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Title: Heads and Tales : or, Anecdotes and Stories of Quadrupeds and Other Beasts, Chiefly Connected with Incidents in the Histories of More or Less Distinguished Men.
Author: White, Adam, 1817-1879 [Editor]
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Heads and Tales : or, Anecdotes and Stories of Quadrupeds and Other Beasts, Chiefly Connected with Incidents in the Histories of More or Less Distinguished Men." ***

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   [Illustration: The Tasmanian Wolf. (_Thylacinus Cynocephalus._)]







   Second Edition.



In this work, a part of which is, so far as it extends, a careful
compilation from an extensive series of books, the great order mammalia,
or, rather, a few of its subjects, is treated anecdotically. The
connexion of certain animals with man, and the readiness with which man
can subdue even the largest of the mammalia, are very curious subjects
of thought. The dog and horse are our special friends and associates;
they seem to understand us, and we get very much attached to them. The
cat or the cow, again, possess a different degree of attachment, and
have "heads and hearts" less susceptible of this education than the
first mentioned. The anecdotes in this book will clearly show facts of
this nature. In the Letter of the Gorilla, under an appearance of
exaggeration, will be found many facts of its history. We have a strong
belief that natural history, written as White of Selborne did his Letter
of Timothy the Tortoise, would be very enticing and interesting to young
people. To make birds and other animals relate their stories has been
done sometimes, and generally with success. There are anecdotes hinging,
however, on animals which have more to do with man than the other
mammals referred to in the little story. These stories we have felt to
be very interesting when they occur in biographies of great men. Cowper
and his Hares, Huygens and his Sparrow, are tales--at least the
former--full of interesting matter on the history of the lower animal,
but are of most value as showing the influence on the man who amused
himself by taming them. We like to know that the great Duke, after
getting down from his horse Copenhagen, which carried him through the
whole battle of Waterloo, clapped him on the neck, when the war-charger
kicked out, as if untired.

We could have added greatly to this book, especially in the part of
jests, puns, or cases of _double entendre_. The few selected may
suffice. The so-called conversations of "the Ettrick Shepherd" are full
of matter of this kind, treated by "Christopher North" with a happy
combination of rare power of description and apt exaggeration of detail,
often highly amusing. One or two instances are given here, such as the
Fox-hunt and the Whale. The intention of this book is primarily to be
amusing; but it will be strange if it do not instruct as well. There is
much in it that is _true_ of the habits of mammalia. These, with birds,
are likely to interest young people generally, more than anecdotes of
members of orders like fish, insects, or molluscs, lower in the scale,
though often possessing marvellous instincts, the accounts of which form
intensely interesting reading to those who are fond of seeing or hearing
of "the works of the Lord," and who "take pleasure" in them.



   MAN                                                                 1

   Gainsborough's Joke--Skull of Julius Cæsar when a boy               2

   Sir David Wilkie's simplicity about Babies                          3

   James Montgomery translates into verse a description of
   Man, after the manner of Linnæus                                    4

   Addison and Sir Richard Steele's Description of Gimcrack
   the Collector                                                       5

   MONKEYS                                                             9

   The Gorilla and its Story                                           9

   The Orang-Utan                                                     11

   The Chimpanzee                                                     12

   Letter of Mr Waterton                                              20

   Mr Mitchell and the Young Chimpanzee                               22

   Lady Anne Barnard pleads for the Baboons                           24

   S. Bisset and his Trained Monkeys                                  25

   Lord Byron's Pets                                                  26

   The Ettrick Shepherd's Monkey                                      27

   The Findhorn Fisherman and the Monkey                              29

   "We ha'e seen the _Enemy_!"                                        29

   The French Marquis and his Monkey                                  30

   George IV. and Happy Jerry.--Mr Cross's Rib-nosed
   Baboon at Exeter Change                                            31

   The Young Lady's pet Monkey and the poor Parrot                    33

   Monkeys "poor relations"                                           34

   Sydney Smith on Monkeys                                            34

   Mrs Colin Mackenzie on the Apes at Simla                           35

   The Aye-Aye, or Cheiromys of Madagascar                            36

   BATS                                                               38

   One of Captain Cook's Sailors sees a Fox-Bat, and describes
   it as a devil                                                      39

   Fox Bats (_with a Plate_)                                          41

   Dr Mayerne and his Balsam of Bats                                  47

   HEDGEHOG                                                           48

   Robert Southey to his Critics                                      48

   MOLE                                                               49

   Mole, cause of Death of William III.                               49

   BROWN BEAR                                                         56

   The Austrian General and the Bear--"Back, rascal, I
   am a general!"                                                     58

   Lord Byron's Bear at Cambridge                                     59

   Charles Dickens on Bear's Grease and Bear-keepers                  59

   A Bearable Pun                                                     60

   A Shaved Bear                                                      61

   POLAR BEAR                                                         61

   General History and Anecdotes of Polar Bear, as observed
   on recent Arctic Expeditions (_with a Plate_)                      61

   Nelson and the Polar Bear                                          67

   A Clever Polar Bear                                                67

   Captain Ommaney and the Polar Bear                                 70

   RACCOON                                                            71

   "A Gone Coon"                                                      71

   BADGER                                                             71

   Hugh Miller sees the "Drawing of the Badger"                       72

   The Laird of Balnamoon and the Brock                               75

   FERRET                                                             75

   Collins and the Rat-catcher, with the Ferret                       76

   POLE-CAT                                                           76

   Fox and the Poll-Cat                                               77

   DOG                                                                77

   Phrases about Dogs                                                 77

   Cowper's Dog                                                       79

   Cowper and his dog Beau                                            81

   Burns's "Twa Dogs"                                                 81

   Dog of Assyrian Monument                                           86

   Bishop Blomfield bitten by a Dog                                   88

   Sydney Smith's Remark on it                                        88

   Bishop of Bristol--"Puppies never see till they are nine
   days old"                                                          88

   Mrs Browning, the Poetess, and her dog Flush                       89

   Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, Bart., and his dog Speaker               93

   Lord Byron and his dog Boatswain                                   94

   Lady's reason for calling her dog Perchance                        96

   Collins the Artist and his dog Prinny--the faithful
   Model                                                              96

   Soldier and Dog                                                    97

   Bark and Bite!--Curran on Lord Clare and his Dog                   98

   Mrs Drew and the two Dogs                                          98

   Gainsborough and his Wife and their Dogs                          100

   Sir William Gell's Dog, which was said to speak                   101

   The Duke of Gordon's Wolf-hounds                                  102

   Frederick the Great and his Italian Greyhounds                    104

   The Dog and the French Murderers                                  104

   Hannah More on Garrick's Dog                                      105

   Rev. Robert Hall and the Dog                                      106

   A Queen (Henrietta Maria) and her Lap-Dog                         106

   The Clever Dog that belonged to the Hunters of Polmood            107

   The Irish Clergyman and the Dogs                                  108

   Washington Irving and the Dog                                     108

   Douglas Jerrold and his Dog                                       109

   Sheridan and the Dog                                              109

   Charles Lamb and his dog "Dash"                                   110

   French Dogs of Louis XII.                                         110

   Martin Luther observes a Dog at Lintz                             111

   Poor Dog at the Grotta del Cane                                   111

   Dog a Postman and Carrier                                         113

   South and Sherlock--Dog-matic                                     113

   General Moreau and his Greyhound                                  113

   Duke of Norfolk and his Spaniels                                  114

   Lord North and the Dog                                            115

   Perthes derives Hints from his Dog                                115

   Peter the Great and his dog Lisette                               116

   The Light Company's Poodle and Sir F. Ponsonby                    118

   Admiral Rodney and his dog Loup                                   119

   Ruddiman and his dog Rascal                                       119

   Mrs Schimmelpenninck and the Dogs                                 120

   Sir Walter Scott and his Dogs                                     122

   Sheridan on the Dog-Tax                                           123

   Sydney Smith dislikes Dogs.--An ingenious way of getting
   rid of them                                                       124

   Sydney Smith on Dogs                                              125

   Sydney Smith.--"Newfoundland Dog that breakfasted
   on Parish Boys"                                                   126

   Robert Southey on his Dogs                                        126

   A Dog that was a good judge of Elocution.--Mr True
   and his Pupil                                                     127

   Dog that tried to please a Crying Child                           128

   Horace Walpole's pet dog Rosette                                  128

   Horace Walpole.--Arrival of his dog Tonton                        129

   Horace Walpole.--Death of his dog Tonton                          130

   Archbishop Whateley and his Dogs                                  131

   Archbishop Whately on Dogs                                        132

   Sir David Wilkie.--A Dog Rose                                     133

   Ulysses and his Dog                                               133

   WOLF                                                              135

   Polson and the Last Wolf in Sutherlandshire                       135

   "If the tail break, you'll find that"                             137

   FOX                                                               138

   An Enthusiastic Fox-hunting Surgeon                               138

   Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, on the Pleasures of Fox-hunting,
   and the gratification of the Fox                                  139

   Arctic Foxes converted into Postmen, with Anecdotes
   (_with a plate_)                                                  142

   JACKAL                                                            148

   Burke on the Jackal and Tiger                                     149

   CAT                                                               149

   Jeremy Bentham and his pet cat "Sir John Langborn                 150

   S. Bisset and his Musical Cats                                    152

   Constant, Chateaubriand, and their Cats                           153

   Liston, the Surgeon, and his Cat                                  153

   The Banker Mitchell's Antipathy to Kittens                        154

   James Montgomery and his Cats                                     155

   David Ritchie's Cat                                               157

   Sir Walter Scott's Visit to the Black Dwarf                       157

   Southey, the Poet, and his Cats                                   158

   Archbishop Whateley and the Cat that used to ring the
   Bell                                                              160

   TIGER AND LION                                                    161

   Bussapa, the Tiger-slayer, and the Tiger                          162

   John Hunter and the Dead Tiger                                    164

   Mrs Mackenzie on the Indian's regard and awe for the
   Tiger                                                             165

   Jolly Jack-tar on Lion and Tiger                                  166

   Androcles and the Lion                                            167

   Sir George Davis and the Lion                                     170

   Canova's Lions and the Child                                      171

   Admiral Napier and the Lion in the Tower                          173

   Old Lady and the Beasts on the Mound                              173

   SEALS                                                             174

   Dr Adam Clarke on Shetland Seals                                  175

   Dr Edmonstone and the Shetland Seals                              176

   The Walrus or Morse (_with a Plate_)                              182

   KANGAROO                                                          188

   Charles Lamb on its Peculiarities                                 188

   Captain Cooke's Sailor and the first Kangaroo seen                189

   Charles Lamb on Kangaroos having Purses in front                  189

   Kangaroo Cooke                                                    189

   TIGER WOLF                                                        190

   SQUIRREL, &c.                                                     194

   Jekyll on a Squirrel                                              195

   Pets of some of the Parisian Revolutionary Butchers               195

   Sir George Back and the poor Lemming                              196

   McDougall and Arctic Lemming                                     197

   RATS AND MICE                                                     198

   Duke of Wellington and Musk-Rat                                   200

   Lady Eglinton and the Rats                                        200

   General Douglas and the Rats                                      201

   Hanover Rats                                                      202

   Irishman Shooting Rats                                            203

   James Watt and the Rat's Whiskers                                 204

   Gray the Poet compares Poet-Laureate to Rat-catcher               204

   Jeremy Bentham and the Mice                                       205

   Robert Burns and the Field Mouse                                  206

   Fuller on Destructive Field Mice                                  208

   Baron Von Trenck and the Mouse in Prison                          209

   Alexander Wilson, the American Ornithologist, and the
   Mouse                                                             211

   HARES, RABBITS, GUINEA-PIG                                        212

   William Cowper on his Hares                                       213

   Lord Norbury on the Exaggeration of a Hare-Shooter                220

   Duke of L. prefers Friends to Hares                               221

   S. Bisset and his Trained Hare and Turtle                         221

   Lady Anne Barnard on a Family of Rabbits all blind of
   one eye                                                           222

   Thomas Fuller on Norfolk Rabbits                                  222

   Dr Chalmers and the Guinea-Pig                                    223

   SLOTH                                                             224

   Sydney Smith on the Sloth--a Comparison                           224

   THE GREAT ANT-EATER (_with a Plate_)                              225

   ELEPHANT                                                          229

   Lord Clive--Elephant or Equivalent?                               230

   Canning on the Elephant and his Trunk                             232

   Sir R. Phillips and Jelly made of Ivory Dust                      233

   J. T. Smith and the Elephant                                      234

   Sydney Smith on the Elephant and Tailor                           235

   Elephant's Skin--a teacher put down                               236

   FOSSIL PACHYDERMATA                                               236

   Cuvier's Enthusiasm over Fossils                                  236

   SOW                                                               238

   "There's a hantle o' miscellaneous eatin' aboot a Pig"            238

   "Pig-Sticking at Chicago"                                         238

   Monument to a Pig at Luneberg                                     239

   WILD BOAR (_with a Plate_)                                        239

   THE RIVER PIG (_with a Plate_)                                    245

   S. Bisset and his Learned Pig                                     250

   Quixote Bowles fond of Pigs                                       251

   On Jekyll's treading on a small Pig                               251

   Good enough for a Pig                                             251

   Gainsborough's Pigs                                               252

   Theodore Hook and the Litter of Pigs                              253

   Lady Hardwicke's Pig--her Bailiff                                 253

   Pigs and Silver Spoon                                             253

   Sydney Smith on Beautiful Pigs                                    254

   Joseph Sturge, when a boy, and the Pigs                           255

   RHINOCEROS                                                        229

   The Lord Keeper Guildford and the Rhinoceros in the
   City of London                                                    230

   HORSE                                                             256

   Horse shot under Albert                                           256

   Bell-Rock Lighthouse Horse                                        257

   Edmund Burke and the Horse                                        257

   David Garrick and his Horse, "A horse! a horse! my
   kingdom for a horse!"                                             258

   Bernard Gilpin's Horses stolen and recovered                      260

   The Herald and George III.'s Horse                                261

   Rev. Rowland Hill and his Horse                                   261

   Holcroft on the Horse                                             263

   Lord Mansfield, his Joke about a Horse                            267

   Sir John Moore and his Horse at Corunna                           268

   Neither Horses nor Children can explain their Complaints          269

   Horses with Names                                                 270

   Rennie the Engineer and the Horse Old Jack                        270

   Sydney Smith and his Horses                                       271

   Sydney Smith.--He drugs his Domestic Animals                      273

   Horseback, an Absent Clergyman                                    273

   Judge Story and the Names he gave his Horses                      274

   Short-tailed and Long-tailed Horses at Livery, difference
   of Charge                                                         275

   ASS AND ZEBRA                                                     276

   Coleridge on the Ass                                              276

   Collins and the old Donkey at Odell                               276

   Gainsborough kept one to Study from                               277

   Irishman on the Ramsgate Donkeys                                  278

   Douglas Jerrold and the Ass's Foal                                278

   The Judge and the Barrister                                       279

   Ass that loved Poetry                                             279

   Warren Hastings and the refractory Donkey                         279

   Northcote, an Angel at an Ass                                     281

   Sydney Smith's Donkey with Jeffrey on his back                    281

   Sydney Smith on the Sagacity of the Ass                           283

   Sydney Smith's Deers, how he introduced them into
   his Grounds to gratify Visitors                                   284

   Asses' Duty Free                                                  284

   Thackeray on Egyptian Donkey                                      285

   Zebra, a Frenchman's _double-entendre_                            287

   CAMELS                                                            287

   Captain William Peel, R.N., on Camel                              287

   Captain in Royal Navy measures the progress of the
   Ship of the Desert                                                289

   Lord Metcalfe on a Camel when a Boy                               290

   RED DEER                                                          291

   Earl of Dalhousie and the ferocious Stag                          291

   The French Count and the Stag                                     293

   FALLOW DEER                                                       294

   Venison Fat, Reynolds and the Gourmand                            294

   Goethe on Stag-trench at Frankfort-on-Maine                       294

   GIRAFFE                                                           295

   "Fancy Two Yards of Sore Throat!"                                 295

   SHEEP AND GOAT                                                    295

   How many Legs has a Sheep?                                        296

   Goethe on Roos's Etchings of Sheep                                296

   Lord Cockburn and the Sheep                                       298

   Erskine's Sheep--an Eye to the Woolsack                           298

   Sandy Wood and his Pet Sheep and Raven                            298

   General Carnac and She-goat                                       299

   John Hunter and the Shawl-goat                                    300

   Commodore Keppel _beards_ the Dey of Algiers                      303

   OX                                                                304

   Irish Bulls                                                       304

   A great Calf! "The more he sucked the greater Calf he
   grew!"                                                            304

   Veal _ad nauseam!_ too much of a good thing                       304

   James Boswell should confine himself to the Cow                   305

   Rev. Adam Clarke and his Bullock Pat                              305

   Samuel Foote and the Cows pulling the Bell of Worcester
   College                                                           306

   The General's Cow at Plymouth                                     308

   Gilpin's Love of the Picturesque carried out--a reason
   for keeping three Cows                                            308

   King James on a Cow getting over the Border                       309

   Duke of Montague and his Hospital for Old Cows and
   Horses                                                            309

   Philip IV. of Spain in the Bull-ring                              310

   Sydney Smith and his "Universal Scratcher"                        311

   Rev. Augustus Toplady on the Future State of Animals--the
   Rev. William Bull                                                 312

   Windham on the Feelings of a Baited Bull                          313

   WHALE                                                             315

   A Porpoise not at Home                                            315

   Whalebone                                                         315

   "What's to become o' the puir Whales?"                            316

   Very like a Whale!                                                316

   Christopher North on the Whale                                    316


[1] There are many anecdotes in this book not included in this list,
which gives however, the principal.



In this collection, like Linnæus, we begin with man as undoubtedly an
animal, as opposed to a vegetable or mineral. Like Professor Owen, we
are inclined to fancy he is well entitled to separate rank from even the
Linnæan order, _Primates_, and to have more systematic honour conferred
on him than what Cuvier allowed him. That great French naturalist placed
man in a section separate from his four-handed order, _Quadrumana_, and,
from his two hands and some other qualities, enrolled our race in an
order, _Bimana_. Surely the ancients surpassed many modern naturalists
of the Lamarckian school, who would derive him from an ourang, a
chimpanzee, or a gorilla. One of them has nobly said--

     "Os homini sublime dedit, coelumque tueri."

Our own Sir William Hamilton, in a few powerful words has condensed what
will ever be, we are thankful to suppose, the general idea of most men,
be they naturalists or not, that mind and soul have much to distinguish
us from every other animal:--

"What man holds of matter does not make up his personality. Man is not
an organism. He is an intelligence served by organs. _They are_ HIS,
_not_ HE."

As a mere specimen, we subjoin two or three anecdotes, although the
species, _Homo sapiens_, has supplied, and might supply, many volumes of
anecdotes touching on his whims and peculiarities. As a good example of
the Scottish variety, who is there that does not know Dean Ramsay's
"Reminiscences?" Surely each nation requires a similar judicious
selection. Mr Punch, especially when aided by his late admirable artist,
John Leech, shows seemingly that John Bull and his family are as
distinct from the French, as the French are from the Yankees.


Gainsborough, the painter, was very ready-witted. His biographer[2]
records the following anecdote of him as very likely to be authentic.
The great artist occasionally made sketches from an honest old tailor,
of the name of Fowler, who had a picturesque countenance and silver-gray
locks. On the chimney-piece of his painting-room, among other
curiosities, was a beautiful preparation of an infant _cranium_,
presented to the painter by his old friend, Surgeon Cruickshanks.
Fowler, without moving his position, continually peered at it askance
with inquisitive eye. "Ah! Master Fowler," said the painter, "that is a
mighty curiosity." "What might it be, sir, if I may be so bold?" "A
_whale's eye_," replied Gainsborough. "Oh! not so; never say so, Muster
Gainsborough. Laws! sir, it is a little child's skull!" "You have hit
upon it," said the wag. "Why, Fowler, you are a witch! But what will you
think when I tell you that it is the skull of _Julius Cæsar_ when he was
a little boy?" "Do you say so!" exclaimed Fowler, "what a phenomenon!"

This reminds us of a similar story told of a countryman, who was shown
the so-called skull of Oliver Cromwell at the museum in Oxford, and
expressed his delight by saying how gratifying it was to see skulls of
great men at different ages, for he had just seen at Bath the skull of
the Protector when a youth!


A very popular novelist and author of the present day tells the
following anecdote of the simplicity of Sir David Wilkie, with regard to
his knowledge of _infant_ human nature:--

On the birth of his first son, at the beginning of 1824, William
Collins,[3] the great artist, requested Sir David Wilkie to become one
of the sponsors for his child.[4] The painter's first criticism on his
future godson is worth recording from its simplicity. Sir David, whose
studies of human nature extended to everything but _infant_ human
nature, had evidently been refreshing his faculties for the occasion, by
taxing his boyish recollections of puppies and kittens; for, after
looking intently into the child's eyes as it was held up for his
inspection, he exclaimed to the father, with serious astonishment and
satisfaction, "He _sees_!"


One who is partial to the Linnæan mode of characterising objects of
natural history has amused himself with drawing up the following
definition of man:--"_Simia sine cauda; pedibus posticis ambulans;
gregarius, omnivorus, inquietus, mendax, furax, rapax, salax, pugnax,
artium variarum capax, animalium reliquorum hostis, sui ipsius inimicus

Montgomery translated the description thus:--

   "Man is an animal unfledged,
   A monkey with his tail abridged;
   A thing that walks on spindle legs,
   With bones as brittle, sir, as eggs;
   His body, flexible and limber,
   And headed with a knob of timber;
   A being frantic and unquiet,
   And very fond of beef and riot;
   Rapacious, lustful, rough, and martial,
   To lies and lying scoundrels partial!
   By nature form'd with splendid parts
   To rise in science--shine in arts;
   Yet so confounded cross and vicious,
   A mortal foe to all his species!
   His own best _friend_, and you must know,
   His own worst _enemy_ by being so!"[5]


In one of the early volumes of _Chambers's Edinburgh Journal_, there was
a very curious paper entitled "Nat Phin." Although considerably
exaggerated, no one who had the happiness of knowing the learned,
amiable, and excellent Dr Patrick Neill, could fail to recognise, in the
transposed title, an amusing description of his love of natural history
pets, zoological and botanical. The fun of the paper is that "Nat" gets
married, and, coming home one day from his office, finds that his young
wife has caused the gardener to clear out his ponds of tadpoles and

Addison or Sir Richard Steele, or both of them, in the following paper
of the _Tatler_ (No. 221, Sept. 7, 1710), has given one of those quietly
satiric pictures of many a well-known man of the day, some Petiver or
Hans Sloane. The widow Gimcrack's letter is peculiarly racy. Although
old books, the _Tatler_ and _Spectator_ still furnish rare material to
many a popular magazine writer of the day, who sometimes does little
more than dilute a paper in these and other rare repertories of the
style and wit of a golden age. We meditated offering various extracts
from Swift and Daniel Defoe; but our space limits us to one, and the
following may for the present suffice.

   "_From my own Apartment, September 6._

"As I was this morning going out of my house, a little boy in a black
coat delivered me the following letter. Upon asking who he was, he told
me that he belonged to my Lady Gimcrack. I did not at first recollect
the name, but, upon inquiry, I found it to be the widow of Sir Nicholas,
whose legacy I lately gave some account of to the world. The letter ran

"'MR BICKERSTAFF,--I hope you will not be surprised to receive a letter
from the widow Gimcrack. You know, sir, that I have lately lost a very
whimsical husband, who, I find, by one of your last week's papers, was
not altogether a stranger to you. When I married this gentleman, he had
a very handsome estate; but, upon buying a set of microscopes, he was
chosen a _Fellow of the Royal Society; from which time I do not remember
ever to have heard him speak as other people did_, or talk in a manner
that any of his family could understand him. He used, however, to pass
away his time very innocently in conversation with several members of
that learned body: for which reason I never advised him against their
company for several years, until at last I found his brain quite turned
with their discourses. The first symptoms which he discovered of his
being a _virtuoso_, as you call him, poor man! was about fifteen years
ago; when he gave me positive orders to turn off an old weeding woman,
that had been employed in the family for some years. He told me, at the
same time, that there was no such thing in nature as a weed, and that it
was his design to let his garden produce what it pleased; so that, you
may be sure, it makes a very pleasant show as it now lies. About the
same time he took a humour to ramble up and down the country, and would
often bring home with him his pockets full of moss and pebbles. This,
you may be sure, gave me a heavy heart; though, at the same time, I must
needs say, he had the character of a very honest man, notwithstanding
he was reckoned a little weak, until he began to sell his estate, and
buy those strange baubles that you have taken notice of. Upon
midsummerday last, as he was walking with me in the fields, he saw a
very odd-coloured butterfly just before us. I observed that he
immediately changed colour, like a man that is surprised with a piece of
good luck; and telling me that it was what he had looked for above these
twelve years, he threw off his coat, and followed it. I lost sight of
them both in less than a quarter of an hour; but my husband continued
the chase over hedge and ditch until about sunset; at which time, as I
was afterwards told, he caught the butterfly as she rested herself upon
a cabbage, near five miles from the place where he first put her up. He
was here lifted from the ground by some passengers in a very fainting
condition, and brought home to me about midnight. His violent exercise
threw him into a fever, which grew upon him by degrees, and at last
carried him off. In one of the intervals of his distemper he called to
me, and, after having excused himself for running out his estate, he
told me that he had always been more industrious to improve his mind
than his fortune, and that his family must rather value themselves upon
his memory as he was a wise man than a rich one. He then told me that it
was a custom among the Romans for a man to give his slaves their liberty
when he lay upon his death-bed. I could not imagine what this meant,
until, after having a little composed himself, he ordered me to bring
him a flea which he had kept for several months in a chain, with a
design, as he said, to give it its manumission. This was done
accordingly. He then made the will, which I have since seen printed in
your works word for word. Only I must take notice that you have omitted
the codicil, in which he left a large _concha veneris_, as it is there
called, to a _Member of the Royal Society_, who was often with him in
his sickness, and _assisted him in his will_. And now, sir, I come to
the chief business of my letter, which is to desire your friendship and
assistance in the disposal of those many rarities and curiosities which
lie upon my hands. If you know any one that has an occasion for a parcel
of dried spiders, I will sell them a pennyworth. I could likewise let
any one have a bargain of cockle-shells. I would also desire your advice
whether I had best sell my beetles in a lump or by retail. The gentleman
above mentioned, who was my husband's friend, would have me make an
auction of all his goods, and is now drawing up a catalogue of every
particular for that purpose, with the two following words in great
letters over the head of them, Auctio Gimcrackiana. But, upon talking
with him, I begin to suspect he is as mad as poor Sir Nicholas was. Your
advice in all these particulars will be a great piece of charity to,
Sir, your most humble servant,


"I shall answer the foregoing letter, and give the widow my best advice,
as soon as I can find out chapmen for the wares which she has to put


[2] Life of Thomas Gainsborough, R.A. By the late George Williams
Fulcher. Edited by his Son. P. 157.

[3] Memoir of the Life of William Collins, R.A. By W. Wilkie Collins.
I., p. 235.

[4] The future author of "The Woman in White" and "The Dead Secret," and
many other works of celebrity.

[5] Memoirs of James Montgomery. By Holland and Everett. I., p. 283.



In the British Museum, in handsome glass cases, and on the floors of the
three first rooms at the top of the stairs, may be seen the largest
collection of the skins and skeletons of quadrupeds ever brought
together. In the third, or principal room, will be found a nearly
complete series of the QUADRUMANA or four-handed Mammalia. Monkeys are
_quadrumanous mammalia_. The resemblance of these animals to men is most
conspicuous, in the largest of them, such as the gorilla, orang-utan,
chimpanzee, and the long-armed or gibbous apes. Such resemblance is most
distant in the ferocious dog-faced baboons of Africa, the _Cynocephali_
of the ancients. It is softened off, but not effaced, in the pretty
little countenances of those dwarf pets from South America, the
ouistities or marmosets, and other species of new-world monkeys, some of
which are not larger than a squirrel.

They are well called MONKEYS, Monnikies, Mannikies--little men, "_Simiæ
quasi bestiæ hominibus similes_," "monkeys, as if beasts resembling
man," or "mon," as the word man is pronounced in pure _Doric_ Saxon,
whether in York or Peebles.

"Monkey! you very degraded little brute, how much you resemble us!" said
old Ennius, without ever fancying that the day would come when some men
would regard their own race as little better than highly-advanced

Let us never for a moment rest in such fallacious theories, or accept
the belief of Darwin and Huxley, with a few active agitating disciples,
that animals, and even plants, may pass into each other.

   "I think we are not wholly brain,
   Magnetic mockeries; ...
   Not only cunning casts in clay;
   Let science prove we are, and then
   What matters science unto men,
   At least to me! I would not stay:
   Let him, the wiser man who springs
   Hereafter, up from childhood shape
   His action, like the greater ape,
   But I was born to other things."

   --_In Memoriam_, cxix.

Darwin and Huxley cannot change nature. They may change their minds and
opinions, as their fathers did before them. It is, we suspect, only the
old heathen materialism cropping out,--

   "Our little systems have their day--
   They have their day and cease to be.
   They are but broken lights of Thee,
   And Thou, O Lord! art more than they."

   --_In Memoriam._

No artists or authors have ever pictured or described monkeys like Sir
Edwin Landseer and his brother Thomas. Surely a new edition of the
_Monkeyana_ is wanted for the rising generation. Oliver Goldsmith, that
great writer, who was most feeble in knowledge of natural history from
almost total ignorance of the subject, over which he threw the graces of
his charming style, noticed, as remarkable, that in countries "where the
men are barbarous and stupid, the brutes are the most active and
sagacious." He continues, that it is in the torrid tracts, inhabited by
barbarians, that animals are found with instinct so nearly approaching
reason. Both in Africa and America, accordingly, he tells us, "the
savages suppose monkeys to be men; idle, slothful, rational beings,
capable of speech and conversation, but obstinately dumb, for fear of
being compelled to labour."

For the present, I shall suppose that the gorilla, largest of all the
apes, can not only speak, but write; and is speaking and writing to an
orang-utan of Borneo. Even a Lamarckian will allow this to be within the
range of possibility. Were it possible to get Gay or Cowper to write a
new set of fables, animals, in the days of postoffices and letters,
would become, like the age, epistolary. But a word on the imaginary

The orang, as the reader knows, is the great red-haired "Man of the
Woods," as the name may be rendered in English. My old friend, Mr Alfred
Wallace, lately in New Guinea, and the adjoining parts, collecting
natural history subjects, and making all kinds of valuable observations
and surveys, sent to Europe most of the magnificent specimens of this
"ugly beast" now in the museum. He has detailed its habits and history
in an able account, published some years ago in "The Annals and Magazine
of Natural History."

Its home seems to be the fine forests which cover many parts of the
coast of Borneo. The home of the gorilla and chimpanzee are in the
tropical forests of the coasts of Western Africa.

There would seem to be but three or four well established _species_ of
these apes, though there are, as in man and most created beings, some
marked or decided varieties. These apes are altogether _quadrupeds_,
adapted for a life among trees. The late Charles Waterton, of Walton
Hall, whom I deem it an honour to have known for many years, personally
and in his writings, has well shown this in his "Essays on Natural
History." Professor Owen, with his osteologies, and old Tyson, with his
anatomies, have each demonstrated that--draw what inferences the
followers of Mr Darwin may choose--monkeys are not men, but quadrupeds.

The structure of chimpanzee, orang, and gorilla considerably resembles
that of man, but so more distantly does a frog's, so does Scheuchzer's
fossil amphibian in the museum, so does a squirrel's, so does a
parrot's. Yet, because parrots, squirrels, frogs, and asses have skulls,
a pelvis, and fore-arms, they are _not_ men any more than fish are.
Linnæus has given the _real_ specific, the _real_ class, order, and
generic character of man, unique as a species, as a genus, as an order,
or as a class, as even the greatest comparative anatomist of England
regards him; "Nosce teipsum:" "[Greek: Gnôthi seauton]"--KNOW THYSELF.
Man alone expects a hereafter. He is immortal, and anticipates, hopes
for, or dreads a resurrection. Melancholy it is that he alone, as an
American writer curiously remarks, collects bodies of men of _one_ blood
to fight with each other. He alone can become a _drunkard_.

The reader must leave rhapsody, and may now be reminded, in explanation
of allusions in the following letter, that the arm of Dr Livingstone,
the African traveller, was crushed and crunched by the bite and "chaw"
of a lion. He will also please to notice, that the skeleton of the
gorilla in the museum has the left arm broken by some dreadful accident.
This injury may _possibly_ have been caused by a fall when young, or
more probably by the empoisoned bite of a larger gorilla, or of a
tree-climbing Leopard. So much may be premised before giving a letter,
supposed to be intercepted on its way between the Gaboon and London, and
London and Borneo, opened at St Martin's-le-Grand, and detained as

"I was born in a large baobab tree, on the west coast of Africa, not
very far from Calabar. We gorillas are good time-keepers, rise early and
go to bed early, guided infallibly by the sun. But though our family has
been in existence at least six thousand years, we have no chronology,
and care not a straw about our grandfathers. I suppose I had a
grandmother, but I never took _any_ interest in any but very close

"We never toiled for our daily food, and are not idle like these lazy
black fellows who hold their palavers near us, and whom I, for my part,
heartily despise. They cannot climb a tree, as we do, although they can
talk to each other, and make one another slaves. At least they so treat
their countrymen far off where the fine sweet plantains grow, and some
other juicy tit-bits, the memory of which makes my mouth water. These
fellows have ugly wives, not nearly so big-mouthed as ours, without our
noble bony ridge, small ears, and exalted presence. They are actually
forced to walk erect, and their fore-legs seldom touch the ground,
except in the case of piccanninies. These little creatures crawl on the
ground, are much paler when born, and are then perfectly helpless; and
have no hair except on their heads, whereas our beautiful young are
fine and hairy, and can swing among the branches, shortly after birth,
nearly as well as their parents. When I was very young, I could soon
help myself to fruits which abound on our trees.

"Have you dates, plantains, and soursops--so sweet--at Sarawak, Master
Redhair? We have, and all kinds of them. I should like, for a variety,
to taste yours. Mind you send me some of the _durian_.[6] Make haste and
send it, for Wallace's description makes my mouth water.

"I have told you our little ones soon learn to help themselves, whereas
I have seen the piccaninnies of the blacks nursed by their mothers till
many rainy seasons had come and gone. I really think nothing of the
talking blacks who live near us. They put on bits of coloured rags, not
nearly so bright, so regular, nor so _contrasting_ as the feathers of
our birds.

"Beautifully coloured are the green touraco and the purple
plantain-eater, a rascally bird! who eats some of our finest plantains,
and has bitten holes in many a one I thought to get entirely to myself.
Why, our parrots beat these West-African negroes to sticks! Even our
common gray parrot, so prettily scaled with gray, and with the red
feathers under his tail, is more natural than these blacks, with their
dirty-white, yellow, blue, green, and red rags.

"Besides, that gray parrot beats them hollow both in its voice and in
the way it imitates. Do you know that when I have been giving my quick
short bark, to tell that I am not well pleased, I have heard one of
these fellows near me actually make me startle--its bark was so like to
that of one of our kind! I cannot bear the blacks! I have had a grudge
against them since some little urchins shot at me when I was young, and
made my hand bleed. How it bled! My mother, with whom I had been, kept
out of the way of these blackguards, but I was playing with another
little gorilla, and forgot to keep a look-out. I have kept a good
look-out ever since I got _that_ wound, I assure you. I licked it often,
and so did my mother with her delicious mouth. It soon left off bleeding
and healed. We gorillas have no brandy, no whisky, no wine, not even
small beer, to inflame our blood. We sleep, too, among the trees, clear
off the ground, where there are dangerous vapours, so that we are free
from all miasmata. West Africa is my lovely home, and I am big and
beautifully pot-bellied. It is the home of the large-eared chimpanzee, a
near relative of ours, though we never marry. He is an active fellow,
with rather large vulgar-looking ears; while mine, though I ought not to
say so, are beautifully small, and denote my more exalted birth. Master
Chimpanzee needs all his ears, for he is not so strong as I, and as you
will hear, we anthropoids have enemies in our trees, just as you perhaps
have, Master Redhair. We are both cautious of getting on the ground, and
when there, I assure you I keep a sharp look-out.

"I have told you of one adventure I had in my youth, and now listen to
another which I have not forgotten to this day. My left arm aches now as
I think of it.

"As I was one day gambolling with another playfellow in a large tree,
with great branches standing out from the trunk, and at a good height
from the ground, my companion, another young gorilla, but with smaller
mouth, larger nose, and other features uglier than mine, suddenly
shrieked, and looked frightened and angry. No sooner had I noticed him
than my whole frame was shaken. I was seized by two paws in the small of
my back--a very painful part to be dug into--by ten hooked claws, nearly
as long as tenpenny nails, but horribly sharp and hooked.--Oh my arm!

"I tried to turn round, and there was a most ferocious leopard growling
at me. I tried to bite, and to scratch his eyes out, but the pain in the
small of my back made me quite giddy. The spotted scoundrel seized my
left arm--how it aches!--and gave me a _crunch_ or two. I hear, I feel
the teeth against my bones as I write. My whole body is full of pain.

"My mother came and released me. She was large, handsome, and
well-to-do, with _such_ long and strong arms, and with a magnificent
bulging and pouting mouth. In those days of my infancy I used to fancy I
should like to try to take as large a bite of a plantain as she could. I
tried twice or thrice, but could only squash a tenth of the juice of the
fruit into my mouth. She had glorious white teeth. Her grin clearly
frightened the leopard, as well as a pinch she gave him in the 'scruff'
of the neck with one of her hands, while with the other she caught hold
of his tail and made him yell. How he roared! He fell off the branch on
to another; but soon, like all the cats, recovered his hold and jumped
down to the ground, when he skulked away with his tail behind him.

"I must really leave off, warned both by my paper and your impatience.
Well, I grew stronger and bigger every day, and swung by one arm almost
as well as the rest did with their two. I got, in fact, so strong on my
hind feet, that my toes were actually in time thicker than those of any
of my race. It is well, my dear Orang, to use what you have left you,
and to try as soon as possible to forget what has been taken from you.

"... Look at my portrait, I am as strong, and as bony, and as bonnie, as
any gorilla. But I begin to boast, so I will leave off."

       *       *       *       *       *

No doubt that gorilla's injured arm affected its habits and its activity
every day of its life. The broken arm, never set by some gorilla surgeon
of celebrity, formed a highly important feature in its biography.
Reader! when next thou visitest the noble Museum in Bloomsbury, look at
the skeleton of that gorilla, whose probable story Arachnophilus hath
tried to give thee, and remember that both skin and skeleton were
exhibited there before Du Chaillu became "a lion."

The gorilla is a native of West Africa. It is closely allied to the
chimpanzee, but grows to a larger size, and has many striking anatomical
characters and external marks to distinguish it. It is certainly much
dreaded by the natives on the banks of the Gaboon, and, doubtless,
dreads them equally. Dr Gray procured a large specimen in a tub from
that district. It was skinned and set up by Mr Bartlett. I have seen
photographs in the hands of my excellent old friend--that admirable
natural history and anatomical draughtsman--Mr George Ford of Hatton
Garden. These photographs were taken from its truly ugly face as it was
pulled out of the stinking brine. Life in death, or death in life, it
was most repulsive.

Professor Owen read a most elaborate paper on the gorilla before the
Zoological Society. The great comparative anatomist and zoologist shows
that it _may_ have been the very species whose skins were brought by
Hanno to Carthage, in times before the Christian era, as the skins of
_hairy wild men_. The historian refers to them as "gorullai" ([Greek:

The natives of West Africa name it "N'Geena."

       *       *       *       *       *

The stuffed specimen at the Museum is a young male. Its preparation does
great credit to Mr Bartlett's care and knowledge, for the hair over
nearly all the body was in patches among the spirit--thoroughly
corrupted in its alcoholic strength by animal matter. The peculiarly
anthropoid and morbidly-disagreeable look that even the face of the
young gorilla had was, of course, perfect in the photograph. In the
_Leisure Hour_, a tolerably good cut of it was given, but the artist did
not copy the label accurately, for on the photograph from which that cut
was derived, _another name_ was rendered by _that_ sun, who pays no
compliments and tells no lies. Professor Owen, the greatest of
comparative anatomists, has made the subject of anthropoid apes his own,
by the perfection of his researches, continued and continuous. He would
have liked, at least I may venture, I believe, to say so (if the matter
gave him more than a moment's thought), that the name of Dr Gray had
been on that label.

_Letter from C. Waterton, Esq., mentioning a young gorilla._

                                          WALTON HALL, _Feb_. 4, 1856.

"DEAR SIR,--As your favour of the 28th did not seem to require an
immediate answer I put it aside for a while, having a multiplicity of
business then on hand, and being obliged to be from home for a couple of

"I beg to enclose you the letter to which you allude.

"Pray do not suppose that for one single moment I should be illiberal
enough to undervalue a 'closet naturalist.' 'Non cuivis homini contingit
adire corinthum.' It does not fall to every one's lot to range through
the forests of Guiana, still, a gentleman given to natural history may
do wonders for it in his own apartments on his native soil; and had
Audubon, Swainson, Jameson, &c., not attacked me in all the pride of
pompous self-conceit, I should have been the last man in the world to
expose their gross ignorance.

"You ask me 'If we are to have another volume of essays?' I beg to
answer, no. Last year, Mrs Loudon (to whom I made a present of the
essays) wrote to me, and asked for a few papers to be inserted in a
forthcoming edition. I answered, that as I had had some strange and
awful adventures since the 'Autobiography' made its appearance, I would
tack them on to it. But from that time to this, I have never had a line,
either from Mrs Loudon or from her publishers. But some months ago,
having made a present of a superb case of preserved specimens in natural
history to the Jesuits' College in Lancashire, I gave directions to my
stationer at Wakefield to procure me from London the fourth or last
edition of the essays; and I made references to it accordingly. But, lo
and behold, when I had opened this supposed fourth edition, I saw
printed on the title page 'a new edition.' Better had they printed a
_fifth edition_. This threw all my references wrong. Should you be
passing by Messrs Longman, perhaps you will have the goodness to ask
when this 'new edition' was printed.

"I am sorry you did not show me your drawing of the chimpanzee before it
was engraved. The artist has not done justice to it. He has made the
ears far too large.[7] The little brown chimpanzee has very small ears;
fully as small in proportion as those of a genuine negro. I am half
inclined to give to the world a little treatise on the monkey tribe. I
am prepared to show that Linnæus, Buffon, and all our hosts of
naturalists who have copied the remarks of these celebrated naturalists,
are perfectly in the dark with regard to the true character of _all_ the
monkey tribe. Yesterday, I sent up to the _Gardener's Chronicle_ a few
notes on the woodpecker.--Believe me, dear sir, very truly yours,

                                                     CHARLES WATERTON.

"P.S.--Many thanks for your nice little treatise on the chimpanzee."

Mr Waterton enclosed me a copy of the following letter, which he
published in a Yorkshire newspaper:--

   _To Mrs Wombwell._

"MADAM,--I am truly sorry that the inclemency of the weather has
prevented the inhabitants of this renowned watering-place from visiting
your wonderful gorilla, or brown orang-outang.

"I have passed two hours in its company, and I have been gratified
beyond expression.

"Would that all lovers of natural history could get a sight of it, as,
possibly, they may never see another of the same species in this

"It differs widely in one respect from all other orang-outangs which
have been exhibited in England--namely, that, when on the ground, it
never walks on the soles of its fore-feet, but on the knuckles of the
toes of those feet; and those toes are doubled up like the closed fist
of a man. This must be a painful position; and, to relieve itself, the
animal catches hold of visitors, and clings caressingly to Miss Bright,
who exhibits it. Here then, it is at rest, with the toes of the
fore-feet performing their natural functions, which they never do when
the animal is on the ground.

"Hence I draw the conclusion that this singular quadruped, like the
sloth, is not a walker on the ground of its own free-will, but by
accident only.

"No doubt whatever it is born, and lives, and dies aloft, amongst the
trees in the forests of Africa.

"Put it on a tree, and then it will immediately have the full use of the
toes of its fore-feet. Place it on the ground, and then you will see
that the toes of the fore-feet become useless, as I have already

"That it may retain its health, and thus remunerate you for the large
sum which you have expended in the purchase of it, is, madam, the
sincere hope of your obedient servant and well-wisher,

                                                    CHARLES WATERTON."

Scarborough Cliff, No. 1, _Nov. 1, 1855_.

"_P.S._--You are quite at liberty to make what use you choose of this
letter. I have written it for your own benefit, and for the good of
natural history."[8]


The writer of a most readable article on the acclimatisation of animals
in the _Edinburgh Review_,[9] gives an amusing recital of the arrival of
a chimpanzee at the Zoological Gardens. It was related to him by the
late Mr Mitchell, who was long the active secretary of the society, and
who did much to improve the Gardens. "One damp November evening, just
before dusk, there arrived a French traveller from Senegal, with a
companion closely muffled up in a burnoose at his side. On going, at his
earnest request, to speak to him at the gate, he communicated to me the
interesting fact that the stranger in the burnoose was a young chim, who
had resided in his family in Senegal for some twelve months, and who had
accompanied him to England. The animal was in perfect health; but from
the state of the atmosphere required good lodging, and more tender care
than could be found in a hotel. He proposed to sell his friend. I was
hard; did not like pulmonic property[10] at that period of the year,
having already two of the race in moderate health, but could not refrain
from an offer of hospitality during Chim's residence in London. Chim was
to go to Paris if I did not buy him. So we carried him, burnoose and
all, into the house where the lady chims were, and liberated him in the
doorway. They had taken tea, and were beginning to think of their early
couch. When the Senegal Adonis caught sight of them, he assumed a jaunty
air and advanced with politeness, as if to offer them the last news from
Africa. A yell of surprise burst from each chimpanzella as they
successively recognised the unexpected arrival. One would have supposed
that all the Billingsgate of Chimpanzeedom rolled from the voluble
tongues of these unsophisticated and hitherto unimpressible young
ladies; but probably their gesticulations, their shrill exclamations,
their shrinkings, their threats, were but well-mannered expressions of
welcome to a countryman thus abruptly revealed in the foreign land of
their captivity. Sir Chim advanced undaunted, and with the composure of
a high-caste pongo; if he had had a hat he would have doffed it
incontinently, as it was, he only slid out of his burnoose and ascended
into the apartment which adjoined his countrywomen with agile grace, and
then, through the transparent separation, he took a closer view. Juliana
yelled afresh. Paquita crossed her hands, and sat silently with face
about three quarters averted. Sir Chim uttered what may have been a
tranquillising phrase, expressive of the great happiness he felt on thus
being suddenly restored to the presence of kinswomen in the moment of
his deepest bereavement. Juliana calmed. Paquita diminished her angle of
aversion, and then Sir Chim, advancing quite close to the division,
began what appeared to be a recollection of a minuet. He executed
marvellous gestures with a precision and aplomb which were quite
enchanting, and when at last he broke out into a quick movement with
loud smacking stamps, the ladies were completely carried away, and gave
him all attention. Friendship was established, refreshments were served,
notwithstanding the previous tea, and everybody was apparently
satisfied, especially the stranger. Upon asking the Senegal proprietor
what the dance meant, he told me that the animal had voluntarily taken
to that imitation of his slaves, who used to dance every evening in the

So far Mr Mitchell's narrative; the reviewer relates how a chimpanzee,
placed for a short time in the society of the children of his owner in
this country, not only throve in an extraordinary manner, was perfectly
docile and good-tempered, but learnt to imitate them. When the eldest
little boy wished to tease his playfellow, he used, childlike, to make
faces at him. Chim soon outdid him, and one of the funniest things
imaginable was to see him blown at and blowing in return; his
protrusible lips converted themselves into a trumpet-shaped instrument,
which reminded one immediately of some of the devils of Albert Dürer, or
those incredible forms which the old painters used to delight in piling
together in their temptations of Saint Anthony.


Lady Anne Barnard, whose name as the writer of "Auld Robin Gray" is
familiar to every one who knows that most pathetic ballad, spent five
years with her husband at the Cape (1797-1802). Her journal letters to
her sisters are most amusing, and full of interesting observations.[11]
After describing "Musquito-hunting" with her husband, she writes:--"In
return, I endeavoured to effect a treaty of peace for the baboons, who
are apt to come down from the mountain in little troops to pillage our
garden of the fruit with which the trees are loaded. I told him he would
be worse than Don Carlos if he refused the children of the sun and the
soil the use of what had descended from ouran-outang to ouran-outang;
but, alas! I could not succeed. He had pledged himself to the
gardener,[12] to the slaves, and all the dogs, not to baulk them of
their sport; so he shot a superb man-of-the-mountain one morning, who
was marauding, and electrified himself the same moment, so shocked was
he at the groan given by the poor creature as he limped off the ground.
I do not think I shall hear of another falling a sacrifice to Barnard's
gun; they come too near the human race" (p. 408).

In another letter she says (p. 391), "The best way to get rid of them is
to catch one, whip him, and turn him loose; he skips off chattering to
his comrades, and is extremely angry, but none of them return the season
this is done. I have given orders, however, that there may be no


We have elsewhere referred to S. Bisset as a trainer of animals. Among
the earliest of his trials, this Scotchman took two monkeys as pupils.
One of these he taught to dance and tumble on the rope, whilst the other
held a candle with one paw for his companion, and with the other played
a barrel organ. These animals he also instructed to play several
fanciful tricks, such as drinking to the company, riding and tumbling
upon a horse's back, and going through several regular dances with a
dog. The horse and dog referred to, were the first animals on which this
ingenious person tried his skill. Although Bisset lived in the last
century, few persons seem to have surpassed him in his power of teaching
the lower animals. We have seen a man in Charlotte Square, in 1865, make
a new-world monkey go through a series of tricks, ringing a bell, firing
a pea-gun, and such like. Poor Jacko was to be pitied. His want of heart
in his labours was very evident. Poor fellow, no time for reflection was
allowed him. Like some of the masters in the Old High School,--such
cruelty dates back more than thirty years,--a ferule, or a pair of tawse
kept Jacko to his work. It was play to the onlookers, but no sport to
master Cebus. Had he possessed memory and reflection, how his thoughts
must have wandered from Edinburgh to the forests of the Amazon!


Beside horses and dogs, the poet Byron, like his own Don Juan, had a
kind of inclination, or weakness, for what most people deem mere vermin,
_live animals_.

Captain Medwin records, in one of his conversations, that the poet
remarked that it was troublesome to travel about with so much live and
dead stock as he did, and adds--"I don't like to leave behind me any of
my pets, that have been accumulating since I came on the Continent. One
cannot trust to strangers to take care of them. You will see at the
farmer's some of my pea-fowls _en pension_. Fletcher tells me that they
are almost as bad fellow-travellers as the monkey, which I will show
you." Here he led the way to a room where he played with and caressed
the creature for some time. He afterwards bought another monkey in Pisa,
because he saw it ill-used.[13]

Lord Byron's travelling equipage to Pisa in the autumn of 1821,
consisted, _inter cætera_, of nine horses, a monkey, a bull-dog, and a
mastiff, two cats, three pea-fowls, and some hens.[14]


(_From the "Noctes Ambrosianæ," Dec. 1825._[15])

_Shepherd._ I wish that you but saw my monkey, Mr North. He would make
you hop the twig in a guffaw. I ha'e got a pole erected for him, o'
about some 150 feet high, on a knowe ahint Mount Benger; and the way the
cretur rins up to the knob, looking ower the shouther o' him, and
twisting his tail roun' the pole for fear o' playin' thud on the grun',
is comical past a' endurance.

_North._ Think you, James, that he is a link?

_Shepherd._ A link in creation? Not he, indeed. He is merely a monkey.
Only to see him on his observatory, beholding the sunrise! or weeping,
like a Laker, at the beauty o' the moon and stars!

_North._ Is he a bit of a poet?

_Shepherd._ Gin he could but speak and write, there can be nae manner o'
doubt that he would be a gran' poet. Safe us! what een in the head o'
him! Wee, clear, red, fiery, watery, malignant-lookin een, fu' o'

_Tickler._ You should have him stuffed.

_Shepherd._ Stuffed, man! say, rather, embalmed. But he's no likely to
dee for years to come--indeed, the cretur's engaged to be married;
although he's no in the secret himsel yet. The bawns are published.

_Tickler._ Why really, James, marriage I think ought to be simply a
civil contract.

_Shepherd._ A civil contract! I wuss it was. But, oh! Mr Tickler, to see
the cretur sittin wi' a pen in 's hand, and pipe in 's mouth, jotting
down a sonnet, or odd, or lyrical ballad! Sometimes I put that black
velvet cap ye gied me on his head, and ane o' the bairns's auld
big-coats on his back; and then, sure aneugh, when he takes his stroll
in the avenue, he is a heathenish Christian.

_North._ Why, James, by this time he must be quite like one of the

_Shepherd._ He's a capital flee-fisher. I never saw a monkey throw a
lighter line in my life.... Then, for rowing a boat!

_Tickler._ Why don't you bring him to Ambrose's?

_Shepherd._ He's sae bashfu'. He never shines in company; and the least
thing in the world will make him blush.


Sir Thomas Dick Lauder[16] records the adventures of a monkey in
Morayshire, whose wanderings sadly alarmed the inhabitants who saw him,
all unused as they were to the sight of such an exotic stranger.

"We knew a large monkey, which escaped from his chain, and was abroad in
Morayshire for some eight or ten days. Wherever he appeared he spread
terror among the peasantry. A poor fisherman on the banks of the
Findhorn was sitting with his wife and family at their frugal meal, when
a hairy little man, as they in their ignorance conceived him to be,
appeared on the window sill and grinned, and chattered through the
casement what seemed to them to be the most horrible incantations.
Horror-struck, the poor people crowded together on their knees on the
floor, and began to exorcise him with prayers most vehemently, until
some external cause of alarm made their persecutor vanish. The
neighbours found the family half dead with fear, and could with
difficulty extract from them the cause. 'Oh! worthy neebours!' at last
exclaimed the goodman with a groan, 'we ha'e seen the _Enemy_ glowrin'
at us through that vera wundow there. Lord keep us a'!!' He next alarmed
a little hamlet near the hills; appearing and disappearing to various
individuals in a most mysterious manner; till at last a clown, with a
few grains of more courage than the rest, loaded his gun and put a
sixpence into it, with the intention of stealing upon him as he sat most
mysteriously chattering on the top of a cairn of stones, and then
shooting him with silver, which is known never to fail in finishing the
imps of the Evil One. And lucky indeed was it for pug that he chanced,
through whim, to abscond from that quarter; for if he had not so
disappeared, he might have died by the lead, if not by the silver. As it
was, the bold peasant laid claim to the full glory of compelling this
dreaded goblin to flee."

Sir Thomas Lauder kept several pets in his beautiful seat at the Grange,
long occupied by the Messrs Dalgleish of Dreghorn Castle as a genteel
boarding-school, and now by the Misses Mouatt as one for young ladies.
We have often seen the tombstones to his dogs, which were buried to the
south of that mansion, in which Principal Robertson the historian died,
and where Lord Brougham, his relation, used to go when a boy at the High


Dr John Moore, the father of General Moore, who fell at Corunna, in one
of the graphic sketches of a Frenchman which he gives in his work on
Italy, records a visit he paid to the Marquis de F---- at Besançon.
After many questions, he says, "Before I could make any answer, I
chanced to turn my eyes upon a person whom I had not before observed,
who sat very gravely upon a chair in a corner of the room, with a large
periwig in full dress upon his head. The marquis, seeing my surprise at
the sight of this unknown person, after a very hearty fit of laughter,
begged pardon for not having introduced me sooner to that gentleman (who
was no other than a large monkey), and then told me, he had the honour
of being attended by a physician, who had the reputation of possessing
the greatest skill, and who _certainly_ wore the largest periwigs of any
doctor in the province. That one morning, while he was writing a
prescription at his bedside, this same monkey had catched hold of his
periwig by one of the knots, and instantly made the best of his way out
at the window to the roof of a neighbouring house, from which post he
could not be dislodged, till the doctor, having lost patience, had sent
home for another wig, and never after could be prevailed on to accept of
this, which had been so much disgraced. That, _enfin_, his valet, to
whom the monkey belonged, had, ever since that adventure, obliged the
culprit by way of punishment to sit quietly, for an hour every morning,
with the periwig on his head.--Et pendant ces moments de tranquillité je
suis honoré de la société du venerable personage. Then, addressing
himself to the monkey, "Adieu, mon ami, pour aujourdhui--au plaisir de
vous revoir;" and the servant immediately carried Monsieur le Médicin
out of the room.[17]

This is a most characteristic bit, which could scarcely have occurred
out of France, where monkeys and dogs are petted as we never saw them
petted elsewhere. These things were so when we knew Paris under
Louis-Philippe. Frenchmen, surely, have not much changed under Louis


One of the attractive sights of Mr Cross's menagerie, some forty years
or so ago, was a full-grown baboon, to which had been given the name of
"Happy Jerry." He was conspicuous from the finely-coloured rib-like
ridges on each side of his cheeks, the clear blue and scarlet hue of
which, on such a hideous long face and muzzle, with its small,
deeply-sunk malicious eyes, and projecting brow and cheeks, seemed
almost as if beauty and bestiality were here combined. But Jerry had a
habit which would have made Father Matthew loathe him and those who
encouraged him. He had been taught to sit in an armchair and to drink
porter out of a pot, like a thirsty brickmaker; and, as an addition to
his accomplishments, he could also smoke a pipe, like a trained pupil of
Sir Walter Raleigh. This rib-nosed baboon, or mandrill, as he is often
called, obtained great renown; and among other distinguished personages
who wished to see him was his late majesty King George the Fourth. As
that king seldom during his reign frequented places of public resort, Mr
Cross was invited to bring Jerry to Windsor or Brighton, to display the
talents of his redoubtable baboon. I have heard Mr Cross say, that the
king placed his hands on the arm of one of the ladies of the Court, at
which Jerry began to show such unmistakable signs of ferocity, that the
mild, kind menagerist was glad to get Jerry removed, or at least the
king and his courtiers to withdraw. He showed his great teeth and
grinned and growled, as a baboon in a rage is apt to do. Jerry was a
powerful beast, especially in his fore-legs or arms. When he died, Mr
Cross presented his skin to the British Museum, where it has been long
preserved. The mandrill is a native of West Africa, where he is much
dreaded by the negroes.

In Cross's menagerie at Walworth, nearly twenty years ago, there was
generally a fine mandrill. We remember the sulky ferocity of that
restless eye. How angry the mild menagerist used to be at the ladies in
the monkey-room with their parasols! These appendages were the feelers
with which some of the softer sex used to touch Cross's monkeys, and, as
the old gentleman used to insist, helped to kill them. Parasols were
freely used to touch the boas and other snakes feeding in the same warm
room. No doubt a boa-constrictor could not live comfortably if his soft,
muscular sides got fifty pokes a day from as many sticks or parasols.
Edward Cross, mild, gentle, gentlemanly, Prince of show-keepers, used to
be very indignant at the inquisitorial desire possessed, especially by
some of the fairer sex, to try the relative hardness and softness of
serpents and monkeys, and other mammals and creatures. This story of the
mandrill may excuse this pendant of an episode.


Horace Walpole tells an anecdote of a fine young French lady, a Madame
de Choiseul. She longed for a parrot that should be a miracle of
eloquence. A parrot was soon found for her in Paris. She also became
enamoured of General Jacko, a celebrated monkey, at Astley's. But the
possessor was so exorbitant in his demand for Jacko, that the General
did not change proprietors. Another monkey was soon heard of, who had
been brought up by a cook in a kitchen, where he had learned to pluck
fowls with inimitable dexterity. This accomplished pet was bought and
presented to Madame, who accepted him. The first time she went out, the
two animals were locked up in her bed-chamber. When the lady returned,
the monkey was alone to be seen. Search, was made for Pretty Poll, and
to her horror she was found at last under bed, shivering and cowering,
and without a feather. It seems that the two pets had been presented by
rival lovers of Madame. Poll's presenter concluded that his rival had
given the monkey with that very view, challenged him; they fought, and
both were wounded: and a heroic adventure it was![18]


One of Luttrell's sayings, recorded by Sydney Smith, was,--

"I hate the sight of monkeys, they remind me so of poor relations." Here
follows a fine passage of Sydney Smith, which he might have written
after hearing the lectures of Professor Huxley.[19] "I confess I feel
myself so much at my ease about the superiority of mankind,--I have such
a marked and decided contempt for the understanding of every baboon I
have yet seen,--I feel so sure that the blue ape without a tail will
never rival us in poetry, painting, and music,--that I see no reason
whatever why justice may not be done to the few fragments of soul, and
tatters of understanding, which they may really possess. I have
sometimes, perhaps, felt a little uneasy at Exeter 'Change, from
contrasting the monkeys with the 'prentice boys who are teasing them;
but a few pages of Locke, or a few lines of Milton, have always restored
my tranquillity, and convinced me that the superiority of man had
nothing to fear."[20]


The monkey she alludes to seems to be the _Semnopithecus Entellus_, a
black-faced, light-haired monkey, with long legs and tail, much
venerated by the Hindoos.

"Mrs L. and I were very much amused, early this morning (July 5), by
watching numbers of huge apes, the size of human beings, with white hair
all round their faces, and down their backs and chests, who were
disporting themselves and feeding on the green leaves, on the sides of
the precipice close to the house. Many of them had one or two little
ones--the most amusing, indefatigable little creatures imaginable--who
were incessantly running up small trees, jumping down again, and
performing all sorts of antics, till one felt quite wearied with their
perpetual activity. When the mother wished to fly, she clutched the
little one under her arm, where, clinging round her body with all its
arms, it remained in safety, while she made leaps of from thirty to
forty feet, and ran at a most astonishing rate down the khad, catching
at any tree or twig that offered itself to any one of her four arms.
There were two old grave apes of enormous size sitting together on the
branch of a tree, and deliberately catching the fleas in each other's
shaggy coats. The patient sat perfectly still, while his brother ape
divided and thoroughly searched his beard and hair, lifted up one arm
and then the other, and turned him round as he thought fit; and then the
patient undertook to perform the same office for his friend."

THE AYE-AYE (_Chiromys Madagascariensis_).

Zoologists used to know a very curious animal from Madagascar, by name,
or by an indifferent specimen preserved in the Paris Museum. Sonnerat,
the naturalist, obtained it from that great island so well known to
geographical boys in former days by its being, so they were told, the
largest island in the world. This strange quadruped was named by a word
which meant "handed-mouse," for such is the signification of _chiromys_,
or _cheiromys_, as it used to be spelled. This creature, when its
history was better known, was believed to be not far removed in the
system from the lemurs and loris. Its soft fur, long tail, large eyes,
and other features and habits connected it with these quadrumana, while
its rodent dentition seemed to refer it to the group containing our
squirrels, hares, and mice. It has been the subject of a profound memoir
by Professor Owen, our greatest comparative anatomist; and I remember,
with pleasure, the last time I saw him at the Museum he was engaged in
its dissection. I may here refer to one of the Professor's lighter
productions--a lecture at Exeter Hall on some instances of the "power of
God as manifested in His animal creation"--for a very nice notice of
this curious quadruped. In one of the French journals, there was an
excellent account given of the peculiar habits of the little nocturnal
creature. In those tropical countries the trees are tenanted by
countless varieties of created things. Their wood affords rich feeding
to the large, fat, pulpy grubs of beetles of the families _Buprestidæ_,
_Dynastidæ_, _Passalidæ_, and, above all, that glorious group the
_Longicornia_. These beetles worm their way into the wood, making often
long tunnels, feeding as they work, and leaving their _ejecta_ in the
shape of agglomerated sawdust. It is into the long holes drilled by
these beetles that the Aye-Aye searches with his long fingers, one of
which, on the fore-hand, is specially thin, slender, and skeleton-like.
It looks like the tool of some lock-picker. Our large-eyed little
friend, like the burglar, comes out at night and finds these holes on
the trees where he slept during the day. His sensitive thin ears, made
to hear every scratch, can detect the rasping of the retired grub,
feasting in apparent security below. Naturalists sometimes hear at
night, so Samouelle once told me, the grubs of moths munching the dewy
leaves. Our aye-aye is no collector, but he has eyes, ears, and fingers
too, that see, hear, and get larvæ that, when grown and changed into
beetles, are the valued prizes of entomologists. Into that tunnelled
hole he inserts his long finger, and squash it goes into a large, pulpy,
fat, sweet grub. It takes but a moment to draw it out; and if it be a
pupa near the bark, so much the better for the aye-aye, so much the
worse for the beetle or cossus. I might dilate on this subject, but
prefer referring the reader to Professor Owen's memoir, and to his
lecture.[22] The aye-aye, in every point of its structure, like every
created thing, is full of design. Its curious fingers, especially the
skeleton-like chopstick of a digit referred to, attract especial notice,
from their evident adaptation to the condition of its situation and
existence, as one of the works of an omnipotent and beneficent Creator.


[6] The Durian, a peculiarly favourite fruit in several of the Eastern

[7] Mr Wolf's drawing was taken from a chimpanzee. Mr Waterton's young
chimpanzee was in reality a small-eared gorilla. The ears of the
chimpanzee are large.

[8] Written in 1861. Skins and skeletons of the gorilla are to be found
now in many museums.

[9] For Jan. 1860, vol. iii., p. 177.

[10] Monkeys are very liable to lung diseases in this climate, and all
menagerie keepers are aware of the bad effects of the winter on these
denizens of a warm climate.

[11] See "Lives of the Lindsays," by Lord Lindsay, vol. iii., pp.

[12] At Paradise. She describes some plants, one, evidently a Stapelia,
is a fine large star-plant, yellow and spotted like the skin of a
leopard, over which there grows a crop of glossy brown hair, at once
handsome and horrible; it crawls flat on the ground, and its leaves are
thick and fat (p. 407).

[13] "Conversations of Lord Byron" (p. 9).

[14] _Loc. cit._ (p. 1).

[15] "Works of Professor Wilson," vol. i., p. 73.

[16] Gilpin's "Forest Scenery," edited by Sir T. D. Lauder, vol. i., p.

[17] "View of Society and Manners in Italy," vol. ii., p. 475.

[18] Extracted from the late Mr Cunningham's complete edition; we
neglected to quote the page, and have altered and shortened the words.

[19] "Memoirs of Rev. Sydney Smith," i., p. 377.

[20] "Wit and Wisdom of Rev. Sydney Smith" (it is from a lecture at the
Royal Institution), p. 259.

[21] "Life in the Mission, the Camp, and the Zenánà; or, Six Years in
India," by Mrs Colin Mackenzie, vol. ii., p. 126.

[22] Published by James Nisbet & Co., in 1863, 1864.


A highly curious, if not the strangest, order of the class are these
flying creatures called bats. It is evident from Noel Paton's fairy
pictures that he has closely studied their often fantastic faces. The
writer could commend to his attention an African bat, lately figured by
his friend Mr Murray.[23] Its enormous head, or rather muzzle, compared
with its other parts, gives it an outrageously hideous look. In the late
excellent Dr Horsfield's work on the animals of Java, there are some
engravings of bats by Mr Taylor, who acquired among engravers the title
of "Bat Taylor," so wonderfully has he rendered the exquisite pileage or
fur of these creatures. It is wonderful how numerous the researches of
naturalists, such as Mr Tomes, of Welford, near Stratford, have shown
the order _Cheiroptera_ to be in genera and species. Their profiles and
full faces, even in outline, are often most bizarre and strange. Their
interfemoral membranes, we may add, are actual "unreticulated" nets,
with which they catch and detain flies as they skim through the air.
They pick these out of this bag with their mouths, and "make no bones"
of any prey, so sharp and pointed are their pretty insectivorous teeth.
Their flying membranes, stretched on the elongated finger-bones of their
fore-legs, are wonderful adaptations of Divine wisdom, a capital subject
for the natural theologian to select.

Our poet-laureate must be a close observer of natural history. In his
"In Memoriam," xciv., he distinctly alludes to some very curious West
African bats first described by the late amiable Edward T. Bennett, long
the much-valued secretary of the Zoological Society. These bats are
closely related to the fox bats, and form a genus which is named, from
their shoulder and breast appendages, _Epomophorus_:--

   "Bats went round in fragrant skies,
   And wheel'd or lit the filmy shapes
   That haunt the dusk, with ermine capes,
   And woolly breasts and beaded eyes."

The species Mr Bennett named _E. Whitei_, after the good Rev. Gilbert
White, that well-known worthy who wrote "The Natural History of
Selborne," wherein are many notices of bats.


It is curious, now that Australia is almost as civilised, and in parts
nearly as populous, as much of Europe, to read "Lieutenant Cook's Voyage
Round the World," in vol. iii. of Hawkesworth's quartos, detailing the
discoveries of June, July, and August 1770--that is close upon a
century ago. What progress has the world made since that period! We do
not require long periods of ages to alter, to adapt, to develop the
customs and knowledge of man. At p. 156 we get an account of a large
bat. On the 23d June 1770 Cook says:--"This day almost everybody had
seen the animal which the pigeon-shooters had brought an account of the
day before; and one of the seamen, who had been rambling in the woods,
told us, at his return, that he verily believed he had seen the devil.
We naturally inquired in what form he had appeared, and his answer was
in so singular a style that I shall set down his own words. 'He was,'
says John, 'as large as a one-gallon keg, and very like it; he had horns
and wings, yet he crept so slowly through the grass, that if I had not
been _afeared_ I might have touched him.' This formidable apparition we
afterwards discovered to have been a bat, and the bats here must be
acknowledged to have a frightful appearance, for they are nearly black,
and full as large as a partridge; they have indeed no horns, but the
fancy of a man who thought he saw the devil might easily supply that

       *       *       *       *       *

Having seen some of the very curious fox-bats alive, and given some
condensed information about them in Dr Hamilton's series of volumes
called "Excelsior," the writer may extract the account, with some slight
additions, especially as the article is illustrated with a truly
admirable figure of a fox-bat, from a living specimen by Mr Wolf. In Sir
Emerson Tennent's "Sketches of the Natural History of Ceylon," p. 14, Mr
Wolf has represented a whole colony of the "flying-foxes," as they are

[Illustration: Flying Fox. (Pteropus ruficollis.)]

FOX-BATS (_Pteropus_).

In this country that bat is deemed a large one whose wings, when
measured from tip to tip, exceed twelve inches, or whose body is above
that of a small mouse in bulk. In some parts of the world, however,
there are members of this well-marked family, the wings of which, when
stretched and measured from one extremity to the other, are five feet
and upwards in extent, and their bodies large in proportion. These are
the fox-bats, a pair of which were lately procured for the Zoological
Gardens. It is from one of this pair that the very characteristic figure
of Mr Wolf has been derived.[24] There is something very odd in the
appearance of such an animal, suspended as it is during the day head
downwards, in a position the very sight of which suggests to the
looker-on ideas of nightmare and apoplexy. As the head peers out from
the membrane, contracted about the body and investing it as in a bag,
and the strange creature chews a piece of apple presented by its keeper,
the least curious observer must be struck with the peculiarity of the
position, and cannot fail to admire the velvety softness and great
elasticity of the membrane which forms its wings. It must have been from
an exaggerated account of the fox-bats of the Eastern Islands that the
ancients derived their ideas of the dreaded Harpies, those fabulous
winged monsters sent out by the relentless Juno, and whose names are
synonymous with rapine and cruelty.

Some of these bats, before they were thoroughly known, frightened
British sailors not a little when they met with them. We have given an
anecdote, illustrative of this, in a preceding page.

Dr Forster, who accompanied Captain Cook on the voyage round the world
from 1772 to 1775, observed fox-bats at the Friendly Islands, where they
were seen in large groups of hundreds. Our traveller even notices that
some of them flew about the whole day, doubtless from being disturbed by
the wandering crews of the British discovery ships. He saw a Casuarina
tree of large size, the branches of which were festooned with at least
five hundred of these pendent Cheiroptera in various attitudes of ease,
according to the habits and notions of the bat tribes, who can hang
either by the hind or by the fore-feet. He noticed that they skimmed
over the water with wonderful facility, and he saw one in the act of
swimming, though he cannot say that it did so with either ease or
expertness; they are known, however, to frequent the water in order to
wash themselves from any impurities on their fur and wings, as well as
to get rid of the vermin which may be infesting them.

Captain Lort Stokes found the red-necked species to be very abundant,
during his survey of the north coast of Australia in H.M.S. _Beagle_. As
the boats were engaged in the survey, flights of these bats kept
hovering over them, uttering a disagreeable screeching noise and filling
the air with a faint mildewy odour, far from agreeable to the smell. The
sailors gave these bats the name of "monkey-birds," without being aware
that naturalists in their system consider them as following closely the
order which contains these four-handed lovers of trees. Captain Stokes
observes that the leathern wings have a singular heavy flap, and that a
flight of bats would suddenly alight on a bamboo and bend it to the
ground with their weight. Each individual struggles on alighting to
settle on the same spot, and like rooks or men in similar circumstances,
they do not succeed in fixing themselves without making a great deal of
noise. When first they clung to the bamboo, they did so by means of the
claw on the outer edge of the flying membrane, and then they gradually

Among the wild and varied scenery of those groups of islands called the
Friendly Islands, the Feejees, and the Navigators, species of fox-bat
form one of the characteristics of the place to the observant eye;
while, if the traveller should happen to be blind, their presence among
the otherwise fragrant forests would be readily perceived from the
strong odour which taints the atmosphere, and which, says the Naturalist
of the United States Exploring Expedition, "will always be remembered by
persons who have visited the regions inhabited by these animals." Mr
Titian Peale mentions that a specimen of the fox-bat was kept in
Philadelphia for several years; and like most creatures, winged as well
as wingless, was amiable to those persons who were constantly near it,
while it showed clearly and unmistakably its dislike to strangers.

On its voyage, this strange passenger was fed on boiled rice, sweetened
with sugar; while at the Museum, it was solaced and fed during its
captivity chiefly on fruit, and now and then appeared to enjoy the
picking from the bones of a boiled fowl. The fox-bat is but seldom
brought alive to this country. The late Mr Cross of the Surrey
Zoological Gardens kept one for a short time, and deemed it one of his
greatest rarities; and, till the arrival lately of the pair alluded to
at the Gardens in the Regent's Park, we have not heard of other
specimens having been exhibited in this country. They are difficult to
keep, and seem to feel very sensibly the changes of our climate, while
it is a hard thing to get for them the food on which they live when in a
state of liberty.

Mr Macgillivray discovered a new species of fox-bat on Fitzroy Island,
off the coast of Australia, when he was naturalist of H.M.S.
_Rattlesnake_.[25] He fell in with this large fruit-eating bat
(_Pteropus conspicillatus_) on the wooded slope of a hill. They were in
prodigious numbers, and presented the appearance, as they flew along in
the bright sunshine, of a large flock of rooks. As they were approached,
a strong musky odour became apparent, and a loud incessant chattering
was heard. He describes the branches of some of the trees as bending
beneath the loads of bats which clung to them. Some of these were in a
state of inactivity, sleeping or composing themselves to sleep, while
many specimens scrambled along among the boughs and took to flight on
being disturbed. He shot several specimens, three or four at a time, as
they hung in clusters. Unless they were killed outright, they continued
suspended for some time; when wounded they are difficult to handle, as
they bite severely, and at such times their cry resembles somewhat the
squalling of a child. The flesh of these bats is described to be
excellent, and no wonder, when they feed on the sweetest fruits; the
natives regard it as nutritious food, and travellers in Australia, like
the adventurous Leichhardt on his journey to Port Essington, sometimes
are furnished with a welcome meal from the fruit-eating fox-bats which
fall in their way. Even the polished French, in the Isle of Bourbon, as
they used to call the Mauritius, sometimes stewed a Pteropus, in their
_bouillon_ or broth to give it a relish.

Travellers observe that in a state of nature the fox-bats only eat the
ripest and the best fruit, and in their search for it they climb with
great facility along the under side of the branches. In Java, as Dr
Horsfield observes, these creatures, from their numbers and fruit-eating
propensities, occasion incalculable mischief, as they attack every kind
that grows there, from the cocoa-nut to the rarer and more delicate
productions, which are cultivated with care in the gardens of princes
and persons of rank. The doctor observes, that "delicate fruits, as they
approach to maturity, are ingeniously secured by means of a loose net or
basket, skilfully constructed of split bamboo. Without this precaution
little valuable fruit would escape the ravages of the kalong."

We have mentioned that the fox-bats are occasionally eaten in Australia.
Colonel Sykes alludes to the native Portuguese in Western India eating
the flesh of another species of Pteropus; and it would seem that but for
prejudice, their flesh, like that of the young of the South American
monkeys, is extremely delicate; the colonel says, writing of the
_Pteropus medius_, a species found in India, "I can personally testify
that their flesh is delicate and without disagreeable flavour."

The Javanese fox-bat occasionally affords amusement to the colonists as
well as natives, who chase it, according to Dr Horsfield, "during the
moonlight nights, which, in the latitude of Java, are uncommonly serene.
He is watched in his descent to the fruit-trees, and a discharge of
small shot readily brings him to the ground. By this means I frequently
obtained four or five individuals in the course of an hour." The natives
of New Caledonia, according to Dr Forster, use the hair of these great
bats in ropes, and in the tassels to their clubs, while they interweave
the hair among the threads of the _Cyperus squarrosus_, a grassy-looking
plant which they employ for that purpose.

William Dampier,[26] in 1687, observed the habits of a fox-bat on one of
the Philippine Islands, though he has exaggerated its size when he
judged "that the wings stretched out in length, could not be less
asunder than seven or eight foot from tip to tip." He records that "in
the evening, as soon as the sun was set, these creatures would begin to
take their flight from this island in swarms like bees, directing their
flight over to the main island. Thus we should see them rising up from
the island till night hindered our sight; and in the morning, as soon as
it was light, we should see them returning again like a cloud to the
small island till sunrising. This course they kept constantly while we
lay here, affording us every morning and evening an hour's diversion in
gazing at them and talking about them." Dr Horsfield describes the
species, which is abundant in the lower parts of Java, as having the
same habit. During the day it retreats to the branches of a tree of the
genus _Ficus_, where it passes the greater portion of the day in sleep,
"hanging motionless, ranged in succession, and often in close contact,
they have little resemblance to living beings, and by a person not
accustomed to their economy, are readily mistaken for a part of the
tree, or for a fruit of uncommon size suspended from its branches." The
doctor describes their society as being generally silent during the day,
except when a contention arises among them to get out of the influence
of the sun, when they utter a sharp piercing shriek. Their claws are so
sharp, and their attachment is consequently so strong, that they cannot
readily leave their hold without the assistance of their wings, and if
shot when in this position, they remain suspended.


Dr Mayerne, a learned English physician, who died, aged eighty-two, in
1655, showed by his prescriptions that his enlightenment was not more
than that of the prevailing ignorance of the period. The chief
ingredient in his gout-powder was "raspings of a human skull unburied;"
"but," writes Mr Jeaffreson,[27] "his sweetest compound was his 'balsam
of bats,' strongly recommended as an unguent for hypochondriacal
persons, into which entered adders, bats, sucking whelps, earth-worms,
hogs' grease, the marrow of a stag, and the thigh-bone of an ox."

No doubt the doctor imagined that a combination of the virulence,
flightiness, swiftness, strength, and other qualities of all these
animals would in some mysterious way be communicated to his melancholy
patient; and, indeed, by acting on the imagination of such persons a
favourable direction is given to their thoughts, and in this way their
severe malady may at times have been removed.


[23] Illustrated Proceedings of Zoological Society.

[24] This was written some years ago; but I was glad to see when last in
the Zoological Gardens, June 1866, another live specimen of a species of
fox bat.

[25] "Narrative of the Voyage," i., p. 96 (1852).

[26] "New Voyage round the World" (1698), p. 381.

[27] "A Book about Doctors," by J. Cordy Jeaffreson, i., p. 23.


This well-armed genus of insect-eating quadruped has sometimes given to
describing zoologists, at least so it is said, an opportunity of paying
a sly compliment, concealing an allusion to the _touchy_ or supposed
irritable disposition of the party after whom the species has been
named. When Southey wrote the following paragraph, he happily expressed
what is too commonly the meaning and wish of critics and criticised. If
my readers look into any system of mammalia of recent date, under the
article _Erinaceus_, he will see one or more instances of concealed
allusions to touchiness of disposition in the persons of the
naturalists, _honoured_ by the seeming compliment. The hedgehog is
itself a very useful and very harmless quadruped. It is of great use in
a garden, and also in a kitchen frequented by crickets or black-beetles.
Its food is chiefly grubs, insects, worms, and such like. The creature
is easily tamed, and becomes a lovable and not a touchy pet. It is
eminently nocturnal.


Robert Southey ("Common-Place Book," 4th series, p.44) writes:--

"I intend to be a hedgehog, and roll myself up in my own prickles: all I
regret is that I am not a porcupine, and endowed with the property of
shooting them to annoy the beasts who come near enough to annoy me."


This is perhaps the most remarkable of all our quadrupeds. Its
subterranean haunts and curious aptitudes for a life below the surface
of the ground are peculiarly worthy of study. The little hillocks it
turns up in its excavations are noticed by every one. Its pursuit of
worms and grubs, its nest, its soft plush-like fur, the pointed nose,
the strong digging fore-feet, the small all but hidden eyes, and
hundreds of other properties, render it a noticeable creature. The
following passage from Lord Macaulay's latest writings, although rather
long, may interest some in the story of this curious creature:--


"A fly, if it had God's message, could choke a king."[28] I never knew
till the 9th January 1862, when reading vol. v. of Macaulay's England,
that a horse, stumbling on a mole-hill, was the immediate cause of the
death of the great William III.

Lady Trevelyan, the sister of Macaulay, published vol. v. of her
brother's work, and added an account of the death of the illustrious
Dutchman, who did so much for our religious and civil liberties. The
historian was very partial to William, and the account of that monarch's
last days is Macaulay's last finished piece: it is here quoted in full
from the history:[29]--

"Meanwhile reports about the state of the king's health were constantly
becoming more and more alarming. His medical advisers, both English and
Dutch, were at the end of their resources. He had consulted by letter
all the most eminent physicians of Europe; and, as he was apprehensive
that they might return flattering answers if they knew who he was, he
had written under feigned names. To Fagon he had described himself as a
parish priest. Fagon replied, somewhat bluntly, that such symptoms could
have only one meaning, and that the only advice which he had to give to
the sick man was to prepare himself for death. Having obtained this
plain answer, William consulted Fagon again without disguise, and
obtained some prescriptions which were thought to have a little retarded
the approach of the inevitable hour. But the great king's days were
numbered. Headaches and shivering fits returned on him almost daily. He
still rode, and even hunted; but he had no longer that firm seat, or
that perfect command of the bridle, for which he had once been renowned.
Still all his care was for the future. The filial respect and tenderness
of Albemarle had been almost a necessary of life to him. But it was of
importance that Heinsius should be fully informed both as to the whole
plan of the next campaign, and as to the state of the preparations.
Albemarle was in full possession of the king's views on these subjects.
He was therefore sent to the Hague. Heinsius was at that time suffering
from indisposition, which was indeed a trifle when compared with the
maladies under which William was sinking. But in the nature of William
there was none of that selfishness which is the too common vice of
invalids. On the 20th of February he sent to Heinsius a letter, in which
he did not even allude to his own sufferings and infirmities. 'I am,'
he said, 'infinitely concerned to learn that your health is not yet
quite re-established. May God be pleased to grant you a speedy recovery.
I am unalterably your good friend, WILLIAM.' These were the last lines
of that long correspondence.

"On the 20th of February, William was ambling on a favourite horse named
Sorrel through the park of Hampton Court. He urged his horse to strike
into a gallop just at the spot where a mole had been at work. Sorrel
stumbled on the mole-hill, and went down on his knees. The king fell
off, and broke his collar-bone. The bone was set, and he returned to
Kensington in his coach. The jolting of the rough roads of that time
made it necessary to reduce the fracture again. To a young and vigorous
man such an accident would have been a trifle; but the frame of William
was not in a condition to bear even the slightest shock. He felt that
his time was short, and grieved, with a grief such as only noble spirits
feel, to think that he must leave his work but half finished. It was
possible that he might still live until one of his plans should be
carried into execution. He had long known that the relation in which
England and Scotland stood to each other was at best precarious, and
often unfriendly, and that it might be doubted whether, in an estimate
of the British power, the resources of the smaller country ought not to
be deducted from those of the larger. Recent events had proved that
without doubt the two kingdoms could not possibly continue for another
year to be on the terms on which they had been during the preceding
century, and that there must be between them either absolute union or
deadly enmity. Their enmity would bring frightful calamities, not on
themselves alone, but on all the civilised world. Their union would be
the best security for the prosperity of both, for the internal
tranquillity of the island, for the just balance of power among European
states, and for the immunities of all Protestant countries. On the 28th
of February, the Commons listened, with uncovered heads, to the last
message that bore William's sign-manual. An unhappy accident, he told
them, had forced him to make to them in writing a communication which he
would gladly have made from the throne. He had, in the first year of his
reign, expressed his desire to see a union accomplished between England
and Scotland. He was convinced that nothing could more conduce to the
safety and happiness of both. He should think it his peculiar felicity
if, before the close of his reign, some happy expedient could be devised
for making the two kingdoms one; and he, in the most earnest manner,
recommended the question to the consideration of the Houses. It was
resolved that the message should be taken into consideration on Saturday
the 7th of March.

"But, on the 1st of March, humours of menacing appearance showed
themselves in the king's knee. On the 4th of March he was attacked by
fever; on the 5th, his strength failed greatly; and on the 6th he was
scarcely kept alive by cordials. The Abjuration Bill and a money bill
were awaiting his assent. That assent he felt that he should not be able
to give in person. He therefore ordered a commission to be prepared for
his signature. His hand was now too weak to form the letters of his
name, and it was suggested that a stamp should be prepared. On the 7th
of March the stamp was ready. The Lord Keeper and the Clerks of the
Parliament came, according to usage, to witness the signing of the
commission. But they were detained some hours in the ante-chamber while
he was in one of the paroxysms of his malady. Meanwhile the Houses were
sitting. It was Saturday the 7th, the day on which the Commons had
resolved to take into consideration the question of the union with
Scotland. But that subject was not mentioned. It was known that the king
had but a few hours to live; and the members asked each other anxiously
whether it was likely that the Abjuration and money bills would be
passed before he died. After sitting long in the expectation of a
message, the Commons adjourned till six in the afternoon. By that time
William had recovered himself sufficiently to put the stamp on the
parchment which authorised his commissioners to act for him. In the
evening, when the Houses had assembled, Black Rod knocked. The Commons
were summoned to the bar of the Lords; the commission was read, the
Abjuration Bill and the Malt Bill became law, and both Houses adjourned
till nine o'clock in the morning of the following day. The following day
was Sunday. But there was little chance that William would live through
the night. It was of the highest importance that, within the shortest
possible time after his decease, the successor designated by the Bill of
Rights and the Act of Succession should receive the homage of the
Estates of the Realm, and be publicly proclaimed in the Council: and the
most rigid Pharisee in the Society for the Reformation of Manners could
hardly deny that it was lawful to save the state, even on the Sabbath.

"The king meanwhile was sinking fast. Albemarle had arrived at
Kensington from the Hague, exhausted by rapid travelling. His master
kindly bade him go to rest for some hours, and then summoned him to make
his report. That report was in all respects satisfactory. The States
General were in the best temper; the troops, the provisions, and the
magazines were in the best order. Everything was in readiness for an
early campaign. William received the intelligence with the calmness of a
man whose work was done. He was under no illusion as to his danger. 'I
am fast drawing,' he said, 'to my end.' His end was worthy of his life.
His intellect was not for a moment clouded. His fortitude was the more
admirable because he was not willing to die. He had very lately said to
one of those whom he most loved, 'You know that I never feared death;
there have been times when I should have wished it, but, now that this
great new prospect is opening before me, I do wish to stay here a little
longer.' Yet no weakness, no querulousness disgraced the noble close of
that noble career. To the physicians the king returned his thanks
graciously and gently. 'I know that you have done all that skill and
learning could do for me, but the case is beyond your art; and I
submit.' From the words which escaped him he seemed to be frequently
engaged in mental prayer. Burnet and Tenison remained many hours in the
sick-room. He professed to them his firm belief in the truth of the
Christian religion, and received the sacrament from their hands with
great seriousness. The antechambers were crowded all night with lords
and privy-councillors. He ordered several of them to be called in, and
exerted himself to take leave of them with a few kind and cheerful
words. Among the English who were admitted to his bedside were
Devonshire and Ormond. But there were in the crowd those who felt as no
Englishman could feel, friends of his youth, who had been true to him,
and to whom he had been true, through all vicissitudes of fortune; who
had served him with unalterable fidelity when his Secretaries of State,
his Treasury, and his Admiralty had betrayed him; who had never on any
field of battle, or in an atmosphere tainted with loathsome and deadly
disease, shrunk from placing their own lives in jeopardy to save his,
and whose truth he had at the cost of his own popularity rewarded with
bounteous munificence. He strained his feeble voice to thank
Auverquerque for the affectionate and loyal services of thirty years. To
Albemarle he gave the keys of his closet and of his private drawers.
'You know,' he said, 'what to do with them.' By this time he could
scarcely respire. 'Can this,' he said to the physicians, 'last long?' He
was told that the end was approaching. He swallowed a cordial, and asked
for Bentinck. Those were his last articulate words. Bentinck instantly
came to the bedside, bent down, and placed his ear close to the king's
mouth. The lips of the dying man moved, but nothing could be heard. The
king took the hand of his earliest friend, and pressed it tenderly to
his heart. In that moment, no doubt, all that had cast a slight passing
cloud over their long and pure friendship was forgotten. It was now
between seven and eight in the morning. He closed his eyes, and gasped
for breath. The bishops knelt down and read the commendatory prayer.
When it ended William was no more!"

It was assuredly the stumbling of his horse against a mole-hill that led
more immediately to the death of this great monarch. It is but one link
in the chain of many providences affecting his life. We all remember the
schoolboy ditty--

   "For want of a nail the shoe was lost;
   For want of a shoe the rider was lost;
   For want of the rider the battle was lost;
   For want of the battle the kingdom was lost."

How much the death of King William retarded progress in Great Britain
can never be judged or determined. His appointed hour had come. It was
no bullet with its billet on the banks of the Boyne that laid the
Dutchman low, but the cast-up earth of a specimen of a little
insectivorous quadruped called the mole, which laid him on that bed from
which he never arose.


[28] Jeremy Taylor, if I remember aright.

[29] Vol. V., pp. 305-310.


A most comfortably clad set of plantigrade creatures, as fond, most of
them, of fruits as they are of flesh. No creatures are more amusing in
zoological gardens to children, who wonder at their climbing powers. Who
is so heartless as not to have pitied the roving polar bear, caged, on a
sultry July day, in a small paddock with a puddle, and wandering about
restlessly in his few feet of ground, as the well-dressed mob lounged to
hear the military band performing in the Regent's Park Zoological
Gardens? Even young bears have an _adult_ kind of look about them. The
writer remembers the manner of one, disappointed at its bread sap, most
of the milk of which had been absorbed. A little girl standing by, not
two years old, perfectly understood what the little creature was
searching for, and, looking up, said "milka," or something closely
resembling it. We recently saw a little brown bear, on board a Russian
ship at Leith. He acted as a capital guard. The little creature had a
grown-up face, more easily observed than described.

Bear hams, we speak from rare experience, are truly excellent. Bears, in
our early London days, were kept by many hairdressers and perfumers. The
anecdote or passage from Dickens's "Humphrey's Clock" is very

In one of Wilkie's pictures the brown bear is figured on its way with
its owners to the parish beadle's "house of detention." We remember the
very bear and its owners. A fine chapter might be written on the animals
that used to be led about the country by wandering foreigners. Our first
sight of guinea-pigs, our first view of the black-bellied hamster, our
first sight of the camel and dromedary, with a monkey on his neck, and
our first bear, were seen in this way. Boys and girls in those days
seldom saw menageries. A muzzled bear on its hind legs in Nicolson
Street, or at the Sciennes, was an exotic sight seldom witnessed, and
not easily forgotten. The last we saw was in Bernard Street, Leith, in
1869. That very day, the police were hunting for Bruin and its leaders
all over Edinburgh. Bears are now debarred from parading our streets.


Mr Paget was told an excellent story of a bear hunt, which took place in
the mountains of Transylvania, and in the presence of the gentleman who
told him the story.

"General V----, the Austrian commander of the forces in this district,
had come to Cronstadt to inspect the troops, and had been invited by our
friend, in compliment to his rank, to join him in a bear hunt. Now, the
general, though more accustomed to drilling than hunting, accepted the
invitation, and appeared in due time in a cocked hat and long gray
greatcoat, the uniform of an Austrian general. When they had taken up
their places, the general, with half a dozen rifles arrayed before him,
paid such devoted attention to a bottle of spirits he had brought with
him, that he quite forgot the object of his coming. At last, however, a
huge bear burst suddenly from the cover of the pine forest, directly in
front of him. At that moment the bottle was raised so high that it quite
obscured the general's vision, and he did not perceive the intruder till
he was close upon him. Down went the bottle, up jumped the astonished
soldier, and, forgetful of his guns, off he started, with the bear
clutching at the tails of his greatcoat as he ran away. What strange
confusion of ideas was muddling the general's intellect at the moment it
is difficult to say, but I suspect he had some notion that the attack
was an act of insubordination on the part of Bruin, for he called out
most lustily, as he ran along, 'Back, rascal! back! I am a general!'
Luckily, a poor Wallack peasant had more respect for the epaulettes
than the bear, and, throwing himself in the way, with nothing but a
spear for his defence, he kept the enemy at bay till our friend and the
jägers came up, and finished the contest with their rifles."


When at Trinity College, Cambridge, Lord Byron had a strange pet. He
"brought up a bear for a degree." He said to Captain Medwyn,[31] "I had
a great hatred of college rules, and contempt for academical honours.
How many of their wranglers have ever distinguished themselves in the
world? There was, by the by, rather a witty satire founded on my bear. A
friend of Shelley's made an ourang-outang (Oran Hanton, Esq.) the hero
of a novel ('Melincourt'), had him created a baronet, and returned for
the borough of One Vote."


Any one who has been long resident in London, or who has passed through
Fenchurch Street, or Everett Street, Russell Square, must have been
struck with the way in which "bears' grease" is or used to be advertised
in these localities. Dickens makes Mr Samuel Weller tell of an
enthusiastic tradesman of this description.[32]

"His whole delight was in his trade. He spent all his money in bears,
and run in debt for 'em besides, and there they wos a growling away in
the front cellar all day long and ineffectually gnashing their teeth,
vile the grease o' their relations and friends wos being retailed in
gallipots in the shop above, and the first floor winder wos ornamented
with their heads; not to speak o' the dreadful aggrawation it must have
been to 'em to see a man always a walkin' up and down the pavement
outside, with the portrait of a bear in his last agonies, and
underneath, in large letters, 'Another fine animal was slaughtered
yesterday at Jenkinson's!' Hous'ever, there they wos, and there
Jenkinson wos, till he was took very ill with some inward disorder, lost
the use of his legs, and wos confined to his bed, vere he laid a wery
long time; but sich wos his pride in his profession even then, that
wenever he wos worse than usual the doctor used to go down-stairs, and
say, 'Jenkinson's wery low this mornin', we must give the bears a stir;'
and as sure as ever they stirred 'em up a bit, and made 'em roar,
Jenkinson opens his eyes, if he wos ever so bad, calls out, 'There's the
bears!' and rewives agin."

The author of a most amusing article in the seventy-seventh volume of
the _Edinburgh Review_, on the modern system of advertising, records
that, in his puff, the first vendor of bears' grease cautioned his
customers to wash their hands in warm water after using it, to prevent
them from assuming the hairy appearance of a paw.


An illiterate vendor of beer wrote over his door at Harrowgate, "_Bear_
sold here." "He spells the word quite correctly," said Theodore Hook,
"if he means to apprise us that the article is his own _Bruin_."[33]

[Illustration: Polar Bear. (Thalassarctos maritimus.)]


Robert Southey ("Common-Place Book," 4th ser., p. 359) says:--"At
Bristol I saw a shaved monkey shown for a fairy; and a shaved bear, in a
check waistcoat and trousers, sitting in a great chair as an Ethiopian
savage. This was the most cruel fraud I ever saw. The unnatural position
of the beast, and the damnable brutality of the woman-keeper, who sat
upon his knee, put her arm round his neck, called him husband and
sweetheart, and kissed him, made it the most disgusting spectacle I ever
witnessed. Cottle was with me."

He also tells of a fellow exhibiting a dragon-fly under a magnifier at a
country fair, and calling it the great High German "Heiter-Keiter."


(_Thalassarctos maritimus._[34])

Notwithstanding ice and snow, and the darkness of a nine months' winter,
the Arctic regions are tenanted by several mammalia. Some of these are
constant residents, the rest are migratory visitors. Of the former
division, one of the most conspicuous, as it is certainly the most
formidable, is the polar bear,--a creature between eight and nine feet
in length, which, shuffling along the snow at a very quick pace, and
being an excellent swimmer besides, cannot fail to inspire dread. The
large wide head and fearfully armed jaws are united by a strong neck to
powerful shoulders, from which spring the thick and muscular fore-legs.
The paws, both of the fore and of the hind feet, are broad and admirably
adapted, with their long hairy covering, to keep the polar bear from
sinking in the snow. Although the creature has an appearance of
clumsiness, it is the reverse of inactive. Every one who knows the
boundless spaces it has to traverse, when in a state of liberty and the
"monarch of all it surveys," cannot but pity it as a prisoner in the
Regent's Park, where a tolerably capacious den, supplied with a bath of
water of very limited dimension, affords the restless creature less
liberty than a squirrel has in its round-about, or a poor lark in its

Voyagers to the Arctic regions describe it as wandering over the fields
of ice, mounting the hummocks,[35] and looking around for prey. With
outstretched head, its little but keen eye directed to the various
points of a wide horizon, the polar bear looks out for seals; or scents
with its quick nostrils the luscious smell of some stinking
whale-blubber or half-putrid whale-flesh. Dr Scoresby relates[36] that a
piece of the _kreng_ of a whale thrown into the fire drew a bear to a
ship from the distance of miles. Captain Beechey mentions, that his
party in 1818, as they were off the coast of Spitzbergen, by setting on
fire some fat of the walrus, soon attracted a bear to their close
vicinity. This polar Bruin was evidently unaccustomed to the sight of
masts, and, when approaching, occasionally hesitated, and seemed half
inclined to turn round and be off. So agreeable a smell as burning
walrus fat dispelled all distrust, and brought him within musket-shot.
On receiving the first ball, he sprang round, growled terrifically, and
half raised himself on his hind-legs, as if expecting to seize the
object which had caused so much pain; woe to any one who had at that
moment been within reach of his merciless paws! Although a second and
third ball laid him writhing on the ice, he was not mastered; and on the
butt end of a musket directed at his head breaking short off, the bear
quickly seized the thigh of his assailant, and, but for the immediate
assistance of two or three of his shipmates, the man would have been
seriously injured. In these very seas--nearly fifty years before--the
hero of Trafalgar encountered this Arctic tyrant, and, when missed from
his ship, was discovered with a comrade attacking a large specimen,
separated from them by a chasm in the ice. On being reprimanded by his
captain for his foolhardiness, "Sir," said the young middy, pouting his
lips, as he used to do when excited, "I wished to kill the bear that I
might carry the skin to my father."[37]

Barentz, in his celebrated voyage in 1595, had two of his men killed by
"a great leane white beare." In these early days, so unused were polar
bears to man, that though thirty of their comrades attempted a rescue,
the prey was not abandoned. The purser, "stepping somewhat farther
forward, and seeing the beare to be within the length of a shot,
presently levelled his peece, and discharging it at the beare, shot her
into the head, betweene both the eyes, and yet shee held the man still
fast by the necke, and lifted up her head with the man in her mouth, but
shee beganne somewhat to stagger; wherewith the purser and a Scottishman
drew out their courtlaxes (cutlasses), and stroke at her so hard, that
their courtlaxes burst, and yet shee would not leave the man. At last
Wm. Geysen went to them, and with all his might stroke the beare upon
the snowt with his peece, at which time the beare fell to the ground,
making a great noyse, and Wm. Geysen leaping upon her cut her throat.
The 7th of September wee buried the dead bodies of our men in the States
Island, and having fleaed the beare, carryed her skinne to Amsterdam."

This is about the earliest record of an encounter with this formidable
creature; sailors now find that they can be attacked with most advantage
in the water. When in this element, they try to escape by swimming to
the ice, and when the ice is in the form of loose and detached small
floes, Dr Sutherland has seen them dive underneath, and appear on the
opposite side. Scoresby records, that when shot at a distance, and able
to escape, the bear has been observed to retire to the shelter of a
hummock, and, as if aware of the styptical effect of cold, apply snow to
the wound.

In common with nearly every animal, this huge despot of the North is
strongly attached to its young. Captain Inglefield, on his return home
from Baffin's Bay in 1852, pursued three bears, as he was anxious to get
a supply of fresh meat for his Esquimaux dogs. The trio were evidently a
mother and twins. The captain was anxious to secure the cubs alive as
trophies, and was cautious in shooting at the mother. All three fell,
and were brought on board the _Isabel_. He records that it was quite
heartrending to see the affection that existed between them. When the
cubs saw their mother was wounded, they commenced licking her wounds,
regardless of their own sufferings. At length the mother began to eat
the snow, a sure sign that she was mortally wounded. "Even then her care
for the cubs did not cease, as she kept continually turning her head
from one to the other, and, though roaring with pain, she seemed to warn
them to escape if possible. Their attachment was as great as hers, and I
was thus obliged to destroy them all. It went much against my feelings,
but the memory of my starving dogs reconciled me to the necessity."

The female bear when pursued carries or pushes her cubs forwards, and
the little creatures are described as placing themselves across her path
to be shoved forwards. Scoresby mentions an instance where, when
projected some yards in advance, the cubs ran on until she overtook
them, when they alternately adjusted themselves for a second throw.

It is chiefly on the seal that this bear feeds, and it displays great
cunning in catching them as they sleep on the ice, or come to the holes
in the ice to breathe, when it destroys them with one blow of its
formidable and heavy paw. For its mode of getting the walrus we refer
the reader to "Excelsior," vol. i. p. 37. Notwithstanding his strength
and ferocity, the Esquimaux frequently kill the polar bear, as they
esteem its flesh and fat, and highly prize its skin. The flesh is not so
prized by Saxons, whether they be European or American. Dr Kane's
opinion would differ but little from that of Arctic voyagers on our side
of the Atlantic. The surgeon to the "Grinnell Expedition" in search of
Sir John Franklin thus characterises its flesh: "Bear is strong, very
strong, and withal most capricious meat; you cannot tell where to find
him. One day he is quite beefy and bearable; another, hircine, hippuric,
and detestable."

It is but fair to say that Captain Parry[38] regards the flesh of the
polar bear to be as wholesome as any other, though not quite so
palatable. His men suffered from indigestion after eating it; but this
he attributes to the quantity, and not to the quality, of the meat they
had eaten.

There seems to be little doubt that the liver is highly deleterious.
Some of the sailors of Barentz, who made a meal of it, were very sick,
"and we verily thought we should have lost them, for all their skins
came off from the foot to the head."

The skin of the bear is covered with long yellowish white hair, which,
is very close, and forms a wonderful defence against the cold, and
against the tusk of the animals on which it feeds. We heard of another
use of this hair from an officer on one of the late Arctic searching
expeditions. A bear was seen to come down a tolerably high and steep
declivity by sliding down on its hinder quarters, in an attitude known,
in more than one part of the British Islands, by the expressive name of
"katy-hunkers;" the shaggy hair with which it was covered serving like a
thick mat to protect the creature from injury. The Esquimaux prepare the
skin sometimes without ripping it up, and turning the hairy side inward
a warm sack-like bed is formed, into which they creep, and lie very
comfortably. Otho Fabricius, in his "Fauna Grænlandica" (p. 24), informs
us that the tendons are converted into sewing threads. The female bear
has one or two, and sometimes three, cubs at a time. They are born in
the winter, and the mother generally digs for them and for herself a
snug nestling-place in the snow. The males in the winter time leave the
coast, and go out on the ice-fields, to the edge of the open water after
seals.--_Adam White, in "Excelsior" (with additions)._


In 1773, Captain Phipps, afterwards Lord Mulgrave, sailed on a voyage of
discovery towards the North Pole. In this expedition sailed two Norfolk
young men, one in his twenty-third year, the other a mere lad in his
fifteenth year. The former sailed from a spirit of curiosity, and being
sorely distressed by sea-sickness was landed in Norway. He afterwards
became famous in the British Parliament, and the speeches of the Right
Hon. William Windham, Secretary at War, are often referred to even now.
The younger man was Horatio Nelson, cockswain under Captain Lutwidge,
who was killed at the battle of Trafalgar, thirty-two years after his
Polar expedition, and left a name which is synonymous with the glory of
the British navy.

Southey, in his admirable life,[39] records an instance of his hardihood
on this expedition:--"One night, during the mid-watch, he stole from the
ship with one of his comrades, taking advantage of a rising fog, and set
off over the ice in pursuit of a bear. It was not long before they were
missed. The fog thickened, and Captain Lutwidge and his officers became
exceedingly alarmed for their safety. Between three and four in the
morning the weather cleared, and the two adventurers were seen at a
considerable distance from the ship attacking a huge bear. The signal
for them to return was immediately made; Nelsons' comrade called upon
him to obey it, but in vain; his musket had flashed in the pan; their
ammunition was expended; and a chasm in the ice, which divided him from
the bear, probably preserved his life. 'Never mind,' he cried; 'do but
let me get a blow at this devil with the butt-end of my musket, and we
shall have him.' Captain Lutwidge, however, seeing his danger, fired a
gun, which had the desired effect of frightening the beast; and the boy
then returned, somewhat afraid of the consequences of his trespass. The
captain reprimanded him sternly for conduct so unworthy of the office
which he filled, and desired to know what motive he could have for
hunting a bear. 'Sir,' said he, pouting his lip, as he was wont to do
when agitated, 'I wished to kill the bear, that I might carry the skin
to my father.'"


Mr Markham,[40] when the ship _Assistance_ was in the Wellington
Channel, observed several bears prowling about in search of seals. "On
one occasion," he writes, "I saw a bear swimming across a lane of water,
and pushing a large piece of ice before him. Landing on the floe, he
advanced stealthily towards a couple of seals, which were basking in the
sun at some little distance, still holding the ice in front to hide his
black muzzle; but this most sagacious of bears was for once outwitted,
for the seals dived into a pool of water before he could get within
reach. On another occasion, a female Bruin having been shot from the
deck of the _Intrepid_, her affectionate cub, an animal about the size
of a large Newfoundland dog, remained resolutely by the side of its
mother, and on the approach of the commander of the _Intrepid_ with part
of his crew, a sort of tournament ensued, in which the youthful bear,
although belaboured most savagely, showed a gallant resistance, and at
length rushing between the legs of the corporal of marines, laid him
prostrate on the ice, floored another man, who had seized hold of his
tail, and effected his escape."


Captain Ommaney,[41] who led one of the travelling parties in 1851 sent
out from the ships under Austin in search of Franklin on the 12th of
June, the day before he arrived at the ships, met with a laughable
accident, although it might have had a serious termination. They had all
of them but just got into their blanket bags, when a peculiar noise, as
if something was rubbing up the snow, was heard outside. The gallant
captain instantly divined its cause, seized, loaded, and cocked his gun,
and ordered the tent door to be opened, upon which a huge bear was seen
outside. Captain Ommaney fired at the animal, but, whether from the
benumbed state of his limbs, or the dim glimmering light, he
unfortunately missed him, and shot away the rope that supported the tent
instead. The enraged monster then poked his head against the poles, and
the tent fell upon its terrified inmates, and embraced them in its
folds. Their confusion and dismay can more easily be imagined than
described, but at length one man, with more self-possession than the
rest, slipped out of his bag, scrambled from under the prostrate tent,
and ran to the sledge for another gun; and it was well that he did so,
for no sooner had he vacated his sleeping sack than Bruin seized it
between his teeth, and shook it violently, with the evident intention of
wreaking his vengeance on its inmate. He was, however, speedily
despatched by a well-aimed shot from the man, the tent was repitched,
and tranquillity restored.


[30] "Hungary and Transylvania," &c., by John Paget, Esq., vol. ii. p.

[31] "Conversations of Lord Byron," p. 72.

[32] "Master Humphrey's Clock."

[33] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 331

[34] [Greek: Thalassa], sea; [Greek: arktos], bear.

[35] Those "Arctic hedge-rows," as Mr David Walker calls them, when, on
the 30th November 1857, he was on board the Arctic yacht _Fox_,
wintering in the floe-ice of Baffin's Bay. "The scene apparent on going
on deck after breakfast was splendid, and unlike anything I ever saw
before. The subdued light of the moon thrown over such a vast expanse of
ice, in the distance the loom of a berg, or the shadow of the hummocks
(the Arctic hedge-rows), the only thing to break the even surface, a few
stars peeping out, as if gazing in wonder at the spectacle,--all united
to render the prospect striking, and lead one to contemplate the
goodness and power of the Creator." On the 2d November, they had killed
a bear, which had been bayed and surrounded by their Esquimaux dogs.
Captain M'Clintock shot him. He was 7 feet 3 inches long. Only one of
the dogs was injured by his paws. Much did the hungry beasts enjoy their
feast, for they "were regaled with the entrails, which they polished off
in a very short time."--_Mr Walker, in_ _"Belfast News Letter," quoted
in "Dublin Natural History Review," 1858_, p. 180.

[36] "Account of Arctic Regions," i. 517.

[37] The anecdote is given with more detail at p. 67.

[38] "Attempt to Reach the North Pole," p. 115.

[39] "Life of Nelson," by Robert Southey, Esq., LL.D., Poet Laureate, p.

[40] "Franklin's Footsteps," by Clement R. Markham, p. 65.

[41] "Franklin's Footsteps," by Clement Robert Markham, late of H.M.S.
_Assistance_, p. 93.


A strikingly pretty, well-clad, and pleasingly coloured North American
quadruped, of which many zoological anecdotes might be given. Linnæus
named it _Ursu lotor_, or the Washer, from its curious habit of putting
any food offered to it, at least when in confinement, into water, before
attempting to eat it.


An American phrase for "the last extremity," or, "it's all up." They say
that a Major, or Colonel, or General Scott "down South" was notorious as
a dead shot. Once on a time, when out with his gun, he espied a raccoon
on a lofty tree. The poor raccoon, noticing the gun pointed at him,
cried to the dead shot, "Air _you_ General Scott?"--"I air."--"Then
wait, I air a comin' down, for I air _a gone coon_."


The badger, or brock, as it is called in Scotland, is yearly becoming
more and more rare. In a few years, this curious and powerful member of
the _feræ_, will figure, like the bear and beaver, as among the extinct
quadrupeds of these islands. Naturalists will be recording that in the
days of Robert Burns it must have been not at all uncommon, and not rare
in those of Hugh Miller, since low dram-shops kept them for the
entertainment of their guests. The Ayrshire bard makes the Newfoundland
dog, Cæsar, say to his comrade Luath, the collie, when, speaking of most
of the gentry of his day--

   "They gang as saucy by poor folk
   As I wad by a stinking brock."[42]

The author of "Old Red Sandstone" and "My Schools and Schoolmasters,"
has recorded in the latter work the history of his employment as a hewer
of great stones under the branching foliage of the elm and chestnut
trees of Niddry Park, near Edinburgh, and how, in the course of a strike
among the masons, he marched into town with several of them to a meeting
on the Links, where, conspicuous from the deep red hue of their clothes
and aprons, they were cheered as a reinforcement from a distance. On
adjourning, Hugh Miller, in his racy style, gives the following account
of a badger-baiting more than forty years ago:--


"My comrades proposed that we should pass the time until the hour of
meeting in a public-house, and, desirous of securing a glimpse of the
sort of enjoyment for which they sacrificed so much, I accompanied them.
Passing not a few more inviting-looking places, we entered a low tavern
in the upper part of the Canongate, kept in an old half-ruinous
building, which has since disappeared. We passed on through a narrow
passage to a low-roofed room in the centre of the erection, into which
the light of day never penetrated, and in which the gas was burning
dimly in a close, sluggish atmosphere, rendered still more stifling by
tobacco-smoke, and a strong smell of ardent spirits. In the middle of
the crazy floor there was a trap-door, which lay open at the time; and a
wild combination of sounds, in which the yelping of a dog, and a few
gruff voices that seemed cheering him on, were most noticeable, rose
from the apartment below. It was customary at this time for dram-shops
to keep badgers housed in long narrow boxes, and for working men to keep
dogs; and it was part of the ordinary sport of such places to set the
dogs to unhouse the badgers. The wild sport which Scott describes in his
'Guy Mannering,' as pursued by Dandy Dinmont and his associates among
the Cheviots, was extensively practised twenty-nine years ago amid the
dingier haunts of the High Street and Canongate. Our party, like most
others, had its dog,--a repulsive-looking brute, with an earth-directed
eye; as if he carried about with him an evil conscience; and my
companions were desirous of getting his earthing ability tested upon the
badger of the establishment; but on summoning the tavern-keeper, we were
told that the party below had got the start of us. Their dog was, as we
might hear, 'just drawing the badger; and before our dog could be
permitted to draw him, the poor brute would require to get an hour's
rest.' I need scarce say, that the hour was spent in hard drinking in
that stagnant atmosphere; and we then all descended through the
trap-door, by means of a ladder, into a bare-walled dungeon, dark and
damp, and where the pestiferous air smelt like that of a burial vault.
The scene which followed was exceedingly repulsive and brutal,--nearly
as much so as some of the scenes furnished by those otter-hunts in which
the aristocracy of the country delight occasionally to indulge. Amid
shouts and yells the badger, with the blood of his recent conflict still
fresh upon him, was again drawn to the box-mouth; and the party
returning satisfied to the apartment above, again betook themselves to
hard drinking. In a short time the liquor began to tell, not first, as
might be supposed, on our younger men, who were mostly tall, vigorous
fellows, in the first flush of their full strength, but on a few of the
middle-aged workmen, whose constitutions seemed undermined by a previous
course of dissipation and debauchery. The conversation became very loud,
very involved, and though highly seasoned with emphatic oaths, very
insipid; and leaving with Cha--who seemed somewhat uneasy that my eye
should be upon their meeting in its hour of weakness--money enough to
clear off my share of the reckoning, I stole out to the King's Park, and
passed an hour to better purpose among the trap rocks than I could
possibly have spent it beside the trap-door of that tavern party. I am
not aware that a single individual, save the writer, is now living; its
very dog did not live out half his days. His owner was alarmed one
morning, shortly after this time, by the intelligence that a dozen of
sheep had been worried during the night on a neighbouring farm, and that
a dog very like his had been seen prowling about the fold; but in order
to determine the point, he would be visited, it was added, in the course
of the day, by the shepherd and a law-officer. The dog meanwhile,
however, conscious of guilt,--for dogs do seem to have consciences in
such matters,--was nowhere to be found, though, after the lapse of
nearly a week, he again appeared at the work; and his master, slipping a
rope round his neck, brought him to a deserted coal-pit half-filled with
water, that opened in an adjacent field, and flinging him in, left the
authorities no clue by which to establish his identity with the robber
and assassin of the fold."[43]


The laird, so Dean Ramsay had the story sent him, once riding past a
high steep bank, stopped opposite a hole in it, and said, "John, I saw a
brock gang in there."--"Did ye?" said John; "wull ye haud my horse,
sir?"--"Certainly," said the laird, and away rushed John for a spade.
After digging for half an hour, he came back, nigh speechless to the
laird, who had regarded him musingly. "I canna find him, sir," said
John.--"'Deed," said the laird, very coolly, "I wad ha' wondered if ye
had, for it's ten years sin' I saw him gang in there."[44]


[42] Poems, chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, 1787, p. 14, "The Twa


A truly blood-thirsty member of that slim-bodied but active race, the
weasel tribe. He is certainly an inhabitant of a warmer climate than
this, being very sensitive to cold. He is used in killing rats and
_ferreting out_ rabbits, a verb indeed derived from his name. He has
been known to attack sleeping infants.


That delightful painter of cottage life, says his son,[45] often found
cottagers who gloried in being painted, and who sat like professional
models, under an erroneous impression that it was for their personal
beauties and perfections that their likenesses were portrayed. The
remarks of these and other good people, who sat to the painter in
perfect ignorance of the use or object of his labours, were often
exquisitely original. He used to quote the criticism of a celebrated
country rat-catcher, on the study he had made from him, with hearty
triumph and delight. When asked whether he thought his portrait like,
the rat-catcher, who--perhaps in virtue of his calling--was a gruff and
unhesitating man, immediately declared that the face was "not a morsel
like," but vowed with a great oath, that nothing could ever be equal to
the correctness of the _dirt shine on his old leather breeches_, and the
_grip_ that he had of _the necks of his ferrets_!


[43] "My Schools and Schoolmasters; or, The Story of my Education," by
Hugh Miller, fifth edition, 1856, pp. 321-323.

[44] "Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character," tenth edition,
1864, p. 183.


An equally blood-thirsty member of the weasel family, with the subject
of the preceding paragraph.


Francis Grose relates the following as having happened during one of the
famous Westminster elections:--"During the poll, a dead cat being thrown
on the hustings, one of Sir Cecil Wray's party observed it stunk worse
than a fox, to which Mr Fox replied, there was nothing extraordinary in
that, considering it was a poll-cat."


[45] "Memoirs of the Life of William Collins, R.A," by his son, W.
Wilkie Collins, i. p. 222.


One who seems to love the race of dogs, and who has written a most
readable book on them,[47] remarks, that the dog "even now is rarely the
companion of a Jew, or the inmate of his house." He quotes various terms
of reproach still common among us, and which seem to have originated
from a similar feeling to that of the Jew. For instance, we say of a
very cheap article, that it is "dog cheap." To call a person "a dog," or
"a cur," or "a hound," means something the very opposite of
complimentary. A surly person is said to have "a dogged disposition."
Any one very much fatigued is said to be "dog weary." A wretched room or
house is often called "a dog hole," or said to be only fit for "a dog."
Very poor verse is "doggerel." It is told of Lady Mary Wortley
Montague, that when a young nobleman refused to translate some
inscription over an alcove, because it was in "dog-latin," she observed,
"How strange a puppy shouldn't understand his mother tongue."

What, too, can be more expressive of a man being on the verge of ruin,
than the common phrase, that "such a one is going to the dogs." Of
modern describers of the very life and feelings of dogs, who can surpass
Dr John Brown of Edinburgh? His "Rab," and his "Our Dogs," are worthy of
the brush of Sir Edwin Landseer. Who has not heard the answer _said_ to
have been given by Sydney Smith to the great painter, when he wanted to
make a portrait of the witty canon, "_Is thy servant a dog, that he
should do this thing?_"

There is great diversity of standard in matters of taste. In China, a
well-roasted pup, of any variety of the very variable _Canis
familiaris_, is a dainty dish. In London the greatest exquisite delights
in the taste of a half-cooked woodcock, but would scruple to eat a
lady's lap-dog, even though descended, by indubitable pedigree, from a
genuine "liver-and-tan" spaniel, that followed King Charles II. in his
strolls through St James's Park; and which was given to her ladyship's
ancestress on a day recorded, perhaps, in the diary of Mr Samuel Pepys.
Again, in the country of the Esquimaux, who has not read in the
intensely interesting narratives of the Moravian missionaries, how the
dogs of the "Innuit"--of "the men," as they call themselves--are, in
winter, indispensable to their very existence? Parry, Lyon, Franklin,
Richardson, Ross, Rae, Penny, Sutherland, Inglefield, and Kane, have
told us what excellent "carriage"-pullers these hardy children of the
snow become from early infancy; and how the more they work, like the
wives of savages in Australia, the more they are kicked. Passing over
the dogs of the Indian tribes of North America and the gaunt race in
Patagonia, the reader may remember that the Roman youth, like the young
Briton, had, in the days of Horace, his outer marks--one was, that he
loved to have a dog, or a whole pack beside him--"_gaudet canibus_."
This attachment to the dog is given us "from above," and is one of the
many "good gifts" which proceed from Him, who made man and dog
"familiar," as the apt specific name of Linnæus denominates the latter.
One of our greatly-gifted poets, in a cynical mood, could write an
epitaph on a favourite Newfoundlander, and end it with the dismal lines
on his views of "earthly friends"--

   "He never knew but one,--and here he lies."

Our genial and home-loving Cowper has made his dog Beau classical. We
must beg our readers to refresh their memories, by looking into the
Olney bard's exquisite story,

   "My spaniel, prettiest of his race,
   And high in pedigree,"

and they will find that _that_ story of "The Dog and the Water-lily" was
"no fable," and that Beau really understood his master's wish when he
fetched him a water-lily out of "Ouse's silent tide." How graceful are
the last two stanzas of that sweet little poem--

   "Charm'd with the sight, 'The world,' I cried,
     'Shall hear of this thy deed;
   My dog shall mortify the pride
     Of man's superior breed.

   'But chief myself I will enjoin,
     Awake at duty's call,
   To show a love as prompt as thine
     To Him who gives me all.'"[48]

[Illustration: BEAU.]

That the world might know the very "mark and figure" of this spaniel,
the late able illustrator of so many topographical works (Mr James
Storer) published in his "Rural Walks of Cowper"[49] a figure of Beau,
from the stuffed skin in the possession of Cowper's kinsman, the Rev.
Dr Johnson.

Mr Montague, in a letter to the son and biographer of Sir James
Mackintosh,[50] gives many reminiscences of that eminent man, who was
much attached to the memory of Cowper. He says, "We reached Dereham
about mid-day (it was in 1801), and wrote to Mr Johnson, the clergyman,
who had protected Cowper in the last years of his life, and in whose
house he died. He instantly called upon us, and we accompanied him to
his house. In the hall, we were introduced to a little red and white
spaniel, in a glass case--the little dog Beau, who, seeing the
water-lily which Cowper could not reach, 'plunging, left the shore.'"

   "I saw him with that lily cropp'd,
     Impatient swim to meet
   My quick approach, and soon he dropp'd
     The treasure at my feet."

We saw the room where Cowper died, and the bell which he last touched.
We went to his grave, and to Mrs Unwin's, who is buried at some
distance. I lamented this, "Do not live in the visible, but the
invisible," said your father,--"his attainments, his tenderness, his
affections, his sufferings, and his hardships, will live long after both
their graves are no more."

We could linger over a prized octavo volume, published in Edinburgh in
1787; the first poem of this, "The Twa Dogs, a Tale," occupies some
thirteen pages, written with that "rare felicity" so common to _the_
Bard of Scotland. We mention it, because of the peculiar happiness with
which the collie, or Scottish shepherd-dog, is described in lines that
Sir Edwin Landseer alone has equalled on canvas, or his brother Thomas
with the graver--

   "He was a gash an' faithfu' tyke
   As ever lap a sheugh or dyke.
   His honest, sonsie, bawsn't[51] face,
   Aye gat him friends in ilka place.
   His breast was white, his touzie back
   Weel clad wi' coat of glossy black;
   His gaucie tail, wi' upward curl,
   Hung owre his hurdies wi' a swirl."

_That's_ the shepherd-dog, as we have heard him described from a
specimen, which was the friend and follower of a valued one, who, when a
boy ('tis many years ago), frisked with the dog, over _one_ of the many
ferny haughs that margin the lovely Tweed above and below Peebles. It is
_the_ collie we have seen, on one of the sheep-farms of Lanarkshire,
obey its young master by a word or two, as unintelligible to us as
Japanese. But to the Culter "Luath," to hear was to obey; and in a
quarter of an hour a flock of sheep, which had been feeding on a
hillSide half a mile off, were brought back, driven by this faithful
"bit doggie." We wonder not that shepherds love their dogs. Why, even
the New Smithfield cattle-drovers, who drive sheep along the streets of
London on a Monday or Friday, never even require to urge their faithful
partners. Well may the gifted authoress of "The Dream" address "the
faithful guardian"--

   "Oh, tried and trusted! thou whose love
     Ne'er changes nor forsakes,
   Thou proof, how perfect God hath stamp'd
     The meanest thing He makes;
   Thou, whom no snare entraps to serve,
     No art is used to tame
   (Train'd, like ourselves, thy path to know,
     By words of love and blame);
   Friend! who beside the cottage door,
     Or in the rich man's hall,
   With steadfast faith still answerest
     The one familiar call;
   Well by poor hearth and lordly home
     Thy couchant form may rest,
   And Prince and Peasant trust thee still,
     To guard what they love best."

   _Hon. Mrs Norton, "The Dream," &c._, p. 192.

No ordinary-sized volume, much less a short article, could give a tithe
of the true anecdotes of members of the dog race. Mere references to
their biography would take up a volume of Bibliography itself, just as
their forms, and character, and "pose," give endless subject to the
painter. Of modern authors, no one loved dogs more truly than Sir Walter
Scott, as the reader of his writings and of his biography is well
aware;[52] but it may not be generally known that, on the only occasion
when the great novelist met the Ayrshire peasant,--

   "Virgilium tantum vidi,"--

the poem, which had made Burns a wonder to the boy then "unknown," was
that of "The Twa Dogs;" so that, even then, Scott had commenced to show
his attachment to these faithful followers. It was in the house of Sir
Adam Ferguson, when Scott was a mere lad; and the scene was described
most vividly to the writer by the late Scottish knight, after whose
battle in South Italy the author of "Marmion" named his pet staghound
Maida, or, as Scott pronounced it, "Myda." It was as the author of "The
Twa Dogs" that young Ferguson and Scott regarded Burns on his entrance
into the room with such wistful attention. The story is told in
Lockhart, and we will not quote it further; but, leaving dogs of our own
days and lands to Mr Jesse, who has given an interesting volume on them,
we will close with a few paragraphs on the dog of the East--a very
differently treated animal to that generally prized and esteemed
"friend" of man in these lands of the West.

The Holy Scriptures show us that dogs were generally despised. We select
three, out of many instances. "Is thy servant a _dog_ that he should do
this thing?" was the question with which Hazael, ignorant of the
deceitfulness of his own heart, indignantly replied to Elisha, when the
prophet told him of the evil that he would yet do unto the children of
Israel (2 Kings viii. 13). He, "who spake as never man spake," knowing
the faith of the Syrophoenician woman, and giving her an opportunity
of manifesting it "for our example," said, in the Syriac fashion of
thought, "It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to
_the dogs_" (Mark vii. 27). And the apostle John, in that wondrous close
of the prophetical writings, says, "For without," _i.e._, outside of the
New Jerusalem, "are _dogs_" (Rev. xxii. 5). In the East up to the
present day, with but few exceptions, dogs are treated with great
dislike. We might quote passages in proof from almost every Eastern
traveller, and may venture to extract one from the graphic page of the
Rev. W. Graham, who lived five years in Syria, and who has given some
noble word-pictures of men, and streets, and scenes in Damascus and
other Turkish towns. Writing of Damascus,[53] he remarks, "The dogs are
considered unclean, and are never domesticated in the East. They are
thin, lean, fox-like animals, and always at the starving point. They
live, breed, and die in the streets. They are useful as scavengers. They
are neither fondled nor persecuted, but simply tolerated; and no dog has
an owner, or ever follows and accompanies a man as the sheep do. I once
went out in the evening at Beyrout, with my teacher to enjoy the fresh
air and talk Arabic. My little English dog, the gift of a friend,
followed us. We passed through a garden, where a venerable Moslem was
sitting on a stone, silently and solemnly engaged in smoking his pipe.
He observed the dog _following_ us, and was astonished at it, as
something new and extraordinary; and rising, and making out of the way,
he cried out, 'May his father be accursed! Is that a dog or a fox?'"
Again, in Damascus, should a worn-out horse, donkey, or camel die in the
streets, in a few hours the dogs have devoured it; and the powerful rays
of the sun dry up all corrupt matter. Mr Graham tells us that the dogs
of Damascus are brown, blackish, or of an ash colour, and that he saw no
white or spotted specimens. He never saw a case of hydrophobia, nor did
he hear a _bark_. The dogs "howl, and make noise enough," he continues,
"but the fine, well-defined _bow-wow_ is entirely wanting." With a quiet
humour, he hints at the bark being a mark of the civilised, domesticated
dog, and as denoting, apparently, "the refinement of canine education."
We have been struck with the attempts of Penny's Esquimaux dogs,
deposited by the gallant Arctic mariner in the Zoological Gardens, to
_get up_ a bark somewhat like the "well-bred" dogs in the cages near
them. Mr Graham tells us of the Damascus dogs having established a kind
of police among themselves, and, like the rooks, driving all intruders
far from their district.

Dogs were not always disregarded in the East. Herodotus informs us,[54]
during the Persian occupation the number of Indian dogs kept in the
province of Babylon for the use of the governor was so great, that four
cities were exempted from taxes for maintaining them. In the mountain
parts of India, travellers describe the great dogs of Thibet and
Cashmere as being much prized.

"The domestic dog of Ladak," says Major Cunningham,[55] "is the
well-known shepherd's dog, or Thibetan mastiff. They have shaggy coats,
generally quite black, or black and tan; but I have seen some of a light
brown colour. They are usually ill-tempered to strangers; but I have
never found one that would face a stick, although they can fight well
when attacked. The only peculiarity that I have noticed about them is,
that the tail is nearly always curled upward on to the back, where the
hair is displaced by the constant rubbing of the tail." And that the
same massive variety was also prized in ancient times we know, by a
singularly fine, small bas-relief in baked clay, found in 1849 in the
Birs-i-Nimrud, Babylon, by Sir Henry Rawlinson, which is preserved in
the British Museum, to which it was presented by the late Prince Albert,
and an outline of which, reduced one-half, will convey a good idea to
the reader of its form. We may add that this bas-relief was first
noticed and figured, in 1851, in the third edition of a truly learned
and excellent work on "Nineveh and Persepolis," by Mr Vaux of the
British Museum (p. 183). These dogs, then, were nothing else than big,
"low jowled" Thibetan mastiffs, such as we occasionally see brought over
by some Indian officer; and the use for which they were employed by the
ancient kings and their attendants is strikingly exhibited on some slabs
from a chamber in the north palace of Koujunjik, a part of the great
Nineveh. On some of these slabs, dogs are seen engaged in pulling down
wild asses, deer, and other animals; and they were evidently kept also
to assist in securing nobler game--"the king of beasts;"--the sport of
which animals shows how truly the Assyrian king was named "Nimrod, the
mighty hunter before the Lord."--_Adam White, in "Excelsior" (with



His natural temperament was quick, and he was fond of authority. "A
saying of Sydney Smith's has been preserved, humorously illustrative of
the view which he took of Bishop Blomfield's character. The bishop had
been bitten by a dog in the calf of the leg, and fearing possible
hydrophobia in consequence, he went, with characteristic promptitude, to
have the injured piece of flesh cut out by a surgeon before he returned
home. Two or three on whom he called were not at home; but, at last, the
operation was effected by the eminent surgeon, Mr Keate. The same
evening the bishop was to have dined with a party where Sydney Smith was
a guest. Just before dinner, a note arrived, saying that he was unable
to keep his engagement, a dog having rushed out from the crowd and
bitten him in the leg. When this note was read aloud to the company,
Sydney Smith's comment was, '_I should like to hear the dog's account of
the story_.'

"When this accident occurred to him, Bishop Blomfield happened to be
walking with Dr D'Oyly, the rector of Lambeth. A lady of strong
Protestant principles, mistaking Dr D'Oyly for Dr Doyle, said that she
considered it was a judgment upon the bishop for keeping such


It is related, that when a former Bishop of Bristol held the office of
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, he one day met a couple
of under-graduates, who neglected to pay the accustomed compliment of
_capping_. The bishop inquired the reason of the neglect. The two men
begged his lordship's pardon, observing they were _freshmen_, and did
not know him. "How long have you been in Cambridge?" asked his lordship.
"Only _eight_ days," was the reply. "Very good," said the bishop;
"_puppies_ never see till they are _nine_ days old."[57]


Few have written so lovingly on the dog as this gifted poetess. Her dog
Flush is described so well that Landseer could paint the creature almost
to a hair. She has entered into the very feeling created in us by this
favoured pet of our race. The beautiful stanzas[58] I have copied give
also many little touches of her autobiography. This gifted lady was long
an invalid. She could enter with rare sympathy into Cowper's attachments
to animals. Her experience of the friendship of Flush is well told in
the following lines, so different from Lord Byron's misanthropic verses
on his dog:--


   Loving friend, the gift of one
   Who her own true faith has run
     Through her lower nature,
   Be my benediction said
   With my hand upon thy head,
     Gentle fellow-creature!

   Like a lady's ringlets brown
   Flow thy silken ears adown
     Either side demurely
   Of thy silver-suited breast,
   Shining out from all the rest
     Of thy body purely.

   Darkly brown thy body is,
   Till the sunshine, striking this,
     Alchemise its dulness,
   When the sleek curls manifold
   Flash all over into gold
     With a burnish'd fulness.

   Underneath my stroking hand,
   Startled eyes of hazel bland
     Kindling, growing larger,
   Up thou leapest with a spring,
   Full of prank and curveting
     Leaping like a charger.

   Leap! thy broad tail waves a light;
   Leap! thy slender feet are bright,
     Canopied in fringes;
   Leap! those tassell'd ears of thine
   Flicker strangely, fair and fine,
     Down their golden inches.

   Yet, my pretty, sporting friend,
   Little is 't to such an end
     That I praise thy rareness;
   Other dogs may be thy peers
   Haply in these drooping ears
     And this glossy fairness.

   But of _thee_ it shall be said,
   This dog watch'd beside a bed
     Day and night unweary--
   Watch'd within a curtain'd room,
   Where no sunbeam brake the gloom,
     Round the sick and dreary.

   Roses gather'd for a vase
   In that chamber died apace,
     Beam and breeze resigning;
   This dog only waited on,
   Knowing that, when light is gone,
     Love remains for shining.

   Other dogs in thymy dew
   Track'd the hares, and follow'd through
     Sunny moor or meadow;
   This dog only crept and crept
   Next a languid cheek that slept,
     Sharing in the shadow.

   Other dogs of loyal cheer
   Bounded at the whistle clear,
     Up the woodside hieing;
   This dog only watch'd in reach
   Of a faintly-utter'd speech,
     Or a louder sighing.

   And if one or two quick tears
   Dropp'd upon his glossy ears,
     Or a sigh came double,
   Up he sprang in eager haste,
   Fawning, fondling, breathing fast
     In a tender trouble

   And this dog was satisfied
   If a pale, thin hand would glide
     Down his dewlaps sloping,
   Which he push'd his nose within,
   After--platforming his chin
     On the palm left open.

   This dog, if a friendly voice
   Call him now to blither choice
     Than such chamber-keeping,
   "Come out!" praying from the door,
   Presseth backward as before,
     Up against me leaping.

   Therefore to this dog will I,
   Tenderly, not scornfully,
     Render praise and favour:
   With my hand upon his head
   Is my benediction said,
     Therefore, and for ever.

   And because he loved me so,
   Better than his kind will do,
     Often man or woman,
   Give I back more love again
   Than dogs often take of men,
     Leaning from my Human.

   Blessings on thee, dog of mine,
   Pretty collars make thee fine,
     Sugar'd milk make fat thee!
   Pleasures wag on in thy tail,
   Hands of gentle motion fail
     Nevermore to pat thee!

   Downy pillow take thy head,
   Silken coverlet bestead,
     Sunshine help thy sleeping!
   No fly's buzzing wake thee up,
   No man break thy purple cup
     Set for drinking deep in.

   Whisker'd cats arointed flee,
   Sturdy stoppers keep from thee
     Cologne distillations;
   Nuts lie in thy path for stones,
   And thy feast-day macaroons
     Turn to daily rations!

   Mock I thee in wishing weal?
   Tears are in my eyes to feel
     Thou art made so straightly;
   Blessing needs must straighten too;
   Little canst thou joy or do,
     Thou who lovest _greatly_.

   Yet be blessèd to the height
   Of all good and all delight
     Pervious to thy nature;
   Only _loved_ beyond that line,
   With a love that answers thine,
     Loving fellow-creature!


Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton was very fond of dogs; his son[59] tells an
anecdote of the singular manner in which one of his pets came into his
possession. "He was standing at the door of the House of Commons talking
to a friend, when a beautiful black and tan terrier rushed between them,
and immediately began barking furiously at Mr Joseph Pease, who was
speaking. All the members jumped up, shouting and laughing, while the
officers of the house chased the dog round and round, till at last he
took refuge with Mr Buxton, who, as he could find no traces of an owner,
carried him home. He proved to be quite an original. One of his whims
was, that he would never go into the kitchen nor yet into a poor man's
cottage; but he formed a habit of visiting by himself at the country
houses in the neighbourhood of Cromer, and his refined manners and
intelligence made 'Speaker' a welcome guest wherever he pleased to go."


In November 1808 Lord Byron lost his favourite dog Boatswain; the poor
animal having been seized with a fit of madness, at the commencement of
which so little aware was Byron of the nature of the malady, that he
more than once, with his bare hand, wiped away the slaver from the dog's
lips during the paroxysms. In a letter to his friend Mr Hodson, he thus
announces this event:--"Boatswain is dead! he expired in a state of
madness on the 18th, after suffering much, yet retaining all the
gentleness of his nature to the last, never attempting to do the least
injury to any one near him. I have now lost everything except old

The monument raised by him to this dog--the most memorable tribute of
the kind since the dog's grave, of old, at Salamis--is still a
conspicuous ornament of the gardens of Newstead. The misanthropic verses
engraved upon it may be found among his poems, and the following is the
inscription by which they are introduced:--

         "Near this spot Are deposited the remains of one Who
   possessed beauty without vanity, Strength without insolence, Courage
   without ferocity, And all the virtues of man without his vices. This
   praise, which would be unmeaning flattery If inscribed over human ashes,
   Is but a just tribute to the memory of BOATSWAIN, a dog, Who was born at
   Newfoundland, May 1803, And died at Newstead Abbey, November 18, 1805."

The poet Pope, when about the same age as the writer of this
inscription, passed a similar eulogy on his dog, at the expense of human
nature; adding that "histories are more full of examples of the fidelity
of dogs than of friends." In a still sadder and bitterer spirit, Lord
Byron writes of his favourite:--

   "To mark a friend's remains these stones arise;
   I never knew but _one_, and _here_ he lies."[60]

Moore relates a story of this dog, indicative, not only of intelligence,
but of a generosity of spirit, which might well win for him the
affections of such a master as Byron. A fox-terrier of his mother's,
called Gilpin, was an object of dislike to Boatswain, who worried him
nearly to the death. Gilpin was sent off and Boatswain was missed for a
day. To the surprise of the servants, towards evening Gilpin and
Boatswain were in company, the former led by the latter, who led him to
the kitchen fire, licked him and lavished on him every possible
demonstration of joy. He had been away to fetch him, and ever after
caressed him, and defended him from the attacks of other dogs. (P. 44.)


A lady had a favourite lap-dog, which she called Perchance. "A singular
name," said somebody, "for a beautiful pet, madam; where did you find
it?"--"Oh," drawled she, "it was named from Byron's dog. You remember
where he says, '_Perchance_ my dog will howl.'"[61]


William Wilkie Collins, after a most graphic account of the companions
of his artist-father's home,[62] notices "one who was ever as ready to
offer his small aid and humble obedience as were any of his superiors,
to confer the benefit of their penetrating advice." I refer to Mr
Collins's dog "Prinny" (Prince). This docile and affectionate animal had
been trained by his master to sit in any attitude, which the
introduction of a dog in his picture (a frequent occurrence) might
happen to demand. So strict was "Prinny's" sense of duty, that he never
ventured to move from his set position until his master's signal gave
him permission to approach his chair, when he was generally rewarded
with a lump of sugar, placed, not between his teeth, but on his nose,
where he continued to balance it, until he was desired to throw it into
the air and catch it in his mouth, a feat which he very seldom failed to
perform. On one occasion his extraordinary integrity in the performance
of his duties was thus pleasantly exemplified:--"My father had placed
him on the backs of two chairs, his fore-legs on the rails of one, and
his hind-legs on the rails of the other; and in this rather arduous
position had painted from him for a considerable time, when a friend was
announced as waiting for him in another apartment. Particularly desirous
of seeing this visitor immediately, the painter hurried from the room,
entirely forgetting to tell 'Prinny' to get down, and remained in
conversation with his friend for full half an hour. On returning to his
study the first object that greeted him was poor 'Prinny,' standing on
his 'bad eminence' exactly in the position in which he had been left,
trembling with fatigue, and occasionally vending his anguish and
distress in a low piteous moan, but not moving a limb, or venturing even
to turn his head. Not having received the usual signal he had never once
attempted to get down, but had remained disconsolate in his position
'sitting' hard, with nobody to paint him, during the long half hour that
had delayed his master's return."


A soldier passing through a meadow, a large mastiff ran at him, and he
stabbed the dog with a bayonet. The master of the dog asked him why he
had not rather struck the dog with the butt-end of his weapon? "So I
should," said the soldier, "if he had run at me with his tail!"[63]


Lord Clare, who was much opposed to Curran, one day brought a
Newfoundland dog upon the bench, and during Curran's speech turned
himself aside and caressed the animal. Curran stopped. "Go on, go on, Mr
Curran," said Lord Clare.--"Oh, I beg a thousand pardons," was the
rejoinder. "I really thought your lordship was employed in



In the biography of Samuel Drew, A.M., a great name among the
metaphysical writers of this country, we read a very interesting
anecdote of two dogs.

His father, a farmer and mail-carrier in Cornwall, had procured a
Newfoundland dog for protection on his journeys, having been attacked by
highwaymen. There was a smaller dog which had been bred in the house.
The son was living at Poplea, in Cornwall, when the following
circumstance occurred, and he witnessed it:[65]--

"Our dairy was under a room which was used occasionally as a barn and
apple-chamber, into which the fowls sometimes found their way; and, in
scratching among the chaff, scattered the dust on the pans of milk
below, to the great annoyance of my mother-in-law. In this a favourite
cock of hers was the chief transgressor. One day in harvest she went
into the dairy, followed by the little dog, and finding dust again on
her milk-pans, she exclaimed, 'I wish that cock were dead!' Not long
after, she being with us in the harvest field, we observed the little
dog dragging along the cock, just killed, which, with an air of triumph,
he laid at my mother-in-law's feet. Highly exasperated at the literal
fulfilment of her hastily-uttered wish, she snatched a stick from the
hedge, and attempted to give the dog a beating. The luckless animal,
seeing the reception he was likely to meet with, where he expected marks
of approbation, left the bird and ran off, she brandishing her stick,
and saying, in a loud angry tone, 'I'll pay thee for this by and by.' In
the evening, when about to put her threat into execution, she found the
little dog established in a corner of the room, and the large one
standing before it. Endeavouring to fulfil her intention by first
driving off the large dog, he gave her plainly to understand that he was
not at all disposed to relinquish his post. She then sought to get at
the small dog behind the other, but the threatening gesture, and fiercer
growl of the large one, sufficiently indicated that the attempt would be
not a little perilous. The result was that she was obliged to abandon
her design. In killing the cock I can scarcely think that the dog
understood the precise import of my stepmother's wish, as his immediate
execution of it would seem to imply. The cock was a more recent
favourite, and had received some attentions which had previously been
bestowed upon himself. This, I think, had led him to entertain a feeling
of hostility to the bird, which he did not presume to indulge, until my
mother's tone and manner indicated that the cock was no longer under her
protection. In the power of communicating with each other, which these
dogs evidently possess, and which, in some instances, has been displayed
by other species of animals, a faculty seems to be developed of which we
know very little. On the whole, I never remember to have met with a case
in which to human appearance there was a nearer approach to moral
perception than in that of my father's two dogs."


Dining at a nobleman's table, where the company were praising the
claret, his lordship told them that he had received that hogshead of
wine in return for a couple of hounds, which he sometime before
presented to Count Lauragais. "Why, then, my lord," cried Foote, "I not
only think your wine excellent, but _dog-cheap_."[66]


Thomas Gainsborough, the rival of Sir Joshua in portraiture, wanted that
evenness of temper which the President of the Royal Academy so
abundantly possessed. He was easily angered, but as soon appeased, and
says his biographer,[67] "If he was the first to offend, he was the
first to atone. Whenever he spoke crossly to his wife, a remarkably
sweet-tempered woman, he would write a note of repentance, sign it with
the name of his favourite dog 'Fox,' and address it to his Margaret's
pet spaniel, 'Tristram.' Fox would take the note in his mouth, and duly
deliver it to Tristram. Margaret would then answer--'My own dear Fox,
you are always loving and good, and I am a naughty little female ever to
worry you, as I too often do, so we will kiss and say no more about it;
your own affectionate Tris.'" The writers of such a correspondence could
not have led what is called "a cat and dog life." Husbands and wives
might derive a hint from this anecdote; for we know, from the old
ballad, that they will be sulky and quarrel at times even about getting

   "Up to bar the door, O!"


The reviewer[68] of Sir Thomas Browne's works says--"We ourselves have
witnessed an example of the curious and credulous exaggeration which has
construed certain articulations in animals into rational speech. Some
time since, in travelling through Italy, we heard, in grave earnest,
from several Italians, of the prodigy of a Pomeranian dog that had been
taught to speak most intelligibly by Sir William Gell. Afterwards, in
visiting that accomplished and lamented gentleman at Naples, we
requested to hear an animal possessed of so unusual a gift. And, as the
friends of the urban scholar can bear witness, the dog undoubtedly could
utter a howl, which, assisted by the hand of the master in closing the
jaw at certain inflections, might be intelligibly construed into two
words not to be repeated. Such a dog, with such an anathema in his
vocabulary, would have hanged any witch in England three centuries ago."


The Rev. A. Moody Stuart, in his "Life of the last Duchess of
Gordon,"[69] that truly Christian lady, refers to some old pets of the
duke's and her own, which, on her becoming a widow, she took with her
from Gordon Castle to Huntly Lodge, a bullfinch, an immense Talbot
mastiff named Sall, and others. He adds--"To a stranger, the most
remarkable of the duke's old favourites was Kaiser, an Hungarian
wolf-dog, with a snow-white fleece, and most sheep-like aspect in the
distance, but at whose appearance out of doors, man, woman, and child
fled as from a wolf. The duchess called him 'The wolf in sheep's
clothing.' Her husband's tastes having brought her much into contact
with all sorts of dogs, she had learned to pat them confidently at their
first introduction, when a large space between their eyes betokened a
kindly temper. This open breadth of forehead was strongly marked in
Sall, a fine old mastiff that used at this time to walk round the
dining-room after breakfast, with her noble head reaching the level of
the table. But the duke had chosen Kaiser for other qualities. Two of
those wolf-dogs had been brought to him for sale when travelling on the
Continent; the other was the larger and handsomer animal; but Kaiser's
eyes, sunk deep in the head, and all but meeting under his shaggy hair,
at once fixed his choice on him as 'likest his work.' That work was to
defend the sheep from the wolves, and one mode of defence was by laying
a strange trap for the enemy. The dog was remarkably like a sheep, his
hair white without a dark speck, and he carried a great load of it, long
and fleecy like wool. In the Hungarian steppes four or five of those
dogs would lay themselves down on the grass in the evening, sleeping
there like so many harmless lambs, with their faces inward for the heat
of each other's breath. The keen eye of the wolf was soon attracted by
the white fleeces, with no shepherd near to guard them. Eager for blood,
he careered swiftly over the plain, and sprang unsuspecting into the
midst of the flock, only to find himself clenched in the relentless jaws
of Kaiser and his comrades, wolves more terrible than himself under the
clothing of timid sheep. A conversation once took place at the Lodge on
the character ascribed to dogs in Scripture. It slightly vexed the good
duchess that they were so often mentioned in the Bible, but only as
emblems of what is foul and fierce, except in a single instance, and
that not of commendation, but neutrality. This exception, she said,
occurred in the Book of Proverbs, where the greyhound is named, along
with the lion and the goat, as 'comely in going,' yet merely in praise
of his external beauty. But her difficulty was relieved by the reply,
that in Isaiah lvi. 10, the "dog" is really used in a good sense as
applied to the spiritual watchmen of the Lord's flock. For the
unfaithful shepherds, being there likened to dumb dogs that cannot bark,
were not censured under the simple image of watch-dogs, but because, as
such, they were faithless and useless; implying that the good watch-dog
is an honourable emblem of the true pastor, watching for the souls
committed to his care, and solemnly warning them of approaching danger."


Dr John Moore, when travelling with the Duke of Hamilton, saw and heard
a good deal of Frederick the Great, and has given in his second volume
of "A View of Society and Manners in France," &c., many interesting
particulars of his private and public life. Among these, he alludes to
his using "a very large gold snuff-box, the lid ornamented with
diamonds," and his taking "an immoderate quantity of Spanish snuff, the
marks of which very often appear on his waistcoat and breeches. These
are also liable to be soiled by the paws of two or three Italian
greyhounds, which he often caresses" (vol. ii. p. 236).


Thomas Raikes,[70] in his Journal 8th March 1837, records:--"Eight years
ago, a labouring man in the department of the Loire was found murdered
in a wood near his house, and his dog sitting near the body. No clue
could be gained to the perpetrators of the crime, and his widow
continued to live in the same cottage, accompanied always by the
faithful animal. Last week two men, apparently travellers, stopped at
the house, requesting shelter from the storm, which was granted; but no
sooner had the dog perceived them, than he flew at them with fury, and
could not be pacified. As they were quitting the house, one of them said
to the other, 'That rascally dog has not forgotten us.' This raised the
suspicion of the widow, who overheard it, and applying to the gendarmes
in the neighbourhood, they followed and arrested them. The result has
been that, after a long examination, one of them has confessed the
crime, and impeached his associate."

       *       *       *       *       *

Hannah More wrote an ode addressed to Garrick's famous house-dog Dragon.
A copy of this she gave to Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1777, while still
unprinted, under an oath neither to take nor give a copy of it, which
oath Sir Joshua had observed (she says) like a true knight, only reading
it to his visitors till some of them learned it by heart. The "charming
bagatelle" was afterwards printed, that posterity might be enabled to
wonder what a small expenditure of wit in metre sufficed to purchase a
large modicum of fame among the blues of that day.[71]


The eloquent Robert Hall and Dr Leifchild were often in each other's
company when at Bristol, travelling and preaching together at
anniversaries and ordinations. The son and biographer of the latter
says:[72]--"I rode with them from Bristol to Wells, and can now, in
imagination, see Mr Hall smoking and reclining on one seat of the
carriage, while my father sat on the other. I can see Mr Hall descending
at a blacksmith's shop to re-light his pipe, making his way directly to
the forge, and jumping aside with unwonted agility, when a huge dog
growled at him. I can recall his look, when rallied on his agility,
after his return to the carriage. 'You seemed afraid of the dog, sir,'
said my father. 'Apostolic advice, sir--Beware of dogs,' rejoined Mr
Hall." Dr Leifchild, in another part of the memoir (p. 360), relates
that some housekeeper would exclaim to him, as he was about to enter the
house of friend or stranger, "Don't be afraid of the dog, sir, he never
bites."--"Are you quite sure he never bites?" was his prompt
question.--"Quite sure, sir," rejoined the servant.--"Then," rejoined
the good-humoured doctor, "if he never _bites_, how does he live?"


Henrietta Maria, Queen of Charles I., on her return to Burlington Bay
with assistance for her husband, was attacked in the house where she
slept by the cannonade of five ships of war belonging to the
Parliament. She left the house amid the whistling of balls, one of which
killed one of her servants. When on her way to the shelter of a ditch,
she remembered that an aged lap-dog, called "Mitte," was left behind.
She was much attached to this old favourite, and returned to the house
she had left. Rushing up-stairs into her chamber, she caught up her old
pet, which was reposing on her bed, and carried her off in safety.
Having done this, the queen and her ladies gained the ditch, and
crouched down in it, while the cannon played furiously over their


The estate of Polmood, in Peeblesshire, was the subject of extraordinary
litigation, and a volume of considerable bulk is devoted to its history.
This work contains much curious evidence from aged country folks in the
western parts of the country. Mr Chambers[74] tells us that in the
history "reminiscences concerning a wonderfully clever dog are put
forward as links in the line of propinquity." The deponent has heard his
father say that Robert Hunter had a remarkable dog called "Algiers;" and
that, when Robert lived at Woodend, he used to tie a napkin round the
dog's neck with money in it, and send him for snuff to Lammington, which
is about three miles from Woodend, and that the dog executed his
message faithfully, and prevented everybody from laying hold of or
stopping him. Another venerable deponent, aged eighty-nine, had heard
his mother tell many stories about a dog belonging to Uncle Robert,
which went by the name of "Algiers;" that they used to cut a fleece off
him every year sufficient to make a pair of stockings; and that Uncle
Robert used to tie a purse round his neck, with money in it, and the dog
then swam the Tweed, and brought back tobacco from the Crook! And a
third declares that "Algiers" could be sent to Edinburgh with a letter,
and bring back a letter to his master.


Mr Fitzpatrick, in his anecdotal memoirs of Archbishop Whately, tells a
story of an eccentric Irish parson. This person, when preaching, was
interrupted in his homily by two dogs, which began to fight in church.
He descended the pulpit, and endeavoured to separate them. On returning
to his place, the clergyman, who was rather an absent man, asked the
clerk, "Where was I a while ago?"--"Wasn't yer Riverence appaising the
dogs?" responded the other.[75]


Patrick Fraser Tytler, author of "The History of Scotland," in a letter
to his wife in 1830, says--"At Lady Morton's, one evening, I met with
Washington Irving. I had heard him described as a very silent man, who
was always observing others, but seldom opened his lips. Instead of
which, his tongue never lay still; and he gets out more wee wordies in a
minute than any ordinary converser does in five. But I found him a very
intelligent and agreeable man. I put him in mind of his travelling with
our dear Tommy. He had at first no recollection; but I brought it back
to his memory by the incident of the little black dog, who always went
before the horses in pulling up hill, and pretended to assist them. I
put him in mind of his own wit, 'that he wondered if the doggie mistook
himself for a horse;' at which he laughed, and added, 'Yes, and thought
it very hard that he was not rubbed down at the end of the


Jerrold had a favourite dog that followed him everywhere. One day in the
country, a lady, who was passing, turned round and said audibly, "What
an ugly little brute!" Whereupon Jerrold, addressing the lady, replied,
"Oh, madam! I wonder what he thinks _about us_ at this moment."[77]


After witnessing the first representation of a dog-piece by Reynolds,
called the "Caravan," Sheridan suddenly came into the green-room, on
purpose, it was imagined, to wish the author joy. "Where is he?" was
the first question; "where is my guardian angel?"--"Here I am," answered
Reynolds.--"Pooh!" replied Sheridan, "I don't mean _you_, I mean _the


Thomas Hood had a dog called "Dash." This dog he gave to Charles Lamb.
The ready-witted Elia often took the creature out with him when walking
at Enfield. On one occasion, the dog dashed off to chase some young
sheep. The owner of the muttons came out quite indignant at the owner,
to expostulate with him on the assault of Lamb's dog on his sheep. Elia,
with his quiet ready wit, replied, "Hunt _Lambs_, sir?--why, he never
hunted _me_."[79]


Horace Walpole, in one of his gossiping letters to the Countess of
Ossory in 1781, writes, "You must not be surprised if I should send you
a collection of Tonton's _bons-mots_. I have found a precedent for such
a work. A grave author wrote a book on the 'Hunt of the Grand Senechal
of Normandy,' and of _les DITS du bon chien Souillard, qui fut au Roi
Loy de France onzieme du nom_. Louis XII., the reverse of the
predecessor of the same name, did not leave to his historian to
celebrate his dog "Relais," but did him the honour of being his
biographer himself; and for a reason that was becoming so excellent a
king. It was _pour animer les descendans d'un si brave chien à se rendre
aussi bons que lui, et encore meilleurs_. It was great pity the Cardinal
d'Amboise had no bastard puppies, or, to be sure, his Majesty would have
written his Prime Minister's life too, for a model to his


In the "Table Talk" of Martin Luther, it is recorded:--"I saw a dog at
Lintz, in Austria, that was taught to go with a hand-basket to the
butchers' shambles for meat. When other dogs came about him, and sought
to take the meat out of the basket, he set it down and fought lustily
with them; but when he saw they were too strong for him, he himself
would snatch out the first piece of meat, lest he should lose all. Even
so does now our Emperor Charles; who, after having long protected
spiritual benefices, seeing that every prince takes possession of
monasteries, himself takes possession of bishoprics, as just now he has
seized upon those of Utrecht and Liège."[81]


Henry Matthews,[82] like other visitors of Naples, went to the
celebrated _Grotta del Cane_, or Dog Grotto, on the borders of Lake
Agnano, so called from the vapour in the cave, destructive to animal
life, being shown by means of a dog. In his diary, of March 3, 1818, he
records:--"Travellers have made a great display of sensibility in their
strictures upon the spectacle exhibited here; but to all appearance the
dog did not care much about it. It may be said, with truth of him, that
he is _used_ to it; for he dies many times a day, and he went to the
place of execution wagging his tail. He became insensible in two
minutes; but upon being laid on the grass, he revived from his trance in
a few seconds, without the process of immersion in the lake, which is
generally mentioned as necessary to his recovery. From the voracity with
which he bolted down a loaf of bread which I bought for him, the vapour
does not seem to injure the animal functions. Addison seems to have been
very particular in his experiments upon the vapour of this cavern. He
found that a pistol would not take fire in it; but upon laying a train
of gunpowder, and igniting it beyond the sphere of the vapour, he found
that it could not intercept the train of fire when it had once begun
flashing, nor hinder it from running to the very end. He subjected a dog
to a second trial in order to ascertain whether he was longer in
expiring the first than the second time; and he found there was no
sensible difference. A viper bore it _nine minutes_ the first time he
put it in, and _ten minutes_ the second; and he attributes the prolonged
duration of the second trial to the large provision of air that the
viper laid in after his first death, upon which stock he supposes it to
have existed a minute longer the second time."


Robert Southey says, that "near Moffat a dog used for many years to meet
the mail and receive the letters for a little post-town near."[83]

How often may you see a dog carrying a basket or a parcel. No
enticement, even of a dog-friend or of a great bone, will induce this
faithful servant to abandon his charge. Every one must have observed


In the great dispute between South and Sherlock, the latter, who was a
great courtier, said--"His adversary reasoned well, but he barked like a
cur." To which the other replied, "That _fawning_ was the property of a
cur as well as barking."[84]


"The day after the battle of Dresden (27th Aug. 1812), a greyhound was
brought to the King of Saxony, the ally of Napoleon. The dog was moaning
piteously. On the collar were engraved the words, 'I belong to the
General Moreau.' Where was the dog's master? By the side of the Emperor
Alexander. Moreau had been mortally wounded. The dog had remained with
his master until his death. While Moreau was conversing with the Emperor
Alexander a cannon-shot nearly carried off both his legs. It is said
that throughout the five days during which he lingered he uttered not a
murmur of pain."[85]

       *       *       *       *       *

At the battle of Solferino, where rifled cannon were first brought to
bear in warfare, a dog excited great attention by its attachment to the
body of its slain master. It became the chief object in a painting of
the circumstance, from which an engraving was executed.


In Southey's "Common-place Book," 4th ser. p. 479, he writes--"Our
Marlborough and King James's spaniels are unrivalled in beauty. The
latter breed (black and tan, with hair almost approaching to silk in
fineness, such as Vandyke loved to introduce into his portraits) were
solely in the possession of the late Duke of Norfolk. He never travelled
without two of his favourites in the carriage. When at Worksop he used
to feed his eagles with the pups; and a stranger to his exclusive pride
in the race, seeing him one day employed in thus destroying a whole
litter, told his grace how much he should be delighted to possess one of
them. The duke's reply was a characteristic one. 'Pray, sir, which of my
estates should you like to have?'"

There are shepherds who possess collies, such _proud_, useful servants
and friends, that no bribe would induce them to part with them. But what
old favourite dog or even bird is there that any one would part with?
Man, be he scavenger or duke, is very similar in this species of


In several of the caricatures published about the year 1783, when Fox
and Burke had joined Lord North, and helped to form what is called the
Coalition Ministry, a dog is represented. This, says Mr Wright,[86] is
said to be an allusion to an occurrence in the House of Commons. During
the last defensive declamation of Lord North, on the eve of his
resignation, a dog, which had concealed itself under the benches, came
out and set up a hideous howling in the midst of his harangue. The house
was thrown into a roar of laughter, which continued until the intruder
was turned out; and then Lord North coolly observed, "As the new member
has ended his argument, I beg to be allowed to continue mine."


In a letter, written when he first came to Gotha, Perthes, the
publisher, says--"Do not laugh if I tell you that my dog has given me
many a hint upon human nature. I never before had a dog constantly with
me, and I now ask myself whether the poodle be not a man, and men
poodles. I am not led to this thought by the animal propensities which
we have in common, such as eating, drinking, &c., but by those of a more
refined character. He too is cheerful and dejected, excited and supine,
playful and morose, gentle and bold, caressing and snappish, patient
and refractory; just like us men in all things, even in his dreams! This
likeness is not to me at all discouraging; on the contrary, it suggests
a pleasing hope that this flesh and blood which plagues and fetters us,
is not the real man, but merely the earthly clothing which will be cast
off when he no longer belongs to earth, provided he has not sinfully
chosen to identify himself with the merely material. The devil's chief
seat is not in matter but in the mind, where he fosters pride,
selfishness, and hatred, and by their means destroys not what is
transitory but what is eternal in man."[87]


Mr Stoehlin[88] relates the following anecdote of the Czar Peter, on
the authority of Miss Anne Cramer, the chambermaid to the empress. In
the cabinet of natural history of the academy at St Petersburg, is
preserved, among a number of uncommon animals, Lisette, the favourite
dog of the Russian monarch. She was a small, dun-coloured Italian
greyhound, and very fond of her master, whom she never quitted but when
he went out, and then she laid herself down on his couch. At his return
she showed her fondness by a thousand caresses, followed him wherever he
went, and during his afternoon nap lay always at his feet.

A person belonging to the court, having excited the anger of the czar--I
do not know by what means--was confined in the fort, and there was
reason to suppose that he would receive the punishment of the knout on
the first market-day. The whole court, and the empress herself, thought
him innocent, and considered the anger of the czar as excessive and
unjust. Every means was tried to save him, and the first opportunity
taken to intercede in his favour. But, so far from succeeding, it served
only to irritate the emperor the more, who forbade all persons, even the
empress, to speak for the prisoner, and, above all, to present any
petition on the subject, under the pain of incurring his highest

It was supposed that no resource remained to save the culprit. However,
those who in concert with the czarina interested themselves in his
favour, devised the means of urging their suit without incurring the
penalty of the prohibition.

They composed a short but pathetic petition, in the name of Lisette.
After having set forth her uncommon fidelity to her master, she adduced
the strongest proofs of innocence of the prisoner, entreated the czar to
take the matter into consideration, and to be propitious to her prayer,
by granting him his liberty.

This petition was tied to her collar, in such a manner as to be easily

On the czar's return from the Admiralty and Senate, Lisette, as usual,
came leaping about him; and he perceived the paper, folded in the form
of a petition. He took, and read it--"What!" said he; "Lisette, do you
also present me petitions? Well, as it is the first time, I grant your
prayer." He immediately sent a denthtchick[89] to the fort, with orders
to set the prisoner at liberty.


Captain Gronow, in his gossiping book,[90] says--"Every regiment has a
pet of some sort or another. One distinguished Highland regiment
possesses a deer; the Welsh Fusiliers a goat, which is the object of
their peculiar affection, and which generally marches with the band. The
light company of my battalion of the 1st Guards in 1813 rejoiced in a
very handsome poodle, which, if I mistake not, had been made prisoner at
Vittoria. At the commencement of the battle of the 9th of December 1813,
near the mayor's house, not far from Bidart, we observed the gallant
Frederick Ponsonby well in front with the skirmishers, and by the side
of his horse the soldiers' poodle. The colonel was encouraging our men
to advance, and the poodle, in great glee, was jumping and barking at
the bullets, as they flew round him like hail. On a sudden we observed
Ponsonby struggling with a French mounted officer, whom he had already
disarmed, and was endeavouring to lead off to our lines; when the French
skirmishers, whose numbers had increased, fired several shots, and
wounded Ponsonby, forcing him to relinquish his prisoner, and to retire.
At the same time, a bullet broke one of the poor dog's legs. For his
gallant conduct in this affair, the poodle became, if possible, a still
greater favourite than he was before; and his friends, the men of the
light company, took him to England, where I saw my three-legged friend
for several years afterwards, the most prosperous of poodles, and the
happiest of the canine race."


Earl Stanhope, in his History,[91] remarks--"To those who love to trace
the lesser lights and shades of human character, I shall owe no apology
if I venture to record of the conqueror of De Grasse, that even in his
busiest hours he could turn some kindly thoughts not only to his family
and friends, but to his dog in England. That dog, named Loup, was of the
French fox-breed, and so attached to his master, that when the admiral
left home to take the command of his fleet, the faithful animal remained
for three days in his chamber, watching his coat, and refusing food. The
affection was warmly returned. On many more than one occasion we find
Rodney wrote much as follows to his wife--'Remember me to my dear girls
and my faithful friend Loup; I know you will kiss him for me.'"[92]


George Chalmers, in his Life of the learned Thomas Ruddiman,[93] tells
us that "young Ruddiman was initiated in grammar at the parish-school of
Boyndie, in Banffshire, which was distant a mile from his father's
dwelling; and which was then taught by George Morison, whom his pupil
always praised for his attention and his skill. To this school the boy
walked every morning, carrying his daily provisions with him. He is said
to have been daily accompanied by a dog, which, when he had proceeded to
the top of Tooting-hillock, the halfway resting-place, always returned
home after partaking of his victuals. This story is still (1794)
remembered, as if there were in it something supernatural. We may
suppose, however, that the excursion was equally agreeable to both
parties; and when it was once known that the dog was to eat at a
particular place at a stated hour, an appropriate allowance was
constantly made for him. Whether Ruddiman had a natural fondness for
dogs, or whether a particular attachment began, when impressions are
easily made, which are long remembered, cannot now be ascertained. He
certainly, throughout a long life, had a succession of dogs, which were
invariably called _Rascal_; and which, being springing spaniels, ever
accompanied him in all his walks. He used, with affectionate
recollection, to entertain his friends with stories of dogs, which all
tended to show the fidelity of that useful animal to man."

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs Schimmelpenninck, authoress of "Select Memoirs of Port Royal," died
in 1856. Her interesting Autobiography and Life were published in 1858
by her relation, Christiana C. Hankin. In p. 467 it is remarked that
"her love of animals formed quite a feature in her daily habits. Like St
Francis, she delighted to attract the little birds, by tempting them
with dainty food upon her verandah; and it was a positive pleasure to
her to watch their feast. She had a bag made, which was always filled
with oats, to regale any stray horse or ass; and she has been seen
surrounded by four goats, each standing on its hind legs, with its
uplifted front feet resting on her, and all eagerly claiming the salt
she had prepared for them. But her great delight was in dogs. She never
forgot those sad hours in childhood, when, unable to mix in the sports
of children from illness (perhaps, too, from her want of sympathy in the
usual pleasures of that age), the beautiful dogs at Barr were her
companions and friends.

"It is no figure of speech to say that she had a large acquaintance
amongst the dogs at Clifton. She always carried a pocketful of biscuit
to feed them; and she had a canine friend who for years was in the daily
habit of waiting at her door to accompany her morning walk, after which
he received his little portion of biscuit, and returned to his home.
Timid as Mrs Schimmelpenninck was by nature and by habit, she had no
idea of personal fear of animals, and especially of dogs. I have seen
her go up without hesitation to some splendid specimen of the race, of
which everybody else was afraid, to stroke him, or offer food; when the
noble creature, with that fine perception often so remarkably manifested
by dogs and children, would look up in her face, and then return her
caress, and crouch down at her feet in love and confidence. Her own two
beautiful little spaniels were her constant companions in her walks;
their happy gambols were always a source of pleasure."[94]

       *       *       *       *       *

Sir Walter Scott loved dogs dearly. In his novels and poetical works his
knowledge of them and his regard often appear. He loved them, from the
stately deerhound to the wiry terrier. He was quite up to the ways of
their education. Dandie Dinmont, in "Guy Mannering," speaking of his
terriers, says, "I had them a' regularly entered, first wi' rottens,
then wi' stots and weasels, and then wi' the tods and brocks, and now
they fear naething that ever comes wi' a hairy skin on't." Then, again,
read Washington Irving's description of his visit to Abbotsford, and
how, on Scott taking him out for a walk, a host of his dogs attended,
evidently as a matter of course. He often spoke to them during the walk.
The American author was struck with the stately gravity of the noble
staghound Maida, while the younger dogs gambolled about him, and tried
to get him to gambol. Maida would occasionally turn round suddenly, and
give one of the playful creatures a tumble, and look at Scott and
Irving, as much as to say, "You see, gentlemen, I cannot help giving way
to this nonsense;" when on he would go as grave as ever. "I make no
doubt," said Scott to his companion, "when Maida is alone with these
young dogs, he throws gravity aside, and plays the boy as much as any of
them; but he is ashamed to do so in our company, and seems to say, "Ha'
done with your nonsense, youngsters; what will the laird and that other
gentleman think of me if I give way to such foolery?" A little volume
might almost be made on Sir Walter Scott and his dogs. Wilkie, Allan,
and especially Sir Edwin Landseer, have handed down to us the portraits
of many of them. His works, and biography by Lockhart, and the writings
of his many visitors, would afford many an interesting extract.


In 1796, a tax, which caused great discontent and ridicule, was laid for
the first time upon dogs. Mr Wright, in his "England under the House of
Hanover," says--"The debates on this tax in the House of Commons appear
to have been extremely amusing. In opposing the motion to go into
committee, Sheridan objected that the bill was most curiously worded, as
it was, in the first instance, entitled, 'A bill for the protection of
his Majesty's subjects against dogs.' 'From these words,' he said, 'one
would imagine that dogs had been guilty of burglary, though he believed
they were a better protection to their masters' property than watchmen.'
After having entertained the House with some stories about mad dogs, and
giving a discourse upon dogs in general, he asked, 'Since there was an
exception in favour of puppies, at what age they were to be taxed, and
how the exact age was to be ascertained?' The Secretary at War, who
spoke against the bill, said, 'It would be wrong to destroy in the poor
that _virtuous feeling_ which they had for their dog.' In committee, Mr
Lechmere called the attention of the House to ladies' 'lap-dogs.' He
knew a lady who had _sixteen_ lap-dogs, and who allowed them a roast
shoulder of veal every day for dinner, while many poor persons were
starving; was it not, therefore, right to tax lap-dogs very high? He
knew another lady who kept one favourite dog, when well, on Savoy
biscuits soaked in Burgundy, and when ailing (by the advice of a doctor)
on minced chicken and sweetbread! Among the caricatures on this subject,
one by Gillray (of which there were imitations) represented Fox and his
friends, hanged upon a gallows, as 'dogs not worth a tax;' while the
supporters of Government, among whom is Burke, with 'G. R.' on his
collar, are ranged as well-fed dogs 'paid for.'"[95]



Lady Holland tells us[96] that her father, the witty canon of St Paul's,
disliked dogs. "During one of his visits to London, at a dinner at
Spencer House, the conversation turned upon dogs. 'Oh,' said my father,
'one of the greatest difficulties I have had with my parishioners has
been on the subject of dogs.'--'How so?' said Lord Spencer.--'Why, when
I first went down into Yorkshire, there had not been a resident
clergyman in my parish for a hundred and fifty years. Each farmer kept a
huge mastiff dog ranging at large, and ready to make his morning meal on
clergy or laity, as best suited his particular taste. I never could
approach a cottage in pursuit of my calling but I rushed into the jaws
of one of these shaggy monsters. I scolded, preached, and prayed without
avail; so I determined to try what fear for their pockets might do.
Forthwith appeared in the county papers a minute account of the trial of
a farmer, at the Northampton Sessions, for keeping dogs unconfined;
where said farmer was not only fined five pounds and reprimanded by the
magistrates, but sentenced to three months' imprisonment. The effect was
wonderful, and the reign of Cerberus ceased in the land.'--'That
accounts,' said Lord Spencer, 'for what has puzzled me and Althorp for
many years. We never failed to attend the sessions at Northampton, and
we never could find out how we had missed this remarkable dog case.'"


"No, I don't like dogs; I always expect them to go mad. A lady asked me
once for a motto for her dog Spot. I proposed, 'Out, damned Spot!' But
she did not think it sentimental enough. You remember the story of the
French marquise, who, when her pet lap-dog bit a piece out of her
footman's leg, exclaimed, 'Ah, poor little beast! I hope it won't make
him sick.' I called one day on Mrs ----, and her lap-dog flew at my leg
and bit it. After pitying her dog, like the French marquise, she did all
she could to comfort me by assuring me the dog was a Dissenter, and
hated the Church, and was brought up in a Tory family. But whether the
bite came from madness or Dissent, I knew myself too well to neglect it,
and went on the instant to a surgeon, and had it cut out, making a mem.
on the way to enter that house no more."


The Rev. Sydney Smith used to be much amused when he observed the utter
want of perception of a joke in some minds. One instance we may cite
from his "Memoirs:"[98] "Miss ----, the other day, walking round the
grounds at Combe Florey, exclaimed, 'Oh, why do you chain up that fine
Newfoundland dog, Mr Smith?'--'Because it has a passion for breakfasting
on parish boys.'--'Parish boys!' she exclaimed; 'does he really eat
boys, Mr Smith?'--'Yes, he devours them, buttons and all.' Her face of
horror made me die of laughing."


Southey was likewise not a little attached to the memory at least of
dogs, as may be inferred by the following passage in a letter to Mr
Bedford, Jan. 27, 1823. Snivel was a dog belonging to Mr B. in early
days. "We had an adventure this morning, which, if poor Snivel had been
living, would have set up her bristles in great style. A foumart was
caught in the back kitchen; you may perhaps know it better by the name
of polecat. It is the first I ever saw or smelt; and certainly it was in
high odour. Poor Snivel! I still have the hairs which we cut from her
tail thirty years ago; and if it were the fashion for men to wear
lockets, in a locket they should be worn, for I never had a greater
respect for any creature upon four legs than for poor Sni. See how
naturally men fall into relic worship; when I have preserved the
memorials of that momentary whim so many years, and through so many


When Dr Leifchild, of Craven Chapel, London, was a student at Hoxton
Academy, there was a good lecturer on elocution there of the name of
True. In the Memoir, published in 1863, are some pleasing reminiscences
by Dr Leifchild of this excellent teacher, who seems to have taken great
pains with the students, and to have awakened in their breasts a desire
to become proficients in the art of speaking. The doctor himself was an
admirable example of the proficiency thus attained under good Mr True.
He records[100] a ludicrous circumstance which occurred one day. "In
reciting Satan's address to the evil spirits from 'Paradise Lost,' a
stout student was enjoined to pronounce the three words, 'Princes,
potentates, warriors,' in successively louder tones, and to speak out
boldly. He hardly needed this advice, for the first word came out like
distant thunder, the second like approaching thunder, and the third like
a terribly near and loud clap. At this last the large housedog,
Pompey, who had been asleep under the teacher's chair, started up and
jumped out of the window into the garden. 'The dog is a good judge,
sir,' mildly remarked Mr True."



In _Blackwood's Magazine_ for 1818 there is an address, in blank verse,
by Mr Patrick Fraser Tytler, "To my Dog." Mr Tytler's brother-in-law, Mr
Hog,[101] recorded the fact on which this address was founded in his
diary at the time. "Peter tells a delightful anecdote of Cossack, an
Isle of Skye terrier, which belonged originally to his brother at
Aldourie. It was amazingly fond of his children, one of which, having
fallen on the gravel and hurt itself, began to cry out. Cossack tried in
vain to comfort it by leaping upon it and licking its face. Finding all
his efforts to pacify the child fruitless, he ran off to a mountain-ash
tree, and leaping up, pulled a branch of red _rowan_ berries and carried
it in his mouth to the child."


Horace Walpole, writing to Lord Nuneham in November 1773,[102]
says:--"The rest of my time has been employed in nursing Rosette--alas!
to no purpose. After suffering dreadfully for a fortnight from the time
she was seized at Nuneham, she has only languished till about ten days
ago. As I have nothing to fill my letter, I will send you her epitaph;
it has no merit, for it is an imitation, but in coming from the heart if
ever epitaph did, and therefore your dogmanity will not dislike it--

   'Sweetest roses of the year,
   Strew around my Rose's bier,
   Calmly may the dust repose
   Of my pretty, faithful Rose!
   And if yon cloud-topp'd hill[103] behind
   This frame dissolved, this breath resign'd,
   Some happier isle, some humbler heaven,
   Be to my trembling wishes given;
   Admitted to that equal sky,
   May sweet Rose bear me company!'"


Horace Walpole, in May 1781,[104] had announced Tonton's arrival to his
correspondent, the Hon. H. S. Conway. He says:--"I brought him this
morning to take possession of his new villa, but his inauguration has
not been at all pacific. As he has already found out that he may be as
despotic as at St Joseph's, he began with exiling my beautiful little
cat, upon which, however, we shall not quite agree. He then flew at one
of my dogs, who returned it by biting his foot till it bled, but was
severely beaten for it. I immediately rung for Margaret (his
housekeeper) to dress his foot; but in the midst of my tribulation could
not keep my countenance, for she cried, 'Poor little thing; he does not
understand my language!' I hope she will not recollect, too, that he is
a Papist!" In a postscript he tells the general that Tonton "is a
cavalier, and a little of the _mousquetaire_ still; but if I do not
correct his vivacities, at least I shall not encourage them, like my
dear old friend."

In a letter of about the same date to Mason the poet, he again alludes
to his fondness of Tonton, but adds--"I have no occasion to brag of my

Horace Walpole, in 1774, thus refers to Margaret, in a letter to Lady
Ossory:--"Who is to have the care of the dear mouse in your absence? I
wish I could spare Margaret, who loves all creatures so well that she
would have been happy in the ark, and sorry when the deluge ceased;
unless people had come to see Noah's old house, which she would have
liked still better than cramming his menagerie."[106] A sly allusion to
the numerous fees Margaret got from visitors. Horace, in another of his
letters, alludes to this, and, in a joke, proposes to marry Margaret to
enrich himself.


Horace Walpole, writing to the Countess of Ossory, Feb. 24, 1789,[107]
says:--"I delayed telling you that Tonton is dead, and that I comfort
myself. He was grown stone deaf, and very nearly equally blind, and so
weak that the two last days he could not walk up-stairs. Happily he had
not suffered, and died close by my side without a pang or a groan. I
have had the satisfaction, for my dear old friend's sake and his own, of
having nursed him up, by constant attention, to the age of sixteen, yet
always afraid of his surviving me, as it was scarcely possible he could
meet a third person who would study his happiness equally. I sent him to
Strawberry, and went thither on Sunday to see him buried behind the
chapel near Rosette. I shall miss him greatly, and must not have another
dog; I am too old, and should only breed it up to be unhappy when I am
gone. My resource is in two marble kittens that Mrs Damer has given me,
of her own work, and which are so much alive that I talk to them, as I
did to poor Tonton! If this is being superannuated, no matter; when
dotage can amuse itself it ceases to be an evil. I fear my marble
playfellows are better adapted to me, than I am to being your ladyship's
correspondent." Poor Tonton was left to Walpole by "poor dear Madame de
Deffand." In a letter to the Rev. Mr Cole, in 1781, he announces its
arrival, and how "she made me promise to take care of it the last time I
saw her. That I will most religiously, and make it as happy as is


"In these rambles he was generally attended by three
uncompromising-looking dogs, the heads of which, if it were possible to
draw them together in shamrock form, would forcibly suggest Cerberus.
Richard Whately found, or thought he found, in the society of these dogs
far brighter intelligence, and infinitely more fidelity, than in many of
the Oxford men, who had been fulsomely praised for both.

"In devotion to his dogs, Dr Whately continued true to the end of his
life, and during the winter season might be daily seen in St Stephen's
Green, Dublin, playing at 'tig' or 'hide and seek' with his canine
attendants. Sometimes the old archbishop might be seen clambering up a
tree, secreting his handkerchief or pocket-knife in some cunning nook,
then resuming his walk, and, after a while, suddenly affecting to have
lost these articles, which the dogs never failed immediately to regain.

"That he was a close observer of the habits of dogs and other quadrupeds
we have evidence in his able lecture on 'Animal Instinct.' Dr Whately,
when referring to another subject, once said not irrelevantly, 'The
power of duly appreciating _little_ things belongs to a great mind: a
narrow-minded man has it not, for to him they are _great_ things.' Dr
Whately was of opinion that some brutes were as capable of exercising
reason as instinct. In his 'Lectures and Reviews' (p. 64) he tells of a
dog which, being left on the bank of a river by his master, who had gone
up the river in a boat, attempted to join him. He plunged into the
water, but not making allowance for the strength of the stream, which
carried him considerably below the boat, he could not beat up against
it. He landed, and made allowance for the current of the river by
leaping in at a place higher up. The combined action of the stream and
his swimming carried him in an oblique direction, and he thus reached
the boat. Dr Whately adopts the following conclusion--'It appears, then,
that we can neither deny reason universally and altogether to brutes,
nor instinct to man; but that each possesses a share of both, though in
very different proportions.'"[109]


The son and biographer of William Collins, the Royal Academician,[110]
quotes from a manuscript collection of anecdotes, written by that
charming painter of country life and landscape, the following on Sir
David Wilkie:--"Wilkie was not quick in perceiving a joke, although he
was always anxious to do so, and to recollect humorous stories, of which
he was exceedingly fond. As instances, I recollect once when we were
staying at Mr Wells's, at Redleaf, one morning at breakfast a very small
puppy was running about under the table. 'Dear me,' said a lady, 'how
this creature teases me!' I took it up and put it into my breast-pocket.
Mr Wells said, 'That is a pretty nosegay.'--'Yes,' said I, 'it is a
dog-rose.' Wilkie's attention, sitting opposite, was called to his
friend's pun, but all in vain. He could not be persuaded to see anything
in it. I recollect trying once to explain to him, with the same want of
success, Hogarth's joke in putting the sign of the woman without a head
('The Good Woman') under the window from which the quarrelsome wife is
throwing the dinner into the street."


Richard Payne Knight, in his "Inquiry into the Principles of
Taste,"[111] when treating of the "sublime and pathetic," quotes the
story of Ulysses and his dog, as follows:--"No Dutch painter ever
exhibited an image less imposing, or less calculated to inspire awe and
terror, or any other of Burke's symptoms or sources of the sublime
(unless, indeed, it be a stink), than the celebrated dog of Ulysses
lying upon a dunghill, covered with vermin and in the agonies of death;
yet, when in such circumstances, on hearing the voice of his old master,
who had been absent twenty years, he pricks his ears, wags his tail, and
expires, what heart is not at once melted, elevated, and expanded with
all those glowing feelings which Longinus has so well described as the
genuine effects of the true sublime? That master, too--the patient,
crafty, and obdurate Ulysses, who encounters every danger and bears
every calamity with a constancy unshaken, a spirit undepressed, and a
temper unruffled--when he sees this faithful old servant perishing in
want, misery, and neglect, yet still remembering his long-lost
benefactor, and collecting the last effort of expiring nature to give a
sign of joy and gratulation at his return, hides his face and wipes away
the tear! This is true sublimity of character, which is always mixed
with tenderness--mere sanguinary ferocity being terrible and odious, but
never sublime. [Greek: Agathoi polydakrytoi andres]--_Men prone to tears
are brave_, says the proverbial Greek hemistich; for courage, which does
not arise from mere coarseness of organisation, but from that sense of
dignity and honour which constitutes the generous pride of a high mind,
is founded in sensibility."


[46] "The Olio," by the late Francis Grose, Esq., F.A.S., p. 203.

[47] "Dogs and their Ways;" illustrated by numerous anecdotes, compiled
from authentic sources, by the Rev. Charles Williams. 1863.

[48] It may interest the reader, who does not dive deep into literary
curiosities, to refer to the original edition of Hayley's "Cowper" (4to,
1803, vol. i. p. 314), where the poet, in a letter to Samuel Rose, Esq.,
written at Weston, August 18, 1788, alludes to his having "composed a
_spick_ and _span_ new piece called 'The Dog and the Water-lily;'" and
in his next letter, September 11, he sent this piece to his excellent
friend, the London barrister. Visitors to Olney and Weston, who have
gone over the poet's walks, cannot but have their love for the gentle
and afflicted Cowper most deeply _intensified_.--_See_ Miller's "First

[49] This book, like Storer's other illustrations of the scenes of the
poems of Burns and Bloomfield, drawn immediately after the death of
these poets, will become year by year more valuable.

[50] "Memoirs of the Life of the Right Honourable Sir James Mackintosh,"
edited by his son, Robert James Mackintosh, Esq., vol. i. p. 164.

[51] "Bawsn't," having a white stripe down the face.--_Glossary to
Burns's Poems._

[52] See an extract farther on, in proof of this.

[53] "The Jordan and the Rhine" (1854), p. 46, and pp. 91-93.

[54] _See_ Layard's "Nineveh and its Remains," vol. ii. (1849), p. 425.

[55] "Ladak, Physical, Statistical, and Historical," p. 218.

[56] "Memoir of Bishop Blomfield," by his son, i. 220.

[57] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 177.

[58] A selection from the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. London,
1866, pp. 134-138.

[59] "Memoirs of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, Bart.," edited by his son,
Charles Buxton, Esq., B.A., third edition, p. 139.

[60] Moore's "Life of Byron," chap. vii. p. 74.

[61] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 279.

[62] "Memoirs of the Life of Wm. Collins, R.A.," by his Son, i. 105.

[63] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 203.

[64] _Loc. cit._ p. 213.

[65] "The Life, Character, and Literary Labours of Samuel Drew, A.M.,"
by his eldest son, p. 66.

[66] "Memoirs of Samuel Foote, Esq.," &c., by W. Cooke, Esq., vol. ii.
p. 36.

[67] "Life of Thomas Gainsborough, R.A.," by the late George William
Fulcher, p. 155.

[68] _Edinburgh Review_, 1836, vol. lxiv. p. 17.

[69] "Life and Letters of Elizabeth, last Duchess of Gordon," by the
Rev. A. Moody Stuart, 1865, pp. 198-200.

[70] Portion of the Journal kept by Thomas Raikes, Esq., from 1831 to
1837, vol. iii. p. 134.

[71] "Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds," by C. R. Leslie, R.A. and
Tom Taylor, M.A., vol. ii. p. 191.

[72] "John Leifchild, D.D. His Public Ministry, &c.," by J. R.
Leifchild, A.M., p. 143.

[73] Agnes Strickland, "Lives of the Queens of England," vol. v. p. 293
(ed. 1851).

[74] "A History of Peeblesshire," by William Chambers of Glenormiston,
p. 428.

[75] Vol. i. p. 156.

[76] Memoir by his friend, the Rev. John W. Burgon, p. 204.

[77] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 44.

[78] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 43.

[79] "Charles Lamb: his Friends, his Haunts, and his Books," by Percy
Fitzgerald, M.A., 1866, p. 161.

[80] Cunningham's Edition of Correspondence, viii. p. 331.

[81] "The Table Talk; or, Familiar Discourse of Martin Luther," p. 66.

[82] "The Diary of an Invalid; being the Journal of a Tour in Pursuit of
Health in Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, and France in 1817-1819," p.

[83] "Common-Place Book," 4th ser. p. 423.

[84] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 24.

[85] "Memoir of Baron Larrey, Surgeon-in-chief of the Grande Armée."
London. 1861. P. 191.

[86] "England under the House of Hanover," by Thomas Wright, Esq., M.A.,
vol. ii. p. 57.

[87] "Memoir of Perthes," vol. ii. pp. 153-4.

[88] "Original Anecdotes of Peter the Great, collected from the
conversation of several persons of distinction at St Petersburg and
Moscow," by Mr Stoehlin, Member of the Imp. Acad., St Peters., p. 306.

[89] A denthtchick is a soldier appointed to wait on an officer.

[90] "Recollections and Anecdotes," 2d ser., by Capt. R. H. Gronow, p.
194 (1863).

[91] "History of England, from the Peace of Utrecht to the Peace of
Versailles," by Lord Mahon, vii. p. 261.

[92] See Mundy's "Life of Lord Rodney," vol. i. 258. "Remember me to my
dear girls and poor Loup. Kiss them for me. I hope they were pleased
with my letter." Vol. ii. p. 28.

[93] "Life of Thomas Ruddiman, A.M., the Keeper for almost fifty years
of the Library belonging to the Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh," p. 4.

[94] See her "Autobiography," p. 85, for an anecdote of her saving a
little dog, tied in a basket of stones, from the water. She called it

[95] Vol. ii. pp. 264, 265.

[96] "Memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith," by his daughter, Lady Holland,
&c., vol. i. p. 200.

[97] "Life of the Rev. Sydney Smith," by his daughter, Lady Holland,
&c., vol. i. p. 379.

[98] Vol. i. p. 267.

[99] "Life and Correspondence," vol. v. p. 133.

[100] "John Leifchild, D.D., his Public Ministry, Private Usefulness,
and Personal Characteristics," founded upon an autobiography, by J. R.
Leifchild, A.M., p. 34.

[101] See Burgon's "Memoir of Patrick F. Tytler," p. 140.

[102] Letter first published in Cunningham's Chronological Edition, vol.
vi. p. 4.

[103] Richmond Hill. The dog died at Strawberry Hill.

[104] Correspondence, chronologically arranged by Peter Cunningham,
viii. p. 39.

[105] _Loc. cit._, p. 44.

[106] Vol. vi. p. 117.

[107] "The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford," edited by Peter
Cunningham, now first chronologically arranged, ix. p. 173.

[108] _Loc. cit._, viii. p. 35.

[109] Fitzpatrick, "Memoirs of Richard Whately, Archbishop of Dublin,"
vol. i. pp. 21, 22 (1864).

[110] "Memoirs of the Life of William Collins, R.A.," by his son, W.
Wilkie Collins, i. 193.

[111] Third edition, 1806, p. 385.


Surely the man should get a monument who is proved to have killed the
last she-wolf in these islands. How closely allied the wolf is to the
dog may be clearly read in the accounts of Polar winterings. Some of the
larger butchers' dogs are singularly wolf-like, and it seems to be
_that_ variety which occasionally, as it were, resumes its wolfish
habits of prowling at night and killing numbers of sheep in certain
districts, as we sometimes read in the country papers of the day. In
Strathearn, we lately heard of a very recent instance of this wolf-like
ferocity breaking out. The dog was traced with great difficulty, and at
last shot. He proved to be of the kind alluded to.


Mr Scrope[112] describes, from traditions still existing on the east
coast of Sutherland, the destruction of what is supposed to have been
the last Scottish wolf and her cubs. This was between 1690 and 1700.
This wolf had committed many depredations on their flocks, and the
inhabitants had been unsuccessful in their attempts to hunt it down.

A man named Polson, attended by two herd boys, went in search of it.

Polson was an old hunter, and had much experience in tracing and
destroying wolves and other predatory animals. Forming his own
conjectures, he proceeded at once to the wild and rugged ground that
surrounds the rocky mountain-gulley which forms the channel of the burn
of Sledale. Here, after a minute investigation, he discovered a narrow
fissure in the midst of a confused mass of large fragments of rock,
which, upon examination, he had reason to think might lead to a larger
opening or cavern below, which the wolf might use as his den. Stones
were now thrown down, and other means resorted to, to rouse any animal
that might be lurking within. Nothing formidable appearing, the two lads
contrived to squeeze themselves through the fissure, that they might
examine the interior, while Polson kept guard on the outside. The boys
descended through the narrow passage into a small cavern, which was
evidently a wolf's den, for the ground was covered with bones and horns
of animals, feathers, and egg-shells; and the dark space was somewhat
enlivened by five or six active wolf cubs. Not a little dubious of the
event, the voices of the poor boys came up hollow and anxious from
below, communicating this intelligence. Polson at once desired them to
do their best, and to destroy the cubs. Soon after, he heard the feeble
howling of the whelps as they were attacked below, and saw almost at the
same time, to his great horror, a full-grown wolf, evidently the dam,
raging furiously at the cries of her young, and now close upon the mouth
of the cavern, which she had approached unobserved, among the rocky
irregularities of the place. She attempted to leap down at one bound
from the spot where she was first seen. In this emergency, Polson
instinctively threw himself forward on the wolf, and succeeded in
catching a firm hold of the animal's long and bushy tail, just as the
forepart of the body was within the narrow entrance of the cavern. He
had unluckily placed his gun against a rock, when aiding the boys in
their descent, and could not now reach it. Without apprising the lads
below of their imminent peril, the stout hunter kept firm grip of the
wolf's tail, which he wound round his left arm; and although the
maddened brute scrambled, and twisted, and strove with all her might to
force herself down to the rescue of her cubs, Polson was just able, with
the exertion of all his strength, to keep her from going forward. In the
midst of this singular struggle, which passed in silence--for the wolf
was mute, and the hunter, either from the engrossing nature of his
exertions, or from his unwillingness to alarm the boys, spoke not a word
at the commencement of the conflict--his son within the cave, finding
the light excluded from above, asked in Gaelic, and in an abrupt tone,
"Father, what is keeping the light from us?"--"If the root of the tail
break," replied he, "you will soon know that." Before long, however, the
man contrived to get hold of his hunting-knife, and stabbed the wolf in
the most vital parts he could reach. The enraged animal now attempted to
turn and face her foe, but the hole was too narrow to allow of this; and
when Polson saw his danger, he squeezed her forward, keeping her jammed
in, whilst he repeated his stabs as rapidly as he could, until the
animal, being mortally wounded, was easily dragged back and finished.

       *       *       *       *       *

A similar story has been given, with the wilds of Canada for the scene.
The young Highlander was said to be dirking pigs, while the father was
keeping guard. "Phat's keeping out the licht, fayther?" shouts the
son.--"If ta tail preaks, tou 'lt fine tat," were the question and


[112] "The Art of Deer-Stalking," &c., by William Scrope, Esq., F.L.S.,
p. 371.


The sharp-faced fox is a very epitome of cunning, and his name is a
by-word for slyness. Farmers know well that no fox, nestling close to
their houses, ever meddles with their poultry. Reynard rambles a good
way from home before he begins to plunder. How admirable is Professor
Wilson's description of fox-hunting, quoted here from the "Noctes." Sir
Walter Scott, in one of his topographical essays, has given a curious
account of the way in which a fox, acquainted with the "ins and outs" of
a certain old castle, outwitted a whole pack of dogs, who had to jump up
singly to get through a small window to which Reynard led them. His
large tail, so bushy and so free, is of great use to Reynard. He often
brushes the eyes of his pursuers with it when sprinkled with water
anything but sweet, and which, by its pungency, for a time blinds them.
The pursuit of the fox is most exciting, and turns out the lord "of high
degree," and the country squire and farmer. It is the most
characteristic sport of the "better classes" in this country.


A medical gentleman, named Hansted, residing near Newbury, who was very
fond of fox-hunting, ordered his gardener to set a trap for some vermin
that infested his garden. As ill luck would have it, a fox was found in
the morning with his leg broken, instead of a plant-eating rabbit. The
gardener took Reynard to the doctor, when he exclaimed, "Why did you not
call me up in the night, that I might have set the leg?" Better late
than never: the surgeon set the leg; the fox recovered, and was killed
in due form, after a capital run.


(_From the "Noctes Ambrosianæ," April 1826._[114])

_North._ It seems fox-hunting, too, is cruel.

_Shepherd._ To wham? Is't cruel to dowgs, to feed fifty or sixty o' them
on crackers and ither sorts o' food, in a kennel like a Christian house,
wi' a clear burn flowin' through 't, and to gie them, twice a-week or
aftener, during the season, a brattlin rin o' thretty miles after a fox?
Is that cruelty to dowgs?

_North._ But the fox, James?

_Shepherd._ We'll come to the fox by and by. Is't cruel to horses, to
buy a hundred o' them for ae hunt, rarely for less than a hundred pounds
each, and aften for five hundred--to feed them on five or sax feeds o'
corn _per diem_--and to gie them skins as sleek as satin--and to gar
them nicher (_neigh_) wi' fu'ness o' bluid, sae that every vein in their
bodies starts like sinnies (_sinews_)--and to gallop them like deevils
in a hurricane, up hill and doun brae, and loup or soom canals and
rivers, and flee ower hedges, and dikes, and palings, like birds, and
drive crashin' through woods, like elephants or rhinoceroses--a' the
while every coorser flingin' fire-flaughts (_flakes_) frae his een, and
whitening the sweat o' speed wi' the foam o' fury--I say, ca' you that
cruelty to horses, when the hunt charge with all their chivalry, and
plain, mountain, or forest are shook by the quadrupedal thunder?

_North._ But the fox, James?

_Shepherd._ We'll come to the fox by and by. Is 't cruel to
men to inspirit wi' a rampagin happiness fivescore o' the flower o'
England or Scotland's youth, a' wi' caps and red coats, and whups in
their hauns--a troop o' lauchin, tearin', tallyhoin' "wild and wayward
humorists," as the doctor ca'd them the tither Sunday?

_North._ I like the expression, James.

_Shepherd._ So do I, or I would not have quoted it. But it's just as
applicable to a set o' outrageous ministers, eatin' and drinkin', and
guffawin' at a Presbytery denner.

_North._ But the fox, James?

_Shepherd._ We'll come to the fox by and by. Is't cruel to the lambs,
and leverets, and geese, and turkeys, and dyucks, and patricks, and wee
birds, and ither animal eatables, to kill the fox that devoors them, and
keeps them in perpetual het water?

_North._ But the fox, James?

_Shepherd._ Deevil take baith you and the fox; I said that we would come
to the fox by and by. Weel, then, wha kens that the fox isna away
snorin' happy afore the houn's? I hae nae doubt he is, for a fox is no
sae complete a coward as to think huntin' cruel; and his haill nature
is then on the alert, which in itsel' is happiness. Huntin' him fa'in
into languor and ennui, and growin' ower fat on how-towdies (_barn-door
fowls_). He's no killed every time he's hunted.

_North._ Why, James, you might write for the "Annals of Sporting."

_Shepherd._ So I do sometimes--and mair o' ye than me, I jalouse; but I
was gaun to ask ye if ye could imagine the delicht o' a fox gettin' into
an undiggable earth, just when the leadin' houn' was at his
hainches?--ae sic moment is aneuch to repay half an hour's draggle
through the dirt; and he can lick himsel' clean at his leisure, far ben
in the cranny o' the rock, and come out a' tosh and tidy by the first
dawn o' licht, to snuff the mornin' air, and visit the distant
farm-house before Partlet has left her perch, or Count Crow lifted his
head from beneath his oxter on his shed-seraglio.

_North._ Was ye ever in at a death? Is not that cruel?

_Shepherd._ Do you mean in at the death o' ae fox, or the death o' a
hundred thousand men and sixty thousand horses?--the takin' o' a Brush,
or a Borodino?

_North._ My dear James, thank ye for your argument. As one Chalmers is
worth a thousand Martins, so is one Hogg worth a thousand Chalmerses.

_Shepherd._ Ane may weel lose patience, to think o' fules being sorry
for the death o' a fox. When the jowlers tear him to pieces, he shows
fecht, and gangs aff in a snarl. Hoo could he dee mair easier?--and for
a' the gude he has ever dune, or was likely to do, he surely had leeved
lang eneuch.

ARCTIC FOX (_Vulpes lagopus_).

This inoffensive and pretty little creature is found in all parts of the
Arctic lands. Its fur is peculiarly fine and thick; and as in winter
this is closer and more mixed with wool than it is in summer, the
intense cold of these regions is easily resisted. When sleeping rolled
up into a ball, with the black muzzle buried in the long hairs of the
tail, there is not a portion of the body but what is protected from the
cold, the shaggy hairs of the brush acting as a respirator or boa for
the mouth and a muff for the paws. Our Arctic travellers have remarked,
that it is a peculiarly cleanly animal, and its vigilance is extreme. It
is almost impossible to come on it unawares, for even when appearing to
be soundly asleep, it opens its eyes on the slightest noise being made.
During the day it appears to be listless, but no sooner has the night
set in than it is in motion, and it continues very active until morning.
The young migrate to the southward in the autumn, and sometimes collect
in great numbers on the shores of Hudson's Bay. Mr Graham noticed that
they came there in November and left in April.

[Illustration: Arctic Fox. (Canis Lagopus.)]

Sir James Ross found a fox's burrow on the sandy margin of a lake in the
month of July. It had several passages, each opening into a common cell,
beyond which was an inner nest, in which the young, six in number, were
found. These had the dusky, lead-coloured livery worn by the parents in
summer; and though four of them were kept alive till the following
winter, they never acquired the pure white coats of the old fox, but
retained the dusky colour on the face and sides of the body. The parents
had kept a good larder for their progeny, as the outer cell and the
several passages leading to it contained many lemmings and ermines, and
the bones of fish, ducks, and hares, in great quantities. Sir John
Richardson[115] observed them to live in villages, twenty or thirty
burrows being constructed close to each other. A pair were kept by Sir
James Ross for the express purpose of watching the changes which take
place in the colour of their fur. He noticed that they threw off their
winter dress during the first week in June, and that this change took
place a few days earlier in the female than in the male. About the end
of September the brown fur of the summer gradually became of an ash
colour, and by the middle of October it was perfectly white. It
continued to increase in thickness until the end of November.[116] A
variety of a blackish-brown colour is occasionally met with, but this is
rare: such specimens, Ross remarks, must have extreme difficulty in
surprising their prey in a country whose surface is of an unvaried
white, and must also be much more exposed to the persecutions of their
enemies. The food of this fox is various, but seems to consist
principally of lemmings and of birds and their eggs. He eats, too, the
berries of the _Empetrum nigrum_, a plant common on our own hills, and
goes to the shore for mussels and other shell-fish. Otho Fabricius[117]
says he catches the Arctic salmon as that fish approaches the shore to
spawn, and that he seizes too the haddock, having enticed it near by
beating the water. Crantz, in his "History of Greenland," evidently
alludes to this cunning habit when he observes, "They plash with their
feet in the water, to excite the curiosity of some kinds of fishes to
come and see what is going forward, and then they snap them up; and _the
Greenland women have learnt this piece of art from them_." Captain Lyon
noticed a fox prowling on a hill-side, and heard him for some hours
afterwards in the neighbourhood imitating the cry of the brent-goose. In
another part of his Journal he mentions that the bark is so modulated as
to give an idea that it proceeds from a distance, though at the time the
fox lies at your feet. It struck him that the creature was gifted "with
this kind of ventriloquism in order to deceive its prey as to the
distance it is from them." It sometimes catches the ptarmigan; and
though it cannot swim, it manages occasionally to get hold of oceanic
birds; in fact, nothing alive which it can master seems to come amiss,
and failing to make a meal from something it has caught and killed, the
Arctic fox is glad, like foxes in more favoured lands, to feed on

Captain M'Clintock, who commanded the yacht _Fox_ on the Franklin Arctic
search in 1857 and 1858, wintered in the ice pack of Baffin's Bay. One
of the party shot an Arctic fox when they were 140 miles from the land.
He records in a letter to his brother,[118] that this wanderer from the
shore "was very fat, living upon such few dovekies as were silly enough
to spend their winter in the pack."

Martens, in his "Spitzbergen," says, that some of the ship's crew
informed him, that the fox when he is hungry "lies down as if he was
dead, until the birds fly to him to eat him, which by that trick he
catches and eats." Our author believed it a fable, but it may
nevertheless be one of the many expedients used by a species of a group
whose name is proverbial for craftiness and cunning.

The flesh of the fox is occasionally eaten by the Esquimaux: Captain
Lyon, in his "Private Journal," says that at first all of his party were
horrified at the idea of eating foxes--"But very many soon got the
better of their fastidiousness and found them good eating; not being
myself very nice, I soon made the experiment, and found the flesh much
resembling that of kid, and afterwards frequently had a supper of it."

Sir James Clarke Ross, during his five years' imprisonment in Boothia
Felix and the adjoining seas, had ample means of judging of its flavour;
he tells us that some of his party, who were the first to taste them,
named them "lambs," from their resemblance in flavour to very young
lamb. He adds, that the flesh of the old fox is by no means so
palatable. During that disastrous expedition the flesh of this fox
formed one of the principal luxuries of their table, and it was always
"reserved for holidays and great occasions. We ate them boiled, or, more
frequently after being parboiled, _roasted_, in a pitch kettle."

When the Arctic Expedition in search of Franklin wintered in Leopold
Harbour in 1848-49, the commander, Sir J. C. Ross, made use of the
Arctic fox as a messenger. Having caught some of these animals in traps,
a collar with information for the missing parties was put round the neck
of each before liberation, as the fox is known to travel great distances
in search of food. On Captain Austin's subsequent expedition in 1850-51
the same plan was carried out, but it was found to be equally without
result. Commander Osborn thus facetiously describes the
circumstance.[119] "Several animals thus intrusted with despatches or
records were liberated by different ships; but, as the truth must be
told, I fear in many cases the next night saw the poor 'postman,' as
Jack termed him, in another trap, out of which he would be taken,
killed, the skin taken off, and packed away to ornament at some future
day the neck of some fair Dulcinea. As a 'sub,' I was admitted into this
secret mystery, or, otherwise, I with others might have accounted for
the disappearance of the collared foxes by believing them busy on their
honourable mission. In order that the crime of killing 'the postmen' may
be recognised in its true light, it is but fair that I should say, that
the brutes, having partaken once of the good cheer on board or around
the ships, seldom seemed satisfied with the mere empty honours of a
copper collar, and returned to be caught over and over again. Strict
laws were laid down for their safety, such as that no fox taken alive in
a trap was to be killed: of course no fox was after this taken alive;
they were all unaccountably dead, unless it was some fortunate wight
whose brush and coat were worthless; in such case he lived either to
drag about a quantity of information in a copper collar for the rest of
his days, or else to die a slow death, as being intended for Lord
Derby's menagerie. The departure of 'a postman' was a scene of no small
merriment; all hands, from the captain to the cook, were out to chase
the fox, who, half frightened out of its wits, seemed to doubt which way
to run, whilst loud shouts and roars of laughter, breaking the cold,
frosty air, were heard from ship to ship, as the foxhunters, swelled in
numbers from all sides, and those that could not run mounted some
neighbouring hummock of ice and gave a loud halloo, which said far more
for robust health than for tuneful melody."

The Arctic fox as a captive has often amused our Arctic voyagers, and
accounts of it are to be met with in most of their narratives. Captain
Lyon made a pet of one he captured, and confined it on deck in a small
kennel with a piece of chain. The little creature astonished the party
very much by his extraordinary sagacity, for, on the very first day,
having been repeatedly drawn out by his chain, he at length drew his
chain in after him whenever he retreated to his hut, and took it in with
his mouth so completely, that no one who valued his fingers would
venture afterwards to take hold of the end attached to the staple.

Sir J. C. Ross observed in Boothia Felix a good deal of difference in
the disposition of specimens, some being easily tamed, whilst others
would remain savage and untractable even with the kindest treatment. He
found the females much more vicious than the males. A dog-fox which his
party captured lived several months with them, and became so tame in a
short time that he regularly attended the dinner-table like a dog, and
was always allowed to go at large about the cabin. When newly caught
their rage is quite ungovernable, and yet when two are put together they
very seldom quarrel. They soon get reconciled to confinement. Captain
Lyon[120] notices that their first impulse on getting food is to hide it
as soon as possible, and this, he observed, they did, even when hungry
and by themselves; when there was snow on the ground they piled it over
their stores, and pressed it down forcibly with their nose. When no
snow was to be obtained, he noticed his pet fox gather the chain into
his mouth, and then carefully coil it so as to cover the meat. Having
gone through this process, and drawn away his chain after him on moving
away, he has sometimes repeated his useless labours five or six times,
until disgusted, apparently, at the inability of making the morsel a
greater luxury by previous concealment, he has been forced to eat it.
These creatures use snow as a substitute for water, and it is pleasing
to see them break a large lump with their feet, and roll on the pieces
with evident delight. When the snow lay lightly scattered on the decks,
they did not lick it up as dogs do, but by pressing it repeatedly with
their nose, collected a small lump which they drew into their mouth.

It may be added that the specific name _lagopus_, or "hare-foot," was
given to this fox from the soles of its feet being densely covered with
woolly hair, which gives them some resemblance to the feet of a hare.
Cuvier remarks that other foxes acquire this hair on the soles when
taken to northern lands.

The specimens, figured so admirably by Mr Wolf, were drawn from some
brought alive to the Zoological Gardens by one of the late Arctic
expeditions.--_A. White, in "Excelsior" (with additions)._


[113] _Edinburgh Review_, 1841, vol. lxxiv. p. 77.

[114] "Noctes Ambrosianæ." Works of Professor Wilson, vol. i. pp.

[115] "Fauna Boreali-Americana." Mammalia, p. 87.

[116] Appendix to "Second Voyage," p. xii.

[117] "Fauna Groenlandica," p. 20.

[118] _Dublin Nat. Hist. Review, 1858_, p. 166.

[119] "Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal," p. 176.

[120] "Private Journal," p. 105.


The boy who used to read, long ago, "The Three Hundred Animals," was
ever familiar with "_the Lion's Provider_," as the menagerie showmen,
even now, somewhat pompously style this hungry howler of the desert.

The jackal is a social kind of dog, and a pack of hungry or excited
jackals can howl in notes fit to pierce the ears of the deafest. He is a
mean, starved-looking creature in ordinary circumstances, seeming as if
his social life prevented his getting what is called _a lion's_ share on
any occasion.


As Burke was declaiming with great animation against Hastings, he was
interrupted by little Major Scott. "Am I," said he, indignantly, "to be
teased by the barking of this _jackal_, while I am attacking the royal
_tiger_ of Bengal?"[121]


Another fertile subject for anecdote. Who has not some faithful black
Topsy, Tortoise-shell, or Tabby, or rather succession of them, whose
biographies would afford many a curious story? Professor Bell[122] has
well defended the general character of poor pussy from the oft-repeated
calumnies spread about it. Cats certainly get much attached to
individuals, as well as to houses and articles in them. They want the
lovableness and demonstrativeness of dogs; but their habits are very
different, and they are strictly organised to adapt them to watch and to
pounce on their prey.

As we have elsewhere remarked, and the remark was founded on observation
of our eldest daughter when a very young child, "Your little baby loves
the pussy, and pussy sheathes her claws most carefully, but should baby
draw back her arm suddenly, and pussy accidentally scratch that tender
skin, how the little girl cries! It is, perhaps, her first lesson that
sweets and bitters, pleasures and pains, meekness and ferocity, are
mingled in this world."[123]


Dr, afterwards Sir John, Bowring, in the life of that diligent eccentric
"codificator," Jeremy Bentham,[124] thus alludes to some of his
pets:--"Bentham was very fond of animals, particularly '_pussies_,' as
he called them, 'when they had domestic virtues;' but he had no
particular affection for the common race of _cats_. He had one, however,
of which he used to boast that he had 'made a man of him,' and whom he
was wont to invite to eat maccaroni at his own table. This puss got
knighted, and rejoiced in the name of Sir John Langborn. In his early
days, he was a frisky, inconsiderate, and, to say the truth, somewhat
profligate gentleman; and had, according to the report of his patron,
the habit of seducing light and giddy young ladies of his own race into
the garden of Queen's Square Place; but tired at last, like Solomon, of
pleasures and vanities, he became sedate and thoughtful--took to the
church, laid down his knightly title, and was installed as the Reverend
John Langborn. He gradually obtained a great reputation for sanctity and
learning, and a doctor's degree was conferred upon him. When I knew him,
in his declining days, he bore no other name than the Reverend Doctor
John Langborn; and he was alike conspicuous for his gravity and
philosophy. Great respect was invariably shown his reverence; and it was
supposed he was not far off from a mitre, when old age interfered with
his hopes and honours. He departed amidst the regrets of his many
friends, and was gathered to his fathers, and to eternal rest, in a
cemetery in Milton's Garden.[125]

"'I had a cat,' he said, 'at Hendon, which used to follow me about even
in the street. George Wilson was very fond of animals too. I remember a
cat following him as far as Staines. There was a beautiful pig at
Hendon, which I used to rub with my stick. He loved to come and lie down
to be rubbed, and took to following me like a dog. I had a remarkably
intellectual cat, who never failed to attend one of us when we went
round the garden. He grew quite a tyrant, insisting on being fed and on
being noticed. He interrupted my labours. Once he came with a most
hideous yell, insisting on the door being opened. He tormented Jack
(Colls) so much, that Jack threw him out of the window. He was so
clamorous that it could not be borne, and means were found to send him
to another world. His moral qualities were most despotic--his
intellectual extraordinary; but he was a universal nuisance."

"'From my youth I was fond of cats, as I am still. I was once playing
with one in my grandmother's room. I had heard the story of cats having
nine lives, and being sure of falling on their legs; and I threw the cat
out of the window on the grass-plot. When it fell it turned towards me,
looked in my face and mewed. "Poor thing!" I said, "thou art reproaching
me with my unkindness." I have a distinct recollection of all these
things. Cowper's story of his hares had the highest interest for me when
young; for I always enjoyed the society of tame animals. Wilson had the
same taste--so had Romilly, who kept a noble puss, before he came into
great business. I never failed to pay it my respects. I remember
accusing Romilly of violating the commandment in the matter of cats. My
fondness for animals exposed me to many jokes.'"


S. Bisset, to whom we referred before, was a Scotchman, born at Perth.
He went to London as a shoemaker; but afterwards turned a broker. About
1739 he turned his attention to the teaching of animals. He was very
successful, and among the subjects of his experiments were three young
cats. Wilson, in his "Eccentric Mirror,"[126] has recorded that "he
taught these domestic tigers to strike their paws in such directions on
the dulcimer, as to produce several tunes, having music-books before
them, and squalling at the same time in different keys or tones, first,
second, and third, by way of concert. In such a city as London these
feats could not fail of making some noise. His house was every day
crowded, and great interruption given to his business. Among the rest,
he was visited by an exhibitor of wonders. Pinchbeck advised him to a
public exhibition of his animals at the Haymarket, and even promised, on
receiving a moiety, to be concerned in the exhibition. Bisset agreed,
but the day before the performance, Pinchbeck declined, and the other
was left to act for himself. The well-known _Cats' Opera_ was advertised
in the Haymarket; the horse, the dog, the monkeys, and the cats went
through their several parts with uncommon applause, to crowded houses,
and in a few days Bisset found himself possessed of nearly a thousand
pounds to reward his ingenuity."


"Benjamin Constant was accustomed to write in a closet on the third
story. Beside him sat his estimable wife, and on his knee his favourite
cat; this feline affection he entertained in common with Count de


Robert Liston, the great surgeon, was, it seems, very fond of a cat. Dr
Forbes Winslow asks, "Who has not seen Liston's favourite cat Tom? This
animal is considered to be a unique specimen of the feline tribe; and so
one would think, to see the passionate fondness which he manifests for
it. This cat is always perched on Liston's shoulder, at breakfast,
dinner, and tea, in his carriage, and out of his carriage. It is quite
ludicrous to witness the devotion which the great operator exhibits
towards his favourite."[128]

Liston was a curious man. He often called on his friends as early as six
o'clock in the morning. In most cases, such calls must have been visits
of formality or quiet jokes at the lazy manners of most men of the
present age. We know one person whom he called on usually at this early
hour. It would be more healthy for the young, if they would imitate this
talented surgeon. We may here say that he used to allow one particular
nail to grow long. It was a nail he used to guide his knife when
operating. When at college in 1833 or 1834, we heard a student, who knew
this clever operator well, happily apply the _double-entendre_, "_homo
ad unguem factus_," a phrase, Dr Carson, our noble rector at the High
School, taught us to translate "_an accomplished man_."


Mr J. T. Smith, once Keeper of the Prints in the British Museum, author
of the "Life and Times of Nollekens, the Royal Academician,"[129] tells
a story of Mr Matthew Mitchell, a banker, who collected prints.

"Mr Mitchell had a most serious antipathy to a kitten. He could sit in a
room without experiencing the least emotion from a cat; but directly he
perceived a kitten, his flesh shook on his bones, like a snail in
vinegar. I once relieved him from one of these paroxysms by taking a
kitten out of the room; on my return he thanked me, and declared his
feelings to be insupportable upon such an occasion. Long subsequently, I
asked him whether he could in any way account for this agitation. He
said he could not, adding that he experienced no such sensations upon
seeing a full-grown cat; but that a kitten, after he had looked at it
for a minute or two, in his imagination grew to the size of an
overpowering elephant."


The poet Montgomery was very fond of cats. His biographers say--"We
never recollect the time when some familiar 'Tabby' or audacious 'Tom'
did not claim to share the poet's attention during our familiar
interviews with him in his own parlour. We well recollect one fine
brindled fellow, called 'Nero,' who, during his kittenhood, 'purred' the
following epistle to a little girl who had been his playmate:--

                                "HARTSHEAD, NEAR THE HOLE-IN-THE-WALL,
                                                     "_July 23, 1825_.

    "_Mew, wew, auw, mauw, hee, wee, miaw, waw, wurr, whirr, ghurr, wew,
    mew, whew, isssss, tz, tz, tz, purrurrurrur._"



"This comes to tell you that I am very well, and I hope you are so too.
I am growing a great cat; pray how do you come on? I wish you were here
to carry me about as you used to do, and I would scratch you to some
purpose, for I can do this much better than I could while you were here.
I have not run away yet, but I believe I shall soon, for I find my feet
are too many for my head, and often carry me into mischief. Love to
Sheffelina, though I was always fit to pull her cap when I saw you
petting her. My cross old mother sends her love to you--she shows me
very little now-a-days, I assure you, so I do not care what she does
with the rest. She has brought me a mouse or two, and I caught one
myself last night; but it was in my dream, and I awoke as hungry as a
hunter, and fell to biting at my tail, which I believe I should have
eaten up; but it would not let me catch it. So no more at present from


"_P.S._--They call me Tiny yet, you see; but I intend to take the name
of Nero, after the lion fight at Warwick next week, if the lion
conquers, not else.

"_2d P.S._--I forgot to tell you that I can beg, but I like better to
steal,--it's more natural, you know.

"HARRIET, at Ockbrook."


David Ritchie, the prototype of the "Black Dwarf," inhabited a small
cottage on the farm of Woodhouse, parish of Manor, Peeblesshire. In the
year 1797, Walter Scott, then a young advocate, was taken by the
Fergusons to see "Bowed Davie," as the poor misanthropic man was
generally called.

Mr William Chambers,[131] the historian of his native county, describes
the visit at greater length than Scott has done in the introduction to
his novel. He says--"At the first sight of Scott, the misanthrope seemed
oppressed with a sentiment of extraordinary interest, which was either
owing to the lameness of the stranger--a circumstance throwing a
narrower gulf between this person and himself than what existed between
him and most other men--or to some perception of an extraordinary mental
character in this limping youth, which was then hid from other eyes.
After grinning upon him for a moment with a smile less bitter than his
wont, the dwarf passed to the door, double-locked it, and then coming up
to the stranger, seized him by the wrist with one of his iron hands, and
said, 'Man, hae ye ony poo'er?' By this he meant magical power, to which
he had himself some vague pretensions, or which, at least, he had
studied and reflected upon till it had become with him a kind of
monomania. Scott disavowed the possession of any gifts of that kind,
evidently to the great disappointment of the inquirer, who then turned
round and gave a signal to a huge black cat, hitherto unobserved, which
immediately jumped up to a shelf, where it perched itself, and seemed to
the excited senses of the visitors as if it had really been the familiar
spirit of the mansion. 'He has poo'er,' said the dwarf in a voice which
made the flesh of the hearers thrill, and Scott, in particular, looked
as if he conceived himself to have actually got into the den of one of
those magicians with whom his studies had rendered him familiar. 'Ay,
_he_ has poo'er,' repeated the recluse; and then, going to his usual
seat, he sat for some minutes grinning horribly, as if enjoying the
impression he had made, while not a word escaped from any of the party.
Mr Ferguson at length plucked up his spirits, and called to David to
open the door, as they must now be going. The dwarf slowly obeyed, and
when they had got out, Mr Ferguson observed that his friend was as pale
as ashes, while his person was agitated in every limb. Under such
striking circumstances was this extraordinary being first presented to
the _real_ magician, who was afterwards to give him such a deathless

Mr Chambers doubtless received the particulars of this visit from Sir
Adam Ferguson, Scott's friend and companion.

       *       *       *       *       *

Robert Southey, like Jeremy Bentham, with whom the Quarterly Reviewer
would have grudged to have been classified, loved cats. His son, in his
"Life and Correspondence," vol. vi. p. 210, says--"My father's fondness
for cats has been occasionally shown by allusion in his letters,[132]
and in 'The Doctor' is inserted an amusing memorial of the various cats
which at different times were inmates of Greta Hall. He rejoiced in
bestowing upon them the strangest appellations, and it was not a little
amusing to see a kitten answer to the name of some Italian singer or
Indian chief, or hero of a German fairy tale, and often names and titles
were heaped one upon another, till the possessor, unconscious of the
honour conveyed, used to 'set up his eyes and look' in wonderment. Mr
Bedford had an equal liking for the feline race, and occasional notices
of their favourites therefore passed between them, of which the
following records the death of one of the greatest:--

                                     "'_To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq._
                                            "'KESWICK, _May 18, 1833_.

"'My Dear G---- ... --Alas! Grosvenor, this day poor old Rumpel was found
dead, after as long and happy a life as cat could wish for, if cats form
wishes on that subject. His full titles were:--"The Most Noble the
Archduke Rumpelstiltzchen, Marquis M'Bum, Earl Tomlemagne, Baron
Raticide, Waowhler, and Skaratch." There should be a court mourning in
Catland, and if the Dragon[133] wear a black ribbon round his neck, or a
band of crape _à la militaire_ round one of the fore paws, it will be
but a becoming mark of respect.

"'As we have no catacombs here, he is to be decently interred in the
orchard, and cat-mint planted on his grave. Poor creature, it is well
that he has thus come to his end after he had become an object of pity,
I believe we are, each and all, servants included, more sorry for his
loss, or rather more affected by it, than any one of us would like to

"'I should not have written to you at present, had it not been to notify
this event.

                                                               R. S.'"

In a letter from Leyden to his son Cuthbert, then in his seventh year,
he says--"I hope Rumpelstiltzchen has recovered his health, and that
Miss Cat is well; and I should like to know whether Miss Fitzrumpel has
been given away, and if there is another kitten. The Dutch cats do not
speak exactly the same language as the English ones. I will tell you how
they talk when I come home."[134]


Archbishop Whately[135] records a case of an act done by a cat, which,
if done by a man, would be called reason. He says--"This cat lived many
years in my mother's family, and its feats of sagacity were witnessed by
her, my sisters, and myself. It was known, not merely once or twice, but
habitually, to ring the parlour bell whenever it wished the door to be
opened. Some alarm was excited on the first occasion that it turned
bell-ringer. The family had retired to rest, and in the middle of the
night the parlour-bell was rung violently; the sleepers were startled
from their repose, and proceeded down-stairs, with pokers and tongs, to
interrupt, as they thought, the predatory movement of some burglar; but
they were agreeably surprised to discover that the bell had been rung by
pussy; who frequently repeated the act whenever she wanted to get out of
the parlour."

       *       *       *       *       *

A friend (D. D., Esq., Edinburgh) tells me of a cat his family had in
the country, that used regularly to "_tirl at the pin_" of the back door
when it wished to get in to the house.


[121] Mark Lemon, "Jest-Book," p. 280.

[122] "British Quadrupeds." The professor has long retired to his
favourite Selborne. He occupies the house of Gilbert White; and a new
illustrated edition of the "Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne"
has been long looked for from him.

[123] "The Instructive Picture Book; or, A Few Attractive Lessons from
the Natural History of Animals," by Adam White, p. 15 (fifth edition,

[124] "The Works of Jeremy Bentham," now first collected under the
superintendence of his executor, John Bowring, vol. xi. pp. 80, 81.

[125] Jeremy Bentham's house in Queen's Square was that which had been
occupied by the great poet.

[126] Vol. i. No. 3. p. 27.

[127] _Times_, 18 Dec. 1830, quoted by Southey, "Common-Place Book," iv.
p. 489.

[128] "Physic and Physicians," a medical sketch-book, vol. ii. p. 363

[129] "A Book for a Rainy Day," p. 103. Old Smith was a regular hunter
after legacies, and like all such was often disappointed. His
"Nollekens" is a fine example.

[130] "Memoirs of James Montgomery," by Holland and Everett, iv. pp.
114, 115.

[131] "A History of Peeblesshire," by William Chambers of Glenormiston,
p. 403 (1864).

[132] See vol. v. p. 145.

[133] A cat of Mr Bedford's.

[134] "Life and Correspondence," v. p. 223.

[135] On Instinct, a Lecture delivered before the Dublin Natural History
Society, 11th November 1842. Dublin, 1847. P. 10.


These most ferocious of the Carnivora have afforded interesting subjects
to many a traveller. An extensive volume of truly sensational adventure
might be compiled about them, adding a chapter for the jaguar and the
leopard, two extremely dangerous spotted cats, that can do what neither
tigers nor lions are able to do--namely, climb trees. Having once asked
a friend, who was at the death of many a wild beast, which was the most
savage animal he had ever seen, he replied, "A wounded leopard." It was
to such an animal that Jacob referred when he saw Joseph's clothes, and
said--"Some evil beast hath devoured him." Colonel Campbell's work, from
which the first paragraph is derived, contains much about the pursuit of
the tiger. Dr Livingstone's travels and Gordon Cumming's books on South
Africa, neither of which we have quoted, have thrilling pages about the
lordly presence of "the king of beasts." Mr Joseph Wolf and Mr Lewis are
perhaps the best draughtsmen of the lion among recent artists. The
public admire much Sir Edwin Landseer's striking bronze lions on the
pedestal of the Nelson Monument. That artist excels in his pictures of
the lion. On the Assyrian monuments in the British Museum are many
wonderfully executed lion hunts, as perfectly preserved as if they had
been chiselled in our day. Parts of these bas-reliefs were certainly
designed from actual sketches made from the lions and dogs, which took
the chief part in the amusements of some "Nimrod, a mighty hunter before
the Lord." Even our Scottish kings kept a lion or lions as ornaments of
their court. At Stirling Castle and Palace, a room which we saw in 1865,
still bears the name of the "Lion's Den." The British lion is an old
emblem of both Scotland and England, and it is not twenty-five years ago
since we, in common with every visitor to the Tower, were glad to see
"the Royal Lion." Dr Livingstone's experience, we have not the slightest
wish to prove its accuracy, shows that the lion has a soothing, or
rather paralysing power over his prey, when he has knocked it down or
bitten it.


The following striking anecdote recounts the extraordinary presence of
mind and determined courage of a celebrated Mahratta hunter named
Bussapa. This man acquired the name of the "Tiger-slayer," and wore on
his breast several silver medals granted by the Indian Government for
feats of courage in destroying tigers. Colonel Campbell met him, and in
"My Indian Journal" (pp. 142, 143), published in 1864, has recorded from
his brother's diary the following anecdote:--"Bussapa, a hunter of
'Lingyat' caste, with whom I am well acquainted, was sent for by the
headman of a village, to destroy a tiger which had carried off a number
of cattle. He came, and having ascertained the brute's usual haunts,
fastened a bullock near the edge of a ravine which he frequented, and
quietly seated himself beside it, protected only by a small bush. Soon
after sunset the tiger appeared, killed the bullock, and was glutting
himself with blood, when Bussapa, thrusting his long matchlock through
the bush, fired, and wounded him severely. The tiger half rose, but
being unable to see his assailant on account of the intervening bush,
dropped again on his prey with a sudden growl. Bussapa was kneeling
within three paces of him, completely defenceless; he did not even dare
to reload, for he well knew that the slightest movement on his part
would be the signal for his immediate destruction; his bare knees were
pressed upon gravel, but he dared not venture to shift his uneasy
position. Ever and anon, the tiger, as he lay with his glaring eyes
fixed upon the bush, uttered his hoarse growl of anger; his hot breath
absolutely blew upon the cheek of the wretched man, yet still he moved
not. The pain of his cramped position increased every moment--suspense
became almost intolerable; but the motion of a limb, the rustling of a
leaf, would have been death. Thus they remained, the man and the tiger,
watching each other's motions; but even in this fearful situation, his
presence of mind never for a moment forsook the noble fellow. He heard
the gong of the village strike each hour of that fearful night, that
seemed to him 'eternity,' and yet he lived; the tormenting mosquitoes
swarmed round his face, but he dared not brush them off. That fiend-like
eye met his whenever he ventured a glance towards the horrid spell that
bound him; and a hoarse growl grated on the stillness of the night, as a
passing breeze stirred the leaves that sheltered him. Hours rolled on,
and his powers of endurance were well-nigh exhausted, when, at length,
the welcome streaks of light shot up from the eastern horizon. On the
approach of day, the tiger rose, and stalked away with a sulky pace, to
a thicket at some distance, and then the stiff and wearied Bussapa felt
that he was safe.

"One would have thought that, after such a night of suffering, he would
have been too thankful for his escape, to venture on any further risk.
But the valiant Bussapa was not so easily diverted from his purpose; as
soon as he had stretched his cramped limbs, and restored the checked
circulation, he reloaded his matchlock, and coolly proceeded to finish
his work. With his match lighted, he advanced close to the tiger, lying
ready to receive him, and shot him dead by a ball in the forehead, while
in the act of charging."

Colonel Campbell relates, that most of Bussapa's family have fallen
victims to tigers. But the firm belief of the "tiger-slayer" in
predestination, makes him blind to all danger.


The greatest comparative anatomist our country has produced, John
Hunter, obtained the refusal of all animals which happened to die in the
Tower or in the travelling menageries. In this way he often obtained
rare subjects for his researches. Dr Forbes Winslow[136] alludes to a
well-known fact, that all the money Hunter could spare, was devoted to
procuring curiosities of this sort, and Sir Everard Home used to state,
that as soon as he had accumulated fees to the amount of ten guineas, he
always purchased some addition to his collection. Indeed, he was not
unfrequently obliged to borrow of his friends, when his own funds were
at a low ebb, and the temptation was strong. "Pray, George," said he one
day to Mr G. Nicol, the bookseller to the king, with whom he was very
intimate, "have you got any money in your pocket?" Mr N. replied in the
affirmative. "Have you got five guineas? Because, if you have, and will
lend it me, you shall go halves."--"Halves in what?" inquired his
friend.--"Why, halves in a magnificent tiger, which is now dying in
Castle Street." Mr Nicol lent the money, and Hunter purchased the tiger.


Mrs Colin Mackenzie[137] records the death of a man from the wounds of a
tiger. "The tiger," she says, "was brought in on the second day. He died
from the wound he had received. I gave the body to the Dhers in our
service, who ate it. The claws and whiskers are greatly prized by the
natives as charms. The latter are supposed to give the possessor a
certain malignant power over his enemies, for which reason I always
take possession of them to prevent our people getting them. The tiger is
very commonly worshipped all over India. The women often prostrate
themselves before a dead tiger, when sportsmen are bringing it home in
triumph; and in a village, near Nagpur, Mr Hislop found a number of rude
images, almost like four-legged stools, which, on inquiry, proved to be
meant for tigers, who were worshipped as the tutelary deities of the
place. I believe a fresh image is added for every tiger that is slain."


A jolly jack-tar, having strayed into Atkin's show at Bartholomew Fair,
to have a look at the wild beasts, was much struck with the sight of a
lion and a tiger in the same den. "Why, Jack," said he to a messmate,
who was chewing a quid in silent amazement, "I shouldn't wonder if next
year they were to carry about _a sailor and a marine living peaceably
together_!"--"Ay," said his married companion, "_or a man and

We may add that we have long regarded it as a vile calumny to two
animals to say of a man and wife who quarrel, that they live "a cat and
dog life." No two animals are better agreed when kept together. Each
knows his own place and keeps it. Hence they live at peace--speaking
"generally," as "Mr Artemus Ward" would say of "such an observation."


Addison,[139] in the 139th _Guardian_, has given us the story of
Androcles and the Lion. He prefaces it by saying that he has no regard
"to what Æsop has said upon the subject, whom," says he, "I look upon to
have been a republican, by the unworthy treatment which he often gives
to the king of beasts, and whom, if I had time, I could convict of
falsehood and forgery in almost every matter of fact which he has
related of this generous animal."

Better observation of it, however, from the time of Burchell to that of
Livingstone, shows that Æsop's account is on the whole to be relied on,
and that the lion is a thorough cat, treacherous, cruel, and, for the
most part, with a good deal of the coward in him.

The story of Androcles was related by Aulus Gellius, who extracted it
from Dion Cassius. Although likely to be embellished, there is every
likelihood of the foundation of the story being true. Addison relates
this, "for the sake of my learned reader, who needs go no further in it,
if he has read it already:--Androcles was the slave of a noble Roman who
was proconsul of Afric. He had been guilty of a fault, for which his
master would have put him to death, had not he found an opportunity to
escape out of his hands, and fled into the deserts of Numidia. As he was
wandering among the barren sands, and almost dead with heat and hunger,
he saw a cave in the side of a rock. He went into it, and finding at the
farther end of it a place to sit down upon, rested there for some time.
At length, to his great surprise, a huge overgrown lion entered at the
mouth of the cave, and seeing a man at the upper end of it, immediately
made towards him. Androcles gave himself up for gone;[140] but the lion,
instead of treating him as he expected, laid his paw upon his lap, and
with a complaining kind of voice, fell a licking his hand. Androcles,
after having recovered himself a little from the fright he was in,
observed the lion's paw to be exceedingly swelled by a large thorn that
stuck in it. He immediately pulled it out, and by squeezing the paw very
gently made a great deal of corrupt matter run out of it, which,
probably freed the lion from the great anguish he had felt some time
before. The lion left him upon receiving this good office from him, and
soon after returned with a fawn which he had just killed. This he laid
down at the feet of his benefactor, and went off again in pursuit of his
prey. Androcles, after having sodden the flesh of it by the sun,
subsisted upon it until the lion had supplied him with another. He lived
many days in this frightful solitude, the lion catering for him with
great assiduity. Being tired at length with this savage society, he was
resolved to deliver himself up into his master's hands, and suffer the
worst effects of his displeasure, rather than be thus driven out from
mankind. His master, as was customary for the proconsuls of Africa, was
at that time getting together a present of all the largest lions that
could be found in the country, in order to send them to Rome, that they
might furnish out a show to the Roman people. Upon his poor slave
surrendering himself into his hands, he ordered him to be carried away
to Rome as soon as the lions were in readiness to be sent, and that for
his crime he should be exposed to fight with one of the lions in the
amphitheatre, as usual, for the diversion of the people. This was all
performed accordingly. Androcles, after such a strange run of fortune,
was now in the area of the theatre, amidst thousands of spectators,
expecting every moment when his antagonist would come out upon him. At
length a huge monstrous lion leaped out from the place where he had been
kept hungry for the show. He advanced with great rage towards the man,
but on a sudden, after having regarded him a little wistfully, fell to
the ground, and crept towards his feet with all the signs of
blandishment and caress. Androcles, after a short pause, discovered that
it was his old Numidian friend, and immediately renewed his acquaintance
with him. Their mutual congratulations were very surprising to the
beholders, who, upon hearing an account of the whole matter from
Androcles, ordered him to be pardoned, and the lion to be given up into
his possession. Androcles returned at Rome the civilities which he had
received from him in the deserts of Afric. Dion Cassius says, that he
himself saw the man leading the lion about the streets of Rome, the
people everywhere gathering about them, and repeating to one another,
'_Hic est leo hospes hominis; hic est homo medicus leonis_.' 'This is
the lion who was the man's host; this is the man who was the lion's

We are glad to repeat this anecdote, although some may call it "stale
and old." The last time we were at the Zoological Gardens, in the
Regents Park, London, we saw a lion very kindly come and rub itself
against the rails of its den, on seeing a turbaned visitor come up, who
addressed it. The man had been kind to it on its passage home. It was
by no means a tame lion, nor one that its keeper would have ventured to


Steele, in the 146th _Guardian_,[141] has followed up a paper by
Addison, on the subject of lions, and gives an anecdote sent him, he
says, by "a worthy merchant and a friend of mine," who had it in the
year 1700 from the gentleman to whom it happened.

"About sixty years ago, when the plague raged at Naples, Sir George
Davis, consul there for the English nation, retired to Florence. It
happened one day he went out of curiosity to see the great duke's lions.
At the farther end, in one of the dens, lay a lion, which the keepers in
three years' time could not tame, with all the art and gentle usage
imaginable. Sir George no sooner appeared at the grates of the den, but
the lion ran to him with all the marks of joy and transport he was
capable of expressing. He reared himself up, and licked his hand, which
this gentleman put in through the grates. The keeper affrighted, took
him by the arm and pulled him away, begging him not to hazard his life
by going so near the fiercest creature of that kind that ever entered
those dens. However, nothing would satisfy Sir George, notwithstanding
all that could be said to dissuade him, but he must go into the den to
him. The very instant he entered, the lion threw his paws upon his
shoulders, and licked his face, and ran to and fro in the den, fawning
and full of joy, like a dog at the sight of his master. After several
embraces and salutations exchanged on both sides, they parted very good
friends. The rumour of this interview between the lion and the stranger
rung immediately through the whole city, and Sir George was very near
passing for a saint among the people. The great duke, when he heard of
it, sent for Sir George, who waited upon his highness, to the den, and
to satisfy his curiosity, gave him the following account of what seemed
so strange to the duke and his followers:--

"'A captain of a ship from Barbary gave me this lion when he was a young
whelp. I brought him up tame, but when I thought him too large to be
suffered to run about the house, I built a den for him in my courtyard;
from that time he was never permitted to go loose, except when I brought
him within doors to show him to my friends. When he was five years old,
in his gamesome tricks, he did some mischief by pawing and playing with
people. Having griped a man one day a little too hard, I ordered him to
be shot, for fear of incurring the guilt of what might happen; upon this
a friend who was then at dinner with me begged him: how he came here I
know not.'

Here Sir George Davis ended, and thereupon the Duke of Tuscany assured
him that he had the lion from that very friend of his."


The mausoleum of Pope Clement XII., whose name was Rezzonico, is one of
the greatest works of Antonio Canova, the celebrated Italian sculptor.
It is in St Peter's, at Rome, and was erected in 1792. It is only
mentioned here on account of two lions, which were faithfully studied
from nature.

His biographer, Mr Memes,[142] tells us that these lions were formed
"after long and repeated observation on the habits and forms of the
living animals. Wherever they were to be seen Canova constantly visited
them, at all hours, and under every variety of circumstances, that he
might mark their natural expression in different states of action and of
repose, of ferocity or gentleness. One of the keepers was even paid to
bring information, lest any favourable opportunity should pass

One of these lions is sleeping, while the other, which is under the
figure of the personification of religion, couches--but is awake, in
attitude of guarding inviolate the approach to the sepulchre, and ready
with a tremendous roar to spring upon the intruder.

Canova himself was much pleased with these lions. Mr Memes illustrates
their wonderful force and truth by a little anecdote.

"One day, while the author (a frequent employment) stood at some
distance admiring from different points of view the tomb of Rezzonico, a
woman with a child in her arms advanced to the lion, which appears to be
watching. The terrified infant began to scream violently, clinging to
the nurse's bosom, and exclaiming, '_Mordera, mamma, mordera!_' (It will
bite, mamma; it will bite.) The mother turned to the opposite one, which
seems asleep; her charge was instantly pacified; and smiling through
tears, extended its little arm to stroke the shaggy head, whispering in
subdued accents, as if afraid to awake the monster, '_O come placido!
non mordero quello, mamma._' (How gentle! this one will not bite,


Admiral Sir Charles Napier, K.C.B., when a boy in his fourteenth year,
visited London on his way to join his first ship at Spithead, the
_Renown_. His biographer tells us he was staying at the house of a
relative, who, "after showing the youngster all the London sights, took
him to see the lions at the Tower. Amongst them was one which the keeper
represented as being so very tame that, said he, 'you might put your
hand into his mouth.' Taking him at his word, the young middy, to the
horror of the spectators, thrust his hand into the jaws of the animal,
who, no doubt, was taken as much by surprise as the lookers-on. It was a
daring feat; but providentially he did not suffer for his
temerity."[143] This reminds the biographer of Nelson's feat with the
polar bear, and of Charles Napier's (the soldier) bold adventure with an
eagle in his boyhood, as related by Sir William Napier in the history of
his gallant brother's life.


When the houses were cleared from the head of the Mound in Edinburgh, a
travelling menagerie had set up its caravans on that great earthen
bridge, just at the time when George Ferguson, the celebrated Scotch
advocate, better known by his justiciary title of Lord Hermand, came up,
full of Pittite triumph that the ministry of "all the talents" had
fallen. "They are out! they are all out! every mother's son of them!" he
shouted. A lady, who heard the words, and perceived his excited
condition, imagined that he referred to the wild beasts; and seizing the
judge by his arm, exclaimed, "Gude heaven! we shall a' be


[136] "Physics and Physicians: a Medical Sketch-Book," vol. i. p. 174.
It was published anonymously in 1839.

[137] "Life in the Mission, the Camp, and the Zenánà; or, Six Years in
India," vol. ii. p. 382.

[138] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 237.

[139] August 20, 1713. Chalmers's edition of "British Essayists," vol.
xviii. p. 85.

[140] Up for lost.

[141] August 28, 1713. Chalmers's edition of "British Essayists," vol.
xviii p. 116.

[142] "Memoirs of Antonio Canova," by J. S. Memes, A.M. 1825. Pp. 332,
334, 346.

[143] "The Life of Admiral Sir Charles Napier, K.C.B," by Major-General
Elers Napier, vol. i. p. 8.


A most intelligent group of creatures, some of which the compiler has
watched in Yell Sound, close to Mossbank. He has even seen them once or
twice in the Forth, close to the end of the pier. In the Zoological
Gardens a specimen of the common seal proved for months a great source
of attraction by its mild nature, and its singular form and activity. It
soon died, and, had a coroner's jury returned a verdict, it would have
been "Death from the hooks swallowed with the fish" daily provided. We
have heard seal-fishers describe the great rapidity of the growth of
seals in the Arctic seas. They seem in about a fortnight after their
birth to attain nearly the size of their mothers. The same has been
recorded of the whale order. Both seals and whales have powers of
assimilating food and making fat that are unparalleled even by pigs. The
intelligence of seals is marvellous. Many who visited the Zoological
Gardens in the Regent's Park in May and June 1866 witnessed instances of
this in a seal from the South Seas, recently exhibited in London.
Persons on the sea-side might readily domesticate these interesting and
truly affectionate creatures. Hooker's sea-bear, the species exhibited
in London, was at first, so the kind Frenchman told us, very fierce, but
soon got reconciled to him, and, when I saw it, great was the mutual
attachment. It was a strangely interesting sight to see the great
creature walk on its fin-like legs, and clamber up and kiss the
genial-bearded French sailor.


In Shetland, Dr Adam Clarke tells us the popular belief is that the
seals, or, as they call them, _selkies_, are fallen spirits, and that it
is dangerous to kill any of them, as evil will assuredly happen to him
who does. They think that when the blood of a seal touches the water,
the sea begins to rise and swell. Those who shoot them notice that gulls
appear to watch carefully over them; and Mr Edmonston assured him that
he has known a gull scratch, a seal to warn it of his approach. Dr
Clarke, in the second of his voyages to Shetland, had a seal on board,
which was caught on the Island of Papa. He says:--"It refuses all
nourishment; it is very young, and about three feet long; it roars
nearly like a calf, but not so loud, and continually crawls about the
deck, seeking to get again to sea. As I cannot bear its cries, I intend
to return it to the giver. Several of them have been tamed by the
Shetlanders, and these will attend their owners to the place where the
cows are milked, in order to get a drink. This was the case with one Mr
Henry of Burrastow brought up. When it thought proper it would go to sea
and forage there, but was sure to return to land, and to its owner. They
tell me that it is a creature of considerable sagacity. The young seal
mentioned above made his escape over the gangway, and got to sea. I am
glad of it; for its plaintive lowing was painful to me. We saw it
afterwards making its way to the ocean."[145]


Every one familiar with seals is struck with their plaintive,
intelligent faces, and any one who has seen the seals from time to time
living in the Zoological Gardens must have been pleased with the marks
of attention paid by them to their keepers. Dr Edmonston of Balta Sound
has published in the "Memoirs of the Wernerian Society"[146] a graphic
and valuable paper on the distinctions, history, and hunting of seals in
the Shetland Isles. As that gentleman is a native of Unst, and had, when
he wrote the Memoir, been for more than twenty years actively engaged in
their pursuit, both as an amusement and as a study, we may extract two
or three interesting passages.

He remarks (p. 29) on the singular circumstance that so few additions
have been made to the list of domestic animals bequeathed to us from
remote antiquity, and mentions the practicability of an attempt being
made to tame seals; and also says that it is yet to be learned whether
they would breed in captivity and remain reclaimed from the wild state.
The few instances recorded in books of natural history of tame seals
refer to the species called _Phoca vitulina_, but of the processes of
rearing and education we have no details. "The trials," continues Dr
Edmonston, "I have made on these points have been equally numerous on
the great as on the common seal. By far the most interesting one I ever
had was a young male of the _barbata_ species: he was taken by myself
from a cave when only a few hours old, and in a day or two became as
attached as a dog to me. The varied movements and sounds by which he
expressed delight at my presence and regret at my absence were most
affecting; these sounds were as like as possible to the inarticulate
tones of the human voice. I know no animal capable of displaying more
affection than he did, and his temper was the gentlest imaginable. I
kept him for four or five weeks, feeding him entirely on warm milk from
the cow; in my temporary absence butter-milk was given to him, and he
died soon after.

"Another was a female, also of the great seal species, which we captured
in a cave when about six weeks old, in October 1830. This individual
would never allow herself to be handled but by the person who chiefly
had the charge of her, yet even she soon became comparatively familiar.

"It was amusing to see how readily she ascended the stairs, which she
often did, intent, as it seemed, on examining every room in the house;
on showing towards her signs of displeasure and correction, she
descended more rapidly and safely than her awkwardness seemed to

"She was fed from the first on fresh fish alone, and grew and fattened
considerably. We had her carried down daily in a hand-barrow to the
sea-side, where an old excavation admitting the salt water was
abundantly roomy and deep for her recreation and our observation. After
sporting and diving for some time she would come ashore, and seemed
perfectly to understand the use of the barrow. Often she tried to waddle
from the house to the water, or from the latter to her apartment, but
finding this fatiguing, and seeing preparations by her chairman, she
would of her own accord mount her palanquin, and thus be carried as
composedly as any Hindoo princess. By degrees we ventured to let her go
fairly into the sea, and she regularly returned after a short interval;
but one day during a thick fall of snow she was imprudently let off as
usual, and, being decoyed some distance out of sight of the shore by
some wild ones which happened to be in the bay at the time, she either
could not find her way back or voluntarily decamped.

"She was, we understood, killed very shortly after in a neighbouring
inlet. We had kept her about six months, and every moment she was
becoming more familiar; we had dubbed her Finna, and she seemed to know
her name. Every one that saw her was struck with her appearance.

"The smooth face without external ears--the nose slightly aquiline--the
large, dark, and beautiful eye which stood the sternest human gaze, gave
to the expression of her countenance such dignity and variety that we
all agreed that it really was _super_-animal. The Scandinavian Scald,
with such a mermaid before him, would find in her eye a metaphor so
emphatic that he would have no reason to borrow the favourite oriental
image of the gazelles from his Caucasian ancestors.

"This remarkable expressiveness and dignity of aspect of the
_Haff-fish_, so superior to all other animals with which the fishermen
of Shetland were acquainted, and the human character of his voice, may
have procured for him that peculiar respect with which he was regarded
by those who lived nearest his domains, and were admitted to most
frequent intercourse with him. He was the favourite animal of
superstition, and a few tales of him are still current. These, however,
are not of much interest or variety, the leading ideas in them being
these: That the great seal is a human soul, or a fallen angel in
metempsychosis, and that to him who is remarkable for hostility to the
phocal race some fatal retribution will ensue. I can easily conceive the
feeling of awe with which a fisherman would be impressed when, in the
sombre magnificence of some rocky solitude, a great seal suddenly
presented himself, for an interview of this kind once occurred to

"I was lying one calm summer day on a rock a little elevated above the
water, watching the approach of seals, in a small creek formed by
frowning precipices several hundred feet high, near the north point of
the Shetland Islands.

"I had patiently waited for two hours, and the scene and the sunshine
had thrown me into a kind of reverie, when my companion, who was more
awake, arrested my attention. A full-sized female haff-fish was swimming
slowly past, within eight yards of my feet, her head askance, and her
eyes fixed upon me; the gun, charged with two balls, was immediately
pointed. I followed her with the aim for some distance, when she dived
without my firing.

"I resolved that this omission should not recur, if she afforded me
another opportunity of a shot, which I hardly hoped for, but which
actually in a few moments took place. Still I did not fire, until, when
at a considerable distance, she was on the eve of diving, and she eluded
the shot by springing to a side. Here was really a species of
fascination. The wild scene, the near presence and commanding aspect of
the splendid animal before me, produced a spellbound impression which,
in my sporting experience, I never felt before.

"On reflection, I was delighted that she escaped.

"The younger seals are the more easy to tame, but the more difficult to
rear; under a month old they must be fed, and, especially the _barbata_,
almost entirely on milk, and that of the cow seems hardly to agree with

"Perhaps their being suckled by a cow fed chiefly on fish, the giving
them occasionally a little salt water, and then by degrees inducing them
to eat fish, might be the best mode until they attained the age of being
sustained on fish alone. In the _barbata_, to insure rapid taming, it
appears to be necessary to capture them before the period of casting the
foetal hair, analogous to what I have observed in the case of the
young of water-birds before getting up their first feathers, and when
they are entirely covered with the egg down.

"These changes seem connected with a great development of the wild
habits, and attachment to, and knowledge of, the localities where they
have first seen the light. As the _barbata_ is until this period in
reality a land animal, the chief difficulty we have to surmount with it
is in the quality of the milk to be given it. The _vitulina_ is
essentially an inhabitant of the water from its birth, yet the care of
the mother is perhaps for weeks necessary to judge how long and how
often it should be on land, and this we can hardly expect to imitate. In
the young of this species a few days old, which we have tried to rear, a
want of knowledge of this kind of management may have led to failure. I
have not attempted to rear them at a greater age.

"The Greenland seal is, I have been informed, occasionally kept for a
month or two on board the whalers, and thrives sufficiently well on the
flesh of sea-birds. This species appears to bring forth in January, and
therefore it is subjected to captivity.

"I know but comparatively little of its capability of being easily
tamed; but this quality, of itself, is no evidence of superior

"Might it not be easy to induce Greenland shipmasters to bring some of
these animals to England, where they would be accessible to the
observation of zoologists.

"One mode of attempting to tame them might be to take half-grown animals
in a net, or surprise them on land, and then keep them in salt-water
ponds in a semi-domestic state: if any of them were pregnant when
caught, or could be got to breed, the main difficulty would be

Long as these extracts are, they possess great interest as being derived
from observations on living animals made by one who was a friend of the
Duke of Wellington, and was always welcomed by him. His northern Island
of Unst is a fine field for studying marine animals. The sweeping
currents of the Arctic oceans bring creatures to the quiet voes and
sounds. Shetland in spring, summer, and autumn is a favoured locality
for the naturalist and painter.


There was some likelihood, a few years ago, that a most attractive
animal would be added to the collection of the Zoological Society. But,
unfortunately for the public gratification, as well as the remuneration
of the spirited captain who brought the creature, it reached the gardens
in a dying state, and only survived a few days. But it is not the first
of its family which has travelled so far to the southward. Nearly 250
years ago a specimen was brought alive by some of the Arctic
adventurers, and excited no little surprise, as old Purchas tells us. It
was in the year 1608, when "the king and many honourable personages
beheld it with admiration, for the strangeness of the same, the like
whereof had never before beene seene alive in England. Not long after it
fell sicke and died. As the beast in shape is very strange, so is it of
strange docilitie, and apt to be taught, as by good experience we often

The figure which accompanies this paper was drawn from our late lamented
visitor by Mr Wolf, who sketched it before its removal to the Zoological
Gardens. Captain Henry caught it during a whaling expedition, and sent
it to London. Though quite young, it was nearly four feet in length; and
when the person who used to feed it came into the room, it would give
him an affectionate greeting, in a voice somewhat resembling the cry of
a calf, but considerably louder. It walked about, but, owing to its
weakness, soon grew tired, and lay down. Unlike the seals, to which it
is closely allied, the walrus has considerable power with its limbs when
out of the water, and can support its bulky body quite clear of the
ground. Its mode of progression, however, is awkward when compared with
ordinary quadrupeds; its hind-limbs shuffling along, as if inclosed in a
sack. In some future season, when a lively specimen reaches the Gardens,
and is accommodated with an extensive tank of water, there is no reason
why the walrus should not thrive as well as the seal, or his close,
though not kind, neighbour of the North, the Polar bear.

[Illustration: The Walrus.]

The walrus, _morse_, or _sea-horse_ (_Trichechus rosmarus_, Linn.[147]),
is one of the most characteristic inhabitants of the Arctic regions.
There it is widely distributed, and thence it seldom wanders. One or two
specimens were killed on the shores of the northern Scottish islands in
1817 and 1825; but these instances seem hardly to admit of its
introduction into our _fauna_, any more than West Indian beans, brought
by the currents, are admissible into our _flora_. It is mentioned by
some old Scottish writers[148] among our native animals, and at one time
may have been carried to our coasts on some of the bergs, which are
occasionally seen in the German Ocean after the periodical disruptions
of the Arctic ice. Like the Polar bear, however, the walrus has
evidently been formed by its Creator for a life among icy seas, and
there it is now found often in large herds. Captain Beechey and other
voyagers to the seas around Spitzbergen, describe them as being
particularly abundant on the western coast of that inclement island. The
captain says that in fine weather they resort to large pieces of ice at
the edge of the main body, where herds of them may be seen of sometimes
more than a hundred individuals each. "In these situations they appear
greatly to enjoy themselves, rolling and sporting about, and frequently
making the air resound with their bellowing, which bears some
resemblance to that of a bull. These diversions generally end in sleep,
during which these wary animals appear always to take the precaution of
having a sentinel to warn them of any danger." The only warning,
however, which the sentinel gives, is by seeking his own safety; in
effecting which, as the herd lie huddled on one another like swine, the
motion of one is speedily communicated to the whole, and they instantly
tumble, one over the other, into the sea, head-foremost, if possible;
but failing that, anyhow.

Scoresby remarks that the front part of the head of the young walrus,
without tusks, when seen at a distance, is not unlike the human face. It
has the habit of raising its head above the water to look at ships and
other passing objects; and when seen in such a position, it may have
given rise to some of the stories of mermaids.

There is still a considerable uncertainty as to the food of the walrus.
Cook found no traces of aliment in the stomachs of those shot by his
party. Crantz says that in Greenland shell-fish and sea-weeds seem to be
its only subsistence. Scoresby found shrimps, a kind of craw-fish, and
the remains of young seals, in the stomachs of those which he examined.
Becchey mentions, that in the inside of several specimens he found
numerous granite pebbles larger than walnuts. These may be taken for the
same purpose that some birds, especially of the gallinaceous order,
swallow bits of gravel. Dr Von Baer concludes, from an analysis of all
the published accounts, that the walrus is omnivorous.[149] A specimen
that died at St Petersburg was fed on oatmeal mixed with turnips or
other vegetables; and the little fellow, who lately died in the Regent's
Park, seems to have been fed by the sailors on oatmeal porridge.

One of the chief characteristics of the walrus is the presence of two
elongated tusks (the canine teeth) in the upper jaw. According to
Crantz, it uses these to scrape mussels and other shell-fish from the
rocks and out of the sand, and also to grapple and get along with, for
they enable it to raise itself on the ice. They are also powerful
weapons of defence against the Polar bear and its other enemies.

The walrus attains a great size. Twelve feet is the length of a fine
specimen in the British Museum. Beechey's party found some of them
fourteen feet in length and nine feet in girth, and of such prodigious
weight that they could scarcely turn them over.

Gratifying accounts are given of the attachment of the female to its
young, and the male occasionally assists in their defence when exposed
to danger, or at least in revenging the attack. Lord Nelson, when a lad,
was coxwain to one of the ships of Phipps's expedition to the Arctic
seas, and commanded a boat, which was the means of saving a party
belonging to the other ship from imminent danger. "Some of the officers
had fired at and wounded a walrus. As no other animal," says Southey,
"has so human-like an expression in its countenance, so also is there
none that seems to possess more of the passions of humanity. The wounded
animal dived immediately, and brought up a number of its companions; and
they all joined in an attack upon the boat. They wrested an oar from one
of the men; and it was with the utmost difficulty that the crew could
prevent them from staving or upsetting her, till the _Carcass's_ boat
(commanded by young Horatio Nelson) came up: and the walruses, finding
their enemies thus reinforced, dispersed." And Captain Beechey gives the
following pleasing picture of maternal affection which he witnessed in
the seas around Spitzbergen: "We were greatly amused by the singular and
affectionate conduct of a walrus towards its young. In the vast sheet of
ice which surrounded the ships, there were occasionally many pools; and
when the weather was clear and warm, animals of various kinds would
frequently rise and sport about in them, or crawl from thence upon the
ice to bask in the warmth of the sun. A walrus rose in one of these
pools close to the ship, and, finding everything quiet, dived down and
brought up its young, which it held to its breast by pressing it with
its flipper. In this manner it moved about the pool, keeping in an erect
posture, and always directing the face of the young towards the vessel.
On the slightest movement on board, the mother released her flipper, and
pushed the young one under water; but, when everything was again quiet,
brought it up as before, and for a length of time continued to play
about in the pool, to the great amusement of the seamen, who gave her
credit for abilities in tuition, which, though possessed of considerable
sagacity, she hardly merited."

The walrus has two great enemies in its icy home--the Polar bear and the
Esquimaux. Captain Beechey thus graphically describes the manoeuvres
of that king of the Bruin race, which must often be attended with
success. The bears, when hungry, are always on the watch for animals
sleeping upon the ice, and try to come on them unawares, as their prey
darts through holes in the ice. "One sunshiny day a walrus, of nine or
ten feet length, rose in a pool of water not very far from us; and after
looking around, drew his greasy carcase upon the ice, where he rolled
about for a time, and at length laid himself down to sleep. A bear,
which had probably been observing his movements, crawled carefully upon
the ice on the opposite side of the pool, and began to roll about also,
but apparently more with design than amusement, as he progressively
lessened the distance that intervened between him and his prey. The
walrus, suspicious of his advances, drew himself up preparatory to a
precipitate retreat into the water in case of a nearer acquaintance with
his playful but treacherous visitor; on which the bear was instantly
motionless, as if in the act of sleep; but after a time began to lick
his paws, and clean himself, occasionally encroaching a little more upon
his intended prey. But even this artifice did not succeed; the wary
walrus was far too cunning to allow himself to be entrapped, and
suddenly plunged into the pool; which the bear no sooner observed than
he threw off all disguise, rushed towards the spot, and followed him in
an instant into the water, where, I fear, he was as much disappointed in
his meal, as we were of the pleasure of witnessing a very interesting

The meat of the walrus is not despised by Europeans, and its heart is
reckoned a delicacy. To the Esquimaux there is no greater treat than a
kettle well filled with walrus-blubber; and to the natives along
Behring's Straits this quadruped is as valuable as is the palm to the
sons of the desert. Their canoes are covered with its skin; their
weapons and sledge-runners, and many useful articles, are formed from
its tusks; their lamps are filled with its oil; and they themselves are
fed with its fat and its fibre. So thick is the skin, that a bayonet is
almost the only weapon which can pierce it. Cut into shreds, it makes
excellent cordage, being especially adapted for wheel-ropes. The tusks
bear a high commercial value, and are extensively employed by dentists
in the manufacture of artificial teeth. The fat of a good-sized specimen
yields thirty gallons of oil.--_A. White, from "Excelsior."_


[144] "A Tour in Tartan-Land," by Cuthbert Bede.

[145] "Life," vol. iii. p. 188.

[146] Vol. viii. pp. 1-16.

[147] _Trichechus_, from the Greek [Greek: trichas echôn], "having
hairs:" _walrus_, the German _wallross_, "whale-horse."

[148] See Fleming's "British Animals," p. 19.

[149] Mém. Acad. Imp. Sc. St. Pétersb., 1838, p. 232. Professor Owen has
communicated to the Zoological Society the anatomy of the young walrus;
and much valuable information will be found in Dr Gray's "Catalogue of
Mammalia in the British Museum."


What dissertation on the strange outward form, or stranger mode of
reproduction to which this famed member of the _Marsupialia_ belongs,
could contain as much in little space as Charles Lamb's happy
description in his letter to Baron Field, his "distant correspondent" in
New South Wales? When that was written, and for long after, it may be
necessary to tell some, Australia was chiefly known as the land of the

"Tell me," writes Elia, "what your Sidneyites do? Are they th-v-ng all
day long? Merciful heaven! what property can stand against such a
depredation? The kangaroos--your aborigines--do they keep their
primitive simplicity un-Europe-tainted, with those little short
forepuds, looking like a lesson framed by nature to the pickpocket!
Marry, for diving into fobs they are rather lamely provided _a priori_;
but if the hue and cry were once up, they would show as fair a pair of
hind-shifters as the expertest locomotor in the colony."[150]

In one of his letters to another of his favoured correspondents he
alludes to his friend Field having gone to a country where there are so
many thieves that even the kangaroos have to wear their pockets in
front, lest they be picked!


Major-General Henry Frederick Cooke, C.B. and K.C.H., commonly called
Kang-Cooke, was a captain in the Coldstream Guards, and aide-de-camp to
the Duke of York. He was called the kangaroo by his intimate associates.
It is said that this arose from his once having let loose a cageful of
these animals at Pidcock's Menagerie, or from his answer to the Duke of
York, who, inquiring how he fared in the Peninsula, replied that he
"could get nothing to eat but kangaroo."[151] Moore, in his Diary,[152]
December 13, 1820, records that he dined with him and others at Lord
Granard's. Cooke told of Admiral Cotton once (at Lisbon, I think) saying
during dinner, "Make signals for the _Kangaroo_ to get under way;" and
Cooke, who had just been expressing his anxiety to leave Lisbon, thought
the speech alluded to his nickname, and considered it an extraordinary
liberty for one who knew so little of him as Admiral Cotton to take. He
found out afterwards, however, that his namesake was a sloop-of-war.


[150] "Distant Correspondents," in the Essays of Elia, first series ed.
1841, p. 67.

[151] Jesse's "Life of Beau Brummell," vol. i. p. 288.

[152] "Memoirs, Correspondence," &c., edited by Lord John Russell, vol.
iii. p. 179.


(_Thylacinus cynocephalus._)

The great order, or rather division, of mammalia, the
_Marsupialia_,[153] is furnished with a pouch, into which the young are
received and nourished at a very early period of their existence. The
first species of the group, known to voyagers and naturalists, was the
celebrated opossum of North America, whose instinctive care to defend
itself from danger causes it to feign the appearance of death. As the
great continent of Australia became known, it was found that the great
mass of its mammalia, from the gigantic kangaroo to the pigmy,
mouse-like potoroo, belonged to this singular order. The order contains
a most anomalous set of animals, some being exclusively carnivorous,
some chiefly subsisting on insects, while others browse on grass; and
many live on fruits and leaves, which they climb trees to procure; a
smaller portion subsisting on roots, for which they burrow in the
ground. The gentle and deer-faced kangaroo belongs to this order; the
curious bandicoots, the tree-frequenting phalangers and petauri, the
savage "native devil,"[154] and the voracious subject of this notice.

The "tiger-wolf" is a native of Van Diemen's Land, and is strictly
confined to that island. It was first described in the ninth volume of
the "Linnean Transactions," under the name of _Didelphis cynocephalus_,
or "dog-headed opossum," the English name being an exact translation of
its Latin one. Its non-prehensile tail, peculiar feet, and different
arrangement of teeth, pointed out to naturalists that it entered into a
genus distinct from the American opossums; and to this genus the name of
_Thylacinus_[155] has been applied; its specific name _cynocephalus_
being still retained in conformity with zoological nomenclature,
although M. Temminck, the founder of the genus, honoured the species
with the name of its first describer, and called it _Thylacinus

Mr Gould has given a short account of this quadruped in his great work,
"The Mammals of Australia," accompanied with two plates, one showing the
head of the male, of the natural size, in such a point of view as to
exhibit the applicability of one of the names applied to it by the
colonists, that of "zebra-wolf." He justly remarks that it must be
regarded as by far the most formidable of all the marsupial animals, as
it certainly is the most savage indigenous quadruped belonging to the
Australian continent. Although it is too feeble to make a successful
attack on man, it commits great havoc among the smaller quadrupeds of
the country; and to the settler it is a great object of dread, as his
poultry and other domestic animals are never safe from its attacks. His
sheep are, especially, an object of the colonist's anxious care, as he
can house his poultry, and thus secure them from the prowler; but his
flocks, wandering about over the country, are liable to be attacked at
night by the tiger-wolf, whose habits are strictly nocturnal. Mr Gunn
has seen some so large and powerful that a number of dogs would not face
one of them. It has become an object with the settler to destroy every
specimen he can fall in with, so that it is much rarer than it was at
the time Mr Harris, its first describer, wrote its history, at least in
the cultivated districts. Much, however, of Van Diemen's Land is still
in a state of nature, and as large tracts of forest-land remain yet
uncleared, there is abundance of covert for it still in the more remote
parts of the colony, and it is even now often seen at Woolnoth and among
the Hampshire hills. In such places it feeds on the smaller species of
kangaroos and other marsupials,--bandicoots, and kangaroo-rats, while
even the prickle-covered echidna--a much more formidable mouthful than
any hedgehog--supplies the tiger-wolf with a portion of its sustenance.
The specimen described by Mr Harris was caught in a trap baited with the
flesh of the kangaroo. When opened, the remains of a half-digested
echidna[156] were found in its stomach.

The tiger-wolf has a certain amount of daintiness in its appetite when
in a state of nature. From the observations of Mr Gunn it would seem
that nothing will induce it to prey on the wombat,[157] a fat, sluggish,
marsupial quadruped, abundant in the districts which it frequents, and
whose flesh would seem to be very edible, seeing that it lives on fruits
and roots. No sooner, however, was the sheep introduced than the
tiger-wolf began to attack the flocks, and has ever since shown a most
unmistakable appetite for mutton, preferring the flesh of that most
useful and easily-mastered quadruped to that of any kangaroo however
venison-like, or bandicoot however savoury. The colonists of Van
Diemen's land have applied various names to this animal, according as
its resemblance to other ferocious quadrupeds of different climates
struck their fancy. The names of "tiger," "hyena," and "zebra-wolf," are
partly acquired from its ferocity, somewhat corresponding with that of
these well-known carnivorous denizens of other lands, and partly from
the black bands which commence behind the shoulders, and which extend in
length on the haunches, and resemble in some faint measure those on the
barred tyrant of the Indian jungles, and the other somewhat similarly
ornamented mammalia implied in the names. These bars are well relieved
by the general grayish-brown colour of the fur, which is somewhat woolly
in its texture, from each of the hairs of which it is composed being

The specimens in the Zoological Gardens are very shy and restless; when
alarmed they dash and leap about their dens and utter a short guttural
cry somewhat resembling a bark. This shyness is partly to be attributed
to their imperfect vision by day, and partly to their resemblance in
character to the wolf, whose treachery and suspicious manners in
confinement must have struck every one who has gazed on this "gaunt
savage" in his den in the Regent's Park. The specimens exhibited are the
first living members of the species first brought to Europe. The male
was taken in November 1849, and the female at an earlier period in the
same year, on the upper part of St Patrick's River, about thirty miles
north-east of Launceston. After being gradually accustomed to
confinement by Mr Gunn, they were shipped for this country, and reached
the Gardens in the spring of 1850. It is very seldom, indeed, that they
are caught alive; and when so caught they are generally at once killed,
so that it was with some difficulty and by offering a considerable
pecuniary inducement to the shepherds, that they were at last secured
for the Zoological Society.[158] In their den they show great activity,
and can bound upwards nearly to the roof of the place where they are
confined.--_A. White, from "Excelsior."_


[153] So called from the Latin word _marsupium_, a pouch.

[154] _Diabolus ursinus_, the ursine opossum of Van Diemen's Land, a
great destroyer of young lambs.

[155] From the Greek words for a pouch and a dog, [Greek: thylakos] and
[Greek: kuôn]. Dr Gray had previously named it _Peracyon_, from [Greek:
pêra], a bag, and [Greek: kuôn], a dog.

[156] _Echidna aculeata_, or _E. hystrix_, the porcupine ant-eater, a
curious edentate, spine-covered quadruped, closely allied to the still
stranger _Ornithorhynchus_, the duck-bill.

[157] _Phascolomys Vombatus,_ a curious, broad-backed, and large-headed
marsupial, two specimens of which are in the Zoological Gardens. It is a
burrower, and in the teeth it resembles the rodent animals; hence its
name, from [Greek: phaskôlon], a pouch, and [Greek: mus], a mouse.


The one with its long plume-like tail, organised for a life among trees,
the other with its home in the arctic regions, belong to an order not
generally distinguished for intelligence, although, the beaver, once
reputed a miracle of mind, belongs to it. The glirine or rodent animals
are generally of small or moderate size, though some, like the
water-loving capybara, are of considerable dimensions.

The squirrel is a fine subject for a painter. There is a picture by Sir
Edwin Landseer, of a squirrel and bullfinch. On an engraving of it,
published in 1865, is inscribed "a pair of nut-crackers,"--a happy
title, and very apposite.

Jekyll saw in Colman's chambers a squirrel in the usual round cage. "Ah!
poor devil," said Jekyll, "he's going the _home circuit_."[159]

If you come upon a squirrel on the ground, he is not long in getting to
the topmost branch of the highest tree, so perfectly is he adapted for
"rising" at a "bar"!


Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Bart., in his novel, "Zanoni,"[160] pictures
Citizen Couthon fondling a little spaniel "that he invariably carried in
his bosom, even to the Convention, as a vent for the exuberant
sensibilities which overflowed his affectionate heart."

In a note the novelist remarks--

"This tenderness for some pet animal was by no means peculiar to
Couthon; it seems rather a common fashion with the gentle butchers of
the Revolution. M. George Duval informs us ('Souvenirs de la Terreur,'
iii. p. 183), that Chaumette had an aviary, to which he devoted his
harmless leisure; the murderous Fournier carried, on his shoulders, a
pretty little squirrel attached by a silver chain; Panis bestowed the
superfluity of his affections upon two gold pheasants; and Marat, who
would not abate one of the three hundred thousand heads he demanded,
_reared doves_! Apropos of the spaniel of Couthon, Duval gives us a
characteristic anecdote of Sergent, not one of the least relentless
agents of the massacre of September. A lady came to implore his
protection for one of her relations confined in the Abbaye. He scarcely
deigned to speak to her. As she retired in despair, she trod by accident
on the paw of his favourite spaniel. Sergent, turning round, enraged and
furious, exclaimed, '_Madam, have you no humanity?_'"


Captain Back, on his arctic land expedition, when returning in September
1835, encountered a severe gale, which forced them to land their boat,
and as the water rose they had three times to haul it higher on the
bank. He introduces an affecting little incident: "So completely cold
and drenched was everything outside, that a poor little lemming, unable
to contend with the floods, which had driven it successively from all
its retreats, crept silently under the tent, and snuggled away in
precarious security within a few paces of a sleeping terrier.
Unconscious of its danger, it licked its fur coat, and darted its bright
eyes from object to object, as if pleased and surprised with its new
quarters; but soon the pricked ears of the awakened dog announced its
fate, and in another instant the poor little stranger was quivering in
his jaws!"[161]

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr McDougall?][162] records several amusing anecdotes of the little
arctic lemming, named _Arctomys Spermophilus Parryi_, after the great
arctic voyager. He says,--"My own experience of those industrious little
warriors tended to prove that they possessed a strange combination of
sociality and combativeness. Industrious they most certainly are, as is
shown by the complicated excavation of their subterranean cities;
besides which, every feather and hair of bird and animal found in the
vicinity of their dwellings, is made to contribute its iota of warmth
and comfort to the interior of their winter quarters.

"I had," continues the master of the _Resolute_, "many opportunities of
watching their movements during my detention at Winter Harbour. My tent
happened to be pitched immediately over one of their large towns,
causing its inhabitants to issue forth from its thousand gates to catch
a view of the strangers. Frequently on waking we have found the little
animals, rolled up in a ball, snugly ensconced within the folds of our
blanket-bags; nor would they be expelled from such a warm and desirable
position without showing fight. On several occasions I observed Naps,
the dog, fast asleep with one or two lemmings huddled away between its
legs, like so many pups."

He says that Lieutenant Mecham noticed an Esquimaux dog, named Buffer,
trudging along, nose to the ground, quite unconscious of danger, when a
lemming, suddenly starting from its cavern, seized poor Buffer by the
nose, inflicting a severe wound. The dog, astounded at such an
unsuspected assault, gave a dismal howl, and at length shook the enemy
off, after which he became the attacking party, and in less than a
minute the presumptuous assailant disappeared between the jaws of the
Tartar he had attempted to catch.


[158] Mitchell's "Popular Guide to the Zoological Gardens," p. 9.

[159] Mark Lemon's "Jest Book," p. 180.

[160] Ed. 1845, p. 339.

[161] P. 441. Sir John Richardson told me that the species was
_Spermophilus Parryi_.

[162] The Eventful Voyage of H.M. Discovery Ship _Resolute_ to the
Arctic Regions, in Search of Sir John Franklin, in 1852-3-4, pp. 314,


Why should we not, like Grainger, begin this section as the writer of
"The Sugar-Cane" does one of his paragraphs--

   "Come muse! let's sing of rats."

The "restless rottens" and mice need little introduction. They are a
most fertile race, and some species of them seem only to be in human
habitations. They are terrible nuisances, and yet rat-skins are said to
be manufactured in Paris into gloves.

Sydney Smith's comparison of some one dying like a poisoned rat in a
ditch is a powerful one. The same writer, in hunting down an unworthy
man, with his cutting criticism, says, that he did it not on account of
his power, but to put down what might prove noisome if not settled, much
as a Dutch burgomaster might hunt a rat, not for its value, but because
by its boring it might cause the water to break through his dikes, and
thus flood his native land.

Robert Browning, in one of his poems, "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," has
powerfully described an incursion of rats. A few lines may be quoted:--

   "Almost five hundred years ago,
   To see the townsfolk suffer so
     From vermin, was a pity.
   They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
     And bit the babies in their cradles,
   And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
     And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles,
   Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
   Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
   And even spoiled the women's chats,
       By drowning their speaking
       With shrieking and squeaking
   In fifty different sharps and flats.

          *       *       *       *       *

   "And ere three shrill notes the pipes had uttered,
   You heard as if an army muttered;
   And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
   And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling;
   And out of the houses the rats came tumbling--
   Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
   Brown rats, black rats, grey rats, tawny rats;
   Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,
       Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
   Cocking tails, and pricking whiskers,
       Families by tens and dozens,
   Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives--
   Followed the Piper for their lives.
   From street to street he piped, advancing,
   And step for step they followed dancing,
   Until they came to the river Weser
   Wherein all plunged and perished,
   Save one."


Mr Taylor, in his notes to the artist Haydon's Autobiography, tells us
that a favourite expression of the Duke of Wellington, when people tried
to coax him to do what he had resolved not to do, was, "The rat has got
into the bottle." This not very intelligible expression may refer to an
anecdote I have heard of the Duke's once telling, in his later days, how
the musk-rats in India got into bottles, which ever after retained the
odour of musk. "Either the rats must be very small," said a lady who
heard him, "or the bottles very large." "On the contrary, madam," was
the Duke's reply, "very small bottles and very large rats." "That is the
style of logic we have to deal with at the Horse Guards," whispered Lord


Mr Robert Chambers, in his "Traditions of Edinburgh" (p. 191), gives an
interesting account of the elegant Susanna, Countess of Eglintoun, who
was in her eighty-fifth year when Johnson and Boswell visited her. She
died in 1780, at the age of ninety-one, having preserved to the last her
stately mien and fine complexion. She is said to have washed her face
periodically with sow's milk.

"This venerable woman amused herself latterly in taming and patronising
rats. She kept a vast number of these animals in her pay at Auchans, and
they succeeded in her affections the poets and artists she had loved in
early life. It does not reflect much credit upon the latter, that her
ladyship used to complain of never having met with true gratitude
except from four-footed animals. She had a panel in the oak wainscot of
her dining-room, which she tapped upon and opened at meal times, when
ten or twelve jolly rats came tripping forth, and joined her at table.
At the word of command or a signal from her ladyship, they retired again
to their native obscurity--a trait of good sense in the character and
habits of the animals which, it is hardly necessary to remark, patrons
do not always find in two-legged _protégés_."


The biographer of this highly-distinguished military engineer-officer
relates an anecdote of him when a lieutenant at Tynemouth. The future
author of well-known works on Gunnery and Military Bridges, early began
to show ability in mechanics. "Lieutenant Douglas occupied a room barely
habitable, and had to contest the tenancy with rats, which asserted
their claim with such tenacity, that he went to sleep at the risk of
being devoured. Their incursions compelled him to furnish himself with
loaded pistols and a tinder-box, and he kept watch one night, remaining
quiet till there was an irruption, when he started up and struck a
light. But his vigilance proved of no avail, for the clink of the flint
and steel caused a stampede, and not a rat remained by the time he had
kindled the tinder. Their flight suggested to him another device. He
looked out all the holes, and covered them with slides, connected with
each other by wires, and these he fastened to a string, which enabled
him to draw them all with one pull, and thus close the outlets. The
contrivance claims to be mentioned as his first success in mechanics,
foreshadowing his future expertness. It came into use the same night: he
pulled the string without rising from bed, then struck a light, while
the rats flew off to the holes to find them blocked, and he shot them at
leisure. Two or three such massacres cleared off the intruders, and left
him undisturbed in his quarters."[163]


How amusingly does Mr Waterton show his attachment to the extinct
Stuarts in his essays. Go where he may, "a Hanover rat" pops up before
him. In his charming autobiography appended to the three series of his
graphic essays, whether he be in Rome or Cologne, in York or London, at
a farm-house, or on board a steamer on the Rhine, "a Hanover rat" is
sure to be encountered. We could cite many amusing illustrations.

Earl Stanhope[164] speaks of the Jacobites after the death of Anne
reviling all adherents of the court as "a parcel of Roundheads and
Hanover rats." This is the phrase used by Squire Western in Fielding's
novel of "Tom Jones." He tells us that the former of these titles was
the by-word first applied to the Calvinistic preachers in the civil
wars, from the close cropped hair which they affected as distinguished
from the flowing curls of the cavaliers. The second phrase was of far
more recent origin. It so chanced that not long after the accession of
the House of Hanover, some of the brown, that is, the German or Norway
rats, were first brought over to this country in some timber, as is
said; and being much stronger than the black, or till then, the common
rats, they in many places quite extirpated the latter. The word, both
the noun and the verb "to rat," was first levelled at the converts to
the government of George the First, but has by degrees obtained a wider
meaning, and come to be applied to any sudden and mercenary change in
politics. The ravages of rats might form the subject of a curious
volume. They are not at all literary in their tastes, though they are
known to eat through bales of books, should they be placed in the way of
their runs. The booksellers in the Row always leave room between the
wall and the books in their cellars, to allow room for this predacious

Mr Cole, when examined before the Committee of the House on the
condition of the depositories of the Records some time ago, stated that
"six or seven perfect skeletons of rats were found imbedded (in the
Rolls); bones of these vermin were generally distributed throughout the
mass, and a dog was employed in hunting the live ones."


Luttrell visited Sydney Smith at his parsonage in Somersetshire. The
London wit told some amusing Irish stories, and his manner of telling
them was so good. "One: 'Is your master at home, Paddy?' '_No_, your
honour.' 'Why, I saw him go in five minutes ago.' 'Faith, your honour,
he's not exactly at home; he's only there in the back yard a-shooting
rats with cannon, your honour, for his _devarsion_.'"[165]


Mrs Schimmelpenninck in her youth lived at Birmingham, where she often
met James Watt. In her autobiography (p. 34), she says, "Everybody
practically knew the infinite variety of his talents and stores of
knowledge. When Mr Watt entered a room, men of letters, men of science,
nay, military men, artists, ladies, even little children thronged round
him. I remember a celebrated Swedish artist having been instructed by
him that rats' whiskers made the most pliant and elastic painting-brush;
ladies would appeal to him on the best means of devising grates, curing
smoky chimneys, warming their houses, and obtaining fast colours. I can
speak from experience of his teaching me how to make a dulcimer, and
improve a Jew's harp."


The poet Gray very much despised such offices as that of the
poet-laureate, or that held by Elkanah Settle, the last of the city
poets whose name is held up to ridicule by Pope in the "Dunciad." In a
letter to the Rev. Wm. Mason,[166] he puts this very strikingly:--

"Though I very well know the bland emolient saponaceous qualities both
of sack and silver, yet if any great man would say to me, 'I make you
rat-catcher to his Majesty, with a salary of £300 a year, and two butts
of the best Malaga; and though it has been usual to catch a mouse or
two, for form's sake, in public once a year, yet to you, sir, we shall
not stand upon these things,' I cannot say I should jump at it; nay, if
they would drop the very name of the office, and call me Sinecure to the
King's Majesty, I should still feel a little awkward, and think
everybody I saw smelt a rat about me: but I do not pretend to blame any
one else that has not the same sensations. For my part, I would rather
be serjeant-trumpeter or pinmaker to the palace."


The biographer of Jeremy Bentham[167] tells us that among the animals he
was fond of were mice. They were encouraged "to play" about in his
workshop. I remember, when one got among his papers, that he exclaimed,
"Ho! ho! here's a mouse at work; why won't he come into my lap?--but
then I ought to be writing legislation, and that would not do."

One day, while we were at dinner, mice had got, as they frequently did,
into the drawers of the dinner-table, and were making no small noise. "O
you rascals," exclaimed Bentham, "there's an uproar among you. I'll tell
puss of you;" and then added, "I became once very intimate with a
colony of mice. They used to run up my legs, and eat crumbs from my lap.
I love everything that has four legs; so did George Wilson. We were fond
of mice, and fond of cats; but it was difficult to reconcile the two

Jeremy Bentham records: "George Wilson had a disorder which kept him two
months to his couch. The _mouses_ used to run up his back and eat the
powder and pomatum from his hair. They used also to run up my knees when
I went to see him. I remember they did so to Lord Glenbervie, who
thought it odd."[168]


The history of the origin of this well-known piece of the Scottish poet
is thus given by Mr Chambers in that edition of the Life and Works of
Robert Burns,[169] which will ever be regarded, by Scotchmen at least,
as the most complete and carefully-edited of the numerous editions of
that most popular poet.

"We have the testimony of Gilbert Burns that this beautiful poem was
composed while the author was following the plough. Burns ploughed with
four horses, being twice the amount of power now required on most of the
soils of Scotland. He required an assistant, called a _gaudsman_, to
drive the horses, his own duty being to hold and guide the plough. John
Blane, who had acted as gaudsman to Burns, and who lived sixty years
afterwards, had a distinct recollection of the turning-up of the mouse.
Like a thoughtless youth as he was, he ran after the creature to kill
it, but was checked and recalled by his master, who, he observed, became
thereafter thoughtful and abstracted. Burns, who treated his servants
with the familiarity of fellow-labourers, soon after read the poem to


   "Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
   Oh, what a panic's in thy breastie!
   Thou needna start awa sae hasty
             Wi' bickering brattle!
   I wad be laith to rin and chase thee
             Wi' murd'ring pattle.[170]

   "I'm truly sorry man's dominion
   Has broken nature's social union,
   And justifies that ill opinion,
             Which makes thee startle
   At me, thy poor earth-born companion,
             And fellow-mortal!

   "I doubt na whyles, but thou may thieve;
   What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
   A daimen icker in a thrave[171]
             'S a sma' request:
   I'll get a blessin' wi' the laive,
             And never miss't.

   "Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
   Its silly wa's the win's are strewin"!
   And naething now to big a new ane
             O, foggage green,
   And bleak December's winds ensuin'
             Baith snell and keen!

   "Thou saw the fields laid bare and waste,
   And weary winter coming fast,
   And cozie here, beneath the blast,
             Thou thought to dwell,
   Till crash! the cruel coulter passed
             Out through thy cell.

   "That wee bit heap o' leaves and stibble,
   Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
   Now thou's turned out for a' thy trouble,
             But house or hald,
   To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
             And cranreuch cauld!

   "But, mousie, thou art no thy lane;
   Improving foresight may be vain;
   The best-laid schemes o' mice and men
             Gang aft a-gley,
   And lea'e us nought but grief and pain
             For promised joy.

   "Still thou art blest, compared wi' me!
   The present only toucheth thee;
   But, och! I backward cast my e'e,
             On prospects drear!
   And forward, though I canna see,
             I guess and fear."

It was on the farm of Mossgiel, in the parish of Mauchline, where he
resided nearly nine years, that the occurrence took place so
pathetically recorded and gloriously commented on in this piece.


Thomas Fuller, in "The Farewell" to his description of the "Worthies of
Essex," says, "I wish the sad casualties may never return which lately
have happened in this county; the one, 1581, in the Hundred of Dengy,
the other, 1648, in the Hundred of Rochford and Isle of Foulness (rented
in part by two of my credible parishioners, who attested it, having paid
dear for the truth thereof); when an army of mice, nesting in ant-hills,
as conies in burrows, shaved off the grass at the bare roots, which,
withering to dung, was infectious to cattle. The March following,
numberless flocks of owls from all parts flew thither, and destroyed
them, which otherwise had ruined the country, if continuing another
year. Thus, though great the distance betwixt a man and a mouse, the
meanest may become formidable to the mightiest creature by their
multitudes; and this may render the punishment of the Philistines more
clearly to our apprehensions, at the same time pestered with mice in
their barns and pained with emerods in their bodies."[172]


The unfortunate Baron Von Trenck was a Prussian officer, whose
adventures, imprisonments, and escape form the subject of memoirs which
he wrote in Hungary. He at last settled in France, and there, in 1794,
perished by the guillotine.

Before he obtained his liberty, he lost a companion which had for two
years helped to beguile the solitude of his captivity. This was a mouse,
which he had tamed so perfectly, that the little creature was
continually playing with him, and would eat out of his mouth. "One night
it skipped about so much that the sentinels heard a noise and reported
it to the officer of the guard. As the garrison had been changed at the
peace (between Austria and Prussia), and as Trenck had not been able to
form at once so close a connexion with the officers of the regular
troops as he had done with those of the militia, one of the former,
after ascertaining the truth of the report with his own ears, sent to
inform the commandant that something extraordinary was going on in the
prison. The town-major arrived in consequence early in the morning,
accompanied by locksmiths and masons. The floor, the walls, the baron's
chains, his body, everything in short, were strictly examined. Finding
all in order, they asked the cause of the last evening's bustle. Trenck
had heard the mouse, and told them frankly by what it had been
occasioned. They desired him to call his little favourite; he whistled,
and the mouse immediately leaped upon his shoulder. He solicited that
its life might be spared; but the officer of the guard took it into his
possession, promising, however, on his word of honour, to give it to a
lady who would take great care of it. Turning it afterwards loose in his
chamber, the mouse, who knew nobody but Trenck, soon disappeared, and
hid himself in a hole. At the usual hour of visiting his prison, when
the officers were just going away, the poor little animal darted in,
climbed up his legs, seated itself on his shoulder, and played a
thousand tricks to express the joy it felt on seeing him again. Every
one was astonished, and wished to have it. The major, to terminate the
dispute, carried it away, gave it to his wife, who had a light cage made
for it; but the mouse refused to eat, and a few days after was found


About the time when Alexander Wilson formed the design of drawing the
American birds, and writing those descriptions which, when published,
gave him that name which has clung to him, "_the American
Ornithologist_" he had a school within a few miles of Philadelphia. He
was then a keen student of the animal life around him. In 1802 he wrote
to his friend Bertram, and tells him of his having had "live crows,
hawks, and owls; opossums, squirrels, snakes, lizards," &c. He tells him
that his room sometimes reminded him of Noah's ark, and comically adds,
"but Noah had a wife in one corner of it, and in this particular our
parallel does not altogether tally. I receive every subject of natural
history that is brought to me; and, though they do not march into my ark
from all quarters, as they did into that of our great ancestor, yet I
find means, by the distribution of a few fivepenny _bits_, to make them
find the way fast enough. A boy, not long ago, brought me a large
basketful of crows. I expect his next load will be bull-frogs, if I
don't soon issue orders to the contrary. One of my boys caught a mouse
in school a few days ago, and directly marched up to me with his
prisoner. I set about drawing it the same evening, and all the while the
pantings of its little heart showed it to be in the most extreme agonies
of fear. I had intended to kill it, in order to fix it in the claws of a
stuffed owl; but, happening to spill a few drops of water near where it
was tied, it lapped it up with such eagerness, and looked in my face
with such an eye of supplicating terror, as perfectly overcame me. I
immediately restored it to life and liberty. The agonies of a prisoner
at the stake, while the fire and instruments of torture are preparing,
could not be more severe than the sufferings of that poor mouse; and,
insignificant as the object was, I felt at that moment the sweet
sensation that mercy leaves in the mind when she triumphs over


[163] "The Life of General Sir Howard Douglas, Bart., G.C.B., F.R.S.,
D.C.L., from his Notes, Conversations, and Correspondence," by S. W.
Fullom. 1863. P. 28.

[164] "History of England, from the Peace of Utrecht," by Lord Mahon,
vol. vii. p. 465.

[165] Life of Sydney Smith, by his daughter, Lady Holland, vol. i. 374.

[166] "Correspondence of Thomas Gray and Mason, edited from the
originals," by the Rev. John Mitford, p. 112.

[167] Dr Bowring's "Life of Jeremy Bentham," Works, vol. xi. p. 80, 81.

[168] "Bowring's Life," vol. x., Works, p. 186.

[169] By Robert Chambers, Edinburgh, 1851, 4 vols., vol. i., p. 146.

[170] The stick used for clearing away the clods from the plough.

[171] An occasional ear of corn in a thrave,--that is, twenty-four

[172] "Worthies of England," vol. i. p. 545.

[173] "Wilson's Life," p. 28.


All gnawing creatures, belonging to the Glirine or Rodentia order.
Charles Lamb has written on the hare, in one view of that
finely-flavoured beast, as only Elia could write. But the poet Cowper
has made the hare's history peculiarly pleasing and familiar. How often
in his letters he alludes to his hares! Mrs E. B. Browning, in her
exquisitely delicate and pathetic poem, "Cowper's Grave," thus alludes
to Cowper's pets--

   "Wild, timid hares were drawn from woods to share his home caresses,
   Uplooking to his human eyes with sylvan tendernesses;
   The very world, by God's constraint, from falsehood's ways removing,
   Its women and its men became, beside him, true and loving."

Not many years ago the compiler saw traces of the holes the poet had cut
in the skirting-boards of the room for their ingress and egress, that
they might have ampler room for wandering. His epitaphs on two of them
are often quoted. Rabbits are peculiarly the pets of boys, and though,
when wild, often great vermin, from their destructive habits and their
mining operations, are yet said to contribute much to the revenue of one
European monarch.

How Mr Malthus ought to have hated guinea-pigs, those fertile little
lumps of blotched fur! Few creatures can be more productive.


What a model description of the habits of an animal we have in the
gentle Cowper's account of his hares! Would that he had made pets of
other animals, and written descriptions of them, like that which
follows, and which is here copied from the original place to which he
contributed it.[175]

                                                            "_May_ 28.

"MR URBAN,--Convinced that you despise no communications that may
gratify curiosity, amuse rationally, or add, though but a little, to the
stock of public knowledge, I send you a circumstantial account of an
animal, which, though its general properties are pretty well known, is
for the most part such a stranger to man, that we are but little aware
of its peculiarities. We know indeed that the hare is good to hunt and
good to eat; but in all other respects poor Puss is a neglected subject.
In the year 1774, being much indisposed, both in mind and body,
incapable of diverting myself either with company or books, and yet in
a condition that made some diversion necessary, I was glad of anything
that would engage my attention without fatiguing it. The children of a
neighbour of mine had a leveret given them for a plaything; it was at
that time about three months old. Understanding better how to tease the
poor creature than to feed it, and soon becoming weary of their charge,
they readily consented that their father, who saw it pining and growing
leaner every day, should offer it to my acceptance. I was willing enough
to take the prisoner under my protection, perceiving that in the
management of such an animal, and in the attempt to tame it, I should
find just that sort of employment which my case required. It was soon
known among the neighbours that I was pleased with the present; and the
consequence was, that in a short time, I had as many leverets offered to
me as would have stocked a paddock. I undertook the care of three, which
it is necessary that I should here distinguish by the names I gave
them--Puss, Tiney, and Bess. Notwithstanding the two feminine
appellatives, I must inform you that they were all males. Immediately
commencing carpenter, I built them houses to sleep in. Each had a
separate apartment, so contrived that their ordure would pass through
the bottom of it; an earthen pan placed under each received whatsoever
fell, which being duly emptied and washed, they were thus kept perfectly
sweet and clean. In the daytime they had the range of a hall, and at
night retired each to his own bed, never intruding into that of another.

"Puss grew presently familiar, would leap into my lap, raise himself
upon his hinder feet, and bite the hair from my temples. He would suffer
me to take him up, and to carry him about in my arms, and has more than
once fallen fast asleep upon my knee. He was ill three days, during
which time I nursed him, kept him apart from his fellows that they might
not molest him (for, like many other wild animals, they persecute one of
their own species that is sick), and by constant care, and trying him
with a variety of herbs, restored him to perfect health. No creature
could be more grateful than my patient after his recovery,--a sentiment
which he most significantly expressed by licking my hand, first the back
of it, then the palm, then every finger separately; then between all the
fingers, as if anxious to leave no part of it unsaluted,--a ceremony
which he never performed but once again upon a similar occasion. Finding
him extremely tractable, I made it my custom to carry him always after
breakfast into the garden, where he hid himself generally under the
leaves of a cucumber vine, sleeping or chewing the cud till evening; in
the leaves also of that vine he found a favourite repast. I had not long
habituated him to this taste of liberty, before he began to be impatient
for the return of the time when he might enjoy it. He would invite me to
the garden by drumming upon my knee, and by a look of such expression as
it was not possible to misinterpret. If this rhetoric did not
immediately succeed, he would take the skirt of my coat between his
teeth, and pull at it with all his force. Thus Puss might be said to be
perfectly tamed; the shyness of his nature was done away, and on the
whole it was visible, by many symptoms which I have not room to
enumerate, that he was happier in human society than when shut up with
his natural companions.

"Not so Tiney. Upon him the kindest treatment had not the least effect.
He, too, was sick, and in his sickness, had an equal share of my
attention; but if, after his recovery, I took the liberty to stroke him,
he would grunt, strike with his fore-feet, spring forward, and bite. He
was, however, very entertaining in his way, even his surliness was
matter of mirth, and in his play he preserved such an air of gravity,
and performed his feats with such a solemnity of manner, that in him,
too, I had an agreeable companion.

"Bess, who died soon after he was full grown, and whose death was
occasioned by his being turned into his box, which had been washed,
while it was yet damp, was a hare of great humour and drollery. Puss was
tamed by gentle usage; Tiney was not to be tamed at all; and Bess had a
courage and confidence that made him tame from the beginning. I always
admitted them into the parlour after supper, where the carpet affording
their feet a firm hold, they would frisk, and bound, and play a thousand
gambols, in which Bess, being remarkably strong and fearless, was always
superior to the rest, and proved himself the Vestris of the party. One
evening, the cat, being in the room, had the hardiness to pat Bess upon
the cheek, an indignity which he resented by drumming upon her back with
such violence, that the cat was happy to escape from under his paws and
hide herself.

"You observe, sir, that I describe these animals as having each a
character of his own. Such they were in fact, and their countenances
were so expressive of that character, that, when I looked only on the
face of either, I immediately knew which it was. It is said that a
shepherd, however numerous his flock, soon becomes so familiar with
their features, that he can by that indication only distinguish each
from all the rest, and yet to a common observer the difference is hardly
perceptible. I doubt not that the same discrimination in the cast of
countenances would be discoverable in hares, and am persuaded that among
a thousand of them no two could be found exactly similar; a circumstance
little suspected by those who have not had opportunity to observe it.
These creatures have a singular sagacity in discovering the minutest
alteration that is made in the place to which they are accustomed, and
instantly apply their nose to the examination of a new object. A small
hole being burnt in the carpet, it was mended with a patch, and that
patch in a moment underwent the strictest scrutiny. They seem, too, to
be very much directed by the smell in the choice of their favourites; to
some persons, though they saw them daily, they could never be
reconciled, and would even scream when they attempted to touch them; but
a miller coming in, engaged their affections at once--his powdered coat
had charms that were irresistible. You will not wonder, sir, that my
intimate acquaintance with these specimens of the kind has taught me to
hold the sportsman's amusement in abhorrence. He little knows what
amiable creatures he persecutes, of what gratitude they are capable, how
cheerful they are in their spirits, what enjoyment they have of life,
and that, impressed as they seem with a peculiar dread of man, it is
only because man gives them peculiar cause for it.

"That I may not be tedious, I will just give you a short summary of
those articles of diet that suit them best, and then retire to make
room for some more important correspondent.

"I take it to be a general opinion that they graze, but it is an
erroneous one, at least grass is not their staple; they seem rather to
use it medicinally, soon quitting it for leaves of almost any kind.
Sowthistle, dent-de-lion, and lettuce are their favourite vegetables,
especially the last. I discovered, by accident, that fine white sand is
in great estimation with them, I suppose as a digestive. It happened
that I was cleaning a bird cage while the hares were with me; I placed a
pot filled with such sand upon the floor, to which being at once
directed by a strong instinct, they devoured it voraciously; since that
time I have generally taken care to see them well supplied with it. They
account green corn a delicacy, both blade and stalk, but the ear they
seldom eat; straw of any kind, especially wheat-straw, is another of
their dainties; they will feed greedily upon oats, but if furnished with
clean straw, never want them; it serves them also for a bed, and, if
shaken up daily, will be kept sweet and dry for a considerable time.
They do not indeed require aromatic herbs, but will eat a small quantity
of them with great relish, and are particularly fond of the plant called
musk; they seem to resemble sheep in this, that if their pastures be too
succulent, they are very subject to the rot; to prevent which, I always
made bread their principal nourishment; and, filling a pan with it cut
into small squares, placed it every evening in their chambers, for they
feed only at evening and in the night; during the winter, when
vegetables are not to be got, I mingled this mess of bread with shreds
of carrot, adding to it the rind of apples cut extremely thin; for,
though they are fond of the paring, the apple itself disgusts them.
These, however, not being a sufficient substitute for the juice of
summer herbs, they must at this time be supplied with water; but so
placed that they cannot overset it into their beds. I must not omit,
that occasionally they are much pleased with twigs of hawthorn and of
the common briar, eating even the very wood when it is of considerable

"Bess, I have said, died young; Tiney lived to be nine years old, and
died at last, I have reason to think, of some hurt in his loins by a
fall. Puss is still living, and has just completed his tenth year,
discovering no signs of decay nor even of age, except that he is grown
more discreet and less frolicsome than he was. I cannot conclude, sir,
without informing you that I have lately introduced a dog to his
acquaintance, a spaniel that had never seen a hare, to a hare that had
never seen a spaniel. I did it with great caution, but there was no real
need of it. Puss discovered no token of fear, nor Marquis the least
symptom of hostility. There is, therefore, it should seem, no natural
antipathy between dog and hare, but the pursuit of the one occasions the
flight of the other, and the dog pursues because he is trained to it;
they eat bread at the same time out of the same hand, and are in all
respects sociable and friendly.--Yours &c.,

                                                                 W. C.

"_P.S._--I should not do complete justice to my subject, did I not add,
that they have no ill scent belonging to them, that they are
indefatigably nice in keeping themselves clean, for which purpose nature
has furnished them with a brush under each foot; and that they are never
infested by any vermin."

Our readers know his fine verses or epitaphs on his hares. We may quote
from the biographer to whom Sir Robert Peel and the Duke of Wellington
left all their papers and memoirs, a sentence or two on Cowper's hares,
and on the other pets of that lovable man. Earl Stanhope[176] says of
this poet and "best letter-writer in the English language--"Such,
indeed, were his powers of description and felicity of language, that
even the most trivial objects drew life and colour from his touch. In
his pages, the training of three tame hares, or the building of a frame
for cucumbers, excite a warmer interest than many accounts compiled by
other writers, of great battles deciding the fate of empires. In his
pages, the sluggish waters of the Ouse,--the floating lilies which he
stooped to gather from them,--the poplars, in whose shade he sat, and
over whose fall he mourned, rise before us as though we had known and
loved them too. As Cowper himself declares, 'My descriptions are all
from nature, not one of them second-handed; my delineations of the heart
are from my own experience, not one of them borrowed from books.'"


A gentleman on circuit, narrating to Lord Norbury some extravagant feat
in sporting, mentioned that he had lately shot thirty-three hares before
breakfast. "Thirty-three _hairs_!" exclaimed Lord Norbury; "zounds, sir!
then you must have been firing at a _wig_."[177]

Sportsmen are very apt to exaggerate. They did so at least in Horace's
days. We have heard of a man of rank, who actually made a gamekeeper,
who was a first-rate marksman, fire whenever he discharged his piece.
The story goes, that _that_ man was regarded as having shot everything
that fell.

The Duke of L.'s reply, when it was observed to him that the gentlemen
bordering on his estates were continually hunting upon them, and that he
ought not to suffer it, is worthy of imitation. "I had much rather,"
said he, "have _friends_ than hares."[178]

The time must be coming, when every farmer or peasant will be allowed to
shoot hares. It is surely cruel to imprison or fine a man for shooting
and shouldering a hare. Having lately traversed a goodly part of the
Perthshire Highlands, we were struck with the numbers of Arctic hares
that scudded away out of our path. What a fine help one of them would be
to a poor family.


S. Bisset, whose training of other animals is elsewhere recorded, like
the poet Cowper, procured a leveret, and reared it to beat several
marches on the drum with its hind legs, until it became a good stout
hare. This creature, which is always set down as the most timid, he
declared to be as mischievous and bold an animal, to the extent of its
power, as any with which he was acquainted. He taught canary-birds,
linnets, and sparrows, to spell the name of any person in company, to
distinguish the hour and minute of time, and play many other surprising
tricks. He trained six turkey-cocks to go through a regular country
dance; but in doing this he confessed he adopted the eastern method, by
which camels are made to dance, by heating the floor. In the course of
six months' teaching, he made a turtle fetch and carry like a dog; and
having chalked the floor, and blackened its claws, could direct it to
trace out any given name of the company.[179]


Lady Anne Barnard, in her Cape Journal,[180] referring to Dessin or
Rabbit Island at the Cape of Good Hope, says that it is "dreadfully
exposed to the south-east winds. A gentleman told me of a natural
phenomenon he had met with when shooting there; his dog pointed at a
rabbit's hole, where the company within were placed so near the opening
that he could see Mynheer, Madame, and the whole rabbit family. Pompey,
encouraged, brought out the old coney, his wife, and seven young
ones,--all, like the callenders in the 'Arabian Nights' Entertainments,'
blind of one eye, and that the same eye. The question was, on which side
of the island was the rabbit's hole? With a very little reasoning and
comparing, it was found that from its position, the keen blast must have
produced this effect. The oddest part of this story is, that it is true,
but I do not expect you to believe it."


"These are an army of natural pioneers whence men have learned
_cuniculos agere_, the art of undermining. They thrive best on barren
ground, and grow fattest in the hardest frosts. Their flesh is fine and
wholesome. If Scottish men tax our language as improper, and smile at
our wing of a rabbit, let us laugh at their shoulder of a capon.

Their skins were formerly much used, when furs were in fashion; till of
late our citizens, of Romans are turned Grecians, have laid down their
grave gowns and taken up their light cloaks; men generally disliking all
habits, though emblems of honour, if also badges of age.

Their rich or silver-hair skins, formerly so dear, are now levelled in
prices with other colours; yea, are lower than black in estimation,
because their wool is most used in making of hats, commonly (for the
more credit) called half-beavers, though many of them hardly amount to
the proportion of semi-demi castors."[181]


Mr Aitken alludes in a pleasing manner to an instance of Dr Chalmers's
fondness for animals. He had just been appointed the head-master of one
of the Glasgow parish schools (St John's). "Early in the week following
my appointment, I received my first private call. One circumstance
occurred during the visit which I still remember most vividly. One of my
children had been presented with a pair of guinea-pigs. These had found
their way into the apartment where we were sitting, and ran about in all
directions. I could have wished to turn them out, but had not the power
to rise from my chair. He soon observed them, followed them with his eye
as they now retreated under his chair and again ventured out into his
presence--he even changed the position of his feet to give them scope.
That same kindly eye, one glance of which we all loved so much to catch
in after-life, beamed only the more warmly as the creatures frisked in
greater confidence around him. It was to me an omen for good. He who
could enjoy thus the innocent gamble of these guinea-pigs could not fail
to be accessible for good when occasion required. It was the first flush
of that largeness of heart which afterwards appeared in all I ever heard
him say or saw him do."[182]


[174] "Memoir of Wilson," p. 27, prefixed to his poetical works.
Belfast, 1844.

[175] _Gentleman's Magazine_, for June 1784, being the sixth number of
vol. liv., pp. 412-414, "Unnoticed Properties of that little animal the

[176] "History of England," vol. vi. p. 486.

[177] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 59.

[178] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 182.

[179] Biography of S. Bisset in G. H. Wilson's "Eccentric Mirror," vol.
i., No. 3, p. 29.

[180] Published by Lord Lindsay in vol. iii. of his "Lives of the
Lindsays," p. 387.

[181] "Worthies of England," vol. ii. p. 445 (ed. 1840).



Few anecdotes can be published of this curious creature, though Waterton
and Burchell, or Dr Buckland, for him and his friend Bates, have
recorded much that is interesting of its habits. The following bit is
peculiarly happy: "The sloth, in its wild state, spends its life in
trees, and never leaves them but from force or accident. The eagle to
the sky, the mole to the ground, the sloth to the tree; but what is most
extraordinary, he lives not _upon_ the branches, but _under_ them. He
moves suspended, rests suspended, sleeps suspended, and passes his
life in suspense--like a young clergyman distantly related to a

[Illustration: The Great Ant-Eater. (Myrmecophaga jabata).]


[182] Dr Hannah's "Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Thomas Chalmers,
D.D., L.L.D.," vol. ii. p. 237.


(_Myrmecophaga jubata_, L.[184])

A few months ago a handbill was distributed in the neighbourhood of
Seven Dials, inviting the public to visit a "wonderful animal fed with
ants, and possessing strength to kill the lion, tiger, or any other
animal under its claws." We entered the miserable apartment where it was
exhibited, and any spectator must at once have been struck with the
creature's want of resemblance to any other he had ever seen. Its head
so small, so long and slender; the straight, wiry, dry hair with which
it was covered, and its singularly large and bushy tail, first attracted
notice. A second glance showed its enormously thick fore-legs, and the
claws of its feet turned in, so that it walked on the sides of its
soles. Oken and St Hilaire would have said that it was "all extremity."
A cup, with the contents of one or two eggs, was brought, and it sucked
them with great avidity, every now and then darting from its small mouth
a very long tongue, which looked like a great, black worm, whisking
about in the custard. One of its showmen told us that it had attacked
the woman of the house the preceding day, and had scratched her arm.
Whether this was true or grossly exaggerated, we know not; but if so, we
suspect that the woman herself must have been in fault, and not the
inoffensive stranger.

On the payment of a handsome consideration to her owners, the poor
captive was transferred from her unwholesome lodging in St Giles's, to
the Gardens of the Zoological Society in the Regent's Park. And within
the last few weeks her solitude has been cheered by the arrival of a
companion from her native forests. The new-comer is in beautiful
condition, though not nearly so large. He has a head decidedly shorter
and stronger, and is probably not yet fully grown.

The great ant-eater seems to be scattered over a wide extent of South
America--Guiana, Brazil, and Paraguay, being its places of abode. It is
a stout animal, measuring from the end of the snout to the tip of the
long tail six or seven feet, of which the tail takes nearly the half; so
that the actual size of its body is much reduced. In Paraguay it is
named _Nurumi_ or _Yogui_. The former name is altered from the native
word for _small mouth_, and indicates a striking peculiarity in its
structure. The Portuguese call it _Tamandua_; the Spaniards, _Osa
hormiguero_ (_i.e._, ant-hill bear). In Paraguay it prefers sides of
lakes where ants, at least termites or white ants, are abundant; but it
also frequents woods. In Guiana, Mr Waterton found it chiefly "in the
inmost recesses of the forest," where it "seems partial to the low and
swampy parts near creeks, where the troely tree grows."[185] It sleeps a
great deal, reclining on its side, as the visitor to the Gardens may
frequently see it do, with its head between its fore-legs, joining its
fore and hindfeet, and spreading the tail so as to cover the whole
body. Huddled up under this thatch, it might almost be taken for a
bundle of coarse and badly dried hay. The tail is thickly covered with
long hairs, placed vertically, the hairs draggling on the ground. When
the creature is irritated, the tail is shaken straight and elevated. The
natives of Paraguay, like other persecutors of harmlessness, kill every
specimen they meet, so that the ant-eater gets rare, and so rare is it
on the Amazon that Mr Wallace, who travelled there from 1848 to 1852,
honestly tells us he never saw one. He heard, however, that during rain
it turns its bushy tail over its head and stands still. The Indians,
knowing this habit, when they meet an ant-eater, make a rustling noise
among the leaves. The creature instantly turns up its tail, and is
easily killed by the stroke of a stick on its little head.[186]

The ant-eater is slow in its movements--never attempting to escape. When
hard pressed it stops, and, seated on its hind-legs, waits for the
aggressor. Its object is to receive him between its fore-legs; and one
has only to look at its arms and claws in order to fancy what a
frightful squeeze it would give. Nothing but death, they say, will make
the creature relax its grasp. It is asserted that the jaguar--the tiger
of South America, and the most formidable beast of the New World--dares
not attack it. This Azara, with good reason, doubts. A single bite from
a jaguar, or the stroke of his paw, would fracture an ant-eater's skull
before it had time to turn round; for the movements of this edentate
quadruped are as sluggish as those of the toothed carnivorous tyrant are

As seen in its handsome and roomy cage, the ant-eater gives us an
impression of dulness and stupidity; and always smelling and listening
and looking at the door where its keeper introduces its food, its mind,
when awake, appears to be constantly occupied about "creature comforts."
In the course of the day it laps up with its darting tongue, and sucks
in through its long taper snout a dozen eggs, and almost the whole of a
rabbit, chopped into a fine mince-meat. With such dainty fare, and with
the anxious attention which it receives from its sagacious curators, it
is scarcely surprising that it thrives; and when the warm weather comes,
it will be a fine sight to see these animals enjoying the range of a
paddock, which will doubtless be provided for their use, and exercising
their brawny forelimbs and powerful claws in pulling down conical
mounds, which may remind them of departed joys and balmier climes. Nor
will it be the least charm of the spectacle that it will enable us to
compare this living species with other _Edentata_ of South America--such
as the Megatherium, now only found in the fossil state, but so admirably
restored by Mr Hawkins for the Crystal Palace.

We need not dwell on the admirable adaptation of the ant-eater to its
position and to its few and simple wants. To those who have not studied
"the works of the Lord," it may appear uncouth and unattractive.
Compared with a dog, it is stupid; and alongside of a lion, it is slow.
It has not the symmetry of the horse, nor the beautiful markings of the
zebra and leopard. But its Creator has given it the instincts, the form,
the muscular powers, and the colours which best answer its purpose. And
no one can say that it is plain and ugly, who looks at its legs so
prettily variegated with white and black, and its noble black collar.

Those of our readers who wish further information will find it in the
_Literary Gazette_ for October 8, 1853. In that article it is easy to
recognise the Roman hand of the _facile princeps_ among living
comparative anatomists. Long may it be before either of our new
acquaintances in the Garden afford him a subject for dissection; but
when that day arrives, we hope that he will not delay to publish the
memoir.[187]--_A. White, in "Excelsior" (with additions)._


[183] Sydney Smith, "Review of Waterton's Wanderings." _Edinburgh
Review_, 1826. Works, vol. ii. p. 145.

[184] From [Greek: myrmêx], ant; [Greek: phagô], I eat; _jubata_, maned.

[185] "Wanderings in South America" (Third Journey), p. 159, (ed. 1839).

[186] "A Narrative of Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro," by Alfred R.
Wallace, 1853, p. 452.


Two genera of the bulkiest among terrestrial beasts. Just imagine the
great rhinoceros at the Zoological Gardens taking it into its head, with
that little eye, target hide, and bulky bones, and other items about it,
to fondle its keeper!--he was nearly crushed to death. How the great
thick-skinned creature enjoys a bath!

As for the elephant, he is a mountain of matter as well as of animal
intelligence. Sir Emerson Tennant in his "Ceylon," but especially in his
"Natural History," volumes, has given some truly readable chapters on
the Asiatic elephant. We could have extracted many an anecdote, even
from recent works, of the intelligent sagacity of the Indian as well as
the African elephants. The account of the shooting of Mr Cross's
well-known elephant _Chunie_, at Exeter Change, has been very curiously
and fully detailed by Hone in his "Every-Day Book." A skull of an
elephant in the British Museum, shows how wonderfully an elephant is at
times able to defend itself from attack. Many a shot that "rogue
elephant" had received, years before the three or four Indian sportsmen,
who presented its skull as a trophy, succeeded in planting a shot in its
brain, or in its heart. Think of the feelings of Lord Clive's relations,
at the prospect of his sending home an elephant for a pet. The good
folks, not without some motive, as the great Indian ruler conceived,
other than mere love for him, had been sending him presents. Samuel
Rogers, who wrote the neatest of hands, records that Clive wrote the
worst and certainly the most illegible of scrawls. Instead of
"elephant," as they read it, their liberal relative had written


It is strange to read in the life of the Lord Keeper Guilford, that his
lordship's court enemies, "hard put to it to find, or invent, something
tending to the diminution of his character," took advantage of his going
to see a rhinoceros, to circulate a foolish story of him, which much
annoyed him. It was in the reign of James II. his biographer thus
records it. The rhinoceros, referred to, was the first ever brought to
England. Evelyn, in his "Memoirs," says, that it was sold for £2000, a
most enormous sum in those days (1685).

Roger North relates the story:--"It fell out thus--a merchant of Sir
Dudley North's acquaintance had brought over an enormous rhinoceros, to
be sold to showmen for profit. It is a noble beast, wonderfully armed by
nature for offence, but more for defence, being covered with
impenetrable shields, which no weapon would make any impression upon,
and a rarity so great that few men, in our country, have in their whole
lives the opportunity of seeing so singular an animal. This merchant
told Sir Dudley North that if he, with a friend or two, had a mind to
see it, they might take the opportunity at his house before it was sold.
Hereupon Sir Dudley North proposed to his brother, the Lord Keeper, to
go with him upon this exhibition, which he did, and came away
exceedingly satisfied with the curiosity he had seen. But whether he was
dogged to find out where he and his brother housed in the city, or
flying fame carried an account of the voyage to court, I know not; but
it is certain that the very next morning a bruit went from thence all
over the town, and (as factious reports used to run) in a very short
time, viz., that his lordship rode upon the rhinoceros, than which a
more infantine exploit could not have been fastened upon him. And most
people were struck with amazement at it, and divers ran here and there
to find out whether it was true or no. And soon after dinner some lords
and others came to his lordship to know the truth from himself, for the
setters of the lie affirmed it positively as of their own knowledge.
That did not give his lordship much disturbance, for he expected no
better from his adversaries. But that his friends, intelligent persons,
who must know him to be far from guilty of any childish levity, should
believe it, was what roiled him extremely, and much more when they had
the face to come to him to know if it were true. I never saw him in such
a rage, and to lay about him with affronts (which he keenly bestowed
upon the minor courtiers that came on that errand) as then; for he sent
them away with fleas in their ear. And he was seriously angry with his
own brother, Sir Dudley North, because he did not contradict the lie in
sudden and direct terms, but laughed as taking the question put to him
for a banter, till, by iteration, he was brought to it. For some lords
came, and because they seemed to attribute somewhat to the avowed
positiveness of the reporters, he rather chose to send for his brother
to attest than to impose his bare denial, and so it passed; and the
noble earl (of Sunderland), with Jeffries, and others of that crew, made
merry, and never blushed at the lie of their own making, but valued
themselves upon it as a very good jest."

And so it passed. What a sensation would have been caused by the sudden
apparition in that age of a few numbers of _Punch_. What a subject for a
cartoon, some John Leech of 1685 would have made of the stately Lord
Keeper on the back of a rhinoceros, and the infamous Judge Jeffries
leering at him from a window.


Canning and another gentleman were looking at a picture of the deluge;
the ark was seen in the middle distance, while in the fore-sea an
elephant was struggling with his fate. "I wonder," said the gentleman,
"that the elephant did not secure _an inside_ place!"--"He was too late,
my friend," replied Canning; "he was detained _packing up his


The biographers of James Montgomery[190] relate an amusing anecdote of
Sir Richard Phillips, the eccentric London bookseller and author. He
visited Sheffield in October 1828. "He had lived too long amidst the
bustle and business of the great world, and was too little conscious of
any feeling at all like diffidence, to allow him to hesitate about
calling upon any person, whether of rank, genius, or eccentricity, when
the success of his project was likely to be thereby promoted. The time
selected by the free and easy knight for his unannounced visitation of
Montgomery was _Sunday at dinner time_. He was at once asked to sit down
and partake of the chickens and bacon which had just been placed on the
table, but here was a dilemma; Sir Richard, although neither a Brahmin
nor a Jew, avowed himself a staunch Pythagorean--he could eat no flesh!
Luckily there was a plentiful supply of carrots and turnips, and--jelly.
But was the latter made from calves' feet? Montgomery assured his guest
that it was _not_; but, added he, with a conscientious regard for his
visitor's scruples, from _ivory dust_. We believe the poet fancied the
hypothesis of an animal origin of this viand could not be very obscure;
it was, however, swallowed; the clever bibliopole perhaps believing,
with some of the Sheffield ivory-cutters, that elephants, instead of
being hunted and killed for their tusks, _shed them_ when fully grown,
as bucks do their antlers!"


That gossiping man, J. T. Smith, once Keeper of the Prints in the
British Museum, and author of "Nollekens and his Times," relates, that
when he and a friend were returning late from a club, and were
approaching Temple Bar, "about one o'clock, a most unaccountable
appearance claimed our attention,--it was no less than an elephant,
whose keepers were coaxing it to pass through the gateway. He had been
accompanied with several persons from the Tower wharf with tall poles,
but was principally guided by two men with ropes, each walking on either
side of the street, to keep him as much as possible in the middle, on
his way to the menagerie, Exeter Change, to which destination, after
passing St Clement's Church, he steadily trudged on, with strict
obedience to the command of his keepers.[191]

"I had the honour afterwards of partaking of a pot of Barclay's entire
with this same elephant, which high mark of his condescension was
bestowed when I accompanied my friend, the late Sir James Wintel Lake,
Bart., to view the rare animals in Exeter Change,--that gentleman being
assured by the elephant's keeper that, if he would offer the beast a
shilling, he would see the noble animal nod his head and drink a pot of
porter. The elephant had no sooner taken the shilling, which he did in
the mildest manner from the palm of Sir James's hand, than he gave it to
the keeper, and eagerly watched his return with the beer. The elephant
then, after placing his proboscis to the top of the tankard, drew up
nearly the whole of the beverage. The keeper observed, 'You will hardly
believe, gentlemen, but the little he has left is quite warm;' upon this
we were tempted to taste it, and it really was so. This animal was
afterwards disposed of for the sum of one thousand guineas."


This old story has been often told, but never so well as by Sydney Smith
in one of his lectures at the Royal Institution. "Every one knows the
old story of the tailor and the elephant, which, if it be not true, at
least shows the opinion the Orientals, who know the animal well,
entertain of his sagacity. An eastern tailor to the Court was making a
magnificent doublet for a bashaw of nine tails, and covering it, after
the manner of eastern doublets, with gold, silver, and every species of
metallic magnificence. As he was busying himself on this momentous
occasion, there passed by, to the pools of water, one of the royal
elephants, about the size of a broad-wheeled waggon, rich in ivory
teeth, and shaking, with its ponderous tread, the tailor's shop to its
remotest thimble. As he passed near the window, the elephant happened to
look in; the tailor lifted up his eyes, perceived the proboscis of the
elephant near him, and, being seized with a fit of facetiousness,
pricked the animal with his needle; the mass of matter immediately
retired, stalked away to the pool, filled his trunk full of muddy water,
and, returning to the shop, overwhelmed the artisan and his doublet with
the dirty effects of his vengeance."


"If an elephant could write a book, perhaps one that had read a great
deal would say, that an Arabian horse is a very clumsy, ungraceful
animal." This was written by Horace Walpole to Miss Berry, in 1791, in
allusion to Dr Johnson's depreciation of Thomas Gray the poet.[192] It
is an acute observation, well worth being wrought out. There is a
grandeur and even a grace about this bulky beast and its motions well
deserving the study of any one who has the opportunity. Elephants in our
streets are not now so rare as they used to be. We saw three in one
procession in the streets of Edinburgh in 1865.


"Did any of you ever see an elephant's skin?" asked the master of an
infant school in a fast neighbourhood. "I have!" shouted a six-year-old
at the foot of the class. "Where?" inquired the master, amused by his
earnestness. "_On the elephant!_" was the reply.


[187] This memoir has been published, and the subject of it was this
very ant-eater. Professor Owen has introduced many striking facts from
the history of its structure, in his lecture delivered at Exeter Hall,
1863, and published by the Messrs Nisbet.

[188] "The Life of the Right Hon. Francis North, Baron Guilford, Lord
Keeper of the Great Seal, under King Charles II. and King James II.,
&c." By the Hon. Roger North. A New Edition, in three vols., 1826, vol.
ii. p. 167.

[189] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 329.

[190] "John Holland and James Everett," vol. iv. p. 283.

[191] "A Book for a Rainy Day," p. 92.



George Cuvier was perhaps the first man who, by his admirable works and
researches, gave zoology its true place among the sciences.

His discoveries of the structure of molluscous and other animals of the
obscurer orders are perhaps eclipsed by his researches in osteology. He
has enabled the comparative anatomist to tell from a small portion of
bone not only the class, but the order, genus, and even the species to
which animal that bone belonged.

Mrs Lee,[193] in her Life of the Baron, gives an example of his
enthusiasm in his researches.

M. Laurillard was afterwards his secretary and the draftsman who
executed nearly all the drawings in his "Ossemens fossiles." At the time
of this story he had not particularly attracted Cuvier's notice.

"One day Cuvier came to his brother Frederic to ask him to disengage a
fossil from its surrounding mass, an office he had frequently performed.
M. Laurillard was applied to in the absence of F. Cuvier. Little aware
of the value of the specimen confided to his care, he cheerfully set to
work, and succeeded in getting the bone entire from its position. M.
Cuvier, after a short time, returned for his treasure, and when he saw
how perfect it was, his ecstasies became incontrollable; he danced, he
shook his hands, he uttered expressions of delight, till M. Laurillard,
in his ignorance both of the importance of what he had done, and of the
ardent character of M. Cuvier, thought he was mad. Taking, however, his
fossil foot in one hand, and dragging Laurillard's arm with the other,
he led him up-stairs to present him to his wife and sister-in-law,
saying, 'I have got my foot, and M. Laurillard found it for me.' It
seems that this skilful operation confirmed all M. Cuvier's previous
conjecture concerning a foot, the existence and form of which he had
already guessed, but for which he had long and vainly sought. So
occupied had he been by it, that, when he appeared to be particularly
absent, his family were wont to accuse him of seeking his fore-foot. The
next morning the able operator and draftsman was engaged as secretary."


[192] "Letters of Horace Walpole," edited by Peter Cunningham, ix., 319.

[193] "Memoirs of Baron Cuvier," by Mrs R. Lee (formerly Mrs T Ed.
Bowdich), 1833, p. 93.


A very gross but useful animal, which can, by feeding, be stuffed into
such a state of fatness as only one who has seen a Christmas cattle show
in England could believe it possible for beast to acquire. Dean Ramsay,
in a happy anecdote, refers to a good quality of the sow as food. He
tells, that a Scottish minister had been persuaded to keep a pig, and
that the good wife had been duly instructed in the mysteries of
black-puddings, pork-chops, pig's-head, and other modes of turning poor
piggy to account. The minister remarked to a friend, "Nae doubt there's
a hantle o' miscellaneous eating aboot a pig." The author of "A Ramble,"
published by Edmonstone and Douglas in 1865, has devoted some most
amusing pages of his work to an account of "Pig-sticking in Chicago," as
witnessed by him during the late American war. The wholesale and
scientific off-hand way in which living pigs enter into one part of a
machine, and come out prepared pork, could only have been devised by a

[Illustration: The Wild Boar of Syria and Egypt. (Sus Scrofa.)]

The essay of Charles Lamb on Roast Pig, and his history of how the
Chinaman discovered it, is a most characteristic bit of the productions
of Elia. We have cut from a recent paper, what seems an authentic story,
of one of this race having obtained a kind of mausoleum. We hope it is
not a hoax, but that it is as genuine as all that is in one of "Murray's

MONUMENT TO A PIG.--"Up to the present time," says the _Europe_ of
Frankfort, "no monument that we are aware of had ever been erected to
the memory of a _pig_. The town of Luneburg, in Hanover, has wished to
fill up that blank; and at the Hotel de Ville, in that town, there is to
be seen a kind of mausoleum to the memory of a member of the swinish
race. In the interior of that commemorative structure is to be seen a
glass case, inclosing a ham still in good preservation. A slab of black
marble attracts the eye of visitors, who find thereon the following
inscription in Latin, engraved in letters of gold--'Passer-by,
contemplate here the mortal remains of the pig which acquired for itself
imperishable glory by the discovery of the salt springs of Luneburg.'"

THE WILD BOAR (_Sus scrofa_).

We have a specimen of the family of swine in that well-known and useful
animal, with whose portrait Sir Charles Bell furnishes the reader, as an
example of a head as remote as possible from the head of him who
designed and executed the Elgin marbles. Although the learned anatomist
brought forward the profile of this animal as the type of a
"non-intellectual" being, yet there are instances enough on record to
show that pigs are not devoid of intelligence, and are even, when
trained, capable of considerable docility. "Learned pigs," however, such
as are exhibited at country fairs, are a rare occurrence, and the family
to which they belong is essentially one "gross" in character, and far
from gainly in appearance. The most handsome of the race is one from
West Africa, recently added to the Zoological Gardens, and described by
Dr Gray under the name of _Potamochærus penicillatus_. The wild swine of
Africa are, with this bright exception, anything but handsome, either in
shape or colour; and the large excrescences on their cheeks and face
give the "warthogs" a ferocious look, which corresponds with their
habits. In the East there are several species of wild swine. One of the
most celebrated is the _Babyrusa_ of the Malay peninsula, distinguished
by its long recurved teeth, with which it was once fancied that they
suspended themselves from trees, or rather supported themselves when
asleep. Mrs M'Dougall[194] refers to the wild hogs of Borneo, which seem
to be dainty in their diet, as they think nothing of a swim of four
miles from their jungle home to places on the river where they know
there are trees laden with ripe fruit. These Borneo swine are active
creatures too, as they can leap fences nearly six feet high. In South
America the sow family is represented by the Peccaries (_Dicotyles_), of
which there are two species, one of which is very abundant in the woods,
and forms a most important article in the diet of the poor Indians.
They, too, can swim across rivers, and although their legs are short,
they can run very fast.

It is chiefly in the warmer parts of the world that the species of this
family are found. They are all distinguished by the middle toes of each
foot being larger than the others, and armed with hoofs,[195] the side
toe or toes being shorter, and scarcely reaching the ground. The nose
terminates in a truncated, tough, grissly disk, which is singularly well
adapted for the purpose of the animals, which all grub in the ground for
their food. In some parts of France it is said that they are trained to
search for truffles.

Having briefly alluded to different species "_de grege porci_," we now
limit ourselves to our immediate subject.

The wild boar, at no very remote period, was found in the extensive
woods which covered great portions of this island. The family of Baird
derives its heraldic crest of a wild boar's head from a grant of David
I., King of Scotland. This monarch was hunting in Aberdeenshire, and
when separated from his attendants, the infuriated pig turned upon him;
one of his people came up and killed it, and in memory of his feat
received from the grateful king the device still borne by the family.
The name of a Scottish parish, and of one of the oldest baronial
families in Scotland--Swinton of Swinton, in Berwickshire--is derived
also from this animal, the first of the Swintons having cleared that
part of the country from the wild swine which then infested it. It is
curious to know that some large fields in the neighbourhood of Swinton
still carry in their names traces of these early occupants. Dr Baird
informed the writer that there are four of these fields so
distinguished:--"Sow-causeway," and "Pikerigg," where the wild swine
used to feed ("pick their food"); "Stab's Cross," where Sir Alan Swinton
with his spear pierced some monarch of the race; and "Alan's Cairn,"
where a heap of stones was raised as a monument of his hardihood. In the
southern part of our island only the nobility and gentry were allowed to
hunt this animal; and in the reign of William the Conqueror any one
convicted of killing a wild boar in any of the royal demesnes was
punished with the loss of his eyes.

In many parts of the Continent the wild boar is still far from rare, and
affords, to those who are fond of excitement, that peculiar kind of
"pleasure" which involves a certain amount of danger. Scenes somewhat
similar to those depicted by Snyders may still be witnessed in some
parts of Germany; and in the sketches of Mr Wolf, the able artist whose
designs illustrate these papers, we have seen animated studies of this
truly hazardous sport.

The nose of the wild boar is very acute in the sense of smell. A zealous
sportsman tells us, "I have often been surprised, when stealing upon one
in the woods, to observe how soon he has become aware of my
neighbourhood. Lifting his head, he would sniff the air inquiringly,
then, uttering a short grunt, make off as fast as he could."[196] The
same writer has also sometimes noticed in a family of wild boars one,
generally a weakling, who was buffeted and ill-treated by the rest. "Do
what he would, nothing was right; sometimes the mother, uttering a
disapproving grunt, would give him a nudge to make him move more
quickly, and that would be a sign for all the rest of his relations to
begin showing their contempt for him too. One would push him, and then
another; for, go where he might, he was sure to be in the way." In the
extensive woods frequented by this animal in Europe, abundant supplies
of food are met with in the roots of various plants which it grubs up,
in the beech-mast, acorns, and other tree productions, which, during two
or three months of the year, it finds on the ground. Although well able
to defend itself, it is a harmless animal, and being shy, retires to
those parts of the forests most remote from the presence of man. A site
in the neighbourhood of water is preferred to any other.

Travellers in the East frequently refer to this animal and to its
ravages when it gets into a rice-field or a vineyard; for although its
natural food be wild roots and wild fruits, if cultivated grounds be in
the neighbourhood, its ravages are very annoying to the husbandmen, who
can fully and feelingly understand the words of the Psalmist, "The boar
out of the wood doth waste it" (Ps. lxxx. 13).

Messrs Irby and Mangles,[197] as they approached the Jordan, saw a herd
of nine wild pigs, and they found the trees on the banks of a stream
near that river all marked with mud, left by the wild swine in rubbing
themselves. A valley which they passed was grubbed up in all directions
with furrows made by these animals, so that the soil had all the
appearance of having been ploughed up.

Burckhardt mentions the occurrence of the wild boar and panther
together, or the _ounce_, as he calls it, on the mountain of Rieha, and
also in the wooded part of Tabor. He mentions "a common saying and
belief among the Turks, that all the animal kingdom was converted by
their prophet to the true faith, except the wild boar and buffalo, which
remained unbelievers; it is on this account that both these animals are
often called Christians. We are not surprised that the boar should be so
denominated; but as the flesh of the buffalo, as well as its Leben or
sour milk, is much esteemed by the Turks, it is difficult to account for
the disgrace into which that animal has fallen among them; the only
reason I could learn for it is, that the buffalo, like the hog, has a
habit of rolling in the mud, and of plunging into the muddy ponds in the
summer time up to the very nose, which alone remains visible above the
surface."[198] Wild boars were frequently fallen in with by this
traveller during his Syrian travels in the neighbourhood of rush-covered
springs, where they could easily return to their "wallowing in the
mire;" he also met with them on all the mountains he visited in his
tour. In the Ghor they are very abundant, and so injurious to the Arabs
of that valley that they are unable to cultivate the common barley on
account of the eagerness with which the wild swine feed on it, and are
obliged to grow a less esteemed kind, with six rows of grains which the
swine will not touch.

Messrs Hemprich and Ehrenberg tell us that the wild boar is far
from scarce in the marshy districts around Rosetta and Damietta, and
that it does not seem to differ from the European species. The head of a
wild boar which these travellers saw at Bischerre, a village of Lebanon,
closely resembled the European variety, except in being a little longer.
The Maronites there, who ate its flesh in their company, called it
_chansir_,[199] a name evidently identical with the Hebrew word
_chasir_, which occurs in the Bible. The Turks, according to Ehrenberg,
keep swine in their stables, from a persuasion that all devils who may
enter will be more likely to go into the pigs than the horses, from
their alliance to the former unclean animals.--_A. White, in

[Illustration: The River Pig.]


The other day we revisited the Zoological Gardens, and found that two
old friends had got--the one, a companion, the other, a neighbour. The
latter was the bulky hippopotamus, now most bearish, and more and more
unmistakably showing the minute accuracy of those master lines in the
Book of Job, in which Behemoth's portrait, pose, and character are
depicted. The former was the subject of this article--evidently, as far
as colour goes, "the chieftain of the _porcine_ race."

The poet tells us, however, "Nimium ne crede colori;" and observation,
as well as the Scripture, shows us daily that "fair havens" in summer
are but foul places to "winter in;" that fair speeches, and a flattering
tongue, and the kisses of an enemy, "are deceitful;" and that beneath a
fine spotted or barred coat, the jaguar and the tiger, the cobra and the
hornet, conceal both the power and the propensity for mischief. So with
our old friend Potamochoerus. The pretty creature,--beauty is
relative--the Cameroon pig is the prettiest, the gaudiest of the
race,--the pretty creature, we repeat, is of a fine bay red, made to
look more bright from the circumstance of the face, ears, and front of
the legs being black, while the red is relieved, and the black is
defined, by the pencilled lines of white which edge the ears, streak
over and under the eye, and ornament the long whiskers, another long
white line traversing the middle of the back; a very attractive
combination of colour--the painting of "Him who made the world"--and one
which must make the _Potamochoerus penicellatus_ most conspicuous
among the bright green shrubs and dark marshes of the rivers of
equinoctial Africa, on whose banks the race has been planted. The
present largest specimen was taken, when a "piggie," by a trading
captain, as it was swimming across the Cameroon River. He brought it to
Liverpool; Dr Gray, of the British Museum, gave an account of it in the
"Illustrated Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London for
1852"--an excellent work--where its figure, drawn and coloured by the
hand of Wolf, shows the condition of the African sow four years ago. It
was then a round, comfortable, kind-looking creature, which one might
almost have fondled as a pet. The pig now looks rather a dangerous
beast, and its beauty is not increased by its face having grown longer,
and by the bump and hollow on each cheek being larger and deeper; nor is
its mouth so attractive or innocent, now that its tusks--those ivory
daggers and knives of the family of Swine--have grown longer. The
creature, partly it may be from familiarity, jumps up against the iron
palisade which separates the visitor from its walk, but a poor pannage
as a substitute for its African home. We would advise him to read the
notice: "Visitors are requested not to tease the animals;" "not to
touch" would be a good reprint--for few, we fancy, would try to tease.

One, however, especially a lady, likes to know and to feel _texture_;
and sadly used the fine, mild Edward Cross, of Exeter Change and the
Surrey Zoological Gardens, once the Nestor as well as the King among
keepers of wild beasts--a gentle, gentlemanly, white-haired, venerable
man,--sadly, we say, used Mr Cross to lament that there _were_ parasols,
and that he could not keep them _out_ of his garden. Mr C. told the
writer that he lost many a beast and bird from the pokes of that
insinuating weapon. We dissuade any lady from touching or going near a
zebra's mouth, or the horns of an ibex or an algazel, or the pointed
bill of a heron or stork, or from putting her hand near this fine
painted pig.

Up jumps Potamochoerus--eye rather vindictive, however--and mark, as
that big specimen is foreshortened before you, the profile of the little
companion pig of the same species, standing within a few feet, but safe
from the poke of any umbrella or parasol; look how innocent and
inviting--how quiet, and sleek, and polished, and painted, and mild it
looks, all but that little suspicious eye, with its wink oblique, and
its malicious twinkle.

Of the habits of this pig we can find no written record, though in the
journals of the Scottish or Wesleyan Missionaries there may be some
notices of it. We do not know whence the Society procured the second
specimen, but it shows that Africa's wild animals, like its chain of
internal Caspian seas, and its mountain-ranges and rivers, are becoming
gradually known. Old Bosman, who was chief factor for the Dutch on the
Gold Coast 150 years ago, refers to the swine near Fort St George
d'Elmina being not nearly so wild as those of Europe, and adds, "I have
several times eaten of them here, and found them very delicious and very
tender meat, the fat being extraordinarily fine."[201] He evidently
refers to some other species.

Travellers in South Africa have made us familiar with the habits, and
specimens in the Zoological Gardens, in a pannage close to that of the
"painted pig," show us the form and ugliness, of the bush pig and flat
pig (_Choiropotamus Africanus_) of that southern land, with their long
heads, long legs, upturned tails, and horrid tusks. They have a strange
habit of kneeling on their fore-legs. In South Africa they abound; and
the natives--our excellent friend, the Rev. Henry Methuen, tells
us--often bring their jaws for barter. They are of a dingy, dirty gray;
the boar is two feet and a half high, and his tusks sometimes measure
"eleven inches and a half each from the jawbone," are five inches and a
half in circumference at the base, and are thirteen inches apart at
their extremities.

No animal is more formidably armed; and his rapidity and lightness of
movement make him a very marked object to the African Nimrod, who, midst
"clumps of bush"--be they Proteacæ, heaths, or Diosmeæ--not unfrequently
comes on a herd of wild pigs "headed by a noble boar," with tail erect.
We could enter largely on the history of this active species, and quote
many a stirring anecdote of travellers' rencontres with this fearless
animal. The lion skulks away from him, but the rhinoceros--at least one
species--the buffalo, with his formidable front of horn and bone, and
the bush pig, with his dreaded tusks, show but little fear; and it is
well for the huntsman that he has a sure eye, a steady hand, and a
double-barrelled gun, and not a few Caffir followers to help him, should
his eye be dim, his hand waver, or his gun "flash in the pan." Dogs
avail but little; a deadly gash lays open their ribs, and a side-thrust
of a wild boar will cut into the most muscular leg, and for ever destroy
its tendons. We have done with pigs, and would only recommend a visit--a
frequent visit--to that paradise of animals, the Zoological Gardens,
where, a fortnight ago, we saw wild boars from Hesse Darmstadt; wild
boars from Egypt; bush pigs from Africa; peccaries from South America;
and two painted pigs from West Africa; all "_de grege porci_," and in
excellent health: to say nothing of two hippopotamuses; four "seraphic"
giraffes; antelopes (we did not number them); brush turkeys from
Australia; an apteryx from New Zealand; the curious white sheathbills
from the South Seas; the refulgent metallic green and purple-tinted
monaul, or Impeyan pheasant, strutting with outspread, light-coloured
tail, just as he courts his plain hen-mate on the Indian mountains; a
family of the funny pelicans--cleanliness, ugliness, and contentment in
one happy combination; a band of flamingoes; eagles and vultures; the
harpy--that Picton of the birds--looking defiance as he stands, with
upraised crest, flashing eye, and clenched talons, over his food; the
wily otter; the amiable seal, which carries us to the seas and rocks of
much-loved Shetland, with their long, winding voes, their
bird-frequented cliffs, and outlying skerries; the Indian thrush, which
reminds one of a "mavis" at home; the parrot-house, with its fine
contrasts of colour and its discordant noises; Penny's Esquimaux
dog--poor fellow, a prisoner, unlike to what he was when, with our dear
friends Dr Sutherland and Captain Stewart, this very dog breasted the
blast before a sledge in the Wellington Channel.[202] Look at that
wondrous sloth, organised for a life in a Brazilian forest--those two
restless Polar bears; and though last, not least, those wonders of the
great deep, "the sea-anemones," the exquisite red and white "feathery"
tentacles of the long cylindrical-twisted serpulæ, and
marvellously-transparent streaked shrimps, all leg, and feeler, and eye,
and "nose"--in the salt-water tanks in the Vivarium.--_A. White, in


S. Bisset, formerly referred to, when at Belfast bought a black sucking
pig, and after several experiments succeeded in training a creature, so
obstinate and perverse by nature, to become most tractable and docile.
In August 1783, he took his learned pig to Dublin for exhibition. "It
was not only under full command, but appeared as pliant and good-natured
as a spaniel. He had taught it to spell the names of any one in the
company, to tell the hour, minute, and second, to make his obeisance to
the company, and he occasioned many a laugh by his pointing out the
married and the unmarried. Some one in authority forced him to leave
Dublin, and he died broken-hearted shortly after at Chester, on his way
to London, where forty and more years before he had first been induced
to train animals."[203]


Southey records of Quixote Bowles that he "had a great love for pigs; he
thought them the happiest of all God's creatures, and would walk twenty
miles to see one that was remarkably fat. This love extended to bacon;
he was an epicure in it; and whenever he went out to dinner, took a
piece of his own curing in his pocket, and requested the cook to dress


   "As Jekyll walk'd out in his gown and his wig,
   He happen'd to tread on a very small pig;
   'Pig of science,' he said, 'or else I'm mistaken,
   For surely thou art an _abridgment of Bacon_.'"[205]


An Irish peasant being asked why he permitted his pig to take up its
quarters with his family, made an answer abounding with satirical
_naïveté_. "Why not? Doesn't the place afford every convenience that _a
pig can require_?"[206]

Mrs Fry, in 1827, visited Ireland on one of her Christian and
philanthropic tours. In a letter to her children from Armagh she
says--"Pigs abound; I think they have rather a more elegant appearance
than ours, their hair often rather curled. Perhaps naturalists may
attribute this to their intimate association with their betters!"[207]


Thomas Gainsborough, the great English painter, exhibited, in 1782,
among pictures of noblemen, gentlemen, and ladies, his well-known "Girl
and Pigs."[208]

Wolcot, better known as "Peter Pindar," in his first "Ode to the Royal
Academicians," refers to this picture.

   "And now, O Muse, with song so big,
   Turn round to Gainsborough's Girl and Pig,
   Or Pig and Girl, I rather should have said;
     The pig in white, I must allow,
     Is really a well painted sow,
   I wish to say the same thing of the maid."

"The expression and truth of nature in the Girl and Pigs," remarks
Northcote, "were never surpassed. Sir Joshua Reynolds was struck with
it, though he thought Gainsborough ought to have made her a beauty."
Reynolds, indeed, became the purchaser of the painting at one hundred
guineas, Gainsborough asking but sixty. During its exhibition, it is
said to have attracted the attention of a countryman, who
remarked--"They be deadly like pigs, but nobody ever saw pigs feeding
together but what one on 'em had a foot in the trough."


Once a gentleman, who had the marvellous gift of shaping a great many
things out of orange-peel, was displaying his abilities at a
dinner-party before Theodore Hook and Mr Thomas Hill, and succeeded in
counterfeiting a pig. Mr Hill tried the same feat; and after destroying
and strewing the table with the peel of a dozen oranges, gave it up,
with the exclamation, "Hang the pig! I _can't_ make him." "Nay, Hill,"
exclaimed Hook, glancing at the mess on the table, "you have done more;
instead of one pig, you have made a _litter_."[209]

Hook, we may add, was an original wit. He did not, like most professed
wits, study his sayings before, and arrange with his seeming opponent
for an imaginary war of words. He was an _impromptu_ wit.


Lord Chancellor Hardwicke's bailiff, having been ordered by his lady to
procure a sow of a particular description, came one day into the
dining-room when full of company, proclaiming with a burst of joy he
could not suppress--"I have been at Royston Fair, my lady, and I have
got a sow exactly of _your ladyship's_ size."[210]

       *       *       *       *       *

John was thought to be very stupid. He was sent to a mill one day, and
the miller said--"John, some people say you are a fool! Now, tell me,
what you do know, and what you don't know."--"Well," replied John, "I
know millers' hogs are fat!"--"Yes, that's well, John; now, what don't
you know?"--"I don't know _whose corn_ fats 'em."[211]


The Earl of P---- kept a number of swine at his seat in Wiltshire, and
crossing the yard one day, he was surprised to see the pigs gathered
round one trough, and making a great noise. Curiosity prompted him to
see what was the cause, and on looking into the trough he perceived a
large silver spoon. A servant-maid came out, and began to abuse the pigs
for crying so. "Well they may," said his lordship, "when they have got
but one _silver spoon_ among them all."

       *       *       *       *       *

We have heard of one nobleman in Strathearn, who, when a young man, used
to be thus addressed by his mother--"William! how are the children _and
your pigs_?"[212]



"Go to the Duke of Bedford's piggery at Woburn, and you will see a breed
of pigs with legs so short, that their stomachs trail upon the ground;
a breed of animals entombed in their own fat, overwhelmed with
prosperity, success, and farina. No animal could possibly be so
disgusting, if it were not useful; but a breeder who has accurately
attended to the small quantity of food it requires to swell this pig out
to such extraordinary dimensions,--the extraordinary genius it displays
for obesity,--and the laudable propensity of the flesh to desert the
cheap regions of the body, and to agglomerate on those parts which are
worth ninepence a pound,--such an observer of its utility does not
scruple to call these otherwise hideous quadrupeds a beautiful race of


When Joseph Sturge, that good Quaker, was in his sixth year, his
biographer, Henry Richard,[214] records that he was on a visit to a
friend of his mother's at Frenchay, near Bristol. Sauntering about one
day, he came near the house of an eccentric man, a Quaker, who was much
annoyed by the depredations of his neighbour's pigs. Half in jest, and
half in earnest, he told the lad to drive the pigs into a pond close by.
Joseph, nothing loath, set to work with a will, delighted with the fun.
The woman, to whom the pigs belonged, came out presently, broom in hand,
flourishing it over the young sinner's head. The tempter was standing
by, and sought to cover his share of the transaction by shaking his head
and saying--"Ah,

   'Satan finds some mischief still
       For idle hands to do.'

The child looked up at him indignantly, and said, 'Thee bee'st Satan
then, for thee told'st me to do it.'"


[194] "Letters from Sarawak," p. 104. 1854.

[195] "Divides the hoof, and is cloven-footed, yet cheweth not the cud"
(Lev. ii. 7).

[196] Boner's "Chamois Hunting in the Mountains of Bavaria," p. 97.

[197] "Travels" (Home and Colonial Library), p. 147.

[198] "Travels in Syria and the Holy Land," p. 9.

[199] Symbolæ Physicæ.

[200] _Potamochoerus penicellatus._ [Greek: Potamos], a river; [Greek:
choiros], a pig; _penicellatus_, pencilled. It is said to be the _Sus
porcus_ of Linnæus.

[201] "A New and Accurate Description of the Coast of Guinea, written
originally in Dutch." London, 1705, p. 247.

[202] See Dr Sutherland's interesting account in his "Journal of a
Voyage in Baffin Bay and Barrow's Straits in the years 1850, 1851;" a
truly excellent work on the Arctic regions, by one who is now Surveyor
of Natal.

[203] See Biography in G. H. Wilson's _Eccentric Mirror_, i., No. 3, p.

[204] "Common-Place Book," iv. p. 514.

[205] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 107.

[206] _Ibid._, p. 337.

[207] "Memoir of the Life of Elizabeth Fry," vol. ii. p. 30. 1847.

[208] "Life of Thomas Gainsborough, R.A.," by the late George William
Fulcher, edited by his Son, p. 122. 1856.

[209] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 328.

[210] _Ibid._, p. 2.

[211] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 31. The latter of these jests is
attributed by Dean Ramsay to a half-witted Ayrshire man, who said he
"kenned a miller had aye a gey fat sow."--_Reminiscences_, p. 197.

[212] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 269. This worthy nobleman was and is
much attached to his home-farm. He is well known in Perthshire.

[213] "Wit and Wisdom of Rev. Sydney Smith," third edition, p. 253. From
a lecture at Royal Institution.

[214] "Memoirs of Joseph Sturge," by Henry Richard.


The noblest animal employed by man, and consequently the subject of many
volumes of anecdote,--a study for the painter and sculptor, from the
days of the Greek and Assyrian artists to the present day. Charles
Darwin and Sir Francis Head have given graphic descriptions of the
catching of the wild horse, which swarms on the Pampas of South America.

How pathetic to see the led horse following the bier of a soldier! It
was, perhaps, the most affecting incident in the long array of the
funeral of the great Duke.

In the Museum at Brussels, Dr Patrick Neill observed, in 1817, "the
stuffed skin of the horse belonging to one of the Alberts, who governed
the Low Countries in the time of the Spaniards. It was shot under him in
the field, and the holes made in the thorax by the musket bullets are
still very evident."[215]

Poor Copenhagen, the Duke's charger at Waterloo, was buried. Many would
have liked his skin or skeleton. The Duke resisted all attempts to give
his old friend up for such a purpose. We hope no resurrectionist
succeeded in getting up his bones, years after his burial at


The Bell-Rock Lighthouse, built on a dangerous range of rocks twelve
miles south by east from Arbroath, was begun by Robert Stevenson on the
17th August 1807, and finished in October 1810. Mr Jervise[216] records
that "one horse, the property of James Craw, a labourer in Arbroath, is
believed to have drawn the entire materials of the building. The animal
latterly became a _pensioner_ of the Lighthouse Commissioners, and was
sent by them to graze on the Island of Inchkeith, where it died of old
age in 1813. Dr John Barclay, the celebrated anatomist, had its bones
collected and arranged in his museum, which he bequeathed at his death
to the Royal College of Surgeons, and in their museum at Edinburgh the
skeleton of the _Bell-Rock horse_ may yet be seen."


An anecdote of the humanity of the great Edmund Burke in the year 1762
has been preserved.[217] "An Irishman, of the name of Johnson, was
astonishing the town by his horsemanship. All London crowded to see his
feats of agility and his highly-trained steeds. Dr Johnson and Boswell
talked of this man's wonderful ability, and the Doctor thought that he
fully deserved encouragement on philosophical grounds. He proved what
human perseverance could do. One who saw him riding on three horses at
once, or dancing upon a wire, might hope, that with the same application
in the profession of his choice, he should attain the same success.
Burke, always ready to encourage his countrymen, and curious in all the
ramifications of ingenuity, went frequently to the circus. The favourite
performance of the evening was that of a handsome black horse, which, at
the sound of Johnson's whip, would leave the stable, stand with much
docility at his side, then gallop about the ring, and on hearing the
crack of the lash again return obediently to its master. On one
unfortunate occasion, the signal was disregarded. The horse-rider flew
into a rage, and by a blow between the ears, struck the noble animal to
the earth. The spectators thought the horse was dying, but they had
little time to reflect on the sight before they were surprised at seeing
a gentleman jump into the ring, rush up to Johnson, and with his eyes
flashing, and every muscle in the face quivering with emotion, shout
out, 'You scoundrel! I have a mind to knock you down.' And Johnson would
certainly have been laid sprawling in the sawdust beside his panting
steed, had not the friends of the gentleman interposed, and prevented
him inflicting such summary chastisement. This incident was long
remembered. When the relater of it, many years afterwards, heard Burke
declaiming, on the floor of the House of Commons, against injustice and
oppression, his mind naturally reverted to the time when he saw the same
hatred of all cruelty displayed by the same individual as he stood over
the prostrate body of the poor black horse, prepared to punish the
miscreant who had felled it to the ground."


In 1778 Sir Joshua Reynolds visited Dr Warton at Winchester College.
Here he was particularly noticed by George III. and his queen, who were
then making a tour through the summer encampments. The father of Lord
Palmerston, and David Garrick, the great actor, with others, visited
Warton at the same time.

Mr Northcote[218] relates that a whimsical accident occurred to Garrick
at one of the reviews, which Sir Joshua afterwards recounted with great

"At one of those field-days in the vicinity, Garrick found it necessary
to dismount, when his horse escaped from his hold and ran off; throwing
himself immediately into his professional attitude, he cried out, as if
on Bosworth field, 'A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!'"

This exclamation, and the accompanying attitude, excited great amazement
amongst the surrounding spectators, who knew him not; but it could not
escape his majesty's quick apprehension, for, it being within his
hearing, he immediately said, "Those must be the tones of Garrick! see
if he is not on the ground." The theatrical and dismounted monarch was
immediately brought to his majesty, who not only condoled with him most
good humouredly on his misfortune, but flatteringly added, that his
delivery of Shakspeare could never pass undiscovered.

This anecdote of Garrick at Winchester is told in the Rev. John Wool's
"Life of Warton." Mr Taylor says--"One can't help suspecting Roscius
took care to make his speech when he knew the king was within earshot--a
little bit of that 'artifice' of his which has left such an impression
in the theatre, that the phrase, 'As deep as Garrick,' is still current
stage slang."[219]


The biographer of the saintly Bernard Gilpin, the apostle of the
northern counties of England in the days of Edward VI., and Queens Mary
and Elizabeth, relates that, by the carelessness of his servant, his
horses were one day stolen. The news was quickly propagated, and every
one expressed the highest indignation. The thief was rejoicing over his
prize, when, by the report of the country, he found whose horses he had
taken. Terrified at what he had done, he instantly came trembling back,
confessed the fact, returned the horses, and declared he believed the
devil would have seized him directly had he carried them off, knowing
them to have been Mr Gilpin's. The biographer gives an instance of his
benevolent temper. "One day returning home, he saw in a field several
people crowding together; and judging that something more than ordinary
had happened, he rode up to them, and found that one of the horses in a
team had suddenly dropped down, which they were endeavouring to raise;
but in vain, for the horse was dead. The owner of it seeming much
dejected with his misfortune, and declaring how grievous a loss it was
to him, Mr Gilpin bade him not be disheartened; "I'll let you have,
honest man, that horse of mine," and pointed to his servant's. "Ah!
master," replied the countryman, "my pocket will not reach such a beast
as that." "Come, come," says Mr Gilpin, "take him, take him; and when I
demand my money, then thou shalt pay me."[221]

No wonder that the horses of the apostolic rector of Houghton-le-Spring
were safe, even in those horse-stealing times, and in that Border


One day, when Sir Isaac Heard was in company with George III., it was
announced that his majesty's horse was ready for hunting. "Sir Isaac,"
said the king, "are you a judge of horses?"--"In my younger days, please
your majesty, I was a great deal among them," was the reply.--"What do
you think of this, then?" said the king, who was by this time preparing
to mount his favourite; and, without waiting for an answer, added, "We
call him _Perfection_."--"A most appropriate name," replied the courtly
herald, bowing as his majesty reached the saddle, "for he _bears_ the
best of characters."[222]


Many stories of the excellent but eccentric Rowland Hill are told, but
often with considerable exaggeration. The following may be depended on
for its accuracy, as it was told by Robert Haldane.[223] It occurred at
Dunbar, in September 1797, during an evangelistic tour Hill and Haldane
were making in Scotland. They were sleeping at Mr Cunningham's, when,
in the morning, intending to proceed southward, on Mr Hill's carriage
being brought to the door, his horse was found to be dead lame. A
farrier was sent for, who, after careful examination, reported that the
seat of the mischief was in the shoulder, that the disease was
incurable, and that they might shoot the poor animal as soon as they
pleased. To this proposal Mr Hill was by no means prepared to accede.
Indeed, it seemed to Mr Haldane as precipitate as the conduct of an
Irish sailor on board the _Monarch_, who, on seeing another knocked down
senseless by a splinter, and supposing his companion to be dead, went up
to Captain Duncan, on the quarter-deck, in the midst of the action with
Languara, off St Vincent, and exclaimed, "Shall we jerk him overboard,
sir?" On that occasion the sailor revived in a short time, and was even
able to work at his gun. In the present instance the horse, too,
recovered, and was able to carry his master on many a future errand of
mercy. Meanwhile, however, the travellers availed themselves of Mr
Cunningham's hospitality, and remained for two days more at his place,
near Dunbar. In the evening Mr Hill conducted family worship, and after
the supplications for the family, domestics, and friends, added a
fervent prayer for the restoration of the valuable animal which had
carried him so many thousands of miles, preaching the everlasting gospel
to his fellow-sinners. Mr Cunningham, who was remarkable for the staid
and orderly, if not stiff, demeanour, which characterised the
anti-burghers, was not only surprised but grieved, and even scandalised,
at what he deemed so great an impropriety. He remonstrated with his
guest. But Mr Hill stoutly defended his conduct by an appeal to
Scripture, and the superintending watchfulness of Him without whom a
sparrow falls not to the ground. He persisted in his prayer during the
two days he continued at Dunbar, and, although he left the horse, in a
hopeless state, to follow in charge of his servant by easy stages, he
continued his prayer, night and morning, till one day, at an inn in
Yorkshire, while the two travellers were sitting at breakfast, they
heard a horse and chaise trot briskly into the yard, and, looking out,
saw that Mr Hill's servant had arrived, bringing up the horse perfectly
restored. Mr Hill did not fail to return thanks, and begged his
fellow-traveller to consider whether the minuteness of his prayers had
deserved the censure which had been directed against them.


Rowland Hill rode a great deal, and exercise preserved him in vigorous
health. On one occasion, when asked by a medical friend, who was
commenting on his invariably good health, what physician and apothecary
he employed, he replied, "My physician has always been a _horse_, and my
apothecary an _ass_!"[224]


Thomas Holcroft, the novelist and play-writer, when a lad, was a stable
boy to a trainer of running horses. In his memoirs he has written a good
deal about the habits of the race-horse. He says of them:--"I soon
learned that the safehold for sitting steady was to keep the knee and
the calf of the leg strongly pressed against the sides of the animal
that endeavours to unhorse you; and as little accidents afford frequent
occasions to remind the boys of this rule, it becomes so rooted in the
memory of the intelligent, that their danger is comparatively trifling.
Of the temperaments and habits of blood-horses there are great
varieties, and those very strongly contrasted. The majority of them are
playful, but their gambols are dangerous to the timid or unskilful. They
are all easily and suddenly alarmed, when anything they do not
understand forcibly catches their attention, and they are then to be
feared by the bad horseman, and carefully guarded against by the good.
Very serious accidents have happened to the best. But, besides their
general disposition to playfulness, there is a great propensity in them
to become what the jockeys call vicious. High bred, hot in blood,
exercised, fed and dressed so as to bring that heat to perfection, their
tender skins at all times subject to a sharp curry-comb, hard brushing,
and when they take sweats, to scraping with wooden instruments, it
cannot be but that they are frequently and exceedingly irritated.
Intending to make themselves felt and feared, they will watch their
opportunity to bite, stamp, or kick; I mean those among them that are
vicious. Tom, the brother of Jack Clarke, after sweating a gray horse
that belonged to Lord March, with whom he lived, while he was either
scraping or dressing him, was seized by the animal by the shoulder,
lifted from the ground, and carried two or three hundred yards before
the horse loosened his hold. Old Forrester, a horse that belonged to
Captain Vernon, all the while that I remained at Newmarket, was obliged
to be kept apart, and being foundered, to live at grass, where he was
confined to a close paddock. Except Tom Watson, he would suffer no lad
to come near him; if in his paddock, he would run furiously at the
first person that approached, and if in the stable, would kick and
assault every one within his reach. Horses of this kind seem always to
select their favourite boy. Tom Watson, indeed, had attained to man's
estate, and in his brother's absence, which was rare, acted as
superintendent. Horses, commonly speaking, are of a friendly and
generous nature; but there are anecdotes of the malignant and savage
ferocity of some, that are scarcely to be credited; at least many such
are traditional at Newmarket.

Of their friendly disposition towards their keepers, there is a trait
known to every boy that has the care of any one of them, which ought not
to be omitted. The custom is to rise very early, even between two and
three in the morning, when the days lengthen. In the course of the day,
horses and boys have much to do. About half after eight, perhaps, in the
evening, the horse has his last feed of oats, which he generally stands
to enjoy in the centre of his smooth, carefully made bed of clean long
straw, and by the side of him the weary boy will often lie down; it
being held as a maxim, a rule without exception, that were he to lie
even till morning, the horse would never lie down himself, but stand
still, careful to do his keeper no harm.[225]

In one of Thomas Holcroft's novels, "Alwyn; or, The Gentleman Comedian,"
founded on his own adventures when a travelling actor, he gives the
character of an enthusiast who had conceived the idea of establishing a
humane asylum for animals, the consequences of which he describes. "I am
pestered, plagued, teased, tormented to death. I believe all the cats
in Christendom are assembled in Oxfordshire. I am obliged to hire a
clerk to pay the people; and the village where I live is become a
constant fair. A fellow has set up the sign of the Three Blind Kittens,
and has the impudence to tell the neighbours, that if my whims and my
money only hold out for one twelvemonth, he shall not care a fig for the
king. I thought to prevent this inundation, by buying up all the old
cats and secluding them in convents and monasteries of my own, but the
value of the breeders is increased to such a degree, that I do not
believe my whole fortune is capable of the purchase. Besides I am made
an ass of. A rascal, who is a known sharper in these parts, hearing of
the aversion I had to cruelty, bought an old one-eyed horse, that was
going to the dogs, for five shillings; then taking a hammer in his hand,
watched an opportunity of finding me alone, and addressed me in the
following manner: 'Look you, master, I know that you don't love to see
any dumb creature abused, and so, if you don't give me ten pounds, why,
I shall scoop out this old rip's odd eye with the sharp end of this here
hammer, now, before your face.' Ay, and the villain would have done it
too, if I had not instantly complied; but what was worse, the abominable
scoundrel had the audacity to tell me, when I wanted him to deliver the
horse first, for fear he should extort a further sum from me, that he
had more honour than to break his word. A whelp of a boy had yesterday
caught a young hedgehog, and perceiving me, threw it into the water to
make it extend its legs; then with the rough side of a knotty stick
sawed upon them till the creature cried like a child; and when I ordered
him to desist, told me he would not, till I had given him sixpence.
There is something worse than all this. The avaricious rascals, when
they can find nothing that they think will excite my pity, disable the
first animal which is not dignified with the title of Christian, and
then bring it to me as an object worthy of commiseration; so that, in
fact, instead of protecting, I destroy. The women have entertained a
notion that I hate two-legged animals; and one of them called after me
the other day, to tell me I was an old rogue, and that I had better give
my money to the poor, than keep a parcel of dogs and cats that eat up
the village. I perceive it is in vain to attempt carrying on the scheme
much longer, and then my poor invalids will be worse off than they were


Lord Campbell[227] tells an anecdote of George Wood, a celebrated
special pleader at the time when Lord Mansfield was Chief-Justice.
Though a subtle pleader, George was very ignorant of _horse-flesh_, and
had been cruelly cheated in the purchase of a horse on which he had
intended to ride the circuit. He brought an action on the warranty that
the horse was "a good roadster, and free from vice." At the trial before
Lord Mansfield, it appeared that when the plaintiff mounted at the
stables in London, with the intention of proceeding to Barnet, nothing
could induce the animal to move forward a single step. On hearing this
evidence, the Chief-Justice with much gravity exclaimed, "Who would have
supposed that Mr Wood's horse would have _demurred_ when he ought to
have _gone to the country_." Any attempt, adds Lord Campbell, to explain
this excellent joke to _lay gents_ would be vain, and to _lawyers_ would
be superfluous.


Charles Napier served in Lord William Bentinck's brigade during the
retreat of the truly great and ill-used Moore at the battle of Corunna;
he was covered with wounds, and was carried off a prisoner. In his
"Biography" General Sir William Napier[228] has published a most
interesting description of the part his brother took in that battle, and
written in his own words. I extract a few vivid lines in which Moore and
his horse are brought before you. A heavy French column was descending
rapidly on the British line at the part where Napier was. "Suddenly I
heard the gallop of horses, and turning saw Moore. He came at speed, and
pulled up so sharp and close he seemed to have alighted from the air;
man and horse looking at the approaching foe with an intenseness that
seemed to concentrate all feeling in their eyes. The sudden stop of the
animal, a cream-coloured one, with black tail and mane, had cast the
latter streaming forward, its ears were pushed out like horns, while its
eyes flashed fire, and it snorted loudly with expanded nostrils,
expressing terror, astonishment, and muscular exertion. My first thought
was, it will be away like the wind; but then I looked at the rider, and
the horse was forgotten. Thrown on its haunches the animal came, sliding
and dashing the dirt up with its fore-feet, thus bending the general
forward almost to its neck; but his head was thrown back, and his look
more keenly piercing than I ever before saw it. He glanced to the right
and left, and then fixed his eyes intently on the enemy's advancing
column, at the same time grasping the reins with both his hands, and
pressing the horse firmly with his knees; his body thus seemed to deal
with the animal, while his mind was intent on the enemy, and his aspect
was one of searching intenseness, beyond the power of words to describe;
for a while he looked, and then galloped to the left, without uttering a


Dr Mounsey, the Chelsea doctor, an eccentric physician, who was a great
friend of David Garrick, related to Taylor that he was once in company
with another physician and an eminent farrier. The physician stated that
among the difficulties of his profession, was that of discovering the
maladies of children, because they could not explain the symptoms of
their disorder. "Well," said the farrier, "your difficulties are not
greater than mine, for my patients, the horses, are equally unable to
explain their complaints."--"Ah!" rejoined the physician, "my brother
doctor must conquer me, as he has brought his cavalry against my


In this country most horses have a name, but in Germany this custom must
be unusual. Perthes, when on his way from Hamburg to Frankfort, remarked
at Böhmte--"It is a pleasing custom they have here of giving proper
names to horses. The horse is a noble and intelligent animal, and quite
as deserving of such a distinction as the dog; and when it has a name,
it has made some advance towards personality."[230]


In building Waterloo Bridge, the finest of Rennie's bridges, the whole
of the stone required was hewn in some fields on the Surrey side. Nearly
the whole of this material was drawn by one horse called "Old Jack," a
most sensible animal. Mr Smiles, in his "Life of John Rennie,"[231] thus
speaks of this favourite old horse--"His driver was, generally speaking,
a steady and trustworthy man; though rather too fond of his dram before
breakfast. As the railway along which the stone was drawn passed in
front of the public-house door, the horse and truck were usually pulled
up, while Tom entered for his 'morning.' On one occasion the driver
stayed so long that 'Old Jack,' becoming impatient, poked his head into
the open door, and taking his master's coat collar between his teeth,
though in a gentle sort of manner, pulled him out from the midst of his
companions, and thus forced him to resume the day's work."


Sydney Smith, when rector of Foston-le-Clay, in Yorkshire, a living
which he got from Lord Chancellor Erskine in 1806, was in the habit of
riding a good deal. His daughter says that, "either from the badness of
his horses, or the badness of his riding, or perhaps from both (in spite
of his various ingenious contrivances to keep himself in the saddle), he
had several falls, and kept us in continual anxiety."[232] He writes in
a letter--"I used to think a fall from a horse dangerous, but much
experience has convinced me to the contrary. I have had six falls in two
years, and just behaved like the three per cents. when they fall. I got
up again, and am not a bit the worse for it any more than the stock in
question." In speaking of this he says, "I left off riding for the good
of my parish and the peace of my family; for, somehow or other, my horse
and I had a habit of parting company. On one occasion I found myself
suddenly prostrate in the streets of York, much to the delight of the
Dissenters. Another time my horse Calamity flung me over his head into a
neighbouring parish, as if I had been a shuttlecock, and I felt grateful
it was not into a neighbouring planet; but as no harm came of it, I
might have persevered perhaps, if, on a certain day, a Quaker tailor
from a neighbouring village to which I had said I was going to ride, had
not taken it into his head to call, soon after my departure, and request
to see Mrs Sydney. She instantly, conceiving I was thrown, if not
killed, rushed down to the man, exclaiming, 'Where is he?--where is
your master?--is he hurt?' The astonished and quaking snip stood silent
from surprise. Still more agitated by his silence, she exclaimed, 'Is he
hurt? I insist upon knowing the worst!'--'Why, please, ma'am, it is only
thy little bill, a very small account, I wanted thee to settle,' replied
he, in much surprise.

"After this, you may suppose, I sold my horse; however, it is some
comfort to know that my friend, Sir George, is one fall ahead of me, and
is certainly a worse rider. It is a great proof, too, of the liberality
of this county, where everybody can ride as soon as they are born, that
they tolerate me at all.

"The horse 'Calamity,' whose name has been thus introduced, was the
first-born of several young horses bred on the farm, who turned out very
fine creatures, and gained him great glory, even amongst the knowing
farmers of Yorkshire; but this first production was certainly not
encouraging. To his dismay a huge, lank, large-boned foal appeared, of
chestnut colour, and with four white legs. It grew apace, but its bones
became more and more conspicuous; its appetite was unbounded--grass,
hay, corn, beans, food moist and dry, were all supplied in vain, and
vanished down his throat with incredible rapidity. He stood, a large
living skeleton, with famine written in his face, and my father
christened him 'Calamity.' As Calamity grew to maturity, he was found to
be as sluggish in disposition as his master was impetuous; so my father
was driven to invent his patent Tantalus, which consisted of a small
sieve of corn, suspended on a semicircular bar of iron, from the ends of
the shafts, just beyond the horse's nose. The corn, rattling as the
vehicle proceeded, stimulated Calamity to unwonted exertions; and under
the hope of overtaking this imaginary feed, he did more work than all
the previous provender which had been poured down his throat had been
able to obtain from him."

He was very fond of his young horses, and they all came running to meet
him when he entered the field. He began their education from their
birth; he taught them to wear a girth, a bridle, a saddle; to meet
flags, music; to bear the firing of a pistol at their heads from their
earliest years; and he maintained that no horses were so well broken as
his! At p. 388 she records, "At ten we always went down-stairs to
prayers in the library. Immediately after, if we were alone, appeared
the 'farmer' at the door, lantern in hand. 'David, bring me my coat and
stick,' and off he set with him, summer and winter, to visit his horses,
and see that they were all well fed, and comfortable in their regions
for the night. He kept up this custom all his life!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Sydney Smith, when at Foston, used to exercise his skill in medicine on
the poor, and often did much good; his daughter gives some instances of
his practice as a farrier.

"On one occasion, wishing to administer a ball to Peter the Cruel,[233]
the groom, by mistake, gave him two boxes of opium pills in his bran
mash, which Peter composedly munched, boxes and all. My father, in
dismay, when he heard what had happened, went to look, as he thought,
for the last time on his beloved Peter; but soon found, to his great
relief, that neither boxes nor pills had produced any visible effects on
him. Another time he found all his pigs intoxicated; and, as he
declared, 'grunting "God save the King" about the stye,' from having
eaten some fermented grains which he had ordered for them. Once he
administered castor-oil to the red cow, in quantities sufficient to have
killed a regiment of Christians; but the red cow laughed alike at his
skill and his oil, and went on her way rejoicing."[234]

       *       *       *       *       *

Sydney Smith tells a story, or made one, of a clergyman who was rather
absent. "I heard of a clergyman who went jogging along the road till he
came to a turnpike. 'What is to pay?'--'Pay, sir, for what?' asked the
turnpike man.--'Why, for my horse, to be sure.'--'Your horse, sir? what
horse? here is no horse, sir.'--'No horse? God bless me!' said he,
suddenly, looking down between his legs, 'I thought I was on


The son and biographer of the eminent American judge, Joseph Story,
relates of him[236]--"To dumb creatures he was kind and considerate, and
indignant at any ill usage of them. His sportive nature showed itself in
the nicknames which, in parody of the American fondness of titles, he
gave to his horses and dogs, as, 'The Right Honourable Mr Mouse,' or
'Colonel Roy.'"


The Rev. Cæsar Otway,[237] in a lecture full of interesting anecdotes,
records:--"I remember an observation made to me by one of the most
gifted of the human race--one of the stars of this generation--the poet
of nature and of feeling--the good and the great Mr Wordsworth. Having
the honour of a conversation with him, after he had made a tour through
Ireland, I, in the course of it, asked what was the thing that most
struck his observation here, as making us differ from the English; and
he, without hesitation, said it was the ill treatment of our horses;
that his soul was often, too often, sick within him at the way in which
he saw these creatures of God abused."


In an Irish paper was an advertisement for horses to stand at livery on
the following terms:--"Long-tailed horses at 3s. 6d. per week;
short-tailed horses at 3s. per week." On inquiry into the cause of the
difference, it was answered, that the horses with long tails could brush
the flies off their backs while eating, whereas the short-tailed horses
were obliged to take their heads _from the manger_, and so ate


[215] "Journal of Horticultural Tour," p. 306.

[216] "Memorials of Angus and the Mearns," by Andrew Jervise (1861), p.

[217] "History of the Life and Times of Edmund Burke," by Thomas
Macknight, vol. i. p. 160.

[218] "Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds," &c., by James Northcote, Esq., R.A.
(2d edition), vol. ii. p. 80.

[219] "Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds," by C. R. Leslie and Tom
Taylor, M.A., vol. ii. p. 219.

[220] "Lives of Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, and of Bernard
Gilpin," by William Gilpin, M.A. (3d edition), 1780, p. 275.

[221] _Loc. cit._, p. 284.

[222] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 39.

[223] "The Lives of Robert Haldane of Airthrey, and of his Brother,
James Alexander Haldane," by Alex. Haldane, Esq., of the Inner Temple
(1852), p. 223.

[224] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 318.

[225] "Memoirs of Thomas Holcroft" (ed. 1852), pp. 40, 41.

[226] "Memoirs of the late Thomas Holcroft," written by himself (ed.
London, 1852), p. 112.

[227] "Lives of the Chief-Justices of England" (Lord Ellenborough), vol.
iii. p. 100.

[228] Vol i. pp. 94-115.

[229] "Physic and Physicians: a Medical Sketch-Book," vol. i. p. 59.

[230] "Memoirs of Frederick Perthes," vol. i. p. 309.

[231] "Lives of the Engineers," vol. ii. p. 185.

[232] "Memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith," by his daughter, Lady Holland,
vol. i. pp. 172-174.

[233] A horse which he called so.

[234] "Memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith," by his daughter, Lady Holland,
vol. i. p. 117.

[235] Mrs Marcet, in Lady Holland's Memoirs of her Father, the Rev.
Sydney Smith, vol. i. p. 364.

[236] "Life and Letters of Joseph Story, Associate Justice of the
Supreme Court of the United States, and Dane Professor of Law at Harvard
University," edited by his son, Wm. W. Story, vol. ii. p. 611.

[237] "The Intellectuality of Domestic Animals: a Lecture Delivered
before the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland," p. 25. Dublin, 1847.

[238] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 263.


It is strange that one of the most sagacious of animals should have
supplied us with a by-word for "a fool." Coleridge was conscious of this
when, in writing his address to a young ass's foal,[239] he exclaimed--

   "I hail thee, brother, spite of the fool's scorn."

How well has he expressed his love for "the languid patience" of its

In warmer climes the ass attains a size and condition not seen here,
though when cared for in this rougher climate, the donkey assumes
somewhat of the size and elegance he has in the East. But who can bear
his voice? Surely Coleridge was very fanciful when, in any condition of
asshood, he could write--

   "Yea, and more musically sweet to me
   Thy dissonant, harsh bray of joy would be,
   Than warbled melodies that soothe to rest
   The aching of pale Fashion's vacant breast."

The wild ass, as it roams over the plains of Asia, or is seen in the
Zoological gardens along with the gracefully-shaped and prettily-striped
zebra, must be admired by every one.


In July 1823, William Collins, R.A., visited Turvey, in Bedfordshire.
His son remarks--"Besides the attractions presented to the pencil by the
natural beauties of this neighbourhood, its vicinity to Olney, the
favourite residence of the poet Cowper, gave it, to all lovers of
poetry, a local and peculiar charm. Conspicuous among its inhabitants at
the time when my father visited it was 'old Odell,' frequently mentioned
by Cowper as the favourite messenger who carried his letters and
parcels. The extreme picturesqueness and genuine rustic dignity of the
old man's appearance made him an admirable subject for pictorial study.
Portraits of him, in water-colours and oils, were accordingly made by my
father, who introduced him into three of his pictures. The donkey on
which he had for years ridden to and fro with letters, was as carefully
depicted by the painter as his rider. On visiting 'old Odell' a year or
two afterwards, Mr Collins observed a strange-looking object hanging
against his kitchen wall, and inquired what it was. 'Oh, sir,' replied
the old man, sorrowfully, 'that is the skin of my poor donkey. He died
of old age, and I did not like to part with him altogether, so I had his
skin dried, and hung up there.' Tears came into his eyes as he spoke of
the old companion of all his village pilgrimages. The incident might
have formed a continuation of Sterne's exquisite episode in the
'Sentimental Journey.'"[240]

In his picture of "The Cherry-Seller," painted for Mr Higgins of Turvey
House, old Odell and his donkey are chief figures.


The Rev. William Gilpin, in his "Forest Scenery," refers to the
picturesque beauty of the ass in a landscape Berghem often introduced
it; "and a late excellent landscape-painter (Mr Gainsborough), I have
heard, generally kept this animal by him, that he might have it always
at hand to introduce in various attitudes into his pictures. I have
heard also that a plaster cast of an ass, modelled by him, is sold in
the shops in London."[241]


In former times, when excise officers were not so sharp, there was a
good deal of smuggling carried on at Ramsgate. Sir Thomas Dick
Lauder[242] tells an anecdote of an Irishman there, who being asked to
name the hardest wrought creature in existence, replied, "Och! a
Ramsgate donkey, to be sure; for, faith, afthur carrying angels all day,
be the powers he is forced to carry speerits all night."


Douglas Jerrold and a company of literary friends were out in the
country. In the course of their walk they stopped to notice the gambols
of an ass's foal. A very sentimental poet present vowed that he should
like to send the little thing as a present to his mother. "Do," replied
Jerrold, "and tie a piece of paper round its neck, bearing this motto,
'When this you see, remember me.'"[243]


A judge, joking a young barrister, said--"If you and I were turned into
a horse and an ass, which would you prefer to be?"--"The ass, to be
sure," replied the barrister. "I've heard of an ass being made a judge,
but a horse never."[244]

Ammonianus, the grammarian, had an ass which, as it is said, when he
attended the lectures upon poetry, often neglected his food when laid
before him, though at the same time he was hungry, so much was the ass
taken with the love of poetry.[245]


The fondness of the first Governor-General of India for horse exercise,
and indeed for the horse itself, was quite oriental, as his biographer
relates.[246] He was a fine rider, and piqued himself on his abilities
in this way.

"Nothing pleased him," continues Mr Gleig, "more than to undertake some
animal which nobody else could control, and to reduce it, as he
invariably did, to a state of perfect docility. The following anecdote,
which I have from my friend Mr Impey, himself an actor in the little
drama, may suffice to show the extent to which this passion was carried.
It happened once upon a time, when Mr Impey was, with some other boys,
on a visit at Daylesford, that Mr Hastings, returning from a ride, saw
his young friends striving in vain to manage an ass which they had found
grazing in the paddock, and which one after another they chose to mount.
The ass, it appears, had no objection to receive the candidates for
equestrian renown successively on his back, but budge a foot he would
not; and there being neither saddle nor bridle, wherewith to restrain
his natural movements, he never failed, so soon as a difference of
opinion arose, to get the better of his rider. Each in his turn, the
boys were repeatedly thrown, till at last Mr Hastings, who watched the
proceedings with great interest, approached.

"Why, boys," said he, "how is it that none of you can ride?"

"Not ride!" cried the little aspirants; "we could ride well enough, if
we had a saddle and a bridle; but he's such an obstinate brute, that we
don't think even you, sir, could sit him bare-backed."

"Let's try," exclaimed the Governor-General.

Whereupon he dismounted, and gave his horse to one of the children to
hold, and mounted the donkey. The beast began to kick up his heels, and
lower his head as heretofore; but this time the trick would not answer.
The Governor-General sat firm, and finally prevailed, whether by fair
means or foul, I am not instructed, in getting the quadruped to move
wheresoever he chose. He himself laughed heartily as he resigned the
conquered thistle-eater to his first friends; and the story when told,
as told it was, with consummate humour, at the dinner-table, afforded
great amusement to a large circle of guests.


Fuseli, the artist, was a most outspoken man. His biographer[247] says
that he never concealed his sentiments with regard to men, even to their

"Every one knows," writes Mr Knowles, "who is acquainted with art, the
powers which Northcote displays when he paints animals of the brute
creation. When his picture of 'Balaam and the Ass' was exhibited at the
Macklin Gallery, Northcote asked Fuseli's opinion of its merits, who
instantly said, 'My friend, you are an angel at an ass, but an ass at an


Lady Holland[248] gives the following picture of her father's pet

"Amongst our rural delights at Heslington was the possession of a young
donkey which had been given up to our tender mercies from the time of
its birth, and in whose education we employed a large portion of our
spare time; and a most accomplished donkey it became under our tuition.
It would walk up-stairs, pick pockets, follow us in our walks like a
huge Newfoundland dog, and at the most distant sight of us in the field,
with ears down and tail erect, it set off in full bray to meet us.
These demonstrations on Bitty's part were met with not less affection on
ours, and Bitty was almost considered a member of the family.

"One day, when my elder brother and myself were training our beloved
Bitty with a pocket-handkerchief for a bridle, and his head crowned with
flowers, to run round our garden, who should arrive in the midst of our
sport but Mr Jeffrey. Finding my father out, he, with his usual kindness
towards young people, immediately joined in our sport, and to our
infinite delight, mounted our donkey. He was proceeding in triumph,
amidst our shouts of laughter, when my father and mother, in company, I
believe, with Mr Horner and Mr Murray, returned from their walk, and
beheld this scene from the garden-door. Though years and years have
passed away since, I still remember the joy-inspiring laughter that
burst from my father at this unexpected sight, as, advancing towards his
old friend, with a face beaming with delight, and with extended hands,
he broke forth in the following impromptu:

   'Witty as Horatius Flaccus,
   As great a Jacobin as Gracchus;
   Short, though not as fat as Bacchus,
   Riding on a little jackass.'

"These lines were afterwards repeated by some one to Mr ---- at Holland
House, just before he was introduced for the first time to Mr Jeffrey,
and they caught his fancy to such a degree that he could not get them
out of his head, but kept repeating them in a low voice all the time Mr
Jeffrey was conversing with him.

"I must end Bitty's history, as he has been introduced, by saying that
he followed us to Foston; and after serving us faithfully for thirteen
years, on our leaving Yorkshire, was permitted by our kind friend, Lord
Carlisle, to spend the rest of his days in idleness and plenty, in his
beautiful park, with an unbounded command of thistles."


The Rev. Sydney Smith[249] writes to Colonel Fox in October 1836:--

"MY DEAR CHARLES,--If you have ever paid any attention to the habits of
animals, you will know that donkeys are remarkably cunning in opening
gates. The way to stop them is to have two latches instead of one. A
human being has two hands, and lifts up both latches at once; a donkey
has only one nose, and latch _a_ drops, as he quits it to lift up latch
_b_. Bobus and I had the grand luck to see little Aunty engaged
intensely with this problem. She was taking a walk, and was arrested by
a gate with this formidable difficulty: the donkeys were looking on to
await the issue. Aunty lifted up the first latch with the most perfect
success, but found herself opposed by a second; flushed with victory,
she quitted the first latch, and rushed at the second; her success was
equal, till in the meantime the first dropped. She tried this two or
three times, and, to her utter astonishment, with the same results; the
donkeys brayed, and Aunty was walking away in great dejection, till
Bobus and I recalled her with loud laughter, showed her that she had
two hands, and roused her to vindicate her superiority over the donkeys.
I mention this to you to request that you will make no allusion to this
animal, as she is remarkably touchy on this subject, and also that you
will not mention it to Lady Mary!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Lady Holland relates a practical joke of her father's, which the witty
canon carried out at his rectory of Combe Florey. "Opposite was a
beautiful bank, with a hanging wood of fine old beech and oak, on the
summit of which presented themselves, to our astonished eyes, two
donkeys with deers' antlers fastened on their heads, which ever and anon
they shook, much wondering at their horned honours; whilst the attendant
donkey boy, in Sunday garb, stood grinning and blushing at their side.
'There, Lady ----! you said the only thing this place wanted to make it
perfect was deer; what do you say now? I have, you see, ordered my game
gamekeeper to drive my deer into the most picturesque point of view.
Excuse their long ears, a little peculiarity belonging to parsonic deer.
Their voices, too, are singular; but we do our best for you, and you are
too true a friend of the Church to mention our defects.' All this, of
course, amidst shouts of laughter, whilst his own merry laugh might be
heard above us all, ringing through the valley, and making the very
echoes laugh in chorus."


During the debate on Sir Robert Peel's tariff, the admission of asses'
duty free caused much merriment. Lord T., who had just read "Vestiges of
the Natural History of Creation," remarked that the House had, he
supposed, passed the donkey clause out of respect to its
ancestors.--"It is a wise measure," said a popular novelist, "especially
as it affects the importation of food; for, should a scarcity come, we
should otherwise have to fall back on the food of our
forefathers."--"And, pray, what is that?" asked an
archæologist.--"Thistles," replied Lord T.[250]


When the English author landed at Alexandria, there were many scenes and
sounds to dispel all romantic notions; among these "a yelling chorus of
donkey boys shrieking, 'Ride, sir!--donkey, sir!--I say, sir!' in
excellent English. The placid sphinxes, brooding o'er the Nile,
disappeared with that wild shriek of the donkey boys. You might be as
well impressed with Wapping as with your first step on Egyptian soil.

"The riding of a donkey is, after all, not a dignified occupation. A man
resists the offer first, somehow as an indignity. How is that poor
little, red-saddled, long-eared creature to carry you? Is there to be
one for you and another for your legs? Natives and Europeans, of all
sizes, passed by, it is true, mounted upon the same contrivance. I
waited until I got into a very private spot, where nobody could see me,
and then ascended--why not say descended at once?--on the poor little
animal. Instead of being crushed at once, as perhaps the writer
expected, it darted forward, quite briskly and cheerfully, at six or
seven miles an hour; requiring no spur or admonitive to haste, except
the shrieking of the little Egyptian _gamin_, who ran along by asinus's


Dr John Moore, in crossing the Alps, found they had nothing but the
sagacity of their mules to trust to. "For my own part," he says, "I was
very soon convinced that it was much safer on all dubious occasions to
depend on theirs than on my own. For as often as I was presented with a
choice of difficulties, and the mule and I were of different opinions,
if, becoming more obstinate than he, I insisted on his taking my track,
I never failed to repent it, and often was obliged to return to the
place where the controversy had begun, and follow the path to which he
had pointed at first.

"It is entertaining to observe the prudence of these animals in making
their way down such dangerous rocks. They sometimes put their heads over
the edge of the precipice, and examine with anxious circumspection every
possible way by which they can descend, and at length are sure to fix on
that which, upon the whole, is the best. Having observed this in several
instances, I laid the bridle on the neck of my mule, and allowed him to
take his own way, without presuming to control him in the smallest
degree. This is doubtless the best method, and what I recommend to all
my friends in their journey through life, when they have mules for their

ZEBRA.--"_Un âne rayée._"


When, in 1805, Patrick Lattin, an officer of the Irish Brigade, was
residing in Paris, a M. de Montmorency, whose Christian name was Anne,
made his appearance, announcing that he was enabled to return to France,
in consequence of the First Consul having scratched his name on the list
of _émigrés_. "_A present donc_," observed Lattin, "_mon cher Anne, tu
es un Zèbre--un âne rayée._"[253]


[239] "The Poems of S. T. Coleridge," pp. 26, 27 (1844).

[240] "Memoirs of the Life of William Collins, R.A.," by his son, W.
Wilkie Collins, vol. i. p. 232.

[241] Edition of Sir T. D. Lauder, Bart., vol. ii. p. 273.

[242] "Gilpin's Forest Scenery," vol. ii. p. 275. Edited by Sir T. D.

[243] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 129.

[244] Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 307.

[245] Photius, quoted by Southey in his "Common-Place Book," first
series, p. 588.

[246] "Memoirs of the Life of the Right Hon. Warren Hastings, compiled
from original papers," by the Rev. G. R. Gleig, M.A., vol. iii. p. 367.

[247] "The Life and Writings of Henry Fuseli, Esq., M.A., R.A.," the
former written and the latter edited by John Knowles, Esq., F.R.S., vol.
i. p. 364.

[248] "A Memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith," by his daughter, Lady
Holland, &c., vol. i. p. 152.

[249] "Memoirs and Letters of Rev. Sydney Smith," vol. ii. p. 393.

[250] "A Century of Anecdote from 1760 to 1860," by John Timbs, F.S.A.,
vol. i. p. 252 (1864).

[251] "Notes of a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo," by Mr M. A.
Titmarsh, p. 177 (1846).

[252] "View of Society and Manners in France, Switzerland, and Germany,"
vol. i. pp. 191, 192 (9th edition).


Truly the Ship of the Desert, and one that by Lewis and Henry Warren has
afforded the subject of many a pleasing picture. The camel has a most
patriarchal look about him.


Captain William Peel, in his "Ride through the Nubian Desert" (p. 89),
writes--"We met once at a hollow, where some water still remained from
the rains, 2000 camels, all together admirably organised into troops,
and attended by only a few Arabs. On another occasion, we passed some
camels grazing at such a distance from the Nile, that I asked the Arab
attending where they went to drink? He said, he marches them all down
together to the Nile, and they drink every eleventh day. It is now the
cool season, and the heat is tempered by fresh northerly breezes. The
Arab, of course, brings water skins for his own supply. All these camels
were breeding stock. They live on thorns and the top shoots of the
gum-arabic tree, although it is armed with the most frightful spikes.
But very little comes amiss to the camel; he will eat dry wood to keep
up digestion, if in want of a substitute. Instinct or experience has
taught him to avoid the only two tempting-looking plants that grow in
the desert,--the green eusha bush, which is full of milk-coloured juice,
and a creeper, that grows in the sand where nothing else will grow, and
which has a bitter fruit like a melon. I was surprised to learn that the
leopard does not dare to attack the camel, whose tall and narrow flanks
would seem to be fatally exposed to such a supple enemy. Nature,
however, has given him a means of defence in his iron jaw and long
powerful neck, which are a full equivalent for his want of agility. He
can also strike heavily with his feet, and his roar would intimidate
many foes. I never felt tired of admiring this noble creature, and
through the monotony of the desert would watch for hours his ceaseless
tread and unerring path. Carrying his head low, forward, and surveying
everything with his black brilliant eye, he marches resolutely forward,
and quickens his pace at the slightest cheer of the rider. He is too
intelligent and docile for a bridle; besides, he lives on the march, and
with a sudden sweep of the neck will seize, without stopping, the
smallest straw. When the day's march is over, he passes the night in
looking for food, with scarcely an hour to repose his limbs, and less
than that for sleep. He closes the eye fitfully, the smallest noise will
awake him. When lying down for rest, every part of the body is
supported; his neck and head lie lightly along the sand, a broad plate
of bone under the breast takes the weight off his deep chest, and his
long legs lay folded under him, supporting his sides like a ship in a


The dromedary has long and deservedly been called "the Ship of the
Desert." A very gallant captain in the Royal Navy, the late Captain
William Peel, son of the Prime Minister, calculated its rate of motion
much after the manner in which he might have measured the path of his
ship. He writes[254]--"In crossing the Nubian Desert I paid constant
attention to the march of the camels, hoping it may be of some service
hereafter in determining our position. The number of strides in a minute
with the same foot varied very little, only from 37 to 39, and 38 was
the average; but the length of the stride was more uncertain, varying
from 6 feet 6 to 7 feet 6. As we were always urging the camels, who
seemed, like ourselves, to know the necessity of pushing on across that
fearful tract, I took 7 feet as the average. These figures give a speed
of 2.62 geographical miles per hour, or exactly three English miles,
which may be considered as the highest speed that camels lightly loaded
can keep up on a journey. In general, it will not be more than two and a
half English miles. My dromedary was one of the tallest, and the seat of
the saddle was 6 feet 6 above the ground."


Charles Metcalfe, "first and last Lord Metcalfe," to whose care were
successively intrusted the three greatest dependencies of the British
crown, India, Jamaica, and Canada, and who died in 1846, was sent to
Eton when eleven years old. His biographer relates,[255] that "it is on
record, and on very sufficient authority, that he was once seen riding
on a camel. 'I heard the boys shouting,' said Dr Goodall, many years
afterwards, 'and went out and saw young Metcalfe riding on a camel; so
you see he was always orientally inclined.'" This anecdote will serve as
a comrade to that told by Mr Foss, in his "Lives of the Justices of
England," of Chief-Baron Pollock. When a lad, one of his schoolmasters,
fretted by the boyish energy and exuberant spirits of his scholar, said
petulantly, "You will live to be _hanged_." The old gentleman lived to
see his pupil Lord Chief-Baron, and, not a little proud of his great
scholar, said, "I always said he would occupy an _elevated_ position."


[253] Quoted in Timbs' "Century of Anecdote," vol. i. p. 223 (1864).

[254] "A Ride through the Nubian Desert," by Captain W. Peel, R.N., p.


The deer family is rather numerous, and found in many different parts of
the world. Reindeers abound in some parts even of Spitzbergen, and with
musk oxen can find their food even under the winter snows of the Parry
Islands. The wapiti and heavy large-headed elk or moose, retreat before
the advancing civilisation of North America. The Indian mountains and
plains have noble races of deer. No species, however, is more celebrated
than our red deer. The giraffe is closely allied to the stag family. The
Arabs name it the seraph, and indeed, that is the origin of its now
best-known English name. Visitors should beware of going too near the
male, for we have seen the dent made by one of the giraffe's bony knobs
on a pannel close to its stall. We have heard of a young lady, who
entered the garden one of those summer days when straw bonnets had great
bunches of ripe barley mingled with artificial poppies as an ornament,
and, going too near the lofty pallisade, found to her confusion and
terror that the long lithe tongue of the giraffe had whisked off her
Leghorn, flowers and all, and had begun leisurely to munch it with
somewhat of the same gusto with which it would have eaten the branch of
a graceful mimosa.


Mr Scrope relates an instance of unprovoked ferocity in a red deer at
Taymouth, in which the present Earl of Dalhousie might have been
seriously injured.

"In October 1836, the Hon. Mr and Mrs Fox Maule had left Taymouth with
the intention of proceeding towards Dalguise; and in driving through
that part of the grounds where the red deer were kept, they suddenly at
a turn of the road came upon the lord of the demesne standing in the
centre of the passage, as if prepared to dispute it against all comers.
Mr Maule being aware that it might be dangerous to trifle with him, or
to endeavour to drive him away (for it was the rutting season),
cautioned the postilion to go slowly, and give the animal an opportunity
of moving off. This was done, and the stag retired to a small hollow by
the side of the road. On the carriage passing, however, he took offence
at its too near approach, and emerged at a slow and stately pace, till
he arrived nearly parallel with it. Mr Maule then desired the lad to
increase his pace, being apprehensive of a charge in the broadside.

"The deer, however, had other intentions; for as soon as the carriage
moved quicker, he increased his pace also, and came on the road about
twelve yards ahead of it, for the purpose of crossing, as it was
thought, to a lower range of the parks; but to the astonishment and no
little alarm of the occupants of the carriage, he charged the offside
horse, plunging his long brow antler into his chest, and otherwise
cutting him.

"The horse that was wounded made two violent kicks, and is supposed to
have struck the stag, and then the pair instantly ran off the road; and
it was owing solely to the admirable presence of mind and sense of the
postilion, that the carriage was not precipitated over the neighbouring
bank. The horses were not allowed to stop till they reached the gate,
although the blood was pouring from the wounded animal in a stream as
thick as a man's finger. He was then taken out of the carriage, and only
survived two or three hours. The stag was shortly afterwards


Mr Scrope, in his "Deer-Stalking," describes a grand deer-drive to
Glen-Tilt, headed by the Duke of Athole. Many an incident of this and
subsequent drives was watched by "Lightfoot," who was present, and whose
pictures, under his name of Sir Edwin Landseer, have rendered the life
of the red deer familiar to us, in mist, amid snow, swimming in the
rapid of a Highland current, pursued and at rest, fighting and feeding,
alive and dead, in every attitude, and at every age.

In this encounter, the Duke killed three first-rate harts, Lightfoot
two, and other rifles were all more or less successful. A French count,
whose tongue it was difficult to restrain,--and silence is essential to
success in the pursuit,--at last fired into a dense herd of deer.

Mr Scrope adds,[257] "Everything was propitious--circumstance,
situation, and effect; for he was descending the mountain in full view
of our whole assemblage of sportsmen. A fine stag in the midst of the
herd fell to the crack of his rifle. 'Hallo, hallo!' forward ran the
count, and sat upon the prostrate deer triumphing. '_Hé bien, mon ami,
vous êtes mort, donc! Moi, je fais toujours des coups sûrs. Ah! pauvre
enfant!_' He then patted the sides of the animal in pure wantonness, and
looked east, west, north, and south, for applause, the happiest of the
happy; finally he extracted a mosaic snuff-box from his pocket, and with
an air which nature has denied to all save the French nation, he held a
pinch to the deer's nose--'_Prends, mon ami, prends donc!_' This
operation had scarcely been performed when the hart, who had only been
stunned, or perhaps shot through the loins, sprang up suddenly,
overturned the count, ran fairly away, and was never seen again.
'_Arrêtes, toi traître! Arrêtes, mon enfant! Ah! c'est un enfant, perdu!
Allez donc à tous les diables!_'"


Northcote[258] says--"I have heard Sir Joshua Reynolds relate an
anecdote of a venison feast, at which were assembled many who much
enjoyed the repast.

"On this occasion, Reynolds addressed his conversation to one of the
company who sat next to him, but to his great surprise could not get a
single word in answer, until at length his silent neighbour, turning to
him, said, 'Mr Reynolds, whenever you are at a venison feast, I advise
you not to speak during dinner-time, as in endeavouring to answer your
questions, I have just swallowed a fine piece of the fat, entire,
without tasting its flavour.'"


Goethe was born at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, August 28th, 1749. In his
autobiography[259] he says--"The street in which our house was situated
passed by the name of the Stag-trench; but as neither stags nor trenches
were to be seen, we naturally wished to have the expression explained.
They told us that our house stood on a spot that was once outside the
town, and that where the street now ran had formerly been a trench in
which a number of stags were kept. The stags were preserved and fatted
here, because the Senate every year, according to an ancient custom,
feasted publicly on a stag which was always at hand in the trench for
such a festival, in case princes or knights interfered with the city's
right of chase outside, or the walls were encompassed and besieged by an
enemy. This pleased us, and we wished that such a lair for tame wild
animals could have been seen in our times. Where is there a boy or girl
who could not join in the wish of this man, who has been called the
first European poet and literary man of the nineteenth century?"


"Fancy," said Sydney Smith to some ladies, when he was told that one of
the giraffes at the Zoological Gardens had caught a cold,--"fancy a
giraffe with two yards of sore throat."

In one of the numbers of _Punch_, published in 1864, the quiz of an
artist has made the giraffes twist their necks into a loose knot by way
of a comforter to keep them from catching a cold, or having a sore
throat. He has very audaciously caused to be printed under his cut, "A


[255] "Life and Correspondence of Charles Lord Metcalfe," by John
William Kaye, vol. i., p. 8.

[256] "The Art of Deer-Stalking," p. 33.

[257] "Deer-Stalking," p. 229.

[258] "Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds," vol. i., p. 124.

[259] "Truth and Poetry from my own Life; the Autobiography of Goethe,"
edited by Parke Godwin, part i., p. 3.


These are animals, at least the former, which seem to have been created
in a domestic state. They are represented on the most ancient
monuments. A head of a Lybian ram of very large size, in the British
Museum, has great resemblance to nature, and there is one slab at least
among the Assyrian monuments where sheep and goats, as part of the spoil
of a city, are rendered with great skill. In the writings of the Ettrick
Shepherd, many curious anecdotes of Scottish sheep are given.


When the Earl of Bradford was brought before the Lord Chancellor to be
examined upon application for a statute of lunacy against him, the
Chancellor asked him, "How many legs has a sheep?"--"Does your lordship
mean," answered Lord Bradford, "a live sheep or a dead sheep?"--"Is it
not the same thing?" said the Chancellor.--"No, my lord," said Lord
Bradford, "there is much difference: a live sheep may have four legs, a
dead sheep has only two; the two fore-legs are shoulders; there are only
_two legs of mutton_."[260]


In the "Conversations of Goethe with Eckerman and Soret"[261] in 1824,
he handed me some etchings by Roos, the famous painter of animals; they
were all of sheep, in every posture and position. The simplicity of
their countenances, the ugliness and shagginess of the fleece--all was
represented with the utmost fidelity, as if it were nature itself.

"I always feel uneasy," said Goethe, "when I look at these beasts. Their
state--so limited, dull, gaping, and dreaming--excites in me such
sympathy, that I fear I shall become a sheep, and almost think the
artist must have been one. At all events, it is most wonderful how Roos
has been able to think and feel himself into the very soul of these
creatures, so as to make the internal character peer with such force
through the outward covering. Here you see what a great talent can do
when it keeps steady to subjects which are congenial with its nature."

"Has not, then," said I, "this artist also painted dogs, cats, and
beasts of prey with similar truth; nay, with this great gift of assuming
a mental state foreign to himself, has he not been able to delineate
human character with equal fidelity?"

"No," said Goethe; "all that lay out of his sphere, but the gentle,
grass-eating animals--sheep, goats, cows, and the like--he was never
weary of repeating; this was the peculiar province of his talent, which
he did not quit during the whole course of his life. And in this he did
well. A sympathy with these animals was born with him, a knowledge of
their psychological condition was given him, and thus he had so fine an
eye for their bodily structure. Other creatures were perhaps not so
transparent to him, and therefore he felt neither calling nor impulse to
paint them."[262]


Lord Cockburn, the proprietor of Bonaly, that pretty place on the slopes
of the Pentlands, was sitting on the hill-side with the shepherd, and,
observing the sheep reposing in the coldest situation, he observed to
him, "John, if I were a sheep, I would lie on the other side of the
hill." The shepherd answered, "Ay, my lord, but if ye had been a
_sheep_, ye would hae had mair sense."[263]


Colman and Banister, dining one day with Lord Erskine, the
ex-chancellor, amongst other things, observed that he had then about
three thousand head of sheep. "I perceive," interrupted Colman, "your
lordship has still an eye to the woolsack."[264]


Alexander Wood, a kind-hearted surgeon, who died in his native town of
Edinburgh in May 1807, aged eighty-two, is alluded to by Sir Walter
Scott in a prophecy put into the mouth of Meg Merrilees in "Guy
Mannering"--"They shall beset his goat; they shall profane his raven,"

The editor of "Kaye's Edinburgh Portraits"[265] says that, besides his
kindness of disposition to his fellow-creatures, "he was almost equally
remarkable for his love of animals. His pets were numerous, and of all
kinds. Not to mention dogs and cats, there were two others that
_individually_ were better known to the citizens of Edinburgh--a sheep
and a raven, the latter of which is alluded to by Scott in 'Guy
Mannering.' Willy, the sheep, pastured in the ground adjoining to the
Excise Office, now the Royal Bank, and might be daily seen standing at
the railings, watching Mr Wood's passing to or from his house in York
Place, when Willy used to poke his head into his coat-pocket, which was
always filled with supplies for his favourite, and would then trot along
after him through the town, and sometimes might be found in the houses
of the doctor's patients. The raven was domesticated at an ale and
porter shop in North Castle Street, which is still, or very lately was,
marked by a tree growing from the area against the wall. It also kept
upon the watch for Mr Wood, and would recognise him even as he passed at
some distance along George Street, and, taking a low flight towards him,
was frequently his companion during some part of his forenoon walks; for
Mr Wood never entered his carriage when he could possibly avoid it,
declaring that unless a vehicle could be found that would carry him down
the closes and up the turnpike stairs, they produced nothing but trouble
and inconvenience."


It is pleasant to see, and not rare to find in men of warlike habits, a
love for animals. The goat or deer that used often to march before a
regiment with the band as they proceeded to a review in Bruntsfield
Links, when the writer and his friends were boys, about 1826 to 1832, he
well remembers. Nor is Edinburgh garrison singular.

General Carnac, in 1770, communicated to Dr William Hunter some
observations on the keenness of smell and its exquisite sensibility. He
says--"I have frequently observed of tame deer, to whom bread is often
given, and which they are in general fond of, that if you present them a
piece that has been bitten, they will not touch it. I have made the same
observation of a remarkably fine she-goat, which accompanied me in most
of my campaigns in India, and supplied me with milk, and which, in
gratitude for her services, I brought from abroad with me."[266]



It is pleasant to meet with a notice of the pursuits of the great
anatomist, John Hunter, in a rather out-of-the-way book.[267] The
ingenious way in which he introduced strange animals into his menagerie
is worthy of notice.

"The variety of birds and beasts to be met with at Earl's Court (the
villa of the celebrated and much-lamented Mr John Hunter) is matter of
great entertainment. In the same ground you are surprised to find so
many living animals in one herd, from the most opposite parts of the
habitable globe. Buffaloes, rams, and sheep from Turkey, and a
shawl-goat from the East Indies, are among the most remarkable of those
that meet the eye; and as they feed together in the greatest harmony, it
is natural to inquire, what means are taken to make them so familiar,
and well acquainted with each other. Mr Hunter told me, that when he has
a stranger to introduce, he does it by ordering the whole herd to be
taken to a strange place, either a field, an empty stable, or any other
large out-house, with which they are all alike unaccustomed. The
strangeness of the place so totally engages their attention, as to
prevent them from running at, and fighting with, the new-comer, as they
most probably would do in their own fields (in regard to which they
entertain very high notions of their exclusive right of property), and
here they are confined for some hours, till they appear reconciled to
the stranger, who is then turned out with his new friends, and is
generally afterwards well-treated. The shawl-goat was not, however, so
easily reconciled to his future companions; he attacked them, instead of
waiting to be attacked; fought several battles, and at present appears
master of the field.

"It is from the _down_ that grows under the coarse hair of this species
of goat, that the fine India shawls are manufactured.[268] This
beautiful as well as useful animal was brought over only last June from
Bombay, in the _Duke of Montrose_ Indiaman, Captain Dorin. The female,
unfortunately, died. It was very obligingly presented by the directors
to Sir John Sinclair, the President of the British Wool Society. It is
proposed, under Mr Hunter's care, to try some experiment with it in
England, by crossing it with other breeds of the goat species, before it
is sent to the north."

As anything that met with Mr Hunter's approval must have been a
judicious arrangement, I may quote from the same source the passage
about the buildings for his cattle at Earl's Court.

"Mr Hunter has built his stables half under ground; also vaults, in
which he keeps his cows, buffaloes, and hogs. Such buildings, more
especially the arched byres, or cow-houses, retain a more equal
temperature at all times, in regard both to heat and cold, and
consequently are cooler in summer and warmer in winter; and in
situations where ground is so valuable as in the neighbourhood of
London, are an excellent contrivance. Mr Hunter has his hay-yard over
his buffaloes' stables. The expense of vaulting does not exceed that of
building and roofing common cow-houses; and the vaults have this
essential advantage or preference, that they require no repairs." He
then gives an account of some buffaloes which Mr Hunter had trained to
work in a cart, and which became so steady and tractable, that they were
often driven through London streets in the loaded cart, much, no doubt,
to the astonishment of passers-by. With a glimpse of a very beautiful
little cow at Earl's Court, from a buffalo and an Alderney, which was
always plump and fat, and gave very good milk, we must take leave of
John Hunter's menagerie.


Sir Joshua Reynolds, when twenty-five, sailed to the Mediterranean in
1749 with the Hon. Augustus Keppel, then a captain in the navy, and
afterwards Viscount Keppel. In 1750, Commodore Keppel returned to
Algiers to remonstrate with the dey on the renewed depredations of the
Corsairs. The dey, surprised at his boldness, for he anchored close to
the palace, and attended by his captain and a barge's crew, went boldly
into the presence of the Algerine monarch to demand satisfaction,
exclaimed, that he wondered at the insolence of the King of Great
Britain sending him a beardless boy.

Keppel was only twenty-four, but he is said to have answered, "that had
his Majesty, the King of Great Britain, estimated the degree of wisdom
by the length of the beard, he would have sent him _a goat_ as an
ambassador." Northcote is in doubt of the truth of this speech having
been made, but says, that it is certain Keppel answered with great
boldness.[269] The tyrant is said to have actually ordered his mutes to
advance with the bow-string, telling the commodore that his life should
answer for his audacity. Keppel quietly pointed out to the dey the
squadron at anchor, and told him, that if it was his pleasure to put him
to death, there were Englishmen enough on board to make a funeral pile
of his capital. The dey cooled a little, allowed the commodore to
depart, and made satisfaction for the damage done, and promised to
abstain from violence in future.


[260] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 18.

[261] Translated from the German by John Oxenford, vol. i., p. 138.

[262] Roos must have been limited in his powers, unlike our Landseer,
who paints dogs, sheep, horses, cows, stags, and fowls with equal power.

[263] Dean Ramsay's "Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character," 10th
edition, p. 19.

[264] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 214.

[265] There are two copperplates devoted to the figure and portrait of
"lang Sandy Wood," as he was called.

[266] "Philosophical Transactions," LXI. p. 176 (1771). Paper on
Nyl-ghau, with plate, by George Stubbs, engraved by Basire.

[267] Baird, "Report on the County of Middlesex," quoted in view of the
agriculture of Middlesex, &c., pp. 341, 342, by John Middleton, Esq.
London: 1798.

[268] The wool which grows on different parts of their bodies, under
very long hair, is obtained by gently combing them.

[269] "Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds," vol. i., p. 32.


The little anecdote of Gilpin and the three cows illustrates one elegant
use of the subjects of the following paragraphs. What home landscape
like that painted by Alfred Tennyson would be perfect without its cows?
Many anecdotes of them could be collected. The Irish are celebrated for
their "bulls," one of them is not the worse for having "Bulls" for its
subject. Patrick was telling, so the story goes, that there were four
"Bull Inns" in a certain English town. "There are but three," said a
native of the place, who knew them well; "the Black Bull, the White
Bull, and the Red Bull,--where is the fourth?"--"Sure and do you not
know, the Dun Cow--the best of them all?" replied the unconscious


Sir William B----, being at a parish meeting, made some proposals, which
were objected to by a farmer. Highly enraged, "Sir," says he to the
farmer, "do you know, sir, that I have been at the two universities, and
at two colleges in each university?"--"Well, sir," said the farmer,
"what of that? I had a calf that sucked two cows, and the observation I
made was, the more he sucked, the greater _calf_ he grew."[270]


At the table of Lord Polkemmet, when the covers were removed, the
dinner was seen to consist of veal broth, a roast fillet of veal, veal
cutlets, a florentine (an excellent Scotch dish, composed of veal), a
calf's head, calf's foot jelly. The worthy judge observing an expression
of surprise among his guests, who, even in Shetland in early spring
would have had the veal varied with fish, broke out in explanation, "Ou,
ay, it's a cauf! when we kill a beast, we just eat up one side, and down
the tither."

       *       *       *       *       *

Boswell, the friend and biographer of Johnson, when a young man, went to
the pit of Covent Garden Theatre, in company with Dr Blair, and in a
frolic imitated the lowing of a cow; and the universal cry in the
gallery was, "Encore the cow! encore the cow!" This was complied with,
and in the pride of success, Boswell attempted to imitate some other
animals, but with less success. Dr Blair, anxious for the fame of his
friend, addressed him thus, "My dear sir, I would confine myself to _the


The Rev. Adam Clarke, LL.D., after one of his evangelical visits to
Ireland, returned to his home at Millbrook. In writing to his sons he
says--"Not only your mother, sisters, and brother, were glad to see me,
but also my poor animals in the field, for I lost no time in going to
visit them. I found the donkey lame, and her son looking much like a
philosopher; it was strange that even the _bullock_, whom we call _Pat_,
came to me in the field, and held out his most honest face for me to
stroke it. The next time I went to him he came running up, and actually
placed his two fore-feet upon my shoulders, with all the affection of a
spaniel; but it was a load of kindness I could ill bear, for the animal
is nearly three years old; I soon got his feet displaced; strange and
uncouth as this manifestation of affectionate gratitude was, yet with it
the master and his _steer Pat_ were equally well pleased; so here is a
literal comment on 'The ox knoweth his owner;' and you see I am in
league with even the beasts of the field."[272]


Samuel Foote was a student at Worcester College, Oxford, and when there
he practised many tricks, and soon found out what was ridiculous in any
man's character.

His biographer[273] records one of these tricks which he played off on
Dr Gower, the provost of the college. "The church belonging to the
college fronted the side of a lane where cattle were sometimes turned
out to graze during the night, and from the steeple hung the bell rope,
very low in the middle of the outside porch. Foote saw in this an object
likely to produce some fun, and immediately set about to accomplish his
purpose. He accordingly one night slyly tied a wisp of hay to the rope,
as a bait for the cows in their peregrination to the grazing ground.
The scheme succeeded to his wish. One of the cows soon after smelling
the hay as she passed by the church door, instantly seized on it, and,
by tugging at the rope, made the bell ring, to the astonishment of the
sexton and the whole parish.

"This happened several nights successively, and the incident gave rise
to various reports, such as not only that the church was haunted by evil
spirits, but that several spectres were seen walking about the
churchyard in all those hideous and frightful shapes which fear,
ignorance, and fancy usually suggest on such occasions.

"An event of this kind, however, was to be explored, for the honour of
philosophy, as well as for the quiet of the parish. Accordingly the
doctor and the sexton agreed to sit up one night, and on the first alarm
to run out and drag the culprit to condign punishment. Their plan being
arranged, they waited with the utmost impatience for the appointed
signal; at last the bell began to sound its usual alarm, and they both
sallied out in the dark, determined on making a discovery. The sexton
was the first in the attack. He seized the cow by the tail, and cried
out, 'It was a gentleman commoner, as he had him by the tail of his
gown;' while the doctor, who had caught the cow by the horns at the same
time, immediately replied, 'No, no, you blockhead, 'tis the postman, and
here I have hold of the rascal by his blowing-horn.' Lights, however,
were immediately brought, when the character of the real offender was
discovered, and the laugh of the whole town was turned upon the


At Plymouth there is, or was, a small green opposite the Government
House, over which no one was permitted to pass. Not a creature was
allowed to approach save the general's cow. One day old Lady D----
having called at the general's, in order to make a short cut, bent her
steps across the lawn, when she was arrested by the sentry calling out
and desiring her to return. "But," said Lady D----, with a stately air,
"do you know who I am?"--"I don't know who you be, ma'am," replied the
immovable sentry, "but I knows you b'aint--you b'aint the _general's
cow_." So Lady D---- wisely gave up the argument and went the other


Lord Sidmouth told the Rev. C. Smith Bird that he was partly educated at
Cheam, by Mr Gilpin, the author of many volumes on "Picturesque
Scenery." He was but a poor scholar, but seems to have been loved by his
pupils. He _carried out_ his regard for the picturesque, as would appear
by the following anecdote[275]--

"In visiting the Rev. Mr Gilpin at his house in the New Forest on one
occasion, his lordship observed three cows feeding in a small paddock,
which he knew to be all that Mr Gilpin had to feed them in. He asked Mr
Gilpin how he came to have so many cows when he had so little land? 'The
truth is,' said he, 'I found one cow would not do--she went
dry.'--'Well,' said Lord Sidmouth, 'but why not be content with another?
Two, by good management, might be made to supply you constantly with
milk.'--'Oh, yes,' said the old gentleman, '_but two would not group_.'"


In the "Life of Bernard Gilpin," his biographer refers to the
inhabitants of the Borders being such great adepts in the art of
thieving, that they could twist a cow's horn, or mark a horse, so as its
owners could not know it, and so subtle that no vigilance could watch
against them. A person telling King James a surprising story of a cow
that had been driven from the north of Scotland into the south of
England, and escaping from the herd had found her way home; "The most
surprising part of the story," the king replied, "you lay least stress
on--that she passed unstolen through the debateable land."[276]


The Rev. Joseph Spence[277] records that "the Duke of Montague has an
hospital for old cows and horses; none of his tenants near Boughton
dare kill a broken-winded horse; they must bring them all to the
_reservoir_. The duke keeps a lap-dog, the ugliest creature he could
meet with; he is always fond of the most hideous, and says he was at
first kind to them, because nobody else would be."


This king, whose form and features are so well known from the pictures
of Velasquez, was entertained magnificently by his great favourite
Olivares, in 1631. At this festival, which was in honour of the birthday
of the heir apparent, the sports of ancient Rome were renewed in the
bull-ring of Spain. In his life by Mr Stirling,[278] it is recorded that
"a lion, a tiger, a bear, a camel--in fact, a specimen of every
procurable wild animal, or, as Quevedo expressed it in a poetical
account of the spectacle, 'the whole ark of Noah, and all the fables of
Æsop,' were turned loose into the spacious Plaza del Parque, to fight
for the mastery of the arena. To the great delight of his Castilian
countrymen, a bull of Xarama vanquished all his antagonists. The 'bull
of Marathon, which ravaged the country of Tetrapolis,' says the
historian of the day, 'was not more valiant; nor did Theseus, who slew
and sacrificed him, gain greater glory than did our most potent
sovereign. Unwilling that a beast which had behaved so bravely should go
unrewarded, his majesty determined to do him the greatest favour that
the animal himself could have possibly desired, had he been gifted with
reason--to wit, to slay him with his own royal hand! Calling for his
fowling-piece, he brought it instantly to his shoulder, and the flash
and report were scarcely seen and heard ere the mighty monster lay a
bleeding corpse before the transported lieges. Yet not a moment,'
continues the chronicler, 'did his majesty lose his wonted serenity, his
composure of countenance, and becoming gravity of aspect; and but for
the presence of so great a concourse of witnesses, it was difficult to
believe that he had really fired the noble and successful shot.'"


The Rev. Sydney Smith, when at Foston, used to call for his hat and
stick immediately after dinner, and sallied forth for his evening
stroll. His daughter,[279] who often accompanied him, remarks--"Each cow
and calf, and horse and pig, were in turn visited, and fed, and patted,
and all seemed to welcome him; he cared for their comforts as he cared
for the comforts of every living being around him. He used to say, 'I am
all for cheap luxuries, even for animals; now all animals have a passion
for scratching their back bones. They break down your gates and palings
to effect this. Look! there is my universal scratcher, a sharp-edged
pole, resting on a high and a low post, adapted to every height, from a
horse to a lamb. Even the Edinburgh Reviewer can take his turn. You have
no idea how popular it is. I have not had a gate broken since I put it
up. I have it in all my fields.'"


The Rev. Josiah Bull, in the "Memorials of the Rev. William Bull of
Newport, Pagnel,"[280] the friend of Cowper, the poet, and the Rev. John
Newton, tells the following anecdote, in which a favourite theory of the
author of that exquisite hymn, "Rock of Ages Cleft for Me," is alluded
to, and somewhat comically illustrated by the author of the "Olney

"Mr Newton had been dining with Mr Bull, and they were quietly sitting
together, following after 'the things whereby they might edify one
another,' and that search aided by 'interposing puffs' of the fragrant
weed. It was in that old study I so well remember, ere it was renovated
to meet the demands of modern taste. A room some eighteen feet square,
with an arched roof, entirely surrounded with many a precious volume,
with large, old casement windows, and immense square chairs of fine
Spanish mahogany. There these good men were quietly enjoying their
_tête-à-tête_, when they were startled by a thundering knock at the
door; and in came Mr Ryland of Northampton, abruptly exclaiming, 'If you
wish to see Mr Toplady, you must go immediately with me to the "Swan."
He is on his way to London, and will not live long.' They all proceeded
to the inn, and there found the good man, emaciated with disease, and
evidently fast hastening to the grave. As they were talking together,
they were attracted by a great noise in the street, occasioned, as they
found on looking out, by a bull-baiting which was going on before the
house. Mr Toplady was touched by the cruelty of the scene, and
exclaimed, 'Who could bear to see that sight, if there were not to be
some compensation for these poor suffering animals in a future
state?'--'I certainly hope,' said my grandfather, 'that all the bulls
will go to heaven; but do you think this will be the case with all the
animal creation?'--'Yes, certainly,' replied Mr Toplady, with great
emphasis, 'all, all!'--'What!' rejoined Mr Newton, with some sarcasm in
his tone, 'do you suppose, sir, there will be fleas in heaven? for I
have a special aversion to them.' Mr Toplady said nothing, but was
evidently hurt; and as they separated, Mr Newton said, 'How happy he
should be to see him at Olney, if God spared his life, and he were to
come that way again.' The reply Mr Toplady made was not very courteous;
but the good man was perhaps suffering from the irritation of disease,
and possibly annoyed by the ridicule cast upon a favourite theory."


That great parliamentary orator, the Right Honourable William Windham,
lived before the days when humanity to animals was deemed a fit subject
for legislation.

In his speech against "the bill for preventing the practice of
bull-baiting" (April 18, 1800),[281] he refers to the introduction of
such a measure as follows--"In turning from the great interests of this
country, and of Europe, to discuss with equal solemnity such measures as
that which is now before us, the House appears to me to resemble Mr
Smirk, the auctioneer, in the play, who could hold forth just as
eloquently upon a ribbon as upon a Raphael." He speaks of bull-baiting
as being, "it must be confessed, at the expense of an animal which is
not by any means a party to the amusement; but then," he adds, "it
serves to cultivate the qualities of a certain species of dogs, which
affords as much pleasure to their owners as greyhounds do to others. It
is no small recommendation to bull-dogs that they are so much in repute
with the populace." In a second speech, May 24, 1802, he said that he
believed "the bull felt a satisfaction in the contest, not less so than
the hound did when he heard the sound of the horn that summoned him to
the chase. True it was that young bulls, or those which were never
baited before, showed reluctance to be tied to the stake; but those
bulls which, according to the language of the sport, were called _game
bulls_, who were used to baiting, approached the stake, and stood there
while preparing for the contest, with the utmost composure. If the bull
felt no pleasure, and was cruelly dealt with, surely the dogs had also
some claim to compassion; but the fact was that both seemed equally
arduous in the conflict; and the bull, like every other animal, while it
had the better side, did not dislike his situation--it would be
ridiculous to say he felt no pain--yet, when on such occasions he
exhibited no signs of terror, it was a demonstrable proof that he felt
some pleasure."

The "sober loyal men" of Stamford, it would seem, had petitioned for the
continuance of their annual sport, which had been continued for a
period of five or six hundred years, and who were displeased with their
landlord, the Marquis of Exeter, for his endeavours to put down their
cruel sport. Windham refers to "the antiquity of the thing being
deserving of respect, for respect for antiquity was the best
preservation of the Church and State!!"


[270] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 36.

[271] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 111.

[272] "An Account of the Religious and Literary Life of Adam Clarke,
LL.D., F.A.S.," by a Member of his Family, vol ii., p. 346.

[273] "Memoirs of Samuel Foote, Esq.," by Wm. Cooke, Esq., vol. i., p.

[274] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book", p. 246.

[275] Lord Sidmouth lived near Burghfield, where Mr Bird kept pupils,
and was curate. See "Sketches from the Life of the Rev. Charles Smith

[276] "Lives of Hugh Latimer and Bernard Gilpin," by the Rev. William
Gilpin, p. 271.

[277] Anecdotes. Supplement, p. 249 (Singer's edition). Spence died in
1768, aged 70.

[278] "Velasquez and his Works," by William Stirling, p. 62.

[279] Lady Holland's "Memoirs of her Father, the Rev. Sydney Smith,"
vol. i., p. 118.

[280] "Memorials of the Rev. William Bull of Newport, Pagnel," &c., by
his grandson, the Rev. Josiah Bull, M.A. 1864.

[281] "Speeches in Parliament of the Right Honourable William Windham,
to which is prefixed some account of his Life," by Thomas Amyot, Esq.,
vol. i. pp. 332, 353 (1812).


Last and greatest of the mammalia are the whales. The adventures of
hardy seamen, like Scoresby, in the pursuit of the Greenland whale, or
Beale in the more dangerous chase of the spermaceti, in southern waters,
form the subjects of more than one readable volume. But here we give no
such extracts, but content ourselves with four short skits, having the
cetacea for their subject.

In these days of zoological gardens, they have succeeded in bringing one
of the smallest of the order, a porpoise, to the Zoological Gardens. His
speedy dissolution showed that even the bath of a hippopotamus or an
elephant was too limited for the dwelling of this pre-eminently marine
creature. But he had begun to show an intelligence, they say, which,
independently of all zoological and anatomical considerations, showed
that he had nothing in common with a fish, but a somewhat similar form,
and an equal necessity for abundance of the pure liquid element.


A thin old man, with a rag-bag in his hand, was picking up a number of
small pieces of whalebone, which lay on the street. The deposit was of
such a singular nature, that we asked the quaint-looking gatherer how he
supposed they came there? "Don't know," he replied, in a squeaking
voice; "but I s'pect some unfortunate female was _wrecked_ hereabout

       *       *       *       *       *

A Scotch lady, who was discomposed by the introduction of gas, asked
with much earnestness, "What's to become o' the _puir whales_?' deeming
their interests materially affected by this superseding of their


   The first of all the royal infant males
   Should take the title of the Prince of _Wales_:
   Because, 'tis clear to seamen and to lubber,
   Babies and _whales_ are both inclined to _blubber_.[284]


_Tickler._ What fish, James, would you incline to be, if put into

_Shepherd._ A dolphin: for they hae the speed o' lichtnin. They'll dart
past and roun' about a ship in full sail before the wind, just as if she
was at anchor. Then the dolphin is a fish o' peace,--he saved the life
o' a poet of auld, Arion, wi' his harp,--and oh! they say the cretur's
beautifu' in death. Byron, ye ken, comparin' his hues to those o' the
sun settin' ahint the Grecian isles. I sud like to be a dolphin.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Shepherd._ Let me see--I sud hae nae great objections to be a whale in
the Polar Seas. Gran' fun to fling a boatfu' o' harpooners into the
air--or, wi' ae thud o' your tail, to drive in the stern posts o' a

_Tickler._ Grander fun still, James, to feel the inextricable harpoon in
your blubber, and to go snoving away beneath an ice-floe with four miles
of line connecting you with your distant enemies.

_Shepherd._ But, then, whales marry but ae wife, and are passionately
attached to their offspring. There they and I are congenial speerits.
Nae fish that swims enjoys so large a share of domestic happiness.

_Tickler._ A whale, James, is not a fish.

_Shepherd._ Isna he? Let him alane for that. He's ca'd a fish in the
Bible, and that's better authority than Buffon. Oh that I were a

       *       *       *       *       *

With these sentences, we conclude this book, as well as our selections
on the whale. In the Museum at Edinburgh may be seen one of the finest,
if not the most perfect, skeleton of a whale exhibited in this kingdom.
Our young readers there can soon see, by examining it from the gallery,
that the whale is no "fish."


[282] Mark Lemon, "Jest Book," p. 122.

[283] _Ibid._, p. 201.

[284] _Ibid._, p. 142.

[285] "Noctes Ambrosianæ," Works of Professor Wilson, vol. ii., p. 4.


   Addison and Steele on the peculiarities of the natural history collectors, 5-8

   Albert's horse at Brussels, 256.

   Ammonianus and his ass, 279.

   Androcles and the lion, 167-169.

   Ant-eater, the great, 225-229.

   Arctic fox, 142-148.

   Ass, Sydney Smith on sagacity of, 283.

   Ass and zebra, 276.

   Ass's foal, 278.

   Asses with deers' antlers fastened on heads, 284;
     duty free, 284.

   Asylum for animals, 265, 266.

   Austrian general and a bear, 58, 59.

   Aye-aye, its singular structure and habits, 36-38.

   Baboons, Lady Anne Barnard on, 24, 25.

   Babylon, bas-relief of dog found at, 86, 87.

   Babyrusa, 240.

   Back, Sir George, anecdote of Arctic lemming, 196.

   Badger, 71;
     anecdotes of, 72-75.

   Baird, origin of name, 241.

   Barrentz on white or Polar bear, 64.

   Barnard, Lady Anne, pleads for the baboons, 24, 25;
     on some rabbits, 222.

   Bats, fantastic faces of, 38, 39.

   Bearable pun, 61.

   Bears, 56, 57;
     anecdotes of, 58-70.

   Beechey, Captain, on Polar bear, 63;
     on the walrus, 184-186, 187.

   Bell, Professor, on cats, 149.

   Bell, Sir Charles, on the head of a pig, 239.

   Bell-Rock horse, 257.

   Bentham, Jeremy, and his pet cat, 150-152;
     and the mice, 205, 206.

   Berwickshire, names of places in, derived from swine, 241.

   Bess, a pet hare of the poet Cowper's, 216.

   Bisset and his trained monkeys, 25, 26;
     musical cats, 152, 153;
     trained hares and turtle, 221, 222;
     learned pig, 250.

   Black Dwarf's cat, 157.

   Blomfield, Bishop, bitten by a dog, 88.

   Boar, wild, 239-245.

   Border, cow getting across, 309.

   Borneo, the home of the orang, 11.

   Boswell imitates the lowing of a cow, 305.

   Bradford, Earl of, on the number of legs of a sheep, 296.

   Bristol, Bishop of, comparing Cambridge freshmen to puppies, 89.

   Brock, or badger, 72.

   Brown, Dr John, "Rab" and "Our Dogs," 78.

   Browning, Mrs Elizabeth Barrett, lines on her dog Flush, 89-93.

   Browning's, Robert, description of rats, 199.

   Bull, an Irish, 304.

   Bull, Rev. Wm., Newton, and Toplady, anecdote of, 312.

   Bull-baiting at Olney, 313;
     Windham on, 314.

   Bull-ring, Philip IV. in, 310.

   Bullock and Dr Adam Clarke, 305, 306.

   Burke, Edmund, question when interrupted, 149;
     anecdote of his humanity, 257, 258.

   Burns' "Twa Dogs," 81, 82;
     the field-mouse, 206-208.

   Bush-pig, 148.

   Bussapa, the tiger-slayer, 162-164.

   Buxton, Sir Thomas Fowell, Bart., and his dog Speaker, 93, 94.

   Byron on his dog, 79;
     on Boatswain, a Newfoundland dog, 94, 95;
     pets, 26, 27;
     bear at Cambridge, 59.

   "Calamity," a horse of Sydney Smith's, 272.

   Calf, a great, 304.

   Calves and kine, 304.

   Camel, Captain Wm. Peel on, 287-289.

   Campbell, Colonel, account of Bussapa and the tiger, 162-164.

   Canova's sculptured lions and the child, 171-173.

   Carnac and the she-goat, 299.

   Cats, 149-161.

   Cat's letter, by Montgomery, 156.

   Cattle of Sydney Smith, and their universal scratcher, 311.

   Chalmers, Dr, and the guinea-pig, 223, 224.

   _Cheiroptera_, the order which contains the bats, 38, 39.

   Children and horses cannot explain their complaints, 269.

   Chimpanzee, Mr Mitchell on the habits of a young one, 22-42.

   China, roasted pups eaten in, 78.

   _Chiromys Madagascariensis_, its habits, 36-38.

   _Choiropotamus Africanus_, 140.

   Choiseul, Madame de, and her pet monkey and parrot, 33, 34.

   Chunie, the elephant, 230.

   Clare's dog and Curran, 98.

   Clarke, Dr Adam, on Shetland seals, 175, 176;
     his bullock Pat, 305.

   Clive's, Lord, handwriting misunderstood, 230.

   Cockburn, Lord, and the sheep at Bonaly, 298.

   Collie at Cultershaw, 82.

   Collins, Wm., R.A., and Sir David Wilkie, 3;
     the rat-catcher with the ferret, 76;
     his dog Prinny, 96, 97;
     paints Odell's old donkey, 277.

   Collins, W. Wilkie, Sir David Wilkie's first remark on him, 3, 4.

   Constant and his cat, 153.

   Cook's sailor, who took a fox-bat for the devil, 40.

   Cooke, Major-General, 189.

   Coon, a gone, 71.

   Couthon and the spaniel, 195.

   Cowper's narrative of his pet hares, 213-219;
     dog Beau and the water-lily, 79-81.

   Cows, anecdotes of, 306-311.

   Cross, Edward, of Exeter Change and Walworth, 33.

   Cruelty to horses in Ireland, 275.

   Cunningham, Major, on Ladak dog, 86.

   Curran on Lord Clare's dog, 98.

   Cuvier and the fossil, 236.

   _Cynocephali_, or African baboons, 9, 24, 25.

   Dalhousie, Earl of, and the ferocious red-deer, 291.

   Dandie Dinmont educates his terriers, 122.

   Davis, Sir George, and the lion, 170, 171.

   Deer family, 290, 291;
     their sensibility of smell, 300.

   Dessin Island, rabbits on, blind of one eye, 222.

   Dickens on sellers of bears' grease, 59, 60.

   Dog and the French murderers, 104, 105.

   Dog-cheap, 100.

   Dog-matic, 113.

   Dog-rose, 133.

   Dogs, 77-87.

   Douglas, General, and the rats, 201.

   Dragon-fly exhibited at a show, 61.

   Dresden, Battle of, General Moreau killed at, 113.

   Drew on the instinct of dogs, 98-100.

   Dromedary, Capt. Peel on its rate of motion, 289.

   Dunbar, Rev. Rowland Hill at, 261.

   Durian, an eastern fruit, 14.

   Earl's Court, Hunter's menagerie at, 300-302.

   Eastern dogs, 84, 85.

   _Echidna aculeata_, 192.

   _Edentata_, 228.

   Edmonstone, Dr, on Shetland seals, 176-182.

   Eglintoun, Countess of, her fondness for rats, 200, 201.

   Elephant and his trunk, 232;
     anecdotes of, 234-236.

   _Epomophorus_, a genus of tropical bats alluded to by the poet-laureate, 39.

   Erskine's sheep and the woolsack, 298.

   Esquimaux dogs, 78, 86.

   Ettrick Shepherd's monkey, 27, 28;
     on fox-hunting, 139-141;
     on whales, 316.

   Fabricius on Arctic fox, 143.

   Ferret, 75, 76.

   Field mouse turned up by Robert Burns, 206-208.

   Findhorn fisherman and monkey, 29, 30.

   Flush, lines to her dog, by Mrs Browning, 89-93.

   Foote, Samuel, makes cows pull bell at Oxford, 306.

   Forster, Dr, on the fox-bats of the Friendly Islands, 42, 43.

   Fournier on the squirrel, 196.

   Fowler the tailor and Gainsborough the artist, 2, 3.

   Fox, Charles James, on the poll-cat, 77.

   Fox, 138.

   Fox-hunting, from the "Noctes," 139-141.

   Fox-bats, particulars of their history, 41-47.

   Frederick the Great and his Italian greyhounds, 104.

   French count at deer-stalking, 293, 294;
     dogs, time of Louis XI., 110;
     marquis and his monkey, 30, 31.

   Fry, Mrs, on Irish pigs, 252.

   Fuller, Thomas, on destructive fieldmice, 208, 209.

   Fuller on Norfolk rabbits, 223.

   Fuseli on Northcote's picture of Balaam and the Ass, 281.

   Future state of animals, Toplady on, 312.

   Gainsborough and Fowler the tailor, 2, 3;
     his wife and their dogs, 100, 101;
     pigs, countryman on, 252;
     kept an ass, 277.

   Garrick and the horse, 259.

   Gell, Sir William, his dog, 101.

   General's cow at Plymouth, 308.

   George III. at Winchester, meets Garrick, 259.

   George IV. visited at Windsor by "Happy Jerry," 32.

   Gilpin's, Bernard, horses stolen and recovered, 260.

   Gilpin's, Rev. Mr, love of the picturesque, 308.

   Gilray's caricature of Fox and Burke as dogs, 724.

   Gimcrack, the widow, her letter to Mr Bickerstaff on her husband's peculiarities, 6-8.

   Giraffe, anecdotes of, 291-295.

   _Glirine_ animals, 195, 212.

   Goats, anecdotes of, 299, 300.

   Goethe on stag-trench at Frankfort, 294;
     on Roos's etchings of sheep, 296.

   Good enough for a pig, 251.

   Gordon, Duchess of, and the wolf-dog, 102, 103.

   Gorilla and its story, 9-22.

   Graham, Rev. W., on dogs in the East, 85.

   Grange, the, near Edinburgh, 30.

   Gray compares poet-laureate to a rat-catcher, 204, 205.

   Gray. Dr, gets large specimen of gorilla, 17.

   Greenland seal, 181.

   Grotta del Cane, the poor dog at, 111, 112.

   Guilford, Lord Keeper, and the rhinoceros, 230.

   Guinea pig, Dr Chalmers, 223, 224.

   Gunn, Mr, on tiger-wolf, 192, 193.

   Haff-fish, the Shetland name for seal, 179.

   Hairs or hares, 220.

   Hall, Robert, and the dog, 106.

   Hamilton, Sir Wm., his definition of man, 1, 2.

   Hanover rats, 202, 203.

   Happy Jerry, the rib-nosed mandrill, 31, 32.

   Hardwicke's lady, sow, 253.

   Hares, Mrs Browning on Cowper's, 212;
     petted by Cowper the poet, 213-219.

   Hastings and the refractory donkey, 279.

   Heard, the herald, on the horse of George III., 261

   Hedgehogs, 48.

   Hill, Rev. Rowland, prayed for his horse, 261, 262.

   Holcroft on race-horses, 263-265.

   Hood's dog Dash, 110.

   Hook and the litter of pigs, 253.

   Hooker's sea-bear in Regent's Park, 175.

   Hospital for old cows and horses, 309.

   Horse, 256;
     that carried stones to build Bell-Rock lighthouse, 257.

   Horse exercises, a saying of Rowland Hill's, 263.

   Horsemanship of Johnson the Irishman, 257, 258.

   Horsfield, Dr, on the Javanese fox-bat, 45, 46.

   Hunter, John, and the dead tiger, 165;
     his menagerie at Earl's Court, 300, 302.

   Hunters of Polmood, dog that belonged to, 107.

   Impey, Warren Hastings, and the ass, 279, 280.

   India shawls, 301.

   Inglefield, Capt., on the affection of a Polar bear and her two cubs, 65.

   Irish clergyman and the dogs, 108.

   Irishman on rat-shooting, 203.

   Irving, Washington, and the dog, 108, 109.

   Ivory dust, 233.

   Jackal, 148, 149.

   Jeffrey on a donkey; Sydney Smith's lines on 281, 282.

   Jekyll treading on a small pig, 251;
     on a squirrel, 195.

   Jerrold, Douglas, and his dog, 109.

   Kangaroo Cooke, 189.

   Kangaroos, Charles Lamb on, 188, 189.

   Keppel, Commodore, and the Dey of Algiers, 303.

   King James, on a cow getting over the Border, 309.

   Laird of Balnamoon and the brock, 75.

   Lamb, Charles, and the dog, 110;
     on Kangaroos, 188, 189;
     on the hare, 212.

   Landseer's "Monkeyana," 10;
     stags, 293.

   Lap-dogs before the House of Commons, 124.

   Lauder, Sir Thomas Dick, adventures of a monkey in Morayshire, 29, 30.

   Laurillard, Cuvier's assistant, 237.

   Lawyer's horse, 268.

   Lemming, and Arctic voyager, 196;
     habits of the Arctic, 197, 198.

   Leifchild, Dr, at Hoxton, 127.

   Leopard, its ferocity when wounded, 161.

   Letter from the gorilla, now in British Museum, 13-17.

   Lightfoot, name for Sir Edwin Landseer, 293.

   Lion and tiger, 166.

   Lion, hunts on Assyrian monuments, 162.

   Lions on monument of Clement XII., 171-173.

   Liston the surgeon and his cat, 153, 154.

   Livingston, Dr, on paralysing effect of lion's bite, 162.

   Luther observes a dog at Lintz, 111.

   Lyon, Capt., on Arctic fox, 144, 145.

   Lytton, Sir Edward Bulwer, on the pets of some of the Revolutionary butchers, 195, 196.

   Macaulay, Lord, on the last days of King William III., 50-56.

   M'Clintock on Arctic fox, 144.

   M'Dougall on habits of Arctic lemming, 197.

   Macgillivray, John, on a fox-bat from Fitzroy Island, 45.

   Mackenzie, Mrs Colin, on the habits of the apes at Simla, 35, 36;
     on the tiger being worshipped, 166.

   Man, Professor Owen on his position, 1;
     definition of, by Linnæus, 12;
     defined in the Linnæan manner, 4.

   Mandrill and George IV., 31, 32.

   Mansfield's, Lord, joke about a horse, 267.

   Marat, the citizen, and his doves, 196.

   Markham, Mr Clement, on the Polar bear, 69.

   _Marsupialia_, 188-191.

   Mastiff and the soldier, 97.

   Matthews, Henry, on the Grotta del Cane, 112.

   Mayerne, Dr, and his balsam of bats, 47.

   Metcalfe, when a boy, on camel, 290.

   Miller, Hugh, on badger-baiting in the Canongate, 72-74.

   Miscellaneous eating about a pig, 238.

   Mitchell, D. W., on the habits of a young chimpanzee, 22-24.

   Mitchell's antipathy to cats, 155.

   Model dog of the artist Collins, 96, 97.

   Mole, its habits, 49.

   Monkey revered by Hindoos, 35.

   Monkeys, 9;
     liable to lung disease in British islands, 22;
     Rev. Sydney Smith on, 34, 35;
     poor relations, 34.

   Montagu, Duke of, and his hospital for old cows, &c., 309.

   Montgomery, James, his translation of a definition of man, 4;
     and his cats, 155, 156.

   Moore, General, and his horse at Corunna, 268.

   Moore on Gilpin and Boatswain, two dogs, 95, 96.

   Moore, Dr John, sketch of a French marquis and his monkey, 30, 31.

   More, Hannah, on dog of Garrick's, 105.

   Moreau and his greyhound, 113.

   Moses, a dog of Mrs Schimmelpenninck's, 122.

   Moth larvæ eating at night, 37.

   Mounsey, anecdote of, 269.

   Mouse that amused Baron von Trenck, 209, 210.

   Mules should have their own way, 286.

   Museum of John Hunter, 164, 165.

   Musical cats, 152, 153.

   Musk rat, 200.

   _Myrmecophaga jubata_, 225-229.

   Names given to horses, 270-274.

   Napier, Charles, and the lion in the Tower, 173.

   Natural history collectors of the days of Addison and Steele, 5, 8.

   Neill, Dr Patrick, 5.

   Nelson and the Polar bear, 67-69;
     in Arctic seas, 186.

   Newfoundland dog, 126.

   N'Geena, or gorilla, 18.

   Nicol, George, the bookseller and hunter, 165.

   Norfolk, Duke of, and his spaniels, 114.

   North, Sir Dudley, visits the rhinoceros, 231.

   North, Lord, and the dog, 115.

   Northcote's Balaam and the Ass, 281.

   Norton, Hon. Mrs, address to a dog, 83.

   Odell and his old donkey, 277.

   Old Jack, a horse that drew stones for building Waterloo Bridge, 270.

   Old lady and the beasts on the mound, 173.

   Ommaney, Capt., and the Polar bear, 70.

   Opossum, 190.

   _Ornithorhynchus_, the duck-bill, 192.

   Owen, Professor, on the gorilla, 18;
     on the aye-aye, 36.

   Parasols, how ladies used them at Cross's menagerie, 33.

   Parrot and monkey, anecdote of two pets, 33, 34.

   Parry, Capt., on flesh of Polar bear, 66.

   Paton, Sir J. Noel, has studied physiognomies of bats, &c., 38.

   Peale, Titian, on a tame fox-bat, 44.

   Peccaries of South America, 240.

   Peel, Capt. Wm., on camel, 287-289.

   _Peracyon_, 19.

   Perchance, a lap-dog, 96.

   Perthes derives hints from his dog, 115.

   Peter the Great and his dog Lisette, 161, 117.

   _Phascolomys vombatus_, 193.

   Philip IV. in bull-ring, 310.

   Phillips, Sir Richard, eats jelly of ivory dust, 233.

   _Phoca barbata_, 180;
     _vitulena_, 177.

   Pied Piper of Hamelin, extract from, 199.

   Pig, monument to, 239.

   Pigs and silver spoons, 254.

   Plants liked by hares, 218.

   Polar bear, its history, 61-70.

   Poll-cat, Fox and the, 77.

   Polkemmet, Lord, a dinner on veal, 305.

   Polson and the last Scottish wolf, 135-137.

   Ponsonby and the poodle, 118.

   Porpoise in Zoological Gardens, 315.

   Pope on dogs, 95.

   Porcupine ant-eater, 192.

   Postman and carrier dog at Moffat, 113.

   Postmen, Capt. Osborn, on Arctic foxes as, 146.

   _Potamochoerus_, 240, 245.

   Prinny, a pet dog of Collins the artist, 96, 97.

   Prison mouse, 209, 210.

   _Pteropus conspicillatus_, 44;
     _medius_, 45.

   Puss, a pet hare of the poet Cowper's 214, 215.

   _Quadrumana_, 9-38.

   Queen of Charles I. and the lap-dog 107.

   Quixote Bowles fond of pigs, 251.

   Rabbits, a family all blind of one eye, 222.

   Raccoon, 71.

   Race-horses, Holcroft's anecdotes of, 263-265.

   Ramsgate donkeys, Irishman on, 278.

   Rats and mice, 198.

   Rats' whiskers good for artists' brushes, 204.

   Ravages of rats, 203.

   Raven, pet of Wood the surgeon, 299.

   Red-deer at Taymouth, 291, 292.

   "Relais," a dog belonging to Louis XII., 111.

   Revolutionary butchers and their pets, 195, 196.

   Rhinoceros and elephant, 229.

   Richardson, Sir J., on Arctic fox, 143.

   River pig, 245.

   Rodent animals, 195, 212.

   Rodney, Lord, and his dog Loup, 119.

   Rogue elephant, skull of one, 230.

   Roos's etchings of sheep, Goethe on, 296, 297.

   Ross, Sir James, on Arctic fox, 142, 145.

   Rowan berries, dog that fetched, 128.

   Ruddiman and his dog Rascal, 119.

   Sand liked by hares, 218.

   Schimmelpenninck, Mrs, her fondness for dogs, 121.

   Scott, Sir Walter, when a boy, saw Burns, 84;
     his fondness for his dogs, 122;
     on a fox, 138;
     visit to the Black Dwarf, 157.

   "Scratcher" of Sydney Smith, 311.

   Scriptures, dogs mentioned in the, 84, 103, 106.

   Seals, their intelligence, 174-182.

   _Semnopithecus Entellus_, an Indian monkey, 35.

   Sergent and his spaniel, 196.

   Shaved bear at Bristol, 61.

   Shawl-goat at John Hunter's menagerie, 301.

   Sheep, anecdotes of, 295-298;
     and goats, 295;
     pet, of Alex. Wood the surgeon, 299.

   Shepherd dogs, 82.

   Sheridan and the dog, 109;
     on the dog-tax, 123.

   Shetland seals, 174-182.

   Sidmouth, Lord, educated by the Rev. Mr Gilpin, 308.

   Skins of rabbits, 223.

   Sloth, Sydney Smith on, 224.

   Smith, Rev. Sydney, on the differences between man and monkeys, 34, 35;
     his answer to Landseer, 78;
     remark on a dog, 88;
     his dislike of dogs, 124, 125;
     on pigs, 254;
     and his horses, 271-274.

   Smith and the elephant, 234.

   Sorrel, the horse of William III., 51.

   Southey and his critics, 48;
     on dogs, 126;
     loved cats, 158-160.

   Sow and swine, 238-255.

   Spencer, Lord, and Rev. Sydney Smith, 124, 125.

   _Spermophilus Parryi_, 197.

   Sportsmen, exaggeration of some, 221.

   Squirrel, 195.

   Stags, anecdotes of, 291-293.

   Stag-trench at Frankfort, 294.

   Stanhope, Earl, on Jacobites calling adherents of Court "Hanover rats," 202, 203;
     on the poet Cowper's tastes, 220.

   Stapelia, a plant at the Cape, 25.

   Stirling Castle, "Lion's den" at, 162.

   Stokes, Capt. Lort, on the red-necked fox-bat, 43.

   Story, Judge, names he gave his horses, 274.

   Sturge and the pigs, 255.

   Surgeon, an enthusiastic fox-hunting, 138.

   Swinton, origin of name, 241.

   Sykes, Colonel, on the flesh of a fox-bat, 45.

   Syria, wild boar in, 244.

   Tail, short-tailed and long-tailed horses, 275.

   Tailor and the elephant, 235.

   _Tamandua_, or ant-eater, 226.

   Tennyson, lines on man, and modern systems, 10;
     lines describing tropical bats, 39.

   Thackeray on the Egyptian donkey, 285.

   _Thalassarctos maritimus_--the polar bear, 61-70.

   _Thylacinus Harrisii_, 191.

   Tibetan mastiff, 86, 87.

   Tiger and lion, 161.

   Tigers' claws and whiskers regarded as charms, 165.

   Tiger-wolf of Tasmania, 190-194.

   Tiney, a pet hare of Cowper's, 216.

   Toplady on future state of animals, 312.

   Tonton, Walpole's pet dog, 129, 130.

   Trained monkeys, 26.

   Trenck and the tame mouse in prison, 209.

   _Trichechus rosmarus_, 183.

   True, on dog being a good judge of eloquence, 127.

   Ulysses and his dog, 133.

   _Ursus lotor_, why raccoon was so called, 71.

   Veal _ad nauseam_, 304

   Venison fat, 294.

   _Vulpes lagopus_, 142.

   Walker, Dr David, on Polar bear, 62.

   Wallace, Alfred, on orang-utan, 11;
     on great ant-eater, 227.

   Walpole, Horace, the young lady's pet monkey and her parrot, 33, 34;
     pet dog Rosette, lines on, 129.

   Walrus, history of, 182-188.

   Waterton, Charles, letter from, on young gorilla, 18-20;
     letter to Mrs Wombwell on her young gorilla, 21;
     "Hanover rats," 202.

   Watt, James, on rats' whiskers, 204.

   Wellington's story of musk rat, 200.

   Whalebone, 315.

   Whales, 315, 317.

   Whateley, Archbishop, and his dogs, 131, 132;
     on a cat that rung the bell, 160.

   Wild boar, 239-245.

   Wilkie, Sir David, and the baby, 3, 4;
     and the puppy, 133.

   William III., his death, as related by Lord Macaulay, 49-56.

   Wilson, the American ornithologist, and the mouse, 211.

   Windham, Right Hon. William, on Capt. Phipps's Arctic expedition, 67, 68;
     on the feelings of a baited bull, 313.

   Wolf, 135.

   Wolf-dog, Hungarian, anecdote of, 102, 103.

   Wombat, 193.

   Wood, Sandy, and his pets, 298, 299.

   Wordsworth on cruelty to horses in Ireland, 275.

   Zebra, Lattin's joke, 287.

   Zoological Gardens, 249.




|Transcriber's note:                                               |
|                                                                  |
|"The Aye-Aye, or Cheiromys of Madagascar (_with a Plate_)"        |
|                                                                  |
|Unfortunately no plate could be found for this particular section.|
|Reference to it was removed from the Table of Contents.           |

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