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Pennant, says the elk was once plentiful in the island of Cape Breton, although they had become extirpated by the time he wrote. In our own days, according to Dr, Godman, they are not known in the State of Maine, but are still seen in considerable numbers near the bay of Fundy,*
We shall conclude with a brief notice of the rein-deer, Cervus tarandus, which, like the last, is believed to be identical in Europe and America, although it continues an undomesticated species in the western world. Like the elk also, it has become greatly restricted in modern times, as it is seldom found south of 59° or 60° in Norway, while in Sweden its boundary is about 61° or 62o. In a northerly direction, it ranges uncontrolled by actual cold or fear of famine, as far as Greenland, Spitzbergen, and Melville Island. It does not occur in Iceland, Professor Nilsson indulges in some curious notions regarding the geographical distribution of the rein-deer. He supposes that those which inhabit the province of Scania came from the southward immediately after the boulder formation, while that portion of Sweden was still united to Germany, and the North Sea had not thrown its waters into what we now call the Baltic; while, on the other hand, those which at present inhabit the more northern parts of Scandinavia came into them at a much later period by the way of Finnish Lapland, and subsequently to the land which stretches between the Gulf of Bothnia and the White Sea baving risen from the deep. He deduces this view from the fact, that fossil remains of rein-deer are found abundantly in all the alluvial peat-bogs of Scania, but are unknown throughout the entire country which lies between it and Southern Lapland.
The female rein-deer presents an exception to the rule which prevails among the antlered kinds, in having the head armed as in the male,-a fact recorded by Julius Cæsar, who describes the species as an inhabitant of the Hercynian forest, that “boundless contiguity of shade,” which extended even to the far Uralian Mountains. There is, indeed, a remarkable inequality of polar distances in the distribution of this, as of several other species, in accordance with the difference of meridian. Humboldt has long since shewn that physical climates do not lie in parallel bands at equal distances from the equator, but that the isothermal lines recede from the pole in the interior of continents, and advance towards it as we approach the shores, so that the further any northern species is naturally removed from the ameliorating climatic influence of the sea, the more extended inay be its range in a southerly direction. Of this the species now under consiGeographical Distribution of the Rein-deer.
* The elk was unknown to the Greeks both by name and nature. The word alce first occurs in the writings of Julius Cæsar, and is supposed to have been adopted by him from the Celts. The Celtic name is elch, the Swedish elg. The American title of Moose-deer is derived from the Cree-Indian term Moosga.
deration affords a remarkable illustration. Pallas (writing towards the close of the preceding century) informs us, that herds of wild rein-deer were still found among the pine woods which extend from the banks of the Oufa, under 55°, to those of the Kama. They are known to proceed still further south, along the shady summits of that prolonged portion of the Uralian Mountains which stretches between the Don and the Wolga, as far as 46°. Thus they advance almost to the base of the Caucasian Mountains, along the banks of the river Kouma, where, at least in the days of Pallas, scarcely a winter passed without a few being shot by the Kalmucks, under a latitude more than a hundred miles to the south of Astracan.*
* The southern limits of the American rein-deer are by no means distinctly known, in consequence chiefly of the native name of caribou being vaguely applied to more than one species. Dr. Harlan, a recent writer, (in his Fauna Americana, 1826,) brings them as far south as the State of Maine, but he neither gives his authority, nor distinctly states his own personal knowledge of what he ought to have regarded as a singular circumstance requiring circumstantial proof. Charlevoix, (Histoire de la Nouvelle France, 1777,) who probably died before Harlan was born, mentions that, in his time, so rare was the rein-deer in the latitude of Quebec, that he never knew of more than one having wandered thither, and this solitary sample, on being chased, precipitated itself from Cape Diamond, and, after swimming across the St. Lawrence, was killed by some Indians encamped on Point Levi. There are two well-marked if not permanent varieties of this animal in North America. Those which pass their bright but fleeting summer in the “barren grounds," and along the shores the Arctic Ocean, are small of stature, and consequently so light that a liunter can carry a full-grown doe across his shoulders. It is highly esteemed as food, and were it not for its great abundance in the Barrens, the Chepewyans, Copper, Dog-rib, and Hare Indians of Great-bear Lake, would be unable to inhabit those desolate lands. The noted and almost indispensable pemmican is formed of its pounded flesh, incorporated with one third part of its melted fat. Sir John Richardson was of opinion, that when in prime condition this variety is superior to the finest English mutton. We have elsewhere remarked that he was probably hungrier in the Arctic regions than he has ever been at home. The other variety, known as the woodland caribou, is of larger size, and much inferior flavour. One of its most rentarkable peculiarities consists in its travelling southwards in the spring, crossing the Nelson and Severn rivers in vast numbers during the month of May, in order to spend the summer on the low marshy shores of James's Bay, from whence it returns inland, and in å northerly direction, in September. The stream of life, as constituted by the migratory movements of other animals, is usually the reverse of this. But we may well believe they are directed by One who cannot err.
Whether the varieties which constitute the species as it exists in the old world, conform to those of the new, we cannot say. We shall state the facts, so far as known. They apply, however, only to the domesticated tribes. The Lapland rein-deer, though powerful in the sledge, are of small stature compared with those reared in the northern parts of Asia by the Tungusians, who ride upon them. There are two kinds of subjugated rein-deer in Lapland. The one is the fiall-ren, or mountain rein-deer, and is herded for the greater portion of the year on regions of such great elevation as to be nearly destitute of arborial vegetation. The other, called the scogs-ren, is the larger of the two, and is pastured in the forests all the year round. Neither variety equals the wild animal in size, and the principal reason assigned for this deterioration is, that the larger portion of the milk of the dam being reserved by the Lapps for their own subsistence, the fawns are stinted of their fair proportion. When rein-deer run they make a well-known “clattering" sound with their closing hoofs. We are surprised that Von Buch should attribute this to the incessant crackling of the knee-joints, as if produced by a succession of electric shocks."
We have never been able to satisfy ourselves regarding the precise period at which the important process of shedding the antlers is performed by rein-deer. “Though the male as well as the female,” says Mr. Lloyd, “shed their horns annually, it is not at the same period, for the males lose theirs soon after the ratting season, in the autumn, whilst the females and the young males do not part with theirs until pretty late in spring. He afterwards indicates the rutting season more specially as being “about the end of September, or beginning of October.” Winter must therefore be commenced both in Finmark and Lapland before these creatures cast their antlers, and unless their growth is more rapid than we can well suppose, the worst part of it must have passed before they have been effectively reformed. Yet we are often told that the portion called the brow antler, is of great service in scraping the snow from the lichens and other plants of lowly growth on which they feed. In all the wintry snow-scenes represented by Mr. Lloyd, the rein-deer is exhibited with amply developed antlers. It is known that a buck rein-deer lived nearly three years not far from Hackney. He cast his antlers in winter for two successive seasons, and renewed them in spring. During one of these seasons they continued in the state of stumps till the 30th of January, and then began to shoot; and on the 24th of February they were only five or six inches high, and covered by a thick pile. This account does not agree with that of Leems, who describes this animal as losing its antlers in spring. It is true that both Hoffberg and Buffon maintain the contrary, yet as Leems lived ten years in Lapland, his experience must have exceeded that of all naturalists combined ; and his account is more consistent with the fact already referred to, of the creature scraping the ground with its brow antlers during the winter season,--a circumstance by the by strongly dwelt upon even by those writers who, at the same time, deny the existence of the parts in question, during the very period they are pleased to put them to that use. Leems himself, indeed, makes no reference to that service, but, on the contrary, says expressly that the rein-deer obtains the snow-covered lichens by means of its feet. We
that these somewhat contradictory statements are best reconciled, or at least accounted for, by the fact, that the different sexes and ages of this species cast their antlers at different times.
We dare not now enter upon the ornithology of Scandinavia, to which a large portion of Mr. Lloyd's second volume is devoted. We may take an after opportunity to discourse on the birds of the northern regions.
Auguste Comte and Positivism.
ART. VIII.—1. Système de Politique Positive. Par AUGUSTE
COMTE, Auteur du Système de Philosophie Positive. Tomes
I. II. III. Paris, 1851-1853. 2. Catéchisme Positiviste. Par AUGUSTE COMTE, Auteur du
Système de Philosophie Positive et du Système de Politique
Positive. Paris, October 1852. 3. Le Calendrier Positiviste. Par AUGUSTE COMTE, &c.
Paris. Quatrième Edition. Mai 1852. 4. Discours sur l'Enseinble du Positivisme. Par AUGUSTE
COMTE, &c. Paris, Juillet 1848. 5. Discours sur l’Esprit Positif. Par AUGUSTE COMTE, &c.
Paris, Février 1844. 6. Cours de Philosophie Positive. Par M. AUGUSTE COMTE,
Ancien élève de l'Ecole Polytechnique. 6 tomes 8vo. Paris,
1830-1842. 7. Système de Politique Positive. Par M. AUGUSTE COMTE.
Paris, 1824. 8. De la Philosophie Positive. Par E. LITTRÉ. Paris, 1845. 9. Conservation, Révolution, et Positivisme. Par E. LITTRÉ.
Paris, 1852. 10. Philosophy of Mathematice. Translated from the Cours de
Philosophie Positive of Auguste Comte. By W. M. GIL
LESPIE, A.M. New York, 1851. 11. Comte's Philosophy of the Sciences, being an Exposition of
the Principles of the Cours de Philosophie Positive of Au
guste Comte. By G. H. LEWES. London, 1853. 12. The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte. Freely trans
lated and condensed. By HARRIET MARTINEAU. 2 vols. London, 1853.
The time seems to bave arrived when the merits and defects, the spirit and tendencies of the “ Positive Philosophy." may be subjected to review. It is true that the contemplated labours of M. Comte are by no means closed. He boasts of his ability still to devote some eight or nine years of full cerebral vigour to the service of his regenerated Humanity. His elaborate construction of Sociology requires a fourth volume; and he projects new enterprises for the occupation of his old age, But it is scarcely necessary to wait for the period when he may make a voluntary retreat from the arena of philosophy. We regard it as improbable that his years will be sufficiently protracted, at least with the adequate retention of his admirable intellectual powers, to enable him to achieve his more remote designs. His
own peculiar mission is already ended; and, when we look at the vast but unfinished pile which is the result of his speculative labours, and note at the same time the silent advances of intelligence since the first promulgation of his undeveloped suggestions of a Science of Society in April 1824,* we recur to the brazen head of Friar Bacon, and are tempted to apply to the scheme of Positivism its solitary and sententious oracle. It seems to us that this protracted evolution of a fruitful but defective germ was, in its original conception, a prophetic anticipation of an impending danger and a coming necessity. But the storm has descended before the Sibylline leaves could be gathered, and the whirlwind of revolution has swept over the nations before the oracles of the prophet are fully promulgated, or the proposed means of prevention have been definitely proclaimed. The goal, towards which M. Comte has been anxiously straining, already lies behind him in the past. In his fifty-seventh year, he advances, indeed, with unabated energy and a loftier assurance, but the lighted torch has passed from his hands, and is borné onward by the voiceless instincts of human advancement. Yet, though we believe that the onward flow of time has swept away his expected triumph, we must not here dwell on such an apparently pre-determined conclusion. It is a judgment not to be assumed at the outset, but to be established in the course of our critical review. Moreover, besides the immediate interest which might attach to Positivism as a remedial legislation for existing anarchy and social disorder, it possesses permanent claims on our notice as a marked, peculiar, and elaborate system of speculation.
In venturing upon this wide criticism we need not apprehend any serious incompleteness of view, in consequence of the still unfinished state of the Système de Politique Positive. The premature publication of the Catéchisme Positiviste, with the frequent indications of ulterior developments iu the volumes already issued, enable us to dispense with further assistance, and to anticipate in some measure the concluding expositions of the Political system. We feel a deeper regret in being compelled to forego the use of M. Comte's earlier essays, which are unattainable, but will be re-published as an appendix to the Fourth volume of the Politique Positive. We should have been pleased to trace through its changes and modifications from the first prolific germ to its final umbrageous expansion, that vast Philosophy, which now proclaims itself the definite and eternal organization of human speculation and practice, and asserts its assured dominion over
* Cours de Philosophie Positive, vol. i. p. 6, note. In 1822, according to vol. vi. p. 8.