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History of Animals   


age, from a belief that it has now a better chance of survival. This
malady is worst at the full of the moon; and by the way, it is a
dangerous symptom when the spasms begin in the child's back.

Book VIII
1

WE have now discussed the physical characteristics of animals
and their methods of generation. Their habits and their modes of
living vary according to their character and their food.
In the great majority of animals there are traces of psychical
qualities or attitudes, which qualities are more markedly
differentiated in the case of human beings. For just as we pointed out
resemblances in the physical organs, so in a number of animals we
observe gentleness or fierceness, mildness or cross temper, courage,
or timidity, fear or confidence, high spirit or low cunning, and, with
regard to intelligence, something equivalent to sagacity. Some of
these qualities in man, as compared with the corresponding qualities
in animals, differ only quantitatively: that is to say, a man has more
or less of this quality, and an animal has more or less of some other;
other qualities in man are represented by analogous and not
identical qualities: for instance, just as in man we find knowledge,
wisdom, and sagacity, so in certain animals there exists some other
natural potentiality akin to these. The truth of this statement will
be the more clearly apprehended if we have regard to the phenomena
of childhood: for in children may be observed the traces and seeds
of what will one day be settled psychological habits, though
psychologically a child hardly differs for the time being from an
animal; so that one is quite justified in saying that, as regards
man and animals, certain psychical qualities are identical with one
another, whilst others resemble, and others are analogous to, each
other.
Nature proceeds little by little from things lifeless to
animal life in such a way that it is impossible to determine the exact
line of demarcation, nor on which side thereof an intermediate form
should lie. Thus, next after lifeless things in the upward scale comes
the plant, and of plants one will differ from another as to its amount
of apparent vitality; and, in a word, the whole genus of plants,
whilst it is devoid of life as compared with an animal, is endowed
with life as compared with other corporeal entities. Indeed, as we
just remarked, there is observed in plants a continuous scale of
ascent towards the animal. So, in the sea, there are certain objects
concerning which one would be at a loss to determine whether they be
animal or vegetable. For instance, certain of these objects are fairly
rooted, and in several cases perish if detached; thus the pinna is
rooted to a particular spot, and the solen (or razor-shell) cannot
survive withdrawal from its burrow. Indeed, broadly speaking, the
entire genus of testaceans have a resemblance to vegetables, if they
be contrasted with such animals as are capable of progression.
In regard to sensibility, some animals give no indication
whatsoever of it, whilst others indicate it but indistinctly. Further,
the substance of some of these intermediate creatures is fleshlike, as
is the case with the so-called tethya (or ascidians) and the acalephae
(or sea-anemones); but the sponge is in every respect like a
vegetable. And so throughout the entire animal scale there is a
graduated differentiation in amount of vitality and in capacity for
motion.
A similar statement holds good with regard to habits of life.
Thus of plants that spring from seed the one function seems to be
the reproduction of their own particular species, and the sphere of
action with certain animals is similarly limited. The faculty of
reproduction, then, is common to all alike. If sensibility be
superadded, then their lives will differ from one another in respect
to sexual intercourse through the varying amount of pleasure derived

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