C.M. de Pougens, (25 August 1755-19 December 1833): Marie-Charles-Joseph Pougens was born in Paris. Destined for a career as a diplomat he was sent to Rome in 1776, where at 22 one of his painting earned him entry into the Art Academy of Rome. At 24 he almost died of smallpox, which left him almost blind -- a quack doctor finished the job. Back in France he worked on trade deals with England and started his own printing business. He wrote works on philology, art, diplomacy, business, physics, botany, geology, mineralogy, poetry, archæology, mythology,and on the history of criminal justice. He is, however, best remembered for his novella Jocko (1824), which inspired a blatant plagiarism and a play
Link to Tarzan of the ApesThe novella tells of a man's meeting with pongo which he befriends and tries to educate. His intentions are sidetracked by the she-ape's collection of raw diamonds. After she fights with a large snake, he is unable to save her life. The portrayal of the ape's behaviour is supported by extensive "proofs" citing extensively from scientific sources.
Leblanc, Ronald D. 1987. A Russian Tarzan, or "Aping" Jocko? Slavic Review 46(1):70-86.
Source of the text
C.M. de Pougens. 1881. Jocko. Paris: Charavay Frères.
A reprint of original 1824 ed., the 1881 ed. has introductory material by Anatole France.
Modifications to the text
None. Particularly in the author's endnotes the distinction between monkey and ape is sometimes unclear, the original French "singe" not distinguishing the two classes. Additionally at the time Pougens wrote, and particularly among his sources, terms like orang-outang and pongo could be used to mean completely different species by different authorities.
I had been living for some years in the island of …but as I don't wish to be identified, I will abstain from mentioning what post I held and will excise any details which might reveal my identity to a capricious public which might either not care a whit or react maliciously. I will, however, recount the following anecdote, because my memories of it are dear to me, painfully dear&hellip and also because it includes a remarkable instance which in part accounts for my present opulence.
It was the hottest portion of the summer: five o'clock had just struck on the parish church's large clock. The sun's rays still pierced to the ground. Tired of the strain my duties imposed on me, and naturally of a melancholy character, I left home and went to wander about the ---- Forest, not far from where I had resided since my arrival on the island. Barely 200 paces into the darkened alley, where a delightful coolness prevailed, I heard a small noise to my left. A living creature seemed to be fleeing and slipping through the foliage. I tended my ear, but soon heard nothing more; so I continued my walk and took up my former train of thought. Since I had left my guests, my so-called friends, boisterously crowded around a table loaded with exquisite wines, I was no longer alone, but was with myself and my memories.
I heard a second rustling similar to the first. I stopped and made out, between a number of interlaced branches, a small, almost round head, two charming almond-shaped eyes gazing caressingly towards me (1), a short though not stumpy nose, two moist lips, and small milky-white teeth (2) -- a figure, if not pretty, at least somewhat spicy. On first glance, the skin seemed a mousy yellow, highlighted by a light silvery sheen.
The figure moved, showing itself almost to the midriff. I stepped forward to catch it, but in a fraction of a second she had climbed, or rather launched herself, to the top of a coconut tree. Her limbs were supple and limber. I would add that, as best as I could tell, she was somewhere between 4'2" and 4' 3" (3)
Gracefully ensconced between several heavily leaf-laden limbs, she observed me attentively. I signaled to her to come to me and she imitated my gesture, inviting me to come to her. I would have been hard-pressed to comply, for if I was still quite lithe, my agility was far from equaling hers.
Naturally of a curious disposition, my many voyages had led to frequent opportunities to observe the different families of monkeys (4), orangs (5), jockos (6), and pongos (7). I quickly recognized the individual before me belonged to the latter species; however, I later dubbed her Jocko, as it seemed a prettier name.
I had the habit of always carrying a little bread in my pockets, which it pleased me to distribute amongst the small birds I encountered along the route of my long and solitary walks. Seeing that she still was examining me with great attention, I threw a bit of the bread her way. She descended from the coconut tree in which she had taken refuge, and leaping, quick as a flash, to the ground, she took up the small piece of bread, sniffed at it a few times (8), looked at me, pondered over it with an expression of mistrust (9), and refused to eat it. I knew of this natural hesitation among the jocko and pongo species: to put an end to it, I took a second piece of bread, ate half of it and tossed her the rest. With a remarkable dexterity, she caught it on the fly, and promptly ate it. Then, picking up the first piece which had remained on the ground, she sniffed at it a second time, then avidly swallowed it.
As I remained motionless for a few moments, she thrust forward her little hand towards me, shaking it in a seemingly impatient manner. She seemed to invite me to repeat my gifts. Indeed, I tossed her a number of other small pieces of bread, which she continued to catch with great dexterity, but as soon as I took a step forward, she ran off at some distance, never letting herself be approached. I reversed my steps, walking backwards while still throwing her bits of bread from time to time. The lovely little paw remained constantly extended towards me. She would shake it slightly and draw it back towards her, also, from time to time, voicing soft, pearly, silvery cries (10), which she varied across different scales, and which surely meant something. Finally, seeing I was no longer throwing her anything, she left, streaking off to the magnificent coconut tree, tearing off several nuts and letting them fall at my feet. I opened one up with a large knife I carried; I drank some of the milk and ate a piece of the flesh. I then moved off to give pretty little Jocko the liberty to acquire the rest for herself, which she was in no way loath to do, though in a manner which suggested this food was no less than old hat to her, and that this wasn't the first time she ate the flesh and drank the milk of a coconut (11). As it was getting dark, I made my way towards the city. The charming little creature followed me, letting me hear from time to time that silvery cry I found so pretty. Seeing that I no longer responded to her calls, she turned around sadly and moved off slowly.
The next day I returned at about the same time. My dear little Jocko was waiting for me just inside the woods: lying in the middle of a tuft of young shrubs, she had parted the branches and was looking through the leaves. As soon as she saw me, she ran up to meet me with great demonstrations of joy. Her forward progress was so quick that she almost touched my clothes. Frightened by this somewhat involuntary approach, she ran off and took refuge atop a tree over a hundred paces away. Fearing to further frighten her, I took on an indifferent mien and threw two or three small pieces of bread on the path. She came down slowly, sniffed at them, undoubtedly to ascertain if they were of the same nature as yesterday's, and ate them with gusto. I had brought an ample supply of soft biscuits. I threw her half of one (12), which she caught on the fly, as she had done the day before, sniffed at it, appeared undecided and did not eat it. I put part of the remaining half in my mouth and threw the rest to her. She disposed of it in a wink, along with the piece she already held. Her pleasure was then made manifest by gambols and little leaps (13); she spun like a top and leapt from the ground with remarkable agility, describing lovely and graceful lover's knot patterns. She would then take a couple of steps towards me, extending her two little hands so I might give her more biscuits.
This scene repeated itself every afternoon: I arrived with my pockets full and left with them empty. Every time I gave her a new kind of cake, she showed the same hesitation, the same doubts; she would not eat until she had witnessed me doing so.
Attentive to my arrival in the forest, one day she came up to meet me, placing before me, albeit at some distance, some lovely coconuts, placing a kind of sharp stone beside them. I admired her instincts. I broke open the two best nuts, took one and moved some distance off, so she could come up and take the other. I drank the milk, ate part of the flesh; she imitated me. While she ate she gazed at me with a satisfied appearance and let me hear that lovely cry which had been pleasing to my ear from the first.
These occurrences suggested something to me for the morrow. Besides my usual provisions of biscuits, cakes and tarts, I brought a flask of excellent Calcavallo wine, which I had brought from Lisbon. I poured some in a glass and pretended to drink a portion of it. Then I put the glass down at my feet and I drew back a few feet. My little Jocko drew closer, took up the glass with great dexterity and drank the wine in several sips (14). Looking at me then with a surprised and satisfied demeanour, she at the same time let her tongue slip back and forth across her tiny lips. When she had finished drinking, she put the glass down in the same spot she had picked it up from. I picked it up and went to wash it in a hollow which contained a bit of rain water.
I then filled it half-way, brought it up to my mouth, and left the rest to my small friend, who appeared to savour it with even greater sensuality than the first time. Then, still constant in her imitations, she went and rinsed off the glass and returned it to the same spot, hoping I would fill it again, which I did not do, hoping to spare her.
Indeed, the wine, however mild, had affected her senses. My Jocko's eyes were more animated, she was more expansive, more confident, and familiar to the point of drawing sufficiently near to me to touch the edge of my clothes with the tips of her fingers. I could easily have caught her, but refrained from doing so. I neither wished to distress her, nor force her back to her former mistrust.
In the days that followed, my Calcavallo wine, my Xerez wine, of which I poured her, at my discretion, small doses, always seemed to afford her the same pleasures. Finally, I decided to bring her some of the island's excellent liquor, of which I had an ample supply. Having allowed her to ingest somewhat more of my snacks than usual, I placed before her a small glass of crème de Créole. At first seemed surprised and worried, but soon her enjoyment took the upper hand, she stuck out her two little hands while dancing around me. It was her way of asking for something. I placed a second glass before her, but only half full, for I feared compromising the darling creature's health. Little Jocko avidly took hold of it, but only drank the liquor little by little and in moderate doses. She seemingly delighted in savouring it. A semi-drunken state followed which was made manifest in her eyes: her fears and hesitations vanished, she threw herself at me and rested her little head on my shoulder, rolling it as she snuggled against my chest. I continued my walk and she followed me, stamping her feet. From time to time I gave her small pieces of cake, which she ate without even looking at them. There was no longer any mistrust between us. I took her right arm, slipped it under my left arm and so continued walking for almost a quarter of a mile (15). Sometimes she ran off to chase butterflies (16), sometimes she walked beside me and matched her paces to mine with an admirable accuracy.
As her arms, while not completely disproportionate, were a bit longer than a human being's, I decided to take her two hands and cross them in front of her. I don't know what she thought of it, but was affrighted, moved a few steps away from me, and took on a sulky air. I then remembered what I had read in a number of traveller's accounts, and that I myself had observed on different occasions, regarding the natural modesty of the females of this species (17). This along with retracing in my mind a number of incidents of ancient history led me to shudder in horror. However, glancing over to my little Jocko, I smiled at my indignation, and was tempted to credit as fabulous or to ascribe to the vagaries of Art certain Greek and even Roman depictions which I had seen in Italy, particularly in Portici, as well as on several ancient medals.
I drew her back by gesture and voice and presented her with a small piece of cake. She came back without showing any sign of satisfaction, and walked some ways in the same direction with me, but at some distance away.
We each had to go our own way. I amused myself by tipping my hat and bowing deeply to her. At first she seemed rather perplexed, but she soon decided what to do: she tore off several banana leaves and in no time skillfully fashioned herself a kind of hat, placed it on her head and in turn bowed and tipped her hat to me in the most profound manner, made all the more comical by her seriousness. Then we each went our own way, though not without, on a number of occasions, turning to look at each other.
The next day she came to me adorned with a hood of woven leaves, more artistically assembled than on the previous day. In her hand she held a cane bearing a few leaves similar to thyrsus (18). I saw in this attitude a half-innocent half wild demeanour, which drew a smile from me. She had brought me several lovely coconuts. We ate of their flesh and drank their milk. I had given her pieces of biscuit, a bit of good wine; we were the best of friends, when something happened which led to our falling out. I will describe it briefly.
With no particular design in mind, I had equipped myself with a small mirror. I drew it from my pocket and suddenly showed it to her. At that very instant, surprise, fear and a terrible jealously was expressed in her features (19). In a fit of rage she threw herself upon the figure, intent on tearing it limb from limb. Unable to take hold of anything, she turned about or rather she ran behind the mirror, came back in front, stretched an arm out on the opposite side, ran behind again, repeating this tiresome manœuvre over twenty times. Now, let no one dare tell me that animals are impossible of abstract thought!… Wise Locke, what have you to say to that? (20).
Finally, breathless, agitated and trembling, she ran towards me, rolling her pretty little head frenetically against my chest, wrapping her arms around me and squeezing me with all her might, as if to draw me from the object of her worries and terror. I put the fatal mirror back in my pocket and caressed her, giving her a few of the snacks with which I was amply supplied. I let her drink a bit of liquor, and we had soon made up. But she gazed upon me with an extraordinary expression; one would have thought she wished to speak to me. That night she could not leave me. Even though I indicated she should leave, and even pushed her aside with my hand, she held onto my clothes, moved off a couple of feet only to return constantly to my side. Having reached the last trees in the forest, she stopped suddenly, raised her arm towards the setting sun (21), nodded her head sadly, crying out so painfully yet so tenderly that I could not but be touched. I must admit that this action, which had something solemn to it, greatly surprised me and got me to thinking. At that moment I recalled that a few Nature observers had suggested, without however spelling it out precisely, that they were not far from believing that individuals of this race had, in their own way, a concept, however vague, of a Supreme Being. Nay, that intellectual capacity of beasts which had been commonly termed animal instinct, had yet to be fully quantified or appreciated. O philosophy! what unknown regions have you yet to explore!
Unfortunately, the next day circumstances which I cannot describe as anything other than terribly annoying, kept me from our regular rendezvous. Various important affairs kept me at home, without a single moment of leisure. I did not see my little friend again until the day after. Alas! I did not find her where we normally me. I called out to her, but in vain. I was extremely worried. I proceeded forward. "Jocko! Jocko!" I cried out, "where are you?" I clapped my hands together. Finally I found her stretched out on the ground at the same spot where I had shown her the mirror; she was almost motionless. The dear little creature opened her eyes and shuddered upon seeing me. I made her swallow a few drops of cordial I had with me. Here breathing seemed difficult, congested; her entire frame was extremely weak. I gave her to eat; she had trouble swallowing what I gave her. When she was somewhat recovered, it became clear from the avidity with which took the food I offered her, that the poor creature had not eaten anything for at least 24 hours.
When her hunger was appeased and we had drunk the milk of several coconuts, we renewed our customary walk: I have mentioned how she would walk beside me. All of a sudden she stopped short, fell at my feet, kissed them and wrapped her arms around my legs. It was difficult to disengage her. I finally managed to get her on her feet again; she was shaking like a leaf. I had her sit down, wishing to have her eat. I presented her with marzipans which she greatly relished, but she returned them to me sadly, and when night began to fall, she herself took the path back to the forest outlet. All the way she seemed pensive and preoccupied. At last, she left me with such an expressive look, that I could not help but be worried about her to some extent.
I returned the next day at the accustomed hour, and again I could not find her. I called her and sat down to wait for her. Half an hour later I saw her running up to me with her usual lightheartedness. She was out of breath. I presented her with a biscuit and a bit of wine in a glass. She refused the biscuit, but fell upon the wine, finishing it in a single gulp. Taking hold of my hand she tried to draw me along with her into the thickest of the forest. I must admit that I hesitated somewhat in following her, fearing to find myself amongst too great a number of her species to be able to defend myself. I knew that the males, quite dangerous towards women, were entirely vicious towards men (22). However, after having considered things briefly, I fought back this involuntary urge for timidity, considering it no less than pusillanimity on my part. Laughing, I followed her. She was excited and seemed impatient, which I could not understand. We proceeded close to a third of a mile through the brush, not without a great deal of difficulty on my part.
I could not avoid being surprised when I made out, among an elegant grouping of coconut trees, a pretty almost completed hut roofed with leaves (23). However, I soon remembered that the existence of such rustic constructions had been witnessed by a number of famous travellers and by our best naturalists. My little Jocko was not at ease; she jumped about, clapped her hands, and uttered that delightful fine silvery cry. A pall of sadness spread over her features, for she soon realised that I could not get in her hut without bending over awkwardly. She had made the door in proportion to her small stature and not to mine, her foresight not extending that far. She was taken with a kind of rage; she threw herself on the transverse beam which determined the height of the entrance, turned everything over, then took me off a few paces and having loaded me with a few branches she had stocked up, took an armful herself and signaled me to follow her. I obeyed, and the one-time pretender to the throne of Nature became a female pongo's labourer.
She immediately began remodeling the hut's entrance. It only took her a quick glance to render it proportionate to my stature. I helped her in all good faith, and the work was soon done. I found two long benches of moss arranged like beds (24), and in one corner an ample supply of coconuts. The dear little creature, tired out, threw herself on one of these sites of repose. She seeme dto invite me to follow her example by pointing out to me the one in front of her.
She watched me with a rather satisfied expression, she was quite proud to see me enjoy the fruit of her work. A few moments later I got up, went to pick some banana leaves, laying them out on the moss so that it would not stick to my clothes or to the limbs of my small frame. She seemed enchanted to see that I had thus improved upon her handiwork, and on twenty different occasions she jumped with great agility from one mossy bed to the other.
Having unhesitatingly indulged herself in these excesses of gaiety, her appetite returned; she sat on her bed and extended her two little arms towards me, shaking them with her usual grace. Along with nice tender biscuits, I gave her bread and hard-boiled eggs, items she had not eaten before; she devoured them. The dear little creature must have spent all night and a better part of the day working. We drank some Madeira wine; I had taught her, for my own amusement, how to clink her glass agianst mine (25). Then we had a truly delightful meal together.
We had to leave each other. I cannot depict to you how surprised and hurt Jocko was (26), her anguish was at its peak. At first she appeared thunderstruck, rooted to the spot, then leaning towards me for an instant, though making no attempt to hold me back. However, when I left the hut she cried out so plaintively that I couldn't help but retrace my steps. I made every attempt to make her understand that I would return on the morrow. I don't know if she understood, but I could tell that in her little head she was convinced that we should never part. To this end she had built a hut, stocked it with fruit and coconuts, had set up a proper household in her own manner.
I found all this interesting if not surprising. I knew that members of the jocko and pongo races frequently built huts, that they most often lived two by two (27), that the female was somewhat shy, and that they held in common with the human race the practice of kisses to the forehead or cheeks, when they met (28). Accustomed to living in communities, or at least in family groups (29), they knew how to use fire, knew full well hoe to light it, but did not know how to maintain it (30).
The next day I arranged to arrive earlier. I found it difficult to find her hut again. My little Jocko was stretched out on her bed. She gave a start upon seeing me, and gave me her usual delicate cry. I had brought along with me a saw, a hammer, some nails, a little case which was held closed by hooks and bore various utensils; two cups, two drinking glasses, a few plates, a coffeepot, a flint and some tinder.
Seeking to put to the test the instincts and adaptability of these animals and finally confirm those singular facts I had read of in travellers' accounts and in writings on Natural History, but which I doubted to some degree, I gave all these treasures to my little friend; she was ecstatic, her eyes beamed with happiness.
Bringing new furniture to Jocko's pretty hut on a daily basis was a pleasure: a jug to draw water, some small tables, folding chairs, a small chest of drawers, which, not wishing to let anyone in on my secret, I carried piece by piece and reassembled as best I could afterwards.
One afternoon, intending to light a fire, I took it upon myself to teach her how to operate the flint, and could not help but laugh at her awkwardness: she would strike her fingers and was afraid of the sparks which sprang from the stone. I took it from her, and in one stroke lit the tinder. At the same time I used a sulphur-match to light a candle. Jocko was dumbfounded. She watched this spectacle, new to her with a mixture of admiration and fear, which brought an indescribable liveliness to her already expressive features.
I had prepared, at some distance from the hut, a sufficiently wide perimeter to set up a fire place. She did not appear surprised, but what she apparently did know, as I mentioned before, was how to feed and maintain the blaze, by throwing more wood on it or by carefully fanning it. I had brought fire tongs and a shovel. I taught her how to use them, and I must admit she had a remarkable capacity to understand and imitate what I did. I did however have to repeat my lessons on several occasions.
I sent her to draw some water (31), filled the coffee pot and a small cooking pot, and I amused myself by teaching her to make coffee, then tea in a Delft-ware teapot, which was part of Jocko's household effects. She found the tea and coffee much to her liking, particularly when I put lots of sugar in it. Using some small wooden spoons (32) with which I had equipped myself, she would stir it in such a pleasant manner, that I could not help but smile. Finally, she managed to cook some fresh eggs or harden them at will, to cut some sippets with a little boxtree-handled knife I had given her. However, I had a hard time teaching her the correct quantity of coffee or to so as to make a brew that was neither too strong nor too weak.
I had however managed to teach her to set a table in front of the hut, to cover it with large banana leaves (33), to place two seats opposite one another, to fill her little centrepiece with fresh leaves and flowers, to place her plate correctly across from mine, to arrange in a symmetrical pattern on little varnished-wood plates the fruit or dry preserves and little cakes I brought her from the city. She was so skilled and intelligent that she could prepare toast and jam and cut sippets as easily as any woman in Lisbon or London might have. Sitting across from one another at a small table, we would share small meals together almost every day. She would serve me with the greatest care, attention and a zeal which never slackened. The dear little creature always gave me what she deemed to be the best (34), and the best in her opinion was the largest fruit, the biggest piece of cake, keeping for herself only the poorest, those of lesser value.
With continued attentions I managed to teach her how to smoothly open a bottle with a corkscrew, to clean the glasses properly, and to mix some water with her wine. She also well knew that the liquors were to be poured in lesser quantities than ordinary wine. Indeed these little banquets had an elegance which might have surprised some, had they known that they had been laid out by a young animal which until recently had received no lessons but those of Nature.
As her nakedness bothered me, I liked to drape her with brightly coloured shawls(35), which I had obtained for her use, and which she would later put away in her chest of drawers. I almost always read or meditated upon things while eating the fruit and eggs she had prepared for me. As my little Jocko felt it her duty to mimic me in everything, she would pick up a book (36), which, naturally she more often than not held upside down, which was all the same to her. When I turned a page, she would do so in turn; she would insert the bookmark when I would, closed and placed the book on the table, and at the first sign remove everything, was the plates and cups thoroughly, then return every item to its proper shelf in her little hut, without breaking anything, and without disturbing anything. Even though these simple yet amusing events were repeated every day, I never tired of them. As soon as my business in the city was done, I went off to be close to my dear little Jocko; there I would read and write as though I was alone. It was rare for me not to find something to eat waiting for me.
She did not touch any of the provisions I left in her hut until I formally turned them over to her by placing them before her. Besides, she was quite clear as to what belonged properly to her amongst the things we held in common. She had her own small clothing accessories, some jewelled glass rings, little boxes, shawls with which I was pleased to dress her in when I was about, and coloured scarves with which I adorned her little head in the manner of the Creoles, and drop earrings. I remember that she cried out frequently and fidgeted a great deal before allowing her ears to be pierced. She put up a struggle and tried to escape; I had to get angry in order to subdue her.
As soon as I left she would undress, and would only resume wearing them when she expected or rather anticipated my arrival. I had brought her one of those wooden clocks termed cuckoo clocks, which are made in the Black Forest. hoping to get her used to counting the hours and knowing the time, but I was never able to manage it. I had however been assured that a number of members of different orang species had managed to count up to five.
When our little snack was finished or often when I took my tea or coffee with her, I daydreamed or composed poetry, which I afterwards wrote down. Jocko, my faithful imitatrix did not fail to take possession of the pens I had discarded, and to scribble most gravely on the small pieces of paper I let her have. What would a European have thought of this bizarre exchange. Well! those incendiary pages, those passionate verses, which the public received in so kind a manner, I wrote them beside the female of the wild and fierce pongo.
One afternoon when I thankfully arrived a few moments earlier than usual, I did not find Jocko at the entrance to the woods. I drew near, listened, heard moans and plaintive cries; followed suddenly by complete silence. I entered the hut and saw the poor creature stretched out on her bed. Her flesh was torn in a number of places, bore scattered spines, and seemed to be encrusted with small fragments of stone.
I picked her up; for a moment I thought her dead, but she had only fainted. I forced her to breathe and then to swallow a few drops of spirits. When she was herself again, I thought I understood that she had been knocked out of the top of a very tall tree, or that she had hurt herself falling off a cliff. Thanks to the advance preparations there remained some fire near the hut. I warmed up some wine in haste and washed the dear little creature's wounds. She opened he lovely gazelle-eyes and looked at me caressingly. I mashed some herbs between two rocks and made a kind of compress from them. I made it my duty to apply this to her wounds, which to my great surprise were already covered, at least in part with medicinal herbs she had chewed up (37). However, she had not pulled out all the spines and fragments of hard materials, undoubtedly because of how painful such an operation would have proven. It took care of it with as much as much solicitude and tenderness as I could; I securely tied the different compresses using ligatures made from the scarves I kept in Jocko's chest of drawers. I renewed the banana leaves with which I had covered her little bed, which was now stained with blood. I kept close by my little patient who moaned so softly, yet with such evident pain that I could not help but shed tears (38).
I would have given anything to spend the night with her, but I feared worrying my people, and I did not dare give in to this initial impulse. The poor creature had a burning fever; I felt for her pulse on several occasions as she stretched out her arm with charming grace (39). Finally, when I had to leave her, I placed a folding chair near her bed, put several glasses of diluted red wine. I prepared water in which I soaked toasted bread, and encouraged her to drink alternatively of the two beverages. I arranged some moss pillows covered in banana leaves. She held my hand and drew it towards her as if to tell me not to abandon her…, then she licked the tips of my fingers with her little rose-coloured tongue, then hot with fever. When I left the hut, she gave a deep sigh. The next day I was with her at the break of day.
I found poor Jocko without fever, but so weak that she could not rise from her bed. She had clearly understood what I had sought to make her understand; she had used all the drinks I had left on the folding chair to allay her powerful thirst, for not a drop remained. She herself signalled to me in a manner entirely unintelligible to me, but which was made clear to me, as we shall see, some days later. She showed me her wounds, cried out painfully, the turned to look towards the little chest of drawers I had given her.
Not yet daring to remove the bandages for fear of making her suffer too much, and thus to contribute further to her extreme weakness, I gave her a bit of biscuit soaked in diluted wine. She kissed the tips of my fingers, it was one of her normal caresses when she was happy. Finally I left her, having filled her glasses with lightly sweetened water into which I had mixed a few drops of wine. I left, but it is needless to add that I returned that afternoon. She was sleeping. I let her sleep and when she did wake up she seemed very pleased and surprised to see me her by her side.
Given that twenty-four hours had passed since the bandages had first been applied, I warmed up some water and wetted the compresses with it. Thankfully poor Jocko had only minor contusions to the head, and even though her flesh was cruelly torn, I found no fracture. I had brought cloth bandage and agaric with me. I applied the new compresses and made now ligatures. The fever had completely receded. I gradually adjusted her food; never any meat, I did not wish her to learn of this unpleasant practice; but vegetables, cooked fruit and small cakes she could have. She was dying of hunger; however, fearing I might harm her, I only half-satisfied her hunger. Who would have thought? Even when she was in the peak of health, I would leave a number of edibles inside the hut, making my usual interdictory signs to her, and the next day I found everything as it was, she not having dared to touch it (40).
She seemed to improve imperceptibly and after a few days she could sit up. However, her weakness was still so great that having wished to rise, she fell back on her cot. I sat next to her. From time to time she rested her little head upon my shoulder while I read. When she was hungry, she would draw up close and shake her two little arms as she drew them back towards herself. The next day I decided, as much to entertain her as to see what effect it might have on her (41), to bring a guitar with me. At first she was frightened, especially when she strummed the strings with her fingers. She drew them away quickly, looking behind the guitar with a curious but worried look, then inside, and, as she was wont to do, turned her questioning eyes towards me.
I took the instrument out of her hands and played along while I sang a Venetian barcarole, and then a lovely romantic piece by Raph.Solitario bosc'ombrosoNay, I cannot portray how surprised and enthralled she was. All her senses appeared paralyzed and she could barely breathe. She knelt down, crossed her little arms and raised them towards me, begging me to continue. Even after I had stopped singing, she continued to listen.
A te vien l'afflitto more.
Suddenly, as if waking from a dream, she struck her forehead, ran to the little chest of drawers, opened a drawer she had, some days ago drawn attention to through her gesticulations. She brought me, O! ineffable surprise! several shells of different colours, and twenty-nine or thirty of the largest diamonds that I had ever seen in my life (42). They were like those found at the foot of and in the crevasses of Mount Orisa.
Here the European's lust for riches prevailed over the man of Nature, exposing his base avaricious nature. I held Jocko between my arms, hugged her tight against my chest, and kissed her with abandon. I brought the diamonds one by one to my lips, to show her my satisfaction, thus imitating her favourite gesture. I held my hands out towards her while shaking them, as she did when she innocently asked me to give her biscuits or cakes. I then moved towards the door, holding her by the arm. She looked at me surprised, and seeing that I repeated the half-begging, half imperative gesture, she took on a sad expression, bent her down her head onto her chest, showed me her wounds, sat on the floor, and with an expression which bespoke consternation, rested her forehead against the cot.
I raised her to her feet and gave her a few of the snacks she liked best and had her drink a little vanilla cream, to boost her strength. I had her sit down, and, notwithstanding how upset I was, once again took up singing her a nocturne and accompanying myself on the guitar. This renewed the naive creature's original attitude and enthusiasm.
Pillars of society, armchair philosophers, so-called friends of Nature, here is a man playing barcaroles to entertain a female pongo; how degrading! And yet I felt honoured in taking care of her; I thought that in bringing a few minutes of calm, of innocent pleasures to my poor little sick friend I would expiate, at least in part, the urges of sordid avarice which I had been unable to repress.
Within a fortnight she had entirely recovered. We returned to our evening snacks, our walks, I might even have said our reading, for, as I mentioned above, when I took up a book, she ran off quickly to get hers, and imitated my every move down to the minutest detail. Finally, having eaten some fresh eggs and enjoyed our sweets and small cakes, she watched me sadly, and at the least sign she ran off to fetch my guitar and held it out to me. I played, I sang a song or two, and her enjoyment was just as great as ever. As soon as I was finished she would come and kneel before me, licking the tips of my fingers. Then she would clear the table and put everything away with an admirable dexterity and cleanliness.
Persevering, as one might expect, in my avaricious motives, I would bring out the diamonds she had brought me, and, right in front of her, kiss and handle them lovingly, dangle them from my clothes, put them away in my pockets with particular care, hoping by my gestures to have my most avid desires known to her. The little creature clearly understood, for she tipped her head and took on an expression of consternation.
Finally, one day, even though I had come a bit later than usual, I did not find her in the hut; nothing had been readied outdoors. The table was almost always set; she would have made the effort to light the fire in the clearing a few paces from the hut, and to arrange our two seats in their usual spots. I was a bit concerned and waited at the edge of the woods, looking anxiously to right and left. After a half hour, I saw her running up; she was out of breath and seemed overwhelmed with fatigue. She fell senseless at my feet. Her left arm was weighed down with a parcel which appeared to be rather heavy and was wrapped in banana leaves. I grabbed it; the effort it took to pry it from her arms was enough to wake her; she fell upon it, tearing off the leaves. O! a new surprise! I almost fainted myself, when, after having presented me with magnificent multicoloured shells, which this innocent creature still seemed to prefer above all, I glimpsed a quantity of diamonds three-fold that of the first set. I raised up my poor Jocko, who was haggard and breathless, resulting either from the trials she had undergone, or due to the great rate at which she had sped through the forest. It was difficult to restrain myself. The past, present and future washed over my heart. O! reader, do you not already know of my emotional life? Might you be convinced that the greedy European played but a secondary role in the matter. Wait! these are not my memoirs I write, but a simple anecdote, a simple account of circumstances in my life, though ones truly of some importance, as they substantially contributed to altering my destiny.
When Jocko had interpreted my stare and read the great joy, might I say exaltation, expressed in my eyes, she shook her little arms and asked me for something to eat. Nothing was prepared, but I always had a good supply of dried fruits, jams, cakes and of the sweet wines she preferred even over the finest liquors. She ate and drank hungrily. On this occasion she was not injured, but upon examining her I found several contusions on her body; her flesh was wrinkled in several places. Finally, having sat herself down on a folding chair that was lower than mine, she rested her head on my chest and fell into a deep sleep; deep, I say, but not peaceful, for she appeared agitated and moaned softly.
Lost in my thoughts, I was sad and pensive; a few tears escaped from my eyes, dropping across the sleeping Jocko's brow. I had just received some letters from Lisbon which led me to believe that my recall was imminent; painful memories awaited me in my homeland. What was I to do with this dear little creature, who gave such endearing signs of attachment to me? I had almost forgotten that Jocko only barely belonged to the human race; I thought of her as a young savage which I could only communicate with through gestures and signs, the only primitive tongue, not withstanding what our Hebraic scholars might tell us. It was not a creature similar to me, but rather an interesting copy thereof (43).
The series of observations which her presence had suggested to me supported my views regarding animal instincts, that philosophical branch of Natural History. I had always considered such observations as important and as useful to anyone searching for the truth, as one of the objects most worthy of holding the attention of beings with conscience and thought, as well as one of the boldest chapters of the great book of Nature.
How often had I regretted that poor Jocko was deprived of speech (44), and that she had no other language but her own ever so expressive features and a limited range of cries to express such varied truths. I had often examined and palpated the sort of inner mandible which formed a pocket on either side of the inside of her cheeks, and I tried to make her pronounce her name. She barely guessed at my intentions, and made incredible efforts, but all in vain; she was only able to proffer the vowel twice repeated and the two vowels in my name. I remember that this weak attempt nonetheless affected me powerfully, but this was short-lived.
Getting back to the diamonds and the scene where the dear little creature had collapsed exhausted: Jocko once revived remained sluggish for a few moments, seemingly suffering from pains in all her limbs. Finally, she went, as she usually did, to get my guitar, watching me with a more touching expression than was usual; one would have thought she read my mind and that she knew the extent of her role in my sadness. Indeed, what could be done? how was it to be resolved? Abandoning her was a barbarity of which I felt myself incapable; taking her with me was undoubtedly the preferred solution. But how inconvenient! Back in Europe I would be unable to take care of her for extended periods of time. I would either have to close her up in my house in the city, or send her to the country where she would necessarily be neglected, were she not to become the servants' plaything. In the end I could only expect unhappiness or calamity to ensue, with the poor creature nonetheless being the source of the huge fortune which I would enjoy.
Who would have believed it? I admit to my shame that I tried every which way to make her understand that I wished to know whence she drew all these treasures; but I was unable to do so, and was so hard-hearted as to show my annoyance and allow threats to supplant caresses. O Europe! your cold poisons alter and dominate the heart's gentler emotions, like the froth which rises to the surface.
My worries as to my poor Jocko's fate grew from day to day. I watched her, tenderly singing melancholy airs to her. For several days, for fear of what awaited me in my homeland, or perhaps the memory of the sadness which had led to my determination to leave her and take refuge in another hemisphere, I was so wracked with sadness as to be noticed by all.
Finally, on December 28, 18--, tormented by a secret uneasiness, I left my home earlier than usual; I had provided myself with cakes and candied fruit of those types most agreeable to my little Jocko. I walked quickly, being impatient to arrive. From a distance I heard a sound that was unknown to me…I pressed on. O terror! I spotted some traces of blood. I ran forward and saw an awful snake, which I first thought to be a boa, but later recognized to be one of the great Javanese adders, eight to nine feet long, and know as "yellow and blue" for its tiger-striped skin with transverse blocks of bright blue. The monster was engaged in combat with the unfortunate creature, whose limbs were torn and whose body was covered in large wounds from which ran rivulets of blood. I never walked abroad without a two-shot pistol. I aimed straight for the awful reptile's head. I wounded it, it stopped, coiled up again and drew itself up to launch itself at me; my second shot put it to flight. It went off and died a quarter mile from where this deadly scene had occurred.
Jocko had fallen to the ground unconscious, not only as a result of her loss of blood, but also as a result of her fear of the pistol-shot, not to mention that which the very sight of snakes induces in individuals of her species (46). I ran to her, took her to her hut, laid her down on her bed. She had, as was her custom, started a fire in the usual spot. I washed her wounds, they were horrendous. As I had the first time, I crushed medicinal herbs between rocks and made a sort of compress. I made bandage strips from my handkerchief and applied strong pressure to the poor wretch's wounds. I staunched the flow of blood. Slowly I brought her back by dint of cordials and salts. Her pallor was such that to her light tawny colour had succeeded a whitish tinge (47), which made her resemble an fourteen year old girl of our species. She opened her eyes, closed them and uttered a few weak groans. No, no, I have no reticence to confess that my tears flowed abundantly. I felt for my poor Jocko's pulse and eagerly awaited every beat. By their quickening, their intermittence, I expected her to soon be consumed by a violent fever.
If only I had had some presence of mind; but alas! could I remain calm under such circumstances? If, I say, I could have focused on something other than my hopes and fears regarding the fate of this fascinating creature, what a host of curious observations might I have been led to make, while attentively examining what the poor creature endured. Terror, hope, a terrible delirium. One refuses them a soul! Philosophers, rather let us say atheistic doctors, you dare limit and circumscribe the works of the Supreme Creator? Jocko, deprived of the power of speech, made no intelligible sound, at least to us, but how many different emotions were reflected in her features! I was crushed by it. She was suffering incredible pains, and her eyes, animated by the fever, thirsted for my presence, expressing unutterable fear when I drew away for a moment. How could I leave her? However, I was not without being anxious to the potential worry and despair of my people, of all my friends, if rather than returning at my usual time, I spent all night in the forest. Well then! let them blame me for giving precedence to a pongo female; I only had a moment's hesitation and uncertainty to reproach myself of.
I had taken a step towards the hut's doorway; a painful cry from Jocko drew me back. I gave her a few sedatives in the hope of diminishing the horrible pains she endured. For a moment I believed her saved, he convulsions ceased, she seemed to breathe more easily, the fever dropped almost miraculously -- Jocko! Jocko! I cried out. She turned her little head towards me, looked at me with a soft, caressing expression, made as if to rise, fell back upon her bed, and gave up her last breath.
Three days later, I left for Europe.
Given in Proof
(1) According to don Felix d'Azara, some people say that the caraya, a monkey, which according to him belongs to the family of the howler-monkeys, when surprised far from their lair and finding no place of refuge, lay on the ground, join their hands and seem to plead for mercy (Essays on the Natural History of the Quadrupeds of the Province of Paraguay.) -- This capacity to express, through facial expressions and gestures its various emotions can also be seen in monkeys of smaller species: "When one has frightened a coaita monkey with a gunshot," states Mr. Audebert, "he extends his arms towards his enemy, stares at him, shifting his jaws back and forth and seemingly begging for his life. Such gestures, and the intent gaze of a creature so similar to man, have often troubled the soul of hunters little accustomed to such game, this emotion being sufficiently strong that many have given this type of hunting… Indeed, let us imagine a monkey laying in the grass stained with its own blood, fighting to stave off death, extending its little hands towards the one who has injured it, and turning towards him its almost human face; imagine the dying animal's eyes, which by their touching appeal seem to reproach to its enemy the pain it experiences and its coming demise." Histoire [Naturelle] des Singes, Coaita. -- Such a scene convinced the traveller Stedman to no longer hunt these animals. -- The chevalier Foucher d'Obsonville in a note to Mr. Buffon speaks with complaisance of how pleasantly disposed was a small loris he had raised. "The indications of his sensitive nature," he states, "consisted in taking the end of my hand and holding it tight to his breast while locking his half-open eyes on mine." Nat. Hist., addition to art. Loris.
(2) "All of the orang-outang's teeth, even the canines, are similar to those of man." Buffon, Nat. Hist., art. Orang-outang.
(3) Naturalists generally agree that the pongo or orang-outang of the largest species is about the height of an average man. G. Cuvier, Tableau élémentaire de l'histoire naturelle des animaux.
(4) "There exists," states Linnæus, "so little difference between apes and man that one has yet to find a sufficiently subtle observation to determine the border which separates them." Syst. Nat. -- Indeed, it would be rather difficult, at first glance, to differentiate between man and the monkeys of Guinea to which Peiresc assigns the name of barris, whose combed white beards and slow, measured pace lend a venerable air. See Gassendi, Vit. Peiresc. -- "Were one to judge strictly on the basis of the way they are formed," observes Mr. de Buffon, "apes could be taken as a variety within the human species." However of French Pliny adds that the ape differs significantly from man in its tempermaent. "Man," he states, "can live in all climates; he lives and thrives in those of the far North and under a Mediterranean climate; the ape has trouble surviving in the temperate zone and can only thrive in the warmest countries." Nat. Hist., art. Monkeys.
(5) As is well known, the word "orang-outang" meaning wild man is only a generic term. "This name of wild man," states Mr. Relian, "arises from their external resemblance to man, particularly with regards to the way they move about, and of a way of thinking which is specific to them and which one does not find in other animals. Letter to M. Allamand, Batav., 1770, cited by Mr. de Buffon, Nat. Hist., addition to art. Orang-Outang. -- One has long recognized this strong resemblance between the orang-outang and man. "The different species of monkeys," states Pliny, "are, of all the animals, those which by their body's conformation most resemble man. They can be distinguished among themselves by their tails. Monkeys are of a remarkable agility…Mucian writes that monkeys have even been seen to play chess, once taught to distinguish the different chess pieces." Pliny, Nat. Hist. -- Mr. de Buffon did not fear to state that "the orang-outang could be considered the greatest of apes and the last of men." Nat. Hist. art. Monkeys.
"The orang-outang," states M. Ch. Bonnet, "is so similar to man, that the anatomist comparing the two, thinks he is comparing two individuals of the same species, or at least of the same genus; and struck by the strong and numerous similarities between the two, he will not hesitate to place the orang-outang immediately after the savage Hottentot." The Contemplation of Nature.
It is not only in its outward conformation that the orang-outang offers a striking resemblance to man, he approaches the latter no less by his gait and behaviour. "I have seen," states Bontius, "a few individuals of each sex walking on two feet, particularly a female who in modesty would escape the stares of men she did not know by covering her face with her hands (if one can term them such), shedding abundant tears, moaning pitifully, indeed undertaking all the actions one might expect to see from a human, such as one would have thought her only lacking in speech&hellip: It is named orang-outang, or man of the woods."
(6) This ape, known as a chimpanzee in some parts of Africa, and jocko or enjocko by the inhabitants of the Congo, is, according to the observations of Mr. Ans. Desmarets, much more similar to man than the orang-outang with respect to the proportion of its limbs to its body. See Dictionnaire raisonnée universel d'histoire naturelle
(7) According to Andrew Battell and some other travellers. "the pongos cover their dead with leaves and branches, which the blacks view as a form of burial." -- The pongo, which is as tall as the tallest man is remarkably strong, and such that, if one believes travellers' accounts, capable of holding their own against ten men. Thus do they have the advantage against men which they meet in remote locations. Armed with a club they will even attack elephants which they sometimes defeat. They are frequently seen to abduct blacks, particularly black women, but are treated well. Battell, whom I cited above, speaks a black boy who belonged to him and was abducted by a pongo: this child spent an entire year [sic Battell says a month] amongst these apes. Upon his return he assured him that he had in no way been harmed.
(8) "Monkeys," states Mr. de Buffon, "will not eat anything without firsthand having smelled it." -- Mr. Virey has also made the observation that the sense of smell and taste are highly developed in the monkey. "These two senses," he adds, "take precedence over the others and direct their appetites." In his Voyage en Afrique, Mr. Levaillant writes of a monkey he has celebrated under the name of Kees. "It was," states this traveller, "a monkey of a species extremely common on the Cape and known as bawian (baboon or papió). He was very friendly and became attached to me in particular. I made him my taster. When we found fruits or roots unknown to my Hottentots, we never touched them until my dear Kees had tasted them; if he discarded them we judged them to be unpleasant or dangerous and we left them behind." Mr. Levaillant cites a number of other instances of the sagacity and keen sense of smell of Kees, his monkey, amongst which the following: "The water," he states, "was getting low… I see Kees suddenly come to a stop, and turning his eyes and nose into the wind that came from the side, took off running, with all my dogs in tow, without any of them barking…How surprised was I to find them assembled around a lovely fountain, over three hundred feet from the place they had run off from." Ibid
(9) "Monkeys," states Linnæus, "are generally suspicious; they remember being treated well or poorly, etc." Syst. Nat. -- Allamand observed that "a monkey named Rolloway, loving towards his master, was suspicious of strangers, and would take on a defensive posture when these tried to approach or touch him." Addition to Buffon's Nat. Hist.
(10) Monkeys express their affection by very quiet little cries, which among the capuchin monkeys (sapajous) resembles the sound of a flute; it is only when they are angry that their raucous screeching voice is heard." Audebert, Histoire [Naturelle] des Singes. -- This soft modulated cry is found in a number of other monkeys or analogous creatures, such as the tamarin, the thévangue or loris, etc. --. Mr. Foucher d'Obsonville states with regard to an animal of the latter species, "that he sometimes uttered a kind of modulated call or soft whistle. I could easily," he continues,"a cry of need, of pleasure, of pain, and even one of impatience." Note sent to Mr. de Buffon.
(11) According to Inigo de Biervillas, Voyages the monkeys of Calcutta know full well how to break open a coconut, to eat its seed and to drink the milk it bears. He recounts that the natives take advantage of these circumstances to capture these animals alive. Small holes are made in the coconuts; the monkey doesn't hesitate to stick his hand into them in order to finish opening the coconut, and the hunter then captures them before they have had a chance to get rid of the coconut.
(12) Monkeys, like almost all quadrumanous animals, are omnivorous. They happily consume nuts, acorns, bulbs, leaves, lettuce, bread, eggs, etc. However, accustomed to living in large trees in hot climates, fruit are among their favourite foods. They pick them and bring them to their mouth in the manner of men. -- Mr. Fred. Cuvier, in his description of an orang-outang observed in Paris in 1808, reports that "this animal ate almost indiscriminately of fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk, meat; he very much enjoyed," he added, "bread, coffee and oranges." -- "When the orang-outang," states Ch. Bonnet, "can no longer find fruit in the mountains or in the forest, he will go to the seashore to find a large kind of oyster weighing several pounds, which often remains open on the shore. However, the circumspect ape, fearing that the oyster in suddenly snapping closed will catch his hand, skillfully tosses a stone into the shell, not allowing it to close, leaving him to eat it at his leisure. -- Among the true monkeys, there are females who will place their long tails between the pincers of large crayfish, and as soon as these pinch it they draw our their tail quickly, take them off and go and eat them some way off." The Contemplation of Nature.
(13) It is a most amusing spectacle to witness," states M. Virey, "to see, in those vast, ancient forests of the torrid zone, monkeys leaping from tree to tree, hanging suspended from branches, jumping and frolicking, taking on thousands of ridiculous poses, annoying each other, fighting or having fun together, etc." Art. Singes, Dict. d'hist nat.
(14) Orang-outangs and other monkeys such as baboons and capuchins, etc. will happily drink wine, brandy or other strong liquor. See Buffon Natural History -- Guillaume Rubruquis reports that to capture Cathay monkeys on places at the entrance of the cave where they sleep strong intoxicating liquor. "They come all together," he states, "to taste this beverage, calling out chin-chin, and get so drunk that they fall asleep, such that the hunters can easily capture them." A story translated by Bergeron in his Voyages in Asia -- The orang-outang of which Tulpius speaks drank quite competently from a vase he held with one hand on the handle and one hand underneath; and when he was done drinking, he never failed to properly wipe off his lips. -- The female individual seen in Paris in 1808 also drank from a glass held with two hands; she would then sometimes take a lady's companion's handkerchief to wipe off her lips and hand it back after having used it.
(15) Everybody knows that the monkeys known as Barris (simia troglodytes, Linnæus), orang-outangs, pongos and jockos are conformed such as to be able to stand upright with ease. -- "Dressed in a suit," states Gassendi, "the monkeys known as Barris will immediately begin to walk on two feet." However, according to the observations of Mr. Daubenton, "the orang-outang's heel resting more awkwardly on the ground than man, it runs more easily than it walks and would need artificial heels taller than those of our shoes if one wished to allow it to walk easily and for any length of time." Encyclopédie méthodique, art. Orang-Outang. -- "I have seen," says Mr. de Buffon, "an orang-outang present its hand to lead someone in who had come to visit him, and to walk about with them in a staid manner, as with company."
(16) "The long-legged baboon eats beetles, flies and other insects which it catches most dexterously on-the-fly." Buffon.
(17) The most highly accredited travellers attest that the orang-outang and apes of that family generally have a stronger sense of decency than other animals. One can read in Henri Grose's Voyages aux Indes-Occidentales, that two orang-outangs given to Mr. Horne, governor of Bombay, could not bear to be stared at by the curious, and would hide their privy parts with their hands. -- Mr. Relian, surgeon in Batavia, speaks of a pair of orang-outangs, one male, one female, which he had had a chance to observe. "They were all embarrassed when one stared at them too much. The female would then throw herself into the male's arms and would hide her face in his chest, which resulted in a truly touching spectacle." -- This natural sense of decency was apparent in the case of the little Jocko seen in Paris in 1808. "She is," said the editors of the Journal de Paris, "covered with a redingote in the manner of our ladies, and when someone enters her room, she takes on an air of reserve, assuming a very decent posture, and covering her legs and thighs with the panels of her redingote."
(18) As one has seen above, the orang-outang, the pongo, the chimpanzee or jocko walk on two feet like man. The most celebrated travellers agree that in order to stabilize their walking in such a position, they often carry in their hand a staff which serves them at the same time in defence and in attack.
(19) It is pointless to repeat here all that has been reported regarding the jealousy of monkeys, not only towards those of their own species and of the opposite sex, but also towards those of our species. "The baboons one sees in our menageries," states Mr. Audebert, "cry out horribly when a spectator pretends to caress a woman in their presence." -- "I saw in Martinique," states the late Mr. Moreau Saint-Méry, "a medium sized baboon who had developed a violent passion for his master's daughter…To this unfettered love was combined a furious jealously of any man who might approach her. He seemed to know that there was one amongst them whose advances she favoured. One day, to put the baboon's discernment to the test, she allowed her hand to be kissed; the creature's screams tore through the air and it made every effort to break the double chain which held it back, showing such a frightful anger that he who had raised his ire was allowed to escape, and the decision immediately taken to sell the baboon to someone who wished to take it to France." D. Fél. d'Azara, Essays on the Natural History of the Quadrupeds of the Province of Paraguay. -- Mr. Edwards in a letter to Mr. de Buffon, tells how a man who had been with a young lady to see a baboon locked up in a menagerie, having given her a kiss to excite its jealousy, this animal became furious, picked up a pewter pot which was at hand and threw it at the young man's head, causing him a large wound. See Buffon, Nat. Hist.. Female monkeys are no less jealous of women.
(20) A number of writers have no difficulty ascribing to the orang-outang the faculty of thought. "If one is to believe travellers," says Linnæus, "the wild man or orang-outang, makes a whistling sound which passes for speech amongst them: gifted with reason, he believes that the world was created for him, and that one day he will again be its master, etc." Syst. Nat. -- Indeed, monkeys have an excellent memory, remembering good and ill treatment for a long time. Mr. de Grandpré tells of a young chimpanzee, a type of orang-outang, which was aboard a ship, where it proved to be of great intelligence, helping the baker to make bread, etc. etc., dying during the crossing, a victim of brutality at the hands of the second mate, who had unfairly and harshly mistreated him. "This interesting creature meekly received the abuse targeted at him, showing a moving resignation, extending its hands to beg the blows that rained upon him to be stopped. From then on he continually refused to eat, and died of hunger and pain, mourned as a man might have been." Voyage à la côte occidentale d'Afrique, vol. 1.
(21) The mococos, or mococo lemurs have a rather singular natural habit: it is to frequently take up an attitude of worship or pleasure before the sun. They sit, as travellers tell it, gazing towards this celestial body with arms extended, repeating such demonstrations on several occasions each day, taking up hours of time, following the sun's orientation as it rises or sets." Buffon, Natural History
(22) Males monkey's unbridled lust for women is a fact long attested to by naturalists and travellers of all nations. See Gassendi, Vit. Peir. -- One has seen above (note 19) how violent monkeys can become, even in captivity, towards men who incite them to jealousy.
(23) "More industrious than elephants, orang-outangs know how to build shelters out of woven branches, suited to their particular needs." Ch. Bonnet, The Contemplation of Nature -- "One assures me," states Mr. Audebert, "that pongos build huts which they cover with leaves, and that the females and little ones live within these sorts of nests. Histoire naturelle des singes
"One is no less surprised," observes Mr. Ch. Bonnet, "to see the orang-outang settle down to sleep in a bed of his own making, much as we would, place his head at top of the bed, tie a handkerchief around it, and adjust the covers over himself, etc." The Contemplation of Nature -- H. Grose, speaking of a pair of orang-outangs, one male, one female, given to M. Horne, governor of Bombay, whom I mentioned already above, states that on the vessel on which they were embarked, they would prepare their bed with the utmost care. i>Voyages aux Indes-Occidentales, p. 329 et al. & One finds similar details in the description of a female orang-outang given by Mr. Fréd. Cuvier in 1808. "Our animal," he states, "was used to wrapping himself up in covers, and showed an almost constant need to do so. On the ship he would take to bed everything which seemed appropriate to him for doing so. Whenever a sailor has lost a few pieces of clothing, it was almost always possible to find them in the orang-outang's bed." Description of an orang-outang. -- Having arrived in Paris, he would go every day to retrieve his cover where he had left it, placed it across his shoulders, and climbed up into the arms of keeper to be taken to his bed." Ibid
(25) "I have seen," states Mr. de Buffon, "an orang-outang pour his own drink into a glass, and clink it with others' when asked to." Natural History
(26) The female of the orang-outang of Borneo, of which Vosmar has given us a detailed description, "enjoyed," he said, "the company of others, without distinction of sex, preferring however those who took care of her and did her no harm. Often when these people left, she would throw herself to the ground as if in despair, uttering cries and lamentations." Feuilles de Vosmaer, selected by M. de Buffon.
The orang-outang transported from Borneo to Paris in 1808 (see Note 41) showed great affection to its master. If he was not at the table in his usual spot, he would cry out in pain, refuse to eat, and would roll on the ground and strike his head. "Such a need for affection," states Mr. Fréd. Cuvier, "generally led our orang-outang to seek out people he knew and avoid solitude, which he seemed to very much dislike." Mr. Fréd. Cuvier adds that this young animal sometimes used all the resources provided him by his instincts to avail himself of the pleasures of company. Closed up in a room separated from the conference hall by a door held secure with a bolt, and the lock of which was too high for him to reach, he went and got a chair, pushed the bolt, opened it, and thus managed to get into the hall.
(27) Monkeys, especially those of the larger species, are monogamous, that is to say that they generally are content with a single female, or at most with two. "Their relationship," states Mr. Virey, "appears to be a kind of marriage, requiring fidelity, and they are terrible jealous." Histoire des mœurs et de l'instinct des animaux -- The male and female have an strong attachment to one another, which they express through caresses and mutual accommodation. I have already mentioned above the pair of orang-outangs, one male, one female, sent to M. Horne, governor of Bombay. "The female," states H. Grose, "died on the ship, and the male showing many signs of sadness, took to heart his spouse's death, refusing to eat and only surviving her by two days." Voyage aux Indes-Occidentales.
(28) Such caresses are not limited to individuals of their species. "Such animals," states Mr. Lecomte, "appear to be of a very tender disposition; they kiss those they like with surprising transports of joy." (Memoir on the Present State of China, vol. II) -- Mr. Levaillant speaks in great detail of such caresses as he received from his monkey named Kees. "Often," he states, "I took him hunting with me; what frolics and happiness upon our departure, how tenderly he would come and kiss his friend!" Travels in Africa, vol. 1.
(29) "The orang-outangs," states Ch. Bonnet, live communally in the jungle, and are strong and courageous enough to chase away elephants with clubs. They even dare to defend themselves from armed men." The Contemplation of Nature -- The other families of monkeys such as the howler monkeys, the baboons, the red and blue monkeys of Gambia, the coaitas, etc. which also form more or less large societal groups made up of individuals of the same species, and headed by a leader who is generally the strongest member of the troop. At the slightest call of distress, or for pillaging, the various individuals of a given family or societal group offer each other mutual support, either in attack or defence. They establish amongst themselves a certain pecking order, with subordinates and individuals involved in enforcing order during marches and other operations, as well as in punishing the negligent with a beating and sometimes even with death. Virey, Histoire des mœurs et de l'instinct des animaux. "We were often visited," states Mr. Levaillant, "in the middle of the day by large troops of bawains, monkeys of the same species as my friend Kees. These animals, surprised in seeing so many people, were even more so when they recognized one of theirs living peacefully amongst us, yet who answered them in their language." Voyage en Afrique -- As reported by D. Fél. d'Azara, the carayas, monkeys native to Paraguay, live in families made up of four to ten individuals, led by a single male. This chief always places himself in the highest spot so as to ensure the safety of the family he leads, which family will only move once its leader is himself in motion. Essays on the Natural History of the Quadrupeds of the Province of Paraguay. I would point out that these monkeys are not the only ones to provide each other with mutual assistance. The large monkeys known as Cochinchina monkeys show the same courage and drive in saving, at the risk of their lives, animals of their species who have been wounded by hunters. Here are a few details which are given in this regard by a modern traveller, Capt. Rey. "We began at 5 a.m.," he states, "to climb Taysons gorge, and before reaching the station where we intended to breakfast, we had killed over 100 individuals of the large species of monkey one finds only in this region, and are known only as Cochinchina monkeys… I dearly wished to capture alive a few youngsters, to bring them back to France. It was only with great difficulty that we were able to manage it, and it was necessary to kill a large number, for the more we wounded, the more came in response to the poor creatures' cries… What was most remarkable was that the uninjured ones always sought to carry off into the jungle the dead and injured. Three youngsters we captured were taken from the body of their father or mother, from which one had a great deal of trouble detaching them." I need not weigh in further here on the cruelty of hunters who, to satisfy their guilty greed, or often to stroke their poor self-esteem, don't think twice about immolating creatures so similar to man in their exterior conformation, their habits and the mutual goodwill they have for one another.
All those who have studied monkey behaviour know the sequence and types of tactics these animals follow when it comes to pillaging a garden, an orchard or a field of sugar cane. Before beginning their expedition, they assign one or two amongst them to climb up to a high point so as to establish that there are no men about to bother them. If these scouts do not see anyone, their calls inform the remainder of the troop, who then begin their maraudings. Some pick the fruit, the sugar cane, etc., taste them and dispose of what does not suit them; others, arrayed in a chain pass the items along from hand to hand in order to more quickly have them stored in a safe place, while others, serving as sentries and entrusted to call out with a whoop, whoop, whoop, or whatever other warning call was agreed upon, at the approach of the enemy. Upon hearing this warning, the raiders, and even the mothers with their little ones, leap into the trees, or escape into the mountains. sentries who, by their negligence allow their fellows to be caught by surprise are severely punished.. Kolbe, Description of the Cape of Good Hope, even insists that they are put to death if any member of the troop dies during the raid. -- Such details have been attested to by a number of travellers and naturalists. -- Stedman gives an eyewitness account of a case of sentries being posted to cover a group of monkeys' marauding. "These creatures," he states, "arrange sentries around the site of their pillaging in order to give the alarm, and I have seen with what precision and intelligence those which have been assigned this role have acquitted themselves. Voyage à Surinam. -- The same traveller mentions a species of monkeys whose individuals live alone and do not gather in family groups. "I must speak of another monkey which I saw at the home of colonel P……, at which in Surinam is called wanacoe… This is the only monkey of its kind which is not social. This solitary creature is so despised by monkeys of other species, that they continuously assault them and steal their food." Thus the monkeys too have their pariahs!… Voyage à Surinam.
(30) "The people of the country, when they travail in the woods, make fires where they sleep in the night; and in the morning, when they are gone, the Pongoes will come and sit about the fire, till it goes out: for they have no understanding to lay the wood together." Purchas, Pilgrims. -- When domesticated, monkeys can be taught to light a fire, feed it and watch it so as to avoid the accidents it might cause. The unfortunate chimpanzee whose sad end I reported above in note 23, "had," according to Mr. de Grandpré, "learned to warm an oven; she kept close watch that no live coals escaped that could set the vessel on fire, and judged accurately when the oven was sufficiently warm, never failing to inform the baker, who, confident of the creature's sagacity, depended upon it, and hastened to bring his dough as soon as the monkey came to get him, without the former ever leading him to error. Voyage à la côte occidentale d'Afrique
(31) "The orang-outang goes to the fountain to get water, fills a jug, places it on its head and brings it back to the house." Bonnet, The Contemplation of Nature. These facts are also reported by a number of other travellers.
(32) "I have seen," states Mr. de Buffon, "an orang-outang go and take a cup and saucer, bring it to the table, put sugar in it, pour some tea, let it cool to drink it, and all this without any encouragement or words from his master, and often of his own account… I have seen him sit at the table, spread out his napkin, wipe his lips with it, use a fork and spoon to bring food to his mouth." -- The female of the orang-outang described by Vosmaer also knew how to use a fork and spoon. "When she was given strawberries," states the Dutch naturalist, "it was a pleasure to see how she would stab them and bring them one by one to her mouth with a fork." The female orang-outang which I have already mentioned on several occasions, could eat perfectly well a hard-boiled egg in the shell, as long as one prepared the sippets for her. Fréd. Cuvier, Descript., etc.
(33) "Trained to serve in the home, the orang-outang, at a single sign or at his master's voice… will rinse the glasses, serve drinks, turn meat on the grill, crush in a mortar what one gives him to grind, etc." Ch. Bonnet, The Contemplation of Nature. One can see that the barris (a type of chimpanzee), orang-outangs, and other monkeys of the same family, learn to do different tasks, and to proffer their masters all the services one might expect from a domestic servant; they sweep rooms, clean boots, untie the bows in shoes, etc. -- The female orang-outang of which Volmaer speaks knew how to behave at the dinner table. "After having eaten," states this naturalist, "she took a tooth-pick and put it to the same use as we do." Feuilles de Vosmaer
(34) While I may be diverging from my subject matter, I cannot help but report the following anecdote, which I guarantee to be genuine. A man fallen into a most wretched state, and whose bitter disposition one too often criticize in others, and which one should not be proud of, had a dog, his only friend. This poor creature, driven by his instinct, had developed the habit of stopping before the door of certain high class hotels; there he would most skilfully search the waste drain for the roots drawn into it by the water which escaped when the cooks drew out the plug from the sink. He would separate the chewed upon pieces from those which appeared to be more appealing, keeping the poor pieces for himself, and reserving the best for his master.
(35) Mr. Allamand speaks of a female orang-outang observed by Mr. Harvood. "She would willingly cover herself with pieces of fabric, but she would not suffer to be dressed in clothes." See Buffon, Nat. Hist.. The individual which is discussed below (note 39) liked to be covered; and, "in order to accomplish this," states Mr. Frédéric Cuvier, he would take any piece of material or clothing which was near him." Description d'un orang-outang. -- Mr. G***, at whose home this interesting creature spent most of his time in Paris, from his coming off the ship to his death, wrote to me that the cold led this small jocko to allow herself to be clothed in a small woollen cardigan, a redingote and even a pair of pants; but often, when she was alone in the hall, she would get as close to the fire as she could and would take off all her clothes.
(36) "I saw," states Mr. Audebert, "a mangabey who would take a book, place it on a table and turn the pages with some skill, grimacing as if the book's contents excited his indignation." Hist. nat. des singes, art. Mangabey.
(37) One should not be surprised at the skill with which monkeys, particularly the howler monkeys, probe and dress the wounds they receive. Here is what the eyewitness Oexmelin tells us: "The moment one of them is wounded, the others gather around him, put their fingers in the wound and act as though they are probing it. If they then see that a lot of blood is flowing, they keep the wound closed while others bring a few leaves which they chew and carefully place inside the open wound. I can claim to have seen this several times, and much admired it." Histoire des flibustiers.
(38) The young brown capuchin monkey raised by Mr. Moreau-Saint-Méry, being sick as a result of his gluttony, gave himself up willingly to the care which were being given him. "It was a touching sight," states Mr. Moreau-Saint-Méry, "that of the little animal, its cries rising above my own voice with the horrible agony it endured, opening its mouth and swallow the oil I gave it."
(39) A male orang-outang, closed up on a ship, fell sick. "He would let himself be treated like a man; he even twice had a bloodletting from his right arm. Every time he felt poorly he would show his arm so as to be bled, for he remembered that it had done him some good." Extracts from the Voyage of Mr. de la Brosse as reported by Buffon, Nat. Hist. -- The young jocko which arrived in Paris at the beginning of March 1808 was then ten to twelve months old. "The fatigues of a long ocean voyage," states Mr. Frédéric Cuvier, "along with the cold the animal was subjected to in crossing the Pyrenees in the snowy season, put her life seriously at risk. Having arrived in Paris, she had several frozen fingers, suffered from a hectic fever caused by an obstruction in the spleen, as well as a cough while gave scant hope she would survive more than a couple of days." Description d'un orang-outang. Mr. G***, to whom this little jocko had been sent, and who had given her the name Maiden of the Forest, watched over her with the most scrupulous exactitude. I doctor would come to see her. As soon as she saw the doctor, she would look at him with soft eyes and extend her little arm so he could take her pulse. With a lot of care she was able to partly recover, but she finally succumbed after five months… On the day she died, M. G*** had been forced to go to the country with his family, and had left him with a servant he trusted. She of the forest, sensing her time had come, wandered on several occasions through all the rooms, looking for her friends with a sad, worried expression; finally, having given up finding them, she came to moan and die on her covers, which were spread out in the garden. Mr. Frédéric Cuvier states that "upon her autopsy, most of her intestines were found to be disorganized and full of obstructions." Descrip. d'un orang-outang.
(40) Acosta, cited by Stedman, attests to have seen, in the Government House in Cartagena, a monkey which, when his master ordered him to, would go and get wine at the wineseller's, holding in one hand the bucket and in the other the money, which he never gave to the wineseller until he had received the wine. Sometimes, on his way back, he might be assailed by children throwing stones at him; he would then place his bucket on the ground, caught the stones which were thrown him in his hand, and would throw them back at his assailants so skilfully, that they lost interest in repeating the attack. He would then pick up the bucket and bring it faithfully back to the house, and though he very much enjoyed wine, he would not drink a drop until his master gave him permission. Voyage to Surinam
(41) Monkeys are in general closely attuned to melody. If one is to believe the illustrious Gassendi, the great barris monkeys of Guinea can learn to skilfully play the flute, the guitar, and other instruments. "Qui maximi sunt, et Barris dicuntur…scitegrave; ludere fistula, cithara, aliisque id genus." Vita Peiresc. -- Count Panoglorowski, exiled to Siberia by tzar Peter, and having only a dog and a monkey as companions, took up the task of training these two animals. The dog learned, it is said, to play chess, and the monkey to play the flute. Journal de Paris, September 1, 1808.
(42) Those who ask how the fascinating Jocko could have brought he friend such a quantity of diamonds must remember that, far from being buried in the mines of Raolconda, Coulour and Soumelpour, many diamonds on the soil surface. The scientist Mr. Werner notes that one finds at the base of the Orixa mountains of India diamonds which, he says, were originally formed within these mountains, and which were separated from them afterwards. See Nouvelle théorie sur la formation des filons [New Theory of the Formation of Veins], etc. It is also known that the diamonds from the Soulempour mine, which draws its name from a town located on the Gouel River, which flows into the Ganges, are not found in their original location, but often mixed through the river's sands, which stripped them from their matrix. -- It is thus quite natural to think that Jocko had found, either in a sandbank beside a river, or rather in the fissures of a rock, the diamonds which she presented as a gift to her friend.
(43) "If the orang-outang is not a man," states Mr. Charles Bonnet, "he is the most perfect prototype thereof which walks the Earth. The Contemplation of Nature.
(44) None of the species of monkeys known to us have the ability to produce articulate speech or distinct words. -- "It is," states Mr. G. Guvier [sic], "physically impossible for the orang-outang to articulate any sound because of a sac which communicates with its larynx and renders his voice entirely silent." Tableau élémentaire de l'histoire naturelle des animaux. We know that the blacks attribute the monkeys' silence to their laziness, and fervently believe that these creatures do not speak lest they would be put to work. Froger, Relations du Voyage de Rennes
(45) The Javanese yellow-blue adder often hides in rice paddies, and more commonly in shrubby woods. It normal length is from nine to ten feet, but some have been seen so large as to be compared to large trees. This snake, whose strength makes it a dreadful foe, feeds on birds and even some fairly large animals. See Mémoires de la socièté de Batavia for 1787.
(46) Monkeys' horror of snakes is well known; the mere sight of the skin of one of these reptiles is enough to have them collapse. The traveller Levaillant had killed a large snake during a hunt. "I noticed in this instance the fear that these animals instil in monkeys. It was impossible to bring Kees anywhere near the snake I had just obtained, regardless of the fact that it was quite dead." Voyage en Afrique, Vol. II, p. 258. -- This fear is quite natural, for monkeys, who by their light-footedness and their habit of sleeping in trees escape the predations of lions, tigers and other ferocious beasts, even those of man, have no more fearful enemy than these hideous reptiles, which can creep up and surprise them even in the tallest branches.
(47) If one is to believe Mr. Desfontaines (note sent to Mr. de Buffon), the complexion of different monkeys is prone to change when they are frightened. Nat. Hist. addit. to art. Pithèque.
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