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Constitution of the Indian Mind

American History, Volume I: Aboriginal America (New York: Sheldon, 1860)


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CONSTITUTION OF THE INDIAN MIND. 258

that are to search for their food along the margins of lakes and ponds are furnished with long wading legs and near-seeing eyes ; while those appointed to find and devour the bodies of dead animals, wherever they may lie, over a wide extent of country, have eyes endowed with a most astonish- ing extent of vision, and wings of prodigious strength to sustain them in the longest flights, and tarry them up to the loftiest pinnacles of the mountains.

MENTAL ADAPTATIONS.

This adaptation of the powers and faculties of animals to the duties, so to speak, which they are destined to perform in life, applies to their men- tal qualities, as well as to those which are more purely corporeal. A lamb, being intended to feed on grass and flowers, is gentle in spirit, and is fur- nished with an instinct which leads him to save himself from danger by running away from his--. The tiger, on the other hand, is endowed with a degree of courage and of combative ardor so great that we call it ferocity ; and this simply because: he is to live by seizing and conquering a and resisting prey. The fox, who is to feed upon timid animals that have wings to fly away from him, is made cunning, that he may be



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