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CATS AND DOGS;
NOTES AND ANECDOTES OF TWO GREAT FAMILIES
OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM.
MRS. HUGH MILLER.
"'Tis sweet to muse upon His skill displayed-
Infinite skill !-in all that He has made."
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.
T is attempted, in the following pages, to throw
many common facts and anecdotes regarding
the cats and dogs into a more continuous and
interesting form than that in which they are
usually presented to the juvenile public. It will be
perceived that the conversations, being supposed to
be held with young people of different ages, are not
adapted in every part for children so young as our little
Harry, It is hoped, however, that much of them may
be found suitable for reading aloud to an intelligent child
of that age; for all instruction is much better communi-
cated at so early a period either orally or by actual
observation. Girls or boys so old as Bessie, or below
twelve, had better read them to their mother, aunt, or
guardian, who will on her part encourage them to make
their remarks freely, giving further explanations when
necessary. Those who kindly undertake this trouble
will find that hard names and difficult words do not in
this little book, as is often the case, form any obstacles
to an understanding of the subject. But it may be
objected that too much has been tried in the way of
attempting to imbue it with the elements of thought.
This has been done on the supposition that children will
ask hard questions; and that while so much of their
correct thinking in after-life, with regard to nature in
its relation to God, depends on the reply to these ques-
tions, it is as well to answer them to the best of one's
ability. The author can give no reason why she began
at this end of natural history, so to speak, which to
many people will not appear the most inviting, unless it
was just the frequent spectacle of pussy lying on the
hearth-rug, and the great quantity* of nonsense often
spoken regarding her and her congeners which that
spectacle suggested. One lecturer proposed in public,
not long ago, as an amendment on the well-known
Let dogs delight to bark -and bite,
For God hath made them so;"
Let dogs delight to bark and bite,
For Satan made them so."
No little audacity, certainly, to endow Satan with the
creative prerogative of the Almighty, and to dub him at
once God's vicegerent on earth. It appears necessary
that the elements of destructiveness be accepted from
God's hands as his appointment, and subservient to a
higher good. Not only did they exist in full force
during the past history of our globe, but they belong to
the present creation, which the voice of God himself
pronounced "very good." There is no second creation
recorded after the Fall; and to suppose that all things
made and adjusted themselves to the introduction of
moral evil, from the denizens of the forest, air, and
water, down to the animalcule that inhabit a drop of
water, or that the prince of darkness has so adjusted
them, would be to suppose a monstrous and impious
absurdity. It would, in fact, dispense with the necessity
for a God at all; so do extremes meet. It is neither
creation which is wrong nor the Bible, but the crude
and false notions imbibed by many in their childish
days, and not afterwards fully reconsidered. These place
science--which is only nature studied and elaborated
according to the laws of the human mind-in needless
antagonism with divine truth.
If these pages -for the young help to give them ideas
sufficiently just to prevent, in after-life, a useless and
dangerous collision with the Word of God, in their more
mature study of his works-above all, if they assist in
ever so small a measure to form the habit of looking
not only for God in all things, but at all things in God,
which is the more scriptural expression, as well as the
higher attitude of mind, the writer will not have been
employing a few of her leisure hours in vain.
In Him we live, and move, and have our being."
I. PLEASANT TALK ABOUT A DOMESTIC PET, ... ...... ... 11
II. CATS AND WILD CATS; OR, PUSSY AND HER FOREFATHERS, ... 23
III. THE LION A GIANT CAT, ........... ... 38
IV. LION STORIES, ..... .. ... ... ... ... 53
V. ALL ABOUT TIGERS AND LEOPARDS, ... ... ... 65
VI. MORE ABOUT THE FELIDAE, ... ... ... ... ... 81
VII. THE HYENA, OR THE DOG'S COUSIN, ;.. ... ... ... 96
VIII. STORIES OF WOLVES AND JACKALS, ... ... ... 119
IX. A LECTURE UPON THE DOG, ... ...... ... ... ... 148
X. THE HUNTING DOGS-GREYHOUNDS, STAG-HOUNDS, AND BLOOD-
HOUNDS,.. .. ..... .. ... ... 171
XI. THE DOG AS MAN'S FRIEND, ... ... ... ... ... 191
* XII. SOME OTHER MEMBERS OF THE GREAT DOG FAMILY, ... ... 208
XIII. SOMETHING PHILOSOPHICAL, ........ ... ... 220
CATS AND DOGS.
PART I.-C ATS.
PLEASANT TALK ABOUT A DOMESTIC PET.
OT long ago there lived in a very good house,
situated in a village near the sea-coast, two
children, who were named Bessie and Harry
Myrtle. They had a governess, who taught
them to read, to write, and to spell, with
many other useful matters; but there were some things
which their own mother loved best to teach them herself,
and these were things relating to God and Nature. Every
day she gave them a lesson in natural history, and this
was the way in'which the first of these lessons was begun.
One evening about the middle of December, after
Bessie and Harry had been dressed for dinner, they
came into the drawing-room to wait for a little while
12 A FIRESIDE SCENE.
beside their mamma. No one else was there, unless,
indeed, pussy might be called some one, for she lay
snugly coiled up like a ball on the hearth-rug. Their
brother Arthur, who was going to be a clergyman, was
still busily engaged in study in his own room; and
Marjory, their elder sister, was playing on the piano in
the school-room up-stairs. All were waiting to hear the
dinner-bell; but that did not ring at the usual time, for
papa had not yet come in. Something had happened to
detain him, and mamma said they must still wait on for
another half-hour. The little children wearied sadly,
because they were hungry and had nothing to do.
Their mother was sitting on a couch by the fireside,
1l ing as if she were either suffering from headache or
thinking very anxiously about something; for she was
quite silent, and leaned her head upon her hand. The
lustre was not lighted, but a bright fire burned in the
grate, which often sent up sudden jets of flame, that
lighted up the furniture in the dark places of the room,
as well as the pretty pictures which hung upon the walls.
But the gas was burning brightly in the hall outside,
and in the dining-room just opposite, the door of which
was standing wide open; and Harry could not help
sometimes running to have a peep out at the dining-table,
which, with its damask cloth and glittering silver, looked
very tempting to a hungry little boy. Nor could he
help exclaiming often, in a half-whisper, "I wish papa
ALL ABOUT A MENAGERIE. 13
would come-I wish papa would coine-I wish the
dinner-bell would ring." Then he came and leaned his
head on his mamma's shoulder and was still.
Bessie had seated herself in a large arm-chair, and
seemed asleep; but she must only have been in a waking
dream, for suddenly she exclaimed, "Mamma, Christmas
is coming soon! Shan't we go and see something in the
holiday-week as we used to do ? "
"Oh, mamma !" cried Harry, brightening up, "there's
a 'nagerie come to town; I saw the great wooden house,
and the elephant's legs walking along below it, and two
camels with'humps going beside it. Mustn't we go to
the 'nagerie ?"
"Menagerie, dear," said mamma, correcting Haig;
who, though he was five years old, did not always pro-
nounce long words very plainly. "Well, I daresay you
must go to the menagerie; but would it not be best to
know a little first about some of the animals you are
going to see ? Shall I tell you something now till your
papa comes ? Which shall we begin with ? "
With the camel," said Bessie.
"The great roaring lion," said Harry, "that goes
about seeking some one to devour."
"What," said mamma, "if we should begin with pussy,
who lies sleeping there at our feet on the hearth-rug? "
"Oh, but," cried the children, laughing, "we do not
need to go to the menagerie to see pussy."
14 CATS AND THEIR CHARACTERS.
"True," said Mrs. Myrtle; "but as pussy is in most
respects exactly like the great roaring lion, and the
fierce tiger, and the spotted leopard, and is, in fact, of
the same genus or kind, it will be easiest for' us to,
examine her; for you wouldn't like, I am pretty sure,
to see a roaring lion spring up on my lap to have -his
teeth and claws looked at. But, first of all, tell me how
pussy gets her food. What does she like best to eat ?"
Mice ind birds," cried both the children at once.
"And does she catch them alive ?"
"Then see doesn't need a butcher to kill her meat for
her. She is a beast of prey. Have you ever seen her
" watch for a mouse ? "
"Yes," said Harry; "if she can get into the store-
closet she will sit gn the top of a barrel for a whole day
watching for a mouse to stir."
"All the animals of that race," said Mrs. Myrtle, "are
remarkable for the patience with which they will wait
"But, mamma," said Bessie, "pussy is often very
cruel. I saw something one day from a back-window
which makes me dislike her, when I think of it, ever
since* She had caught such a pretty little bird, and if
she had eaten it up at once it would not have been so
bad; but she let it get a good way off, and then crouched
down and fixed her green eyes upon it, and it seemed
CAT AND BIRD. 15
not to be able to help looking at her. I thought it
might have got off if it had only spread its wings quickly
and flown away; but she held it with her glittering
THE CAT AND THE BIRD.
eye, like the man you were reading to Arthur about in
that story-poem, and they stood looking at each other
such a time, that my heart was beating for the poor bird
16 MIND AND BODY.
Jloud that I could hear it; but whenever it ma&& a.
t#le flutter she darted on it like lightning, nd, shook*
it in her mouth, and tossed it with her paws. Then she,
let it off again, and I thought this time I wo-l d try to
save. I ran quickly out; but whenever she IbarA- my
footstep, she seized it and darted off in a tnorment. Oh,
bad pussy! cruel pussy !" said Bessie, looking irepoach-
fully at the cat, who, warm and coafortabl% did. ot
seem in, the least conscious of the charges 4 brought
"My dear child," said Mrs. Myrtle, "you nitst re-
meirber tlb& pussy has not got a soul like you, and is'
not a~1lLaware of her cruelty.,1 She wants the sense of
riglt and wrong-that which in human beings is called
the moral sense, and which makes them accountable for
their actions. She, on the other hand, has no choice.
She must act according to her nature and physical
"What is physical structure?" asked both the childr~i.
"The way in which her body is made' eplied their
mother, "which fits her for a certain way of life. You,
for example, could not catch mice and birds like puss,
even you were ever so willing, because your physical
structure is entirely different But let us proceed to
examine Mrs. Puss, and then you will see better what I
mean. Lift her up gently on my knee."
Bessie and Harry made a cat's cradle of their little
EVERYTHING HAS ITS USE. 17
Stands, and placed pussy where they were told; and 91fe
_on 1 her part purred a little, stretched herself, and thl "
lay down to sleep again.
Now," said their mamma, "look first at her paws.
Tell me how they are made ? "
"'Oh," said 1arry, "they have got a nice pad or
cushion ander each toe."
1 And what are these for? asked Mrs. Myrtle.
"I know," cried Bessie. "I wager it is to make her"
tread softly, so that the mice and birds may not hear
her when she goes to catch them."
And Ire her paws always as soft and velvety as Iiey
.re Mow ?" asked mamiaq.
4 '-No, iJadeed," said Harry, laughing. "When I t0se
h -ft uts out her claws like sharp nails with hooks
.cP, and gives nA-a good scratch."
~'i.piiej& re these claws given to her for nothing, do
you thii.;, but to scratch you ? "
S"Oh, daresay," said the children, "she puts them
ou} wfier she makes her great jump, and catches hold of
poor little mousey with them."
ExIily so," said Mrs. Myrtle; "without them the
snooth sli of the mouse, or the shiny feathersgf the
bird, wonal slip out of her paws, which wbuld 4e tpo
soft ad' velvety to hold anything.. Now, hold back her
head, ope6,her mouth gently, and, see what sort of teeth
she has got." .
18 A CAT'S EYES.
S"She has four terrible ones at the corners," said the
children, "which must pierce like spears. She has back
ones, too, for eating with; but I suppose she kills and
tears with the four long ones."
"Feel her tongue now," said Mrs. Myrtle.
"We need not do that," replied the children; she
often licks our hands, and we know that her tongue is
, rough. What is that for ? "
" It is that she may lick all the small particles of
flesh clean off the bones, supposing that these should be
too big for her to swallow. One thing more only I shall
poitit out to you just now, and that is her eyes. Do
you know which part is the pupil ?"
A' Isn't it the little round black thing in the middle ?"
Yes; and that is just an opening for admitting the
light. Now, if a great glare of light were to come into
her eyes, she could make the pupils quite small, so as to
shut it out. On the contrary, when there is very little
light, she dilates, or opens them wide, in order to catch
all that there is. It is this which enables her to find
her food .during the night; for the night is her natural
tjme*o prowl about and provide for herself She cannot
absolutely see in total darkness; but in what appears
darkness to us, she catches in those wide-opened pupils
all the scattered rays of light. Her hearing, too, is very
quick. I believe you will never catch her in so sound
HER BODILY ORGANS. 19
a sleep, but that, if she hears the smallest rustling or
chirping resembling that of a mouse or bird, she will in-
stantly raise her head and listen."
"I have often seen her do that," said Bessie. "It is
very curious to see her wake up in a moment, prick up
her ears, and listen with all her body."
That is a very good distinction," said her mamma,
smiling; "if it were a human being, you would say with
all her soul; but her attitude does give one the idea of
an intense life pervading every bodily organ, which is
altogether peculiar to her race. Now, dears, when I tell
you that there is no other part of her body but is exactly
and beautifully fitted for the same end-that is, to enable
her to provide for her wants-you will see that her way
of life is not of her own choosing. When you are old
enough to study the subject further, you will know that
all her muscles, all her bones, and all her intestines-
that is, her inward parts-are as exactly made and put
together, for one and the same end, as those which you
can understand a little about even at present."
"But, mamma," said Bessie, "why is it-"
"M y dear little Bessie," said her mamma, "you don't
know enough of nature-that is, God's works and his
plans-to ask many whys of the kind which I see you
have got in your head at present. We must first learn
to look at things exactly as they are, and then, as we
come to know more, God's plan will gradually unfold
20 OLD MAIDS AND CATS.
itself, and we shall come both to admire and adore his
Almighty wisdom. All that those have to do at first
0 i study in the great book of nature, is to be sure that
they see right. In order to reason right, we must see
right first, and every one needs to learn to see, and to
know very carefully, that they may not make wrong
answers to those whys which a little child may ask.
.But, Bessie, we have been looking at the least pleasant
part of pussy's character; don't you think we ought now
to study her in the most favourable light-that is, as
the companion of man."
"Or woman, rather," cried Marjory, a lively girl of
fifteen, who had just entered the room. When I can
boast of a 'garret for myself, I mean to advertise for the
handsomest cat, as that American man Barnum did for
the finest baby, in a given district. What a crowd of
pretty pets there will be! and of old ladies too, each
carrying a tabby as demure as herself. But, mamma
dear, indeed I shall be moderate," continued she, seeing
that her mother looked at her a little gravely; "indeed
I shall only keep one, but that shall be the princess of
"Ah, Marjory," said her mother, "old maids and
their cats have long been a standing joke for giddy
people like you. But may not this joke have a reverse,
as so many others have ? Like medals, jokes have often
a superscription on both sides, the one as like the other
MARTHA S COMPANION. 21
as: laughter is to tears. But is it necessary to be an old
maid, to find companionship in the society of a cat ? Do
you remember that poor widow you used often to go and,
see-old Martha ? You know she was quite deaf, and
almost shut out from the world outside. Don't you re-
member her little lonely cottage in the fields of but one
single room, and how perfectly neat and bright that
always was, with its bed in one corner, its sofa, chest of
drawers, and bright hearth, with the kettle singing on
the fire, even though .it might be the middle of summer,
and the clustering roses were looking in at the little
casement window. But how much more lonely it would
have seemed-and not only seemed, but would really
have been-without pussy lying cosily asleep before the
fender. And how careful Martha was of her cat! How
she divided with it every day her halfpenny-worth of
milk, which was all she could afford Now, don't you
think it a touching proof of God's foreseeing kindness,
that he should provide a little companion for the poor
and lonely, so gentle, so inoffensive, and that may be
kept at so very small an expense ?"
"Yes, indeed, I remember," said Marjory, "and I was
a naughty girl to forget. I shall go forthwith and make
a sketch of old Martha's cottage, with the hill rising
behind it, over which the setting sun used to linger so
lovingly. I wish I could take a sketch of the interior,
too, for Martha's sake; but she is gone! Her pussy
22 A SACRED SCENE.
should not be forgotten, nor her Bible always lying open
on the little room table below the window."
"Perhaps you may be able to do it from memory, my
love, by-and-by, when you have had more practice in
drawing; and pray let it recall to us that bright sum-
mer's evening when you and I went to see her together,
and, knocking long and loud at the door, and getting no
answer, we remembered that she always went to bed
very early; but to make sure that it was not owing to
her deafness, i* peeped in between the roses at the case-
ment. There we saw Martha quite alone as usual, but
kneeling at the sofa which stood at the foot of her bed,
evidently in communion with her God. Don't you re-
member how quickly we withdrew, as if guilty of some
unlawful intrusion; and how silently you and I walked
home, feeling as if a flood of sacred light had been poured
over fields and hills and sunset skies ? God indeed had
been in that cottage in a nobler character than even as
the God of nature-as the God of grace, dwelling in a
lowly and contrite heart. But there is papa's step, and
I am glad of it, for little Harry looks as if we had got
quite beyond him."
"Are we done of pussy now, mamma ? asked Harry.
"Not quite, dear," answered his mamma; "we shall
talk a little about her again at this time to-morrow, and
after that we shall get on to the 'great roaring lion.' "
CATS AND WILD CATS; OR, PUSSY AND HER FOREFATHERS.
EXT day Bessie and Harry got ready for
dinner sooner than usual, an came to their
mamma in the drawing-room. This was indeed
the best time for a little talk such as we
have narrated; for in the forenoon they had
their lessons, and mamma had her household duties
to attend to; in the afternoon there were walks and
visitors; and in the evening the older children were busy
preparing lessons for their several schools, which their
mother superintended. But here was a nice little snug
time for Bessie and Harry to have all for themselves.
There was a good deal of difference between the ages of
these two children. Bessie was nine, and Harry only
going six; but he was a bright intelligent boy, who
never passed a difficult word without inquiring its mean-
ing, and trying to apply it in all sorts of ways. She, on
the contrary, was extremely difficult to teach; it cost her
very much trouble to learn a few verses; grammar it
seemed quite impossible to get into her little head, while
24 CATS AND THEIR TWO NATURES.
she had no memory at all for hard names. Yet she was
a child of a great deal of character and spirit, and some-
times asked questions which it would puzzle the wisest
persons to answer. But in all that related to learning,
Harry and she might have gone on together, so much
quicker was his capacity in proportion to his age. This
may serve to show how it was that Bessie often led on
to subjects which Harry could hardly comprehend, while
as little scholars they might be considered nearly on
"Where did we leave off ?" asked mamma; "what
were we saying yesterday about pussy ?"
"We were looking," replied Harry, "at her teeth
and claws, and seeing how well she was fitted to be a
beast of prey; as well," added he, "as Jack the Giant-
Killer, with his coat of darkness, his sword of sharpness,
and his shoes of swiftness."
"But you were saying last," said Bessie, "that pussy
was made likewise to be the companion of men and chil-
dren, and lonely women like poor old Martha."
Yes," said mamma, "quite right; and is it not
wonderful that God has given pussy two natures, not
mixed together; as it were, but quite separate and dis-
tinct from each other ? He has given her one nature
for herself; and the other for a creature far far away
from her and above her, and that has nothing to do
with her teeth, or muscles, or claws, with her patient
THE WILD CAT. 25
watching or wonderful leaping, or anything that she is
or can do in her natural state. If you were only to see
the fierce wild cat of the woods in her own home, if you
would watch her in her daily business, and if some one
were to say to you, 'Now, you must find a friend for
THE WILD CAT.
that animal, with whom she will be more familiar, and
whom she will love better than any of her own species;'
where would you think of looking for that friend ?"
"Not old Martha, I am sure," said Bessie, laughing,
"Not old Martha, I am sure," said Bessie, laughing.
26 THE BRITISH TIGER.
"Poor, old, timid Martha, that would have been dread-
fully frightened if she saw a rat run across her door ?"
"But tell us something about the wild cats of the
woods, mamma," said Harry. "Are they the same
kind as our pussy ?"
"They are her forefathers, dear; and, of course, those
which run wild in the woods and mountains now, are
her near relations. Yes, I will tell you, and then you
will see what a contrast there is between these animals
in their two opposite states. The wild catis absolutely
the fiercest creature now living in Britain. Unless very
hungry indeed, it will not touch any food that has not
been killed by itself; and it will attack not only small
creatures like mice and birds, but hares, kids, and lambs.
It is very destructive to the poultry in farm-yards, more
so than even the fox. And as all its faculties are
quickened by habit, so its body is larger and its muscles
stronger than those of our house-cat. It sits constantly
in the trees sleeping all day, and destroying and feeding
by night; its colour being a pale gray, striped down the
back and across the sides with black, like a little tiger.
Indeed, it has been called the British tiger. So that,
lying motionless among the branches, curled up in the
forked places, or stealing along without making so much
noise as even a gentle wind does among the leaves, it
must be very difficult for any animal to escape from it
that it is strong enough to attack. Now, what kind of
PUSSY'S LOVE FOR HER YOUNG. 27
brute spirit do you find in this creature, Bessie ? Is
there much gentleness or kindness in it ?"
Bessie thought for a little, and then said: "No,
mamma, not a spark, only I daresay it has some for its
"Yes, there you are right. Its care and tenderness
for its young are remarkable even among wild animals,
in all of whom God has made this a very strong in-
"I wonder if it lasts long, though, mamma ?" said
Bessie. "I shouldn't like you to give up caring for me
so soon as that other pussy we once had gave up caring
for her kitten. Do you remember, mamma, how fond
she was of it ? And when it grew biggish, you said we
must give it away. How sorry we were to part the
mother from her nursling! But then, you know, in a
very few days we carried big pussy in a basket to see it,
and with a dreadful deal of trouble, too, for she was
always fighting to get out, and was like to tear me in
pieces. Then after we had got to the place, instead of
being glad to see each other, they both of them set up
their backs, and fought and snarled like strangers.
That wasn't true love, mamma, that forgot so soon?"
"Quite true, my dear, for the time it lasted," said her
mother. "You must never forget that animals get
their natures in every part from God, and always for a
special purpose. When that is served, the instinct
28 THE BRUTE SPIRIT.
ceases. Now, when the young ones can provide for
themselves, there is no longer use for a mother's affec-
tion; and the very nurslings for whom she would have
given her life but a short time before, become no more
to her than those of any other. With you it is entirely
different. Not only does your body require much longer
tending than that of any other animal, but your mind
and your soul, which can never die, require your mother's
care for many long years, and she even needs God's help
before she can take care of them aright. I think there
is no fear lest my love for you should cease till the latest
day of my life; because I love you with mind, and heart,
and soul, while a mere animal loves only for a time with
its instinct. So you see that pussy, in all her relations
with her own kind, has just the brute spirit, and nothing
more. Now, I want you both to tell me what kind of
nature and character she has as our little companion.
Is she like the little fierce tiger, that flies furiously, with
teeth and claws, on every living thing that approaches
Oh no, mamma," said both the children, quite
different. She is so gentle, a baby may play with her;
and she loves so to be patted and caressed How she
does purr and rub herself when we scratch her ear and
stroke her !"
"Yes," said Mrs. Myrtle; "and how all her instincts,
if not altered, are quite subdued. If there are no birds
FRIENDSHIP AND ATTACHMENT. 29
or mice in her way, she does not at all mind them, but
is quite contented with a little milk in a saucer, or the
smallest bit of useless meat. It would be .quite possible
to imagine a cat to live and die without having killed
any living thing. It is as the companion of man that
she is gifted, as it were, with something of human dis-
positions. Let us try how many qualities she has which
you would like to find in the little boys and girls you
"We have already found one," said Bessie, "and that
is gentleness. I like a gentle play-fellow."
"And love," said Harry; "pussy loves us."
"I think love is too strong a word, Harry," said Mrs.
Myrtle; pussy's feelings are of a very quiet order."
"Friendship, then," suggested Bessie.
I object to friendship too," said Mrs. Myrtle. "You
may have observed that I always call her the companion,
and not the friend of man. I keep that name for
another animal, who shows its friendship by more
positive acts. I think, however, we are quite safe with
the word attachment. I am sure that pussy feels attach-
ment, because she shows a preference for some members
of a family over others; and the memory she has not
for her own young ones when they leave her, she has for
those with whom she formerly lived. You recollect the
pretty tortoise-shell cat that used to live out on the
grounds, and that grew to skin and bone till you had
80 A SHORT STORY.
pity upon her, and took her out milk and other food now
Oh yes, pretty Mrs. Peasblossom, as we called her,"
cried the children.
"Well," continued Mrs. Myrtle, "we never found out
her history, until it so happened that a girl, living not
far from here, was taken into the house to sew, and sat
at her work in one of the back-rooms which looks out
on the garden. Who should come and sit every day on
the window-sill but pretty Mrs. Peasblossom; and when
the window was opened, in she came, rubbing herself
against the girl, and purring, with every sign of recogniz-
ing an old acquaintance. And such was the case. The
girl told me that she, with her family, had lived in a
house exactly opposite to us a twelvemonth before, and
that when they removed puss refused, to go with them,
but kept about her old haunts; and when she felt her-
self ill at ease with the strangers who came to reside in
the house afterwards, she took up her abode in our
grounds, which are close by."
"If she liked the girl so much, why did she not go
"Because her attachment to places is stronger than
her attachment to persons," replied Mrs. Myrtle; "and
this makes her both constant and contented. Home is
her chief joy. In this respect she is quite a model for
housekeepers. To be sure, she likes to make herself as
PUSSY'S GOOD QUALITIES. 81
comfortable as possible, always finding out the warmest
and cosiest place to lie in; but that is very pleasant, for
the very look of such comfort and complete repose puts
a feeling of rest and contentment into the mind of the
person who looks at it. It seems to say, 'Be happy and
contented in your home as I am, and try to give others
the feeling of repose which you see may be communicated
in some degree by the very spectacle of it.' I daresay,
however, that housekeepers who are disposed to be in-
dolent do not need this lesson so much as others who
worry and fret continually, and will let nobody near
them have any rest or quiet. Now," continued Mrs.
Myrtle, "don't you think we have managed to give
pussy a very good character ? Temperance, gentleness,
attachment, such constancy that she never has any desire
to change her place, and absolute contentment. Clean-
liness, too, we may add as another very important quali-
fication. All cats are remarkably cleanly, and like to
keep their coats in the best order. Don't you think we
may advertise for a situation for her as housekeeper, ,pr
companion to a lady, whenever we please ?"
"Ah, but mamma!" said the children, "you can't put
in honesty. The lady that comes to inquire will certainly
ask if she is honest; what will you say ?"
Ahem !" said Mrs. Myrtle, pretending a look of con-
fusion; "you have certainly found out a flaw. I fear
we couldn't warrant her against stealing the cream."
82 PUSSY'S WHIMS AND WAYS.
"And our pussy steals cheese-cakes, and cheese, and
biscuits; and oh, mamma, when the game came to be
put down for the third course, when there was company,
it would be found that she had eaten it all up !" and
they laughed heartily at such an idea.
"Well, then, in order not to be dishonest ourselves,"
said mamma, "we must limit the advertisement to 'com-
panion to a lady,' and the lady must keep her own keys.
In this capacity she is perfect. Even her structure and
the habits of her other nature are in her favour. Her
cushioned feet can walk in a sick-chamber more softly
than a sick-nurse whose shoes are lined with list. The
very seeming cruelty with which she toys with a mouse
or bird is changed into playfulness; which, amusing
itself with patting and catching a ball, or running round
aftePher own tail, will bring a smile on the lips of sick-
ness and care, and are the very delight of infancy. Even
her destructiveness, you know, is invaluable to us, because
without it we should soon be as ill off as the king and
queeh in the story of Whittington and his Cat, who
could get no supper for the numerous hordes of mice that
pounced upon it."
"Ah, puss!" said Bessie, kneeling down and putting
her arms round pussy, "I begin to love you again. You
have more good qualities than I thought, and even your
other nature, that I dislike, was given you that you
might provide for your own self. You wouldn't like to
CATS IN EGYPT. 88
go back to the woods and be a savage again. Would
you, pussy ?"
"Is it quite certain," asked Arthur, the older brother,
who had been all this time lying on a couch reading, and
listening at intervals to the conversation when it in-
terested him-" is it quite certain that our domestic cat
is descended from the wild one ? Is it not alleged b
some naturalists to have had an Eastern origin, ad to
be sprung from the cat of Angora ? "
"That has been said," replied Mrs. Myrtle; "but the
truth probably is, that the wild cat was first domesticated
in the East. There is an Egyptian painting in the
British Museum which represents one of the species
which has a black stripe on its heel (Felis Caligata).
And it is well known that the Egyptians held the cat
sacred. But there are many strong evidences that the
wild and tame cat are of the same identical race; while
it is quite contrary to the usual doings of creative wisdom
to make two progenitors of creatures so nearly alliedl
each other. It rather endows a single pair with MIA
powers and attributes which are latent in them, but are
to be developed in their descendants into numerous
varieties, according to the circumstances in which they
"Is the wild cat an ancient family in creation?"
inquired Arthur further.
"Not old in the geological history of the world,"
a4 KIRKDALE CAVE:
answered his mother, "but older than man. It was
found in the celebrated cave of Kirkdale, in Yorkshire,
along with extinct species of hyenas, bears, and oxen,
which have never been found associated with any remains
of man or his works."
"I have often heard you and papa talk of that cave,"
said Arthur. "I should like to know more distinctly
what it was."
"It seemed," said Mrs. Myrtle, "to have been a
hyena's cave for, perhaps, as long as two hundred years.
It contained bones of the elephant, rhinoceros, of the
tiger and bear, and many other animals, all of which
were gnawed ; and even the hyeaias themselves appeared
to have been eaten, and their bones gnawed by successive
generations of their savage kindred as soon as they died.
The cave itself existed before the boulder-clay, for it was
quite filled in with it, and was accidentally discovered
by some workmen who were sinking a shaft for lime.
Such an accumulation of bones would, you know, form
phosphate of lime in abundance. You already know
the boulder-clay to have been formed by great masses of
ice passing over our island, which ground down the
surface-rocks underneath into a clay-dust of different
colours according to the rocks thus acted upon; and you
know, likewise, that in it are contained boulders, or great
stones, which got wedged into the ice in its passage, and
were deposited here and there. Just before the time of
1TS WONDROUS LESSONS. 35
the boulder-clay there were great forests of trees, such as
we are familiar with, yet none but wild animals roamed
among them. Probably, at that time, no human foot
had ever trod the world's virgin soil. Yet, if we can
imagine some spiritual being lingering there for a time,
and wondering what was to be the future destiny of our
planet-if this were all, or if something better were to
come-suppose he had discovered somehow the latent
characteristics of the little animal we have been talking
about, what wouIpl that discovery have amounted to ?"
I think it would have been a prophecy of the human
race," replied Arthur, after a pause.
"Yes," said his mother; "and that, too, with all its
ways and all its wants,-from the existence of comfort-
able homes like this, and nurseries with playful, prat-
tling children, to the lonely fireside of solitary woman.
And remember that the prophecy did exist in the dor-
mant capacities of that animal as truly as if an angel
had found it written in a scroll. Now, if there was a:
prophecy, where was the Prophet ?"
"The Creator himself," said Arthur, gravely. "The
Being who gave it these latent capacities could alone
know what use was to be made of them."
"But was the existence of man necessarily involved
in the existence of the cat ?" asked Mrs. Myrtle. "In
other words, had the cat anything to do with producing
the man ?"
86 THE TRUTHS WE LEARN
"Oh, mamma!" said Arthur, "how can you ask- such
a question ?"
"Well, then," said his mother, "where did the con-
nection between the two subsist ?"
"Nowhere, mamma, but in the mind of Him who con-
. trived and planned and intended it."
"Then," said his mother, "He cannot be a mere blind
power, working we know not how, but an intelligent,
self-conscious, personal Being, in whose mind all nature
and its arrangements find a centre and a will, which is
to them as a primary moving force."
"I 'think I see what you mean, mamma," replied
Arthur. If all nature were a series of causes and effects,
we could imagine it to go on of itself; but if there are
arrangements without any connection but that of fore-
thought, especially when one arrangement does not come
into being until millions of ages after the other, there
must then be an eternal thought and an eternal will."
"Precisely," said his mother; "when you come to
know the theories of modern days, which I am not going
to enter upon just now, you will know why I thus
reason with you. In the meantime, is it not a solemn
thought, dear Arthur, that not all the depths of an
eternity, past or future, are able to hide us from God ?
'Whither shall I go from thy spirit ? or whither shall I
flee from thy presence ?' 'Thine eyes did see my sub-
stance, yet being unperfect ;, and in thy book all my
FROM THE BOOK OF NATURE. 87
members were written, when as yet there was none of
them.' We cannot turn over a single page of the book
of nature any more than of the book of revelation, if we
learn to see right, without exclaiming, as the inspired
Psalmist did, 'How great, how precious are thy thoughts
unto me, 0 God !"
THE LION A GIANT CAT.
OW, mamma," said Harry, at the next lesson,
"shan't we have the great roaring lion this
time ? '
"Very well, darling, you shall," said his
mamma; "but do you know that your great
roaring lion is nothing more than a giant cat? "
The children uttered an exclamation of surprise.
"Yes, it is quite true," continued Mrs. Myrtle. "Its
teeth, its paws, its eyes, ears, stomach and all, are made
quite like those of the cat, and it makes the same use of
them; that is, it watches for its prey in the same still,
patient manner, and then seizes it with an immense
bound. Now, you must try and remember that all
animals of the cat kind are said to belong to the feline
The children repeated this word over several times.
"Then," said Harry, "I suppose that the lions are the
giants, and the real pussies are the dwarfs, among the
cats; but the lions look very different in the pictures.
THE LION A GIANT CAT. 39
They have got great faces, large heavy heads, shaggy
manes, and long tails, with a tuft at the end."
"It is true that they look different," said Mrs. Myrtle.
"The animals they prey upon being large and strong-
such as deer, oxen, and buffaloes--they are more suited
to inspire terror than if they were in appearance merely
great cats over again, ten or twelve feet long. Besides,
God delights in making things different, and yet the
"Different, and yet the same!" repeated the children;
" how can that be ? "
"You must think for a little while, both of you," said
Mrs. Myrtle, "and then tell me whether yoi have found
out how that can be."
Well," she continued, after a pause, "have you
made it out ? "
40 THE LION'S INTING.
"The same," cried Harrn gerly, "if his skin were
off! God has given the lion a different skin, and painted
"So far correct," said Mrs. Myrtle. "Bessie, what
do you sayl'"
"'The same," said Bessie, "in the chief things, such
as his paws and teeth, and different in little things that
are of .~ consequence. The china cups that we use
every day, and the ones we'use for company, are for the
same use, and so they are made the same, and. yet not
quite the same. The company ones are much finer and
more prettily shaped, and a great deal more prettily
S-." Very well, my dear," said Mrs. Myrtle; "only we
is of no consequence. When man makes changes in
Things like cups, he does so only to please his fancy;
but when God makes a change, be it ever so small, it
not only pleases the fancy, but makes the animal or
thing more surely and beautifully fit its own place in
creation. Look at the lion's painting, for instance, and
you will see that it is of much more consequence to him
than the colour of a tea-cup or a gown is to us. Although
he likes to live and make his bed in the midst of thick
bushes and tall underwood, yet, when he is hungry, he
roams out over the wide sandy plains, where large herds
of wild asses, called quaggas, and antelopes, go trooping
1 -1 ~vrc) IMWVV~rVU ~VVIV~ 91
HIS LURKING-PLACE. 41
along. Now, these creatures are extremely swift-they
go much faster than the lion, who hardly ever runs at
all. They scent him at a distance, and, feeling the
utmost terror, they scour away over the desert like the
wind; so that if it were not that God had painted the
lion of a tawny colour-that is, a reddish or yellowish
brown, exactly like the sand over which he walks and
where he couches-he could in some places hardly
manage to get a morsel of food at all."
"But if they scent him, mamma," said Harry, "how
is it that they don't run out of his way, when they can
run so fast and he doesn't ?"
"So they often do, and so they would always, but for
the extreme terror which they feel, and which scatters
them about in confusion, and makes them often run to
him instead of running from him. Remember Bessie's
bird, and how pussy 'held it with her glittering eye,'
and you will see that extreme terror has a kind of charm
in it, which draws or renders powerless quite as much
as it gives an impulse to run away. And no wonder
the other animals feel in this manner; for in all creation
there is not a more terrible object than an angry lion
intent on his prey. But oftentimes he will seek the
concealment of some luxuriant valley, where a bright
stream ripples on its way through overhanging trees,
and rich tall grasses, and trailing plants-grasses and
plants of a beauty of form and colour never equalled by
42 ON THE WATCH !
the ruder growth of our cold and gloomy clime-and
there he will crouch, in patient vigilance, until the deer
troop down at noontide to slake their thirst in the
refreshing waters. Little do they know how terrible
an enemy is watching their every movement! They
toss their graceful antlers in the air, and bathe their
slender limbs in the runlet, while still the lion waits
and watches. But now one of them in his careless free-
LION ON THE WATCH.
dom has advanced within reach of the destroyer's spring.
A moment's preparation, and, with a sudden bound and
an awful roar, he springs upon his victim, and bears him
to the earth, crushed and incapable of motion. The
THE LION AND HIS VICTIM. 43
THE DESTROYER AND THE STORM.
terrified herd dart away among the woody coverts, and
leave him to banquet upon his victim. But he loves
best, I think, those stormy nights when the thunder rolls
along the skies, and the lightning flashes over the far
44 THE LION'S KINGDOM.
desert wastes, while at intervals the rain pours down in
dreadful torrents. By the light of those vivid flashes
may be seen herds of trembling animals huddled together
for shelter, while some instinct tells them that there is
another enemy abroad more terrible than the storm.
The great lion feels no fear. He does not go in herds,
but walks alone in dread majesty. Suddenly he lays
his mouth close to the ground, and utters a roar that
makes the earth tremble, resembling the sound that
accompanies an earthquake. The frightened animals
know it well They forsake each other, and seek in all
directions to find safety in flight. Then the lion couches,
his eye glares, and with one bound, or perhaps with
several bounds as rapid as the lightning, he fastens his
teeth and claws in some shivering animal, and bears it
"Are there many lions roaming about in such nights?"
asked the children, looking a little frightened.
"They do not come very close together," replied Mrs.
Myrtle, "for one lion will take a great district of country
for the support of himself, his wife, and his one or two
cubs-he never has more. But these great deserts of
Africa, where the lion reigns as king, are so vast that
there must be a great many abroad in one night. You
can hardly comprehend the immensity of these deserts,
but you may look at the map, and you will see how
large a part of the continent of Africa they cover. The
AN ARAB DOUAR. 45
lion lives also in Asia, but it is said that he is less strong
and courageous there, and of a paler colour."
Do they ever eat children ? asked Harry.
Yes; and men too. The Arabs in the north of
Africa, and the Hottentots in the south, live in equal
fear and. dread of the lion. The Arabs, you know, dwell
in tents; and when a number of these tents are put up
near each other, so as to make a little village, they call
it a douar. Well, every night a lion will come and
attack one of these douars; not always he same, but
sometimes one and sometimes another. He makes his
home in one of the neighboring mountains, perhaps
twenty or thirty miles away. A nice well-kept home it
is, under the thickest cover he can find; and there he
clears out several pieces of ground for rooms or chambers,
and will not allow so much as a stone or a bit of stick
to litter the ground. Here he lies snugly all day, and
sleeps with his wife and little ones; but as soon as
sunset comes, he sallies forth to find food for himself and
his family. Thirty or forty miles are only a nice walk
for him. Down he marches from his mountain home,
sometimes uttering a roar which is heard at an immense
distance; and then all the animals begin to fly, generally
in the direction of the Arab tents, wanting to find pro-
tection from man. That is not wise, however; for the
lion, knowing very well where he is likely to find the
.most plentiful meal, makes directly for one of the tent-
46 SOME SAD STORIES.
villages. What confusion and terror there is then! All
the animals-horses, oxen, camels-come rushing into
the tents without ceremony, trampling upon and over-
turning women and children, while the dogs bark, the
women scream, and the men light fires all around, and
toss about flaming torches, to try and scare the lion
away. He minds them very little. The thunder of his
voice drowns all their noise, and he walks straight on to
the place where he intends to make his choice, and will
there slaughter three or four bulls or oxen at once.
Sometimes he will drive one or two home before him all
the way to his den, where his cubs are no doubt expect-
ing such welcome visitors. The Arabs very seldom fire
on the lion, because they have an idea that it is when
made angry that he is most likely to attack men; so
they just let themselves be plundered and ruined at his
majesty's good pleasure. Some of them have had the
whole flocks and herds, in which their wealth consists,
carried clear off till a man who was once accounted rich
finds himself a beggar.
Some very dreadful stories are told about this most
terrible of animals, when he is enraged by any attempt
to resist him. An Arab once watched for him inside
the hedge which enclosed his tent-village, and fired just
at the moment when he was bounding across. Although
the lion's shoulder was broken by the shot, this did not
prevent him from tearing the man to pieces in a single
THE LION-KILLER. 47
moment. He then killed all who were in the tent
except one woman, who managed to get out with her
child in her arms, and who had reached the top of a
neighboring tent in safety, when the lion got hold of
her by the leg, just as she was drawing it up, and killed
both herself and her child. At the same time the weight
of his body broke down the tent below, and not content
with what he had already done, such was his rage, that
he tore to pieces through the canvas every moving
creature that gave sign of life. The person who has
told us this story, and who knows the lion better, and
has seen him face to face oftener than any other man, is
a French soldier, called Jules Gerard, who has been sur-
named the lion-killer; for when he was in the north of
Africa with the French army, which has conquered a
great part of that country, he made it the business of
his life to endeavour to free the Arabs from this dreaded
night-visitor. Formerly it had been the custom to dig
a deep pit by the way-side, cover it with branches and
brushwood, and to lie concealed there, in order to get a
shot at the lion as he passed; or else his footsteps were
tracked to his sleeping-place during the day, and he was
surrounded and baited with dogs till he was aroused
from his slumbers. This was by far the least dangerous
way, because he dislikes exceedingly the glare of sun-
shine, probably not seeing very clearly in it; and, be-
sides, he feels drowsy after his heavy meal and his long
8 THE LION-KILLER.
walk, anl wants very much. to be let alone to rest him-
self. Gerard, however, being a very brave man, went
out all alone in the moonlight or starlight nights,.tracked
the lion's footsteps, and waited for him night after night
as patiently as the lion himself watches for his prey.
Then,, when he heard the heavy footstep and the mutter-
ing roar which bespoke his enemy at hand, he placed
himself directly in his path, let him come as near as
twelve or twenty paces, looked steadfastly into his face
*nd into his glaring, fiery eyes, and then, just as he was
goi*g to spring, shot him, if possible, directly through the
forehead. It needed very great courage for any man to
do this; bacadse,, if his first and second shot missed the
lion's brain or his heart, there would be no time to fire
again, and without any doubt his assailant would be
torn to pieces. Gerard killed in this manner as many
as twenty lions."
"I should like to see the place in the map, mamma,"
said Harry, "where the French army copguered, and
where Gerard killed the lions."
Here it is, my dearf :Now, look down.at the southern
part of Africa. There ,lie black people called Hottentots;
and it was once said that the lih.r, preferred the flesh of
a Hottentot to that of any living creature. He often
watched in the neighbourhood of their kaals, which is
th4 name given to their villages of little miserablee huts,
to see if he could carry a man away. The Dutch set-
THE LION AND THE UNICORN. 49
tiers, who are people that have gone out from Holland
to live there, say that the lion has now become afraid in
some measure of the sound of fire-arms. I suppose it is
for this reason that some books of natural history, lately
published, have gone so far as to call him a coward, and
to say that he is not worthy any longer to be considered
the king of the beasts. I am glad that Gerard has quite
cleared his character from this charge, for in the lion he
always met a courageous and noble enemy; and I am
glad, partly because, as you know, he supports the royal
arms of England."
"That's, the lion and the unicorn fighting for the
crown. Isn't it ?" said Harry.
Yes,; and there is a lion blazoned on the royal shield
of Scotland likewise. He has been adopted by both
countries as the emblem of courage and generosity. So
I must now tell you some stories to show that, terrible
as we have found him to be, and savage in his anger, he
is not always cruel, but, on the contrary, is often patient,
forbearing, and generous."
"Do tell us a story, mamma," said Harry. "I like
"And I," said Bessie, "like to hear the good parts in
an animal's character."
Very well," said mamma, "I hope to please both of
you. Dr. Burchell, who lived in South Africa, tells us
that one bright day he was travelling with a caravan
50 A TRUE STORY.
DR. BURCHELL'S ENCOUNTER WITH THE LION.
Along the side of a river, whose banks vere covered with
tall mat-rushes, when his dogs began barking furiously
at some concealed object, and soon a lioness and an
COURAGE OF THE LION. 51
enormous black-maned lion came into view. The lioness.
bounded away under cover of the rushes, but the lion
came forward and stood still, gazing quite steadily, as if
to say, 'who are you that have dared to intrude on my
privacy and disturb my royal slumbers ?' He was but
a very few paces distant; many of the party-were un-
armed, and you may be sure did not feel very easy under
the lion's gaze; but those who had guns put their fingers
on the triggers, that they might be ready to shoot; and
Dr. Burchell himself, who was standing on foot, having
given his horse to some one in charge, held his pistdlt in
the same manner. The brave dogs- ushed in between the
men and the lion, still barking, but he took no notice
of them, until two who had ventured too far came close
to his feet, when he slightly moved his paw, and in an
instant these two were still in death. That terrible paw
can break a horse's back with one stroke; and when he
killed those dogs without turning his head, or even look-
ing at them, Dr. Burchell could scarcely perceive how it
was ddne. The men fired. A ball entered the lion's ,
side, and the blood began to flow, but still he remain Wd
fixedly looking. They now expected each moment t1
he would spring, but instead of doing this, he walked
calmly away. In this instance do you think he was
either cruel or a coward?"
"No, indeed," said the children; "he might have
done so much more harm. He might have killed a,,ll/
52 THE LION'S CAT-LIKE NATURE.
the dogs with those paws, and some of the men, and he
did not even revenge himself He must have looked
very calm and noble."
"I hate the people, mamma, who call him a coward,"
"That is going much too far, my love," said his
mamma, smiling. "That is like some other people who
go from one extreme to the other. Formerly very ab-
surd stories were told about the lion, such as that he
Should not touch a sleeping person, nor a beautiful young
lady. It was forgotten that he was just a great cat, and
would eat in his own way when he was hungry. Yet
there are such true instances given of his subduing his
appetites by his higher and better nature, that I cannot
doubt of some of the old stories being true, especially
that pretty one of Androcles and the Lion."
Oh, pray tell me that one, mamma!" said Harry;
I've never heard it."
"It is time to go for the present my dear," said his
mamma; "the dinner-bell begins to ring, but Bessie
shall read it to you before to-morrow; and Marjory too
shall read you the beautiful story of Gerard-our French-
man, you know-and his Hubert. You will then see
that a lion may be loved as well as feared; and you will
find, without any possibility of mistake, with what emo-
tions of strong affection, of grief, joy, gratitude, genero-
sity, his noble heart may be agitated."
iELL, I suppose you have heard the stories,
.l children," said their mamma next day;
which do you like best ?"
S"I like Androcles," replied Harry, quickly;
"it is so nice to hear about the slave running
away, and the cave, and the soldiers, and then all the
Roman people sitting round to see the fight. How grand
it would be !"
And I like Hubert best," said Bessie; "because he
could love so truly, and died of grief-darling Hubert !"
You are a true little woman, I see, Bessie," said her
mamma; "and I too shall esteem all lions in future
more highly for the sake of Hubert."
"I hope you are going to tell us more stories to-day,
mamma," said Harry.
"I shall tell you to-day a few anecdotes to show that
the lion often feels a friendship for other animals as well
as men, and denies his appetite in order to protect them.
Not so long ago but that people now living may remember
54 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
it, there was an old lion in the Tower of London, who
spared a spaniel that had been thrown to him for a meal,
and who lived with it for many years in friendship and
happiness. There is a story told of another lion, to-"ham
it seemed absolutely necessary to have a dog for a com-
panion. He spared two in succession which were thrown
in to him, and cherished them with the greatest affection;
but the air of the den being very close, and not agreeing
with the poor little animals, they died one after another."
"Indeed, no wonder," said Bessie. "I remember
that the place where the lions and tigers are, in the
SZoological Gardens, was very disagreeable."
You remember very well," said her mamma, "for
you have not been there for three years. Do you recol-
lect, too, a remark of little Harry's, who was then just
two, and who was cried in his nurse's arms-' Come
away,' he said, 'pussy smell nasty.' "
"That was very funny, mamma," said Bessie. How
had he found out that they were really pussies ? But
why can't they be kept cleaner ? and they are so clean
naturally of themselves."
True," said her mamma; "but it is not easy to
give them so large a supply of fresh air and fresh water
as they would need. Besides, from the nature of the
food they eat, their breaths are strong and fetid."
But what became of the lion ?" said Harry. "Did
he die ?"
NERO AND WALLACE. 55
No," replied his mamma; "but he pined away,
and was very near it, until a third dog had to be put in
beside him, and then he became cheerful and happy
again. An old traveller speaks of having seen a dog
which was living in a den with several lions, which had
all agreed to spare him, and make a pet of him, which is
more wonderful still. There were once two lions in the
very menagerie you are going to see-that is, Womb-
well's-which were quite celebrated in their day. One
was called Nero, and the other Wallace. Nero was so
very gentle that he allowed strangers to go freely into
his den, and nothing would put him out of temper.
Even when he was at one time very cruelly and
improperly set to fight with dogs at Warwick, he could
not be made to understand that they were not playing
with him, and bore all their snaling and biting, and
attempts at worrying, with the greatest patience. The
other one, Wallace, was, however, much fiercer-for you
know there must be differences of temper among animals
of the same species -as among men; so Wallace, as his
great namesake would have done, soon made an end of
all his assailants. I think I must have done now with
these stories about the lion; but from them, as well as
many others, we may conclude that he is capable not
only of friendship,. but ot gn. mity."
Y .t 9." cd
What is magna ty ?aske&the .Idren.
"It is," replied %the other, ''the iee ems of mind
** ^ .. |
'' **v '* .. ". '' F ". *^ g
56 THE LION'S WEAPONS.
which refuses to notice small insults or injuries; and
the greater the power, the more striking must be the
forbearance. Here is an animal, for example, more
completely armed and fitted for carnage than any other
we know of in creation. He is, indeed, provided with
the most formidable weapons. His tongue, as is the
case with other feline animals,
is furnished with a set of re-
versed prickles, something like a
cat's claws in shape, and so large
LION'S TONGUE. and so strong that they are
capable of lacerating the skin-that is, of tearing it
and making it bleed-if he does but lick it. His
teeth are of such great strength that he breaks the
bones of his prey as easily as I might break the bones
of a chicken, and he often swallows them together with
the flesh. A single stroke of
his paw is sufficient, it is said,
i-M to break the back of a horse;
and each paw has a sort of soft
LION'S PAW, cushion or elastic pad placed
under each toe, which enables him to tread so gently
that his approach will not be heard by the most
watchful ear. Then, too, think of his claws Their
strength is prodigious, and they are curved like an
eagle's bill, so that, when once they have seized upon
a victim, their hold is not to be shaken off. The
HOW HE USES THEM. 57
muscles which raise his jaw are of enormous size; and
his entire frame is admirably adapted
to blend both strength and agility.
He will carry off an antelope or a
buffalo as easily as pussy carries
off a rat; while he will spring LION'S CLAW.
with a tremendous bound, which hardly a deer or a goat
will surpass for swiftness. His appetite, when made
furious by hunger, must be more terrible than we have
any power to conceive of; and his cunning and watch-
fulness as a cat make him all the more perfect as a
savage warrior. Yet all this tremendous machinery he
can forbear to make use of even when worried and
insulted, and all these terrible instincts he can keep
down through a sudden impulse of generosity or friend-
ship. So I would still have the lion to be the emblem
of our country; and I love, too-although there is no
need for believing a fable-the beautiful old poetry
which makes him the guardian and protector of helpless
innocence and beauty."
"I should like very much to hear about that. Could
you not tell it to us, mamma ?" said Bessie.
"If you would like it so very much, I shall try
whether I cannot give you some idea of it," replied her
mamma. "If you live to be as old as Marjory, you
shall each of you read it for yourselves. There is a very
long poem, called 'The Faery Queen, whi(i was wri~ten .
68 UNA AND THE LION.
by Edmund Spenser about three hundred years ago. It
is all a kind of fable or allegory together; but the
prettiest piece in it is, as I think, that about the Lady
Una and the Lion. She was the loveliest and sweetest
lady that ever walked abroad in this world ; and no
wonder, for she was heavenly truth and beauty all in
one. Her parents-who were, of course, no less than a
king and queen-were made war against by a terrible
dragon, who put them both into a strong and dismal
prison, and kept guard over them himself. Now, it was
to find a true and courageous knight, whowould kill
the dragon and set her dear parents free, that Lady Una
set forth on her pilgrimage throughout the world.
When she came, in the course of her travels, to the
court of England, sh'e met there the brave St. George,
who gladly offered himself to be her knight, and to
accompany her to do her behest. For a while they
travelled on most happily together ; and that was a
beautiful sight, for it was true courage and valour, led
by gentle innocence and guileless truth, and giving pro-
tection while it received guidance. But this was a
state of things which has never yet lasted very long in
this world. They had performed but a small part of
their journey when they met with a false magician, who
by his arts separated the knight from the lady, and
gave him another lady to accompany him who looked as
beautiful, but who was in reality all falsehood and
UNA AND THE LION~' 9
deception. Then the Lady Una was left quite alone;.
yet she wandered on in her sad and gentle loveliness,
determined never to stop searching till she had found
her own beloved knight again, and persuaded him to go
with her. One day, when she was very tired and very
mournful from her want of success, she alighted from
her ass (for she rode on the back of a milk-white
Oh, dear !" exclaimed the children; "why, wasn't
it a pony ? A pony would have been much better."
So it .would, my dears; but I suppose the ass was
meant to show the slow progress that heavenly truth
makes in the world, and how dull people are in receiv-
ing it. Yet, for all that, a milk-white ass would, I
daresay, be a very pretty steed for such a lady. But,
as I was saying, she lighted off the back of her
'unhasty beast,' and went to lay herself down under
the shade of some thick trees which would screen her
from the noon-tide heat, while she relieved her heart by
weeping and lamenting for a while. So there she lay
sorrowing, yet all the time
'Her angel's face,
Making a sunshine in a shady place ;'
when out there bounded from the wood a ravenous lion,
eager to make her his prey. In a moment, as soon as
he beheld her beauty, his rage was tamed.
60 THE STORY CONTINUED.
With pity calmed, down fell his angry mood,
Instead theroof he kist her wearie feet,
And lickt her lily hands with fawning tongue.' "
"That couldn't possibly be true, mamma," said Bessie,
Could it not ? Why so ? said her mamma,
Oh, because, with his rough tongue, made for
scraping flesh off bones, he would lick her lily hands all
"I used to think so myself, Bessie," replied her
mamma. Yet do you not remember that Gerard says
his Hubert licked his hands ? But that, I must just
say, I don't understand. To go on with the story, how-
ever :-When the lady got up again on her steed to
pursue her journey, the lion did not leave her side, but
made use of his natural strength and fierceness only to
protect her. When she slept he kept watch and ward,
and when she waked 'he waited diligent, and from
her fair eyes took commandment.' All his fury was
reserved for the base and wicked, and one foul thief he
tore to pieces."
"I hope," said the children, "he never left her. I
hope he guarded her until she found her own true
"Alas, no !" replied their mother. "She was met
by a fierce heathen knight, who killed her champion
and carried her away."
UNA AND THE KNIGHT. 61
LADY UNA AND THE LION.
And did she never find her knight, mamma ?" said
the children. What was the end of the story ?"
SShe did find her knight, and got him delivered from
62 DANIEL AND THE LIONS.
a dreadful dungeon, where he was cast by the arts of
the false lady who had taken her place, whose falsehood
was then fully discovered ; but the story poem can
scarcely be said to have an end, because the last part of
it was lost in being sent across from Ireland to England.
This pretty bit about the lion shows us that, where
manhood fails, God can make the most dreaded elements
of aIture the ministers of his will. He can make use of
even savage beasts to protect the cause of truth and
Mamma," said Bessie, in a grave manner, "did not
God really make use of lions to protect the cause of
truth and righteousness .when Daniel was thrown into
the lion's den ?"
"He did, my love," replied her mother; "that is
well thought of. And very possibly he did so, by bring-
ing into action that power of checking its own appetite
through the impulse of a sudden and generous friendship
which the lion possesses."
"Mamma," said Harry, in a low voice, as if he were
afraid of saying something not quite right, "isn't the
lion rather too good to be the devil? It says that Satan
is a roaring lion, going about seeking whom he may
Satan may take many forms and characters, Harry,
just according to what he wishes to do at the time.
What was he when he tempted Eve ?"
A ROARING LION. 63
"A serpent," said Harry.
And why not a roaring lion, then ?"
Oh, because she would have been too much
frightened. She would have run away, and he wanted
her to stay and talk to him, and look at the fruit."
"Then, darling, you see he is a serpent, or he comes
like a serpent, when he wishes to please and deceive,
and then he glides smoothly, and speaks softly with a
silver tongue; while often he is hidden among pretty
green leaves and beautiful fruit and flowers. This is
when he wants to persuade us to do evil. When, then,
do you think he will look like a roaring lion ?"
"I suppose it must be when he wants to frighten us
to do evil," said Harry.
"I have told you some stories," continued his mamma,
"of times when the lion did spare his victim. But do
you think he is always disposed to do so? Would you
like very much to come across his path just when he
has gone out on purpose to seek his prey ?"
"Oh no, indeed! I daresay it would be a million of
chances to one that he would eat me rather than spare
"Yet, if it were a mere brute lion, there might be
one small chance against a million that he would spare;
but when the Evil One comes abroad like a roaring lion,
there remains not even that one. He never spared his
prey, and he never will. Not one kindly feeling has
64 A PLACE OF REFUGE.
ever touched his heart; and when he comes abroad in
the storm, when persecution rages for the sake of truth,
when the world is turned into a desert for God's children,
and his providence seems dark like the black heavens,
and the angry threatening of kings and rulers are heard
I~te thunder, and the keen sharp sword of power pierces
like lightning, is it not terrible to think that there is
an evil being abroad armed at all points for destruction
like the lion, with the same terrible appetite for his
prey; only, instead of being guided by brute instinct,
he has a mind greater in knowledge and cunning than
all the men that ever lived in this world put together."
"Indeed, mamma," said Bessie, "I should be afraid of
running to him through fear, like the poor animals,
instead of running away from him."
"So you might, dear," said Mrs. Myrtle, "If you were
not well acquainted beforehand with the place of safety
which God has provided, and if you had not gone there
so often that you could make no mistake in the way."
"What place is that ?" asked little Harry, looking up
into her face.
"God's own arms of everlasting love, my child; and
if you cried to the Saviour, he would himself take you
Sby the hand and lead you there. Keep firm hold of
him, and he will guide you through storm and darkness
to that place of refuge where neither the wickedness of
men nor all the powers of evil can ever touch you."
ALL ABOUT TIGERS AND LEOPARDS.
t E shall now proceed to the tiger anA leopard,"
"4 said Mrs. Myrtle, at the lesson of the fol-
-" lowing day. They are by far the most
V beautiful of all the cats; indeed, for the
.beauty of their painting, as Harry would
say, and the ease and grace of their movements, fTiere
are no quadrupeds to equal them. But, at the same
time, among all the quadrupeds they seem to love blood
the best for its own salce, showing that goodness and
beauty are very far from going always together. The
tiger's skin is yellow, with black stripes down the sides,
aind black rings round its, legs. The leopard's is a fine
yellow fawn, becoming white below, and instead of
stripes, it is covered with clusters of black spots. Which
should you thin the prettiest ?"
Bessie said she should like, the leopard's skin best, but
Harry preferred the. tiger, and asked if it were as big as
"A royal tiger is sometimes as large as a lion,"
66 LION AND TIGER.
answered his mamma, "but it is not generally so. The
tiger is commonly about three feet high and six long;
that is as tall as you, Harry, and as long as papa is tall."
"Yes, yes, I know," cried Harry; "my height is
marked on the door, and, besides, I know quite well the
length of a foot on the foot-rule."
"Well, then," continued his mamma, "a large lion
will often measure twelve feet; that is twice the length
of papa if he were lying on the floor. But though the
tiger is seldom so large as the lion, he is more dangerous,
because he is much more active; for you may remem-
ber that the lion is lazy and sleepy, and unwilling to be
disturbed, unless when he is hungry. The leopard is
the most active of all; his movements are as quick as
those of a squirrel; and when you visit the menagerie,
you will see that he scarcely ever rests, but walks
backwards and forwards so quickly, and so angrily, that
the eye can scarcely follow his movements."
"I shouldn't like," remarked Harry, "to be thrown
into the leopard's den when he was hungry;. he wouldn't
spare me !"
"No, I fear you would have no chance with him," said
his mamma, smiling; "and yet writers about natural
history don't seem to have made up their minds as to
the respective characters of the lion and tiger. At first
they extolled the lion as being all nobleness and gene-
rosity, and set down the tiger as thoroughly blood-thirsty
A PET TIGER. 67
and cruel. Now they have changed their minds, and
want to make it out that there is no difference between
the two. Yet there surely is a difference. The appetite
for carnage is often controlled, as we have seen in the
lion, by his aptitude for friendship, and his other noble
feelings; while, though the tiger is not quite incapable
of attachment, it is the better feeling in him that is apt
to give way to his instinct for blood. So, as in the case
of Hubert, the lion may be often thoroughly relied upon
-the tiger never. They are indeed capable of being
tamed, or appearing to be tamed, like domestic cats,
when taken as little cubs. And the fakirs of India, a
set of dirty heathen priests, who are in the habit of
-going about begging, often lead about with them tame
tigers and leopards; but they' are dangerous pets. I
remember hearing a story of a gentleman who reared a
tame tiger in India, and who by doing so nearly lost his
life. He was sitting one evening outside his bungalow
reading, with his pet couche. down beside him. One
hand hung by his side, while the other held his book.
Being closely engaged with his studies, he scarcely
observed that the animal had begun to lick his disen-
gaged. hand, until he heard a low growl, and looking
down, he saw the hand covered with blood. Instantly
he knew that the fatal instinct had awoke, and not
having any weapon, he felt himself in a Very dangerous
predicament. If he withdrew his hand, his pet would
68 A NARROW ESCAPE.
that moment spring. Most providentially he observed
his servant at a little distance, and calling to him, he
told him to go into the house, fetch a loaded gun, and
A NARROW ESCAPE.
shoot the tiger dead on the spot. He then sat quite
still, allowing it to growl, and lick his blood at its
pleasure; but you may feel sure the moments seemed
very long. At length the servant made his appearance,
approached very stealthily, so as not to disturb the
animal, took a steady aim, and shot him through the
"I would not have such a pet for all the world,"
said Harry; "I wonder anybody would. I'd much
rather, if I were a man, hunt those wretches which
would love their master's blood more than their master
himself, and kill every one of them. Tell us how they
hunt them, mamma. Was there ever a Gerard for the
"Brave men are rare," said his mamma, "who will
meet savage animals face to face, and help to clear the
world of them single-handed. I have. only heard of one
who thus confronted the tiger, and he was a German,
called Paul de Kock. But the general way is to go
out and hunt with elephants-not with horses, take
notice, for it is very strange that though the horse can
be made to face a lion, he will scarcely ever face a tiger;
but the elephant, on the contrary, stands steadily, while
his rider takes aim just before the tiger makes his
spring. The Hindus seldom hunt, or even fire on the
tiger, but let him prowl about their houses and carry
away their cattle and children, and even grown people,
just as the Arabs do with the lion; but wherever
Europeans go, they help to clear the country. At one
time the Eas India Company-"
70 TIGERS IN INDIA.
"Was that a grand dinner company ?" interrupted
Harry. Bessie laughed.
"What do you laugh at, Bessie?" said her mother.
Can you tell Harry what the East India Company
No, mamma," said Bessie, "I can't; but I am sure
it wasn't a dinner party."
It was very natural, however, of Harry to think
so," said Mrs. Myrtle; "and some people," she added,
smiling, "would say he was not so far wrong. The
East India Company was a number of rich English mer-
chants, who traded with India when no one else was
allowed to do so. They paid an army of soldiers,
conquered a great part of the country, and governed
what they had conquered. Well, then, at one time the
East India Company gave ten rupees (about twenty
shillings) for every tiger that was killed."
"That was famous," cried Harry. "I hope they got
them all killed."
"Not quite all," replied his mamma. "In India
there are enormous tracts of waste land called jungle, all
overgrown .with tall thick bushes and reeds, and there
chiefly the tiger has his haunts. Now, you know, it
cannot be till these are all cleared and cultivated that
he can be quite got rid of. The tiger, however, has
other enemies than man. While lurking in his lair,
waiting for an opportunity to spring on some passing
THE TIGER AND THE SERPENT. 71
prey, or perhaps taking his rest after gorging himself
with food, he occasionally falls a victim to the deadly
fangs of one of the great Indian serpents, which writhes
its glittering body along the branch of a neighboring
THE TIGER AND THE SERPENT.
tree until it hangs suspended over the unconscious
animal. Then it darts forth its tongue, and strikes him
in the spine, just where the head is joined to the neck,
the blow always proving fatal. But such an event. as
this is not very common ; and the most determined'
,~ ~ ; .. |.
72 TIGERS AND THEIR WHISKERS.
adversary of this terrible animal is the British hunter,
who boldly follows him into the densest recesses of the
"I daresay, mamma," remarked Bessie, thoughtfully,
that God has made some kinds of beasts for some
kinds of places just till man comes."
"Yes," replied her mother; "and the right sort of
man must come too. It is quite certain that the
Creator loves to see every part of the world he has
made full of life, and of every possible kind of life. He
has certainly made the tiger for the jungle; and I shall
give you one proof of it. In examining pussy, I omitted
to point out to you one part of her furnishings which, if
not absolutely necessary, are a very great convenience
to all animals of the cat kind-I mean their whiskers.
The lion has great whiskers, and the tiger and the
panther, with all the other cats; and wherever they
are you may take it for granted that the animal is meant
to steal softly among branches and thick bushes."
"How so ?" asked the children, looking puzzled.
" Whiskers can't be hands."
No; but they can answer the purposes of hands
better than you suppose. When you go along dark
places at night, what do you do ?"
We put up our hands before us, for fear of knocking
"And which room of the house do you need to feel
WHAT ARE THEIR USES. 73
most carefully in, if you were walking through it in the
"I think it is the drawing-room," said Bessie,
becausee it is so full of furniture. There isn't a plain
high-road in it, but only little footpaths between stools
and sofas, and tables and easy-chairs."
"And you feel them all with theg points of your
fingers, don't you ?"
Yes; or else I should hurt myself or break some-
"But why with your fingers ? Why not with some
other part of your body ?"
Because," said Bessie, ",my fingers can go first;
and, besides, they have most feeling."
"Well, then, if you look at a cat you will see that
her whiskers go first, and they likewise have the most
feeling. There are nerves of feeling at the roots of
them, which make her sensible of the very least
touch. Then, you see that animals meant to creep
through bushy, jungly places are much the better
of having something to feel before them that can let
them know in a moment whether there is anything
which would make too much noise, so as to alarm
their prey, when they wish to get their bodies passed
I see, I see," said Bessie; "pussy's whiskers were
given her for the wild woods, the lion's for his woody .
71 THE TIGER'S KINGDOM.
mountains, and the tiger's for the tangled jungle. But
are there no lions in India ?"
"Yes, there are," replied Mrs. Myrtle; "and so there
are panthers in Africa. But as in Africa the lion
attains his greatest perfection, and so it may be called
his kingdom, while the panther, which is a large
leopard, is second to him; so in certain parts of India
the tiger attains his greatest size and strength, and
these parts may be called his kingdom. It is his greater
activity, however, which makes him most formidable.
He seizes his prey by day as well as by night; so that
when an army is marching through these woody tangled
places-as in India it often must-it is no uncommon
thing for a tiger to spring out with an enormous bound
and a frightful roar, seize upon a man, and carry him
away back to the jungle. Unlike the lion, he runs so
swiftly that the fastest horse cannot overtake him; and
he gets away still quicker by making bounds or springs,
one after another, by which he clears a vast space of
ground in a few moments."
What a horrible death," cried the children, shudder-
ing, "to be in such a monster's teeth and claws, just as
the bird was in pussy's !"
"Let us hope," said her mamma, that it is not
always so bad as it appears; because the first blow that
a man gets by being sprung upon from a distance, and
by so strong a creature, often stuns and stupefies him
A PERILOUS POSITION. 75
so that he may be despatched without much after-pain.
We know that this may be the case, by the account of
himself given by a European soldier, who was seized in
_-..*.... - ---
A PERILOUS POSITION.
the manner I have described from an encampment by
the side of a great swampy jungle, which was to be
crossed next day by a small army on its way to give
76 A HAPPY DELIVERANCE.
battle to an Indian chief. This man felt nothing, except
that he had been knocked down, until a ball from one
of his comrades pierced his leg instead of killing the
tiger, and by bringing him back to consciousness enabled
him to save himself, which he did with the most wonder-
ful presence of mind. He remembered that he had a
javelin sticking in his belt behind. By a great exertion
he managed to pull it out, and to stab the beast in
the shoulder. Instantly the latter bound aside, and
dropped the man, while his eyes flashed with fury; but
as quickly he came back and seized him again. This
time he took hold of him just above his thigh, where the
box was in which powder was kept, which prevented the
teeth from going through; and the man, having his arm
now freer, stabbed the creature several times till he was
dead. The poor fellow then fell on his knees, and thanked
God most fervently for his deliverance, and then returned
to his companions, who were overjoyed to see him."
"I am glad that the man thanked God," said Bessie.
"Yes," returned her mamma; "the brave European
soldier behaved very differently from what a poor Hindu
would have done. The Hindu, being accustomed to be-
lieve that the souls of men, and his own friends among
the number, pass after their death into the bodies of
animals, imagines that it must be the soul of a great
lord or prince that inhabits the lordly tiger, and so he
views that savage beast with a superstitious reverence,
TIGER-HUNTS IN INDIA. 71
allows him to carry off whatever he pleases, and even if
he found himself in his jaws, would pray to him by the
kind name of Uncle to let him go. Thus it is, you see,
that superstition deprives men of their natural courage,
and makes them feel on an equality, or rather inferior,
to the brutes themselves."
But don't they ever hunt the tiger at all ?" asked
"I spoke just now," said his mamma, of the poorer
Hindus, who have no elephants to hunt with, and who
think my Lord Tiger is best dealt with by letting him
alone, or trying to make friends with him by praying
and calling him endearing names; but the great chiefs,
or rajahs, go out to hunt in great state; and a very
grand sight it must be to see them all dressed in gold
and jewels, their elephants, perhaps to the number of
thirty or forty, caparisoned-that means dressed out and
ornamented-as richly as themselves. Those animals
have a great square cloth thrown over their backs, em-
broidered in the most gorgeous manner, and a howdah on
their backs-that is a kind of seat like the body of a gig,
where the English gentleman or the Indian prince sits;
and there is a mohout, or driver, besides, to direct the
elephant where to go and what to do. When the tiger
is seen moving in the jungle, he is fired upon, and very
often, if he is wounded, he will slink away as softly as
he can under the bushes, and then the hunting-party see
78 CONCEALED IN THE JUNGLE.
no more of him, and have to go back as they came.
_.---: "-I--"-- ..... ----~- ---
Sometimes, however, he will spring out upon the elephant,
and fasten his teeth and claws in his neck or shoulder.
THE TIGER'S DEPREDATIONS. 79
Then the real fight comes to be between the elephant
and the tiger. The former will try to kneel on his enemy
and crush him by the weight of his great legs, which are
like large pillars, and with his heavy body; or sometimes
he may get a good kick given to him, which will break
his ribs, and send him flying away to a distance; but at
other times they both roll on the ground together, and
that is very dangerous for the people on the elephant's
back, and a great deal must depend on the exactness with
which the other hunters take aim and fire their pieces.
"The destruction which this animal causes in the
districts he frequents is terrible. It is true that he does
not attack man so long as other game are plentiful, but
when stimulated by hunger, or goaded by passion, he
becomes very dangerous. And when once he has tasted
human blood, his awe of man entirely disappears. He
abandons the jungle, descends into the plains to seek his
victims, and even ventures into the white man's bunga-
low or the peasant's hut. He lurks around the en-
closures, ever watchful. I have read of his surprising
an English girl and her ayah, or Hindu nurse, while
seated on a bank in the immediate neighbourhood of her
own home; within sight, indeed, of her father's windows,
and it was with the greatest difficulty they escaped from
Sthe 'Man-Eater.' But too often escape is impossible;
and many a poor Hindu mother mourns for a beloved
child-many a widow for her lost husband-carried off
80 AN EASTERN SCENE.
by these ferocious animals. The British Goverinment in
India, therefore, offers liberal rewards for their destru-
tion, and partly through -man's persevering pursuit of
them, partly through theslslow but steady advance of
civilization, they are yearly decreasing in numbpr,-and
r" in~ deeper and ret tieep: into the untrodden jungle.
the hunters in about six months.
--- _== .e ,~r~fl -
AN EASTERN SCENE.
"I believe that in Central India alone as many as
one hundred and eighty-four tigers have been killed by
the hunters in about six months.
But we have had a long gossip about the tyrant of the
jungle to-day. Go and hold open the drawing-room door,
Master Harry, while we pass into the other room."
MORE ABOUT THE FELIDIE.
"- 1 RE all the cats done with now, mamma?"
asked Harry next day; "the little ones and
the big ones !"
"We have had the principal," replied his
mother: the cat itself, eli the tiger,
lion, the tiger,
and the leopard. The last is, you know, Just a spotted
tiger. Indeed, in India it I called the tree-tiger, -
cause it is so nimble and active that it can climb a tree
with great ease; so a tree would b1 no refuge for you if
you wanted to get away from it, as it would b4 from
either the lion or the striped, tiger. There is a large
leopard, called a ,panther, whi6f] I think I have men-
tioned before; it is terrible for its great size and strength:
and there is a small beautiful one, with a very long tail,
called an ocelot. And see, in the picture before you is
"The caracal, mamma !" said Harry "'I have never
before heard its name."
"Perhaps not; but if you lived in Persia, or India,
82 THE CARACAL.
or Egypt, or even in Turkey or Arabia, you would
certainly have heard of it, and, I daresay, seen it. Has
it not eastrange head ? Look at its eyes; they are
very large and bright, and seem to scowl at you with a
fierce, forbidding expression. Near each eye it has two
spots of white, one on the inner, the other on the outer
side. The edges of the upper lip, the chin, and lower
lip are white. So are the insides of the limbs, but the
general colour of the body is a pale reddish-brown. The
ears, which are long and tapering, are black.
THE KEEN-EYED LYNX. 83
"The caracal leaps upon its victim with a sudden
bound, and holds it so tenaciously that its struggles to
escape are all in vain. It is said to follow the lion and
other beasts of prey, and feed upon what they are too
dainty to consume. It hunts in packs like wild dogs,
and is a sullen, ferocious, suspicious, and altogether dis-
"Another curious and very different-looking cat is
called the lynx. Once it was thought that its eyes were
so very bright and piercing that they could see through
anything. That is found not to be the* case; but it.was
so long believed that I daresay very sharp-sighted people
84 THE TIGER' S. REALM
will always continue to be called lynx-eyed. You may
always know this creature by its funny short tail, and
two tufts of black hair on the points of its ears. It is
much smaller than the leopard, so, of course, it feeds only
on smaller creatures, such as deer, hares, birds, which it
runs after to the tops of trees. It lives in colder coun-
tries, too, than the giants of the cat race. Its fur is soft
and thick, and is sold for a great deal of money, to make
.boas, muffs, tippets, fur-caps, and so on; and the colder
the country in which it lives, the longer and thicker the
fur becomes, which makes it of course the more valuable.
Now, take the atlas, and point out to me the royal
domains-the kingdoms of the lion and the tiger; and
I will show you not where the lynx reigns, but where
"The lion is king," said Harry, of Africa, of all
its woody mountains and all its great deserts. Hasn't
he the biggest kingdom in the world, mamma ?"
"I think he has," replied mamma; "for the royal
tiger chiefly confined to the middle and hotter parts of
Asia, just along this line. We may say that he holds
his court here, in Bengal, on the north side of the great'
River Indus, and his kingdom goes along through Siam,
Tonquin, and as far as China. He holds the Indian
Islands likewise in subjection. Now, the lynx lives in
the colder parts of Asia, in the thick woods, and passes
along, on the left hand, into Europe, and here, on thei
THE OUNCE OR JAGUAR, 85
right, into America, in the latitude of Canada, where a
number of hunters, who trade in furs, shoot seven or
eight or nine thousand every year, and sell the skins
for a great deal of money.
__ =_ __ ----_=---_--__--__ ,
4' ~, ___
THE JAGUAR AND THE BUFFALO.
"But as we have gone over to America, I must tell
ou of the great cat which has its kingdom there, and
is the fiercest creature in the whole Western Continent.
: It is the jaguar or ounce, and is just another kind of
86 A JAGUAR FISHING.
A JAGUAR FISHING.
tiger, having black stripes and spots on the upper part
of its body. His tail is shorter and his legs thicker than
the tiger's, and the use he makes of .those strong legs is
THE JAGUAR'S KINGDOM. 87
to jump suddenly on a horse or buffalo, which he fre-
quently surprises at its watering-place, to put one paw
on the back of its neck and the other on its mouth or
muzzle, and so, giving the head a sudden jerk back-
ward, he breaks the neck and kills it in a moment. I
believe, however, he will not attack a man unless he can
find no other prey. It is well; for he is as active as
the panther, and can climb trees quite easily. He likes
to lie at the foot of a tree, and sharpen his claws by
scratching it, as you have seen pussy do on the legs of a
chair when lying on the rug. The jaguar lives in the
hottest parts of South America, and loves the great
woods by the side of large rivers, which he swims across
as easily as he can climb a tree,. and where he often
basks upon the bank, and pleases himself with catching
fish, of which he is very fond."
"Then," said Harry, the hot part of South America
is the kingdom of the jaguar, is it ?"
"We should say it was so," replied his mamma; "for
the whole of America is fast becoming the kingdom of
Man, just as this country is where there are now no
fierce animals; the jaguars are becoming much fewer,
and perhaps will soon pass away. The other great cat of
America is the puma, and it is more of kin to the lion than
to the leopard, because its skin is tawny, or dun coloured,
without stripes or spots; but it is much smaller than
the lion; it wants his mane, his immense head, and his
* '^ 'fi
88 ANIMALS OF THE NEW WORLD.
kingly presence, and in fact looks much more like a
great common cat. He is savage and destructive to
such animals as he is strong enough to attack, sitting
up on a tree, watching patiently, and then pouncing
suddenly down on them, and breaking their necks,
something in the manner of the jaguar. He is not very
formidable, however, to man, whom he would rather fly
from than attack. It has been remarked by travellers
that all the animals of the New World are much more
timid and more ready to fly from the human face than
those of the Old World. Why this should be we
cannot tell; but even in the Pampas in South America,
which are great tracts of grassy meadows, stretching
ABOUT THE PUMA. 89
out for hundreds and hundreds of miles, almost like the
sandy deserts of Africa, the wild animals there, who
have probably never seen the face of a man ,before, will
scamper off as fast as they can from a solitary rider.
This is the more curious, because it has been remarked
that in desert islands, like Robinson Crusoe's, the want
of acquaintance with man, and the weapons he employs,
leads wild birds and wild animals to suspect no danger,
and they will consequently let him come close to them
without moving. The puma is said to be easily tamed,
to purr like a cat, and to show its pleasure in being
caressed, and it will play with a ball when confined in a
cage like a kitten. I daresay, however, we would all
prefer our own pussy to one four feet long and two feet
high, even though there were no danger in having the
"Do you think you can now reckon all the cats I
have told you about, and tell me where they live ?"
"The lion, the tiger, the leopard, the great leopard, or
panther. The small leopard, or ocelot, lives in Africa,
or the hottest parts of Asia. The lynx in the colder
parts of Asia, Europe, and America, and the jaguar and
puma nowhere but in America."
"Very well," said Mrs. Myrtle; "but the ocelot
passes over to America likewise. And do you re-
member what name is given to the cat race, from
their peculiar manner of taking their prey? You
90 THE PREYING ANIMALS.
know it was a word I told you to try and keep in
Bessie had forgotten, but Harry at once said, "feline."
"I think I can remember again, mamma," said Bessie,
"by a word I had in my lesson yesterday. It was
felon, and felonious. Has that anything to do with it?"
"You may associate it with that word, if you please,"
replied her mamma; for as robbers and housebreakers,
who are felons, do approach silently, and then rob, and
sometimes kill with violence, so do all the feline race.
You must recollect that it is the feline race alone which
take their prey in this peculiar manner, and have their
bodies expressly constructed for that purpose. There
are other beasts of prey who take it in other and
different ways, and they belong to other races. But all
the preying animals, whatever kind of prey they live
upon, and in whatever manner they take it, form
together the order Carnaria. I shall not trouble you
much just now about classes and orders, families and
tribes, because your little heads are like empty rooms,
into which I am only beginning to put a little furni-
ture; and you cannot be expected to see likenesses and
differences between things that you know nothing about.
I may ask you, however, if you know how all these
animals bring their young into the world, and how they
keep them alive for the first while after they are in it ?"
"I suppose it must be like pussy, mamma," said
THE CLASS MAMMALIA. 91
Bessie; "she had live kittens, and she nursed them
with her milk, as Harry's wet-nurse did to him when he
was a baby."
"Then all who do so are said to form the class
mammalian. You can surely recollect that, Bessie, be-
cause it is only as much as saying that they are
mammas to their little ones."
Then all the creatures in the world are mammalia,"
"Not all," said Harry; "I'm sure the birds don't
give milk to their young ones; and besides that, they
Oh, that's true,-nor the fishes neither," cried Bessie,
"But the mammalia are a very large class," said their
mother; "can you guess who is at the head of it ?"
The children considered, but could make no guess.
"Why, it is man himself," said their mamma. "You
might have known that from what Bessie said of the
"So indeed we might," said the children; "but we
did not think that man could be put with the beasts of
Man's body is as much an animal body as that of
any beast of prey. He is born, he has to live by eating
vegetable or animal food, and he-dies just as every other
animal does. It is his soul which makes the difference.
92 CATS AND CHARACTERS.
He alone knows good from evil, and he alone fears God.
He goes on learning, and thinking, from the hour of his
birth till the day of his death; so it is he only who can
judge and form opinions of all animals and things about
and around him."
"Just as we have been doing about the cats," re-
"Well, then, let us hear your opinion about the cats,"
said her mamma.
"I think," replied she, "the lion is the most terrible
and the noblest; the tiger is the cruellest; and the little
pussies are the mildest and the most useful. The pussies
were made for man, too."
"They were made to live with man; but the others,
too, were made for man in a certain sense."
"Mamma," said Bessie, "how can that be? I was
just thinking, wouldn't it be better if God had made the
world quite full of gentle, kind animals like sheep and
cows, just to live upon grass and corn?"
"Suppose he had done so, Bessie; you know animals
increase very fast. When there came to be twice as
many as there were herbs to feed them, what would
"The half must die," said Bessie, musing.
"And if there were four times as many ?"
"Why, then 'only a quarter could live," said Bessie
HERB-EATERS AND FLESH-EATERS. 93
"And whether would it be the hardest to die of
starvation or to die a sudden and violent death ?"
Oh, to die of starvation is terrible!" cried the chil-
dren; "anything is better than that."
"Then, whether is it better that so many bodies of
animals, which must die at any rate, should be wasted,
or that they should serve to feed other animals of a dif-
ferent nature, who may have as much enjoyment in life
as the others had when they were on the earth ? But
the truth is, that God has made the world as full of
every different kind of herb-eating animal as it can pos-
sibly hold. He has made some for eating grass like the
sheep, some for eating grain, and others for living on
leaves and branches, as you will hear by-and-by. But
if there were no flesh-eating animals, not only would
there have been a great empty space in God's family,
which might have been filled with creatures all as happy
as our pussy there, but the others would starve, and
crowd so upon one another as to make each other miser-
able, and there would scarce have been room enough
left for man himself in the world. You said, did you
not, Bessie, that you thought God had made some animals
for certain places until man came ? But I daresay you
did not imagine that, while they are occupying those
places, not only are they doing their own work and
getting their living by it, but, like every other part of
creation, they are doing God's work too. They are
94 LIMITS OF INCREASE.
keeping down the herb-eating animals, which would
otherwise become too numerous, and they are keeping the
Place till their lord and master comes. How could man
plant gardens or sow corn-fields, if millions on millions
of herb-eating creatures pressed in to devour every green
thing ? And what terrible work he would have had to
reduce them to a manageable number, if these natural
warriors, so perfectly armed, had not been made to be
his assistants, "and to do the worst of this work for him."
"It would be much nicer, too, mamma," said Harry,
who understood a little, though not quite all, of what
his mamma was saying-" it would be much nicer to
hunt wild beasts than to kill hundreds of sheep and cows
that people couldn't eat."
"A great deal better, Harry. It hurts a generous
nature much less to attack a savage enemy than to
slaughter creatures who make no resistance.I Then ob-
serve how wisely the Creator has ordained that these
terrible warring animals should increase but slowly.
You remember that lions and tigers have never more
than one or two cubs. Suppose they had as many young
ones as our pussy; there would be scarce any other
animals left. They would create a great solitude, and
then die of famine. It is another beautiful arrangement
that they are solitary creatures. Each goes out alone
to provide for himself. Just imagine what it would be
if the lion were to hunt in packs like the dog! Man
THE LAWS OF NATURE. 95
could then never enter his domains, for there would be
no possibility of resisting him.
How delightful it is to see and feel the beautiful
order of God's world and everything in it! It is like a
great house, where everything is just in its proper place;
and if you pay enough of attention you may know in a
moment where to put your hand upon it. I love first
to look at an animal, to study its structure and all its
ways; and then I love to find out exactly where God
has put it, and what arrangements He has made for it,
without its knowledge or will, and that it never does
and never can know anything about. Thus is the most
terrible beast of prey God's servant, doing its appointed
work all its life long, keeping the whole animal creation
in order, and yet knowing nothing but that it is hungry,
and that it must find its food. But God has made us
on purpose to find out his will, and to study and take
pleasure in it. That is our place. Shall we fill it less
perfectly than the beasts of prey do theirs ?
"To-morrow is the day for the menagerie. I am
quite sure you will look well at all the cats. But after
you have done that, I want you to take particular notice
of the dogs, the wolves, hyenas, and jackals, because I
mean next to tell you as much as I can about them."
THE HYIENA, OR THE DOG COUSIN. -
EXT day was the long-expected Christmas, and
the children paid their visit .to the menagerie;
but they had no time to talk about it that
day, because they were too busily employed
otherwise. They were decorating the rooms
with holly and mistletoe for a home-festival in the even-
ing, and they were finishing up little paper baskets,
full of bonbons, and other pretty things of their own
making, which they hung upon a large branch of holly;
stuck in a pot full of earth, meant to represent a Christ-
mas-tree. They had no bought tree, hung with coloured
lamps and shop-toys, and for this reason :-
Their mamma had once before, on the Christmas week,
taken them to a shop where there was such a tree, which
cost several pounds, and they had longed very much to
have it; but she had spoken to them in this manner :-
THE TREE OF BOUNTY. 97
"This is indeed a very pretty tree. The branches
are hung with gaudy toys, like blossoms; yet these
blossoms must all perish in a single night. A few
minutes will be enough to strip it bare, and then there
will be no fruit not one berry will grow afterwards.
Such are the toy-triees that grow in the land of fancy.
But there is another tree, called the Tree of Bounty, and
it grows in the Land of Feeling. The roots are in our
hearts, and the branches reach into the pogr rooms of
poor people all round us, who have no Christmas dinner
to eat, and nothing to distinguish Christmas-day from
any other day, unless we give it them. The blossoms
are not quite so pretty to look at, for they are only bits
of meat and pudding, and warm shawls and blankets, just
such as you see every day; but the fruits are very
sweet, for they are kind thoughts and good thoughts,
whfch will not pass away when the meat is eaten or the
dress is worn. The poor people will think, 'God has not
forgotten us, and our fellow-creatures who are better off
than ourselves have not forgotten us; and God is right
to send us some of his bounty by them, because perl ps
it makes us love Him and love them better than even if
we had been able to provide this for ourselves.' Now, I
am not rich enough to give you both trees. I don't ask
you which you like the bes~, for little people almost
always like.fancy things .bestb; but which do you think
SGod would like best ? God, who'gives us our money,