; but
it is more certain, they have been but newly introduced into Sweden
and the other northern countries. They appear to have come originally
from Arabia; and to have passed from Arabia into Egypt, from Egypt into
Greece, from Greece into Italy, from Italy into France, and from thence
into Germany, England, Sweden, &c. for they are, in fact, weak and
small, in proportion to the coldness of the climate.

This migration seems to be well proved by the account of travellers.
Chardin says, "that there are two kinds of asses in Persia, the asses
of the country, which are slow and heavy, and which are only made use
of to carry burthens, and a race of Arabian asses, which are very
beautiful, and certainly the first asses in the world; their skin is
glossy, their heads high, and have high light feet, which they raise
with grace, walk well, and are solely employed to ride on. The saddles
which they use with them are like a bat, round on one side, flat on the
other; they are made of woollen cloth, or tapestry, and have harness
and stirrups, and the rider sits on them nearer the crupper than the
neck. There are some of these asses which even cost about 18 pounds
sterling, and there are none sold under 25 pistoles. They are broke
like horses, but are taught no other pace than the amble; the manner
of teaching them is by tying their hind and fore-legs of the same side
with two ropes of cotton, which are made to the length of the step the
ass is to pace, and are suspended by a cord fastened to the girth. A
groom mounts and exercises them in this pace morning and evening. Their
nostrils are slit in order to enable them to breathe more freely, and
they go so fast, that a horse must gallop to keep up with them."

It is to be regretted that the Arabians, who have so long taken care to
preserve the breed of their horses, had not paid the same attention to
the ass, since from the above it appears that Arabia is not only the
first, but also the best climate in the world for both. From Arabia
they have passed into Barbary and Egypt, where they are handsome
and high in stature. In the Indies, and in Guinea, they are larger,
stronger, and better than the horses of those countries: there are a
great number of them at Madura, where one of the most considerable and
noble tribes of the Indians pay particular homage to them, because
they believe that the souls of all their nobles pass into the bodies
of asses; in short, asses are found in great numbers in all parts of
the east, from Senegal to China, and wild asses are more commonly found
than wild horses.

The Latins, after the Greeks, have called the wild ass _onager_, which
animal must not be confounded, as some naturalists and travellers have
done, with the zebra, because the zebra is of a different species from
the ass. The onager, or wild ass, is not striped like the zebra, and
is not near so elegant in figure. Wild asses are found in some of the
islands of the Archipelago, and particularly in that of Cerigo; there
are also many in the deserts of Lybia and Numidia. They are grey, and
run so fast that the horses of Barbary only can beat them in hunting.
When they see a man they give a loud cry, turn themselves about, and
throw up their legs, then stop, and do not attempt to fly till he
comes very near them: they are taken in snares made with ropes, go
in troops to pasture, and their flesh is also eaten. There were, in
the time of Marmol, wild asses in Sardinia, but they were less than
those of Africa; Pietro della Valle says he saw a wild ass at Bassora,
whose figure differed in no respect from a domestic one, only of a
lighter colour, and had from the head to tail a stripe of white; he was
also much livelier and swifter than the asses usually are. Olearius
mentions, that one day the King of Persia made him go up with him to
the top of a little building, in form of a theatre, to eat fruit and
sweetmeats; that after the repast, 32 wild asses were brought in, when
the king amused himself for some time by firing at them, both with
bullets and arrows, and having wounded some, he afterwards permitted
the ambassadors, and other lords, to do the same; that it was no small
diversion to see these asses with a number of arrows sticking in them,
and, from the pain they felt, biting and rolling over each other; that
when they were all killed and laid before the king they were sent to
the royal kitchen at Ispahan; the Persians setting so great a value on
the flesh of these wild asses that they have a proverb expressive of
it. But it does not appear that these 32 wild asses were all taken in
the forests, and therefore it is probable they were asses brought up in
large parks, for the pleasure of hunting and eating them.

Neither asses nor horses were found in America, although the climate of
South America is perfectly consonant with their natures. Those which
the Spaniards have transported from Europe, and left in large islands,
and on the Continent, have greatly multiplied. In some parts they are
found in troops, and are taken in snares like wild horses.

The he-ass with the mare produce large mules, and the horse with the
she-ass produce small mules, differing from the first in many respects;
but as we shall treat of mules in a particular chapter, we shall finish
the history of the ass with that of its properties, and the uses to
which the animal may be put.

As wild asses are unknown in these climates we cannot in reality say
whether their flesh is or is not good to eat; but it is certain, that
the flesh of the domestic ass is extremely bad, and harder than that of
the horse. Galen says, that it is a pernicious aliment, and occasions
diseases. The milk of the ass, on the contrary, is an approved and
specific remedy for certain complaints and its use has been transmitted
to us from the Greek. To have it good we should chuse a young healthy
she-ass, full of flesh, that has lately foaled, and has not since been
with the male: the young one should be taken from her, and care must
be taken to feed her well with hay, oats, barley, and grass, whose
qualities may have an influence on the disease, with particular care
not to let the milk cool, nor even to expose it to the air, which will
spoil it in a little time. The ancients also attributed great virtue to
the blood, &c. of the ass, but which experience has not confirmed.

As the skin of the ass is extremely hard, and very elastic, it is
used for different purposes, such as to make drums, shoes, and thick
parchment for pocket-books, which is slightly varnished over: it is
also with asses' skin that the Orientals make their sagri, which we
call _shagreen_. It is also probable that the bones of asses are
harder than those of other animals, since the ancients made their
best-sounding flutes of them.

The ass in proportion to his size, can carry the greatest weight of
any animal; and as it costs but little to feed him, and he scarcely
requires any care, he is of great use in country business; he also
serves to ride on, as all his paces are gentle, and he stumbles less
than the horse; he is frequently put to the plough in countries where
the earth is light, and his dung is an excellent manure.


The surface of the earth, adorned with its verdure, is the
inexhaustible and common food from which man and animals draw their
subsistence. Every thing in nature that has life, is nourished by
that which vegetates; and vegetables, in turn, exist on the spoil of
every thing that has lived or vegetated. To live, it is necessary to
destroy; and it is only by the destruction of beings, that animals can
live themselves and multiply. God, in creating the first individuals
of each species of animals and vegetables, has not only given form to
the dust of the earth, but also gave it animation, by inclosing in each
individual a greater or less quantity of active principles, organs,
living molecules, incapable of being destroyed, and common to all
organized beings. The molecules pass from body to body, and are equally
the causes of life, and the continuation of it, to the nourishment and
growth of each individual. After the dissolution of the body, after
its reduction to ashes, these organic molecules, on which death has no
power, survive, circulate in the universe, pass into other beings and
produce life and nourishment. Every production, every renovation, or
increase by generation, by nutrition, or by growth, implies a preceding
destruction, a conversion of substance, a translation of these organic
molecules which never multiply, but always subsisting in an equal
number, render nature always equally alive, the earth equally peopled,
and ever equally resplendent with the primitive glory of Him who
created it.

To take beings in general, the total quantity of life is always then
the same; and death, which seems to destroy all, destroys nothing of
that primitive life which is common to all organized beings. Like all
other subordinate powers, death attacks only individuals, strikes only
the surface, and destroys the form; but can have no power over matter,
and can do no harm to Nature, which only appears to more advantage. She
does not permit him to destroy the species, but leaves individuals
to his power, to shew herself independent both of Death and Time;
to exercise every instant, her power, which is always active; to
manifest her plenitude by her fertility, and to make the universe, in
reproducing and renewing its beings, a theatre always filled, and a
spectacle always new.

That there may be a constant succession of beings, it is necessary
there should be a mutual destruction; that animals may subsist and be
nourished, vegetables, or other animals must be destroyed; and as,
before and after the destruction, the quantity of life remains always
the same, it should, as if it was indifferent to nature which species
were more or less consumed; like an economical mother, however, in the
midst of abundance, she has fixed bounds to her expences, and prevents
unnecessary waste, in giving but to a few animals the instinct of
feeding on flesh, while she has abundantly multiplied both the species
and individuals which feed on plants and vegetables. She seems to have
been prodigal to the vegetable kingdom, and to have bestowed on each
great profusion and fecundity; greatly perhaps to second her views,
in maintaining and even establishing this order on the earth; for in
the sea, we find almost all the species are voracious; they live on
their own kind, or on others, and devour perpetually, without ever
destroying any particular species, because the fecundity is as great as
the depredation, and because all the consumption turns to the profit of

Man knows how to exercise his power on animals; he has chosen those
whose flesh pleases his taste, has made them his domestic slaves, and
multiplied them more than nature would have done; and by the pains he
takes for their increase, seems to have acquired a right to slaughter
them; but he extends this right much farther than his wants require;
for he also makes war with savage animals, birds, and fishes, and does
not even confine himself to those of the climate which he inhabits,
but seeks at a distance, and even in the midst of the ocean, for new
food. All nature seems insufficient to satisfy the intemperance, and
the inconstant variety of his appetites. Man alone consumes more flesh
than all the other animals together devour; he is, then, the greatest
destroyer; and this more from custom than necessity. Instead of using
with moderation the blessings which are offered him, instead of
disposing of them with equity, instead of increasing them in proportion
as he destroys, the rich man places all his glory in consuming, in
one day, at his table, as much as would be necessary to support many
families; he equally abuses both animals and his fellow-creatures, some
of whom remain starving and languishing in misery, and labour only to
satisfy his immoderate appetite, and more insatiable vanity, and who,
by destroying others through wantonness, destroys himself by excess.

Nevertheless, man, like some other animals, might live on vegetables;
and flesh, which seems so analogous to flesh, is not a better
nourishment than corn or bread; that which contributes to the
nutrition, development, growth, and maintenance of the body, is not
that visible matter which seems to be the texture of flesh or herbs,
but of those organic particles which they both contain, since the
ox, by eating grass, acquires as much flesh as either man or beast,
that live on flesh and blood. The only real difference between these
aliments is, that, in an equal quantity, flesh, corn and seeds, contain
more organic particles than grass, leaves, roots, and other parts of
plants; of which fact we may be certain by observing infusions of these
different matters, insomuch that man, and other carnivorous animals,
whose stomachs and intestines are not sufficiently capacious to admit a
great quantity of aliment at once, cannot eat herbs enough to receive
a quantify of organic particles sufficient for their nutrition; and
it is for this reason that man, and those animals which have but one
stomach, can only live on flesh and corn, which, in a small bulk,
contains a great quantity of these organic and nutritive particles,
while the ox[C], and other animals, that chew the cud, who have
many stomachs, one of which is very capacious, and consequently can
contain a large mass of herbage, can extract therefrom a sufficient
quantity of these organic particles for their nourishment, growth, and
multiplication; the quantity here compensates for the quality of the
food, but the foundation is the same; it is the same matter, the same
organic particles, which nourishes man, the ox, and all other animals.

[C] The term ox is generally applied to cattle in general, but when
used in its confined sense, we shall mark it with _Italics_.

Some may observe that the horse has but one stomach, and even that
very small; that the ass, the hare, and other animals, which live
on herbage, have also but one stomach, and, consequently, this
explanation, though it seems probable, is not well grounded. But
these exceptions, so far from controverting, appear to confirm this
opinion, for although the horse has one stomach he has pouches in the
intestines, so very capacious that they may be compared to the paunch
of ruminant animals; and hares have a blind gut of so great a length
and diameter, that it is at least equal to a second stomach; thus it
is not astonishing that these animals can live on herbage alone. We
find in general it is wholly on the size of the stomach and intestines
that their manner of feeding depends; for ruminating quadrupeds, as the
ox, sheep, goats, camels, &c. have four stomachs, and the intestines
of a prodigious length; these live on herbage, and that alone suffices
them. Horses, asses, hares, rabbits, guinea pigs, &c. have but one
stomach, but they have a gut equivalent to a second, and live on herbs
and corn. Wild boars, hedgehogs, &c. whose stomachs and bowels are less
capacious, eat but little grass, and live on corn, fruits, and roots.
Those, such as the wolf, fox, tyger, &c. which have the stomach smaller
than other animals, in proportion to the size of their bodies, are
obliged to chuse the most succulent aliments; and those which abound
most with organic particles, and to eat flesh and blood, corn, and

It is on this necessary and physical relation, then, much more than on
the varieties of taste, that is founded the diversity which we see
in the appetites of animals, for if necessity did not determine them
oftener than taste how could they devour corrupted flesh with as much
avidity as that which is fresh and juicy? Why do they eat equally of
all kinds of flesh? We see that domestic dogs, which have it in their
power to chuse, constantly reject certain meats, such as the woodcock,
thrush, pork, &c. whilst wild dogs, wolves, foxes, &c. eat equally the
flesh of the hog, woodcock, birds of all species, and even frogs, of
which I once found two in the stomach of a wolf. When they can neither
get flesh nor fish, they will eat fruit, corn, grapes, &c. but they
always prefer that food, which, in a small portion, contains a large
quantity of nutritive or organic particles, proper for the nourishment
and subsistence of the body.

If these are not sufficient proofs let us consider the method made
use of to fatten cattle. They begin by castration, thus stopping the
passage through which the organic molecules escape in most abundance;
then, instead of leaving the _ox_ to his usual pasture, of herbage
alone, they give him bran, corn, and turnips; in a word, more
substantial aliments than grass. In a little time the flesh, juices,
and fat of the animal augments, the fat abounds, and, from a flesh
hard and dry, forms a viand so succulent and good, that it is the chief
of our best repasts.

It also results from what has been said, that man, whose stomach and
intestines are not so capacious with respect to the size of his body,
could not live on herbage alone; yet it is proved by facts, that he
can live on vegetables, corn, and seeds of plants, since there are
whole nations, and particular orders of men, who are forbid by their
religion to eat of any thing that has had life; but these examples,
though supported by the authority of Pythagoras, and recommended by
some physicians, do not appear sufficient to convince us, that it would
benefit the health of mankind, or that the human species would multiply
in a greater proportion, if they lived on vegetables and bread; the
rather as peasants, whom the luxuries, and the sumptuousness of the
great, reduce to this mode of living, languish and die much sooner than
persons in a middle station of life, to whom wants and excesses are
equally unknown.

Next to man, animals which live on flesh only are the greatest
destroyers: they are both the enemies of nature, and the rivals of man.
It is only by a careful attention that our flocks and fowls can be
sheltered from birds of prey, the wolf, fox, weazle, &c. and it is only
by a continual war that we can preserve our grain, fruits, and even
clothing from the voracity of rats, moths, mites, &c. for insects are
among those creatures which do more harm than good.

The ox, sheep, and those other animals which feed on grass, are not
only the best, most useful, and most precious to man, but consume and
cost him least. The ox, above all the rest, is the most excellent in
this respect, for he gives as much to the earth as he takes from it,
and even enriches the ground on which he lives; while the horse and
the greatest part of other animals, in a few years impoverish the best

But these are not the only advantages that this animal procures to
man; without the ox, the poor and the rich would have much difficulty
to live; the earth would remain uncultivated, the fields, and even the
gardens would be dry and sterile; it is on him that all the work of
the country falls, he is the most useful domestic of the farmer, and
does all the labour of agriculture[D]. Formerly he formed the only
riches of mankind, and still he is the basis of the riches of states,
which only flourish, and are supported by the cultivation of the lands,
and the number of their cattle; since these are the only real wealth
we possess, all others, even gold and silver, being only arbitrary
representations, and are of no worth but what the produce of the earth
can give them.

[D] Modern practice, at least in England, proves that with all the
superior qualities of the ox, he is not entitled to this particular
encomium, since in many parts it is found the horse can be much more
advantageously employed in the culture of lands, and even in some
countries the service of the ox in that respect is quite exploded.

That the ox is not so proper as the horse, ass, camel, &c. for carrying
burthens, the form of his back and loins clearly demonstrate; but the
thickness of his neck, and the broadness of his shoulders, sufficiently
indicate his qualification for the yoke. Although it is in this
manner that he draws with the most advantage, yet in some provinces
of France they oblige him to draw with his horns; for which they give
as a reason, that when harnessed in this manner he is managed with
more ease. His head is very strong, and he may draw very well when so
yoked, but certainly with much less advantage than when he draws by the
shoulders. He seems to be made on purpose for the plough; the size of
his body, the slowness of his motions, the shortness of his legs, and
even his tranquillity and patience when he labours, concur in making
him proper for the cultivation of the ground, and more capable than
any other animal of overcoming the constant resistance that the earth
opposes to his efforts. The horse, although perhaps as strong as the
ox, is, however, less proper for this work, his legs are too long, his
motions too great and sudden, and he is also more impatient, and more
easily fatigued; we take from him his lightness, all the suppleness of
his motion, and all the grace of his attitude, when he is put to this
laborious work, which requires more constancy than ardour, and more
strength and weight than swiftness.

In those species of animals which man has formed into flocks, and whose
multiplication is his principal object, the females are more useful
than the males. The produce of the cow, is a benefit almost perpetually
renewed; the flesh of the calf is healthy and delicate, the milk; is
excellent food at least for children; butter relishes the greatest part
of our victuals, and cheese is the common food of the country people.
How many poor families are reduced to live entirely on their cow! These
same men who toil from morning to night, groan with anguish, exhausted
with continual labour of cultivating the ground, obtain nothing from
the earth but black bread, and are obliged to give to others the flour
and substance of their grain. It is through them that the harvests are
abundant, though they partake not thereof. These men who breed and
multiply our cattle, who take care of, and are constantly occupied with
them, dare not enjoy the fruits of their labour; they are debarred from
the use of flesh, and reduced by the necessity of their condition, or
rather by the brutality of the great, to live like horses, on barley
and oats, common herbs, &c.

_Engraved for Barr's Buffon_

[Illustration: FIG. 20. _Bull_]

[Illustration: FIG. 21. _Cow_]

The cow (_fig. 21._) may also be used for the plough; and though she
is not so strong as the ox, yet she is often made use of to supply his
place; but, if employed for this use, care should be taken to match
her with an ox of the same size and strength; or with another cow, in
order to preserve the equality of the draught, and to keep the plough
in an equilibrium between the two powers attending to facilitate the
labour, and preserving the tillage more regular. From six to eight
_oxen_ are frequently made use of for stiff land, but more especially
in fallow grounds which break up in large clots, whilst two cows are
sufficient to plough light, and sandy soils. The ancients confined
the _ox_ to 120 paces, as the extent of the furrow, he was capable of
tracing without stopping; after which they suffered him to take breath
a few moments before he went on with the same furrow, or began a fresh
one. The ancients took delight in the study of agriculture and gloried
in ploughing themselves, or at least in encouraging the labourer,
and sparing him and the _ox_ as much trouble as possible; but among
us, those who enjoy the greatest share of the blessings of the earth
are those who know least how to esteem, and to encourage the art of

The bull (_fig. 20._) serves chiefly for the propagation of his
species, and though we can make him submit to work, yet we are less
sure of his obedience, and must be on our guard against the improper
use he may make of his strength. Nature has made him indocile and
haughty; in rutting time he is unmanageable, and frequently furious;
but by castration these impetuous motions cease, whilst it robs him of
none of his strength; it rather renders him larger, weightier, and more
proper for the work for which he is intended; it has also an effect
upon his disposition, and makes him more tame and patient, more docile
and less troublesome to the rest; a number of bulls would prove an
unruly herd, which man could neither tame nor guide.

The country people adopt different modes for castration, but they in
general consider the best time when the animal is between eighteen
months and two years of age, as they seldom live when it is performed
more early, yet those who do survive the operation, if performed while
young calves, always become the largest and fattest oxen. If left to a
late period they retain all the impetuous ferocity of the male sex, and
are scarcely governable. The females are commonly in season from about
the 15th of April to the 15th of July; they go nine months with young,
and bring forth at the beginning of the tenth; therefore calves are
always plenty during the spring and summer.

The bull, like the stallion, should be chosen from the handsomest of
his species; he should be large, well made, and full of flesh; his
eyes black, his looks haughty and fierce, forehead open, head short,
horns thick, short, and black, ears short and soft, muzzle large,
nose short and straight, neck fleshy and thick, shoulders and breast
large, loins firm, back straight, legs thick and muscular, tail long
and well covered with hair, step firm and sure, and his coat of a
reddish colour. The cows frequently retain the first, second, or third
time, and as soon as they are with calf the bull takes no more notice
of them, although they have still some appearance of ardour; but this
usually goes off as soon as they have conceived, and they also refuse
the approaches of the bull.

Cows are also subject to abortion if put to the plough, and not
properly managed; and care should be taken to prevent their leaping
over hedges, ditches, &c. they should also be put into the richest
pastures, which, without being too humid or marshy, afford plenty
of herbage. For six weeks before they calve they should be more fed
than usual, giving them grass in their stalls, if summer, and, during
the winter bran, lucerne, saintfoine, &c. They should not be milked
from that time; the milk being necessary for the nourishment of the
foetus. There are some cows in which the milk ceases a month or six
weeks before they calve, but those which have milk to the last are
the best mothers, and the best nurses. The milk, towards the time
of calving, is generally bad, and in small quantities. More care is
necessary to be taken of the cow at and after her delivery than of
the mare, being apparently more weakened and fatigued. She should be
put into a stable and kept warm, giving her good litter, and feeding
her well, during ten or twelve days, with bean-flower, corn, oats,
&c. mixed with salt water, and plenty of lucerne, saintfoine, or good
grass. This time is sufficient to re-establish her strength, after
which she may be brought by degrees to her usual manner of living
and pasturing. Not any of her milk should be taken for the two first
months, but left solely to the calf; besides, the milk at this time is
not of the best quality.

The calf should be left with his mother for five or six days, that it
may be kept warm, and suck as often as it has occasion; it may then be
removed, for it would weaken the cow too much if it was always kept
with her. It is sufficient to let calves suck two or three times in a
day; and to fatten them quickly, they should every day have raw eggs,
and boiled milk and bread. At the end of four or five weeks calves
thus taken care of will be excellent eating. It is sufficient to let
a calf suck, designed for the butcher, thirty or forty days; but
those which are intended to grow up should be suffered to suck for
two months at least; the longer they are allowed to suck the stronger
and larger cattle they become. Those brought forth in April, May, and
June, are the fittest to be raised; for calves which come later never
acquire strength enough to resist the injuries of the following winter,
and almost all languish and perish with the cold. Before the milk is
entirely taken from them, they should have a little good grass, or
saintfoine, cut fine to accustom them by degrees to their future food;
after which they should be entirely separated from the mother, and not
suffered to go near her, either in the stable, or field. To the latter
they should be taken every day, and suffered to remain from morning to
night during the summer; but as soon as the cold begins in autumn, they
should be taken out late in the morning and carried home soon in the
evening; and during winter, as cold is extremely hurtful to them, they
should be kept warm in a close well littered stable; and with their
usual food, they should have saintfoine, lucerne, &c. and not suffered
to go out, except in mild weather. Great care must be taken of them for
the first winter, as it is the most dangerous time in their lives; for
they get strength enough during the following summer not to fear the
cold of a second winter.[E]

[E] It is evident here that our author did not draw his conclusions
from a general view of the subject, but possibly rather from the
practice followed in France, which, in many cases, with regard to cows
and calves, is diametrically opposite to that pursued in England, both
in respect to food and management.

At 18 months old, the cow arrives at puberty, and the bull when he is
two years; but though they can engender at this age, it is better to
keep them asunder till they are three years old. These animals are
in their greatest vigour from three weeks old till nine; after this,
neither cows nor bulls are fit for any thing but to fatten for the
slaughter. As at two years of age they are almost at their full growth,
the length of their lives is also, like that of most other animals,
seven times that, or about fourteen years; they seldom live beyond

In all quadrupeds the voice of the male is stronger and deeper than
that of the female; and I believe there is no exception to this rule;
though the ancients say, that the cow, the ox, and even the calf, have
deeper voices than the bull; but the contrary is certain, since he can
be heard much the farthest. What has afforded grounds to think that his
voice is less deep, is, that his bellowing not being a simple sound,
but composed of two or three octaves, the highest of which strikes the
ear most forcibly, and the others are not perceived, yet if we give
attention thereto, we hear a grave sound, much deeper than the voice of
the cow, _ox_ or calf, whose lowings are also much shorter. The bull
only bellows when he is enamoured; the cow more frequently lows through
fear and dread, than from any other cause; and the calf bellows from
pain, want of food, or a desire of being with its mother.

The dullest and most idle animals are not those which sleep the
soundest, or the longest. The sleep of the ox is short, and not very
sound; for he awakes on the least noise. He usually lies on his left
side, and the left kidney is always larger and fatter than the right.

_Oxen_, like other domestic animals, differ in colour; but the red
appears the most common colour, and the redder they are, the more they
are esteemed; some prefer the black, while others assert that those
of a bay colour last longest; that the brown are sooner fatigued and
shorter lived; that the grey, brindled, and white, are not proper for
work, and are only fit to be fattened for slaughter. But whatsoever
be the colour, the coat of the _ox_ should be shining, thick, and
soft to the touch; for if it is rough and uneven, it indicates the
animal is not well, or at least of a weak constitution. An ox for the
plough should be neither too fat nor too lean; his head should be short
and thick, his ears large, with a soft even coat, his horns strong,
shining, and of a middling size, his forehead high, his eyes large
and black, his muzzle large and flat, his nostrils wide, his teeth
white and even, his lips black, his neck short, his shoulders thick
and strong, his breast large, his dewlap, that is, the fore part of
the neck, long, and hanging down to his knees; his loins very large,
his belly spacious and prominent, his flanks thick, his haunches long,
his rump round, his legs and thighs big and nervous, his back straight
and full, his tail hanging down to the ground, and covered with a fine
tuft of curling hair, his feet firm, his skin thick and pliable, and
his muscles large and elevated; he should also be sensible of the goad,
obedient to the call, and well trained: but it is only by degrees, and
beginning early, that we can make him submit willingly to the yoke.
At the age of two years and a half, or three years at most, we should
begin to use him to subjection; if it is deferred later, he frequently
becomes unmanageable. Patience, gentleness, and caresses, are the only
methods to be used; violence and ill-usage only serve to make him
sullen and untractable for ever: he should be stroked and caressed, and
frequently fed with boiled barley, bruised beans, and other nourishing
food of the same kind, mixed with a little salt, all of which he is
very fond; he should be frequently tied by the horns some days before
he is put to the yoke; and he should at first be yoked to the plough
with another ox of the same size which is already trained. They should
be tied together at the rack, and led to the same pasturage, that they
may become acquainted, and habituate themselves to the same common
motions. The goad should never be used at the beginning, as it would
only serve to make him ungovernable. He should only work a little at
a time, for he is soon fatigued when not perfectly broke; and for the
same reason, he should then have more food than at another time.

The _ox_ should only be worked from three years old to ten; and he
should then be taken from the plough to fatten, as the flesh will be
better than if he be kept longer. The age of this animal is known by
his teeth and horns. The first front teeth fall out when he is ten
months old, and are replaced by others which are larger and not so
white; at 16 months those on each side of the middle teeth drop out,
and are replaced by others; and at three years old, all the incisive
teeth are renewed; they are then all long, white, and even; and, in
proportion as the _ox_ advances in years, they decay, and become
unequal and black. It is the same with the bull and cow; so that
neither sex nor castration makes any alteration in the growth or fall
of the teeth, nor does either make any difference in the casting of the
horns, for they fall off at three years equally from the ox, bull, and
cow; these are replaced by other horns, which, like the second teeth,
fall off no more, only those of the _ox_ and cow grow longer than those
of the bull. The growth of these second horns is not uniform. The
first year, that is to say, the fourth of the animal's age, two little
pointed horns sprout, which are even, and terminate at the head by a
kind of knob; the following year this knob grows from the head, pushed
out by a cylinder of horn, which forms and terminates also by another
knob, and so on; for as long as the animal lives, the horns continue to
grow; these knobs are easily distinguished, and by which his age may be
easily known, by adding three years to the number of intervals between
the other knobs.

The horse eats slowly, but almost continually, the _ox_ on the
contrary, eats quick, and takes in a short time all the food which he
requires; after which he lies down to ruminate. This difference arises
from the different conformation of their stomachs. The _ox_, whose
two first stomachs form but one vast bag, can, without inconvenience,
receive a large quantity of grass, which afterwards, by chewing,
digests at leisure. But the horse, whose stomach is single and small,
can receive but a small quantity of grass, he therefore fills it in
proportion as it digests, and passes into the intestines, where is
performed the principal decomposition of the food. Having observed
in the _ox_ and the horse the successive product of digestion, but,
above all, the decomposition of hay, I remarked in the ox, that at the
entrance of that part of the paunch which forms the second stomach, it
is reduced to a kind of green paste; that in this form it is retained
in the plaits of the third stomach; that the decomposition is entire in
the fourth stomach; and that scarcely any thing but the dregs passes
into the intestines. In the horse on the contrary, the food is not
decomposed at all, either in the stomach or in the first intestines,
where it only becomes more flexible and supple, macerated with the
liquor with which it is surrounded, it arrives at the cæcum and colon,
without much alteration; it is principally in these two intestines, of
which the enormous capacity answers to that of the paunch of ruminant
cattle, that in the horse is performed the decomposition of the food;
but this decomposition is never so entire as that which is made in the
fourth stomach of the ox.

For these reasons, and from the inspection of the parts, it seems
easy to conceive how chewing the cud is effected, and why the horse
neither ruminates nor vomits. Chewing the cud is but a vomiting without
straining, occasioned by the re-action of the first stomach upon what
it contains. The ox fills his two first stomachs, or portions of
the paunch. This membrane acts with force on the food it contains;
it is chewed but a little, and its quantity is greatly increased by
fermentation. Were the food liquid, this force of contraction would
occasion it to pass into the third stomach, which communicates with the
other by a narrow conveyance, the orifice of which is situated in the
posterior part of the first, and almost as high as the oesophagus;
thus this conduit cannot admit the food, until it has become somewhat
fluid. The dry parts, must, therefore, rise up again into the
oesophagus, the orifice of which is larger than that of the conduit;
in fact, they go up again into the mouth, and the animal again chews
and macerates them, imbibes them afresh with its saliva, and thus by
degrees liquefies them sufficient to pass into the third stomach, where
it is again macerated before it goes into the fourth; and it is in this
last stomach that the decomposition of the hay is finished, which is
there reduced to a perfect mucilage.

What chiefly confirms the truth of this explanation is, that as long as
the animals suck, or are fed with milk and other liquid aliments, they
do not chew the cud; and that they chew the cud much more in winter,
when they are fed with dry food, than in summer, when they eat tender
grass. In the horse, on the contrary, the stomach is small, the orifice
of the oesophagus is narrow; and that of the pylorus very large. This
alone would render chewing the cud impossible, for the food contained
in this little stomach, though perhaps more strongly compressed
than in the stomach of the ox, does not mount upwards, since it can
easily descend through the pylorus, which is very large; and it is
not necessary that the hay should be reduced to a soft running paste,
because the force of the contraction of the stomach pushes the aliment
through when almost dry.

It is by this difference, then, that the ox chews the cud, and that
the horse cannot perform this operation. But there is still another
difference in the horse, which hinders him from chewing the cud, and
is the reason why he cannot vomit; the passage of the oesophagus
being placed obliquely in the stomach, the membranes of which are very
thick, makes a kind of gutter in them so oblique that it must close
still more instead of opening by the convulsive motions of the stomach.
Although this difference, as well as many others we observe in the
conformation of the bodies of these animals, depend on their constant
nature, nevertheless, there are in the development, more particularly
in the soft parts, differences constantly in appearance, but which may,
and actually do, vary from circumstances. The vast capaciousness of the
ox's paunch, for example, is not entirely owing to Nature; it is not
of that size in its primitive conformation, but attains it by degrees,
from the large quantity of aliment it receives; for, in the calf, which
is not very young, but has eat no grass, the paunch is much smaller in
proportion than in the ox. This capaciousness of the paunch proceeds,
then, from the extension which is occasioned by the large quantity of
aliments, of which I was well convinced by an experiment that appeared
to me decisive. I brought up two lambs of the same age, one on bread,
the other on grass, and when they were a year old, on opening them, I
found the paunch of the lamb which had lived on grass was much larger
than that which had lived on bread.

It is said that _oxen_ which eat slowly are more capable of working
than those which eat quick; that _oxen_ fed on high and dry lands are
more lively, vigorous, and healthy, than those which live on low and
humid grounds; that they are all stronger when fed on dry hay than when
fed with grass; that they meet with more difficulty on the change of
climate than horses, and that, for this reason, _oxen_ for the plough
should never be purchased but in their own neighbourhood.

In winter, as _oxen_ do nothing[F], it is sufficient to feed them on
straw, with a little hay; but at the season they work they should have
more hay than straw, likewise a little bran, or a few oats. If hay is
scarce they should have fresh-cut grass, leaves of ash, elm, oak, &c.
but this food should be given in a small quantity, because the excess
of it, being what they are very fond of, occasion them to avoid bloody
urine; but lucerne, saintfoine, lupins, turnips, boiled barley, &c. are
very good for them, and as they never eat more than is necessary, they
should always be supplied with as much as they will take. They should
not be put to pasture till about the middle of May; they should be
kept at pasture all the summer; and, about the middle of October they
should be brought back to fodder, only observing not to change them too
suddenly from green to dry food, or from dry to green, but to bring
them to it by degrees.

[F] This is not the case in England, as in many counties the farmer,
excepting in hard weather, finds it the best time to keep them in full

Great heat incommodes this animal more perhaps than great cold. During
summer they should be brought to work at day-break, taken to the
stable, or left to feed in the woods, during the heat of the day, and
not yoked again till three or four in the afternoon. In spring, winter,
and autumn, they may be worked from eight or nine in the morning, till
five or six in the evening. They do not require so much care as horses,
yet to keep them healthy and vigorous they should be curried every
day, and their hoofs carefully greased and washed; they should be taken
to drink at least twice a day; they are fond of water that is fresh and
cool, while the horse loves it muddy and luke-warm.

Nearly the same food and care are requisite for the cow as the _ox_;
but the cow that suckles requires more particular attention, as well in
the chusing as in the management. It is said, that black cows give the
best milk, and that white cows give the most: but of whatever colour,
she should be fleshy, have a brisk eye, and be light in her walk; she
should be young, her milk plentiful, and of a good kind; she should
be milked twice a day in summer, and once in winter; and, if we would
increase the quantity, she must be fed with more succulent food than

Good milk is neither too thick, nor too thin; its consistence should
be such, that a drop should preserve its roundness without running. In
colour it should be of a beautiful white: that which is inclinable to
blue or yellow is worth nothing; its taste should be sweet, without
any bitterness or sourness. It is better in the month of May, and
during the summer, than in winter; and it is never perfectly good
but when the cow is of a proper age, and in good health. The milk of
young heifers is too thick, that of old cows is too dry, and during the
winter it is too thick. The milk of the cow is not good when she is in
season, near her time, or has lately calved. In the third and fourth
stomachs of the calves which suck, there are clots of curdled milk,
which, dried in the air, serve to make runnet, and the longer it is
kept the better it is, and it requires but a small quantity to make a
great deal of cheese.

Both cows and _oxen_ love wine, vinegar, and salt, and they will devour
with avidity a seasoned salad. In Spain, and some other countries, they
place near the young calf one of those stones, called salegres, which
are found in salt mines; they lick this salt stone all the time the
mother is at pasture, which excites the appetite, or creates thirst so
much, that the moment the cow returns, the young calf sucks with great
eagerness; and this makes them grow fatter and faster than those to
whom no salt is given. For the same reason, when _oxen_ loath their
food, they give them grass soaked in vinegar, or strewed with salt;
salt may also be given to them, as it excites their appetites in order
to fatten them in a short time. It is usual to put them to fatten when
ten years old; if we stay longer, there is less certainty of success,
and their flesh is not so good. They may be fattened in all seasons,
but summer is generally preferred, because it is attended with less
expence; and by beginning in May or June, we are almost certain of
having them fat before the end of October. When we begin to fatten them
they must not be suffered to work any longer. They should drink much
oftener, and have succulent food in abundance, sometimes mixed with a
little salt, and be left to chew the cud at leisure, and to sleep in
the cow-house during the heat of the day. In four or five months, if
thus attended to, they will become so fat that it will be difficult for
them to walk, or be conducted to any distance but by small journeys.
Cows and bulls, whose testicles are twisted, may also be fattened;
but the flesh of the cow is drier, and that of the bull is redder
and harder than that of the ox, and the latter has always a strong
disagreeable taste.

Bulls, cows, and _oxen_, are very apt to lick themselves, especially
when quiet and at rest; and as this is supposed to prevent their
fattening, it is usual to rub all parts of their bodies which they can
reach with their own dung. When this precaution is not taken, they
raise up the hair of their coats with their tongue, and swallow it in
large quantities. As this substance cannot digest, it remains in the
stomach, and forms round smooth balls, of so considerable a size, as to
incommode and prevent digestion. These balls in time get covered with a
brown crust, which, though nothing but a thick mucilage, becomes hard
and shining; they are only found in the paunch, and if any of the hairs
get into the other stomachs, they do not remain, but seem to pass off
with the aliments.

Animals which have incisive teeth, such as the horse and the ass, in
both jaws, bite short grass more easily than those which want these
teeth in the superior jaw; and if the sheep and goat bite the closest,
it is because they are small, and their lips are thin. But _oxen_,
whose lips are thick, can only bite long grass; and it is for this
reason that they do no harm to the pasture on which they live; as they
only bite off the tops of the young herbage, they do not stir the
roots, and the growth is scarcely checked; instead of which, the sheep
and the goat bite so close, that they destroy the stalk and spoil the
root. Besides, the horse chuses the shortest and most delicate grass,
leaving the largest to grow for seed; but the _ox_ eats these thick
stalks, and by little and little destroys the coarser grass; so that
in a few years, the field in which the horse has lived becomes poor,
and that on which the ox has broused, becomes an improved pasture.

Our oxen, which we must not confound with the buffalo, bison, &c. seem
to be originally of this temperate climate, great heat, or excessive
cold, being equally injurious to them. Besides this species, which is
so abundant in Europe, is not found in the southern countries, and is
not extended beyond Armenia and Persia; nor beyond Egypt and Barbary
in Africa. For in India, the rest of Africa, and even in America, the
cattle have a bunch on the back, or are animals of a different species,
which travellers have called oxen. Those found at the Cape of Good
Hope, and in many parts of America, were carried from Europe by the
Dutch and Spaniards. In general, countries which are rather cold agree
better with our oxen than hot climates; they are larger and fatter in
proportion as the climate is humid, and as it abounds in goodness of
pasture. The oxen of Denmark, Padolia, Ukraine, and Calmuck Tartary,
are the largest; those of England, Ireland, Holland, and Hungary, are
larger than those of Persia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, and Spain;
and those of Barbary are the smallest. The Dutch every year bring
from Denmark a vast number of large thin cows, which give more milk
than those of France; and it is possible they are of the breed of cows
which has been carried into Poitou, Aunis, and Charente, for those cows
are larger and much thinner than common cows, and produce double the
quantity of milk and butter. They have milk at all times, and may be
milked all the year, excepting four or five days before they calve.
Though they eat no more than common cows, their pasture, however, must
be excellent; and as they are always lean it is certain that all the
superabundance of their food turns into milk; instead of which, common
cows become fat, and cease to give milk when they have lived some time
in rich pastures. With a bull of this breed, and common cows, a bastard
kind is produced, which is more fruitful, and abounds more in milk than
the common race. These bastard cows have frequently two calves at a
time, and they give milk all the year. These milch cows form a part of
the riches of Holland, from which place they export butter and cheese
to a considerable amount; they give as much milk again as French cows,
and six times as much as those of Barbary.

In England, Ireland, Holland, Switzerland, and other northern
countries, they salt and smoke the flesh of the ox in large quantities,
both for the use of the navy and for the advantage of commerce. They
export also from those countries large quantities of leather; the
hide of the ox, and that of the calf, serving for an infinite number
of uses. The fat is also very useful. The dung of the ox is the best
manure for light dry soils. The horn of this animal was the first
instrument ever made use of for drinking or augmenting sounds; the
first transparent matter ever used for windows and lanthorns. It is now
softened to make boxes, combs, and a thousand other things. But I must
conclude, for, as I said before, Natural History finishes where the
History of the Arts begin.


Oxen are very numerous in Tartary and Siberia; and at Tobolski black
cattle abounds. In Ireland I formerly remarked that both _oxen_ and
cows were without horns; but this I find applies only to the southern
part, where there is either scarcely any grass, or it is very bad which
gives strength to my position, that horns arise from a superabundance
of nourishment. Adjacent to the sea the Irish boil their fish down
extremely soft, with which they feed their cows, and of which they are
very fond; and it is said the milk has not the smallest disagreeable
smell or taste therefrom.

In Norway both cows and _oxen_ are very diminutive; but on the
Norwegian coast they are bigger probably owing to their having better
pasture, and being allowed to range at perfect freedom; for they are
left entirely to themselves without any guides, unless the rams may be
so called who accompany them in winter and who scrape the snow from the
ground both for themselves and companions, to get at the grass. Living
in this wild state they sometimes grow very fierce, and are only to be
caught by means of ropes.

_Engraved for Barr's Buffon_

[Illustration: FIG. 22. _Ram_]

[Illustration: Fig. 23. _Ewe_]

European cattle have multiplied in a most astonishing manner in South
America. In the vicinity of Buenos-Ayres, they hunt them merely for
their grease and hides, and frequently kill large quantities. The coast
of Brazil produces very indifferent cattle; they are small, and their
flesh has a bad savour, most probably owing to the bad quality of their
pasturage. There are great numbers of _oxen_ in some parts of Africa.
The mountains are covered with wild cows from Cape Blanc to Sierra
Leona; their colour is generally brown with black horns, and they
are so exceedingly prolific, that both Europeans and Negroes find it
necessary to be perpetually destroying them by hunting. There are also
wild cows of a dark chesnut colour in many parts of Barbary, and in the
deserts of Numidia; they are small, run fast, and frequently keep in
flocks of one or two hundred together.


It does not admit of a doubt, but that all animals which are now
actually domestic were formerly wild. Those whose history has already
been given, afford a sufficient proof of it; for there are still wild
horses, asses, and bulls. Can man, who has conquered so many millions
of individuals, boast of having subdued an entire species? As they were
all created without his participation, is it not reasonable to believe
that Nature enabled them to exist and multiply without his aid? If
we consider, nevertheless, the weakness and stupidity of the sheep,
and reflect, that this animal, without defence, cannot find safety in
flight; that he has for his enemies all devouring animals, which seem
to seek him in preference, and to devour him by choice; that formerly
this species produced but few; and that the life of each individual
is but short; we shall be tempted to think, that from the beginning
sheep were confided to the care of man; that they had occasion for his
protection to subsist, and of his care to multiply; especially as there
never were any wild sheep found in the deserts. In all places where man
does not rule, the lion, tiger, and wolf reign by force and cruelty;
and these animals of blood and carnage, live longer, and multiply
faster than sheep. In short, if we were to abandon the flocks, which
we have rendered so numerous, they would soon be destroyed and their
species entirely annihilated by the voracity of its numberless enemies.

It appears, therefore, that it is only by the help and care of man
sheep have been preserved and that they could not have continued to
subsist for themselves. The female is absolutely without resource, and
without defence. The ram has but feeble arms; his courage is nothing
but a petulance useless to himself, inconvenient to others, and which
is destroyed by castration. The wedder is still more fearful than ewes.
It is through fear that sheep gather so often in troops; the smallest
noise to which they are unaccustomed, makes them get close together;
and this fear is attended with the greatest stupidity, for they know
not how to fly the danger, nor do they even seem to feel the hazard
and inconvenience of their situation. They continue obstinately fixed
wherever they are, and for neither rain nor snow will they stir. To
oblige them to change their route, or situation, they must have a chief
who is instructed to walk first, and whom they will follow step by
step. This chief, however, would remain without motion if he were not
driven off by the shepherd, or the dog which guards them, who, in fact,
watches over their safety, defends, directs, separates, assembles, and
in short, communicates to them every motion that is necessary for their

Of all quadrupeds then sheep are the most insensible, and have the
least resources from instinct. Goats, which in many things resemble
them, have much more sagacity. They know how to conduct themselves, and
to avoid danger, and are easily familiarized to new objects; the sheep
neither knows how to fly from danger, nor to face it: let their wants
be ever so great, they never come to man for assistance so willingly
as the goat, and which in animals appears to be the last degree of
timidity or insensibility, the female will suffer her lamb to be taken
away without shewing any signs of anger, or trying to defend it, nor by
the smallest difference in her bleating, expresses the smallest degree
of sorrow[G].

[G] The veracity of this charge of indifference, will be doubted by all
who have passed over the fertile plains of England, while these fleecy
flocks were grazing in the spring, since, insensible indeed must be
that breast, which has not felt the tender responses of the bleating
ewe, and her distant lamb.

But this animal, so contemptible in itself, so wanting in sentiment
and interior qualities, is to man the most useful of all animals. Of
itself it at the same time furnishes us with food and clothing; without
reckoning the particular advantages we have from the milk, the fat, the
skin, the bowels, the bones, and even the dung. This animal seems to
evince that nature has given it nothing but what is for the advantage
and convenience of man.

Love, which in all animals is the most general and lively sensation,
seems to be the only one which gives any vivacity to the ram. When
he feels any such emotions, he becomes petulant, fights, and will
sometimes attack even his own shepherd. The ewe, however, even at those
times, does not appear more animated; and has only instinct sufficient
not to refuse the approaches of the male, to chuse her food and to
know her own lamb. Instinct is more certain as it is more mechanical.
The young lamb, among a numerous flock, will search and find out its
mother, and will seize its teat, without ever being mistaken. It is
also said, that sheep are sensible to the pleasures of musick; that
they brouze with more assiduity, are better in health, and fatten
sooner when they hear the shepherd's pipe; but it appears more probable
that music serves to amuse the shepherd, and that it is to this
solitary, idle life, that we owe the origin of the art.

These animals, whose understandings are so simple, are also of a
very weak constitution. They cannot walk long; travelling weakens
and exhausts them; and when they run, they pant and are soon out of
breath. The great heat of the sun, is as disagreeable to them, as too
much moisture, cold, or snow. They are subject to many disorders, the
greatest part of which are contagious. Superabundance of fat sometimes
kills them, and always prevents the ewes from having young. They suffer
a great deal in breeding, have frequent abortions and require more care
than any other domestic animal.[H]

[H] There appears in the text a degree of unusual asperity against this
harmless animal, and all its imperfections seem pictured in glaring
colours, but in this, as well as in several other particulars, some
exaggeration is adopted, since scarce any domestic animal, at the
time of bringing forth, requires less assistance than the ewe does in

When the ewe is near her time, she should be taken from the rest of the
flock, and watched in order to be near to help her in delivery. The
lamb frequently presents itself cross-ways, or by the feet; and, in
this case, the mother's life is in danger if she is not assisted. As
soon as she is delivered, the lamb should be lifted on its feet, and
the milk drawn out of the mother's teats; this first milk being bad
would do much hurt to the lamb, and therefore it is necessary to stay
till the teats are filled again, before it is suffered to suck. The
lamb is kept warm, and shut up for two or three days with the mother,
that it may learn to know her. For a few days, in order to re-establish
the strength of the ewe, she should be fed with hay, barley wetted,
or bran mixed with a little salt. The water she drinks should be
luke-warm, with some wheat or bean flour, or millet put into it. In
four or five days she may again be used, by degrees, to her common
manner of living, and may be put amongst the others, only observing not
to take her too far, lest it should overheat her milk. Some time after,
when the lamb begins to have strength, and to skip about, it may, with
safety, be suffered to follow its mother into the fields.

It is usual to send those lambs which appear weak to the butcher,
and to preserve those which are the largest, are most vigorous, and
have the thickest fleece; the first lambs are scarcely ever so good
as those of the following litters. If those lambs are wanted to be
reared which are brought forth in October, November December, January,
or February, they are kept in the stable, and only let out to suck
mornings and evenings, until the beginning of April. Some time before
letting them out they should daily have a little grass, for the purpose
of accustoming them by degrees to their new nourishment. They may be
weaned as early as a month old, but it is better to let them suck for
six weeks or two months. Lambs which are all white, and without spots,
are always preferred because white wool always produces the best price.
Lambs should not be castrated before they are five or six months old
at the earliest, and then the operation should be performed when the
weather is moderate, either in spring or autumn: it is done two ways,
either by incision, or by destroying the vessels, which terminate in
them, by a tight ligature. Castration makes lambs sick and melancholy,
and to prevent the disgust which generally succeeds, they should have
bran given them mixed with a little salt for two or three days.

At a year old, rams, ewes, and wedders, lose the two fore teeth of the
under jaw; they have no incisive ones in the upper; six months after
the two neighbouring teeth fall out also; at three years of age they
are all replaced, are then tolerably even and pretty white, but as
the animal increases in years they become uneven and black. The age
of the ram is also known by his horns; they appear the first year,
and sometimes at his birth, and a ring is added to them every year
after as long as he lives. In general the ewes have no horns, but in
their places two bony prominences; nor withstanding there are some
which have two and even four horns. These ewes are like the others;
their horns are five or six inches long, but less twisted than those
of the ram, and when they have four, the two anterior are shorter than
the other two. The ram is capable of generating at eighteen months,
and the ewe to produce at a year old; but it is better not to couple
them before the ram is three and the ewe two; as before that period
the young will be feeble and weak, which indeed is generally the case
with their first productions. One ram is sufficient to attend 25 or
30 ewes; he should be chosen from the strongest and handsomest of his
species; he should have horns, for there are some rams in our climate
which are without, but they are less vigorous, and less proper for
propagation[I]. A good and handsome ram should have a large thick head,
a wide forehead, large black eyes, broad nose, big ears, thick neck,
long high body, large loins and crupper, and a long tail. The best rams
are the white ones, well covered with wool on the belly, the tail, the
head, the ears, and quite up to the eyes. Ewes which have wool in the
greatest abundance, most bushy, whitest, and most silky, are the best
for propagation; especially if they are large, have thick necks, and
walk nimbly. It has also been remarked, that those which are rather
lean than fat are the most successful breeders.

[I] This does not always hold good, since the Lincoln sheep are without
horns, and are at the same time as fine and as large as any in England.

The ewes are commonly in season from the beginning of November to
the end of April; but they conceive at any time if supplied with
stimulating food, such as salted water, and bread made of hemp-seed.
The ewes are allowed to go with the ram two or three times, after which
they are separated from him; he invariably attaches himself to the
oldest ewes, and despises the young ones. During the coupling season
great care must be taken not to expose the ewes to rains or storms, for
moisture prevents conception, and a clap of thunder often produces an
abortion. A day or two after copulation they may return to their usual
mode of living, for if the salted water, hempen bread, and other hot
foods are continued, it will prevent their produce. They carry their
young five months, and drop them at the beginning of the sixth. They
commonly bring forth but one lamb, though they sometimes have two:
in warm climates they produce twice a year, but in France, and those
which are colder, never more than once. The ram is admitted to the
ewes about the end of July, or beginning of August, for the purpose
of having lambs in January; in September, October, and November, he
is given to a greater number, from which we have plenty of lambs in
February, March, and April; there are also quantities in May, June,
July, August, and September; and it is only in October, November, and
December, that they are scarce. The ewes have milk for six or seven
months; it is tolerable nourishment for children and country people,
and makes very good cheese, especially when mixed with cows' milk. The
time for milking the ewes is just before they go into the fields, or
immediately after their return. In summer they may be milked twice a
day, and once in winter.

Ewes fatten when they are with young, because they then eat more than
at any other time. As they often hurt themselves they have frequent
abortions, sometimes become barren, and often bring forth monsters;
nevertheless, if they are well taken care of, they will produce through
life; that is for ten or twelve years, though they commonly begin to
grow old and useless by the time they are seven or eight. The ram lives
till he is twelve or fourteen years old, but is unfit for propagation,
after he is eight. He should then be castrated, and fattened with the
old ewes. The flesh of the ram is always ill-tasted, that of the ewe
insipid, while that of the wedder is the most succulent and best of our
common meat.

Those who wish to form a flock with a view to profit, buy ewes and
wedders from the age of eighteen months to two years, an hundred of
which may be put under the care of one shepherd, and if he is careful
and assisted by a good dog, he will lose but few. When he conducts them
to the field he should always go first, accustom them to the sound of
his voice, to follow him without going aside among the corn, vines, and
cultivated lands, where they do considerable damage. Hills, or plains
above hills, afford them the best and most agreeable pasture, and they
should never be suffered to brouze in low and marshy grounds. In winter
they should be fed in the stable on bran, turnips, hay, straw, lucerne,
saintfoine, leaves of ash, elm, &c. and unless the weather is very bad
they should be allowed to go out every day for the sake of exercise.
In the cold season they should not be taken to the fields before ten
o'clock in the morning, and remain for four or five hours; they should
then be made to drink, and about three o'clock in the afternoon be
reconducted home. In spring and autumn, on the contrary, they should
be taken out as soon as the sun has dissipated the moisture and hoar
frost, and not taken back again till near sun-set. It is sufficient
in these two seasons if they drink once a day, and that just before
they return to the stable, where there must always be forage for them,
though in a smaller quantity than during winter. It is in summer alone
that they ought to find all their food in the fields, where they should
then be conducted twice a day, and taken twice to drink; they should
be led out in the morning while the dew is on the ground, allowed to
feed four or five hours, and after drinking led back to the fold, or
some shady place. About three or four o'clock in the afternoon, when
the excessive heat begins to diminish, they may be again taken into
the fields and allowed to stay until the night comes on; and were it
not for the danger of the wolf, it would be better to leave them out
all night as they do in England, which would make them more vigorous
and healthy. As violent heat greatly incommodes them, and the rays of
the sun will give them the vertigo, they should always be kept, when
brouzing, with their heads from the sun, so that their bodies may form
a kind of shade. And it is also very necessary, to preserve their
wool, that they should not be suffered to feed among thorns, briars, or

In dry and high grounds, where wild thyme and other odoriferous plants
abound, the flesh of the sheep is of a much better quality than when
fed on low plains and humid valleys; unless near the sea coast, where
all the herbage having imbibed a degree of saltness, it renders the
mutton superior to that fed on any other pasture; it gives also a
pleasing flavour to the milk, and adds to its quantity. Nothing is more
pleasing to the taste of these animals than salt, nor is there any
thing more salutary for them when given in moderation; in some places
they put a bag of salt, or salt-stone, into the sheep-fold, the which
they will all lick by turns.

Every year those grown of a proper age to fatten should be picked out
of the flock, as they require a different treatment. If in summer, they
should be taken to the field before sun-rise that they may feed on the
grass while the dew remains upon it. Nothing contributes more to fatten
sheep than water taken in great quantities, and nothing retards it more
than the heat of the sun; for which reason they should be taken into
the shade by nine o'clock in the morning before the violent heat comes
on, and a little salt should be given them to excite their appetite
for water. About four o'clock in the afternoon they should be led out
again to fresh and moist pastures. This care pursued for two or three
months is sufficient to make them fleshy and fat; but this fat, which
originates from the great quantities of water drank by the animal, is
only a kind of pursy swelling, and would soon occasion the rot; it is
therefore necessary to kill them immediately when they acquire this
false fat: even their flesh, instead of having become firm and juicy,
is frequently the more flat and insipid. If we would have good mutton,
besides feeding them in the dew and giving them plenty of water, it is
necessary they should have more succulent food than grass. In winter,
nay in all seasons, they may be fattened by keeping them in stables
and feeding them with the flour of barley, oats, wheat, beans, &c.
mixed with salt to make them drink more frequently. But whatever mode
is followed, it should be done quickly, and the sheep should be killed
immediately, for they cannot be fattened twice, and almost all die with
diseases of the liver.

We frequently find worms in the livers of animals; a description of
those found in sheep and oxen is contained in the Journal des Savans
of 1668, and in the German Ephimerides. It was thought that these worms
were peculiar to animals who chew the cud, but M. Dauberton discovered
some in the liver of an ass, and it is probable they might be found in
those of many other animals. It has also been said that butterflies are
sometimes found in the livers of sheep; and in confirmation of this M.
Rouillé favoured me with a letter of M. Gachet de Beaufort, containing
the following observations: "It has long been remarked, that our Alpine
wedders frequently lose their flesh on a sudden; that their eyes turn
white and gummy, that their blood becomes serous, having scarcely any
red globules, their tongues parched, and their noses stuffed with a
yellow purulent mucus. It is true this does not affect the appetite of
the animal, but makes him extremely weak and terminates in his death.
From repeated dissections it has been discovered, that animals so
affected have always butterflies in their livers, which butterflies are
white, and furnished with wings; their heads are nearly oval, hairy,
and about the size of those of the silk-worm fly. Above seventy which
I squeezed out of the two holes convinced me of the truth of this
fact." From this description of M. Beaufort I cannot admit myself as
positively convinced of their being butterflies, because they have so
near a resemblance to the common worms found in the livers of sheep,
which are flat, broad, and of so singular a figure, as to appear at
first rather leaves than worms.

It is customary for sheep to be shorn every year; and in warm countries
where they apprehend no danger from leaving the animal quite bare,
they do not shear the wool, but tear it off, and those frequently find
a sufficiency to have two crops in a year. In France, and in colder
climates, the fleece is shorn only once a year, and then a part of
the wool is permitted to remain by way of preserving the animal from
the intemperance of the weather. This operation is performed in the
month of May, after the sheep have been well washed to render the wool
as clean as possible. The month of April is too cold, and if delayed
to July, there would not be sufficient time for the wool to grow to
preserve them from the cold of the following winter. The wool of the
wedder is generally better, and in greater abundance than that of the
ewe or ram; that on the neck and top of the back, is much superior to
that on the thighs, belly, tail, &c. and that taken from the bodies
of the dead, or diseased animals, is by much the worst. White wool is
preferable to grey, brown, or black, because in dying it will take any
colour, and that which is smooth and sleek is better than the curled;
it is even said, that sheep whose wool is curled are not so good as the
others. Folding sheep is of great advantage to the land, and when it
is wished to improve any by this means, the ground must be inclosed,
and the flock shut in every night during the summer; the dung, urine,
and heat of the animals, will soon enrich the most exhausted, cold, and
infertile grounds. An hundred sheep in one summer will fertilize eight
acres of land for six years.

The ancients have remarked that all animals which chew the cud have
suet, but this is only true with the sheep and goat, and that of the
sheep is more abundant, whiter, drier, and better than that of any
other. Suet differs materially from fat or grease, as the latter
remains soft, but the former hardens in cooling. The suet amasses in
the greatest quantities about the kidneys, and there is always more
about the left than the right; there is also a great deal in the
epiploon, and about the intestines, but that is not near so firm and
good as that of the kidneys, tail, and other parts of the body. Sheep
have no other fat than suet, and this matter is so predominant in their
bodies, that their flesh is covered with it; even their blood contains
a considerable quantity, and their semen is so loaded with it, as to
have a different appearance from that of any other animal. That of man,
the dog, horse, ass, and probably of all animals which have not suet,
liquefies by cold, and becomes more and more fluid from the moment it
comes out of the body; but that of the ram, goat, and perhaps of all
animals which have suet, hardens, and loses all its fluidity with its
heat. I discovered these differences when examining their different
liquors with the microscope. That of the ram fixes a few moments after
it is out of the body, and in order to discover the living organic
molecules, of which it contains great numbers, heat must be applied to
keep it in a state of fluidity.

The flavour of the flesh, the fineness of the wool, the quantity of
the suet, and even the size of the sheep, differ greatly in different
countries. At Berri, in France, they abound; those of the environs of
Beauvoise, and some other parts of Normandy, are the fattest, and have
the greatest quantity of suet. They are very good in Burgundy; but the
best are those which are fed upon the downs in our maritime provinces.
The wool of Italy, Spain, and England is finer than the wool of France.
In Poitou, Provence, in the environs of Bayonne, and several other
parts of France, there is some sheep which appear to be of a foreign
race; they are larger, stronger, and have a greater quantity of wool
than those of the common breed. They are also more prolific, generally
producing two lambs at a time. The rams of this breed engender with the
common ewes and produce an intermediate race. In Italy and Spain there
is a great variety in their races of sheep, but they should all be
regarded as forming one species with our common sheep, which though so
numerous does not extend beyond Europe. Those animals with large broad
tails, so common in Asia and Africa, and which travellers have given
the name of Barbary sheep, appear to be of different species from our
common sheep, as well as from the pacos and lama of America.

_Engraved for Barr's Buffon._

[Illustration: FIG. 24. _Wallachian Ram._]

[Illustration: FIG. 25. _Wallachian Ram._]

White wool being most esteemed, those lambs which are black or
spotted are commonly led to slaughter. There are some places however
where almost all the sheep are black; and white rams and ewes will
frequently produce spotted lambs. In France there are only white,
black, and spotted; in Spain there is a reddish kind, and in Scotland
there are some of a yellow colour; but these varieties in colour are
more accidental than the difference and variety of the breed, which
notwithstanding only happens from the influence of climate and the
difference of nourishment.


I was favoured with the drawings of two Wallachian Sheep[J] (_fig. 24,
25._) by Mr. Colinson a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, whose
horns are very different from ours, but I was never able to discover
whether they were of the ordinary kind in Walachia or some accidental

[J] The annexed representations were taken from two of these living
animals, the property of Mr. Clark; and as the likeness was strongly
attended to, will be found more correct than the drawings copied in the
works of our author.

In Denmark, Norway, and in the northern part of Europe, the sheep are
very indifferent; and it is customary there to improve the breed, to
have rams frequently imported from England. In the islands near Norway
the sheep are constantly left in the fields, and they are much larger
and produce better wool than those who are attended by men. Pontopiddan
asserts that those sheep which live in perfect liberty always sleep on
that side of the island from whence the wind will blow the next day,
and this is constantly attended to by the mariners.

The Iceland sheep have larger and thicker horns than the common sheep
of these climates; some of them have four or five horns, but this is
not common, and when they find any so ornamented, they are sent to
Copenhagen and sold at a high price as great rarities.


Though the species of animals are all separated by an interval which
Nature cannot overleap, yet some resemble others in so many respects
that there seems only a necessary space to draw a line of separation.
When we compare these neighbouring species, and consider them
relatively to ourselves, some appear to be of the greatest utility,
and others seem to be only auxiliary species, which might in many
respects serve in the place of the former. Thus the ass might nearly
supply the place of the horse, and the goat that of the sheep. The
goat, like the sheep, furnishes both milk and suet in great abundance.
Their hair, though coarser than wool, can serve the purpose of making
very good cloth; their skins are more valuable than those of the sheep;
and the flesh of a young kid nearly resembles that of lamb. These
auxiliary species are wilder and more robust than the principals. The
ass and the goat do not require near so much care as the horse and the
sheep, for they every where find means of support, and browze equally
on the most coarse as on the most delicate plants; they are less
affected by the influence of the climate, and can do better without
the aid of man; the less dependence they have on us, the more they
seem to belong to Nature; and instead of considering these subordinate
species as degenerations of the principal species; instead of looking
on the ass as a degenerated horse; it might with more reason be said,
the horse is an ass brought to perfection, and that the sheep is a
more delicate kind of goat, which we have taken care of, brought to
perfection, and propagated for our own use; and, in general, that the
most perfect species, especially among domestic animals, take their
origin from those wild and less perfect kinds which resemble them the
most, as the powers of Nature are greatly augmented when united to
those of man.

Although the goat is a distinct species, and possibly further removed
from the sheep than the ass is from the horse, yet the buck will as
willingly couple with the ewe as the he-ass with the mare; the ram
with the she-goat in the same manner as the horse with the she-ass.
But though these couplings happen very frequently, and are sometimes
prolific, yet no intermediate species has been formed between the
goat and the sheep. The two species are distinct, remaining at the
same distance from each other; no change has been effected by the
intermixture, no new or middle race has arisen therefrom; at most they
have only produced individual differences, which have no influence on
the unity of each primitive species, but, on the contrary, confirm the
reality of their different characteristics.

There are, however, many cases in which we cannot distinguish these
characters, nor pronounce on their differences with certainty: there
are others in which we are obliged to suspend our opinions, and in a
great number of others we have not the smallest ray of light for our
guide; for, independent of the uncertainty arising from the contrariety
of assertions respecting recorded facts, independent of the doubts
resulting from the inaccuracy of those who have endeavoured to observe
Nature, the greatest obstacle to the advancement of knowledge, is our
ignorance of a great number of effects which time has not disclosed
to us, and which can only be revealed to posterity by experience, and
the most accurate observations; in the mean time we stray in darkness,
perplexed between prejudices and probabilities, ignorant even of
possibilities, and every moment confounding the opinions of men with
the acts of Nature. Examples are in abundance; but, without quitting
our subject, we know that the goat and the sheep couple together;
though we are still to learn whether the mule from this commixture is
sterile or fruitful. We are apt to conclude that mules in general, are
barren, because those produced from the he-ass and mare, or the horse
and she-ass, are sterile. But this opinion may have no foundation,
since the ancients positively assert, that the mule produces at seven
years old and that it can produce with the mare; they say also that
the she-mule is capable of conception, but that she cannot bring her
fruit to perfection. It is necessary therefore, to destroy or confirm
the truth of these facts, since they obscure the real distinction
of animals and the theory of their generation; and though we know
distinctly the species of all the animals which surround us, yet we are
ignorant what might be produced by an intermixture among themselves, or
with foreign animals. We are but ill informed of the jumar, an animal
said to be the produce of a cow and an ass, or a mare and a bull. We
are also ignorant whether the zebra would not produce with the horse
or the ass, or the broad-tailed Barbary ram with a common ewe; whether
the chamois goat be any thing more than a common goat in a wild state,
or whether an intermixture would not form an intermediate race; whether
the monkeys are of different species, or, like that of the dog, it is
one and the same, but varied by a great number of different breeds;
whether the dog can produce with the fox and the wolf, the stag with
the cow, &c. Our ignorance in most of these cases is almost invincible,
and the experiments which would decide them require more time, care,
and expence, than the life and fortune of most men can permit.

On the determination of these facts, however, depends our knowledge
of animals, the exact distinction of their species, the intelligence
of their genuine history and manner of treating them. But since we
are deprived of knowledge so necessary, since it is not possible to
proceed upon positive facts, we cannot do better than go step by step,
to consider each animal individually, to look on those as different
species who do not procreate together, and to write their history
in separate articles, reserving for ourselves a power to unite or
separate, as we shall acquire a more perfect knowledge from our own
experience, or from that of others.

It is for this reason that though there are many animals which resemble
the sheep and goat, we have taken notice of only the domestic kinds. We
are ignorant whether foreign kinds would intermix and form new races
with our common species; we are therefore authorized to consider them
as distinct species, till it can be proved that these foreign kinds can
procreate with the common and produce fertile individuals: this degree
alone constituting the reality of what should be denominated species
both in the animal and vegetable kingdoms.

The goat has naturally more sagacity than the sheep and can shift
better for itself. He comes to man of himself and is easily
familiarized; he is sensible of caresses, and capable of much
attachment; he is more strong, light, agile, and less timid than the
sheep; he is lively, capricious and lascivious, and it requires much
trouble to conduct them into flocks. They are fond of straying into
solitude, of climbing steep and rugged places, to stand and even to
sleep on the tops of rocks or brinks of precipices. The female seeks
the male with eagerness and ardour; she is robust and easily supported,
eating almost all kinds of herbs and very few disagreeing with her.
The bodily temperament, which in all animals has great influence on
the dispositions, does not seem to differ essentially in the goat from
that of the sheep. The interior organization of these two species of
animals is almost entirely the same; they are fed, grow, and multiply
in the same manner, and have the same diseases, except a few to which
the goat is not subject. The goat is not, like the sheep, affected
with too great a degree of heat, but voluntarily exposes himself to
the liveliest rays of the sun, and sleeps therein without suffering
a vertigo, or any other inconvenience. He is not alarmed by rains or
storms, but appears sensible of the rigours of cold. The exterior
movements, as already remarked, depend less on the conformation of the
body than on the strength and variety of their sensations, for which
reason they are more lively and less regular in the goat than in the
sheep. The inconstancy of his disposition is strongly marked by the
irregularity of his actions; he walks, stops short, runs, skips, jumps,
advances, retreats, shews and conceals himself, or flies off, and all
this from mere caprice, and without any other cause than what arises
from the whimsicality of his temper; the suppleness of his organs and
strength, and nervousness of his frame, are scarcely sufficient to
support the petulance and rapidity of his natural motions.

That these animals are naturally fond of men, and that even in
uninhabited countries they betray no savage dispositions, the following
anecdote is a strong confirmation. In 1698, an English vessel having
put into harbour at the island of Bonavista, two negroes went on board,
and offered the captain as many goats as he chose to carry away. He
expressing a surprise at this offer, the negroes informed him there
were only twelve persons on the island, and that the goats multiplied
so fast as to become exceedingly troublesome, for instead of being hard
to be caught, they followed them about with a degree of obstinacy, like
other domestic animals.

The male (_fig. 26_) goat is capable of engendering at a year, and
the female at seven months old; but the fruits of this early coupling
are generally weak and defective, and therefore they are commonly
restrained until they are eighteen months or two years. The he-goat is
handsome, vigorous, and ardent; and one is sufficient to accompany 150
females for two or three months; but this ardour, which soon consumes
him, does not last more than three or four years, and by the age of
five or six, he becomes aged and enervated. Therefore, in choosing
a male for propagation, he should be large, handsome, and about two
years old; his neck should be short and thick, his head light, his
ears hanging down, his thighs thick, his legs firm, his hair black,
thick and soft, his beard long and bushy. The choice of the female
(_fig. 27_) is of less importance, only observing that those with
large bodies, thick thighs, who walk light, have large udders, and
soft bushy hair, are the most preferable. They are usually in season
in September, October, and November, though they will couple and bring
forth at all times. They retain, however, much surer in autumn; and
the months of October and November are preferred, because the grass
will be young and tender when the kids begin to eat. They go about five
months with young and bring forth at the beginning of the sixth; they
suckle their young a month or five weeks; so that about six and twenty
weeks may be reckoned from the time of their coupling to the kids first
beginning to feed on pasture.

_Engraved for Barr's Buffon._

[Illustration: FIG. 27. _She Goat_]

[Illustration: FIG. 26. _He Goat_]

When kept among sheep they do not mix with them, but always precede
the flock. They prefer feeding separately, are fond of getting upon
the tops of hills, and even upon the most steep and craggy parts of
the mountains. They find a sufficiency of food on heaths, barren and
uncultivated grounds. Great attention is necessary to keep them from
corn, vines, and young plantations as they are great destroyers, and
eat with avidity the tender barks, and young shoots of trees, and thus
prove fatal to their growth. They avoid humid and marshy fields, or
rich pastures: they are seldom kept on flat lands, because it does
not agree with them, and it makes their flesh ill-tasted. In most
warm climates goats are raised in great numbers and never put into
the stables. In France they would perish if not preserved from the
inclemency of the winter. It is not necessary to give them litter in
the summer, though absolutely so in winter; and as all moisture is
very hurtful to them they should never be suffered to lie upon their
own dung. They should be taken out into the fields very early in the
morning, while the dew is on the grass, which, though hurtful to sheep,
is very salutary for goats. As they are untractable and wandering
animals, the most active and robust man cannot manage more than fifty
of them. They should never be suffered to go out during snow or hoar
frost, but be kept in the stable, and fed with herbage, small branches
of trees gathered in autumn, or on cabbages, turnips, and other roots.
The more they eat, the greater is their quantity of milk; to increase
and preserve their milk still more, they are made to drink a great
deal, and they mix sometimes a little nitre or salt in their water.
They may be milked in fifteen days after they have brought forth, and
will continue to give a considerable quantity twice a day for four or
five months.

The female produces one kid, sometimes two, very rarely three, and
never more than four; she continues to breed from one year or eighteen
months, until she is seven years of age. The he-goat will propagate
as long, and perhaps longer if proper care is taken of him; but he
commonly becomes useless at about five. He is then sent to fatten
among the old goats, and castrated kids which have been emasculated
at six months old, to render their flesh more juicy and tender. They
are fattened with great care, in the same manner as wethers, but they
are never so good, excepting in very warm climates, where mutton is
always ill-tasted. The strong smell of the goat does not proceed from
his flesh but his skin. These animals are not permitted to grow old,
or perhaps they might live to ten or twelve years; but it is usual to
kill them as soon as they cease to multiply, because the older they are
the worse is their flesh. Both male and female goats have horns, with a
very few exceptions; they vary very much in the colour of their hair:
it is said that those which are white, and have no horns, give the
most milk, and that the black ones are the strongest. Though they cost
very little for their food they produce a considerable profit; their
flesh, tallow, hair, and skin, are all valuable commodities. Their
milk is more wholesome and better than that of the sheep; it is used
in medicine, curdles easily, and makes very good cheese. The females
will allow themselves to be suckled by young children, for whom their
milk is excellent nourishment. Like cows and sheep, they are sucked by
the viper, and also by a bird, called in France, the goat-sucker, which
fastens to their teats during the night, and, as some say, makes them
lose their milk for ever after.

Goats have no incisive teeth in the upper jaw; those in the under fall
out, and are replaced in the same time and manner as those of the
sheep. Their age may be ascertained by the knobs in their horns, and
their teeth. The number of teeth in the female goats is not always the
same, but they usually have fewer than the male, whose hair is also
more rough, and who has the beard and horns longer. These animals,
like the ox and sheep, have four stomachs, and chew the cud. Their
species is more generally diffused than that of sheep, and goats
similar to ours are found in many parts of the world; only in Guinea,
and other warm climates they are smaller, and in Muscovy and the more
northern regions, they are larger. The goats of Angora and Syria,
with ears hanging down, are of the same species with ours, as they
intermix together, and will produce in these climates: the males have
horns almost as long as the common kind, but their directions are
very different, they are extended horizontally from each side of the
head, and form spirals somewhat like a screw. The horns of the female
are short, they bend backwards, then turn down, and their points come
forward so as nearly to approach their eyes; but the directions of
these sometimes vary. These descriptions are from a male and female
goat which I have seen. Like most Syrian animals, their hair was very
long and thick, and so fine that stuffs have been made of it almost as
handsome and glossy as our silks.


Pontoppidan says, that goats abound in Norway, and that more than
80,000 raw hides are annually exported from Bergen alone, besides
those which are dressed. But they seem peculiarly calculated for this
country, as they search for their food upon high and rugged mountains,
are very courageous, and so far from fearing the wolf, will even assist
the dogs in repelling their attacks upon the flock.


I shall treat of these three at the same time, because they form but
one species. The one is wild, and the other two the same animal only
domestic; and though they are different in some external marks, and
perhaps in some of their habits, yet these differences are not very
essential, but relate merely to their condition: they are not much
changed by their domestic state; they will intermix and produce fertile
individuals; which is the only character that constitutes a distinct
and permanent species.

It is singular in these animals that their species seem to be entirely
distinct by itself, and not connected with any other, which may be
considered as principal or accessory, like that of the horse with the
ass, or the goat with the sheep; nor is it subject to a variety of
races like the dog; it participates of many species, yet essentially
differs from all. Let those who would circumscribe the immensity of
nature into narrow systems, attend to this animal, and they will find
it surmounts their methodical arrangements. In its extremities it has
no resemblance to whole-hoofed animals, being rather cloven-hoofed,
and yet it does not resemble them fairly, because though it appears
to have but two toes, yet it has four concealed within; nor does the
hog resemble those which have the toes separated, since he walks only
on two toes, and the other two are neither so placed, nor extended
sufficiently, to be made use of in that respect. Shall we consider
this as an error in nature, and that these two toes so concealed ought
not to be reckoned? If so, it should be remembered that this error is
constant: that besides, the other bones of the feet do not resemble
cloven-footed animals, and that there are striking differences in many
other respects, for the latter have horns and no incisive teeth in
the upper jaw, they have four stomachs, chew the cud, &c. while the
hog, on the contrary, has no horns, but one stomach, does not chew the
cud, and has cutting teeth both above and below; thus it is evident, he
neither belongs to the species of hoofed or cloven-footed animals, and
with as little propriety can he be ranked among the web-footed animals
since he differs from them not only in the extremities of the feet, but
in the teeth, stomach, intestines, and internal parts of generation.
All that can be said is, that in some respects he forms the shade
between the whole and cloven-footed animals, and in others between
the cloven-footed and digitated animals; for he differs less from the
whole-hoofed quadrupeds in the form and number of his teeth than from
others; he also resembles them in the length of his jaw, and, like
them, has but one stomach; but by an appendage annexed to it, as well
as by the position of the intestines, he seems nearly to approach the
cloven-footed animals, or those who chew the cud. He likewise resembles
them in the external parts of generation, and at the same time in the
make of his legs, habits of body, number of young, he approaches very
near to the digitated quadrupeds.

Aristotle was the first who divided quadrupeds into whole-hoofed,
cloven-footed, and digitated, and he allows, that the hog is of an
ambiguous species; but the only reason he gives is, that in Illyria,
Pæonia, and some other places there are hogs with whole hoofs. This
animal is also a kind of exception to the two general rules of nature,
namely, that the larger the animals the less young they produce, and
that digitated animals are the most prolific. The hog, though far above
the middling size, produces more than any other quadruped. By this
fertility, as well as by the formation of the ovary of the female, it
even seems to form the extremity of the viviparous species, and to
approach the oviparous. In short, the hog seems to be of an equivocal
nature, or rather appears so to those who suppose the hypothetical
order of their ideas to be the same as the common order of Nature,
and who only perceive, in the infinite chain of beings, some apparent
points to which they would refer every natural occurrence.

It is not by circumscribing the sphere of Nature that we can become
perfectly acquainted with her: we cannot judge of her by making her
act with our particular views; nor is it by ascribing our ideas to her
Author that we can penetrate into His designs. Instead of confining
and limiting the powers of Nature, we should extend them to immensity;
we ought to look on nothing as impossible, but that every thing
which may be, really has existence. Ambiguous species, and irregular
productions, would then cease to surprise, and appear equally as
necessary as others in the infinite order of things; they fill up the
intervals, form the immediate points, and mark the extremities of
the chain. These beings present to the human understanding curious
examples, where Nature, appearing to act less conformably to herself,
makes a greater display of her powers, and enables us to trace singular
characters, which indicate that her designs are more general than our
confined views, and that if she does nothing in vain, neither is she
regulated by the designs we attribute to her.

Should we not reflect on this singular conformation of the hog? He
appears not to have been formed on an original and perfect plan, since
he is composed of parts peculiar to other animals, and has evidently
parts of which he makes no use, particularly the toes above described,
notwithstanding the bones are perfectly formed. Nature is therefore
far from being influenced by final causes in the conformation of
beings; why may she not sometimes give redundant parts, since she
so often withholds those which are essential? How many animals are
deficient both in senses and members? Why should we suppose, that
in each individual every part is useful to others, and necessary to
the whole? Is it not sufficient that they are found together, that
they are not hurtful, can grow without hindrance, and unfold without
obliterating each other? All things which are not hostile enough to
destroy each other certainly can subsist together; and perhaps there
are, in most beings, fewer relative, useful, or necessary parts, than
those which are indifferent, useless, or superabundant; but as we would
always refer things to a certain end, when parts have no apparent
uses, we either suppose they have hidden ones, or invent relations
which have no foundation, and only serve to lead us into errors. We
do not consider that we alter the philosophy, and change the sense of
the object, when instead of inquiring how Nature acts, we endeavour
to divine the end and cause of her acting. This general prejudice,
which is too frequently adopted, serves only to cover our ignorance,
and is both useless and opposite to the inquiry after, and discovery
of, the effects of Nature. Without quitting our subject we can give
other examples, where the intentions we so vainly ascribe to Nature
are evidently contradicted. It is said the phalanges are formed merely
to produce fingers or toes, yet in the hog they are useless, since
they do not form toes which the animal can make any advantage of;
and in cloven-footed animals there are small bones which do not form
phalanges.[K] If then it was the design of Nature to produce toes, it
is evident that in the hog she has not more than half executed her
purpose, and in the others she has scarcely began it.

[K] M. Daubenton was the first who made this discovery.

The allantois is a membrane which is found in the foetus of the
sow, mare, cow, and many other animals. This membrane adheres to
the bladder of the foetus, and is said to be placed there for the
purpose of receiving its urine while it is in the belly of the mother;
and at the instant of birth, indeed, an inconsiderable quantity of
liquor is found in the allantois; in the cow, where perhaps it is most
abundant, it never amounts to more than a few pints; and the extent
of the membrane is so great, there is not any proportion between that
and the liquor. This membrane, when filled with air, forms a kind of
double packet, in the shape of a crescent, thirteen or fourteen inches
long, and from nine to twelve inches broad. Can it require a vessel
capable of containing several cubic feet to receive three or four pints
of water? The bladder of the foetus itself, if not pierced at the
bottom, would suffice to contain this liquor, as it does in mankind,
and those animals where the allantois has not been discovered; it is,
therefore, plain this membrane is not designed to receive the urine of
the foetus, nor for any purpose we are capable of imagining, for if
it was to be filled it would form a bulk as large as the body in which
it was contained; besides, as it bursts at the moment of birth, and is
thrown away with the other membranes which envelop the foetus, it is
certainly as useless then as it was before.

The number of teats, it has been said, in every species of animals,
corresponds with the number of young which the female can produce and
suckle. Why then has the male, which never produces, usually the same
number of teats as the female? and why should the sow, which sometimes
produces eighteen or twenty pigs, never have more than twelve teats,
and sometimes less? Does not this prove that it is not by final
causes that we can judge of the works of Nature, and that we ought
not to determine but by examining how she acts, and by employing the
physical reasons which present themselves in the immense variety of
her productions? Allowing that this method, which is the only one that
can conduct us to real knowledge, is more difficult than the other,
and that there are an infinity of facts in Nature, which, like the
preceding, cannot be applied with success, instead of searching for
the use of this great capacity in the allantois, we ought to inquire
into those physical relations which may indicate the origin of its
production; by observing, for example, that in animals, whose stomachs
and intestines are not very large, the allantois is either very small
or does not exist, and that consequently the production of this
membrane has some connection with the size of the intestines, &c. By
considering, in the same manner, that the number of teats is not equal
to those of the young, admitting only that the most prolific animals
have the greatest number of teats, we may conceive that this numerous
production depends on the conformation of the interior parts of
generation, and the teats being also the external dependencies of the
same parts, there is between the number and arrangement of those parts
and that of the paps a physical relation, which we should endeavour to

But I here only endeavour to point out the right path, without entering
into a discussion; yet I must observe, that numerous productions depend
more upon the internal construction of the parts of generation than
any other cause. It certainly does not depend upon the quantity of
semen emitted, otherwise the horse, stag, ram, and goat, would be more
prolific than the dog, cat, and other animals, who produce a great
number of young, though they have but very little in proportion to
their size; neither does the number of young depend upon the frequency
of coition, for once coupling of the hog and the dog is sufficient to
produce a great many young; the length of time occupied in the emission
has no effect in this respect, for the dog remains long only because he
is retained by an obstacle in the conformation of the parts; and though
the boar has not this obstacle yet he remains longer coupled than most
animals, but no conclusion can be drawn from that in favour of the
numerous productions of the sow, since a cock requires not more than
an instant to fecundate all the eggs an hen will produce in a month. I
shall have occasion to unfold the ideas I have accumulated, with a view
to prove that a simple probability, or doubt, when founded on physical
relations, produces more light and advantages than all the final
causes put together.

To the singularities already related we shall add some others. The
fat of the hog differs from that of almost every other quadruped, not
only in its consistence and quality, but its position in the body of
the animal. The fat of man, and those animals which have no suet, such
as the dog, horse, &c. is pretty equally mixed with the flesh; the
suet of the sheep, goat, deer, &c. is found only at the extremities of
the flesh; but the fat of the hog is neither mixed with the flesh nor
collected at its extremities, but covers the animal all over, and forms
a thick, distinct, and continued layer between the flesh and the skin.
This peculiarity also attends the whale, and other cetaceous animals.
A still greater singularity is, that the hog never sheds any of his
cutting teeth, like man, the horse, ox, sheep, &c. but they continue
to grow during life. He has six cutting teeth in the under jaw, and a
corresponding number in the upper, but, by an irregularity, of which
there is not another example in Nature, the bottom ones are of a very
different form from the upper, for instead of being incisive and sharp,
the latter are long, cylindrical, blunt at the points, and form an
angle almost even with the upper jaw, so that their extremities apply
to each other very obliquely. It is only the hog, and two or three
other species of animals, which have the canine teeth very long; they
differ from other teeth by coming out of the mouth, and growing during
their whole lives. In the elephant, and sea-cow, they are cylindrical,
and some feet in length; in the wild boar, and male hog, they are
partly bent in the form of a circle, and I have seen them from nine to
ten inches long; they are deep in the socket, and, like those of the
elephant, have a cavity at the superior extremity; but the elephant and
sea-cow have these tusks only in the upper jaw, and are without canine
teeth in the under; while the male hog, and wild boar, have them in
both jaws, and those of the under are the most useful to the animal;
they are also the most dangerous, as it is with the lower tusks the
wild boar wounds those he attacks.

The sow, wild sow, and the hog which is cut, have these canine teeth
in the under jaw, but they do not grow like those of the boar, and
scarcely appear out of the mouth. Beside these sixteen teeth, that is
twelve incisive and four canine, they have twenty-eight grinders, which
make forty-four in the whole. The wild boar, (_fig. 29._) has the
tusks larger, the snout stronger, and the head longer than the domestic
hog, (_fig. 28._) his feet are always larger, his toes more separated,
and his bristles always black.

Of all quadrupeds the hog appears the most rough and brutal, and the
imperfections of his make seem to influence his nature; all his ways
are uncouth, all his appetites unclean, all his sensations are confined
to a furious lust and brutal gluttony; he devours, without distinction,
every thing that comes in his way, even his own young soon after their
birth. His voraciousness seems to proceed from the continual wants of
his stomach, which is immoderately large; and the coarseness of his
appetite is probably owing to the dullness of his senses, both as to
taste and feeling. The roughness of the hair, hardness of the skin, and
thickness of the fat, render these animals insensible to blows. Mice
have been known to lodge on their backs, and to eat their skin and fat
without their seeming sensible of it. Their other senses are good, and
it is well known to huntsmen, that wild boars see, hear, and smell at
a great distance, since in order to surprise them they are obliged to
watch in silence during the night, and to place themselves opposite to
the wind, to prevent them having notice of them by the smell, which
invariably makes them change their road.

_Engraved for Barr's Buffon._

[Illustration: FIG. 29. _Wild Boar_]

[Illustration: FIG. 28. _Boar_]

The imperfections in the senses of taste and feeling is still more
augmented by a leprous disease which renders him almost absolutely
insensible. This disorder proceeds perhaps less from the texture of
the skin and flesh of this animal than from his natural filth, and the
corruption which must result from the putrid food which he frequently
devours; for the wild boar who usually lives upon corn, fruits, acorns,
and roots, is not subject to this distemper, nor is the pig while it
continues to suck. The disorder is only to be prevented in the domestic
hog by keeping him in a clean stable and feeding him with wholesome
food: his flesh will become excellent and his fat firm and brittle,
if he is kept for a fortnight or three weeks before he is killed in a
clean paved stable, without litter, giving him no other food than dry
wheat, and letting him drink but little; for this purpose a hog of
about a year old and nearly fat should be selected.

The usual method of fattening hogs, is to give them plenty of barley,
acorns, cabbages, boiled peas, roots, and water mixed with bran. In two
months they are fat; their lard is thick but neither firm nor white;
and their flesh, though good, is rather insipid. They may be fattened
at less expence in woody countries, by conducting them into forests
during autumn, when acorns, chesnuts, beech-mast, must quit their husks
and fall from the trees. They eat indiscriminately all wild fruits, and
fatten in a short time, especially if a little warm water mixed with
bran and pease-meal is given to them every night on their return home;
this drink makes them sleep and augments their fat to such a degree
that they are sometime unable to walk or scarcely move. They fatten
much the quickest in autumn, both on account of the plenty of food and
because they lose much less by perspiration than in the summer months.

It is not necessary in fattening the hog, to wait, as with other
cattle, until he is full grown, for the older he is the more difficult
it is to fatten him, and his flesh decreases in goodness with age.
Castration, which should always precede fattening, is usually performed
when they are six months old, and either in spring or autumn, as both
heat and cold are injurious to the healing of the wound. When this
operation is performed in the spring, they are generally fit for
fattening the following autumn. They continue growing for four or five
years, and even to that period it is not limited, as boars kept for
propagation sometimes increase in size during the sixth, and the wild
boar is always larger in proportion to the number of his years: the
life of which sometimes extends to 25 or 30. According to Aristotle
hogs live twenty years, and both males and females are fertile till the
fifteenth. They can couple by the age of nine or twelve months, but it
is better to keep them separate until they are eighteen months or two
years. The sows have but few young at the first litter, and those are
generally weak, even when a year old; she is at all times in season
and solicits the male; she goes four months after copulation, and
litters at the beginning of the fifth; she will receive the male almost
immediately after and consequently bring forth twice in the year. The
wild sow has but one litter in the year, and as she perfectly resembles
the domestic one in every other respect, this difference may arise both
from her not having the same kind of nourishment, and being obliged to
suckle her young much longer. In fifteen days pigs are fit to kill; as
many females are unnecessary, and as castrated hogs bring most profit,
it is customary not to leave with the mother, after that period, more
than one or two females, and seven or eight males.

The boars kept for propagation should have a thick body, rather short
than long, a large head, short snout, long ears, small fiery eyes, a
thick neck, flat belly, broad thighs, short thick legs, and strong
black bristles. Black hogs are always stronger than white ones. The
sow should have a large body, spacious belly, and large dugs, and some
attention should be paid to her being of a mild disposition. After
conception she should be taken from the male, as he will sometimes
do her an injury: she should be plentifully fed when she litters,
and watched lest she destroys her young; and the male must then be
carefully kept away, or he will devour the whole of them. It is common
to let the females go with the males in the spring, that they may
litter in the summer, and that the pigs may acquire strength before
winter; unless when two litters are required in the year, then she
is put to the male in November, and again at the beginning of May:
some of them will regularly produce every five months. The wild sow
generally goes with the male in January, and brings forth in June; she
suckles her young three or four months, and they never separate from
her before they are two or three years old; and it is not uncommon to
see her accompanied with two or three different litters at a time.
The domestic sow is not permitted to suckle her young more than two
months; as early as three weeks even, they go with the mother to the
fields, by way of being habituated to her mode of living, and five
weeks afterwards they are weaned, when, for some short time they have a
little milk, mixed with bran, given them morning and evening. Hogs are
particularly fond of earthworms and roots, for the purpose of procuring
which it is that they tear up the ground with their snouts. The wild
boar, who has a stronger snout than the domestic one, digs deeper, and
nearly in a straight line, while the latter does it very irregularly.

The wild boars do not separate from their mothers until the third
year, and to which age they are called by hunters flock-beasts, from
that circumstance. They never go alone until they are strong enough
to encounter the wolf. At that time they form themselves into flocks,
and if attacked, the largest and strongest front the enemy, and by
pressing against the weak ones keep them in the middle; the domestic
hogs follow the same method, and therefore require not to be guarded
with dogs. They are very untractable, and one man cannot manage more
than fifty of them at a time. They procure a number of wild fruits
in autumn and winter by being taken to the woods, as they do worms
and roots in moist lands in summer, both of which are good for them;
and they may be allowed to go into waste and fallow lands during the
spring. From March to October they are taken out as soon as the dew is
off the ground, and kept to feed till ten o'clock; about two they are
suffered to go out again, and continue till the evening. In the winter
they are only let out when the weather is fine, as dew, snow, and rain,
are very injurious to them. When a heavy rain or storm comes on, it is
not uncommon to see them desert the flock one after another, and run
and cry until they arrive at the stable-door; and it is the youngest
which cry the loudest; this cry is different from their usual grunting,
and resembles that which they make when tied up for slaughter. The male
cries less than the female; and the wild boar seldom cries but when he
is wounded in fighting with another; the wild sow cries more often, and
when suddenly surprised will breathe with such violence as to be heard
at a great distance.

Although these animals are great gluttons, yet they do not attack or
devour other animals; sometimes, however, they eat corrupted flesh.
Wild boars have been seen to eat horse-flesh, and the skin of the deer,
and the claws of birds have been found in their stomach; but this is,
perhaps, more from necessity than instinct. It cannot, nevertheless, be
denied that they are very fond of blood, and of fresh and bloody flesh,
since they will eat their own young, and even children in the cradle.
Whenever they find any thing succulent or humid, fat or unctuous, they
first lick and then swallow it. It is common for a whole herd of these
animals to stop round a heap of new-dug clay, and though it is but
very little unctuous, they will all lick it, and some of them swallow
great quantities. Their gluttony is as gross as their nature is brutal:
they have scarcely any distinct sentiments; the young ones hardly know
their mothers, for they are very apt to mistake her, and to suck the
first sow that will permit them. Fear and necessity seem to give more
instinct and sentiment to wild hogs, for the young are more attached
to their mother, who also appears more attentive to them than does
the domestic sow. In the rutting season the male follows the female,
and generally stays about a month with her in the thickest and most
solitary parts of the forest: he is then more fierce than ever, and
becomes perfectly furious if another male endeavours to occupy his
place, in that case they fight, wound, and sometimes kill each other.
The wild sow is never furious but when her young is in danger; and it
may be remarked in general, that in almost all wild animals the males
are more ferocious in the rutting season, and the females when they
have young.

The wild boar is hunted by dogs, or taken by surprise in the night, by
the light of the moon. As he flies slowly, leaves a strong odour behind
him, defends himself against the dogs, and wounds them dangerously,
he should not be hunted by dogs designed for the stag, &c. as it will
spoil their scent, and give them the habit of moving slowly. Mastiffs
will serve the purpose, and are easily trained to it. The oldest only
should be attacked, and they are easily known by the tracks of their
feet; a young boar of three years old is difficult to take, because he
runs a great way without stopping; but the old boar does not run far,
suffers himself to be close hunted, and has no great fear of the dogs.
In the day he usually hides himself in the most unfrequented parts of
the wood, and comes out in the night in quest of food. In summer it is
very easy so surprise him, especially in the cultivated fields, where
the grain is ripe, which he will frequent every night. As soon as he is
killed the hunters cut off his testicles, for their odour is so strong
that in five or six hours the whole of his flesh would be infected. Of
an old wild boar the head only is good to eat, while every part of the
young one, of not more than one year old, is extremely delicate. The
flesh of the domestic boar is still worse than that of the wild one,
and it is only by castration and fattening that they are rendered fit
to eat. The ancients castrated the young wild boars, which they could
get from their mothers, and then returned them again into the woods,
where they soon grew fat, and their flesh was much better than that of
domestics hogs.[L]

[L] See Aristotle's Hist. Animal. lib. vi. cap. xxviii.

No one who lives in the country is ignorant of the profits arising from
the hog; his flesh sells for more than that of the ox, and his lard
for nearly double; the blood, intestines, feet, and tongue, are all
prepared and used as food. The dung of the hog is colder than that of
other animals, and should not be used for any but hot and dry lands.
The fat of the intestines and web, which differs from the common lard,
is employed for greasing wheels, and many other purposes. Sieves are
made of the skin, and brushes and pencil-brushes are made of the hair
and bristles. The flesh of this animal takes salt better, and will keep
longer than that of any other.

This species, though very abundant, and greatly spread over Europe,
Asia, and Africa, were not found on the New Continent till they were
transported thither by the Spaniards, and who also took large black
hogs to almost all the islands of America. They have become wild, and
multiplied greatly in many places: they resemble our wild boars, and
their bodies are shorter, their heads larger, and their skins thicker
than the domestic hogs, which in warm climates are all black, like the
wild boar.

By one of those prejudices which superstition alone could produce
and support, the Mahometans are deprived of this animal; having been
told hogs are unclean, they do not either touch or feed on them. The
Chinese, on the contrary, are very fond of their flesh; they raise
numerous herds of them, and pork is their principal food; and this
circumstance is said to have prevented them from receiving the law of
Mahomet. The hogs of China, Siam, and India, differ a little from those
of Europe; they are smaller, have shorter legs, and their flesh is
much more white and delicate. Some of them have been reared in France,
and they will intermix and produce with the common hogs. The negroes
raise great numbers of hogs, and though there are but few among the
Moors, or in the countries inhabited by the Mahometans, yet wild boars
are as plenty in Africa and in Asia as in Europe.

Thus these animals are not confined to any particular climates; it is
only observable, that the boar, by becoming domestic, degenerates more
in cold than in warm climates. A degree of temperature is sufficient
to change their colour. Hogs are commonly white in the northern parts
of France, as they are in Vivarais, while in Dauphiny, which is not
far distant, they are all black; those of Languedoc, Provence, Spain,
Italy, India, China, and America, are also of the same colour. The hog
of Siam has a greater resemblance than the hog of France to the wild
boar. One of the most evident marks of degeneration is furnished by the
ears, which become more supple and pendant as the animal changes into a
domestic state; in short the ears of the domestic hog are not so stiff,
are much longer, and more pendant than those of the wild boar, which
ought to be regarded as the model of the species.


It is not the largeness of make, elegance of form, strength of body,
freedom of motions, or all the exterior qualities, which constitute the
noblest properties in an animated being; in mankind genius is preferred
to figure, courage to strength, and sentiment to beauty; so we consider
the interior qualities in an animal as the most estimable; for it is
by those he differs from the automaton, rises above the vegetable
species, and approaches nearer to man. It is sentiment which ennobles,
regulates, and enlivens his being, which gives activity to all his
organs, and birth to desire and motion. The perfection of an animal
depends, then, upon sentiment alone, and the more this is extended
the more are his faculties and resources augmented, and the greater
are his relations with the rest of the universe. When this sentiment
is delicate, exquisite, and capable of improvement, the animal then
becomes worthy to associate with man; he knows how to concur with
his designs, to watch for his safety, to defend and to flatter him
with caresses; by a repetition of these services he conciliates the
affection of his master, and from his tyrant makes him his protector.

The dog, independent of his beauty, strength, vivacity, and nimbleness,
has all the interior qualities which can attract the regard of man. A
passionate and ferocious temper, makes the wild dog dreaded by most
animals, as much as the pacific disposition of the domestic dog renders
him agreeable; to his master he flies with alacrity, and submissively
lays at his feet all his courage, strength, and talents; he seems to
consult, interrogate, and supplicate for orders, which he is solicitous
to execute; a glance of the eye is sufficient, for he understands
the smallest signs of his will. Without having like man, the faculty
of thought, he has all the ardour of sentiment, with fidelity and
constancy in his affections; neither ambition, interest, nor desire of
revenge, can corrupt him, and he has no fear but that of displeasing;
he is all zeal, warmth, and obedience; more inclined to remember
benefits than injuries; he soon forgets ill-usage, or at least only
recollects it to make his attachment the stronger. Instead of becoming
furious or running away, he exposes himself to the severity of his
master, and licks the hand which causes his pain: he only opposes by
his cries, and in the end subdues by patience and submission.

More docile than man, more tractable than any other animal, the dog
is not only instructed in a very short time, but he even conforms
himself to the manners, motions, and habits, of those who command him.
He assumes all the modes of the family in which he lives; like other
servants he is haughty with the great and rustic with the peasant.
Always attentive to his master, and desirous of pleasing his friends,
he is totally indifferent to strangers, and opposes beggars, whom he
knows by their dress, voice, and gestures, and prevents their approach.
When the care of a house is committed to him during the night he
becomes more bold, and sometimes perfectly ferocious; he watches,
goes his rounds, scents strangers at a distance, and if they stop,
or attempt to break in, he flies to oppose them, and by reiterated
barkings, and other efforts of passion, he gives the alarm to the
family. He is equally furious against thieves as rapacious animals; he
attacks, wounds, and forces from them what they were endeavouring to
take away; but contented with having conquered, he will lie down upon
the spoil, nor even touch it to satisfy his appetite; giving at once an
example of courage, temperance, and fidelity.

To determine the importance of this species in the order of nature, let
us suppose it had never existed. Without the assistance of the dog how
could man have been able to tame and reduce other animals to slavery?
How could he discover, hunt, and destroy noxious and savage beasts? To
preserve his own safety, and to render himself master of the animated
world, it was necessary to make friends among those animals whom he
found capable of attachment to oppose them to others; and therefore the
training of dogs seems to have been the first art invented by man, and
the fruit of that art was the conquest and peaceable possession of the

Almost all animals have more agility, swiftness, strength, and even
courage than man. Nature has furnished them better; their senses, but
above all that of smelling, is more perfect. To have gained over a
tractable and courageous species like the dog, was acquiring new senses
and faculties. The machines and instruments which we have invented
to improve or extend our other senses, do not equal, in utility,
those nature has presented to us; which by supplying the defects of
our smelling, have furnished us with the great and permanent means of
conquest and dominion. The dog, faithful to man, will always preserve a
portion of his empire, and a degree of superiority over other animals;
he reigns at the head of a flock, and makes himself better understood
than the voice of the shepherd; safety, order, and discipline are the
fruits of his vigilance and activity; they are a people submitted to
his management, whom he conducts and protects, and against whom he
never employs force, but for the preservation of peace and good order.
But in war against his enemies, or wild animals, his courage shines
forth, his understanding is displayed, and his natural and acquired
talents are united. As soon as he hears the noise of arms, as soon as
the horn, or the huntsman's voice gives the alarm, filled with a new
ardour, the dog expresses his joy by the most lively transports, and
shews by his emotions and cries, his impatience for combat and his
desire to conquer. Sometimes he moves along with cautious silence to
discover and surprise his enemy; at others he traces the animal step by
step, and by different tones indicates the distance, species, and even
age of what he is in pursuit of. Pushed, intimidated, and despairing
of safety in flight alone, animals make use of all their faculties and
oppose craft to sagacity. In no instance are the resources of instinct
more admirable: in order to make it difficult for the dog to trace him,
the animal doubles, goes over its own steps again, by a single spring
will clear a hedge or highway, and swims over brooks and rivers; but
being still pursued and unable to annihilate himself, he endeavours to
put another in his place; for this he seeks an unexperienced neighbour,
with whom he keeps close until he supposes their steps are sufficiently
intermixed to confound the scent of his, when he suddenly leaves him to
become a victim to his deceived enemy. But the dog, by the superiority
which exercise and education have given him, and by the excellence
of his sensations, does not lose the object of his pursuit; by his
scent he finds out all the windings of the labyrinth, all the false
means adopted to make him go astray; and far from abandoning the one
he was in pursuit of for another, he redoubles his ardour, at length
overtakes, attacks, and puts him to death; thus drenching in his blood
both his hatred and revenge.

The inclination for hunting or war is common to us with animals. Man,
in a savage state, knows only how to fight and to hunt. All carnivorous
animals which have strength and weapons hunt naturally. The lion and
the tiger, whose strength is so great that they are sure to conquer,
hunt alone, and without art. Wolves, foxes, and wild dogs, hunt in
packs, assist each other and divide the prey, and when education in
the domestic dog has improved this natural talent, when he is taught
to repress his ardour and to regulate his motions, he hunts with art
and knowledge, and always with success. In deserts and depopulated
countries, there are wild dogs, which differ in their manners from
wolves, in no case but in the facility with which they are tamed. They
unite in large troops to hunt, and will attack wild boars, bulls, and
even lions and tigers. In America the wild dogs spring from a domestic
race and were transported thither from Europe; some of them having
been forgotten or abandoned in those deserts, have multiplied in such
a degree that they go in troops to inhabited places, where they attack
the cattle, and will sometimes even approach the inhabitants, who are
obliged to drive them away by force and kill them like other ferocious
animals. Dogs however continue in this state only while they remain
unacquainted with man, for if we approach wild ones with gentleness,
they soon grow tame, become familiar, and remain faithfully attached to
their masters; but the wolf though taken young and brought up in the
house, is only gentle in his youth, never loses his taste for prey,
and sooner or later gives himself up to his fondness for rapine and

The dog may be said to be the only animal whose fidelity will stand
the proof; who always knows his master, and even his master's friends;
who points out a stranger as soon as he arrives; who understands
his own name, and knows the voices of the domestics; who has not
confidence in himself alone; who, when he has lost his master, will
call upon him by his cries and lamentations; who in long journeys,
and which he may have travelled but once, will remember his way, and
find out the roads; in fine, the dog is the only animal whose talents
are evident, and whose education is always successful. Of all animals
he is also the most susceptible of impressions, most easily modified
by moral causes, and most subject to alterations caused by physical
influences. The temperament, faculties, and habits of his body vary
prodigiously, and even his form is not uniform. In the same country
one dog is very different from another, and the species seems quite
changed in different climates; from thence spring the mixture and
variety of races which are so great that it is impossible to enumerate
or describe them. From the same causes arise that great variety so
visible in the height, figure, length of the snout, form of the head,
length and direction of the ears and tail, colour, quality and quantity
of hair, &c. so that there seems to remain nothing constant in these
animals but the conformity of their internal organization, and the
faculty of procreating together. And as those which differ most from
each other can intermix and produce fertile individuals, it is evident
that dogs, however greatly they may vary, nevertheless constitute but
one species. But what is most difficult to ascertain in this numerous
variety of races, is the character of the primitive stock. How are we
to distinguish the effects produced by the influence of the climate,
food, &c.? How discover the changes which have resulted from an
intermixture among themselves, either in a wild or domestic state? All
these causes will, in time, alter the most permanent forms, and the
image of nature does not preserve its purity in those objects of which
mankind have had the management. Those animals which are independent
and can chuse for themselves both their food and climate, are those
which best preserve their original impressions, and we may believe the
most ancient of their species are the most faithfully represented by
their descendants. But those which mankind have subdued, transported
from climate to climate, whose food, customs, and manners of living he
has changed, may also be those which have changed most in their forms;
and it is a fact that there are more varieties among domestic than wild
animals; and as among domestic animals the dog is most attached to man,
lives also the most regularly, and who possesses sentiments to render
him docile, obedient, susceptible of all impressions, and submissive to
all restraints, it is not astonishing that he should be that in which
we find the greatest variety not only in figure, height, and colour,
but in every other quality.

There are also other circumstances which contribute to this change. The
life of the dog is short, his produce is frequent, and in pretty large
numbers; he is perpetually beneath the eye of man, and whenever by an
accident, which is very common in nature, there may have appeared an
individual possessing singular characters, or apparent varieties, they
have been perpetuated by uniting together those individuals, and not
permitting them to intermix with any others; as is done in the present
time, when we want to procure a new breed of dogs, or other animals.
Besides, though all the species were equally ancient, yet the number
of generations being necessarily the greatest in those whose lives are
short, their varieties, changes, and even degenerations, must have
become more sensible, since they must be further removed from their
original stock than those whose lives are longer. Man is at present
eight times nearer to Adam than is the dog to the first of his race,
because man lives to fourscore years, and the dog to not more than ten.
If, therefore, from any cause these two species equally degenerate, the
alteration would be eight times more conspicuous in the dog than in
man. Those whose lives are so short that they are succeeded every year
by a new generation, are infinitely more subject to variations of every
kind than those which have longer lives. It is the same with annual
plants (some of which may be said to be artificial or factitious),
when compared with other vegetables. Wheat, for example, has been so
greatly changed by man that it is not at present to be any where found
in a state of nature, it certainly has some resemblance to darnel,
dog-grass, and several other herbs of the field, but we are ignorant
to which its origin ought to be referred; and as it is renewed every
year, and serves for the common food of man, so it has experienced
more cultivation than any other plant, and consequently undergone a
greater variety of changes. Man can, therefore, not only make every
individual in the universe useful to his wants, but, with the aid of
time, he can change, modify, and improve their species; and this is
the greatest power he has over Nature. To have transformed a barren
herb into wheat is a kind of creation, on which, however, he has no
reason to pride himself, since it is only by the sweat of his brow,
and reiterated culture, that he is enabled to obtain from the bosom of
the earth this, often bitter, subsistence. Thus those species, as well
among vegetables as animals, which have been the most cultivated by
man, are those which have undergone the greatest changes; and as we are
sometimes, as in the example of wheat, unable to know their primitive
form, it is not impossible that among the numerous varieties of dogs
which exist at present there may not be one like the first animal of
his species, although the whole of these breeds must have proceeded
virtually from him. Nature, notwithstanding, never fails to resume her
rights, when left at liberty to act. Wheat, if sown in uncultivated
land, degenerates the first year; if that is likewise sown it will
be more degenerated in the second generation, and if continued for a
succession of ages the original plant of the wheat would appear; and,
by an experiment of this kind, it might be discovered how much time
Nature requires to reinstate herself and destroy the effect of art,
which restrained her. This experiment might easily be made on corn and
plants, but it would be in vain to attempt it on animals, because they
would not only be difficult to couple and unite but even to manage, and
to surmount that invincible repugnance they have to every thing which
is contrary to their dispositions or habits. We need not, therefore,
expect to find out, by this method, which is the primitive race of
dogs, or any other animals, which are subject to permanent varieties.
But in default of the knowledge of these facts, which cannot be
acquired, we may assimilate particular indications, and from those draw
probable conjectures.

Those domestic dogs which were abandoned in the deserts of America,
and have lived wild for 150 or 200 years, though then changed from
their original breed, must notwithstanding, in this long space of time,
have approached, at least in part, to their primitive form. Travellers
say that they resemble our greyhounds; and they say the same of the
wild dogs at Congo, which like those in America, assemble in packs to
make war with lions, tigers, &c. But others, without comparing the
wild dogs of St. Domingo to greyhounds, only say that they have long
flat heads, thin muzzles, a ferocious air, and thin meagre bodies;
that they are exceedingly swift in the chace, hunt in perfection,
and are easily taken and tamed when young; thus these wild dogs are
extremely thin and light; and as the common greyhound differs but
little from the mastiff, or what we call the shepherd's dog, it is not
improbable that these wild dogs are rather of those species than real
greyhounds; because on the other hand more ancient travellers have
said that the dogs of Canada have ears erect like foxes, and resemble
our middle-sized shepherd-dogs; that those of the Antille Isles had
very long heads and ears, and had very much the appearance of foxes;
that the Indians of Peru had only two kinds, a large and a small one,
which they called Alco; that those of the isthmus of America, were
very ugly, and that their hair was rough and coarse, which likewise
implies they had ears erect. We cannot, therefore, have any doubt that
the original dogs of America, before they had any communication with
those of Europe, were all of the same race, and that they approached
nearest to those dogs which have thin muzzles, erect ears, and coarse
hair, like the shepherd's dogs; and what leads me further to believe
that the wild dogs of St. Domingo are not real greyhounds is the latter
being so scarce in France, that they are brought for the king from
Constantinople, and other parts of the Levant, and because I never
knew of any being brought from St. Domingo, or any of our American
colonies. Besides, in searching what travellers have said of dogs of
different colonies, we find that the dogs of cold climates have long
muzzles and erect ears; that those of Lapland are small, have erect
ears, and pointed muzzles; that the Siberian, or wolf dogs, are bigger
than those of Lapland, but they also have erect ears, coarse hair, and
sharp muzzles; and that those of Iceland have a strong resemblance
to the Siberian dogs; and, in the same manner, the native dogs of
the Cape of Good Hope and other warm countries, have sharp muzzles,
erect ears, long trailing tails, longhair, but shining and rough: that
these dogs are excellent for guarding of flocks, and consequently not
only resemble in figure but even in instinct our shepherd's dogs.
In climates still warmer, such as Madagascar, Madura, Calicut, and
Malabar, the native dogs have all sharp muzzles, erect ears, and in
almost every respect resemble our shepherd's dogs; nay, that even when
mastiffs, spaniels, water-dogs, bull-dogs, beagles, blood-hounds, &c.
have been transported thither they degenerated at the second or third
generation. In countries extremely hot, like Guinea, the degeneration
is still more quick, since by the end of three or four years they lose
their voice, can no longer bark, but only make an howling noise, and
their immediate offspring have erect ears like foxes. The native dogs
of these regions are very ugly; they have sharp muzzles, long erect
ears, and long pointed tails; they have no hair on their bodies, their
skin is usually spotted, though sometimes it is of an uniform colour;
in short they are disagreeable to the eye and still more to the touch.

We may presume, therefore, and with some degree of probability, that
the shepherd's dog is that which approaches nearest to the primitive
race, since in all countries inhabited by savages, or men half
civilized, the dogs resemble this breed more than any other. On the
whole continent of the New World, they had but these and no variety;
nor is there any other to be found on the south and north extremities
of our own continent; and even in France and other temperate climates,
they are still very numerous, though greater attention has been paid
to multiplying and rearing the more beautiful, than the preservation
of those which are most useful, and which have been totally abandoned
to the peasants who have the care of our flocks. If we also consider
that this dog notwithstanding his ugliness, and his wild and melancholy
look, is still superior in instinct to all others, that he has a
decided character in which education has no share, that he is the only
thing born perfectly trained, that guided by natural powers alone,
he applies himself to the care of our flocks, which he executes with
singular assiduity, vigilance, and fidelity, that he conducts them with
an admirable intelligence which has not been communicated to him; that
his talents astonish at the same time they give repose to his master,
whilst it requires much time and trouble to instruct other dogs for the
purposes to which they are destined; if we reflect on these facts, we
shall be confirmed in the opinion that the shepherd's dog is the true
dog of nature; the dog that has been bestowed upon us for the extent
of his utility; that he has a superior relation to the general order
of animated beings who have mutual occasion for the assistance of each
other; and, in short, the one we ought to look upon as the stock and
model of the whole species.

The human species appear clownish, deformed and diminutive in the
frozen climates of the north. In Lapland, Greenland, and in all
countries where the cold is excessive, we find none but small and ugly
men; but in the neighbouring countries where the cold is less intense,
we all at once meet with the Finlanders, Danes, &c. who for figure,
complexion and stature, are perhaps the handsomest of all mankind.
It is the same with the species of dogs: the Lapland dogs are very
ugly, and so small that they scarcely ever exceed a foot in length.
Those of Siberia, though less ugly have ears erect, with a wild and
savage look, while in the neighbouring climates, where we find those
handsome men just mentioned, are also the largest and most beautiful
dogs. The dogs of Tartary, Albania, the northern parts of Greece,
Denmark and Ireland, are the largest and most powerful, and are made
use of for drawing carriages. The Irish greyhounds (_fig. 30._) are of
very ancient race and still exist, though in small numbers in their
original climate. They were called by the ancients, dogs of Epirus, and
Albanian dogs; Pliny has recorded in terms as energetic as elegant, a
combat of one of these dogs, first with a lion and afterwards with an
elephant. These dogs are much larger than the mastiff; they are so rare
in France that I never saw but one of them, and he appeared as he sat
to be about five feet high, and in form resembled the large Danish dog;
but exceeded him very much in his size. He was quite white, and his
manner was perfectly gentle and peaceable. In all temperate climates,
as in England, France, Spain, Germany and Italy, we find men and dogs
of all kinds. This variety proceeds partly from the influence of the
climate, and partly from the concourse and intermixture of foreigners.
On the former we shall not enlarge here, but with respect to the dogs,
we shall observe, with as much attention as possible, the resemblances
and differences which care, food, and climate have produced among these

_Engraved for Barr's Buffon._

[Illustration: FIG. 30. _Irish Hound_]

[Illustration: FIG. 31. _Dane_]

[Illustration: FIG. 32. _Greyhound_]

[Illustration: FIG. 33. _Shepherd's Dog_]

[Illustration: FIG. 34. _Wolf Dog_]

[Illustration: FIG. 35. _Siberian Dog_]

The large Dane, (_fig. 31._) the mastiff, and the common greyhound
(_fig. 32._) though they appear different at the first sight, are
nevertheless the same dog; the large Dane is no more than a plump
mastiff; and the common greyhound is only the mastiff, rendered more
thin and delicate by care; for there is no more difference between
these three dogs than between a Dutchman, a Frenchman, and an Italian.
In supposing the Irish greyhound to have been a native of France,
he would have produced the Danish dog in a colder climate, and the
greyhound in a warmer; and this supposition seems to be proved by the
fact of the Danish dog's coming to us from the north, and the greyhound
from Constantinople and the Levant. The shepherd's dog (_fig. 33._),
the wolf dog (_fig. 34._) and the Siberian dog (_fig. 35._) are but the
same dog, and to which indeed might be added the Lapland, the Canadian,
the Hottentot, and all those dogs which have erect ears; in short they
only differ from the shepherd's dog in their height, in being more or
less covered with hair, and in that being more or less long, coarse or
bushy. The hound (_fig. 36._) the harrier (_fig. 37._) the turnspit
(_fig. 38._) the water dog (_fig. 39._) and even the spaniel (_fig.
40._) may likewise be regarded as the same dog; the greatest difference
between them being the length of their legs, and the size of their
ears, which in them all are long, soft, and pendent. These dogs are
natives of France; and I do not think we should separate them from what
is called the harrier of Bengal (_fig. 41._) as it only differs from
our harrier in its colour. I am fully satisfied that this dog is not
originally from Bengal, or any other part of India, and that he is not,
as some have pretended, the Indian dog spoken of by the ancients, which
they say was the produce of a dog and a tiger, for he has been known in
Italy above 150 years, and never considered as a dog come from India
but as a common harrier.[M]

[M] Canis sagax (vulgò brachus) says Aldrovande, an unius vel varii
coloris sit parum refert; in Italiâ eligitur varius et maculosæ lynci
persimilis, cum tamen niger color vel albus, aut fulvus non sit
spernendus. _Ulyssis Aldrovandi de quadruped. digitat. vivip. lib. iii.
p. 552._

_Engraved for Barr's Buffon_

[Illustration: FIG. 37. _Harrier._]

[Illustration: FIG. 36. _Hound._]

[Illustration: FIG. 38. _Turnpit_]

[Illustration: FIG. 39. _Water Dog_]

[Illustration: FIG. 40. _Spaniel._]

[Illustration: FIG. 41. _Harrier of Bengal._]

[Illustration: FIG. 42. _Iceland Dog_]

[Illustration: FIG. 43. _Turkish Dog_]

England, France, Germany, &c. appear to have produced the hound, the
harrier, and the turnspit, for these dogs almost immediately begin
to degenerate on being carried into Persia, Turkey, and such warm
climates. But the spaniels and water dogs are natives of Spain and
Barbary, where the temperature of the air occasions the hair to be
longer and finer than in any other country. The bull-dog which is
improperly called the little Dane, since he has no resemblance whatever
to the large Dane except in having the hair short; the Turkish dog
and the Iceland dog (_fig. 42._) are but the same race, which being
transported into a very cold climate has taken a strong covering, and
in the warmer climates of Africa and India has lost its hair. The dog
without hair known by the name of the Turkish dog (_fig. 43._) is
improperly so called, since it is not in the temperate climates of
Turkey that dogs lose their hair, but in Guinea, and in the hottest
climates of the Indies that this change happens; and the Turkish dog
is no other than the small Dane, which had been transported into some
very warm climate, and having lost its hair was afterwards brought into
Turkey, where, from its singularity, care has been taken to multiply
the breed. The first of them that was seen in Europe, according to
Aldrovandus, were taken in his time into Italy, where they could not
multiply upon account of the climate being too cold for them. But as
he gives not any description of these naked dogs, we cannot determine
whether they were like those which are now called Turkish dogs, or
whether we should compare them to the small Dane, since dogs of every
breed lose their hair in very warm climates; and as already observed,
their voices also. In some countries they become quite mute: in others
they only lose the power of barking, and howl like wolves, or yelp
like foxes; and by this alteration they seem to approach their natural
state, for they change also in their form and instincts; they become
ugly and invariably have their ears assume an erect and pointed form.

It is only in temperate climates that dogs preserve their ardour,
courage, sagacity, and other natural talents, the whole of which they
lose when taken into very warm climates. But, as if Nature never made
any thing perfectly useless, in those countries where they cannot serve
the purposes for which we employ them, they are in great estimation for
food, and the Negroes prefer their flesh to that of any other animal.
Dogs are sold in their markets at as dear a rate as mutton, venison, or
game of any sort; a roasted dog being the most delicious feast among
the negroes. It is possible that their fondness for the flesh of this
animal may be occasioned by an alteration in its quality by the heat
of their country, and that although extremely bad in our temperate
climates it may receive a superior flavour by the warmth of theirs.
But I rather think this appetite dependent more on the nature of man
than on the change in the flesh of the dog, for the savages of Canada
have the same partiality for dog's flesh as the Negroes; and even our
missionaries sometimes eat of them without disgust. "Dogs," says Father
P. Sabard Theodat, "serve in the room of mutton at feasts. I have been
several times at these dog-feasts, and I own that at first they excited
in me a degree of horror, but after tasting them twice, I found the
flavour to be good, and not unlike pork."

In our climates the fox and the wolf are the wild animals which
approach nearest the dog, particularly the shepherd's dog, which I
look upon as the stock and type of the species; and as their internal
conformation is wholly the same, and their external differences
very trifling, I had an inclination to try whether they would breed
together: I hoped at least to make them couple, and that if they did
not produce fertile individuals, they would bring forth a species of
mules which might participate of the nature of both. For this purpose
I procured a she-wolf, of about three months old, from the woods, and
reared her with a shepherd's dog of nearly the same age. They were
shut up together in a pretty large yard, where no other beast could get
access, and where they were provided with a shed for their retirement;
they neither of them knew any individual of their own species, nor
even any man but him who constantly supplied them with their victuals.
In this manner they were kept together for the space of three years,
without the smallest restraint. During the first year they played
perpetually together, and seemed to be very fond of each other; in
the second year they began to quarrel about their food, though they
were always supplied with more than they could eat. The wolf always
began the dispute. They had meat and bones carried to them on a wooden
trencher, when the wolf, instead of seizing the meat, would drive off
the dog, then take the trencher so dexterously between her teeth as to
let nothing fall off, and carry away the whole; and I have frequently
seen her run five or six times round the wall of the yard with it in
her mouth, and only stop to take breath, devour the meat, or attack
the dog if he came near. The dog was stronger than the wolf, but as
he was less ferocious, we began to have some fear for his life, and
therefore put him on a collar. After the second year their quarrels
were sharper, and their combats more frequent, when a collar was also
put upon the wolf, whom the dog began to treat more roughly. During
these two years there was not the least appearance of desire in either
of them; towards the end of the third they began to discover some marks
of it, but it was without any signs of love, and instead of rendering
them more gentle when they approached each other, they became ferocious
and ungovernable. Nothing was now heard but dismal howlings mixed with
cries of anger; in about three weeks they both grew very thin, and
never came near each other without indications of mutual destruction.
At length they grew so enraged and fought so dreadfully that the dog
killed the wolf; and I was obliged to have the dog killed a few days
after, because as soon as he was set at liberty, he sprung with fury on
the poultry, dogs, and even men.

At the same time I had three young foxes, two males and a female,
which had been taken with snares and kept in separate places. I had
one of these fastened with a long light chain, and had an hut built
to shelter him. I kept him in this manner several months, and though
he seemed pensive and had his eyes constantly fixed on the country,
which he could see from his hut, yet he had constantly good health
and appetite. A bitch in season was put to him, but as she would not
remain near the fox, she was chained in the same place and plenty
of food was given them. The fox neither bit nor used her ill, and
during the ten days they remained together, there was not the smallest
quarrel between them, neither night or day, nor when they fed; he even
approached her familiarly, but as soon as he scented his companion,
the signs of desire disappeared, he returned in a melancholy manner to
his hut, and no intercourse took place. When the ardour of this bitch
was gone, another and even a third and fourth were put to him in the
same manner; he treated them all with the same gentleness and with the
same indifference; to ascertain whether it was natural repugnance, or
the state of restraint he was kept in, prevented his coupling, I had a
female of his own species brought to him, which he covered more than
once the same day, and upon dissecting her a few weeks afterwards we
found she was impregnated, and would have produced four young ones.
The other male fox was successively presented with several bitches
in season; who were shut up with him in a close courtyard, but he
discovered neither hatred nor love to them; they had neither combats
nor caresses, and he died a few months after either of disgust or

These experiments prove at least that the wolf and fox are very
different in their natures from the dog; and that their species are so
distinct as to prevent their intermixture, at least in our climates;
that consequently the dog does not derive his origin from the wolf or
fox, and that the nomenclators who look on these two animals as nothing
more than wild dogs, or who imagine the dog to be a wolf, or a fox,
become tame, and give to all three in common the name of Dog, have
deceived themselves by not having sufficiently consulted nature.

In climates which are warmer than ours, there is a ferocious animal
which is less different from the dog than either the fox or wolf:
this animal, which is called the jackall, has been taken notice of
and tolerably well described by many travellers. They are found, we
are told, in great numbers in Africa and Asia; about Trebisond and
Mount Caucasus; in Mingrelia, Natolia, Hyrcania, Persia, India, Goa,
Guzarat, Bengal, Congo, Guinea, and many other places; and though
this animal is considered by the natives, where he is found, as a
wild dog, yet as it is very doubtful whether they intermix, we shall
treat of him as a separate species, as well as the fox and wolf, and
keep their histories apart from each other as well as from the dog.
Not that I pretend absolutely to affirm, that the jackall, or even
the wolf and fox, have never in any age or country coupled with dogs.
The ancients have so positively asserted the contrary, that there
still remain some doubts, notwithstanding the proofs I have adduced.
Aristotle says that although it is very rare for animals of different
species to intermingle, yet it certainly happens among foxes, dogs,
and wolves; and that the Indian dogs proceed from another wild beast
like themselves and a dog; and we may suppose that this wild beast, to
which he gives no name, is the jackall. But he says in another place
that the Indian dogs come from the tiger and the bitch which appears
to me more improbable, because the tiger is of a disposition and form
more different from the dog than either the fox, wolf, or jackall. It
must be allowed that Aristotle himself seems to invalidate his own
argument, for after having said that the Indian dogs proceeded from a
wild beast resembling the wolf or the fox, he afterwards says they come
from the tiger. If they are from a tiger and a bitch, or from a dog
and a tigress, he only adds, that it does not succeed until the third
trial; that the first litter is solely tigers; that if dogs be tied up
in deserts, unless the tigers are in season, they are often devoured;
that the frequent production of monsters and prodigies in Africa is
occasioned by the great heat and scarcity of water making a number of
different animals assemble together to drink where they grow familiar,
and often couple together. All this seems too conjectural, uncertain,
and suspicious to deserve any credit; for the more we observe the
nature of animals, the more we perceive that the indication of instinct
is the more certain way to judge of them. By the most attentive
examination of the interior parts we only discover slight differences.
The horse and ass, though they have a most perfect resemblance in the
internal parts, are, nevertheless, animals of very different natures.
The bull, ram, and goat, differ but little in their internal formation,
though they form three species more distant than the horse and the ass;
and the same observation holds with respect to the dog, the fox, and
the wolf. The inspection of the external form shews this more clearly;
but as in many species, especially in those the least distant, there
is even in the exterior much more resemblance than difference, this
inspection is not sufficient to determine whether they are of the same
or different species; and when the shades are still less we can only
combine them with the agreements they have with instinct. It is from
the disposition of animals that we should judge of their natures; if
we suppose two animals quite the same in their forms, yet different in
their dispositions, they would not copulate nor breed together, and
however much alike they would therefore be two distinct species.

_Engraved for Barr's Buffon_

[Illustration: FIG. 44. _Shock Dog_]

[Illustration: FIG. 45. _Lion Dog._]

The same means to which we are obliged to have recourse to judge of
the difference of neighbouring species, is what we ought still more
to employ when we would distinguish the numerous varieties which take
place in the same species. We know of thirty varieties in the dog,
and yet it is certain that we are not acquainted with them all. Of
these thirty there are seventeen which may be said to be owing to
the influence of climate, namely, the shepherd's dog, the wolf dog,
the Siberian dog, the Iceland dog, the Lapland dog, the mastiff, the
common greyhound, the great Dane, the Irish hound, the hound, the
harrier, the terrier, the spaniel, the water-dog, the small Dane, the
Turkish dog, and the bull-dog. The thirteen others, which are the
mongrel Turkish dog, the greyhound with hair like a wolf, the shock
dog, (_fig. 44_) or lap dog, the pug dog, the bastard pug dog, the
Calabrian, Burgos, and Alicant dogs, the lion dog, (_fig. 45._) the
small water dog, the Artois dog, and the King Charles's dog, (_fig.
46._) are nothing but mongrels which proceed from the first seventeen
races; and by tracing these mongrels back to the two races from which
they issue their natures will be easily known but with respect to
the first seventeen races, if we would know what relation there is
among them we must attend to their instincts, forms, and many other
circumstances. I have put together the shepherd's dog, the wolf dog,
the Siberian, the Lapland, and the Iceland dogs, because there is a
more striking resemblance between them than any others, in their forms
and coats, and because they have all pointed noses somewhat like the
fox, erect ears, and their instincts lead them to watch and follow
the flocks. The mastiff, the greyhound, the large Dane, and the Irish
hound, have, besides the resemblance of form and long snout, the same
dispositions; they love to course and to follow horses; they have but
indifferent noses, and hunt rather from their sight than their scent.
The real hunting dogs are the hounds, harriers, terriers, spaniels,
and water-dogs, and notwithstanding they differ in figure yet they
have all thick muzzles, the same instincts, and therefore ought to be
classed together; the only difference between the water-dog and the
spaniel is, that those with long bushy hair take to the water with
more facility than those whose hair is short and straight. The small
Dane and Turkish dog must be ranked together, since they are in fact
the same; the latter having only lost his hair by the effects of heat.
Lastly, the bull dog, (_fig. 47._) seems to form a particular variety,
and even to belong to a particular climate; he is a native of England,
and it is difficult to preserve the breed even in France. The pug-dog,
(_fig. 48._) and mastiff, (_fig. 49._) are mongrels from him and they
succeed much better; they all have short muzzles and but little scent.
The acuteness of the scent, however, seems in general to depend more on
the largeness than the length of the muzzle, for the greyhound, large
Dane, and the Irish greyhound, have their scent very inferior to the
hound, hairier, terrier, spaniel, and water-dog, although their muzzles
are more than proportionally longer.

_Engraved for Barr's Buffon_

[Illustration: FIG. 46. _K. Charles's Dog_]

[Illustration: FIG. 47. _Bull Dog_]

[Illustration: FIG. 48. _Pug_]

[Illustration: FIG. 49. _Mastiff_]

These animals have all a greater or less perfection of the senses, and
these differences, which in man occasion not any eminent or remarkable
quality, give to animals all their merit, and produce as a cause all
the talents of which their natures are susceptible. I shall not here
take upon myself to enumerate all the qualities of the sporting dogs;
it is well known how much the excellence of their sense of smelling,
together with their education, gives them the superiority over other
animals; but these details belong only to a distant part of Natural
History. Besides the tricks and dexterity, though proceeding from
nature alone, made use of by wild animals to elude the researches, or
to avoid the pursuit of the dogs, are perhaps more wonderful than the
most refined methods practised in the art of hunting.

The dog, as well as all animals which produce more than one or two at
a time, is not perfectly formed at the time of its birth. Dogs are
commonly whelped with their eyes shut; the two eyelids are not only
closed together, but adhere by a membrane which breaks away as soon as
the muscles of the upper eye-lid acquire sufficient strength to raise
it and overcome this obstacle, which commonly happens about the tenth
or twelfth day. At this time the bones of the skull are not finished,
the body and snout swelled, and the whole form incomplete; but in less
than two months they learn to make use of all their senses, begin to
have strength, and their growth is very rapid. In the fourth month
they lose some of their teeth, which, as in other animals, are soon
replaced by others that do not fall out. They have in all 42 teeth,
namely six incisive, and two canine at top and at bottom, fourteen
grinders in the upper, and twelve in the under-jaw; but these latter
are not always the same, as some dogs have more grinders than others.
When very young, males and females bend down to void their water; about
the ninth or tenth month, the males and some females begin to lift up
their legs for that purpose, and at which time they begin to be capable
of engendering. The male can couple at all times, but the females only
at stated seasons, which are usually twice a year, and more frequently
in winter than in summer; this inclination lasts ten, twelve, and
sometimes fifteen days and shews itself by exterior signs; the male is
apprized of her situation by his smell, although she seldom consents to
his approaching her for the first six or seven days. Once coupling is
sometimes sufficient for her to produce a great number of young, but if
left at liberty she will admit many times a day almost every dog that
presents himself. It has been observed that when allowed to choose for
herself, she generally prefers the largest, without attending either
to his form or beauty; and it frequently happens that small bitches
who have received large mastiffs die in bringing forth their young.
It is well known that these animals, from a singular conformation,
cannot separate after consummation, but are obliged to remain united
as long as the swelling subsists. The dog, like several other animals,
has not only a bone in its member, but also a hollow ring, which is
very apparent, and swells considerably during the time of copulation.
The females have perhaps the largest clitoris of any animal, and while
compressed, a swelling arises which probably lasts longer than that
of the male, and forces him to remain; for when the act is finished
he changes his position, to rest on his four legs; he has also a
melancholy air, and the efforts for separation are never made on the
female side. Bitches go nine weeks with young, that is 63 days, but
never less than 60. Those of the largest and strongest make are the
most prolific, and those will sometimes produce ten or twelve puppies
at a litter; while those of a small kind do not bring forth more than
four or five, and frequently but one or two; especially the first time,
which is always the least numerous in all animals.

Though dogs are very ardent in their amours, it does not prevent their
duration, for they continue to propagate during life, which is usually
limited to fourteen or fifteen years, though some have been known
to live till twenty. Length of life in dogs is, like that of other
animals, proportioned to the time of his growth: for as they are about
two years in coming to maturity, so they live to twice seven. The dog's
age may be known by his teeth, which, when he is young, are white,
sharp, and pointed; and which, in proportion as he advances in age,
become black, blunt, and unequal; it is also to be known by the hair,
for it turns grey about the nose, forehead, and round the eyes. These
animals, though naturally vigilant, active, and formed for exercise,
become, by being over-fed in our houses, so heavy and idle, that they
pass their lives in sleeping and eating. This sleep, which is almost
continual, is accompanied by dreams, which is perhaps a mild manner of
existing; and notwithstanding they are naturally voracious, yet they
can subsist without eating a considerable time. In the Memoirs of the
Academy of Sciences, there is an account of a bitch, who having been
accidentally left in a country-house, subsisted 40 days without any
other nourishment than the stuff on the wool of a mattress, which she
had torn to pieces. Water seems to be more necessary for them than
food, for they drink frequently and very abundantly; and it is even
a vulgar opinion that if they want water for a length of time they
become mad. It is a circumstance peculiar to them that they seem to
make great efforts, and suffer pain in voiding their excrements. This
is not occasioned, as Aristotle alleges, from their intestines becoming
narrower in approaching the anus; for, on the contrary, it is certain,
that in the dog, as in other animals, the great intestines grow bigger
as they proceed downwards, and that the rectum is larger than the
colon: the dryness of the temperament of this animal is sufficient of
itself to produce this effect.

To give a clearer idea of the different kinds of dogs, of their
propagation in different climates, and of the mixture of their breeds,
I subjoin a kind of genealogical tree, in which all the different
varieties may easily be distinguished. The shepherd's dog is the stock
or body of the tree. This dog, when transported into the rigorous
climates of the north, such as to Lapland, becomes ugly and small,
but in Russia, Iceland, and Siberia, where the climate is rather less
rigorous, and the people more civilized, he is not only preserved,
but even brought to greater perfection. These changes are occasioned
solely by the influence of those climates, which produces no great
alteration in his form, for in each of them he has erect ears, long and
thick hair, and a wild look; he barks also less frequently, and in a
different manner from those that in more favourable regions have been
brought to greater perfection. The Iceland dog is the only one that has
not his ears entirely erect, but which bend or fold a little at their
extremities; and Iceland is, of all the northern countries, that which
has been most anciently inhabited by half-civilized men.

The same shepherd's dog, transported into temperate climates, and among
people perfectly civilized, as those of England, France, or Germany,
loses its savage air, erect ears, its long, thick, and rough hair, and
takes the form of the hound, bull-dog, and mastiff. Of the two latter
the ears are still partly erect, or only half-pendent; and in their
manners and sanguinary dispositions very much resemble the dog, from
which they draw their origin. The hound is the most distant of the
three; his ears are long and pendent, and the gentleness, docility,
and, we may say, the timidity of this dog, are so many proofs of
the great degeneration, or, more properly, the great perfection he
has acquired by a long state of domesticity, and a careful education
bestowed on him by man.

The hound, the harrier, and the terrier, are only one race, for it
has been remarked that in the same litter there have been harriers,
terriers, and hounds, though the female hound had been only covered by
one of the three dogs. I have coupled the Bengal harrier with a common
harrier, because they differ only by the number of spots upon their
coats. I have also coupled the turnspit, or terrier with crooked legs,
with the common terrier, because the defects in the legs of this dog
only proceed from a disease somewhat like the rickets, with which some
individuals have been attacked, and transmitted the effects to their

The hound, if transported into Spain and Barbary, where all animals
have the hair fine, long, and thick, would become the spaniel and
water-dog. The great and small spaniel, which differ only in size, when
brought into England change their colour from white to black, and, by
the influence of the climate, have become the large and small King
Charles's dog, and the beagle, which is, in fact, the same as the
others, but with liver-coloured marks on the fore feet, over the eyes,
and on the nose.

The mastiff, transported to the north, is become the large Dane, and to
the south changes into a common greyhound. The large greyhounds come
from the Levant, those of a middling size from Italy, and the latter
being taken into England have become still smaller. The large Dane,
transported into Ireland, the Ukraine, Tartary, Epirus, and Albania,
have become the large Irish dogs, which in size surpass all the rest
of the species. The bull-dog, transported from England into Denmark,
is become the small Dane, and this small Dane taken into warm climates
changed into the Turkish dog. All these races, with their varieties,
have been produced solely by the influence of climate, joined to the
effects of food and education; the other dogs are not pure races, but
proceed from a mixture of those above.

The greyhound and mastiff have produced the mongrel greyhound, which
is called the _greyhound with wolf's hair_. The nose of this mongrel
is not so thin as that of the Turkish greyhound, which is very rare in
France. The large Dane and the large spaniel have produced the dog of
Calabria, which is a handsome dog, with long thick hair, and higher
in stature than the largest mastiff. The spaniel and terrier produce
what is called the Burgundy spaniel; and from the spaniel and small
Dane has come the lion-dog, which is now very scarce. The dogs with
long fine curled hair, which are called the Bouffe dogs, and which are
bigger than the water dogs, come from the water dog and large spaniel.
The little water dog comes from the small spaniel and the water dog.
The bull-dog and the mastiff produce a mongrel, which is larger than
the bull-dog, yet approaches him more than the other; and the pug comes
from the bull-dog and the small Dane.

All these races are simple mongrels, and come from the mixture of
two pure races; but there are other dogs which may be called double
mongrels, because they proceed from a pure race and one already mixed.
The bastard pug is a double mongrel, and comes from a mixture of the
pug with the small Dane. The Alicant dog is also a double mongrel; he
proceeds from the pug and the small spaniel. The Maltese, or lap-dog,
is a double mongrel, and comes from the small spaniel and little
water-dog. In fine, there are dogs which may be called triple mongrels,
because they proceed from the mixture of two races which have already
been mixed; as the Artois dogs and what is called the _street dogs_,
which resemble all dogs in general, but no one in particular, since
they proceed from races which have several times been mixed.


The following curious fact I had from M. de Mailly, of the Academy of
Dijon: "The curate of Norges, near Dijon, has a bitch, which has had
all the symptoms of pregnancy, and having puppies without having been
in either state. She was proud, but was not suffered to go with a dog,
yet at the end of her usual term her paps were filled with milk, and
she brought up some young puppies that were taken to her, with as much
care and tenderness as if they had really been her own; and what is
more singular, this same bitch, about three years since, suckled two
young kittens, one of which has imbibed so much of the nature of her
nurse, that her cries infinitely more resemble the tones of a dog than
those of a cat." This is certainly a rare phenomenon, and were this
production of milk without impregnation more frequent, it would render
female animals more analogous to female birds who produce eggs without
connection with the male.

The Russians have brought several dogs to Paris, as Siberians, a very
different race from those which we have described; one in particular,
both male and female, were about the size of a common greyhound, with
pointed noses, ears half erect, and long tails; they were entirely
black, excepting a spot of white which the female had upon the top of
the head, and one which the male had upon his tail; they were very
fond, but exceedingly dirty and voracious, and it was almost impossible
to satisfy them with food; upon the whole, they were evidently of the
same race as we have treated of under the denomination of Iceland dogs.

Mr. Collinson, who had made various researches concerning the Siberian
dogs, informed me that their noses were pointed, and their ears long,
that some of them carried their tails like the wolf, others in the same
manner as the fox, and that they certainly engendered with both those
animals; that he had himself seen dogs and wolves couple in England,
and although he knew of no one who could say the same with regard to
dogs and foxes, from the kind well known there by the name of the
fox-dogs, he did not think there could be any doubt of the fact.

The Greenland dogs are mostly white, though some few are black, and
have very thick coats; they employ them for drawing their sledges, by
putting four or six of them together; they also eat their flesh, and
make clothes of their skins. The Kamtschatka dogs are also either black
or white, and are used for drawing sledges; they are suffered to run
at large during the summer, and in winter they are fed with a sort of
paste made with fish. These dogs of Greenland and Kamtschatka, as well
as the Russian dogs just mentioned, have a strong resemblance to the
Iceland dogs, and are most probably of the same race.

Notwithstanding the varieties I have described, there are still others
remaining, which I have not been able to procure; I have myself
seen two individuals of a wild race, but could not get a sufficient
opportunity even to describe them. M. Aubry, curate of St. Louis,
informed us that a few years since he saw a dog about the size of a
spaniel, with long hair and a very large beard on his chin. Louis XIV.
had some of these dogs sent to him by M. le Comte de Toulouse; and
Comte de Lassai had some of the same breed, but there is not any of
them to be found at present.

I have little to add with respect to the wild dogs, of which there are
different races, to what is contained in my original work; and the
following account of the wild dog found near the Cape of Good Hope, I
had from M. le Vicomte de Querhoënt; he says, there are a great number
of packs of wild dogs at the Cape; their skins are spotted with various
colours, and some of them are very large; their ears are erect, they
run extremely fast, and have no constant place of abode. They kill the
deer in great numbers, are seldom destroyed themselves, and are very
difficult to be caught in snares, from carefully avoiding every thing
that has been touched by man. Several of their young have been taken in
the woods, and some of those it has been attempted to render domestic,
but they grow up so large and so ferocious that the attempt has been
given up as in vain.


T. Gillet, Printer, Wild-Court.

Transcriber Note

All obvious typographical errors were corrected. Where variant spellings
were used, they were standardized to the most prevalent usage. All
paragraphs split by illustrations were rejoined. The caption "_Engraved
for Barr's Buffon_" were standardized and moved to the beginning of each
group of images.

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