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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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970. BUFFON (Count de), Animal theories refuted.—[continued].
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970. BUFFON (Count de), Animal theories refuted.—[continued].

The mammoth should
have sufficed to have rescued the earth
it inhabited, and the atmosphere it breathed,
from the imputation of impotence in the
conception and nourishment of animal life
on a large scrale; to have stifled, in its
birth, the opinion of a writer, the most
learned, too, of all others in the science of
animal history, that in the new world. “La
nature vivante est beaucoup moins agissante,
beaucoup moins forte”; that nature is less
active, less energetic on one side of the globe
than she is on the other. As if both sides
were not warmed by the same genial sun; as
if a soil of the same chemical composition
was less capable of elaboration into animal
nutriment; as if the fruits and grains from
that soil and sun yielded a less rich chyle,
gave less extension to the solids and fluids
of the body, or produced sooner in the cartilages,
membranes, and fibres, that rigidity
which restrains all further extension, and terminates
animal growth. The truth is that a
pigmy and a Patagonian, a mouse and a mammoth,
derive their dimensions from the same
nutritive juices. The difference of increment
depends on circumstances unsearchable to beings
with our capacities. Every race of animals
seems to have received from their Maker
certain laws of extension at the time of their
formation. Their elaborate organs were
formed to produce this, while proper obstacles
were opposed to its further progress. Below
these limits they cannot fall, nor rise
above them: What intermediate station they
shall take may depend on soil, on climate, on
food, on a careful choice of breeders. But
all the manna of heaven would never raise
the mouse to the bulk of the mammoth.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 289. Ford ed., iii, 134.

See Mammoth.