Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/196

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tion of bright and beautiful colors, and therefore of the splendors of the flower garden or of the sunset tints in the sky, might be owing to the frugivorous habits of our very early progenitors, to whom the sight of red or golden ripe fruit was naturally one of acute pleasure. Supporting this startling inference (which is perhaps not so far-fetched as appears at first sight) is the very curious fact that occasionally, when we feel an acute thrill of pleasure from looking at a beautiful picture, or sunset, or indeed any harmonious combination of color which gives exquisite enjoyment through the eye, the salivary glands appear to be automatically stimulated, and "our mouths water" while we look. It is as if the old track of an out-of-date reflex between the part of the eye which takes account of color and the mouth—proceeding via what may be called the "pleasure centers"—were still open in spite of many centuries of disuse.

Another apposite illustration is the delight we derive from all manner of contests of wits and muscles, so that all our games, from whist to football, partake of the nature of strife for the mastery. A game is of course a systematic and recognized method of obtaining pleasure, and if we take a survey of all the most popular forms of enjoyment of this kind, we shall find that none of them are free from the element of that struggle for supremacy which has been a chief factor in the evolution of the human race, especially throughout the ages of barbarism.

Now if arboreal man took delight in discovering and devouring luscious and gorgeous fruits, and savage man in finding and hunting down wild animals, and barbarous man in fighting his rivals or the foes of his tribe—and all these ancient habits leave an impress upon our modern ways of seeking and showing pleasure—we can see that the dog's manner of manifesting pleasurable emotions may be traceable to certain necessary accompaniments of remote wild habits of self-maintenance.

As with man, so with the dog: civilization has made existence much more complex. The sources of pleasure of the savage man are few compared with those of the cultured and civilized, yet we find that the means of expression which we possess are but elaborations of those existing long before civilization began. We must, therefore, look at the dog's past history and find out what were his most acute pleasures, and what the gestures accompanying them, when he was a pure and simple wild beast, if we wish to elucidate his manner of expressing pleasure now.

There can be no question that the chief delight of wild dogs, as with modern hounds and sporting dogs, is in the chase and its accompanying excitement and consequences. One of the most thrilling moments to the human hunter (and doubtless to the canine), and one big with that most poignant of all delights, antici-