The Baldwin Library
m B ndof
I II I
THE ELEPHANT AND THE MUTINEERS.
See pap~ 10
T. WOOLMER, 2 .CASTLE ST., CITY ROAD, E.C..
AND 56 PATERNOSTER .\V ', .'. -..
? ANIMAL INSTINCT
THE GORILLA .
THE LION .
The Cat and the Duck
The Philosopher and the Cat
The Cat and the Eagle .
THE DOG .
The Shepherd's Dog
A Boat's Crew saved by a Dog
The Ohicken and Dog
Mr. Hudson Gurney's Dog
The Fireman's Dog Bob.
THE SEAL AND THE WALRUS
THE WHALE .
THE BEAVER .
THE SCAPEGOAT .
THE SHEEP .
THE CAMELOPARD 87
THE CAMEL 91
THE MULE 102
THE ELEPHANT AND THE MUTINEERS 107
THE RHINOCEROS 109
TnE GOLDEN EAGLE 117
THE OWL 122
THE KINGFISHER. 131
THE JACKDAW 138
SONG BIRDS . 144
THE CUCKOO 152
THE WOOD-PIGEON 156
THE QUAIL 161
THE BLACK OR GREAT OSTRICH 165
THE APTERYX 171
STORKS AND HERONS .1 *73
WATER-FOWL (DUCKS) .179
THE ALBATROSS 185
THE PELICAnN .. 188
INSTINCT in animals supplies the place which reason occupies
in man. This faculty is stronger in some animals than in
others. For instance, the elephant, the dog, and the horse
possess it in a remarkable degree. An elephant has been known
to remember an insult, or an act of cruelty practised upon him,
and to repay it, with interest,. after an incredible number of
years. A horse is said to have distinguished the houses to which
milk was takefl only on certain days, stopping at the right places
on the right days as regularly as his master could have done. ::
A friend was one day walking with a farmer, who was
accompanied by his. dbg. Suddenly the farmer exclaimed, "I
dropped a marked piece of money in the market-place, just now;
I will send Rover to fetch it." The dog was immediately told
to go for it, which he did at once. He was very long in return-
ing ; from,which his master concluded that he had lost his way. '
INSTINCT in animals supplies the place which reason occupies
in man. This faculty is stronger in some animals than in
others. For instance, the elephant, the dog, and the horse
possess it in a remarkable degree. An elephant has been known
to remember an insult, or an act of cruelty practised upon him,
and to repay it, with interest,. after an incredible number of
years. A horse is said to have distinguished the houses to which
milk was takefl only on certain days, stopping at the right places
on the right days as regularly as his master could have done. ::
A friend was one day walking with a farmer, who was
accompanied by his. dbg. Suddenly the farmer exclaimed, "I
dropped a marked piece of money in the market-place, just now;
I will send Rover to fetch it." The dog was immediately told
to go for it, which he did at once. He was very long in return-
ing ; from,which his master concluded that he had lost his way. '
Late in the evening, however, he arrived, pursued by quite a hue
and cry, and laid a purse at the farmer's feet. At the same
moment a grazier appeared, who asserted that the dog had
taken the purse from his pocket. Upon an examination the
141 ,I i I ,i
NATURAL HISTORY. 9
marked -coin was found mixed with the stranger's money, and
was returned to the owner; who declared'that it should help to
buy Rover a handsome collar, as a reward for his sagacity ; the
grazier, also, contributing his share toward so worthy an object.
The monkey, however, in some respects, surpasses all these
in adroitness and cunning, as the following account will show:-
Some time ago a ship sailed for England from a port in the
West Indies. When just about to heave up the anchor, the
captain took on board four monkeys, which, at times were per-
mitted to wander about the ship at will. He had also procured
a quantity of very fine grapes. These were hung up in his
cabin ; but in some unaccountable way the bunches disappeared
much more quickly than they ought to have.done. As monkeys
have ever been a pilfering race, the sly group on board were at-
once suspected of having unlawfully possessed themselves of
the fruit. A watch was set for them, but for some time in vain.
The captain, therefore, determined to keep watch himself ; and,
that he might mete out due. punishment to the offenders when
caught, he provided himself with a "rope's end." One morning,
just before the monkeys were let out of their cage, he lay down
in his cabin, and pretended to be asleep.'..No, sooner was he
settled than, bounce I down came the whole party from the deck.
They halted, however, at the door, as if surprised to find the
cabin occupied. They remained for some time in deep consulta-
tion, various significant movements of the features passing
between them. At length'one, more bold than the rest, advanced,'
and, mounting the table, warily approached the motionless
captain.-; -After steadfastly regarding him for some time, he at
10 GLEANINGS IN
last slowly lifted his paw, and gently raised the captain's eyelid,
to see if he really were asleep ; the others eagerly watching the
result of the experiment! The whole thing so amused the
captain, that he laughed loudly. Whereon the whole tribe
s-ampered back to the deck, having a wholesome dread of the
consequences that might follow the next invasion of the cabin
in search of grapes.
A FRENCH traveller in Africa has lately brought home
wonderful stories of monkeys.
He tells us many things we have never heard before, about
the largest and most powerful of monkeys, called the Gorilla."
If any of our young readers can go to the British Museum,
they will see a huge, hairy monster, of immense muscular power,
with a savage, ugly .face that is terrible to look at. These
animals live in the thickest woods ; but, when they are dis-
covered, they are as fierce as lions, and roar as loudly. They
eat only berries and vegetables.
Perhaps an account of a baby-gorilla, which was taken alive,
will most interest our dear young people.
This little monkey was found by the hunters, seated on the
ground, not far from its mother, eating berries. They fired at
the mother, and she fell dead. The young one ran up to'her,
and embraced her, and hid his face in her bosom. When the
hunters were about to seize them both, the young ofie climbed a
small tree, and sat roaring at them, They managed to secure
hlin, but not without receiving two -severe bites. He was a
little fellow, not three years old; but was as fierce as an old
gorilla. He was shut up in a cage; buit neither kindness nor
sternness could fame him. He was called "Joe;" He managed,
one day, to force the bars of his cage and escape, and he was
found hid under a bed. He came out into the middle of the
room, and began to look curiously at the furniture. A. net was
thrown. over him, and once more he was shut up. His temper
grew worse and worse, and again he escaped ; at last he was
chained up : it took an hour.to do this. Ten days after, he died.
The only thing we can possibly like in Mister ei' ". was his
love to his mother. Even this little s-o-ge sl!:.wad signs of -
sorrow at her sad death. .
AMONG the beasts of prey, the first place is due to the lion.
He is the most powerful, daring, and noble-looking of -all
.carnivorous, that is, flesh-eating( animals. Only the Indian
tiger can be compared with him, -One full-grown of the
14 GLEANINGS IN
Asiatic kind, weighs above four hundred and fifty pounds, and
those of Africa often above five hundred pounds. It is said
that a single stroke of his paw is sufficient to break the back of
a horse, and that one sweep of his tail will throw a strong man
to the ground. The grasp of his claws, which cut four inches
in depth, is such as to crush the backbone of an ox. He has
huge jagged teeth, worked by powerful jaws ; while his tongue,
which is entirely covered with horny prickles, is so hard, that it
alone is sufficient to tear the flesh and skin without the aid of
either teeth or claws.
In Asia, the lion rarely measures more than nine feet and a
half from the nose to the end of the tail; but the African
species is considerably larger, and is supplied with a much
::'greater quantity of mane. His roaring, when in quest of prey,
resembles the sound of distant thunder; and, being re-echoed
by the rocks and mountains among which he roams, terrifies all
other animals, and puts them to flight. Sometimes his voice is
that of a hideous scream or yell. When the lion roars," says
a traveller, who saw many of them in South Africa, "the beasts
of the forests can do nothing but quake: they are afraid to lie
still in their dens, lest he spring upon them; and equally afraid
to run, lest, in attempting to escape, they should take the
direction in which lie is prowling, and throw themselves into
the jaws of their adversary." It is when seeking food for their
young that these powerful creatures are most to be dreaded;
they then attack man or beast without fear. At other times
they will bear hunger a long time, and will occasionally feed on
asrcases which they find. They live to more than fifty years.
NATURAL HISTORY. 15
This noble animal is often spoken of in Scripture, and
supplies the sacred writers with some of their loftiest and most
impressive imagery. Its courage is noted by the prophet
Nahum: Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding-
place of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion walked
. .. .and none made them afraid ?" Moses thus alludes to his
fierceness: Gad dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm
with the crown of the head." His firm and majestic movements,
except when he rushes on some hapless victim, are spoken of in
the Book of Proverbs: "There be three things which go wer,
yea, four are comely in going: a lion, which is strongest among
beasts, and turneth not away for any; a greyhound; an he-
goat also ; and a king, against whom there is no rising up."
The universal fear which the roaring of the king of the
forest produces, is noticed by the prophet Amos: "The lion
hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who
can but prophesy ?" The manner in which the inspired writers
speak of the lion's mouth, would naturally lead to the conclusion
that it is formed to strike a beholder with terror. Deliver
me," says David, "from the mouth of the lion." "My God
hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they
have not hurt me," is the grateful exclamation of Daniel to
King Darius, after his great deliverance in the den.
The powerful paw, of which we have above spoken, is in
Scripture called his hand, and is represented as being not less
formidable than his teeth. The king,of Persia made a decree,
commanding his subjects to fear the living God, "who hatli
delivered Daniel from the power," or hand, as you read in the
margin, "of the lions." The Greek writers also familiarly speak
of the lion's "hand," by which they mean his fore-foot.
He is a solitary animal, and fixes his abode in the woods and
mountains, far from the dwellings of men. In the pursuit of
his prey he will not admit the company even of his mate. This
unsocial disposition is often marked in the Sacred Volume.
Thus Jeremiah threatens the degenerate nobles of -Judah,
"Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them ;" and Amos
asks, "Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey ?"
Like other wild beasts, he slumbers in his covert during the
day, that he may return with fresh vigour to the chase at night.
To this the Psalmist alludes: Thou makes darkness, and it is
night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. The
young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them
down in their dens.
Although the lion is the terror of the forest,, and has been
known to scatter destruction over many a fair region in the
East,.yet he is often compelled to yield to the superior powers
and skill of man. When a young lion roared against Samson,
on his "journey to Timnath, "the Spirit of the Lord came
mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a
kid, and he had nothing in his hand." So David slew both
the lion and the bear" that attacked the flock of sheep which lie
was watching. We are told, too, -that Benaiah, the son of
Jehoiada, "wentdown and slew a lion in themidst of a pit
in time of snow."
These are a few of the allusions made in the Bible to this
animal. It would take up many pages to mention all the pas-
sages in which, in its various stages of existence,-tle whelp,
the young lion, the old lion, the lioness,-it is spoken of. They
show that though these animals are not now found in Palestine,
the ancient Jews must have been quite familiar with them.
They still abound on the banks of the Euphrates, between
Bussorah and Bagdad, and in the marshes and jungles near the
rivers of Babylonia.
I will now only further remind you that the lion is also in
Scripture a symbol of our exalted and blessed Redeemer. He
was indeed a gentle Lamb in His sufferings and death, but He
became The lion of the tribe of Judah when he burst asunder
the bands of death ; when He forced open the grave's devouring
mouth, and returned on high" to His Father, leading "cap-
tivity captive,"-a Conqueror over all the powers of evil men
and wicked spirits. So Joel speaks : "The Lord also shall roar
out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the
heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the
hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel."
This is an allusion to the sounding forth of the Gospel, which
commenced at Jerusalem a few days after our Lord's ascension.
All who now obey the invitation of God's mercy, as set forth
by the Cross will hereafter listen to the voice of Jesus, not
terrifying as that of an angry lion, but gentle as that of a
Friend who welcomes them to His rest and glory in heaven for
T HE cat is a well-known domesticated, carnivorous (that is,
flesh-eating) animal, whose attachment is said by many to
be rather to the dwellings, than to the persons of her friends.
Her conduct in this respect is very different from that of the
dog. The attachment of the latter to man is not affected by
changes of place or situation. Pussy's youthful sportiveness,
her beautiful fur, and her quietness of manner when she grows
a little old, dispose us to regard her with kindness. But attempts
to cultivate her good dispositions often meet with but slight
success. She is capable of showing considerable fondness for a
person, yet never seems quite to confide even in those who treat
her well. When hurt, or much alarmed, she is ready to attack
her best friend with as much fury as a stranger.
At what period cats became inmates of human habitations
it is not possible to say. Very likely their usefulness in destroy-
ing rats, mice, and other small noxious animals, first brought
them into notice. It is mentioned by Herodotus, who is called
the "father of historians," in his account of Egypt. He speaks
of cats as destroying the vermin which infested humandwell-
ings, and states some of the strange superstitions which the
Egyptians held with regard to them.
The domestic cat belongs to a class of quadrupeds better
armed for the destruction of animal life than any other. Its
GLEANINGS IN NATURAL HISTORY. 19
short and powerful jaws, which are moved by strong muscles,
are supplied with formidable teeth., It often pursues its prey by
night, and with much patience and cunning. Its keen claws,
which are concealed when not in use, enable it to inflict a death-
blow on its victims with certainty and ease.. It lies in ambush,
seizes a mouse or a bird with a sudden leap, and plays with its
captives before putting them to death. The food of the cats
which we keep in our houses is necessarily very various, but they
prefer flesh or fish, if it can be obtained. A desire for fish is
the strongest temptation that a cat can be exposed to. It is
fond of the odour of certain herbs, such as "catnip," or cat-
mint," and valerian ; the smell of the latter is said to throw
puss into an ecstasy of pleasure.
Both the lion and the tiger are considered animals of the cat
kind. The likeness between- the tiger and the cat is, indeed.
perceived at a glance.. When little children first see tigers in a
zoological garden, they often call them great cats; and it is
well-known that in their native forests, tigers purm exactly as
their domestic kindred do at our firesides. Both have the habit
of growling over their prey before they begin to devour it.
Cats have in several instances become celebrated in history,
It is said that in ancient times Cambyses took a city by furnish-
ing each of his soldiers with a live cat instead of a buckler, as
the Egyptian garrison, rather than injure the creatures which
they venerated, suffered themselves to be conquered. Mahomet
is.reported to have had a favourite cat, which used to lie upon
one of the long, loose sleeves of his robe, when he sat meditat-
ing., One day, being suddenly called upon to quell &t revolt, ho
seized a pair of scissors and cut off a portion of his sleeve
rather than disturb the sleeping favourite. A large hospital for
cats is said to have been built at Damascus in honour of this
pet of Mahomet.
There are several kinds of cats. That called the wild-cat is
NATURAL HISTORY. 21
quite distinct from the domesticated animal,,being larger and
more powerful, and of a different internal structure. There is
the Persian cat, which has long silky gray hair, dark on the back,
but softening into white under the body. The next in beauty to
the Persian, is the cat of Angora, which has fine silky hair,
particularly long on the tail. The Chinese variety has long
glossy hair, but its colour is tortoiseshell, and it differs from all
other species in having hanging ears. All these cats with long
hair are now rare in England, though they are sometimes met
with in France. In England, however, there are many varieties,
the most beautiful of which is the one called tortoiseshell,"
because of its black, white, and reddish-orange colour. Another
variety of the British cat is black ; and another is white. The
white are generally very delicate, apt to take cold, and liable to
diseases. They are also said to be frequently deaf. There is a
kind of tailless cats in the Isle of Man, and also in Devonshire,
but it does not appear that they differ in other respects from the
The attitudes and motions of the cat," says an eminent
naturalist are all of great elegance. Her legs are of singular
strength and flexibility, in consequence of her being furnished
with collar-bones ; she can, therefore, convey food to her mouth
by her paw like a monkey, She can also climb, strike sideways,
toss her prey upwards, and seat herself safely on an eminence,
in confined and narrow situations, such as the arm of an elbow-
chair, or the ledge of a window. The great suppleness of her
body enables her to swing herself from branch to branch of a
tree ; and by her power of clasping and holding with her claws,
22 LEANINGS IN
'she caa. cling firmly t6 any object to which she wishes to attach
A striking instance of the personal attachment of which
these animals are capable, was displayed by a cat belonging to
a lady called Madame Helvetius. This creature used continually
to lie at the feet of her mistress, seemingly ready to defend her.
It would never take food from any other hand than hers ; would
not allow any one else to caress it; and would never touch any
of the birds which she kept. It would fetch anything that was
wanted, in its mouth, like a dog. During the last illness of
Madame Helvetius, this poor animal rarely quitted her chamber;
-and though it was removed after her death, it made its way
,back the next morning, slowly and mournfully pacing over the
'bed, its mistress's favourite chair, and her toilette-table, crying
:piteously all the time. Two or three days after the funeral, the
faithful cat was found stretched on the grave, quite dead,having
apparently died from the excess of its grief. This little history
goes far to show that cats are sometimes quite as much attached
:to persons, as to the houses in which they are sheltered:and fed.
THE OAT AND THE DUCK.
W, heard a curious tale which ought to be listened to from
the lips of the good woman, a Scotchwoman who told it; for her
broad Scotch dialect would make it still more interesting..
A lay of eggs was provided for one of the hens,but amongst
-them unknowingly a duck's egg had been placed. It takes, it
seems, a week longer to hatch a duck's egg than those of the
hen, consequently the chicks took off the attention of the hen a
day or two before the shell of the duck burst. From this inat-
tention it, at length, came forth a wee, sickly bird, and was
supposed to have little life to contend with its lively neighbours.
The mistress, finding little warmth in it, took it ini ier hand, and
held it towards the fire. Now, there happened to be a family of
kittens just receiving the devoted attention of their motherand
the little duck was dropped among them, and in turn received
the reviving operation of the cat's warm tongue. By spoon-
feeding it thrived ; and although it came in for a goodshare of
tumbling, through its gamboling neighbours, it received even a
greater share of the cat's attention. If a mouse was brought in
by her to amuse her progeny, the duck had the first chance of a
race for it ; the peculiar mew, which at such times, to the ear
acquainted with the sounds cats make, appears so tender, was
lavished on duck as well as on kitten; and the rough quack,
quack," was proof that it was duly appreciated; and so the
duck, and the cat, and the kittens grew up in harmony.
THE PHILOSOPHER AND THE -CAT.
I ONOE (says a French writer) saw a lecturer upon experi-
mental philosophy place a cat under the glass received of an
air-pump, for the purpose of demonstrating that life cannot
be supported without air and respiration. The lecturer had
already made several strokes with the piston, in order to exhaust
the receiver of its air, when the cat, beginning to feel herself
very uncomfortable in the rarefied atmosphere, was fortunate
enough to discover the source from whence her uneasiness pro-
ceeded. She placed her paw upon the hole through which the
air escaped, and thus prevented any more from passing out of
the receiver. All the exertions of the philosopher were now
unavailing ; in vain he drew the piston ; the cat's paw effectually
prevented its operation. Hoping to effect his purpose, he again
let air into the receiver, which, as soon as the cat perceived, she
withdrew her paw from the aperture; but whenever he at-
tempted to exhaust the receiver, she applied her paw as before.
The spectators clapped their.hands in admiration of the cat's
sagacity; and the lecturer was compelled to remove her, and
substitute another cat who possessed less penetration for the
THE CAT AND THE EAGLE.
ONE of those eagles with which the more northern parts, of
Scbtland abound, was observed to alight in his downward course,
in the vicinity of a farmyard, and in a few moments, the king
of the birds was again beheld ascending, having made captive a
fine but unlucky cat, and was in the act of conveying poor Grim-
alkin to his eyry. The suddenness of the capture, and her present
unusually perilous situation, rendered poor puss for some time a
passive prisoner. This, however, did not continue long. The
oagle appeared, to the spectators, to betray symptoms of un--
easiness ; for puss hdd extricated herself from the claws of the -
v. ictor, and was now the aggressor, and seizing the bird. by the
throat, inflicted some deadly wounds on the neck and l]iad of
the eagle, which caused it to descend to the earth, lifeless.
Pussy was uninjured, and,, after looking round, and giving
herself a shake or two, returned to her former haunts.
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG.
TO no animal is mankind more indebted for its fidelity and
affection than to the dog. Wherever civilized man may
go, the dog is invariably found to go with .him, and it proves
itself useful in all parts of the world. It is, however, only in
temperate climates that it preserves many of its valuable
qualities. Naturalists divide dogs into several classes:-1.
Mastiffs, including the dog of New Holland, the Danish-dog,
and the varieties of greyhound. 2. The spaniels, including the
spaniel and its varieties, the water-dog, the wolf-dog, the Siblerian
dog, the shepherd's dog, and the alco (or, Peruvian dog.) 3.
Bull-dogs, consisting of the bull-dog and its varieties, the house-
dog, the turnspit, the pug, and others.
One of the most useful varieties of this animal is the shep-
herd's dog. This is distinguished by its upright ears, and the
shagginess of the under part of its tail. It is the most valuable
of farm-dogs. In the northern part of Scotland, where this
species is found in.its greatest purity, its aid is highly necessary
in managing the numerous flocks of sheep which are kept in
those extensive wilds. The dog prevents the sheep from
straggling, and helps the shepherd to conduct them from one
part of the moors to another ; and will not allow strange sheep
to mix with them. When a flock is driven to a distance, the
watchful colley "'keeps them in the road, watches every cross-
28 GLEANINGS IN
way where they would be likely to go astray; and, pursuing
every straggler, drives it back to the flock. When the shepherd
gives a signal, Rover will bring a whole flock to him from a
considerable distance. We have frequently seen sheep conducted
through the crowded streets of London, and have often won-
dered whether the man in charge of them or his dog showed the
greatest skill in. the accomplishment of so difficult a task. At
all events, the driver, one is ready to think, would be almost
helpless without his four-footed companion.
The following simple poem records an instance of the
remarkable sagacity possessed by this animal. The occurrence
which it relates took place in the Scottish Highlands many years
ago, and well deserves to be remembered.
'TwAs in the pleasant month of June,
When hill and valley glows
With purple heath and golden whin,
White tlhurn and crimson rose;
When balmy dews fall soft and sweet,
And linger half the day,
Until the sun, with noontide heat,
Scarce clears them all away.
Near to a mountain high and wild,
A shepherd tended sheep,
And to6k with him his little child,
Up to a craggy steep.
The father and his darling boy
Lay dreaming on the hill:
Above them all was light and joy ;
Around them all was still,
When, hark! a low and distant sound
SOf storm broke on their ear;
He quick arose, and soon he found
Thick mists were gathering near..
The shepherd knew the storm might last
Through all the day till night,
And fear'd his sheep, amid the blast,
Might stray far in their fright.
He kiss'd, and charged his boy to stay-
Close to the shelt'ring steep ;
And, with his dog, he hied away,
To gather in his sheep.
An hour had scarcely pass'd, when back
To the same spot he came;
Call'd on his boy, while rock to rock
Loud echoed back his name.
No voice, no trace, no track was there I
He search'd, he called in vain..
Then home he ran in wild despair,
That he some help might gain..
Then came his friends and neighbours round
They climb'd the rocky height;
The child they sought could not be found,
Although they search'd all night.
Three days and nights they still sought, on ;
Their efborts.all were vain ;.
The shepherd's son was surely gone-
Would ne'er be seen again.
Meantime, the shaggy dog was seen,
When given its daily cake,
With all the bread his teeth between,
The hill-side road to take..
The shepherd, wondering what this meant,
His son still in his mind,
Follow'd the dog one morning, bent
To see what he could find.
Now look! far up yon stony crag,
The dog in haste is gone ;
Then gives his tail a merry wag:
The shepherd, too, went on.
A rocky ledge at length he gain'd;
His heart beat high with joy ;
For lo a cave above contained,
All safe, his darling boy..
The bread the hungry infant took;
The dog sat at his feet;
The cake in two the child quick bloke,
And then they both did eat.
Such feasts of love are seldom seen
In gay and festal halls,
As this poor shepherd saw within
That cavern's rocky walls.
A BOAT'S CREW SAVED BY A DOG.0
THE women weep, the children wail,
Scarce knowing why;
This dog was a noble fellow of the Newfoundland breed,
And men are watching (fix'd and pale)
A fishing-smack with dripping sail,
'Now rolling nigh.
The surf leaps high upon the shore
In cruel sport;
The wild winds in the caverns roar;
The weary fishers ply the oar
To gain the port.
The breakers crash, the sea-gulls screech:
"No hope! No hope l"
How is that fragile boat to reach,
Across such surf, the shingly beach ?
"0 for a rope 1"
'Tis vain.. The boldest and the best
Turn back in fear:
The strongest swimmer dare not breast
Those breakers with the. foamy crest;
For life is dear.
The surf leaps high upon the shore,
So high So high!
The boat obeys her helm no more,
The weary'crew lay downf the oar
To;die.l To die!
Nay! man may fail, though wise and strong
Yet God can save.
A brave dog dashes from the throng,
And throws his shaggy length along
The boiling wave.
The billows suck him in. Ah me!
"Not lost! Not lost !"
Light as a buoy upriseth he,
And, battling with the greedy sea,
The surf hath cross'd.
No strange caprice, no desperate whim,
No senseless hope!
Round, round the boat they see him swim,
With pleading eye and struggling limb,
"Fling him a rope!"
He grasps the hawser with his teeth.
His suit is won;
Back, back, through surf and foamy wreath,
Through whelmingg surge, for life or death:
His task is done.
The rope is strong, the hands are stout:
"Ahoy! Ahoy I"
Like fragile shell, the trembling boat,
Is haul'd ashore, with cheer and shout,
And breathless joy !
Then women's tears of happiness
With praises blend ;
And old men lift their hands and bless,
And strong men fondle and caress,
Their shaggy friend.
I~,,--i;2et~~ "" r~
THE CHICKEN AND DOG.
IN past times, foxes were much preserved, and made con
siderable havoc with the hens that strayed from the houses
appropriated to them. One hen was a determined truant; it was
most singular that she was not destroyed, as well as her nest
of eggs ; but, having been a kitchen pet, she, perhaps, sought
zuccour of the old rough dog. Instinct, I suppose, led her to
try his house for a nest; and when he was stretched out in
the sun, she hopped in, and deposited her egg in his kennel.
Now there was no room in the kennel for two families; so
36 GLEANINGS IN "
when she came forth, and had told her secret by the usual
cackle, the dog very cautiously crept in, and most carefully
taking the egg.in his mouth, he backed out without even turning
round, and going to the extremity of the chain, deposited it
safely on the ground before the house. The position of the eggs
for two following days caused observation; and, discovering
himself watched upon the third morning, he found himself
rewarded by an extra bone from the good mistress.
MR. HUDSON GURNEY'S DOG.
THIS touching tale, was told by a friend of the late Mr.
Hudson Gurney.. He sas.:---" One morning I was sitting on
business with Mr. Gurney, when I heard a pattering of feet
behind, and the door silently opened. I turned to see who was
listening to us, and the Newfoundland dog quietly entered the
room, and, standing in the centre, looked on me coldly, and on
his master kindly. This,' said Mr. Hudson, is one of my most
faithful friends; he has come to pay me his usual morning
visit.' Turning to the dog he continued, 'I'm a little better
to-day, but not much; one morning.you will miss me : I shall
be dead.' The dog, as though endowed with human instinct,
gave a.low moan, and advancing to his master, placed his huge
paw, with a gentleness that would hardly have crushed a fly,
on Mr. Gurney's knee;. that done, he raised himself on his hind
legs, and placed the other on Mr. Gurney's shoulder, and, licking
his face, seemed to pat him on his back with an expression of
countenance which Almost said,'Come, come, don't .b down-
hearted! 'You are very-bad, but you'll get better by-and-byhf
16 ~ I I i
Mr. Gurney perfectly understood him, since he replied, It's no
use; I tell you I shall die!' The dog moaned again. .'And
now,' continued the owner of Keswick, 'you must go ; for I
am busy with this gentleman.' The dog looked at his master,
then. at me, and then silently quitted the room. A month or co
after, Mr. Gurney was a corpse."
THE FIREMEN'S DOG, BOB.
A FEW years ago, it was no uncommon sight in London
streets to see a dog rushing before the fire engine, and, by his
barking, helping in some measure to clear the way. Bob, as he
was called, belonged to one of the stations, and became so
accustomed to this peculiar calling that as soon as the fire-bell
sounded he hastened to the street and waited most impatiently
for the horsing of the engine, the mounting of the men, and the
Yes, he loves those trampling horses,
Dashing on with steady power,
Hasting to the place of danger,
And he clears the way before."
He was much loved by all the men of the fire brigade, and many
interesting stories are told of his remarkable instinct, and he has
left an example from which we might take some valuable
At one fire he was the means of saving the life of a little
girl. It was supposed that all those who were in the burning
house had been rescued. Bob was not to be seen, but above
the crackling of burning timbers, the splashing of the water as
it leaped into the fiery vortex, and the shouts of the crowd, the
men heard the barking of their faithful companion. With some
difficulty they managed to reach the place and found Bob outside
a door to which he did what he could to direct their attention.
The door was soon knocked in, when a little girl was found
standing in childish terror, and was safely brought into the
street. Bob licks the little girl as if to express the pleasure he
felt in being thus able to save her life, and as if certain that no
other lives are in danger lies donw to rest. Well done, brasv
40 GLEANINGS IN
At another fire, when it was known that all the persons had
been rescued, Bob was seen to rush -forward and enter the
building, much to the sorrow of the men who were afraid that
they should lose their old friend. They watched anxiously for
him, when he was seen to emerge from the burning house,
carrying in his mouth a poor tabby cat,-
"Conquering prejudice and passion-
What could man himself do more ?
O, good Bob; he had his mission
In our selfish world of crime;
Teaching virtue by example,
Unto this and future time."
Brave Bob met his death whilst in the path of duty ; he was
knocked down and killed whilst hasting to a fire.
"HIT him, when he's down," we have heard some unthinking
people say.: But that is not fair ; indeed, it is best not to hit at
all, up or down, if you can avoid it.
There are many people, both boys and men, who are very
cowardly, and who do not dare to try to hurt the people who are
not down, but always kick the falling, and hit those the hardest
who are badly off.
Such people are like some dogs I have read of ;-a family of
terriers who were all very good friends with each other, and with
two big rough-haired deer-hounds. In-doors they were all
allowed to go into the parlour, and some of them got on chairs,
some in the corners, some on the hearth-rug; but all as neai the
fire as they could. There they lay, blinking at the blaze, full of
content,-never fighting. Out of doors they made sad. havoc
amongst the hares and rabbits, when they went with -their
master in his rambles in the woods. As long a's there was any-
42 LEANINGS IN
thing to run down, they were all of one mind. If one dog
started a hare or a rabbit, he yelped vigorously, and helter-skelter
away the whole pack scampered after him. But one fine day
one of the terriers tr'od.na a trap, and made music in a new key.
Off ran master and dogs:_ The first dog that came up forthwith
fell on the unfortun .iu ei.-.r oni in the trap, and began to
worry him. Then :nru.- the liels, and at once there was a
battle royal, so that the master had to use his ash stick freely
about him before he could scatter them. The captive was not
much hurt, but went on as did the others, as though it was all
right, and only to be expected that when one dog is down, that
is the time for other dogs to worry, and for himself to be
Children should be much wiser and better than dogs. They
should pity those who have got into trouble; they should not
attack the defenceless, but rather be glad to help and do them
Boys! when "he's down," don't hit him ; but take sides with
them who have no friends.
NATURAL HISTORY. 43
O NE of my early friends was a hedgehog. He was a solemn
sort of animal, somewhat advanced in life, when I was a
very small boy, who had to learn from him that if we touch
bristles they will prick. Most likely that old playmate is dead,
and no one has written his life ; but as all hedgehogs are alike,
what I write about the genus will describe him, because there is
very little distinctive about any one of them in particular.
They have no kings, as men have; they write no books ; they
get themselves no individual character ; they are just hedgehogs,
and nothing more. Their bodies are covered with spines ; not
with hair, like so many other quadrupeds. The skin of their
backs has muscles, by which they are able to roll themselves up
like a ball; they have short one-inch tails, and feet with five
toes ; their nose is long, and their nostrils on each bide furnished
with a loose flap ; their ears are dark, short, round, and naked ;
and part of their face and sides are covered with strong, coarse
hair; so that it would be too flattering to say they are beautiful.
They often live in small thickets; they eat fruit that they
find on the ground, and insects, and roots.' They have not by
any means a delicate stomach, for they can, and do, eat hundreds
of Spanish flies without any pain ; while if a dog or cat ate
one, it would suffer horrible torment.
Some people tame hedgehogs, and keep them in their houses.
My old friend was of that sort; he worked for his living, being
employed as domestic cockroach killer, and he seemed to thrive
well in his situation.
But favour me by looking at the picture again. I say again,
because I know well enough you looked at the picture before
you read two lines of what I have written. Well, you see there
are two dogs and a rblli-eL-u hb.:1-:1,:.g. And the case is this:
these dogs have laer a n.l,- .:, and seeing a hedgehog
they have given ;t :!,. i I,,:y ..:.:ted to be rewarded for
their race by worrying the poor animal; but now they get up to
it they are wofully disappointed, because, knowing its danger,
the hedgehog has wrapped itself up within itself, and put out
its bristles, so that the soft-mouthed-logs dare not touch it.
This pretty picture makes me think of many things besides
dogs and hedgehogs. I have often seen the same sort of thing
amongst boys. and men. They have pursued some pleasure,
expected some delight, spent much time about it, and after all,
NATURAL HISTORY. 45
have been disappointed. It was covered all over with bristles,
and to have touched it would have pricked them.
Some of our companions have been rather.like that living
ball. They were pleasant enough to begin with; they played
48 GLEANINGS IN
without quarrelling; talked without snarling; walked about
with us lovingly ; when all at once they rolled themselves
up, put out their spikes, and there was no pleasing them, and
no getting close to them. I am afraid, too, that if some of
them wrote our lives with woodcuts, they might borrow this
picture, and say that illustrates our occasional characteristic.
With our friends, who only mean well to us, and wish to be
playful, it is not good to be too much like the hedgehog,-vory
skilful in raising-points; but when bad people come to us, and
when people want to worry us and do us harm: hunt us away
from our homes and our purity, from our schools and our
chapels, I think ve c eannut do better than imitate the hedgehog,
-put out .ll ii iad do not let them touch us. There
is no doubt wihe n this animal, and gave it power to do
as is represented in the picture, He intended it to use that power
in self-defence ; and when He gave us a mind by which to choose
good instead of evil, and a tongue with which to say No I" if
asked to sin, He intended us to declare our choice of the good.
So, dear children, do not bristle up, and get into naughty
tempers, when your companions wish to be loving and playful,
or your parents require of you what they decide to be best ; do,
then, not imitate the hedgehog.
But if you are tempted to do wrong, to tell lies, to swear, to
steal, to play truant, or to be mean, then put out your defence
against all such temptations ; make it hard for them to get at
you. Be like the hedgehog, guarded all over; so that tempters
may say, it is not very easy to handle those children ; and they
may be disappointed like the two dogs in the picture.
THE SEAL AND THE WALRUS.
SEALS are a tribe of flesh-eating animals, that live at their
pleasure on the land or in the water. In their construction
they exhibit a beautiful example of the adaptation of living
creatures to the station appointed them by their Creator. While
the rest of the great family to which they belong are confined
to the land, on which they find their prey, tho species of which
the seal is a member are natives of the water, where they pursue
fishes and other marine creatures as their food. Their limbs are
short, and so inclosed in their skin at to ive them the power of
creeping only, and that with great awkwardness, when they
move from place to place on the land; but as their feet are
webbed, they serve admirably the purpose of oars ; and such is
their natural use. In fact, these animals pass a great portion
of their life in the sea, only coming occasionally on shore to
bask in the sun, or to suckle their young. In form, their body
is long and tapering; the spine very flexible, and provided with
muscles, which bend it with great force. Their fur is smooth
and close, lying against the skin.
The teeth of the seal show that its proper food is flesh.
The feet have five toes; on the fore feet these diminish gradu-
ally from what is called the "thumb" to the last ; but on the
hind feet, the thumb and the last are the longest. The tail,
which is short, is placed between the hind paws or flippers,"
which are directed backwards. The head resembles that of a
short-muzzled dog, aid has an expression of great intelligence
NATURAL HISTORY. 49
and mildness, agreeing with its actual character; for the Seal
is easily tamed, and becomes much attached to its master. The
tongue is smooth ; the nostrils are furnished with a kind of
valve, which is shut when the animal dives; the ears, which
open behind the eyes, are also capable of being closed, so as to
prevent the entrance of water.
The COMMON SEAL inhabits the rocky coasts of Scotland and
Ireland, and is abundant along the northern shores of Europe
and America ; and either the same species, or one very like it, is
found in the Caspian Sea, and in the fresh-water lakes of Russia
and Siberia. Its usual length is about five feet: its colour
yellowish grey, dappled with brown and yellow ; the lips are
furnished with long, stiff whiskers; and it has no outward
The seal is gregarious-that is, living in herds-in its habits.
It frequents the deep recesses and caverns on the shores of
northern seas, where during winter it brings up its young. The
female takes its cubs, which are usually two, into the water,
and displays great solicitude for their safety; she teaches them
to swim and pursue the fish on which they prey, and when they
are tired, carries them on her back.
From the nature of its food, it has a fishy smell; and it is
said that when collected in numbers on the shore, the odour can
be perceived at a considerable distance. Its voice when old is
a hoarse, gruff bark; when young, a plaintive whine.
To the Esquimaux and Greenlanders this animal is of the
utmost importance; indeed their main subsistence may be said
to depend upon their success in capturing it. Its pursuit is
bO GLEANINGS IN
therefore with them a serious occupation. In his boat, or
kajak, which consists of the skin of the seal stretched over a
slight framework of wood, the Greenlander in his seal-skin dress
braves the violence of the northern seas, and every peril of the
deep, in the ardour of the chase.
"There, tumbling in their seal-skin boat,
Fearless, the hungry fishers float,
And from teeming seas supply
The food their niggard plains deny."
The flesh of this creature, says a naturalist named Crantz,
"supplies the natives with their most palatable and substantial
articles of diet. The fat furnishes them with oil for lamp-light;
chamber and kitchen fire; and whoever sees their habitations,
presently finds that even if they had an abundance of wood, it
would not be of much use ; they can use nothing but train-oil
in their habitations. They also soften their dry food, mostly
fish, in the oil; and, finally, they barter it with the traders for
all kinds of necessaries.
"They can sew better with fibres of the seal's sinews, than.
with thread or silk. Of the skins of the internal parts they make
their windows, curtains for their tents, and even shirts. Of the
skins of seals they stand in the greatest need, because they must
cover with them both their large and small boats, in which they
travel and seek their provisions. They must also cut their
thongs or straps out of them, and cover their tents with them,
without which they could not subsist in summer. Therefore
no man can pass for a right and true Greenlander who cannot
catch seals. This is the great end to which they aspire in all
their labour from their childhood upwards." To make himself
a useful or good member of the community on the dreary shores
of Greenland, the art of capturing this animal, dangerous and
difficult as it is, must be perfectly learned by every native.
The ships engaged in the fishery are sent out principally from
Hamburg, and from Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland. They
penetrate the ice in a more daring manner even than the whalers,
and are, therefore, more exposed to the accidents attending
navigation in Polar seas. A crew, being provided with seal-
clubs and knives, by careful management of their boats occa-
sionally surprise a herd on an ice-field or floe, before the animals,
which are very watchful, take the alarm. If the men can
contrive to cut off the communication with the water, or with
those openings in the ice near which the seals commonly lie for
the sake of security, they will sometimes kill two-thirds of the
troop. Though the seal is remarkably tenacious of life, yet it is
easily killed by a blow on the nose, or at least sufficiently
stunned to allow of others being attacked before the herd can
effect an escape. If the sailors perceive that a herd which they
are approaching have taken an alarm, and are making off, they
raise loud shouts, arresting the attention of their victims, who
stop to ascertain whence such an unwonted sound proceeds.
The men thus gain time to approach, and often obtain many of
The persons accustomed to this chase will pursue the seals
over detached pieces of ice, jumping from one to another, at
great risk of their lives. In. such cases, every man, when he
kills a seal, flenses ("flays") it on the spot, and drags the
blubber and skin over the ice to his boat. When a crew have
. GLEANINGS IN
succeeded in surprising a large number, on one field, a man is
left on the ice to flay the carcases, while his companions
pursue another herd at some other spot.
Whalers always take out seal-clubs as part of their equipment,
and one ship has been known to obtain a cargo of from four to
five thousand seals, yielding nearly a hundred tons of oil.
They are not only hunted in the way represented in the Cut,
but are followed into the hollows in the rocks and caverns in
which, at certain times, they collect in great numbers. This is
done in the months of October and November, at night by torch-
light. The hunters being properly stationed, and armed with
clubs, alarm the poor animals by shouts and noises; when,
terrified by the uproar, and confused by the light, they hurry
from the ledges of the rocks and places where they rest, and
tumultuously endeavour to escape. The work of slaughter now
begins, their pursuers knocking them on the head with their
clubs, so as to stfin them, or kill them outright.
SThe uses of the seal are numerous and important. The oil
obtairied from its fat, or blubber, is better than that from the
whale; and a full-growfi one will yield from eight to twelve
gallons. The skin, with the hair on, is used for covering trunks,
dtc., and when tanned, forms an excellent leather.
The oil is obtained by putting the blubber, cut up into small
pieces, into large vats; the heat of the sun, in time, causes a
great part to.run into oil, which is drawn off at side apertures;
the refuse is boiled in coppers, and an inferior quality procured.
There is a large fishery for seals on the Caspian Sea.
The seal,-thodgh the ears are cropped close to the head, has
a most.delicate sense of hearing, and delights in musical sounds,
a fact not unknown to the ancients. In an account of voyage
54 GLEANINGS IN
to Spitzbergen, it is stated that a number of seals would sur-
round the vessel, and follow it for miles when a violin was
played on deck.
Among many instances of the taming of this creature, and
its use in fishing, I select the following anecdote, with which I
will close this description of it. "In January, 1819, a gentleman
in the neighbourhood of Burntisland, in the county of Fife,
Scotland, succeeded in completely taming a seal. Its-singular
habits attracted the curiosity of strangers. It appeared to
possess all the sagacity of a dog, lived in its master's house,
and ate from his hand. In his fishing excursions, its owner
generally took it with him, when it afforded no small entertain-
ment. If thrown into the water, it would follow for miles
the track of the boat; and though thrust back by the oars, it
never gave up its purpose. Indeed, it struggled so hard to
regain its seat, that one would imagine that its fondness for its
master had entirely overcome the natural desire to be at large
in its native element."
The principal'parts for which the WALRUS, which is a species
of seal, is taken, are the two tusks, the ivory of which is of a
superior quality. It is employed for most purposes to which
that of the elephant's tusk is adapted, and is preferred by
dentists for the purpose of making artificial teeth. The skin of
the walrus is used for mats, and for covering ropes exposed to
much rubbing. When cut into shreds,-and plaited, it forms
strong and durable ropes, exceeding those of hemp for some
purposes. The Russians are most successful in the chase of the
NATURAL HISTORY. 55
As the animal is large, powerful, and fearless, the attack of
it is not without danger, especially since, from the strength of
its hide and the solidity of the skull, a musket is of little avail,
unless a bullet be employed and the eye be hit. Sailors, when
exposed in boats to the attack of walruses, disperse them by
throwing sand into their eyes. They are usually killed by means
of spears, lances, and knives.
W IIALES so much resemble fish in their outward form,
that they are almost universally regarded as fish by the
greater part of people. If, however, we examine their structure
carefully, we shall find that they differ from quadruped animals
only in their organs of motion. They have warm blood; they
breathe the air of the atmosphere only, by means of lungs ; and
the female whale suckles her young in the same manner as
The body and tail of this animal are continuous, the latter
tapering gradually, and ending in a large, horizontal, gristly fin.
Hind feet are entirely wanting, but their position is marked by
two small bones, which are found wrapped in the skin. The
fore feet have outwardly the form of fins or flippers ; but they
have the same bones as those of quadrupeds, flattened, however,
and shortened, and inclosed in a sinewy covering. The head is
of an enormous size, often being equal to a third of the whole
animal, and the opening of the mouth is of corresponding
dimensions. The neck is very short, and to any one who looks
at the living whale, seems altogether wanting. At the top of
the whale's head are its nostrils, dr blow-holes, through which
the.air passes to its lungs when it rises 'to the surface of the
water in order to breathe. The skin is entirely without hair;
and beneath it is a thick coating of oily fat, commonly called
NATURAL HISTORY. 57
" blubber," which enwraps the whole animal. The eyes are
exceedingly small, considering the bulk of the creature, and
there are no visible signs of-ears. The senses of these huge
inhabitants of the deep do not appear to be very acute. The
sea affords them abundance of food, which they are able to
procure without much difficulty; and they find in their great
size and strength a protection against most dangers.
The common or Greenland wlfale is without teeth ; but, in
their place, the upper jaw is furnished with cross layers of a
horny substance, called "baleen," or whalebone, which, at the
edges, split into long, slender fringes. This species is productive
of more oil than any other; and being less active, slower in its
motion, and more timid than the rest of its kind, of similar size,
is more easily captured.
The whale which frequents the Greenland seas is, when fully
grown, from fifty to sixty feet in length, and its greatest cir-
cumference from thirty to forty. The ordinary weight is about
seventy tons. When the mouth is extended, it presents an
opening large enough to contain a boat full of men, being six
or eight feet wide, ten or twelve feet high in front, and fifteen
or sixteen long.
These animals have no voice, but in breathing or blowing
make a very loud noise: the vapour which they discharge from
their nostrils is thrown up to the height of some yards, and
appears at a distance, like a puff of smoke. The usual rate at
which they swim seldom exceeds four miles an hour; and
though their greatest speed may be at the rate of eight or nine,
this never continues longer than for a few minutes, before it is
lessened to almost one-half. They can also rise from a great
depth with such rapidity as to leap entirely out of the water;
which feat they sometimes perform apparently as an amusement,
NATURAL HISTORY. 59
to the no small terror of inexperienced pursuers. At times they
throw themselves into an upright position, with their heads
downwards, and, rearing their tails on high, beat the water with
tremendous violence: the sea is then thrown into foam, and the
air filled with Vapours ; the noise is heard, in calm weather, to a
great distance ; and the waves occasioned by the blows of the
tail extend a considerable space around: Sometimes the monster
shakes its tail in the air, which, cracking like a whip, resounds
to a distance of two or three miles.
Whales usually remain at the surface to breathe about two
minutes, seldom longer, during which they "blow" eight or
nine times ; they then descend for an interval of five or ten
minutes, but sometimes, when feeding fifteen or twenty. When
struck by a harpoon, they have been known to descend to a
depth of a mile, and with such force that instances have occurred
in which they have broken their jaw-bones by their dashing
against the bottom of the sea. Their food consists of small
shell-fish, star-fish, etc. When feeding, they swim with con-
siderable speed, below the surface, with their jaws open; so
that a stream of water enters the mouth, bearing along with it
large quantities of marine insects. The water escapes at the
sides, but the food is caught and strained by the whalebone,
which, is so arranged that not a particle of the size of the
smallest grain can be lost.
These great animals are generally found solitary, or in pairs,
excepting when drawn to the same spot by an abundance of
attractive food. They are most frequently met with in the
frozen seas of Greenland, and Davis's Straits ; also in' Baffin's
60 GLEANINGS IN
and Hudson's Bays, in the sea to the northward of Behring's
Straits, and along some parts of the northern shores of Asia,
and also probably of America.
The affections of the whale towards its own kind appear to
be strong. The whalers are in the habit of taking advantage of
the love of the old one for itr offspring, to entice it into their
snares; and the plan often succeeds when probably no other
would. The cut, though of little value in itself, is struck, to
induce the motl-'r to come to its help. "In this case," says
Captain Scoresby, "she joins it at the surface of the water,
when it has occasion to rise for breathing; encourages it to
swim off ; assists its flight, by taking it under her fin ; and
seldom deserts it b while life remains. She is then dangerous to
approach; but affords frcquen. opportunities for attack. She
loses all regard foi her personal safety in anxiety for the pre-
servation of her young; she dashes through the midst of her
enemies ; despises the danger that threatens her; and even
voluntarily remains with her offspring after various attacks on
herself from the harpoons of her assailants.
"In June, 1811, one of mj harpooners struck a sucker, with
a hope of its leading to the capture of its mother. Presently
she arose by the boat whence the harpoon had been thrown, and
seizing the young one, dragged out nearly a hundred fathoms of
line with remarkable velocity. Again. she rose to the surface;
darted furiously to and fro; frequently stopped short, or sud-
denly changed her direction ; and gave every possible indication
of her extreme agony. For a length of time she continued
thus to act, though closely pursued by the boats ; and inspired
NATURAL HISTORY. 61
with courage and resolution by her concern for her cub, seemed
regardless of the danger which surrounded her. At length one
of the boats approached so near that a harpoon was thrown.
It hit her, but did not fasten itself. A second was thrown, and
this also failed to pierce the skin. A third was more successful,
and held. Still she did not attempt to escape, but allowed
other boats to come near; so that, in a few minutes, three more
harpoons were fastened; and in the course of an hour after-
wards she was killed."
The two instruments used in the capture of the whale are
the harpoon and the lance. The former is made of iron, and is
about three feet in length, ending in an arrow-shaped head, each
of the two branches of which has on the inner side a smaller
barb turned backwards, resembling the beard of a fish-hook.
When this instrument is forced, by a blow, into the body of a
whale, and the line fastened to it is held tight, the barbs seize
the strong fibres of the blubber, and prevent its being withdrawn.
The animal is thus held fast, the harpoon being attached to a
line. The lance is a spear of iron, six feet in length, ending in
a head of steel, made very thin and sharp, seven or eight inches
in length, and two or two and a-half in breadth. These two
instruments, together with lines, boats, and oars, form all the
necessary apparatus for the taking of this large creature.
The usual stay of a whale under water after being struck, is
thirty minutes. The longer it is in returning to the surface, the
easier is its capture. When it re-appears, the boats hasten
towards it, and as many harpoons and lances are plunged into
it as possible. When the enormous animal expires, the sea
around is covered with its blood, and the_ ice, boats, and men
are sometimes drenched with it. Its death is preceded by a
final struggle, in which its tail, reared aloft, and whirled and
jerked in the air, makes a noise that may be heard for miles.
T HIS interesting animal is about two feet in length; its
body thick and heavy; the head flattened, and somewhat
arched at the front ; the snout much so. The eyes are placed
rather high in the head, and the pupils are rounded ; the ears
are short, and almost concealed by the fur. The skin is covered
by two sorts of hair, of which one is long, rather stiff, elastic,
and of a gray colour for two-thirds of its length next the root,
and ending in shining, reddish-brown points ; the other is short,
thick, tufted, and soft, being of different shades of silver-gray
or light lead-colour. The hair is shortest on the head and feet.
The hind legs are longer than the fore, and are completely
webbed. The tail is eleven inches long, and, except where nearest
the body, is covered with six-sided scales. The part next the
body is provided with hair like that on the back.
The food of the beaver consists chiefly of the bark of the
aspen, willow, birch, poplar, and occasionally alder ; it rarely
resorts to the pine, unless from severe necessity.
It is only in a state of nature that this creature shows any
.of those peculiar modes of acting which have rendered the
species remarkable. Beavers are not particular as to the site
which they select for their dwellings, but if it is a lake or pond,
where a dam is not required, they are careful to build where the
water is sufficiently deep to prevent their being frozen fast in
64 GLEANINGS IN
their huts during winter. In standing waters, however, they
have not the advantage afforded by a current for the transporta-
tion of their supplies of wood, which, when they build on a
running stream, is always cut higher up than the place of their
residence, and floated down to it.
The materials used for the construction of their dams are
the trunks of trees and branches of small birch, mulberry,
willow, and poplar trees, etc. They begin to cut down their
timber for building early in the summer, but do not set about
building until the middle or latter part of August, and the work
is not completed till the arrival of the cold season. The strength
of their teeth, and their perseverance may be estimated by the
size of the trees which they cut down for their purposes. One
naturalist informs us that he saw a mulberry tree, eight inches in
diameter, which had been brought down by the beaver ; while
on the Little Maine river, in North America, there were shown
several stumps of trees, that had evidently been felled by these
animals, which were five or six inches in diameter. The trees
ara cut in such a way as to fall into the water, and they are
then floated towards the site of the dam or dwellings. Small
shrubs, cut at a distance, they drag by their teeth to the.stream,
and then launch and tow to the required position. At a short
distance above a beavers' dam, the number of trees which they
have hewn down appears truly surprising ; and the regularity of
the stumps might lead persons unacquainted with the habits of
the animals to believe the clearing to be the result of human
The figure of the dam varies according to circumstances:
NATURAL HISTORY. 65
should the current be very gentle, it is carried nearly straight
across ; but when the stream is swift, it is uniformly made with
a curve, having the convex, or outer side, opposed to the current.
Along with the trunks and branches of trees, they intermingle
mud and stones, to give the structure greater firmness. When
dams have been long undisturbed and often repaired, they
66 LEANINGS- IN
become very solid : -and their power of resistance to the pressure
of water, or masses of ice, is greatly increased by the willow
and birch sometimes taking rcot, and growing up into something
like a regular hedge.
The dwellings of beavers are made of the same materials as
their dams, and are very rude. In forming them, they place
most of the wood crosswise, and nearly horizontally, observing
no other order than that of leaving an opening in the middle.
Branches projecting inwards are cut off with their teeth, and
thrown among the rest.. The houses are not composed of sticks,
and then plastered, but'of all the materials used in the dams,-
sticks, mud, and stones, if the latter can be procured. The mud
is obtained from the banks or bottom of the stream, or pond,
near the.entrance of the hut, The beaver always carries mud or
stones by holding his burden between his fore paws and throat.
The entrance to the dwelling is invariably on the side farthest
from land, and is.near the foundation, or a considerable depth
under water ; this is the only way of access to the interior.
The musk rat is sometimes found to have taken up his abode
in the homes of the beaver.. The otter, also, occasionally
intrudes ;he, however, is a. dangerous guest, for, should provi-
sions grow scarce, it is not uncommon for him to devour his
host. All the individuals of a community of beavers- do not
unite in constructing houses for the whole ; the only work on
which they labour in concert is the dam. Beavers also make
hollows, or washes in the banks adjoining their dwellings.
These "washes" are so enlarged within, that they can raise
their heads above water, so as to breathe without being seen .
NATURAL HISTORY. 67
and when disturbed at their huts, they for -greater safety swim
under the surface of the stream or pond to these excavations, in
which, alas for them! they are easily taken by the hunters.
The beaver abounds in the higher latitudes of North America;
and-if it be indeed the same species--is found also in various
parts of Europe and the north of Asia; as, for example, along
the course of the Rhone, the Danube, and the Weser. It would
appear that at one period it also. existed in Great Britain ; but
when it became extinct cannot now be traced. Its flesh is
delicious; but it is not so much for this, as for its valuable fur,
that a war of merciless extermination is carried on against this
Far in the north if thou sail with me
A wonderful creature I'll show to thee,
As gentle and mild as a lamb at play,
Slipping about in the month of May;
Yet wise as any old learned sage
Who sits turning over a musty page;
"Come down to this lonely river's bank,
See, driven-in stake and riven plank;
A mighty work before thee stands
That would do no shame to human hands.
A well-built dam to stem the tide
Of this northern river so strong and wide.
"Look the woven bough of many a tree,
And a wall of fairest masonry; .
The waters cannot o'erpass this bound,
For a hundred keen eyes watch it round ;
And the skill that raised can keep it good
Against the peril of storm and flood.
"And yonder, the peaceable creatures dwell
Secure in their watery citadel;
They know no sorrow, have done no sin;
Happy they live 'mongst kith and kin-
As happy as living things can be,
Each in the midst of his family ;
Ay, there they live, and the hunter wild
Seeing their social natures mild,
Seeing how they are kind and good,
Hath felt his stubborn soul subdued;
And the very sight of the young at play
Hath put his hunter's heart away;
And a mood of pity hath o'er him crept,
As he thought of his own dear babes and wept.0
I know ye are but the beavers small,
Living at peace in your own mud wall;
I know that ye have no books to teach
The lore that lies within your reach.
But what ? Five thousand years ago
Ye knew as much as now ye know ;
And on the banks of streams that sprung
Forth when the earth itself was young,
Your wondrous works were formed as true.;
For the All-Wise instructed you I
But man I how hath he pondered on
Through the long term of ages gone;
And many a cunning book hath writ,
Of learning deep and subtle wit;
Hath compass'd sea, hath compass'd land,
Hath built up towers and temples grand,
Hath travel' d far for hiddendlore,
And learned what was not known of yore
Yet after all, though wise he be,
He hath no better skill than ye I"
S QUIRRELS dre among the most elegant and lively of
quadrupeds; their bright, beautiful eye, their archness,
and their light and nimble movements, render them general
favourites. This animal," says Pennant, "is remarkably neat,
lively, active, and provident; never leaves its food to chance,
but secures, in some hollow tree, a vast magazine of nuts for
winter provision. In the summer it feeds on the buds and young
shoots, and is particularly fond of those of the fir and pine, and
also of young cones. Its makes its nest of moss and dry
leaves, between the fork of two branches." White, in his
delightful history of Selborne, mentions a case in which a boy
(a cruel one, we should think) took from their nest three young
squirrels. These he put under the care of a cat, which had
lately lost her kittens, and found that she nursed them with the
same assiduity as if they had been her own ofspring. So many
people went to look at the strange scene, that the foster-mother,
becoming jealous fo her charge, and in pain for their safety,
hid them over the ceiling.
In captivity the common squirrel is never at rest; and it is a
sad sight to look on one of the most agile of creatures condemned
to tread the same unvaried round in a wheel. We should be
sorry to think that any of our dear young readers could be so
unfeeling as to keep one of these active little animals in a cage,
NATURAL HISTORY. 71
as we have heard of some boys doing, and thus deprive it of
freedom and enjoyment. Rather would we like you to be able
to watch them, as we have often done, springing lightly and
7 GLEANINGS IN
gracefully from branch to branch of some forest-tree. You
would catch the glance of a bright, black eye, fixed inquiringly
ipon you from beneath the fluttering leaves. Our little favour-
ites are very fond of nuts ; but we should not like young people
to crack them as they do. We do remember seeing some chil-
dren crack an almost incredible number of nuts, in a short time,
with their teeth. The practice is a very bad one, and likely, in
its consequences, to be long and painfully felt. We will close
our brief sketch, by quoting a few of some merry verses thai
we once read :-
To the very top of the tall nut-trees
The frost King seem'd to ride;
With his wand he stirs the chestnut-burrs,
And straight they are opened wide;
And squirrels and children together dream
Of the coming winter's hoard ;
And many, I ween, are the chestnuts seen
In hole or in garret stored.
The children are sleeping in feather-beds,-
Poor Bun in his mossy nest I
He courts repose, with his tail on his nose;
On the others, 'warm blankets rest.
"The squirrel had on, when he first awoke,
All the clothing he could command;
And his breakfast was light, he just took a bite
Of an acorn that lay at hand :
SAnd then he was off to the trees to work;
While the children some time it takes
To dress, and to eat what they think meet
Of coffee and buckwheat cakes.
o o 0 0 0
"'0, there is a heap of chestnuts, see l'
Cried the youngest of the train;
For they came to a stone where the squirrel had thrown
What he meant to pick up again.
"And two bright eyes from the tree o'erhead,
Look down at the open bag-
Where the nuts went in ; and so to begin
Almost made his courage flag.
"The work was ended; the trees were stripp'd;
The children were 'tired of play;'
And they forgot (but the squirrel did not)
The wrong they had done that day."
T HE Ibex, or "wild goat," is mentioned several times in
Scripture. We are told that Saul "took three thousand
chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his
men upon the rocks of the wild goats." (1 Sam. xxiv. 2.) The
animal which is here spoken of as inhabiting "the rocks," has
large knotted horns, reclining backwards ; a small head; large
eyes; a thick, short, strong body; strong legs; very short
hoofs; and a short tail. Its body is of a deep brown colour,
with a mixture of whitish hairs; its belly is of a tawny white ;
and its legs are partly black, partly white. Ibexes are seldom
found, except in the most precipitous and inaccessible heights
of lofty mountains, where they assemble in small flocks, some-
times consisting of ten or twelve individuals. During the night
they feed in the highest woods, but at sunrise they again
ascend the mountains, till they have reached the most perilous
These animals are remarkably swift, and display amazing
agility and dexterity in leaping. The men who hunt them must
be able to look down from fearful precipices without terror, and
must be sure-footed, as well as possess great strength and
activity. One danger in hunting the Ibex is, that when closely
pressed, it sometimes turns upon its pursuer, and tumbles him
down the precipices, unless he has time to lie down, and permit
the animal to pass over him.
NATURAL HISTORY. 75
These singular creatures will mount an almost perpendicular
rock, fifteen feet in height: in three successive bounds, they
appear just to touch it, and spring off again, like a piece of
indiarubber striking a hard body. Their fore legs being much
shorter than the hinder, enables them to ascend more easily than
descend, and hence, when they are pursued by hunters, they
always try to gain the higher parts of the mountains.
76 GLEANINGS IN
The Ibex inhabits a chain of mountains in Asia Minor, of
which Mount Taurus forms a part. In Europe it is found on
the Carpathians and Pyrenees, and in the Grisons, and other
parts of the Alps. It is also found among the Sinai mountains,
where it is pursued much in the same manner as it is in the
Alps. The hunters try to get above a flock, and to surprise
them at early day. But it is difficult to get near them, for they
have a leader, who acts as a sentinel, and gives notice on the
occurrence of any suspicious sight, sound, or smell. On the
smallest alarm, the whole flock retreats to a higher peak, leaving
their pursuers to follow them by circuitous and dangerous paths,
which often render the chase in vain.
"The high hills," said David, "are a refuge for the wild
goats." When Saul is said to have pursued David into such
places as the Ibex inhabits, we see both the extreme danger of
the future King of Israel, and the eagerness with which his
wicked father-in-law hunted him in order to take his life.
THE Day of Atonement was the most important in the
Jewish year. In the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus is
set forth the way in which it was to be observed :-" On the
tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atone-
ment: it shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall
afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the
Lord. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a
day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the
NATURAL IIISTORY. 77
Lord your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be
afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his
people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that
same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
Ye shall do no manner of work : it shall be a statute for ever
throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be
unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls."-
78 GLEANINGS IN
In these verses we see what importance God attached to the
proper observance of the great day of national humiliation, the
only one commanded in the law of Moses. It was on this occa-
sion only that the high priest was permitted to enter into the
Holy of Holies. The high priest and his family were cleansed,
and sacrifices, purchased at the high priest's own cost, made on
account of them. Atonement was also made by the purified
priest for the sanctuary and all contained in it. For a sin-
offering in behalf of the people, two young goats, with a ram
for a burnt-offering, were to be paid for out of the public
treasury. When the two goats were presented before the door
of the tabernacle, Aaron was directed to cast lots upon them,
one lot being "for Jehovah," the other "for Azazel," or "the
Scapegoatt" The one on which the lot "for Jehovah" had
fallen, was appointed to be slain, and its blood sprinkled before
the Mercy-seat; on the head of the other the priest was directed
to lay his hands ahd to confess the sins of the people. The
animal was then led away, by a man chosen for the purpose, into
the wilderness, into a land not inhabited," and was there let
Both these goats were types of Christ. The slaying of the
one was intended to represent the death and passion of Jesus
for us; the scapegoat was an emblem of His resurrection for
our deliverance.. The goat's being sent into the wilderness also
signified the removal of sins far away both from the people, and
out of God's sight.. Being neglected by all men, and exposed
to many hazards in the desert to which it was led, the victim
might further signify u'r Lord'a being forsaken both by God
and men, even by His own disciples, and the many dangers and
sufferings He underwent. Indeed, the whole of the ceremonies
of the great Day of Atonement pointed to ONE who should in
due time take away the sin of the world," and for whose sake
God would remember the sins and iniquities of the truly penitent
believer in Him no more.
The Jewish Mishna,-a book which professes to explain the
Word of God, and which was written probably in the second
century after Christ,-contains several curious particulars con-
cerning the scapegoat. It is said that the two goats of the
sin-offering were to be of the same appearance, size and value.
The lots were at first of boxwood, but in later times they were
of gold. They were put into a little box or urn. Into this the
high priest put both his hands, and took out a lot in each, while
the two goats stood before him, one at the. right side, the other
on the left. The lot in each hand belonged to the goat in the
like position, and when that "for Azazel" happened to be in
the right hand, it was regarded as a good omen. The high
priest then tied a piece of scarlet cloth on the scapegoat's head,
called the scarlet-tongue," from the shape in which it was
cut. One Jewish doctor, very learned in such matters, says that
this was done only to distinguish him, in order that he might be
known when the time came for him to be sent away. The
prayer which the high priest uttered over the head of the goat
is said to have been as follows: "0 Lord, the house of Israel,
Thy people, have trespassed, rebelled, and sinned before Thee.
I beseech Thee, 0 Lord, forgive now their trespasses, rebellions,
and sins which Thy people have committed, as it is written in
the law of Moses, Thy servant, saying that in that day there
shall be an atonement for you to cleanse you, that ye may be
clean from all your sins before the Lord.'" The goat was then
goaded and roughly treated by the people, till it was led away
by the man appointed. As soon as it reached a certain spot,
which was regarded as the commencement of the wilderness, a
signal was by some means made to the high priest, who was
waiting for it, and who then went on with some other cere-
monies. The man who led the goat is said to have taken him
tq the top of a high precipice, and thrown him down backwards,
so as to dash him in pieces. It is clear, however, that the animal
was in the earlier period of the Jewish history set free. In
most parts of the wilderness to which it was conducted, it
would find herbage in sufficient abundance to live on: in others,
it is quite possible that the scapegoat would wander, with the
" scarlet tongue" on its forehead, from one rocky height to
another, till hunger, and the ill-treatment it had received, ended
in a miserable death.
Such a victim, bearing away the sins of the people, you see
in the picture. It looks as if ready to lay itself down and die ;
and as you pity its wretched lot, you will not fail to think with
gratitude of that Divine Victim who gave Himself to die a
cursed death that eternal life might be yours.
T HE Sheep is one of the most valuable of our domestic
animals. It thrives in situations and soils on which other
animals would find it difficult to exist; and it affords us a large
supply of food, as well as one of the principal materials of our
clothing. The skin, dressed, forms different parts of our apparel,
and is used for covers of books. The sheep is, in fact, so useful
to man, that from the earliest ages it has been an object of his
constant care. Two thousand years ago the Romans paid great
attention to their sheep, and the present mode of treating them
in Spain is almost exactly the same as that introduced by those
ancient conquerors of the world.
The varieties of the sheep are numerous, differing in size, the
length of their legs, the size and number of their horns. Some
are covered with hair instead of wool; others have very large
tails ; and there are some that have long, hanging ears. The
variety most celebrated for the fineness of its wool is the
Spanish Merino, as improved in Germany; but the English
sheep produce wool in the largest quantity. The seat of the
Lord Chancellor of England, in the House of Lords, is said to
be so called from its having originally been a large square bag
of wool, without back or arms. Whether the seat ever really
was such a bag we cannot be quite sure, but no doubt the name
raresents the great importance in which the wool trade was
held in the times of our forefathers. There are at the present
time probably not less than sixty millions of sheep in England
The allusions in Scripture to shepherds and their flocks are
very frequent. The following arc only a few of them :-
The sheep naturally delights in a mountainous country. Of
this fact the sacred writers were well aware. Thus, when Moses
tended the flocks of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of
Midian, he led them to the back side of the desert, -and came
to the mountain of God, even to Horeb." The prophet Ezekiel,
in a later age, compares the return of Israel from the land of
their captivity to the return of a flock, after long absence, to
their native mountains. He represents God as graciously say-
ing,--" As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is
among his sheep that are scattered ; so will I seek out My sheep,
and will deliver them out of all places where they have been
scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them
out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and
will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the
mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places
of the country." (Chap. xxxiv. 12, 13.)
When sheep are alarmed, they forsake the spots where they
have been pasturing, and run together so as to form one close
group. So the prophet Micah warned the people of his time,
when they were terrified by the invasion of hostile armies, and
the cruel devastation of their country, that they should seek
for safety in their cities, as the flocks of Bozrah in their fold
from the attack of the wolf or the lion :-"I will surely
assemble, 0 Jacob, all of thee ; I will surely gather the remnant
of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as
the flock in the midst of their fold." (Chap. ii. 12.)
This creature' is neither remarkable for its sagacity, its
strength, nor its swiftness. It is, therefore, exposed to the
attacks of many enemies ; and when deserted by its keeper, no
domestic animal is more wretched and helpless. To the misery
of this destitute condition the writers of the Bible often allude.
"I saw all Israel," says Micaiah, scattered upon the hills, as
sheep that have not a shepherd." (1 Kings xxii. 17.) Smite
the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered." (Zech. xiii. 7.)
And of Jesus it is said, But when He saw the multitudes, He
was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and
were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." (Matt.
ix. 36.) Many similar passages will occur, I doubt not, to my
The sheep, again, is prone to wander from its accustomed
pastures; it is apt, although gregarious,-that is, an' animal
whose instinct it is to assemble in flocks,-to separate itself
from its fellows, rambling into distant and dangerous solitudes.
And when it has thus roamed far away from the flock and the
fold, it seems to want the inclination or the skill to return.
How touchingly is this defect used in Scripture to describe the
sad state of those who are without the knowledge of God or
do not obey him!" I have gone astray like a lost sheep ; seek
Thy 'servant," says the penitent psalmist. So Isaiah makes
. confession for all mankind, "All we like sheep have gone astray ;
we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath
&i- GLEANINGS IN
NATURAL iIStORY. 85
laid on Him the iniquity of us all." So also St. Peter says to
the Christians to whom he was writing, For ye were as sheep
going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and
Bishop of your souls." Such is the condition by nature of all
men. They are prone to wander from God, and are unwilling
to return to Him. Till divine grace enlightens them, they are
without knowledge to discern, or wisdom to secure, the true
interests of their immortal souls.
One of the most beautiful and affecting of the parables of
the Lord Jesus, is the one recorded by St. Matthew and St. Luke
about the lost sheep. The following verses are founded upon
"The way was rough and dark,
The wind blew bleak and cold,
And I, a foolish lamb,
Had wander'd from the fold.
No shelter could I find,
No place of refuge see,
SUntil the Shepherd kind
In love came after me.
He heard my bleatings far
Upon the mountain way,
He knew the barren path
In which my feet would stray;
And so this Sihpher..ir.l Iin.l
Had left the ,th'i sHie.p,
The wanderer to fi
And in His safety keep.
"The pastures sweet and green,
1, in my folly, left
For rugged rocks, of sheen
And verdure all bereft.
But soon the Shepherd's call
Came ringing soft and clear, -
I heard the Saviour's voice,
And knew that He was near
"Quickly He stretch'd His arm,
And drew me to His side,
Where, safe from every harm,
In peace I can abide.
This Shepherd, good and true,
Who found me in distress,
Is seeking now for you,
In life's dark wilderness."
How glad a thing it is to know that every soul that sheep
may be ;" that every sinner is sought by the great Shepherd,
however long or however far he may have strayed from the
peace and safety of the fold; Jesus seeks you, my dear young
reader, and He will rejoice over you with a great joy, if you
will only surrender to Him your heart. They only will be happy
for ever who follow Him whithersoeverr He goeth."
T HE Giraffe, or camelopard, is a very remarkable quadruped,
belonging to the class of ruminants, or animals that chew
the cud, as the camel, the deer, the sheep, and the goat. Its
body has some likeness to that of the camel ; and the colour of
its skin, being a kind of yellowish white, -spotted with patches
of fawn colour, something like that of a leopard, led to its being
called by the names of both these animals,-camel, leopard. It
further resembles the camel in its manner of kneeling for the
purpose of sleeping, in the length of its neck, and its having
lumps of hardened skin on the lower part of the breast and over
the joints. Its horns, which, in the male' giraffe, are about a
foot long, are covered by the skin of -the head to the tips.
.Measured from the ground to the top of the head, this animal
is from fifteen to seventeen feet high. The hoofs are rounded,
and cleft, like those of an ox. Its tgil is slender, round, and
ended by a tuft three or four inches tong. The head of the
giraffe is not unlike that of the horse ; the eyes are large, fine
and brilliant; the ears, both in length and figure, more resemble
those of the ox. It is a mild, timid, and' harmless creature,
choosing dense forests for its home, and feeding on the leaves
and shoots of trees. When it crops grass or herbage, it is not,
as'has been supposed, under the necessity of kneeling, though
its natural mode of feeding, for which it seems to be especially
I0 GLEANINGS IN -
constructed, is by browsing upon trees or shrubs at a great
height from the ground.
This animal is a native of the country lying between Egypt
V2P-W- -9: _-
and Ethiopia. It is rare in Abyssinia, and still more so in
Southern Africa. It is hunted and killed by the natives for the
sake of its large and beautiful skin, as well as for the marrow of
its bones, which is considered by them a great dainty. The
flesh of the young camelopard is said, by travellers, to be an
acceptable article of diet. When pursued, it bounds along with
such rapidity, as to outstrip the fleetest horse. Some have
said that its gait is awkward, and that it is soon exhausted by
its speed. But a traveller called Le Vaillant, who gives an
account of his attempt to capture one in Great Namaqualand,
in South Africa, bears a different testimony. After describing
a camelopard as proceeding at a "smart trot," he says, "We
galloped after her, and occasionally fired our muskets, but she
gradually gained so much upon us, that, having pursued her for
three hours, we were forced to stop, because our horses were
entirely out of breath, and we lost sight of her." The next day,
he tells us, he saw five giraffes, to which he gave chase, but
which, after a whole day's pursuit, he lost sight of as night
came on. During the next day he fell in with seven-: One of
them he followed on horseback at full speed, but it-left him in
the distance, and was lost to his view; the dogs, however,
resolutely continued the chase, and afterwards brought the
creature to bay. They surrounded it, but did not venture to
make an attack, as it defended itself with vigorous and rapid
kicks. In-the meantime, the traveller came up, and killed it by
The first giraffe seen alive in England, was sent, in 1827, by
the Pacha of Egypt, as a present to his Majesty George the
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Fourth; another also being sent at the same time to Paris.
These two animals were obtained while young, by some Arabs,
a few days' journey south of Sennaar, in Nubia, near a moun-
tainous and wooded district, and were fed with camels' milk.
By command of the Pacha, they were removed by gradual stages
to Cairo, and thence by the Nile, in boats, to Alexandria, whence
they were shipped to their destinations in Europe. Several
living giraffes have been since that date brought into this
It is stated that about the end of the- fifteenth century the
Soldan, or Sultan, of Egypt: sent a -camelopard to the famous
Lorenzo di Medicii and that it was familiar to the inhabitants
of Florence, in Italy; where it was accustomed to walk at ease
about the streets, stretching its long neck into the balconies
and first floors for apples and other fruits, on which it delighted
It was well known in ancient Rome. The first specimen
appears to have been exhibited in the time of Julius Cassar;
several of the Emperors afterwards exhibited it in the games
and processions ; and one Emperor, Gordian the Third, is said
to -havo possessed ten at the same time. Its figure also occurs
amongst the drawings made on monuments by the ancient
Egyptians. It has not hitherto been tamed, so as to be.put
to any useful purpose.
T HIS interesting animal is one of the most valuable blessings
which the bountiful Creator has bestowed upon the
Oriental nations. Designed by the God of nature to dwell in a
country where it can find little nourishment, it is extremely
spare in the whole of its formation. The head is small; the
body covered with a soft.and rather long hair of a reddish
colour. Its legs and thighs seem to be deprived of every muscle
but such as are wanted for the purposes 'of motion ; and its
withered frame seems furnished only with the vessels .and
tendons necessary to hold it together. The camel is provided,
moreover, with a strong jaw, that lie may grind the hardest
food ; but, lest he should eat too much, his stomach is con-
tracted, so that, like cows and sheep, he is obliged to chew the
cud. There are two toes on his hoof, which, however, is not.
fully divided. He has often to cross deserts of loose and deep
sand, in which a hoof quite divided would have' sunk too far, *
while the one which he has, being entire in the under part,
enables him to. move over the surface with more ease. His foot
is lined with a lump of flesh, which fits him only for a dry,.
level, and sandy soil.
Without any sort of defence against his enemies, the camel
is obviously intended for a domesticated state, like that in which
the sheep and some other animals live but the wise Creator
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has placed his horiie in the depth of vast deserts, where the
want of vegetation can attract no game, and where, in conse-
quence, voracious creatures, such as lions, tigers, leopards, and
wolves, can have no inducement to prowl. The fugitives from
Babel found this invaluable beast of burden wandering on the
edge of the wilderness, and by its assistance peopled the most
barren regions on the face of the globe. No animal employed by
man for the purposes of traffic equals it in size, in strength, in
activity ; and in docility, patience, and power of endurance, it is
surpassed by none. Like the ass, it is pleased with the coarsest
food, and a very little even of that satisfies its moderate appe-
tite. The labour and fatigue which it is capable of enduring,
on the poorest and scantiest means of subsistence, almost
exceed belief. It will travel four or five days without water;
whilst half a gallon of beans and barley, or else a few balls
made of the flour, will sustain it a whole day. Before drinking,
it disturbs the water with its feet; and then, after the manner
of pigeons, takes several successive draughts.
In travelling over the deserts of Arabia, a full-sized camel
will carry a weight of more than a thousand pounds ; he
receives this load kneeling, but if his driver lays more on him,
lie refuses to rise till the burden is lessened.
This animal has sometimes been yoked to a chariot, and
forced to contend in the race. The Emperor Nero sent to
certain games chariots drawn by four camels; and another
Roman Emperor, Heliogabalus, is reported to have amused
himself in his private circus with chariots drawn by the same
number. To this custom the prophet Isaiah alludes, in his
prophecy of the fall of Babylon: "he saw a chariot with a
couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of-cmels," -
In time of war, too, these useful creatures have been pressed
into the .service of conflicting hosts; they then groaned under
the cumbrous baggage of Oriental armies, or mingled in the
tumult of battle.- Many of the Amalekites, who burned Ziklag,
(1 Samuel xxx. 1) were mounted in this manner, for we are told
(ver. 17) that not a man of the whole army escaped the furious
onset of David, "save four hundred young men, which rode
upon camels, and fled." The Arabians used to set two warriors
upon each animal, back to back, of whom one opposed the
advancing enemy, and the other repelled the pursuer. All the
Arabians in the army of Xerxes, the ancient historian Herodotus
says, were mounted on camels that equalled in speed the
swiftest horses. The people called Bactrians, from the name of
the province in Persia in which they lived, also fought in the
same manner; and the Parthians, in their wars with the
Romans, threw incessant showers of arrows from their horses
and camels on the legions of their terrible foe.
Mounted on this Ship of the desert," as the Arab calls his
camel, the traveller in the East pursues his way over vast and
trackless regions with ease and safety. For his convenience, a
couple of round baskets are slung on each side with covers,
which hold all his necessaries, and between which he is seated.
Sometimes two long chairs, like cradles, are hung on each side,
with a covering, in which he may sit, or stretched at his ease, resign
himself to sleep, without interrupting his journey. These covered
baskets, or chairs, are the camel's furniture," where Rachel put
the images which she stole from her father. (Gen. xxxi. 34.)
That species called the DROMREDARY, is chiefly remarkable for
its swiftness; the Arabs say that "it will run over as much
ground in one day as one of their best horses will do in eight
or ten." No doubt this is an Oriental exaggeration, but the
prophet Jeremiah had good reason (Jer. ii. 23) to call it the
" swift dromedary." Dr. Shaw, who travelled much in the East,
had several opportunities of verifying the estimate of the Arabs
in relation to the speed at which their ships," can perform a
journey. The Shiek, or chief, who conducted the party to
Mount Sinai, rode a camel of this kind, and would often favour
V1 GLEANINGS IN
them with a display of its abilities: "he would leave their
caravan, reconnoitre another just in view, and return to them in
less than a quarter of an hour." The dromedary has but one
hump on its back ; the common camel has two.
These creatures are not only of great importance in the East
as beasts of burden, but also as a means of subsistence in the
inhospitable desert. Their flesh and their milk supply their
owner with food, and their hair is woven into stuffs for his
clothing. This hair is not shorn off, but is plucked off about the
time it is naturally shed. It was raiment of this kind that John
the Baptist wore; made of the shaggy hair of which we have
When a caravan of camels arrives at a resting or baiting
place, they kneel, and the cords sustaining the load being un-
tied, the bales slip down on each side. They generally sleep on
their bellies, crouching beneath the bales they have carried ; the
load is, therefore, easily replaced when they recommence their
journey. Those which are used for speed alone are capable of
travelling sixty or even ninety miles in a day. Instead of
employing blows or ill-treatment to urge them to greater swift-
ness, the cimel-drivers sing cheerful songs, and thus induce the
patient beasts to put forth their best efforts.
The animal in the picture seems to carry its burden of young
visitors to the Regent's park Zoological Gardens very easily. If
it could be consulted, we doubt not its choice would be rather
to be journeying well laden in its own hot, sandy waste, some-
where in Africa or Arabia, than live in our changeful climate,
however carefully housed and attended to by its keepers.
AN elegant writer somewhere says, "A multitude of beautiful
creatures now present themselves, of graceful form, elastic
step, and animated expression. We see them bounding over
& ~ ---
Ud GLEANINGS IN
the plains and through the forests, in every quarter of the globe,
from the poles to the equator. Congregated in herds, they
wander wild and free ; their very air is that of freedom, and
every action proclaims independence. Their limbs are strong,
slender, and sinewy ; their neck tapering, and swan-like ; their
head small, held high, and garnished, in the males, with antlers.
Such are the stags and deer ; a multitudinous race that compose
the genus Cenvus." Many of us have seen-these beautiful creatures
in large parks, whose noble owners keep them as objects of
interest and to beautify the scene. In some of the royal parks
numbers may be seen browsing beneath the trees, or bounding
along so swiftly as soon to be out of sight. But in many
countries they are hunted for food. This is the case with the
elk or moose-deer ; one of the largest of the deer tribe, but not
by any means so handsome as the smaller ones. He has fine
horns, which do not attain to their perfect shape until the fifth
time of renewal, when the elk is six years old. Some of their
horns have been found to weigh as much as sixty pounds. We
wonder how the animal can support such a weight upon his
head; but God has given him a short and powerful neck. This
enables him to carry the burden with ease. When he is chased
by the hunter, he holds his head so that the horns lie back on
each side of the neck, and thus are prevented from being
entangled among the branches of the forest. The elk is fond of
water, and is a capital swimmer. Its natural food is the tops
of plants and leaves df trees. The flesh and tongue are highly
prized as an article of food by some of the native American
tribes ; while its'skin forms excellent leather, from which they