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I^Qib ^. h,^-^ 








Illtti^tiratfti txAt^ ^tma>m»f 

And a Portrait of the Author, 







65^ Paternoster Row* 


/ 3 


■^ , 






The second class of carnivorous quadrupeds may be denominated 
those of the Dog kind.^ This class is neither so numerous nor so 
powerful as the former, and yet neither so treacherous, rapacious, or 
cowardly. This class may be principally distinguished by their 
claws, which have no sheath like those of the cat kind, but still con- 
tinue at the point of each toe, without a capability of being stretched 
forward or drawn back. The nose also, as well as the jaw, of all 
the dog kind, is longer than in the cat; the body is, in proportion, 
more strongly made, and covered with hair instead of fur. There 
are many internal distinctions also; as in the intestines, which are 
much longer in the dog kind than in those of the cat; the e^e is not 
formed for night vision ; and the olfactory nerves are diffused in the 
dog kinds, upon a very extensive membrane within the skull. 

If we compare the natural habitudes of this class with the former, 
we shall find that the dog kinds are not so solitary as those of the 
cat, but love to hunt in company, and encourage each other with 
their mutual cries. In this manner the dog and the jackal I pursue 
their prey ; and the wolf and fox, which are of this kind, though 
more solitary and silent among us, yet in countries where less per- 
secuted, and where they can more fearlessly display their natural 
inclinations, they are found to keep together in packs, and pursue 
their game with alternate bowlings. 

Animals of the dog kind want some of the advantages of the cat 
kind, and yet are possessed of others in which the latter are deficient. 
Upon observing their claws, it will easily be perceived that they 
cannot, like cats, pursue their prey up the sides of a tree, and con- 

* This class of quadrupeds have six, fore-teeth in the upper jaw, those ia 
the sides being longer than the intermediate oaes, which are lobated ; in the 
under jfiw there are likewise six fore-teeth, those on the sides being lobated. 
They have six grinders in the upper, and seven in the lower jaw. The teeth 
called dog-teeth are four, one on each side, both in the lower and upper jaw; 
they are sharp-pointed, bent a Httie inward, atid stand at a distance irom 
any of the rest. 

VOL, II.— No. XX, A 



' tinue the chafe among the branches ; their unmanageable clawj 

I cannot stick in the bark, and ihiig support the body up along the 

I Irnnk, as we see the cut very fasily perform ; whenever, therefnre, 

r prey flies up a iree from thern, they can only follow it with 

^ their eyes, or watch its motions till hunger again brings it to tha 

groimd. For this reason, the proper prey of the dog kind are unly 

thuse animnN that like themselves are unfitted for climbing; the 

hare, the rabbit, the gazelle, or the roebuck, 

As they are, in this respect, inferior lo the cat, so Ihey exceed it 
in the sense of smelling; by which alone they pursue their prey with 
certainly of success, wind it through all its mazes, and tire it down 
by perseverance. It often happens, however, in the savage state, 
that their prey is either too much diminished, or too wary, lo serve 
for a sufficient supply. In this case, when driven to an extremity, 
alt the dog kinds can live for some time upon fruits and vegetables, 
which, if they do not please the appetite, at least serve to appease 
their hunger. 

Of all this tribe, the dog has every reason to claim the preference, 
being the moat intelligent of all known quadrupeds, and tlie acknow- 
ledged friend of mankind. The dog,* independent of the beauty 
of his form, his vivacity, force, and swinness, is possessed of all those 
internal qualifications that can conciliate the affections of man, and 
make the tyrant a protector. A natural share of courage, an angry 
and ferocious disposition, renders the dog, in its savage state, a for- 
midable enemy lo all other animals : but these readily give way to 
very diflerent qualities in the domestic dog, whose only ambition 
■eems the desire to please : he is seen to come crouching along, to 
lay his force, his courage, and all his useful talents, at the feet of his 
master ; he waits his orders, to which he pays implicit obedience ; be 
consults his looks, and a single glance is sufficient lo put him in 
motion ; he is mure faithful even than the most boasted among men ; 
he is constant in his affections, friendly without interest, and grateful 
Tor the slightest favours ; much more mindful of beneGts received 
than injuries oflered; he is not driven off by unkindness; he still 
continues humble, submissive, and imploring; his only hope to be 
serviceable, his only terror to displease; he licks the hand that has 
been just lifted to strike him, and at last disarms resentment by 
■ubmissive perseverance. 

More docile than man, more obedient than any other animal, he 
ia not only instructed in a short time, but he olso conforms to the 
disposiiitHis and the manners of those who command liim. He takes 
bis tone from the house he inhabits ; like the rest of the domestics, 
he is disdainful among the great, and churlish among clowns. Always 
assiduous in serving his master, and only a, friend to his friends, lie 
is indifferent to all the rest, and declares himself openly againstsuch 
U seem to be dependent like himself. He knows a beggar by his 

is taiLea from M. Buflan 


[clothes, by his voice, or his gestures, und forbids his appraacli. When 
St night the guard of the house is i-ommitted to liis care, he seems 
proud of Ihe charge; he continues & watchful sentinel, he goes hii 
rounds, scents strangers at a distance, and gives ihein warning of 
his being upon duty. If they attempt lo break in upon his terri- 
tories, he becomes more fierce, flies at them, threatens, fights, and 
either conquers alone, or alarois those who have most interest in 
coming to his sssiiitance : however, when he has conquered, ha 
quietly reposes upon the spoil, and abstains from what he has de- 
ierred others I'rom abusing ; giving thus at once a lesson of courage, 
temperance, and fidelity. 

From hence we see of what importance this animal is to us in a 
slate of nature. Supposing, for a moment, that the species had not 
existed, how could man, without the assistance of a dog, have been 
able to conquer, tame, and reduce to servitude, every other animal T 
How could ho discover, chase, and destroy, those that were noxious 
to hira? In order to be secure, and to become master of all ani- 
mated nature, it was necessary for him to begin by making a. friend 
of a part of them; to attach suchof them to himself, by kindness and 
etresses, as seemed fittest for obedience and active pursuit. Thus 
the first art employed by man was in conciliating the favor of the 
dog;; and the fruits of this art were, the conquest and peaceable 
possession of the earth. 

The generality of animals have greater agility, greater swidness, 
and more formidable arms, from nature, than man ; their senses, 
and particularly that of smelling, are far more perfect : the having 
gained, therefore, a new assislant, particularly one whose scent is 
so exquisite ais that of the dog, was the gaining a new sense, a new 
laculty, which before was wanting. The machines and instruments 
which we have imagined for perfecting the rest of the senses, do not 
approach to that already prepared by nature, by which we are 
mabled to dnd out every animal, (hough unseen, and ihu.s destroy 
the noxious, and use the serviceable. 

The dog, thus useful in himself, taken into a participation of 
empire, exerts a degree of superiority over all animals that require 
human protection. The flock and the herd obey his voice more 
readily even than that of the shepherd or the herdsman; he conducts 
them, guards them, keeps them from capriciously seeking danger, 
and their enemies he considers as his own. Nor is ho less useful in 
the pursuit ; when the sound of the horn, or the voice of the hunt». 
■nao, calU him to the field, he testifies his pleasure by every littleart, 
and pursues with perseverance those animals which, when taken, he 
must not expect to divide. The desire of hunting is indeed natural 
to him as well as to his master, since war and the chase are the only 
employment of savages. All animals that live upon flesh hunt by 


t nature; the lion and the tiger, whose force is so great thai they are ^^^ 
nire to conquer, hunt alone, and without art; the wolf, the fo;c, and ^^| 
6ie wild dog, hunt in packs, assist each otiier, and partake the spoil. ^^H 
put when ^ucation iias pei'fected this talent in ihe domestic ao&<.^^| 


when he has been taught by roan lo repress his ardour, 
faia motiong, and not to exhaust his force by too sudden 
of it, he then hunts with method, and always with success. 

"Although the wild dog, such as he was before he came under the 
4)roteclion of mankind, is at present utterly unknown, no such ani- 
mal being now lo be found in any part of the world, yet there are 
many that, from a domestic slate, have turned savage, and entirely 
pursue the dictates of nature." In those deserted and uncultivated 
countries where tlie dog is found wild, they seem entirely lo partake 
of the disposition of the wolf) they unite in large bodies, and attack 
the most formidable animals of the forest, the couguar, the panther, 
and (he bison. In America, where they were originally brought by 
the Europeans, and abandoned by their ransters, they have multi- 
plied to such a degree, that they spread in packs over the whole 
country, attack all other animals, and even man himself does not 
pass without insulL They are there treated in t!ie same manner as 
&I1 other carnivorous animals, and killed wherever they happen to 
come; however, they are easily tamed; when taken home, and 
treated with kindness and lenity, they quickly become submissive 
and familiar, and continue faithfully attached to their masters. Dif- 
ferent in this from tlie wolf or the fox, who, though taken never so 
young, are gentle only while cubs, and, as they grow older, give 
themselves up to their natural appetites of rapine and cruelty. In 
jhort, it may be asserted, that the dog is the only animal whose 
£delity is unshaken ; the only one who knows his master, and the 
friendti of the family ; the only one who instantly distinguishes a 
stranger ; the only one who knows his name, and answers to the 
domestic call ; the only one who seems to understand the nature of 
subordination, and seeks assistance; the only one who, when he 
misses his master, testifies his loss by his complaints ; the only one 
who, ciirried to a distant place, can lind the way home; the only 
one whose natural talents are evident, and whose education is always 
success ful. 

In the same manner, as the dog i« of the most complying dispo- 

silion, so also i>< it the most susceptible of change in its form; the 

Lrarieiies of this animal being too many for even the most careful 

Edescriber to mention. The climate, the food, and the educnlioa, all 

Knake ilrong impressions upon the animal, and pruduce allerationa 

■ in its shape, its colour, its hair, its size, and in every thing but its 

nature. The same dug, taken from one climate, and brought to 

another, seems to become another animol ; but dilFereni breeds are 

i«8 much separated, to all appearance, as any two animals the most dis. 
'linct in nature, Nothing appears to continue constant with them, 
kt their internal conformation ; dilTcrent in the Hgure of the body, 
pi the length of the nose, in the shape of the head, in the length and 
llliedirection of the ears and tail, in the colour, the quality, and th» 
quantity of the hair; in short, different in every thing but that 
make of the parts which serve to continue the species, and keep the 
Bnimal distincl from all others. It is this peculiar vonformatioo. 



.this power of producing an animal that can reproduce^ that marks 
the kind, and approximates forms that at first sight seem never made 
for coqjunction. 

From this single consideration^ therefore, we may at once pro* 
nounce all dogs to be of one kind ; but which of them is the original 
of all the rest, which of them is the savage dog from whence such a 
variety of descendants have come down, is no easy matter to deter- 
mine. We may easily indeed observe, that all those animals which 
are under the influence of man, are subject to great variations. Such 
as have been sufficiently independent, so as to choose their own cli- 
mate, their own nourishment, and to pursue their own habitudes, 
preserve their original marks of nature without much deviation ; and 
it is probable, that the first of these is even at this day very well 
represented in their descendants. But such as man has subdued, 
transported from one climate to another, controlled in their manner 
of living and their food, have most probably been changed also in 
their forms : particularly the dog has felt these alterations more 
strongly than any other of the domestic kinds; for, living more like 
man, he may be thus said to live more irregularly also, and, conse- 
quently, must have felt all those changes that such variety would 
naturally produce. Some other causes also maj^ be assigned for 
this variety in the species of the dog : as he is perpetually under the 
eye of his master, when accident has produced any singularity in its 
productions, man uses all his art to continue this peculiarity un- 
changed, either by breeding from such as had those singularities, or 
by destroying such as happened to want them ; besides, as the dog 
produces much more frequently than some other animals, and lives 
a shorter time, so the chance for its varieties will be offered in greater 

But which is the original animal, and which the artificial or acci- 
dental variety, is a question which, as was said, is not easily resolved. 
If the internal structure of dogs of different sorts be compared with 
each other, it will be found, except in point of size, that in this 
respect they are exactly the same. This, therefore, affords no cri- 
terion. If other animals be compared with the dog internally, the 
wolf and the fox will be found to have the roost perfect resemblance ; 
it is probable, therefore, that the dog which most nearly resembles 
the wolf or the fox externally, is the original animal of its kind ; for 
it is natural to suppose, that as the dog most nearly resembles them 
internally, so he may be near them in external resemblance also, 
except where art or accident has altered his form. This being sup- 
posed, if we look among the number of varieties to be found in the 
dog, we shall not find one so like the wolf or the fox, as that which 
is called the Shepherd's Dog. This is that dog with long coarse hair 
on all parts except the nose, pricked ears, and a long nose, which is 
common enough among us, and receives his name from being prin- 
cipally used in guarding and attending on sheep. This seems to be 
the primitive animal of his kind; and we shall be the more confirmed 
in thia opinion^ if we attend to the different characters which climate 



produces in the animal, and the di6erent races of dogs whJL-li are 
propagated in every country. And, iu ttie Grst place, if we examine 
those countries which are still s&vage, or but hulTciviliKed, where it 
is most probable the dog, like his master, has received but few im- 
pressions from art, ve shall find the shi;p!ierd's dog, or one very like 
him, still prevailing amongst them. The dogs that have run wild 
in America and in Congo, approach this form. The dog orSiberia, 
Lapland, and Iceland, of the Cape of Good Hope, of Madagascar, 
Madura, Calicut, and Malabar, bave all a long nose, pricked ears, 
and resemble the shepherd's dog very nearly. In Guinea, the dog 
very speedily lakes this form ; for, at the second or third generation, 
the animal forgets to bark, his ears and his tail become pointed, and 
his hair drops off, tihih a coarser, thinner kind comes in the place. 
This sort of dog is also to be found in the temperate climates in 
great abundance, particularly among those who, preferring useful- 
ness to beauty, employ an animal that requires very little instruction 
to be serviceable. Notwithstanding this creature's deformity, ha 
melancholy and savage air, ho is superior to all the rest of his kind 
in instinct; and, without any teaching, naturally takes to lending 
flocks, with an assiduity and vigilance that at once astonishes, and 
yet relieves his master, . 

In more polished and civilized places, the dog seems to partake of I 
the universal retinemont ; and, like the men, becomes more beao- 4 
tifnl, more majestic, and more capable of assuming an education * 
foreign to his nature. The dogs of Albania, of Greece, of Denmark, 
and of Ireland, are larger and stronger than those of any other kind. 
In France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, the dogs are of various kinds, 
like the men ; and this variety seems fomied by crossing the breed 
of such as are imported from various climates. I 

The shepherd's dog may, therufore, be considered as the primitive I 

t stock from whence these varieties are all derived. He makes Ihfr I 
Btem of that genealogical tree Which has been branched out inta J 
every part of the world. This animal still continues pretty neaHj I 
in its original state among the poor in temperate climates; beinj*. 
transported into the colder regions, he grows less and more 
among the Lajdanders, but becomes more perfect in Iceland, Rt 
and Siberia, where the climate is less rigorous, and the people 
civilized. Whatever differences there may be among the do_ 
lliese countries, they are not very considerable, as they have 
straight enrs, long and thick hair, a savage aspect, and do not bi 
either so ollen or so loud as dogs of the more cultivated kind. 
The shepherd's dog, transported into the temperate climates, t 
among people entirely civilized, such as England, France, and Gepi^ 
many, will be divested of his savage air, his pricked ears, his rough* T 
long, and thick hair, and, from Die single influence of chmate and J 
foixl alone, will become either a Matin, a Mastiff, or a Hound.J 
These three seem the immediate descendanis of the former; o 
Crom them the other varieties are produced. 
The Hound, the Harrier, and the Beagle, seem all of the sa 


IT altfaough the biicli ia covered but by one or (hem, yet in 
1 are found puppies resembliag all the three. This animal, 
transported into Spain or Garbarj, where the hair of all quadrupeds 
becomes so(\ and long, will be there converted into the land spaniel, 
and the water spaniel, and these of different sizes. 

The Grey Matin Hound, which is in the second branch, trans- 
ported to the North, becumes the Great Danish Dog; and this, sent 
into the South, becomes the greyhound, of different iiizes. The 
same trnuNported into Ireland, the Ukraine, Tartary, Epinis, and 
Albania, becomes the great wolf-dog, known by the name of the 
Irish wolf-dog. 

The Mastiff, which is the third branch, and chiefly a native of 
England, when transported into Denmark, becomes the little Danish 
dog; and thislittle Danish dog, sent into the tropical and warm cli- 
mates, becomes the animal called the Turkish dog, without liau-. 
All these races, v/hh their varieties, are produced by the influence of 
climate, joined to the different food, education, and shelter, which 
they have received among mankind. All other kinds may be con- 
Mdered as mongrel races, produced by the concurrence of these, and 
found rather by crossing the breed than by attending to the indi- 
vidual. " As these are extremely numerous, and very different in 
different countries, it would be almost endless to mention the whole; 
besides, nothing but experience can ascertain the reality of theite 
conjectures, although they have so much the appearance of pro- 
bability; and until that gives more certain information, we must be 
escusEMi from entering more minutely into the subject. 

"With regard to the dogs of our country in particular, the 
varieties are very great, and the number everyday increasing. And 
this must happen in a country so open by commerce to all others, 
and where wealth is apt to produce capricious predilection. Here, 
the ugliest and the most useless of their kinds will be entertained 
merely for their singularity ; and, being imported only to be looked 
St, they will lose even that small degree of sagacity which [hey 
poaseised in their natural climates. Prom this importation of foreign 
useteis dogs, our own native breed is, 1 am informed, greatly dege- 
nerated; and the varieties now to be found in England much more 
numerous than they were in the times of Queen Elizabeth, when 
Dr. Caius attempted their natural history. Some of those he men- 
tions are no longer to be found among us, although many have since 
been introduced, by no means so serviceable as those which have 
been suffered to decay. 

"He divides the whole race into three kinds. The first is, the 
generous kind, which consists of the terrier, the harrier, and the 
blood-hound ; the gaze-hound, the greyhound, the leymmer, and the 
tumbler; all these are used for hunting. Then the spaniel, the 
•elter, and the water spaniel, or Under, were used for fowling; and 
(he spaniel gentle, or lap-dog, for amusement. The second is the 
farm kind, consisting of the shepherd's dog and the mastiff. And 
the third is the mongrel kind; consisting of the wappe, thelurnapit. 


and the dancer. To these varieliea wc ma.y add, at present, ih^ I 
bull-dog, the Dutch mastiS*, the harlequin, the pointer, and the Dane, 
wiUi a variety of lap-dogs, which, qs they are perfectly uaeleaa, maj 
be considered as unworthy of a name. 

" The Terrier is a small kind of hound," with rough hair, mm 
use of to force the fos or the badger out of their holes ; or rather 
give notice, by their barking, in what part of their kennel the fox 
or badger resides, when the sportsmen intend to dig them out. 

" The Harrier, as well as the beogle and the fox-hound, are used 
for hunting; of all other animals, they have the qnickest and 
most distinguishing sense of smelling. The properly breeding, 
matching, and training these, make up the business of many men's 


" The Blood-hound wi 

escaped from the hunter, 
forest, But it was slil 
robbers by their fool-ati 

a dog of great use, and in high esteem 
smploy was to recover any game that had 
- had been killed, and stolen out of i he 
nore employed in hunting thieves and 
At that time, when the country « 

less peopled than at present, and when, consequently, the foolsteps 
of one man were less crossed and obliterated by ihuse of others, tins 
animal was very serviceable in such pursuits ; but at present, when 
the country is every where peopled, this variety is quite worn out; 
probably because it was found of less service than formerly, 

" The Gaze-hound hunted, like our greyhounds, by the eye and 

, not by the scent. It chased indiOerently the fox, hare, or buck. 

lelect from the herd the fattest and fairest deer, pursue tt 

by the eye, and if tost recover it again with amazing sagacity. This 

species i% now |ost or unknown among us. 

" The Greyhound U very well known at present, and was for. 
merly held in such estimation, that it was the peculiar companion of 
1 gentleman; who, in the limes of semi-barbarisin, was known by 
lis horse, his hawk, and his greyhound. Persons under a certain 


I late < 
i it the 

ame-laws, from keeping 
belter, they cut of its 

' unknown to vs. It hunted both 

a leyme or thong, from whence It 

" The Leymmer is 
by scent and sight, a 
received its name. 

"The Tumbler was less Ihnn the hound, more scraggy, and had 
pricked ears; so that by the description it seems to answer to thQ . 
modern lurcher. This louk its prey by m re cunning, depending j 
neither on the goodness of its nuse nor its swiflness. Ifit came into^l 
:n, it neither barked nor run on the rabbits; but, seemingly ' 

inattentive, approached suffliciently near till it t 
and then seized them by a sudden spring. 

" The Land Spaniel, which probably had its 
where it might have acquired the softness of its 

3 within reach,. I 


kt present- There Dre two rarielies or this kind; namely, the Slater, 
>Wed in hawking to Bpring the game, and the setter, tliat crouches ^^_ 
itmn when ii acenis the bird, till ihe net be drawn over them, i have ^^H 
read somewliere that the fumoiis poet, Lord Surry, was the first who ^^H 
taught dogs ta set i it being an amusement to this day only known ^^H 
ID England. ^^^ 

" The Water Spaniel waa another gpecies u»ed in fowling This 
aeems to be the most docile of all the dog kind ; and this dociUiy i« 
particularly owing to his natural ailachment to man. Many other 
kinds wilt not bear correction ; but lliis patient cre:iture, though very 
fierce to utrangers, seemsunalterabte in his affections, and blows and 
ill-usage seem only to iucrease his regard. 
^^ "The Lap dog, at the time of Doctor Caius, was of Maltese ^^ 

^^^ breed; at present it comes from dilTerent countries: in general, ^^H 
^^H the more awkward or estrsordinary these ore, the more they are ^^H 
^^K prized. ^^H 

^^V " The Shepherd's Dog has been already mentioned ; and as for ^^H 
^^B the Mastifl', he is too common to require a description. Doctor CeJua ^^H 
^^Hrtolla us, that three of these were reckoned a match for a bear, and ^^M 
^^F four for a lion, However, we are told that three of them overCHma ^^H 
^^^ ft lion in the time of King James the First ; two of them being dis- ^^H 
abled in the combat, the third obliged the lion to seek fur safety by ^^^M 
flight. ^^M 

'f As to the last division, namely, of the Wappe, the Tumspif;^^^! 
AoA the Dancer, thew were mongrels, of no certain shape, and made 
nse of only to alarm the family, or, being taught a variety of tricks, 
ire carried about as a show. 

*< With regard to those of later importation, the Bull-dog, as ^^^ 
M. Buffoti supposes, is a breed between the small Dane and the ^^H 
English mastitf. The large Dane is the tallest dog that is generally ^^H 
bred in England. It is somewhat between a mastiff and a grey. ^^H 
bound in ahape, being more slender than the one, and much stronger ^^^ 
tlian the other. They are chiefly used rather for show than service, 
being neither good in the yard nor the field. The highest are most 
esteemed ; and they generally cut ofl* their ears to improve their 
figure, as some absurdly suppose. The Harlequin is not much unlike 
the (mall Dane, being an useless animal, somewhat between an 
lt«1ian greyhound and a Dutch m-isliff. To these several others 
might be added, such as the pug-dog, tlie black breed, and the 
pointer ; but, in fact, the varieties are so numerous, as to fatigue 
even the most ardent curiosity." 

[It is not certain whether the Newfoundland Dog be a distinct 
breed ; most of Ihem are curs, with a cross of the mastiff; some ^^_ 
will, and others will not lake the water. They have always been ^^M 
remarked for sagacity, and atlaehmenl to their masters.] ^^H 

Of those of the foreign kinds, I shall mention only three, which are ^^| 
more remarkable than any of the rest. The Lion Dog greatly re- ^^^ 
■embles thai animal, in miniature, from whence it takes the name. 
The hair of the fore part of its body is extremely long, while that of 
VOL. II.— No. XX. B 



the hioder pari is as shorl. The nose is short, the tail long, and tufled 
at the point, to that in all these particulars it is entirely like the lion. 
However, it differs very much from that fierce BDlmal in nature and 
disposition, being one of the Bmallest animals of its kind, estremely 
feeble, timid, and inactive. It comes originally from Malta, where 
it is found ko small, that women carry it about in their sleeves. 

That animal falsely called the Turkish Dog, differs greatly from 
the rest of the kind, in being entirely without hair. The skin, which 
is perfectly bare, is of a flesh colour, with brown spots; and their 
figure at first view is rather disgusting. These seem to be of the 
small Danish breed brought into a warm climaie, and there, by a 
flucce^on of generations, divested of their hair. For this reason, 
they are extremely chilly, and unable to endure the cold of our cli- 
mate; and even in the midst of summer they continue to shiver as 
we see men in a frosty day. Their spots are brown, as was said, 
well marked, and easy distinguishable in summer, but in the cold of 
winter they entirely disappear. They are called the Turkish breed, 
although brought from a much warmer climate; for some of them 
have been known (o come from the warmest parts of Africa and the 
East Indies. 

" The last variety, and the most wonderful of all that I shall men- 
tion, is the Great Irish Wolf Dog, that may be considered as the 
, first of the canine species. This animal, which ia very rare even in 
' ihe only country in the world where it is to be found, is rather kept 
for show than use, there being neither wolves nor any other formi- 
dable beasts of prey in Ireland, that seem to require so powerful Ha 
antagonist. The wolf dog is therefore bred up in the houses of the 
great, or such gentlemen as chuse to keep him as a curiosity, being 
neither good for hunting the hare, the fox, or the stag, and equally 
unserviceable as a house dog. Nevertheless, he is estremely beau- 
tiful and majestic to appearance, being the greatest of the dog kind 
to be seen in the world. The largest of those I have seen, and I 
have seen above a dozen, was about four feet high, or as tall as a 
calf of a year old. He was made estremely like a greyhound, but 
rather more robust, and inclining to the figure of the French matin, 
.or the great Dane. His eye was mild, his colour white, and hia 
nature seemed heavy end phlegmatic. This I ascribed to his having 
been bred up to a size beyond his nature ; for we see in man, and 
.all other animals, that such as are overgrown are neither so vigor- 
ous nor alert as those of a more moderate stature. The greatest 
pains have been taken with these to enlarge the breed, both by food 
and matching. This end was effectually obtained, indeed, for the 
siKe was enormous ; bnt, as it seemed to me, at the expense of the 
animal's fierceness, vigilance, and sagacity. However, I was to* 
formed otherwise; the gentleman who bred them assuring me, that 
a maaUff would be nothing when opposed to one of them, who gene- 
rally teized their antagonist by the back : he added, thai they would 
worry the strongest bull-dogs, in a few mlaules, to death. But thio. 
strength did not appear either in their figure or their inclination* ; 



they seemed rather more Umid than the ordinary race of dog^ ; and 
their skin was much thinner, and consequently less fitted for combats 
Whether wilh these disadvantages they were capable, as I was told, 
of singly coping with bears, others may determine; however, they 
have but few opportunities, in their own country, of exerting their 
strength, as all wild carnivorous animals there are only of the ver- 
min kind. M. Buffbn seems to be of opinion that these are the true 
Molossian dogs of the ancients ; he gives no reason for this opinion, 
and I am apt to think it ill-grounded. Not to trouble the reader 
with a tedious critical disquisition, which I have all along avoided, 
it will be sufficient to observe, that Nemesianus, in giving directions 
for the choice of a bitch, advises to have one of Spartan or Molos- 
sian breed; and among several other perfections, he says that the 
ears should be dependant, and fluctuate as she runs.^ This how- 
ever, is by no means the case with the Irish wolf dog, whose ears 
resemble those of the greyhound, and are far from fluctuating with 
the animal's motions. But of whatever kinds these dogs may be, 
whether known among the ancients, or whether produced by a later 
mixture, they are now almost quite worn away, and are very rarely 
to be met with even in Ireland. If carried to other countries, they 
soon degenerate ; and even at home, unless great care be taken, 
they quickly alter. They were once employed in clearing the island 
of wolves, which infested it in great plenty ; but these being de- 
stroyed, the dogs also are wearing away, as if nature meant to 
blot out the species when they had no longer any services to per- 

'^ In this manner several kinds of animals fade from the face of 
nature, that were once well known, but are now seen no longer. 
The enormous elk of the same kingdom, that, by its horns, could not 
have been less than eleven feet high, the wolf, and even the wolf 
dog, are extinct, or only continued in such a manner as to prove 
their former plenty and existence. From hence it is probable that 
many of the nobler kinds of dogs, of which the ancients have given 
us such beautiful descriptions, are now utterly unknown; since 
among the whole breed we have not one that will venture to engage 
the lion or the tiger in single combat. The English bull-dog is 
perhaps the bravest of the kind ; but what are his most boasted ex- 
ploits to those mentioned of the Epirotic dogs by Pliny, or the 
Indian dogs by ^lian? The latter gives us a description of a 
combat between a dog and a lion, which I will take leave to trans- 

*' When Alexander was pursuing (his conquests in India, one of 
the principal men of that country was desirous of shewing him the 
value of the dogs which his country produced. Bringing his dog 

* Elige tunc cursu facilpm, facilemque recursu, 
In Lacedsemonio natam sen rure Molosso — 
Renibus ampla satis valiflis, diductaque cozas 
Coiqne nimis moUes fluitent in carsibas aares. 




into ihe king's presence, he ordered a'stag to be let loose before him, 
nhich the dog despisiDgas an unworthy enemy, remained quite re- 
gardless of the animal, and never once stirred from his place. His 
master then ordered a wild boar to be set out; but (he dog thought 
even this a despicable foe, and remained calm and regardless as 
before. He was next tried wiUi a bear; but still despising hia 
enemy, he only waited for an object more worthy of bia courage and 
his force. At last they brought forth a tremendous lion, and then 
the dog acknowledged his antagonist, and prepared for combat, lie 
instantly discovered a degree of ungovernable ardour: and, flying 
at Ihe lion with fnry, seized him by the throat, and totally disabled 
him from resistance. Upon this llie Indian, who was desirous of 
aurprising the king, and knowing the constancy and bravery of his 
dog, ordered his tail to be cut off; which was easily performed, as 
the bold animal was employed in holding the lion. He next ordered 
oneof his legs lobe broken i which, however, did not in the least 
abate the dog's ardour, but he alill kept his hold as before. Ano- 
ther leg was then broken ; but the dog, as if he had suffered no paiOr | 
only pressed the lion still the more. In this cruel manner, all hiVj 
legs were cut off, without abating his courage ; and at last, wheD' 
even hia head was separated from his body, the jaws seemed to keep 
their former hold. A sight so cruel did not fail to affect the king 
with very strong emotions, at once pitying the dog's late, and ad- 
miring his fortitude. Upon which the Indian, seeing him ihua 
moved, presented him with four dogs of the same kind, which in 
gome measure alleviated his uneasiness for the loss of the Tormer. 

" The breed of dogs, however, in that country, is at present very 
much inferior to whal this story seems to imply ; since in many 
places, instead of dogs, they have animals of the cat kind for hunt- 
ing. In other places also, this admirable and faithful animal, instead 
of being applied to his natural uses, is only kept to be eaten. All 
over China there are dog butchers, and shambles appointed for selling 
their desh. In Canton, particularly, there is a street appointed for 
that purpose ; and what is very eatraordinary, wherever a dog bud- 
cher appears, all the dogs of the place are sure to bein fullcryafter 
him; they know their enemy, and persecute him as far as they are 
able." Along the coasts of Guinea, their flesh is esteemed a delicacy 
by the Negroes ; and they will give one of their cows for a dog. 
But, among this barbarous and brutal people, scarcely any thing that 
has life comes amiss ; and they may well take up with a dog, since 
they consider toads, lizards, and even the flesh of the tiger itself, aa 
a dainty. It may perhaps happen that the flesh of this animal, which 
is so indifferent in the temperate climates, may assume a better 
quality in those which are more warm ; but it is more than probal ' 
that the diversity is rather in man than in the flesh of the dog ; si 
in the cold countries the flesh is eaten with equal appetite by 
savages, and they have their dog feasts in the same i 
have otirs for venison. 

In our climate, the wild animals that most approach Ihe dog ara 

^tl«r ^^ 


I thcif ii 


Jhe wolf and the fox : in thcif internal conformation greatly 
imble each other, and yet in IheJr natures are very distinct. The 
:ients asserted thai ihcy bred logulher ; and I am assured by cre- 
ile persons, that there are many animals in this country bred 
itireen a dog and a fox. However, all the endeavours of M. Bnfibn 
make llicm engender, as he assures us, were ineffectual. Fur this 
purpose, he bred up a young wolf, taken in the woods al two monihs 
old, with a matin dog of the same age. They were shut up to- 
gether, without any oilier, in a large yard, where they had a shekel' 
for retiring. They neiliier of them knew any other individual of ! 
their kind, nor even any other man but he who had the charge of I 
feeding thetn. In this manner they were kept for three years ; still ' 
with the game attention, and without constraining or lying them i 
During the iirst year the young animals played with each other ci 
tinually, and seemed to love each other very much. In the sect 
year they began to dispute about their victuals, although they were ' 
given more than they could use. The quarrel always began on the 
wolPa side. They were brought their food, which consisted of flesh 
and bones, upon a large wooden platter, which wns laid on the 
ground. Just as it was put down, the wolf, instead of falling to the 
meat, began by driving off the dog; and took the platter in its teeth 
•o expertly, that it let nothing of what it contained fall upon the I 
ground, and in this manner carried it off; but as the n-olf could not j 
entirely escape, it was frequently seen to rim with the platter roimd I 
the yard five or six times, still carrying it in a position that none of | 
its contents could fall. In this manner it would continue running, 
otily now and then stopping to take breath, until the dog coming 
Ihe wolf would leave the victuals to attack him. The dog, how- J 
ever, was the stronger of the two ; but as it was more gentle, 
order to secure him from the wolf's attack, he had a collar put round I 
his neck. In the third year, the quarrels of these ill-paired asso- 
ciates were more vehement, and their combats more frequent : the I 
wolf, therefore, had a collar put about its neck, as well as the dog, 
who began to be more fierce and unmerciful. During the two Rrst 
years, neither seemed to testify the least tendency towards engen- 
dering; and it was not till the end of the third, that the wolf, which I 
was the female, showed the natural desire, but without abating either j 
in its fierceness or obstinacy. This appetite rather increased than J 
repressed their mutual animosity; they became every day more 
intractable and ferocious, and nothing was heard between them but 
the sounds of rage and resentment. They both, in less than ihreo 
weeks, became remarkably lean, without ever approaching each 
other, but to combat. At length their quarrels became so desperate, 
that the dog killed the wolf, who was become more weak and feeble; 
and he was soon after himself obliged to be killed, for upon being j 
ael at liberty he instantly flew upon every animal he met, fowls, 
5dt^, and even men themselves, not escaping his savage fury, 

The same experiment was tried upon foxes, taken young, but ] 
■ith no belter success ; ihcy were never found to engender with J 



dogs ; and o 
natures are 1 
howevei-, mu 

sxperimenta t 


learned naturalist seems to be of opinion, that their 

>□ opposite ever to pruvohe mutual desire. One thing, 
It be remarked, that the animaU on which he tried his 
r too old when taken, and had partly acquired 
their natural savage appetites, before they came into his possession. 
The wolf, as lie acknowledges, was two or three nionthi old before 
it was caught, and the foxes were taken in traps. It may, therefore, 
be easily supposed, that nothing could ever after thoroughly tame 
those creatures, that had been suckled in the wild state, and had 
caught all the habitudes of the dam. I have seen the«e animals, 

I vhen taken earlier in the woods, become very taroe; and, indeed, 
they rather were displeasing by being too familiar than too sliy. It 
Tere to be wished that the esperiment were tried upon such as these ; 
and it is more than probable that it would produce the desired success. 
Nevertheless, these experiments are sufficient to prove that neither 
the wolf nor the fox are of the same nature with the dog, but each of 
a species perfectly distinct, and their joint produce most probably 

I unfniitful. 

[ The dog, when flrst whelped, is not s completely finished animal. 

■ In this kind, as in all the rest which bring forth many at a time, the 
young are not so perfect as in those which bring forth only one of 
two. They are alivays produced with the eyes closed,tlie lids being, 
held together, not by sticking, but by a kind of thin membranej 
which is torn as soon as the upper eye-lid becomes strong enough to 
raise it from the under. In general, their eyes are not opened It^ 

I ten or twelve days old. During that lime, the bones of the scull are 
mpleted, the body is puffed up, the nose is short, and the whole 
form but III sketched out. In less than a month, the puppy begins 
, from thence, makes hasty advances lo ita 
perfection. At the fourth month the dog loses some of his leeth, as 
in other animaln, and these are renewed by such as never fail. The 
number of these amount to forty-two, which is twelve more than is 
found in any of t!ie cat kind, which are known never lo have above 
thirty. The teeth of the dog, being his great and only weapon, are 
formed in a manner much more serviceable than those of the former; 
and there is scarce any quadruped that has a greater facihty in rendr 
ing, cutting, or chewing its food. He cuts with his incisors or fore* 
teeth, he holds with his four great canine teeth, and he cliews his meat 

I with his grinders ; these are fourteen in number, and so placed, that 
when the jaws are shut, there remains a (distance between them, so 
that the dog, by opening his mouth ever so wide, does not lose the. 
power of his Jaws, But it is otherwise in the cat kind, whose incison, 
or cutting leeth are very small, and whose grinding teeth, when 
hrought together, touch more closely than those of the dog, and coo. 
«e<iuently have less power. Thus, for instance, 1 can squeeze any 
fbing more forcibly between my thumb and fore-finger, where the 
'distance is greater, than between any other two lingers, whose 


■ distance is greater, I 
kjlislance from each other i 

This animal is capable of reprudut 

: ut the 

of iwclva \ 



k Months,* gqea nine weeks with j 

:, and lives to about the age of 


^^ andii 

young, t 
twelve, tew qnadrupeda are less delicale i 
ihore are many kinds of birds wliich the dog will not venture to 
touch. He is even known, although in a savage state, to abstain 
from injuring some which one might suppose he had every reaiton 
lo oppose. The do^ and the vultures which live wild about Grand 
Cairo in Egypt, (for the Mahometan law has expelled this useful 
animal from human society), coutinue together in s very sociable 
and friendly manner f Aa they are both useful in devouring such 
carcBsNes as might otherwise putrefy, and thus infect the air, the in- 
babitanti supply ihem witli provisions every day, in onler to keep 
them near the city. Upon these occasions, the quadrupeds and birds 
are oflen seen together tearing the same piece of flesh, without the 
least enmity ; on the contrary, they are known to live together 
with a kind of affection, and bring up their young in the same 

Although the dog is a voracious animal, yet lie can bear hunger 
for a very long time. We have an instance in the Memoirs of the 
Academy of Sciences of this kind, in which a bitch thai had bee 
fwgotten in a country-house, lived forty days, without any other 
nourishmenl than the wool of a quilt which she had torn in pieces. 
It should leetn that water is more neces:aary to the dog than food ; 
he drinks often, though not abundantly; and it is commonly 
believed, that when abridged in water, he runs mad. This dreadful 
malady, the consequences of which are so well known, is the greatest 
inconvenience that results from the keeping this faithful dumcBtic. 
But it is a disorder by no means so frequent as the terrors of the 
timoroDs would suppose: the dog has been oflen accused of mad- 
ness, without a fair trial; and some persons have been supposed 
to receive tiieir deaths from his bite, when either thei 
ill-grouttded fears, or their natural disorders, were the true | 


The Dog and the Wolf are so very much alike 
expert anatomists can scarcely perceive 
and it may be asserted also, that, externally, some di 
resemble the wolf than ihey do each other. It was 
litude that first led some naturalists to consider ll 
animal, and lo look upon the wolf as the dog in its 

I strong simi- 

* To this dtscripliun I will beg 
Llnanas, as I tind them in the orig 
oaoat supra Ispideni. Album gree 
■dlatua (this, huwevpr. nol till the ai 
siBpe crnlies. Odorat anuin alterius 
slroaas coit cum variis. Mnrdtt ilia 

t Hasselquist, Iter Fsla^stiii. p. Si 

" Vomit II a 

' particulars from 
1 gramiua purjcatur: 
m aalistpticuin snmmum. Hin^t 
iibI is Diac months old) cam bospi 
ProciB riiantibus crudpJia. Me 
.03. Cohsret copula junctcs. ' 

^t ^^ 



freedom: however, this opinion is entertained no longer; llie 
natural nntipalliy those two animals bear to each other, llie longer 
lime which (he wolf goes with young than the dog, the one going 
over a hundred days, and the other not quite sixty ; the longei* 
period of life in the former than the latter, the wolf living twenty 
years, (he (log not fil\eeni all sufficiently point out c distinction, and 
draw tt line that must for ever keep ihcm asunder. 

The Wolf, from the tip of the nose to the insertion of the tail ia 
about tliree feet seven inches long, and about two feet five inche* 
high; which shows him to be larger than our great breed of mast iffiy 
which are seldom found to be above three feet by two. His colou^ 
IB a mixture of black, brown, and grey, extremely rough and hardj 
but mixed towords the roots with a kind of ash-coloured fur. IH 
comparing him to any of our well known breed of dogs, the grea4 
Dane, or mongrel greyhound, for instance, he will appear to hav* 
the legs shorter, the head larger, the muzzle thicker, the eyelt 
smaller, nnd more separated from each other, and the ears sitorter 
and siraighter. He appears in every respect stronger than the dog! 
and the length of his hair contributes still more to his robusli ap- 
pearance The feature which principally distinguishes the visage 
oftho wolf from ihot of the dog, is the eye, wliich opens slantingly 
upwards, in tlie same direction with the nose; whereas, in the do| * 
it opens more at right angles with the nose, as in man. The 
also, in this animal, is long and bushy^ and he carries it rather mor^ 
between his hind-legs than the dog is seen to do. The colour of liw 
eye-bntls in Ihe wolf is of a fiery green : this gives his visage a fierce 
and formidable air, which his natural disposition does by no means 

The wolf is one of those animals whose app^'litu for animal food 
is the most vehement, and whose means of satisfying this appelilft 
re the most various. Nature has furnished him with slrenglli, cun- 
ing, agility, and all those requisites which lit an animal for pursu- 
ig, overtaking, and conquering its prey; and ^et, with all these, 
the wolf most frequently dies of hunger, for he is the declared enemy 

I of man. Being long proscribed, and a reward olTercd for his head, 
he is obliged to lly from human habitations, and to live in the forett, 
where the few wild animals to be found there escape him either by 
their swidness or iheir art ; or are supplied in too small a proportion 
10 satisfy his rapacity. He is naturally dull and cowardly; bat 
frequently disappointed, and as o<\en reduced to the verge of famine, 
he becomes ingenious from want, and courageous from necessity. 
When pressed with hunger, he braves danger, and comes to attack 
those animals which are under the protection of man, particularly 
such as he can readily carry away; lambs, sheep, or even dogs 
themselves, for all animal fuCMJ becomes then equally agreeable. 





* The rcHt of this JiUlory of the wolf U taken rroin M. ButTcm; 
louk upon it as a cninplcle moUpl tor uatursi history. If I add or differ,! 



When this excunioo has succeeded, he oflen returns to the charge, 
unlil having been wounded, or linn) pressed by the dogs or the sltep- 
herds, he hides iiimseir by day in the thickest covens, and only 
ventures out at night : he then sallies forth over the country, ketips 
peering round the villages, carries off such aDimals as are not under 
protedioD, attacks the sheepfolds, scratches up and undermines the 
thresholds of doors where they are housed, enters furious, and de< 
stroys all before he begins to Gx upon and carry off his prey. When 
these saJlies do not succeed, )ie then returns to the thickest part of 
the forest, content to pursue those smaller animals, whicli, even 
when taken, afford him but a scanty supply. He there goes regu- 
larly to woik, follows by the scent, opens to the view, still keeps 
following, hopeless himself of overtaking the prey, but e.tpecting 
that some other wolf will come in to his assistance, and then content 
to share the spoil. At last, when his necessities are very urgent, 
Le boldly faces certain destruction ; he attacks women and children, 
and sometimes ventures even to fall upon men, becomes furious by 
his continual agitations, and ends his life in madness. 

The wolf, as well externally as internally, so nearly resembles the 
dog, that he seems modelled upon the same plan; and yet he only 
offersthe reverse of the model. If his form be like, his nature is so 
different, that he only preserves the ill qualities of the dog, without 
any of bis good ones. Indeed, they are so different in their dispo 
sitions, that no two animals can a more perfect antipathy to 
each other. A young dog shudders at the sight of a wolf; he even 
shuns his scent, which, though unknown, is so repugnant to his 
nature, lliat be comes trembling to take protection near his master. 
A dog who is stronger, and who knows his strength, bristles up at 
the sight, testifies his animosity, attacks him with courage, endea- 
vours to put him to flight, and does all in his power to rid himself 
presence that is hateful to him. They never meet witlioul 
flying or fighting : fighting for life and death, and without 
ouHtherside. If the wolf is thestronger, he tears and devours 
prey: the dog, on the contrary, is more generous, and contents 

uelf with his victory ; he does not seem to think that iltt body of 

dead enemy tmetlt laetl ; he leaves him where he falls, to serve as 
Ibod for birds of prey, or for other wolves, since they devour each 
other; and when tlie wolf happens to be desperately wounded, 
the rest track him by his blocvd, and are sure to show him no 

The dog, even in his savage state, is not cruel ; he is easily lamed, 
and continues firmly attached to his master. The wolf, when taken 
young, becomes tame, but never has an attachment ; nature is 
stronger in him tlian education ; he resumes, with age, his natural 
dispositions, and returns, as soon as he can, to the woods from whence 
he was taken. Dogs, even of the dullest kinds, seek the compony 
animals ; they are naturally disposed to follow and accom- 
other creatures besides lhen>selves ; and even by instinct, with- 
education, take to the care of flocks and herds. Tlie wolf. 
No. XX. C 

^^^^ other B 
^^B^y oth< 
^^B|>.any & 




on the coatrnry, is llie enemy of all society ; he does not even ke^' J 
much company with those of his kind. When they are ieen in] 
paclcs together, it is not to be conudered as apeacerul society, butftJ 
combinaiion for war : they testify their hostile intentions by tbeJtfl 
lOud bowlings, and by their fierceness discover a project for allacK ■ 
ing some great animal, such Us a slag or a bull, or to destroy some 
moie redoubtable watch-dog. The instant their military expedition 
is completed, their sMiety is nt an end ; tliey (hen part, and each 
reiuriis in silence lo his solitary retreat. There is not even any 
Strong attachment between the male andferaalu: they seek each 
other only once a-year, and remain but a few days together : ih^ I 
always couple in winter ; at which time several males are seen folloi^ M 
ing one female, and (his iiss(>ciation is still more bloody than th« 
foniier: they dispute most cruelly, growl, bsr)>, Oght, and tear each 
other; and it sometimes happens that the majority kill the wulf 
which has been chicQy preferred by the female. It is usual for the 
abe-wolf to fly from lliem all with him she has chosen ; and abe 
watc)ies this opportunity when the rest are asleep. m 

The season for coupling does not continue above twelve or fifleea I 
days; and usually commences among the oldest, those which art 
young being later in ttieir desires. The males have no lixed time 
for engendering ; they pass fVom one female lo the other, beginning 
at the end of December, and ending at the latter end of February. 
The lime of pregnancy is about three months and a half; and the 
young wolves are found fro^ ihe latter end of April to i he beginning 
of July. The long continuance of the wolfs pregnancy is sufficient 
to make a distinction between it and the dog; did not also the fiery 
fierceness of the eyes, the howl instead of barking, and the greater 
duration of its life, leave no doubt of its being an animal of Its own 
particular species. In other respects, however, they are entirely 
alike ; the Wolf couples exactly like the dog, ihe pans are formed in 
Ihe same mariner, and their separation hindered by the same cause. 
"When the she-wolves are near their time of bringing forth, they 
seek some very tufled spot, in the thickest part of the forest: in the 
middle of this they make a small opening, cutting away the thorns 
and briars with iheir teeth, and aflerwards carry thither a great 
quaniity of moss, which they form into a bed for their young ones. 
They generally bring forth live or six, and sometimes even lo nine 
at a litter. The cubs are brought forth, like those of the bitch, with 
the eyes closed ; the dam suckles them for some weeki, and leachet 
them betimes to eat flesli, which she prepares for them by cli 
it first herself. Some time after she brings iliem stronger 
hares, partridges, and birds yet alive. The young wolves begin by J 
playing with them, and end by killing Ihem. The dam then slril*.! 
Iliem of their featlierM, tears them in pieces, and gives lo eaci 
thera a share. They do not leave the den where tliey liave b 
littered till they are six weeks or two months old. They then follalk 
the old one, wjio leads them to drink lo ihe trunk of some 
where Ihe water lias settled ur at some pool in ihe neighbourhoo 


Ifahe apprehends any danger, siic inslantlj conceals lljem in the 
first conTenient place, or brings thcnt buck to iheir former retreat. 
Ill tliis manner they follow her for some months : when they t 
attacked, she defends ihetn with all her strength, ami more than 
usual ferocity. Although, at other limes, more timorous than the 
male, at tliat season she becomes bold and fearless; willing perhaps 
to leach the young ones future courage by her own example. It b 
Qui till they are about ten or twelve months old, and until ihi-y have 
shed their liret teeth, and completed the new, that she thinks then 
in a. capacity lo shift for lliemselveB. Then, when they have ac 
(\wted arms frum nature, and have learned indumry and coi^ruge 
frodj her example, she declines all firiure care of them, being again 
engaged in bringing up a new progeny. 

The males and females are in a capacity to engender when two 
years old. It is probable that the females of this species, as well h 
ofinnst others, are sooner completed than tlie moles; hut this w 
certain, that tliey never desire to copulate until their second winter; 
from whence we may suppose that they live fifteen or twenty years; 
fqr, allowing three years for their complete growth, this imdtiplied 
by seven gives thema life of twenty-one ; most animals, as has been 
observed, living about seven limes the number of years which they 
lake tu come to perfection. Of this, however, there is as yet no 
certainly, no more than of what huntstnen assert, that in all tlie litters 
there are more males than females. From them qIko we learn, that 
there are some of ihe males who attach themselves to the female, 
who accompany her during her geslnlion, until the lime of bringing 
forth, when she hides ilie place of her relreat from the male, lest he 
should devour her cubs; but al\er this, when Ihey are brouglit forth, 
lliat he then takes the same care of them as the female, carries (hem 
provisions, and, if tlie dam should happen to be killed, rears them up 
in her stead. 

The wolf grows grey as he grows old, and his teeth wear, like 
those of mosl other animals, by using; be sleeps when his belly ft 
full, or when he is fatigued, rather by day than nighl; and always, 
like the dog, is very easily waked. lie drinks frequently ; and, in 
limes of drought, when there is no wotcr to be found in the trunks 
of old trees, or In the pools about the forest, he comes often, in the 
day, down to the brooks, or the lakes in the plain. Althougli very 
voracious, he suppcrls hunger for a long time, and often lives four or 
five days without food, provided he be supplied with water. 

The wolf has great strength, particularly in his fore parts, in the 
muscles of his neck and jaws. He carries oITa slieep in his mouth 
without letting It touch (he ground, and runs with it much swifler 
tjian the shepherds who pursue him ; so that nothing but the dogs can 
overtake and obhge hi|n to (juit his prey. He bites cruelly, and 
always with greater vehemence in proportion as he Is least resisted ; 
for he uses precautions with such animals as attempt to stand" upon 
the defensive, lie is eyer cowardly, and never figlits but when 
underaneuessily of satisfying hunger, or making good lils retreat. 


When he is wounded by a bullet, he is heard to cry oat ; And 7^' 
vhen surrounded by ihe peasants, and attacked with clubs, he never 
howls as the dog under correetiun, but defends himself in silence, 
and dies as hard as he Hved. 

His nature is, in fact, more savage than that of the dog ; he has 
leas sen.sibility and greater etrenglh. He travels, runs, and keep* 
plundering for whole days and nights together. He is in a manner 
indefatigable; and perhaps, of all aninials, he is the most difficult to 
be hunted down. The dog is good-natured and courageous; the 
wolf, though savoge, rserer fearful. If he happens to be caught in 
a pit-fall, he is for some time so frightened and astonished, that he 
may be killed without offering to resist, or taken aKve without much 
danger. At that instant, one may clap a collar round his neck, 
muzzle him, and drag him along, without his ever giving the least 
signs of anger or resentment. At all otiier times he has his senses 
in great perfection ; his eye, his ear, and particularly his sense of 
smelling, which is even superior to the two former. He smells a 
carcass at more than n league's distance ; he also perceives living 
animals a great way off, and follows them a long lime upon the ecent. 
Whenever he leaves the wood, he always lakes care to go out 
against the wind. When just come to its extremity, he stops to 
examine, by his smell, on all sides, the emanations that may come 
either from his enemy or his prey, which he very nicely distinguishes. 
He prefers those animals which he bills himself to thorn; he finds 
dead ; and yet he does not disdain these when no better are to be 
had. He is particularly fond of human (Tesh ; and perhaps, if he 
was sufficiently powerful, he would eat no other. Wolves have been 
seen following armies, and arriving in numbers npon the Aeld of 
battle, where they devoured such dead bodies as were led upon the 
field, or but negligently interred. These, when onceaccnstomedto 
human flesh, ever after seek particularly to attack mankind, and 
^hoosetofall upon ihesheph^d rather than hisffock. We havehad 
a late instance of two or three of these keeping a whole province, for 
more than a month, in a continual alarm. 

It sometimes happens that a whole country is called out to extirpate 
these most dangerous invaders. The Itunting the wolf is a favourite 
diversion among the great of some countries; and it must be con- 
fessed it seenis to be the most useful of any. These anhnals are 
distinguirfied by the huntsman into the young wolf, the ofd wolf, 
and the^ear wolf. They are known by the prints of theirl^et; tba -m 
older the wolf, the larger the track he leaves. That of the female I 
is narrower and longer than that of Ihe male. It is necessary to hvn I 
a very good starter to put up the wolf; and it is even convenient ta f 
use every art to encourage him in his pursuit ; for all the dogs hara ■ 
a natural repugnance against this animal, and are but cold in their J 
endeavours. When the wolf is once put up, it is then proper fa 
have greyhounds to let Ay at him, in leashes, one afler the other. I 
The first leash is sent after him in the beginning, seconded by » I 
man on horseback; the second islet loose about halfa mile farther; 


d lh« third when Ihe tmi i'( ilio dogi come up with, and begin to 
bnit him. He fctr a long time keeps them off, Rtands hii ground, 
threatenii them on all Hides, and Dl\fn gets away; but usually the 
hunters arriving come in aid of the dogs, and help to dispatch him 
with their cutlasses. When the animal is killed, the doga testify no 
appetite to enjoy their victory, but leave him where he falls, a fright- 
fiil specticle, and even in death hideous. 

The wolf is sometimes also hunted with harriers; biitas lieBlwa3's 
goes straight forward, and often holds his speed for a whole day 
leather, this kind of chase is tedious and disagreeable, at least if the 
harriers are not assisted by greyhounds, who may harass him ot 
every view. Several other arts have been also used to lake and 
destroy this noxious animal, He is snrroimded and wounded by 
nwa and large house-dogs; he is secured in traps; he is poisoned 
by carcasses prepared and placed for that purpose, and is caught in 
pit-falls. " Gesner tells us of a friar, a woman, and a wolf, being 
taken in one of these, all in the same night. The woman lost her 
senaes with the fright, the friar his reputation, and the wolf his life." 
Alt these disaslers, however, do not prevent this animal's multiply- 
ing in great numbers, particularly in countries where the woods are 
I^enty. France, Spain, and Italy, ure greatly infested with them ; 
but England, Ireland, and Scotland, are hnppily set free. 

King Edgar is said to be the first who attempted to rid this king- 
dom of such disagreeable inmates, by commuting the punishment 
for certain crimes into the acceptance ofa number of wolvesUonguca 
from each criminal.* However, some centuries ader, these animals 
were again increased to such a degree, as to become (he object of 
royal attention ; accordingly Eklwanl the First issued out his mandate 
to one Peter Corbet to superintend and assist in the destruction of 
Ihem. They are said to have infested Ireland long after they were 
extirpated in England ; however, the oldest men in that country 
remember nothing of these animals, and it is probable that there have 
been none there for more than a century past, Scotland also ii 
totally free. 

The colour of this animal differs according to the different climates 
where it is bred, and often changes even in the same country. Be- 
side ihe common wolves, which are found in France and Germany, 
there are others with thicker hair, inclining to yellow. These are 
more savage and less noxious than the former, neither approaching 
the flocks nor habitations, and living rather by the chase than rapine. 
In the northern climates there are found some quite black, and some 
white all over. The former are larger and stronger than those of 
any other kinds. 

The species is very much diffused in every part of tlie world, 
being found in Asia, Africa, and in America, as well as Europe. 
TTie wolves of Senegal resemble those of France, except that they 

B larger and must fiercer than those of Europe. Those of Egypt 


• Btilish Zoologv. p. (52. 


are amatler than thost 
}ip for a show, being 

AtilH^^li OF THE 

of Greece. In the Eaat, the wolfUtrahii^ 

ight lu JaDce and play tricks ; and 
these thus educated orten sells Tor four or 6vb hundred crowns. " Jt 
18 said that in Laple.nd the woIT will oever attack a rein-deer that is 
seen haltered ; for this warj animal, being well acquainted with the 
nature ofa (rap, Huspecls one whenever il perceives a rope. How- 
ever, when he sees thi* deer entirely at liberty, he seldom fails tp 
destroy it. 

"The wolf of North America is blacker and much less than liumfi 

in other parts of the world, and approaches nearer in form (9 

the dog than those of the ordinary kind.* In fad, Ibf y were niado 

use of OS such by the savages, till the Europeans introduced oihen; 

and even now, on the remoter shores, or the more inlajid parts of tJie 

country, thesavages still make use of these animals in hunting. Tlief 

are very lame and gentle i and those of this kind that are wild sw 

neither so large nor so fierce as an European wolf, nor do ihey evw 

attack mankind. They go togetljer in large pecks by niglil to huqt 

I the deer, which they do as well as any dogs in England; and it if 

conlidently asserted that one of them is suflicieul to run down ji 

deerf Whenever they are seen along the banks of those rival* 

' jienr which the wandering natives pilch their huts, it is taken 

granted thai the bison or the deer are not far off; and the savi 

affirm that the wolves come with the tidings, in ordur tu have 

garbuge after the animal has been killed by the hunters. CatesI 

I .sddsu drctimstance relative to these animals, which, if true, inv^r^ 

[ lidates many of M. Buifon's observations in tlie foregoing histut^, 

I Ue asserts, that these being the only dogs used by the AmoricaiH« 

I before the arrival uf the Europeans among them, lliey have sinqs 

engendered together, and that their breed has becunte proline; wliic^i 

proves the dog and the wolf to be of the same fpecies. It were to 

<be wished that ll<is fact were better ascertained; we should then 

t jcaowlo acertainty in whatdegree the dog and wolfresemble eai^ 

I ..other, Qs welt in nature asin conformation; we might tlien, perbapi,. 

I be enabled to improve the breed of our dogs, by bringing iheP' 

I .back to their native furms and instincts; we might, by crossing the 

[ •train, restore that race of those bold animaU which the aucieuts 

f assure us were more than a match for the hon." 

However this animal may be useful in North America, the wolf of 
Europe is a very noxious animal, and scarcely any thing belo»gii;g 
. to him is good, except his skin. Of this the furriers make 
L'overing that is warm and durable, llioiigh coarse and unsigh 
I His Hesh is very indifferent, and seems to budisllkeil by all 
animals; no other creature being known to eai the wolf's flesh, 
cept the woir himself He breathes a most feiid vapour from hi 
jaws, as his food is indiscriminate, oflen putrid, and seldom cleanly. 
In short, every way offensive, a .savage aspect, a frightful howl, an 
insupportable odour, a perverse diHpositjoii, fierce habiu, be is liaU', 
fill while living, and useless when dead. 
* Broohe'i Nstural Hislofj, »ol. i. p. lOS. 

:e 'f^^H 

ue IS tuiu)~,^^_ 



The Fas very csactly resembles the wolf and the dog internally ; 
snd, although he differs grently from both in tize and carnage, yet 
when we come lo examine his shapes minntelyi thtTe will appear to 
be very little difference in the deseriptiun. Were. Tor instance, a 
painter to draw from a natural historian's exactest description, the 
figure of a dog, a wolf, and a fox, without having ever seen either, 
he would be very apt to confound all these animals together; or 
rather, he would be unable to catch those peculiar oullinea that no 
description can supply. Words will never give any person an exact 
idea of farms any way irregular: for although they be extremely 
just and precise, yet the numberless discriminations to be attended 
to will confound each other, and we shall no more conceive the pre. 
ciae form, than we should be able to tell when one pebble more was 
added or taken away from a thousand. To conceive, therefore, how 
the fos diSers in farm from the wolf or the dog, it is necessary to see 
all three, or at least to supply the defects of description, by ex- 
amining the diflerence in a print. 

The fox is of a slenderer make than the wolf, and not near so 
large; for as the former is above three fet-l and a half long, so the 
other is not above two feet three inches. The tall of the fox also is 
longer in proportion, and more bushy ; its nose is smaller, and ap- 
~^' laching more nearly to that of the greylioitnd ; and its hair aoWet. 
the other hand, it differs froifi the dog in having its eyes obliquely 
ited, like those of the wolf; ita ears are directed also in the same 
tho!ie of the wolf, and its head is equally large in propor- 
tion to its size. It differs still more from the dog in its strong 
offensive smell, which is peculiar to the species, and often the cause 
of their death. However, seme are ignorunlly of opinion that it will 
keep off infectious diseases, and they preserve this animal near their 
habitations for that very purpose. 

The fos has since the beginning been famous for his cunning and 
liis arts, and he partly merits his reputation.* Without attempting 
to oppose either the dogs or the shepherds, without attacking the 
flock, or alarming the village, he linds an easier way to subsist, and 
gains by his address what is denied to his strength or courage. Patient 
and prudent, he waits the opportunity of depredation, and variea 
his conduct with every occasion. His whole study is his preservation : 
although nearly as indefatigable, and actually more swil\ than the 
wolf, he does not entirely trust to either, but makes himself an 
asylum, lo which he retires in case of necessity; where he sheltera 
himself from danger, and brings up his young. 

Ai among men those who lead a domestic life are more civihied, 
~ more endued with wisdom, than who wander from place 
lace, so, in the inferior ranks of animated nature, the tak* 


- 24 ANTMAis or TnB 

poMeHJon or a home Biipposea a degree of instinct which olhen are 
without.* The choice of the situation for this domicil, the art of 
making it convenient, of hiding its entrance, and securing it against 
more powerful animals, are all so many marks of superior skill and 
iitdusiry. The fox is furnished with both, and turns them to his 
advantage. He generally keeps hia kennel at the edge of (he wood, 
and yet within an easy journey of some neighbouring cottage. From 
ihoDce he listens to the crowing of the cuck.and the cackling of (he 
domestic fowls. He scents them at a distance ; he seizes his oppor- 
tunity, conceals his approaches, creeps slighly along, makes the 
attack, and seldom returns without his booty. If he be able to get 
into the yard,*he begms by levelling all the poultry without remorse, 
and carrying off a part of the spoil, hides it at some convenient dis- 
tance, and again returns to the charge. Taking off another fowl in 
the same manner, he hides that bIm), but not in the same place ; and 
this he practises for several times together, until the approadi of day, 
or the noise of the domestics, give him warning to retire. The same 
arts are practised when he finds birds entangled in springes laid for 
them by the fowler: the fox takes care to be beforehand, very ex- 
pertly takes the bird out of the snare, hides it for three or four days, 
and knows very exactly when and where to return to avail hitnselfof 
the hidden treasure. He is equally alert in seizing the young hares 
and rabbits, before they have strengti) enough to escape him ; and 
when the old ones are wounded and fatigued, he is sure to come upon 
(hem in their moments of distress, and to show them no mercy. In 
the same manner he finds out birds^ nests, seizes the partridge and 
the (juail while sitting, and destroys a largo quantity of game. The 
wolf is most hurtful to the peasant, but the fox to the gentleman. 
In short, nothing that can be eaten seems to come amiss; rats, mice^ ^^ 
serpents, toads, and lizards. EIo will, when urged by hunger, est ^^t 
vegetables and insects ; and those that live near the sea-coasts will, ^^1 
for want of other food, eat crabs, shrimps, and shell-Gsh. The 
hedgehog in vain rolls itself up into a ball to oppose him. This 
determined glutton teazes it until it is obliged to appear uncovered, 
and tlien he devours it. The wasp and (lie wild bee are attacked 
with equal success. Although at first they lly out upon the invader, 
and actually oblige him to retire, this is but for a few minutes, imtil 
he has rolled himself upon the ground, and thus crushed sitch as stick 
to his skin ; he then returns to the charge, and at last, by perse- 
verance, obliges them tu abandon their combs; which he greedily 
devours, both wax and honey. 

The chase of the fox requires less preparation than that of (he 

wolf, and it is also more pleasant and amusing. As dogs have a 

natural repugnance to pursue the wolf, so tliey are equally alert in 

following the fox ; which they prefer even to the chase of the hare or 

I the buck. The huntsmen, as upon other occasions, have their 

^^H cant terms for every part of this chase. The fox the first year U ^^ 


d&eub; the second, a/or ; and the third, an o^<(/b,E; histail 

p called the brmh or drai^, and his excrenienl the btUiling. He is 

iMUally pursued by a large kind of harrier or hound, o&siated by 
terriers, or a, smaller breed, tliat follow him into hb kennel, and 
attack him there. The instant he perceive* himself pursued, he 
mokes to his kennel, and takes refuge et the bottom of it, where for 
a while he loses the cry of his enemies ; but the whole pack comiug 
Id the mouth, redouble their vehemence and mge, and the little 
terrier boldly ventures in. It often happens that the kennel is made 
under a rock, or among the roots of old trees; and in such coses the 
Ton cannot be dug out, nor is the terrier able to contend with him at 
ibe bottom of his hole. By this contrivance he continues secure; 
but when he can be dug out, the usual way is to carry him in a bag 
to some open country, and there set him loose before the hounds. 
The hounds and the men follow, barking and shouting wherever he 
rous ; and the body being strongly employed, the mind has not time 
to make any reflexion on the futility of the pursuit. What adds to 
this mteruinmetil is the strong scent whicti the fox leaves, that always 
. keeps up a full cry ; although as his scent is stronger than that of the 
hare, it is much sooner evaporated. His shilXs to escape, when all 
retreat is cut off to his kennel, are various and surprising. He al- 
ways chooses the most woody country, and takes those paths tliat 
are most embarrassed with thorns and briars. He does not double, 
nor use the unavailing shifls of the hare ; but flies in a direct line 
before the hounds, though at no very great dislacce; manages his 
strength ; takes to the low and plashy grounds, where the scent will 
be less apt to lie ; and at last, when overtaken, he defends him- 
self with desperate obstinacy, and fights in silence to the very last 

The fox, though resembling the dog m many respects, is never- 
Iheless very distinct in his nature, refusing to engender with it ; and 
though not testifymg the antipatliy of the wolf, yet discovering 
nothing more than indifference. This animal also brings forth fewer 
at a time than the dog, and that but once a-ycar. Its litter is gene- 
rally from four to six, and seldom less than three. The female goes 
with young about six weeks, and seldom stirs out while pregnant, 
but makes a bed for her young, and takes every precaution to pre- 
pare for their production. When she finds the place of their retreat 
discovered, and that her young have been disturbed during her 
absence, she removes them one after the other in her mouth, and 
endeavours to find them out a place of better security. A remark- 
able instance of this animal's parental affection happened while I 
was writing this history, jji the county of Vaaiex. A she-fo2 that 
had, as it should seem, but one cub. was unkennelled by a gentle- 
man's hounds near Chelmsford, and hotly pursued. In such a case, 
when her own life was in imminent peril, one would think it was not 
a time to consult the safety of her young ; however, the poor ani- 
mal, braving every danger, rather than leave her cub behlrid 
worried by the dogs, took it itp in her mouth, and ran with it i 
TOL. 11.— No, XXI. D 







manner for some miles. Ai last, taking her way through a farmer's 
j'ard, she waa assaulted by a maaliff, and at last obliged to drop her 
cub, which was taken up b; the farmer. ) whs not displeased to 
hear that this faithful creature escaped the pursuit, and at last got 
off in safety. The cubs of the fos are born blind, like those of the 
dog; they are eighteen months or two years in coming to perfection, 
and live aboiit twelve or fourteen years. 

As the fox makeH war upon all animals, so all others seem to make 
var upon him. The dog hunts him with peculiar acrimony ; the 
wolfis still a greater and more necessitous enemy, who pursues him 
to his very retreat. Some pretend to say, that, to keep the wolf 
away, the fox lays at the mouth of its kennel a certain herb, to which 
the wolf has a particular aversion. This, which no doubt is a fable, 
at least shows that these two animals are as much enemies to each 
other as to all the rest of animated nature. But the fox is not bunted 
by quadrupeds alone; for the birds, who know him for their mortal 
enemy, attend him in his excursions, and give each other warniug of 
their approaching danger. The daw, the magpie, and the black- 
bird, conduct him along, perching on the hedges as he creeps below, 
and, with their cries and notes of hostility, apprize all other animals 
to beware; a caution which they perfectly understand, and put into 
practice. The hunters themselves are often informed by the birds 
of the place of his retreat, and set the dogs into those thickets where 
they see them particularly noisy and querulous. So that it is the 
fate of this petty plunderer to be detested by every rank of 
animals; all the weaker classes shun, and all tlie stronger pursue 

The foK, of all wild animals, is most subject to the influence of 
chmale ; and there are found as many varieties in this kind almost 
as in any of the domestic animals.* The generality of foxes, as is 
well known, are red ; but there are some, though not in England, 
of a greyish cast; and M. Buffon asserts, that the tip of the tail in 
all foxes is white, which, however, is not so in those of this country. 
There are only three varieties of this animal in Great Britain, and 
these are rather established upon a difference of size than of colour 
or form. The greyhound fox is the largest, tallest, and boldest; 
and will attack a grown sheep. The mnstilT fox is less, but more 
strongly built. The cur fox is the least and most common; he 
lurks about hedges and out-houses, and is the most pernicious of the 
three to the peasant and the farmer. 

In the colder countries round the pole, the foxes are of allculourai I 
black, blue, grey, iron-grey, silver-grey, while, white with red leg!,'! 
white with black heads, while with the tip of the tail black, red vntk 
the throat and belly entirely while, and lastly, with a stripe of black 
running along the back, and another crossing it at the shoulders.f 
The common kind, however, is more universally diffused than any 
of the former, being foimd in Europe, in the temperate climates of 

Batlna, Renard. 

* Ibid. 


DOG KIND. 27 ' ' 

I, and alio in America ; tliej are very rare in Africa, and ia t 
i «Knitries lying under the torrid zone. Those travellers who talk of 
having «een them at Calicut, and other parts orSoulhern India, have 
mistaken thejackall for the fox. The fur of the while fux is held 
in no great estimation, because the hair falls oS; the bUie (ox skins 
are bought up with great avidity, from their scarceness; but the 
black fox skin is of all others the most esteemed, a single skin ol\en 
selling for forty or fifty crowns. The hair of these is so disposed, 
that it is impossible to tell which way the grain lies ; far if we hold 
the skin by the head, the hair hangs to the tail; and if wo hold it 
by the tail, it hangs dotvn equally smooth and even to the head. 
These are ofVen made into men's mulTs, and are at once very beau- 
tiful and warm. In our temperate climate, howevei-, furs are of 
very little service, there being scarcely any weather so severe in 
England from which our ordinary clothes may not very well defend 


The Jackall is one of the commonest wild animals in the East ; 
and yet there is scarcely any less known in Europe, or more con- 
fusedly described by natural historians. In general, we are assured 
that it resembles the fox in figure and disposition, but we are still 
ignorant of those nice distinctions by which it is known to be of a 
different species. It is said to be of the size of a middling dog, re- 
sembling the fox in the hinder parts, particularly the tail; and the 
wolf in the fore-parU, especially the nose. Its legs are shorter than 
those of the fox, and its colour is of a bright yellow, or sorrel, as we 
express it in horses. This is the reason it has been called in Latin 
the Golden iVolf; a name, however, which is entirely unknown in 
the countries where they are most common. 

The species of the jackall is diffused all over Asia, and is found 
also in most parts of Africa, seeming to take up tlie place of the 
wolf, which in those countries is not so common. There seem to bs 
many varieties among them; those of the warmest climates appear 
to be the largest, and their colour is rather of a reddish-brown than 
of that beautiful yellow by which the smaller jackalls are chiefly 

Although the species of the wolf approaches very near to that of 
the dog, yet the jackall seems to be placed between them ; to the 
savage fierceness of the wolf it adds the impudent familiarity of the 
dog." Its cry is a howl, mixed with barking, and a lamentation 
re.'embling that of human distress. It is more noisy in its pursuits 
even than the dog, and more voracious than the wolf. The jackall 
nevKf goes alone, but always in a pack of forty or fifty together. 
^^^dhe.i^ unite regularly every day, to form a combination against the 

• Buffon, vol.x 





rest at the forest. Nothing tlicn can eseape them ; (hey are contenl 
to take up with the smallest animals ; and yet, when thus united, 
ihey have courage to face the largest. Tlieyseem very iitlle afraid 
of maokiod ; but pursue their game to the very doors, without 
leslifyiDg either &ltachment or apprehension. They enter insolently 
into the sheep-folds, the yards, and the stables, and when tbey can 
find nothing else, devour the leather harness, boots, and shoes, and 
run off with what they have not time to swallow. 

They not only attack the living but the dead. They scratch up 
with their feel the new-made graves, and devour the corpse, how 
putrid soever. In those countries therefore where they abound, they 
are obliged to beat the earth over the grave, and mix it with thorns, 
to prevent the jackalls from scraping it away. They always assist 
each other as well in this employment of exhumation, as in that of 
the chase. While they are at this dreary work, they exhort each 
other by a most mournful cry, resembling that of children under 
chastisement; and when they have thus dug up the body, they share 
it amicably among them. These, like all other savage animals, when 
they have once tasted of human flesh, can never after refrain from 
pursuing mankind. They watch the burying-grounds, follow armies, 
and keep in the rear of caravans. They may be considered as the 
vulture of the quadruped kind 1 every thing that once had animal 
life, seems equally agreeable to them ; the most putrid substances 
are greedily devoured ; dried leather, and any thing that has been 
rubbed with grease, how insipid soever in itself, is sufScient to make 
the whole go down. 

They hide themselves m holes by day, and seldom appaar abroad 
till night-fall, when the jackall that has first hit upon the scent' of 
some large beast, gives notice to the rest by a howl, which it repeats 
as it runs ; while all the rest, that are within hearing, pack in lo its 
assistance. The gazelle, or whatever other beast it may be, Ending 
itself pursued, makes ofl* towards the houses and the towns; hoping, 
fay that means, to deter its pursuers from following*, but hunger 
gives the jackal I the same degree of boldness that fear gives the 
gazelle, and il pursues even to the verge of the city, and often along 
the streets. The gazelle, however, by this means most frequently 
escapes; for the mhabilanU sallying out, oflen disturb the jackall 
in the chase; and as it hunts by the scent, when once driven off, it 
never recovers it again. In this manner, we see how experience 
prompts the gazelle, which is naturally a very timid animal, and 
particularly fearful of man, to lake refuge near him, considering 
him as the least dangerous enemy, and often escaping by his assisU 

But man is not the only intruder upon ihe jackall's industry and 
pursuits. The lion, the tiger, and the panther, whose appetites are 
superior to their swiftness, attend to its call, and follow in silence M 
some distance behind.* The jackal) pursues the whole night 

' LinnKi Sjsltms. p. ftO- 



(taceasmg ossiduiiy, keepiofj; up ibe cry, and witli great peraeveraace 
at last tires down ils prey ; but just at the momeDl it supposes itself 
going toihere the fruits of its labour, the liun or the leopard coRie» 
ia, satiates himself upon the spoil, and his poor provider must be 
oontent with the bare carcass he leaves behind. It is not to be wrm- 
dercd at, therefore, if the jackall be Toracious, since it so seldom has 
a Eufficiencj ; nor that it feeds on putrid substances, since it 'is not 
permitted to feast on what it has newly killed. Besides these ene- 
mies, the Jackall has another to cope with; for between him and the 
dog there is an irreconcileable antipathy, and they never part with- ^H 
out ao engagement. The Indian peasants often chase them as we ^^M 
do foxes; and have learned, by experience, when they have got a ^^M 
lion or a tiger in their rear. Upon such occasions they keep their ^^| 
dogs close, as they woukl be no match for such formidable animals, 
wid endeavour to put them to flight with their cries. When the lion 
IB dismissed, they more easily cope with the jackatl, who is ns stupid 
as it ia impudent, and seems much better Htted for pursuing than 
retreating. It sometimes happens that one of them steals silently 
into an ont-house, to seize the poultry, or devour tlie furniture, but 

k hearing others in full cry at a distance, without tliought, it instantly 
Mlswers the call, and thus betrays its own depredations. The ^^h 
DeaBaDts sally out upon it, and the foolish animal finds, too late, thaf ^^| 
ill instinct was too powerful for ita safety. ^^| 


' As the jackall is a nort of intermediate species between the dog ^| 

W' As the jackall is a sort of intermediate species 

and the wolf,* so the Isatis may be considered as placed between 
the dog and the fox. This animal has hitherto been supposed to be 
only ft variety of the latter; but from the latest observations, there 
it 00 doubt of their being perfectly distinct. The isatis is vwy com. 
mon in all the northern countries bordering upon the Icy Sea ; and 
if seldom found, except in the coldest countries. It extremely 
reaemblea the fox in the form of its body and the length of its tail ; 
«Dd a dc^, in the make of its head and the position of hs eyes. Tha 
hair of these animals is softer than that of a common fox ; some are 
blue, some are white at (»ie season, and at another of a. russet brown. 
Although the whole of its hair be two inches long, thick, tulXed, and 
glossy, yet the under jaw is entirely without any, and the skin 
appears bare in that part. 

This animal can bear only the coldest climates, and is chiefly seen 
along the coasts of the Icy Sea, and upon the banks of the great 
rivers that discharge themselves therein. It is chiefly fond of living 
in the open country, and seldom seen in the forest, being mostly 
found in the mountainous and naked regions of Norway, Siberia, 
uid Lapland. It burrows like the fox; and when with young, the 


Ku Lapland. It burrows like the fox; and when with young, the ^_ 
• In Hii.t 'IpSFTipli"!! I llHV? Mlxw^ri M. BuffOQ. ^H 



T kennel, in the same manner i 

e bedded a' 
sse. Its r 
itnber of young, ar 
jslly brings forth a 

lal diflers from those 

female ret in 

do. These 

many outlets, They are kept very clean, and 

bollom with moss, Ibr (he animal to be more at ilt 

ner of coupling, lime of gestation, ant 

similar to what is found in the fox ; and i 

end of May, or tlie beginning of June. 

Such are the particulars in which thin 
the dog kind, and in which it resembles t 

peculiority remains still to be mentioned, namely, its changing il4 
colour, and being seen at one time brown, and at another perfectly 
white. As was already said, some arc nRliirally blue, and their 
colour never changes ; but such as are to be while, are, when brought 
forth, of a yellow hue, which, in the beginning of September, is 
changed to while, all e.icept along the top of the back, along which 
runs a stripe of brown, and another crossbg it down the shoulders, 
at which lime the animal is called the crossed/ox: however, this 
brown cross totally disappears before winter, and then the creature 
is all over white, and its fur is two inches long; this, about the be< 
ginning' of May, again begins to fall, and the moulting is completed 
about the middle of July, when the isatis becomes brown onceniori 
The fur of this animal is of nu value, unless it be killed 



The Hyaena is the last animal J shall mention among those of' 
dog kind, which it in many respects resembles, although loo strong! 
marked to be strictly reduced to any type. The hy^na is nearly 
the size of a wolf; and bus some similitndeto that animal inlheahag 
of its head and body. The head, at lirst sight, does not appear 
differ, except that the ears of the hyaena are longer, and 
out hair ; bul, upon observing more closely, we shall find the h< 
broader, the nose flatter, and not so pointed. The eye* 
placed obliquely, but more like those of a dog. The legs, pari 
cularly the hinder, are longer than those either of the dog or l' 
wolf, and different from all other quadrupeds, in having but fc 
toes, as well on the fore-feel as on the hinder. Its hair isof a di 
greyish, marked wiili black, disposed in waves down its body, 
tail is short, with pretty longhair; and immediately under it, above 
the anus, there is an opening into a kind of glandular pouch, which 
separates a substance of the consistence, but not of liie odour, of 
civet. This opening might have given rise to the error of the 
ancients, vrho asserted, that litis animal was every year, alternately, 
male and female. Such are the most striking distinctions of the 
hysonn, as given us by naliiralisls; which, nevertheless, convey but 
of the peculiarity of its form. Its manner of, 
as remarkable ; somewhat like a dog pui 
be near the ground. The head being held 

IB viiry confused idea 
holding the head see 
ths Buent, with the ii< 

manner c^^ 
r pursuina^H 
g lield tbu^^H 


', the back appears elevated, like that of llie liO| 

5ng briatly band of hair thai 

air of that animal; 

took its name, the word In 

which signifies a»ow. 

words can give b 
rormity, and fierceness: 
quadruped, it seems 
Ly, for ever growling, except when 
glisten, the bristles of its back 

IS all along, gives it a good deal ihe 

probable that from this similitude il 
ina being Greek, and derived from huf, 

adequate idea of this animal's figure, 
more savage and untameable than any 
' be for ever in a slate of rage or rapa- 
ving its food. Its eyes then 
ipriglit, its head hangs low, 
and yet its teeth appear ; all which gives il a moel frightful aspect, 
which a dreadful howl tends to heighten. This, which 1 have often 
heard, is very peculiar: its beginning resembles the voice of a man 
moaning, and its lalter part as if he were making a violent effort to 
vomit. As it is loud and frequent, il might, perhaps, have been 
sometimes mislaken for that of a human voice in distress, and have 
given rise to the accounts of the ancients, who tell us, that the hyaena 
makes ils moan to attract unwary travellers, and then to destroy 
them : however this be, it seems the most untractable, and, for ils 
size, the most terrible of all other quadrupeds; nor does its courage 
fall short of its ferocity ; it defends itself against the lion, is a match 
for the panther, attacks the ounce, and seldom fails to conquer. 

Il is an obscene and solitary animal, to be found chielly in tlio 
most desolate and uncultivated parts of the torrid zone, of which it 
is a. native.* It resides in the caverns of mountains, in the clefts of 
rocks, or in dens that it has formed for itself under the earth. Though 
taken never so young, it cannot be tamed ; it lives by depredation, 
like the wolf, but is much stronger, and more courageous- Itsome- 
limes attacks man, carries off cattle, follows the tiock, breaks open 
the sheep-cots by night, and ravages with insatiable voracity. Its 
eyes shine by night ; and it is asserted, not without great appearance 
of truth, thai it sees belter by night than by day. When destitute 
of other provision, il scrapes up the graves and devours the dead 
bodies, how putrid soever. To these dispositions, which are suHi- 
ciently noxious and formidable, the ancients have added numberless 
others, which are long since known to be fables ; as, fof instance, thai 
thehyffina was male and female alternately; that having brought 
forth and suckled its young, it then changed sexes for a year, and 
became a male. This, as was mentioned above, could only proceed 
from the opening under the tail, which all animals of this species 
are found to have; and which is found in the same manner in no 
other quadruped, except the badger. There is in the weazel kind, 
indeed, an opening, but it is lower down, and not placed above tho 
anus, as in the badger and the hyeena. Some have said that this 
animal changes the colour ofits hair at will ; others that a stone was 
found in itseye, which, put under a man's tongue, gave him the gift 
if prophecy : some have said, that it has no joints in the neck, which. 






bowerer, all qtwirupeds are known to have ; and some, that (lie 
shadow of the hytena keeps di^9 from barking-. These, amoog many 
other afanurdities, have been asserted of this quadruped ; and which 
I mention to show ihe n&tural dtHpoMtion of maolcind, to load those 
that are already but too guilty, with accumulated reproach. 

[Mr. PeuDant describes a variety of this species, which he calls 
the spotted hyiFjia. It lias a Urge and flat head ; some long hairs 
above each eye ; very long whiskers on each «de of the nose; a 
short black mane ; hair on the body short and smooth; ears short, 
and a little pointed, their outside black, inside cinereous; face and 
tipper part of the head black ; body and limbs reddish-brown, 
marked with distinct black round spots ; tlie hind legs witli black 
IraosTerse bars ; the tail short, black, and full of hair. It inhabits 
Guinea, Ethiopia, and the Cape; lives in holes in the earth, or cleCu 
of the rocks; preys by night ; howb horribly ; breaks into the folds, 
and kills two or three sheep ; devours as much as it can, and carries 
away one for a future repast; will attack mankind, scrape open 
graves, and devour the dead. Bosmao has given this creature the 
name of jackall; by which Buffon being misled, makes it synony- 
mous with the common jackall. This hyasna is called tlie tiger-itoif 
by the colonists at the Cape, where it is a very common and formi- 
dable beast of prey. 

Of this animal, the following story is related by Dr. Sparmann, 
in his Voyage to the Cape, for the truth of which, however, be does 
not entirely vouch: — 

" At a feast near the Cape, one night, a trumpeter, who had gal 
his fill, was carried out of doors, in order that he might cool himself, 
and get sober again. The scent of him soon drew thither a tiger- 
wolf, which threw him on his back, and dragged him along with him 
as a corpse, and consequently a fair prize, up towards Table-moun- 
tain. During this, however, our drunken musician awaked, enough 
in his senses to know the danger of his situation, and to sound the 
alarm with his trumpet, which he carried fastened lo his side. The 
wild beast, as may easily be supposed, was not less frightened in his 
; and thus afforded the trumpeter an opportunity of making his 




Having described the bolder rank« of camiToroas animals, we now 
come to a minuter and more feeble class, less formidable indeed 
than any of the former, but far more numerous, and, in proportion 
to their size, more active and enterprising. The weasel kind maj 
be particularly distinguished from other carnivorous animals, by the 
length and slendemess of their bodies, which are so fitted as to wind, 
like worms, into very small openings, after their prev; and hence, 
also/t)iey have received the name of vermin, fW)m their similitude to 
the worm in this particular. These animals differ firom all of the 
cat kind, in thQ formation and disposition of the claws, which, as in 
the dog kind, they can neither draw in nor extend at pleasure, as 
cats are known to do. They differ from the dog kind, in being 
clothed rather with fbr than hair; and although some varieties of 
the fox may resemble them ii| this particular, yet the coat of the 
latter is lopger, stronger, and always resembling hair. Besides these 
distinctions^ all animals of the weasel kind have glands placed near 
the anus, that either open into, or beneath it, fiimishing a substance, 
that, in some, has the most offensive smell in nature, in others, the 
most pleasing perfume. All of this kind are still more marked by 
their habituoes and dispositions than their external form; cruel, 
voracious, and cowardly, they subsist only by theft, and find then* 
chief protection in their minuteness. They are all, from the short- 
ness of their legs, slow in pursuit; and therefore owe then* support 
to their patience, assiduity, and cunning. As their prey is preca- 
rious, they live a long time without food ; and if they happen to fall 
in where it is in plenty, th^y instantly destroy all about them before 
they begin to satisfy Uieir appetite, and suck the blood of every ani- 
mal before they begin to touch its flesh. 

These are the marks common to this kind, all the species of which 
have a most striking resemblance to each other; and he thpit has 
seen one, in some measure may be si^id to have seen all. The chief 
distinction in this numerous class of animals, is to be taken from the 
size, for no words can give the minute irregularities of that outline 
by which one species is to be distinguished from that which is next 
it. I will begin, therefore, with the least and the best known of this 
kind, and, still marking the size, will proceed gradually to larger 
and larger, until we come from the weasel to the glutton, which I 
take to be the largest of all. The weasel will serve as a mode] for 
all the rest; and, indeed, the points in which they differ from this 
little. animal are but very inconsiderable.* 

[* This class of quadrupeds have s!z euttlng teeth in each jaw ; those of 
the upper jaw, erect, sharp pointed, and distinct ; of the lower jaw, l^litBter, 
huddled together, and two plaeed within the line of the rest: the tongue is 

VOL. II. — No, XXI. E 

Bi AwntAvi or TWE 

The WeoBet," oa was said, is the smallest of this numerous tribe ; 
its length not exceeding seven inches, from the tip of the nose to 
the insertion of the tail. This length, however, seems to be very 
great, if we compare it with the height of the animal, which is not 
above an inch and a half. In measuring the wolf, we Und him to 
be not above once and a half as long as he is high ; in observing the 
weasel, we find il near five times as long as it is high, which ahows 
an amazing disproportion. The tail also, which is bushy, is two 
inches and a. half long, and adds to the apparent length of iJiis little 
animal's body. The colour of the weasel is of a reddish-brown on 
the back and sides, but white under the throat and the belly. It 
Las whiskers like a cat, and thirty -two teeth, which is two more than 
any of the cat kind ; and these also seem better adapted for tearing 
and chewing than those of the cat kind are. The eyes are little 
and black; the ears short, broad, and roundish, and have a fold at 
the lower part, which makes them look as if they were double. 
Beneath the corners of the mouth, on each jaw, is a spot of brown. 

This animal, though very diminutive to appearance, is neverlhe 
less a very formidable enemy to quadrupeds a hundred limes its own 
size. It is very common and well known in most parts of this coun- 
try; but seems held in very different estimation in different parts of 
it. Id those places where sheep or lambs are bred, the weasel is a 
most noxious inmate, and every art is used to destroy it ; on the 
contrary, In places where agriculture is cliiefly followed, the weasel 
is considered as a friend that thins tlie number of such vermin bh 
cbieHy live upon corn : however, in all places, il is one of the most 
untameable and untractable animals in the world. f When kept in 
a cage, either for the purposes of amusement or inspection, it will 
not touch any part of its victuals while any body looks on. It keeps 
in a continual agitation, and seems frighted so much at the sight of 
mankind, that it will die if not permitted to hide itself from their 
presence. For this purpose, it must be provided, in its cage, with a 
sufficient quantity of woo! or hay, in which it may conceal itself, 
and whore it may carry whatever it has got to eat ; which, however, 
it will not touch until it begins to putrefy. In this stale il is seen to 
pass three parts of the day in sleeping ; and reserves the night for its 
time of exercise and eating. 

In its wild state, the night is likewise the time during which it may 
be properly said to live. At the approach of evening, it is seen 
stealing from its hole, and creeping about the farmer's yard for its 
prey. If it enters the place where poultry are kept, it never attacks 
the cocks or the old hens, but immediately aims at the young ones. 
It does not eat ils prey on the place, but, after killing it by a single 
bite near the head, and with a wound so small that the place can 
scarcely be perceived, it carries it off to its young, or ils retreat. It 
also breaks and sucks the eggs, and sometimes kills the hen that 
sltempts to defend them It is remarkably active; and, iji a con^ 




fioed place, scarcely any aoimal can escape it. It will run ap the 
sidea afwalls with such facility, that no place is secure from it; and 
its body is so sroBl], that there is scarcely any hole but what it can 
wind through. During the summer its ezcuraions are more ex- 
lenHiTe; but in winter it chieSy confines itself in barns and farm- 
yards, where it remains till spring, and where it brings forth ita 
young. All this season it makes war upon the rais and mice, with 
slill greater success than the cat ; for being more active and slender, 
il pursues iJiem into their holes, and, after a short resistance, destroys 
them. It creeps also into pigeon-holes, destroys the young, catches 
sparrows, and all kind of small birds ; and, if it has brought forth 
its young, hunts with slill greater boldness and avidity. In sum- 
mer, it ventures farther from the house; and particularly goes into 
those places where the ral, its cliiofeNi prey, goes before it. Accord- 
ingly it is found in the lower grounds, by the dde of waters, 
near mills, and often is seen to hide its young in the hollow of a 

The female takes every precaution to make an easy bed for her 
little ones : she lines the bottom of her hole with grass, hay, leaves, 
and moss, and generally brings forth from three to live at a time. 
All animals of this, as well as those of the dog kind, bring forth their 
young with closed eyesi but they very soon acquire strength sulfi- 
cieni to fdlow the dam in her excurwons, and assist in her projects 
of petty rapine. The weasel, like all others of its kind, does not run 
on equably, but moves by bounding ; and when it climbs a tree, by 
a single spring it geia a good way from the ground. It jumps in 
the same manner upon its prey; and, having an extremely limber 
body, evades the attempts of much stronger animals to seize it. 

This animal, like all of its kind, has a very strong smell; and 
that of the weasel is peculiarly felid. This scent is very distinguish- 
able in those creatures when they void their excrement; for the 
glands which furnish this fetid substance, which is of the consistence 
of suet, open directly into the orifice of the anus, and taint the ex- 
crement with the strong effluvia. The weasel smells more strongly 
in summer than in winter; and more abominably when irritated or 
pursued, than when at its case. It always preys in silence, and 
never has aery except when struck, and then it has a rough kind of 
squeaking, which at once expresses resentment and pain, lla appe- 
tite for animal food never forsakes it; and it seems even to lake a 
pleasure in the vicinity of purtefacUon, M. Bullon tells us of one 
of them being found, with three young ones, in the carcass of a wolf 
that was grown putrid, and that had been hung up by the hind legs 
as a terror to others. Into this horrid retreat the weasel thought 
proper to retire to bring forth her young : she had furnished the 
cavity with hay, grass, and leaves; and the young were just brought 
Ibrlh when they were discovered by a peasant passing that way. 



anImau of t&e 

Next lo the weaze) in aze, stid perTectlj alike iii figure. 
Ermine. The diflerence between (Jiii aod tbe rormer animal w4 
•mall, thai many, and amonsr tbe reel LicHueu*, who giTea bul« 
detcripticm «f both, have con roaiujed the iwi>kiad«M^ellier. How- 
ever, their diflerencei are Bufficient lo induce later iMiuraliMs to w|k 
poie the two Iciodi distiiKti and aa their lighla aeem prererable, we 
choose to Mlow their descriptiMu.* 

The itoat or ermine differe from the weasel in size, being inually 
nine inches long, whereas the former is not much abo^e sii. The 
tail of the ermine is alwaj« lipped with black, and is longer in pro- 
portion to the body, and better furnished with hair. The edges of 
the ears and the ends of the toes in tbis animal are of a yellowish 
while ; and although il ii of the same colour with the weasel, beiag 
of a lightish brown, and though both this animal as well as the 
weaael, id the roost northern parts of Eurojie, changes its colour in 
winter, and becomes white, yet even then the weasel may be easily 
diitioguiahed from the ermine, by the tip of the tail, which in the 
tatter is always black. 

It is well known that the fur of the ermine is the most valuable of 
any hJlheno known ; and it is in winter only that this little animal 
baa it of the proper colour and consi»ience. In nunimur, ilie ermine, 
as was said before, is brown, and it may at that lime more pri^rly 
be called the sloaL There are few so unacquaitiled with quad- 
rupeds Bs not to perceive Ibis change of colour in the hair, which in 
some degree obtains in them all. The horse, the cow, and the goat, 
all manifestly change colour in the beginning of summer, the old 
long hair falling off, and a shorter coat of hair appearing in its 
room, generally of a darker colour, and yet more glossy. What 
obtains in our temperate climate, is seen to prevail still more sirongl 
in those regions where (he winters are long and severe, ar ' 
summers ahart and yet generally hot in an extreme degree, 
animal has strength enough, during that season, to throw off a 
coat of fur, which would bat incommode it, and continues for 
three months in a state somewhat resembling the ordinaiy quad' 
rupods of the milder chmaies. At the approach of winter, however, 
the cold increasing, the coat of hair seems lo Uiiclcen in proportion; 
from being coarse ond short it lengthens and grows finer, while mul- 
titudes of smaller hairs grow up between the longer, thicken the 
coat, and give it all that warmth and soflness which arc ^^ so much 
valued in the furs of the northern animals. 

It is no easy matter to account for this remarkable warmth of the 
furs of northern quadrupeds, or how ihey come I 
such an abundant covering. It is easy enough, 
nature lits them lluis for the climate ; and, like ai 


1 be furnished with 
ndeed, to say that 
indulgent motbei^^^ 




when ^te exposes tlieiu to ihe rigour of an iniemperBte winter, wp- 
pHM them with a covering agunst ils inclemeacy . Rnt this is onlj' 
Oouriahing : it is not ea'y, I sev, to tell how nelure comes to furaish 
them in this manner. A few particulars on this sabject are all that 
we yet know. Ii is observable among qiiadrupeds, as well as even 
among the hnman species itself, that a thin sparing diet is apt to 
produce hair : children thai hove be?n ill fed, faniishod dogs and 
horses, are more hairf than others whose food hat been more plen- 
tiful. This may, therefore, be one cause that the animals of the 

orth, in winter, are more hairy than those of the milder climates. 

it that season, the whole country is covered with deep snow, and 
_ le provisions which these creatures are able to procure can be b»t 
precarious an<J scanty. Its becomifig finer tnay also proceed from 
the severity of the cold, that contracts the pores of the skin, and the 
hair consequently takes the shape of the aperture through which it 
grows, as wires are made smaller by being drawn through a smaller 
orifice. However this may be, bU the animals of the arctic climates 
may be said to have their winter and summer garments, except very 
far (0 the north, as in Greenland, where the cold is so continually 
intense, and the food so scarce, that neither the bears nor foxes 
change colour,* 

The ermine, as was said, is remarkable among these for the soft- 
ncM, the closeness, and the warmth of its fur. It is brown in sum- 
mer, like the weasel, and changes colour before the winter is begun, 
beconjing a beautiful cream colour, all except the tip of the tail, as 
was said before, which still continues black. M. Daubenlon had 
one of these brought him with its white winter fur, which he put into 
a cage and kept, in order to observe the manner of moulting its 
hair. He received it in ihe beginning of March ; in a very short 
time it began to shed its coat, and a mixture of brown was seen to 
prevail among tlie white, so that at the 9th of the same month 
its head was nearly become of a reddish-brown, Day after day this 
colour appeared to extend, aiRrst along the neck and down the back, 
in the manner of a stripe of abont half an inch broad. The fore 
part of the legs then assumed the same colour ; a part of the head, 
the thighs, and the tail, were the last that changed ; but at the end 
of the month there was no white remaining, except on those parts 
which are always white in this species, particularly the throat and 
the belly. However, he had not the pleasure of seeing this animal 
resnme its former whiteness, although he kept it for above two years ; 
which, without doubt, was owing to its imprisoned state ; this colour 
being partly owing to its stinted food, and partly to the rigour of the 
leason. During its state of confinement, this little animal always 
continued very wild and tmtractable ; forever in a stale of violent 
agitation, except when asleep, which it often continued for three 
parts of the day. Except for its most disagreeable scent, it was an 

IiMXtremely pretty creature, its eyes sprightly, its jAysiognomy ^_ 
I ■ (.■railll> Hislnrj of (irrprlHiH!. Tol. ,. p, 7!. ^H 


pleasant, oad its motioni so swif^ (Ijat ihe eye could icarcely attend 
them. It was fed with eggs and Hesh, but it always let them putrefy 
before it touched either. As some of this bind are known to be fond 
of honey, it was tried to feed this animal with such food for a while : 
after having for three or four days deprived it of other food, it ate of 
this, and died shortly after ; a strong proof of its beiing a distinct 
species from the polecat or the martin, who feed upon honey, but 
otherwise pretty much resemble the ermine in their figure and dis- 

rope and Siberia, their skins make a valuable 
article of commerce, and they are found there much more frequently 
than among us. In Sibeiia they burrow in the Gelds, and are taken 
in traps baited with flesh. In Norway they are either shot with blunt 
arrows, or taken in traps made of two flat stones; one being propped 
with a slick, to which is fastened a baited airing, and when the ani- 
mals attempt to pull this away, the stone drops and crushes them to 
de^lh. This animal is sometimes found white in Great Britain, and 
is then called a white weasel. Its furs, however, among us are of 
no value, having neither the thickness, the closeness, nor the white- 
ness of those which come from Siberia. The fur of the ermine, in 
every country, changes by time ; fur, as much of its beautiful 
whiteness is given it by certain arts known to tlie furriers, so its 
natural colour returns, and lis former whiteness can never be restored 



The animal next in size to the ermine is the Ferret; which is a 
kind of domestic in Europe, Uioiigh said lo be originally brought 
from Africa into Spain, which being a country abounding in rabbits, 
required an Animal of this kind, more than any other: however this 
be, it is not to be found at present among us, except in its domes- 
tic Slate ; and it is chiefly kept tame, for the purposes of the 

The ferret is about one foot long, being nearly four inches longer 
than llie weasel. It resembles that animal in the slendernesa of its 
body, and the shurlness of its legs ; but its nose is sharper, and its 
body more slender, in proportion to its length. The ferret is com- 
monly of a cream colour; but they are also found of ell the colours 
of the weasel kind; white, blackish, brown, and party-coloured. 
Those that are of the whitish kind, have their eyes red, as is almost 
general with all animals entirely of that colour. But its principal 
distinction from the weasel is the length of the hair on its tail, which 
is much longer in the ferret than the weasel. Words will not well 
express the other distinctions; and what might take up a page ift 
dull discrimination, a (tingle glance of the eye, when the 
themselves are presented, can discover- 



As Ihi* aoimal is a native of ihe torrid zone,* so it caanot benr 
the rigours of our climate witliout care and shelter, and it generally 
repays the trouble of its keeping by its great agility in the warren. 
It is naturally such an enemy ol'lhe rabbit kind, tliat if a dead rab- 
bit be presented to a young ferret, although it has never seen one 
before, it instantly atturks and bites it with an appcaranoe of rapa- 
city. If the rabbit be living, the ferret is still more eager, seizes it 
by the neck, winds itself round it, and continues to suck its blood till 
it be satiated. 

Their chief use in warrens, is to enter the holes, and drive the 
rabbits into the nets that are prepared for them at the mouth. For 
this purpose, the ferret is muzzled; otherwise, instead of driving 
out the rabbit, it would content itself with killing and sucking its 
blood at the bottom of the hole; but by this contrivance, being ren- 
dered unable to seize its prey, the rabbit escapes from itn claws, and 
instantly makes to the mouth of the hole will) sucli precipitation, that 
it is inextricably entangled in the net placed there for its receplioii. 
It often happens, however, that the ferret disengages itself of its 
muzzle, and tlten it is most commonly lost, unless it be dug out ; for 
finding all iu wants satisfied in the warren^ it never thinkii of relum- 
ing to the owner, but continues to lead a rapacious solitary life whilu 
the summer continues, and dies with the cold of tlie winter. In 
order to bring tlie ferret from liia hole, the owners often burn straw 
and other substances at the moutli ; they also beat above, to terrify 
it : but this does not always succeed ; for as there are often several 
issues to each hole, the ferret is affected neitlier by the noise nor the 
■m<^e, but continues secure at the bottom, sleeping the greatest 
part of the time, and waking only to satisfy the calls of hunger. 

The female of this species t is sensibly less than the male, whom 
Ae seeks with great ardour, and, it is said, often dies, without being 
admitted. They are usually kept in boses, with wool, of which they 
make themselves a warm bed, that serves to defend them from tlie 
rigour of the climate. They sleep almost continually, and the instant 
(hey awake, iliey seem eager for food. They are usually fed with 
bread uid milk. They breed twice a year. Some of ihem devour 
llieir young as soon as brought forth, and then become lit for the 
male again. Their nomber is ttsually from five to six at a litter; 
and this is said to consist of more females than males. Upon tlio 
whole, this is an useful, but a disagreeable and otfensive animal ; its 
scent is fetid, its nature voracious, it is tame without any atlachment, 
and such is iis appetite for blood, that it has been known to attack 
and kill childern in the cradle. It is very easy to be irritated ; and, 
although at all times its smell is very offensive, it then is much more 
go ; and its bile is very difficult of cure. 

To the ferret kind we may add an animal which M. BulTon calls 
the Vansire, the skin of which was sent him stuSed from Madagas- 
car. It was thirteen inches IcHig, a good deal resembling the ferret 

• Biiffon. + Ibid, 

40 ANlMAtS or THE 

in figure, bul diflering in the number of its grinding [eelh, whicli 
arouunud to twelve, whereas in llie ferret there are but eigiit ; it dif- 
fered also in colour, being of a dark brown, and exactly the s&me 
on all parts of its body. Of this animal, so nearly resembling the 
ferrei, we have no other history bul the mere deacriplion of its figure; 
and in a cjiiadruped whose kind is so strongly marked, perhaps tbk 
is sufficient lo satisfy curiosity. -. _ 


The polecat ia larger than the weasel, the ermine, or the ferret, 
being one foot five inches long; whereas the weasel is but six inches, 
the ermine nine, and the ferret eleven inches. It so much resembles 
the ferrei in form, that some have been of opinion they were one 
and the same animal ; nevertheless, there nre a sufficient number of 

» distinct ions between them : il is, in the first place, larger than the 
ferret ; it ia not quite so slender, and has a blunter nose ; it difiere 
also inlernally, having but fourteen ribs, whereas the ferret has fif- 
teen ; and wants one of the breast bones, which is found in the fer- 
ret: however, warreners assert, that the polecat will mix with the 
ferret: and they are someliraes obliged to procure an intercourse 
between these two animals, to improve the breed of the latter, which, 
by long conHnemeni, is sometimes seen to abate of its rapa'::ious 
disponitioD. M. Bufibn denies that the ferret will admit the polecat ; 
yet gives a variety, under the name of both animals, which may 
Tcry probably be a spurious race between the two. 
^^^ However this be, the polecat seems by much the more pleasing 

^^K animal of the two; for although the long slender shape of all these 
^^^1 vermin tribes gives them a very disagreeable appearance, yet the 
^^^H softness and colour of the hair in some of them atones fur tlie defect, 
^^^1 and renders them, if not pretty, at least not frightful. The polecat, 
^^^^ lor the part, is of a deep chocolate colour; it is white about the 
^^^K mouth; the ears are short, rounded, and tipt with while; a little 
^^V beyond the corners of the mouth a stripe begins, which runs back- 
^^^ ward, partly white and partly yellow: its hair, like that of all this 
class, IS of two sorts, the long and the furry ; but in this animal 
the two kinds are of different colours; the longest is black, and the 
[ shorter yellowish :* the throat, feet, end tail, are blacker than any 

^^^V other parts of the body; the claws are white underneath, and brown 
^^^B above; and the tail is above two inches long, 
^^^p It is very destructive lo young game of nil kinds : t but the rabbit 
^^H seems to be its favourite prey ; a single polecat is oflen sufficient to 
I destroy a whole warren ; for, with that insatiable thirst for blood 

vhich is natural to all the weasel kind, it kills much more than it can 

I devour; and I have seen twenty rabbits si a lime laken out dead, 
which they had destroyed, and that by a wound which wa» hardly _ 
■ Riy's Syiin|i9is. ^ Brilish Zoology, vol. i. p. 7S. ^H 


perceptible. Their *iie, honever, which in so mucli larger than the 
wesae), renders their retreais near houses much more precarioiu; 
although I have seen ihem burrow near » rillage, so as scarcely to 
be estirpeled. But in general they reside in woods or thick brakes, 
making holes under ground of about two yards deep, commonly 
ending among the roots of large trees, for greater security. In win- 
ter they frequent houses, and make a common practice of robbing 
the hen-roost and the dairy. 

The polecat is particularly dealructive among pigeons,* when it 
gets into a dove-hoiise ; without making su much noise as the weasel, 
k does a great deal more mischief; it dispatches each with a single 
wound in the head, and, after killing a great number, and satiating 
itself with their blood, it then begins to thinkof carrying them home. 
This it carefully performs, going and returning, and bringing them 
one by one to its hole ; but if it should happen that the opening by 
which it got into the dove-honse, be not large enough for the body 
of the pigeon to get through, this mischievous creature contents 
itself with carrying away the heads, and makes a most delicious feast 
upon the brains. 

It b not less fond of honey, attacking the hives in winter, and 
forcing the bees away. It does not remove far from houses in win- 
ter, as its prey is not so easily found in the woods durmg that season. 
The female brings forth her young in summer, to the number of five 
or six at a time ; these she soon trains to her own rapacious habits, 
supplying the want of milk, which no carnivorous quadruped has in 
plenty, with the blood of such animals as she happens to seise, The 
fur of this animal is considered as soft and warm ; yet it is in less 
estimation then some of a much inferior kind, from its offensive smell, 
which can never be wholly removeil or suppressed. The polecat 
■eerai to be an inhabitant of the temperate climates,^ scarcely any 
being found towards the north, and but very few in the warmer 
latitudes. The species appear to be confined in Europe, from Poland 
to Italy. It is certain that these animals are afraid of the cold, as 
they are often seen to come into houses in winter, and as their tracks 
are never found in the snow near their retreats. It is probable, also, 
ibat they are afraid of beat, as they are but thinly scattered in the 
■outhem climates. 


The Martin is a larger animal than any of the former, being 
genendly eighteen inches long, and the tail ten more. It differs 
from the polecat, in being about four or five inches longer; its tail 
also is longer in proportion, and more bushy 
Ratter; its cry is sharper and more piercing 
el^ant ; and what still adds to their beauty. 



t the end 

its colours are more 
ila scent, very unlike 

tOL. 11. — No. XXI. 

43 ANIH his OV THE 

the former, iaalead of being ofleosive, 
perfume. Tbe martin, in short, is 
beasts of prey ; its head is small and elegantly formed ; its eyes 
lively; its ears are broad, rounded and open; its back, its sides, and 
tail, are covered with a fine thicL downy fur, witli longer hair ioter- 
niixed ) the roota are ash-colour, the middle of a bright chesnut, the 
poiuts black ; the head is brown, with a slight cast of red ; the legs, 
and upper sides of the feet, are of a chocolate colour ; the palms, or 
undereideg, are covered with a ttiick down, like that of the body ; the 
feet are broad, the claws white, brge and sharp, well adapted for the 
purposes of climbing, but, as in others of the weasel kind, incapable 
of being sheathed or unsheathed at pleasure; the throat and breast 
are white ; tho belly of the same colour with (he back, but rather 
paler ; the hair on the tuU is very long, especially at tho end, where 
it appears much thicker than near tbe insertion. 

There is also a variety of this animal, called the Yelhw-breatted 
Martin, which in no respect diifers from the former, except that 
this has a yellow breast, whereas the other has a white one : the 
colour of the body also is darker; and, as it lives more among trees 
than tlio other martin, its fur is oiore valuable, beautiful, and glowy. 
The former of these M. Biiffon calls the Fuuine ; the latter, simply 
the Martin ; and he supposes them to be a distinct species : but a* 
they differ only in colour, it is unnecessary to embarraH history bj^ 
a new distinctioi), where there is only so minute a difference. 

Of all animals of the weasel khid,the martin is the most pleastng;^ 
all its motions show great grace, as well as agility; and there is 
scarcely an animal in our woodstlial will venture to oppose it. Quad- 
rupeds five times a^ big are easily vanquished ; the hare, the sheep, 
and even the wild cat itself, though much stronger, is not a match 
for the martin : and although carnivorous animals are not fond of 
engaging each other, yet the wild cat and the martin seldom meet 
without a combaL Gesner telU us of one of this kind that he kept 
tame, which was extremely playful and pretty ; it went among the 
houses of the neighbourhood, and always returned home when 
hungrv: it was extremely fond uf a dog that had been bred up with 
U, ana used to play with it as cats are seen to play, lying on its 
back, and biting without anger or injury. That which was kept 
tame by iM. Buffon, was not quite so social ; it was divested of its 
ferocity, but continued without attachment; and was still so wild as 
to be obliged to be held by a chain. Whenever a cat appeared, it 
prepared for war; and if any of the poultry came within its reach, 
it flew upon them with avidity. Though it was lied by the middle 
of the body, it frequently escaped : at first, it returned after some 
hours, but without seeming pleased, as if it only came to be fed; 
the next time it continued abroad longer; and at last went away 
without ever returning. It was a female, and was, when it went off, 
a year and a half old; and M. Buffon supposes it to have gone in 
quest of the male. It ate every thing that was given it, except sallad 
or herbs; and it was remarkably fond of honey. It was remarked 


tbat it dniDk oflen, and ofton alepl Tor two days together; and that, 
in like manner, it was often two or three days without sleeping. 
Before it went lo sleep, it drew itself up into a round, hid ita head, 
and covered it with He tail. When awake it was in continual agi- 
latiort, and was obliged to be tied up, not less lo prevent its attadc- 
iag the poultry, than to hinder it (rora breaking whabiver it came 
Dear, by the capricious wildness of its motions. 

The yellow- breasted martin is much more common in France than 
in England ; and yet even there this variety is much scarcer than 
that with the white breast. The latter keeps nearer houses Bnd 
villages, to make its petty ravages among the sheep and the poultry ; 
tlje other keeps in the woods, and leads in every respect a savage 
life, building its nest on the tops of trees, and living upon such ani- 
mals as are entirely wild like itself. About nighufoll it usually 
quits ita solitude to seek its prey, hunts after squirrels, rats, and 
rabbits; destroys great numbers of birds and their young, lakes the 
eggs from the nest, and ol^en removes them to its own without break- 
ing.* The instant the martin finds itself pursued by dogs, for which 
purpose there is a peculiar breed that seem fit for this chase only, it 
immediately makes to its retreat, which is generally in the hollow of 
some tree, towards the top, and which it is impossible lo come at 
without cutting it down. The nest is generally the original tenement 
of the squirrel, which that little animal bestowed great pains in 
completing; but the martin having killed and dispossessed the little 
architect, takes possession of it for its own use, enlarges its dimen- 
sions, iinproTes the softness of the bed, and in that retreat brings 
forth its young. Its litter is never above three or four nt a time : 
they are brought forth with the eyes closed, as in all the rest of this 
kind, and very soon come to a stale of perfection. The dam com- 
pensates for her own deficiency of milk, by bringing them eggs and 
live birds, accustoming them from the beginning tu a life of carnage 
and rapine. When she leads them from the ne^t into lite woods, 
the birds at once distinguish their enemies, and attend them, as we 
before observed of the fox, with all the marks of alarm end ani- 
mosity. Whei'ever Ihe martin conducts her young, a flock of small 
birds are seen threatening and insulting her, alarming every thicket, 
anil often directing the hunter in his pursuit. 

The martin is more common in North America than in any pert 
of Europe. These animals are found in all the northern parts of the 
world, from Siberia to China and Canada. In every country they 
are hunted for Iheir furs, which are very valuable, and chiefly so 
wbeo taken in the beginning of winter. The most esleeiiied part of 
the martin's skin is that part of it which is browner than the rest. 
Mid stretches along the back-bone. Above twelve thousand of these 
skins are annually imported into England from Hudson's Buy, and 
Above thirty thousand from Canada. 

* Brou>e's Natnral History. 






Most of the claasea of the weasel kind would have continnet} 
utterly unknown and disregarded were it not for their furs, which are 
finer, more glossy and soft, than those of any other quadruped. 
Tlieir dispositions are fierce and untameable ; their scent generally 
offensive; and their figure disproporiioned and unpleaaing. The 
knowledge of one or two of ihem would, therefore, have BuSiced 
curiosity ; and (he rest would probably have been confounded toge- 
ther, under one common name, as things useless and uninteresting, 
had not their skins been coveted by the vain, and considered as ca- 
pable of adding to human magniQcence or beauty. 

Of all these, however, the skin of the sable is the most coveted, 
and held in the highest esteem. It is of a brownish-black, and the 
darker it is, it becomes the more valuable. A single akin, though 
not above four inches broad, is often valued at ten or fifteen pounds ; * 
the fur differing from others in this, that it has no grain ; so that, 
rub it which way you will, it is equally smooth and unresisting. 
Nevertheless, though this little aniraal's robe was so much coveted 
by the great, its history till of late was but very little known; and 
we are obliged to M. Jonelin for the first accurate description of its 
form and nature.*!' From him we learn that the sable resembles the 
martin in form and size, and the weasel in the number of its teeth; 
for it is to be observed, that whereas the martin has thirty-eight teeth, 
the weasel has but thirty-four; in this respect, therefore, the sable 
seems to make the shade between these two animals, being shaped 
Uke the one, and furnished with teeth like the other. It is also fur- 
nished with very large whiskers about the mouth; its feet are broad, 
and, as in the rest of its kind, furnished with tive claws on each foot. 
These are its constant marks ; but its fur, for which it is so much 
valued, is not always the same. Some of this species are of a dark 
brown over all the body, except the ears and the throat, where tlie 
hair is rather yellow; others are more of a yellowish tincture, their 
ears and throat being also much paler. These in both are (he colours 
they have in winter, and which they are seen to change in the be- 
ginning of the spring ; the former becoming of a yellow-brown, and 
the latter of a pale yellow. In other respects they resemble their 
kind, in vivacity, agility, and inquietude; in sleeping by day and 
seeking their prey by night; in living npon smaller animals; 
and in the disagreeable odour that chiefly characterizes their race. 

They generally inhabit along the banks of rivers, in shady places, 
and in the thickest woods. They leap with great ease from tree to 
tree, and are said to be afraid of the sun, which tarnishes the lustre 
of their robes. They are chiefly hunted in winter for their skins, 
during which part of the year only they are in season. They are 
mostly Ibund in Siberia, and but very few in any other country or 

" Rpgnard. 

• Buffoo, vol. ] 

. Its. 





the world ; and thU icarcity it is which enhanues their Talue, The 
hunting of the sable cbietly falls to the lot of the condemned crimi- 
nals, who are sent from Kussia into these wild and extensive forests, 
that for a great part of ihe year are covered with snow ; and in this 
instance, as in many others, the luxuries and ornaments of the vain 
are wrought out of the dangers and the miseries of the wretched. 
These are obliged to furnish a certain number of skins every year, 
and are punished if the proper quantity be not provided. 

The sable is also killed by the Russian soldiers, who are sent into 
those parts to that end. They are taxed a certain number of skina 
yearly, like the former, and are obliged to shoot with only a single 
ball, to avoid spoiling the skin, or else with a cross-bow and blunt 
BiTows. As an encouragement to the hunters, they ore allowed to 
^are among themselves the surplus of those skins which they thus 
procure ; and this, in the course of six or seven years, amounts to a 
TBiy considerable sum. A colonel during his seven years' stay, 
about four thousand crowns for his share, and the common 

in six or seven hundred each for theirs. 


I 11 Ii 


The Ichneumon, which some have injudiciously denominated ihe 
if Pharoah, is one of tlie boldest and most useful animals of all 
the weasel kind. In the kingdom of Egypt where it is chiefly bred, 
it is used for the same purposes tlial rats are in Europe, and it is even 
more serviceable, as being more expert in catching mice than they. 
This animal is usually of the size of the martin, and greatly resem- 
bles it in appearance, except that the hair, which is of a. grisly black, 
is much rougher and less downy. The tail also is not so bushy at 
the end ; and each hair in particular has three or four colours, which 
are leen in different dispositions of its body. Under its rougher 
hairs there is a soUer fur of a brownish colour, the rough hair being 
about two inches long, but that of the muzzle extremely short, as 
likewise that on the legs and paws. However, being long since 
brought into a domestic state, there are many varieties in (his ani- 
mal; some being much larger than the martin, others much less; 
gome being of a lighter mixture of colours, and some being streaked 
in the manner of a cat. 

The ichneumon, with all the strength of a cat, has more instinct 
uid agility; a more universal appetite for carnage, and a greater 
Tariety of powers to procure it.'" Rats, mice, birds, serpents, lizards, 
and insects, are all equally pursued; it attacks every living thing 
iriiich it is able to overcome, and indiscriminately preys on flesh of 
all kinds. Its courage is equal to the vehemence of its appetites. 
It fears neither the force of the dog northe insidious malice of the 

s eitracled from M. Buflbn, »XMpt vbe 





est; D«(her the daws of the vnlture nor the poison of ihe viper, ttiM 
make* war opon all binds of serpents with great aridiiT, seizes ami 
kitb them how venocaous soever they be ; and we are told that wh«i 
it begins to perceive ihe effects of their rage, it has recoone to b 
certain root, which the Indians call after its name, and assert to be 
an antidote for tite bite of the asp or the viper. 

But what this animal is partiiuiiarljr serviceable to the Egy^vm 
for is, that it discovers aod destroys the eggs of ihe crocodile. U' 
also kills the youDg ones that have not as yet been able to readi 
the water; and, as fable usually goes hand in hand with truth, it U 
said that the ichneiiroon sometimes enters ihe mouth of Che crocodili 
when il is found sleeping on the shore, boldly attacks the enemy U 
the inside, and at lengUi, when it bos eflectoally destroyed it, it eala 
its way out again- 

Tlie ichneumon when wild generally resides along the banks of 
rivers ; and in times of inundation makes to the higher ground, often 
approaching inhabited places in quest of prey. It goes forward 
silently and cautiously, changing its manner of moving according to 
its necesnties. Sometimes it carries the head high, shortens its body, 
and rai^s itself upon its legs; sometimes it lengthens itself, sad 
aeems to creep along the ground ; it is oi\en observed to sit upon its 
hind legs, like a dog when taught to beg ; but more commonly it is 
seen to dart like an arrow upon its prey, and seize it vnth inevitable 
certainty. Its eyes are sprightly and full of fire, its physiognomy 
setisible, its body nimble, it« tail long, and its hair rough and variotu. 
Like all of its kind, it has glands that open behind, and furnish an 
odorous substance. Its nose is too sharp and its mouth too small to 
permit its seizing things Chat are large ; liowever, il makes up by its 
courage and activity its want of arms ; it easily strangles a cat, 
though stronger and larger than itself; and often fights wich dogs, 
which, though never so bold, learn to dread the ichneumon as afoi-r 
midable enemy. Il also takes ilie waler'like the otter, and, as w« 
are told, will continue under it much longer. 

This animal grows fast, and dies soon. It is found in great ni 
bers in all the southern parts of Asia, from Egypt to Java: and il 
also found in Africa, particularly at the Cape of Good Hope. It ii 
domestic, aa was said, in Egypt ; but in our colder climate it is not 
easy to breed or maintain them, as they are not able to support Ibe 
rigour of our winters. Nevertheless they take every precaution that 
instinct can dictate Co keep themselves warm ; they wrap themselves 
up into a ball, hiding ttie head between the legs, and in this manner 
continue to sleep all day long. " Seba had one sent him from the 
inland of Ceylon, which he permitted to run for some months abottt 
the house. It was heavy and slothful by day, and oflen could not 
be awaked even with a blow; but it made up this indolence by its 
nocturnal activity, smelling about without either being wholly lame 
or wholly mischievous. It climbed up the walls and the trees with 
very great ease, and appeared eslrcmely fond of spiders and worms, 
which it preferred, probably from their resemblance to serpents, its 



ntMt natural food. It was also particularlj eager to scratch up holes 
in the graund ; and this, added to iu wildness and uncleaulinesB, 
' obliged our Daturatisl to siuollier it in spirits in order to preserve it, 
' iipd then added it tu the rest of his colleclion. 

This animal was one of ihow formerly worahipped bj the Egyp. 
r^uis,wha cuosidcred every thing that vas serviceable to lliem as an 
L.finaDBtion of tite Deity, and worsldpped such as the best representa- 
LliyesorGod below. Indeed, if we consider the number of eggs 
I iriuch the crocodile lays in the sand at a time, which ollen amount^ 
L'to three or four hundred, we have reason to admire this Mule animat'ii 
[ juefultiess, as well as industry, in destroying them, since otherwise 
r^ crocodile might be produced in sufficient numbers to overrun the 
I ^ole earth. 

kind, : 


Tbis is a name which our sailors give to one or two animals of the 
' ksnd, which are chielly foufid in America. All the weasel 
kind, as was already observed, have a very strong smell ; some of 

im indeed approaching to a perfbme, but the greatest number 
t insupportably fetid. But the smell of our weasels, and ermines, 
polecats, is fragrance itself, when compared tu lliat of the Squash 
the Skini, which have been called the polecats of America. 
le two are found in different parts of America, both diScring in 
colour and fur, but both obviously of the weasel kind, as appears 
aot only from their figure and oduiu", but also from their disposition. 
The squash is about the size of a polecat, its hair of a deep brown, 
but principally diiTering from all this kind, in having only four toes 
tta the feet before, whereas all other weasels have five. The skink, 
which f take to be Catesby's Virginia Polecat, resembles a polecat 
is shape and size, but particularly differs in the length of ils hair 
and colour. The hair is above three inches and a half long, and 
that at the end of the tail above four inches. The colour is partly 
black and partly white, variously disposed over the body, very 
glossy, long, and beautiful. There seem tu be two varieties more 
of this animal, which M. Bufibn calls the Conepate and the Zofille, 
He supposes each to be a distinct species ; but as they are both said 
to resemble the polecat in form, and both to be clothed with long fur 
of a black and white colour, it seems needless to make a distinction. 
The conepate resembles the skink in all things, except in size, being 
gmaller; and in the disposition of its colours, which are more exact, 
faanng five while stripes upon a black ground, running longitudinally 
from the head to the tail. The zorille resembles the skJnk, but' is 
rather smaller, and more beautifully coloured, it^ streaks of black 
and white being more distinct, and the colours of its tail being black 
at its insertion, and white at the extremity, whereas in the skink (hey 
are all of gne grey colour. 





But whatever differences there may be in the figure or colour nt 
these little animals, they all agree in one common affeclion, that of 
being intolerably fetid and loathsome. I have already obserred, 
that all the weasel kind have glands furnishing on odorous matter, 
near the anua, the conduits of which generally have their aperture 
just at its opening. That substance which is stored op in these re- 
ceptacles, is in some of this kind, such as in the martin, already metW 
tioned, and also in the genette and the civet, to be described herai 
afler, a most grateful perfume; but in the weasel, the ermine, ths 
ferret, and the polecat, it is extremely fetid and oQensive. TheH 
glands in the animals now under consideration, are much larger, and' 
furnish a matter sublimed to a degree of putrescence that is trul^' 
ama/ing. As to the perfumes of musk and civet, we know that « 
single grain will diffuse itself over a whole house, and continue for 
months to spread an agreeable odour, without diminution. However, 
the perfume of the musk or the civet is nothing, either for strength 
or duration, to the insupportable odour of these. It is usually voided 
with their excrement; and if but a single drop happens to touch 
any part of a man's garment, it is more than probable that he can 
never wear any part of it more. 

In describing the effects produced by the excrement of these aui- 
mals, we often hear of its raising this diabolical smell by ' " 

However, of this I am apt to doubt; and it should seem to 
as all the weasel kind have their excrements so extremely fetid fr 
the cause above mentioned, we may consider these also as being fetilf 
from the same causes. Besides, they are not furnished with glands 
to give their urine such a smell ; and the analogy between them and 
the weasel kind being so strong in other respects, we may suppose 
they resemble each other in this. It has also been said, tliBt they 
take this method of ejecting their excrement to defend themselves 
against their pursuers ; but it is much more probable, that this ejecl- 
tioQ is the convulsive effect of terror, and that it serves as their 
defence without (heir own concurrence. Certain it is, that they never 
smell thus horridly except when enraged or affrighted, for they are 
oflen kept tame about the houses of the planters of America without 
being very offensive. 

The habitudes of all these animals are the same, living like all 
rest of the weasel kind, as they prey upon smaller animals and bii 
eggs. The squash, for instance, burrows like the polecat in 
clefts of rocks, where it brings forth its young. It often steals 
farm-yards, and kills the poultry, ealing only their brains. N< 
it safe to pursue or offend it, for then it calls up all its scents, which 
are its most powerful protection. At that lime neither men, nor 




dogs will offer to approach it; the scent is so strong, (hat it reached^^H 

furhalf a mile round, and more near at hand is almost stilling. I|^^| 

the dogs continue to pursue, it does all in its power to escape, Iql^^H 

^^^ getting up a tree, or by some such means ; but if driven to an el!^^^| 

I: 1 

afkaSel KJttn. 49 

that a drop of this fetid discharge falls id the eye. the person run« 
the risk of being blinded for ever* 

The do^ themsel\-ea instantly abate of their ardour, when they 
find this extraordinary battery played off against them i they 
instantly turn tail, and leave the animal undisputed master of the 
6eld, and no exhortations can ever bring them to rally. "In the 
year 1749," says Ksim, " one of these animals came near the farm 
where 1 lived. It was in wintertime, during the night; and the dogs 
that were upon the watch pursued it for some lime, until it discharged 
againat them. Although I was in my bed a good way off, I thought 
I should have been suffocated ; and the cows and oxen, by their 
lowings, showed how much iheywere affected by the stench. About 
the end of the same year another of these animals crept into our 
cellar, but did not exhale the smallest scent, because it was not dis- 
turbed. A foolish woman, however, who perceived it at night by 
the shining of its eyes, killed it, and at that moment its stench began 
to spread. The whole cellar was filled with it to such a degree, 
that the woman kept her bed for several days afler; and all the 
bread, meat, and other provisions, that were kept there, were so 
infected, that they were obliged to be thrown out of doors." Never- 
theless, many of the planters, and the native Americans, keep this 
animal tame about their houses, and seldom perceive any disagree- 
able scents, except it is injured or frighted. They are also knovn 
to eat its flesh, which some assert to be tolerable food ; howetftr, 
they take care to deprive it of those glands which arc so horridly 

From- the squaah, which is the most offensive animal in nature, we 
cometotheGenette, which is one of the most beautiful and pleasing. 
Instead of the horrid stench with which the former affects us, this 
has a most grateful odour; more faint than civet, but to some, for 
that reason, more agreeable. This animal is rather less than the 
martin, though there are genettes of different sizes, and I have seen 
one rather larger. It also differs somewhat in the form of its body. 
It is not easy, in words, to give an idea of the distinction. It re> 
sembles all those of the weasel kind, in its length, compared to its 
height; it resembles them in having a soft beautiful fur, in having 
its feet armed with claws that cannot be sheathed, and in its appe- 
tite for petty carnage. But then it differs from them in having the 
nose much smaller and longer, rather resembling that of a fox than 
a weasel. The tail, also, instead of being bushy, tapers to a pmnt, 
and b much longer ; its ears are larger, and its paws smaller. As 
to its colours, and figure in general, the genette is spotted with black, 
B ti ground mixed with red and grey. It has two sorts ofhair. 


K I ti ground mixed with red and grey. It has two sorts ofhair, ^^^ 
t VoyBSR Ae Kalm. as quoted by H. Buffnn. <ol. iivii. p. 03. ^^H 

oi„ iL—No. XXIi. G ^M 




the one shorter and softer, the other longer and stronger, but not 
ahave half an inch long on any part of its body, except the tail. Its 
Bpota are distinct and separate upon the sides but unite towards the 
back, and form black stripes, which run longitudinally from the neck 
backwards. It has also along the back a kind of mane, or [ongish 
hair, which forms a black streak from the head to the tail ; which 
last is niarked with rings, alternately black and while, its whole 

Thegenetle, like all the rest of the weasel kind, has glands that 
separate a kind of perfume, resembling civel, but which soon Hies 
off. These glands open differently from those of other animals of 
this kind ; for, as the latter have their apertures Just at the opening 
of the anus, these have their aperture immediately under it ; so that 
the male seems, for this reason, to the superficial observer, to be of 
two sexes. 

It resembles the martin very much ii 
except that it seems tamed much mors 
that he has seen them in the houses > 
cats; and thaithey were permitted to r 
out doing the least mischief. For this n 
the Cats of Voiisianlii'opU, although they have little else in ci 
with that animal, except their skill in spying out and destroying 
vermin. Naiuralisla pretend that it inhabits only the moister 
grounds, and chiefly resides along the banks of rivers, having never 
been found in mountains nor dry places. The species is not much 
diffused: it is not lo be found in any part of Europe, except Spain 
and Turkey; it requires a warm climate to subsist and multiply in; 
and yet it is not to be found in the warmer regions either of India or 
Africa. From such as have seen its uses at Constantinople, I learn, 
thnt it is one of the most beautiful, cleanly, and industrious animals 
in the world ; that it keeps whatever house it is in perfectly free 
frum mice and rats, which cannot endure its smell. Add to this, its 
nnlure is mild and gentle, its colour various and glossy, its fur 
valuable; and, upon the whole, it seems lo be one of those animals 
that, with proper care, might be propagated among us, and might 
become one of the most serviceable of our domestics. 

n its habils and dispositions,* 

easily, Belonius assures us, 

t Constantinople as tame as 

n every-where about, wiih- 

n they have been called 


Proceeding from the smaller to the greater of this kind, we ctmie, 
in the last place, to the Civet, which is much larger than any uf tlie 
former; for as the martin is not above sixteen inches long, the civet 
is found to he above thirty. M. Buffon distinguishes this species 
inio two kinds; one of which he calls the Civet, and the other the 
Zibet. The latter principally differs from the former in having ilie 
body longer and more slender, the nose smaller, the ears longer and 

" Button, vol. X 

. p. 187. 


r long hair niiiDing down ihe back in die latter ; 

i (he tail m longer, and belter marked wilh rings of different 
jbloiira, from one end to (he other. These are the differenceji which 
! induced this great naluralin to auppoee ihemanimnis of dinltnct 
'j^eciea, and to allot each a separate deBcnplion. How far future 
experience may conlinn this conjecture, time muxt discover; but cer- 
tain it is, that if such ;mall varieties mnke a separate class, there 
maj be mnny other animals equally entitled to peculiar distinction 
that now ore classed together. We shall therefore contentourselves 
at present with considering, as former naturiilisls have done, these 
two merely as varieties of the same animal, and only altered in 
figure, by crirtiale, food, or education. 

The civet resembles animals of the weasel kind, in the long slen- 
derness of its body, the shortness of its legs, the odorous matter that 
exudes from the glands bshind, the softness of its fur, the number of 
its claws, and their incapacity of being sheathed. It differs from 
them in being much larger than any hitherto described; in having 
the nose lengthened, so aa to resemble that of the fox. the tail long, 
and tapering to a point, and its ears airaight, like those of a cat. 
The colour of the civet varies: it is commonly ash, spotted with 
black : though it is whiter in the female, tending to yellow; and the 
spots are much larger, like those of a panther. The colour on the 
belly and under the throat is black, whereas the other parts of the 
body are black or streaked with grey. This animal varies in its 
colour, being sometimes streaked, as in our kind of cats called Tabbies. 
It has whiskers, like the rest of its kind; and its eye is black and 

The opening of the potich or bag which is the receptacle of the 
civet, differs from that of the rest of the weasel kind, not opening 
into, but under the anus. Besides this opening, which is Urge, there 
it still another lower down ; but for what purposes designed, is not 
known. The pouch itself is about two inches and a hall' broad, and 
two long; its opening make.i a chink from the top downwards, that is 
about two inches and a half long; and it is covered on the edges, and 
within with short hair : when the two sides are drawn asunder, the 
inward cavity may be seen, large enough to hold a small pullet's 
egg ; all round this are small glands, opening and furnishing that 
strong perfume which is so well known, and is found, in this pouch, 
of the colour and consistence of pomatum. Those who make it their 
business to breed these animals for their perfume, usually take it from 
them twice or thrice a-week, and sometimes odener. The animal is 
kept in a long sort of a bos, in which it cannot turn round. The 
person, therefore, opens this box behind,dragslhe animal backwards 
by the tail, keeps it in this position by a bar before, and with a wooden 
spoon takes the civet from the pouch as carefully as he can ; then lets 
the tail go, and shuts the box again. The perfume thus procured is 
sel, which he takes care tn keep shut ; and when a 
It quantity ia procured, it is sold to very great advantage 

I tue tait go, ai 

^^^npot into a vei 
^^Hpifficient qua 



The civet,* although « native of the warmest climates, ia found yet 
to live in temperate, and even cold countries, provided it be defended 
carefully from the injuries of the air. Wherefore it is not only bred 
among the Turks, the Indians, and Africans, but great numbers of 
these animals are also bred in Holland, wliere this scraping people 
make do small gain ofiti perfume. The perfume of AmsterdaiD is 
reckoned the purest ofany; the people of other countrtea adulterating 
it with gums, and otiier mailers, vhich diminish its value, but increase 
its weight. The quantity which a single animal affords generally 
depends upon its health and nourishment It gives more in proportion 
as it is more delicately and abundantly fed. Ran flesh, hashed small, 
eggs, rice, birds, young fowls, and particularly fish, are the kinds of 
food the civet most delights in. These are to be changed and 
altered, to suit and entice ila appetite, and continue its health. It 
gets but very little water; and although it drinks but rarely, yet it 
makes urine very frequently ; and upon auch occasions we cannot, 
as in other animals, distinguish the male from the female. 

The perfume of the civet is so strong, that it communicates itself 
to all parts of the animnl's body ; the fur is impregnated thereby, 
and theskin penetrated to such a degree, that it continues to preserve 
the odour for a long time after it is stript off. If a. person be shut 
up with one of them in a close room, he cannot support the perfume, 
which is so copiously diffused. When the am*mal is irritated, as in 
all the weasel kind, its scent is much more violeui than ordinary; 
and if it be tormented so as to make it sweat, this also is a. strong 
perfume, and serves tu adulterate ot increase what is otherwise 
obtained from it. In general it is sold in Holland for about R(iy 
shillings an ounce ; although, like all olljer commodities, its value 
alters in proportion to the demand. Civet must be chosen new, of 
B good consistence, a whitish colour, and a strong disagreeable 
smell. There is still a very considerable traffic carried on from 
Bussprah, Calicut, and other places in India, witere the animal that 
produces it is bred ; from the Levant also, from Guinea, and espe* 
cially from Brazil, in South America, although M. Buffon is of 
opinion that the animal is a native only of the Old Continent, and 
rot to be found wild in the New. The best civet, however, is fur- 
nished, as was observed, by the Dutch, though not in such quan- 
tities at present as some years past, when this perfume was more in 
fashion. Civet is a much more grateful perfume then musk, to 
which it has some resemblance, and was sOme years ago used for the 
same purposes in medicine ; but at present it is quite discontinued 
in prescription, and persons of taste or elegance seem to proscribe 
it even from the toilet. Perfumes, like dress, have their vicissitudes ; 
musk was in peculiar repute, until displaced by civet; both gave 
ground, upon discovering the manner of preparing ambergrise ; and 
even this is now disused, for the less powerful vegetable kinds of 
fragrance, spirit* of lavender, or ottar of ri 


Weasel kind. 53 

s to die rest, the civet is said to be a wild fierce animali and 

thoi^h BODielimes tamed, is never thoroughly familiar. Its teeth 

Kitrong and cutting, although its claws be feeble and Qesible. It 

■light and active, and lives by prey, as the reat of its kind, pur- 

ing birds snd other unall animals that it is able to overcome. 

lomelimes seen stealing into the yards and out-houses, to 

upon the poultry ; their eyes shine in the night, and il is very 

mble that they see better in the dark than by day. When Ihey 

■il of animal food, they are found to subsist upon roots and fruits, 

i very seldom drink ; for which reason they are never found near 

it waters. They breed very fast in their native climates, where 

e heat leemB to conduce to their propagation ; but in our temperate 

ititudes, although they furnish their perfume in great quantities, 

yet they are not found to multiply ; a proof that their perfume has 

UD analogy with their appetite for generation. 



ill add but one annual more to this numerous class of the weasel 
namely,theGlutton, which, for several reasons, seems to belong 
this tribe, and this only. We have hitherto had no precise de> 
iptioQ of this quadruped ; some resembling it to a badger> some 
afox, and some to ahyeena. Linneeus places it among the weasels, 
imilitude of its teeth ;. it should seem to me to resemble 
this animal still more, from the great length of its body, and the 
shortness of its legs, from the softness of its fur, its disagreeable 
asent, and its insatiable appetite for animal food. M. Klein, who 
taw one of them which was brought alive from Siberia, assures us, 
that it was about three feet long,* and about a foot and a half high. 
Itve compare these dimensions with those of other animals, wo shall 
And that they approach more nearly to the class we are at present 
describing than any other; and that the glutton may very justly 
be conceived under the form of a great overgrown weasel. Its nose, 
its ears, its teeth, and its long bushy tail, are entirely similar ; and 
n to what Is said of its being rather corpulent than slender, it is 
most probable thai those who described il thus, saw it after eating, 
«-wbich time its belly, we are assured, is most monstrously dis- 
tended : however, suspending all certainty upon this subject, I will 
take leave rather to follow Linneeus than BuSon in describing this 
animal, and leave further experience to judge between them. 

The Glutton, which is so called from its voracious appetite, is ftn 
animal found as well in the north of Europe and Siberia, as in the 
north parts of America, where it has the name of the Carcajou. 
Amidst the variety of descriptions which have been given of it, no 

rll pight iachi^a 1 

I t 


be formed of its Ggure ; and 


its Ggure ; and indeed » 
ralisls, among wjjom was Ray, entirely doubled of its 
From the best accounts, however, we have of it, the body is thick 
and long, the legs short; it is black along the back, and of&reddish- 
brown on the sides ; its fur is held in the highest estimation, for its 
sodness and beautiful gloss; the tail is bushy, like that of the 
weasel-, but rather tihorteri and its legs and claws are better Htled 
for climbing Iree^, tlian for running along tlie ground. Thus far it 
entirely resembles the, weasel ; end its manner of taking its prey is 
also by surprise, and not by pursuit. 

Scarcely any of the animals with short tegs and long bodies pur- 
sue their prey ; but, knowing their own incapacity to overtake it by 
swiftness, either creep upon it in its retreats, or wait in ambush, 
and seize it with a bound. The glutton, from the make ofits legs, 
and the length of its body, must be particularly slofr; and, conse- 
quently, its only resource is in taking its prey by surprise. All the 
rest of tho weasel kind, from the smallness of their size, are better 
fitted for a life of insidious rapine than this; they can pursue their 
prey into its retreats, they can lurk unseen among the branches of 
trees, and hide tliemselves with ease under (lie leaves; but the 
glutton is too large to follow small prey into their I'etreats; nor 
would such, even if obtained, be sufficient to sustain it. For these 
reasons, therefore, this animal seems naturally compelled to the life 
foi' which it has long been remarkable. lis only resource is to climb 
a tree, which it does with great ease, and thero it wails with palieiM 
until some large animal passes underneath, upon which it dar 
with unerring certainly, and destroys it. 

[t is chiefly in North America that this voracious creaturt 
lurking among the thick branches of trees, in order to surprise the 
deer, with which the extensive forests of tliat part of the world 
abound. Endued with a degree of patience equal to its rapticity, 
the glutton singles nut such trees as it observes marked by the teeth 
or the anileraur the deer ; and is known to remain there watching 
for several days together. If it has fixed upon a wrong tree, and 
finds that the deer have either left that part of the country, or cau- 
tiously shun the pliice, it reluctantly descends, pursues the beaver 
to its retreat, or even ventures into the water in pursuit of fishes. 
But if it happens that, by long allentioo and keeping close, at last 
the elk or the rein-deer happens to pass that way, it at once daria 
down upon ihem, slicks ils clavrs between their shoulders, and re» i * 
mains there unaKerably firm, ll is in vain that (he large fiightwIi^H 
animal increases ils speed, or threatens with ils branclnng hornsJi^^H 
the glutton having taken possession of its post, nothing can drive it . .>— 
off: its enormous prey drives rapidly along amongst the thickest 
wood, rubs itself against tlie largest trees, and tears down the 
branches with its expanded horns; but still its insatiable foe sticks 
behind, eating its neck, and digging its passage to the great blood. 
that part. Travellers who wander through ihoi 
pieces of tlie glutton's skin slicking to the tree%'1 



sgainBt which it nu rubbed by tiie deer. Gut the animBl'a voracUj 
\a greater than its feelings, and it never seizes without bringing down 
its prey. When, therefure, the deer, wounded and feeble with the 
loss of blood, falU, the gUitton is seen to make up for its furmer 
abstinence by its present voraeity. As it is not possessed of a feast 
of this kind every day, it resolves to luy in a. store to serve it for & 
good while to come. It is Indeed amazing how much one oftheae 
animQla can eat ai a time I That which was seen by M. Klein, al- 
though without exercise or air, although taken from its native cli- 
mate, and enjoying but an Indilferenl stale of health, was yet seen 
to eat thirteen pounds offiesh eVery day, and yet remain unsatisfied. 
We may, therefore, easily conceive how much more it must devour 
at once, after a long fast, of a food of its own procuring, and in the 
climate most natural to its conBtiUition. We are tokl, accordingly, 
that from being a lank thin animal, which it naturally is, it then 
gorges in such <fuantilies, thai its belly is distended, and its whole 
figure seems to alter. Thus voraciously it continues eating, till, in- 
capable of any other animal function, it lies totally torpid by the 
animal it has killed, and in this situation continues for two or three 
days. In this loathsomeand helpless state it finds its chief protection 
from its horrid smell, which few animals care to come near;* so that 
it continues eating and sleeping till its prey be devoured, bonea and 
sJl; and then it mounts a tree, in quest of another adventure. 

The glutton, like many others of the weasel kind, seems to prefer 
ihe most putrid flesh to that newly killed ; and such is the voracious* 
ness of this hateful creature, that, if its swil^ness end strength were 
equal to its rapacity, it would soon thin the forest of every other 
living creature. Bui fortunately it is so slow, that there is scarcely 
a quadruped that cannot escape it, except the beaver. This, there^ 
fore, it very frequently pursues upon land ; but the beaver generally 
makes good its retreat by taking to the water, where the glutton has 
so chance to succeed. This pursuit only happens in summer ; for 
in winter all thai remains is to attack the beaver's house, as at that 
time it never atirs from home. This attack, however, seldom suc- 
ceeds; for the beaver has a covert way bored under the ice, and 
the glutton has only the trouble and disappointment of sacking an 
«npty town. 

A life of necessity generally produces a good fertile invention, 
The glutton, continually pressed by the call of appetite, end having 
neither swiftness nor activity to satisfy it, is obliged to make up by 
Btnitagem the defects of nature. It is often seen to examine the 
trap) and the snares laid for other animals, in order to anticipate the 
fowlera. It is said to practise a thousand arts to procure its prey; 
to steal upon the retreats of the rein deer, the flesh of which animal 
it loves in preference to all others ; to lie in wait for such animals as 
bave been maimed by the hunters; to pursue the isatis while it is 
ling for itself; and, when that animal has run down its prey, to 




■ LinnDi SfslPn 



come io and seize upon tbe whole, and sometimes to deyour even it« 
poor provider ; when these pui'suits fail, even to dig up the ^ravex, 
and fall upon the bodies interred there, devouring them, bones and 
all. For these reasons, the natives of the countries where the glutton 
inhabits hold it in utter detestation, and nsuallj term it the vulture 
of quadrupeds. And yet it is extraordinary enough, thatbeingsa 
very obnoxious to mart, it does not seem to fear him,* , We are 
told by Gmelin of one of these coming up boldly and calmly where 
there were several persons at work, without lestifying the smallest 
apprehension, or attempting to run, until It had received several 
blows that at last totally disabled it. In all probability it came 
>ng them seeking its prey ; and having been used to attack a 

ipenor t 


mala of inferior strength, it had n 
own. The glutton, like all the rest of its kind, is a s 
and is never seen in company except with its female, with which it 
couples in the midst of winter. The latter goes with young about 
four months, and brings forth two or three at a ttme.-j- They burrow 
in holes as the weasel ; and the male and female are generally found _ 
together, both equally resolute in defence of their young. Updii I 
this occasion, the boldest dogs are afraid to approach them ; th^'B 
fight obstinately, and bile most cruelly. However, as they are una- 
ble to escape by flight, the hunters come to the assistance of the 
dogs, and easily overpower them. Their flesh, it may readily be 
supposed, is not Gt to be eaten ; but the skins amply recompense the 
hunters for their toil and danger, The fur has the most beautiful 
lustre that can be imagined, and is preferred before all others, ex- 
cept that of the Siberian fox or the sable. Among other peculiari- 
ties of this animal, Linmeus informs uB that it is very difficult to be 
ridaned : but from what cause, whether its abominable stench, 
the skin's letiacity to the flesh, he has not thought fit to infon 

• Buffou, ^ t LiDDffii 8y.sti 

[t A variety of this species id Norlh Araerico, called the Woftermw,! 
found near Hudson's Bay, and In CanadH, as far an the Sirails of MichlSi 
makinac. Tliis aaimal ie diatiDgulshad from the glutton by lis auperilM' 
size and col ail r. It hasa black stiarp-polnted vinage ; ahorl rounded ears, 
aliDDsi hid in ibe hairs ; the sides of a yollowiith-brown, which puses In 
form of a band quite over the hind part of the hack, above liie tail ; the 
leglmre very alroBg, thick, andahbrt, of a deep tJlack : the whole body Is 
covered with very long and thick hair, which varies in colour accordfas^ta 
tlieseason; but Ihe fur ofthe glulloo is much, finer, blackfr. and i«au_ 
glossy tTirin llml of Ihn wolverene. By modern nalnralisla Ihey are clBSteil J 
asvariMles of the bear.] 

"Vf^XSEli Kim). 

^^^^K* [EL FtlNNEC. 

A beBDtiful species of weaael, as it is universally considered bj 
ibe Arabians, i» described by Mr. Bruce under ihe name of El Fenabc. 
It is about ten inches long from Ibe anout to llie tail; the tail near 
five inches and a quarter, and about half an inch of it black al (he 
tip. From the point of the fore-shoulder lo the point of the fore-toe 
il is two inches and aeven-ei^hths ; from the occiput to the point of 
the nose, two inches and a half; and the ears are three inches and 
tbf ee-eightha in length, and about an inch and a half in breadth, with 
the cavities very large. They are doubled, and have a plait on the 
outside ; the border of the inside is thick and covered with white soil 
hair, the middle part being bare and of a rose or pink colour. The 
pupil of the eye is Urge and binck, surrounded with a deep blue 
iris; the mustaches are thick and strong: tlie tip of thenoseis very 
sharp, black, and polished. There are four grinders on each side of 
the mouth, six fore-teeth in each jaw, and the upper jaw projected 
beyond the lower one. The canine teeth are large, long, end very 
iharp-pointed ; the legs small, and the feet brood, with four toes 
armed with short, black, sharp retractile claws ; those on the fore-feet 
being sharper than those behind. The whole body of the animal is 
of a dirty white, approaching to cream-colour: the hair of the belly 
rather whiter, longer, and softer than the rest, with a number of papi 
upon it. 

Mr, Bruce obtained one of these animals by means of a Turkish 
foot-soldier returned from Biscara, a southern district of Mauritania 
Ceesariensis, now called the Province of Constantina. According 
to his account, they are not uncommon in this district, though more 
frequently to be met with in the neighbouring date territories of 
Beni Mezab, and Werglab, the residence of the ancient Melano- 
Gtetuli. In the Werglab, the animals are hunted for their skins, 
which are sold at Mecca, and afterwards exported lo India. 
Mr. Bruce kept this one for several months at his country-house near 
Algiers, that he might learn its manners. Its favourite food, he tells 
us, was dates or other sweet fruit, yet it was also very fond of eggs. 
It devoured those ofpigeons and small birds with great avidity when 
first brought to him ; but did not seem to know how to manage hen's 
eggs, though, when they were broken to him, he ate the contents 
with as great avidity as the others. When hungry, he would eat 
bread, especially with honey or sugar. His attention was greatly 
engrossed by the sight of any bird flying across the room where he 
was, or confined in a cage near him, and could not be diverted from 
viewing it by placing biscuit before him ; so that it seems probabli 
that he preys upon them in his wild slate, 
patient of having his ears touched, ao that 
that they could be measured ; and, on a 
il was found impOBsible to count the protuberances or paps 
belly- He seemed very much frightened at the sight of a cat 

VOL, n.— No. XXII. 

was extremely im- 
vitbmnch didiculty 

of this impatience, ^^^ 
es or paps on hii ^^| 
sight of a cat; and ^^H 


endeavoiired to hide himseir, though he did not appear to meditata 
any defence. On (his occa.iion alao be lowered his ears, which at 
other times he kept erect. Notwithstanding his impatienca, he would 
suffer hinige)r, though with difficulty, to be bandied ia the day-lime; 
but ia the night he was extremely restless, always endeavouring to 
make his escape ; and though he did not attempt the wire, yet with 
his sharp teeth he would soon have made hia way through a wooden 
cafe, SI two others which they attempted to bring along with him 
actually did. These animals are very swifl of foot. They build 
(heir nesLs in trees, particularly the palms, of which they eat the 
fruit; feeding alio on locusts and other insects, and perhaps some- 
times preying upon small birds. Its exact place in the zoological 
System has not yet been ascertained, some natBraliite considering 

I it as a species of dog.] Z!^l 



Haviso described in the last chapter a tribe of minute, tierce, 
rapacious Bnimals, I come now to a race of minute animals, of a more 
harmless and gentle bind, that, without being enemies to any, are 
preyed upon by all. As nature has fitted the former for hostility, 
BO il has entirely formed the Utter for evasion ; and as the one bind 
subsist by their courage and activity, so the other find safety from 
their swiftness and their fears. The Hare is the swiftest animal in 

■ the world for the time it continues ; and few quadrupeds can over- 
take even the rabbit when it has but a short way to run. To this 
class also we may add the squirrel, somewhat resembling the hare 
and rabbit in its form and nature, and equally pretty, inoffensive, 
and pleasing. 

If we were^nelhodically to distinguish animals of the hare kind 
from all others, we might say thai they have but two cutting teeth 
above and two below, that they are covered with a soft downy fur, 
and that they have a bushy tail.* The combination of these tnarks 
might perhaps distinguish them tolerably well, whether from the rat, 
the beaver, the otter, or any other most nearly approaching in form. 
But as I have declined all method that rather tends to embarrass 
bistory than enlighten it, I am contented to class these animals toge- 
ther, for no very precise reaaun, but because I find a general re- 
semblance between them in their natural habits, and In the shape of 
their heads and body. I call a squirrel an animal of the hare kind, 
because It is something like a hare. 1 call the Paca of the same 
kind, merely because It is more like a rabbit than any other animal 

^^^k [* This class of aniiaals bave two fore- toe th in each jaw; those in li^^| 

^^^K upper jaw tue double, th< interior ones being imallest.] ^^^1 


1 know of. fa riiort, it ii fit to erect some particular standard in 
the imagination of the reader, to refer bim to game animal that be 
knoWB, in order to direct him in conceiving tbe figure of audi as he 
doei not know. Still, however, he should be apprized, that hia 
knowledge will be defective without an examination of each parti- 
cular species ; and that saying an animal is of this or that particular 
kind, is but a very trifling part of its history. 

Animals of the hare kind, like all uthero that feed entirely upon 
vegelablea, are inoffensive and timorous. As nature furnishes them 
with a most abundant supply, they have not that rapacity after food 
remarkable in such as are olten stinted in their provision. They 
are extremely active, and amazingly swift, lo which they chiefly owe 
their protection ; for being the prey of every voracious animal, they 
are incessantly pursued. The Imre the rabbit, nod the squirrel, are 
placed by Pyerius, in his Treatise of Ruminating Animals, among 
the number of those that chew the cud ; but how far this may be 
true, I will not pretend to determine. Cei'tain it is that their lips 
continually move whether sleeping or waking. Nevertheless, they 
chew their meat very much before they swallow it, and for ibut 
reason I should suppose that it does not wont a second mastication. 
All these animals use their fore-paws like hands ; they are remark- 
ably salacious, and are furnished by nature with more ample powers 
than most others for the business of propagation. They are so very 
prolific, that were they not tliinned by the constant depredations 
made upon them by most other animals, they would quickly overrun 
tbe earth. 


all these, the Hare is the largest, the most persecuted, and the 
timorous; all its muscles are formed for swilXness, and all its 
senses seem only given to direct its flight. It has very large promi- 
nent eyes, placed backwards in its head, so that it can almost see 
behind as it runs. These are never wholly closed ; but as the ani- 
ls continually upon the watch, it sleeps with them open. The 
are still more remarkable for their size ; they are moveable, and 
ible of being directed to every quarter ; so that the smallest 
are readily received, and the animal's motions directed ac- 
owdingly. The muscles of the body are very strong, and without 
fat, so that it may be said to carry no superfluous burden of Hesh 
about it ; the hinder feet are longer than the fore, which still adds to 
the rapidity of Us motions; and almost all animals that are re- 
markable for their speed, except the horse, are formed in the same 

_.iimal so well formed for a life of escape, might be supposed 

enjoy a slate of tolerable security ; but as every rapacious crea- 

" is its enemy, it but very seldom lives out its natural term. 

of all kinds pursue it by instinct, and follow the hare more 



eagerly Ihan any olher animal. The cat and ihe weasel kinds tire 
cantinuallj lying in ambush, and practising all their little aria lo 
leise it ; birds or prey are Klill more dangerous enemies, as against 
them no swiflness can avail, nor retreat secure : bui man, au enemy 
far more power ru I than all, prefers its flesh to that of other animals, 
and destroys greater numbers than all the rest. Thus pursued and 
persecuted on every side, the race wonid long since have been 
totally extirpated, did it not lind a resource in its amazing Tertiliry. 

The hare multiplies exceedingly ; it is in a state of engendering 
at a few months old ; the females go with young but thirty days, 
and generally bring forth three or four at a time.* As soon as they 
have produced their young, they are again ready for conception, and 
thus do not lose any time in continuing the breed. But they are in 
another respect fitted in an extraordinary manner fnr multiplying 
their bind; for the female, from the conformation of her womb, ii 
often seen lo bring forth, and yet to continue pregnant at the same 
lime; or, in other words, to have young ones of different ages in her 
womb together. Other animals never receive the male when preg- 
nant, but bring forth their young at once. But it is frequently 
different with the hare; the female often, though already impreg- 
nated, admitting the male, and thus receiving a second impregnation. 
The reason of this extraordinary circumstance is, that the womb in 
these animals is divided in such a manner that it may be considered 
as a double organ, one side of which may be filled while (he other 
remains empty. Thus these animals may be seen to couple al every 
period of their pregnancy, and, even while they are bringing forth 
young, laying the foundation of another brood. 

The young of these animals are brought forth with (heir eyea 
open, end the dam suckles them for twenty days, after which they 
leave her, and seek out for themselves.t From this we observe, 
that the education these animals receive is but trifling, and the family 
connexion but of a short duration. In the rapacious binds the dam 
leads her young forth for months together; teaches them ihearu of 
rapine; and, although she wants milk to supply them, yet keeps 
them under her care until they are able to hunt for themselves. 
But a long connexion of this kind would be very unnecessary aa well 
as dangerous to the timid animals wo are describing ; their food is- 
easily procured; and their associations, instead of protection, would 
only expose them to their pursuers. Theyseldom, however, separate 
far from each other, or from the place where ihej were produced ; 
but make each a form at some distance, having a predilection rather 
for the place than each other's society. They feed during the night 
rather than by day, choosing the most lender blades of grass, and 
quenching their thirst with the dew. They live also upon roots, 
leaves, fruits, and corn, and prefer such plants as are furnished with 
a milky juice. They also strip the bark off trees during the winter, 
there being scarcely any that ihey will not feed on, except the lin 

• Bufftin, f. 

t j^H 

HARE EINI}. fll 

or Ihe alder. They are particularly fond or bircli, pinkg, and parsley. 
When Ihey are kept tame, ihey arc fed niih lettuce and other 
garden herba; but the fleah of such as are thus brought up is always 

They sleep or repose in iheir forms by day, and may be said to 
live only by night.* It is then that ihey go forth to feed and couple. 
Tbey do not pair, however, but in the rutting season, which begins 
in February ; the male pursues and discovers the female by the 
sagacity of its nose. They are then seen, by moon-light, playing, 
skipping, and pursuing each other; bul Ihe leaBtmoiion,lheBlightest 
breeze, the falling of a leaf, is sufficient lo disturb their revels; they 
inslanlty fly off, and each takes a separate way. As their limbs are 
made for running, they easily outstrip all other animals in the be- 
ginning ; and could they preserve iheir speed, it would be impossible 
to overtake them : but as Ihey exhaust their strength at their first 
efforts, and double back to the place Ihey were started from, ihey 
are more easily taken than the fox, which is a much slower animal 
than they. As their hind-legs are longer than the fore, ihey always 
choose lo turn up-hill, by which the speed of their pursuers is dimi- 
nished, while theirs remains the same. Their motions are also with- 
out any noise, as they have the sole of ihe foot furnished with hair ; 
and they seem the only animals ihat have hair on (he inside of their 

They seldom live above seven or eight years at ihe utmost ; they 
come to their full perfeclion in a year ; and this, multiplied by seven, 
as in other animals, gives ihe extent of iheir lives.t It is said, how- 
ever, ihat ihe females live longer than the males: of this M. Buffon 
makes a doubt; but I am assured that it is so. They pass Iheir 
lives, in our climate, in solitude and silence; and they seldom are 
heard to cry, except when they are seized or wounded. Their voice 
is not HO sharp as ilie note of some other animals, but more nearly ap- 
proaching that of the squalling of a child. They are not so wild as 
their dispositions and their habits seem to indicate; but are of a 
complying nature, and easily susceptible of a kind of education. 
They are easily lamed. They even become fond and caressing, but 
Ihey are incapable of allachment to any particular person, and never 
can be depended upon ; for though taken never so young, they re- 
gain iheir native freedom at the first opportunity. As lliey have a 
ronarkably good ear, end sit upon iheir hind-legs, and use iheir | 

fore-paws as hands, they have been (aught (o beat ihe drum, to dance ^^^ 
to music, and go through the manual exercise. ^^^^ 

But their natural instincts for their preservation, are much more ^^^^ 
extraordinary than (hose artilicial (ricks that are (aught them. They ^^| 
make themselves a form particularly io those places where the colour 
of the grass most resembles that of their skin ; it is open to the south 
in winter, and to the north in summer. The hare, when it hears the 

tistance, flies for some time through a natural impulse, ^l 
* BuffoR, Tol. xiiJ. p. IS. + Ibid. ^^H 



wilhout Di&Da^Qg iu strength, or coasulting anj other means but 
speed for its safely. Having atiaJDed gome bill or rising ground, 
and lefi the dogs ao for behind tbal it no longer hears iheir cries, it 
Btopa, rears on its hinder legs, and at length looks back to see if it 
has not lost its pursuers. Gut these, having once fallen upon (he 
scent, pursue slowly, and with united skill; and the poor animal soon 
again hears the fatal tidings of their approach. Sometimes, when 
■ore hunted, it will start a fresh hare, and squat in the same form ; 
sometimes it will creep under the door of a sheep-cot, and hide amcHig 
the sheep; sometimes it will run among them, and no vigilance can 
drive it from the flack; some will enter holes like the rabbit, which 
the hunlerg call going to vault ; same will go tip one side of the 
hedge, and come down the other ; and it has been known, that a 
hare sorely hunted has got upon the top of a quickset hedge, and 
run a good way thereon, by which it has eficctually evaded the 
hounds. It is no unusual thing also for them to betake themselves 
to furze bushes, and to leap from one to another, by which the dogs 
are frequently misled. However, the firstdoubling a hare makes is 
generally a key to all its future attempts of that kind, the latter 
being exactly like the former. The young hares tread heavier, anil 
leave a stronger scent than the old, because their limbs are weaker; 
and the more this forlorn creature tires, the heavier it treads, and the 
stronger is the scent it leaves. A buck, or male hare, is known by 
its choosing to run upon hard highways, feeding farther from the 
wood sides, and making its doublings of a greater compass than the 
female. The male having made a turn or two about its form, fre- 
quently leads the hounds Hve or six miles on a stretch ; but the 
female keeps close by some covert side, turns, crosses, and winds 
among the bushes tike a rabbit, and seldom runs directly forward. 
In general, however, both male and female regulate their conduct 
according to the weather. In a moist day they hold by the high- 
ways more than at any other time, because the scent is then strongest 
upon tlie grass. If they come to the side of a grave or spring, they 
forbear to enter, but squat down by the side thereof, until the hounds 
have overshot them ; and then, turning along their former path, 
make to their old form, from which they vainly hope for pr<>> 

Hares areidlvided, by the hunters, into mountain and measled 
hares. The former are more swift, vigorous, and hare their flesh 
better tasted; the latter chiefly frequent the marshes, when hunted 
keep among low grounds, and their flesh is moist, white, and flabby. 
When the male and female keep one particular spot, they will not 
aufier any strange hare In make its form in the same quarter ; so 
that it is usually said, that the more you hunt, the more hares you 
shall have ; for, having killed one hare, others come and lake pos- 
session of its form. Many of these animab are found to live in 
woods and thickets ; but they are naturally fonder of the open coun- 
try, and are constrained only by fear to take shelter in places that 
aUcrd them neither a warm sun, nor an agreeable pasture. They 


are, therefore, unialiy eeen stealing out of the edgei of the wctod, to 
taste the gras§ that grows shorter aod iweeler in the open fields than 
under Ihe shade of the trees; hoveTer, ibey seldom miss of being 
pursued, and erery excursion is a new adventure. They are shot at 
by poachers; traced by their footsteps in the snow; caught in 
springes; dogs, birds, and caia, are all combined against them; ants, 
snakes, and adders, drive them from their forms, especially in sum- 
mer ; even fleas, from which most other animals are free, persecute 
this poor creature ; and so various are its enemieg, that it is seldom 
permitted to reach even that short term to which it is limited by 

The soil and climate have their influence upon (hisanimal, aa well 
BB on most others. In the countries bordering on llie north pole, 
they become while in winter, and are often seen in great troops of 
four or fife hundred, running along the banks of the river Irtish, or 
the Jenlsea, and are white as llie snow they tread on. They are 
caught in traps, for the sake of their skins, which, on the spot, are 
sold for less than seven shillings a hundred. Theirfnris well known 
to form a considerable article in the hat manufacture; and we 
accordingly import vast quanlilies of it from those countries where 
tile hare abounds in euch plenty. They are found also entirely 
black, but these in much less quantities than the former ; * and even 
some have been seen with horns, though these but rarely. + 

The hares of the hot countries, particularly in Italy, Spain, and 
Barbary, are smaller than ours : those bred iu the Milanese country 
are said to be the best in Europe.^ There is scarcely a country 
where this animal is not to be found, from the torrid zone lo the 
neighbourhood of the polar circle. The natives of Guinea knock 
them on the head as they come down to the sides of the rivers to 
drink. They also surround the place where they are seen in num- 
bers, and clattering a short stick, which every man carries, against 
that which the person next him carrieii, they diminish their circle 
gradually, till the hares are cooped up in the midst. They then all 
together throw their sticks in among them, and with such deadly 
force, that they seldom fail of killing great numbers at a time,| 

The flesh of this animal has been esteemed as a delicacy among 
some nations, and is held in detestation by others. The Jews, the 
ancient Britons, and the Mahometans, all consider it as an unclean 
animal, and religiously abstained from it. On the contrary, there 
are scarcely any other people, however barbarous at present, that do 
not consider it as the most agreeable food. Fashion seems lo pre- 
Mde and govern ail the senses ; what mankind at one time consider 

as beautiful, fragrant, or savoury, may al another time, or among 

other nations, be regarded as deformed, disgustful, or ill tasted. ^H 

■ Kleiu, Di9p. QuBdrup. p. 5tl. ^^H 

Lt JohnstDn cIb QoBdnip. lib. ii. cap. 2. ^^H 

t Dictionaalre RuBoniid, Litort. ^^^M 

§ Hist. Gen. des Voyages, torn. iv. p. 171. ^^M 


Tbat flesh which the ancient rtamana so much admired bb (o call it 
(he food of the wise, was, among ilie Jews and the Druids, thought 
unlit to be eaten; and even the maderna, who, like the Romans, 
consider the flesh of this animal as a delicacy, have very different 
ideas as to dressing it. With us it is simply served up without much 
seasoning; but Apicius shewa us the manner of dressing a 
" ' ' parsley, rice, vinegar, i 

ing seed, and 


true Roman t 

[The Varying Hare has soft hair, which in summer is grey, with 
a slight mixture of black and tawny : the ears are shorter, and the 
legs more slender, than those of the common hare ; the tail Is entirely 
while, even in summer; and the feet are more closely and warmly 
furred, iu winter, the whole animal changes to a snowy whiteness, 
except the tips and edges of the ears, which remain black, as are the 
soles of the feet, on which, in Siberia, the fur is doubly thick, and of 
a yellow colour. It is less than the common species. — These animals 
inhabit the highest Scottish Alps, Norway, Lapland, Russia, Siberia, 
Kamtschatka, and the banks of the Wolga and Hudson's Bay. In 
Scotland, they keep on the tops of the highest hills, and never 
descend into the vales ; nor do they ever mix with the common hare, 
though these abound In their neighbourhood. They do not run fast ; 
and are apt to lake shelter in clefts of rocks. They are easily 
tamed, and are full of frolic. This species changes its colour in 
September; resumes its grey coat in April; and in the extreme cold 
of Greenland only is always while. They collect together, and are 
seen in troops of five or six hundred, migrating in spring, and return- 
ing in autumn. They are compelled to this by the want of subsis- 
tence ; quitting in the winter the lufiy hills, and seeking the plains 
and wooded parts, where vegetables abound ; and in spring they 
again seek the mountainous quarters. 

The American Hare, or hedge-coney, has the ears tipt with grey ; 
the upper part of the tail is black, the lower white; the neck and 
body are miscd with cinereous, rust colour, and black ; the legs ere 
of fl pale ferruginous colour; and the belly is white : the fore- 1 eg* 
are shorter, and the hind-legs longer, in proportion, tlian those of 
the common hare. In length it is eighteen inches ; and weighs 
from three to four and a half pounds. This species inhabits all part» 
of North America. In New Jersey, and the colonies south of that 
province, it retains its colour the whole year. In New England, 
Canada, and about Hudson's Bay, at the approach of winter, it 
changes its short summer's fur for one very long, silky, and silvery, 
even to the roots of the hair; the edges of the ears only preserving 
their colour. 

The Baikal Here has a tail longer than that of a rabbit; and the 
ears are longer in the male in proportion than those of the varying 
hare : the fur is of the colour of the common hare ; and the siie, 
between that of the common and the varying hare. It inhabit! t he 

Hinc KIND. 05 

r beyond Lnke Baikal, and extends tlirough lljs QreatGobee, 

i Thibet. It agrees with the common rabbit in colour of the 
flesh ; but does not burrow, running instantly (without taking a ring 
as lite common hare does), for shelter, when pursued, into holes of 
rocks. The fur is bad, and of no use in commerce. 

The Cape hare has long ears dilated in the middle ; the outsidea 
naked, and of a rose colour, the inside and edges covered with short 
grey hairs ; the crown and back are of a dusky colour, mised with 
tawny ; the cheeks and sides cinereous : the breast, belly, and legs, 
rust coloured; the tail is bushy, carried upwards, and of a pule 
ferro^nous colour. The animal is about the size of a rabbit. It 
inhabits the country three days north of the Cape of Good Hope, 
where it is called the Mountain Hare, for it lives only in the rocky 
mountains, and does not burrow. It is difScult to shoot it, as 
it instantly, on the sight of any one, runs into the Ossurea of the 

The Alpine Hare has short, broad, rounded ears; a long head, 
and very long whiskers, with two very long hairs above each eye: 
the colour of the fur at the bottom is dusky, towards the ends of a 
bright ferruginous colour ; the tips while, "and intermixed with several 
long dusky hairs, though on first inspection the whole seems of a 
bright bay. The length of the animal is nine inches. This species 
is first seen on the Altaic chain ; extends to Lake Baikal ; from 
thence to Kamtschalka ; and, as is fiaid, is found in the newly dis- 
covered Fox or AleulioQ Islands. They inhabit always i!ie middle 
region of the snowy mountains, in the rudest places, wooded and 
abounding with herbs and moisture. They sometimes form burrows 
between the rocks, and oflener lodge in the crevices. They are 
generally found in pairs) but in cloudy weather they collect toge- 
ther, lie on the rocks, and give a keen whistle, so like that of a 
sparrow as to deceive the hearer. By wonderful instinct they make 
a provision against the rigorous season in their inclement seats. A 
company of them, towards autumn, collect together vast heaps of 
choice herbs and grasses, well dried, which they place either beneath 
the over-hanging rocks, or between the chasms, or round the trunk 
of some tree. The way to these heaps is marked by a wwn path. 
In many places the herbs appear scattered, as if to be dried in the 
mn, and harvested properly. The heaps are formed like round or 
conoid ricks, and are of various sizes, according to the number of 
the society employed in forming them. They are sometimes of a 
man's height, and many feet in diameter, but usually about three 
feet. Without this proviaion of winter's stock they must perish, 
being prevented by the depth of snow from quitting their retreats in 
quest of food. They select the best of vegetables, and crop them 
wfaeD-in the fullest vigour, which they make into the be^t and greenest 
h»y by the judicious manner in which they dry it. These ricks are 
the origin of fertility amidst the rocks; for the retiques, mixed with 
the dung of the animals, rot in the barren chasms, and create a soil 
Thesa ricks are also of great service to 



those people who devote ihemselves to ihe laborious employmeat of 
sable-liunling; for being obliged lo go far from home, their horses 
would often perish for want if they had not the provision of these 
little indiiBlrious snimala to Biipport them; which is easily to be dis- 
covered by their height aqd form, even when covered with snow. It 
is far ihia reason that this little creature has a name among every 
Siberian and Tartarian oation, which otherwise would have been 
overlooked and despised. The people of Jakutz are said to feed 
both their horses and cattle with the reliquea of the winter stock of 
these hares. The^e animals are neglected as a food by mankind, 
but are the prey of sables and the Siberian weasel, which are joint 
inhabitants of the mountains. They are likewise greatly infested by 
a sort of gadfly, which lodges its egg in their skin in August and 
September, and often proves destructive to them. 

The Calling Hare has a long head, thickly covered with fur, even 
lo the tip of the nose; numerous hairs in the whiskers; ears krga 
and rounded; legsvery short,and thesoles furred beneath : ilswhole 
coal is very soft, long, and smooth, with a thick, long, fine down 
beneath, of a brownish lead-colour; the hairs areof thesemecoloufr 
towards the ends of a light grey, and tipt with black : the tower part 
of the body is hoary: thu sides and ends of the fur are yellowish. 
The length of the animal is about six inches. This speeiei inhabits 
the south-east parts of Russia, and about all the ridge of hills spread- 
ing southward from the Uralhan chain ; also about the Irtish, and in 
the west part of the Altaic chain ; but no where in the east beyond 
theOby. Tfaey delight in the most sunny valleys andherby hills, ea- 
|>ecially near the edges of woods, lo which they run on any alarm. 
They live in so concealed a manner as very rarely to be seen ; but 
are often taken in winter in the snares laid for the ermine, so are 
well known to the hunters. They choose for Iheir habitations a dry 
spot, amidst bushes covered with a firm sod, preferring the western 
sides of the hills. In these they burrow, leaving a very small hole 
for the entrance, and forming long galleries, in which they make 
their nests. Those of the old ones and females are numerous and 
intricate, so that their place would be scarcely known but for their 
excrements, and even those they drop, by a wise instinct, under 
some bush, lest their dwelling should be discovered by their enemies 
among the animal creation. Their voice alone betrays their abode; 
it is like the piping of a quail, but deeper, and so loud as to be heaid 
at the distance of half a German mile.] _^h 


The Hare and the Rabbit, though so very nearly resembling each 
other in form and disposition, are yet distinct kinds, as they refuse 
to mix with each other. M. Buffon bred up several of both kinds 
in the same place; but from being at first indiflerenl, they soon be- 
came enemies, and their combats were generally continued until oittt 


oTthem was disabled or destroyed. However, though these expe- 
riments were not attended with success, I am assured that nothing is 
more frequent than an animal bred between these two, but which, 
like the mule, is marked with sterility. Nay, it has been actually 
known that the rabbit couples with animals of a much more distant 
nature ; and there is at present, in the Museum at Brussels, a creature 
covered with feathers and hair, and said to be bred between a rabbit 
and a hen. 

The fecundity of the rabbit is still greater than that of the hare ; 
and if we should calculate the produce from a single pair, in one 
year, the number would be amazing. They breed seven times a 
year, and bring forth eight young ones each time. On a supposition, 
therefore, that this happens regularly, at the end of four years a 
couple of rabbits shall see a progeny of almost a million and a half. 
From hence we might justly apprehend being overstocked by their 
increase; but, happily for mankind, their enemies are numerous, and 
their nature inoffensive; so that their destruction bears a near pro- 
portion to their fertility. 

But although their numbers be diminished by every beast and bird 
of prey, and still more by man himself, yet there is no danger of their 
extirpation. The hare is a poor defenceless animal, that has nothing 
but its swiflness to depend on for safety : its numbers are, therefore, 
every day decreasing; and in countries that are well peopled, the 
species are so much kept under, that laws are made for their pre- 
servation. Still, however, it is most likely that they will be at last 
totally destroyed ; and like the wolf or the elk in some countries, 
be only kept in remembrance. But it is otherwise with the rabbit, 
its fecundity being greater, and its means of safety more certain. 
The hare seems to have more various arts and instincts to escape its 
pursuers, by doubling, squatting, and winding ; the rabbit has but 
one art of defence alone, but in that one finds safety^ by making 
itself a hole, where it continues a great part of the day, and breeds 
up its young : there it continues secure from the fox, the hound, the 
kite, and every other enemy. 

Nevertheless, though this retreat be safe and convenient, the rabbit 
does not seem to be naturally fond of keeping there. It loves the 
sunny field, and the open pasture ; it seems to be a chilly animal, 
and dislikes the coldness of its under-ground habitation. It is, there- 
fore, continually out, when it does not fear disturbance , and the 
female often brings forth her young at a distance from the warren, in 
a hole not above a foot deep at the most. There she suckles them 
for about a month ; covering them over with moss and grass when- 
ever she goes to pasture, and scratching them up at her return. It 
has been said, indeed, that this shallow hole without the warren is 
made lest the ms^le should attack and destroy her young ; but I have 
seen the male himself attend the young there, lead them out to feed,^ 
and conduct them back upon the seturn of the dam. This external 
retreat seems a kind of country-house, at a distance from the general 
habitation ; it is usually made near some spot df excellent pasture^ 


or in the midst of k field of sprouting com. To this both male and 
female often retire from the warren, lend ibeir young by night to the 
food which lies eo conveaient, and, if not disturbed, continue there 
till they are grown up. There they find a greater variety ofpasture 
than near the warren, which is generally ealen bare ; and enjoy a 
warmer sun, by covering themselves up in a shallower hole. When- 
ever they are disturbed, they then forsake their retreat of pleasm-e 
for one of safely ; they fly to the warren with their utmost speed, 
and if the way be short, there is scarcely any dog, how swift soever, 
that can overtake them. 

Bnt it does not always happen that these animals are poosessed of 
one of these external apartments ; they most usually bring forth 
their yoimg in the warren, but always in a hole separate from the 
male. On these occasions, the female digs herself a hole," different 
from the ordinary one by being more intricate, at the bottom of 
which she makes a more ample apanment. This done, she pulls ofiT 
n'om her belly a good quantity of her hair, with which she makes a 
kind of bed for her young. During the two first days she never 
leaves them ; and does not stir out but to procure nourishment, which 
she takes with the utmost dispatch ; in this manner suckling her 
young for near six weeks, until they are strong, and able to go abroad 
themselves. During all this time, the male seldom visits their sepa- 
rate apartment ; but when they are grown up, so as to come to the 
mouth of the hole, he then seems to acknowledge them as his off- 
spring, takes them between his pawK, smooths their skin, and licks 
their eyes : all of tliem, one afler the other, have an equal share in 

Jn this manner the rabbit, when wild, consults its pleasure and its 
safely; but those that ore bred up tame do not take the trouble of 
digging a hole, conscious, of being already protected. It has also 
been observedjt that when people, to make a warren, stock it with 
tame rabbits, these animals, having been unaccustomed to the art of 
scraping a hole, continue exposed to the weather, and every other 
aucident, without ever burrowing. Their immediate ofispring, also, 
are equally regardless of tlieir safely; and it is not till after two or 
three generations that these animals begin to find the necessity and 
convenience of an asylum, and practise an art which they could only 
learn from nature. 

Rabbits of the domestic breed, like all other animals that are under 
the protection of man, are of various colours ; white, brown, black, 
and mouse colour. The block are the must scarce; the brown, 
white, and mouse colour, are in greater plenty. Most of the wild 
rabbits are of a brown, and it is the colour which prevails among the 
species ; for in every nest of rabbits, whether the parents be black 
or while, there are some brown ones (bund of the number, But in 
England there are many warrens stocked with ihe mouse coloured 
kinds, which some say came originally from an island i 

I the nv^^_ 


whkh still cominue their uriginal c 


I lumber, and n 

number of successive generations. A gentleman* 
rabbits for his amusement, gives tlie TollQwing account of their pro- 
duction : " I began," says he, " by having but one raole and female 
only i the male was entirely white, and the female brown ; but, in 
their posterity, the number of the brown by far exceeded those of 
any other colour : there were some white, some parly-coloured, atid 
some black. It is surprising how much the descendants were obedient 
and submisHve to their common parent ; he was easily dLslmguished 
from the rest by his superior whiteness; and, however numerous the 
other males were, this kepi them all in wibjection. Whenever they 
quarrelled among each other, either for their females or provisions, 
as soon as he heard the noise he ran up to them with all dispatch ; 
and, upon his appearance, alt was instantly reduced to peace and 
order. If he caught any of them ia the fact, be instantly punished 
them, as an example to the rest. Another instance of hissuperio- 
rity was, that having accustomed them to come to mc with the call 
of a whistle, the instant the signal was given, I saw hira marshallipfr 
them up, leading them the foremost, and then suffering them all lo 
file off before him." 

The rabbit,f though less ihan the hare, generally lives longer. 
Ab these animals pass the greater part of their lives in their burrow, 
where titey continue at ease and unmolested, they have nothing to 
prevent the regularity of their health, or the due course of their nou- 
nshment. They are, therefore, generally found fatter than the hare ; 
but their Aesh is, notwithstanding, much less delicate. That of the 
old ones, in particular, is hard, tough, and dry ; but it is said, that 
in warmer countries they are better tasted. This may very well be, 
u the rabbit, though so very plentiful in Great Britain and Ireland. 
is nevertheless a native of the warmer climates, and has been origi- 
nally imported into these kingdoms from Spain. In that country, 
and in some of the islands in the Mediterranean, we are told that 
they unce multiplied in such numbers as to prove the greatest 
nuisance to the natives. They at first demanded military aid to de- 
stroy them; but soon after they called in the assistance of ferrets, 
which originally came from Africa, and these, with much more ease 
and expedition, contrived to lessen the calamity. In fact, rabbiu are 
found to love a warm climate, and to be incupable of bearing the 
cold of the north ; so that in Sw^leu they are obliged to be littered 
b the houses. It is otherwise in all the tropical climates, where 
they are estremely common, and where they seldom burrow, as with 
us. The English counties that are most noted for these animals, 
are Lincolnshire, Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire. They delight it 
grounds of a saudysoil, which are warmer than those of clay, ant 
which also furnish a Kofter and jiner pasture. 

The tame rabbits are larger than the wild ones, from their taking 
more nourishment and using less exercise : but their flesh is not so 

► M. Moil 

> M. Bi>(Vi>n 




good, being more insipid, and goRer. Jn order lo improvi 

are chieli; fed upon bran, and are sLinted in their water; for, 

indulged in too great a plenty ormoint food, they are apt, as the 

feeders express it, to grow rotten. The hair or fur is a very useful 

commodity, and is employed in England for several purposes, ns 

well when the skin is dressed with it on. as when it is pulled oS*. 

The skins, especially the white, are osued for lining clothes, and are 

considered as a cheap imitation of ermine. The skin of the male is 

usually preferred, as being ihe most lasting, but it 

on Ihe belly in either sex, is the best and finest. Btit the chief am- 

made of rabbits' fur, is in the manufacture ofhats; it is always mixi 

in certain proportions, with the fur of the beaver 

give the latter more strength and consistence. 

The Syrian rabbit, like all other animals bred in that country, is 
remarkable for the length of its hair : it falls along the sides in wavy- 
wreaths, and is, in some places, curled at the end, like wool: it is 
shed once a-year in large masses ; and it often happens that the rab- 
bit, dragging a part of its robe on the ground, appears as if it had 
got another leg, or a longer tail. There are no rabbits naturally 
in America ; however, those that have been carried from Europe are 
found to multiply in the West India islands in great abundance. In 
other parts of thai continent they have animals that in some measure 
resemble the rabbits of Europe: and which most European travellers 
have often called hares or rabbits, as they happened to be large or 
small. Their giving them even the name will be a sufficient excuse 
for my placing them among animals of the hare kind ; although Ihey 
may differ in many of tlie most essential particulars. But before we 
go to the new continent, we will Urst examine such as beai 
distant resemblance to the hare kind at home. 



There are few readers that are not as well acquainted w 
figure of a squirrel as that of the rabbit; but supposing it un 
to any, we might give them some idea of its form, by comparit 
a rabbit, with shorter ears, and a longer tail. The tail, indeea, is 
alone siiflicienl to distinguish it from all others, as it is extremely 
long, beautiful, and bushy, spreading like u fan, and which, when 
thrown up behind, covers the whole body. This serves the little 
animal for a double purpose ; when erecte<t, it serves, like an um- 
brella, as a secure protection from the injuries of the heat and cold; 
tand when extended, it is very instrumental in promoting those vast 
leaps thai the squirrel takes from tree lo tree; nny, some assert that 
it answers still a third purpose, and when the squirrel takes to the 
water, which it sometimes does upon a piece of bark, thi " '" '""' 
serves it instead ofa sail.* 
: . : 
\ ■ -ifc 


bark, that its tail 



^There are few wild aniniBb in which there are so many varietiei 
n ihe squirrel.* The common iquirrel ia ol' the size of s small 
rabbit, and is rather of a more reddirfi- brown. The belly and breast 
are white ; and the ears beautifully arnamented with long tufls of 
hair, of a deeper colour than lliat on the body. The eyes are large, 
black, and lively ; the legs are short and muscular, like those of the 
rabbit ; but the loes longer, and the claws sharper, so as to fit it for 
climbing. When it eais, or dresses itself, it sits erect, hbe the hare 
or rabbit, making use of its fore-legs as hands; and chiefly resides 
in trees. The g'ty Virgiuian sqtfirrel, which M. Butfon calls the 
Petil Gris, is larger than a rabbit, and of a greyish colour, lu 
body and limbs are thicker than those of the common squirrel ; and 
ils ears are shorter, and without tufis at the point. The upper part 
of the body, and external part of the legs, are of a fine whitish grey, 
with a beautiful red sireak on each side lengthways. The tail is 
covered with very long grey hair, variegated with black and white 
towards the extremity. This variety seems to be common to both 
continents, and in Sweden is seen to change colour in winter. The 
Barbary squirrel, of which M. Buffon makes three varielies, is of a 
mixed colour, between red and black. Along the sides there are 
white and brown lines, which render this animal very beautiful ; but 
what still adds to its elegance is, that Ihe belly is of a sky blue sur* 
rounded with white. Some of these hold up the tail erect, and others 
throw it forward over their body. The Siberian white xtjairrel is of 
the size of a common squirrel. The Carolina black squirrel is 
much bigger than the former, and sometimes lipt with white at all 
the extremities. The Brasilian squirrf', which M. Buffon calls tlie 
Co^ua/ZiR, is a beautiful animal of this kind, and very remarkable 
^ r the variety of its colours. Its belly is of a bright yellow; ils 
1 and body variegated with white, black, brown, and orange 
It wanUi the tufis at the extremity of its ears ; and does not 
es, as moBi of the kind are seen to do. To this list may 
be added ihe Utile giound squirrel of Carolina, of a reddish colour, 
and blackish stripes on each side ; and, like the former, not delight- 
ing in trees. Lastly, the tqvirrel of Sexa Spain, which is of a deep 
iron-grey colour, with seven longitudinal whitish streaks along the 
sides of the male, and live along those of the female. As for the 
flying squirrels, they are of a distinct kind, and shall be treated of 
by themselves. 

These, which 1 suppose to be but a few of the numerous varieties 
of the squirrel, suSiciently serve to show how extensively this animal 
is diffused over all parts of the world. U is not to be supposed, 
however, that every variety is capable of sustaining every climate ; 
for few animals are so tender, or so lillle able to endure a change of 
abode, as this. Those bred in the tropical climates will only live 
Dear a warm sun ; while, on the contrary, the squirrel of Siberia will 






■carcely endure the temperature of ours. These varietieti dt) not 
only dilTer in their constitutions and colour, but in their dispositions 
also; for while some live on the lops of treee, others feed, like rab- 
bilfi, on vegetables below. Whether any of these, so variously 
coloured, and so diflerently disposed, would breed among each other, 
we cannot lell ; and since, therefore, we are left in uncertainly upon 
this point, we are at liberty cither to consider each as a distinct spec ies 
by itself, or only a variety that accident might have originally pro- 
duced, and that the climate or soil might have conllnned. For my 
own part, as the original character of the squirrel is so strongly 
marked upon them all, I cannot help considering (hem in the latter 
point of view — rather as the common descendants of one parent, than 
originally formed with such distinct similitudes. 

The squirrel is a beautiful little animal,*' which is but half savage; 
and which, from the gentleness and innocence of its manners, 
deserves our protection. It is neither carnivorous Dor hurtful ; its 
usual food is fruits, nuts, and Qcorna ; it is cleanly, nimble, active, and 
industrious; its eyes arc sparkhng, and its physiognomy mariced 
with meaniog. It generally, like the hare and rabbit, sits up on its 
hinder legs, and uses the fore-paws as hands; these have five cla.w8 
or toes, as they are called, and one of them is separated from the 
rest like a thumb. This animal seems to approach the nature of 
birds, from its lightness, and surprising agility on the tops of trees. 
It seldom descends to the ground, except in case of storms, but 
jumps from one branch to another; feeds, in spring, on the buds 
and young shoots ; insummer, on the ripening fruits, and particularly' 
the young cones of the pine tree. In autumn it has an extensive 
variety to feast upon ; the acorn, the filbert, the chesnut, and the 
wilding. This seaaon of plenty, however, is not spent in idle enjoy- 
ment: the provident little animal gathers at that time its provisions 
for the winter; and cautiously foresees the season when the forest 
shall be stripped of its leaves and fruitage. 

Ita nest is generally formed among the large branches of a great 
tree, where they begin to fork off into small ones. After choosing 
the place where the timber begins to decay, and a hollow may the 
more easily be formed, the squirrel begins by making a kind of a 
level between the forks; and then, bringing moss, twigs, and dry 
leaves, it binds them together with great art, so as to resist the most 
violent storm. This is covered up on all sides, and has but a single 
opening at lop, which is just large enough to admit the little animal ; 
and this opening is itself defended from the weather by a kind of 
canopy, made in the fashion of a cone, so that it throws off the rain, 
though never bo heavy. The neat thus formed, with a very little 
opening above, is, nevertheless, very commodious and roomy below; 
cu 11, well knit together, and every way convenient end warm. In 
this retreat the little animal brings forth its young, shelters itself 
from the scorching heat of the sun, which it seems to fear.snd fn)i 


I ear, snd i[0^^_ 


(he stditiM and inclemency of winter, which it i« still less capable of 
supporting. Its provision of nuts and acorns is seldom in its nest, 
hot in the hollows of the tree, laid up carefully together, and never 
touched but in cases of necessity. Thus one single tree serves for a 
retreat and a storehouse; and without leaving it during the winter, 
the squirrel possesses all those enjoyments that its nature is capable 
of receiving. But it sometimes happens that its little mansion is 
attacked by a deadly and powerful foe. The martin goes oAen in 
quest of a retreat for its young, which it is incapable of making for 
itself: for this reason it fixes upon the nest of a squirrel, and, with 
double injustice, destroys the tenant, and then takes po8ses9ion of 
the mansion. 

However, this is a calamity that but seldom happens; and, of all 
other animals, the squirrel leads the most frolicsome playful life ; 
being surrounded with abundance, and having few enemies to fear. 
They are in heat early in the spring ; when, as a modern naturalist 
says,* it is very diverting to see the female feigning an escape from 
the pursuit of two or three males, and to observe the various proofs 
which they give of their agility, which is then exerted in fdll force. 
Nature seems to have been particular in her formation of these ani- 
mals for propagation ; however, they seldom bring forth above four 
or five young at a time, and that but once a year. The time of their 
gestation seems' to be about six weeks ; they are pregnant in the 
beginning of April, and bring forth about the middle of May. 

Thq squirrel is never found in the open fields, nor yet in copses 
or underwoods; it always keeps in the midst of the tallest trees, and, 
as much as possible, shuns the habitations of men. It is extremely 
watch All : if the tree in which it resides be but touched at the bottom, 
the squirrel instantly takes the alarm, quits its nest, at once fiies off 
to another tree, and thus travels, with great ease, along the tops of 
the forest, until it finds itself perfectly out of danger. In this man- 
ner it continues for some hours at a distance from home, until the 
alarm be passed away ; and then it returns, by paths that to all 
quadrupeds but itself are utterly impassable. Its usual way of 
moving is by bounds : these it takes from one tree to another, at 
forty feet distance ; and if at any time it is obliged to descend, it 
mnsup the side of the next tree with amazing facilityr It has an 
extremely sharp piercing note, which most usually expresses pain ; 
it has another, more like the purring of a cat, which k'employs when 
pleased ; at least it appeared so in that from whence I have taken 
a part of this description. 

In Lapland, and the extensive forests to the north; th^ squirrels 
are observed to change their habitation, and to remove in vast num. 
bers from one country to another. In these migrations they are 
^nerally seen by thousands, travelling directly forward; while 
neither rocks, forests, nor even the broaaest waters, can stop their 
progress. What I am going to relate appears so extraordiuaryt that 

♦ British Zoolo^. 
VOL. II. — No. XXIII. K 



were it not attested by numbers of the most credible historiAiia, among 
whom are Klein and Linnseus, it might be rejected with thai scorn 
with which we treat imposture or credulity ; however, nothing can 
be more true than ihat when these animals, in their progress, meet 
with broad rivers, or esletisive lakes, which abound in Lapland, they 
take a very extraordinary meihod of crossing them , Upon approach- 
ing the banks, and perceiving the breadth of the water, they return, 
as if by common consent, into the neighbouring forest, each in quest 
of a piece of bark, which answers all the purposes of boats for waft- 
ing [hem over. When the whole company are fitted in this manner, 
they boldly commit their little fleet to the waves; every squirrel 
sitting on its own piece of bark, and fanning the air with its tail, to 
drive the vessel to its desired port. In this orderly manner they set 
forward, and ol\en croits lakes several miles broad. But it too often 
happens that the poor mariners are not aware of thedangersoftheir 
navigation ; for although at the edge of the water it is generally 
calm, in the midst it is always more turbulent. There the slightest 
additional gust of wind oversets the little sailor and his vessel toge- 
tiier. The whole navy, that but a few minutes before rode proudly 
and securely along, is now overturned, and a shipwreck of two or 
three tliousand sail ensues. This, which is so unfortunate for the 
little animal, is generally the most lucky accident in the world for 
the Laplander on the shore ; who gathers up the dead bodies as (hey 
are thrown in by the waves, eats the flesh, and sells the skins for 
about a shilling the dozen.* 

The squirrel is easily tamed, and it is (hen a very familiar animal. 
It loves to lie warm, and wilt often creep into a man's pocket or his 
bosom. It is usually kept in a box, and fed with hazelnuts. Some find 
amusement in observing with what ease it bites the nut open, and 
eats the kernel. In short, it is a pleasing pretty little domestic ; and 
its tricks and habitudes may serve to entertain a mind unequal to 
itnmger operations. 

Mr. Ray was justly of opinio 
more properly be said to be of the 
than in other squirrels, and its cole 
former. However, as mankind ha 
the squirrels, it is scarcely worth 
favour. This little animal, whic 

£ngland, is less than a common squirrel, and bigger tTian a field 
mouse. Its skin is very soft, and elegantly adorned with a dark fur 
io some places, and light grey in others. ll has large prominent 
black and very sparkling eyes, small ears, and very sharp teeth, 
with which il gnaws any thing quickly. When it does not leap, ' 

that the Flying Squirrel might 
'. kind, because its fur is shorter 
) also more nearly approach the 
been content to class it among 
aking a new distinction in ila 
frequently brought over to 

• O^utrMde Regnard. 

Joes not leap, H^^^ 


tail, which Is pretty enough, lies close to ita back ; but when it lokei 
iti spring, the tail is moved bacltwarda and forwards from side lo 
side. It is said lo partake somewhat of the nature of the squirrel, 
of the rat, and of the dormouse ; but that in which it is distinguished 
front all other animals, is its peculiar conformation for taking those 
leaps that almost look like flying. It is Indeed amaiing to see it, 
at cue bound, dart above a hundred yards from one tree to another. 
They are assisted in this spring by a very peculiar formation of the 
skin that extends from the fore-feet to the hinder ; so that when the 
animal stretches i's fore-legs forward, and its hind-legs backward, 
ihis skin is spread out between them, somewhat like that between 
the legs of a bat. The surface of the body being thus increased, the 
little animal keeps buoyant in the air until the force of its first im- 
pulsion is expired, and then it descends. This skin, when the 
creature Is at rest, or walking, continues wrinkled up on its sides; 
but when its limbs are extended, it forms a kind of web between 
them of above an inch broad on eilher side, and gives the whole body 
the appearance of a skin floating in the air. In this munner, lite 
flying squirrel changes place, not like a bird, by repealed strukes of 
iu wings, but rather like a paper kite, supported by the expansion 
of ihe surface of its body; but with ihis difference, however, that 
being naturally heavier than the air. Instead ofmounling it descends ; 
and that jump which upon the ground would not be above forty 
yards, when from a higher tree to a lower, may bo above a hundred. 
This little animal is more common in America than in Europe, but 
not very commonly to be seen in either. It is usually found, like 
the squirrel, on the tops of trees ; but, though belter fitted for lenp- 
ing, it is of a more torpid disposition, and is seldom seen to exert its 
powers; so that it is of^en seized by the polecat and Ihe martin. It 
is easily tamed, but apt to break away whenever it lindsan oppor- 
tunity. It does not seem fond of nuts or almonds, like other squirrels, 
but is chiefly pleased with the sprouts of the birch, and the cones of 
the pine. It is fed in its tame slate with bread and fruits ; ll gene- 
rally sleeps by day, and is always most active by niglil. Somo 
naturalists gravely caution us not to let it get among our corn -field n, 

I^ere they tell us it will do a great deal of damage, by cropping 
flM com as soon as It begins to ear ! * 


From the description of the squirrel and its 
to a different tribe ofanimals, no way indeed te 
hut still aometliing like the rabbit and the har 
these two animals still in view, as tlie centre o 

varieties, we proceed 
seuihling the squirrel, 
;. We are to keep 
four comparison; as 

e may daaily be marie tanv 
B in tile corn.(leld8, becaus, 
— DaooKE's Nat. Hut. 

apl 1. 



objecU to obivh maoy others may bear some BJmilitude, tbough they 
but little approach eath other. Among the hare kind U the Marmot," 
-which naturalists have placed either among the hare kind or the rat 
kind, as it suited their respective systems. In fad, it bears no great 
resemblance to either; but of the two, it approaclies much nearer the 
hare, as well in the make of its head, as iu its size, in its bushy tail, 
and particularly in its chewing the cud, which alone is sufficient to 
determine our choice in giving it its present situation. Haw it ever 
came to be degraded into the rat or mouse I cannot conceive, for it 
no way resembles them in size, being nearly as big as a bare; or 
in its disposition, since no animal is more tractable, nor more easily 

The marmot is, as was said, almost as big as a hare, but it is more 
corpulent than a cat, ond has shorter lega. Its head pretty nearly 
resembles that of a hare, except that its ears are much shorter. It is 
clothed all over with very long h3ir,and a shorter furbelow. These 
are of diSen:nl colours, black and grey. The length of the hair 
gives the body the appearance of greater corpulence than it really 
has, and at Ihe same lime shortens the feet so that its belly seems 
touching the ground. Its tail is tuf>ed and well furnished with hair, 
and it is carried in a straight direction with its body. It has five 
claws behind, and only four before. These it uses as the squirrel 
doe.i, lo carry its food in its mouth; and it usually sits upon its 
hinder parts to feed, in the manner of that little animal. 

The marmot is cl lie Ry a native of the Alps; and when taken 
young, is tamed more easily than any other wild animal, andalmott 
as perfecdy as any of those that are domestic.f It is readily taugl.t 
to dance, lo wield a cudgel, and lo obey the voice of its master. 
Like the cat, it has an antipathy lo the dog ; and when it becomes 
familiar to the family, and is sure of being supported by its master. 
it atlacha and bites even the largest maslifT. From its squat muscu- 
lar make, it has great strength joined to great agiliiy. It has four 
large culling teeth, like all those of the hare kind ; but it uses them 
to nmch more advantage, since In Ihis animal Ihey are very for- 
midable weapons of defence. However, it is in general a very in- 
olTensive animal; and, except its enmity lo dogs, seems to live in 
friendship with every creature, unless when provoked. If not pre- 
vented, it is very apt to gnaw the furniture of a house, and even lo 
make holes through wooden parlilions ; from whence, perhaps, it has 
been compared to ihe ral. As its legs are very short, and made 
somewhat like those of a bear, il is often seen silling up, and even 
ralking oniis hind-legs in like manner; but with the fore- paws, ns 
was aaid, it uses to fet-d itself in the manner of a aquirrel. Like alJ 

* Thli animal has two wed^e-like cutllDg leeth la each ji 
are flvi' nbore, nud four btlovr, on eieb Bide ; and there ar 
clea or cu liar- bones. 

t Buffnn, frnm wh^ce the renuindFr of Ihls descri 
N. 0. Hs tak«B It from Genir, vol, irii. 

; clavi- 



of the hare kind, it runs much switler up-hill than dovrn ; it climbt 
_trees with great ease, and nins up the clefU of rockg, or the con- 
is walls of houses, with great facility. It is ludicrously wid that 
lavoyards, wlio are the only chimney-sweepers of Paris, 
jttre learned this art from the marmot, which is bred in the same 

These animals eat indiscriminately of whalever i^ presented to 
them ; flesh, bread, fruits, herbs, roots, pulse, and insects. But they 
are particularly fond of milk and butter. Although lees inclined to 
petty thefts than the cat, yet they always try to steal into the dairy, 
where they lap up the milk like a cat, purring all the while like that 
Animal, as an expression of their being pleased. As to the rest, milk 
is the only liquor they like. They seldom drink water, and refuse 
wine. When pleased or caressed, they often yelp like puppies; 
but when irritated or frighted, they have a piercing note that hurls 
the ear. They art; very cleanly animals, and, like the cat, retire 
upon necessary occasions; but their bodies haveadisagreenblescent, 
particularly in the heat of summer. This tinctures their flesh, which, 
being very fat and Grm, would be very good, were not this flavour 
always found to predominate. 

We have hitherto been describing affections in this animal which 
it has in common with many others ; but we now come to one which 
pcrticularly distinguishes it from all others of this kind, and, indeed, 
from every other quadruped, except the bat and the dormouse. This 
is its sleeping during the winter. The marmot, though a native of 
the highest mountains, and where the snow is never wholly melted, 
nevertheless seems to feel the influence of the cold more than any 
other, and in a, manner has all its faculties chilled up in winter. This 
extraordinary suspension of life and motion for more than half the 
year, deserves our wonder, and excites our allenlion lo consider the 
manner of such a temporary death, and the subsequent revival. 
Bot first to describe, before we allempt to discuss. 

The marmut, usually at the end of September, or the beginning 
of October, prepares to fit up its hubilation for the winter, from 
which it is never seen to issue till about the beginning or the middle 
of April. This arumal's little retreat is made with great precaution, 
(tnd fltted up with art. It is a hole on the side of a mountain, ex- 
tremely deep, with a spacious apartment at the bottom, which is 
rather longer than It is broad. • In this several marmots can reside 
at the seme time, without crowding each other, or injuring the ait 
the; breathe. The feet and claws of this animal seem made for 
<ligsing; and, iu fact, they burrow into the ground with amazing 
facility, scraping up Ihe earth like a rabbit, and throwing back what 
they have thus loosened behind them. But the form of their hole is 
■till more wonderfnlj^ it resembles the letter Y; the two branches 
being two openings which conduct into one channel, and this lermi- 
^^_ Hales in their general apartment that lies at the bottom. As the 
^^^L&ole is made on the declivity of a rnoimtain, thei'e is no part of it on 
^^K'* level but th« apartment at the end. One of the brsnchei or 



opeDinga JmucsduI, sloping downwartls; and this KrvMssa kind uf 
■ink or druin tu tite whole Tamily, wliere Lhey make their escrentents, 
and where ihe tiioislure uf ilie plac« is drawn away. The oilier 
branch, oa the contrary, slopes upwards, and this serves as (beir 
door upon which to go out and in. The apartment at ibe end m 
rery warmly stuccoed round with mois and hay, of both which ihcy 
make an ample provision during the summer. As this is a work of 
great labour, so it is undertaken in common; some cut the Jinest 
grass, others gather it, and others take their turns to dragit into their 
hole. Upon this occasion, as we are told, one of them lies on its bock, 
permits the hay to be heupeil upon its biilly, keeps its paws upHght 
to make greater room ; and in this manner, lying still upon its back, 
it is dragged by the tail, hay and all, to their common relrieat. Tbia 
also some give as a reason for the hair being geoerally worn away 
on their backs, aa is usually the case ; however, a better reason fi>r 
this may be asgigned, from their coDliaually rooting up holes, atid 
passing through narrow openings. Bui, he this as it will, certain it 
is that they all live togetlier, and work in common, to make their 
liabitation as snug and convenient as possible. In it tliey pass Uiree 
parts of their lives ; into it ihey retire when the storm is high i in it 
they continue while it rains; there they remain when apprehensive 
of danger, and never stir out except in line weatlier, never going far 
from home even then. Whenever they venture abroad, one is 
placed as a sentinel, silting upon a lofty rock, while tlie rest amuse 
themselves in playing along the green fields, or aru employed in 
cutting grass and making bay for their winter's convenience. Their 
trusty sentinel, wlieo an enemy, a man, a dog, or a bird of prey 
approaches, apprizes its companions with a whistle, upon whicli they 
all make home, the sentinel himself bringing up the rear. 

But it must not be supposed that this hay is desigued fur pro- 
vision ; on the contrary, it is always found in as great plenty in 
their holes at the end as at the beginning of winter ; it is only sought 
for the convenience of their lodging, and the advantages of their 
young. As to provision, ihey seem kindly apprized by nature that 
during the winter ihey shall not want any, so that they make no 
preparations for food, though so diligently employed in fitting up 
their abode. At soon as they perceive the Srst approaches of the 
winter, during which tlieir vital motions are to continue in some 
measure suspended, lliey labour very diligently to close up the two 
entrances of their habitation, which tliey eflect with such solidity, 
that it is easier to dig up the earth any where else than where tliey 
have closed it. At that lime they are very fat, and some of ihem 
are found to weigh above twenty pounds ; they continue so for even 
three months more ; but by degrees their flesh begins to waste, and 
they are usually very lean by the end of winter. When their retreat 
is opened, the whole family is then discovered, each rolled into a 
ball, and covered up under the hay. In thisstate they seem entirely 
lifeless; they may b<: taken away, and even killed, without their 
teitifying any great pain ; and those who And them in this mantlet. 

L>ed up tiie young, and eat the old 
mith rtivivei them ; but ihey would 
r the lire, or if their juiciia were too 


caiTj them home, in order to 
ones A gradual and gentle 
die ir too suddeoly brought n 
quickly liquefied. 

Strictly speaking, says M. Buflon, theK animals cannot be said to 
sleep during the winter i it may be called rather a torpor, n stag, 
nation of all the faculties.* This torpor is produced by the cod. 
gelation of their blood, which is naturally much colder than that of 
all other quadrupeds. The usual heat of man, and other animals, 
is about thirty degrees above congelation ; the heat of thctte is not 
aboTe ten degrees. Their internal heat is seldom greater than that 
of the teniperature of the air. This has been often tried by plung- 
ing the ball of iho thermometer into the body of a living dormouse, 
and it never rose beyond its usual pitch in air, and sometimes itsunk 
above a degree. It is not surprising, therefore, that these animals, 
whose blood is so cold naturally, should become torpid when tl;e ex< 
lernal cold is too powerful for the small quantity of heat in their 
bodies yet remaining; and this always happens when lliu thermo- 
meter is not more than ten degrees above congelation. This cold- 
ness M. lluSbn has experienced in the blood ofthe bat, the dormouse, 
and the hedgehog, and with great Justice he extends the analogy to 
the marniot, which like the rest is seen to sleep all the winter. This 
torpid state cmtinues as long as the cause which produces it con- 
tinues; and it is very probable that it might be lengthened out 
beyond iLi usual term, by artiliciBlly prolonging the cold: if, for 
instance, the animal were rolled op in wool, and placed in a cold 
cellar, nearly approaching to, but nut quite so cold as an ice-house, 
for that would kill them outright, it would remain perhaps a whole 
year in its state of insensibility. However this be, if the heat of [lie 
air be above ten degrees, these animals are seen to revive; and if it 
be continued in that degree of temperature, they do not become 
torpid, but eat and sleep at proper intervals, like all other quadrupeds 

From the above account, we may form some conception of the 
stale in which these animals continue during the winter. As in 
some disorders, where the circulation is extremely languid, the appe- 
tite is diminished in proportion, so in these, the blond scarcely moving, 
or only moving in the greater vessels, they want no nourishment to 
repair what is worn away by its motions. They are seen, indeed, 
by slow degrees to become leaner in proportion to the slow ntlrilion 
of iheir fluids; but this is not perceptible except at the end of some 
months. Man is oUgu known to gather nourishment from the am- 
bient air; and these also may in some measure be supplied in the 
same manner ; and having sufficient motion in their fluids to keep 
them from putrefaction, and just sufiicient nourishment to supply the 
waste of their languid circulation, they continue rather feebly alive 


* Buflon, vol. ivi. Liiii 



These animals produc 
but ihree or four at « time. 
or their lives is not above ni 
neiilier numerous nor very n 
in ihe Alps, where ihey seem 
Ihe lowest rang-es 

e but once a year, and usually bring forth 
They grow very fast, and the e.xtenl 
ine or ten years ; so that the species is 
luch difliised. They are chiefly found 
11 to prefer the brow of the highest moun- 
ind the aunny side to that in the shade. 
The inhabitants of the country where they chiefly reside, when they 
observe the hole, generally stay till winter before they think proper 
to open it ; for if ibey begin too soon, the animal wakes, and, as it 
has a surprising faculty ofdigglng, niBkes its hole deeper in propor- 
tion as they follow. Such as kill it for food, use every art to im- 
prove the Aesh, which is said to have a wild taste, and to cause 
vomitings." They therefore (ate away the fal, which is in great 
abundance, and salt the remainder, drying it somewhat in Ihe man- 
ner of bacon, Still, however, it is said to be very indilferenl eating. 
This animal is found in Poland under the denomination of the 
Bobak, entirely resembling that of Ihe Alps, except that the latter 
has a toe more upon its fore-foot than the former. It is found also 
in Siberia under the name of the Jevraska, being rather smaller than 
either of the other two. Lastly, it is found in Canada by the ap- 
pellation of the IMonax, diflering only from the rest in haiing^^ 
blueiah snout, and a longer tail. 



From the marmot, which differs from the hare so much in the 
lengti) of its fur, we go lo the Agouti,t another species equally 
diSi^ring in the shortness of its hair. 'I hese bear some rude resem- 
blance to the hare and the rabbit in their form and manner of living, 
but sufficiently differing to require a particular description. The 
first of ihe^e, and that Ihe largest, as was hinted above, is ualled the 
Agouti. This animal is found in great abundance in the souibern 
pans of America, and has by some been called the rabbil of that 
continent. Bui, though in many respects ii re><embles the rabbil, 
yet still in many more it differs, and is, without all doubt, an animal 
peculiar to the new world only. The agouti is about the size of a 
rabbit, and has a head very much resembling it, except that the 
ears are very short in comparison. It resembles the rahhil also in 
Ihe arched form of ite back, in the hind-legs being longer than the 
fore, and in having four greatcutiingleelh,lwo above and two below i 
but then it differs in ihe nature ofils hair, which is not soil and downy 

* Diclionnaire Ralsonne, vol. ii). p. 29. 

[t The AgouU, PacB, A|ierpa, and I! 
CDtlioglepth iu rich Jaw, and eight grlnili 
fore-fefl um furnLahrd with four or five 

four, or five each: Iha tail is diher very short or HilirHy iTBnllng;and 
thfj hsti no claTiclo or collar-borfS.' 

i-Pi?, have two wed^-lito 

I each Bide in both jawa : Iha 

tile Iliad- feel with three, 


as in the rabbity but hard and. bristly like that of a sucking pig, and 
of a reddish-brown colotir. It differs also in the tail, which is even 
shorter than in the rabbit, and entirely destitute of hair.* Lastly, it 
differs in the number of its toes, having but three on the hinder feet, 
whereas the rabbit has Bie, All these distinctions, however, do not 
countervail against its general form, which resembles that of a rabbit, 
and most travellers have called it by that name. 

As this animal differs in form, it differs still more in habitudes and 
disposition. As it has the hair of a dog, so also it has its voracious- 
ness.* It eats indiscriminately of all things, and when satiated, 
hides the remainder, like the dog or the fox, for a future occasion. 
It takes a pleasure in gnawing and spoiling every thing that it comes 
near. When irritated, its hair stands erect along the back, and like 
the rabbit it strikes the ground violently with its hind feet. It does 
not dig a hole in the ground, but burrows in the hollows of trees. 
Its ordinary food consists of the roots of the country, potatoes and 
yamSy and such fruits as fall from the trees in Autumn. It unes its 
Cbre-paws, like the squirrel, to carry its food to its mouth ; and as 
its hind feet are longer than the fore, it runs very swiftly upon plain 
ground or up a hill, but upon a descent it is in danger of falling. Its 
sight is excellent, and its hearing equals that of any other animal ; 
whenever it is whistled to, it stops to hearken. The flesh of such as 
are fat and well fed is tolerable food, although it has a peculiar taste, 
and is a little tough. The French dress it like a sucking pig, as we 
learn from M. Buffon's account; but the English dress it with a 
pudding in its belly, like a hare. It is hunted by dogs ; and lyhen- 
ever it is got into a sugar ground, where the canes cover the place, 
it is easily overtaken, for it is embarrassed every step it takes, so 
that a man may easily come up with it without any other assistance. 
When in the open country, it usually runs with great swiftness before 
the dogs until it gains its retreat, within which it continues to hide, 
and nothing but filling the hole with smoke can force it out. For 
this purpose the hunter bums faggots or straw at the entrance, and 
conducts the smoke in such a manner that it fills the whole cavity. 
While this is doing, the poor little animal seems sensible of its 
danger, and begs for quarter with a most plaintive cry, seldom quit- 
ting its hole till the utmost extremity. At last, when half suffo- 
cated, it issues out, and trusts once more to its speed for protection. 
When still forced by the dogs, and incapable of making good a 
retreat, it turns upon the hunters, and with its hair bristling like a 
hog, and standing upon its hind feet, it defends itself very obstinately. 
Sometimes it bites the legs of those that attempt to take it, and will 
take out the piece wherever it fixes its teeth.f 

Its cry when disturbed or provoked resembles that of a sucking 
pig. If taken young, it is easily tamed, continues to play harmlessly 
about the house, and goes out and returns of its own accord. In a 
lavage state it usually continues in the woods, and the female gene- 

• Buffon. t Ray*s Sfnop. 


TiMj chooses Ihe most obscure parts to bring forth her young. She 
there prepares a bed o( leaves and dry grass, and generally brings 
forth two at a time. She breeds twice or thrice a year, and carries 
her young from one place to another, as convenience requires, in the 
manner of a cat. She generally lodges them when three days old 
in the hollow of a tree, suckling Ihem but for a very short lime, for 
they soon come to perfection, and it should consequently fidlow tliat 
Ihey soon grow old. 


The Paca is an animal also of South America, very much resem- 
bling the former, and like it has received the name of (he American 
rabbit, but with as little propriety- It is about the size of a hare, or 
rather larger, and in figure somewhat like a sucking pig, which it 
resembles in its grunting and its manntir of eating. It is, however, 
most like ihe agouti, although it differs in several particulars. Like 
the agouti, it is covered rather with coarse hair than a downy furi 
but then it is beautifully marked along the sides with small ash- 
coloured spots, under an amber-coloured ground; whereas theagouti 
is pretty much of one reddish colour. The paca is rather more 
thick and corpulent than the agouti ; its nose is shorter, and its 
hind feet have live toes, whereas the agouti has but three, As to the 
rest, this animal bears some distant resemblance to a rabbit; the 
ears are naked of hair, and somewhat sharp, the lower jaw is some- 
what longer than the upper ; the teeth, the shape of the head, and 
the size of it, are like to those of a rabbit, ft has a sborl tail like- 
wise, though not tufied, and its hinder legs are longer than the 
fore. It also burrows in the ground like that animal, and from Ibis 
sjmihtude alone travellers might have given it the name. 

The paca does not make use of its fore-paws, like the squirrel or 
the agouti, to carry its food to the mouth, but hunts for it on the 
ground, and roots like a hog. It is generally seen along the banks 
of rivers, and is only to be found in the moist and wartn countries 
of South America. It is a very fat animal, and in this respect much 
preferable to the agouti, which is most commonly found lean. It is 
eaten, skin and all, like a young pig, and is considered as a great 
delicacy. Like the former little animal, it defends itself to the last 
^■^ extremity, and is very seldom taken alive. It is persecuted not.only 

^^H by man, but by every beast and bird of prey, who all Watch its 

^H^ motions, and, if it ventures at any distance from its hole, are sure to 
^^V seize it. But although tlie race of these little animals is thus con* 
^^1 tinually destroyed, it finds some refuge in its hole from the general 

^^H combination ; and breeds in such numbers, Uiat the diminution is not 
^^1 perceptible. 

^^B To these animals may be added others, very similar both in form 

^^H and disposition; each known by its particular name in its native 

^^M country, but which travellers have been contented to call rabbit* or 

^ r-i i-- B 

UA.RE Elin). 83 

hares, of which we ha?e but indistinct notice. The Tapeli, or the 
Brazilian rabbit, is in shape like our English ones, but is much less, 
being said to be not above twice the siiie of a dormauie. It is reddigli 
oD the forehead, and a little whitish under the throat. It is remark- 
able for having no tail; but it has long ears and whiskers, like our 
rabbits, and black eyes. It does not burrow, like ours, but lives at 
large, like the bare. 

The Apehea is also called by some the Brazilian rabbit, being an 
animal that seenia to partake of the nature of a rabbit and a rat. 
The ears are like those of a rat, being short and round ; but the 
other parts are like those of a rabbit, except that it has but three 
toes on the hinder legs, like the agouti. 

To these imperfect sketches of animals little known, others less 
known might be added; for as nature becomes more diminutive, her 
operations are less attentively regarded. I shall only, therefore, 
add one animal more to this class, and that very well known, I mean 
the Guinea- Pig, which Drisson places among those of Uie rabbit 
kind ; and as 1 do not know any other set of animak with which 
it can be so well compared, I will take leave to follow his example. 


!^e Guinea'Pig is a native of the warmer climates; but has been 

■0 long rendered domestic, and so widely dilTijsed, that it ta novr 
become common in every part of the world. I'here are few un- 
acquainted with the figure of this tittle animal : in some places it is 
considered as the principal favourite, and la ol\en found even to 
displace the lap-dog. It is less than a rabbit, and its legs are shorter ; 
tliey are scarcely seen, except when it moves; and the neck also is 
«o short, that the head seems stuck upon the shoulderB. The ears 
are short, thin, and transparent; the hair is like that of a sucking 
pig, from whence it has taken tlie name; and it wants even the 
vestiges of a tail. In other respects it has some similitude to the 
rabbit. When it moves, its body lengthens like that animal ; and 
when it is at rest, it gathers up in the same manner. Its nose is 
formed with a rabbit lip, except that its nostrils are much farther 
asunder. Like all other animals in a domestic Htate, its colours are 
dilTerent; some are while, some are red, and others both red and 
white. It diflers from the rabbit in the number of its toes, having 
four toes on the feet before, and but three on those behind. It 
strokes its head with tlie fore-rcet like the rabbit ; and, like it, sits 
upon the hind-feet ; for which purpose, there is a naked callous ^in 
on the back part of the legs and feet. 

These animals are of all others the most helpless and inoffensive.* 
They are scarcely possessed of courage sufficient lo defend them' 

• Tiiii history U iiarlly lakpn 

t AiDtcnituIti Acsden 



selves against the meanest of all qondrupedB. a. mouse. Their only 
animosity is exerted against each other ; for ihey will often fight very 
obstinately, and the stronger is alien known to destroy the weaker. 
But against all other sggresson, their only remedy is patience and 
non-resistance. How, therefore, these animals, m a savage state, 
could contrive to protect themselves, I have not been able to learn : 
as they want strength, swiftness, and even the natural instinct so 
common to almost every other creature. 

An to their manner of living among us, they owe their lives en- 
tirely to our unceasing protection. They must be constantly at< 
tended, shielded from the e.tcessive colds of the winter, and s<»?ured 
against all other domestic animals, which are apt to attack them, 
from every motive, either of appetite, jealously, or experience of 
their pusillanimous nature. Such indeed is their stupidity, that they 
suffer themselves to be devoured by the cats without resintance ; and. 
different from all other creatures, the female sees her young destroyed 
without once attempting to protect them. Their usual food is bran, 
parsley, or cabbage leaves; but there is scarcely a vegetable culti- 
vated in our gardens that they will not gladly devour. The carrot* 
top is a peculiar dainty, as also salind : and those who would pre* 
serve their healths, would do right to vary their food ; for if they be 
continued on a kind too succulent or too dry, the efTects are quickly 
perceived upon their conatilulions. When fed upon recent vege- 
tables, they seldom drink. But it often happens, thai, conducted by 
nature, they seek drier food when the former disagrees with them. 
They then gnaw clothes, paper, or whatever of this kind they meet 
with; and, on these occasirais, they are seen to drink like most 
other animals, which they do by lapping. They are chiefiy 
fond of new milk: but in cose of necessity, are content with 

They move pretty much in the manner of mbbiis. though not 
near so swiftly ; and when confined in a roam, seldom cross the 
floor, hut generally keep along the wall. The male usually drives 
the female on before him, for they never move abreast together, but 
constantly the one seems to tread in the footsteps of the preceding. 
They chiefly seek for the darkest recesses, and the most intricate 
retreats; where, if hay bespread as a bed for them, they continue to 
sleep together, end seldom venture out but when they suppose all 
interruption removed. On these occasions they act as rabbits; they 
swiftly move forward from their bed, stop at the entrance, listen, 
look round, and, if they perceive the slightest approach of danger, 
tliey run back with precipitation. In very cold weather, how- 
ever, they are more active, and run about to keep theinselves 

They are a very cleanly animal, and very different from those 
whose name they go by. If the young ones happen to fall into the 
dirt, or be any other way discomposed, the female takes such an 
aversion to them, that she never permits them to visit her more. In- 
deed, her whole employment, ai well as that of the male, seems lo 


caDBiit in smoothing (heir skins, in disposing: their heir, and impror- 
ing iu gloss. The male and female take this office by turns ; and 
when they have thus brushed up each other, they then bestow all 
iheir concern upon their young, taking particular care to make (heir 
hair lie smoolh, and biting them if they appear refractory. As they 
are bo solicitous for elegance themselves, the place where ihey are 
tepl must be regularly cleaned, and a new bed of hay provided for 
them at least every week. Being natives of a warm climate, they 
are naturally chilly in ours ; cleanliness, therefore, assials warmth, 
and espels moisture. They may be thus reared nilhout the aid of 
any artificial heat ; but in general there is no keeping them from 
the lire in winter,if they be once permitted to approach it. 

When they go to sleep, they lie flat on their bellies, pretty much 
in their usual posture, except that they love to have their fore-feet 
higher than their hinder. For this purpose, they turn ihemselves 
several times round before they lie down, to find the most convenient 
tituation. They sleep, like the hare, with their eyes half open ; and 
continue extremely watchful if (hey suspect danger. The male ond 
female are never seen both asleep at the same time; but while he 
enjoys his repose, she remains upon the watch, silently continuing 
to guard him, and her head turned towards the place where he lies. 
When she supposes that he has had his turn, she (hen awakes him 
with a kind of murmuring noise, goes to him, forces him from his 
bed, and lies down in his place. He then performs the same good 
(urn for her, and continues watchful till she also has done sleeping. 

These animals are exceedingly salacious, and generally are capa- 
ble of coupling at six weeks old. The female never goes with young 
above five weeks, and usually brings forth from three to five at a 
time ; and this not without pain. But what is very estraordinary, 
(he female admits the male (he very day she has brought forth, and 
becomes again pregnant; bo that their multiplication is astonishing. 
She suckles her young but about twelve or fifteen days ; and during 
that time does not seem to know her own ; for if the young of any 
other be brought, though much older, she never drives them away, 
but Buflers them even to drain her, to the disadvantage of her own 
immediate offspring. They are produced with the eyes open, like 
all others of the hare kind ; and, in about twelve hours, e((uai even 
to the dam in agihty. Although the dam has but two teats, yet she 
abundantly supplies them with milk; and they are also capable of 
feeding upon vegetables almost from the very beginning. If the 
young ones are permitted to continue together, the stronger, as in all 
other societies, soon begins to govern the weak. Their conlentionj 
are oflen long and obstinate, and their jealousies very apparent. 
Their disputes are usually for the warmest place, or the mostagree- 
able food. If one of them happens to be more fortunate in this 
respect than the rest, the strongest generally comes to dispossess it 
of its advantageous situation. Their manner of fighting, though 
terrible to them, is ridiculous enough lo a spectator. One of them 
uizM the hair on the nape of the other's neck with iw fore-leeth, 



sad atteiDpts to lonr it away ; the other, to retaliate, turns hn hinder 
parts to the enemy, and kicks up behind like a horse, and wHh its 
binder claws scratches the sides of its adversary; so that sometimes 
they cover each other with blood. When they contend ii 

nd this is orten a do- 

ner, they gnash their teeth pretty loudly : 
nunciation of mutual resentment. 

These, though so formidable to each other 
ous creatnres upon earth with resptxl to the 
a fnlling leaf disturbs them, and every t 
Hence they are diflicutlly tamed, and will 
them, except the person by whom they ore 
eating is something like that of the rabbit ; : 
also to chew the cud. Although they sel 
water every minute. They gnint somewha 
have a more piercing note to express pain. 

injury; but then, except the pi ensure they afford the spectator, ihey 
are of very little benefit to mankind. Some, indeed, dress and eat 
them ; but their flesh is indifferent food, and by no means a reward 
for the trouble of rearing them. This, perhaps, might be improved, 
by keeping them in a proper warren, and not suffering ihem to 
become domestic : however, the advantages that would result from 
this would be few, and the trouble great ; so thai it is likely they 
wilt continue an useless, inoffensive dependant, rather propagated (o 
■atiify caprice than to supply necessity. 

est oft 

inimaled nature ; 

limnl , 

jvercomes them. 

differ I 

lone to approach 

nd, like it, they appear 

om dr 

ink, they make 

young pig; and 

In ai 

ford, they do no 



Were it necessary to distinguish animals of the rat kind from 
others, we might describe them as having two large cutting teeth, 
like the hare kind, in each jaw ; as covered with hair; and as not 
ruminating.* Thnsc distinctions might serve to guide us, had we 
not too near an acquaintance with this noxious race to be mistaken 
in their kind. Their numbers, their minuteness, their vicinity, their 
vast multiplication, all sufficiently contribute to press them upon our 
observation, and remind us oftheir existence, indeed, if we look 
through the difie rent ranks ofanimals. from the largest to the smallest, 
from the great elephant to the diminutive mouse, we shall lind that 
we suffer greater injuries from the contemptible meanness of the one, 
than the formidable invasions of the other. Against ihi' elephant, 
the rhinoceros, or the lion, we can oppose united strength, and by 
art Miake up the deficiencies of natural power: these we have driven 


[•Tlieap animals havetlit! upper fore-teeth weilgp-shaptd ; three grini 
■omelimcs (iliougli rarely) only two, on each »l<le of lUe jaws " 
eollar-boiies complete.] 

iree K"nM^^H 

KAT KrND. 87 

Into their native sotltuJea, and obliged to coniinnc at a disIOBce, in 
the most mconvenicnl regions and unlieaUhful climaies. But it a 
otheTwi<<e with the little teasing race I atn now describing: do 
fmve can be e:(erted against their unresisting timidity ; no arts can 
diminish their amnzing propagation; millions may be al once de- 
stroyed, and yet the bresL'h be repaired in the space of a very few 
■weelts ; and in proportion as nature has denied ihem force, it ha» 
supplied the defect by their fecundity. 


^^'ttie animal beat known at present, and in every respect tlie most 
mischievous, is the Great Rat; wlitch, tiioiigh but a new comer iolo 
this country, has lakcn too secure a possession lo be ever removed. 
Thishsteful and rapacious creature, though sometimes called the 
Ral of Xorwai/, is utterly unknown in all the northern countries, 
and, by the best accounts 1 can learn, conies originally from the 
Levant. Its Srst arrival, as t am auurcd, was upon the coasts of 
Ireland, in those ships that traded in provisions to Gibraltar; and 
perhaps we owe to a single pair of these animals the numerous 
progeny that now infests the whoW extent of the British empire. 

This animal, which is called by M. BuObn the Svrmalol, is in 
length about nine inches ; its eyes are large and black ; the colour 
of the head, and the whole upper part of the body, is of a light 
brown, mixed with a tawny and ash colour. The end of the nose, 
the throat, and belly, are of a dirty white, inchning to grey; the 
feet and le^s are almost bare, and of a dirty pale flesh colour; the 
tail is as long as the body, covered with minute dusky scales mixed 
with a few hairs, and adds to the general deformity of its detestable 
figure. It is chielly in the colour that this animal differs from the 

Black Rat, or the Cor 




arrival, found 

posnens itself of their retreats. 

new invader, i 

called, but 
a very few years 
L the whole species, and 


s not against the black rat alone that its rapacity was 
directed ; all other animals of inferior strength shared the same mis- 
fortunes Theconlest with the black rat was of short continuance. 
As it was unable to contend, and had no holes to fly to for retreat, 
but where its voracious enemy could pursue, the whole race was 
soon extinguished. The frog also was an animal equally incapable 
of combat or defence. It had been designedly introduced into the 
kingdom of Ireland some years before the Norway rat ; and it was 
seen to multiply amazingly. The inhabitants were pleased with 
the propagation of a harmless animal, that served to rid their fields 
of insects ; and even the prejudices of the people were in its favour, 
as they supposed that the frog contributed to render (heir waters 
more wholesome. But the Norway rat soon put a stop lo their 
increase : as these animals were of en amphibious nature, they pur- 
TOL. u.— No. XXIV. L 


■ued the frog ti 


[3 lakes, and look it c 



ifea la Its oTvn Datiiral ele- 
, therefore, auured, that the frog is once more almost 
in that kingdom ; and that the Norway rat, having no more 
i left there to destroy, is grown less numerous aUo. 

We are not likely, therefore, to gain by the destruction of our 
old domestics, since they are replaced by such mischievous suc- 
cessors. The Norway rat has the same disposition to injure us, with 
much greater power of mischief. It burrows in the banks of rivers, 
ponds, and ditches; and is every year known to do incredible 
damage to those mounds that are raised to conduct streams, or to 
prevent rivers from overflowing. In these holes, which it forms 
pretty near the edge of the water, it chiefly resides during the sum- 
mer, where it lives upon small animals, Ush, and corn. At the ap- 
proach of winter, it comes nearer the farm-liouses ; burrows in their 
corn, eats much, and damages still more than it consumes. But 
nothing that can be eaten seems to escape its voracity. It destroys 
rabbits, poultry, and all kinds of game : and, like the polecat, kills 
much more than it can carry away. It swims with great ease, dives 
with great celerity, and easily thins the fish pond. In short, scarcely 
any of the feebler animals escape its rapacity, except the mouse, 
which shelters itself in its little hole, where the Norway rat is too big 
to follow. 

These animals frequently produce from twelve to eighteen at a 
time,* and usually bring forth three times a year. This great 
increase would quickly be found to overrun the whole country, and 
render our assiduity to destroy them fruitless, were it not, happily 
for us, that they cat and destroy each other. The same insatiable 
appetite that impels tliem to indiscriminate carnage, also incites the 
strongest to devour the weakest, even of their own kind. The large 
male rat generally keeps in a hole by itself, and is dreaded by its 
own species as the most formidable enemy. In tliis manner the 
number of these vermin is kept within due bounds ; and when 
Iheir increase becomes injurious to us, it is repressed by their own 

But beside their own enmities among each other, all the stronger 
carnivorous quadrupeds have natural antipathies against ihem. The 
dog, though he detests their flesh, yet openly declares his alacrity 
to pursue ihem, and attacks them with great animosity. Such as 
are trained up to killing these vermin, dispatch them oden with a 
single squeeze : but those dogs that show any hesitation, are sure to 
come otf but inditferently; for the rat always takes the advantage 
of a moment's delay, and, instead of waiting for the attack, becomes 
the aggressor, seizing its pursuer by the tip, and inflicting a very 
painful and dangerous wound. From the inflammation, and other 
angry symptoms that attend this animal's bite, some have been led 
to think that it was in some measure venomous ; but it is hkely that 
the difficulty of tlje wound's healing arises merely from its b 

• Buffon, vol. ] 


s b«iu^_ 


deep, and lacerated hy the teeth, and Is rather a coniequenca of the 
figure of the ia^trumentA that ioflict it, ihao any venom they may be 
supposed to possess. 

The eat is another formidable enemy of this kind ; and yet the 
generality of our cats neither care to attack it, nor to feed upon it 
when killed. The cat is a more prudent hunter than the dog, and 
will not be at the pains to lake or combat with an enemy that is not 
likely to repay her time and danger. Some cats, however, will 
pursue and take the rat, though often not without an obstinate re- 
sistance, if hungry, the cat will sometimes eat the head ; but, in 
general, she is merely content with her victory. 

A foe much more dangerous to these vermin is the weasel. This 
animal pursues theTn with avidity ; and being pretty nearly of their 
own siee, fallows them into their holes, where a desperate combat 
ensues. The strength of each is pretty near equal ; but the armi 
are very different. The rat, furnished with four long tusks at tho 
extremity of its jaw, rather snaps than bites ; but the weasel, where 
it once fastens, holds, and continuing also to suck the blood at the 
same time, weakens its antagonist, and always obtains the victory. 
Mankind have contrived several other methods of destroying these 
noxious intruders — ferrets, traps, and particularly poison; butofall 
other poisons, I am told that the nux vomica, ground and mixed with 
meal, is the moat certain, as it is the least dangerous. 

To this species I will subjoin as a variety, the Black Rat, men. 
tioned above, greatly resembling ihe former in figure, but very 
distinct in nature, as appears from their mutual antipathy. This 
animal was formerly as mischievous qb it was common ; but at pre- 
sent it is almost utterly extirpated b? the great rat, one malady 
often espclling another. It is become so scarce, that I do not re> 
member ever to have seen one. It is said to be possessed of all the 
voracious and unnatural appetites of the former ; though as it is less, 
they may probably be less noxious. lis length is about seven inches; 
and the tail is near eight inches long. The colour of the body is of 
B deep iron grey, bordering upon black, except the belly, which is 
of a dirty cinereous hue. They have propagated in America in 
great numbers, being originally introduced from Europe; and as 
they seem to keep their ground wherever they get footing, they are 
now become the most noxious animals in that part of the world. 

To this also we may subjoin the Black Water Rat, about the 
same size with the latter, with a larger head, a blunter nnse, less 
eyes, and shorter ears, and the tip of its tail a little white. It waa 
supposed by Ray to be web-footed ; but this has been fotind to be a 
mistake, its toes pretty much resembling those of its kAid. It never 
frequents houses, but is usually found on the banks o/" rivers, ditches, 
ancf ponds, where it burrows and breeds. It feet^* on fisli, frogs, end 
insects ; and in some countries it is eaten on fasting days. 




An animal equaUy mischievous, and equally well known nJth the 
former, is the Mouse. Timid, cautious, and active, all itsdispositions 
are similar to those of the ral, except with fewer powers of doing 
mischief.* Fearful by nature, but familiar from necessity, it attends 
upon mankind, and corner an unbidden guest to his most delioate 
entertainnients. Fear and necessity seemtoregulateallilsmotionH; 
it never leaves its hole but to seek provision, and seldom ventures 
above a few paces from home. Different from the rat, it does not 
go from one house to another, unless it be forced ; and, as it is more 
easily satisfied, it does much less mischief. 

Almost all animals are tamed mors difficultly in proportion to tlie 
cowardice of their natures. The truly bold and courageous easily 
become familiar, but those that are always fearful are ever suspi- 
cious. The mouse being the most feeble, and consequently the most 
li mid of all (juadrupeds, except iho guinea-pig, is never rendered 
thoroughly familiar; and, even though fed in a cage, retains its 
natural apprehensions. In fact, i( is to these alone that it owes its 
security. t No animal has more enemies, and few so incapable of 
resistance. The owl, the cat, the snake, the hawk, the weasel, Iho 
rat itself, destroys this species by millions, and it only subsists by 
its amazing fecundity. 

The mouse brings forth at all seasons, and several limes !n the 
year. lis usual number is from six to ten. These in less than a 
fortnight are strong enough to run about and shifl fur themselves. 
They are chiefly found in farHwrs' yards, and among tlieir com, but 
are seldom in those ricks that are much infested with rats. They 
generally cheese the south-west side of the rick, from whence most 
rain is expected; and from thence they often, of an evening, venture 
forth to drink the little drops either of rain or dew that hang at the 
extremities of the straw.T Aristotle gives us an idea of their pro- 
digious fecundity by assuring us, that having put a mouse with young 
into a vessel of corn, in some lime aller he found a hundred and 
twenty mice, all sprung from one original. The early growth of 
this animal implies also the short duration of its life, which seldom 
lasts above two or three years. This species is very much diffused, 
being found in almost all parts of the ancient continent, and having 
been exported to the new.§ They are animals that, while they fear 
human society, closely attend it, and, although enemies to man, are 
never fouid but near those places where he has fixed his habitation. 
Numberless tays have been found for destroying them ; and Gesner 
has minutely tisscribed the variety of traps by which they are taken. 
Our Society for Uie Encouragement of Arts and ManiifaclureB prci- 

• BoBbn, vol. XV. p. 140, 

+ E Tolucribus hirundinpB atiM IndoeUes, r lerraalribus 

t Buffan, vol. i». p. 147. § tislB's Husbsudry, vol. 11. p- 991 




posed a retrard for the most ingenious contrivance for llial purpose; 
and I observed almost every candidate passing off descriptions as 
inventions ofhia own. I thought it was cruel to delect the plagiariBm, 
or frustrate the humble ambition of those who would be thought 
the inventors of a mouse-trap. 

To this species, merely to avoid teasing the reader with a minute 
description of animals very inconsiderable and very neurly alike) I 
will add that of the Long-laited Field Mouse, which is larger than 
the former, of a colour very nearly resembling the Norway rat, and 
chiefly found in fields and gardens. They are extremely voracious, 
and hurtful in gardens and young nurseries, where they are killed 
in great numbers. However, their fecundity (quickly repairs tbo 

Nearly resembling the former, but larger, (for it is six inches 
long), is the Short-tailed Field Mouse ; which, as ita name implies, 
has the tail much shorter than the former, it being not above an inch 
and a half long, and ending in a small tuft. Its colour is more 
inclining to that ofthe domestic mous^, the upper part being blackish, 
and the under of an ash colour. This, as well as the former, is 
remarkable for laying up provision against winter; and M. Buflbn 
assures us they sometimes have a store of above a bushel at a lime. 

We may add also the SAreto Mouse to this species of minute ani- 
mak, being about the size of the domestic mouse, but differing greatly 
from it in the form of its nose, which is very long and slender. The 
teeth also are of a very singular form, and twenty-eight in number, 
whereas the common number in the rat kind is usually not above 
sixteen. The two upper fore-teeth are very sharp, and on each side 
of them there is a kind of wing or beard, like that of an arrow, 
scarcely visible but on a close inspection. The other teeth are 
placed close together, being very small, and seeming scarcely 
separated ; so that with respect to this part of its formation, the 
animal has some resemblance to the viper. However, it is a very 
iiarmlesa little creature, doing scarcely any injury. On the contrary, 
OS it lives chiefly in the Gelds, and feeds more upon insects than 
corn, it may be considered rather as a friend than an enemy, it 
has a strong disagreeable smell, so that the cat, when it is killed, 
will refuse to eat it. It is said to bring four or five young at a 


K/These animals may be distinguished into three kinds; ihe greater 
dormouse, which M. Buffon calls the Loir; the middle, which he 
calls the Lerol; the 'ejs, which he denominates the Muscardin. They 
differ from each other in she, the largest being eqnni to a rat, the 
least being no bigger than a mouse. They all differ from the rat, 
in having the tail lulled with hair in the manner of a squirrel, except 
that the squirrel's tail ia flat, resembling a fan, and theirs round. 

9^ A3IM'%\S or T%E 

ftjieahbug % iMDiik. Tilt lent £S« &tn d» Itnr. Ihf lan^v fvo 

Ifadt apdU neur itn tjv : iV udrs^^ diK« t«^ faodi » tfie 

bb cHr. Tha7 •«»« n tLeir ksng a^fiifriilfike lie aHsol dvifi^ 
dte wilder, »ui m lUir U«rd«ig np p<i, lijiw tt aenr Ach id caac 

Titer ioL^^Ow ««(dt orrerfdodcEe^M^bcM^tbirtMarts 
b Ow ImHmt oT aone (ne, ar men fka fceOOB «f ■ ck* Arab. 
fc iiMft ly eoBfaat w3Bi ctntiniaQgait lhefaatla•^ aad t- i u MfiriB^ 
to spwt vmiog Uie brtnelitt. Ta— A A* i^pttrnk «f d» coM 

tCMMl dwy £rm s Bule mssBBe oT mU, baoK. or aeona : aad, 
lM«iiij>la«I ia itwr beard, riwt d>tntl*M ap wdi k f« tfe wioter. 
JU tifja •« Tbe^ feel tbe Itst Klraoees of ibe ecld, ihey t» fcp *r e to 
Imum ft* d&M, l>7 nJIoig dHinsrirtsap iBa baB,nd ibosexpcMRig 
' e ia*all»( Mirfwe k> tbe veatber. B^ k oCua hap pen ttet Ibe 
'' t * mtnar dar. or «ii icoAeaa} ^OBgt fm» cold to b»t, 
r ttettij Ha^mnl lUiids, >i>d iber tevireL O) «cfa oc- 
B]r bavi-dMJr pruTinoa«faidhT,aiM]ihe5 b^reoot ftrtsseek 
t mtpport. In tliu onnner ihej eoBtinae ivaallT adeepi, but 
K» miung'. fr^r aboil riTetnwiihs ki die jev.aeUon teirtor- 
big fnin iheir retrcaii, aw! omMqiieolly bot rarelj- fewi. Their 
MM* are Iin«d with incvxi, gru». art.:l dead learM : ther tstisliy 
brin^ r»rfh ibrte or four young at a tifne, aitcl thai bet OMca-jeUt', 
id lb* fpriD^. ^H 


prtliMe animaU of ibe rat kind, bat iritti a imisliy smen. ib^i? 
■re (ilau three diaticictiimi, as of ihe roTincr ; the Ondatra, ttie T>es- 
mnn, Br>d the Pilori. The ondjlra is a native of Canada, thb des- 
mitn of LitplMiil, and the pilori of the VTeal Tndia Itlands. Tbe 
iindatra diffisra froin all others of ilj kind, m having the tail Sailed 
and carr'uNi edgewayi. The desman has a loiig extended EDout like 
the riinm moux;; and the piluti a sLort tail, as thick at one end as 
Ihi! Oilier, they all re«emble each other in being fond of the water, 
but particularly in that musky odour from whence ihey have laken 
(heir name. 

or thvw:, the Ondaira i) the most remarkable, nnd has been tlie 
imM minultHy deacribed.* This animal is about ihe size of a sraall 
rubbit, but has th« hnir, ihe colour, and llie tail of a rat, except that 
it i« ItntKwl on the aides, as mentioned nbuve. Bui It Is atill more 
cKraonliiiary upon other accounts, and diOcrenl froni all other ani- 
tnalR whatuver. It ta so formed that it can conlraci and cnltirge its 
bmly at plconure- It has a muscle like ihatof horses, by which they 
iiiovi! their hides, lying imiuedialely under the skin, and that tlir- 


■RAT KIND. t) 

Ihed with such a power of contraction, together with roch i 

UticKy in the false ribs, that this animal can creep into a hol« 

e others, seemingly unich less, cannot follow. The female is 

narkable also for two distinct Rperturea, one for urine, the other 

jr propagation. The male is eqmlly observable for a peculiarity 

if conformation; the musky smell is much stronger at one parti- 

eason of the year than any other ; and the marks of the si 

o appear and disappear in the some maraier. 

ondatra in some measure resembles the beaver in it^ nature 

sposiiion. They both liye in society during winter; they 

fa form homes of two feet and a half wide, in nhich they reside, 

^ral families together. In these they do not assemble to sleep as 

not, but purely to shelter themselves from'the rigour of the 

Mason. However, they do not lay up mngazines of provbion like 

the beaver; they only form a kind of covert way to and round their 

dwelling, from whence they issue to procure water and roots, upon 

—.which they subHit. During winter their houses are covered under & 

"* ipth of eight or ten feet of snow; bo that they must lead but a cold, 

my, and necessitous life, during its continuance. During sum' 

)r they separate two by two, and feed upon the variety of rooti 

vegetables that theseanon offers. They then become extremely 

kt, and are much sought after, as well for their flesh as their skim, 

Aich are very valuable. ' They then also acquire a very strong 

It of musk, so pleasing to an European, but which the savagea 

if Canada cannot abide. What we admire as a perfume, they & 

kder as a most abominable stencii, and call one of their rivers, 

e banks of which this animni is seen to burrow in numbers, by the 

of the slinkirt/f river, as well as the rat itself, which is deno* 

piinated by Ihem the stinkard. This is a strange diversity among' 

"Saitkind ; and perhaps may be escribed to the diHerent kinds i^ 

d among different nations. Such as chiefly feed upon rancid oils 

i putrid flesh, will often mistake the nature of scents; and, having 

a long used to ill smells, will by habit consider them as perfumes. 

it will, although these nations of northern savages considet- 

■at as intolerably fetid, they nevertheless regard it ns very 

■i eating; and, indeed, in this they imitate the epicures of Europe 

ery exactly, whose taste seldom relishes a dish till the nose give* 

le strongest marks of disapprobation. As to the rest, this animal 

k good deal resembles the beaver in itn habits, and disposition ; but ~ 

' ' :s instincts are less powerful, and Us economy less esact, I iriH 

rye for the description of that animal a part of what may ba 

Ipplicable to this. 


The Cricetus, or German Rat, 
greatly resembles the water rat 

IS of its tail. It differs i 

hich M. liuffon calls the Hamster, 

its siic, small eyes, and the short- 

lolour, being rather browner, like tbs 




Norway rat, with the hetiy and leg* of a dirty yellow. Bui the 
mariu by which it may be distinguished from all others are two 
pouches, like those of a baboon, on each aide of iia jaw, under the 
akin, into which it can cram a large quantity of provision. These 
bags are oblong, and of the size, when filled, of a large walnut. They 
open into the mouth, and fall back along the neck to the shoulder. 
Into these the animal caD thrust the surplus of those fruits or grains 
it gathers in the fields, such as wheal, peas, or acorns. When the 
immediate calls of hunger are satisfied, it then falls to filling these ; 
and thus, loaded with two great bunches on each side of Uie jaw, it 
returns home to its hole to deposit ihe spoil as a store I'or the winter. 
The size, the fecundity, and the voraciousness of this animal, render 
it one of the grealest pesla in the countries where it is found, and 
every method is made use of to destroy it. 

But although this animal is very noxious with respect to man, yet, 
considered with regard to those instincts which conduce to its own 
support and convenience, it deserves our admiration.* Its hole 

» offers a very curious object for contemplation, and shows a degree 
of skill superior to the rest of the rat kind. It consists of a variety 
of apartments fitted up for the different occasions of the little in- 
habitant. It is generally made on an inclining ground, and always 
has two entrances, one perpendicular, and the other oblique; thou^, 
if there be more than one in a family, there are as many perpen- 
dicular holes as there are individuals below. The perpendicular 
hole is usually that through which they go in and out; the oblique 
serves to give a thorough air to keep the retreat clean, and, in case 
one hole is stopped, to give an exit at this. Within about a foot of 
the perpendicular hole the animal makes two more, where are de- 

1 posited the family's provisions. These aremuch more spacious than 
the former, and are large in proportion to the quantity of the store. 
Beside these, there is still another apartment warmly lined with grass 
and straw, where the female brings forth her young : all these com- 
municate with each other, and all together take up a space of ten or 
twelve feet in diameter. These animals furnish their storehouses 
with dry corn well cleaned ; they also lay in corn in the ear, and 
beam and peas in the pod. These, when occasion requires, they 
afterwards separate, carrying out the pods and empty ears by their 
oblique passage. They usually begin to lay in at the latter end of 
August ; and, as each magazine is filled, they carefully cover up the 
mouth with earth, and that so neatly that it is no easy matter to dis- 
cover where the earth has been removed. The only means of finding 
out Iheir retreats are, therefore, to observe the oblique entrance, 
which generally has a small quantity of earth before it; and this, 
though otlen several yards from their perpendicular retreat, leads 
those who are skilled in the search to make the discovery. Many 
German peasants are known to make a livelihood by tinding out and 
bringing off their hoards, which in a fruitful season often furnish twoi^ 
bushels of good grain in each aparlment. 
• Butfon, vol. xxvi. p. 

' tinding out and 
jflen furnish iwa 


. Like most olbera of the ral kind, they produce twice or thrioe a 
■ year, and bring live or six at a lime. Some years they appear iq , 
ming Dumbere, at other times they are not bo plentiful. The 
It seasons axsist their propagation; and it often happens on such 
ftijrearB that their devastations produce a famine all over the country. 
K'fiappily, however, for mankind, these, like the rest of their kind* 
K^^lroy each other ; and of two that M. Buffon kept in a cage, male 
\tad female, the latter killed and devoured the former. As to the ■ 
est, their fur is considered as very valuable; the natives are invited 
ffty rewards to destroy ihem ; and the weasel kiud seconds tlie wishes 
f governmenL with great success. Although they are usually fuuud 
own on the back and white on the belly, yet many of theoi aro . 
served to be grey, which may probably arise from the differenca 


Having considered various kinds of these no.xioua little animals . 
'wt elude the indignation of mankind, and subsisl by their number, , 
K>t their strength, we come to a species more bold, more dangerous. 
Band morenumerous than any of the former. The Leming, which (■ 
B native -of Scandinavia, is often seen to pour down in myriads from . 
"ibe northern mountains, and, like a pestilence, destroys all the pro> . 
luctions of the earth. It is described as being larger than a dormouse, ' 
I Sriih a bushy tail, though shorter. It is covered with thin hair of 
■"^vrious colours. The extremity of the upper part of the head ia 
\-falack, as are likewise the neck and shoulders, but the rest of the 
Jl^ody is reddish, intermixed with small black spots of various figures, 
Lm far as the tail, which is not above half an inch long. The 
Kqrea are little and black, the ears round and inclining towards the 
k'liack, the legs before are short, and those behind longer, which gives 
Kt a great degree of swifLness. But what it is much more remarkable 
fcfitr than its figure, are its amazing fecundity and extraordinary 

In wet seasons all of the rat kind are known to propagate more _ 

than in ury ; but this species in particular is so assisted in multiply- 

mg by the moisture of the weather, that the inhabitants of Lapland 

nncerely believe that they drop from the clouds, and that the same 

f jDBgazinea that furnish hail and snow pour the leming also upon 

B^em. In fact, al\er long rain, these animals set forward from their 

W.wtive niounlains, and several millions in a troop deluge the whole 

C.l4ain with their numbers.* They move, for the most part, in ft 

ftjquare, marching forward by night, and lying still by day. Thus, 

W'$kB an animated torrent, they are often seen more than a mile broad 

levering the ground, and that so thick that the hindmost touches ita 

It is in vain that the pour inhabitant resisla oi attempts t9.t 

• Phil. Traus. vol. ii. p. Hid. 


AT^iytxts OF The 

(top Ibelr progrcffi ; they still keep movbg rorward ; and, thoagh 
thouaamls are destroyed, myriads are seen lo succeed, and make 
their destruction impracticable. They generally move in lines, 
vhich are about three feet from each other, and exactly paraltel. 
Their march is always directed from the north-west to the south-east, 
and regularly conducted from the beginning. Wherever their 
motions are turned, nothing can stop them ; they go directly for- 
ward, impelled by some strange power; and from the time they 
first set out, they never once think of retreating. Tf a lAe or a 
river happens to interrupt their progress, they all together take the 
water, and swim over it ; a fire, a deep well, or a torrent, does not 
turn them out of their straight-lined direction ; they boldly plunge 
into the flames, or leap down the well, and are sometimes seen 
climbing up on the other side. If they are interrupted by a boat 
across a river while they are swimming, they never attempt to swim 
round it, but mount directly up its sides ; and the boatmen, who 
know how vain resistance in such a cose would be, calmly sufier the 
living torrent to pass over, which it does without further damage, 
ir they meet with a stack of hay or corn that interrupts their passage, 
instead of going over it they gnaw their way through ; if they are 
stopped by a house in Cheir course, if they cannot go through it, they 
continue there till Ihey die. It is happy, however, for mankind, 
that they eat nothing that is prepared for human subsistence ; they 
never enter a house to destroy the provisions, but are contented with 
eating every root and vegetable that they meet. If they happen to 
pass through a meadow, they destroy it in a very short lime, and 
give it an appearance of being burnt up and strewed with ashes. If 
they are internipted in their course, end a man should imprudently 
venture to attack one of them, the little animal is no way intimidated 
by the disparity of strength, but furiously (lies up at its opponent, 
and barking somewhat like a puppy, wherever it fastens does not 
easily quit the hold. If at last the leader be forced out of its line, 
'which it defends as long as it can, and be separated from the rest of 
its kind, it selsnp a plaintive cry, different from that of anger, and, 
as some pretend to say, gives itself a voluntary death, by hanging 
itself on the fork of a tree. 

An enemy so numerous and destructive would quickly render the 
countries where they appear utterly uninhabitable, did it not for- 
tunately happen that thesamerapacitylhalanimates them to destroy 
the labours of mankind, at last impels them to destroy and devour 
each other.* After committing incredible devastations, they are at 
last seen to separate into two armies, opposed with deadly hatred, 
along the coasts of the larger lakes and rivers. The Laplanders, 
who observe tliem thus drawn up to fight, instead of considering 
their mutual animosities as a happy riddance of the most dreadful 
pest, form ominous prognostics from the manner of their arrange- 
ment. They consider their combats as a presage of war, and expect 

' Dictioaaaiu Raisunui', rul. 

i. II. CIO. 


p iDTOfiion from the Russieiaa or the Swedes, as the sitlea next ihom 
IS happen to conquer. The two divisions, liowuver, continue 
pieir engagements and animosity until one party overcomes the 
;r. From that time tliey utterly disappear, nor is it well knowa 
t becomes of either the conquerors or tiie conquered, Some 
■ippose that they rush headlong into the sea ; others, that they kill 
penueWes, aa some are found hanging on the forked branches of a 
; and others still, that they are destroyed by the young spring 
a^ But the most probable opinion is, that having devoured. 
Be vegelable productions of the country, and having nothing more 
lubeist on, they Uien fall to devouring each other ; and having 
Situated themselves to that kind of food, continue it. However ' 
is be, they are of\en found dead by thousands, and their carca^aea i 
e been known to infect the air for several miles round, so aa to '- 

e very malignant disc/ders. They seem also to infect the 
ints they have gnawed, for the cattle often die that afterwards feed 
p.lhe places where they passed. 

' ' '.he rest, the male is larger and more beautifully spotted tliaa . 
e female. They are extremely prolific; and, what is extraordinary, 
iieir breeding does not hinder their march ; for some of them have 
n observed lo carry one young one in their mouth, and another 
on their back. They are greatly preyed upon by the ermine, and, 
as we are told, even by tlie rein-deer. The Swedes and Norwegians, 
irho live by husbandry, consider an invasion from these vermin aft ' 
|a.t«Tible visitation; but it is very difftTODt with respect to the Lap- ' 
Riders, whi) lead avagrnnl life, and who, [ike the lemiugs themselvt 
l^.theti' provisions be destroyed in one part of tlie country, can easily 

o another. These are never so happy as when an army of ] 
minga come down amongst them ; for then they feust upon their 
ih, which, though horrid food, and which though even dogs and 
s are known to detest, these little savages esteem very good eating, 
d devour greedily. They are glad of their arrival also upon | 
wtlier account, for they always expect a great plenty of gaiii,e 
Bie year following, among those Helds which the Icniings have . 


To these minute animals of the rat kind, a greater part of wboae \ 

s passed in holes under ground, I will subjoin one little animal i 

DO way resembling the rat, except that its whole life is spent 

As we have seen some quadrupeds formed to crop the surface j 

|f the fields, and others to live upon the tups of trees, so the mole ia \ 

I live wholly under the earth, as if nature meant tliat no 

PVilace should be left entirely untenanted. Were we from oUr own | 

I sensations to pronounce upon the life of a (juadruped that wasn< 

to appear above ground, but was always condemned to hunt for iti i 

prey underneath i obliged, whenever it removed from one place to ^ 



KDolher, to bore its way tbrough a resisting body, we should be t 
to auerl, tliat such an eKistence must be thu most frighirul and soK 
tary in nature. However, in the present animal, though we find HI 
condemned to all those' seeming inconveniencies, we shall discoref 1 
no signs of wretchedness or distress. No quadruped is fatter, none I 
IiOB a. more sleek or glossy skin ; and, though denied many advao- 1 
tages that most animula enjoy, it is more hberally possessed ofothen^ ^ 
which they have in a more scanty proportion. , I 

This animal, so well known in England, is however tUterly a 1 
stranger in other places, and parucularly in Ireland. For such^ 1 
therefore, as have never seen it, a short description will be necesr 1 
sary.* And, in the first place, though somewhat of a size between 4 
the rat and the mouse, it no way resembles either, being an animal J 
entirely of a singular kind, and perfectly unhke any other 
ruped whatever. It is bigger than a mouse, with a coat of line^fl 
short, glossy, black hair. Its nose is long and pointed, resembling'^ 
that of a hog, but much longer. Its eyes are so small that it la ' 
'scarcely possible to discern them. Instead ufears, it bos only holes 
in the place. Its neck is so short, that the head seems stuck upon 
the shoulders. The body is thick and round, terminating by a very 
small short tail ; and its legs also are so very short, that the animal 
seems to lie flat on its belly. From under its belly, as it rests in 
this position, the four feet appear just as if they immediately grew 
out of the body. Thus the animal appears to us at first view as s 
mass of flesh covered with a fine shining black skin, with a little 
head, and scarce any legs, eyes, or tail. On a closer inspection, 
.however, two little black points may be discerned, that are its eyes. 
The ancients, and some of the moderns, were of opinion that the 
animal was utterly blind; but Derham, by the help of a microscope, 
'|dainly discovered all the parts of the eye that are known in o^er 
'animals, such as the pupil, the vitreous, and crystalline humours. 
The fore-legs appear very short and strong, and furnished with five 
claws to each. These are turned outwards and backwards, as the 
hands of a man when swimming. The hind-legs are longer and 
weaker than the fore, being only used to assist its motions ; whereas, 
the others are continually employed in digging. The teeth are like 
those of a shrew mouse, and there are five on both sides of the upper 
jaw, which stand out ; but those behind are divided into points. The 
tongue is as Inrge as the mouth will hold. 

Such is the extraordinary figure and formation of this animal; 
•which if we compare with its manner of living, we shall find a mani- 
fest attention in nature to adapt the one to the other.t As it is 
•llotted a subterraneous abode, the seeming defects of lis formatioiifl 
'vanish, or rather are turned to its advantage. The breadth, strengtlfff 
and shortness of the fore-feet, which are inclined outwards, answer^ 

[* Themolr b» six anequal fare-teeth in the upjier jaw, and eight in 
lower; one tusk on each aide in both jaws; seven ^riDdcrs on each >lda 
above, and six below.] + British Zoology. 

HAT KtNU- 99 

the purposes of digging, serving lo ihrow back the eaitli with greater 
ease, and to pursue the worma and insects which are its prey : had 
they been longer, the falling in of the earth would have prevented 
the quick repetition of its strokes in working; or have obliged it to 
make a large hole, in order to give room for their exertion. The 
form of the body is not less admirably contrived for its way of life. 
The fore part is thick, and very muscular, giving great strength to 
the action of the fore-feet, enabling it to dig its way with amazing 
force and rapidity, either to pursue its prey, or elude the search of 
the moat active enemy. By its power of boring the eorth, it quickly 
gets below the surface; and 1 have seen it, when let loose in the 
midst of a field, like the ghost on a theatre, instantly sink into the 
earth ; and the most active labourer, with a spade, in vain allempied 
to pursue. 

The smallneas of its eyes, which induced the ancients lo think it 
was blind, is, to this animal, a peculiar advantage. A small degree 
of vision is sufficient for a creature that is ever destined to live in 
darkness. A more extensive sight would only have served to show 
the horrors of its prison, while nature had denied it the means of an 
escape. Had this organ been larger, it would have been perpe- 
tually liable to injuries, by the falling of the earth into it; but 
nature, to prevent that inconvenience, has not only made them very 
small, but very closely covered them with hair. Anatomists men- 
tion, beside these advantages, another that contributes to their secu- 
rity ; namely, a certain muscle, by which the animal can draw back 
the eye whenever it is necessary, or in danger. 

As the eye is thus perfectly fitted to the animal's situation, so also 
are the senses of hearing and smelling. The first gives it notice of 
the most distant appearance of danger; the other directs it, in the 
midst of darkness, to its food. The wants ofa subterraneous animal 
can be but few ; and these are sufficient to supply them : to eat, and 
to produce its kind, are the whole employment of such a life ; and 
for both these purposes it is wonderfully adapted by nature.* 

Thus admirably is this animal filled for a life of darkness and 
solitude; with no appetites but what it can eajjlly indulge, with no 
enemies but what it can easily evade or conquer. As soon as it has 
once buried itself in the earth, it seldom stirs out, unless forced by 
violent rains in summer, or when, in pursuit of its prey, it happens 
(o come too near the surface, and thus gels into the open air, which 
may be considered as its unnatural element. Tn general it chuses 
the looser softer grounds, beneath which it can travel with greater 
ease; in such also it generally finds the greatest number of worms 

' Testes habet maximos, parastatas BmiiliEsimas, tiavum corpus spminute 
ab hia diveranm ac separaluni. Pi-nem etiam facile omnium, ni fallor, ani- 
maiium loD^saimum, ex quibus colligcre ext maximani prv reliqnis omnibus 
animalibus voluptateni in coitu, hoc abjeclum et vile BnimakulDni peroipere, 
lit habeant quod Ipsi invideanl qui in hoc supremaa Title suie dplicios collo- 
cant: Ray's Synops. Qundrup. p. S3S. Huic opinion! aaspntitar D. Buf- 
fon, attnmen non mihi r ........ .. . . ... 



animaxjS of the 

upon whiuli it cbJefly preys. Ii b observed lo be mOft 
and lo cast up most eartli, imraudiately bdfurc rait), aod in 
befure a tfi^w : at those times the worms and iDsei;t8 begin to 
b^ in.inotion, and approach the surface, ,wLilh«r this iodijslrious oni- 
raal pursues them. Ou the cotitrary, in very dry weather the mole 
seldom or never forms any liillocks ; for then it is obliged to pene- 
Irale deeper after its pi'ey, wiiich at such seasons retire for ioto the 

Ah the moli^s very seldom come above ground,* they have but 
few enemiea; and very readily evade thepuvsuit of animal; stronger 
agd swll^er than themselves. Their greatest calamity is an inun- 
datioR ; which wlieuever it happens, they are seen in numbers at- 
tempting lo snve themselves by swimming, and using every efibrt to 
reach the higher grounds. The greatest pari, however, perish, as 
well aa their young, which remain ia the holes behind. Were it nut 
for such accidents, from their great fi-'cundiiy they would become 
extremely Irgublesome ; and, as it \s, in some places they are con- 
sidered by ihe farmer as his greatest pest. They couple towards 
the .approach of spring ) and their young are ibupd about the begin- 
ning of May, They generally have four or five at a time; and it is 
e^y to distinguish among other mole-liilis, that in vrhich the female 
has brought forth her young. These are made with i^uch greater 
art than the rest, and are usually larger. Tlie female, in order to 
form this retreat, begins by erecting the earth into a tolerably spa- 
cious spartm en t, which is supported within by partitions, at i^oper 
distances, that prevent the rouf from falliag. All round Ijiis st^ 
works, and beats the earth very firm, no as to make it capable of 
keeping out tlie raio lei it be never so violent. As the hillock in 
whicli this apartme&t is thus formed, is raised aboye grouted, the 
4 itiporlment itself is coasequenlly above tlie level of the plain, and 
therefore less subject to accidental slight inuudatiooS' The place 
being tliua litted, she then procures grass and dry leaves, as a bed 
for her youii^. There tltey lie secure fropi wet, and she continues 
to make their retreat equally no from danger ; for (ill round thip hill 
of her own raising, are holea running into the earth, that part frofli 
the middle apartment, like rays from a centre, and extend about 
/ifieen feet in every direction; these resemble so maijy walks or 
ehapses, into which the eitimal makes her subterraneous excur^iQQi, 
and supplies her young with such roots or insects as she can provide; 
but they conlribule still more to the general safely ; for as the mole 
is very quick of hearing, the instant slie perceives her little liabitation 
Htlaokcd, slie lakes to her burrow, and unless the earth be dug 
'away by several men at once, she and her young always make a 
good retreat. 

The mule is scarcely found except in cultivatiid countries: the 
varietitis are but lew. That which is Ibund ui Virginia reseiitbles 

lulo, except III colour, whicti is bluck, mixed ^ith a deei 


■. I :' 



. Tlwre are sometimes white moles seen, parlictikrly in 

rolond, rather larger than the former. As iheir skin is so very ioft 
«nd benuliful, it is odd that it has not been turned to any adra^iage. 
Agricola tells us, that he sa* hala made from it, the finest and ihe 
most beautiful that could be imagined. 




Animals of the Hedgehog kind require but very little accuracy 
to distinguish them from all others. That hair which serves the 
generality of quadrupeds for warmth and ornament, is partly want- 
ing in these, wlitle its place is supplied by sharp spines or prickles 
that serve for their defence. Tliis general characteristic, therefore, 
makes a much more obvious distinction than any that can be taken 
from their teeth or their claws.* Nature, by this extraordinary 
peculiarity, seems to have separated them in a very distinguished 
manner; so that instead of classing the hedgehog among the moles, 
or the porcupine with the hare, as some have done, it is much more 
natural and obvious to place them, and others approaching them in 
this strange peculiarity, in a class by themselves : nor let it be sup- 
posed, that while 1 thus alter their arrangement, and separate them 
from animals with which they have been formerly combined, that I 
am destroying any secret affinities that exist in nature. It is natural, 
indeed, for readers to suppose, when they see two such opposite ani- 
mals as the hare and the porcupine assembled together in the same 
group, that there must be some material reason, some secret con- 
nesion, for thus joining animals so tittle resembling each other in 
appearance. But the reasons for this union were very slight, and 
merely arose from a simihlude in the foreteeth : no likeness in the 
internal conformation ; no similitude in nature, in habitudes, or dis- 
position ; in short, nothing to fasten the link that combines them, but 
the similitude in the teeth ; this, therefore, may be easily dispensed 
with ; and, as was said, it will be most proper to class them accord- 
ing to their most striking similitudes. 

The hedgehog, with an appearance the most formidable, is yet 
one of the most harmless animals in the world : unable or unwiUing to 
offend, all its precautions are only directed to its own security; and 
it is armed with a thousand points, to keep off the enemy, but not to 
invade him. While other creatures trust to (heir force, their cunning, 
ur their swiftness, this animal, destitute of all, has but one espedient 
for safety; and from this alone it often finds protection. As soon 

1 the upper jaw, at a consiilcriibU. dU 

in'ler jaw, less ilislanl; they hnvo 

grinders in each jaw, and recnmbe 

nt dog-teeth on each siJe.] 

VOL. 11.— No. XXV. 





88 it peteeivM ilaelf attacked, ii withdraws alt its Tulnerabb porli, 
ToWa itself into a ball, and presents notliing but its defen«vc Ibonis 
lo the enemy ; thus, while it attempta lo injure no other quadruped, 
they are equally incapable of injuring it ; tike those knights we have 
somewhere read of, who were armed in sucli a manner, that they 
could neither conquer others, nor be themselves overcome. 

This animal is of two kinds ; one with a nose like the snout of a 
hog ; the other more short and blunt, like that of a dog. That with 
the muzzle of a dog is the most common, being about six bches in 
length from the tip of Uie nose to the insertion oftfae tail. The tail 
IS little more than an inch long; and so concealed by the spines as 
to be scarcely visible: the head, back, and sides, are covered with 
prickles ; the nose, breast, and belly, are covered with fine soft hair ; • 
the legs are short, of a dusky colour, and almost bare ; the toes on 
each fool are five in number, long and separated ; the prickles are 
about an inch in length, and very sharp pointed; their lower part in 
white, the middle black, and the points white : the eyes are small, 
and placed high in the head; the ears are round, pretty large, and 
naked ; the mouth is small, but well furnished with teeth ; these, 
however, it only uses in chewing its food, but neither in attacking 
or defending itself against other animals. Its only reliance, in cases 
of danger, is on itsspines: the instant it perceives en enemy, it puti« 
itself into a posture of defence, and keeps upon its guard until it 
supposes the danger over. On such occasions, it immediately alters 
its whole appearance : from its usual form, somewhat resembling a 
small animal with a bunch on its back, the animal begins to bend its 
back, to lay its head upon its breast, to shut its eyes, to roll down the 
skin of its sides towards the legs, to draw these up, and, lastly, tu 
tuck them in on every side, by drawing the akin still closer. In tliia 
form, which the hedgehog alu-ays puts on when disturbed, it no way 
resembles an animal, but rather a roundish mass of prickles imper- 
vious on every side. The shape of the animal thus rolled up, some- 
what resembles a chesnut in the husk ; there beiug, on one side, n 
kind of flat space, which is that on which the head and legs have 
been tucked in. 

Such is the usual appearance of the hedgehog upon the approach 
of any danger. Thus rolled up in a lump, it patiently waits till its 
enemy passes by, or is fatigued with fruitless attempts to annoy it. 
Tlie cat, the weasel, the ferret, and the martin, quickly decline the 
combat; and the dog himself generally spends iiis time in empty 
menaces, rather than in elTectual efforts, Every increase of danger 
only increases the animal's precautions to keep on its guard ; its 
assailant vainly attempta lo bite, since he thus more frequently feels 
than inllicts a wound ; ho stands enraged and barking, and rolls it 
along with his paws; still, however, the hedgehog patiently submits 
to every indignity, but continues secure ; and still more to disgust 
its enemy with the contest, sheds its urine, the smell of which is alone 
KKyat. 73. And of the remile he mlglil 



suflicient tu send litem away. In Ihis mannE^i-, Uie dog, tiTusc Bark- 
ing for some lime, leaves the liedgehog vheru he ibunJ liimj wlio, 
perceiving the dang-ur post, tit length p«cps out Trom its ball, and, if 
not interrupted, creeps slowly to iia relreal. 

The hedgehog:, like moat other wild animaU, sleepi by diy, and 
ventures out. by night. Il generally resides in small thickets, in 
hedges, or in ditches covered with baches : there it makes a hole of 
about six or eight inches deep, and lies well wrapped tip in moss, 
grass, or leaves. Its food is roots, fruits, worms, and insecls. It is 
also aaid to suck cattle, and hurt their udders ; birt the smallncss of 
Kg mouth will serve to clear it from lliis reproach. It is said also to 
ho very hurtful in gardens and orchards, where it will roll itself in a 
heap of fruit, and so carry a large quantity away upon its prickles ; 
but this imputation is as ill grounded os the former, since the spines 
are so disposed that no fruit will stick upon tliem, even if we should 
try to Bs theia on. It rather appears to be a very serviceable ani- 
mal, in ridding our ffelds of insects and worms, wliich ore bo preju- 
dicial to vegetation. 

M. Bufion, who kept these animnls tame about his house, acquits 
them of Uic reproach of being mischievous in the garden ; but then 
he accuses them of tricks, of which, from the form and habits of this 
animal, one would never be led to suspect them. " I hove often," 
says he, "had the female and her young brought me about the be- 
ginning of June; ihey are generally from three to five in number; 
they are while in the beginning, and only (he marks of their spines 
appear. I was willing to reur some of them, and accordingly put 
the dam and her young into a tub, with abundant provision beside 
them; but the old animal, instead of suckling her young, devoured 
lliem all, one after another. On another occasion, a hedgehog that 
liad made its way into the kitchen, discovered a little pot, in which 
there was meat prepared for boiling; the mischievous animal drew 
out the meat, and left its escrcmenLs in the stead. I kept males and 
females in the same nparlmenl, where they lived together, but never 
coupled. I permitted several of them to go about my garden ; they 
did very little damage, and it was scarcely perceivable that they 
were there : tliey 1' d upon the fniils that fell from the trees; they 
dug the earth n o shallow hoi s ; they eat caterpillars, beetles, and 
worms; ibey we e also e y fond of flesh, which they devoured 
bailed or raw 

They couple n pnn ani bring forth about th6 beginning of 
Bummcr. They teep d ng the winter; and what is said of their 
laying up pro ons f ha eason is consequently false. They at 
no time eat much, and can remain very long without any food wha*- 
soever. Their blood is cold, like all other animals that sleep during 
the winter. Their flesh is not good for food ; and iheir skins are 
converted to scarcely any use, except to muzzle calves, to keep them 





The Tanrec and Tendrac are Iwo litiie aaimals described by 
M. G[iffun, of the hedgehog kind, bui yet sufficieotly different from 
it lo constitute a diSerenC species. Like the hedgehog, they are 
covered with prickles, though mixed in a greater proportion with 
hair; but, unlike that animal, they do not defend themselves by 
rolling up in a ball. Their wanting this last property is alone suffi- 
cient to distinguish them from an anlmBl in which it makes Ihe most 
striking peculiarity ; as also, that in the E^st Indies, where only they 
are found, the hedgehog exists separately also — a manifest proof 
that this animal is not a variety caused by the climate. 

The Tanrec is much less than the hedgehog,* being about the size 
of a mole, and covered with prickles, like that animal, except that 
they are shorter and smaller. The Tendrac is still less than the 
former, and is defended only with prickles upon the head, the neck, 
and the shoulders, the rest being covered with a coarse hair, resem- 
bling a hog's bristles. These little animals, whose legs are very 
short, move but slowly. They gnint like a hog; and wallow, like 
it, in the miro. They love to be near water, and spend more of their 
time there than upon laud. They are chielly in creeks and harbours 
of salt water. They multiply in great numbers, make themselves 
holes in the ground, and sleep for several months. During this torpid 
state, their hairs (and I should also suppose their prickles) fall, and 
they are renewed upon their revival. They are usually very fat ; 
and although their llesh be insipid, soft, and stringy, yet the Indians 
find it lo their taste, and consider it as a very great delicacy. 


Those arms which the hedgehog possesses in miniature, the Por> 
cupine has in a more enlarged degree. The short p-ickles of ihe 
hedgehog arc in this animal converted into shafts. In the one, the 
spines are about an inch long; in iheotlier, a foot. The porcupine 
is ahout two feet long, and fifteen inches high. Like the hedgehog, 
it appears a mass of misshapen flesh, covered with quills, from ten to 
fourteen inches long, resembling the barrel of a goose-quill in thick- 
ness, but tapering and sharp at both enda.t These, whether con- 
sidered separately or together, afford sufficient subject lo detain 
curiosity. Each quill is thickest in the middle, and inserted into the 
animal's skin, in the same manner as feathers are found to grow upon 
birds.' It is within side spongy, like ihctop of agoose quill; and of 

• Buffon, wtl. XXS. p. 354. 

[+ This animal hns two fore-tGelh obliquely liWitlt'd both in the upper 
and under jibs, besides eight grinders ; and Ihe body ia coi. rcil wilh quills 
or prickles. II biy.fonr toes on the fore-feet, five on the hind-fuet, a 
erestedhead, a.^horttail, and Ihenpperlip is diiided lUe thai of a hare.] 


J 05 

6iflerent colours, bein^ whi 

to Uie oliier. The h'tggesi 

id black uliernatdy, from one end 
jfien found fifteen inches long, and 
a (juarier oi an inch m diameter; extremely sharp, and capable of 
inflicting a mortal wound. They seem harder than common quills, 
being difficult in be cut, and solid at that end which is not Used in 
the skin. If we examine them in common, as ibey grow upon tlie 
animal, they appear of two kinds; the one nich as J have already 
described, the other long, flexible, and slender, growing here and 
there among the former. There is still another sort of quills, thai 
grow near the tail, while and transparent, like writing quills, and 
that seem to be cut short at the end. All these (juills, of whatever 
kind, incline backwards, like the brisiles of a hog ; but when tlie 
animal is irritated, they rise and stand upright, as bristles are seen 
to do. 

Such is the formation of this quadruped in those parts in which 

it di^rs from most others : as to the rest of its figure, the muzzle 

g some resemblance to that of a hare, but black ; the legs are 

short, and the feet have live toes, both before and behind ; and 

:, as well as the belly, the head, and all other parts of the body, 

:overed with'a sort of short hair, like prickles, there being no 

. except the ears and the sole of the Ibot, iliat is free from llieni ; 

the ears are thinly covered with very fine hair, and are in shape lika 

those uf mankind; the eyes are amaU, like those of a hog, being 

only utie-lhird of an inch from one corner to ttie other. After the 

";m is taken off, there appears a kind of paps on ihuse pnrts of the 

ly from whence ihe large quills proceed ; these are about the size 

ill pea, each answering to as many holes which appear on 

outward surface of the skin, and which are about half an inch 

•p, like as many hollow pipes, wherein the quills are Gxed as in 

many sheaths. 

This animal seems to partake very much of the nature of the 
Igehog, having this formidable apparatus of arms, rolher to defend 
ilf than annoy the enetn^. There have been, indeed, many na- 
lisls who supposed that il was capable of discharging ihem at lis 
and killing at a great distance off. But this opinion has been 
irely discredited of laie; and it is now universally believed that 
quills remain firmly fixed in the skin, and are then only shed 
I the animal moults them, as birds do their feathers. It is true 
re told by Ellis, thai a wolf at Hudson's Bay was found dead, 
the quills of a porcupine fi.ted within its mouth; which might 
ive very well happened, from the voraciousness of the former, and 
' the resentment of the latter. That rapacious creature, in the 
of appetite, might have attempted to devour the porcupine, 
I and all, and very probably paid the forfeit by its life. How- 
this be, of all the porcupines that have been brought i 
irope, not one was ever seen to launch their qoills ; and yet iba 
italions they received were sufficient to have provoked their utmost 
ignalion. Of all the porcupines that Dr. Shaw observed i 
lltiea, and he saw numbers, not one ever attempted lo dart i 




quiila; Uieir ueua) manner of dcfcncu biding to lie oa one «idi:, and 
when the enemy approaches very Dear, by suddenly rising, lu wound 
bim with the poinU on the other. 

ft is probable, thererore, that the porcupine is seldom the aggressor, 
and when attacked by the bolder animals, it only dirt-ciB it» (jnills 
so aa to keep always pointing towards the enemy. These are an 
ample proteGtiw) ; and, as we are assured by Kolben, at such times 
even the lion himself will not venture to make an attack. From 
such, thereroTo, thu porcupine can defend itself; and chiefly bonis 
for serpents, and all other reptiles, for subsistence. Travellers 
universally assure us, that between the serpent and the porcupine 
Uierc esials an irreconcilcable enmity, and that they never meet 
without a mortal engagement* The porcupine, on these occawons, 
is said to roll itself upon tlie serpent, and thus destroy and devour it. 
This may be true; while what we are informed by Monsieur Sarrasin, 
of the porcupine of Canada chiefly subsisting on vegetables, may 
bo equally so. Those which are brought to tli is country to be shown, 
are usually fed on bread, milk, and fruits ; but they will not refuse 
meat when it ta olTered them; aotl it is probable they prefer it in a 
wild state, when it is to be had.t The poruupine is also known to 
be extremely hurlful (□ gardens, and where it enters does incredible 

Tho Americans, who hunt this animal, assure us that the porcu- 
pine lives ftom twelve to fifteerj years. During the time of coupling, 
which is in the month of September, the males become very lieree 
and dangerous, and ofleo arc seen to destroy each other with their 
Iceth, The fenwle goes with young seven months, and brings forth 
but one at a time ; this she suckles but obout a month, and accustonia 
it betimes to live, like herseW, upon vegetables and the bark of 
trees: she is very fierce in its defence; but at other seasons she is 
fvarful, timid, and harmless. The porcupine never attempts to 
bite, nor any way to injure its pursuers : if bunted by a dog, or a 
wolf, it instantly climbs up a tree, and continues there until it has 
weoried out the patience of its adversary : the wolf knows by ex- 
perience how fruitless it would be to wait; he therefore leaves tho 
porcupine above, and seeks out for a new adventure. 

The porcupine does not escape so well from the Indian hunter, 
who eagerly pursues it, in order to make embroidery of its quills, 
and to eat its itesh. This, as we are commonly told, is very tolerable 
eating; however, wo may expect wretched provisions when the 
savages are to be our caterers, for they eat every thing that has 
life. But they are very ingenious with regnril to their entbroidery : 
if I understand tho accounts rightly, they dye the quills of varioiia 
colours, and then splitting them into slips, as we see in the making 
of n cane chair, they embroider with these their belts, baskets, and 
several other necessary pieces of furniture. 

As td tbo rest, ther% arS many things related concerning this anr-^ 

Uuaniaa ; Smith; L. P. ; Vincent Mar 


. 4, tZ 


1 that e.ra fabulgus ; tiut lliere are stilt many circums lances more 

t yet reniain to be known. It were curious u> inquire whether 
this animal moults its quills when vWd, for it is never sceo to shed 
tbcni in a domestic state; whether it sleeps all iho winter, as wc are 
(old by some naturalists, wliich we are sure it does not when brought 
into our country ; and, lastly, whether its quills can be sent off with 
a shake, for no less a naturalist than Reaumur was ortliat opinion. 

All that Wo can learn of so animat exposed as a show, or even by 
ils dissection, is but merely its conformation ; and that makes one of 
tile least inlereslbg parts of its history. We are naturally M, 
when presented with an extraordinary creature, to espect sonrietliing 
extraordinary in its way of living, something uncommon, and corres- 
ponding with its figure ; but of this animal we know little with nny 
precision, except what it offers in a state of captivity. In such a 
situation, that which I saw appeared to very little advantage; it was 
extremely dull and torpid, though very wakeful; and extremely 
voracious, though very capable of Bustaining hunger; as averse to 
any attachment as to being tamed ; it was kept in an iron cage, and 
the touching one of the bars was sufficient to excite itji resentment, 
fur its quills were instantly erected ; and the poet was right in his 
epithet o[ fretful, for it appeared to me the most irascible creatnru 
upon earth. 

The porcupines of America differ very much from that of the 
ancient continent, which wo have been describing; and, strictly 
speaking, may be considered as animals of a different species : how- 
ever, from their being covered with quills, wo will only add them as 
varieties of the former, since we know very little concerning them, 
except their difference of figure. They are of two kinds: the one 
called the Couando, and the other, lirst named by M . Duflbn, liie 
Unon; the one a native of the northern parts of America, theolher 
of the south; and both differing from the former in having long tails, 
whereas that has a very short one. 

The Couando is much less than the porcupine; its quills are four 
limes shorter, its snout more unlike that of a hare; its tail is long 
enough to catch by the branches of trees, end hold by them. It 
may be easily tamed, and is to be found chieffy in the southern parts 
of America, yet is not wanting also in tho northern. 

The Urson, which M. Buffon calls after our countryman, Hudson. 
is a native of Hudson's Bay. The niako of the body of this animal 
is not so round as that of the two former, but somewhat resembling 
the shape of a pig. It is covered with long bristly hair, with a shorter 
hoir underneath, and under this the quills lie concealed very thick ; 
they are white with a brown point, and bearded, and the longest do 
not exceed four inches ; they stick to the hand when the animal is 
stroked on the back ; and- likewise when the hand is taken away, 
they stick so fast as to follow it. They make their nest imder tho 
roots of great trees, sleep very much, and chiefly feed upon the bark* 

Cper. In winter the snow sltvcs ihem for drink, and in ^_ 


ihe cwinlrj lying lo ihe east of Hudson's Bay ; and several of 

Iho trading Aineticans depend on them for food at some r 
of iho year. 




When we talk of a quadruped, the name seems to imply an animal 
covered with hair; wlien we mention a bird, it is natural to conceive 
a creature covered with feathers ; when we hear of a fish, its scales 
are generally the first pai't that strikes our imagination. Nature, 
however, owns none of our distinctions ; various in all her operations, 
she mixes her plans, groups her pictures, and excites our wonder as 
well by her general laws as by her deviations, duadrupeds, which 
we have considered as making the first general class in animated 
nature, and, next to man, the moat dignilied tenants of the earth, 
arc yet In many respects related to the classes beneath them, antf 
do not in every respect preserve tlieir usual distinctions. Their first 
character, which consists in having four feet, is common to the lizard 
kind as well as to them. The second prerogative, whicli is that of 
bringing forth living young, is found in the cetaceous tribe of fishes, 
and also in insects without number. Their third and last attribute, 
which seems more general and constant than the furmer, that of 
being covered with hair, is yet found in various other animals, and 
is deficient in quadrupeds themselves. Thus we must be cautious of 
Judging of the nature of animals from one single character, which is 
always found incomplete ; for it often happens that three ur four of 
the most general characters will not suffice. It must be by a general 
enumeration of the parts, tliat we can determine precisely of the 
works of the creation; and instead of deRnitions, learn to describe. 
Had this method been followed, much of the disgust and the intricacy 
of history might have been avoided, and that time which is now em* 
ployed in combating error, laid out in the promoting of science. 

Were we to Judge ofnature from definitions only, weshould never 
be induced lo suppose that their existed races of viviparous quad, 
rupeds destitute of hair, and furnished with scales and shells in their 
Htead. However, nature, every way various, supplies us with many 
instances of these extraordinary creatures; the old world has its 
quadrupeds covered with scales, and the new with a shell. In both 
Uiey resemble each other, as well in the strangeness of their appe< 
tites as in their awkward conformation. Like animals but partially 
made up, and partaking of different natures, they want those ir 




which animals formed buL fur une elemeDt atone are fDund tc 
The? seem to be a kind of strangers in oature, creatures taken from 
some other element, and capriciously thrown to find a 
subsistence upon land. 


The Pangolin,* wliicli has been usually called the Scah/ Lhard, 
M. Buffon very judiciously restores lo that denomination by which 
It is known in the countries where it is found. The calling it a 
lizard, he justly observes, might be apt to produce error, and o 
its being confounded with an animal which it resembles only in ila 
general form, and in its heing covered with scales. The lizard may 
be considered as a reptile produced from an egg ; the pangolin is a 
quadruped, and brought forth alive, and perfectly formed. The 
lizard is all over covered with the marks of scales ; the pangolin has 
scales neither on the ihroal, the breast, nor the belly. The scales of 
the lizard seem stuck upon the body even closer than those of tishes; 
the scales of the pangolin are only fised at one end, and capable of 
being erected, like those of the porcupine, at the will of the animal. 
The lizard is a defenceless creature; the pangolin can roll itself into 
a ball, like the hedgehog, and presents the points of its scales to the 
enemy, which effectually defend it. 

The pangolin, which is a natlvo of the torrid climates of the an- 
cient continent, is of all other animals the best protected from ex- 
ternal injury by nature. It is about three or four feel long, or, 
taking in the tail, from six lo eight. Like the lizard, it has a small 
head, a very long nose, a short thick neck, a long body, legs very 
short, and a tail extremely long, thick at the insertion, and terminal' 
ing in a point. It has no teeth, but is armed with live loes on each 
foot, with long white claws. Gut what it is chiefly distinguished by 
is its scaly covering, which in some measure liides all the proportions 
ofits body. These scales defend the animal on all parts, except the 
under part of the head and neck, under (he shoulders, the breast, the 
belly, and the inner side of the legs; all which parts are covered with 
a smooth soft skin, without hair. Between the shells of this animal, 
at all the interstices, are seen hairs like bristles, brown at the extre- 
mity, aod yellow towards the root. The scales ofthis estraordinary 
creature are ofditrerent sizes and dlflerent forms, and stuck upon 
the body somewhat like the leaves of an artichoke. The largest are 
found near the tail, which is covered with them like the rest of the 
These are above three inches broad, and about two inches 
J, thick in tlie middle, and sharp at (he edges, and terminated in 
Hindiili point. They are extremely hard, and their substance 

■ This animal has no teeth lillier in tbe upppr or under jaw ; tliu 
is long nnil cvlinrlrical; Ihe snnul, lung and nnrrov) and the 
I covervd with hard scales.] 


tl of born. TIk^ m« ciWTea *m tbe outnli:, aod a biike 
c«iKa*e om Ibe inner; one edge aucls in ibe skin, wbilu ibe other 
hip^ Of a that immwlialdy behind it. Tbnw thai <ot» the uilcon- 
fefm to the shape of that part, being of a doidcj bro«D colour, and 
>o hard, when ihe aninul baj acquired ita full growth, aa lo utra a 



Tbaa armed, thii animal feari nothing from the eCorts of all other 
creslores except man. The instant it perceires ilic approach of an 
tnemy, it roUi itself up like tbe hedgehog, and presents no part but 
tbe cutting' edges of its scales to the assailant. Its long tail, whicb, 
at first view, might be thought easily separable, serves still more to 
increase l)ie animal's security. This is lapped round the rest of the 
Jbody, and, being defended with shells ecen more cutting than any 
other part, tbe creature continues in perfect aecurtly. Its shells are 
ao large, so thick, and so pointed, that they repel every animal uf 
prey ; they make a coat of armour that wounds while it resists, and 
at once protects and threatens. The most cruel, the most famished 
i|iiadniped of the forest, the tiger, the panther, and the hyiena, make 
vain allempts to force il. They tread upon, they roll it about, but 
all to no purpose ; the pangolin remains »afe within, while its invader 
almugl always feels the reward of its rashness. The fox often de- 
stroys the hedgehog by pressing it with his weight, and thus obliges 
it to put forth its nose, which he instantly seizes, and soon aAer the 
i^holo body ; but the scales of the pangolin effectually support il 
under any such weight, while nothing that the strongest animals are 
capableof doing, can compel it to surrender. Man aloneaeems fur- 
nished with amis to conquer its obstinacy. The Negroes of Africa, 
when tlK'y find it, beat il to death with clubs, and consider its flesh 
as a very great delicacy. 

But although this animal be so formidable in its appearance, there 
cannot be a more harmless inoGTensive creature when unmolested. It 
is even nntjualiGed by nature to injure larger animals, if it had the 
disposition, for il has no teclh. Il should seem that the bony matter 
which goes in other animals to supply Uie teeth, is eshausled in this 
in supplying the scales that go to the covering of its body. How- 
ever this be, its life seems correspondent to its peculiar conformation. 
Incapable of being carnivorous, since it has no teeth, nor of subsist- 
ing on vegetables, which require much chewing, il lives entirely upon 
insects, for which nature has filled it in a very eatraordinary manner. 
As it has a long nose, so il may naturally he supposed to have a long 
tongue i but, to increase ils length still more, it is doubled in the 
munlh, so that when extended, it is shot out to above a quarter of a 
yard beyond the tip of the nose. This longue is round, esireriiely 
red, and covered with an unctuous and slimy liquor, which gives iln 
shining hue. When the pangolin, therefore, approaches on ant- 
hill, fur these are the insecls on which il chiefly feeds, it lies down 
neurit, concealing as much aa possible the place of its rctroai, and 
slretcliing out its long tongue nmong the ants, keens il for some time 
quite immoveable. Tliese little animals, allured oy its apficarance. 


and llie unoLuous aubalance with which it is sracared, iiMtuitly 
gather upoa it in great iiumbers; anil when the pangolin suppoBcs a, 
sufficiency, it quickly withdraws the tongue, and swallows them at 
once. This peculiar manner of hunting for its prey is lepeatcd 
either till it be satiated, or till the ants, grown more cautious, will nut 
be allured to their destruction no longer. It is against these noxious 
insects, therefore, that its only force or cunning is exerted ; end were 
th« Negroes but sufficiently sensible of its utility Jn destroying one of 
the greatest pests to Iheir country, Ihey would not bo so eager lo 
kill it. But it is the nature of savage men to pursue Uie immediate 
good, without being solicitous about the more distant benefit they 
remove. They, therefore, hunt this animal witli the utmost avidity 
for its flesh; and, as it is stow and unable to escape in an open 
place, they seldom fail of destroying it. However, it cljieOy keeps 
in the most obscure parts of the forest, and digs itself a retreat in the 
clefts of rocks, where it brings forth its young; so that it is but 
rarely met wilh, and continues a solitary species, and on extraor- 
dinary instance of the varying of nature. 

Of this animal, there is a variety which is called the Phalagin, 
much less than the former, being not above a foot long from the 
head lo the tail, with shells differently formed, with its belly, breast, 
and throat covered with hair, instead of a smooth skin as in the for- 
mer; but ihst by whicli it is peculiarly distinguished is the esient 
of its tail, which is above twice the length of its body. |}uih are 
found in the warm latitudes of the East, as well as in Africa; and, 
as liieir numbers ore but few, it is to be supposed their fecundity is 
not great. 



ivlng mentioned quadrupeds of the ancient continent tovered 
scales, we come next to quadrupeds of the new continent 
with shells. Il would seem that nature had reserved all the 
wonders of her power for these remote and thinly inhabited coun- 
tries, where the men are savage, and the quadrupeds various. It 
would seem that she becomes more extraordinary in proportion as 
she retires from human inspection. But the real fact is, that wherc- 
ever mankind are polished, or thickly planted, they soon rid the 
earth of these odd and half-formed productions, that in some measure 
encumber the soil. They soon disappear in a cultivated country, 
and continue lo exist only in those remote deserts where ihcy have 
no enemies but such as they are enabled to oppose- 

The .Armadillo is chieHy aninhabitant of South America ; a peace- 
ful harmless creature, incapable of oflending any other ([uadruped, 
and furnished with a peculiar covering for its own defence." The 

[• These nnililBln hnVB ffriiiders, but 
they Mu tovi'tcd with a hard bonj slitlJ, i 
iDiJtB or betts.] 





pan^iin, described abuve, xeems an inactive helpless bejng,indebte(t 
for BaTety more lo iis patience than ils power ; but the armndillo is 
still more exposed and helpless. The paogolin is furnished wilh an 
armour that wounds while it resists, and that is never attacked wilh 
impunity ; but the arraadillo is obliged to submit to every insult, 
without any power of repelling its enemy; it is attacked wilhoul 
danger, and is conse<juently liable to more various persecutions. 

This animal being covered, like u tortoise, with a shell, or rather 
a number of shells, its other proportions are not easily discerned. 
It appears, at (Irsl view, a round misshapen mass, with a long head, 
and a very large tail sticking out at either end, as if not of a piece 
witli the rest of the body. It is of diflerent sizes, from a foot to 
three feet long, and covered with a shell divided into several pieces, 
that lap over each other like the plates in a coat of armour, or in 
the tail of a lobster. The diiference in the size of this animal, and 
also the different disposition and number of its plates, have been 
considered as constituting so many species, each marked with its 
own particular name. In all, however, the animal ispartially covered 
with this natural coal of mail; the conTorraation of which affords one 
of the most striking curiosities in natural history. This shell, whicb 
in every respect lesembles a bony substance, covers the head, the 
neck, the back, the sides, the romp, and the tail to t)ie very point. 
The only parts lo which it does not extend are, the throat, tlie breast, 
and the belly, which are covered with a while soft akin, somewhat 
resemblbg that of a fowl stripped of its feathers. If these naked 
parts be observed with attention, they will be found covered with 
the rudiments of shells, of the same substance with tliose which 
cover the back. The skin, even in the parts that are softest, seems 
lo have a tendency to ossify; but a complete ossification takes place 
only on those parts which have the least friction, and are the most 
esposed to the weather, The aliell, which covers the upper part of 
the body, differs from that of the tortoise, in being composed of 
more pieces than one, which lie in bands over the body, and, as in 
ihe tail of the lobster, slide over each other, and are connected by a 
yellow membrane in the same manner. By this means the animal 
has a motion in its back, and the armour gives way to its necessary 
inllexions. These bands are of various numbers and sizes, and from 
them these animals have been distinguished into various kinds. In 
general, however, there are two large pieces that cover, one the 
shoulders, and the other the rump. In the buck, between these, 
tlie bands are placed in different numbers ihat lap over each other, 
and give play lo the whole. Besides their opening cross-ways.Uiey 
also open down along the back, so that the animal can move in 
every direction. In some there are but three of these bands between 
the large pieces; in others there are si.^ ; in a thii'd kind there are 
eight ; in a fourth kind nine ; in a Rhh kind twelve ; and, lastly, in 
the sixth kind there is but one large piece which covers (heshoulders, 
and the rest of the body ia covered wilh bands all down lo ilie tail. 
These sliells ore diUerenlly coloured in diHerent kinds, but most 


usiia]|; ibe; are of a dirty grey. Tliis colour in all arues from 
another peculiur circumstance in Iheir conformation, for the Bhell 
itself is covered with a softish skin, which is smooth and transparent. 
But although these sheila might easily defend this animal from a 
feeble enemy, yet they could make but a slight resistance against a 
more powerful antagonist; nature, therefore, has given the armadillo 
the same method of protecting itself with the hedgehog or the pan- 
golin. The instant it perceives itself attacked, it withdraws the 
head under its shells, and lets nothing be seen but the tip of the 
nose: if the danger increase, the animal's preciulions increase in 
proportion; it then tucks up its feet under its belly, unites its two 
extremities together, while the tail seems as a band to strengthen the 
connexion ; and it thus becomes like a ball, a little llattish on each 
side. In this position it continues obstinately fixed while the danger 
is near, and often long after it is over. In this situation it is tossed 
about at the pleasure of every other quadruped, and very little re- 
sembling a creature endowed with life and motion. Whenever the 
Indians take it, which is in this form, by laying it close to the fire 
they soon oblige the poor animal to unfold itself, and to face a milder • ' 
death to escape a more severe. 

This animal is a native only of America, for they were utterly un- 
known before the discovery of that continent, it is an inoffensive 
harmless creature, unless it finds the way into a garden, where it 
does a great deal of mischief, by eating the melons, the potatoes, and 
other vegetables. Although a native of the -varroest parts of Ame- 
rica, yet it bears the cold of our climate without any inconvenience. 
We have often seen them shown among other wild beasts, which is 
a proof they are not difficult to be brought over. Their motion 
seems to be a swift walk, but they can neither run, leap, nor climb 
trees : so that if found in an open place, they have no method of Es- 
caping from their pursuers. Their only resource in such an ex- 
tremity is to make towards tlieir hole as fast as they can ; or, if this 
be impracticable, to make a new hole before the enemy arrives. For 
(his they require but a very few moments' advantage; the mole 
. itself does not burrow swifter than ihey can. For this purpose they 
e furnished with claws extremely large, strong, and crooked, and 
Itielly four upon each foot. They are sometimes caught by the 
fevl as they are making their way into the earth ; but such is their 
Nistance, and so difficult is it to draw them backward, that they 
e their lail in the hand of their pursuers, and are very well con- 
ed to save tlieir lives with its loss. The pursuers, sensible of 
. never drag the tail with ail thoir force, but hold it while another 
a the ground about them ; and thus these animals are taken alive. 
e instant the armadillo perceives itself in the power of its ene- 
;s, it has but one last resource, to roll Itself up, and thus patiently 
niit whatever tortures they think proper to inflict. The flesh of - 
laller kinds is said to be delicti te eating, so that we may suppose 
■eceive no mercy. For this reason they are pursued with un- 
Mging industry; and, although they burrow very deep in the earth. 



there hav^ been many expedienU umH to foroo thera out. lite 
hunters somelimea contrive to fill the hole with smoke, which is of)«n 
SDcceMful ; they at other times force it by pouring in water. Thej 
bIhu bring up a small kind of dc^s to the chase, that quickly over- 
take them, if at any distance from their burrow, and oblige them to 
roll themselves up in a ball, in which ligure the hunters carry them 
home. If, however, the armadillo be near a precipice, it otlen es- 
capes, by rolling itself up, and then tumbling down from rock to 
rock, without the least danger or inconvenience. They are some- 
times taken in snnrealaid for them by the sides of rivers and low 
moist places, which they particularly frequent ; and this method, in 
general, succeeds better than any of the former, 09 their burrows 
are very deep, and they seldom slir out, except in the night. At 
no time are they found at any great distance from their retreats, 
so that it requires some patience and skill to intercept their retreat. 

There are scarcely any of these that do not root the ground like 
shog, in search of such roots as make a principal part of their food. 
They live also upon melons and otlier succulent vegetables, and 
all will eat flesh when they can get it- They frequent water and 
watery places, where they feed upon worms, small fish, and water 
insects. It is pretended there is a kind of friendship between them 
and the rattle-snake, that they live peaceably and commodiously 
together, and are frequently found in tlie same hole. This, however, 
may be a friendship of necessity to the armadillo; the rattle-snnke 
lakes possession of its retreats, which neither are willing to quit, 
while each is incapable of injuring the other. 

As to the rest, these animals, though (bey nil resemble each other 
in the general character of being clothed with a shell, yet diifer a 
good deal in their size, and in the parts into which their shell is 
divided. The first of this kind, which has but three bands between 
the two large pieces that cover the back, is called the 1'atu Apara. 
I will not enter into an esact description of its figure, which, how 
well written soever, no imagination could exactly concave, and the 
reader would be more fatigued to understand than I to write it. The 
tail is shorter in this than any other kind, being not more than two 
inches long, while the shell, taking all the pieces together, is a foot 
long, and eight inches broad. The second is the Talou of Ray, or 
the Bncoubert ofBufTon : this is distinguished from llie rest by six 
blinds across the back ; it is about the size of a pig of n month old, 
with a small long head and a very long tail. The third is the 
Tatuette, furnished with eight bands, and not by a great deal so 
big as the former. Its tail is longer also, and its legs shorter in pro- 
portion. Its body, from the nose to the insertion of the tail, is about 
ten inches long, and the tail seven. The fourth is the Pig^ieaded 
Armadillo, with nine bands. This is much larger than the former, 
being about two feet long from the nose to the tail. The fifth is 
Oie Kabassou, or Cataphractus, with twelve bands, and still bigger 
than tha former, or any other of its kind, This is often found above 
three feet long.butis nevcrcalen as the rest are. The sixth is the 




Weas^4ieaded; Armadillo, vcllli eighteen banda, wllh a large piece 
before, and nothing but bands backward. This is ubove a foot long, 
and the tail five inches. Of all these, tho Kabastou and the En. 
coubert are the largest; ihe rest are of a much smaller kind. In 
the larger kinds, the shell is much more solid than in the others, and 
the flesh is much harder, and unfit for the table. These are gene- 
rally seen to reside in dry upland grounds, while the small species 
are always found in moist places, and in the neighbourhood of brooks 
and rivers. They all roll themselves into a ball ; but those whosu 
bands are fewest in number are least capable of covering themselveR 
up compleli;ly. The Tatu Apara, for instance, when rolled up, 
presents two great interstices between its bands, by which it is very 
lily Tuhierable, cren by the feeblest of quadrupeds. 



Hating in the last chapter described a race of animals that unite 
the boundaries between quadrupeds and insectn, I come in this to a 
very dilferent class, that serve tu fill up the chasm between quad- 
rupeds and birds. Some naturalists, indeed, have found animals of 
the bat kind so much partaking of the nature of both, that they have 
been at a loss in whicli rank to place them, and have doubted, in 
giving the history of the bat, whether it was a beast or a bird tliey 
were dcscHbing. These doubts, however, no longer exist ; they 
are now universally made to take their place among quadrupeds, 
to which their bringing forth their young alive, their bair, their teetti, 
OS well as the rest of their habitudes end coulbrmatiuD, evidently 
entitle them.* Pliny, Gesner, and Aldrovandus, who placed them 
among birds, did not consider that they wanted every character of 
that order of animals, except the power of flying. Indeed, when this 
animal is seen with an awkward and struggling motion, supporting' 
itself in the air at the dusk of the evening, it presents in some mea- 
sure the appearance of a bird ; but naturalists, whose business it is 
to examine it more closely, to watch its habitudes, and inspect 
into its formation, are inexcusable for concurring in the nii^- 

The bat in scarcely any particular resembles the bird, except in 
its power of sustaining itself in the air. It brings forth its youqg 
alive; it suckles them; its mouth is furnished with teeth; its lungs 
arc formed like those of quadrupeds ; its intestines, and its skeleton, 

[* Id these animBls. nil Ihe teeth are erect, pojnlrd, and near 
and the first four are equal. The fore-ftet have Iho toe 
by H membrane, expanded into a kind of win^, by which they uto cnobli 





have n com[Jete resemblance, and even are, In some measure, seen 
to resemble those or mankind." 

The bal most common in England, is ahont the size of a mouse ; 
or nearly two inches and a half long. The membranes that are 
usually called wings, are, properly speaking, an extension of the 
skin all roimd the body, except the head, which, when the animal 
flies, is kept stretched on every side by the four interior toes of the 
fore-feet, which are enormously long, and serve like masts that keep 
the canvass of a sail spread, and regulate its motions.t The lirst 
toe is quite loose, and serves as a heel when the bat walkn, or as a 
hook, when it would adhere to any thing. The hind-feet are dis- 
engaged from the surrounding skin, and divided into five toes, some- 
what resembling those of a mouse. The skin by which it flies is of a 
dusky colour. The body is covered with a short fur, of a mouse 
colour, tinged with red. The eyes are very small; the cars like 
those of a mouse. 

This species of the bat is very common in England, It makes its 
first appearance early in summer, and begins its flight in the dusk 
of the evening. It principally frequents the sides of woods, glades, 
and shady walks; and is frequently observed to skim along the 
surface of pieces of water. It pursues gnats, moths, and nocturnal 
insects of every kind. It feeds upon these ; but will not refuse meat, 
wherever it can Und it. lis flight is a laborious, irregular movement'; 
and if it happens to be interrupted in its course, it cannot readily 
prepare for a second elevation ; so that if it strikes against any 
object, and falls to (he ground, it is usually taken. It oppears only 
in the most pleasant evenings, when its prey is generally abroad, 
and flies in pursuit with its mouth open. At other times it con- 
tinues in its retreat, the chink of a ruined building, or the hallow of 
a tree. Thus this little animal, even in summer, sleeps the greatest 
part of its lime, never venturing out by day-light, nor in rainy 
weather; never hunting in quest of prey but for a small part of the 
night, and then returning to its hole. But its short life is still more 
abridged, by continuing in a torpid state during llie winter. At the 
approach of the cold season, Ihe bat prepares for its slate of lifeless 
inaclivit;, and seems rather to choose a place where it may continue 
safe from interruption, than where it may be warmly or conve- 
niently lodged. For ihis reason it is usually seen hanging by its 
hooked claws to the roofs of caves, regardless of the eternal damps 
that surround it. The bat seems the only animal that will venture 

remain in these frightful subterranean abodes, where it continues 

a torpid slate, unalfected by every change of the weather. Such 

of this kind as are not provident enough to procure themselves a 

treat, where the cold and heat seldom vary, are sometimes 

I to great inconveniencies, for the weatlier often becomes so 

the midst of winter, as to warm them prematurely into life, 

and to allure them from their holes in quest of food, whe 

• Pcnii 


t BiitUh Zoology. 



ihe particular 

(lu not provided a supply. Then, therefore, Imve si.'lilom strength 
to return ; but, having exhausted themselves in a vain pursuit afli^r 
Insects which are not to be found, are destroyed by the owl, or any 
other animal that follows such petty prey. 

The bat couples and brings forth in summer, generally from two 
to Gve at a time : of this I am certain, that 1 have found five young 
cues in a hole together ; but whether they were the issue of one 
parent, I cannot tell. The female has but two nipples, and those 
forward on the breast, as in the human kind. This was a suRicient 
taotive for Linnatus to give it the title of a Primas, to rank it in (he 
lame order with mankind, and to push this contemptible animal 
among the chiefs of the creation. Such arbitrary associations pro- 
duce rather ridicule than instruction, and render even method con- 
temptible ; however, we are to forgive too strong an attachment ti 
system in this able naturalist, since his application 
history of the animal counterbalances the defect.* 

Frotti Linnaeus we learn, that the female makes no nest for her 
young, as moat birds and quadrupeds are known lo do. She is barely 
content with the first hole «he meets, where, sticking herself by her 
hooks against the sides of her apartment, she permits her young to 
hang at the nipple, and in this manner to continue for the first or 
second day. When, after some lime, the dam begins to grow 
hungry, and Snds a necessity of stirring abroad, she takes her little 
ones and sticks them lo the wall, in the manner she before hung 
herself; there they immovably cling, and patiently wait till her 

Thus far this animal seems closely allied to the quadruped race. 
Its similitude to that of birds is less striking. As nature has fur- 
nished birds with extremely strong pectoral muscles, to move the 
wings, and direct their flight, so has it also furnished this animal. 
As birds also have their legs weak, and unfit for the purposes of 
motion,' the bat has its legs fasliioned in the same manner, and is 
never seen to walk, or, more properly speaking, lo push itself for- 
ward with its hind legs, bul in cases of extreme necessity. The toes 
oflhe for&-legs, or, if we may use the expression, its extremely long 
fingers, extend Lhe web like a membrane that lies between them ; and 
this, which is extremely thin, serves to lift the little body into the air: 
in this manner, by an unceasing percussion, much swifter tlian that of 
birds, the animal continues, and directs its flight; however, the great • 
labour required in flying soon fatigues it; for, unlike birds, which 
continue for days together upon the wing, the bat is tired in less than 
an hour, and then returns to its hole, salisfieJ wilh its supply, to 
enjoy the darkness of its retreat. 

If we consider the bat as it is seen in our own* country, we shall 
lind it a harmless, inoffensive creature. U is true, that il now and 
then steals into a larder, and, like a mouse, commits its petty thefts 
a the fattest parts of the bacon But this happens seldom ; th^ 




^neral tenor or its industry is employed in pursuing insecta that an 
much more noxious to us than itselfcan possibly be ; while ita even- 
ing flight, and its unsteady wabbling motion, srause the imagj. 
nation, and add one figure more to the pleasing group of animated 
nature. The varieties of this animal, especially in our country, are 
but few, and the diflercnces scarcely worth enumeration. Naturalists 
mention the Long-eared Bat, much less than that generally seen, and 
with much longer ears; the Horse-shoe Bat, with an odd protuber- 
ance round its upper lip, somewhat in the form of a hone-shoe ; the 
Rhinoceros Bat, with a horn growing from the nose, somewhat similar 
to that animal from whence it has the name. These, with several 
others, whose varieties are too numerous, and diSerences too minute 
fore detail, are all inoflbnsive, minute, and contemptible; incapable, 
from their size, of injuring mankind, and not sufficiently numerous 
much to incommode him. But there is a larger race of bats, found 
in the East and West Indies, that are truly formidable*, each of these 
is singly a dangerous enemy ; but when they unite in flocks, they 
then become dreadful. Were the inhabitants of the African coasts,* 
says Des Marchais, to eat animals of the bat kind, as they da in the 
East Indies, they would never want a supply of provisions. They 
are there in such numbers, that when they fly they obscure the setting 
sun. In the morning, at peep of day, they are seen slicking upon 
the tops of the trees, and clinging to each other like bees when they 
swarm, or like large clusters of cocoa. The Europeans often amuse 
themselves with shooting among this huge mass of living creatures, 
and observing their embarrassment when wounded. They some- 
times enter the houses, and the Negroes are expert at killing them ; 
but although these people seem for ever hungry, yet they regard 
the bat with horror, and will not eat it though ready to starve. 

Of foreign bats, the largest we have any certain accounts of is the 
Rousette, or the Great Bat of Madagascar. This formidable creature 
is near four feet broad, when the wings are extended ; and a foot 
long, from the tip of the nose to the insertion of the tail. It re- 
sembles our bat in the form of its wings, in its manner of flying, and 
in its internal conformation. It differs from it in its enormous size; 
in its colour, which is red, like that of a fox; in its head and nose 
also, which resemble those of that animal, and which have induced 
some to call it the flying fox; it differs also in the number of ks 
teeth, and in having a claw on the fore-foot, which is wanting in 
ours. This formidable creature is found only in the ancient conti- 
nent; particularly in Madagascar, along the coasts of Africa and 
Malabar, where it is usually seen about the size ofa large hen. When 
they repose, they stick themselves to the tops of the tallest trees, 
and hung with their heads downward. But when they are in motion. 
nothing can be more formidable ; they are seen in clouds, darkening 
the air, as well by day as by night, destroying the ripe fruits of the 
country, and sometimes settling upon animals, and man himselfj. 

• Dea MsrchHia, Tol. ii. p. 208. 



diey devour, indiscrimlnalely. fruits, flesh, and InsacU, ant) drink 
the juice orihe palm tree: they are lieard at night in llje foreitx at 
more than two miles distance, with a horrible din, but at the approach 
ofdaj, they usually begin to retire; nothing- is safe from their 
depredations; they destroy Towls and domestic animals, unless pre- 
served with the utmost care, and oflen fasten upon the inhabitants 
themselves, attack them in the f«ce, and inflict very terrible wounds. 
In short, as some have alretidy observed, the ancients seem to have 
taken their ideas of harpies from these fierce and voracious creatures, 
as they both concur in many parts of the description, being equally 
deformed, greedy, uncleanly, ami cruel. 

An animal not so formidable, but still more mischievous than these, 
is the American Vampyre. This is still less than the former; biH 
more deformed, and siill more numerous. It Is furnished with a 
horn like the rhinoceros bat ; and its ears are extremely long. The 
other kinds ^nerally resort to the forest, and the most deserted 
places; but these come into towns and cities, and afler sun-set, when 
they begin to fly, cover the streets like a canopy.* They are the 
common pest both of men and animals; they effectually destroy the 
one, and often distress the other. " They are," says Ulloa, " the 
most expert blood-letters in the world. The inhabitants of those 
warm latitudes being obliged, by the excessive heats, to leave open 
the doors and windows of the chambers where they sleep, the vam- 
pyres enter, and if they find any part of the body exposed, they 
never fail to fasten upon it. There they continue to suck the blood ; 
and it oAen happens that the person dies under the operation. Tbey 
io.vnuate their tooth into a vein with all the art of the most es- 
perienced surgeon, continuing to exhaust the body, until they are 
satiated. I have been assured," continues he, " by persons of the 
Btrictest veracity, that such an accident has happened to them ; and 
that, had they not providentially awaked, their sleep would have 
been their passage into eternity, — having lost so large a quantity of 
blood as hardly to find strength to bind up the orifice. The reason 
why the punctureis not felt ia, besides the great precaution with which 
it is made, the gentle refreshing agitation of the bal'a wings, which 
contribute to increase sleep, and soften the pain." 

The purport of this account has been confirmed by various other 
travellers; who all agree that this bat is possessed of a faculty of 
drawing the blood from persons sleeping, and thus often destroying 
them before they awake. But still a very strong difficulty remains 
to be accounted for, the manner in which they inflict the wound. 
Ulloe, as has been seen, supposes that it is done by a single tooth ; 
but this we know to bu impossible, since the animal cannot inRx one 
tooth without all the rest accotnpanying its motions ; the teeth of the 
bat kind being pretty even, and the month bot small. M. Buffon 
therefore supposes the wound to be tnllicied by the tongue; which, 
however, appears to me too large (o inllict an un|>ainfiit wound, and' 



even leis qualified for that purpose than ihe teeth. Nor can the 
tongue, an M. Buflon Beema to suppose, serve for the purposes of 
suction, since Tor this it must be hollow, like a syringe, which it is 
not found to be. I should therefore suppose, that the animal is en- 
dowed with a strong power of suction; and that, without inflicting 
any wound whaLtoever, by continuing to draw, it enlarges the pores 
of the skin in such a manner that the blood at length passes, and 
that more freely the longer the operation is continued ; so that, at 
last, when the bat goes off, the blood continues to flow. In con- 
firmation of this opinion we are told, that where beasts have a thick 
skin, this animal cannot injure them; whereas, in horses, mules, and 
asses, they are very liable to be thus destroyed. As to the rest, 
these animals are considered as one of the great pests of South Ame- 
rica, and often prevent the peopling of many parts of that con- 
tinent, having destroyed at Barja, and several other places, such 
cattle as were brought there by the missionaries in order to form a 




Thr gradations of nature from one cla» of beings to another atv 
made by imperceptible deviations. As we saw in the foregoing 
chapters quadrupeds almost degraded into the insect tribe, or mounted 
among the inhabitants of the air, we are at present to observe their 
approach to fishes, to trace the degrees by which they become more 
uolike terrestrial animals, till the similitude of the Rsb prevails over 
thatofthe quadruped. 

As in opposite armies the two bodies are distinct and separated 
from each other, while yet between them are various troops that 
plunder on both sides, and are friends to neither, so between terres- 
trial and aquatic animals there are tribes that can scarcely be referred 
to any rank, but lead an amphibious life between them. Sometimes 
in water, aometlmes on land, they seem fitted for each element, and 
jet completely adapted to neither. Wanting the agility of quad- 
rupeds upon land, and the perseverance of fishes in the deep, the 
variety of their powers only seems to diminish their force ; and, though 
possessed of two different methods of living, they are more incon- 
veniently provided than such as have but one. 

All quadrupeds of this kind, though covered with hair in the 
usual manner, are furnished with membranes between the toes, which 
assist their motion in the water. Their paws are broad, and their 
legs short, by which tliey are more completely fitted for swimming, 
for, taking short strokes at a time, they make them ol^ener and with 
greater rapidity. Some, however, oftheseanimalsaremoreadaptcd 


to live in the water ihan others ; but, as [heir power increases tu 
live in the deep, their unQtneas for living upon land increases in the 
same proportion. Some, like the otter, resemble (juadrupeds in 
every thing escept in being in some measure web-footed ; others de- 
part siill Turther, in being, like the beaver, not only web-footed, but 
having the tail covered with scales, tike those of a fish. Others de- 
part yet farther, as the seal and the morse, by having the hind>feei 
stuck to the body like tins; and others, as the lamenlin, almost en- 
tirely resemble fishes, by having no hind-feet whatsoever. Such arts 
(he gradations of the amphibious tribe. They all, however, get 
(heir living in tlie water, either by habit or conformation ; they all 
continue a long time under water; they all consider that element as 
their proper abode : whunever pressed by danger, they fly to tha 
water for security ; and, when upon land, appear natchful, iimor 
ous, and unwieldy. 

In the first step of the progression from land to amphibiuiis ani* 
mals we find the Otter, resembling those of the terrestrial bind in 
shape, hair, and internal conformation; resembling the aquatic 
tribes in its manner of living, and in having membranes between the 
toes to assist it in swimming. From this peculiar make of its feet, 
which are very short, it swims oven faster than it runs, and can 
overtake fishes in their own element. The colour of this animal ia 
brown ; and it is somewhat of the shape of an overgrown weasel, 
being long, slender, and soft skinned. However, if we examine 
figure in detail, we shall lind it unlike any other animal hitherto 
described, and of such a shape as words can but weakly convey.* 
Its usual lengtli is about two feet long from the tip of the nose to 
the insertion of the tail : the head and nose are broad and fl^t; the 
mouth bears some similitude to that of a fish ; the neck is shtirt, and 
equal in thickness to the head ; the body long ; the tail broad at 
insertion, but tapering off to a point at the end ; the eyes are very 
■mall, and placed nearer the nose than usual in quadrupeds. The 
legs are very short, but remarkably strong, broad, and muscular. 
The joints are articulated so loosely, that the animal is capable of 
turning them quite back, and bringing them on a line with the body, 
so as to perform the office of fins. Each fool is furnished with five 
toes, connected by strong broad webs like those of water-fowl ThuB 
nature, in every part, has had attention to ihelifeofan animal whose 
food is fish, and whusc haunts must necessiarily be about water. 

This voracious animal is never found but at (he sides of 
lakes and rivers, but particularly the former, as it is seldom fond ol 

[• TheOllpr has sii eullinn teptli in tatli jaw ; these of tha upper jiw 
rmct, sharp poinled, ntid dliilinct ; of iKp lovpr jnw, bluntpr, lindillci] 
l<>gether, and two plnced within lh«lin« of the rest.] 



^H reU 



fishing in & ranniog slream ; fur iht current of the water having 
more power upon it than the imbea it pursues, if il hunts against ibe 
stream it swims loo slow, and if with the stream it overshoots its prey. 
However, when in rivers, it is always observed to swim against the 
ctream, and to meet the lishes it preys upon, rather than to pursue 
theiQ. Jn lakes it de^lroys much more than it devours, and is often 
seen to spoil a pond in the space of a few nights. But the damage 
they do by destroying lish is not so great as their tearing in pieces 
the nets of the fishers, which they infallibly do whenever they happen 
to be entangled. The instant they find themselves caught, they go 
[o work with their teeth, and in a few minutes destroy nets of a 
very considerable value. 

The otter has two different methods of fishing : the ope by catch- 
ing its prey from the bottom upward, the other by pursuing it into 
some little creek, and seizing it there. In the former case, as this 
animal has longer lungs then most other quadrupeds, upon taking in 
n quantity of air it can remain for some minutes at the bottom ; and 
whatever fish passes over at that time is cerlainly taken ; for, as 
the eyes offish are placed so as not to see under them, the otter 
attacks them off iheir guard frcra below, and, seizing them at once 
by the belly, drags them on shore, where it often leaves tliem un- 
touched, to continue the pursuit fur hours together. The other method 
is chiefly practised in lakes and ponds, where there is no current ; 
the fish thus taken are rather of the smaller kind, for the great ones 
will never be driven out of deep water. 

In this manner the otter usually lives during the summer, being 
furnished with a supply much greater than its consumption ; killing 
for its amusement, and infecting the edges ofthe lake with quantities 
of dead Gsh, which il leav^ there as trophies rather of its victory 
than its necessities. But in winter, when the lakes are frozen over, 
and the rivers pour with a rapid torrent, the otter is often greatly 
distressed for provisions, and is then obliged to live upon grass, 
weeds, and even the bark of trees. It then comes upon land, and, 
grown courageous from necessity, feeds upon terrestrial animals, rats, 
insects, and even sheep themselves. Nature, however, has given it 
the power of continuing a long time without food; and although 
during that season it is not rendered quite torpid, like the marmot 
or the dormouse, yet it keeps much more within its retreat, which 
ii usually the hollow of a bank worn under by the water. There it 
often forms a kind of gallery, running for several yards along the 
edge of the water ; so that when attacked at one end, it Bies to the 
other, and often evades the fowler by plunging into ihe water at 
forty or fifty paces distance, while he expects to find it just before 

We learn from M. Buffon. that this animal, in France, couples ia 
winter, and brings forth in the beginning of spring. But it is eer- 
ily different with us, for its young are never found till the latter 
end of summer; and 1 have frequently, when a boy, discovered their 
retreats, and pursued them at that season. I am, therefore, mora 


e Academy 
t middle of 
merftHy three 
~ his other rem 

^^■N th( 

IHliaed to follow the account given us of thia animal by Mr. Lota> 
Stockholm, who assures ub that it couples a.baut 
and brings forth at the end uf nine weeks, 
four at a lime. This, as weti as the generality 
his subject, agree* so exactly with what I 
■ember concerning it, that I will beg leave to take him for my 
e ; assuring the reader, that however extraordinary the account 
seem, I know it to be certainly true. 

I the rivers and t)ie lakes frequented by the otter, the bottom it 

y stony and uneven, with many trunks of trees, and long 

etched underneath the water,'* The shore also is hollow 

iped inward by the naves. These are the places the otter 

ieily chaoses for its retreat ; end there is scarcely a stone which 

does not bear the mark of its residence, as upon them its excrements 

arc always made, ft is chiefly by this mark that its lurking places 

are known, as well as by the quantity of dead fish that are found 

ing here and there upon the banks of the wator. To take the old 

easy task, as they are extremely strong, and there 

few dogs that will dare to encounter them. They bite with great 

iaeas, and never let go iheir hold when they have once fastened. 

best way, therefore, is to shoot them at once, as they never will 

thoroughly tamed ; and, if kept for the purposes of fi.ihing, are 

lys apt to take the tirst opportunity of escaping. But the young 

les may be more easily taken, and converted to very useful pur- 

The otter brings forth its young generally uniler the hollow 

upon a bed of rushes, flags, or such weeds as the place afford* 

greatest quantities. 1 see in the British Zoology a description of 

< habitation, where that naturalist observes, "that it burrows- under 

gronnd, on the bnnksof some river or lake, and always makes the 

tntrance of its hole under water, then works up to the surface of the 

esith, and there nmkes a minute orilice (or the admission ofair ; and 

(his little air-hole is often found in the middle of some thicket." In 

some places this may be true, but I have never observed any such 

contrivance; the retreat, indeed, was alivays at the edge ofths 

water, but it was only sheltered by the impending bank, and the 

otter itself seemed to have but a small share in its formation. But, 

be this as it may, the young ones are always found at the edge of the 

water; and, if under the protection of the dam, she teaches them 

itutantly to plunge, like herself, into the deep, and escape among the 

rashes or weeds that fringe the stream. At such times, therefore, it 

\a T<ry. difficult to lake them ; for, though never so young, they swim 

with great rapidity, nnd in such a manner that no part of them is 

seen above water, except the tip of the nose. It is only when the 

dam is absent that they can be taken ; and in some places there 

dogs purposely trained for discovering their retreats. Whenevei 

dog comes to the place, he soon, by his barking, shows that the otter 

there; which, if there be an old oni?, instantly plunges into th6 


angpr, JuLn 

1, f. II, 






', and ihe young all follow. Bui if ihe dd one be absent, tb«y 
e terrified, and will not venture forth but under her guidanee 
and proleciion. In ihin manner tliey are eeciired and taken home 
alive, where they are carefully fed with small fish and water. In 
proportion, however, as they gather strength, they liave milk mixed 
among their food, ihequantiiy of iheir fish provision is retrenched, and 
thntof vegetables is increased, until at length they are fed wholly 
upon bread, which perfectly agrees with their eonstitnlion. The 
manner of training them up to hunt for fish requires not only assiduity 
but patience ; however, their actirity and use, when taught, gteally 
repays the trouble of teaching ; and perhaps no other animal is more 
beneficial to its master. The usual way is, first to learn them to 
fetch asdc^sare instructed ; but, as they have not the same docility, so 
it requires more art and experience to teach them. It is usually 
performed by accustoming them to take a truss stuffed with wool, of 
the shape ofa fish, and made of leather, in their mouths, and to drop 
it at the word of command : to run after it when thrown forward, and 
to bring it to their master. From this they proceed to real fish, which 
are thrown dead into the water, and which ihey are laught to fetch 
from thence. From the dead they proceed to the live, until at last 
the animal is perfectly instructed in the whole art of fishing. An 
otter thus taugtit is a very valuable animal, and will catch fish enough 
to sustain not only itself but a whole family. 1 have seen one of these 
go to a gentleman's pond at the word of command, drive up the fish 
into a corner, and seizing upon the largest ofthe whole, bring it off 
iu its mouth to its master. 

Otters are to be met with in most parts of the world, and rather 
differ in size and colour from each other, than in habiuides or 
conformation." Jn North America and Carolina they are usually 
found white, inclining to yellow. The Brazilian otter is nwch larger 
than ours, with a roundish head, almost like I 
being but five inches long ; and the hair is sol 
on the head, where it is of h dark brown, w 
Ihe ihroal. 


est. The tail is shorter, 

, short, and black, eicepL^— 

th a yellowish spotuntu^^^ 

iproved, the lower ranl^^l 

are repressed and degraded. -f Either reduced to servitude, or treated 
as rebels, all their societies are dissolved, and all their united talents 
rendered ineffectual. Their feeble arts quickly disappear, and no- 
thing remaitis but their solitary instincts, or those foreign habitudes 
which they receive from human education. For this reason there 
remain no traces of their Bocieni talents and industry, except in those 
countries where man himself is a stranger; where, unvisited by his 
eon trolling power, for a longsuccessiun of ages, their little tali 

■ Hay. 

* BiilTuii. 



have had time to come to iheir limited perrection, and their common 
designs have been capable of being united. 

The Beaver aeems to be now the only remaining monument of 
brulfll society.* From the result of iu labours, which ere still to 
be seen in the remote parU of America, we learn how far instinct can 
be aided by imitation. We from thence perceive to what a degree 
animals, without language or reason, can concur for their mutual 
advantage, and attain by numbers those advantages which each, in 
a state of solitude, seems nnGtted to possess. 

If we examine the beaver merely as an individual, and uncon- 
nected with others of its kind, we shall find many other quadrupeds 
to esceed it in cunning, and almost all in the powers ofannoyancu 
and defence. The beaver, when taken from its fellows, and kept 
in a state of solitude or domestic tame n ess, appears to be a mild, 
gentle cre-ature, familiar enough, but somewhat dull, and even melan^ 
choly; without any violent passions or vehement appetites, moving 
but seldom, making no efforts to attain any good, except in gnawing 
the wall of its prison, in order to regain its freedom; yet this, how- 
ever, without anger or precipitation, but calm and indifferent to all 
about it, without attachment or antipathies, neither seeking to offend 
nor desiring to please. It appears inferior to the dog in those qualities 
which render animals of service to man ; it seems made neither to 
serve, to command, nor to have connexions with any other set of 
beings, and is only adapted for living among its kind. Its talents 
are entirely repressed in solitude, and are only brought out by 
society. When alone, it has but little industry, few tricks, and 
without cunning sufficient to guard it against the most obvious and 
bungling snares laid for it by the hunter. Far from attacking any 
other animal, it is scarcely possessed of the arts of defence. Pre- 
ferring flight to combat, hkeall wild animals, it only resists when 
driven to an extremity, and dghts only when its speed can no longer 

But this animal is rather more remarkable for the singularity of 
its conformation, than any intellectual superiorities it may be sup- 
posed in a state of solitude to possess. The beaver is the only 
creature among quadnipeds that has a flat broad tail, covered with 
scales, which serves as a rudder to direct its motions in the water. 
It is the sole quadruped that has membranes between the toes on 
the hind'feet only, and none on the fore-feet, which supply the place 
of hands as in the squirrel. In short, it is the only animal thai in its 
fore parts entirely resembles a quadruped, and in its hinder parts 
seems to approach the nature of fishes, by having a scaly tail. In 
other respect!, it is about two feet long, and near one foot high; it 
is somewhat shaped like a rat, except the tail, which, as has been 
observed, is flat and scaly, somewhat resembling a neat's tongue at 

[" Thisanim«l has the fore-teclli ot the upper jaw Iruucaled, and bolluwcd 
in E Irsnsversp angular direction ; the Inps of the fort-teeth nT the loww 
jaw lie in a transverse ■lirecliou ; it haseight grinders In eath jam ; and the 
tail iE depressed.] 





the point. Ita colour is of a light brown : the hair of two sorts ; the 
one longer snd coariser ; the other, sod, line, short, and gillcy. The 
teeth are like those of a rat or a siinirre], but longer and stronger, 
and admirably adapted to cutting timber or stripping bark, to which 
purposes they are constantly applied. One singularity more may 
be mentioned in ita conformation, which is, that, like birds, it has but 
one and the same vent for the emission of its excrements and its 
urine ; a strange peculiarity, but which anatomiste leaves us no room 
to doubt of. 

The beavers begin to assemble about the months of June and 
July, to form a society that is to continue for the greatest part of the 
year. They arrive in numbers from every side, and generally foitn 
a company of above tivo hundred. The place of meeting is com- 
monly the place where they fix their abode, and this is nlways by 
the side of some lake or river. If it be a lake in which the waters 
are always upon a level, they dispense with building a dam ; but if 
it be a running stream, which is subject to fioods and falls, they then 
set about building a dam, or pier, that crosses the river, so that it 
forms a dead water in that part which lies above and below. This 
dam, or pier, is often fourscore or a hundred feet long, and ten or 
twelve feet thick at the base. If we compare the greatness of the 
work with the powers of the architect, it will appear enormous ; but 
the solidity with which it is built is still more astonishing than its 
siKe. The part of the river over which this dam is usually built, is 
where it is most shallow, and where sotne great tree is found growing 
by the side of the stream. This they pitch upon as proper for mak- 
ing the principal part in their building; and although it is often 
thicker than a man's body, they insiantly set about culling it down. 
For this operation they have no oiher instrument but their teeth, 
which soon lay it level, and that also on the side ihey wish it to fall, 
which is always across the stream. They then fall about culling olT 
the top branches, to make it lie close and even, and serve as the 
principal beam of their fabric* 

This dike, or causey, is somclimes ten, and sometimes twelve feet 
thick at the foundation. It descends in a declivity or slope on that 
side next the water, which gravitaies upon the work in proportion to 
the lieighl, and presses it with a prodigious force towards the earth. 
The opposite side is erected perpendicular, like our wails ; and that 
declivity, which, at the bottom, or basis, is about twelve feet broad, 
diminishes towards the lop, where it is no more than two teet broad, 
or thereabouts. The materials whereof this mole consists, are wood 
and clay. The beavers cut, with surprising ease, targe pieces of 
wood, some as thick as one's arm or thigh, and about four, five, or 
six feet in length, or somelitites more, according as the slope ascends. 
They drive one end of these stakes into the ground, at a small dis- 
tance one from the other, intermingling a few with ilii'm that are 
smaller and more pliant. As the water, however, would find 



pasaege thrnugh the intervals or spaces between them, and leave [he 
reservoir dry, they have recoiirBe to a clay, which they know where 
to find," and with which they stop up all the cavilies bolh withia and 
without, HD that the water la duly confined. They continue to raise 
the dike in proportion to the elevation of the water, and the plenty 
which they have of it. They are conscious likewise that the con- 
veyance of their materials by land would not be so easily accom- 
pliahed at by water ; and therefore they lake the advantage of its 
increase, and swim with theJr mortar on their tails, and their slakes 
between their teeth, to the placed where there is most occasion for 
them. If their works are, either by tlie force of the water, or the 
feet of the huntsmen who run over them, in the least damnified, the 
breach is instantly made up ; every nook and comer of the habita- 
tion is reviewed, and, with the utmost diligence and application, per- 
fectly repaired. But when they find the huntsmen visit them too 
often, they work only in the night'time, or else abandon their works 
entirely, and seek out for some safer situation. 

The dike or mole being thus completed, their next care is to erect 
their several apartments, which are either round or oval, and divided 
into (bree stories, one raised above the other ; the first below the 
level of the causey, which is for the most part full of water; the other 
two before it. This little fabric is built in a very firm and sub- 
stantial manner on the edge of their reservoir, and always in such 
divisions or apartments as above-mentioned ; that in case of the 
water's increase, they may move up a story higher, and be no ways 
incomnjoded. If they lind any little Island contiguous to their re- 
servoir, they fix their mansion there, which is then more solid, and 
not so frequently exposed to the overflowing of the water, in which 
they are not able to continue for any length of time. In cose they 
cannot pilch upon so commodious a situation, they drive piles into 
the earth, in order to fence and fortify their habitation against the 
wind as well as the water. They make two apertures, at the bottom, 
to the stream ; one is a passage to their bagnio, which they always 
keep neat and clean ; the other leads to that part of the building 
where every thing is conveyed that will either soil or damage iheir 
upper apartments. They have a third opening or door-way, much 
higher, contrived for the prevention of their being shut up and con- 
fined when the frost and snow has closed the apertures of the lower 
floors. Sometimes they build their houses altogether upon dry 
land ; but then they sink trenches five or six feet deep, in order to 
descend into the water when they see convenient. They make use 
of the same materials, and are equally industrious, in the erection of 
their lodges as their dikes. Their walls are perpendicular, and about 
two feel thick. As their teeth are more serviceable than saws, they 
cut off all the wood that projects beyond tlie wall. After this, wheti 
they have minted up some clay and dry grass together, they work it 
into a kind of mortar, with wliich, by the help of tlieir tails, they 
plaster all their works, both within and without. 

The inside is vaulted, and is large enough for the reception of 






eight or ten beavers. In case it rises in an oval figure, it ii for the 
generality above twelve feet long, and eight or ten feet broad. If 
ifie number of inhabitants increase to fifteen, twenty, or thirty, the 
edifice is enlarged in proportion. I have been credibly informed, 
thnt four hundred beavers have been discovered to reside in one 
large mansion.honse, divided into a vast number of apartments, that 
had a free communication one with another. 

All these works, more especially in the northern parts, are finished 
in Aligust, or September at farthest ; at which time they begin to 
lay in their stores. During the summer, they are perfect epicures, 
and regale themselves every day on the choicest fruits and plants the 
country affords. Their provisions, indeed, in the winter season, 
principally consist of the wood of the birch, the plane, and some few 
other trees, which they steep in water, from time to time, in such 
quantities as are proportioned to the number of inhabitants. Tbey 
cut down branches from three to ten feet in length. Those of the 
largest dimensions are conveyed to their magazines by a whole body 
of beavers: but the smallest by one only: each of them, however, 
takes a different way, and has liis proper walk assigned him, in order 
that no one labourer should interrupt another in the prosecution of 
his work. Their wood-yards are larger or smaller in proportion to 
the number in the family ; and, according to the observation of some 
curious naturalists, the usual stock of limber, for the accommodation 
of ten heavers, consists of about thirty feet in a square surface, and 
ten in depth. These logs are not thrown up in one continued pile, 
but laid one acrctss the other, with intervals or small spaces between 
them, in order to take out, with the greater facility, but jusL such a 
quantity as they shall want furtheir immediate consumption, and those 
parcels only which lie at the bottom in the water, and have been 
duly steeped. This timber is ctit again into small particles, and con- 
veyed to one of their largest lodges, where the whole family meet, to 
consume their respective dividends, which are made impartially, in 
even and equal portions. Sometimes they traverse the woods, and 
regale their young with a more novel and elegant entertainment. 

Such as are used to hunt these animals, know perfectly well that 
green wood is much more acceptable to them than that which it 
old and dry ; for which reason they plant a considerable quantity of 
it round their lodgements; and as they come out to partake of it, 
they either catch them in snares or lake them by surprise. lu the 
winter, when the frosts are very severe, they sometimes break a large 
hole in the ice ; and when the beavers resort thither for the benelit 
of a little fresh air, they either kill them with their hatchets, or cover 
the hole with a large substantial net. After this, they undermine and 
subvert the whole labric; whereupon the beavers, in hopes to make 
their escape in the usual way, fly with the utmost precipitation to the 
water, and plunging into the aperture, fall directly into the net, and 
itably taken. 



I!!!;* THE SEAL. 

Every step we prcveed in the description of amphibious quad- 
nipeds, we make nearer advances lo liie tribe of fishes. We first 
observed the otler with its feet webbed, and formed for an aquatic 
life ; we next saw the beaver with the hinder parts covered with 
scales, resembling those of fishes; and we now come to a class of 
animals in which the shape and habitude of Gnhes stitl more appa- 
rently prevail, and whose internal conformation attaches them very 
closely to the water. The Seat, in general, resembles a quadruped 
in some respects, and a fish in others.* The head is round, like that 
of a man ; the nose broad, like that of the otter ; the teeth like those 
ofadog; the eyes large and sparkling; no external ears, but holes 
that serve for that purpose ; the neck is well proportioned, and of a 
moderate length ; but the body thickest where the neck is joined to 
it. From thence the animal tapers down Id the tail, growing all the 
way smaller like a fish. The whole body is covered with a thick 
brially shining hair, which looks as if it were entirely rubbed over 
with oil ; and thus far the quadruped prevails over the aquatic. But 
it is in the feet that this animal greatly difiers from all the rest of the 
quadruped kind; for, though furnished with the same number of 
bones with other cjuadrupeds, yet they are so stuck on the body, and 
so covered with a membrane, that they more resemble fins than feet ; 
and might be taken for such, did not the claws with which they are 
pointed show their proper analogy. In the fore-feet, or ralherhands, 
all the arm and the cubit are hid under the skin, and nothing appears 
but the hand from the wri.<t downwards ; so that if we imagine a 
child with its arms swathed down, and nothing appearing but its hands 
at each side of the body, towards the breast, we may have some idea 
of the formation ofihisaijimal in that part. These hands are covered 
in a thick skin, which serves like a fin for swimming ; and are diilin- 
guished by live claws, which are long, black, and piercing. .' 
the hind -feet, they are stretched out on each side of the short tail, 
covered with a hairy skin like the former, and both together almost 
joining at the tail ; the whole looks like the broad flat tail of a ~ ' 
and, were it not for five claws which appear, might be considered hi 
such. The dimensions of this animal arc various, being found from 
four feel long lo nine. They differ also in their colours; some 
being black, others spotted, some white, and many more yellow, 
would, therefore, be almost endless lo mention the varieties of ihii 
animal. Buffon describes three ; and Craniz mentions five, all dif- 
ferent from those described by the other. I might, were I fond of 
such honours, claim the merit of being a describer myself; 

There is but one dns-tonth o 
Ifari!»-piiiDted grinders ; and the hind-f«et n 


in fact, the varieties in this animal are »o many, that, were ihey all 
described, the catalugue would be aa extensive as it wuuJd be useless 
and unentertaining. It is sufficient to observe, ihat they agree m 
the general esternal characters already mentioned, and internally in 
two or three more, which are ao remarkable as to deserve peculiar 
, attention. 

It has been often remarked, thai all animals are sagacious in pro- 
portion to the size of their brain. It has, in support of this opinion, 
been alleged, that man, with respect to hia bulk, has of all others the 
largest. In pursuance of this assumption, some erroneous specU' 
lations have been formed. But were the size of the brain to deter- 
mine the quantity of the understanding, the seal would of all other 
animals be the most sagadous ; for it has, in proportion, the largest 
brain of any, even man himself not excepted. Ilowever, this an 
mal ia possessed of but very few ad vantages over other qnsjlrupedi 
and the size of its brain furnishes it with few powers that contrtbii) 
to its wisdom or its preservation. 

This animal differs also in the formation of its tongue from all oti 

Juadrupeds. It is forked or slit at the end tike (hat of serpents 
>T what purpose it is tlius singularly contrived we are at a lo 
know. We are much better informed with respect lo a third sin- 
gularity in its conformation, which is, that iheforamen ovale in the 
heart is open. Those who are in llie least acquainted with anatomy 
know, that the veins uniting bring their blood to the heart, winch 
sends it into (he lungii, and from thence it returns to the heart agaii 
to be distributed through the whole body. Animals, however, befo 
they ere born, make no use of their lungs ; and therefore their bli 
- without entering their lungs, takes a shorter passage through the 
partition of the heart, from one of its chambers to the other, thua 
passing from the veins directly into those vessels thatdrive it through 
the whole frame. But the moment the animal is brought furlb, the 
passage through the partition (wiiich passage is called tho/bri 
oeale) closes up, and continues closed for ever^ for the blood 
takes its longest course through the lungs to return to the ol 
chamber of the heart again. Now the seal's heart resembles that 
an infant in the womb, for ihe/oramen ovale never closes; and at^ 
though the blood of this animal commonly circulates through the 
lungs, yet it can circulate without their assistance, as was observed 
above, by a shorter way.* From hence, therefore, we see the man- 
ner in which this animal is adapted for continuing imder water ; for, 
being under no immediate necessity of breathing, the vital motioiu 
are still carried on while it continues at the bottom ; so that it can 
pursue its prey in that element, and yet enjoy ail the delights 
advantages of ours. 





•I have foUowi^d the usual 


vslions of naluralials with resppct lo 

ira«*ii aoale In this Bnimal ; I 


many reasons, however, lo ineliim 

think thstthe/HMmeBiB not 


lynppn. But iMs is nol ihe plaM 



The water is tliB Beal's usual habiiaiiun, and whalevep fisb it can 
catch its food. I'hougli not equal in instinct and cunning to some 
terrestrial animals, it is greatly superior to the mute tei^ante of that 
element in which it chiefly resides. Although it can continue for 
several minutes under water, yet it is not able, hke Gnhes, to remain 
there for any length of time; and a seal may be drowned like any 
other terreBifiat animal. Thus i( seems superior in some respects to 
the inhabitants of both elements, and inferior in many more. Al- 
though furnished with legs, it is in some measure deprived of all the 
advantages of them.* They are shut up within its body, while no- 
thing appears but the extremities of them, and theae furnished with 
very little motion, but to serve them as fins in the water. The hind- 
feet, indeed, being turned backwards, are entirely useless upon land ; 
so ihftt when the animal is obliged to move, it drags itself forward 
like B reptile, and with an effort more painful. For this purpose it 
is obliged to use its fore-feet, which, though very short, serve to give 
it such a degree of swiftness, that a man cannot readily overtake it ; 
and it runs towards the sea. As it is thus awkwardly formed for 
going upon land, it is seldom found at any distance from the sea- 
ahore, but continues to bask upon the rocks; and, when disturbed, 
always plunges down at once to the bottom. 

The seal is a social animal, and, wherever it frequents, numbers 
are generally seen together. They are found in every climate, btit 
in the north and icy seas they are particularly numerous. It is on 
those shores, which are less inhabited than ours, and where the (i^ 
resort in greater abundance, that they are spen by thousands, like 
docks of sheep, basking on the i-ocks, and suckling their young. 
There they keep watch, like other gregarious animals ; and, if an 
enemy appear, instantly plunge all together into the water. In line 
weather they more usually employ their time in fishing, and generally 
come on shore in tempests and storms. The seal seems the only 
animal that takes delight in these tremendous conflicts of nature. In 
the midst of Umnders and torrents, when every other creature takes 
refuge from the fury of the elements, the seals are seen by thousands 
sporting along the shore, and delighted with the universal disorder. 
This, however, may arise from the sea being at that time too turbu- 
lent for them lo reside in ; and they may then particularly come 
upon land, when unable to resist the shock of their more usual 

As seals are gregarious, so they are also animals of passage, and 
perhaps the only quadrupeds that migrate from one part of the world 
to another. The generality of quadrupeds are contented with their 
native plains and forests, and seldom stray, except when necessity 
or fear impels them. But seals change their habitation, and are 
seen in vast muhiludes directing their course from o»e continent to 
another.t On the northern coasts of Greenland, they are seen lo 
1 July, and to return again in September. This time, it is 

i. p. 13B. 



Bupposei}, ihey go in pursuit of food. But tliey make a secooil 
deparluri: in March to cast their young, and return in the beginning 
of June, young and all, in a greal body together, obsemng in their 
route a cerlnin fised time and track, like birds of passage. When 
they go upon this expedition, they are seen in great droves, for many 
days together, making towards the north, taking that part of the sea 
most free from ice, and going still forward into those seas where man 
cannot follow. In what manner they return, or by what passage, ii 
utterly unknown; it is only observed, that when they leave the 
coasts to go upon this expedition they are all extremely fat, but on 
iheir return they come home escessiveiy lean. 

The females in our climate bring forth in winter, and rear their 
young upon some sand-bank, rock, or desolate island, at some dis- 
tance from the continent, When they suckle their young, they sit 
up on their hinder legs, while these, whicli are at lirst white with 
vooly liair, cling to the teats, of which there are four in number, 
near the navei.* In this manner the young continue in the place 
where they are brought forth for twelve or fifteen days ; after which 
the dam brings them down to the water, and accustoms them to swim, 
and get their food by their own industry. As each litter never ex- 
ceeds above three or four, so the animal's cares are not so much 
divided, and the education of her little ones is soon completed. In 
fact, the young arc particularly docile ; they understand (he mother's 
voice among the numerous bleatings of the rest of the old ones ; 
they mutually assist each other in danger, and arc perfectly obe' 
dienl to her call. Thus early accustomed to subjection, they con- 
tinue to live in society, hunt and breed together, and have a variety 
of tones, by which they encourage to pursue, or warn each other of 
danger. Some compare their voices to the bleating of a flock of 
sheep, interrupted now and then by the barking of angry dogs, and 
sometimes the shriller notes of a cat.f All along the shore, each 
has its own peculiar rock, of which it takes possession, and where it 
sleeps when fatigued with fishing, uninterrupted by any of the rest. 
The only season when their social spirit seems to forsake them, is that 
when they feel the influences of natural desire. They then fight most 
desperately, and the male that is victorious keeps all the females to 
himself. Theircombats on these occasions are managed with greal 
obstinacy, and yet great justice: two are never seen to fall upon one 
together ; but each has its antagonist, and all fight an equal battle, 
till one alone becomes victorious 

We are not certainly informed how long the females continue 
pregnant ; but if we may judge from the time which intervenes be- 
tween their departure from the Greenland coasts and their return, 
they cannot go above seven or eight months at the farthest. How 
long this animal lives is also anknown : a gentleman whom 1 knew 
in Ireland, kept two ofthem, which he had taken very young, in his 


I °^^"""^ I 


honse for ten years ; and ihey appeared lo have the marks of age at 
the time I saw theni, for they were grown grey about the muzzle ; 
and it is very probable they did not live many years longer. In 
their natural state the old ones are seen very fnt and torpid, sepa- 
rated from the rest, and. as it should aeem, incapnble of procreation. 

As their chief food is lish, so they are very expert at pursuing 
and catching it. In those places where the herrings are seen in 
ehoals, the seals frequent, and destroy them by thousands. When 
the herrings retire, the seal is tlien obliged to hunt after fish that are 
stronger, and more capable of evading the pursuit : * however, they 
are very swiH in deep waters, dive with great rapidity, and while the 
spectator eyes the spot al which they disappear, they are seen to 
emerge at above a hundred yards distance. The weaker fishes, 
therefore, have no other means to escape their tyranny, but by 
darling into the shallows. The seal has been seen to pursue a mullet, 
which is a swift swimmer, and lo turn jt lo and fi'o, in deep water, as 
a hound does a hare on land. The mullet has been seen trying 
every art of evasion, and at last swimming into shallow water, in 
hopes of escaping. There, however, the seal followed ; so that the 
little animal had no other way left to escape, but to throw itself oi 
one side, by which means it darted into shoaler water than it 
could have swam in with the belly undermost; and thus at la 
got free. 

As they are thus the tyrants of the element in which they chiefly 
reside, so they arc not very fearful upon land, except on those shores 
which are thickly inhabited, and from whence they have been fre- 
quently pursued. Along the desert coasts, where they are seldo 
interrupted by man, they seem to be very bold and courageous : 
attacked with stones, like dogs, they bite such as arc thrown against 
them ; if encountered more closely, they make a desperate resist- 
ance, and, while they have any life, attempt lo annoy their enemy. 
Some have been known, even while they were skinning, to turn round 
and seize their butchers ; but they are generally dispatched by a 
stunning blow on the nose. They usually sleep soundly when not 
frequently disturbed, and that is the lime when the hunters surprise 
them. The Europeans who go into the Greenland seas upon the 
whale-fishery, surround them with nets, and knock them on the 
head ; but the Greeulanders, who are unprovided with so expensive 
an apparatus, destroy them in a different manner. One of these 
little men paddles away in his boat, and when he sees a seal asleep 
on the side of a rock, darts his lance, and that with such unerring 
aim, that it never fails to bury its point in the animal's side. The 
seal feeling Itself wounded, instantly plunges from the top of the 
rock, lance and all, into the sea, and dives to the bottom; but the 
lance has a bladder tied to one end, which keeps buoyant, and n 
sista the animal's descent ; so that every time the seal rises to llie 
,Mp of the water, the Greenlander strikes it with his oar, until he at 

• British Zoology, vol, i 

Jo. xxvn. 


184 AMPHlBrOUS QUADRUTBBS. dinpalchcs it. Bui io our clImaLe the senls arc mucli more wary, 
and selJum suffer the hunter to uome near them. They are oflen 
seen upon t)ie rocks of the Cornish coast, basking in ihe sud, or upon 
the inaccessible elite left dry by the tide. There they continue, 
eslremely watchful, and never sleep long without moving, soidom 
longer than a minute; for then they raise their heads, and if they 
see no danger, they lie down again, raising and reclining their heads 
alternately at intervals of about a minute each. The only method, 
therefore, thai can be taken, i& to shool ihem : if they clwDce to 
escape, they hasten towards the deep, flinging stones and dirt be- 
hind ihem as ihey scramble along, and at the same time expressing 
their pain or their fears by the mosL distressful cry ; if ihey happen 
to be overtaken, tliey make a vigorous resistance with their feet and 
teeth till they are killed. 

The seal is taken for the sake of its skin, and for the oil its fat 
yields. Ti}e former sells for about four shillings; and, when 
dressed, is very useful in covering trunks, making waistcoats, shot* 
pouches, and several other conveniencies. The flesh of this animal 
furiiierly found place at the tables of the great. At a feast pro. 
vided by Archbishop Neville for Edward the Fourth, there were 
twelve seals and porpoises provided, among other e.itraordinary 

As a variety of this animal, we may mention the Sea Lion, de- 
scribed in Anson's Voyages. This is much larger than any of the 
former; being from eleven to eighteen feet long. It is so lat, that 
when the skin is taken ofiT, the blubber lies a foot thick all round the 
body. It soems to differ from the ordinary seal, not only In its size, 
but also in its food ; for it is often seen to graze along the shore, 
and to feed upon the long grass that grows up along the edges of 
brooks. Its cry is very various, sometimes resembling the neighing 
of a horse, anil aomelimes the grunting of the hog. It may be re- 
garded as the largest of the seal family. ^^ 


The Morse is an animal of the seal kind ; bnt differing from the 
rest in a very particular formation of the teeth, having two large 
tusks growing from the upper jaw, shaped like those of an elephant, 
but directed downwards, whereas in ibe elephant they grow upright, 
like horns; ilalso wants the cutting teeth both above and below:* 
as to the rest, it pretty much resembles a seal, except that ii in much 
larger, being from twelve to sixteen feel long. The morses are also 

[• Tlih animal has no fote-terth v/hen full jtro 
In the uppir jaw, which point downwiinl! ; a ' 
■ I, wilier ■ ' " 

^m Ian 

I a: 

^^^B JBWR, which are cumpoai'd of furrowt^d bones. The body 

^^^1 are doubled ; and the hiud-lpg's are stretched backwards, and, 

^^H bound tu|;ether, funnlDg a Itlnd of tail Qtted fur swimming. 



generally Been to frequent the same places that seals nm known to 
reside in ; they have liie same hnbiliiclea, the same advantHgex, and 
the same imperfections. There are, however, fewer varieiies of ihe 
morse than the seal ; and tliey are rarely found, except in the frozen 
regions near the pole. They were formerly more numerous than at 
present; and the savage natives of the coasts of Greenland destroyed 
ihem in much greater quanCities before those seas were visited by 
European ships upon tlie whale 'fishery, than now. Whether these 
aninyilH have been since acLunlly thinned by the fishers, or have 
removed to some more distant and unfrequented shores, is not 
knowri ; bnt certain it is, that the Greenlanders, who once had plenty, 
are now obliged to toil more assiduously for subsistence ; and as the 
quantity of their provisions decrease, for they live mostly upon 
seals, the numbers of that poor people are every day diminishing. 
As to the leetb, they are generally from two to three feet long ; and 
the ivory is much more esteemed than that of the elephant, being 
whiter and harder. The fishers have been known formerly to kill 
three or four hundred at once ; and along those shores where they 
chiefly frequented, (heir bones are still seen lying in prodigious 
quantities. In this mannerasupply of provisions, which would have 
supported the Greenland nation for ages, has been, in a few years, 
sacriliced to those who did not use them, but who sought Ihem for 
the purposes of avarice and luxury ! 

[These animals inhabit the coast of Spitsbergen, Nova Zembis, 
Hudson's Bay, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the Icy Sea, as far as 
Cape Tschuktschi. They are gregeriou.t; in some places appear- 
ing in herds of hundreds. They are shy animals, and avoid places 
which are much haunted by mankind. If wounded in the water, 
they attempt to sink the boat, either by rising under it, or by strik- 
ing their great teeth into its sides : they roar very loud, and will 
follow the boat till it gets out of sight. Numbers of them are oden 
seen sleeping on an island of ice, some being always upon the watch ; 
if awaked, they (ling themselves with great impetuosity into the sea ; 
et which time it is dangerous to approach the ice, lest they should 
tumble into the boat and overset it. At particular times they land 
in amazing numbers : the moment the first gets on shore, so as to lie 
dry, it will not stir till another comes and forces it forward by beat- 
ing it with its great teeth ; this is served in the same manner by the 
nest, and so in succession till the whole is landed, continuing tum- 
bling over one another, and forcing the foremost, for the sake of 
quiet, to remove farther up. 

In Cook's Voyages we have the following aflfecting account of their 
parental attachment to their young. " On ihe approach of Ihe boats 
towards the ice, they look their young ones under their lins, , 
templed to escape with them into the sea. Some, whose en 
killed or wounded, and left floating upon the surface of thi 
e again, and carried them down, sometimes just as our m. 
' e point of taking them into the boat; imd coidd be traced bearing 
a considerable distance through the water, which was stained 

^^ppwe again 



'ing V 
ucd ■ 


with iheir blood. They ven aricmnli objerred bringing ihem, 
at intertak, abote (be surface, as if for sir, and again plunging under 
it, triih a horrid bellowing. Tbe female, in panicular, wbose young 
ooe had been killed, and laken into the boat, became so furious, ibaL 
■be even struck ber luaks through tbe bottom of the cutter."] 


We coDK, in the last place, to ha animal that teraunatea UiB 
boundary between quadrupeds and fishes. Instead of a crealnra . 
preying among tbe deeps, and retiring upon land for repose orr»- 
freshmeni, we have here an animal that never leaves the water, and 
ia enabled to li»e only there. It cannot be called a quadruped, aa 
it has but two legs only -, nor can it be called a fish, as it is covered 
with hair. In short, it forms the link that unites those two great 
tribes to each other ; and may be iodiscriroinately called tbe last of 
beasts, or the first of fishes. 

We have seen the seal approaching nearly to the aquatic tribe^ 
by having its hind-legs thrown back on each side of the tail, and 
forming something (hat resembled the tail of a fish; but upon ex- 
amining the skeleton of that animal, its title lo Ihe rank of a quad- 
ruped was observed plainly lo appear, having all the bones of the 
binder legs and feet as complete as any other animal whatsoever. 

But we are now come lo a creature ihal not only wants the ex- 
ternal appearance of hinder legs, but, when esamined internally, 
will be found to want ihem altogether. The manali is soniewlial 
shaped in the head and the body like a seal ; it has also the fore- 
legs or hands pretty much in tiie same manner, short and webbed, 
but with four claws only; these also are shorter in proportion than 
in the former animal, and placed nearer the bend, bo that they can 
scarcely assist its motions upon land. But it is in the hinder parls 
that it chiefly diOers from all others of the seal kind ; for Ibe tail is 
perfectly that of a fish, being spread out broad Uke a fan, and want- 
ing even the vestiges of those bones which make the legs and feet in 
others of its kind. The largest of these are about twenty-ais feet in 
length; the skin is blackish, very tough and hard; when cut, as 
black as ebony ; and there are a few hairs scattered, like bristles, of 
about an inch long. The eyes are very small in proportion to the 
animal's head ; and the ear-holes, for it has no eslernni ears, are $o 
narrow as scarcely to admit a pin's head. The tongue is so short, 
that some have pretended it has none at all ; and the teeth are com- 
posed only of Iwo solid white bones, running Ihe whole length of 
both jaws, and formed merely for chewing, and not tearing its vege- 
table food. The female has breasts placed forward, like those of a 
woman ; and she brings forth but one at a time ; this she hokls with 
her paws to her bosom ; there it slicks, and accompanies her wherev^ 
■he goes. 

This animal can scarcely be called ampliibious, as it never entire 


leaves Uie water, only advancing the head out of the stream, to reach 
the grass on the river sides. Its food is entirely vegetables; and 
therefore it is never found far in the open sea, but chiefly in the 
large rivers of South America, and often above two thousand miles 
from the ocean. It is also found in the aeas near Kamlschalka, and 
feeds upon the weeds that grow near the shore. Tliere are likewise 
level greens at the bottom of some of the Indian bays, and there the 
manatis are harmlessly seen grazing among turtles and other crus- 
taceous fishes, neither giving nor fearing any disturbance. These 
animals, when unmolested, keep together in large companies, and 
surround their young ones,* They bring forth moat commonly in 
autumn ; and it is supposed they go with young eighteen months, 
for the time of generation is in spring. 

The manati has no voice nor cry, for the only noise it makes is by 
fetching its breath. Its internal parts somewhat resemble those of a 
horse; its intestines being longer, in proportion, than those of any 
other creature, the horse only excepted. 

The fat of the manati, which lies under the skin, when exposed to 
the sun, han a fine smell and taste, and far exceeds the fat of any 
sea animal ; it has this peculiar property, that the heat of the sun 
will not spoil it, nor make it grow rancid ; its taste is like the oil of 
sweet almonds, and it will serve very well, in all cases, instead of 
butter : any quantity may be taken inwardly with safety, for it has 
no other effect than keeping the body open. The fat of the tail is 
of a harder consistence, and, when boiled, is more delicate than the 
former. The lean is like beef, but more red, and may be kept a 
long while, in the hottest days, without tainting. It takes up a long 
lime in boiling ; and, when done, eats like beef. Thefalofthe 
young one is like pork ; the lean is like veal ;. and upon the *hole, 
it is very probable that this animal's flesh somewhat resembles that 
of the turtle, since they are fed in the same element, and upon the 
very same food. The turtle is a delicacy well known among us : 
our luxuries are not as yet sufficiently heightened to introduce the 
manati; which, if it could be brought over, might singly suffice for 
a whole corporation. 




"fluADRUPBiM may be considered as anumerous group, terminated 
on every side by some that but in part deserve the name. On one 
quarter we see a tribe covered with quills, or furnished with wings, 
that lift them among the inhabitants of the air: on another, we be- 
,lfio]d a diversity t^loihed with scales and shells, to rank with insects; 




and still, on n third, we sec thoni descending into the wateri, to li»c 
among ihe mute tenanta of that element, We now come to » 
oiimcrous tribe, that, leaving the brute creation, seem to make aj^ 
proachcs even to humanity : that bear an awkward resemblance of 
the human form, and discover some faint efforts at intellectual sa> 

AnimaU of the monkey class are furnished with hands instead of 
paws; their ears, eyes, eye-lids, lips, and breasts, are like those of 
mankind ; their interaal conformation also bears some distant liksr 
ness; and the whole offers a picture that may well mortify the prid» 
of such as make their persons alone the principal object of tlieii 

These approaches, however, are gradual ; and some bear the marks 
of this our boasted form more strongly than others. 

In tlio Ape kind wessoo the whole external machine strongly im- 
pressed with the human likeness, and capable of the same exertions : 
these walk upright^ want a tail, have llesliy posteriors, have calves 
to their legs, and feet nearly like ours. 

In the Baboon kind we perceive a nioro distant approach to Ihe 
ifcuninn form, the quadruped mixing in every part of the animal's 
'Sgure : these generally go upon all-lours ; but some, when upright, 
3re as tall as a man; they liave short tails, lung snouts, and are 
possessed of brutal fierceness. 

The Monkey kind are removed a step further : these are mucli 
less than the former, with tails as long, or longer, than their bodioi, 
and flattish faces. 

Lastly, the Maki and Opossum kind seem to lose all reserablaiMO 
of the human ligure, except in having hands : their noses are lengltit 
ened out, like those of quadrupeds, and every part of thojr bodies 
(otall; different from the human; however, as they grasp their food 
or other objects, with one hand, which q^iodrupeds cannot do, this 
ifiogle similitude gives them an air of sagacity, to which they have 
Vcarcely any otlier pretensions. 

I -. From this slight survey it may be easily seen, that one genera) 

iidescription will not serve for animals so very different from each 

lAther: nevertheless, it would be fatiguing to the last degree, as their 

kvarielies are so numerous, and their differences so small, to go 

nhrough a particular description of each. In this case it will be best 

giveahistory of the foremost in each class, at the same time mark- 

ig the distinctions in every species. By this we shall avoid a 

lions repetition of similar cliaracters, and consider the manners and 

oddities of this fantastic tribe in general poinU of view ; where 

shall perceive how nearly they approach to the human figurii, 

) how little they benefit by the approximaiiun. 


[• ThU numernus lilbehave fo 

te^th an each side Id bi<tli jaws, 

• what nitnatK from Ihum; and tliu 

liks hanilB. g«ni-rally with flat j 

havi- four flavors and a thumb. 


■et fore-teetli in oach jaw; canine 
■e longnr than Ihi" rtst, and sutne- 
are obtuse. The frpi arc formed 
i, oxficpl in a Jtw instancM. they 





TheToremost of the Ape kind is the Ourang Outang, or Wild 
Man of the Woods. This n&rae seems to have been g-iven tu various 
animals, agreeing' in one common clinracter at walking upright, but 
coming from different countries, and of very different pruportions 
and powers. The Troglodyte of Bontius, the Drill of Purchas, and 
the Pigmy of Tyson, have all received this general name, and have 
been ranked by some naturalists under one general description. If 
ne read the accounts of many remote travellers, under this name 
we are presented with a formidable animal, from six to eight feet 
high; if we examine the books of such as have described it nearer 
home, we find it a pigmy not above three. In this diversity we must 
be content to blend Iheir various descriptions into one general ac- 
count; observing, at the same time, that we have no reason to 
doubt any of their relations, although wo are puzzled which to 

The onrang outang, which of all other animals most neariy ap- 
proaches to the human rnce, is seen of different sizes, from three to 
seven feet high. In general, however, its stature is less than that of 
a man, but its strength and agility much greater. Travellers who 
have seen various kinds of these animals in their native solitudes, 
give us surprising relations of their force, their swiftness, their address, 
and tlieir ferocity. Naturalists who have observed their form and 
manners at home, have been as much struck with their patient, pliant, 
imitative dispositions; with their appearance and conformation so 
nearly human. Of the smallest sort of these animals we have had 
several, at different times, brought into this country, all nearly alike ; 
but that observed by Dr. Tyson is the beat known, having been 
described with the greatest exactness. 

The animal which was described by that learned physician, was 
brought from Angola in Africa, whore it had been taken in the in- 
ternal parts of the country, in company with a female of the same 
kind, that died by the way. The body was covered with hair, which 
was of a coal-black colour, more resembling human hair than that of 
brutes. It bore a slill stronger similitude in its different lengths; fur 
in those places where it is longest on the human species, it was also 
longest in this; as on the head, the upper lip, the chin, and the pubes. 
The face was like that of a man, the forehead larger, and the head 
round. The upper and lower jaw wei'e not so prominent as in 
monkeys, but Hat, like those of a man. The ears were like those of 
a man in most respects ; and the teetlrhad more resemblance to the 
human than those of any other creature. The bendings of the arms 
and legs were just the same as in a man ; and, in short, the animal, 
at lirst view, presented a figure entirely human. 

In order to discover its differences, it was necessary to make a 
closer survey; and then llie imperfections of its form began to 
appear. The fu-st obvious difference was in the flatness of the nose ; 



the nest, in the li 
e of the chii 
eyes too close to 
moutii too great, 
too short, and the arms too 
the pnlni of the hand too 

of the forehead, and the wanting the promi- 

Tlie ears were proportion abl; too large ; the 

:h other ; and the iDierval between the nose and 

The body and Umbs differed, in the thighs being 

\ the thumb being too hltle, and 

The feet also were rather more 

e longer 

inial and 
rely and 

^K >pir 
^H as t 

liko hands than feet ; and the animal, if we may judge from the 
figure, bent too much upon its haunches. 

When this creature was examined anatomically, a surprising simi- 
litude was seen to prevail in its internal conformation. It differed 
from man in the number of its ribs, having thirteen ; whereas in man 
there are but twelve. The vertebrs of the neck also were shorter, 
the bones of the pelvis narrower, the orbits of the eyes were deeper, 
the kidneys were rounder, the urinary and gall bladders we 
and smaller, and the ureters of a different figure. Such 
principal dislincliona between the internal parts of this at 
those of man ; in almost ever; thing else they were entl 
exactly the same, and discovered an astonishing congniity. 
many parts were so much alike in conformation, that it might hai 
excited wonder how they were productive of such few advantagi 
The tongue, and all the organs of the voice were the same, and yi 
the animal was dumb ; the brain was formed in the same manner 
with that of man, and yet the creature wanted reason : an evident 
proof (as M, Buflbn finely observes) that no disposition of matter 
will give mind ; and that the body, how nicely soever formed] 
formed in vain, when there is not infused a soul to direct its 

Having thus taken a comparative view of (his creature with 
what follows may be necessary to complete the genei'al descripti 
This animal was very hairy all behind, from the head downwoi 
and the hair so thick, that it covered the skin almost from being 
but in all parts before, the hair was much thinner, the skiri e 
where appeared, and in some places it was almost bare. Wheiil 
went on all fours, as it w*8 sometimes seen to do, it appeared 
hairy; when it went erect, it appeared before less hairy, and 
like a man. Its hair, which i n this particular animal was black, 
more resembled that of men than the fur of brutes ; for, in the latt 
besides their long hair, there is usually a finer and shorter ii 
mixed: but in the uurang outang it was all of a kind ; only a< 
the pubes the hair was gi-eyish, seemed longer, and somewhat di 
entl as also on the upperlipand chin, where it wasgreyish, like ll 
hair of a beard. The face, hands, and soles of the feet, were 
hair, and so was most part of the forehead ; but down the sides 
the face the hair was thick, it being there about an inch and n 
long, which exceeded that on any other part of the body. Ii 
palms uf its hands were remarkable those lines which are us i 

palmistry; and, at the tips ofthe lingers, th« 
ipiral lines ubserved in man. The palms of the hands were as h 
as the solci of ihe fee[, and the toes upon these wcris aa long at 

I ye*^^ 


liDgen; the middle toe was the longest of all, and the whole foo' 
differed from the human. The hinder feel being' ihua formed as 
banda, the animal often used them as such ; and, on the contrary, 
now and then made uiie of its hands instead of feet. The breasts 
appeared small and shrivelled, but exactly like those of a man: the 
navel also appeared very fair, and in exact disposition, being neither 
harder nor more prominent than what is usually seen in children. 
Such is the description of this extraordinary creature; to which Utile 
bas been added by succeeding observers, except that the colour of 
the hair is often found to vary : in that described by Edwards it was 
of a reddish-brown. 

From a picture so like that of the human species, we are naturally 
led to expect a corresponding mind; and it is certain that such of 
these animals as have been shown in Europe, have discovered a 
degree of imitation beyond what any quadruped can arrive at. 

That of Tyson was a gentle, fond, harmless creature. In its 
passage to England, those that it knew on abip.board it would em- 
brace with the greatest tenderness, opening their bosoms, and clasp- 
ing its hands about them. Monkeys of a lower species it held in 
utter aversion; it would always avoid the place where thej were 
kept in the same vessel, and seemed to consider itself as a creature 
of higher extraction. After it was taken, and a htUe used to wear 
clothes, it grew very fond of them ; a part it would put on without 
any help, and the real it would carry in its hands to some of the 
company for their assistance. It would lie in a bed, place its 
head on the pillow, and pull the clothes upwards, as a man would do. 
That which was seen by Edwards, and described by UuffoD, 
showed even a superior degree of sagacity. It walked like all of its 
kind upon two legs, even though it carried burdens. Its air was 
melancholy, and its deportment grave. Unlike the baboon or 
monkey, whose motions are violent, and appetites capricious, who 
Sire fond of mischief, and obedient only from fear, this animal was 
slow in its motions, and a look was sufficient to keep it in awe. I 
have seen it, says AI. BufTon, give its hand to show the company to 
the door: I have seen it sit at table, unfold its napkin, wipe its lips, 
make use of the spoon and the fork to carry the victuals to its mouth, 
pour out its drink into a glass, touch glasses when invited, take a 
cnp and saucer and lay them on the table, put in sugar, pour out its 
tea, leave it to cool before drinking; and all this without any other 
instigation llian the signs or the command of its master, and often of 
its own accord. It was gentle and inuffensive; it even approached 
slrangers with respect, and came rather to receive caresses than to 
offer injuries. It was particularly fond of sugared comfits, which 
every body was ready to give it; and, as it had a defluxion upon 
the breast, so niuch sugar contributed to increase the disorder, and 
shorten its life. It continued at Paris but one summer, and died in 
London. It ale indiscriminately of all things, but it preferred dry 
nnd ripe fruits to all other aliments. It would drink wine but in small 
'juantilies, and gladly left it fur milk, tea, or any other sweet liquor. 


Siich these animals appeared when brought into Europe. How- 
ever, mnny oftheir extraordinary habits were probably the result of 
education, and we are not told how long the instructions (hey re- 
ceived for this purpose were continued. But we learn {rom another 
account, that they take but a verj short lime to come to a great 
degree of imitative perfection. M. Le Brosse bought two young 
ones, that were but a year old, from aNe^ro; and these at that 
early age discovered an astonishing power of imitation.* They even 
then sat at the table like men, ateof every thing without distinction, 
made use of their knife, spoon, and fork, both (a eat their meat and 
help themselves. They drank wine and other liquors. When 
carried on ship-board, they bad signs for the cabin boys expressive 
of their wants; and whenever these neglected attending upon them 
OB they desired, they instantly flew into a passion, seized them by 
the arm, bit them, and kept them down. The mate was sea-sick, 
and required attendance like a human creature ; he was even twice 
bled in the arm ; and every time afterwards, when he found himself 
out oforder, he sliowed his arm, as desirous of being relieved by 

Pyrard relates, that in the province of Sierra Leone, in Africa, 
there are a kind of apes, called Baris, which are strong and muscu- 
lar, and which, if properly instructed when young, serve as very 
useful domestics. They usually walk upright; they pound at a 
mortar; they go to the river to fetch water; this they carryback in n 
little pitcher, on their heads; but if care be not taken to receive Uie 
pitcher at their return, they let it fall to the ground, and then, seeing 
It broken, they begin to lament and cry for their loss. Le Compte's 
account is much to the same purpose, of an ape which he saw in the 
Straits of Molucca. " It walked upon its two hind-feet, which it bent 
a little, like a dc^ that had been taught to dance. It made use 
of its hands and arms as we do. Its visage was not much more d»- 
agreeable than that of a Hottentot; but Ihe body was all over 
covered with a woolly hair of different colours. As to the rest, it 
cried like n child ; all its outward actions were so like the human. 
and the passions so lively and significant, timt dumb men could 
scarcely better express their concepiions and desires. It had also 
that expression of passion or joy which we often gee in children, 
stamping with its feet and striking tlie<n against the ground, to show 
its spite, or when refused any thing it passionately longed for. Al- 
though these animals," continues he, " are very hig, for thnt I saw 
was four feet high, their nimblencss is incredible. It is a pleasure 
beyond eapression to see them run up the tackling of a ship, where 
tliey sometimes play as if they had 'a knack of vaulting peculiar to 
themselves, or as if they had been paid, like our rope-dancers, lu 
divert the company. Sometimes, suspended by one arm, they poi.«e 
themselves, and then turn all of a sudden round about a rope, witli 
as much quickness as o wheel, or a sling put into motion, " 

' As nimlm; by Buffon, vol, xxvili. |,. 77. 



timea holding the rope successively willi ilieir long Hngers, and letting 
tlieir whole body fall inici (he air, lUey run full speed from one end 
lu the other, and come back again with the same BwiCtno&s. There 
is no posture but the; imitate, nor motion but they perform. Bend- 
ing themselves like a. how, rolling hke a bowl, hanging by the hands, 
ftel, and teeth, according to the different funclea wiUi wiich their 
capricious imagination supphes iJiem. But what is still more amax- 
ing than all is, their agility to fling themselves from one rope to 
another, though at thirty, forty, and fifty feet distance." 

Such are the habitudes and the powers of the smaller class of 
these extraordinary creatures; but we are presented with a very 
di&erenl picture in those of a larger stature and more muscular form. 
The little animals we have been describing, which are seldom found 
above four feet high, seem to partake of the nature of dwarfs among 
the human species, being gentle, assiduous, and playful, rather filled 
to amuse than terrify. But the gigantic races of the ourang ouiang, 
seen and described by travellers, are truly formidable; and in tlie 
gloomy forests where they are only found, seem to hold undisputed 
dominion. Many of these are as tall or taller than a man ; active, 
strung, and inirepJd, cunning, lascivious, and cruel. This redoubt- 
able rival of mankind is found in muny parts of Africa, in the East 
Indies, in Madagascar, and in Borneo.* In the last of these places, 
the people of quality course him as we do the stag; and this sort of 
hunting is one of the favourite amusements of the king himself. This 
creature is extremely swift of foot, endowed with extraordinary 
strength, 8iid runs with prodigious celerity. His skin is all hairy, 
liis eyes sunk in his head, his countenance stern, his face tanned, 
and all his lineaments, though exactly human, harsh and black^ied 
by the sun. In Africa this creature is even still more formidable, 
liattel calls him ihe Pongo, and assures us that in all liis proportions 
he resembles a man, except thai he is much larger, even to a gigan- 
tic state. His face resembles that of a man, the eyes deep si 
the head, the hair on each side extremely lung, the visage naked and 
without hair, as also the ears and the hands. The body is lightly 
covered, and scarcely differing from that of a man, except Ujai thei 
are no calves to tlie legs. Still, however, the animal is seen to 
walk upon its hinder legs, and in an erect posture. Ije sleeps under 
trees, and builds himself a hut,-wli)ch serves to protect him against 
the sun and the rains of the tropical climates, of which he is a na- 
tive. He lives only upon fruits, and is no way c ' 
cannot speak, although furnished with a greater instinct 
otiier afiimal of the brute creation. Wiien the Negroes n 
in the woods, this animal comes near and warms himself by the 
blaze. However, he has nul skill enough to keep the liar 
by feeding it with fuel. 1 hey go together in companies 
they happen to iiicel one of llic human species, remote from t 

show him uo mercy. Tliey even attack the elephant, which 


'sllislciry of Chilli 


^ley beat witli their clubs, and oblige lo leave (liat part of the forest 
wtiKh thej' claim as their own. It is impossible Eo lake atij of these 
dreadful creatures alive, for they are so strong thai ten men wotiltt 
not be a match for but one of them. None of this kind, therefore, 
are taken except when very young, and these but rarely, when the 
female happens to leave them behind; for in general ihey keep 
clung lo the breast, and adhere both with tegs and arms. From the 
eame traveller we learn, that when one of these animals dies, the 
rest cover the body with a quantity of leaves and branches. They 
sometimes also show mercy to ihe human kind. A Negro boy, that 
was taken by one of these, and carried into the woods, continued 
there a whole year without receiving any injury,* From another 
traveller we learn, that these animals often attempt to surprise the 
female Negroes as they go into ihe woods, and frequently keep them 
against their wills for the pleasure of their company ; feeding them 
very plenlifully all the time. He assures ub that he knew a woman 
of Loango that had lived among these animals for three years. They 
grow from six to seven feet high, and are of unequalled strength. 
They build sheds, and make use of clubs for their defence. Their 
faces are broad, their noses Hat, their ears without a tip, their skins 
are more bright than that of a Mulatio, and they are covered on 
many parts of the body with long and tawny-coloured hair. Their 
belly is large, their heels flat, and yet rising behind. They some- 
times walk upright, and sometimes upon all-fours, when they are 
fantastically disposed. 

From this description of the ourang oulang, we perceive at what 
a distance the Ural animal of the brute creation is placed from the 
very lowest of the human species. Even in countries peopled with 
savages, this creature is considered as a beast ; and in those very 
places where we might suppose the smallest diiTerenco between them 
and mankind, the inhabitants hold it in the greatest contempt and 
detestation. In Borneo, where this animal has been said lo come to 
its greatest perfection, the natives hunt it In the same manner as 
they pursue the elephant or the lion, while its resemblance to the 
human form procures it neither pity nor protection. The gradations 
of nature in the other parts of nature are minute and insensible ; in 
the passage from quadrupeds to fishes we can scarcely tell where the 
quadruped ends, and the fish begins; in the descent from beasts to 
insects we can hardly distinguish the steps of Ihe progression : but 
in the ascent from brutes to man, the line is strongly drawn, well 
marked and unpassable. It is in vain that the ourang oulang re- 
sembles man in form, or imilaies many of his actions ; he still con- 
tinues a wretched, helpless creature, pent up in the most gloomy 
part of the forest, and, with regard lo the provision for his own hap- 
piness, inferior even to the elephant or the beaver in sagacity. To 
us, indeed, this animal seems much wiser than it really is. As we 
have long been used to measure the sagacity of all actions by t 

mlerlby TJiifTm, Ti 

>y th^^ 


similitude to our own, and not their fiiness to the animal's way of 
living, we are pleased with the imitations of the ape, even thougli 
we know they are far from contributing to the convenience of its 
siluatioa. An ape, or a quadruped, when under the t ram m els of 
human education, may be an admirable object for human curiosity, 
but is very little advanced by all its learning in the road to its own 
felicity. On the contrary, I have never seen any of these long 
instructed animals that did not, by their melancholy air, appear sen- 
sible of the wretchedness of their situation. Its marks of seeming 
sagacity were merely relative to us, and not to the animal ; and all 
its boasted wisdom was merely of our own making. 

There is, in fact, another circumstance relative to this animal, 
which ought not to be concealed. I have many reasons to believe 
that the most perfect of the kind are prone, like the rest of the 
quadruped creation, and only owe their erect attitude to human 
education. Almost all the travellers who speak of them, mention 
their going sometimes upon all-fours, and sometimes erect. As their 
chief residence is among trees, they are without doubt usually seen 
erect while they are climbing ; but it is probable that their efforts to 
escape upon the ground are by running upon the hands and feet 
together. Schouten, who mentions their education, tells us that they 
are taken in traps, and taught in the beginning to walk upon their 
hind legs, which certainly implies that in a state of nature they run 
upon all-fours. Add to this, that when we examine the palmi 
their hands and the soles of their feet, we find both equally callous 
and beaten; a certain proof that both have been equally used. In 
those hot countries where the apes are known to reside, the soles of 
the Negroes' feet, who go barefoot, are covered with a skin above 
an inch thick ; while their hands are as soft as those of an European. 
Did the apes walk in the same manner, the same exercise would have 
furnislied them with similar advantages, which is not the case, 
sides all this, I have been assured by a very credible traveller, that 
these animals naturally run in the woods upon all-fours; and when 
they are taken, (heir liands are tied behind them, to teach them ti 
walk upright. This attitude they learn after some time ; and thus 
instructed, they are sent into Europe to astonish the speculative' 
their near approaches to humanity, while it is never considered how 
much is natural, and how much has been acquired in the savage 
schools of Benin and Angola. 

The animal next to these, and to be placed in the same class, i 
the Ape, properly so called, or the Pilhekos of the ancients. Thi 
ii much less than the former, being not above a foot and a half high, 
but walks erect, is without a tail, and is easily tamed. 

Of this kind also is the Gibbon, so called by Butfbn, or the Long- 
armed Ape, which is a very extraordmary and remarkable creature. 
It is of different sizes, being from two feet to four feet high. It walks 
erect, is without a tail, has a face resembling that of a man, with a 
«ircle of bushy hair all round the visage; its eyes are large, and 
tiunk in its head ; its face tanned, and its ears exactly proportioned. 


146 AlUMMA Ctr TUB 

But ihat in wliiuh it chiefly dilFers from all olhern u( the monkey 
tribe is the estrnordin&ry length of its arms, trhtch, when the animal 
standa erect, are long enough to reach the ground ; so that it can 
walk upon alUroura, and yet keep its erect posture at the same time. 
This animal, next to the ourang outang and the ape, most neariy 
resembles inaDkind, not only in form, but in genlle manners and 
tractable disposition. It is a native or the East Indies, and parti- 
cularly found along the coasts orCoi'omandel. 

The last of the ape kind is t^e Cynocephalus, or tlie Magot of 
BufluD. This animal wants a tail, tike the former, although ihero 
is a small protuberance at that part, which yet is rather funnei) by 
the akin than the bone. It differs also in hating a large callous red 
rump. The face is prominent, and approaches more to that of 
quadnip>!ds than of man. The body is covered with a brownish 
iiair, and yellow on the belly. It is about three feet and a half, or 
four feet high, and is a native of most parts of Africa and the Baal. 
As it recedes from miin in its form, so also it appears dillerent in iU 
dispositions, being sullen, vicious, and un tractable.* H^H 


Descending from the more perfect of the monkey kinds, we come 
to the Baboon and its varieties ; a large, tierce, ami formidable race, 
that, mixing the figure of the man and the quadruped in their con- 
formation, seems to possess only the defects of both; the petulance 
of the one, and the ferocity of the other. These animals have & 
short tail, a prominent face, with canine teeth larger than those of 
men, and callosities on the rump.t In man, the physiognomy may 
deceive, and the IJgure of the body does not always lead to the 
qualities of the mind ; but in animals we may alwaysjudge of their 
dispositions by their looks, and form a just cunjectare of their internal 
habits trom their external form. If we compare the nature of the 
ape and the baboon by this easy rule, we shall at once be led to 
pronounce that they greatly differ in their dispositions, and that the 
latter are infinitely more fierce, savage, and malicious, than the 
former. The ourang oulang, that so nearly resembles man in its 
figure, approaches also nearest in the gentleness of its manners and 
the pliancy ofits temper. The cynocephalus, that of all uther apes 
is moat unlike man in form, and approaches nearer the dog in 
face, resembles also the brute in nature, being wild, restless, and 
impelled by a frightful impetuosity. But the baboon, who is 
still more remote, and resembles man only in having hands, who, 
from having a tail, a prominent face, and sharp claws, approaches 
more nearly to the savage tribe, is every way Rerce, malicious, 
ignorant, and uniractable. 

• Oimii'S femclliE hujusce et [irt 
'rum, lapiiKttiiRll pailimliir Hiixu si 
t Buflbn, *ul. i«vili. p. 1(13. 

t furnsfqucntium .l^^^H 


The baboon, properly so called, is from three to four feet high, 
very strong built, with a thick body and limbs, and canine leetb, 
much longer than those of men. It haa large callosiiieg behind, 
whidvare quite naked and red. lis Inil is crooked and thick, and 
about seven or eight inches long- . Its snout, for it c»n hardly be 
c&lled e. face, is long and thick, and on eacli side of its cheeks it has 
•jKMMh, into which, when satiated with eating, it puts the remainder 
'« its provisions. It is covered with long thick hair ofa reddish- 
fitomi colour, and pretty uniform over the whole body. It walks 
B^re commonly upon all-fours than upright, and its hands as well as 
ite Teet are armed with long sharp claws, instead of (he broad round 
nails of the npe kind. 

Ah ajiimal thus made for strength, and furnished with dangerous 
veapons, is found in fact to be one of the most formidable of the 
■arage race, in those countries where it is bred. It appears, in its 
native voods, to be impelled by two opposite passions ; a hatred for 
(be m&lei of the human species, and a desire for women. Were we 
assured of these strange oppositions in its disposition from one 
testimony alone, the account might appear doubtful ; but as it comes 
from a variety of the most credible witnesses, we cannot refuse our 
assent. From them, therefore, we learn, that these animals will 
often assail women in a body, and force them into the wood<i, where 
they keep them against their will, and kill them when refractory. 
From the Chevalier Forbin we learn, that in Siam whole troops of 
these will often sally forth from theii ' ' • ■■ • 

when they know the men 
are on such occasions actuated a 

not only plunder the houses of whatever provisions they can find, 
but endeavour to force the women. These, however, as the Che- 
valier humorously relates, not at all liking either the manners or the 
figureof their paltry gallants, boldly stand on their defence, and with 
clubs, or whatever other arms they can provide, instead ofanswering 
tlieir caresses, obhgo their ugly suitors to retreat; not, however, 
before they have damaged or plundered every thing eatable (hey 
can lay their hands on. 

At the Cape of Good Hope they are 1 
best of their power equally mischievous, 
sort of natural discipline, and go about 

with surprising dtill and regularity. When ihey set about robbing 
an orchard or a vineyard, for they are extrejnely fond of grapes, 
apples, and ripe fruit, they do not go singly to work, but in large 
companies, and with preconcerted deliberation. On these occasions, 
a part of them enter the enclosure, while one is set to watch. The 
rest stand without the fence, and form a line, reaching all the way 
from their fellows within to their rendezvous without, which is gene* 
rally in some craggy mountain. Every thing being thus disposed, 
the plunderers within tlie orchard throiv tJie fruit to those that are 
withnut as fast as they can gather it; or, if the wall or hedge be 
high, to those that sit on the top, and these hand the plunder to thoae 

28. — VOL. II. P 

forests, and attack a village, 
their rice harvesL Thty 
M by desire as by hunger; and 

4S formidable, but to. the 
They are there under a 
r they undertake 


next them on the oilier side. Thus the fruii ia pitched Trom one to 
another all alon^ the line, till it is safely deposited at their head- 
quarters. They catch it aa readily as the most skilful tennis player 
can a ball ; and while the bu§ines!i is going forward, which ihey con- 
duct with great expedition, a most profound silence is observed among 
iheni. Their sentiael, during the whole time, continues upon the 
watch, extremely anxious and attentive ; but if he perceives any one 
coming, he instantly seU up a loud cry, and at this signal the whole 
company scamper off. Nor yet are they at any time willing to leave 
the place empty-handed ; for if they be plundering a bed of melons, 
for instance, they go off with one in their mouths, one in their hands, 
and one under their arm. If the pursuit is hot, they drop Grst that 
from under their arm, and then that from their hand; and, if it be 
continued, they at last let fall that which they had hitherto kept in 
■ Iheir mouths. 

The natives of the Cape often take the young of these animals, 
and feeding them with sheep and goats' milk, accustom them to 
guard their houses, which duty they perform with great punctuality. 
Those, however, that have been brought into Europe are headstrong, 
rude, and untraclable. Dogs and cats, when they have done any 
thing wrong, will run off, but these seem careless, and insensible of 
the mischief they do ; and I have seen one of them break a whole 
table of china, as it should seem by design, without appearing in the 
least conscious of having done amiss. It was not, however, in any 
respect so formidable as that described by M. Buffon, of which he 
gives the following description : " It was not," says he, " extremely 
ugly, and yet it e.'icited horror. It continually appeared in a state 
of savage ferocity, gnashing its teeth, flying at the spectators, and 
furiously restless. It was obliged to be conHned in an iron cage, the 
bars of which it so forcibly attempted to break, that the spectators 
were struck with apprehension. It was a sturdy bold animal, whose 
short limbs and powerful exertions showed vast strength and agility. 
The long hair with which it was covered seemed to add to its ap~ 
parent abilities; which, however, were in reality so great, that it 
could easily overcome a single man, unless armed. As to the rest, 
it for ever appeared excited by that passion which renders the mildest 
animals at intervals furious. Its lasciviousness was constant, and its 
satisfactions particular. Some others also of the monkey kind 
showed the same degree of impudence, and particularly in the pre- 
sence of women ; but, as they were less In she, their petulance was 
less obvious, and their insolence more easily corrected. 

But, however violent the desires of these animals may be, Ihey 
are not found to breed in our climate. The female brings forth 
usually but one at a time, which she carries in her arms, and in a 
(leculiar manner clinging to her breast. As to the rest, these ani- 
mals are not at all carnivorous; they principally feed upon fruits, 
roots, and corn, and generally keep together in companies. The 
internal parts are more unlike those of man than of quadrupeds, 
ticularly the hver, which it like that of a dog, divided ii 



The lungs are more divided, the guls in general are Bhorter, and 
the kidneys rounder and flatter. 

The largest of the baboon kind is the Mandril ; an ugly disgust- 
ing animal, with a tail shorter than the former, though of a much 
larger stature, being from four to five feel high. The muzzle is still 
longer than that of the preceding ; it is of a bluish colour, and 
strongly marked with wrinkles, which give it a frightful appearance. 
But what renders it truly loathsome is, that from the nose there ia 
always seen issuing a snot, lAfhich the animal fakes care at intervals 
to lick offwith its tongue, and swallow. It is a native of the Gold 
Coast : it is said to walk more frequently erect than upon all-fours ; 
and when displeased, to weep like a child. There was one of them 
shown in England some years ago. It seemed lame, but stupid ; 
and had a method of opening its mouth, and blowing at such as came' 

The Wanderow is a baboon rather less than the former, with the 
body less compact and muscular, and the hinder parts seemingly 
more feeble. The tail is from seven to eight inches long; the muzzle 
19 prominent as in the rest of this kind ; but what particularly dis- 
tinguishes it is a large long white head of hair, together with a mon- 
Blroua white beard, coarse, rough, and descending; the colour of the 
rest of the body being brown or black. As to the rest, in its savage 
slate it is equally fierce with Ihe others; but with a proper education 
it seems more tractable than most of its kind, and is chiefly seen in 
the woods of Ceylon and Malabar, 

The Maimon of Buflon, which Edwards calls the Pigtail, is the 
last of the baboons, and in size rather approaches the monkey, being 
no larger than a cat. Its chief distinction, besides its prominent 
muzzle, like a baboon, is in the tail, which is about five or six inches 
long, and curled up like that of a hog; from which circumstance, 
peculiar to this animal, our English naturalist gave it the name, tt 
is a native of Sumatra, and does not well endure the rigours of our 
climate. Edwards, however, kept one of ihem a year in London ; 
and another of them happening at the same time to be exposed in a 
show of beasts, he brought the two exiles together, to see if they 
would claim or acknowledge their kindred. The moment they came 
into each other's presence, they testified their mutual satisfaction, 
and seemed quite transported at the interview. 

The varieties in the larger tribes of the Monkey kind are but few; 
in the Ape we have seen but four, and in the Baboon about as many. 
But when we come to the smaller class, the differences among them 
seem too tedious for enumeration. These, as was observed in the 
beginning, are all small in stature, and with long tails, by which they 
are distinguished from the preceding that entirely want the tail, or 
arc large and have but a short one. The varieties in thu form and 


colour of dogs, or squirrels, is nothing- to what are founil among 
moDkeys of ihe smaller kind. Bosnian rienllons above fifty sorts 
on the Oold alone, and Smith confirms the account. Condamine 
asaerW that ii would take np a volume lo describe the diflerence* of 
these to be found along the river Amazons ; and we are sure thai 
every one of these is very different from those on the African coast. 
Naturalists, however, have imdertaken to make a catalogue of their 
numbers : and they either transmit their descriptions from one to 
another, or only ennmerate those few that have foimd their way to 
Europe, and have fallen within the narrow circle of their own obser- 
vation. But, though it may be proper enough to describe such ss 
fall under notice, it is certainly wrong to offer a scanty catalogue as 
complete, and to induce the reader to suppose he sees a picture of 
the whole group of these animals, when he is only presented with a 
small part of the number. Such, therefore, as are fond of the repu- 
tation of adding new descriptions to the stock of natural history, have 
here a wide, thoiigh surely a barren field to enlarge in ; and they 
will find it no difficult matter, by observing the various animals of 
this kind that are from lime lo time brought from their native coasts 
lo this country, to indulge in description, and to ring the changes 
upon all the technical terms with which this most plea.sing science is 
obscured and rendered disgusting. For my own part, I will sjxire 
the reader and myself the trouble of entering into an ehiborate de- 
scription of each ; content with observing once more, that their num- 
bers are very great, and their differences very trifling. There is 
scarcely a country in the tropical climates that does not swarm with 
them, and scarcely a forest that is not inhabited by a race of 
monkeys distinct from all others. Every different wood along the 
coast of Africa may be considered as a separate colony of monkeys, 
differing from 'those of the next district in colour, in size, and mali- 
ciuus mischief. It is indeed remarkable tlial the monheys of two 
cantons are never found to mis with each other, but rigorously to 
observe a separation ; each forest produces only its own ; and these 
guard their limits from the intrusion of all strangers of a different 
race from themselves. In this tliey somewhat resemble the human 
inhabitants of the savage nations among whom they are found, 
where the petty kingdoms are mimerous, and their manners opposite. 
There, in the extentofafewmiles, the traveller is presented with men 
speaking different languages, professingdifferent religions, governed 
by different laws, and only resembling each other in their mutual 

In general, monkeys of all kinds, being less than the baboon, are 
endued with less powers of doing mischief. Indeed, the ferocity of 
their nature seems to diminish with their size; and when taken wild 
in the woods, they are sooner tamed, and more easily (aught to imitate 
man, than the former. More gentle than the baboon, and less grave 
andanllen than the ape, they soon begin to exert ajl their sportive 
Tnimicries, and are easily restrained by correction. But it must be 
confessed thai ihey will do nothing they are desired without beating; 


for, if iheir fears be entirely removed, lliey are the m 
beadstrong animalB in nature. 

In their native woods they are nol lens the pests of man than of 
other animals. The monkeys, cays a iraveller,* are in possession of 
every forest where they reside, and may be considered as Ih 
of the place. Neither the tiger, nor the lion itself, will v 
dispute the dominion, since these, from the tops of trees, continually 
carry on an oETensive war, and by their agility escape all possibility 
of pursuit. Nor have the birds less to fear from their continual de- 
predations ; for, as these harmless inhabitants of the wood usually 
build upon trees, the monkeys are for ever on the watch to find out 
and rob their nests; and such is their petulant delight in mischief, 
that they will fling their eggs against the ground when they want 
appetite or inclination to devour them. 

There is but one animal in all the forest that ventures to oppose the 
monkey, and that is the serpent. The larger snakes are often seen 
winding up the trees where the monkeys reside, and, when they 
happen to surprise them sleeping, swallow them whole, before the 
little animals have time to make a defence. In this manner, the two 
most mischievous kinds in all nature keep the whole forest between 
thera; both equally formidable to each other, and for ever employed 
in mutual hostilities. The monkeys in general inhabit the tops of 
the trees, and the serpents cling to the branches nearer the bottom ; 
and in this manner Lliey are for ever seen near each other, like en^ 
mies in the same field of battle. Some travellers, indeed, have sup. 
posed that their vicinity rather argued their mutual friendship, and 
that they united in this manner to form an offensive league against 
all the rest of animated nature. f " I have seen these monkeys," 
says Labat, " playing their gambols upon those very branches on 
which the snakes were reposing, and jumping over them without 
receiving any injury, although the serpents of that country were 
naturally vindictive, and always ready to bite whatever disturbed 
These gambols, however, were probably nothing more than 
e insults of an enemy that was conscious of its own safety ; and 
t monkeys might have provoked the snake in the same manner 
e often see sparrows twitter at a cat. However this be, the 
t is generally divided between them ; and these woods, which 
Mture seems to have embellished with her richest magnificence, 
pkther inspire terror than delight, and chieQy serve as retreats for 
'ief and malignity, 
e enmity of these animals to mankind, is partly ridiculous, and 
y formidable. They seem, says Le Compte and others, to have 
ir instinct In discovering their foes; and are perfectly skilled, 
t attacked, in mutually defending and assisting each other. 
Tien a traveller enters among these woods, they consider him aa 
I invader upon their dominions, and join all to repel the intrusion. 

* Description Historiqne du Mi^agar, p. 51. 
+ Lnbat, Rclat, de 1 "Afriq. Occidfnl, p. 817. 




At Sral ifaey survey him with a kiDd of insolent curiosity. They 
jump from branch to branch, pursue hira es he goes aking, and 
make a loiid chattering, to call the rest of their companions together. 
Tliej then begin their hostilities by grinning, threatening, and 
flinging down the withered branches at him, which they break from 
the trees : they even lake their excrements in their hands, and throw 
them at his head. Thus Ihey attend him wherever he goes; jump- 
ing from tree to tree with such amazing swiftness, that the eye can 
scarcely attend their motions. Although i hey take the most des- 
perate leaps, yet they are seldom seen to come to the ground, for 
they easily fasten upon the branches that break their fall, and stick, 
either by their hands, feel, or tail, wherever ihey touch, Ifono of 
them happens to be wounded, the rest assemble round, and clap 
their fingers into the wound, as if they were desirous of sounding its 
depth. If the blood flows in any quantity, some of them keep it 
abut up, while others get leaves, which they chew, and thrust into 
the opening : however extraordinary this mny appear, it is asserted 
to be often seen, and to be strictly true. In this manner they wage 
a petulant, unequal war ; and are often killed in numbers before 
they think proper to make a retreat. This they effect with the same 
precipitation with which they at first come together. In this retreat 
the young ore seen clinging to the back of the female, with which 
she jumps away, seemingly unembarrassed by the burden. 

The curiosity of the Europeans has, in some measure, induced the 
natives of the places where these animals reside, to catch or lake them 
alive by every art they are able. The usual way in such case ia to 
shoot the female as she carries her yonng, and then boLli, of course, 
tumble to the ground. But even this is not easily performed ; for 
if the animal be not killed outright, it will not fall, but clinging to 
some branch, continues, even when dead, its former grasp, and re- 
mains on the tree where it was shot, until it drops offby putrefaction. 
In this manner it is totally lost to the pursuer ; for to attempt climb- 
ing the tree to bring either tl or the young one down, would probably 
be fatal, from the number of serpents that are hid among the 
branches. For this reason the sportsman always lakes care to aim 
at the head; which, ifhc hits, the monkey falls directly to ihc ground, 
and the young one comes down al the same time, clinging to its 
dead parent. 

The Europeans along the coasts ofGuinea often go into the woods 
lo shoot monkeys; and nothing pleases iho Negroes more than to 
see these animals drop, against which they have the greatest ani- 
mositv. They consider them, and not without reason, as the most 
mischievous and tormenting creatures in the world ; and are happy 
to see their numbers destroyed, upon a double account, as welf 
because they dread their devastations, as because they love their 
flesh. The monkey, which is always skinned before it is eaten, when 
served up at a Negro feast, looks so like a child, that an European 
* I shocked at the very sight. The nalives, hoi 

knice, devour it ax one of tta highest delicacies, and assiduouafj^H 


altead our sportamen to profit by the spoil. But what they 
chiefly astonished at, is to see our trnvellora careruliy taking the 
young ones alive, while ihey leave tliem the old onea, that are 
certainly the most fit to be eaten. They cannot compreliend what 
advantage can arise to us from educating or keeping a little animal, 
that, by experience, they know to be equally fraught witi) tricks and 
mischief: some of them have even been led to suppose, that, with a 
kind of perverse affection, we love only creatures of the moat mis- 
chievous kinds ; and having seen us of^en buy young and tame 
monkeys, they have taken eqiial care to bring ruts to our factors, 
offering them for sale, and greatly disappointed at finding no pur* 
chasers for so hopeful a commodity.* 

The Negroes consider these animals as their greatest plague; and, 
indeed, they do incredible damage, when they come in companies 
to lay waste a field of Indian corn or rice, or a plantation of sugar- 
canes. They carry off as much as they are able ; and they destroy 
ten limes more than they bear away. Their maoner of plundering 
is pretty much like that of the baboons, already mentioned, in a 
garden. One of them stands sentinel upon a tree while the rest are 
plundering, carefully and cautiously turning on every side, but par- 
ticularly to that on which there is the greatest danger ; in the mean 
time, the rest of the spoilers pursue their work with great silence and 
assiduity. They are not contented with the first blade of com, or 
the first cane that they happen to lay their hands on ; they first pull 
up such as appear most alluring to the eye; they turn it round, 
examine, compare it wilh others, and if they find it to their mind, 
stick it under one of their shoulders. When in this manner they 
have got their load, they begin to think of retreating: but if it should 
happen that the owners of the field appear to interrupt their depre- 
dations, their faithful sentinel instantly gives notice, by crying out, 
Houp, houp, houp ! which the rest perfectly understand, and all at 
once throwing down the corn they hold in their left hands, scamper 
off upon three legs, corrying the remainder in the right. If they 
are still hotly pursued, they then are content to throw down their 
whole burden, and to lake refuge among their woods, on the top of 
which they remain in perfect security. 

Were we to give faith to what some Irarellers a^isure us, of the 
government, policies, and subordination of these animals, we might 
perhaps be taxed with credulity ; but we have no reason to doubt 
that ibey are under a kind of discipline, which they esercise among 
each other. They ai'e generally seea to keep together in companies, 
to march in exact order, and to obey the voice of some particular 
chieftain, remarkable for his size and gravity. One species of these, 
which M. BufTon calls the Ouarine, and which are remarkable for 
the loudness and the distinctness of their voice, are stiil more so for 
the use to which they convert it. " I have frequently been a wit- 
tiCsB," says Margrave, " of their assemblies and deliberations. 




Every day, both morning and evening, the 
woods to receive instructions. .When all come together, one among 
the number takes the highest place on a tree, and makes a signal 
with hia hand to the rest to sit round, in order to heathen. As soon 
as he aees ihem placed, he begins his discourse with so loud a voice, 
and yet in a manner so precipitate, that, to hear him at a distance, 
one would think the whole company were crying outal the same 
time: however, during that time, one only is speaking, and all the 
rest observe the most profound silence. When lhi« has done, he 
makes a sign with the hand for the rest to reply ; and at that inataot 
they raise iheir voices together, until by another signal of the hand 
they are enjoined silence. This they as readily obey ; till, at last, 
the whole assembly breaks up, afler hearing a repetition of the same 

The chief food of the monkey tribe is fruits, the buds of trees, or 
succulent roots and plants. They all, like man, seem fond of sweets; 
and particularly the pleasant juice of the palm-tree and the sugar- 
cane. With these the fertile regions in which they are bred seldom 
fail to supply them ; but when it happens that these foil, or that 
more nourishing food becomes more agreeable, they eat insects and 
worms ; and sometimes, if near the coasts, descend lo the sea-shore, 
where they eat oysters, crabs, and shell-tish. Their manner of 
managing an oyster Is extraordinary enough ; but it is loo well 
attested to fail of our assent. As the oysters in the tropical climates 
are generally larger than with us, the monkeys, when they go to the 
sea-side, pick up a stone, and clap it between the opening shells; 
this prevents them from closing, and tne monkey then eats the GsR 
at his ease. They otlen also draw crabs from the water, by putting 
their tail to the hole where that animal takes refuge, and the crab 
fastening upon it, they withdraw it with a jerk, and thus pull their 
prey upon shore. This habit of laying traps for other animals, 
makes them very cautious of being entrapped themselves ; and 1 
am assured, by many persons of credit, that no snare, how nicely 
baited soever, will take the monkey of the West India islands; for 
having been accustomed to the cunning of man, it opposes its 
natural distrust to human artifice. 

The monkey generally brings forth one at a time, and sometimes 
two. They are rarely found to breed when brought over into 
Europe ; but of those that do, they exhibit a very striking picture of 
parental alfection. The male and female are never tired of fondling 
their young one. They instruct it with no little assiduity ; and 
often severely correct it, if stubborn, or disinclined lo profit by their 
example : they hand it from one to the other, and when the male has 
done showing his regard, the female takes her turn. When wild in 
the woods, the female, if she happens to have two, carries one on 
her back, and the other in her aims : that on her back clings very 
closely, clasping its hands round her neck, and its feet about her 
middle; when she wants to suckle it, she then altera their position, 
and that which has been fed gives place to the other, which she takes 


^^ inoi 


in her arnu, It oflea happens ihat she is unable to leap froni one 
tree to another, when ihuB Iciaded; and upon auch occasions, their 
dexterity \3 very surprising. The whole family form a kind of 
chain, locking tail in tail, or hand in hand, and one of them holding 
the branch above, the rest swing down, balancing to and fro, like a 
pendulum, until the undermost is enabled to catch hold of the lower 
branches of some neighbouring tree. When the hold is fixed below, 
the monkey lets go that which was above, and thus comes undermost 
in turn ; but, creeping up along the chain, attains the next branches 
like the rest ; and thus they all take possession of the tree, without 
ever coming to the ground. 

When in a state of domestic tameness, those animals are very 
amusing, and oflen fill up a vacant hour when other entertainment is 
wanting. There are few that are not acquainted with their varioua 
mimicries, and their capricious feats of activity. But it is generally 
in company with other animals of a more simple disposition that 
their tricks and superior instincts are sliown ; they seem to take s 
delight in tormenting them, and I have seen one of them amusing 
itself for hours together, in imposing upon the gravity of a cat. , 
Erasmus tells us of a large monkey, kept by Sir Thomas More, 
ibfkt, one day diverting itself in his garden, where some tame rabbits 
ere kept, played several of his usual pranks among them, while the 
ibbits scarcely well knew what to make of their new acquaintance; 
the mean time, a weasel, that came for very different purposes 
those of entertainment, was seen peering about the place in 
lich the rabbits were fed, and endeavouring to make its way, by 
loving a board that closed their hutch. While the monkey saw 
danger, it continued a calm spectator of the enem}''s efforts ; but 
just when, by long labour, the weasel had effected its purpose, and 
had removed the board, the monkey stept in, and, with the utmost 
dexterity, fastened it again in its place, and the disappointed weasel 
was too much fatigued to renew its operations. To this I will only 
add what Father Carli, in his history of Angola, assures us to be 
true. In that horrid country, where he went to convert the savage 
natives to Christianity, and met with nothing but distress and dis- 
fippointmeDt ; while his health was totally impaired by the raging 
ats of the climate, his patience exhausted by the obstinacy of the 
ipid natives, and his little provisions daily plundered, without re- 
ess; in such an exigency he found more faithful services from the 
monkeys than the men : these he had taught to attend him, to guard 
him while sleeping against thieves and rats, to comb h* 
fetch his water ; and he asserts, that they were even more tradable 
than the human inhabitants of the place. It is indeed remarkable, 
th&t in those countries where the men are most barbarous and stupid, 
iirutes are most active and sagacious. It is iti the to 
ihabited by Barbarians, that such various animals are I 
instincts so nearly approaching reason. The savages both of Africa 
and AmericBi accordingly suppose monkeys to be men; idle, sloth- 




fill, rational beings; capable of speech and conversation; but oba 
nalely dumb, for fear of being compelled lo labour. 

As of all savages those of Africa are the most brutal, 
countries, the monkeys of Africa are the most expert and e 
iog. The monkeys of America are, in general, neither so sagaciot 
nor so tractable, nor is their form so nearly approaching that of m 
The monkeys of the new continent may be very easily distinguidhefl 
from those of the old, b)* three marks. Those of the a 
tinent ere universally found to have a naked callous substance b 
hind, upon which they sit, which those of America are entirely w 
out; thoso also of the ancient continent have the nostrils different!] 
formed, more resembling those of men, the holes opening downwa 
whereas the American monkeys have them opening on each sii 
those of the ancient world have pouches on each side of the jaw, i: 
which they put their provisions, which those of America are wi 
out; lastly, none of the monkeys of the ancient continent hang b 
the tail, which many of the American sorts are known to do. ~ 
these marks the monkeys of either continent may be readily d 
guished from each other, and prized accordingly. The Africa 
monkey, as I am assured, requires a longer educatio 
correction, than that of America ; but it is at last foimd capable c 
more various powers of imitation, and shows a greater degree t 
cunning and activity. 

M. Buflbn, who has examined this race of imitative beings t 
greater accuracy than any other naturalist before him, makes 
nine species of monkeys belonging to the ancient continent, 
eleven belonging lo the new. To all these he gives the names wl 
they go by in their respective countries; which undoubtedly is tl 
method least liable to error, and the most proper for ir 

Of the monkeys of the ancient continent, the first he describes is 
the Mocaguo ; somewhat resembling a baboon in size, strength of 
body, and a hideous wrinkled visoger it differs, however, in having 
a very long toll, which is covered with tufted hair. It is a natiTB i 
of Congo. V 

The second is the Patas, which is about the same size with th^ 
former, but differs in having a longer body, and a face less hideous t % 
it is particularly remarkable for the colour of its hair, which is of a 
red so brilliant that the animal looks as if it were actually painted. 
It is usually brought from Senegal ; and by some called the Red 
African Monkey. 

The third of the ancient continent is the Malbrouk; of which facjj 
nipposes the monkey which he calls the Bonnet Chinois to be a vnlM 
riety. The one is remarkable for a long tail, and long beard ; 
other for a cap of hair that covers the crown of the head, fromwhenoif 
it takes the name. Both are natives of the Bast Indies; 
Bramlns, who extend their charily lo all the brute i 
have hospitals for such of them as happen lo be sick, ur,otheni 

^^1 diMbled. 


The fourth of this kind is the Mangnbey: this may be diitiu' 
guished from all others by its eyelids, which are naked, and of a 
striking whiteness. It b a Dative of Madagaicar. 

The Jirth is the Mona, or the Cephus of the ancients ; it is dis- 
tinpiished by its colour, which is variegated with black and red ; and 
its tail is of an ash colour, with two white spots on each side at its 
insertion It is a native of the northern pans of Africa. 

The sixth is the Calhtrix, or Green Monkey ofSt. lago; distin- 
guished by its beautiful green colour on the bock, its white breast 
and belly, and its black face. 

The seventh is the Mousloc, or White Nose; distinguished by 
the whiteness of its lips, from whence it has received its name, tlie 
rest of the face being of a deep blue. It is a native of the Gold 
Coast, and a very beautiful tittle animal. 

The eighth is the Tolapoin ; and may be distinguished as well 
by its beautiful variety of green, white, and yellow hair, as by that 
under the eyes being of a greater length than the rest. It is sup- 
posed to be a native of Africa and the East. 

The ninth and last of the monkeys of the ancient continent, is the 
Douc, so called in Cochin-China, of which country it is a native. 
The douc seems to unite the characters of all the former together: 
with a long tail, like the monkey; of a size as large as the baboon; 
and with a flat face, like the ape : it even resembles the American 
monkeys, in having no callosity on its posteriors. Thus it seems to 
form the shade by which the monkeys of one continent are linked 
with ttiosB of the other. 

Nest come the monkeys of the new continent, which, as hath been 
said, dilfer from those of the old, in tlie make of their nostrils, in 
their having no callosity on their posteriors, and in their having no 
poudies on each side cff the jaw. They diBer also from each other, 
a part of them making no use of their tails to hang by ; while others 
of them have the tail very strong and muscular, and serving by way 
of a fifth hand to hold by. Those with muscular holding tails are 
called Sapajous; those with feeble useless tails are called Sagoins. 
Of the sapajous there are five sorts ; of the sagoins there are six. 

The Hrst of the sapajous is the warine, or the Brazilian. Guariba. 
This monkey is as large as a fox, with black long hair, and remark- 
able for the loudness of its voice. It is tlie largest of the monkey 
kind to be found in America. 

The second is the Coaiti ; which may be distinguished from the 
rest by having no thumb, and consequently but four fingers on the 
two fore pawB. The tail, however, supplies the defects of the hand ; 
and with this the animal flings itself from one tree to another with 
surprising rapidity. 

The third is the Sajou ; distinguished from the rest of the sapajous 
by its yellowish, flesh-coloured face. 

The fourth is the Sai. It is somewhat larger than the sajou, ond 
has a broader muzzle. It is called also the Be>i'ailer, from its pecu- 
liar manner of lamenting, when either threatened or beaten. 



158 ANfM-At-S OP THK 

The fifth and last or the sapajou kind, or nionkcys that hold by 
the tail, is the Saimiri, or Aurora, which is the smallest and mo« 
beautirulof all. It is of a line orange colour, with two circles of 
flesh round the eyes. It is a very tender, delicate animal, and held 
in high price. 

Of the sagoins with feeble tails, there are six kinds. The first and 
the la.rgest is the Saki, or Cagui ; so remarkable for the length of 
the hair on its tail, that it has been often termed the Fo.i-tailed 
Monkey. It is of different sizes; some being twice as large as 

The second of this kind is the Tamain ; which is usually black, 
with the feei yellow. Some, however, are found all OTer brown, 
spotted with yellow. 

The third is the Wististi; remarkable for the large tufts of hair 
upon its face, and its annulated tail. 

The fourth is the Marikma; with a mane round the neck, and a 
bunch of hair at the end of the tail, like a lion. 

The fifth is called the Pinch ; with the face of a beautiful black, 
and white hair that descends on each side of the face, like that of a 

The last, leant, and most beautiful of all, is the Mice, an animal 
too curiously adorned, not to demand a particular description ; which 
is thus given of it by M. Condamine. " That," says he, "which 
the governor of Para made me a present of, was the only one of iu 
kind that was seen in the country. The hair on its body was of a 
beauuful silver colour, brighter than that of the most venerable 
human hair; while the tail was of a deep brown, inclining to black- 
ness. It had another siDgularily, more remarkable than the former; 
its ears, its cheeks, and lips, were tinctured with so bright a ver- 
raillioD, that one could scarcely be led to suppose that it was natural, 
I kept it a year ; and it was still alive when [ made this description 
of it, almost within sight of the coasts of France : ell I could then 
do, was to preserve it in spirits of wine, which miglit serve to keep 
it in such a state as to show that I did not in the least exaggerate in 
my description." 


The last of the monkey kind are the Makies; which have no'* 

other pretentions to be placed in this class, except that of having 

hands like the former, and making use of them to climb trees, or to 

pluck their food. Animals of the hare kind, indeed, are often seen 

feed themselves with their fore-paws, but they can hold nothing 

one of them -singly, and are obliged to take up whatever the; eat 

both at once : but it is otherwise with the mnki ; as well as the 

monkey kinds, they seize their food with one hand, pretty much like 

a man, and grasp it with great ease and firmness. The maki, there* 

fore, from this conformation in its hands, both before and behind, 


approaches neail; to the monkey kiad ; but in oilier reepecta, such 
ai the make of the snout, the form of the eara, and the parts that 
diitin^iah the sexes, it entirely differs from them. There are many 
different kinds of these animals; all varying from each other in 
colour or size, but agreeing in the human-like figure of tlieir hands 
and feet, and in their long nose, which somewhat resembles that ofa 
dog.* As most of these are bred in the depths of the forest, wo 
know little more concerning them than their figure. Their way of 
living, their power of pursuit and escape, can only be supposed, 
from the analogy of their conformation, somewhat to resemble those 
of the monkey. 

The Srst of this ISnd is the Mococo ; a beautiful animal, about the 
ttze of a common cat, but the body and limbs slenderer, and of a 
longer make. It has a very long tail, at least double the length of 
its body ; it is covered with fur, and marked alternately with broad 
rings of black and white. But what it is chiefly remarkable for, 
beiidee the form of its hands and feet, is the largeness of its eyes, 
■ffbicb are surrounded with a broad black space ; and the length of 
the hinder legs, which by far exceed those before. When it sleeps, 
it brings its nose to its belly, and its tail over its head. When it 
plays, it uses a sort of galloping, with its tail raised over its back, 
which keeps continually in motion. The head is covered with dark 
oph-coloured hair; the back and sides with a red ash-colour, and not 
so dark as on the head ; and the -whole glossy, soft, and delicate, 
smooth to the touch, and standing almost upright, like the pile of 
velvet. It is Oi native of Madagascar; appears to be a harmless 
gentle animal; and though it resembles the monkey in many 
respects, yet it has neither its malice nor its mischief: nevertheless, 
like the monkey, it seems to be always in motion, and moves, like all 
fbur-handed animals, in an oblique direction. 

A second of this kind, which is also a native of Madagascar, is 
the Mongooz, which is less than the former, with a soft, glossy robe, 
but a litle curled. The nose also is thicker than that of the mococo; 
the eyes are black, with orange-coloured circles round the pupil; 
and the tail is of one uniform colour. As to the rest, it is found of 
various colours ; some being black, others brown ; and its actions 
somewhat resemble those of a monkey. 

The Vari is much larger than either of the former ; its hair is much 
longer, and it has a kind of ruff round the neck, consisting of very 
long hair, by which it may be easily distinguished from the rest. It 
differs also in its disposition, which is fierce and savage ; as also in 
the loudness of its voice, which somewhat resembles the roaring of 
the lion. This also is a native of Madagascar. 

[* Thia tribe of quadrupeds have Tour rore-teelh in the upper jaw, the 
iatermediale onca being remote ; and Eii long, compressed, purallel Icetb 
in tbe under jaw ; th« dog-teeth are solitary, and Ihe grinders aome- 
whal lobited. Thoy differ so much, in shape and laanaers, frnm the 
monkey kind, that Ihey are now generally diEiinguished by the name of 






Tu this tribe wu may reftir a little four-handed animal, of tlie 
island of Ceylon, which M. Bitfion calls Ihe Lori, very remarkable 
for the singularity of its figure. Ttiis is, of all other animala, the 
longeal in proportion to its size, having nine vertebrae in the loins, 
whereas other quadrupeds have only seven ; * the body appeon 
still the longer, by having no tail. In other respects it resembles 
those of the maki kind, as well in its hands and feet, as in its snout, 
and in the glossy qualities of its hair. It is about the size of a 
squirrel, and appears to be u tame, liarmless, little animal. 


To these four-handed animals of the ancieot continent, we may 
add the four-handed animals of the new, that use their hands like 
the former, as well as their tails, and that fill up the chasm between 
the monkey tribe and the lower orders of the forest. As the maki 
kind in some measure seem to unite the fox and the monkey in their 
figure and size, so these seem to unite th^ monkey and the rat. 
They are all leas than the former; they have long tails, almost bare 
of hair ; and their fur, as well as their shape, seems to place them 
near the rat kind. Some have aecui'dingly ranked them in that class; 
but their being four-handed is a sufficient reason for placing them in 
the rear of the monkeys. 

The lirst and most remarkable of this tribe h the Opossum,t on 
animal found both in North and South America, of the size of a 
small cat. The head resembles thatofafos; it has fifty teeth in 
all, but two great ones in the midst, like those of a rat. The eye^ 
are little, round, clear, lively, and placed upright ; the i 
broad, and transparent, like thoiie of the rat kind ; ii 
creases the similitude, being round, long, a little hairy 
ning, but quite naked towards the end. The fore-legs are shi 
being about three inches long, while those behind are about foi 
The feet are like hands, each having live toes or lingers, wit 
crooked nails, and rather longer behind than before. But it _ _ 
ticubr in this animal, iliat the thumb on the binder legs wantr 
a nail; whereas the fingers are furnishud with clawed nails as 

But that which distinguishes this animal from all others, and what 
has excited the wonder of mankind for more than twocenturies, is the 
extraordinary conformation of its belly, as it is found to have a fabe 
womb, into which the young, when brought forth in the usual man- 
ner, creep, and continue for some days longer to lodge and suckle 

• BulTon, vol. ixvi.'p. 871. 

[t This animnl has ten fore-leetli In the up] 
under one ; Ibe do^-teeth are laii^i : the taiigue 
they hiTB a pouc'i formed by a dupllcalure of ihe 
"" tests are coiicesW, Bad their younic secnred. 

and eight in tH^^^H 
aunicwhat ciliated ; in^^^^H 
III of iTir belly. In whici^^H 


iBcurely. This bag, if we may so call il, being one orihe most 
extraordinary things in natural hialory, requires a more minute 
description. Under the belly of the female is a kind of slit or open- 
ing, <^ai>out three inches long: this opening is composed of a skin, 
which makes a bag inlernnlly, covered on the inside with hair. In 
this bag are the teats of the female; and into it Itie young, when 
brought fiirth, retire, either lo suckle or to escape from danger. 
This bag has a power of opening and shutting, at the will of the 
animal; and this is performed by means of several muscles, and two 
bones, that are litted for this purpo.'ie, aad that are peculiar to this 
animal only. These two bones are placed before the os pubis, to 
which they are joined at the base ; they are about two inches long, 
and grow smaller and smaller to their estremilies. These support 
(he muscles that serve to open the bag, and give them a fixture. 
To these muscles there are antagonisW, that serve, in the same man- 
ner, to shut the bag ; and this they perform so exactly, that in the 
living animal the opening can scarcely be discerned, except when 
the sides are forcibly drawn asunder. The inside of this bag is fur- 
nished wiili glands, that exude a musky substance, which communi- 
cates to the flesh of the animal, and renders it unlit to be eaten. It 
is not to be supposed that this is the place where the young are con 
ceived, as some have been led lo imagine: for the opossum has 
another womb, like that of the generality of animals, in which gene- 
ration is performed in the ordinary manner. The bag we have been 
describing may rather be considered as a supplemental womb. In 
the real womb, the little animal is partly brought to perfection ; in 
^e ordinary one, it receives a kind of additional incubation, and 
acquires, at last, strength enough to follow the dam wherever she 
goes. We have many reasons to suppose that the young of this 
animal are all brought forth prematurely, or before they have 
acquired that degree of perfection which is common in other quadru- 
peds. The little ones, when lirst produced, are in a manner but 
half completed ; and some travellers assert, that they are, at that 
lime, not much larger than flies. We are assured also, that imme- 
diately on quilling the real womb, they creep into the false one; 
where they continue fixed to the teat, until they have strength suffi- 
cient to venture once more into the open air, and share the fatigues 
of the parent. Ulloa assures us, that he has found live of these little 
creatures hidden in the belly of the dam three days al^er she was 
dead, still alive, and all clinging to the teat with great avidity. It is 
probable, therefore, that upon their first entering the false womb 
they seldom stir out from thence ; but when more advanced, they 
venture forth several times in the day, and at last seldom make use 
of their retreat, except in cases of necessity or danger. Travellers 
are not agreed in their accounts of the time which these animals take 
10 continue in the false womb ; some assure us they remain there for 
several weeks, and others, more precisely, mention a monlb. During 
this period of strange gestation, there is no difficulty in opening the 
bag in which they are concealed ; they may be reckoned, examined, 
29. — VOL. II. G 

and handled, without much iDconTeaience ; Tor tbej keep fixed U> 
the teat, and cling there as firm as if they made a part of the body 
of the animal that bears them. When ihey are grown atroager, 
they drop from the teat into the bag to which they are contained, 
and at last find their way out, in search of more copious subsistence. 
Still, however, the false belly serves them for a retreat, either when 
they want to sleep or to suckle, or when they are pursued by an 
en»nj. The dam, on such occasions, opt>ns her bag to receive them, 
which they eater, 

Pars rormldina tnrpi 

Scandimt mrsus fquDin et doIb condantar In alio. 

The opoeaum, when on the ground, b a slow bdf^ess animal; the 
fortnation of its hands is alone sufficient to show its incapacity of 
ruDtiing witli any degree of swi^ness ; but to counterbalance this 
inconvenience, it climbs txeea with great ease and expedition.* It 
chicBy subsists upon birds, and hides among the leaves of the trees 
lo seixe ihem by surprize. It oAen also hangs by the tail, which ii 
long and muscular ; and in this Hiuation, for hours together, with the 
bead downwards, it keeps watdiing fur its prey. If any lesser ani- 

■ mal, which it is able to overcome, passes undemesth, it drops upon 

it with deadly aim, and <(U>ckly devours it. By means of its tail, 
the opossum also slings from one tree to another, hunts insects, 
escapes its purstiers, and provides for its safely. It seems lo be a 
creature that lives upon vegetablea n well as animal substances, 
roots, sugar-canes, the bark, and even (be leaves of trees. It is 
easily tamed, but it is a disagreeable domestic, as well from its stu- 
pidity and ligure, as its scent, whicfa, however fragrant in small quan- 
tities, &3b not to be ungrateful when ct^aooslr supplied. 

An MhomI greatly resembling the funuer|- is the MaitnOie, whicli 
■■ (baad in the same continent. It seems only to dilTer in size, being 
leat; ^li, instead of a bag to receive its young, has only two 
kagkadiDal fuUs near the (highs, within which the young, which are 
pnaatorely brought Ibrtfa. as in the last instance, continue lo suckle. 
no JWH^ of these, ^leu firs! produced, are no! above the size of 

IB beut; bat continue sticking to the teat nnlil they have arrived at 
greater maturity. 
The Cayopolin is somewbal larger than the former, and a good 
deal resembting it in habits and Sgure, except that its snout is more 
pointed, its tail ia longer in ptoportiuB, ami its colour is different, 
bemg of an uh, somewhat inclining to yeUuw : however, I ibould 
suppose it to be only a variety- of the former. 
Tothianomfaervreotayadd the Pbalanser. so called by M. Bofibn; 
a good deal resembling- the former, but disbogoisiied by ibe ttahion 
of its hinder hands : tlie thumb and tore- finger being joia^ together, 
except at the estremities. This animal is about the stse of a nt ; 
and has, accordingly, by some, been catlwl the Rat at SmamBu 

^B • lamra. m). nJ. p. IT*. tVwL f. tIS. -^^| 


The last animal of this class is called by M. Bulfon, the Tarsier. 
This estraordinary Utile animal resembles the former, in having four 
hands, and a long tail, but ii differs very much in theextremelength 
of its hinder legs, which are longer than the rest of its whole body. 
The bones of that part of the foot called the tanui are likewise so 
very long, that from thence the animal has received its name: the 
tail is naked in the middle, and hairy only at both extremities; ils 
hair is woolly, sofl, and of a deep ash colour. As to the rest, it is 
unknown from what country this animal was brought; but the natu- 
ralist from whom we have this description, supposes it to be a native 
of America. 

From this general description of foiir-handed animals, we perceive 
what few advantages the brute creation derive from those organs 
that, in man, are employed to so many great and useful purposes. 
The being able to pluck their food from the trees, the capacity of 
clinging among the branches, and at must of converting one of those 
branches into a weapon of defence, are the highest stretches of their 
sagacity, and the otjy use their hands have hitherto been employed 
in : and yet some superficial men have asserted, that the hands alone 
are sufficient to vindicate the dominion of mankind over other ani- 
mals ; and that much of his boasted reason, is nothing more than the 
result of his happier conformation : however, were this so, an ape or 
a monkey would in some instances be more rational than we ; their 
fingers are smaller, and, in some of them, more finely formed tiian 
ours. To what a variety of purposes might they not be employed, 
if their powers were properly exerted ! Those works which we, 
from the largeness of our fingers, are obliged to go clumsily about, 
one of these could very easily perform with the utmost exactness; 
and if the fineness of the hand assisted reason, an ape would be one 
of the most reasonable beings in the creation. But these admirably 
formed machines are almost useless both to mankind and themselves ; 
and contribute little more to the happiness of animal life, than the 
paws of the lowest quadruped. They are supplied, indeed, with the 
organs, but they want the mind to put them into action : it is that 
reasoning principle alone, with which man has been endowed, that 
can adapt seemingly opposite causes to concur in the same general 
design; and even where the organs are deGcient, that can supply 
tlieir place by the intervention of assisting instruments. Where 
reason prevails, we find that it scarcely matters what the organs are 
that give it the direction ; the being furnished with that principle, 
still goes forward, steadily and uniformly successful ; breaks through 
every obstacle, and becomes master of every enterprize. 1 have 
seen a man, without hands or legs, convert, by practice, his very 
stumps to the most convenient purposes; and with these clumsy 
instruments perform the most astonishing feats of dexterity. We 
may therefore conclude, that it is the mind alone that gives a master 
to the creation i and that, if a bear or a horse were endowed wiih 
intellects that h»ve been given to man, the hard- 


^■^e same intellects that hiive been given to man, the hard- ^H 


neat of a hoof, or iho awkwardness of a paw, 

obstacle lo their advancement in tlie arm of dominion, or oi_ 

social felicity. 




Having gone through the description of those quadrupeds that, 
by resembling each other in some striking particular, admit of being 
grouped together, and considered under one point of view, we now 
come (o thoac insulated sorts, that bear no similitude with the rest, 
and that, to be distinctly described, must be separately considered. 

The foremost of these, and in every respect the noblest quad- 
ruped in nature, is the Elephant, not less remarkable for it* size 
than its docility and underiitanding.* AIMiistorians concuringiving 
it the character of the moat sagacious animal nest to man ; and yet, 
vers we to take our idea of its capacity from its outward appearance, 
we should be led to conceive very meanly of its abiiides. The 
elephant, at first view, presents the spectator with an enormous mass 
of flesh, that seems scarcely animated. Its huge body, covered with 
a callous hide, without hairj its large misshapen legs, that seem 
scarcely formed for motion ; its little eyes, largeears, and longtrunk, 
all give it an air of extreme stupidity. But our prejudices will soon 
subside when we come to esaniine its history; ihey will even serve 
lo increase our surprise, when we consider the various advantages it 
derives from so clumsy a conformation. 

The elephant is seen from seven to no less than fifteen feet high. 
Whatever care we take to imagine a large animal beforehand, yet 
the first sight of this huge creature never fails to strike us witli 
astonishment, and in some measure to exceed our idea. Having 
been used to smaller animals, we have scarcely any conception of its 
magnitude ; for a moving column of flesh, fourteen feet high, is an 
object so utterly diflereni from those we are constantly presented 
with, that to be conceived it must be actually seen. Such, I own, 
were the suggestions that naturally arose to me when I first saw this 
animal, and yet for the sight of which I had taken care lo prepare 
my imagination. I found my ideas fall as short of its real size as 
they did of its real figure ; neither the pictures I had seen, nor the 
descriptions I had read, giving me adequate conceptions of either. 

It would, therefore, be impossible to give an idea of this animal's 
figure by a description, which, even assisted by the art of the en- 
graver, will but confusedly represent the original. In general it 

[* Thld animal has no rore-leelli in t-Utitr Jaw ; Very Inag 

L[* Thld animal has no rore-leelli in t-iltitr Jaw ; Very Inag tuska ip lbB|^H 
upper jaw; the pmhoacii, or trunk, ifl Iniij, and capable of Isyina; hold gl^l 
any subslante, however minute ; and tbe body la nearly nibrd.] ^^H 



may be observed, that the forehead ia very high and rising, the ears 
ver; large and dependant, the eyes extremely small, the proboscii, 
or trunk, long, the body round and full, the back rising in an arch, 
and the whole animal short in proportion to its height. The feet are 
round at the bottom ; on each foot there are five flat horny risings, 
nhich seem to be the extremities of the toes, but do not appear out- 
wardly. The hide is without hair, full of scratches and scars, which 
it receives in its passage through thick woods and thorny places. At 
the end of the tail there is a tua of hair> a foot andahalflong. The 
female is less than the male, and the udder ia between the forelegs. 
But a more accurate, as well as a more entertaining description of 
the parts, will naturally occur in the history of their uses. 

Of all quadrupeds the elephant is the strongest, as well as the 
largest ; and yet, in a state of nature, it is neither flerce nor formid- 
able.* Mild, peaceful, and brave, it never abuses its power or its 
strength, and only uses its force for its own protection, or that of its 
community. In its native deserts the elephant ia seldom seen alone, 
but appears to be a social friendly creature. The oldest of the 
company conducts the band; that which is next in seniority brings 
up the rear. The young, the weak, and the sickly, fall into the 
centre; while the females carry their young, and keep ihent from 
falling by means of their trunks. They maintain this order only in 
dangerous marches, or when they desire to feed in cultivated grounds ; 
they move with less precaution in the forests and solitudes; but 
without ever separating, or removing so far asunder as to be incapa- 
ble of lending each other any requisite assistance. Nothing can be 
more formidable than a drove of elephants as they appear at a dis- 
tance in an African landscape; wherever they march, the forests 
seem to fall before them ; in their passage, they bear c' 
branches upon which they feed ; and, if they enter into an enclosure, 
they destroy all the labours of the husbandman in a very short time. 
Their invasions are the more disagreeable, as there is no means of 
repelling them, since it would require a small army to attack the 
whole drove when united. It now and then happens (hat one or two 
is found lingering behind the rest, and it is against these that the art 
and force of the hunters are united ; but an attempt to molest the 
whole body would certainly be fatal. They go forward directly 
against him who offers the insult, strike him with their tusks, 
him with their trunks, fling him into the air, and then trample him to 
pieces imder their feet. Bui they are thus dreadful only when 
offended, and do no manner of personal injury when suffered lo feed 
without interruption, it is even said that they are mindful of injui 
received, and when once molested by man, seek all occasions for' the 
future to be revenged ; they smell him with their long trunks at a 
distance; follow him wiih all their speed upon the scent; and, thougb 

■ 1 have txlrHclfd Ihe gre.itcil jiarl of lliis deioriplinn from M. Bnlfon. 



slow to appearance, they are soon able to coine up willi and destroy 

In their natural state, thej delight to live along the sides or rivera, 
to keep in the deepest vales, to refresh themselves in the most shadj 
forests and watery places. They cannot live far from the water, 
and they always disturb it before they drink. They often fill their 
trunk with it, either tn cool that organ, or to divert themselves by 
spurting it out like a fountain. They are equally distressed by the 
extremes of heat and cokl ; and, to avoid the former, they frequently 
take shelter in the most obscure recesses of the forest, or often plunge 
into the water, and even swim from the continent into idands some 
leagues distant from the shore. 

Their chief food is of -ilie vegetable kind, for they loathe all kind 
of animal diet. When one among their number happens to light 
upon a spot of good pasture, he calls the rest, and invites them lo 
■hare in the entertainment; but it must be a very copious pasture 
indeed that can supply the necessities of the whole band. As with 
their broad and heavy feet they sink deep wherever they go, they 
destroy much more than they devour ; so that they are frequently 
obliged to change their quarters, and to migrate from one country 
to another. The Indians and Negroes, who are often incommod^ 
by such visitants, do all they can to keep them away, making loud 
noises, and largeSres round their cultivated grounds; but these pre- 
cautions do not always succeed ; the elephants often break through 
their fences, destroy their whole harvest, and overturn their little 
habitations. When they have satisfied themselves, and trod down 
or devoured whatever lay in their way, they then retreat into the 
woods in the same orderly manner in which they made their 

Such are the habits of this animal, considered in a social light ; 
and, if we regard it OS an individual, we shall find its powers still 
more extraordinary. Witii a very awkward appearance, it possesses 
all the senses in great fterfection, and is capable of applying them 
to more useful purposes than any other quadruped. The elephant, 
nn we observed, has very small eyes when compared to the enormous 
bulk of its body. But though their minuteness may at first sight 
appear deformed, yet, when we come to examine them, they are 
seen to exhibit a variety of expression, and to discover the various 
sensations with which it is moved. It turns them with otlention and 
friendship to its master ; it seems to reflect and deliberate ; and as 
its passions slowly succeed each other, their various workings are 
distinctly seen. 

The elephant is not less remarkable for the excellence of its hear- 
ing. Its ears are extremely large, and greater in proportion than 
even those oF an ass. They are usually dependent; but itcan 
readily raise and move them. They serve also lo wipe its eyes, 
and to protect them against tlie dust and Hies thtit might otherwise 
incommode them. Jt appears delighted with music, and veryn 


THB eluphant. 

learns to beat lime, to move in measure, and even to join its voice 
to the sound of the drum and the trumpet. 

This animal's sense of smelling is not onlj exquisite, but it is in a 
great measure pleased with the same odours that delight mankind. 
The elephant gathers flowers with great pleasure and attention ; it 
picks them up one by one, unites them iuto a nusegay, and seems 
charmed with the perfume. The oraDge-floirer seems to be parti- 
cularly grateful boUi to its sense of taste and smelling; it strips the 
tree of all its verdure, and eats every part of it, even to the branches 
themselves. It seeks in the meadows the most odoriferous plants 
to feed upon, and in the woods it prefers the cocoa, the banana, the 
palm, and the sago tree, to all others. As the shoots of these are 
tender, and filled with pith, it cats not only the leayes and the fruits, 
but even the branches, the trunk, and the whole plant to the very 

But it is in the sense of touching that tliis animal excels all others 
of the brute creation, and perhaps even man himself. The organ 
of Uiis sense lies wholly in the trunk, which is an instrument peculiar 
lo this animal, and that serves it for all the purposes of n hand. The 
trunk is, properly speaking, only the snout lengthened out to a great 
extent, hollow like a pipe, and ending in two openings, or nostrils, 
like those of a hog. An elephant of fourteen feet high ^a^ the trunk 
about eight feet long, and live feet and a half in circumference at 
the mouth, where it is thickest, It is hollow all along, but with a 
partition running from one end of it to the other ; so that though 
outwardly it appears like a single pipe, it is inwardly divided into 
two. This fleshy tube is composed of nerves and muscles, covered 
with a proper skin of a blackish colour, like that of the rest of the 
body. It is capable of being moved in every direction, of being 
lengthened and shortened, of being bent or straightened, so pliant as 
to embrace any body it is applied to, and yet so strong that nothing 
can be lorn from the gripe. To aid the force of this grasp, there 
are several litlle eminences, like a caterpillar's feet, on the imder side 
of this instrument, which without doubt contribute to the sensibility 
of the touch, OS well as to the firmness of the hold, Through this 
trunk the animal breathes, drinks, and smells, as through a tube ; 
and at the very point of it, just above the nostrils, there is an ex- 
tension of the skin, obout live inches long, in the form of a linger, 
and which in fact answers all the purposes of one; for, with the rest 
of the extremity of the tmnk, it is capable of assuming different form^ 
at will, and consequently, of being adapted to the minutest objects. 
By means of this, the elephant can take a pin from the ground, 
untie the knots of a rope, unlock a door, and even write with a pen. 
" I have myself seen," says ^lian, " an elephant \vriting Latin clia- 
racters on a board, in a very orderly manner, his keeper only show- 
ing him the figure of each letter. While thus employed, the eyes 
might be observed studiously cast down upon the writing, and 
hibiting an appearance of great skill and erudition.'^ 
happens that Ihs object is too large for (he trunk lo grasp 





a case the elephant makes use of anotber expedieat as admirable * 
Boy of the former- It applies the extremity of the Irank lo tb 
surface of the object, and, sucking up its breath, lifls and sustain 
such a weight as the air in that case is capable ofkeeping suspended 
In this mauDer this instrument is useful ia most of the purposes n 
life; il is an organ of smelling, of touching, and of s ' 
only provides for the animal's necessities and comforts, but it also 
serves for its ornament and defence. 

But, though the elephant be thus admirably supplied by its trunk, 
yet, with respect to the rest of its conformation, it is unwieldy aod" 
belplefls. The neck is so short, that it can scarcely turn the heada 
and must wheel round in order to discover an enemy from behind 
The hunters that attack it upon thai quarter, generally thus escapt 
the effects of its indignation ; and find time to renew their assaulia^ 
while the elephant is turning to face ihem. The legs are, indeed]] 
not so inllexible as the neck, yet they are very stiff, and bend d 
without difficulty. Those before seem ti ' " 
but, upon being measured, are found ti 
joints by which (hey bend are nearly ii 
a man ; and the great bulk which the3' t 
flexure ungainly. While the elephar 
to lie down or to rise; but when it gro 
performed without human assistanc 
I inconvenient, that the animal chooses tc 

o be longer than the hinder 
' e something shorter. 
n the middle, like the kn( 

support makes tb^ 
It is young, it bends the 1^ 
ws old, or sickly, this is 
Lud it becomes, consequent!^ 
o sleep standing. The fM 
upon which these masay columns are supported, form a base scarce!; 
broader than the legs they sustain. They are divided into five toes, 
which are covered beneath the skin, and none of which appear to 
the eye ; a kind of protuberance like claws are only observed, whidi 
vary in number from three lo five. The apparent claws vary 
internal toes are constantly the same. The sole of the foot ii 
nished with a skin as thick and hard as horn, and which complete) 
covers the whole under part of the foot. 

To the rest of the elephant's encumbrances, may be added 
enormous tusks, which are unserviceable for chewing, and are onl 
weapons of defence. These, as the animal grows old, become 
heavy, that it is sometimes obliged to make holes in the walls of 
stall lo rest them in, and ease itself of the fatigue of their support. 
It is well known to what an amozing size these tusks grow ; they are 
two in number, proceeding from the upper jaw, and are sometimes 
found above six feet long. Some have supposed them to be rather 
the horns than ihe teeth of this animal ; but, besides their greater 
similitude lo bone than to horn, they have been indisputably found 
to grow from Ihe upper jaw, and not from the frontal bones, as qome 
have thought proper to assert.* Some also have asserted, that these 
tusks are shed in the same manner as the slag sheds his horns; but 
it is very probable, from their solid consistence, and from their acci- 
ilal defects, which olten appeni-s to be the elfecl of a slow decay. 




•! M. tJaii 


III of llils iDirual. 



that thej are as fised as the leelh of other aninmln are generally 
found to be. Certain it is, that the elephant never sheda Ihem in a 
domeBtic state, but keeps them till they become inconvenient and 
cumbersome to the last degree. An account of the uses to which 
these teeth are applied, and the manner of choosing the best ivory, 
belongs rather lo a history of the arts than of nature. 

This animal is equally singular in other parts of its conformation : 
the lips and the tongue in other creatures serve to suck up and direct 
their drink or their food ; but in the elephant they are totally incon- 
venient for such purposes; and it not only gathers its food with its 
trunk, but supplies itxelf with water by the same means. When it 
eats hay, as I have seen It frequently, it takes up a small wisp of it 
with the trunk, turns and shapes it with that instrument for some time, 
and then directs it into the mouth, where it is chewed by the great 
grinding teelh, that are large in proportion to the bulk of the animal. 
This packet, when chewed, is swallowed, and never ruminated 
again, as in cows or sheep, the stomach and intestines of this creature 
more resembling those of ahorse. Its manner of drinking is equally 
extraordinary. For this purpose, the elephant dips the end of its 
trunk into the water, and sucks up just as much as Hlls that great 
fleshy tube completely. U then lifts up its head with the trunk full, 
and turning the point into its mouth, as if it intended to swallow 
trunk and all, it drives the point below the opening of the wind- 
pipe. The trunk being in this position, and still full of water, the 
elej^ant then blows strongly into it at the other end, which forces 
(he water it contains into the throat ; down which it is heard to pour 
with a loud gurgling noise, which continues till the whole is blown 
down. From this manner of drinking, some have been led into an 
opinion that the young elephant sticks with its trunk, and not with 
ils mouth ; this, however, is a fact which no traveller has hitherto 
hod an opportunity of seeing, and it must be referred to some future 
accident to determine. 

The hide of the elephant is as remarkable as any other pari, li 
is not covered over with hair, as in the generality of quadrupeds, but 
is nearly bare. Here and there, indeed, a few bristles are seen 
growing in the scars and wrinkles of the body, and very thinly 
scattered over the rest of the skin ; but in general the head is dry, 
rough, and wrinkled, and resembling more the bark of an old tree 
than the skin of an animal. This grows thicker every year; and, 
by a constant addition of substance, it at lengtli contracts that dis- 
order well known by the name of ihe elephautiasis, or Arabian 
leprosy; a disease to which man, as well as the elephant, is oflcn 
subject. In order to prevent this, the Indians rub llie elephant with 
oil, and frequently bathe it lo preserve its pliancy. To the incon- 
veniencies of this disorder is added another, arising from the great 
sensibility of those parts that are not callous. Upon these the flies 
settle in great abundance, and torment this animal unceasingly; to 
remedy which the elepliant tries all its arts, using not only ' 
and trunk in the natural manner to keep ihem olf, but 






170 TH 

Ihe brancti of k tree, or » buodLe of t»y, to ithke them off m 
Wben ibv faib, k ofiea gaihen up the dun whli iu tnink, and tho^ 
coren •!] ihe leneibk places. In tftii Banner, ii has been Men to 
Aim iUelf WTeral times a daj, and paitkntari; opon leaving ibe 

Water it a» necemuj to ihia animal as food itwlf. Wlien in a 
Mate of nature, tbe dephaot renelv cjuiis tbe banks of the river, and 
often stand* in water up to the belljr. In a Mate of servitude, the 
lodian* lake equal care to provide a proper supply ; they wash it 
with great address; they give it all the convenieocies for lending 
asHstance to itself; they smooth the skin with a pumice-stoiie, and 
then nib it over with oils, essences, and odours. 

It is not to be wondered at that an animal furnished with so many 
various advantages, both of strength, sagacity, and obedience, should 
be taken into Ihe service of man. We accordingly find thai the 
elephant, from time immemorial, has been employed either for liie 
purposes of labour, of war, or of ostentation ; to increase the grandeur 
of eastern princes, or lo extend their dominions. We have hitherto 
been describing thjs animal in its natural state ; ne now come to 
consider it in a different view, as taken frmn tbe forest and reduced 
to human obedience. We are now (o behold this brave harmless 
creatare as learning a lesson from mankind, and insirucled by hitn 
in all the arts of war, massacre, and devastation. We are now to 
behold this half- reasoning animal led into the field of battle, and won- 
dering at those tumults and that madness which be is cunpelled to 
increase. The elephant is a native of Africa and Asia, being found 
neither in Europe nor America. In Africa he still retains bis natural 
liberty. The savage inhabitants of that part of the world, instead 
of attempting to subdue this powerful creature to their necesMties, 
are happy in being able to protect themselves from his fury. For- 
merly, indeed, during the splendour of the Carthaginian empire, 
dephants were used in tfaeir wars ; but this was only a transilory 
gleam of human power in that part of the globe; the natives of 
Africa have long since degenerated, and the elephant is only known 
among them from his devastations. However, there are no elephants 
in tbe northern parts of Africa at present, there being none found 
nn this side of Mount Atlas. It is beyond the river Senegal that 
they are to be met with in great numbers, and so down to the Cape 
of Good Hope, as well as in the heart of the country. In this ex- 
tensive region they appear to be more numerous than in any other 
part of the world. They are there less fearful of man ; less retired 
into the heart of the furests, they seem tobesennble of his impotence 
and ignorance ; and often come down to ravage his little labours. 
They treat him with the same haughty disdain which they show to 
other animals, and cunsider him as a mischievous little being, that 
fears to oppose them openly. 

Itiit, although these animals are most plentiful in Africa, it is (in\y 
in Asia that the greatest elephants are Ibund, and rendered subsef' 
vieni to human comninnd. In Africa, the lar^^cst do not extend 



feet hi^; in Asia ihey are found from ten to lilleen. 
increases in proporlion U> their size ; and when they exceed a cer- 
tain bulk, like jewels, their value then rises as the fancy is pleased 
to estimate. 

The largest are entirely kept for the service of pi-inces, and are 
maintained with the utraoai magnidceoce, and at the greatest ex< 
pense. The usual colour of the elephant is a dusky black, but some 
ire said to be white, and the price of one of these is ioesttmable. 
Such a one is peculiarly appropriated for the monarch's own riding ; 
he is kept in a palace, attended by the nobles, and almost adored 
by the people.* Some have said that these white elephants are 
larger than the rest ; t others assert that they are less; and still 
others entirely doubt their eaistence. 

As the art of war is but very little improved in Asia, there are 
few princes of the East who do not procure and maintain as many 
elephants as they are able, and place great confidence on their 
assistance in an engagement. For this purpose, they are obliged to 
take them wild in their native forests, and tame them ; for the ele- 
phant never breeds in a state of servitude. It is one of the most 
striking peculiarities in this extraordinary creature, that his gene- 
rative powers totally fail when he comes under thedoniinion of man; 
as if he seemed unwilling to propagate a race of staves, to increase 
the pride of his conqueror. There is, perhaps, no other quadruped 
that will not breed in its own native climates, if indulged with a 
moderate share of freedom, and we know that many of them will 
copulate in every climate. The elephant alone has never been seen 
to breed, and though he has been reduced under the obedience of 
man for ages, llie duration of pregnancy in the female * still remains 
a secret. Aristotle, indeed, asserts, that she goes two years with 
young ; that she continues to suckle her young for three years, and 
that she brings forth but one nl a time; but he does not inform us 
of the manner in which hvia» possible forhim tohave his information. 
From aulhoritiea equally doubtful we learn, that the little one is 
about as large as a wild boar the instant it is brought forth ; that its 
tusks do not yet appear, hut that all the rest of its teeth are ap- 
parent ; that at the age of six months it is as large as an ox, and its 
tuska preliy well grown ; and that it continues in this manner, for 
near thirty years, advancing to maturity, All this is doubtful ; but 
it is certain that, in order to recruit the numbers which are consumed 
in war, the princes of the E^st are every year obliged to send into 
the forests, and to use various methods to procure a fresh supply. 
Of all these numerous bands, there is not one that has not been ori- 
ginally' wikl, nor one that has not been forced into a state of sub- 



^|V • p. VincpniMarie. +P. Tnchanl. H 

^^Vt Multis perauasum est elephnnlem non brnlorum seel homiaum mora H 

^^■itre. Quod retro roinKit noa dubllalur. Sfd Ipse vidi amrem hujuseu ^H 

^^^beiei, in nostri regis slabulls, super tamsllain Indem inctusam quailmpe- ^M 

t 'J 

174 THB i:i:.kphant. 

dependence or the general was upon the number and the exportneiu 
of his elephants ; but of late, since war has been contented to adopt 
fatal, instead of formidable arts, the elephant is little used, except 
for drawing caonou, or transporting provisions. The prineei of the 
country are pleased to k^ep a few for ornament, or for the purposes 
of retmoving their seraglios ; but they are seldom led into a Held of 
battle, where they arc unable to withstand the discharge of lire-arras, 
and have ol^en been found to turn upon their employers. Stilt, 
however, they are used in war, in the more remote parts of the East ; 
in Siam, in Couhin-China, in Tonquin, and Pegu. In all these 
places, they not only serve tu swell the pomp of state, being adorned 
with all the barbarian splendour that those countries can bestow, but 
they flre actually led into the Held of battle, armed before with coats 
of mail, and loaded on the back each with a square tower, containing 
from five combatants to seven. Upon its neck sits the conductor, 
who goads the animal into the thiclcest ranks, and encourages it to 
increase the devastation : wherever it goes, nothing can withstand 
its fury ; it leveb the rankx with its immense bulk, flings such as 
oppose it into the air, or crushes them to death under its feet. In 
the mean time, those who are placed upon its back combat as from 
an eminence, and fling down their weapons with doobte force, their 
weight being added to their velocity. Nothing, therefore, can be 
more dreadful, or mure irresistible, than such a moving machine, to 
men unacquainted with the modern arts of war; the elephant, thus 
armed and conducted, raging in the raidst of a field of battle, inspires 
more terror than even those machines that destroy at a distance, 
and are ol\en most fatal when mast unseen. But this method of coni- 
bating is rather formidable than eflectual : polished nations have 
ever been victorious over thoee seini- barbarous troops, that have 
called in the elephant to their assistance, or attempted to gain a vic- 
tory by merely astonishing their opposcrs. The Romans quickly 
learned the art of opening their ranks to admit the elephant ; and 
thus separating it from assistance, quickly compelled its conductors 
to calm the animal's fury, and to submit. Il sometimes also hap- 
pened that the elephant became impatient of controul; and, instead 
of obeying its conductor, turned upon those forces it waa employed 

■ to assist. In either case, there was a great deal of preparation to 
very little effect : for a single elephant is known to consume as much 
as forty men in a day. 
At present, therefore, they are chiefly employed in carrying or 
drawing burdens throughout the whole peninsula of India; and no 
animal can he more fitted by nature for this employment. The 
strength of an elephant is equal to its bulk, for it can with great 

tease draw a load that six horses could not move ; it can readily 
carry upon its back three or four thousand weight: upon it tusk) 
alone it can support near a thousand. Its force may also be esti- 
mated from tho velocity of its motion, compared to the m: 
body. It can go, in its ordinary pace, as fast as a horse at 
trot; and, when pushed, it can -move as swiftly as a horse 


•THE eli:pha.nt, 

full gallop. It can travel with case fifty or sixty miles a day, and 
wheQ hard pressed, almost double that distance. It may be heard 
trotting on at a great distance: it is easy also to follow it by the 
track, which is deeply impressed on the ground, and from QfWn to 
eighteen inches in diameter. 

In India they are also put to other very disagreeable officei ; for 
in HOuie courts of the more barbarous princes, they are used as 
executioners ; and this horrid task they perform with great dexterity : 
with their trunks they are seen to break every limb of the criminal 
at the word of command ; they sometimes trample him to death, and 
sometimes impale bim on their enormous tusks, as directed. In thii 
the elephant is rather the servant of a cruel master, than a voluntary 
tyrant, siace no other animal of the forest is so naturally benevolent 
and gentle : equally mindful of benelils as sensible of neglect, he 
contracts a friendship for his keeper, and obeys him even beyond hi* 

In India, where they were at one time employed in lannching 
ships, a particular elephant was directed to force a very large vessel 
into the water: the work proved superior to its strength, but not to 
its endeavours ; which, however, the keejier aflL'cted to despise- 
" Take away/' says he, "that lazy beast, and bring another better 
fitted for service." The poor animal instantly upon this redoubled 
its eflbrts, fractured its skull, and died upon the spot. 

In Delhi, an elephant passing along the streets put his trunk into 
a tailor's shop, where several people were at work. One of the per- 
.sons of the stop, desirous of some amusement, pricked the Bnimal's 
trunk with his needle, and seemed highly delighted with this slight 
puniaboient. The elephant, however, passed on without any imme- 
diate aignsof resentment; but coming to a puddle filled with dirty 
water, he filled his trunk, returned to t!ie shop, and spurted the 
contents over all the finery upon which the tailors were ijien em- 

An elej^ant in Adsmeer, which often passed through the bazir 
or market, as he went by a certain herb-woman always received from 
her a mouthful of greens. Being one day seized with a periodical 
fit of madness, he broke his fetters, and running through the marketi 
put the crowd to flight, and among others this woman, who in her 
haste forgot a little child at her stall. The elephant, recollecting 
the spot where his benefactress was accustomed to sit, took up the 
infant gently in his trunk, and conveyed it to a place of safety. 

At the Cape of Good Hope it is customary to hunt those animals 
for the sake of their teeth. Three horsemen, well mounted, and 
armed with lances, attack the elephant alternately, each relieving the 
other, as they see their companion pressed, till the beast is subdued. 
Three Dutchmen, brothers, who had made large fortunes by this 
business, determined to retire to Europe, and enjoy the fruits of their 
labours ; but they resolved, one day before they went, to have a 
last chase by way of amusement: they met with their game, and 
began their attack in the usual mannen but unfortunately, one of 

30. — VOL. II. It 



their hones Tailing, happened to ding his rider : the enraged elephant 
instantlj seized the unhappy huntsman with his trunk, flung him up 
to a vast height Ja the air, and received him upon one of his tuslcj as 
he fell i and then turning towards the other two brothers, as if it 
were with an aspect of revenge and insult, held out to them the im- 
paled wretch, writhing in the agonies of death. 

The teeih of the elephant are what produce the great enraity 
between him and mankind ; but whether they are shed like the horns 
of the deer, or whether the animal be killed to obtain them, is not jet 
perfectly known. All we have as yet certain is, that the natives o{ 
Africa, from whence almost all our ivory comes, assure us, that they 
find the greatest part of it in their forests; nor would, say Ihay, the 
teeth of an elephant recompense them for their trouble and dangerin 
killbg it. Notwithstanding, the elephants which are tamed by man 
are never known to shed their tusks; and, from the hardness of their 
substance, they seem no way analogous to deer's horns. 

The teeth of the elephant are very often found in a fossil stale. 
Some years ago, two great grinding teeth, and part of the tusk of an 
elephant, were discovered, at the depth of forty-two yards, in a lead- 
mine in Flintshire.* 

The tusks of the Mammoth, so often found fossil in Siberia, and 
which are converted to the purposesnf ivory, are generally supposed 
lo belong to the elephant; however, the animal must have been 
much larger in that country than it is found at present, as those 
liisks are oflen known to weigh four hundred pounds, while those 
that come from Africa 'seldom exceed twohundred and fifty. These 
enormous tusks are found lodged in the sandy banlis of the Siberian 
rivers; and the natives pretend that they belong to an animal which 
is fonr times as large as the elephant. 

There have lately been discovered several enormous skeletons, 

five or sis-feet beneath the surface, on the banks of the Ohio, not 

remote from the river Miume, in America, seven hundred miles from 

the sea-coast. Some of the tusks are near seven feet long, one foot 

les in circumference at the base, and one foot near the point ; 

e cavity at the root or base, nineteen inches deep. Besides their 

ce, there are yet other differences ; the tusks of the true elephant 

tve sometimes a very slight lateral bend, these have a larger Iwisi, 

' spiral curve, towards the smaller end : but the great and specific 

flerence consists in the shape of the grinding teeth, which in these 

!wly found are fashioned like the teeth of a carnivorous animal ; 

not Hal and ribbed transversely on their surface like those of the 

modem elephant, but furnished with a double row of high and conic 

processes, as if intended to masticate, not to grind their food. A third 

difference is in the thigh-bone, which is of a great disproporlionable 

thickness lo that of the elephant, and has also some other anatomical 

variations. These fossil bones have been also found in Peru and the 

Brazils; and when cut and polished by the workers in ivory, appear 

• Pennant's Synopsis, p. 00. 




Id every respect similar. It is ihe opinioD of Dr. Hunter that ihey 
must have belonged to s larger animal than the elephant, and difler- 
\ng from il in being camivoroii!!. But as yet this formidable creature 
has evaded our learch; and if, indeed, such an animal exists, it is 
happy for man that it beeps at a distance; xince what mvage might 
not be expected frtHn a creature endued with more than the strength 
of the elephant, and all the rapacity of the tiger .' 



Next to the elephant, the Ktiinoeros i^ the most powerful of ani< 
mals. It is usually found twelve feet long from the tip of the nose 
to the insertion of the tail ; from six to seven feet high ; and the cir- 
cumference of its body is nearly equal to its length. It is, therefore, 
equal to the elephant in bulk ; and if it nppcars much smaller to the 
eye, the reason if, that ils legs arc much shorter. Words can con- 
vey but a very condised idea of this aninial's shape, and yet there 
are few so remarkably formed. Its head is furnished with a horn, 
growing from the snout, sometimes three feet and a half long ; and 
but for this, that part would have the appearance of the head of a 
hog; the upper lip, however, is much longer in proportion, ends ia 
a point, ia very pliable, serves to collect its food, and deliver it into 
the mouth : the ears are large, erect, and pointed ; the eyes are small 
and piercing ; the skin is naked, rough, knotty, and lying upon the 
body in folds, after a very peculiar fashion : there are two folds very 
remarkable, one above the shoulders, and another over the rump: 
the skin, which is of a dirty brown colour, is so (hick as to turn the 
edgeof a scimitar, and to resist a musket-ball : the belly hangs low; 
the legs are short, strong, and thick ; and the hoofa divided into three 
parts, each pointing forward. 

Such is the general outline of an animal that appears chiefly for- 
midable from the horn growing from its snout, and Tormed rather for 
war than with a propensity to engage. This horn is sometimes 
found from three to three feet and a half long, growing from the 
solid bone, and so disposed as to be managed to the greatest advan- 
tage. It is composed of the most solid substance, and pointed so as 
to inflict the most fatal wounds. The elephant, the boar, or the 
buffalo, are obliged to strike transversely with their weapons, but the 
rhinoceros employs all his force with every blow ; so that the tiger 
will more willingly attack any other animal of the forest, than one 
whose strength is so justly einployed. Indeed, there is no force which 
this terrible animal has to apprehend ; defended on every side by a 
thick horny hide, which the claws of the lion or the tiger are unable 
to pierce, and armed before with a weapon that even the elephant 
docs not choose to oppose. The missionaries assure us, that the 


etephaot it often found dead in the foresls, pierced with the hom of 
a rtiinocerca ; and though it looks like wisdom to doubt whatever 
iliey tell us, yet I cannot help giving credit lo what they relate on 
this occasion; particularly when confirmed by Pliny. The combat 
between these two, the most formidable animatsof the foresC, mast 
be very dreadful. Emanuel, king of Porlugal, witling to try their 
strength, aclually opposed them to each other, and the elephant waa 

But though the rhinoceros is thus formidable by nature, yet ima- 
gination has not failed to esert itself, in adding to its terrors. The 
scent is said to be moat exquisite; and it ta affirmed, that it consorta 
with the tiger. It is reported also, that when it has overturned a 
man, or any other animal, it continues to lick the flesh quite from 
the bone with its tongue, which is said to be extremely rough. All 
this, however, is fabulous : the scent, if we may judge from the ex- 
pansion of the olfactory nerves, is not greater than that of a hog, 
which we know to be indifferent; it keeps company with the tiger, 
only because they both frequent watery places in the burning cli- 
mates where they are bred ; and as to its rough tongue, that is so 
far from the truth, that no animal of near its size has so soft a one. 
" I have often felt it myself," says Ladvocat, in his description of 
this animal ; " it is smooth, soft, and small, like that of a dog ; and 
to the feel it appears as if one passed the hand over velvet. I have 
often seen it lick a young man's face who kept it; and both seemed 
pleased with the action." 

The rhinoceros which was shown at London in 1739, and described 
by Dr. Parsons, had been sent from Bengal. Though it was very 
young, not being above two years old, yet the charge of its carriage 
and food from India cost near a thousand pounds. It was fed with 
rice, sugar, and hay : it was daily supplied with seven |>cunds of 
rice, mixed with three of sugar, divided into three portions ; it was 
given great quantities of hay and grass, which it chiefly preferred ; 
its drink was water, which it look in great quantities. It was of a 
gentle disposition, and permitted itself lo be touched and handled by 
all visitors, never attempting mischief, except when abused, or when 
hungry ; in such a case there was no method of appeasing its fury, 
but by giving it something to eat. When angry, it would jump up 
against the walls of its room vith great violence, and make many 
efforts to escape ; but seldom attempted to attack its keeper, and was 
always submissive to his threats. It had a peculiar cry, somewhat 
a mixture between the grunting of a hog and the bellowing of a 

The age of these animals is not well known : it Is said by some 
that they bring forth at three years old, and if we may reason from 
analogy, it is probable they seldom live till above twenty. That 
which was shown in London, was said, by its keeper, to be eighteen 
years old, and even at that age he pretended lo consider it as a young 
one ; however, it died shortly after, and that probably in the course 


The rhinoceroB is a native or the deserls or Asia and Africti, and 
is usually found in those extensive forests tliat are frequented by the 
elephant and the lion. As it subsists entirely upon vegetable food, 
it is peaceful and harmless among its fellows of the brute creation ; 
but, though it never provokes to combat, it equally disdains to Sy. 
It is every way fitted for war, but rests content in the conscioiisness 
of its security. It is particularly fond of the prickly branches of 
trees, and is seen to feed upon such thorny shrubs bs would be dr.i- 
gerous to other animals, either to gather or to swallow. The prickly 
points of these, hotvever, may only serve to give a poigniint relish 
to this animal's palate, and may answer the same grateful ends in 
seasoning its banquet, that spices do in heightening ours. 

In some parts of the continent of Asia, where the natives are more 
desirous of appearing warlike than showing themselves brave, these 
animals are tamed, and led into the field to strike terror Into the 
enemy ; but they are always unmanageable and restive animals, and 
propably more dangerous to the employers, than those whom they 
are brought to oppose. 

The method of taking them is chiefly watching them, till they are 
found in some moist or marshy place, where, like hogs, they are fond 
of sleeping and wallowing. They then destroy the old one with 
fire>arms ; for no weapons, that are thrown by the force of man, are 
capable of entering this animal's hide. Jf, when the old one is de- 
stroyed, there happens to be a cub, ihey seize and tame it : these 
animals are sometimes taken in pit-falls, covered with green branches, 
laid in those paths which the rhinoceros makes in going from the 
forest to the nver side. 

There are some varieties in this animal, as in most others : some of 
them are found in Africa with a double horn, one growing above the 
other. This weapon, if considered in itself, is one of the strongest, 
and most dangerous, that nature furnishes to any part of the animal 
creation. The horn is entirely solid, formed of the hardest bony 
substance, growing from the upper maxillary bone, by so strong an 
apophyse as seemingly to make but one part with it. Many are the 
metlicinal virtues that are ascribed to this horn, when taken in 
powder; but these qualities have been attributed to it without any 
real foundation, and make only a small part of the many fables which 
this extraordinary animal has given rise to. 





Tub Hippopotamus is an aoimal u large, aod oot less rormid- 
able, iliBii the rhinoceros: its legs are shorter, and iu head rather 
more bulky than ibat of ihe animal last described. We have had 
bul few opportunilieit in Europe of examiniDg this formidable crea- 
ture minutely ; ita dimensions, however, have been pretty well 
ascertained by a description given us by Zerenghi, an Italian 
surgeon, who procured one of them to be killed on the banks of the 
river Nile. By his account it appears, that this terrible animal, which 
chiefly resides in the waters of that river, is above seventeen feet 
long, from the extremity of tlie snout to the insertion of the tail; 
above sixteen feet in circumference round the body, and above leven 
feet high ; the head is near four feet long, and above nine feet in 
circumference. Tho jaws open about two feet wide, and the 
cutting teeth, of which ii hath four in each jaw, are above a fool 

Its feet in some measure resemble those of the elephant, and are 
divided into four parts. The Lail ia short. Hat, and pointed ; tho hide 
is amazingly thick, and though not capable of turning a musket-ball, 
is impenetrable to the blow of a sabre; (he body is covered over 
witli a few scattered hairs, of a whitish colour. The whole tigure of 
the animal is something between that of an o\ and a hog, and its cry 
something between the bellowing of the one and the grunting of the 

This anima), however, though so terribly furnished lor war, seems 
no way disposed to make use of its prodigious strength against an 
equal enemy : it chieSy resides at the bottom of the great rivers and 
lakes of Africa, the Nile, the Niger, and the Zara: there it leads 
nn indolent kind of life, and seems seldom disposed for action, except 
when excited by tlie calls of hunger. Upon such occasions, three or 
four of them are ollen seen at the bottom of a river, near some 
cataract, forming a kind of line, and seizing upon such fish aa are 
forced down by the violence of the stream. In that clement thej 
pursue. their prey with great awiftness and perseverance; they iwim 
with much force, and remain at the bolloni for thirty or forty minutea 
without rising to take breath. They traverse ilie bottom of the 
stream, as if walking upon land, and make a terrible devastation 
where they find plenty of prey. But it often happens that this ani- 
mal's fishy food is not supplied in sullicient abundance ; it is then 

[* Thn Iiippopotain(i9 bus four fDrc-tceth in ihe iipper jnw, disposed 
in p&ira et a dialance fVoin csch othtr, and four prommral Tore-teeLh in 
the unrler jaw. Ihc intBriite'diale ones hting longi-st. T hire are two luits 
in pach jaw, those of Ihe iimli'r on? hein^ very \naf(. mid obliquely Irun- 
e«lrd ; in bolh they iland jolilary, and src rrcurvalcri : iKe Ted are hoofrd 


le marrio ^^ 

forced to come upon land, where it id an awkward aod 
sinmgvr: il moves but slowly, and, as it tieldom foraakes the margin 
of the river, it sinks at every step it takes; sometimes, however, it is 
forced by famine up into llie higher grounds, where it commits dread- 
ful havoc among the plantations of the helpless natives, who see their 
possessions destroyed without daring to resist their invader. Their 
chief method is, by lighting lires, striking drums, and raising a cry, 
to frighten it back to its favourite element; and as it is estremely 
timorous upon land, they generally succeed in their endeavours. But 
ifthey happen to wound, or otherways irritate it too closely, it then 
becomes formidable to all that oppose it ; it overturns whatever it 
meets, and exerts all its strength, which it seemed not to have dis- 
covered before that dangerous occasion. It possesses the same in- 
offensive disposition in its favourite element, that it is found to have 
upon land : it is never found to attack the mariners in their boats as . 
they go up or dowD the stream ; but should they inadvertently strike 
against it, or otherwise disturb its repose, there is much danger of its 
sending them at once to the bottom. " I have seen," says a 
mariner, as we find it in Dampier, " one of these animals open its 
jaws, and seizing a boat between his teeth, at once bite and sink it 
to the bottom. I have seen it, upon another occasion, place iuelf 
under one of our boats, and rising under it, overset it with' six men 
who were in it ; who, however, happily received no other injury." 
Such is the great strength of this animal ; and from hence, probably, 
Itae imagination has been willing to match it in combat against others 
fierce, and equally formidable. The crocodile and shark have 
said to engage with it, and yield an easy victory; but as the 
. is only found at sea, and the hippopotamus never ventures 
beyond the mouth of fresh water rivers, it is most probable that these 
engagements neveV occurred : it sometimes happens, indeed, that the 
princes of Africa amuse themselves with combats, on their fresh water 
lakes, between this and other formidable animals; but whether the 
rhinoceros or the crocodile arc of this number, we have not been par- 
licularly inforaied. If this animal be attacked on land, and finding 
itself incapable of vengeance from the swiftness of its enemy, it im- 
mediately returns to the river, where it plunges in head foremost, and 
'' " r a short time rises to the surface, loudly bellowing, either to in- 
w intimidate the enemy : but though the Negroes will venture 
attack theshark.or thecTocodile, in their natural element, and there 
deatroy them, they are too well apprized of the force of thehippo- 
potamtu to engage it; this animal, therefore, continues the uncon- 
trolled master of the river, and all others fly from its approach, or 
become an easy prey. 

As the hippopotamus lives upon fish and vegetables, so it is probable 
^e flesh of terrestrial animals may be equally grateful: the natives 
of Africa assert, that it has often been found to devour children and 
other creatures that it was able to surprise upon land : yet as it moves 
but slowly, almost every creature, endued with a common share of 
swiftness, is able to escape it ; and this animal, therefore, seldc»n 






the: camelopard. 

ventures from the river side, but when pressed by the necessities of 
hunger, or of bringing forth its young. 

The female always comes upon land to brbg forth, and it is sup- 
posed that she gpldom produces above one at a time. Upon thia 
occasion lliese animals are particularly timorous, and dread the ap- 
proach of a terrestrial enemy; the instant the parent hears the 
slightest noise, it dashes into the stream, and the young one is seen to 
follow it with equal alacrity. 

The young ones are said (o be excellent eating ; but the Negroest 
to whom nothing that has life comes amiss, Dnd an equal delicacy in 
the old. Dr. Pococke has seen ihoir ficih sold in the shambles, 
like beef; and it is said that their breast, in particular, is as 
delicate ealing as veal. As for the rest, these animals are found 
in great numbers ; and as they produce very fast, their flesh might 
supply the countries where they are found, could those barbarous 
regions j^'oduce more expert huntimen. It may be remarked, how- 
ever, that this creature, which was once in such plenty at the mouth 
of the Nile, is now wholly unknown in Lower Egypt, and is nowhere 
to be fount! in that river, except above the c 



Were we to be told of an animal so tall, that a man on horseback 
could with ease ride under its belly without stooping, we should 
hardly give credit to the relation ; yet of this extraordinary size is 
the camelopard, an animal that inhabits the deserts of Africa, and 
the accounts of which are so well ascertained, that we cannot deny 
our assent to their authority. It is no easy matter to form an ade* 
quate idea of this creature's size, and the oddity of its formation. It 
exhibits somewhat the slender shape of the deer, or the camel, but 
destitute of their symmetry, or their easy power of motion. The 
head somewhat resembles that of the deer, with two round horns, 
near a foot long, and which, it is probable, it sheds as deer are found 
to do ; its neck resembles that of a horse ; its legs and feet those of 
the deer; but with this extraordinary difference, that the fore-legs 
«re nearly twic« as long as the hinder.* As these creatures have 
been found eighteen feet high, and ten from the ground to the top 
of the shoulder, so, allowing three feet for the depth of the body, 

[■ It is now known that the fore-Ugs uf the csinelopard arc not alioi's 
Inches longer than its hind-legs ; bultheshunlders arpuf a vast Irnglh. 

'hich B[ve» the dlapropoTlionalr height between the fore and hind pi 
BX eight rnrr-tcflh in the nniler jaw, but none in the upper; and 111.. _. 
.X grinders (in ea<:h sidei' both jn^c^. The fi-ct are alovtn, and Ihey but 
n heel.] 



, which is high enough to adm 

183 ^M 
. much lower, ^^ 

I Kven feet ri 

■itipoii a middle sized horse. The hinder part, however, is much lower, 

Iso that when the animal appears standing, and at rest, it has some- 

■ irliat the appearance of a dog sitting ; and this formation of its legs 

rgivea it an awkward and a laborious motion, which, though awitl, 

it yet be tiiesome. For this reason, the caraelopard is an animal 

f rarely found, and only finds refuge in the most internal desert 

_ ions of Africa. The dimensions of a young one, as they were 

Accurately taken by a person who examined its skin, that was brought 

1 the Cape of Good Hope, were found to be as follow : — The 

_th of the head was one fool eight inches; the height of the fore- 

)g, from the ground to the top of (he shoulder, was ten feet; from 

lie shoulder to the top of the head was seven; the height of the 

[ lund-leg was eight feet five inches ; and from the top of the shoulder 

to ibe insertion of the tail, was just seven feet long. 
' No animal, either from its disposition or its formation, seems less 
I •Stted for a slate of natural hostility : lis horns are blunt, and even 
I fobbed at the ends; its teeth are made entirely for vegetable pas- 
1 ture; its akin is beautifully speckled with dark spots, upon a whitish 
I ^ound. It is timorous and harmless, and notwithstanding its great . 
I ssize, rather flies from than resists the slightest enemy : it partake* | 
1 Tcry much of the nature of the camel, which it so nearly resembles ; 
V it lives entirely upon vegetables, and when grazing is obliged to 
1 qiread its fore-legs very wide, in order to reach its pasture i ilamotioD •' 

a kind of pace, two legs on each side moving at the same time, 
^,«hereas in other animals they move transversely. It oden lies down 
(^Ivith iu belly to the earth, and, like the camel, has a callous sub- ' 
pitance upon its breast, which, when reposed, defends it from injury. 
■.This animal was known lo the ancients, but has been very rarely 
[.seen in Europe, One of them was sent from the East to the emperor 
I of Germany, in the year 1559; but they have often been seen tame 
fat Grand Cairo, in Egypt; and I am told there are two there at pre- 
When ancient Rome was in its splendour. Pom pey exhibited, 
r«t one lime, no less than ten upon the theatre. It was the barbarous , 
L pleasure of the people at thai time, to see the most terrible, and the 
I .most extraordinary animals produced in combat against each other. 
L The lion, the lynx, the tiger, the elepant, ihe hippopotamus, were J 
I «ll lei loose promiscuously, and were seen to inflict indiscriminate | 
I destruction. 



184 THE CAJlEt 



Thebk names do not make two distinct kinds, but are only given" 
to a TarieLy or the same animal, which has, however, subsisted time 
immemorial. The principal, and perhaps the only sensible difference 
by which those two races are distinguished, consists in this, that tlie 
camel has two bunches npon his bock, whereas the dromednry has 
but one ; the latter also, is neither so large nor so strong as the camel. 
These two races, however, produce with each other, and the mised 
breed formed between them is considered the best, the most patient, 
and the most indefatigable of all the kind.*' 

Of the two varieties, the dromedary is by far the most numerous; 
the camel being scarcely found except in Turkey and the countries 
of the Levant, while the other is found spread over all the deserts of 
Arabia, the southern parts of Africa, Persia, Tartary, and a great 
part of the Eastern Indies. Thus the one inhabits an immense tract 
of country, the other, in comparison, is confined to a province; the 
one inhabits (he sultry countries of the torrid zone, the other deliglits 
in a warm, but not a burning climate; neither, however, can subsist 
or propagate in the variable climates towards the north : they seem 
formed for those countries, where shrubs are plenty, and water scarce ; 
where they can travel along the sandy desert without being impeded 
by rivers, and liud food at expected distances: such a country is 
Arabia, and this, of all others, seems the most adapted to the support 
and production of this animal. 

The camel is the most temperate of all animals, and it can continue 
to travel several days without drinking, In those vast deserts, where 
the earth is every-where dry and sandy, where there are neither birds 
nor beasts, neither insects nor vegetables, where nothing is to be 
seen but hills of sand and heaps of bones, there the camel travels, 
posting forward, without requiring either drink or pasture, and is 
often found six or seven days without any sustenance whatsoever. 
Its feet are formed for travelling upon sand, and utterly unfit for 
moist or marshy places ; the inhabitants, therefore, find a most nse- 
ful assistant in this animal where no other could subsist, and by its 
means cross those deserts with safety, which would be impassable 
by any other method of conveyance. 

An animal thus formed for a sandy and desert region, cannot be 
propagated in one of a different nature. Many vain efforts have 
been tried to propagate the camel in Spain ; they have been trans- 
ported into America, but have multiplied in neither. ' * ^ 

[• These animBla hnvr no homis. They have ali fore-leeth id tht- 
w ; the cminF treth are wide apl, IhreL' in the upper, md two in thr lol 
» ; Rnd there is g llaiure in the uppci Ijp, resemltling the clifl in the 
a hare.] 



indeed, that they may be brought into these countries, nnd may, 
purhaps, be found to produce there ; but tlie care of keeping them 
IB so great, and the accidents to whicli they ere exposed, from the 
change ableness of the climate, are so many, that they cannot answer 
the care of keeping. In a few years also they are seen to degenerate, 
their strength and their palience forsake them; and instead of mak- 
ing the riches, they become the burden of iheir keepers. 

But it is very different in Arabia, and those countries where the 
camel is turned to useful purposes. It is there considered as a sacred 
animal, without whose help the natives could neither subsist, traffic, 
nor travel; its milk makes a part of their nourishment; they feed 
upon its flesh, particularly when young; they clothe themselves wilh 
its hair, which it is seen to moult regularly once a-year ; and if they 
fear an invading enemy, their camels serve them in flight, and in a 
single day they are known to travel above a hundred miles. Thus, 
by means of the camel, an Arabian finds safety in Jiis deserts : all 
the armies upon eartli might be lost in tlie pursuit of a dying squadron 
uf this country, mounted upon tjieir camels, and taking refuge in 
solitudes where nothing inter|)oses to stop their flight, or to force ilieni 
to wait the invader. Nothing can be more dreary than llie aspect of 
these sandy plains, ihat seem entirely forsaken of life and vegetation : 
wherever the eye turns, nothing is presented but a sterile and dusty 
soil, sometimes torn up by the winds, and moving in great waves 
along, which, when viewed from an eminence, resemble less the earth 
than the ocean. Here and there a few shrubs appear, that only 
teach us (o wish for the grove, that remind us of the shade in these 
BDllry climates, without affording its refreshment : the return of 
morning, which in other places carries an idea of cheerfulness, here 
serves only to enlighten the endless and dreary waste, nnd to pre- 
sent the traveller with an uulinislied prospect of his forlorn situation; 
yet in this chasm of nature, by the help of the camel, the Arabian 
finds safety and subsistence. There are here and there found spots 
of verdure, which, though remote from each other, are, in a manner, 
approximated by the labour and industry of the camel. Thus these 
deserts, which present the stranger with nothing but objects of danger 
and sterility, afford the inhabitant protection, food, and liberty. The 
Arabian lives independent and tranquil in the midst uf his solitudes ; 
and, instead of considering the vast solitudes spread round him as a 
restraint upon his happiness, he is, by experience, taught to regard 
them as tlie ramparts of hi^ freedom. 

The camel is easily instrucled in the metliods of taking up and 
supporting his burden : their legs, a few days after they are pro- 
duced, are bent under their belly ; they are in this manner loaded, 
and taught tu rise; their burden is every day thus increase, by 
insensible degrees, till the animal is capable of supporting a weight 
adequate to its force. The same care is taken in making them 
patient of hunger and thirst : while other animals receive their food 
at stated times, the camel is restrained for days together, and these 
intervals of famine are increased in proportion as the animal seems 





capable or sualaining lliem. By thin method of educalioD, the; live 
five or six days without food or water; and their stomach is formed 
most admirably by nature to fit them for long abstinence : besides 
the four stomachs which all animals have that chew the cud, (and 
the -camel is one of the number), it has a fifth stomach, which serves 
as a reservoir) to hold a greater quantity of water than the animal 
has an immediate occasion for. It is of a sufficient capacity to conw 
tain a large quantity of water, where the fluid remains without c 
rupting, or without being adulterated by the other aliments. 
the camel finds itself pressed with thirst, it has here an easy resourg 
for quenching it ; it throws up a. quantity of this water, by a si 
contraction of the muscles, into the other stomachs, and this si 
to macerate its dry and simple food : in this manner, as it drinks bi 
seldom, it takes in a large quantity at a time; and travellers, wh^ 
straitened for water, have been often known to kill their cameli (j 
that which they especled to find within them. 

In Turkey, Persia, Arabia, Barbary, and Egypt, their whole « 
merce ii carried on by means of camels : no carriage is more speei , 
and none less expensive in these countries. Merchants and travellq 
unite tiieroselves into a body, furnished with camels, to seciire 
selves from the insults of the robbers that infest the countries in 
they live. This assemblage is called a caravan, in which the n 
bers are sometimes known to amount to above ten thousand, and tl 
number of camels is often greater than those of the men : each a 
these animals is loaded according to his strength, and he is so e 
bleof it himself, that when his burden is too great, he remain, 
upon his belly, the posture in which he is loaden, refusing ti 
till his burden be lessened or taken away. In general, the taij 
camels are capable of carrying a thousand weight, and sometimf 
twelve hundred; the dromedary, from six to seven. ItitHeKtradiQ 
journeys they travel but slowly, their stages are generally regulal 
and they seldom go above thirty, or at most about five-and-thirl^ 
miles a-day. Every evening when they arrive at a stage, which. |i 
usually some spot of verdure where water and shrubs are in plentjd 
they are permitted to feed at liberty : they are then' seen to eat ^r^ 
tnuch in an houj' as will supply them for twenty-four : they seem M 
prefer the coarsest weeds to the softest pasture; (he thistle, 
nettle, the cassia, and other prickly vegetables, are their favourij^ 
food ; but their drivers take care to supply them with a kind ofpi 
composition, which serves as a more permanent nourishment, 
these animals have often gone the same track, they are said to kDO< 
their way precisely, and to pursue their passage when theii 
are utterly astray: when they come within a few miles of their ba^wl 
ing-place, in the evening, they sagaciousily scent it at a 
and, increasing their speed, are often seen to trot with vivacity U 
their stage, 

The patience of this animal is most extraordinary ; and it is proail 
faable that its sufferings are great, for when it is loaded, it sends forn] 
most lamentable cries, but never offers to resist the tyrant tin 


A( the slightest sign it bends iis kneea and lies upon 
111 Deny, uinering iiaelf to be loaded in thiii poailion ; by this prac- 
tice Uie burden is more easily laid upon il than if lifted up while 
standing : at another sign it I'isea with its load, and the driver getting 
upon its back, between the two panniers, which like hampers are 
placed upon each side, he encourages the camel to proceed with his 
voice and with a song. In this manner the creature proceeds con- 
tentedly forward, with a slow uneasy walk, of about four miles an 
hour, and when it comes to its stage, lies down to bo unloaded as 

M. Buflbn seems to consider the camel to be the most domesticated 
of all other creatures, and to have more marks of the tyranny of man 
imprinted on its form. He is of opinion, that this animal is not now 
to be found in a stale of nature ; that the humps on its back, the 
csllosities upon its breast and its legs, and even the great reservoir 
for water, are all marks of long servitude and domestic constraint. 
The deformities he supposes to be perpetuated by generation, and 
what at Grsl was accident et last becomes nature. However this be, 
' the humps upon the back grow large in proportion as the animal is 
well fed, and if examined, they will be found composed of a substance 
not unlike the udder of a cow. 

The Arabs generally leave but one male to wait on ten females ; 
the rest they castrate; and though they thus become weaker, they 
are more manageable and patient. The female receives the male in 
the same position as when these animals are loaded ; she goes with 
young for about a year, and, like all other great animals, produces 
but one al a time. The camel's milk is abundant and nourishing, 
and, mixed with water, makes a principal part of the beverage of 
the Arabians. These animals begin to engender at three years of 
age, and they ordinarily live from forty to fifty years. The genital 
part of the male resembles that of the bull, but is placed pointing 
backwards, so that its iirine seems to be ejected in the manner of the 
female. This, as well as the dung, and almost every part of tliis 
animal, is converted to some useful purpose by the keepers. Of the 
urine, sal ammoniac is made ; of the dung, litter for the horses, and 
fire for the purpose of dressing their victuals. Thus this animal 
alone seems to comprise within itself a variety of qualities, any one 
of which serves to render other quadrupeds absolutely necessary for 
(he welfare of man : like the elephant, it is manageable and tame ; 
like the horse, it gives the rider security ; it carries greater burdens 
than the ox or the mule ; and its milk is furnished in as great abun- 
dance as that of the cow ; the fiesh of the young ones is supposed to 
be as delicate as veal; their hair is more beautiful, and more in 
request than wool ; while even of its very excrements no part is 





As almost all the qnadrupedis of America are smaller tlian tSI 
resembling ones of the ancient continent, so llie Lama, which raaj 
be considered as the camel of the new world, is every way less than 
thnt of ihe old. This animal, like that described in the former 
chapter, stands high upon its legs, has a long neck, h small head, 
and resembles the camel, not only in its natural mildness, but its 
aptitude for servitude, its moderation and its patience. The Ame- 
ricans early found out its useful qualitiM, and availed themselves of 
its labours: like the camel, it server to carry goodn over places 
inaccessible to other beasts of burden ; like thai, it is obedient to its 
driver, and often dies under, but never resists his cruelly. 

Of Iheae animals some are while, olhera black, but they are mostly 
brown ; its face resembles that of the camel, and its height is about 
equal to that of an ass. They are not found in the ancient conti- 
nent, but entirely belong to the netv ; nor are they spread over all 
America, but ere found chiefly upon those mountains that stretch 
from New Spain to the Straiu of Magellan, They inhabit the 
highest regions of the globe, and seem to require purer ajr than ani- 
mals of a lower situation are fotmd to enjoy. Peru seems to be tlie 
place where they are found in greatest plenty. In Mexico they are 
introduced rather as curiosities than beasts of burden; but in Potosi, 
and other provinces of Peru, they make the chief riches of the Indians 
and Spaniards who rear them : their flesh is excellent food ; their 
hair, or rather wool, may be spun into beautiful clothing ; and they 
are capable, in the moat rugged and dangerous ways, of carrying 
burdens not exceeding a hundred weight, with the greatest safety. 
It is friie, indeed that they go but slowly, and seldom above Rfleen 
miles a-d ay ; their tread is heavy, but sure; they descend precipices, 
and find footing among the most craggy rock s, where even men can 
scarcely accompany them ; I bey are, however, but feeble animals; 
and after four or live days' labour, they are obliged to repose for a 
day or two. They are chiefly used in carrying the riches of the 
mines of Potosi ; and we are told that there are above three hundred 
thousand of these animals in actual employ. 

This animal, as was said before, is above three feet high, and the 
neck is three feet long; the head is small and well proportioned, the 
eyes large, the nose long, the lips thick, the upper divided, and the 
lower a little depending; like all those animals that feed upon grasi, 
it wants the upper cutting teeth ; the ears are four inches long, and 
move with great agility ; the tail is but five inches long — it is small, 
straight, and a little turned up at the end; it is cloven fooled, like 
the ox, but has a kind of speai^like appendage behind, which assists 
■ precipices and nigged ways; the wool on I 

it in moving over precipices and nigged ways ; the wool on l^^^_ 

I back is short, but long on the sides and the belly ; it resembles t|^^| 

THE l^UA. ISfi 

camel in the TorinQtion of ihe genilal parts in die male, so that it 
Diakes urine backwards; it couples also in the same manner, and 
though it finds much difficulty in the action, it is said to be much 
iDclined to venery. A whole day is often passed before this neces- 
sary business can be completed, which is spent in growling, quarrel- 
ling, and spitting at each other ; they seldom produce above one at 
a time, and their age never extends above ten or twelve yeans at 

Though the lania is no way comparable to the camel, either for 
size, strength, or perseverance, yet the Americans find a substitute 
in it, with which they seem perfectly contented. It appears formed 
for that indolent race of masters which it is obliged to serve; it re- 
quires no care, nor no expense in the attending or providing for its 
sustenance; it is supplied with a warm covering, and therefore docs 
not require to be housed ; satisfied with vegetables and grass, it 
wants neither corn nor hay to subsist it; it is not less moderate in 
what it drinks, and exceeds even the camel in temperance. Indeed, 
of all other creatures, it seems to require water least, as it issupplietl 
by nature with saliva in such large quantities, that it apils it out oil 
every occasion : this saliva seems to be the only ofiensive weapon 
that the liarniless creature has to testify its resentracDt. When over- 
loaded or fatigued, and driven on by all the torturing acts of its 
keeper, it falls on its belly, and poura out againjt him a quantity of 
tiiis fluid, which, though probably no way hurtful, the Indians are 
much afraid of. They say, that wherever it falls, it is of such an 
acrimonious nature, thai, it will either burn the skin, or cause very 
dangerous eruptions. 

Such are these animals in their domestic stale; but as iliey ere 
found wild in very great numbers, they exhibit marks of great force 
and agility in their slate of nnliire. The stag is scarcely more swift, 
or the goat or the chamois a better climber. All its shapes are more 
delicate and strong : its colour is tawny, and its wool is but short. 
In their native forests they are gregarious animals, and are often seen 
in flocks of two or three hundred at a time. When they perceive a 
stranger, they regard him at first with astonisliment, without marking 
any fear or lurpriae; but sliortly, as if by common consent, they 
snuff up the air, somewhat like horses, and at once, by a common 
flight, take refuge on the tops of the mountains. They are fonder 
of the northern than the southern side of the Andes; they often 
climb above the snowy tracts of the mountain, and seem vigorous in 
proportion to the coldness of their situation. The natives hunt the 
wild lama for the sake of its fleece. If the dogs surprise one upon 
the plain, they are generally successful ; but If once the lama obtains 
the rocky precipice of the mountain, the hunters are obliged to 
in Iheu- pursuit. 

The lama seems to be tlie largest of the camel kind in America : 
there are others, which are called Guanaeoes and Pacos, that are 
smaller and weaker, but endued with the same nature, and formed 
pretty much in the same manner. They seem to bear the same 



proportionH to each other that the horee does to the ata, aoi are 
employed with the same degree of subordinatitm. The woo), how- 
ever, of the paco aeems to be the most valuable; and it is formed 
into stuffs not inferior to silL, either in price or beauty. The natural 
colour of the paco is that of a dried rose-teaf; the iDBnufacturers 
Beldom give its wool any other dye, but tmm it into quilts and 
carpetf, which exceed ihoee from the Levant. This manufacture forms 
a very considerable branch of commerce in South America; and 
probably too, might be extended to Europe, were the beauty bdJ 
ilie durability of what is thus wrought up sufficienlly known. 



This animal, the name of which is pronounced Nylgaw, is a na- 
tive of India, and has but lately been imported into Europe ; it seems 
to be a middle nature, between the cow and the deer, and carries 
the appearance of both in its form. In its size, it is as much smaller 
than the one, a« it is larger than the other ; its body, horns, and tail, 
are not unlike those of a bull; and thohead, neck, and legs, are very 
like those of a deer. The colour, in general, is ash or grey, from a 
miKtureof black hairs and while ; all along the ridge or edge of the 
neck, the hair is blacker, larger, and mure erect, making a short, 
thin, and upright mane. Its horns are seven inches long; they are 
six inches round at the root : growing smaller by degrees, they ter- 
minate in a blunt point. The bluntneas of these, together with the 
form of its head and neck, might incline us to suppose it was of the 
deer kind ; but, as ii never sheds its horns, it has a greater affinity 
to the cow.» 

From the disposition of that brought over to this country, which 
has been very accurately and minutely described by Dr. Hunter, 
their manners are harmless and gentle. Although in its native wild- 
nessit is said to be fierce and .vicious, this seemed pleased with every 
kind of familiarity, and always licked the hand that stroked or gave 
It bread, and never once attempted to use its horns offensively: it 
seemed to have much dependance on its organs of smell, and soufied 
keenly, and willi noise, whenever any person came within sight ; it 
did so Mkewise when any food or drink was brought to it ; and was 
so easily offended with smells, or so cautious, that it would not taste 
the bread which was offered when the hand happened to smell strong 

[* This auljoal, ininelinie) called the White-fonted AnlPlop^, is jn height 
four feet onn inch to the top of the shoulJcra, and four feet loag tmai iHr 
bottom of the neck to the li&se uf the till. Its ears are Iieautiful, abi 
Inchrs In length, aoil of a conslderahle brendlh ; they are white on 
■nd on the inside, except whero two black bands mark the hollow of the 
with a lebra-like larirty. The feet are barrsd with black and while.] 



The bbab. 191 

of turpentine. lis manner of fighting is very parliciilar. It was 
observed at Lord Clive's, where two males were put into a little en- 
closure, that, while thej were at a cousidcrable distance from each 
other, they prepared for the attack by falling upon their fore-knees; 
then Ihey shitflled towards each other with a quick pace, keeping atill 
upon their fore-knees ; and when they were come within some yards, 
they made a spring, and darted against each other. The intrepidity 
and force with which Ihey dart against any object, appeared by the 
strength with which oiie of ihem attempted to overturn a pooc 
labourer, who unthinkingly stood on the outside of the palea of its 
enclosure. The nyl-ghau, with the quickness of lightning, darted 
against the wood-work with such violence, that he broke it to pieces, 
and broke off one of his horns close lo the root, which occasioned the 
animarBdeaih. Atalllhe places in India where we have aeitlements, 
[(ley are considered as rarities, and brought from the distant interior 
parts of the cDuniry. The emperor sometimes kills them in such 
numbers, as to distribute quarters of them lo all his omrahs ; which 
shows that they are internally wild and in plenty, and esteemed good 
ajid delicious food. The nyUghaus which have been brought to 
England, have been most, if not all of them, received from Sural or 
Bombay, and they seem to be less uncommon in that pari of India 
than in Bengal ; which gives room for a conjecture, thai they may 
be indigenous, perhaps, in the province of Guzarat, one of the moat 
western and the most considerable of the Hindostan empire, lying to 
northward of Sural, and stretching away (o the Indian Ocean. 



Of (he Bear there are ihree diflerent kinds; ihe brown beer of 
the Alps, the black bear of North America, which is smaller, and the 
great Greenland, or white bear.* These, though different in iheir 
forms, are no doubt of the same original, and owe their chief varia- 
tions to food and climate. They have all the same habitudes, being 
equally carnivorous, treacherous, and cruel. It has been said, in- 
deed, that the black bear of America rejects animal food ; bul of the 
contrary I am certain, as I have often seen the young ones which 
are brought over to hondon, prefer flesh to every kind of vegetable 

The brown bear is properly an inhabitant of the temperate cli- 
mates ; the black linds subsistence in Iho northern regions of Europe 
and America; while the great white bear takes refuge in the most 

[* The Bear. Badger, and Racoon, have six foru-teelh in the upper jaw, 
Hltemalely hollow on the inside ; and sii in the under jaw, Ihe two lateral 
oRps being iobnled. The do^l-teeth are eoUlary and mimical ; [be efes are 
furmsbcd with a nictilating membrane ; and the tongue is imaoth.] 



Ib iIm a 

die wiiw, k k cUimUj fat, Imi^ *B—Jrf fctr«<i^ 
jmet torOnowetk tot b-edt m ' ' 
>*^ lA iti fldfa ■ 
fbeyltn ■ 

batthebrnte ofgcststkn vitfa the CnMleb Mill ■ 
'ftawle uke* ^reai tare lo pmile a pn^er retnat Cor Iw 
_; ri>e aecorea them m the boHowof areric, wui ftiijdm whid 
of haj in the wannest pan of iter 6en i the bHn^ fenh ■ ■!««•. 
and ifie yoanf ones b«^ii to follow her in spmg. The wait and 
female bj no loeanB inhabit the «ame deo ; (her hn« cm^ th«r 
tifpante retreat, and Kldom are seen together batnpoa ihe MKcan 
uf genial desire. 

The Toice of tiie bear t» a kind of growt, inlemtpted widi rage, 
wliich IB often capriciotuly exerted ; and thoogfa ilin aBinal wcav 
gentle ai»d |^cid to ila maner wfaen tamed, yel it is ttill to be ilis- 
trufted, and managed with cauiioo, as it is often trcachenui and 
re*entful without a cause. 

This animal Is capable of some degree of insirucliuo. There ai 
few but hare seen it dance in awkn-aid measares upon it 
to the voice or the inslnimeDt of its leader ; and it must bi 
that ibe dancer is often found to be the best performer of the iwi 
am told, that it is first taught to perform in this manner, by » 
it upon hot plates of iron, and then jriaying to it while in this ui 

The bear, when come to maiuriiv, can never be tamed : ii 
conliniiea in its native fierceness, and, though taged, stJl fonnidal 
impotent, at the approach of its keeper flieii to meet him. Bat n 
witliatanding the fierceness of this aoinial, llie natives in thoaa e 
tries where it is found, hunt it with great perseveranee and alacri^ 
The least dangerous method of taking it, is by intoxicating it, h, 
throwing brandy upon honey, which it seems to be chiefly fond 4 
and seeks for in the hollow of tree*. In Canada, where the blai 
bears are very common, and where their dens are made in trees t) 

THE BEAR. 193 

are hollow luwards (he top. they are taken bj ietting (Ire to their 
retreats, which are often above thirty feet from the ground. The 
old one is generally seen first to issue from her den, and is shot by 
the hunters. The youDg ones, as they descend, are caught in a 
nooae, and are either kept or killed for provigion. Their paws are 
said to be a great delicacy, and their hams are well enough known 
at the tables of the luxurious here. Their fat also, which still pre- 
serves a certain degree of lluidity, is supposed to be an efficacious 
remedy in white or indolent tumours, though probably very little 
superior to hog's.lard. 

The white Greenland beardiffers greatly, both in Hgure ajid dimen- 
sions, from those already described; and though it preserves in 
general the external form of its more soulhem kindred, yet it grow^ 
to above three times the size. The brown bear is seldom above six 
feet long; the white bear Is often known from twelve to thirteen. 
The brown bearismnde rather stronger and sturdy, like the mastiff; 
the Greenland bear, though covered with very long hoir, and appa- 
rently bulky, is naverlhelesi more slender, both as lo the head, neck, 
and body, and more inclining to (he shape of the greyhound, in 
short, all the variations of its figure and its colour seem to proceed 
from the coldness of the climate where it resides, and the nature of 
the food It is supplied with. 

The white bear seems the only animal that, by being placed in 
the coldest climate, grows larger than those that live in the temperate 
zones. All other species of animated nature diminish as they ap< 
proach the poles, and seem contracted In their size by the rigours of 
tbe ambient atmosphere; but the bear, being unmolested in these 
desolate climates, and meeting no animal but what he can easily 
conquer, finding also a sufficient supply of fishy provisions, he grows 
10 an enormous size; and as the lion is the tyrant of an African 
forest, so the bear remains undisputed master of the icy mountains 
in Spitzbergen and Greenland. When our mariners land upon those 
shcves, in such parts as have not been I'requented before, the while 
bears uome down to view them with an awkward curiosity : they ap- 
proach slowly, seeming undetermined whether to atlvance or retreat ; 
and being naturally a timorous animal, Ihey are only urged on by 
the conscious experience of their former victories; however, when 
they are shot at, or wounded, they endeavour to fly, or, finding that 
impracticable, they make a fierce and desperate reastancc till ihey 
die. As they live upon Gsli and seals, their flesh is too strong for 
food, and the captors have nothing but the skin to reward them for 
the dangers incurred In the engagement. 

The number of these animals thul are found about the north pole, 
if we consider the scarcity there of all other terrestrial creatures, is 
very amazing. They are not only aeon at land, but often on ice-floats 
several leagues at sea. They are oRen transported in this manner 
to the very shores of Iceland, where they no sooner land but all the 
natives are in arms to receive them. It often happens, that when a 
Greenlander and his wife are paddling out at sea, by coming loo 




1*4 TRV BADGE&. 

near tm tce-Qeat, a white bear unexpectedly junipB into their boat, 
attd if he does not orersei it, aits calmly where he fint came dowD, 
and like a pucenger, luffbra himself to be rowed along, (t is pro- 
bable the poor liiile Greenlander ia not *ery fond of his new guest; 
however, be makes a virtue of tiecessity, and ho3pit^»l7 rows him 
to shore. 

As tfati animal lives cbieQy upon 6ah, *ea)s, and dead whales, it 
seldom removes far from the shore. When forced by hunger, it often 
Tentiires into the deep, swims aAer seals, and devours whalers it 
can Keiie ; it is however but a bad swimmer, and it is oft«) bunted 
in this manner by boots, till it is fatigued, aad at last destroyed. Tt 
often happens that a battle ensues between a bear and a morse, or a 
whale ; but as the latter are more expert in their own element, they 
generally prove vicUtrious. However, when the bear can Sai 
young whale, it repays him for the danger he incurs of meeting % 
the parent. 


Thb Badger'fl legs are so short, that its belly seerns tu touch 
ground ; this however is but a deceitful appearance, as it is caused 
by the length of the hair, which is very long all over the body, and 
makes it seem much more bulky than it really is, It is a solitary 
stupid animal, that finds refuge remote from man, and digs itself a 
deep hole witli great assiduity. It seems to avoid Uie light, and 
seldom quits its retreat by day, only stealing out at night to find sub- 
sistence. It burrows in the ground very quickly, its legs being short 
and strong, and its claws stiH'and homy. As it continues to bury 
itself, it throws the earth behind it to a great distance, and thus forms 
to itself a winding hgle, at the bottom of which it remains in safety. 
As the fox is not so expert at digging into the earth, it often takoi 
possession of that which has been quitted by the badger, and some 
say, forces it from its retreat, by laying its escrements at the mouth 
of the badger*a hole. 

This animal, however, is not long in making itself a new habita- 
tion, from which it seldom ventures far, as it flies but slowly, and can 
find safety onl^ in the strength of its retreat. When it is surprised 
by the dogs at some distance from its hole, it then combats with des- 
perate reaolulion; it falls upon its back, defend.i itself on every side,, 
and seldom dies iinrevenged in the midst of its enemies. 

The badger, like the fox, is a carnivorous animal, and 
that has life can come amiss to it. It sleeps the greatest part of-j 
tiine,aiidthu8 without beinga voracious feeder, it still keeps fat pail 
cutarlyin winter. They alwayskeeptheirbole very clean; and wh«l 
the female bring* rorib, she makes a comfortable warm bed of hay at 



ihe bottom of her hole, for the reception of her youDg. She brings 
forth in summer, generally to the number of three or four, which she 
feeds at firal with her milk, and afterwanlB with such petty prey 8S 
she can surprise. She seizes the young rabbits in their warren, robs 
birds' nests, fmds out where the wild bees have laid up their honey, 
and brings all to her expecting brood. 

The young ones when token are easily tamed, but the old still 
continue savage and incorrigible: the former, after a short time, 
play with the dogs, follow their masters about the house, but seem 
of all other animals the most fond of the fire. They oflen approach 
it so closely, that they bum themselves in a dangerous manner. They 
are sometimes also subject to the mange, and have a gland under 
their tail which scents pretty strongly. The poor of some countries 
eat their flesh, which, though fat, is at best but rank and ill tasted. 



There seems to be a rude, but inferior resemblance between 
many animals of the old and the new world. The couguar of Ame- 
rica resembles the tiger in natural ferocity, though far inferior in its 
dimensions. The lama bears some affinity to the camel, but is far 
behind it in strength and utility. The Tapir * may bo considered 
as the hippopotamus of the new continent, but degraded both as to 
its siie and ferocity. 

This animal bears some distant resemblance in its form to a mule. 
It 4iaa a long snout, which it lengthens or contracts at pleasure. Its 
ears are small, long, and pendant. Its neck and tail are short, and 
its claws strong and firm, of which it has four upon each fooL lis 

rered with brown hair, and the natives make 

nnot be pierced by an arrow. 

in some measure bo termed amphibious, as it 
water. It differs however from all others of 

intirely upon vegetables, and not meiking this 
element the place of its depredations. It feeds up<m the pastures by 
the riverside, and as it is very timorous, the instant it hears the least 
noise, it plunges into the stream. They are greatly sought after by 
the natives, as their flesh is considered as a delicacy, and thought by 
some not inferior to beef. 

{* Thia aoimal hal ten cullins teeth, and ten grmdcra in each jaw ■ be- 
tween ihe cutting teeth and grinders there is a vscant apace. Its Ipg» are 
short, and the liaofs BmBll, blaek, and hollow; the Torc'lioors are divided 
ialit four, and (he hind-hoofs iota thrive parts.] 

is thick, and co 

shields of it, which ci 

This animal may 

chiefly resides in thi 

this kind, in feedl 






The Rncoon, which some authors have called the Jamaica ra(,nl 
about the size of a smnll badger; its body is short and bulky : tlsft 
is &ae, long, and thick, blackish at the surface, and grey towards the 
bottom; the nose Is rather shorter, and more pointed than that of a 
fos ; the eyes large and yellow, the teeth reaombling those of a dog, 
the tail thick, but tapering towards a point, regularly marked wjtli 
rings of black, and at least as long as the body; the fore-feet are 
much shorter than the hinder, both armed with five sharp claws, with 
which, and his teeth, the animal makes a vigorous resistance, Like 
the squirrel, it makes use of its paws to hold its food while eating', 
but it differs from the monkey kind, which use but one hand on those 
occasions, whereas the racoon and the squirrel use both, as, wanting 
the thumb, tfaeir paws singly are unfit for grasping or holding. 
Though this animal be short and bulky, it is however very active ; 
its pointed claws enable it to climb trees with great facility; it runs 
on the trunk with the same swiftness that it moves upon the plain, 
and sports among the most extreme branches with great agility, se- 
curity, and esse: it moves forward chiefly by bounding, and though 
it pvvceeds in an oblique direction, it has speed enough most fre- 
quently to escape its pursuers. 

This animal ias native of the southern parts of America, nor have 
any travellers mentioned its being found in llie ancient coniinent. 
But in the climates of whicli it is a native, it is found in noxious 
abundance, particularly in Jamaica, where it keeps in the mountains, 
and where it oflen descends to feed upon the plantations of sugar- 
cane. The planters of titese climates coa«der these aoimals as one 
of their greatest miseries ; they have contrived various methods of 
destroying them, yet still they propagate in such numbers that 
neither traps nor fire-arms can set them free ; so that a swarm of 
these famished creatures are found to do more injury in a tingle 
night, than the labours of a month can repair. 

But though, when wild, they are thus troublesome, in a state of 
tamenesB no animal is more harmless, or amusing; they are capable 
of being instructed in various little atnasing tricks. The racoon is 
playful, and cleanly, and is very easily supported ; it eats of every 
thing that is given it, and if led to itself, no cat can be a better pro- 
vider: it examines every corner, eats of all fiesh, either boiled or 
raw, eggs, fruits, or corn ; insects themselves cannot escape it ; and 
if left at liberty in a garden, tl will feed upon snails, worms, and 
beetles: but it has a particular fondness for sweets of every kmd, 
and to be possessed of these in its wild state, it incurs every clanger. 
Though It will eat its provisions dry, it will for choice dip them id 
water if it happens to be in the way. It has one peculiarity « ' ' ' 
few other ammals have been found to possess, it drinks ; 
lapping like the dog, as by sucking like the horse. 




Tub first peculiarity with which this sDimal strikes ihe spectator, 
the extreme length of its snout, which in some meaiiire resembles 
that of the hog, but elongated to a aiiqirising degree. It baarg some 
distant resemblance to the animal last described, except that Ihe 
neck aod the body are longer, the fur shorter, and the eyes smaller; 
principal distinction, as was said before, coiiaists in the ^ape 
of its nose, the upper jaw being an inch longer than the lower, and 
the snout, which is moveable in every division, tnrningupBtthpend. 
Like the racoon, it sits up on the hinder legs with great ease, and in 
this position, with both paws, carries the food to its mouth. 

This animal is very subject to eat its own tail, which is rather 
longer than its body ; but this strange appetite is not peculiar to the 
' alone; the mococo, and some of the monkey kinds, do the 
, and seem to feel no pain in wounding n part of the body so 
remote from the centre of circulation. 

It seems possessed of the same playful qualities, and indiscriminate 
appetites, with the animal described in the last chapter. If left at 
liberty in a stale of tameness, it will pursue the poultry, and destroy 
every living thing that it has strength to conquer : though it is play- 
ful with ilB keeper, yet it seems obstinately bent against receiving 
any instruction, and neither threats nor caresses can induce it to 
practise any arts to which it is not naturally inclined. When it 
ileeps, it rolls itself up in a lump, and in that position often continues 
fourteen or fifteen hours together. 




_Sbere are many animals that live upon ants in Africa and Ame- 
im; the pangolin, or scaly lizard of Guinea, may be considered 
among this number; but there are a greater variety b America, 
wbicb make those minute insects their only subsistence. Though 
thay arc of different figures and uzea, yet in general they go under 
one common name of the Ant-Bear ; the peculiar length and alender- 
nesa of their snout, their singular appetites, and their manner uftak- 
iag their prey, striking us too strongly to attend to the minute 
diflereoces of tlieir size or form. 

Tbey have been classed by M. Buffou into the larger Tamandua, 
the snuiler Tamandua, and the Ant-eater. The largest of this kind 
ii four feel long, from the lip of the snout to the insertion of the lail ; 
their legs are short, and armed with four strong claws ; their tail is 
loDg and lulled, and the animal often throws it on its back like the 
squirrel. The second of this kind is not above eighteen inches long ; 



thu tail is without hair, and it sweeps the ground as the animal moves. 
The ant-eater, which is the third variety, is slill smaller than either 
of the former, as it is not above seven inches from the tip of the snout 
to the insertion of the (ail. The two former are of a brown dusky 
colour, but this is of a beautiful reddish, mixed with yellow ; though 
they differ in figure, they all resemble each other in one peculiarity, 
which is [he extreme slenderness of their snoul, and the amazing 
length of their tongue. 

The snout is produced in so disproportionate a manner, that the 
toqgth of it makes near a fourth part of the whole (igure. A hone 
has one of the longest heads of any animal we know, and yet the 
ant-bear has one above twice as long in proportion to its body. The 
snout of this animal is almost round and cylindrical ; it is extremely 
slender, and is scarce thicker near the eyes than at its extremity. 
The mouth is very small, the nostrils are very close to each other, 
the eyes are little in proportion to the length of tite nose, the neck is 
short, and the tongue is extremely long, slender, and Halted oa both 
sides; this it keeps generally doubled up in tlie mouth, and is the 
only instrument by which it finds subsistence ; for the whole of this 
tribe are entirely without teeth, and find safety only in the remote- 
ness and security of their retreat. 

If we examine through the various regions of the earth, we shall 
find (hat all the most active, sprightly, and useful quadrupeds have 
been gathered round man, and either served his pleasures, or still 
maintained their independence by their vigilance, their cunning, or 
their industry. It is in the remote solitudes that we are to look for 
the helpless, the deformed, and the monstrous births of nature. These 
wretched animals being incapable of defending themselves, either by 
their agility or their natural arms, fall a prey to every creature that 
attacks them ; they therefore retire for safety into the darkest 
forests, or the most desert mountains, where none of the bolder or 
swifter animals choose to reside. 

It may well be supposed that an animal so helpless as the ant-bear 
is, with legs too short to fit it for (light, and unprovided with teeth to 
give it a power of resistance, is neither numerous, nor often seen : 
its retreats are in the most barren and uncultivated parts of South 
America. It is a native only of the new continent, and entirely un- 
known to the old. It lives chiefly in the woods, and hides itself under 
the fallen leaves. It seldom ventures from its retreat ; and the industry 
of an hour supplies it with sufficient food for several days logeUier. 
lU manner of procuring its prey is one of the most singular in all 
natural history : as its name implies, it lives entirely upon ants and 
insects; these, in the countries where it is bred, are found in the 
greatest abundance, and often build themselves hills five or sis feet 
high, where they live in community. When this animal approaches 
an ant-hill, it creeps slowly forward on its belly, taking every pre- 
caution tokeepitself concealed, till it comes within a proper distance ' 
of the place where it intends to make its banquet ; there lying closely 
along at its lengdi, it tlirusls forth its round rod tongue, whidi h 

THE PI-AT-rPUS. 199 

often two feet long, acrosa tlm jaDi of iheae busy insects, and there 
lets it lie motionieSB for Beveral rainulea tt^ether. The ants of that 
country, some of which are half an inch long, considering it as a 
piece of flesh accidentally thrown before them, come forth and swarm 
upon it in great numbers; but wherever they touch they slick ; for 
this inalrument is covered with a sllniy fluid, which, like bird-lime, 
entangles every creature that lights upon it. When therefore the 
ant'bear has found a sufficient number for one morsel, it instancy 
draws in the tongue, and devours them all in o. moment, af\er whidli 
it still continues in its position, practising the same arts until its 
hunger ii entirely appeased : it then retires to its hiding-place once 
more, where it continues in indolent existence till again excited by 
the calls of liunger. 

' Such is the luxurious life of a creature, tliot seems of all others the 
most helpless and deformed. It finds safety in its hiding-places 
from lis enemies, and an ample supply in some neighbouring ant- 
hill for all its appetites. As it only tries to avoid its pursuers, it is 
seldom discovered by them ; yet helpless as this animal is, when 
driven to an extremity, though without teeih, it will fight with its 
clawi with great obstinacy. With these arras alone it has often 
been found to oppose the dog, and even the jaguar. It throws itself 
upon its back, fastens upon its enemy wiih all its clavvs, slicks 
with great strength and perseverance, and even after killing its in- 
vader, which is sometimes the case, does not quit its hold, but re 
!Red upon it with vindictive desperation. 



The Duck-billed Platypus was first noticed by Dr. Shaw, in his 
Naturalist's Miscellany ; but as the animal there described was the 
only one which had at that time been seen, it was difficult to preserve 
the mind from entertaining some doubts as to its genuine nature, 
and from surmising that some arts of deception in its structure might 
have been practised. These susfHcions however arc now satisfactorily 
removed; other specimens having been sent by Governor Hunter 
from New Holland, (of which it is a native), to Sir Joseph Banks. 

* " Of all the mammalia yet known, this seems the most extraor- 
dinary in its conformation, exhibiting the perfect resemblance of the 
beak of a duck engralWI on the heed of a quadruped. So accurate 
is the similitude, that at first view it naturally excites tlie idea of 
Home deceptive preparation by artificial means ; the very epidermis, 
proportion, serratures, manner of opening, and other particulars of 
the beak of a shoveller, or other broad-billed species of duck, pre. 
■enting themselves to the view ; nor is it without the most minute 
and rigid examination, that we can persuade ourselves of its being 
*''e real beak or snout of a quadruped. 

* Shaw's Zoology. 





" The body is depressed, and has sunie reaemblanca to thai of ait 
otler in miniiiture ; it is covered with a very thick, aoll, and beaver- 
like fur, and is of a, moderately dark brswn above, and of a sub- 
ferruginous white beneath. The head is Aattish, and rather small 
(han large ; the moutli or anout, as before observed, so exactly re- 
sembles that of some broad-billed species of duck, that it might be 
iniBtaken for such ; round ihe base is a flat circular membrane, some- 
what deeper or wiJer below; viz. below, near the Hllh of an inch, 
and above, about an eighth. The tail is flat, furry like the body, 
rather short and obtuse, with an almost biRd termination; it is 
broader st the base, and gradually lessens to the tip, and is about 
three inches in length ; its colour issimilartothat of the body. The 
length of the whole animal, from the tip of the beak lo that of the 
tail, is thirteen inches ) of the beub, an inch and half The legs are 
very short, terminating in a broad web, which on the fore-feet ex- 
tends to a considerable distance beyond the claws, but on the luod- 
feat reaches no fartlier than the roots of the claws. On the fore-feet 
are five claws, straight, strong, and sharp- pointed ; the two exterior 
ones somewhat shorter than the three middle ones. On the hind-feei 
are six ulaws, longer, and more inclining to a curved form than those 
on the fore-feel; the exterior loe and claw are considerably shorter 
than the four middle ones; the interior or sixth is seated much higher 
up than the rest, and resembles a strong sliarp spur- All the legs 
are hairy above ; the fore-feet are naked both above and below ; 
but the hind-feet are hairy above, and naked below> The internal 
edges of the under mandible, (which is narrower than the upper), 
are serrated or channelled with numerous stfiffi, as in a duck's bill. 
The nostrils are small and round, and are situated about a quarter of 
an inch from the lip of the bill, and are about the eighth of an inch 
distant from each other. There is no appearance of (eeih ; the palate 
is removed, but seems to have resembled that of a duck ; the tongue 
also is wanting in the specimen. The ears, or auditory foramina, 
are placed about an inch beyond the eyes; they appear like a pair 
of oval holes, of the eighth of an inch in diameter, there being no 
externaJ ear. On the upper part of the head, on each side, a little 
beyond the beak, are situated two smallish oval wliite spots, in ilie 
lower part of each of which ere imbedded the eyes, tx at least the 
parts allotted to the animal for some kind of vision ; for, froni the 
thickness of the fur, and the smallness of the organs, they seem to 
have been but obscurely calculated for distinct vision ; and are pro- 
bably like those of moles, and some other animals of thai tribe, or 
perhaps even subcutaneous, the whole apparent diameter of the 
cavity in which (hey were placed not exceeding the tenth of an 

" When we consider the general form of this animal, and particu- 
larly its bill and webbed feel, we shall readily perceive that it mu»t 
be a resident in watery situations; that it has ihehabit of digging or 
burrowing in the banks of rivers, or under ground ; and that its food 
consists of aquatic plants and animals. This is all that can si 


present be reasonably giiesseil at; fuluro obiervfitioiis, made in ils 
native regions, vrill, it is hoped, aflbrd us more ample information, and 
will make us Tully acquabled with the natural history of an animal 
which ditTers so widely from all other quedrupeds, and which verifies 
in a most striking manner the observation of BufTon, viz. " (hat 
whatever was possible for nature to produce, has actually been 

On a minute examination of the platypus it was discovered, that 
the beak is not the moulli of the Hnimal, but merely a projection of 
Uie bones of the nose and palate, serving it instead of fore-teetli ; 
that the mouth is seated behind this projection ; and that the longue, 
which is about half an inch long, can be drawn entirely into the 
mouth. On laying open the parts beyond the base of the bill, it 
appeared that the platypus, like the ant-bear, is furnished with small 
long processes, resembling grinding teeth, imbedded in tlie gum, but 
not rooted in the jaw ; and of these processes tlicre are two on each 
' ■ I, boUi of the upper and under jaw.*] 




'r the Sloth there are two different kitjds, distinguished from each 
other by their clans ; the one, which in ils native country is called 
(he Unen, having only two claws upon each foot, and being without 
a tail; the other, which is called the Ai, having a tail, and three 
claws upon each foot. The unan has the snout longer, the ears more 
apparent, and the fur very different from the other. It differs also 
in the number of its ribs, this having forty-six, while the ai has but 
twenty-eight. These differences, however, though very apparent, 
have been but little regarded in the description of two animals which 
BO strongly resemble each other in the general outlines of their figure. 
In their appetites, and their helpless formation. 

They are both, therefore, described under the common appellation 
of the Sloth, and their habitudes well deserve our wonder and 
curiosity.1' Nature seems cramped and constrained in their formation : 
other animals are oflen indolent from choice, these are stow from 
necessity. The ai, from which I shall take my description, and from 
which the other differs only in the slight particulars above-mentioned, 
and in being rather more active, is of about the size of a badger. 
Its fur is coarse and staring, somewhat resembling dried grass; (he 
tail very short, and scarce appearing ; the mouth extending from 

• Phil. Ttana. vol. xc. 

(t The sloth hua no fore-leelh in <>itln'r jaw ; the tiog-Ieelli are blunl. 
itHrj, anil longpr than the sHpdcrs ; and Hierc are live griddirs on racii 
>idc. The fure-1<igs are considt^rably lungpr thun the hind ones, and ttip 
claws are Ion; and very strong.] 






ear U> ear ; the eye dull and heavj ; tlie feet armed with three clam 
eacli, and made bo short, and set on so awkwardly, that a few paces 
b often the journey of a week ; but though the feet are short, they 
8re still longer than its legs, and these proceed from the body in 
such an oblique direction, that the sole of the foot seldom touches the 
ground. When the animal, therefore, is compelled to make a step 
forward, it scrapes on the back of the nails along the surface, and 
wheeling the limba circularly about, yet still touching the ^ound, it 
at length places its foot in a progressive position ; the other three 
limbs are all brought about with the sanie dtfGculty; and thus it it 
seen to move not above three feet in an hour. In fact, this poor 
creature seldom changes place hut by constraint, and when impelled 
by the severest stings of hunger. 

The sloth seems to be the meanest and nwst ill-formed ufalt those 
animals that chew the cud ; it lives entirely upon vegetable food, on 
the leaves, the fruit, and the flowers of trees, and often even on the 
very bark, when nothing else is tell on the tree fur its subsialence. . 
Like all other ruminant animals, it has four stomachs i and these 
retjuiring a large share of provision to supply them, it generally 
strips a tree of all its verdure in less than a. fortnight. Still however 
it keeps aloft, unwilling to descend while any thing remains that can 
serve it for food ; it therefore falls to devouring the bark, and thus in 
a short time kills the tree upon which it found its support. Thu» 
destitute of provisions above, and crawling slowly from branch to 
branch, in hopes of finding something still left, it is at last obliged to 
encounter all the dangers tliat attend it below. Though it is formed 
by nature for climbing a tree with great pain and difficulty, yet it ts 
utterly unable to descend ; it therefore is obliged to drop from the 
branches to the ground, and as it is incapable of exerting itself to 
break (he violence of its descent, it drop like a shapeless, heavy 
mass, and feels no small shuck in the fall. There, after remaining 
some time torpid, it prepares for a Journey to some neighbourbg 
tree ; but this, of all migrations, is the most tedious, dangerous, and 
painful ; it often takes a week in crawling to a tree not 6l\y yards 
distant i it moves with imperceptible slowness, and often baits by the 
way. All motions seem to torture it ; every step it takes, it .sets forth 
a most plaintive melancholy cry, which from some distant similitude 
to the human voice, esciles a kind of disgust, mixed with pity. This 
plaintive sound seems its chief defence ; few quadrupeds appear 
willing to interrupt its progress, either that the flesh is oflensive, or 
that they are terrified at its cries, When at length they rearli their 
destined tree, they mount it with much greater ease than when they 
moved upon the plain. They fall to with famished appetite, and, ai 
before, destroy the very source that supplies them. 

Mow far these may be considered as the unfinished productions of 
nature, I will not take upon me to determine: if we measure their 
happiness by our sensations, nothing, it is certain, can be more 
miserable ; but it is probable, considered with regard to themselves, 
they may have some stores of comfort unknown to us, which may 

^ • .'. 

. % 

. .-'•■■■:■■' 
l- • - s . 

■t ■ 

. ^ •■-■*'* ' ' ' ^ N. 


^ X 

■.f« •.■ 


set them upon a level wilh some oilier inferior ranks of the creation : 
if a part of their life be exposed to pain and labour, it is compensated 
by a larger porlion of plenty, indolence, and safety. In fact, they 
are formed very differenily from all other quadrupeds, and it is pro- 
bable they have different enjoyments. Like birds, Ihey have but 
one common vent for the purposes of propagation, eptcrement, and 
urine. Like the tortoise, which they resemble in the slowness of their 
motion, they continue to live some time after their nobler parts are 
wounded, or even taken away. They bear the marks of ail those 
homely-formed animals, that, like rude machines, are not easily dig- 
its note,* accordiiiE to Kircher, is an ascending and descending 
hesachord, which it utters only by night ; its look ia so piteous as to 
move compassion ; it is also accompanied with tears, that dissuade 
every body from injuring so wretched a being. Its abstinence from 
food is remarkably powerful ; one that hod fastened itself by its feet 
to a pole, and was so suspended across two beams, remained forty 
days without meat, drink, or sleep; the strength of its feet is so great, 
that whatsoever it seizes on cannot possibly be freed from its claws. 
A dog was let loose at the above-mentioned animal, taken from the 
pole ; after some time the sloth laid hold of the dog with its feet, and 
held him four days, till he perished with hunger. 



This animal as little resembles a quadruped as iliat which has 
been described in a former chapter. If wo should suppose a bird 
divested of its feathers, and walking upon its legs, it might give us 
Bome idea of its figure. It has four feet, indeed, but in running or 
resUng it never makes use of any but the hinder. The number of 
legs, however, do not much contribute to any animal's speed ; and 
the Jerboa, though, properly speaking, furnished but with two, is one 
of the swiftest creatures in the world. 

The jerboa is not above the size of a large rat, and its head is 
sloped somewhat in the manner of a rabbit ; the teeth also are formed 
like those of the rat kind, there being two culling teeth in each jaw ; 
it has a very long tail tufted at the end i the head, the back, and 
ndea, are covered with long ash-coloured soft hair, the breast and 
belly is whitish : but what most deserves our attention in the forma- 
tion of this little animal, is ihe legs ; the fore-legs are not an inch 
long, with four claws and a thumb upon each, while the binder legs 
are two inches and a quarter, and exactly re.semble those of a bird, 
there being but three toes, the middlemost of which is longest. 

• Pnnnsnt'.i Synopsis. 




The jerboa ia found in Egypt, Barbary, PalestiDe, and the ddserls 
between Buieorah and Aleppo; iu hind4ega, as was said before, are 
only used in running, while the fore-paws, like ihoae of a squirrel, 
grasp its food, and in some measure perform ttie office of hands. It 
is often Been by travellers as they pass along the deserts, crossing 
their way, and jumping six or eight feet at every bound, and going 
so Bwiflly, that scarcely any other cjuadruped is able to overtake 
them. They are a lively, harmless race of animals, living entirely 
upon vegetables, and burrowing like rabbits in the ground. Mr. Pen- 
nant tells us of two that were lately brought to London, that bur~ 
rowed almost through the brick wall of the room where they were 
kept; they came out of their hole at night for food, and when caught 
were much fatter and sleeker than when confined to their biirrows. 
A variety of this animal is found also in Siberia and Circassia, and 
IB, most probably, common enough over all Asia. They are mure 
expert diggers than even the rabbit itself; and when pursued for a 
long time, if they cannot escape by their swiflness, they try to make 
a hole instantly in the ground, in which they oflen bury themselves 
deep enough to find security before their pursuers come up. Their 
burrows, in some places, are so thick as to be dangerous to travellers, 
the horses perpetually falling in them, ft is a provident little ani- 
mal, and lays up for the winter. It cuts grass m heaps of a foot 
square, which, when dried, it carries into its burrow, therewith to 
serve it for food, and to keep its young warm during the rigours of 
the winter. ^^B 


The Kanguroo was Oral discovered in the year 17T0, by the late 
Sir Joseph Banks, during one of the voyages of our celebrated navi- 
gator Captain Cook. Although it has been classed with the Jerboa, 
On account of its hind-legs being so much longer than tlie fore, and 
also of its moving in the same bounding manner, it is now considered 
as more nearly allied to the opossum, in having a pouch for the 
security of its young. , 

This animal is about the size of a sheep ; it has a small head, 
neck, and shoulders; the body increasing in thickness to the rump. 
The head is oblong, tapering from the eyes to the nose; the end of 
the nose naked, and black ; the upper lip divided ; the nostrils are 
wide and open ; the lower jaw is shorterthan the upper; the mouth 
small ; the eyes are large ; the ears erect. There are no caniae 
teeth, but six broad cutting teeth in the upper jaw, two lung lan- 
ceolated teeth in the lower, pointing forward, and four grinding teelli 
in each jaw, remote from the others. The belly is convex and great- 
Tlie fore-legs are very short, scarcely reaching to the nose, and use- 
less for walking ; the hind-legs are almost as long as tho body, and 
the thighs are very thick t on the fore-feet arc five toes, with long 
conio and strong claws ; on the hind-feet only three ; the middle toe 


is very long and thick, like tliat of an ostrich, thu two others are 
placed very distinct from it, and are fiinall ; the clatva are short, 
thick, and blunt; the bottom of the feet and hind part, black, naked, 
and tuberculated, as the animal rests often on them, The tail is very 
long, extending as far as the ears ; thick at the base, tapering to a 
point. Within the pouch of the female are two breasts, each of them 
rurnished with two teats ; and it is believed she brings forth but one 
at a time. When lirst born, the young kanguroo hardly exceeds an 
inch in length ; and till it becomes able to ahifl for itself, resides en- 
tirely within the pouch of the dam, occasionally leaving it for exercise 
or amusemenL The hair on the whole animal b soft, and of an ash 
colour; lightest on the lower parts. 

This animal inhabits the western side of New Holland, and has as 
yet been discovered in no other part of the world. It lurks among 
the grass, and feeds on vegetables; it goes entirely on its hind-legs, 
making use of the fore-feet only for digging, or bringing its food to 
its mouth. It is very timid ; at the sight of men it flies from them 
by amazing leaps, springing over bushes seven or eight feet high, 
and going progressively from rock to rock. It carries its tail 
(juite at riglit angles with its body when it is in motion, and when it 
alights ollen looks back. They have been seen feeding in herds of 
about thir^ or forty, and one is always observed to be apparently 
on the watch, at a distance from the rest. Young kanguroos which 
have been taken, have in a few days grown very tame, but none have 
lived more than two or three weeks. Yel it is still possible that, 
when their proper food shall be better known, they may be domes- 
ticated. The tail of the kanguroo, which is very largo, is found to 
be used as a wea[>on of offence, and has given such severe blows to 
dogs, as to oblige them to desist from pursuit. Its flesh is coarse and 
lean ; nor would it probably be used for food where there was not a 
scarcity of fresh provisions. The pouch of the female, hitherto es- 
teemed peculiar to the opossum genus, has been found both in tha 
rat and the squirrel kind in New Holland. 

The Kanguroo Rat is described as similar, both in the general 
shape of the body and the conformation oflhelegs, to the kanguroo; 
but the visage having a strong resemblance to that of the rat, and 
the colour of the whole not ill resembling that animal, it has obtained 
the name of the kanguroo rat. It also is an inhabitant of New Hol- 
land. This species has two cutting teeth in front of the upper jaw, 
with three others on each side of them; and at a distance one false 
grinder, sharp at the edge, and fluted on the sides ; and close to 
these, two true grinders : in the lower jaw there are two long cutting 
teeth, formed like tliose of the squirrel, with three grinders corres- 
ponding with those in the upper jaw> It is about the lizeofa 

With these last described and last discovered animals, I shall 
conclude the history of quadrupeds, which, of all parts of natural 
knowledge, seems to have been described tlte moat accurately. A> 




these, from iheir Agu», ai well b> Iheir aagaciiy, bear the nearest 
resemblance to man, and from their uses or eDmiues are the most 
respectable parU of the inrerior crealion, to it was his interest, and 
his pleasure, to make hiraseir acquainted with their history- It is 
probable, therefore, that time, which enlarges thesphere of our know- 
ledge in other parts of learning, can add but very little to this. The 
addition of a new quadruped to the catalogue already known, is of 
DO small consequence, and happens but seldom ; for the number of 
all is so few, that wherever a new one is fonnd, it becomes an object 
worthy our best attentitHi. It may take refuge in its native deserts 
from our pursuits, but not from our curiosity. 

But it is very diflerent with the inferior ranks of the creation ; the 
classes of birds, of Sshes, and of insects, are all much more numer- 
ous, and more incompletely known. The quadruped is possessed of 
no arts of escnping which we are not able to overcome ; but the 
bird removes itself by its swiftness, the lishes (ind protection in their 
native element, and insects are secured in their minuteness, numbers, 
and variety. Of all these, therefore, we have but a very inadequate 
catalogue, and though the list be already very large, yet every hour 
is adding to its extent. 

In fact, all knowledge is pleasant only as the object of it contri- 
butes to render man happy ; and the services of ijuadrupeds being 
so very necessary to him in every situation, he is particularly is. 
terested intheir history. Without their aid, what a wretched and 
forlorn creaiuro would he have been 1 The principal part of his food, 
his clothing, and his amusements, are derived wholly from them, and 
he may be considered as a great lord, sometimes cherishbg his humble 
dependants, and sometimes terrifying the refractory, to contribute to 
his delight and conveniencies. 

The horse and the ass, the elephant, the camel, the lama, and the 
ri'in-deer, contribute to ease his fatigues, and to give him that swift- 
ness which he wants from nature. By their assistance he changes 
place without labour; he attains health without weariness ; his pride 
is enlarged by the elegance of equipage; and other animals are pur- 
sued with a certainly of success. It were happy indeed for man, if, 
while converting these quadrupeds to his own benefit, he had not 
turned them to the destruction of his fellow-creatures: he has cm- 
ployed some of them for the purposes of war, and they have con- 
formed to his noxious ambition witli but too fatal an obedience. 

The cow, the slieep, the deer, and all their varieties, are necessary 
to him, though in a different manner. Their flesh makes the princi- 
pal luxuries of his table, and their wool or skins the chief ornament 
of his person. Even those nations that are forbid to touch any thing 
that has lift), cannot wholly dispense with their assistance. The milk 
of these animals makes a principal part of the food in every country, 
and often repairs those constitutions that have been broken by disease 
or intemperance. 

The dog, the cat, and the ferret, may be considered as having 
deserted from their fellow-quadrupeds to list themselves under the 


conduct and protection of man. At bia command they exert all 
their services against auch animals as they are capable of destroying, 
and follow them into places where he himself wants abilities to pur- 

As there is thus a numerous tribe that he has taken into protection, 
and that iupplies his necessities and amusements, so there is also a 
still more numerous one that wages an unequal combat against him, 
and thus calls forth his courage and his industry. Were it not for 
the lion, ihe tiger, the panther, the rhinoceros, and the bear, he 
would scarcely know his own powers, and the superiority of human 
art over brutal fierceness. These serve to escite and put his nobler 
passions into motion. He attacks them in their retreat, faces them 
with resolution, and seldom fails of coming off with a victory. He 
thus becomes hardier and bell«r in the struggle, and learns to know 
and to value his own superiority. 

As the last mentioned animals are called forth by his boldest efforts, 
so the numerous tribe of the smaller vermin kind excite his continual 
vigilance and caution ; his various arts and powers have been no 
where more manifest, than in the extirpation of those that multiply 
with such prodigious fecundity. Neither their agility nor their 
minuteness can secure them from his pursuits, and though they may 
infest, they are seldom found materially to injure him. 

In this manner we see, that not only human want is supplied, but 
that human wit is sharpened by the humbler partners of man in iha 
creation. By this we see, that not only their benefits, but their 
depredations are useful, and that it has wisely pleased Providence 
to place us like victors in a subdued country, where we have all the 
benefit of conquest, without being so secure as to run mto the sloth 
and excesses of a certain and undisturbed possession. It appears, 
therefore, that those writers who are continually finding immediate 
benefit in every production, see but half way into the general system 
of nature. Esperience must every hour inform us, that all animals 
are not formed for our use; but we may be equally well assured, 
that those conveniencies which we want from their friendship, are 
well repaid by that vigilance which we procure from their enmity. 


\ ..'■: 

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We are now conic to a beautiful and loijuacious race of animals, 
tital embellish our forests, amuse our walks, and exclude solitude 
from our most shady retirements. From these man has nothing to 
fear : their pleasures, their desires, and even their animosities, only 
servo to enliven the general picture of nature, and give harmony to 

No part of nature appears destitute of inhabitants. The-woodsi 
the waters, the depths of the earth, have their respective tenants ; 
while the yiddiug air, and those tracts of seeming space where man 
never can ascend, are also passed through by multitudes of the most 
beautiful beings of the creation. 

Every order and rank of animals seems fitted for its situation in 
life, but none more apparently than birds; they share, in common 
with the stronger race of quadrupeds, the vegetable spoils of the 
earth, are supplied with swiftness, to compensate for their want of 
force, and have a faculty of ascending into the air, to avoid that 
power which they cannot oppose. 

The . bird seems formed enUrely for a life of escape i and every 
part of the anatomy of the animal seema calculated for swiftness. 
Aa it is designed to rise upon air, all its parts are proportionably 
light, and e^ipand a large surface without solidity. 

In a comparative view with man, their formation seems much 
ruder, and more imperfect j and they are in general found incapable 
of the docility even of quadrupeds. Indeed, what great degree of 
sagacity can be expected in animals whose eyes are almost as large 
as their brain 1 However, though they full below quadrupeds in the 
scale of nature, and are less imitative of human endowments, yet 
they hold the next rank, and far surpass fishes and insects, both in 
the structure of their bodies and in their sagacity. 

As in mechanics the njost curious instruments are generally the 
most complicated, so it ie in anatomy. The body of man presents 




the greatest variety upon dissection; quadrupeds, lesa perfectl^J 
formed, discover their defects in the simplicity of their conformalioa; 
the mechBuism of birds is still less complex ; fishes are furnished with 
fewer organs still ; while insects, more imperfect than all, seem to 
fill up the chasm that separates animal from vegetable nature. Of 
man, the most perfect animal, there are but three or four species; of 
quadrupeds the kinds are more numerous ; birds a 
still ; tishes yet more ; but insects afford so very great a variety, I 
they elude tlie search of the most inquisitive pursui 

Quadrupeds, as was said, have some distant resemblanee in their 
internal structure with man, but that of birds is entirely diseimilar. 
As they seem chiefly formed to inhabit the empty regions of air, all 
their parts are adapted to their destined situation. It will be proper, 
therefore, before I give a general history of birds, to enter into a 
slight detail of their anatomy and conformation. 

As to their external parts, they seem surprisingly adapted for 
swiftness of motion. The shape of their body is sharp before, to 
pierce and make way through the air; it then rises by a gentle 
swelling to its bulk, and falls olT in an expansive tail, that helps to 
keep it buoyant, while the fore-parts are cleaving the air by their 
sharpness. From this conformation, they have oflen been compared 
to a ship making its way through water; the trunk of the body 
answers to the hold, the head to the prow, the tail to the rudder, and 
the wings to the oars; from whence the poets have adopted the 
metaphor of remigium alarum, when they describe the wavy motion 
6f a bird in flight. 

What we are called upon next to admire in the external formation 
of birds is, the neat position of the feathers, lying all one way, 
answering at once ihe purposes of warmth, speed, and security. 
They mostly lend backward, and are laid over one another in an 
exact and regular order, ormed with warm and soft down next the 
body, end more strongly fortified and curiously closed externally, 
to fence off the injuries of the weather. But, lest the feathers should 
spoil by their violent attrition against the air, or imbibe the moisture 
of the atmosphere, the animal is furnished with a gland behind, 
containing a proper quantity of oil, which can be pressed out by tiie 
bird's bill, and laid smoothly over every feather that wants to be 
dressed for the occasion. This gland is situated on the rump, and 
furnished with an opening or excretory duct; about which grows a 
small tuft of feathers, somewhat like a painter's pencil. When, 
therefore, the feathers are shattered or rumpled, the bird, turning its 
head backwards, with the bill catches hold of the gland, and, pressing 
it, forces out the oily substance, with which it anoints the duyMnled 
parts of the feathers ; and, drawing them out with great assiduity, 
recomposes and places them in due order, by which they anite more 
closely together. Such poultry, however, as live for the most part 
under cover, are not furnished with so large a stock of this fluid as 
those birds that reside in the open air. The ftathers of a hen, for 
mstance, are pervious to every shower ; on the contrary, swans, 


geese, ducks, and all such as nature has directed to live upon (he 
water, have their feathers dressed with oil from the very (ir^t day of 
their leaving the shell. Thus their stock, of Quid is equal to the 
necessity of its consumption. Their very Qe^ contracts a flavour 
from it, which renders it In some very rancid, so as to make it utterly 
unfit for food ; however, though it injures the lleah, it improves the 
feathers for all the domestic purposes to which they are usually 

Nor are the feathers with which birds are covered less an object 
of admiration. The sli aft of every feather is made proportion ably 
strong; but hollow below, for strength and lightness, and above 
filled with a pilh, to feed the growth of the vane or beard that springs 
from the shaft of the feather on either side. All these feathers are 
placed generally according to their length and strength, so that the 
largest and strongest feathers in flight have the greatest share of 
duty. The vane, or beard of the feather, is formed with equal con- 
trivance and care. It consists not of one continued membrane, 
because if this were broken, it could not easily be repaired ; but it 
is composed of many layers, each somewhat in itaelf resembling a 
feather, and lying against each other in close conjunction. Towards 
the shaft of the feather, these layers are broad, and of a simicircular 
form, to serve fur strength, and for the closer grafting them one 
against another when in action. Towards the outer part of the vane, 
these layers grow slender and taper, to be more light. On their 
under side they are thin and smooth, but their upper outer edge is 
parted into two hairy edges, each side having a different sort of hairs, 
broad at bottom, and slender and bearded above. By this mecha- 
nism the hooked beards of one layer always lie next the straight 
beards of the nest, and by that means lock and hold each other. 

The nest object that comes under consideration in contemplating 
an animal that Hies, is the wing, the instrument by which this won- 
derful progression is performed. In such birds as fly, they are 
usually placed at that part of the body which serves to poise the 
whole, and support it in a fluid that at first seems so much lighter 
than itaelf. They answer to the fore-legs in quadrupeds, and at the 
extremity of this they have a certain finger-like appendix, which is 
usually called the basiard-wiag. This instrument of flight is fur- 
nished with quills, which differ from the common feathers only in 
their size, being larger, and also from their springing from the deeper 
part of the skin, their shaftslying almost close- to the bone. The 
beards of these quills are broad on one side, and more narrow on 
the other, both which contribute to the progressive niotion of the 
bird and the closeness of the wing. The manner in which most 
birds avail themselves of these, is first thus : they quit the earth with 
a bound, in order to have room for flapping with the wing ; when 
they have room for this, they strike the body of air beneath the wing 
with a violent motion, and with the whole under surface of the same ; 
but then, to avoid striking the air with equal violence on the upper 
side as they rise, the wing is instantly contracted; so that the ani- 






ma] rises by the impulse till it spreads the wing for a second blow, 
For this reeson, we always sec birds choose to rise against tho wiod, 
because tliey have tliux a greater body of air on the under than the 
upper side of the wing. For these reasons also, large fowls do not 
rise easily, both because they }iave not sufficient room at first for the 
motion of their wings, and because the body of air does not lie so 
directly under the wing as they rise. 

In order to move the wings, all birds are furnished with two very 
strong pectoral muscles, which lie on each side of the breast-bone. 
The pectoral muscles of (quadrupeds are triHing in comparison to 
those of birds. In quadrupeds, as well as in man, the muscles which 
move the thighs and hinder parts of the body are by far the strong- 
est, while those of the arms ore feeble; but in birds, winch make 
use of their wings, the contrary obtains; the pectoral muscles that 
move the wings or arras are of enormous strength, while those of the 
thigh are weak and slender. By means of these, a bird can move 
its wings with a degree of strength which, when compared to the 
animal's size, is almost incredible. The flap of a swan's wing would 
break a man's leg; and a similar blow from an eagle has been 
known to lay a man dead in an instant. Such, consequently, is the 
force of the whig, and such its lightness, as to be inimitable by art. 
No machines tliat human skill can contrive are capable of giving 
such force to so light an apparatus. The art of flying, therefore, 
that has so often and so fruitlessly been sought after, must, it is 
feared, for ever be unattainable; since as man increases the force 
of his flying machine, he must be obliged to increase its weight also. 
' In all birds, except nocturnal ones, tlie head is smaller, and bears 
less proportion to the body than in quadrupeds, that it may more 
readily divide the air in flying, and make way for the body, so as to 
render its passage more easy. Their eyes also are more flat and 
depressed than in quadrupeds; a circle of small platcsof bones, placed 
scalewise, under the outer coat of the organ, encompasses the pupil 
on each, to strengthen and defend it from injuries. Beside this, bu^s 
have a kind of skin, called the nictitating membrane, with which, 
like a veil, they can at pleasure cover their eyes, though their eye- 
lids continue open. This membrane takes its rise from the greater 
or more obtuse comer of the eye, and serves to wipe, cleanse, and 
probably to moisten its surface. The eyes, though they outwardly 
appear but sniall, yet, separately, each almost equals the braio; 
whereas in man the brain is more than twenty times larger than '*"" 
orbit of the eye. Nor is this organ in birds less adapted for vii 
by a particular expansion of the optic nerve, which renders the 
pressions of exlemal objects more vivid and distinct. 

Prom this conformation of the eye it follows, that the 
seeing in birds is infmitely superior to that of other animals. Indi 
this piercing sight seems necessary to the creature's support 
safety. Were this organ blunter, from the rapidity of the bird't 
motion it would be apt to strike against every object in its way ; 
and it could scarcely find subsistence unless possessed of a power to 




diBccrn ita food Trom above with BBtonishing sagacity. A hawk. Tor 
instance, perceives a lark at a distance which neither men nor dogs 
could spy ; a kite, from an almost imperceptible height in the douda, 
darts down on iU prey with the most unerring aim. The sight of 
birds, therefore, exceeds what we know in most other animals, and 
excels them both in strength and precision. 

All birds want the external ear standing out from the head; they 
are only furnished with holes that convey sounds to the auditory 
canal. It is true, indeed, that the homed owl, and one or two more 
birds, seem to have external ears; but what bears that resemblance 
are only feathers sticking out on each side of the head, hut no way 
necessary to the sense of hearing. It is probable, however, that the 
feadiers encompassing the ear-holes in birds supply the defect of the 
exterior ear, and collect sounds to be transmitted to the internal 
sensory. The extreme delicacy of this organ is easily proved by the 
readiness with which birds learn tunes, or repeat words, and the 
great exactness of ilieir pronunciation. 

The sense of smelling seems not less vivid in the generality of 
birds. Many of them wind (heir prey at an immense distance, 
while others are equally protected by this sense against their inndi- 
ouB pursuers. In decoys, where ducks are caught, the men who 
attend them universally keep a piece of turf burning near their 
mouths, upon which they breathe, lest the fowl should smell them, 
and consequently lly away. The universality of this practice puts 
the necessity of it beyond a doubl, and proves the extreme delicacy 
of the sense of smelling, at least in this species of the feathered 

Next lo the parts for flight, let us view the legs and feet minister- 
ing to motion. They are both made light, for the easier trans- 
portation through the air. The toes in some are webbed, to fit them 
for the waters ; in others they are separate, for the belter holding 
objects, or clinging to Irce-s for safety. Such as have long legs have 
also long necks, as otherwise they would be incapable of gathering up 
their food, either by land or water. But it does not hold, however, 
that those which have long necks should have long legs, since we see 
that swans and geese, whose necks are extremely long, have very 
short legs, and these chiefly employed in swimming. 

Thus every external part hitherto noticed appears adapted to the 
life and situation of the animal ; nor are the inward parts, though 
less immediately appropriated to flight, less necessary to safety. The 
bones of every part of the body are extremely light and thin ; and 
all the muscles, except that immediately moving the wings, extremely 
slight and feehle. The lad, which is composed of quill feathers, 
serves to counterbalance the head and neck; it guides the animal's 
flight like a rudder, and greatly assists it either in its ament or when 

If we go on to examine birds internally, we shall And the same 
wonderful conformation fitting them for a life in air, and increasing 
the surface by diminishing the solidity. In the lirst place, their lungs. 


which are ooimnonly called the »ole, itick fast to the sides of the rib#'J 
and back, and can be very little dilaled or contracted. But to malHpfl 
up for this, which might impede- their breathing, the ends of UWl 
branches of the windpipe open into them, while these hare openinwfl 
into the cavity of the belly, and convey the air drawn in by breattf^H 
ing into certain receptacles like bladders, running along the lengtlJEfl 
of the whole body. Nor are these openings obscure or difficult ta'm 
be discerned ; for a probe thrust into the lungs of a fowl will easilj^fl 
find a passage into the belly; and air blown into the wind-pipe wiSfl 
be seen to distend the animal's body like a bladder. In cjiiadnipeMl 
this passage is stopped by the midriff; but in fowls the commuflyM 
CBlion is obvious ; and consequently they have a much greater facilHg^^ 
of takmg a long and large inspiration. It is sometimes also seen th4^| 
the windpipe makes many convolutions within the body of the bii4|^| 
and it is then called the lahyiinth; but of what use these convol^H 
tions are, or why the windpipe should make so many turnings wilM^| 
the body of some birds, is a difficulty for which no naturalist b4H 
been able to account. ^H 

This difference of the windpipe oflen obtains in animals that to «l^| 
appearance are of the same species. Thus in the tame swan, la^| 
windpipe makes but a straight passage into the lungs ; while in tHJH 
wild swan, which to all external appearance seems the same aninil^H 
the windpipe pierces through the breast bone, and there has seven^| 
turnings before it comes out again and goes to enter the lungs. 'NH 
is not to form the voice thai these turnings are found, since the fowS^ 
that are without them are vocal, and those, particularly the bird just 
now mentioned, that have them, are silent. Whence, therefore, some 
birds derive that loud and various modulation in their warblings, is 
not easily to be accounted for; at least, the knife of the anatomist 
goes but a short way in the investigation. All we are certain of is, 
that birds have much louder voices, in respect to their bulk, than 
animals of any other kind ; for the bellowing of an ox is not louder 
than the scream of a peacock. 

In these particulars birds pretty much resemble each other in their 
internal conformation ; but there are some varieties which we should 
more attentively observe. All birds have, properly speaking, but 
one stomach : but this is very diiferent in different kinds. In all the 
rapacious kinds that live upon animal food, as well as in some of the 
fish-feeding tribe, the stomach is peculiarly formed- The (esophagus, 
or gullet, in them is found replete wiih glandulous bodies, which 
serve to dilate and macerate the food as it passes into the stomach, 
which is always very large in proportion to the size of the bird, and 
generally wrapped round with fat, in order to increase its warmth 
and powers of digestion. 

Granivorous birds, or such as ll^e upon fruits, corn, and other 
vegetables, have their intestines differently formed from those of the 
rapacious kind. Their gullet dilates just above the breast-bone, and 
forms itself into a pouch or bag, called the crop. This is replete 
with salivary glands, which serve to moisten and soften the grain 


and other food which it contains. These glands are very numerous, 
with longitudinal openinga, which emit a whitish and a viscous sub< 
stance. After the dry food of the bird has been macerated for a 
convenient lime, it then passes into tlie belly, wbere, instead of a 
soft moist stomach, as in the rapacious kind, it is ground between 
two pair of muscles, commonly called the gizzard, covered on the 
inside with a stony ridgy coat, and almost cartilagiuoug. These 
coats rubbing against each other, are capable of bruising and at- 
tenuating the hardest substances, their action being oflen compared 
to that of the grinding teeth in man and other animals. Thus the 
organs of digestion are in a manner reversed in birds. Beasts grind 
their food with their teeth, and then it passes into the stomach, where 
it is softened and digested. On the contrary, birds of tbis sort lirst 
macerate and soften it in the crop, and then it is ground and commi* 
nuted in the stomach or gizzard. Birds are also careful to picic up 
sand, gravel, and other hard substances, not to grind their food, as 
has been supposed, but to prevent the too violent action of the coats 
of the stomach against each other. 

Most birds have two appendices, or blind guts, which in quadra- 
peds are always found single. Among such birds as are thus sup- 
plied, all carnivorous fowl, and all birds of the sparrow kind, have 
very small and short ones ; water-fowl and birds of the poultry kind, 
the longest of all. There is still another appendix observable in the 
intestines of birds, resembling a little worm, which is nothing more 
than the remainder of that passage by which the yolk was conveyed 
into the guts of the young chicken while yet in the egg and under 

The outlet of that duct which conveys the bile into the intestines 
is, in most birds, a great way distant from the stomach; which may 
arise from the danger there would be of the bile regurgitating into 
the stomach in their various rapid motions, as we see in men at sea ; 
wherefore their biliary duct is so contrived, that this regurgitation 
cannot take place. 

All birds, though they want a bladder for urine, have large kidneys 
and ureters, by which this secretion is made, and carried away fay 
one common canal. " Birds," says Harvey, " as well as serpents, 
which have spongy lungs, make but little water, because they drink 
but little. They, therefore, have no need of a bladder; but their 
urine dislils down into the common canal, designed for receiving the 
other excrements of the body. The urine of birds difiers Oom that 
of other animals ; for as there is usually in urine two parts, one more 
serous and licjuid, the other more thick and gross, which subsides to 
the bottom; in birds the last part is most abundant, and is distin- 
guished from the rest by its white or silver colour. This port is found 
not only in the whole intestinal canal, but is seen also in the whole 
channel of the ureters, which may be distinguished from the coats of 
the kidneys by their whiteness. This milky substance they have in 
greater plenty than the more tliin and serous part ; and it is of a 
middle consistence, between limpid urine and the grosser parts of the 






feces. In [Mseing through (lie ureters, it resembles mill ciirdffd or 
lig'hity condensed ; nnd being cast forth enMly, congeali into A chalky 

From tbiB simple conformalion of ihe animal, it sbmld 
birda are subject to Tew diseajea ; and in fact they have but Tel 
There is one, however, which they are subject to, from which qui 
rupeds are ill a great measure exempt; this is the annual raouiti 
If hich they suffer ; fur all birds whatsoever obtain a new covering 
fealhersonceaycar, and cast the old. During the moulting 
they ever appear disordered ; those most remarkable for their i 
then lose all their Berceness, and such as are of a weakly constitutii 
often expire under thia natural operation. No feeding can mainidl 
their strength ; . they all cease to breed at this season ; that nourii" 
ment which goes to the production of the young, is wholly absoi 
by the demand required for supplying the nascent plumage. 

This moulting time, however, may be artificially acccleratiM],.fti 
those who have the management of singmg birds frequently put th( 
secret in practice. They enclose the bird In a dark cage, where ih 
keep it e.icessively warm, and throw the poor little animal into 
artiScial fever: this produces the moult; his old feathers fall befc 
their time, and a new set lake place, more brilliant and beatitil 
than the former. They add, that it mends the bird'^ singing, and 
increases its vivacity ; but it must not be concealed, that scarcely 
one bird in three survives the operation. 

The manner in which nature performs this operation of moultii 
is thus : the quill or feather, when first protruded from the skin oi 
come to its full size, grows harder as it grows older, and receivea^j 
kind of periosteum or skin round the aliafl, by which it 
(ached to the animal. In proportion as the quill gjoWs older, 
sides, or the bony pen part thicken, but its whole diameter shrii 
and decreases. Thus, by the thickening of its sides, all nourishmi , 
from the body becomes more sparing; and, by the decrease of it_ 
diameter, it becomes more loosely fixed in its socket, till at len^ft 
falls out. In the mean time, the rudiments of an incipient quill are 
beginning below. The skin forms itself into a little bug, which H 
fed from the body by a small vein and artery, and which every- dny' 
increases in size till it is protruded. While the one end vegetates 
into (he beard or vane of the feather, ihat ^art attached to the skin 
a still soft, and receives a constant supply of nourishment, which i* 
diffused through the body of (he quill by that Ultle light Substance 
which we always find within when we make a pen. This substance, 
which as yet has received no name that 1 know of, serves the growing 
quill as the umbilical artery does an infant in the womb, by supply- 
ing it with nourishment, and diffunng that nourishment over the wimle 
frame. When, however, the quill is come to its full growth, and 
requires no further nourishment, the vein and artery become less 
and leas, till at last the little opening by which Ihey communicai 

with the quill becomes wholly obliterated ; and the quill (hda 
prlved continues in its socket for some mnnlhs, tilt m the ~" 

licftt ^d' 



stirinkii, and leaven room for a repj-lilion of the same proeew of nature 
as before. 

The moulting season commonly obLaina from the end of summer 
to tlie middle of autumn. Tlie bird continues to struggle with this 
matadj during the winter; and nature has kindly provided, that 
when there are the fewest provisions, that then the animal's appe- 
tite shall be leaal craving. At the beginning of upring, when food 
beginN again to be plentiful, the animal's strength and vigour return. 
I[ is then that the abundance of provisions, aided by the mildness of 
the season, incite it to love, and all nature seems teeming with life, 
and disposed to continue it. 


^I^Trk return of spring is the beginning of pleasure. Those vital 
spirits which seemed locked up during the winter, then begin lo 
expnnd ; vegetables and insects supply abundance of food ; and [he 
binl having more than a sufficiency for its own subsistence, is im- 
pelled to transfuse life as well as to maintain it. Those warblings 
which had been hushed during the colder seasons, now begin to 
animate the fields ; every grove and bush resounds with the challenge 
of anger, or the call of allurement. This delightful concert of the 
grove, which is so much admired by man, is no way studied for his 
amusement ; it is usually the call of the male to the female, his eflbrls 
to soothe her during the times of incubation ; or it is a challenge 
between two males for the alfections of some common favourite. 

It is by this call that birds begin to pair at the approach of spring, 
and provide for the support of a future progeny. The loudest notes 
are usually from the male ; while the hen seldom ctpresses her con- 
sent, but in a short interrupted twittering. This compact, at least 
for the season, holds with unbroken faith; many birds live with 
inviolable Udelity together for a constancy; and when one dies, the 
other is always seen to share the same fate soon after. We must 
not take our idea of the conjugal fidelity of birds from observing the 
poultry in our yards, whose freedom is abridged, and wha<c man- 
ners are totally corrupted by slavery. We must look for it in our 
fields and our forests, where nature continues in unadulterated sim- 
plicity, where the number of males is generally equal to that of 
females, and where every little animal seems prouder of his progeny 
than pleased with his mate. Were it possible to compare sensations, 
the male of all wild birds seems as happy in the young brood as the 
female ; and all his former caresses, all his soothing melodies, seem 
only aimed at that important occasion when they are both to become 
parents, and to educate a progeny of their own producing. The 




pleasures of love appear dull in their effects, when compared to the 
interral immediately afler the exclusion of their young. They bolh 
seem, at that seasMi, traosported with pleasure ; every action testifies 
their pride, their importance, and tender solicitude. 

When the business of fecundation is performed, the female then 
begins to lay. Such eggs as have been impregnated by the cock 
are proline ; and such as have not (for she lays otleti without any 
eongreas wliatsoever), continue barren, and are only addled by in- 
ctibation. Previous, however, ta laying, the work ofnestling becomes 
the common care; and this is performed willi no small di^ree of 
assiduity and apparent design. It has been asserted, that birds of 
one kind always make their nests in the same manner, and of the 
same materials ; but the truth is, that they vary this as the materials, 
places, or climates happen to difler. The red'breast, in some parts 
of England, makes its nest with oak leaves, where they are in great- 
est plenty, in ottier parts with moss and hair. Some birds that with 
us make a very warm nest, are less solicitous in the tropical climates, 
where the heat of the weather promotes the business of incubation. 
In general, however, every species of birds has a peculiar archi- 
tecture of its own; and this adapted to the number of eggs, (he 
temperature of the climate, or the respective heat of the little ani- 
mal's own body. Where the eggs are numerous, it is then incumbent 
to make the nest wami, that the animal heat may be equally diflused 
(o them all. Thus the wren, and all the small birds, make the nest 
very warm ; for having many eggs it is requisite to distribute warmth 
to them in common : on the contrary, the plover, that has but two 
egg4, the eagle, and the crow, are not so solicitous in this respect, 
as their bodies are capable of being applied to the small number 
upon which they sit. With regard to climate, water-fowl, that with 
IIS make l)Ut a very slovenly nest, are much more exact in this par- 
ticular in the colder regions of the north. They there take every 
precaution to make it warm ; and some kinds strip the down from 
their breasts to line ft with greater security. 

In general, however, every bird resorts to hatch in those climates 
or places where its food is found in greatest plenty, and always at 
that season when provisions are in the greatest abundance. The 
large birds, and those of tlio aquatic kinds, choose places as remote 
from man as possible, as their food is in general different from that 
which is cultivated by human labour. Some birds, which have only 
tlic serpent to fear, btiild their nests depending from the end of a 
small bough, and form the entrance from below, being thus secured' 
either from the serpent or the monkey tribes. But all the tittle birds 
which live upon fruits and corn, and that are too often unwelcome 
intruders upon the fruits of human industry, in making their nests 
use every precaution to conceal them from man. On the other hand, 
the great birds, remote from human society, use every precautioatO' 
render theirs inaccessible to wild beasts or vermin. 

Nothing can exceed the patience of birds while hatching ; 
the calls of hunger, nor the near approach of danger, < 

ing; neitli^^^l 
n drive th^^^f 


from llie nost. They are often fat upon beginning lu sil, jral before 
incubation is over ihe female is usnally vaated to nkin and bone. 
Kaverls and crows, while the females are silling, take care to pro- 
vide theni with food, and this in great abundance. But il is different 
with most of the smalter kinds : during the whole time, the male sits 
near his mate upon some tree, and soothes her by his Hinging ; and 
often when she is tired takes her place, and' patiently coniinues upon 
the nest tilt she returns. Sometimes, however, the eggs acquire a 
degree ofheat too much for the purposes of hatching ; in such eases 
the hen leaves ihem to cool a little, and then returns to ait with her 
usual perseverance and pleasure. 

So great is the power of instinct in animals of this class, that they 
seem driven from one appetite to another, and continue almost passive 
under its influence. Reason we cannot call it, since the first dictates 
of that principle would be sett- preservation : " Take a brute," says 
Addison, " oul of his instinct, and you find him wholly deprived of 
understanding. With what caution," continues he, " does the hen 
provide herself a nest in places unfrequented, and free from noise 
and disturbance! When she has laid her eggs in such a manner 
that she can cover them, what care does she take in turning tfiera 
frequently, that all parts may partake of the vital warmth ! When 
she leaves them, to provide for her necessary sustenance, how punc- 
tually does she return before they have lime to cool, and become 
incapable of producing an animal ! In the summer you see her giving 
herself greater freedoms, and quitting her care for above two hours 
together; but in winter, when the rigour of the season would chill 
the principles of life, and destroy the young one, she grows more 
ajuiduDusin her attendance, and stays away but half the lime. When 
the birth approaches, with how much nicety and attention does she 
help tlio chick to break the prison I not to take notice of her cover- 
ing it from the injuries of the weather, providing il with proper 
nourishment, and teaching il to help iteelf; nor to mention her for- 
saking the nest, if, afler the usual time of reckoning, the young one 
does nol make its appearance. A chemical operation cOuld not be 
followed with greater art or diligence than is seen in tiatching a. 
chick, though there are many birds that show an infinitely greater 
sagacity ; yet at the same time the hen, that has all this seeming 
ingenuity, which is indeed absolntely necessary for the propagation 
of the species, considered in other respects, is without the least glim- 
merings of thought or common sense : she mistakes a piece of chalk 
for an egg, and sits upon it in the same manner; she is insensible 
of any increase or diminution in the number of those she lays; she 
does not distinguish between her own and those of another species ; 
and when the birth appears of never so diflercnt a bird, will clierish 
it for her own. A hen, followed by a brood of ducks, shall stand 
affrighted at the edge of a pond, trembling for Ihe fate of her young, 
which she sees venturing into so dangeroita an element. As the' 
diflerent princijtlQ which ucts in these diiTerenl animals cannot be 
termed reason, so, when we call it instinct, we mean something we 






II appeaa lu me llie immediate direclloo of 



en ifl^Hj 

hive no knuwItN^t 

I'rovkleiiuii ; aixJ *uch an nperation uf Ihe Supreme Being as that 

wliiv)i determines all the portions of matter to their proper centies." 

TIte production of the young, aa was said, seems lo be the great 
ura uf a bird'i happineu. Nothing can at that time exceed its spirit 
and industry ; the most timid becomes courageous in the defence of 
its yiiuog._ Birds of the rapacious kind, at this season, become more 
than uiually fierce and active. They carry their prey, yet throbbing 
with life, U> the nest, and early accustom their young to habits of 
•laughter and cruelty. Nor are those of milder natures lesa bui " 
rtiipluyed ; the little birds then discontinue their »nging, taken 
witii rnuro important pursuits of common subsistence. 

While the young are yet unfledged, and continue in the nest, 
old ones toko care tu provide them with a regular supply ; and, lest 
Olio should tako all nouriabmcnl from the rest, they feed each of the 
young in llioir turn. If they perceive that man has been busy with 
their ihirI, or has handled the little ones, they abandon the plaM bj, 
night, and provide their brood a more secure, though less cm 
dious retreat. When the whole foTiiily is completely plumed, 
capable of avoiding danger by flight, they are then led forth 
iIh) wvalher is lino, and taught the paternal art of providing for 
Hiibsiilunuc. They are led to the places where their food lies ; 
aru shown the metliud of discovering or carrying it away, and 
led back to tlio nost fur a day or two longer. At length, when 
urv completuljr qualiGud to stiid fur themselves, the old 
iImtu abrgad, and lending ihem to the uccusiumed place 
thuiii fur the last lime, and all future connexion is fur ever at 

Tliuou birds whicli are hatched and xent out earliest ir 
iiru ilie most strung and vigorous; tliose, on llw other hand, 
liuvin beeii dt'lay ed till the midst uf summer, are more feeble and t 
di'r, HDd uMiieliiuvs iuca[wble of sustaining the rigours uf the e 
winit-T. liinls tlwmsclves seem sensible uf this diflerence, and (|_ 
dvavour (o (vtwIiKu early in ibe spring. If, however, their eflbid 
an otiMrucli.<d by having their nests robbed, or some simitar accidei 
ttqy Mill pcrwrerc in tlieir ellurta lor ■ progeny ; and it often hig 
. JW^* "'■f" w« <tMis retardMl till tbe nikUt of winter. Wk^ 
■Mar of f£|p auy bird owi lajr in ibe course of a sea 
flKtabcd ; bui ikn is true, thai such a> vooM hare h 
ittwtm at lite BMMt, if their moIb be robbed, or their tfgt u 
Mil kjr •ban ten ur lorelTe. A o 
will Uy obtH* a hnadred bwa ib« b 



each other, are Beldom scared away from Iheir usual hautiU. Al- 
though they be so perfectly forined for a wandering life, sod are 
supplied with powers to satisfy at! their appetites, though never so 
remote from the object, though they are so well fitted for changing 
place with ease and rapidity, yet the greatest number renio in con- 
tented in the districts where they have been bred, and by no means 
exert their desires in jvoportion to their endowments. The rook, 
ifundisturbed, never desires to leave his native grove; the black^bird 
still frequents its accustomed hedge ; and the red-breast, though 
seemingly mild, claims a certain district, from whence he seldom 
moves, but drives out every one of the same species from thence 
without pity. They are excited to migration by no other motives 
but those of fear, climate, or hunger. It must be from one of these 
powerfbl motives that tlie birds, which are called birds of passage, 
every year forsake us for some time, and make their regular and 
expected return. 

Nothing has more employed the curiosity of mankind than these 
annual emigrations, and yet few subjects continue so much involved 
in darkness. It is generally believed, that the cause of their retreat 
from these parts of Europe is either a scarcity of food at certain 
seasons, or the want of a secure asylum from the persecution of 
man during the time of courtship and bringing up their young. Thus 
the starling, in Sweden, at the approach of winter, finding subsist- 
ence no longer in that kingdom, descends every year into Germany ; 
and the hen chaffinches of the same country are seen every year to 
fly through Holland in large flocks, to pass their winter in a milder 
climate. Others, with a more daring spirit, prepare for journeys 
that might intimidate even 'human perseverance. Thus the quails la 
spring forsake the burning heals of Africa for the milder sun of 
Europe; and, when they have passed the summer with us, steer 
their flight back to enjoy in Egypt the temperate air, which then 
begins to be delightful. This with them seems a preconcerted un- 
dertaking. They unite together in some open place for some days 
before their departure, and, by an odd kind of chattering, seem to 
debate on the method toproceei. When their plan is resolved upon, 
they all take flight t^^ther, and oAen appear in such numbers, that, 
to mariners at sea, ihey seem like a cloud that rests upon the horizon. 
The boldest, strongest, and by far the greatest number, make good 
their intention ; but many there are who, not well apprized of their 
own force for the undertaking, grow weary in the way, and, quite 
spent by the fatigues of their flight, drop down into the sea, and 
sometimes upon deck, thus becoming an easy prey to the mariner. 

Of the vast quantity of water-fowl that frequent our shores, it U 
amazing to reSect how few are known to breed hero. The cause 
that principally urges them to leave this country seems to be, not 
merely the want of food, but the desire of a secure retreat, Our 
country is too populous for birds so shy and timid as the greatest 
number of these are. When great part of our island was a mere 
waste, aD uncultivated tract of woods and maishes, many species of 




birds wiiich oow migraXe remaiacd wltli us througbout the year. Tb| 
great heron and llie craoe, ihat havo now forsaken this country, j 
former times bred familiarly in our marshes, and seemed to anima^ 
our fens. Their nests, like tboae of most cloven-footed water-fovl 
were built on llie ground, and exposed to every invader. But a 
rural economy increased, these animals were more and more i^ 
lurbed, Befuro ihey bad litde to fear, as tlic surrounding mand 
defended them from all the carnivorous quadrupeds, and their oil) 
strength from birds of prey ; but upon the intrusion of man, and n 
a long series of alarms, they have at length been obliged to seal 
during the summer, some lonely habitation at a sale distanoe frojj 
every destroyer. , 

Of the numerous tribes of the duck kind vie know of no more thuj 
Gve that breed here; tlie lanie swan, the tame goose, the sheldrake 
the eider duck, and a few of the wild ducks. The rest contribute t| 
form that amazing multitude of water-fowl which annually repair]^ 
Use dreary lakes and deserts of Lapland from tlie more soulbcii 
countries of Europe. In those extensive and solitary retfeats thq 
perform the duties of incubation and nutrition in full security. Thaq 
are few of this kind (hat may not bo traced to the northern desertifc 
to countries of lakes, rivers, swamps, and mountains, coTered wsH 
thick and gloomy forests, that aCTord shelter during s 
timid animals who live there in undisturbed security. 
regions, from the thickness of the forests, the ground rem 
and penetrable during the summer season; the woodcock, the snin 
and other slender-billed birds, can there feed at ease; while Oh 
web'footed birds find more than sufficient plenty of food from tU 
number of insects which swarm there to an incredible degree. Tb 
days there are long, and the beautiful meleorous uights afford ibca 
opportunities of collecting so minute a food, which is probably ofu 
^ .f others the most grateful. We are not to be astonished, iherefom 
at the amazing numbers of fowl that descend from these regions j 
the approach of winter; numbers, to which the army ef Xerxes va| 
but trifling in comparison, and which Linnwus has observed for eig^ 
whole days and nights to cover the surface of the river Calix. , 

This migration from the north usually begins in September, whd 
they quittbeir retreats, and disperse themselves over all the southen 
parts of Europe. It is not unpleasing to observe the order of tliQJ 
flight ; tbey generally range themselves in a long line, « they Hina 
times make llieir march angularly, two lines uniting in the centtt 
like the letter V reversed. The bird which leads at the point leaqi 
to cleave tbo air, to facilitate the passage for those which are li 
follow. When fatigued wjtii ibis laborious station, it falls boc^ it44 
^^g one of the wings of the file, while another takes its place. With U 
^^H they make their appearance about the beginning of October, c^ 
^^H cutale first round our shores, aud when compelled by severe fraiiL 
^^H betake themselves to our lakes and rivers. Some, indeed, of t^ 
^^H web-footed fowl, of hardier constitutions (ban the rest, aplde j^ 
^^H rigours of the northern climate the whole winter ; but wlieu the cqH 


rel^na there with more lliao usual severity, ibey &re obliged to sk^ 
for more soulhera skies : they ihen rep&ir wiih the rest fur shelter 
to these kingdoms; so thai the diver, the wild swan, and the swallow- 
tailed sheldrake, visit our coasts but seldom, and (hat only A«heii 
compelled by the severity of their winters at home. 

It has been often a subject of astonishmeot, how animals to all 
appearance so dull and irrational should perform such long juurneys; 
should know whither to steer, and when to set out upon such n great . 
undertaking. It ia probable that the same instinct which governs 
all iheir other actions, operates also here. They rather follow tlie 
weather than the country ; (hey steer oa\y from colder or warmer 
climates into those of aa opposite nature; and finding the variations 
of the air as they proceed in their favour, go on till they find land to 
repose on. It cannot be supposed that they haTo any memory of 
the country where they might have spent a former winter ; it cannot 
be supposed that they see the country to which they travel frtmi their 
height in the air, since, though they moimted for miles, the convejtity 
of the globe would intercept their view ; it must therefore only he, 
(hat they go on as they continue to perceive the atmosphere more 
suitable to their present wants and dispositions. 

All this seems to be pretty plain ; but there is a circumstance at- 
■ tending the migration of swallows which wraps this subject in great 
obscurity. It is agreed on all hands, that they are seen migrating 
into warmer climates, and that in amazing numbers, at the approach 
of (he European winter; their return into Europe is also as well 
attested about the begiiming of summer. But we have another 
account, which serves to prove that numbers of ihem continue torpid 
here during the winter, and, like bats, make their retreat into old 
walls, the hollows of trees, oi even sink into the deepest lakes, and 
find security for the winter season by remaining there in clusters at 
the bottom. However this latter circumstance may be, their retreat . 
into old wails is loo well authenticated to remain a doubt at present. 
The difficulty, therefore, is to account for this difference in these 
animals thus variously preparing to encounter the winter. It was 
supposed that in some of them the blood might lose its motion by the 
cold, and that thus they were rendered torpid by the severity of the 
season ; but M . Buffon having placed many of this tribe in an Ice- 
house, found that the same cold by which their blood was congealed 
was fatal to the animal : it remains, therefore, a doubt to this hour, 
whether there may not be a species of swallows, to all external ap- 
pearance like the rest, but diflercntly formed within, so as to fit them 
for a state of msensibility during the winter here. It was suggested, 
indeed, that the swallows found thus torpid were such only as were 
(oo weak to undertake the migration, or were bfttched loo late to Jmn 
the general convoy ; but it was upon these that M. BufTon tried his 
experiment ; it was these that died under the operation. 

Thus there are some birds which by migr.iiing make a habitation 
of every part of the earth; but in general every climate has birds 
peculiar tu itself. The feathered inhabitbuLs of the temperate Kone 




■re btil litlle remarkable for tlie beauty of their plumage ; but iheiT I 
tlie smaller kinds make up for this defect by the melody of iheit'i I 
voices. The birds of the torrid zone are very bright and vivid in' 1 
their colours, but tbej have screaming voices, or are totally silenty J 
The frigid zone, on the other hand, where the seas abound with lish,' I 
are stocked with birds of tlie aquatic kind in much greater plenty 1 
than in Europe ; and these are generally clothed with a warmer coat I 
of feathers, or they have largo quantities of fat lying underneath! 1 
the akin, which aerves to defend them from the rigours of the clf''^ I 
mate. J 

In all countries, however, birds are a more long-lived class of anU I 
mats than tite quadrupeds or insects of the same climate. The life of I 
man himself is but short when compared to what some of lh<;m enjoy.* I 
It is said that swans have been known to lire three hundred yeara^ I 
geese are ohea seen to live fourscore; while linnets, and other Ihtle' I 
birds, though imprisoned in cages, are often found to reach fourteen' I 
or iifleen. How birds, whose age of perfection is much more early- I 
than that of quadrupeds, should yet live comparatively so much' I 
longer, is not easily to be accounted for ; perhaps, as their bones ara' I 
slighter and more porous than those of quadrupeds, there are fewer* 1 
obstructions in the animal machine ; and nature thus finding more I 
room for the operations of life, it is carried on to a greater extent. ' 1 

All birds in general are less than quadrupeds; thatis, tbegreaietf I 
of one class far surpass the greatest of the other in magnitude, TM J 
ostrich, which is the g^eates^ of birds, bears no proportion to ths' I 
elephant ; and the smallest humming-bird, which is the least of the* ■ 
class, is still far more minute than the mouse. In these the extremi-'- J 
ties of nature are plainly discernible ; and in forming them she ap-^ I 
pears to have been doubtful in her operations : the ostrich, seemingly' I 
covered with hair, and incapable of flight, making near approucTies- I 
to the quadruped class; while the humming-bird, of the size of an I 
humble-bee, and with a lluttering motion, seems nearly allied to the* I 

These estremilies of this class are rather objects ofhumtui curiosity I 
than utility — it is die middle order of birds which man has taken care* d 
to propagate and maintain. Of those which he has taken under hi»* I 
protection, and which administer to his pleasures or necessities, the*4 
greatest number seem creatures of his formation. The variety of I 
climate to which he consigns them, the food with which he suppHef-^ 
them, and the purposes for which he employs them, produce amazing 
varieties, both in their colours, shape, magnitude, and llie taste of 
their 0esh. Wild birds are, for the most part, of the same magni- 
tude and shape ; (hey still keep the prints of primeval nature strong 
upon them; except in a few they generally maintain their very' 
colour : but it is otherwise with domestic animals ; they change a.t^ 
the will of man — of the lame pigeon, for instance, it is said thatlhey^l 
— n be bred to a feather. ' 

As we are thus capable of influencing their form and colon 
lotail frequent to see equal instances of our influencing (heir: 4 






habiUides, appetites, and passiuna. The cock, for ii 
Rcially formed intu that courage and activity whidi lie is si 
posaesBi and many birds testify a strong attachment to the hand 
thai feeds them : how far tliey are capable of instruction, is nianifejil 
to thoae who have the care of hawka. But a still more surprising 
instance of this was seen some time ago in London : a, canary bird 
was (aught to pick up the letters of tho alphabet at the v/ocd of a. 
mand, so as to spell any person's name in company ; and this the 
little animal did by motions from ita master, which were impef- 
ceplible to every other spectator. Upon the whole, however, they 
are inferior to quadrupeds in docility, and seem more mechanically 
impelled by all the power of instinct. 


-Though birds arc fitted for sporting in air, yet as Uiey find iheir 
wad upon the surface of the earth, there seems a variety iiqual to 
the different aliments willi which it tends to supply them. The flat 
and burning desert, the rocky clilT, the extensive fen, the stormy 
ocean, as well as the pleasing landscape, have all their peculiar in- 
habitants. The most obvious distioctioD therefore of birds, is into 
those that live by land, and those that live by water; or, in other 
words, into landbiriU, and icateT'Jowi, 

It is DO dilficult matter to distinguish land from water-fowl by the 
legs and toei. All land birds have their toes divided, without any 
membrane or web between them ; and their legs and feet serve them 
for the purposes of running, grasping, or climbing. On the other 
hand, water-fowl have their legs and feet formed for the purposes of 
wading in water, or swimming on its surface. In those that wade, 
the tegs are usually long and naked ; in those that swim, the toes are 
webbed together as we see in the feet of a goose, which serve, like 
oars, to drive them forward with greater velocity. The formation, 
therefore, of land and water-fowl is as distinct as (heir habits i ond 
nature herself seems to offer us this obvious distribution, in methodiz- 
ing aoimals of the feathered creation. 

However, a distinctiffli siycomprehensive goes but a short way !n 
illustrating the different tribes of so numerous a class. Tho number 
of birds already known amounts to above eight hundred ; and every 
person who turns his mind to these kind of pursuits, is every day 
adding to the catalogue. It is not enough, therefore, to be able to 
distinguish a land from a water-fowl ; much more is still required — 
(o be able tu distinguish the different kinds of birds from each other, 
and even the varieties in the same kind, when (liey happen to offer. 
This certainly is a work of great difficulty, and perhaps the attain- 
ment will not repay the labour. The sen^iible part uf mankind will 





not withdraw ati their attention froin more important punutlai^ 
give it entirely up to what promises to repay lliem only with at' 
confined species of amusement. In my distribittiun of birds, there- 
ibre, 1 will follow Linnteus in the lirsl sketch of liissjslem; and then 
leave him to follow the most natural distinctions, in enumerating the 
different kinds that admit ofa history, or require adescription. 

LinmeiiB divides all birds into six classes : namely, into birds of 
the rapacioui kind, birds of the pie kind, birds of the poultry kindy 
birds of the iparroic kind, birds of the duck kind, and birds of the 
crane kind. The four first comprehend ttjo various kinds of land 
birds; the two last, those that belong to the water. 

Birds of the rapacions kind constitute that class of caj'nivorous 
fowl that live by rapine. He distinguishes tliem by their beak, which 
is hooked, strong, and notched at the point ; by their legs, which are 
short and muscular, and made for the purposes of tearing; by tlieir 
toos, which are strong and knobbed ; and their talons, which are 
sharp and crooked ; by the make of U)eir body, which is muscular ; 
and their flesh, which is impure : nor are they less known by their 
food, which consists entirely of flesh ; their stomach, which is mem- 
branous; and their manners, which are flerce and cruel. 

Birds of the pie kind have the bill differing from tlie former : as 
in those it resembled a hook, destined for tearing to pieces, in these 
it resembles a wedge, fitted for the purpose of cleaving. Their legs 
are formed short and strong for walking ; their body is slender and 
impure, and tlieir food miscellaneous. They nestle in trees, and the 
male feeds the female during the time of incubation. 

Birds of the ponltry kind have the bill a little convex, for the 
purposses of gathering their food. The upper chap hangs over the 
lower; their bodies are fat and muscular, and their flesh white and 
pure. They live upon grain, which is moistened in the crop. They . 
make their nest on the ground, without art; they lay many eggs; 
and use promiscuous venery. 

Birds uf the tparrow kind comprehend all that beautiful and 
vocal class thai adorn our fields and groves, and gratify every sense 
in its turn. Their bills may be compared to a forceps that catches 
hold; their legs are formed for hopping along; their bodies aru ten. 
der; pure in such as feed upon grain, impure in such as live upon 
insects. They hve chiefly in trees; their nests arc artificially made, 
and their amours are observed with connubial fidelity. 

Birds of the duck kind use their bills as a' kind of strainer to their 
food; it is smooth, covered with a skin, and nervous at the point, 
Their legs are short, and their feet formed for swimming, the toes 
being webbed together. Their body is fat, inclining to rancidity. 
Thoy live in waters, and chiefly build their nests upon land. 

With respect to the order of birds that belong to the waters, iliose 
of tlie crane kind have the bill formed for the purposes of searching 
and examining the bottom of pools : their legs are long and formed 
for wading; their toes arc not webhed ; their thighs are half nskedi 
th«r body is slender, and covered with a thin skin ; their tail is short, 


&ad their desh savoury. They live in lakee upon aniniaU, and they 
chiefly build their nesta upon tike ground. 

Such is the division of LiDiueui with respect to this dera or oni- 
mah, and at first sight it appears natural and comprehensive. But 
we must not be deceived by appearances: the student who should 
imagine he was making a progress in the history of nature, while he 
waa only thus making arbitrury distributions, wotild be very mucli 
mistaken. Should lie come to enter deeper into this naturalist's 
plan, be would find birds Uie most unlike in nature thrown together 
into the same class ; and Gad animaU joined that entirely differ in 
climate, in habitudes, in manners, in sliape, colouring, and siie. In 
such a distribution, for instance, he would find the humming-bird and 
the raven, the rail and the ostrich, Joined in the same family. If 
when he asked what sort of a creature was the humming-bird, he 
were (old that it was in the same class with iho carrion crow, would 
he not think himself imposed upon? In such a case, the only way 
to form any idea of the animal whose history he desires to know, is 
to see it, and that curiosity very few have an opportunity of gratify- 
ing. The number of birds is so great, that it might exhaust the 
patience not only of the writer, but the reader, to examine them all : 
in the present confined undertaking it would certainly be impossible. 
I will therefore now attach myself to a more natural method ; and 
still keeping the general division of Linne°us before me, enter ir 
some description of the most noted, or the most worth knowing. 

Under one or other class, as I shall treat them, the reader will 
probably And all the species, and all the varieties that demand hia 
curiosity. When the leader of any tribe is described, and its his- 
tory known, it will give a very tolerable idea of all the species con- 
tained under it. It is true, the reader will not thns have his know- 
ledge ranged under such precise distinctions; nor can he bo able to 
■ay, with such fluency, that (he rail ig of the ostrich class ; hut, what 
ifl much more material, he will have a tolerable history of the bird 
he desires to know, or at least of that which most resembles it in 

However, it may be proper to apprize the reader, that he will not 
here find his curiosity satisfied, as in the former volumes, where we 
often todc M. Buflbn for our guide. Those who have hitherto writ- 
ten the natural history of birds, have in general been contented with 
telling their names, or describing their toes or their plumage, ft 
must often therefore happen, that instead of giving the history of a 
bird, we must be content to entertain the reader with merely iU 
description. I will tlierefore divide the following history of birds, 
with Linnsus, into six parts : in the first of which I will give such 
as Brisson has ranged among the rapacious birds ; next, those of the 
pie kind ; and thus go on through the succeeding classes, till I finish 
with those of the duck kind. But before I enter upon a syRiemalic 
detail, I will beg leave to give the history of three or four birds that 
do not well range in any system, These, from their great size, are 
sufficiently distinguishable from the rest ; and from their incapacity 


otRj'iag, lew) a life a good deal dilTering from the rest of the (! 
thered creation.' Tlie birds I mean are the Ostriih. tlie C 
tlie Emu, the Dodo, and the Solitaire. 


In beginning with the feathered tribe, llie first animal that offers 
sceniH to units the class of quadrupeds and of birds in itself. While 
it has the general outline and properties of a bird, yet it retains 
many of the marks of the quadruped. In appearance the ostrich 
resembles the camel, and is almost as tall ; it is covered with a plu- 
mage lliat resembles hair mucli moro nearly than feathers, and its 
iniernnl parts hear as near a Mmililudc to those of tlie quadruped as 
of the bird creation. It may be considered, therefore, as an animal 
made to fill up that chasm in nature which separates one class of 
beings from another. 

The ostrich is the largest of all birds. Travellers affirm that they 
are seen as tall as a man on horseback ; and even some of those 
that have been brought into England were above seven feel high- 
The head and bill somewhat resemble those of a duck ; and ihe neck 
may be likened to that of a swan, but that it is much longer ; the 
legs and thighs resemble those of a hen ; though the whole appear- 
ance bi^rs a strong resemblance to that of a camel. Dut to be more 
particular : it is usually seven feet high from the top of the head to 
the ground ; but from the back it is only four : so that the head and 
neck are above three feel Itmg. From the top of the head to the 
rump, when the neck is stretched out in a right line, it is sis feet 
long, and the tail is about a foot more. Otie of the wings, without 
the feathers, is a foot and a half; and being stretched out with the 
feathers, is three feet. 

The plumage is much alike in all ; that is, generally black and 
white, though some of them are said to be grey. The greatest feathers 
are at the extremities of the wings and tail, and the largest are gene- 
rally white. The next row is black and white ; end of the small 
feathers on the back and belly, some ore while and others black. 
There are no feathers on the sides, nor yet on the thighs, nor under 
the wings. The lower part of the neck, about half way, is covered 
with still smaller feathers than tliose on the belly and back ; and 
those, like the former, also are of different colours. 

All tliese fealhersareof the same kind, and peculiar to the ostrich ; 
for other birds have several sorts, some of which are soft and downy, 
and others hard and strong. Ostrich feathers are almost all as soil as 
down, being utterly unfit to serve ihe animal for flying, and still less 
adapted to be a properdefence againiit c.\Lenial injury. The feaihcrs 
of other birds have the webs breriHcr on c:ic sido than the other, but 



those of the ostrich have theirshaft exactly in ihe middle. The upper 
part of the head and neck are covered wiih a very fine dear white 
liair, that shines Mb e the bristles of a hog ; and in some placet there 
are small tufls of it, consisting of above twelve hairs, which grow 
from a single shad about the tliickneas ofa pin. 

At the end of each wing there is a kind of spur almost like the 
quill of a porcupine. It is an inch long, being hollow and of a homy 
substance. There are two of these on each wing, the largest of 
which is at the exlremity of the bone of the wing, and the other a 
foot lower. The neck seems to be more slender in proportion to 
that of other birds, from its not being furnished with feathers. The 
skin in this port is of a livid flesh colour, which some improperly 
would have to be blue. The bill is shortand pointed, and two inches 
and a half at the beginning. The external fwm of the eye is like 
that of a man, the upper eye-lid being adorned with eyelashes, 
which are longer than those on the lid below. The tongue is small, 
very short, and composed of cartilages, ligaments, and membranes, 
intermixed with fleshy fibres. In Bome it is about an inch long, and 
very thick at the bottom. In others it is but half an inch, being a 
httle forked at the end. 

The thighs are very fleshy and large, being covered with a white 
skin, inclining to redness, and wrinkled in the manner of a net, whose 
meshes will admit tile end of a finger. Some have very small feathers 
here and there on the thighs ; and others again have neither feathers 
nor wrinkles. What are called the legs of birds, in this are covered 
before with large scales. The end of the foot is cloven, and has two 
very large toes, which, like the leg, are covered with scales. These 
toes are of unequal sizes. The largest, which is on the inside, is 
seven inches long, including the claw, which is near three fourths of 
an inch in length, and almost as broad. The other toe is but four 
inches long, and is without a claw. 

Theinternal parts of this animal are formed with no less surprising 
peculiarity. At the top of tho breast, under the skin, the fat is two 
inches thick, and on (he fore part of the belly it is as hard as suel, 
and about two inches and a half thick in some places. It has two 
distinct stomachs. The flrst, which is lowermost, in its natural 
situation somewhat resembles the crop in otlicr birds ; but it is con- 
siderably larger than the other stomach, and is furnished with strong 
muscular fibres, as well circular as longitudinal. The second stomach, 
or gizzard, has outwardly the shape of the stomach of a man ; and 
upon opening is always foimd filled with a variety of discordant 
substances — hay, grass, barley beans, bones, and stones, some of 
which exceed in size a pullet's egg. The kidneys are eight inches 
long and two broad, and differ from those of other birds in not being 
divided into lobe«. The heart and lungs are separated by a midrifr, 
as in quadrupeds ; and the parts of generation also bear a very 
strong resemblance and analogy. 
~ 'i Such is the Blructure of this animal, forming the shade that unites 
's and quadrupeds; and from this structure its habitx and man- 




Kero axe entirely peculiar. It is a native only of the torrid regicm 
of Africa, and has long been celebrated by those who have had 
occasion to mention the animals of that region. lis llesh is proseribedj 
in Scripture as un6t to be eaten ; and nicut of the a * 
describe it as well known in tlieir times. Like the race of the e 
phant, it is transmitted down without mixture, and has never b 
known to breed out of tiiftt country which lirst produced it. ft 
formed to live among the sandy and burning deserts of the 
zone; BndaslnsomeffleaBureitowesilatHrlh to their genial influenu 
so it seldom migrates bto tracts more mild or more fertile. 
is the peculiar country of the elephant, the rhinoceros, and camet,i 
it may readily be supposed capable of sfTording a retreat to ( 
ostrich. They inhabit fVom preference the most solitary and hor 
deserts, where there are few vegetables to clothe the surface of It 
earth, and where the rain never comes to refresh it. The Ars 
assert that the ostrich never drinks, and the place of its habitatit 
seems to conlirm the assertion. In these furmidable regions, a 
are seen in large flocks, which la [he distant spectator appear liln 
regiment of cavalry, and liave ol^n alarmed a whole caravM 
There is no desert, how barren soever, but what is capable of a 
plying these animals with provision ; they eat almost every tbitij 
and these barren tracts are IIjus doubly grateful, as they atTord b 
food and security. The ostrich is of all other animals the n 
voracious. It will devour leather, glass, hair, iron, stones, or a: 
thing that is given, Nor are its powers of digestioc 
things as are digestible. Those substances which the coats of d 
stomach cannot soften, pass whole; so that ^lAss, stones, or i 
arc excluded in the form in which they were devoureH All metai 
indeed, which are swallowed bj* any animal, Ir rt of tJ 

weight, and ol\en tlic ezlremitie* of their figure, "' '' action^ 
the juices of the stomach upon tlieir surface. A ijuarler pistql 
whieh was swallowed by a duck, lost seven grains of its Weight i 
the gizzard before it was voided; and it is probable that a i~' 
greater diminution of weight would happen in the stomach of 
ostrich: considered in this light, therefore, this animal may be t 
to digest iron; but such substances seldom remain long enough I 
the stomach of any animal to undergo so tedious a dtssoluthil 
However this be, the ostrich swallows almost every thing presenM 
to It. Whether this be from the necessity which smaller birds a 
under, of picking up gravel to keep the coals of their stomach a 
der, or whether it be from a want of distinguishing by the taste v 
substances are fit and what incapable of digestion, certain it is, I 
in the ostrich dissected by Ranby there appeared such a quantity H 
heterogeneous substances, that it was wonderful how any a 
could digest sucli an uverchargo of nourishment. Valisnii 
found the iirsl stomach lillcd with a quantity of incongruous si 
ces ; grass, nuts, cords, stones, glass, brass, copper, iron, tin, lej 
and wiiud ; a piece ef stone was found among the rest that w 
more than a pound. He saw one of these anitnals, that was kTU 


by devouring n quantity of quicklime. It would seem ihnt the ostricli 
is obliged to HII up the great capacity of its stomacN'ih order to be 
St ease;^ut that nutritious substances not occut^tif^, it pours in 
whatever offers to supply the void. 

In their native deserta, however, it is probable they live chiefly 
upon vegetables, where they lead an inoffensive and social life ; the 
male, as Thevenot assures us, assorting with the female with connu- 
bial lidelity. They are said to be very much inclined to venery ; 
and the make of the parts in both sexes seems to confirm the report. 
Il is probable also they copulatCi like other birds, by compression ; 
and they lay very large eggs, some of them being above Rvo inches 
in diameter, and weighing above fideen pounds. These eggs have 
a very hard shell, somewhat resembling those of the crocodile, except 
that those of the latter are less and rounder. 

The season for laying depends on the climate where the animal is 
bred. In the northern parts of Africa, this season is about the begin- 
ning of July ; in the south, il is about the latter end of December. 
These birds are very prolific, and lay generally from forty to fifty 
eggs at one clutch, It has been commonly reported that the female 
deposits them in the sand, and, covering them up, leaves them to be 
batched by the beat of the climate, and then permits the young to 
shift for themselves. Very little of this however is true : no bird has 
a stronger affection for her young than the ostrich, nor none watches 
her eggs with greater assiduity. It happens, indeed, in those hot 
climates, that there is lexs necessity for the continual incubation of 
ihe female, and she more frequently leaves her eggs, which are in no 
risk of being chilled by the weather: but though she sometimes for- 
sakes their^^ ^y, she always carefully broods over ihem by night ; 
and Kolb(''>, who has seen great numbers of them at the Cape of 
Good Ho^ie, afiirms that they sit on their eggn like other birds, and 
that the male and female take this office by turns, as he had frequent 
opportunities of observing. Nor is it more trrw what is said of llieir 
forsaking tlieir young after they are excluded the shell. On the 
contrary, the young ones are not even able to walk for several days 
after they are hatched. During this time the old ones are very assi- 
duous in supplying Ihem with grass, and very careful to defend them 
from danger ; nay, they encounter every danger in their defence. 
It was a way of taking them among the ancients, to plant a number 
of sharp stakes round the ostrich's nest in her absence, upon which 
she pierced herself at her return. The young, when brought forth, 
are of an ash colour the first year, and are covered with feathers all 
over. But in time these feathers drop, and those parts which are 
covered assume a different and more becoming plumage. 

The beauty of a part of this plumage, particularly the long feathers 
that compose the wings and tail, is the i^ief reason that inan has 
been so active in pursuing this harmless bird to its deserts, and hunt' 
ing it with no small degree of expense and labour. The uucients 
used these plumes in their helmets ; the ladies of the East make them 
an ornament in their dress ; and among us, our undertakers and our 


■B too 


fine gentlemea still make use ofthera to decorate ibeir heanes and 
their hat«. Xt|W leathers which are plucked from the animal while 
alive are iDuct|,)fipre valued than those taken when dead^^he latter 
being drji light, and subject to be worm-^aten. 

Besides the value of their plumage, some of the savage naltoDS of 
Africa hunt them also for their ilesh, which the; consider as a dainty. 
They sometimes also breed these birds tame, to eat the young ones, 
of which ihe female is said to be the greatest delicacy. Some nations 
have obtained the name of Strulkophagi, or oalrich eaters, from their 
peculiar fondncBs for this food ; and even the Romans themselves 
were not averse to it. Apiciua gives us a receipt for making sauce 
for the ostrich; and Heliogabalus is noted for having dre»ed the 
brains of six hundred ostriches in one disli; for it was his custom 
never to eat but of one dish in a day, but that was an expensive 
one. Even among the Europeans now, the eggs of the ostrich are 
said to be well tasted, and extremely nourishing ; but they are too 
scarce to be fed upon, although a single egg be a sufficient 
tninment for eight men. 

As the spoils of the oslricli are thus valuable, it is not to bi 
dered at that man has become their most assiduous pursuer. 
this purpose the Arabians train up their best and fleetest horses, 
hunt the ostrich still in view. Perhaps of all other varieties of the 
chase, this, though the most laborious, is yet the most entertaining. 
'As soon as the hunter comes within sight of his prey, he puts on hit 
horse with a gentle gallop, so as lu keep the ostrich still in sight, yet 
not so as to terrify him from the plain into the mountains. Of ail 
known animals that make use of their legs in running, Ihe ostrid) is 
by far the swiftest; upon observing himself therefore pursued at a 
distance, he begins to run at first but gently, either insensible of his 
danger, or sure of escaping. In this situation he somewhat resem- 
bles a man at full speed ; his wings, like two arms, keep working 
with a motion correspondent to that of his legs ; and his speed wou|d 
very soon snatch lum from the view of his pursuers, but, unfor- 
tunately for the silly creature, instead of going offin a direct line, 
he takes his course in circles ; while the hunters still make a small 
course within, relieve each other, meet bim at unexpected turns, and 
keep him thus still employed, still followed, fur two or three days 
together. At last, spent with fatigue and lainine, and dnding all 
power of escape impossible, he endeavours to hide himself from thoae 
enemies he cannot avoid, and covers his head in the sand, or thetirst 
thicket he meets. Sometimes, however, he attempts to face his pur- 
suers; and, though in general the most gentle animal in nature, 
^^^ when driven to desperation, he defends himself with his beak, 
^^L wings, and his feet. Such is the force of his motion, that 
^^B would be utterly unable to withstand him in the shock. 
^^1 The Struthophagi have another method of taking this bird 

^^H cover themselves with an ostrich's skin, and passing up a, 
^^1 through the neck, thus counterfeit all the motions of this animal. 
^^^L this artilice they approach the ostrich, which becomes an easy prej 



also taken by dogs and nets; but the moil usual 
way is that mentioned above, 

Wherf the Arabians have thus taken an ostrich, ihey cut iu throat, 
and making a ligature below the opening, they shako the bird, as 
one would rinse a barrel ; then taking off the ligature, there runs 
out from the wotmd in the throat a considerable quantity of blood, 
mixed with the fat of the animal, and this is considered as one of the 
greatest dainties. They nejl flay the bird ; and of the skin, which 
is strong and thick, sometimes make a kind of veat, which answers 
the purposes of a cuirass and a buckler. 

There are others who, more compassionate or more provident, do 
not kill their captive, but enileavour to tame it, for the purpose of 
supplying those f^ath^ which are in bo great request. The inha- 
faitanti of Dara ahd Libya breed up whole flocks of them, and the; 
are tamed with very little trouble. But it is not for their feathers 
alone that they are prized in this domestic state; they are often 
ridden upon, and used as horses. Moore assures us, that at Joar he 
saw a man travelling upon an oxtrich ; and Adnnson asserts, that at 
the factory of Podore, he had two which were then young, the 
strongest, of which ran swifter than the bast English racer, although 
he carried two Negroes on his back. As soon as the animal per- 
ceived that it was thus loaded, it set off running with all its force, 
and made several circuits round the village, till at length the people 
w*re obliged to stop it by barring up the way. How far this strength 
and swiftness may be useful to mankind, even in -a polished state, 
is a matter that perhaps deserves inquiry. Posterity may avail 
themselves of this creature's abilities; and riding upon an ostrich 
may one day become the favourite, as it most certainly i> the 
swiftest mode of conveyance. 

The parts of this animal are said to be convertible to many salu- 
tary purposes in medicine. The fat is said to be emollient and 
relaxing; that while it relaxes the tendons, it fortiRes the nervous 
system ; and being applied to the region of the loins, it abates the 
pains of the atone in the kidneys. The shell of the egg powdered, 
and given in proper quantities, is said to bo useful in promoting 
urine, and dissolving the stone in the bladder. The substance of the 
egg itself is thought to be peculiarly nourishing; however, Galen, 
in mentioning this asserts, that the eggs of hens and pheasants are 
go4x] to be eaten ; those of geese and ostriches are the worst of all. 


THli BMU. 

Of this bird, wlucli many call the American Ostrich,but little n cer. 
tatnly known. It is an inhabilant of the New Continent; and the tra- 
vellers who have mentioned it seem to have been more solicitous in 
proving its affinity to the ostrich, than in describing those peculiari- 
ties which distinguish it from all others of the feathered creation. 

It is chiefly found in Guiana, along the banks of the Oroonoko, in 
the inland provlaces of Brasil and Chili, and the vast forests that 
border on the mouth of the river Plata. Many other parts of South 
Amcriea w^re known to liave them ; but as meu multiplied, these 
large and timorous birda either fell beneath their superior power, or 
fled from their vicinity. 

The Emu, though not so large as the ostrich, is only second to it 
in magnitude. It ia by much the largest bird in the NewConlinent; 
and i) generally found lo be six feet high, measuring from iu head 
to the ground, lis legs are three feet long; and its thigh is near as 
thick BK that of a man. The toes differ from those of the ostrich; 
as there are three in the American bird, and but two in the former. 
Its neck is long, its head small, and the bill flatted, like that of the 
ostrich ; but, in all other respects, it more resembles a cassowary, a 
large bird to be described hereafter. The form of the body appears 
round, the wings are short, and unfitted for flying, and it entirely 
wants a tail. It is covered from the back and rump with long 
feathers, which fall backward, and cover the anus ; these feathers 
are grey upon the back, and white on the belly. It goes very 
swiftly, and seems assisted in its motion by a kind of tubercle be- 
hind, like a heel, upon which, on plain ground, it treads very 
Hecurely : in its course it uses a very odd kind of action, lifling up 
one wing, which it keeps elevated for a lime, till, letting it drop, it 
litis up the other. What the bird's intention may be in thus keep- 
ing only one wing up, is not easy to discover ; whether it makes use 
of this as a sail to catch the wind, or whether as a rudder to turn its 
course, in order to avoid the arrows of the Indians, yet remains to 
be ascertained : however this be, the emu runs with such swidness 
that the fleetest dogs are thrown out in the pursuit. One of (hem, 
finding itself surrounded by the hunters, darted among the dogs with 
such fury that they made way lo avoid its rage, and it escaped by 
its amazing velocity, in safety to the mountains. 

As this bird is but little known, so travellers have given a loose lo 
iheir imaginations in describing some of its actions, which they were 
conscious could not. be easily contradicted. This animal, says 
Nierenberg, is very peculiar in the hatching of its young. The male 
compels twenty or thirty of the females to lay their eggs in one nest ; 
be then, when Ihey have done laying, chases them away, and places 
himself upon ibe eggs ; however, lie lakes the singular precaution 


of laying two of the number aside, which he does not sit upon. When 
the young ones come forth, these two eggs are addled ; which the 
male having foreseen, breaks one and then the other, upon which 
muUitudes of flies are fonnd to settle ; and these supply the young 
brood with a sulBciency of provisions till they are able to sbifl for 

On the other hand. Wafer asserts, that he has seen great quan- 
tilies of this animal's eggs on the desert shores, nortli of the river 
Plata, where they were buried in the sand, in order to be hatched by 
the heat of the climate. Both this, as well as the preceding account, 
may be doubted ; and it is more probable that il was the crocodile's 
eggs which Wafer had seen, which are undoubtedly hatched in that 

When the young ones are hatched, they are familiar, and follow 
the first person they meet. I have been followed myself, says Wafer, 
by many of these yoimg ostriches, which at first are estremely harm- 
Igm and simple ; but as they grow older, tliey become more cunning 
and distrustful, and run so swill that a greyhound can scarcely over- 
lake them. Their flesh, in general is good to be eaten, especially 
if they be youn^. It would be no difficult matter to rear up flocks 
of these animals tame, particularly as they are naturally so familiar; 
and they might be found to answer domestic purposes, like the hen 
w the turkey. Their maintenance could not be espensive, if, aa 
Narborough says, they live entirely upon grass. 




T^MSOwary is a bird which was flnt brought into Europe by 
the Dutch, from Java, in the East Indies, in which part of the world 
it is only to be found. Next to the preceding, it is the largest and 
heaviest of the feathered species. 

The cassowary, though not so large as the former, yet appears 
more bulky to the eye; its body being nearly equal, and its neck 
and legs much thicker and stronger in proportion : this conformation 
gives it an air of strength and force, which the fierceness and singu- 
larity of its countenance conspire to render formidable. It is Ave 
feet and a half long, from the point of the bill to the extremity of the 
claws. The legs are two feet and a half high, from the belly to the 
end of the claws. The head and neck together are a foot and a 
half; and the largest toe, including the claw, is five inches long. The 
claw alone of the least toe is three inches and a half in length. The 
wing is so small that it does not appear; it being hid under the 
feathers of the back. In other birds, a part of the feathers serve for 
flight, and are different from those that serve merely for covning; 
but in the cassowary, all the feathers are of the same kind, and out- 





wanRjorUMume colour. They aru generally donWe ; having two 
long-shafts, which grow out of & short one, which ia fixed. in theikin, 
Those that are double are always of an unequal length ; for mdh 
are fourteen inches long, particularly on the rump, while olhers are 
not above three. The beards that adorn tlie Bteni or shaft arc, from 
about half way to the end, very long, and as thick as a horse-hair, 
iviihout being subdivided into fibres. The item or shaA is Hal, 
shining-, black, and knotted below, and from each knot there pro- 
ceeds a beard; likewise the beards at (he end of the large feathen 
are perfectly black, and towards the root of a grey tawny colour; 
shorter, more soft, and throwing out tine fibres, like ,down ; so that 
nothing appears except the ends, which are hard and black, because 
the oll)er part, composed of down, is quite covered. There are 
feathers on the head and neck, but they are so short and thinly sown, 
thai the bird's skin appears naked, except towards the binder part of 
the head, where tliey are a little longer. The feathers which adorn 
the rump arc extremely thick, but do not differ in other respects from 
the rest, excepting thnr being longer. The wings, when they are 
deprived of their feathers, are but three inches long, and the feathers 
are like tliose on Other parts of the body. The ends of the wings 
are adorned with five prickles of different lengths and thickness, 
which bend like a bow : these are hoHow from the roots to the very 
points, having only that slight substance within, which all quills are 
known to have. The longest of these prickles is eleven inches ; and 
it is a quarter of an inch in diameter at the root, being thicker there 
than towards the extremity ; thepetnt aeemftfaroken off. 

The part, however, which most distinguishes this animal is the 
head; this, though small like that of an ostrich, does not fail to 
inspire some degree of terror. It is bare of feathers, and is in a 
manner armed witli a heUnet of horny substance, that covers it from 
the root of the bill to near half the head backwards. This helmet is 
black before and yellow behind. Its substance is very hard, being 
formed by the elevation of the bone of the skull ; and it consisla of 
several plates, one over another, like the horn of an ox. Some have 
supposed that this was shed every year with the feathers; but the 
most probable opinion is, that it only exfoliates slowly like the beak. 
To the peculiar oddity of this natural armour may be added the 
colour of the eye in this animal, which is a bright yellow, and the 
globe being above an inch and a half in diameter, gives it aa air 
equally fierce and extraordinary. At the bottom of the upper eye- 
lid there is a row of small hairs, over which there is another row of 
black hair, which looks pretty much like an eje-brow. The lower 
eye-lkl, which is the largest of the two, is furnished also with plenty 
of black hair. The hole of the ear is very large and open, being 
only covered with small black feathers. The sides of the bead, 
about the eye and ear, being destitute of any covering, are blue, 
except the middle of the lower eye-lid, which is wUite. The part of 
the bill which answers to the upper jaw in other animals, is very hard 
t the edges above, and the extremity of it like that of a turkey-cock. 


The end of the lower mandible i.^ stighlljr notched ; and the M^iole 
H of a greyish-brown, except a green spot on each side. As the 
beak admits a very wide opening, this contribales not a little to the 
btrd'g menacing Appearance. The neok is of a tiolet colour, in- 
clining to tliat of iiate; and it is red behind in several plncei, but 
ditelly in the middle. About the middle of the neck before, at tlie 
EiBe of the larga feathers, there are twoprocesici formed by ihegkin, 
*4iid) resemble somewhat the gitis of a cock, bnt that they are blue, 
n well as red. The ikin which covers the fore part of the breast, 
ea which this bird leans and rests, is hard, callous, and without 
fektbers. The thighs and legs are covered with feathers, and are 
wciremely thick, atrong, straight, and covered with scales of several 
■faftpes; but the legs are thicker a little above the foot than in any 
other place. The toos are likewise covered with scales, and are but 
three in number t for that which should bo behind is wanting. The 
cbwa are of a hard solid nuhstance, black without, and white within. 
The internal parts are equally remarkable. The cassowary unites, 
with the dnuble stomach of animals that live upon vegetables, the 
short intestines of those that live upon flesh. The intestines of the 
cas-sowary are lliirteen times shorter than those of the ostrich. The 
heart is very small, being but an inch and a half long, and an inch 
broad at the base. Upon the whole, it has the head of a warrior, 
the eye of a lion, the defence of a porcupine, and the swilXness of b 

Thus formed for a life of hostility, for terrifying others, and for 
its own defence, it might be expected that the cassowary was one of 
the most fierce and terrible animals of the creation. But nothing is 
so opposite to its natural chnrncter, nothing so different from the life 
it is contented to lead. It never attacks others ; and Instead of the 
bill, when attacked, it rather makes use of its legs, and kicks like a 
horse, or runs against its pursuer, beats him down, and treads him to 
the ground. 

The manner of going of this animal is not less extraordinary than 
its appearance. Instead of going directly forward, it seems to kick 
up behind with one leg, and then making a bound onward with the 
other, it goes wilh sucli prodigious velocity that the swiftest racer 
would be led far behind. 

The same degree of voraciousness which we perceive in the 
ostrich, obtains as strongly here. The cassowary swallows every 
thing that comes within the capacity of its gullet. The Dutch aasert 
that it can devour not only glass, iron, and stones, but even live 
and burning coals, without testifying the smallest fear, or feeling 
the feast injury. It is said that the passage of the food through its 
gullet is performed so speedily, that even the very eggs which it has 
swallowed whole pass through it unbroken, in the same form they 
went down. In fact, the alimentary canal of this animal, as was 
observed above, is extremely short ; and it may happen that many 
kinds of food are indigestible in its stomach, as wheat or currants 
are lo man, when swallowed whole. 





Tbe caisoffary's eggs are of a grey ash colour, inclining lo grM 
They are nolso large nor so round as Uiose of the ostrich. Tbeyn 
marked with a number of liltle lubercies of a deep green, and f 
shell is nol very thick. The largest of iheae is found to be fifh 
inches round one way, and about twelve the other. 

The southern parts of the most eaHtern Indies ieem to be the 
natural climate of the cassowary. His domain, if we may no call it, 
begins where that of the oslrich terminates. The latter tias never 
been found beyond the Ganges, while the cassowary ts never seen 
nearer than the Islands of Banda, Sumatra, Java, the Molucca 
Islands, and the corresponding parts of the continent. Yet even 
here this animal seems not to have multiplied in any considerable 
degree, as we lind one of the kings of Java making a present of one 
of these birds to the captain of a Dutch ship, considering it hs r very 
great rarity. Tlie ostrich, that has kept in the dmert and unpeopled 
regions of Africa, is sull numerous, and the uivivallad tenant of iu 
own inhospitable climate ; but the cassowary, that is the inhabilant 
of a more peopled and polished region, is growing scarcer every day. 
It is thus that in proportion as man multiplies, all the savage and 
noxious animals fly before him : at his approach they quit their 
ancient habitations, how adapted soever they may be to their 
natures, and seek a more peaceable tliough barren retreat; where 
they willingly exchange plenty for freedom, and encounter all the 
dangers of famine, lo avoid the oppressions of au unrelenting de- 




^L de 
^H pe 

Mavkikd have generally made swiftness the attribute of birds; 
but the Dodo has no title to this distinction. Instead of exciting the 
idea of swidness by its appearance, it seems to strike the imagination 
as a thing the most unwieldy and inactive of all nature. Its bod 
is massive, almost round, and covered with grey feathers; 
barely supported upon two short thick legs, like pillars, while ^ 
head and neck rise from it in a manner truly grotesque. The d 
thick and pursy, is joined to the head, which consists of two g 
chaps, that open far behind the eyes, which are large, black, i 
prominent ; so that the animal when it gapes seems to be all mov 
The bill therefore is of an extraordinary length, not flat and bro 
but thick, and of a bluish-wbile, sharp at the end, and each chap 
crooked in opposite directions. They resemble two pointed spoons 
that are bid together by the backs. From all this resulu a siiipid 
and voracious physiognomy ; whicli is still more increased by a bor- 
dering of feathers round the root of the beak, which gives the ap- 
pearance of a houd or cuwl, and finishes this picture of stupid 


deformity. Bulk, wliich id oiliur nmmals implies Mrungth, in tliis 
only contributes to iimclivity. The ostrich, or tlie cassowary, are 
no more able to By than the animal berore us; but then tliey supply 
that defect by their speed in running. The dodo seems weighed 
down by its own heaviness, and has scarcely strength to urge itaelf 
forward. It seems among birds what the sloth is among (juadrupeds, 
ao unresisting thing, equally incapable of flight or defence. It is 
furnished with wings, covered with sod ash-coloiired feathers, but 
they are too short to assist it in flying. It is furuished with a tail, 
with a few small curled feathers; but this tail is disproportioned and 
displaced. Its legs are too short for running, and its body loo fat 
to be strong. One would lake it for a tortoise that had supplied 
itself with the feathers of a bird ; and, that, thus dressed out with the 
uiRtruments of flight, it was only still the more unwieldy. 

This bird is a native of the Isle of France; and the Dulch, who 
first discovered it there, called it in their language the nauseous bird, 
aa well from its disgusting ligurc, as from the bad taste of its flesh. 
However, succeedingobservera contradict this first report, and assert 
that its flesh is good and wholesome eating. It is a silly simple 
Wrd, as may very well be supposed from its figure, and is very 
easily taken. Three or four dudos are enough to dine a hundred 

Whether the dodo be llio same bird with that which some travel- 
lers have described under the Bird of Nazareth, yet remains tm- 
certain. The country from whence they both came is the same; 
their incapacity of flying is the same ; the form of the wings and 
body in both are similar; but the chief diiferenco given is in the 
colour of the feathers, which in the female of the bird of Nazareth 
are said to be extremely beautiful ; anil in tlie length of their legs, 
which in the dodo are short, in the other are described as long. Time 
and future observation must clear up these doubts; and the testi- 
mony of a single witness, who shall hare seen both, will throw more 
light OQ the subject than the reasonings of a hundred philosophers. 



There seems to obtam a general resemblance in all the classes 
of nature. Aa among quadrupeds, a part were seen to live upon the 
vegetable productions of the earth, and another part upon the flesh 
of each other; so among birds, some live upon vegetable food, and 
ethers by rapine, destroying all such as want force or swiftness to 
procure their safety. By thus peopling the woods with aaimala of 
different dispositions, nature has wisely provided for the multipli- 
cation of life; since, could we suppose that there were as many 
animals produced as there were vegetables supplied to sustain them. 



240 HISTORY or 

yel Iheie migtii Htill be nnuther class of animnts rormed, which could 
find a sufficient auslennnce by feeding opon such of ihe vegetabfe 
/bedera as happened to Tall by the course of nature. By ihia con- 
trivance, a greater number will bo sustained upon the whole ; for 
the numbers would be but very thin, were every creature a candidate 
for the same food. Thus by supplying a variety of appetites, nature 
has also multiplied life in her productions. 

In thus varying their appetites, nature has also varied the form of 
the animal ; and while she has given some an instinctive pnssiun for 
animal food, she has also furnished them with poivers to obtain it- 
Ail land birds of the rapacious kinds are furnished with a large head, 
and a Strong crooked beak, notclied at the end, for the purpose oF 
tearing their prey. They have strong short legs and sharp croaked 
talons for the purpose of seizing it. Their bodies are formed for 
War, being fibrous and muscnlar; and their wings for swiftness of 
fiig hi, being well feathered and expansive. The sight of such as 
prey by day is astonishingly quick ; and such as ravage by night, 
have their sight so fitted as to see objects in darkness with extreme 

Their internal parts arc equally formed for the food they seek 
for. Their stomach is simple and membranous, and wrapped in fat 
to increase the powers of digestion ; and their intestines are short and 
glandular. As their food is succulent and juicy, they want no length 
of intestinal tube to form it into proper nourishment. Their food is 
flesh, which does not require a slow digestion to be converted into a 
Similitude of substance to their own. 

Thus formed (br war, they lead a life of solitude and rapacity. 
They inhabit, by choice, the moat lonely plates, and the most desert 
mountains. They make their nests in the clefts of rocks, and on the 
highest and most inaccessible trees of the forest. Whenever they 
appear in the cultivated plain, or the \Varbling grove, it is only for 
the purposes of depredation, and are gloomy intruders on the general 
joy of the landscape. They spread terror wherever they approach ; 
all that variety of music, which but a moment before enlivened the 
grove, at their appearing is instantly at an end ; every order of 
lesser birds seek for safety, either by concealment or flight; and 
some are even driven to take protection with man, to avoid their less 
merciful pursuers. 

Tt would indeed be fatal to all the smaller race of birds, if, as they 
are weaker than all, they were also pursued by all ; but it is con- 
trived wisely for their safely, that every order of carnivorous birds 
seek only for such as are of the size most approaching their own. 
The eagle flies at the bustard or the pheasant ; the sparrow.hawk 
pursues the thru.ih and the linnet. Nature has provided that ea(4i 
species should make war only on such as are furnished with adequate 
meaDs of escape. The smallest birds avoid their pursuers by the 
extreme agility, rather than the swiftncsS of their flight ; for every 
order would soon ba at on end, if the oagje, lo its own swiflneN of 
wing, added the versalilily of the sparrow. 


Another circumstance which tends tu render the tjranny of d 
animata more supporlsblc is, that they are less fruitful than otiier 
birds, breeding but few at a time. Those of the larger kind seldom 
produce above four eggs, olten but two; those of the smaller kiodi;, 
never above six or seven. The pigeon, it is true, which is their prey, 
never breeds above two at a time ; but then she breeds every month 
in the year. The carnivorous kinds only breed anuually, and of 
consequence, their fecundity is small in comparison. 

As they are tierce by nature, and are difficult to be taniec), sothis 
fierceness extends even lo their young, which they force frum the 
nert sooner tliau birds of the gentler kind, Otiier birds seldom for- 
sake their young till able, completely, lo provide for themselves ; 
the rapacious kinds expel them from the nest at a time when they 
still should protect and support them. This severity to their young 
proceeds from the necessity of providing for themselves. All ani- 
mals tlial, by the conformation of their stomach and tnlesiinas, are 
obliged lo live upon flesh, and support themselves by prey, though 
they may be m^ld when young, soon become fierce and mischievnus 
by the very habit of using those arms with which they are supplied 
by nature. As it ia only by the destruction of other animals thai 
they can subsist, (hey become more furious every day ; and even the 
parental feelings are overpowered in their general habits uf cruelly. 
If the power of obtaining a supply be difficult, the old ones soon 
drive their brood from the nest to sliift for themselves, and often de- 
stroy them in a fit of fury caused by hunger. 

Another effect of this natural and acquired severity is, that almoA 
all birds of prey are unsociable. It has long been observed by 
Aristotle, that all birds with crooked beaks and talons aresolitsry: 
like quadrupeds of the cat kind, they lead a lonely wandering life, 
and are united only in pairs, by that instinct which overpowers their 
rapacious habits of enmity will) all other animals. As the male and 
female are often necessary to each other in thetr pursuits, so they 
aometimes live together, but, except at certain seasons, they most 
usually prowl alone, and, like robbers, enjoy in solitude the fruits of 
their plunder. 

All birds of prey are remarkable for one singularity, fur which it 
is not easy to account. All the males of these birds are about a 
third less, and weaker than the females ; contrary lo what obtains 
among quadrupeds, among whicli the males are always the largest 
and the boldest : from thence the male is called by falconers, a 
tercel; that is, a tierce or third less than the other. The reason of 
this diRerenoe cannot proceed from the necessity of a larger body in 
the female for the purposes of breeding, and that her volume is thus 
increased by the quantity of her eggs ; for in other birds, that breed 
much faster, and that lay in much greater proportion, such as the 
hen, the duck, or the pheasant, the male is by much the latest of 
the two. Whatever be the cause, certain it is that the females, as 
Willougbby expresses i(, are of greater size, more beautiful and 
lovely for shape and colours, stronger, more fierce and generous than 



the males; whether it may b 


8 neceMnry for the femalfill 

:iimbent upon her to provide, 
hereeir, but her young ones also. 

These birds, like ({iiadrupedB of the carnivoroux kind, are all lean 
and meagre. Their flenh la stringy and ill tasted, soon corrupting, 
and tinctured with the flavour of that animal food upon which ihey 
subsist. Nevertheless, Belonius asserts, that many people admire 
the flesh of the vulture and falcon, and dress tbetn for eating, when 
they meet with any accident that unfits them for the chase. He 
asserts that the oaprey, a species of Uie eagle, when young, is ex- 
cellent food; but he contents faimselfwiih advising us, to breed these 
birds up Tor our pleasure rather in the field than for the table. 

Of land birds of a rapacious nature, there are five kinds. The 
iagle kind, the hawk kind, the vulture kind, the homed, and the 
^screech owl kind. The distinctive marks of this class are taken from 
their claws and beak : their toes are separated ; their legs are 
feathered to the heel ; their toes are four in number, three before, 
one behind; their beak is short, thick, and crooked. 

The eagle kind is distinguished from the rcstby his beak, which 
a straight, till towards the end, when it begins to hook downwards. 

The vulture kind is distinguished by the head and neck ; hej) 
without feathers. 

The hawk kind by the beak ; being hooked from the very rooL 

The horned owl by the feathers at the base of the bill standii _^^ 
forwards ; and by some feathers on the head, that stand out, resem*^ 
J>ltog horns, 

The screech owl by the feathers at tlie base of the bill standing 
forward, and being without horns. A description of one in each kind 
will serve for all the rest. 





The Golden Eagle is tlie largest and the noblest of all those birds 
that have received the name of Eagle. It weighs above twelve 
pounds. Its length is three feet; the estent of its wiugs seven feet 
four inches; the bill is three inches long, and of a deep blue colour; 
and the eye of a hazel colour. The sight and sense of smelling are 
very acute. The head and neck are clothed with narrow sharp 
painted feathers, and of a deep brown colour, bordered with tawny ; 
but those on the crown of the head, in very old birds, turn grey. 
The whole body, above as well as beneath, is of a dark brown, and 
the feathers of the buck are finely clouded with a deeper shade of the 
same. The wings when clothed reach to the end of the tail. Tte 
quill feathers are of a chocolate colour, the shales while. The Uil^! 
of a deep brown, irregularly barred and blotched wiili an obsci 

IMF — 



ash colour, and usually while at the roots of the feathers. The legs 
are yellow, short, and very strong', being three inches in circum- 
ference, and feathered to the very feet. The toes are covered with 
large scales, and armed with the most formidable claws, the middle 
of which are two inches long. 

In the rear of tliis terrible bird follow the ring-tailed eagle, the 
comtaim eagle, the bald eagle, the while eagle, the rottgh-fooled 
eagle, the eme, the black eagle, the osprey, the tea eagle, and the 
croumed eagle. These, and otliers that might be added, form dif- 
ferent shades in this lierce family ; but have all the same rapacity, 
the same general form, the same habits, and the same manner of 
bringing up their young. 

In general, these birds are found in mountainous and ill-peopled 
countries, and breed among the loftiest cliUk. They choose those 
places which are remotest from man, upon whoso possessions they 
but seldom make their depredations, being contented ratlier to follow 
the wild game in the forest, than to risk their safety to satisfy their 

This fierce animal may be considered among birds as the lion 
among quadrupeds; and in many respects they have a strong simi- 
litude to each other. They are both possessed of force, and an 
empire over their fellows of the forest. Equally magnanimous, they 
disdain smaller plunder, and only pursue animals worthy the con- 
quest. It is not till after having been long provoked by the crlei 
of the rook or the magpie, that this generous bird thinks fit to punisli 
them with death ; the esgle also disdains to share the plunder of 
another bird ; and will take up with no other prey but that which he 
has acquired by his own pursuits. How hungry soever he may bo, 
he never stoops to carrion ; and when satiated, he never returns to 
the same carcass, but leaves it forotheranimals, more rapacious and 
less delicate than he. Solitary, like the lion, ho keeps the desert to 
himself atone; it is as extraordinary to see two pair of eagles In (he 
same mountain, as two lions in the same forest. They keep separate 
to Gnd a more ample supply, and consider the quantity of their 
game as the best proof of their dominion. Nor does the similitude 
of these animals stop here : they have both sparkling eyes, and 
□early of the same colour; their claws are of the same form, their 
breath equally strong, and their cry equally loud and terrifying. 
Bred both for war, they are enemies of all society; alike fierce, 
K proud, and incapable of being easily lamed. It requires great 
l^^tience and much art to lame an eagle; and even though taken 
Hjroung, and brought under by long assiduity, yet still it is a dan- 
(.igerous domestic, and often turns its force against Its master. Wlien 
brought into the field for the purposes of fowling, the falconer Is 
never sure of Its attachment : thai innate pride, and love of liberty, 
still prompt it to regain its native solitudes; and the Riomenl the 
falconer sees it, when let loose, first stoop towards the ground, and 
then rise perpendicularly into the clouds, he gives up all his former 
labour for lost, quite sure of never beholding his late prisoner more. 





Sometimes, liowefer, ihey are brought to have an stUchtnent 
their feeder ; lUey are then highly serviceable, and liberall j prorith' 
Ibr his pleasures and support. When the falconer letti them go 
Ih>i» hix hand, they play about and hovttr round him till their game 
presents, which they see at an immense distance, and pursue with 
certain destraclion. 

Of all animals tlie eagle flies highest; and from thence tlie 
ancients have given him the epithet of the bird of Heaven, Of all 
others also, he has the (quickest eye; but his sense of smelling is 
far inferior to that of the vulture. He never pursues, therefore, but 
ill sight ; and when he has seized his prey, he stoops from his hei^t, 
as if to examine its weight, always laying it on the ground before 
he carries it off. As his wing is very powerful, yet as he has bul 
little suppleness in the joints of the leg, he llnds it difficult to rise 
when down ; however, if not instantly pursued, he finds no difficulty 
in carrying off geese and cranes. He also carries away hares, lambs, 
and kids ; and often destroys fawns and calves, to drink their blood, 
and carries a part of their flesh to his retreat. Infants themselves, 
when left unattended, have been destroyed by these rapacious crea^ 
tures; which probably gave rise to the fable of Ganymede's b^ing 
snatched up by an eagle to heaven. 

An instance is recorded in Scotland of two children being carried 
off by eagles; but fortunately they received no hurt by the way, 
and the eagles being pursued, the children were restored unhurt 'otH 
of the nests to the affrighted parents. 

The eagle is thus at all times a formidable neighbour, but 

cutariy when bringing up its young, (t is then that the female, 

well as the male, exert all their force and industry to supply tb0f^l 
young. Smith, in his History of Kerry, relates, that a poor man ih 
that country got a comfortable subsistence for his family, during « 
summer of famine, out of an eagle's nest, by robbing the eaglets of 
food, which wos plentifully supplied by the old ones. He protracted 
their assiduity beyond the usual lime, by clipping the wings, and 
retarding the flight of the young, and very probably also, as I have 
known myself, by so tying them as to increase their cries, which is 
always found lo increase the parent's dispatch to procure them pro- 
vision. It was lucky, however, that the old eagles did nut surprise 
the countryman as he was thus employed, as their resentment might 
have been dangerous. 

It happened some time ago, in the same country, that a peasant 
resolved to rob the nest of an eagle that had built in a amaU istani) 
in the beautiful lake of Killarney. He accordingly stripped, and 
swam in upon the island while the old ones were away ; and, rebbilig 
the nest of its yoimg, he was preparing to swim baek, with (he 
eaglets tied in a string; but while he was yet up lo his ohin in the 
Water, the old eagles relumed, and missing their young, quiddy (fell 
upon the plunderer, and, in spite of all his resistance, dispatched hitn-i 
with their beaks and talons. 

In order to extirpate these pernicious birds, there is a- law' in 




Orkney-islandii wliicb entitles any person ihat kills an eagle to a 
hen out of every houHeiu ihe parish in which the plunderer is killed 

The neat of the eagle is usually built in the most inaccessible cliff 
of the rock, and oden shielded from the weather by some jutting^ 
crag that hangs over it. Sometimes, however, it is wholly exposed 
to the winds, as well sideways ss above ; for the nest is flat, though 
built with great labour. It is said that the same nest serves the eagle 
during life ; and indeed the pains bestowed in forming it seems to 
argue as much. One uf these was found in the Peak of Derbyshire ; 
which Willoughby ihus describes. " ft was made of great sticks, 
resting one end on the edge of a rock, tlie other on two birch tree.s. 
Upon these was a layer of rushes, and over them a layer of heath, 
and upon the healh rushes ngain ; upon which lay one young one 
and an addle egg, and by them a lamb, a hare, and three heath- 
pouts. The nest was about two yards square, and had no hollow in 
it. Tha young eagle was of the shape of a gosshawk, of almost the 
weight of a goose, rough-footed, or feathered down to the foot, hav- 
ing a white ring about the tail." Such is the place where, the 
female eagle deposits her eggs, which seldom exceed two at a timg 
in the larger species, and not above three in the smallest. It is said 
that she hatches them for thirty days ; but frequently, even of this 
small number of eggs, a part is addled, and it is extremely rare to 
find three eaglets in the same nesL It is asserted, that as soon as 
(he young ones are somewhat grown, the mother kills the most 
feeble or the most voracious. If this happens, it must proceed only 
from ihe necessities of the parent, who is incapable of providing for 
their support, and is content to sacrifice a part to the welfare of all. 

The plumage of the eaglets is not so strongly marked as when 
they come to be adult. They are at first while, then inclining ti 
yellow, and at last of a light brown. Age, hunger, long captivity, 
and diseases, make them whiter. It is said they Uve above a hun- 
dred years; and that they at last die, not of old age, but from the 
beaks turning inward upon the under mondible, and thus preventing 
their taking any food. They are equally remarkable, says Mr. 
Pennant, for their longevity and for Iheir power of sustaining a long 
abstinence from food. One of these species, which has now been 
nine years in the possession of Mr. Owen Holland, of Conway, lived 
thirty- two years with the gentleman who made him a present of it 
but what its age was when the latter received it from Ireland, i 
unknown. The same bird also furnishes a proof of the tralh of the 
other remark ; having once, through the neglect of servants, endured 
hunger for twenty-one days without any sustenance whatever. 

Those eagles which are kept tame are fed with every kind of 
flesh, whether fresh or corrupting ; and when there it a deliciency of 
that, bread or any uther provision will suffice. It is very dangerous 
approaching them if nut quite tame ; and they sometimes send forth 
a loud piercing lamentable cry, which renders Ihem still more for- 
midable. The eagle drinks but seldom; and perhaps, when a* 
iberty, not at all, as ihe blood ofila prey serves to quench ila thirst. 
3fi.— VOL. II. V 



The eagle's excremenls are always sof\ and moist, and tinged with 
that vhitish substance which, as wbb said before, mixes in birds with 
the urine. 

Such are the general characteristics and habitudes of the eagle ; 
however, in some these habitudes differ, as the Sea Eagle and the 
Osprey live chiefly upon fish, and consequently build their nests on 
the sea-shore, and by the sides of rivers, on ihe ground among reeds ; 
and often lay three or four eggs, rather less than those of a hen, of a 
white elliptical form. They catch their prey, which is chiefly lish, 
by darting down upon them from above. The Italians compare the 
violent descent of these birds on their prey (o the fall of lead into 
water, and call them Aquila Piombioa or the Leaden Eagle. 

Nor is the Bald Eagle, which is an inhabitant of North Carolina, 
less remarkable for habits peculiar to itself. These birds breed in 
that country all the year round. When the eaglets are Just covered 
with down, and a sort of white woolly feathers, the leinale eagle 
lays again. These eggs are left to be hatched by the warmth of 
the young ones that continue in the nest ; so that the flight of one 
brood makes room for the next, that are but just hatched. These 
birds fly very heavily ; so that they cannot overtalie their prey, like 
others of the same denomination. To remedy this, they often attend 
t> sort of fishing-hawk, which they pursue, and strip the plunderer of 
its prey. This is the more remarkable, as this hawk flies swifter 
than they. These eagles also generally attend upon fowlers in the 
winter; and when any birds are wounded, they are sure to be seized 
by the eagle, though they may fly from the fowler. This bird will 
ollen also steal young pigs, and carry them alive to the nest, which 
is composed of twigs, sticks, and rubbish : it is large enough to fill 
the body of a cart; and is commonly full of bones half eaten, atid 
putrid flesh, the stench of which is intolerable, 

The distinctive marks of each species are as follow. 

The golden eagle: of a tawny iron colour; the head and neck 
of a reddish iron ; the tail feathers of a dirty white, marked wilh cross 
bai)ds of tawny iron ; the legs covered with lawny iron feathers. 

TUo common tagle : of a brown colour ; the head and upper part 
of (he neck inchning to red ; the tail feathers white, blackeniog at 
the ends; the outer ones on each side of an ash colour; the legs 
covered with feathers of a reddish -brown. 

The bald eagle : brown; the head, neck, and tail featherswbite; 
the feathers of the upper part of the leg brown. 

The white eagle : the whole while. 

The rough-fooled eagle : of a dirty brown ; spotted under the 
wings, and on the legs, with white ; the feathers of the tail white at 
the beginning and the point; the leg feathers dirty brown, spotted 
with white. 

The te/iile-tailed eagle : dirty brown ; head white ; the stem* of 
the feathers black ; the rump inclining to black ; the tail feathers, 
the first half black, the end halfwhite; legs naked. 

Xb> erne: a dirty iron colour above, an iron mixed with Wack 


below; the head and neck ush, imxcd wUb ehesnut; the poials of 
the vinga blackish ; the tail feathers white; the legs naked. 

The black eai;U : blackish ; the head and upper neck mixed with 
red ; the tail feathera, the first half white, speckled with black, the 
other half blackish ; the leg feathers dirty white. 

The iea eagte : inclining to while, mixed with iron-brown ; belly 
white, with iron-coloured spots; the covert feathers of the tail whitish; 
the tail feathers black at the eztrennily; the upper part of the leg 
feathers of an iron-brown 

The osprey : brown above; white below; the hack of the head 
white ; the outward tail feathers, on the inner side, streaked with 
white ; legs naked. 

The jVoB le bJanc : above, brownish grey ; below, white, spotted 
with tawny brown ; the tail feathers on llie outside and at the ex- 
tremity brown; on the inside, while, streaked with brown; legs 

The eagle of Brazil: blackish brown; ash colour, mised in the 
wings; tail feathers white; legs naked. 

The Oroonoio ea^le : with a topping above, black ish-brown ; 
below, white, spotted with black ; upper neck yellow ; lail feathers 
brown, with while circles ; leg feathers while, spotted with black. 

The crowned African eagle: with a topping ; the lail of an ash 
colour, streaked on the upper side with black. 

The eagle of PonrUcherry : ehesnut colour; the six outward tail 
feathers black one half. 

[Many other species have been distinguished by ornithologists, 
but one observed by Mr. Bruce on the mountain Lamalmon, in 
Abyaainia, deserves particularly notice, as being not only ihe largest 
of the eagle kind, but, in hia opinion, the largest bird that flies. He 
calls it the golden eagle; by the natives it is vulgarly called abon 
duchn, or father long-beard. It is not an object of any chase, nor 
stood in need of any stratagem to bring it within reach. Upon the 
highest (op of the mountain Lamalmon, while Mr. Bruce's servants 
were refreshing themselves from that toilsome rugged ascent, and 
enjoying the pleasure of a most delightful dima.te, eating their dinner 
in the outer air with several large disiies of boiled goals flesh before 
them, this eagle suddenly made its appearance : he did not stoop 
rapidly from a height, but came llying slowly along the ground, and 
sat down close to the meat within the ring, the men had made round 
it. A great shout, or rather cry of distreaa, which they raised, made 
the bird stand for a minute aa if to recollect himself, while the aer- 
vanta ran for their lances and shields. His attention was fully Used 
upon the fleab. He put his foot into the pan where was a large 
piece in water prepared for boiling ; but finding the smart which he 
had not expected, iio withdrew it, and forsook the piece which he 
held. There were two large pieces, a leg and a shoulder, lying upon 
a wooden platter ; into these he trussed both his claws and carried 
them off, dcimming slowly along the ground as he had come, till he 
disappeared behind a cliff, But being observed at Ills departure to 



liH^ wistfully at the large piece wliicli remained in the warm water, 
it was concluded that he would soon reliim, in expectation or whieh 
Mr. Bruce loaded a rifle gun with ball, and sat down close to the 
platter by the meat. It was not man; minutes before he came, and 
a prodigious shout was raised by the attendants, " He is coming, he 
is coming ! " enough to have discouraged a less courageous animal. 
Whether it was not quite so hungry as at the first visit, or suspected 
something from Mr. Bruce's appearance, it made a small turn, and 
sat down about ten yards from him, the pan with the meat being 
between them. In this situation Mr. Bruce llred, and shot him with 
the ball through the middle of his body, about two inches below the 
wing, so thai he lay down upon the grass without a single flutter. 
Upon laying hold of his monstrous carcass, Mr. Bruce was not a little 
surprised at seeing his hands covered and tinged with yellow powder 
or dust. Upon turning hira upon his belly, and examining the 
feathers of his back, they produced a brown dust, the colour of the 
feathers there, This dust was not in small quantities ; for upon 
striking his breast, the yellow powder flew in fully greater qiiantily 
than from a hair-dresser's powder puff. The feathers of the belly 
and breast, which were of a gold colour, did not appear to have any 
thing extraordinary in their formation ; but the large feathers In the 
ihoulder and wings seemed apparently to be line tubes, which upon 
pressure scattered this dust upon the finer part of the feather, but 
this was brown, the colour of the feathers of the back. Upon the 
side of the wing, the ribs, or hard part of the feather, seemed lo be 
bare as if worn, or, in Mr. Bruce's opinion, were rather renewing 
themselves, having before failed in their function. What is the 
reason of this extraordinary provision of nature, he doea not pretend 
to determine. But as it is an unusual one, it is probably meant, lie 
thinks, for a defence against the climate in favour of those birds, 
which live in the almost inaccessible heights of a country doomed 
even in its lower parts to several months of excessive rain. Accord- 
ing to Mr. Bruee's description, this bird, from wing to wing, was 
eight feet four inches ; from the tip of his tail to the point of his beak 
when dead, four feel seven inches. He was remarkably short in the 
legs, being only four inches from the Joining of the foot to where the 
leg joins the thigh, and from the joint of the thigh lo the joining of 
his body six inches. The thickness of his thigh was little less than 
four inches; it was extremely muscular, and covered with flesli. His 
middle claw was about two inches and a half long, not very sliarp at 
the point, but extremely strong. From the root of the bill to the 
point was three inches and a quarter, and one inch and three quarters 
in breadth at the root. A forked brush of strong hair, divided at the 
point into two, proceeded from the cavity of his lower jaw at the 
beginning of his throat. His eye was remarkably small in propor- 
tion to his bulk, the aperture being scarcely half an inch. Ttw 
k crown of his head was bare or bald, as was aUn the front where I^^h 
bill and skull joined ] ^^^H 



W - ' Wb might now come to speak of the vulture kind, as they hold 
the neit rank to the eagle; but we are interrupted in our method, 
by the consideration of an enormous bird, whose ploca is not yet 
ascenained, as naturalists are in doubt whether to refer it to the eagle 
tribe or to that of the vulture. Its great strength, force, and vivacity, 
might plead for ils place among the former; the baldness of its head 
Bud nock might be thought lo degrade it among the latter. In this 
uDcertainty, it will be enough to describe the bird by the lights we 
have, and leave future historians to settle ils rank in the feathered 
creation. Indeed, if size and strength, combined with rapidity of 
flight and rapacity, deserve pre-eminence, no bird can be [lut in 
competition with it. 

The Condor possesses, in a higher degree than the eagle, all the 
equalities that render it formidable, not only to the feathered kind, 
but lo beasts, and even to man himself. Acosta, Garcilasso, and 
Desmarchais, assert, that it is eighteen feet across, the wings ex- 
tended. The beak is so strong as to pierce the body of a cow ; and 
two of them are able to devour it. They do not even abstain from 
man himself: but fortunately there are but few of the species; for 
if they had been plenty, every order of animals most have carried 
on an unsuccessful war against th^m. The Indians assert, that they 
will carry off a deer, or a young calf, in their talons, as eagles would 
a hare or a rabbit; that their sight ia piercing, and their air terrible; 
that they seldom frequent the forests, as they require a large space 
for the display of their wingv, but that tiiey are found on the sea- 
shore, and the banks of rivers, whither they descend from the heights 
of the mountains. By later accounts we learn, that they come down 
to the sea-shore only at certain seasons, when their prey happetis to 
fail them upon land ; that they then feed upon deed fish, and such 
other nutritious substances as the sea throws up on the shore. We 
are assured, however, that their countenance is not so terrible as the 
old writers have represented it, but that they appear of a milder 
nature than either the eagle ur the vulture. 

Condamine has frequently seen them in several parts of the moun- 
tains of Quito, and observed them hovering over a flock of sheep; 
and he thinks they would at a certain time have attempted to carry 
one off, had they not been scared away by the shepherds. Labat 
acquaints ua, that those who have seen this animal declare, that the 
body is as large as that of a sheep, and that the Hesh ia tough, and 
as disagreeable as carrion. The Spaniards Ihemseivea seem lo dread 
its depredations : and there have been many insiancea of ils carrying 
cff their children. 
^■^r. Strong, the master of a ahip, as he was sailing along the 


coasts of Chili, in the thirCy-ihird decree of south latitude, observed 
a bird sitting upon a high cliff near the shore, which some of the 
ship's company shot with a leaden bullet, and killed. They were 
greatly surprised when they beheld its magnitude; for when the 
wings were extended they measured thirteen feet from one tip to the 
other. One of the quills was two feet four inches long; and the 
barrel, or hollow part, was sis inches and three quarters, and an inch 
and a halfin circumference. 

We have a still more circumstantial account of thb amazing bird, 
by P. Feuillee, the only traveller who has accurately described if. 
"In the valley of lllo in Peru, I discovered a condor, perched on a 
high rock before me: 1 approached within gun-shot, and fired; but 
as my piece was only charged with swan-shot, the lead was not able 
sufficiently to pierce the birds feathers. I perceived, however, by its 
manner of flying, that it was wounded ; and it was with a good deal 
of difficulty that it flew to another rock, about five hundred yards 
distant, on the sea-shore. I therefore charged again with ball, and 
hit the bird under the throat, which made it mine. I accordingly 
ran up to seize it ; but even in death it was terrible, and defended 
itself upon its back, wilh its claws extended against me, so that I 
scarcely knew how to lay hold of it. Had it not been mortally 
wounded, Ishould have found it no easy matter to take it; but 1 ai 
last dragged it down from the rock, and with the assistance of one 
of the seamen, I carried it to my lent, to make a coloured drawing. 

" The wings of ihis bird, which I measured very exactly, were 
twelve feet three inches (English) from tip to tip. The great feathers 
that were of a beautiful shining black, were two feet four inches long. 
The thickness of the beak was proportionable to the rest of the body ; 
the length about four inches ; the point hooked downwards, and white 
at its extremity ; and the other part was of a jet black, A short 
down, of a brown colour, covered the head ; the eyes were black, 
and surrounded with a circle of red dish- brown. The feathers on the 
breast, neck, and wings, were of a light brown ; those on the back 
were rather darker. Its thighs were covered wilh brown feathers to 
the knee. The thigh-bone was ten inches long, the leg five inches ; 
the toes were three before; and one behind ; that behind was an inch 
and a half, and the claw with which it was armed was black, and 
three quarters of an inch. The other claws were in the same pro- 
portion ; and the leg wait covered with black scales, as also (he toes ; 
but in these the scales were larger. 

'' These birds usually keep in the mountains, where they find their 
prey; they never descend to the sea-shore but in the rainy season; 
for as they are very sensible of cold, ihey go there for greater 
warmth. Though these mountains are situated in the torrid zone, 
ihe cold is often very severe; for a great part of the year they are 
covered with snow, but particularly in winter. 

" The little nourishment which these birds find on (he sea-coait, 
except when the tempest drives in eomf. great fish, obliges 


i lo continue tliere but a short time. They u.<ually come to the ooaat 
at the approach of evenlog ; stay there all night, and fly back in the 

It is doubted wlietber thia animal be proper to America only, or 
tohether it may not have been described by the naUiralisla of other 
countries. It is supposed that the great bird called the Rock, de- 
L acnbed by Arabian writers, and bo much exaggerated by fable, ii 
I ibot a species of the condor. The great bird of Tarnassar, in the 
"tHt Indies, that is larger than the eagle, as well as the vulture of 
juegal that carries off children, are probably no other than the bird 
e have been describing. Russia, Lapland, and even Switzerland 
d Germany, are said lo have known this animal. A bird of this 
id was shot in France, that weighed eighteen pounds, and wa« 
' 'said to be eighteen feet across the wings : however, one of tlje quills 
was described only as being larger than that of a swan, so that pro- 
bably the breadth of the wings may have been exaggerated, since a 
bird so. large would have (he quills more than twice as big as Ibose 
of a swan. However this be, we are not to regret that it is scarcely 
ever seen in Europe, as it appears to be one of the most formidable 
Enemies of mankind. In the deserts of Pachomac, where it is chiefly 
■eeo, men seldom venture to travel. Those wild I'egions are very 
snf&cieot of themselves to inspire a secret horror; broken preci^Hces 
—prowling panthers — forests only vocal with the hissing of ser- 
pents — and mountains rendered still more terrible by the condor, 
~'ie only bird that ventures to make its resklence in those deserted 



Tub first rank in the description of birds has been given to (he 
igle, not because it is stronger or larger than the vulture, but be- 
is more generous and bold. The eagle, unless pressed by 
famine, will not stoop to carrion ; and never devours but what he 
has earned by his own pursuit. The vulture, on the contrary, is 
indelicately voracious, and seldom attacks living animals when it 
can be supplied with the dead. The eagle meets and singly opposes 
his enemy ; the vulture, if it expects resistance, calls in the aid of 
its kind, and basely overpowers its prey by a cowardly combination. 
Putrefaction and stench, instead of deterring, also serve lo allure 
yfbeia. The vulture seems among birds what the jackall and hytcna 
B among quadrupeds, who prey upon carcasses, and root up the 

Vultures may be easily distinguished from all those of the eagle 
id, by the nakedness of their heads and necks, which are without 
ilhera, and only covered with a very slight down, or a few 


Bcattered hairs. Their eyes are more prominent, those of the eagle 
being buried more in the socket. Their claws are shorter and less 
hooked. The inside of the wing is covered with a thick down, which 
is different in them from nil other birds of prey. Their attitude is 
not 90 upright as thai of the eagle, and their flight moredillicult and 

In this tribe we may range the golden, the ash-coloured, and the 
brown vulture, which are inhabitants of Europe ; the spotted and the 
black vulture of Egypt ; the bearded vulture, the Brazihan vulture, 
and the king of the vultures, of South America. They all agree 
in their nature, being equally indolent, yet rapacious, and unclean. 

The Golden Vulture seems to be the foremost of the kind, and ia 
in many things like the golden eagle, but larger in every proportion. 
Prom the end of the beak to that of the tail, it is four feet and r 
half; and to the claws' end, forty-five inches. The length of the 
upper mandible is almost seven inches ; and the tail twenty-seven 
in length. The lower part of the neck, breast, and belly, are of « 
' red colour; but on Ihetail it is more faint, anddeeper neartbe head. 
The feathers are black on the back, and on the wings and tail of a 
yellowish -brown. Others of the kind differ from this in colour and 
dimensions : but they are all strongly marked by their naked headu,^ 
and beak straight in the beginning, but hooking at the point, ^2 

They are still more strongly marked by their nature, which, ifl 
has been observed, is cruel, unclean, and indolent. Their sense 4^| 
smelling, however, is amazingly great ; and nature, for this purpoW^ 
has given them two Inrge apertures or nostrils without, and an ex- 
tensive olfactory membrane within. Their intestines are formed 
differently from those of the eagle kind; for they partake more of 
the formation of such birds as live upon grain. They have both a 
crop and a stomach, which may be regarded as a kind of giizard, 
from the extreme thickness of the muscles of which it is composed. 
In fact, they seem adapted inwardly, not only for being carni- 
vorous, but to eat corn, or whatsoever of that kind comes in Iheir 

This bird) which is common in many parts of Europe, and but too 
well known on the western continent, istotally unknown in England. 
In Egypt, Arabia, and many other kingdoms of Africa and Asia, 
vultures are found in great abundance. The inside down of their 
wing is converted into a very warm and comfortable kind of fur, and 
is commonly sold in the Asiatic markets. 

Indeed, in Egypt this bird seems to be of singular service. There 
are great flocks of them in the neighbourhood of Grand Cairo, which 
no person is perniilled to destroy. The service ihey render the m- 
habiiants, is the devouring all the carrion and lillh of that great city, 
which might otherwise tend to cornipt and putrefy the air. Ttiejr 
are commonly seen in company with the wild dogs of the country, 
tearing a carcass very deliberately together, This odd associaliq;; 


I tearing a carcass very deliberately together, i his odd associalic^^^^^ 
produces no quarrels; the birds and quadrupeds seem to live ^IV^^^H 


der is alill llie greater, bb both are extremely rapacious, and both 
lean and bony to a very great decree ; probably having no great 
plenty even o( the wretched food on which they subsist. 

In America tliey lead a. life somewhat similar. Wherever the 
hunters, who there only pursue beasts for the skins, are found to go, 
these birds are seen to pursue them. They still keep hovering at a 
little distance; and when they see the beast flayed and abandoned, 
they call out to each other, pour down upon the carcass, and in an 
instant pick its bones as bare and clean as if they had been scraped 
by a knife. 

At the Cape of Good Hope, in Africa, they seem to discover a 
still greater share of dexterity in their methods of carving. "1 have," 
says Kolben, " been often a spectator of the manner in which they 
have anatomized a dead body : I say anatomized, for no artist in the 
world could have done it more cleanly. They have a wonderful 
method of separating the Itesh from the bones, and yet leaving the 
akin quite entire. Upon coming near the carcass, one would not 
suppose it thus deprived of its internal substance, till he began to 
examine It more closely ; he then finds it, literally speaking, nothing 
but skin and bone. Their manner of performing the operation is 
this : they lirst make an opening in the belly of the animal, from 
whence they pluck out and greedily devour the entrails; then enter- 
ing into the hollow which they have made, they separate the flesh 
from tlie bones, without ever touching the skin. It often happens 
that an ox returning home alone to its stall from the plough lies 
down by the way; it is then, if the vultures perceive it, that they 
fall with fury down, and inevitably devour the unfortunate animal. 
They sometimes attempt them grazing in the fields ; and then, ti 
the number of a hundred or more, make their attack all at once ant 

"They are attracted by carrion," says Catesby, " from a very 
great distance. It is pleasant to behold them when they are thus 
eating, and disputing for their prey. An eagle generally presides 
at these entertainments, and makes them all keep their distance till 
hehasdone. They then fall to with an excellenteppelite; and their 
sense of smelling is so exquisite, that the instant a carcass drops, i 
may see the vultures floating in the air from all qunrters, and coi 
sousing on their prey." Jt issirpposed by some, that Ihey eat nothing 
that has life ; but this is only when they are not able ; for when they 
can come at lambs they show no mercy ; and serpents are their ordi- 
nary food. The manner of those birds is to perch themselves, several 
together, on the old pine and cypress trees, where they continue all 
the morning, for several hours, with their wings unfolded ; nor 
they fearful of danger, but suffer people to approach them very near, 
particularly when they are eating. 

Tiie sloth, the filth, and the voraciousness of these birds, almost 
exceed credibility. Jn the Brazils, where ihcy are found in great 
abundance, when they light upon a carcass which ihey liave liberty 
to tear at their ease, they so gorge themselves thiit they are unable 


to Uy, but keep hopping along when they are piirHued. At all times 
they are a bird of slow flight, and enable readily to raise themselves 
from the ground ; but when they have over-fed, ihej are then utterly 
helpless; but they soon get rid of their burden, for they have a 
method of vomiting up wiiat they have eaten, and then they fly off 
with greater facility. 

It is pleasant, however, to be a spectator of the hostilities between 
animals that are thus hateful or noxious. Of all creatures, the two 
most at enmity are the vulture of Brazil and the crocodile. The 
female of this terrible amphibious creature, which'in the rivers of 
that part of the world grows to the size of twenty-seven feet, lays 
its eggs, to the number of one or two hundred, in the sands, on the 
side of the river, where they are hatched by the heat of the climate. 
For this purpose she takes every precaution to hide from all other 
animals the place where she deposits her biirden : in the mean time, 
a number of vultures, or galinassos as the Spaniards call them, sit 
silent and unseen, in tlie branches of some neighbouring forest, and 
view the crocodile's operaiions, with the pleasing expectation of 
succeeding plunder. They patiently wait till the crocodile has laid 
the whole number of her eggs, till she has covered them carefully 
under the sand, and until she is retired from them to a, convenient 
distance. Then, all together, encouraging each other with cries, they 
pour down upon the nest, hook up the sand in a moment, lay the eggs 
bare, and devour the whole brood without remorse. Wretched as 
is the flesh of these animals, yet men perhaps, when pressed by 
hunger, have been templed to taste it. Nothing can be more lean, 
stringy, nauseous, and unsavoury. It is in vain that, when killed, 
the rump has been cut off; in vain tlie body has been waslied, and 
spices used to overpower its prevailing odour; it still smells and 
tastes of the carrion by which it was nourished, and sends forth a 
stench that is insupportable. 

These biixls, at least those of Europe, usually lay two eggs at a 
time, and produce but once a year. They make their nests in in- 
accessible clifls, and in places so remote that it is rare to find them. 
Those in our part of the world chiefly reside in the pieces where they 
breed, and seldom come down into the plains, except when the snow 
and ice in their native retreats has banished all living animals but 
themselves; they then come from their heights, and brave the perils 
they must encounter in a more cultivated region. As carrion ia not 
found at those seasons in sufficient quautily, or sufficiently remote 
from man to sustain them, they prey upon rabbits, hares, serpents, 
and whatever small game they can overtake or overpower. 

Such are the manners of this bird in general ; but there is one of 
the kind, called the King of the Vultures, which from its extraordi- 
nary figure deserves a separate description. This bird is a native 
of America, and nut of the East Indies, as those who make a trade 
of showing birds would induce us to believe. This bird is larger than 
ft turkey-cock: but ia chiefly remarkable for the odd formation of 
the skin uf the head und neck, which is bare. This skin arises from 

THE FAUDDN kind. 3d5 

the base of ihe bill, and is of an orange colour ; from whence it 
stretches on each siiie of the head ; froin thence it proceeds, like an 
indented comb, and falls on either side, according to the motion of 
the-head. The eyes are etirrounded by a red akin, of a scarlet 
colour; and the iris has the colour and lustre of pearl. The head 
and neck are without feathers, covered with a flesh-coloured skin on 
the upper part, a fine scarlet behind the bead, and adiiskier coloured 
skin before; farther down behind the head arises a little tufl of black 
down, from whence issues and extends beneath the th^at, on each 
side, a wrinkled skin, of a brownish colour, mixed with blue, and 
reddish behind ; below, upon the naked part of the neck, is a collat 
formed by soft longlsh feathers, of a deep ash-4wlour, which Burround 
the neck, and cover the breast before. Into this collar the bird 
sometimes withdraws its whole neck, and sinnelinies a part of its 
bead, so that it looks as if it had withdrawn the neck into the body. 
Those marks are sufficient to distinguish this bird from all others of 
the vulture kind ; and it cannot be doubted but that it is the most 
beautiful of all this deformed family : however, neither its habits nor 
instincts vary from the rest of the tribe ; being, like them, a slow 
cowardly bird, living chiefly upon rats, lizards, and serpents, and 
, ^on carrion or excrement, when it happens to be in the way. 'I'ho 
esh is so bad, that even savages themselves cannot abide it. 



I EvBRY creature becomes more important in the history of nature 
n proportion as it is connected with man. In this view, the smallest 
egetable, or the most seemingly contemptible insect, is a subject 
I <inore deserving attention than the most flourishing tree or the 
most beautiful of the feathered creation. In this view, the Fakon 
isamoreioiportant animal than the eagle or the vulture ; and though 
80 very diminutive in the comparison, is notwithstanding, from ill 
r'connexion with our pleasures, a much more interesting object of 

The amusement of hawking, indeed, is now pretty much given 
n this kingdom ; for, as every country refines, as its enclosures 
come higher and closer, those rural sports must consequently de- 
'n which the game is to be pursued over a long extent of 
Bounlry, and where, while every thing retards the pursuer below, 
Fmthing can stop the object of his pursuit above. 

Falconry, that is now so much disused among ua, was the principal 
amusement of our ancestors. A person of rank scarcely stirred out 
without his hawk on bis hand, which in old paintings is the criterion 
of nobility. Harold, afterwards king of England, when he went on 
B most important embassy into Normandy, is drawn in an old bns- 
relief, as embarking with a bird on his list and a dog under his arm. 
In those days it it as thought sufficient foi' noblemen's sons to wind 




the horD, and to carry their hawk fair, and leave study and learning 
to the children of meaner people. IndeiKJ, this diversion was i 
high esteem among the great all over Europe, that Frederic, 
the emperors of Germany, thought it not benealh him lo write j4 
treatise upon hawking. 

The expense which attended this sport was very great ; amon| 
the old Welsh princes, the king's falconer was the fourth officer ' 
the state; but, notwithstanding all his honours, he was forbid 
tatie more than three draughts of beer from his horn, lest he shuu 
get dnink and neglect his duty. In the reign of James the Fii 
Sir Thomas Monson is said to have given a thousand pounds for 
cast of hawks; and such was their value in general, ihat i 
made felony in the reign of Edward the Third to steal a hawk, 
take its eggs, even in a person's own ground, was punishablt 
imprisonraenE for a year and a day, together with a line at the kinj 
pleasure. In the reign of Elizabeth, the imprisonment was redui 
to three months; but the ofiender was to lie in prison till he g( 
■ecurity for his good behaviour for seven years farther. In 
earlier times, the art of gunning was but tittle practised, and 
hawk was then valuable, not only for its affording diversion, but fc 
its procuring delicacies for the table thai could seldom bo obtaini 
any other way. 

Of many of the ancient falcons used for this purpose, we at th 
time know only the names, as the exact species are so ill described,^ 
that one may be very easily mistaken for another. Of those in 
at })resent, both here and in other countries, are the gyr-falcon, the 
falcon, the lanner, the sacre, the hobby, the keslril, and the merlin. 
These are called the long-winged hawks, to distinguish them from 
the goss-hawk, the sparrow-hawk, the kite, and the buzzard, that 
Are of shorter wing, and either too slow, too cowardly, too indolenlt' 
Ar loo obstinate, to be serviceable in contributing to the pleasures t^\ 
Tbe field. 

' The generous tribe of hawks, as was said, are distinguished frt 
die rest by the peculiar length of their wJngs, which reach nearly 

i low as the tail. In these, the first quill of the wing is nearly as loi 
'fat the second; it terminates in a point, which begins to ditnini 

I from about an inch of its extremity. This sufficiently distinguishi 

t the generous breed from that of tlie baser race of kites, sparroi 

rliawks, and buzzards, in whom ihe tail is longer than the wings, bt. 
the first feather of the witig is rounded at the extremity. They dtl 
fer also in the latter havmg ihe fourih feather of the wing il 
Jongesl; in ihe. generous race it is always the second. 

The generous race, which have been taken inlo the service of manj 
■re endowed with natural powers that the other kinds are not pos- 
' Sessed of. From the length of their wings, they are swifter to pursue 
their game; from a confidence in this swidness, they are bolder to 
attack il; and from an innate generosity, they have an attachment 

\ to their feeder, and consequently a docility which the baser bird: 

t fllrangera lo. 

^1 The gyr- falcon leads In Ihiii bold train, tie exceeds ell othi 


falcons in the largeness ot liis she, for he approaches nearly to tha 
magnitude of the eagle. The top of ^le head is flat, and of on ash 
colour, with a strong, thick, short, and blue beak. The feathers of 
the back and wings are marked with black spots, in the shape of a 
heart: he is a courageous and Gerce bird, nor fears even the eagle 
. bjmself; but he chiefly flies at the stork, the heron, and the crane. 
s mostly found in the colder regions of the north, but lose* 
p^ither his strength nor his courage when brought into the milder 


The falcon, properly s 


ond in magnitude atul 
n this bird : but there seem to be 
inly two that claim distinction, the falcon-gentil and the |>eregrine> 
; both are much less than the gyr, and somewhat about the 
e of a raven. They differ but slightly, and perhaps only from the 
ifierent states they were in when brought into captivity. Those 
ifferences are easier known by experience than taught by descrip. 
The falcon-gentil moults in March, and ol\en sooner; the 
peregrine -falcon does not moult till the middle of August. The 
peregrine is stronger in the shoulder, has a larger eye, and yet mora 
sunk in the head ; his beak is stronger, his legs longer, and the toes 
belter divided. 

Next in size to these is the lanner, a bird very little known in 

Europe; then follows the ascre, the legs of which are of a bluish 

colour, and serve to distinguish that bird; to them succeeds the 

hobby, used for smaller game", for daring larks, and stooping at 

quails. The kestril was trained fur the same purposes; and lastly, 

the merlin, which, though the smallest of all the hawk or falcon kind, 

and not much larger than a thrush, yel displays a degree of courage 

^Khat renders him formidable, even to birds ten times his size. He 

IS often been known to kill a partridge or a quail at a single pounce 

B-from above. 

Some of the other species of sluggish birds were now and then 
rained to this sport, but it was when no better could be obtained ; 
t these Just described were only considered as birds of the nobler 
Their courage in general was such, that no bird, not very 
^ much above their own size, could terrify them ; their swiftness so 
great, that scarcely any bird could escape them ; and their docility 
■o remarkable, that they obeyed not only the commands but the 
signs of their master. They remained quietly perched upon hishand 
till their game was flushed, or else kept hovering round ha head, 
~tirithout ever leaving him but when he gave permission. The com. 
a falcon is a bird of such spirit, that, like a conqueror in a coun- 
ty, he keeps all birds in awe and in subjection to his prowess. When 
( ia seen flying wild, as I often had an opportunity of observing, 
e birds of every kind, that seemed entirely to disregard the kite or 
e sparrow-hawk, fly with screams at his must distant appearance. 
hiAiOng before I could see the falcon, 1 have seen them, with the ut- 
UiDst signs of terror, endeavouring to avoid him; and, like the 
peasants of a country before a victorious army, every one of them 



attempling (o ahifl for hinjEelf. Even the young TalconB, thoii 
their gpirits be depressed by captivity, will, when brought 
tbe iitild, venture to fly at barnacles and wild geese, till bein^ sound! 
brushed and beaten by those strong birds, they learn their error] 
and desist from meddling with such unwie!dy game fur the futurt 

' To train up the hawk to this kind of obedience, so as to hunt 
hw master, and bring him the game he shall kill, requires no 
degree of skill and assiduity. Numberless treatises have beenwrill 
upon this subject, which are now, with the sport itself, almost ottei 
forgotten ; indeed, except to a lew, they seem utterly unin(elllgibl< 
for the falconers had a language peculiar to themselves, in wl ' 
they conversed and wrote, and took a kind of professional pidi 
using no other. A modern reader, 1 suppose, would be little edifit 
by one of tlie instructions for instance, which we find in Willougbbj 
when he bids us draw our falcon out of llie mew twenty days beft 
%oe etiseam her. If she truif and carry, the remedy is, cosie 
talons, her poJMC, and petty single. 

But, as il certainly makes a part of natural history to show I 
much the nature of birds can be wrought upon by harah or kii 
treatment, I will just take leave (o give a short account of the mai 
ner of training a hawk, divested uflhose cant words with which mi 
of art have thought proper to obscure their profession. 

In order to train up a falcon, the master begins by clappia^ 
•tmps upon his legs, which are ca]|cd-,;'e.(>M, to which there is iastei 
a ring with the owner's name, by which, in case he should' be km?' 
the finder may know where to bring him back. To these also are 
added little bell<i, which serve to mark the place where be ia, if loit 
in the chase, (le is always carried on the fist, and is obliged lo keep 
without sleeping. If he be stubborn, and attempt to bit«, his hi 
U plunged into water. Thus by hunger, wal«Mng, and fatigue, 
is constrained to submit to having his head covered by a hood 
cowl, which covers his eyes. This troublesome employment contimiotj 
ollen for three days and nights without ceasing. It rarely happeni 
but at the end of this his necessities, and the privation of light, make 
him lose all idea of liberty, and bring down his natural wildnecs. 
'His master judges of his being tamed when he permits his head to 
be covered without resistance, and, when uncovered, he seises the 
meat before him contentedly. The repetition of these lesson* bj 
degrees ensures success. His wantb being the chief principle of bn 
dependence, it is endeavoured lo increase his appetite, by giving 
4iim lilLle balls of llannel, whjch he greedily swallaivs, Having thue 

>< excited the appetite, care is taken to satisfy it ; and thus gratitude 
Attaches the bird to the man who but just before had been his (orv 

When the first lessons have succeeded, and the bird shows signs 

I -of docility, he is carried out upon some green, the head is unco- 
vered, and, by flattering him with food nl different times, he k 
taught to Jump on the list, and to continuo tht-re. Wlien confinn«l 

I in this habit, it is then thought time to make bint acquainted with the 




lure. This lure U only a thing stufied like the bird the falcon ia 
designed to pursue, such as a heron, a pigeon, or a quail, and on 
this lure they always take care to give him his food. It ia quite 
necessary that the bird should not only be acquainted with this, but 
fond of it, and delicate in his food when shown it. When the fal- 
con has flown upon this, and tasted the first morsel, some falconers 
then take it away ; but by this there is a danger of daunting the 
bird, and the surest method is when he flies to seize it, to let him 
feed nt large, and this serves as a recompense for his docility. The 
use of this lure is to flatter him back when he has flown in the air, 
which it sometimes fails to do ; and it is always requisite to assist it 
by the voice and the signs of the master. When these lessons have 
been long repeated, it is then necessary to study the character of 
the bird ; to speak frequently to him if he be inattentive to the voice ; 
to stint in his food such as do not come kindly or readily to tlie lure ; 
to keep waking him if he be not sufliciently familiar ; and to cover 
him frequently with the hood if he fears darkness. When the fami- 
liarity and the docility of the bird are sufficiently condrmed on the 
green, he is then carried into the open fields, but still kept fast by a 
string which is about twenty yards long. He is then uncovered as 
before ; and the falconer calling him at some paces distance, shows 
him the lure. When he flies upon it, he is permitted to take a large 
morsel of the food which is tied to it. The next day the lure is shown 
bim at a greater distance, till he comes at last to fly to it at the ut- 
most length of his string. He is then to be shown the game itself 
alive, but disabled or tame, which he is designed to pursue. After 
having seized this several times with his string, he is then letl entirely 
at liberty, and carried into the field for the purpose of pursuing that 
which is wild. At that he flies with avidity; and when he has seized 
it, or killed it, he is brought back by the voice and the lure. 

By this method of instruction, a hawk may be taught to fly at any 
game whatsoever ; but falconers have chiefly confined their pursuit 
only to such animals as yield them profit by the capture, or pleasure 
in the pursuit. The hare, the partridge, and the quail, repay the 
trouble of taking them; but the most delightful sport is the falcon's 
pursuit of Ihe heron, the liite, or the woodlark. Instead of flying 
directly forward, as some other birds do, these, when they see them- 
aelvea threatened by the approach of the hawk, immediately take to 
the skies. They fly almost peVpendicularly upward, while their 
ardent pursuer keeps pace with their flight, and tries to rise above 
them. Thus both diminish by degrees from the gazing spectator 
below, till they are quite lost in the clouds; but they are soon seen 
descending, struggling together, and using every eSurt on both sides, 
the one ofrnpacious insult, the other of desperate defence. The 
unequal combat is soon at an end : the falcon comes off victorious,- 
ond the other, killed or disabled, is made a prey either to the bird or 
the sportsman. 

As for other birds, they are not so much pursued, as they gene- 
rally fly straight forward, by which the sportsman loses sight of the 


chase, and nlial in atill worse, run.f a chance of losing hi* falcq 

The pursuit of the lark by a couple of merlins is considered, | 
him only who reganls the sagncity of the chose, as one of the re 
delighlful spectacles ihis exercise can aflbrd. The amusement is 
■ee one of Ihe merlins climbing to get the ascendant of the lai 
while the other, lying low for the bent advantage, 
of its companion's efforts ; thus while the one stoops to strike i| 
prey, the other seizes it at its coming down. , 

Such are the natural and acquired habits of these birds, which a 
all others have the greatest strength and courage relative to i' 
sise. While the kite or the goss-hawk approach their prey ■ 
ways, these dart perpendicularly, in their wild state, upon 1 
game, and devour it on the spot, or carry it off, if not too large 
their power of flying. They are sometimes seen descending p 
pendicularly from the cl6uds, from an amazing height, and dsrtJBI 
down on their prey with inevitable swiflness and deslruclion. 

The more ignoble race of birds make up by cunning and aosidui 
what these claim by force anil celerity. Being less courageous, ,l1 
are more patient ; and having less swidness, they are belief skiltj 
a( taking their prey by surprise. The kite, that may be distj| 
guished from all the rest of Ihis tribe by his forky tail and his i ' 
floaliug motion, seems almost for ever upon the wing. 

n of Ihe 

o make the ai 

raself upon the boa 
' est effort in flying. Ho lives only upon accidental earnBge,,j 
almost every bird in the air is able to make good its retreat Sgatf 
him. He may be therefore considered as an insidioua thief, i 
only prowls about, and when he finds a small bird wounded, ( 
young chicken strayed too far from the mother, instantly s« 
hour of calamity, and, like a famished glutton, is sure to show no 
mercy. His hunger, indeed, often urges him to acts of seeming des- 
peration. I have seen one of them Ay round and round for a while 
to mark a clutch of chickens, and then on a sudden dart like lig' 
ning upon the unresisting little animal, and carry it off, the hen ■ 
vain crying out, and the boys hooting and casting stones to s( 
from his plunder. For this reason, of all birds the kite is the got 
housewife's greatest tormentor and aversion. i 

Of all obscene birds, the kite is the best known ; but thp buzsM 
among lis is the most plenty. He is a sluggish inactive bird, 
often remains perched whole days together upon the same boufll 
He is rather an assassin ihan a pursuer ; and lives more upon fra 
mice, and insects, which he can easily seize, than upon birds 
he is obliged lo follow. He lives in summer by robbing the im 
other birds, and sucking their eggs, and more resembles the owl kiillT 
in his countenance than any other rapacious bird of day. His ligure 
implies the stupidity of his disposition ; and so little is he capable of 
instruclion from man, that It is common <o a proverb to call one who 
cannot be taught, or continues obstinately ignorant, a buztard, ' 
honey-buzzard, the moor-buzEard, and the hen harrier, ar« allafli 


fllupid tribe, and difler chiefly in tiieir size, growing lesa in the order 
I have named thetn. The goss-hawk ond sparrow-hawk are what 
Mr. Willougliby callsBliort-winged birds, apd consequently unfit for 
training, however injurious they may be to the pigeon-house or the 
sportsman. They have been indeed taught to fly at game ; but little 
is to be obtained from their eflbrts, being difficult of instruction, and 
capricious iu tlieir obedience. It has been lately asserted, however, 
by one whose authority is respectable, that the sparrow-hank is the 
boldest and the best of all others Ibr the pleasure of the chase. 

[Tlie Secretary is a most singular species of the falcon, being 
particularly remarkable for the great length of its legs. Tliis bird, 
when standing erect, is full three feet from the top of the head to the 
ground. The bill is black, sharp, and crooked, like that of an eagle; 
the head, neck, breast, and upper parts of the body, are of a 
bluish ash colour; the legs are very long, stouter than those of a 
beroa, and of a brown colour; claws shortish, but crooked, not very 
sharp, and of a black colour. From the bind-head springe a num- 
ber of long feathers, which hang loose behind like a pendent crest : 
these feathers arise by pairs, and ore longer as they are lower down 
on the neck. This crest the bird can erect at pleasure ; it is of a 
dark colour, almost block ; the webs are equal on both sides, and 
rather curled ; and the feathers, when erected, somewhat incline 
towards the neck ; the two middle feathers of the tail are twice as 
long as any of the resL 

This curipua bird inhabits the internal parts of Africa, and is fre- 
quently seen at the Cape of Good Hope ; it is also met with in the 
Philippine islands. It principally feeds on rats, lizards, and snakes, 
and as it is easily domesticated, it might thus be rendered useful. 
At the Cape of Good Hope it is called the snakc-caier. Dr. Solander 
has seen one of these birds take up a snake or small tortoise in its 
claws, when dashing it from thence against the ground with great 
violence, if tlie victim was not killed at first, it repeated the opera- 
tion till that end was answered ; after which it ate it up quietly.] 



Before I conclude this short history of rapacious birds that prey 
by day, I must take leave to describe a tribe of smaller birds, that 
seem from their size rather to be classed with the harmless order of 
the sparrow kind, but that from their crooked beak, courage, and 
appetite for slaughter, certainly deserve a place here. The leaser 
Butcher-Bird is not much above the sixe of a lark ; that of the 
smalleat species is not so big as a sparrow ; yet, diminutive as thete 
little animals are, they maket hemselves formidable to birds of four 
times their dimensions. 


263 BrSTORT O'B' 

The greater Butclier'Hird is about as large as a ttirush; Its bill u 
black, an inch long, and hooked at the end. This mark, togelhei 
wilh its carnivorous appetites, ranks it among llie rapacious birdi : 
at the same lime that its legs and feet, which are slender, and its 
toes, formed somewhat differently from the former, would seem 
make it the shade between such birds as live wholly upon flesh, ai 
such as Jive chiefly upon itisecls and grain. 

Indeed, its habits seem enth^ly to correspond 
tjon, as it Is found [o live as well upon flesh as upon insects, and 
to partake in some measure of a double nature. However, its a_ _ 
tite for flesli is the most prevalent, and it never lakes up with ihe 
former when it can obtain the latter. This bird, therefore, leads a 
life of continual combat and opposition. As from its size it does not 
much terrify the smaller birds of the forest, so it very frequently 
meets birds willing to try its strength, and it never declines the en- 

It is wonderful to sec wilh what intrepidity this little creature goes 
Id war with the pie, the crow, and the kestril, all above four times 
bigger than itself, and that sometimes prey upon flesh in the same 
manner. It not only Hghts upon the defensive, but ollen comes to 
the attack, and always with advantage, particularly when the male 
and female unite to protect their young, and to drive away the more 
powerful birds of rapine. At that season they do not wait the ap- 
proach of their-invader, it is sufficient that they see him preparing 
for the assault at a distance. It is then that they sally forth " " 
loud cries, wound him on every side, and drive him olTwilh si 
fury, that he seldom ventures to return to the charge. In these kli 
of disputes they generally come off with the victory, though it 
times hsppens that they fall to the ground with the bird they ha^ 
so fiercely fixed upon, and the combat ends with the destruction' 
the assailant as well as the defender. 

For this reason the most redoubtable birds of prey respect 
while the kite, the buzzard, and tiie crow, seem rather to fearti 
seek the engagement. Nothing in natui-e belter displays the 
paid to tlie claims of courage, than to see this lillle bird, apparei 
so contemptible, fly in company with the lanner, the falcon, and 
the tyrants of the air, wjthoul fearing their power, or avoiding tl 

lS for small birds, they are its usual food. It seizes them by 

lat, and strangles them in an instant. When it has thus kill 
the bird or insect, it is asserted by the beat authority, that it 
them upon some neighbouring ihorn, and when thus spitted, 
them to pieces with its bill. U is supposed that as nature has' ni 
given this bird strength sufficient to tear its prey to 
feet, as the hawks do, it is obliged to have recourse to this est 
dinary expedient. 

During summer such of them as constantly reside here, (fo 

- smaller red butcher-bird migrates), remain among the mountain 

parts of the country; but in winter they descend into the plaitu. 

) with I 


nearer human habitations. The larger kind make (heir nesls on the 
highest tree«, while the lesser build in bushes in the lielda and hedge- 
rows. They both lay about six eggs, of a white colour, but encircled 
al the bigger end with a ring of brownish-red. The neat on the 
outside is composed of white moss inierwoven with long grass ; within 
it is well lined with wool, and is usually fixed among the forking 
branches of a tree. The female feeds her young with caterpillars and 
other insects while very young; but soon after accustoms them to 
flesh, which the male procures with surprising industry. Their nature 
also is very diflerent from otiier birds of prey in their parentol care ; 
for, so far from driving out their young from the nest to sliiH for 
thi^iselves, they keep them with care ; and even when adult they 
do nut forsake them, but the whole brood live in one family together. 
Each family lives opart, and is generally composed of the male, 
female, and five or six young ones : these all maintain peace and 
subordination among each other, and hunt in concert. Upon the 
returning season of courtship this union is at an end.; the family 
parts for ever, each to establish a little household of its otrn. It is 
easy to distinguish these birds at a distance, not only from their 
going in companies, but also from their manner of ilying, which is 
always up and down, seldom direct or side-ways. 

or these birds there are three or four different kinds ; but the 
greater ash-coloured butcher-bird is the least known among us. The 
red-backed butcher-bird migrates Iti autumn, and does not return 
till spring. The wood-chat resembles the former, except in the colour 
of its back, which is brown, and not red as in the other. There is 
still another, less than cither of tlie farmer, found in the marshes near 
London, This too is a bird of prey, although not much bigger than 
a titmouse ; an evident proof that an animal's courage or rapacity 
does not depend upon its size. Of foreign birds of this kind there 
are several ; but as we know little of their manner of living, we will 
not, instead of historj', substitute mere description. In fact, the 
colours of a bird, which is all we know of them, would afford a reader 
but small entertainment in the enunieralion. Nothing can be njore 
«asy than to 611 volumes with the diflorent shades of a bird's plumage: 
but these accounts are written with mure pleasure than Ibey 
and a single glance of a good plate or a pi(;tura imprints a 
idea than a volume could convey. 

:y are read, ^^M 
i more just |^^| 



attended v 
^^b most ungu 



IIiTHGHTo we have been describing a tribe of aDimaU, who, 
llioogh plunderers among their fellows of tlie air, yet wage war 
boldly in the face of day. We now come to a race equally cruel 
and rapaoiom, but who add to their savage disposition the further 
reproach of treachery, and carry on all their depredations by night. 

Ai\ birds of the owl kind may be considered as nocturnal robbers, 
who, un^tted for taking their prey while it is light, surprise it at 
those hours of rest when the tribes of nature are in the least ex- 
pectation of an enemy. Thus there seems no link in nature's chain 
broken; no where a dead inactive repose; but every place, every 
season, every hour of the day end night, is bustling with life, anil 
furnishing instances of industry, self-defence, and invasiwi. 

All birds of the owl kind have one common mark, by which they 
are dislingulsiied from others ; their eyes are formed for seeing better 
in the dusk than in the broad glare of sunshine. As in the eyes of 
tigers and cats, that are formed for a life of nocturnal depredation, 
there is a quality in the retina that takes in the rays of light so 
copiously as to permit their seeing in places almost quite dark ; so 
in these birds there is the same conformation of that organ ; and 
though, like us, they cannot see in a total exclusion of light, yet they 
are sufficiently quick-sighted at times when we remain in total ob- 
scurity, fn the eyes of all animals nature hath made a complete 
provision, either to shut out too much light, or to admit a sufficiency, 
by the contraction and dilatation of the pupil. In these birds the 
pupil is capable of opening very wide, or shutting very close : by 
contracting the pupil, tlia brighter light of the day, which would act 
loo powerfully upon the sensibility of the retina, is excluded ; by 
dilating the pupil, the animal takes in the more faint rays of the 
night, and thereby is enabled to spy its prey, and catch it with greater 
facility in the dark. Beside this, there is an irradiation on the back 
of the eye, and the very iris itself has a faculty of reflecting the rays 
of light, so as to assist vision in the gloomy places where these binls 
are found to frequent. 

But though owls are dazzled by too bright a day-light, yet ihey 
do not see best in the darkest nights, as some have been apt to 
imagine. It is in the dusk of the evening, or the grey of the morn- 
ing, that they are best fitted for seeing — at those seasons when there 
is neither too much light, oor too little. It is than that they issue 
from their retreats to hunt or to surprise their prey, which is usually 
'ith great success ; it is then that they find all otiier birdb 
preparing for repose, and they have only 
most unguarded. 



The nights when the moon ehinea are Ihe times of llieir most suc- 
cessful pluader ; for when it is wholly dark, they ore less qiiniified 
for seeing and pursuing their prey : except, therefore, by moonlight, 
they contract the hours of their chase; and if they come out at the 
approach of dusk in the evening, they return before ft is totally 
darit, and then rise by twilight the next morning, to pursue their 
game, and to return, in like manner, before the broad daylight be- 
gins to dazzle them with its splendour. 

Yei the faculty of seeing in the night, or of being entirely dazzled 
^y day, is not alike in every species of these nocturnal birds : some 
see by night better than others; and some are so little dazzled by 
daylight, that they perceive their enemies and avoid them. The 
common White or Barn Owl, for instance, sees with such ex(]uisita 
aculencss in the dark, that though the barn has been shut at night, 
and the light thus totally excluded, yet it perceives the smallest mouse 
that peeps from its hole: on the contrary, the Brown Horn Owl is 
often seen to prowl along the hedges by day, like the sparrow-hawk ; 
and sometimes with good success. 

All birds of the owl kind may be divided into two sorts; those 
thai have horns, and those without. These horns are nothing more 
than two or three feathers that aland up on each side of the head 
over Ihe ear, and give this animal a kind of horned appearance. Of 
the homed kind is the Great Horned Owl, which at first view ap- 
pears as large as an eagle. When he cornea to be observed more 
closely, however, he will be found much less. His legs, body, wingSi 
and tail, are shorter; his head much larger and thicker; his horns 
are composed of feathers that rise above two inches and a half high, 
and whicli he can erect or depress at pleaNitre; his eyes are large 
and transparent, encircled with an orange-coloured Iria ; his ears are 
large and deep, and it would appear that no animal is possessed with 
a more exquisite sense of hearing; his plumage is ofa reddish-brown, 
marked on the back with black and yellow spots, and yellow only 
upon the belly. 

Next to this is the Common Horned Owl, of a much smaller size 
than the former, and with horns much shorter. As the great owl 
was five feet from the tip of one wing to the other, his is but three. 
The horns are but about an inch long, and consist of six feathers, 
variegated with black and yellow. 

There Is still a smaller kind of the horned owl, which Is not much 
larger than a blackbird ; and whose horns are remarkably short, 
being composed but of one feather, and that not above half an inch 

To these succeeds the tribe without horns. The Howlet, which 
is the largest of this kind, with dusky plumes, and black eyes; lite 
Screech Owl, of a smaller size, with blue eyes, and plumage of an 
iron-grey; the While O wl, aboui as large as the former, with yellow 
eyes, and whitish plumage ; the Great Brown Owl, less than the 
former, wilh brown plumage, and a brown beak ; and lastly, the 
Little Brown Owl, with yellowish-coloured eyes, and an orange- 




coloured bill. To this catalogue might b« added others of Toreign 
denomiuutiuiu, which differ but littlu frotn our own, if we excapt the 
Harfang, or Great Hudson's Bay Owl of Edwards, which ii the 
largest of all the nocturnal tribe, aod as white as the snowa of the 
country of which he is a native. 

■ All this tribe of aninials, however they may differ in their size and 

plumage, agree in their general chsracteristica of preying by nig^it, 
and having their eyea formed for nocturnal vision. Their bodie* 
aro strong and muscular ; their feet and claws made for tearing their 
prey ; and their stomachs for digesting it. It must be remarked, 
however, that the digestioD of all birds that live upon mice, lizards, 
or such like food, is not very perfect ; for though they swallow them 
whole, yet they are always seen some time afler to disgorge the 
skin, and bones, rolled up in a pellet, as being indigestible. 

In proportion as each of these animals bears tlie daylight best, 
he sets forward earlier in the evening in pursuit of his prey. The 
great horned owl is the foremost in leaving his retreat, and ventures 
into the woods and thickets very soon in the evening. The homed 
and the brown owl are later in their excursions ; but the barn owl 
■eems to see best in profound darkness, and seldom leaves his hiding- 

k place till midnight. 
As they arc incapable of supporting the light of the day, or at 
least of then seeing and readily avoiding iheir danger, they keep all 
this time concealed in some obscure relroat, suited to their gloomy 
appetites, and there continue in solitude and silence. The cavern 
of a rock, the darkest part of a hollow tree, the battlemenEa of a 
rumcd and unfrequented castle, some obscure hole in a farmer's out- 
house, are tho places where they are usually found : if they be seen 
out of these retreats in the day-lime, they may be considered as having 
lost their way, as having by some accident been thrown into the 
midst of their enemies, and surrounded with danger. 

• Having spent the day in their retreat, at the approach of evening 

they sally forth, and skim rapidly up and down along the hedges. 
The bam owl, indeed, who lives chiefly upon mice, is contented to 
be more stationary : he takes his residence upon some sliock of corn, 
or the point of some old house, and there watches in the dark, wiih 
the utmost perspicacity and perseverance. 

Nor are these birds by any means ullent; they all have a hideous 
note, which, while pursuing their prey, is seldom heard, but may he 

» considered rather as a call- to courtship. There is something always 
terrifying in this call, which is often heard in the silence of mid- 
night, and breaks the general pause with a horrid variation. It n 
different in all, but in each it is alarming and disagreeable. Father 
Kircher, who has set (he voices of birds to music, has given all the 
tones of the owl note, which makes a most tremendous melody. In- 
deed, the prejudices of mankind are united with their Bensations to 
I make the cry of the owl disagreeable. The screech owl's voice w«*^^™ 
always considered among the people as a presage of some siul cajn^^l 
pity that was soon to ensue. ^^^| 


They seldom, however, are heard while Ihey are preying; thai 
important pursuit is always attended with silence, aa it is by no means 
their intention to disturb or forewarn Ihuae little animals they wbh 
to surprise. When their pursuit has been successful, they soon re- 
tarn to their sohtude, or lo their young, if that be the season. If, 
however, they find but little game, ihey continue their quest still 
longer ; and it sometimes happens, that, obeying the dictates of ap- 
petite rather than of prudence, they pursue so long that broad day 
breaks in upon them, and leaves them dazzled, bewildered, and at a 
distance from home. 

In this distress, they are obliged lo take shelter in the first tree or 
hed^ that offers, there lo continue concealed all day, till the re- 
turning darkness once more supplies them with a better plan of the 
country. But it too often happens, that, with all their precaution to 
conceal themselves, Ihey are spied out by the other birds of the 
place, and are sure to rcceiie no mercy. The blackbird, the thrush, 
the jay, the bunting, and the red-breast, all come in lile, and employ 
their little arts of insult and abuse. The smallest, the feeblest, and 
the most contemptible of this unfortunate bird^s enemies are then 
the foremost to injure and torment him. They increase their cries 
and turbulence round him, flap him with their wings, and are ready 
to show their courage to be great, as they are sensible that their 
danger is but small. The unfortunate owl, not knowing where to 
attack or where to fly, patiently sits and suffers all iheir insults. 
Astonished and dizzy, he only replies to their mockeries by awk- 
ward and ridiculous gestures, by turning his head, and rolling his 
eyes with an air of stupidity. It is enough that an owl appears by 
day to set the whole grove into a kind of uproar. Either the aver- 
sion all the smull birds have to this animal, or the consciousness of 
their own security, makes them pursue him without ceasing, while ~ 
they encoitruge each other by their mutual cries to lend assistance 
in this laudable undertaking. 

It sometimes happens, however, that the little birds pursue their 
insults with the same imprudent zeal with which the owl himself had 
pursued his depredations. They bunt him the whole day until even- 
ing returns, which restoring him his faculties of sight once more, he 
makes the foremost of his pursuers pay dear for their former sport. 
Nor is qian always an unconcerned spectator here. The bird-catchers 
have got an art of counterfeiting the cry of the owl exactly; knd, 
having before limed the branches of a hedge, they sit unseen and 
give the call. At this, all the little birds (lock to the place where 
they expect to find their well-known enemy; but instead of finding 
their stupid antagonist, they are stuck fast to the hedge themselves. 
This sport must be put in practice an hour before nightfall, in order 
lo be successful ; forifitis put off till later, those birds which but a 
few minutes sooner came to provoke their enemy, will then fly from 
him with as much terror as they just before showed insolence. 

It is not unpleasant to see one stupid bird made in somjj sort a 
decoy to deceive another. The great horned owl is sometimes made 



^r of hii 



U8e of for ihis purpose to luru the kite, whenlalconersdesire to calch 
him for llie purposes of training the falcon. Upou this occasion tliey 
clap the tail of a fox to the great owl, to render his figure extraor- 
dinary; in which trim he sails slowly along, dying low, which is his 
usual manner. The kite, either curious to observe this odd kind of 
animal, or perhaps inquisitive to see whether it may not be proper 
for food, flies after, and comes nearer and nearer. In this manner 
lie continues to hover, and sometimes to i^escend, till the falconer 
setting a strong- winged hawk against him, seizes him for the purpose 
of training his young ones at home. 

The usual place where the great horned owl breeds is in the 
cavern of a rock, the hollow of a tree, or tlie turret of some ruined 
castle. Its nest is near three feet in diameter, and composed of 
sticks, bound together by the fibrous roots of trees, and lined with 
leaves on the inside. It lays about three eggs, which are larger than 
those of a hen, and of a colour somewhat resembling the bird itself. 
The young ones are very voracious, and the parents not less expert 
at satisfying the call of hunger. The lesser owl of this kind never 
makes a. neat for itself, but always takes Up with the old nest of some 
other bird, which it has often been forced to abandon, ft lays four 
or five eggs ; and the young are all while at first, but change colour 
in about a fortnight. The other owls in general build near the place 
where they chiefly prey ; that which feeds upon birds, in Home neigli- 
bouring grove ; that which preys chiefly upon mice, near some 
farmer's yard, where the proprietor of the place takes care to give 
it perfect security. In fact, whatever mischief one species of owl 
may do in the woods, the bam owl makes a auflicient recompense 
for, by being equally active in destroying mice nearer home ; >o thai 
a single owl is said to be more serviceable than half a dozen cats id 
ridding the barn of its domestic vermin. " In the year 1580," says 
an old writer, " at Hallontide, an army of mice so overrun the 
marshes near Southminstcr, that they eat up the grass [o the very 
roots. But at length a great number of strange painted owls came 
and devoured all the mice. The like happened again in Essex about 
sixty years after." 

To conclude our account of these birds, they are all very shy of 
man, and extremely indocile and difHcult to be tamed. The while 
owl in particular, as M. Buflbn asserts, cannot be made ti> live in 
capjivily; I suppose he means if it be taken when old. "They 
live," says he, " ten or twelve days in the aviary where they are 
shut up ; but they refuse all kind of nourishment, and at last die of 
hunger. By day they remain without moving from the floor of the 
aviary : in the evening they mount on the highest perch, where they 
continue to make a noise like a man snoring with his mouth open. 
This seems designed as a call for their old companions without ; and 
in fact I have seen several others come to the call, and perch 
upon the roof of the aviary, where they made the same kind 
of hissing, and soon afler permitted themselves to be taken in 





From the most rapacious snd noxious tribe of birds, we make a 
transition to those which of all others are the most hannlesa and tbe 
most serviceable to man. He may force the rapacious tribes tu assist 
his pleasures in the field, or induce the smaller warblers to delight 
him with tiieir singing; but it is from the poultry kind that he de- 
rives the most solid advantages, as they not only make a considerable 
addition to the necessaries of life, but furnish out the greatest deli- 
cacii^ to every entertainment. 

Almost, if not all the domestic birds of the poultry kind that tve 
maintain in our yards are of foreign extraction ; but there are others 
to be ranked in this class that are a^ yet in a slate of nature, and 
perhaps only wait till they become sufliciently scarce to be taken 
under the care of man to multiply their propagation. It will appear 
remarkableenough, if we consider how much the lame poultry which 
we have imported from distant climates has increased, and how much 
those wild birds of the poultry kind that have never yet been taken 
into keeping have been diminished and destroyed. They are all 
thinned ; and many of the species, especially in the more cultivated 
and populous parts of the kingdom, are utterly unseen. 

Under birds of the ponltry kind I rank alt those that have white 
flesh, and, comparatively to their head and limbs, have bulky bodies. 
They are furnished with short strong bills for picking up grain, which 
is their chief and often their only sustenance. Their wings are short 
and concave, for which reason they are not able to fly far. They 
lay a great many eggs ; and as they lead their young abroad the very 
day they ere hatched in quest of food, which they are shown by the 
mother, and which they pick up for themselves, they generally make 
their nests on the ground. The toes of all these are united by a 
membrane as far as the first articulation, and then are divided as in 
those of the former class. 

Under this class we may therefore rank the common cock, the pea- 
cock, the turkey, the pintada or Guinea-hen, the pheasant, the bus- 
lard, the grouse, the partridge, and the quail. These all bear a 
strong similitude to each other, being etjually granivorous, fleshy, 
and delicate to the palate. These are among birds what beasts of 
pasture are among quadrupeds, peaceable tenants of the field, and 
shunning tbe thicker part of the forest, that abounds with n 
animals who carry on unceasing hostilities against them. 



A) nature has formed the 

i clnu fur war, m she m 



equally to have litted these for peace, real, and society. Th^f^ 
wings are but short, so that they are ill formed for nandering from 
one region to another; their bills are also short, and incapable of 
annoying tlieJr opposers : their legs are strong indeed, but their toes 
are made for scratehing up their food, aod not for holding or tearing 
it. These are stilTicient indicaljons of their harmless nature; while 
their bodies, which are fat and fleshy, render them unwieldy travel' 
lers, and incapable of straying far from each other. 

Accordingly we lind them chiefly in society : they live together; 
and though they may have their disputes, like all other animals, upon 
some occasions, yet, when kept in the same district, or fed iu ifie 
same yard, they learn the arts of subordination, and, in proportion 
as each knows his strength, he seldom tries a second time the combat 
where he has once been worsted. 

In this manner, all of this kind seem to lead an indoleut volup- 
tuouB life; as they are furnished internally with a very strong 
stomach, commonly called a giztard, so their voraciousness scarcely 
knows any bounds. If kepi in close captivity, and separated from 
all iheir former companions, they still have the pleasure of eating 
left ; and ihey soon grow fat and unwieldy in their prison. To soy 
this more simply, many of the wilder species of birds, when cooped 
or caged, pine away, grow gloomy, and some refuse all sustenance 
whatever; none, except those of the poultry kind, grow fat, wlio 
seem to lose all remembrance of their former liberty, satisfied witli 
indolence and plenty. 

The poultry kind may be considered as sensual epicures, solely 
governed by their appetites. The indulgence of these seems lu 
influence llieir other habits, and destroys among them that connubial 
fidelity for which most other kinds are remarkable. The eagle and 
tlie falcon, how fierce soever to other animals, are yet gentle and 
true to each other : their connexions when once formed continue till 
death ; and the male and female in every exigence and every doty 
lend faithful assistance to each other. They assist each otlier in ilie 
production of their young, in providing for them when produced, 
and even then, though they drive them forth to fight their own bat- 
tles, yet the old ones still retain their former afiectiou to each other, 
and seldom part far asunder. 

But it is very different with this luxurious class I am now describ- 
ing. Their courtship is but short, and their congress fortuitous. The 
male takes no heed of his offspring, and, satisfied with the pleasure 
ofgeltiDg, leaves to the female all the care of providing fur pos- 
terity. Wild and irregular in his appetites, he ranges from one to 
another, and claims every female which be is strong enough to keep 
from his fellows. Though timorous when opposed to birds of prey, 
yet he is incredibly bold among those of his own kind, and but to 
see a male of his own species U suDicienl to produce a cottibal. 
his desires extend to aJl, every creature becomeH lita enemy tbu 
(ends tobii his rival 



The female, equally without fidelity or attachment, yieMs to the 
most powerful. She stands by, a quiet meretricious spectator of their 
Tury, ready to reward the conqueror with every compliance. She 
takes upon herself all the labour of hatching and bringing up her 
young, aod chooses a place for hatching as remote as possible from 
the cock. Indeed, she gives herself very little trouble in making a 
ne»t, as her young ones are to forsake it the instant they part from 
the shell. 

She ia equally unassisted in providing for her young, which are 
not fed with meat put into their mouths, as in other classes of the 
feathered kind, but peck their food, and, forsaking their nests, run 
here and there, following the parent wherever it ia to be found. She 
leads them forward where they are likely to have the greatest quan- 
tity of grain, and takes care to show, by pecking, the sort proper 
for them to seek for. Though at other limes voracious, she is then 
abstemious to an extreme degree ; and, intent only on providing for 
and showing her young clutch their food, she scarcely takes any 
nourishment herself. Her parental pride seems to overpower every 
other appetite ; but that decreases in proportion as her young ones , 
are more able to provide for themselves, and then all her voracious 
habits return. 

Among the other habits peculiar to this class of birds, is that of 
dusting themselves. They lie Hat in some dusty place, and with 
their wings and feel raise and scatter the dust over their whole body. 
What may be their reason for thus doing, it is not easy to explain. 
Perhaps the heat of their bodies is such, that they require this powder 
to be interposed between their feathers to keep them from lying too 
close together, and thus increasing that heat with which they are 



Att birds taken under the protection of man lose a portofthefr 
natural figure, and are altered not only in their habits, but their very 
form. Climate, food, and captivity, are three very powerful agents 
in producing these alterations ; and those birds that have longest felt 
their influence under human direction, are the most likely to have 
the greatest variety in their figures, their plumage, and their dis- 

or all other birds, the cock seems to be the oldest companion of 
mankind, to have been first reclaimed from the forest, and taken to 
supply the accidental failure of the luxuries or the necessaries of life. 
As he is thus longest under the care of man, so of ail others perhaps 
he exhibits the greatest number of varieties, there being scarce two 
biffls of this species that exactly resemble each other in plumage and 



rorm. The tail, which makes such a beaiitinil figure in the generalily 
of these bii^s, isyei found entirely wanting in others; and not only 
the tail, but the rump also. The toes, which are uHually four in nil 
animals of the poultry kind, yet in a species of the cock are found 
to amount to five. The feathers, which lie so sleek and in such 
beautiful order in most of those we are acquainted with, are in a 
peculiar breed all inverted, and stand staring the wrong way. Nay, 
there is a species that comes from Japan, which instead of feathers 
seems to be covered over with hair. These and many other varieties 
are to be found in this animal, which seem [o be the marks this early 
prisoner bears of his long captivity. 

It is not well ascertained when the cock was Rrst made domestic 
in Europe, but it is generally agreed that we first had him in oiir 
western world from the kingdom of Persia. Aristophanes calls the 
cock the Persian bird, and tells la he enjoyed that kingdom before 
some of its earliest monarcha. This animal was in fact known so 
early, even in the most savage parts of Europe, that we are told 
the cock was one of Iho forbidden foods among the ancient Britons. 
Indeed, the domestic fowl seenia tohavebanished the wild one. Persia 
itself, that first introduced it to our acquaintance, seems no longer to 
know it in its natural form ; and if we did not find it wild in some of 
the woodsof India, as welt as those of the islands in the Indian Ocean, 
we might begin to doubt, as we do with regard to the sheep, in what 
form it first existed in a slate of nature. 

But those doubts no longer exist : tlie cock is found in the island 
of Tinion, in many others of (he Indian Ocean, and in the woods on 
the coast of Malabar, in his ancient state of independence. In his 
wild condition, his plumage is black and yellow, and his comb and 
wattles yellow and purple. There Is another peculiarity also in those 
of the Indian woods; their bones, which when boiled with us are 
white, as every body knows, in those are as black as ebony. Whe- 
ther this tincture proceeds from their food, as the bones arc tinctured 
red by feeding upon madder, I leave to the discussion of others: 
satisfied with the fact, let us decline speculation. 

In their first propagation in Europe, there were distinctions then 
that now subsist no longer. Tho ancients esteemed those fowls whose 
plumage was reddish as invaluable; but as for the white, it was con- 
sidered as utterly unfit for domestic purposes. These they regarded 
as subject to become a prey to rapacious birds; and Aristotle thinks 
them less fruitful than the former. Indeed, his division of those birds 
seems to be taken from their cuhnary uses; the onesort he calls 
generous and noble, being remarkable for fecundity ; the other sort, 
ignoble and useless, from their sterility. These distinctions differ 
widely from our modern notions of generosity in this animal ; Hint 
which we call the game-cock being by no means so fruitful as the 
ungenerous dunghill-cock, which we treat with contempt. The 
Athenians had their cock matches as well as we; but it is probable 
they did not enter into our refinement of choosing out ihe most barren 
of the species for the purposes of combat. 


However tliis be, no animal in the world has greEif^K»)urage than 
the cock when opposed to one of bis own species ; and in every part 
of the world where relinoment and potished manners hove not en- 
tirel; taken place, cock-fighting is a piincipal diversion. In China, 
India, the Philippine Islands, and all over the East, cock-fighting is 
the sport and amusement even of kings and prince;. With'us it is 
declining every day ; and it is lo be hoped it will in lime become 
only the pastime of the lowest vulgar. It is the opinion of many, 
that we have a bolder and more valiant breed than is to be found 
elsewhere ; and some, indeed, have entered into a serious discussion 
upon the cause of so flattering a singularity. But the truth is, lliey 
have cocki in China as bold, if not bolder than ours; and, what 
would still be considered as valuable among cockers here, they have 
more strength with less weight. Indeed, I have oden wondered why 
men who lay two or three hundred pounds upon the prowess of a 
single cock, have not taken every method to improve the breed. 
Nothing, it is probable, could do this more effectually than by crossing 
the strain, as it ia called, by a foreign mixture ; and whether having 
recourse even to the wild cock in the forests of India would not be 
useful, I leave to their consideration. However, it is a mean and 
ungenerous amusement] nor would I wish much to promote it. The 
(nith is, I could give such instructions with regard to cock-fighting, 
uid could so arm one of these animals against the other, that it would 
be almost impossible for the adversary's cock to survive the first or 
second blow ; but, as Boerhaave has said upon a former occasion, 
when he was treating upon poisons, " to teach tlie arts of wuelty is 
equivalent to committing them." 

This extraordinary courage in the cock is thought to proceed from 
his being the most salacious of alt other birds whatsoever. A single 
cock suffices for ten or a dozen hens ; and it is said of him, that he 
is the only animal whose spirits are not abated by indulgence. But 
thea he soon grows old ; the radical moisture is exhausted ; and in 
thfee or four years he becomes utterly unfit for the purposes of im- 
pregnation. " ilens also," to use ^e words of Willoughby, " as 
they for the greatest part of the year daily lay eggs, cannot suffice 
for so many births, but for the most part after three years become 
effete and barren ; for when they have eshnusted all their seed-eggs, 
of which they had but a certain quantity from the be^nning, they 
must necessarily cease to lay, there being no new ones generated 

- The hen seldom clutches a brood of chickens above once a season, 
though instances have been known in which they produced two. The 
number of eggs a domestic hen will lay in a year are above two 
hundred, provided she be welt fed, and supplied with water and 
liberty. It matters not much whether she be trodden by the cock or 
no; she will continue to lay, although all the eggs of this kind can 
never by hatching be brought to produce a living animal. Her nest 
is made without any care, if left to herself; a hole scratched into the 
ground, among a few bushes, h tiie only preparation she makes for 




thiiaeasoii ofH^llent expectation. Nature, almost exhausted bjriu 
own fecundity, geems to inform her of the proper time for hatching, 
which she herself testifies by a chicking note, and by discontinuing 
to lay. The good housewives, who ofien get more by their heiw 
laying than by their chickens, artificially protract this clucking season, 
and sometimes entirely remove it. A» soon as their hen begins to 
cluck, they stint her in her provisions; if that &ilB, they plunge her 
into cold water : this, for the lime, effectually puis back her hatching, 
but then it oflen kills the poor bird, who takes cold and dies under 
the operation. 

If left entirely lo herself, the hen would seldom lay above twenty 
eggs in the snme nest, without atleinpiing to hatch them ; but in pro- 
portion as she lays, her eggs are removed; and she continues to 
lay, vainly hoping to increase the number. In the wild state, the 
hen seldom lays above fifteen eggs; but then her provision is more 
difficultly obtained, and she is perhaps sensible of the difficulty of 
maintaining too numerous a family. 

When the hen begins to sit, nothing can exceed her perseverance 
and patience; she continues for some days immoveable, and when 
forced away by the importunities of hunger, she quickly returns 
Sometlrnes also her eggs become too hot for her to bear, espe. 
cially if she be furnished with too warm a nest within doors, for then 
she is obliged to leave them to cool a little : thus the warmth of the 
nest only retards incubation, and often puts the brood a day or two 
back in the shell. While the hen sils, she carefully turns her eggs, 
and even removes them to different situations; till at length in 
about three weeks, the young brood begin to give signs of a desire 
1o burst their confinement. When by the repeated efforts of their 
bill, which serves like a pioneer on this occasion, tbcy have broke 
themselves a passage through the shell, the hen still continues to sit 
till ell are excluded. The strongest and best chickens generally 
are the first candidates for liberty ; the weakest come behind, and 
soma even die in the shell. When all are produced, she then leads 
them forth to provide for themselves. Her affection and her pride 
seem tlien to alter her very nature, and correct her imperfectiotis. 
No longer voracious or cowardly, she abstains from all food that her 
young can swallow, and flies boldly at every creature that she thinks 
is likely to do them mischief. Whatever the invading animal be, 
she boldly attacks him ; the h(»-se, the hog, or the mastiff, Wlien 
marching at the head of her little troop, she acts tlie commander, 
and has a variety of notes to call her numerous train to their food, or 
to warn them of approaching danger. Upon one of these occanons, 
I have seen the whole brood run for security into the thickest part of 
a hedge, when the hen herself ventured boldly forth, and faced a 
fox that came for plunder. With a good mastiff, however, we soon 
sent the invader back to his retreat ; but not before he had wounded 
the ben in several places. 

Ten or twelve chickens are the greatest number that a good hen 
can rear and clutch at a time; but as this bears no proportion to the 


number of her eggs. Hchemes have been imagined lo clutch all the 
eggs of a hen, and thus turn her produce to the greatest advantage. 
By these cunirivances it has been obtained, that a hen that ordinarily 
produces but twelve chickens in the year, b found to produce or 
many chickens as eggs, and consequently oHen above two hundred. 
The contrivance I mean is the artificial method of hatching chickens 
in stoves, as is practised at Grand Cairo ; or in a chemical elabora- 
toiy properly graduated, sa has been effected by M. Reaumur. At 
Gnnd Cairo ihey thus produce six or seven thousand chickens at a 
time ; where, as they are brought forth in their mild spring, which is 
warmer than our summer, the young ones thrive without clutching. 
But it is otherwise in our colder and unequal climate ; the little ani- 
mals may, without much difficulty, be hatched from the ahetl, but 
they almost all perish when excluded. To remedy this, Reaumur 
has made use of a woollen hen, as he calls it; which was nothing 
more than putting the young ones in a warm basket, and clapping 
overthem a thick woollen canopy. I ahould tliink a much belter Bub- 
^stitute might be found, and this from among the species thennelvea. 
Capons may very easily be taught to clutch a fresh brood of chickens 
throughout the year ; so that when one little colony is thus reared, 
another may be brought to succeed it. Nothing is more common 
than lo see capons thus employed ; and the manner of teaching ihem 
iathis: — first, the capon is made very tame, so as to feed from one's 
hand ; then, about evening, they pluck the feathers off his breast, 
and rub the bare skin with nellies; they then put Ihe chickens to 
him, which presently run under his breast and belly, and probably 
rubbing his bare skin gently with their hends, allay the stinging pain 
whtdi the nettles had just produced. This is repeated for two or three 
nights, till the animal takes an affection to the chickens thai have 
thus givn him relief, and continues lo give them the protection ihey 
seek for: perhaps also the querulous voice of the chickens may be 
pleasant to him in misery, and invite him lo succour the distressed. 
He from that time brings up a brood of chickens like a hen, clutching 
them, feeding Ihem, clucking, and performing all the functions of the 
teoderest parent. A capon once accustomed to this service, will not 
give over ; but when one brood is grown up, he may have another 
nearly hatched put under him, which he 'will treat with the same 
tenderness he did the former. 

The code, from his salaciousness, is allowed to be a short-lived 
animal ; but how long these birds live, if left to themselves, is not 
yet well ascertained by any historian. As they are kept only for 
profit, and in a few years become unfit for generation, there are few 
that, from mere motives of curiosity, will make the tedious experi- 
ment of maintaining a proper number till they die. Aldrovandus 
hints their age to be ten years ; and il is probable that this may be 
ris extent. They are subject to some disorders, which it is not our 
business to describe ; and as for poisans, besides nux vomica, which is 
fatal to most animals except man, they arc injured, as Linmeus 
asserts, by elder-berries, of which they are not a little fond. 






people of Italy, is said lo have fl 
e of a devil, and the guts of a tbief. 


Tub Peacock, by 
plumage of an angel, the 

In fact, each of these qualities mark pretty well the nature of ihia 
extraordinary bird. When it appears with its tail expanded, there 

snone of the feathered creation can vie with it for beauty; yet the 
horrid scream of ita voice serves to abate the pleasure we find front 
viewing it ; and still more, its insatiable gluttony and spirit of de- 
predation make it one of the most noxious domestics that man has 
taken under his protection. 

Our first peacocks were brought from the East Indies ; and we 
are assured, that they are still found in vast flocks, in a wild state, 
in the islands of Java and Ceylon. So beautiful a bird, and one 
esteemed such a delicacy at the tables of the luxurious, could not be 
permitted to continue long at liberty in its distant retreats. So early 
as the days of Solomon, we find in his navies, among the articles \m- 
ported from the East, apes and peacocks, ^ian relates, that they 
were brought into Greece from some barbarous country, and were 
held in such high esteem among them, that a male and female were 
valued at above thirty pounds of our money. We are told also, 
that when Alexander was in India, he found them flying wild in vast 
numbers on the banks of the river Hyarotis, and was so struck with 
titeir beauty that he laid a severe fine and punishment on all who 
should kill or disturb them. Nor are we to be surprised at this, as 
the Greeks were so much struck with the beauty of this bird, when 
first brought among them, that every person paid a fixed price fur 
seeing it; and several people came lo Athens, from Lacedaemon and 
Thessaly, purely lo satisfy their curiosity. 

It was probably first introduced into the West merely on account 
of its beauty ; but mankind, from contemplating its figure, soon came 
to think of serving it up for a different entertainment. Aufidius 
llurco stands charged by Pliny willi being the first who fatted up 
the peacock for the feasts of the luxurious. VVhatever there may be 
of delicacy in the flesh of a young peacock, it is certain an old one 
is very indifierent eating ; nevertheless, there is no mention made of 
choosing the youngest; it is probable they were killed indiscrimi- 
nately, the beauty of the feathers in some measure stimulating tlie 
appetite. Hortensius, the orator, was the first who served them up at 
an entertainment at Rome; and from that time lliey were considered 
i of the greatest ornaments of every feast. Whether the 

Roman method of cookery, 
not have rendered them mc 
I cannot tell j but certain ii 
first of viands. 

Its fame for delicacy, ho 

rhich was much highei 
palatable than we find them 
i, they talk of the peacock a 

at present, 

I being Ife^^^ 

long ; ^^^1 


VB find, in Uie times uf Froncu ihe First, that tt was a oiulcxn lo Mf ve 
up peacocks to the tables or the ^real, with an intentioD not to be 
eaten, but only to be aeen. Their manner was to strip off the skin, 
and then prepnrinp the body with the warmest Bpice«, they covered 
it up s^in in its former skin, with all its pliiinage in full display, 
and no way Injured by the preparation. The bird thus prepared, 
was often preserved for many years without corrupting ! and it is 
asserted of the peacock's desh, that it keeps longer unputrefied than 
that of any other animal. To give a higher zest to these entertain- 
ments, on weddings particularly, they filled the bird's beak and 
throat with cotton and camphire, which they set on fire to amuse and 
delight the company. I do not know that the peacock is much used 
at our entertainments at present, except now and then at ap alder- 
man's dinner or a common council feast, when our citizens resolve 
to be splendid ; and even then it is never served with its cotton and 

Like other birds of the poultry kin^, the peacock feeds upon corn, 
bat lis chief predilection in for barley. But as it is a very proud 
and fickle bird, there is scarcely any food that it will not at times 
covet and pursue. Insects and tender plants are often eagerly soug'ht 
at a time that it has a sufficiency of its natural food provided more 
nearly. In the indulgence of these capricious pursuits, walls cannot 
easily confine it ; it strips the tops of houses of their tiles or (liatch, 
it lays wante the labours of the gardener, roots up his choicest seeds, 
and nips his favourite flowers in the bud. Thus its beauty but ill 
recompenses for the mischief it occasions; and many of the more 
homely looking fowls are very deservedly preferred before it. 

Nor is the pea«ock less a debauchee in Its affections than a glutton 
in its appetites. He is still more salacious than even the cock ; and 
though not possessed of the same vigour, yet burns with more im- 
tnoderate desire. He requires five females at least to attend him : 
and if there be not a sufficient number, he will even run upon and 
tread the sitting hen. For this reason the pea-hen endeavours, as 
much as ^e can, to hide her nest from the male, aa he would other- 
wise disturb her sitting, and break her eggs. 

The pea-hen seldom lays above five or six eggs in this climate 
before she sits. Aristotle describes her aa laying twelve ; and it is 
probable, in her native climate, she may be thus prolific ; for it is 
certain, that in the forests where they breed naturally, they are 
numerous beyond expression. This bird lives about twenty years; 
and not till its third year has it that beautiful variegated plumage 
that adorns its tail. 

" In the kingdom of Cambaya," says Taverner, " near the city 
of Baroch, whole flocks of them are seen in the fields. They are very 
shy, however, and it is impossible to come near them. They run ofT 
swifter than the partridge, and bide themselves in thickets, where it 
is impossible to find them. They perch by night upon trees ; and 
the fowler often approaches them at that season with a kind of 
banner, on which a peacock is painted V the life, on either side. A 



lighted tort* is flxud on the top of ihia decoy ; and the peacock, 
wtien dUtui-bed, flies lo wiiat il lakes for another, and Is thus caught 
in a noose prepared for thai purpoae," 

There are varieties of this bird, some of which are white, others 
crested: that which is called the Peacock of Thibet, is the most 
beautiful of the feathered creation, containing in iu plumage all the 
most vivid colours, red, blue, yellow, and green, disposed in an al- 
most artificial order, as if merely to please the eye of the beholder. 




Tub natal place of the cock and peacock is pretty well ascertained, 
but there are stronger doubts concerning the Turkey ; some contend- 
ing that it has been brought into Europe from the East Indies many 
centuries ago, while others assert that il is wholly unknown in thai 
part of the world, that it is a native of the New Continent, and that 
it was not brought into Europe till the discovery of that part of tike 

Those who contend for the latter opinion very truly observe, tlmt 
among all the descriptions we have of Eastern birds, thai of the 
turkey is not to be found ; while, on the contrary, it is very welt 
known in the New Continent, where il runs wild about the woods. 
It is said by them to have been Urst seen in France in the reign of 
Francis the First, and in England in that of Henry the Eighth ; 
which is about the lime that Mexico was first conquered by Spain. 
On the other hand it is asserted, that the turkey, ho far froni being 
unknown in Europe before that time, was known even tu the an- 
cients, and that ^lian has given a pretty just description of it. They 
allege, that its very name implies its having been brought from some 
part of the East ; and that it is found, among other dainties, served 
up to the tables of the great, before ilial tltne, among ourselves. But 
what they pretend to be the strongest proof is, that though the wild 
turkey be so very common in America, yet the natives cannot con- 
trive to tame it ; and though hatched in the ordinary manner, nothing 
uun render il domestic. In this diversity of opinions, perhaps, it b 
best to suspend assent till more lights are thrown on the subject; 
however, I am inclined to concur with the former opinion. 

With us, when young, it is one of the tenderest of all birds; yet, 
in its wild statu, it is found in great plenty in the forests of Canada, 
that are covered with snow above three parts of the year. In their 
natural woods, they are found much larger than in their state of 
domestic captivity. They are much more beautiful also, their 
feathers being of a dark grey bordered at the edges with a bright 
gold colour. These the savages of the country weave into cloaks 
to adorn their persons, and fashion into fans and umbrellas, but 


never once think of taking ioto IteepiDg Bnimats that the vrooda fur- 
nish them with in sufficient abundance. Savage man seems to find 
a delight in precarious poitsession. A great part of the pleasure of 
the chase lies in the uncertainty of the pursuit, and he is unwilhng 
to abridge himself in any accidental success tliat may attend his 
fatigues. The hunting the turkey, therefore, makes une of his prin- 
cipal diversions, as its flesh contributes chieSy to the support of his 
family. When he has discovered the place of their retreat, which in 
general is near Gelds of nettles, or where there is plenty of any kind 
of grain, he takes his dog with him, which is trained to the sport 
(a faithful rough creature, supposed to be originally reclaimed from 
the wolf), and he sends him into the midst of the flock. The turkeys 
no sooner perceive their enemy than they set off running at full 
speed, and with such swiftness, that they leave the dog far behind 
them ; he follows, nevertheless, and sensible they must soon be 
tired, as they cannot go full speed for any length of time, he at last 
forces them to take shelter in a tree, where they sit, quite spent and 
fatigued, till the hunter comes up, and with a long pole knocks them 
down one after the other. 

This manner of suffering themselves lo be destroyed, argues no 
great instinct in the animal ; and indeed, in their captive state, they 
do not appear to be possessed of much. They seem a stupid, vain, 
querulous tribe, apt enough to quarrel among themselves, yet with- 
out any weapons to do each other an injury. Every body knows 
the strange antipathy the turkey-cock has to a red colour, how he 
bristles, and with his pecuhar gobbling sound, flies to attack it. But 
there is another method of increasing the animosity of these birds 
against each other, which is often practised by boys when they have 
a mind for a battle. This is no more than to smear over the head 
of one of the turkeys with dirt, and the rest run to attack it with all 
ihe speed of impotent animosity ; nay, two of them, thus disguised, 
will fight each other till they are almost suffocated with fatigue and 

But though BO furious among themselves, Ihey are weak and 
cowardly against other animals, though far less powerful than they. 
The cock often makes the turkey keep at a distance ; and they 
seldom venture to attack him but with united force, when they rather 
oppress him by their weight than annoy him by their arms. There 
is no animal, how contemptible soever, that will venture bfJdIy to 
face the turkey-cock, that he will not fly from. On the contrary, 
with the insolence of a bully, he pursues any thing that seems to 
fear him, particularly lap dogs and children, against both which he 
seems to have a peculiar aversion. On such occasions, after he has 
made them scamper, he returns to his female train, displays his 
plumage around, struts about the yard, and gobbles out a note of 
self, approbation. 

The female seems of a milder, gentler disposition. Rather 
querulous than bold, she hunts about in quest of grain, and in pur- 
suit of insects, being particularly delighted with the eggs of ants 




9 nd -caterpillar. She lays eigrhteen or twenty eggs, lai^er ihaa 
those of a hen, whilish, but marked with spots resembling the freckles 
of the face. Her young are extremely lender al first, and must be 
carefully fed nith curd chopped with dock leaves ; but 03 they grow 
older, ihey become more hardy, and follow the mother to consider- 
able distances, io pursuit of insect food, which they prefer to any 
other. On these occasious, however, the female, though so large, 
and as it would seem so powerful a bird, gives them bnt very little 
protection against the attacks of any ropacious animal that comes 
m her way. She rather warna her young to shift for themselves, 
•than prepares to defend them. " 1 have heard," says the Abbe U 
Pluche, " a turkey-hen, when at the head of her brood, send forth 
the most hideous scream, without knowing as yet the cause; how- 
ever, her young, immediately when the warning was given, skulked 
under the bushes, the grass, or whatever else offered for shelter or 
protection. They even stretched themselves at their full length 
upon the ground, and continued lying as motionless as if they were 
dead. In the mean time, the mother, with her eyes directed up- 
wards, continued her cries and screaming as before. Upon looking 
up to where she seemed to gaze, 1 discovered a black spot Just 
under the clouds, but was unable at Grst to determine what it was; 
however, it soon appeared to be a bird uf prey, though at first at 
too great a distance to be distinguished, I have seen one of these 
animals continue in this violent agitated state, and her whole 
brood pinned down as it were lo the ground, for four hours toge- 
ther; whilst their formidable foe has taken his circuits, has mounted 
and hovered directly over their beads: at last, upon disappearing, 
the parent began to change her note, and send forth auoltier cry, 
which in an instant gave life to the whole trembling tribe, and they 
all flocked round her with expressions of pleasure, as if conscious ot 
their happy escape from danger." 

When once grown up, turkeys are very hard birds, and feed 
themselves at very little expense to the farmer. Those of Norfolk 
are said to be the largest of this kingdom, weighing from twenty lo 
thirty pounds. There are places, however, in the East Indies, where 
they are known only in their domestic stale, in which Ihey grow tf 
the weight of sixty pounds. 



It would surprise a sporlaman to be lold, ibat tlie Photuant, 
which he finds wild in the woods, in the remotest parts of the king- 
dom, and in forests which can scarcely be laid to have an owner, is 
a foreign bird, and was at first artilicially propagated amongst us. 
They were brought into Europe from the banks of the Phasis, a 
river of Colchis in Asia Minor, from whence they slill retain thetr 

Next to the peacock, they are the most beautiful of birds, as well 
for the vivid colour of their plumes, as for their happy mixtures 
and variety. It is far beyond the power of the pencil to draw any 
thing BO glossy, so bright, or points so finely blending into each 
other. We are lold that when CriEsus, king of Lydia, was seated 
on his throne, adorned with royal magntRcence, and all the bar- 
barous pomp of eastern splendour, he asked Solon if he had ever 
beheld any thing so line 1 The Greek philosopher, no way moved 
by the objects before him, or taking a pride in his native simplicity, 
replied, that after having seen the beautiful plumage of the pheasant 
he could be astonished at no other tinery. 

Id fact, nothing can satisfy the eye with a greater variety and 
richness of ornament than this beautiful creature. The iris of the 
eye is yellow ; and the eyes themselves are surrounded with a scarlet 
colour, sprinkled with small specks of black. On the fore-part of 
the head there are blackish feathers mixed with a shining purple. 
The top of the head and upper part of the neck are tinged with a 
darkish green that shines like silk. In some the top of the head is 
of a shining blue, and the head itself, as well as the upper part of 
the neck, appears somotimes blue and sometimes green, as it is 
differently placed to the eye of the spectator. The feathers of the 
breast, the shoulders, the middle of the back, and the sides under 
the wings, have a blackish ground, with edges tinged of an exquisite 
colour, which appears sometimes black and sometimes purple, ac- 
cording to the different lights it is placed in; under the purple there 
is a transverse streak of gold colour. The tail, from the middle 
feathers to the root, is about eighteen inches long ; tiie legs, the 
feet, and the toes, are of the colour of horn. There are black spurs 
on the legs, shorter than those of a cock ; there is a membrane that 
connects two of tlie toes together; and the male is much more 
beautiful than the female. 

This bird, though so beautiful to tlie eye, is not legs delicate when 

~ rved up to the tabic. Its flesh is considered as the greatest dainty ; 

id when the old physicians spoke of (he whoiesomeness of any 

||iands, they made their comparison with the flesh of the pheasant. 

ever, notwithstanding all these perfections to tempt the curiosity 

e palate, the pheasant has multiplied in iis wild stale ; and, as 






if disdaining the protection of man, he has lefl him to take ahetter 11 
the thickest vooJs and the remotest forests. All others of' the 
mestic kind, the cock, the turkey, or the pinlada, when once re- 
claimed, have still continued in their domestic slate, and persevered 
in the habits and appetites of wilMng slavery. But the pheasant, 
though taken from its native warm retreats, where the woods supply 
variety of food, and the warm aun suits its tender constitution, has 
still continued its attachmeut to native freedom ; and, now wild 
among us, makes the most envied ornament of our parka and forests, 
where he feeds upon acorns and berries, and the scanty produce of 
our chilling climate. 

This spirit of independence seems to attend the pheasant even in 
captivity. In the woods the hen pheasant lays from eighteen to twenty 
eg^ in a season ; but in a domestic state she seldom lays above ten. 
In tlie same manner, when wild, she hatches and leads up her brood 
with patience, vigilance, and courage ; but when kept tame, she 
never sits well, so that a hen is generally her substitute upon such 
occasions : and as for leading her young to their food, she is utterly 
ignorant of where it is to be, found, and the young birds starve if 
lefl solely to her protection. The pheasant, therefore, on every 
account, seems better left at large in the woods than reclaimed ti^ 
pristine captivity. Its fecundity when wild is nnfficienl to slock 
forest; its beautiful plumage adorns it; and its flesh retains a hij 
flavour from its unlimited freedom. 

However, it has been the aim of late to take these birds 
more from the woods, and to keep them in places fitted for their 
reception. Like all others of the poultry kind, they have no great 
sagacity, and sufler themselves easily to be taken. At night they 
roost upon the highest trees of the wood ; and by day they come 
down into the lower brakes and buslies, where their food is chiefly 
found. They generally make a kind of flapping noise when they 
are with the females, and this o[\en apprizes the sportsman of their 
retreats. At other times he tracks them in the snow, and frequently 
takes thetn in springes. But of all birds they are shot most easily, 
as they always make a whirring noise when they rise, by which they 
alarm the gunner, and being a large mark, and flying very sh 
there is scarcely any missing them. 

nd t^^H 



Lt DuDca wilh gold? 

When these birds are taken young into keeping, they b 
familiar as chickens ; and when they are designed for breedild 
they are put together in a yard, five hens to a cock ; for this b' 
like all of the poultry kind, is very salacious. In her natural si 
the female makes her nest of dry grass and leaves ; the same radj 
be laid for her in the pheasantry, and she herself will sometini 
f^operly dispose them. If she refuse to hatch her eggs, ih^ 

hen n 


e got to supply her place, which task she will 

perform with perseverance and success. The young ones ar« yery 
difficult lo be reared ; and they must be supplied with ants' eggs, 
which is the food the old one leads them to gather when wild in the 
woods. To make these go the farther, they are to be chopped up 
with curds or oilier meat ; and the young ones are to be fed with 
great exacloess, both as to the quantity and the time of their supply. 
This food is sometimes also to be varied ; and wood lice, ear-wigs, 
and other inaecla, are lo make a variety. The place where they are 
reared must be kept extremely clean; their water must be changed 
twice or thrice a day ; they must not be exposed till the dew is off 
the ground in the mornings and they should always be taken in 
before aun-set. When they become adult, they very well can shift 
for themselves, but they are particularly fond of oats and barley. 

In order to increase the breed, and make it still more valuable, 
Longolius teaches us a method that appears very peculiar. The 
pheasant is a very bold bird when first brought into the yard among 
other poultry, nut sparing the peacock, nor even such young cocks 
and hens as it can master; but after a time it will live tamely among 
them, and will at last be brought to couple with a common hen. 
The breed thus produced takes much stronger after the pheasant 
than the hen ; and in a few successions, if they be let to breed with 
the cock- pheasant, for the mixture is not barren, there will be pro> 
duced a species more tame, stronger, and more proline ; so that he 
adds, that it u strange why most of our pheasantries are not stocked 
with birds produced in this manner. 

The pheasant, when full grown, seems to feed indifTerently upui 
every thing that ofiers. It is said by a French writer, that one of 
the king's sportsmen shooting at a parcel of crows that were gathered 
round a dead carcass, to his great surprise upon coming up, found 
that he had killed as many pheasants as crows. It is even asserted 
by some, that such is the carnivorous disposition of this bird, that 
when several of them are put together in the same yard, if one of 
them happens to fall sick, or seems to be pining, that all the rest 
will fall upon, kill, and devour it. Such is the language of books ; 
those who have frequent opportunities of esamijiing the manners 
of the bird itself, know what credit ought to be given to such an 

Of the pheasant, as of all other domestic fowl, there are many 
varieties. There are white pheasants, crested pheasants, spotted 
pheasants ; but of all others, the golden pheasant of China is t' 
most boamiful, It is a doubt whether the peacock itself can b( 
the comparison. However, the natives of China would not have 
consider it as their most beautiful bird, though covered all over w; 
eyes, resembling in miniature those of the peacock. By their t 
counts it is far exceeded by the Fotiffiehang, an imaginary bird 
which they give a most fantastic description. It is thus that the 
people of every country, though possessed of the greatest 
tages, have still others that ihfy would persuade strangers they 
^oy> which have existence only in the imagination- 



S84 HJfiTOBY or 



TuiB curious bird \a found in varloHs parts of South Ami 
but in greatest plenty in the Amazons country. It is about the size 
of a large fowl, and lays eggs of a blue-green colour. The plomage 
b black, excepting the head and breast, which are of a smooth 
shining green. The bill is moderately long; the upper mandible is 
convex ; the nostrils are obtong, sunk, and pervious ; the tongue is 
cartilaginous, flat, and fringed at the end; and the legs are n^ed 
a little above the knees, with three toes before, and one behind. 

The Trumpeter is also met with in the Carribee Islands, where it 
is called a plUtuanl, and its flesh is reckoned as good as that of the 
pheasant. The most characteristic and remarkable property of these 
birds consists in the wonderful noise they make, which some have 
supposed to proceed from the anus, and others from the belly. It 
is now certain, however, that this sound proceeds from the lungs. 
This bird is easily rendered familiar, and ^ows a strong attachment 
to those who feed ii. It follows its master every-where like a dog; 
and it is also remarkable that it will follow people through the 
streets, and out of town, and these too even perfect strangers. It is 
difficult to get rid of them ; for if you enter a house they will wait 
your return, and again join you, though often after an interval of 
three hours. " I have sometimes," says M. de la Borde, " betaken 
myself to my heels ; but they ran faster, and always got before me ; 
and when I stopped, they stopped also. — I know one," continues he, 
•"which invariably follows all the strangers who enter its master's 
house, accompanies them into the garden, takes as many turns as 
they do, and attends them back again." In their wild stale, they 
associate in large flocks, and run with surprising swiftness.] 



This is a very remarkable bird, and in some measure unites the 
characteristics of the pheasant and the turkey. It has the fine deli- 
cate shape of the one, and the bare head of the other. To be more 
particular, it is about the size of a common hen ; but as it is sup- 
ported on longer legs, it looks much larger. It has a round back, 
with a tail turned downwards like a partridge. The head is covered 
with a kind of casque ; and the whole plumage is blat& or dark 
grey, speckled with while spots. It has wattles under the bill, 
which do not proceed from the lower chap as in cocks, but from the 
upper, which gives it a very peculiar air, while its restless gait and 



odd ohudcling sound distinguish it sufflciently ttom all other birds 

It is well known all over Europe, and even better than with ub, 
as the nations thai border on the Mediterranean probably had it 
before us from those pnrts of Africa which lay nearest. Accordingly 
we find it in ditlerent countries called by diSerent names, from the 
place whence they had il. They are by some called the Barbary 
hen ; by others, the Tamis bird ; and by others, the bird of Numidia. 
We have given it the name of that part of Africa from whence pro> 
bably il was first brought. 

In many parts of their native country ihey are seen in vast docks 
together, feeding their young, and leading them in quest of food. 
All their habila are like those of the poultry kind, and they agree in 
every other respect, except that tlia male and female are so much 
alike, that they can hardly be distinguished asunder. The only dif- 
ference lies in the wattles described above, which in the cock are of 
a bluish cast, in the hen they are more inclining to red. Their eggs, 
like their bodies, are speckled ; in our climate they lay but five or 
six in a season, but they are far more prolific in their sultry regions 
at home. They are kepi among us rather for show than use, as 
their flesh is not much esteemed, and as they give a good deal of 
trouble in the rearing. 




The Bustard is the largest land bird that is a native of Britain. 
It was once much more numerous than il is at present; but the in- 
creased cultivation of the country, and the extreme delicacy of iia 
flesh, has greatly thinned the species, so that a time may come when 
il may be doubted whedier ever so large a iMrd was bred among us. 
Il is probable that long before this the bustard would have been 
extirpated, but for its peculiar manner of feeding. Had il conti- 
nued to seek shelter among our woods, in proportion as they were 
cut down it must have been destroyed. If in the forest, the fowler 
might approach it without being seen ; and the bird, from its size, 
would be too great a mark to be easily missed. Bui it inhabits 
only the open and extensive plain, where its food lies in abundance, 
and where every invader may be seen at a distance. 

The bustard is much larger than the turkey ; the male generally 
weighing from twenty-live to twenly-seven pounds. The neck is a 
foot long, and the legs a foot and a half. The wings are not. pro- 
porlionabje to the rest of the body, being but four feet from the tip 
of the one to tlie other; for which reason the bird flies with great 
didicully. The head and neck of the male are ash-coloured; the 
back is barred transversely with black, bright, and rust colour. The 



peater quill 

vhrch con.iUU 

^^ It would 8 

^H bird as thia a 

^^B but the wond 

^^H countries, wl' 

^^H disco vered. 

^H the extensive 

^^M Lothian in Si 

^^M woods to sere 

^^H tarda enjoy 

^^r berries that ; 


greater quill feathers are black; the belly white; and the tail, 
which conniets of twenty feathers, is marked with broad black ban. 

odd, as was hinted before, how so large a 
bird as this could lind shelter in so cultivated a country as Englaod 
but the wonder will cease when we find it only in the most o 
countries, where there is scarcely any approaching without T 
discovered. They are frequently seen in flocks of fifty or niore,l 
e downs of Salisbury Plain, in the heaths of Sussex w 
Cambridgeshire, the Dorsetshire uplands, and so on as far as i 
Lothian in Scotland. In those extensive plains, where there a 
woods to screen the sportsman, nor hedges to creep along, the b 
tards enjoy an indolent security. Their food is composed of tl 
berries that grow among the heath, and the large earth-wor 
appear in great quantities on the downs before sun-rising in s 
It is in vain that the fowler creeps forward to approach them ; 
have always sentinels placed at proper eminences, which ai 
^^^ the watch, and warn the flock of the smallest appearance of daoj 
^^L All therefore that is left the sportsman, is the comfortless vj 
^^H their distant security. He may wish, bm they are in safety. 
^^P It sometimes happens that these birdi, though they are seldo4 

^~ shot by the gun, are often run down by greyhounds. As they n 
voracious and greedy, they often sacrifice their safety to their 
tite, and feed themselves so very fat, that they are unable to ■ 
without great preparation. When the greyhound, therefore, com 
within a certain distance, the bustard runs off Happing its wings, t 
endeavouring to gather air enough under them to rise; in the im _ 
lime the enemy approaches nearer and nearer, till it is too late t 
the bird even to think of obtaining safety by flight ; forjtuta 
, rise there is always time lost, and of this the bird is sensible ; it con- 

tinues, therefore, on the foot until it has got a sufficient way before 
the dog for flight, or until it is taken. 

As there are few places where they can at once find proper food 
and security, so they generally continue near their old haunts, seldom 
wandering above twenty or thirty mites from home. As their food 
is replete with moisture, it enables them to live upon these dry 

I plains, where there are scarcely any springs of water, a long time 
without drinking. Besides this, nature has given the males an ad- 
mirable magazine for their security against thirst. This is a pouch, 
the entrance of which lies immediately under the tongue, and capa- 
ble of holding near seven quarts of water. This is probably filll " 
upon proper occasions, to supply the hen when sitting, or the yoiq 
before tliey can fly. 
Like all other birds of the poultry kind, they change their n 
at the season of incubation, which is about the latter end of summ 
They separate in pairs if there be a sufficiency of females for l| 

males ; but when this happens id be otherwise, the males flght u 

e of them falls. In France, they often find some of those victia 
to gallantry dead in the fields, and no doubt are not displeasedJ 
" e occasion. 


They make their nosts upon the ground, only jusl scraping a hole 
in the earth, and sometimes lining it with a little long grass or straw. 
There they lay two eggs only, almost of the size of a goose egg, ofa 
pale olive brown, marked with spots of a darker colour. They hatch 
for about five weeks, and the young ones run about as soon as they 
are out of the shell. 

The bustards assemble in flocks in the month of October, and 
keep together till April. In winter, as their food becomes more 
scarce, they support themselves indiscriminately by feeding on 
moles, mice, and even little birds, when they can seize them. For 
want of other food, tliey are contented to live upon turnip leaves and 
such like succulent vegetables. !n some parts of Switzerland they 
are found frozen in the fields in severe weather : but when taken to 
a warm place they again recover. They usually live fifteen years, 
and are incapable of being propagated in a domestic state, as tliey 
probably want that food which best agrees with their appetite. 



Tub Cock of the Wood, the Black Cock, the Grouse, and the 
Ptarmigan, — these are all birds of a similar nature, and chiefly found 
in heathy mountains and piny foresli, at a distance from mankind. 
They might once indeed have been common enough all over Eng- 
land, when a great part of the country was covered with heath ; but 
at present their numbers are thinned : the two first of this kind are 
utterly unknown in the South, and have taken refuge in the northern 
parts of Scotland, where the extensive heaths afford them security, 
and the forests shelter. 

The cock of the wood is sometimes of the size of a turkey, and 
often weighs near fourteen pounds; the block cock, of which the 
male is all over black, though the female is of the colour of a 
partridge, is about the size of a hen, and, like the former, is only 
found with us in the Highlands of Scotland ; the grouse is about 
half as large again as a partridge, and its colour much like that of 
a woodcock, but redder; the ptarmigan is still somewhat less, and 
of a pale brown or ash colour. They are all distinguishable from 
other birds of the poultry kind, by a naked skin, of a scarlet colour, 
above the eyes, in the place and of the figure of eye-brows. 

It seems to be something extraordinary, that all the larger wild 
animals of every species choose the darkest and the inmost recesses 
of the woods for their residence, while the smaller kinds come more 
into the open and cultivated parts, where there is more food and 
more danger. It is thus with the birds I am describing : while the 
cock of the wood is seldom seen, except on the inaccessible parts of 
heathy mountains, or in the midst of piny forests, the grouse is found 



in great numbers in Ihe neighbourhooj of com fields, where there 
ig heath to afibrd retreat and shelter. Their food too somewhat 
differs; while the smaller kind lives upon heath blossoms, craU' 
berries, and corn, the larger feeds upon the cones of the pine tree, 
and will somelimea entirely strip one iree, before it oSers to touch 
those of another, though just beside him. In other respects, the 
manners of these birds are the same, being both equally simple in 
their diet, and licentious in their amours. 

The Cock of the Wood, for it b from him we will take our de- 
scription, is, as was said, chiefly fond of a mountainous and woody 
situation. In winter he resides in the darkest and inmost part of 
the woods ; in summer he ventures down from his retreats, to make 
short depredations on the farmer's com. The delicacy of bis flash 
in some measure sets a hig'h price upon his head ; and as he is 
greatly sought after, so he conlinties, when he comes down from the 
hills, always on his guard. Upttn these occasions he is seldom sur- 
prised ; and those who would lake him must venture up to find him 
in his native retreats. 

The cock of the wood, when in the forest, attaches himself prin- 
cipally to the oak and the pine tree ; the cones of the latter serving 
for his food, and the thick boughs for a habitation. He even makes 
a choice of what cones he shall feed upon; for he somelimes will 
strip one tree bare before he will deign to touch the cones of another. 
He feeds also upon anls' eggs, which seem a high delicacy to all 
birds of the poultry kind ; cranberries are likewise often found in 
his crop; and his gizzard, like that of domestic fowls, containsa 
quantity of gravel, for the piirpose of assisting his powers of di- 

At the earliest return of spring this bird begins to feel the genial 
' influence of the season : during the month of March, the approaches 
of courtship are continued, and do not desist till the trees have all 
their leaves, and the forest is in full bloom. During this whole season 
the cock of the wood is seen, at Hun-rise and sun-setting, extremely 
active upon une of the largest branches of the pine tree. With his 
tail raised and expanded like a fan, and llio wings drooping, he is 
seen walking backward and forward, his neck stretched out, his head 
swoln and red, and making a thousand ridiculous postures : his cry, 
upon that occasion, is a kind of loud explosion, which is instaolly 
followed by a noise like the whetting of a scythe, which ceases and 
commences alternately for about an hour, and is then terminated by 
the same explosion. 

During the time this singular cry continues, the bird seems entirely 
deaf, and insensible of every danger: whatever noise may be made 
near him, or even though flred at, he still continues his call ; artd 
this is the lime that sportsmen generally take to shoot him. Upon 
all other occasions he is the most timorous and watchful bird in 
nature; but now he seems entirely absorbed by his insiincis, and 
seldom leaves the place where he first begins to feel the accesses of 
desire. This extraordinary cry, which is dcconipanted by a clap- 


ping of the tvings, U no aoonet finished, than ihe female hearing it 
replies, approaches, and places herself under the tree, from whence 
the cock descends to impregnate her. The number of females that 
on this occasion resort to his call, is uncertain ; but one male gene- 
rally suffices for alt- 

The female js much less than her male, and entirely unlike him 
in plumage, so lliat she might be mistaken for a bird of another 
species: she seldom lays more than six or seven eggs, which are 
white, and marked with yellow, of the size of a common hen's egg ; 
she geneially lays them in a dry place, and a mossy ground, and 
hatches them without the company of the cock. When she is 
obliged, during the time of incubation, to leave her eggs in quest of 
food, she covers them up so artfully with moss or dry leaves, that it 
is extremely difficult to discover ihem. On this occasion she is ex- 
tremely tame and tranquil, however wild and timorous in ordinary. 
She often keeps to her nest, though strangers attempt to drag her 

As soon as the young ones are hatched, they are seen running 
with extreme agility after the mother, though sometimes they are 
not entirely disengaged from the shell. The hen leads them for- 
ward, for the first time, into the woods, Shows them anis' eggs, and 
the wild mountain berries, which, while young, are their oiily food. 
As they grow older, their appetites grow stronger, and they then 
feed vpon the tops of heather, and the cones of the pine tree. In 
this manner, they soon come tq perfection; they are a hardy bird, 
their food lies every-where before them, and it might therefore be 
expected that they should be found in great abundance. But this 
is not the case; their numbers are thinned by rapacious birds and 
beasts of every kind, and still more by their own salacious contests. 

As soon as (he clutching is over, whieh the female performs in 
the manner of a hen, the whole brood follows the mother for about 
a. month or two ; at the end of which tlie young males entirely for- 
sake her, and keep in great harmony together till the beginning of 
spring. At this season they begin, for the first time, to feci the 
genial access ; and then adieu to all their former friendships ! They 
begin to consider each other as rivals ; and the rage of concupiscence 
quite extinguishes the spirit of society. They light each other like 
game-cocks ; and at that time are so inattentive to their own safety, 
that it often happens that two or three of them are killed at a shot. 
It is probable, that in these contests ttie bird which comes off victo- 
rious takes possession of the female seraglio, as it is certain they 
have no faithful attachments.* 

• This account of the Cock of tlu' Wood il taken from tho Journal CEeo- 


9W- nisTO^T or 


Thb partridge may be particularly considered as belongings 
the sporlsman. It is a bird which even our laws have laken under 
protection, and, like a peacock or a hen, may be ranked as a pri- 
vate property. The only difference now is, that we feed one in our 
farma, the other in our yards; that these are contented captivei, 
those servants that have it in their power (o change their master, by 
changing Iheir habitation. 

" These birds," says Willoughby, " hold l!ie principal place in 
the feasts and entertainments of princes, without which their feasts 
are esteemed ignoble, vulgar, &nd of no account. The Frenchmen 
do BO bighly value, and are so fond of the partridge, that if they be 
wanting, they utterly slight and despise the best spread tables ; as 
if there could be no feast without them." But however this might 
be in the times of our historian, the partridge is now too common 
in France to be considered as a delicacy ; and this, as well as every 
other simple dish, is exploded for luxuries of a more compound in- 

In England, where tlie partridge is much scarcer, and a great deal 
dearer, it is still a favourite delicacy at the tables of the rich ; and 
the desire of keeping it to themselves has induced tliem to make 
laws for its preservation, no way harmoniring with the general spirit 
of the English legislation. What can be more arbitrary than to talk 
of preserving the game; which, when defined, means no more than 
that the poor shall abstain from what the rich have taken a fancy to 
keep to themselves } If these birds could, like a cock or a hen, be 
made legal property; could they be taught to keep within certain 
districts, and only feed on those grounds that belong to the man 
whose entertainments they improve, it (hen might, with some show 
of justice, be admitted, that as a man fed ihem, so he might claim 
llicm, But this is not the case ; nor is it in any man's power lo lay 
a restraint upon the liberty of these birds, that, when let loose', put 
no limits to their excursions. They feed every-where, upon every 
man's ground ; and no man can say. These birds are f«l only by 
me. Those birds which are nourished hy all, belong lo all ; nor can 
any one man, or any set of men, lay claim to them, when still con- 
tinuing in a state of nature. 

1 never walked out about the environs of Paris, that I did not 
consider the immense quantity of game that was running almost 
tame on every side of me, as a badge of the slavery of the people : 
and what they wished me lo observe as an object of triumph, I 
always regarded with a kind of secret compassion : yet this people 
have no game laws for the remoter parts of the kingdom ; the game 
>a only preserved in a few places for the king, and is free in most 
places else. In England the prohibition is general; and the peuant 


n slaves. 


lie is taught to coll ihem. are 

hae not a right ts what e^ 
found to possess. 

Of partridg-es there are two kiods, the grey and the red. The 
rtd partridge is tlie largest of tlie two, and often perches upon trees ; 
the grey, with which we are best acquainted in England, is most 
prolific, and always keeps on the ground. 

The partridge seems to be a bird well known all over the world, 
ax it is found in every country, and in every climate ; as well in the 
frozen regions about the pole, as the torrid tracts under the equator. 
It even seems to adapt itself to the nature of the climate where it 
resfdes. In Greenland, the partridge, which is brown in summer, as 
soon as the icy winter sets in, begins to take a covering suited to 
the season ; it is then clothed with a warm down beneath, and its 
oulvrard plumage assumes the colour of the snows amongst which it 
seeks its food. Thus it is doubly fitted for the place, by the warmth 
and the colour of its plumage ; the one to defend it from the cold, 
the other to prevent its being noticed by the enemy. Those of 
Barakonda, on the other hand, are longer legged, much swifter of 
foot, and choose the highest rocks and precipices to reside in. 

They all, however, agree in one character, of being immoderately 
addicted to venery, and, as some writers affirm, often to an unnatural 
degree. It is certain the male will pursue the hen even to her nest, 
and will break her eggs rather than not indulge his inclinations. 
Though the young ones have kept together in flocks during the 
winter, when they begin to pair in .spring their society disperses, 
and combats, very terrible with respect ta each other, ensue. Their 
manners, in other circumstances, re-^emble all those of poultry in 
general ; but their cunning and instincts seem superior to those of 
the larger kinds. Perhaps, as they live in the very ntiighbourhood 
of their enemies, they have more frequent occasion to put their little 
arts in practice, and learn by habit the means of evasion or safety. 
Wlienever, therefore, a dog, or other fofmidable animal approaches 
their nest, the female uses every means to draw him away. She 
keeps just before him, pretends to be incapable of flying, just hops 
up and then falls down betbre him, but never goes off so far as to 
discourage her pursuer. At length, when she has drawn him entirely 
away from her secret (veasiire, she at once takes wing, and fairly 
leaves him to gaze after her in despair. 

AJler the danger is over, and the dog withdrawn, she then calls 
her young, who assemble at once at her cry, and follow where she 
leads them. There are generally from ten lo (ifleen in a covey ; 
and, if unmolested, they live from fifteen to seventeen years. 

There are several methods of taking them, as is well known ; that 
by which they are taken in a net, with a setting dog, is llie most 
pleasant, as well as the most secure. The dog, as every body 
knows, is trained to this exercise by a long course of education : by 
blows and caresses he is taught tb lie down at the word of command ; 
a partridge is shown him, and he is then ordered to lie down ; he is 
brought into (lie field, and when the sportsman perceives where the 




core; lies, he ordors his dog to crouch ; al length the dog, from 
habit, crouches whenever he approaches a covey ; and this is the 
signal which the sportsman receives for unfolding and covering the 
birds with bis net. A covey thus caught, is sometimes fed in a place 
proper for their reception ; but they can never be thoroughly tamed, 
like the n»t of our domestic poultry. -^^ 



The last of the poultry kind (hat I shall mention is the Quail ; a 
bird much smaller than any of the former, being not above half the 
size of a partridge. The feathers of tlie head are black, edged wilh 
rusty brown ; the breast is of a pale yellowish red, spotted with 
black ; the feathers on the back are marked with lines of a pale 
yellow, and (he legs are of a pale hue. Except in the colours thus 
described, and the size, it every way resembles a partridge in shape, 
and, except that it is a bird of passage, all others of the poultry kind 
in its habits and nature. 

The quail is by all known to be a bird of passage ; and yet, if 
we consider its heavy manner of flying, and its dearth of plumage 
with respect to its corpulence, we shall be Hurpriged how a bird so 
apparently ill qualified for migration, should take such extensive 
journeys. Nothing however is more certain ; " When we sailed 
from Rhodes to Alexandria," says Bellonius, " about autumn, many 
quails, flying from the north to the south, were taken in our ship i 
and sailing at spring-time the contrary way, from the south to the 
north, I observed them on their return, when many of them were 
taken in the same manner." This account is confirmed by many 
others ; who aver, that they choose a north wind for these adven- 
tures ; the south wind being very unfavourable, as it retards their 
flight by moistening their plumage. They then llj two by two, 
continuing, when the way lies over land, to go faster by night than 
by day, and to fly very high, to avoid being surprised or set upon 
by birds of prey. However, it still remains a doubt whether quails 
take such long journeys as Bellonius has made them perform. It is 
now asserted by some, that the quail only migrates from one pro- 
vince of a country to another. For instance, in England they fly 
from the inland counties to those bordering on the sea, and continue 
there all the winter. If frost or snow drive them out of the stubble 
fields or marshes, they then retreat to the sea-side, shelter themselves 
among the weeds, and live upon wliat is thrown up from the sea 
upon whore. Particularly in Essex, the time of their appearance 
upon the coasts of that country exactly coincides with their disap- 
pearance from the more internal parts of the kingdom ; so ih ' ' 
has been said of their long flights, is probably not so well fi 
as ii generally suppoied. 

; soihatwha^^— 


, Them birds aro much less prolific than the partridge, leldoin lay. 
IDg more than sis or Bcven wliitish eggs, marked with ragged rusl- 
coliHired spots. But their ardour in courtship yields scarcely lu any 
olher bird, as Ihey are fierce and cruel at that season to eadi other, 
figliling most desperately, and (a punishment they richly deserve) 
bebg at that lime very easily taken. Quail-Gghting was a favourite 
amusement among the Athenians: they abstained from the desh of 
this bird, deeming it unwholesome, supposing that it fed ujjon the 
white hellebore ; but they reared great numbers of them for the 
pleasure of seeing them fight, and staked sums of money, as m& do 
with regard to cocks, upon the success of the combat. Fashion, how- 
ever, has at present changed with regard to this bird ; we take no 
pleasure in its courage, but its flesh is considered as a very great 

Quails are easily caught by a call : the fowler, early in the mora- 
ing, haying spread his net, bides himself under it among the corn : 
he then imitates the voice of the female with his quail-pipe, which 
the cock hearing, approaches with the utmost assiduity ; when he has 
got under the net, the fowler then discovers himself, and territiea 
the quail, who, attempting to get away, entangles himself the more 
in the net, and is taken. The quail may thus very well serve to 
illustrate the old adage, That every passion, carried to an inordi- 
nate excess, will at last lead to ruin. 




H^P In marshalling our army of the feathered creation, wo have placed 
^^ in ttie van a race of birds long bred to war, and whose passion h 
slaughter; in the centre we have placed the slow and heavy laden, 
that are usually brought into the field to be destroyed ; we now 
come to a kind of light infantry, that partake something of the spirit 
of th« two former, and yet belonging to neither. In this class we ^^1 
must be content to marshal a numerous irregular tribe, variously ^^M 
armed, with difierent pursuits, appetites, and manners; not formida- ^^M 
blv formed for war, and yet generally delighting in mischief; not ^^M 

Kwly and usefully obedient, and yet without any professed enmity, ^^M 
the rest of their fellow-ten an Is of air. ^H 

^^P 1[iT4 HISTOnT OF 

^^H To speak wilhoul metaphor, under ihia clau of birds we may 

^^H arrange all ihat noiaj, restless, chattering', teasing tribe, that lie« 

^^B between the hen and the thrush, thai, from the size of the raven 

^^H duwn to (hat of the woodpecker, flutter round our habitations, and, 

^^B TBtlier with the spirit of pilferers than of robbers, make free with the 

^^H fruits of human industry. 

^^H Of all the other classes, this seems to be that which the least con- 

^^H tributes to furnish out the pleasures or supply the necessities of man. 

^^H The falcon hunts for him; the poultry tribe supply him with luxuri- 

^^H ous food ; and the little sparrow race delight him with the melody of 

^^H their warblings. The crane kind make a studied variety in his 

^^H entertainments ; and the cIhss of ducks are not only many of them 

^^H delicate in their flesh, but extremely useful for their feathers. But 

^^H in the class of the pie kind there are few except the pigeon that are 

^^H any way useful. They serve rather to lease man than to assist or 

^^H amuse him. Like faithless servants, they are fond of his neighbour- 

^^H hood, because they mostly live by his labonr; but their chief study 

^^H is what they can plunder in his absence, while their deaths make no 

^^H atonement for their depredations. 

^^H But though, with respect to man, this whole class is rather noxi- 

^^B ous than beneRcial ; though he may consider them in this light, as 

^^B false, noisy, troublesome neighbours, yet, with respect to each other, 

^^H no class of birds are so ingenious, so active, or so well fitted for 

^^H society. Could we suppose a kind of morality among birds, we 

^^H should lind that these are by far the most industrious, the most faith- 

^^H ful, the most constant, and the most connubial. The rapacious kinds 

^^H drive out their young before they are lit to struggle with adversity; 

^^f but the pie kind cherish their young to the last. The poultry dais 

ere faithless and promiscuous in their courtship; but these live in 

pairs, and their attachments are wholly confined to each other. The 

sparrow kind frequently overleap the bounds of nature, and make 

^ ilh'cit varieties; but these never. They (ive in harmony with each 

Q^ other ; every species is true to its kind, and transmits an unpolluted 

^^B race to posterity. 

^^P As other binds butld in rocks or upon the ground, the chief place 

^^K where these build is in trees or bushes ; the male takes his share in 

^^1 the labours of building the nest, and oAen relieves his mate in the 

^^1 duties of incubation. Both take this office by turns ; and when the 

^^1 young are excluded, both are equally active in making them an 

^H ample provision. 

^^M They sometimes live in societies ; and in these there are general 

^^P' laws observed, and a kind of republican form of guyemment esta- 

^^^ Wished among them. They watch not only for the general safety, 
but for that of every other bird of the grove. How often have wo 
seen a fowler, stealing in upon a (lock of ducks or wild geese, dis- 
turbed by the alarming note of a crow or a magpie 1 its single voice 

^^^ gave (he whole thoughtless tribe warning, and taught them in gwu^^^ 

^^^ lime to look to tiieir safety. ^^^| 

^^H^ Nor are these birds less remarkable for their instincts than t^*^^^| 



r arohnesa 

qnpocitj for toalrucLion. There is an apparent cunning o 
in the look of the whole tribe; and I have seeD crows and ravens 
taught to fetch and carry with the docility of b. spaniel Indeed it 
is often an exercise that, without leaching, all this tribe are but too 
fond of. Every body knows what a passion they have for shining 
substances, and such toys as some of us put a value upon. A whole 
family has been alarmed at the lossofariog; every servant has 
been accused, and every creature in the house, conscious of their 
own innocence, suspected each other, when, to the utter surprise of 
all, it has been found in the nest of a tame magpie or a jackdaw thai 
nobody had ever thought of. 

However, as this class is very numerous, it is not to be stipposed 
thai the manners are alike in all. Some, such as the pigeon, are 
gentle and serviceable to man ; others are noxious, capricious, and 
noisy. In a few general characters they all agree ; namely, in having 
hoarse voices, slight active bodies, and a. facility of flight that baffles 
even the boldest of the rapacioas kinds in the pursuit. I will begin 
with those birds which most properly may be said to belong to this 
class, and go on till I finish with the pigeon, a harmless bird, that 
resembles this tribe in little else except their size, and that seems to 
be the shade uniting tlie pie and the sparrow kind into one general 

It is not to be expected that in this sketch of the great magazine 
of nature we can stop singly to contemplate every object. To de- 
scribe the number that offers would be tedious, and the similitude 
that one bears another would make the history disgusting. As an 
historian, in relating the actions of some noble people, does not stop 
to give the character of every private man in the army, but only of 
such as have been distinguished by their conduct, courage, or trea- 
chery, so should the historian of nature only seize upon the most 
striking objects before him, and, having given one common account 
of the most remarkable, refer the peculiarities of iho rest to their 
general description. 


The Raven, the Carrion-Crow, and the Rook, are birds so well 
known, that a long description would but obscure our ideas of them. 
The raven is the largest of the three, and distinguished from the 
rest not only by his size, but by his bill being somewhat more hooked 
than that of the rest. As for the carrion-crow and the rook, they 
so strongly resemble each other, both in make and size, that thoy 
are not easily distinguished asunder. The chief difference to be 
found between them lies in the bill of the rook ; which, by being 
frequently thrust into the ground to fetch out grubs and earlh-worma 


H bare of leathers as far as the eyes, and appears of a whitish colour. 
It differs also in the purple splendour or gloss of its feathers, which 
in the carrioD'Crow are of a more dirty black. Nor is it amiss to 
mske these distinctions, as the rook has but too frequently suffered 
for its similitude to the carrion - cro w ; and thus a harmless bird, 
that feeds only upon insects and corn, has been destroyed for an- 
other that feeds upon carrion, and is of\en destructive among young 

The manners of the raven and the carrion-crow are exactly simi- 
lar: they both feed upon carrion; they fly only in pairs; and will 
destroy other birds, if they can take them by surprise. But it is 
Tery different with the rook, the daw, and the Cornish chough, which 
may be all ranked in this order. They are sociable and harmless ; 
they live only upon insects and grain ; and wherever they are, in- 
stead of injuring other birds, they seem sentinels for the whole 
feathered creation. It will be proper, therefore, to describe these 
two sorts according to their respective appetites, as they have no- 
thing in common but the very strong similitude they bear to each 
other in their colour and conformation. 

The raven is a bird found in every region of the world ; strong 
and hardy, he is uninfluenced by the changes of the weather; and 
when other birds seem numbed with cold, or pining with famine, 
the raven is active and healthy, busily employed in prowling for 
prey, or apDrting In the coldest atmosphere. As the heats at the 
Line do not oppress him, so he bears the cold of the polar countries 
with equal indifference. He is sometimes indeed seen milk-white, 
and this may probably be the effect of the rigorous climates of the 
north. It is most likely that this change is wrought upon him as 
upon most other animals in that part of the world, where their robes 
particularly in winter, assume the colour of, the country which Ihej 
inhabit. As in old age, when the natural heat decays, the hair grows 
grey, and at last white, so among these animals the cold of the cli- 
mate may produce a similar languiahmenl of colour, and may shut 
up those pores that conveyed the tincturing fluids to the extremest 
parts of the body. 

However this may be, white ravens are often sliown among us which 
I have heard some say are rendered thus by art ; and this we could 
readily suppose if they were as easily changed in their colour as 
they are altered in their habits and dispositions. A raven may be 
reclaimed to almost every purpose to which birds can be converted. 
He may be trained up for fowling like a hawk ; he may be tanght 
to fetch and carry like a spaniel ; he may be taught to speak like a 
parrot; but the most extraordinary of all is, that he can be taught 
to sing like a man. I have heard a raven sing the Black Joke with 
great distinctness, truth, and humour. 

Indeed, when the raven is taken as a domestic, he baa many 
qualities that render him extremely amusing. Busy, inquisitive, and 
impudent, he goes every-where, affronts and drives off the dogs, 
plays his pranks on the poultry, and is particularly assiduous in 


cuhiTadng the good-will of the cook-maid, who seems to be the 
favourite of the family. Bui then, with the emusing qualilies of a - 
favourite, he often also has the vices and defects. He is a glutton 
by nature, and a ih'iof by habit. He does not confine himself to 
petty depredations on the pantry or the larder; he soars at more 
magnificent plunder, at spoils that he can neither exhibit nor enjoy, 
but which, like a miser, he rests satisfied with having the satisfaction 
of lometinies visiting and contemplating in secret. A piece of 
money, a tea-spoon, or a ring, are always tempting baits to hia 
Rvarice ; these he will alily seize upon, and if not watched, will carry 
■lo bis favourite hole. 

g. In hia wild stale the raven is an active and greedy plunderer. 
Nothing comes amiss to him ; whether his prey be living or long 
dead, it is ail the same, he falls to with a voracious appetite ; and 
when he has gorged himself, (lies to acquaint his fellows, that they 
may participate of the spoil. If the carcass be already In the pos- 
session of some more powerful animal, a wolf, a fox, or a dog, the 
raven sits at a little distance, content to continue a humble spectator 
till they have done. If in his flights he perceives no hopes of carrion^ 
(and bis scent is so exquisite that he can smell it at a vast distance) 
be then contents himself with more unsavoury food, fruits, insects, 
ind the accidental desert of a dunghill. 
This bird chiefly builds its nests in trees, and lays five or sis eggs 
r'of a pale green colour, marked with small brownish spots. They live 
■ometimea in pairs, and sometimes they frequent in great numbers 
the neighbourhood of populous cities, where they are useful in de- 
vouring those carcasses that would otherwise putrefy and infect the 
air. They build in high trees or old towers, in the beginning of 
March with us in England, and sometimes sooner, as the spring is 
more or less advanced for the season. But it is not always near towns 
that ihey fijt their retreats; they often build in unfrequented places, 
and drive all other birds from their vicinity. They will not permit 
~«Ten their young to keep in the same district, but drive them off 
■when they are sufficiently able to shift for themselves. Martin, in 
*his description of the Western Isles, avers, that there are three _ 
' little islands among the number, which are occupied by a pair of 
ravens each, that drive off all other birds with great cries and 

Notwithstanding the injury these birds do in picking out the eyes ' 

L of sheep and lambs, when Ihey find them sick and helpless, a vulgar 
etpect is paid them, as being the birds that fed the prophet Elijah 
vildemess. This prepossession in favour of the raven is ofa 
icient date, as the Romans ihemselvei, who thought the bird 
ominous, paid it, from motives of fear, the most profound veneration. 
One of these that had been kept in tlie temple of Castor, as Pliny 
informs us, flew down into the shop of a tailor, who took much 

t delight in the visits of his new acquaintance. He taught the bird 
weveral tricks, but particularly to pronounce the name of the empe- 
«or Tiberius and the whole royal family. The tailor was beginning 
L J 


^_ and 

^ little 


^H ofsh 

^■oD th 




to grow rich bj (hose who came to see (his wonderf\il raven, till a 
envious neighbour, displeased at the tailor's success, killed (he bin),,, 
and deprived the tailor of his future hopes of fortune. The Romar 
however, took the poor tailor's part ; (hey punished the n 
offered tlie injury, and gave tlie raven all the honours of a magni 
cent interment. 

Birds in general live longer than quadrupeds, and the 
■aid to be one of the most long-lived of (he number. Hesiod 
that a raven will lire nine (imes as Iod;,' as a man ; but though tj 
is fabuloua, it is certain lltat some of them have been known to li 
near a hundred years. This animal seems possessed of thos 
ties that generally produce longevity, a good appetite, and grei 
exercise. In clear weather, the ravens fly in pairs to a great heigi 
making a deep loud noise, different from that of their i 

The Carrion-crow resembles the raven in its appetites, its laying 
and manner of bringing up its young. It only dtflers in being Im 
bold, less docile, and less favoured by mankind. 

The Rook leads the way in another but a more harmles 
that have no carnivorous appetites, but only feed upon insects ai 
corn. The Etoyston crow is about the size of the two former. *" 
breast, belly, back, and upper part of the neck, being ofa pale aah 
colour ; the head and wings glossed over with a fine blue. He is a 
bird of passage, visiting this kingdom in the beginning of winter, and 
leaving it in the spring. He breeds, however, in different parts i * 
■ the British dominions, and his nest is common enough in trees il 
Ireland, The Jackdaw is black like all the former, but ash-colou 
on the breast and belly. He is not above the size ofa pigeon. 
is docile and loquacious; hi» head being large for the siae of b 
body, which, as has been remarked, argues him ingenious and c 
It builds in steeples, old castles, and high rocks, laying five i 
eggs in a season. The Cornish Chough is like a jackdaw, but bi^4 
ger, and almost the size of a crow, The feet and legs are long like 
those of a Jackdaw, but of a red colour, and the plumoge is black 
all over. It frequents rocks, old castles, and churches, by the sea- 
side, like the daw, and with the same noisy assiduity. It is only 
seen along the western coasts of England. These are birds very 
■iniilar in iheir manners, feeding on grain and insects, hving in soci- 
ety, and often suffering genera) castigalion from the Hock for the 
good of (he community. 

The rook, as is well known, builds in woods and forests in the 
neighbourhood of man, and sometimes makes choice of groves in 
the very midst of cities for the place of its retreat and security. In 
these it establishes H kind of legal constitution, by which allintruden 
are excluded from coming (o live among them, and none suffered to 
build but acknowledged natives of the place. I have often amused 
myself with observing their plan of policy frum my window inll 
Temple, that looks upon a grove where they have made a colo 
in the midst of the city. At the commencement of spring, I 

,de a colonB^^H 


rookefj,. wbiuh during ilie continuance of winter seemed lo have 
been deserted, or only guarded by about five or six, like old soldiers 
in a garrison, now begins to be once more frei^uented; and in a 
short lime all the bustle aud hurry of business is fairty commenced. 
Where these numbers resided during tbe winter is not easy to guess ; 
perhaps in the trees of hedge-rows to be nearer their food. In spring, 
however, they cultivate their native trees; and in the places where 
they were themselves hatched, ihey prepare to propagate a future 

They keep together in pairs, and when the offices of courtship are 
over, they prepare for making their nests and laying. The old 
inhabitants of the place are all ready provided; the nest which 
served them for years before, with a little trimming and dressing, 
will serve very well again ; the difficulty of nestling lies only upon 
the young ones who have no nest, and must therefore get up one as 
well as they can. But not only the materials are wanting, but also 
the place in which to 6x it. Every part of a tree will not do for 
this purpose, as some branches may not be sufficiently forked, others 
may not be siifficiently strong.and still others may be too much ex- 
posed to the rockings of the wind. The male and female upon this 
occasion are, for some days, seen examining all the trees of the grove 
very attentively ; and when ihey have 6sed upon a branch that 
seems &l for their purpose, they continue lo sit upon and observe it 
very sedulously for two or three days longer. The place being thus 
determined upon, ihey begin to gatlier the materials for their nest, 
iuch as slicks and fibrous roots, which they regularly dispose in the 
most substantial manner. But here a new and unexpected obstacle 
arises. It oAen happens that the young couple having made choice 
of a place too near the mansion of an older pair, who do not choose 
to be incoinmoded by such troublesome neighbours. A quarrel 
therefore instantly ensues, in which tlie old ones are always vic- 

The young couple thus expelled, are obliged again to go through 
the fatigues of deliberating, examining, and choosing ; and having 
taken care to keep their due distance, the nest begins again, and 
their indu.iCry deserves commendation. But their alacrity it 
too great in the beginning ; they soon grow weary of bringing the 
materials of their nest from distant places ; and they very t 
perceive that sticks may be provided nearer home, with less honesty 
indeed, but some degree of address. Away they go, therefore, lo 
pilfer as fast as they can ; and wherever they see a nest unguarded, 
they take care to rob it of the very choicest sticks of which it is com- 
posed. But these thelis never go unpunished ; and probably upon 
complaint being made, there is a general punishment inflicted. I 
have seen eight or ten rooks come upon such occasions, and setting 
upon the new nest of the young couple all at once, tear it ii 


At length, therefore, the young pair find the necessity of going 
noi'e regularly and honestly to work. While one flies to fetch the 




materlaU, the other dta upon the tree [o guard It ; and thus in the 
space of three or four days, with a skirmish now and then between, 
the pair have fitted up a commodious nest, composed of sticks with- 
out, and of fibrous roots and long grass within. From the instant 
the female begins to lay, alt hostilities arc at an end ; not one of the 
whole grove, that a little before treated her,go rudely, will now ven- 
ture to molest her; so that she brings forth her brood with patient 
tranquillity. Such is the seventy with which even native rooks are 
treated by each other; but if a foreign rook should alicmpt to ro^e 
himself a denizen of their society, he would meet with no favour ; 
the whole grove would at once be up in arms against him, and ex- 
pel him without mercy. 

In some countries these birds are considered as a benefit, in olhen 
as a nuisance : their chief food is the worm of the dorbeetle, and 
corn ; thus they may be said to do as much service by destroying 
that noxious insect, as they do injury by consuming the produce of 
the husbandman's industry. 

To this tribe of the crow kind, some foreign sorts might be added : 
I will take notice only of one, which, from the extraordinary sixe 
end fashion of its bill, must not be passed in silence. This is the 
Caiao, or homed Indian raven, which exceeds the common raven in 
size and habits of depredation. But what he diOers in from all other 
birds is the beak which, by its length and curvature hi the 
end, appears designed for rapine; but then it has a kind of horn 
standing out from tho top, which looks somewhat like a second bill, 
and gives this bird, otherwise fierce and ugly, a very formidable 
appearance. The horn springs out of the forehead, and grown to 
the upper pert of the bill, being of great bulk ; so that near the 
forehead it is four inches broad, not unlike the born of the rhinoceros, 
e crooked at the tip. Were the body of the bird answerable 
in size to the head, the calao would exceed in magnitude even (he 
vulture or the eagle. But the head and beak are out of all propor- 
tion, the body being not much larger than that of a hen. Yet even 
here there are varieties ; for in such of those birds as come from dif- 
ferent parts of Africa, the body is proportionable to the beak ; in 
such as come from the Molucca Islands, the beak bears no propor- 
tion to the body. Of what use this extraordinary excrescence is (o 
the bird, is not easy to determine ; it lives, like others of its kind, 
upon carrion, and seldom has a living enemy to cope with : nature 
s to sport in the production of many animals, as if she were 
willing to exhibit instances as well of variety as economy in their 




Therb aresuch a variety of birds that may be distributed under 
this head, that we must not expect very precise ideas of any. To 
have a straight strong bill, legs formed for hopping, a body of about 
the size ofa magpie, and party-coloured plumage, are the only marks 
by which I must be contented to distinguish this numerous fantastic 
tribe, that add to the beauty, though not to the harmony of our land- 
acapes. In fact, their chattering evcry-where disturbs the melody 
of the lesser warblers, and their noisy courtship not a little damps 
the song of the linnet and the nightingale. 

However, we have very few of tiiis kind in our woods, compared 
to those in the neighbourhood of the Line. There they not only 
paint the scene with the beauty and the variety of their plumage, but 
stun the ear with tlieir vociferation. Tn those luxuriant forests, the 
singing-birds are scarcely ever heard, but a hundred varieties of the 
pie, the-Jay, the roller, the chatterer, and the toucan, are continually 
in motion, and with their illusive mockeries disturb or divert the 
spectator, as he happens to be disposed. 

The Magpie is the chief of this kind with us, and is too well 
known to need a description. Indeed, were its other accomplish- 
ments equal to its beauty, few birds could be put in competition. Its 
black, its white, its green and purple, with the rich and gilded com- 
bination of the glosses on its tail, are as line as any that adorn the 
most beautiful of the feathered tribe. But it has too many of the 
qualities of a beau to depreciate these natural perfections : vain, 
restless, loud, and quarrelsome, it ia an unwelcome intruder every- 
where ; and never misses an opportunity, when it finds one, of doing 

The magpie bears a great reaemblnnce to the butcher-bird in its 
bill, which has a sharp process near tlie end of the upper chap, as 
well as in the shortness of its wings, and the form of the tall, each 
feather shortening from the two middlemost. But it agrees still more 
in its food, living not only upon worms and insects, but also upon 
small birds when they can bo seized. A wounded lark, or a young 
chicken separated from the hen, are sure plunder; and the magpie 
will even sometimes set upon and strike a blackbird. 

The same insolence prompts it to lease the largest animals when 
its insults can be offered with security. They oflen are seen perched 
upon the back of an os or a sheep, pecking up the insects to be found 
there, chattering and tormenting the poor animal at the se 
and stretching out their necks for combat, if the beast turns its head 
backward to reprehend them. They seek out also ihe nests of birds, 
and, if the parent escapes, the eggs make up for the deficiency 





e blackbird are but loo frequently robbed b 
ia in gonie measure causes their scarcity. 

No food seems to come amins to (his bird ; it sharea witli ravens 
in their carrion, wilh rooks in their grain, and with the cnckoo in 
birds' eggs: but it seems possessed of a providence seldom nsua I 
wilh gluttons; for when it is satisfied for the present, it lays up the 
remainder of the feast for another occasion. It will even in a ' 
state hide its food- when it has Hone eating, and after a time n 
to the secret hoard with renewed appetite and vociferation. 

In all its habile it discovers a degree of instinct nnnsual to 
birds. Its nest is not less remarkable for the manner in which it] 
composed than for the place the magpie takes to build il 
nest is usually placed, conspicuous enough, either in the raiddlaii| 
some hawthorn bush, or on (he top of some high tree. The plaa 
however, is always fonnd difficult of access; for the tree pilcbl 
upon usually grows in some thick hedge-row, fenced by braiubletfa 
the root; or sonielimes one of the higher bushes is lised upon i 
the purpose. Whf n the place is thus chosen as inaccessible a: 
sible to men, the next care is to fence the nest above, so as I 
fend it from all the various enemies of air. The kil«, the crov 
the sparrow-hawk, are to be guarded against: as their nests h^ 
been sometimes plundered by the magpie, so it is reasonably feai 
that they will lake ihe first opportunity In retaliate. To | 
vent this, ihe magpie's nesl is built wilh surprising labour and i 

"' i body of the nest is composed of hawthorn branches, the 

'ard, but well united together by their mutual 

«ilh librous roots, wool, and long 

jnd with mud and clay,"^ 

thorns atickin^ 

insertions. Within i 

grass, and then nicely plastered a 

body of the nest being thus made lirm and commodious, the n 
work is to make the canopy wjiidi is to defend it above 
composed of ihe sharpest thorns, wove together in such a 
to deny all entrance except at the door, which is just large enov 
to permit egress and regress to the owners. In this fortress the mi% 
and female hatch and bring up their brood wilh security, shelte 
from all attacks hut those of the climbing school-boy, who often & 
his torn and bloo-ly hands too dear a price for the eggs or the yoBi 
ones. The magpie lays sis or seven eggs, of a pale green coloc 
spotted wilh brown. 

This bird, in its domestic state, preserves its natural chara 
with strict propriety. The same noisy, mischievous habits atle 
to the cage that marked it in ihe woods ; end being mor 
so it is also a more docile bird than any olher taken into keepin 
Those who are desirous of leaching' il to speak, have'a foolish C 
tom of cutting its tongue, which only puts the poor anini 
without improving its speech in the smallest degree. Its speakingj 
wmetimes very distinct; but its sounds are too thin and sharp to ^ 
an exact imitation of the human voice, which the hoarse raven ai 
, parrot can counterfeil more exactly. 


To ihifl triba we maj refer the Jaj, which is one of the tnotl beau- 
tiful of the British birds. The forehead is white, alreaked with 
black; the head is covered with very long feathers, which it can 
erect into a crest at pleasure; the whole neck, back, breast, and 
belly, are of a faint purple, dashed with grey ; the wings are most 
beautifully barred with a lovely blue, black, and white; the tail is 
black, and the feet of a pale brown. Like the magpie, it feeda 
upon fruila, will kill small birds, and !s extremely docile. 

The Chatterer also, which is a native of Germany, may be placed 
in this rank ; and is somewhat less than the former. It is variegated 
wilh a beautiful mixture of colours ; red, ash colour, chesnut, and 
yellow : but whet distinguishes it from all other birds, are the horny 
appendages from the tips of seven of the lesser quill feathers, which 
stand bare of beards, and have tbe colour and gloss of the best red 

The Roller is not less beautiful than any of the former. The 
breast and belly are blue; the head green ; and the wings variega- 
ted with blue, black, and while. But it may be distinguished from 
all others hy a sort of naked tubercles or warts near the eyes, which 
still farther contribute to increase its beauty. 

To this class may be added a numerous list from all the tropical 
forests of the East and West; where the birds are remarkable for 
discordant voices and brilliant plumage. I will dx only upon one, 
which is the most singular of all the feathered creation. This is the 
Toucan, a bird of the pie kind, whose bill is nearly as large as the 
rest of its whole body. 

Of this extraordinary bird there are four or dve varieties. I will 
only describe the rcd-beaked toucan ; and as the figure of this bird 
makes the principal part of its history, I will follow Edwards through 
all the minutiee of its singular conformation. It is about the size 
of and shaped hke a Jackdaw, wilh a large head to support its mon- 
strous bill ; this bill, from the angles of the mouth to its point, is 
six inches and a half, and its breadth in the thickest part is a little 
. more than two. Its thickness near tbe head is one inch and a quar- 
ter, and it is a little rounded along the lop of the upper chap, the 
under side being round also ; tlie whole of the bill extremely slight, 
and a little thicker than parchment. The upper chap is of a bright 
yellow, except on each side, which is of a fine scarlet colour ; as is 
also the lower chap, except at the base, which is purple. Between 
the head and the bill there is a black line of separation all round the 
base of the bill, in the upper part of which the nostrils are placed, 
and are almost covered with feathers, which has occasioned some 
writers to say that the toucan has no nostrils. Round the eyes, on 
each side of the head, is a space of bluish skin, void of feathers, 
above which the head is black, except a white spot on each aide 
joining to the base of the upper chop. The hinder part ofthe neck, 
the back, wings, tail, belly, and thighs, are black. The under aide 
of tbe head, throat, and the beginning of the breast, are white. Be- 
tween the white on the breast, and the black on the belly, is a space 




of red feathers, in the form of a new moon with its horns upwards. 
The legs, feet, and ctaws, are of an ash colour; and the toes stand 
like those of the parrot, two before, and two behind. 

It is reported by travellers, that this bird, though furnished with 
so formidable a beak, is harmless and gentle, being bo easily made 
tame as to sit and hatch its young in houses. It feeds chiefly upon 
pepper, which it devours very greedily, gorging itself in such a rottn- 
ner that it voids it crude and unconcocted. This, however, is no 
objection to the natives from using it again ; they even prefer it 
before that pepper which is fresh gathered from the tree, and seem 
persuaded that the strength end heat of the pepper is qualified by 
the bird, ajid that all its noxious qualities are thus exhausted. 

Whatever be the truth of this report, nothing is more certain than 
that the toucan lives only upon a vegetable diet ; and in a domestic 
state, to which it ia frequently brought in the warm countries where 
it is bred, it is seen to prefer such food to all other. Pozzo, who 
bred one tame, asiierts, that it leaped up and down, wagged the tall, 
and cried with a voice resembling that of a magpie. It fed upon the 
same things that parrots do ; but was most greedy of grapes, which 
being plucked off one by one, and thrown into the air, it would most 
dexterously catch before they fell to the ground. Its bill, he adds, 
wag hollow, and upon that account very light, so that it had but 
little strength in so apparently formidable weapon, nor could it peck 
or strike smartly therewith. But its tongue seemed to assist the 
eSoHs of this unwieldy machine : it was long, thin, and flat, not 
unlike one of the feathers on the neck of a dunghill cock ; thus it 
moved up and down, and ohea extended five or six inches from the 
bill. It was of a deshcolour, and very remarkably fringed on each 
side with very small filaments, exactly resembling a feather. 

It is probable that this long tongue has greater strength than the 
thin hollow beak that contains it. It is likely that the beak is only 
a kind of sheath for thi's peculiar instrument, used by the toucan, 
not only in making itself a nest, but also in obtaining its provision. 
Nothing is more certain than that this bird builds its nest in holes of 
trees, which have been previously scooped out for this purpose; and 
it is not very likely that so feeble a bill could be very serviceable in 
working upon eucli hard materials. 

Be this as it will, there is no bird secures its young better from 
external injury than the toucan. It has not only birds, men, and 
serpents to guard against, but a numerous tribe of monkeys, still 
e prying, mischievous, and hungry, than all the rest. The toucan. 
however, scoops out its nest in the hollow of si»ne tree, leaving only 
a hole large enough to go in and out at. There It sits with its great 
beak, guarding the entrance ; and if the monkey ventures to offer 
a visit of curiosity, the toucan gives him such a welcome, that he 
presently thinks proper to pack off, and is glad to escape with 

This bird is only found in the warm climates of South America, 
where it is in great request both for the delicacy of its flesh, which is 



^ • 

. f 






teh'd^^d IniMirlitliihg', and for the beautj of iu plumage, parlicu- 

Jarly the fealbers of the breast. The skin of >hia part llie Indians 
bliickoff', iind when dry, glue to their cheeks; aod thia they consider 
as an irreaiBtible addition to their beauty. 


' We now come to the numerous tribe of Woodpeckers — a clasa 
eiiily distinguished from all others, bolh by their peculiar formation, 
their method of ^oeuring food, and their manner Of providing &. 
place of Safety for their ytinng. Indeed, no other class Df birds Beems| 
more immediately formed for the method of life they pgrsue, being 
fitted by nature at all points for the peculiarity of their condition. 
Thfey live chiefly upon the insects' contained ia the body of trees; 
and for this [iurpose are furnished with a straight,, hari^, strong, 
angular and sharp bjlj, made for piercing and boring. ' They have 
a tongue of a very great length, round, coding in a sharp, stiff, 
bony tliorn, deniaied on each side, to strike ants and insects when 
dislodged from (heir cells. Their legs are short aiid itrong, for the 
purposes- of climhing. ' Their toes stand two forward and two back- 
waiTl, which is parti cul arty serviceable in holding by the branches of 
trees. They have hard stiff tails to lean upon when climbing. They 
feed only upon insects, and want that intestine which naturalists call 
the cascum, & circumstance peculiar tothis tribe only. 

Of this bird there are many kipds, and many varieties in each 
kind. They form large colonies in the forests of every part of the 
world. They differ in size, colour, and appearance; and agree 
only in the marks above mentioned, or in those habits which result 
from so peculiar a conformation. Instead, therefore, of descending 
into a minute discriminaton of every species, let us lake one for a 
pattern, to which all the rest will be found to bear the strongest affi- 
nity. Words can but feebly describe the plumage of a bird ; but 
it is the province of history to enter into a detail of every animal's 
puijsuita and occupations. 

The Green Woodspite, or Woodpecker, is called the Rain-Fowl 
in some parts of the country, because, when it makes a greater noise 
than ordinary, it Is supposed to foretell rain. It is about the size of 
ajay; the throat, breast, and belly, ai'e of a pale greenish colour; 
and the back, neck, and covert feathers of the wings, are'green. 
But the tongue oP this little animal makes its most distinguished cha- 
racteristic, as it serves for its support and defence. As was said 
above, the woodpecker feeds upon insects : and particularly on thosti' 
which are lodg«l in the body of hollow or of rolling trees. ' The 
tongue is its instrument for killing and procuring this food, which 
cannot be found in great plenty- This is round, ending in a stiff, 

VOL. 11. C C 

506 niSTORY OF 

sharp, bon; (ip, dealntod on both sides, like (he beard of an arrow ; 
and this it can dart out three or four inchca from ihe bill, and draw 
in again at pleasure. Its pre^ is thus (ranaGxed and drawn into the 
bill, which, when swallowed, the dart is again launched at fresh 
game. Nothing has employed the attention of the curious in this 
part of anatomy, more than tbe contrivance by which the tongue of 
this bird performs its functions with such great celerity. The tongue 
is drawn back into the bill by ihe help of two small round cartilages, 
fastened into the forementioned bony lip, and running along the 
length of the tongue. These cartilages, from tbe root of the tongue, 
take a circuit beyond the ears, and being rertecled backwards to the 
crown of (he head, make a large bow. The muscular spongy flesh 
of tlie tongue encloses these cartilages like a sheath, and is so made 
that it may be extended or contracted like a worm. The cartilages, 
indeed, have muscles accotnpanjing them along their whole lengtli 
backwards. But there is still another contrivance; for there is a 
broad muscle joining the cartilages to the bones of the skull, which 
by contracting or dilating, forces the cartilages forward through the 
tongue, and then forces the tongue and all through the bill, to be 
employed for the anlmal'B preservation in piercing its prey. 

Such is the instrument with which this bird is provided, and tl)is 
the manner in which this instrument is employed. When a wood- 
pecker, by its natural sagacity, finds out a rotten hollow tree, where 
there are worms, ants' eggs, or insects, it immediately prepares for 
its operatioas. [testing by its strong claws, and leaning on the thick 
feathers of its tail, it begins to bore with its sharp strong beak, ijntil 
it discloses tlie whole internal habitation. Upon this, either through 
pleasure at the sight of its prey, or with a desire to alarm the insect 
colony, it sends for^h a loud cry, which tlirows terror and coufiftipn 
into the whole insect tribe. Tbey creep hither and thither, seeking 
for safety, while the bird luxuriously feasts upon them at leiaoniv 
darting its tongue with unerring certainty, and devouring the v ' 

The woodpecker, however, does not ^online its depredatij 
solely tolrces, but sometimes lights upon the ground, to 
tune at an ant-hill. It is not so secure of prey there as 

■ case, although the numbers are much greater. They, 
generally too deep for the bird to come at them, and it is ebligs 
make up by stratagem the defects of power. The woodpecker 
goes (o their hills, which it pecks, in order to call ihera abroaid 

n thrusts out its long red tongue, which being like a wornii 
resembling their usual prey, the anls come out to settle up 
great numbers; however, the bird, watching the pruperest 
tuniiy, withdraws its tongue at a jerk, and devours the devoui 
TJiis stratagem it continues till it has alarmed their fears, or till 
quite satisfied. 

Ab the woodpecker is obliged to make holes in trees lo procuRi' 
food, so is it also to make cavities still larger to form its nest and to 
lay in. This is performed, as usual, with the bill; although sonw 


have affimiMl' that the sniin»l uses lu tongue, as a ^mblet, to bore 
irith. But' ili!^ Is a mistake; and those that are curiuus may ol\cn 
hear the noise of the bill making its wa; in large woods and ToreHU. 
The woodpecker chooses, however, for this purpose, trees lliat are 
decayed, or wood that is sott, like beech, elm, and poplar. In these. 
With very little trouble, it can make holes as exactly round as a 
mathematician could with compasses. One of these holes the bird 
generally chooses for iti owh use, to nestle and bring up its yuung 
in ; but as they are easily made, it is delicate in Its choice, and often 
makes twenty before one is found fit to give entire satlsfaciion. Of 
ihose wt^icii it has made and deserted, other birds, not so good 
borers, ond less delicate in Uielr choice, take possession. The jay 
and the starling lay their eggs in these holes ; and bats ere now and 
then found in peaceable possession. Boys sometimes have thrust 
in their hands with certain hopes of plucking out a bird's egg, but, 
to their great mortification, have had their fingers bitten by a bat at 
the bottom. 

The woodpecker takes no care to line its nest with fealhera qi 
straw; its eggs are deposited in the hole, without any thing'to 
keep them warm, except the heat of the parent's body- Their num- 
ber is generally live or ax ; always white, oblong, and of a middle 
size. When the young are excluded, and before ihey leave the 
nest, they are adorned with a scarlet plumage under the throat, 
nhich adds to their beauty. 

In onr climate, this bird is contented with such a wainscot habita- 
tion as has been described for its young; but in the warmer regions 
of Guinea and Brazil, they take a very difierent method to protect 
and hatch their nascent progeny. A traveller who walks into the 
forests of those countries, among the first strange objects thai excite 
curiosity, is stnick with the multitude of birds* nests hanging at the 
extreniity of almost every branch. Many other kinds of birds 
build in this manner, but the chief of them are of the woodpecker 
kind ; and indeed there is not, in the whole history of nature, a 
more singular instance of the sagacity of those little animals in pro- 
tecting themselves against such enemies as they have most oi 
to fear. In cultivated countries, a great port of the cai 
feathered tribe Is lo hide or defend their nests from the 
man, as he is their most dreaded enemy. But in the depth of those 
remote and solitary forests, where man is but seldom seen, the httle 
bird has nothing lo apprehend from man. The parent is careless 
how much the nest is exposed to general notice, satisfied if it be out 
of the reach of those rapacious creatures that live by robbery and 
surprUe. If the monkey or the snake can be guarded against, the 
bird has no other enemies lo fear; for this purpose, its nest is built 
upon the depending points of the most outward branches uf a tall 
tree, such as the banana or the plantain. On one of those Immense 
trees is seen the most various, and the most inimical assemblage of 
creatures that can be imagined. The top is inhabited by monkeys 
of some panic lit ar tribe, that drive off all others; lower down twlna 



ree; thenbuild- 
i those already 

nboul the great trunk numbers of the larger Riiftkcs,, p alien lljr wnil. 
I'ng till some unwary animal conies within the sphere of Iheir acti- 
vity; and allheedgesorthe tree hang these artificial nests, in great 
abundance, inhabited by birds of the most deligbtfu! plumage. 

The nest is usually formed fn this manner ; — When the time of 
incubation approaches, (hey, fly. busily about, in quest of a kind of 
moss, called by the Engliglj inhabitants of those coimtries old tuaJi'i 
benrd. It is a fibrou; siibstance, and not very imlike hair, which 
beers being moulded into any form, and suners being glued toge- 
ther. This, therefore, the liiile woodpecker, called by the natives 
of Brazil, the Guiralemga, Grst glues by some viscous substance, 
gathered in the forest, to the ejttremest branch of a 
ing downward^ and still adding fresh materials 
procured, a nest is formed tliat depends, like a pouch, from the 
poipt of the branch ; the hole to enter at is on the side ; and all the 
interior parts ore lined with Uie &ner fibres of the same substances 
which compose the whole. 

Such is the general contrivance of these hanging nests, which 
made by some other birds with stiil superior art. A little bird of 
the Gros-beak kind, in (he Philippine Islands, mokes its nest in such 
a manner that (here is no opening but from the bottom- 
bottom the bird enters, and goes up through a funnel like a cbimi 
till it comes to the real door of the neat, which lies on oi 
only opens into this funnel. 

Some birds glue their nest to the leaf of the I^anatiB tree, whii 
makes (wo sides of (heir littfe habitation, while the other two are 
artificially composed by their own indoslry. But ,(}ieae, and all of 
the kind, are built with the same precautions to guard the young 
against the depredations of monkeys and serpents, which abound in 
every tree. The nesl hangs there, before the spoilers, a tempting 
object, which ^hey can only gaze upon, while the bird Ities in aid 
out, without danger or molestation from so formidable a vicinity. 

[The Sociable Gros-beak was discovered by Mf. Tuterson it 
interior of Africa. These birds live together lu large societies, 
their mode ofnidification is extremely uncommon. They build v 
species of mimosa which grows to an unco 
(hey seem to have selected for that purpose, as well on nccouqi'' 
its ample head, niid the great strength of its branches, calculate^, 
admi( and to support the extensive buildmgs which they have. 

erect, OS for the tallness and smeotln 

great enemies, (he serpent (fibe, 

in which the nusls (hemselves e 

the one described by Mr. Paierson, there could be 

he says, (han from eight hundred to one thousand n 

some roof. Ho calls it ft roof, because i( perfectly resembles I 

of a tha(ched house; and the ridge forms an angle so acute ai 

smooth, projecting over the entrance of the nest belp' 

impossible for any reptile to approach them. "The industry of 

these birds seems almost equal (sayi our author) to that of the bee: 

trunk, which their 
unable to climb. The method 
fabricated is highly curious. In 




throughout the Any they appear to ba busily employed tn ourylng 
a fine species of grass, which is the principal material they employ 
for the purpose of erecting Ihis extraordinary work, as well as for 
additions and repairs. Thoug'h my short stay in the country was 
not sufficient to siilisry me, by ocitlnr proof, that they added to their 
nest as they annually increased in numbers, still from the many trees 
which I have seen borne down with the weight, ajid others which 1 
have observed with their boughs completely covered over, it would 
appear that this is really the case. When the tree which is the 
support of this aerial city is obliged to give way to the increase of 
weight, it is obvious that they are no' longer protected, and are 
under the necessity of rehuilding in otlier trees. One of these de- 
serted nests I had the curiosity to break down, so as to inform my- 
self of the internal structure of it, and found it equally ingenious 
with that of the external. There are many entrances, each of which 
forms a regular street, with nests on bo^ sides, nt about two inches 
distance from each other. The grass with which they build is called 
the Doshman's grass ; and 1 beUeve the seed of it to be their prm- 
cipal food, though, on examining their nests, I found the wings and 
legs of diiferent insects. Prom every appearance, the nest which I 
dissected had been inhabited for many years; and some parts of it 
Were nmch mora complete than others: this therefore 1 conceive 
nearly to amount to a proof, that the animals added to it at different 
times, as they found it necessary, from the increase of the family, 
or rather of the nation or community."] 



There are few birds that have more deceived and puzzled tha 
learned than this. Some have described it as an inhabitant uf the 
air, living only upon the dew of heaven, and never resting below ; 
others have acquiesced in the latter part of its history, but have 
given it Hying insects to feed on. Some have asserted (hat it was 
without feet, and others have ranked it among ihe birds of prey. 

The great beauty of this bird's plumage, and the deformity of its 
legs, seem to have given rise to most of these erroneous reports. 
The native savages uf the Molucca Islands, of which it is an inha- 
bitant, were very little studious of natural history ; and perceiving 
the inclination the Europeans had fur this beautiful bird, carefully 
cut offits legs before liiey brought it to market-, thus concealing it* 
greatest deformity, they considered themselves entitled to rise 
their demands when they olTered it for sale. One deceit led or 
another ; the buyer, finding the bird without legs, naturally inquired 
after them, and the seller as naturally began to assert that it had 
none. Thu^ far the European was imposed upon by oihers; in 



inpoaetl upon liinigflf. Seeing ii 

Uie rest he iropoaetl upon liinigflf. Seeing to beaulifu) a bird with* 
out legs, he concluded ihat it could live only in air, where legs wen 
unneceuary. Tha extraordinary gplendaur of it$ plumage Bkuieted 
ihia deception ; and as it had heavenly beauty, so it was asserted to 
have a heavenly residence. Prom thence ita uame and all the false 
reports that have been propagated concerning it. 

Error, however, is short-lived ; and titne has di«covered that this 
bird Dut only has legs, bat very large strong ones for its siae. Cre* 
dulily, when undeceived, runs into the opposite extreme; and, soon 
afier, this harmless bird was branded vith the character of being 
rapacious, of destroying oil those of smaller siie, and, from the 
amazing rapidity of its dight, as i^ualiGed peculiarly for extensive 
rapine. I'he real history of this pretty animal is at present 
tolerably well kDomj, and it is fonnd to be as harmless as it is 

There are two kinds of the Bird of Paradise; one about the sisce 
of a pigeoa, which is ntore common ; the other not much larger thoQ 
a lark, which has been described more imperfectly. They are both 
sufficiently distinguished from all others, not oaly by the superior 
rivacily of their tints, but by the feathers of the tail, there being 
two long slender filaments growing from the upper part of the rump; 
these are longer than the bird's body, and bearded only at the end. 
By this mark the bird of paradise may be easily known, but still 
more easily by its gaudy livery, whiuh being so very brilliant, de- 
mands to be minutely described. 

This bird appears to the eye as large as a pigeon, though in reality 
the body is not much greater than that of a thrush. The tail, which 
is about sis inches, is as lung as the body; the wings are large, 
compared with the bird's otlier dimepaions. The head, the throat, 
and the neck, are of a pale gold colour. The base of the bill is 
surrounded by black feathers, as also the side of the head and throat, 
as sofl as velvet, ^nd changeable like those on the neck of a mallard. 
The hinder part of the head is of a shining green, mixed with gold. 
The body and wing* are chiefly covered witli beautiful browit, pur- 
ple, and gold feathers. The uppermost part of the (ail featherd ore 
of a pale yellow, and those under them white, and longer than the 
former ; for which reason the binder part of the tail appears to be 
all white. But what chiefly excites curiosity are tlie two jotig naked 
feathers above mentioned, which spring from the upper part of the 
rump above the tail, and which are usually about three feet long. 
These are bearded only at the beginning and the end ; the whols 
shaft for above two feet nine inches being of a deep black, while 
the feathered extremity is of a changeable colour like the mallard's 

Thb bird, which for beauty exceeds all others of the pie kiod, ii 
a native of the Molucca Islands, but found in greatest nutnben in 
that of Aro. There in the delightful and spicy woods of the country, 
do these beautiful creatures Ily iu large flocks; .so that the grove* 
which produce the richest spices produce the finest birds also. 7^ 


inhcibitatits themselves are noi insensible of the [de&surc these afford, 
and give them the name of God's biids, as t«ing superior to all 
others that he has made. They live in lar^e flocks, end at night 
generally perch upon the same tree. They are called by some the 
Sivallouis of TtTaate, from their rapid flight, and from their being 
continually on the wing in pursuit of insects, their usual prey. 

Ah the country where they are bred has its tempestuous season, 
when rains and thunders continually disturb the atmosphere, these 
birds are then but seldom seen. It is thought that they then fly to 
other countries, where their food appears in greater abundance, 
for, like swallows, they have their stated times of return, In the 
beginning of the month of August, they are seen in great numbers 
flying tt^ether, and, as the inhabitants would have us believe, fol- 
lowing their king, who is distinguished from the rest by tlie lustre of 
his plumage, and that respect and veneration which is paid him. In 
the evening they perch upon the highest trees of the fwest, particu- 
larly one which bears a red berry, upon which they sometimes feed 
when other food fails thorn. In what manner they breed, or what 
may be the number of their young, as yet remains for discovery. 

The natives, who make a trade of killing end selling these bh^s 
to the European!, generally conceal themselves in the trees where 
they resort, and having covered themselves up fromsighl in a bower 
made of the branches, they shoot at the birds with reedy arrows, 
and, as they assert, if they happen to kill the king, they then have 
a good chance fot killing the greatest part of the flock. The chief 
iDBrk by which they know the king is by the ends of the feathers in 
his tail, which have eyes like those of a peacock. When they have 
taken a number of these birds, their usual method is to gut them and 
cut off their legs; they then run a hot iron into the body, which 
dries up the internal muistttre, and tilling the cavity with •salts and 
apices, they sell them to the Europeans for a perfect trifle. 




_jiffltOM a bird of which maoy fables have been reported, 
to another that has not given less scope to fabulous invention. I he 
note of ihe Cuckoo is known to all the world ; iho history and nature 
of the bird itself still remains in great obscurity. That it devours 
its parent, that it changes its nature with the season, and becomes a 
sparrow-hawk, were fables invented of this bird, and are now suffi- 
ciently refuted. But where it resides in winter, or how it provides 
for its supply during that season, still continues undiscovered. 

This singular bird, which is somewhat less than a pigeon, shaped 
like a magpie, and of a greyish colour, is distinguished from all 
other birds by its round prominent nostrils. Having disappeared 


all the \rinler. it ducovers itself in our country eariy In the spring 
hy ita well known call, he note is heard earlier or later, as the sea. 
Iiin st^emi to be more or less forward, and the weather more or leM 
inviting. From the clieerrul voice ofathis bird the farmer may be 
insLrticied in the teal advancement of tlie year. The fHllibility of 
human calendars U but too well known ; but from this bird's note 
the husbandman may be taught when to sow his most uiteful seeds 
and to do audi work ns depends upon a certaih temperature of the 
air. These feathered guides coma (o us lieaven taught, and point 
out the true commencement of die season. 

The cuckoo, that was silent some time aHcr i(s appearance, be>fiDs 
at first feebly, and at very distant intervals, to give iis call, which, 
as the summer advances, improves both in its frequency and loud- 
new. This is an invitation to courtship, and used only. by the tnatei 
who sits generally perched upon sobiq dead tree, or bare bough, 
and repeats his song, which he loses as soon as the ^nial season is 
Over. His note is pleasant though uniforin ; and, from an associa- 
tion of ideas, seldom occurs to the memory without reminding us of 
the sweets of sumiaer. Custom too has affixed a more ludicroua 
association to this note ; which, however, we that are bachelors need 
be in no pain about. This reproach seems to arise fron this bird's 
making use of the bed or neat of another to deposit its own brood ir 

However this 
female makes r 

, nothing is more certain tbnn that the 
She repairs for that purpose to 
the nest of some other bird, generally the water-wagtail t>r the 
hedge-sparrow, and having devoured the eggs of the owner, fays her 
own in their place. She usually lays but one, which is speckled, 
and of the size of a blackbird's. This the fond foolish bird hatches 
with great assiduity, and when exchided finds no difference in the 
great ill-looking changeling from her own. To supply this voracious 
creature, the credulous nurse toils with unususMabour, no way sen- 
sible that she is feeding up an enemy to her roce, and one of the 
most destructive robbers of her future progeny. 

It was once doubted whether these birds were carnivorous; but 
Reaumur was at the pains of breeding up several, and found that 
they would not feed upon bread and corn, but llesh and insects were 
their favourite nourishment. He found it a very difTicult task to 
teach them to peck ; for he was obliged to feed them for a full month 
after they were grown as big as the mother. Insects, however, 
seemed to be their peculiar food when young ; for they devoured 
Heih by a kind of constraint, as it was always put into their mouths ; 
but meal-worm insects they ilew to, and swallowed of th^r own re- 
cord most greedily. Indeed, their gluttony is not to 
at when we consider the capacity of iheir stomach which is ei 
and reaches from the breast-bone to the rent. Itisparllyi) 
branoua, partly muscular, and of a prodigious capacity ; yet<v 
they are not to be supposed aa birds of prey, for they have neiAer 
the strength nor the courage. On the contrary, they are naiurslty 
weak and fearful, a^ appears by tlieJr flying Iron) small birds, which 


fixety-TiiheK pursuR them. The young birds are broivn Mixed, with 
bJaii: ; and In tlial state the^ have been descrit>ed by some aui|iors 
as old ones. 

The cqckoo when fledged and fitted for flight, fallows its supposed 
parent but for a little time; its appetites for insect Tood increasing. 
as it flnds no great chance for a supply in imjtaOog its little opa- 
ductor, il> parts good friends, the step^chiM seMoni oflering apy 
violence to its nurse. Neverlhelesi, all the lillje birds of the grove 
seem to consider the young cuckoo as an enemy, and , revenge the 
cause of their kind by their repeated insults. They pursu;e it 
w)iereverit flies, and oblige it to take shelter in the thickest branches 
of some neighbouring tree. .All the smaller birils forin the lrai« of 
its pursuers; but the, wry-neck, in particular, is fotjad the. most 
active in the chase; and from thence it ha^ been palled by, many. 
the cuckoo's attendant and proyidei;^ But it is very far from folloffr 
ing with a friendly intention; it only pursues as an. inBuiterj.orft 
spy, to warn all its little companionsofthe cuckoo's depredations-, > 

[In the Philosophical Tratisactipns for 1TS8, there is a very 
curious paper on the natural history of liiia bird, by the celebr&led 
Dr. Jenner- " The cuckoo makes its, first appearance in. England 
abotit the piiddle of April. Like other migrating birds,, the female 
does not begin to lay till some weeks after her arrival ; but, unlike 
all other birds, she provides ijo nest, and dt^ ..not hatch h^i*; own 
eggs- The hedge-sparrow, the water- wagtail, the, titlark, the red" 
bresst, the yellow-liamtner, the greeu'linnet, or the whin-diat, is 
geaeffllly the nurse of the young cuckoo. The three, first sr" often 
selected, but a greater partiality is shown for the nest of the hedge- 
sparrow. This last commonly takes up foiir or five days in laying 
her eggs. Do ring this iime(,generally after she has laid oneortwoy 
the cuckoo contrives to deposit her egg among the rest, leaving the 
future care of it entirely to the hedge^parrow. When this bvd has, 
sat her usual time, and disengaged the young cuckoo atid some of 
her own oflspring from the sh^ll, her own young ones, and any gf 
her eggs that remain unhatched, are soon turned out, the young 
cuckoo remaining possessor of the nest, and. sole object of her future 
care. The young birds are not. previously killed,. Bot are the eggs 
demolished ; but all are left to perish together, eitl|er entangled 
about (lio bush which contains the nest, or lying on the ground 
under it. 

*' The early (ate of the young hedge-sparrows," Dr. Jenner con-, 
tinues, '^ is a circumstance that has been noticed by others, but at- 
tributed to wrong causes. A variety of conjectures have bccnfornied 
upon it, Some have supposed the parent cuckoo the author of their 
destruction ; while others, as erroneously, have pronounced tl^em: 
smothered by the disproportionate size of their fellow-nestling. 

" I examined the nest of a hedge-sparrow,, on the ISlJi of Jupe, 
1787, which then contained a cuckoo's and three hedge-sparrow's 
eggs. On inspecting it the day following, I found the bird had 
hatched, bnl that tlie nest now contained unly.a young cuckoo and 




one young hedge-sparrow. The nest was placed ao near the extre. 
mitj or a hedge, llial I could distinctly see what vias going forvrard 
in it ; and, to my asionislimeni, saw the young cuckoo, [hough to 
newly hatched, in the act of (uming out the young hedge-sparrow. 
The mode of accomplishing this was very curious : — The little ani- 
mal, with the assistance of its rump and wings, contrived (o ^et the 
bird upon its back, and making o lodgement for ihe burden by ele- 
vating its elbows, clambered backward with it up the side of the nest 
till it reached the top, where, resting for a moment, it threw oiT its 
load with a jerk, and quite dtsengaged it from the nest. U remained 
in thfa situation a short time, feeling about with the exlretntties pf 
its wings, as if to be conrinced whether the business was properly 
executed, and then dropped into the nest again: With these (the 
extremities of its wing*) I have often seen it examine, as it were, 
an egg and nestling before it began its operations; and the nice 
sensibility which these parts appeared to possess, seemed sufficiently 
to compensate the want of sight, which as yet it was destitute of. I 
aflerwards put in an egg; and'lhis, by a similar process, was con- 
veyed to the edge of the nest, and thrown out. These esperimenu 
1 have since repeated several limes in diScrent nests, and have al- 
ways found the young cuckoo disposed to act in the same manner. 
In climbing up the nest it sometimes drop its burden, and thus la 
foiled in its endeavours; but, after a little respite, the work is re- 
sumed, and goes on almost incessantly itll it is effected. It is woo- 
derlbl to see the extraordinary exertions oflhe young cuckoo, when 
it is two or three days old, if a bird be put into the nest with it that 
is too weighty for il to lift out. In this state it seems ever restless 
and uneasy. But this disposition for turning out its companions 
begins to decline, from the time it is two or three, till il is about 
twelve days old, when, as far ss T hnve hitherto seen, it ceases. In- 
deed, the disposition for throwing out the «gg eppears to cease a 
few days sooner : for I have frequently seen the young cuckoo, 
after i( had been hatched nine or ten days, remove a nestling that 
had been placed in the nest with i(, when it suffered an egg, put 
there at the same time, to remain unmolested. The singularity of 
its shape is well adapted to these purposes; for, different from other 
newly hatched birds, its back, from the acapulee downwards, is verv 
broad, with a considerable depression in the middle. This depresnon 
seems formed by nature for the design of giving a more secure 
lodgement to Ihe egg of the hedge -sparrow or its yomig one, wheu 
the young cuckoo is employed in removing either of them from the 
nest. When il is about twelve days old this cavity is aiiite filled 
up, and then the back assumes the shape of nestling birds in ge- 

It appears a little extraordinary that two cuckoos' eggs should 
ever be deposited in the same nest, as the young one produced from 
one of them most inevitably perish : yet two instances of this kind 
fell under Ur. Jenner's observation, one of which he thus relates; — 
" June 27, 1787. Two cuckoos and a hedge-sparrow were hatched 



in the same nett this njorningi on? hedgo-Hparroiv'g egg rentainsd 
uohatched. la a few hours aller, a contesl began between the 
cuckoos for the possession of the nest, which continued undetermined 
till the next afternoon, when one of them, which was somewhat 
superior in e'lze, turned out the other, together with the young hedge- 
sparrow and the unhatched egg. This contest was very remarkable. 
The combatants alternately appeared to have the advantage, as 
each carried the other several limes nearly to the top of the nest, 
and then sunk down again, oppressed by the weight of its burden ; 
till at length, after various efforts, the strongest prevailed, and was 
afterwards brought up by the hedge-sparrow. 

In considering to what causes the singularities of the cuokoo may 
be attributed, the Doctor suggests tlie following as the inoitt proba- 
ble : " The short residence this bird is allowed to malte in the country 
where it is destined to propagate its species, and the call that nature 
has upon it, during that short residence, (o produce a numerous 
progeny. The cuckoo's lirst appearance here is about the middle 
of April, commonly on the 17lh. Its egg it not ready for incuba- 
tion till some weeks afler its arrival, seldom before the middle of 
Maj*. A fortnight is taken up by the sitting-bird in hatching the 
sgg' TliB young bird generally continues three weeks in the nest 
before it flies, and tlie foster-parents feed it more than five weeLs 
after this period; so that if a cuckoo should be ready with an egg 
tnuch sooner than the time pointed out, not a single nestling, even 
one of the earliest, would be fit to provide for itself before iu parent 
would be instinctively directed to seek a new residence,, and be thus 
compelled 16 abandon its young one; for old cuckoos lake tlieir 
final leave of this country the first week in July."] 

Such are the manners of this bird while it continues to reside, or 
to be seen amongst us, But early, at the approach of winter, it. 
totally disappears, and its passage can be traced Kt no other coun- 
try. Some suppose that it lies hid in hollow trees, and others that 
it passes into warmer climates. Which of these opinions is true is 
very uncertain, as there are no facts related on either side that can 
be totally relied on. To support the opinion that they remain tor- 
pid during the winter at home, Willoughby introduces the following 
story, which he delivers upon the credit of another. " The servants 
of a gentleman In the country, having stocked up, in one of their 
meadows, some old dry rotten willows, thought proper, on a certain 
occasion, to carry them home. In heating a stove, two logs of this 
limber were put into the furnace beneath, and fire apphed as usual. 
But soon, to the great surprise of the family, was heard the voice of 
a cuckoo, singing three times from under the stove. Wondering at 
so extraordinary a cry in winter time, the servants ran and drew the 
willow logs from the furnace, and in the midst of one of theni saw 
something move ; wherefore, taking an axe, they opened the hole, 
and thrusting in their hands, first they plucked out nothing but fea- 
thers ; afterwards they got hold of a living animal, and this was the 
cuckoo that had waked so very opportunely for its own safety. It 


HisroRY" Off' 


ma, iBileed," continues our histbrian, " brisk and lively, but ^iM^H 
naked and bare of feathers, and wiihoul any winter prorisKin Jm^ 
hole. This cuckoo the boys kept iwo years anerwards ahve in the 
stove ; but whether it repaid ihetn with a second song, the autfaor of 
ihe tale has not thought fit to inform us." 

The most probable opinion on this subjiH:! is, that as quails and 
vroodcocks shift their habitations in winter, so also does the cuckoo: 
birt to what country it retires, or whether it has been ever seen on 
its joorney, are questions that I am u-holly iitcapable of resolving. 

or this bird there are many kinds in various parts of the world, 
not only dilfering in Ibeir colour but tlieir si7e. Brisson makes not 
less Ihsn twenty-eight sorts of ihem; but vrhat niiatogy they bear to 
the English cuckoo, I will not talte upon me to deterthine. He talks 
of one particularly, of Brazil, as makinfj a most horrible noise in the 
forests; which, us it should seem, must be » very diflerent note from 
that by which our bird is ttistinguiflhed athom^. 

[The following description of the Indicator, or Honey..Gui(le, 
(sometime» called the Moroc) is given by Dr; Sparrman in the Phi- 
Iosoplitc«t TransaettonB for J7T7. " Thiscurioos species of cnckoo 
is Ibimd at a considerable distance from the' Cape of Good Hope, 
in the interior parts of .Africa. Its colour has nothing striking or 
beautiful, lis size i» considerably smaller than that ofourcuckoo in 
Europe ; but in return, the instinct whicli prompts it to seek ila food 
in a singular manner, is truly admirable. Not only the Dutch and 
Hottentots, bui likewise a species of quadruped named raUl, (pro* 
bably a species of badger) are frequently conducted to wild bee- 
hives by this bird, which, as it were, pilots them to the very spot. 
The honey being its favourite food, its own interest promptsit (< 
initrumental in robbing the hive, as somewraps are commonly-^ 
for its support, The morning and evening are its limes of fee " 
and it is then beard calling in a shrill tone, cAerr, cherr; whiclyf^ 
I loney- hunters carefully attend to as the summons 1 
From time to time they'enswer with a noR whistle, which the binT 
hearing, always continues its note. Aft soon as tliey are in sight of 
each other, (he bird gradually flutters towardu the place where thV' 
liive is situated, continually repenting Its fortner call of cAerr,«' 
nay, if it should happen to have gained a conaderabte way beM 
the men, (who may uasiiy be hindered In the pursuit by I 
rivers, or the like), it returns to them again, and redoubles h 
as il were to reproach them with their inactivity. At last the binJ ii ' 
bserved to hover for a few moments over a certain spot, and then 
ilenily rethnng to a neighbouring bush or resting-place, ihb- hunters 
re sure of finding the bees' nest In that identical spot, whether it be 
1 a tree, or In the crevice of a rocJ<, or (as is most commonly the 
ase) in the earth. Whilst the hunters are busy in taking the 
Imney, the bird is seen looking on attentively to what is going for- 

ird, and waiting for Its share of the Bpoll. The bee-hunters never 
fair to leave a small portion for tlieir conductor; but commonly 
take care not to leave so much at would satisfy Its hunger. The 

■ery spot, 
tsit Ut4/^^ 
he chii^^^ 


bird's appetite being whelted by tliig parsimony, it is oblig^ to 
commit a secoad ireasiHi, by discovering another bees* nest, in'hopes 
of B better salary. It Is further observed, that tiie nearer the bird 
approaches the hidden hive, the more frequently it repeats its call, 
and aeenis the more itnpalient. I have had frequent opportunities 
of seeing this bird, and have been witness lo the desiruclion of 
several republics of bees by means of its treachery. I had, however, 
but two opportunities of shooting it, which I did lo the great in- 
dignnlion of my Hottentots. These were about seven inches in 
length, and of a rusty brown colour on the bock, willi wliile breast 
and beliy."] 



The Parrot is the best known among iis of all foreign birds, m 
it unites the greatest beutity with the greatest docility. Its vi^cc 
also is more lilte a man's than that of any other; the raven is too 
hoarse, and the jay and magpie too shrill, to resemble the trttth ; 
the parrot's note is of the true pitch, and capable of a. number of 
modtilalions that even some of our orators miglit wish in vain to 

The ease with which this bird is taught to speak, and the great 
number of words which it is capable of repeating, are no less sur. 
prinng. We are assured by a grave writer, that one of these was 
tBHght to repeat a whole sonnet from Petrarch ; and, that I may 
not be waiKing in my instance, I have seen a parrot,- belonging to a> 
distiller, who had suflered pretty largely In his circumstances from 
an informer who lived opposite him, very ridiculously employed. 
This bird was taught to pronounce the ninth commandment, 'I'/ttnt 
shah not b:ar false wilneM against thy neighbour,, with a very 
clear, loud, articulate voice. The bird was generally placed in its 
cage over-Hgainst the informer's house, and delighted the whole 
neiglibourhoud with its persevering exhortations. 

Willoughby tells a story of a parrot, which is not so dull as those 
usually brought'Up when the bird's facility of talking happens to be 
the subject. " A parrot belonging to King Ilenry the Sevenll), who 
then resided at Westminster, in his palace by the river Tharaes, had: 
learned to talk many words from thu passengers as they happened 
to take water One day, sporting on its perch, the poor bird fell 
into the water, at the same time crying out as loud aa be could, 
A bond IweJtiif pounds fur a boail A waterman who happened 
to be near, hearing the cry, made to the place where the parrot was 
floating, and taking him up, restored hhn to the king. As it seems 
the bird was a favourite, the man insisted that be ouglil lo have a 
reward ralber equal to his services tlian his trouble ; and as the par- 


rot had cried twentj poutxls, ha said the king veu bound jyr faaiii^H 
to grant it. The king ftt last agreed to lenre it to the.|mrrot^s cm^B 
determiaalion, which the bird hearing, cried out, Giwe tlie.knave a 

The parrot, which is so common as a foreign bird with us, i« 
equally so as an indigenous bird in the ciimales where it is produced. 
The forests swarm witti them ; and t)ie rook is not better knotrn 
with us tlian the parrot in almost every part of the Eut and West 
Indies. It is in vain that our naturalists have attempted to nrr&uge 
the various species of this bird ; new varieties daily offer to pusxle 
the system-maker, or to demonstrate the narrowness of his cata< 
logues. LiuHKus makes the number of its varieties amonnt to forty- 
seven ; while Brisson doubles the number, and extends his catalogue 
to ninety-five. Perhaps even this Lsl might be increased, were 
every accidental change of colour to be considered as constituting a 
new species. Bnt, in fact, natural history gains little by these dis- 
coveries ; and as its dominions are extended, it becomes more barren. 
It is asserted by sensible travellers, that the natives of Brazil can 
change the colour of a parrot's plumage by art. If this bo true, 
and I am apt to believe the information, they can make new species 
nt pleasure, and thus cut out endless work for oUr nomonclators al 

Those who usually bring iliese birds over, are content to make 
three or foor distinctions, to which tliey give names ; and with ^ese 
distinctions 1 will content myself also. The large kind, which are 
of the size of a raven, are called Maccaws; the next sine are simply 
called Parrots; those which are enlirely white are called Lorie«; 
and the lesser size of all are called Parakeets. The difference 
between even these is rather in the size than in any other peculiar 
conformation, as they ere all formed alike, having toes, two befofc 
and two behind, for climbing and holding ; strong hooked bills for 
breaking open nuts, and other hard substances, on which they feed ; 
and loud harsh voices, by which they fill their native woods with 

But there ore further peculiarities in their conformation ; and 
first, their toes are contrived in a singular manner, which appears 
when they walk or climb, and when they are eating. For the first 
purpose they Biretch two of their toes forward and two backward ; 
but when they take their meat, and bring it to their mouths with 
their foot, they dexterously and nimbly turn the greater hind toe 
forward, go as to take a firmer grasp of the nut or the fruit they are 
going to feed on, standing all the while upon the other leg. Not 
even do they present their food in the usual manner; for 
animals turn their meat inwards to the mouth, but tliesa, 
seemingly awkward position, turn their meat outwards, and 
hold the hardest nuts, as if HI one hand, till with lh«ir bills 
break the shell, and extract the kernel. 

The bill is fashioned with still greater peculiarities ; for the u| 
chap, as well as the lower, are both moveable. In most other 

die lipper tl^ji iscoiinei-i^i, a^d makfes birt une piece wilti Iht^ skufT ; 
'liiit iH theii^, find in one|'oi- liro' gpefhi of th^'featfrert^' tHbe 
more, tli6 upper i^hs pis connwted'tortie boYieiof the head by a^tjcln^ 
nwmbrane placed on each sid^.that ItRs add (lepressesJllat plen- 
iiire. By this contrivance they tan open thefr bills the wMef ; wKItli 
'is pot a little uKeflil, ns the Up)>er' chnp is 'so h^ohed Bh9 so aier- 
hanging, thai' iflhe lowei' chnp oniyhiid mdliDh^ theytoidd acbfcfitV 
gape dulScienity to take any I hi n^ in Tor their linnrishrttent. ' ■ ' 
, Sweh tireiheiiseaorihe beak aiid the toes when ai^ separaieiy, 
but they are often employed both together when (he bird ja ejter- 
Iei*^ in climbing. As these birds cannot readrly hop froni bongh 
io' hough, their Igm riot being adapted Tor Ihal purpose, they'tise 
liofh (he beak and the Teet: first catching huld ^Ith ih^ b^nk.'Wit if 
inih a hook, 'and drawing up the' logs and Rislenin^ them; ifAir'ad- 
'Vaiicing the head and beak again, and so pittting' forward (tifefclfldir 
ifi'iJ the feet allernalely, (ill ihey attain thti hel*:ht they aspir4-'ta. ' 

The tongue of this bird somewhat resembles (hnl of a matt ;"fljr 
which reason some pretend (hat it'is well qualified to tmitHt^ the 
human speech ; but the organs by which these sounds a>C ailTcilttitiefl 
.lie farther down in the throat, being performed by the groat' nfotibh 
which the 04 kt/oidci has in these birtis above oiiicrg. '' ' ' ' 

' The parrol, though common' enough in Europe, will not, howe^'ei', 
t^i^ed here. The climate is too colrl for its warm onstilnilrth \ '01)8 
'Ujoogh it beare our winter when arrived at maturity, yet it dlwilyB 
ieems sensible of its rigour, and loses both il-i spirit and appetite 
diirihg the colder part of the iieason, Tt then becomes torpid and 
inactive, atid seems quit6 changed from that bustling loquacioris 
alnimal whicli it appeared in its native forests, where it is almost 
ever uport (he wing.- Notwithstanding, the parrot lives even with 
us a considerable lime, if i( be properly aitended to; and, indeed, 
t( must be owned, (hat it employs but too great n par( of ^me 
people's attention. 

The extreme sagacity and docility of the bird may plead as (he 
best excuse for (hose who spend whole hours in teaching their pnrr6(H 
to speak ; and, indeed, the bird, on those occasions, seems the wisest 
animal of the two. It at first obstinately resists all in8(riic(ion ; but 
seems to be won by perseverance, makes a few attempt* to iinitaie 
the firs( sounds, and when it has got one word distinct, all the suc- 
ceeding come with greater facility. The bird' generally l^ms most 
in those families where the master or mistress haveihe least to do; 
and becomes more expert in proportion as its instniclors are idly 
assiduous. In going through (he towns of France some time since, 
1 could not help observing how much plainer their parrots spoke 
than ours, and how very distinctly I lindrrslond their parrots speak 
French, when 1 could not understand our own, though they spo'e 
my native language. I was at first for Bseribing' it to the diRerent 

aualitiesof the two languages, and was for entering intn an elaborate 
iscussion on (he vowels and cohM)nan(s ; but a frrpnd thnt was with 

e solved (he. difficulty a( once, hy assuring me lha[ Ihu Fredch 

40— VOL. II. D D 





women ncarct^ly did any iliing else the nliolc day than sit a,nd ii\- 
filruct their Teaihered pupils : and thai the birds were thus disdnct in 
their lessonB in conBe<)uence of conlinual schooling. 

The parroU of Franco arp certninly very expert, but nothing to 
those of the Brazils, wliere the education of a parrot is considered as 
a very serious affair. The history of Prince Maurice's parrot, given 
us by Mr Locke, is too well known to be repeated here; but 
Ctusius assures us, that the parrots of that country are ihc n^ost seo- 
aible and cunning of all animals not endued with reason. The great 
parrot, called the Aicuroui, the head of which is adorned will) yel- 
low, red, and violet, the body green, the ends of the wings red, the 
feathers of the tail long and yellow ; this bird, he asserts, which is 
seldom brought into Europe, is a prodigy of understanding. " A 
certain Brazilian woman, lliat lived in a village two miles distant 
from the island on which we resided, had a parrotof this kind which 
was the wonder of the place. It seemed endued with such tender- 
standing as to discern and compreliend whatever she said Ip i(. Aa 
we sometimes used to jiass by that woman's house, she used to call 
Uptoi us to stop, promising, if we gave her a comh, or a looking- 
glass, that she would make her parrot sing and dance to entertain 
us. If we agreed to her request, as soon as she I'ad pronounced 
some words lo the bird, it began not only to leap and skip on the 
perch oD which it stood, but also to talk and to whistle, and imitate 
the shonlings and enclamationa of the Brazilians when ihey prepare 
for battle. In brief, wlien it came into the woman's head to bid it 
sing, it sang ; to dance, it danced. But if, contrary to our promise, 
we refused to give the wo^nan the little present agreed on, the parrot 
seemed to sympathize in her resenunenli and was silent and lip- 
nioveat^e; neither could wc, by any means, provoke jt to move 
either foot or tongue." 

This sagacity which parrots show in a domestic state, seems also 
natural to them in their nativo residence among the woods. They 
live together in flocks, and mutually assist each other against other 
animals, eitlier by their courage or their notes of warning. They 
generally breed in hollow trees, where they make a round hole, and 
do not line their nests within. If they iind any part of a tree -be- 
ginnmg to rot from the breaking off of a branch, or any such acci- 
dent, this tliey take care to scoop, and to make the hole sufficiently 
wide am) convenient ; but it sometimes happens that they are con- 
tent with the hole which a woodpecker has wrought out 'with greater 
ease before them; and in this they prepare to hatch and bring up 
their young. 

They lay two or tliree eggs; and probably the smaller kind may 
lay more; for it is a rule that universally holds through nature, that 
the smallest animals are always the most prolific; for being, from 
their natural weakness, more subject to devastation, nature linds ii 
necessary to replenish the species by superior fecundity. Ingeneral, 
however, the number of their eggs is stinted lo two, like those of 
the pigeon, and they are about the same size. Tliey are alway 

THB Pt«"iatH). 


marked with iittle -ipocks, like tliose or a partridge ; and some Ira- 
vellera assure us, that they arc always found in the trunks c( the 
talleit, siraightest, and the largest trees. The natives of these 
countries, who liave little else to do, are very asaiducnis in spying 
out the places where the pairot is seen to nestle, and generally come 
with great joy tO inform the Europeans, if there be any, of the dis- 
covery. As those birds have always the greatest docility that are 
taken young, such a nest is odea considered as worth taking' some 
trouble to be possessed of; and for this purpose the usual method of 
coming at the young is by cutting down the tree, In the fall of tiio 
Ireo it often happens that tlie young parrots are killed : but if one 
of them survives the shock, it is considered as a suflicient recom^ 

: Such is the avidity will) which these birds are sought when yOung; 
for it is known they always speak best when their ear has not been 
anticipated by the hM«h notes of the wild ones. But as the natrres 
are not able upon all occasions to supply the demand for young 
ones, they are contented to take the old ; and for that purpose shoot 
them in the woods with heavy arrows, headed with cotton, which 
knock down the bird without killmg it. The parrots thus stunned 
are carried home: some die, but others recover, and, by kind 
usage and plentiful food, become talkative and noisy. 

But it is not for the sake of their conversation alone that the par- 
rot is sought afler among the savages ; for though some of them erti 
but tough and ill-tasted, yet there are other sorts, particularly of the 
small parakeet tribes that are very delicate food. In general it 
obtains, that whatever fruit or grain these birds mostly feed npon, 
titcir flesh partakes of the flavour, and becomes good or ill-tasted 
according to the quality of that particular diet. When the guava 
is ripe, they are at that season fat and tender ; if they feed upon the 
aeed of the acajou, their flesh ccMitracts an agreeable flavour «f gar- 
lic ; if they feed upon seed of the spicy trees, their llesh then tastes 
of cloves and cinnamon ; while, on the contrary, it is insupportably 
bitter if the berries they foed on are of that quality. The seed of 
the cotton tree intosioates them in the same manner that wine does 
man ; and even wine itself is drunk by parrots, as Aristotle assures 
us, by which they are thus rendered more talkative and amusing. 
But of all food, they are fondeat of the carthamus or bastard saflVon ; 
which, though strongly purgative to man, agrees perfectly with their 
constitution, and fattens them in a very short time. 

Of the parakeet kind in Brazil, Labut assures us, that Ihey are the 
most beautiful in their plumage, and the most talkative birds in 
nature. They are very tame, and appear fond of mankind; they 
seem pleased with holding parley with him ; Ihey never have done ; 
but while ha continues to talk, anstver him, and appear resolved to 
have the last word : but lliey are possessed. of another quality which 
is sufficient to put an end to this associalioh ; their flesli is the most 
delicate imaginable, and liighly esteemed by those who are fonder 
of indulging their appetites than their ears. The fowler walks into 
D D 2 


322 Hisrosv or 

tiiS; woods, W:)iero ibeyikiKp in abundance; but as ihey are green, 
and exactly (ho colour uf tlie leaves among which they pit, he only' 
lioars; ihtijr pr^ltlci williout being able to see a single bird : he looks 
round liim, ttenaible that I lis game ia wjlliin gun-ahot in abundance, 
buL is iiiorliGed to ihe last degree thai it is impossible to see them. 
Uofortunately Tor these llllje Bnlmnla, they are restless and ever on 
tlji! wiog, ao that in Bytng froukone tree to another he has but too 
Jr^^ienlApj^rtunitieaordt^Lroying them : for as soon aa they have 
stripped the tree on which they sale uf all ila berries, some one of 
iliem fliesioff tQ'unutlier ; audi il tbat be found lit for the purpose, 
it gives a, loud call, whieli all the resl report to. That is the op- 
portimity the fowler has .lung, been waiting foe ;. lie fires in among 
tlie flock while they are yet on the wing, and lie seldom faila o^ 
bringing down a part of them. But it is singular ooongh to see them 
v^hen iliey dndtlmir companions fallen. Theyiaotup a loud outcry,' 
as if they were chiding iheirdestroyer, atid donwt cease till ihqy see 
him preparing for a sepoiid: charge. 'I ' . ,i .. 

Sut tliOMgh (here are so tiibny motives for destroying ilnse beMl- 
tiful birds, tliey &re in very great plenty ; and in soma couninesion 
l}ie,uuasl of Guinea, limy are ct>asidereJ by the Negroes da their^ 
greatest loriHeniors, "Ehe flocks of parrots persecute ilheia with 
their unceasing acreai'iing. Mid. devour whatever Inuls they attem^D 
tu produce by art in tliuir lilile gardens. In other places they^are 
not fo deilruclive, but sufljciontly common,; and indued therein 
scarcely a country of the tropical climates thHt has nut many lof the 
common kind, a" well as some peculiarly its owu. Travellers hate 
equaled more than a hundred dilTereDt kinds on the continent of 
ilfrlcB only: there is one iSuunLry in particular, north of the Cape 
uf Cltwd Hope, which takes its name Irom the mukiliide of parrots 
which are seen in ii^ woods. There are while parrots seen inthe 
burning regions of ititliiopin; in llm East Indies, they are of the- 
largt^lsize; in South America, tliey ore docile and talkative] inj™ 
the islands uf the P.aciflu Sea uDd< the Indian Ocean, they swarntj 
great variety and- abundance, and add to the splendi 
woods which nature haa dressed in eternal green. 

So generally are these birds known at preeenl, and ad gr»B 
their variety, that, nothing seems more extraordinary than. that tht 
was but one aori of them known among the ancients, and that 
timewheH they pretended to be masters uf the __ 

flae could serve to showtlie vanity of a Roman's boast, the parrot 
tribe might be an instance, of which there are a hundred kinds now 
known, not one of which naturally breeds in the countrJea thai ac- 
knowledged the Roinaii power. Tlie green parakeet, ^riih a red 
neck, was the flrst of liiis kind that was brought into Europe, and 
the (inly one that was known to the anctenis from the time of Alej^ 
under the Great to l)ie age of Nero. This was brought from IndiAi 
and when afterwards the Komons began to seek and rum) 
through all their dominiond fur nuw and unheard-of 

' the 


and rumnun^^H 
f luxaries, t^i^^^l 


in island ofBtliiopia, wiiich 


At'faM foiinil niit oiljers in Gagnnda, 
lUiey I considered as an extraordinary di 

Parrots have usually Ihc same diaorders willi other birds; and 
rihey hove one or two peculiar to their kind. They are sometime.i 
-atracli by a' Wind of apoplectic blow, by which ihey tall n-nm their 
•ficfcheH, and' for a while seem ready tp expire. The lUhcr is the 
■gtowing of itie beak, which beooines^so' veryi much hooked as to 
■deprive them of the powet of eating, 'These intinniiies, Itowevee, 
tin ndt hinder them from being long lived ; for BpaT;rol, well kepi, 
iwtttlliTe five DrsKc^nd'tnenty years, . i . 



I This is one of the birds whichi from its great fecundity, weh*ve, 
in some measure, mJaimed from a stale uf nature, and Uiightio 
'live in habits of independence. Indeed, ila fecundity seems to bs 
increased by human cultivation, BiUce those pigeons that live in a 
wild sinle, in the woods, are by no means so fruitful as those in our 
pigeon-houses. nearer home. The power of increase in most bird.s 
depends upon the quantity of their food ; and it is seen, in more 
thnnone instanf^e.that man, by suppljringlood in plenty, Und allow- 
ing ihe animal ai the same time a proper' share of freedom, hiw 
^br<]ughl some of those kinds which are known to lay but once n 
.jtelr.'ta become much more prolilic, 
i I The tame pigeon, and all its beauiifnl varieties, derive their origin 
from one species^ the Stock-Dove onl)'.; the English oaAie, iraply- 
ring its being ibe. slock or stem from whence the other dumeslic kinds 
have been propagated, . This bird, in its noturtil stale, is of a. deep 
bluish ash oolour; Uie breast dashed with a line changeable gr^n 
iSlid purple 1 its wings marked with two black bars; tlie back while, 
and the lail barred near the en<l with black. These are the colonrs 
of the pigeon in a stale ctf nature; and from: (hese simple tiols has 
.(gian by art propagRled a variety t but words cannot describe, nor 
.even fancy suggest. . However, nature still perseveres in her great 
. outline', and though iho form, colour, and even the fecundity of 
Ihese birds may. :be altered by arc, yet their natural manner 
inclinations continue still the same. 

The' sloeliFdove, in its naiive woods^ diflera from the ringidi 
bird that has never been recliumed, by its breeding in the holes of 
rocks and the hollows of trees. All other birds of the pigeon kind 
build; like rooks, in the topmost branches of the forest, and choose 
their habitation ns remote as possible from man. But this species 
soon takes to build in arlificial cavities ; and from the temptation df 
a ready provision and numerous aocieiy. easily submjia to ihe ty- 
ranny of manj Still, however, it peecerves its native, colour for 



:j54 axsToiiv o* 

several generations, and becomei more variegated only in propor- 
tion ns it removes from' the original simplicity of Sis colouring 
the woods. 

The pigeon, as is well known, breeds every mt 
bnt then it is necessary to supply it with food when the weattier-^ 
severe, or the fields ai^e covered with snow. Upon other 
it may be led to provide for itself; and il generally repays the 
owner for his protectbn. The pigeon lays two white e^s, which 
most usually produce young ones of different sexes. For the laying 
of each egg, it is necessary to have a particular congress with the 
male; and the ^g is usually deposited in the afternoon. When 
the eggs are thus laid, the female, in the space of fifteen days, not 
including the three days during which she is employed in laying, 
continues to hatch, relieved at intervals by the male. The turns 
are usually regulated with great exactness. From three or four 
o'clock in the evening, till nine the next day, the female continues 
to sit; she is then relieved by the male, who takes his place from 
ten till three, while his male is feeding abroad. In this manner Ihey 
sit alternately (ill the youngai^ excluded. If,during this term, the 
female delays' to return at the expected time, the male followa and 
drives her to the nest ; and should he in his turn be dilatory, she 
retaliates with equal Reveriiy. 

The young ones when hatched require no food for the three first 
days, only wanting to be kept warm, which is an employmew tJie 
female takes entirely upon herself. During this period she never 
stirs out, except Ibr a few minutes to take a little food. FroUi this 
they are fed for eight or ten days, willi com or grain of difieretit 
kinds, which the old ones gather in the fields, and keep treasured: 
in their crops, from whence they throw it tip again into the m^"' 
of their young ones, who very greedily demand it. 

As this method of feeding the young from the crop is diSerei 
birds of the pigeon bind from all others, it dcinands a more deti 
explanation. Of all birdN, for its site, iWe pigeon has the lai 
crop, which is also made in a manner quite peculiar to the kind, 
two of these that were dissected by a member of the R<^al Acadi 
of Sciences, it was found, that if the aRstomisls blew air i 
windpipe, it distended the trop or gullet to a prodigious siee. This 
was the more extraordinary, as there seemed to be no communication 
whatever between these two receptacles; as the conduit by whif 
we breathe, as every one knows, leads to a very different rece[ 
from that where we j>iit our I'ood. By what apertures lira air b) 
into the lungs of the pigeon makes its way intotheciop, isunkni 
but nothing is more certain Ihan that these birds have a powi 
filling the crop with air; and some of them, which are called 
pers, distend il in such a manner that the bird's breast 
than its body. The peculiar mechanism of this part is 
known, but the necessity I'Or it in these animals is pretty obvj 
The pigeon, as we all know, lives entirely upon grain and wa 
these are mixed together in the crop, and in the ordinary wayi 



THE PIE TtllffD. 835 

dig'esled in proporlioii us the bird lays in iu provbiun. But to feed 
its young, whicli are very voracious, it is tiecessary ici lay in a store 
greater ihaa ordinary, and to give the food a kind ofhalf maceration 
to suit their tender appetites. The heat of the bitd's body, agalsted 
by air, and numerous glands separating a milky fluid, are tlie most 
iiecsssary inalniments for lljis operation t but, in proportion as Uie 
food macerates, it begins to swell also, atjd the crop must of conse- 
quence be considerably dilated. Still, however, ibe air which is 
contained in it gives the bird a power of contracting it at pleasure; 
for if it were filled with more solid substances, the bird could have 
no power to conrpreaa it. But this is not the cage ; the bird can 
compress its crop at pleasure, and driving out Iho air, can thus drive 
out the foikj also, which is lurced up the gullet like a pellet from a 
pop-gun. The young ones open-mouthed receive this tribute of 
aflection, and are ihtia fed three times a day; In feeding, the male 
usually supplies the young female, while the old female supplies the 
young of the opposite se\. The food with which they are supplied 
is more macerated in the beginning i but as they grow older, the 
parents give it less preparation, and at last drive them out lo s' '" 
for themselves. When well fed, however, the old ones do not v 
for the total dismission of their young ; but in the same nest are 
be found young ones, almost fit for flight, and eggs hatching at the 
sknie lime. 

The fidelity of the turtle-dove is proverbial, and makes the miial 
comparison of such poets as are content to repeat what others have 
said before them ; but the pigeon of the duve-house is not so failh- 
fuh and, having been subjected to man, it puts on licentiousness 
among its other domestic habits. Two males are oflen seen quar- 
relling fur tlio same mislress; and when the female admits the ad- 
dresses of a new gallant, her old companion seems to bear the i^on- 
tempt with some marks of displeasure, abstaining from her company, 
or, if he approaches, it is only to chastise her. TheFe have been 
instances when two males, being displeased with their resp43clive 
mates, have thought proper to make an eschapge, and have.Ilved in 
great harmony with (heir new companions. 

So great is the produce of this bird in its domestic state, that near 
fifteen thousand may, in the space of four years, be produced from 
a single pair. But the stock-dove seldom breeds above twice a 
year; for, when the winter months come, the whole employment of 
the fond couple is rather for self-preservation than transmitting a 
posterity. They seem, however, to have a stronger attachment to 
their young thau tliose who are found to breed so often ; whether it 
be that instinct acts mure powerfully upon them in their stale of 
nature, or Uiat their affeciious are leas divided by llic multiplicity' of 
claims, is doubtful. 

It is from a species of these, therefore, that those pigeons whicb 
are called Carriers, and are used to convey letters, are produced. 
These are easily dislinguislied from all others by their eyes, which 
are rompassed about with n broad circle of naked white skin, i 


8M 'Misronv ©pv 

% bcirigtir a dark' blue or bkckisli cbloor. li is from iheir fttladt- 
metit lulliRirinatire place, and padicularly where ihey havebrou^i 
(ip tlieir j'citing', ihat these birds are employed in several countries 
iiM iheiricMt expediiluu» carriers. They are first brought IVom the 
plafu where they <were bred, and wfailher it is intended iii secid ihem 
bii;lr vritk' infi:«TOtniiini Thu letter is lied under ttie bird's wing, 
iiiid it Is then let loose to return. The liule nnimal no sootier 6nds 
itsHf at liberty, than i(a passi