A Treatise of Human Nature HTML version
easy to remark, that on some occasions it has a considerable influence upon them. Thus
acquaintance, which has the same effect as relation, always produces love in animals
either to men or to each other. For the same reason any likeness among them is the source
of affection. An ox confined to a park with horses, will naturally join their company, if I
may so speak, but always leaves it to enjoy that of his own species, where he has the
choice of both.
The affection of parents to their young proceeds from a peculiar instinct in animals, as
well as in our species.
It is evident, that sympathy, or the communication of passions, takes place among
animals, no less than among men. Fear, anger, courage, and other affections are
frequently communicated from one animal to another, without their knowledge of that
cause, which produced the original passion. Grief likewise is received by sympathy; and
produces almost all the same consequences, and excites the same emotions as in our
species. The howlings and lamentations of a dog produce a sensible concern in his
fellows. And it is remarkable, that though almost all animals use in play the same
member, and nearly the same action as in fighting; a lion, a tyger, a cat their paws; an ox
his horns; a dog his teeth; a horse his heels: Yet they most carefully avoid harming their
companion, even though they have nothing to fear from his resentment; which is an
evident proof of the sense brutes have of each other's pain and pleasure.
Every one has observed how much more dogs are animated when they hunt in a pack,
than when they pursue their game apart; and it is evident this can proceed from nothing
but from sympathy. It is also well known to hunters, that this effect follows in a greater
degree, and even in too .great a degree, where two packs, that are strangers to each other,
are joined together. We might, perhaps, be at a loss to explain this phaenomenon, if we
had not experience of a similar in ourselves.
Envy and malice are passions very remarkable in animals. They are perhaps more
common than pity; as requiring less effort of thought and imagination.