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them to the best advantage; because they naturally defend themselves with that part in which their strength lies, before the weapon be formed in it; as

is remarkable in lambs, which, though they are 5 bred within doors, and never saw the actions of

their own species, push at those who approach them with their foreheads, before the first budding of a

horn appears.

I shall add to these general observations an 10 instance, which Mr. Locke has given us of Provi

dence even in the imperfections of a creature which seems the meanest and the most despicable in the whole animal world. “We may,” says he, "from

the make of an oyster or cockle, conclude, that it 15 has not so many nor so quick senses as a man, or

several other animals; nor if it had, would it, in that state and incapacity of transferring itself from one place to another, be bettered by them. What

good would sight and hearing do to a creature, that 20 cannot move itself to or from the object, wherein

at a distance it perceives good or evil? And would not quickness of sensation be an inconvenience to an animal that must be still where chance has once

placed it, and there receive the afflux of colder or 25 warmer, clean or foul water, as it happens to come to it?

I shall add to this instance out of Mr. Locke another out of the learned Dr. More,' who cites it from Cardan, in relation to another animal which

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Providence has left defective, but at the same time has shown its wisdom in the formation of that organ in which it seems chiefly to have failed.

What is more obvious and ordinary than a mole? and yet what more palpable argument of Providence 5 than she? The members of her body are so exactly fitted to her nature and manner of life: for her dwelling being under ground, where nothing is to be seen, nature has so obscurely fitted her with eyes, that naturalists can scarce agree whether she 10 have any sight at all, or no. But for amends, what she is capable of for her defence and warning of danger, she has very eminently conferred upon her; for she is exceeding quick of hearing. And then her short tail and short legs, but broad fore-feet armed 15 with sharp claws; we see by the event to what purpose they are, she so swiftly working herself under ground, and making her way so fast in the earth as they that behold it cannot but admire it. Her legs therefore are short, that she need dig no 20 more than will serve the mere thickness of her body; and her fore-feet are broad, that she may scoop away much earth at a time; and little or no tail she has, because she courses it not upon the ground, like the rat or mouse, of whose kindred she is; but 25 lives under the earth, and is fain to dig herself a dwelling there. And she making her way through so thick an element, which will not yield easily as the air or the water, it had been dangerous to have

drawn so long a train behind her; for her enemy might fall



rear, and fetch her out before she had completed or got full possession of her works."

I cannot forbear mentioning Mr. Boyle's remark 5 upon this last creature, who I remember somewhere

in his works observes, that though the mole be not totally blind (as it is commonly thought) she has not sight enough to distinguish particular objects. Her

eye is said to have but one humor in it, which 10 is supposed to give her the idea of light, but of

nothing else, and is so formed that this idea is probably painful to the animal. Whenever she comes up into broad day she might be in danger of

being taken, unless she were thus affected by a light 15 striking upon her eye, and immediately warning her

to bury herself in her proper element. More sight would be useless to her, as none at all might be fatal.

I have only instanced such animals as seem the 20 most imperfect works of nature; and if Providence

shows itself even in the blemishes of these creatures, how much more does it discover itself in the several endowments which it has variously bestowed upon

such creatures as are more or less finished and com25 pleted in their several faculties, according to the condition of life in which they are posted.

I could wish our Royal Society ? would compile a body of natural history, the best that could be gathered together from books and observations. If

the several writers among them took each his particular species, and gave us a distinct account of its origin, birth, and education; its policies, hostilities, and alliances, with the frame and texture of its inward and outward parts, and particularly those 5 that distinguish it from all other animals, with their peculiar aptitudes for the state of being in which Providence has placed them, it would be one of the best services their studies could do mankind, and not a little redound to the glory of the all-wise 10 Contriver.

It is true, such a natural history, after all the disquisitions of the learned, would be infinitely short and defective. Seas and deserts hide millions of animals from our observation. Innumerable 15 artifices and stratagems are acted in the "howling wilderness” and in the "great deep," that can never come to our knowledge. Besides that there are infinitely more species of creatures which are not to be seen without nor indeed with the help of 20 the finest glasses, than of such as are bulky enough for the naked eye to take hold of. However, from the consideration of such animals as lie within the compass of our knowledge, we might easily form a conclusion of the rest, that the same variety of 25 wisdom and goodness runs through the whole creation, and puts every creature in a condition to provide for its safety and subsistence in its proper station.

Tully has given us an admirable sketch of natural history in his second book concerning the Nature of the Gods; and that in a style so raised by meta

phors and descriptions, that it lifts the subject 5 above raillery and ridicule, which frequently fall on

such nice observations when they pass through the hands of an ordinary writer.

No. 21. Sir Roger at the Assizes
SPECTATOR No. 122. Friday, July 20, 1711

Comes jucundus in via pro vohiculo est.1

Publ. Syr. Frag.

A MAN's first care should be to avoid the reproaches of his own heart; his next, to escape the 10 censures of the world. If the last interferes with

the former, it ought to be entirely neglected; but otherwise there cannot be a greater satisfaction to an honest mind, than to see those approbations

which it gives itself seconded by the applauses of 15 the public. A man is more sure of his conduct,

when the verdict which he passes upon his own behavior is thus warranted and confirmed by the opinion of all that know him.

My worthy friend Sir Roger is one of those who 20 is not only at peace within himself, but beloved

and esteemed by all about him. He receives a suitable tribute for his universal benevolence to

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