Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/608

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mana after the degree of that relationship: no naturalist could name the most man-like ape. It is a reticulated rather than a graduated system of affinity, as Carl Vogt expresses it; the type of the human form is a center from which the connecting lines diverge in various directions. To every supposed characteristic of our physical structure some genus or other of the multiform family has been found to exhibit a parallel; only the combination of these attributes distinguishes man from all monkeys.

The Latin word simia is derived from simus (fiat-nosed), and Ælian considered the prominence of the human nose as a prerogative of our species; but Sir Stamford Raffles discovered a nose-ape, the Bornean representative of the genus Semnopithecus, a big, long-tailed brute, with a truly Roman proboscis and the narrow nostrils of the Caucasian race. In proportion to his size, the white-handed capuchin-monkey of Western Guiana has a higher forehead than the two-legged inhabitants of his native woods; and the anatomist Camper demonstrated that, with respect to the length of the tail-bones, immortal man forms the connecting link between the lower apes and the orangs. The Arabs, who question the human pedigree of the beardless Ethiopian, would have to hail the wonderoo as a man and a brother; and the male orang-outang, too, can boast of a chin-tuft that would do credit to a modern senator.

It would, indeed, be a mistake to suppose that all monkeys are naturally mischievous. The little Tamarin (Midas rosalia) handles its playthings more carefully than most children, and the females, especially, seem almost afraid to stir without their keeper's permission. Gratuitous destructiveness is rather a distinctive trait of the African quadrumana, and their representative in this respect is, perhaps, the Cercopithecus maurus, the Moor-monkey, or monasso, as they call him in Spain, a fellow who seems to consecrate his temporal existence to mischief with an undivided and disinterested devotion. This maurus and his cousin, the rock-baboon, are the terror of the Algerian farmer; but the baboon contents himself with filling his belly, while the other tears off twenty ears of corn for one he eats, and often enters a fig garden for the exclusive purpose of stripping the trees of their leaves and unripe fruit. In captivity he can not be trusted even with a leather jacket, and, finding nothing else to spoil, does not hesitate to exercise his talent upon his younger relatives, to the detriment of their woolly fur. Still, his intelligence and restless activity make him a prime favorite of the fun-loving Spanish sailors, and in the Andalusian seaports every larger household has a monasso or two—monos de cadena, "chain-monkeys," as the dalers call them, a Moor-monkey and a cadena being as necessary concomitants in civilized regions as a king and a constitution. A rupture of the concatenation creates an alarm, as if the chained beast of the Apocalypse had broken loose, and, if an unchained monasso gets a five minutes' chance at a kitchen or a parlor,