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fishing-frog, which conceals itself in the sea-weeds, while the filaments fringing its body float and move about like worms, so as to attract fishes, which are immediately swallowed by the greedy monster.
The chapter on the instincts of birds is short-along, however, with other interesting matter, it contains an account of the singular instinct of the young cuckoo, by which it ejects the young of the bird, into the nest of which, when still an egg, it had been dropped by the equally striking instinct of its parent,-the remarkable adaptation in the form of the young cuckoo for this instinctive piece of injustice, as first pointed out to the Royal Society by the illustrious Jenner, is not omitted.
In the chapter on the instincts of mammals, our author points out how much less forcible is the impulse in these towards such acts than in the lower animals, as evinced by the comparative facility with which the instinctive habits of mammals are changed and counteracted by circumstances.
A chapter follows on the reasoning powers of animals. Under this head our author gives as an example of reasoning power in animals, not very high in the scale, a statement as to the black ants of India, made by Colonel Sykes. To protect his dessert, consisting of fruit, cake, and preserves, from these ants, the legs of the table, on which it stood before it was required, were first placed in pails of water—this was effectual for a time, but ere long the ants braved the water, plunging in, and scrambling to one of the legs of the table,—the legs of the table were now painted with a circle of turpentine, which, it appears they could not cross: nevertheless, in a few days it was found that they had gained access to the table in as great numbers as before, which feat they had accomplished by creeping up the wall, so as to reach the ceiling immediately over the table, and then dropping down on the dainties they so much coveted. This last expedient Dr. Kemp regards as decidedly the result of a process of reasoning.
Our author at last comes to discourse of man, and here we shall allow him to speak for himself.
“ Man is indeed devoid of instincts; and his reason, if indeed it be of the same nature as that of the higher beasts, is as superior in its results as the instinct of the bee is to the instinctive turning of the plant to light. But, besides his corporal connexion, and his exalted power of reasoning upon external objects, he has something additional. When external objects are presented to his senses, he does not instinctively act in some particular manner as the beasts do ; but he observes and reflects, and acts in accordance to the decision of his mind. But although his physical actions are under the control of his intellect, some of his mental operations are of a nature analogous to the corporeal instincts of aniinals. As when the first ray of light discloses to the young water-bird, or the young crocodile, the water, each of these makes for that element ; so, when certain propositions propositions, too, that have no connection with matter-are made to man, his mind or spiritual part at once believes them, and adopts them as part of its own being.”—p. 138.
To this quotation we shall add the concluding paragraph of the work, which, in a few words, shows the scope and tendency of the argument throughout both these excellent little books.
“ This, then, is the argument. Ages ago it pleased an all-powerful Being to call into existence this matter that is cognizable by
What endowments He at first conferred upon it, it is impossible to discover ; but at one period He made it subject to the laws of gravitation, to which laws a great portion of it is still liable. Subsequently, He bestowed upon the different elements of it those extraordinary chemical affinities which, after a study of nature for two thousand years, man is now beginning to discern, and which chemical affinities still regulate the greater part of the unions which yet occur. After this, it would seem to have been part of His will to make various portions of matter unite, so as to form organized beings, subject to the laws of vitality and instinct When we come to the higher of these we behold the operation of a new element reason, which is supplementary to instinct in producing and causing motion. Then, leaving the animals, we come to a new being, man, connected in some mysterious manner with matter, but who is not under the control of instinct, but of reason, not only physical movements, but mental abstractions ; and who, moreover, instinctively believes, when told, in God and another state of being. And as we see in merely vitalized beings, that the instinctive desire to attain an end invariably concludes in that end being attained, so also, the instinctive beliefs of man will unquestionably be realised. That this will be so, may be learned from another and a higher source, but still it is the legitimate deduction from the study of that physical science which is so often thought to oppose revelation, and is from time to time set up to oppose it. And thus it is that from appareut darkness proceeds light, that faith springs out of doubt, and that, to use the words of the old Hebrew warrior, out of the eater there came forth meat.'--pp. 143-144.
Art. V.- The Druses of the Lebanon. Their Manners, Customs, and
History. With a translation of their Religious Code. By GEORGE WASHINGTON CHASSEAUD, late of Beyrout, Syria. London : Bentley, 1855.
VOLUME realizing the promise of such a title
would command no vulgar interest, especially from a writer whose opportunities of observation and study were so considerable as those which appear to have been enjoyed by Mr. Chasseaud. But we are sorry that we cannot say that M. Chasseaud has been equal to his opportunities. He has undoubtedly given us a certain insight into the customs of those extraordinary tribes, and some of his pictures are not altogether wanting in colour and animation; his version, too, of their religious and moral system is sufficiently interesting, but the two or three dozen pages which he devotes to their history, are a bad title on which to found a claim to be called a historian of the Druses. In truth, his pretensions are more modest in the text than in the title ; for in the former he claims only to have given
a brief historical sketch ;' but unless the responsibility of the title can be shifted upon the publishers; the author has sent out his book in a character which it cannot sustain. The sketch, such as it is, while it deals chiefly with matters of secondary interest, and touches upon the many theories that perplex our inquiry into the origin of the Druses; scarcely at all notices the struggles between them and the Maronites, which have contributed more, perhaps, to make them known to Europe, than any other occurrence in their history, worthy as that history is of being studied for the singular characteristics of religion and government it discloses, and the curious theories involved in its origin.
The most hopeful feature, as it occurs to us, in Mr. Chasseaud's book, is the youthfulness of the style, from which we are inclined to infer, though perhaps without sufficient warrant, the youth of the author. If we are right in supposing him to be of unripe years, a good many of his faults of style will be accounted for; and, as a specimen of precocity, the book may be considered fair enough.
Time, reading, and experience, have an irresistible tendency to confine a man to statements of fact, and prune down his redundant imagination. To borrow our author's style, this faculty of his, as might be expected, runs riot most freely in the field of description. In mere narrative he is more staid, natural, and it need scarcely be added, far more pleasing; although even there we meet with somewhat startling juvenilities. A 'Druse peasant, for instance, is made to give the history of his courtship, and cannot get through it without telling us that "the course of true love never did run smooth,” an evidence of familiarity with English literature, that must be rare, to say the least of it, among the Druses. There are, nevertheless, a good many interesting, and, we have no doubt, faithful pictures of Druse life and manners in the book, and had its title been less pretentious, these imperfections of style, to which we have thought it necessary to allude, would not have been so conspicuous.
Beyond a few opinions modestly ventured as to the descent of the Druses from the ancient Hivites, and some snatches of their modern annals, there is not much information of an historical kind to be derived from the volume. As we before observed, their struggle with the Maronites is only once or twice noticed, and that incidentally; but who the Maronites are we are left to our own research to discover. With regard to the peculiar doctrines, however, of the Druses, doctrines so very different from any professed elsewhere, we have not so much reason to complain. They are noticed in the course of the sketches: and the Appendix, from which we propose to make an extract or two, contains what purports to be the exact system both of belief and morals adopted by the Druses. Eccentric as this symbol may appear, and crowded as it is with absurdities, a closer inspection will show that its principal features, though at present to be found only amongst the Druses, were by no nieans confined to these tribes, or even originated by them. They are extinct monsters of imagination for the bulk of mankind, but they had, even amongst men claiming to be Christians, as real an existence as the Megalosaurus had in the material world. In a word, the creed or the mysteries of the Druses are plainly an offshoot of the ancient Gnosticism, and the result of a precisely similar grafting of eastern myths, and what has been called eastern philosophy, upon the truths of Revelation. This will appear with sufficient clearness when we come to place the matters of comparison in juxtaposition; and a little inquiry will enable us, moreover, to ascertain with tolerable accuracy the period when the Druse doctrines began to grow into their present shape, though we cannot pretend to carry our speculation so far back as the patriarchal times.
We believe it will be found that the history proper of the Druses begins about the period of the Mahometan Schism between the literal and figurative expounders of the Koran. Their history, as a distinct nationality, commences at that epoch, because it is just then we meet with the originators of their religious system. It is hardly necessary to say they began with the figurative interpretation of the Koran, for, grotesque as is the compilation of that celebrated book, its letter could never lend itself even remotely, to a construction resembling the creed of the Druses. Their doctrines, in a crude state of course, were first made public in Cairo, by two leaders of the figurative school, Mahommed, son of Ismael, surnamed Darusi, and Hamsa, son of Ali, surnamed Al Hadi, or the leader. It was not to be supposed that opinions like theirs could establish themselves without opposition, or indeed, establish themselves at all in a large community; and accordingly we find the coryphæi of the new doctrines obliged to escape from Cairo, and take refuge in the mountains. They had, however, made some proselytes, and one in particular, of great importance-Hakem, formerly the caliph of the family of Ali. They taught him that he was no less a personage than the incarnation of the Deity, and freely applied to him all the epithets that in the Koran are applied to God alone. Whether he allowed his head to be turned by their adulation, or simply lent himself to the imposture, certain it is, a total change was wrought in his character. From heing a zealous upholder of the law, and a stern persecutor of Jews and Christians, he threw the law overboard, and allowed the infidels to live unmolested. When Hampsa was obliged to withdraw from Cairo, and seek in the Lebanon that hospitality which is probably of earlier date than the religion of the Druses, Hakem supplied him with money, which Hampsa paid back in incense, and published his mysteries from the unapproachable secrecy and security of the mountains. This was quite a congenial spot for the growth of gnosticism in any