Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/261

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
249
CRIMINALITY IN ANIMALS.

and become the principles of his thoughts, his judgments, his determinations, and his actions. They are the seeking for food, the taking of precautions for his safety, and the gratification of his amorous desires. Leroy also suggests that we may recognize in beasts natural passions, and other passions which might be called factitious or reflexive. Of the former class are the impulses of hunger, the ardent desires of love, and maternal tenderness; of the latter are the fear of want, or avarice, and jealousy, which leads to vengeance. Other authors, among them Gall and August Comte, have endeavored to frame a classification of the cerebral faculties. Without discussing here these different systems which have been proposed chiefly to fix the number of man's elementary faculties, we believe that it will be convenient for the exposition of our subject to recognize among animals such instincts or elementary faculties as the nutritive, the genetic, the maternal, and the destructive instincts; and, as among those easier to establish with man than with animals, the instinct of vanity and the social instincts. We shall study particularly the exaggerations of these instincts, which are injurious to other animals of the same species, and which result in such specific acts as are regarded as crimes or offenses in human societies. "The animal and man," says Gall, "are organized for anger, hatred, sorrow, fear, and jealousy, because there are things and events which, according to their nature, deserve to be detested or loved, desired or feared."

1. Acts of Offense committed by Animals under the Influence of the Nutritive Instinct.—No distinctions are observed with regard to sex. When hunger makes itself felt, all animals exhibit, in different and varied degrees, according to their nature, the spectacle of the "struggle for existence." The fact is so well known that it does not require any great elaboration. The animals longest and most completely domesticated continue at feeding-time to steal food from each other, and to quarrel about it. The use of separate mangers, racks, boxes, and stalls, is based upon the knowledge of this fact. The object of the most important features of the interior arrangements of stables is to prevent the stealing of food and the trampling of the weaker by the stronger. It is well known that among the species which we see daily are individuals manifesting clearly the disposition to theft. Some of them have an exaggerated nutritive instinct, are avaricious, and lay up provisions. Leroy says that when wolves have brought down a large animal, they eat a part of it and carefully hide the rest; but this precaution does not abate their propensity to hunt, and they have recourse to their cache only when the chase has been unsuccessful. The same observation may be made with reference to dogs, foxes, and other animals.

M. Cornevin has remarked that, among species which live in community, not only is food stolen, but individuals which are on the point of perishing are eaten. Wolves, in spite of the proverb, rats and mice, eat