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After the short description which the author has given of a country blessed with so many substantial advantages, he cone cludes' his appendix (which is in the form of an address to a friend) in the following words:

• If you favour this country with a visit, you will find that I have only failed in one thing, and that is, that my descriptive powers cannot do justice to the fertility and beauty of the country, to the hospitality of its inhabitants, to the plenty that is found in every house, and the content that is pictured in every countenance, and that reigns in every heart-would that all mankind were as happy this minute as the Vermontese !!

The work is accompanied with a neatly executed map of the territory of Vermont, and of the surrounding country, to a con. siderable extent.

Capt, B...y

Art. II. Mr. Brown's Observations on Dr. Darwin's Zoonomia.

[Art. concluded from p. 164.] PRO ROCEEDING in his examination of Dr. Darwin's theories, Mr.

Brown now arrives at the subject of Instinct : on which, he says, two questions have arisen. We shall state them in his own words :

• 1. It has been disputed, whether there be any principles of ac, tion, independent of experience ; whether animal exertion necessarily imply an object, of which the mind is conscious, or be not sometimes the immediate effect of sensation.

2. It lias been disputed by those, who admit the existence of original predispositions, whether man be distinguished from the other animals, as alone possessing higher principles of action.

• It is by blending these questions, that Dr. Darwin has given to his section, on instinct, a conclusive air. A slight induction is sufficient to convince us, that the laws of exertion are not dissimilar, in different animals ; but with a slight induction Dr. Darwin has not been content. He has made us more intimately acquainted with the économy of our fellow “ Wanderers of the earth ;' and, if a mul. titude of facts were necessary, has collected sufficient; to convince the most sceptical, that man, though possessing an organization, better adapted to higher attainments, is not guided by principles of action, essentially different from those of the, brute. Bui, conceding this, we concede no more. To prove the similarity of the laws of animal exertion was not Dr. Darwin's immediate object, but to . prove, that instinct is not one of these laws. In this point of view, however, as a principle of action, common to us with the other animals, we are not justified by the evidence adduced, in rejecting its existence.

• Those, who defend instinct, as “ a divine something, a kind of inspiration,” are, indeed, worthy of ridicule. But, if by the term instinct be mcant a predisposition to certain actions, when certain sensa.

tions exist, the admission of it is so far from being ridiculous, that, without it, the phenomena of animation cannot possibly be explained. Instinctive actions, therefore, are not to be viewed, in the light of anomalous facts, and ascribed to a mysterious principle, uncaused, or to the continued interference of the Deity: they are to be considered, as the result of principles, original in the frame ; so that, when the mind is affected, in a certain manner, a certain actior., independently of experience, necessarily ensues. In opposition to this opinion, Dr. Darwin asserts, that all our actions, attended with con, sciousness, are acquired by the repeated efforts of our muscles, under the conduct of our sensations, or desires, or, in the particular language of Zoonomia, that there is no animal action, which is not immediately irritative, sensitive, voluntary, or associate.

This point, therefore, is decisive of the question. If it be proved, that there exist fibrous motions, which have not been acquired by the repeated efforts of our muscles, or which have not originally been excited by irritation, Dr. Darwin, however unwilling to consider an animal, as “ little better than a machine,” 'must have recourse to that in. stinct, which he characterizes, as inexplicable, but which is, in truth, inexplicable, only as being an ultimate fact, in animation, and not more mysterious than the mode, in which sensation is induced by irritation, or volition by sensation.

• In his definition of actions, as opposed to instinct, Dr. Darwin , has himself admitted its existence. They are “ acquired by the re. peated efforts of our muscles, under the conduct of our sensations or desires.” By advancing a few steps from the difficulty, he has thought, that it was completely obviated. The phenomenon, to be explained, without recourse to instinct, is not the repeated effort of the muscles, but their primary action. Of this sensation is the re- / mote cause ; and the only mode, in which the muscular contraction can be explained, is by supposing a necessary connection of the particular motive of affection with the particular sensation, In these cir. cumstances, no muscular action can be justly said to be acquired. Thus, to use one of the instances, adduced by Dr. Darwin, the fætus cannot « learn to swallow by a few efforts :" for the volition, which excites the muscles of deglutition, will either be primarily induced by the sensation, or, if similar effects result from similar causes, will not be induced at all. The action, therefore, is not acquired by the repeated efforts of our muscles, but is original ; or, in other words, when the mind is affected, in a certain manner, by the stimulus of food, the action of the muscles of deglutition necessarily

The contraction is the effect of an essential principle of life; and experience, instead of adding to the stock of volitions, can da nothing more, than repeat the primary contractions. To consider repetition, or experience, as the cause of any muscular motion, im. plies a contradiction : for experience presupposes the motion, and the effect must thus have existed, before its cause, When sensation has frequently succeeded the motion of a fibre, it is said, in its turn, to excite the motion. But, admitting this mutual convertibility, the sensation can have no influence on any other, than that particular fibre; and, in the original motion of the muscles of deglutition, the




excited fibres are different. Sensation, indeed, precedes their morion; but there is no greater reason, that an affection of the sense of taste should be followed by an affection of the muscles of deglutition, than of any other muscles of the system. The principles of Zoonomia do not explain the connection ; and it can only be traced to the original constitution of the mind, by which it is predisposed to exert itself, in producing a certain motion, in consequence of having been affected, in a certain manner. Instii.ct is the term, that denotes

this predisposition; and we are thus obliged to recur to an occult quality, to an inexplicable something, which connects with sensations, actions that have no apparent bond of union.'

The curious instances of animal sagacity, recited in the Zoononia, are examined on this principle ; and their dependence on it is pointed out with the author's usual acuteness. We apprehend, however, that there is more apparent than real difference between his sentiments and those of Dr. D. on this subject. Both agree in referring the actions of animals, in the disputed cases, to a process of thought ; similar, in its zature, but inferior in its extent, to that of the human intelicct. The present author, indeed, intimates a peculiar opinion, in the note to p. 288; yet he seems to admit that the difference of instinct arises merely from the different efiects of organic structure.

• I do not contend, that the vital principle is really the same, in the-different tribes of animals, but that its sameness, in opposition to his own conclusion, is a necessary consequence of Dr. Darwin's theory. In allowing peculiar instincts, I suppose an original dif. ference of the vital principle; though it is, perhaps, not too bold a supposition, to consider the instincts of the different tribes or animals, as the same : that is to say, they are all predisposed to act, in the same manner, when the same sensations exist ; but dif. ferent sensations, and, consequently, different actions, are excited by the same external objects, from the different structure of the organs, which are the medium of sensation.'

Dr. Darwin's theory of the origin of our ideas of Beauty, and of Love, is next considered. As Mr. B's objections cannot be condensed into smaller compass than they occupy in his own bock, we must content ourselves with observing that they are at least highly ingenious, if not entirely conclusive.

The origin of the Signs of our Emotions is discussed in a similar manner.

I do not use the term, as peculiar to instinct : for the nature of every quality is, in truth, occult. We know, that agreeable food induces the action of swallowing, and that the magnet attracts iron ; but, a priori, we might, with equal reason, suppose, that the iron would be repellcd, and the sensation followed by the motion of



Riy arn.'

In treating of the Catenation of Motions, Mr. Brown, still, dwelling on the original imperfection in Dr. D.'s theory of sensorial power, asserts that all the associate actions, of which the Doctor had already treated, are catenations of animal motions; and tha: the present section is either superfluous, or improperly placed ; for, if new laws of association be inferred, this should have formed a part of the preceding sections on that power. For the proofs and illustrations of this opinion, we must desire our readers to consult the book. Perhaps in this, as in other instances, the eifect of Mr. Brown's reasoning will be rather to strengthen our impression of the difficulty of the subject, than to furnish satisfactory conclusions. We feel our obligation to the hardy adventurer who dissolves a fairy edifice into its original elements : but his merit is incomplete, if he does not place us again on firm ground.

In the section on Sleep, Mr. B. combats Dr. D.'s theory on account of its inconsistency with the fundamental principles of the Zoonon.ia. He has introduced one remark which is applicable to the fashionable style of theorizing, and which, on that account, deserves the notice of our readers :

· Dr. Darwin has been deceived, by thinking, that he explained sleep, when he only stated its phenomena. Sleep, it may be granted, consists in the suspension of volition; but he will gain nothing from the admission ; for the suspension is itself the phenomenon, to be reconciled with his theory.' P. 346.

When we have laboured through a heavy recital of facts, masked in ambiguous language, which an author has imposed on the public as a theory of the very facts recited, we have sometimes thought of cur old friend Swift's method of explaining a difficult subject. He, in mercy to his readers, presented them only with an hiatus, uncommonly wide, and added, now this I take to be a clear and full account of the matter.

The application of Dr. Darwin's general principles, to refute his particular doctrines, is on this subject as dexterously managed by Mr. Brown as on other occasions : yet the frequent repetition of this operation, in the course of so large a volume, becomes at length fatiguing, and the reader is ultimately rather overwhelmed than convinced.

In his observations on the doctrine of Vertigo, Mr. B. has introduced some interesting remarks concerning ocular spectra. He supposes that the apparent motions of objects arise from a deception of the imagination, by which we consider our. selves as still in motion, after we have ceased to reyolve. In this instance, we may perhaps retort on him the accusacion of merely stating the fact, instead of accounting for it.

In the section on Drunkenness, Dr. Darwin is again made to

oppose himself.

The arguments on the subject of the Propensity to Motion are too long for insertion, and do not admit of abridgment. We shall extract the author's remarks on imitative motions, as they relate to a pathological doctrine of high importance, which has been too often treated in the louse manner to which Mr. Brown objects:

• The production of matter, by the membranes of the fauces, in syphilis, and of infectious saliva, by the salivary glands, in hydrophobia, is ascribed to imitation of the motions of other parts of the system. Yet no rcason is assigned, that the imitation should take place, in these parts alone. The irritative sympathy must have power, ia every part, or in none, unless particular coexistence, or succession, have given rise to particular associations. But, in these cases, no original coexistence, nor immediate succession of motions, can be traced; and, therefore, the partial sympathy is not referable to any of the laws of Zoonomia.

• In inoculated small pox, the original matter is supposed by Dr. Darwin to be diffused, through the blood ; and the production of similar matter is thus explained. “ These particles of contagious matter stimulate the extremities of the fine arteries of the skin, and cause them to imitate some properties of those particles of contagious maiter, so as to produce a thousand fold of a similar material.” This cxplanation is not merely hypothetical, in the highest degree, but wholly unintelligible. If the matter of the fibres be different, it is impossible for it to become similar to the contagious matter, in any of its qualities. To imitare is to act, and contraction is the only mode, in which the fibres can act ; but ao degree of contraction can resemble a state of matter, which is wholly unsusceptible of contraction. On Dr. Darwin's hypothesis, the arterial motion is unnecessary : for, if the arteries do not exist, in the same state, as the con. tagious material, no imitation has taken place; and, if they exist, In the same state, the contagious material, without their assistance, would have produced new matter.'

The supply of new particles, in the process of nutrition, is referred by Dr. D. to the animal appetency of the glands, and of the absorbent system. To this opinion, our author objects; because it supposes those parts to be endued with sensation, which Dr. Darwin had denied them to possess.

To us, indeed, this particular doctrine of the Zoonomia appears only to multiply difficulties: since it ascribes to every minute gland, ar lacteal vessel, the properties of a perfect animal, without advancing one step towards an explanation of those properties.

Mr. B.'s arguments against the supposition, that the earth was rather generated than created,' p. 343, in the section on Gene ation, will hardly be thought conclusive, even by those who differ on this point from the notions of Dr. Darwin.


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