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the closest bonds. He saw how they supported each other during their foraging expeditions, how they combined against their common enemies, and rendered each other all sorts of small services, such as the picking of thorns from each other's fur, the nestling together in cold weather, and so on. Of course they often quarrelled; but there was more noise in these quarrels than serious harm, and at times, in case of danger, they displayed the most striking mutual attachment; to say nothing of the strong devotion of the mothers to their young ones, which they have in common with all the animals. Sociability was thus the rule with the monkey tribe; and if there are now two species of big apes, the gorilla and the orang-utang, which are not sociable, and keep in small families only, the very limited sizes of the areas they inhabit are a proof of their being now decaying species-decaying, perhaps, on account of the merciless war which men have waged against them in consequence of the very resemblance between the two species. 14

Primitive man saw, next, that even among the carnivorous beasts, which live by killing other animals, there is one general and invariable rule They never kill each other. Some of them are very sociablesuch are all the dog tribe: the jackals, the dholes or kholzun dogs, the hyænas. Some others prefer to live in small families; but even among these last the more intelligent ones-the lions and the leopards -occasionally join together for hunting, like the dog tribe. And as to those few which lead—nowadays, at least—a quite solitary life in small families, so that even the females with their cubs will often keep separate from the males, the same general rule of nature prevails among them they do not kill each other. Even now, when the myriads of ruminants which formerly peopled the prairies have been exterminated, and the tigers live mainly on man's herds, and are compelled, therefore, to keep close to the villages, everyone to its own domain-even now the natives of India will tell us that somehow the tigers manage to keep to their separate domains without fighting bloody internecine wars for securing them. Besides, it appears extremely probable that even those few animals which now lead a solitary existence-such as the tigers, the smaller species of the cat tribe (nearly all nocturnal), the bears, the genets, most weasels, the marten tribe, the hedgehog, and a few others were not always solitary creatures. For some of them we have positive evidence that they remained sociable so long as they escaped extermination by man, and we have reason to believe that nearly all of them were in the same conditions in times past.15 But even if there always existed a few unsociable species, the fact is that man has always considered them an exception.

The lesson of nature was, thus, that even the strongest beasts are

14 Several African travellers speak of that enmity and signal its causes.
15 See Mutual Aid, chaps. i. and ii., and Appendix.

bound to combine. And that man who had witnessed once in his life an attack of wild dogs, or dholes, upon the biggest beasts of prey, certainly realised, once and for ever, the irresistible force of the tribal unions, and the confidence and courage with which they inspire every individual. Man made divinities of these dogs, and worshipped them, trying by all sorts of magic to acquire their courage.

In the prairies and the woods our earliest ancestors saw myriads of animals, all living in clans and tribes. Countless herds of red-deer, fallow deer, reindeer, gazelles and antelopes, thousands of droves of buffaloes and legions of wild horses, wild donkeys, quaggas, zebras, and so on, were moving over the boundless plains, peacefully grazing side by side. Even the dreary plateaus had their herds of llamas and wild camels. And when man approached these animals, he soon realised how closely connected all these beings were in their respective droves or herds. Even when they seemed fully absorbed in grazing, and apparently took no notice of the others, they closely watched each other's movements, always ready to join in some common action. Man saw that all the deer tribe, whether they graze or merely gambol, always keep sentries, which never release their watchfulness and never are late to signal the approach of a beast of prey; he knew how, in case of a sudden attack, the males and the females would encircle their young ones and face the enemy, exposing their lives for the safety of the feeble ones; and how, even with such timid creatures as the antelopes, or the fallow deer, the old males would often sacrifice themselves in order to cover the retreat of the herd. Man knew all that, which we ignore or easily forget, and he repeated it in his tales, embellishing the acts of courage and selfsacrifice with his primitive poetry, or mimicking them in his religious tribal dances. Still less could he ignore the great migrations of animals, because he followed them-just as the Chukchi follows still the herds of the wild reindeer, when the clouds of mosquitoes drive them from one place of the Chukchi peninsula to another, or as the Lapp follows the herds of his half-domesticated reindeer in their wanderings, over which he has no control. And if we, with all our book-learning, feel unable to understand how animals scattered over a wide territory can warn each other so as to bring their thousands to a given spot before they begin their march north, south, or west, our ancestors, who considered the animals as beings so much wiser than themselves, saw no difficulty in explaining that intercourse. For them all animals-beasts, birds, and fishes alike-were in continual communication, warning each other by means of hardly perceptible signs or sounds, informing one another about all sorts of events, and thus constituting one vast community, which had its own habits and rules of propriety and good behaviour. Even to-day deep traces of that conception of nature survive in the folklore of all nations.

From the populous, animated, and gay villages of the marmots, the prairie dogs, the jerboas, the hamsters, and so on, and from the colonies of that silent sage, the beaver, with which the Post-glacial rivers were thickly studded, primitive man, who himself had begun as a nomad forest-dweller, could learn the advantages of settled life, permanent dwellings, and labour in common. Even now we can see how the nomad cattle-breeders of Mongolia, whose improvidence is phenomenal, learn from the striped marmot (Tamias striatus) the advantages of agriculture and foresight when they plunder quite regularly every autumn the underground galleries of this rodent, and seize its provisions of eatable bulbs. The granaries of many smaller rodents, full of all sorts of eatable seeds, must have given man the first suggestion as to the culture of cereals. In fact, the sacred books of the East contain many an allusion to the foresight and laboriousness of the animals, which are set up as an example to man.

The birds, in their turn-almost every one of their species-gave our ancestors a lesson of the most intimate sociability, of the joys of social life, and its enormous advantages. It certainly did not escape the attention of man that, even among the birds of prey, many species of falcons are extremely sociable, and that even some eagles combine for hunting; while the flocks of kites will sometimes chase the strongest eagle and get hold of its spoil. And they saw, of course, many a time, how the smallest birds, if they are numerous enough, overcome their first terror at the sight of a hawk, and chase it, immensely enjoying this kind of sport.

The nesting associations of aquatic birds, and their unanimity in defending their young broods and eggs, were well known to man. He knew that as soon as he approached the shore of a lake where thousands of birds belonging to different species were nesting, his appearance would be signalled at once; how, the moment he would set his foot upon their grounds, hundreds of birds would circle and fly round him, skim over his face, bewilder him by the flapping of their wings, deafen him by their cries, and often compel him to retreat. Man knew this only too well, for his very existence in the early summer depended upon his capacity to resist such a combined attack of the winged tribe. And then the joy of life in the autumn societies of the bird-youngsters was certainly familiar to people who themselves lived in the woods and by the side of the forest brooks. Who knows if the very idea of wide tribal unions, or, at least, of those great tribal hunts (abà with the Mongols, kadù with the Tunguses), which are real fêtes, lasting a couple of months every autumn, was not suggested by such autumn gatherings of the birds, in which so many widely different species join together, spending a few hours every day in providing their food, and then chattering and fluttering about the remainder of the time?

Man knew also, of course, the gay play of animals, the sports in which several species delight, the concerts and dances of some others; the flights which certain species perform in the evenings, sometimes with a wonderful art and elaboration; the noisy meetings which are held by the swallows and other migrating birds, for years in succession, on the same spot, before they start on their long journeys south. And how often man must have stood in bewilderment as he saw the immense migrating columns of birds passing over his head for many hours in succession. The brute savage' knew and meditated on all these beauties of nature, which we have forgotten in our towns, and which we do not even find in our natural history' books, compiled for teaching anything but life; while the narratives of the great explorers-the Humboldts, the Audubons, the Azaras, the Brehms, of which every page was a picture of the real life of nature, are mouldering in our libraries.


In those times the wide world of the running waters and lakes was not a sealed book for man. He was familiar with its inhabitants as well. Even now many semi-savage natives of Africa and Polynesia profess a deep reverence for the crocodile. They consider him a near relative to man-a sort of ancestor. They even avoid naming him in their conversations, and if they must mention him they will say 'the old grandfather,' or use some other word expressing kinship and veneration. The crocodile, they maintain, acts exactly as they themselves do. He will never finally swallow his prey without having invited his relatives and friends to share the food; and if one of his tribe has been killed by man, otherwise than in due and just blood revenge, he will take vengeance upon any one of the murderer's kin. Therefore, if a negro has been eaten by a crocodile, his tribe will take the greatest care to discover the real culprit, and when he has been discovered and killed, they will carefully examine his intestines, in order to make sure that there has been no mistake; but if no proof of the beast's guilt is forthcoming, they will make all sorts of expiatory amends to the crocodile tribe, in order to appease the relatives of the innocently slaughtered individual, and continue to search for the real culprit. Otherwise the kinsfolk of the former would take revenge. The same belief exists among the Red Indians concerning the rattlesnake and the wolf, and its bearing upon the subsequent development of the idea of justice is self-evident.

The fishes, their shoals, and the ways they play in the transparent waters, exploring them by their scouts before they move in a given direction, must have deeply impressed man from a remote antiquity. Traces of this impression are found in folklore in many parts of the globe. Thus, for instance, Dekanawideh, the legendary lawgiver of the Five Nations of the Red Indians, who is supposed to have given them the class organisation, is represented as having retired first to meditate in contact with nature. He reached the side of a smooth,

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clear, running stream, transparent and full of fishes. He sat down, reclining on the sloping bank, gazing intent into the waters, watching the fishes playing about in complete harmony....' Thereupon he conceived the scheme of dividing his people into gentes and classes, or totems.1


Altogether, for the primitive savage, animals are mysterious, problematic beings, possessed of a wide knowledge of the things of nature. They know much more than they are ready to tell us. In some way or another, by the aid of senses much more refined than ours, and by telling to each other all that they notice in their rambles and flights, they know everything, for miles round. And if man has been 'just' towards them, they will warn him of a coming danger, as they warn each other; but they will take no heed of him if he has not been straightforward in his actions. Snakes and birds (the owl is a leader of the snakes), mammals and insects, lizards and fishesall understand each other, and continually communicate their observations to one another. They all belong to one brotherhood, into which they may, in some cases, admit man.

Inside this vast brotherhood there are, of course, the still closer brotherhoods of beings of one blood.' The monkeys, the bears, the wolves, the elephants and the rhinoceroses, most ruminants, the hares and most of the rodents, the crocodiles, and so on, perfectly know their own kin, and they will not tolerate any one of their relatives to be slaughtered by man without taking, in one way or another. honest revenge. This conception must have had an extremely remote origin. It must have grown at a time when man had not yeɩ become omnivorous (which, I am inclined to think, must have happened during the Glacial period), and had not yet begun to hunt animals for food. However, the same conception has been retained down to the present time. Even now, when a savage is hunting, he is bound to respect certain rules of propriety towards the animals, and he must perform certain expiatory ceremonies after his hunt. Most of these ceremonies are rigorously enacted, even nowadays in the savage clans, especially as regards those species which are considered the allies of


It is well known that two men belonging to two different clans or tribes can become brothers by mixing the blood of the two, obtained from small incisions made for that purpose. To enter into such a union was quite habitual in olden times, and we learn from the folklore of all nations, and especially the sagas, how religiously such a brotherhood was observed. But it was also quite habitual for man to enter into brotherhood with some animal. The tales continually mention it. An animal asks a hunter to spare it, and if the hunter accedes to the demand the two become brothers. And then the

16 J. Brant-Sero, ' Dekanawideh,' in Man, 1901, p. 166. In other legends the wise man of the tribe learns wisdom from the beaver, or the squirrel, or some bird.

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