Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/494

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up on his haunches and began to howl. If the tune which called forth such emotions had been written on a very high key, or characterized by shrill tones or harsh dissonances, the conduct of the dog might be easily explained. But such was not the case. There was nothing in this piece more than in any other, so far as any one could observe, that ought to grate the canine ear. Many incidents of this kind might be cited to prove that even dogs are not indifferent to musical compositions, and show a nice discrimination between them, having their likes and dislikes, as well as human beings.

The fertilization and propagation of many plants depend upon the existence of a sense of color in insects, and the exercise of choice in the selection of flowers. This preference implies a pleasure in certain hues, and consequently the possession of a rudimentary perception of beauty. Plants whose fecundation depends upon the action of the wind do not develop such a variety of colors as those in which this depends upon the agency of insects. Nature can trust her ill-favored daughters to the wooing of the wind, but if she wishes to attract a nicer class of suitors she must endow her children with brilliant qualities.

The power of distinguishing between colors has been denied not only to the lower animals, but also to the lower races of mankind. But a more extended and accurate knowledge shows that the conclusion is incorrect in both cases. We know that the American aborigines discriminate between the seven primary colors, and it is absurd to infer that this faculty was wanting to the Homeric men merely because we do not find all these colors mentioned in the Homeric poems. It has also been asserted that the ancient Assyrians could not distinguish green from blue or yellow, because no word was found for it in the remains of their language. But the tiles discovered at Nineveh prove that they had a very clear conception and æsthetic appreciation of the distinction between yellow, green, and blue, and probably did not confound any colors of the solar spectrum. The evidence of language on this point is purely negative and necessarily defective.

Even the religious sentiment, which has been assumed to be the peculiar possession of man, is faintly foreshadowed in the lower animals. The unanimity of opinion among those who have made the most careful study of this subject, and whose views are therefore entitled to the greatest consideration, is quite remarkable. M. A. de Quatrefages, in his Rapport sur le Progrès de l'Anthropologie (Paris, 1867, p. 85), maintains that "domestic animals are religious, since they readily obey those who appeal to them with the rod or with sugar." In other words, they are amenable to rewards and punishments, doing the will and seeking to win the favor of superior beings, on whom they are dependent,