Monkey

500 l.--Sporting Slang.
the instrument which drives a rocket.—Army.
the vessel in which a mess receives its full allowance of grog.—Sea.

n. An arboreal animal which makes itself at home in genealogical trees.

A VISIT TO THE MONKEYS.
To suck the monkey; to suck or draw wine, or any other liquor, privately out of a cask, by means of a straw, or small tube. Monkey's allowance; more kicks than halfpence. Who put that monkey on horseback without tying his legs? vulgar wit on a bad horseman.

Monkeys. By Joseph Wolf.

FROM "WOOD'S NATURAL HISTORY."

spirit or ill temper; “to get one's monkey  up,” to rouse his passion. A man is said to have his monkey  up or the monkey  on his back, when he is “riled,” or out of temper; this is old, and was probably in allusion originally to the evil spirit which was supposed to be always present with a man; also under similar circumstances a man is said to have his back or hump up.

All the monkeys of the world are members of one or the other of two families only—the Cebidæ, all American, and the Cercopithidæ, confined to the Old World. They differ in several structural particulars, among others in the number of teeth, and in the matter of bare spots of naked skin on the buttocks (not seen in the Cebidæ), in the prehensility of the tail, exclusively American, etc.; but the most striking difference between the two groups is found in the nostrils. In the Old World monkeys and apes (Catarrhines) the nostrils look downward and are close together; in American monkeys (Platyrrhines) they are widely separated and look outward. This absolute distinction between the Primates of the two hemispheres has existed as far back as the race can be traced by paleontologists, who have discovered no intermediate forms.

The Young Monkey

A

LITTLE Monkey chanced to find
A walnut in its outward rind;
He snatched the prize with eager haste,
And bit it, but its bitter taste
Soon made him throw the fruit away.
Soon made him throw the fruit away.
“I've heard,” he cried, “my mother say
(But she was wrong), the fruit was good;
Preserve me from such bitter food!”
A monkey by experience taught,
The falling prize with pleasure caught;
Took off the husk and broke the shell,
The kernel peeled, and liked it well.
“Walnuts,” said he, “are good and sweet,
But must be opened ere you eat.”
And thus in life you'll always find
Labor comes first—reward behind.

The Monkey Tribe  (Quadrumana )

Monkeys are animals whose four feet are hand-like, and hence their scientific name, Quadrumana, which means four-handed. They are distinguished from the other animals by their docility, and, more especially, by their power of imitation. It is evident at the first glance that they are nearer related to man than any other animal.

The monkeys have long, loosely hanging arms, with elongated, claw-like fingers; their feet resemble hands. They swing themselves with ease from branch to branch and from tree to tree; they are good climbers, and bring down fruit from the topmost branches. But notwithstanding the aptitude of their hands for climbing, the latter cannot equal the dexterity of the human hand, which is justly described as the tool of all tools.

Monkeys differ outwardly from man in many respects: their foreheads are low, and almost disappear under the overhanging hair; their ears are directed upwards; their nose is exceedingly flat and scarcely projects; their teeth resemble those of the animals of prey; their chin is receding; their entire skin is hairy, except in a few places; and their movements are, in most instances, only possible with the assistance of their long arms.

The intellectual qualities of monkeys are not of very high order. In this attribute, they are surpassed by the dog, the horse, and the elephant. There is especially no trace of those qualities of fidelity and gratitude which we so highly value in the animals last mentioned.

All of the American monkeys are true monkeys, but in the old world there is no line between ape, baboon, gibbon, macaque and monkey. Most of the American species (the marmosets excepted) have one more molar tooth on each side of each jaw than does man, but the forms of the eastern continent are like man in that respect, as they are in having nails rather than claws on at least some of the fingers and toes. Many of the new world species have prehensile tails, but this never occurs in the others, the tail exhibiting a tendency to be reduced, at last disappearing in the man-like apes.

The American apes have the nostrils widely separated and opening sidewise, while in the others they open in front and downward as in man.

Monkeys are extremely interesting because of their caricature of man. Some make most interesting pets, and others are disagreeable, in looks, temper, and habits. Most of them are vegetarians for most of their diet, but they are fond of eggs and young birds, as well as insects. None stray far out of the tropics and only one enters Europe at Gibraltar.