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globe? and these we conclude to be the effects of such a power precisely as that about which we now inquire. Volcanoes are thus considered as the proper discharges of a superfluous or redundant power; not as things accidental in the course os nature, but as useful for the safety of mankind, and as forming a natural ingredient in the constitution of the globe.

The doctrine is then confirmed, by examining this earth, and by finding every where, beside the many marks of ancient volcanoes, abundance of subterraneous or unerupted lava, in the basaltic rocks, the Swedish trap, the toadstone, the ragstone, and whinstone of Britain and Ireland, of which particular examples are cited, anda description given of the three different sliapes in which that unerupted lava is found.

The peculiar nature of this subterraneous lava is then examined; and a clear distinction is formed between this mineral rock and the common volcanic lavas.

Lastly, The extension of this theory, respecting mineral strata, to all parts of the globe, is made by finding a perfect similarity in the solid land thro' all the earth, although, in particular places, it is attended with peculiar productions, with which the present inquiry is not concerned.

A theory is thus formed, with regard to a mineral system. In this system, hard and solid bodies are to be formed from soft bodies, from loose or incoherent materials, collected together at the bottom of the sea j and the bottom of the ocean is to be made to change its place with relation to the centre of the earth, to be formed into land above the level of the sea, and to become a country fertile and inhabited.

That there is nothing visionary in this theory, appears from its having been rationally deduced from natural events, from things which have already happened; things which have lest, in the particular constitutions of bo*

dies, proper traces of the manner of their production; and things which may be examined with all the accuracy, or reasoned upon with all the light, that science can afford. As it is onry by employing science in this manner, that philosophy enlightens man with the knowledge of that wisdom or design which is to be found in nature, the system now proposed, from unquel-' tionablc principles, will claim the attention of scientific men, and may be admitted in our speculations with regard to the works of nature, notwithstanding many steps in the progress may remain unknown.

By thus proceeding upon investigated principles, we are led to conclude, that, if this part of the earth which we now inhabit had been produced, in{the course iof time, from the materials of a former earth, we should, in the examination of our land, find data from which to reason, with regard; to the nature of that world which had existed during the period of time in which the present earth was forming; and thus we might be brought to understand the nature of that earth which had preceded this; how far it had been similar to the present, in producing plants and nourishing animals. But this interesting point is perfectlyascertained, by finding abundance of every manner of vegetable production, as well as the several species of marine bodies, in the strata of our earth.

Having thus ascertained a regular system, in which the present land of the globe had been first formed at the bottom of the ocean, and then raised; above the surface of the sea, a question naturally occurs with regard to time; What had been the soace of time necessary for accomplishing this great work?

In order to form a judgment .concerning this subject, our attention is directed to another progress in the system of the globe, namely, the destruction of the land which had preceded that on which we dwelt Now,


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for this purpose, we have the actual decay of the present land, a thing constantly transacting in our view, by which to form an estimate. This decay is the gradual ablution of out foil, by the floods of rain; and the attrition of the shores, by the agitation of the waves.

If we could measure the progress of the present land, towards its dissolution by attrition, and its submersion in the ocean, we might discover the actual duration of a former earth ; an earth which had supported plants and animals, and had supplied the ocean with those materials which the construction of the present earth required; consequently, we should have the measure of a corresponding space of time, ■viz. that which had been required in the production of the present land. If, on the contrary, no period can be sixed for the duration or destruction of the present earth, from our observations of those natural operations, which, though unmeasurable, admit of no dubiety, we shall be wairanted in drawing the following conclusions: i/?,That it had required an indefinite space of time to have produced the land which now appears; idly, That an equal space had been employed upon the construction of that former land from whence the materials of the present came; laftly, That there is presently laying at the bottom of the ocean the foundation -f future land, which is to appear after an indefinite space of time.

But as there is not in human observation proper means for measuring the waste of land upon the globe, it

is hence inferred, that we cannot efc timate the duration of what we fee at present, nor calculate the period at which it had begun ; so that, with respect to human observation, this world has neither a beginning nor an end.

Besides this physiological description, an endeavour is also made to support the theory by an argument os a moral nature, drawn from the confederation of a final cause. Here a comparison is formed between the present theory, and those by which there is necessarily implied either evil or disorder in natural things; and an argument is formed, upon the supposed 'wisdom of nature, for the justness of a theory in which peifect order is to be perceived. For,

According to the theory, a foil adapted to the growth of plants is necessarily prepared, and carefully preserved; and, in the necessary waste of land which is inhabited, the foundation is laid for suture continents, in order to support the system of this living world.

Thus, either in supposing nature wise and good, an argument is formed in confirmation of the theory, or, in supposing the theory to be just, an argument may be established for wisdom and benevolence to be perceived in nature. In this manner, there is opened to our view a subject interesting to man who thinks ; a subject on which to reason with relation to the system of nature ; and one which may afford the human mind both information and entertainment.

Abstract of an Essay tm Instinct, read in the Royal Society os Edinburgh, up* on the $th osDecetider 1785. By Mr W. Smellie.

MANY theories have been invented with a view to explain the instinctive actions of animals, but none of them have received the general approbation of Philosophers. This

want of success may be referred to different causes j to want of attention to the general ceconomy and manners of animals; to mistaken notions concerning the dignity of human nature;

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<od, above all, to the uniform endeavours of philosophers to distinguish instinctive from rational momes. Mr Smellie endeavours to shew that no such distinction exists, and that the reasoning faculty itself is a necessary result of instinct.

He observes, that the proper method of investigating subjects of this kind, is to collect and arrange the fa:Ls which have been discovered, and to consider whether these lead to any general conclusions. According to this method, he exhibits examples, First, of pure instincts: Secondly, of such instincts as can accommodate themselves to particular circumstances and situations: Thirdly, of such as are improveable by experience or observation: And, lastly, he draws some conclusions.

By pure instincts are meant such as, independently of all instruction or experience, instantaneously produce certain actions, when particular objects are presented to animals, or when they are influenced by peculiar feelings. Such are, in the human species, the instinct of sucking, which is exerted by the infant immediately after birth, the voiding of fæces, the retraction of the muscles upon the application of any painful stimulus. The love of light is exhibited by infants, even so early as the third day after birth. The p.. Æon of fear is discoverable in a child at the age of two months.

Among the inferior animals, there are numberless pure instincts. Caterpillars shaken off a tree in every direction, turn immediately to the trunk, and climb up. Young birds open their mouths on hearing any noise, as well as that of their mother's voice. Every species of infect deposits its eggs in the situation most proper for hatching and affording nourishment to its future progeny. Some species of animals look not to future wants; others, as the bee and the beaver, are endowed with an instinct which has the appearance of foresight. They construct magazines,

and fill them with provisions. Bees display various remarkable instincts. They attend and feed the female or queen. When deprived of her all their labours cease till a new one is obtained. They conltruct cells of three different dimensions; for working bees, for drones, and for females; and the queen, in depositing her eggs, puts each species into its appropriated cells. They destroy all the females but one, lest the hive should be overstocked. The different instincts of the common bee, of the wood-piercing bee, and of that species which builds cylindrical nests, with iuii_leaves, are very remarkable.

Equally singular arc the instincts of wasps, and ichneumon flies, which, though they feed not themselves upon worms, lay up stores of these animals for the nourishment of their young.

Birds build their nelts of the fame materials, and in the fame form and situation, though they inhabit very different climates. They turn and shift their eggs, that they may be equally heated. Geese and ducks cover up their eggs till they return to the nest. The swallow solicits her young to void their excrement over the nest, and assists them in the operation. The spiders, and many insects of the beetlekind, when put in terror, counterfeit death. This is not, as has been supposed, a convulsion or stupor, but an artifice; for when the object of terror is removed, they recover immediately.

Of instincts which can accommodate themselves to peculiar circumstances and situations, many instances may be given from the human species; but these being improveable, fail more properly under the third class.

Those animals are most perfect, whose sphere of knowledge extends to the greatest number of objects. When interrupted in their operations, they know how to resume their labours, and to accomplish their purposes by different, means. Some animals have no other power but that of contracting or extending

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tending their bodies. But the falcon, ■the dog, and the fox, pursue their prey with intelligence and address.

In Senegal, the ostrich sits upon her eggs only daring the night, leaving them in the day to the heat of the fun. At the Cape of Good Hope, where the heat is not so great, (he sits upon them day and night. Rabbits, when domesticated, are not inclined to burrow. Bees augment the depth of their cells, and increase their number, as occasion requires. A wasp carrying out a dead companion from the nest, if he finds it too heavy, cuts off the head, apd carries out the load in two portions. In countries infested with monkies, birds, which in other countries build in bushes or clefts of trees, suspend their nests at the end of flender twigs. The nymphæ of water-moths, which cover themselves with cafes of straw, gravel, or shells, contrive to make their cafes nearly in equilibrium with the water: when too heavy, they add a bit of wood or straw; when too light, a bit of gravel. A cat, when shut into a closet, has been kn«wn to open the latch with its paws.

The third class of instincts comprehends all those that are improveable by experience and observation."

The superiority of man over the other animals, seems to depend chiefly on the great number of instincts with which he is endowed. Traces of every •instinct which he possesses are'discoverttble in the brute-creation, but no particular species enjoys the whole. On the contrary, most animals are limited to a small number. This appears to be the reason why the instincts of brutes are stronger, and more steady in their operation than those os man, and their actions more uniform.

Most human instincts receive improvement from experience and observation, and are capable of a thousand -• modifications. One instinct counteracts and modifies another, and often extinguishes the original motive to

action. The instinct oF sear Is often counteracted by ambition and rosentrnerst: The instinct of anger, by fear, by shame, by contempt,' by compassion. Of modified, compounded, and extended instincts, there are many examples. Devotion is an extension of the instinct of love, to the first Cause or Author of the Universe. Superstition is the instinct of fear extended to imaginary objects of terror. Hope is the instinct of love directed to futuie good. Avarice is the instinct of love directed to an improper object. Fear is likewise an ingredient of this attachment. Envy is compounded of love, avarice, ambition, and fear. Sympathy is the instinct of fear transferred into another person, and reflected back upon ourselves. In this manner all the modified, compounded, or extended passions of the human mind, may be traced back to their original instincts.

The instincts of brutes are likewise improved by observation and experience. Of such improvement, the dog, the elephant, the horse, the camel, afford numerous and strong instances.

From these and other examples, given of the different classes of instinct, Mr Smellie argues, that instinct is an original quality of mind, which, in man, as well as in other animals, may be improved, modified, and extended, by experience.

Sensation implies a sentient principle or mind. Whatever feels, therefore, is mind. Of course, the lowest species of animals is endowed with mind. But the minds of animals have very different powers; and these powers are expressed by peculiar actions. The structure of their bodies is uniformly adapted to the powers of their minds; and no mature animal attempts actions which nature has not enabled it to perform: The instincts, however, of animals, appear often previously to the expansion of those instruments which nature intended they skould employ. This view of instinct

Bt&riplkn as the Grotto os the Fairies at St Bauzils. f$*

si simple: It removes every objection the individuals to communicate their

to the existence of mind in brutes, wants to each other; and some ani

Bnd unfolds all their actions by refer- mals understand in part the language

ring them to motives perfectly simi- of man. The la'nguage of infants is

kr to those by which man is actuated, nearly on a par with that of brutes.

There is perhaps a greater difference Brutes, without some portion of rea

between the mental powers of some son, could never make a proper use of

animals, than between those of man their senses. But many animals aie

and the most sagacious brutes. Instincts may be considered as so many internal senses, of which some animals have a greater, and others a smaller Bomber. These senses, in different species, are likewise more or less ductile t

capable of balancing motives, which is a pretty high degree of reason. Young animals examine all objects they meet with, and in this investigation they employ all their organs. The first pe» riods of their life are dedicated to stu

•nd the animals possessing them are, of dy. When they run about and make course, more or less susceptible os im- frolicsome gambols, it is nature sport•roving, and of acquiring knowledge, ing with them for their instruction. The notion that animals are ma- Tims they gradually improve their fachines, is therefore too absurd to me- cutties, and acquire an intimate knowrit refutation. Though BOt endowed ledge of the objects that surround them, with mental powers equal to those of Men who, from peculiar circumstannian, they possess, in some degree, ces, have been prevented from tning

every faculty of the human mind. Sensation, memory, imagination, the principle of imitation, curiosity, cunning, ingenuity, devotion, or respect for superiors, gratitude, are all discoverable in the brute-creation. Every species too has a language, either as sounds or gestures, sufficient for

ling with companions, and engaging in the different amusements and exercises of youth, are always aukward in their movements, cannot use their organs with cafe or dexterity, and often continue, during life, ignorant of die most common objects.

Description os th Grotto os the Fairies at St Bauzile, near the tewn os' Ganges, in the Cevennes. By M. Marsollier *.

NATURE presents so many beautiful objects to our view, that we never consider those she conceals from us as woithy of our attenuation. Avarice, indeed, with unceasing eagerness ransacks die bowels of the earth; and the Naturalist, with nnwearied industry, explores the hidden recesses of die globe. Fossile dells, petrified wood, and volcanoes, are sources from which we draw new additions to our knowledge ; and it is by the continued exertions of these

which teaches him how little he knows. ,

Of those objects that most deserve the attention of the curious observer, mountains seem to be the chief; those; vast reservoirs that attract and imbibe the waters of the clouds, that purify and transmit diem through a thousand subterraneous channels; those bare and barren rocks, the deformity of which seems to announce the decrepitude of nature, assord ample scope for observation. Who would believe

labours and useful researches, that man diot these interesting objects sometimes Its ttuioed that degree of wisdom conceal odicrs still more interesting? Voi. VII. No 39. B b Uut

t * Recutll tumfint 4i vojeget in ten w* en$refey

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