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please you, well; and if not, you will be prepared for such a calamity; as being forewarned, you are also forearmed. The critic, who is so Quixotic as to imagine that this book is “worthy of his steel,” might have gained an enviable reputation at the battle of the Windmills, but he can gain no laurels here. Capture a multitude of errors, he may; detect a host of blemishes, he doubtless will; but still, killed, wounded and prisoners all told, survivors enough will remain, to attest the frailty of the mortal who penned them. But let him point out the excellencies and discover the beauties, and if he succeed in this, my word for it, he will evince a clear discernment, and what is more, an acute penetration for which the world will not be slow to do him honor.

It is almost unnecessary to say, that I have availed myself of books in the composition of this work; that many of the facts contained in these pages may be found interspersed throughout the voluminous writings of Drs. Good, GRISCOM, DUNGLISON, Rusir and Bell; and if the discerning reader discover anything here, of which he can trace no ancient and honorable lineage, why I suppose he must call it mine. Especially would I acknowledge my indebtedness to PROFESson KENDRICK, for the kind words of counsel and encouragement which he has often spoken; for the countenance which he has given to my little labors, and to which some of these pages bear ample testimony.

In this connection, I may be allowed to mention the name of Rufus TIFFANY, of Michigan; the grateful recollection of whose faithful friendship and efficient aid in the gloomy hour of illness and disappointment, no distance can absolve, no time obliterate, till Memory's tablets shall be broken, and Gratitude's fountain dried up.

Somebody has said, that a preface is to the reader, what the desert was to the Israelites. I cannot help thinking how unhappy the pilgrim's lot, when, after a dreary sojourn in the prefatory wilderness, no promised land appears to bless his eyes, and while I think, I down my pen and - stop. HAMILTON, June 8, 1842.

B. F. T.



Language of Inanimate Nature.

CHAPTERI. What the Critic says to the author; His early

difficulties; his opinion of English Grammar; his "position de-

fined;" remarkable coincidence in views; Author's plan. 13

CHAPTER II. Talk with the reader; what language is; Con-

versation between a mother and her son; what the ivy told

Charles; language of ihe violet; the lily; the camomile; the

flax; the willow; the snow-drop; the aspen.


CHAFTER III. A little Horal dictionary: language of the nettle;

the bramble; the olive; the poppy; what grief will do; the ama-

ranth; the mistletoe; what the author yentured to do for the sake

of the dialogue; why the flowers never told the reader a thought;

a piece of advice which he will follow, if he please,


CHAPTER IV. What we have done; chat with the reader; an-

ecdote; learning and knowing are two things; language of the

night, distant lands; morning on the Alps; what is nobler than

monntain scenery.


CHAPTER V. The stars of Heaven and Earth; their language;

the stars' lesson of humility and hope; the morning star; its

language; the Polar Star; Comets; the extinguished star; its

language; our neighbor in the Universe; the fall of Niagara;

the sublime teachings of the stars.


CHAPTER VI. Language of the seasons; the voice of Spring;

of Summer; of Autumn; of Winter; definition of language as

already considered; review; proposition to the reader. 47

CHAPTER VII. God talks with man through nature; the con-

venient “it;" the eye; the two worlds; what an idea is; what

thought is; man a social being; language the link; the brute




Instinct, Intelligence and Reason.

CHAPTER I. What we owe to Nature; brutes have language;

brutes have ideas; what they would be without language; the

scale of being; instinct in the vegetable world; instinct and

intelligence in the animal kingdom; illustrations.


CHAPTER II. The duck; complex nature of sucking, swallowing

and respiration; definition of instinct; not sentient; not intelo

ligent; examples; the office of intelligence; its relation to

instinct; few animals destroy life wantonly; the skill of birdsin

nidification; color of the eggs; individual and generic instinct. 73

CHAPTER III. Architectural skill of birds: weavers, masons and

basket makers: Hindostan swallow: tailor bird's nest: Baltimore

Starling: martin: hint to the hypercritical: the Exeter 'Change

elephant: the Turkish wasp: Bushy Park: the canine race: rea-

soning of a dog: Ulysses' dog: tie squirrel turued sailor. 78

CHAPTER IV. The church-going dog: the philosophical fox:

the memory of horses: poetical extract: the elephant: his in-

telligence: his gratitude: the migration of birds: Bryant's lines 87

CHAPTER V. The model society of the hive-bee: the wasp: the

ant: the ant-lion: the land crab: general inferences: conclusion 95

CHAPTER VI: Difference between intelligence and reason: the

young human being; its helplessness; its improvement; the in-

ternal world; rapidity of thought; what is worthy of the name

of Self; the relation which intelligence and reason sustain to

language; classification.


CHAPTER VII. Tabular view: Antennal language: language of

gesticulation; anecdote of Curran.


CHAPTER VIII. The deaf and dumb; their manual alphabet;

Mr. Gallaudet; the countenance; passion-dialing; connection

of mind with body; description of the dial; the sixth sense;

the facial muscles; their names.


CHAPTER IX. The brain, the capitol of the mind: its messen-

gers: the nerves: experiment: nerve of expression; illustration:

explanation of phenomena: anecdote of Garrick: conclusion: 132

CHAPTER X. External apparatus of insects: the gnat: the

cicada: the house cricket: the rattlesnake; the death-watch:

natural language of cries: voice: the larynx.


CHAPTER XI. Vocal apparatus of birds: the mocking bird,

ventriloquism: the voice as indicative of feeling or emotion;'

various illustrations: laughing: whispering: sighing.



Language of Reason.

CHAPTER I. Man a mystery: how an artificial language is

formed: exclamations: man a social being: initative language;

sounds; Scriptural account of the consusion of tongues: illus-

trations: the original language: the western Indians: tributaries

to the English language: its present vast extent.


CHAPTER II. Connection between natural and artificial lan-

guage: elements of artificial language; Glottis or vowel sounds:

the brain the organ of language: O'Kelly's parrot: vocal tubes:

marshaling the Alphabet.


CHAPTER III. Organs of the mouth; division into pairs; ex-

periments: H: the vowels: consonants or articulations: vocal

and whispering letters: Welsh peculiarity: tables of sounds:



THOUGH reluctant to step between an Author and his readers, I yet cannot refuse to comply with the request of my young friend and former pupil, that I should accompany his debut before the public, with a few introductory remarks. Having read a portion of the following work in manuscript, and examined its sheets since they have issued from the press, it is my conviction that it spreads before the reader a most interesting page in the book of knowledge, and that, though immediately designed for youth, there are very few who may not reap from its perusal, both pleasure and instruction.

The Author treats of language. His design is, to exhibit the various methods by which ideas are imparted to the mind, both from inanimate and animated nature. He thus discus. ses the whole subject of natural and artificial language, ascending through every gradation, from the simple dialect of the vegetable kingdom, to the complicated mechanism, and manifold utterances of human specch. The field which he explores, is one equally extended and attractive, and in directing into it the steps of youth, and leading the way, he has rendered to them an invaluable service.

To follow the Author through the various topics discussed,

upon them.

would be a work of supererogation. I will here only allude to his interesting speculations on Instinct, Intelligence and Reason. Whether the distinctions which the Author has drawn on these abstruse and disficult subjects, are entirely satisfactory, I will not undertake to decide. Some may regard him as having solved the problem, while others will hesitate to give a decided assent to his theory. Be that as it may, all will regard it as highly ingenious, and worthy of examination. We know not, indeed, that the darkness which invests these mysterious points, will ever be wholly dissipated; yet we greet gladly every ray of light that may be shed

We welcome every well authenticated fact, even though we hesitate to yield an unqualified assent to the theory it is adduced to support. To him who fails to be convinced, yet the facts accumulated by the Author on these points will lose none of their intrinsic interest.

A delightful feature of the present work is the wide extent to which it draws illustrations from Natural History. Should it thus have the effect of awakening in the minds of youth, a deeper love of nature-a stronger relish for the pure pleasures which she waits to lavish on her votaries-a desire to drink deep of the delicious health-giving draught which sparkles in her ever-flowing cup, a most important object would be accomplished, and the toil of the Author, I doubt not, abundantly rewarded. Surrounded, as we are, by the endlessly diversified scenery of nature-her thousand forms of beauty alluring the eye-her thousand melodies ravishing the ear-her treasure house of unexhausted wonders lying open to our entrance-how little do we appreciate the extent and richness of her stores! In what inexcusable ignorance are we content to remain, suffering our eyes to roam heedless and

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