Skip to main content

Full text of "An history of the earth, and animated nature."

See other formats

University of California Berkeley 









A N 











/7<hT f 





O F 



Of Ruminating Animals. 

OF all animals, thofe that chew the cud are the moil harm- 
lefs, and the moft eafily tamed. As they live entirely upon 
vegetables, it is neither their intereil nor chcir pleafure to make 
war upon the reft of the brute creation , content with the paf- 
tures where they are placed, they feldom defire to change, 
while they are furnished with a proper fupply; and fearing no- 
thing from each other, they generally go in herds for their ma* 
tual fecurity. AH the iierceft of the carnivorous kinds feck 
their food in gloomy folitude ; thefe, on the contrary, range 
together 5 the very meaner! of them are found to unite in each 
other's defence, and the hare itfelf is a gregarious animal, in 
thofe countries where ir has no other enemies but the beafts 
of the foreil to guard againit. 

As the food of ruminant animals is entirely of the vegetable 
kind, and as this is very eafily procured, fo thefe animals feem 
naturally more indolent and lefs artful than thofe of the car- 
nivorous kinds ; and as their appetites are more fmipie, their 
mitincts feem to be lefs capable of variation. The fox or the 
volf are for ever prowling ; their long habits of want give therr 
a degree of marpncfs and cunning ; their life is a continued 
fcene of ftratagem and efcape : but the patient ox, or the deer, 
enjoy the repaft that nature has abundantly provided^ certain 
of fubfiftence, an4 content with fecurity. 


As nature has furnifhed thefe animals with an appetite for 
fuch coarfe and fimple nutriment, fo fhe has enlarged the capa- 
ity of the inteftines, to take in a greater fupply. In the car- 
nivorous kinds, as their food is nourishing and juicy, their fto- 
machs are but fmall, and their inteftines fhort ; but in thefe, 
whofe pafture is coarfe, and where much muft be accumulated 
before any quantity of nourimment can be obtained, their fto- 
machs are large and numerous, and their inteftines long and 
mufcular. The bowels of a ruminating animal may be con- 
fidered as an elaboratory, with veflels in it fitted for various 
tranfinutations. It requires a long and tedious procefs before 
grafs can be tranfmuted into flefh ; and for this purpofe, nature, 
in general, has furnifhed fuch animals as feed upon grafs, witK 
four ftomachs, through which the food fucceflively pafles, and 
undergoes the proper reparations. 

Of the four ftomachs with which ruminant animals are 
furniftied, the firft is called the paunch, which receives the 
food after it has been flightly chewed ; the fecond is calle4 
the honeycomb, and is properly nothing more than a conti- 
nuation of the former ; thefe two, which are very capacious, 
the animal fills as faft as it can, and then lies down to rumi- 
nate, which may be properly confidered as a kind of vomiting 
without effort or pain. The two ftomachs above-mentioned be- 
ing filled with as much as they can contain, and the grafs 
which was ilightly chewed, beginning to fwell with the heat of 
fituation, it dilates the ftomachs, and thefe again contract 
upon their contents. The aliment, thus fqueezed, has but 
two paflages to efcape at ; one into the third ftomach, which 
is very narrow ; and the other back, by the gullet, into the 
mouth, which is wider. The greateft quantity, therefore, is 
driven back through the largeft aperture into the mouth, to be 
chewed a fecond time ; while a fmall part, and that only the 
moft liquid, is driven into the third ftomach, through the ori- 
fice which is fo fmall. The food which is driven to the mouth, 
and chewed a fecond time, is thus rendered more foft and 
moift, and becomes at laft liquid enough to pafs into the con- 
duit that goes to the third ftomach, where it undergoes a dill 


farther comminution. In this ftomach, which is called the 
. fold, from the number of its leaves, all which tend to 
promote digeftion, the grafs has the appearance of boiled fpin- 
age, but not yet fufficiently reduced, fo as to make a part of 
the animal's nourishment : it requires the operation of the 
fourth ftomach for this purpofe, where it undergoes a com- 
plete maceration, and is feparated to be turned into chyle. 

But nature has not been lefs careful in another refper, in 
fitting the inteftines of thefe animals for their food. In the 
carnivorous kinds, they are thin and lean ; but, in ruminating 
animals, they are ftrong, flemy, and well covered with fat. 
Every precaution feems taken that can help their digeftion : 
their ftomach is ftrong and mufcular, the more readily to acT: 
upon its contents ; their inteftines are lined with fat, the bet- 
ter to preferve their warmth 5 and they are extended to a. 
much greater length, fo as to extract every part of that nou- 
rimment which their vegetable food fo fcantily fupplies. 

In this manner are all quadrupeds of the cow, the fheep, 
or the deer kind, feen to ruminate ; being thus furnimed with 
four ftomachs, for the macerating of their food. Thefe, there- 
fore, may moft properly be called the ruminant kinds ; al- 
though there are many others that have this quality in a lefs 
obfervable degree. The rhinoceros, the camel, the horfe, the 
rabbit, the marmotte, and the fquirrel, 311 chew the cud by 
intervals, although they are not furnifhed with ftomachs like 
the former. But not thefe alone, there are numberlefs other 
animals that appear to ruminate ; not only birds, but fifties, 
and infects. Amongft birds are the pelican, the ftork, the he- 
ron, the pigeon, and the turtle ; thefe have a power of dif- 
gorging their food to feed their young. Among fifties arelob- 
fters, crabs, and that fifh called the dorado. The falmon alfo 
is faid to be of this number : and, if we may believe Ovid, 
the fcarus like wife ; of which he fays :* 

Of all the fifli that graze beneath the Hood, 
He only ruminates his former food. 

* At contro herbofa pifces laxantnr arena, 
Ut fcarus epalfos/w'tfj qui rurainat cfcas. 

ft A N H I S T O R Y, &c. 

Of infers, the ruminating tribe is Rill larger ; the mole,, 
the cricket, the wafp, the drone, the bee, the graihopper, aad 
the beetle. Ail thcfe animals either actually chew the cud, 
or feem at leaft to ruminate. They have the ftomach ccm- 
pofed of mufcular fibres, by means whereof the food is ground 
up and down, in the fame manner as in thofe which are parti- 
cularly diilinguifhed by the appellation of ruminants. 

But not tliefe alcne; men themfelves have been often known 
to ruminate, and feme even with pleafure. The accounts of 
thefe calamities, for fuch I muit ccnf; them, incident to 
our fellow-creature?, are not verv -. to read ; yet I 

muft tranfcribc a fliort one, as given u^ by iSlare, iii the phi- 
lofophical tranfii&ions, as it may, in feme meafure, {how the 
fatisfaHon which the lower tribes of animals enjoy, while 
they ruminate. The man in queftion was a citizen of Briftol, 
of about twenty years of age, and, what feemed more extra- 
ordinary ftill, of a ruminating family, for his father was fre- 
quently fubject to the fame infirmity, or amufement, as he 
liimfelf perhaps would call it. This young man ufually began 
to chew his meat ever again within about a quarter of an hour 
after eating. His ruminating after a full meal, generally la fl- 
ed about an hour and a half ; ncr could he fieep until this tafk 
was performed. The victuals, upon the return, rafted even 
mc*e pleafantly than at firit j and returned as if they had been 
beaten up in a mortar. If he ate a variety of things, that 
which he ate fir ft came up again fir ft ; and if this return was 
interrupted for any time, it produced ficknefj arid diforder, 
snd he was r.ever well till it returned. Inftances of this kind, 
, Lire rare and accidental ; and it is happy for man- 
kind they are fo. Of all other animals, we fpend the leaft 
time in e Ms is one of the great diftin&ions between 

us and the brute creation , and eating is a pleafure of fo low 
a kind, none but fuch as are nearly allied to the quadru- 
lefire its prolongation* 


Of %iw.dn<; C;-u K. 

OF all ruminant animals, thofe of the cow kind defcrve the 
firft rank, both for their fize, their beauty, and their fcr- 
vices. The horfe is more properly an animal belonging to the 
rich : the fheep chiefly thrives in a flack, and requires atten- 
dance ; but the cow is more efpecially the poor man's pride, 
his riches, and his fupport. There are many cf our peafantry 
that have no other pofleffion but a co'.v; and even the advan- 
tages refulting from this mod ufeful creature, the poor arc 
but the nominal poflefibrs. Its flefh they cannot pretend to 
tafte, fince then their whole riches are at once deftroyed ; 
its calf they are obliged to fatten for fale, fince veal is a deli- 
cacy they could not make any pretenfions to ; its very milk is 
wrought into butter and cheefe for the tables of their mailers ; 
while they have no mare even in their o\vn poffeffion, but the 
choice of their market. I cannot bear to hear the rich crying 
out for liberty, while they thus flarre their fellow creatures, 
and feed them up with an imaginary good, while they mono- 
polize the real benefits of nature. 

In thofe countries where the men are under fubordination, 
this excellent animal is of more general advantage. In Ger- 
many, Poland, and Switzerland, every peafant keeps two or 
three cows, not for the benefit of his mafter, but for himfelf. 
The meaneft of the peafants there kills one cow at leafl for 
his own table, which he falts and hangs up, and thus preferves 
as a delicacy all the year round. There is fcarce a cottage in 
thofe countries that is not hung round with thefe marks of 
hofpitality , and which often makes the owner better conten- 
ted with hunger, fince he has it in his power to be luxurious 
when he thinks proper. A piece of beef hung up there, is 
confidered as an elegant piece of furniture, which, though 
feldom touched, at leaft argues the pofieflbr's opulence and 
eafe, But it is very different, for fome years pad, in this coun- 


try, where our lower ruftics at leail are utterly unable to pur- 
chafe meat any part of the year ; and by them even butter is 
confidered as an article of extravagance. 

The climate and pafture of Great-Britain, however, are ex- 
cellently adapted to this animal's moderate nature; and the 
verdure and fertility of our plains are perfectly fuited to th? 
manner of its feeding ; for wanting the upper fore-teeth, it 
loves to graze in a high rich pafture. This animal feems but 
little regardful of the quality of its food, provided it be fup~ 
plied in fufficient abundance ; it makes no particular diftinc- 
tion in the choice of its herbage, but indifcriminately and 
haftily devours the proper quantity. For this reafon, in our 
paftures, where the grafs is rather high than fucculent, more 
flouriming than nutritious, the cow thrives admirably ; and 
there is no part of Europe where the tame animal grows fo 
large, yields more milk, or more readily fattens, than with us. 

Our paftures fupply them with abundance, and they, in re- 
turn, enrich the pafture ; for, of all animals, the cow feems 
to give back more than it takes from the foil. The horfe and 
the iheep are known, in a courfe of years, to impoverifh the 
ground. r The land where they have fed becomes weedy, and 
the vegetables are coarfe and unpalatable : on the contrary, 
the pafture where the cow has been bred, acquires a finer, 
fofter furface, and becomes every year more beautiful and 
even. The reafon is, that the horfe, being furnifhed with fore 
teeth in the upper jaw, nips the grafs clofely, and, therefore, 
only choofes that which is the moft delicate and tender ; the 
iheep alfo, though, with refpecl: to its teeth, formed like the 
cow, only bites the moft fucculent parts of the herbage : thefe 
animals, therefore, leave all the high weeds ftanding ; and 
while they cut the finer grafs too clofely, fufFer the ranker her- 
bage to vegetate and over-run the pafture. But it is otherwife 
with the cow ; as its teeth cannot come fo clofe to the ground 
as thofe of the horfe, nor fo readily as thofe of the fheep, 
which are lefs, it is obliged to feed upon the talleft vegeta- 
bles that offer ; thus it eats them all down, and, in time, le- 
vels the furface of the pafture. 

C O W K I N D. 9 

The age of the cow is known by the teeth and horns. 
Tliis animal is furnifhed with eight cutting teeth in the lower 
jaw ; at the age of ten months, the two middlemoft of thefe 
fall out, and are replaced by others, that are not fo v/hite., but 
broader;, at the age of fixtsen months, the two next milk- 
white teeth fall out like wife, and others come up in their room : 
thus, at the end of every fix months, the creature lofes and 
gains, till, at the age of years, all the cutting teeth are 
renewed, and then they are long, pretty, white, and equal ; 
but in proportion as the animal advances in years, they become 
irregular and black, their inequalities become fmoother, and 
the animal lefs capable of chewing its food. Thus the cow 
often declines from this fingle caufe ; for, as it is obliged to 
eat a great deal to fupport life, and as the fmoot~?ncfs of the 
teeth makes the difficulty of chewing great, a fufficient quan- 
tity of food cannot be fupplied to the (lomach. Thus the poor 
animal finks in the midft of plenty, and every year grows 
leaner and leaner, till it dies. 

The horns are another, and a furer method of determining 
this animal's age. At three years old, it fheds its horns, and 
new ones arife in their place, which continue as long as it 
lives , at four years of age, the cow has fmall pointed neat 
fmooth horns, thickeft near the head ; at five the honis become 
larger, and are marked round with the former year's growth. 
Thus, while the animal continues to live, the horns continue 
to lengthen ; and every year a new ring is added at the root ; 
fo that allowing three years before their appearance, and then 
reckoning the number of rings, we have, in both together, the 
animal's age exactly. 

As we have indifputably the bed breed of horned cattle of 
any in Europe, fo it was not without the fame affiduity that 
we came to excel in thefe, as in our horfes. The breed of 
cows has been entirely improved by a foreign mixture, pro- 
perly adapted to fupply the imperfections of our own. Such 
as are purely Britiih are far inferior in fize to thofe on many 



parts of the continent ; but thofe which we have thus irru 
proved, by far excel all others. Our Lincolnshire kind derive 
their fize from the Holftein breed : and the large hornlefs cat- 
tle that are bred in fome parts of England, came originally 
From Poland. We were once famous for a wild breed of thefe 
animals, but thefe have Icng fince been worn out ; and per- 
haps no kingdom in Europe can furnifh fo few wild animals, 
of all kinds, as our own. Cultivation and agriculture ate fare 
to banifh -thefe, wherever they are found , and every addition 
a country receives from art, drives away thofe animals that 
are only fitted for a fcate of nature. 

Of all quadrupeds, the cow feems moft liable to alteration 
from its pafture. In the different parts of our own country, we 
Cftfilypercewre the great varieties produced among thefe animals, 
by the richnefs or poverty of the foil. In fome they grow to 
a great bulk -, and I have feen an ox fixteen hands high, which 
Is taller than the general run of our horfes. In others, they 
appear as diminutive ; being not fo large as an afs. The breed 
of the Ifle of Man, and moft parts of Scotland, is much lefs 
in general than in England or Ireland : they are differently 
flipped alfo, the dewlap being much fmaller, and, as the ex- 
preiiion is, the beaft has more of the ewe neck. This, till fome 
years ago, was confidered in cattle as a deformity ; and the 
cow was-chofen, according to Virgil's direction, with a large 
dewlap : however, at prefent it is the univerfal opinion, that 
the cow wants in udder what it has in neck, and the larger 
the dewLip, the fmaller is the quantity of its milk. Our graziers 
now, therefore, endeavour to mix the two breeds 5 the large 
Holftein with the fmall northern ; and from both refults that 
fine milch breed, which excels the cattle of any other part of 
the world. 

This difference, arifing from pafture, is more obfervable in 
Other countries than in our own. The cow kind is to be found, 
in almoft every part of the world, large in proportion to the 
richnefs of the pafture ; and fmall, as the animal is ftinted 
in its food. Thus Africa is remarkable for the largeft and the 

C O W K I N D. 11 

fmallefl cattle of this kind \ as is alfo India, Poland, Switzer- 
land, and feveral other parts of Europe*. Among the Eluth Tar- 
tars, where the paftures are remarkably rich and nourifhmg,. 
the cow becomes fo large, that he muft be a tall man who can 
reach the tip of its fhoulder. On the contrary, in France,, 
where the animal is (tinted in its food, and driven from the 
jnoft flourifhing paftures, it greatly degenerates. 

But the differences in the fize of this animal are not fo re- 
markable as thofe which are found in its form, its hair, and 
its horns. The difference is fo very extraordinary in many 
of them, that they have been even confidered as a different 
kind of creature, and names have been given them as a di(tint 
fpecies, when, in reality, they are all the fame*". In this manner 
the urus and the bifon have been confidered, from the variety 
in their make, to be diilinr in their production ;. but they 
are all, in fac~t, the defcendants of one common flock, as they 
have that certain mark of unity, they breed and propagate 
among each other. I v aturalifts have therefore laboured under, 
an obvious error,, when, becaufe of the extreme bulk of the- 
urus, or becaufe of the hump upon the back of the bifon, they 
affigned them different places in the creation, and feparated 
a clafs of animals which was really united. It is true, the 
horfe and the afs do not differ fo much in form, as the cow 
and the bifon ; neverthelefs, the former are diftiruEfc animals, 
as their breed is marked with flerility ;, the latter are animals 
of the fame kind, as their breed is fruitful, and a race of ani- 
mals is produced, in which the hump belonging to the bifon 
is foon worn away. The differences, therefore, between the 
cow, the urus, and the bifon, are merely accidental. The fame 
caprice in nature that has given horns to fome cows, and de- 
nied them to others, may alfo have given the bifon a hump, 
or increafed the bulk of the urus ; it may have given the one 
a mane, or denied a fufficiency of hair to the other. 

But before we proceed farther, it may be proper to defcribe 
thefe varieties which have been thus taken for diftindt kindsf 

* Buflfon, vol. xxiii. p. 78. 
f This description is chiefly taken from K!ei-- 


The urus, or wild bull, is chiefly to be met with in the pro- 
vince of Lithuania : and grows to a fize, that fcarce any other 
animal, except the elephant, is found to equal. It is quite 
black, except a ftripe mixed with white, that runs from the 
neck to the tail, along the top of the back ; the horns are 
fhort, thick and flrong ; the eyes are fierce and fiery ; the 
forehead is adorned with a kind of garland of black curled 
hair, and fome of them are fo-und to have beards of the fame ^ 
ihe neck is fhort and ftrong, and the fkin has an odour of muik. 
The female, though not fo big as the male, exceeds the largeft 
of our bulls in fize ; neverthelefs, her udder and teats are fo. 
fmall, that they can fcarcely be perceived. Upon the whole, 
however, this animal refembles the tame one very exactly, 
except in fome trifling varieties, which his (late of wildnefs > 
or the richnefs of the paftures where he is found, may eafily 
have produced. 

The bifon, which is another variety of the cow kind, differs 
from the reft, in having a lump between its fhoulders. Thefe 
animals are of various kinds , fome very large, others as dimi- 
nutively little. In general., to regard this animal's fore parts, 
he has fomewhat the look of a lion, with a long ihaggy mane, 
and a beard under his chin j his head is little, his eyes red 
and fiery, with a furious look ; the forehead is large, and the 
horns fo big, and fo far afunder, that three men might often, 
fit between them. On the middle of the back, there grows a 
bunch almoft as high as that of a camel, covered with hair, 
and which is confidered as a great delicacy by thofe that hunt 
him. There is no. purfuing him with fafcty, except in forcfts 
where there are trees large enough to hide the hunters. He is 
generally taken by pit-falls ; the inhabitants of thofe countries 
where he is found wild, digging holes in the ground, and co- 
vering them over with boughs of trees and grafs j then pro- 
voking the bifon to purfue them, they get on the oppofite fide 
of the pit-fall, while the furious animal, running head fore- 
moft, falls into the pit prepared for him, and is there quickly- 
overcome and (lain. 

Befides thefe real diftinCUons in the cow kind, there have 

/'latt III- 

C O W K I N D. 13 

been many others made, that appear to be in name only. Thus 
the bonaf as, of which naturalifts have given us long defcrip- 
tions, is fuppofed by Klein and ButTon to be no more than 
another name for the bifon, as the defcriptions, given of them 
by the ancients, coincide. The bubalus alfo of the ancients, 
which feme have fuppofed to* belong to the cow kind, Buf- 
fon places among the lower chfs of ruminant quadrupeds, 
as it moft refembles them in fize, ihape, and the figure of its 
horns. Of all the varieties, therefore, of the cow kind, there 
are but two that are really diitmct ; namely, the cow, and 
the buffalo : thefe two are feparated by nature ; they feem 
to bear an antipathy to each other ; they avoid each other, 
and may be confidered as much removed as the horfe is from 
the afs or the zebra. When, therefore, we have deicribed 
the varieties of the cow kind, we iliall pafs on to the buffalo, 
which, being a different animal, requires a feparate hiftory. 

There is fcarce a part of the world, as was faid before, in 
which the cow is not found in feme one of its varieties ; 
either large, like the urus, or humped as the bifon ; with 
flraight horns, or bending, inverted backwards, or turning^ fide- 
ways to the cheek, like thofe of the ram ; and, in many coun- 
tries, they are found without any horns, whatfoever. But to 
be more particular, beginning at the north, the few kind which 
fubfift in Iceland, are without horns, although of the fame 
race originally with ours. The lize of thefe is rather relative 
to the goodnefs of the pafture, than the warmth or coldnefs 
of the climate. The Dutch frequently bring great quantities 
of lean cattle from Denmark, which they fatten on their own 
rich grounds. Thefe are in general of a larger fize than their 
own natural breed ; and they fatten very eafily. The cattle of 
the Ukraine, where the pafture is excellent, become very fat, 
and are confidered as one of the largeft breeds of Europe. In 
Switzerland, where the mountains are covered with a rich 
nouriming herbage, which is entirely referved for their kine, 
thefe animals grow to a very large fize. On the contrary, in 
France, where they get no other grafs but what is thought 
unfit for horfes, they dwindle, and grow lean. In fome parts 


of Spain,, the cow grows to a good fize ; thoie wild 
however, which they pride themielves fo much in combating, 
are a very mean, defpicable little animal, and fomewhat fhaped 
like one of our cows, with nothing of that peculiar fternnefs 
of afpet for which our bulls are remarkable. In Barbary and 
the provinces of Africa, where the ground is dry, and the 
pafturage ihort, the cows are of a very fmall breed, and give 1 
milk in proportion. On the contrary, in Ethiopia, they are 
of a prodigious bignefs. The fame holds in Perfia and Tar- 
tary ; where, in fome places, they are very fmall, and in others, 
of an amazing ftature. It is thus, in almoft every part of the 
world, this animal is found to correfpond in fize to the quan- 
tity of its provifion. 

If we examine the form of thefe animals, as they are found 
tame, in different regions, we mall find that the breed of the 
urus, or thofe without a hump, chiefly occupies the cold 
and the temperate zones, and is not fo much difperfed to- 
wards the fouth. On the contrary, the breed of the bifon, or 
the animal with a hump, is found in all the fouthern parts of 
the world ; throughout the vaft continent of India ; through- 
out Africa, from Mount Atlas to the Cape of Good-Hope. 
In all thefe countries, the bifon feems chiefly to prevail ; 
where they are found to have a fmooth fofc hair, are very 
nimble of foot, and in fome meafure fupply the want of horfes. 
The bifon breed is alfo more expert and docile than ours j ma- 
ny of them, when they carry burthens, bend their knees to 
take them up, or fet them down : they are treated, there- 
fore, by the natives of thofe countries, with a degree of ten- 
dernefs and care equal to their utility; and the refpect for 
them in India has degenerated, even into blind adoration. But 
it is among the Hottentots where thefe animals are chiefly ef- 
teemed, as being more than commonly ferviceable. They are 
their fellow domeflics, the companions of their pleafures and 
fatigues ; the cow is at once the Hottentot's protector and fer- 
vant, aflifts him in attending his flocks, and guarding them 
againfl every invader ; while the fheep are grazing, the faith- 
ful backely, as this kind of cow is called, (lands or grazes 
bcfide them : ftill, however, attentive to the looks of its maf- 


ter, the backely flies round the field, herds In the flieep that 
are ftraying, obliges them to keep within proper limits, and 
(hews no mercy to robbers, or even ftrangers xvho attempt to 
plunder. But it is not the plunderers of the flock alone, but 
even the enemies of the nation, that thefe backelys are taught 
to combat. Every army of Hottentots is furniihed with a pro- 
per herd of thefe, Vvhich are let loofe againft the enen y, 
when the occaGon is mod convenient. Being thus fent for* 
ward, they overturn all before them j they flrike every oppo- 
fer down with their horns, and trample upon them with their 
feet : and thus often procure their mafters an eafy victory, 
even before they have attempted to ftrike a blow. An animal 
fo ferviceable, it maybe fuppofed, is not without its reward. 
The backely lives in the fame cottage with its matter, and, 
by long habit, gains an affedion for him ; and in proportion 
as the man approaches to the brute, fo the brute feems to at- 
tain even to fome mare of human fagacity. The Hottentot and 
his backely thus mutually aflifl each other 5 and, when the 
latter happens to die, a new one is chofen to fucceed him, 
by a council of the old men of the village. The new backely 
is then joined with one of the veterans of his own kind, from 
whom he learns h!s art, becomes focial and diligent, and is 
taken for life, into human friendship and protection. 

The bifons, or cows with a hump, are found to differ very 
much from each other, in the feveral parts of the world where 
they are found. The wild ones of this kind, as with us, are 
much larger than the tame. Some have horns, and fome are with 
out any ; fome have them depreffed, and fome raifed in fuch a 
manner that they are ufed as weapons of annoyance or defence ; 
fome are extremely large , and others among them, fuch as 
the zebu, or Barbary cow, are very fmall. They are all, howe- 
cver, equally docile and gentle when tamed ; and, in general, 
furniihed with a fine luftrous foft hair, more beautiful than 
that of our own breed ; their hump is alfo of different fizes, 
in fome weighing from forty to fifty pounds, in others lefs ; 
it is not, however, to be confidered as a part neceffarily be- 
longing to the animal ; and probably it might be cut away 


without much injury ; it refembles a griflly fat ; and, as, I am 
aflured, cuts and tafles fomewhat like a drefTed udder. The bi- 
fons of Malabar, Abyflinia, and Madagafcar, are of the great 
kind, as the paftures there are plentiful. Thofe of Arabia Pe- 
tnea, and moft parfs of Africa, are fmall, and of the zebu or 
little kind. In America, efpecially towards the north, the bi- 
fon is well known. The American bifo",, however, is found 
to be rather lefs than that of the ancient continent; its hair 
is longer and thicker, its beard more remarkable, and its hide 
more luftrous and foft. There are many of them brought up 
tame in Carolina ; however, their wild difpofitions ftill feem 
to continue, .for they break through all fences to get into the 
corn-lielcls, and lead the whole tame herd after them, where- 
ever they penetrate. They breed alfo with the tame kinds 
originally$brought over from Europe; and thus produce a race 
peculiar to that country. 

From all this, it appears*, that naturaliils have given vari- 
ous names to animals in reality the fame, and only differing 
in fome few accidental circumflances. The wild cow and the 
tame, the animal belonging to Europe, and that of Afia, Afri- 
ca, and America, the bonafus and the urus, the bifon and 
die zebu, are all one and the fame, propagate among each 
other, and, in the courfe of a few generations, the hump wears 
away, and fcarce any veftigcs of favage fiercenefs are found 
to remain. Of all animals, therefore, except man alone, the 
cow feems moft extenfively propagated. Its nature feems 
equally capable of the rigours of heat and cold. It is an inha- 
bitant as well of the frozen fields of Iceland, as the burning 
defarts of Lybia. It feems an ancient inmate in every climate, 
domeflic and tame in thofe countries which have been civi- 
lized, favage and wild in the countries which are lefs peopled, 
but capable of being made ufeful in all : able .to defend itfelf 
in a ilate of nature againft the moft powerful enemy of the fo- 
refl ; and only fubordinate to man, whofe force it has experi- 
enced, and whofe aid it at lafl feems to require. However 
wild the calves are, which are taken from the dam in a favage 

* Buffon, vol. xxiii. p. 150, 

Z t//t/, r/ -h'ffh . r//fffrn Crtr. 

ii iiin i'ii i 


feate, either in Africa or Afia, they foon become humble, pa- 
tient, and familar, and man may be confidered, in thofe 
countries, as almofl helplefs without their affiftance. Other 
animals preferve their nature or their form with inflexible per- 
feverance ; but thefe, in every refpecl:, fuit themfelves to the 
appetites and conveniences of mankind ; and as their fhapes 
are found to alter, fo alfo does their nature , in no animal 
is there feen a greater variety of kinds, and in none a more 
humble and pliant difpofition. 


IF we fhould compare the fhape of our common cow with 
that of the bifon, the difference will appear very great. The 
ihaggy mane of the latter, the beard, the curled forehead, 
the inverted horns, the broad breaft, and the narrow hinder 
parts, give it the appearance rather of a lion than a cow ; and 
fit it more for a (late of war with mankind, than a ftate of fer- 
vitude. Yet, notwithftanding thefe appearances, both ani- 
mals are found to be the fame ; or at leaft fo nearly allied, that 
they breed among each other, and propagate a race that con- 
tinues the kind. 

On the other hand, if we compare the buffalo with our 
common cow, no two animals can be more nearly alike, either 
in their form, or their nature j both equally fubmiffive to the 
yoke, both often living under the fame roof, and employed in 
the fame domeftic fervices ; the make and the turn of their 
bodies fo much alike, that it requires a clofe attention to dif- 
tinguifh them -, and yet, after all this, no two animals can be 
more diftint, or feem to have ftronger antipathies to each 
other*. Were there but one of each kind remaining, it is pro- 
bable the race of both would fhortly be extinct. However, 
fuch is the fixed averfion formed between thefe creatures, that 
the cow refufes to breed with the buffalo, which it nearly re- 


* Buflbn, 


fembles ; while it is known to propagate \\ ith the bifon, fry 
which it has, in point of form, but a very diffant fimilitude. 

The buffalo is, upon the whole, by no means fo beautiful 
n. creature as the cow ; his figure is more clumfy and aukward ^ 
his air is wilder ; and he carries his head lower, and nearer 
the ground ; bis limbs are lefs fiefhy, and his tail more naked 
of hair , his body is fhorter and thicker than that of the cow 
kind 5 his legs are higher ; his head fmaller-, his horns not fo 
round, black, and compreffed, with a bunch of curled hair 
hanging down between them j his fkin is alfo harder and thick- 
er, more black, and lefs furnifaed with hair , his flem, which : 
is hard andblackifh, is not only difagreeable to the tafte, but 
likewife to the fmell. The milk of the female is by no means 
fo good as that of the cow ; it is, however, produced in great 
abundance. In the warm countries, almofl all their cheefe is 
made of the milk of the buffalo ; and they fupply butter alfo 
in large quantities. The veal of the young buffalo is not better 
eating than the beef of the old. The hide of this animal feems 
to be the moft valuable thing he furnifhes. The leather made 
of it is well known for its thicknefs, foftnefs, and impenetra- 
bility. As thefe animals are, in general, larger and ftronger 
than the cow, they are ufefully employed in agriculture. 
They are ufed in drawing burthens, and fometimes in carry- 
ing them'; being guided by a ring, which is thruft through 
their nofe. Two buffaloes yoked in a waggon are faid to draw 
more than four horfes ; as their heads and necks are natural- 
ly bent downward, they are thus better fitted for the draught, 
and the whole weight of their bodies is applied to- the carriage 
that is to be drawn forward. 

From the fize and bulk of the buffalo, we may be eafily led 
to conclude that he is a native of the warmer climates. The 
largeft quadrupeds are generally found in the torrid zone 
and the buffalo is inferior, in point of fize, only to the ele- 
phant, the rhinoceros, or the hippopotamos. The camelo- 
pardj or the camel, may, indeed, be taller, but they are 
neither fo long, nor near fo corpulent. Accordingly, we find 
this animal wild in many parts of India ^ and tamed alfo 

C O W K I N D. j 

jvherever the natives have occafion for his feryices. The wild 
buffaloes are very dangerous animals, and are often found to 
gore travellers to death, and then trample them with their 
eet, until they have entirely mangled the whole body ; how- 
ever, in the woods, they are not fo much to be feared, as in 
the plains, becaufe, in the violence .of their purfuit, their large 
horns are apt to be entangled in the branches of the trees, 
which gives thofe who have been furprized by them, time to 
efcape the danger. There is fcarce any other method of avoid- 
ing their purfuit ; they run with great fwiftnefs ; they over- 
turn a tree of moderate growth j and are fuch fwimmers, 
as to crois the largeil rivers without any difficulty. In this 
manner, like all other large animals of the torrid zone, they 
are very fond of the water ; and, in the midft of their purfuit, 
often plunge in, in order to cool themfelves. The negroes of 
Guinea, and the Indians of Malabar, where buffaloes are in 
great abundance, take great delight in hunting and deftroy- 
ing them ; however, they never attempt to face the buffalo 
openly, but, generally climbing up a tree", moot at him from 
thence, aud do not come down till they find they have effec- 
tually dtfpatched him. However, when they are tamed, no 
animal can be more patient or humble ; and though by no 
means fo docile as the cow kind, yet they go through domef- 
lic drudgeries with more flrength and perfeverance. 

Although thefe animals be chiefly found in the torrid zone, 
yet they are bred in feveral parts of Europe, particularly in 
Italy, where they make the food and the riches of the poor. 
The female produces but one at a time, in the fame manner as 
the cow j but they are very different in the times of geftation ; 
for the coy/, ae we know, goes but nine months ; whereas 
the buffalo continues pregnant for twelve. They are all afraid 
of fire ; and, perhaps, in confequence of this, have an aver- 
fion to red colours, that refemble the colour of flame : it is 
faid, that in thofe countries where they are found in plentv, 
no perfon dares to drefs in fcarlet. In general, they are inof- 
fenfive animals, if undifturbed ; as, indeed, all thofe which 
fed upon grafs are found to be ; but when they are wounded 


or when even but fired at, nothing then can flop their fury ; 
they then turn up the ground with their fore feet, bellow 
much louder and more terribly than the bull, and make at the 
object of their refentment, with ungovernable rage. It is 
happy, in fugh circumilances, if the perfon they purfue has a 
wall to efcape over, or feme fiich obftacle, otherwife they 
foon overtake, and inftantly deftroy him. It is remarkable, 
however, that although their horns are fo very formidable, 
they in general make more ufe of their feet in combat, and 
rather tread their enemies to death than gore them. 

Having thus gone through the hiftory of thefe animals, it 
may be proper to obferve, that no names have been more 
indifcriminately ufed than thofe of the bull, the urus, the bi- 
fon, and the buffalo. It therefore becomes fuch as would 
have diftinft ideas of each, to be careful in feparating the 
kinds, the one from the other, allowing the cow for the 
ftandard of all. The urus, whether of the large enormous 
kind of Lithuania, or the fmaller race of Spain, whether with 
long or fhort horns, whether with or without long hair in the 
forehead, is every way the fame with what our common 
breed was, before they w r ere taken from the foreft, and reduced 
to a ftate of fervitude. The bifon, and all its varieties, which 
are known by a hump between the moulders, is alfo to b^ 
ranked in the fame clafs. This animal, whether with crooked 
or ftraight horns, whether they be turned towards the cheek or 
totally wanting, whether it be large or diminutive, whatever 
be its colour, or whatever the length of its hair, whether cal- 
led the bonafus by fome, or the bubalus by ethers, is but a va- 
riety of the cow kind, with whom it breeds, and with whom 
of confequence it has the clofeft connection. Laftly, the buf- 
falo, though fhaped much more like the cow, is a diflindt kind 
by itfeif, that never mixes with any of the former; that goes 
twelve months with young ; \\ hereas the cow goes but nine j 
that teftifies an averfion to the latter ; and, though bred un- 
der the fame roof, or feeding in the fame pafture, has always 
kept feparate ; and makes a cliftinft race in all parts of the 
world. Thefe two kinds are fuppofed to be the only real ya,, 


rieties in the cow kind, of which natural ills have given fo ma- 
ny varieties. "With refpecl to feme circumilunces mentioned 
by travellers, fuch as that of many kinds defending themfelves 
by voiding their dung againft their purfaers ; this is a practice 
which they have in common with, other timid creatures, -when 
purfued, and arifes rather from fear than a defire of defence. 
The mulky fmell alfd, by which fome have been diflinguiihed, 
is found common to many of thefe kinds, in a {late of nature 5 
and does riot properly make the charad'erlftic marks of any. 
The particular kind of noife, alfo, which fome of them are 
known to make, which rather refembles grunting than bellow- 
ing or lowing, is but a favage variety, which many wild ani- 
mals have, and yet lofe when brought into a date of t^.menefs, 
For thefe reafons, mr. BufTbn, \vhcm I have followed in this 
defcription, is of opinion, that the zebu, or little African 
cow, and the grunting, or Siberian cow, are but different races 
of the bifon ; as the fhape of the horns, or the length of ths 
hair, are never properly chara&eriftic marks of any animal, 
but are found to vary with climats, food, and cultivation. 

In this manner the number of animals of the cow kind s 
which naturalifts have extended to eight or ten forts, are re-? 
duced to two; and as the utmoft deference is paid to the opi- 
nion of mr. BufFon, in this particular, I have taken him fcr my 
guide, Neverthelefs, there is an animal of the cow kind, which 
neither he, nor any other naturalift that I know of, has hither-, 
to defcribed, yet which makes a very diftinft clafs, and may 
be added as a third fpecies. 

This animal wasihown fome years ago in London, and feemed 
to unite many of the charatenftics of the cow and the : 
having the head, the horns, and the tail of the former; with 
the bridles, the colour, and the grunting of the latter. It 
about the fize of an afs, but broader and thicker ; the colour 
refembling that of a hog, and the hair briftiy, as in that ani- 
Kial. The hair upon the body was thin, as in the hog; and a 
row of briftles ran along the fpine, rather fhorter and fofter 
than in the hog kind. The head was rather larger than th?.t of 
3 cow -, the teeth were entirely rdeiubling thofe of that animal. 


and the tongue was rough in like manner. It fed upon hay ; 
and, confequently, its internal conformation muft havereiem- 
bled that of the cow kind, more than the hog, whofe food is 
always chofen of a kind more fucculent. The eyes were placed 
in the head as with the cow. *and were pretty nearly of the 
fame colour; the horns were black and flattrfh, but bent ra- 
ther backwards to the neck, as in the goat kind ; the neck was 
fhort and thick, and the back rather rifing in the middle ; it 
was cloven footed, like the cow, without thofe hinder claws 
that are found in the hog kinds. But the greateil variety of 
all, in this extraordinary creature, which was a female, was, 
that it had but two teats, and, confequently, in that refpect, 
refembled neither of the kinds, to which, in other circumftan-. 
ces, it bore fo ftrong a fimilitude. Whether this animal was a 
diftincl: kind, or a mender, I will not pretend to fay ; it was 
fhown under the name of the bonafus ; and it was faid, by the 
perfon who (bowed it, to have come from India : but no credit 
is to be given to interefled ignorance 5 the perfon only want- 
ed to make the animal appear as extraordinary as poffible ; an 4 
I believe would fcarcely fcruple a lie or two, to increafe that: 
wonder in us, by which he found the means of living. 

C H A F. III. 

Of Animals of the Skeep and Goat Kind. 

AS no two animals are found entirely the fame, fo it is not 
to be expected that any two races of animals fhould ex- 
actly correfpond in every particular. The goat and the flieep 
are apparently different in the form of their bodies, in their co- 
vering, and in their horns .They may from hence be considered 
as two different kinds, with regard to all common and domeftic 
purpofes. But if we come to examine them clofer, andobferve 
their internal conformation, no two animals can be more alike ; 
their feet, their four ftomachs, their fuet, their appetites,, all 


ate entirely the fame, and (hew the fimilitude between them 
but what makes a much ftronger connexion is, that they pro- 
pagate with each other. The buck goat is found to produce with 
the ewe an animal that in two or three generations returns ta 
the fheep, and feems to retain no marks of its ancient progeni- 
tor r \ The fheep and the goat, therefore, may be confidered as 
belonging to one family -, and were the whole races reduced 
to one of each, they would quickly replemfh- the earth with 
their kind, 

If we examine the fheep and goat internally, we mail mid, 
as was faid, that their conformation is entirely the fame , nor 
is their ftrufture very remote from that of the cow kind, which 
they referable in their hoofs, and in their chewing the cad. In- 
deed, all ruminant animals are internally very much alike. The 
goat, the fheep, or the deer, exhibit to the eye of the anatomift 
the fame parts in miniature which the cow or the bifon exhibi- 
ted in the great. But the differences between thefe animals are, 
neverthelefs, fufficiently apparent. Nature ha's obvioufly mar- 
ked the diftinc~Hons between the cow and the fheep kind, by 
their form and fize ; and they are alfo diftinguifhed from thofe 
of the deer kind, by never fhedding their horns. Indeed, the 
form and figure of thefe animals, if there were nothing elfe, 
would feldom fail of guiding us to the kind ; and we might 
almoft, upon fight, tell which belongs to the deer kind, and 
which are to be degraded into that of the goat. However, the 
annually fhedding the horns in the deer, and the permanence 
in the fheep, draws a pretty exaft line between the kinds ; fo 
that we may hold to this diftinftion only, and define the fheep 
and goat kind as ruminant animals of a fmaller fize ; that never 
fhed their horns. 

If we confider thefe harmlefs and ufeful animals in one point 
of view, we fhall find that both have been long reclaimed, and 
brought into a ftate of domeftic fervitude. Both feem to re- 
quire protection from man ; and are, in fome meafure, pleafecl 
with his fociety. The fheep, indeed, is the more fervkeable 


creature of the two ; but the goat has more fenfibility and at- 
tachment. The attending upon both was once the employment 
of the wifefl and the beil of men ; and thofe have been ever 
fuppofed the happieft times, in which thefe harmlefs creatures 
were confidered as the chief objects of human attention. In 
the esrlieft ages, the goat feemed rather the greater favourite 5 
and, indeed, it continues fuch to this day among the poor. 
However, the i!;eep has long fince become the principal object 
of human care ; while the goat is difregarded by the generali- 
ty of mankind, or become the pofieflion only of the lowed of 
the people. The fheep, therefore, and its varieties, may be con- 
fidered firft ; and the goat with all thofe of its kind, will then 
properly follow. 


THOSE animals that take refuge under the protection of 
man, in a few generations, become indolent and helplefs. Hav- 
ing loft the habit of felf- defence, they feem to lofe alfo the in- 
ftinclis of nature. The fheep, in its- prefent domeftic ftate, is 
of all animals the mo ft defencelefs and inofFenfive. With its 
liberty it feems to have been deprived of its fwiftnefs and cun- 
ning ; and what in the afs might rather be called patience, in 
the fheep appears to be ftupidity. With no one quality to fit 
it for felf-prefervation, it makes vain efforts at all. Without 
fwiftnefs, it endeavours to fly ; and without ftrength, fome- 
times offers to oppofe. But thefe feeble attempts rather incite 
than reprefs the infults of every enemy ; and the dog follows 
the flock with greater delight upon feeing them fly, and attacks 
them with more fiercenefs upon their unfupported attempts at 
refiftance. Indeed, they run together in flocks ; rather with the 
hopes of lofing their fingle danger in the crowd, than of uni- 
ting to reprefs the attack by numbers. The fheep, therefore, 
were it expofed in its prefent ftate, to ftruggle with its natu- 
ral enemies of the foreft would foon be extirpated. Loaded with 
-a heavy fleece, deprived of the defence of its horns, and ren- 
dered heavy, flow, and feeble, it can have no other fafety than 


what it finds from man. This animal is now, therefore, 
obliged to rely folely upon that art for protection, to which 
it originally owes its degradation. 

But we are not to impute to nature the formation of an ani- 
mal fo utterly unprovided againft its enemies, and fo unfit for 
defence. The moufflon, which is the fheep in a favage ftate, 
is a bold, fleet creature, able to efcape from the greater animals 
by its fwiftnefs, or to oppofe the fmaller kinds with the arms 
it has received from nature. It is by human art alone that the 
fheep is become the tardy defencelefs creature we find it. 
Every race of quadrupeds might eafily be corrupted by the 
fame allurements by which the fheep has been thus debilitated 
and depreiTed. While undifturbed, and properly fupplied, none 
are found to fet any bounds to their appetite. They all purfue 
their food while able, and continue to graze, till they often die 
of diforders occafioned by too much fatnefs. But it is very dif- 
ferent with them in a ftate of nature: they are in the foreft 
furrounded by dangers, and alarmed with unceafing hoflilities ; 
they are purfued every hour from one tracl of country to ano- 
ther ; and fpend a great part of their time in attempts to avoid 
their enemies. Thus conflantly exercifed, and continually 
practifing all the arts of defence and efcape, the animal at once 
preferves its life and native independence, together with its 
fwifcnefs, and the {lender agility of its form. 

The fheep, in its fervile ftate, feems to be diverted of all in- 
clinations of its own , and, of all animals, it appears the moft 
ftupid. Every quadruped has a peculiar turn of countenance, 
a phyfiognomy, if we may fo call it, that generally marks its 
nature. The fheep feems to have none of thofe traits that be- 
token either courage or cunning ; its large eyes, feparated from 
each other, its ears fticking out on each fide, and its narrow 
noftrils, all teftify the extreme fimplicity of this creature ; and 
the p'ofition of its hoVns alfo, {how that nature defigned the 
{heep rather for flight than combat. It appears a large mafs of 
fiefti, fupported upon four fmall ftraight legs, ill fitted for carry- 
ing fuch a burthen ; its motions are aukward, it is eafily fa- 
tigued, and often finks under the weight of its own corpulency 



In proportion as thefe marks of human transformation are more 
numerous, the animal becomes more helplefs and ftupid. Thofe 
which live upon a more fertile pailure, and grow fat, become 
entirely feeble ; thofe that want horns, are found more dull 
and heavy than the reft ; thofe whofe fleeces are longeft and 
finef!:, are mod fubje-il to a variety of diforders; and, in fhort, 
whatever changes" have been wrought in this animal by the in- 
duftry of man, are entirely calculated for human advantage, 
and not for that of the creature itfelf. It might require a fuc- 
cefiion of ages, before the fheep could be reftored to its primi- 
tive flate of activity, fo as to become a match for its purfuers 
of the foreft. 

The goat, which it refembles in fo many other refpects, is 
much its fuperior. The one has its particular attachments, 
fees danger, and generally contrives to efcape it ; but the other 
is timid without a cauie, and fecure when real danger ap- 
proaches. Nor is the fheep, when bred up tame in the houfe, 
and familiarized with its keepers, lefs obftinately abfurd : from 
bein^ dull and timid, it then acquires a degree of pert famili- 
arity; buts with its head, becomes mifchievous, and (hows it- 
felf every way unworthy of being fmgled out from the reft of 
the flock. Thus it feems rather formed for flavery than friend- 
ihip ; and framed more for the neceiTities than the amufements 
of mankind. There is but one inftance in which the fheep 
fhows any attachment to its keeper ; and that is feen rather 
on the continent, than among us in Great-Britain. What 
I allude to is, their following the found of the fhepherd's 
pipe. Before I had feen them trained in this manner, I had no 
conception of thofe defcriptions in the old paftoral poets, of 
the fhepherd leading his flock from one country to another. 
As I had been ufed only to fee thefe harmlefs creatures driven 
before their keepers, I fuppofed all the reft was but invention : 
but in many p : irts of the Alps, and even fome provinces of 
France, the fhepherd and his pipe are ftill continued with true 
antique fimplicity. The flock is regularly penned every even- 

* paubenton on tiae Sheep. 


ing, to preferve them from the wolf ; and the fhepherd returns 
homeward at fun-fet, with his iheep following him, and feem- 
ingly pleafed with the found of the pipe, which is blown with a 
reed, and refembles the chanter of the bag-pipe. In this manner, 
in thofe countries that ftill continue poor, the Arcadian life is 
prcferved in all its former purity ; but in countries where 
a greater inequality of conditions prevail, the fhepherd is gene- 
rally fome poor wretch, who attends a flock from which he is 
to derive no benefits, and only guards thofe luxuries which he 
is not fated to fhare. 

It does not appear from early writers, that the fheep was 
bred in Britain ; and it was not till feveral ages after this ani- 
mal was cultivated, that the woollen manufacture was car- 
ried on among us*. That valuable branch of bufinefs lay, for 
a confiderable time, in foreign hands ; and we were obliged to 
import the cloth, manufactured from our own materials. There 
were, notwithstanding, many unavailing efforts among our 
kings to introduce and preferve the manufacture at home. 
Henry the fecond, by a patent granted to the weavers in Lon- 
don, directed, that if any cloth was found made of a mixture 
ef Spanifh wool, it Should be burned by the mayor. Such edicts, 
atlength, although but flowly, operated towards the eflablifhing 
this trade among us. The Flemings, who- at the revival of arts 
poflefled the art of cloth-working in a fuperior degree, were in- 
vited to fettle here : and foon after, foreign cloth was prohibited 
from being worn in England. In the times of queen Elizabeth, 
this manufacture received every encouragement ; and many 
of the inhabitants of the Netherlands being then forced by 
the tyranny of Spain, to take refuge in this country, they im- 
proved us in thofe arts, in which we at prefent excel the reft 
of the world. Every art, however, has its rife, its meridian, 
and its decline ; and it is fuppofed by many, that the woollen 
manufacture has, for fome time, been decaying nmonglt us. 
The cloth now made is thought to be much worfe than that 
of fome years paft ,- being neither fo firm, nor fo fine, neither 
fo much courted abroad, nor fo ferviceable at home. 

* Brkifli Zoology, vol. i. p. 33. 


No country, however, produces fuch fheep as England ; 
cither with larger fleeces, or better adapted for the bufinefs of 
clothing. Thofe of Spain, indeed, are finer, and we generally 
require fome of their wool to work up with our own ; but the 
weight of a Spaniih fleece is no way comparable to one of 
Lincoln or Warwickfhire ; and, in thofe counties, it is no un- 
common thing to give fifty guineas for a ram. 

The fheep without horns are counted the beft fort, becaufc 
a great part of the animal's nourifhment is fuppofed to go up 
into the horns*. Sheep, like other ruminant animals, want 
the upper fore-teeth ; but have eight in the lower jaw : two of 
thefe drop, and are replaced at two years old ; four of them are 
replaced at three years old ; and all at four. The new teeth 
are eafily known from the reft, by their freihnefs and M r hitenefs. 
There are fome breeds, however, in England, that never change 
their teeth at all ; thefe the (hepherds call the leather mouthed 
cattle ; and, as their teeth are thus longer wearing, they are 
generally fuppofed to grow old a year or two before the reftf. 
The (heep bring forth one or two at a time ; and fometimes 
three or four. The firft lamb of an ewe is generally pot-bellied, 
{hort, and thick, and of lefs value than thofe of a fecond or 
third production ; the third being fuppofed the belt of all. 
They bear their young five months ; and, by being houfed, 
they bring forth at any time of the year. 

But this animal, in its domeftic Mate, is too well known to 
require a detail of its peculiar habits, or of the arts which have 
been ufed to improve the breed. Indeed, in the eye of an ob- 
ferver of nature, every art which tends to render the creature 
more helplefs and ufelefs to itfelf, may be confidered rather 
as an injury than an improvement; and, if we are to look for this 
animal in his noblefl ftate, we muft feek for it in the African 
defert, or the extenfive plains of Siberia. Among the degene- 
rate defcendants of the wild {heep, there have been fo many 
changes wrought, as entirely to difguife the kind, and often to 
miflead the obferver. The variety is fo great, that fcarce any 

* Lifle's Husbandry, vol. ii. p. 155. f Ibid, vpl ii. p. ijj, 


two countiies has its (keep of the fame kind; but there is 
found a manifeft dilTerence in all; either in the iizs, the cover- 
ing, or the ihape of the horns. 

The woolly fheep*, as it is feen among us, is found only in 
Europe, and fome of the temperate provinces of Alia. Vv 
tranfported into warmer countries, either into Florida or Gui- 
nea, it lofes its wool, and affumes a covering fitted to the cli- 
mate, becoming hairy and rough , it there alfo lofes its fertility, 
and its flefh no longer has the fame luvour. In the fame man- 
ner, in the very cold countries^ it feems equally helplefs and a 
flranger; it dill requires the unceafing attention of mankind for 
its prefervation ; and, although it is found to fubhft, as well in 
Greenland as in Guineaj-, yet it feems a natuiai inhnbhunt of 

Of the domeflic kinds, to be found in the different parts or 
the world, befides our own, which is common in Europe, 
the firft variety is to be feen in Iceland, Mufcovy, and the 
coldeft climates of the north. This, which may be called the 
Iceland fheep, refembles our breed, in the form of the body and 
the tail, but differs in a very extraordinary manner in the num- 
ber of the horns; being generally found to have four, and fome- 
times even eight, growing from different parts of the forehead. 
Thefe are large and formidable ; and the animal feems thus 
fitted by nature for a ftate of war: however, it is of the nature 
of the reft of its kind, being mild, gentle, and timid. Its wool 
is very different alfo, from that of the common fheep, being 
long, fmooth, and hairy. Its colour is of a dark brown ; and 
under its outward coat of hair, it has an internal covering, 
that rather refembles fur than wool, being fine, fhort, and foft. 

The fecond variety to be found in this animal, is that of 
the broad-tail'd fheep, fo common in Tartary, Arabia, Perfia, 
Barbary, Syria, and Egypt. This fneep is only remarkable for 
its large and heavy tail, which is often found to weigh from 
twenty to thirty pounds. It fometimes grows a foot broad, and 
is obliged to be fupported by a fmall kind of board, that goes 

* Buffon, rol. xiiii.p. i6ti f Krantz. 


upon wheels. This tail is not covered underneath with wool, 
like the upper part, but is bare : and the natives, who confider 
it as a very great delicacy, are very careful in attending and 
preferving it from injury. Mr. Buffon fuppofes, that the fat 
which falls into the caul of our (beep, goes in thefe tofurnifh 
the tail ; and that the reft of the body is from thence deprived 
of fat in proportion. With regard to their fleeces, in the tem- 
perate climates, they are, as in our own breed, fcf , and 
woolly ; but in the warmer latitudes, they are hairy : yet in 
both they preferve the enormous fize of their tails. 

The third obfervable variety is that of the {heep- called 
Jlrepfichercs. This animal is a native of the iflands of the 
Archipelago, and only differs from our {heep, in having ftraight 
horns, furrounded with a fpiral furrow. 

The laft variety is that of the Guinea {heep, which is general- 
ly found in all the tropical climates, both of Africa and the Eaft- 
Indies. They are of a large fize, with a rough, hairy {kin, 
fliort horns, and ears hanging down, with a kind of dewlap 
under the chin. They differ greatly in form from the reft; 
and might be confidered as animals of another kind, were 
they not known to breed with other {heep. Thefe, of all the 
domeftic kinds, feem to approach the neareft to a ftate of na- 
ture. They are larger, ftronger, and fwifter than the common 
race ; and, confequently, better fitted for a precarious foreft 
life. However, they feem to rely, like the reft, on man, for f up- 
port; being entirely of a domeliic nature, and fubfifting only i& 
the warmer climates. 

Such are the varieties of this animal, which have been re- 
duced into a ftate of domeftic fervitude. Thefe are all capa- 
ble of producing among each other ; all the peculiarities of 
their form have been made by climate and human cultivation ; 
snd none of them feem fufficiently independent, to live in a 
ftate of favage nature. They are, therefore, to be confidered as 
a degenerate race, formed by the hand of man, and propaga- 
ted merely for his benefit. At the fame time, while man thus 
cultivates the domeftic kinds, he drives away and deftroy* 


f fVri<s 


the favage race, which are lefs beneficial, and more head-ftrong. 
Thefe, therefore, are to be found in a very fm.ill number, in 
the moil uncultivated countries, where they have been able to 
fubfift by their native fvviftnsfs and itrength. It is in the more 
uncultivated parts of Greece, Sardinia, Corfica, and parti- 
cularly in the defarts of Tartary, that the mouiH 0:1 is to be 
found, that bears all the marks of being the primitive race ; 
and that has been actually known to breed with the domeilic 

The moufflon, or mufmon, though covered with hair, bears a 
ftronger fimilitude to the ram than to any other animal ; like the 
ram, it has the eyes placed near the horns ; and its ears are 
fhorter than thof" of the oat : it alfo refembles the ram in its 


horns, and in all the particular contours of its form. The horns 
alfo are alike , they are of a white or yellow colour ; they havs 
three fides as in the ram, and bend backwards in the fame 
manner behind the ears. The muzzle, and the infide of ths 
cars are of a whitifli colour, tinctured with yellow; the other 
parts of the face are of a browiiiih grey. The general colour 
of the hair over the body is of a brown, approaching to that of the 
red deer. The infide of the thighs and belly are of a white tinc- 
tured with yellow. Th; form, upon the whole, feems more made 
for agility and (trength than that of the common fheep;. and the 
moufflon is actually found to live in a favage (late, and main- 
tain, itfelf either by force or fwiftnefs againft all the animals 
that live by rapine. Such is its extreme fpeed, that many 
have been inclined rather to rank it among the deer kind, than 
the fheep. But in this they are deceived, as the mufmon has a 
mark that entirely diftinguiihes it from that fpecies, being 
known never to fli:d its horns. In fome, thefe are feen to grovr 
to a farprifing fize ; many of them meafuring, in their convo- 
lutions, above two ells long. They were of a yellow colour, as 
was faid,but the older the animal grows, the darker the horns 
become : with thefe they often maintain very furious battles be- 
tween each other ; and fometimes they are found broken ofF 
in fuch a manner, that the finall animal* of the fgrefl creep in- 


to the cavity for (helter*. "When the mufmon is feen Handing 
on the plain, his fore-legs are always ftraight, while its hinder 
feem bent under him ; but in cafes of more ative ne- 
eeffity, this feeming deformity is removed, and he moves with 
great fwiftnefs and agility. The female very much refembles 
the male of this fpeeies, but that me is lefs, and her horns 
are never feen to grow to that prodigious fize they are of in 
the wild ram. Such is the (heep in its favage ftate ; a bold, 
noble, and even beautiful animal : but it is not the moft beau- 
tiful creatures that are the moft ufeful to man. Human in- 
duflry has therefore deilroyed its grace, to improve its utility. 


And its numerous Varieties* 

THERE are fome domeflic animals that feem as auxiliaries 
to the more ufeful forts ; and, that by ceafing to be the firft, 
are confidered as nothing. We have feen the fervices of the 
afs flighted, becaufe inferior to thofe of the horfe *, and, in the 
fame manner, thofe of the goat are held cheap, becaufe the 
fheep fo far exceeds it. Were the horfe or the fheep removed 
from nature, the inferior kinds would then be invaluable ; and 
the fame arts would probably be beftowed in perfecting their 
kinds, that the higher order of animals have experienced. But, 
in their prefent neglected ftate, they vary but little from the 
wild animals of the fame kind : man has left them their primi- 
tive habits and forms ; and the lefs they owe to his afliduity, 
the more they receive from nature. 

The goat feems, in every refpecl:, more fitted for a life of 
favage liberty than the fheepf. It is naturally more lively, and 
more pofTerTed with animal inftincl:. It eafily attaches itfelf to 
man, and feems fenfible of his carefles. It is alfo ftronger and 
fwifter, more courageous, and more playful, lively, capricious, 
and vagrant: it is not eafily confmed^to its flock, but choofes it* 

* Gnaelin, as quoted by Button. 


own paftures, and loves to ftray remote from the reft. It chief- 
ly delights in climbing precipices , in going to the very edge of 
danger : it is often feen fufpended upon an eminence, hanging 
over the fea, upon a very little bafe, and even fleeps there in fe- 
eurity. Nature has, in fome meafure, fitted it for traverfing 
thefc declivities with eafe; the hoof is hollow underneath, with 
lliarp edges, fo that it walks as fecurely on the ridge of a 
houfe, as on the level ground. It is a hardy animal, and very 
eafily fuflained ; for which reafon, it is chiefly the property of 
the poor, who have no paftures with which to fupply it. Hap- 
pily, however, it feems better pleafed with the neglected wild, 
than the cultivated fields of art ; it choofes the heathy moun- 
tain, or the (hrubby rock ; its favourite food is the tops of the 
boughs, or the tender bark of young trees : in feems lefs afraid 
of immoderate heat, and bears the warm climates better than 
the fheep ; it fleeps expofed to the fun ; and feems to enjoy its 
warmed fervours j nekher is it terrified at the ftorm, or in- 
commoded by the rain ; immoderate cold alone feems to affect 
it, and is faid to produce a vertigo, with which this animal is 
fometimes incommoded. The inconftancy of its nature is per- 
ceivable in the irregularity of its gait; it goes forward, ftops, 
runs, approaches, flies, merely from caprice, and with no 
other feeming reafon than the extreme vivacity of its difpo- 

There are proofs of this animal's being naturally the friend 
of man , and that the goat feldom refumes its primaeval wild- 
nefs, when once reduced into a (late of fervitude. In the year 
1698, an Englifh veflel happening to touch at the iflands of 
Bonavifta, two negroes came, and offered the failors as many 
goats as they chofe to take away. Upon the captain's exprefllng 
his aftonifliment at this offer, the negroes affured him that 
there were but twelve perfons in the ifland, and that the goats 
were multiplied in fuch a manner, as even to become a nui- 
fance : they added, that inftead of giving any trouble to catch 
them, they followed the few inhabitants that were left, with a 
fort of obftinacy, and rather became importunate with their 



The goat produces but two at a time ; and three at the moft* 
But in the warmer climates, although the animal degenerates, 
and grows lefs, yet it becomes more fruitful, being generally 
found to bring forth three, four, and five at a fingle delivery-. 
The buck is capable of propagating at the age of one year, ind 
the female at feven months; however, the fruits of this prema- 
ture generation are weak and defective; and their beil breeding 
time is generally delayed till the age of two years, or eighteen 
months at leaft. One buck is fufficient for a hundred and fifty 
goats ; his appetites are exceffive : but this ardour brings on a 
fpeedy decay, fo that he is enervated in four years at moil, and 
even becomes old before he reaches his feventh year. The 
goat, like the-iheep, continues five months with young-, and, in 
ibme places, bears twice a year. 

The milk of the goat is fwcet, nourifliing, and medicinal ; 
not fo apt to curdle upon the ftomach as that of the cow ; and, 
therefore, preferable to thofe whofe digeflion is but weak. The 
peculiarity of this animal's food, gives the milk a flavour differ- 
ent from that either of the cow or fheep ; for, as it generally 
feeds upon the fhrubby pailures, and heathy mountains, there 
is an agreeable wild nefs in the tafte, very pleafing to fuch as are 
fond of that aliment. In feveral parts of Ireland, and the high- 
lands of Scotland, the goat makes the chief pofleflion of the 
inhabitants. On thofe mountains, where no other ufeful ani- 
mal could find fubfiftence, the goat continues to glean a fuffi- 
cient living ; and fupplies the hardy natives with what they con- 
fider as varied luxury. They lie upon beds made of their ikins, 
which are foft, clean, and wholefome ; they live upon their 
milk, with oat bread ; they convert a part of it into butter, and 
fome into cheefe ; the flefh indeed they feldom taile of, as it is 
a delicacy which they find too expenfive ; however, the kid is 
confidered even by the city epicure, as a great rarity ; and the 
flefliof the goat, when properly prepared, is ranked by fome equal 
to venifon. In this manner, even in the \vildeft folitudes, th 
poor find comforts, of which the rich do not think it worth 
their while to difpoflefs them ; in thefe mountainous retreats, 
where the landfcape prefents only afcene of rocks, heaths, and 


fiirubs, that fpeak the wretchednefs of the foil, thefe Gmple 
people have their feafts, and their pleafures; their faithful flock 
of goats attends them to thefe awful folitudes, and furnifhes 
them with all the necelTaries of life ; while their remote fitua- 
tion happily keeps them ignorant of greater luxury. 

As thefe animals are apt to ftray from the flock, no man can 
attend above fifty of them at a time. They are fattened in the 
fame manner as fheep; but, taking every precaution, their flefh 
is never fo good or fo fweet, in our climate, as that of mutton. 
It is otherwife between the tropics. The mutton there be- 
comes flabby and lean, while the flefh of the goat rather feems 
to improve ; and, in feme places, the latter is cultivated in pre- 
ference to the former. We, therefore, find this animal in aU 
mod every part of the world, as it feems fitted for the necefil- 
ties of man. in both extremes. Towards the north, where the 
pafture is coarfe and barren, the goat is fitted to find a fcanty 
fubftence ; between the tropics, where the heat is exceffive, 
the goat is fitted to bear the climate, and its flefh is found to 

One of the moft remarkable varieties we find in the goat is 
in that of Natolia. The Natolian goat, or, as mr. BufFon calls 
it, the goat of Angora, has the ears longer than ours, and 
broader in proportion. The male has horns of about the fame 
length with the goat of Europe, but black,, and turned very 
differently, going out horizontally on each fide of the head, 
and twifted round in the manner of a cork-fcrew. The horns 
of the female are fhorter, and encircle the ear fomewhat like 
thofe of the ram. They are of a dazzling white colour, and, 
in all, the hair is very long, thick, fine, and glofly ; it is indeed 
the cafe with almoft all the animals of Syria. There are a great 
number of thefeanimals about Angora, where the inhabitants 
drive a trade with their hair, which is fold, either raw or ma^ 
nufa&ured, into all parts of Europe. Nothing can exceed the 
beauty of the fluffs which are made from the hair of almoft 
all the animals of that country. Thefe are well known among 
*s by the name of camlet. 

3 6 A N I M A L S O F T II E 

A fecond variety is the AfTyrian goat of Gefner, which is 
fcmewhat larger than ours, with ears almoft hanging down to. 
the ground, and broad in proportion. The horns, on the con- 
trary, are not above two inches and a half long, black, and 
bending a little backwards. The hair is of a fox cokur, and, 
under the throat, there are two excrefcences, like the gills of a 
cock. Thefe animals are chiefly kept round Aleppo, for the 
Oke of their milk. They are driven through the flreets, and 
their milk is fold to the inhabitants as they pafs along. 

In the third variety may be reckoned, the little goat of Ame- 
rica, which is of the fize of a kid, but the hair is as long as 
that of the ordinary breed. The herns, which do not exceed 
the length of a man's finger, are thick, r^d bend. downward* 
fo clofe to the head, that they almoft enter the fkin. 

There is an animal of this kind at the Cape of Good Hope, 
called the blue goat, which may be ranked as the fourth va- 
riety. It is in fhape like the domeftic, but much larger, be- 
ing nearly of the fize of a Hag. Its hair is very fhort, and of 
a delightful blue 5^ but it lofes a great deal of its beauty when 
the animal is dead. It has a very long beard ; but the horns 
are not fo long in proportion as in other goats, being turned 
fpirally in the manner of a cork- fere w. It has very long legs, 
but well proportioned ; and the flefti is very well tailed, buc 
lean. For this reafon, in that plentiful country, it is chiefly 
killed on account of its fkin. It is a very fhy animal, and fel- 
dom comes near the Dutch fettlements j but they are found 
in great abundance in the more uncultivated parts of the 
country. Befides thefe, they are found in this extenfive region 
of various colours, and many of them are fpotted beautifully 
with red, white, and brown. 

In fine, the Juda goat refembles ours in moil parts, except 
in fize, it being much fmaller. This animal is common in Gui- 
nea, Angola, and all along the coafts of Africa : it is not much 
larger than a hare, but it is extremely fat, and its flefh admira- 
bly tailed. It is in that, country univerfally preferred to mut- 

I'-./.M faat .'if'' 

!':>(> \<>7. 1 ! 

S H E E P A N D G O A T K I N D. 37 

Thefe animals fecm all of one kind, with very trifling dif- 
tincHons between them. It is true that they differ in fome re- 
fpec~h ; fuch as having neither the fame colour, hair, ears, 
or horns. But it ought to be confidered as a rule in natural 
hiftory, that neither the horns, the colour, tl ;, or the 

length of the hair, or the petition of the ears, are to be con- 
fidered as making an actual diilinclion in the kinds. Thefe 
are accidental varieties, produced by climate and feed, which 
are known to change even in the fame animal, and give it a 
feeming difference of form. When we fee the fliapes, the in- 
clinations, and the internal conformation of the fecmingly dif- 
ferent creatures nearly the fame ; and, above all, when we 
fee them producing among each other, we then have no heii- 
tation in pronouncing the fpecies, and aficrtng that thefe 
of die goat kind, with which they are fo materially connected. 

But although thefe are evidently known to belong to the 
goat kind, there are others nearly refembling the goat, of 
whole kindred we cannot be equally certain. Thefe are fuch 
as, being found in a ftate of nature, have not as yet beer, 
ficiently fubjecled to human obfervation. Hence it L 
ble to determine with precifion to which clafs they belong ; 
whether they be animals cf a p:>. :rely the ; , 

in its ftate of favage freedom. Yv r ere there but one of thefe 
wild animals, the enquiry would foon be ended ; and \ve might 
readily allow it for the parent (lock ; but, in the prefent cafe, 
there are two kinds that have almoft e<]ual pretenfions to this 
honour ; and the claims of which it has been found difficult 
to determine. The animals in queflion are the fhanimov and 
the ibex. Thefe both bear very near approaches to the goat 
in figure ; have horns that never ihed ; and, at the fame ti 
are more different from each other than from the animal in 
queftion. From \\ hich of thefe two fources ou-r domeflic ; 
is derived, is not eafy to fettle. Inilead, therefore, of entering 
into the difcuflion, I .will content myfelf with the remit of 
mr. Buffon's enquiries. He is of opinion, that the ibex is the 
principal fource, that our domeftic goat is the immediate de- 
fcendant, and that the fhammoy is but a variety from that 


ftock, a fort of collateral branch cf the fame family. His prin- 
cipal reafon for giving the preference to the ibex is its having 
a more mafcuiine figure, large horns, and a large beard ; 
whereas the fhammoy wants thefe marks of primitive ftr.ength 
and wildnefs. He fuppofes, therefore, in their original fav.age 
fbte, that our goat has taken after the male of the parent 
frock, and the fhammoy after the female ; and that this has 
produced a variety in thefe animals, even before they under-* 
went human cultivation. 

However this be, the two animals in queflion feem both 
\vell fitted for their precarious life, being extremely fwift, and 
capable of running with eafe along the edges of precipices, 
where even the wolf or the fox, though in Riga ted by hunger, 
dares not purfuc them. They are both natives of the Alps,, 
the Pyrenees, and the mountains of Greece ; there they pro- 
pagate in vail numbers, and continue to exift in fpite of the 
hunter and every beail of prey that is found incefiantly to 
purfue them. 

The ibex refembles the goat in the fhape of its body : bufe^ 
differs in the horns, which are much larger. They are bent 
backward, full of knots ; and it is generally aflerted that there 
is a knot; added every year. There are fome of thefe found, 
if we may believe Bellonius, at lead two yards long. The ibex 
has a large black beard, is of a brown colour, with a thick, 
warm coat of hair. There is a ftreak of black runs along the 
top of the back 5 and the belly and back of the thighs are o 
a fawn colour. 

The fhammoy*, though a wild animal, is very eafily tamed, 
and docile ; and to be found only in rocky and mountainous 
places. It is about the fize of a domeftic goat, and refembles one 
in many refpecls. It is moft agreeably lively, and aclive beyond 
exprcflion. The ihammoy's hair is fhort, like that of the doe j. 
in fpring it is of an afh colour, in autumn a dun colour, in- 
clining to black, and in winter of a blackifli brown. This 
animal is found in great plenty in the mountains of Dauphi* 

* M. Peroud's Account, as quoted by EuJFen. 

<? IW. II 


ny, of Piedmont, Savoy, Switzerland, and Germany. They 
are peaceful, gentle creatures, and live in fociety with eacii 
other. They are found in flocks of from four to fourfcore, 
and even a hundred, difperied upon the crags of the moun- 
tains. The large males are feen feeding detached from the reft, 
except in rutting time, when they approach the females, 
and drive away the young. The time of their coupling is from 
the beginning of November, to the end of October, and 
they bring forth in April and March. The young ke-^ps with 
the darn about five months, and fometimes longer, if the hun- 
ters and the wolves do not feparale them. It is averted that 
they live between twenty and thirty years. Their flefli is good 
to eat ; and they are found to have ten or twelve pounds of 
fuet, which far furpafles that of the goat in hardnefs and 
goodnefs. The fhammoy has fcarce any cry, as mod anL 
are known to have ; if it has any, it is a kind of feeble bleat, 
by which the parent calls its young. But, in cafes of danger, 
and when it is to warn the reft of the flock, it ufes a hilling 
noife, which is heard at a great difhnce. For, it is to be ob- 
ferved, that this creature is extremely vigilant, and has an eye 
the quickeft and moft piercing in nature. Its fmell alfo is not 
lefs diftinguifiiing. When it fees its enemy diftincliy, it flops 
for a moment ; and then, if the perfon be near, in an inftant 
after it flies off. In the fame manner, by its fmell, it can dif- 
cover a man at half a leagues diftance, and gives the earlieii 
notice. Upon any alarm, therefore, or any apprehenfiona of 
danger, the mammoy begins his hiding note with fuch force, 
that the rocks and the foreft re-echo to the found. The fir ft 
hifs continues as long as the time of one infpiration. In the 
beginning it is very (harp, and deeper towards the clofe. The 
animal having, after this firft alarm, repofed a moment, again 
looks round, and perceiving the reality of its fears, continues 
to hifs by intervals, until it has fpread the alarm to a very great 
diftance. During this time, it feems in the moft violent agi- 
tation ; it ftrikes the ground with its fore-foot, and fome- 
times with both : it bounds from rock to rock ; it turns and 
looks round ; it runs to the edge of the precipice , and, (till 


perceiving the enemy, files with all its (peed. The hitting of 
the male is much louder and (harper than that of the female : 
it is performed through the nofe ; and is properly no more 
Iran a very ftrong breath, driven violently through a final! 
aperture. The fhammoy feeds upon the bed herbage, and 
choofes the mod delicate parts of the plants, the flower and the 
tender buds*. It is not lefs delicate with regard to feveral aro- 
matic herbs, which grow upon the fides of the mountains. It 
drinks but very little while it feeds upon the fucculent her- 
bage, and chews the cud in the intervals of feeding. This ani- 
mal is greatly admired for the beauty of its eyes, which are 
round and fparkling, and which mark the warmth of its con- 
flitution. Its head is furnifhed with two fmall horns, of about 
half a foot long, of a beautiful black, and rifing from the fore- 
head, almoft betwixt the eyes. Thefe, contrary to what they 
are found in ether animals, inflead of going backwards or 
fideways, jet out forward, and bend a little, at their extremi- 
ties, backward, in a fmall circle, and end in a very fharp point. 
The ears are placed in a very elegant manner, near the horns 5 
and there are two ilripes of black on each fide of the face, 
the reft being of a whitifh yellow, which never changes. The 
horn of this animal is often ufed as the head of a cane. Thofe 
ef the female are lefs, and not fo much bent , and fome far- 
riers are feen to bleed cattle with them. Thefe animals are fo 
much incommoded by heat, that they are never found in 
fummer, except in the caverns of rocks, amidft fragments of 
unmelted ice, under the (hade of high and fpreading trees, or 
of rough and hanging precipices > that face the north, and which 
keep off entirely the rays of the fun. They go to pafture both 
morning and evening, a= d feldom during the heat of the day. 
They run along the rocks with great eafe and feeming indif- 
ference, and l'ap from one to another, fo that no dogs are able 
to purfue them. There is nothing more extraordinary than to 
fee them climbing and defcending precipices, that, to all other 
quadrupeds, are inacceflible. They always mount or defcend 
in an oblique direction ; and throw themfelves down a rock of 
thirty feet, and light, with great fecurity, upon fome excre* 


fcence, or fragment, on the fide of the precipice, which is juft 
large enough to place their feet upon ; they ftrike the rock, 
however, in their defcent, with their feet, three or four times, 
to ftop the velocity of their motion ; and when they have got 
upon their bafe below, they at once feem fixed and fecure. In 
fad, to fee them jump in this manner, they feem rather to 
have wings than legs ; fome, indeed, pretend to fay^that they 
ufe their horns for climbing, but this wants confirmation. 
Certain it is, that their legs alone are formed for this arduous 
employment, the hinder being rather longer than the former, 
and bending in fuch a manner, that, when they defcend upon 
them, they break the force of the fall. It is alfo aflened, that 
n they feed, one of them always (lands as centinel ; but 
how far this may be true is queftionable. For certain, while 
they feed, there are fome of them that keep continually gaz- 
ing round the reft ; but this is praclifed among all gregari- 
ous animals ; fo that when they fee any danger, they warn 
the red of the herd of its approach. During the rigours 
of winter, the fhammoy ileeps in the thickeft forefts, and 
feeds upon the fhrubs and the buds of the pine-tree. It fome- 
times turns up the fnow with its foot to look for herbage ; 
and, where it is green, makes a delicious repaft. The mcr* 
craggy and uneven the foreft, the more this animal is pleafed 
with the abode, which thus adds to its fccurity. 'i he hunting 
the fliammoy is very laborious and extremely difficult. The 
moft ufual way is to hide behind the clefts of the rocks and 
fhoot them. This, however, muft be done with great precau- 
tion ; the fportfman muft creep for a vaft way upon his belly, 
in filence, and take alfo the advantage of rhe wind, which, if 
it blow from him, they would inftantly perceive. When ar- 
rived at a proper diftance, he then advances his piece, which 
is to be rifle-barrelled, and to carry one ball, and tries his for* 
tune among them. Some aifo purfue this animal as they do 
the (lag, by placing proper perfons at all the palTages of a glade, 
and then fending in others to roufe the game. Dogs are quite 
ufelefs in this chace, as they rather alarm than overtake. N r 
is it without danger even to the men ; for it often happens i 

VOL. It F 

^2 A N I M A L S OF THE 

-when the animal finds itfelf overprefTed, it drives at the hun- 
ter with its head, and often tumbles him down the neigh- 
bouring precipice. This animal cannot go upon ice wl^en 
fmooth ; but if there be the leaft inequalities on its furface, 
it then bounds along in fecurity, and quickly evades all pur- 

The fkm of the fhammoy was once famous, when tanned, 
for its foftnefs and warmth ; at prefent, however, fince the art 
of tanning has been brought to greater perfection, the lea- 
ther called fhammoy is made alfo of thofe of the tame goat, 
the fheep, and the deer. Many medicinal virtues alfo were 
faid to refide in the blood, fat, gall, and the concretion fome- 
tinies found in the ftomach of this animal, called the German 
bezoar. The fat, mixed with niili, was faid to be good in 
ulcers of the lungs. The gall was faid to be ufcful in ftrength- 
ening the light j the (tone, which is generally about the fize of 
a walnut, and blackifh, was formerly in great requefl for hav- 
ing the fame virtues with oriental bezoar. However, in the 
prefent enlightened flate of phyfic, all tbefe medicines are 
quite out of repute, and, although we have the names of fe- 
veral medicines procurable from quadrupeds, yet, except the 
mufk or hartfhgrn alone, I know of none in any degree of re- 
putation. It is true, the fat, the urine, the beak, and even the 
dung, of various animals, may be found efficacious where bet- 
ter remedies are not to be had ; but they are far furpafied by 
many at prefent in ufe, whofe operation we know, and whofe 
virtues are confirmed by repeated experience. 

Such are the quadrupeds that more peculiarly belong to the 
goat kind. Each of thefe, in all probability, can engender and 
breed with the other ; and were the whole race extinguiihed, 
except any two, thcfe would be fufficient to replsnifh the world, 
and continue the kind. Nature, however, proceeds in her vari- 
"ations by flow and infenfible degrees, and fcarce draws a firm, 
<Uilinguifhed line, between any two neighbouring races of ani- 
mals, whatfoever. Thus it is hard to difcover where the iheep 
ends and the goat begins ; and we fhall find it flill harder to 
x precifely the boundaries between the. goat kind, and die 

S H E E P A N D G O A T K I N D. 43 

deer. In nil t ran ilf ions from one kind to the other, there are to 
be found a middle race of animals, that ieem to partake of 
the nature of both, and that can precifeiy be referred to nei- 
ther. That race of quadrupeds, called the gazelles, are of 
this kind ; they are properly neither goat nor deer, and yet they 
have many of the marks of both ; they make the made betv 
thefe two kinds, and fill up the chafm in nature. 


THE Gazelles, of which there are feveral kinds, can, with 
propriety, be referred neither to the goat or the deer ; and yet 
they partake of both natures. Like the goat, they have hollow 
horns that never fail, which is otherwife in the deer. They- 
have a gali-bladder, which is found in the goat and not in the 
deer ; and, like that animal, they feed rather upon fhrubs than 
.graily pafture. On the other hand, they refemble the roe-buck 
in fize and delicacy of form , they have deep pits under the 
eyes like that animal ;. they refemble the roe-buck in the co- 
lour and nature of their hair ; they refemble him in the bun- 
ches upon their legs, which only differ in being upon the fere- 
legs in thefe, and on the hind legs m the other. They feem,. 
therefore, to be of a middle nature between thefe two kinds ; 
or, to fpeak with greater truth and precifion, they form a dif- 
tincl kind by themfelves- 

The diflinguifhing marks of this tribe of animals, by which 
they differ both from the goat and deer, are thefe : their horns 
are made differently, being annulated or ringed round, at the 
fame time that there are longitudinated depreffions running 
from the bottom to the point. They have bunches of hair upon 
their fore-legs ; they have a ftreak of black, red, or brown, 
running along the lower part of their fides, and three flreaks 
of whitifh hair in the internal fide of the ear. Thefe are cha- 
racters that none of them are without ; befides thefe, there are 
others, which, in general, they are found to have, and which 
*re more obvious to the beholder. Of all animals in the world, 

44 A N I M A L S O F T H E 

the gazelle has the mcft beautiful eye, extremely brilliant, and 
yet fo meek that all the eailern poets compare the eyes of their 
miftrefles to thofe of this animal. A gazelle-eyed beauty is 
conficlered as the highefl compliment that a lover can pay ; 
and, indeed, the Greeks themfelves thought it no inelegant 
piece of flattery to referable the eyes of a beautiful woman to 
thofe of a cow. The gazelle, for the moil part, is mere deli- 
cately and finely limbed than even the roe-buck ; its hair is as 
fhort, but fine and more glofly. Its hinder legs are longer thau 
thofe before, as in the hare, .which gives it greater fecurity ii> 
afcending or defcending fteep places. Their fwiftnefs is equal, 
if not fuperior, to that cf the roe ; but as the latter bounds for- 
v. aid, fo thefe run along in an even, uninterrupted courfe. Moil 
of them are brown upon the back, v.hite under the belly, with 
a black ftripe, fepararfng tho'e colours between. Their tail is of 
various lengths, but in all covered with pretty long hair ; and 
their ears are beautiful, well placed, and terminating in a point. 
They all have a cloven hoof, like the fheep \ they all have per- 
manent horns ; and the female has them fmaller than the male. 

Of thefe animals, mr. BufFon makes twelve varieties ; which, 
however, are much fev er than what other naturalifts have made 
them. The rrril is the gazella, properly fo called, which is of- 
the fize of the roe-buck, and very much refembling it in all the 
proportions of its body, but entirely din-bring, as was faid, in 
the nature and fain ion of the horns, which are black and hol- 
low, like thofe of the ram, or the goat, and never fall. The fe- 
cond he calls the kevel, which is rather lefs than tht former ; 
its eyes alfo fecm larger -, and its horns, inilead of being round, 
are flatted on the fides, as well in the male as the female. The 
third he calls the corin, which very much refembles the two 
former, but that it is ilill lefs than either. Its horns alfo are 
fmaller in proportion, fmoother than thofe of the other two, 
and the annular prominences belonging to the kind are fcarce 
difcernible, and may rather be called wrinkles than promi- 
nences. Some of thefe animals are often feen ilreaked like the 
tiger. Thefe three are fuppofed to be of the fame fpecies. The 
fourth he calls the zeiran, the horns only of which he has fcen j 

S H E E P A N D G O A T K I N D. ,- 

which, from their fize, and the defcription of travellers, he 
fuppofes to belong to a lar the gazelle, found in In- 

dia and Peiva, under dene:-..-:-..-..... 

The fifth lie calls the koba, and the fixth the kob ; thefe 
two differ from each other only in fize, the former being much 
larger than the latter. The muzzle of thefe animals is much 
longer than thofe of the ordinary gazelle ; the head is differ- 
cntly fhaped, and they have no depreffions under the eyes. 
The feventh he calls after its Egyptian name, the algazel ; 
which is fhaped pretty much like the ordinary gazelle, except 
that the horns are mmch longer, being generally three feet 
from the point to the infertion ; whereas, in the common ga- 
zelle, they are not above a foot ; they are fmaller aifo, and ftrai- 
ter, till near the extremities, when they turn fhort, with a very 
{harp flexure : they are black and fmooth, and the annular 
prominences are fcarcely obfervable. The eighth is called the 
pazan ; or, by fome, the bezoar goat, which greatly refembles 
the former, except a fmall variety in their horns ; and alfo with 
this difference, that as the algazel feeds upon the plains, this 
is only found in the mountains. They are both inhabitants of 
the fame countries and climate ; being found in Egypt, Ara- 
bia, and Perfia. This lafc is the animal famous, for that con- 
cretion in the interlines or ftomach, called the oriental bezoar, 
which was once in iuch repute all over the world for its medi- 
cinal virtues. The word bezoar is fuppofed to take its name 
either from the pazan or pazar, which is the animal that pro- 
duces it ; or from a word in the Arabic language, which iigni- 
fies antidote, or ccunter-poifon. It is a ft one of a glazed black- 
ifli colour, fcund in the ftomach, or the inteftines of feme ani- 
mal, and brought over to us from the Eaft-Indies. Like all 
other animal concretions, it is found to have a kind of nucle- 
us, or hard fubftance within, upon which the external coatings 
were formed ; for, upon being fawed through, it is feen to 
have layer over layer, as in an onion. This nucleus is of various 
kinds ; fometimes the buds of a (hrub, fomctimes a piece of 
ftone, and fometimes a marcafite. This ftone is from the fize 
ef an acorn to that of a pigeon's egg ; the larger the {lone, the 

4# A N I M A L ' S O F T H E 

more valuable it is held-, its price increafmg, like that of a 
diamond. There was a time when a (tone of four ounces fold 
in Europe for above two hundred pounds ; but, at prefent,. 
the price is greatly fallen-, and they are held in very little efteem.. 
The bezoar is of various colours, fometimes of a blood colour^ 
fometirnes of a pale yellow, and of all the (hades between thefe 
two. It is generally glofTy, fmooth, and has- a fragrant fmell, 
like that of ambergris, probably artfing from the aromatic ve- 
getables upon which the animal that produces it, feeds. It ha& 
been given in vertigoes, epileplies, palpitations of the heart^ 
chclic, jaundice, and, in thole places where the dearnefs, and 
not the value of medicines, is confaltc* in almoft every dif- 
order incident to man. In all, perhaps, it. is equally efficacious, 
acting only as an abforbcnt powder, and poiTefling virtues equal- 
to common chalk, or crabs claws. Judicious phyficians have, 
therefore difcarded it ; and this celebrated medicine is now 
chiefly con fumed in countries where the knowledge of nature 
has been but little advanced. "When this medicine was in its 
higheft reputation, many arts were ufed to adulterate it ; and 
many countries endeavoured to find out a bezoar of their own.. 
Thus we had occidental bezoar, brought from America ; Ger- 
man bezoar, which has been mentioned before ; cow bezoar, 
and monkey bezoar. In fact, there is fcarce an animal, except 
of the carnivorous kinds, that does not produce fome of thefe 
. jtions in the ftomach, inteilines, kidneys, bladder, and 
even in the heart. To thefe, ignorance may impute virtues that 
they do not poflefs ; experience has found but few cures 
wrought by their efficacy : but it is well known, that they of- 
ten prove fatal to the animal that boars them. Thefe concre- 
tions are generally found in cows, by their practice of licking 
off their hair, which gathers in the ftomach into the fhape of a 
ball, acquires a furprizing degree of hardnefs, and fomctimes 
a poliih like leather. They are often as large as a goofe-egg ; 
and, when become too large to pafs, block up the paflage of the 
food, and the animal dies. The fubftance of thefe balls, how- 
ever, is different from the bezoar mentioned above ; being ra- 
ther a concretion of hair than of flone. There is a bezoar 
found in the gall bladder of a boar, and thence called hog bv> 


soar, in very great efteem j but perhaps with as little juftice as 
any of the former. In more, as already obferved, there is fearer 
an animal, or fcarce a pare of their bodies, in .which concretions 
are not formed ; and it is probable, as Buffon juftly remarks, 
that the bezoar, fo much in uie formerly, \\as not the produc- 
tion of the pazar, or any one animal only, bv.t that of the 
-whole gazelle kind ; who I pan odoriferous herbs and 

plants, gave this admirable e to the accidental coi- 

tions which they arc found to produce. x As this med'u 
however, is but little ufed at pvefent, our curiofity is much 
abated, as to the caufe of its formation. To return, therefore, 
to the varieties in the<gazelle tribe, the ninth is called the ran- 
guer, and is a native of Senr Is differs fcmewhat in 

fliape and colour from the reft ; but particularly in the iliapc 
of its horns, which are flrait to near the points, where they 
crook forward, nearly in the fame manner as in the fbammoy 
they crook backward. The tenth variety of the gazelle is the 
antelope, fo well known to the Englifh, who have given it the 
name. This animal is of the fize of a roe-buck, and refem- 
bles the gazelle in many particulars, but differs in others : it has 
deeper eye-pits, the horns are formed differently alfo, being 
about fixteen inches long, almofl touching each other at the bot- 
tom, and fpreading as they rife, fo as, at their tips, to be fixteen 
inches afunder. They have the annular prominences of their 
kind, but not fo diftinguifhable as in the gazelle; however,- 
they have a double flexure, which is very remarkable, and 
lerves to diftinguiih them from all ethers of their kind. 
the root they have a tuft of hair, which is longer than that of 
any part of the body. Like others of the fanie kind, the an- 
telope is brown on the back, and white under the belly ; but 
thefe colours are not feparated by die black ftreak which is to 
be found in all the reft of the gazelle kinds. There are differ- 
ent forts of this animal, fome with lager horns than others, and 
others with lefs. The one which makes the eleventh variety in 
the gazelle kind, mr. Buffon calls the lidme, which has very 
long horns; and the other, which is the twelfth andlaft, he 
calls the Indian antelope, the horns of which are very fmall. 

To thefe may be added three or four varieties more, which 


it is not eafy to tell whether to refer to the goat or the gn 
as they equally referable both. The fir ft of thefe is the buba- 
lus, an animal that feems to partake of the mixed natures of 
the cov/, the goat, and the deer. It refembles the flag in the 
fize re of its body, and particularly in the fhapc 

of its le it lias permanent horns, like the goat ; and 

made ,ie of the gazelle kind. It alfo refembles 

that y-.-.iy of living ; however, it differs in the 

make of its herul, being exactly like the cow in the length of 
its muzzle, and in the difpofition of the bones of the fcull ; 
from which fimilitude it has taken its name. This animal has 
a narrow, long head ; the eyes are placed very high ; the fore- 
he :id fhort and narrow 5 the horns permanent, about a, foot 
long, black, thick, annulated, and the rings of the gazelle 
kind remarkable large ; its fhoulders are very high, and it has 
a kind o: bunch on them, that terminates at the neck ; the 
tail is about a foot long, and tufted \\ ith hair at the extremi- 
ty. The hair of this animal is remarkable in being thicker at 
the middls than at the root : in all other quadrupeds, except 
the eik and this, the hair tapers otTfrom the bottom to the 
point ; but in thefe, each hair feems to fwell in the middle, 
a nine-pin. The bubalous alfo refembles the elk in fize, 
and the colour of its (kin ; but thefe are the only fimilitudes 
between them : as the one has a very large branching head, 
of folid horns, that are annually deciduous, the other has black 
unbranching hollow horns that never fall. The bubalous is 
common enough in Barbary, and has often been called by the 
name of the Barbary cow, from which animal it differs fo 
widely. It partakes pretty much of the nature of the antelope ; 
like that having the hair fhort, the hide black, the ears poin- 
ted, and the fleih good for food. 

The fecond anomalous animal of the goat kind, mr. Buf- 
fon calls the condoma. It is fuppofed to be equal in fize to 
the largeft flag, but with hollow horns, like thofe of the goat 
kind, and with varied flexures, like thofe of the antelope. 
They are above three feet long ; and, at their extremities, 
about two feet afunder. All along the back there runs a white 


Kft, which ends at the infertion of the tail ; another of the 
fame colour crofTes this, at the bottom of the neck, which it . 
entirely {"unrounds : there are two more of the fame kind run- 
ning round the body, one behind the fore-legs, and the other 
running parallel to it before the hinder. The colour of the 
reft of the body is greyifh, except the belly, which is white : 
it has alfo a long grey beard 5 and its legs, though long, are* 
well proportioned. 

The third that may be mentioned, he calls the guiba. It 
refembles the gazelles in every particular, except in the co- 
lour of the belly, which, as we have feen, is white in them, 
but in this is of a deep brown. Its horns alfo are not marked 
with annular prominences, but are fmooth and polimed. It 
is alfo remarkable for white lifts, on a brown ground, that 
are difpofed along the animal's body, as if it were covered 
with a harnefs. Like the former, it is a native of Africa. 

The African wild goat of Grimmius is the fourth. It is of 
a dark am colour ; and in the middle of the head is a hairy 
tuft, (landing upright ; on both fides, between the eyes and 
the nofe, there are very deep cavities, greater than thofe of 
the other kinds, which contain a yellow oily kind of liquor, 
which coagulates into a bi. j, that has a fmell be- 

tween muik and civet. This being taken away, the liquor again 
runs out, and coagulates, as before. Theie Cavities have no 
communication with the eyes, and, confequently, this oozing 
fubftance can have nothing of the nature of tears. 

To this we may add the chevrotin, or little Guinea deer, 
which is the leaft of all cloven-footed quadrupeds, and per- 
haps the moft beautiful ; its legs, at the (mailed part, are not 
much thicker than the (hank of a tobacco pips ; it is about 
feven inches high, and about twelve from the point of the 
nofe to the infertion of the tail. It is the moft delicately fhap- 
ed animal in the world, being completely formed like a flag 
in miniature ; except that its horns, when it has any, art- 
more of the gazelle kind, being hollow and annulated in the 
fame manner. It has two canine teeth in the ur 



which refpeft it d lifers from all other animals of the goat or 
deer kind, and thus makes a fpecies entirely diftinft by itfelf, 
This wonderful animal's colour is not lefs pleating j the hair, 
which is fhort and gloffy, being in fome a beautiful yellov/, 
except on the neck and belly, which is white. They are na- 
tives of India, Guinea, and the warm climates between the 
tropics ; and are found in great plenty. But though they are 
amazingly fwift for their fize, yet the Negroes often overtake 
them in the purfuit, and knock them down with their flicks, 
They may be eafily tamed, and then they become familiar and 
pleaiing ; but they are of fuch delicate conftitutions, that they 
can bear no climate but the hotteft ; and they always perifli 
with the rigours of ours, when they are brought over. The 
male in Guinea has horns ; the female is without any ; as are 
all the kinds of this animal, to be found either in Java or Cey- 
lon, where they chiefly abound. 

Such is the lift of the gazelles j all which pretty nearly rc- 
femble the deer in form, and delicacy of fhape ^ but have the 
horns hollow, fingle and permanent, like thofe of the goat. 
They properly fill up, as has been already obferved, the inter- 
val between thefe two kinds of animals ; fo that it is difficult 
to tell where the goat ends, and the deer may be faid to begin. 
If we compare the gazelles with each other, we (hall find but 
very flight diftin&ions between them. The turn or the magni- 
tude of the horns, the different fpots on the fkin, or a difference 
of fize in each, are chiefly the marks by which their varieties 
are to be known j but their way of living, their nature, and 
their peculiar fwiftnefs, all come under one defcription. 

The gazelles are, in general, inhabitants of the warmer 
climates ; and contribute, among other emborllifhments, to 
add beauty to thofe forefts that are forever green. They are 
often fcen feeding in herds, on the fides of the mountain, or 
in the fhade of the woods ; and fly all together, upon the 
fmalleft approaches of danger. They bound with fuch fwift- 
nefs, and are fo very fhy, that dogs or men vainly attempt to 
purfue them. They traverfe thofe precipices with eafe and 
7, which to every quadruped elfc are quite impracticable, j 


nor can any animals, but of the winged kind, overtake them. 
Accordingly, in all thofe countries where they are chiefly 
found, they are purfued by falcons ; and this admirable man- 
ner of hunting, makes one of the principal amufements of the 
upper ranks of people all over the eaft. 

The Arabians, Perfians, and Turks, breed up for this pur- 
pofe, that kind of hawk called the falcon gentle, with which, 
when properly trained, they go forth on horfeback among the 
foreils and the mountains, the falcon perching upon the hand 
of the hunter. Their expedition is conducted with profound 
filence ; their dogs are taught to hang behind ; while the men, 
on the fleeted courfers, look round for the game. Whenever 
they fpy a gazelle at the proper diftance, they point the falcon 
to its object, and encourage it to purfue. The falcon, with 
the fwiftnefs of an arrow, flies to the animal 9 that, knowing 
its danger, endeavours, but too late, to efcape. The falcon 
foon coming up with its prey, fixes its talons, one into the 
animal's cheek, the other into its throat, and deeply wounds 
it. On the other hand, the gazelle attempts to efcape, but 
is generally wounded too deep to run far. The falcon 
clings with the utmoft perfeverance, nor ever leaves its prcr 
till it falls ; upon which the hunters from behind approach- 
ing, take up both, and reward the falcon with the blood of 
the fpoil. They alfo teach the young ones, by applying them 
to the dead animal's throat, and accuftoming diem betimes to 
fix upon that particular part ; for, if it mould happen that the 
falcon fixed upon any other part of the gazelle, either its back 
or its haunches, the animal would eafily efcape among the 
mountains, and the hunter would alfo lofe his falcon. 

They fometimes alfo hunt thefe animals with the ounce. 
This carnivorous and fierce creature being made tame and 
domeftic, generally fits on horfeback behind the hunter, and 
remains there with the utmoft compofure, until the gazelle 
is fhown ; it is then that it exerts all its arts and fiercenefs ; 
it does not at once fly at its prey, but approaches flily, turn- 
ing and winding about until it comes within the proper dif- 
tance, when, all at once, it bounds upon the heedlefc animal, 


and inftantly kills it, and fucks its blood. If, on the other 
hand, it mifies its aim, it refts in its place, without attemp- 
ting to purfue any farther, but feems afhamed of its own in- 
ability. -^ 

There is ftill another way of taking the gazelle, which 
feems not fo certain, nor fo amufing as either of the for- 
mer. A tame gazelle is bred up for this purpofe, who is 
taught to join thofe of its kind, wherever it perceives them. 
When the hunter, therefore, perceives a heard of thefe to- 
gether, he fixes a noofe round the horns of the tame ga- 
zelle, in fuch a manner, that if the reft but touch it, they 
are entangled j and thus prepared, he fends his gazelle among 
the reft. The tame animal no fooner approaches, but the males 
% of the herd inftantly fally forth to oppofe him ; and, in but- 
ting with their horns, are caught in the noofe. In this, both 
ftruggling for fome time, fall together to the ground ; and, at 
laft, the hunter coming up, difengages the one, and kills the. 
ether. Upon the whole, however, thefe animals, whatever be 
the arts ufed to purfue them, are very difficult to be taken. 
As they are continually fubjecl: to alarms from carnivorous 
beafts, or from man, they keep chiefly in the moft folitary 
and inacceffible places, and find their only protection from 
fituations of the greateft danger. 


Of the Mujk Animal. 

THE more we fearch into nature, the more we fhall find 
how little flie is known ; and \ve (hall more than once 
have occanon to find, that protra&ed enquiry is more apt to 
teach us modefty, than to produce information. Although the 
number and nature of quadrupeds, at firft glance, feems very 
little known ; yet, when we come to examine clofer, \ve find 
fome with which we are very partially acquainted, and Bothers 
that are utterly unknown. There is fcarce a cabinet of the cu- 
rious, but what has the fpoils of animals, or the horns of the 



hdofs of quadrupeds, which do not come within former de- 
fcriptions. There is fcarce a perfon whofe trade is to drefs or 
improve furs, but knows feveral creatures by their (kins, which 
no naturalift has hitherto had notice of. But, of all quadru- 
peds, there is none fo juftly the reproach of natural hiftorians, 
as that which bears the mufk. This perfume, fo well known 
to the elegant, and fo very ufeful in the hands of the phyfi- 
cian, a medicine that has, for more than a century, been im- 
ported from the eaft in great quantities, and during all that 
time, has been improving in its reputation, is, neverthelefs, fo 
very little understood, that it remains a doubt whether the 
animal that produces it, be a hog, an ox, a goat, or a deer. 
When an animal with which we are fo nearly connected, is 
fo utterly unknown, how little muft we know of many that 
are more remote and unferviceable ! Yet naturaliits proceed 
in the fame train, enlarging their catalogues and their names, 
without endeavouring to find out the nature, and fix the pre- 
cife hiftory, of thofe with which we are very partially acquain- 
ted. It is the fpirit of the fcholars of the prefent age, to be 
fonder of increafing the bulk of our knowledge than its utili- 
ty; of extending their conquefts, than of improving their em- 

The mufk, which comes to Europe, is brought over in fmall 
bags, about the fize of a pigeon's egg, which, when cut open, 
appear to contain a kind of dufky reddifh fubftance, like co- 
agulated blood, and which, in large quantities, has a vsry 
ftrong fmell j but when mixed and diffufed, becomes a very 
agreeable perfume. Indeed, no fubftance now known in the 
world, has a Stronger or a more permanent fmell. A grain of 
mu(k perfumes a \\hole room ; and its odour continues for 
fome days, without diminution. But, in a larger quantity, it 
continues for years together ; and feems fcarce waited in its 
weight, although it has filled the atmofphere to a great dif- 
tance with its parts. It is particularly ufed in medicine, in ner- 
vous and hyfteric diforders -, and is found, in fuch cafes, to 
be the moft powerful remedy nov: in ufe : however, the ani- 


mal that furnifhcs this admirable medicine, has been -very va- 
rioufly defcribed, and is known but very imperfectly. 

The defcription given of this animal by Grew, is as fol- 
lows. The muik animal is properly neither of the goat nor 
deer kind, for it has no- horns, and it is uncertain whether it 
ruminates or not ; however, it wants the fore teeth in the 
upper jaw, in the fame manner as in ruminating animals , but, 
at the fame time, it has tufks like thofe of a hog. It is three 
feet fix inches in length, from the head to the tail ; and the 
head is above half a foot long. The fore part of the head is 
like that of a grey-hound ; and the ears are three inches long, 
and erer, like thofe of a rabbit j but the tail is not above two 
inches. It is cloven footed, like beafts of the goat kind ; the 
hair on the head and legs is half an inch long, on the belly 
an inch and a half, and on the back and buttocks three inches, 
and proportion ably thicker than in any other animal. It is 
brown and white alternately, from the root to the point ; on the 
head and thighs it is brown, but under the belly and tail white, 
and a little curled, efpecially on the back and belly. On each 
fide of the lower jaw, under the corners of the mouth, there 
is a tuft of thick hair, which is ihort and hard, and about three 
quarters of an inch long. The hair, in general, of this animal, 
is remarkable for its foftnefs and fine texture", but, what dif- 
tinguifties it particularly, are the tuflcs, which are an inch and 
a half long, and turn back in the form of a hook ; and more 
particularly the bag which contains the mufk, which is three 
inches long, two broad, and ftands out from the belly an inch 
and a half. It is a very fearful animal, and, therefore, it has 
long ears j and the fenfe of hearing is fo quick, that it can 
difcover an enemy at a great diflance. 

After fo long and circumftantial a defcription of this ani- 
mal, its nature is but very little known j nor has any anato- 
mift as vet examined its internal ftru&ure ; or been able to 
inform us whether it be a ruminant animal, or one of the hog 
kind ; how the muflc is formed, or whether thofe bags, in 
which it comes to us, be really belonging to the animal, or 
are only the fophiftications of the vendres. Indeed, when we 


%-onfider the irnmenfe quantities of this fubftance which are 
confumed in Europe alone, not to mention the eaft, where it 
is in (till greater repute thaji here, we can hardly fuppofe that 
any one animal can furnith the fupply , and particularly when 
it muft be killed before the bag can be obtained. We are told, 
it is true, that the mufk is often depofited by the animal upon 
rrees and Hones, againfb which it rubs itfelf when the quan- 
tity becomes uneafy ; but it is not in that form which we re- 
ceive it, but always in what fe<"ms to he its own natural blad- 
der. Of thtu, Tavemer brought home near two thoufand in 
one year ; and, as the animal is wild, fo many mud, during 
that fpace, have been hunted and taken. But as the cre?<ture 
is prefented very iliy, and as it is found but in forne particu- 
lar provinces of the eaft, the wonder is how its bag fhould be 
fo cheap, and furnimed in fuch great plenty. The bag in com- 
mon does not coft (if I do not forget) above a crown by re- 
tail, and yet this is fuppofed the only one belonging to the 
animal ; and for the obtaining of which, it mud have been 
hunted and killed. The only way of folving this difficulty, is 
to fuppofe that thfffe bags are, in a great meafure, counterfeit, 
taken from fome other animal, or from fome part of the fame, 
filled with its blood, and a very little of the perfume, but 
enough to impregnate the reft with a ftrong and permanent 
odour. It comes to us from different parts of the eaft ; from 
China, Tonquin, Bengal, and often from Mufcovy : that of 
Thibet is reckoned the beft, and fells for fourteen millings an 
ounce ; that of Mufcovy the worft, and fells but for three ; 
the odour of this, though very ftrong at firft, being quickly 
found to evaporate. 

Mulk was fome years ago in the higheft requeft as a per- 
fume, and but little regarded as a medicine ; but at prefent 
its reputation is totally changed ; and having been found of 
great benefit in phyfic, it is but little regarded for the pur- 
pofes of elegance. It is thus that things which become nccef- 
fary, ceafe to continue pleating ; and the confcioufnefs of 
their ufe., deftrov :-werof adrmnifterinj delight. 



Animals of tks Deer Kind. 

IF we compare the flag and the bull as to fhape and 
form, no two animals can be more unlike , and yet, if we 
examine their internal ftrufture, we (hall find a ftriking fimili- 
tude between them. Indeed, their differences, except to a nice 
obferver, will fcarcely be perceivable. All of the deer kind 
want the gall-bladder ; their kidnies are formed differently ; 
their fpleen is alfo proportionably larger ; their tail is (horter ; 
and their horns, which are folid, are renewed every year. 
Such are the flight internal difcriminations between two ani- 
mals, one of which is among the fwifteft, and the other the hea- 
vieft of the brute creation. 

The flag is one of thofe innocent and peaceable animals 
that feems made to embellifti the forefl, and animates the foli- 
tudes of nature. 1 he eafy elegance of his form, the lightnefs 
of his motions, thofe large branches that feem made rather 
for the ornament of his head than its defence, the fize, the 
ftrength, and the fwiftnefs of this beautiful creature, all fuf- 
ficiently rank him among the firft of the quadrupeds, among 
the mofl noted objects of human curiofity. 

The flag, or hart, whofe female is called a hind, and the 
young a calf, differs in fize and in horns from a fallow deer. 
He is much larger, and his horns are round ; whereas, in the 
fallow kind, they are broad and palmated. By thefe the animal's 
is known. The firft year, the flag has no horns, but a 
horny excrefcence, which is fhort, rough, and covered with a 
thin hairy fkin. The next year the horns are fingle and flraight; 
the third year they have two antlers, three the fourth, four the 
fifth, and five the fixth ; this number is not always certain, for 
fomctimes there are more, and often lefs. When arrived at 
the fixth year, the antlers do not always increafe-, and, although 


the number may amount to fix. or feven on each fide, yet the 
animal's age is then eftimated rather from the fize of the ant- 
lers, and the thicknefs of the branch which fuftains them, than 
from their variety. 

Thefe horns, large as they feem, are, notwithftanding, fried 
every year, and new ones come in their place. The old horns 
are of a firm, folid texture, and ufually employed in making 
handles for knives and other domeftic utenfils. But, while 
young, nothing can be more foft, or tender ; and the animal, 
as if confcious of his own imbecility, at thofe times, inftantly, 
upon fhedding his former horns, retires from the reft of his fel- 
lows, and hides himfelf infolitudes and thickets, never venturing 
out to pafture, except by night. During this time, which moft 
ufually happens in the fpring, the new horns are very painful, 
and have a quick fenfibility of any external impreiTion. The flies 
alfo are extremely troublefcme to him. When the old horn is 
fallen off, the new does not begin immediately to appear ; but 
the bones of the Ikull are feen covered only with a tranfparent 
periofleum, or fkin, which, as anatomifts teach us, covers the 

bones ot all arjisatilfL After a fhort time, however, this ikin be- 


gins to fwell, and to form a foft tumour, which contains a great 
deal of blood, and which begins to be covered with a downy 
fubftance, that has the feel of velvet, and appears nearly of the 
fame colour with the reft of the animal's hair. This tumour 
every day buds forward from the point, like the graft of a tree; 
and, rifmg by degrees from the head, moots out the antlers on 
cither fide, fo that, in a few days, in proportion as the animal is 
in condition, the whole head is completed. However, as was 
faid above, in the beginning, its confidence is very foft, and has 
a fort of bark, which is no more than a continuation of the 
integument of the fkull. It is velveted and downy, and every 
\vhere furnifhed with blood-vefTels, that fupply the growing 
horns with nourifhment. As they creep along the fides of true 
branches, the print is marked over the whole furface ; and the 
larger the blood-vefTels, the deeper thefe marks are found to 
be ; from hence arifes the inequality of the furface of the deer's 
horns ; which, as we fee, are furrowed all along the fides, the 


impreffions diminifiirng towards the point, where the fubftance 
is as fmooth and as folid as ivory. But it ought to be obferved, 
that this fubftance, of which the horns are compofed, begins 
to harden at the bottom, while the upper part remains foft, and 
ftill continues growing ; from whence it appears that the horns 
grow differently in deer from thofe of fheep or cows , in which 
they are always feen to increaie from the bottom. However, 
when the whole head has received its full growth, the extremi- 
ties then begin to acquire their folidity , the velvet covering, 
or bark, with its blood-veffels, dry up, and then begin to fall ; 
and this the animal haftens, by rubbing its antlers againft every 
tree it meets. In this manner, the whole external furface be- 
ing dripped off by degrees, at length the whole head acquires 
its complete hardnefs, expanfion, and beauty. 

It would be a vain tafk to enquire into the caufe of the ani- 
mal production of thefe horns ; it is fufficient to obferve, that 
if a flag be caftrated when its horns are fallen off, they will ne- 
ver grow again : and, on the contrary, if the fame operation is 
performed when they are on, they will never fall off. If only one 
of his teflicles are taken out, he will want the horn on that fide ; 
if one of the teflicles only be tied up, he will want the horn of 
the oppofite fide. The increafe of their provifion alfo tends to 
facilitate the growth and expanfion of the horns*, and mr.Buffon 
thinks it poffible to retard their growth entirely by greatly re- 
trenching their food*. As a proof of this, nothing can be more 
obvious than the difference between a flag bred in fertile paflures 
and undiflurbed by the hunter, and one often purfued, and ill- 
nourifhed. The fromer has his head expanded, his antlers nu- 
merous, and the branches thick : the latter has but few antlers, 
the traces of the blood veffels upon them are but flight, and the 
expanfion but little. Thebeauty and fize of their horns, therefore, 
mark their flrength and their vigour; fuchof them as are fickly, or 
have been wounded, never mooting out that magnificent profu- 
fion fo much admired in this animal. Thus, the horns may, in 
every refpedl, be refembled to a vegetable fubftance grafted up- 

* BufFon, vol. xi.p.ii3. 

D E E R K I N D. 59 

on the head of an animal. Like a vegetable, they grow from the 
extremities; like a vegetable, they are for a while covered with 
a bark that nourishes them ; like a vegetable, they have their 
annual production and decay : and a ftrong imagination might 
fuppofe that the leafy productions on which the animal feeds, 
go once more to vegetate in his horns.* 

The (lag is ufually a twelvemonth old before the horns be- 
gin to appear, and then a fmgle branch is all that is feen for 
the year enfuing. About the beginning of fpring, all of this 
kind are feen to fhed rheir horns, which fail offof themfelves , 
though fometimes the animal afiifts the efforts of nature by 
rubbing them againft a tree. It feldom happens that the branches 
on both fides fall off at the fame time, there often being two or 
three days between the dropping of the one and the other. 
The old flags ufually flied their horns firft ; wiiich generally 
happens towards the latter end of February, or the beginning 
of March. Thofe of the fecond head, namely, fuch as are be- 
tween five and fix years old, fhed their horns about the middle, 
or latter end of March ; thofe ftill younger, in the month of 
April j. and the youngeft of all, not till the middle, or the latter 
end of May ; they generally fhed them in pools of water, 
\\hitherthey retire from the heat \ and this has given rife to 
the opinion of their always hiding their horns. Thefe rules, 
though true in general, are yet fubjedt to many variations ; and 
. univerfally it is known that a fevere winter retards the {bed- 
ding of their horns. 

The horns of the ftag generally increafe in thicknefs and in 
heighth from the fecond year of its age to the eighth. In this ftate 
of perfection they continue during the vigour of life; but, as the 
animal grows old, the horns feel the imprefiions of age, and 
flirink like the reft of the body. No branch bears more than 
twenty or twenty-two antlers, even in the higheft ftate of vi- 
gour; and the number isfubjecl: to great variety; for it happens 
that the ftag at one year has either lefs or more than the year 

* Mr. BufFon has fuppofed fomething like this, 


preceding, in proportion to the goodnefs of his pafturc, or the 
continuance of his fecurity, as thefe animals feldom thrive 
when often rouzed by the hunters. The horns are alfo found 
to partake of the nature of the foil : in the more fertile paftures 
they are large and tender; on the contrary, in the barren foil, 
they are hard, ftunted, and brittle. 

As foon as the (tags have Hied their horns, they feparate from 
each other, and fcek the plainer parts of the country, remote 
from every other animal, which they are utterly unable to op- 
pofe. They then walk with their heads (looping down, to keep 
their horns from ftriking againft the branches of the trees 
above. In this ftate of imbecility, they continue near three 
months before their heads have acquired their full growth and 
folidity ; and then, by rubbing them againft the branches of 
every thicket, they at length clear them of the (kin which had 
contributed to their growth and nourifhment. It is faid by 
fome, that the horn takes the colour of the fap of the tree 
againft which it is rubbed ; and that fome thus become red, 
when rubbed againft the heath ; and others brown, by nuV 
bing againft the oak ; this, however, is a miftake, fmce flags 
kept in parks where there are no trees, have a variety in the 
colour of their horns, which can be afcribed to nothing but 

A fhort time after they have fumifhed their horns, they be- 
gin to feel the impreflions of the rut, or the defire of copulation. 
The old ones are the moft forward; and, about the end of Au- 
guft, or the beginning of September, they quit their thickets, and 
return to the mountain in order to feek the hind, to whom they 
call, with a loud tremulous note. At this time, their neck is 
fwoln ; they appear bold and furious ; fly from country to coun- 
try ; ftrike with their horns againft the trees and other obfta- 
cles, and continue reftlefs and fierce until they have found the 
female ; who at firft flies from them, but is at laft overtaken and 
compelled. When two flags contend for the fame female, 
how timorous foever they may appear at other times, they then 
feem agitated with an uncommon degree of ardour. 1 hey paw 
up the earth, menace each other with their horns, bellow with 


ill their force, and, ftriking in a defperate manner agairrft each 
other, feem determined upon death or victory. This- combat 
continues til] one of them is defeated or flies ; and k < 
happens that the victor is obliged to fight feverai of thoie bat- 
tles before it remains the undifputed matter of the held. Ths 
old ones are generally the conquerors upon thsfe occafions, as 
they have more ftrength and greater courage ; and theie alfo 
are preferred by the hind itfelf to the young ones, as the i 
are more feeble, and lefs ardent. However, they are all equally 
inconftant, keeping to the female but a few days, and then : 
ing out for another, not to be enjoyed, perhaps, without a re- 
petition of their former danger. 

In this manner, the flag continues to range from one to the 
other, for about three weeks, the time the rut continues ; dur- 
ing which he fcarce eats, fleeps, or refts, but continues to pur- 
fue, to combat, and to enjoy. At the end of this period of mad- 
nefs, for fuch in this animal it feems to be, the creature that 
was before fat, ' fleek, and glofly, becomes lean, feeble, and 
timid. He then retires from the herd to feek plenty and re- 
pofe ; he frequents the fide of the foreft, and choofes the mod 
nouriming paftures, remaining there till his itrengtii is renew- 
ed. Thus is his whole life pafled in the alternations of plenty 
and want, of corpulence and inanition, of health and ficknefs, 
without having his confliru'don much affected by the violence 
of the change. As he is above five years coming to per- 
fection, he lives about forty years ; and it is a general rule, 
that every animal lives about feven or eight times the number 
of years which it continues to grow. What, therefore, is repor- 
ted concerning the life of this animal, has arifcn from the credu- 
lity of ignorance : fome fay, that a (tag, having been taken in 
France, with a collar, on which were written thefe \vo~ds, 
" Cxfar hoc me donavit." This was interpreted of Julius 
Cacfar ; but it is not confidered that Cxfar is a general name 
for kings, and that one of the emperors of Germany, who are 
always (liled C^fars, might have ordered the infcription. 

This animal may differ in the term of his life, according to the 
goodnefs of his pasture, or the undifturbed repofe he happens 


to enjoy. Thefe are advantages that influence not only his age,, 
but his iize and his vigour. The flags of the plains, the val- 
lies, and the little hills, which abound in corn and pafture, are 
much more corpulent, and much taller than fuch as are bred 
on the rocky wafle, or the heathy mountain. The latter are. 
low, final], and meagre, incapable of going fo fwift as the for- 
" mer, although they are found to hold out much longer., They 
are alfo more artful in evading the hunters ; their horns are 
generally black and ftiort, while thofe of the lowland flags 
are reddifh and flourifliing ; fo that the animal feems to in- 
creafe in beauty and flature in proportion to the goodnefs of 
the paflure, which he enjoys in fecurity. 

The ufual colour of the Hag in England, was red ; neverthe- 
lefs, the greater number in other countries are brown. There 
are fome few that are white ; but thefe feem to have obtained 
this colour in a former ftate of clomeflic tamenefs. Of all the 
animals that are natives of this climate, there arc none that 
have fitch a beautiful eye as the flag : it is fparkling, foft, and 
fenfible. His fenfes of fmelling and hearing are in no lefs per- 
fection. When he is the Icail alarmed, he lifts the head, and 
ereds the ears, {landing for a few minutes as if in a liflening 
pofture. Whenever he ventures upon fome unknown ground, 
or quits his native covering, he firft flops at the fkirt of the 
plain to examine all around j he next turns again ft the wind to 
examine by the fmell if there be any enemy approaching. If a 
perfon fhould happen to whittle or call out, at a diilance, the 
{lag is fcen to flop fhort in his flow-mcafured pace, and gazes 
upon the flranger with a kind of aukward admiration : if the 
cunning animal perceives neither dogs nor fire-arms preparing 
againit him, He goes forward, quite unconcerned, and flowly 
proceeds, without offering to fly. Man is not the enemy he is 
moil afraid of; on the contrary, he feems to be delighted 
with the found of the fhepherd's pipe ; and the hunters 
fometimes make ufe of that inftrument to allure the poor ani- 
mal to his deflruction. 

The flag eats fiowly, and is very delicate in the choice of. 
his pailu-re. When he has eaten a fufHciency, he then retires, tc-- 


the covert of fome thicket to chew the cud in fecurity. His 
rumination, however, feems performed with much greater 
difficulty than with the cow or (heep -, for the grafs is not re- 
turned from the firil ftomach without much draining, and a 
kind of hiccup, which is eafily perceived during the whole time 
it continues. This mny proceed from the greater length of his 
neck, and the narrownefs of the pafftge, all thofe of the cow 
and the fheep kind having it much wider. 

This animal's voice is much flronger, louder, and more tre- 
mulous in proportion as he advances in age , in the time of 
rut it is even terrible. At that feafon, he feems fo tranfported 
with paflion, that nothing obftruch his fury, and, when at bay, 
he keeps the dogs off with great intrepidity. Some years ago, 
the duke of Cumberland caufed a tiger and a (lag to be enclof- 
ed in the fame area ; and the flag made fo bold a defence, that 
the tiger was at laft obliged to fly. The flag feldom drinks in 
the winter, and (till lefs in the fpring, while the plants are ten- 
der and covered over with dew. It is in the heat of fummer, 
and during the time of rut that he is feen conftantly fre- 
quenting the fide of rivers and lakes, as well to flake his thirft 
as to cool his ardour. He fwims with great eafe and ftrength, 
and beft at thofe times when he is fatteit, his fat keeping him 
buoyant, like oil upon the furface of the water. During the 
time of rut, he even ventures out to fea, and fwims from one 

ifland to another, although there may be fome leagues dif- 

tance between them. 

The cry of the hind, or female, is not fo loud as that of the 
male, and is never excited but by apprehenfion for herfelf or 
her young. It need fcarce be mentioned that fhejias no horns, 
or that ihe is more feeble and unfit for hunting than the male. 


When once they have conceived, they feparate from the males, 
and then they both herd together apart. The time of geftation 
continues between eight and nine months, and they generally 
produce but one at a time. Their ufual feafon for bringing forth 
is about the month of May, or the beginning of June, during 
which they take great care to hide their young in the molt ob- 
fcure thickets : nor is this precaution without reafon, fince al- 


moft every creature is then a formidable enemy. The eagle, 
the falcon, the ofprey, the wolf, the dog, and all the rapacious 
family of the cat kind, are in continual employment to find out 
her retreat. But, what is more unnatural Hill, the flag himfelf 
is a profefied enemy, and {he is obliged to ufe all her arts to con- 
ceal her young from him as from the moft dangerous of her pur- 
fuers. At this feafon, therefore, the courage of the male feems 
transferred to the female , fne defends her young againft her 
lefs formidable opponents by force ; and when purfued by the 
hunter, fhe ever offers herfelf to miilead him from the princi- 
pal object of her concern. She. flies before the hounds for half 
the day, and then returns to her young, whofe life fhe has thus 
preferved at the hazard of her own. The calf, for fo the young 
of this animal is called, never quits the dam during the whole 
furnmer ; and in winter, the hind, and all the males under a 
year old, keep together and aflemble in herds, which are more 
numerous in proportion as the feafon is more fevere. In the 
fpring they feparate ; the hinds to bring forth, while none but 
the year old remain together \ however, thefe animals are in 
general fond of herding and grazing in company ; it is danger 
or neceility alone that feparates them. 

The dangers they have to fear from other animals, are 
nothing when compared to thofe from man. The men of every 
age and nation have made the chace of the (tag one of their moft 
favourite purfuits ; and thofe who firft hunted from necef- 
fity have continued it for amufement. In our own country in 
particular, hunting was ever efteemed as one of the principal 
diverfions of the great*. At firft, indeed, the beads of chace had 
the whole ifland for their range, and knew no other limits than 
thofe of the ocean. 

The Roman jurifprudence, which was formed on the man- 
ners of the firft ages, eftablifhed it as a law, that as the natural 
right of things, which have no mafter, belongs to the firft pof- 
feflbr, wild beads, birds, and fifties, are the property of whofo- 
vcr could firft take them. But the northern barbarians, who, 

* Britifli Zoology. 


ver-ran the Roman empire>ringing with them the ftrongeft 
relifh for this amufement, and, being now pofleffcd of more eafy 
means of fubtiftence from the lands they had conquered, their 
chiefs and leaders began to appropriate the right of hunting, 
and inftcad of a natural right, to make it a royal one. When the 
Saxon kings, therefore, had eftablifhed themfelves into an hep- 
tarchy, the chaces were referved by each fovereign for his own- 
particular amufement. Hunting and war, in thofe uncivilized 
ages, were the only employment of the great. Their active, 
but uncultivated minds, were fufceptible of no pleafures but 
thole of a violent kind, fuch as gave exercife to their bodies, 
and prevented the uneafmefs of thinking. But as the Saxon kings 
only appropriated thofe lands to the bufmefs of the chace 
which were unoccupied before, fo no individuals received any 
injury. But it was otherwife when the Norman kings were fet- 
tled upon the throne. The paffion for hunting was then carried 
to an excefs, and every civil right was involved in general ruin* 
This ardour for hunting was ftronger than the confideration 
of religion even in a fuperftitious age. The village communi- 
ties, nay, even the mod facred edifices, were thrown down, 
and all turned into one vaft wafte, to make room for animals, 
the objects of a lawlefs tyrant's pleafure. Sanguinary laws were 
enacted to preferve the game ; and, in the reigns of William 
Rufus and Henry the firit, it was deemed lefs criminal to de- 
ftroy one of the human fpecies than a bead of chace. Thus it 
tcontinued while the Norman line rilled the throne j but when 
the Saxon line was reftored, under Henry the fecond, the rigour 
of the foreft laws were foftened. The barons alfo for a long time 
imitated the encroachments, as well as the amufements, of the 
monarch ; but when property became more equally divided, 
by the introduction of arts and induftry, thefe extenfive hunt- 
ing grounds became more limited ; and as tillage and hufban- 
dry increafed, the beads of chafe were obliged to give way 
to others more ufeful to the community. Thofe yaft tracts of 
land, before dedicated to hunting, were then contracted} and, 
in proportion as the ufeful arts gained ground, they protected 
and encouraged the labours of the induilrious, and 


the Kcentioufnefs of the fportfman. It is, therefore, among the 
fubjects of a defpotic government only, that thefe laws remain 
in full force, where large waftes lie uncultivated for the pur- 
pofes of hunting, where the hufbandman can find no protec- 
tion from the invafions of his lord, or the continual depreda- 
tions of thefe animals which he makes the objects of his plea- 

In the prefent cultivated ftate of this country, therefore, the 
ftag is unknown in its wild natural ftate ; and fuch of them 
as remain among us, are kept, under the name of red deer, 
in parks among the fallow deer. But they are become lefs 
common than formerly ; its exceffive vicioufnefs, during the 
rutting feafon, and the badnefs of its fleih, inducing moft peo- 
ple to part with the fpecies. The few that ftill remain wild, 
are to be found on the moors that border on Cornwall and De- 
vonfhire ; and in Ireland, on the moft of the large mountains 
of that country. 

In England, the hunting the ftag and the buck are performed 
in the fame manner ; the animal is driven from fome gentle- 
man's park, and then hunted through the open country. But 
thofe who purfue the wild animal, have a much higher object, 
as well as a greater variety in the chace. To let ioofe a crea- 
ture that was already in our pofleffion, in order to catch it again, 
is, in my opinion, but a poor purfuit, as the reward when ob- 
tained, is only what we before had given away. But to purfue 
an animal that owns no proprietor, and which he that firft 
feizes may be faid to poflefs, has fomething in it that feems at 
lead more rational ; this rewards the hunter for his toil, and 
fcems to repay his induftry. Befides, the fuperior ftrength and 
fwiftnefs of the wild animal prolongs the amufement ; it is 
pofleffcd of more various arts to efcape the hunter, and leads 
him to precipices where the danger ennobles the chace. In pur- 
fuing the animal let Ioofe from a park, as it is unufed to dan- 
ger, it is but little verfed in the ftratsgems of efcape j the hun- 
ter follows as fure of over coming, and feels none of thefe al- 
ternations of hope and fear, which arife from the uncertainty 
of fuccefs. But it is otherwife with the mountain ftag : having 


fpcnt his whole life in a ftate of continual apprehenfion , hav- 
ing frequently been followed, and as frequently efcaped, he 
knows every trick to miflead, to confound, or intimidate his 
purfuers; to ftimulate their ardour, and enhance their fuccefs. 

Thofe who hunt this animal, have their peculiar terms for 
the different objects of their purfuit. The profeflbrs in every 
art take a pleafure in thus employing a language known only 
to themfelves, and thus accumulate words, which, to the igno- 
rant, have the appearance of knowledge. In this manner, the 
flag is called, the firft year, a calf or hind calf; the fecond year, 
a knobber ; the third, a brock / the fourth, zjfaggard; the fifth, 
zjlags the fixth, a hart. The female is called a hind; the firft 
year {he is a calf; the fecond, a hearfe ; the third, a hind. This 
animal is faid to harbour in the place where he refides. When 
he cries, he is faid to bell ; the print of his hoof is called the 
Jlot ; his tail is called the Jingle ; his excrement the feiumet; 
his horns are called his head ; when fimple, the firft year, they 
are called broches ; the third year,fpears; the fourth year, that 
part which bears the antlers is called the beam, and the little 
impreiFions upon its furface, glitters ; thofe which rife from the 
cruft of the beam, are called pearls. The antlers alfo have dif- 
tincl names ; the firft that branches off is called the antler ; 
the fecond, the fur antler ; all the reft which grow afterwards, 
till you come to the top, which is called the crown, are called 
royal antlers. The little buds about the tops are called croches. 
The impreflion on the place where the ftag has lain, is called 
the layer. If it be in covert or a thicket, it is called his harbour. 
When a deer has patted into a thicket, leaving marks whereby 
his bulk may be guefTed, it is called an entry. When they caft 
their heads, they are faid to meiu. When they rub their headg 
againft trees, to bring off the peel of their horns, they are faid 
to fray. When a ftag hard hunted, takes to fwimming in the 
water, he is faid to go fail ; when he turns his head againft the 
hounds, he is faid to bay ; and w r hen the hounds purfue upon 
the fcent, until they have unharboured the ftag, they are faid 
to draw en the Jlot. 

Such are but a few of the may terms ufed by hunters in 


purfuing of the flag, mod of which are now laid afide, or in ufe 
only among game^keepers. The chace, however, is continued in 
many parts of the country where the red deer is preferved, 
and ftiH makes the amufement of fuch as have not found out 
rnore liberal entertainments. In thofe few places, where the 
jmimal is perfectly wild, the amufement, as we faid above, is 
fuperior. The firfh great care of the hunter, when he leads 
out his hounds to the mountain fide, where the deer are gene- 
rally known to harbour, is to make choice of a proper flag to 
purfue. His ambition is to unharbour the largeit and the bold- 
eft of the whole herd j and, for this purpofe, he examines the 
track, if there be any; which, if he finds long and large, he con- 
cludes, that it muft have belonged to a flag, and not a hind, 
the print of whofe foot is rounder, Thofe marks alfo which he 
leaves on trees, by the rubbing of his horns, mow his fize, and 
point him out as the proper object of purfuit. Now, to feek 
out a flag in his haunt, it is to be obferved., that he changes his 
manner of feeding every month. From the conclufion of rut- 
ting-time, which is November, he feeds in heaths and broomy 
places. In December they herd together, and withdraw into 
the ftrength of the foreils, to flicker themfeives from the fe- 
vere weather, feeding on holm, elder trees, and brambles. The 
three following months they leave herding, but keep four or 
five in a company, and venture out to the corners of the foreft, 
where they feed on winter paflure, fometimes making their 
incurfions into the neighbouring corn-fields, to feed upon the 
tender moots, juft as they peep above ground. In April and 
May, they reft in thickets and fhady places, and feldom ven~ 
ture forth, unlefs rouzed by approaching danger. In Septem- 
ber and October, their annual ardour returns ; and then they 
leave the thickets, boldly facing every danger, without any 
certain place for food or harbour. When, by a knowledge of 
thefe circumftances, the hunter has found out the refidence, 
and the quality of his game, his next care is to uncouple and 
c?.ft off his hounds in the purfuit : thefe no fooner perceive the 
timorous animal that flies before them, but they all together 
open in full cry, purfuing rather by the fcent than the view, en- 


couraging each r ih:r to continue the chace, and tracing the 
flying animal with the moPc amazing fagacity. The hunters al- 
fo are notlefs ardent in their fpeed on horfeback, cheering up 
the dogs, and direding them where to purfue. On the other 
hand, the flag, when unharboured, flies at firil with the fwifr- 
of the wind, leaving his purfuers fever al miles in the rear; 
and, at length, having gained his former coverts, longer 
hearing the cries of the dogs and men that he had juil left be- 
hind, he flops, gazes round him, and feems to recover his na- 
tural tranquiiity. But this calm is of fhort duration, for his in- 
veterate purfuers flowly and fecurely trace him along, and he 
once more hears the approaching deflruclionfrcm behind. He 
again, therefore, renews his efforts to efcape, and again leaves 
his purfuers at almoil the former diilance ; but this fecond ef- 
fort makes him more feeble than before, and when they come 
up a fecond time, he is unable to outftrip them with equal ve- 
locity. The poor animal now, therefore, is obliged to have re- 
courfe to all his little arts cf efcape, which fomerimes, though 
but feldorn, avail him. In proportion as his flrength fails him, 
the ardour of his purfuers is inflamed ; he tracks more heavily 
on the ground, and then increafmg the ftrength of the fcent, 
redoubles the cries of the hounds, and enforces their fpeed. 
It is then that the flag feeks for refuge among the herd, and 
tries every artifice to put off fome other head for his own. 
Sometimes he will fend forth fome little deer in his flead, in 
the mean time lying clofe himfelf, that the hounds may over- 
fhoot him. He will break into one thicket after another, to find 
deer, rouzing them, gathering them together, and endeavour- 
ing to put them upon the tracks he has made. His old compa- 
nions, however, with a true fpirit of ingratitude, now all for- 
fake and fhun him with the moil watchful induflry, leaving 
the unhappy creature to take his fate by himfelf. Thus a'oan- 
. :d of his fellows, he again tries other arts, by doubling and 
croiTmg in fome hard beaten highway, where the fcent is leafl 
perceivable. He now alfo runs againfl the wind, not only to 
cool himfelf, but the better to hear the voice, and judge of the 
diflance of his implacable purfuers. It is now eailly perceivable 
how forely he is prefled, by his manner of running, which, from 


the bounding eafy pace with which he began, is converted into 
a (lift and fhort manner of going ; his mouth alfo is black and 
dry, without foam on it ; his tongue hangs out ; and the tears, 
as fome fay, are feen ftarting from his eyes. His laft refuge, 
when every other method of fafety has failed him, is to take the 
water, and to attempt an efcape by crofting whatever lake or river 
he happens to approach. While fwimming, he takes all poflible 
care to keep in the middle of the dream, left, by touching the 
bough of a tree, or the herbage on the banks, he may give 
fcent to the hounds. He is alfo ever found to fwim ag ainft the 
ftream ; whence the huntfmen have made it into a kind of pro- 
verb, That he that -Mould his chace find, mnjl up with the river 
and down with the wind. On this occafion too, he will often 
cover himfelf under water, fo as to mow nothing but the tip 
of his nofe. Every refource, and every art being at length ex- 
haufted, the poor creature tries the laft remains of his ftrength, 
by boldly oppofing thofe enemies he cannot efcape; he, there- 
fore, faces the dogs and men, threatens with his horns, guards 
himfelf on every fide, and, for fome time, ftands at bay. In this 
manner, quite defperate, he furioufly aims at the firft dog or 
man that approaches ; and it often happens, that he does not 
die unrevenged. At that time, the more prudent, both of dogs 
and men, feem willing to avoid him, but the whole pack quick- 
ly coming up, he is foon furrounded and brought down, and 
the huntfman winds a treble mort, as it is called, with his horn, 

Such is the manner of purfuing this animal in England ; but 
every country has a peculiar method of its own, adapted either 
to the nature of the climate, or the face of the foil. The an- 
cient manner was very different from that pra&ifed at prefent; 
they ufed their dogs only to find out the game, but not to 
rouze it. Hence they were not curious as to the mufic of their 
hounds, or the compofition of their pack ; the dog that opened 
before he had difcovered his game, was held in no eftimation. 
It was their ufual manner filently to find out the animal's re- 
treat, and furround it with nets and engines, then to drive 
him up with all their cries, and thus force him into the toils 
which they had previoufly prepared. 


In fucceeding times the fafhion feemcd to alter ; and parti- 
cularly in Sicily, the manner of hunting was as follo\\ sj. The 
nobles and gentry being informed which way a herd of deer paf- 
ed, gave notice to one another, and appointed a day for hunting. 
For this purpofe, every one was to bring a crofs-bow or a long 
bow, and a bundle of ftaves, (hod with iron, the heads bored, 
with a cord palling thro' them all. Thus provided, they came 
to where the herd continued grazing, and cafting them- 
felves about in a large ring, furrounded the deer on every fide. 
Then each taking his ftand, unbound his faggot, fet up his 
ftake, and tied the end of the cord to that of his next neighbour, 
at the diftance of about ten feet one from the other. Between 
each of thefe (lakes was hung a bunch of crimfon feathers, and 
fo difpofed, that with the lead breath of wind, they would 
whirl round, and preferve a fort of fluttering motion. This 
done, the perfons who fet up the ftaves withdrew, and hid 
themielves in the neighbouring coverts: then the chief huntf- 
man, entering with his hounds within the lines, rouzed the 
game with a full cry. The deer, frighted, and flying on all fides, 
upon approaching the lines, were feared away by the fluttering 
of the feathers, and wandered about \\ ithin this artificial pa- 
ling, (till awed by the fhining and fluttering plumage that en- 
circled their retreat: the huntfman, however, ftill purfuing, 
and calling every perfon by name, as he pafled by their ftand, 
commanded him to moot the firft, third, or iixth, as he pleafed; 
and, if any of them miffed, or fmgled out another than that af- 
figned him, it was confidered as a moft fhameful mifchance. In 
this manner, however, the whole herd was at laft deftroyed ; 
and the day concluded with mirth and feafting. 

The flags of China are of a particular kind, for they are not 
taller than a common houfe dog ; and hunting them is one of 
the principal diverfions of the great. Their flefti, while young, is 
exceedingly good , but when they arrive at maturity, it begins 
to grow hard and tough - y however, the tongue, the muzzle, 
and the ears, are in particular efteem among tjbat luxurious 
people. Their manner of taking them is fingular enough; they 

\ Pier. Hieroglyph, lib. rii. cap. vi. 


carry \vltli them, the heads of fome of the females fluffed., and 
learn exacYly to imitate their cry ; upon this the male does not 
fail to appear, and looking on all fides, perceives the head, 
which is all that the hunter, \vho is hirnfelf concealed, difco- 
vers. Upon their nearer approach, the whole company rife; fur- 
round, and often take him alive. 

There are very few varieties in the red deer of this country *, 
and they are moilly found of the fame fize and colour. But it 
is otherwife in different parts of the world, where they are feen 
to differ in form, in fize, in horns, and in colour. 

The flag of Corfica is a very fmall animal, being not above 
half the fize of thofe common among us. His body is ihort and 
thick, his legs fhort, and his hair of a dark brown. 

There is in the forefls of Germany, a kind of flag named 
by the ancients the tragelaphus, and which the natives call the 
bran-deer, or the brown-deer. This is of a darker colour 
than the common flag, of a lighter fhade upon the belly, long 
hair upon the neck and throat, by which it appears bearded 
like the goat. 

There is alfo a very beautiful flag, which by fome is faid to 
be a native of Sardinia ; but others (among whom is mr. Buf- 
fon) are of opinion, that it comes from Africa or the Eafl-Indies 
He calls it the axis, after Pliny j and confiders it as making the 
(hade between the flag and the fallow deer. The horns of the 
axis are round, like thofe of the flag ; but the form of its body 
entirely refembles that of the buck, and the fize alfo is exactly 
the fame. The hair is of four colours ; namely, fallow, white, 
black, and grey. The white is predominant under the belly, 
on the infide of the thighs, and the legs. Along the back there 
are two rows of fpots in a right line ; but thofe on other parts 
of the body are very irregular. A white line runs along each 
fide of this animal, while the head and neck are grey. The 
tail is black above, and white beneath ; and the hair upon it 
is fix inches long. 

Although there are but few individuals of the deer kind, yet 
the race feems diffufed over all parts of the earth. The new 

DEER KIND. * 73 

continent of America, in which neither the (heep, the goat, 
nor the gazelle, have been originally bred, neverthelefs, pro- 
duces flags, and other animals of the deer kind, in fufficient 
plenty. The Mexicans have a breed of white ftags in their 
parks, which they call ftags royal *'. The ftags of Canada dif- 
fer from ours in nothing except the fize of the horns, which 
in them is greater ; and the direction of the antlers, which ra- 
ther turn back, than projet forward, as in thofe of Europe. 
The fame difference of llze that obtains among our ftags, is al- 
fo to be feen in that country ; and, as we are informed by 
Ruyfch, the Americans have brought them into the fame ftate 
of doineftic tamenefs that we have our fheep, goats, or black 
cattle. They fend them forth in the day-time to feed in the fo- 
refts $ and at night they return home with the herdfman, who 
guards them. The inhabitants have no other milk but what the 
hind produces , and ufe no other cheefe but what is made from 
thence. In this manner, we find, that an animal, which feems 
made only for man's amufement, may be eafily brought to fup- 
ply his neceflities. Nature has many (lores of happinefs and 
plenty in referve, which only want the call of induftry to be 
produced, and now remain as candidates for human appro- 


N O two animals can be more nearly allied than the ftag 
and the fallow deerf. Alike in form, alike in difpofition, in the 
tuperb furniture of their heads, in their fwiftnefs and timidi- 
ty , and yet no two animals keep more diftincl:, or avoid each 
other with more fixed animofity. They are never feen to herd 
in the fame place, they never engender together, or form a 
mixed breed ; and even in thofe countries where the ftag is 
common, the buck feems to be entirely a ftranger. In fhort, 
they both form diftintl families 5 which, though fo feemingly 

* BufFon, vol. xii. p. 35. J Buffon, vol. xii. p. 36, 



near, are flill remote; and, although with the fame habitudes, 
yet retain an unalterable averfion. 

The fallow deer, as they are much fmaller, fo they feem of 
a nature lefs robuft, and lefs favage, than thofe of the (Ing kind. 
Thefe are found but rarely wild in the forefls; they are, in ge- 
neral, bred up in parks, and kept for the purpofes of hunting, 
or of luxury, their flefh being preferred to that of any other 
animal. It need fcarce be mentioned, that the horns of the buck 
make its principal diflin6lion, being broad and palmated ; 
whereas thofe of the flag are in every part round. In the one, 
they are flatted and fpread like the palm of the hand ; in the 
other, they grow like a tree, every branch being of the {hape of 
the flem that bears it. The fallow deer alfo have the tail longer, 
and the hair lighter than the flag ; in other refpec~ls, they pret- 
ty near refemble one another. 

The head of the buck, as of all other animals of this kind, 
Is flied every year, and takes the ufual time for repairing. The 
only difference between it and the flag is, that this change hap- 
pens later in the buck j and its rutting-time, confequently, 
falls more into the winter. It is not found fo furious at this 
feafon as the former ; nor does it fo much exhaufl itfelf by the 
violence of its ardour. It does not quit its natural paflures in 
quefl of the female, nor does it attack other animals with in- 
difcriminate ferocity : however, the males combat for the fe- 
male, among each other ; and it is not without many contefls 
that one buck is feen to become mafler of the whole herd. 

It often happens alfo, that a herd of fallow deer is feen to 
divide into two parties, and engage each other with great ar- 
dour and obflinacy*. They both feem defirous of gaining feme 
favourite fpot of the park for pafture, and of driving the van- 
quifhed party into the coarfer and more difagreeable parts. Each 
of thefe factions has its particular chief; namely, the two oldeil 
and flrongeft of the herd. Thefe lead on to the engagement ; 
and the reft follow under their direction. Thefe combats are 
fingular enough, from the difpofition and conduct which feems 
to regulate their mutual efforts. They attack with order, and 

* Euffon, vol. iii. p. 36. 


fupport the afTault with courage ; they come to each other's 
affidance, they retire, they rally, and never give 'up the vic~lo- 
ry upon a (ingle defeat. The combat is renewed for feveral days 
together; until, at length, the mod feeble fide is obliged to give 
way. and is content to efcape to the moft difagreeable part of 
the park, where only they can find fafety and protection. 

The fallow deer is eafily tamed, and feeds upon many things 
which the flag refufes. By this means it preferves its venifon 
better, and even after rutting, it does not appear entirely ex- 
hauded. It continues almod in the fame (late through the whole 
year, although there are particular feafons when its flefh is 
chiefly in efleem. This animal alfo browzes clofer than the 
ftag ; for which reafon it is more prejudicial among young 
trees, which it often ftrips too clofe for recovery. The young 
deer eat much fafler and more greedily than the old ; they feek 
the female at their fecond year, and, like the (lag, are fond of 
variety. The doe goes with young above eight months, like the 
hind ; and commonly brings forth one at a time ; but they dif- 
fer in this, that the buck comes to perfection at three, and lives 
till fixteen ;. whereas the flag does not come to perfection till 
feven^and lives till forty. 

As this animal is a bead of chace, like the (lag, fo the hun- 
ters have invented a number of names relative to him. The 
buck is the firil year called *fa*wn ; the fecond, a pricket ; the 
third, iforel; the fourth, afore; the fifth, a buck of the firft head \ 
and the fixth, a great buck : The female is called a doe ; the firft 
year *fa<wn ,- and the fecond, a tegg. The manner of hunting 
the buck is pretty much the fame as that of (lag hunting, ex- 
cept that lefs (kill is required in the latter. The buck is more 
eafily rouz^d ; it is fufficient to judge by the view, and mark 
what grove or covert it enters, as it is not known to wander 
far from thence ; nor, like the (lag, to change his layer, or place 
of repofe. When hard hunted, it takes to fome (Irong hold or 
covert, with which it is acquainted, in the more gloomy parts 
of the wood,, or the deeps of the mountain ; not like the dag, 
flying far before the hounds, nor eroding nor doubling, nor 
ufing any of the fubtleties, which the dag is accudomed to^ 


It will take the water when forely prefled, but feldom a great 
river ; nor can it fwim fo long, nor fo fwiftly, as the former. 
In general, the ftrength, the cunning, and the courage of this 
animal, are inferior to thofe of the flag ; and, confequently, it 
affords neither fo long, fo various, nor fo obftinate a chace : 
befides, being lighter, and not tracking fo deeply, it leaves a 
lefs powerful and lafting fcent, and the dogs in the purfuit are 
more frequently at a fault. 

As the buck is a more delicate animal than the flag, fo alfo 
it is fubjeft to greater varieties*. We have in England two 
varieties of the fallow-deer, which are faid to be of foreign 
origin. The beautiful fpotted kind, which is fuppofed to have 
been brought from Bengal , and the very deep brown fort, 
that are now fo common in feveral parts of this kingdom. 
Thefe were introduced by king James the firft, from Norway : 
for having obferved their hardinefs, and that they could endure 
the winter, even in that fevere climate, without fodder, he 
brought over fome of them into Scotland, and difpofed of them 
among his chaces. Since that time, they have multiplied in 
many parts of the Britifh empire ; and England is now become 
more famous for its venifon, than any other country in the 
world. Whatever pains the French have taken to rival us in 
this particular, the flefh of their faliow-deer, of which they 
keep but a few, has neither the fatnefs nor the flavour of that 
fed upon Englim paflure. 

However, there is fcarce a country in Europe, except far 
to the northward, in which this animal is a flranger. The Spa- 
nim fallow-deer are as large as flags, but of a darker colour, 
and a more (lender neck ; their tails are longer than thofe of 
ours, they are black above, and white below. The Virginian 
deer are larger and ilronger than ours, with great necks, and 
their colour inclinable to grey. Other kinds have the hoofs of 
their hind legs marked outwardly with a white fpotj and their 
ears and tails much longer than the common. One of .thefe has 
been feen full of white fpots, with a black lilt down the middle 
of his back. In Guiana, a country of South-America, according 

* Eritifli Zoology. 


to Labat, there are deer without home, which are much lefs than 
thofe of Europe, but refembling them in every other particular^ 
They are very lively, light of courfe, and exceffively fearful ; 
their hair is of a reddifh fallow, their heads are fmall and lean, 
their ears little, their necks long and arched, the tail fliort, and 
the fight piercing. When purfued, they fly into places where 
no other animal can follow them. The Negroes, who purfue 
them, ftand to watch for them in narrow paths, which lead to 
the brook or meadow where they feed ; there waiting in the ut- 
moft filence ; for the flighteft found will drive them away: the 
Negroe, when he perceives the animal within reach, (hoots, and 
is happy if he can bring down his game. Their flefli, though 
feldom fat, is confidered as a great delicucy, and the hunter is 
well rewarded for his trouble. 


THE roe -buck is the fmaiieft of the deer kind, knovrn in 
our climat?,"and is now almoit extincl: among us, except in 
fome parts of the highlands of Scotland. It is generally about 
three feet long, and about two feet high. The horns are from 
eight to nine inches long, upright, round, and divided- into on- 
ly three branches. The body is covered with very long hair, 
well adapted to the rigour of its mountainous abode. The 
lower part of each hair is afli colour j near the ends is a narrow 
bar of black, and the points are yellow. The hairs on the face 
are black, tipped with am colour. The ears are long, their in- 
fides of a pale yellow, and covered with long hair. The fpaces 
bordering on the eyes and mouth are black. The cheft, belly, 
and legs, and the infide of the thighs, are of a yellowiih white - y 
the rump is of a pure white, and the tail very ihort. The make 
of this little animal is very elegant ; and its fwiftnefs equals its 
beauty. It differs from the fallow-deer, in having round horns, 
and not flatted like theirs. It differs from the (tag, in its (mai- 
ler fize, and the proportionable paucity of its antlers : and it 
differs from all of the goat kind, as it annually (heds its head, and 
obtains a new one, which none of that kind are ever feen to do. 

78 A N I M A L S O F T H E 

As the flag frequents the thickeft forefts, and the fides of the 
highefl mountains, the roe-buck, with humbler ambition, 
courts the fhady thicket, and the rifing flope. Although lefs in 
foe, and far inferior in ftrength to the flag, it is yet more beau- 
tiful, more active, and even more courageous. Its hair is al- 
ways fmooth, clean and gloffy ; and it frequents only the dri- 
ed places, and of the pureft air. Though but a very little ani- 
mal, as we have already obferved, yet, when its young is at- 
tacked, it faces even the ftaghimfelf, and often comes off vic- 
torious*. All its motions are elegant and eafy ; it bounds with- 
out effort, and continues the courfe with but little fatigue. It 
is alfo pofTefled of more cunning in avoiding the hunter, is 
more difficult to purfue, and, although its fcent is much ftron- 
ger than that of the ftag, it is more frequently found to make 
good a retreat. It is not with the roe-buck, as with the ftag, 
who never offers to ufe art until his ftrength is beginning to 
decline ; this more cunning animal, when it finds that its firft 
efforts to efcape are without fuccefs, returns upon its former 
track, again goes forward, and again returns, until, by its vari- 
ous windings, it ha's entirely confounded the fcent, and joined 
the laft emanations to thofe of its former courfe. It then, by a 
bound, goes to one fide, lies flat upon its belly, and permits the 
pack to pafs by very near, without offering to ftir. 

But the roe-buck differs not only from the ftag in fuperior 
cunning, but alfo in its natural appetites, its inclinations, and 
its whole habits of living. Inftead of herding together, thefe 
nnimals live in feparate families ; the fire, the dam, and the 
young ones, ailbciate together, and never admit a ftranger in- 
to their little community. All others of the deer kind are incon- 
ilant in their aftedlion; but the roe-buck never leaves its mate ; 
and, as they have been generally bred up together, from their 
firft fawning, they conceive fo ftrong an attachment, the male 
for the female, that they never after feparate. Their rutting- 
feafon continues but fifteen days; from the latter end of Oc- 
tober, to about the middle of November. They are not at that 
time, like the ftag, overloaded with fat ; they have not that 

* E'!i7on, vol. xii. p. 75. 


ftrong odour, which is perceived in all others of the deer kind; 
they have none of thofe furious excefles : nothing, in ftiort, 
that alters their (late : they only drive away their fawns upon 
thefe occafions ; the buck forcing them to retire, in order to 
make room for a fucceeding progeny ; however, when the co- 
pulating feafon is over, the fawns return to their does, and 
remain with them fome time longer ; after which, they quit 
them entirely, in order to begin an independent family of their 
own. The female goes with young but five months and a half; 
which alone ferves to diftinguifh this animal from all others of 
the deer kind, tha: continue pregnant more than eight. In 
this refpecr,, me rather approaches more nearly to the goat kind; 
from which, however, this race is feparated by the male's an- 
nual cafting its horns. 

When the female is ready to bring forth, (lie feeks a retreat 
in the thickeft part of the woods, being not lefs apprehenfive 
of the buck, from whom (he then feparates, than of the wolf, 
the wild cat, and almoft every ravenous animal of the foreft ; 
ihe generally produces two at a time, and three but very rare- 
ly. In about ten or twelve days, thefe are able to follow their 
dam, except in cafes of warm purfuit, when their ftrength is 
not equal to the fatigue. Upon fuch occafions, the tendernefs 
of the dam is very extraordinary ; leaving them in the d^epeft 
thickets, me offers herfelf to the danger, files before the hounds, 
and does all in her power to lead them from the retreat where 
ihe has lodged her little ones. Such animals as are nearly up- 
on her own level, (he boldly encounters ; attacks the flag, the 
wild cat, and even the wolf; and while fhe has life, continues 
her efforts to protect her young. Yet all her endeavours are 
often vain : about the month of May, which is her faw: 
time, there is a greater deftrucUon among thofe animals, 
at any other feafon of the year. Numbers of the fawn 
taken -alive by the peafants ; numbers are found out, and wor- 
ried by the dogs ; and (till more by the wolf, which has al- 
ways been their moil inveterate enemy. By thclc conii. 
depredations upon this beautiful creature, the roe-buck is . 
rv dnv becoming fcarcer: and the \vhc' .u:i- 


}\y worn out. They were once common in Eng- 
land; the huntfrnen, who charafterifed only fuch beafts as they 
knew, have given names to the different kinds and ages, as to 
the flag : thus they called it the firft year a kinds the fecond, a 
gyr/t; and the third, a kemufe ; but thefe names at prefent, are 
utterly ufelefs, fince the animal no longer exifts among us. 
Even in France, where it was once extremely common, it is 
now confined to a few provinces; and, it is probable, that in 
an asje or two, the whole breed will be utterly extirpated. Mr. 
Bu^Fon, indeed, obferves, that in thofe diftri&s where it is 
moflly found, it feems to maintain its ufual plenty, and that 
the balance between its deftruHon and increafe, is held pretty 
even ; however, the number, in geneal, is known to decreafe ; 
for, wherever cultivation takes place, the beafts of nature are 
known to retire. Many animals, that once flourifhed in the 
world, may now be extinct ; and the defcriptions of Ariftotle 
and Pliny, though taken from life, may be confidered as fa- 
bulous, as their archetypes are no longer exifling. 

The fawns continue to follow the deer eight or nine months 
in all; and upon feparating, their horns begin to appear, fim- 
ple and without antlers the firft year, as in thofe of the itag 
kind*. Thefe they fhed at the latter end of autumn, and renew 
during the winter ; differing in this from the flag, who iheds 
them in fpring and renews them in fummer. When the roe- 
buck's head is completely furnifhed, it rubs the horns againft 
trees in the manner of the flag, and thus drips them of the 
rough fkin and the blood-veflels, which no longer contribute 
to their nourifhment and growth. When thefe fall, and new 
ones begin to appear, the roe-buck does not retire, as the flag, 
to the covert of the wood, but continues its ufual haunts, only 
keeping down its head to avoid ftriking its horns againft the 
branches of trees, the pain of which it feems to feel with ex- 
quilite fenfibility. The ftag, who fheds his horns in fummer, 
is obliged to feek a retreat from the flies, that at that time 
greatly incommode him ; but the roe-buck, who fheds them 
in winter, ib under no fuch neceflity ; and, confequently, doe* 

* Buffon, vol. xii. p. 88. 


ttot feparate from its little family, but keeps with the female 
all the year rounclf. 

As the growth of the roe-buck, and its arrival at maturity^ 
is much fpeedier than that of the ftag, fo its life is propor- 
tionably Ihorter. It fcldom is found to extend above twelve 
or fifteen years ; and, if kept tame, it does not live above fix 
or fcven. It is an animal of a very delicate conftitution, re- 
quiring variety of food, air, and exercife. It muft be paired, 
with a female, and kept in a park of at leaft a hundred acres. 
They may eafily be fubdued, but never thoroughly tamed. 
No arts can teach them to be familiar with the feeder, much 
lefs attached to him. They dill preferve a part of their natu- 
ral wildnefs, and are fubjeft to terrors without a caufe. They 
fometimes, in attempting to efcape, ftrike themfelves with 
fuch force againft the walls of their inclofure, that they break 
their limbs, and become utterly difabled. Whatever care is 
taken to tame them, they are never entirely to be relied on, 
as they have capricious fits of fiercenefs, and fometimes ftrike 
at thofe they diflike with a degree of force that is very dan- 

The cry of the roe-buck is neither fo loud nor fo frequent 
as that of the ftag. The young ones have a particular manner 
of calling to the dam, which the hunters eafily imitate, and 
often thus allure the female to her deftru&ion. Upon fome 
occafions alfo they become in a manner intoxicated with their 
food, which, during the fpring, is faid to ferment in their fto- 
machs, and they are then very eafily taken. In fummcr they 
keep clofe under covert of the foreft, and feldom venture out, 
except in violent heats, to drink at fome river or fountain. In 
general, however, they are contented to flake their third with 
the dew that falls on the grafs and the leaves of trees, and 
feldom rifque their fafety to fatisfy their appetite. They de- 
light chiefly in hilly grounds, preferring the tender branches 
and buds of trees to corn, or other vegetables ; and it is uni- 
verfally allowed, that the flefh of thofe between one and two 

i Bufibn, vol. xii. p. 88. 



years old is the greateft delicacy that is known. Perhap& alfo, 
the fcarcenefs of it enhances its flavour. 

In America this animal is much more common than in Eu- 
rope. With us there are but two known varieties ; the red, 
which is the larger fort $ and the brown, with a fpot behind, 
which is lefs. But in the new continent the breed is extreme- 
ly numerous, and the varieties in equal proportion. In Loui- 
fiana, where they are extremely common, they are much lar- 
ger than in Europe, and the inhabitants live in a great mea- 
fure upon its fiefh, which taftes like mutton when well fatted. 
They are found alfo in Brafil, where they have the name cf 
eugacu apara, only differing from ours in fome flight devi- 
ations in the horns. This animal is alfo faid to be common 
in China ; although fuch as have defcribed it, feem to con- 
found it with the mufk-goat, which is of a quite different na- 


WE have hitherto been defcribing minute animals in com- 
parifon of the elk ; the flze of which, from concurrent tefti- 
mony, appears to be equal to that of the elephant itfelf. It is 
an animal rather of the buck than the flag kind, as its horns 
are flatted towards the top : but it is far beyond both in fta- 
ture, fome of them being known to be above ten feet high. 
It is a natiVe both of the old and new continent, being known 
in Europe under the name of the elk, and in America by that 
of the moofe-deer. It is fometrmes taken in the German and 
Ruflian forefts, although feldom appearing ; but it is extreme- 
ly common in North- America, where the natives purfue, and 
track it in the fnow. The accounts of this animal are extreme- 
ly various j fome defcribing it as being no higher than a horfe, 
and others about twelve feet high. 

As the ftature of this creature makes its chief peculiarity, 
fo it were to be wifhed that we could come to fome precifion 
upon that head. If we were to judge of its fize by the horns* 


which are fometimes fortuitoufly dug up in many parts of 
Ireland, we mould not be much amifs in afcribing them to an 
animal at lead ten feet high. One of thefe I have feen, which 
was ten feet nine inches from one tip to the other. From fuch 
dimenfions, it is eafy to perceive that it required an animal 
far beyond the fize of a horfe to fupport them. To bear a head 
with fuch extenfive and heavy antlers, required no fmall de- 
gree of ftrength ; and, without all doubt, the bulk of the body 
muft have been proportionable to the fize of the horns. I re- 
member, fome years ago, to have feen a fmall moofe-deer, 
which was brought from America, by a gentleman of Ire- 
land ; it was about the fize of a horfe, and the horns were 
very little larger than thofe of a common (lag : this, there- 
fore, ferves to prove, that the horns bear an exacl: proportion 
to the animal's fize ; the fmall elk has but fmall horns ; 
whereas, thofe enormous ones, which we have defcribed above, 
muft have belonged to a proportionable creature. In all the 
more noble animals, nature ob ferves a perfect fymmetry ; and 
it is not to be fuppofed me fails in this fmgle in fiance. We 
have no reafon, therefore, to doubt the accounts of Jocelyn 
and Dudley, who affirm, that they have been found fourteen 
fpans ; which, at nine inches to a fpan, makes the animal al- 
moft eleven feet high. Others have extended their accounts 
to twelve and fourteen feet, which makes this creature one of 
the moft formidable of the foreft. 

There is but very little difference between the European elk, 
and the American moofe-deer, as they are but varieties of the 
fame animal. It may be rather larger in America than with 
us ; as, in the foreft of that unpeopled country, it receives lefs 
difturbance than in our own. In all places, however, it is ti- 
morous and gentle ; content with its pafture, and never wil- 
ling to difturb any other animal, when fupplied itfelf. 

The European elk grows to above feven or eight feet high. In 
the year 1742, there was a female of this animal mown at Pa- 
ris, which was caught in a foreft of Red Ruffia, belonging to the 


Cham of Tartary*; it was then but young, ami its height was 
even at that time fix feet feven inches ; but the defcriber ob- 
ferves, that it has fince become much taller and thicker, fo 
that we may fuppofe this female at lead feven feet high. 
There have been no late opportunities of feeing the male 5 but, 
by the rule of proportion, we may eflimate his fize at eight or 
nine feet at the leaft, which is about twice as high as an ordi- 
nary horfe. The height, however, of the female, which was 
meafured, was but fix feet feven inches, Paris meafure ; or al- 
moft feven Englifh feet high : it was ten feet from the tip of 
the nofe to the infertion of the tail ; and eight feet round the 
body. The hair was very long and coarfe, like that of a wild 
boar. The ears refembled thofe of a mule, and were a foot 
and a half long. The upper jaw was longer by fix inches, than 
the lower ; and, like other ruminating animals, it had no 
teeth (cutting teeth I fuppofe the defcriber means.) It had a 
large beard under the throat, like a goat ; and in the middle 
of the forehead, between the horns, there was a bone as large 
us an egg. The noftrils were four inches long on each fide of 
the mouth. It made ufe of its fore feet, as a defence againfl 
its enemies. Thofe who fhowed it, aiTerted, that it ran with 
ailonilhing fwiftnefs ; that it fwarn alfo with equal expedi- 
tion, and was very fond of the water. They gave it thirty 
pounds of bread every day, befide hay, and it drank eight 
buckets of water. It was tame and familiar, and fubmiffive 
enough to its keeper. 

This defcription differs in many circumftances from that 
which we have of the moofe, or American elk, which the 
French call the original. Of thefe, there are two 'kinds, the 
common light grey moofe, which is not very large ; and the 
black moofe, which grows to an enormous height. Mr. Dud- 
ley obferves, that a doe or hind of the black moofe kind, of 
the fourth year, wanted but an inch of feven feet high. All, 
however, of both kinds, have fiat palmed horns, not unlike 
the fallow-deer, only that the palm is much larger, having 3 

* Bi&ionaire Raifonnee des Animaux. Au Nom. Ehn. 


ftiort trunk at the head, and then immedhtdy fpreading above 
a foot broad, with a kind of fmall antlers, like teeth, on one 
of the edges. In this particular, all of the elk kind agree ; 
as well the European elk, as the grey and the black moofe- 

The grey mdofe-deer is about the fize of a horfc -, and al- 
though it has large buttocks, its tail is not above an inch long. 
As in all of this kind the upper lip is much longer than the 
under, it is faid that they continue to go backward as they 
feed. Their nofcrils are fo large that a man may thru ft hi* 
hand in a confiderable way ; and their horns are as long as 
thofe of a ftag, but, as was obferved, much broader. 

The black moofe is the enormous animal mentioned above, 
from eight to twelve feet high. Jofleleyn, who is the nrft Eng- 
lifh writer that mentions it, fays, that it is a goodly creature, 
twelve feet high, with exceeding fair horns, that have broad 
palms, two fathoms from the top of one horn to another. He 
affures us, that it is a creature, or rather a monfter of fuper- 
fluity, and many times bigger than an Englim ox. This ac- 
count is confirmed by Dudley ; but he does not give fo s;reat 
an expanfion to the horns, meafuring them only thirty-one 
inches between one tip and the other : however, that fuch an 
extraordinary animal as Jofleleyn defcribes, has actually exif- 
ted, we can make no manner of doubt, fmce there are horns 
common enough to be feen among us, twelve feet from one 
tip to the other. 

Thefe animals delight in cold countries, feeding upon grafs 
in fummer, and the bark of trees in winter. When the whole 
country is deeply covered with fnow, the moofe-deer herd to- 
gether under the tall pine-trees, ftrip off the bark, and remain 
in that part of the foreft while it yields them fubfi Hence. It 
is at that time that the natives prepare to hunt them ; and 
particularly when the fun begins to melt the fnow by day, 
which is frozen again at night -, for then the icy crult which 
covers the furface of the fnow, is too weak to fupport fo great 
a bull;, and only retards the animal's motion. When the In- 


dians, therefore, perceive a herd of thefe at a diftance, they 
immediately prepare for their purfuit, which is not, as with 
us, the fporL of an hour, hut is attended with toil, difficulty 
and danger*. The timorous animal no fooner obferves its 
enemies approach, than it immediately endeavours to efcape, 
but finks at every flep. it takes. Still, however, it purfues its 
way through a thoufand obftacles : the fnow, which is ufually 
four feet deep, yields to its weight, and embarrafies its fpeed : 
the fharp ice wounds its feet ; and its lofty hornfc are entan- 
gled in the branches of the foreft, as it pafles along. The trees, 
however, are broken down with eafe ; and, wherever the moofe- 
deer runs, it is perceived by the fnapping off the brances of 
the trees, as thick as a man's thigh, with its horns. The chace 
lafts in this manner for the whole day ; and fometimes it has 
been known to continue for two, nay three days together ; 
for the purfuers are often not lefs excited by famine, than the 
purfued by fear. Their perfeverance, however, generally fuc~ 
ceeds ; and the Indian who firfl comes near enough, darts his 
lance, with .unerring aim, which (licks in the poor animal, 
and at firft increafes its efforts to efcape. In this manner the 
moofe trots heavily on, (for that is its ufual pace) till its pur- 
fuers once more come up, and repeat their blow : upon this, 
it again fummons up fufficient vigour to get a head ; but, at 
laft, quite tired, and fpent with lofs of blood, it finks, as the 
idefcriber expreffes it, like a ruined building, and makes the 
earth make beneath its fall. 

This animal, when killed, is a very valuable acquifition to 
the hunters. The flefh is very well tailed, and faid to be nou- 
ri fhing. The hide is ftrong, and fo thick that it has been often 
known to turn a mufltet-ball ; however, it is foft and pliable, 
and, when tanned, the leather is extremely light, yet very 
lading. The fur is a light grey in fome, and blackifh in others ; 
and, when viewed through a microfcope, appears fpongy like 
a bulrufh, and is fmaller at the roots and points than in the 
middle ; for this reafon, it lies very flat and frnooth, and, 
though beaten or abufed ever fo much, it always returns to 

* Phil. Tranf. vol. ii. p. 436. 


D E E R K I N D. 87 

its former ftate. The herns alfo are not lefs ufeful, being ap- 
plied to all the purpofes for which hartihorn is beneficial : 
thefe are different in different animals -, in fome they refem- 
ble entirely thofe of the European elk, which fpread into a 
broad palm, with fmall antlers on one of the edges , in others, 
they have a branched brow-antler between the bur and the 
palm, which the German elk has not j and in this they en- 
tirely agree with thofe whofe horns are fo frequently dug up 
in Ireland.! This animal is faid to be troubled with the epi- 
lepfy, as it is often found to fall down when purfued, and 
thus becomes an eafier prey ; for this reafon, an imaginary vir- 
tue has been afcribed to the hinder hoof, which' fome have 
fuppofed to be a fpecific againft all epileptic diforders. This, 
however, may be confidered as a vulgar error; as well as thit 
of its curing itfelf of this diforder by applying the hinder 
hoof behind the ear. After all, this animal is but very indif- 
ferently and confufedly defcribed by travellers ; each mixing 
his account with fomething falfe or trivial ; often miftaking 
fome other quadruped for the elk, and confounding its hif- 
tory. Thus fome have miftaken it for the rein-deer, which, 
in every thing but ftze, it greatly refembles ; fome have fup- 
pofed it to be the fame with the tapurette*, from which it 
entirely differs ; fome have defcribed it as the common red 
American (lag, which fcarcely differs from our own ; and, 
lailly, fome have confounded it with the bubalus, which is 
more properly a gazelle of Africaf . 


OF all animals of the deer kind, the rein-deer is the moil: 
extraordinary and the moft ufeful. It is a native of the icy 
regions of the north ; and though many attempts have been 
made to accuftom it to a more fouthern climate, it fhortly 
feels the influence of the change, and, in a few months, de- 
clines and dies. Nature feems to have fitted it entirely to an- 

* Condamine. f Dapper, Dcfcription de I'Afrique, p. 17. 


fwer the neceiTities of that hardy race of mankind that Yivt 
near the pole. As thefe would find it impoffible to fubfift 
among their barren, fnowy mountains, without its aid, fo this 
animal can live only there, where its afuftance is moft abfo- 
lutely neceflary. From it alone the natives of Lapland and 
Greenland fupply moft of their wants ; it^anfwers the purpo- 
fes of a horfe, to convey them and their feanty furniture from 
one mountain to another ; it anfwers the purpofes of a cow, 
in giving milk ; and it anfwers the purpofes of the fheep, in 
furnifhing them with a warm, tho' a homely kind of clothing. 
From this quadruped alone, therefore, they receive as many 
advantages as we derive from three of our moft ufeful crea- 
tures ; fo that Providence does not leave thefe poor outcafts 
entirely deftitute, but gives them a faithful domeftic, more 
patient and ferviceable than any other in nature. 

The rein-deer refembles the American elk in the fafhion of 
its horns. It is not eafy in words to defcribe thefe minute dif- 
ferences ; nor will the reader, perhaps, have a diftincl: idea of 
the fimilitude, when told that both have brow-antlers, very 
large, and hanging over their eyes, palmated towards the top, 
and bending forward like a bow. But here the fimilitude be- 
tween thefe two animals ends ; for, as the elk is much larger 
than the flag, fo the rein-deer is much fmaller. It is lower and 
ftronger built than the ftag ; its legs are fhorter and thicker, 
and its hoofs much broader than in that animal ; its hair is 
much thicker and warmer, its horns much larger in proportion, 
and branching forward over its eyes ; its ears are much larger; 
its pace is rather a trot than a bounding, and this it can conti- 
nue for a whole day ; its hoofs are cloven and moveable, fo 
that it fpreads them abroad as it goes, to prevent its finking 
in the fnow. When it proceeds on a journey, it lays its great 
horns on its back, while there are two branches which always 
hang over its forehead, and almoft cover its face. One thing 
feems peculiar to this animal and the elk ; which is, that as 
they move along, their hoofs are heard to crack with a pretty 
loud noife. This arifes from their manner of treading ; for, 
as they reft upon their cloven hoof, it fpreads on the ground. 


and the two divifions feparate from each other ; but when 
they lift it, the divifions clofe again, and ftrike againft each 
other with a crack. The female alfo of the rein-deer has horns 
as well as the male, by which the fpecies is diftingiumed'from 
ail other animals of the deer kind whatsoever. 

When the rein-deer firft fhed their coat of hair, they are 
brown; but, in proportion as fummer approaches, their hair 
begins to grow whitifh ; until, at laft, they are nearly grey*. 
They are, however, always black about the eyes. The neck 
has long hair, hanging down, and coarfer than upon any other 
part of the body. The feet, juft at the infertion of the hoof, 
are {unrounded with a ring of white. The hair in general 
ftands fo thick over the whole body, that if one fhould at- 
tempt to feparate it, the (kin will no \\here appear uncover- 
ed : whenever it falls alfo, it is not feen to drop from the root, 
as in other quadrupeds, but feems broken fhort near the bot- 
tom ; fo that the lower part of their hair is feen growing, while 
the upper falls away. 

The horns of the female are made like thofe of the male, 
except that they are fmaller and lefs branching. As in the reft 
of the deer kind, they fprout from the points ; and alfo in 
the beginning, are furnimed with a hairy cruft, which fup- 
ports the blood-veffels, of moil exquifite fenfibility. The rein- 
deer fhed their horns, after rutting-time, at the latter end of 
November ; and they are not completely furnimed again till 
towards autumn. The female always retains hers till (he brings 
forth, and then fheds them, about the beginning of Novem- 
ber. If (he be barren, however, which is not unfrequently the 
cafe, me does not med them till winter. The caftration cf 
the rein-deer does not prevent the fhedding of their horns : 
thofe which are the ftrongcft, cart them early in winter ; thofe 
which are more weakly, not fo foon. Thus, from all thefe 
circumftances, we fee how greatly this animal differs from 

* For the greateft part of this defcription of the rein-deer, I am obliged to 
ir. Hoffherg ; upon whofe authority, being a native of Svveden, and an ex- 
perienced naturalifl, we may confidently rely. 



the common {lag. The female of the rein-deer has horns, 
which the hind is never feen to have ; the rein-deer, when 
caftrated, renews its horns, which we are allured the flag 
Hever does : it differs not lefs in its habits and manner of 
living, being tame, fubmifiive, and patient ; while the flag is 
wild, capricious, and unmanageable. 

The rein-deer, as was faid, is naturally an inhabitant of 
the countries bordering on the arlic circle. It is not un- 
known to the natives of Siberia. The North- Americans alfo 
hunt it, under the name of the caribou. But in Lapland, this 
animal is converted to the utmoil advantage ; and fome herdf- 
men of that country are known to pofiefs above a thoufand 
in a (ingle herd. 

Lapland is divided into ttvo diflri6ls, the mountainous and 
the woody. The mountainous part of the country is at bell 
barren and bleak, exceffively cold, and uninhabitable dur- 
ing the winter ; Mill, however, it is the mofl defirable part of 
this frightful region and is moft thickly peopled during the 
fumrner. The natives generally refide on the declivity of the 
mountains, three or four cottages together, and lead a chear- 
ful and focial life. Upon the approach of winter, they are 
obliged to migrate into the plains below, each bringing down 
his whole herd, which often amounts to more than a thou- 
fand, and leading them where the pafture is in greateft plen- 
ty. The woody part of the country is much more defolate 
and hideous. The whole face of nature there prefents a fright- 
ful Icene of trees without fruits, and plains without verdure. 
As far as the eye can reach, nothing is to be feen, even in the 
rnidft of fummer, but barren fields, covered only with a mofs, 
almoft as white as fnow ; no grafs, no flowery landfcapes, only 
here and there a pine-tree, which may have efcaped the fre- 
quent conflagrations by which the natives burn down their 
forefts. But, what is very extraordinary, as the whole furface 
of the country is clothed in white, fo, on the contrary, the 
forefts feem to the lad degree dark and gloomy. While one 
kind of mofs makes the fields look as if they were covered 
with fnow, another kind blackens over all their trees, and even 


hides their verdure. This mofs, however, which deforms the 
country, ferves for its only fupport, as upon it alone the rein- 
deer can fubfift. The inhabitants, who, during the fummer, 
lived among the mountains, drive down their herds in winter, 
and people the plains and woods below. Such of the Lap- 
landers as inhabit the woods and the plains all the year round, 
live remote from each other, and having been ufed to folitude, 
are melancholy, ignorant, and helplefs. They are much poor-, 
er alfo than the mountaineers, for, while one of thofe is found 
to poflefs a thoufand rein-deer at a time, none of thefe are 
ever known to rear the tenth part of that number. The rein- 
deer makes the riches of this people ; and the cold moun- 
tainy parts of the country agree bed with its conftitution. It is 
for this reafon, therefore, that the mountains of Lapland are 
preferred to the woods ; and that imnv claim an exclufive 
right to the tops of hills, covered in almoft eternal fnow. 

As foon as the fummer begins to appear, the Laplander, who 
had fed his rein-deer upon the lower grounds, during the win- 
ter, then drives them up to the mountains, and leaves the 
woody country, and the low pafture, which at that feafon are 
truly deplorable. The gnats, bred by the fun's heat, in the 
rnarfhy bottoms, and the weedy lakes, with which the country 
abounds more than any other part of the world, are all upon 
the wing, and fill the whole air, like clouds of duft, in a dry 
windy day. The inhabitants, at that time, are obliged to daub 
their faces with pitch, mixed with milk, to fhield their (kins 
from their depredations. All places are then fo greatly infefted, 
that the poor natives can fcarce open their mouths without 
fear of fuffocation ; the infects enter, from their numbers and 
minutenefs, into the noftrils and the eyes, and do not leave the 
fufFerer a moment at his eafe. But they are chiefly enemies to 
the rein-deer : the horns of that animal being then in their 
tender ftate, and poflefTed of extreme fenfibility, a famiihed 
cloud of infects inftantly fettle upon them, and drive the poor 
animal almoft to diftracHon. In this extremity, there are but 
two remedies, to which the quadruped, as well as its mafter, 
are obliged to have recourfe. The one is, for both to take iheU 


ter near.their cottage, where a large fire of tree mofs is prepar- 
ed, which, filling the whole place with fmoke, keeps off the 
gnat, and thus, by one inconvenience, expels a greater , the 
other is, to afcend to the higheft fummit of the mountains, 
where the air is too thin, and the weather too cold, for the 
gnats to come. There the rein-deer are feen to continue the 
whole day, although without food, rather than to venture 
down to the lower parts, where they can have no defence 
againfh their unceafing perfecutors. 

Befides the gnat, there is alfo a gadfly, that, during the fum- 
mer feafon, is no lefs formidable to them. This infecl: is bred 
under their fkins, where the egg has been depofited the prece- 
ding fummer , and it is no fooner produced as a fly x than it 
again endeavours to depofite its eggs in fome place fimilar to 
that from whence it came. Whenever, therefore, it appears 
flying over a herd of rein-deer, it puts the whole body, how 
numerous foever, into motion ; they know their enemy, and 
do all they can, by tofling their horns, and running among 
each other, to terrify or avoid it. All their endeavours, how- 
ever, are too generally without effecl: ; the gadfly is feen to 
depofire its eggs, which, burrowing under the fkin, wound it 
in feveral places, and often brings on an incurable diforder. 

In the morning, therefore, as foon as the Lapland herdfman 
drives his deer to pafture, his greateft care is to keep them 
from fcaling the fummits of the mountains where there is no 
food, but where they go merely to be at eafe from the gnats and 
gadflies that are ever annoying them. At this time, there is a 
conteil between the dogs and the deer ; the one endeavouring 
to climb up againft the fide of a hill, and to gain thofe fummits 
that are covered in eternal fnows ; the other, forcing them 
down, by barking and threatening, and, in a manner, compel- 
ling them into the places where their food is in the greateft 
plenty. There the men and dogs confine them , guarding 
them with the utmoft precaution the whole day, and driving 
them home at the proper feafons for milking. 

The female brings forth in the middle of May, and gives 
milk till about the middle of October. Every morning and 
evening, during the fummer, the herdfman returns to the cot- 

DEER K I N D. *3 

tage with his deer to be milked, where the women previouily 
have kindled up a fmoky fire, which effectually drives off the 
gnats, and keeps the rein-deer quiet while milking, 
male furnifhes about a pint, which though thinner than that of 
the cow, isneverthelefs fwceter and more nouriihing. This done, 
the herdfman drives them back to pafture ; as he neither folds 
nor houfes them, neither provides for their fubfiitence during 
the winter, nor improves their pafture by cultivation. 

Upon the return of winter, when the gnats and flies are no 
longer to be feared, the Laplander defcends into the lower 
grounds ; and, as there are but few to difpute the poffeflion 
of that defolate country, he has an extenfive range to feed them 
in. Their chief and almoft their only food at that time, is the 
white mofs already mentioned ; which, from its being fed 
upon by this animal, obtains the name of the lichen rangiferlnus. 
This is of two kinds : the woody lichen, which covers almofl 
all the defert parts of the country like fnow ; the other is black, 
and covers the branches of the trees in very great quantities. 
However unpleafmg thefe may be to the fpeclator, the 'native 
efteems them as one of his choiceft benefits, and the mod 
indulgent gift of nature. While his fields are clothed 
with mofs, he envies neither the fertility nor the verdure of 
the more fouthern landfcape j drefled up warmly in his deer- 
fkin clothes, with fhoes and gloves of the fame materials, 
he drives his herds along the defert ; fearlefs and at e?.fe, ig- 
norant of any higher luxury than what their milk and frnoke- 
dried fiefh afford him. Hardened to the climate, he fleeps in 
the midft of ice ; or awaking, dozes away his time with to- 
bacco ; while his faithful dogs fupplv his pi. ice, and keep ths 
herd from wandering. The deer, in the mean time, with in- 
itin&s adapted to the foil, purfue their food, though covered 
in the deeped fnow. 1 hey turn it up with their nofes, like 
fv/me , and even though its furface be frozen and fliif, yet the 
hide is fo hardened in that part, that they eafily overcome the 
difficulty. It fometimes, however, happens, though but rarely, 
that the winter commences with rain, and a froft enfuing, 
covers the whole country with a glazed cruft of ice. Then, in- 
deed, both die rein-deer and the Laplander are undone ; they 


have no provifions laid up in cafe of accident, and the only 
refource is to cut down the large pine-trees, that are covered 
with mofs, which furnifhes but a fcanty fupply ; fo that the 
greateft part of the herd is then feen to perifh, without a pof- 
fibility of afliftance. It fometimes alfo happens, that even this 
fupply is wanting ; for the Laplander often burns down his 
woods, in order to improve and fertilize the foil which produ- 
ces the mofs, upon which he feeds his cattle. 

In this manner the paftoral life is ftiil continued near the; 
pole ; neither the coldnefs of the winter, nor the length of 
the nights, neither the wildnefs of the forell, nor the vagrant 
difpofition of the herd, interrupt the even tenour of the Lap- 
lander's life. By night and day he is feen attending his favou- 
rite cattle, and remains unaffected, in a feafon which would be 
fpeedy death to thofe bred up in a milder climate. He gives 
himfelf no uneafinefs to houfe his herds, or to provide a win- 
ter fubfiftence for them ; he is at the trouble neither of ma- 
nuring his grounds, nor bringing in his harvests ; he is not the 
hireling of another's luxury j all his labours are to obviate the 
neccffities of his own fituation ; and thefe he undergoes with 
cheerfulnefs, as he is fure to enjoy the fruits of his own induf- 
try. If, therefore, we compare ihe Laplander with the peafant 
of more fouthern climates, we mall have little reafon to pity 
his fituation ; the climate in which he lives is rather terrible to 
us than to him ; and, as for the reft, he is bleiTed with liberty, 
plenty, and eafe. The rein-deer alone fupplies him with all 
the wants of life, and fome of the conveniencies, ferving to- 
ihow how many advantages nature is capable of fupplying, 
when neceflity gives the call. Thus, the poor little helplefs 
native, who was originally, perhaps, driven by fear or famine 
into thofe inhofpitable climates, would feem, at firft view, to 
be the moft wretched of mankind ; but it is far otherwife ; he 
looks round among ths few wild animals that his barren 
country can maintain, and fingles out one from among them, 
and that of a kind which the reft of mankind have not thought 
worth taking from a ftate of nature ; this he cultivates, propa- 
gates, and multiplies; and from this alone derives every comfort 
that can foften the feverity of his fituation. 


The rein-deer of this country are of two kinds, the wild aiv* 
the tame. The wild are larger and ftronger, but more mifchiev- 
ous tian the others. Their breed, however, is preferred to 
that of the tame , and the female of the latter is often fent in- 
to the woods, from whence (he returns home impregnated by 
one of the wild kind. Thefe are fitter for drawing the fledge, 
to which the Laplander accuftoms them betimes, and yokes 
them to it by a ftrap, which goes round the neck, and comes 
down between their legs. The fledge is extremely light, and 
Ihod at the bottom, with the ikin of a young deer, the hair 
turned to flide on the frozen fnow. The perfon who fits on this, 
guides the animal with a cord, fattened raund the herns, and 
encourages it to proceed wich his voice, and drives it with a 
goad. Some of the wild breed, though by far the ftrongefr, are 
yet found refractory, and often turn upon their drivers ; who 
have then no other refource but to cover themfelves with their 
fledge, and let the animal vent its fury upon that. But it is 
etherwife with thofe that are tame : no creature can be more 
acYive, patient, and willing : when hard pufhed, they will trot 
nine or ten Swedim miles, or between fifty and fixty Engliih 
miles, at one ftretch. But, in fuch a cafe, the poor obedient 
creature fatigues itfelf to death ; and, if not prevented by the 
Laplander, v. ho kills it immediately, it will die a day or two 
after. In general, they can go about thirty miles without halt- 
ing, and this witnout any great or dangerous efforts. This, 
which is the only manner of travelling in that country, can be 
performed only in winter, when the fnow is glazed over with 
ice : and although it be a very fpeedy method of conveyance, 
yet it is inconvenient, dangerous, and troublefome. 

In order to make thefe animals more obedient, and more 
generally ferviceable, they caftrate them ; which operation the 
Laplanders perform with their tee& ; thefe become fooner fat 
when taken from labour ; and they are found to be ftronger in 
drawing the fledge. There is ufually one male left entire for 
every fix females ; thefe are in rut from the feaft of Sr. Mat- 
thew to about Michaelmas. At this time, their horns are tho- 
roughly burnimed, and their battles among each other are fierce 


obftinate. The females do not begin to breed till they ;u j e 
years old ; and then they continue regularly breeding every 
year till they are fuperannuated. They go \vith young above 
eight months, aud generally bring forth two at a time. The 
fondnefs of the dam for her young is very remarkable ; it often 
happens that when they are fepara ted from her, me will return 
from pafture, keep calling round the cottage for them, and 
will not defiftj until, dead or alive, they are brought and laid at 
her feet. They are at firfl of a light brov\ r n 5 but they become 
darker with age ; and, at lad, the old ones are of a brown almoil 
approaching to blacknefs. The young fellow the dam for two 
or three years ; but they do not acquire their full growth until 
four. They are then broke in, and managed for drawing the 
fledge ; and they continue ferviceable for four or live years lon- 
ger. They never live above fifteen or fixteen years ; and, when 
they arrive at the proper age, the Laplander generally kills 
them for the fake of their (kins and their flefh. This he per- 
forms by (biking them on the back of the neck, with his knife, 
into the fpinal marrow ; upon which they inflantly fall, and 
he then cuts the arteries that lead to the heart, and lets the 
blood difcharge itfelf into the cavity of the bread. 

There is fcarce any part of this animal that is not conver- 
ted to its peculiar ufes. As foon as it begins to j^row old, and 
fome time before the rut, it is killed, and the flefh dried in the 
air. It is alfo fometimes hardened with fmoke, and laid up for 
travelling provifion, when the natives migrate from one part of 
the country to another. During the winter, the rain-deer are 
flaughtered as fheep with us j and every four perfons in the fa- 
mily are allowed one rein-deer for their week's fubfiftence. In 
fpring, they fpare the herd as much as they can, and live upon 
frem fifli. In fummcr, the milk and curd of the rein-deer make 
their chief provifion ; and, in autumn^ they live wholly upon 
fowls, which they kill with a crofs-bow, or catch in fpringes. 
Nor is this fo fcanty an allowance ; fmce, at that time, the fea- 
fowls come in fuch abundance, that their ponds and fprings are 
covered over. Thefe are not fo fhy as with us, but yield them- 
felves an eafy prey. They are chiefly allured to thofe places by 
the fwarms cf gnats which inieft the country during fummer, 


and now repay die former inconveniencies, by inviting fuch 
numbers of birds, as fupply the natives with food a fourth part 
of the year, in great abundance. 

The milk, when newly taken, is warmed in a cauldron, and 
thickened with rennet, and then the curd is prefled into 
cheefes, which are little and well tailed. Thefe are never found 
to breed mites as the cheeie of other countries, probably 
becaufe the mite fly is not to be found in Lapland. The whey 
which remains is warmed up again, and becomes of a confii- 
tence as if thickened with the white of eggs. Upon this the 
Laplanders feed during the fummer j it is pleafant and well 
tafted, but not very nourishing. As to butter, they very fei- 
dom make any, becaufe the milk affords but a very fmall quan- 
tity, and this, both in tafte and confidence, is more nearly re- 
fembling to fuet. They never keep their milk till it turns four 
and do not drefs it into the variety of dilhes which the more 
fouthern countries are known to do. The only delicacy they 
make from it is with wood forrel, which being boiled up with 
it, and coagulating, the whole is put into cafks, or deer-fkins ; 
and kept under ground to be eaten in winter. 

The fkin is even a more valuable part of this animal than 
cither of the former. From that part of it which covered the 
head and feet, they make their ftrong fnow (hoes with the hair 
on the outfide. Of the other parts, they compofe their garments, 
which are extremely warm, and which cover them all over. 
The hair of thefe alfo is on the outfide ; and they fometimes 
line them within with the fur of the glutton, or fome other 
warm-furred animal of that climate. Thefe fkins alfo ferve 
them for beds. They fpread them on each fide of the fire, upon 
fome leaves of the dwarf birch-tree, and in this manner lie both 
foft and warm. Many garments, made of the (kin of the rain- 
deer, are fold every year to the inhabitants of the more fouthern 
parts of Europe ; and they are found fo ferviceable in keeping 
out the cold, that even people of the firffc rank are known to 
wear them. 

In fhort, no part of this animal is thrown away as ufelefs. 


The blood is preferved in fmall cafks, to make fauce with the 
marrow in fpring. The horns are fold to be converted into 
glue. The fmews are dried, and divided fo as to make the 
ftrongeft kind of fowing thread, not unlike catgut. The 
tongues, which are confidered as a great delicacy, are dried, 
and fold into the more fouthern provinces. The inteftines 
themfelves are wailied like our tripe, and in high efteem 
among the natives. Thus the Laplander finds all his neceffi- 
ties amply fupplied from this firtgle animal , and he who has 
a large herd of thefe animals, has no idea of higher luxury. 

But, although the rein-deer be a very hardy and vigorous 
animal, it is not without its difeafes. I have already mention- 
ed the pain it feels from the gnat, and the apprehenfions it 
is under from the gadfly. Its hide is often found pierced in 
a hundred places, like a fieve, from this in feel, and not a, 
few die in their third year, from this- very caufe. Their teats 
alfo are fubjecl to cracking, fo that blood comes inftead of 
milk. They fometimes take a loathing for their food ; and, 
inftead of eating, ftand flill, and chew the cud. They are alfo 
troubled with a vertigo, like the elk, and turn round often till 
they die. The Laplander judges of their flate by the manner 
of their turning. If they turn to the right, he judges their dif- 
order but flight ; if they turn to the left, he deems it incurable, 
The rein-deer are alfo fubjecl; to ulcers near the hoof, which 
unqualify them for travelling, or keeping with the herd. But 
the moft fatal diforder of all, is that which the natives call 
the fuddataka, which attacks this animal at all feafons of the 
year. The inftant it is feized with this difeafe, it begins to 
breathe with greater difficulty, its eyes begin to ftare, and 
its noftrils to expand. It acquires alfo an unufual degree of 
ferocity, and attacks all it meets indifcriminately. Still, how- 
ever, it continues to feed as if in health, but is not feen to 
chew the cud, and it lies down more frequently than before. 
In this manner it continues, every day confuming and grow- 
ing more lean, till at laft it dies from mere inanition ; and 
net one of thefe that are attacked with this diforder are ever 
found to recover. Notwithftaning, it is but very lately known in 


that part of the world ; although, during the Lift ten or fif- 
teen years, it has fpoiled whole provinces of this necefiary 
creature. It is contagious ; and the moment the Laplander 
perceives any of his herd infecled, he haftens to kill them 
immediately, before it fpreads any farther. When examined 
internally, there is a frothy fubftance found in the brain, and 
round the lungs: the inteftines are lax and flabby, and the 
fpleen is diminifhed almoft to nothing. The Laplander's only 
cure, in all thefe diforders, is to anoint the animal's back with 
tar ; if this does not fucceed, he confiders the difeafe as be- 
yond the power of art , and, with his natural phlegm, fub- 
mils to the feverities of fortune. 

Befides the internal maladies of this animal, there are fome 
external enemies which it has to fear. The bears now and: 
then make depredations upon the herd ; but, of all their per- 
fecutors, the creature called the glutton is the moft dange- 
rous and the moft fuccefsful. The war between thefe is car* 
ried on not lefs in Lapland than in North- America, where 
the rein-deer is called the caribou, and the glutton the car-, 
cajou. This animal, which is not above the fi2e of a badger, 
waits whole weeks together for its prey, hid in the branches 
of fome fpreading tree ; and when the wild rein-deer pafles 
underneath, it h.ftantly drops down upon it, fixing its teeth 
and claws into the neck, juft behind the horns. It is in vain, 
that the wounded animal then flies for protection, that it ruf- 
tles among the branches of the foreft, the glutton ft ill holds its - 
former poiltion ; and, although it often lofes a part of its 
fidn and flefh, which are rubbed off againft the trees, yet it 
ftill keeps fail, until its prey, drops with fatigue and lofs of 
blood. The deer has but one only method of efcape, which 
is by jumping into the water ; that element its enemy can- 
not endure ; for, as we are told, it quits its hold immediately, 
and then thinks only of providing for its own proper fecurity, 



Of Qiikdrupeds of the Hog Ki 

ANIMALS of the hog kind feem to unite in thcmfelves 
all thofe diftiriclions by which others are feparated. 
They refemble thofe of the horfe kind in the number of their 
teeth, which in all amount to forty-four, in the length of their 
head, and in having but a fingle ftomach. They refemble the 
cow kind in their cloven hoofs and the pofition of their in- 
terlines ; and they refemble thofe of the claw- footed kind in 
their appetite for flefh, in their not chewing the cud, and in 
their numerous progeny. Thus this fpecies ferves to fill up 
that chafm which is found between the carnivorous kinds and 
thofe that live upon grafs : being poileffed of the ravenous 
appetite of the one, and the inoffenfive nature of the other. 
We may confider them, therefore, as of a middle nature, 
which we can refer neither to the rapacious nor the peaceful 
kinds, and yet partaking fomewhat of the nature of both. 
Like the rapacious kinds, they are found to have fhort in- 
teftines ; their hoofs alfo, though cloven to the fight, will, 
upon anatomical infpeclion, appear to be fupplied with bones 
like beafts of prey ; and the number of their teats alfo in- 
creafe the fimilitude : on the other hand, in a natural ftate, 
they live upon vegetables, and feldom feek after animal food, 
except when urged by neceflity. They offend no other ani- 
mal of the foreft, at the fame time that they are furnifhed 
with arms to terrify the braved. 

The wild boar, which is the original of all the varieties 
we find in this creature, is by no means fo ftupid nor fo filthy 
an animal as that we have reduced to tamenefs ; he is much 
fmaller than the tame hog, and does not vary in his colour as 
thofe of the dorneftic kind do, but is always found of an iron 
rrey, inclining to black ; his fnout is much longer than that 
of the tame hog, and the ears are morter, rounder, and black j 

HOG KIND. 101 

of which colour are alfo the feet and the tail. He roots the 
ground in a different manner from the common hog ; for as 
this turns up the earth in little fpots here and there, fo the 
wild boar plows it up like a furrow, and does irreparable da- 
mage in the cultivated lands of the farmer. The tuflcs alfo of 
this animal are larger than in the tame-bred, fome of them 
being feen almoft a foot long*. Thefe, as is well known, grow 
from both the under and upper jaw, bend upwards circularly, 
and are exceeding fharp at the points. They differ from the 
tuflcs of the elephant in this, that they never fall ^ and it is 
remarkable of all the hog kind, that they never ihed their 
teeth as other animals are feen to do. The tufks of the lower 
jaw are always the mod to be dreaded, and are found to give 
very terrible wounds. 

The wild boar can properly be called neither a folitary nor 
a gregarious animal. The three firft years the whole litter 
follows the fow, and the family lives in a herd together. They 
are then called beafls of company, and unite their common 
forces againfl the invafions of the wolf, or the more formi- 
dable beafts of prey. Upon this their principal fafety while 
young depends, for, when attacked, they give each other mu- 
tual afliftance, calling to each other with a very loud and 
fierce note ; the ftrongeft face the danger ; they form a ring, 
and the weakeft fall into the centre. In this pofition, few ra- 
venous beafts dare venture to attack them, but purfue the 
chace where there is lefs refiftance and danger. However, 
when the wild boar is come to a (late of maturity, and when 
confcious of his own fuperior ftrength, he then walks the fo- 
reft alone, and fearlefs. At that time he dreads no fingle 
creature, nor does he turn out of his way even for man him- 
felf. He does not feek danger, and he does not much feem to 
avoid it. 

This animal is therefore feldom attacked, but at a difad- 
vantage, either by numbers, or when found fleeping by moon- 
light. The hunting the wild boar is one of the principal 

* Ikffcn, vol. ix. p. 147, 


amufcmenls of the nobility in thofe countries where it is to 
be found* The dogs provided for this fport are of the flow 
heavy kind. Thofe ufed for hunting the flag, or the roe-buck^ 
would be very improper, as they would too foon come up with 
their prey ; and, inftead of a chaee, would only furnifh out 
an engagement, A fmall raafliffis therefore chofen , nor are 
the hunters much mindful of the goodnefs of their nofe, as 
the wild boar leaves fo ftrong a fcent, that it is impoffible fox? 
them to miftake its courfc. They newer- hunt any but the lar* 
gefl and the oldeft, which are known by their tracks. When 
the boar is rear'-d* srs is the exprefiion of driving him from 
his covert, he goes Howly and uniformly forward, not. much 
afraid, nor very far before his purfuers. At the end of every 
half mile, or thereabouts, he turns round, {lops till the hounds, 
come up, and offers to attack them. Thefe, on the other hand, 
knowing their danger, keep, off, and bay him at a diftance. 
After they have for a while gazed upon each other, with mu- 
tual animofity, the boar again flowly goes on his courfe, and, 
the dogs renew their purfuit. In this manner the charge is fuk 
tained, and the chace continues till the boar is quite tired, and; 
refufes t;o go any farther. The dogs then attempt to clofe in, 
upon him from behind ; thofe which are young, fierce, and 
tinaccuftomed m'the chace, are generally the foremoft, and ; 
often lofe their Hv^s by their ardour. Thofe which are older 
and better trained, are content to wait until the hunters come 
up, who ftrike at him with their fpears, an<J, after feveral 
blows, difpatchordifable him. The inflant the animal is knV 
led, they cut off the tefticles which would otherwife give a 
taint to the flcih , and the buRtfmen celebrate the. victory 
with their horns. 

The hog, in a natural ftate, Is found to feed chiefly upon 
roots and vegetables ; it feldom attacks any other animal, be- 
ing content with fuch provifions as it procures without danger.. 
Whatever animal happens to die in the foreft, or is fo wound- 
ed that it can make no refiftance, becomes a prey to the hog, 
who feldom refufes animal food, how putrid foever, although 
it is never at the pains of taking or procuring it alive. For 

HOG KIND., 103 

this reafon, it fcems a glutton rather by accident than choice, 
content with vegetable food, and only devouring flefh when 
prefled by neceflity, and when it happens to offer. Indeed, 
if we behold the hog in its domeftic (late, it is the mod for- 
did and brutal animal in nature*. The aukwardnefs of its 
form feems to influence its appetites ; and all its fenfation* 
are as grofs as its fliapes are unfightly. It feems pofiefied only 
of an infatiable defire of eating ; and feems to make choice 
only of what other animals find the mod ofrenfive. But we 
ought to confider that the hog with us is in an unnatural 
ftate, and that it is in a manner compelled to feed in this 
filthy manner from wanting that proper nourifhment which 
it finds in the foreft. "When in a ftate of wildnefs, it is of all 
other quadrupeds the mod delicate in the choice of what ve- 
getables it (hall feed on, and rejects a greater number than 
sny of the reft. The cow, for inftance, a3 we are affured by- 
Linnaeus, eats two hundred and feventy-fix plants, and re- 
jects two hundred and eighteen -, the goat eats four hundred 
and forty-nine, and rejects a hundred and twenty-fix j the* 
flieepeats three hundred and eighty-feven, and rejects a hun- 
dred and forty-one ; the horfe eats two hundred and fixty- 
t\vo, and rejects two hundred and twelve ; but the hog, more 
nice in its provifion than any of the former, eats but feventy- 
two plants, and rejects a hundred and fevenry-one. The inde- 
licacy of this animal is, therefore, rather in our apprehenfions 
than in its nature ; fince we find it makes a very diftinguim- 
ing choice in the quality of its food ; and, if it does not re- 
ject animal putrefaction, it may becaufe it is abridged in that 
food which is mod wholefome and agreeable to it in a date 
of nature. This is certain, that its palate is not infenfible to 
the difference of eatables 5 for, where it finds variety, it will 
reject the word, \\ith as didinguifhing a tade as any other 
quadruped whatfoeverf . - In the orchards of peach-trees in 
North- America, where the hog has plenty of delicious food, 
it is obfervcd, that it will reject the fruit dial has lain but a 

Buffon, Tol. ix. p. 14> f Britifh Zoology, vol. i. p. 42. 


few hours on the ground, and continue on the watch whole 
hours together for a frefh windfall. 

However, the hog is naturally formed in a more imperfecl: 
manner than the other animals that we have rendered domef- 
tic around us, lefs active in its motions, lefs furnifhed with 
inftinft in knowing what to purfue or avoid. Without attach- 
ment, and incapable of inftruction, it continues, while it lives, 
an ufelefs, or rather a rapacious dependant. The coarfenefs 
of its hair, and the thicknefs of its hide, together with the 
thick coat of fat that lies immediately under the {kin, render 
It infenfible to blows, or rough ufage. Mice have been known 
to burrow in the back of thefe animals while fattening in 
the fty*, without their feeming to perceive it. Their other 
fenfes feern to be in tolerable perfection ; they fcent the 
hounds at a diftance ; and, as we have feen, they are not infen-* 
fible in the choice of their provisions.. 

The hog is 5 by nature, ftupid, inactive, and droufy ; if un- 
elifturbed, it would fleep half its time ; but it is frequently 
awaked by the calls of appetite, which, when it has fatisfied, 
it goes to reft again. Its whole life is thus a round of fleep 
and gluttony -, and if fupplied with fufficient food, it foon 
grows unfit even for its own exiftence ; its flefii becomes a 
greater load than its legs are able to fupport, and continues 
to : :ed lying down, or kneeling, a helplefs inftance of in- 
dulged fenfuality. The only time it feems to have paffions of 
a more active nature, are, when it is incited by venery, or 
when the wind blows with any vehemence. Upon this oc- 
cafion, it is fo agitated, as to run violently towards its fly, 
fcreaming horribly at the fame time, which feems to argue 
that it is naturally fond of a warm climate. It appears alfo to 
fore fee the approach of bad weather, bringing draw to its fty 
in its mouth, preparing a bed, and hiding itfelf from the im- 
pending ftorm. Nor is it lefs agitated when it hears any of 
its kind in diftrefs ; when a hog is caught in a gate, as is of- 
ten the cafe, or when it fuffers any of the ufual domeftic ope- 

* En (Ton. 

HOG KIND. 105 

rations of ringing or fpaying, all the reft are then feen to ga- 
ther round it, to lend their fruitlefs affiftance, and to fympa- 
thize wich its fufferings. They have often alfo been known to 
gather round a dog that had teazed them, and kill him upon 
the fpot. 

Mod of the difeafes of this animal arife from intempe- 
rance ; mealies, impoflhumes, and fcrophulous fwellings, 
are reckoned among the number. It is thought by fome, that 
they wallow in the mire to deflroy a fort of loufe or infecl: 
that is often found to infeft them ; however, they are gene- 
rally known to live, when fo permitted, to eighteen or twen- 
ty years ; and the females produce till the age of fifteen. As 
they produce from ten to twenty young at a litter, and that 
twice a year, we may eafily compute how numerous they 
would (hortly become, if not diminimed by human induftry. 
In the wild ftate they are lefs prolific ; and the fow of the 
woods brings forth but once a year, probably becaufe exhauf- 
ted by rearing up her former numerous progeny. 

It would be fuperfluous to dwell longer upon the nature 
and qualities of an animal too well known to need a defcrip- 
tion : there are few, even in cities who are unacquainted 
with its ufes, its appetites, and way of living. The arts of 
fattening, rearing, guarding, and managing hogs, fall more 
properly under the cognizance of the farmer than the natu- 
ralift , they make a branch of domeftic ceconomy, which, 
properly treated, may be extended to a great length : but the 
hiftory of nature ought always to end where that of art be- 
gins. It will be fuflkient, therefore, to obferve, that the wild 
boar was formerly a native of our country, as appears from 
the laws of Hoeldda*, the famous Weliri legiflator, who per- 
mitted his grand huntfman to chafe that animal from the mid- 
dle of November to the beginning of December. "William the 
Conqueror alfo pimiihed fuch as were convicted of killing 
the wild boar in his forefts, with the lofs of their eyes. At 
prefent, the whole wild breed is extinct j but no country 

* Britifh Zoology, vol. I. p. 44. 



makes greater life of the tame kinds, as their flefn, which bears 
fait better than that of any other animal, makes a principal 
part of the provisions of the Britim navy. 

As this animal is a native of almoft every country, there 
are feme varieties found in the fpecies. That which we call 
the Eart-India breed, is lower, lefs furnifhed with hair, is ufu- 
ally black, and has the belly almoft touching the ground , it 
is now common in England, to fatten more eafily than the or- 
dinary kinds, and to make better beacon. 

There is a remarkable variety of this animal about Upfal*, 
which is fmgle-hoofed, like the horfe ; but in no other refpect 
differing from the common kinds. The authority of Ariftotle, 
who firft made mention of this kind, has been often called into 
queftion ; fome have afferted, that fuch a quadruped never 
exifted, becaufe it happened not to fall within the fphere of 
their own confined obfervation ; however, at prefent, the ani- 
mal is too well known, to admit of any doubt concerning it. 
The hog, common in Guinea, -differs alfo in fome things from 
our own : though fhaped exactly as ours, it is of a reddifh co- 
lour, with long ears, which end in a {harp point, and a tail 
which hangs down to the pattern-, the whole body is covered 
with fhort red fhining hair, without any bridles, but pretty long 
near the tail. The flem is faid to be excellent, and they are ve- 
ry tame. 

All thefe, from their near refemblance to the hog, maybe con- 
fidered as of the fame fpecies; the Eait-India hog, we well 
know, breeds with the common kind ; whether the fame ob- 
tains between it, and thofe of Upfal and Guinea, we cannot 
directly affirm ; but where the external fimilitude is fo ftrong, 
we may be induced to believe, that the appetites and habits 
are the fame. It is true, we are told, that the Guinea breed 
will not mix with ours, but keep feparate, and herd only toge- 
ther ;, however, this is no proof of their diverfity, fmce every 
animal will prefer its own likenefs, in its mate ; and they will 
only then mix with another fort, when deprived of the fociety 
of their own. Thefe, therefore, we may confider as all of the 

* Amsenit Accad. vol. v. p. 465. 

HOG KIND. 107 

hog kind ; but there are other quadrupeds, that, in general, 
referable this fpecies, which, neverthelefs, are very diftm& from 
them. Travellers, indeed, from their general form, or from 
their habits and way of living, have been content to call thefe 
creatures hogs alfo: but upon a clofer infpecUon, their differ- 
ences are found to be fuch, as entirely to feparatc the kinds, 
and make each a diftindl animal by itfelf- 


THAT animal, which, of all others, moft refembles a hog, 
and yet is of a formation very diftintt, from it, is called the 
peccary, or tajacu. It is a native of America, and found there, 
in fuch numbers, that they are feen in herds of feveral hun- 
dreds together, grazing among the woods, and inofrenfive, ex- 
cept when offended. 

The peccary, at firft view, refembles a fmall hog ; the form 
of its body, the fhape of its head, the length of its fnout, and 
the form of its legs, are entirely alike: however, when we come 
to examine it nearer, the differences begin to appear. The bo- 
dy is not fo bulky, its legs not fo long; its briLles much thick- 
er and ilronger than thofe of the hog, refembiing rather, the 
quills of a porcupine, than hair ; inftead-of a tail, it has only 
a little fiefhy protuberance, which does not even cover its pof- 
teriors ; but, that which is ftill more extraordinary, and in 
which it differs from all other quadrupeds \vhatfoever, is, that 
it has got upon its back, a lump refembiing the navel in 
other animals, which is found to feparate a liquor of a very 
ftrong fmell. The peccary is the only creature that has thofe 
kind of glands which difcharge the mufky fubftance, on that 
part of its body. Some have them under the belly, and others 
under the tail ; but this creature, by a conformation peculiar 
to itfelf, has them on its back. This lump, or navel, is fituated 
on that part of the back, which is over the hinder legs; it is, in. 
general, fo covered with long briftles, that it cannot be feen, ex- 
cept they be drawn afide. A fmall fpace then appears, that. is* 


almofl bare, and only befec with a few {hort fine hairs. In the 
middle it rifes like a lump ; and in this there is an orifice, in- 
to which one may thrufl a common goofe quill. This hole or 
bag is not above an inch in depth : and round it, under the 
ikin, are fituated a number of fmall glands, which diftil a 
\vhitifh liquor, which, in colour and fubftance, refembles that 
obtained from the civet animal. Perhaps it was this analogy,, 
that led dr. Tyfon to fay, that it fmelt agreeably alfo, like that 
perfume. But this mr. Buffon abfolutely denies , affirming* 
that the fmell is at every time, and in every proportion, flrong 
and offenfive ; and to this I can add my own teftimony, if that 
able naturalift fhould want a voucher. 

But, to be more particular in the defcription of the other 
parts of this quadruped ;the colour of the body is grizly,. and 
befet with bridles, thicker and ftronger than thofe of a com- 
mon hog ; though not near fo thick as thofe of a porcupine, 
they refemble in this refpecl, that they are variegated with 
black and white rings. The belly is almoft bare; and the fhort 
bridles on the fides, gradually increafe in length, as they ap- 
proach the ridge of the back, where fome are five inches long. 
On the head alfo, between the ears, there is a large tuft of brrf- 
ties, that are chiefly black. The ears are about two inches and 
a half long, and (land upright ; and the eyes refemble thofe of 
a common hog, only they are frnaller. From the lower corner 
of the eye to the fnout., is ufually fix inches ; and the fnout it- 
felf is like that of a hog's, though it is but fmall. One fide 
of the lower lip is generally fmooth, by the rubbing of the tuflc 
of the upper jaw. The feet and hoofs are perfectly like thofe of 
a common hog ; but, as was already obferved, it has no tail. 
There are fome anatomical differences in its internal ftrulure, 
from that of the common hog. Dr. Tyfon was led to fuppofe, 
that it had three ftomachs-, whereas, the hog has but one: how- 
ever, in this he was deceived, as mr. Daubenton has plainly 
fhown, that the ftomach is only divided by two clofings, which 
gives it the appearance, as if divided into three; and there is no 
conformation that prevents the food in any part of it, from go- 
ing or returning to any other. 

H O G K I N D. 109 

The peccary may be tamed like the hog, and has pretty near- 
ly the fame habits and natural inclinations. It feeds upon the 
fame aliments ; its flefh, though drier and leaner than that of 
the hog, is pretty good eating ; it is improved by caflration ; 
and, when killed, not only the parts of generation muft be tak- 
en inflantly away, but aifo the navel on the back, with all the 
glands that contribute to its fupply. If this operation be defer, 
red for only half an hour, the fleih becomes utterly unfit to be 

The peccary is extremely numerous in all the parts of 
Southern America. They go in herds of two or three hundred 
together 5 and unite, like hogs, in each other's defence. They 
are particularly fierce when their young are attempted to be 
taken from them. They furround the plunderer, attack him 
without fear, and frequently make his life pay the forfeit of 
his raihnefs. When any of the natives are purfued by a herd in 
this manner, they frequently climb a tree to avoid them ; 
while the peccaries gather round the root, threaten with their 
tufks, and their rough bridles {landing erect, as in the hog 
kind, they afTume a very terrible appearance. In this manner 
they remain at the foot of the tree, for hours together ; while 
the hunter is obliged to wait patiently, and not without appre- 
henfions, until they think fit to retire. 

The peccary is rather fond of the mountainous parts of the 
country, than the lowlands ; it feems to delight neither in the 
marfhes nor the mud, like our hogs j it keeps among the woods, 
where it fubfifts upon wild fruits, roots, and vegetables , it is 
alfo an unceafing enemy to the lizard, the toad, and all the 
ferpent kinds, with which thefe uncultivated forefts abound. 
As foon as it perceives a ferpent, or a viper, it at once feizes it 
with its fore hoofs and teeth, Ikinsit in an inftant, and devours 
the flefh. This is often feen, and may, therefore, be readily 
credited : but as to its applying to a proper vegetable immedi- 
ately after, as an antidote to the poifon of the animal it had 
devoured, this part of the relation we may very well fufpect,. 
The flefh, neither of the toad or viper, as every one now knows, 
gre poifonousj and, therefore, there is no need of a remedy 


againfl their venom. Ray gives no credit to either part of the 
account; however, we can have noreafon to difbelievc that it 
feeds upon toads and ferpents ; it is only the making ufe of & 
vegetable antidote, that appears improbable, and which, per-, 
haps, had its rife in the ignorance and credulity of the natives. 

The peccary, like the hog, is very prolific ; the young ones, 
follow the dam, and do notfeparats till they have come to per- 
fection. If taken at firft, they are very eafily tamed, and iboa 
lofe all their natural ferocity ; however, they never {how any 1 
remarkable figns of docility, but continue ft up id and rude, 
without attachment, or even feeming to know the hand that 
feeds them. They only continue to do no mifchief ; and they 
may be permitted to run tame, without apprehending any dan- 
gerous confequences. They feldom dray far from home ; they 
return of themfelves to the fly, and do not quarrel among 
each other, except when they happen to be fed in common. 
At fuch times, they have an angry kind of growl, much ftron- 
ger and harfher than that of a hog; but they are feldom heard, 
to fcream as the former, only now and then, when frighted, or 
irritated, they have an abrupt angry manner of blowing like 
the boar. 

The peccary, though like the hog in fo many various refpecls,, 
is, neverthelefs, a very diftin& race, and will not mix, nor pro- 
duce an intermediate breed. The European hog has been tranf- 
planted into America, and fullered to run wild among the 
woods ; it is often feen to herd among a drove of peccaries, 
but never to. breed from them. They may, therefore, be con- 
fidered as two diftinct creatures; the hog is the larger, and. 
the moreufeful animal; the peccary, more feeble and local ; 
the hog fubfifts in moil parts of the world, and in aimed eve- 
ry climate ; the peccary is a native of the warmer regions, and 
cannot fubfitl in ours, without fhelter and afliftance. It is more 
than probable, however, that we could readily propagate the 
breed of this quadruped, and that, in two or three generations, 
it might be familiarized to our climate : but as it is inferior to 
the hog, in every rcfpet, fo it would be ncedlefs to admit a 
new domeftic, whofe fervices are better fupplied in the old. 

"Wild Boar 

Peccarv orMexicanHoi 



THERE are fome quadrupeds fo entirely different from 
any that we are acquinted with, that it is hard to find a v 

',-h to referable them. In this cafe, we 
muft be content to place them near fuch as they mod approach 
in form and habits, fo that the reader may at once have 
fome idea of I ure's fhape or difpofition, although, per- 

jonfufed o;;e. 

Upon that confufed idea, however, it will be ov 
to work : to , to greater precifion; to :. 

cut the differences of form, and thus give the cleared notions 
that words can eafily convey. The known animal is a hind of 
rude fltetch of the figure we want to exhibit; from which, by 
degrees, we faihion out the fhape of the creature we <.; 
mould be known ; as a ft:. \ begins his work, till 

the rude outline of the figure is given by fome other hand. 
In this manner, I have placed the capibara am . hog 

kind, merely becaufe it is more like a hog than any other 
animal commonly known, and yet, mere clofely examined, it 
will be found to differ in fome of the mod obvious particulars. 

The capibara refem'bles a hog of about two years old, in the 
fhnpe of its body, and the coarfenefs and colour of its hair. 
Like the hog, it has athick fhort neck,and a rounded bridlyb 
like the hog, it is fond of the water and marfhy places, brings 
forth many at a time, and, like it, feeds upon animal and ve- 
getable food. But, when examined more nearly, the differen- 
ces are many and obvious. The head is longer, the v 
are larger, and the fnout, indead of being rounded, as in the 
hog, is fplit, like that of a rabbit or hare, and furnifhed with 
thick ftrong whifkers; the mouth is not fo wide, the number 
and the form of the teeth is different, for it is without tufks : 
like the peccary, it wants a tail; and, unlike to all others o 
this kind, indead of a cloven hoof, it is in a manner web-foot- 
ed, and thus entirely fitted for fwimming and living in the 
water. The hoofs before are divided into four parts ; and 


thofe behind, into three ; between the divifions, there is a pro- 
longation of the ikin, fo that the foot, when fpread in fwim- 
ming, can beat a greater furface of water. 

As its feet are thus made for the water, fo it is feen to de- 
light entirely in that element : and fome naturalifts have cal- 
led it the water-hog, for that reafon. It is a native of South- 
America, and is chiefly feen frequenting the borders of lakes 
and rivers, like the otter. It feizes the fifh, upon which it 
preys, with its hoofs and teeth, and carries them to the edge 
of the lake, to devour them at its eafe. It lives alfo upon fruits, 
corn, and fugar-canes. As its feet are long and broad, it is of- 
ten feen fitting up, like a dog that is taught to beg. Its cry 
more nearly refembles the braying of an afs, than the grunting 
of a hog. It feldom goes out, except at night, and that always 
in company. It never ventures far from the fides of the river 
or the lake in which it preys ; for as it runs ill, becaufe of the 
length of its feet, and the fhortnefs of its legs, fo its only place 
of fafety is the water, into which it immediately plunges when 
purfued, and keeps fo long at the bottom, that the hunter can 
have no hopes of taking it there. The capibara, even in a flare 
of wildnefs, is of a gentle nature, and, when taken young, is 
cafily tamed. It comes and goes at command, and even mows 
an attachment to its keeper. Its fleth is faid to be fat and ten- 
der, but, from the nature of its food, it has a fifhy tafte, like 
that of all thofe which are bred in the water. Its head, howe- 
ver, is faid to be excellent ; and, in this, it refembles the bea- 
ver, whofe fore parts tafte like fiefh, and the hinder like the fifli 
it feeds on- 


THE babyrouefTa is flill more remote from the hog kind 
than the capibara ; and yet mod travellers who have defcribed 
this animal, do not fcruple to call it the hog of Borneo, which 
is an ifland in the Eaft-Indies, where it is principally to be 
found. Probably the animal's figure, upon the whole, inoft re- 


fcmblcs that of the hog kind, and may have induced them to 
rank it among the number : however, when they come to its 
defcription, they reprefent it as having neither the hair, the 
bridles, the head, the flature, nor the tail of a hog. Its legs, we 
are told, are longer, its fnout fhorter, its body more flender, 
and fo me what rcfembling that of a flag ; its hair is finer, of a 
grey colour, rather refembling wool than briftles, and its tail 
alfo tufted with the fame. From thefe varieties, therefore, it can 
fcarcely be called a hog 5 and yet, in this clafs, we muft be con- 
tent to rank it until its form and nature come to be better 
known. What \ve at prefent principally diftinguifh it by, are 
four enormous tufks, that grow out of each jaw ; the two lar- 
geft from the upper, and the two fmalleft from the under. 
The jaw-bones of this extraordinary animal, are found to be 
very thick and ftrong ; from whence thefe monftrous tufks are 
feen to proceed, that diftinguifh it from all other quadrupeds 
whatfoever. The two that go from the lower jaw, are not above 
a foot long, but thofe of the upper are above half a yard : as 
in the boar, they bend circularly, and the two lower fland in 
the jaw as they are feen to do in that animal ; but the two up- 
per rife from the upper jaw, rather like horns than teeth ; 
and, bending upwards and backwards, fometimes have their 
points directed to the animal's eyes, and are often fatal by 
growing into them. Were it not that the babyrouefla has two 
fuch large teeth underneath, we might eafily fuppofe the two 
upper to be horns ^ and, in fact, their fockets are directed up- 
wards ; for which reafon doctor Grew was of that opinion. 
But, as the teeth of both jaws are of the fame confidence, and 
as they both grow out of fockets in the fame manner, the ana- 
logy between both is too ftrong not to fuppofe them of the 
fame nature. The upper teeth, when they leave the focket, im- 
mediately pierce the upper lips of the animal, and grow as if 
they immediately went from its cheek. The tufks in both jaws 
are of a very fine ivory, fmoother and whiter than that of the 
elephant, but not fo hard or ferviceable. 

Thefe enormous tufks give this animal a very formidable ap- 
pearance ; and yet it is thought to be much lefs dangerous than 


the wild boar*. Like animals of the hog kind, they go together in 
a body, and are often feen in company with'the wild boar, with 
which, however, they are never known to engender. They have 
a very ilrong fcent, which difcovers them to the hounds j and, 
when purfued, they growl dreadfully, often turning back up- 
on the dogs, and wounding them with the tufks of the lower 
jaw, for thofe of the upper are rather an obftruction than a de- 
fence. They run much fwifter than the boar, and have a more 
cxquifite fcent, winding the men and the dogs at a great dif- 
tance. When hunted clofely, they generally plunge themfelves 
into the fea, where they fwim with great fwiftnefs and facili- 
ty, diving, and rifing again at pleafure; and, in this manner, 
they mod frequently efcape their purfuers. Although fierce 
and terrible, when offended, yet they are peaceable and harm- 
lefs when unmoleiled. They are eafily tamed, and their flefh is 
good to be eaten ; but it is faid to putrefy in a very fhort time. 
They have a way of repofmg themfelves different from mofl 
other animals of the larger kind ; which is by hitching one of 
their upper tufks on the branch of a tree, and then fuffering 
their whole body to fwing down at eafe. Thus fufpened by a 
tooth, they continue the whole night quite fecure, and out of 
the reach of fuch animals as hunt them for prey. 

The babyrouelfa, though by its teeth and tufks it feems fit- 
ted for a flate of hoftility, and probably is carnivorous, yet, ne- 
vcrthelefs, feems chiefly to live upon vegetables and the leaves 
of trees. It feldom feeks to break into gardens, like the 
boar, in order to pillage the more fucculent productions of hu- 
man induftry, but lives remote from mankind, content with 
coarfer fare and fecurity. It has been faid that it was only to 
be found in the illand of Borneo, but this is a miftake, as it 
is well known in many other parts, both of Afia and Africa, 
as at the Celebes, at Eilrila, Senegal, and MadagafcarJ. 

Such are the animals of the hog kind, which are not diftincl:- 
ly known j and even all thefe, as we fee, have been but imper- 
fectly examined, or defcribed. There are fome others, of which 

* Buflbn, vol. xxv. p. 1 79. 
I AndeiTou'a Natural Hiftory of Greenland. 

CAT" KIND. 115 

we have ftill more imperfect notices ; fuch as the warree, a 
hog of the ifthmus of Darien, defcribed by Wafer, with large 
tufks and fmall. ears, and briftles like a coarfe fur all over the 
body. This, hov/ever, may be the European hog, which Kas 
run wild in that part of the new world, as no other traveller 
has taken notice of the fame. The Canary boar feems quite 
different from other animals of this kind, by the largenefs of 
their tufks 5 and, as is judged from the fkeleton, by the aper- 
ture of its noitrils, and the number of its grinders. I cannot 
.conclude this account of thofe animals, that are thus furnifhed 
with enormous tulks, without obferving that there is a ftrong 
confent between thefe and the parts of generation. When 
caftrated, it is well known, that the tuiks grow much fmaller, 
and are fcarce feen to appear without the lips; but, what is ftill 
more remarkable, is, that in the boar, if the tufks by any acci- 
dent or defign be broke away, the animal abates of its fierce- 
nefs and venery, and it produces nearly the fame effecl: upon 
its conftitution as if caftration had actually taken place*. 


Animals of the Cat Kind. 

WE have hitherto been defcribing a clafs of peaceful and 
harmlefs animals, that ferve as the inftruments of 
man's happinefs, or at leafl that do not openly oppofe him. We 
come now to a bloody and unrelenting tribe, that difdain to 
own his power, and carry on unceafmg hoftilities againfl him. 
All the clafs of the cat kind are chiefly diftinguifhed by their 
flrarp and formidable claws, which they can hide and extend 
at pleafure. They lead a folitary, ravenous life, neither unit- 
ing for their mutual defence, like vegetable feeders, nor for 
their mutual fupport, like thofe of the dog kind. The whole 
uf this cruel and ferocious tribe feek their food alone ; and, ex- 

* Lille's Iiufl??.ndry, vol. ii. p. 329. 


cept at certain feafons, are even enemies to each other. The 
dog, the wolf, and the bear, are fometimes known to live upon 
vegetable or farinaceous food ; but all of the cat kind, fuch as 
the lion, the tiger, the leopard, and the ounce, devour no- 
thing but flefh, and flarve upon any other provifion. 

They are, in general, fierce, rapacious, fubtle and cruel, un- 
fit for fociety among each other, and incapable of adding to hu- 
man happinefs. However, it is probable, that even the fierceft 
could be rendered domeftic, if man thought the conqueft worth 
the trouble. Lions have been yoked to the chariots of conque- 
rors, and tigers have been taught to tend thofe herds, which 
they are known at prefent todeftroy; butthefe fervices are not 
fufficient to recompence for the trouble of their keeping ; fo 
that ceafmg to be ufeful, they continue to be noxious, and be- 
come rebellious fubjefts, becaufe not taken under equal pro- 
tection with the reft of the brute creation. 

Other tribes of animals are claffed with diiEculty ; having of- 
ten but few points of refemblance ; and, though alike in form, 
have different difpofitions, and different appetites. But all thofe 
of the cat kind, although differing in fize, or in colour, are yet 
nearly allied to each other ; being equally fierce, rapacious, and 
artful ; and he that has feeii one has feen all. In other crea- 
tures, there are many changes wrought by human affiduity; the 
dog, the hog, or the fhecp, are altered in their natures and 
forms juft as the neceflities or the caprice of mankind have 
found fitting ; but all of this kind are inflexible in their forms, 
and wear the print of their natural wildnefs flrong upon them. 
The dogs or cows vary in different countries, but lions or ti- 
gers are ftill found the fame ; the very colour is nearly alike in 
all ; and the flighted alterations are fufficient to make a differ- 
ence in the kinds, and to give the animal a different denomi- 

The cat kind arc not lefs remarkable fcr the fharpnefs and 
frrength of their claws, which are thruft forth from their 
ihcath when they feize their prey, than for the fhortnefs of 
their fnout, the roundnefs of the'r head, and die large whif- 

CAT KIND. 117 

kcrs which grow on the upper lip. Their teeth a! fo, whicb. 
amount to the number of thirty, are very formidable ; but are 
rather calculated for tearing their prey than for chewing it ; for 
this reafon they feed but flowly ; and while they eat, general- 
ly continue growling, to deter others from taking a (Lare. In 
the dog kind, the chief rfower lies in the under jaw, which is 
long, and furnifhed with mufcles of amazing ftrength ; but in 
thefe the greateil force lies in the claws, which are extended 
with great eafe, and their gripe is fo tenacious that nothing can 
open it. The hinder parts, in all thefe animals, are much wea- 
ker than thofe before ; and they feem lefs made for ftrength 
than agility. Nor are they endued with the fwiftnefs of moft 
other animals ; but generally owe their fubfiftence rather to 
catching their prey by furprize than by hunting it fairly down, 
They all feize it with a bound, at the fame time expre: 
their fierce pleafure with a roar ; and their firil grafp generally 
difables the captive from all further refiftance. With all thefe 
qualifications for {laughter, they neverthelefs feem timid and 
cowardly, and feldom make an attack, like thofe of the dog 
kind, at a difadvantage : on the contrary, they fly when the 
force againft them is fuperior, or even equal to their own ; and 
the lion himfelf will not venture to make a iccond attempt, 
where he has been once repulfed with fuccefs. For this reafon, 
in Countries that are tolerably inhabited., the iion is fo cowardly 
that he is often feared away by the cries of women and children. 

The cat, which is the fmallefl animal of this kind, is the only 
one that has been taken under human protection, and may be 
confidered as a faithlefs friend, brought to oppofe a Itill more- 
infidious enemy*. It is, in fact, the only animal of this tribe 
whofe fervices can more than recompence tne trouble of 
education, and whcfe itrength is not fuificient to make its an-. 
ger formidable. The lion or the tiger may eafily be tamed, 
rendered fubfervient to human command ; but even in their 
humbled, and moft familiar moments, they are ftiil dangerous ; 
iince their firengtl. , that the fma!left fit of an^er or ca- 

* This dcfcription is nearly translated from ^ir. Euubn; whati: 
me, b marked with inverted commas. 


price, may have dreadful confequences. But the cat, though ea- 
iily offended and often capricious in her refentments, is not en- 
cued with powers fufficient to do any great mifchief. Of all 
;-.nimals, when young, there is none more prettily playful than 
the kitten ; but it feems to lofe this difpofition as it grows old, 
and the innate treachery of its kind is then f en to prevail. From 
being naturally ravenous, education teaches it to difguife its 
appetites, and to watch the favourable moment of plunder ; 
fupple, infmuating, and artful, it has learned the arts of con- 
cealing its intentions till it can put them into execution ^ when 
the opportunity offers, it at once feizes upon whatever it finds, 
fiies off with it, and continues at a diflance till it fuppofes its 
offence forgotten. The cat has only the appearance of attach- 
ment j and itmayeafilybeperceived, by itslimidapproaches,and 
fide-long looks, that it either dreads its matter, or diftrufts his 
kindnefs : different from the dog, whofe careffes are fincere, 
the cat is affiduous rather for its own pleafure, than to pleafe ; 
and often gains confidence, only to abufe it. The form of its 
body and its temperament, correfpond with its difpofition j ac- 
tive, cleanly, delicate, and voluptuous, it loves its eafe, and 
feeks the fofteft cuihions to lie on. " Many of its habits, how- 
ever, are rather the confequences of its formation, than the re- 
fult of any pcrverfenefs in its difpofition ; it is timid and mif- 
truftful, becaufe its body is weak, and its ikin tender ; a blow 
hurts it infinitely more than it does a dog, whofe hide is thick 
and body mufcular , the long fur in which the cat is clothed, 
entirely difguifes its fhape, which, if feen naked, is long, fee- 
ble, and fiender j it is not to be wondered, therefore, that it 
appears much more fearful of chaftifement than the dog, and 
often fxies, even when no correction is intended. Being alfo 
the native of the warmer climates, as will be fhown hereafter, 
it choofes the fofteft bed to lie on, which is always the war- 

The cat goes with young fifty-fix days, and feldom brings 
forth above five or fix at a time. The female ufually hides the 
place of her retreat from the male, who is often found to de- 
i her kittens. She feeds them for fome weeks with her 

CAT KIND. in; 

milk, and whatever fmall animals flie can take by furprize, ac- 
cuftoming them betimes to repine. Before they are a year old, 
they are fit to engender j the female feeks the male with cries ; 
nor is their copulation performed without great pain, from the 
narrownefs cf the paflage in the female. They live to about 
the age of ten years ; and, during that period, they are 
tremely vivacious, fuffering to be worried a long time before 
they die. 

The young kittens are very playful arid amufing j but their 
fport foon turns into malice, and they, from the beginning, 
(how a difpofition to cruelty ; they often look wiihfuHy toward* 
the cage, fit centineis at the. mouth of a moufe-hole, and, in a. 
ihort time, become more expert hunters, than if they had re- 
ceived the inftrucKons of art. Indeed, their difpofition is fo 
incapable of conftraint, that all inftrucUon would be but thrown 
away. It is true, that we are told of the Greek monks of the 
iile of Cyprus, teaching cats to hunt the ferpents with which 
the iiland is infefted ; but this may be natural to the animal it- 
felf, and they might have fallen upon fuch a purfuit without 
any inftruction. Whatever animal is much weaker than them- 
felves, is to them an indifcriminate object of deftruclion. E 
young rabbits, hares, rats and mice, bats, moles, toads and 
frogs, are all equally purfued ; though not perhaps equally ac- 
ceptable. The moufe feems to be their favourite game ; and, 
although the cat has the fenfe of fmelling in but a mean dc 
it neverthelefs, knows thofe holes in which its prey relides. I 
have feen one of them patiently watch a whole day until the 
moufe appeared, and continue quite motionlefs until it c 
within reach, and then feized it with a jump. Of all the mark; 
by which the cat discovers its natural malignity, that of playing 
and fporting with its little captive before killing it outrig! 
the mod flagrant. 

The fixed inclination which they difcover for this peculiar 
manner of purfuit, arifes from the conformation of their cye j > 
The pupil in man, and in moil other animals, is capabl. 
cf a fmall degree of contraction and dilatation, it enlarges a lit- 
tle in the dark, and contracts when ths light pours in upon it, 


in too great quantities. In the eyes of cats, however, this con- 
traction and dilatation of the pupil, is fo confiderable, that the 
pupil, which by day-light appears nrarow and fmall, like the 
black of one's nail, by night expands over the whole furface of 
the eye-ball, and, as every one mult have feen, their eyes feem 
on fire. By this peculiar conformations, their eyes fee better in 
darknefs than light ; and the animal is thus better adapted for 
fpying out and furprizing its prey. 

Although the cat is an inhabitant of our houfes, yet it cannot 
properly be called a dependant , although perfectly tame, yet 
it acknowledges no obedience ; on the contrary, it does only 
juft what it thinks fit, and no art can controul any of its incli- 
nations. In general, it is but half tamed ; and has its attach- 
ments rather to the place in which it refides, than to the inhabi- 
tant. If the inhabitant quits the houfe, the cat (till remains ; 
and, if carried elfewhere, feems for a while bewildered with its 
new fituation. It muft take time to become acquainted with 
the holes and retreats in which its prey refides, with all the lit- 
tle labyrinths through which they often make good an efcape. 

The cat is particularly fearful of water, of cold, and of ill 
fmells. It loves to keep in the fun, to get near the fire, and to 
rub itfelf againft thofe who carry perfumes. It is exceflively 
fond of fome plants, fuch as valerian, marum, and cat-mint : 
againft thefe it rubs, fmells them at a diflance, and, at laft, if 
they be planted in a garden, wears them out. 

This animal eats ilowly, and with difficulty, as its teeth are 
rather made for tearing, than chewing its aliments. For this 
reafon, it loves the mod tender-food, particularly fifh, which 
it eats as well boiled as raw. Its fleeping is very light ; and it 
often feems to flcep, the better to deceive its prey. When the 
cat walks, it treads very foftly, and without the lead noife ; and 
as to the neceflities of nature, it is cleanly to the laft degree. 
Its fur alfo is ufually fleek and glofly ; and, for this reafon, the 
hair is cafily electrified, fending forth mining fparks, if rubbed 
in the dark. 

CAT KIND, 121 

'** The wild cat breeds with the tame* ; and therefore, the 
latter may be ccnfidered only as a variety of the former : how- 
ever, they differ in fome particulars ; the cat, in its favage 
ftate, is fomewhat larger than the houfe-cat ; and its fur being 
longer, gives it a greater appearance than it really has ; its 
head is bigger, and face flatter ; the teeth and claws much 
more formidable ; its mufcles very ftrong, the tail is of a mo- 
derate length, but very thick and flat, marked with alternate 
bars of black and white, the end always black ; the hips and 
hind part of the lower joints of the kg are always black j the fur 
:ry foft and fine ; the general colour of thefe animals, in 
England, is a yellowim white mixed with a deep grey. Thefe 
colours, though they appear at firlt fight confufedly blended 
together, yet, on a clofe infpeclion., will be found to be dif- 
pofed like the ftreaks on the fkin of the tiger, pointing from 
the back downwards, riling from the black lift, that runs from 
the head, along the middle of the back, to the tail. This ani- 
mal is found in our larger woods ; and is the moft deftruc- 
tive of the carnivorous kinds in this kingdom. It inhabits 
the moft mountainous and woody parts of thefe iflands, living 
moftly in trees, and feeding only by night. It often happens, 
that the females of the tame fcind go into the woods to feek 
mates among the wild ones. It mould feem, that thefe, how- 
ever, are not original inhabitants of this kingdom, but were 
introduced firft in a domeftic flate, and afterwards became 
\vild in the woods, by ill ufage or neglect. Certain it is, the 
cat was an animal much higher in efteem among our ancef- 
tors than it is at prefent. By the laws of Howel, the price of 
a kitten, before it could fee, was to be a penny ; till it caught 
a moufe, two-pence ; and, when it commenced moufer, four- 
pence ; it was required, befides, that it mould be perfed in its 
fenfes of hearing and feeing, be a good moufer, hare the claws 
whole, and be a good nurfe. If it failed in any of thefe qua- 
lities, the feller was to forfeit to the buyer the third part of 
its value. If any one ftole or killed the cat that guarded the 
prince's granary, he was to forfeit a milch ewe, its fleece and 

* Eritifli Zoology. 



lamb, or as much wheat as, when poured on the cat, fufpended 
by the tail (the head touching the floor) would form a heap 
high enough to cover the tip of the former. From hence we 
difcover, befides a piture of the fimplicity of the times, a 
ftrong argument that cats were not naturally bred in our fo- 
refts. An animal that could be fo eafily taken, could never 
have been rated fo highly 5 and the precautions laid down to 
improve the breed, would have been fuperftuous, in a crea- 
ture that multiplies to fuch an amazing degree. 

" In our climate, we know but of one variety of the wild 
cat ; and, from the accounts of travellers, we learn that there 
are but very few differences in this quadruped in all parts 
of the world. The greatefl difference, indeed, between the 
wild and the tame eat, is rather to be found internally than 
in their outward form. Of all other quadrupeds, the wild cat 
is, perhaps, that whofe inteftines are proportionably the fmal- 
lefl and the fhorteft. The inteftines of the fheep, for inftance, 
unravelled out, and meafured according to their length, will 
be found to be above thirty times the length of its body ; 
whereas, the wild cat's inteftines, being meafured out, will not 
be found above three times the length of its body. This is a 
furprizing difference ; but we may account for it, from the 
nature of the food in the two animals ; the one living upon 
vegetables, which requires a longer, and a more tedious prepa- 
ration, before they can become a part of its body ; the other, 
living upon flefh, which requires very little alteration, in order 
to be affimilated into the fubftance of the creature that feeds 
upon it. The one, therefore, wanted a long canal for the pro- 
perly digefting and (training its food ; the other, but a fhort 
one, as the food is already prepared to pafs the ufual fecre- 
tions : however, a difficulty ftill remains behind ; the intef- 
tines of the wild cat are, by one third, fhorter than thofe of 
the tame. How can we account for this ? if we fay that the 
domeftic cat, living upon more nourifhing and more plentiful 
provision, h^s its inteftines enlarged to the quantity with which 
it is fupplied, we {hall find this obfervation contradicted in 
the wild boar and the wolf, whofe inteftines are as long as 

CAT KIND. j2. 3 

thofe of the hog or the dog, and yet they lead a favage life, 
and, like the wild cat, are fed by precarious fubfiftence. The 
fhortnefs, therefore, of the wild cat's inteftines, is ftill unac- 
counted for; aiid moft naturalifts confider the difficulty as 
inextricable. We muft leave it, therefore, as one of thofe dif- 
ficulties which future obfervation or accident are moft likely 
to difcover." 

This animal is one of thofe few which are common to the 
new continent, as well as the old. When Chriilopher Colum- 
bus firft difcovered that country, a hunter brought him one, 
which he had difcovered in the woods, which was of the 
ordinary fize, the tail very long and thick. They were com- 
mon alfo in Peru, altho' they were not rendered domeflic. They 
are well known alfo in feveral parts of Africa, and many 
parts of Afia. In fome of thefe countries, they are of a pecu- 
liar colour, and inclining to blue. In Perfia, Pietro della Valle 
informs us, that there is a kind of cat, particularly in the pro- 
vince of Chorazan, of the figure and form of the ordinary 
one, but infinitely more beautiful in the luftre and colour of 
its fkin. It is of a grey blue, without mixture, and as foft 
and {hining as filk. The tail is very long, and covered with 
hair fix inches long, which the animal throws upon its back,- 
like the fquirrel. Thefe cats are well known in France ; and 
have been brought over into England, under the name of 
the blue cat, which, however, is not their colour. 

Another variety of this animal is called by us the lien cat s 
or, as others more properly term it, the cat of Angora. Thefe 
are larger than the common cat, and even than the wild. Their 
hair is much longer, and hangs about their head and neck, 
giving this creature the appearance of a lion. Some of thefe 
are white, and others of a dun colour. Thefe come from 
Syria and Perfia, two countries which are noted for giving 
a long foft hair to the animals which are bred in them. The 
fheep, the goats, the dogs, and die rabbits of Syria, are all 
remarkable for the fine glofly length and foftnefs of their 
fcair ; but particularly the cat, whofe nature feems to be .fo . 


Inflexible, conforms to the nature of the climate and foil, 
lofes its favage colour, which it preferves almoft in every 
other part of the world, and aiTumes the nioft beautiful appear- 
ance. There are fome other varieties in this animal, but ra- 
ther in colour than in form ; and, in general, it may be re- 
marked, that the cat, when carried into o^her countries, alters 
but very little, ftill preferving its natural manners, habits 
and conformation, 


THE influence of climate upon mankind is very fmall*; he 
is found to fubfift in all parts of the earth, as well under the fro- 
zen poles, as beneath the torrid zone : but, in animals, the cli- 
mate maybe confideredas congenial, and akind of feeond nature. 
They almoft all have their particular latitudes, beyond which 
they are unable to fubfift -, either perifning with a moderate cold, 
or dying for want of a frozen air, even in a temperate climate. 
The rein-deer is never feen to depart from the icy fields of the 
north ; and, on the contrary, the lion degenerates, when takers 
from beneath the line. The whole earth is the native country ' 
of man ; but all inferior animals have each their own peculiar 

Mod terreftrial animals are found larger, fiercer, and flron- 
ger, in the warm than in the cold or temperate climates. They 
are alfo more courageous and enterprizing, all their difpofitions 
feeming to partake of the ardour of their native foil. The lion, 
produced under the burning fun of Africa, is, of all others, the 
mqft terrible, the moft undaunted. The wolf or the dog, in- 
{lead of attempting to rival him, fcarce deferve to attend his 
motions, or become his providers. Such, however, of thefe, 
as are bred in a more temperate climate, or towards the tops 
of cold and lofty mountains, are far more gentle, or, to fpeak 
more properly, far lefs dangerous than thofe bred in the torrid 
vallies beneath. The lions of Mount Atlas, the tops of which 

* This defcription is principally taken from mr. BufFon: Such^parts as a-re 
added from others, I have marked with commas. 

Babiroixfifia or Indian 

CAT KIND. 12$ 

are covered in eternal fnows, have neither the ftrength nor the 
ferocity of the lions of Bildulgerid or Zaar?., where the plains 
are covered with burning fands. It is particularly in thefe fright- 
ful dcferts, that thofe enormous and terrible beafts are found, 
that feem to be the fcourge and the terror of the neighbouring 
kingdoms. Happily, indeed, the fpecies is not very numerous ; 
and it feems to be diminiflting daily ; for thofe who have tra- 
velled through thefe countries, sfTure us, that there are by no 
means fo many there at prefent, as were known formerly ; and 
mr. Shaw obferves, that the Romans carried fifty times as 
many lions from Lybia, in one year, to combat in their amphi- 
theatres, as are to be found in the whole country at this time, 
fame remark is made with regard to Turkey, toPerlia, and 
the Indies ; where the lions are found to dimmiih in their 
numbers every day. Nor is it difficult to affign the caufe of this 
diminution : it is obvious that it cannot be owing to the in- 
creafe of the force of other quadrupeds, fmce they are all inferior 
to the lion, and, confequently, inftead of leflening the number, 
only tend to increafe the fupplies on which they fubfift ; it 
mufl. therefore, be occalioned by the increafe of mankind, 
\vho is the only animal, in nature, capable of making head 
againft thefe tyrants of the foreft, and preventing their increafe. 
The arms even of a Hottentot or a NegEO make them more 
than a match for this powerful creature ; and they feldom 
make the attack, without coming off victorious. Their ufuai 
manner is to find out his retreat, and, with fpears headed with 
iron, to provoke him to the combat : four men are confider- 
ed as fufncient for this encounter j and he, againft whom the 
lion flies, receives him upon his fpear % , while the others attack 
him behind; the lion finding him felf wounded in the rear, turns 
that way, and thus gives the man he firft attacked, an oppor- 
tunity to recover. In this manner they attack him on all fides , 
until, at laft, they entirely difable, and then difpatch him. This 
fuperiority in the numbers, and the arts of man, that are fufE- 
cient to conquer the lion, ferve alfo to enervate and difcourage 
him ; for he is brave only in proportion to the fuccefs of his 
former encounters. In the vaft defer cs of Zaara, in the burning 


fands that lie between Mauritania, and Negroland, in the un- 
inhabited countries that lie to the north of Cafraria, and, in 
general, in all the deftrts of Africa, where man has not fixed 
his habitation, the lions are found in great numbers, and pre- 
ferve their natural courage and force. Accuftcmed to meafure 
their ftrength with every animal they meet, the habit of con- 
quering renders them intrepid and terrible. Having never ex- 
perienced the dangerous arts and combinations of man, they 
have no apprehenfions from his power. They boldly face him, 
and feem to brave the force of his arms. Wounds rather ferve 
to provoke their rage than reprefs their ardour. They are not 
daunted even with the oppofition of numbers ; a fingle lion of 
the defert often attacks an entire caravan ; and, after an obfti- 
nate combat, when he finds himfclf overpowered, inftead of fly- 
ing, he continues to combat, retreating, and flill facing the 
enemy till he dies. On the contrary, the lions which inhabit the 
peopled countries of Morocco or India, having become acquain- 
ted with human power, and experienced man's fuperiority, 
have loft all their courage, fo as to be feared away with a 
fhout ; and feldom attack any but the unrefifting flocks or 
herds, which even women and children arc fufficient to protect. 

This alteration in the lion's difpofition fufficiently fhows 
that he might eafily be tamed, and admit of a certain degree 
of education. " In fai, nothing is more common than for the 
keepers of wild beads to play with this animal, to pull out his 
tongue, and even to chaftife him without a caufe. He feems to 
bear it all with the utmoil compofure ; and we very rarely have 
inftances of his revenging thefe unprovoked fallies of imperti- 
nent cruelty. However, when his anger is at laft excited, the 
confequences are terrible. Labat tells us of a gentleman who 
kept a lion in his chamber, and employed a feryant to attend it ; 
\\ ho, as is ufual, mixed his blows with carefTes. This ill-judged 
aflbciation continued for forne time ; till one morning the gen- 
tleman was awakened by a noife in his room, which, at firft, he 
could not tell the caufe of; but, drawing the curtains, he per- 
ceived a horrid fpeftacle ; the lion growling over the man's 
head, which he had feparated from die body, and tolling it 

CAT KIND. 127 

round the floor. He immediately, therefore, flew into the next 
room, called to the people without, and had the animal fecur- 
ed from doing further mifchief." However, this fingle account 
is not fufficient to weigh againft the many inftances we every 
day fee of this creature's gentlenefs and fubmiflion. He is often 
bred up with other domeftic animals, and is feen to play inno- 
cently and familiarly among them ; and, if it ever happens that 
his natural ferocity returns, it is feldom exerted againfl his be- 
nefactors. As his paffions are ftrong, and his appetites vehe- 
ment, one ought not to prefume that the impreffions of educa- 
tion will always prevail ; fo that it would be dangerous in fuch 
circumstances to fuffer him to remain too long without food, 
or to perfiit in irritating and abufing him : however, number- 
lefs acounts allure us that his anger is noble, his courage mag- 
nanimous, and his difpofition grateful. He has been often feen 
to defpife contemptible enemies, and pardon their infults when 
it was in his power to punifn them. He has been feen to fpare 
the lives of fuch as were thrown to be devoured by him, to live 
peaceably with them, to afford them a part of his, 
and fometimes to want food himfelf rather than deprive them 
of that life which his generofity had fpared. 

It may alfo be faid that the lion is not cruel, fmce he is fa 
only from neceflity, and never kills more than he confumes. 
"When fatiated, he is perfectly gentle; while the tiger, the wolf, 
and all the inferior kinds, fuch as the fox, the pole cat, and 
the ferret, kill without remorfe, are fierce without caufe, and, 
by their indifcriminate {laughter, feem rather to fatisfy their 
malignity than their hunger. 

The outward form of the lion feems to fpeak his internal 
generofity. His figure is (hiking, his look confident and bold, 
his gait proud* and his vcicTe' terrible. His ftature is not over- 
grown, like that of the elephant, or rhinoceros ; nor is his 
fliape clumfy, like that of the hippopotamus, or the ox. It is 
compact, well-proportioned, and fizable ; a perfect model of 
ftrength joined with agility. It is mufcular and bold, neither 
Charged with fat nor unneceflary flefli. It is fufficient but to fee 


him in Order, to be afiured of his fuperior force. His large head 
furrounded with a dreadful mane : all thofe mufcles, that appear 
under the flcin fwelling with the flighted exertions ; and the 
great breadth of his paws, with the thicknefs of his limbs, plain- 
ly evince that no other animal in the foreft is capable ofop- 
pofmg him. He has a very broad face, that, as fome have ima- 
gined, refembles the human, It is furrounded with very long 
hnir, which gives it a very majeilic air. The top of the head, 
the temples, the cheeks, the under jaw, the neck ; the breaft, the 
fhculder, the hinder part of the legs, and the belly, are furnim- 
ecl with it, while all the refl of the body is covered with very 
fhort hair, of a tawny colour. " The length of the hair, in many 
pans, and the fhortnefs of it in others, ferves a good deal to dif- 
guiie this animal's real figure. The breaft, for inftance, appears 
very broad, but, in reality, it is as narrow and contracted in pro- 
portion as that of the generality of dogs andhorfes. For the fame 
reafon, the tail feems to be of an equal thicknefs from one end to 
the other, on account of the inequality of the hair with which it 
is encompafied j in being fhorter near the infertion where the 
flefhand bones are large, and growing longer in proportion as its 
real thicknefs lefTens towards the point, where it ends in a tuft. 
The hair about the neck and the breaft is not different from 
that on the reft of the body, except in the length of it ; nor is 
each hair pointed as in moft other animals, but of an equal thick- 
nefs from one end to the other. The neck is very ftrong, but 
not compofed of one folid bone, as /.riftotle has imagined : oil 
the contrary, though very ihort and mufcular, it has as many 
bones as the camel or the horfe ; for it is univerfal to all qua- 
drupeds to have feven joints in the neck ; and not one of them 
have either more or lefs. However, the mufcles in the neck of 
the lion that tie the bones together, are extremely ftrong, and 
have fomewhat the appearance of bones ; fo that ancient au- 
thors, who have treated of this animal, have miftaken the whole 
for a fmgle bone. The tongue is rough, and befet with pric- 
kles as hard as a cat's claws ; thefe have the grain turned back- 
wards ; fo that it is probable, a lion, if it fhould attempt to lick 
'A man's hand, as we art! told it fometimes does, would tear off 
ihe flcin. The eyes are always bright and fiery ; nor even in 

CAT KIND. 129 

:h does this terrible look forfake them* In fhort, the ftruc- 
ture of the paws, teeth, eyes, and tongue, are the fame as in a 
cat ; and alfo in the inward parts, thefe two animals fo nearly 
referable each other, that the anatomift's chief diftin&ion 
arifes merely from the fize." 

The lion has, as was obferved before, a large mane, which 
grows every year longer as the animal grows older ; the lionefs 
ithout this ornament at every age. This mane is not coarfe 
or rough as in a horfe, but compofed of the fame hair with 
the reft of the body, lengthened, and mining. The mane, as 
well as the reft of the body, is of a yellow colour ; nor is there 
ever any difference to be found in the colour of one lion from 
that of another. What the ancients might have faid concern- 
ing black lions, or white, or ftreaked like the tiger, is not con- 
firmed by modern experience ; fo that thefe varieties have ne- 
ver been feen, or exift no longer. 

It is ufually fuppofed that the lion is not poiTefTed of the 
fenfe of fmellingin fuch perfection as moft other animals. It 
is alfo obferved, that too ftrong a light greatly incommodes 
him. This is more than probable from the formation of his 
eyes, which, like thofe of the cat, feem fitted for feeing beft in 
the dark. For this reafon, he feldom apppears in open day, but 
ravages chiefly by night ; and not only the lion, but all other 
animals of the cat kind, are kept off by the fires which the in- 
habitants light to preferve their herds and flocks ; the bright- 
nefs of the flame dazzles their eyes, which are only fitted for 
feeing in the dark ; and they are afraid to venture blindly into 
thofe places which they know to be filled with their enemies. 
" It is equally true of all this .kind, that they hunt rather by 
the fight than the nd it fometimes happens, that the 

lion purfues c i^HRHPP'*" r t ^ ie w ^d dog, while they are 
hunting upon IPK^pt^Upi, when they have run the beaft 
down, he corses in antffivonopolizes the fpoil. From hence, 
.probably, may have arifen the ftory of the lion's provider : 
thefe little induftrious animals may often, it is true, provide a 



feaft for the lion ; but they have hunted merely for themfelves, 
and he is an unwelcome intruder upon the fruits of their toil." 

The lion, when hungry, boldly attacks all animals that come 
in his way ; but as he is very formidable, and as they all feek 
to avoid him, he is often obliged to hide, in order to take them, 
by furprize. For this purpofe he crouches on his belly, in fome 
thicket, or among the long grafs, which is found in many 
parts of the foreit; in this retreat he continues with patient 
expectation, until his prey comes within a proper diftance, and 
he then fp rings after it, fifteen or twenty feet from him, and 
often feizes it at the firft bound. If he muTes the effort, and 
in two or three reiterated fprings, cannot feize his prey, he con- 
tinues motionlefs for a time, feems to be very fenfible of his 
difappointment, and waits for a more fuccefsful opportunity. 
In the deferts and forefts, his mod ufual prey are the gazelles 
and the monkeys, with which the torrid regions abound. The 
latter he takes when they happen to be upon the ground, for 
he cannot climb trees like the cat or the tiger. He devours a 
great deal at a time, and generally fills himfelf for two or three 
days to come. His teeth are fo ftrong, that he very eafily breaks 
the bones, and fwallows them with the reft of the body. It is 
reported that he fuftains hunger a very long time, but third 
he* cannot fupport in an equal degree, his temperament being 
extremely hot ; fome have even aiTerted, that he is in a conti- 
nual fever. He drinks as often as he meets with water, lap- 
ping it like a cat ; which, as we know, drinks but flowly. He 
generally requires about fifteen pounds of raw flefh in a day ; 
he prefers that of live animals, and particularly thofe which he 
has jufl killed. He feldom devours the bodies of animals when 
they begin to putrefy;, and he choofes rather to hunt for a freih 
fpoilthan to return to that which he had half devoured before. 
However, though he ufually feeds upon frefh provifions, his 
breath is very offenfive, and his urine insupportable. 

The roaring of the lion is fo loud, that wherwjt is heard in 
the night, and re-echoed by the mountains, it refembles dif- 
tant thunder. This roar is his natural note; for when engaged, 
he has a different growl, which is fhort, broken, and reitera- 

CAT KIND. 131 

ted. The roar is a deep hollow growl, which he fends forth 
five or fix times a day, particularly before rains. The cry of 
anger is much louder, and more formidable. This is always 
excited by opposition ; and upon thofe occafions, when the 
lion fummons up all his terrors for the combat, nothing can 
be more terrible. He then ladies his fides with his long taiJ, 
which alone is ftrong enough to lay a man level. He moves his 
mane in every direction; it feems to rife and (land like bridles 
round his head : the fkin and mufcles of his face are all in 
agitation; his huge eye-brows half cover his glaring eye-balls j 
he difcovershis teeth, which are formed rather for deflrudion 
than chewing his food; he mows his tongue covered with 
points, and extends his claws, which appear dmoft as long as 
a man's fingers. Prepared in this manner for war, there are 
few animals that will venture to engage him ; and even the 
boldeft of the human kind are daunted at his approach. The 
elephant, the rhinoceros, the tiger, and the hippopotamos, 
are the only animals that are not afraid fingly to make oppofi^ 

Neverthelefs, neither the leopard nor the wild boar, if pro- 
voked, will iliim the combat ; they do not feek the lion to at- 
tack, but will not fly at his approach ; they wait his onfet, 
whirh he feldom makes, unlefs compelled by hunger ; they then 
exert all their flrength, and are fometimes fuccefsful. We are 
told of the combat of a lion and a wild boar, in a meadow near 
Algiers, which continued for a long time with incredible ob- 
itinacy. At laft, both were feen to fall by the wounds they had 
given each other; and the ground all about them was covered 
with their blood. Thefe inltances however are very rare, for the 
lion is in general the undifputed mailer of the foreft. J.lnn is 
the only creature that attacks him with alrnoft certain fuccefs; 
with the afliftance of dogs and horfes, which are trained to the 
purfuit. Thefe animals, that, in a ftate of nature, would have 
fled from the prefence of the lion, in an agony of confternation, 
when confcious of the afiiftance of man, become purfuers in 
turn, and boldly hunt their natural tyrant. The dogs are al- 
ways of the large breed ; and the horfes themfelves, as Gefoer 


afTures us, mud be of that fort called charojfi, or lion-eyed, aH 
others of this kind flying at the fight of the lion, and endea- 
vouring to throw their riders. When the lion is rouzed, he 
recedes with a flow, proud motion; he never goes off directly 
forward, nor meafures his paces equally, but takes an oblique 
courfe, going from one fide to the other, and bounding, rather 
than running. When the hunters approach him, they either 
{hoot or throw their javelins; and in this manner difable him, 
before he is attacked by the dogs, many of whom he would other- 
wife deflroy. He is very vivacious, and is never killed at once, 
but continues to fight defperately even after he has received 
his mortal blow. He is alfo taken by pit-falls; the natives dig- 
ging a deep hole in the ground, and covering it (lightly over 
with flicks and earth ; which, however, give way beneath his 
weight, and he finks to the bottom, from whence he has no. 
means of efcape. But the moil ufual manner of taking this ani- 
mal, is while yet a cub, and incapable of refiflance. The place 
near the den of the lionefs is generally well known by the 
greatnefs of her depredations on that occafion ; the natives, 
therefore, watch the time of her ab fence, and, aided by a fwift 
liorfe, carry off her cubs; which they fell to ilrangers, or to the 
great men of their country. 

The lion, while young and active, lives by hunting in the fb- 
reft, at the greatefl diflance from any human habitation; and fel- 
dom quits this retreat while able to fubfifl by his natural induf- 
try ; but when he becomes oM and unfit for the purpofes of fur- 
prize, he boldly comes down into places more frequented, at- 
tacks the flocks and herds that take fhelter near the habitation 
of the fhepherd or the hufbandman, and depends rather upon 
his courage than his addrefs, for fupport. It is remarkable, 
however, that when he makes one of thefe defperate fallies, 
if he finds men and quadrupeds in the fame field, he only at- 
tacks the latter, and never meddles with men, unlefsthey pro- 
voke him to engage. It is obferved, that he prefers the flefh of 
camels to any other food ; he is likewife faid to be fond of that 
of young elephants ; thefc he often attacks before their trunk 

CAT KIND. 133 

is yet grown; and, unlefs the old elephant comes to their aiTif- 
tance, he makes them an eafy r. 

The lion is terrible upon all occafions, but particularly at 
thole feafons when he is incited by defire, or when the female 
has brought forth. It is tlvjn that the lionefs is feen followed 


by eight or ten males, who fight molt bloody battles among each 
other, till one of them becomes victorious over all the reft. She 
is faid to bring forth in fpring, and to produce but once a year. 
With refpect to the time of geilation, naturaiifts have been 
divided, fome averting that the lionefs went with young fix 
months, and others but two. The time alfo of their growth and 
their age, have hitherto been left in obfcurity ; fome aliening 
that they acquired their full growth in three years, and others 
that they required a longer period to come to perfection ; ibme 
faying (and among this number is mr. Buffon) that they lived 
to about twenty, or twenty-two years at mod; ethers making 
their lives even of fhorcer duration. All thefe doubts are now 
reduced to certainty , for we have had feverai of thefe animals 
bred in the tower ; fo that the manner of their copulation, the 
time of their geftation, the number they bring forth, and the 
time they take to come to perfection, are all pretty well known. 
Although the lion emits his urine backwards, yet he couples in 
the ordinary manner; and, as was faid before, his internal ftruc- 
ture, in almoft every refpeft, refembles that of a cat. The lion- 
efs, however, is upon thefe occafions particularly fierce, and 
often wounds the lion in a terrible manner. She goes i 
young, as I am aflured by her keeper, no more than five months; 
the young one?, which are never more than two in number, 
when brought forth, are about the fize of a large pug dog, harm- 
lefs, pretty, and playful ; they continue the teat fcr t v 
months, and the animal is more than five years in coming to 
perfection. As to its age, from ins imnrifoncJ ft ate, \\v 
have no certainty ; fince it is very probable, that, being depriv- 
ed of its natural climate, food, and exercife, it .1 be 
very much abridged. However, naturalifts have hitherto . 
greatly miftaken as to the length of its exiilence. 1 
lie-lion, called Pompey, which died in the year i - 


known to have been in the tower for above feventy years , and 
one lately died there, xvhich was brought from the river Gam- 
bia, that died above fixty-three. The lion, therefore, is a very 
long-lived animal; and, very probably, in his native forefts, his 
age exceeds even that of man himfelf. 

In this animal, all the paffions, even of the moil gentle kind, 
are in excefs, but particularly tire attachment of the female to 
her young. The lionefs, though naturally lefs ftrong, lefs cou- 
rageous, and lefs mifchievous than the lion, becomes terrible 
when ihe has got young ones to provide for. She then makes 
her incuriions. with even more intrepidity than the lion him- 
felf; fhe throws herfelf indifcriminarely among men and other 
animals; deftroys without diftinclion; loads herfelf with the 
fpoil, and brings it home reeking to her cubs; whom (he accuf- 
toms betimes to cruelty and (laughter. She ufually brings forth 
in the mod retired and inacceflible places; and when fhe fears 
to have her retreat difcovered, often hides her tracks, by run- 
Ring back her ground, or by bruihing them out with her tail. 
She fometimes alfo, when her apprehenfions are great, tranf- 
ports them from one place to another; and, if obftruted, de- 
fends them with determined courage, and rights to the laft. 

The lion is chiefly an inhabitant of the torrid zone; and, as 
Hvasfaid, is always moft formidable there: neverthelefs, he can 
fubfift in more temperate climates; and there was a time when 
even the fouthern parts of Europe were infeftcd by him. At 
prefenthe is only found in Africa and the Eaft-Indies ; in fome 
of which countries he grows to an enormous height. The lion 
jf Bildulgerid is faid to be nearly five feet high, and between 
nine and ten feet from the tip of ihe nofe to the infertion of 
the tail. We have in the tower, at prefenr, one of above four 
feet high, that was brought from Morocco, which is the lar- 
geft that for fome time pad has been feen in Europe. The or- 
dinary fize is between three and four feet*, the female being in 
all her dimenfions about one third lefs than the male. There 
are no lions in America ; the puma, which has received the 
siame of the American lion, is, when compared, a very con- 

CAT RIND. 133 

temptible animal, having neither the fhape, the fize, nor the 
mane of the lion ; being known to be extremely cowardly, to 
climb trees for its prey, to fubfift rather by it* cunning than 
its courage, and to be inferior even to the animal that goes by 
the name of the American tiger. We ought not, therefore, to 
confound this little treacherous creature with the lion, which 
all the ancients have concurred in denominating the king of 
beads, and which they have defcribed as brave and merciful. 
" Indeed, the numerous accounts which they have given us of 
this animaFs generofity and tendernefs, fhow that there mud be 
fome foundation for the general belief of its good qualities; for 
mankind feldom err when they are all found to unite in the 
fame ftory. However, perhaps, the caution of Ariftophanes, 
the comic poet, is better followed-in practice, who advifes us to 
have nothing to do with this creature, but to let the lionefs 
fuckle her own whelps*." 

T H E- T I G E R. 

" THE ancients had a faying, That as the peacock is the mop 
beautiful among birds, fo is the tiger among quadrupeds-^. In fact, 
no quadruped can be more beautiful than this animal ; the 
glolTy fmoothnefs of his hair, which lies much fmoother, and 
dines with greater brightnefs than even that of the leopard ; 
the extreme blacknefs of the ftreaks with which he is marked, 
and the bright yellow colour of the ground which they diverlify, 
at once flrike the beholder. To this beauty of colouring, is added 
an extremely elegant form, much larger indeed than that of the 
leopard, but more flender, more delicate, and befpeaking the 
moil extreme fwiftnefs and agility. Unhappily, however, this 
animal's difpofition is as mifchievous as its form is admirable, 
as if providence was willing to (how the fmall value of beauty, 
by bellowing it on the mod noxious of quadrupeds. We have, 

Of X?* 1 

f Tantem autcm prxflat pulchritudiae tynr-is inter alias fsras 
icter voiucres pavo. 


at prefer:*, one of thefe animals in the Tower, which to the vic\v 
appears the mo ft good natured and harmlefs creature in the 
world : its phyfiognomy is far from fierce or angry ; it has not 
the commanding, ftern countenance of the lion, but a gentle, 
placid a$r j yet for all this, it is fierce and favage beyond rnea- 
fure j neither correcting can terrify it, nor indulgence can tame. 

The chief and inoft obfervable diftinctioii in the tiger, and in 
which it differs from all others of the mottled kind, is in the 
fhape of its colours, which run in ftreaks or brands in the fame 
direction as his ribs from the back down to the belly. The leo- 
pard, the panther, and the ounce, are all partly covered like this 
animal, but with this difference, that their colours are broken 
in fpots all over the body ; whereas, in the tiger, they ft retch 
lengthwife, and there is fcarce a round fpot to be found on his 
ikin. Befides this, there are other obfervable diftinctions : the 
tiger is much larger, and often found bigger even than the lion 
himfelf : it is much tenderer alfo in proportion to its fize ; its 
legs morter, and its neck and body longer. In fhort, of all other 
animals, it inoft refembles the cat in ihape ; and, if we con- 
ceive the latter magnified to a very great degree, we {hall have 
a tolerable idea of the former. 

In claffing carnivorous animals, we may place the lion fore- 
mod* ; and immediately after him follows the tiger, which 
feems to partake of all the noxious qualities of the lion without 
{haring any of his good ones. To pride, courage, and ftrength, 
the lion joins greatnefs, clemency, and generofity ; but the ti* 
ger is fierce without provocation, and cruel without neceflity. 
The lion feldom ravages except when excited by hunger; the ti- 
<rer, on the contrary, though glutted with (laughter, is not fa- 
tisfied, ftill continues the carnage, and feems to have its cou- 
rage only inflamed by not finding refinance. In falling in 
among a flock or a herd, it gives no quarter, but levels all with 
indifcriminate cruelty, and fcarce finds time to appeafe its ap- 
petite while intent upon fatisfying the malignity of its nature. 
It thus becomes the fcourge of the country where it is found. \ 

* The remainder of this defcription is taken from mr. Button, except 
where marked with inverted convmas. 

CAT K I N t>. 1-3.7 

it fears neither the threats nor the oppofition of mankind 5 
the beads, both wild and tame, fall equally a facrifice to its 
infatiabie fury ; the young elephant and the rhinoceros become 
equally its prey, and it not unfrquentlv ventures to attack the 
lion himfelf. 

Happily for the reft of nature, that this animal is not common, 
and thatthe fpecies is chiefly confined to the warmeft provinces 
of the eaft. The tiger is found in Malabar, in Siam, in Bengal, 
and in all the countries which are inhabited by the elephant or 
the rhinoceros. Some even pretend that it has a friendfhip ;oi', 
and often accompanies the latter, In order to devour its excre- 
ments, which ferve it as a purge, Be this as it will, there is no 
doubt but that they are ofte . feen together at the fides of lakes 
and rivers ; where they ?.re probably both compelled to go by 
the third which, in that torrid climate, they muft very often en- 
dure. It is likely enough alfo that they feldom make war upon 
each other, the rhinoceros being a peaceable animal, and the 
tiger knowing its ftrength too well to venture the engagement. 
It is Hill more likely that the tiger finds this a very convenient 
fituation, fince it can there furprize a greater number of ani- 
mals, which are compelled thither from the fame motives. In 
fact, it is generally known to lurk ner.r fuch places where it has 
an opportunity of choofing its prey, or rather of multiplying its 
maflacres. When it has killed one, it often goes to deftroy 
others, fwallowing their blood at large draughts, and feeming 
rather glutted than fatiated with its abundance. 

However, when it has killed a large animal, fuch as a horfe, 
or a buffalo, it immediately begins to devour it on the fpot, 
fearing to be difturbed. In order to feat at his eafe, it car- 
ries off its prey to the foreft, dragging it along with fuch eafe, 
that the fwiftnefs of its motion feems fcarce retarded by the 
enormous load that it fuftains. From this alone we may judge 
of its ftrength; but, to have a niore juft idea of this parti- 
cular, let us ftop a moment to confider the dimenfions of 
this moft formidable creature. Sbme travellers have com- 
pared it for fize to a hcrfe, and others to a buffalo, while 



others have contented themfelves with faying, that it is 
much larger than a lion. We have recent accounts of this 
animal's magnitude, that deferve the utmoft confidence. Mr. 
Buffon has been allured, by one of his friends, that he faw a 
tiger, in the EaR-Indies, of fifteen feet long. " Suppofing 
that he means including the tail, this animal, allowing four 
feet for that, mud have been eleven feet from the tip of the 
nofe to the infertion of the tail. Indeed, that which is now 
in the tower, is not fo large ; being, as well as I could mea- 
fure, fix feet from the tip to the infertion, and the tail was 
three feet more. Like all the reft of its kind, its motions are 
irregular and defultory ; it bounds rather than runs -, and, like 
them, rather choofes to take its prey by furprize than to be at 
the trouble of hunting it down." How large a leap it can 
take at once, we may eaiily judge, by comparing what it 
might do to what we fee fo fmall an animal as the cat actually 
perform. The cat can leap feveral feet at a bound ; and the 
tiger, who is ten times as long, can no doubt fpring propor- 

t( The tiger is the only animal whofe fpirit feems untame- 
able. Neither force nor conftraint, neither violence nor flattery, 
can prevail in the leaft on its ftubborn nature. 1 he carefTes 
of the keeper have no influence on their heart of iron; and 
time, inftead of mollifying its difpofition, only ferves to in- 
creafe its fiercenefs and malignity. The tiger fnaps at the 
hand that feeds it as well as that by which it is chaftifed : 
every object feems confidered only as its proper prey, which 
it devours with a look; and although confined by bars and 
chains, ftill makes fruitlefs efforts, as if to (how its malignity 
when incapable of exerting its force." 

To give a ftill more complete idea of the ftrength of this 
terrible creature, we (hall quote a paflage from father Tachard, 
who was an eye-witnefs of a combat bet r een a tiger and 
three elephants at Siam. For this purpofe, the king ordered 
a lofty palifade to be built of bambou cane, about a hun- 
dred feet fquare ; and, in the midft of this, were three ele- 

, CAT KIND. 139 

phants appointed for combating the tiger. Their heads raid 
a part of their trunk was covered with a kind of armour, like 
a maik, \vhich defended that part from the aflaults of the 
fierce animal with which they were to engage. As foon, fays 
this author, as we were arrived at the place, a tiger was 
brought forth from its den, of a (ize much larger than we 
had ever feen before. It was not at firft let loofe, but held with 
chords, fo that one of the elephants approaching, gave it three 
or four terrible blows, with its trunk, on the back, with fuch 
force, that the tiger was, for fome time, ftunned, and laid 
without motion, as if it had been dead. However, as foon as. 
it was let loofe, and at full liberty, although the firfl blows 
had greatly abated its fury, it made at the elephant with a 
loud (hriek, and aimed at feizing his trunk. But the elephant, 
wrinkling it up with great dexterity, received the tiger on his 
great teeth, and tofled it up into the air. This fo difcouraged 
the furious animal, that it no more ventured to approach the 
elephant, but made feveral circuits round the palifade, often 
attempting to fly at the fpeclators. Shortly after, three ele- 
phants were fent againfl it, and they continued to ftrike itr 
fo terribly with their trunks, that it once more lay for dead; 
and they would certainly have killed it, had not there been a. 
flop put to the combat^. 

From this account, we may readily judge of the ftrength 
of this animal, which, though reduced to captivity, and held 
by chords, though firft difabled, and fet alone againft three, 
yet ventured to continue the engagement, and even that 
againft animals covered and protected from its fury. 

Captain Hamilton informs us, that in the Sundali Rai- 
jha's dominions, there are three forts of tigers in the woods, 
and that the fmalleft are the fierceft. This is not above two 
feet high, appears to be extremely cunning, and delights in 
human flefh. The fecond kind is about three feet high, and 
hunts deer and wild hogs, befides the little animal which has 
been already defcribed, under the name of the chevrotain, or 
Guinea deer. The tiger of the largeft fort, is above three feet 


and a half high ; but, although endowed with greater powers 
Is, by no means, fo rapacious as either of the former. This 
formidable animal, which is called the royal tiger (one of 
which we have at prefent in the tower) does not fcem fo ra- 
venous nor fo dangerous, and is even more cowardly. A pea- 
fant in that country, as this traveller informs, us, had a buf- 
falo fallen into a quagmire, and. while he went for afliftance, 
there came a large tiger, that, with its fingle ftrength, drew 
forth the animal, which the united force of many men could 
not effeft. When the people returned to the place, the firil 
objecl: they beheld was the tiger, who had thrown the buf- 
falo over its moulder, as a fox does a goofe, and was carry- 
ing it away > with the feet upward, towards its den ; however, 
as foon as it faw the men, it let fall its prey, and inftantly fled 
to the woods : but it had previoufly killed the buffalo, and 
fucked its blood ; and, no doubt, the people were very well 
fatisfied with its retreat. It may be obferved, that fome Eaft- 
Indian buffalos weigh above a thoufand pounds, which is twice 
as heavy as the ordinary run of our black cattle ; fo that 
from hence we may form a conception of the enormous 
flrength of this rapacious animal, that could thus run off 
with a weight at lean; twice as great as that of itfelf. 

" Were this animal as common as the panther, or even 
as the lion himfelf, thus furnifhed as it is with the power to 
deftroy, and the appetite for (laughter, the country v. ould be 
uninhabitable where it refides. But, luckily, the fpecies is ex- 
tremely fcarce ; and has been fo fince the earliefl accounts 
we have had of the tiger. About the times of Augufcus, we 
are aflured by Pliny*, that when panthers were brought to 
Rome by hundreds, a fingle tiger was confidered as an ex- 
traordinary fight ; and he tells us, that the emperor Claudius 
was able to procure four only ; which mows how difficultly 
they were procured. The incredible fiercenefs of this animal, 
may be, in fome meafure, the caufe of the fcarcity which was 
then at Rome, fince it was the opinion of Varro, that the ti- 

* Plin. Hid. Nat. lib. viii. c.~ 17. 

"Vol. H. 




CAT KIND. 14* 

gcr was : : but its being a native only of 

Eait-Indies, and that particularly of the warmer regions, it 
is not to be wondered that the ipccies ihov-Ui be i-j I 

We may, therefore, coi : true ftreaked 

tiger, as one of the iearceit of ar.L I much Icfs dii- 

fukd than that of the lion. As to the number of its ycr 
we have no certain accounts ; however, it is faid, that it brings 
forth four or five at a time. Although furioas at ail times, 
the female, upon this occafion, exceeds her ufual rapacity ; 
and, if her young are taken from her, (lie purfues the ipoiler 
with incredible rage ; he, to lave a part, is contented to lofe 
a part, and drops one of her cubs, with which me immedi- 
ately returns to her den, and again puriues him ; he then 
t'rops another, and by the tl.rie ihe has returned with that, he 
generally efcapes with the remainder. If me lofes her young 
entirely, (he then becomes defperate, boldly approaches even 
the towns themfelves, and commits incredible daughter. 1 lie 
tiger expreiTes its refentrnent in the fame manner with the 
-lion ; it moves the mufcbs and (kin of its face, {hows its 
teeth, and fhrieks in the moft frightful manner. ILS nc : 
very different from that of the lion ; being rather a icrsani 
than a roar : and the ancients exprefled it very well, when 
they faid, that, tigridij -'-"/ que /V, 

The fkin of thefe animals is much efteemed all over the eaft, 
particularly in China ; the Mandarines cover their feats cf juf- 
tice in the public places with it, and convert it into cover' 
for cushions in winter. In Europe, thefe fkins, though but 
feldoni to be met with, are of no great value, thefe of the 
panther and the leopard being held in much greater eftima- 
tion. This is all the little benefit we derive from this dread- 
ful animal, of which fo many falfehoods have been reported ; 
as, that its fweat was poifonous, and the hair cf its whi: 
more dangerous than an envenomed arrow. But the real mif- 
chiefs which the tiger occafions while living, are fufficient, 
without giving imaginary ones to the parts of its body when 

* Tigris vivui cap! ad hue non potuit. Var. de ling. Lat. 


dead. 'In fact, the Indians fometimes eat its nefn, and find it 
neither disagreeable nor unwholefome. 

There is an animal of America, which is ufually called the 
red tiger, but mr. BufFon calls it the cougar, which, no doubt> 
is very different from the tiger of the eaft. Some, however, 
have thought proper to rank both together ; and I will take 
leave to follow their example, merely becaufe the cougar is 
more like a tiger in every thing, except the colour, than any 
other animal I know ; having the head, the body, and the neck, 
fhaped very much in the fame manner. Of thefe flight dif- 
ferences, words would but give a very faint idea ; it will be, 
therefore, fuflicient to obicrve, that they are both equally 
Haider, and are fmnller where the neck joins the head, than 
others of the panther kind. There, is one at prefent in the 
tower j and it feemed to me, as well as I could fee it through 
the bars, that were it properly flreaked and coloured, it would 
in all things referable a fmall tiger. It is, however, of a very 
different colour, being of a deep brown, and the tail very 
long and pointed. It is rather darker on the back ; under the 
chin it is a little whitifh, as alfo on the lower part of the belly. 

Of all the American animals, this is the mofl formidable 
and mifchievous ; even their pretended lion not excepted. It 
is faid, there are feveral forts of them ; and, as well as I can 
remember, I have feen one or two here in England, both dif- 
fering from the prefent, in fize and conformation. It is, in- 
deed, a vain endeavour to attempt to defer ibe all the lefs ob- 
vious varieties in the cat kind. If we examine them minutely, 
we (hall fmd the differences multiply upon us fo much, that, 
inftead of a hiitory, we (hall only be paid with a catalogue of 
diftinctions. From fuch of them as I have feen, within thefe 
laft fix years, I think I could add two animals of this fpecies, 
that have not been hitherto defer ibed, and with the names of 
which he that (howed them was utterly unacquainted. But it 
is a poor ambition, that of being eager to find out new dif- 
tinftions, or adding one noxious animal more to a lift that 
is already fufliciently numerous. Were the knowing a new 
variety to open an unknown hiftory, or in the leajft to extend 

CAT KIND, , 143 

our knowledge, the enquiry would be rhen worth purfumg ; 
but what fig^ines mentioning fome trifling difference, and 
from thence becoming authors of a new name, when the 
ui/.jrcnce might have originally proceeded either from cli- 
mate, foil, or mdifcriminate copulation ? 

The cougars are extremely common in South- America, 
and, where the towns border upon the foreft, thefe make fre- 
quent incurfions by night into the midft of the ftreets, car- 
rying off fowls, dogs, and other domeitic creatures. They are, 
however, but weak and contemptible, compared to the great 
tiger, being found unable to cope with a fingle man. The 
Negroes and Luiians are very dexterous in encountering them ; 
fome, even for the fake of their fkins, feek them in their 
retreats. The arras in this combat feemingly fo dangerous, 
are only a lance of two or three yards long, made of heavy 
wocd, with the point hardened in the fire ; and a kind of fey- 
mitar, of about three quarters of a yard in length. Thus arm- 
ed, they wait till the tiger makes an affault againft the left 
hand, which holds the lance, and is wrapped up in a fhoft 
cloak of baize. Sometimes the animal, aware of the danger, 
feems to decline the combat ; but then its antagonift provokes 
it with a flight touch of the launce, in order, while he is 
defending himfelf, to ftrike a fure blow. As foon, therefore, as 
the creature feels the lance, it grafps it with one of its paws, 
and with the other ftrikes at the arm which holds it. Then it 
is that the perfon nimbly aims a blow with his fcymitar, which 
he kept concealed, with the other hand, and hamftrings the 
creature, which immediately draws back enraged, but in- 
fUntly returns to the charge. But then, receiving another 
ftroke, it is totally deprived of the power of motion : and 
the combatant, killing it at his leifure, drips the fidn, cuts 
off the head, and returns to his companions, difplaying thefe 
as the trophies of his victory. 

This animal, as we ?.re affured, is often more fuccefsful 
againft the crocodile ; and it is the only quadruped in that 
part of the world, that is not afraid of the engagement. It 


muft be no unpieafant fight to obferve, from a place of fafety, 
this extraordinary combat, between animals fo terrible and 
obnoxious to man. Such as have feen it, defcribe it in the 
following manner. When the tiger, impelled by third, that 
iecms continually to confume it, comes down to the river- 
i'ae to drink, the crocodile, which makes no diftin&ion in 
its pvey, lifts its head above water to feize it ; the tiger, Hot 
lefs rapacious than the other, and unacquainted with the force 
of the enemy, boldly ventures to feize it, and plunges its 
.clawsinto the eyes of the crocodile, which is the only vulnerable 
part of its body : upon this the crocodile inftantly dives under 
water, and the tiger goes down with him, for it will fooner die 
than let go its hold. In this manner, the combat continues 
for fome time, until the tiger is drowned, or efcapes, as is 
fometimes the cafe, from its difabled enemy. 

Thefe animals are common in Guiana*. They were for- 
merly feen fwimming over, in great numbers, into the ifland 
of Cayenne, to attack and ravage the flocks and herds of the 
inhabitants. In the beginning, they were a terrible fcourge to 
the infant colony , but, by degrees, they were repulfed and 
deftroyed, and are now feen no longer at that place. They are 
found in Brazil, in Paraguay, in the country of the Amazons, 
and in feveral other parts of South- America. They often climb 
trees in quell of prey, or to avoid their purfuers. They arc 
deterred by fire, like all other animals of the cat kind ; or, 
more properly fpeaking, they feldom venture near thofe places 
where they fee it kindled, as they are always fure of their 
enemies being near, and their nocturnal eyes are dazzled by 
the brightnefs of the blaze. From the defcription of this ani- 
mal, one would be hardly led to fuppofe, that its flem was 
good for food ; and yet we have feveral accounts which al- 
lege the fa6t, fome aflerting'it to be fuperior to mutton : how- 
ever, what monficur Des Marchais obferves, is moft likely to 
be true ; namely, that the moft valuable pare of this animal 
is its (kin, and that its flefh is but indifferent eating, being ge- 
nerally lean, and ufualiy having a flrong fumet. 

* BufFon, vol. xix. p. 23. 



WE have hitherto found no great difficulty in diftinguim- 
ing one animal from another, each carrying its own pecu- 
liar marks, which, in fome meafure, ferv~ to feparate it from 
all the reft. But it is otherwife, when we come to thefe of 
the cat kind, that fill up the chafm between the tiger and the 
cat. The fpots with which their fkins are diverfified, are fo 
various, and their fize fo equivocal, that it is no eafy matter 
to diftinguifh the fpecies, particularly as we have little elfe 
but the fpots and the fize to guide us in making the diftinc- 
tion. If we regard the figure and diverfity of the fpots, we fhall 
find many varieties not taken notice of by any naturalift ; if 
we are led by the fize, we (hall find an imperceptible grada- 
tion from the cat to the tiger. It would be vain, therefore, to 
make as many varieties in thefe animals as we fee differences 
In fpots or ftature ; it will be fufiicient to feize the mod ge- 
neral diftin&ions, and leave the reft to fuch as are fond of 
more minute difquifitions. 

Of all this tribe, whofe fkins are fo beautifully fpotted, and 
whofe natures are fo mifchievous, the panther may be con- 
iidered as the foremoft. This animal has been by many natu- 
ralifts miftaken for the tiger ; and, in fact, it approaches next 
to it in fize, fiercenefs and beauty. It is diftinguifhed, ho\v- 
ever, by one obvious and leading chsta&er ; that of being 
fpotted, not ftreaked ; for, in this particular, the tiger differs 
from the panther, the leopard, and almoft all the inferior ranks 
of this mifchievous family. 

This animal, which mr. BufFon calls fimply the panther 
Linnaeus the pard, Gefner the pardalis, and the modern La- 
tins the leopardus ; this animal, I fay, which goes by too ma- 
ny names, and which the Englifh have indifcrimmately called 
by the name of the panther or the leopard, may be confidered 
as the largeft of the kind, and is fpotted in a manner fomewhat 
different from thofe that are fmaller. As thofe fpots, however 



make the principal difference between it and the lefler animals, 
which it otherwife refembles in {hape, fize, difpofition, and 
beauty, I will firft fhow thofe flight diflinctions, and mention 
the names each animal has received in confequence thereof ; 
and then proceed to give their hiftory togethe'r, ft ill marking 
any peculiarity obfervable in one of the ipecies, which is not 
found in the reft. 

Next to the great panther, already mentioned, is the ani- 
mal which mr. Buffon calls the leopard, a name which lie 
acknowledges to* be given arbitrarily, for the fake of diftinc- 
tion. Other naturalifts have not much attended to the flight 
differences between this and the great panther, nor have they 
ronfidered its difcriminations as fufliciertt to entitle it to ano- 
ther name. It has hitherto, therefore, gone under the name 
of the leopard, or panther of Senegal, where it is chiefly 
found. The differences between this animal and the former 
are thefe : the large panther is often found to be fix feet long, 
from the tip of the nofe to the infertion of the tail ; the pan- 
ther of Senegal is not above four. The large panther is 
marked with fpots in the manner of a rofe, that is, five or 
fix make a kind of circle, and there is generally a large one 
in the middle. The leopard of Senegal has a much more 
beautiful coat, the yellow is more brilliant, and the fpots are 
{mailer, and not difpofed in rings but in clufters. As to the 
reft, they are both whitifh under the belly ; the tail in both 
is pretty long, but rather longer in proportion in the latter, 
than the former. To thefe two animals, whofe differences 
Jeem to be fo very minute, we may add a third ; namely, the 
jaguar or panther of America. This, in every refpeft, refem- 
bles the two former, except in the difpofition of its fpots, and 
that its neck and head are rather ftrcaked than fpotted. The 
jaguar is alfo faid to be lower on its legs, and lefs than the 
leopard of Senegal. Thefe three quadrupeds as we fee, have 
but very flight differences, and the principal diftin&ion ufed 
by mr. Buffbn, is taken from the fize ; the firft, as he fays, is 
ufually fix feet long ; the fecond, four feet ; and the laft, 
about three : however, it appears from the particular fubjecta 

CAT KIND. 147 

of his defcriptKHi, that the panther in his pofTeiTion was net 
above three feet feven inches long ; that the leopard's ikin^ 
which he defcribes, was about four ; and that the jaguar, at? 
two years old, was between two- and three feet long, which, 
when come to- its full growth, would, no doubt, be four feet 
long, as well as the two former. From hence, therefore, we 
may conclude, that the fize in thefe animals is not fuf- 
ficient to make a diftinclion among them ; and that thofe 
who called them all three by the indifcriminate names of 
the leopard and the panther, if not right, were, at leaffc ex- 
cufable. Of thofe which are now to be feen in the Toweiy 
the jaguar, or the American panther, is rather the largefl of 
the three j and is by no means the contemptible animal which, 
mr. BufFon defcribes it to be : the leopard is the lead of them, 
and has, by fome travellers, been fuppofed to be an animal, 
produced between the panther and the, ounce, an animaL 
which refembles, but is lefs than any of the former. Thefe. 
three animals we may, therefore, rank together, as they agree 
pretty nearly in their robe, their fize, their difpofitions and 
their ferocity, 

We come next to an animal confeiredly different from any 
of the former, being much fmaller, and its colour more inclin- 
ing to white. Its name, however, in our language, has cauied 
no fmall confufion. It has been generally called, by foreigners,* 
the onza, or the ounce, and this name, fcuaie of our own writers, 
have thought proper to give it ; but others of them, and thefe 
the moft celebrated, fuch as Wiiloughby, have given .this name, 
to a different, animal, with a mori tail, and l^nown to .the An- 
cients and .moderns by the name of the lynx. I confefs myfelf. 
at a lofs, in this cafe, whom to follow; the alteration of names 
fhould be always made with great caution, and never but in 
cafes of neceflity. If we follow Willoughby, there will be an 
animal of the panther, kind, very diftingu-ifliable from all the 
reft, left without a name; and if we recede from it, it will 
produce fome confufion among all the numerous clafs of readers 
and writers who have taken him for their guide : however, as. 
he feems himfelf to have been an innovator, the, name of the 


lynx having been long adopted into our language before, k ws* 
unneceflary to give the animal that bore it, another name, and 
to call that creature an ounce, which our old writers had been 
accuftomed to know by the Latin appellation ^ for this reafon^ 
therefore, we may fafely venture to take a name that has been; 
long mifapplied, from the lynx, and reftore it to the animal in 
queftion. We will, therefore, call that animal of the panther 
kind, which is lefs than the panther, and with a longer tail, the 
ounce ; and the lynx may remain in pofleflion of that name by 
which it was known among all our old Engliih writers, as well 
as by all antiquity. 

The ounce, or the onca, of Linnaeus, is much lefs than the 
panther, being not, at moft, above three feet and a half long ; 
however, its hair is much longer than that of the panther, and 
its tail ftiil more fo. The panther of four or five feet long, has 
a tail but of two feet, or two feet and a half. The ounce, which 
is but about three feet, has a tail often longer that the reft of 
its body. The colour of the ounce is alfo apparently different* 
being rather more inclining to a cream colour, which is deeper 
on the back, and whiter towards the belly. The hair on the 
back is an inch and a half long ; that on the belly, two inches 
and a half, which is much longer than that of the panther. Its 
fpots are difpofed pretty much in the fame manner as the large 
panther, except that on the haunches it is rather marked with 
ftripes than with fpots. 

Defcending to animals of this kind that are ft ill fmaller, we 
find that the catamountain, which is the ocelot of mr. Buffon,, 
or the tiger cat erf moft of thofe who exhibit as a mow. It is 
lefs than the ounce, but its robe more beautifully variegated* 
It is an American animal, and is about two feet and a half in 
legth, from the nofe to the infertion of the tail. It is extremely 
like a cat, except that it is larger and ilenderer, that its colours are 
more beautiful, and its tail rather fhorter. The fur is of a red- 
dim colour, the whole beautified with black fpots, and ftreaks 
of different figures. They are long'on the back, and round on 
the belly and paws. On the ears are black ftripes, which run 
acrofs, but, in other refpe&s, they entirely referable thofe of 

CAT KIND. 149 

a cat. Thefe colours, ho-.vever, which naturalifts have taken 
great pains minutely to defcribe, are by no means permanent, 
being differently difpofedin different animals of the fame fpe- 
cies. I remember to have feen an animal of this fize, but whe- 
ther of this fpecies I will not pretend to fay, fome years ago, 
that was entirely brown, and was faid alfo to have come from 

From this tribe of the cat kind with fpotted ficins and a long 
tail, we come to another, with (kins diverfified in like manner, 
but with a fhorter tail. The principal of thefe is the lynx, the 
name by which the animal was known to ^Eiien, among the 
ancients ; and to all our old Englifh writers, among thofe of a 
more modern date. This name has been corrupted by the Por- 
tuguefe, into the word ouze ; and this corruption has been 
adopted by Ray, who has improperly called this animal the 
ounce, after fome of the foreign travellers. The firft finking 
diftintHon between the lynx, and all thofe of the panther kind, 
is in its tail, which is at leaft half as Ihort in proportion, and 
black at the extremity. Its fur is much longer, the fpots on the 
{kin lefs vivid, and but confufedly mingled with the reft. Its 
ears are much longer, and tipped at the points with a black 
tuft of hair. The colour round the eyes is white, and the phy- 
fiognomy more placid and gentle. Each hair of this animal is 
of three different colours : the root is of a greyifh brown ; the 
middle red, or of an afh colour; and the ends white. This 
whitenefs at the ends takes up fo fmall a part of the particular 
hair, that it does not prevent us from feeing the principal co- 
lour, which is that of the middle part ; fo that it only makes 
the furface of the body appear as if it were filvered over : how- 
ever, the hair of which the fpots confift, has no white at the 
ends, and at the roots it is not quite fo black- as the other part. 
This animal is not above the fize of the ounce, but is ra 
ftronger built, and it has but twenty-eight teeth ; whereas all 
the reft of the cat kind, already mentioned, have thirty. 

Another animal of this kind is called the Jiagujh, or, as mr. 
Buffon names it, the caracel. It is a native of the Eaft-Indies, 
and refembles the lynx in fize, in form, and even in the fingu- 


larity of being tufted at- the tips of the ears. However^ the -fia- 
gufh differs in not being mottled as the lynx is; its fur, or ra~ 
ther hair, is rougher and Ihorter , its tail is rather longer ; its 
muzzle more lengthened ; its phyilognomy more fierce^ and iu 
nature more favage. 

The third, and laft animal that need be mentioned of this 
kind, is that which mr. Buffon calls the Serval, and which he 
has firft defcribed. It is a native of Malabar, refembiing the 
panther in its fpots, but the lynx in the fhortnefs of its tail, in 
its fize, and in its flrong-built form. 

Thefe feem to be all the principal diftinftibns among animals 
of the panther kind, from the hrgeft of this tribe down to the 
domeflic cat, which is the fmalleft of all thefe fierce and mif- 
chievous varieties. In all, their nature feems pretty much the 
fame 5 being equally fierce, fubtle, cruel, and cowardly. The 
panther, including the leopard and the jaguar, or American 
panther, as they are the largeft, fo alfo are they the mod dan- 
gerous of this kind ; for the whole race of cats are noxious in 
proportion to their power to do mifchief. They inhabit the 
moil torrid latitudes of India, Africa, and America, and have 
never been able to multiply beyond the torrid zone. They are 
generally found in the thickeft and the mod entangled forefts, 
and often near remote habitations, where they watch to fur- 
prize all kinds of domeflic animals. They very feldom attacfe 
man, even though provoked by him ; they feem rather defirous 
of finding fafety by flight, or by climbing trees, at which they 
arc very expert. In this manner, alfo, they often purfue their 
prey, and, being expert at fefzing it, as well above as below, 
they caufe a vafl deflruclion. Of all other animals, thefe are 
the mofl fullen, and, even to a proverb, untameable. They ftill 
preferve their fierce and treacherous fpirit ; and at thofe places 
where they are expofed to be feen among others, we often ob- 
ferve that while their keeper is familiar with the lion or the 
bear, yet he is apprehenfive of the large panther, and keeps it 
fecund with the fhorteft chain. 

As the ounce differs from thefe in figure and fize, fo alfo k 


feerns to differ in difpofition, being more mild, tra&able and 
fame. Thefe we frequently fee as harmlefs and innocent as cats-, 
and there is one at prefent in the to\ver with which the keeper 
plays without the f malleft-apprehenfion. I own I was not a little 
uneafy, at firft, for the man, when he put his hand through the 
bars, and called the animal by its name ; but was a good deal 
furprized to fee the creature, which one might fuppofe irritated 
by long confinement, come gently up to him, ftroke his hand 
with its face, in the manner of a cat, and teftify the utmoft 
gentlenefs of difpofition. The ounce, therefore, is remarkable 
for being eafily tamed; and, in fact, it is employed all over the 
eafl for the purpofes of hunting. Not, indeed, but that pan- 
thers fchemfelves are fometimes ufedfor this purpofe, but they 
are never thoroughly fubdued like the former, being ufually 
brought to the field in a carriage, and kept chained and caged 
until they are mown the gazelle, or the leveret, which is their 
prey. This they purfue rather by three or four great fprings 
than by running. If they feize it by this fudden effort, it finds 
no mercy; but if it efcapes from their firft effort, they never 
attempt to purfue, and appear quite difappointed and con- 
founded at their mifchance. It fometimes happens that they 
are fo much enraged at it, that they attack even their employ- 
er, and his only refource to avoid their fury, is to throw them 
fome fmall pieces of meat, which he has brought with him for 
that purpofe. 

The ounce, however, is not fo dangerous ; and is treated 
with more confidence and familarity. It is ufually brought to 
the field hood-winked behind one of the horfemen. When the 
game appears, the ounce is inftantly uncovered, and mown 
where it lies ; upon which the fierce creature darts like an ar- 
row to the place, and feizes it at once, or, miffing it, remains 
motionlefs in the place. It would be vain to attempt retrieving 
its difgrace by continuing the purfuit ; for, although it bounds 
with greater agility than moil other animals, yet it is flow and 
aukward in running, and has no means of finding the animal 
it purfues by the fmell, as is common among thofe of the dog 
kind. Froan hence, therefore, it appears, how much fuperior 


the European method of hunting is to that of the Afiatic; fmce 
whatever amufement this exercife affords, mull arife from 
the continuance of the chace, and from the fluctuation of 
doubt and expectation, which raife and deprefs the purfuers by 
turns. All this an Afiatic hunter is deprived of j and his great- 
eft pleafure can fcarcely be more. than what among us is cal- 
led courfing, in which the dog purfues the animal, and keeps 
it conftantly in view. 

But it mud not be fuppofed that it is from choice the An*- 
atics ufe this method of chace ; for, no doubt, were dogs fer- 
viceable among them as they are in Europe, they would be 
employed for the fame purpofes. But the fact is, that the ex- 
treme heat of the tropical climates, produces fuch univerfal pu- 
trefaction, and fends up fuch various and powerful fcents, 
that dogs are at firft bewildered in the chace, and at laft come 
to lofe the delicacy of their fcent entirely. They are, there- 
fore, but little ufed in thofe warm countries ; and what could 
they avail in places where almoft every other animal of the 
foreft is ftronger and more rapacious? The lion, the tiger, the 
panther, and the ounce, are all natural enemies to the dog, and 
attack him, wherever he appears, with ungovernable fury. The 
breed, therefore, in thofe places, would quickly be deftroyed ; 
fo that they are obliged to have recourfe to thofe animals which 
are more fitted to ferve them ; and thus convert the ounce to 
thofe purpofes for which dogs are employed in Europe. 

The catamountain, or ocelot, is one of the fierceft, and, for 
its fize, one of the moft deftructive animals in the world. It 
is, as was before obferved, a native of South-America, and by 
no means capable of the fame education as the ounce, which it 
more approaches in fize than in difpofition. Two of thefe, 
from whom mr. Buffon has taken his defcription, were brought 
over from Carthagena, and having been taken from the dam 
when very young, were afterwards iuckied by a bitch. But, 
before they were three months old, they had ftrertgth and in- 
gratitude fufficient to kill and devour their nurfe. Their fuc- 
ceeding fiercenefs and malignity feemed to correfpond with 

CAT KIND. 153 

iheir firfl efforts; for no arts could tame or foften their natures; 
and whil they continued in, their cages, they ftill teftified an 
unceafmg dlipofition for daughter. When their food was giv- 
en them, the male always fcrved himfelf before the female 
venrured to touch a bit ; and it was not till he was fatisfied 
that the other began. In their favage (late, thefe animals are 
ilill more deftructive ; having great ftrength and agility, they 
very eafily find and overtake their prey, which they purfuc 
among the tops of the trees as well as on the ground ; but \vhat 
renders them ftill more mifchievous is, their unceafmg ap- 
petite rather for the blood than the flefh of their prey. They 
fuck this with the greateft avidity, but frequently leave the 
carcafe otherwife untouched, in order to purfue other animals 
for the blood in like manner. They generally continue on the 
tops of trees, like our wild cats ; where they make their neft, 
and often bring forth their young. When they fpy any animal 
they can mailer, and there are but few in the foreft but what 
are inferior, they dart down upon it with inevitable exa&nefs. 

The whole tribe of animals of the panther kind, with long 
tails, are chiefly inhabitants, as was faid, of the torrid zone j 
but thofe of the (hort tailed kind, and particularly the lynx, 
is principally found in the cold countries that are bordering on 
the pole. The lynx is chiefly to be met with in the north of 
Germany, Lithuania, Mufcovy, Siberia, and North-America. 
Thofe of the new continent, however, are rather fmaller than 
in Europe, as is the cafe with almoft all their quadrupeds ; 
they are fomewhat whiter alfo, but in other refpe&s, there is 
fcarce any difference to be found among them*. This animal 
has been called by fome lupus cervarius, or a creature corn- 
pounded between a wolf and a ftag ; but for what reafon is 
hard to guefs ; it no way refembles either in fliape or in difpo- 
fition. In its nature, it exactly refembles the cat, except that, 
being bigger and nearly two feet long, it is bolder and fiercer. 
Like the cat, it climbs trees, and feeks its prey by iurprize ; 
like the cat it is delicate and cleanly, covering its urine with 



its paws; and it refembies the wolf in nothing except its- crj? 
which often deceives the hunters, and induces them to think 
they hear a wolf, and not a lynx. This animal alfo, is rather 
more delicate than the car ; and, after having once feafted up- 
on its prey, will never return to it again, but hunts the woods 
for another. From hence may have arifen the common report 
of the lynx having, of all other quadrupeds, the fhorteft memo- 
ry. This, however, is not the only idle ftory that has been pro- 
pogated of it : as of its feeing with fuch perfpicuity as to per- 
ceive objects through walls and mountains; as of having its 
urine of fuch a quality, as to harden, and become a precious 
ftone ; with feveral others, propagated by ignorance or im- 

The fiagufli and the ferval are both fo like all the reft of the 
cat kind in difpofition, that it is but repeating the fame account 
once more to give their diftmcl hiftory. As the lynx is found 
only in cold countries, fo the fiagufli is to be met with only in 
the warm tropical climates. It is ufed, in the fame manner as 
the ounce, for hunting ; but it feems to have a property \\hich 
the other has not ; namely, that of being able to overtake its 
prey by purfuing it. Whether this is performed by having a 
finer fcent than the former, or greater fwiftnefs, we are not in- 
formed ; being only told that when it overtakes either the ga- 
zelle or the antelope, it leaps upon their backs, and, getting 
forward to their fhoulders, fcratches their eyes out, by which 
means they become an eafy prey to the hunters. Some have 
called this animal the lion's provider ; and it is faid, that when 
it calls him to purfue his prey, its voice very much refembies 
that of one man calling another *. From hence we may con- 
jefture that this animal purfues its prey in full cry, and that 
the lion only follows to partake or feize the fpoil. The fame 
account is given alfo of the jackal ; and very probably it may 
be true, not only of thefe animals, but of fome others, fmce it 
is natural enough to fuppofe that the lion will purfue when- 
ever he is taught to difcover his prey* 

We had one of thefe animals a few years ago fent over from 
% Tlievcnot, vol. ii. p, 114. 

CAT KIND. 155 

the Eaft-Indies, but it was not able to endure the change of 
climate, and it died in a very {hort time after it was brought 
to the Tower. Whether confumed by difeafe or not, I cannot 
tell, but it feemed to me much flenderer than the cat or the 
lynx, and its ears were much longer ; however, it is a very 
ftrong creatue for its fize, and has been known to kill a dog 
in fmgle combat * : neverthelefs, it is like all of the cat kind 
except the lion, remarkable for its cowardice, and will never, 
except in cafes of neceffity, attack an animal that is its equal in 
ftrength or activity. For this reafon, when brought into the 
field, and put upon a fervice of danger, it obftinately refufes, 
and is alert only in the purfuit of animals that are too feeble 
for refiftance, or too timid to exert their ftrength. 

From what has been faid of this rapacious tribe, we perceive 
a fimilitude in the manners and difpofitions of them all, from 
the lion to the cat. The fimilitude of their internal conforma- 
tion is ftill more exacl: ; the fhortnefs of their inteitines, the 
number of their teeth, and the ftrudliure of their paws. The 
firft of this clafs is the lion, diftinguifhable from ail the reft by 
his ftrength, his magnitude, and his mane. The fecond is the 
tiger, rather longer than the lion, but not fo tall, and known 
by the ftreaks and the vivid beauty of its robe : including alfo 
the American tiger or cougar ; diftinguifhable by its fize, next 
that of the tiger, its tawny colour, and its fpots. The third is 
the panther and the leopard. The fourth is the ounce, not, 
fo large as any of the former, fpotted like them, but diftin- 
guifhable by the cream-coloured ground of its hair, and the 
great length of its tail, being above the length of its body. The 
fifth is the catamountain or tiger-cat, lefs than the ounce, but 
differing particularly in having a ihorter tail, and being ftreak- 
ed down the back like a tiger. The fixth is the fhort-tailed 
kind ; namely, the lynx, of the fize of the former, but with a 
{hort tail, ftreaked, and the tips of its ears tufted with black. 
The feventh is the fiagufh, differing from the lynx in not be- 
ing mottled like it, in not being fo large, and in having the. 
ears longer, though tipped with black, as before. The elith 


e ferval, refcmbling the lynx in its form, and the ! 
of its tail; ftreaked alfo like it, but not having the tips ol : its 
ears tufted. Lnftly, the cat, wild end tame, with all its varie- 
ties : all lefs than any of the former., bat, like them, equally 
inficlious, rapacious, and cruel. 

This whole race may be confidered as the moil formidable 
enemy of mankind ; there are others, indeed, ftronger, but they 
are gentle, and never offer injury till injured : there are others 
more numerous, but they are more feeble, and rather look for 
fafety by hiding from man, than oppofmg him. Thcfe are the 
only quadrupeds that make good their ground againll him ; 
and which may be faid to keep fome kingdoms of the earth in 
their own poiTeflion. How many extenfive countries are there 
in Africa, where the wild beafts are fo numerous, that man is 
.deterred from living amongft them ; reluctantly giving up to 
the lion and the leopard, extenfive tratls, that feem formed 
only for his delight and convenience ! 


Animals of the Dog Kind. 

THE fecond clafs of carnivorus quadrupeds may be de- 
nominated thofe of the dog kind. This clafs is neither fo 
numerous nor fo powerful as the former, and yet neither fo 
treacherous, rapacious, or cowardly. This clafs may be prin- 
cipally diftinguifhed by their claws, which have no {heath, like 
thofe of the cat kind, but ftill continue at the point of each toe, 
without a capability of being ftretched forward, or drawn back. 
The nofc alfo, as well as the jaw, of all the dog kind, is longer 
than in the cat , the body is in proportion, more ilrongly made, 
and covered with hair inflead of fur. There are many inter- 
nal diftin&ions alfo j as in the inteftines, which are much lon- 
ger in the dog kind, than in thofe of the cat ; the eye is not 
formed for night vifion ; and the olfalory nerves are difFufed, 

DOG KIND. 157 

in the dog kinds, upon ~ very exteufwe membrane within the 

If we compare the natural habitudes of this ckfs \vith the 
forme r, we (hall find that the clog kinds arc not fo folitary as 
thofe of the cat, but love to hunt in company, and encour 
each other with their mutual cries. In this manner die dog and 
the jackal purfue their prey ; and the woif and fox, which are 
of this kind, though more folitary and filent among us, yet, in 
countries where iefs perfecuted, and where they can more 
fearlefs difplay their natural inclinations, they are found to 
keep together in packs, and puvkie their game with alternate 

Animals of the dog kind want fome of the advantages of the 
cat kind, and yet are povTerTed of others in which the latter are 
deficient. Upon obferving their claws, it will eafily be perceiv- 
ed that they cannot, like cats, purfue their prey up the fides 
of a tree, and continue the chace among the branches ; their 
unmanageable claws cannot ftick in the bark, and thus fupport 
the body up along the trunk, as we fee the cat very eaiily per- 
form : whenever, therefore, their prey flies up the tree from 
them, they can only follow it with their eyes, or watch its mo- 
tions till hunger again brings it to the ground. For this reafon, 
the proper prey of the dog kind, are only thofe animals that, 
like themfelves, and unfitted for climbing ; the hare, the rabbit, 
the gazelle, or die roebuck. 

As they are, in this refpecl, inferior to the cat, fo they ex- 
ceed it in the fenfe of fmelling ; by which alone they purfue 
their prey with certainty of fuccefs, wind it through all its 
mazes, and tire it down by perfeverance. It often happens, 
however, in the favage (late, for their prey is either too much 
diminimed, or too wary to ferve for a fufficient fupply. In this 
cafe, when driven to an extremity, all the dog kinds can live, 
for fome time, upon fruits and vegetables, which, if they do 
not pleafe the appetite, at lead ferve to appeafe their hunger. 

Of all this tribe, the dog has every reafon to claim the pre- 
ference, being die moil intelligent of all known quadrupeds, 


and the acknowleged friend of mankind. The dog*, independent 
of the beauty of his form, his vivacity, force and fwiftnefs, is 
poffeffed of allthofe internal qualifications thatcan conciliate the 
affe&ions of man, and make the tyrant a protector. A natural 
ihare of courage, an angry and ferocious difpofition, renders 
the dog, in its favage ftate, a formidable enemy to all other 
animals : but thefe readily give way to very different qualities 
In the domeftic dog, \vhofe only ambition feems the defire to 
pleafe ; he is feen to come crouching along to lay his force, 
his courage, and all his ufeful talents, at the feet of his mafter; 
he waits his orders, to which he pays implicit obedience ; he 
confults his looks, and a fmgle glance is fufficient to put him 
in motion ; he is more faithful even than the moft boafted 
among men ; he is conftant in his affections, friendly without 
intereft, and grateful for the flighteft favours ; much more 
mindful of benefits received, than injuries offered ; he is not 
driven off by unkindnefs ; he flill continues humble, fubmiffive 
and imploring - ? his only hope to be ferviceable, his only terror 
to difpleafe ; he licks the hand that has been juft lifted to ftrike 
him, and atlaft difarms refentment by fubmiffive perfeverance. 

More docile than man, more obedient than any other ani- 
mal, he is not only inftru&ed in a fhort time, but he alfo con- 
forms to the difpofitions and the manners of thofe who com- 
mand him. He takes his tone from the houfe he inhabits ; 
like the reft of the domeftics, he is difdainful among the great, 
and churlim among clowns. Always affiduous in ferving his 
mafter, and only a friend to his friends, he is indifferent to all 
the reft> and declares himfelf openly againft fuch as feem to be 
dependant like himfelf. He knows a beggar by his clothes, 
by his voice, or geftures, and forbids his approach. When at 
night the guard of the houfe is committed to his care, he feems 
proud of the charge; he continues a watchful centinel, he goes 
his rounds, fcents ftrangers at a diftance, and gives them 
warning of his being upon duty. If they attempt to break in 
upon his territories, he becomes more fierce, flies at them, 

* The reft of this defer iption of the dog is taken from mr } Euffbn: what i 
;-.ddcd,is marked as before, 


threatens, fights, and either conquers alone, or alarms thofe 
who have mod intereft in coming to his afliftance ; however, 
when he has conquered, he quietly repofes upon the fpoil, and 
abftains from what he has deterred others from abufing ; giv- 
ing thus at once a lefTon of courage, temperance and fidelity. 

From hence we fee of what importance this animal is to us 
in a ftate of nature. Suppofing, for a moment, that the fpecies 
had not exifted, how could man, without the affiftance of the 
dog, have been able to conquer, tame, and reduce to fervitude, 
every other animal? How could he difcover, chafe and deftroy, 
thofe that were noxious to him ? In order to be fecure, and to 
become matter of all animated nature, it was necefiary for him 
to begin by making a friend of a part of them ; to attach fuch 
of them to himfelf, by kindnefs and carefles, as feemed fitteft 
for obedience, and active in purfuit. Thus, the tirft art employ- 
ed by man, was in conciliating the favour of the dog; and the 
fruits of this art were, the conqueft and peaceable pofleffion of 
the earth. 

The generality of animals have greater agility, greater fwift- 
nefs, and more formidable arms, from nature, than man ; their 
fenfes, and particularly that of fmelling, are far more perfect : 
the having gained, therefore, a new afliftant, particularly, one 
whofe fcent is fo exquifite as that of the dog, was the gaining 
a new fenfe, a new faculty, which before was wanting. The 
machines and inftruments which we have imagined for perfect- 
ing the reft of the fenfes, do not approach to that already pre- 
pared by nature, by which we are enabled to find out every 
animal, though unfeen, and thus deftroy the noxious, and ufe 
the ferviceable. 

The dog, thus ufeful in himfelf, taken into a participation of 
empire, exerts a degree of fuperiority over all animals that re- 
quire human protection. The flock and the herd obey his voice 
more readily even than that of the fhepherd or the herdfman ; he 
conducts them, guards them, keeps them fromcapricioufly feek- 
ing danger, and their enemies he confiders as hi* own. Nor is he 
Icfs ufeful in the purfuit; when the found of the horn, or the voice 


of the huntfrrtan calls him to the field, he teftifies his plcafurc 
by every little art. and purfues withperfeverance, thofe animals, 
which, when taken, he muft not expect to divide. The defires 
of hunting is indeed natural to him as well as to his matter* 
(ince war and the chacc are the only employment of favages. 
All animals that live iipcn flefh hunt by nature ; the lion and 
the tiger, whofe force is fo great that they are fare to conquer, 
hunt alone aud without art ; the wolf, the fox, and the wild 
dog, hunt in p;icks ; affift each other, and partake the fpoil. But 
when education has perfected this talent in the domeflic dog, 
when he has been taught by man to reprefs his ardour, to inea- 
fure his motions, and not to exhauft his force by too fudden an 
exertion of it, he then hunts with method, and always with 

" Although the wild dog, fuch as he was before he came un- 
der the protection of mankind, is at prefent utterly unknown, 
no fuch animal being now to be found in any part of the world, 
yet there are many that, from a domeftic ftate, have turned 
favage, and entirely purfue the dictates of nature." In thofe de- 
ferted and uncultivated countries, where the dog is found wild, 
they feem entirely to partake of the difpofition of the wolf ; 
they unite in large bodies, and attack the moft formidable ani- 
mals of the foreit, the cougar, the panther, and the bifon. In 
America, where they were originally brought by the Europeans* 
and abandoned by their matters, they have multiplied to fuch a 
degree, that they fpread in packs over the whole country, attack 
all other animals, and even man himfelf does not pafs without 
infult. They are there treated in the fame manner as all other 
carnivorous animals, and killed wherever they happen to 
come : however, they are eafily tamed : when taken home, and 
treated with kindnefs and lenity, they quickly become fubmif- 
iive and familiar, and continue faithfully attached to their maf- 
ters. Different in this from the wolf or the fox, who, though 
taken never fo young, are gentle only while cubs, and, as they 
grow older, give themfelves up to their natural appetites of ra- 
pine and cruelty. In fhort, it may be aflerted, that the dog is 
the only animal whofe fidelity is unfhaken ; the only one who 


knows his mailer, and the friends of the family ; the only one 
who inftantly diilinguimes a flranger ; the only one who knows 
his name, and anfwers to the domeiiic call; the only one who 
feems to under (land the nature of fubordination, and feeks affif- 
tance ; the only one, who, when he mifles his mafter, teilifies 
his lofs by his complaints ; the only one who, carried to a dif- 
tant place, can find the way home ; the only one whofe natur- 
al talents are evident, and whofe education is always fuccefs- 

In the fame manner, as the dog is of the mod complying 
difpofition, fo alio is it the moil fufceptible of change in its 
form ; the varieties of this animal being too many for even the 
moil careful defcriber to mention. The climate, the food, and 
the education, all make ftrong impreflions upon the animal, 
and produce alterations in its fnape, its colour, its hair, its fize, 
and in every thing but its nature. The fame dog, taken from 
one climate, and brought to another,, feems to become another 
animal ; but different breeds are as much feparated, to all ap- 
pearance, as any two animals the mofl diflinft in nature. No- 
thing appears to continue conftant with them, but their inter- 
nal conformation ; different in the figure of the body, in the 
length of the nofe, in the ftiape of the head, in the length and 
the direction of ears and tail, in the colour, the quality, and the 
quantity of the hair ; in fhort, different in every thing but that 
make of the parts which ferve to continue the fpecies, and keep 
the animal diflin<fl from all others. It is this peculiar confor- 
mation, this power of producing an animal that can reproduce, 
that marks the kind, and approximates forms that at firft fight 
feem never made for conjunction. 

From this fingle confederation, therefore, we may at once 
pronounce all dogs to be of one kind ; but which of them is 
the original of all the reft, which of them is the favage dog 
from whence fuch a variety of defendants have come down, 
is no eafy matter to determine. We may eafily, indeed, obferve, 
that ail thofe animals \vhich are under the influence of man, 
are fubject to great variations. Such as have been fufficiently 



independent, fo as to choofe their own climate, their own nou- 
rifhnient, and to purfue their own habitudes, preferve the ori- 
ginal marks of nature, without much deviation ; and it is pro- 
bable, that the Tirfl of thefe is even at this day very well re- 
prefented in their defendants. But fueh as man has fiibducd, 
tranfported from one climate to another, controuled in their 
manner of living and their food, have mofc probably been chan- 
ged allo in their forms : particularly the dog has felt thefe al- 
terations more ftrongly than any other of the domefcic kinds ; 
for living more like man, he may be thus faid to live more 
irregularly alfo, and, confequently, mult have felt all thofc 
changes that fuch variety would naturally produce. t Some 
oilier caufes aifo maybe .afligncd. for this variety in the fpecies 
of the dog : as he is perpetually under the eye of his mailer, 
\vhen accident has produced any linguiarity in its productions, 
man ufes all his art to continue this peculiarity unchanged ; 
either by breeding from fuch as had thoie fmgularities, or by 
deftroying fuch as happened to want them ; befides, as the 
dog produces much more frequently than fome other animals, 
and lives a fhcrter time, fo the chance for its varieties will be 
offered in greater proportion. 

But which is the original animal, and which the artificial 
or accidental variety, is a queftion, which, as w r as faid, is not 
eafily refolved. If the internal ftrucltire of dogs of different 
forts be compared with each ether, it will be found, except m 
point of (ize, thr.t, in this refpect, they are exactly the 
fame. This, therefore, affords no criterion. If other animals 
be compared with the dog internally, the wolf and the fox 
will be found to have the moft perfect refemblance ; it is 
probable, therefore, that the dog which moil nearly refemblcs 
ihe wolf or the fox externally, is the original animal of its 
kind: for it is natural to fuppofe, that as the clog molt nearly 
s them internally, fo he may be near them in external 
rcfembhncc alfo, except where art or accident has alterd his 
form. This being fuppofed, if we look among the number of 
varieties to be found in the dog, we fhall not find one fo like 
the wolf or the fox, as that which is called the fhepherd's do^, 


DOG KIM). n- 5 

This is that dog with long coarfe hair on nil parts except the 

nofe, pricked ears, and a long nek, which is common enough 
among us, and receives his name from b: ing principally ufed 
in guarding and attending on fheep. This feems to be tho 
primitive animal of his kind ; and \ve < 4kall be the more con- 
firmed in tflis opinion, if \ve attend to the different characters 
which climate produces in this animal, and the. different races 
of dogs which are propagated in every country : and, in the 
firft place, if we examine thofe countries which are ftill fa- 
vage, or but half civilized, where it is mod probable the dog, 
like his mailer, has received but few impreffions from art, we 
{hall find the fhepherd's dog, or one very like him, itill pre- 
vailing amongft them. The dogs that have run wild .in Ameri- 
ca, and in Congo, approach this form. The dog of Siberia^ 
Lapland, and Iceland, of the Cape of Good Hope, of Mada- 
.gafcar, Madura, Calicut, and Malabar, have all a long nofe, 
pricked ears, and refemble the (hepherd's dog very nearly. 
In Guinea, the . dog very fpeedily takes this form ; for, at 
the fecond or third generation, the animal forgets to bark, 
his ears and his tail become pointed, and his hair drops ofF 5 
while a coarfer, thinner kind comes in the place. This fort of 
dog is alfo to be found in the temperate climates in great 
abundance, particularly among thofe, who, preferring ufeful- 
nefs to beauty, employ an animal that requires very little in- 
ftruction to be ferviceable. Notwithstanding this creature's 
deformity, his melancholy and favage air, he is fuperior to all 
the reft of hisJrind in inftinct ; and, without any teaching* na- 
turally takes to tending flocks, with an affiduity and vigilance 
that at once aftonifhes, and yet relieves his matter. 

In more polimed and civilized places, the dog feems to par- 
take of the univerfal refinement ; and, like the men, becomes 
more beautiful, more majeftic, and more capable of ailuming 
an education foreign to his nature. The dogs of Albany, of 
Greece, of Denmark, and of Ireland, are larger and flrong- 
er than thofe of any other kind. In France, Germany, Spain, 
and Italy, the dogs are of. various kinds, like the men ; and 


this variety feems formed by crofling the breed of fuch r.3 
are imported from various climates. 

The fheperd's dog may, therefore, be confidercd as the 
primitive flock from whence thefe varieties are all derived, 
He makes the fbem of that genealogical tree which has been 
branched out into every part of the world. This animal flill 
continues pretty nearly in its original ftate among the poor 
in temperate climates ; being tranfported into the colder re- 
gions, he grows lefs and more ugly among the Laplanders ; 
but becomes more perfect in Iceland, Ruflia and Siberia, 
where the climate is lefs rigorous, and the people more civi- 
lized. Whatever differences there may be among the dogs 
of thefe countries, they are not very confiderable, as they 
all have (trait ears, long and thick hair, a favage afpedr, and 
do not bark either fo often or fo loud as dogs of the more 
cultivated kind. 

The fhepherd's dog, tranfported into the temperate climates, 
and among people entirely civilized, fuch as England, France, 
and Germany, will be diverted of his favage air, his pricked 
ears, his rough, long, and thick hair, and, from the {ingle in- 
fluence of climate and food alone, will become either a ma- 
tin, a maftifF, or a hound. Thefe three feem the immediate 
defendants of the former ; and from them the other vari- 
eties are produced. 

The hound, the harrier, and the beagle, feem all of the fame 
kind ; for although the bitch is covered but by one of them, 
yet in her litters are found puppies refembling all the three. 
This animal, tranfported into Spain or Barbary, where the 
hair of all quadrupeds become foft and long, will be there 
converted into the land-fpaniel, and the water-fpaniel, and 
thefe of different fizes. 

The grey matin hound, which is the fecond branch, tranf- 
ported to the north, becomes the great Danifh dog ; and 
this, fent into the fouth, becomes the grey-hound, of different 
fizes. The fame tranfponed into Ireland, the Ukraine, Tar- 



DOG KIND. 165 

tary, Epirus, and Albania, becomes tire great wolf dog, known 
by the name of the Iiiih wolf dog. 

The maftifF, which is the third branch, and chiefly a nr.tivr 
of England, when tranfported into Denmark, becomes the lit- 
tle Daniih dog; and this little Daniih dog, > the tro- 
pical and warm climates, becomes the animal called the Tar- 
kim dog, without hair. All thcfe races, with their varieties, 
are produced by the .influence of climate, joined to the c. 
ent food, education, and fhelter, which they have received 
among mankind. All other kinds may be considered as mon- 
grel races, produced by the concurrent of t.^fe, and found 
rather by croffing the breed than by attending to the indivi- 
dual. " As thefe are extremely numerous, and very dilierent 
in different countries, it would be almoft endlefs to mention 
the whole ; befides, nothing but experience can ascertain the 
reality of thefe conjectures already made, although they have 
fo much the appearance of probability ; and until that gives 
more certain information, we mull be excufed from entering 
more, minutely into the fubjech 

" With regard to the dogs of our country in particular, the 
varieties are very great, and the number every day mcreafmg. 
And this muft happen in a country fo open by commerce to all 
others, and where wealth is apt to produce capricious predi- 
lection. Here the uglieil and the moil ufelefs of their kinds 
will be entertained merely for their fingularity ; and, being 
imported only to be looked at. they will lofe even that fmall 
degree of fagacity which they polTefied in their natural cli- 
mates. From this importation of foreign ufelefs dogs, cur own 
native breed is, I am informed, greatly degenerated, and the 
varieties now to be found in England much more numerous 
than they were in the times of queen Elizabeth, when doctor 
Caius attempted their natural hifrory. Some of thefe he men- 
tions are no longer to be found among us, although many have 
fmce beera introduced, by no means fo ferviceable as thofe 
which have been fuiFered to decay. 

He divides the whole race into three kinds. The G 


the generous kind, which confifts of the tamer, the harrier, 
and the blood-hound ; the gaze-hound, the grey-Hound, the 
leymmer, and the tumljler ; all thefe are ufcd for hunting. 
Then the fpaniel, the fetter, and the water -fpaniel, or finder, 
were ufed for fowling ; and the fpaniel, gentle, or lap-dog, 
for amufement. The fecond is the farm kind ; confiding of 
the fhepherd's dog and the mailifT. And the third is the mon- 
grel kind j confiding of the wappe, the turn-fpit, and the 
dancer. To thefe varieties we may add, at prefent, the bull- 
dog, the Dutch maftiffj the harlequin, the pointer^ and the 
Dane, with a variety of lap-dogs, which, as they are-pe-rfectly 
ufelefs, may be confidered as unworthy of a name.. 

" The tarrier is a fmall kind of hound"-, with rough hair, 
made ufe of to force the fox or the badger out of their holes; 
or rather to give notice, by their barking, in \vhat part of their 
kennel the fox or badger refides, when the fnortfmen intend to 
dig them out.. 

The harrier, as well as the beagle and the fox-hound are 
ufed for hunting ; of all other animals, they have the quick- 
el! and mod diflinguiftiing fenfe of fmclling. The properly 
breeding, matching, and training thefe, make up the bufmefs.- 
of many men's lives. 

" The blood-hound was a dog of great ufe, and in hi^Ii 
eftecm among our anceftors. Its employ was to recover any 
game that had efcaped wounded from the hunter, or had 
been killed, and flolen out of the forefl. But it was dill more 
employed in hunting thieves and robbers by their footftep.s. 
At that time, when the country was Icfs peopled than at pre- 
fent, and when, confequently, the footdeps of one man were 
lefs crofled and obliterated by thofe of others, this animal 
was very ferviceable in fuch purfuits - y but at prefent, when 
the country is every where peopled, this variety is quite worn 
out ; probably becaufe it was found of lefs fervice than for- 

" The gaze- hound hunted like our grey-hounds, by the 

* Britim Zoology. 

If) 6 Vol. II 

V XIX . 

Vol .11.7' 


DOG KIND. 16-} 

eye and not by die fccnt. 1 indifferently the fox, hare, 

or buck. It v :om the herd the fatted and faireft 

deer, purfue it by the eye, and, if loft, recover it again with 
r.mazing fagac'ity. This ipecies is nc\v loft or unknown among 

(f The grcy-Iiound is very well known at prefent, and was 
formerly held in fuch elthnafion, that it was the peculiar corn- 
par, --n of a gentleman ; who, in the times of femi-barbarifm, 
was known by his horfe, his hawk, and his grey-hound. Per- 
fons under a certain rank of life are forbidden, by fome late 
game-l.iws, from keeping this animal ; wherefore, to difguifc 
it the better, they cut off its tail. 

" The levmmer is a fpecies now unknown to us. It hunt- 
ed both by fcent and fight, and was led in a leyme or thong, 
from whence it received its name. 

<c The tumbler was lefs than the hound, more fcraggy, and 
had pricked ears ; fo that by the defcription, it feems to an- 
fwer to the modern lurcher. This took its prey by mere cun- 
ning, depending neither on the goodnefs of its nofe nor its 
fwiftnefs. If it came into a v/urren, it neither barked nor ran 
on the rabbits ; but, feemingly inattentive, approached fuITici- 
f nily near till it came within reach, and then feized them by 
a fudden fpring. 

" The land fpaniel, which probably had its name from 
Spain, where it might have acquired the foftnefs of its hair, 
is well known at prefent. There are two varieties of this kind; 
namely, the ilater, uied in hawking to fpring the game ; and 
the fetter, that crouches down when it fcents the birds, till 
the net be drawn over them. I have read fornewhere that the 
famous poet, lord Surry, was the firft who taugh dogs to fet ; 
it being an amufernent to this day only known in England. 

" The water fpaniel was another fpecies ufed in fowling. 
This feems to be the mo ft docile of all the dog kind ; and 
this docility is particularly owing to his natural attachment 
to man. Many other kinds will not bear correction ; but this 
patient creature, though very fierce to ftrangers, feems un- 


Alterable in his affeHons ; and blows and ill ufuage feem only 
to increafc his regard* 

" The lap-dog, at the time of doctor Cnius, was of Mal- 
tefe breed ; at prefent it comes from different countries j in 
general, the more aukward or extraordinary thefe are, the 
more they are prized. 

" The fhepherd's dog has been already mentioned, and, as 
for the maftiff, he is too common to require a defcription. 
Doctor Cains tells us, that three of thefe were reckoned a 
match for a bear, and four for a lion. However, we are told 
that three of them overcame a lion in the times of king James 
the firft : two of them being di fabled in the combat, the third 
obliged the lion to feek for fafety by flight. 

" As to the laft divifion, namely, of the wappe, the turn- 
fpit, and the dancer, thefe were mongrels, of no certain ihape, 
and made ufe of only to alarm the family, or, being taught a 
variety of tricks, were carried about as a (how. 

" With regard to thofe of later importation, the bull-dog, 
as mr. Buffon fuppofes, is a breed between the fmall Dane 
tmd the Englifh maftiff. The large Dane is the tailed dog 
that is generally bred in England. It is fomewhat between a 
maftiff and a grey-hound in {hape, being more ilendcr than 
the one, and much ftronger than the other. They are chiefly 
ufed rather for (ho\v than fervice, being neither good in the 
yard nor in the field. The higheft are mod efteemed ; and 
they generally cutoff their ears to improve their figure, as 
fome abfurdly fuppofe. The harlequin is not much unlike the 
fmall Dane, being an ufelefs animal, fomewhat between an 
Italian grey-hound and a Dutch maftiff. To thefe, fcveral 
others might be added, fuch as the pug-dog, the black breed, 
and the pointer j but, in fact, the varieties are fo numerous 
as to fatigue even the moft ardent curiofity." 

Of thefe of the foreign kinds, I fhall mention only three, 
which are more remarkable than anv of the reft. The lion-don; 

* o 

greatly refcmbles that animal, .in miniature, from whence it 


tikes the name. The hair of the fore part of its body is ex- 
tremely long, while that of the hinder part is as (hort. The 
hofe is (hort, the tail long, and tufted at the point, fo that, in 
all thele particulars, it is entirely like the lion. However, it 
rs very much from that fierce animal in nature and dif- 
pofition, being one of the fmallefl animals of its kind, ex- 
tremely feeble, timid, and inactive. It comes originally from 
Malta, where it is found fo fmall that women carry it about 
in their fleeves. 

That animal falfely called the Turkifh dog, differs greatly 
from the reft of the kind, in being entirely without hair. 
The fkin, which is perfectly bare, is of a flem colour, with 
brown fpots; and their figure, at firft view, is rather difgufling; 
Thefe feem to be of the fmall Danifh breed, brought into a 
warm climate, and there, by a fucceflion of generations, diveft- 
ed of their hair. For this reafon, they are extremely chilly, 
and unable to endure the cold of our climate ; and even in the 
midft of iummer they continue to fhiver, as we fee men in a 
frofty day. Their fpots are brown, as was faid, well marked, 
and eafily diftinguifhable in fummer, but in the cold of winter 
they entirely difappear. They are called the Turkifh breed, 
although brought from a much warmer climate j for fome of 
them have been known to come from the watmeft parts of 
Africa and the Eaft-Indies. 

" The laft variety, and the moft wonderful of all that I 
fhall mention, is the great Irifli wolf dog ; that maybe con- 
fideted as the firft of the canine fpecies. This animal, which, 
is very rare even in the only country in the world where it is 
to be found, is rather kept for (how than ufe, there being nei- 
ther wolves nor any other formidable beafts of prey in Ire- 
land, that feem to require fo powerful an antagonift. The 
wolf dog is therefore bred up in the houfes of the great, or 
fuch gentlemen as choofe to keep him as a curiofity, bsin? 
neither good for hunting the hare, the fox, or the ftag, and 
equally unfervkeable as a houfe dog. Nevertheless, he is ex- 



tremely beautiful and majeftic to appearance, being the great- 
eft of the dog kind to be feen in^ the world. The largelt of 
thofe I have feen, and I have feen above a dozen, was about 
four feet high, or as tall as a calf of a year old. He was made 
extremely like a grey-hound, but rather more robuft, and in- 
clining to the figure of the French matin, or the great Dane. 
His eye was mild, his colour white, and his nature feemed 
heavy and phlegmatic. This I afcribed to his having been bred 
tip to a fize beyond his nature ; for we fee in man, and all 
Other animals, that fuch as are overgrown, are neither fo vigo- 
rous nor alert as thofe of more moderate ftature. The great- 
eft pains have been taken with thefe to enlarge the breed, both 
by food and matching. This end was effectually obtained, in- 
deed ; for the fize was enormous ; but, as it feemed to me, 
at the expenfe of the animal's fiercenefs, vigilance, and fa- 
gacity. However, I was informed otherwife ; the gentleman 
who bred them afluring me that a mnftifF would be nothing 
when oppofed to one of them, who generally feized their an- 
tagonift by the back : he added, that they would worry the 
ilrongefl bull-dogs, in a few minutes, to death. But this 
ftrength did not appear either in their figure or their inclina- 
tions ;'they feemed rather more timid than the ordinary race of 
dogs ; and their fkin was much thinner, and confequently lefs 
fitted for combat. "Whether with thefe difadvantages they were 
capable, as I was told, of tingly coping with bears, others may- 
determine ; however, they have but few opportunities, in their 
own country, of exerting their ftrength, as all wild carni- 
vorous animals there are only of the vermin kind. Mr. Buf- 
fon feems to be of opinion that thefe are the true Moloffian 
dogs of the ancients ; he gives no reafon for this opinion ; and 
I am apt to think it ill grounded. Not to trouble the reader 
with a tedious critical difquifition, which I have all along 
avoided, it will be fufficient to obferve, that Nemefianus, in 
giving directions for the choice of a bitch, advifes to have one 
of Spartan or Moloffian breed ; and among feveral other per- 
fections, he fays, that the ears mould be dependent, and flue- 

DOG KIND. 171 

faiate as fhe runs*. This, however, is by no means the cafe 
with the Irifli v/olf-dog, wliofe ears referable thofe of the 
grey-hound, and are far from fluctuating with the animal's 
motions. But, of whatever kinds thefe dogs may be, whether 
known among the ancients, or whether produced by a later 
mixture, they are now almoft quite worn away, and are very 
rarely to bs met with even- in Ireland. If carried to other coun- 
tries, they foon degenerate ; and even at home, unlefs great 
care be taken, they quickly alter. They were once employed in 
clearing the ifland of wolves, which infefted it in great plen- 
ty ; but thefe being deflroyed, the dogs alib are wearing awayj 
as if nature meant to annihilate the fpecies when they had no 
longer any fervices to perform. 

" In this manner fever al kinds of animals fade from the 
face of nature that were once well known, but are now feen 
no longer. The enormous elk of the fame kingdom, that, by 
its horns, could not have been lefs than eleven feet high, the 
wolf, and even the wolf-dog, are extinct, or only continued 
in fuch a manner as to prove their former plenty and exiil- 
ence. From hence it is probable, that many of the nobler 
kinds of dogs, of which the ancients have given us fuch beau- 
tiful defcriptions, are now utterly unknown ; fince, among the 
whole breed, we have not one that will venture to engage the 
lion or the tiger in fingle combat. The Englifh bull-dog is 
perhaps the braveft.of the kind ; but what are his mod boafted 
exploits to thofe mentioned of the Epirotic dogs by Pliny, 
o,r the Indian dogs by ./Elian ? The latter gives a defcription 
of a combat between a dog and a lion, which I will take, leave 
to tranflate. 

" When Alexander was purfuing his conquefts in India, 
one of the principal men of that country was defirous of 
fliowing him the value of the dogs which his country pro- 

* Elige tune ctrfu facilem, faciiemque recurwi, 

In Lacedzmonio natam feu rure MoloiTo. 

Renibus ampla fatis validis, diduclaque coxas 
e niinis molljs fluitent in curfibus aures. 


duced. Bringing his dog into the king's prefence, he ordered 
a flag to be let loofe before him, which the dog, defpifmg as an 
unworthy enemy, remained regardlefs of the animal, and never 
once ftirred from his place. Jlis mailer then ordered a wild 
boar to be fet out ; but the dog thought even this a defpicable 
foe, and remained calm and regardlefs as before. He was next 
tried with a bear j but ftill defpifmg his enemy, he only wai-. 
ted for an object more wpithy of his courage and his force. At 
lad, they brought forth a tremendous lion, and then the dog 
acknowledged his antagonill, and prepared for combat. He in- 
itantly difcovered a degree of ungovernable ardour ; and, fly- 
ing at the lion with fury, feized him by the throat, and totally 
difabled him from refiftance. Upon this, the Indian, who was 
defirous of furprizing the king, and knowing the conftancy 
and bravery of his dog, ordered his tail to be cut off ; which 
was eafily performed as the bold animal was employed in hold- 
ing the lion. He next ordered one of his legs to be broken ^ 
which, however, did not in the leaft abate the dog's ardour, 
but he ftill kept his hold as before. Another leg was then bro- 
ken ; but the dog, as if he had fuflered no pain, only preffed 
the lion ftill the more. In this cruel manner, all his legs were 
cut off, without abating his courage; and at laft, when even his 
head was feparated from his body, the jaws, feemed to keep 
their former hold. A fight, fo cruel, did not fail to affect the 
king with very ftrong emotions, at once pitying the dog's fate 
and admiring his fortitude. Upon which the Indian, feeing 
him thus moved, prefented him with four dogs of the fame 
kind, which, in fome meafure, alleviated his uneafmefs for te- 
lofs of the former. 

" The breed of dogs, however, in that country, is ?t pre- 
fent very much inferior to what this (lory feems to imply ; 
fince, in many places, inftead of dogs, they have Animals of 
the cat kind for hunting. In other places, alfo, th/s admirable 
and faithful animal, in (lead of being applied to his natural, 
ufes, is only kept to be eaten. All over China there are dog- 
butchers, and fliambles appointed for felling their ilefli. In 
Canton particularly, there is a flreet appointed for that pur- 

DOG KIND. i?< 

pofe ; and what is very extraordinary, wherever a dog-butcher 
appears, all the dogs of the place are fure to be in full 
after iiim ; they knov/ thfl , and perfccute him as far 

;is they are able." Along the roilts of Guinea, their flefli is 
efteemed a delicacy by the Negroes ; and they will give one 
of their cows for a dog. But, among this barbarous and bru- 
tal people, fcarce any thing that has life comes amns ; 
they may well take Tip with a c;o, fmce they confider toads, 
lizards, and even the flefh of the tiger itfelf, as a dainty. It 
rnay perhaps happen that the flefh of this animal, which is fo 
indifferent in the temperate climates, may aim me a better qua- 
lity in thofe v /Inch are more warm ; but it is more than pro- 
bable, that ths diverfity is rather in man than in the fleih of the 
dog ; fmce, in the cold countries, the flefti is eaten with equal 
appetite by the favages ; and they have their clog-feafts in the 
fame manner as we have ours for venifon, 

In our climate, the wild animals that mod approach the dog, 
are the wolf and the fox ; thefe in their internal conformation 
greatly refemble each other, and yet, in their natures, are very 
diitinct. The ancients afierted that they bred together ; an;!, 
I am afTured, by credible perfons, that there are many animals 
in this country bred between a dog and a fox. However, all 
the endeavours of mr. Burton to make them engender, as he 
affiires us, were ineffectual. For this purpofe, he bred up a 
young wolf, taken in the woods, at two months old, with a 
matin dog of the fame age. They were {hut up together, 
without any other, in a large yard, where they had a fheiter 
for retiring. They neither of them knew any other individual 
of their kind, nor even any other man but he who had the 
charge of feeding them. In this manner, they were kept for 
three years ; {till with the fame attention, and \\ ithout con- 
{training or tying them up. During the firft year, the young 
animals played with each other continually, and feemed to 
love each other very much. In the fecond year, they began to 
difpute about their victuals, although they were given more, 
than they could ufe. The quarrel always began on the wolf's 
fide. They were brought their food, whicl^ confi(te4 of flefli 


and bones, upon a large wooden platter, which was la'id oa 
the ground. Juft as it was put down, the wolf, iafte ad of falk 
ing to the meat, began by driving oiF the dog ; and took the 
platter in his teeth fo expertly, that he let nothing of what 
it contained fall upon the ground , and, in this manner, car- 
ried it off ; but as he could not entirely efcape, he was fre- 
quently feen to run with it round the yard five or fix times, 
ft ill carrying it in a poiition that none of its contents could 
fall. In this manner it would continue running., only now and 
then flopping to take breath, until the dog coming up, the wolf 
would leave the victuals to attack him. The dog, however, 
was the ftronger of the two ; but as it was more gentle, in 
order to fecure him from the wolf's attack, he had a collar 
put round his neck. In the third year, the quarrels of thefe 
ill-paired aUbciates were more vehement, and their combats 
more frequent ; the wolf, therefore, had a collar put about 
its neck, as well as the dog, \vho began to be more fierce and 
unmerciful. During the two firft years, neither feemed tq 
teftify the lead tendency towards engendering ; and it was 
not till the end of the third, that the wolf, which was the fe-< 
male, fhowed the natural defire, but without abating either 
in its fiercenefs or obftinacy. This appetite rather incrcafed 
than repreffed their mutual animofity ; they became every 
clay more intractable and ferocious, and nothing was heard 
between them but the founds of rage and refentment. They 
both, in lefs than three weeks, became remarkably lean, with~ 
out ever approaching each other, but to combat. At length, 
their quarrels became fo defperate, that the dog killed the wolf, 
who was become more weak and feeble ; and he was foon 
after himfelf obliged to be killed, for, upon being fet at li* 
berty, he inftantly flew upon every 'animal he met ; fowls, dogs, 
and even men themfelves not efcaping his favage fury. 

The fame experiment was tried upon foxes, taken young ; 
but with no better fuccefs : they were never found to engender 
with dogs ; and our learned naturalift feems to be of opinion, 
that their natures are too oppofite ever to provoke mutual de- 
fire. One thinj, however, muft be remarked, that the anirnaia 

DOG KIND. 7-5 

on which he tried his experiments, were rather too old when 
taken, and hud partly acquired their natural favage appetites, 
before they came into his poflcflion. The wolf, as he acknow- 
ledges, was two or three months old before it was caught, and 
the foxes were taken in traps. It may, therefore, be eafily fup- 
pofed, that nothing could ever after thoroughly tame thofe 
creatures, that had been fuckied in the wild ftate, and had 
caught all the habitudes of the dam. I have feen thefe animals 
when taken earlitr in the woods, become very tame ; and, in- 
deed, they rather were difpleafing, by being too familiar than 
too my. It were to be wiihed, that the experiment were tried up- 
on fuch as thefe; and it is more than probable that it would pro- 
duce the defiixu fuceefs. N:vcrthclefs, thefe experiments are 
lufEcient to prove, that neither the wolf nor the fox are of the 
fame nature with the dog, but each of a fpecies perfectly dii- 
tincl, and their joint produce moil probably unfruitful. 

The dog, when firft whelped, is not a completely finiihed 
animal. In this kind, as in all the reil which bring forth many 
at a time, the young are not fo perfetl as in thofe which bring 
forth but one or two. They are always produced with the eyes 
cloied, the lips being held together, not by flicking, but by a 
kind of thin membrane, which is torn as foon as the upper eye- 
lid becomes ftrong enough to raife it from the under. In ge- 
neral, their eyes arc not open till ten or twelve days old. Dur- 
ing that time, the bones of the fcull are not completed, the bo- 
dy is puffed up, the noie is mort, and the whole form but ill 
fketched out. In lefs than a month, the puppy begins to ufe all 
its fenfes ; and, from thence, makes hafly advances to its per- 
fection. At the fourth month, the dog lofes fome of his teeth, 
as in other animals, and thefe are renewed by fuch as never fall. 
The number of thefe amount to forty-two, which is twelve 
more than is found in any of the cat kind, which are known 
never to have above thirty. The teeth of the dog being his great 
and only weapon, are formed in a manner much more fervicea- 
ble than thofe of the former; and there is fcarceany quadruped 
that has a greater facility in rending, cutting, or chewing its food. 
He cuts with his jncifcrs, or fors-teeth, he holds with his four 


great canine teeth, and he chews his meat with his grinders * 
thefe are fourteen in number, and fa placed, that, when the 
jaws are fhut, there remains a diftance bet\\ eenthem, fo that the 
clog, by opening his mouth ever fo wide, does not lofe the pow- 
er of his jaws. But it is othenvife in the cat kind, whofe inci- 
fors or cutting teeth, are very final], and whofe grinding teeth* 
when brought together, touch more clofeiy than thofe of the 
dog, and, confequently, have lefs power. Thus, for in fiance, 
I can fqueeze any thing more forcibly between my thumb and 
fore finger, where the diftance is greater, than between any 
other two fingers, whofe diftance from each other is lefs. 

This animal is capable of reproducing at the age of twelve 
months*, goes nine weeks with young, and lives to about the 
age of twelve* Few quadrupeds are lefs delicate in their food ; 
and yet there are many kinds of birds which the dog will not 
venture to touch. He is even known, although in a fa v age ftate, 
to abftain from injuring fome which one might fuppofe he had 
every reafon to oppofe. The dogs and the vultures which live 
wild about Grand Cairo in Egypt, (for the Mahometan law 
has expelled this ufeful animal from human fociety) continue 
together in a very fociable and friendly manner)-. As they are 
both ufeful in devouring fuch carcafes as might otherwife pu- 
trefy, and thus infect the air, the inhabitants fupply them with 
provinons every day, in order to keep them near the city. Up- 
on thefe occafions, the quadrupeds and birds are often feen to- 
gether, tearing the fame piece of flefh, without the leaft enmi- 
ty ; on the contrary, they are known to live together with a 
kind of affe&ion, and bring up their young in the fame neft. 

Although the dog is a voracious animal, yet he can bear hun- 
ger for a very long time. We have an inftance, in the memoirs 

* To th!s clcfcription I \vill beg leave to add a few particulars fromLJnn.TMis, 
as I ilnd them in the original. Vomit Qa gramina purgntur: cacat fupra iapi- 
<km. Album gra-cum antifc-pticum fummum. TvTmgiiad latus (this, however^ 
not till ti.e iii.i.ualio nine months o!d) cum Lofpite fa-pe centies. Odoratanunt 
aittrius. Procis rixaa'Jbus crv.udis. Mcni'truans coit cuiii v^riis. Mordct 
ilia illos. Cch.vict copuki jantlus. 

* HalTcl.iuift Her. Palwftiu, p. 232, 


of the Academy of Sciences, of this kind, in which a bitch that 
liad been forgotten in a country-houfe, lived forty days, with- 
out any other nourilliment than the wool of a quilt which (he 
had torn in pieces. It fhould feem that water is more neceflary 
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 confequeilces of which 
are fo well known, is the greateft inconvenience that refults 
from the keeping this faithful domeftic. But it is a diforder by 
no means fo frequent as the terrors of the timorous would fup- 
pofe ; the dog has been often accufed of madnefs, without a 
fair trial ; and fome perfons have been fuppofed to receive their 
deaths from his bite, when either their own ill-grounded fears, 
or their natural diforders, were the true caufe. 


THE dog and the wolf are fo very much alike internally, 
that the moil expert anatomifts can fcarce perceive the differ- 
ence ; and it may be aflerted alfo, that, externally, fome dogs 
more nearly referable the wolf than they do each other. It was 
this ftrong fimilitude that firft led fome naturalifts to confider 
them as the fame animal, and to look upon the wolf as the dog 
in its ft ate of favage freedom : however, this opinion is enter- 
tained no longer ; the natural antipathy thofe two animals bear 
to each other ; the longer time which the wolf goes with young 
than the dog, the one going over a hundred days, and the other 
not quite fixty; the longer period of 1'fe in the former than the 
latter, the wolf living twenty years, the dog not fifteen ; all 
fufficiently point out a diftinttion, and draw a line that muft 
for ever keep them afunder. 

The wolf, from the tip of the nofe, to the infertion of the 
tail, is about three feet feven inches long, and about two feet 
five inches high ; which (hows him to be larger than our great 
breed of maftifis, which are feldom found to be above three 
feet by two. His colour is a mixture of black, brown, and grey, 
extremely rough and hard, but mixed towards the roots with 



a kind of afh-coloured fur. In comparing him to any of otif 
well-known breed of dogs, the great Dane, or mongrel grey- 
Jjfcund, for inftance, he will appear to have the legs (llorter, 
the head larger, the muzzle thicker, the eyes fmaller and more 
feparated from each other, and the ears fhorter and ftraiter, 
He appears, in every refpecr., ftronger than the dog , and the 
length of his hair contributes ftill more t0 his robuft appear- 
ance. The feature which principally diftinguifhes the vifage of 
the wolf from that of the dog, is the eye, which opens ilanting- 
ly upwards, in the fame direction with the nofe ; whereas, in 
the dog, it opens more at right angles with the nofe, as in man. 
The tail alfo, in this animal, is long and bulhy j and he car- 
ries it rather more between his hind legs than the dog is feen 
to do. The colour of -the eye-balls in the wolf are of a fiery- 
green, and give his vifage a fierce and formidable air, which 
his natural difpofitian doesj>y no means contradict*. 

The wolf is one of thofe animals whofe appetite for animal 
food is the moft vehement ; and whofe means of fatisfying this 
appetite are the moft various. Nature has furnifhed him with 
ftrength, cunning, agility, and all thofe requifites which fit an 
animal for purfuing, overtaking, and conquering its prey ; and 
yet," with all thefe, the wolf moft frequently dies of hunger, 
for he is the declared enemy of man. Being long proscribed, 
and a reward offered for his head, he is obliged to fly from hu- 
man habitations, and to live in the foreft, where the few wild 
animals to be found there, efcape him either by their fwiftnefs 
or their art-, or are fupplied in too fmall a proportion to fatisfy 
his rapacity. He is naturally dull and cowardly ; but frequent- 
ly difappointed, and as often reduced to the verge of famine, 
he becomes ingenuous from want, and courageous from ne*- 
ceffity. When prefled with hunger, he braves danger, and 
comes to attack thofe animals which are under the protection 
of man, particularly fuch as he can readily carry away, 
lambs, flicep, or even dogs themfelves, for all animal food be*- 
comcs then equally agreeable. When this.excurfion has fuc- 

* The reft of this hiilory of the wolf is taken from mr. Buffon, and I look 
upon it as a complete model fbr natural hittory, If I add or dirter, I mark it a* 


seeded, he often returns to the charge, until, having been 
wounded or hard preffed by the dogs, or the fhepherds, he 
hides himfelf by day in the thickefl coverts, and only ventures 
out at night; he then faliies forth over the country, keeps peer- 
ing round the villages, carries off fuch animals as are not un- 
der protection, attacks the fheep-folds, fcratches up and under- 
mines the thresholds of doors where they are houfed, enters 
furious, and deftroys all before he begins to fix upon and carry 
off his prey. When thefe faliies do not fucceed, he then re- 
turns to the thickefl part of the foreft, content to purfue thofe 
fmaller animals, whicji, even when taken, afford him but a fcan- 
ty fupply. He there goes regularly to work, follows by the 
fc.ent, opens to the view, ftill keeps following, hopelefs himfelf 
of overtaking the prey, but expecting that fome other wolf will 
come in to his affiftance, and then content to fhare the fpoil. 
At laft, when his neceffities are very urgent, he boldly faces 
certain deftruction ; he attacks women and children, and fome- 
times ventures even to fall upon men ; becomes furious by his 
continual agitations, and ends his life in madnefs. 

The wolf, as well externally as internally, fo nearly refembhs 
the dog, that he feems modelled upon the fame plan; and yet 
he only offers the reverfe of the medal. If his form be like, his na- 
ture is fo different, that he only preferves the ill qualities of the 
dog, without any of his good ones. Indeed, they are fo differ- 
ent in their difpofitions, that no two- animals can have a more 
perfect antipathy to each other. A young dog fhudders at the 
fight of a wolf ; he even fhuns his fcent, which, though un- 
known, is fo repugnant to his nature, that he comes trembling 
to take protection near his mafter. A dog who is ftronger, and 
who knows his ftrength, briftles up at the fight, teflifies his 
animofity, attacks him with courage, endeavours to put him to 
flight, and does all in his power to rid himfelf of a prefence 
that is hateful to him. They never meet without either flying or 
fighting; fighting for life and death, and without mercy on 
either fide. If the wolf is the ftronger, he tears and devours 
his prey : the dog, on the contrary, is more generous, and con- 
tents himfelf with his victory ; he does not feem to think that 


the body of a dead enemy f metis ?tr//; he leaves him where h& 
falls, to ferve as food for birds of prey, or for other wolves, fince 
they devour each other ; and when one wolf happens to be 
defperately wounded, the reft track him by his blood, and are 
fure to (how him no mercy. 

The dog, even in his favage ftate, is not cruel; he is eafily tam- 
ed, and continues firmly attached to his matter. The wolf, when 
taken young, becomes tame, but never has an attachment; na- 
ture is ftronger in him than education ; he refumes, with age, 
his natural difpofitions, and returns, as foon as he can, to the 
woods from \\hence he was taken. Dogs, even of the. dullell 
kinds, feek the company of other animals ; they are naturally 
difpofed to follow and accompany other creatures befide them- 
fclves ; and, even by inftincl:, without any education, take to 
the care of flocks and herds. The wolf, on the contrary, is the 
enemy of all fociety ; he does not even keep much company 
\vith thofe of his kind. When they are feen in packs to- 
gether, it is not to be considered as a peaceful fociety, but a 
combination for war : they teflify their hoftile intentions by 
their loud bowlings; and by their iiercenefs, difcover a project 
for attacking fome great animal, fuch a; a flag, or a bull, or 
to deftroy fome more redoubtable watch-dog. The inftant their 
military expedition is completed, their fociety is at an end ; 
they then part, and each returns in filence to his folitary re- 
treat. There is not even any ftrong attachments between the 
male and female ; they feek each other only once a year, and 
remain but a few days together: they always couple in winter ; 
at which time feveral males are feen following one female, and 
this afTociation is ftill more bloody than the former : they dif- 
pute moft cruelly, growl, bark, fight, and tear each ether; and, 
it fometimes happens, that the majority kill the wolf which has 
been chiefly preferred by the female. It is ufu 1 for the me 
wolf to fly from them all with whom me has chofen ; and 
watches this opportunity when the reft are afleep. 

The feafon for coupling does not continue above twelve or 
fifteen days ; and ufually commences among the oldeft, thofe . 

DOG KIND. 181 

which are young being later in their defires. The males have 
no fixed time for engendering ; they pafs from one female to 
the other, beginning at the end of December, and ending at the 
latter e?id of February. The time of pregnancy is about three 
months and a half; and the young wolves are found from the 
latter end of April to the beginning of July. The long conti- 
nuance of the wolf's pregnacy is fufficient to make a diitinc- 
tion between it and the dog, did not alfo the fiery fiercenefs of 
the eyes, the howl inflead of barking, and the greater duration 
of its life, leave no doubt of its being an animal of its own par- 
ticular fpecies. In other refpecb, however, they are entirely- 
alike; the wolf couples exactly like the dog, the parts are form- 
ed in the fame manner, and their feparation hindered by the 
fame caufe. When the (he-wolves are near their time of bring- 
ing forth, they feek fome very tufted fpot, in the thickeft part 
of the foreft ; in the middle of this they make a fmall opening, 
cutting away the thorns and briars with their teeth, and after- 
wards carry thither a great quantity of mofs, which they form 
into a bed for their young ones. They generally bring forth 
five or fix, and fornetimes even to nine at a litter. The cubs 
are brought forth, like thofe of the bitch, with the eyes clofed ; 
the dam fuckles them for fome weeks, and teaches them be- 
times to eat ilem, which fhe prepares for them, by chewing it 
firft herfelf. Some time after fhe brings them ftronger food, 
hares, partridges, and birds yet alive. The young wolves begin 
by playing with them, and end by killing them. The dam then 
ftrips them of their feathers, tears them in pieces, and gives to 
each of them a (hare. They do not leave the den where they 
have been littered, till they are fix weeks, or two months old. 
They then follow the old one, who leads them to drink to the 
trunk of fome old tree where the water has fettled, or at fome 
pool in the neighbourhood. If fhe apprehends any danger, (he 
inftantly conceals them in the firft convenient place, or brings 
them back to their former retreat. In this manner, they follow 
her for fome months-, when they are attacked, fhe defends them 
with all her ftrength, and more than ufual ferocity. Although, 
at other times, more timorous than the male, at that feafon fhe 


becomes bold and fearlefs ; willing perhaps to teach the young 
ones future courage by her own example. It is not till they are 
about ten or twelve months old, and until they have (lied their 
firft teeth, and completed the new, that fhe thinks them in % 
capacity to fhift for themfelves. Then when they have acquir-* 
ed arms from nature, and have learned induftry and courage, 
from her example, fhe declines all future 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 fpecies, as 
well as of mod others, are fooner completed than the males ; 
but this is certain, that they never defire to copulate un-til their 
fecond winter ; from whence we may fuppofe that they live 
fifteen or twenty years; for, allowing three years for their com- 
plete growth, this multiplied by feven, gives them a life of 
twenty-one ; moft animals, as has been obferved, living about 
feven times the number of years which they take to come to 
perfection. Of this, however, there is as yet no certainty, no 
more than of what himtfmen afTert, that, in all the litters, there 
are more males than females. From them alfo we learn that 
there are fome of .the males who attach themfelves to the fe- 
male, who accompany her during her geftation, until the time 
of bringing forth, when fhe hides the place of her retreat from 
the male, left he (hould devour her cubs. But after this, when 
they are brought forth, that he then takes the fame care of them 
as the female, carries them provifions, and, if the dam fliould 
happen to be killed, rears them up in her ftead. 

The wolf grows grey as he grows old, and his teeth wear, like 
thofe of moft other animals, by ufing. He Oeeps when his belly- 
is full, or when he is fatigued, rather by day than night ; and: 
always, like the dog, is veryeafily waked. He drinks frequent- 
ly ; and, in times of draught, when there is no water to be found 
in the trunks of old trees, or in the pools about the foreft, he 
comes often, in the day, to the brooks, or the lakes in the plain. 
Although very voracious, he fupports hunger for a long time, 
and often lives four or five days without food, provided he be 
fupplied with water.. 

DOG KIND. 183 

The wolf has great ftrength, particularly in his fore -parts, 
in the mufcles of his neck and his jaws. He carries off a ilieep 
in his mouth without letting it touch the ground, and runs 
with it much fwifter than the fhepherds who purfue him ; fo 
that nothing but the dogs can overtake, and oblige him to quit 
his prey. He bites cruelly, and always with greater vehemence 
in proportion as he is lead refilled ; for he ufes precautions 
with fuch animals as attempt to Hand upon the detenu ve. He 
is ever cowardly, and never fights but when under a neceffity of 
fatisfying hunger, or making good his retreat. When he is 
wounded by a bullet, he is heard to cry ou^ and yet, wheri 
furrounded by the peafants, and attacked witn clubs, he never 
howls as the dog under correction, but defends himfelf in 
filence, and dies as hard as he lived. 

His nature is, in facl, more favage than that of the dog ; he 
has lefs fenfsbility and greater ftrength. He travels, runs, and 
keeps plundering for whole days and nights together. He is in 
a manner indefatigable; and, perhaps, of all animals, he is the 
mod difficult to be hunted down. The dog is good natured and 
courageous ; the wolf, though favage, is ever fearful. If he 
happens to be caught in a pit-fall, he is for fome time fo 
frightened and aftonifhed, that he may be killed without offer- 
ing to refift, or taken alive without much danger. At that in- 
ftant, one may clap a collar round his neck, muzzle him, and 
drag him along, without his ever giving the leaft figns of anger 
or refentment. At all other times he has his fenfes in great per- 
fection ; his eye, his ear, and particularly his fenfe of fmelling, 
which is even fuperior to the two former. He fmells a carcafe 
at more than a league's diftance ; he alfo perceives living ani- 
mals a great way off, and follows them a long time upon the 
fcent. Whenever he leaves the wood, he alwaytakescaretogoout 
againft the wind. Whenjuft come to its extremity, he flops 
to examine, by his fmell, on all fides, the emanations that may 
come either from his enemy or his prey, which he very nicely 
diftinguifhes. He prefers thofe animals which he kills himfelf, 
to thofe he finds dead ; and yet he does not difdain thefe when 
80 better U to be had. He is particularly fond of human flefh j 


and, perhaps, if he was fufficiently powerful, he would eat 
no other. Wolves have been feen following armies, and arriv- 
ing in numbers upon the field of battle, where they devoured 
fuch dead bodies as were left upon the field, or but negligent- 
ly interred. Thefe, when once accuftomed to human flefh, 
ever afteY feek particularly to attack mankind, and choofe to 
fall upon the fhepherd rather than his flock. We have had a 
late inftance of two or three of thefe keeping a whole province, 
for more than a month, in a continual alarm. 

It fometimes happens that a whole country is called out to 
extirpate thefe moft dangerous invaders. The hunting the wolf 
is a favourite diverfion among the great of fome countries j and, 
it muft be confefled, it feems to be the moft ufeful of any. 
Thefe animals are diftinguifhed by the huntfmen into the 
you fig ivolf, the old ivolf ) and the great wolf* They are known 
by the prints of their feet ; the older the wolf, the larger the 
track he leaves. That of the female is narrower and longer than 
that of the male. It is neceflary to have a very good ftarter to 
put up the wolf ; and it is even convenient to ufe every art to 
encourage him in his purfuit j for all dogs have a natural re- 
pugnance againft this animal, and are but cold in their endea- 
vours. When the wolf is once put up, it is then proper to have 
grey-hounds to let fly at him, in leaihes, one 'after the other. 
The firft learn is fent after him in the beginning, feconded by 
a man on horfe-back ; the fecond are let loofe about half a 
mile farther, and the third when the reft of the dogs come up 
with, and begin to bait him. He for a long time" keeps them 
off, ftands his ground, threatens them on all fides, and often 
gets away ; but ufually the hunters arriving, come in aid of the 
dogs, and help to difpatch him with their cutlafles. When the 
animal is killed, the dogs teftify no appetite to enjoy their vic- 
tory, but leave him where he falls, a frightful fpectacle, and 
even in death hideous. 

The wolf is fometimes alfo hunted with harriers ; but as he 
always goes ftraight forward, and often holds his fpeed for a 
whole day together, this kind of chace is tedious and difagree- 

DOG KIND. 185 

able, at leaft if the harriers are not aflifted by grey -hounds, who 
may harrafs him at every view. Several other arts have been 
ufed to take and deftroy this noxious animal. He is (unrounded 
and wounded by men and large houfe dogs ; he is fecured in 
traps ; he is poiibned by carcafes prepared and placed for that 
purpofe, and is caught in pit-falls. " Gefner tells us of a friar, 
a woman, and a wolf, being taken in one of thefe, all in the 
fame night. The woman loft her fenfes with the fright, the 
friar his reputation, and the wolf his life." All thefe difaftefs, 
however, do not prevent this animal's multiplying in great 
numbers, particularly in countries where the woods are plenty. 
France, Spain, and Italy, are greatly infefted with them ; but 
England, Ireland, and Scotland are happily fet free. 

King Edgar is faid to be the firft who attempted to rid this 
kingdom of fuch difagreeable inmates, by commuting the pu- 
nimment for certain crimes into the acceptance of a number 
of wolf's tongues from each criminal.* However, fome cen- 
turies after, thefe animals were again increafed to fuch a de- 
gree, as to become the object of royal attention ; accordingly, 
Edward the firft iffiied out his mandate to one Peter Corbet, 
to fuperintend and aflift in the deftruction of them. They are 
faid to have infefted Ireland long after they were extirpated irt 
England ; however, the oldeft men in that country remember 
nothing of thefe animals ; and, it is probable, that there have 
been none there for more than a century paft. Scotland alfo is 
totally free. 

The colour of this animal differs according to the different 
climates where it is bred, and often changes even in the fame 
country. Befide the common wolves, which are found in, 
France and Germany, there are others with thicker hair, in- 
clining to yellow. Thefe are more favlige and lefs noxious 
than the former, neither approaching the flocks nor habitations, 
and living rather by the cliace than rapine. In the northern cli- 
mates, they are found fome quite black, and fome white all 
over. The former are larger and ftronger than thofe of any 
other kinds. 

* Britifli Zoology, p. 62. 

VOL. II. 2 A 


The fpecies is very much diffufed in every part of the 
being found in Afia, Africa, and in America, as well as Eu- 
rope. The wolves of Senegal refemble thofe of France, except 
that they are larger and much fiercer than thofe of Europe. 
Thofe of Egypt are fmaller than thofe of Greece. In the eaft,, 
the wolf is trained up for a fbow, being taught to dance and 
play tricks; and one of thefe, thus educated, often fells for four 
or five hundred crowns. " It is faid that in Lapland the wolf 
will never attack a rein-deer that is feen haltered ; for this 
wary animal, being well acquainted with the nature of a trap, 
fufpecls one wherever it perceives a rope. However, when 
he fees the deer entirely at liberty, he feldom fails to deftroy it. 

" The wolf of North- America is blacker and much lefs 
than thofe in other parts of the world, and approaches nearer 
in form to the dog than thofe of the ordinary kind.* In facl:, 
they were made ufe of as fuch by the favages, till the Europeans 
introduced others j and even now, on the remoter mores, or 
the more inland parts of the country, the favages ftill make 
ufe of thefe animals in hunting. They are very tame and gen- 
tle ; and thofe of this kind that are wild, are neither fo large 
nor fo fierce as an European wolf, nor. do they ever attack 
mankind. They go together in large packs by night to hunt 
the deer, which they do as well as any dogs in England ; and 
it is confidently aiferted, that one of them is fufficient to run 
down a deer.f Whenever they are feen along the banks of 
thofe rivers near which the wandering natives pitch their huts, 
it is taken for granted that the bifon or the deer are not far offj 
and the favages affirm, that the wolves come v;ith the tidings, 
in order to have the garbage, after the animal has been killed 
by the hunters. Ca^fby adds a circumftance relative to thefe 
animals, which, if true, invalidates many of mr. Buffon's ob- 
fervations in the foregoing hiftory. He afferts, that thefe being 
the only dogs ufed by the Americans, before the arrival of the 
Europeans among them, they have fince engendered together, 
that their breed has become prolific j which proves the 

* Brookcs's Natural Hiftory, vol. i. p. 198, 

t tictivmke Jtetfotice* Loup, 


Vol. 11. J 


DOG KIND. 1.87 

,dog and t"he wolf to be the fame fpecies. It were to be wifhed 
that this fat were better afcertained ; we fhculd then know, 
to a certainty, in what a degree the dog and wolf refemble 
each other, as well in nature as in conformation ; we might 
then, perhaps, be enabled to improve the breed of our dogs, 
by bringing them back to their native forms and inftin&s ; 
we might, by croffing the ftrain,' reftore that race of thofe bold 
animals, which the ancients afliire us were more than a match 
for the lion." 

However this animal may be ufeful in North- America, the 
wolf of Europe is a very noxious animal, and fcarce any thing 
belonging to him is good, excep this (kin. Of this, the furriers 
make a covering that is warm and durable, though coarfe and 
unfightly. His flefhisvery indifferent, and feems to be difliked 
by all other animals, no other creature being known to eat the 
wolf's fiefh except the wolf himfelf. He breathes a moft foetid 
vapour from his jaws, as his food is indifcriminate, often pu- 
tred, and feldom cleanly. In fhort, every way offenfive, a fa- 
vage afpedl:, a frightful howl, an imfupportable odour, a per- 
verfe difpofition, fierce habits, he is hateful while living and 
ufelefs when dead. 


THE fox very exactly refembles the wolf and the dog in- 
ternally -, and, although he differs greatly from both in fize and 
carriage, yet when we come to examine his fhapes minutely, 
there will appear to be very little difference in the defcription. 
Were, for inftance, a painter to draw from a natural hiftorian's 
exadteft defcription, the figure of a dog, a wolf and a fox, 
without having ever feen either, he would be very apt to con- 
found all thefe animals together ; or rather, he would be una- 
ble to catch thofe peculiar out-lines that no defeription can 
fupply. Words will never give any perfon an exacl idea of 
forms any way irregular ; for, although they be extremely juft 
and precife, yet the numberleis difcriminations to be attended 
to, will confound each other, and we mall no more conceive 
die precife form, than we fhould b*e able to tell ^vhfcn onepeb- 


ble more was added or taken away from a thoufand. To con-; 
ceive, therefore, how the fox differs in form from the wolf or 
the dog, it is neceffary to fee all three, or at leafl to fupply the 
defers of defcription by examining the difference in a print. 

The fox is of a flenderer make than the wolf, and not near 
fo large ; for, as the former is above three feet and a haii 
long, fo the other is not above two feet three inches. The tail 
of the fox, alfo, is longer in proportion, and more bufhy ; its 
nofe is fmaller, and approaching more nearly to that of 
the grey-hound, and its hair fofter. On the other hand, it dif- 
fers from the dog in having its eyes obliquely fmiated, like 
thofe of the wolf ; its ears are directed alfo in the fame man- 
ner as thofe of the wolf, and its head is equally large in pro- 
portion to its fize, It differs ftill more from the dog in its ftrong 
offenfive fmell, which is peculiar to the fpecies, and often the 
caufe of their death. However, fome are ignorantly of opinion 
that it will keep off infectious difeafes, and they preferve this 
animal near their habitations for that very purpofe. 

The fox has fince the beginning been famous for his cunning 
and his arts, and he partly merits his reputation*. Without at 
tempting to oppofe either the dogs or the fhepherds, without 
attacking the flock, or alarming the village, he finds an eafier 
way to fubfifl, and gains, by his addrefs, what is denied to his 
ftrength or courage. Patient and prudent, he waits the oppor- 
tunity of depredation, and varies his conduct with every occa- 
fion. His whole ftudy is his prefervation ; although nearly as 
indefatigable, and actually more fwift than the wolf, he does 
not entirely truft to either, but makes himfelf an afylum, to 
which he retires in cafe of neceffity ; where he flickers himfelf 
from danger, and brings up his young. 

As among men, thofe who lead a domeflic life are more civi- 
lized and more endued with wifdon than thofe who wander from 
place to place, fo, in the inferior ranks of animated nature, 
the taking poffeffion of a home, fuppofes a degree of inftinct 
which others are \vithoutf. The choice of the fituation for thif; 

* Euffoo, Rcnard. f Ibid, 


domici!, the art of making it convenient, of hiding its entrance, 
and fecuring it againft more powerful animals, are all fo many 
marks of fuperior ikili and induftry. The fox is furnifhed with 
both, and turns them to his advantage. He generally keeps his 
kennel at the edge of the wood, and yet within an eafy jour- 
ney of fome neighbouring cottage. From thence he liftens to 
the crowing of the cock, and the cackling of the dorneilic fowls. 
He fcents them at a diftance ; he feizes his opportunity, con- 
ceals his approaches, creeps flily along, makes the attack, and 
feldom returns without his booty. If he be able to get into 
the yard, he begins by levelling all the poultry without remorfe, 
and carrying off a part of the fpoil, hides it at fome conveni- 
ent diftance, and again returns to the charge. Taking off 
another fowl in the fame manner, he hides that alfo, but not 
in the fame place ; and this he pra&ifes for feveral times to- 
gether, until the approach of day, or the noife of the domef- 
tics, give him warning to retire. The fame arts are pra&ifed 
when he finds birds entangled in fpringes laid for them by the 
fowler ; the fox takes care to be beforehand, very expertly 
takes the bird out of the fnare, hides it for three or four days, 
and knows very exaclly when and where to return, to avail 
himfelf of hidden treafurc. He is equally alert in feizing the 
young hares and rabbits, before they have ftrength enough to 
efcape him, and when the old ones are wounded and fatigued, 
he is fure to come upon them in their moments of diftrefs, 
and to mow them no mercy. In the fame manner he finds 
out birds' nefts, feizes the partridge and the quail while fitting, 
and deftroys .a large quantity of game. The wolf is moft hurt- 
ful to the peafanty but the fox to the gentleman. In fhort, 
nothing that can be eaten feems to come amifs , rats, mice, 
ferpents, toads, and lizards. He will, when urged by hunger, 
eat vegetables and infects j and thofe that live near the fea- 
coafts, will, for want of other food, eat crabs, fhrimps, and 
fhell-fim. The hedge-hog in vain rolls itfelf up into a ball to 
oppofe him ; this determined glutton teizes it until it is oblig- 
ed to appear uncovered, and then he devours it. The wafp and 
the wild bee are attacked with equal fucceis. Although at firft 


they fly out upon their invader, and actually oblige him to re- 
tire, this is but for a few minutes, until he has rolled himfelf up- 
on the ground, and thus cruihed fuch as ftick to his {kin ; he 
then returns to the charge; and at laft, by perfeverance, obliges 
them to abandon their combs; which he greedily devours, both 
wax and honey. 

The chace of the fox requires lefs preparation than that of 
the wolf, and it is alfo more pleafant and amufing. As dogs 
have a natural repugnance to purfue the wolf, fo they are 
equally alert in following the fox ; which chace they prefer 
even to that of the hare or the buck. The huntfmen, as upon 
other occafions, have their cant terms for every part of this 
chace. The fox the firfl year is called a cub ; the fecond, a 
fox ; and the third, an old fox ; his tail is called the briift or 
drag, and his excrement the billlting. He is ufually purfued 
by a large kind of harrier or hound, affifted by tarriers or a 
fmaller breed, that follow him into his kennel, and attack 
him there. The inftant he perceives himfelf purfued, he makes 
to his kennel, and takes refuge at the bottom of it, where, 
for a while, he lofes the cry of his enemies ; but the whole 
pack coming to the mouth, redouble their vehemence and 
rage, and the little tarrier boldly ventures in. It often hap- 
pens that the kennel is made under a rock, or among the roots 
of old trees ; and in fuch cafes, the fox cannot be dug out, 
nor is the tarrier able to contend with him at the bottom of 
his hole. By this contrivance he continues fecure ; but when 
he can be dug out, the ufual way is to carry him in a bag to 
fome open country, and there fet him loofe before the hounds. 
The hounds and the men follow, barking and fhouting 
wherever he runs ; and the body being ftrongly employed, the 
mind has not time to make any reflection on the futility of 
the purfuit. What adds to this entertainment is the ftrong 
fcent which the fox leaves, that always keeps up a full cry ; 
although as his fcent is ftronger than that of the hare, it is 
much fooner evaporated. His (hifts to efcape, when all retreat 
is cut off to his kennel, are various and furprizing. He always 
choofes the moft woody country, and takes thofe paths that 
are moft embarrafled wiih thorns and briars. He does not dou- 


ble, nor ufe the unavailing ihifts of the hare ; but flies in a 
direct line before the hounds, though at no very great dif- 
tance ; manages his flrength j takes to the low and plafhy 
grounds, where the fcent will be lefs apt to lie ; and at laft, 
when overtaken, he defends himfelf with defperate obftinacy, 
and fights in filence to the very laft gafp. 

The fox, though refembling the dog in many refpe&s, is 
neverthelefs very diftinft in his nature, refufing to engender 
with it ; and though not teftifying the antipathy of the wolf, 
yet difcovering nothing more than indifference. This animal 
alfo brings forth fewer at a time than the dog, and that but 
once a year. Its litter is generally from four to fix, and feldom 
lefs than three. The female goes with young about fix weeks,, 
and feldom flirs out while pregnant, but makes a bed for her 
young, and takes every precaution to prepare for their pro- 
duction. When me finds the place of their retreat difcovered, 
and that her young have been diflurbed during her abfence, 
(he removes them one after the other in her mouth, and en- 
deavours to find them out a place of better fecurity. A re- 
markable inftance of this animal's parental affection happen- 
ed while I was writing this hiftory, in the county of Eflex. 
A {he-fox, that had, as k mould feem, but one cub, was unken- 
nelled by a gentleman's hounds, near Chelmsford, and hotly 
purfued. In fuch a cafe, when her own life was in imminent 
peril, one would think it was not a time to confult the fafety 
of her young ; however, the poor animal, braving every dan- 
ger, rather than leave her cub behind to be worried by the 
dogs, took it up in her mouth, and ran with it in this man- 
ner for fome miles. At laft, taking her way through a far- 
mer's yard, {he was affaulted by a maftiff, and at laft obliged 
to drop her cub, which was taken up by the farmer. I was- 
not difpleafed to hear that this faithful creature efcaped the 
purfuit, and at laft got off in fafety. The cubs of the fox are 
born blind, like thofe of the dog - y they are eighteen months 
or two years in coming to perfection, and live about twelve 
or fourteen years. 


As the fox makes war upon all animals, fo all others fee>i>i 
to make war upon him. The dog hunts him with peculiar 
acrimony ; the wolf is ftill a greater and more neceffitous ene- 
my, who purfues him to his very retreat. Some pretend to 
fay, 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 
nverfion. This, which no doubt is a fable, at lead {hows that 
thefe two animals are as much enemies to each other as to all 
the reft of animated nature. But the fox is not hunted by 
quadrupeds alone ; for the birds, who know him for their 
mortal enemy, attend him in his excurfions, and give each 
other warning of their approaching danger. The daw, the 
magpye, and the black-bird conduct him along, perching on 
the hedges as he creeps below, and with their cries and notes 
of hoftility, apprize all other animals to beware ; a caution 
which they perfectly underftand, and put into practice. The 
hunters themfelves are often informed by the birds of the place 
of his retreat, and fet the dogs into thofe thickets where they 
fee them particularly noify and querulous. So that it is the 
fate of this petty plunderer to be detefted by every rank of 
animals ; all the weaker daffes fliun, and all the ftronger pur-- 
fue him. 

The fox, of all wild animals, is moft fubjedl: to the influ- 
ence of climate ; and there are found as many varieties in this 
kind, almoil, as in any of the domeflic animals*. The gene- 
rality of foxes, as is well known, are red - y but there are fome, 
though not in England, of a greyiih call ; and mr. Buffon 
afierts, that the tip of the tail in all foxes is white ; which, 
however, is not fo in thofe of this country. There are only 
three varieties of this animal in Great-Britain, and thefe are 
rather eftablifned upon a difference of fize than of colour or 
form. The'grey-hound fox is the largeft, tailed and boldeft ; 
and will attack a grown fheep. The maftiff-fox is lefs, but 
more ftrongly built. The cur-fox is the lead, and moft com- 


* Buffon, RcnarcL 

XXI . 


//I ////// 

DOG KIND. 19$ 

rnon ; he lurks about hedges and out-houfes, and is the moft 
pernicious of the three to the peafarit and the farmer. 

In the colder countries round the pole, the foxes are of all 
colours ; black, blue, grey, iron grey, filver grey, white, white 
with red legs, white with black heads, white with the tip of 
the tail black, red with the throat and belly entirely white, 
and laftly, with a ftripe of black running along the back, and 
another crofting it at the fhotilders*. The common kind, 
however, is more univerfally diffufed than any of the former, 
being found in Europe, in the temperate climates of Afia, 
and alfo in America ; they are very rare in Africa, and in the 
countries lying urder the torrid zone. Thofe travellers who 
talk of having feen them at Calicut, and other parts of 
Southern India, have miftaken the jackal for the fox. The 
fur of the white fox is held in no great eflimation, becaufe the 
hair ialls off, the blue fox-fkins are alfo bought up with great 
avidity, from their fcarcenefs *, but the black fox-fkin is of all 
others the moil efleemed, a fmgle (kin often felling for forty or 
fifty crowns. The hair of thefe are fo difpofed, that it is impofli- 
ble to tell which way the grain lies; for if we hold the fkin by 
the head, the hair hangs to the tail, and if we hold it by the 
tail, it hangs equally fmooth and even to the head Thefe 
are often made into men's muffs, and are at once very beau- 
tiful and warm. In our temperate climate, however, furs are 
of very little fervice, there being fcarce any weather fo fe- 
vere in England, from which our ordinary clothes may not 
very well defend us. 


THE jackal is one of the commoneft wild animals in 
the eaft ; and yet there is fcarce any lefs known in Europe, or 
more confufedly defcribed by natural hiftotians. In general, 
we are allured, that it refembles the fox in figure and difpofi- 

* Buffon, Renard. 

VOL. II. 2 B 


tion,but we areftill ignorant of thofe nice diftinaionsby whkK 
it is known to be of a different fpecies. It is faid to be of the 
fize of a middling dog, refembling the fox in the hinder parts, 
particularly the tail.; and the wolf in the lore-parts, efpecially 
the note. Its 'legs -are ihorter than thofe of the fox, and its 
colour is of a bright yellow, or forrel, as we exprefs it in 
horfee. This is the reafon it has been called 'in Latin the gol- 
den-wolf; a name, however, which is entirely unknown in 
the countries where they are moft common. 

The fpecies of the jackal is diffufed all over Afia, and is 
found alfo in moft parts of Africa, feeming to take up the place 
of the wolf, which in thofe countries is not fo common. There 
feems'tobe many varieties among them; thofe of the warm- 
eft climates appear to be the largeft, and their colour is rather 
of a reddifli brown, than of that beautiful yellow by which 
the fmallcr jackals are chiefly diftinguimed. 

Although the fpecies of the wolf approaches very near to 
that of the dog, yet the jackal feems to be placed between 
them ; to the favage fiercenefs of the wolf it adds the impu- 
dent familiarity of the dog*. Its cry is a howl, mixed with 
barking, and a lamentation refembling that of human diftrefs. 
It is more noify in its purfuits even than the dog, and more 
voracious than the wolf. The jackal never goes alone, but 
always in a pack of forty or fifty together. Thefe unite regu- 
larly every day to form a combination againft the reft of the 
foreft. Nothing then can efcape them ; they are content to 
take up with the fmalleft animals , and yet, when thus united, 
they have courage to face the largeft. They feem very little 
afraid of mankind ; but jpurfue their game to the very doors, 
without teftifying either attachment or apprehenfion. They 
enter infolently into the meep-folds, the yards, and the fta- 
bles, and, when they can find nothing elfe, devour the leather, 
harnefs, boots, and fhoes, and run off with what they have 
not time to fwallow. 

They not only attack the living but the dead. They fcratch 

* Buffon, vol. xxvii. p, 52. 


op with their feet the new-made graves, and devour the corpfe 
how putrid foever. In thofe countries, therefore, where they 
abound, they are obliged to beat the earth over the grave, 
and to mix it with thorns, to prevent the. jackals from fcrap- 
ing it away. They always afitft each other as well in this em- 
ployment of exhumation as in that of the chace. While they 
are at this dreary work, they exhort each other by a moft 
mournful cry, refembling that of children under chaftifement ; 
and when they have thus dug up the body, they mare it ami- 
cably between them. Thefe, like all other favage animals, 
when they have once tafted of human flem 3 can never after 
refrain from purfuing mankind. They watch the burying- 
grounds, follow armies, and keep in the rear of caravans. 
They may be confidered as the vulture of the quadruped kind ; 
every thing that once had animal life, feems equally agreeable 
to them ; the moft putrid fubftances are greedily devoured ; 
dried leather, and any thing that has been rubbed with greafe, 
how infipid foever in itfelf, is fufficient to make the whole go 

They hide themfelves in holes by day, and feldom appear 
abroad till night-fall, when the jackal, that has firft hit upon 
the fcent of fome larger beaft, gives notice to the reft by a 
howl, which it repeats as it runs ; while all the reft, that 
are within hearing, pack in to its affiftance. The gazelle, or 
whatever other beaft it may be, finding itfelf purfued, makes 
off towards the houfes and the towns ; hoping by that means, 
to deter its purfuers from following : but hunger gives the 
jackal the fame degree of boldnefs that fear gives the gazelle, 
and it purfues even to the verge of the city, and often along 
the ftreets. The gazelle, however, by this means, moft fre- 
quently efcapes ; for the inhabitants fallying out, often difturb 
the jackal in the chace -,. and, as it hunts by the fcent, when 
once driven off, it never recovers it again. In this manner 
we fee how experience prompts the gazelle, which is naturally 
a very timid animal, and particularly fearful of man, to take 
refuge near him, confidering him as the leaft dangerous ene- 
my, and often efcaping by his afliftance*. 


But man is not the only intruder upon the -jackal's induftry 
and purfuits. The lion, the tiger, and the panther, whofe ap* 
petites are fuperior to their fwiftnefs, attend to its call, and fol- 
low in filence at fome diftance behind*. The jackal purfues 
the whole night with unceafmg affiduity, keeping up the cry* 
and, with great perfeverance, at laft tires down its prey ; but, 
juft at the moment it fuppofes itfelf going to {hare the fruits of 
its labour, the, lion or the leopard comes in, fatiates himfelf up* 
on the fpoil, and his poor provider muft be content with the 
bare carcafe he leaves behind. It is not to be wondered at, 
therefore, if the jackal be voracious, fince it fo feldcm has a 
fufficiency ; nor that it feeds on putrid fubftances, fince it is not 
permitted to feaft on what it has newly killed, Befide thefe ene- 
mies, the jackal has another to cope with; for between him 
and the dog, there is an irreconcileable antipathy, and they ne- 
ver part without an engagement. The Indian peafants often 
chafe them as we do foxes 5 and have learned, by experience, 
when they have got a lion or a tiger in their rear, Upon fuch 
occafions, they keep their dogs clofc, as they would be no match 
for fuch formidable animals, and endeavour to put them to flight 
with their cries. When the lion is difmifled, they more eafU 
ly cope with the jackal, who is as flupid as it is impudent, and 
feems much better fitted forpurfuing than retreating. It fome* 
times happens that one of them deals filently into an outheufe, 
to feize the poultry, or devour the furniture ', but hearing others 
in full cry at a diftance, without thought, it inftantly a* fwers 
the call, and thus betrays its own depredations. The peafants 
fally out upon it, and the foolim animal finds, too late, that ita 
inftinft was too powerful for its fafety. 


AS the jackal is a fort of intermediate fpeeies between 
the dog and the wolff, fothe ifatis may be confidered as plac- 
ed between the dog and the fox. This animal has hitherto 

* Linnaei Syftema, p. 60. 
f In this defcription I have followed mr. Buffonr, 

DO GRIND. 197 

been fuppofed to be only a variety of the latter ; but, from the 
lateft obfervations, there is no doubt of their being perfectly 
diftinch The iiatis is very common in all the northern countries 
bordering upon the icy fea ; and is feldom found, except in the 
coldeft countries. It extremely refembles a fox, in the form 
of its body, and the length of its tail ; and a dog, in the make 
of its head, and the pofition of its eyes. The hair of thefe 
animals is fofter than that of a common fox ; fome are blue, 
fome are white at one feafon, and at another of a ruflct brcwru 
Although the whole of its hair be two inches long, thick, tufted 
and gloliy, yet the under jaw is entirely without any, and the 
fkin appears bare in that part. 

This animal can bear only the coldeft climates, and is chiefly 
feen along the ccafts of the icy fea, and upon the banks of the 
great rivers that difchar^e themfelves therein. It is chiefly fond 
of living in the open country, and feldom (Ven in the foreft, be- 
ing moitly found in the mountainous and naked regions of Nor- 
way, Siberia, and Lapland. It burrows, like the fox ; and 
when \\ ith young, the female retires to her kennel, in the fame 
manner as the fox is feen to do. Thefe holes, \\ hich are very 
narrow, and extremely deep, have many out-lets, 'i hey are 
kept very clean, and are bedded at the bottom with mofs, for 
the animal to be more at its eafe. Its manner of coupling, time 
of geftation, and number of young, are all fimilar to what is found 
in the fox ; and it ufually brings forth at the end of May, or the 
beginning of June, 

Such are the particulars in which this animal differs from thofe 
of the dog kind, and in which it refembles them : but its molt 
ftriking peculiarity remains flill to be mentioned, namely, its 
changing its colour, and being feen at one time brown, and at 
another perfectly white. As was already faid, fome are natural- 
ly blue, and their colour never changes ; but fuch as are to be 
white, are, when brough forth, of a yellow hue, which, in the 
beginning of Septembers changed to white, all except along the 
top of the back, along which runs a ft. ipe of brown, and another 
croflingitdown the moulders, at which time the animal is called 
the f raffed fox j however, this brown crof s totally difappears be- 


froe winter, and then the creature is all over white, and its fur 
is two inches long : this, about the beginning of May, again be- 
gins to fall ; and the molting is completed about the middle of 
July, when the ifatis becomes brown once more. The fur of 
this animal is of no value, unlefs It be killed in winter. 


THE hyaena is the lafl animal I (hall mention among thofe 
of the dog kind, which it in many refpe&s refembles; akho' too 
ftrongly marked to be ftri&ly reduced to any type. The hyrena 
is nearly of the fize of a wolf ; and has feme fimilitude to that 
animal in the fhape of its head and body. The head, at firft 
fight, does not appear to differ, except that the ears of the 
hyaena are longer, and more without hair ; but, upon obfevv- 
ing more clofely, we mall find the head broader, the nofe flat- 
ter, and not fo pointed. The eyes are not placed obliquely, but 
more like thofe of a dog. The legs, particularly the hinder, are 
longer than thofe either of the dog or the wolf, and different 
from all other quadrupeds whatfoever, in having but four toes,, 
as well on the fore feet as on the hinder. Its hair is of a dirty 
greyifh, marked with black, waves down its body. 
Its tail is mort, with pretty long hair ; and immediately under 
it, above the anus, there is an opening into a kind of glandular 
pouch, which feparates a fubflance of the confiftence, but riot 
of the odour, of civet. This opening might have gfven rife to 
the error of the ancients, who aflerted, that this animal was 
every year, alternately, male and female. Such are the moft 
flriking diflinctions of the hyaena, as given us by naturalifls i 
which, neverthelefs, convey but a very confufed idea of the 
peculiarity of its form. Its manner of holding the head feems 
remarkable ; fomewhat like a dog, purfuing the fcent, with 
the nofe near the ground. The head being held thus low, the 
back appears elevated, like that of the hog, which, with a long 
briflly band of hair, that runs all along, gives it a good deal 
the air of that animal^ and, it is probable, that, from thiefimili-. 

DOG KIND. 199 

ttnie, it firft took its name, the word buoina being Greek, and 
derived from kus, which fignifies a fow. 

But no words can give an adequate idea of this animal's 
figure, deformity, and fiercenefs. More favage and untamea- 
ble than any other quadruped, it feems to be forever in a date 
of rage or rapacity, for ever growling, except when receiving 
its food. Its eyes then gliflen, the bridles of its back all (land 
upright, its head hangs low, and yet its teeth appear; all which 
give it a moil frightful afpecl, which a dreadful howl tends to 
heighen. This, which I have often heard, is very peculiar : its 
beginning refembles the voice of a man moaning, and its latter 
parr, as if he was making a violent effort to vomit. As it is 
loud and frequent, it might, perhaps, have been fometimes mif- 
taken for that of a human voice in diftrefs, and have given 
rife to the accounts of the ancients, who tell us, that the hycena 
makes its moan to attract unwary travellers, and then to de- 
itroy them : however this be, it feems the moft untractable, 
and, for its fize, the moft terrible of all other quadrupeds ; 
nor does its courage fall fhort of its ferocity j it defends itfelf 
againft the iion, is a match for the panther, attacks the ounce, 
and fedom fails to conquer. 

It is an obfcene and folitary animal, to be found chiefly in 
the moft defolate and uncultivated parts of the torrid zone, of 
which it is a native.* It refides in the caverns of mountains, 
in the clefts of rocks, or in dens that it has formed for itfelf 
under the earth. Though taken never fo young, it cannot be 
tamed ; it lives by depredation, like the wolf, but is much 
ftronger and more courageous. It fometimes attacks man, 
carries off cattle, follows the flock, breaks open the (heep cots 
by night, and ravages with infatiable voracity. Its eyes mine 
by night 5 and it is afferted, not without great appearance of 
truth, that it fees better by night than by day. When deftitute 
of other provifion, it fcrapes up the graves, and devours the 
dead bodies, how putrid foever. To thefe difpofitions, which 
are fufficiently noxious and formidable, the ancients have 


sdded numberlsfs others, which are long fi nee known to b<5 
fables : as, for inftance, that the hyaena was male and female 
alternately, that having brought forth and fuckled its y ung, 
it then chaitged fexes for a year, and became a male. This, as 
Avas mentioned above, could only proceed from the opening 
under the tail, which all animals of this fpecies are found to 
liave ; and which is found in the fame manner in no other 
quadruped, except the badger. There is, in the weafei kind, 
indeed, an opening, but it is lower down, and not placed above 
the anus, as in the badger and the hyaena. Some have faid 
that this animal changed the colour of its hair at will ; others, 
that a ftone was found in its eye, which, put under a man's 
tongue, gave him the gift of prophecy ; fome have faid that he 
had no joints in the neck, which, however, all quadrupeds 
are known to have ; and fome, that the (hadow of the hyaena 
kept dogs from barking. Thefe, among many other abfurdi- 
ties, have been aflerted of this quadruped ; and which I 
mention, to mow the natural difpofition of mankind, to load 
tho'fe that are already but too guilty, with accumulated re- 


Of Animals of the Weafei Kind. 

HAVING defcribed the bolder ranks of carnivorous ani- 
mals, we now come to a minuter and more feeble 
clafs, lefs formidable, indeed, than any of the former, 
but far more numerous, and, in proportion to their fize, more 
active and enterprizing. The weafei kind may be diftinguifhed 
from other carnivorous animals, by the length and flendernefs 
of their bodies, which are fo fitted as to wind like worms, into 
very fmall openings, after their prey ; and hence alfo they 
have received the name of vermin, from their fimilitude to the 
worm in this particular. Thefe animals differ from all of the 
at kind, in the formation and difpofition of their claws, which, 


es in the dog kinds, they can neither draw nor extend at 
pleafure, as cats are known to do. They differ from the dog 
kind, in being clothed rather with fur than hair ; and al- 
though fome varieties of the fox may referable them in this 
particular, yet the coat of the latter is longer, ftronger, 
and always more refembling hair. Befide thefe diftinctions, all 
animals of the v/eafel kind have glands placed near the anus, 
that either open into it, or beneath it, furnifhing a fubftance 
that, in fome, has the moft ofFenfive fmeil in nature, in others, 
the moft pleafing perfume. All of this kind are ftill more mar- 
ked by their habitudes and difpofidons, than their external 
form ; cruel, voracious, and cowardly, they fubfift only by 
theft, and find their chief protection in their minutenefs. 
They are all, from the ihortnefs of their legs, flow in purfuit; 
and, therefore, owe their fupport to their patience, affiduity, 
and cunning. As their prey is precarious, they lire a long time 
without food ; and if they happen to fall in where it is in plen- 
ty, they inftantly deftroy all about ther-i before they begin to 
fatisfy their appetite, and fuck the blood of every animal be- 
fore they begin to touch its flefh. 

Thefe are the marks common to this kind, all the fpecics 
of which have a moft ftriking refemblance to each other ; and 
he that has feen one, in fome meafure, may be laid to have 
feen all. The chief diftin&ion in this numerous clafs of ani- 
mals, is to be taken from the fize ; for no words can give the 
minute irregularities of that outline by which one fpecies is to 
be diilinguiihed from that which is next it. I will begin, 
therefore, with the leaft and the beft known of this kind, and 
ftill marking the fize, will proceed gradually to larger and 
larger, until we come from the weafel to the glutton, which I 
take to be thelargefl of all. The weafel will ferve as a model for 
all the reft ; and, indeed, the points in which they differ from 
this little animal, are but very inconfiderable. 

The weafel,* as was faid, is the fmalleft of the numerous 
tribe ; its length not exceeding feven inches, from the tip of 

* Eritiih Zoology, vol. i. D. 83, 

VOL. II. 2 C 


the nofe to the infertion of the tail. This length, howevef> 
feems to be very great, if we compare it with the height of 
the animal, which is not above an inch and a half. In mea- 
furing the wolf, we find him to be not above once and a half 
as long as he is high 5 in obferving the weafel, we "find it near 
live times as long as it is high, which (hows an amazing dif- 
proportion. The tail alfo, which is bufhy, is two inches and a 
half long, and adds to the apparent length of this little animal'-* 
body. The colour of the weafel is of a bright red on the back 
and fides, but white under the throat and belly. It has whifkers 
like a cat ; and thirty-two teeth, which are two more than 
any of the cat kind ; and tb.efe alfo fecm better adapted fof 
tearing and -chewing, than thofe of the cat kind are. The eyeS 
are little and black ; the ears iliort, broad, and roundifli ; 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 fpot cf brown. 

This animal, though very diminutive to appearance, is, nc- 
verthelefs, a very formidable enemy to quadrupeds a hun- 
dred times its own fize. It is very common and well known 
in moil parts of this country ; but feems held in very dif- 
ferent eftimation, in different parts of it. In thofe places 
where (heep or lambs are bred, the. weafel is a molt noxious 
inmate, and every art is ufed to deftroy it : on the contrary, 
in places where agriculture is chiefly followed, the weafel is 
confidered as a friend that thins the number of fuch vermin as 
chiefly live upon corn : however, in all places, it is one of the 
inoft untarneable and untra&abk animals in the world.* When 
kept in acage, either for the purpofesof amufement orinfpeclionj 
itwillnottouch any part of its victuals while any body looks on. 
It keeps in a continual agitation, and feems frightened fo much 
at the fight of mankind, that it will die, if not permitted to- 
hide itfeli from their prefence. For this purpofe, it muft be 
provided, in its cage, with a fufficient quantity of wool or 
hay, in which it may conceal itfelf, and where it may carry 
whatever it has got to eat ; which, however, it will not touc*ft 

* Buffbn, vol. xv. p, 37. 


cntil it begins to putrefy. In this Rate, it feems to-pafs three 
parts of the day in fleeping; and referves the night for its times 
of exercife and eat 

In its wild date, the night is likewife the time during which 
it may be properly faid to live. At the approach of evening, 
it is feen fteaJing from its hole, and creeping about the far- 
Hicr'b yard for its prey. If it- enters the place where poultry 
are kept, it never attacks the cocks or the old hens, but immedi- 
:u :Iy aims at the young ones. It does not eat its prey on the 
place, but, after killing it by a (ingle bite near the head, and' 
with a wound fo fmall that the place can fcarcely be perceived, 
it carries it oft to its young, or its retreat. It alfo breaks and' 
fucks the e^gs, and fbmetimcs kills the hen, that attempts to 
defend them. It is remarkably ative; and in a confined place, 
fcarce any animal can efcape it. It will run up the fides of 
walls with fuch facility, that no place is fecure from it ; and 
its body is fo fmall, that there is fcarce any hole but what it 
can wind through. During the fumnaer, its. excurfions are 
more extenfive ; but in winter, it chiefly confines itfelf in 
barns and farm-yards, where it remains till fpring, and where 
k brings forth its young. All this feafon it makes war upon 
the rats and mice^.with ftill greater fuccefs. than the cat ; for,, 
heing more active and flender, it purfues them-lnto their holes, 
and, after a fhort refiilance^deftroys them. It creeps alfo into 
pigeon holes, delhroys the young, catches fparrows, and alt 
kinds of fmall birds ; and, if it has brought forth its young, 
hunts with ftill greater boldnefs and avidity. In fumrner, it 
ventures farther from the houfe ; and particularly goes into 
thofe places where the rat. its chiefeft prey, goes before it. 
Accordingly, it is found in the lower grounds, by the fide of 
waters, near mills, and often is feen to hide its young in the. 
hollow of a tree. 

The female takes every precaution to make an eafy bed for 
her little ones : fhe lines the bottom of her hole with, grafs, hay, 
leaves, and mofs, and generally brings forth from three to five 
at a time. All animals of this, as well as tlibfe, of the 


kind, bring forth their young with clofed eyes ; but they very 
foon acquire ftrength fufficient to follow the dam in her ex~ 
curfions, and affiil in her projects of petty rapine. The 
weafel, like all others of its kind, does not run on equably* 
but: moves by bounding ; and when it climbs a tree, by a (ingle 
fpring, it gets a good way from the ground. It jumps in the 
fame manner upon its prey ; and, having an extremely limber 
body, evades the attempts of much ftronger animals to fdze it. 

This animal, like all of its kind, has a very ftrong fmell ; and 
that of the weafel is peculiarly foetid. This fcent is very dif- 
tinguiihable in thofe creatures, when they void their excre- 
ment ; for the glands which furnilh this foetid fubflance, which 
is of the confidence of fuet, open direftly into the orifice of 
the anus, and taint the excrement with the ftrong effluvia, 
The weafel imells more ftrongly in fummer than in winter ;, 
and more abominably when irritated or purfued, than when at 
its eafe, It always preys in filenc.e, and never has a cry except 
when ftruck, and then it has a rough kind of fqueaking, which 
at once exprciTes refentment and pain. Its appetite for animal 
food never for fakes it ; and it feems even to take a pleafure in 
the vicinity of putrefaction. Mr. Buffon tells us of one of 
them being found with three young ones, in the carcafs pf 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 
weafel thought proper to retire to bring forth her young ; fhe 
had furniihed the cavity with hay, grafs and leaves \ and the 
young were juft brought forth when they were difcovered by 
a peafant paffing that way. 


NEXT to the weafel in fize, and perfectly alike in figure, 
is the ermine. The difference between this and the former 
animal is fo very fmall, that many, and among the reft Lin- 
naeus, who gives but one description of both, have confounded 
the two kinds together. However their differences are fufii- 


cicnt to induce later naturalifts to fuppofe the two kinds diftlntj 
and as their lights fcem preferable, we choofe to follow their 

The float, or ermine, differs from the v/eafel in fize, being 
ufually nine inches long ; whereas the former is not much 
above fix. The tail of the ermine is always tipped with black, 
and is longer in proportion to the body, and more furnimed, 
v, ith hair. The edges of the ears and the ends of the toes in 
this animal are of a yellowifh white j and although it is of the 
fame colour with the weafel, being of a lightifh brown, and 
though both this animal, as well as the weafel, in the rnoft 
northern parts of Europe, changes its colour in winter, and 
becomes white ; yet even then the weafel may be eafily dlf- 
tinguifhed from the ermine by the tip of the tail, which in the 
latter is always black. 

It is well known that the fur of the ermine is the moft valua- 
ble of any hitherto known ; and it is in winter only that this 
little animal has it of the proper colour and confidence. In 
fummer, the ermine, as was faid before, is brown, and it may 
at that time more properly be called the float. There are few 
fo unacquainted with quadrupeds as not to perceive this 
change of colour in the hair, which, in fonie degree, obtains in 
them all. The horfe, the cow, and the goat, all manifeftly 
change colour in the beginning of fummer, the old long hair 
falling off, and a fhorter coat of hair appearing in its room, 
generally of a darker colour, and yet more glofly. What ob- 
tains in our temperate climate, is feen to prevail ftill more 
ftrongly in thofe regions where the winters are long and fe- 
vere, and the fu miners fhort and yet generally hot in an ex- 
treme degree. The animal has flrength enough during that 
feafon, to throw off a warm coat of fir, which would but in* 
commode it, and continues for two or three months in a flate 
fomewhat refembling the ordinary quadrupeds of the milder 
climates. At the approach of winter, however, the cold in- 
creafing, the coat of hair feems to thicken in proportion ; from 
being coarfe and fhort, it lengthens and grows finer, while 

* Buffon. Britifli Zoology. 


multitudes of fmaller .hairs grow up between' the longer^ 
thicken the coat, and give it all that warmth and foftnefo 
which are fo much valued in the furs of the northern animals. 

It is no eafy matter to account for this remarkable warmth 
of the furs of northern quadrupeds, or how they come to- 
be furniflied with fuch an abundant covering. It is eafy 
enough, indeed, to fay, that nature fits them thus for the cli- 
mate ; and, like an indulgent mother, when flie expofes them 
to the rigour of an intemperate winter, fuppiks them with a 
covering againfl its inclemency. But this is only flourishing , 
it is not eafy, I fay, to tell how nature comes to fumiih them ii>. 
this manner. A few particulars on this fubjecVareall that we yet 
know. It isobfervable among quadrupeds, as well aseven among 
the human fpecies itfelf, that a thin fparing diet is apt to pro- 
duce hair; children that have been ill fed, famillied clogs and 
horfes, are more hairy than others whofe food has been more 
plentiful Tl^is. may, therefore, be one caufe, that the animal* 
of- the north, in winters., are more hairy than thofe of the mil-, 
der climates. At, that feafon, the whole country is covered with, 
deep fnow, and the provisions which thefe creatures are able. 
o procure* can be but precarious .and fcanty. Its becoming fin- 
er may alfo proceed from the feverity of the cold, that con- 
trails the pores of the fkin, and the hair confequently takes, 
the (hape of the aperture through which it grows, as wires are, 
made f mailer by being drawn through a fmaller orifice. 

However this may be, all the animals of the artic climates 
maybe faid to have their winter and fummer garments, ex-, 
cept very far to the north, as in Greenland, where the cold is 
fo continually intenfe and the food fo fcarce 5 that neither the 
bears nor foxes change their colour.* 

The ermine, as was laid, is remarkable among thefe for tne 
fpftnefs, the clofenefs, and the warmth of its fur. It is brown., 
inffummer, like the wcafel, and changes colour before the win- . 
ter is begun, becoming a beautiful cream colour, all except the 
$ip of the tail, as was faid before, which (till continues black*. 

* Krautz's Hiflory of Greenland, vol. i. p. 72, 


Da-ubsnton had one of thefe brought him with its white 
winter fur, which he put into a cage, and kept, in order to ob- 
iVrve the manner of moulting its hair. He received it in the 
beginning of March, and in a very fhort time it began to fhed 
its coat, and a mixture of brown was feen to prevail among the 
white, fo that, at the ninth of the fame month, its head was 
nearly become of a reddifh brown* Day after day, his colour 
appeared to extend at firft along the neck and down th'eback, 
in the manner cf a flripe of about half an inch broad. The 
fore-part of the legs then affiimed the fame colour ; a part 
cf the hend, the thighs, and the tail, were the laft that chang- 
ed ; but at the end of the month, there was no white remain- 
ing, except on thofe parts which are always white in this fpe- 
cies, particularly the throat and the belly. However, he had 
not the pleafure of feeing this animal refume its former white- 
nets, although he kept it for above two years ; which, without 
doubt, was owing to its imprifoned ftate ; this colour being 
partly owing to its {tinted food, and partly to the rigour of 
the feafon. During its ftate of confinement, this little animal 
always continued very wild and untractable ; for ever in a 
ftate of violent agitation, except when afleep, which it often 
continued for three parts of the day. Except for its moft dif- 
agreeable fcent, it was an extremely pretty creature, its eyes 
Brightly, its phyfiognomy pleafant, and its motions fo fwift 
that the eye could fcarce attend them. It was fed with eggs 
and flefh, but it always let them putrefy before it touched ei- 
ther. As fome of this kind are known to be fond of honey, it 
was tried to feed this animal with fuch food for a while ; after 
having for three or four days deprived it of other food, it ate 
of this, and died fhortly after ; a ftrong proof of its being a 
diftinft fpecies from the pole-cat or the martin, who feed up- 
on honey, but othervrife pretty much refemble the ermine in 
their figure and difpofitions. 

In the north of Europe and Siberia, their flans make a va- 
luable article of Commerce, and they are found there much 
more frequently than among us. In Siberia they burrow in 
the fields, and are taken in traps baited with fleih. In Nor- 


way, they arc either (hot with blunt arrows or taken in trap* 
made of two flat (tones, one being propped with a flick, to 
:-h is fattened a baited firing, and when the animals at- 
tempt to pull this away, the ftone drops and crufhes them to 
death. This animal is fometimes found white in Great- 
Britain, and is then called a white wealel. Its furs, however, 
among us are of no value, having neither the thicknefs, 
the clofenefs, nor the whitenefs of thofe which come from. 
Siberia. The fur of the ermine, in every country, changes 
by time ; for, as much of its beautiful whitenefs is given it by 
certain arts known to the furriers, fo its natural colour re- 
turns, and its former whitenefs can never be rcftored again. 


THE animal next in fizc to the ermine, is the ferret; which 
is a kind of domeftic in Europe, though faid to 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 pre- 
fent among us, except in its doraeftic itate ; and it is chiefly 
kept tame, for the purpofes of the warren. 

The ferret is about one foot long, being nearly four inches 
longer than the \veafel. It refembles that animaJ in the flen- 
dernefs of its body, and the fhortnefs of its legs ; but its nofe 
is (harper, and its body more (lender, in proportion to its 
length. The ferret is commonly of a cream colour, but they 
are alib found of all the colours of the weafel kind ; white, 
blackifh, brown and party-coloured, Thofe that are of the 
\vhitifh kind, have their eyes red, as is aimoft general with all 
animals entirely of that colour. But its principal diftinHon 
from the weafel, is the length of the hair on its tail, which is 
much longer in the ferret than the weafel. Words will not 
well exprefs the other diftinclions ; and what might take up 
a page in dull difcrimination, a fingle glance of the eye, when 
the animals themfelves are prefented, can difcover. 


As tliis animal is a native of the torrid zone*, fo it cannot 
"bear the rigours of our climate, without care and (belter; and 
k generally repays the trouble of its keeping, by its great agi- 
hty in the warren. It is naturally fuch an enemy of the rabbit 
kind, that if a dead rabbit be prefented to a young ferret, al- 
though it has never feen one before, it inftantly attacks and 
bites it with an appearance of rapacity. If the rabbit be living, 
the ferret is Hill more eager, feizes it by the neck, winds it- 
felf round it, and continues to fuck its biood, till it be fatiated. 

Their chief u'fe in warrens, is to enter the holes, and drive 
the rabbits into the nets that are prepared for them at the 
mouth. For this purpofe, the ferret is muzzled j otherwife, 
inftead of driving out the rabbit, it would content itfelf with 
killing and fucking its blood at the bottom of the hole ; but, 
by this contrivance, being rendered unable to feize it> prey, 
the rabbit efcapes from its claws, and inftantly makes to the 
mouth of the hole with fuch precipitation, that it is inextrica- 
bly entangled in the net placed there for its reception. It of- 
ten happens, however, that th^ ferret difengages itfelf of its 
muzzle, and then it is moft commonly loft, unlefs it be dug 
cut ; for, finding all its wants fatisfied in the Warren, it never 
thinks of returning to the owner, but continues to lead a ra- 
pacious, folitary life, while the fummer continues, and dies 
with the cold of the winter. In order to bring the ferret from 
his hole, the owners often burn draw and other fubftances at 
the mouth; they alfo beat above, to terrify it ; but this does not 
always fucceed; for, as there are often feveral i flues to each hole, 
the ferret is affected neither by the noife nor the fmoke, but 
continues fecure at the bottom, fleeping the greatest part of the 
time, and waking only to fatisfy the calls of hunger. 

The female of this fpeciesf is fenfibly lefs than the male, 
whom (he feeks with great ardour, and, it is faid, often dies, 
without being admitted. They are ufualiy kept in boxes, with 
wool, of which they make thernfelves a warm bed, which 
ferves to defend them from the rigour of the climate. They 
jQeep almoft continually ; and the inflant they awake, they 
* Buffon. f Ibid 

VOL. II. 2D 


feem eager for food. They are ufually fed with bread 
milk, and they breed twiee a year. Some of them devour their 
young as foon as brought forth ; and then become fit ior 
the male again. Their number is ufnally from five to fix at a 
litter ; and this is faid to connft of more females than males. 
Upon the whole, this is an ufeful, but a difagreeable and of- 
fenfire animal ; its fcent is foetid, its nature voracious, it is 
tame without any attachment, and fuch is its appetite for 
blood, that it has been known to attack and kill children in 
the cradle. It is very eafy to be irritated ; and, although at all 
times its fmell is very offenfive, it then is much more fo ; and 
its bite is very difficult of cure. 

To the ferret kind, we may add an animal which mr. BufFon 
calls the vanfire, the (kin of which was fent him fluffed, from 
Madagafcar. It wasthirteen inches long, a good deal refembling 
the ferret in figure, but differing in the number of its grinding 
teeth, which amounted to twelve; whereas, in the ferret, there 
are but eight : It differed alfo in colour, being of a dark 
brown, and exactly the fame on all parts of its body. Of this 
animal, fo nearly refembling the ferret, we have no other 
hiilory, but the mere defcription of its figure ; and in a qua- 
druped whofe kind is fo ftrongly marked, perhaps this is fuffi.- 
cient to faticfy curiofity. 


The polecat is larger than the weafel, the ermine, or the 
ferret, being one foot five inches long ; whereas, the weafel is 
but fix inches, the ermine nine, and the ferret eleven inches. 
It fo much refembles the ferret in form, that fome have been 
of opinion they were one and the fame animal ; neverthelefs, 
there are a fufficient number of diftinclions between them : it 
is, in the firfl place, larger than the ferret ; it is not quite fo 
(lender, and has a blunter nofe , it differs alfo internally, hav- 
ing but fourteen ribs, whereas the ferret has fifteen ; and wants 
one of the bread bones, which is found in the ferret : howe- 
ver, warreners afTert, that the polecat will mix with the ferret; 


and they are fometimes obliged to procure an intercourfe be- 
tween thefe two animals, to improve the breed of the latter, 
which, by long confinement, is fornetimes feen to abate of its 
rapacious difpofition. Mr. Buffon denies that the ferret will 
admit the po'ecat ; yet gives a variety under the name of both 
animals, which may very probably be a fpurious race between 
the two. 

However this be, the polecat feems by much the more pleaf- 
ing animal of the two: for, although the long, (lender fh ape of 
all thefe vermin tribes gives them a very difagreeable appear- 
ance, yet the foftnefs and colour of the hair, in fome of them,, 
atones for the defect, and renders them, if not pretty, at leaft 
not frightfuL The polecat, for the mod part, is of a deep 
chocolate colour ; it is white about the mouth ; the ears are 
fhort, rounded, and tipt with white ; a little beyond the cor- 
ners of the mouth a ftripe begins, which runs backward, partly 
white and partly yellow : its hair, like that of all this clafs, 
is of two forts ; the long and the furry : but, in this animal, 
the two kinds are of different colours ; the longeft is black, 
and the fliorter yellowifh :* the throat, feet and tail, are blacker 
than any other partsof the body : the claws are white underneath, 
and bro \\ n above ; and ks tail is about two inches and a half. 

It is very dcftruftive to young game of all kinds f : but the 
rabbit feems to be its favourite prey ; a {ingle polecat is often 
fufficient to deftroy a whole warren ; for, with that infatiable 
third for blood, which is natural to all the weafel kind, it kills 
much more that it can devour ; and I have feen twenty rab- 
bits at a time taken out dead, which they had deflroyed, and 
that by a wound which was hardly perceptible. Their ilze, 
however, which is fo much larger than the weafel, renders their 
retreats near houfes much more precarious ; although I h-ive 
feen them burrow near a village, fo as fcarcely to be extirpa- 
ted. But, in general, they refide in woods or thick brakes, mak- 
ing holes under ground of about two yards deep, commonly 
ending about the roots of large trees, for greater fecurity. la 

* Ray's Synopfis. f JJritith Zoology, vol. i. p, 78, 


winter, they frequent houfes, and make a common practice of 
robbing the hen-roofl and the dairy. 

The polecat is particularly deftruclive among pigeons*, 
when it gets into a dove-houfe; without making fo much noife 
as the weafel, it does a great deal more mtfchief ; it dlfpatches 
each with a fingle wound hi the head; and, after killing a great 
number, and fatiating itfdf with their blood, it then begins to 
think of carrying them home. This it carefully performs, go- 
ing and returning, and bringing them one by oiic to its hole ; 
but if it fhould happen that the opening by which it got into 
the dove-houfe be not large enough for the body of the pigeon- 
to get through, this mifchievous creature contents itfelf with 
carrying away the heads, and makes a rnoil deliciuos feaft upon 
the brains. 

It is not lefs fond of honey, attacking the hives in winter, 
and forcing the b^es away. It does not remove far from houfes 
in winter, as its prey is not foeafily found in the woods during 
thatfeafon. The female brings forth her young in fummer, to 
the number of five or fix at a time; thefe me foon trains to her 
own rapacious habits, fupplying the want of milk, which no 
carnivorous quadruped has in plenty, with the blood of fuch 
animals as fhe happens to feize. The fur of this animal is con- 
fidered as foft and warm ; yet it is in lefs eftimation than feme 
of a much inferior kind, from its ofFenfive fmell, which can ne- 
ver be wholly removed or fuppreflcd. The polecat feems to be 
an inhabitant of the temperate climatesf, fcarce any being found 
towards the north, and but very few in the warmer latitudes. 
The fpecies appears to be confined in Europe, from Poland to 
Italy. It is certain, that thefe animals are afraid of the cold, as 
they are often feen to come into houfes in winter, and as their 
tracks are never found in the fnow, near their retreats. It is 
probable, alfo, that they are afraid of heat, as they are but thin- 
ly fcattered in the fouthern climates. 

* BalFon, f Ibid, 



THE martin is a larger animal than any of the former, be- 
ing generally eighteen inches long, and the tail ten more. It 
differs from the polecat, in being about four or five inches 
longer ; its tail aifo is longer in proportion, and more bulhy at 
the end ; its nofe is flatter ; its cry is (harper, and more pier- 
cing; its colours are more elegant ; and what itill adds to their 
beauty, its (cent, very unlike the former, inftead of being otTen- 
fivc, is confidered as a moil pleating perfume. The martin, in 
(hort, is the moft beautiful of all Britifh beads of prey : its head 
is fmali, and elegantly formed; its eyes lively; its ears are broad, 
rounded and open; its back, its fides, and tail, are covered with 
a fine thick downy fur, with longer hair intermixed; the roots 
are afh-colour, the middle of a bright chefnut, the points black ; 
the head is brown, with a flight caft of red ; the legs, and up- 
per fides of the feet, are of a chocolate colour ; the palms, or 
under fides, are covered with a thick down, like that of the 
bodyj the feet are broad, the claws white, large and (harp, 
wc!l adapted for the purpofes of climbing, but, as in others of 
the weafei kind, incapable of being (licathed or unflieathed at 
pleafure ; the throat and bread are white ; the belly of the 
fame colour with the back, but rather paler ; the hair on the 
tail is very long, efptcially at the end, where it appears much 
thicker than near the infertion. 

There is alfo a variety of this animal, called the yellow- 
breaded martin, which, in no refpect differs from the former, 
except that this has a yellow bread, whereas the other has a 
white one : the colour of the body alfo is darker ; and, as it 
lives more among trees than the other martin, its fur is more 
valuable, beautiful and gloffy. The former of thefe mr. Buffon 
calls the fouine ; the latter, fimply the martin ; and he fup- 
pofes them to be a didincl: fpecies : but as they differ only in 
colour, it is unneceffary to embarrafs hiftory by a new dif- 
tinclion, where there is only fo minute a difference. 

Of all animals of the weafei kind, the martin is die mofl 


pleafing; all its motions mow great grace, as well as agility ? 
and there is fcarce an animal in our woods that will venture to 
oppofe it. Quadrupeds five times as big are eafily vanquished ; 
the hare, the iheep, and even the wild cat itfelf, though much 
ftronger, is not a match for the martin : and, although carnivo- 
rous animals are not fond of engaging each other, yet the 
cat and the martin feldom meet without a combat. Gef- 
ner tells us of one of this kind that he kept tame, which was 
extremely playful and pretty ^ it went among the houfes of the 
neighbourhood, and always returned home when hungry : it 
was extremely fond of a dog that had been bred up with, 
it, and ufed to play with it as cats are ieen to play, lying on. 
its back, and biting without anger or injury. 1 hat which was 
kept tame by mr. BufFon, was not quite fo focial : it was di- 
vefted of its ferocity, but continued without attachment ; and 
was ftill fo wild as to be obliged to be held by a chain. When- 
ever 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 tied by the middle of the body, it frequently 
efcapcd : at fir ft it returned after fome hours, but without 
lee in ing pleafed, and as if it only came to be fed \, the next 
time it continued abroad longer;, and, at lad, went away with- 
out ever returning. It was a female, and was, when it went 
oft', ;i year and a half old; and mr. BufFon fuppofes it to have 
gone in quefl of the male. It ate every thing that was given 
it, except fallad or herbs; and it was remarkably fond of honey. 
It was remarked that it drank often, and often flept for two 
days together ; and that, in like manner, it was often two or 
three days without fleeping. Before it went to deep, it drew 
itidf up into a round, hid its head, and covered it with its taiL 
When awake, it was in continual agitation, and was obliged 
to be tied up, not lefs to prevent its attacking the poultry, than 
to hinder it from breaking whatever it came near, by the ca- 
us wildnefs of its motions. 

The yellow-breaded martin is much more common in France 
than in England; and yet even there, this variety is muchfcarcer 
rha.n that with the. white bread. The latter ke^-ps nearer houfes 


and villages to make its petty ravages among the fheep and the 
poultry; the other keens in the woods, and leads, in every re- 
fpeft, a fivage life, building its neft upon the tops of trees, and 
living upon fuch animals as are entirely wild like itfelf. About 
night-fall it ufually quits its folitude to feek its prey, hunts af- 
ter fquirrels, rats, and rabbits ; deftroys great numbers of birds 
and their young, takes the eggs from the neft, and often re- 
moves them to its own without breaking*. The inftant the 
martin finds itfelf purfued by dogs, for which purpofe there is 
a peculiar breed, that feem fit for this chace only, it immedi- 
ately makes to its retreat, which is generally in the hollow of 
fome tree, towards the top, and which it is impoflible to come 
at without cutting'it down. Their neft is generally the origi- 
nal tenement of the fquirrel, which that little animal beftow- 
ed great pains in completing; but the martin having killed and 
difpoflefled the little architect, takes pofleffion of it for its own 
tife, enlarges its dimenfions, improves the foftnefs of the bed, 
and in that retreat brings forth its young. Its litter is never 
above three or four at a time ; they are brought forth with the 
eyes clofed, as in all the reft of this kind, and very foon come 
to a ftate of perfection. The dam compenfates for her own 
deficiency of milk, by bringing them eggs and livo birds, accuf- 
toming them, from the beginning, to a life of carnage and ra- 
pine. When me leads them from the neft into the woods, the 
birds at once diftinguim their enemies, and attend them, as we 
before obferved of the fox, with all the marks of alarm and ani- 
mofity. Wherever the martin conduces her young, a flock of 
fmall birds are feen threatening and infulting her, alarming 
every thicket, and often directing the hunter in his purfuit. 

The martin is more common in North-America, than 
in any part of Europe. Thefe animals are found in all the nor- 
thern parts of the world, from Siberia, to China and Canada. 
In every country they are hunted for their furs, which are very 
valuable,and chiefly fo when taken in the beginning of winter. 
The moft eileemed part of the martin's {kin, is that part of it 
which is browner than the reft, and ftretches along the back- 

* Brook's Natural Hiftory, 


bone. Above twelve thoufand of thefe fkins are annually im- 
ported into England from Hudfon's Bay, and above thirty 
thoufand from Canada. 


MOST of the clafles of the weafel kind would have conti- 
nued utterly unknown and disregarded, were it not for their 
furs, which are finer, more glofiy and foft, than thofe of any 
other quadruped. Their difpofitions are fierce and untameable ; 
their fcent generally offenfive ; and their figure difproportion- 
ed and unpleafing. The knowledge of one or two of them, 
would, therefore, have fufficed curio fity ; and the reft would 
probably have been confounded together, under one common 
name, as things ufelefs and uninterefting, had not their fkins 
been coveted by the vain, and confidered as capable of adding 
to human magnificence or beauty. 

Of all thefe, however, the fkin of the fable is the mofl coveted, 
and held in the higheft efleem. It is of a bro\vnifh black, and 
Ithe darker it is, it becomes the more valuable. A {ingle fkin, 
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 ; fo that rub it which way you will, it is equally 
fmooth and unrefifting. Neverthelefs, though this little animal's 
robe was fo much coveted by the great, its hiftory till of late 
was but very little known ; and we are obliged to mr. Jonelin 
for the firft accurate defcription of its form and naturef . From 
him we learn that the fable refembles the martin in form and 
fize, and the weafel in the number of its teeth ; for it is to be 
obferved, that, whereas, the martin has thirty-eight teeth, the 
weafel has but thirty-four ; in this refpeft, therefore, the fable 
feems to make the {hade between thefe two animals ; being 
ihaped like the one, and furnifhed with teeth like the other. It 
is alfo furnifhed with very large whifkers about the mouth ; its 
feet are broad, and, as in the reft of its kind, furnifhed with 

* Renard. f BufFon, vol. xxvii. p. 113. 


five claws on each foot. Thefe are its conftant marks ; but its 
fur, for which it is fo much valued, is not always the fame. 
Some of this fpecies are of a dark brown over all the body, ex- 
cept the ears and the throat, where the hair is rather yellow ; 
others are more of the ycllowifti tincture, their ears and throat 
being alib much paler. Thefe, in both, are the colours they 
hate in winter, and which they are feen to change in the begin- 
ning of the fpring ; the former becoming of a yellow brown, 
the latter of a pale yellow. In other refpeds, they refemble 
their kind, in vivacity, agility, and inquietude ; in fleeping by 
day and feeking their prey by night ; in living upon fmaller 
animals, and in the difagreeable odour that chiefly characterises 
their race. 

They generally inhabit along the banks of rivers, in fhady 
places, and in the thick --ft woods. They leap with great eafe 
from tree to tree, and are faid to be afraid of the fun, which 
tr.rniihes the luftre of their robes. They are chiefly hunted in 
winter for their ikins ; during which part of the year they are 
only in feafon. They are moftly found in Siberia, and but ve- 
ry few in any other country of the world ; and this fcarcity it 
13 which enhances their value. The hunting of the fable, chiefly 
falls to the lot of the condemned criminals, who are fent from 
Ruffia into thefe wild arid extenfive forefts, that, for a great 
part of the year, are covered with fnow ; and in this inftance, 
as in many others, the luxuries and ornaments of the vain, are 
wrought out of the dangers and miferies of the wretched. 
Thefe are obliged to furniih a certain number of fkins every 
year, and are punifhed if the proper quantity be not provided. 

The fable is alfo killed by the Ruffian foldiers, who are fent 
into thofe parts to that end. They are taxed a certain number 
of ikins yearly, like the former, and are obliged to (hoot with 
a (ingle ball, to avoid fpoiling the fkin, or elfe with crois-bows 
and blunt arrows. As an encouragement to the hunters, they 
are allowed to (hare among themfelves the furplus of thofe 
ikins which they thus procure; and this, in the procefsof fix or 
feven years, amounts to a very confiderable fum. A colonel, 
Curing his feven-years itay, gains about four thoufand crowns 
VOL. II. 2 E 


for his fhare, and the common men, fix or fevcn hundred tad* 
for theirs. 


THE ichneumon, which fome have injudicioufly denomina* 
ted the cat of Pharaoh, is one of the boldcfl and mod ufeful 
animals of all the weafel kind. In the kingdom of Egypt, where 
it is chiefly bred, it is ufed for the fame purpofes that cats are 
in Europe, and is even more ferviceable, as being more expert 
in catching mice than they* This animal is ufually of the fizc of 
the martin, and greatly refembles it in appearance, except that 
the hair, which is of a grifly bl.ick, is much rougher and lefs 
downy. The tail alfo is not fc bufhy at the end ; and each hair 
in particular has three or fcur colours, which are fecn in differ- 
ent difpofitions of its body. Under its rougher hairs, there is 
a fofter fur of a brownifh colour, the rough hair being about two 
inches long, but that of the muzzle extremely fhort, as likewife 
that on the legs and paws. However, being long fince brought 
into a domedic (late, there are many varieties in this animal ; 
fome being much larger than the martin, others much lefs ; 
fome being of a lighter mixture of colours, and fome being 
ftreaked in the manner of a cat. 

The ichneumon, with all the itrength of a cat, has more in- 
flinct and agility ; a more univerfal appetite for carnage, and 
a greater variety of powers to procure it*. Rats, mice, birds, 
ferpents, lizard and infects, are all equally purfued ; it attacks 
every living thing which it is able to overcome, and indifcri- 
minately preys on flefh of all kinds. Its courage is equal to the 
vehemence of its appetite. It fears neither the force of the dog 
nor the infidious malice of the cat ; neither the claws of the 
vulture nor the poifon of the viper. It makes war upon all kinds 
of ferpents with great avidity, ftizcs and kills them how veno- 
mous foever^they be ; and we are told, that when it begins to 

* The reft of this c'efcription is extracted in.m Air. Lt.fTon, except where 
marked with inverted commas, 


perceive the effects of their rage, it has recourfe to a certain 
root, which the Indians call after its name, and aflert to be an 
antidote for the bite of the afp or the viper. 

But what this animal is particularly ferviceable to the Egyp- 
tians for, is, that it difcovers and deftroys the eggs of the croco- 
dile. It alfo kills the young ones that have not as yet been able 
to reach the water ; and, as fable ufually goes hand in hand 
with truth, it is faid, that the ichneumon fometimes enters the 
mouth of the crocodile, when it is found fleeping on the more, 
boldly attacks the enemy in the infide, and at length, when it 
has effectually deftroyed it, it eats its way out again. 

The ichneumon when wild, generally refides along the banks 
of rivers , and, in times of inundation, makes to the higher 
ground, often approaching inhabited places in queft of r 
It goes forward filently and cautioufly, changing its manner of 
movingaccording to its neceflities. Sometimes itcarries the head 
high, (hortens its body, and raifes itfelf upon its legs - 9 fome- 
times it lengthens itfelf, and feems to creep along the ground ; 
it is often obferved to fit upon its hind legs, like a dog when 
taught to beg ; but more commonly it is feen to dart like an- 
arrow upon its prey, and feize it with irrevitable certainty. Its 
eyes are fprightly and full of fire, its phyfiognomy fenfible, its 
bodv nimble, its tail long, and its hair rough and various. Like 
all of its kind, it has glands that open behind and furnifh an 
odorous fubftance. Its nofe is too (harp and its mouth too fmall 
to permit its feizing things that are large j however, it makes up 
by its courage and activity its want of arms ; it eafily ftran- 
gles a cat, though ftrorager and larger than itfelf ; and often 
fights with dogs, which, though never fo bold, learn to dread 
the ichneumon as a formidable enemy. It alfo takes the water 
like the otter, and, as we are told, will continue under it much 
longer. This animal grows faft and dies foon. It is found ia 
great numbers in all the fourhern parts of Afia, from Egypt to 
Java ; and it is alfo found in Africa, particularly at the Cape of 
Good Hope. It is domeftic, as was faid, in Egypt j but, in our 
colder climates, it is not eafy to breeder maintain them, as they. 


are not able to fupport the rigour of our winters. Nevertheless, 
they take every precaution that inftinft can dictate, to keep 
themfelves warm ; they wrap themfelves up into a ball, hiding 
the head between the legs, and in this manner continue to deep. 
all day long. " Seha had one fent him from the iiland of Cey- 
lon, which he p rmitted to run for fome months about the 
ho ufe.. It was heavy and flothful by day, and often could not 
be awaked even with a blow j but it made up for this indo- 
Itnce by its nocturnal activity, fmelling about without either 
being wholly tame or wholly miichievous. It climbed up the 
walls and the trees with very great eafe, and appeared extremely 
fond of fpiders and worms, which it preferred, probably from 
their refemblance to ferpenrs, its moft natural food. It was 
alfo particularly eager to fcratch up holes in the ground ; and, 
this added to its wildnefs and uncleanlinefs, obliged our natu- 
ralift to fmother it in fpirits, in order to prcferve, and add it to 
the reft of his collection." 

This animal was one of thofe formerly wormipped by the. 
Egyptians, who confidered every thing that was ferviceable to 
them as an emanation of the Deity, and wormipped fuch as the 
beft reprefentatives t God belov . Indeed, if we confmer the. 
number of eggs which the crocodile lays in the fand at a time, 
which often amount to three or four hundred, we have rcafon 
to admire this little animal's ufefulnefs, as well as induftry, in 
deftroying them, fmce otherwife the crocodile might be pro-, 
duced in fufficient numbers to over-run the whole earth. 


THIS is a name which our failors give to one or two ani- 
mals of the weafel kind, which are chiefly found in America, 
All the weafel kind, as was already obfcrvcd, have a very ftrong 
fmell -, fome of them, indeed, approaching to a perfume, but 
the greateft number moft infupportably foetid. But the fmell 
of our weafels, and ermines, and polecats,, is fragrant itfelf, 
when compared to that of the fqunjlj and the Jkink, which 

i bin r i 


liave been called the polecats of America, Thefe two are 
found in different parts of America, both di : Tlnn in colour 
.and iur, but both obvioufiy of the weak! kind, as ap; 
not only from their iigure and odour, but aho from their 
diipofition. The .ibout the fize of a polecat, its hair 

of a ueep brown, "but principally dilrlring from ail ot this 
kind, in having only four toes on the feet before, whereas all 
other weak Is have five. The Jkink, which I take to be Catei- 
by's Virginia pc . mbles a polecat in ihape and fize, 

but particularly differs in the length of its hair and colour. 
The hair is above three inches and a half long, and that at 
the end oi the tail above four inches, he colour is partly 
black and partly white, varioufly difpofed over the body, very 
gloily, long, and beautiful. There teem to be two varieties 
more of this animal, which mr. BufFon calls the conepite 
and the zoriile. He fuppofcs each to be a diltincl fpecies ; 
but, as they are both faid to reiemble the polecat in form, and 
both to .be clothed with long fur of a black and white co*- 
lour, it fecms needlefs to make a diiiinction. The conepatc 
refembles the ikhik in all things except in fize, being fmailer, 
and in t 'don of its colours, which are more exact, 

having five white rtripes upon a bkv. !, running Ic. 

tudinally from the head to the tail. The zoriile refembles the 
(kink, but is rather fmaller and more beautifully coloured, its 
(breaks of black and white being more diilincl, and the co- 
lours of its tail 1 k at its infertion and white at the 
extremity ; whereas in the fkink they are ail of one grey co- 

But whatever differences there may bs in the figure or co- 
lour of thefe little animals, they all agree in one common 
feftion, that of being intolerably foetid and loathfome. I have 
already obferved that ail the weafel kind have glands furnifh- 
ing an odorous matter, near the the conduits of w; 

generally have their aperture juft at ifs opening. That fi 
ftance which is ftored up in thefe receptacles, is in fome of 
this kind, fuch as in the martin, already mentioned, and aif j 
in the genet and the civet, to be defcribed hereafter, a mod 


grateful perfume ; but in the weafel, the ermine, the ferret, 
and the polecat, it is extremely foetid and offenfive. Theft: 
glands in the animals now under confederation are much lar- 
ger, and furnifti a matter fublimed to a degree of putrefcence 
that is truly amazing. As to the perfumes of mufk and civet, 
v. r c know that a (ingle grain will dirFufe itfelf over a whole 
|ioufe, and continue for months to fprenti an agreeable odour, 
without diminution. However, the perfume of the mulk or 
the civet is nothing, either for ftrength or duration, to the 
insupportable odour of thefe. It is ufually voided with their 
excrement ; and, if but a lingle 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 defcribing the effects produced by the excrement of thefe 
animals, we often hear of its raifing this diabolical fmell by 
its urine. However, of this I am apt to doubt ; and it (hould 
feem to me, that, as all the weafel kind have their excre- 
ments fo extremely fcetid from the caufe above-mentioned, 
YV e may confider thefe alfo, as being fcetid from the fame cau- 
fes. Befides, they arc not furnilhed with glands to give their 
urine ftich a fmeil ; and the analogy between them and the 
weafel kind- being fo ftrong in other refpects, we may fuppofe 
they refemble each other in this. It has alfo been faid, that 
they take this method of ejecting their excrement to defend 
themfelves againft their pur fuers ; but it is much more pro- 
bable that this ejection is the convulfive efrecl: of terror, and 
that it ferves as their defence without their own concurrence. 
Certain it is, that they never fmell thus horridly except when 
enraged or affrighted, for they are often kept tame about the 
ho u fes of the planters of America without being very of- 

The habitudes of all ihefr animals are the fame, living like 
nil the reft of the weafel kind, aS they prey upon fmaller ani- 
mals and birds' eggs. The fquafh, for iriftance, burrows like 
the polecat in the clefts of rocks, where it brings forth its 
i!"-. It often ileals into farm-yards, and kills the poultry,. 


eating only their brains. Nor is it fafe to purfue or offend it> 
for then it calls up all its fcents, which are its moft powerful 
protection. At that time, neither men nor dogs will offer to 
approach it -, the fcent is fo ftrong, that it reaches for half a 
mile round, and more near at hand is almoit {lifting. If the 
dogs continue to purfue, it does all in its power to efcape, by 
getting up a tree, or by forne fuch means ; but if driven to 
an extremity, it then kts fly upon the hunters ; and if it 
mould happen that p. drop of this foetid difcharge falls in the 
eye, the perfon run;-, the rifque of being blinded forever 

The dogs themfelves inftantly abate of their ardour when 
they find this extraordinary battery played off againft them , 
they inflantly turn tail, and leave the animal undifputed maf- 
ter of the field ; and no exhortations can ever bring them to 
rally. " In the year : ays Kalm, " one of thefe ani- 

mals came near the farm where I lived. It wus in winter 
time, during the night ; and the dogs that were upon the 
watch, purfucd it for fume time, until it difcharged againft 
them. Although I was in my bed a good way off, I thought 
I fliould have been fuffocated j and the cows, and oxen them- 
felves by their lo wings, fhowed how much they were affec- 
ted by the flench. About the end of the fame year, another of 
thefe animals crept into our cellar, but did not exhale the 
fmalleft fcent, becaufe it was not diflurbed. A foolim woman, 
however,, who perceived it at night, by the mining of its eyes, 
killed it, and at that moment its flench began to fpread. The 
whole cellar was filled with it to fuch a degree, that the wo- 
man kept her bed for feveral days after ; and all the bread, 
meat, and other provifions, that were kept there, were fo in- 
fecled, that they were obliged to be thrown out of doors." 
Neverthelefs, many of the planters, and the native Americans, 
keep this animal tame about their houfes 5 and feldom per- 
ceive any difagrteable fcents, except it is injured or fright- 
ened. They are alfo known to eat its flefli, which fome affert 
to be tolerable food ; however, they take care to deprive it of 
thofe glands which are fo horridly offenfive. 

* Voyage dc Kalm, as quoted by Buffon, vol. ixvii p. 93. 



FROM the fquafh, which is the moil offenfive animal i& 
i-mure we come to the genet, which is one of the moil beau- 
tiful and pleafing. Initead of the horrid ftench with which 
the former affects us, this has a moil grateful odour ; more 
faint than civet, but to fome, for thut reafon, more agreeable. 
This animal is lefs than the martin ; though there are genets 
of different fizes ; and I have feen one rather larger. It alfo 
differs fomewhat in the form of its body. It is not eafy, in 
words, to give an idea of the diilmclion. It refembles all thofe 
of the w~afel kind, in iis length compared to its heighth ; it 
refembles them in having a foft beautiful fur, in having its feet 
armed with claws that csnnot be fheathed, and in it's appetite 
for petty carnage. But then it differs from them in having the 
nofe much fmaller and longer, rather refembling that of a fox 
than a weafel. The tail alfo, inftead of being bufliy, tapers to a 
point, and is much longer j its ears are larger, and its paws fmal- 
ler. As to its colours, and figure in general, the genet is fpotted 
with black, upon a ground mixed with red and grey. It has 
two forts of hair, the one {hotter aiid fcfter, the other longer 
and ilronger, but not above half an inch long on any part of its 
body, except the tail. Its fpots are diftinft and feparate upon 
the fides, but unite towards the back, and form black flripes, 
which run longitudinally from the neck backwards. It has 
alfo along the back a kind of mane or longifh hair, which 
forms a black ftreak from the head to the tail, \\hich lad is 
marked with rings, alternately black and white, its whole 

The genet, like all the reft of the xveafel kinds, has glands, 
that feparate a kind of perfume, refembling civet, but which 
foon flies off. Thefe glands open differently from thofe of other 
animals of this kind ; for as the latter have their apertures 
jaft at the opening of the anus, thefc have their aperture 
immediately under it ; fo that the male feems, for this rea- 
fon, to the fuperficial obferver, to be of two fexes. 


It refembles the martin very much in its habits and difpo- 
fition* ; except that it feems tamed much more eafily. Bello- 
nius allures us, that he has feen them in the houfes at Gon- 
flantinople as tame as cats ; and that they were permitted to 
run every where about, without doing the lead mifchief. For 
this reafon, they have been called the cats of Conftantinople ; 
although they have little elfe in common with that animal, 
except their fkill in fpying out and deftroying vermin. Natu- 
ralifts pretend that it inhabits only the moifter grounds, and 
chiefly refides along the banks of rivers, having never been, 
found in mountains, or dry places. The fpecies is not much 
diffufed ; it is not to be found in any part of Europe, except 
Spain and Turkey ; it requires a warm climate to fubfift and 
multiply in ; and yet, it is not to be found in the warmer re- 
gions either of India or Africa. From fuch as have feen its 
ufes at Conftantinople, I learn, that it is one of the moft beau- 
tiful, cleanly, and induftrious animals in the world j that it 
keeps whatever houfe it is in, perfectly free from mice and 
rats, which cannot endure its fmell. Add to this, its nature 
is mild and gentle, its colours various and gloffy, its fur valu- 
able ; and upon, the \s r hole, it feems to be one of thofe ani- 
mals, that, with proper care, might be propagated amongft 
us, and might become one of the moft ferviceable of our do- 


PROCEEDING from the fmaller to the greater of this 
kind, we come, in the laft place, to the civet, which is much 
larger than any of the former ; for, as the martin is not above 
fixtcen inches long, the civet is found to be above thirty. Mr. 
Buffon diftinguifhes this fpecies into two kinds ; one of w hich 
he calls the civet, and the other the zibet. The latter princi- 
pally differs from the former, in having the body longer and 
more flender, the nofc fmaller, the ears longer snd broader y 

* Buffon, vol. xix. p, 187. 



no mane or long hair running down the back in the latter 
and the tail is longer, and better marked with rings of 
different colours, from one end to the other. Theie are 
the differences which have induced this great naturalift to 
fuppofe them animals of diftincT: fpecies ; and to allot each a 
feparate defcription. How far future experience may confirm 
this conjecture, time mud difcover ; but certain it is, that if 
fuch fmall varieties make a feparate clafs, there may be many 
other animals equally entitled to peculiar diftin&ion, that 
now are cl'affed together. We (hall, therefore, content our- 
felves, at prefent, with confidering, as former naturalifts have 
done, thefe two merely as varieties of the fame animal, and 
only altered in figure, by climate, food, or education. 

The civet refembles animals of the weafel kind in the long 
flendernefs of its body, the ihortnefs of its legs, the odorous 
matter that exudes from the glands behind, the foftnefs of 
its fur, the number of its claws, and their incapacity of being 
fheathed. It differs from them in being much larger than any 
hitherto defcribed ; in having the nofe lengthened, fo as ta 
refemble that of the fox ; the tail long, and tapering to a 
point ; and its ears flraight, like thofe of a cat. The colour of 
the civet varies ; it is commonly afh, fpotted with black ; 
though it is whiter m the female, tending to yellow ; and the 
fpots are much larger, like thofe of a panther. The colour on 
the belly, and under the throat, is black ; whereas the other 
parts of the body are black or ftreaked with grey. This ani- 
mal varies in its colour, being fometimes ftreaked, as in our 
kind of cats called tabbies. It has whifkers, like the reft of 
its kind, and its eyes are black and beautiful. 

The opening of the pouch or bag, which is the receptacle 
of the civet, differs from that of the r-eft of the weafel kind,, 
not opening into, but under the anus. Betides this opening, 
which is large, there is ftill another lower down ; buc for what 
purpofes defigned, is not known. The pouch itfelf is about 
two inches and a half broad, and two long ; its opening makes 
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 fhort hair : when the two fides are drawn afunder, the 
inward cavity may be feen large enough to hold a (mall pul- 
let's egg ; all round this are fmall glands, opening and fur- 
nifhing that ftrong perfume which is fo well known, and is 
found, in this pouch, of the colour and confidence of poma- 
tum. Thofe who make it their bufmefs to breed thefe animals 
for their perfume, ufuully take it from them twice or thrice a 
week, and fometimes oftener. The animal is kept in a long 
fort of a box, in which it cannot turn round. The perfon, 
therefore, opens this box behind, drags the animal backwards 
by the tail, keeps it in this pofition by a bar before, and, with a 
wooden fpoon, takes the civet from the pouch, as carefully as 
he can; then lets the tail go, and (huts the box again. The 
perfume, thus procured, is put into a veflel, which he takes care 
to keep (hut; and when a fufficient quantity is procured, it is 
fold to very gveat advantage. 

The civet *, although a native of the warmed climates, is 
found yet to live in temperate, and even cold countries, pro- 
vided 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 thefe animals are alfo bred 
in Holland, where this fcrapmg people make no fmall gain of 
its perfume. The perfume of Amilerdam is reckoned the pureil 
of any; the people of other countries adulterating it with gums, 
and other matters, which diminifh its value, but increafe its 
weight. The quantity which a fmgle animal affords generally 
depends upon its health and nouriihment. It gives more in pro- 
portion as it is more delicately and abundantly fed. Raw llefli, 
haftied fmall, eggs, rice, birds, young fowls, and particularly 
fiih, are the kinds of food the civet mod delights in. Thefe are 
to be changed and altered, to fuit and entice its appetite, and 
continue its health. It gets but very little water; and although it 
drinks but rarely, yet it makes urine very frequently; and, up- 
on fuch occafions, we cannot, as in other animals, diftinguifh 
the male from the female. 

* B.uffon, vol. iix, 


The perfume of the civet is fo ftrong, that it communi- 
cates itfelf to all parts of the animal's body : the fur is impreg- 
nated thereby, and the Ikin penetrated to fuch a degree, that 
it continues to preferve the odour for a long time after it is 
flript off. If a perfon be fhut up with one of them in a clofe 
room, he cannot fupport the perfume, which is fo copioufly 
diffufed. When the animal is irritated, as in all the weafel 
kind, its fcent is much more violent than ordinary ; and if it 
be tormented fo as to make it f\veat, this alfo is a ftrong per- 
fume, and ferves to adulterate or increafe what is otherwife 
obtained from it. In general, it is fold in Holland, for about 
fifty fhillings an ounce ; though, like all other commodities, 
its value alters in proportion to the demand. Civet muft be 
chofen new, of a good confidence, a whitifh colour, and a 
flrong, difagreeable frnell. There is dill a very confiderable 
traffic carried on from Bufferah, Calicut, and other places in 
India, where the animal that produces it is bred , from the Le- 
vant alfo, from Guinea, and efpecially from Brafil, in South- 
America, although mr. Buffon is of opinion that the ariimal is 
a native only of the Old Continent, and not to be found wild 
in the New. The beft civet, however, is furnifhed, as was 
obferved, by the Dutch, though not in fuch quantities at pre- 
fent as fome years pad, when this perfume was more in fafhion. 
Civet is a much more grateful perfume than mufk, to which 
It has fome refemblance ; and was fome years ago ufed for 
the fame purpofes in medicine. But at prefent, it is quite dif- 
continued in prefcription ; and perfons of tafte or elegance 
feem to profcribe it even from the toilet. Perfumes, like drefs, 
have their viciflitudes ; mufk was in peculiar repute, until 
difplaced by civet ; both gave ground, upon difcovering 
the manner of preparing ambergreafe ; and even this is now 
difufed for the lefs powerful vegetable kinds of fragrance, fpi- 
rit of lavender, or otter of rofes. 

As to the reft, the civet is faid to be a wild fierce animal ; 
and, although fometimes tamed, is never thoroughly familiar. 
Its teeth are ftrong and cutting, although its claws be feeble 
and inflexible. It is light and active, and lives by prey, as the 


reft of its kind, purfuing birds, and other fma-I that 
it is able to overcome. They are foinetimes feen ftcniinjr in- 
to the yards and out-houfes, to feize upon the poultry : their 
eyes fhine in the night, and it is very probable, thr.t they fee 
better in the dark than by day. When they fail of animal food, 
they are found to fubfilt upon roots and fruits, and very feldom 
drink ; for which reafon they are never found near great wa- 
ters. They breed very faft in their native climates, where the 
heat feems to conduce to their propagation ; but in our tem- 
perate latitudes, although they furniih their perfume in great 
quantities, yet they are not found to multiply. A proof that 
their perfume has no analogy with their appsiite for genera- 


I WILL add but one animal more to this numerous clafs 
of the weafel kind j namely, the glutton ; which, for feveral 
reafons, feems to belong to this tribe, and this only. We have 
hitherto had no precife description of this quadruped ; feme 
refembling it to a badger, fome to a fox, and fome to a hyaena. 
Linnseus places it among the weafels, from the fimiiitu.! 
its teeth ; it ihould feem to me to referable this animal flill 
more from the great length of its body, and the fhortnefs of 
its legs, from the foftnefs of its fur, its difagreeable fcent, 
and its infatiable appetite for animal food. Mr. Klein, who 
faw one of them, v. hich was brought alive from Siberia, af- 
fures us, that it was about three feet longf, and about a foot 
and a half high. If we compare thefe dimenfions with thofe 
of other animals, we mall find, that they approach more near- 
ly to the clafs we are at prefent defcribing than any other ; 
and that the glutton may very juftly be conceived under the 
form of a great overgrown weafel. Its nofe, its ears, its teeth, 
and its long bufhy tail, are entirely fnnilar j and, as to what is 

f He fays it was an ell, eight inches long ; I have, therefore, given its length 
as fuppoiiiig it to Lc , . . li ib tv/eiity-feven inches. 


faid of its being rather corpulent than flender, it is moft pro- 
bable that thofe who defcribed it thus, faw it after eating, at 
which time its belly we are aflured is moft monftroufly diften- 
ded ; however, fufpending all certainty upon this fubjecl:, I 
will take leave rather to follow Linnseus than BufFon in de- 
fcribing this animal j and leave future experience to judge be- 
tween them. 

The glutton, which is fo called from its voracious appetite, 
is an animal found as well in the north of Europe and Sibe- 
ria, as in the north parts of America, where it has the name 
of the carcajou. Amidft the variety of defcriptions which 
have been given of it, no very juft idea can be formed of its 
figure 5 and, indeed, fome naturalists, among whom was Ray, 
entirely doubted of its exiftence. From the beft accounts, 
however, we have of k, the body is thick and long, the legs 
fhort -, it is black along the back, and of a reddifh brown on 
die fides ; its fur is held in the higheft eftimation, for its 
foftnefs and beautiful glofs ; the tail is bufny, like that of the 
weafel, but rather fhorter ; and its legs and claws better fitted 
for climbing trees, than for running along the ground. Thus 
far it entirely refembles the weafel ; and its manner of taking 
its prey is alfo by furprize, and not by purfuit. 

Scarce any of the animals with fhort legs and long bodies, 
purfue their prey ; but, knowing their own incapacity to 
overtake it by fwiftnefs, either creep upon it in its retreats, or 
wait in ambufh, and feize it with a bound. The glutton, from 
the make of its legs, and the length of its body, muft be 
particularly flow ; and, confcquently, its only refource is in 
taking its prey by furprize. All the reft of the weafel kind, 
from the fmallnefs of their fize, are better fitted for a life of 
infidious rapine than this ; they can purfue their prey into 
its retreats, they can lurk unfeen among the branches of trees, 
and hide themfelves with eafe under the leaves : but the elut- 


ton is too large to follow fmall prey into their retreats ; nor 
would fuch, even if obtained, be fufficient to fuftain it. For 
thefe reafons, therefore, this animal fcems naturally compelled. 


to the life for which it has long been remarkable. Its only re- 
fburce is to climb a tree, which it does with great eafe, and 
there it waiu with patience until fome large animal paffes un- 
derneath, upon which it darts down with unerring certainty, 
and deftroys it. 

It is chiefly in North-America that this voracious creature 
is feen lurking among the thick branches of trees, in order 
to furprize the deer, with which the extenfive forefts of that 
part of the world abound. Endued with a degree of patience 
equal to its rapacity, the glutton fmgles out fuch trees as it ob- 
ferves marked by the teeth or the antlers of the deer ; and 
is known to remain there watching for feveral days together. 
If it has fixed upon a wrong tree, and finds the deer have 
either left that part of the country, or cautioufly fhun the 
place, it reluftantly defcends, purfues the beaver to its retreat, 
or even ventures into the water in purfuit of fifties. But if it 
happens that, by long attention, and keeping clofe, at laft the 
elk or the rein deer happens to pafs that way, it at once darts 
down upon them, ilicks its claws between their (boulders, 
and remains there unalterably firm. It is in vaiu that the large 
frighted animal increafes its fpeed, or threatens with its 
branching horns , the glutton having taken poffeffion of its 
poft, nothing can drive it off ; its enormous prey drives ra- 
pidly along amongfl the thickeft woods, rubs itfelf againfl the 
largefl trees, and tears down the branches with its expanded 
horns ; but (till its infatiable foe (licks behind, eating its neck, 
and digging its paiTage to the great blood-veflels that lie in that 
part. Travellers who wander through thofe defarts, often fee 
pieces of the glutton's fkin flicking to the trees, againft which 
it was rubbed by the deer. But the animal's voracity is greater 
than its feelings, and it never feizes without bringing down its 
prey. When, therefore, the deer, wounded and feeble with the 
lofs of blood, falls, the glutton is feen to make up for its for- 
mer abflinence, by its prefent voracity. As it is not pofTefled 
of a feafl of this kind every day, it refolves to lay in a flore to 
ferve it for a good while to come. It is indeed amazing how 
much one of thefe animals can eat at a time ! That which was 


feenby mr. Klein, although without exercife or air, although 
taken from its native climate, and enjoying but an indifferent 
flate of health, was yet fe^n to cat thirteen pounds of ilefh 
every day, and ye: remained unsatisfied. We may, therefore, 
eafily conceive how much more it muft devour at once, after 
a long faffc, of a food of its own procuring, and in the climate 
rnoft natural to its confutation. We are told, accordingly, 
that from being a lank thin animal, which it naturally is, it 
then gorges in fuch quantities, that its belly is diftended, and 
its whole figure feems to alter. Thus voracioufly it continues 
eating till incapable of any other animal funtion, it lies to- 
tally torpid by the animal it has killed ; and 5 in this iituation, 
continues for two or three days. In this loathfome and help- 
Icfs ftate, it finds its chief protection from its horrid fmell, 
which few animals care to come near* ; fo that it continues 
eating and fleeping till its prey be devoured, bones and all ; 
and then it mounts a tree, in quefl of another adventure. 

The glutton, like many others of the weafei kind, fecnis to 
prefer the mo ft putrid flefh to that newly killed ; and fuch is 
the voracioufnefs of this hateful creature, that, if ks fwiftnefs 
and ftrength were equal to its rapacity, it would foon thin the 
foreft of every other living creature. But, fcrtunately, it is fo 
flow that there is fcarcc a quadruped that cannot efcape it, 
except the beaver. This, therefore, it very frequently purfues 
upon land ; but the beaver generally makes good its retreat by 
taking to the water, where the _j. utton has no chance to fuc- 
ceed. This purfuit only happens in fummer ; for, in the win- 
ter, all that remains is to attack the beaver's houfe, as at that 
time it never ftirs from home. This attack, however, feldom 
fucceeds ; for the beaver has a covert-way bored under the 
ice, and the glutton lias only the trouble and difappointment 
of facking an empty town. 

A life of neceffity generally produces a good fertile inven- 
tion. The glutton, continually prefled by the call of appetite, 
and having neither fwiftnefs nor activity to fatisfy it, is oblig 

* Linnaji Syft. p. 6?, 


cd to make up by ftratagem the defeats of nature. It is 
feen to examine the traps and the fnares laid for other animals, 
in order to anticipate the fowlers. It is faid to pra&ife a thou- 
fand arts to procure its prey, to (leal upon the retreats of the 
rein deer, the fleih of which animal it loves in preference to 
all others ; to lie in wait for fuch animals as have been maim- 
ed by the hunters ; to purfue the ifatis while it is hunting for 
itfelf ; and when that animal has run down its prey, to come 
in and feize upon the whole, and fometimes to devour even 
ks poor provider ; when thefe purfuits fail, even to. dig up 
the graves, and fall upon the bodies interred there, devouring 
them bones and all. For thefe reafons, the natives of the coun- 
tries where the glutton inhabits, hold it in utter deteftation, 
and ufually term it the vulture of quadrupeds. And yet, it is 
extraordinary enough, that, being fo very obnoxious to man, it 
does not feem to fear him*. We are told by Gemelin of one 
of thefe coming up boldly and calmly where there were feve- 
ral perfons at work, without teftifying the fmalleft apprehen- 
fion, or attempting to run until it had received feveral blows, 
that at laft totally difabled it. In all probability, it came among 
them feeking its prey j and having been ufed to attack ani- 
mals of inferior ftrength, it had no idea of a force fuperior 
to its own. The glutton, like all the reft of its kind, is a folitary 
animal ; and is never feen in company except with its female, 
with which it couples in the midft of winter. The latter goes 
with young about four months, and brings forth two or three 
at a timef. They burrow in holes as the weafel ; and the male 
and female are generally found together, both equally refolutc 
in defence of their young. Upon this occafion the boldeft 
dogs arc afraid to approach them ; they fight obftinately, and 
bite moft cruelly. However, as they are unable to efcape by- 
flight, the hunters come in to the afliftance of the dogs, and 
eafily overpower them. Their efh it may readily be fuppofed, 
is not fit to be eaten ; but the fkins amply recompenle the 
hunters for their toil and danger. The fur has the mod beau- 
tiful luftre that can be imagined, and is preferred before all 
* BufFon. | Linnxi Syftem. p. 67, 

VOL. II, 2 G 


others, except that of the Siberian fox, or the fable. Amomg 
other peculiarities of this animal, Linmeus informs us, that 
it is very difficult to be 'fkinned ; but from what caufe, whe- 
ther its abominable flench, or the fkin's tenacity to the 
fie has not thought fit to inform us. 


Of Animals of ike Hare Kind. 

HAVING defcribedin the laft chapter a tribe of 
fierce, rapacious animals, I come now to a race of mi- 
nute animals, of a more harmlefs and gentle kind, that, with- 
out being enemies to any, are preyed upon by all. As nature 
has fitted the farmer for hoftriity, fo it has entirely formed the 
latter for evafion ; and as the one kind fubfift by their courage 
and activity, fo the other find fafety from their fwiftnefs and 
their fears. The hare is the fwifteft animal in the world for 
the time it continues ; and few quadrupeds can overtake even 
the rabbit when it has but a fhort way to run. To this clafs 
alfo we may add the fquirrel, fomewhat refembling the hare 
and rabbit in its form and nature, and equally pretty, inoffen- 
five, and pleafing, 

If we were methodically to diftinguifh animals of the hare 
kind from all others, we might fay that they have but two cut- 
ting teeth above and two below, that they are covered with a 
foft downy fur, and that they have a bufhy tail. The combi- 
nation of thefe marks might perhaps diftinguifh them tolera- 
bly well ; whether from the rat, the beaver, the otter, or any- 
other moft nearly approaching in form. But, as I have declin- 
ed all method that rather ten<fc to embarrafs hiftory than en- 
lighten it, I am contented to clafs thefe animals together for 
no very precife reafon, but becaufe I find a general refem- 
blance between them in their natural habits, and in the fhapc 
ef their heads and body. I call a fquirrel an animal of tic 

HARE KIND. 33 j 

tare kind, becaufe it is fomething like a hare. I call the paca 
of the fame kind, merely becaufe it is more like a rabbit than 
any other animal I know of. In fhort, it is fit to erect fome par- 
ticular itandard in the imagination of the reader, to refer him 
to fome animal that he knows, in order to direct him. in con* 
ceiving the figure of fuch as he does not know. Still, how- 
ever, he fh'ould be apprized that his knowledge will be defec- 
tive without an examination of each particular fpecies ; and 
that faying an animal is of this or that particular kind is but 
2 very trifling part of its hiftory. 

Animals of the hare kind, like all others that feed entirely 
upon vegetables, are inoffenfive and timorous. As nature fur^ 
nifties them with a moft abundant fupply, they have not that 
rapacity after food, remarkable in fuch as are often ftinted in 
their provifion. They are extremely active and amazingly fwift, 
to which they chiefly owe their protection; for, being the prejr 
of every voracious animal, they are inceffantty purfued. The 
hare, the rabbit, and the fquirrel, are placed by Pierius, in lib 
treatife of ruminating animals, among the number of thofe 
that chew the cud ; but how far this may be true, I will not 
pretend to determine. Certain it is, that their lips continually 
move whether fleeping or waking. Neverthelefs, they chew 
their meat very much before they f\v allow it, and for that rea- 
fon, I mould fuppofe that it does not want a fecond maftica- 
tion. All thefe animals ufe their fore-paws like hands ; they 
are remarkably falacious, and are furnifhed by nature with 
more ample powers than mod others for the bufinefs of pro- 
pagation. They are fo very prolific, that were they not thiiir 
ned by the conftant depredations made upon them by moft 
other animals, they would quickly over-run the earth. 

Of all thefe, the hare is the large ft, the moft perfecuted, 
and the moft timorous ; all ite mufcles are formed for fwift - 
nefs , and all its fenfes feem only given to direcl its flight. 
It has very large prominent eyes, placed backwards in its head, 
fo that it can almcft fee behind it as it runs. Thefe are ne- wholly clofed 5 but as the animal is continually upon 


watch, it fleeps with them open. The ears are fiill m 
markable for their fize ; they are rnovemble, and capable of 
being directed to every quarter ; fo that the fmalleil founds 
are readily received, and the animal's motion, directed accord- 
ingly. The mufcles of the body are very ftrong, and without 
fat, fo that it may be fa id to carry no fuperiluous burthen of 
flelh about it ; the hinder feet are longer than the fore, which 
dill adds to the rapidity of its motions ; and almoft all ani- 
mals that are remarkable for their fpeed, except the horfe, are 
formed in the fame manner. 

An animal fo well formed for a life of efcape might be fup- 
pofed to enjoy a ftate of tolerable fecurity ; but as every ra- 
pacious creature is its enemy, it but very feldom lives out its 
natural term. Dogs of all kinds purfue it by m{linc\ and fol- 
low the hare more eagerly than any other animal. The cat 
and the weafel kinds are continually lying in ambufh, and 
pra&ifing all tbfcir little arts to feize it ; birds of prey are ftill 
more' dangerous enemies, as againfl them no fwiftnefs can 
avail, nor retreat fecure ; but man, an enemy far more pow- 
erful than all, prefers its flefh to that of other animals, and de- 
flroys greater numbers than all the reft. Thus purfued and 
perfecuted on every fide, the race would long fmce have been 
totally extirpated, did it not find a refource in its amazing fer- 

The hare multiplies exceedingly ; it is in a ftate of engen- 
dering at a few months old ; the females go with young but 
thirty days, and generally bring forth three or four at a time, f 
As foon as they have produced their young, they are again rea- 
dy for conception, and thus do not lofe any time in continu- 
ing the breed. But they are in another refped fitted in an ex- 
traordinary manner for multiplying their kind; for the female, 
from the conformation of her ^. omb, is often feen to bring 
forth, and yet to continue pregnant at the fame time ; or, in 
other words, to have young ones of different ages in her womb 
together. Other animals never receive the male when preg- 

f BufTon, vol. xiii. p. 12. 


nant, but bring forth their young at once. But it is frequently 
different with the hare ; the female often, though already im- 
pregnated, admitting the male, and thus receiving a fecond im- 
pregnation. The reafcn of this extraordinary circumdance is, 
that the womb in thefe animals is divided in fuch a manner, 
that it may be confidered as a double organ, one fide of which 
may be filled, while the other remains empty. Thus thefe ani- 
mals may be feen to couple at every period of their pregnancy, 
and even when they are bringing forth young, laying the foun- 
dation of another brood. 

The young of thefe animals are brought forth with their 
eyes open, and the dam fuckles them for twenty days, after 
whichtheyleave her, and feek out for themfelvesf. From this 
we obferve, that the education thefe animals receive, is but 
trifling, and the family connection but of ihort duration. In 
the rapacious kinds, the dam leads her young forth for 
months together , teaches them the arts of rapine; and altho' 
{he wants milk to fupply them, yet keeps them under her care 
until they are able to hunt for themfelves. But a long connec- 
tion of this kind would be very unneceffary, as well as dange- 
rous to the timid animals we are deferring ; their food is ea- 
fily procured ; and their aflbciations, inftead of protection, 
would only expofe them to their purfuers. They feldom, how- 
ever, feparate far from each other, or from the place where 
they were produced, but make each a form at ibme idance, 
having a predilection rather for the place than each other's fo- 
cicty. They feed during the night rath* r than by day, choofing 
the mod tender blades of grafs, and quenching their third with 
the dew. They live alfo upon roots, leaves, fruits and corn, 
and prefer fuch plants as are furriimed with a milky juice. 
They alfo drip the bark of trees during the winter, there be- 
ing fcarce any that they will not feed on, except the lime or 
the alder. They are particularly fond of birch, pinks, and parf- 
Icy. When they are kept tame, they re fed with lettuce and 
other garden herbs ; but the flefh of fuch as are thus brought 
up, is always indifferent. 


They fleep or repofc in their forms by day, end may be faids 
to live only by night.f It is then that they go forth to feed 
and couple. They do not pair, however, but in the rutting- 
feafon, which begins in February , the male purfues and dif- 
covers the female by the fagacity of its nofe. They are then 
feen, by moon-light, playing, flapping, and purfuing each 
other ; but the leail motion, the flighteu: breeze, the falling o 
a leaf is fuflicient to diilurb their revels j they inftantly fly off, 
and each takes a feparate way. 

As their limbs are made for running, they eafily outftrip all 
other animals in the beginning ; and could they preferve their 
ipecd, it would be impoffible to overtake them ; but, as they ex- 
haufl their ftrength at their fir ft efforts, and double back to the 
place they were ilarted from, they are more eafily taken than 
the fox, which is a much flower animal than they. As their 
hind legs are longer than the fore, they always choofe to r.un 
up hill, by which the fpeed of their purfuers is diminifhcd, 
while theirs remains the fame. Their motions are alfo without 
any noife, as they have the fole of the foot furniflied with hair ; 
and they feem the 'only animals that have hair on the infide of 
their mouths. 

They feldom live above feven or eight years at the utmoft ;, 
they come to their full perfection in a; and this multi- 
plied by feven, as in other animals, gives the extent of their 
lives.! It is faid, however, that the females live longer than 
the males : of this mr. Buffon makes a doubt; but I am ailured 
that itisfo. They pafs their lives, in our climate, in folitude 
and filence ; and they feldom are heard to cry, except when 
they are feized or wounded. Their voice is not fo (harp as the 
note of fome other animals ; l>ut more nearly approaching that 
of the fqualling of a child. They are not fo wild as their dif- 
pofitions and their habits feem to indicate ;*hut are of a com- 
plying nature, and eaiily fufceptible of a kind of education. 
They are eafily tamed. They even become fond and careffing; 
but they are incapable of attachment to any particular pcrfon^ 
rjad never can be depended upon; for, though taken ever fa 
young, they regain their native freedom at the firft opportunity , 

Jiuiion, vol. iiii- p. 12. J Ibid. 


As they have a remarkable good ear, and fie upon their hind 
legs, and ufe their fore-paws as hands, they have been taught 
to beat the drum, to dance to mufic, and go through the ma- 
nual excrcife. 

But their natural inftincls for their prefervation, are much 
more extraordinary than thofe artificial tricks that are taught 
them. They make themfelves a form, particularly in thofe places 
where the colour of the grafs moft refembles that of their fkin; 
it is open to the fouth in winter, and to the north in fummer. 
The hare, when it hears the hounds at a diftance, flies for 
fome time, through a natural impulfe, without managing its 
ftrength, or confulting any other means but fpeed for its fafety. 
Having attained fome hill or rifing ground, and left the dogs fo 
far behind that it no longer hears their cries, it Hops, rears on 
its hinder legs, and at length looks back to fee if it has not loft 
its purfuers. But thefe, having once fallen upon the fcent, pur- 
fues flowly, and with united ikill, and the poor animal foon 
again hears the fatal tidings of their approach. Sometimes 
when fore hunted, it will dart a frefh hare, and fquat in the 
fame form; fometimes it will creep under the door of a 
flieep-cot, and hide among the iheep , fometimes it will run 
among them, and no vigilance can drive it from die flock ; 
fome will enter holes like the rabbit, which the hunters call 
going to vault ; fome will go up one fide of the hedge, and 
come down the other; and it has been known, that a hare, fo re- 
ly hunted, has got upon the top of a cut quick-fet hedge, and 
run a good way thereon, by which it has effectually evaded the 
hounds. It is no unufual thing alfo for them to betake them- 
felves to furze bufhes, and to leap from one to another, by 
which the dogs are frequently mifled. However, thefirft dou- 
bling 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, and leave a ftronger fcent than the 
old, becaufe their limbs are weaker ; and the more this for- 
lorn creature tires, the heavier it treads, and the ftronger is the 
fcent it leaves. A buck, or male hare, is known by its choofing 
to run upon hard highways, feeding farther from the w r ood- 
fcdes, and making its doublings of a greater compafs than the 


female. The male having made a turn or two about its form, 
frequently leads the hounds five or fix miles on a flretch ; but 
the female keeps clofe by fome covert fide, turns, crofies, and 
winds among the bufties like a rabbit, and feldom runs dire&ly 
forward. In general, however, both male and female reguhte 
their conduct according to the weather. In a moift day they 
hold by the highways more than at any other time, becaufe the 
fcent is then ftrongeft upon the grafs. If they come to the fide 
of a grove or fpring, they forbear to enter, but fquat down by 
the fide thereof, until the hounds have overfhot them; and then 
turning along their former path, make to their old form, 
from which they vainly hope for protection. 

Hares are divided, by the hunters, into mountain and mea- 
*Ied hares. The former are more fwift, vigorous, and have their 
flefh better tailed; the latter chiefly frequent the marfhes, when 
hunted keep among low grounds, and their flefh is moift, 
white, and flabby. When the male and female keep one par- 
ticular fpot, they will not fuffer any ftrange hare to make its 
form in the fame quarter, fo that it is ufually faid that the more 
you hunt, the more hares you fhall have ; for, having killed 
one hare, others come and take pofleflion of its form. Many 
of thefe animals are found to live in woods and thickets, but 
they are naturally fonder of the open country, and are con- 
ftrained only by fear to take flicker in places that afford them 
neither a warm fun nor an agreeable pafture. They are, there- 
fore, ufually feen Healing out of the edges of the wood, to tafle 
the grafs that grows fhorter and fweeter in the open fields, 
than under the {hade of the trees ; however, they feldom mifs 
of being purfued ; and every excurfion is a new adventure. 
They are fhot at by poachers ; traced by their footfteps in the 
fnow; caught in fprings; dogs, birds, and cats, are all combin- 
ed againfl them ; ants, fnakes, and adders, drive them from 
their forms, cfpecially in fummer; even fleas, from which mod 
other animals are free, perfecute this poor creature ; and fo 
various are its enemies, that it is feldom permitted to reach 
even that fhort term to which it is limited by nature. 

The foil and cUmale have their influence upon this 


as well a$ on rnoft others. In the countries bordering on the 
north pole, they become white in winter, and are often feen in 
great troops of four or five hundred, running along the banks 
of the river Irtifh, or the Jenifca, and as white as the fnow they 
tread on. They are caught in toils for the fake of their fkins, 
which, on the fpot, are fold for lefs than feven {hillings a hun- 
dred. Their fur is well known to form a confiderable article in 
the hat manufacture ; and we accordingly import vaft quanti- 
ties of it from thofe countries, where the hare abounds infuch 
plenty. They are found alfo entirely black, but thefe in much 
lefs quantity than the former" ; and even fome have been feen 
with horns, though thefe but rarelyf. 

The hares of the hot countries, particularly in Italy, Spain, 
and Barbary, are fmaller than ours : thofe bred in the Milanefe 
country are faid to be the beft in Europe^:. There is fcarce a. 
country where this animal is not to be found, from the torrid 
zone to the neighbourhood of the polar circle* The natives o 
Guinea knock them on the head as they come down to the fides 
of the rivers to drink. They alfo furround the place where they 
are feen in numbers, and clattering a mort flick, which every 
man carries, againfl that which the perfon next him carries, 
they diminim their circle gradually, till *he h ares are cooped up 
in the midft. They then all together throw their flicks in 
among them, and with fuch deadly force,, tha 'they feldom fail 
of killing great numbers at a time}. 

The flefli of this animal has been efteemed as a delicacy 
among fome nations, and is held in deteflation by others. The 
Jews, the ancient Britons, and the Mahometans, all ccnfidered 
it as an unclean animal, and religioufly abftained from it. On 
the contrary, there are fcarce any other people, however bar- 
barous, at prefent, that do not confider it as the moft agreeable 
food. Fafhion feem to prefide and govern all the fenfes; what 
mankind at one time confider as beautiful, fragrant or favoury, 
may, at another time, or among another nation, be regarded as 

* Klein Diip. Quadrup. p. 52. . f Johnfton tie Quad. L, ii. C. 2. 

\ Dictionnaire Raiionee J-ievrc. 
Hift. Gen. des Voyages, torn iv. p. 171. 

VOL. II. 2 H 

242 A N I M ALS O F TH E 

deformed, difguftful, or ill tafted. That flefli which the an- 
cient Romans fo much admired as to call it the food of the wife, 
was, among the Jews and the Druids, thought unfit to bs 
eaten ; and even the moderns, who, like the Romans, confider 
the flefh of this animal as a delicacy, have very different ideas 
as to dreiTmg it. With us it is fimply ferved up without much 
feafoning ; but Apicius (hows us the manner of drefling a hare 
in true Roman tafte, with parfley, rice, vinegar, cummin feed> 
and coriander*". 


THE hare and the rabbit, though fo very nearly refembling 
each other in form and difpofition, are yet diftinl kinds, as 
they refufe to mix with each other. Mr. BufFon bred up feveral 
of both kinds in the fame place ; but, from being at firll indif- 
ferent, they foon became enemies ; and their combats were ge- 
nerally continued until one of them was difabled or deilroyed. 
However, though thefe experiments were not attended with 
fuccefs, I am allured that nothing is more frequent than an 
animal bred between thefe two, but which, like the mules, 
is marked with fterility. Nay, it has been actually known that 
the rabbit couples with animals of a much more diftant nature ; 
and there is at prefent, in the mufeum at Brufiels, a creature 
covered with feathers and hair, and faid to be bred between a 
rabbit and a hen. 

The fecundity of the rabbit Is ft ill greater than that of the 
hare; and if we mould calculate the produce from a fingle 
pair, in one year, the number would be amazing. They breed 
feven times in a year, and bring eight young ones at each time. 
On a fuppofition, therefore, that this happens regularly, at the 
end of four years, a couple of rabbits mall fee a progeny of al- 
moil a million and a half. From hence we might juflly ap- 
prehend being over- flocked by their incrcafe; but, happily for 
mankind, their enemies are numerous, and their nature ino- 

* Vid. Apicii, 


fen five ; fo that their deftru&ion bears a near proportion to 
their fertility. 

But although their number be di minifned by every beaft and 
bird of prey, and ftill more by man himfelf, yet there is no 
danger of their extirpation. The hare is a poordefencelefs ani- 
mal, that has nothing but its fwiftnefs to depend on for fafety; 
its numbers are, therefore, every day decreasing ; and in coun- 
tries that are well peopled, the ipecies are fo much kept under, 
that laws are made for their prefcrvation. Still, however, it is 
moil likely that they will be at lail totally deflroyed ; and, like 
the wolf or the elk in fome countries, be only kept in remem- 
brance. But it is otherwife with the rabbit, its-fecundity being 
greater, and its means of fafety more certain. The hare feems 
to have more various arts and infincls, to efcape its purfuers, 
by doubling, fquatting, and winding ; the rabbit has but one 
art of defence alone, but in that one finds fafety ; by making 
itfelf a hole, where it continues a great part of the day, and 
breeds up its young -, there it continues fecure from the fox, 
the hound, the kite, and every other enemy. 

Neverihelefs, though this retreat be fafe and covenient, the 
rabbit does not feem to be naturally fond of keeping there. It 
loves the funny field and the open pafture ; it feems to be a 
chilly animal, and diilikes the ccldnefs of its under-ground 
habitation. It is, therefore, continually out, when it does not 
fear difturbance , and the. female often brings forth her young 
at a diftance from the warren, in a hole, not above a foot 
deep at the moft. There me fuckles them for about a month \ 
covering them with mofs andgrafs, whenever fhe goes to paf- 
ture, and fcratching them up at her return. It has been faid, 
indeed, that this mallow hole without the warren, is made, 
fiis male mould attack and deftroy her young ; but I have 
feen the male himfelf attend the young there, lead them out 
to feed, and conduct them back upon the return of the dam. 
This external retreat feems a kind of country houfe at a dif- 
tance from the general habitation j it is ufually made near 
fome fpot of excellent pafture, or in the in id ft of a field of 


fprouting corn. To this both male and female often retire 
from the warren ; lead their young by night to the food which 
lies fo convenient, and, if not difturbed, continue there till 
they are perfectly grown up. There they find a greater variety 
of pafture, than near the warren, which is generally eaten 
bare ; and enjoy a vrarmer fun, by covering themfelves up in 
a {hallow hole. Whenever they are difturbed, they then for- 
fake their retreat of pleafure, for one of fafety ; they fly to the 
warren with their utmoft fpeed , and, if the way be fhort, 
there is fcarce any dog, how fwift foever, that can overtake 

But it does not always happen that thefe animals are pof- 
fefled of one of thefe external apartments ; they moil ufually 
bring forth their young in the warren, but always in a hole 
feparate from the male. On thefe occafions, the female digs 
herfelf a hole*, different from the ordinary one, by being 
more intricate ; at the bottom of which me makes a more 
ample apartment. This done, {he pulls off from her beliy a 
good quantity of her hair, with which {lie makes a kind of bed 
for her young. During the two firfl days me never leaves 
them ; and does not ftir out but to procure nourifhment, 
which fhe takes with the utmoft difpatch j in this manner fuck- 
ling her young for near fix weeks, until they are ftrong, and 
able to go abroad themfelves. During all this time, the male 
feldom vifits their feparate apartment ; but when they are 
grown up, fo as to come to the mouth of the hole, he then 
feems to acknowledge them as his offspring, takes them be- 
tween his paws, fmooths their {kin and licks their eyes ; all of 
them, one after the other, have an equal mare in his carefles. 

In this manner, the rabbit, when wild, confults its pleafure 
and its fafety ; but thofe that are bred up tame, do not take the 
trouble of digging a hole, confcious of being already protected, 
Jt has alfo been obfervedf, that when people, to make a war* 
ren, ftock it with tame rabbits, thefe animals, having been 
unaccuftomed to the art of fcraping a hole, continue expofed 

* Buffon. f Ibid, 


to the weather, and every other accident without ever burro v/- 
isg. Their immediate offspring aifo are equally regardlefs of 
their fafety ; and it is not till after two or thrse generations, 
that thefc animals begin to find the necelTity and convenience 
of an afylum, and praclife an art which they could only learn 
from nature. 

Rabbits of the domeftic breed, like all other animals that 
are under the protection of man, are of various colours; white, 
brown, black, and moufe colour. The black are the mod fcarce ; 
the brown, white, and moufe colour, are in greater plenty. Moft 
of the wild rabbits are of a broxvn, and it is the colour which 
prevails among the fpecies ; for, in every neft of rabbits, whe- 
ther the parents be black or white, there are fome brown ones 
found of the number. But, in England, there are many war- 
rens flocked with the maufe-colour kinds, which fome fay 
game originally from an iflp.nd in the river Humber, and which 
{till continue their original colour, after a great number of 
fucceflive generations. A gentleman,*' who bred up tame rah- 
bics for his amufement, gives the following account of their 
production. I began, fays he, by having but one male and fe- 
male only ; the male was entirely white, and the female 
brown ; but, in their pofterity, the number of the brown by far 
exceeded thofe of any other colour : there were fome white, 
fome party-coloured, and fome black. It is furprizing how 
much the defcendants were obedient and fubmiflive to their 
common parent; he was eafily diftinguifhed from the reft by 
his fuperior whitenefs; and, however numerous the other males 
were, this kept them all in fubjeclion. Whenever they quar- 
relled among each other, either for their females or proviiions, 
as foon as he heard the noife, he ran up to them with all dif- 
patch, and, upon his appearance, all was.inltantly reduced to 
peace and order. If he caught any of them in the fact, he in- 
ftantly puniihed them, as an example to the reft. Another in- 
itance of his fuperiority was, that having accuftomed them to 
come to me with the call of a whiftle, the inilant this fignal 

[r. Moutier, as quoted by mr. BuJou. 


was given, I faw him marfiialling them up, leading them the 
loremoft, and then fuffering. them all to file off before him. 

The rabbit,* though lefs than the hare, generally lives 
longer. As thefe animals pafs the greater part of their lives in 
their burrow, where they continue at eafe and unmolefted, 
they have nothing to prevent the regularity of their health, or 
the due courfe of their nourifhment. 1 hey are, therefore, 
generally found fatter than the hare ; but their flefh is, not- 
\vithftanding, much lefs delicate. That of the old ones, in par- 
ticular, is hard, tough and dry ; but it is faid, that in warmer 
countries, they are better tailed. This may very well be, as the 
rabbit, though fo very plenty in Great-Britain and Ireland, 
is, neverthelefs, a native of the warmer climates ; and has been 
originally imported into thefe kingdoms, from Spain. In that 
country, and in fome of the iflands in the Mediterranean, we 
are told, that they once multiplied in fuch numbers, as to prove 
the greatefl nuifance to the natives. They at fir ft demanded 
military aid to deftroy them ; but fcon after they called in the 
afliftance of ferrets, which originally came from Africa, and 
thefe, with much more eafe and expedition, contrived to leiTen 
the calamity. In facl:, rabbits are found to love a warm cli- 
mate, and to be incapable of bearing the cold of the north ; 
fo that in Sweden they are obliged to be littered in the houfes, 
It is otherwife in all the tropical climates, where they are ex- 
tremely common, and where they feldom burrow as with us. 
The Englifh counties that are moft noted for thefe animals, 
are Lincolnmire, Norfolk, and Cambridgefhire. They delight 
in grounds of a fandy foil, which are warmer than thofe of 
clay, and which alfo furnifh a fofter and finer paflure. 

The tame rabbits are larger than the wild ones, from their 
taking more nourifhment and uCng lefs exercife ; but their 
flefh is not fo good, being more infipid and fofter. In order to 
improve it, they are chiefly fed upon bran, and are dinted in 
their water; for, if indulged in too great a plenty of moifl food, 
they are apt, as the feeders exprefs it, to grow rotten. The 
hair or fur is a very ufeful commodity, and is employed in, 
* Mr. Moutier, as quoted by mr. EufFon, 


England for feveral purpofes, as well when the {kin is drefied 
with it on, as when it is pulled off. The fkins, efpecially the 
white, are ufed for lining clothes, and are confidered as a cheap 
imitation of ermine. The Ikin of the male is ufually preferred, 
as being the mod lafting, but it is coarfer ; that on the 
belly in either fex, is the bed and fined. But the chief -life 
made of rabbit's fur, is in the manufacture of hars ; it is ahvavs 
mixed, in certain proportions, with the fur of the beaver ; arid 
it is faid to give the latter more ilrength and confidence. 

The Syrian rabbit, like.all other animals bred in that coun- 
try, is remarkable for the length of its hair , it falls along the 
fides in wavy wreaths, and is, in feme places, curled at the 
end, like wool ; it is fiied once a year in large mafles ; and it 
often happens that the rabbit, 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, 
thofe that have been carried from Europe, are found to multi- 
ply in the Weft-India iflands in great abundance. In other 
parts of that continent, they have animals, that, in fome mea- 
fure, refemble the rabbits of Europe ; and which mod Europe- 
an travellers have often called hares or rabbits, as they hap- 
pened to be large or fmall. Their giving them even the name 
will be a fufHcient excufe for my placing them among animals 
of the hare kind ; although they may differ in many of the 
mod effential particulars. But before we go to the new conti- 
nent, we will firft examine fuch as bear even a didant refem- 
felance to the hare kind at home. 


THERE are few readers that are not as well acquainted 
with the figure of a fquirrel as that of the rabbit ; but fuppof- 
ing it unknown to any, we might give them fome idea of its 
form, by comparing it to a rabbit, with fhorter ears, and a lon- 
ger tail. The tail, indeed, is alone fufncient to didinguifli it 
from all v others, as it is extremely long, beautiful and buihy, 
fpreading like a fan, and which, when thrown up behind, 


covers the whole body. This fcrves the little animal for 3 
double purpofc ; when erefted, it ferves, like an umbrella, as 
a fecure prote&ion from the injuries of the heat and cold , 
./bra extended, it is very inflrumental in promoting thofe 
vail leaps that the fquirrel takes from tree to tree : nay, fome 
afTert that it anfwers Mill a third purpofc, aju! when the fquir- 
rel takes water, w^kJ^r^aieUme^iJQxsJUfe:^^ -ef-bark, 

There are few wild animals in which there are fo many va- 
rieties as in the fquirrel. The common fquirrel is of the fize of 
a fmall rabbit, and is rather of a more reddifh brown. The 
belly and bread are white ; and the ears beautifully orna- 
mented with long tufts of hair, of a deeper colour than that on 
the body. The eyes are large, black and lively ; the legs are (hort 
and mufcular, like thofe of the rabbit ; but the toes longer and 
the claws (harper, fo as to fit it for climbing. When it eats, or 
drefles itfelf, it fits erel, like the hare or rabbit, making ufe 
of its fore legs as hands ; and chiefly refides in trees. The grey 
Virginian fquirrel^ which mr. Buffon calls the petit gris, is lar- 
ger than a rabbit and of a greyifh colour. Its body and limbs 
are thicker than thofe of the common fquirrel ; and its ears are 
fhorter, and without tufts at the point. The upper part of the 
body, and external part of the legs, are of a fine whitifh grey, 
with a beautiful red flreak on each fide lengthways. The tail is 
covered with very long grey hair, variegated with black and 
white towards the extremity. This variety feems to be com- 
mon to both continents; and in Sweden is feen to change colour 
in winter. The Barbary Jquirrcl, of which mr. Buftbn makes 
three varieties, is of a mixed colour, between red and black. 
Along the fides there are white and brown lines, which render 
this animal very beautiful; but what ftill adds to its elegance is, 
that the belly is of a (ky blue, furrounded with white. Some of 
thefe hold up the tail erect ; and others throw it forward over 
their body. The Siberian lohite fquirrel is of the fize of a com- 
mon fquirrel. The Carolina black fquirrel is much bigger than 
the former, and fometimes tipt with white at all the extremi- 
* Klein. Linux us. 



fquirrel, which mr. Bufron calls the coqual- 
a beautiful animal of this kind, and very remarkable for 
th-j variety of ics colours, Its belly is of a bright yellow ; its 
head and body variegate.! with white, black, brown and orange 
colour. It wants the tufts at the extremity of its ears ; and dees 
net climb trees, as mod of the kind are feen to do. To this laft 
rrray be added, the little ground fquirrel of Carolina, of areddifh 
colour, and blackifh ilripc ; on each fide ; and like the former, 
not delighting in trees. Laftly, thejtyirre/efNeio Spain, which 
is of a deep iron-grey colour, with feve n longitudinal whitim 
ftrcaks along the tides of the male, and five along thofe of the 
female. As for the flying fquirrels, they arc a diftinct kind, 
and (hall be treated of by themfelves. 

Thefe, which I fuppofe to be but a few of the numerous 
varieties of the fquirrel, fufficiently ferve to (how how exten- 
fivwly this animal is diffufed over all parts of the world. It is 
not to be fuppofed, however, that every variety is capable of 
fuftaining every climate , for, few animals are fo tender, or fo 
little able to endure a change of abode, as this. Thofe bred in 
the tropical climates, will only live near a warm fun ; while, 
on the contrary, the fquirrel of Siberia will fcarce endure the 
temperature of ours. Thefe varieties do not only differ in their 
conftitutions and colour, but in their difpofitions, alfo ; for. 
while fome live on the tops of trees, others feed, like rabbits, 
on vegetables bdow. Whether any of thefe, fo variously co- 
loured, and ib differently clifpofed, would breed among each 
other, we cannot tell ; and fince, therefore, we are left in un- 
certainty upon this point, we are at liberty either to confider 
each as a diil ies by itfdf, or only a variety, that accident 

might have originally Traduced, and that the climate or foil 
might li. my own part, as the original cha- 

racter c mgly marked upon them all, I 

canr,. latter point of view ; rather 

r.s t". nt, than originally 

formed with 


The fquirrel is a beautiful little animal,* which is but half 
favage : and which, from the gentlenefs and innocence of its 
manners, deferves our protection. It is neither carnivorous 
nor hurtful ; its ufuul food is fruits, nuts and acorns 3 it is 
cleanly, nimble,, active and induftriousj its eyes are fparkling, 
and its phyiiognorny marked with meaning. It generally, like 
the hare and rabbit fits up on its hinder legs, and ufes the fore- 
paws as hands 3 thefe have five claws or toes, as they are called, 
and one of them is feparated from the reft like a thumb. This 
animal feems to approach the nature of birds, from its light- 
nefs, and furprizing agility on the tops of trees. It feldom de- 
icends to the ground, except in cafe of ftorms, but jumps from 
one branch to another 3 feeds, in Cpring, on the buds and 
young moots 3 in Cummer on the ripening fruits 3 and particu- 
larly the young cones of the pine tree. In autumn it has an 
cxteniive variety to feait upon 3 the acorn, the philberd, the 
chefnut, and the wilding. This fcafon of plenty, however, is 
not fpent in idle enjoyment 3 the provident little animal gathers 
at that time its provifions for the winter 3 and cautiouily fore- 
Cees the CeaCon when the fcrdi (hall be ftripped of its leaves 
and fruitage. 

Its neft is generally formed among the large branches of a 
great tree, where they begin to fork off into fmall ones. After 
chooiing the place where the timber begins to decay, and a 
hollow may the more eafily be formed, the fquirrel begins by 
making a kind of level between the forks ; and then bringing 
mofs, twigs, and dry leaves, it binds them together with great 
art, fo as to rcfift the mod violent ftorm. This is covered up on 
all fides 3 and has but a fingle opening at top, which is juft 
large enough to admit the little animal ; and this opening is it- 
Celf defended from the weather by a kind of canopy, made in 
the failiion of a cone, fo that it throws off the rain, though 
ever fo heavy. The neit thus formed, with a very little opening 
above, is,neverthelefs, very commodious and roomy below \ foft, 
well knit together, and every way convenient and warm. In this 


retreat, the little animal brings forth its young, fhelters itfelf 
from the fcorching heat of die fun, \vhich it feerns to fear, 
and from the dorms and inclemency of winter, which it is 
ilill lefs capable of fupportmg. Its provision of nuts and 
acorns is feldom in its neft, but in the hollows of the tree, 
laid up carefully together, and never touched but in cafes of 
-iiity. Thus, one imgle tree ferves for a retreat and a ftore- 
houfe ; and without leaving it during the winter, the fquir- 
r jl policies all thofe enjoyments that its nature is capable of 
receiving. But it fometimes happens that its little manfion is 
attacked by a deadly and powerful foe. The martin goes often 
in quell of a retreat for its young, which it is incapable of 
making for itfelf ; for this reafon, it fixes upon the neft of 
a fquirrel, and, with double injuftice, deftroys the tenant, and 
then takes pofleffion of the manfion.. 

However, this is a calamity that but feldom happens : and, 
of all other animals, the fquirrel leads the moft frolicfome, 
playful life ; being furrounded wiih abundance, and having 
few enemies to fear. They are in heat early in the fpring j 
when, as a modern naturahft faysf , it is very diverting to fee 
the female feigning an efcape from the purfuit of two or 
three males, and to obferve the various proofs which they 
give of their agility, which is then exerted in full force. Na- 
ture feems to have been particular in her formation of thefe 
animals for propagation : however, they feidom bring forth 
above four or five young at a time ; and that but once a year, 
The time of their gollation feems to be about fix weeks ; they 
are pregnant in the beginning of April, and bring forth about 
the middle of May. 

The fquirrel is never found in the open fields, nor yet in 
copfes or underwoods ; it always keeps in the midft of the 
talleft trees, and, as much as poflible, fhuns the habitations of 
man. It is extremely watchful ; if the tree in which it refides 
be but touched at the bottom, the fquirrel inftantly takes the 
alarm, quits its neft, at once flies off to another tree, and thus, 

Rrhifli Zoology, 


travels, with great eafe, along the tops of the fcrefl, until it 
finds itfelf perfectly out of danger. In this manner it con- 
tinues for fome hours at a diftanee from home, until the alarm 
be paft away ; and then it returns, by paths, that to all qua- 
drupeds but itfelf, are utterly impaflable. Its ufual way of mov- 
ing is by bounds ; thefe it takes from one tree to another, at 
forty feet diilance ; and if at any time it is obliged to defcend, 
it runs up the fide of the next tres with amazing facility. It 
has an extremely fharp piercing note, which moft ufually ex- 
prefies pain ; it has another, more like the purring of a cat, 
which it employs when pleafed ; at leail it appeared fo m 
that from whence I have taken a part f this ascription. 

In Lapland, and the extenfive forefls to the north, the 
fquirrels are obferved to change their habitation, and to re- 
move in vail numbers from one country to another. In thefe 
migrations, they are generally feen by thoufands, travelling 
directly forward ; while neither rocks, foreils, nor even the 
broadeft waters can ilop their progrefs. What I am going to 
relate, appears fo extraordinary, that were it not atteiled by 
.numbers of the moil credible hiftcrians, among whom are 
Klein and Linnaeus, it might be rejected, with that fcorn with 
which we treat impofture or credulity : however., nothing can 
be more true, than that v.hen thefe animals, in their progrefs, 
meet with broad rivers, or extenfive lakes, which abound in Lap- 
land, they take a very extraordinary method of croifing them. 
Upon approaching the banks, and perceiving the breadth of 
the w.uer, they return as if by common content, into the 
neighbouring foreft, each in quefl of a piece of bark, which 
anfwers all the purpofes of boats for wafting them over. When 
the whole company are fitted in this- manner, they boldly com- 
mit their little fleet to the waves; every fquirrd fitting on its 
own piece of bark, and fanning the air with its tail, to drive 
the veffel to its defired port. In this orderly manner, they fet 
forward, and often crofs lakes feveral miles broad. But it too 
often happens that the poor mariners are not aware of the dan- 
gers of their navigation j for, although at the edge of the wa- 
ter, it is generally Calm > in the midft it is always more turbu- 


lent. There, the flighted additional guft of wind overfets the 
little failor and his veiTel together. The whole navy, that but 
a few minutes before rode proudly and fecurely along, is now 
overturned, and a fhipwreck of two or three thoufand fail 
enfues. This, which is fo unfortunate for the little animal, is 
generally the moil lucky accident in the world for the Lap- 
lander on the fhore ; who gathers up the dead bodies as they 
are thrown in by the waves, eats the flefh, and fells the fkins 
for about a (hilling the dozen.f 

The fquirrei is eafily tamed, and it is then a very familiar 
animal. It loves to lie warm, and will often creep into a man's 
pocket or his bofom. It is ufuillv I-iept in a box, and fed with 
hazel-nuts. Some find amufements in obferving with what 
eafe it bir^s the nut open and eats the kernel. In fhort, it is a 
pleafing, pretty little domeilic ; and its tricks and habitudes 
rruiy ferve to entertain a mind unequal to flronger operations. 


Mr. Ray was juftly of opinion, that the flying fquirrei 
m! ; jht more properly be faid to be of the rat kind, becaufe its 
fur is ihorter than in other fquirrels, and its colours alfo more 
nearly approach the former. However, as mankind have been 
content to clafs it among the fquirrels, it is fcarcely worth 
making a new diftinction in its favour. This little animal, 
which is frequently brought over to England, is lefj than a 
common fquirrei, and bigger than a field moufe. Its fkin is ve- 
ry loft, and elegantly adorned with a dark fur in fome places, 
and light grey in others. It has large prominent black and very 
fparkling eyes, fmall ears, and very (harp teeth, with which it 
gnaws any thing quickly. When it does not leap, its tail, which 
is pretty enough, lies clofe to its back; but when it takes its 
fpring, the tail is moved backwards and forwards from fide to 
fide. It is faid to partake fomewhat of the nature of the fquirrei, 
of the rat, and of the dormoufe ; but that in which it is diftin- 

f Oeuvres de Regnard. 


guifhed from all other animals, is its peculiar conformation for 
taking thofe leaps that almoit lock like flying. It is, indeed, 
amazing to fee it at one bound, dart above a hundred yards,, 
from one tree to another. They are amftt d in this fpring by a 
very peculiar formation of the ikin that extends from the fore- 
feet to the hinder; fo that when the animal ftrttches its fore- 
legs forward and its hind-legs backward, this Ikin is fpix.ul 
out between them, fomewhat like that between the legs of a 
bat. The furface of the body being thus inci,;. ie<", the little 
animal keeps buoyant in the air until the force of us fiiit im- 
pulfion is expired, and then- it defcends. This {kin, when the 
creature is at reft, or walking, wrinkled up on its 
fides ; but when its limbs are extended, it forms a kind of web 
between them of above an inch broad en either fide, and gives, 
the whole body the appearance of a fkin floating in the air. 
In this manner, this flying fquirrel-changes place, not like a 
bird, by repeated ftrokes of its wings, but rather like a paper 
kite fupported by the expanfion of the furface of its body ; 
but with this difference, however, that, being naturally hea- 
vier than the air, inftead of mounting, it defcends ; and that 
jump, which upon the ground would not be above forty yards, 
when, from an higher tree to a lo\\er, may be above a hun- 

This little animal is more common in America than in Europe,, 
but not very common to be feen in either. It is ufually found, 
like the fquirrel, on the tops of trees ; but though better fitted 
for leaping, it is of a more torpid difpofition, and is feldom 
feen to exert its powers ; fo that it is often feized by the pole- 
cat and the martin. It is eafily tamed, but apt to break away 
whenever it finds an opportunity. It dots not fcem fond of 
nuts or almonds, like other fquirrels, but is chiefly pleafed with 
the fprouts of the birch and the cones of the pine. It is fed in 
its tame Hate with bread and fruits ; it generally fleeps by day,. 
and is always moil active by night. Some naturalifts gravely 
caution us not to let it get in among our corn-fields, where 


they tell us it will do a great deal of damage, by cropping the 
corn as foon as it begins to ear !* 


FROM the defcription of the fquirrel and its varieties, we 
proceed to a different tribe of animals, no way refembii.ig the 
fquirrel, but {till fomething like the rabbit and the hare. We- 
are to keep thefe two animals ftill in view as the centre of our 
companion ; as objects to which many others may bear fomc 
iamilitude, though they but little approach each other. Among 
the hare kind is the marmout, which naturalifts have placed 
either among the hare kind or the rat kind, as it fuited their 
refpective fyftems. In fa el, it bears no great refemblance to 
either; but of the two, it approaches much nearer the hare, as 
well in the make of its head as in its fize, in its bufhy tail, and 
particularly in its chewing the cud, which alone is fufficient t^ 
determine our choice in giving it its prefent fituation. How it 
ever came to be degraded into the rat or the moufe, I cannot 
conceive, for it no way refembles them in fize, being near as 
big as a hare ; or in its cifpoiition, fince no animal is more 
traceable or more eafily tamed. 

The marmout is, as was faid, almoft as big as a hare, but it 
is more corpulent than a cat, and has ihorttr legs. Its head 
pretty nearly refembles that of a hare, except that its ears are 
much fiiort.r. It is clothed all over with very long hair, and a 
(horter fur below. Thefe are of different colours, black and 
grey. The length of the hair gives the body the appearance of 
greater corpulence than it really has, and, at the fame time, 
Shortens the feet, fo that its belly feems touching the ground. 
Its tail is tufted and well furniihed with hair, and it is carried 
in a ilraight direction with its body. It has five claws behind, 
and only four before. Thefe it ufes as the fquirrel does, to carry 

* He may eafily be made tame ; but he is apt to do a great deal of damage. 
in the com fields, becaufe he will crop the corn as foon as it begins to ear ! 



its food to its mouth ; and it ufually fits upon its hinder parts 
to feed in the manner of that little animal. 

The marmout is chiefly a native of the Alps ; and, when 
taken young, is tamed more eafily than any other wild animal, 
and almoft as perfectly as any of thofe that are domeilic.* It 
is readily taught to dance, to wield a cudgel, and to obey the 
voice of its mafter. Like the cat, it has an antipathy to the 
dog ; and when it becomes familiar to the family, and is fare of 
being fupporred by its mailer, it attacks and bites even the 
largeft maftiff. From its fquat, mufcular make, it has great 
ftrength joined to great agility. It has four large cutting teeth, 
like all thofe of the hare kind, but it ufes them to much more ad- 
vantage, fince in this animal they are very formidable weapons 
of defence. However, it is in general a very inoffenfive animal; 
and, except its enmity to dogs, fecms to live in friendship with 
every creature, unlefs when provoked. If not prevented, it is 
very apt to gnaw the furniture of a houfe, and even to make 
holes through wooden partitions ; from whence, perhaps, it 
has been compared to the rat. As its legs are very fhort, and 
made fomewhat like thofe of a bear, it is often feen fitting up, 
and even walking on its hind legs in like manner ; but with the 
fore-paws, as was faid, it ufes to feed itfelf in the manner of 
a fquirrel. Like all of the hare kind, it runs much fwifter up 
hill than down ; it climbs trees with great eafe, and runs up 
the clefts of rocks, or the contiguous walls of houfes with great 
facility. It is iudicroufly faid, that the Savoyards, who are the 
only chimney-fweepers of Paris, have learned this art from the 
marmout, which is bred in the fame country. 

Thefe animals eat indifcriminately of whatever is prefented 
to them ; flefh, bread, fruits, herbs, roots, pulfe, and infects. 
But they are particularly fond of milk and butter. Although 
lefs inclined to petty thefts than the cat, yet they always try to 
fleal into the dairy, where they lap up the milk like a cat, pur- 
ring all the while like that animal, as an expreffion of their be- 

* BufFon, from whence the remainder of ihi* Uefcription is taken. N. B. Ke 
takes it from Gcfncr, vol. xvii. 


ing plenfed. As to the reft, milk is the only liquor they like. 
They feldom drink water, and refute wine. When pleafed or 
carefTed, they often yelp like puppies ; but when irritated or 
frighted, they have a piercing note that hurts the ear. They 
are very cle?.:ily animals, and, like the cat, retire upon neceflary 
occafions -, but their bodies have a difagreeable fcent, particu- 
larly in the heat of fummer. This tinctures their flelh, which, 
being very fat and firm, would be very good, were not this fla- 
vour always found to predominate. 

We have hitherto been defcribing affections in this animal, 
which it has in common with many others ; but we now come 
to one which particularly diilmguimes it from all others of this 
kind, r.nd, indeed, from every other quadruped except the bat 
and the dormoufe. This is its ileeping during the winter. The 
marmout, though a native of the higheft mountains, and 
where the fnow is never wholly melted, neverthelefs feems to 
feel the influence of the cold more than any other, and, in a 
manner, has all its faculties chilled up in winter. This extraor- 
dinary fufpenfion of life and motion for more than half the 
year, d~ferves our wonder and excites our attention, to confider 
the manner of fuch a temporary death, and the fublequent re- 
vival. Buturft to defcribe, before we attempt to difcufs. 

The marmout, ufually at the end of September, or the be- 
ginning of October, prepares to fit up its habitation for the 
winter, from which it is never feen to iflue till about the be- 
ginning or the middle of April. This animal's little retreat is 
made with great precaution, and fitted up with art. It is a 
hole on the fide of a mouatain, extremely deep, with a fpaci- 
ous apartment at the bottom, which is rather longer than it is 
broad. In this, feveral marmouts can refide at the fame time, 
without crowding each other, or injuring the air they breathe. 
The feet and claws of this animal feem made for digging; and, 
in fact, they burrow into the ground with amazing facility, 
fcrap'mg up the earth like a rabbit and throwing back what 
they have thus loofened behind them. But the form of their hole 
is ftill more wonderful ; it refembles the letter Y ; the two. 

VOL. II. 2 K 


branches being two openings, which conduct into one channel 
which terminates in their general apartment that lies at the 
bottom. As the hole is made on the declivity of a mountain, 
there is no part of it on a level but the apartment at the end. 
One of the branches, or openings, iilues out, floping down- 
wards ; and this ferves as a kind of fink or drain to the whole 
family, where they make their excrements, and where the moif- 
ture of the place is drawn away. The other branch, on the 
contrary, flopes upwards, and this ferves as their door upon 
which to go out and in. The apartment at the end is very 
warmly ftuccoed round with mofs and hay, of both which 
they make an ample provifion during the fummer. As this is 
a work of great labour, fo it is undertaken in common ; fome 
cut the fineft grafs, others gather it, and others take their 
turns to drag it into their hole. Upon this occafion, as we are 
told, one of them lies on its back, permits the hay to be 
heaped upon its belly, keeps its paws upright to make greater 
room ; and in this manner, lying flill upon its back, it is drag- 
ged by the tail, hay and all, to their common retreat. This alfo 
fome give as a reafon for the hair being generally worn away 
on their backs, as is ufually the cafe ; however, a better reafon 
for this may be affigned, from their continually rooting up 
holes and patting through narrow openings. But, be this as it 
will, certain it is, that they live all together, and work in com- 
mon, to make their habitation as fnug and convenient as pofli- 
ble. In it they pafs three parts of their lives ; into it they retire 
when the ftorm is high ; in it they continue while it rains ; 
there they remain when apprehenfive of danger, and never ftir 
out except in fine weather, never going far from home even 
then. Whenever they venture abroad, one is placed as a cen- 
tinel, fitting upon a lofty rock, while the reft amufe themfelves 
in playing along the green fields, or are employed in cutting 
grafs and making hay for their winter's convenience. Their 
trufty centinel, when an enemy, a man, n dog, or a bird of 
prey, approaches, apprizes its companions with a whiftle, upon 
whicli they all make home, the centinel hiqifdf bringing up 
the rear. 


But, it muft not be fuppofed that this hay is defigned for 
provifion ; 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 fought for the convenience of their lodging, and the ad- 
vantages of their young. As to provifion, they ieem kindly ap- 
prized by nature, that during the winter they {hall not want 
any, fo that they make no preparations for food, though fo 
diligently employed in fitting up their abode. As foon as they 
perceive the firft approaches of the winter, during which their 
vital motions are to continue in fome meafure fufpended, they 
labour very diligently to clofe up the two entrances of their 
habitation, which they effeft with fuch folidity, that it is eafier 
to dig up the earth any where elfe than where they have clofed 
it. At that time they are very fat, and fome of them are found 
to weigh above twenty pounds ; they continue fo for even 
three months more ; but, by degrees, their fleih begins to wade, 
and they are ufually very lean by the end of winter. When 
their retreat is opened, the whole family is then difcovered, 
each rolled into a ball, and covered up under the hay. In this 
ftate, they feem entirely lifelefs ; they may be taken away, and 
even killed without their teftifying any great pain , and thofe 
who find them in this manner, carry them home in order to 
breed up the young and eat the old ones. A gradual and gen- 
tle warmth revives them ; but they would die if too fuddenlv 
brought near the fire, or if their juices were too quickly li- 

Strictly fpeaking, fays mr. Button, thefe animals cannot be 
faid to fleep during the winter ; it may be called rather a tor- 
por, a ftagnation of all the faculties*. This torpor is produced 
by the congelation of their blood, which is naturally muc?A 
colder than that of all other quadrupeds. The ufual heat of 
man, and other animals, is about thirty degrees above congela* 
tion ; the heat of thefe is not above ten degrees. Their internal 
heat is feldom greater than that of the temperature of the air, 
This has been often tried by plunging the ball of the thermome- 

* Buflfusijvol. xvi. ! 


ter into the body of a living dormoufc, and it never role 
beyond its ufual pitch in air, and fometimes it funk above a 
degree. It is not furprizirig, therefore, that thefe animals, 
whofe blood is fo cold naturally, fhould become torpid, when 
the external cold is too powerful for the Imall quantity of 
heat in their bodies, yet remaining j and this always happens 
when rhc thermometer is not more than ten degrees above 
congelation. This coldnefs, mr. Buffon has experienced in the 
blood of the bat, the dorinoufe, and the hedge-hog ; and, with 
great juftice, he extends the analogy to the marmout, which, 
like the reft, is feen to fleep all the winter. This torpid (late 
continues as long as the caufe which produces it continues ; 
and it is very probable that it might be lengthened out beyond 
its ufual term, by artificially prolonging the cold ; if, for in- 
ftance, the animal were rolled up in wool, and placed in a cold 
cellar, nearly approaching to, but not quite fo cold as an ice- 
houfe, for that would kill them outright, it would remain per- 
haps a whole year in its ftate of infenfibility. However this 
be, if the heat of the air be above ten degrees^ thefe animals 
are feen to revive ; and, if it be continued in that degree of 
temperature, they do not become torpid, but eat and fleep at 
proper intervals, like all other quadrupeds whatever. 

From the above account, we may form fome conception of 
the ftate in which thefe animals continue during the winter. 
As in fome diforders, where the circulation is extremely lan- 
guid, the appetite is diminiihed in proportion, fo in thefe, the 
blood fcarcely moving, or only moving in the greater veflels, 
they want no nourifhment to repair what is worn away by its 
motions. They are feen, indeed, by flow degrees, to become 
leaner in proportion to the flow attrition of their fluids ; but 
this is not perceptible except at the end of fome months. Man 
is often known to gather nourifhment from the ambient air ; 
and thefe alfo may, in fome meafure, be fupplied in the fame 
manner ; and, having fufficient motion in their fluids to keep 
them from putrefaction, and juft fufficient nourifhment to fup- 
ply the wafte of their languid circulation, they continue rather 
feebly alive than fleeping. 


Thefe animals produce but once a year, and ufually bring 
forth but three or four at a time. They grow very faft, and 
the extent of their lives is not above nine or ten years ; fo that 
the fpecies is neither numerous nor very much diffufed. They 
are chiefly found in the Alps, where they feem to prefer the 
brow of the higheft mountains to the lowed ranges, ths 
funny fide to that in the fhade. The inhabitants of the coun- 
try, where they chiefly refide, when they obferve the hole, 
generally ftay till winter before they think proper to open it 5 
for, if they begin too foon, the animal wakes, and, as it has a 
furprizing faculty of digging, makes its hole deeper in propor- 
tion as they fi/Ucw. Such as kill it for food, ufe every art to 
improve the fieih, which is faid to have a wild tafte, and to 
caufe vomitings*. They, therefore, take away the fat, which 
is in great abundance, and fait the remainder, drying it fome- 
what in the manner of bacon. Still, however, it is faid to be 
very indifferent eating. This animal is found in Poland, under 
the denomination of the boback, entirely refembling that of the 
Alps, except that the latter has a toe more upon its fore-foot 
than the former. It is found alfo in Siberia, under the name 
of the Jevrafka, beiiig rather fmaller than either of the other 
two. Laflly, it is found in Canada by the appellation of the 
monax, differing only from the refl in having a bluifli fnout 
and a longer tail. 


FROM the marrnout, which differs from the hare fo much 
in the length of its fur, we go to the agouti, another fpecies 
equally differing in the fhortnefs of its hair. Thefe bear fome 
rude refemblance to the hare and the rabbit in their form anil 
manner of living, but fafficiently differing to require a particu- 
lar defcription. The firft of thefe, and that the largeft, as was 
hinted above, is called the agouti. This animal is found in 
great abundance in the fouthern parts of America, and has by 

* Biclionnaire Rai&nnee, vol. iii. p. 


fomebeen called the rabbit of that continent. But, though, in 
many refpecls, it refembles the rabbit, yet ftill in many more it 
differs, and is, without all doubt, an animal peculiar to the 
new world only. The agouti is about the fize of a rabbit, and 
has a head very much refembling it, except that the ears are 
very fhort in comparifon. It refembles the rabbit alfo in the 
arched form of its back, in the hind legs being longer than 
the fore, and in having four great cutting teeth, two above and 
two below ; but then it differs in the nature of its hair, 
which is not foft and downy as in the rabbit, but hard and 
brifdy like that of a fucking pig, and of a reddifh brown co- 
lour. It differs alfo in the tail, which is even fhorter than in 
the rabbit, and entirely deititute of hair. Laftly, it differs in 
the number of its toes, having but three on the hinder feet, 
whereas the rabbit has five. All thefe diflinctions, however, 
do not countervail againfl its general form, which refembles 
that of a rabbit, and mod travellers have called it by that name. 

As this animal differs in form, it differs ftill more in habi- 
tudes and difpofition. As it has the hair of a hog, fo alfo it has 
its voracioufnefs.* It eats indifcriminately of all things ; and, 
when fatiated, hides the remainder, like the dog or the fox, for 
a future odcafion. It takes a pleafure in gnawing and fpoiling 
every thing it comes near. When irritated, its hair ftands 
erecl: along the back, and, like the rabbit, it ftrikes 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 
confiftsof the roots of the country, potatoes and yams, and 
fuch fruits as fall from the trees in autumn. It ufes its fore- 
paws like the fquirrel, to carry its food to its mouth; and, as its 
hind feet are longer than the fore, it runs very fwiftly upon 
plain ground or up a hill, but, upon a defcent, it is in danger 
of falling. Its fight is excellent, and its hearing equa Is that 
of any other animal ; whenever it is whittled to, it flops to 
hearken. The flefli of fuch as are fat and well fed, is tolerable 
food, although it has a peculiar tafle and is a little tough. The 
French drefs it like a fucking-pig, as we learn from mr. Buf- 



fon's account , but the Englifli drefs it with a pudding in its 
belly, like a hare. It is hunted by dogs ; and whenever it has 
got into a fugar ground, where the canes cover the place, it is 
cafily overtaken, for it is embarrafied every ftep it takes, fo that 
a man may eafily come up with it without any other affiftance. 
When, in the open country, it ufually runs with great fwiftnefs 
before^the dogs, until it gains its retreat, within which it con- 
tinues to hide, and nothing but filling the hole with fmoke can 
force it out. For this purpofe, the hunter burns faggots or 
ftra\v at the entrance, and conduces ths fmoke in fuch a man- 
ner, that it fills the whole cavity. While this is doing, the poor 
little animal feems fenfible of its danger, and begs for quarter 
with a moft plaintive cry, feldom quitting its hole till the ut- 
moft extremity. At laft, when half fuffocated, it iffues out, 
and trufts once more to its fpeed for protection. When ftill 
forced by the dogs, and incapable of making good a retreat, it 
turns upon the hunters, and, with its hair bridling like a hog, 
Handing upon its hind feet, it defends itfelf very obftinately. 
Sometimes it bites the legs of thofe that attempt to take it, and 
will take out the piece wherever it fixes its teeth. * 

Its cry, when diflurbed or provoked, refembles that of a fuck- 
ing pig. If taken young, it is eafily tamed, continues to play 
harmlefsly about the houfe, and goes out and returns of its 
own accord. In a favage (late it ufually continues in the woods, 
and the female generally choofes the moft obfcure parts to 
bring forth her young. She there prepares a bed of leaves and 
dry grafs, 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, fuckling them but for a very fhort time, for they 
foon come to perfection, and it fhould confequently follow that 
they foon grow old. 

Ray\ Synop. 


THE paca is an animal alfoof South- America, very much. 
refcmbling the former, and, like it, has received the name of 
the American rabbit, but with as little propriety. It is shout 
the fize cf a tare, or rather larger, and in figure fc^ev tat 
like a fucking pig, which it alfo refembles in its grunt -'m , . 1 
its manner of eating. -It is, however, moft like the a^ou i - 
though it differs in feveral particulars. Like the agouti, ic is 
covered rather with coarfehair than a downy fur. But thcii it 
is beautifully marked along the fides with fmall afh-coloured 
fpots, upon an amber-coloured ground; whereas, the agouti is 
pretty much of one reddiih colour. The paca is rather more 
thick and corpulent than the agouti ; its nofe is thorter, and 
its hind feet have five toes ; whereas, the agouti Iras but three. 
As to thcrcft, this animal beaisfome diftantrefemblanceto a rab- 
bit, the e2i3 are naked of hair, and fomewhat iharp, the lower 
jaw is fomewhat longer than the upper, the teeth, the fhape 
of the head, and the fize of it, are like thofe of a rabbit. It 
has a fhort tail like wife, though not tufted, and its hinder legs 
are longer than the fore. It alfo burrows in the ground 
like that animal, and from this fimilitude alone, travellers might 
have given it the name. 

The paca docs not make ufe of its fore-paws, like the fquir- 
jtl 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 feen 
along the banks of rivers, and is cnly to be found in the moid 
and warm countries of South-America. It is a very f:it animal, 
and in this refpecl, much preferable to the agouti, that is moil 
commonly found lean. It is eaten, fkin and all, lik~ a young 
pig,, and is conGdcred as a great delicacy. Like the former 
little animal, it defends itfelf to the lafl: extremity, and is very 
feldo-m^iken alive. It is perfecuted not only by man, but by 
f;very bcaft and bird of prey, who- all watch its motions, and, 
*f it ventures at any distance from. its hole, are fure to feize it, 

t //////>/ T - 


But although the race of thefc little animals is thus continually 
deflroyed, it finds fome refuge in its hole from the general 
combinaiion; ?.nd breeds in fuch numbers, that the diminution 
is not perceptible. 

To thefe animals may be added others, very fimilar both in 
form and diipofition ; each known by its particular name in its 
native country, but which travellers have been contented to 
call rabbits 'or hares; of which we have but indiftinft notice. 
The tapeti, or the Brafilian rabbit, is in fhape like our Englifh 
ones, but is much lefs, being faid to be not above twice the 
fize of a dormoufe. It is reddifh on the fore-head, and a little 
whitifli under the throat. It is remarkable for having no tail ; 
but it has long ears and whifkers, like our rabbits, and black 
eyes. It does not burrow, like ours ; but lives at large, like the 

The aperea is alfo called by fome the Brafilian rabbit, being 
an animal that feems to partake of die nature of a rabbit and a 
rat. The ears are like thofe of a rat, being fhort and round ; 
but the other parts are like thofe of a rabbit, except that it has 
but three toes on the hinder legs, like the agouti. 

To thefe imperfect (ketches of animals little known, others 
lefs known might be added ; for, as nature becomes more di- 
minutive, her operations are lefs attentively regarded. I mail 
only, therefore, add one animal more to this clafs, and that 
very well known ; I mean the Guinea-pig ; which Brifibn 
places among thofe of the. rabbit kind ; and, as I do not know 
any other fet of animals with which it can be fo well com- 
pared, I will take leave to follow his example. 


THE Guinea-pig is a native of the warmer climates ; but 
has been fo long rendered domeftic, and fo widely diffufed, 
that it is now become common in every part of the world. 
There are few unacquainted with the figure of this little ani- 

VOL. II. 2 L 


mal ; in fome places it is confidered as the principal favou- 
rite ; and is often found even to difplace the lap-dog. It is 
lefs than a rabbit, and its legs are fhorter ; they are fcarce 
feen, except when it moves ; and the neck, alfo, is fo mort, 
that the head feems (luck upon the ihouMcrs. The ears are 
ihort, thin and tranfparent, the hair is like that of a fucking 
pig, from whence it has taken the name j and it wants even 
the veftiges of a tail. In other refpecis, it has fome fimili- 
tude to the rabbit. When it moves, its body lengthens like that 
animal ; and when it is at reft, it gathers up in the fame man- 
ner. Its nofe is formed with the rabbit lip, except that its nof- 
trils are much further afunder. Like all other animals in a 
dome (lie Hate, its colours are different ; fome are white, fome 
are red, and others both red and white. It differs from the 
rabbit in the number of its toes, having four toes on the feet 
before, and but three on thofe behind. It ftrokes its head with 
the fore feet like the rabbit , and, like it, fits upon the hind 
feet ; for which purpofe, there is a naked callous fkin on the 
back part of the legs and feet. 

Thefe animals are of all others the moil helplefs and in- 
offenfive*. They are fcarce poflefTed of courage fufficient to 
defend themfelves againft the meaneft of all quadrupeds, a 
moufe. Their only animofity is exerted againft each other ; 
for they will often fight very obftinately ; and the ftronger is 
often known to deftroy the weaker. But againft all other 
aggreflbrs, their only remedy is patience and non-refiftance. 
How, therefore, thefe animals, in a favage ftate, could con- 
trive to protect themfelves, I have not been able to learn ; as 
they want ftrength, fwiftnefs, and even the natural inftinft fo 
common to almoft every other creature. 

As to their manner of living among us, they owe their lives 
entirely to our unceafmg protection. They muft be conftamly 
attended, fhielded from the exceffive colds of the winter, and 
fecured againft all other domeftic animals, which are apt to at- 

* Tins hiftory is partly taken from the Am;eaitate Ae.-j-.icniicx, vol. i 
p. 202. 


tack them, from every motive, either of appetite, jealoufy, 
or experience of their pufillanimous nature. Such indeed is 
their ftupidity, that they fuffer themfelves to be devoured by 
the cats, without refiftance i and, differing from all other crea- 
tures, the female fees her young destroyed without once at- 
tempting to protect them. Their ufual food is bran, parfley, 
or cabbage leaves ; but there is fcarce a vegetable cultivated 
in our gardens that they will not gladly devour. The carrot- 
top is a peculiar dainty ; as alfo fallad ; and thofe \vho would 
preferve their healths, would do right to vary their food ; for, 
if they be continued on a kind too fucculent or too dry, the 
effects are quickly perceived upon their conftitutions. When 
fed upon recent vegetables, they feldom drink. But it often 
happens, that, conducted by nature, they feek drier food, when 
the former difagrees with them. They then knaw clothes, 
paper, or whatever of this kind they meet with ;..and, on thefe 
occafions, they are feen to drink like moft other animals, 
which they do by lapping. They are chiefly fond of new milk ; 
but, in cafe of neceflity, are contented with water. 

They move pretty much in the manner of rabbits, though, 
not near fo fwiftly ; and when confined in a room, feldom, 
crofs the floor, but generally keep along the wall. The male 
ufually drives the female on before him, for they never move 
a-breafl together ; but conftantly die one feems to tread in 
the footfteps of the preceding. They chiefly feek for the 
darkeft recefles, and the moil intricate retreats ; where, if 
hay be fpread as a bed for them, they continue to fleep to- 
gether, and feldom venture out but when they fuppofe all 
interruption removed. On thofe occafions they at as rabbits i 
they fwiftly move forward from their bed, flop at the en- 
trance, liften, look round, and, if they perceive the flighteft 
approach of danger, they run back with precipitation. In very 
cold weather, however, they are more active, and run about in 
order to keep themfelves warm. 

They are a very cleanly animal, and' very different from 
that whofe name they go by. If the young ones happen to 
fall into the dirt, or be any other way difcompofed, the female 


takes fuch an averfion to them, that fhe never permits them to 
vifit her more. Indeed, her whole employment, as well as that 
of the male, fecms to confift in finoothing their {kins, in dif- 
pofmg their hair, and improving its glofs. The male and fe- 
male take this office by turns ; and when they have thus brufh- 
ed up each other, they then beftow all their concern upon 
their young, taking particular care to make their hair lie fmooth, 
and biting them if they appear refractory. As they are fo fo- 
licitous for elegance themfeives, the place where they are kept, 
muft be regularly cleaned, and a new bed of hay provided for 
them at leait every week. Being natives of a warm climate, 
they are naturally chilly in ours : clcanlinefs, therefore, af- 
fifts warmth, and expels rnoifture. They may be thus reared, 
without th aid of any artificial heat -, but, in general, there 
is no keeping them from the fire in winter, if they be once 
permitted to approach it. 

When they go to fleep, they lie fiat on their bellies, pretty 
much in their ufual poflure ; except that they love to have 
their fore feet higher than their hinder. For tins purpofe, 
they turn themfeives feveral times round before they lie down, 
to find the moft convenient fituation. They fleep, like the 
hare, with their eyes half open j and continue extremely 
watchful, if they fufpecl: danger. The male aixd female are 
never feen both afleep at the fame time ; but while he enjoys 
his repofe, fhe remains upon the watch, filently continuing 
to guard him, and her head turned towards the place where 
he lies. "When {he fuppofes that he has had his turn, fhe then 
awakes him with a kind of murmuring noife, goes to him, 
forces him from his bed, and lie^ down in his place. He then 
performs the fame good turn for her ; and continues watchful 
till {he alfo has done fleeping. 

Thefe animals are exceedingly falacious, and generally are 
capable of coupling at fix weeks old. The female never goes 
with young above five weeks ; and ufually brings forth from 
three to five at a time , and this not without pain. But what 
is very extraordinary, the female admits the male the very day 


flic has brought forth, and becomes again pregnant , fo that 
their multiplication is aftonifhing. She fuckles her young but 
about twelve or fifteen days ; and, during that time, does not 
feem to know her own , for if the young of any other be 
brought, though much older, (he never drives them away, but 
fufters 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, equal even to the dam in agility. Although the dam has 
but two teats, yet fhe abundantly fupplies them with milk ; 
and they are alfo capable of feeding upon vegetables, almoil 
from the very beginning. If the young ones are permitted to 
continue together, the ftroriger, as in all other focieties, focn be- 
gins to govern the weak. Their contentions are often long and 
obftinate j and their jealoulles very apparent. Their diiputes 
are ufually for the warmeft place, or the moil agreeable food. 
If one of them happens to be more fortunate in this refpedh 
than the reft, the itrongeft generally comes to difpofiefs it 
of its advantageous iituation. Their manner of fighting, 
though terrible to them, is ridiculous enough to a fpedlator. 
One of them feizes the hair on the nape of the other's neck 
with its fore teeth, and attempts to tear it away 5 the other 
to retaliate, turns its hinder parts to the enemy, and kicks up 
behind like a horfe, and with its hinder claws fcratches the 
fides of its adverfary; fo that fometimes they cover each other 
with blood. When they contend in this manner, they gnaih 
their teeth pretty loudly ; and this is often a denunciation of 

mutual refentment. 

Thefe, though fo formidable to each other, yet are the moft 
timorous creatures upon earth, with refpecl to the relt of 
animated nature : a falling kaf diflurbs them, and every anU 
mal overcomes them. From hence they are difficultly tamed ; 
and will fufFer none to approach them, except the perfon by 
whom they are fed. Their manner of eating is fomet' 
like that of the rabbit ; and, like it, they appear alfo to chew 
ic cud. Although they feldom drink, they make water every 
linute. They grunt fomewhat like a young pig ; and have 


more piercing note to exprefs pain. In a word, they do no 
injury ; but then, except the pleafure they afford the fpec- 
tator, they are of very little benefit to mankind. Some, in- 
deed, drefs and eat them j but. their fleih is in-different food, 
and by no means a reward for the trouble of rearing them. 
This, perhaps, might be improved,, by keeping them in a pro- 
per warren, and not fuffering them to become domeftic : how- 
ever, the advantages that would refult from this, would be 
few, and the .trouble great ; fo that it is likely they will con- 
tinue an ufelefs, inoffenfive dependant, rather propagated ta 
fatisfy caprice than fupply neceflity. 


Animals of the Rat Kind. 

WERE it necefiary to diftinguifh animals of the rat kind 
from all others, we might defcribe them as having 
two large cutting teeth, like the hare kind, in each jaw ; as 
covered with hair ; and as not ruminating. Thefe diftmHons 
might ferve to guide us, had we not too near an acquaintance 
with this noxious race to be miftaken in their kind. Their 
numbers, their minutenefs, their vicinity, their vail multipli- 
cation, all fufHciently contribute to prefs them upon our ob- 
fervation, and remind us of their exigence. Indeed, if we look 
through the different ranks of animals, from the largeft to 
the fmalleft, from the great elephant to the diminutive moufe, 
we fnall find that we fuffer greater injuries from the contemp- 
tible meannefs of the one, than the formidable invafions of the 
other. Againfl the elephant, the rhinoceros, or the lion, we can 
oppofe united ftrength^and, by art, make up the deficiencies of 
natural power : thefe we have driven into their native foli- 
tudes, and obliged to continue at a diftance, in the mod incon- 
venient regions and unhealthful climates. But it is othcrwife' 
with the little teazingrace lam now defcribing : no force ca;i 

RAT KIND. 17* 

be exerted againft their unrefifting timidity ; no arts can dimi- 
nim their amazing propagation : millions may be at once de- 
itroyed, and yet the breach be repaired in the fpace of a very 
few weeks ; and, in proportion as nature has denied them 
force, it has fupplied the defect by their fecundity. 

Of thefe, the animal beft known at prefent, and in every re- 
fpect the mod mifchievous, is the great rat; which, though but 
a new comer into this country, has taken too fecure a poilef- 
fion to be ever removed. This hateful and rapacious cre?ture, 
though fometimes called the rat of Norway, is utterly un- 
known in all the northern countries, and, by the beft accounts 
I can learn, comes originally from the Levant. Its firft arrival, 
as I am aflured, was upon the coafts of Ireland, in thofe {hips 
that traded in proviiions to Gibraltar ; and, perhaps, we owe to 
a fingle pair of thefe animals, the numerous progeny that now 
infefts the whole extent of the Britim empire. 

This animal, which is called by mr. BuiFon the furmalot, 
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 tawny and afh colour. The 
end of the nofe, the throat and belly, are of a dirty white, in- 
clining to a grey ; the feet and legs are almoft bare, and of a 
dirty pale fiem-colour ; the tail is as long as the body, covered 
with minute dufky fcales, mixed with a few hairs, and adds to 
the general deformity of its deteftable figure. It is chiefly in the 
colour that this animal differs from the black rat, or the com- 
mon rat, as it was once called ; but now common no longer. 
This new invader, in a very few years after its arrival, found 
means to deftroy almoft the whole fpecies, and to poflefs itfelf 
of their retreats. 

But it was not againft the black rat alone that its rapacity 
was directed ; all other animals of inferior ftrength ihared the 
feme misfortunes. The conteft with the black rat was of 
ihort continuance. As it was unable to contend, and had no 
holes to fly to for retreat, but where its voracious enemy could 
purfue, the whole race was foon extinguiihed. The frog alfo 


was an animal equally incapable of combat or defence. It 
had been defignedly introduced into the kingdom of Ireland 
fome years before the Norway rat ; and it was feen to multiply 
amazingly. The inhabitants were pleafed with the propagation 
of aharmlefs animal, that ferved to rid their fields of infeclis j 
and even the prejudices of the people were in its favour, as 
they fuppofed that the frog contributed to render their wa- 
ters more'* wholefome. But the Norway rat foon put a Hop 
to their increafe ; as thefe animals were of an amphibious 
nature, they purfued the frog to its lakes, and took it even 
in its own natural element. I am threfore affured, that the 
frog is once more almoft extinft in that kingdom ; and that 
the Norway rat, having no more enemies left there to de- 
flroy, is grown lefs numerous alfo. 

We are not likely, therefore, to gain by the deftru&ion of 
our old domeflics, fince they are replaced by fuch mifchiev- 
ous fucceflbrs. The Norway rat has the fame difpofition to 
injure us, with much greater power of mifchief. It burrows 
in the banks of rivers, ponds, and ditches j and is every year 
known to do do incredible damage to thofe mounds that are 
raifed to conduct ftreams, or to prevent rivers from over- 
flowing. In thefe holes, which it forms pretty near the edge 
of the water, it chiefly refides during the fummer, where it 
lives upon fmall animals, fim, and corn. At the approach of 
winter, it comes nearer the farm houfes ; burrows in their 
corn, eats much, and damages ftill more than it confumes. 
But nothing that can be eaten, feems to efcape its voracity. 
It deftroys rabbits, poultry, and all kinds of game j and, like 
the polecat, kills much more than it can carry away. It fwims 
with great eafe, d^ves with great celerity, and eafily thins 
the fifh pond. In fhort, fcarce any of the feebler animals ef- 
cape its rapacity, except the moufe, which flickers itfelf in 
its little hole, where the Norway rat is too big to follow. 

Thefe animals frequently produce from fifteen to thirty at 
a time;* and ufually bring forth three times a year. This 

* Button, vol. xvii. p. a. 

RAT KIND, 273 

great, increafe would quickly be found to over-run the whole 
country, and render our afliduity to deftroy them fruitlefs, 
were it not, happily for us, that they eat and deftroy each 
other. The fame infatiable appetite that impels them to in- 
difcriminate carnage, alfo incites the ftrongeft to devour the 
weakeft, even of their own kind. The large male rat gene- 
rally keeps in a hole by itfelf, and is as dreaded by its own 
fpecies, as the moft formidable enemies. In this manner, the 
number of thefe vermin is kept within due bounds ; and 
when their increafe becomes injurious to us, it is reprefle'd by 
their own rapacity. 

But betide their own enmities among each other, all the 
flronger carnivorous quadrupeds have natural antipathies 
againft them. The dog, though he de'tefts their flefli, yet open- 
ly declares his alacrity to purfue them ; and attacks them with 
great ariimofity. Such as are trained up to killing thefe ver- 
min, difpatch them often with a tingle fqueeze : but thofe 
dogs that mow any hefitation, are fure to come off but in- 
differently ; for the rat always takes the advantage of a mo- 
ment's delay, and, inftead of waiting for the attack, becomes 
the aggreflbr, feizing its purfuer by the lip, and inflicting a 
a very painful and dangerous wound. From the inflammation, 
and other angry fymptoms that attend this animal's bite, 
fome have been led to think that it was in fome rrieafure vene- 
mous ; but it is likely that the difficulty .of the wound's heal- 
ing, arifes merely from its being deep and lacerated bv the 
teeth, and is rather a confequence of the figure of the inftru- 
ments that inflict it, than any venom they may be fuppofed to 

The cat is another formidable enemy of this kind ; and 
yet the generality of our eats neither care to attack it, nor to 
feed upon it when killed. The cat is a more prudent hunter 
than the dog, and v. ill not be at the pains to take or combat 
with an enemy that is not likely to repay her time and danger. 
Some cats, however, will purfue and take the rat ; though 
often not without an obftinate retiftance. If hungry alfo, ths 

VOL. II. 2 M 


cat will fometimes eat the head j but in general, fhe is merely 
content with her victory. 

A foe much more dangerous to thefe vermin is the weafel. 
This animal purfues them with avidity ; and being pretty 
nearly of their own fize, follows them into their holes, where 
a defperate combat enfues. The ftrength of each is pretty near 
equal ; but the arms are very different. The rat, furnifhed with 
four long tufks at the extremity of its jaw, rather fnaps than 
bites j but the weafel, where it once faftens, holds, and con- 
tinuing alfo to fuck the blood at the fame time, weakens its 
antagonift, and always obtains the victory. Mankind have 
contrived feveral other methods of deflroying thefe noxious 
intruders ; ferrets, traps, and particularly poifon : but of all 
other poifons, I am told that the nux vomica, ground and mix- 
ed with meal, is the moft certain, as it is the lead dangerous. 

To this fpecies I will fubjoin as a variety, the black rat, 
mentioned above, greatly refembling the former in figure, 
but very diftinfc in nature, as appears, from their mutual an- 
tipathy. This animal was formerly as mifchievous as it was 
common ; but at prefent it is almoft utterly extirpated by the 
great rat, one malady often expelling another. It is become 
fo fcarce, that I do not remember ever to have feen one. It 
is faid to be poflefled of all the voracious and unnatural ap- 
petites of the former ; though, as it is lefs, they may proba- 
bly be lefs noxious. Its length is about feven inches ; and the 
tail is near eight inches long. The colour of the body is of a 
deep iron grey, bordering upon black, except the belly, which 
is of a dirty cinereous hue. .They have propagated in Ameri- 
ca in great numbers, being originally introduced from Europe ; 
and as they feem to keep their ground wherever they get foot- 
ing, they are now become the mod noxious animals in that 
part of the world. 

To this alfo, we may fubjoin the black water rat, about the 
fame fize with the latter, with a larger head, a blunter note, 
lefs eyes, and fhorter ears, and the tip of its tail a little white. 
It was fuppofed by Ray to be web-footed ; but this has been 

RAT KIND. 775 

found to be a miftake, its toes pretty much rcfembling thofe 
of its kind. It never frequents houfes ; but it is ufually found 
on the banks of rivers, ditches and ponds, where it burrows 
and breeds. It feeds on filh, frogs, and infects , and in fome 
countries, it is ate on falling days. 


AN animal equally mifchievous, and equally , well known 
with the former, is the moufe. Timid, cautious and ative, 
all its difpofitions are fimilar to thoie of the rat, except with 
fewer powers of doing mifchief *. Fearful by nature, but fa- 
miliar from neceffity, it attends upon mankind, and comes an 
unbidden gueft to his moft delicate entertainments. Fear and 
neceflicy feem to regulate all its motions j-it never leaves its 
hole but to feek provifion, and feldom ventures above a few 
paces from home. Different from the^rat, it does not go from 
one houfe to another, unlefs it be forced ; and, as it .is more 
eafily fatisfied, it does much lefs mifchief, 

Almoft all animals are tamed more difficultly in propor- 
tion to the cowardice of their natures. The truly bold and 
courageous eafily become familiar, but thofe that are always- 
fearful are ever fufpicious. The moufe being the mod feeble, 
and confequently the moft timid of all quadrupeds, except the 
Guinea-pig, is never rendered thoroughly familiar ; and, even 
though fed in a cage, retains its natural apprehenfions. In facl:, 
it is to thefe alone that it owes its fecurityf. No animalhas 
more enemies, and few fo incapable of refiftance. The owl, 
the cat, the fnake, the hawk, the weafel, and the rat it* 
felf, deftroy this fpecies by millions, and it only fubfifts by it* 
amazing fecundity. 

The moufe brings forth r.t all feafons, and feveral times in 
a.year. Its ufual number is from fix to ten. Thefe, in lefs than. 

* BufFon, vol. TV. p. 145. 

f- voiucribus birundincs funt indocile*, e terreftibua mures. 


a fortnight, are ftrong enough to run about and fliift for them- 
felves. They are chiefly found in farmers' yards and among 
their corn, but are feldom in thofe ricks that are much infefted 
with rats. They generally choofc the fouth-weft fide of the 
rick, from whence moft rain is expected. ; and from then,ce 
they often, of an evening, venture forth to drink the little 
drops either of rain or dew that hang at the extremities of 
the ftr-aw*. Ariftofcle gives us an idea of their prodigious fe-* 
cundity, by afluring us, that, having put a moufe with young 
into a vefTel of corn, in fome time after, he found a hundred 
and twenty mice, all fprung from one original. The early 
growth of this animal implies alfo the fhort duration of its 
life, which feldom lafts above two or three years. This fpe- 
cie.s is very much diffufed, being found in almoft all parts of 
the ancient continent, and having been exported to the newf. 
They are animals that, while they fear human fpciety* clofely 
attend it ; and, although enemies to man, are never found, 
but near thofe places where he has fixed his habitation. Num- 
berlefs ways have been found for destroying them ; and Gef- 
ncr has minutely defcribed the variety of traps by which they 
are taken. Qur fociety for the encouragement of arts and 
manufactures propofed a reward for the moft ingenious con- 
trivance for that purpofe ; and I obferved almoft every can- 
didate pafiing off defcriptions as inventions of his own. I 
thought it was cruel to detect the plagiarifm, or fruftrate the 
humble ambition of thofe who would be thought the inven- 
tors of a moufe-trap. 

To this fpecies, merely to avoid teazing the reader with a 
minute defcription of animals very inconfiderable and very 
nearly alike, I will add that of the long-tailed field moufe y 
which is larger than the former, of a colour very nearly refem- 
bling the Norway rat, and chiefly found in fields and gardens. 
They are extremely voracious, and hurtful in gardens and 
young nurferies, where they are killed in great numbers. How- 
ever, their fecundity quickly repairs the deftruction. 

* Buffon, vol. xv. p. 147. f Lifie's Hufbandry, vol. ii. p. 391. 

RAT KIND, 277 

Nearly refembling the former, but larger, (for it is fix in- 
ches long) is the Jhort-tailcd field moufe ; which, as its name 
implies, has the tail much fhortcr than the former, it being 
not above an inch and a half long, and ending in a firuH tuft. 
Its colour is more inclining to that of the domeftic moufe, 
the upper part being bhckiih, and the under of an afh-co- 
lour, This, as well as the former, are remarkable for laying 
up provilion againft winter ; and mr. Buffon ailures us they 
fpmetimes have a {lore of above a bufhel at a time, 

We may add alfo tiizjhreiu moufe to this fpecies of minute 
animals, being about the fize of the domeftic moufe, but dif- 
fering greatly from it in the form of its nofe, which is very 
long and fiender. The teeth alfo are of a very fmgular form, 
and twenty eight in number ; whereas, the comnaon number 
in the rat kind, is ufually not above fixteen. The two upper 
fore-teeth are very (harp, and on each fide of them there is a 
kind of wing or beard, like that of an arrow, fcarce vifiblc 
but on a clofe infpe&ion. The other teeth are placed clofe 
together, being very fmall, and feeming fcarce- feparated ; fo 
that, with rcfpet to this part of its formation, the animal has 
fome refemblance to the viper. However, it is a very harm- 
lefs little creature, doing fcarce any injury. On the contrary, 
as it lives chiefly in the fields, and feeds more upon, infecls 
than corn, it may be confidered rather as a friend than an ene- 
my. It has a ftrong, difagreeable fmell, fo that the cat, \vhen 
it is killed, will refufe to eat it. It is faid to bring four or 
five young at a time.. 


THESE animals may be diftinguifhed into three kinds 
the greater dormoufey which mr. Buffon calls the loir ; the 
middle, which he calls, the lerot ; the lefs., which he denomi-. 
nates the mufcardin.. They differ from each other in fize, the 
largeft being equal to a rat, the leaft being no bigger than ^ 


moufe. They all differ from the rat in having the tail tufted 
with hair, in the manner of a fquirrel, except that the fquir- 
rel's tail is flat, refembling a fan ; and theirs round, refem- 
bling a brufh. The lerot differs from the loir by having two 
black fpots near the eyes ; the mufcardin differs from both 
in the whitifh colour of its hair on the back. They ail three 
agree in having black fparkling eyes, and the whiikers partly 
white and partly black. They agree in their being ftupefied 
like the marmout during the winter, and in their hoarding 
up provifions to ferve them in cafe of a temporary revival. 

They inhabit woods or very thick hedges, forming their 
nefts in the hollow of fome tree, or near the bottom of a clofe 
fhrub, humbly content with continuing at the bottom, and 
never afpiring to fport among the branches. Towards the ap- 
proach of the cold feafon, they form a little magazine of nuts, 
beans, or acorns ; and, having laid in their hoard, fhut them- 
felves up with it in the winter. As foon as they fed the firft 
advances of the cold, they prepare to leffen its efFe&j by rol- 
ling themfelves up in a ball, and thus expofing the fmalleft 
furface to the weather. But it often happens that the warmth 
of a funny day, or an accidental change from cold to heat, 
thaws their nearly-ftagnant fluids, and they revive. On fuch 
occafions, they have their provifions laid in, and they have 
not far to feek for their fupport. In this manner they conti- 
nue ufually afleep, but fometimes waking, for above five 
months in the year, feldom venturing from their retreats, and 
ccnfequently but rarely feen. Their nefts are lined with mofs^ 
grafs, and dead leaves ; they ufually bring forth three or four 
young at a time, and that but once a year, in the fpring. 


OF thefe animals of the rat kind, but with a mufky fmell^ 
there are alfo three di ft i lift ions, as of the former ; the onda- 
tra, the defman, and the pilori. The ondatra is a native of Ca- 
nada,, the defman of Lapland, and the pilori of the WeiU 

HAT KIND. 27* 

India iflands. The ondatra differs from all others of its kind, 
in having the tail flatted and carried edgeways. The defman 
has a long extended fnout like the fhrew moufe ; and the pi- 
lori a fhort tail, as thick at one end as the other. They all re- 
femble each other in being fond of the water,, but particularly 
in that muiky odour from whence they have taken their name. 

Of thefe, the ondatra is the moft remarkable, and has been 
the mod minutely defcribed*. This animal is about the fize 
of a fmall rabbit, but has the hair, the colour and the tail 
of a rat, except that it is flatted on the fides, as mentioned 
above. But it is ftill more extraordinary upon other accounts, 
and different from all other animals whatever. It is fo formed 
that it can contract and enlarge its body at pleafure. It has 
a mufcle like that of horfes, by which they move, their hides 
lying immediately under the Ikin, and that furnifhed with 
fuch a power of contraction, together with fuch an elafticity 
in the falfe ribs, that this animal can creep into a hole, where 
others, feemingly much lefs, cannot follow. The female is 
remarkable alfo for two diftindt apertures, one for urine, the 
other for propagation. The male is equally obfervable for a 
peculiarity of conformation j the mufky fmell is much ftrong- 
er at one particular feafon of the year than any other ; and 
the marks of the fex feem to appear and difappear in the fame 

The ondatra, in fome meafure, refembles the beaver in its 
nature and difpofition. They both live in fociety during win- 
ter ; they both form houfes of two feet and a half wide, in 
which they refide feveral families together. In thefe they do 
not aflemble to fleep as the marmout, but purely to flicker 
themfelves from the rigour of the feafon. However, they do 
not lay up magazines of provifion like the beaver ; they only- 
form a kind of covert-way to and round their dwelling, from 
whence they iflue to procure water and roots, upon which 
they fubfift. During winter, their houfes are covered under a 
depth of eight or ten feet of fnow ; fo that they muft lead 

* BufFon, vol. xx, p. 4. 


but a cold, gloomy and a neceflitous life during its continu- 
ance. During fummer, they feparate two by two, and feed upon 
the variety of roots and vegetables that the feafon offers. They 
then become extremely fat, and are much fought after, as well 
for their flefh as their fkins, which are very valuable* They 
then alfo acquire a very ftrong fcent of mufk, fo pleafmg to 
an European, but which the favages of Canada cannot abide. 
What we admire as a perfume, they confider as a moil abomi- 
nable flench, and call one of their rivets, on the banks of 
which this animal is feen to burrow in numbers, by the name 
of the ftinking river, as well as the rat itfelf, which is denomi- 
nated by them the ftinkard. This is a ftrange diverfity among 
mankind ; and, perhaps, may be afcribed to the different kinds 
of food among different nations. Such as chiefly feed upon 
rancid oils, and putrid flefh, will often miflake the nature of 
{cents; and, having been long ufed to ill fmells, will, by habit, 
confider them as perfumes. Be this as it will, although thefc 
nations of northern favages confider the mufk-rat as intolera- 
bly foetid, they, nevertheless, regard it as very good eating ; 
and, indeed, in this they imitate the epicures of Europe very 
exactly, whofe tafle feldom relifhes a difti till the nofe gives 
the ftrongeft marks of difapprobation. As to the reft, this ani- 
mal a good deal refembles the beaver in its habits and difpo- 
fition , but, as its inflinls are lefs powerful, and its economy 
lefs exac~l, I will referve for the defcription of that animal, % 
part of what may be applicable to this* 


THE cricetus, or German rat, which mr. Buffbn calls the 
hamfler, greatly refembles the water-rat in its fize, fmall eyes 
and the fhortnefs of its tail. It differs in colour, being rather 
browner, like the Norway rat, with the belly and legs of a 
dirty yellow. But the marks by which it may be diflinguifhed, 
from all others, are two pouches, like thofe of a baboon, on 
each fide of its jaw, under the 'fkin, into which it can cram a 

RAT KIND. 28x 

quantity of provifion. Thefebags are oblong, and of the 
iize, when filled, of a large walnut. They open into the mouth 
and fall back along the neck to the moulder. Into thefe the 
animal can thruft the furplus of thofc fruits or grains it ga- 
thers in the fields, fuch as wheat, peas, or acorns. When the 
immediate calls of hunger are fatisfied, it then falls to filling 
thefe ; and thus, loaded with two great bunches on each fide 
of the jaw, it returns home to its hole to depofit the fpoil as a 
flore for the winter. The fize, the fecundity, and the vora- 
cioufnefs of this animal, render it one of the greateft pefts in 
the countries where it is found, and every method is made uie 
of to deftroy it. 

But, although this animal is very noxious with rcfpecl: to 
man, yet, confidered with regard to thofe inftincts which 
conduce to its own fupport and convenience, it deferves our 
admiration*. Its hole offers a very curious object. for contem- 
plation, and (hows a degree of fkill fuperior to the reft of the 
rat kind. It confifts of a variety of apartments, fitted up for the 
different occafions of the little inhabitant. It is generally made 
on an inclining ground, and always has two entrances, one 
perpendicular and the other, oblique ; though, if there be more 
than one in a family, there are as many perpendicular holes as 
there are individuals below. The perpendicular hole is ufually 
that through which they go in and out : the oblique ferves to 
give a thorough air, to. keep the rc,treat clean, and, in cafe 
one hole is flopped, to give an exit at this. "Within about a 
foot of the perpendicular hole, the animal makes two more, 
where are depofitecl the family's provificns. Thefe are much 
more fpacious than the former, and are large in proportion to 
the quantity of the ftore. Befide thefe, there is ftill another 
apartment warmly lined with grafs and flraw, where the fe- 
male brings forth her young ; all thefe communicate with 
each other, and all together take up a fpace of ten or twelve 
feet in diameter. Thefe animals furnifh their- ftore-houfes 
with dry corn well cleaned 5 they alfo lay in corn in the ear. 

11 BuiTon, vol.xxvi. p. 159. 

YOL. II. 2 N 


find beans and $eas in the pod'. Thefe, when occafion requires j 
they afterwards feparate, carrying out the pods and empty ears 
by their oblique pafTage. They ufually begin to lay in at the 
latter end of Auguft ; and, as each magazine is filled, they 
carefully cover up the mouth with earth, and that^ fo neatly, 
that it is no eafy rriatter to difcover where the earth has been 
removed. The only means of finding out their retreats are, 
therefore, to obferve the oblique entrance, which generally has 
a fmall quantity of earth before it ; and this, though often 
feveral yards from their perpendicular retreat, leads thofe who 
are (killed in the fearch, to make the difcovery. Many German 
peafants are known to make a livelihood by finding out and 
bringing off their hoards, which, in a fruitful feafon, often 
furnifh two bufhels of good grain in each apartment. 

Like mofl others of the rat kind, they produce twice or 
thrice a year, and bring five or fix at a time. Some years they 
appear in alarming numbers, at other times they are not fo 
plenty. The moift feafons affift their propagation ; and it often 
happens, on fuch years, that their dcvailations produce a famine 
all over the country. Happily, however, for mankind, thefe, 
like the reft of their kind, cieftroy each other; and of two that 
mr. Buffon kept in a cage, male and female, the latter killed and 
devoured the former. As to the reft, their fur isconfideredasvery 
valuable ; the natives arc invited by rewards to deftroy them ; 
and the weafel kind feconds the wifhes of government with 
great fuccefs. Although they are ufually found brown on the 
back and white on the belly, yet, many of them are obferved 
to be grey, which may probably arife from the difference of 


HAVING confiuercd various kinds of thefe noxious little 

.rals that elude the indignation of mankind, and fubfift by 

their number, not their ftrcngth, we corn: tD a fpccics more 


bold, mere dangerous, and more numerous than any of the 
former. The leming, which is a native of Scandinavia, is often 
feen to pour down in myriads from the northern mountains, 
and, like a peftilence, deftroy nil the productions of the earth. 
It is defcribed as being larger than a dormoufe, with a bufhy 
tail, thcup-h fhorter. It is covered with thin hair, of various 
colours. The extremity of the upper part of the head is black, 
as are like\vife the neck and (houlders, but the reft of the 
body is reddifh, intermixed with fmall black fpots of various 
figures, as far as the tail, which is not above half an inch long. 
The eyes are little and black, the ears round, and inclining to- 
wards the back ; the legs before are fhort, and thofe behind 
longer, which gives it a great degree of fwiftnefs. But wh?t 
it is much more remarkable for than its figure, are, its amaz- 
ing fecundity and extraordinary migrations^ 

In wet feafons, all of the rat kind are known to propagate 
more than in dry ; but this fpecies, in particular, is fo affif- 
ted in multiplying by the moitlure of the weather, that the 
inhabitants of Lapland fincerely believe that they drop from 
the clouds, and that the fame magazines that furnifh hail and 
fnow, pour the leming alfo upon them. In fact, after long 
rain, thefe animals fet forward from their native mountains, 
and feveral millions in a troop deluge the \vhoie pL*:i 
with their numbers.* They move, for the mod part, in a 
fquare, marching forward by night and lying (till by day. 
Thus, like an animated torrent, they are often feen more than 
a mile broad covering the ground, and that fo thick, that the 
hindmoft touches its leader. It is in vain that the poor inha- 
bitant refifts or attempts to flop their progrefs, they ftill keep 
moving forward ; and, though thoufands are dcftroyed, myri- 
ads are feen to fucceed, and make their definition impractica- 
ble. They generally move in lines, which are about three feet 
from each other, and exactly parallel. Their march is always 
directed from the north-weft to the fouth-eaft, and regukirlj r 
.conducted from the beginning. Vv r herever their motions are 

'hil. Tranf. vol. ii.p. 


turned, nothing can flop them ; they go direlly forward im- 
pelled by fome flrange power -, and, from the time they firft 
let out, they never once think of retreating. If a lake or a 
river happens to interrupt their progrefs, they all together 
take the water and fwim over it , a fire, a deep well, or a tor- 
rent, does not turn them out of their ftraight-lined direction j 
they boldly plunge into the flames, or leap down the well, and 
are fometimes feen climbing up on the other fide. If they are 
interrupted by a boat acrofs a river while they are fwimming, 
they never attempt to fwim round it, but mount direclly up 
its fides, and the boat-men, who know how vain 're fi fiance in 
fuch a cafe would be, calmly fuffer the living torrent topafs over, 
which it does without further damage. If they meet with aflack 
of hay, or corn, that interrupts their paflage, inflead of going 
over it, they gnaw their way through; if they are flopped by a 
houfe in their courfe, if they cannot go thro' it, they continue 
'there till they die. It is happy, however, for mankind, that they eat 
nothing that is prepared for human fubfiftence ; they never enter 
a houfe to deflroy the provifions, but are contented with eating 
every root and vegetable that they meet. If they happen to pafs 
through a meadow, they deflroy it in a very fhtirt time, and 
give it an apppearance of being burnt up and ftrewed with 
afhes. If they are interrupted in their courfe, and a man mould 
imprudently venture to attack one of them, the little animal 
is no way intimidated by the difparity of flrength, but furi- 
oufly flies up at its opponent, arid, barking fomewhat like a 
a, puppy, wherever it fattens, does not eafily quit the hold. If, 
at lail, the leader be forced out of its line, which it defends as 
long as it can, and be fcparted from the reft of its kind, it fets 
up a plaintive cry, different from that of anger, and, as fome 
pretend to fay, gives itfelf a voluntary death by hanging itfelf 
on the fork of a tree. 

An enemy fo numerous and definitive, would quickly ren- 
der the countries where they appear, utterly uninhabitable, did 
it not fortunately happen that the fame rapacity that animates 
them to deflroy the labours of mankind, at laft impels them to 

RAT KIND. 285- 

Devour each other.'* After committing incredible devaftations, 
"they are at laft feen to feparate into two armies, oppofed with 
deadly hatted, along the coaft of the larger lakes and rivers. 
The Laplanders, who obferve them thus drawn up to fight, 
inftead of considering ther mutual animofities as a happy 
riddance of the moft dreadful pefl, form ominous prognoftics 
from the manner of their arrangement. They confider their 
combats as a prefage of war, and expect an invafion from the 
Ruffians or the Swedes, as the {ides next thofe kingdoms hap- 
pen to conquer. The two divifions, however, continue their 
engagements and animofity until one party overcomes the other. 
From that time, they utterly difappear, nor is it well known 
what becomes of either the conquerors or the conquered. 
Some fuppofe that they rum headlong into the fea, others that 
they kill themfelves, as fome are found hanging on the forked 
branches of a tree, and others ftill that they are deftroyed by 
the young fpring herbage. But the moft probable opinion is, 
that, having devoured the vegetable productions of the country, 
and having nothing more to fubfift on, they then fall to de- 
vouring each other ; and, having habituated themfelves to that 
kind of food, continue it. However this be, they are often 
found dead by thoufands, and their carcafTes have been known 
to infect the air for feveral miles round, fo as to produce very 
malignant diforders. They feem alfo to infect the plants they 
have gnawed, for the cattle often die that afterwards feed in 
the places where they pafTed. 

As to the reft, the male is larger and more beautifully fpot- 
ted than the female. They are extremely prolific ; and what is 
extraordinary, their breeding does not hinder their march ; for 
fome of them have been obferved to carry one young one in 
their mouth and another on'their back. They are greatly prey- 
ed upon by the ermine, and, as we are told, even by the rein- 
deer. The Swedes and Norwegians, who live by hufbandry, 
conlider an invafion from thefe vermine as a terrible vifitation , 
feut it is very different with refpect to the Laplanders, wh* 

*>Diclionnairc Raifonnee, TO!, ii. p. 610. 


lead a vagrant life, and who, like the lemings themfelves, if 
their provifions be deilroyed in one part of the country, can 
eafily retire to another. Thefe are never fo happy as when an 
army of lemings come down among them : for then they feajfl 
upon their flem; which, chough horrid food, and which, though 
even dogs and cats are known to deteft, thefe little favages ef- 
teem very good eating, and devour greedily. They are glad of 
their arrival alfo upon another account, for they always expect 
a great plenty of game the year following, among thofe fields 
which the lemings have dcftroyed. 


TO thefe minute animals of the rat kind, a great part of 
whofe lives is parTed in holes under ground, I will fubjoin one 
little animal more, no way refembling the rat, except that its 
whole life is fpent there. As we have feen fome quadrupeds 
formed to crop the furface of the fields, and others to live upon 
the tops of trees, fo the mole is formed to live wholly under the 
earth, as if nature meant that no place mould be left wholly un- 
tenanted. Were we, from our own fenfations, to pronounce 
upon the life of a quadruped that was never to appear above 
ground, but always condemned to hunt for its prey underneath, 
and obliged, whenever it removed from one place toanother, to 
bore its way through a refilling body, we mould be apt to af- 
fert that fuch an exiftence muft be the moll frightful and fo- 
litary in nature. However, in the prefent animal, though we 
find it condemned to all thofe feeming inconveniencies, we 
fhall difcover no figns of wretchednefs or diilrefs. No qua- 
druped is fatter, none has a more fleek or glofly fkin ; and, 
though denied many advantages that mod animals enjoy, it is 
more liberally pofTefled of others, which they have in a more 
fcanty proportion. 

This animal, fo well known in England, is, however, utterly 
3 ftrangcr in other places, and particularly in Ireland. For fuch. 


therefore, as have never feen it, a (hort dofcription will be ne- 
ceilary. And, in the firft place, though fomewhat of a fize be- 
tween the rat and the moufe, it no way refembles either, being 
nn animal entirely of a fmgular kind, and perfectly unlike any 
other quadruped whatever. It is bigger than a moufe, with a 
coat of line, fhort, glofTy black hair. Its nofe is long and 
pointed, refembling that of a hog, but much longer. Its eyes fo fmall, that it is fcarce poffible to difcern them. Inftead of 
ears, it has only holes in the place. Its neck is fo fhort, that the 
head fcems (tuck upon the fhoulders. The body is thick and 
round, terminating by a very fmall fhort tail, and its legs alfo 
are fo very fhort, that the animal feems to lie flat on its belly. 
From under its belly, as it refts in this pofition, the four feet 
appear juft as if they immediately grew cut of the body. Thus 
the animal appears to us, at firft view, as a mafsof flelh covered 
v/ith a fine fhining black (kin, with a little head, and fcarce any 
legs, eyes, or tail. On a clofer infpection, however, two little 
black points may be difcerned, that are its eyes. The ancients, 
and fome of the moderns, were of opinion, that the animal was 
utterly blind ; but Derham, by the help of a microfcope, 
plainly difcovered all the parts of the eye that are known in 
other animals, fuch as the pupil, the vitreous and the cryfta- 
line humours. The fore-legs appear very fhort and ftrong, and 
furnimed with five claws to each. Thefe are turned outwards 
and backwards as the hands of a man when fwimming. The 
hind-legs are longer and weaker than the fore ; being only 
ufed to aflift its motions ; whereas the others are continually 
employed in digging. The teeth are like thofe of a fhrew- 
moufe, and there are five on both fides cf the upper jaw, which 
{land out ; but thofe behind are divided into points. The 
tongue is as large as the mouth will hold. 

Such is the extraordinary figure and formation of this an".- 

rnal ; which, if we compare with its manner of living, we mall 

: a manifeft attention in nature to adapt the one to the 

ether*. As it is allotted a fubterraneous sbode, the feeming 

defects of its formation vanifh, or rather r.-;e tuni-jJ to its ad- 


vantage. The breadth, ftrength, and fhortnefs of the fore-feet,, 
which are inclined outwards, anfwer the purpofes of digging, 
ferving to throwback the earth with greater eafe, and to pur- 
fue the worms and infects which are its prey: had they been 
longer, the falling in of the earth would have prevented the 
quick repetition of its ftrokes 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 lefs admirably contrived for its 
way of life.. The fore part is thick and very mufcular, giving 
great ftrength to the action of the fore-feet, enabling it to dig 
its way with amazing force and rapacity, either to purfue its 
prey, or elude the fearch of the moft active enemy. By 
its power of boring the earth, it quickly gets below the fur- 
face ; and I have feen it, when let loofe in the midft of a field, 
like the ghoft on a theatre, inftantly fink into the earth ; and- 
the moft active labourer, with a fpade, in vain, attempted to 

The fmallnefs of its eyes, which induced the ancients to 
think it was blind, is, to this animal, a peculiar advantage. A 
(mall degree of vifion is fufficient for a creature that is ever 
deftined to live in darknefs.- A more extenfive fight would on- 
ly have ferved to mow the horrors of its prifon, while nature 
had denied it the means of an efcape. Had this organ been lar- 
ger, it would have been perpetually liable to injuries, by the 
falling of the earth into it ; but nature, to prevent that incon- 
venience, has not only made them very fmall, but very clofely 
covered them with hair. Anatomifts mention, befide thefe ad- 
vantages, another, that contributes to their fecurity ; namely, a 
certain mufcle, by which the animal can draw back the eye 
whenever it is neceflary or in danger. 

As the eye is thus perfectly fitted to the animal's fituation, 
fo alfo are the fenfes of hearing and Duelling. The firft gives it 
notice of the moft diftant appearance of danger j the other di- 
rets it, in the midft of darknefs, to its food. The wants of a 
fubterra neons animal can be but few ; and thefe are fufficient 
to fupply them : to eat, and to produce its kind, are the who 1 -; 

RAT KIND. 289 

employment of fuch a life ; and for both thefe purpofes, it is 
wonderfully adapted by nature.* 

Thus admirably is this animal fitted for a life of darknefs and 
folitude ; with no appetites but what it can eafily indulge, 
with no enemies but what it can eafily evade or conquer. As 
foon as it has once buried itfelf in the earth, it feldom ftirs out, 
\mlefs forced by violent rains in fummer, or v hen in purfuit of 
Its prey, it happens to come too near the furface, and thus gets 
into the open air, uhich may be coniidered as its unnatural ele- 
ment. In general, it choofts the loofer, fofter grounds, beneath 
which it can travel with greater eafe ; in fuch alfo it generally 
finds the greateft number of worms and infects, upon which it 
chiefly preys. It is obferved to be moft active, and to caft up 
mod earth, immediately before rain ; and, in winter, before a 
thaw : at thofe times the worms and infects begin to be in 
.motion , and approach the furface, whither this induftrious 
animal purfues them. On the contrary, in very dry weather, 
the mole feldom or never forms any hillocks ; for then it is 
obliged to penetrate deeper after its prey, which at fuch fea- 
fons retire far into the ground. 

As the moles very feldom come above ground*, they have 
but few enemies j and very readily evade the purfuit of ani- 
mals ftronger and fwifter than themfelves. Their greateft ca- 
lamity is an inundation , which, wherever it happens, they 
are feen, in numbers, attempting to fave themfelves by 
fwimming, and ufing every effort to reach the higher grounds. 
The greateft part, however, perim, as well as their young, 
which remain in the holes behind. Were it not for fuch acci- 
dents, from their great fecundity, they would become extremely 
troublefome ; and as it is, in fome places, they are confidered 

* Tcfles habet maximos, paraltatas ampliffimas, novum corpus feminale ab 
liis diverfum ac feparatum Penem ctilni facile omnium, ni fallor, animalium 
longillimum, ex quibus colligere eft maximam prz reliquis omnibus animali- 
bus voluptatem in coitu, hoc abjectum et vile animalculum percipere, ut tia- 
bcant quod ipfi invideant qui in hoc fupremas vltx fuse delicias collocant : 
Raii Synopf Quadrup. p. 239. Huic opinion! allentitur D. Buffon, attamen 
non mihi apparet magnitudinem partium talem voluptatem augere . Marihu& 
cnim falaciffiini* contrarium obtinet. f Buffon. 

VOL. II. 2 O 


by the farmer as his greateft peft. They couple towards the 
approach of fpring ; and their young are found about the 
beginingof May. 1 hey generally have four or five at a time ; 
and it is eafy to diftinguifh among other mole hills, that in 
which the female has brought fofililier young. Thefe are made 1 
with much greater art than the reft; and are uiually larger. 
The female, in order to form this retreat, begins by creeling 
t-hc earth into a tolerable fpacious apartment, which is fup- 
orted within by partitions at proper diftahces, that prevent the 
roof from falling. All round this (he works, and beats the earth 
very firm, fo as to make it capable of keeping out the rain, let 
it be ' never fo violent. As the hillock in which this apartment 
is thus formed, is raifed above ground, the apartment itfelf is 
c'onfeqtiently above the level of the plain, arid therefore, lefs 
fnbjecl to accidental flight inundations. The place being thus 
fitted, flie then procures graft and dry leaves, as a bed for her 
Voung. There they lie fecurc from wet, and (lie continues to 
make their retreat Equally fo from danger; for all round this 
hill of her own raifing, are holes running into the earth, that 
part from the middle apartment, like rays from a centre, and 
extend about fifteen feet in every direction : thefe referable fo 
many walks or chaces, into which the animal makes her fub- 
terraneous excuriions, and fupplies her young with fuch roots 
or infects as (he can provide ; but they contribute ftill more 
to the general fafety ; for, as the mole is very quick of hear- 
ing, the inflant fhe perceives her little habitation attacked, fhe 
takes to her burrow, and, unlefs the earth be dug away by fe- 
veral men at once^ flie and her young always make a good 

The mole is fcarcery found, except in cultivated coun- 
tries : the varieties are but few. That which is found in Vir- 
ginia, refembles the common mole, except in colour, which is 
black, mixed with a deep^purple. There are fometimes white 
moles, feen particularly in Poland, rather larger than the for- 
mer. As their (kin is fo very foft and beautiful, it is odd that 
it has not been turned to any advantage. Agricola tells us^ 
that he faw hats made from it, the ftneit and the moft beauti- 
ful that could be imagined. 



Of Animals of the Hedge-No^ or Pr'tckh Kl 

ANIMALS of the hedge-hog kind require but very little 
accuracy to diftinguifh them from all others. That hair 
which the generality of quadrupeds for warmth and 
ornament, is partly wanting in thefe , while its place is fup r 
plied by {harp, fpines or prickles., that ferye for their defence. 
This general charaftenftic, therefore, makes a much more ob- 
vious diftincUon than any that can be taken from their teeth 
or their claws. Nature, by this extraordinary peculiarity, 
feems to have feparated them in a very diftinguifhed manner; 
fo that, inftead of claffing the hedge-hog among the moles, or 
the porcupine with the hare, as fome have done, it 15 much 
more natural and obvious to place them, and others approach- 
ing them in this itrange peculiarity, in a clafs by themfelves : 
nor let it be fuppofed, that whiie I thus alter their arrangement, 
and feparate them from animals with which they have been for- 
merly combined, that I am deftroying any fecret affinities that 
exift in nature. It is natural, indeed, for readers to fuppofe, 
when they fee two fuch oppofite animals as the hare and the 
porcupine afTembled together in the fame group, that there 
nmft be fome material reafon, fome fecret connexion, for thus 
joining animals fo little refembiing each other in appearance. 
But the reafons for this union wei'e very flight, and merely 
arofe from a (imilitude in the fore-teeth: no likenefs in the 
internal conformation ; no fimilitude in nature, in habitudes, 
or difpofition ; in fhort, nothing to fatten, the link that com- 
bines them, but the fimilitude in the teeth : this, therefore, 
may be eafily difpenfed with ; and, as wasfaid, it will be moil 
proper to clafs them according to their moft ftriking iirnili- 

The hedge-hog, with an appearance the moft formidable, is 
jet cae of the moft harmlefs animals in the world f unable o$ 


unwilling to offend, all its precautions are only "dire&ed to its 
own fecurity; and it is armed with a thoufand points, to keep 
off the enemy, but not to invade him. While other creatures 
truft to their force, their cunning, or their fwiftnefs, this ani- 
mal, deftitute of all, has but one expedient for fafety ; and from 
this alone it often finds prote&ion. As foon as it perceives it- 
felf attacked, it withdraws all its vulnerable parts, rolls itfelf 
into a ball, and prefents nothing but its defensive thorns to the 
enemy ; thus, while it attempts to injure no other quadruped, 
they are equally incapable of injuring it : like thofe knights, 
we have fomewhere read of, who were armed in fuch a man- 
ner, that they could neither conquer others, nor be themfelves 

This animal is of two kinds ; one with a nofe like the, 
fnout of a hog ; the other, more {hort and blunt, like that of 
a dog. That, with the muzzle of a dog, is the moft common, 
being about fix inches in length, from the tip of the nofe to 
the infer tion of the tail. The tail is little more than an inch 
long 5 and fo concealed by the fpines, as to be fcarce -vifible : 
the head, back and fides, are covered with prickles ; the nofe, 
breaft, and belly, are covered with fine foft hair* ^ the legs are 
fhort, of a dulky colour, and almoft bare ; the toes on each 
foot, are five in number, long and feparated 5 the prickles are 
about an inch in length, and very fharp pointed ; their lov/er 
part is white, the middle black, and the points white : the eyes 
are fmall, and placed high in the head ; the ears are round, 
precty large, and naked ; the mouth is fmall, but well furnifh- 
ed with teeth ; thefe, however, it only ufes in chewing its food, 
but neither in attacking nor defending itfelf againft other ani- 
mals. Its only reliance, in cafes of danger, is on its fpines ; 
the inftant it perceives an enemy, it puts itfelf into a pofture 
of defence, and keeps upon its guard, until it fuppofes the dan- 
ger over. On fuch occafions, it immediately alters its whole 
appearance : from its ufual form, fornewhat refembling a fmall 
animal, with a bunch on its back, the animal begins to bend 

* Praeputium propendcns. JLinmei Syft. 75, Audofthefeiualhemi^ht Jtate 
laid, refupina copulatur. 


its back, to lay its head upon its breaft, to fliut its eyes, to roll 
down the fkin of its fides towards the legs, to draw thefe up, 
and, lailly, to tuck them in on every fide, by drawing the Ikin 
ftill clofer. In this form, which the hedge-hog always puts on 
when difturbed, it no way refembles an animal, but rather a 
roundim mafs of prickles, impervious on every fide. The (hape 
of the animal thus rolled up, fomewhat refembles a chefnut in 
the hufk ; there being, on one fide, a kind of flat fpace, which 
is that on which the head and legs have been tucked in. 

Such is the ufual appearance of the hedge-hog, upon the 
approach of any danger. Thus rolled up in a lump, it patiently 
waits till its enemy paffes by, or ib fatigued with fruitlefs at- 
tempts to annoy it. The cat, the weaiel, the ferret, and the 
martin, quickly decline the combat ; and the dog himfelf 
generally fpends his time in empty menaces, rather than in 
effectual efforts. Every increafe of danger only increafes the 
animal's precautions to keep on its guard ; its aiiaiiant vainly 
attempts to bite, fmce he thus more frequently feck than in- 
flicts a wound ; he (lands enraged and barking, and rolls it 
along with his paws ; ftill, however, the hedge-hog patiently 
fubmits to every indignity, but continues fecurc ; and ftill more 
to difguft its enemy with the conteft, meds its urine, the fmell 
of which is alone fufficient to fend him away. In this manner, 
the dog, after barking for fome time, leaves the hedge-hog where 
he found him 5 who, perceiving the danger paft, at length 
peeps out from its ball, and, if not interrupted, creeps (lowly 
to its retreat. 

The hedge-hog, like moft other wild animals, fleeps by day 
and ventures out by night. It generally re fides in finall 
thickets, in hedges, or in ditches covered with bufhes ; there 
it makes a hole of about fix or eight inches deep, and lies well 
wrapped up in mofs, grafs, or leaves. Its food is roots, fruits, 
worms and infects. It is alfo faid to fuck cattle, and hurt their 
udders ; but the fmallnefs of its mouth will ferve to clear it 
from this reproach. It is faid alfo to be very hurtful in gardens 
ind orchards, where it will roll itfelf in a heap of fruit, and 
Co carry a large quantity away upon its prickles 5 but this im- 


putation is as ill grounded as. the former, fince the fpines ara 
ib difpofed, that no fruit will Hick upon them, even if we 
fhould try to fix them on. It rather appears to be a very fei~ 
viceable animal, in ridding our fields of infe6ts and worms, 
which are fo prejudicial to vegetation. 

Mr. BufFon, who kept thefe animals t.ime about his houfe, 
acquits them of the reproach of being mifchievous in the gar- 
den \ but then he accufes them of tricks, of which, from th^ 
form ami habits of this animal, one would be never led to fuf- 
pe& them, <* I have often," fays he, had the female and her 
young brought me about the beginning of June: they are 
generally from three to five in number-, they are white in the 
beginning, and only the marks of their fpines appear : I was 
willing to rear fome of them -, and, accordingly, put the dam 
and her young into a tub, with abundant provifion befide 
them -, but the old animal, inftead of fuckling her young, de- 
voured them all, one after another. On another occafion, a 
hedge-hog that had made its way into the kitchen, difcovered 
a little pot, in which there was meat prepared for boiling ; the 
iniichievous animal drew out the meat, and left its excrements 
in the Itead. I kept males and females in the fame apartment, 
where they lived together, but never coupled. I permitted fe-_ 
veral of them to go about my garden $ they did very little da- 
mage, and it was fcarcely perceivable that they were there : 
they lived upon the fruits that fell from the trees; they dug the 
earth into mallow holes ; they ate caterpillars, beetles, and; 
worms 5 they were alfo vety fond of ilefh, which they devoured 
boiled or raw.'*- 

They couple in fpnng, and bring forth about the beginning 
of fiuniner. They fleep during the winter ; anji, what is faid of 
their laying up provisions fpr that feafon, is consequently falfo. 
They at no time eat much, and can remain very long without 
any food whatfoever. Their blood is cold, like all other am- 
4nals that fleep during the winter. Their ilefli is not good fo;; 
food ; and their ikins are converted to fearce any ufe, except 
calves, to keep them from fucking. 


, ''//:. 


^ THE tanrec nnd tendrac, are two Httle animals, defcrilv 
cd by mr. BufFon, of the hedge-hog kind ; but yet fufilciently 
different from it, to conftitute a different fpecies. Like the 
hedge-hog, they are covered with prickles, though mixed in i 
greater proportion with hair , bur, unlike that animal, they do 
not defend themfelves by rolling up in a ball. Their wanting 
tiiis lafl property is alone Sufficient to diftinguifh them from 
an animal in which it makes the mod ftriking peculiarity : as 
alfo, rhat in the Eaft-Indies, where only they are found, the 
hedge-hog exi'fts feparately alfo : a manifeft .proof that this 
animal is not a variety caiifed by the climate, 

The tanrec is much lefs than the hedge-hog*, being about 
'the fize of a mole, and covered with prickles, like that animal, 
except that they are fhorter and fmaller. The tendrac is ftill 
lefs than the former, and is defended only with prickles upon 
the head, the neck and the (boulders ; the reft being covered 
with a coai fe hair, refembling a hog's briftles. Thefe little 
animals, whofe legs are very fhort, move but flowly. They 
^runt like a hog ; and wallow, like it, in the mire. They 
love to be near water ; and fpend more of their tiiiqe there than 
upon land. They are chiefly in creeks and harbours of fait water. 
They multiply in great numbers, make themfelves holes in the 
ground, and ileep for feveral months. During this torpid ft ate* 
th ;ir hairs (and I ihould alfo fuppoie their prickles) fall ; and 
they are renewed upon thsir revival. They are ufually very- 
fat , and although their flefh be infipid, foft, and flringy, yet 
the Indians find it to their taile, and confider it as a very great 

* BufFon. Tol. zxv, p. 254, 



THOSE arms which the hedge-hog poffeffes in miniature, 
the porcupine has in a more enlarged degree. The (hort pric- 
kles of the hedge-hog are, in this animal, converted into (hafts. 
In the one the fpines are about an inch long j in the other, a 
foot. The porcupine is about two feet long and fifteen inches 
high. Like the hedge-hog, it appears a mafs of mifhapen flefh, 
covered with quills, from ten to fourteen inches long, refemb- 
ling the barrel of a goofe-quill in thicknefs ; but tapering and 
(harp at both ends. Thefe, whether confidered feparately or to- 
gether, afford fufficient fubjecl: to detain curiofity. Each quill 
is thickeft in the middle ; and inferted into the animal's fldn, 
in the fame manner as feathers are found to grow upon birds, 
It is within fide fpongy, like the top of a goofe-quill ; and of 
different colours, being white and black alternately, from one 
end to the other. The biggeft are often found fifteen inches 
long, and a quarter of an inch in diameter ; extremely fharp ? 
and capable of inflicting a mortal wound. They feem harder 
than common quills, being difficult to be cut, and folid at that 
end which is not fixed in the fkin. If we examine them in 
common, as they grow upon the animal, they appear of two 
kinds ; the one, fuch as I have already defcribed ; the other, 
long, flexible and flender, growing here and there among the 
former. There is ftill another fort of quills, that grow near the 
tail, white and tranfparent, like writing quills, and that feem 
to be cut fhort at the end. All thefe quills, of whatfoever kind, 
incline backwards, like the briftles of a hog ; but when the ani- 
mal is irritated, they rife and ftand upright, as briftles are 
feen to do. 

Such is the formation of this quadruped, in thofe parts in 
which it differs from moft others : as to the reft of its figure, the 
muzzle bears fome refcmblance to that of a hare, but black ; 
the legs are very fhort, and the feet have five toes, both before 
and behind ; and thefe, as well as the belly, the head, and all 
ther parts of the body, are covered with a fort of fhort hair, 


like prickles, there being no part except the ears and the fole of 
the foot, that is free from them : the ears are thinly covered 
with very fine hair ; and are in fhape like thofe of mankind : 
the eyes are fmall, like thofe of a hog, being only one third 
of an inch from one corner to the other. After the fkin is taken 
off, there appears a kind of paps on thofe parts of the body from 
whence the large quills proceed , thefe are about the fize of 
a fmall pea, each anfwering to as many holes which appear on, 
the outward furface of the fkin, and which are about half an 
inch deep, like as many hollow pipes, wherein^the quills ar$- 
fixed, as in fo many (heaths. 

This animal feems to partake very much of the nature <% 
the hedge-hog ; having this formidable apparatus of arms rather 
to defend itfelf, than annoy the enemy. There have been, in- 
deed, many naturalifts who fuppofed that it was capable of dif- 
charging them at its foes, and killing at a great diftancc off f 
But this opinion has been entirely difcredited of late ; and it is 
now univerfally believed, that its quills remain firmly fixed in 
the fkin, and are then only fhed when the animal moults them, 
as birds do their feathers. It is true, we are told by Ellis, that 
a wolf at Hudfon's bay was found dead, with the quills of a 
porcupine fixed within its mouth ; which might have very well 
happened, from the voracioufnefs of the former, and not the 
refentment of the latter. That rapacious creature, in the rage 
of appetite, might have attempted to devour the porcupine, 
quills and all, and very probably paid the forfeit, by its life. 
However this be, of all the porcupines that have been brought 
into Europe, not one was ever feen to launch its quills ; and 
yet the irritations they received were fufficient to have pro- 
voked their utmofl indignation. Of all the porcupines that 
doctor Shaw obferved in Africa, and he fa\v numbers, not one 
ever attempted to dart its quills, their ufual manner of defence 
being, to lie on one fide, and when the enemy Approaches very 
near, by fuddenly rifmg, to wound him with the points on the 

VOL. II. 2 P 


It is probable, therefore, that the porcupine is feldom the 
aggreflbr ; and when attacked by the bolder animals, it only 
directs its quills fo as to keep always pointing towards the 
enemy. Thefe are an ample protection ; and, as we are allur- 
ed by Kolben, at fuch times, even the lion himfelf will not 
venture to make an attack. From fuch, therefore, the porcu- 
pine can defend itfelf ; and chiefly hunts for ferpents, and all 
other reptiles, for fubfiftence. Travellers univerfally allure us, 
that, between the ferpent and the porcupine there exifts an ir- 
reconcileable enmity, and that they never meet without a mor- 
tal engagement-)-. The porcupine, on thefe occafions, is faid to 
roll itfelf upon the ferpent, and thus deftroy and devour it. 
This may be true ; while what we are informed by monfieur 
Sarrafin, of the porcupine of Canada chiefly fubfiiting on 
vegetables, may be equally fo. Thofe which are brought to 
this country to be fhown, are ufually fed on bread, milk, and 
fruits , but they will not refufe meat when it is offered them ; 
and'it is probable, they prefer it in a wild ftate, when it is to be 
had J. The porcupine is alfo known to be extremely hurtful to 
gardens ; and, where it enters, does incredible damage. 

The Americans who hunt this animal, aflure us, that the 
porcupine lives from twelve to fifteen years. During the time 
of coupling, which is in the month of September, the males 
become very fierce and dangerous, and often are feen to de- 
ftroy each other with their teeth. The female goes with young 
feven months, and brings forth but one at a time ; this fhe 
fucklcs but about a month, and accuftoms it betimes to live, 
like herfelf, upon vegetables and the bark of trees ; fhe is very 
fierce in its defence ; but, at other feafons, fhe is fearful, timid, 
and harmlefs. The porcupine never attempts to bite, nor any 
way to injure its purfuers : if hunted by a dog or a wolf, it 
inftantly dimbs up a tree, and continues there until it has wea- 
ried out the patience of its adverfary ; the wolf knows by ex- 
perience how fruitlefs it would be to wait, he therefore leaves 
the porcupine above, and feeks out for a new adventure. 

) Bofman. Smith. L. P. Vincent Marie, &c. J Buflfon. 


The porcupine does not cfcape fo well from the Indian hun- 
ter, who eagerly purfues it, in order to make embroidery of its 
quills, and to eat its flefh. This, as we are commonly told, is 
very tolerable eating ; however, we may expect wretched pro- 
vifions when the favages are to be our caterers, for they eat 
every thing that has life. But they are very ingenious with re- 
gard to fheir embroidery : If I underftand the accounts rightly, 
they dye the quiils of various colours, and then fplitting them 
into flips, as we fee in the making of a cane-chair, they em- 
broider, with thefe, their belts, bafkets, and feveral other ne- 
ceiTary pieces of furniture. 

As to the reft, there are many things related concerning this 
animal that are fabulous ; but there are ftill many circum- 
ilances more, that yet remain to be known. It were curious 
to enquire whether this animal moults its quills when wild, 
for it is never feen to med them in a domeftic ftate , whether 
it fleeps all the winter, as we are told by fome naturalifts, 
which we are fure it does not when brought into our country;, 
and, laftly, whether its quills can be fent off with a make ; for 
no lefs a naturalift than Reaumur was of that opinion. 

All that we can learn of an animal expofed as a mow, or 
even by its diffe&ion, is but merely its conformation ; and that 
makes one of the leaft interefting parts of its hiftory. We are 
naturally led, when prefented with an extraordinary creature, 
to expect fomething extraordinary in its way of living, fome- 
thing uncommon, and correfponding with its figure ; but of 
this animal we know little with any precifion, except what it 
offers in a ftate of captivity. In fuch a fituation, that which I 
faw, appeared to very little advantage : it was extremely dull 
and torpid, though very wakeful ; and extremely voracious, 
though very capable of fuftaining hunger; as averfe to a: y 
attachment, as to being tamed : it \vas kept in an iron cage, 
and the touching one of the bars was fufficient to excite its re- 
fentment, for its quills were inftantly ere&ed ; and the poet 
was right in his epithet of fretful, for it appeared to me the 
moft irafcible creature upon earth. 


The porcupines of -America differ very much from that of 
the ancient continent, which we have been defcribing ; and, 
ftriclly fpeaking, may be confidered as animals of a different 
fpecies : however, from their being covered with quills, we will 
only add theni as varieties of the former, fmce we know very 
little concerning them, except their difference of figure. They 
are of two kinds ; the one called the couando j and th$ other, 
iirft named by mr. Buffon, the urfon : the one a native of the 
northern parts of America ; the other of the fouth ; and both 
differing from the former, in having long tails^ whereas that 
has a very fhort one; 

The couando is much lefs than the porcupine 5 its quills are 
four times fhorter, its friout more unlike that of a hare ; its 
tail is long enough to catch by the branches of trees, and hold 
by them. It may be eafily tamed, and is to be found chiefly in 
the fouthern parts of America ; yet is not wanting alfo in the 
northern : 

The uffon, which mr. Buffon calls after our countryman 
tludfon, is a native of Hudfon's bay. The make of the body 
of this animal is not fo round as that of the two former, but 
fomewhat refembling the fhape of a pig. It is covered with 
long briflly hair, with a fhorter hair underneath ; and under 
this the quills lie concealed very thick , they are white, with a 
brown point, and bearded, and the longeft do not exceed four 
inches ; they ftick to the hand when the animal is flroked on 
the back , and likewife, when the hand is taken away, they ftick 
fo fafl as to follow it. They make their nefts under the roots of 
great trees, fleep very much, and chiefly feed upon the bark of 
the juniper. In winter the fnow ferves them for drink ; and in 
fummer they lap water, like a dog. They are very common in 
the country lying to the eaft of Hudfon's bay ; and feveral of 
the trading Americans depend on them for food, at fome fea- 
fons of the year. 



Of Quadrupeds covered 'with Scales or Shells in/lead of Hair*. 

WHEN we talk of a quadruped, the name feems to im- 
ply an animal covered with hair ; when we mention a 
bird, it is natural to conceive a creature covered with feathers ; 
when we hear of a fifh, its fcales are generally the firft part 
that ftrikes our imagination. Nature, however, owns none of 
our diftinctions ; various in all her operations, fhe mixes her 
plans, groups her pictures, and excites our wonder as well by 
her general laws as by her deviations. Quadrupeds which we 
have confidered as making the firft general clafs in animated 
nature, and next to man, the moft dignified tenants of the 
earth, are yet in many refpedls related to the clafTes beneath 
them, and do not in every refpeft preferve their ufual diftinc- 
tions. Their firft character, which confifts in having four feet, 
is common to the lizard kind as well as to them. The fecond 
prerogative, which is that of bringing forth living young, is 
found in the cetaceous tribe of fimes, and alfo in infels with- 
out number. Their third and laft attribute, which feems more 
general and conftant than the former, that of being covered 
with hair, is yet found in various other animals, and is defici- 
ent in quadrupeds themfelves. Thus we muft be cautious of 
judging of the nature of animals from one fingle character, 
which is always found incomplete 5 for it often happens that 
three or four of the moft general characters will not fuffice. 
It muft be by a general enumeration of the parts that we can 
determine precifely of the works of the creation ; and, inftead 
of definitions, learn to defcribe. Had this method been fol- 
lowed, much of the difguft and the intricacy of hiftory might 
have been avoided, and that time, which is now employed in 
combating error, laid out in the promoting of fcience. 

* This chapter is chiefly extracted from mr. Buffbn, which I mrntion at 
once, to fave the trouble of repeated quotation. 


"Were we to judge of nature from definitions only, we 
ihould never be induced to fuppofe that there exifted races of 
viviparous quadrupeds deftitute of hair, and furniihed with 
fcales and fhells in their flead. However, nature every way 
various, fupplies us with many inftances of thefe extraordi- 
nary creatures ; the old world has its quadrupeds covered with 
fcales, and. the new with a {hell. In both they refembl%each 
other, as well in the ftrangenefs of their appetites as in their 
aukward conformation. Like animals but partially made up, 
and partaking of different natures, they want thofe inftin&s 
which animals formed but for one element alone are found to 
po fiefs. They feem to be a kind of ftrangers in nature, crea- 
tures taken from fome other element, and capricioufly thrown 
to find a precarious fubfiftence upon land. 

The pangolin, which has been ufually called the fcaly li- 
zard, mr. BufFon very judicioufly reftores to that denomina- 
tion by which it is known in the countries where it is found. 
The calling it a lizard, he juftly obferves, might be apt to pro- 
duce error, and occafion its being confounded with an animal 
which it refembles only in its general form, and in its being 
covered with fcales. The lizard may be confidered 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 fcales ; the pangoliii'has fcales 
neither on the throat, the breaft, nor the belly. The fcales of 
the lizard feem fluck upon the body evenclofer than thofe of 
fifties ; the fcales of the pangolin are only fixed at one end, and 
capable of being erected, like thofe of the porcupine, at the 
will of the animal. The lizard is a defencelefs creature ; the 
pangolin .can roll itfelf into a ball, like the hedge-hog, and 
prefent the points of its fcales to the enemy, which effectually 
defend it. 

The pangolin, which is a native of the torrid climates of 
the ancient continent, is, of all ether animals, the beil protec- 
ted from external injury by nature. It is about three or four 
feet long, or, taking in the tail, from fix to eight. Like the !! 


zard, it has a fmall head, a very long nofe, a fhort thick neck, 
a long body, legs very fhort, and a tail extremely long, thick 
at the infenion, and terminating in a point. It has no teeth, 
but is ar med with five toes on each foot, \\ ith long white 
claws. But what it is chiefly diflinguifhed by, is, its fcaly co- 
vering, which, in fome meafure, hides all the proportions of its 
body. Thefe fcales defend the animal on all parts, except the 
under part of the head and neck, under the moulders^ the 
breaft, the belly, and the inner fide of the legs ; all which 
parts are covered with a fmooth foft fkin, without hair. -Be- 
tween the {hells of this animal, at all the interftices, are feen 
hairs like bridles, brown at the extremity and yellow towards 
the root. The fcales of this extraordinary creature are of dif- 
ferent fizes and different forms, and (luck upon the body 
fomewhat like the leaves of an artichoke. The largeft are found 
near the tail, which is covered with them like the reft of the 
body. Thefe are above three inches broad, and about two in- 
ches long, thick in the middle and (harp at the edges, and ter- 
minated in a roundifh point. They are extremely hard, and 
their fubftance refembles that of horn. They are convex on 
the outfide and a little concave on the inner ; one edge flicks 
in the fkin, while the other laps over that immediately behind it. 
Thofe that cover the tail conform to the (hape of that part, 
being of a duiky brown colour, andfo hard, when the animal 
has acquired its full growth, as to turn a mufket-ball. 

Thus armed, this animal fears nothing from the efforts of all 
other creatures, except man. The inftant it perceives the ap- 
proach of an enemy, it rolls itfelf up like the hedge-hog, and 
prefents no pnrt but the cutting edges of its fcales to the aiTail- 
ant. Its long tail, which, at firil view, might be thought eafily 
feparable, ferves flill more to increafe the animal's fecuritv. 
This is lapped round the reft of the body, and, being defended 
with fhells even more cutting than any other part, the creature 
continues in perfect fecurity. Its fhells are fo large, fo thick, 
and fo pointed, that they repel every animal of prey ; they make 
a coat of armour that wounds while it refifts, and at once 
protects and'threatens. The molt cruel, the mofl famimed 


quadruped of the foreft, the tiger, the panther, and the hyaena, 
make vain attempts to force it. They tread upon, they roll it 
about, but all to no purpofe ; the pangolin remains fafe within, 
while its invader almoft always feels the reward of its rafli- 
nefs. The fox often deftroys the hedge-hog bypreffing it with 
his weight, and thus obliges it to put forth its nofe, which he 
inftantly feizes, and foon after the whole body ; but the fcales 
of the pangolin effectually fupport it under any fuch weight, 
while nothing that the ftrongeft animals are capable of doing, 
can compel it to furrender. Man alone feems furnifhed with 
arms to coiiquer its obftinacy. The negroes of Africa, when 
they find it, beat it to death with clubs, and confider its flefh as 
a very great delicacy. 

But, although this animal be fo formidable in its appear- 
ance, there cannot be a more harmlefs, inoffenfive creature 
when unmolefled. It is even unqualified by nature to injure 
larger animals, if it had the difpofition, for it has no teeth. 
It (hould feem that the bony matter, which goes in other ani- 
mals to fupply the teeth, is exhaufted in this, in fupplying the 
fcales that go to the covering of its body. However this be, 
its life feems correfpondent to its peculiar conformation. Inca- 
pable of being carnivorous, fince it has no teeth, nor of fubfift- 
ing on vegetables, which require much chewing, it lives en* 
tirely upon infecls, for which nature has fitted it in a very ex- 
traordinary manner. As it has a long nofe, fo it may natu- 
rally be fuppofed to have a long tongue ; but, to increafe its 
length ftill more, it is doubled in the mouth, fo that when 
extended, it is fhot out to above a quarter of a yard beyond the 
tip of the nofe. This tongue is round, extremely red, and co- 
vered with an untuous and flimy liquor, which gives it a 
ihining hue. When the pangolin, therefore, approaches an 
ant hill, for thefe are the infecls on which it chiefly feeds, 
it lies down near it, concealing as much as poffible the place 
of its retreat, and ftretching out its long tongue among the 
ants, keeps it for fome time quite immoveable. Thcfe little 
animals, allured by its appearance, and the undtuous fubftance 
with which it is fmeared, inftantly gather upon it in great 


numbers ; and when the pangolin fuppofes a fufficlency, it 
quickly withdraws the tongue, and (wallows them at once. 
This peculiar manner of hunting for its prey is repeated ei- 
ther till it be fatisfied, or till the ants, grown more cautious, 
will be allured K> their deftruclion no longer. It is again ft thefe 
noxious infects, therefore, that its only force or cunning is 
exerted ; and were the negroes but fuiliciently fenfible of its 
utility in deftroying one of the grealeft pelts to their country, 
they would not be fo eager to kill it. But it is the nature of 
favage men to purfue the immediate gcod, without being fo- 
licitous about the more diftant benefit they remove. They, 
therefore, hunt this animal, with the utmoft avidity, for its 
flefh j and, as it is flow and unable to efcape in an open place, 
they feldom fail of deftroying it. Howsver, it chiefly keeps in 
the moft obfcure parts of the foreft, and digs itfclf a retreat 
in the clefts of rocks, where it brings forth its young, fo that 
it is but rarely met with, and continues a folirary fpeeies, and 
an extraordinary inftance of the varying of nature. 

Of this animal, there is a variety which is called the pha- 
tagin, much lefs than the former, being not above a fcot long 
from the head te the tail, with fhells differently formed, with 
its belly, breaft, and throat covered with hair, inftoad of a 
fmooth (kin as in the former j but that by which it is pecu- 
liarly diitinguimed is the extent of its tail, which is above 
twice the length of its body. Both are found in the warm 
latitudes of the eaft, as well as in Africa ; and, as their num- 
bers are but few, it is to be fuppofed their fecundity is not 


HAVING mentioned quadrupeds of the ancient contv- 
Kent covered with fcales, we come next to quadrupeds of the 
new continent covered with (hells. It would feem that nature 
had referved all the wonders of her power for. thefe remote* 

VOL. IL 2 


and thinly inhabited countries, where the men are favage and 
the quadrupeds various. It would feem that fhe becomes 
more extraordinary in proportion as fhe retires from human 
infpeaion. But the real fad is, that wherever mankind are 
polifhed, or thickly planted, they foon rid tlie earth of thefe 
odd and half-formed produdions, that, in fome meafure, en- 
cumber the foil. They foon difappear in a cultivated country, 
and continue to exift only in thofe remote dcferts where they 
have no -enemies but fuch as they are enabled to oppofe. 

The armadillo is chiefly an inhabitant of South- America ;, 
a peaceful, harmlefs creature, incapable of offending any other 
quadruped, and furnifhed \vith a peculiar covering for its 
own defence. The pangolin, defcribed above, feems an in- 
active helplefs being, indebted for fafety more to its patience 
than its power , but the armadillo is flill more expofed and 
helplefs. The pangolin is furniihed with an armour that 
wounds while it refifts, and that is never attacked with im- 
punity ; but the armadillo is obliged to fubmit to every infult, 
without any power of repelling its. enemy; it is attacked 
without danger, and is confequently liable to more various- 

This animal being covered, like a tortoife, with a {hell, or 
rather a number of (hells, its other proportions are not eafily 
difcerned. It appears, at firit view, a round mifhapen mafs, 
with a long head, and a very large tail flicking out at either 
end, as if not of a piece with the reft of the body. It is of 
different fizes, from a foot to three feet long, and covered 
with a (hell divided into feveral pieces, that lap over each 
other, like the plates in a coat of armour, or in the tail of a 
lobfter. The difference in the fize of this animal, and alfo the 
different difpofition and number of its plates, have been con- 
fidered as conftituting fo many fpecies, each marked with its 
own particular name. In all, however, the animal is partially- 
covered with this natural coat of mail ; the conformation of 
which affords one of the moft flriking curiofities in natural 
hiftory. This ftiell, which, in every refpecl:, refembles a bony 


fubftance, covers the head, the neck, the back, the fides, the 
rump, and the tail to the very point. The only parts to which 
it does not extend, are, the throat, the breait, and the belly, 
which are covered with a white, foft (kin, fomewhat refem- 
bling that of a fowl dripped of its feathers. If thefe naked 
parts be obferved with attention, they will be found covered 
\viih the rudiments of (hells, of the fame fubftance with 
thofe which cover the back. The (kin, even in the parts that 
are fofteil, feems to have a tendency to oflify ; but a complete 
edification takes place only on thofe parts which have the 
lead fri&ion, and are the moft expofed to the weather. The 
fliell, which covers the upper part of the body, differs from 
that of the tortoife, in being compofed of more pieces than 
one, which lie in bands over the body, and, as in the tail o 
the lobfter, flide over each other, and are connected by a yel- 
low membrane in the fame manner. By this means, the ani- 
mal has a motion in its back, and the armour gives way to its 
neceflary inflexions. Thefe bands are of various numbers and 
fizes, and from them thefe animals have been diflinguifhed 
into various kinds. In general, however, there are two large 
pieces that cover, one the fhouiders, and the other the rump. 
In the back, between thefe, the bands are placed in different 
numbers, that lap over each other, and give play to the whole. 
Befides their opening crofs-ways, they alfo open down along 
the back, fo that the animal can move in every direction. In 
fome, there are but three of thefe bands between the large 
pieces ; in others there are fix ; in a third kind, there are 
eight ; in a fourth kind, nine ; in a fifth kind, twelve j and, 
laftly, in the fixth* kind, there is but one large piece, which 
covers the moulders, and the reft of the body is covered with 
bands all down to the tail. Thefe (hells are differently coloured 
in different kinds, but moft ufually they are of a dirty grey. 
This colour in all arifes from another peculiar circumftance 
in their conformation, for the fhell itfelf is covered with a 
foftim fkin, which is fmooth and tranfparent. 

But, although thefe (hells might eafily defend this animal 
from a feeble enemy, yet they could make but a flight refinance 


again/I a more powerful antagoniil ; nature, therefore, lias gi- 
ven the armadillo the fame method of protecting itfelf with the 
liedge-hog or the pangolin. The inftant it perceives itfelf at- 
tacked, it withdraws the head under iis (hells, and lets nothing 
be fcen but the tip of the nofe ; if the danger increafes, the 
animaPs precautions increafe in proportion ; "it then tucks up 
its feet under its belly, unites its two extremities together, while 
the tail feems as a band to ftrengthen the connection ; and it 
thus Becomes like a ball, a little iTattifii on each fide. In this 
pofition, it continues obftiaately fixed, while the danger is near, 
and often long after it is over. In this fituation, it is toiled 
about at the pleafure of every other quadruped, and very little 
refembling a creature endowed with life and motion. When- 
ever the Indians take it, which is in this form, by laying it 
clofe to the fire, they foon oblige the poor animal to unfold 
itfelf, and to face a milder death to efcape a more fevere. 

This animal is a native only of America, for they were 
utterly unknown before the difccvcry of that continent. It is 
an inoffenfive, harmless creature, unlefs it finds the way into 
a garden, where it does a great deal of mifchief, by eating the 
melons, the potatoes, and other vegetables. Although a native 
of the warmeil parts of America, yet it bears the cold of our 
climate without any inconvenience. We have often feen them 
ihown among other wild beads, which is a proof they are not 
difficult to be brought over. Their motion feems to be a fwift 
walk, but they can neither run, leap, nor climb trees ; fo that, 
if found in an open place, 4 they have no method of efcaping 
from their purfuers. Their only refource, in fuch an extremity, 
is to make towards their hole as faft as they can ; or, if this 
be impracticable, to make a new hole before the enemy ar- 
rives. For this they require but a very few moments advan- 
tage ; for the mole itfelf does not burrow fwifter than they 
can. For this, purpofe, they are furniihed with claws extremely 
large, ftrorig, and crooked, and ufually four upon each foot. 
They are fometimes caught by the tail as they are making their 
way into the earth ; but fuch is their refiftance, and fo diifi- 
it is to draw them backward, that they leave their tail in 



tlie hand of their purfuer, and are very well contented to fave 
their lives with its lofs. The purfuers, fenfible of this, never 
drag the tail with all their force, but hold it while another 
digs the ground about them, and thus thefe animals are taken 
alive. The initant the armadillo perceives itfelf in the power 
of its enemies, it has but one lait refource, to roll itfelf up, 
and thus patiently wait whatever tortures they think proper 
to innict. The flefh of the finaller kinds is faid to be delicate 
eating ; fo that we may fuppofe they re:ceive no mercy. For 
this reafon, they are purfued with unceafing induftry ; and, 
although they burrow very deep in the earth, there have been 
many expedients ufed to force them out. The hunters fome- 
times contrive to fill the hole with fmoke, which is often fuc- 
cefsful ; they .at other times force it by pouring in water. 
They alfo bring up a fmall kind of dogs to the chace, that 
quickly overtake them, if at any diftance from their burrow, 
and oblige them to roll themfelves up in a ball, in which fi- 
gure the hunters carry them home. If, however, the armadillo 
be near a precipice, it often efcapes by rolling itfelf up, and 
then tumbling down from rock to rock, without the leaft dan- 
ger or inconvenience. They are fometimes taken in fnares 
lakl for them by the fides of rivers and low moift places, 
which they particularly frequent ; and this method, in gene- 
ral, fucceeds better than any of the former, as their burrows 
are very deep, and they feldom ftir out except in the night. 
At no time are they found at any great diftance from their 
retreats, fo that it requires fome patience and {kill to intercept 
their retreat. 

There are fcarce any of thefe that do not root the ground, 
like a hog, in fearch of fuch roots as make a principal part 
of their food. They live alfo upon melons and othsr fuccu- 
lent vegetables, and all will eat flefh when they can get it. 
They frequent water and watery places, where they feed upon 
worms, fmall fifh, and watery infects. It is pretended that 
there is a kind of friendfhip between them and the rattle- 
fnake, that they live peaceably and eommodjoufly together, 
and are frequently found in the fame hole. This, however, 


may be a friend (hip of neceffity to the armadillo ; the rattle-* 
fnake takes poffeffion of its retreats, which neither are willing 
to quit while each is incapable of injuring the other. 

As to the reft, thefe animals, though they all refemble each 
ether in the general character of being clothed with a fhell, 
yet differ a good deal in their fize, and in the parts into which 
their (hell is divided. The firft of this kind, which has but 
three band = between the two large pieces that cover the back, 
is called the tatu apara. I will not enter into an exacl defcrip* 
tion of its figure, which, how well written foever, no ima- 
gination could exaclly conceive ; and the reader would be 
more fatigued to underftand than I to write it. The tail is 
fhorter in this than any other kind, being not more than two 
inches long, while the (hell, taking all the pieces together, is 
a foot long and eight inches broad. The fecond is the tatou 
of Ray, or the encoubert of Buffon; this is diftinguifhed from 
the reft by fix bands acrofs the back; it is about the fize of 
a pig of a month old, with a fmall long head and a very long 
tail. The third is the tatuette, furniflaed with eight bands, and 
not by a great deal fo big as the former. Its tail is longer alfo, 
and its legs fhorter in proportion. Its body, from the nofe to 
the infertion of the tail, is about ten inches long, and the tail 
feven. The fourth is the pig-headed armadillo, with nine 
bands. This is much larger than the former, being about two 
feet long from the nofe to the tail. The fifth is the kabaflbu, 
or cataphratus, with twelve bands, and (till bigger than the 
former, or any other of its kind. This is often found above 
three feet long, but is never eaten as the reft are. The fixth 
is the weafel-headed armadillo, with eighteen bands, with a 
large piece before, and nothing but bands backward. This is 
above a foot long, and the tail five inches. Of all thefe, the 
kabaflbu and encoubevt are the largeft ; the reft are of a much 
fmaller kind. In the larger kinds, the (hell is much more folid 
than in the others, and the fldh is much harder and unfit for 
the table. Thefe are generally feen to refide in dry upland 
grounds, while the fmall fpecies are always found in moift 
places, and in the neighbourhood of brooks and rivers. They 

BAT KIND. 3:* 

all foil themfelves into a ball ; but thofe whofe bands arc 
feweft in number, are leafl capable of covering themfelves up 
completely. The tatu apara, for inftance, when rolled up, j>re- 
fents two great inceritices between its bands, by which it is 
very eauiy vulnerable, even by the feebieft of quadrupeds. 


Of Animals of the Bat K!:>d. 

HAVING, in the lafl chapter, defcribed a race of snimnls 
that unite the boundaries between quadrupeds and in- 
fects, I come in this to a very different cb.fs, that terve to fill 
up the chafm between quadrupeds and birds. Some nature- 
lifts, indeed, have found animals of the bat kind fo much par- 
taking of the nature of both, that they have been at a lofs in 
\vhich rank to place them, and have doubted, in giving the 
hiftory of the bat, whether it was a beaft or a bird they v 
defcribing. Thefe doubts, however, no longer exift ; they are 
now universally made to take their place among quadrupeds, 
to which their bringing forth their young alive, their hair, 
their teeth, as well as the reft of their habitudes and confor- 
mation, evidently entitle them. Pliny, Gefner, and Aldro- 
vandus, who placed them among birds, did not confider that 
they wanted every character of that order of animals, except 
the power of flying. Indeed, when this animal is feen with 
an aukward and ftruggling motion, iupporting iticlf in 
air at the duik of the evening, it prefents, in feme meafure, the 
appearance of a bird ; but nnturalifts, whofe bufmefs it is to 
examine it more clofely, to watch its habitudes, and infpecl 
into its formation, are inexcufuble for concurring in the mif- 

The bat, in fcarce any particular, refembles the bird, except 
in its power of fuflaining itfelf in the |ir. It brings forth its 
young alive ; it fuckles them 5 its mouth is furnifhed with 


teeth ; its lungs are formed like thofe of quadrupeds ; its in- 
teftines, and its fkeleton, have a complete refemblance, and 
eveij are, in fome meafure, feen to refemble thofe of mankind*. 

The bat mod common in England, is about the fize of a 
moufe ; or nearly two inches and a half long. The membranes 
that are ufually called wings, are, properly fpeaking, an exten- 
fion of the Ikin all round the body, except the head, which^ 
when the animal flies, is kept ftretched on every fide, by the 
four interior toes of the fore feet, which are enormoufly long, 
and ferve, like mafts, that keep the canvas of a fail fpread, and 
regulate its motionsf . The firfl toe is quite loofe, and ferves 
as a heel when the bat walks, or as a hook, when it would 
adhere to any thing. The hind feet are difcngaged from the 
furrounding fkin, and divided into five toes, fomewhat reiem- 
bling thofe of a moufe. The fkin, by which it flies, is of a dulky 
colour. The body is covered with a fliort fur, of a moufe co- 
lour, tinged with red. The eyes are very fmall j the ears like 
thofe of a moufe* 

This fpecies of the bat is very common in England. It makes 
its firft appearance early in fummer, and begins its flight in 
the dufk of the evening. It principally frequents the fides of 
woods, glades, and fhady walks; and is frequently obferved to 
fkim along the furface of pieces of water. It purfues gnats, 
moths, and nocturnal infects of every kind. It feeds upon 
thefe , but will not refufe meat, wherever it can find it. Its 
flight is a laborious irregular movement ; and if it happens to 
be interrupted in its courfe, it cannot readily prepare for a 
fecond elevation ; fo that, if it flrikes againft any object, and 
falls to the ground, it is ufually taken. It appears only in the 
mod pleafant evenings, when its prey is generally abroad, and 
it flies in purfuit with its mouth open. At other times, it conti- 
nues in ics retreat ; the chink of a ruined building, or the hol- 
low of a tree. Thus, this little animal, even in fummer, fleeps 
the greateft part of its time, never venturing out by day-light* 
nor in rainy weather ; never hunting in queit of prey, but for 

* Peuis Prop<&dens. j Briufli Zoology. 


ft fmall part of the night, and then returning ta its hole. But 
its fhort life is ftill more abridged by continuing in a torpid 
ftate during the winter. At the approach of the cold feafon, 
the ba: prepares for its ftate of lifelefs inactivity, and feems 
rather to choofe a place where it may continue fafe from-inter* 
ruption, than where it may be warmly or conveniently lodged, 
For this reafon, it is ufually feen hanging by its hooked claws 
to the roofs of caves, regardlefs of the eternal damps that fur- 
round it. The bat feems the only animal that will: venture to 
remain in- thefe frightful fubterranean abodes, where it conti- 
nues in a torpid ftate, unaffected by every change of the wea- 
ther. Such of this kind as are not provident enough to pro- 
cure themfelves a deep retreat, where the cold and neat feldom 
vary, are fometimes expofed to great inconveniencies ; for the 
weather often becomes fo mild in the midft of winter, as to 
warm them prematurely into life, and to allure them from their 
holes in queft of food, when nature lias not provided a fupply. 
Thefe, therefore, have feldom ftrength to return ; but, having 
exhausted themfelves in a vain purfuit, after infects which are 
not to be found, are deftroyed by the owl, or any other animal 
that follows fueh petty prey. 

The bat couples and. brings forth in fummer, generally from 
two to five at a time : of this I am certain, that I have found 
five young'ones in a hole together ; but whether they were tho 
iflue of one parent, I cannot tell. The female has but two nip- 
ples, and thofe forward on the breaft, as in the human kind. 
This was a fufficiervt motive for Linnseus to give it the title of 
a primas, to rank it in the fame order with mankind ; and to 
puili this contemptible animal among the chiefs of the creation. 
Such arbitrary afibciations produce rather ridicule than inftruc- 
tron, and render even method contemptible : however, we are 
to forgive too ftrong an attachment to fyftem in this able natu- 
ralift, fmce his application to the particular hiftory of the ani- 
mal, counterbalances the defect** 

From Linnseus we learn, that the female, makes no neft for 

* Fauna Suecia, p, 8. 

VOL, II, * & 


her young, as Tnoft birds and quadrupeds are known to do. 
She is barely content with the firft hole fhe meets, where, ftick- 
- ingherfelf by her hooks againft the fides of her apartment, fhe 
permits her young to hang at the nipple, and, in this manner, to 
continue for the firft .or feeond day. When, after fome time, 
the dam,begins to grow hungry, and finds a neceflity of furring 
abroad, (he takes her little ones and flicks them to the wall, in 
the manner fhe before hung herfelf ; there they immoveably 
cling, and patiently wait till her return. 

Thus far this animal feems clofely allied to the quadru- 
ped race. Its fimilitude to that of birds is lefs ftriking. As na- 
ture has furnifhed birds with extremely ftrong pectoral muf- 
cles, to move the wings and direct their flight, fo has it alfo 
furnifhed this animal. As birds alfo have their legs weak, and 
unfit for the pirpofes of motion, the bat has its legs fafhioned 
in the fame manner, and is never feen to walk, or, more pro- 
perly fpeaking, to pufh itfelf forward with its hind legs, but in 
cafes of extreme neceflity. The toes of the fore legs, or, if we 
may ufe the expreflkm, its extremely long fingers, extend the 
web like a membrane that lies between them; and this, which 
is extremely thin, ferves to lift the little body into the air : in 
this manner, by an unceafing percufiion, much fwifter than 
that of birds, the animal continues, and directs its flight; how- 
ever, the great labour required in flying, foon fatigues it; for, 
unlike birds, which continue for days together upon the wing, 
the bat is tired in lefs than an hour, and then returns to its hole, 
fatisfied with its fnpply, to enjoy the darknefs of its retreat. 

If we confider the bat as it is feen in our own country, we 
fliall find it a harmlefs, inoflenfive creature. It is true, that it 
now and then fteals into a larder, and, like a moufe, commits 
its petty thefts upon the fatteft parts of the bacon. But this 
happens feldom; the general tenor of its induftry is employed 
in purfuing infects that are much more noxious to us than it- 
felf can poffibly be; while its evening flight, and its unfteady 
wabbling motion, amufe the imagination, and add one figure- 
more to the pleating group of animated nature. 

BAT KIND. 515 

The varieties of this animal, efpecially in our country, are 
but fe\v ; and the differences fcarce worth enumeration. Na- 
turalifts mention the long-ear'd bat, much lefs than that gene- 
rally feen, and with much longer ears : the horfe-fhoe bat, 
with an odd protuberance round its*upper lip, fomewhat in 
the form of a horfe-fhoe ; the rhinoceros bat, with a horn 
growing from the nofe, fomewhat fimilar to that animal from 
whence it has the name. Thefe, with feveral others, whofe va- 
rieties are too numerous, and differences too minute for a de- 
tail, are all inoffenfive, minute, and contemptible ; incapable, 
from their fize, of injuring mankind, and not fufficiently nu- 
merous much to incommode him. But there is a larger race of 
bats, found in the Eaft and Weft-Indies, that are truly formi- 
dable ; each ofthefe is fmgly a dangerous enemy; but when 
they unite in flocks, they then become dreadful. Were the 
inhabitants of the African coafts*, fays Des Marchais, to eat 
animals of the bat kind, as they do in the Haft-Indies, they 
would never want a fupply of provifions. They are there in 
fuch numbers, that when they fly, they obfcure the fetting fun. 
In the morning, at peep of day, they are feen (licking upon the 
tops of the trees, and clinging to each other, like bees when 
they fwarm, or like large clufters of cocoa. '1 he Europeans of- 
ten amufe themfelves wich mooting among this huge mafs of 
living creatures, and obferving their embarraflment when 
wounded. They fometimes enter the houfes, and the Negroes 
are expert at killing them; but, although thefe people feem for- 
ever hungry, yet they regard the bat with horror, and will not 
eat it, though ready to ftarve. 

Of foreign bats, the largeft we have any certain accounts of, 
is the roufette, or the great bat of Madagafcar. This formida- 
ble creature is near four feet broad, when the wings are ex- 
tended ; and a foot long, from the tip of the nofe to the infer-' 
tion of the tail. It refembles 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 fize j in its colour, which is 

* Des Marchais, vol. ii, p. 308. 


red, like that of a fox j in its head and nofe alfo, which refenw 
tie thofe of that animal, and which have induced fornc to call 
k the flying fox: it differs alfo in the number of its teeth ; an4 
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 Madagafcar, along the coafls of Africa and 
Malabar, where it is ufually feen about the fize of a large hen, 
When they repofe, they (lick themfelves to the tops of the taU 
left trees, and hang with their heads downward. But when 
they are in motion, nothing can be more formidable : they are 
feen in clouds, darkening the air, as well by clay as by night, 
jdeftroying the ripe fruits of the country, and fometimes fettling 
upon animals, and man himfelf : they devour, indifcrirninately, 
fruits, flefli, and infects, and drink the juice of the palm-tree ; 
they are heard at night in the forefts at more than two miles 
<diftance 3 with a horrible din ; but at the approach of day, they 
ufually begin to retire: nothing is fafe from their depredations; 
they deftroy fowls and domeftic animals, unlefs preferred with 
the utmoft care, and often faften upon the inhabitants them- 
felves, attack them in the face, and inflict very terrible wounds. 
In fhort, as fome have already obferved, the ancients feem to 
have taken their idea of harpies from thefe fierce and voraci- 
ous creatures, as they both concur in many parts of the defcrip, 
tion, being equally deformed, greedy, uncleanly, and cruel. 

An animal not fo formidable, but ftill more mifchievous 
than thefe, is the American vampyre. This is lefs than the 
former; but more deformed, and ftill more numerous. It is 
furnifhed with a horn like the rhinoceros bat ; and its ears arc 
extremely long. The other kinds generally refort to the foreft, 
and the moft deferted places ; but thefe come jnto towns an4 
cities, and, after fun-fet, when they begin to fly, cover the 
ilreets like a canopy*. They are the common peft both of men 
$nd animals ; they effectually deftroy the one, and often dif- 
trefs the other. " Truey are, 7 ' fays Ulloa, the moft expert 
fcjpod-letters in the world. The inhabitants of thofe warm hr 

f Ulloa, vol. i. p. jS. 

BAT KIND. 317 

titudes being obliged, by the exceflive heats, to leave open the 
doors and windows of the chambers where they fleep, the vam- 
pyres enter, and if they find any part of the body expofed, they 
never fail to fallen upon it. There they continue to fuck the 
blood ; and it often happens that the perfon dies under the 
operation. They infmuate their tooth into a vein, with all the 
art of the moll experienced furgeon, continuing to exhauft the 
body, until they are fatiated. I have been allured," continues 
he, " by perfons of the ftricteit veracity, that fuch an accident 
has happened to them ; and that, had they not providentially 
awaked, their fleep would have been their paflage into eternity; 
having loft fo large a quantity of blood as hardly to find 
Strength to bind up the orifice. The reafon why the puncture, 
is not felt is, befides the great precaution with which it is made, 
the gentle refrefhing agitation of the bat's wings, which con* 
tribute to increafe fleep, and foften the pain." 

The purport of this account has been confirmed by various 
other travellers; who all agree, that this bat is poflefled of a fa- 
culty of drawing the blood from perfons fleeping j and thus of- 
ten deftroying them before they awake. But ftill a very ftrong 
difficulty remains to be accounted for ; the manner in which 
they inflict the wound. Ulloa, as has been feen, fuppofes that 
it is done by a fingle tooth ; but this we know to be impolfible, 
fmce the animal cannot infix one tooth without all the reft ac- 
companying its motions ; the teeth of the bat-kind being pretty- 
even, and the mouth but fmall, Mr. Buftbn, therefore, fup- 
pofes the wound to be inflicted by the tongue ; which, howe- 
ver, appears to me too large to inflict an unpainful wound ; 
and even lefs qualified for that purpofe than the teeth. Nor can 
the tongue, as mr. Buffon feems to fuppofe, ferve for the pur- 
pofes of fution, fmce for this it muft be hollow, like a fyringe, 
which it is not found to be. I mould therefore, fuppofe, that 
the animal is endowed with a ftrong power of fuel ion , and 
that, without inflicting any wound whatfoever, by continuing 
to draw, it enlarges the pores of the ikin in fuch a manner, that 
the blood at length pafles, and that more freely, the longer the 
operation is continued ^ fo that, a lafl, when the bat goes o$j 


the blood continues tofio\v. In confirmation of this opinion, w 
are told, that where beafts have a thick fkin, this animal cannot 
injure them ; whereas, in horfes, mules, and afles, they are ve- 
ry liable to be thus deftroyed. As to the reft, thefe animals are 
confidered as one of the great pelts of South-America , and often 
prevent the peopling of many parts of that continent : having 
deftroyed at Barja, and feveral other places, fuch cattle as 
were brought there by the miffionaries, in order to form a fet- 

CHAP... XV. 

Of Amphibious Quadrupeds. 

* H ^HE gradations of nature from one clafs of beings to ano- 
JL ther, are made by imperceptible deviations. As we law 
in the foregoing chapters, quadrupeds almofl degraded into 
tlie infecl: tribe, or mounted among the inhabitants of the air, 
\ve are at prefent to obferve their approach to fifhes, to trace 
the degree%by which they become more unlike terreftrial ani- 
mals, till the fimilitude of the fifh prevails over that of the 

As in oppofite armies, the two bodies are diftind, and fepa- 
rated from each other, while yet between them are various 
trorps that plunder on both fides, and are friends to neither, 
{ I'-jtween terreftrial and aquatic animals, there are tribes that 
< , iVaiTC l j referred to any rank, but lead an amphibious 
! : between them. Sometimes in water, fometimes on land, 
they feem fitted for each element, and yet completely adapted 
lo neither. Wanting the agility of quadrupeds upon land, 
and the perfeverance of fifties in the deep, the variety of their 
powers only feems to diminifh their force ; and, though pofTef- 
fcd of two different methods of living, they are more inconve- 
niently provided than fuch as have but one. 

All quadrupeds of this kind, though covered with hair in 


the ufual manner, are furnifhed with membranes between the 
toes, which afiift their motion in the water. Their paws are 
broad and their legs fhort, by which they are more completely 
fitted for fwimming ; for, taking fhort ftrokes at a time, they 
make them oftener and with greater rapidity. Some, however, of 
thefc animals, are more adapted to live in the water than others; 
but, as their power increafes to live in the deep, their unfit?-, 
nefs for living upon land increaies- in the fame proportion. 
Some, like the otter, refemble quadrupeds in every thing, ex- 
cept in being, in fome meafure, web-footed^ others depart flill 
further, in being, like the beaver, not only web-footed, but 
having the tail covered with fcales, like thofe of a fiih. Others 
depart yet farther, as the feal and the morfe, by having the 
hind feet (luck to the body like fins ; and others, as the lamen- 
tin, almoft entirely refemble fifties, by having no hind feet 
whatfoever. Such are the gradations of the amphibious tribe. 
They all, however, get their living in the water, either by ha- 
bit or conformation ; they all continue a long time under wa- 
ter ; they all confider that element as their proper abode; when- 
ever prefled by danger, they fly to the water for fecurity ; and, 
when upon hnd, appear watchful, timorous, and unwieldy. 

In the firft flep of the progreflion from land to amphibious 
animals, we find the otter refembling thofe of the terreflrial 
kind, in fhape, hair, and internal conformation; refembling the 
aquatic tribes in its manner of living, and in having membranes 
between the toes to afiiit it in fwimming. From this peculiar 
make of its feet, which are very fhort, it fwims even fafter than 
it runs, and can overtake fifties in their own element. The co- 
lour of this animal is brown ; and it is fomewhat of the fhape 
of an overgrown weafel, being long, (lender, and fofc fkinned. 
However, if we examine its figure in detail, we fhall find it 
unlike any other animal heretofore dcfcribed, and of fuch a 
fhape as words can but weakly convey. Its ufual length is about 
two feet long, from the tip of the nofe to the infertion of the 
tail ; the head and nofe are broad and flat ; the mouth bears 
force fimilitude to that of a fiih; the iieck is fhort, and equ. 
thicknefs to the head ; the body long ; the tail broad at th<.* 


fertion, but tapering off to a point at the end ; the eyes are ve* 
ry final], and placed nearer the nofe than ufual in quadrupeds. 
The legs are very fhort, but remarkably ftrongy broad, and muf- 
cular. The joints are articulated fo loofely, that the animal is ca- 
pable of turning them quite back, and bringing them on a line 
with the body, fo as to perform the office of fins. Each foot is 
furnifhed with five toes, connected by ftrong broad webs like 
thofe of water-fowl. Thus nature, in every part, has had at- 
tention to the life of an animal whofe food is fifti, and whofe 
haunts muft neceflarily be about water* 

This voracious animal is never found but at the fides of 
Jakes and rivers, but particularly the former, for it is feldont 
fond of fifliing in a running ftream, for the current pf the water 
having more power upon it than the fifties it purfues, if it hunts 
againft the ftream, it fwirns too flow ; and if with the ftream, 
it overfhoots its prey. However, when in rivers, it is always 
obferved to fwim againft the ftream, and to meet the fifties it 
preys upon, rather than to purfue them. In lakes, it deftroys 
much more than it devours, and is often feen fo fpoil a pond in 
the fpace of a few nights. But the damage they do by deftroy- 
ing fifh, is not fo great as their tearing in pieces the nets of the 
fifhers, which they infallibly do, whenever they happen to be 
entangled. The inftant they find themfelves caught, they go 
to work with their teeth, and, in a few minutes, deftroy nets of 
a confiderable value. 

The otter has two different methods of fifhing ; the one by 
catching its prey from the bottom upward, the other by pur- 
fuing it into fome little creek, and feizing it there. In the for- 
mer cafe, as this animal has longer lungs than moft other 
quadrupeds, upon taking in a quantity of air, it can remain 
for fome minutes at the bottom; and whatever fifli pafles 
over at that time, is certainly taken; for, as the eyes of fiih are 
placed fo as not to fee under them, the otter attacks them off 
their guard from below ; and, feizmg them at once by the 
belly, drags them on fhore, where it often leaves them un- 
touched to continue the purfuit for hours together. The other 
taethod is chiefly pra&ifed in lakes and ponds, where there is 


no current : the fifti thus taken, are rather of the fmaller kind, 
for the great ones will never be driven out of deep water. 

In this manner the otter ufually lives during the fummer, 
being furnifhed with a fupply much greater than its confump- 
tion ; kiting for its amufement and infecting the edges of the 
lake with quantities of dead fiih, which it leaves there as tro- 
phies rather of its victory than its neceffities. But in winter, 
when the lakes are frozen over, and the rivers pour with a 
rapid torrent, the otter is often greatly diftrefled for provifions-, 
and is then obliged to live upon grafs, weeds, and even the 
bark of trees. It then comes upon land, and, grown courage- 
ous from neceffity, feeds upon terreftrial animals, rats, infects,, 
and even (heep themfelves. Nature, however, has given it the 
power of continuing a long time without food ; and, although 
during that feafon it^is not rendered quite torpid, like the mar- 
mout or the dormoufe, yet it keeps much more within its 
retreat, which is ufually the hollow of a bank worn under by 
the water. There it often forms a kind of gallery, running for 
federal yards along the edge of the water ; fo that when at- 
tacked at one end, it flies to the other, and often evades the 
fowler by plunging into the water at forty or fifty paces dif- 
tance, while he expects to find it jufl before him. 

We learn from mr. Buffon, that this snimal, in France, 
couples in winter, and brings forth in the beginning of fpring. 
But it is certainly different with us, for its young are never 
found till the latter end of fummer ; and I have frequently 
when a boy, difcovered their retreats, and purfued them at 
that feafon. I am, therefore, more inclined to follow the ac- 
count given us of this animal by mr. Lots, of the academy of 
Stockholm, who aflures us that it couples about the middle of 
fummer, and brings forth, at the end of nine weeks, generally 
three or four at a time. This, as well as the generality of his 
other remarks on this fubjecl, agrees fo exactly with what I 
remember concerning it, that I will beg leave to take him for 
my guide, afluring the reader, that however extraordinary the 
account may feem, I know it to be certainly true. 

VOL. II. 2 S 


In the rivers and the Jakes frequented by the otter, the bot- 
tom is generally {tony and uneven, with many trunks of trees, 
and long foots itretching underneath the water*. The more 
aifo is hollow and fcooped inward by the waves. Thefe are the 
places the otter chiefly choofes for its retreat ; arid there is 
fcarce a ftone which does not bear the mark of its refidcnce, 
as upon them its excrements are always made. It is chieily 
by this mark that its lurking places are known, as well as by 
the quantity of dead fiih that are found lying here and there 
upon the banks of the water. To take the old olies alive is no 
eafy talk, as they are extremely ftrong, and there are few dogs 
that will dare to encounter them. They bite with great ilerce- 
"iiefs, and never let go their hold when once fattened. The bed 
way, therefore, is to moot them at once, as they never will be 
"thoroughly tamed ; and, if kept for the purpofes of fifhing, are 
always apt to take the fir ft opportunity of efcaping. But the 
young ones may be more eafily taken and converted to very uie- 
ful purpofes. The otter brings forth its young generally under 
the hollow banks, upon a bed of ruihes, flags, or fuch weeds 
as the place aiTords it in greateft quantities. I lee, in the Brkifti 
Zoolotry, a defcription of its habitation.; where the naturalift 
obferves, " that k burrows under ground, on the banks of 
fome river or lake, and always makes the entrance of its hole 
under water, then works up to the furface of the earth, and 
there makes a minute orifice for the admillion of air ; and this 
little air-hole is often found in the middle of fome thicket." 
In fome places, this may be true, but I have never obferved any 
fuch contrivance ; the retreat, indeed, was always at the edge 
of the water, but it was only flickered by the impending bank, 
and the otter itfelf feemed to have but a fmall mare in its for- 
mation. -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, flie teaches them inftantly to plunge, like herfelf, 
into the deep, and escape among the ruihes or weeds that 
fringe the ilream. At fuch times, therefore, it is very difficult 
to take them-, for, though never fo young, they fwim with great 
* Journal Etranger, Juln, 175?, p. 14, 


rapidity, and in fuch a manner that no part of them is feen 
above water, except the tip of the nofe. It is only when the 
dam- is abfent that they can be taken ; and in fome places, 
there are dogs purpofely trained for difcovering their retreats. 
Whenever the dog comes to the place, he foon, by his barking, 
Ihows that the otter is there; which, if there be an old one, 
inftantly plunges into the water, and the young all follow.. 
But if the old one be abfent, they continue terrified, and will 
not venture forth but unde? her guidance and protection. lit 
this manner, they are fecured and taken home alive, where 
they are carefully fed with fmall fifli and water. In propor- 
tion, however, as they gather flrength, they have milk mixed 
among their food, the quantity of fifh is- retrenched, and that 
of vegetables is increafed, until at length they are fed wholly 
upon bread, which perfectly agrees with their conftitution. 
The manner, of training them up to hunt for fifh, requires not 
only aiBduity but patience ; however, their activity and ufe, 
when taught, greatly repays the trouble of teaching ; and; 
perhaps, no other animal is more beneficial to his mafler. The 
ufual way is, firft to learn them to fetch as dogs are inftruc- 
ted ; but, as they have not the fame docility, fo it requires 
more art and experience to teach them. It is ufually perform- 
ed by accuftoming them to take a trufs fluffed with wool, of 
the fhape. of. a fim, 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 mafter. From this 
they proceed to real fifh, which are. thrown, dead into the wa* 
ter, and which they are taught to bring from thence. From 
the dead they proceed, to the live, until, at laft, the. animal is- 
perfectly inftructed in the whole art of fifhing. An otter thus* 
taught is a very valuable animal, and will catch fifh enough 
to fuflam not only itfelf but a whole family.. I have fe.en one 
of thefe go to a gentleman's pond at the word of command, 
drive up the fifh into a corner, and, feizing upon the largeft. 
of the whole, bring it off, in its mouth, to its mafter.. 

Otters are to be met with in moft parts of the world, and 
rather differ in fize and colour fron> each other, than in habi- 


tudes or conformation*. In North- America and Carolina, they 
are ufually found white, inclining to yellow. The Brafilian 
otter is much larger than ours, with a round ifh head, almoft 
like a cat. The tail is fhorter, being but five inches long j and 
the hair is foft, fhort, and black, except on the head, where it 
is of a dark brown, with a yellowiih fpot under the throat* 


In all countries, as man is civilized and improved, the lower 
ranks of animals are reprefied and degradedf . Either reduced 
to fervitude, or treated as rebels, all their focieties are dhTolved, 
and all their united talents rendered ineffectual. Their feeble 
arts quickly difappear, and nothing remains but their folitary 
inftincts, or thofe foreign habitudes which they receive from 
human education. For this reafon, there remain no traces of 
their ancient talents and induftry, except in thofe countries 
where man himfelf is a ftranger ; where, unvifited by his con- 
troling power, for a long fucceflion of ages, their little talents 
have had time to come to their limited perfection, and their 
common defigns have been capable of being united. 

The beaver feems to be now the only remaining monument 
of brutal fociety. From the refult of its labours, which are itill 
to be feen in the remote parts of America, we learn how fat 
inftinft can be aided by imitation. We from thence perceive 
to what a degree animals, without language or reafon, can con- 
cur for their mutual advantage, and attain by numbers thofe 
advantages which each, in a date of folitude, feems unfitted to 

If we examine the beaver merely as an individual, and un- 
connected with others of its kind, we (hall find many other 
quadrupeds to exceed it in cunning, and almoft all in the 
powers of annoyance and defence. The beaver, when taken 
from its fellows, and kept in a ftate of folitude or domeftic 

Ray. f 


tamenefs, appears to be a mild gentle creature, familiar 
enough, but fomewhat dull, and even melancholy ; without 
any violent pafiionsor vehement appetites, moving but feldom, 
making no efforts to attain any good, except in gnawing the 
wall of its prifon, in order to regain its freedom ; yet this, how- 
ever, \vithout anger or precipitation, but calm and indifferent 
to all about without attachment or antipathies, neither feek- 
ing to offend nor defiring to pleafe. It appears inferior to the 
iog in thofe qualities which render animals of fervice to man ; 
it feems made neither to ferve, to command, nor to have con- 
nections with any ether fet of beings, a,nd is only adapted for 
living among its kind. Its talents are entirely reprefled in 
folitude, and are only brought out by fociety. When alone, it 
has but little induftry, few tricks, and without cunning fuffi- 
cient to guard it againft the moft obvious and bungling fnares 
laid for it by the hunter. Far from attacking any other animal, 
it is fcarce poflefled of the arts of defence. Preferring flight to 
combat, like all wild animals, it only refills when driven to 
an extremity, and fights only then, when its fpeed can no 
longer avail. 

But this animal is rather more remarkable for the fmgu- 
larity of its conformation than any intellectual fuperiorities it 
may be fuppofed, in a ftate of folitude, to poiTefs. The beaver 
is the only creature among quadrupeds that has .a flat broad 
tail, covered with fcales, which ferves as a rudder to direcl; its 
motions in the water. It is the fole quadruped that has mem- 
branes between the toes on the hind-feet only, and none 
on the fore-feet, which fupply the place of hands, as in the 
fquirrel. In fhort, it is the only animal that In its fore parts 
entirely refembles a quadruped, and in its hinder parts feems 
to approach the nature of filhes, by having a fc?Jy tail. In 
other refpeh, it is about two feet long, and near one foot 
high ; it is fomewhat fhaped like a rat, except the tail, which, 
as has been obferved, is flat and fcaly, fomewhat refcmbling a 
neat's tongue at the point. Its colour is of a light brown j the 
hair of two forts ; the one longer and coarfer ; the other, foft, 
fine, ihort, and filky. The teeth are like thofe of a rat or a fquir- 


rel, but longer and ftronger, arid admirably Adapted to cutting 1 
timber or {tripping bark, to which purpofes they are conftantly 
applied. One fmgularity rrrore may be mentioned in its con- 
formation ; which is, that, like birds, it has but one and the 
fame vent for the emifiion of its excrements and its urine, a 
ftrange peculiarity, but which anatomifts leave us no room to 
doubt of 

The beavers begin to aflemble about the months of June 
and July, to form a fociety that is to continue for the greatefl 
part of the year. They arrive in numbers from every fide, and 
generally form a company f above two hundred. The place 
of meeting is commonly the place were they fix their abode, 
snd this is always by the fide of Tome lake or river. If it be a lake 
in which the waters are always upon a level, they difpenfe 
with building a dam ; but if it be a running dream, which is 
ftibjeel to floods and falls, they then fet about building a dam, 
cr pier, that crofles the river, fo that it forms a dead water in 
that part which lies above and below. This dam, cr pier, is 
often four-fcore or a hundred feet long, arid ten or twelve 
feet thick at the bafe. If we compare the greatnefs of the work 
with the powers of the architccl:, it will appear enormous ; 
but the folidity with which it is built, is ftill more aflonifhiiig 
than its fize. The part of the river over which this dam is 
ufually built, is where it is moft mallow, and were fome great 
tree is found growing by the fide of the ft ream* This they 
pitch upon as proper for making the principal part in their 
building ;, and, although it is often- thicker than a man's body, 
they inftamly fet about cutting it down. For this operation, 
they have no other mftrument but their teeth, which foon lay 
it level, and that alfo en the fide they wifii it to fall, which is 
always acrofs the ftreatn. They then fall about cutting off the 
top branches, to make it lie clofe and even, and ferve as the 
principal beam cf their fabric*. 

This dyke, or caufey, is fom.e times ten, and fometimes, 
twelve feet thick at the foundation. It defcends in a declivity 

* Spectacle clc-Ia Nature* 


or Hope, on that fide next the water, which gravitates upon the 
work in proportion to the height, and preiTes it with a prodi- 
gious force towards the earth. The oppofite tide is ere6\ed 
perpendicular like our walls; and that declivity, which, at the 
bottom, or bafis, is about twelve feet broad, diminiflies towards 
*he top, where it is no more than two feet broad, or therea- 
bouts. The materials whereof this mole confifls, are wood 
and clay. The beavers cut, with furpriziiig eafe, large pieces 
of wood, fome as thick as one's arm or one's thigh, and about 
four, five, or fix feet in length, or fometimes more, according 
l ie (lope afcends. They drive o:ie end of thele (lakes into 
the ground, at .1 fovall diftance one from the other, interming- 
ling a few with them that are fmailertind more pliant. As the 
water, however, would find a pai&ge through the intervals or 
fpaces between them, and leave the refervoir dry, they have 
recourfe to a clay, which they know where to find, and with 
which they flop up all the cavities both within and without, 
lb thr.t the water is duly confined. They continue to raife the 
dyke in proportion to the elevation of the water and the plen- 
tv which they have of it. They are confcious likewife that the 
conveyance of their materials by land would not be fo eafily 
accomplished as by water j and therefore they take the advan- 
tage of its increafe, and fwim with their mortar on their tails, 
and their flakes between their teeth, to the places where there 
is mcfl occahon for them. If their works are, either by the 
force of the water or the feet of the huntfmen, who run over 
them, in the leafl damnified, the breach is inflantly made up ; 
every nook and corner of the habitation is reviewed, and, 
with the utmofl diligence and application, perfectly repaired. 
But when they find the huntfmen vifit them too often, they 
work only in the night-time, or elfe abandon their works en~ 
tirely, and feek out for fome fafer fituation. 

The dyke, or mole, being thus completed, their next care is 
to erecl their feveral apartments, which are either round or 
oval, and divided into three ftories, one raifed above the other : 
the firfl below the level of the caufey, which is for the moft 
part full of water -, the other two above it. This little fabric i 


fe uilt in a very firm and fubftantial manner, on the edge of 
their referveir, and always in fuch divifions or apartments as 
above-mentioned; that in cafe of the water's increafe, they 
may move up a ftory higher and be no ways incommoded. If 
they find any little ifland contiguous to their refervoir, they 
fix their manfion there, which is then more folid and not fo 
frequently expofed to the overflowing of the water, in which 
they are not able to continue for any length of time. In cafe 
they cannot pitch upon fo commodious a Situation, they drive 
piles into the earth, in order to fence and fortify their habita- 
tion againft the wind as well as the water. They make two 
apertures, at the bottom, to the llream ; one is a paffage 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 foil or damage their upper apart- 
ments. They have a third opening or door-way, much higher, 
contrived for the prevention of their being (hut up and con- 
fined, when the froft and fnow has clofed the apertures of 
the lower floors. Sometimes they build their houfes altogether 
upon dry land ; but then they fink trenches five or fix feet 
deep, in order to defcend into the water when they fee conve- 
nient. They make ufe of the fame materials ; and are equally 
induftrious in the erection of their lodges, as their dykes. 
Their walls are perpendicular, and about two feet thick. As 
their teeth are more ferviceable than faws, they cut-off all the 
wood that projects beyond the wall. After this, when they have 
mixed up fomc clay and dry grafs together, they work it into 
a kind of mortar, with which, by the help of their tails, they 
plaifter all their works, both within and without. 

The iniule is vaulted, and is large enough for the reception 
of eight or ten beavers. In cafe it rifes in an oval figure, it is 
for the generality above twelve feet long, and eight or ten feet 
broad. If the number of inhabitants increafe to fifteen, twenty, 
or thirty, the edifice is enlarged in proportion. I have been 
credibly informed, that four hundred beavers have been difco- 
vered to refide in one large mimfion-houfe, divided into a vafl 


number of apartments, that had a free communication one 
with another. 

All thefe works, more efpecially in the northern parts, ^arc 
finifced in Augufl, or September at fartheft ; at which time 
they begin to lay in their (lores. During the fummer, they are 
perfeft epicures^ and regale themfelvss every day on the 
choicell fruits and plants the country affords. Their provi- 
fions, indeed, in the winter feaforr, principally confift of the 
\vood of the birch, the plane, and fome f^v/ other trees, which 
they deep in water, from time to time, in fuch quantities as 
are proportioned to the number of inhabitants. They cut o 
branches from three to ten feet in length. Thofe of the largeft 
dimenfions are conveyed to their magazines by a whok body 
-avers ', but the fmalleft by one only; each of them, how- 
ever, takes a different way, and has his proper walk affi 
him, in order that no one labourer (hould interrupt another ; .'i 
the profecution of his work. Their wood-y.irds are larger or 
fmaller, in proportion to the number in family : and accord- 
ing to the obfervation of fome curious naturalifls, the ufual flock 
of timber, for the accommodation of ten beavers, confifts of 
about thirty feet in a fquare furface, and ten in depth. Thefe 
are not thrown up in one continual pile, but laid one 
acrofs the other, with intervals, or fmall fpaces between them, 
in order to take out, with the greater facility, but juft fuch a 
quantity as they fli til want for their immediate confumption, 
and thofe parcels only, which lie at the bottom in the water, 
and have been duly fteeped. This timber is cut again into 
fmall particles, and conveyed to one of their largefl: lodges, 
where the whole family meet, to confume their refpecHve di- 
ncis, which are made impartially, in even and equal por- 
j. Sometimes they travcrrfe the woods, and regale their 
young with a more novel, and elegant entertainment. 

Such as are ufed to hunt thefe animals, know perfectly well, 

t green w^od is much more acceptable to them, than that 

which is old and dry : for which reafon they plant a confider- 

able quantity of it round their lodgments , and as they come 

-out to rf it, they either cr.. . in (hares, or take 

VOL. II. 2 T 


them by furprize. In the winter, when the frofts are very fevere, 
they fometimes break a large hole in the ice ; and \vhen the 
beavers refort thither for the benefit of a little frem air, they 
either kill them with their hatchets, or cover the opening wit;h a 
large fubftantial net. After this, they undermine and fubvert 
the whole fabrick : whereupon the beavers, in hopes to make 
their efcape in the ufual way, fly with the utmoft precipi- 
tation to the water ; and plunging into the aperture, fall direct- 
ly into the net, and are inevitably taken. 


EVERY flep we proceed in the defcription of amphibious 
quadrupeds, we make nearer advances to the tribe of fifties. 
We firft obferved the otter with its feet webbed, and formed 
for an aquatic life -, we next faw the beaver with the hinder 
parts covered with fcales, refembling thofe of fifties ; and we 
now come to a clafs of animals in which the fhape and habi- 
tude of fifties ftill more apparently prevail, and whofe inter- 
nal conformation attaches them very clofely to the water. The 
feal, in general, refembles a quadruped in fome refpects, and 
a fifli in others. The head is round, like that of a man ; the 
nofe broad, like that of the otter ; the teeth like thofe of a 
dog \ the eyes large and fparkling ; no external ears, but holes 
that ferve for that purpofe ; the neck is well proportioned, and 
of a moderate length , but the body thickeft where the neck 
is joined to it. From thence the animal tapers clown to the 
tail, growing all the way frmller, like a fifti. The whole body 
is covered with a thick briftly fhining hair, which looks as if 
it were entirely rubbed over with oil ; and thus far the qua- 
druped prevails over the aquatie. But it is in the feet that this 
animal greatly differs from all the reft of the quadruped kind ; 
for, though furniflied with the fame number of bones with 
other quadrupeds, yet they are fo ftuck on the body, and fo 
covered with a membrane, that they more refemble fins than 
feet \ and might be taken for fuch, did not the claws with 


which they are pointed (how their proper analogy. In the 
fore feet, or rather hands, all the arm and the cubit, are hid 
under the fkin, and nothing appears but the hand from the 
wrift downwards ; fo that if we imagine a child with its arms 
fwathed down, and nothing appearing but its hands at each 
fide of the body, towards the breaft, we may have fome idea 
of the formation of this animal in that part. Thefe hands are 
covered in a thick fkin, which ferves, like a fin, for fwimming ; 
and are diftinguifhed by five claws, which are long, black, and 
piercing. As to the hind feet, they are ftretched out on each 
fide of the fhort tail, covered \\ ith a hairy Ikin like the for- 
mer, and both together almoft joining at the tail ; the whole 
looks like the broad flat tail of a fifti ; and, were it not for 
five claws, which appear, might be confidered as fuch. The 
dimenfions of this animal are various, being found from four 
feet long to nine. They differ alfo in their colours : fome* be- 
ing black, others fpotted, fome white, and many more yellow. 
It would, therefore, be almoft endlefs to mention the varieties 
of this animal. Buffon defcribes three ; and Krantz mentions 
five, all different from thofe defcribed by the other. I might, 
were I fond of fuch honours, claim the merit of being a firft 
defcriber myfelf ; but, in facl:, the varieties in this animal 
are fo many, that were they all defcribed, the catalogue would 
be as extenfive as it would be utelefs and unentertaining. It 
is fufficient to obferve, that they agree in the general external 
characters already mentioned, and internally in two or three 
more, which are fo remarkable as to deferve peculiar at- 

It has been often remarked, that all animals are fagacious in 
proportion to the fize of their brain. It has, in fupport of this 
opinion, been alleged that man, with refpect to his bulk, has, 
of all others, the largeft. In purfuance of this affumption, fome 
erroneous fpeculations have been formed. But, were the fize 
of the brain to determine the quantity of the underftanding, 
the feal would, of all other animals, be the moft fagacious ; for 
it has, in proportion, the largeft brain of any, even man him- 
felf not excepted. However, this animal is pofTeffed of but very 


few advantages over other quadrupeds; and the fize of its braiu 
furniihes it with few powers that contribute to its wifdom, or 
its preservation. 

This animal differs alfo in the formation of its tongue, 
from all other quadrupeds. It is forked or flit at the end like 
that of ferpents ; but for what purpofe it is thus fingularly 
contrived, we are at a lofs to know. Vv e are much better in- 
formed with refpedl: to a third fingularity in its conformation, 
which is, that \\\z foramen ovale in the heart is open. Thofc 
who are in the leaft acquainted with anatomy, know, that the 
veins uniting, bring their blood to the heart, which fends it in- 
to the lungs, and from thence it returns to the heart again to 
be distributed through the whole body. Animals, however, be- 
fore they are born, make no ufe of their lungs , and therefore, 
their blood, without entering their lungs, takes a fhorter paf- 
iage through the very partition of the heart, from one of its 
chambers to the other, thus paffing from the veins directly into 
thofe veflels that drive it through the whole frame. But the 
moment the animal is brought forth, the paflage through the 
partition, which paffage is called the foramen ovate, clofes up, 
and continues clofed for ever ; for the blood then takes its 
longeft courfe through the lungs to return to the other cham- 
ber of the heart again. i\ow, the feal's heart refembles that of 
an infant in the womb, for the foramen ovale never clofes ; and, 
although the blood of this animal commonly circulates through 
the lungs yet it can circulate without their affiftance, as was 
obferved above, by a fhorter way *". From hence, therefore, we 
fee the manner in which this animal is adapted for continuing 
under water; for, being under no immediate necefflty of breath- 
ing, the vital motions are dill carried on, while it continues at 
the bottom ; fo that it can purfue its prey in that element, and 
yet enjoy all the delights and advantages of ours. 

The water is the feal's ufual habitation, and whatever fifh it 

* I have followed the ufual observations of naturalifts with rcfpecl to the 
foramen ovale in this animal: I have many rcafons, however, to incline me to 
think that the foramen is not entirely open. But this is not the place for a cr;- 
f icai enquiry of this kind. 


can catch, its f xxl. Though not equal in inftinct and cunning 
<nc terreiinal animals, it is greatly fuperior to the mute te- 
naii. f t'ut eie.nent in which it chiefly refides. Although it 
can continue for feveral minutes under water, yet it is not able, 
like fiflies, to remain there for any length of time ; and a feal 
may be drowned like any other terreftrial animal. Thus it feems 
fuperior in fome refpecls to the inhabitants of both elements, 
and inferior in many more. Although furnimed with legs, it 
is in fome meafure deprived of all the advantages of them*. 
They are (hut up within its body, while nothing appears but 
the extremities of them, and thefe furnifhed with very little 
motion, but to ferve them as fins in the water. The hind feet, 
indeed, being turned backwards, are entirely ufelefs upon land-, 
fo that when the animal is obliged to move, it drags itfelf for- 
ward like a reptile, and r vith an effort more painful. For this 
purpose, it is obliged to ufe its fore feet, which, though very 
ihort, ferve to give it iuch a degree of fwiftnefs, that a man 
cannot readily overtake it ; and it runs towards the fea. As it 
is thus auk'.vardly formed for going upon land, it is feldom 
found at any diftant : from the fea-fhore, but continues to bade 
upon the rocks ; and when difturbed, always plunges down at 
once to the bottom. 

The feal is a fo nal animal, and wherever it frequents, 
bers are general Ij feen together. They are found in every cli- 
mate, but in the north and icy feas they are particularly nume- 
rous. It h on thofe mores, which are lefs inhabited than ours, 
am! where the fifh reibrt in greater abundance, that they are 
feen by thoufands, like flocks 'of fheep bafking on the rocks, 
and fuckling their young. There they keep watch like other 
gregarious animals ; and, if an enemy appear, iniiantly plunge 
altogether into the water. In fine weather they more ufually 
employ their time in filliing ; and generally come on more in 
tempefts and dorms. The feal feems the only animal that takes 
delight in thefe tremendous conflicts of nature. In the midft of 
thunders and torrents, when every other creature takes refuge 
from the fury of the elements, the feals are feen by thoufands 


fporting along the fhore, and delighted with the univerfal dif- 
order. This, however, may arife from the fea being at that 
time too turbulent for them to refide in ; and they may then 
particularly come upon land when unable to refift the (hock of 
their more ufual element. 

As feals are gregarious, fo they are alfo animals of paflage, 
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 forefts, and feldom (tray, 
except when neceffity or fear impels them. But feals change 
their habitation, and arc feen in vail multitudes directing their 
courfe from one continent to another*. On the northern 
coafts of Greenland they are feen to retire in July, and to re- 
turn again in September. This time it is fuppofed they go in 
purfuit of food. But they make a fecond departure in March, 
to cail their young, and return in the beginning of June, young 
and all in a great body together, obferving in their rout a cer- 
tain fixed time and track, like birds of paflage. When they go 
upon this expedition, they are feen in great droves, for many 
days together, making towards the north, taking that part of 
the fea moft free from ice, and going ilill forward into thofe 
feas where man cannot follow. In what manner they return, 
or by what paflage, is utterly unknown ; it is only obferved, 
that when they leave the coafts to go upon this expedition, they 
are all extremely fat, but on their return they come home ex- 
ceflivcly lean. 

The females in our climate bring forth in winter, and rear 
their young upon forne land-bank, rock, or tiefolate iiland, at 
fome diftance from the continent. When they fuckle their 
young, they fit up on their hinder legs, while thefe, which are at 
firll white with woolly hair, cling to the teats, of which there 
are four in number, near the navelf. In this manner the young 
continue in the place where they are brought forth, for twelve 
or fifteen days; after whick the dam brings them down to the 

* Xnintz, vol. i. p. izy, 
f Cocunt in Iktore rcfu^iaata fcmina. LIN. SYST. 


water, and accuftoms them to fwim and get their food by their 
own induftry. As each litter never exceeds above three or four, 
fo the animal's cares are not much divided, and the education 
of her little ones is foon completed. In fact, the young are par- 
ticularly docile ; they underftand the mother's voice among the 
numerous bleatings of the reft of the old ones ; they mutually 
amft each other in danger, and are perfectly obedient to her 
call. Thus early accuftomed to fubje&ion, they continue to live 
in fociety, hunt and herd together, and have a variety of tones 
by which they encourage to purfue or warn each other of dan- 
ger. Some compare their voices to the bleating of a flock of 
fheep, interrupted now and then by the barking of angry dogs, 
and fometimes the fhriller notes of a cat*. All along the more 
each his its own peculiar rock, of which it takes pofTeiTion, and 
where it fleeps when fatigued with fifhing, uninterrupted by any 
of the reft. The only feafon vhen their focial fpirit feerns to 
forfake them, is that when they feel the influences of natural de- 
fire. They then fight mod defperately ; arid the male that is 
victorious, keeps all the females to himfelf. Their combats on 
thefe occafions are managed with great obflinacy, and yet great 
juftice : two are never feen to fall upon one together; but each 
has its antagonift, and all fight an equal battle, till one alone 
becomes victorious. 

Yv"e are not certainly informed how long the females conti- 
nue pregnant ; but if we may judge from the time which in- 
tervenes between their departure from the Greenland coafts 
and their return, they cannot go above feven or eight months 
at the fartheft. How long this animal lives is alfo unkm 
a gentleman whom I knew in Ireland, kepc two of them, which 
he had taken very young, in his houfe for ten years : and thev 
appeared to have die marks of age, at the time I faw 
they were grown grey about the muzzle; and it is very proba- 
ble they did not live many years longer. In their natural fi 
the eld cues are feen very fat and torpid, fepanited from the 
reft, and ?.s it mould feem, incapable of procreation. 

* Lltmxi Syfi. 


As their chief food is fim, fo they are very expert at purfuing 
and catching it. In thole places where the herrings are feen in 
fhoals, the feals frequent and deftroy them by thoufancis. "W 
the herring retires, the teal is then obliged to hunt after fiili that 
are ftronger and more capable of evading the puriuit* : 
however, they are very fwift in deep waters, dive with great 
rapidity, and, while the fpehtor eyes the fpot at which they 
difappear, they are feen to emerge at above an hundred yards 
diftance. The weaker fifties, therefore, have no other means to 
efcape their tyranny, but by darting into the mallows. The feal 
has been feen to purfue a mullet, which is a fwift fwimmer, 
and to turn it to and fro, in deep water, as a hound does a 
hare on land. The mullet has been feen trying every art of 
evafion j and at lafl fwimming into mallow water, in hopes of 
cfcaping. There, however, the feal followed ; fo that the little 
animal had no other way left to efcape, but to throw itfelf on one 
fide, by which means it darted into fhoalcr water than it could 
have fwam in with the bel.y undermoft ; and thus at hfl it got 

As they are thus the tyrants of the element in which they 
chiefly refide, fo they are not very fearful even upon land, ex- 
cept on thofe fhores which are thickly inhabited, and from 
whence they have been frequently purfued. Along the defert 
t:oa(ls, where they are feldom interrupted by man, they feem to 
be very bold and courageous ; if attacked with ftones, like dogs, 
they bite fuch as are thrown againft them; if encountered more 
clofely, they make a defperate refinance, and, while they have 
any life, attempt to annoy their enemy. Some have been known, 
even while they were fkinning, to turn round and fcize their 
butchers ; but they are generally difpatched by a (tunning blow 
on the nofe. They ufually fleep foundly where not frequently 
diilurbed j and that is the lime when the hunters furprize them. 
The Europeans who go into the Greenland feas upon the \\ hale 

,ry, furround them with nets, and knock them on the head; 
but the Greenlanders, who are unprovided with fo expenfive 

.nparatus, deflroy them in a different manner. One of theft 

* Eri'Jf!i 2 :-!-i- p. 75. 


little men paddles away in his boat, and when he fees a feal 
afleep on the fide of a rock, darts his lance, and that with fuch 
unerring aim, that it never fails to bury its point in the animal's 
fide. The feal, feeling itfelf wounded, inftantly plunges from 
the top of the rock, lance and all, into the fea, and dives to the 
bottom $ but the lance has a bladder tied to one end,, which 
ke-eps buoyant, and refills the animal's defcent $ fo that erery 
time the feal rifes to the top of the water, the Greenlander 
{hikes it with his oar, until he at laft difpatches it. But, in our 
climate, the feals are much more wary, and feldom fuffer the 
hunter to come near them. They are often feen upon the rocks 
of ihe Cornifh coaft, baflcing in the fun, or upon the inacceffi- 
ble cliffs, left dry by the tide. There they continue, extremely 
watchful, and never fleep long without moving; feldom longer 
than a minute ; for then they raife their heads, and if they fee 
no danger, they He down again, raifmg and reclining their 
heads alternately, at intervals of about a minute each. The on- 
ly method, therefore, that can be taken, is to fhoot them : if 
they chance to efcape, they haften towards the deep, flinging 
ftones and dirt behind them as they fcramble along, and at the 
fame time expreflirig their pain or their fears, by *the moil dif- 
trefsful cry ; if they happen to be overtaken, they make a vi- 
gorous refiftance with their feet and teeth, till they are killed. 

The feal is taken for the fake of its fkin, and for the oil its fat 
yields. The former fells for about four millings ; and, when 
dreffed, is very ufeful in covering trunks, making waift-coats, 
(hot-pouches, and feveral other conveniencies. The flefh of 
this animal formerly found place at the tables of the great. At 
a feaft provided by archbimop Navell for Edward the fourth, 
there were twelve feals and porpoifes provided, among other 
extraordinary rarities. 

As a variety of this aaimal, we may mention the fea lion, de- 
fcribed in Anfon's voyages. This is much larger than any of 
the former j being from eleven to eighteen feet long. It is fo 
fat, that when the fiwin is taken off, the blubber lies a foot 
thick all round the body. It feems to differ from the ordinary 

VOL, II. 2 V 


feal, not only in its fize, but alfo in its food ; for it is often 
feen to graze along the fliore, and to feed upon the long grafs 
that grows up along the edges of brooks. Its cry is yery va- 
rious, fometimes refembling the neighing of a horfe, and fome- 
times the grunting of the hog. It may be regarded as the larg- 
eft of the feal family. 


THE morfe is an animal of the feal kind j but differing from 
the reft, in a very particular formation of the teeth, haying two 
large tufks growing from the upper jaw, fhaped like tliofe of an 
elephant, but directed downwards ; whereas, in the elephant, 
they grow upright, like horns ; it alfo wanes the cutting-teeth, 
both above and below : as to the reft, it pretty much refem- 
frles a feal ? except that it is much larger, being from twelve to 
(ixteen feet long. The morfes are alfo generally feen to frequent 
the fame places that feals are known to refide in j they have 
the fame hatytudes, the fame advantages, and the fame imper- 
fections. There are, however, fewer varieties of the morfe 
than the feal j an'd they are rarely found, except in the frozen 
regions near the pole. They were formerly more numerous 
than at prefent ; and the favage natives of the coaft of Green- 
land deftroyed them in much greater quantities before thofq 
*feas were vifited by European mips upon the whale- fifhery, 
than now. Whether thefe animals have been fmce actually 
thinned by the fifhers, or have removed to fome more diftant 
and unfrequented ihores, is not known ; but certain it is, that 
the Greenlanders, who once had plenty, are now obliged to toil 
more afliduoufly for fubfiftence ; and as the quantity of their 
provifions decreafe, for they live moftly upon feals, the num- 
bers of* that poor people are every day diminifliing. As to the 
teeth, they are generally from two to three feet long ; and the 
jvory is much more efteemed than that of the elephant, being 
whiter and harder. The fifhers have been known formerly to 
lull three on four hundred at once 5 and along, thofe fhores which 


they chiefly frequented, their bones are flill feen lying in pro- 
digious quantities. In this manner, a fupply of provifions, 
which would have fupported the Greenland nation for ages, 
has been, in a few years, focrificed to thofe who did not ufe 
them, but who fought them for the purpofes of avarice and 
luxury ! 


WE come, in the laft place, to an animal that terminates the 
boundary between quadrupeds and fifties. Inftead of a creature 
preying among the deeps, and retiring upon land for repofe or 
refrefhment, we have here an animal that never leaves the wa- 
ter, and is enabled to live only there. It cannot be called a qua- 
druped, as it has but two legs only j nor can it be called a fifh r 
as it is covered with hair. In ftiort, it forms the link that unites 
thofe two great tribes to each other -, and may be mdifcrimi- 
nately called the laft of beafts, or the firft of fifties. 

We have feen the feal approaching nearly to the aquatic 
iribes, by having its hind legs thrown back on each fide of the 
tail, and forming fomething that refembled the tail of a fifti j 
but upon examining the (keleton of that animal, its title to the 
rank of a quadruped was obferved plainly to appear, having all 
the bones of the hinder legs and feet as complete as any other 
animal whatsoever. 

But we are now come to a creature that not only wants the 
external appearance of hinder legs, but, when examined inter- 
nally, will be found to want them altogether. The mana'ti i? 
fomewhat ftiaped in the head and the body like the feal ; it haj 
alfo the fore-legs or hands pretty much in the fame manner, 
fhort and webbed, but with four claws only : thefe alfo are 
{horter in proportion than in the former animal, and placed 
nearer the head ; fo that they can fcarcely affift its motions' up- 
on lajid. But it is in the hinder parts, that it chiefly differs 
from all others of the feal kind; for the tail is perfedly that of 
o fcfh, being fpread cut broad like a -fan. and wanting even tfre 


vedipes of thole bones which make the legs and feet- in others 
of ; ts kind. The largeft of thefe are about twenty-fix feet in 
length ; the fkin is blackifh, very tough and hard ;-. when cut, 
as black as ebony; and there are a few hairs feattered, like brif- 
tles, of about an inch long. The eyes are very fraall, in propor- 
tion to the animal's head j and the ear-holes, for it has no ex- 
ternal ears, are fo narrow, as- fcarce to admit a pin's head. 
The tongue is fo fliort,, that fome have pretended it has none 
at all ; and the teeth are compofed only of two folid white 
bones, running the whole length of both jaws, and formed 
merely for chewing and not rearing its vegetable food. The 
female has breafts placed forward, like thofe of a woman ; and 
fhe brings forth but one at a time : this (he holds with her 
paws to her bofomj there it flicks, and accompanies her wher- 
ever {he goes. 

This animal can fcarcely be called amphibious, as it never 
entirely, leaves the water, only advancing the head out of the 
iiream, to reach the grafs on the river fides. Its food is entire- 
ly upon vegetables ; and, therefore, it is never found far in the 
open fea, but chiefly in the large rivers of South- America ; and 
often above two thoufand miles from the ocean. It is alfo found, 
in the feas near Kamtfchatka, and feeds upon the weeds that 
grow near the more. There are likewife level greens at the 
bottom of fome of the Indian bays, and there the manatees are 
harmlefsly feen grazing among turtles and other cruftaceous 
fifties, neither giving nor fearing any difturbance. Thefe ani- 
mals, when unmoleftedi keep together in large companies, and 
furround their young ones*. They bring forth moft common- 
ly in autumn ; and it is fuppofed they go with young eighteen 
months, for the time of generation is in fpring;. 

The manati has no voice nor cry ; for the only noife it makes 
is by fetching its breath. Its internal parts fomewhat refemble 
thofe of a horfe ; its inteftines being longer, in proportion^ 
than thofe of any other creature, the horfe only excepted. 

The fat of the manati, which lies under the Ikin, when 
A&a Pttrigoli. 


pofed to the fun, has a fine fmell and tafte, and far exceeds the 
fat of any fea animal ; it has this peculiar property, that the 
heat of the fun will not fpoil it, nor make it grow rancid ; its 
tafte is like the oil of fweet almonds ; and it wiH ferve very 
well, in all cafes, inftead of butter : any quantity may be taken 
inwardly with fafety, for it has no other effect than keeping 
the body open. The fat of the tail is of a harder confidence ; 
and, when boiled, is more delicate than the former. The lean 
is like beef, but more red ; and may be kept a lorrg while, in 
the hotted days, without tainting. It takes up a long time in 
boiling ; and, when done, eats like beef. The fat of the young 
one is like pork ; the lean is like realj and, upon the whole, it 
is very probable, that this animal's flefti fomewhat refembles 
that of turtle, fince they are fed in the fame element, and up- 
on the very fame food. The turtle is a delicacy well known 
among us ; our luxuries are not as yet fufficiently heightened 
to introduce the manati ; which, if it could be brought 
might fingly fuffice for a whole corporation. 


Of Animals of the Monkey Kind. 

QUADRUPEDS maybe confidered as a numerous 
terminated on every fide by fome that but in part deferve 
the name. On one quarter we fee a tribe covered with quills, or 
furnimed with wings, that lift them among the inhabitants of 
air ; on another, we behold a diverfit y clothed with fcales 
and (hells, to rank with infecls ; and ftill, on a third, we fee 
them defcending into the waters, to live among the mute te- 
nants of that element. We now come to a numerous tribe, that, 
leaving the brute creation, feem to make approaches 'even to 
humanity ; that bear an auku ard refemblance of the human 
form, and difcover fome faint efforts at intellectual fagacity. 

Animals of the monkey clafs, are furnifhed with hands, in~ 


ftead of pa\vs ; their ears, eyes, eye-lids, lips, and breads, arc like 
thofe'of mankind : their internal conformation alfo bears fome 
diflant likenef^ ; and the whole offers a picture that may 
well mortify the pride of fuch as make their perfons alone, the 

principal objet~t of their admiration. 

Thefc approaches, however, are gradual ; ami fome bear the 

marks of this our boafted form, more ftrongly than others. 

In the ape-kind, we fee the whole -external machine ftrong- 
ly impreiTed with the human likenefs, and capable of the fame 
exertions : thefe walk upright, want a tail, have flefhy pofteri- 
ors, have calves to their legs, and feet nearly like o -jrs. 

In the baboon-kind, we perceive a more diftant approach to 
the human form ; the quadruped mixing in every pa>rt of the 
animal's figure : thefe generally go upon all-fours , but fome, 
when upright, are as tall as a man ; they have mort tails, long 
fnouts, and are poffeffed of brutal fiercenefs. 

The mctakey-kind are removed a ftep further : thefe are 
much leis than the former, with tails as long, or longer than 
their bodies, and flattifh faces. 

Lailly, the maki and opofTum kind, feem to lofe all refem- 
blawce of the human figure, except in having hands 5 their 
nofes are lengthened out, like thofe of quadrupeds, and every 
part of their bodies totally different from the human; however, 
as they grafp their food, or other objects,, with one hand, which 
quadrupeds cannot do, this Tingle fimilitude gives them an air 
of fagacity, to which they have fcarce any other pretenfions. 

From this flight furvey, it may be eafily feen that one gene- 
ral defcription will not ferve for animals fo very different from 
each other : neverthelefs, it would be fatiguing to the lafl de- 
gree, as their varieties are fo numerous, and their differences 
fo fmall* to go through a particular defcription of each. In 
this cafe, it will be beft to give a hiflory of the foremofl in 
each clafs ; at the fame time marking the diitinclions in every 
fpecies. By this we mall avoid a tedious repetition of fimilar 
characters, and confider the manners and the odditi cs of this 


phantaftic tribe in general points of view ; where we (hall 
perceive how nearly they approach to the human figure, and 
how little they benefit by the approximation. 

The foremoil of the, ape kind is the o.urang outang, or 
wild man of the woods. This name feems to have*been ^YfJJ 
to various animals, agreeiiig in one common character *n4 
walking upright, but coming from different countries, and of 
very different proportions and powers. The troglodyte 
Bontius, the drill of Purchas, and the pigmy of Tyfon, have 
all received this general name ; and have been ranked, by fome 
naturalifts, under one general defciiption. If we read the ac- 
counts of many remote travellers, under this name we are 
prefcnted with a formidable animal, from fix to eight feet 
high ; if we examine the bocks of fuch as have defcribec) it 
nearer home, we find it a pigmy not above three. In this di- 
verfity, we mutt be content to blend their various defcriptions 
into on^ general account ; obferving, at the fame time, that 
we have no reafon to doubt any of their relations, although we 
are puzzled which to follow. 

The "ourang outang, which, of all other animals, moft 
nearly approaches to the human race, is feen of different 
fizes, from three to feven feet high. In general, however, its 
flature is lefs than that of a man ; but its flrength and agility 
much greater. Travellers who have feen various kinds of thefe 
animals in their native folitudes, give us furprizing relations 
of their force, their fwiftnefs, their addrefs, and their ferocity. 
Naturalifls who have obferved their form and manners at home, 
have been as much ftruck with their patient, pliant, imitative 
difpofitions ; with their appearance and conformation, fo near- 
ly human. Of the fmallefl fort of thefe animals, we have had 
feveral, at different times, brought into this country, all nearly 
alike ; but that obferved by dr. Tyfon, is the bed known, hav- 
ing been defcribed with the greateft exacbiefs. 

The animal which was defcribed by that learned phyfician, 
was brought from Angola in Africa, where it had been taken 
in the internal parts of the country, in company wirh a fc- 


male of the fame kind, that died by the way. The body was 
covered with hair, which was of a coal-black colour, more re- 
fembling human hair than that of brutes. It bore a ftiil ftrong- 
cr fimilitude in its different lengths ; for in thofe places where 
it is longeft on the human fpecies, it was alfo longeft 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 were not fo prominent as in 
monkies ; but flat, like thofe of a man. The ears were like 
thofe of a man in moft refpeh ; and the teeth had more re- 
femblance to the human, than thofe of any other creature. 
The bending of the arms and legs were juft die fame as in a 
man j and, in iliort, the animal, at firft view, prefented a 
figure entirely human. 

In order to difcover its differences, it was necefiary to make 
a clofer furvey ; and then the imperfections of its form began 
to appear. The firft obvious difference was in the flatnefs of 
the nofe ; the next in the lownefs of the forehead, and the 
wanting the prominence of the chin. The ears were propor- 
tionably too large ; the eyes too clofe to each other j and the 
interval between the nofe and the mouth too great. The body 
and limbs differed, in the thighs being too ihort and the 
arms too long ; in the thumb being too little, and the palm 
of the hand too narrow. The feet alfo were rather more like 
hands than feet ; and the animal, if we may judge from the 
figure, bent too much upon its hwrtiches. 

When this creature was examined anatomically, a furpri?^ 
ing fimilitude was feen 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 vertebrae of the 
neck alfo were (horter, the bones of the pelvis narrower, the 
orbits of the eyes were deeper, the kidnies were rounder, the 
urinary and gall bladders were longer and fmaller, and the 
ureters of a different figure. Such were the principal diftinc- 
tions between the internal parts of this animal and thofe of 
man ; in almoft every thing elfe they were entirely and ex- 
the fame, and difcovcred an aftonifhing congruity. In- 


deed, many parts were fo much alike in conformation, that it 
might have excited wonder how they \vere productive of fuch 
few advantages. The tongue, and all the organs of the voice, 
were the fame, and yet the animal was dumb -, the brain was 
formed in the fame manner with that of man, and yet the 
creature wanted reafon : an evident proof (as mr. Buffbn fine- 
ly obferves) that no difpofition of matter will give mind ; and 
that the body, how nicely foever formed, is formed in vain, 
when there is not infufed a foul to direft its operations. 

Having thus taken a comparative view of this creature with 
man, what follows may be neceflary to complete the general 
defcription. This animal was very hairy all behind, from the 
head downwards, and the hair fo thick, that it covered the 
ikin almofl from being feen : but in all parts before, the hair 
was much thinner, the ikin every where appeared ; and in 
fome places it was almofl bare. When it went on all-fours, 
as it was fometimes feen to do, it appeared all hairy ; when it 
went eret, it appeared before lefs hairy, and more like a man. 
Its hair, which in this particular animal was black, much more 
refembled that of men than the fur of brutes ; for, in the latter, 
befides their long hair, there is ufually a finer and fhorter in- 
termixed ; but in the ourang outang it was all of a kind ; on- 
ly about the pubes the hair was greyifli, feemed longer, and 
fomewhat different ; as alfo on the upper lip and chin, where 
it was greyiih, like the hair of a beard. The face, hands, and 
foles of the feet, were without hair ; and fo was moft part of 
the forehead : but down the fides of the face, the hair was 
thick, it being there about an inch and a half long, which ex- 
ceeded that on any other part of the body. In the palms of 
its hands, were remarkable thofe lines which are ufually taken 
notice of in palmiftry ; and at the tips of the fingers, thofe 
fpiral lines obferved in man. The palms of the hands were 
as long as the foles of the feet ; and the toes upon thefe were 
as long as the fingers ; the middle toe was the longeft of all, 
and the whole foot differed from the human. The hinder feet 
being thus formed as hands, the animal often ufed them as 
fuch ; and, on the contrary, now and then made ufc of its 
VOL. II. 2 X 


hands inflead of feet. The breafts appeared fmall and fiiri- 
vclled, but exactly like thofe of a man : the navel alfo appear- 
ed very fair,, and in exaxSt difpoOtion, being neither harder nor 
more prominent than what is ufually feen in children. Such 
is the defcription of this extraordinary creature j to which lit- 
tle has been added by fucceeding, obfervers, except that the 
colour of the hair is often found to vary : in that defcribed 
by Edwards it was of a reddifh brown. 

From a picture fo like that of the human fpecies, we arc 
naturally led to expect a correfponding mind ; and it is cer- 
tain, that fuch of thefe animals^ as have been fhown in Eu- 
rope, have difeevered a degree of imitation beyond what any 
quadruped can arrive at. 

That of Tyfon wa s a gentle, fond, harmlefs creature. In 
its paflage to England, thofe that it knew on fhip-board, it 
would embrace with the greateft tendcrnefs, "opening their bo- 
foms, and clafping its hands about them. Monkies of a lower 
fpecies it held' in utter averfion ; it would always avoid the 
place where they were kept in the fame veflel ; and feemed 
to confider itfel'f as a creature of higher extraction. After it 
was taken, and a little ufed to wear clothes, it grew very fond 
of them ; a part it would put on without any help, and the 
reft it would carry in its hands to feme of the compnay, for 
their affi fiance. It would lie in a bed, place its head on the pil- 
low, and pull the clothes upwards, as a man would do. 

That which was feen by Edwards, and defcribed by Buf- 
fon, fliowed even a fuperior degree of fagacity. It walked, 
like all of its kind, upon two legs, even- though it carried bur- 
thens. Its air was melancholy, and its deportment grave. 
Unlike the baboon or monkey, whofc motions are violent and 
appetites capricious,, who are fond of mifchief, and obedient 
only from fear ; this animal was flow in its motions, and a 
look \\-as fufficient to keep it in awe. I have feen it, fays mr. 
Euffon, give its hand, to (how the company to the door : I 
have feen it fit at table, unfold its napkin, wipe its lips, make 
ufe of the fpoon and the fork, to carry the victuals to its mouth, 


pour out its drink into a ghfs, touch glafies when invited, take 
a cup and faucer, and lay them on the table, put in fugar, pour 
out its tea, leave it to cool before drinking, and all this, with- 
out any other infligation than the figns or the command of 
its mailer, and often of its o\vn accord. It was gentle and in- 
ofFenfive ; it even approached flrangers with refpecl:, and came 
rather to receive carefles than to offer injuries. It was particu- 
larly fond of fugared comfits, which every body was ready to 
give it ; end, as it had a defluxion upon the bread, fo much 
fugar contributed to increafe the diforder and fhorten its life. 
It conrinued at Paris but one fummer, and died in London. 
It ate indifcriminately of all things, but it preferred dry and 
ripe fruits to all other aliments. It would drink wine, but in 
fmall quantities, and gladly left it for milk, tea, or any other 
fweet liquor. 

Such thefe animals appeared when brought into Europe. 
However, many of their extraordinary habits were probably 
the refult of education, and we are not told how long the in- 
ftrucliions they received for this purpofe were continued. But 
we learn from another account, that they take but a very fhort 
time to come to a great degree of imitative perfection. Mr. L. 
Brofie bought two young ones, that were but a year old, from 
a Negro ; and thefe at that early age difcovered an aftonifh- 
ing power of imitation*. They even then fat at the table like 
men, ate of every thing without diftinclion, made ufe of their 
knife, fpoon, and fork, both to eat their meat and help them- 
felves. They drank wine and other liquors. When carried on 
{hip-board, they had figns for the cabbin-boys expreflive of their 
wants ; and whenever thefe neglected attending upon them 
as they defired, they inilamly flew into a palTion, feized them 
by the arm, bit them, and kept them down. The male was 
fea-fick, and required attendance like a human creature ; he 
was even twice bled in the arm ; and every time afterwards 
when he found himfelf out of order, he mowed his arm, as 
4eCrous of being relieved by bleeding. 

* At auoted by mr. BufTon, vol. xaviii. p. 77, 


Pyrard relates, that in the province of Sierra Leon?., in Af- 
rica, there are a kind of apes, called baris, which are ilrong 
and mufcular, and which, if properly innrucTied when young, 
ferve as very ufeful domeftics. They ufually walk upright -, 
they pound at a mortar ; they go to the river to fetch water, 
this they carry back in a little pitcher, on their heads : but if 
care be not taken to receive the pitcher at their return, they 
let it fall to the ground, ami then, feeing it broken, they begin 
to lament and cry for their lofs. Le Compte's account is much 
to the fame purpofe, of an ape, which he faw in the Strait of 
Molucca. " It walked upon its two hind feet, which it bent 
a little, like a dog that had been taught to dance. It made ufe 
of its hands and arms as we do. Its vifage was not much more 
difagreeable than that of a Hottentot ; but the body was all 
over covered with a woolly hair of different colours. As to 
the reft, it cried like a child j all its outward actions were fo 
like the human, and the pafiions fo lively and fignificant, that 
dumb men could fcarce better exprefs their conceptions and 
clefires. It had alfo that expreflion of pafTion or joy which we 
often fee in children, (lamping with its feet, and ftriking them 
againft the ground, to (how its fpight, or when refufed any 
thing it paffionately longed for. Although thefe animals/* 
continues he, " are very big, for that I faw was four feet high, 
their nimblenefs is incredible. It is a pleafure beyond expref- 
fion to fee them run up the tackling of a fliip, where they 
fometimes play as if they had a knack of vaulting peculiar to 
themfelves, or, as if they had been paid, like our rope-dancers, 
1 to divert the company. Sometimes, fufpended by one arm, 
they poife themfelves, and then turn all of a fudden round 
about a rope, with as much quicknefs as a wheel, or a fling 
put into motion. Sometimes holding the rope fucceilively 
with their long fingers, and, letting their whole body fall into 
. the air, they run full fpeed from one end to the other, and 
come back again with the fame fwiftnefs. There is no pofture 
but they imitate, nor motion but they perform. Bending them- 
felves like a bow, rolling like a bowl, hanging by the hands, 
feet, and teeth, according to the different fancies with which 


their capricious imagination fupplies them. But what is {till 
more amazing than all is, their agility to fling themfelves from 
one rope to another, though at thirty, forty, and fifty feet dif- 

Such are the habitudes and the powers of the fmaller clafs 
of thefe extraordinary creatures -, but we are prefented with a 
very different picture in thofe of a larger flature and more 
mufcular form. The little animals we have been defcribing, 
which are feldom found above four feet high, feem to partake 
of the nature of dwarfs among the human fpecies. being gen- 
tle, ailiduous, and playful, rather fitted to amufe than terrify. 
But the gigantic races of the ourang outang, feen and defcrib- 
cd by travellers, are truly formidable ; and in the gloomy fo- 
refts, where they are only found, feem to hold undifputed do- 
minion. Many of thefe are as tall, or taller than a man ; ac- 
tive, flrong and intrepid, cunning, lafcivious and cruel. This 
redoubtable rival of mankind is found in many parts of Afri- 
ca, in the Eaft-Indies, in Madagascar, and in Borneo*. In 
the lad of thefe places, the people of quality courfe him as 
we do the ftag ; and this fort of hunting is one of the favou- 
rite amufements of the king himfelf. This creature is extreme- 
ly fwift of foot, endowed with extraordinary ftrength, and 
runs with prodigious celerity. His fkin is all hairy, his eyes 
funk in his head, his countenance item, his face tannec}, and 
all his lineaments, though exactly human, harfh and blackened 
by the fun. In Africa this creature is even ftill more formi- 
dable. Battel calls him the pongo, and aflures us, that, in all his 
proportions, he refembles a man, exeept that he is much lar- 
ger, even to a gigantic ftature. His face refembles that of a 
man, the eyes deep funk in the head, the hair on each fide ex- 
tremely long, the vifage naked and without hair, as alfo the 
cars and the hands. The body is lightly covered, and fcarcely 
differing from that of a man, except that there are no calves 
to the legs. Still, however, the animal is feen to walk upon hi* 
hinder legs, and in an erect pofture. He fieeps under trees, 

* Lc Compte's Hiftorr of China. 


and binds Limfclf a lint, which ferves to pretext him againfl 
the fun and the rains of the tropical climates, of \vhich he is a 
native. He lives only upon fruits, and is no way carnivorous. 
He cannot fpeak, although furnifhed with greater inilin6t 
> than any other animal of the brute creation. When the Ne- 
groes make a fire in the woods, this animal comes near and 
warms himfelf by the blaze. However, he has not ikill enough 
to keep the flame alire by feeding it with fuel. They go to- 
gether in companies ; and if they happen to meet one of the 
human fpecies, remote from fuccour, they fhow him no mercy. 
They even attack the elephant, which they beat \vith their 
clubs, and oblige to leave that part of the forefl which they 
claim as their own. It is impoffible to take any of thefe dread- 
ful creatures alive, for they are fb ftrong, that ten men would 
not be a match for but one of them. None of this kind, there- 
fore, are taken except when very young, and thefe but rarely, 
when the female happens to leave them behind, for in gene- 
ral they keep clung to the bread, and adhere both with legs 
and arms. From the fame traveller we learn, that when one 
of thefe animals dies, the reft cover the body with a quantity of 
leaves and branches. They fometmies alfo lliow mercy to the 
human kind. A Negro boy, that was taken by one of thefe, and 
carried into the woods, continued there a whole year, with^ 
out receiving any injury*. From another traveller we learn, 
that thefe animals often attempt to furprize the female Ne- 
groes as they go into the woods, and frequently keep them 
againft their wills for the pleafure of their company, feeding 
them very plentifully all the time. He allures us that he knew 
a woman of Loango that had lived among thefe animals for 
three years. They grow from fix to feven feet high, and are 
of unequalled ftrength. They build fheds, and make ufe of 
clubs for their defence. Their faces are broad, their nofes flat, 
their cars without a tip, their fkins are more bright than that 
of a mulatto, and they are covered on many parts of the bo- 
dy with long and tawny coloured hair* Their belly is large, 
their heels flat, and yet rifmg behind. They fometimes walk 

* JU BroITc, as quoted by BufTon, vol. xxviii. p . 70. 


upright, anil fometimes upon all-fours, \vhen they are phan- 
taflically difpofed. 

From this defcription of the ourang outang, we perceive at 
what a diftance. the firft animal of the brute creation is placed 
from the very lowed of the human fpecies. Even in coun- 
tries peopled with favages, this creature is confidered as a 
bead ; and in thofe very places where we might fuppofe the 
fmalleft difference between them and mankind, the inhabitants 
hold it in the greateft contempt and detedation* In Borneo, 
where this animal has been faid to come to its greateft per- 
fection, the natives hunt it in the fame manner as they puriue 
the elephant or the lion, while its refemblance to the human 
form procures it neither pity nor protection. The gradations 
of nature in the other parts of nature are minute and infen- 
fible ; in the paffage from quadrupeds to fifties we can fcarce 
tell where the quadruped ends and the fifh begins ; in the de- 
fcenc from beads to infects we can hardly didinguifh the fteps 
of the progreffion ; but in the afcent from brutes to man, the 
line is ftrongly drawn, well marked and unpayable. It is in 
vain that the ourang outang refembles man in form, or imi- 
tates many of his actions , he dill continues a wretched, help- 
lefs creature, pent up in the moft gloomy part of the fored, 
and, with regard to the provifion for his own happinefs, in- 
ferior even to the elephant or the beaver in fagacity. To us, 
indeed, this animal feems much wifer than it really is. As we 
have long been ufed to meafure the fagacity of all actions by 
their fimilitude to our own, and not their fitnefs to the ani- 
mars way of living, we are pleafed with the imitations of the 
ape, even though we know they are far from contributing to 
the convenience of its fituation. An ape or a quadruped, whea 
under the trammels of human education, may be an admirable 
object for human curiofity, but is very little advanced by all 
its learning in the road to its own felicity. On the contrary, 
I have never feen any of ihcfc long indrudted annuals that 
did not, by their melancholy air, appear fenfible of the wretch*, 
ednefs of their iituation. Its marks oi feeming fagacity were 


merely relative to us and not to the animal ; and all its boafted 
wifdom was merely of our own making. 

There is, in fact, another circumrtance relative to this ani- 
mal which ought not to be concealed. I have -many reafons to 
believe that the moft perfect of the kind are prone, like the 
reft of the quadruped creation, and only owe their creel: atti- 
tude to human education. Almoft all the travellers who fpeak 
of them, mention their going fometimes upon all-fours, and 
fometimes erect. As their chief refidence is among trees, 
they are without doubt ufually feen erect while they are climb- 
ing ; but it is more than probable that their efforts to efcapc 
upon the ground are by running upon the hands and feet to- 
gether. 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 ftate 
of nature they run upon all-fours. Add to this, that, when we 
examine the palms of their hands and the foles of their feet, 
we find both equally callous and beaten ; a certain proof 
that both have been equally ufed. In thofe hot countries, where 
the apes are known to refide, the foles of the Negroes feet, 
who go bare-foot, are covered with a fkin above an inch thick ; 
while their hands are as foft as thofe of an European. Did 
the apes walk in the fame manner, the fame exercife would 
have furnifhed them with fimilar advantages, which is not 
the cafe. Befides all this, I have been allured, by a very cre- 
dible traveller, that thefe animals naturally run in the woods 
upon all-fours -, and when they are taken, their hands are tied 
behind them, to teach them to walk upright. This attitude 
they learn after fome time ; and, thus inilructed, they are 
fent into Europe to aflonifh the fpeculative with their near 
approaches to humanity, while it is never confidered how 
much is natural, and how much has been acquired in the fa- 
vage fchools of Benin and Angola. 

The animal next to thefe, and to be placed in the fame 
clafs, is the ape, properly fo called, or the pithekos of the an- 
cients. This is much lefs than the former, being not above a 


foot and a half high, but walks erect, is without a tail, and is 
ealy tamed. 

Of this kind alfo is the gibbon, fo called by BufFon, or the 
long-armed ape, which is a very extraordinary and remarkable 
creature. It is of different fizes, being from four feet to two 
feet high. It walks erect, is without a tail, has a face refem- 
bling that of a man, v. ith a circle of bufhy hair all round the 
vifagc ; its eyes are large and funk in its head ; its face tan- 
ned, and its ears exactly proportioned. But that in which it 
chiefly differs from all others of the monkey tribe is the ex- 
traordinary length of its arms, which, when the animal (lands 
creel:, are long enough to reach the ground ; fo that it can 
walk upon all-fours, and yet keep its erect the fame 
time. This animal, next to the ourang outang and the ape, 
moft nearly refembles mankind, not only in form, but in gen- 
tle manners and tractable difpofition. It is a native of the 
Eail-Indies, and particularly found along the coaft of Coro- 

The laft of the ape kind is the cynocephalus, or the magot 
of Buffo n. This animal wants a tail, like the former, although 
there is a fmall protuberance at that part, which yet is rather 
formed by the {kin than the bone. It differs alib in having a 
large callous red rump. The face is prominent, and approaches 
more to that of quadrupeds than of man. The body is co- 
vered with a browniih hair, and yellow on the belly. It is about 
three feet and a half, or four feet high, and is a native of 
moft parts of Africa and the Eaft. As it recedes from man in 
its form, fo alfo it appears different in its difpofitions, being 
fullen, vicious, and untractable f . 


DESCENDING from the more perfect of the monkey 
kinds, we come to the baboon and its varieties, a large, fierce, 

f Omnes femellx huiufce ct precedcntium, ut et fere fequentium fpecierum 
menftruali patiuntur lluxu ficut in feral 

VOL. IL * Y 


and formidable race, that, mixing the figure of the man an<i 
the quadruped in their conformation, feem to poflefs only the 
defects of both ; the petulance of the one, and the ferocity of 
the other. Thefe animals have a {hort tail j a prominent face ^ 
with canine teeth, larger than thofe of men, and callofities on 
the rump-j-. In man the phyfiognomy may deceive, and the 
figure of body does not always lead to the qualities of the 
mind ; but in animals WQ may always judge of their difpofi- 
tions by their looks, and form a jufl conjecture of their inter- 
nal habits from their external form. If we compare the nature 
of the ape and baboon by this eafy rule, we mail at once be 
led to pronounce that they greatly differ in their difpofilions, 
and that the latter are infinitely more fierce, favage and mali- 
cious than the former. The ourang outang, that fo nearly re- 
fembles man in its figure, approaches alfo neareft in the gen- 
tlenefs of its manners and the pliancy of its temper. The cy- 
nocephalus, that of all other apes is mod unlike man in form, 
and approaches nearer the dog in face,, refembles aJfo the brute 
in nature, being wild, reillefs, and impelled by a fretful impe- 
tuofity. But the baboon, who is ftill more remote, and refem- 
bles man only in having hands, who, from having a tail, pro- 
minent face, and (harp claws, approaches more nearly to the 
favage tribe, is every way fierce, malicious,, ignorant and un- 

The baboon, properly fo called, is from three to four feet 
high, very ftrong built, with a thick body and limbs, and ca- 
nine teeth, much longer than thofe of men. It has large callo- 
fities behind, which are quite naked and red. Its tail is crook- 
ed and thick, and about feveii or eight inches long. Its fnout, 
for it can hardly be called a face, is long and thick, and on 
each fide of its cheeks, it has a pouch, into which, when fati- 
ated with eating,. it puts the remainder of its provifions. It is 
covered wkhlong thick hair, of a reddifh brown colour, and 
pretty uniform over the whole body. It walks more commonly 
upon all-fours than upright, and its hands as well as its feet arc 

t Buffon, vol. xx-viik p 183. 


armed with long (harp claws, inftead of the broad round nails 
of the ape kind. 

An animal thus made for ftrength, and furnifhed with dan- 
gerous weapons, is found in fal to be one of the molt formi- 
dable of the favage race, in thofe countries where it is bred. It 
appears, in its native woods, to be impelled by two oppofite paf- 
fions ; an hatred for the males of the human fpecies, and a de- 
fire for women. Were we aflured of thefe ftrange oppofitions 
in its difpofition from one teftimony alone, the account might 
appear doubtful; but as it comes from a variety of the moil 
credible witnefies, we cannot refufe our aflent. From them, 
therefore, we learn, that thefe animals will often aflail women 
in a body, and force them into the woods, where they keep 
them againft their will, and kill them when refractory. From 
the chevalier Forb'm we learn, that in Siam, whole troops of 
thefe will often fally forth from their forefts, and attack a vil- 
lage, when they know the men are engaged in their rice har- 
veft. They are on fuch occafions actuated as well by defire as 
by hunger ; and not only plunder the houfes of whatever pro- 
vifions they can find, but endeavour to force the women. 
Thefe, however, as the chevalier humouroufly relates, not at 
nil liking either the manners or the figure of the paltry gallants, 
boldly (land on their defence, and with clubs, or whatever 
other arms they can provide, inftead of anfwering their caref- 
fes, oblige their ugly fuitors to retreat ; not, however, before 
they have damaged or plundered every thing eatable they can 
lay their hands on. 

At the Cape of Good-Hope they are lefs formidable, but, 
to the befl of their power, equally mifchievous. They are 
there under a fort of natural difcipline, and go about what- 
ever they undertake with furprizing {kill a^d regularity. When 
they fet about robbing an orchard or a vineyard, for they are 
extremely fond of grapes, apples and ripe fruit, they do not 
go fingly to work, but in large companies, and with precon- 
certed deliberation. On thefe occafions, a part of them enter 
the enclofure, while one is fet to watch. The reft ft and with- 


out the fence, and form a line reaching all the way from their 
fellows within to their rendezvous without, which is general- 
ly in fome craggy mountain. Every thing being thus difpofed, 
the plunderers within the orchard throw the fruit to thole 
that are without as faft as they can gather it -, or, if the wall 
or hedge be high, to thofe that fit on the top ; and thefe hand 
the plunder to thofe next them on the other fide. Thus the 
fruit is pitched from one to another all along the line, till it 
is fafely depofited at their head-quarters. They catch it as 
readily as the moil fkilful tennis player can a ball ; and while 
the bufmefs is going forward, which they conduct with great 
expedition, a molt profound filence is obferved among them. 
Their centinel, during this whole time, continues upon the 
watch, extremely anxious and attentive j but if he perceives 
any one coming, he inftantly fets up a loud cry, and, at this 
fignai, the whole company fcamper 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 inftance, they go off with 
one in their mouths, one in their hands, and one under their 
arm. If the purfuit is hot, they drop firlt that from under their 
*Arm, then that from their hand ; and, if it be continued, they 
at laft let fall that which they had hitherto kept in their 

The natives of the Cape often take the young of thefe ani- 
mals, and, feeding them with meep and goats milk, accuflom 
them to guard their houfes ; which duty they perform with 
great punctuality. Thofe, however, that have been brought 
into Europe, are hcadftrong, rude, and untra&able. Dogs and 
cats, when they have done any thing wrong, will run off; 
but thefe feem carelefs and infenfible of the mifchief they do ; 
and I have feen one of them break a whole table of china, as 
it mould feem by defign, without appearing in the leaft con- 
fcious of having done amifb. It was not, however, in any re- 
fpecl: fo formidable as that defcribed by mr. Buffon, of which 
Jie gives the following defcription. " It was not," fays he, 
' extremely ugly, and yet it excited horror. It continually 
appeared in a ftate of favage ferocity, gnafhing its teeth, fly- 


ing at the fpe&ators, and furioufly reftlefs. It was obliged to 
be confined in an iron cage, the bars of which it fo forcibly 
attempted to break, that the fpeclators were ftruck with ap- 
prehenfion. It was a fturdy bold animal, whofe fhort limbs and 
powerful exertions, mowed vail ftrcngth and agility. The long 
hair with which it was covered feemed to add to its apparent 
abilities ; which, however, were in reality fo great, that it 
could eafily overcome more than a fingle man, unlefs armed. 
As to the rcit, it forever appeared excited by that paffion which 
renders the mildeft animals at intervals furious. Its lafcivi- 
oufnefs was conflant, and its fatisfattions particular. Some 
others alfo of the monkey kind Ihowed the fame degree of 
impudence, and particularly in the prefence of women j but, 
as they were lefs in fize, their petulance was lefs obvious, and 
their infoience more eafily corrected." 

But, however violent the defires of thefe animals may be, 
they are not found to breed in our climate. The female brings 
forth ufually but one at a time, which me carries in her arms, 
and in a peculiar manner clinging to her breait. As to the 
reft, thefe animals 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 thofe of man 
than of quadrupeds, particularly the liver, which is like that 
of a dog divided into fix lobes. The lungs are more divided, 
the guts in general are fhorter, and the kidnies rounder and 

The largeft of the baboon kind is the mandril ; zi\ ugly 
difgufling animal, with a tail lliorter than the former. 
of a much larger ftature, being from four to five feet i 
The muzzle is (till longer than that of the preceding ; it is 
of a bluiih colour, and ftrongly marked with wrinkles, v ; 
give it a frightful appearance. But ^|at renders it tn.;/ 
loathfome is, that 'from the nofe there is always feen iiiuing 
a fnot, which the animal takes care at intervals to HLK oiF 
with its tongue and fwailow. It is a native of the 
it is faid to walk more frequently erect than upon a 

358 AN I M A L S O F T H E 

and when difpleafcd, to weep like a child. There w^.s one 
of them fhown in England fome years ago. It feemed tame, 
but ftupid, and had a method of opening its mouth and blow- 
ing at fuch as came too near. 

The wanderow is a baboon rather lefs that the former, with 
the body lefs compact and mufcular, and the hinder parts 
feemingly more feeble. The tail is from feven to eight inches 
long ; the muzzle is prominent, as in the reft of this kind; but 
what particularly diftinguimes it, is a large long white head of 
hair, together with a monftrous white beard, coarfe, rough, 
and defcending; the colour of the reft of the body being brown 
or black. As to the reft, in its favage ftate, it is equally fierce 
with the others ; but, with a proper education, it feems more 
tractable than moft of its kind, and is chiefly feen in the woods 

of Ceylon and Malabar. 

The maimon of BufFon, which Edwards calls the pigtail, is 

the laft of the baboons, and in fize rather approaches the mon- 
key, being no larger than a cat. Its chief diftinclion, befides 
its prominent muzzle, like a Gaboon, is in the tail, which is 
about five or fix inches long, and curled up like that of a hog ; 
from which circumftance, peculiar to this animal, our Englifh 
naturalift gave it the name. It is a native of Sumatra, and does 
not well endure the rigours of our climate. Edwards, howe- 
ver, kept one of them a year in London ; and another of them 
happening at the fame time to be expofed in a (how of beafts, 
he brought the two exiles together, to fee if they would claim 
or acknowledge their kindred. The moment they came into 
each other's prefence, they teftified their mutual fatisfaction, 
and feemed quite tranfported at the interview. 



The varieties in the larger tribes of the monkey kind are 
but few -, in the ape we have feen but four, and in the baboon 
about as many. But when we come to the fmaller clafs, the dif 


ferences among them feem too tedious for enumeration; Thefe, 
as was obfervecl in the beginning, are ail fmall in (lature, and 
with long tails, by which they are diftinguifhed from the pre- 
ceding, that entirely want the tail, or are large and have but a 
fhort one. The varieties in the form and colour of dogs, or 
fquirrels, is nothing to what are found among monkies of try? 
fmaller kind. Bofman mentions above fifty forts on the Gold 
Coaft alone, and Smith confirms the account. Condamine af- 
ferts that it would take up a volume to defcribe the differences 
of thefe to be found along the river Amazons ; and we are 
fure that every one of thefe is very different from thofe on ihe 
African coaft. Naturalifls, however, have undertaken to make 
a catalogue of their numbers ; and they either tranfmit their 
defcriptions from one to another, or only enumerate thofe few 
that have found their way to Europe, and have fallen within 
the narrow circle of their own obfervation. But, though it 
may be proper enough to defcribe fuch as fall under notice, 
it is certainly wrong to offer a fcanty catalogue, as complete, 
and to induce the reader to fuppofe he fees a pictureof the whole 
group of thefe animals, when he is only prefented with a fmall 
part of the number. Such, therefore, as are fond of the repu- 
tation of adding new defcriptions to the flock of natural hifio- 
ry, have here a wide, though furely a barren field to enlarge in; 
and they will find it no difficult matter, by obferving the vari- 
ous animals of this kind, that are brought from their native 
coafts to this country, to indulge in description, and to ring 
the changes upon all the technical terms with which this mofl 
pleafmg fcience is obfcured and rendered difgufting. For my 
own part, I will fpare the reader and myfelf the trouble of en- 
tering into an elaborate defcription of each ; content with ob- 
ferving once more, that their numbers are rery great, and their 
differences very trifling. There is fcarce a country in the tro- 
pical climates that does not fwarm with them, and fcarce a. 
foreft that is not inhabited by a race of monkies diflincl: from 
all others. Every different wood along the coafts of Africa, 
may be confidered as a feparate colony of monkies, differing 
from tkofe of the next diftrid iji colour, in fize, and tt 


cious mCfchief. It is indeed remarkable, that the monkies of tv/o 
cantons are r-ever found to mix with each other, but rigorouf- 
ly to obferve a feparation ; each foreil produces only its own 5 
and thefe guard their limits from the intrufion of all ilrangers 
of a different race from themfelves. Li this they fomewhat re- 
ferable the human inhabitants of the favage nations, among 
/y-:om they are found, where the petty kingdoms are nume- 
rous, and their manners oppofite. There, in the extent of a 
few miles, the traveller is prefented with men fpeaking differ- 
ent languages, profeffing different religions, governed by dif- 
ferent laws, and only refembling each other, in their mutual 

In general, monkies of all kinds, being lefs than the baboon, 
are endued with lefs powers of doing mifchief. Indeed, the 
ferocity of their nature feems to diminifh .-with their fize ; and 
when taken wild in the woods, they are fooner tamed, and 
more eafily taught to imitate man than the former. More gen- 
tle than the baboon, and lefs grave and fullen than the ape, 
they foon. begin to exert all their fportive mimicries, and are 
eafily reflrained by correction. But it muft be confeiled, that 
they will do nothing they are defired without beating ; for, if 
their fears be entirely removed, they are the mod infolent and 
head-ftrong animals in nature. % 

In their native woods, they are not lefs the perls of man 
than of other animals. The monkies, fays a traveller*, are in pot- 
fefiion of every foreil where they refide, and may be confidered 
as the mailers of the place. Neither the tiger, nor the lion it- 
felf, will venture to difpute the dominion, fmce thefe, from 
the tops of trees, continually carry on an offenfive war, and by 
their agility, efcape all poffibility of purfuit. Nor have the birds 
lefs to fear from their continual depredations ; for,, as thefe 
harmlefs inhabitants of the wood, ufually build upon trees, the 
monkies are for ever on the watch to find out and rob their 
nefts i and fuch is their petulant delight in mifchief, that they 

* Dcfcription Hiftorique de Macac, p. jl. 


:ling their eggs againft the ground when they want appe- 
tite or inclination to devour them. 

There is but one animal in all the foreft, that ventures to op-' 
pofe the monkey, and that is the ferpent. The larger fnakes 
are often feen winding up the trees where the monkies refide ; 
and, when they happen to furprize them fleeping, fwallow 
them whole, before the little animals have time to make a de- 
fence. In this manner, the two moft mifchievous kinds in all 
nature keep the whole foreft between them ; both equally for- 
midable to each other, and for ever employed in mutual hoftili- 
ties. The monkies in general inhabit the tops of the trees, and 
the ferpents cling to the branches nearer the bottom ; and in this 
manner they are for ever feen near each other, like enemies in 
the fame field of battle. Some travellers, indeed, have fuppofed, 

' that their vicinity rather argued their mutual friendfliip, and 
that they united in this manner to form an ofFenfive league 
againft all the reft of animated nature*. I have feen thefe 
monkies," fays Labat, " playing their gambols upon thofe very 
branches on which the fnakes were repofing, and jumping over 
them without receiving any injury, although the ferpents of that 
country were naturally vindictive, and always ready to bite 
whatever difturbed them." Thefe gambols, however, were pro- 
bably nothing more than the infults of an enemy that was con- 

"fcious of its own fafety ; and the monkies might have provok- 
ed the fnake in the fame manner, as we often fee fparrows 
twitter at a cat. However this be, the foreft is generally divi- 
ded between them ; and thefe woods, which nature feems to 
have embellimed with her richeft magnificence, rather infpire 
terror than delight, and chiefly ferve as retreats for mifchief and 

The enmity of thefe animals to mankind, is partly ridiculoas, 
and partly formidable. They feem, fays Le Comte and others, 
to have a peculiar mftincl: in difcovering their foes ; and are 
perfectly (killed, when attacked, in mutually defending and 
aflifting each other. When a traveller enters among thefe 

* I abat, Relat. de 1'Afriq. Occident, p. 337, 

VOL. IL a Z 


woods, they confider him as an invader upon their dominions, 
and join all to repel the intrufion. At firft, they furvey hira 
with a kind of infolent curiofity. They jump from branch to 
branch, purfue him as he goes along, and make a loud chatter- 
ing, to call the reft of their companions together. They then 
begin their hoftilities by grinning, threatening, and flinging 
down the withered branches at him, which they break from 
the trees : they even take their excrements in their hands, and 
tbr.'W them at his head. Thus they attend him wherever he 
goes \ jumping from tree to tree with fuch amazing fwiftnefs, 
that the eye can fcarce attend their motions. Although they 
take the meft defperate leaps, yet they are fcldom feen to come 
to the ground, for they eafily fallen upon the branches that 
break their fall,, and flick, either by their hands, feet, or tail, 
wherever they touch. If one of them happens to be wounded, 
the reft aiTemble round, and clap their fingers into the wound, 
as if they vrere defirous of founding its depth. If the blood flows 
In any quantity, fome of them keep it fhut up, while others 
get leaves, which they chew, and thruft into the opening: how- 
ever extraordinary this may appear, it is aflerted to be often 
feen, and to be ftriclly true. In this manner they wage a petu- 
lant, unequal war; and are often killed in numbers before they 
think proper to make a retreat. This they effect with the fame 
precipitation with which they at firft came together. In this 
retreat the. young are feen clinging to the back of the female, 
with which ihe jumps away, feemingly unembarrafled by the 

The curiofity of the Europeans Has, in fome meafure, induc- 
ed the natives of the places where thefe animals refide, to catch 
or take them alive by every art they are able. The ufual way, 
in fuch cafe, is to moot the female as ftie carries her young, and 
then both, of courfe, tumble to the ground. But even this is 
not eafily performed ; for if the animal be not killed outright, 
it will not fall j but clinging to fome branch, continues, even 
when dead, its former grafp, and remains on the tree where 
it was fhot, until it drops ofF by putrefaction. In this manner, 
it is totally loft to the purfuer $ for to attempt climbing the 


tree, to bring cither it or the young one do\vn, would proba- 
bly be fatal, from the number of fcrpents that are hid ?.rncng 
the branches. For this reafon the fportfman always takes c ire 
to aim at the head; which, if he hits, the monkey falls direclly 
to the ground ; and the young one comes down at the fame 
time, clinging to its dead parent. 

The Europeans along the coafts of Guinea, often go into the 
woods to fhoot monkies ; and nothing pleafes the Negroes 
more than to fee thofe animals drop, againft which they have 
the greateft animofity. They confider them, and not without 
reafon, as the mod mifchievous and tormenting creatures in 
the world ; and are happy to fee their numbers deftroyed, up- 
on a double account ; as well becaufe they dread their cl . 
tations, as becaufe they love their fiefh. The mor vh is 

always Ikinned before it is eaten, when ferved up at a Negro 
feaft, looks fo like a child, that an European is {hocked at the 
very fight. The natives, however, who are not fo nice, de- 
vour it as one of the higheft delicacies, and afliduoufly attend 
our fportfmen, to profit by the fpoil. But what they are chiefly 
uftonifhed at, is to fee our travellers carefully taking the ycung 
ones alive, while they leave them the old ones, that are cer- 
tainly the mod fit to be eaten. They cannot comprehend what 
advantage can arife to us from educating or keeping a little 
animal, that, by experience, they know to be equally fraught 
with tricks and mifchief : fome of them have even been led to 
fuppofe, that, with a kind of perverfe affection, we love only 
creatures of the mod mifchievous kinds ; and having feen us 
often buy young and tame monkies, they have taken equal care 
to bring rats to our favors, offering them for fale, and greatly 
pointed at finding no purchafer for fo hopeful a commo- 

The Negroes confider thefe animals as their greateft plague ; 
and, indeed, thejr do incredible damage, when they come in 
companies to lay wafte a field of Indian-corn or rice, or a plan- 
tation of fugar-canes. They carry off as much as they are a 

* Labat, Relat, de 1'Afriq. Occident, p. j 1 


and they deftroy ten times more than they bear away. Thelf 
manner of plundering is pretty much like that of the baboons, 
already mentioned, in 3 garden. One of them {lands centinel 
upon a tree, while the reft are plundering, carefully and cau- 
tioufly turning on every fide, but particularly to that on which 
there is the greateft danger : in the mean time, the reft of the 
fpoilers purfue their work with great filence and afliduiry , they 
are not contented with the firft blade of corn, or the fir ft cane 
that they happen to lay their hands on : they firft pull up 
fuch as appear moft alluring to the eye : they turn it round, 
examine, compare it with others, and if they find it to their 
jnind, ftick it under one of their moulders. When in this man- 
ner they have got their load, they begin to think of retreating : 
but if it mould happen that the owners of the field appear to 
interrupt their depredations, their faithful centinel inftantly 
gives notice, by crying out, houp, houp, houp ; which the reft 
perfectly underftand, and all at once throwing down the corn 
they hold in the left hands, fcamper off upon three legs, car- 
rying the remainder in the right. If they are ftill hotly purfu- 
cd, they then are content to throw down their whole burthen, 
and to take refuge among their woods, on the tops of which 
they remain in perfect fecurity. 

Were we to give faith to what fome travellers aflure us, of 
the government, policies, and fubordination pf thefe animals., 
\ve might perhaps, be taxed with credulity ; but we have no 
reafon to doubt that they are under a kind of difcipline, which 
they exercife among each other. They are generally feen to 
keep together in companies, to march in exact order, and to 
obey the voice of fome particular chieftain, remarkable for his 
jfize and gravity. One fpecies of thefe, which mr. Buffon calls. 
the ouarine, and which are remarkable for the loudnefs and the 
diftinclnefs of their voice, are ftill more fo for the ufe to which 
they convert it. " I have frequently been a witnefs," fays Mar- 
grave, of their afiemblies and deliberations. Every day, both 
jnorning and evening, the ouarines aiTemble in the woods ta 
receive inftructions. When all come together, one among the 
number takes the higheft place on a tree, and makes a figna.1 


with his hand to the reft to fit round, in order to hearken. As 
foon as he lees them placed, he begins his difcourie, wk <> > 
loud a voice, and yet in a manner io precipitate, that to \ 
turn at a diftance, one would think the whole company were 
crying out at the fame time : however, during that time, one 
only is fpeaking ; and all the reft obferve the moft profound 
filence. When this has done, he makes a fign with the hand 
for the reft to reply ; and at that inftant they raife their voices 
together, until, by another fignal of the hand, they are enjoined 
iilence. This they as readily obey; till, at laft, the whole aflem- 
bly breaks up, after hearing a repetition of the fame preach- 

The chief food of the monkey-tribe is fruits, the buds of 
trees, or fucculent roots and plants. They all, like man, feem 
fond of fweets ; and particularly the pleafant juice of the 
palm-tree, and the fugar-cane. With thefe the fertile regions 
in which they are bred, feldom fail to fupply them ; but when 
it happens that thefe fail, or that more nouriming food be~ 
comes more agreeable, they eat infects and worms ; and, 
fometimes if near the coaft, defcend to the fea-fhore, where, 
they eat oyfters, crabs and iliell-fifh. Their manner of manag- 
ing an cyfter is extraordinary enough ; but it is too well at- 
tefted, to fail of our aiTent. As the oyfters in the tropic J 
climates are generally larger than with us, the monkies, when 
they go to the fea-fide, pick up a ftone, and clap it between the. 
opening (hells : this prevents them from clofing -, and the 
monkey then eats the fiih at his eafe. They often alfo dravr 
crabs from the water, by putting their tail to the hole where 
that animal takes refuge, and the crab faftening upon it, t:ur 
withdraw it with a jerk, and thus pull their prey upon more. 
This habit of laying traps for other animals, makes them very 
cautious of being entrapped themfelves ; and I am allured, by 
many perfons of credit, that no fnare, how nicely baited t\j- 
ever, will take the monkey of the Weft-India iflands : iur 
having been accuftomed to the cunning of man, \ 
its natural diftruil to human artifice, 


The monkey generally brings forth one at a time, and fome- 
tim-s two. They are rarely found to breed \vhen brought 
over into Europe ; but of thofe that do, they exhibit a very 
Striking picture of parental JiTedHon. The male ana female 
are never tired of fondling their young one. They inftruft it 
with no little afliduity ; and often feverely corredl it, if itub- 
born, or difmclined to profit by^their example : they hand it 
from .one to the other ; and when the male has done mowing 
his regard,, the female takes her turn. When wild in the woods, 
the female, if me happens to have two, carries one on her 
back, and the other in her arms : that on her back clings very 
clofely, clafping its hands round her neck, and its feet about 
her middle ; when me wants to fuckle it, fhe then alters her 
pofition ; and that which has been fed, gives place to the other, 
which fhe takes in her arms. It often happens that fhe is un- 
able to lean from one tree to another, when thus loaden ; and 
upon fuch occafions, their dexterity is very furprizing. The 
whole family form a kind of chain, locking tail in tdil, or 
hand in hand, and one of them holding the branch above, the 
reft fwing down, balancing to and fro*, like a pendulum, un- 
til the undermoft is enabled to catch hold of the lower bran- 
ches of fome neighbouring tree. When the hold is fixed below, 
the monkey lets go that which was above, and thus comes 
undermoft in turn ; tut, creeping up along the chain, attains 
the next branches, like the reft ; and thus they all take pof- 
feffion of the tree, without ever coming to the ground. 

When in a ftate o? domeftic tamencfs, thofe animals are 
very amufmg, and often fill up a vacant hour, when other en- 
tertainment is v anting. There are few that are not acquainted 
with their various mimicries, and their capricious fetes of 
activity. But it is generally in company with other animals 
of a more fimple difpofition th neks :nid fuperior in- 

ftincls are mown ; they feem to take a delight in tormenting 
them ; and I have fecn one of them arn tiling itfelf for hours to 
gcthcr, in impofmg upon the gravity of a cat. Erafmus tells 
us of a large monkey, kept by fir Thomas More, that, one day- 
diverting itfelf in his garden, where fome tame rabbits were 


kept, played fever al of its ufual pranks among them, while the 
rabbits fcarce well knew what to make of their new acquain- 
tance : in the mean time, a weafel that came for very different 
purpofes than thofe of entertainment, was feen peering abooit 
the place in which the rabbits were fed, and endeavouring to 
make its way, by removing a board that clofed their hutch. 
While the monkey faw no danger, it continued a calm ipec- 
ntor of the enemy's efforts ; but jufl when, by long labour, 
the weafel had effected its purpofe, and had removed the board, 
the monkey ftept in, and, with the utmoft dexterity, fattened 
it again in its place ; and the difappointed weafel was too 
much fatigued to renew- its operations. To this I will only add 
what Father Carli, in his hiftory of Angola, affures us to be 
true. In that horrid country, where he went to convert the 
lav-age natives to chriftianity, and met with nothing but dif- 
appointment, while his health was totally impaired by the rag- 
ing heats of climate, his patience exhaufted by the obftinacy 
of the ftupid natives, and his little provifions dailv plundered, 
without redrefs, in fuch an exigency he found more faithful 
fervices from the monkies than the men ; thefe he had taught 
to attend him, to guard him, while fleeping, againft thieves 
and rats, to comb his head, to fetch his water ; and he afferts, 
that they were even more traceable than the human inhabi- 
tants of the place. It is indeed remarkable, that in thofe coun- 
tries where the men are inoft barbarous and ftupid, the brutes 
are mod active and fagacious. It is in the torrid traces, inha- 
bited by barbarians, that fuch various animals are found with 
inftinfts fo nearly approaching reafon. The favages both of 
Africa and America, accordingly fuppofe monkies to be men; 
idle, flothful, rational beings ; capable of fpeech and conver- 
fation, but obftinately dumb, for fear of being compelled to 

As of all favages, thofe of Africa are the moft brutal, fo, 
of all countries, the monkies of Africa are the moft expert 
and entertaining. The monkies of America are, in' general, 
neither fo fagacious nor fo traceable, nor is their form fo near- 
ly approaching tliat of mail. The monkies of the new con- 


tinent, may be very eafily diflinguifhed from thofe of the olcf^ 
by three marks. Thofe of the ancient continent are univer- 
fally found to have a naked callous fubftance behind, upon 
which they fit ; which thofe of America are entirely wachout 5 
thofe alfo of the ancient continent have the noflrils differently 
formed, more refembling thofe of men, the holes opening 
downwards ; whereas the American monkies have them open- 
ing on each fide ; thofe of the ancient world, have pouches on 
each fide the jaw, into which they put their provisions, which 
thofe of America are without : laftly, none of the monkies of 
the ancient continent hang by the tail, which many of the 
American forts are known to do. By thefe marks, the monkies 
ef either continent, may be readily diftinguiihed from each 
other, and prized accordingly. The African monkey, as I am 
affured, requires a longer education, and more correction, 
than that of America ; but it is at laft found capable of more 
various powers of imitation, and fhows a greater degree of 
gunning and activity. 

Mr. Buffon, who has examined this race of imitative be- 
ings with greater accuracy than any other naturalifl before 
him, makes but nine fpecies of monkies belonging to the an- 
cient continent ; and eleven belonging to the new. To all 
thefe, he gives the names which they go by, in their refpec- 
tive countries ; which, undoubtedly, is the method lefs liable 
to error, and the moll proper for imitation. 

Of the monkies of the ancient continent, the firft, he de- 
fcribes, is the macaguo ; fomewhat refembling a baboon in 
fize, ftrength of body, and a hideous wrinkled vifage : it dif- 
fers, however, in having a very long tail, which is covered 
tufted hair. It is a native of Congo. 

The fecond is the patas, which is about the fame fize with 
the former ; but differs, in having a longer body, and a face 
lefs hideous ; it is particularly remarkable for the colour of its 
hair, which is of a red, fo brilliant, that the animal looks as 
if it were actually painted. It is ufually brought from Sene* 
jal i and by fome, called the red African monkey. 



The third of the ancient continent is the malbrouk; of which 
fie fuppofes the monkey which he calls the bonct chinois to 
he a variety* The one is remarkable for a long tail, and long 
beard ; the other, for a cap of hair, thai; covers the crown o 
the head, from whence it takes the name. Both are natives 
of the Eafl-Irrdies j and the Bramins, who extend their chari- 
ty to all the brute creation, have hofpitals for fuch of them 
as happen to be Tick, or otherwife difabled. 

The fourth of this kind, is the mangabey ; this may be 
tHfting-uimed from all others, by its 'eyelids, which are naked, 
and of a (Inking whitenefs. It is a native of Madagascar. 

The fifth is the mona, or the cephtis of the ancients : it is 
diftinguimed by its colour, which is variegated with black and 
red ; and its tail is of an aih-colour, with two white fpots on 
ach fide, at its infertion. It is a native of the northern parts 
of Africa. 

The fixth is the callitrix, or green monkey of St. lago j 
diftinguifhed by its beautiful green colour on the back, its 
\vhite breaft and belly, and its black face. 

The feventh is the mouftoc, or white nofe 5 diflmguifhed 
by the whitenefs of its lips, from \vhence it has received its 
name, the reft of the face being of a deep blue. It is a na- 
tive of the Gold Coalt, and a very beautiful little animal. 

The eighth is the talapoin ; and maybe diftinguimed 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 'reft. 
It is fuppofed to be a native of Africa and the Eaft. 

The ninth and laft of the monkies of the ancient conti- 
nent, is the douc, fo called in Cochin-China, of which coun- 
try it is a native. The douc feems to unite the characters of 
all the former together : with a long tail, like the monkey ; 
of a fize as large as the baboon , and with a flat face, like "the 
ape : it even refembles the American monkies, in having no 
callofity on its pofteriors. Thus it fecms to form the flwde by 

VOL. II. 3 A 


'w^ich the monkies of" one continent are linked with thofe of 
the other. 

N^ext come the monkies of "the new continent -, which, a& 
hath been laid, differ from thofe of the old, in the make of 
their noitrils, in their having no calloiity on their pofteriors, 
and in their having no pouches on each fide of the jaw. They 
differ alfo from each other, a part of them making no ufe of 
their tails to hang by 5 while others of "them have the tVil very. 
fbrong and 'mufcular, and ferving by "way of a fifth hand to 
hold by. Thofe with "m-ufcular holding tails, are called fopa- 
jous ; thofe with feeble, -ufelefs tails, are called fagoins. Of 
the fapajous there are five forts : of the fagoins there are fix. 

The firft of the fapnjous is the warine, or the BrafiJian Gu- 
ariba. T; -y is as large as a fox, with long hla-ek hair, 

and reinarbibk fcr chf Joiulncfs of its voice. It is the largeft 
of the monkey kind to be found in America; 

Thr. feeortd is 'the -coaiti ; -which may be diftinguifhed 

fiom c T : e r-: ; l;, by b.ix ing no thumb, and confequeritly, but four 

- two fore paws. The tail, however, fupplies the 

dot; hand j and with this the animal flings itfelf from 

ee to uaother, "with furprizing rapidity. 

The thr'd is the faiov , diftinguiflied from the reft of the 
fapajous, by itb yellowiili, fleih-coloured face. 

ourth is the fa i. It is fornewhat larger than the fajou, 
and has a broader muzzle. It is alfo called the bewailer ; from 
its peculiar manner of lamenting, when either -threatened or 

'ic fifth and la ft of the fap.jou kind, or mcmkres that hold 
by the tail, is the famiri, or aurora ; which is the fmalleft and 

movt beautiful of all. It is of a line orange colour, with 
two -circles of flefh round the eyes. It is a very tender, delicate 
animal, and held in high price. 

Of the fagoins with feeble tails, there are fix kinds. The 
grft aud -the largeft, is the iaki^or ca-ui ; fo remarkable for 


the length of the hair on its tail, that it has been often termed 
the fox-tailed monkey. It is of different fizes ; fome being 
twice as large as others. 

The fecond of this- kind is the tamaim ; which is ufually 
black, with the feet yellow. Some, ho -A ever, are lound all ov^r 
brown, fpotted with yellow. 

The third is the wiftiu ; remarkable for the -large tufts c 
hair upon its face, audits annulaced tail. 

The fourth is the marikina ; with a mane round the neck*, 
and a bunch of h -,ir 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 defeends on each ide of -the face* 
like that of man. 

The laft, lead, and moft beautiful of all/ is the mico, an 
animal too curioufly adorned, not to demand a particular de- 
fcripiion ; which is thus given of it, hy mr, Condamine. 

<f That," fays he, <* which the governor of Para made m 
a prefent of, was the only one of its kind that was feen in the 
country. The hair on its body was of a beautiful filver colour,, 
brighter than that of the moil venerable human, hair :.-while 
the tail was of a deep brown,. inclining to blacknefs.. It had 
another fmgularity, more remarkable than the former ; its ears> 
its cheeks, and lips, were tinctured with fo bright a vermil- 
lion, that one could fcarce be led to fuppofe that it was natu* 
raL I kept it a year ; and it was ftili alive when I made this 
defcription of it, almoft within fight of the coafts of France t 
all I could then do, was to preferve it in fpirits of wine, which 
might ferve to keep it in fuch a itate. as to {how that I did not: 
in the leaft exaggerate in my defcriptioiu" 

O ? THE M A K L 

THE laft of the monkey kind are the makies; which have 
no other pretenfions to be placed in this clafsj except that oL 


having hands like the former, and making life of them fo* 
climb trees, or to pluck their food. Animals of the hare kind,, 
indeed, are often feen to feed themfelves with their fore paws, 
but they can hold nothing in one of them fingly, and are oblig- 
ed to take up whatever they eat in- both at once : but it is 
therwife with the maki ; as well as the monkey kinds, they 
feize their food with one hand,, pretty much like a man, and 
grafp it with great eafe and firmnefs. The maki, therefore,, 
from this conformation in its hands, both before and behind, 
approaches nearly to the monkey kind j but, in other refpeclis, 
fuch as the make of the fnout, the form of the ears, and the 
parts that diftinguKh the fexes, it entirely differs from them. 
There are many different kinds of thefe animals all varying 
from each other in colour or fize, but agreeing in the human- 
like figure of their hands and feet, and in their long nofe, 
which fomewhat refembles that of a dog. As moft of thefe 
are bred in the depths of the foreir, we know little more con- 
cerning them than their figure. Their way of living, their 
power of purfuit and efcape, can only be fappofed, from the 
analogy of their conformation, fomewhat to referable thofe of 
the monkey. 

The firft of this kind is the mococo ; a beautiful animal^ 
about the fize of a common cat, but the body and limbs flen- 
derer, and of a longer make. It has a very long tail,, at lead 
double the length of its body ; it is covered with fur, and mark- 
ed alternately with broad rings of black and white. But, what 
it is chiefly remarkable for, befides the form of its hands and 
feet, is the largenefs of its eyes, which are furrounded with a 
broad black fpace ; and the length of the hinder legs, which 
by far exceed thofe before. When it fleeps, it brings its nofe 
to its belly, and its tail over its head. When it plays, it ufes a 
fort of galloping, with its tail raifed over its back, which keeps 
continually in motion. The head is covered with dark afh- 
coloured hair ; the back and fides, with a red-afh colour, and 
not fo dark as on the head ; and the whole gloffy, foft, and 
delicate, fmooth to the touch, and {landing almoft upright, 
like the pile of velvet. It is a native of Madagascar j appears 


to be a harmlefs gentle animal ; and though it refembles the 
monkey in many refpec~h, it has neither its malice nor its mif~ 
chief : neverthelefs, like the monkey, it feerns to be always in 
motion ;, and moves, like all four-handed animals, in an ob- 
lique direction. 

A fecond of this kind, which is alfo a native of Madagaf- 
car, is the mongooz ; which is lefs than the former ; with a. 
foft, glofly robe, but a little curled. The nofe alfo is thicker 
than that of the mococo ; the eyes are black, with orange- 
coloured circles round the pupil ; and the tail is of one uni- 
form colour. As to the reft, it is found of various colours^ 
fome being black, others brown 5 and its actions fomewhat 
refemble thofe 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 con- 
fiding of very long hair, by which it may be eafily diftinguiftied 
from the reft. It differs alfo in its difpofition, which is fierce 
and favage ; as. alfo in the Joudnefs of its voice, which fome- 
what refemhles the roaring of the lion. This alfo is a native of 

To this tribe we may refer a little four-handed animal, of the 
ifland of Ceylon, which mr. BuiFon calls the lori j very re- 
markable for the fmgularity of its figure. This is, of all other 
animals, the longeft, in proportion to its fize; having nine ver- 
tebne in the loins ; whereas other quadrupeds have only fe- 
ven*. The body appears ftill the longer, by having no tail. In 
other refpeb, it refembles thofe of the maki kind ; as well in 
its hands and feet, as in its fnout, and in the glofTy qualities of 
its hair. It is about the fize of a fc-uirrel ; and appears to be a 
lame, harmlefs little animal. 

* BufFon, vl. xxvl. p, 274., 



TO thefe four-handed animals of the ancient continent, 
we may add the four-handed animals of the new, that ufc 
their hands like the former, as well as their tails, and that fiH 
up the chafm between the monkey tribe and the lower orders 
of the foreft. As the maki kind in fome meafure feem to 
unite the fox and the monkey in their figure and fize, fo tliefe 
feem to unite the monkey and the rat. They are all lefs than 
the former ; they have long tails, almoft bare of hair ; and 
their fur, as well as their fhape, feems to place them near the 
rat kind. Some have accordingly ranked them in that cfo.fs ; 
but their being four-handed, is a fuincient reafon for placing 
them in the rear of the mcnkies. 

The firfl and the molt remarkable of this tribe is the oppof- 
fum, an animal found both in North and South America, of the 
lize of a fmall cat. The head refembles that of a fox ; it has 
fifty teeth in all ; but two great-ones in the midft, like thofe 
of a rat. The eyes are little, round, clear, lively, and placed 
upright -, the ears are long, broad, and tranfparent, like thofe 
of the rat kind ; its tail alfo increafes the fimilitude, being 
round, long, a little hairy in the beginning, but quite naked 
towards the end. The fore legs are fhort, being about three 
inches long ; while thofe behind are about four. The feet are 
like hands, each having five toes or fingers, with white crooked 
nails, and rather longer behind than before. But it is particu- 
hr in this animal, that the thumb on the hinder legs wants a 
nail ; whereas the fingers are furnifhed with clawed nails as 

But that which diftinguimes this animal from all others, 
and what has excited the wonder of mankind for more than 
two centuries, is the extraordinary conformation of its belly,, 
as it is found to have a falfe womb, into which the young, when 
brought forth in -the ufual manner, creep, and continue for 
fome days longer, to lodge and fuckle fecurely. This bag, if 


iv iay fo call it, being one of the moft extraordinary things 
iit natural hiitory, requires a more minute defcription. Under 
the of the female is a kind of flit or opening, of about 
three ''->ng5 this opening is compofed of a fidn, which 

makes a bag internally, which is covered on the infide with hair, 
and in ; ure the tents of the female $ and into it the 

young, when brought forth, retire, either to fuckle or to efcapc 
irom danger, This bag has a power of opening and (hutting, 
at the will of the animal ; and this is performed by means oi 
fsveral mufcles, and-two bones, that are fitted for this purpofe, 
and tha: :uliar to this animal only. Thefe two bones 

are placed before the os pubis, to which they are joined at the 
jy nre about two inches long, and grow fmaller and 
iaialler to rfieir extremities. Tfeefe fupport the mufcles that 
ferve to cpen the bag, and give them a fixture. To thefe muf- 
iherc are antagonifts, that ferve, in the ime manner, to 
{hut the bag , and this they perform fo exactly, that in the 
living animal the opening can fcarce be difcerned, except 
when the fides are forcibly drawn afandcr. The infide of 
this bag is furnifhed with glands, that exude a m-ufky fub- 
ftance, which communicates to the fleih of the animal, an-d 
renders it -unfit to be eaten. It is not to be fuppofed that this 
is the place where the young are conceived, as fome have been 
led to imagine ;-for the oppoflum has another womb, like that 
of the generality of animals, in which generation is per- 
formed in the ordinary manner. The bag we have been de- 
fcribing, may rather be confidered as a fupplemental womb. 
In the real womb, the little animal is partly brought to per- 
fection ; in the ordinary one, it receives a kind of additional 
incubation ; and acquires, at laft, flrength enough to follow 
the dam wherever (lie goes. We have many reafons to fup- 
pofe that the young of this animal are all brought forth pre- 
maturely, or before they have acquired that degree of per- 
fection, which is common in other quadrupeds. The little 
ones, when firft produced, are in a manner but half comple- 
ted ; and fome travellers aflert, that they are, at that time, not 
much larger than flies. We are allured aUb, that inunedia^elj 


on quitting the real womb, they creep into the Falfe Ofte $ 
"where they continue fixed to the teat, until they have ftrength 
fufficient to venture once more into the open air, and (hare the 
fatigues of the parent. Ulioa aflures us, that he has found five 
of thefe little creatures hidden in the belly of the dam three 
<3ays after fire was dead, ftill alive, and all clinging to the teat 
tvith great avidity. It is probable, therefore, that upon their 
firft entering the falfe womb, they feldom ftir out from thence j 
but when more advanced, they venture forth feveral times in 
the 'day ; and, at laft, feldom make ufe of their retreat, except 
in cafes of neceffity or danger. Travellers are not agreed in 
their accounts of the time which thefe animals take to con- 
tinue in the falfe womb ; fome affure us, they remain there 
for feveral weeks ; and others, more precifely mention a 
month. During this period of ftrange geilation, there is no 
difficulty in -opening the bag in which they are concealed j 
they may be reckoned, examined, and handled without much 
inconvenience 5 for they keep fixed to the teat, and cling there 
as firm as if they made a part of the body of the animal that 
bears them. When they are grown ftronger, they drop from 
the teat into the bag in which they are contained ; and, at laft, 
find their way out, in fearch of more copious fubfiftence. Still, 
however, the falfe belly ferves them for a retreat ; either when 
they want to fleep or to fuckle, or when they are purfued by an 
enemy. The dam, on fuch occafions, opens her bag to receive 
them, which they enter, 

.. Pars Formidine turpi 

Scandunt rurfus equum et notu conduntur in alvo. 

The oppoflum when on the ground, is a flow, hdplefs ani- 
Bial ; the formation of its hands are alone fufficient to {how 
its incapacity of running with any degree of fwiftnefs : but, 
to counterbalance this inconvenience, it climbs trees with great 
eafe and expedition*. It chiefly fubfifts upon birds ; and hides 
among the leaves of the trees, to feize them by furprize. It 

* Buflfon, vol. xxi. p. 174* 


Female Oppossum 


alfo hangs by the tail, which is long and mufcular ; 
and, in this fituation, for hours together, with the head down- 
wards, it keeps watching for its prey. If any leffer animal, 
which it is able to overcome, paffes underneath, it drops upon 
it with deadly aim, and quickly devours it. By means of its 
tail, the oppofTum alfo flings from one tree to another, hunts 
infeb,efcapes its purfuers, and provides for its fafety. It feems 
to be a creature that lives upon vegetables, as well as animal 
fubftances, roots, fugar-canes, the bark, and even the leaves of 
trees,. It is eafily tamed, but it is a difagreeable domeftic, as 
well from its ftupidity and figure^ as its fcent, which, however 
fragrant in fmall quantities, fails not to be ungrateful when 
^opioufly fupplied. 

An animal greatly refembling the "former*, is the marmofe, 
which is found in the fame continent. It feems only to differ 
in fize, being lefs ; and, inftead of a bag to receive its young, 
lias only two longitudinal folds near the thighs, within which, 
the young, which are prematurely brought forth, as in the lad 
inftance, continue to fuckle. The young of thefe, when firfl 
produced, are not above the fize of a bean j but continue 
(ticking to the teat, until they have arrived at greater matu- 

The cayopolin is fomewhat larger than the former j and a 
good deal refembling it in habits and figure, except that its 
inout is more pointed, its tail longer in proportion, and its 
colour different, being of an am, foi;ewhat inclining to yel- 
low; however, I ihould fuppofe it to be only a variety of the 

To this number we may add the phalanger, fo called by 
mr. Buffon; a good deal refembling the former, but diftin- 
guiihed by the famion of its hinder hands : the thumb arid 
the fore finger being joined together, except at the extremi- 
ties. This animal is about the fize of a rat ; and has accor- 
dingly, by fome, been called the rat of Surinam. 

The laft animal of this clafs, is called by mr. Buffbn, the 
* Eufflm, vol. xri. p. 2 la, 

VOL. II. 3 B 

r / 


tar Her. This extraordinary little animal refembles the former,, 
in having four hands, and a long tail j but it differs very much 
in the extreme length of its hinder legs, which are longer 
than the reft of its whole body. The bones of that part of the 
foot called the tarfus. are likewife fo very long, that from 
thence the animal has received its name : the tail is naked in 
the middle, and hairy only at both extremities ; its hair is 
woolly, feft, and of a deep afh colour, As to the reft, it is un- 
known from what country this animal was brought ; but the 
naturalift from whom we have its description, fuppofes it to be 
a native of America, 

From this general defcription of four-handed animals, we 
perceive what few advantages the brute creation derive from 
thofe organs, that, in man, are employed to ib many great and 
ufcful purpofes. The being able to pluck their food from the 
trees, the capacity of clinging among-the branches, or at moft 
of converting one of thofe branches into a weapon of offence, 
are the higheft ftretches of their fagacity, and the only ufe 
their hands have hitherto been employed in : and yet, fome 
fuperficial men have aiferted, that the hands alone are fufficient 
to vindicate the dominion of mankind over other animals ; 
and that much of his boafted reafon, is nothing more than the 
refult of his happier conformation : however, were this fo, 
an ape or a monkey would in fome mftances be more rational 
than we ; their fingers are fmaller, and, in fome of them, more 
finely formed than ours. To what a variety of purpofes might 
they not be employed, if their powers were properly exerted I 
Thofe works which we, from thelargenefs of our fingers, are 
obliged to go clumfily about, one of thefe could very eafily 
perform with the utmoft exa&nefs ; and if the finenefs of 
the hand aflifted reafon, an ape Would be one of the nioft rea- 
fonable beings in the creation. But thefe admirably formed 
machines, are almoft ufelefs both to mankind and themfelves ; 
and contribute little more to the happinefs of animal life, than 
the paws of the loweft quadruped. They are fupplied, indeed, 
with the organs ; but they want the mind, to put them into 
action 4 it is that reafoning principle alone, with which man 


Ras been endowed, that can adapt feemingly oppofite caufe.<, 
to concur in the fame general defign ; and even where the 
organs are deficient, that can fupply their place, by the inter- 
vention of affiitin T inftruments. Where reafon prevails, we 
find that it fcarcely matters what the organs are that give it the 
direction 5 the being furniQied with that principle* ftill goes 
forward, fleadily and uniformly fuccefsful ; breaks thrc 
every obftacle, and becomes mailer of every enterprize. I 
have feen a man, without hands or legs, convert by practice, 
his very flumps to the mod convenient purpofes ; and with 
thefe clumfy inftruments, perform the moil aftoniming feats 
of dexterity. We may, therefore, conclude, that it is- the mind 
alone that gives a matter to the creation ; and that, if a beap 
or a horfe were endoved with the fame, intellects that have 
been given to man, the hardnefs of a hoof, or the aukwardnefs 
of a paw, would be no obftade to their advancement in the 
arts of dominion, or focial felicity. 


Of tie Elephant. 

HAVING gone through the defcription of thofe quadra* 
peds, that, by refembling each other in fome linking 
particular, admit of being grouped together, and confidered 
under one point of view, we now come to thofe infulated 
forts that bear no fimilitude with the reft, and triat to be dif-. 
tin&ly defcribcd mud be feparatcly coniidered. 

The foremoft of thefe, antf in every refper, the nobleft 
cfuadruped in nature, is the elephant, not lefs remarkable for 
its fize than its docility and underftanding. All hiftorians con- 
cur in giving it the character of the moft fagacious animal 
next to man ; and yet, were we to take our idea of its capacity 
from its outward appearance, we mould be led to conceive vc-. 
ry meanly of his abilities.. The elephant, at firft view .prefects 


the fpe&ator with an enormous mafs of flelh that feems fearer- 
ly animated. Its huge body, covered with a callous hide, with- 
out hair ; its large mifhapen legs, that feem fcarcely formed 
for motion ; its little eyes, large ears, and long trunk ; all give 
it an air of extreme ftupidity. But our prejudices will foon 
fubfide when we come to examine its hiftory ; they will even 
ferve to increafe our furprize when we confider the various 
advantages it derives from fo clumfy a conformation. 

The elephant is feen from feven to no lefs than fifteen feet 
high. Whatever care we take to imagine a large animal before- 
hand, yet the firft fight of this huge creature, never fails to 
itrike us with aftonifhment, and in fome meafure ,to exceed 
our idea. Having been ufed to fmaller animals, we have fcarce 
any conception of its magnitude; for a moving column' of ftefh, 
fourteen feet high, is an objcft fo utterly different from thofe- 
we are conftantly prefented with, that to be conceived it muil 
be actually feen. Such, I own, were the fuggeflions that natu- 
rally arofe to me when I firil faw this animal, and yet for the 
fi'Jht of which I had taken care to prepare my imagination. I 
found my ideas fall as fhort of its real fize, as they did of its 
real figure ; neither the pictures I had feen, nor the defcrip- 
tions I had read, gave me adequate conceptions of either. 

It would, therefore, be irrpoilible to give an idea of this ani- 
mal's figure by a defcripdon; which, even affifted by the art of 
the engraver, will but confufedly reprefent the original. In 
general, it may be obferved, that the forehead is very high and 
rifing, tn^ears very large and dependant, the eyes extremely 
fmall, the probofcis, or trunk, long, the body round and full, 
the back rifing in an arch, and the whole animal fhort in pro- 
portion to its height. The feet are round at the bottom; on 
each foot there are five flat horny rifings, which feem to be the 
extremities of the toes, but up not appear outwardly. The hide 
is without hair, full of fcrafches and fcares, which it receives 
in its palTage through thick woods and thorny places. At the 
end of the tail, there is a tu/t of hair, a foot and a half long. 
Tfce female is lefs than the male, and the udder is between the 


forelegs. But a more accurate, as v. r ell as a more entertaining, 
defcription of the parts, will natural y occur in the hiftory of 
their ufes. 

Of all quadrupeds, the elephant is the ftrongeft,. as well as 
the large ft ; and yet, in a (late of nature, it is neither fierce nor 
formidable*. Mild, peaceful, and brave, it never abufes its pow- 
er or its ftrength, and only ufes its force for its own protection, 
or that of its community. In its native deferts, the elephant is 
feldom feen alone,, but appears to be a focial, friendly creature. 
The oldfft of the company conducts the band ; that which is 
next in feniority brings up the rear. The young, the weak, and 
the fickly, fall into the centre ; while the females carry their 
young and keep them from falling by means of their trunks. 
They maintain this order only in dangerous marches, or when 
they defire to feed in cultivated grounds ; they move with lefs 
precaution in the forefts and folitudes; but without ever fepa- 
rating, or removing fo far afunder as to be incapable of lend- 
ing each other any requifite afliftance. Nothing can be more 
formidable than a drove of elephants, as they appear at a dif- 
tance, in an African landfcape; \\herever they march, the fo- 
refts feem to fail before them ; in their paffage, they bear down 
the branches upon which they feed ; and, if they enter into an 
inclofure, they deftfoy all the labour of the hufbandman in 
-a very fhort time. Their invafions are the more difagreeable, 
as there is no means of repelling them ; fince it would require 
a fmall army to attack the whole drove \y r hen united. It now 
and then happens that one or two is found lingering bfehind the 
reft j and it is againft thefe that the art and force of the hun- 
ters are united; but an attempt to moleft the whole body would 
certainly be fatal. They go forward direclly againft him who 
offers the infult, ftrike him with their tuiks, feize him with 
their trunks, fling him into the air, and then trample him to 
pieces under their feet. But they are thus dreadful only when 
offended, and do no manner of perfonal injury when fuffered to 

* I have extra&ed the greateft part of this defcription from mr. 
Where I add mark with commas, " tkus." 


feed without intemi prior. It is even faid that they arc 
ful of injuries received; and, when once molefted by man, feefc 
ail occafions for the future to be revenged ; they fmell him 
with their long trunks at a diftance ; follow him with all their 
fpeed upon the fcent ; and, though flow to appearance, the/ 
are foon able to come up with, and deftroy him. 

In their natural (late, they delight to live along the fides of 
livers, to keep in the deeped vales, to refrelh themfelves in the 
moil fhady forefts and watery places. They cannot live far 
from the water; and they always difturb it before they drink.. 
They often fill their trunk with it, either to cool that organ, 
or to divert themfelves by fpurting it out like a fountain. They 
are equally diftrefled by the extremes of heat and cold ; and, f 
to avoid the former, they frequently take fhelter in the moil 
obfcure recefles of the foreft, or often plunge into the water, 
and even fwim from the continent into iflands fome leagues dif- 
tant from the more. 

Their chief food is of the vegetable kind, for they loath all 
kind of animal diet. When one among their number happens 
to light upon a fpot of good pafture, he calls the reft, and in- 
vites them to fhare in die entertainment ; but it mud be a very 
copious pafture indeed, that can fupply the neceflities of the 
whole band. As with their broad and heavy feet they fink 
deep wherever they go, they deftroy much more than they de- 
vour \ fo that they are frequently obliged to change their quar- 
ters, and to migrate from one country to another. The Indi- 
ans and Negroes, who are often incommoded by fuch vifitants, 
do ail they can to keep them away, making loud noifes, and 
large fires round their cultivated grounds j but thefe precau- 
tions do not always fucceed; the elephants often break through 
their fences, deftroy their whole harveft, and overturn their 
little habitations. When they have fatisfied themfelves, and 
trod down or devoured whatever lay in their way, they then, 
retreat into the woods in the fame orderly manner in which, 
they made their irruption* 

Such are the habits of this animal confidered in a fociai light; 


sndj if we regard it as an individual, we (hall find its powers 
{till more extraordinary. With a very aukward appearance, it 
pdflefles alt the fenfes in great perfection, and is capable of 
applying them to more ufeful purpofes than any other qua- 
druped. The elephant, as we obfervcJ, has very fmall eyes, 
\vhen compared to the enormous bulk of its body. But, 
though their minutenefs may at fi-rft fight appear deformed, 
yet, when we come to examine them, they are feen to exhibit 
a variety of expreffion, and to difcover the various fenfations 
with which it is moved. It turns them with attention and 
friendfliip to its matter ; it feems to reflect and deliberate ; and 
as its p:\filons flowly fuceeed each other, -their various workings 
are diftindUy feen. 

The elephant is not lefs remarkable for the excellence of 
its hearing. Its ears are extremely large, and greater in pro- 
portion than even thofe of an afs. They are ufually depen- 
dent ; but- it can- readily raife and move them. They ferve al- 
fo to wipe its eyes, and to protect them againil the duft and 
files that might other wife incommode them. It appears delight- 
ed with mudc, and very readily learns to beat time, to more 
in meafure, and even to join its voice to the found of the 
drum and the trumpet, 

This animal's fenfe of frtiellihg is net only exquifite, but it 
is in a great meafure pleafed with the fame odours that delight 
mankind. The elephant gathers flgwers with great pleafure 
and attention ; it picks them up one by cue, unites them into a 
nofegay, and feems charmed with the perfume. The orange 
flower feems to be particularly grateful, both to its fenfe of 
tafte and fmelling ; it {trips the tree of all its verdure, and eats 
every part of it, even to the branches themfelves. It fecks in 
the meadows the mod odoriferous plants to feed upon ; and in 
the woods it prefers the cocoa, the banana, the palm, and tha 
fago tree, to all others. As the (hoots of thefe are tender and 
filled with pith ; it eats not only the leaves and the fruits, but 
even the branches, the trunk, and the whole plant to the very 

But it is in the fenfe of touching, that this animal excel* $ 


other of the brute creation, and perhaps even man himfelf. Tht 
organ of this lenfe lies wholly in the trunk, which is an inftru* 
ment peculiar to this animal, and that ferves it for all the pun- 
pofes of a hand. The trunk is, properly fpeaking, only the 
fnout lengthened out to a great extent, hollow like a pipe, and 
ending in two openings, or noftrils, like thofe of a hog. An 
elephant of fourteen feet high, has the trunk about eight feet 
long, and five feet and a half in circumference at the mouth, 
where it is thickeit. It is hollow all along, but with a par* 
tition tunning from one end to the other ; fo that though out- 
wardly it appears like a fmglepipe, it is inwardly divided into 
two. This flefhy tube is compofed of nerves and mufcles, co- 
vered with a proper fkin of a blackiih colour, like that of the 
reft of the body. It is capable of being moved in every direc- 
tion, of being lengthened and {hortened, of being bent or 
ilraightenedj fo pliant as to embrace any body it is applied to, 
and yet fo ftrong that nothing can be torn from the gripe; To 
aid the force of thisgrafp, there are ieveral little eminences, 
like a caterpillar's feet, on the under fide of this inftrument, 
which, without doubt, contribute to the fenfibility of the touch 
as well as to the firmnefs of the hold. Through this trunk the 
animal breathes, drinks and fmells, as thro' a tube; and atthe ve- 
ry point of it. juit above the noftrils, there is an extenfion of 
the Ikin about five inches long, in the form of a finger, and 
which, in fact, anfwers all the purpofes of one ; for, with the 
reft of the extremity of the trunk, it is capable of afluming 
-different forms at will, and confequently of being adapted to 
the minuted 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 myfelf feen," fays 
JElian, " an elephant writing Latin characters on a board, in a 
sery orderly manner, his keeper only (hewing him the figure 
f each letter. While thus employed, the eyes might be obferv- 
ed fludiouily caft down upon the writing, and exhibiting an 
appearance of great ikill and erudition." It fometimes happens 
that the object is too large for the trunk to grafp in fuch a 
cafe, the elephant makes ufe of another expedient, as admirable 


a? nny of the former. It applies the extremity of the trunk to 
the furface of the object, and, fucking up its breath, lifts and 
fuftains fuch a weight as the air in that cafe is capable of keep- 
ing fufpended. In this manner, this inltrument is ufeful in 
moft of the purpofes of life , it is an organ of fmelling, of touc h- 
ing, and of faction ; it not only provides for the animal's ne- 
ceifities and comforts, but it alfo ferves for its ornament and 

But, though the elepharit be thus admirably fupplied by its 
trunk, yef, with refpecl to the reft of its conformation, it is 
unwieldy and helplefs. The neck is fo fhort that it can fcarce 
turn the head, and muft wheel round in order to difcover an 
enemy from behind. The hunters that attack it upon that 
quarter, generally thus efcape the effects of its indignation ; 
and find time to renew their aflaults while the elephant is 
turning to face them. The legs are, indeed, not fo inflexible 
as the neck, yet they are very ftiif, and bend not without diffi- 
culty. Thofe before, feem to be longer than the hinder ; but, 
upon being meafured, are found to be fomething fhorter. The 
joints, by which they bend, are nearly in the middle, like the 
knee of a man ; and the gfeat bulk which they are to fupport, 
makes their flexure ungainly. While the elephant is young, it 
bends the legs to lie down or to rife ; but when it grows old, 
or fickly, this is not performed without human afliftance ; and 
it becomes, eonfequently, fo inconvenient, that the animal 
ehoofes to fleep {landing. The feet, upon which thefe rnaiTy 
columns are fupported, form a bafe fcarce broader than the 
legs they fuftain. They are divided into five toes, whkrh are 
covered beneath the fkin, and none of which appear to the eye ; 
a kind of protuberance like claws are only obferved, which 
vary in number from three to five. The apparent claws vary^ 
the internal toes are conftantly the fame. The foal of the foot 
Is furnimed with a fkin as thick and hard as horn, and which 
completely covers the whole under part of the foot. 

To the reft of the elephant's incumbrances may be addeti 
its enormous tufks, which are unferviceable for chewing^ and 
VOL. II, 3 C 


are only weapons of defence. Thefe, as the animal gtows ol4, 
become fo heavy, that it is fometimes obliged to make holes 
in the walls of its flail to reft them in, and eafe itfelf of the 
fatigue of their fupport. It is well known to what an amazing 
iize thefe tuiks grow ; they are two in number, proceeding 
from the upper jaw, and are fometimes found above fix feet 
long. Some have fuppofed them to be rather the horns than the 
teeth of this animal ; but, befides their greater fimilitude to 
bone than to horn, they have been indifputably found to grow 
from the upper jaw, and not from the frontal bones, as fome 
have thought proper to aflert*. Some alfo have afierted, that 
thefe tufks are fhed in the fame manner as the flag fheds its 
horns ; but it is very probable, from their folid confiftence, and 
from their accidental defects, which often appear to be the 
effect of a flow decay, that they are as fixt as the teeth of 
other animals are generally found to be. Certain it is, that the 
elephant never fheds them in a domeftic ftate, but keeps them 
till they become inconvenient and cumberfome to the laft de- 
gree. An account of ufes to which thefe teeth are applied, 
and the manner of choofmg the belt ivory, belongs rather to a 
hiftory of the arts than of nature. 

This animal is equally fingular in other parts of its confor-* 
mation ; the lips and the tongue in other'creatures ferve to 
fuck up and direct their drink or their food ; but in the ele- 
phant they are tonally inconvenient for fuch purpofes ; and it 
not only gathers its food with its trunk, but fupplies itfelf with 
water by the fame means. When it eats hay, as I have feen it 
frequently, it takes up a fmall wifp of it with the trunk, turns 
and fhapes it with that inftrument for fome time, and then 
directs it into the mouth, where it is chewed by the great 
grinding teeth, that are large in proportion to the bulk of the 
animal. This pacquet, when chewed, is fwallowed and never 
ruminated again as in cows or (heep, the flomach and interlines 
of this creature more refembling thofe of a horfe. Its manner of 
drinking is equally extraordinary. For this purpofe, the ele- 

* Sec mrrDaubenton'&dcfcription of the fkdcton< of thia aairaal. 


phant dips the end of its trunk into the water, and fucks up 
juft as much as fills that great flefhy tube completely. It 
then lifts up its head with the trunk full, and turning the point 
jnto its mouth, as if it intended to fwallow trunk and all, it 
drives the point below the opening of the wind-pipe. The 
trunk being in chis pofition, and ftill full of water, the elephant 
then blows ftrongly into it at the other end, which forces the 
water it contains into the throat, down which it is heard to 
pour with a loud gurgling noife, which continues till the 
whole is blown down. From this manner of drinking, fome 
have been led into an opinion, that the young elephant fucks 
with its trunk, and not with its mouth ; this, however, is a 
fact which no traveller has hitherto had an opportunity of fee- 
ing, and it muft be referred to fome future accident to deter- 

The hide of the elephant is as remarkable as any other part, 
It is not covered over with hair as in the generality of quadru- 
peds, but it is nearly bare. Here and there, indeed, a few bridles 
are feen growing in the fears and wrinkles of the body, and 
very thinly fcattered over the reft of the fkin j but in general 
the head is dry, rough, and wrinkled, and refembling more the 
bark of an old tree, than the fkin of an animal. This grows 
thicker every year 5 and, by a conftant addition of fubftance, 
it at length contracts that diforder well known by the name of 
the elephantiafis, or Arabian leprofy 5 a difeafe to which man, 
as well as the elephant, is often fubjecl. In order to prevent 
this, the Indians rub the elephant with oil, and frequently 
balhe it to preferve its pliancy. To the inconveniencies of this 
diforder, is added another, arifmg from the great fenfibility of 
thofe parts that are not callous. Upon thefe the flies fettle in 
great abundance, and torment this animal unceafmgly j to re- 
medy which, the elephant tries all its arts} ufes not only its tail 
and trunk in the natural manner to keep them off, but even 
takes the branch of a tree, or a bundle of hay, to ftrike them 
cffwith. When this fails, it often gathers up the duft with its 
trunk, and thus covers all the fenfible places. In this manner, it 


has been feen to duft itfelf feveral times a day, and particular* 
Jy upon leaving the bath. 

Water is as neceflary to this animal as food itfelf. When 
in a (late of nature, the elephant rarely quits the banks of the; 
river, and often ftands in water up to the belly. In a ftate of 
fervitude, the Indians take equal care to provide a proper fup* 
ply ; they warn it with great addrefs j they give it all the con- 
veniencies for lending afliftance to itfelf j they fmooth the ikin 
with a pumice ftone, and then rub it over with oils, effences, 
and odours. 

It is not to be wondered at, that an animal furniihed with 
fo many various advantages, both of ftrength, fagacity, and 
obedience, fhould be taken into the fervice of man. We ac^ 
cordingly find, that the elephant, from time immemorial, has 
been employed either for the purpofes of labour, of war, or of 
orientation ; to increafe the grandeur of eaftern princes, or to 
extend their dominions. We have hitherto been defcribing 
this animal in its natural ftate j we now come to confider it in 
a different view, as taken from the foreft and reduced to human 
obedience. We are now to behold this brave, harmlefs crea 
ture as learning a leffon from mankind, and inftrudted by him 
in all the arts of war, mafiacre, and devaftation, We are now 
to behold this halfc-reafoning animal led into the field of battle, 
and wondering at thofe tumults and that madnefs which he 
Is compelled to increafe, The elephant is a native of Africa 
And Afia, being found neither in Europe nor America. In Af- 
rica he ftill retains his natural liberty. The favage inhabitants 
/)f that part of the world, inftead of attempting to fubdue this 
powerful creature to their neceffities, are happy in being able 
to protect themfelves from his fury. Formerly, indeed, during 
the fplendor of the Carthaginian empire, elephants were ufed 
in their wars ; but this was only a tranfitory gleam of human 
power in that part of the globe ; the natives of Africa have long 
fmce degenerated, and the elephant is only known among them 
from his deraftations. However, there are no elephants in the: 
northern parts of Africa at prefent, there being none found on 


this fide of Mount Atlas. It is beyond the river Senegal that 
they are to be met with in great numbers, and fo down to the 
Cape of Good-Hope, as well as in the heart of the country. 
In this extenfive region they appear to be more numerous than 
in any other part of the world. They are there lefs fearful of 
man ; lefs retired into the heart of the forefts ; they feem to be 
fcnfible of his impotence and ignorance 5 and often come down 
to ravage his little labours. They treat him with the fame 
haughty difdain which they (how to other animals, and confi- 
der him as a mifchievous little being, that fears to oppofe 
them openly. 

But, although thefe animals are mod plentiful in Africa, it 
is only in Afia that the greateft elephants are found, and ren- 
dered fubfervient to human command. In Africa, the largeft 
do not exceed ten feet high ; in Afia, they are found from ten 
to fifteen. Their price increafes in proportion to their fize ; 
and when they exceed a certain bulk, like jewels, their value 
then rifes as the fancy is pleafed to eftimate. 

The largeft are entirely kept for the fervice of princes ; and 
are maintained with the utmofl magnificence, and at the great- 
eft expenfe. The ufual colour of the elephant is a dulky black, 
but fome are faid to be white ; and the price of one of thefe 
is ineftimable. Such a one is peculiarly appropriated for the 
monarch's own riding ; he is kept in a palace, attended by the 
nobles, and almoft adored by the people*. Some have faid that 
thefe white elephants are larger than the reftf ; others afTert, 
that they are lefs j and ftill others entirely doubt their exii- 

As the art of war is but very little improved in Afia, there 
are few princes of the eaft who do not procure and maintain 
as many elephants as they are able, and place great confidence 
on their afliftance in an engagement. For this purpofe, they 
are obliged to take them wild in their native forefts, and tame 
them 5 for the elephant never breeds in a ftate of fervitude. 

* P, Vincent Marie. f P. Tachard. 


It is one of the moft ftriking peculiarities in this extraordinary 
creature, that his generative powers totally fail when he comes 
under the dominion of man , as if he feemed unwilling to 
propagate a race of flaves, to increafe the pride of his conque- 
ror. There is, perhaps, no other quadruped that will not breed 
in its own native climate, if indulged with a moderate {hare 
of freedom ; and we know, that many of them will copulate 
in every climate. The elephant alone has never been feen to 
breed ; and though he has been reduced under the obedience 
of man for ages, the duration of pregnancy, in the female*, 
ftill remains a fecret. Ariftotle, indeed, aflerts, that me goes 
two years with young ; that me continues to fuckle her young 
for three years, and that me brings forth but one at a time : 
but he does not inform us of the manner in which it was 
poinble for him to have his information. From authorities, 
equally doubtful, we learn, that the little one is about as large 
as a wild boar, the inftant it is brought forth ; that its tufks 
do not yet appear ; but that all the reft of its teeth are appa- 
rent ; that at the age of fix months, it is as large as an ox, 
and its tufks pretty well grown ; and that it continues in this 
manner for near thirty years, advancing to maturity. All this 
is doubtful 5 but it is certain, that, in order to recruit the num- 
bers which are confumed in war, the princes of the eaft are 
every year obliged to fend into the forefts, and to ufe various 
methods to procure a frefh fupply. Of all theie numerous 
bands, there is not one that has not been originally wild ; nor 
one that has not been forced into a ftate of fubjeHon. Men 
themfelves are often content to propagate a race of flaves, that 
pafs down in this wretched ftate through fucceflive genera-* 
tions ; but the elephant, under fubje&ion, is unalterably bar- 
ren ; perhaps from fome phyfical caufes, which are as yet un- 
The Indian princes having vainly endeavoured to multiply 

* Multis p^rfuafura eft elephantem non brutorum fed hominum more eo5re_ 
Quod retro miivMt non dubitatur. Sed ipfc vidi marem hujufce fpeciei, in 
noilri regis ftabulis fuper fjemellam itidcm inclufam quadrupedum mor 
<?ntera, penc pualulum incurrato fed lufficicnter re&o. 


the breed of elephants, like that of other animals, have been, 
at laft, content to feparate the males from the females, to 
prevent thofe accefies of defire, which debilitated without 
multiplying the fpecies. In order to take them wild in the 
woods, a fpot of ground is fixed upon, which is furrounded 
with a ftrong palliiade. This is made of the thkkeft and the 
ftrongeft trees ; and ftrengthened by crofs bars, which give 
firmnefs to the whole. The- pods ars fixed at fuch diftances 
from each ether, that a man can eafily pafs between them ; 
there being only one great paflage left open, through which 
an elephant can eafily come ; and which is fo contrived as to 
fhut behind, as foon as the beaft is entered. To draw him in- 
to this enclofure, it is necefiary firft to find him out in the 
woods ; and a female elephant is conducted along into the 
heart of the foreft, where it is obliged by its keeper to cry 
out for the male. The male very readily anfwers the cry, and 
haftens to join her ; which the keeper perceiving, obliges her 
to retreat, ftill repeating the fame cry, until me leads the ani- 
mal into the enclofure already defcribed, which (huts the mo- 
ment he is entered. Still, however, the female proceeds call- 
ing, and inviting, while the male proceeds forward in the ea- 
tlofure, which grows narrower all the way, and until the poor 
animal finds himfelf completely fliut up, without the power of 
cither advancing or retreating; the female, in the mean time, 
being let out by a private way, which {he has been previoufly 
accuflomed to. The wild elephant, upon feeing himfelf entrap- 
ped in this manner, inftantly attempts to ufe violence; and, 
upon feeing the hunters, all his former defires only turn to fu- 
ry. In the mean time, the hunters, having fixed him with cords, 
attempt to foften his indignation, by throwing buckets of wa- 
ter upon him in great quantities, rubbing the body with leaves, 
and pouring oil down his ears. Soon after, two tame elephants 
are brought, a male and a female, that carefs the indignant 
animal with their trunks; while they ftill continue pouring wa- 
ter to refrelh it. At laft, a tame elephant is brought forward, 
of that number which is employed in inftrudHng the new com- 
ers, and an officer riding upon it> in Order to jQiow the late cap- 


tive that it has nothing to fear. The hunters then open the en- 
clofure; and, while this creature leads the captive along, two 
snore are joined on either fide of it, and thefe compel it to fub- 
mit. It is then tied by cords to a maffy pillar provided for that 
purpofe, and fitfFered to remain in that pofition for about a day 
and a night, until its indignation be wholly fubfided. The next 
day it begins to be fomewhat fubmimve; and, in a fortnight, 
ss completely tamed like the reft. The females are taken when 
accompanying the males', they often come into thefe enclo- 
fures, and they fhortly after ferve as decoys to the reft. But 
this method of taking the elephant, differs, according to the 
abilities of the hunter; the Negroes of Africa, who hunt thif 
animal merely for its ilefh, are content to take it in pit-falls ; 
and often to purfue it in the defiles of a mountain, where it 
cannot eafily turn, and fo wound it from behind till it falls. 

The elephant, when once tamed, becomes the moft gentle 
and obedient of all animals. It foon conceives an attachment 
for the perfon that attends it, cardies him, obeys him, and 
feems to anticipate his defires. .In a fhort time it begins to 
comprehend feveral of the figns made to it, and even the dif- 
ferent founds of the voice ; it perfectly diftinguiihes the tone 
of command from that of anger or approbation^ and it acts 
accordingly. It is feldom deceived in its mafter r s voice ; it 
receives his orders with attention, and executes them with 
with prudence, eagerly, yet without precipitation. All its mo- 
tions are regulated , and its actions feem to partake of its- 
magnitude 5 .being grave, majeftic, and feeure. It is quickly 
laught to kneel down, to receive its rider ; it carefTes thofe it 
knows with its trunk ; with this falutes fuch as it is ordered 
to diftinguifh, and with this, as with a hand, helps to take up 
a part of its load. It fufTers itfelf to be arrayed in harnefs, and 
feems to take a pleafure in the finery of its trappings. It draws 
cither chariots, cannon, or {hipping, with furprizing ftrength 
and perfeverance ; and this with a feeming fatisfaction, pro- 
vided that it be not beaten without a caufe, and that its maf- 
ter appears pleafed with its exertions. 


The elephant's conductor is ufually mounted upon its neck, 
and makes ufe of a rod of iron to guide it, which is fame- 
times pointed, and at others bent into a hook. With this the 
animal is fpurred forward, when dull or difobedient ; but, in 
general, a word is fufficient to put the gentle creature into 
motion, efpecislly when it is acquainted with its conductor. 
This acquaintance is often perfectly neceffary ; for the ele- 
phant frequently takes fuch an affection to its keeper, that it 
will obey no other : and it has been known to die for grief, 
when, in fome fudden fit of madnefs, it has killed its con- 
ductor. We are told, that one of thefe, that was ufed by the 
French forces in India, for the drawing their cannon, was pro- 
mifed, by the conductor, a reward, for having performed fome 
painful fervice ; but being difappointed of irs expectations, 
it flew him in a fury. The conductor's wife, who was a fpec- 
tator of this (hocking fcene, could not reflrain her madnefs and 
defpair; but running with her two children in her arms, threw 
them at the elephant's feet, crying out, that fmce it had killed 
her huftand, it might kill her and her children alfo. The ele- 
phant, feeing the children at its feet, inflantly (lopped, and mo- 
derating its fury, took up the el deft with its trunk, and placing- 
him upon its neck, adopted him for its conductor, and obeyed 
him ever after with punctuality. 

But it is not for drawing burdens alone, that the elephants 
are ferviceable in war ; they are often brought into the ranks, 
and compelled to fight in the moft dangerous parts of the field 
of battle. There was a time, indeed, in India, when they were 
much more ufed in war than at prefent. A century or two ago, 
a great part of the dependence of the general, was upon the 
number and the expertnefs of his elephants ; but of late, fince 
war has been contented to adopt fatal inflead of formidable 
arts, the elephant is little ufed, except for drawing cannon, or 
tranfporting provifions. The princes of the country are plcaf- 
ed to keep a few for ornament, or for the purpofes of remov- 
ing their feraglios , but they are feldom led into a field of bat- 
tle, where they are unable to withftand the difcharge of fire- 
arms, and have been often found to turn upon their employer*. 

VOL. II. 3 D 


Still, however, they are ufed in war, in the mofe remote parto 
of ihe ; in Siam, in Cochin China, in Tonquin, and Pegiu 
In all thefe places, they not only ferve to fwell the pomp of 
(late, being adorned with all, the barbarian fplendor that thole 
.countries can beftow, but they are actually led into the* field- 
of battle, armed before with coats of mail, and loaded on the 
back each with a fquare tower, containing from live comba> 
'laius to (even. Upon its neck fits the conductor, who goads 
the animal into the thickeft ranks, and encourages it to in- 
crcafe the devaluation : v/herever it goes, nothing can with- 
ftand its -fury ; it levels the ranks with its immenfe bulk, flings 
fuch as oppofss it into the air, or cruihes them to death un*. 
der its feet. In the mean time, thofe who are placed upon its 
back, combat as from an eminence, and fling down their wea- 
pons with double force, their weight being added to their ve- 
locity. Nothing, therefore, can be more dreadful, or more 
irrcufiible, than fuch a moving machine, to men unacquainted 
with the modern arts of war ; the elephant, thus armed and 
conducted, raging in the midft of a field of battle, infpires 
more terror than even thofe machines that deflroy at a dif- 
.taiice, and are often mod fatal, when moil unfeen. But this 
method of combating, is rather formidable than effectual: 
polifhed nations have ever been victorious over thofe femi- 
barbarous troops that have called in the elephant to their af- 
Fi (Vance, or attempted to gain a victory by merely aftonifhing 
their oppofers. The Romans quickly learned the art of open- 
ing their ranks, to admit the elephant; and thus fcparating it 
from afliftance, quickly compelled its conductors to calm the 
animal's fury, and to fubmit. It fometimes alfo happened that 
the elephant became impatient of controul ; and inftead of 
obeying its conductor, turned upon thofe forces it was employ- 
ed to aflift. In either cafe, there was a great deal of prepara- 
tion to very little effect; for a fingle elephant is known to con- 
fume as much as forty men in a day. 

At prefent, therefore, they are chiefly employed in carry- 
ing or drawing burdens, throughout the whole peninfula of 
India; and no animal can be more fatted by nature for this em* 


ployment. The ftrcngth of an elephant is equal to us bulk, 
for it can, with great ejfe, draw a loud that fix horfes could not 
remove: it can readily carry upon its back three or four thou- 
fand weight; upon its tufks alone it can fupport near a thou- 
fand; its force may alfo be estimated from the velocity of its 
motion, compared to the uiafs of its body. It can go, i 
ordinary pace, as fall as a horfe at an eafy trot ; and, when 
pufhed, it can move as fwiftly as a horfe at full gallop. U 
can travel with eafe lifty or iixty miles a day ; and \vhtu 
hard preiled, almoit double that quantity. It may be heard 
trotting on at a great diitance ; it is eafy alfo to follow it by 
the track, which is deeply imprefled on die ground, and from 
fifteen to eighteen inches in diameter. 

In India they are alfo put to other very difagreeable offices;, 
for, in fome courts of the more barbarous princes, they are 
ufed as executioners ; and this horrid talk they perform with 
great dexterity : with their trunks they are feen to break every, 
limb of the criminal at the word of command ; thsv fomc- 
times trample him to death, and fometimes impale him on, 
their enormous tulks, as directed. In this the elephant is ra- 
rher the fervant of a cruel mailer, than a voluntary tyrant,, 
fince no other animal of the forelt io fo naturally benevo-*. 
lent and gentle ; equally mindful of benefits as fenhblc o 
neglect, he contracts a friendship for his keeper, and obeys, 
him even beyond his. capacity. 

In India, where they were at one time employed in launch- 
ing {hips, a particular elephant was directed to force a very- 
large vefiel into the water : the work proved fuperior to its" 
Strength, but not to its endeavours j which, however, the 
keeper affected to defpife. " Take away," fays he, " that 
lazy beaft, and bring another better fitted for fervice." The 
poor animal inftantly upon this redoubled its efforts, fractured: 
its fcull, and died upon the fpoL 

In Delhi, an elephant, palling along the flreets, put his 
trunk into a tailor's mop, where feveral people were at work. 
One of the perform of the (hop, defirous of foms 


pricked the animal's trunk with his needle, and feemed highly 
delighted with this flight puniihment. The elephant, how- 
ever, palTed on without any immediate figns of refentment ; 
but coming to a puddle filled with dirty water, lie filled his 
trunk, returned to the fhop, and ipurted the contents over all 
the finery upon which the tailors were then employed. 

An elephant in Adfmeer, which often patted through the 
bazar or market, as he went by a certain herb- woman, always 
received from her a mouthful of greens. Being one day feiz- 
cd with a periodical fit of madnefs, he broke his fetters, and, 
junning through the market, put the crowd to flight ; and, 
among others, this woman, who, in her hade, forgot a little 
child at her flail. The elephant, recollecting the fpot where 
his benefa&refs was accuftomed to fit, took up the infant 
gently in his trunk, and conveyed it to a place of fafety. 

At the Cape of Good-Hope it is cuftomary to hunt thofe 
animals for the fake of their teeth. Three horfemen, well 
mounted, and armed with lances, attack the elephant alter- 
nately, each relieving the other, as they fee their companion 
prefled, till the bead is fubdued. Three Dutchmen, brothers, 
who had made large fortunes by this bufinefs, determined to 
retire to Europe, and enjoy the fruits of their labours ; but 
they refolved, one day before they v/ent, to have a laft chafe, 
by way of amufement : they met with their game, and began 
their attack in the ufual manner ; but, unfortunately, one of 
their horfes falling, happened to fling his rider ; the enraged 
elephant inftantly feized the unhappy huntfman with his trunk, 
flung him up to a vail height in the air, and received him 
upon one of his trunks as he fell ; and then turning towards 
the other two brothers, as if it were with an afpecl: of revenge 
and infult, held out to them the impaled wretch, writhing in 
the agonies of death. 

The teeth of the elephant are what produces the great en- 
mity between him and mankind : but whether they are ihed, 
like the horns of the deer, or whether the animal be killed to 
obtain them, is not yet perfe&ly known. All we have as yef, 


certain is, that the natives of Africa, from whence almoft all 
our ivory comes, aflure us, that they find the greateft part of 
it in their forefts ; nor would, fay they, the teeth of an ele- 
phant recompenfe them for their trouble and danger in ki 
it ; notwithflanding, the elephants which are tamed by man, 
are never known to flied their tuiks ; and from the hardnefs 
of their fubllance, they feem no way analogous to deers* 

The teeth of the elephant are very often found in a foffil 
ftate. Some years ago, two great grinding-teeth, and part 
of the tufk of an elephant, were difcovered, at the depth of 
forty-two yards, in a lead mine in Flintfhire*. 

The tufks of the mammouch, fo often found fodil in Si- 
beria, and which are converted to the purpofes of ivory, arc 
generally fuppofed to belong to the elephant : however, the 
animal mufl have been much larger in that country than it is 
found at prefent, as thofe tufks are often known to weigh four 
hundred -pounds ; while thofe that come from Africa, feldom 
exceed two hundred and fifty. Thefe enormous tufks are found 
lodged in the fandy banks of the Siberian rivers ; and the 
natives pretend that they belong to an animal which is four 
times as large as the elephant. 

There have lately been difcovered fbveral enormous (kele- 
tons, five or fix feet beneath the furface, on the banks of the 
Ohio, not remote from the river Miume in America, feverx 
hundred miles from the fea-coafl. Some of the tufks are near 
feven feet long , one foot nine inches in circumference at the 
bafe, and one foot near the point ; the cavity at the root or bafe, 
nineteen inches deep. Befides 'their fize, there are yet other 
differences : the tuiks of the true elephant have fometimes a 
very flight lateral bendj thefe have a larger twift, or fpiral 
curve, to wards the fmailer end: but the great and fpecific differ- 
ence confifls in the mape of the grinding-teeth; which, in thefe 
newly found, are fafhioned like the teeth of a carnivorous ani- 
mal j not flat and ribbed tranfverfely on their furface, like thofe 

Pennant's Synopfis, p. 90. 


of the modern elephant, but furnifhed with a double row of 
high and conic procefleo, as if intended to mafticate, not to 
grind their fqod. A third difference is in the thigh bone, which 
is of a great difproportionable thicknefs to that of the ele- 
phant ; and has alfo Ibme other anatomical variations. Thefe 
foflii bones have been alfo found in Tern and the Brafils ; 
and, when cut and poliihed by the workers in ivory, appear, 
;n every refpetfc, fnnilar. It is the opinion of doctor Hunter, 
that they mud have belonged to a larger animal than the ele- 
phant \ and differing from it, in being carnivorous. But as. 
yet this formidable creature has evaded our fearch ; and if, 
indeed, fuca an animal exifts, it is happy for man that it 
keeps at a diitance ; fn-ice what ravage might not be expected 
from a creature, endued with more than the ftrength of the 
lephant a and all the rapacity of the tiger ! 


Of the Rhinoceros. 

NEXT to the elephant, the rhinoceros is the mod pow- 
erful of animals. It is ufually found twelve feet lorn*, 
from the tip of the nofe to the infertion of the tail j from 
fix to feven feet high ; and the circumference of its body i& 
nearly equal to its length. It is, therefore, equal to the ele- 
phant in bulk j and if it appears much fmaller to the eye, the 
reafon is, that its legs are much fhorter. Words can convey 
but a very confufed idea of this animal's fhape ; and yet there 
arc few to remarkably formed : its head is furnifhed with a 
horn, growing from the fnout, fometimes three feet and a 
half long ; and but for this, that part would have the appear- 
ance of the head of a hog -, the upper lip, however, is much 
longer in proportion, ends in a point, is very pliable, ferves to 
collect its food, and deliver it into the mouth: the ears are 
large, erect, and pointed ; the eyes are fmall and piercing ; 
the fkin is naked, rough, knotty, mid lying upon the body iia 

hale XXXV. 

Vol. II. Pa, 


J'(.<u -\\XVI. 


that during this time, they live by fucking their paws, which is 
a vulgar error thatfcarce requires confutation. Thele folitary 
animals couple in autumn, but the time of gefcrition v/ith the 
female is frill unknown ; the female takes great care to pro- 
vide a proper retreat for her young, fhc fl v n in the 
hollow of a rock, and provides a bed of hay in the war 
part of the den , ihe brings forth in winter, and the young 
ones begin to follow her in fpring. The male and female, 
by no means inhabit the fame den j they have each their fepa- 
jate retreat, and feldom are feen together but upon die acccf- 
fes of genial deiire. 

7"he voice of the bear is akindof growl, interrupted with rage, 
which is often capricioufly exerted; andtho' this animal feems 
gentle and placid to its mafter, when tamed ; yet it is dill to 
be didruded and managed with caution, as it is c/i'Len trea- 
cherous and refentful without a caufe. 

This animal is capable of fome degree of inftruclion. There 
are few but have dance in aukward meafures upon its 
hind feet, to the voice or the inftrument of its leader j and it. 
mud be confefled, that the dancer is often found to b e the bed 
performer of the two.. I am told, that it is firft taught to per- 
form in this manner, by fetting it upon hot plates of iron, and 
then playing to it, while in this uneafy fitimtion. 

The bear, when come to maturity, can never be tamed ; it 
then continues in its native fiercenefs, and tho' caged, dill for- 
midably impotent, at the approach of its keener, flies to meet 
him. But notwithdanding the fiercenefs of this animal, the na- 
tives of thofe countries where it is found, hunt it with great 
perfeverance and alacrity. The lead dangerous method of tak- 
ing it, is by intoxicating it, by throwing brandy upon honey* 
which it feems to be chiefly fond of, and feeks for in the hol- 
low of trees. In Canada, where the black bears ?.re very com- 
mon, and wher,e their dens are made in trees, that are hollow 
towards the top, they are taken by fetting fire to their retreats, 
v.hich are often above thirty feet from the ground. The old 
out b generally feen firft to iflue from her den, and is {hot 


by the hunters. The young ones, as they defceml, are caught 
in a noofe, and are either kept or killed for provifion. Their 
paws are faid to be a great delicacy, and their hams- are well 
enough known at the tables of the luxurious here. Their fat al- 
fo, which ftill preferves a certain degree of fluidity, is fuopo- 
fed to be an efficacious remedy, in white or indolent: tumours, 
tho' probable very little fuperior to hog's-lard. 

The white Greenland bear differs greatly, both in figure 
and dimenfions, from tho fe already defcribed; and tho' it pre- 
fer'ves in general the external form of its more fouthern kin- 
dred, yet it grows to about three times the fize. The brown 
bear is feldom above fix feet long; the white bear is often 
known from twelve to thirteen. The brown bear is made ra- 
ther ftrong and fturdy, like the mailiff ; the Greenland bear, 
though covered with very long hair, and apparently bulky, is ne- 
verthelefs more flender, both as to the head, neck, and body, 
and more inclining to the ihape of the grey-hound. In fhort, 
all the variations of its figure and its colour, fcem to proceed from 
the coldnefs of the climate, where it refides, and the nature of 
the food it is fupplied with. 

The white bear feems the only animal, that, by being placed 
in the coldeft climate, grows larger than thofe that live in the 
temperate zones. All other fpecies of animated nature, dimi- 
r.iih as they approach the poles, and feem contracted in their 
fize, by the rigours of the ambient atmofphere, but the bear, 
being unmolefted in thefe defolate climates, and meeting no 
animal, but what he can eafily conquer, finding alfo a fuffici- 
cntfupply of uiliy provifions, he grows to an enormous fize, 
and as the lion is the tyrant of an African foreft, fo the bear re- 
mains the undifputed mafter of the icy mountains in Spitz- 
bergen and Greenland. When our mariners land upon thofe 
ihores, in fuch parts as have riot been frequented before, the. 
white bears come down to view them with an aukward curio- 
fity j they approach fl owl y, feeming undetermined, whether to 
advance or retreat, and being naturally a timorous animal, they 
are only urged on by the confcious experience of their fortner 

THE BEAR. 4z; 

vicr,or:cs ; hov/cvcr, when they are (hot at, or wounded, they 
endeavour to fly, or finding that impracticable, they make a 
fierce and dcfperats re f" '.11 they die. As they live upon 

fifli and feals, their Hci'li is too flrongfor food, and the captors 
have nothing but the ikin, to reward them for the dangers in- 
curred in the engagement. 

The number of thefe animals that are found about the 
north-pole, if we coniicler the icarcity thereof, of all other ter- 
reftrial creatures, is very amazing. They are not only feen at 
land, but often on ice-floats, feveral leagues at fea, They are 
often tranfported in this manner to the very mores of Iceland, 
where they no fooner 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 fea, by coming too near an ice- 
float, a white bear unexpectedly jumps into their boat, and if 
he does not overfet it, fits calmly where he firft came downj 
and, like a paflenger, fuffers himfelf to be rowed along. It is pro- 
bable the poor little Greenlander is not very fond of his new* 
gueft, however, he makes a virtue of neceflily, and hofpitably 
him to more. 

As this animal lives chiefly upon fiih, feais, and dead whales, 
it feldom removes far from the fhore. When forced by hun- 
ger, it often ventures into the deep, fwims after feals, and de- 
vours whatever it can feize; it is, however, but a bad fwimmer, 
and is often hunted in this manner by boats, till it is fatigued, 
and at lad deftroyed. It often happens that a battle enfuesbetweeii 
a bear and a morfe, or a whale ; as the latter are more expert 
in their own element, they generally prove victorious. Howe- 
ver, when the bear can find a young whale, it repays hh. . 
the danger he incurs of -meeting with the parent. 


The Badger. 

THE badger's legs are fo fhort, that its belly feems to toucft 
the ground; this, however, is but a deceitful appearance,. 
as it is caufed by the length of the hair, which is very long all 
over the body, and makes it feem much more bulky than it 
really is. It is a folitary ftupid animal, that finds refuge, remote 
from man, and digs itfelf a deep hole, with great afitduity. It 
ieems to avoid the light, and feldom quits its retreat by day, 
only dealing out at night to find fubfiftence. it burrows in the- 
ground very eafy, its legs being fhort and ftrong, and its claws, 
fliff and horny. As it continues to bury itfeif, and throw the 
earth behind it, to a great diftance, k thus forms to itfelf a 
winding hole, at the bottom of which k remains in fafety. As 
the fox is not fo expert at digging into the earth, it often takes 
poflefEon of that which has been quitted by the badger, and 
fome fay, forces it from its retreat,, by laying its excrements at 
the mouth of the badger's hole. 

This animal, however, is not long in making itfelf a new' ha- 
bitation,, from which it feldom ventures far, as it flies but flow- 
ly, and can find fafety only in the ftrength of its retreat. When 
it i'-i furprized by the dogs at fome diflance from its hole, it 
then combats with defperate refolution ; it falls upon its back* 
defends itfelf on every fide, and feldom .dies unrevenged in the 
snidft of its enemies* 

The badger, like the fox, is a carnivorous animal* asd no- 
thing thathas life can come ainifs to it. It fleeps the greatefl part 
of its time, and thus, without being a voracious feeder, it (till 
keeps fat % particularly in. winter- They always- keep, their hole 
very clean, and when the female brings forth, fhe makes a com- 
fortable warm bed of hay, at the bottom of her hole, for the 
reception of her young. She brings forth in fummer, general- 
ly to the number of three or four, which Hie feeds at firlt witli 

Mate AA\\ Tl . 



folds, after a very peculiar f aft ion : there are two folds very 
remarkable ; .one above the flioulders, and another over the 
rump : the (kin, which is of a dirty brown colour, is fo thick, 
turn the edge of a fcymitar, and to re lift u muiquet-ball ; 
the belly hangs low ; the legs are ill or t, ftrong and thick, and 
the hoofs divided into three parts, each pointing forward. 

Such is the general outline oF an animal that appears chief- 
ly formidable from the horn growing from its incut } and 
formed rather for war, than with a propensity to engage- 
Thi? horn is fometimes found from three to three feet and a 
, growing from the folid bone, and fo difpofed, as to 
be m to the greareft advantage. It is competed of the 

moft folid fubftance ; and pointed fo as to inflict the moil 
fatal wounds. The elephant, the boar, or the buffalo, are 
obliged to ftrike tranfven'dy with their weapons ; but the rhi- 
v mploys all his force with every blow \ fo that tli* 
tieer will more willingly attack any other animal of tlu foivfb, 
than one whofe ftrength is fo juftly employed.. Indeed, there" 
is no force which this terrible animal has to apprehend : de- 
fended, on every fide, by a thick horny hide, which the cl 
of the lion or r are unable to pierce, and armrd b-- 

\vith a weapon that even the elephant does not choofe to op- 
.hTioners alTurc u?, that the elephant is often 
found o< ? fore Its, pierced with the horn of a rl: 

%-eros ".nd I i" looks like wiidom to doubt i 

I cannot help giving credit to what the- 

late on this occafion, particularly when confirmed by Pliny, 
The combat between thefe two, the moft formidable animals 
of the foreft, mult be very dreadful. Emanuel, king of Per- 
il, willing to try their ftrength, actually oppofed them to 
each other; and the elephant was defeated. 

But though the rhinoceros is thus formidable by nature, 
yet imagination has not failed to exert itfelf, in adding to its 
terrors. The fcent is faid to be moft exquifite ; and it is af- 
firmed, that it conforts with the tiger. It is reported alfo, that 
v, ken it has overturned a man, or any other animal, it contt- 


nues to lick the flefh quite from the bone with its tongue, 
which is faid to be extremely rough. All this, however, is 
fabulous: the fcent, if we may judge from the expanfion of the 
dfa&ory nerves, is not greater than that of a hog, which we 
know to be indifferent ; it keeps company with the tiger, only 
becaufe they both frequent watery places in the burning cli- 
mates where they are bred ; and as to its rough tongue, that 
is fo far from the truth, that ho animal of near its fize has lo 
foft a one. " I have often felt it myfelf," fays Ladvocat, in 
his defcription of this animal ; " it is finooth, foft, and fmall, 
like that of a dog ; and to the feel it appears as if one pafTed 
the hand over velvet. I have often feen it lick a young man's 
face who kept it j and both feemed pleafed with the action." 

The rhinoceros which was mown at London in 1739, and 
defcribed by do&or Parfons, had been fent from Bengal. 
Though it was very young, not being above two years old, yet 
the charge of his carriage and food from India, coft near a 
thoufand pounds. It was fed with rice, fugar, and hay ; it was 
daily fupplkd with feven pounds of rice, mixed with three of 
fugar, divided into three portions ; it was given great quanti- 
ties of hay and grafs, which it chiefly preferred ; its drink was 
water, which it took in great quantities. It was of a gentle 
difpofition, and permitted itfelf to be touched and handled by 
all vifitors, never attempting mifchief, except when abufed, or 
when hungry ; in fuch a cafe, there was no method of appeaf- 
ing its fury, but by giving it fomething to eat. When angry, 
it would jump up againfl the walls of its room, with great vio- 
lence ; and made many efforts to efcape, but feldom attempted 
toattack its keeper, and was always fubmiflive to his threats. 
It had a peculiar cry, fomewhat a mixture between the grunt- 
ingof a hog, and the bellowing of a calf. 

The age of thefe animals is not well known; it is faid by fome, 
that they bring forth at three years old, and if we may reafon 
from analogy, it is probable they feldom live till above twenty. 
That which was fliown in London, was faid, by its keeper, to 
be eighteen years old ; and even at that age, he pretended to 


oonfider it as a young one ; however it died fhortly after, 
and that probably in the courfe of nature. 

The rhinoceros is a native of the defarts of AGa and Afri- 
ca, and is ufually found in thofe extenfive forefts, that are fre- 
quented by the elephant and the lion. As it fubfifts entirely 
upon vegetable food, it is peaceful and harmlefs among its 
fellows of the brute creation ; but, though ic never provoke* 
to combat, it equally difdains to fly. It is every way fitted for 
war, but refts content in the confcioufnefs of its fecurity. Ic 
is particularly fond of the prickly branches of trees, and is 
feen to feed upon fuch thorny fhrubs as would be dangerous 
to other animals, either to gather, or to fwallow. The prickly 
points of thefe, however, may only ferve to give a poignant 
relifh to this animal's palate, and may anfwer the fame grate- 
ful ends in feafoning its banquet, that fpices do in heighten- 
ing ours. 

In fome parts of the kingdom of Afia, where the natives 
are more defirous of appearing warlike than fhowing them- 
felves brave, thefe animals are tamed, and led into the field 
to ilrike terror into the enemy j but they are always an un- 
manageable and reftive animal, and probably more dangerous 
to the employers, than thofe whom they are brought to op- 

The method of taking them, is chiefly watching them, till 
they are found either in fome moift or marfhy place, where, 
like hogs, they are fond of fleeping and wallowing. They 
then deftroy 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. If, when the old one is deftroyed, there; 
happens to be a cub, they feize and tame it : thefe animals 
are fometimes taken in pit-falls, covered with green branches, 
laid in thofe paths which the rhinoceros makes in going from 
the foreft to the river fide. 

There are fome varieties in this animal, as in mod others 5 
fome of them are found in Africa witl> a double horn, 

VOL. II. 3 E 


growing above the other ; this weapon, if confidered in itfelf, 
is one of the ftrongeft, and mod dangerous, rhat nature fur- 
nithes to any part of the animal creation. The horn is entire- 
ly folid, formed of the hardeft bony fub (lance, growing from 
the upper maxillary bone, by fo ftrorg an apophyfe, as feem- 
Jngly to make but one part with it. Many are the medicinal 
virtues that are afcribed to this horn, when taken in powder, 
but thefe qualities have been attributed to it, without any reaj 
foundation, and make only a fin all part of the many fables 
which this extraordinary animal has given rife to. 


^Tbc Hippopotamos. 

r | ^HE hippopotamos is an animal as large, and not lefs for- 
JL midable than the rhinoceros ; Its legs are fhorter, and 
its head rather more bulky than that of the animal laft de- 
fcribed. We had had but few opportunities in Europe of ex- 
amining this formidable creature minutely, its dimenfions, 
however, have been pretty well afcertairied, by a description 
given us by Zerenghi, an Italian furgeon, 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 re- 
fides in the waters of that river, is above feventeen feet long, 
from the extremity of the fnout, to the infertion of the tail , 
above fixteen feet in circumference round the body, and above 
feven feet high : the head is near four feet long, and above 
nine feet in circumference. The jaws open about two feet 
wide, and the cutting teeth, of which it hath four in each jaw, 
are above a foot long. 

Its feet, in fome meafure, refemble thofe of the elephant, 
and are divided into four parts. The tail is fhort, flat, and 
pointed j the hide is amazingly thick, and though not capable 


of turning a mufket ball, is impenetrable to the blow of n 
bre ; the body is covered over with a few fcuttered hairs, of a 
whitifh colour. The whole figure of the animal is fomething 
between that of an ox and a hog, and its cry is fomething be* 
tween the bellowing of the one, and the grunting of the 

This animal, however, though fo terribly furnifhed for war, 
feems no way difpofed to make ufe of its prodigious (Irength 
againft an equal enemy; it chiefly refides at the bottom of the 
great rivers and lakes of Africa, the Nile, the Niger, and the 
Zara ; there it leads an indolent kind of life, and feems feldoni 
difpofed for action, except when excited by the calls of hun- 
ger. Upon fuch occafions, three or four of them are often feen 
at the bottom of a river, near fome cataract, forming a kind of 
line, and feizing upon fuch flm as are forced down by the 
violence of the dream, In that element they purfue their prey 
with great fwiftnefs and perfeverance ; they fwim with much 
force, and remain at the bottom for thirty or forty minutes 
without rifing to take breath. They traverfe the bottom of the 
ftream, as if walking upon land, and make a terrible devaila- 
tion where they find plenty of prey. But it often happens, that 
this animal's fiihy food is not fuppiied in fufficient abundance, 
it is then forced to come upon land, where it is an aukward 
and unwieldy ftranger; it moves but (lowly, and, as it feldom 
forfakes the magin of the river, it finks at every ftep it takes; 
fometimes, however, it is forced, by famine,, up into the high- 
er grounds, where it commits dreadful havcck among the plan- 
tations of thehelplefs natives, who fee their poiTeilions deftroy- 
ed, without daring to refift their invader. Their chief method 
is, by lighting fires, ftriking drums, and railing a cry to fright- 
en it back to its favourite element; and, as it is extremly timo- 
rous upon land, they generally fucceed in their endeavours. 
But if they happen to wound, or otherways irritate it too clofe- 
ly, it then becomes formidable to all that oppofe it: it over- 
turns whatever it meets, and brings forth all its ftrength, which 
it feemed not to have diicovered before that dangerous occa- 
fion. It poffelfcs the fame inoffenfive diippfitiou in its 


rite 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 
down the itream; but fliould they inadvertently ftrike againft 
it, or otherwife difturbits repofe, there is much danger of its 
lending them, at once, to the bottom. " I have feen, fays a 
mariner, as we find it in Dumpier, one of thefe animals open 
its jaws, and feizing any boat between his teeth, at once, bite 
and fink it to the bottom. I have feen it upon another occa- 
fion, place itfelf under one of our boats, and rifmg under it, 
overfetit with fix men which were in it; who, however, hap- 
pily received no other injury. 5 * Such is the great ftrength of 
tins animal ; and from hence, probably, the imagination has 
been willing to match it in combat againft others more fierce 
and equally formidable. The crocodile and {hark have been 
faid to engage with it, and yield an eafy victory ; but as the 
fhark is only found at fea, and the hippopotamos never ven- 
tures beyond the mouth of freih-water rivers, it is mod pro- 
bable that thefe engagements never occurred ; it fometimes 
happens, indeed, that the princes of Africa amufe themfelves 
"with combats, on their freih-water lakes, between this and 
other formidable animals ; but whether the rhinoceros or the 
crocodile are of this number, we have not been particularly 
informed. If this animal be attacked at land, and finding itfelf 
incapable of vengeance from the fwiftnefs of its enemy, it irn- 
Biediately returns to the river, where it plunges in head fore- 
molt, and after a {hort time, rifes to the furface, loudly bellowing 
cither to invite or intimidate the enemy; but though the Negroes 
will venture to attack the {hark, or the crocodile, in their natural 
element, and there deftroy them, they are too well apprifed of 
the force of the hippopotamos to engage it ; this animal, there- 
fore, continues the uncontrolled mailer of the river, and all 
others fly from its approach and become an eafy prey. 

As the hippopotamos lives upon fifti and vegetables, fo it is 
probable the flem of terreftrial animals may be equally grate- 
ful : the natives of Africa aflert, that it has often been found 
to devour children and other creatures that it was able to fur- 
prife upon land; yet it moves but flowly, almoft every crea- 


fure endued with a common mare of fwiftnefs, is able to ef- 
i r ; and this animal, therefore, feldom ventures from the 
river iide, but \vhen preffed by the necdiities of hunger, or of 
bringing forth its young. 

The female always comes upon land to bring forth, and it 
is fuppofat that (he feldom produces above one at a time ; up- 
on this occafion, thefe animals are particularly timorous, and 
dread the approach of a terreftrial enemy j the inftant the pa- 
rent hears the flighted noife, it dailies into the dream, and the 
young one is feen to follow it with equal alacrity. 

The young ones are faid to be excellent eating ; but the Ne- 
groes, to \v horn nothing that has life comes amifs, find an equal 
delicacy in the old. Dr. Pococke has feen their flefh fold in the 
ihambles, like beef; and it is faid, that their bread, in particu- 
lar, is as delicate eating as veal. As for the red, thefe animals 
are found in great numbers, and as they produce very fad, 
their flem might fupply the countries where they are found, 
could thofe babarous regions produce more expert hontfmen ; 
it may be remarked, however, that this creature, which was 
once in fuch plenty at the mouth of the Nile, is now wholly 
unknown in Lower Egypt, and is no where to be found in 
that river, except above the cataracts. 


The Camelcpard. 

WERE we to be told of an animal fo tall, that a man on 
horfeback could with eafe ride under. its belly, without 
(looping, we fhould kardly give credit to the relation ; yet, of 
this extraordinary fize, is the camelopard, an animal that inha- 
bits the deferts of Africa, and the accounts of which arc 
well afcertained, that we cannot deny our 'aflent to their autho- 
rity. It is no eafy matter to form an adequate idea of this crea- 
ture's fize, and the oddity of its formation. It exhibits fome- 


t the (lender fliape of the deer, or the camel, but deftitute 
of their fymmetry, or their eafy power of motion. The head 
Jomewhat refembles that of the deer, with two round horns, 
near a foot long, and which it is probable, it fheds as deer are 
found to do ; its neck refembles that of a horfe ; its legs and 
feet, thofe of the deer, but with this extraordinary difference, 
that the fore legs are near twice as long as the hinder. As theft- 
creatures have been found eighteen feet high, and ten from 
the ground to the top of the moulders, fo allowing three feet 
for the depth of the body, feven feet remain, which is high 
enough to admit a man mounted upon a middle-fized horfe. 
The hinder part, however, is much lower, fo that when the 
animal appears {landing, and at reft, it has fomewhat the ap- 
pearance of a dog fitting, and this formation of its legs, gives 
it an aukward and laborious motion ; which, though fwift, 
muft yet be tirefome. For this reafon, the camelopard is an 
animal very rarely found, and only finds refuge in the moil in- 
ternal defart regions of Africa. The dimenfions of a young one, 
as they were accurately taken by a perfon, who examined its 
ikin, that was brought from the Cape of Good-Hope, were 
found to be as follow : the length of the head, was one foot 
eight inches , the height of the fore-leg, from the ground to 
the top of the moulder, was ten feet ; from the moulder to the 
top of the head, was feven ; the height of the hind leg, was 

it feet five inches; and from the top of the moulder, to the 
iiifertion of the tail, w r asjuft feven feet long. 

No animal, either from its difpofition, or its formation, 

.-s lefs fitted for a itate of natural hoftility ; its horns are 

-r, and even knobbed at the ends ; its teeth are made en- 

[y for vegetable paflure ; its ikin is beautifully fpeckled with 

\vhite fpots, upon a brownifli ground ; it is timorous and harm- 

lefs, and, norwithftanding its great fize, rather flies from, than 

:ts the flighted enemy ; it partakes very much of the nature 

of the: camel, which it fo nearly refembles ; it lives entirely up- 

. bles, and when grazing, is obliged to fpread its fore 

very wide, in order to reach its p:ifture; its motion is a 

: of pace, two legs on each tide moving at die fame time, 


whereas in other anhrnls they move tranfverfely. It often 
down with its belly to the earth, and like the camel, has a cal- 
lous fubilance upon its breaft, which, when repofed, defends 
it from injury. This animal was known to the ancirr.ts/ but 
lias been very rarely feen in Europe. One of them - 
from the call to the emperor of Germany, in the year 1559, but 
they have often been iecn tame at Grand Cairo, in Egypt ; and 
I am toid there are two there at prefent. When ancient Rome 
was in its fplcndor, Pompey exhibited, at one time, no 
than ten, upon the theatre. It wr.s the barbarous pleafure of 
the people, at that time, to fee the moft terrible, and moft ex- 
i.iry animals produced in combat againft each other. 
The lion, the lynx, the tiger, the elephant, the hippopotamos, 
were all let loofc promifcuouily, and were feen to inflict in- 
difcriminate deilruciion. 


The Gamely and the Dromes - 

THESE names do not make two diftinct kinds, but arc on- 
ly given to a variety of the fame animal, which has, how- 
ever, fubfiiled time immemorial. The principal, and perhaps 
the only fenlible difference, by which thofe two races are dif- 
tinguiihed, confifts in this, that the camel has two bunches up- 
on his back, whereas the dromedary has but one; the latter 
alib, is neither fo large, nor fo flrong as the camel. Thefe two 
races, however, produce with each other, and the mixed breed 
formed between them, is confidered the belt, the mod patient, 
and the moft indefatigable of all the kind. 

Of the two varieties, the dromedary is, by far, the moft nu- 
merous ; the camel being fcarcely found, except in Turkey, 
and the countries of the Levant, while the other is found fpread 
over all the defarts of ArrMa, the fouthern parts of Africa, Per- 
fia, Tartary, and a great part pf the eaftern Indies. Thus, the 


one inhabits an immenfe tra& of country, the other, in com- 
parifon,' is confined to a province ; the one inhabits the fultry 
countries of die torrid Zone, the other delights in a warm, but 
not a burning climate; neither, however } can fubfift, or pro- 
pagate, in the variable climates towards the north, they feem 
formed for thofe countries where (hrubs are plenty and water 
fcarce ; where they can travel along the fandy defart, without 
being impeded by rivers, and find food at expected diflances ; 
fuch a country is Arabia, and this of all others, feems the mod 
adapted to the fupport and production of this animal. 

The camel is the mod temperate of all animals, and it can 
continue to travel feveral days without drinking. In thofe vail 
defarts, where the earth is every where dry and fandy, where 
there are neither birds nor beails, neither infe&s nor vegeta- 
tables, where nothing is to be feen but hills of fand and heaps 
of bones, there the camel travels, porting forward, without re- 
quiring either drink or pafture, and is often found fix or feven 
days without any fuflenance whatfoever. Its feet are formed 
for travelling upon fand, and utterly unfit for moid or marftiy 
places; the inhabitants, therefore, find a moft ufeful affiflant in 
this animal, where no other could fubli ft, and by its means, 
crofs thofe defarts with fafety, which would be unpayable by 
any other method of conveyance. 

An animal, thus formed for a fandy and defart region, can- 
not be propagated in one of a different nature. Many vain ef- 
forts have been tried to propagate the camel in Spain ; they 
have been tranfported into America, but have multiplied in 
neither. It is true, indeed, that they may be brought into thefe 
countries, and may, perhaps, be found to produce there, but 
the care of keeping them is fo great, and the accidents to 
which they are expofcd, from the changeablenefs of the cli- 
mate, are fo many, that they cannot anfwer the care of keep- 
ing. In a few years alfo, they are feen to degenerate ; their 
flrcngth and their patience for fake them ; and, inftead of ma- 
king the riches,, they become the burden, of their keepers. 

But it is very different in Arabia, and thofe countries where 


the camel is turned to ufeful purpofcs. It is there con fid. 
as a faured animal, without whofc help, the natives cotiid nei- 
ther fubiiii, traffic, nor travel ; its milk makts a part of : 
nourifliment ; they feed upon its fiefh, particularly when 
young ; they clothe themfelves with its hair, which it is feen, 
to moult regularly once a year, and if they fear an invading 
enemy, their camels ferve them in flight, and in a fingle day, 
they are kncv .vel above a hundred miles. Thus, by 

means of the camel, an Arabian finds fafety in his deicrts ~, 
the armies upon earth might be loll in the purfuit of a flying 
fquadron of this country, mounted upon their camels, and ta- 
king refuge in folitudes, where nothing interpofes to {top tl 
flight, or to force them to await the invader. Nothing can be 
more dreary than the afpei of thefe fandy plains, that : 
entirely forfaken .of life and vegetation : wherever the eye 
turns, nothing is prefented but a lierile and duity foil, L 

:s torn up by the winds, and moving in great waves along,, 
which, when viewed from an eminence, reiembles lefs the 
earth than the ocean; here and there a few flirubs appear that 
only teach us to wiili for the grove, that reminds us of the 

._ in thefe fultry climates, without affording its rcfreih- 
ment ; the return of morning, which, in other places, carries 
an idea of chearfiilnefs, here fcrves only to enlighten the end- 
lefs and dreary wafte, and to prefent the travelkr with an 
unfinifhed profpecl of his forlorn iltuation ; yet, in this chafm 
of nature , by the help of the ^ 1C Arabian finds fafety 

and fubliftence. There are her- :e found fpots of 

. which, though remote from each other, are, in a manner, 
approximated by the labour and induftry of the camel. Thus 

deferts* which prefent the ilranger with nothing but ob- 
jects of danger and iterility, aflord the inhabitant protection, 
food and liberty. The Arabi in lives independent and tranquil 
in the midlt of his folitudes; and, inftead of confidering the 
vaft folitudes fpread round him as a reltraint upon his h.. 
nefs, he is, by experience, taught to rerrsrd them as the 
parts of his freedom. 



The camel is eafily indru&ec 1 ffl il e methods of taVmg up 

>orting his burden ; their Ic-j. ;-., a few days after they 

>icecl, are bent under their belly : they are in this 

-manner loaded, and taught ro rife ; their burden i-s every day 

. .caicd, by infenfible degrees, till the animal is capable 

rting ai weight adequate to its forte : the fame care is 

king them patient of hunger and third : while 

other animals receive their food at dated times, the camel is 

\! for days together, and thefe intervals of famine are 

eafed in proportion as the animal Teems capable of fudain- 

them. By this method of education, they live five or fix 

without food or water; and their flomach is formed mod 

admirablyby nature, to fit them for long abitinence : betides 

die four ftomachs, which all animals have, that chew the cud, 

d the camel is of the number,) it h.?s a fifth donvach, which 

icrves, as a refervoir, to hold a greater quantity of water than 

the animal has an immediate occafion for. It is of a Sufficient 

capacity to contain a large quantity of water, where the fluid 

remains without corrupting, or without being adulterated by 

the other aliments : when the camel finds itielf preiTed with 

third, it has here an eafy refource for quenching it*, it throws 

up a quantity of this water by a fimple contraction of the muf- 

cles, into the other domachs, and this ferves to macerate its 

dry and fimple food ; in this manner, as it drinks but feklom, 

it takes in a large quantity at a time ; and travellers, when 

draitened for water, have been often known to kill their 

camels for that which they expected to find within them.' 

In Turkey, Perfia, Arabia, Barbary, r.nd Egypt, their whole 
commerce is carried on by means of camels, and no carriage is 
more fpeedy, and none lefs expenfive in thefe countries. Mer- 
chants and travellers unite themfelves into a body, furnifhed 
with camels, ro fecurc themfelves from the infults of the rob- 
bers that infeft the countries in which they live. This ailem- 
blage is called a caravan, in which the numbers are fomctimes 
known to amount to above ten thoufand, and the number of 
camels is often greater than thofe of the men ; each of thefe 
animals is Ic/aded according to his ftrength, and he is fo fenfi- 


ble of it himleif, that when his bun: g reat j ne remains 

ilill upon his belly, the pofture in v, 

to rife, till his burden bo kiLned or taken away. In ^er. 

the large camels arc capable of carrying a thcufand weight, and. 

limes twelve hunched ; the dromedary from fix to fc-\ 
In theie trading journies, they travel but flowly, their ftages are 
generally regulated, and they feldom go above thirty, or^ at 
moll, above five and thirty miles a day. Every c -, 
they arrive at a fhgc, which is ufually fome fpe .are, 

where water and (hrubs arc in plenty, they are permitted to- 
fced at liberty -, they are then feen to eat as much in an hour 
as will fupply them for twenty-four; they feem to prefer the., 
eoarfeit weeds to the fofteft pailure:the thiille, the nettle, the 
cafia, an,' .rickly vegetables, arc their favourite food ; 

but their drivers take care to fupply them with a kind of paile 
compofition, which ferves as a more permanent nouv : 
As thefe animals have cften gone the fame trac?t, they are faid 
to know their way precifely, and to purfue their paflage when, 
their guides are utterly aftray , when they come within .; 
miles of their baking-place, in the evening, they fagaci 
fcent it at a diftance, aiui, increafmg their fpeed, are = 
to trot, with vivacity, to their it. 

The patience of this animal is moil extraordinary; and I 
probable, that its fufferings are great, for when it is loaded, :'. 
lends forth moil lamentable cries, but never offers to rend 
t that oppreiTes it. At the flighted fign, it bends its k' 
and lies upon its belly, fuffering itfelf to be loaded in thi- 
fition ; by this practice the burden is more eahly laid upon if, 
than if lifted up while ilanding ; at another fign it riles with. 
its load, and the driver getting upon its back, between the two- 
panniers, which, like hampers,, are placed upon each fide, he. 
encourages the camel to proceed with his voice and with n < 
long. In this manner the creature proceeds contentedly for- 
ward, with a ilo\v uneafy walk, of about four miles an hour, 
when it comes to its flagc, lies down to be unloaded, 


Mr. Buffon fcems to confider the camel to be the rnoft da- 
jnefticated 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 (late of nature, that 
the humps on its back, the callofities upon its breait, and its 
legs, and even the great refervoir for water, are all marks of 
long fervitude and domcftic conftraint. The deformities he fup- 
pofes to be perpetuated by generation, and what at fail was ac- 
cident, at lad 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 compofed of a fub- 
ftancc not unlike the udder of a cow. 

The inhabitants generally leave but one male to wait on 
fen females, the reft they caftrate ; and though they thus be- 
come weaker, they are more manageable and patient. The fe- 
male receives the male in the fame pofition as when thefe ani- 
mals are loaded j fhe goes, with young for about a year, and, 
like all other great animals, produces but one at a time. The 
camel's milk is abundant and ncurifhing, and mixed with wa- 
ter, makes a principal part of the beverage of the Arabians. 
Thefe animals begin to engender at three years of age, and they 
ordinarily live from forty to fifty years. The genital part of 
the male refembles that of the bull, but is placed pointing 
backwards, fo that its urine feems to be ejected in the manner of 
the female. This, as well as the dung, and alrnoft every part 
of this animal, is converted to fome ufeful purpofe by the keep- 
ers. Of the urine, fal-ammoniac is made; and of the dung, litter 
for the horfes, and fire for the purpofe of drc fling their vi&u- 
mls. Thus, this animal alone fecms to comprize within itfelf,, 
7i variety of qualities, any one of which ferves to render other 
quadrupeds abfolutely necefTary for the welfare of man ; like 
the elephant, it is manageable and tame; like the horfe, it gives 
the rider fecurity ; it carries greater burdens than the ox, or 
the mule, and it's milk is furniihed in as great abundance as 
that of the cow ; the flefh of the young ones is fuppofed to be 
as delicate as veal ; their hair is more beautiful, and more in 
yequeft than wool ; while, even of its very excrements* no part 
is ufelefs* 

THE LAMA. 413 


S sV : iped 3 of America are fmall 

the refembling ones of the ancient continent, io the lama, 
considered as the camel of the new world, is eve- 
:?y lefd man that of the old. This animal, like that de- 
, d in the former chapter, (lands high upon its legs, has a 
long neck, a fmall head, and refembles the camel, not only in 
its natural mildnefs, but its aptitude for fervitude, its modera- 
tion, and its patience. The Americans early found out its ufe- 
ful qualities, and availed themfelves of its labours : like the ca- 
mel, it ferv.s to carry goods over places inacceiTible to other 
beafts of burden ; like that it is obedient to it>> driver, and of- 
ten dies under, but never rcfifts his cruelty. 

Of thefe animals, fome are white, others black, but they are 
moftly brown ; its face refembles that of the camel, and its 
height is about equal to that of an afs. They are not found in 
the ancient continent, but entirely belong to the new ; nor are 
they found fpread over all America, but are found chiefly up- 
on thofe mountains, that flrctch from new Spain to the {traits 
of Magellan. They inhabit the higheft regions of the globe, 
and feem to require purer air than animals of a lower f 
ticn are found to enjoy. Peru feems to be the place where thcy 
are found in greateft plenty. In Mexico, they are introduced 
rather as curiofitie? than beafts of burden ; but in Pctoii. 
other provinces of Peru, they make the chief riches of the Indi- 
ans and Spaniards who rear them : their flefh is excellent food j 
their hair, or rather wool, may be fpun into beautiful clothing, 
and they are capable, in the mod rugged and dangerous \v 
of carrying burdens not exceeding a hundred weight, with the 
greateft fafety. It is true, indeed, that they go but flowly, znd 
feldom above fifteen miles a day; their tread is heavy, but fure 
they defcend precipices, and find footing among the moft crag- 


nrks, where even men can fcarce accompany tlic>:- ; 
nre, however, but feeble animals, and after four or five d;r 

r, they ar<- obliged to rcpoie tor a day er two. The,. ; 
. f ly ufed in carryii: ! ;es of the mines of Poloilj 

rre are told thut there vc three hundred thoufan- 

animals in aclual employ. 

This animal, as was faid before, is above three feet high, ant! 
the neck is three feet long, the head is fmall and well pro 
noned,the eyes large, the nole long, the lips thick, the upper 
divided, and the lower a little depending ; like all thofe ani- 
mals that feed upon grafs, it wants the upper cutting teeth ; 
the ears are four inches long,, and move with great agiiity ; 
the tail is but five inches long, i ''!, ftraight, and a 

little turned up at the end ; it is cltr e ox, but 

it has a kind of fpear-like appei. 1, v ts it in 

moving over precipices and ruggeu b back 

is fhort, but long on the fides and . 

camel in the formation of the genii; , io that 

it makes urine backwards ; it couple -ner, 

and though it finds much difficulty in ti id to 

be much inclined to venery. A whole d.jy is palled, be- 
this neccflary bufmefs can be completed, which is fpent in 
growling, quarrelling, and fpitti'ng at each other ; they fel 
doni produce above one at a time, and their age never extends 1 * 
ten or twelve years at fartheih. 

Though the lama is no way comparable to the camel, either 

tze, flrength or pcrfeverance, yet the Americans find a fub- 

l it, with which they feera perfectly contented. It ap- 

i formed for that indolent race of mailers, which it is oblig- 

ferve ; it requires no care or expenfe in the attending 

oviding for its fuflrnance ; it is fupplied with a warm co- 

;::, and therefore does not require to be houfed ; fatisfied 

vegetables and grafs, it wants neither corn nor hay to fub- 
; it is not lefs moderate in what it drinks, and exceeds 
the camel in temperance = Indeed, of all other creatures,, 

tp require water Icaft, as it is fupplied by nature with, 
idiva, in fuch lu-gc quaniitics, that it fpits it out on every oc~ 

THE I AM A. 415 

cai": ';s to be the or 

'. veil en by ' its keep- 

its belly, and pours < - it him a 

of this iluid ; which,. though probably no way lu; 
dian , :h afraid of. They fay .-ritlalk. 

:nou^ nature, that it v. i nurn the iUii, 

ercus eruptions. 

"j animals in their dor. te -, but ai 

ild in very great numbers, they exhibit mar. agility in tlieir flute of nature. Th. 

. r the goat, cr the ihamoy a better ci ; 
All its (1. e d< -icate and firong ; its colour is 

:y, and its woo! is but fiior: ; in their native for, 
are gregarious ai en i:i flocks of two or 

three hundrc . " a itrar 

vd him at firfl with aft* 

:hey fnuiTup 

;ui r.t once, by a common fli 
; tops of the mountains ; they are fonder of 
::orthern than the foulhcrii fide of the Andes ; they often 
climb above the fnowy tracts of the mountain, and feem vigo- 
rous in proportion to the coldnefs of their (kuation. The na- 
- hunt the v.-ild hma u^r the 1'ike of its fleece. If the d 
plain, they are generally fuccefsful ; 
:is the rocky precipice of tlie mountain, 
the hunters a;- 1 to deiiit in their purfuit. 

n to be the largeft of the camei kind in Ame- 
- others, which are called guanacoes and pacos, 
that are fmaller and weaker, but endued with the fame nature, 
and formed pretty much in the lame manner. They feem to 
bear the fame proportions to each others, that the liorfe does to 
is, and are employed with the fame degree of fubordina- 
tion. The wool, however, of the paco, feems to be the moil va- 
luably and it is formed into fluffs, not inferior fo nlk, either 
hi price or beauty. The natural colour of the paco, is that of 


dried rofe leaf; the manufacturers feldom give its wool any 
other dye, but form it into quilts and carpets, which exceed 
e from the Levant. This man ufa&ure forms a very conii- 
blc branch of commerce in South- America, and.probabiy 
UK>, might be extended to Europe, were the beauty, and 
durability of what is thus wrought up, fuincienth 


The Nyl-gkau. 

I^HIS animal, the name of which I? pronounced nylgaw, i 
a native of India, and has but lately been imported into 
Europe ; it feems to be of a middle nature, between the cow 
and the deer, and Carries the appearance of both in its form. 
In fize, it is as rrjpch fmaller than the one, as it is larger than 
the other ; its body, horns, and tail, are not unlike thofc of a 
bull ; and the head, neck, and legs, are very like thofe of a dcrer. 
The colour, in general, is afh or grey, from a mixture of black 
hairs and white ; all along the ridge or edge of the neck, the 
hair is blacker, larger, arid more erecl, miking a ihort, thin, 
and upright mane. Its horns are feven inches long, they are fix 
inches round at the root, growing fmaller by degrees, they ter- 
minate in a blunt point. The bluntnefs of thefe, together with 
the form of its head and neck, might incline us to fuppofe it 
was of the deer kind ; but, as it never fheds its horns, it has a 
greater affinity to the cow. 

From the difpofition of that brought over to this country, 
which has been very accurately and minutely defcribed by dr. 
Hunter, their manners were harmlefs and gentle. Although in 
its native wildnefs, it is faid to be fierce and vicious, this feem- 
ed pleafed with every kind of familiarity, and always liked 
the hand that ilroked, or gave it bread, and never once attemp- 
ted to ufe its horns offenfively ; it feemed to have much de- 
pendence on its organs of fmell, and fnuffed keenlyj and with 


noife, whenever any perfon came within fight , it did fo likc- 
wife, when any food or drink was brought to it ; and v : 
eafily offended with fmclls, or fo cautious, that it would noc 
tafte the bread which was offered, when the hand happened to 
fmell ftrong of turpentine. Its manner of fighting is very par- 
ticular. It was obferved, at lord Clive's, where two males \verr 
put into a little incLofure, that, while they were at a coni. 
able clifcance from each other, they prepared for the attao 
falling upon their fore-knees, then they fhufHed towards - 
other, with a quick pace, keeping itill upon their fore-kr: 
and when they were come within forne yards, they made a 
fpringand darted againfl each other. The intrepidity and i- 
with which they dart aguinft any object, appeared bv 
ilrength with which one of them attempted to overturn a poor 
labourer, who unthinkingly ftood on the outfide of the pales of 
its mcloiure. The Nyl-ghau, with the quickncfs of lightning, 
darted againft the wood-work with fuch violence, that lie broke 
it to pieces, and broke off one of his horr^tlofe to the root, 
which occafioned the animal's death. At all trie places in India 
where we have fettlements, they are confidered as rarities, 
brought from the diftant interior parts of the country. The em- 
peror, fometimes, kills them hrfueh numbers, as to diltribute 
quarters of them to all his omrahs; whicli fh.o\vs that thevarc 
internally wild and in plenty, and eiteemecl good or delicious 
food. The nyl-ghaus, \\hichhavcbeen brought to Enpl 
have been moft, if not all of them, received from Surat or Bom- 
bay ; and they feem to be lets uncommon in that part of India, 
than in Bengal ; which gives room for a .conjecture, 
they maybe indigenous, perhaps in the province of Guz 
one of the moil weilern and the rnoft considerable of die : 
doftan empire, lying to the northward of Surat, and ilretc 
away to the Indian ocean. 

VOL. II. 3 G 



The Bear. 

OF the bear, there are three different kinds, the brt> vtfn 
bear of the Alps, the black bear of North-America, 
which is fmallcr, and the great Greenland, or white bear, 
Thefe,tho* different in their form, are no doubt of the fame 
original, and owe their chief variations to food and climate. 
They have all the fame habitudes, being equally carnivorous, 
treacherous and cruel. It has been faid, indeed, that the black' 
bear of America rejects animal food, but of the contrary I am 
certain, as I have often feen the young ones, which are brought 
over to London, prefer ficfh to every kind of vegetable aliment. 

The brown bear is properly an inhabitant of the temperate 
climates ; the black finds fubfiitence in the northern regions of 
Europe and America, while the great white bear takes refuge 
in the mod icy climates, and lives where fcarce any other ani- 
mal can find fubfiftence. 

The brown bear* is not only fa?age but folitary ; he takes 
refuge in the mod unfrequented parts, and the moft dangerous 
precipices of uninhabited mountains. It choofes its den in the 
mod gloomy parts of the foreft, in feme cavern that has been 
hollowed by time, or in the hollow of fome old enormous tree* 
There it retires alone, and pafies fome months of the winter* 
without provisions, or without ever itirring abroad. However 
this animal is not entirely deprived of fenfation, like the bat, or 
the dormoufe, but feems rather to fubfift upon the exuberance 
of its former flefli, and only feels the calls of appetite, \vhen 
the fat it had acquired in fummcr, begins to be entirely wafted 
away. In this manner, when the bear retires to its den, to hide 
for the winter, it is extremely fat, but at the end of forty or 
fifty days, when it comes forth to feek for frefii nouriihment, 
it fecms to have ilept all its rlefh away. It is a common report, 

* Buffo. 


i afterwards with fuch petty prcv r.r. fne 

'lie young rabbits in their warren, robs mroJw 
. finds out where the wild bees have laid up their honey, 
.'! to her cxpefted brood, 

when taken, are eafily tamed, but the - 
^ill continues favsge and incorrigible-, the former, after a i: 
-ir.r.e, play with the dogs, follow their mailer about the houfe, 
but teem, of all other animals, the mcfl fond of the fire. They of- 
ten approach it fo clofely, that they burn themfelves in a dan- 
gerous manner. They are fometimes alfo fubjecfc to the mange, 
cmci have ?. gland under their tail, which feeing pretty lirong- 
ly. The poor of fome countries cat their item; which, tho" 
fat, is at bed, but rank and ill tailed. 


F | "MTERE fecmstobe a rude, but inferior, refembl.nnco 

JL twe-.:n many animals of the old and the new world. Thd 
congar of America re fembfes the tigerin natural ferocity, thr- 
inferior in its dimenfions. The lama bears fome affinity to 
camel, but is far behind it in ftrength and utility. The 

be confidered as the hippopotamos of the new continent, 

".^graded both as to its lize and feroc 

Tliis animal bears fome diftant refemblance in its form to a 

mule. It has a long fnout, which it lengthens or contracts at 
pleafure. T ts ears are fmall, long, and pendant. Its neck anj 
tail arc fliort, and its claws ftrong and firm, of which it has 
four upon each foot. Its fkin is thick, and covered with brown 
hair, and the natives makes fhields of it, which c. 
pierced by an arrow. 

This animal may, In fome meafure, be termed amphibious, 
as it chiefly refides in the water. It differs, however, from all 
others of this kid ? in feeding entirely upon vegetables, 


:ing this clement the place of its depredations-. Ic feeds up* 
the paituresby the river fide, and as it is very timorous, the 
mftant it he-rs the. lead noifc, it plunges into the ftream. They 
preatiy Ibught after by the natives, as their flefh is confi- 
;d as a delicacy, and thought by fome not inferior to beef. 

The Racoon. 

THE racoon, which fome authors have called the Jamaica 
rat, is about the fize of a fmall badger ; its body is ihort 
and bulky ; its fur is fine, long and thick, blackiih at the fur- 
face, and grey towards fhe bottom , the nofe is rathef Shorter, 
and more pointed than that of a fox ; the eyes large and yel- 
low, the teeth rcfcmbling mofe of a dog, the tail thick, but ta- 
pering towards a point, regularly marked with rings of black, 
and at lead as long as the body ; the fore-feet are much fhort- 
er than the hinder, both armed with five (harp claws, with 
which, and his teeth, the animal makes a vigorous refinance. 
.Like the fquirrel, it makes ufe of its paws to hold its food while 
eating, but it differs from the monkey-kind, which ufe 
but one hand on thofe occafions, whereas the racoon and the 
fquirrel uje both ; as wanting the thumb, their paws fingly are 
unfit for grafping or holding ; though this animal be fhort and 
bulky, it is, however, very active ; its pointed claws enable it to 
climb trees with facility ; it runs on the trunk with the fame 
fwiftnefs that it. moves upon the plain, and fports among the 
mod extreme branches with great agility, fecurity and eafe ; it 
moves forward chiefly by bounding, and though it proceeds in 
an oblique direction, it has fpeed enough mod frequently to 
cfcnpe its purfuers. 

This animal is a native of the fouthern parts of America, 
nor have anv travellers mentioned its being found in the anci- 
ent continent. But in the climates of which it is a native, it 


Vol. II. 


is found in noxious abundance, particularly in Jamaica ; where 
it keens in the mountains, and where it often dcfcends to feed 
upon the plantations of fugar-cane. The planters of thefe cli- 
mates confider thefe animals as one of their greateft miferies ; 
they have contrived various methods of deftroying them, yet 
llill they propagate in fuch numbers, that neither traps nor fire- 
arms can fct them free; fo that a fwarm of thefe famifhed 
creatures are found to do more injury in a finglc night, than 
the labours of a month can repair. 

But though when wild, they are thus troublcfome, in a ftate 
of tamenefs no animal is more harmlefs or amufing ; they are 
capable of being inftrucled in various little amufing trick-. The 
racoon is playful and cleanly, and is very eafily fupported ; it 
eats of every thing that is given it, and if left to itfelf, no cat 
can be a better provider ; it examines every corner, eats of all 
fiefh, either boiled or raw, eggs, fruits or corn, infects them- 
felves cannot efcape it, and if left at liberty in a garden, it will 
feed upon fnails, worms and beetles ; but it has a particular 
fondnefs for fweets of every kind, and to be poffeft of thefe in 
its wild ftate, it incurs every danger. Though it will eat its pro- 
vifions dry, it will for choice dip them in water if it happens 
to be in the way ; it has one peculiarity which few other ani- 
mals have been found to poffefs, it drinks as well by lapping,' 
like the dog, as by fucking like the horfe. 


TJ.-e Coatitnondi. 

THE firft peculiarity with which this animal ftrikes the 
fpe&ator, is the extreme length of its fnout, which,"in 
fome meafure, referable;; that of the hog, but elongated to a 
furprizing degree ; it bears fome diftant refemblance to the 
animal laft defcribed, except that the neck and the body are lon- 
ger, the fur fhorter, and the eyes fmaller ; but its principal d!f.. 
VOL. II. 3 H 


tinftion, as was faid before, confifts in the fnape of its r.ofe, tne 
upper jaw being an inch longer than the lower, and the fnout, 
which is moveable in every divifion, turning up at the end. 
Like the racoon, ,it fits up on its hinder legs with great eafe, 
and in this pofition, with both paws, carries the food to its 

This animal is very fubject to eat its own tail, which is rather 
longer than its body, but this ftrange appetite is notpeculiar to the 
coati alone ; the mococo, and fome of the monkey kinds* do the 
fame, and feem to feel no pain in wounding a part of the bo- 
dy, fo remote from the centre of circulation. 

It Teems poffcft of the fame playful qualities, and indifcri- 
minate appetites, with the animal defcribed in the laft chapter^ 
if left at liberty in a (late of tamenefs, it willpurfue the poul- 
try, and deftroy every living thing that it has ftrength to con- 
quer ;. though it is playful with its keeper, yet it feems obfti- 
nately bent againft receiving any inllru6lion, and neither 
threats nor carefles can induce it to pradTife any arts to which 
it is not naturally inclined. When it fleeps, it rolls itfelf up in 
a lump, and in that pofition often continues for fourteen or 
fifteen hours together. 


Of tie Ant-Bear. 

V 1' ''HERE are many nnimals that liveuf>on ants in Africa ami 
JL America -, the pango&n, or fcaly Hzard of Guinea, may be 
confidered among this number ; but there are a greater vari- 
ety in America, whi'ch makes thofe minute infects their only 
fubfiftence. Though they are of different' figures and fizes, yet, 
in general, they go under one common name of the ant-bear ; 
the peculiar length and flendernefs of their fnout, their fingu- 
lar appetites, and their manner of taking their prey, 


too ftrongly to attend to the minute differences of their -fizecr 

They have been clafiicd by mr. BufFon into the larger taman- 
dua, the imaller tamandua, and the ant-eater. The longeft of 
this kind is four feet long, from the tip of the fnout to the in- 
fertion of die tail ; their legs are ihort, and armed with four 
itrong claws ; their tail is long and tufted, and the animal often 
throws it on its back like the fquirrel. The fecond of this kind 
is not above eighteen inches long, the tail is without hair, and 
it fweeps the ground as the animal moves. The ant-eater, which 
is the third variety, is ftill fmallcr than either of the former, as 
it is not above feven inches from the tip of the fnout to the in- 
fertion of the tail. The t\vo former are of a brown duflcy co- 
lour, but this of a beautiful reddifh, mixed with yellow ; tlio' 
they differ in figure, they all refemble each ether in one pecu- 
liarity, which is the extreme flendernefs of their fnout, and 
the amazing length of their tongue. 

The fnout is produced in fo difproportionate a manner, that 
the length of it makes near a fourth part of the whole figure. 
A horfe has one of the longed heads of any animal \ve know, 
and yet the ant-bear has one above twice as long, in propor* 
tion to its body. The fnout of this animal is almoft round 
and cylindrical ; it is extremely flender, and is fcarce thicker 
near the eyes than at its extremity, The mouth is very fmall, 
the noftrils are very clofe to each other, the eyes are little, 
in proportion to the length of the nofe, the neck is ihort, the 
tongue is extremely long, flender, and flatted on both fides ; 
this it keeps generally doubled up in the mouth, and is the 
only inftrument by which it finds fubfiftence ; for the whole 
of this tribe are entirely without teeth, and find fafety only 
in the remotenefs and fecurity of their retreat. 

If we examine through the various regions of the earth, 
we (hall find that all the mod active, fprightly, and ufeful 
quadrupeds have been gathered round man, and either ferved 
his pleafurcs, or ftill maintaind their independence by their 
vigilance, their cunning, or their induftry. It is in the remote 


fbiitudes that we are to look for ths helplefs, the deformed^ 
and the monltrous births of nature. Thefe wretched animals 
being incapable of defending themfelves, either by their agi- 
lity, or their natural arms, fall a prey to every creature that: 
attacks them 5 they therefore retire for fafety into the darkeft 
forerts, or the mod defert mountains, where none of the^ bolder 
or fwifter animals choofe to re fide. 

It may well be fuppofed that an animal fo helplefs as the 
'ant-bear is, with legs too fliort to fit it for flight, and unpro- 
vided with teeth to give it a power of refinance, is neither 
numerous, nor often feen ; its retreats are in the mod barren 
and uncultivated parts of South-America. It is a native only 
of the new continent, and entirely unknown to the old. It 
lives chiefly in the woods, and hides itfelf under the fallen 
leaves. It feldom ventures from its retreat, and the induitry 
of an hour fupplies it with fullicient food for feveral days to- 
gether. Its manner of procuring its prey, is one of the moil 
fmgular in all natural hiflory j as its name implies, it lives en- 
tirely upon ants and infects ; thefe, in the countries where it 
is bred, are found in the greateft abundance, and often build 
themfelves hills, five or fix feet high, where they live in com- 
munity. When this animal approaches an ant-hill, it creeps 
ilowly forward on its belly, taking every precaution to keep 
icfelf concealed, till it comes within a proper diftance of the 
place where it intends to make its banquet ; there lying clofe- 
ly along at its length, it thruils forth its round red tongue, 
which is often two feet long, acrofs the path of thefe bufy 
infects, and there lets it lie motionlefs for feveral minutes to- 
gether. The ants of that country, fome of which are half an 
inch long, confidering it as a piece of flefh accidentally thrown 
before them, come forth and fwarm upon it in great numbers, 
but v.-herever they touch, they (lick ; for this inilrument is co- 
vercd with a lliray fluid, which, like bird-lime, entangles eve- 
ry creature that lights upon it. When, therefore, the ant-bear 
has found a fufficient number for one morfel, it inftantly draws 
in the tongue, and devours them all in a moment ; after which 
it ftiil continues in its pofition, pradtifmg the fame arts un- 


ill its hunger is entirely appeafed ; it then retires to its hiding 
place once more, where it continues in indolent exigence, 
again excited by the calls of hunger. 

Such is the luxurious life of a creature, that ' all 

others the molt helplefs and deformed. It finds fafety i: 
hiding-places from its enemies, and an ample fupply in forr." 
neighbouring ant-hill, for all its appetites. As it only tries tj 
avoid its purfuers, it is feldom difcovcred by them , yet help- 
lefs as this animal is, when driven to an extremity, though 
without teeth, it will fight with its claws, with great obfti- 
nacy. With thefe arms alone, it has often been found to op- 
pofe the dog, and even the jaguar. It throws itfelf upon its 
back, fattens upon its enemy with all its claws, flicks with 
great ftrength and perfeverance, and even after killing its in- 
yader, which is fometimes the cafe, does not quit its hold, 
but remains fattened upon him with vindictive defperation. 


Of the SlotL 

OF the fioth there are two different kinds, diftinguiihed 
from each other by their claws ; die one, which, i;; 
native country, is called the unan, having only two claws upon 
ach foot, and being without a tail ; the other, which is called 
the ai, having a tail and three claws upon each foot. The unai' 
has the fnout longer, the ears more apparent, and the fur ve- 
ry different from the other. It differs alfo in the number o; 
its ribs, this having forty-fix, while the ai has but twt 
eight. Thefe differences, however, which though very appa- 
rent, have been but little regarded in the iefaription of two 
animals which fo ftrongly refemble each other in the general 
out-lines of their figure, in their appetites, and their help- 
Icfs formation. 


They are both, therefore, defcribed. under the common ap- 
pellation of the floth, and their habitudes well deferve our 
wonder and curiofity. Nature feems crampt and con {trained 
in their formation ; other animals are often indolent from 
choice, thefe are flow from neceffity ; the ai, from which I 
{hall take my defcription, and from which the other differs 
only in the flight particulars above-mentioned, and in being 
rather more active, is of about the fize of a badger. Its fur 
is coarfe and flaring, fomewhat refembling dried grafs ; the 
tail very fhort, and fcarce appearing ; the mouth extending 
from ear to car ; the eye dull and heavy ; the feet armed 
Vith three claws each, and made fo fhort, and fet on fo auk^ 
wardly, that a few paces is often the journey of a week ; but 
though the feet are fhort, they are dill longer than its legs, 
arid thefe proceed from the body in fuch an oblique direction, 
that the fole of the foot feldom touches the ground. When 
the animal, therefore, is compelled to make a ftep forward, it 
fcrapes on the back of the nails along the furface, and wheel- 
ing the limbs circularly about, yet ftill touching the ground, 
it at length places its foot in a progreffive pofition ; the other 
three limbs are all brought about with the fame difficulty ; 
and thus it is feen to move not above three feet in an hour. 
In fact, this poor creature feldom changes place but by con- 
ftraint, and when impelled by the fevereft flings of hunger. 

The floth feems to be the meaneft and moft ill-formed of 
all thofe animals that chew the cud ; it lives entirely upon ve- 
getable food, on the leaves, the fruit, and the flowers of trees, 
and often even on the very bark, when nothing elfe is left on 
the tree for its fubfiflence. Like all other ruminant animals, 
it has four ftomachs -, and thefe requiring a large fhare of pro- 
vifion to fupply them, it generally drips a tree of all its ver- 
,iurc in lefsthan a fortnight. Still, however, it keeps aloft, un- 
v.-i!!b to dcfcend, while nny thing remains that can ferve it 
,oGd-, it therefore falls to devouring the bark, and thus, 
in a fhort time, kills the tree unon which it found its fupport. 
Thus dcditute of provifions above, and crawling flowly from 
brunch to branch, in hopes of finding fomething ftill left, it 


> at iaft obliged to encounter all the dangers that attend it be- 
low. Though it is formed by nature for climbing a tree with 
jrrcat pain and difficulty, yet it is utterly unable to defcend ; 
it therefore is obliged to drop from the branches to the ground, 
and as it is incapable of exerting itfelf to break the violence 
of its defcent, it drops like a fhapelefs heavy mafs, and feels 
no fmall (hock in the fall. There, after remaining fome 
time torpid, it prepares for a journey to fome neighbouring 
tree ; but this of all migrations is the moft tedious, dangerous, 
and painful , it often takes a week in crawling to a tree not 
fifty yards diftant, it moves with imperceptible flownefs, and 
:i baits by the way. All motions feem to torture it, every 
ftep it takes it fets forth a moil plaintive, melancholy cry, 
which, from fome diftant fimilitude to the human voice, ex^ 
cites a kind of difguft, mixed with pity. This plaintive found 
feems its chief defence, few quadrupeds appear willing to IB- 
terrupt its progrefs, either that the flefli is offenfive, or that they 
are terrified at its cries. When at length they reash their def-* 
lined tree, they mount it with much greater eafe than when 
they moved upon the plain. They fall to with famimed appe* 
tite, and, as before, deflroy the very fource that fupplies them. 

How far thefe may be confidered as the unfinifhed produc- 
tions of nature, I will not take upon me to determine , if we 
meafure their happinefs by our fenfations, nothing, it is cer- 
tain, can be more miferable ; but it is probable, confidered 
with regard to themfelves, thty may have fome itores of com- 
fort unknown to us, which may fet them upon a level with 
fome other inferior ranks of the creation ; if a part of their 
life be expofed to pain and labour, it is compen-fated by a 
larger portion of plenty, indolence, and fafety. In fac"t, they 
are formed very differently from all other quadrupeds, and 
it is probable, they have different enjoyments. Like birds, 
they have but one common vent for the purpofes of propagation, 
excrement and urine. Like the tortoife, which they refemble 
in the ilownefs of their motion, they continue to live fome 
time after their nobler parts are wounded', or even taken away. 


They bear the marks of all thofe homely-formed animal?, 
fhar, like rude machines, are not eafiiy difcompofed. 

Its note, * according to Xircher, is an afcending and de- 
fcending hexachord, which it utters only by night j its look 
is fo piteous, as to move companion , it is alfo accompanied 
with tears, that difluade every body from injuring fo wretched 
a being. Its abftirience from food is remarkably powerful ; 
one that had faftened itfelf by its feet to a pole, and was fo 
fufpended acrofs two beams, remained forty days without meat, 
drink, or fleep ; the flrength of its feet is fo great, that what- 
foever it feizes on, Cannot pofiibly be freed from its claws. A 
dog was let loofe at the above-mentioned animal, taken frorrr 
the pole ; after fome time the floth laid hold of the dog with 
its feet, and held him four days, till he perimed with hunger. 


The Gerbua. 

animal as little refembles a quadruped, as thaff 
JL which has been defcribed in a former chapter. If we 
fiiould fuppofe a bird, diverted of its feathers, and walking 
upon its legs, it might give us fome idea of its figure. It has 
four feet indeed, but in running or refting, it never makes ufe 
of any but the hinder. The number of legs, however, do not 
much contribute to any animal's fpeed j and the gerbua, 
though properly fpeaking, ftirnimed but with two, is one of 
the fwifteft creatures in the world. 

The gerbua is not above the fize of a large rat, and its head 
is floped fomewhrvt in the manner of a rabbit, the teeth alfo 
are formed like thofe of the rat kind, there bei'ng two cut- 
sing teeth in each jaw ; it has a very long tail, tufted at thf 

* Pennant's Synopfis. 


end ; the head, the back, and fides, are covered with large 
aih-coloured foft hair ; the breatl and belly are whitiih, but 
what moft deferves our attention in the formation of this lit- 
tle animal, is the legs ; the fore-legs are not an inch long, 
with four claws and a thumb upon each, while the hind-legs 
are two inches and a quarter, and exaclly refemble thofe of 
a bird, there being but three toes, the middiemoil of which 
is longeft. 

The gerbua is found in Egypt, Bafbary, Paleftine, and the 
deferts between BmTerah and Aleppo ; its hind-legs, as was 
laid before, are only ufed in running, while the fore-paws, 
like thofe of a fquirrel, grafp its food, and, in fome meafure, 
perform the office of hands. It is often feen by travellers as 
they pafs along the deferts, eroding their way, and jumping 
fix or eight feet at every bound, and going fo fwiftly, that 
fcarce any other quadruped is able to overtake them. They 
are a lively, harmlefs race of animals, living entirely upon 
vegetables, and burrowing like rabbits in the ground. Mr. 
Pennant tells us of two that were lately brought to London, 
that burrowed almoft 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 flecker than 
when confined to their burrows. A variety of this animal is 
found alfo in Siberia and Circafiia, and is moil probably com- 
mon enough over all AGa. They are more expert diggers 
than even the rabbit itfelf ; and when purfued for a long 
time, if they cannot efcape by their fwiftnefs, they try to 
make a hole inftantiy in the ground, in which they often bu- 
ry themfelves deep enough to find fecurity before their pur- 
fuers come up. Their burrows, in fome places, are fo thick, 
as to be dangerous to travellers, the horfes perpetually falling 
in them. It is a provident little animal, and lays up for the 
winter. It cuts grafs in heaps of a foot fquare, which, when 
dried, it carries into its burrow, therewith to ferve it for food, 
or to keep its young warm, during the rigours of the winter. 
But of all animals of this kind, that which was firfl dif- 
VOL. II, 3 I 


covered and defcribed by mr. Banks, is the moft extraordi- 
nary. Pic calls it the kangaroo ; and though, from its general 
outline, and the moft linking peculiarities of its figure, it 
greatly refembles the gerbua, yet it entirely differs, if \ve con- 
fider its fize, or thole minute diftin&ions which direct the 
makers of fyftems in afforting the general ranks of nature. 

The largeft of the gerbua kind, which are to be found in 
the ancient continent, do not exceed the fize of a rabbit. The 
kanguroo of New-Holland, where it is only to be found, is 
often known to weigh above fixty pounds, and mufl confe- 
quently be as large as a meep. Although the fkin of that 
which was fluffed, and brought home by mr. Banks, was not 
much above the fize of a hare, yet it was greatly fuperior to 
any of the gerbua kind that have been hitherto known, and 
very different in many particulars. The fnout of the gerbua, 
as has been kid, is ihort and round, that of the new-difco- 
vwred animal, long and ilcnder ; the teeth alfo entirely differ ; 
for, as the gerbua has but two cutting teeth in each jaw, mak- 
ing four in all, this animal, befides its cutting teeth, has four 
canine teeth alfo ; but what makes a more finking peculiarity, 
is the formation of its lower jaw, which, as the ingenious dif- 
coverer fuppofes, is divided into two parts, which open and 
{hut like a pair of fciffars, and cut grafs, probably this animal's 
principal food. The head, neck, and (Lrulders are very fmall in 
proportion to the other parts of the body, the tail is nearly 
as long as the body, thick ntar the rump, and tapering to- 
wards the end ; the fkin is covered with a ihort fur, excepting 
the head and the ears, which bear a flight refemblance to 
thofe of the hare. We are not told, however, from the for- 
mation of its flomach, to what clafs of quadrupeds it belongs - y 
from its eating grafs, which it has been feen to do, one would 
be apt to rank it among the ruminant animals, but from the 
canine teeth which it is found to have, we may, on the other 
hand, fuppofe it to bear fome relation to the carnivorous. Up- 
on the whole, however, it can be claffed with none more pro- 
perly, than with animals of the gerbua kind, as its hind legs 
are fo much longer than the fore j it moves alfo precifely i 


the fame manner, taking great bounds of ten or twelve feet 
at a time, and thus fometimes efcaping even the fieeteft grey- 
hound, with which mr. Banks purfued it. One of them that 
was killed, proved to be good food 5 but a fecond, which 
weighed eighty-four pounds, and was not yet come to its full 
growth, was found to be much inferior. 

With this lad defcribed and laft difcovered animal, I (hall 
conclude the hiitory of quadrupeds, which, of all parts of natu- 
ral knowledge, feems to have been defcribed the moil accurate- 
ly. As thefc, from their figure, as well as their fagacity, bear 
the neareft refemblance to man, and from their ufes, or en- 
mities, are the moft refpedtable parts of the inferior creation, 
fo it was his mtereft, and. his pleafure, to make himfelf ac- 
quainted with their hiftory. It is probable, therefore, that time, 
which enlarges the fphere of our knowledge 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 no fmall 
confequence, and happens but fcldom ; for the number of 
all is fo few, that wherever a new one is found, it becomes 
an object worthy our bed attention. It may take refuge in 
its native deferts from our purfuits, but not from our cu~ 

But it is very different with the inferior ranks of the crea- 
tion ; the claffes of birds, of fifhes, and of infects, are all much 
more numerous, and more incompletely known. The quadru- 
ped is poflefied of no arts of efcaping, which we are not 
able to overcome , but the bird removes itfelf by its fwift- 
nefs, the fifties find protection in their native element, and 
infects are fecured in their minutenefs, numbers, and variety. 
Of all thefe, therefore, we have but a very inadequate cata- 
logue, and though the lift be already very large, yet every 
hour is adding to its extent. 

In fact,, all knowledge is pleafant only as the object of it 
contributes to render man happy, and the fervices of quadru- 
peds being fo very neceflary to him in every fituation, he is 
particularly interefted in their hiftory ; without their aid, 


what a wretched and forlorn creature would lie have been \ 
the principal part of his food, his clothing, and his amufe- 
ments, are derived wholly from them, and he may be confider- 
ed as a great lord, fometimes cheriming his humble depen- 
dents, and fometimes terrifying the refractory, to contribute 
to his delight and conveniences. 

The horfe and the afs, the elephant, the camel, the lama, 
and the rein-deer, contribute to eafe his fatigues, and to give 
him that fv/iftnefs which he wants from nature. By their 
afliflance, he changes place without labour ; he attains health 
without wearinefs ; his pride is enlarged by the elegance of 
equipage, and other animals are purfued with a certainty of 
fuccefs. It were happy, indeed, for man, if, while converting 
thefe quadrupeds to his own benefit, he had not turned them 
to the deftruction of his fellow-creatures ; he has employed 
fome of them for the purpofes of war, and they have con- 
formed to his noxious ambition with but too fatal an obe- 

The cow, the fhcep, the deer, and all their varieties, are 
nccefiary to him, though in a different manner. Their flcfh 
makes the principal luxuries of his table, and their wool or 
Ikins the chief ornament of his perfon. Even thofe nations 
that are forbid to touch any thing that has life, cannot whol- 
ly difpenfe with their aflillance. The milk of thefe animals 
makes a principal part of the food of every country, and of- 
ten repairs thofe conftitutions that have been broken by dif- 
cafe or intemperance. 

The dog, the cat, and the ferret, may be confidered as hay- 
ing deferted-from their fellow-quadrupeds, to lift themfelves 
under the conduct and protection of man. At his command 
they exert all their fervices againfl fuch animals as they are 
capable of deflroying, and follow them into places where he 
himfelf wants abilities to purfue. 

As there is thus a numerous tribe, that he has taken into 
protection, and that fuppljes his neceflities and amufements, 


fo there is alfo a flill more numerous one, that wages ar. 
equal combat againft him, and thus call forth his courage 
and his induftry. Were it not for the lion, die tiger, the pan- 
ther, the rhinoceros, and the bear, he would fcarce know his 
o\vn powers, and the fuperiority of human art over brutal 
fiercenefs. Thefe ferve to excite, and put his nobler paflions 
into motion. He attacks them in their retreat, faces them, 
with refolution, and feldom fails of coming ofr with a vic- 
tory. He thus becomes hardier and better in the flruggie, and 
learns to know, and to value his own fuperiority. 

As the laft mentioned animals are called forth by his bold- 
eft efforts, fo the numerous tribe of the fmaller vermin kind 
excite his- continual vigilance and caution ; his various arts 
and powers have been no where more manifeil, than in the 
extirpation of thoie that multiply with iuch prodigious fecun- 
dity. Neither their agility nor their minutenefs can fecure 
them from his purfuits ; and though they may infeft, they are 
feldom found materially to injure him. 

In this manner, we fee, that not only human want is fup- 
plied, but that human wit is fharpened, by the humbler part- 
ners of man in the creation. By this we fee, that not only 
their benefits, but their depredations are ufeful, and that it 
has wifely pleafed Providence to place us like victors in a 
fubdued country, where we have all the benefit of conqueft, 
without being fo fecure, as to run into the floth and exc\ 
of a certain and undifturbed poftellion. It appears, therefore, 
that thofe writers who are continually finding immediate be- 
nefit in every production, fee but half way into the general 
fyilem of nature. Experience mud every hour inform us, 
that all animals are not formed for our ufe 5 but we may be 
equally well affured, that thofe conveniencies which we want 
from their friendlhip, are well repaid by that vigilance which 
we procure from their enmity. 





* \~r F Ruminating Animals 3 

II. Of Quadrupeds of the Cow-kind 7 
The Buffalo 17 

III. Of Animals of the Sheep and Goat-Kind 22 
The Sheep 24 
The Goat and its numerous Varieties - 3^- 
The Gazelles 43 

IV. Of the Mitjk Animal $2 

V. Animals of the Deer Kind 5^ 
The Fallow Deer 73 
The Roe-Buck 77 
The Elk 82 
The Rein-Deer 87 

VI. Of ghiadrupeds of the Hog Kind I oo 
The Peccary, or Tajacu 107 
The Capibara, or Cabiai III 
The BabyroueJ/hy or Indian Hog 1 1 2 

VII. Animals of the Cat Kind 1 1 5 
The Lion 124 
The Tiger 135 
The Panther, and the Leopard 145 

VIII. Animals of the Dog Kind 156 
The Wolf 177 
The Fox 187 
The Jackall 193 
Jfatis .196 
The Hy ana 198 

IX. Of Animals of the Weafel Kind 200 
The Ermine, or Steat 204 



The Ferret 208 
The Polecat ~- 21 

The Martin 213 

Tfa Sable 2l6 

The Ichneumon 2l8 

The Stinkards 22O 

The Genet * 224 

The Civet - 225 

The Glutton - 229 

X. Of Animals of the Hare Kind 234 
The R< 242 
The Squirrel 247 
The Flying Squirrel 253 
The Marmout 25 
The Agouti 261 
The Paca - 264 
The Guinea-Pig 26$ 

XI. Of Animals of the Rat Kind 270 
The Mo life 27 
The Dormeufe 277 
The Mu/k Rat 278 
The Cricetui - 280 
The _ , 2 82 
The Mole 2 8 6 

XII. Of Animals of the Hedge-Hog> or PricUy Kind 291 
The Tanrec and Tendrac r 2o^ 
Porcupine 29^ 

XIII. Of Quadrupeds covered with Scales er Shells^ 

injlead of Hair qo't 

The Armadillo or Tatou -*-~ 30^ 

XIV. Of Animals of the Bat Kind 3 I 

XV. Of Amphibious Quadrupeds * 3 1 8 
The Pn'iiver 324 
The Seal 330 
TheMcrfe ~- 33$ 
The Manati 



XVI. Of Animals of tic Monkey Kind 34* 

The Baboon 353 

T/v Monkey """" 

'Ofthetfaki 371 

O/* //><' Pppoffitm, and its Kinds 374 

XV 1 1 . Of tie Elephant 379 

XVIIL Of the Rhinoceros 39 8 

XIX. 27* Hippopotamos 

XX. T7^ Camtlopard 4 5 

XXI. T7^ C^w^/ W /Af Dromedary 47 


xxin. - 

.xxiv. r^ 2?^r 

XXV. The Badger 

XXVI. TkeTapicr 

XXVII. 77^ *?* 
XXVIII- 27?f Coatimondi 

*XXIX. Of ihe Ant-Bear 4* 6 

XXX. Of the Sloth 429 

XXXI. The Gerbu*