How Best To Educate Your Child At Home

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more artificial and arbitrary modes of speech. These cries are universal in the several species, and are not adopted from imitation, but from instinct. The young duck that is hatched and reared by the hen does not imitate the notes of its foster-mother, but makes precisely the same sound as the parent that gave it existence. If you take the eggs of various birds, and cause them to be hatched in one nest, the young ones will severally break forth with the language of their several parents. In Japan and China, it is common to hatch chickens by steam, and I have seen the same process in London. These chickens, cut off from all intercourse with their kindred of the barnyard, invariably utter the same cries, whether expressive of pain or plea­sure. I know that some birds have conside­rable powers of imitation. The parrot may be taught to utter sentences, and the caged mock­ing-bird will repeat snatches of music caught from the flute. But these powers are of small compass, and confined to a few species. They not only show a faculty of imitation, but to some extent a capacity for instruction. It must be re­marked, however, that these arts, thus acquired, are not material to the existence of their posses­sors. They do not contribute to their happiness or elevate them in the scale of being. The gay 3*
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