INSTINCT is usually defined as the faculty of acting in such away as to produce certain ends, without foresight of the ends, and without previous education in the performance . That instincts, as thus defined, exist on an enormous scale in the animal kingdom needs no proof. They are the functional correlatives of structure. With the presence of a certain organ goes, one may say, almost always a native aptitude for its use.
"Has the bird a gland for the secretion of oil? She knows instinctively how to press the oil from the gland, and apply it to the feather. Has the rattlesnake the grooved tooth and gland of poison? He knows without instruction how to make both structure and function most effective against his enemies. Has the silk-worm the function of secreting the fluid silk? At the proper time she winds the cocoon such as she has never seen, as thousands before have done; and thus without instruction, pattern, or experience, forms a safe abode for herself in the period of transformation. Has the hawk talons? She knows by instinct how to wield them effectively against the helpless quarry." 2
A very common way of talking about these admirably definite tendencies to act is by naming abstractly the purpose they subserve, such as self-preservation, or defense, or care for eggs and young -- and saying the animal has an instinctive fear of death or love of life, or that she has an instinct of self-preservation, or an instinct of maternity and the like. But this represents the animal as obeying abstractions which not once in a million cases is it possible it can have framed. The strict physiological way of interpreting the facts leads to far clearer results. The actions we call instinctive all conform to the general reflex type; they are called forth by determinate sensory stimuli in contact with the animal's body, or at a distance in his environment. The cat runs after the mouse, runs or shows fight before the dog, avoids falling from walls and trees, shuns fire and water, etc., not because he has any notion either of life or of death, or of self, or of preservation. He has probably attained to no one of these conceptions in such a way as to react definitely upon it. He acts in each case separately, and simply because he cannot help it; being so framed that when that particular running thing called a mouse appears in his field of vision he must pursue; that when that particular barking and obstreperous thing called a dog appear there he must retire, if at a distance, and scratch if clove by; that he must withdraw his feet from water and his face from flame, etc. His nervous system is to a great extent a pre organized bundle of such reactions -- they are as fatal as sneezing, and as exactly correlated to their special excitants as it is to its own. Although the naturalist may, for his own convenience, class these reactions under general heads, he must not forget that in the animal it is a particular sensation or perception or image which calls them forth.
At first this view astounds us by the enormous number of special adjustments it supposes animals to possess ready-made in anticipation of the outer things among which they are to dwell. Can mutual dependence be so intricate and go so far? Is each thing born fitted to particular other things, and to them exclusively, as locks are fitted to their keys? Undoubtedly this must be believed to be so. Each nook and cranny of creation, down to our very skin and entrails, has its living inhabitants, with organs suited to the place, to devour and digest the food it harbors and to meet the dangers it conceals; and the minuteness of adaptation thus shown in the way of structure knows no hounds. Even so are there no bounds to the minuteness of adaptation in the way of conduct which the several inhabitants display.
The older writings on instinct are ineffectual wastes of words, because their authors never came down to this definite and simple point of view, but smothered everything in vague wonder at the clairvoyant and prophetic power of the animals -- so superior to anything in man -- and at the beneficence of God in endowing them with such a gift. But God's beneficence endows them, first of all, with a nervous system; and, turning our attention to this, makes instinct immediately appear neither more nor less wonderful than all the other facts of life.
Every instinct is an impulse . Whether we shall call such impulses as blushing, sneezing, coughing, smiling, or dodging, or keeping time to music, instincts or not, is a mere matter of terminology. The process is the same through-out. In his delightfully fresh and interesting work, Der Thierische Wille, Herr G. H. Schneider subdivides impulses (Triebe) into sensation-impulses, perception-impulses, and idea-impulses. To crouch from cold is a sensation-impulse; to turn and follow, if we see people running one way, is a perception-impulse; to cast about for cover, if it begins to blow and rain, is an imagination-impulse. A single complex instinctive action may involve successively the awakening of impulses of all three classes. Thus a hungry lion starts to seek prey by the awakening in him of imagination coupled with desire; he begins to stalk it when, on eye, ear, or nostril, he gets an impression of its presence at a certain distance; he springs upon it, either when the booty takes alarm and sees, or when the distance is sufficiently reduced; he proceeds to tear and devour it the moment he gets a sensation of its contact with his claws and fangs. Seeking, stalking, springing, and devouring are just so many different kinds of muscular contraction, and neither kind is called forth by the stimulus appropriate to the other.
Schneider says of the hamster, which stores corn in its hole:
"If we analyze the propensity of storing, we find that it consists of three impulses: First, an impulse to pick up the nutritious object, due to perception; second, an impulse to carry it off into the dwelling-place due to the idea of this latter; and third, an impulse to lay it down there, due to the sight of the place. It lies in the nature of the hamster that it should never see a full ear of corn without feeling a desire to strip it; it lieu in its nature to feel, as soon as its cheek-pouches are filled, an irresistible desire to hurry to its home; and finally, it lies in its nature that the sight of the storehouse should awaken the impulse to empty the cheeks" (p. 208).
In certain animals of a low order the feeling of having executed one impulsive step is such an indispensable part of the stimulus of the next one, that the animal cannot make any variation in the order of its performance.
Now, why do the various animals do what seem to us such strange things, in the presence of such outlandish stimuli? Why does the hen, for example, submit herself to the tedium of incubating such a fearfully uninteresting set of objects as a nestful of eggs, unless she have some sort of a prophetic inkling of the result? The only answer is ad hominem. We can only interpret the instincts of brutes by what we know of instincts in ourselves. Why do men always lie down, when they can, on soft beds rather than on hard floors? Why do they sit round the stove on a cold day? 'Why, in a, room, do they place themselves, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, with their faces towards its middle rather than to the wall? Why do they prefer saddle of mutton and champagne to hard-tack and ditch-water? Why does the maiden interest the youth so that everything about her seems more important and significant than anything else in the world? Nothing more can be said than that these are human ways, and that every creature likes its own ways, and takes to the following them as a, matter of course. Science may come and consider these ways, and find that most of them are useful. But it is not for the sake of their utility that they are followed, but because at the moment of following them we feel that that is the only appropriate and natural thing to do. Not one man in a billion, when taking his dinner, ever thinks of utility. He eats because the food tastes good and makes him want more. If you ask him why he should want to eat more of what tastes like that, instead of revering you as a philosopher he will probably laugh at you for a fool. The connection between the savory sensation and the act it awakens is for him absolute and selbstverständlich, an ' a priori syn- thesis' of the most perfect sort, needing no proof but its own evidence. It takes, in short, what Berkeley calls a mind debauched by learning to carry the process of making the natural seem strange, so far as to ask for the why of any instinctive human act. To the metaphysician alone can such questions occur as: Why do we smile, when pleased, and not scowl? Why are we unable to talk to a crowd as we talk to a single friend? Why does a particular maiden turn our wits so upside-down? The common man can only say, "Of course we smile, of course our heart palpitates at the sight of the crowd, of course we love the maiden, that beautiful soul clad in that perfect form, so palpably and flagrantly made from all eternity to be loved!"
And so, probably, does each animal feel about the particular things it tends to do in presence of particular objects. They, too, are a priori syntheses. To the lion it is the lioness which is made to be loved; to the bear, the she-bear. To the broody hen the notion would probably seem monstrous that there should be a creature in the world to whom a nestful of eggs was not the utterly fascinating and precious and never-to-be-too-much-sat-upon object which it is to her. 3
Thus we may be sure that, however mysterious some animals' instincts may appear to us, our instincts will appear no less mysterious to them. And we may conclude that, to the animal which obeys it, every impulse and every step of every instinct shines with its own sufficient light, end seems at the moment the only eternally right and proper thing to do. It is done for its own sake exclusively. What voluptuous thrill may not shake a fly, when she at last discovers the one particular leaf, or carrion, or bit of dung, that out of all the world can stimulate her ovipositor to its discharge? Does not the discharge then seem to her the only fitting thing? And need she care or know anything about the future maggot and its food?
Since the egg-laying instincts are simple examples to consider, a few quotations about them from Schneider may be serviceable:
"The phenomenon so often talked about, so variously interpreted, so surrounded with mystification, that an insect should always lay her eggs in a spot appropriate to the nourishment of her young, is no more marvellous than the phenomenon that every animal pairs with a mate capable of bearing posterity, or feeds on material capable of affording him nourishment. . . . Not only the choice of a place for laying the eggs, but all the various acts for depositing and protecting them, are occasioned by the perception of the proper object, and the relation of this perception to the various stages of maternal impulse. When the burying beetle perceives a carrion, she is not only impelled to approach it and lodge her eggs in it, but also to go through the movements requisite for burying it; just as a bird who sees his hen-bird is impelled to caress her, to strut around her, dance before her, or in some other way to woo her; just as a tiger, when he sees an antelope, is impelled to stalk it, to pounce upon it, and to strangle it. When the tailor-bee cuts out pieces of rose-leaf, bends them, carries them into a caterpillar-or mouse-hole in trees or in the earth, covers their seams again with other pieces, and so makes a thimble-shaped case -- when she fills this with honey and lays an egg in it, all these various appropriate expressions of her will are to be explained by supposing that at the time when the eggs are ripe within her, the appearance of a suitable caterpillar- or mouse-hole and the perception of rose-leaves are so correlated in the insect with the several impulses in question, that the performances follow as a matter of course when the perceptions take place. . . . "
The perception of the empty nest, or of a single egg, seems in birds to stand in such a close relation to the physiological functions of oviparation, that it serves as a direct stimulus to these functions, while the perception of a sufficient. number of eggs has just the opposite effect. It is well known that hens and ducks lay more eggs if we keep removing them than if we leave them in the nest. The impulse to sit arises, as a rule, when a bird sees a certain number of eggs in her nest. If this number is not yet to be seen there, the ducks continue to lay, although they perhaps have laid twice as many eggs as they are accustomed to sit upon. . . . That sitting, also, is independent of any idea of purpose and is a pure perception-impulse is evident, among other things, from the fact that many birds, e.g. wild ducks, steal eggs from each other. . . . The bodily disposition to sit is, it is true, one condition [since broody hens will sit where there are no eggs], but the perception of the eggs is the other condition of the activity of the incubating impulse. The propensity of the cuckoo and of the cow-bird to lay their eggs in the nests of other species must also be interpreted as a pure perception-impulse. These birds have no bodily disposition to become broody, and there is therefore in them no connection between the perception of an egg and the impulse to sat upon it. Eggs ripen, however, in their oviducts, and the body tends to get rid of them. And since the two birds just named do not drop their eggs any-where on the ground, but in nests, which are the only places where they may preserve the species, it might easily appear that such preservation of the species was what they had in view, and that they acted with full consciousness of the purpose. But this is not so. . . . The cuckoo is simply excited by the perception of quite determinate sorts of nest, which already contain eggs, to drop her own into them, and throw the others out, because this perception is a direct stimulus to these acts. It is impossible that she should have any notion of the other bird com-ing and sitting on her egg." 5
Remember that nothing is said yet of the origin of instincts, but only of the constitution of those that exist fully formed. How stands it with the instincts of mankind?
Nothing is commoner than the remark that Man differs from lower creatures by the almost total absence of instincts, and the assumption of their work in him by 'reason.' A fruitless discussion might be waged on this point by two theorizers who were careful not to define their terms. 'Reason' might be used, as it often has been, since Kant, not as the mere power of 'inferring,' but also as a name for the tendency to obey impulses of a certain lofty sort, such as duty, or universal ends. And 'instinct ' might have its significance so broadened as to cover all impulses whatever, even the impulse to act from the idea of a distant fact, as well as the impulse to act from a present sensation. Were the word instinct used in this broad way, it would of course be impossible to restrict it, as we began by doing, to actions done with no prevision of an end. We must of course avoid a quarrel about words, and the facts of the case are really tolerably plain. Man has a far greater variety of impulses than any lower animal; and any one of these impulses, taken in itself, is as 'blind' as the lowest instinct can be; but, owing to man's memory, power of reflection, and power of inference, they come each one to be felt by him, after he has once yielded to them and experienced their results, in connection with a foresight of those results. In this condition an impulse acted out may be said to be acted out, in pert at least, for the sake of its results. It is obvious that every instinctive act, in an animal with memory, must cease to be 'blind' after being once repeated, and must be accompanied with foresight of its 'end' just so far as that end may have fallen under the animal's cognizance. An insect that lays her eggs in a place where she never sees them hatched must always do so 'blindly;' but a hen who has already hatched a brood can hardly be assumed to sit with perfect 'blindness' on her second nest. Some expectation of consequences must in every case like this be aroused; and this expectation, according as it is that of something desired or of something disliked, must necessarily either reinforce or inhibit the mere impulse. The hen's idea of the chickens would probably encourage her to sit; a rat's memory, on, the other hand, of a former escape from a trap would neutralize his impulse to take bait from anything that reminded him of that trap. If a boy sees a fat hopping-toad, he probably has incontinently an impulse (especially if with other boys) to smash the creature with a stone, which impulse we may suppose him blindly to obey. But something in the expression of the dying toad's clasped hands suggests the meanness of the act, or reminds him of sayings he has heard about the sufferings of animals being like his own; so that, when next he is tempted by a toad, an idea arises which, far from spurring him again to the torment, prompts kindly actions, and may even make him the toad's champion against less reflecting boys.
It is plain, then, that, no matter how well endowed an animal may originally be in the way of instincts, his resultant actions will be much modified if the instincts combine with experience, if in addition to impulses he have memories, associations, inferences, and expectations, on any considerable scale. An object O, on which he has an instinctive impulse to react in the manner A, would directly provoke him to that reaction. But O has meantime become for him a sign of the nearness of P, on which he has an equally strong impulse to react in the manner B, quite unlike A. So that when he meets O the immediate impulse A and the remote impulse B struggle in his breast for the mastery. The fatality and uniformity said to be characteristic of instinctive actions will be so little manifest that one might be tempted to deny to him altogether the possession of any instinct about the object O. Yet how false this judgment would be! The instinct about O is there; only by the complication of the associative machinery it has come into conflict with another instinct about P.
Here we immediately reap the good fruits of our simple physiological conception of what an instinct is. If it be a mere excite-motor impulse, due to the pre-existence of a certain 'reflex arc' in the nerve-centres of the creature, of course it must follow the law of all such reflex area. One liability of such area is to have their activity 'inhibited,' by other processes going on at the same time. It makes no difference whether the are be organized at birth, or ripen spontaneously later, or be due to acquired habit, it must take its chances with all the other area, and sometimes succeed, and sometimes fail, in drafting off the currents through itself. The mystical view of an instinct would make it invariable. The physiological view would require it to show occasional irregularities in any animal in whom the number of separate instincts, and the possible entrance of the same stimulus into several of them, were great. And such irregularities are what every superior animal's instincts do show in abundance." 6
Wherever the mind is elevated enough to discriminate; wherever several distinct sensory elements must combine to discharge the reflex-arc; wherever, instead of plumping into action instantly at the first rough intimation of what sort of a thing is there, the agent waits to see which one of its kind it is and what the circumstances are of its appearance; wherever different individuals and different circumstances can impel him in different ways; wherever these are the conditions -- we have a masking of the elementary constitution of the instinctive life. The whole story of our dealings with the lower wild animals is the history of our taking advantage of the way in which they judge of everything by its mere label, as it were, so as to ensnare or kill them. Nature, in them, has left matters in this rough way, and made them act always in the manner which would be oftenest right. There are more worms unattached to hooks than impaled upon them; therefore, on the whole, says Nature to her fishy children, bite at every worm and take your chances. But as her children get higher, and their lives more precious, she reduces the risks. Since what seems to be the same object may be now a genuine food and now a bait; since in gregarious species each individual may prove to be either the friend or the rival, according to the circumstances, of another; since any entirely unknown object may be fraught with weal or woe, Nature implants contrary impulses to act on many classes of things, and leaves it to slight alterations in the conditions of the individual case to decide which impulse shall carry the day. Thus, greediness and suspicion, curiosity and timidity, coyness and desire, bashfulness and vanity, sociability and pugnacity, seem to shoot over into each other as quickly, and to remain in as unstable equilibrium, in the higher birds and mammals as in man. They are all impulses, congenital, blind at first, and productive of motor reactions of a rigorously determinate sort. Each one of them, then, is an instinct, as instincts are commonly defined. But they contradict each other -- 'experience' in each particular opportunity of application usually deciding the issue. The animal that exhibits them loses the 'instinctive' demeanor and appears to lead a life of hesitation and choice, an intellectual life; not, however, because he has no instincts -- rather because he has so many that they block each other's path .
Thus, then, without troubling ourselves about the words instinct and reason, we may confidently say that however uncertain man's reactions upon his environment may some-times seem in comparison with those of lower creatures, the uncertainty is probably not due to their possession of any principles of action which he lacks . On the contrary, man possesses all the impulses that they have, and a great many more besides . In other words, there is no material antagonism between instinct and reason. Reason, per se, can inhibit no impulses; the only thing that can neutralize an impulse is an impulse the other way. Reason may, however, make an inference which will excite the imagination so as to set loose the impulse the other way; and thus, though the animal richest in reason might be also the animal richest in instinctive impulses too, he would never seem the fatal automaton which a, merely instinctive animal would be.
Let us now turn to human impulses with a, little more detail. All we have ascertained so far is that impulses of an originally instinctive character may exist, and yet not betray themselves by automatic fatality of conduct. But in mall what impulses do exist? In the light of what has been said, it is obvious that an existing impulse may not always be superficially apparent even when its object is there. And we shall see that some impulses may be masked by causes of which we have not yet spoken.
Were one devising an abstract scheme, nothing would be easier than to discover from an animal's actions just how many instincts he possessed. He would react in one way only upon each class of objects with which his life had to deal; he would react in identically the same way upon every specimen of a class; and he would react invariably during his whole life. There would be no gaps among his instincts; all would come to light without perversion or disguise. But there are no such abstract animals, and no-where does the instinctive life display itself in such a, way. Not only, as we have seen, may objects of the same class arouse reactions of Opposite sorts in consequence of slight changes in tile circumstances, in the individual object, or in the agent's inward condition; but two other principles of which we have not yet spoken, may come into play and produce results so striking that observers as eminent as Messrs. D. A. Spalding and Romanes do not hesitate to call them 'derangements of the mental constitution,' and to conclude that the instinctive machinery has got out of gear.
These principles are those
1. Of the inhibition of instincts by habits; and
2. Of the transitoriness of instincts .
Taken in conjunction with the two former principles -- that the same object may excite ambiguous impulses, or suggest an impulse different from that which it excites, by suggesting a remote object -- they explain any amount of departure from uniformity of conduct, without implying any getting out of gear of the elementary impulses from which the conduct flows.
1. The law of inhibition of instincts by habits is this:
When objects of a certain class elicit from an animal a certain sort of reaction, it often happens that the animal becomes partial to the first specimen of the class on which it has reacted, and will not afterward react on any other specimen .
The selection of a particular hole to live in, of a, particular mate, of a particular feeding-ground, a particular variety of diet, a particular anything, in short, out of a possible multitude, is a very wide-spread tendency among animals, even those low down in the scale. The limpet will return to the same sticking-place in its rook, and the lobster to its favorite nook on the sea-bottom. The rabbit will deposit its dung in the same corner; the bird makes its nest on the same bough. But each of these preferences carries with it an insensibility to other opportunities and occasions -- an insensibility which can only be described physiologically as an inhibition of new impulses by the habit of old ones already formed. The possession of homes and wives of our own makes us strangely insensible to the charms of those of other people; Few of us are adventurous in the matter of food; in fact, most of us think there is something disgusting in a bill of fare to which we are unused. Strangers, we are apt to think, cannot be worth knowing, especially if they come from distant cities, etc. The original impulse which got us homes, wives, dietaries, and friends at all, seems to exhaust itself in its first achievements and to leave no surplus energy for reacting on new cases. And so it comes about that, witnessing this torpor, an observer of mankind might say that no instinctive propensity toward certain objects existed at all. It existed, but it existed miscellaneously, or as an instinct pure and simple, only before habit was formed. A habit, once grafted on an instinctive tendency, restricts the range of the tendency itself, and keeps us from reacting on any but the habitual object, although other objects might just as well have been chosen had they been the first-comers.
Another sort of arrest of instinct by habit is where the same class of objects awakens contrary instinctive impulses. Here the impulse first followed toward a given individual of the class is apt to keep him from ever awakening the opposite impulse in us. In fact, the whole class may be protected by this individual specimen from the application to it of the other impulse. Animals, for example, awaken in a child the opposite impulses of fearing and fondling. But if a child, in his first attempts to pat a dog, gets snapped at or bitten, so that the impulse of fear is strongly aroused, it may be that for years to come no dog will excite in him the impulse to fondle again. On the other hand, the greatest natural enemies, if carefully introduced to each other when young and guided at the outset by superior authority, settle down into those 'happy families' of friends which we see in our menageries. Young animals, immediately afterbirth, have no instinct of fear, but show their dependence by allowing themselves to be freely handled. Later, however, they grow 'wild,' and, if left to themselves, will not let man approach them. I am told by farmers in the Adirondack wilderness that it is a very serious matter if a cow wanders off and calves in the woods and is not found for a week or more. The calf, by that time, is as wild and almost as fleet as a deer, and hard to capture without violence. But calves rarely show any particular wildness to the men who have been in contact with them during the first days of their life, when the instinct to attach themselves is uppermost, nor do they dread strangers as they would if brought up wild.
Chickens give a curious illustration of the same law. Mr. Spalding's wonderful article on instinct shall supply us with the facts. These little creatures show opposite instincts of attachment and fear, either of which may be aroused by the same object, man. If a chick is born in the absence of the hen, it
"will follow any moving object. And, when guided by sight alone, they seem to have no mole disposition to follow a hen than to follow a duck or a human being. Unreflecting lookers-on, when they saw chickens a day old running after me," says Mr. Spalding, "and older ones following me for miles, and answering to my whistle, imagined that I must have some occult power over the creatures: whereas I had simply allowed them to follow me from the first. There is the instinct to follow; and the ear, prior to experience, attaches them to the right object." 7
But if a man presents himself for the first time when the instinct of fear is strong, the phenomena are altogether reversed. Mr. Spalding kept three chickens hooded until they were nearly four days old, and thus describes their behavior:
"Each of them, on being unhooded, evinced the greatest terror tome, dashing off in the opposite direction whenever I sought to approach it. The table on which they were unhooded stood before a window, and each in its turn beat against the window like a wild bird. One of them darted behind some books, and, squeezing itself into a corner, remained cowering for a length of time. We might guess at the meaning of this strange and exceptional wildness; but the odd fact is enough for my present purpose. Whatever might have been the meaning of this marked change in their mental constitution-had they been unhooded on the previous day they would have run to me instead of from me -- it could not have been the effect of experience; it must have resulted wholly from changes in their own organizations." 8
Their case was precisely analogous to that of the Adirondack calves. The two opposite instincts relative to the same object ripen in succession. If the first one engenders a habit, that habit will inhibit the application of the second instinct to that object. All animals are tame during the earliest phase of their infancy. Habits formed then limit the effects of whatever instincts of wildness may later be evolved.
Mr. Romanes gives some very curious examples of the way in which instinctive tendencies may be altered by the habits to which their first 'objects' have given rise. The cases are a little more complicated than those mentioned in the text, inasmuch as the object reacted on not only starts a habit which inhibits other kinds of impulse toward it (although such other kinds might be natural), but even modifies by its own peculiar conduct the constitution of the impulse which it actually awakens.
Two of the instances in question are those of hens who hatched out broods of chicks after having (in three previous years) hatched ducks. They strove to coax or to compel their new progeny to enter the water, and seemed much perplexed at their unwillingness. Another hen adopted a brood of young ferrets which, having lost their mother, were put under her. During all the time they were left with her she had to sit on the nest, for they could not wander like young chicks. She obeyed their hoarse growling as she would have obeyed her chickens' peep. ) She combed out their hair with her bill, and "used frequently to stop and look with one eye at the wriggling nestful, with an inquiring graze, expressive of astonishment." At other times she would fly up with aloud scream, doubtless because the orphans had nipped her in their search for teats. Finally, a Brahma hen nursed a young peacock during the enormous period of eighteen months, and never laid any eggs during all this time. The abnormal degree of pride which she showed in her wonderful chicken is described by Dr. Romanes as ludicrous." 9
2. This leads us to the law of transitoriness, which is this: Many instincts ripen at a certain age and then fade away . A consequence of this law is that if, during the time of such an instinct's vivacity, objects adequate to arouse it are met with, a habit of acting on them is formed, which remains when the original instinct has passed away; but that if no such objects are met with, then no habit will be formed; and, later on in life, when the animal meets the objects, he will altogether fail to react, as at the earlier epoch he would instinctively have done.
No doubt such a law is restricted. Some instincts are far less transient than others -- those connected with feeding and 'self-preservation' may hardly be transient at all, end some, after fading out for a time, recur as strong as ever, e.g., the instincts of pairing and rearing young. The law, however, though not absolute, is certainly very wide-spread, and a few examples will illustrate just what it means.
In the chickens and calves above mentioned, it is obvious that the instinct to follow and become attached fades out after a few days, and that the instinct of flight then takes its place, the conduct of the creature toward man being decided by the formation or non-formation of a certain habit during those days. The transiency of the chicken's instinct to follow is also proved by its conduct toward the hen. Mr. Spalding kept some chickens shut up till they were comparatively old, and, speaking of these, he says:
"A chicken that has not heard the call of the mother till until eight or ten days old then hears it as if it heard it not. I regret to find that on this point my notes are not so full as I could wish, or as they might have been. There is, however, an account of one chicken that could not be returned to the mother when ten days old. The hen followed it, and tried to entice it in every way; still, it continually left her and ran to the house or to any person of whom it caught sight. This it persisted in doing, though beaten back with a small branch dozens of times, and, indeed, cruelly mistreated. It was also placed under the mother at night, but it again left her in the morning."
The instinct of sucking is ripe in all mammals at birth, and leads to that habit of taking the breast which, in the human infant, may be prolonged by daily exercise long beyond its usual term of a year or a year and a half. But the instinct itself is transient, in the sense that if, for any reason, the child be fed by spoon during the first few days of its life and not put to the breast, it may be no easy matter after that to make it suck at all. So of calves. If their mother die, or be dry, or refuse to let them suck for a day or two, so that they are fed by hand, it becomes hard to get them to suck at all when a new nurse is provided. The ease with which sucking creatures are weaned, by simply breaking the habit and giving them food in a new way, shows that the instinct, purely as such, must be entirely extinct.
Assuredly the simple fact that instincts are transient, and that the effect of later ones may be altered by the habits which earlier ones have left behind, is a far more philosophical explanation than the notion of an instinctive constitution vaguely 'deranged' or 'thrown out of gear.'
I have observed a Scotch terrier, born on the floor of a stable in December, and transferred six weeks later to a, carpeted house, make, when he was less than four months old, a very elaborate pretense of burying things, such as gloves, etc., with which he had played till he was tired. He scratched the carpet with his forefeet, dropped the object from his mouth upon the spot, and then scratched all about it (with both fore- and hind-feet, if I remember rightly, and finally went away and let it lie. Of course, the act was entirely useless. I saw him perform it at that age, some four or five times, and never again in his life. The conditions were not present to fix a habit which should last when the prompting instinct died away. But suppose meat instead of a, glove, earth instead of a carpet, hunger-pangs instead of a fresh supper a few hours later, and it is easy to see how this dog might have got into a habit of burying superfluous food, which might have lasted all his life. Who can swear that the strictly instructive part of the food-burying propensity in the wild Canidæ may not be as short-lived as it was in this terrier?
A similar instance is given by Dr. H. D. Schmidt 10 of New Orleans:
"I may cite the example of a young squirrel which I had tamed, a number of years ago, when serving in the army, and when I had sufficient leisure; and opportunity to study the habits of animals. In the autumn, before the winter sets in, adult squirrels bury as many nuts as they can collect, separately, in the ground. Holding the nut firmly between their teeth, they first scratch a hole in the ground, and, after pointing their ears in all directions to convince themselves that no enemy is near, they ram -- the head, with the nut still between the front teeth, serving as a sledge-hammer -- the nut into the ground, and then fill up the hole by means of their paws. The whole process is executed with great rapidity, and, as it appeared to me, always with exactly the same movements; in fact, it is done so well that I could never discover the traces of the burial-ground. Now, as regards the young squirrel, which, of course, never had been present at the burial of a nut, I observed that, after having eaten a number of hickory-nuts to appease its appetite, it would take one between its teeth, then sit upright and listen in all directions. Finding all right, it would scratch upon the smooth blanket on which I was playing with it as if to make a hole, then hammer with the nut between its teeth upon the blanket, and finally perform all the motions required to fill up a hole -- in the air; after which it would jump away, leaving the nut, of course, uncovered."
The anecdote, of course, illustrates beautifully the close relation of instinct to reflex action -- a particular perception calls forth particular movements, and that is all. Dr. Schmidt writes me that the squirrel in question soon passed away from his observation. It may fairly be presumed that, if he had been long retained prisoner in a cage, he would soon have forgotten his gesticulations over the hickory-nuts.
One might, indeed, go still further with safety, and expect that, if such a captive squirrel were then set free, he would never afterwards acquire this peculiar instinct of his tribe. 11
Leaving lower animals aside, and turning to human instincts, we see the law of transiency corroborated on the widest scale by the alternation of different interests and passions as human life goes on. With the child, life is all play and fairy-tales and learning the external properties of 'things;' with the youth, it is bodily exercises of a more systematic sort, novels of the real world, boon-fellowship and song, friendship and love, nature, travel and adventure, science and philosophy; with the man, ambition-and policy, acquisitiveness, responsibility to others, and the selfish zest of the battle of life. If a boy grows up alone at the age of games and sports, and learns neither to play ball, nor row, nor sail, nor ride, nor skate, nor shoot, probably he will be sedentary to the end of his days; and, though the best of opportunities be afforded him for learning these things later, it is a hundred to one but he will pass them by and shrink back from the effort of taking those necessary first steps the prospect of which, at an earlier age, would have filled him with eager delight. The sexual passion expires after a protracted reign; but it is well known that its peculiar manifestations in a given individual depend almost entirely on the habits he may form during the early period of its activity. Exposure to bad company then makes him a loose liver all his days; chastity kept at first makes the same easy later on. In all pedagogy the great thing is to strike the iron while hot, and to seize the wave of the pupil's interest in each successive subject before its ebb has come, so that knowledge may be got and a habit of skill acquired -- a headway of interest, in short, secured, on which afterward the individual may float. There is a happy moment for fixing skill in drawing, for making boys collectors in natural history, and presently dissectors and botanists; then for initiating them into the harmonies of mechanics and the wonders of physical and chemical law. Later, introspective psychology and the metaphysical and religious mysteries take their turn; and, last of all, the drama of human affairs and worldly wisdom in the widest sense of the term. In each of us a saturation-point is soon reached in all these things; the impetus of our purely intellectual zeal expires, and unless the topic be one associated with some urgent personal need that keeps our wits constantly whetted about it, we settle into an equilibrium, and live on what we learned when our interest was fresh and instinctive, without adding to the store. Outside of their own business, the ideas gained by men before they are twenty-five are practically the only ideas they shall have in their lives. They cannot get anything new. Disinterested curiosity is past, the mental grooves and channels set, the power of assimilation gone. If by chance we ever do learn anything about some entirely new topic we are afflicted with a strange sense of insecurity, and we fear to advance a resolute opinion. But, with things learned in the plastic days of instinctive curiosity we never lose entirely our sense of being at home. There remains a kinship, a sentiment of intimate acquaintance, which, even when we know we have failed to keep abreast of the subject, matters us with a sense of power over it, and makes us feel not altogether out of the pale.
Whatever individual exceptions might be cited to this are of the sort that 'prove the rule.'
To detect the moment of the instinctive readiness for the subject is, then, the first duty of every educator. As for the pupils, it would probably lead to a more earnest temper on the part of college students if they had less belief in their unlimited future intellectual potentialities, and could be brought to realize that whatever physics and political economy and philosophy they are now acquiring are, for better or worse, the physics and political economy and philosophy that will have to serve them to the end.
The natural conclusion to draw from this transiency of instincts is that most instincts are implanted for the sake of giving rise to habits, and that, this purpose once accomplished, the instincts themselves, as such, have no raison d'être in the psychical economy, and consequently fade away . That occasionally an instinct should fade before circumstances permit of a habit being formed, or that, if the habit be formed, other factors than the pure instinct should modify its course, need not surprise us. Life is full of the imperfect adjustment to individual cases, of arrangements which, taking the species as a whole, are quite orderly and regular. Instinct cannot be expected to escape this general risk.
Let us now test our principles by turning to human instincts in more detail. We cannot pretend in these pages to be minute or exhaustive. But we can say enough to set all the above generalities in a more favorable light. But, first, what kind of motor reactions upon objects shall we count as instincts? This, as aforesaid, is a somewhat arbitrary matter. Some of the actions aroused in us by objects go no further than our own bodies. Such is the bristling up of the attention when a novel object is perceived, or the 'expression' on the face or the breathing apparatus of an emotion it may excite. These movements merge into ordinary reflex actions like laughing when tickled, or making a wry face at a bad taste. Other actions take effect upon the outer world. Such are flight from a wild beast, imitation of what we see a comrade do, etc. On the whole it is best to be catholic, since it is very hard to draw an exact line; and call both of these kinds of activity instinctive, so far as either may be naturally provoked by the presence of special sorts of outward fact.
Professor Preyer, in his careful little work, 'Die Seeles Kindes,' says "instinctive acts are in man few in number, and, apart from those connected with the sexual passion, difficult to recognize after early youth is past." And he adds, "so much the more attention should we pay to the instinctive movements of new-born babies, sucklings, and small children." That instinctive acts should be easiest recognized in childhood would be a very natural effect of our principles of transitoriness, and of the restrictive influence of habits once acquired; but we shall see how far they are from being 'few in number' in man. Professor Preyer divides the movements of infants into impulsive, reflex, and instinctive. By impulsive movements he means random movements of limbs, body, and voice, with no aim, and before perception is aroused. Among the first reflex movements are crying on contact with the air, sneezing, snuffling, snoring, coughing, sighing, sobbing, gagging, vomiting, hiccuping, starting, moving the limbs when tickled, touched, or blown upon, etc., etc.
Of the movements called by him instinctive in the child, Professor Preyer gives a full account. Herr Schneider does the same; and as their descriptions agree with each other and with what other writers about infancy say, I will base my own very brief statement on theirs.
Sucking: almost perfect at birth; not coupled with any congenital tendency to seek the breast, this being a later acquisition. As we have seen, sucking is a transitory instinct.
Biting an object placed in the mouth, chewing and grinding the teeth; licking sugar; making characteristic grimaces over bitter and sweet tastes; spitting out.
Clasping an object which touches the fingers or toes. Later, attempts to grasp at an object seen at a distance.
Pointing at such objects, and making a peculiar sound expressive of desire, which, in my own three children, was the first manifestation of speech, occurring many weeks before other significant sounds.
Carrying to the mouth of the object, when grasped. This instinct, guided and inhibited by the sense of taste, and combined with the instincts of biting, chewing, sucking, spitting-out, etc., and with the reflex act of swallowing, leads in the individual to a set of habits which constitute his function of alimentation, and which may or may not be gradually modified as life goes on.
Crying at bodily discomfort, hunger, or pain, and at solitude. Smiling at being noticed, fondled, or smiled at by others. It seems very doubtful whether young infants have any instinctive fear of a terrible or scowling face. I have been unable to make my own children, under a year old, change their expression when I changed mine; at most they manifested attention or curiosity. Preyer instances a protrusion of the lips, which, he says, may be so great as to remind one of that in the chimpanzee, as an instinctive expression of concentrated attention in the human infant.
Turning the head aside as a gesture of rejection, a gesture usually accompanied with a frown and a bending back of the body, and with holding the breath.
Holding head erect.
Locomotion . The early movements of children's limbs are more or less symmetrical. Later a baby will move his legs in alternation if suspended in the air. But until the impulse to walk awakens by the natural ripening of the nerve-centres, it seems to make no difference how often the child's feet may be placed in contact with the ground; the legs remain limp, and do not respond to the sensation of contact in the soles by muscular contractions pressing downwards . No sooner, however, is the standing impulse born, than the child stiffens his legs and presses downward as soon as he feels the floor. In some babies this is the first locomotory reaction. In others it is preceded by the instinct to creep, which arises, as I can testify, often in a very sudden way. Yesterday the baby sat quite contentedly wherever he was put; to-day it has become impossible to keep him sitting at all, so irresistible is the impulse, aroused by the sight of the floor, to throw himself forward upon his hands. Usually the arms are too weak, and the ambitious little experimenter falls on his nose. But his perseverance is dauntless, and he ends in a few days by learning to travel rapidly around the room in the quadrupedal way. The position of the legs in 'creeping' varies much from one child to another. My own child, when creeping, was often observed to pick up objects from the floor with his mouth, a phenomenon which, as Dr. O. W. Holmes has remarked, like the early tendency to grasp with the toes, easily lends itself to interpretation as a reminiscence of prehuman ancestral habits.
The walking instinct may awaken with no less sudden-ness, and its entire education be completed within a week's compass, barring, of course, it little 'grogginess' in the gait. Individual infants vary enormously; but on the whole it is safe to say that the mode of development of these locomotor instincts is inconsistent with the account given by the older English associationist school, of their being results of the individual's education, due altogether to the gradual association of certain perceptions with certain hap-hazard movements and certain resultant pleasures. Mr Bain has tried, 12 by describing the demeanor of new-born lambs, to show that locomotion is learned by a very rapid experience. But the observation recorded proves the faculty to be almost perfect from the first; and all others who have observed new-born calves, lambs, and pigs agree that in these animals the powers of standing and walking, and of interpreting the topographical significance of sights and sounds, are all but fully developed at birth. Often in animals who seem to be 'learning' to walk or fly the semblance is illusive. The awkwardness shown is not due to the fact that 'experience' has not yet been there to associate the successful movements and exclude the failures, but to the fact that the animal is beginning his attempts before the co-ordinating centres have quite ripened for their work. Mr. Spalding's observations on this point are conclusive as to birds.
"Birds," he says, "do not learn to fly. Two years ago I shut up five unfledged swallows in a small box, not much larger than the nest from which they were taken. The little box, which had a wire front, was hung on the wall near the nest, and the young swallows were fed by their parents through the wires. In this confinement, where they could not even extend their wings, they were kept until after they were fully fledged. . . . On going to set the prisoners free, one was found dead. . . . The remaining four were allowed to escape one at a time. Two of these were perceptibly wavering and unsteady in their flight. One of them, after a flight of some ninety yards, disappeared among some trees." No. 3 and No. 4 "never flew against anything, nor was there, in their avoiding objects, any appreciable difference between them and the old birds. No. 3 swept round the Wellingtonia, and No. 4 rose over the hedge, just as we see the old swallows doing every hour of the day. I have this summer verified these observations. Of two swallows I had similarly confined, one, on being set free, hew a yard or two close to the ground, rose in the direction of a beech-tree, which it gracefully avoided; it was seen for a considerable time sweeping round the beeches and performing magnificent evolutions in the air high above them. The other, which was observed to beat the air with its wings more than usual, was soon lost to sight, behind some trees. Titmice, tomtits, and wrens I have made the subjects of similar observations, and with similar results." 13
In the light of this report, one may well be tempted to make a prediction about the human child, slid say that if a baby were kept from getting on his feet for two or three weeks after the first impulse to walk had shown itself in him, -- a small blister on each sole would do the business, -- he might then be expected to walk about as well, through the mere ripening of his nerve-centres, as if the ordinary process of 'learning' had been allowed to occur during all the blistered time. It is to be hoped that some scientific widower, left alone with his offspring at the critical moment, may ere long test this suggestion on the living subject. Climbing on trees, fences, furniture, banisters, etc., is a well-marked instinctive propensity which ripens after the fourth year.
Vocalization . This may be either musical or significant. Very few weeks after birth the baby begins to express its spirits by emitting vowel sounds, as much during inspiration as during expiration, and will lie on its back cooing and gurgling to itself for nearly an hour. But this singing has nothing to do with speech. Speech is sound significant . During the second year a certain number of significant sounds are gradually acquired; but talking proper does not set in till the instinct to imitate sounds ripens in the nervous system; and this ripening seems in some children to be quite abrupt. Then speech grows rapidly in extent and perfection. The child imitates every word he hears uttered, and repeats it again and again with the most evident plea-sure at his new power. At this time it is quite impossible to talk with him, for his condition is that of 'Echolalia,' --instead of answering the question, he simply reiterates it. The result is, however, that his vocabulary increases very fast; and little by little, with teaching from above, the young prattler understands, puts words together to express his own wants and perceptions, and even makes intelligent replies. From a, speechless, he has become a speaking, animal. The interesting point with regard to this instinct is the oftentimes very sudden birth of the impulse to imitate sounds. Up to the date of its awakening the child may have been as devoid of it as a dog. Four days later his whole energy may be poured into this new channel. The habits of articulation formed during the plastic age of childhood are in most persons sufficient to inhibit the formation of new ones of a fundamentally different sort witness the inevitable 'foreign accent' which distinguishes the speech of those who learn a language after early youth.
Imitation . The child's first words are in part vocables of his own invention, which his parents adopt, and which, as far as they go, form a new human tongue upon the earth; and in part they are his more or less successful imitations of words he beers the parents use. But the instinct of imitating gestures develops earlier than that of imitating sounds, -- unless the sympathetic crying of a baby when it hears another cry may be reckoned as imitation of a sound. Professor Preyer speaks of his child imitating the protrusion of the father's lips in its fifteenth week. The various accomplishments of infancy, making 'pat-a-cake,' saying 'bye-bye', 'blowing out the candle,' etc., usually fall well inside the limits of the first year. Later come all the various imitative games in which childhood revels, playing 'horse,' 'soldiers,' etc., etc. And from this time onward man is essentially the imitative animal. His whole educability and in fact the whole history of civilization depend on this trait, which his strong tendencies to rivalry, jealousy, and acquisitiveness reinforce. 'Nil humani a me alienum puto' is the motto of each individual of the species; and makes him, whenever another individual shows a power or superiority of any kind, restless until he can exhibit it himself. But apart from this kind of imitation, of which the psychological roots are complex, there is the more direct propensity to speak and walk and behave like others, usually without any conscious intention of so doing. And there is the imitative tendency which shows itself in large masses of men, and produces panics, and orgies, and frenzies of violence, and which only the rarest individuals can actively withstand. This sort of imitativeness is possessed by man in common with other gregarious animals, and is an instinct in the fullest sense of the term, being a, blind impulse to act as soon as a certain perception occurs. It is particularly hard not to imitate gaping, laughing, or looking and running in a certain direction, if we see others doing so. Certain mesmerized subjects must automatically imitate whatever motion their operator makes before their eyes. 14 A successful piece of mimicry gives to both bystanders and mimic a peculiar kind of aesthetic pleasure. The dramatic impulse, the tendency to pretend one is someone else, contains this pleasure of mimicry as one of its elements. Another element seems to be a peculiar sense of power in stretching one's own personality so as to include that of a strange person. In young children this instinct often knows no bounds. For a few months in one of my children's third year, he literally hardly ever appeared in his own person. It was always, "Play I am So-and-so, and you are So-and-so, and the chair is such a thing, and then we'll do this or that." If you called him by his name, H., you invariably got the reply, "I'm not H., I'm a hyena, or a horse-car," or whatever the feigned object might it be. He outwore this impulse after a time; but while it lasted, it had every appearance of being the automatic result of ideas, often suggested by perceptions, working out irresistible motor effects. Imitation shades into
Emulation or Rivalry, a very intense instinct, especially rife with young children, or at least especially undisguised. Everyone knows it. Nine-tenth of the work of the world is done by it. We know that if we do not do the task some-one else will do it and get the credit, so we do it. It has very little connection with sympathy, but rather more with pugnacity, which we proceed in turn to consider.
Pugnacity; anger; resentment . In many respects man is the most ruthlessly ferocious of beasts. As with all gregarious animals, 'two souls,' as Faust says, 'dwell with-in his breast,' the one of sociability and helpfulness, the other of jealousy and antagonism to his mates. Though in a general way he cannot live without them, yet, as regards certain individuals, it often falls out that he cannot live with them either. Constrained to be a member of a tribe, he still has a right to decide, as far as in him lies, of which other members the tribe shall consist. Killing off a few obnoxious ones may often better the chances of those that remain. And killing off a neighboring tribe from whom no good thing comes, but only competition, may materially better the lot of the whole tribe. Hence the gory cradle, the bellum onnium contra omnes, in which our race was reared; hence the fickleness of human ties, the ease with which the foe of yesterday becomes the ally of to-day, the friend of to-day the enemy of to-morrow; hence the fact that we, the lineal representatives of the successful enactors of one scene of slaughter after another, must, whatever more pacific virtues we may also possess, still carry about with us, ready at any moment to burst into flame, the smouldering and sinister traits of character by means of which they lived through so many massacres, harming others, but themselves unharmed.
Sympathy is an emotion as to whose instinctiveness psychologists have held hot debate, some of them contending that it is no primitive endowment, but, originally at least, the result of a rapid calculation of the good consequences to ourselves of the sympathetic act. Such a calculation, at first conscious, would grow more unconscious as it became more habitual, and at last, tradition and association aiding, might prompt to actions which could not be distinguished from immediate impulses. It is hardly needful to argue against the falsity of this view. Some forms of sympathy, that of mother with child, for example, are surely primitive, and not intelligent forecasts of board and lodging and other support to be reaped in old age. Danger to the child blindly and instantaneously stimulates the mother to actions of alarm or defence. Menace or harm to the adult beloved or friend excites us in a corresponding way, often against all the dictates of prudence. It is true that sympathy does not necessarily follow from the mere fact of gregariousness. Cattle do not help a wounded comrade; on the contrary, they are more likely to dispatch him. But a dog will lick another sick dog, and even bring him food; and the sympathy of monkeys is proved by many observations to be strong. In man, then, we may lay it down that the sight of suffering or danger to others is a direct exciter of interest, and an immediate stimulus, if no complication hinders, to acts of relief. There is nothing unaccountable or pathological about this -- nothing to justify Professor Bain's assimilation of it to the 'fixed ideas' of insanity, as 'clashing with the regular outgoings of the will.' It may be as primitive as any other 'outgoing,' and may be due to a random variation selected, quite as probably as gregariousness and maternal love are, even in Spencer's opinion, due to such variations.
It is true that sympathy is peculiarly liable to inhibition from other instincts which its stimulus may call forth. The traveller whom the good Samaritan rescued may well have prompted such instinctive fear or disgust in the priest and Levite who passed him by, that their sympathy could not come to the front. Then, of course, habits, reasoned reflections, and calculations may either check or reinforce one's sympathy; as may also the instincts of love or hate, if these exist, for the suffering individual. The hunting and pugnacious instincts, when aroused, also inhibit our sympathy absolutely. This accounts for the cruelty of collections of men hounding each other on to bait or torture a victim. The blood mounts to the eyes, and sympathy's chance is gone. 15
The hunting instinct has an equally remote origin in the evolution of the race. 16 The hunting and the fighting instinct combine in many manifestations. They both support the emotion of anger; they combine in the fascination which stories of atrocity have for most minds; and the utterly blind excitement of giving the rein to our fury when our blood is up (an excitement whose intensity is greater than that of any other human passion save one) is only explicable as an impulse aboriginal in character, and having more to do with immediate and overwhelming tendencies to muscular discharge than to any possible reminiscences of effects of experience, or association of ideas. I say this here, because the pleasure of disinterested cruelty has been thought a paradox, and writers have sought to show that it is no primitive attribute of our nature, but rather a resultant of the subtle combination of other less malignant elements of mind. This is a hopeless task. If evolution and the survival of the fittest be true at all, the destruction of prey and of human rivals must have been among the most important of man's primitive functions, the fighting and the chasing instincts must have become ingrained. Certain perceptions must immediately, and without the intervention of inferences and ideas, have prompted emotions and motor discharges; and both the latter must, from the nature of the case, have been very violent, and therefore, when unchecked, of an intensely pleasurable kind. It is just because human bloodthirstiness is such a primitive part of us that it is so hard to eradicate, especially where a fight or a hunt is promised as part of the fun. 17
As Rochefoucauld says, there is something in the misfortunes of our very friends that does not altogether displease us; and an apostle of peace will feel a certain vicious thrill run through him, and enjoy a vicarious brutality, as he turns to the column in his newspaper at the top of which 'Shocking Atrocity' stands printed in large capitals. See how the crowd hocks round a street-brawl! Consider the enormous annual sale of revolvers to persons, not one in a thousands of whom has any serious intention of using them, but of whom each one has his carnivorous self-consciousness agreeably tickled by the notion, as he clutches the handle of his weapon, that he will be rather a dangerous customer to meet. See the ignoble crew that escorts every great pugilist -- parasites who feel as if the glory of his brutality rubbed off upon them, and whose darling hope, from day today, is to arrange some set-to of which they may share the rapture without enduring the pains! The first blows at a prize-fight are apt to make a refined spectator sick; but his blood is soon up in favor of one party, and it will then seem as if the other fellow could not be banged and pounded and mangled enough -- the refined spectator would like to reinforce the blows himself. Over the sinister orgies of blood of certain depraved and insane persons let a curtain be drawn, as well as over the ferocity with which otherwise fairly decent men may be animated, when (at the sacking of a town, for instance), the excitement of victory long delayed, the sudden freedom of rapine and of lust, the contagion of a crowd, and the impulse to imitate and outdo, all combine to swell the blind drunkenness of the killing-instinct, and carry it to its extreme. No! those who try to account for this from above downwards, as if it resulted from the consequences of the victory being rapidly inferred, and from the agreeable sentiments associated with them in the imagination, have missed the root of the matter. Our ferocity is blind, and can only be explained from below. Could we trace it back through our line of descent, we should see it taking more and more the form of a fatal reflex response, and at the same time becoming more and more the pure and direct emotion that it is. 18
In childhood it takes this form. The boys who pullout grasshoppers' legs and butterflies' wings, and disembowel every frog they catch, have no thought at all about the matter. The creatures tempt their hands to a fascinating occupation, to which they have to yield. It is with them as with the 'boy-fiend' Jesse Pomeroy, who cut a little girl's throat, 'just to see how she'd act.' The normal provocatives of the impulse are all living beasts, great and small, toward which a contrary habit has not been formed -- all human beings in whom we perceive a certain intent towards us, and a large number of human beings who offend us peremptorily, either by their look, or gait, or by some circumstance in their lives which we dislike. Inhibited by sympathy, and by reflection calling up impulses of an opposite kind, civilized men lose the habit of acting out their pugnacious instincts in a perfectly natural way, and a passing feeling of anger, with its comparatively feint bodily expressions, may be the limit of their physical combativeness. Such a feeling as this may, however, be aroused by a wide range of objects. Inanimate things, combinations of color and sound, bad bills of fare, may in persons who combine fastidious taste with an irascible:temperament produce real ebullitions of rage. Though the female sex is often said to have less pugnacity than the male, the difference seems connected more with the extent of the motor consequences of the impulse than with its frequency. Women take offence and get angry, if anything, more easily than men, but their anger is inhibited by fear and other principles of their nature from expressing itself in blows. The hunting-:instinct proper seems to be decidedly weaker in them than in men. The latter instinct is easily restricted by habit to certain objects, which become legitimate 'game,' while other things are spared. If the hunting-instinct be not exercised at all, it may even entirely die out, and a man may enjoy letting a wild creature live, even though he might easily kill it. Such a type is now becoming frequent; but there is no doubt that in the eyes of a child of nature such a, personage would seem a sort of moral monster. Fear is a reaction aroused by the same objects that arouse ferocity. The antagonism of the two is an interesting study in instinctive dynamics. We both fear, and wish to kill, anything that may kill us; and the question which of the two impulses we shall follow is usually decided by some one of those collateral circumstances of the particular case, to be moved by which is the mark of superior mental natures. Of course this introduces uncertainty into the reaction; but it is an uncertainty found in the higher brutes as well as in men, and ought not to be taken as proof that we are less instinctive than they.
Fear has bodily expressions of an extremely energetic kind, and stands, beside lust and anger, as one of the three most exciting emotions of which our nature is susceptible. The progress from brute to man is characterized by nothing so much as by the decrease in frequency of proper occasions for fear. In civilized life, in particular, it has at last become possible for large numbers of people to pass from the cradle to the grave without ever having had a pang of genuine fear. Many of us need an attack of mental disease to teach us the meaning of the word. Hence the possibility of so much blindly optimistic philosophy and religion. The atrocities of life become 'like a tale of little meaning though the words are strong;' we doubt if anything like us ever really was within the tiger's jaws, and conclude that the horrors we hear of are but a sort of painted tapestry for the chambers in which we lie so comfortably at peace with ourselves and with the world.
Be this as it may, fear is a genuine instinct, and one of the earliest shown by the ]lumen child. Noises seem especially to call it forth. Most noises from the outer world, to a child bred in the house, have no exact significance. They are simply startling. To quote a good observer, M. Perez:
"Children between three and ten months are less often alarmed by visual than by auditory impressions. In cats, from the fifteenth day, the contrary is the case. A child, three And a half months old, in the midst of the turmoil of a conflagration, in presence of the devouring flames and ruined walls, showed neither astonishment nor fear, but smiled at the woman who was taking care of him, while his parents were busy. The noise, however, of the trumpet of the firemen, who were approaching, and that of the wheels of the engine, made him start and cry. At this age I have never yet seen an infant startled at a flash of lightning, even when intense; but I have seen many of them alarmed at the voice of the thunder. . . . Thus fear comes rather by the ears than by the eyes, to the child without experience. It is natural that this should be reversed, or reduced, in animals organized to perceive danger afar. Accordingly, although I have never seen a child frightened at his first sight of fire, I have many a time seen young dogs, young cats, young chickens, and young birds frightened thereby. . . . I picked up some years ago a lost cat about a year old. Some months afterward at the onset of cold weather I lit the fire in the grate of my study, which was her reception-room. She first looked at the flame in a very frightened way. Brought her near to it. She leaped away and ran to hide under the bed. Although the he was lighted every day, it was not until the end of the winter that I could prevail upon her to stay upon a chair near it. The next winter, however, all apprehension had disappeared. . . . Let us, then, conclude that there are hereditary dispositions to fear, which are independent of experience, but which experiences may end by attenuating very considerably. In the human infant I believe them to be particularly connected with the ear." 19
The effect of noise in heightening any terror we may feel in adult years is very marked. The howling of the storm, whether on sea or land, is a principal cause of our anxiety when exposed to it. The writer has been interested in noticing in his own person, while lying in bed, and kept awake by the wind outside, how invariably each loud gust of it arrested momentarily his heart. A dog, attacking us, is much more dreadful by reason of the noises he makes.
Strange men, and strange animals, either large or small, excite fear, but especially men or animals advancing toward us in a threatening way. This is entirely instinctive and antecedent to experience. Some children will cry with terror at their very first sight of a cat or dog, and it will often be impossible for weeks to make them touch it. Others will wish to fondle it almost immediately. Certain kinds of 'vermin,' especially spiders and snakes, seem to excite a fear unusually difficult to overcome. It is impossible to say how much of this difference is instinctive and how much the result of stories heard about these creatures. That the fear of 'vermin' ripens gradually, seemed to me to be proved in a child of my own to whom I gave a live frog once, at the age of six to eight months, and again when he was a year and a half old. The first time he seized it promptly, and holding it, in spite of its struggling, at last got its head into his mouth. He then let it crawl up his breast, and get upon his face, without showing alarm. But the second time, although he had seen no frog and heard no story about a frog between whiles, it was almost impossible to induce him to touch it. Another child, a year old, eagerly took some very large spiders into his hand. At present he is afraid, but has been exposed meanwhile to the teachings of the nursery. One of my children from her birth upwards saw daily the pet pug-dog of the house, and never betrayed the slightest fear until she was (if I recollect rightly) about eight months old. Then the instinct suddenly seemed to develop, and with such intensity that familiarity had no mitigating effect. She screamed whenever the dog entered the room, and for many months remained afraid to touch him. It is needless to say that no change in the pug's unfailingly friendly conduct had anything to do with this change of feeling in the child.
Preyer tells of a young child screaming with fear on being carried near to the sea . The great source of terror to infancy is solitude. The teleology of this is obvious, as is also that of the infant's expression of dismay -- the never-failing cry -- on waking up and finding himself alone.
Black things, and especially dark places, holes, caverns, etc., arouse a peculiarly gruesome fear. This fear, as well as that of solitude, of being 'lost,' are explained after a, fashion by ancestral experience. Says Schneider:
"It is a fact that men, especially in childhood, fear to go into a dark cavern or a gloomy wood. This feeling of fear arises, to be sure, partly from the fact that we easily suspect that dangerous beasts may lurk in these localities -- a suspicion due to stories we have heard and read. But, on the other hand, it is quite sure that this fear at a certain perception is also directly inherited. Children who hare been carefully guarded from all ghost-stories are nevertheless terrified and cry if led into a dark place, especially if sounds are made there. Even an adult can easily observe that an uncomfortable timidity steals over him in a lonely wood at night, although he may have the fixed conviction that not the slightest danger is near." This feeling of fear occurs in many men even in their own house after dark, although it is much stronger in a dark cavern or forest. The fact of such instinctive fear is easily explicable when we consider that our savage ancestors through innumerable generations were accustomed to meet with dangerous beasts in caverns, especially bears, and were for the most part attacked by such beasts during the night and in the woods, and that thus an inseparable association between the perceptions of darkness of caverns and woods, and fear took place, and was inherited." 20
High places cause fear of a peculiarly sickening sort, though here, again, individuals differ enormously. The utterly blind instinctive character of the motor impulses here is shown by the fact that they are almost always entirely unreasonable, but that reason is powerless to1 suppress them. That they are a mere incidental peculiarity of the nervous system, like liability to sea-sickness, or love of music, with no teleological significance, seems more than probable. The fear in question varies so much from one person to another, and its detrimental effects are so much more obvious than its uses, that it is hard to see how it could be a selected instinct. Man is anatomically one of the best fitted of animals for climbing about high places. The best psychical complement to this equipment would seem to be a 'level head' when there, not a dread of going there at all. In fact, the teleology of fear, beyond a certain point, is very dubious. Professor Mosso, in his interesting monograph, 'la Paura' (which has been translated into French), concludes that many of its manifestations must be considered pathological rather than useful; Pain, in several places, expresses the same opinion; and this, I think, is surely the view which any observer without a priori prejudices must take. A certain amount of timidity obviously adapts us to the world we live in, but the fear-paroxysm is surely altogether harmful to him who is its prey.
Fear of the supernatural is one variety of fear. It is difficult to assign ally normal object for this fear, unless it were a genuine ghost. But, in spite of psychical research-societies, science has not yet adopted ghosts; so we can only say that certain ideas of supernatural agency, associated with real circumstances, produce a peculiar kind of horror. This horror is probably explicable as the result of a combination of simpler horrors. To bring the ghostly terror to its maximum, many usual elements of the dreadful must combine, such as loneliness, darkness, inexplicable sounds, especially of a dismal character, moving figures half discerned (or, if discerned, of dreadful aspect), and a vertiginous baffling of the expectation. This last element, which is intellectual, is very important. It produces a strange emotional 'curdle' in our blood to see a process with which we are familiar deliberately taking an unwonted course. Anyone's heart would stop beating if he perceived his chair sliding unassisted across the floor. The lower animals appear to be sensitive to the mysteriously exceptional as well as ourselves. My friend Professor W. K. Brooks, of the; Johns Hopkins University, told me of his large and noble dog being frightened into a sort of epileptic fit by a bone being drawn across the floor by a thread which the dog did not see. Darwin and Romanes have given similar experiences. 21 The idea of the supernatural involves that the usual should be set at naught. In the witch and hobgoblin supernatural, other elements still of fear are brought in -- caverns, slime and ooze, vermin, corpses, and the like. 22 A human corpse seems normally to produce an instinctive dread, which is no doubt somewhat due to its mysteriousness, and which familiarity rapidly dispels. But, in view of the fact that cadaveric, reptilian, and underground horrors play so specific and constant a part in many nightmares and forms of delirium, it seems not altogether unwise to ask whether these forms of dreadful circumstance may not at a former period have been more normal objects of the environment than now. The ordinary cock-sure evolutionist ought to have no difficulty in explaining these terrors, and the scenery that provokes them, as relapses into the consciousness of the cave-men, a consciousness usually overlaid in us by experiences of more recent date.
There are certain other pathological fears, and certain peculiarities in the expression of ordinary fear, which might receive an explanatory light from ancestral conditions, even infra-human ones. In ordinary fear, one may either run, or remain semi-paralyzed. The latter condition reminds us of the so-called death-shamming instinct shown by many animals. Dr. Lindsay, in his work 'Mind in Animals,' says this must require great self-command in those that practise it. But it is really no feigning of death at all, and requires no self-command. It is simply a terror-paralysis which has been so useful as to become hereditary. The beast of prey does not think the motionless bird, insect, or crustacean dead. He simply fails to notice them at all; because his senses, like ours, are much more strongly excited by a moving object than by a still one. It is the same instinct which leads a boy playing 'I spy' to hold his very breath when the seeker is near, and which makes the beast of prey himself in many cases motionlessly lie in wait for his victim or silently 'stalk' it, by rapid approaches alternated with periods of immobility. It is the opposite of the instinct which makes us jump up and down and move our arms when we wish to attract the notice of some one passing far away, and makes the shipwrecked sailor frantically wave a cloth upon the raft where he is floating when a distant sail appears. Now, may not the statue-like, crouching immobility of some melancholiacs, insane with general anxiety and fear of everything, be in some way connected with this old instinct? They can give no reason for their fear to move; but immobility makes them feel safer and more comfortable. Is not this the mental state of the 'feigning' animal?
Again, take the strange symptom which has been described of late years by the rather absurd name of agoraphobia . The patient is seized with palpitation and terror at the sight of any open place or broad street which he has to cross alone. He trembles, his knees bend, he may even faint at the idea. Where he has sufficient self-command he sometimes accomplishes the object by keeping safe under the lee of a vehicle going across, or joining himself to a knot of other people. But usually he slinks round the sides of the square, hugging the houses as closely as he can. This emotion has no utility in a, civilized man, but when we notice the chronic agoraphobia of our domestic cats, and see the tenacious way in which many wild animals, especially rodents, cling to cover, and only venture on a dash across the open as a desperate measure -- even then making for every stone or bunch of weeds which may give a momentary shelter -- when we see this we are strongly tempted to ask whether such an odd kind of fear in us be not due to the accidental resurrection, through disease, of a sort of instinct which may in some of our ancestors have had a permanent and on the whole a useful part to play?
Appropriation or Acquisitiveness . The beginnings of acquisitiveness are seen in the impulse which very young children display, to snatch at, or beg for, any object which pleases their attention. Later, when they begin to speak, among the first words they emphasize are 'me ' and 'mine.' 23 Their earliest quarrels with each other are about questions of ownership; and parents of twins soon learn that it conduces to a quiet house to buy all presents in impartial duplicate. Of the later evolution of the proprietary instinct I need not speak. Everyone knows how difficult a thing it is not to covet whatever pleasing thing we see, and how the sweetness of the thing often is as gall to us so long as it is another's. Then another is in possession, the impulse to appropriate the thing often turns into the impulse to harm him -- what is called envy, or jealousy, ensues. In civilized life the impulse to own is usually checked by a variety of considerations, and only passes over into action under circumstances legitimated by habit and common consent, an additional example of the way in which one instinctive tendency may be inhibited by others. A variety of the proprietary instinct is the impulse to form collections of the same sort of thing. It differs much in individuals, and shows in a striking way how instinct and habit interact. For, although a collection of any given thing -- like postage-stamps -- need not be begun by any given person, yet the chances are that if accidentally it be begun by a person with the collecting instinct, it will probably be continued. The chief interest of the objects, in the collector's eyes, is that they are a collection, and that they are his. Rivalry, to be sure, inflames this, as it does every other passion, yet the objects of a collector's mania need not be necessarily such as are generally in demand. Boys will collect anything that they see another boy collect, from pieces of chalk and peach-pits up to books and photographs. Out of a hundred students whom I questioned, only four or five had never collected anything. 24
The associationist psychology denies that there is any blind primitive instinct to appropriate, and would explain all acquisitiveness, in the first instance, as a desire to secure the pleasures' which the objects possessed may yield; and, secondly, as the association of the idea of pleasantness with the holding of the thing, even though the pleasure originally got by it was only gained through its expense or destruction. Thus the miser is shown to us as one who has transferred to the gold by which he may buy the goods of this life all the emotions which the goods themselves would yield; and who thereafter loves the gold for its own sake, preferring the means of pleasure to the pleasure itself. There call belittle doubt that much of this analysis a broader view of the facts would have dispelled. 'The miser' is an abstraction. There are all kinds of misers. The common sort, the excessively niggardly man, simply exhibits the psychological law that the potential has often a far greater influence over our mind than the actual. A man will not marry now, because to do so puts an end to his indefinite potentialities of choice of a partner. He prefers the latter. He will not use open fires or wear his good clothes, because the day may come when he will have to use the furnace or dress in a worn-out coat, 'and then where will he be? For him, better the actual evil than the fear of it; and so it is with the common lot of misers. Better to live poor now, with the power of living rich, than to live rich at the risk of losing the power. These men value their gold, not for its own sake, but for its powers. Demonetize it, and see how quickly they will get rid of it! The associationist theory is, as regards them, entirely at fault: they care nothing for the gold in se.
With other misers there combines itself with this preference of the power over the act the far more instinctive element of the simple collecting propensity. Every one collects money, and when a man of petty ways is smitten with the collecting mania for this object he necessarily becomes a miser. Here again the associationist psychology is wholly at fault. The hoarding instinct prevails widely among animals as well as among men. Professor Silliman has thus described one of the hoards of the California wood-rat, made in an empty stove of an unoccupied house:
" I found the outside to be composed entirely of spikes, all laid with symmetry, so as to present the points of the nails outward. In the centre of this mass was the nest, composed of finely-divided fibres of hemp-packing. Interlaced with the spikes were the following: about two dozen knives, forks, and spoons; all the butcher's knives, three in number; a large carving-knife, fork, and steel; several large plugs of tobacco, . . . an old purse containing some silver, matches, and tobacco; nearly all the small tools from the tool-closets, with several large angers, . . . all of which must have been transported some distance, as they were originally stored in different parts of the house. . . . The outside casing of a silver watch was disposed of in one part of the pile, the glass of the same watch in another, and the works in still another." 25
In every lunatic asylum we find the collecting instinct developing itself in an equally absurd way. Certain patients will spend all their time picking pins from the floor and hoarding them. Others collect bits of thread, buttons, or rags, and prize them exceedingly. Now, 'the Miser' par excellence of the popular imagination and of melodrama, the monster of squalor and misanthropy, is simply one of these mentally deranged persons. His intellect may in many matters be clear, but his instincts, especially that of ownership, are insane, and their insanity has no more to do with the association of ideas than with the precession of the equinoxes. As a matter of fact his hoarding usually is directed to money; but it also includes almost anything besides. Lately in a Massachusetts town there died a miser who principally hoarded newspapers. These had ended by so filling all the rooms of his good-sized house from floor to ceiling that his living-space was restricted to a few narrow channels between them. Even as I write, the morning paper gives an account of the emptying of a miser's den in Boston by the City Board of Health. What the owner hoarded is thus described:
"He gathered old newspapers, wrapping-paper, incapacitated umbrellas, canes, pieces of common wire, cast-off clothing, empty barrels, pieces of iron, old bones, battered tin-ware, fractured pots, and bushels of such miscellany as is to be found only at the city 'dump.' The empty barrels were filled, shelves were filled, every hole and corner was filled, and in order to make more storage-room, 'the hermit' covered his store-room with a network of ropes, and hung the ropes as full as they could hold of his curious collections. There was nothing one could think of that wasn't in that room. As a wood-sawyer, the old man had never thrown away a saw-blade or a wood-buck. The bucks were rheumatic and couldn't stand up, and the saw-blades were worn down to almost nothing in the middle. Some had been actually worn in two, but the ends were carefully saved and stored away. As a coal-heaver, the old man had never cast of a worn-out basket, and there were dozens of the remains of the old things, patched up with canvas and rope-yarns, in the store-room. There were at least two dozen old hats, fur, cloth, silk, and straw," etc.
Of course there may be a great many 'associations of ideas' in the miser's mind about the things he hoards. He is a thinking being, and must associate things; but, without an entirely blind impulse in this direction behind all his ideas, such practical results could never be reached. 26
Kleptomania, as it is called, is an uncontrollable impulse to appropriate, occurring in persons whose 'associations of ideas' would naturally all be of a counteracting sort.
Kleptomaniacs often promptly restore, or permit to be re-stored, what they have taken; so the impulse need not be to keep, but only to take. But elsewhere hoarding complicates the result. A gentleman, with whose case I am acquainted, was discovered, after his death, to have a hoard in his barn of all sorts of articles, mainly of a trumpery sort, but including pieces of silver which he had stolen from his own dining-room, and utensils which he had stolen from his own kitchen, and for which he had afterward bought substitutes with his own money.
Constructiveness is as genuine and irresistible an instinct in man as in the bee or the beaver. Whatever things are plastic to his hands, those things he must remodel into shapes of his own, and the result of the remodeling, however useless it may be, gives him more pleasure than the original thing. The mania of young children for breaking and pulling apart whatever is given them is more often the expression of a rudimentary constructive impulse than of a, destructive one. 'Blocks' are the playthings of which they are least apt to tire. Clothes, weapons, tools, habitations, and works of art are the result of the discoveries to which the plastic instinct leads, each individual starting where his forerunners left off, and tradition preserving all that once is gained. Clothing, where not necessitated by cold, is nothing but a sort of attempt to re-model the human body itself -- an attempt still better shown in the various tattooings, tooth-filings, scarrings, and other mutilations that are practised by savage tribes. As for habitation, there can be no doubt that the instinct to seek a sheltered nook, open only on one side, into which he may retire and be safe, is in man quite as specific as the instinct of birds to build a nest. It is not necessarily in the shape of a shelter from wet and cold that the need comes before him, but he feels less exposed and more at home when not altogether uninclosed than when lying all abroad. Of course the utilitarian origin of this instinct is obvious. But to stick to bare facts at present and not to trace origins, we must admit that this instinct now exists, and probably always has existed, since man was man. Habits of the most complicated kind are reared upon it. But even in the midst of these habits we see the blind instinct cropping out; as, for example, in the fact that we feign a shelter within a, shelter, by backing up beds in rooms with their heads against the wall, and never lying in them the other way -- just as dogs prefer to get cinder or upon some piece of furniture to sleep, instead of lying in the middle of the room. The first habitations were caves and leafy grottoes, bettered by the bends; and we see children to-day, when playing in wild places, take the greatest delight in discovering and appropriating such retreats and 'playing house' there.
Play. The impulse to play in special ways is certainly instinctive. A boy can no more help running after another boy who runs provokingly near him, than a kitten can help running after a rolling ball. A child trying to get into its own hand some object which it sees another child pick up, and the latter trying to get away with the prize, are just as much slaves of an automatic prompting as are two chickens or fishes, of which one has taken a big morsel into its mouth and decamps with it, while the other darts after in pursuit. All simple active games are attempts to gain the excitement yielded by certain primitive instincts, through feigning that the occasions for their exercise are there. They involve imitation, hunting, fighting, rivalry, acquisitiveness, and construction, combined in various ways; their special rules are habits, discovered by accident, selected by intelligence, and propagated by tradition; but unless they were founded in automatic impulses, games would lose most of their zest. The sexes differ somewhat in their play-impulses. As Schneider says:
"The little boy imitates soldiers, models clay into an oven, builds houses, makes a wagon out of chairs, rides on horseback upon a stick, drives nails with the hammer, harnesses his brethren and comrades together and plays the stage-driver, or lets himself be captured as a wild horse by some one else; The girl, on the contrary, plays with her doll, washes and dresses it, strokes it, clasps and kisses it, puts it to bed and tucks it in, sings it a cradle-song, or speaks with it as if it were a living being. . . . This fact that a sexual difference exists in the play-impulse, that a boy gets more pleasure from a horse and rider and a soldier than from a doll, while with the girl the opposite is the case, is proof that an hereditary connection exists between the perception of certain things (horse, doll, etc.), and the feeling of pleasure, as well as between this latter and the impulse to play. 27
There is another sort of human play, into which higher aesthetic feelings enter.. I refer to that love of festivities, ceremonies, ordeals, etc., which seems to be universal in our species. The lowest savages have their dances, more or less formally conducted. The various religions have their solemn rites and exercises, and civic and military power symbolize their grandeur by processions and celebrations of divers sorts. We have our operas and parties and masquerades. An element common to all these ceremonial games, as they may be called, is the excitement of concerted action as one of an organized crowd. The same acts, performed with a crowd, seem to mean vastly more than when performed alone. A walk with the people on a holiday afternoon, an excursion to drink beer or coffee at a popular 'resort,' or an ordinary ball-room, are examples of this. Not only are we amused at seeing so many strangers, but there is a distinct stimulation at feeling our share in their collective life. The perception of them is the stimulus; and our reaction upon it is our tendency to join them and do what they are doing, and our unwillingness to be the first to leave off and go home alone. This seems a primitive element in our nature, as it is difficult to trace any association of ideas that could lead up to it; although, once granting it to exist, it is very easy to see what its uses to a tribe might be in facilitating prompt and vigorous collective action. The formation of armies and the undertaking of military expeditions would be among its fruits. In the ceremonial games it is but the impulsive starting-point. What particular things the crowd then shall do, depends for the most part on the initiative of individuals, fixed by imitation and habit, and continued by tradition. The co-operation of other aesthetic pleasures with games, ceremonial or other, has a great deal to do with the selection of such as shall become stereotyped and habitual. The peculiar form of excitement called by Professor Bain the emotion of pursuit, the pleasure of a crescendo, is the soul of many common games. The immense extent of the play-activities in human life is too obvious to be more than mentioned. 28
Curiosity . Already pretty low down among vertebrates we find that any object may excite attention, provided it be only novel, and that attention may be followed by approach and exploration by nostril, lips, or touch. Curiosity and fear form a couple of antagonistic emotions liable to be awakened by the same outward thing, and manifestly both useful to their possessor. The spectacle of their alternation is often amusing enough, as in the timid approaches and scared wheelings which sheep or cattle will make in the presence of some new object they are investigating. I have seen alligators in the water act in precisely the same way towards a man seated on the beach in front of them -- gradually drawing near as long as he kept still, frantically careering back as soon as he made a movement. Inasmuch as new objects may always be advantageous, it is better that an animal should not absolutely fear them. But, inasmuch as they may also possibly be harmful, it is better that he should not be quite indifferent to them either, but on the whole remaining on the survive, ascertain as much about them, and what they may be likely to bring forth, as he can, before settling down to rest in their presence. Some such susceptibility for being excited and irritated by the mere novelty, as such, of any movable feature of the environment must form the instinctive basis of all human curiosity; though, of course, the superstructure absorbs contributions from so many other factors of the emotional life that the original root may be hard to find. With what is called a scientific curiosity, and with metaphysical wonder, the practical instinctive root has probably nothing to do. The stimuli here are not objects, but ways of conceiving objects; and the emotions and actions they give rise to are to be classed, with many other aesthetic manifestations, sensitive and motor, as incidental features of our mental life. The philosophic brain responds to an inconsistency or a gap in its knowledge, just as the musical brain responds to a discord in what it hears. At certain ages the sensitiveness to particular gaps and the pleasure of resolving particular puzzles reach their maximum, and then it is that stores of scientific knowledge are easiest and most naturally laid in. But these effects may have had nothing to do with the uses for which the brain was originally gives; and it is probably only within a few centuries, since religious beliefs and economic applications of science have played a prominent part in the conflicts of one race with another, that they may have helped to 'select' for survival a particular type of brain. I shall have to consider this matter of incidental and supernumerary faculties in Chapter XXVIII.
Sociability and Shyness . As a gregarious animal, man is excited both by the absence and by the presence of his kind. To be alone is one of the greatest of evils for him. Solitary confinement is by many regarded as a mode of torture too cruel and unnatural for civilized countries to adopt. To one long pent up on a desert island, the sight of a human footprint or a human form in the distance would be the most tumultuously exciting of experiences. In morbid states of mind, one of the commonest symptoms is the fear of being alone. This fear may be assuaged by the presence of a little child, or even of a baby. In a case of hydrophobia known to the writer, the patient insisted on keeping his room crowded with neighbors all the while, so intense was his fear of solitude. In a gregarious animal, the perception that he is alone excites him to vigorous activity. Mr. Galton thus describes the behavior of the South African cattle whom he had such good opportunities for observing:
"Although the ox has little affection for, or interest in, his fellows, he cannot endure even a momentary separation from his herd. If he be separated from it by stratagem or force, he exhibits every sign of mental agony; he strives with all his might to get back again, and when he succeeds he plunges into its middle to bathe his whole body with the comfort of closest companionship." 29
Man is also excited by the presence of his kind. The bizarre actions of dogs meeting strange dogs are not altogether without a parallel in our own constitution. We cannot meet strangers without a certain tension, or talk to them exactly as to our familiars. This is particularly the case if the stranger be an important personage. It may then happen that we not only shrink from meeting his eye, but actually cannot collect our wits or do ourselves any sort of justice in his presence.
'This odd state of mind," says Darwin, 30 "is chiefly recognized by the face reddening, by the eyes being averted or cast down, and by awkward, nervous movements of the body. . . . Shyness seems to depend on sensitiveness to the opinion, whether good or bad, of others, more especially with respect to external appearance. Strangers neither know nor care anything about our conduct or character, but they may, and often do, criticise our appearance. . . . The consciousness of anything peculiar, or even new, in the dress, or any slight blemish on the person, and more especially on the face -- points which are likely to attract the attention of strangers -- makes the shy intolerably shy. 31 On the other hand, in those cases in which conduct, and not personal appearance, is concerned, we are much more apt to be shy in the presence of acquaintances whose judgment we in some degree value than in that of strangers. . . . Some persons, however, are so sensitive that the mere act of speaking to almost any one is sufficient to rouse their self-consciousness, and a slight blush is the result. Disapprobation . . . causes shyness and blushing much more readily than does approbation. . . . Persons who are exceedingly shy are rarely shy in the presence of those with whom they are quite familiar, and of whose good opinion and sympathy they are quite assured; for instance, a girl in presence of her mother. . . . Shyness . . . is closely related to fear; yet it is distinct from fear in the ordinary sense. A shy man dreads the notice of strangers, but can hardly be said to be afraid of them; he may be as bold as a hero in battle, and yet hare no self-confidence about trifles in the presence of strangers. Almost every one is extremely nervous when first addressing a public assembly, and most men remain so through their lives."
As Mr. Darwin observes, a real dread of definite consequences may enter into this 'stage-fright' and complicate the shyness. Even so our shyness before an important personage may be complicated by what Professor Bain calls 'servile terror,' based on representation of definite dangers if we fail to please. But both stage-fright and servile terror may exist with the most indefinite apprehensions of danger, and, in fact, when our reason tells us there is no occasion for alarm. We must, therefore, admit a certain amount of purely instinctive perturbation and constraint, clue to the consciousness that we have become objects for other people's eyes. Mr. Darwin goes on to say: "Shyness comes on at a very early age. In one of my own children, two years and three months old, I saw a trace of what certainly appeared to be shyness directed toward myself, after an absence from home of only a week." Every parent has noticed the same sort of thing. Considering the despotic powers of rulers in savage tribes, respect and awe must, from time immemorial, have been emotions excited by certain individuals; and stage-fright servile terror, and shyness, must have had as copious opportunities for exercise as at the present time. Whether these impulses could ever have been useful, and selected for usefulness, is a question which, it would seem, can only be answered in the negative. Apparently they are pure hindrances, like fainting at sight of blood or disease, sea-sickness, a dizzy head on high places, and certain squeamishnesses of æsthetic taste. They are incidental emotions, in spite of which we get along. But they seem to play an important part in the production of two other propensities, about the instinctive character of which a good deal of controversy has prevailed. I refer to cleanliness and modesty, to which we must proceed, but not before Tire have said a word about another impulse closely allied to shyness. I mean -- Secretiveness, which, although often due to intelligent calculation and the dread of betraying our interests in some more or less definitely foreseen way, is quite as often a blind propensity, serving no useful purpose, and is so stubborn and ineradicable a part of the character as fully to deserve a place among the instincts. Its natural stimuli are unfamiliar human beings, especially those whom we respect. Its reactions are the arrest of whatever we are saying or doing when such strangers draw nigh, coupled often with the pretense that we were not saying or doing that thing, but possibly something different. Often there is added to this a disposition to mendacity when asked to give an account of ourselves. With many persons the first impulse, when the door-bell rings, or a visitor is suddenly announced, is to scuttle out of the room, so as not to be 'caught.' When a person at whom we have been looking becomes aware of us, our immediate impulse may be to look the other way, end pretend we have not seen him. Many friends have confessed tome that this is a frequent phenomenon with them in meeting acquaintances in the street, especially unfamiliar ones. The bow is a secondary correction of the primary feint that we do not see the other person. Probably most readers will recognize in themselves, at least, the start, the nascent disposition, on many occasions, to act in each and all of these several ways. That the 'start' is neutralized by second thought proves it to come from a, deeper region than thought. There is unquestionably a native impulse in every one to conceal love-affairs, and the acquired impulse to conceal pecuniary affairs seems in many to be almost equally strong. It is to be noted that even where a given habit of concealment is reflective and deliberate, its motive is far less often definite prudence than a vague aversion to have one's sanctity invaded and one's personal concerns fingered and turned over by other people. Thus, some persons will never leave anything with their name written on it, where others may pick it up-even in the woods; an old envelope must not be thrown on the ground. Many cut all the leaves of a book of which they may be reading a single chapter, so that no one shall know which one they have singled out, and all this with no definite notion of harm. The impulse to conceal is more apt to be provoked by superiors than by equals or inferiors. How differently do boys talk together when their parents are not by! Servants see more of their masters' characters than masters of servants'. 32 Where we conceal from our equals and familiars, there is probably always a definite element of prudential prevision involved. Collective secrecy, mystery, enters into the emotional interest of many games, and is one of the elements of the importance men attach to freemasonries of various sorts, being delightful apart from any end.
Cleanliness . Seeing how very filthy savages and exceptional individuals among civilized people may be, philosophers have doubted whether any genuine instinct of cleanliness exists, and whether education and habit be not responsible for whatever amount of it is found. Were it an instinct, its stimulus would be dirt, and its characteristic reaction the shrinking from contact therewith, and the cleaning of it away after contact had occurred. Now, if some animals are cleanly, men may be so, and there can be no doubt that some kinds of matter are natively repugnant, both to sight, touch, and smell -- excrementitious and putrid things, blood, pus, entrails, and diseased tissues, for example. It is true that the shrinking from contact with these things may be inhibited very easily, as by a medical education; and it is equally true that the impulse to clean them away may be inhibited by so slight an obstacle as the thought of the coldness of the ablution, or the necessity of getting up to perform it. It is also true than an impulse to cleanliness, habitually checked, will become obsolete fast enough. But none of these facts prove the impulse never to have been there. 33 It seems to be there in all cases; and then to be particularly amenable to outside influences, the child having his own degree of squeamishness about what he shall touch or eat, and later being either hardened or made more fastidious still by the habits he is forced to acquire and the examples among which he lives.
Examples get their hold on him in this way, that a, particularly evil-smelling or catarrhal or lousy comrade is rather offensive to him, and that he sees the odiousness in another of an amount of dirt to which he would have no spontaneous objection if it were on his own skin. That we dislike in others things which we tolerate in ourselves is a law of our æsthetic nature about which there can be no doubt. But as soon as generalization and reflection step in, this judging of others leads to anew way of regarding ourselves. "Who taught you politeness? The impolite," is, I believe, a Chinese proverb. The concept, 'dirty fellow,' which we have formed, becomes one under which we personally shrink from being classed; and so we 'wash up,' and set ourselves right, at moments when our social self-conscious-ness is awakened, in a manner toward which no strictly instinctive native prompting exists. But the standard of cleanliness attained in this way is not likely to go beyond the mutual tolerance for one another of the members of the tribe, and hence may comport a good deal of actual filth.
Modesty, Shame . Whether there be an instinctive impulse to hide certain parts of the body and certain acts' is perhaps even more open to doubt than whether there be an instinct of cleanliness. Anthropologists have denied it, and in the utter shamelessness of infancy and of many savage tribes have seemed to find a good basis for their views. It must, however, be remembered that infancy proves nothing, and that, as far as sexual modesty goes, the sexual impulse itself works directly against it at times of excitement, and with reference to certain people; and that habits of immodesty contracted with those people may forever afterwards inhibit it any impulse to be modest towards them. This would account for a great deal of actual immodesty, even if an original modest impulse were there. On the other hand, the modest impulse, if it do exist, must be admitted to have a singularly ill-defined sphere of influence, both as regards the presences that call it forth, and as regards the acts to which it leads. Ethnology shows it to have very little backbone of its own, and to follow easily fashion and example. Still, it is hard to see the ubiquity of some sort of tribute to shame, however perverted -- as where female modesty consists in covering the face alone, or immodesty in appearing before strangers unpainted -- and to believe it to have no impulsive root whatever. Now, what may the impulsive root be? I believe that, for one thing, it is shyness, the feeling of dread that unfamiliar persons, as explained above, may inspire us withal. Such persons are the original stimuli to our modesty. 34 But the actions of modesty are quite different from the actions of shyness. They consist of the restraint of certain bodily functions, and of the covering of certain parts; and why do such particular actions necessarily ensue? That there may be in the human animal, as such, a 'blind' and immediate automatic impulse to such restraints and coverings in respect-inspiring presences is a possibility difficult of actual disproof. But it seems more likely, from the facts, that the actions of modesty are suggested to us in a roundabout way; and that, even more than those of cleanliness, they arise from the application in the second instance to ourselves of judgments primarily passed upon our mates. It is not easy to believe that, even among the nakedest savages, an unusual degree of cynicism and indecency in an individual should not beget a certain degree of contempt, and cheapen him in his neighbor's eyes. Human nature is sufficiently homogeneous for us to be sure that everywhere reserve must inspire some respect, and that persons who suffer every liberty are persons whom others disregard. Not to be like such people, then, would be one of the first resolutions suggested by social self-consciousness to a. child of nature just emerging from the unreflective state. And the resolution would probably acquire effective pungency for the first time when the social self-consciousness was sharpened into a real fit of shyness by some person being present whom it was important not to disgust or displease. Public opinion would of course go on to build its positive precepts upon this germ; and, through a variety of examples and experiences, the ritual of modesty would grow, until it reached the New England pitch of sensitiveness and range, making us say stomach instead of belly, limb instead of leg, retire instead of go to bed, and forbidding us to call a female dog by name. At bottom this amounts to the admission that, though in some shape or other a natural and inevitable feature of human life, modesty need not necessarily be an instinct in the pure and simple excite-motor sense of the term.
Love . Of all propensities, the sexual impulses bear on their face the most obvious signs of being instinctive, in the sense of blind, automatic, and untaught. The teleology they contain is often at variance with the wishes of the individuals concerned; and the actions are performed for no assignable reason but because Nature urges just that way. Here, if ever, then, we ought to find those characters of fatality, infallibility, and uniformity, which, we are told, make of actions done from instinct a class so utterly apart. But is this so? The facts are just the reverse: the sexual instinct is particularly liable to be checked and modified by slight differences in the individual stimulus, by the inward condition of the agent himself, by habits once acquired, and by the antagonism of contrary impulses operating on the mind. One of these is the ordinary shyness recently described; another is what might be called the essential instinct, the instinct of personal isolation, the actual repulsiveness to us of the idea of intimate contact with most of the persons we meet, especially those of our own sex. 35 Thus it comes about that this strongest passion of all, so far from being the most 'irresistible,' may, on the contrary, be the hardest one to give rein to and that individuals in whom the inhibiting influences are potent may pass through life and never find an occasion to have it gratified. There could be no better proof of the truth of that proposition with which we began our study of the instinctive life in man, that irregularity of behavior may come as well from the possession of too many instincts as from the lack of any at all.
The instinct of personal isolation, of which we have spoken, exists more strongly in men with respect to one another, and more strongly in women with respect to men. In women it is called coyness, and has to be positively overcome by a process of wooing before the sexual instinct inhibits it and takes its place. As Darwin has shown in his book on the 'Descent of Man and Sexual Selection,' it has played a vital part in the amelioration of all higher animal types, and is to a great degree responsible for whatever degree of chastity the human race may show. It illustrates strikingly, however, the law of the inhibition of instincts by habits -- for, once broken through with a given person, it is not apt to assert itself again; and habitually broken through, as by prostitutes, with various persons, it may altogether decay. Habit also fixes it in us toward certain individuals: nothing is so particularly displeasing as the notion of close personal contact with those whom we have long known in a respectful and distant way. The fondness of the ancients and of modern Orientals for forms of unnatural vice, of which the notion affects us with horror, is probably a mere case of the way in which this instinct may be inhibited by habit. me can hardly suppose that the ancients had by gift of Nature a propensity of which we are devoid, and were all victims of what is now a pathological aberration limited to individuals. It is more probable that with them the instinct of physical aversion toward a, certain class of objects was inhibited early in life by habits, formed under the influence of example; and that then a kind of sexual appetite, of which very likely most men possess the germinal possibility, developed itself in an unrestricted way. That the development of it in an abnormal way may check its development in the normal way, seems to be a well-ascertained medical fact. And that the direction of the sexual instinct towards one individual tends to inhibit its application to other individuals, is a law, upon which, though it suffers many exceptions, the whole regime of monogamy is based. These details are a little unpleasant to discuss, but they show so beautifully the correctness of the general principles in the light of which our review has been made, that it was impossible to pass them over unremarked.
Jealousy is unquestionably instinctive.
Parental Love is an instinct stronger in woman than in man, at least in the early childhood of its object. I need do little more than quote Schneider's lively description of it as it exists in her:
"As soon as a wife becomes a mother her whole thought and feeling, her whole being, is altered. Until then she had only thought of her own well-being, of the satisfaction of her vanity; the whole world appeared made only for her; everything that went on about her was only noticed so far as it had personal reference to herself; she asked of every one that he should appear interested in her, pay her the requisite attention, and as far as possible fulfil her wishes. Now, however, the centre of the world is no longer herself, but her child. She does not think of her own hunger, she must first be sure that the child is fed. It is nothing to her that she herself is tired and needs rest, so long as she sees that the child's sleep is disturbed; the moment it stirs she awakes, though far stronger noises fail to arouse her now. She, who formerly could not bear the slightest carelessness of dress, and touched everything with gloves, allows herself to be soiled by the infant, and does not shrink from seizing its clouts with her naked hands. Now, she has the greatest patience with the ugly, piping cry-baby (Schreihals ), whereas until now every discordant sound, every slightly unpleasant noise, made her nervous. Every limb of the still hideous little being appears to her beautiful, every movement fills her with delight. She has, in one word, transferred her entire egoism to the child, and lives only in it. Thus, at least, it is in all unspoiled, naturally-bred mothers, who, alas! seem to be growing rarer; and thus it is with ah the higher animal-mothers. The maternal joys of a cat, for example, are not to be disguised. With an expression of infinite comfort she stretches out her forelegs to offer her teats to her children, and moves her tail with delight when the little hungry mouths tug and suck . . . But not only the contact, the bare look of the offspring affords endless delight, not only because the mother thinks that the child will someday grow great and handsome and bring her many joys, but because she has received from Nature an instinctive love for her children. She does not herself know why she is so happy, and why the look of the child and the care of it are so agreeable, any more than the young man can give an account of why he loves a maiden, and is so happy when she is near. Few mothers, in caring for their child, think of the proper purpose of maternal love for the preservation of the species. Such a thought may arise in the father's mind; seldom in that of the mother. The latter feels only . . . that it is an everlasting delight to hold the being which she has brought forth protectingly in her arms, to dress it, to wash it, to rock it to sleep, or to still its hunger."
So far the worthy Schneider, to whose words may be added this remark, that the passionate devotion of a mother -- in herself, perhaps -- to a sick or dying child is perhaps the most simply beautiful moral spectacle that human life affords. Contemning every danger, triumphing over every difficulty, outlasting all fatigue, woman's love is here invincibly superior to anything that man can show.
These are the most prominent of the tendencies which are worthy of being called instinctive in the human species. 36
It will be observed that no other mammal, not even the monkey, shows so large an array . In a perfectly-rounded development, every one of these instincts would start a habit toward certain objects and inhibit a habit toward certain others. Usually this is the case; but, in the one-sided development of civilized life, it happens that the timely age goes by in a sort of starvation of objects, and the individual then grows up with gaps in his psychic constitution which future experiences can never fill. Compare the accomplished gentleman with the poor artisan or tradesman of a city: during the adolescence of the former, objects appropriate to his growing interests, bodily and mental, were offered as fast as the interests awoke, and, as a consequence, he is armed and equipped at every angle to meet the world. Sport came to the rescue and completed his education where real things were lacking. He has tasted of the essence of every side of human life, being sailor, hunter, athlete, scholar, fighter, talker, dandy, man of affairs, etc., all in one. Over the city poor boy's youth no such golden opportunities were hung, and in his man-hood no desires for most of them exist. Fortunate it is for him if gaps are the only anomalies his instinctive life presents; perversions are too often the fruit of his unnatural bringing up.
1 This chapter has already appeared (almost exactly as now printed) in the form of magazine articles in Scribner's Magazine and in the Popular Science Monthly for 1887.
2 P. A. Chadbourne: Instinct, p. 28 (New York, 1872).
3 It would be very simple-minded to suppose that bees follow their queen, and protect her and care for her, because they are aware that with-out her the hive would become extinct. The odor or the aspect of their queen is manifestly agreeable to the bees -- that is why they love her so. Does not all true love base itself on agreeable perceptions much more than on representations of utility P" (G. H. Schneider, Der Thierische Wille, p. 187.) A priori, there is no reason to suppose that any sensation might not in some animal cause angry emotion and any impulse. To us it seems unnatural that an odor should directly excite anger or fear; or a color, lust. Yet there are creatures to which some smells are quite as frightful as any sounds, and very likely others to which color is as much a sexual irritants form.
5 Der Thierische Wille, pp. 282-3.
6 In the instincts of mammals, and even of lower creatures, the uniformity and infallibility which, a generation ago, were considered as essential characters do not exist. The minuter study of recent years has found continuity, transition, variation, and mistake, wherever it has looked for them, and decided that what is called an instinct is usually only a tendency to act in a way of which the average is pretty constant, but which need not be mathematically 'true.' Ct. on this point Darwin's Origin of Species: Romanes's Mental Evol., chaps. xi to xvi incl., and Appendix; W. L. Lindsay's Mind in Lower Animals, vol. I. 133-141; ii. chaps, v, xx; and K. Semper's Conditions of Existence in Animals, where a great many instances will be found.
7 Spalding, Macmillan's Magazine, Feb. 1873, p. 287.
8 Ibid . p. 289
9 For the cases in full see Mental Evolution in Animals. pp. 213-217.
10 Transactions of American Neurological Association, vol. I. p. 129(1875).
11 "Mr. Spalding," says Mr. Lewes (Problems of Life and Mind, prob. chap. ii. ' 22, note), "tells me of a friend of his who reared a gosling in the kitchen, away from all water; when this bird was some months old, and was taken to a pond, it not only refused to go into the water, but when thrown in scrambled out again, as a hen would have done. Here was an instinct entirely suppressed." See a similar observation on ducklings in T. R. H. Stebbing: Essays on Darwinism (London, 1871), p. 73
12 "Senses and Intellect. 3rd ed. pp. 413-675.
13 Nature, xii. 507 (1875).
14 See, for some excellent pedagogic remarks about doing yourself when you want to get your pupils to do, and not simply telling them to do it, Baumann, Handbuch der Moral (1879), p. 32 ff.
15 Sympathy has been enormously written about In books on Ethics. a very good recent chapter is that by Thos. Fowler. The Principles of Morals, part ii. chap. ff.
16 I must now refer to a very general passion which occurs in boys who are brought up naturally. especially in the country. Everyone knows what pleasure a boy takes in the sight of a butterfly, fish, crab or other animal, or of a bird's nest, and what a strong propensity he has for pulling apart, breaking, opening, and destroying all complex objects, how he delights in pulling out the wings and legs of flies, and tormenting one animal or another, how greedy he is to steal secret dainties, with what irresistible strength the plundering of birds' nests attracts him without his banning the least intention of eating the eggs or the young birds. This fact has long been familiar, and is daily remarked by teachers; but an explanation of these impulses which follow upon a mere perception of the objects, without in most cases any representation being aroused of a future pleasure to be gained, has as yet been given by no one, and yet the impulses are very easy to explain. In many cases it will be said that the boy pulls things apart from curiosity. Quite correct: but whence comes this curiosity, this irresistible desire to open everything and see what is inside? What makes the boy take the eggs from the nest and destroy them when he never thinks of eating them? These are effects of an hereditary instinct, so strong that warnings and punishments are unable to counteract it." (Schneider: Der Menschliche Wille, p. 224. See also Der Thierische Wille, pp. 180-2.)
17 It is not surprising, in view of the facts of animal history and evolution, that the very special object blood should have become the stimulus for a very special interest and excitement. That the sight of it should make people faint is strange. Less so that a child who sees his blood flow should forthwith become much more frightened than by the mere feeling of the cut. Horned cattle often, though not always, become furiously excited at the smell of blood. In some abnormal human beings the sight or thought of it exerts a baleful fascination. "B and his father were at a neighbor's one evening, and, while paring apples, the old man accidentally cut his hand so severely as to cause the blood to flow profusely: B was observed to become restless, nervous, pale, and to have undergone a peculiar change in demeanor. Taking advantage of the distraction produced by the accident, B escaped from the house and proceeded to a neighboring farm-yard, where he cut the throat of a horse, killing it." Dr. D. H. Tuke, commenting on this man's case (Journal of Mental Science, October.1885), speaks of the influence of blood upon him -- his whole life had been one chain of cowardly atrocities -- and continues: "There can be no doubt that with some individuals it constitutes a fascination. . . . We might speak of a mania sanguinis . Dr. Savage admitted a man from France into Bethlehem Hospital some time ago, one of whose earliest symptoms of insanity was the thirst for blood, which he endeavored to satisfy by going to an abattoir in Paris. The man whose case I have brought forward had the same passion for gloating over blood, but had no attack of acute mania. The sight of blood was distinctly a delight to him, end at any time blood aroused in him the worst elements of his nature. Instances will easily be recalled in which murderers, undoubtedly insane, have described the intense pleasure they experienced in the warm blood of children.
18 Bombonnel, having rolled with a panther to the border of a ravine, gets his head away from the open mouth of the animal, and by a prodigious effort rolls her into the abyss. He gets up, blinded, spitting a mass of blood, not knowing exactly what the situation is. He thinks only of one thing, that he shall probably die of his wounds, but that before dying he must take vengeance on the panther. 'I didn't think of my pain,' he tells us. Possessed entirely by the fury with which I was transported. I drew my hunting-knife, and not understanding what had become of the beast, I sought for her on every side in order to continue the struggle. It was this plight that the arabs found me when they arrived."' (Quoted by Guyan, La Morale sans Obligation, etc., p. 210.)
19 Psychologie de l'Enfant, pp. 72-74. In an account of a young gorilla quoted from Falkenstein, by R. Hartmann ('Anthropoid Apes,' International Scientific Series, vol. iii (New York, 1886), p. 265), it is said: "He very much disliked strange noises. Thunder, the rain falling on the skylight, and especially the long-drawn note of a pipe or trumpet, threw him into such agitation as to cause a sudden affection of the digestive organs, and it became expedient to keep him at a distance. When he was slightly indisposed, we made use of this kind of music with results as successful as we had administered purgative medicine."
20 Der Menschliche Wille, p. 224.
21 Cf. Romanes. Mental Evolution, etc., p. 156.
22 In the 'Overland Monthly' for 1887, a most interesting article on Laura Bridgman's writings has been published by Mr. E. C. Sandford among other reminiscences of her early childhood, while she still knew nothing of the sign-language, the wonderful blind deaf-mute records the following item in her quaint language: "My father [he was a farmer and probably did his own butchering] used to enter his kitchen bringing some killed animals in and deposited them on one of sides of the room many times. As I perceived it it make me shudder with terror because I did not know what the matter was. I hated to approach the dead. One morning I went to take a short walk with my Mother. I went into a snug house for some time. They took me into a room where there was a coin. I put my hand in the coffin & felt something so queer. It frightened me unpleasantly. I found something dead wrapped in a silk h'd'k'f so carefully. It must have been a body that had had vitality. . . . I did not like to venture to examine the body for I was confounded.
23 I lately saw a boy of five (who had been told the story of Hector and Achilles) teaching his younger brother, aged three, how to play Hector, while he himself should play Achilles, and chase him round the walls of Troy. Having smiled themselves, Achilles advanced, shouting "Where's my Patroklos?" Whereupon the would-be Hector piped up, quite distracted from his rôle, "Where's my Patroklos? I want a Patroklos! I want a Patroklos!" -- and broke up the game. Of what kind of a thing a Patroklos might be he had, of course, no notion -- enough that his brother had one, for him to claim one too
24 In 'The Nation' for September 3, 1886, President G. S. Hall has given some account of a statistical research on Boston school-boys, by Miss Wiltse, from which it appears that only nineteen out of two hundred and twenty-nine had made no collections.
25 Quoted in Lindsay, 'Mind in Lower animals,' vol. ii. p. 151
26,Cf. Flint, Mind, vol. I. pp. 330-333; Sully, ibid . p. 567. Most people probably have the impulse to keep bits of useless finery, old tools, pieces of once useful apparatus, etc.; but it is normally either inhibited at the outset by reflection, or, if yielded to, the objects soon grow displeasing and are thrown away.
27 Der Menschliche Wille, p. 205.
28 Professor Lazarus (Die Reize des Spieles. Berlin, 1883, p. 44) denies that we have an instinct to play, and says the root of the matter is the aversion to remain unoccupied, which substitutes a sham occupation when no real one is ready. No doubt this is true; but why the particular forms of sham occupation? The elements of all bodily games and of ceremonial games are given by direct excite-motor stimulations -- just as when puppies chase one another and swallows have a parliament.
29 Inquiries into Human Faculty, p. 72.
30 Expression of the Emotions (New York, 1873), p. 330.
31 "The certainty that we are well dressed," a charming woman has said, "gives us a peace of heart compared to which that yielded by the consolations of religion is as nothing."
32 Thackeray, in his exquisite Roundabout Paper, 'On a Chalk-Mark On the Door,' says: "You get truth habitually from equals only; so, my good Mr. Holyshade, don't talk to me about the habitual candor of the young Etonian of high birth, or I have my own opinion of your candor or discernment when you do. No. Tom Bowling is the soul of honor, and has been true to Black-eyed Syousan since the last time they parted at Wapping Old Stairs; but do you suppose Tom is perfectly frank, familiar, and above-board in his conversation with Admiral Nelson, K.C.B.? There are secrets, prevarications, fibs. if you will, between Tom and the admiral-between your crew (of servants) and their captain. I know I hire a worthy, clean, agreeable, and conscientious male or female hypocrite at so many guineas a year to do so and so for me. Were he other than hypocrite, I would send him about his business."
33 "The insane symptom called "mysophobia," or dread of foulness, which leads a patient to wash his hands perhaps a hundred times a day, hardly seems explicable without supposing a primitive impulse to clean one's self of which it is, as it were, the convulsive exaggeration.
34 "We often find modesty coming in only in the presence of foreigners, especially of clothed Europeans. Only before these do the Indian women in Brazil cover themselves with their girdle, only before these do the women on Timor conceal their bosom. In Australia we find the same thing happening." (Th. Waltz, Anthropologie der Naturvölker, vol. I. p.358.) The author gives bibliographical references, which I omit.
35 To most of us it is even unpleasant to sit down in a chair still warm from occupancy by another person's body. To many, hand-shaking is disagreeable
36 Some will, of course, find the list too large, others too small. With the boundaries of instinct finding into reflex action below, and into acquired habit or suggested activity above, it is likely that there will always be controversy about just what to include under the class-name. Shall we add the propensity to walk along a curbstone, or any other narrow path. to the list of instincts? Shall we subtract secretiveness, as due to shyness or to fear? Who knows? Meanwhile our physiological method has this inestimable advantage, that such questions of limit have neither theoretical nor practical importance. The facts once noted. it matters little how they are named. Most authors give a shorter list than that in the text. The phrenologists add adhesiveness, inhabitiveness, love of approbation, etc., etc., to their list of 'sentiments' which in the main agree with our list of instincts. Fortlage, in his System der Psychologie, classes among the Triebe all the vegetative physiological functions. Bantlus (Zur Psychologie der Menschlichen Triebe, Leipsic, 1864) says there are at bottom but three instincts, that of 'Being, that of 'Function,' and that of 'Life.' The 'Instinct of Being' he subdivides into animal, embracing tile activities of all the senses; and psychical, embracing the acts of the intellect and of the 'transempiric consciousness.' The 'Instinct of Function' he divides into sexual inclinational (friendship, attachment, honor); and moral (religion, philanthropy, faith, truth, moral freedom, etc.). The 'Instinct of Life' embraces conservation (nutrition, motion); sociability (imitation, juridical and ethical arrangements); and personal interest (love of independence and freedom, acquisitiveness, self-defence). Such a muddled list as this shows how great are the advantages of the physiological analysis we have used.
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