Read CHAPTER V - AESTHETICISM of The Dawn of Reason / Mental Traits in the Lower Animals, free online book, by James Weir, on ReadCentral.com.

“The man that hath not music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.” The above quotation is the thought of one of the most acute, profound, and accurate psychologists that ever lived. That which he observed to be true among men, strangely enough, a long and systematic course of observation leads me to believe to be equally true among the lower animals; for wherever it can be observed that animals evince an appreciation for musical sounds, or show discrimination in their perception of harmonious tonal vibrations, such animals, with a single exception the spider will be found to be of kind disposition, and not given to “treasons, stratagems, and spoils” other than those required by their struggle for existence. So true is this rule, that the single exception the spider proves the verity of the deduction or conclusion. For, like many men, the spider’s love for the beautiful, not only in music but in decorative effects as well, is intimately associated with murder-lust; it kills for the love of killing. Many examples of the association of great cruelty and profound love for the beautiful in nature and the arts might be given; it is necessary for my purpose, however, to give but two Nero and Catherine de’ Medici.

That spiders appreciate musical sounds, and that they can differentiate between those sounds that are pleasing and those that are disagreeable to them, I have not a scintilla of doubt. The following facts bearing on this point came under my own observation or were told me by people in whose veracity I believe implicitly, or are vouched for by scientists of world-wide fame.

During one entire summer until late in autumn, a large, black hunting spider (Lycosa) dwelt in my piano. When I played andante movements softly, she would come out on the music rack and seem to listen intently. Her palpi would vibrate with almost inconceivable rapidity, while every now and then she would lift her anterior pair of legs and wave them to and fro, and up and down. Just as soon, however, as I commenced a march or galop, she would take to her heels and flee away to her den somewhere in the interior of the piano, where she would sulk until I enticed her forth with Traeumerei or Handel’s Largo.

On one occasion, while standing beside an organist who was improvising on the swell organ with viol d’amour stop drawn, a spider let herself down from the ceiling of the church and hung suspended immediately above his hands. He coupled on to great organ and commenced one of Guilmant’s resonant bravura marches; immediately the spider turned and rapidly climbed her silken thread to her web high up among the timbers of the ceiling. The organist informed me that he had noticed, time and again, that spiders were affected by music. Several days afterwards I went to the church for the special purpose of experiment; I seated myself at the organ and commenced to improvise on the swell organ with flute, viol d’amour, and tremulant stops out. In a few moments the spider let herself down from the ceiling and hung suspended before my eyes. So close was she that I could see her palpi vibrating rapidly and continuously. I suddenly dropped to great organ and burst into a loud, quick galop; the spider at once turned and ascended towards the ceiling with the utmost rapidity. Again and again I enticed her from her home in the ceiling, or sent her scurrying back, by playing slow piano or quick forte compositions. She clearly and conclusively indicated that loud, quick music was disagreeable to her. Professor C. Reclain of Leipsic, once, during a concert, saw a spider descend from one of the chandeliers and hang suspended above the orchestra during a violin solo; as soon, however, as the full orchestra joined in, it quickly ascended to its web. This fact of musical discrimination in a creature so low in the scale of animal life is truly wonderful; it indicates that these lowly creatures have arrived at a degree of aestheticism that is very high indeed.

Spiders are decorative artists of no little ability. I saw one which spun a web, beautifully adorned it with a broad, silken pathway, and then used it as a pleasure resort; I also saw a spider which intentionally beautified its web by affixing to it hundreds of minute flakes of logwood dye; thus we see that the aestheticism of spiders is not confined to the love of music, but extends to other fields. In passing, I may state that once, while confined to my room for a long time by sickness, I became intimately acquainted with a wolf-spider which seemed to take an aesthetic delight in her toilet. This lycosid became so very tame that she would crawl upon my finger and allow herself to be brought close to my eyes, so that I could observe her deft and skilful movements while beautifying her person. She learned to know me personally, rapidly running away and hiding herself when visitors entered my chamber, but never showing fear when I alone was in the room. This spider also showed an appreciation for certain musical sounds (the instrument used was the paper and comb mouth-organ of childhood); low, soft music would always entice her from her den beneath the table-lid, while loud, quick sounds seemed to frighten and disgust her.

Among animal music-lovers this chapter does not embrace those natural musicians, the crickets, grasshoppers, locusts, frogs, and birds, whose love-songs form such a large part of the aesthetic in nature; yet the instance I am about to relate cannot be omitted, for it clearly indicates a love for musical sounds other than those produced by the creature itself or its mates.

A gentleman, formerly living in the country, but now an attorney-at-law and residing in the town in which I live, told me that, on one occasion, he succeeded in raising two quails from eggs placed beneath a brooding barnyard fowl. These birds grew to maturity, and, what is rare indeed, became so exceedingly tame that they ran about the house and yard with the utmost freedom, showing not the slightest fear, and, seemingly, taking the greatest pleasure in the caresses bestowed upon them by the children of the household. This gentleman comes of a musical family, and, on pleasant summer nights, he and his sisters and brothers were in the habit of going to the stiles some distance away from the house and there singing and playing on the guitar and violin for several hours. The quails roosted on a dresser in the kitchen, but, as soon as the music began, they left their roost and flew to the stiles no matter how late in the night it might be, and there they would stay, perched on the shoulders of the musicians, until the concert was over; they would then go back to roost. They seemed to be passionately fond of the singing voice, and would seek out a singer wherever he or she might be, whenever they heard the sound of singing. In timbre the human female voice is more nearly akin to that of the quail than to that of any other animal. When a lad, “before my voice changed,” I could call up these birds at will by giving their various calls; I did not whistle the songs; I sang them. The peculiar quality of the female voice referred to above may be considered by some to have been the cause that influenced these birds; yet my informant distinctly states that the voice of an adult male equally attracted them.

The opening movement of Chopin’s Marche Funèbre affects me very disagreeably. The music is, to me, absolutely repugnant. The beautiful melody in the second movement is, however, to me exceedingly agreeable and affords me intense pleasure and gratification. The lower animals are likewise agreeably or disagreeably affected by certain musical sounds. Close observation has taught me the fact that certain musical keys are more agreeable to dogs than others. If a composition in a certain key, the fundamental note of which is agreeable to a dog, be played, he will either listen quietly and intently to the sounds, or will, sometimes, utter low and not unmusical howls in accord or “in tune” with the fundamental note. If the music be in a key not pleasing to him, he will either show absolute indifference, or will express his dissatisfaction with discordant yelps not in accord with the fundamental note of the key.

The bell of a certain church in my town sounds G. A collie, which lives next door to the church, when the bell is rung, never fails to express his delight in the sound. He listens intently while the bell is ringing, occasionally giving utterance to low howls, the notes being either B-flat, E-flat, or some other note in accord with G. This dog visits a house next door to another church, the bell of which sounds F. He never shows the slightest interest when this bell is rung. When I play compositions in F-sharp, an English fox-terrier of mine will lie on the floor and listen for an hour at a time. If I change to the key of E-flat, B-flat, or G, he will soon leave the room.

A question naturally obtrudes itself here in the matter of the dog which barks in accord with the church-bell. Does he do this knowingly (consciously), or is it simply an accident? I believe the former, and consider it the result of an acquired psychical habitude.

That the dog is conscious (self-conscious) that his voice is in accord with the bell, I will not venture to assert, for, knowledge on this point, I take it, is beyond the power of man to acquire. I mean by the word, “knowingly,” when I say that the dog knowingly pitches his voice in accord with the bell, not that he has any knowledge whatever of harmony, such as an educated musician possesses, or such even as the inherited experiences of a thousand years of music-loving ancestors would naturally impress upon the mind of a civilized European of to-day, but that he has an acquired imitative faculty (a faculty possessed by some of the negroes of Central Africa as well as by many other savage races), of attuning his voice to sounds which are pleasing to his ears. In support of this proposition I instance the fact of the dog’s acquired habit of barking, which has been developed since his domestication. In his wild state the dog never barks.

Man himself has done much toward arousing and cultivating the imitative faculty in the dog (which, in the beginning, impelled this highly developed animal to answer his master, thus originating the first vocables barking in the canine language), by conversing with him. In all probability, it is only an “anatomical barrier and a psychical accident” at best, which prevent the dog from addressing his master through the agency of speech itself!

The dog’s voice is exceedingly pleasing to himself, and, most frequently, when “baying the moon,” he is listening to his own singing, not (as is generally supposed) as it pours forth from his throat, but in a more pleasing manner, as it is breathed back to his listening ears from the airy lips of Echo!

That dogs have discovered that pleasing phenomenon, the echo, I do not question for a single instant. If a dog which is in the habit of “baying the moon” be watched, it will be observed that he invariably selects the same spot or spots for his nocturnal concerts. If you happen to be standing in the neighborhood, you will also notice that there is always an echo, more or less distinct, of his barking; and, if you will observe closely, you will see that the dog listens for this echo, and that he will not resume his song until it (the echo) has entirely ceased. That this is the true explanation of “baying the moon” (where there is not another dog in the distance whose clamorous barkings have aroused a like performance on the part of the animal under observation), the following instance, coming under my own observation, would seem to indicate.

I had frequently noticed that a spaniel crept under a honeysuckle bush in my front yard whenever he gave one of his serenades. Time and again I tried to hear the echo, but in vain, and an almost verified fact seemed in danger of total annihilation. Finally, it occurred to me to dispossess the dog and take his place beneath the bush. I called him out and succeeded with much difficulty in getting beneath the bush, from whence I, imitating his voice, sent several howling barks. My theory was no longer merely theory, but was, instead, a verified fact, for, sharp, clear, and distinct, the echoes of my voice came back from some buildings an eighth of a mile away! Some peculiar acoustic environment made it impossible to get the echo at any place, as far as I could discover, other than beneath the bush.

It is highly probable that the susceptibility of rats and mice to the influence of musical sounds has been known for ages. The legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin is by no means recent, nor is it confined to European peoples alone; in one form or another it exists among Asiatic, Indian, and Indo-Malayan races. In all the legends, the rats or mice are drawn together by sounds emanating from some kind of musical instrument.

A celebrated violinist told me that, at one period of his life, he lived in a house that fairly swarmed with rats. He noticed that these creatures were peculiarly susceptible to minor chords, or to compositions played in minors, and that quick, lively music would bring them forth from their lurking-places in great numbers. A few abrupt, dissonant discords would, invariably, send them scurrying to their holes.

Another violinist informs me that several mice living in his room are influenced by the music of his violin; when he plays an andante movement very softly, they appear to listen intently and to enjoy the music; but when he plays an allegro in quick time and loud, they quickly run away. The organist of the First Presbyterian Church of Owensboro, Kentucky, tells me that when he lived in Cuba, New York, a mouse dwelt beneath a bookcase in his room, and that he often performed the following experiment: Seating himself at the piano, he would begin improvising softly. In a few moments the mouse would come from beneath the bookcase, approach the centre of the room, and, standing on its hind feet, would listen intently to the music. A loud chord on the piano would send it scampering away to its home. He would then resume his pianissimo improvisation, and the mouse would soon return to its former station near the centre of the room, only to vanish again as soon as the loud chords were struck.

A violinist of Louisville, Kentucky, Mr. Karl Benedik, told me, on one occasion, that he had repeatedly noticed that several mice, which lived in his room, were influenced by the music of his violin. When he played an andante movement pianissimo, they would appear to listen with pleasure; but when he played an allegro in quick tempo and forte, they immediately ran away.

Mice not only enjoy the music of others, but sometimes make music themselves. My father enjoyed nightly concerts or serenades, for a long time, from some “singing mice” in his library. I was fortunate enough to hear this novel concert on one occasion. The mice, two in number, came out from beneath the casing of the fireplace. They took places on the hearth, several feet distant from one another, and first one, and then the other, sang. Their songs were low and musical, not unlike the song of the canary, though there were no cadenzas or fioritura passages. They seemed to use six notes, these notes being repeated in melodious sequences. I noticed, several times, a run of four notes in ascending scale. On another occasion, in my bedroom, I heard a mouse sing his pleasing little song over and over again.

Miss Ada Sterling, editor of Fashions, writes me as follows:

“... Anent your paper ... I have had some curious experiences of a similar nature; one was in an uncarpeted room, the house being deserted at that time. I stood still, planning certain things and humming softly to myself. Presently, a shadowy something caught my eye, and I discovered a little mouse, very young evidently, then another and another, until four were near. I did not attribute their tameness to music, and in surprise turned to see if there were others about. Instantly they scampered off, my action having frightened them.

“When I finally arrived at the conclusion that music had attracted them, I sat down and began to hum, this time with an open sound instead of a closed tone, and in a second the little creatures were out again, standing perfectly still, as if the sound gave them delight. Gradually I swelled the tone, and yet they were undisturbed until I became too bold and gave a clear, sharp, full sound, and this at once frightened them.

I experimented in this way for more than a month, never missing my audience once, and by this time the little creatures, grown so fat and bold as to cause serious damage, were ruthlessly caught and killed.

“I heard Kate Field, about four years ago, when, as the guest of Mr. Stedman, she told several interesting stories, relate an experience of her own, wherein, one night early in her life, she had leaned against the walls of the Campanile, gray and phantom-like in the moonlight, and, singing softly to herself, was surprised at discovering several little lizards lying about on the stones, their heads held alertly in the air as if entranced by the sound of her voice. She, too, experimented with the varying sounds, and from time to time, and evidently looked back upon the experiment as one of rare interest to herself.”

Tree lizards will listen completely entranced to the music of a good whistler, and will allow themselves to be captured while thus inthralled. Some lizards are fairly good musicians themselves, notably the tree lizards of the East Tennessee mountains. I have repeatedly heard them singing on the slopes of Chilhowie and adjacent peaks.

Burroughs writes very entertainingly of a singing lizard, or, rather, salamander: “... Approach never so cautiously the spot from which the sound proceeds and it instantly ceases, and you may watch for an hour without hearing it again. ‘Is it a frog,’ I said ’the small tree-frog, the piper of the marshes repeating his spring note but little changed amid the trees?’ Doubtless it is, but I must see him in the very act. So I watched and waited, but to no purpose, till one day, while bee-hunting in the woods, I heard the sound proceeding from the leaves at my feet. Keeping entirely quiet, the little musician presently emerged, and lifting himself up on a small stick, his throat palpitated, and the plaintive note again came forth. ‘The queerest frog that ever I saw,’ said a youth who accompanied me and whom I had enlisted to help solve the mystery. No, it was no frog or toad at all, but the small red salamander commonly called lizard."

The sound of the piccolo is very pleasing to these little creatures, and I have frequently collected about me as many as ten or a dozen by sounding this instrument in the still depths of a wood which I knew these salamanders frequented.

Certain snakes are very susceptible to the charm of harmonious tonal vibration; witness the performance of the Hindu snake charmer, who, while handling that deadly poisonous creature, the cobra-de-capello, plays continuously on flageolets, fifes, or other musical instruments. I, myself, have often held tree lizards completely entranced until grasped in my hand, by whistling shrilly and continuously.

I remember, on one occasion, when I was quite young, that a large black snake crawled through a ventilating hole in the wall of the “quarters” or row of brick cottages occupied by the negroes, and took shelter beneath the floor. It was seen by myself and some of my dusky playmates, who immediately carried the tidings to the negro gardener. He called one of the hands from the field, and, after placing him with a loaded shotgun at one side of the hole in the wall, took his station just behind him and commenced to play on his fiddle. In a few moments the snake came out, and was killed by the discharge of the gun in the hands of the other negro. I have been informed, time and again, by negroes that they could charm snakes from their holes with music, but the instance related above is the only one of the snake being led to its death by the bewitching power of musical sounds that has ever come under my immediate personal observation.

Before dismissing the subject of the influence of music on animals, I wish to call attention to the fact that Romanes declares that pigeons and parrots evince an aesthetic enjoyment of musical sounds.

“Moreover,” writes he, “the pleasure which birds manifest in musical sounds is not always restricted to the sounds which they themselves produce.”

Bingley quotes John Lockman, the celebrated composer, who declares that he once saw a pigeon which could distinguish a particular air. Lockman was visiting a Mr. Lee in Cheshire, whose daughter was a fine pianist, “and whenever she played the air of Speri si from Handel’s opera of ‘Admetus,’ a pigeon would descend from an adjacent dovecot to the window of the room where she sat, ’and listen to the air apparently with the most pleasing emotions,’ always returning to the dovecot immediately the air was finished. But it was only this one air that would induce the bird to behave in this way."

A correspondent writes me that he has a cock which is passionately fond of the sound of the violin. This bird always flies to the window of the music-room as soon as he hears the sound of the violin, where he will quietly remain perched as long as the music continues. As soon as the music ceases, he flies down from the window.

Horses very frequently show an appreciation for musical sounds, especially when they are produced by a band of brasses.

Amusement and pastime are, unquestionably, aesthetic psychical characteristics, hence, when we see evidences of these mental operations, we must acknowledge the presence of aestheticism in the animals in which they are to be noticed.

I propose to show that animals low in the scale of life animals so low and so minute that it takes a very high-power lens to make them visible, have their pastimes and amusements. Also, that many insects and even the slothful snail are not so busily engaged in the struggle for existence that they cannot spare a few moments for play. In our researches in this field of animal intelligence we must not attribute the peculiar actions of the males in many species of animals when courting the females, to simple pastime, for they are the outward manifestations of sexual desire, and are not examples of psychical amusement. I have seen, in actinophorous rhizopods, certain actions, unconnected with sexual desire or the gratification of appetite, which lead me to believe that these minute microscopic organisms have their pastimes and moments of simple amusement. On several occasions while observing these creatures, I have seen them chasing one another around and around their miniature sea. They seemed to be engaged in a game of tag. This actinophrys is not very agile, but when excited by its play, it seems to be an entirely different creature, so lively does it become. These actions were not those of strife, for first one and then another would act the pursuer and the pursued. There were, generally, four or five actinophryans in the game.

One of the rotifers frequently acts as if engaged in play. On several occasions I have observed them perform a kind of dance, a pas seul, for each rotifer would be alone by itself. Their motions were up and down as if exercising with an invisible skipping-rope. They would keep up this play for several minutes and then resume feeding or quietly remain at rest. This rotifer goes through another performance which I also believe to be simply a pastime. Its tail is armed with a double hook or forceps. It attaches itself to a piece of alga or other substance by this forceps, and then moves its body up and down in the water for several minutes at a time.

The snail (H. pomatia) likewise has its moments of relaxation and amusement. The following instance of play may be considered to be gallantry by some, but I do not believe that I am mistaken, however, when I consider it an example of animal pastime. Two snails approached each other, and, when immediately opposite, began slowly to wave their heads from side to side. They then bowed several times in courtly salutation. This performance they kept up for quite a while and then moved away in different directions. At no time did they come in contact, and careful observation failed to reveal any excitement in the genitalia. I have witnessed the embraces of snails, and the performance described above does not resemble, in the slightest degree, the manoeuvres executed at such times by mating individuals.

Swarms of Diptera may be seen on any bright day dancing in the sunlight. Naturalists have heretofore considered this swarming to be a mating of the two sexes. This is not the case, however, in many instances. On numerous occasions, and at different seasons of the year, I have captured dozens of these insects in my net and have examined them microscopically. I found them all to be unimpregnated females; I have never yet discovered a male among them. In some of the Diptera the males emerge from the pupa state after the females; I therefore believe that the females await the presence of the males, and, while waiting, pass the time away in aerial gambols.

Forel, Lubbock, Kirby, Spence, and other naturalists have declared that ants, on certain occasions, indulge in pastimes and amusements. Huber says that he saw a colony of pratensis, one fine day, “assembled on the surface of their nest, and behaving in a way that he could only explain as simulating festival sports or other games." On the 27th of September last, the males and females of a colony of Lasius flavus emerged from their nest; I saw these young kings and queens congregate about the entrance of the nest and engage in playful antics until driven away by the workers. The workers would nip their legs with their mandibles until the royal offspring were forced to fly in order to escape being bitten. The inciting cause of these movements may have been sexual in character, but I hardly think so.

On the 19th of July, 1894, I saw several Lasius niger come out of their nest accompanied by a minute beetle (Claviger foveolatus); the ants caressed and played with this little insect for some time, and then conducted it back into the nest.

Many such little animals are kept by the ants as pets. Lubbock says of one of them, a species allied to Podura, and for which he proposes the name Beckia, “It is an active, bustling, little being, and I have kept hundreds, I may say thousands, in my nests. They run in and out among the ants, keeping their antennæ in a perpetual state of vibration." I have frequently noticed an insect belonging to the same genus as the above in the nests of F. fusca and F. rufescens. They reminded me very much of the important-looking little dogs one sees running about in the crowd on election day.

The females of Coccinellae ("lady-bugs”) frequently congregate and indulge in performances that cannot be anything else save pastimes. A beech tree in my yard is called “lady-bug tree” because, year after year, these insects collect there and hold their curious conventions. They caress one another with their antennæ, and gently “shoulder” one another from side to side. Sometimes several will get their heads together, and seem by their actions to be holding a confidential conversation.

These conventions always take place after oviposition, and careful and repeated observation has shown me that they are not connected with procreation or alimentation. I have witnessed many other instances of true psychical amusement in the lower animals, but do not think it is necessary to detail them here. Suffice it to say that I believe that almost every living creature, at some period of its existence, has its moments of relaxation from the cares of life, when it enjoys the gratification of amusement.

Some birds evince aesthetic taste, notably in the building of their nests, which they ornament and decorate in a manner very pleasing to the eye.

The snakeskin bird gets its name from its habit of using the cast-off skins of snakes for decorative purposes. Not long ago I found a nest in a small wood, not far from the town in which I live, which was beautifully ornamented with the exuviated skin of a black snake (Bascanion constrictor). This skin must have been at least five feet in length, and the little artists had woven it into the walls of their nest in such a manner that its translucent, glittering scales contrasted very beautifully with the darker materials of their home.

Humming-birds use bits of lichen and moss to decorate their tiny nests. These materials serve a twofold purpose: they not only render the nest beautiful, but they also serve to protect it by making it resemble the limb on which it is placed. It takes a very acute and discriminating eye, indeed, to locate a humming-bird’s nest.

Probably of all the lower animals, the male satin or bower bird of New South Wales has the decorative feeling the most developed. This bird builds a pleasure resort, a summer-house, or, rather, dance hall, which he ornaments profusely with every glittering, shining, striking object that he can carry to his bower in the depths of the forest. This bower is built of twigs, and, when completed, is an oblong, sugar-loaf-like structure, open at both ends. The bird decorates his dancing hall (for he comes here to perform love-dances during the courting season) with bright-colored rags, shells, pebbles, bones, etc.

I once saw a pair of bower birds in captivity (they were owned by Mr. George Hahn of St. Louis), which constructed the dance hall from materials furnished by their owner.

The love of personal cleanliness is, probably, the root and beginning of much that is aesthetic among the lower animals.

When quite a small lad, one of the first lessons set down in my copy-book, after I had graduated in “pot-hooks and hangers,” was the trite old saw, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” My Yankee governess, a tall, angular spinster, from Maine, made the meaning of this copy clear to my infant mind, pointing her remarks by calling attention to the Kentucky real estate which had found a resting-place beneath my finger-nails, and which seemed to decorate them with perpetual badges of mourning. I have never forgotten that lesson and firmly believe in its truth.

The love of cleanliness seems to be inherent in the lower animals, with but few exceptions. We have all noticed the cat, the dog, the squirrel, the monkey, and the birds at toilet-making; and we know that they spend a large portion of their time in cleansing and beautifying their bodies. Some of them are dependent on their own ministrations, while others are greatly assisted by humble little servants, whose only remuneration is domicile, the cast-off clothing, or the garbage and refuse from their host’s table.

For instance, the common domestic fowl is greatly assisted in its toilet by certain little animals belonging to the family Liothe. These little creatures carefully scrape away and eat the scarf-skin, and other epidermal debris that would otherwise impair the health of their hosts. Some of the fish family are entirely dependent on the ministrations of mutualists, as these little hygienic servitors are called, in matters of the toilet. Notably, the gilt catfish, which would undoubtedly die if deprived of its mutualist, the Gyropeltes. This remarkable little creature does not live on the body of its host, but swims free in the water, and only seeks him when it is hungry. The skin of the gilt catfish secretes a thick, glairy, mucous exudate, which, if left to itself, would imperil the health of the fish. The Gyropeltes, however, regards this exudate as delicious food and rapidly removes and devours it.

All insects devote some of their time to the toilet, and there is probably no one who has not, at some time or other, noticed the fly, or some other insect, thus engaged. The greatest lover of bodily cleanliness in the whole insect tribe, however, is, I believe, my pet locust, “Whiskers” so named by a little niece, on account of her long, graceful antennæ. “Whiskers” is one of the smallest of her family, and is a dainty, lovely, agile little creature, light olive-green in color, with red legs. She was reared from the egg, and has lived in my room all her short life. She is quite tame and recognizes me as soon as I approach, often hopping two feet or more in order to light on my coat-sleeve or outstretched hand.

The first thing she does, after reaching my hand, is to seek my little finger and try her jaws on a diamond ring. The diamond seems to puzzle her greatly. She sometimes spends several minutes closely examining it. She will stand off at a little distance and pass her antennæ over every portion of it. Then she will come closer and make a more minute examination, finally essaying another bite with her powerful jaws. A great water drinker, she evidently thinks the stone is some strange kind of dewdrop, hence her persistent efforts to bite it.

“Whiskers” has developed cannibalistic tastes, for the hardened skin around my finger-nails is a favorite morceau which she digs out with her sharp jaws and masticates with seeming delight. She nips out a piece of skin, cocks her head on one side, and, looking up at me with her clear, emerald-tinted eyes, her masticatory apparatus working like a grist-mill, she seems to say, “Well! old fellow, this is good.”

She passes most of her time on a bit of turf, in a box on my table, where the sun shines bright and warm. She is fond of water, however, and makes frequent excursions to the water-pitcher across the room. How she discovered that it contained water is more than I can tell; but she did, and she visits it often.

It is in her habits of bodily cleanliness, however, that “Whiskers” outshines all other insects. I have watched her at early dawn and have always found her at her toilet. This is her first undertaking, even before taking a bite to eat. She makes frequent toilets during the day, and it is her last occupation at night before sinking to rest on a blade of grass. Her method of procedure is very interesting. She commences by first carefully cleansing her antennæ, drawing each of them through her mouth repeatedly. Then she treats her fore-legs to a thorough scrubbing, going over every portion with her tongue and jaws. With her fore-legs, using them as hands, she then cleans her head and shoulders, if I may use the latter term. Her middle legs and her long “vaulters” are then subjected to the same careful treatment. Her back and the posterior portion of her abdomen are next rubbed down, she using the last pair of legs for this purpose. Finally, standing erect and incurvating her abdomen between her legs, she cleans it and her ovipositor with her jaws and tongue. Her toilet is made twenty or thirty times a day. Invariably, after one of her excursions to the water-pitcher, as soon as she returns to her box this is her first occupation.

Now, having seen that the lower animals possess aesthetic feeling, it is reasonable to suppose that some of them possess some of the acquired higher emotions, such, for instance, as parental affection. The evidence seems to indicate that some of the lower animals do evince such affection, as I will now endeavor to point out.