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comparatively recently taken to slave-making, has not as yet been materially affected.

Polyergus, on the contrary, already illustrates the lowering tendency of slavery. They have lost their knowledge of art, their natural affection for their young, and even their instinct of feeding! They are, however, bold and powerful marauders.

In Strongylognathus, the enervating influence of slavery has gone further, and told even on the bodily strength. They are no longer able to capture their slaves in fair and open warfare. Still they retain a semblance of authority, and, when roused, will fight bravely, though in vain.

In Anergates, finally, we come to the last scene of this sad history. We may safely conclude that in distant times their ancestors lived, as so many ants do now, partly by hunting, partly on honey; that by degrees they became bold marauders, and gradually took to keeping slaves; that for a time they maintained their strength and agility, though losing by degrees their real independence, their arts, and even many of their instincts; that gradually even their bodily force dwindled away under the enervating influence to which they had subjected themselves, until they sank to their present degraded condition-weak in body and

d, few in numbers, and apparently nearly extinct, the miserable representatives of far superior ancestors, maintaining a precarious existence as contemptible parasites of their former slaves.

Lespès has given a short but interesting account of some experiments made by him on the relations existing between ants and their domestic animals, from which it might be inferred that even within the limits of a single species some communities are more advanced than others. He states that specimens of the curious blind beetle Claviger, which always occurs with ants, when transferred from a nest of Lasius niger to another which kept none of these domestic beetles, were invariably attacked and eaten. From this he infers that the intelligence necessary to keep Clavigers is not coextensive with the species, but belongs only to certain communities and races, which, so to say, are more advanced in civilisation than the rest of the species.

With reference to the statements of Lespès, I have more than once transferred specimens of Platyarthrus from one nest to another, and always found them received amicably. I even placed specimens from a nest of Lasius flavus in one of Formica fusca with the same result. I brought from the South of France some specimens of a different species, as yet undescribed, and put them in a nest of Formica fusca, where they lived for some time, and brought up more than one brood of young. These creatures, however, occur in most ants' nests, while Clavigers are only found in some.

But whether there are differences in advancement within the limits of the same species or not, there are certainly considerable differences between the different species, and one may almost fancy that we can trace stages corresponding to the principal steps in the history of human development.

I do not now refer to slave-making ants, which represent an abnormal, or perhaps only a temporary state of things, for slavery seems to tend in ants as in men to the degradation of those by whom it is adopted, and it is not impossible that the slave-making species will eventually find themselves unable to compete with those which are more self-dependent, and have reached a higher phase of civilisation. But putting these slave-making ants on one side, we find in the different species of ants different conditions of life, curiously answering to the earlier stages of human progress. For instance, some species, such as Formica fusca, live principally on the produce of the chase; for though they feed partly on the honey-dew of aphides, they have not domesticated these insects. These ants probably retain the habits once common to all ants. They resemble the lower races of men, who subsist mainly by hunting. Like them they frequent woods and wilds, live in comparatively small communities, and the instincts of collective action are but little developed among them. They hunt singly, and their battles are single combats, like those of the Homeric heroes. Such species as Lasius flavus represent a distinctly higher type of social life; they show more skill in architecture, may literally be said to have

92 HUNTING, PASTORAL, AND AGRICULTURAL ANTS.

domesticated certain species of aphides, and may

be compared to the pastoral stage of human progress-to the races which live on the produce of their flocks and herds. Their communities are more numerous ; they act much more in concert; their battles are not mere single combats, but they know how to act in combination. I am disposed to hazard the conjecture that they will gradually exterminate the mere hunting species, just as savages disappear before more advanced races. Lastly, the agricultural nations may be compared with the harvesting ants.

Thus there seem to be three principal types, offering a curious analogy to the three great phases the hunting, pastoral, and agricultural stages—in the history of human development.

93

CHAPTER V.

BEHAVIOUR TO RELATIONS.

MR. GROTE, in his ‘Fragments on Ethical Subjects, regards it as an evident necessity that no society can exist without the sentiment of morality. “Everyone,' he says, 'who has either spoken or written on the subject, has agreed in considering this sentiment as absolutely indispensable to the very existence of society. Without the diffusion of a certain measure of this feeling throughout all the members of the social union, the caprices, the desires, and the passions of each separate individual would render the maintenance of any established communion impossible. Positive morality, under some form or other, has existed in every society of which the world has ever had experience.

If this be so, the question naturally arises whether ants also are moral and accountable beings. They have their desires, their passions, even their caprices. The young are absolutely helpless. Their communities are sometimes so numerous, that perhaps London and Pekin are almost the only human cities which can compare with them. Moreover, their nests are no mere collections of independent individuals, nor even tem

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