IN disposing the order of the following work, we have not thought it necessary to confine ourselves strictly within the rules prescribed by systematic writers on this part of Natural History; as it was not so much the object of our plan, to lay down a methodical arrangement of the various tribes of four-footed animals, as to give a clear and concise account of the nature, habits, and disposition of each, accompanied with more accurate representations than have hitherto appeared in any work of this kind. Our disregard of system, however, has not pre­vented us from attending to the great divisions of Quadrupeds, so obviously marked out by the hand of Nature, and so clearly distinguished, that the most careless observer cannot avoid being forcibly struck with an agreement of parts in the outward ap­pearance of the different individuals of which each consists.

The intermediate stations, however, have not been always so clearly defined; these are frequently occupied by characters so dubious, that naturalists have not always agreed in ascribing to each its proper place: Of this kind are the Elephant, the Hip­popotamus, the Rhinoceros, the Cameleopard, the Badger, the Beaver, the Hedge-hog, the Sloth, the Jerboa, &c. which bear in themselves characteristics so peculiar, that they might seem to constitute distinct genera, and so conspicuous, that they cannot easily be overlooked nor forgotten in the general group.

We have endeavoured to lay before our readers a particular account of the animals with which our own country is abundantly stored, especially of those which so materially contribute to the strength, the wealth, and the happiness of this kingdom; of these the Horse, the Cow, and the Sheep claim the first place; and in treating of these, we have noticed the improvements which an enlarged system of agriculture, supported by a noble spirit of generous emulation, has introduced into all parts of the country.

It may perhaps be thought necessary to offer some apology for the evident want of proportion observable in the sizes of the dif­ferent animals; a defect to which every work of this kind must, in some measure, be liable. In adverting to this, we found, that at whatever point, between the Elep [...] and the Mouse, the scale were [...], a great and unavoidable deficiency would be the consequence; we were therefore obliged to relinquish a plan, which, so far from being practicable, would [...] the means of throwing the whole into irregularity and confusion.


  • ADIVE PAGE. 265
  • Agouti PAGE. 331
  • Ai PAGE. 437
  • Ant-eater, the Great PAGE. 439
    • the Middle PAGE. 440
    • the Lesser ibid.
  • Antelope, the Common PAGE. 81
    • the Barbary ibid.
    • the Red PAGE. 80
    • the Swift ibid.
    • the Spotted PAGE. 82
    • the Scythian PAGE. 84
    • the Guinea PAGE. 78
    • the Striped PAGE. 75
  • Ape, the Barbary PAGE. 393
  • Armadillo PAGE. 442
    • the Three-band­ed PAGE. 443
    • the Six-banded PAGE. 444
    • the Nine-banded PAGE. 445
    • the Weasel-headed PAGE. 446
  • Ass PAGE. 13
  • Axis PAGE. 111
  • Baboon PAGE. 394
    • the Great Ribbed-nose PAGE. 396
    • the Small Ribbed-nose PAGE. 398
    • the Pig-tailed PAGE. 399
    • the Dog-faced PAGE. 400
    • the Ursine PAGE. 402
  • Badger PAGE. 238
  • Babiroussa PAGE. 136
  • Bear, the Brown PAGE. 245
    • the Polar PAGE. 250
  • Beaver PAGE. 427
  • Bison PAGE. 30
  • Blaaw-Bok, or Blue Goat PAGE. 65
  • Boar, the Wild PAGE. 127
    • Common or Do­mestic PAGE. 129
    • the African Wild PAGE. 132
  • Bonti-Bok, or Pied Goat PAGE. 66
  • Bosch-Bok, or Wood Goat PAGE. 67
  • Buffalo PAGE. 33
  • Bull and Cow PAGE. 19
    • the Lancashire PAGE. 23
    • and Cow of Chillingham PAGE. 25
  • Cagvi PAGE. 415
  • Callitrix PAGE. 406
  • Camel PAGE. 119
    • the Arabian PAGE. 122
  • Capibara PAGE. 139
  • Caracal PAGE. 199
  • Carcajou PAGE. 242
  • Caribou PAGE. 104
  • Casan PAGE. 350
  • Cat, the Domestic PAGE. 192
    • the Wild PAGE. 189
    • Angora PAGE. 191
  • Cavy, the Restless PAGE. 328
    • the Spotted PAGE. 329
    • the Long-nosed PAGE. 331
    • the Akouchi PAGE. 332
    • the Rock ibid.
  • Chevrotain PAGE. 83
  • Civet PAGE. 228
  • Coaita PAGE. 411
  • Coati PAGE. 235
  • Coendou PAGE. 422
  • Conepate PAGE. 225
  • Corin PAGE. 82
  • Cougu [...] PAGE. 181
  • Deer PAGE. 105
  • [Page v] Deer, the Fallow PAGE. 112
  • Desman PAGE. 359
  • Dog PAGE. 281
    • the Shepherd's PAGE. 284
    • the Cur PAGE. 286
    • the Greenland PAGE. 287
    • the Bull PAGE. 290
    • the Mastiff PAGE. 291
    • the Ban PAGE. 293
    • the Dalmatian or Coach ibid.
    • the Irish Greyhound PAGE. 294
    • the Highland Grey­hound PAGE. 295
    • the Gazehound ibid.
    • the Greyhound PAGE. 296
    • the Italian Greyhound ibid.
    • the Lurcher PAGE. 297
    • the Tumbler PAGE. 298
    • the Terrier ibid.
    • the Beagle PAGE. 299
    • the Harrier PAGE. 300
    • the Fox-Hound PAGE. 301
    • the Old English Hound PAGE. 303
    • the Kibble-Hound PAGE. 304
    • the Blood-Hound ibid.
    • the Newfoundland PAGE. 306
    • the Rough Water PAGE. 308
    • the Large Water-Spaniel PAGE. 309
    • the Small Water-Spaniel PAGE. 310
    • the Springer, or Cocker PAGE. 311
    • King Charles's ibid.
    • the Pyrame ibid.
    • the Shock ibid.
    • the Lion PAGE. 312
    • the Comforter ibid.
    • the English Setter PAGE. 313
    • the Spanish Pointer PAGE. 314
    • the New South-Wales PAGE. 315
    • the Turnspit PAGE. 316
  • Dog, the Pug PAGE. 317
  • Dormouse, the Greater PAGE. 339
    • the Lesser PAGE. 340
  • Doue PAGE. 409
  • Dromedary PAGE. 122
  • Elephant PAGE. 151
  • Elk PAGE. 93
    • the American PAGE. 453
  • Elk-Antelope PAGE. 72
  • Exquima PAGE. 411
  • Ferret PAGE. 209
  • Fossane PAGE. 223
  • Foumart PAGE. 212
  • Fox PAGE. 266
    • the Greyhound PAGE. 269
    • the Mastiff PAGE. 270
    • the Cur ibid.
    • the Black PAGE. 272
    • the Cross ibid.
    • the Corsac ibid.
    • the Arctic PAGE. 273
  • Gazelles PAGE. 64
  • Gemse-Bok PAGE. 76
  • Genet PAGE. 227
  • Gibbon PAGE. 392
  • Giraff, or Cameleopard PAGE. 91
  • Gnu PAGE. 79
  • Goat PAGE. 52
    • the Chamois PAGE. 56
    • of Angora PAGE. 61
    • of Portugal ibid.
    • the Syrian PAGE. 62
    • African PAGE. 63
  • Grunting Ox PAGE. 33
  • Grys-Bok PAGE. 78
  • Guanacos PAGE. 124
  • Guinea-Pig PAGE. 328
  • [Page vi]Hamster PAGE. 347
  • Hare PAGE. 321
    • the Alpine PAGE. 324
  • Hart-Beest PAGE. 74
  • Hedge-hog PAGE. 423
  • Hippopotamus PAGE. 148
  • Hog, the Common PAGE. 129
  • Horse PAGE. 1
    • the Racer PAGE. 4
    • the Hunter PAGE. 6
    • the Black PAGE. 7
    • the Common Carter PAGE. 8
  • Hyena, the Striped PAGE. 257
    • the Spotted PAGE. 260
  • Ibex PAGE. 55
  • Ichneumon PAGE. 220
  • Jackall PAGE. 262
  • Jaguar PAGE. 180
  • Jerboa PAGE. 380
  • Kabassou PAGE. 445
  • Kangaroo PAGE. 377
  • Kangaroo-Rat PAGE. 379
  • Kevel PAGE. 82
  • Klip-Springer PAGE. 79
  • K [...]ba PAGE. 82
  • K [...]b ibid.
  • K [...]doe PAGE. 75
  • Lama PAGE. 123
  • Leming PAGE. 352
  • Leopard PAGE. 177
  • Lion PAGE. 164
  • Lion-Ape PAGE. 416
  • L [...] PAGE. 385
  • L [...] PAGE. 196
  • Lynx, the Bay PAGE. 197
  • Macaque PAGE. 403
  • Macauco, the Yellow PAGE. 382
    • the Ring-tailed PAGE. 383
    • the Tail-less PAGE. 384
    • the Mongooz PAGE. 385
    • the Black PAGE. 386
  • Magot PAGE. 393
  • Maimon PAGE. 399
  • Malbrouck PAGE. 405
  • Mangabey PAGE. 406
  • Manis PAGE. 441
  • Marapute PAGE. 188
  • Margay PAGE. 186
  • Marikina PAGE. 416
  • Marmot PAGE. 343
    • the Quebec PAGE. 346
    • the Earless PAGE. 350
    • the Casan ibid.
    • the Tail-less PAGE. 351
    • the Lapland PAGE. 352
  • Martin PAGE. 216
    • the Yellow-breasted PAGE. 215
  • Meminna PAGE. 83
  • Mexican Hog PAGE. 134
  • Mole PAGE. 365
    • Radiated PAGE. 367
  • Monax PAGE. 345
  • Monkey, the Patas, or Red PAGE. 403
    • the Chinese Bon­net PAGE. 405
    • the Callitrix, or Green PAGE. 406
    • the Varied, or Mona PAGE. 408
    • the Howling PAGE. 410
    • the Spider PAGE. 411
    • the Saimiri, or Orange PAGE. 413
    • the Fox-tailed ibid.
    • the Great-eared PAGE. 414
    • the Silky PAGE. 416
  • [Page vii] Monkey, the Pinche, or Red-tailed PAGE. 417
    • the Mico, or Fair PAGE. 418
  • Mouflon, or Musmon PAGE. 50
  • Mouse PAGE. 360
    • Long-tailed Field PAGE. 361
    • Short-tailed Field PAGE. 362
    • Shrew ibid.
    • Water Shrew PAGE. 363
    • Dwarf PAGE. 364
  • Mule PAGE. 10
  • Musk PAGE. 88
  • Mustache PAGE. 407
  • Nanguer PAGE. 80
  • Nems PAGE. 211
  • Nyl-Ghau PAGE. 85
  • Ocelot PAGE. 184
  • Ondatra PAGE. 358
  • Opossum, Saragoy PAGE. 368
    • Murine PAGE. 370
    • Mexican PAGE. 371
    • the Phalanger PAGE. 372
    • the Spotted PAGE. 373
    • the Vulpine ibid.
    • the Flying PAGE. 374
    • of Van Diemen's Land PAGE. 375
    • of New South-Wales PAGE. 376
  • Oran-Outang PAGE. 389
  • Otter PAGE. 431
    • the Small PAGE. 434
    • the Minx ibid.
    • the Sea PAGE. 435
  • Ouarine, or Preacher PAGE. 410
  • Ouistiti PAGE. 415
  • Ounce PAGE. 179
  • Paca PAGE. 320
  • Pacos PAGE. 125
  • Pangolin PAGE. 441
  • Panther PAGE. 175
  • Patas PAGE. 403
  • Peccary PAGE. 134
  • Persian Savage PAGE. 401
  • Phalanger PAGE. 372
  • Phatagin PAGE. 442
  • Pigmy PAGE. 391
  • Polecat PAGE. 212
  • Porcupine PAGE. 420
    • the Brazilian PAGE. 421
  • Quagga PAGE. 17
  • Rabbit PAGE. 325
    • the Domestic PAGE. 327
    • the Angora ibid.
    • the Russian ibid.
  • Racoon PAGE. 236
  • Rat PAGE. 354
    • Water PAGE. 357
    • Musk of Canada PAGE. 358
    • Muscovy Musk PAGE. 359
  • Ratel PAGE. 233
  • Ree-Bok PAGE. 77
    • Riet PAGE. 78
  • Rein-Deer PAGE. 97
  • Rhinoceros PAGE. 141
    • the Two-horned PAGE. 145
  • Roe-Buck PAGE. 115
  • Sable PAGE. 217
  • Sagoin PAGE. 409
  • Sai PAGE. 412
  • Saiga PAGE. 84
  • Saimiri PAGE. 413
  • Sajou PAGE. 412
  • [Page viii] Saki PAGE. 413
  • Sand-Bear PAGE. 241
  • Sapajou PAGE. 409
  • Sarluc PAGE. 33
  • Scaly Lizard PAGE. 442
  • Sea-Horse PAGE. 447
  • Seal PAGE. 449
    • the Ursine PAGE. 451
  • Serval PAGE. 188
  • Sheep PAGE. 36
    • Lincolnshire Breed PAGE. 39
    • Dorsetshire ditto PAGE. 40
    • Leicestershire ditto PAGE. 43
    • the Dunky, or Dwarf PAGE. 46
    • the African or Guinea PAGE. 47
    • the Tartarian ibid.
    • the Many-horned PAGE. 48
    • the Broad-tailed ibid.
    • the Walachian PAGE. 49
  • Sifac PAGE. 409
  • Skunk PAGE. 224
  • Sloth PAGE. 436
  • Souslik PAGE. 350
  • Spring-Bok PAGE. 69
  • Squirrel PAGE. 333
    • the Hudson's Bay PAGE. 334
    • the Grey PAGE. 335
    • the Black ibid.
    • the Ground PAGE. 336
    • the Barbary PAGE. 338
    • the Palm ibid.
    • the Fat PAGE. 339
    • the Garden ibid.
    • the Flying PAGE. 341
    • the Great Flying PAGE. 342
    • the Hooded ibid.
  • Stag, or Red Deer PAGE. 105
    • the Corican PAGE. 110
    • the Axis, or Ganges PAGE. 111
  • Steen-Bok PAGE. 80
  • Stifling, or Squash PAGE. 225
  • Stoat PAGE. 207
  • Suricate PAGE. 232
  • Syah-Gush PAGE. 199
  • Talapoin PAGE. 407
  • Tamarin PAGE. 414
  • Tanrec PAGE. 425
  • Tapiir, the Long-nosed PAGE. 138
    • the Thick-nosed PAGE. 139
  • Tarsier PAGE. 386
  • Tatou PAGE. 444
  • Tatuapara PAGE. 443
  • Tatuette PAGE. 444
  • Tendrac PAGE. 425
  • Tiger PAGE. 171
    • the Black PAGE. 183
  • Unau PAGE. 438
  • Urson PAGE. 423
  • Urus, or Wild Bull PAGE. 29
  • Vansire PAGE. 211
  • Walrus PAGE. 447
  • Wanderou PAGE. 402
  • Weasel PAGE. 203
    • the Pine PAGE. 215
    • the Fisher PAGE. 220
    • the Brazilian PAGE. 235
  • Wolf PAGE. 275
  • Wolverine, or Glutton PAGE. 242
  • Zebra PAGE. 16
  • Zebu PAGE. 31
  • Zemni PAGE. 351
  • Zibet PAGE. 230
  • Zisel PAGE. 350
  • Zorilla PAGE. 226



THE various excellencies of this noble animal, the grandeur of his stature, the elegance and propor­tion of his parts, the beautiful smoothness of his skin, the variety and gracefulness of his motions, and above all, his usefulness, entitle him to a precedence in the history of the brute creation.

There are few parts of the known world where the Horse is not produced; but if we would see him in the enjoyment of his native freedom, (unsubdued by the re­straints man has imposed upon him) we must look for him in the wild and extensive plains of Africa and Arabia, where he ranges without controul, in a state of entire in­dependency. In those immense tracts the wild Horses [Page 2] may be seen feeding together, in droves of four or five hundred; one of them always acting as centinel, to give notice of approaching danger: This he does by a kind of snorting noise, upon which they all fly off with astonish­ing rapidity. The wild Horses of Arabia are esteemed the most beautiful in the world: They are of a brown co­lour, their mane and tail of black tufted hair, very short; they are smaller than the tame ones, are very active, and of great swiftness. The most usual method of taking them is with traps concealed in the sand, by which they are entangled and caught.—It is probable there were once wild Horses in Europe, which have long since been brought under subjection. Those found in America were originally of the Spanish breed, sent thither upon its first discovery, which have since become wild, and spread themselves over various parts of that vast continent. They are generally small, not exceeding fourteen hands high; with thick heads and clumsy joints: Their ears and necks are longer than those of the English Horses. They are easily tamed; and if by accident they are set at liberty, they seldom become wild again; but know their master, and may be easily caught by him.

The Horse, in his domestic state, is generous, docile, spirited, and yet obedient; adapted to the various pur­poses of pleasure and convenience, he is equally servicea­ble in the draught, the field, or the race.

There is scarcely an Arabian, how poor soever in other respects, but is possessed of his Horse, which he considers as an invaluable treasure. Having no other house but a tent to dwell in, the Arabian and his Horse live upon the most equal terms: His wife and family, his mare and her foal, are often seen lying indiscriminately together; whilst [Page 3] the little children frequently climb without fear upon the body of the inoffensive animal, which permits them to play with and caress it without injury. The Arabs never beat their Horses; they speak to, and seem to hold friend­ly intercourse with them; they never whip them, and seldom, but in cases of necessity, make use of the spur. Their agility in leaping is very great; and if the rider happen to fall, they are so traceable as to stand still in the midst of the most rapid career. The Arabian Horses are of a middle size in general, less than those of this country, easy and graceful in their motions, and rather inclined to leanness.—It is worthy of remark, that there, instead of crossing the breed, the Arabs take every precaution to keep it pure and unmixed: They preserve with the great­est care, and for an amazing length of time, the races of their horses—Those of the first kind are called Nobles, being "of a pure and ancient race, purer than milk." They have likewise two other kinds, which have been de­graded by common alliances, and sell at inferior prices.

From Arabia the race of Horses has probably extended into Barbary and other parts of Africa, those being consi­dered as next to the Arabian Horses in swiftness and beau­ty, though they are still smaller. The Spanish Genette is also held in great estimation; like the former they are small, but beautiful, and extremely swift. The Horses of India and many parts of China are extremely small and vicious: One of these was some years ago brought into this country as a present to the queen, which was very little larger than some mastiffs, measuring only nine hands in height.

In Great-Britain the breed of Horses seems to be as mixed as that of its inhabitants. By great attention to the [Page 4] improvement of this noble animal, by a judicious mixture of several kinds, and by superior skill in management, the English


is allowed to excel those of the rest of Europe, or per­haps the whole world. For supporting a continuance of violent exertion, (or what is called, in the language of [Page 5] the turf, bottom) they are superior to the Arabian, the Barb, or the Persian; and for swiftness they will yield the palm to none. An ordinary Racer is known to go at the rate of a mile in less than two minutes; but there have been instances of much greater rapidity: The fa­mous [Page 6] Horse Childers has been known to move eighty-two feet and an half in a second, or nearly a mile in a minute; he has run round the course at Newmarket, which is little less than four miles, in six minutes and forty seconds.



is a happy combination of the Race-Horse with others of superior strength, but inferior in swiftness; and may be considered as the most useful breed of Horses in Europe. Geldings of this kind are sent over to the continent (where their superior worth is universally acknowledged) in great numbers, and sold at very high prices to foreigners of the first distinction. The mixture of this with others of infe­rior rank forms an endless variety, the different gradations becoming too minute to be discriminated.



No other country has produced a breed of Horses equal in size and strength to the larger kind of our draught Horses. The cavalry of England is in general formed of this class of Horses; but their inutility being experienced in some situations, others of a lighter and more active kind have been substituted in a few regiments. The fens of Lincolnshire generally produce a larger breed than any other part of the kingdom. In London there have been instances where a single Horse of that kind has drawn, for a small space, the enormous weight of three tons, half of which is known to be their ordinary draught.



is inferior to the last in size and strength: His form is heavy, his motions slow, and his aspect without sprightli­ness; he is nevertheless extremely useful, and is employed in the business of agriculture and other domestic con­cerns.

Till of late years Pack-Horses were employed, in the no them counties of England, to carry the different ma­nufactures and articles of traffic from one part of the kingdom to another; but the improved state of our roads has caused that made of conveyance to be almost entirely [...] I [...] their journies over trackless moors they [...] to the [...]e of order and regularity custom [...] to observe: The leading Horse, which [...] for his sagacity and steadiness, being [...], gives notice to the rest, who follow [...] without much deviation, though [Page 9] sometimes at a considerable distance. The following in­stance will shew with what obstinate perseverance they have been known to observe the line of their order:— Some years ago one of these Horses, which had been long accustomed to follow his leader, by accident or fa­tigue was thrown into an inferior rank; the poor ani­mal, as if sensible of his disgrace, by the most strenuous exertions at length recovered his usual station, which he maintained during the remainder of the journey; but, on his arrival in the inn-yard, he dropped down dead upon the spot, his life falling a sacrifice to his ambition—A species of heroism we must admire even in the brute cre­ation.

Although the Horse is endowed with vast strength and powers, he seldom exerts either to the prejudice of his master: On the contrary, he seems to participate in his pleasure, and shares with him in his labours; generous and persevering, he gives up his whole powers to the ser­vice of his master; though bold and intrepid, he represses the natural vivacity and fire of his temper, and not only yields to the hand, but seems to consult the inclination of his rider.

But it must continue to be matter of regret to every [...]ling mind, that these excellent qualities should be often shamefully abused in the most unnecessary exertions; and the honest labours of this noble animal thrown away in the ungrateful task of accomplishing the purposes of unfeeling folly, or lavished in gratifying the expectations of an in­temperate moment.



THIS useful and hardy animal is the offspring of the Horse and the Ass, and being barren, furnishes us with an indisputable proof that the two species are per­fectly distinct. Nature has providently stopped the fur­ther propagation of these heterogeneous productions, to preserve, uncontaminated, the form of each animal; with­out which regulation the races would, in a short time, be mixed with each other, and every creature losing its ori­ginal perfection, would rapidly degenerate.

The common Mule is very healthy, and will live above thirty years: It is found very serviceable in carrying bur­thens, particularly in mountainous and stony places where Horses are not so sure-footed. The size and strength of our breed has lately been much improved by the importa­tion of Spanish Male-Asses; and it were much to be wish­ed that the useful qualities of this animal were more at­tended to: For by proper care in its breaking, its natural obstinacy would be in a great measure corrected; and it [Page 11] might be formed with success, for the saddle, the draught, or the burthen.

People of the first quality in Spain are drawn by Mules, where fifty or sixty guineas is no uncommon price for one of them; nor is it surprizing, when we consider how far they excel the Horse in travelling in a mountainous coun­try, the Mule being able to tread securely where the for­mer can hardly stand. Their manner of going down the precipices of the Alps, the Andes, &c. is very extraordi­nary; and with it we will conclude their history. In these passages, on one side, are steep eminences, and on the other, frightful abysses; and, as they generally follow the direction of the mountain, the road, instead of lying in a level, forms at every little distance steep declivities, of se­veral hundred yards downward. These can only be de­scended by Mules; and the animal itself seems sensible of the danger, and the caution that is to be used in such de­scents. When they come to the edge of one of these de­scents, they stop without being checked by the rider; and if he inadvertently attempt to spur them on, they continue immoveable. They seem all this time ruminating on the danger that lies before them, and preparing themselves for the encounter. They not only attentively view the road, but tremble and snort at the danger. Having pre­pared for the descent, they place their fore feet in a pos­ture, as if they were stopping themselves; they then also put their hinder feet together, but a little forward, as if they were going to lie down. In this attitude, having taken as it were a survey of the road, they slide down with the swiftness of a meteor. In the mean time, all the rider has to do is to keep himself fast on the saddle without checking the rein, for the least motion is sufficient to dis­order [Page 12] the equilibrium of the Mule; in which case they both unavoidably perish. But their address in this rapid descent is truly wonderful; for in their swiftest motion, when they seem to have lost all government of themselves, they follow exactly the different windings of the road, as if they had previously settled in their minds the route they were to follow, and taken every precaution for their safe­ty. In this journey the natives place themselves along the sides of the mountains, and holding by the roots of the trees, animate the beasts with shouts, and encourage them to persevere. Some Mules, after being long used to these journies, acquire a kind of reputation for their safety and skill; and their value rises in proportion to their fame.



THE Ass, it is probable, was originally a native of Arabia and other parts of the east: The deserts of Lybia and Numidia, and many islands of the Archipelago, contain vast herds of wild Asses, which run with such amazing swiftness, that even the coursers of the country can hardly overtake them. They are chiefly caught by the natives on account of their flesh, which is eaten by them, and considered as a delicious repast. The flesh of the common or tame Ass is however drier, more tough, and disagreeable than that of the Horse; Galen says it is even unwholesome: Its milk, on the contrary, is an ap­proved remedy for certain disorders. The wild Ass is not streaked like the Zebra, (with which it has often been confounded) nor is his form so beautiful: His figure resembles that of the common Ass, his colour is brighter, and he has a white streak extending from his head to his tail.

The Ass, like the Horse, was originally imported into [Page 14] America by the Spaniards, where it has run wild, and multiplied in a great degree. Ulloa informs us, that, in the kingdom of Quito, they hunt them in the following manner:—A number of persons on horseback, attended by Indians on foot, form a large circle in order to drive them into a narrow compass, where at full speed they throw a noose over them, and having secured them with fetters, leave them till the chace is over, which frequently lasts for several days. They have all the swiftness of Horses; and neither declivities nor precipices can retard them in their flight. When attacked, they defend them­selves with their heels and mouths with such activity, that, without slackening their pace, they often maim their pursuers.

A warm climate is most favourable to the growth of this animal: The Ass produced in this country, is much inferior in size and beauty to those of Spain and other warm countries: In Guinea they are larger and more beautiful than even their Horses: In Persia they have two kinds, the one slow and heavy, which is made use of for carrying burthens; the other, nimble, smooth, and state­ly, used chiefly for the saddle. They are managed as Horses; and, like them, are taught to amble. They ge­nerally slit their nostrils to give them more room for breathing. Many of these are sold as high as forty or fifty pounds.

Holingshed informs us, that in the reign of queen Elizabeth there were no Asses in this country: How soon after they might be introduced is uncertain. How­ever they are at present naturalized in this kingdom, where their utility becomes daily more universally expe­rienced.

[Page 15]The qualities of this animal are so well known as to need no description: His gentleness, patience, and per­severance, are without example: He is temperate with regard to food; and eats contentedly the coarsest and most neglected herbage: If he give the preference to any vegetable, it is to the plantain, for which he will neglect every other herb in the pasture. In his water he is singu­larly nice, drinking only from the clearest brooks. He is so much afraid of wetting his feet, that, even when load­en, he will turn aside to avoid the dirty parts of the road.

He is stronger, in proportion to his size, than the Horse; but more sluggish, stubborn, and untractable. He is healthier than the Horse; and, of all other quadru­peds, is least infested with lice or other vermin, which is probably owing to the extreme hardness and dryness of his skin. For the same reason, perhaps, he is less sensitive of the goads of the whip, or the stinging of flies.

He is three or four years in coming to perfection; and lives to the age of twenty, or sometimes twenty-five years. He sleeps much less than the Horse; and never lies down for that purpose but when he is much fatigued. The She-Ass goes eleven months with young; and sel­dom produces more than one at a time.

The services of this useful creature are too often repaid by hard fare and cruel usage; and being generally the property of the poor, it partakes of their wants and their distresses: Whereas, by due cultivation and care in its education, the Ass might be usefully and profitably em­ployed in a variety of domestic purposes, and in many cases supply the place of the Horse, to which only it is second, though generally degraded into the most useless and neglected of domestic quadrupeds.



WHICH many authors have mistaken for a wild Ass, is the most beautiful, as well as the wildest, most timid, and untameable animal in nature. Being larger than the Ass, it rather resembles the Mule in shape: Its head is large; its ears longer than those of the Horse; its legs beautifully small, and well placed; and its body well formed, round, and fleshy: But the beauty of its shape is greatly heightened by the glossy smoothness of its skin, and the amazing regularity and elegance of its colours, which in the male are white and brown, and in the fe­male white and black, ranged in alternate stripes over the whole body, in a stile so beautiful and ornamental, that it would at first sight seem rather the effect of art than the genuine production of nature: The head is striped with fine bands of black and white, which form a center in the forehead: The neck is adorned with stripes of the same colour running round it: The body is beautifully varie­gated [Page 17] with bands running across the back, and ending in points at the belly: Its thighs, its legs, its ears, and even its tail, are all beautifully streaked in the same manner.

The Zebra inhabits the southern parts of Africa, where whole herds are seen feeding in those extensive plains that lie towards the Cape of Good Hope. However their watchfulness is such, that they will suffer nothing to come near them; and their swiftness so great, that they easily leave their pursuers far behind.

Such is the beauty of this creature, that it seems by na­ture fitted to gratify the pride, and formed for the service of man; and it is most probable that time and assiduity alone are wanting to bring it under subjection. As it re­sembles the Horse in regard to its form as well as man­ner of living, there can be little doubt but it possesses a si­militude of nature, and only requires the efforts of an in­dustrious and skilful nation, to be added to the number of our useful dependants. Nevertheless its liberty has hi­therto remained uncontrouled, and its natural fierceness has as yet resisted every attempt to subdue it: Those that have been brought to this country, have discovered a de­gree of viciousness that rendered it unsafe to approach them too familiarly; but it is by no means to be con­cluded from hence, that they are untameable.

They have continued to be wild, because they are na­tives of a country where the wretched inhabitants have no other idea of advantage from the animal creation than as they are good for food, paying more regard to that which affords the most delicious repast, than to delicacy of co­louring, or beauty of conformation.

Quaggas or wild Asses, an animal hitherto but little known, and not much described, abound in the same [Page 18] country, and have been mistaken for Zebras of the female kind; but are now known to be a distinct species. They live in herds, and are said to be extremely swift.


OF all animals those that chew the cud are the most harmless, and the soonest brought under subjection. The great obligations we are under to those of this class, render them objects of the highest importance to us: We are nourished with their milk, we are supported by their flesh, and we are cloathed and warmed with their fleeces; their harmlessness and innocence endear them to us, and claim from us that protection their natures seem to re­quire: In return for which, they supply us with the ne­cessaries and comforts of life.

We shall begin with those of the Ox kind, as claiming the first rank, from their size, their beauty, and usefulness.



OF all animals, except man, the Cow seems most extensively propagated: It is equally capable of enduring the rigours of heat and cold; and is an inhabi­tant of the frozen as well as the most scorching climates. Other animals preserve their nature or their form with inflexible perseverance; but these in every respect suit [Page 20] themselves to the wants and conveniences of mankind. In no animal is there to be met with a greater variety of kinds; and in none a more humble and pliant disposition.

The climate and pastures of Great-Britain are well a­dapted to the moderate nature of this animal; and we are indebted to the variety and abundance of our wholesome vegetables for the number and excellence of our cattle, which range over our hills, and enliven our plains; a source of inexhaustible wealth—the pride and boast of this happy country.

Being destitute of the upper fore-teeth, the Cow pre­fers the high and rich grass in pastures to the short and more delicate herbage the Horse generally selects. For this reason, in our English pastures, where the grass is rather high and flourishing than succulent and nutritious, the Cow thrives admirably; and there is no part of Eu­rope in which this animal grows larger*, yields more milk, nor fattens sooner.

It has often been remarked, that the Horse and Sheep impoverish the soil on which they graze; whilst the pas­ture where the Cow is fed, acquires a finer surface, and every year becomes more level and beautiful: For the Horse selects the grass that is most delicate and tender, and being furnished with fore-teeth on each jaw, nips it close, and frequently pulls it up by the roots, thereby preventing its future growth and propagation: The Sheep also, though formed like the Cow with respect to its teeth, only bites the most succulent parts of the herbage. [Page 21] These animals therefore cut the fine grass too closely, and suffer the high weeds and ranker grass to vegetate undis­turbed, and overrun the pastures.

The age of the Cow is known by its horns: At the age of four years a ring is formed at their roots, and every succeeding year another ring is added. Thus by allow­ing three years before their appearance, and then reckon­ing the number of rings, the creature's age may be ex­actly known.

The quantity of milk given by the Cow is very diffe­rent: Some will yield only about six quarts in one day, while others give from ten to fifteen, and sometimes even twenty. The richness of the pasture contributes not a little to its encrease. There have been instances of Cows giving upwards of thirty quarts of milk in one day. In such cases there is a necessity for milking them thrice. From the milk of some cows twelve or fourteen pounds of butter are made in a week.

It has been advanced by some naturalists as a general principle, that neither animals, nor parts of animals, ap­pear to be primarily intended for the use of man; but are only capable of a secondary application to his purposes: Yet it must be allowed, that, in many instances, what they term the secondary use is so manifest and important, that it cannot, with propriety, be supposed to be excluded from the original designs of the all-wise Creator: And it must be allowed, that the Cow, in its faculty of giving in such abundance, and with so much ease, its milk, which forms so rich and nutritive an aliment for the hu­man species, is a striking example of this subordination to the interests of mankind: For this animal differs, in some parts of its organization from most others, having [Page 22] a larger and more capacious udder, and longer and thicker teats, than the largest animal we know. It has likewise four teats, while all other animals of the same nature have but two. It also yields the milk freely to the hand, while most animals, at least those that do not ruminate in the same manner, refuse it, except their own young, or some adopted animal, be allowed to partake.

The Cow, having four teats, is a striking peculiarity: The number in all other animals bearing some proportion to the number of young ones they bring forth at a time; as in the Bitch, the Cat, the Sow, &c.

The Cow will yield her milk as freely, and will conti­nue to give it as long, without the aid of the calf, as if it were permitted to suck her constantly. This is not the case with the Ass; which, it is well known, will soon grow dry, if her foal be not permitted to suck part of her milk every day.

Upon the whole, it appears, that the property of yield­ing milk, without the young one, is confined to those kinds of ruminating horned animals which have cloven hoofs, four stomachs, long intestines, are furnished with suet, and have no fore-teeth in the upper jaw; that Cows, Sheep, Goats, and Deer, are of this kind, and no other; and that the Cow has this property in a more emi­nent degree than others, owing to the capaciousness of her udder, and the size and form of her teats.

By great industry and attention to their breed, and by judicious mixtures with those of other countries, our horned cattle are universally allowed to be the finest in Europe; although such as are purely British are inferior in size to those on many parts of the continent. The large species now propagated in most parts of England, [Page 23] are either entirely foreign, or our own greatly improved by a cross or mixture with the foreign kind. The Hol­stein or Dutch breed has been introduced with great suc­cess; and from these the Lincolnshire kind derive their size.



The Lancashire breed forms a variety of a smaller size, with wide spreading horns, and straight backs; their hair is finely curled; and the elegance and regularity of their shape render this the most beautiful race of cattle this kingdom produces. Farther North they are still smaller; and in the Highlands of Scotland they are very diminu­tive, being not larger than an Ass. Of these large droves are yearly brought out of that country to fatten in the southern parts of the kingdom, where they soon greatly improve.

The Cow seems more liable to changes from its pasture and climate than any other quadruped: In the different parts of this narrow island we can trace a wonderful va­riety [Page 24] of these animals produced by the richness or poverty of the soil. In short, in every part of the world the Cow is found either large or small, in proportion to the rich­ness or poverty of its food. Among the Eluth Tartars, where the pastures are remarkably rich and nourishing, the Cow grows to such an amazing size that a tall man can scarcely reach the tip of its shoulder. In France, on the contrary, where this animal is stinted in its food, and driven from the bed pastures, it greatly degenerates.

In Great-Britain, the Ox is the only horned animal that will apply his strength to the service of mankind; and in general, is more profitable than the Horse for the plough or the draught. There is scarcely any part of this animal without its use: The skin is made into various kinds of leather; the hair is mixed with lime for plaistering; the bones are made use of as a substitute for ivory, and being calcined, are used by the refiner as an absorbent to carry off the baser metals in refining silver, &c.; combs, and many ether articles, are made of the horns; we are sup­plied with candles from the tallow; and from the feet is procured an oil of great use in preparing and softening leather; besides the well-known benefits derived from butter, milk, and cheese; its blood, gall, liver, and urine, have their respective uses in manufactures and medicine.

The Cow goes nine months with young, and seldom produces more than one at a time.



There was formerly a very singular species of wild cat­tle in this country, which is now nearly extinct. Nume­rous herds of them were kept in several parks in England and Scotland, but have been destroyed by various means; [Page 26] and the only breed now remaining in the kingdom, is in the park at Chillingham-castle, in Northumberland.

The principal external appearances which distinguish this breed of cattle from all others, are the following:— Their colour is invariably white; muzzles black; the whole of the inside of the ear, and about one-third of the outside, from the tip downwards, red*; horns whi [...]e, with black tips, very fine, and bent upwards: Some of the Bulls have a thin upright mane, about an inch and an half or two inches long.

At the first appearance of any person, they set off in full gallop; and, at the distance of two or three hundred yards, make a wheel round, and come boldly up again, tossing their heads in a menacing manner; on a sudden they make a full stop at the distance of forty or fifty yards, looking wildly at the object of their surprize; but upon the least motion being made, they all again turn round, and fly off with equal speed, but not to the same distance; forming a shorter circle, and again returning with a bolder and more threatening aspect than before, they approach much nearer, probably within thirty yards; when they make another stand, and again fly off: This they do sever­al times, shortening their distance and advancing nearer, till they come within ten yards, when most people think it prudent to leave them, not chusing to provoke them fur­ther; for there is little doubt but in two or three turns they would make an attack.

The made of killing them was perhaps the only modern remains of the grandeur of ancient hunting:—On notice [Page 27] being given, that a wild Bull would be killed on a certain day, the inhabitants of the neighbourhood came mounted, and armed with guns, &c. sometimes to the amount of an hundred horse, and four or five hundred foot, who stood upon walls, or got into trees, while the horsemen rode off the Bull from the rest of the herd, until he stood at bay; when a marksman dismounted and shot. At some of these huntings twenty or thirty shots have been fired before he was subdued. On such occasions the bleeding victim grew desperately furious, from the smart­ing of his wounds, and the shouts of savage joy that were echoing from every side: But from the number of acci­dents that happened, this dangerous mode has been little practised of late years, the park-keeper alone generally shooting them with a rifled gun, at one shot.

When the Cows calve, they hide their calves for a week or ten days in some sequestered situation, and go and suckle them two or three times a-day. If any per­son come near the calves, they clap their heads close to the ground, and lie like a hare in form, to hide them­selves. This is a proof of their native wildness; and is corroborated by the following circumstance that happened to the writer of this narrative, who found a hidden calf, two days old, very lean, and very weak:—On stroking its head, it got up, pawed two or three times like an old Bull, bellowed very loud, stepped back a few steps, and bolted at his legs with all its force; it then began to paw again, bellowed, stepped back, and bolted as before; but knowing its intention, and stepping aside, it missed him, fell, and was so very weak that it could not rise, though it made several efforts: But it had done enough: The whole herd were alarmed, and coming to its rescue, [Page 28] obliged him to retire; for the dams will allow no person to touch their calves, without attacking them with impe­tuous ferocity.

When any one happens to be wounded, or is grown weak and feeble through age or sickness, the rest of the herd set upon it, and gore it to death.

The weight of the Oxen is generally from forty to fifty stone the four quarters; the Cows about thirty. The beef is finely marbled, and of excellent flavour.

Those at Burton-Constable, in the county of York, were all destroyed by a distemper a few years since. They varied slightly from those at Chillingham, having black ears and muzzles, and the tips of their tails of the same colour; they were also much larger, many of them weighing sixty stone, probably owing to the richness of the pasturage in Holderness, but generally attributed to the difference of kind between those with black and with red ears, the former of which they studiously endeavoured to preserve.—The breed which was at Drumlanrig, in Scotland, had also black ears.



is a variety of the Ox kind, and is chiefly to be met with in the extensive forests of Lithuania: It grows to a size almost equal to the elephant, and is quite black; the eyes are red and fiery, the horns thick and short, and the fore­head covered with a quantity of curled hair; the neck is short and strong, and the skin has an odour of musk. The female, though not so big as the male, exceeds the largest of our Bulls in size: Nevertheless her udder is ex­tremely small. Upon the whole, however, this animal, which greatly resembles those of the tame kind, probably owes its variety to its natural wildness, and the richness of the pastures where it is produced.



differs from the rest of the Ox kind in having a large lump between its shoulders almost as high as that of a ca­mel: He has a long shaggy mane, which forms a kind of beard under his chin; his eyes are fierce, his forehead large, and his horns extremely wide. It is dangerous to pursue him, except in forests abounding with trees large enough to conceal the hunters. He is generally taken in pits covered with branches of trees and grass, on the op­posite side of which the hunters tempt the animal to pur­sue them; and the enraged creature running towards them, falls into the trap prepared for it, and is then over­powered and slain.

The Bison, or the animal with the hump, is found in all the southern parts of the world, though greatly differ­ing from each other in size and form; while the Urus, or the one without the hump, chiefly occupies the tempe­rate and cold climates. The former extend throughout the vast continent of India, and from Mount Atlas to [Page 31] the Cape of Good Hope. In some parts they are ex­tremely large; while in others they are very small, such as the Zebu or Barbary Cow.



They are all equally docile and gentle, when tamed; and are in general covered with fine glossy hair, softer and more beautiful than that of the common Cow. Their humps are of different sizes, in some weighing from forty to fifty pounds, but in others less: That part is in ge­neral considered as a great delicacy; and when dressed, has much the appearance and taste of udder.

The Bisons of Madagascar and Malabar are of the great kind; those of Arabia, Petrea, and most parts of Africa, are of the Zebu or small kind.

In America, especially towards the North, the Bison is well known. They herd together in droves of from one to two hundred, on the banks of the Missisippi; where the inhabitants hunt them, their flesh being esteemed good eating. They all breed with the tame cow. The [Page 32] hump, which is only an accidental characteristic, gradu­ally declines; and in a few generations, no vestiges of it remain. Thus we see, whether it be the wild or the tame Ox, the Bonasus or the Urus, the Bison or the Ze­bu, by whatever name they are distinguished, and though variously classed by naturalists, in reality they are the same; and however diversified in their appearance and properties, are descendants of one common stock; of which the most unequivocal proof is, that they all mix and breed with each other.

The Oxen of India are of different sizes, and are made use of in travelling, as substitutes for horses. Their com­mon pace is soft. Instead of a bit, a small cord is passed through the cartilage of the nostrils, which is tied to a larger cord, and serves as a bridle. They are saddled like Horses; and when pushed, move very briskly: They are likewise used in drawing chariots and carts. For the for­mer purpose, white Oxen are in great esteem, and much admired: They will perform journies of sixty days, at the rate of from twelve to fifteen leagues a day; and their travelling pace is generally a trot.

In Persia there are many Oxen entirely white, with small blunt horns, and humps on their backs. They are very strong, and carry heavy burthens. When about to be loaded, they drop down on their knees like the camel, and rise when their burthens are properly fastened.



The Sarluc, or Grunting Cow of Siberia, from its re­semblance to the Bison, may be considered as belonging to the same species: The hair on its body is black, ex­cept on the front and ridge of the back, where it is white: It has a mane on the neck; and the whole body is covered with very long hair, which hangs down below the knees, and makes the legs appear short: It has a hump on the back; the tail resembles that of a horse, is white, and ve­ry bushy: It strikes with its head like a goat, and is very unruly: Its distinguishing peculiarity is, that it makes a grunting noise like a Hog, instead of lowing like the Ox, which in every other instance it greatly resembles.



Though there is the most striking general resemblance between the Buffalo and our common Ox, both in regard [Page 34] to form and nature, their habits and propensities being nearly similar, are both equally submissive to the yoke, and may be employed in the same domestic services; yet it is certain from experience, that no two animals can in reality be more distinct;—the Cow refuses to breed with the Buffalo, while it is known to propagate with the Bi­son, to which it bears, in point of form, a much more distant similitude.

The Buffalo is found wild in many parts of Africa and India, but is most common in the countries near the Cape of Good Hope; where he is described by Sparrman, as a fierce, cruel, and treacherous animal: He frequently stands behind trees, waiting the coming of some passen­ger; when he rushes out upon him, and, after having thrown him down, tramples him to death with his feet and knees, tearing him with his horns and teeth, and licking him with his rough tongue till the skin is nearly stripped from the body.—The following accurate descrip­tion we owe to the same author:—The length of the Buf­falo, from head to tail, is eight feet; the height five and a half; and the fore-legs two feet and a half long: From the tip of the muzzle to the horns, twenty-two inches: His limbs, in proportion to his size, are much stouter than those of the Ox; his fetlocks likewise hang nearer the ground: The horns are singular both in their form and position; the bases of them are thirteen inches broad, and only an inch distant from each other, having a narrow channel or furrow between them; from this furrow the horns assume a spherical form, extending over a great part of the head; the surface, from the base upwards to nearly a third part of them, is very rough, and full of [...]ts, sometimes an inch deep; the distance between the [Page 35] points is often above five feet: The ears are a foot long, somewhat pendent, and in a great measure covered and defended by the lower edges of the horns, which bend down on each side, forming a curve upwards with the points: Their hair is of a dark-brown colour, about an inch long, harsh, and upon those males that are ad­vanced in years, straggling and thin, especially on each side of the belly, which gives them the appearance of be­ing girt with a belt: They frequently roll themselves in the mire, of which they are very fond: The tail is short, and tufted at the end: The eyes are large, and somewhat sunk within their prominent orbits, which are almost co­vered with the bases of the horns overhanging its dang­ling ears; this, with a peculiar inclination of the head to one side, which is its usual manner, produces an aspect at once fierce, cunning, and tremendous: The flesh of the Buffalo is coarse, rather lean, but full of juice of a high, but not unpleasant flavour: The hide is thick and tough, and of great use in making thongs and harness; it is so hard, as not to be penetrated by a common mus­ket-ball; those made use of for shooting the Buffalo, are mixed with tin; and even they are frequently flattened by the concussion.

In Italy, the Buffalo is domesticated, and constitutes the riches and food of the poor, who employ them for the purposes of agriculture, and make butter and cheese from their milk.

The female produces but one at a time, and continues pregnant twelve months;—another striking characteristic difference between the Buffalo and the common Cow.



THE Sheep, in its present domestic state, seems so far removed from a state of nature, that it may be deemed a difficult matter to point out its origin. Cli­mate, food, and above all, the unwearied arts of cultiva­tion, contribute to render this animal, in a peculiar man­ner, the creature of man; to whom it is obliged to trust entirely for its protection, and to whose necessities it largely contributes. Though singularly inoffensive, and harmless even to a proverb, it does not appear to be that stupid, inanimate creature described by Buffon, "devoid of every necessary art of self-preservation, without cou­rage, and even deprived of every instinctive faculty, we are led to conclude, that the Sheep, of all other animals, is the most contemptible and stupid:" But amidst those numerous flocks which range without controul on exten­sive mountains, where they seldom depend upon the aid of the shepherd, it will be found to assume a very different character: In those situations a Ram or a Wedder will [Page 37] boldly attack a single Dog, and often come off victorious: But when the danger is more alarming, they have re­course to the collected strength of the whole flock. On such occasions they draw up into a compact body, placing the young and the females in the center; while the males take the foremost ranks, keeping close by each other. Thus an armed front is presented on all quarters, and cannot easily be attacked without danger of destruction to the assailant. In this manner they wait with firmness the approach of the enemy; nor does their courage fail them in the moment of attack: For when the aggressor advances within a few yards of the line, the Rams dart upon him with such impetuosity as lays him dead at their feet, unless he save himself by flight. Against the attacks of single Dogs or Foxes, when in this situation, they are perfectly secure.—A Ram, regardless of danger, will some­times engage a Bull; and his forehead being much harder than that of any other animal, he seldom fails to conquer: For the Bull, by lowering his head, receives the stroke of the Ram between his eyes, which usually brings him to the ground.

In the selection of their food, few animals discover greater sagacity than the Sheep; nor does any domestic animal shew more dexterity and cunning in its attempts to elude the vigilance of the shepherd, in order to steal such delicacies as are agreeable to its palate. Besides its hardiness in enduring great severities of weather, the na­tural instinct of the Sheep in foreseeing the approach of a storm is no less remarkable: In their endeavours to secure themselves under the shelter of some hill, whole flocks have frequently been buried for many days under a cover­ing of snow, and have afterwards been taken out with­out [Page 38] any material injury. Thus beautifully described by Thompson:—

—Oft the whirlwind's wing
Sweeps up the burthen of whole wintry plains
At one wide wast; and o'er the hapless flocks,
Hid in the hollow of two neighbouring hills,
The billowy tempest whelms.—

There have been instances where Sheep, at the ap­proach of a storm, have fled for shelter to a neighbouring cottage, and taken refuge under the same roof with their shepherd.

The variety in this creature is so great, that scarcely any two countries produce Sheep of the same kind; there is found a manifest difference in all, either in the size, the covering, the shape, or the horns.

The woolly Sheep is found only in Europe and in the temperate provinces of Asia: When transported into warmer climates, it loses its wool, and becomes hairy and rough; it is likewise less fertile, and its flesh no longer retains the same flavour.

No country produces finer Sheep than Great-Britain: Their fleeces are large, and well adapted to the various purposes of cloathing. The Spanish fleeces are indeed finer, but stand in no degree of comparison with those of Lincolnshire or Warwickshire for weight or utility. In Edward the Third's time, when wool was allowed to be exported, it brought 150,000l. per annum, at 2l. 10s. a pack, which was a great sum in those days: At this time, when our woollen-manufactory stands unrivalled by any nation in the world, and every method is taken to prevent this valuable commodity from being sent out of the kingdom, the annual value of wool shorn in Eng­land, [Page 39] is estimated at two millions sterling, and when ma­nufactured, at no less than six millions.

Like other ruminating animals, the Sheep wants the upper fore-teeth: It has eight in the lower jaw, two of which drop out, and are replaced at two years old; four of them art renewed at three years, and the remainder at the age of four.

The Ewe produces one or two lambs at a time, and sometimes, though rarely, three or four; bears her young five months, and brings forth in the spring. The Ram lives to the age of about fifteen years, and begins to pro­create at one. When castrated, they are called Wedders. They then grow sooner fat, and the flesh becomes finer and better flavoured.

There is hardly any part of this animal that is not ser­viceable to man: Of the fleece we make our cloths; the skin produces leather, of which are made gloves, parch­ment, and covers for books; the entrails are formed into strings for fiddles and other musical instruments, like­wise coverings for whips; its milk affords both butter and cheese; and its flesh is a delicate and wholesome food.

The following remarks, taken from Mr Cully's "Ob­servations on live stock," will not be unacceptable to ma­ny of our readers, as they convey a just idea of some of the most noted kinds of Sheep at this time in the island. He begins with those of Lincolnshire, which are of a large size, big-boned, and afford a greater quantity of wool than any other kind, owing to the rich, fat marshes on which they feed; but their flesh is coarse, leaner, and not so finely flavoured as that of smaller Sheep: The same breed extends, with some variations, through most of the [Page 40] midland counties of England: But the largest breed of Sheep in this island, is to be met with on the banks of the Tees, which runs through a rich and fertile country, di­viding the two counties of Yorkshire and Durham: This kind differs from the preceding, in their wool not being so long and heavy; their legs are longer, but finer boned, and support a thicker, firmer carcase; their flesh is like­wise much fatter, and finer grained: These Sheep weigh from twenty-five to forty-five pounds per quarter; some have been fed to fifty pounds; and one in particular was killed, which weighed sixty-two pounds ten ounces per quarter, avoirdupois—a circumstance never before heard of in this island. The Ewes of this breed generally bring forth two lambs each season; sometimes three, four, and even five. As an instance of extraordinary fecundity, it deserves to be mentioned, that one of these Ewes, at the age of two years, brought forth four lambs at one time, the next season five, both within eleven months. The Dorsetshire breed is likewise remarkably prolific, the Ewes being capable of bringing forth twice a-year: It is from these, that the tables of our nobility and gentry are sup­plied with early lamb at Christmas, or sooner if required. Great numbers of those early victims to luxury are year­ly sent to the London markets, where they are sold at the enormous price of 10s. 6d. or perhaps 15s. per quarter.

The manner of rearing the lambs is curious: They are imprisoned in little dark cabins; the Ewes are fed with oil-cakes, hay, corn, turnips, cabbages, or any other food which the season of the year affords; these are given them in a field contiguous to the apartments where the lambs are kept; and at proper intervals, the nurses are brought in to give suck to their young ones; while the [Page 41] attendants, at the same time, make their lodgings perfect­ly clean, and litter them with fresh draw. Great atten­tion is paid to this, as much of the success of rearing these unseasonable productions depends upon warmth and cleanliness.

The Dorsetshire Sheep are mostly white-faced; their legs are long and small, and great numbers of them have no wool upon their bellies, which gives them an uncouth appearance. They produce a small quantity of wool, but of a good quality, from which our fine Wiltshire cloths are made. The mutton of these Sheep is very sweet and well flavoured. The variations of this breed are spread through most of the southern counties; but the true kind is only to be found in Dorsetshire and Wiltshire. There is a breed, not unlike this, in Norfolk and Suffolk; but they are all grey or black-faced.

The north-west part of Yorkshire, with all that moun­tainous tract of country running towards Lancashire southward, and to Fort William northward, is occupied by a hardy, black-faced, wild-looking tribe, generally called short Sheep, which differ from our other breeds not only in the darkness of their complexions and horns, but principally in the coarse shaggy wool which they produce, not much unlike the hair growing upon a water-spaniel. Their eyes have a very sharp and wild cast; they run with astonishing agility, and seem quite adapted to the heathy mountains they inhabit. Their flesh is pe­culiarly fine and high flavoured. The three great fairs for these Sheep (where amazing numbers of them are sold every year) are, Stagshawbank, in Northumberland; Brough, in Westmorland; and Linton, in Scotland.— There is likewise a breed of Sheep inhabiting the same [Page 42] country as the former, but peculiarly distinguished from them by long, thin bodies, white legs, white faces, and by having no horns. Their wool is fine, and thickly planted.

The Sheep in the low parts of Northumberland are of a mixed breed, between the long kind, the Tees water, and the Lincolnshire. The mug or muff kind was for­merly common in that county: They were so called from their wool growing round their heads into their very eyes, so as almost to prevent them from seeing. This breed is now nearly exploded, being considered, by every breeder of experience, as unprofitable, from their thriving slowly, and being very tender.

In the northern districts of Scotland, and in many of the islands, there is a breed of Sheep which differs from the others in the smallness of their size, many of them when fed weighing no more than six, seven, or eight pounds per quarter. They have dun faces, without horns; and their wool, which is very fine, is variously mixed, and streaked with black, brown, and red.

To these various and numerous tribes of this useful animal, we must add, that, by the persevering industry and attention of Mr Bakewell, of Dishley, in Leicester­shire, our breed of Sheep has been greatly improved; and he has been followed by many eminent breeders, with nearly equal success.

It seems to be generally agreed, that in Sheep, as well as in all other animals, there is a certain symmetry or proportion of parts, which is best adapted to the size of each particular animal: All those of each kind that ex­ceed, or fall short of this pitch, are more or less dispro­portioned, according to the size they attain to; and in [Page 43] the degree they are advanced beyond this line of per­fection, we find them less active, weaker, and always less able to endure hardship. Thus, by selecting the handsomest and best proportioned of their kinds, the ju­dicious breeder has gradually arrived at a degree of per­fection in improving this animal, unknown at any former period.



The superior qualities of the Leicestershire breed are, that they will feed quickly fat at almost any age, even on indifferent pastures, and carry the greatest quantity of mutton upon the smallest bone. Their carcases are round, have remarkably broad backs, and short legs; and to shew the immense weight to which they may be fed, we give the measurement of a Ram of Mr Bake­well's, mentioned by Young in his "Eastern Tour:"— At three years old his girt was five feet ten inches; height, two feet five inches; breadth over his shoulders, [Page 44] one foot eleven inches and an half; breadth over his ribs, one foot ten inches and an half; breadth over his hips, one foot nine inches and an half.

This breed is now become so eminent, and so much [...]ought after, that Mr Bakewell has this year (1788) let out Rams, for one season only, for from fifty to as high as four hundred guineas each; and we hope, in a little time, to see it become more general, as it is a maxim which every farmer can easily comprehend, that what­ever breed the same quantity of pasture goes farthest to­wards feeding fat, is certainly the most desirable.

This valuable breed has also found its way into North­umberland. Mess. Donkin and Co. of Hexham brewery, have procured a large stock of both Ewes and Rams, (from one of the latter the preceding cut was drawn). Mess. Culley, of Fenton, and Mr Thompson, of Lilburn, have also, by a mixture of this with other kinds, improved their breeds of Sheep to the astonishment of the neigh­bouring farmers and graziers, who are now fully con­vinced of its great superiority.

We are favoured by Mr Culley with the following ac­count of a Wedder of his breed, fed at Fenton, in North­umberland, and killed at Alnwick in October, 1787, when four years old:—His dimensions were as follow,—girt, four feet eight inches and an half; breadth over his shoul­ders, one foot three inches; over his middle, one foot se­ven inches and a quarter; across the breast, from the in­side of one fore-leg to the inside of the other, nine inches.

At the dividing of the quarters, through the ribs it measured seven inches and one-eighth of solid fat, cut straight through without any slope; and his mutton was of the most beautiful bright colour: But in nothing was [Page 45] he so remarkable, as in the smallness of his bones. The proprietor of this Sheep laments, that he had not the of­fals exactly weighed (by offals, we would be understood to mean not only the tallow, but the head, pluck, and pelt, with the blood and entrails); because it is now well known, that this breed of Sheep has a greater quantity of mutton, in proportion to their offals, than any other kind we know of, and is consequently cheaper to the consumer.


[The drawing, from which the preceding cut was taken, was made by Mr Bailey, of Chillingham, soon after the Sheep had been shorn.]



another variety of the Sheep kind, deserves to be noticed for the singular and grotesque formation of its features: The wool growing round its head, forms a kind of hood or ruff, before which stand its short erect ears; the un­common protrusion of its under jaw considerably before the upper, by which the fore-teeth are left exposed; and the shortness of the nose, which lies under its high pro­jecting forehead, altogether give it the appearance of de­formity, and make a striking contrast to most animals of the Sheep kind. The Ram, from which the drawing was made, came from abroad, with two Ewes, as a pre­sent to a gentleman in the county of Northumberland: They are very small, and have no horns.—In Lincoln­shire, there is a small kind, mentioned by Mr Culley, un­der the name of Dunkie [...], which is supposed to be the same with this.



The Sheep, of which the annexed cut is an accurate representation, seem to differ from every other which we remember to have seen described. A pair of them was brought to this country, by way of Russia, from the bor­ders of Tartary. They are rather larger than the English Sheep. The colour of the male is roan, or light-brown mixed with white; that of the female, black and white: Their ears are pendulous; and instead of a tail, they have a large protuberance of fat behind, which covers the rump. When the drawing was made, they had just been shorn; at other times the wool is so long and thick, that their form cannot be well distinguished.

The African or Guinea Sheep is found in most of the tropical climates. They are large, strong, and swift; with coarse hairy fleeces, short horns, pendulous ears, have a kind of dew-lap under the chin, and, though do­mesticated, seem to approach nearest to a state of nature.



The Iceland Sheep, as well as those of Muscovy and the coldest climates of the Norths resemble our own in the form of the body, but differ in the number of their horns, having generally four, and sometimes eight, grow­ing from the forehead: Their wool is long, smooth, and hairy: They are of a dark-brown colour; and under the outward coat of hair, which drops off at stated periods, there is an internal covering resembling fur, which is fine, short, and soft;—the quantity produced by each Sheep, is about four pounds.

The broad-tailed Sheep, common in Persia, Barbary, Syria, and Egypt, are remarkable chiefly for their large and heavy tails, which grow a foot broad, and so long, that the shepherds are obliged to put boards with small wheels under them, to keep them from galling. The flesh of these tails is esteemed a great delicacy; it is of a substance between fat and marrow, and eaten with the [Page 49] lean of the mutton: They generally weigh from twenty to fifty pounds each.

The Sheep, bred on the mountains of Thibet, pro­duce wool of extraordinary length and fineness, of which is made the Indian shawl, frequently sold in this country for fifty pounds or upwards.



In Walachia, they have Sheep with curious spiral horns, standing upright, in the form of a screw; long shaggy fleeces; and in size and form, nearly resembling ours. They are also found in the island of Crete, and in many of the islands of the Archipelago. This is said to be the Strepsicheros of the ancients.



WHICH, by some authors, has been classed with the Sheep, and by others has been referred to the Goat kind, may not improperly be considered as standing in a middle place, and forming the link between each: For it is curious to observe, that Nature, in all her variations, proceeds by slow and almost insensible degrees, scarcely drawing a firm and distinguishing line between any two races of animals that are essentially different, and yet, in many respects, nearly allied to each other. In all transitions from one kind to the other, there is to be found a middle race, that seems to partake of the nature of both, and that can precisely be referred to neither. Thus it is hard to discover where the Sheep kind ends, or the Goat begins. The Musmon therefore, which is nei­ther Sheep nor Goat, has many marks of both, and forms the link between the two kinds. Though covered with hair, it bears a strong similitude to the Ram: Its eyes are placed near the horns, and its ears are shorter than those of the Goat; its horns resemble those of the Ram, [Page 51] in being of a yellow colour and a triangular shape; they likewise bend backward behind the ears: In some they grow to an amazing size, measuring above two yards long. They often maintain furious battles with each other, in which their horns are frequently broken off. The general colour of the hair is reddish-brown; the in­side of the thighs and belly is white tinctured with yel­low; the muzzle and inside of the ears are of a whitish colour tinctured with yellow; the other parts of the sace are of a brownish-grey.

The Musmon is found in the wild and uncultivated parts of Greece, Sardinia, Corsica, and in the desarts of Tartary; where it maintains itself, by force or swiftness, against the attacks of all rapacious animals.

It has been known to breed with the Sheep; and, from that circumstance, is supposed, by M. Buffon and others, to be the primitive race. The female of this species is rather less than the male; and her horns never grow to that prodigious size.

Those of Kamtschatka are so strong, that ten men can scarcely hold one; and the horns are so large, that young foxes often shelter themselves in the hollow of such as fall off by accident. They grow to the size of a young Stag, propagate in autumn, and bring forth one young at a time, though sometimes two.



THIS lively, playful, and capricious creature occu­pies the next step in the great scale of Nature; and, though inferior to the Sheep in value, in various instances bears a strong affinity to that useful animal. The Goat and the Sheep will propagate together: The He-Goat copulates with the Ewe, and the Ram with the She-Goat; the offspring likewise is prolific.

The Goat is a much more hardy animal than the Sheep, and is in every respect more fitted for a life of liberty: It is not easily confined to a flock, but chuses its own pasture, straying wherever its appetite or incli­nation leads: It chiefly delights in wild and mountainous regions, climbing the loftiest rocks, and standing secure on the verge of inaccessible and dangerous precipices; al­though, as Ray observes, one would hardly suppose that their feet were adapted to such perilous achievements; yet, upon a nearer inspection, the wonder ceases, and [Page 53] we find that Nature has provided them with hoofs well calculated for the purpose of climbing, being made hol­low underneath, with sharp edges, like the inside of a spoon, which prevents them from sliding off these rocky eminences.

The Goat is an animal easily sustained, and is chiefly therefore the property of those who inhabit wild and un­cultivated regions, where it finds an ample supply of food from the spontaneous productions of Nature, in si­tuations inaccessible to other creatures. It delights ra­ther on the heathy mountains, or the shrubby rock, than the fields cultivated by human industry. Its favourite food is the tops of the boughs, or the tender bark of young trees. It bears a warm climate better than the Sheep, and frequently sleeps exposed to the hottest rays of the sun.

The milk of the Goat is sweet, nourishing, and medi­cinal, being found highly beneficial in consumptive cases: It is not so apt to curdle upon the stomach as that of the Cow. From the shrubs and heath on which it feeds, the milk of the Goat acquires a flavour and wildness of taste very different from that of either the Sheep or Cow, and is highly pleasing to such as have accustomed themselves to its use: It is made into whey for those whose digestion is too weak to bear it in its primitive state. Several places in the North of England and the mountainous parts of Scotland are much resorted to for the purpose of drinking the milk of the Goat, and its effects have been generally salutary in vitiated and debilitated habits.

In many parts of Ireland, and in the Highlands of Scotland, their Goats make the chief possessions of the inhabitants; and in most of the mountainous parts of [Page 54] Europe, supply the natives with many of the necessaries of life: They lie upon beds made of their skins, which are soft, clean, and wholesome; they live upon their milk, and oat bread; they convert part of it into butter, and some into cheese. The flesh of the kid, which they do not allow themselves to taste, is considered by the city epicure as a great rarity; and, when properly prepared, is esteemed by some as little inferior to venison.

The Goat produces generally two young at a time, sometimes three, rarely four: In warmer climates, it is more prolific, and produces four or five at once; though the breed is found to degenerate. The male is capable of propagating at one year old, and the female at seven months; but the fruits of a generation so premature, are generally weak and defective: Their best time is at the age of two years, or eighteen months at least. The Goat is a short-lived animal, full of ardour, but soon enervated. His appetite for the female is excessive, so that one buck is sufficient for one hundred and fifty females.



if we believe M. Buffon, is the stock from whence our domestic Goat is descended, being very similar to it in the shape of its body, but di [...]ering considerably in the size of is horns, which are much larger: They are bent backward, and full of knots; and every year the creature lives, it is asserted, one is added to the number of them. Some of these horns have been found at least two yards long. The head of the Ibex is small, adorned with a large dusky beard, and has a thick coat of hair of a tawny colour mixed with ash; a streak of black runs along the top of its back; the belly and thighs are of a delicate fawn colour.

The Ibex inhabits the highest Alps of the Grisons' country, and the Vallais; and is also found in Crete. [Page 56] They are very wild, and difficult to be shot, as they al­ways keep on the highest points of the rocks. The chase of them is attended with great danger: Being very strong, they often turn upon the incautious huntsman, and tumble him down the precipice, unless he have time to lie down, and let the animal pass over him. They bring forth one young at a time, seldom two; and are said not to be long-lived.



The Chamois, though a wild animal, is very easily tamed, and docile; and to be found only in rocky and mountainous places. It is about the size of a domestic Goat, and resembles one in many respects. It is most agreeably lively, and active beyond expression. The [Page 57] hair is short, like that of the Doe; in spring it is of an ash colour, in autumn a dun colour, inclining to black, and in winter of a blackish brown. This ani­mal is found in great plenty in the mountains of Dau­phiny, of Piedmont, Savoy, Switzerland, and Germany. They are peaceful, gentle creatures, and live in society with each other. They are found in flocks of from four to fourscore, and even an hundred, dispersed upon the crags of the mountains. The large males are seen feed­ing detached from the rest, except in rutting time, when they approach the females, and drive away the young. The time of their coupling is from the beginning of No­vember to the end of October; and they bring forth in April and March. The young keep with the dam for about five months, and sometimes longer, if the hunters and the wolves do not separate them. It is asserted, that they live between twenty and thirty years. Their flesh is good to eat; and they are found to have ten or twelve pounds of suet, which far surpasses that of the Goat in hardness and goodness. The Chamois has scarce any cry, as most animals are known to have; if it has any, it is a kind of feeble bleat, by which the parent calls its young: But in cases of danger, and when it is to warn the rest of the flock, it uses an hissing noise, which is heard at a great distance: For it is to be observed, that this creature is extremely vigilant, and has an eye the quickest and most piercing in nature. Its smell also is not less distinguishing. When it sees its enemy distinct­ly, it stops for a moment; and then, if the person be near, in an instant after it flies off. In the same man­ner, by its smell, it can discover a man at half a league distance, and gives the earliest notice. Upon any alarm, [Page 58] therefore, or any apprehensions of danger, the Chamois begins his hissing rote with such force, that the rocks and the forests re [...]cho to the sound. The first hiss con­tinues as long as the time of one inspiration: In the be­ginning it is very sharp, and deeper towards the close. The animal having, after this first alarm, reposed a mo­ment, again looks round, and, perceiving the reality of i [...] fears, continues to hiss by intervals, until it has spread the alarm to a very great distance. During this time it seems in the most violent agitation; it strikes the ground with its fore-soo, and sometimes with both; it bounds from rock to rock; it turns and looks round; it runs to the edge of the precipice; and, still perceiving the ene­my, flies with all its speed. The hissing of the male is much louder and sharper than that of the female; it is performed through the nose, and is properly no more than a very strong breath driven violently through a small aperture.

The Chamois feeds upon the best herbage, and chuses the most delicate parts of the plants, the flowers, and the tender buds. It is not less delicate with regard to several aromatic herbs, which grow upon the sides of the mountains. It drinks but very little while it feeds upon the succulent herbage, and chews the cud in the intervals of feeding.

This animal is greatly admired for the beauty of its eyes, which are round and sparkling, and which mark the warmth of its constitution. Its head is furnished with two small horns of about half a foot long, of a beautiful black, and rising from the forehead almost be­twixt the eyes: These, contrary to what is found in other animals, instead of going backwards or sideways, [Page 59] stand forward, and bend a little backward at their ex­tremities, ending in a very sharp point. The ears are placed in a very elegant manner, near the horns; and there are two stripes of black on each side of the face, the rest being of a whitish yellow, which never changes. The horns of the female are less, and not so much bent; the natives have been known to bleed cattle with them.

These animals are so much incommoded by heat, that they are never found in summer, except in the caverns of rocks, amidst fragments of unmelted ice, under the shade of high and spreading trees, or of rough and hang­ing precipices, that face the North, and which keep off entirely the rays of the sun. They go to pasture both morning and evening, and seldom during the heat of the day. They run along the rocks with great ease and seeming indifference, and leap from one to another, so that no Dogs are able to pursue them. There is nothing more extraordinary than to see them climbing and de­sending precipices, that to all other quadrupeds are in­accessible: They always mount or descend in an oblique direction; and throw themselves down a rock of thirty feet, and light with great security upon some excrescence or fragment, on the side of the precipice, which is just large enough to place their feet upon; they strike the rock, however, in their descent with their feet, three or four times, to stop the velocity of their motion; and, when they have got upon the base below, they at once seem fixed and secure. In fact, to see them jump in this manner, they seem rather to have wings than legs. Cer­tain it is, that their legs are formed for this arduous employment; the hinder being rather longer than the [Page 60] former, and bending in such a manner, that, when they descend upon them, they break the force of the fall.

During the rigours of winter, the Chamois sleeps in the thicker forests, and feeds upon the shrubs and the buds of the pine-tree. It sometimes turns up the snow with its foot, to look for herbage; and, where it is green, makes a delicious repast. The more craggy and uneven the forest, the more this animal is pleased with the abode, which thus adds to its security.

The hunting the Chamois is very laborious, and ex­tremely difficult. The most usual way is to hide behind the clefts of the rocks, and shoot them. Some also pur­sue this animal as they do the Stag, by placing proper persons at all the passages of a glade or valley, and then sending in others to rouse the game. Dogs are quite useless in this chace, as they rather alarm than overtake: Nor is it without danger even to the men; for it often happens, that when the animal finds itself overpressed, it drives at the hunter with its head, and often tumbles him down the neighbouring precipice. This animal cannot go upon ice when smooth; but if there be the least inequalities on its surface, it then bounds along in security, and quickly evades all pursuit.

The skin of the Chamois was once famous, when tan­ned, for its softness and warmth; at present, however, since the art of tanning has been brought to greater per­fection, the leather called shammoy is made also from those of the tame Goat, the Sheep, and the Deer.



is well known for its long hair, which is thick, glossy, of a dazzling whiteness, and so fine, that cloths as beau­tiful as silk, known among us by the name of camblets, are made of it. Its ears are long and pendulous. The male is furnished with horns, curiously twisted, which proceed horizontally from each side of the head, forming a screw; those of the female are shorter, and encircle the ear somewhat like those of the common Ram. They inhabit the rocky mountains of Pontus, where they ex­perience a considerable degree of cold, and might thrive in Britain as well as in their native country. The same might be said of the Goat of Thibet, so famous for the fineness of its wool: It lives in a climate colder than ours in winter, and might probably be transplanted with suc­cess.

In Portugal, there is a breed of fine large Goats, re­markable for yielding a great quantity of milk, a gallon [Page 62] and a half per day: These, if introduced into our navy, might be of infinite service in long voyages.

Experiments of this kind would certainly be attended with many great advantages; and it were much to be wished, that the great and opulent would employ some portion of their time and affluence in procuring, from distant countries, such useful animals as would propagate in our island, and are yet unknown in it: By this mean, many of our lofty mountains might contribute to support a variety of useful creatures, that would at the same time beautify the most barren and rugged parts of our coun­try.



which M. Button makes a variety of the Goat of Angora, differs from ours in nothing more than the length of its ears, which are pendulous, and from one to two feet long: They are often troublesome to the creature in feed­ing; for which reason the owners are sometimes obliged [Page 63] to cut one of them off. Their horns are short and black. They are very numerous in the neighbourhood of Aleppo, and supply the inhabitants with milk, which they prefer to that of the Cow or the Buffalo.

These are the principal varieties of the Goat kind, of which there are others of less note; such as the African Goat, or Buck of Juda, which is much smaller than the domestic kind, being not much larger than a Hare, ex­tremely fat, and its flesh well tasted; the horns are short, smooth, and turn a little forward: It is common in Guinea, Angola, and all along the coast of Africa.

In America, there are Goats of a small kind, not much larger than a Kid, with long hair; the horns, which are short and thick, bend downwards so close to the head, as almost to penetrate the skull. These are, in every re­spect, similar to the dwarf Goat found in Africa; and, according to Buffon, have been sent from that country. —It is certain, that, before the discovery of America by the Spaniards, the Goat, and every other domestic ani­mal, were unknown there.



ARE a numerous and beautiful race of animals, inhabiting the hottest parts of the globe. They are classed by systematic writers with the Goat kind, and like them have hollow horns, which they never cast; in other respects, they greatly resemble the Deer, especially in the elegance of their form, and the swiftness of their motions. They are of a restless and timid disposition, re­markably agile, and most of their boundings so light and elastic, as to strike the spectators with astonishment. Of all animals the Gazelle has the most beautiful eye; to which the eastern poets have made frequent allusions, in describing those of their favourite beauties.

The distinguishing marks of this tribe of animals, in which they differ both from the Goat and Deer, are prin­cipally these:—Their horns are different, being annulated or ringed round, and at the same time marked with lon­gitudinal depressions or surrows, running from the base to the point: Besides the extreme beauty and meekness of its aspect, the Gazelle is more delicately and finely limbed than the Roe-buck; its hair is finer and more glossy; its swiftness is so great, that the Greyhound, the fleetest of Dogs, is unequal to the course, and the sports­man is obliged to call in the aid of the Falcon, which be­ing trained to the work, seizes on the animal, and im­pedes its motion, so as to enable the Dogs to overtake it. In India and Persia, a sort of Leopard is sometimes made use of in the chase, which takes its prey by the great­ness of its springs; but should he fail in his first essay, the game escapes.

Some species of the Antelope form herds of two or [Page 65] three thousand, while others keep in small troops of five or six. They for the most part live in hilly countries, though some inhabit plains. They often browse like the Goat, and feed on the tender shoots of young trees, which give their flesh an excellent flavour.

There are many varieties of this animal, some of them but little known or described. We shall begin with


which Mr Pennant places next to the Goat, from the length of its hair, and form of its horns. The colour of this creature is a fine blue, resembling velvet; but when dead, it is said to change to a bluish grey: Its belly is white; and beneath each eye it has a large white mark: Its tail is seven inches in length, with long hairs at the end: Its horns incline backward, forming a curve; and three-fourths of their length are decorated with twenty-four rings; the uppermost quarter is smooth, and runs tapering to a point. It inhabits the hottest parts of Africa.—Sparrman describes one which he saw at the Cape of Good Hope, and calls it a Blaaw-bok.



is likewise an inhabitant of the same country, as well as the plains and woods of Senegal, where large herds of them are to be seen. This animal is remarkable for hav­ing a white band running along each of its sides, crossed by two others from the back to the belly, disposed some­what like a harness, from whence it is called the Har­nessed Antelope; on the rump it has three white lines pointing downwards on each side; its thighs are spotted with white; the colour of the body is a deep tawny, and beneath each eye there is a white spot; its horns are straight, nine inches long, pointing backwards, with two spiral ribs. It is called by M. Buffon the Guib. Great flocks of them are found in the plains and woods of the country of Poder, in Africa.



We are indebted to the indefatigable labours of Dr Sparrman for an accurate description of this rare animal, which is found in the country about the Cape of Good Hope, and is the only one among the African Gazelles, that can be properly said to live in the woods and groves, from whence it derives its name.

The horns of this animal are black, somewhat more than ten inches long, and have three sides wreathed in a spiral direction towards the top; at the bottom they are rough, in consequence of a number of wavy rings, which however are not elevated much above the surface; at the top they are round, sharp-pointed, and in that part as smooth as if they had been polished; their position is al­most in the same line with the forehead, inclining a lit­tle forwards, and, by means of the twist they make, recede from each other towards the middle; they are [Page 68] there three inches and a half distant; at the base they are only one inch.

The Wood Goat is somewhat more than two feet and a half high, of a dark-brown colour, in some parts bor­dering upon black; on each cheek-bone there are two large round white spots; another, still larger, occupies the fore part of the neck, somewhat below the top of the windpipe; and several smaller white spots are scattered over the haunches; a narrow line of white hair extends from the neck all along the back and tail, but is not easi­ly distinguished, being hid by the length of the dark-brown hairs on the top of the back, which are three or four inches long, so as to form a kind of mane; the hair on the head is very short and fine, in other parts of the body it is longer, resembling that of Goats; its tail is not more than a finger's breadth in length, covered with long hairs, which extend down the hind part of the thighs and buttocks; the legs and feet are slender; the fetlock joints are likewise small; the nose and under lip, which are white, are decorated with black whiskers about an inch long.

As this creature runs but slowly, he is sometimes caught with Dogs: When he finds there is no other re­source, he boldly puts himself into a posture of defence; and, when going to butt, kneels down, and in that po­sition fells his life at a very dear rate, killing and gor­ing some of the best and most spirited hounds. Its horns, which are its chief defence, sometimes prove its bane, by entangling it in the bushes; to avoid this, it carries its nose horizontally and straight forward while it runs, so that they lie directly on its neck. The female, which is without horns, on that account runs more freely through [Page 69] the forests, and does not suffer herself so easily to be hunted out of the woods, having there, as well as on the plains, much greater security against the Dogs in her swiftness, than the male has in his horns, especially as she is not so bulky and heavy as the male. Her breast is said to be very plump; but the flesh of this animal is not very tender.



The White Antelope, which is supposed to be the same with the Pygarg, mentioned in the book of Numbers, is an inhabitant of the Cape of Good Hope, where it is called the Spring-bok; and is to be seen in herds of se­veral thousands, covering the plains as far as the eye can reach. Sparrman says, that, having shot at a large herd [Page 70] of them, they formed a line, and immediately made a circular movement, as if to surround him; but after­wards flew off in different directions.

The height of this beautiful creature is two feet and a half; and, from the ears to the tail, somewhat above three feet: The tail is rather less than a foot long: The length of the ears is six inches and a half; that of the horns, measuring them along their curvatures, nine inches; and their distance at the base, where they are nearly three inches thick, is one inch; they gradually widen from thence to the distance of five inches from each other, when they turn inwards, so that at the tip they are not above three inches and a half asunder; they are of a deep black colour, annulated above half way up; toward the top they are quite smooth, and end in a sharp point.

The predominant colour of this animal is brown, or a light-rust colour; the posterior moiety of the ridge of the back is white, which colour is continued over and round the anus, the inside of the haunches, the belly, and the fore legs, excepting a narrow stripe of brown in the front of each; the head is white, except a dark-brown list on each side, of the breadth of an inch, which passes from the corner of the mouth over the eyes to the horns; a stripe, an inch and a half broad, of the same deep umber colour, extends from the shoulders to the haunches, form­ing thus a boundary between the snowy whiteness of the belly and the rusty colour of the sides: The tail, at least the lower part of it, is not thicker than a goose-quill; the under side is quite bare; but towards the tip there are a few dark-brown hairs from one to two inches and a half long: The ears are of an ash colour, tipt on the [Page 71] edges with fine light-grey hairs: The eye-brows and whiskers are black: The hair in general is fine and short; but the dark fine which borders upon the white, consists of longer hairs, and in some measure serves to cover the dazzling whiteness of the creature's back, the purity of which seems to be by this means preserved; for on certain occasions the animal is able to expand these hairs to the breadth of eight or nine inches, particularly on taking a high leap, which it never fails to do when it is pursued; and then it is no less pleasant than curious to see the whole herd jumping over each other's heads to the height of two yards, and sometimes higher; some of them will take three or four high leaps successively: In this situa­tion, they seem to be suspended in the air, and look over their shoulders at their pursuers; at the same time shewing the white part of their backs in a most beautiful manner.

When hunted, these animals suffer themselves soon to be dispersed; and when the whole flock has got to some distance, they will all make a stand, and turn round to look at their pursuers, at the same time expanding the white hairs on their backs.

The Spring-boks are so extremely swift, as to require a good Horse to overtake them; although they are some­times bold enough to allow a sportsman, either on foot or on horseback, to come within gunshot of them.— Their flesh is very palatable, and has a more juicy and delicate taste than that of the other Gazelles.



is likewise an inhabitant of the Cape, as well as the greatest part of India, and is one of the larger kinds of Gazelles; has straight horns, two feet in length, of a dark-brown colour, marked with two prominent spiral ribs running near two-thirds of their length, but smooth towards the ends, which are turned a little inwards; the forehead is flat and broad at the top, but about the eyes becomes narrow; it has a forelock, standing erect the length of the whole forehead; its nose is sharp; and its breast is covered with a loose skin.

This animal is of an ash colour, inclining a little to­wards blue; has a thin upright mane, quite black, which extends from the nape of its neck along the top of the back; and has likewise a tuft of black hair at the end of the tail.

[Page 79]The Elk-antelopes live chiefly in plains and vallies; and when hunted, always run, if possible, against the wind: They are not very swift; and being in general fat, especially the males, which are always the largest and fattest in the herd, are soon tired. The hunter ge­nerally endeavours to get to the windward of the animal, which when he has accomplished, he takes an opportuni­ty of throwing himself from his horse, and instantly shoots the flying game; at this practice the Dutch colo­nists at the Cape are so expert, as seldom to fail.—Sparr­man, in his account of this animal, says, there have been many instances where keen sportsmen, as well for their own pleasure as convenience, have hunted Elk-antelopes and other Gazelles, for many miles together, from the open plains, and driven them to their own doors, before they thought it worth while to shoot them.

The female has horns like the male, but smaller: They are used by the Hottentots for tobacco-pipes.



is the most common of all the larger Gazelles, known in any part of Africa.—The following accurate description is taken from Sparrman, to whom we are indebted for the best accounts of such of these rare animals as are to be met with near the Cape:—The height of this animal is somewhat above four feet; the horns are from six to nine inches long, very strong and black, almost close, at the base diverging upwards, and at the top bending backwards in an horizontal direction almost to the tips, which turn a little downwards; they are embossed with about eighteen rings of an irregular form. The general colour of the Hart-beest is that of cinnamon; the front of the head is marked with black, as is likewise the fore part of the legs; the hind part of the haunch is covered with a wide black streak, which reaches down to the knee; a narrow stripe of black begins behind each ear, [Page 75] and runs all along the ridge of the neck; a dark-brown oval spot extends over the back, terminating just above the tail, which is slender, something like that of an Ass, and is covered with strong black hairs about six inches long. There is a pore about an inch below the eye, from which a matter is distilled, somewhat like ear-wax, which the Hottentots carefully preserve as a rare and ex­cellent medicine.

This animal is supposed to be the Bubalus of the an­cients, is the Cervine Antelope of Mr Pennant, and the Bubale of M. Buffon.

The hair of the Hart-beest is very fine, and its long ears are covered with white hair on the inside; it has only eight teeth in the lower jaw, none in the upper; the legs are rather slender, with small fetlocks and hoofs.

The large head and high forehead, together with the assinine ears and tail of the Hart-beest, render it one of the least handsome of the whole tribe of Antelopes: Its pace, when at full speed, appears like a heavy gallop; notwithstanding which, it runs as fast as any of the large Antelopes: When it has once got a-head of its pursuers, it is very apt to turn round, and stare them full in the face. Its flesh is fine, rather dry, but yet of an agreea­bly high flavour.


is a beautiful, tall Gazelle, inhabiting the Cape of Good Hope; has long, slender shanks; is larger, though not so clumsy, as the Elk-antelope: Its horns are smooth, twist­ed spirally, with a prominent edge or rib following the wreaths; they are three feet nine inches long, of a pale-brown colour, close at the base, and at the points round [Page 76] and sharp. The colour of this animal is a rusty brown; along the ridge of the back there is a white stripe mixed with brown; from this are eight or nine white stripes pointing downwards; the forehead and the fore part of the nose are brown; a white stripe runs from the corner of each eye, and meets just above the nose; upon each check-bone there are two small white spots; the inner edges of the ears are covered with white hair, and the upper part of the neck is adorned with a brown mane, an inch long; beneath the neck, from the throat to the breast, are some long hairs hanging down; the breast and belly are grey; the tail is two feet long, brown a­bove, white beneath, and black at the end.

The Koedoe, though a tall and slender animal, is not so swift as many of the Gazelle kind, and is easily over­taken by the hounds: On these occasions the males de­fend themselves with great spirit with their horns, and will come to close quarters with the Dogs; but the fe­males having no horns, are obliged to depend on their speed.

Another of the larger kind of Gazelles to be found at the Cape, is


which is called by Mr Pennant the Egyptian Antelope, and by M. Buffon the Pasan.—The horns are straight, slen­der, of a black colour, about three feet long, with above twenty rings reaching half way to the points, which are smooth and taper; it is of an ash colour, inclining to red; the belly, legs, and face, are white; a black line extends from the neck to the loins; the tail is about two feet long, terminated with black hairs.

[Page 77]This animal is famous for a concretion in its stomach or intestines, called the oriental bezoar, which was well known in former times for its great virtue in expelling poison in the human frame, and was sold at enormous prices, its value encreasing in proportion to its size. There was a time when a stone of four ounces sold in Europe for above 200 l.; at present, however, its estima­tion and price are greatly decreased. The virtues which ignorance and inexperience attributed to it, are now found no longer to exist; and this once-celebrated medi­cine is now only consumed in countries where the know­ledge of Nature has been but little advanced.—Similar concretions are likewise found in a variety of animals of the Gazelle and Goat kind; even Apes, Serpents, and Hogs, are said to have their bezoars: In short, there is scarcely an animal, except of the carnivorous kind, that does not produce some of these concretions in the sto­mach, intestines, kidnies, and even the heart.

These are the principal animals of the Gazelle kind described by Dr Sparrman in his voyage to the Cape of Good Hope: He mentions a variety of others that are to be met with there, of which he gives us little but their names.


is a gregarious animal, two feet in height, of an ash co­lour, somewhat resembling that of a hare, but a little more inclining to red; the belly and anus are white; the tail short; the horns are black and straight, very similar to those of the Gemse-bok, but barely a foot long, very taper, and sharp-pointed; they are used by the Hotten­tots as awls or bodkins for boring holes in making their [Page 78] shoes or cloaks. The flesh of this animal is dry, and ac­counted worse to eat than that of any other Gazelle.


is twice as big as the last-mentioned animal, is monoga­mous (or keeps in pairs), and generally lies concealed among the reeds and marshy places, and resembles the Ree-bok.



is of a greyish or ash colour, with large black ears, and a black spot round the eyes; straight, black horns, slen­der and sharp-pointed, not three inches long, slightly an­nulated at the base: Its height is about eighteen inches, and is most elegantly formed: Beneath each eye is a cavity that contains a strong-scented oily liquor, which smells something like musk, and when exposed to the air, becomes hard and black.


is of a light-red colour, inclining to yellow, intermixed with black streaks; the tips and edges of its ears are black; it runs with great swiftness, and makes large bounds, even on the steepest precipices, and in the most rocky places, where it cannot easily be caught with hounds.



To these we may add the Gnu, the Hottentot name for a singular animal, which, with respect to its form, is between the Horse and the Ox. It is about the size of a common galloway, the length of it being somewhat above five feet, and the height rather more than four.

This animal is of a dark-brown colour; the tail and mane of a light-grey; the shag on the chin and breast, and the stiff hairs which stand erect on the forehead and upper part of the face, are black; the curvature of the horns is singular; and the animal is represented in the [Page 80] cut in the attitude of butting, to give an idea of their form and position.

The legs of the Gnu are small; its hair is very fine; and it has a cavity beneath each eye, like most of the Antelope kind.


is found in Senegal, and at the Cape of Good Hope.— Its whole body is of a pale-red colour; it is as large as a Roe-buck; its horns, which do not exceed six inches in length, are almost smooth, and bend a little forward; its ears are five inches long; and it has a white spot over each eye.


is likewise a native of Africa, and is found in Senegal.— It is three feet and a half in length, and two and a half high; the horns are black and round, eight inches in length, and what is singular, bend forward at the points; its general colour is tawny; belly and thighs white; it has likewise a white spot under the neck, is a very handsome animal, and easily tamed; its swiftness is com­pared to that of the wind.



The Antelope, properly so called, abounds in Barbary, and in all the northern parts of Africa.—It is somewhat less than the Fallow-deer: Its horns are about sixteen inches long, surrounded with prominent rings almost to the top, where they are twelve inches distant from point to point. The horns of the Antelope are remarkable for a beautiful double flexion, which gives them the appear­ance of the lyre of the ancients. The colour of the hair on the back is brown, mixed with red; the belly and in­side of the thighs, white; and the tail short.


is likewise common in all the northern part of Africa, in Syria, and Mesopotamia, and seems to be a variety of [Page 82] the last-mentioned animal, which it strongly resembles; only the two colours on the back are separated from each other by a strong dusky line, and on each knee there is a tuft of hair.


is a native of Senegal, and in colour and marks very much resembles the preceding animal, but is rather less; and its horns, instead of being round, are flatted on their sides, and the rings more numerous.


is still less than the two former animals; its horns are likewise smaller, being only six inches long, and almost smooth, the annular prominencies being scarcely discern­ible; on each knee is a tuft of hair. Some of these ani­mals are irregularly spotted with white.


is remarkable for the form of its horns, which are almost close at the base, bending out towards the middle, where they form a curve inwards, and again fly off at the points, which bend backward; they are seventeen inches long, surrounded with fifteen rings; the ends are smooth and sharp.


differs from the former animal only in being less.—They are both inhabitants of Senegal.



The Chevrotain, or little Guinea Deer, is the smallest of all the Antelope kind, the least of all cloven-footed quadrupeds, and we may add, the most beautiful.—Its legs at the smallest part are not much thicker than a to­bacco-pipe; it is not more than seven inches in height, and about twelve from the point of the nose to the inser­tion of the tail; its ears are broad; and its horns, which are straight, and scarcely two inches long, are black and shining as jet; the colour of the hair is a reddish-brown; in some a beautiful yellow, very short and glossy.

These elegant little creatures are natives of Senegal and the hottest parts of Africa; they are likewise found in India, and in many of the islands belonging to that vast continent.

In Ceylon, there is an animal of this kind called Me­minna, which is not larger than a hare, but perfectly re­sembling a Fallow-deer.—It is of a grey colour; the sides and haunches are spotted and barred with white; its ears are long and open; and its tail short.

[Page 84]None of these small animals can subsist but in a warm climate. They are so extremely delicate, that it is with the utmost difficulty they can be brought alive into Eu­rope, where they soon perish. They are gentle, familiar, most beautifully formed, and their agility is such, that they will bound over a wall twelve feet high. In Gui­nea, they are called Guevei. The female has no horns.

We shall conclude our account of this numerous race with


which is the only one of the species that is to be found in Europe.—The form of its body resembles the domestic Goat, but its horns are those of an Antelope, being marked by very prominent rings, with furrows between; they are a foot long, the ends smooth, of a pale-yellow colour, almost transparent.

The male is covered with rough hair, like the He-Goat, and has a strong scent; the female is smoother, hornless, and timid. The general colour is a dirty white.

When they are attacked by Wolves or Dogs, the males stand round the females, forming a circle, with their heads towards the enemy, in which posture they defend their charge.—Their common pace is a trot; when they go faster, it is by leaps; and are swifter than Roe-bucks. When they feed, they are obliged to go backward, owing to the length of the upper lip, which they lift up.— Their skin is soft, and excellent for gloves, belts, &c.

They are found in flocks from six to ten thousand, on the banks of the Tanais and Boristhenes.

The young are easily tamed, and will readily return to their master when turned out on the desart.



THIS animal is a native of the interior parts of In­dia. —It seems to be of a middle nature, between the Cow and the Deer, and carries the appearance of both in its form. In size, it is as much smaller than the one, as it is larger than the other: Its body, horns, and tail, are not unlike those of a bull; and the head, neck, and legs, are very like those of a Deer. The colour, in general, is ash or grey, from a mixture of black hairs and white; all along the ridge or edge of the neck, the hair is blacker, longer, and more erect, making a short, thin, and upright mane, reaching down to the hump. Its horns are seven inches long, six inches round at the root, tapering by degrees, and terminate in a blunt point. [Page 86] The ears are large and beautiful, seven inches in length, and spread to a considerable breadth near their end: They are white on the edge and on the inside, except where two black bands mark the hollow of the ear with a Zebra-like variety. The height of this animal at the shoulder is four feet one inch; behind the loins, it only measures four feet.

The female differs considerably from the male both in height and thickness, being much smaller; in shape and colour very much resembling a Deer; and has no horns. She has four nipples; and is supposed to go nine months with young. She commonly has one at a birth, but sometimes two.

Several of this species were brought to this country in the year 1767, which continued to breed annually for some years after.—Dr Hunter, who had one of them in his custody for some time, describes it as a harmless and gentle animal; that is seemed pleased with every kind of familiarity, always licked the hand that either stroaked or fed it, and never once attempted to use its horns of­fensively. It seemed to have much dependence on its or­gans of smell; and snuffed keenly whenever any person came in sight: It did so likewise, when food or drink was brought to it; and would not taste the bread which was offered, if the hand that presented it happened to smell of turpentine.

Its manner of fighting is very particular, and is thus described:—Two of the males at Lord Clive's, being put into an inclosure, were observed, while they were at some distance from each other, to prepare for the attack, by falling down upon their knees. They then shuffled towards each other, keeping still upon their knees; and [Page 87] at the distance of a few yards, they made a spring, and darted against each other with great force.

The following anecdote will serve to shew, that, dur­ing the rutting season, these animals are fierce and vi­cious, and not to be depended upon:—A labouring man, without knowing that the animal was near him, went up to the outside of the inclosure; the Nyl-ghau, with the quickness of lightning, darted against the wood-work with such violence, that he broke it to pieces, and broke off one of his horns close to the root. The death of the animal, which happened soon after, was supposed to be owing to the injury he sustained by the blow.

Bernier says, that it is the favourite amusement of the Mogul emperor to hunt the Nyl-ghau; and that he kills them in such numbers, as to distribute quarters of them to all his omrahs; which shews that they are esteemed good and delicious food.

The Nyl-ghau is frequently brought from the interior parts of Asia as a rare and valuable present to the nabobs and other great men at our settlements in India.

It remains to be considered, whether this rare animal might not be propagated with success in this country. That it will breed here is evident from experience; and if it should prove docile enough to be easily trained to labour, its great swiftness and considerable strength might be applied to the most valuable purposes.



THERE have been various accounts given of this animal by naturalists and travellers; by whom it seems to have been taken notice of more for the perfume which it produces, than for the information of the cu­rious enquirer into its nature and qualities: For we are still at a loss what rank to assign it among the various tribes of quadrupeds. It has no horns; and whether it ruminates or not is uncertain: But by its wanting the fore-teeth in the upper jaw, we are led to suppose that it belongs either to the Goat or the Deer kind; and have therefore given it a place after the Gazelles, relying up­on those characteristic marks which are known, and leav­ing it to future historians, who may be possessed of better means of information, to ascertain its genuine character.

The Musk of Thibet resembles the Roe-buck in form: It is somewhat above two feet in height at the shoulder; the hind legs are longer than the fore legs, being two [Page 89] feet nine inches high from the top of the haunches; in length, it is three feet six inches from the head to the tail; the head is above half a foot long. Its upper jaw is much larger than the lower; and on each side of it there is a slender tusk, near two inches long, which hangs down, bending inwards like a hook, and very sharp on the inner edge: Its lower jaw contains eight small cut­ting teeth; and in each jaw there are six grinders. Its ears are long, small, and erect, like those of a Rabbit. The hair on the whole body is long and rough, marked with small waves from top to bottom; the colour is a rusty-brown; under the belly and tail it is white; on each side of the lower jaw there is a tuft of thick hair, about an inch long; its hoofs are deeply cloven, slender, and black; the spurious hoofs are likewise very long; its tail is not more than two inches in length, and hid in the hair.—The use it makes of its tusks is not well known: The most probable is that of hooking up roots out of the ground, and catching at small twigs and branches of trees, upon which it feeds.—The female has no tusks, is less than the male, and has two small teats.

The Musk is found in the kingdom of Thibet, in se­veral of the Chinese provinces, about the lake Baikal, and near the rivers Jenisan and Argun, from lat. 60 to 45; but seldom so far south, except driven by great falls of snow to seek for food in more temperate climates. It is naturally a timid animal, and endowed with a quick sense of hearing. Its solitary haunts are usually moun­tains, covered with pines; where it avoids mankind, and, when pursued, flies to the highest and most inaccessible summits.

The perfume produced by this animal, which is so well [Page 90] known in the fashionable circles, and of late so much used in the practice of physic, needs little description: It is found in a bag or tumor, nearly of the size of a hen's egg, on the belly of the male only. These bags the hunters cut off, and tie them up for sale; many thousands of which are sent over annually to Europe, be­sides what are consumed in different parts of the East. To account for this great consumption, it is supposed that the musk is frequently adulterated and mixed with the blood of the animal. It comes to us from China, Tonquin, Bengal, and Muscovy; but that of Thibet is reckoned the best, and sells at a much higher price.

The flesh of the males, especially in the rutting season, is much infected with the flavour of the musk; but is, nevertheless, eaten by the Russians and Tartars.



THIS animal (the existence of which has frequent­ly been called in question) is a native of the wild and unfrequented desarts of Ethiopia, and other inte­rior parts of Africa; where it leads a solitary life, far from the habitations of men, for whose use it is rendered unfit by the enormous disproportion of its parts. It has hitherto been regarded chiefly as an object of curiosity; and may lead us to admire the wonderful productions of that creative Power which has filled the earth with life in such a boundless variety of forms.

The height of this extraordinary animal, from the crown of the head to the ground, is seventeen feet; while at the rump it only measures nine feet; the neck [Page 92] alone is seven feet long; and the length, from the extre­mity of the tail to the end of the nose, is twenty-two feet; the fore and hind legs are nearly of an equal height; but the shoulders are of such a length, as to make its back incline like the roof of a house; its neck is slender and elegant, adorned on the upper side with a short mane; its head is nearly similar to that of a Stag, having two horns, six inches long, covered with hair, with tufts at the end like bristles; on the middle of the forehead stands a protuberance, about two inches high, resembling a third horn; its ears are long; and its eyes large and beautiful.

The colour of this animal is a dirty white, interspersed with large spots of yellow over the whole body; it is a timid and gentle creature, but not swift; from the great length of its fore legs, it is obliged to divide them to a great distance when it grazes, which it does with great difficulty; it lives chiefly by browsing on the leaves and tender branches of trees; it lies on its belly, and has hard protuberances on its breast and thighs, like the Ca­mel; its tail is long, slender, and covered with strong hairs; its feet resemble those of an Ox; it has no teeth in the upper jaw, and is a ruminating animal; its pace is a kind of gallop.

This animal was known to the Romans in early times, by whom its history has been handed down to succeeding ages in some of their most celebrated works of sculpture: It was exhibited in their games among other rare and un­common animals; and is finely and justly described by Oppian.



THIS animal is the largest and most formidable of all the Deer kind. It is a native of both the old and the new continent, being known in Europe by the name of the Elk, and in America by that of the Moose-deer. It is sometimes taken in the forests of Russia and Germany, though rarely to be seen on account of its ex­treme wildness. It likewise inhabits Norway, Sweden, Poland, and Tartary, as far as the North of China. It is common in Canada, and in all the northern parts of America, where it is called by the French the Original.

The Elk has been variously described by naturalists and travellers: By some it is said to be twelve feet high; whilst others, with greater appearance of probability, de­scribe it as being not much higher than a Horse. It is, however, a matter of doubt to which a greater degree of credibility should be given.

[Page 94]From a variety of Elks horns preserved in the cabinets of the curious, some of which are of a most enormous size, there is every reason to conclude, that the animal which bore them must have been of a proportionable bulk and strength.

Those who speak of the gigantic Moose, say, their horns are six feet long, and measure, from tip to tip, above ten feet: The beams of the horns are short; from which they spread out into large and broad palms, one side of which is plain, but on the outside are several sharp snags or shoots.

The European Elk grows to the height of seven or eight feet, and in length, from the end of the muzzle to the insertion of the tail, measures ten feet; the head is two feet long; the neck, on which is a short, upright mane, of a light-brown colour, is much shorter; its eye is small, and from the lower corner of it there is a deep slit, common to all the Deer kind, as well as most of the Gazelles; the ears are upwards of a foot in length, very broad, and somewhat slouching; the nostrils are wide; and the upper lip, which is square, and has a deep furrow in the middle, hangs greatly over the lower, from whence it was imagined by the ancients, that this crea­ture could not graze without going backward; the wi­thers are very high, the hind legs much shorter than the fore legs, and the hoofs deeply cloven; from a small ex­crescence under the throat hangs a long tuft of coarse black hair; the tail is very short, dusky above, and white beneath; the hair is long and rough, like a bear, and of a hoary brown colour, not much differing from that of the Ass.

The pace of the Elk is a high, shambling trot; but it [Page 95] goes with great swiftness.—Formerly these animals were made use of in Sweden to draw sledges; but as they were frequently accessary to the escape of such as had been guilty of murders or other great crimes, this use of them was prohibited under great penalties.

In passing through thick woods, these animals carry their heads horizontally, to prevent their horns being en­tangled in the branches.

The Elks are timid, inoffensive animals, except when wounded, or during the rutting season, when the males become very furious, and at that time will swim from isle to isle in pursuit of the females. They strike with both horns and hoofs; and possess such agility and strength of limbs, that with a single blow of the fore feet they will kill a Wolf or a Dog, or even break a tree.

Their flesh is extremely sweet and nourishing. The Indians say they can travel farther after eating heartily of the flesh of the Elk than any other animal food. Their tongues are excellent; but the nose is esteemed the great­est delicacy in all Canada. The skin makes excellent buff leather; and is strong, soft, and light. The Indians make their snow-shoes, and likewise form their canoes, with it. The hair on the neck, withers, and hams, of a full-grown Elk, from its great length and elasticity, is well adapted to the purpose of making matrasses and saddles.

The methods of hunting these animals in Canada are curious:—The first, and most simple, is, before the lakes or rivers are frozen, multitudes of the natives assemble in their canoes, with which they form a vast crescent, each horn touching the shore; whilst another party on the shore surround an extensive tract: They are attended by Dogs, which they let loose, and press towards the water [Page 96] with loud cries: The animals, alarmed by the noise, fly before the hunters, and plunge into the lake, where they are killed by the people in the canoes with lances and clubs.—Another method requires a greater degree of pre­paration and art:—The hunters inclose a large space with stakes and branches of trees, forming two sides of a tri­angle; the bottom opens into a second inclosure, which is fast on all sides: At the opening are hung numbers of snares, made of the slips of raw hides. They assemble, as before, in great troops; and, with all kinds of hideous noises, drive into the inclosure not only the Moose, but various other kinds of Deer with which that country abounds. Some, in forcing their way through the nar­row pass, are caught in the snares by the neck or horns; whilst those which escape these, meet their fate from the arrows of the hunters, directed at them from all quar­ters. —They are likewise frequently killed with the gun. When they are first discovered, they squat with their hind parts, and make water; at which instant the sports­man fires. If he miss, the Moose sets off in a most rapid trot, making, like the Rein-deer, a prodigious rattling with its hoofs, and running twenty or thirty miles before it stops or takes the water. The usual time for this di­version is in winter. The animal can run with ease up­on the firm surface of the snow; but the hunters avoid entering on the chase till the heat of the sun is strong enough to melt the frozen crust with which it is covered, and render it soft enough to impede the flight of the Moose, which sinks up to the shoulders, flounders, and gets on with great difficulty. The sportsman pursues in his broad-rackets or snow-shoes, and makes a ready prey of the distressed animal.

[Page 97]
As weak against the mountain-heaps they push
Their beating breast in vain, and piteous bray,
He lays them quiv'ring on th' ensanguin'd snows,
And with loud shouts rejoicing bears them home.

The female is less than the male, and has no horns. They are in season in the autumn, and bring forth in April, sometimes one, but generally two young ones at a time, which arrive at their full growth in six years.



This extraordinary animal is a native of the icy re­gions of the North; where, by a wise and bountiful dis­pensation, which diffuses the common goods of Nature over every part of the habitable globe, it abounds, and is made subservient to the wants of a hardy race of men in­habiting the countries near the pole, who would find it [Page 98] impossible to subsist among their snowy mountains with­out the aid of this most useful creature.

In more temperate regions, men are indebted to the unbounded liberality of Nature for a great variety of va­luable creatures to serve, to nourish, and to cloath them. To the poor Laplander the Rein-deer alone supplies the place of the Horse, the Cow, the Sheep, the Goat, &c.; and from it he derives the only comforts that tend to soften the severity of his situation in that most inhospita­ble climate.

The Rein-deer of Lapland are of two kinds,—the wild and the tame: The former are larger, stronger, and more hardy than the latter; for which reason the tame females, in the proper season, are often sent out into the woods, where they meet with wild males, and return home im­pregnated by them. The breed from this mixture is stronger, and better adapted for drawing the sledge, to which the Laplanders accustom them at an early age.



They are yoked to it by a collar; from which a trace is brought under the belly between the legs, and fastened to the fore part of the sledge. These carriages are ex­tremely [Page 99] light, and covered at the bottom with the skin of the Rein-deer. The person who sits in it guides the animal with a cord fastened to its horns; he drives it with a goad, and encourages it with his voice. Those of the wild breed, though by far the strongest, often prove refractory; and not only refuse to obey their master, but turn against him, and strike so furiously with their feet, that his only resource is to cover himself with his sledge, upon which the enraged animal vents its fury. The tame animal, on the contrary, is patient, active, and willing.—When hard pushed, the Rein-deer will trot the distance of sixty miles without stopping; but in such ex­ertions, the poor obedient creature fatigues itself so ex­ceedingly, that its master is frequently obliged to kill it immediately, to prevent a lingering death that would en­sue. In general, they can go about thirty miles without stopping, and that without any great or dangerous efforts.

This mode of travelling can be performed only in the winter season, when the face of the country is covered with snow; and, although the conveyance is speedy, it is inconvenient, dangerous, and troublesome.

As the Rein-deer constitutes the sole riches of the Laplander, it may well be supposed that a constant at­tention to preserve and secure it forms the chief employ­ment of his life. It is no uncommon thing for one per­son to possess above five hundred in a single herd.

As soon as summer appears, which forms but a short interval from the most piercing cold, the Laplander, who had fed his Rein-deer upon the lower grounds during the winter, drives them up to the mountains, leaving the woody country and the low pastures, which at that sea­son are in a state truly deplorable: Myriads of insects, [Page 100] bred by the heat of the sun in the woods and fens with which this country abounds, are all upon the wing; the whole atmosphere swarms with life; every place and eve­ry creature is infested; the natives are obliged to cover their faces with a mixture of pitch and milk, to shield them from these minute invaders, which are drawn in with the breath, and enter the nostrils, and even the eyes; but they are chiefly enemies to the Rein-deer: The horns of that animal being then tender, and covered with a skin, which renders them extremely sensitive, a cloud of these insects settle upon them, and drive the poor animal almost to distraction. In this extremity, there is no resource but flight. The herdsmen drive their flocks from the plains to the summits of the mountains, whither the foe cannot follow them. There they will continue the whole day, with little or no food, rather than venture down into the lower parts, where they have no defence against their unceasing persecutors.

Besides the gnat, the gadfly is a common pest to these animals. In the autumn, this insect deposits its eggs in their skin, where the worms burrow, and wound it in se­veral places, and often prove fatal to the poor animal. The moment a single fly is seen, the whole herd is in motion: They know their enemy, and endeavour to a­void it, by tossing up their heads, and running among each other; but all this too often proves ineffectual.

Every morning and evening during the summer, the herdsman returns to the cottage with his deer to be milk­ed, where a large fire of moss is prepared, for the pur­pose of filling the place with smoke, to drive off the gnats, and keep the Deer quiet whilst milking.—The quantity of milk given by one female in a day is about a [Page 101] pint. It is thinner than that of a Cow, but sweeter and more nourishing.

The female begins to breed at the age of two years, is in season the latter end of September, goes with young eight months, and generally brings forth two at a time. —The fondness of the dam for her young is very remark­able. They follow her two or three years, but do not acquire their full strength until four. It is at this age that they are trained to labour; and they continue ser­viceable four or five years. They never live above fif­teen or sixteen years.—At eight or nine years old, the Laplanders kill them for their skins and their flesh. Of the former they make garments, which are warm, and cover them from head to foot; they also serve them for beds: They spread them on each side of the fire upon the leaves of trees, and in this manner lie both soft and warm. The latter affords a constant supply of good and wholesome food, which in the winter, when all other kinds of provisions fail, is their chief subsistence. The tongue of the Rein-deer is considered as a great delica­cy; and when dried, great numbers of them are sold in­to other countries. The sinews serve for thread, with which the Laplanders make their cloaths, shoes, and other necessaries; and, when covered with the hair, serve them for ropes.

Innumerable are the uses, the comforts, and advan­tages, which the poor inhabitants of this dreary climate derive from this animal. We cannot sum them up bet­ter than in the beautiful language of the poet:—

Their Rein-deer form their riches: These their tent [...],
Their robes, their beds, and all their homely wealth,
Supply, their wholesome fare, and chearful cups:
[Page 102]Obsequious at their call, the docile tribe
Yield to the sled their necks, and whirl them swift
O'er hill and dale, heap'd into one expanse
Of marbled snow, as far as eye can sweep,
With a blue crust of ice unbounded glaz'd.

The horns of the Rein-deer are large and slender, bending forward; with brow antlers, which are broad and palmated. A pair in our possession are in length two feet eight inches, and from tip to tip two feet five inches; they weigh nine pounds: The projecting brow antler is fourteen inches long, one foot broad, and ser­rated at the end: It should seem, both from its situation and form, an excellent instrument to remove the snow, under which its favourite moss lies. Both sexes have horns: Those of the female are less, and have fewer branches.

We are happy in being able to give an accurate repre­sentation of this singular creature. The drawing was taken from one in the possession of Sir H. G. Liddell, Bart. which he brought over from Lapland, with four others, in 1786. The height at the shoulder was three feet three inches: The hair on the body was of a dark-brown colour; and on the neck, brown mixed with white: A large tuft of hair, of a dirty-white colour, hung down from the throat, near its chest; and it had a large white spot on the inside of each hind leg, close by the joint: Its head was long and fine; and round each eye was a large black space: Its horns were cover­ed with a fine down like velvet. The hoofs of this ani­mal are large, broad, and deeply cloven: They spread cut to a great breadth on the ground; and, when the animal is in motion, make a crackling noise, by being drawn up forcibly together.

[Page 103]Not many attempts have been made to draw the Rein-deer from its native mountains, and transport it to milder climes; and of these, few have succeeded. Na­turalists from thence have concluded, that it cannot exist but amidst ice and snow. M. Buffon regrets the impossi­bility of procuring the animal alive; and says, that when transported to another climate it soon dies. M. Regnard mentions some that were brought to Dantzick; where, being unable to endure the heat of the climate, they all perished. Queen Christina of Sweden procured five and twenty, which she purposed sending to Oliver Cromwell: They were brought as far as Stockholm; but the Lap­landers who attended them refusing to come to England, fifteen of the number were killed by the wolves, and the remaining ten did not long survive, the climate being considered as too warm.

To those brought over by Sir H. G. Liddell, five more were added the year following: They produced young ones, and gave promising hopes of thriving in this coun­try; but, by accident or mismanagement, the stock is now (in 1789) reduced to a single female with young. The disorder of which most of them died was similar to what is called the rot in Sheep, and is generally attri­buted to the too great richness of the grass whereon they fed. Nor can we wonder at the failure of this spirited enterprize, when we consider that it is the sole employ­ment of the Laplander to attend and herd his Rein-deer, to drive them in the summer time to the summits of the mountains, to the sides of clear lakes and streams, and to lead them where they can find the most proper food: Want of knowledge or attention to minute particulars is sufficient to overturn the best-laid plans.

[Page 104]There is, however, little doubt but this animal will live without the Lapland lichen; to which, perhaps, it only hath recourse, because there is in those latitudes no other sustenance during the winter. It is also in Eng­land free from its mortal enemy—the gadfly. But as the desire of possessing this animal has hitherto been ex­cited only by curiosity, it is not likely that much atten­tion will be paid to it in a country like this, abounding with such variety of useful quadrupeds.

The Rein-deer is wild in America, where it is called the Caribou: It is found in Spitzbergen and Greenland; and is very common in the most northern parts of Eu­rope, and in Asia as far as Kamtschatka, where some of the richest of the natives keep herds of ten or twenty thousand in number.

In the neighbourhood of Hudson's Bay, there are great herds of wild Rein-deer: Columns of eight or ten thou­sand are seen annually passing from North to South in the months of March and April. In that season, the muskatoes are very troublesome, and oblige them to quit the woods, and seek refreshment on the shore and open country.—Great numbers of beasts of prey follow the herds: The wolves single out the stragglers, detach them from the flock, and hunt them down; the foxes attend at a distance to pick up the offals left by the for­mer. —In autumn, the Deer, with the fawns bred during the summer, remigrate northward.



is the most beautiful animal of the Deer kind. The ele­gance of his form, the lightness of his motions, the flex­ibility of his limbs, his bold, branching horns, which are annually renewed, his grandeur, strength, and swiftness, give him a decided pre-eminence over every other inha­bitant of the forest.

The age of the Stag is known by its horns:—The first year exhibits only a short protuberance, which is covered with a hairy skin; the next year the horns are straight and single; the third year produces two antlers; the [Page 106] fourth three; the fifth four; and when arrived at the sixth year, the antlers amount to six or seven on each side; but the number is not always certain.

The Stag begins to shed his horns the latter end of February, or the beginning of March. Soon after the old horn is fallen off, a soft tumour begins to appear, which is soon covered with a down like velvet: This tu­mour every day buds forth like the graft of a tree; and, rising by degrees, shoots out the antlers on each side. The skin continues to cover it for some time, and is fur­nished with blood-vessels, which supply the growing horns with nourishment, and occasion the furrows ob­servable in them when that covering is stript off: The impression is deeper at the bottom, where the vessels are larger; and diminishes towards the point, where they are as smooth and solid as ivory. When the horns are at their full growth, they acquire strength and solidity; and the velvet covering or skin, with its blood-vessels, dries up, and begins to fall off; which the animal en­deavours to hasten, by rubbing its antlers against the trees; and in this manner the whole head gradually ac­quires its compleat hardness, expansion, and beauty.

Soon after the Stags have polished their horns, which is not compleated till July or August, they quit the thickets, and return to the forests: They cry with a loud and tremulous note; and fly from place to place, in search of the females, with extreme ardour: Their necks swell; they strike with their horns against trees and other obstacles, and become extremely furious.

At this season, when two Stags meet, their contests are often desperate, and terminate in the defeat or flight of one of them; while the other remains in possession of [Page 107] his mistress and the field, till another rival approaches, that he is also obliged to attack and repel.

During this time, which usually lasts about three weeks, the Stag is frequently seen by the sides of rivers and pools of water, where he can quench his thirst, as well as cool his ardour. He swims with great ease and strength; and, it is said, will even venture out to sea, al­lured by the Hinds, and swim from one island to another, though at a considerable distance.

The Hinds go with young eight months and a few days; and seldom produce more than one young, called a fawn. They bring forth in May, or the beginning of June; and conceal their young with great care in the most obscure retreats. They will even expose themselves to the fury of the hounds, and suffer all the terrors of the chase, in order to draw off the Dogs from their hiding place. The Hind is also very bold in the protec­tion of her offspring, and defends it with great courage against her numerous and rapacious enemies: The Wild Cat, the Dog, and even the Wolf, are frequently obliged to give way to her upon these occasions. But what ap­pears to be strangely unnatural, the Stag himself is fre­quently one of her most dangerous foes, and would de­stroy the young fawn, if not prevented by the maternal care of the Hind in concealing from his observation the place of its retreat.

The calf never quits the dam during the whole sum­mer; and in winter, the Stags and Hinds of all ages keep together in herds, which are more or less numerous, according to the mildness or rigour of the season. They separate in the spring; the Hinds retire to bring forth, while none but the young ones remain together.—Stags [Page 108] are gregarious animals, and fond of grazing in compa­ny: It is danger or necessity alone that separates them.

The usual colour of the Stag in England is red; in other countries, it is generally brown or yellow. His eye is peculiarly beautiful, soft, and sparkling; his hear­ing is quick; and his sense of smelling acute. When listening, he raises his head, erects his ears, and seems attentive to every noise, which he can hear at a great distance. When he approaches a thicket, he stops to look round him on all sides, and attentively surveys eve­ry object near him: If the cunning animal perceive no­thing to alarm him, he moves slowly forward; but, on the least appearance of danger, he flies off with the ra­pidity of the wind. He appears to listen with great tran­quillity and delight to the sound of the shepherd's pipe, which the hunters sometimes make use of to allure the poor animal to his destruction.

The Stag eats slowly, and is nice in the choice of his pasture. When his stomach is full, he lies down to chew the cud at leisure. This, however, seems to be attended with greater exertions than in the Ox or the Sheep; for the grass is not returned from the first sto­mach without violent straining, owing to the great length of his neck, and the narrowness of the passage. This ef­fort is made by a kind of hiccup, which continues during the time of his ruminating.

The voice of the Stag is stronger and more quivering as he advances in age; in the rutting season, it is even terrible: That of the Hind is not so loud, and is sel­dom heard but when excited by apprehension for herself or her young.

The Stag has been said to be an uncommonly long-lived [Page 109] animal; but later observations have fully confuted this unfounded opinion. It is a generally received max­im, that animals live seven times the number of years that bring them to perfection: Thus the Stag being five or six years in arriving at maturity, lives seven times that number, or from thirty-five to forty years.

The following fact, recorded in history, will serve to shew that the Stag is possessed of an extraordinary share of courage when his personal safety is concerned:—Some years ago, William, Duke of Cumberland, caused a Ti­ger and a Stag to be inclosed in the same area; and the Stag made so bold a defence, that the Tiger was at length obliged to give up.

The hunting of the Stag has been held in all ages as a diversion of the noblest kind; and former times bear wit­ness of the great exploits performed on these occasions. In our island, large tracts of land were set apart for this purpose; villages and sacred edifices were wantonly thrown down, and converted into one wide waste, that the tyrant of the day might have room to pursue his fa­vourite diversion. In the time of William Rufus and Henry the First, it was less criminal to destroy one of the human species than a beast of chase. Happily for us, these wide-extended scenes of desolation and oppression have been gradually contracted; useful arts, agriculture, and commerce, have extensively spread themselves over the naked land; and these superior beasts of the chase have given way to other animals more useful to the com­munity.

In the present cultivated state of this country, there­fore, the Stag is almost unknown in its wild state: The few that remain are kept in parks among the Fallow-deer, [Page 110] and distinguished by the name of Red Deer. Its viciousness during the rutting season, and the badness of its flesh, which is poor and ill-flavoured, have occasioned almost the extinction of the species. Some few are yet to be found in the forests that border on Cornwall and Devonshire, on most of the large mountains of Ireland, and in the Highlands of Scotland, where Dr Johnson de­scribes them as not exceeding the Fallow-deer in size, and their flesh of equal flavour. The Red Deer of this kingdom are nearly of the same size and colour, without much variety: In other parts of the world, they differ in form and size, as well as in their horns and the colour of their bodies.


is very small, not exceeding half the height of ours; his body is short and thick; his hair of a dark-brown colour, and his legs short.



is an inhabitant of those immense plains of India, water­ed by the river Ganges.—M. Buffon considers it as a va­riety or shade between the Stag and the Fallow-deer. It is of the size of the latter; but its horns are round, like those of the Stag; and it has no brow antlers. His whole body is marked with white spots, elegantly dis­posed, and distinct from each other; the belly, inside of the thighs, and legs, are white; along the back there are two rows of spots, parallel to each other; those on the other parts of the body are irregular; the head and neck are grey; and the tail, which is red above, and white beneath, is as long as that of the Fallow-deer.

The continent of America abounds with Stags, and other animals of the Deer kind, in great variety. In some parts of that vast country, the inhabitants have do­mesticated [Page 112] them, and live chiefly upon the milk and cheese with which they supply them.

Thus we find, that the same animal which in some parts contributes only to the amusement of man, may in others be brought to supply his necessities. The stores of Nature are various and abundant: It is industry alone that draws them out to supply our wants, and contribute to our comforts.



The principal difference between the Stag and the Fal­low-deer seems to be in their size, and in the form of their horns,—the latter being much smaller than the for­mer; and its horns, instead of being round like those of the Stag, are broad and palmated, and better garnished with antlers; and when the horns are very strong, they [Page 113] are sometimes terminated by small palms: The tail is al­so much longer than that of the Stag, and its hair is brighter: In other respects, they nearly resemble each other.

The horns of the Fallow-deer are shed annually, like those of the Stag; but they fall off later, and are renew­ed nearly at the same time. Their rutting season arrives fifteen days or three weeks after that of the Stag. The males then bellow frequently, but with a low and inter­rupted voice. They are not so furious at this season as the Stag, nor exhaust themselves by any uncommon ar­dour. They never leave their pasture in quest of the fe­males; but generally fight with each other, till one buck becomes master of the field.

They associate in herds, which sometimes divide into two parties, and maintain obstinate battles for the pos­session of some favourite part of the park: Each party has its leader, which is always the oldest and strongest of the flock. In this manner they attack in regular order of battle; they fight with courage, and mutually support each other; they retire, they rally, and seldom give up after one defeat. The combat is frequently renewed for several days together, till, after several defeats, the weak­er party is obliged to give way, and leave the conquerors in possession of the object of their contention.

The Fallow-deer is easily tamed, feeds upon a variety of things which the Stag refuses, and preserves its condi­tion nearly the same through the whole year, although its flesh is esteemed much finer at particular seasons.

They are capable of procreation in their second year; and, like the Stag, are fond of variety.—The female goes with young eight months; and produces one, sometimes [Page 114] two, and rarely three, at a time. They arrive at per­fection at the age of three years, and live till about twen­ty.

We have in England two varieties of the Fallow-deer, which are said to be of foreign origin: The beautiful spotted kind, supposed to have been brought from Ben­gal; and the deep-brown sort, now common in this country. These last were introduced by king James the First out of Norway; where having observed their hardi­ness in bearing the cold of that severe climate, he brought some of them into Scotland, and from thence transported them into his chases of Enfield and Epping. Since that time, they have multiplied exceedingly in many parts of this kingdom, which is now become famous for venison of superior fatness and flavour to that of any other coun­try in the world.

The Fallow-deer, with some variation, is found in al­most every country of Europe. Those of Spain are as large as Stags, but darker; their necks are also more slender; and their tails, which are longer than those of ours, are black above, and white beneath.

In Guiana, (a country of South-America) according to Labat, there are Deer without horns, smaller than those of Europe, but resembling them in every other par­ticular. They are very lively, light, and excessively ti­mid; of a reddish colour; with sharp, piercing eyes, and short tails. When pursued, they fly into places of dif­ficult access. The natives frequently stand and watch for them in narrow paths, and as soon as the game ap­pears within reach, shoot them unperceived. Their flesh is considered as a great delicacy; and the hunter is well rewarded for his trouble.



was formerly common in many parts of England and Wales; but at present is only to be found in the High-lands of Scotland.

The Roe is the smallest of all the Deer kind, being only three feet four inches long, and somewhat more than two feet in height. The horns are from eight to nine inches long, upright, round, and divided into three branches; the body is covered with long hair; the lower part of each hair is ash colour, near the end is a narrow bar of black, and the point is yellow; the hairs on the face are black, tipped with ash colour; the ears are long, their insides of a pale-yellow, and covered with long hair; the spaces bordering on the eyes and mouth are black; the chest, belly, legs, and the inside of the thighs, [Page 116] are of a yellowish-white; the rump is of a pure white; and the tail very short.

The form of the Roe-buck is elegant; and its motions light and easy. It bounds seemingly without effort, and runs with great swiftness. When hunted, it endeavours to elude its pursuers by the most subtle artifices: It re­peatedly returns upon its former steps, till, by various windings, it has entirely confounded the scent. The cunning animal then, by a sudden spring, bounds to one side, and lying close down upon its belly, permits the hounds to pass by without offering to stir.

These animals do not keep together in herds like other Deer, but live in separate families: The fire, the dam, and the young ones, associate together, and seldom mix with others.

Their rutting season continues but fifteen days—from the latter end of October till about the middle of No­vember. During this period, they will not suffer the fawns to remain with them: The Buck obliges them to retire, in order that the dam and her succeeding progeny may remain undisturbed.—The female goes with young five months and a half, and brings forth about the end of April, or beginning of May. On these occasions, she separates from the male, and conceals herself in the thickest and most retired part of the woods. She gene­rally produces two fawns at a time, sometimes three. In ten or twelve days, these are able to follow their dam. When threatened with danger, she hides them in a thicket, and to preserve them, offers herself to be chased. Notwithstanding her care, she is frequently robbed of her young: Numbers of fawns are found out and taken alive by the peasants; and many more are worried by Dogs, [Page 117] Foxes, and other carnivorous animals. By these conti­nual depredations, this beautiful creature is daily becom­ing more scarce; and in many countries where once it was common, the race is now wholly extinct.

When about eight or nine months old, their horns be­gin to appear in the form of two knobs. The first year they are without antlers. They shed their horns the lat­ter end of autumn, and renew them in the winter; in which they differ from the Stag, whose horns fall off in the spring, and are renewed in summer.—The life of the Roe-buck seldom exceeds twelve or fifteen years.

They are very delicate in the choice of their food, and require a large tract of country, suited to the wildness of their nature, which can never be thoroughly subdued. No arts can teach them to be familiar with their keeper, nor in any degree attached to him. They are easily ter­rified; and in their attempts to escape, will run with such force against the walls of their inclosure, as some­times to disable themselves. They are likewise subject to capricious fits of fierceness, and on these occasions will strike furiously with their horns and feet at the object of their dislike.

Some years ago, one of these animals, after being hunted out of Scotland through Cumberland and various parts of the North of England, at last took refuge in the woody recesses bordering upon the banks of the Tyne, between Prudhoe Castle and Wylam. It was frequently seen and hunted; but no dogs were equal to its speed: It frequently crossed the river; and either by swiftness or artifice, eluded all its pursuers. It happened, during the rigour of a severe winter, that being pursued, it crossed the river upon the ice with some difficulty; and being [Page 118] much strained by its violent exertions, was taken alive. It was kept for some weeks in the house; and being again turned out, all its cunning and activity were gone: It seemed to have forgotten the places of its former re­treat; and after running some time, it lay down in the midst of a brook, where it was killed by the dogs.

The flesh of the Roe-buck is fine and well tasted: That of the male, after the age of two years, is hard; the flesh of the females, though farther advanced in years, is more tender: When very young, it is loose and soft; but at the age of eighteen months, is in its highest state of perfection.

In America, this animal is much more common than in Europe.—In Louisiana, it is very large. The inhabi­tants live chiefly upon its flesh, which is good and well flavoured.



POSSESSES the various qualities of the Horse, the Cow, and the Sheep; and is to the Arabian, in a great measure, what those useful creatures are to us. Its milk is rich and nourishing; and being mixed with wa­ter, makes a wholesome and refreshing beverage, much used by the Arabs in their journies. The flesh of young Camels is also an excellent and wholesome food. Their hair or sleece, which falls off entirely in the spring, is superior to that of any other domestic animal, and is made into very fine stuffs for cloaths, coverings, tents, and other furniture.

Possessed of his Camel, the Arabian has nothing either to want or to fear: In one day, he can perform a jour­ney of fifty leagues into the desert, where he is safe from every enemy: For, without the aid of this useful animal, no person could pursue him amidst sandy deserts, where there is neither verdure to refresh, nor shade to shelter— [Page 120] where nothing presents itself to the eye but one uniform void, naked and solitary.

The Arabian regards the Camel as the most precious gift of Heaven; by the assistance of which he is enabled to subsist in those frightful intervals of Nature, which serve him for an asylum, and secure his independence. But it is not to the plundering Arab alone that the ser­vices of this useful quadruped are confined,—in Turkey, Persia, Barbary, and Egypt, every article of merchandise is carried by Camels. Merchants and travellers unite to­gether, and form themselves into numerous bodies, called caravans, to prevent the insults of the Arabs. One of these caravans frequently consists of many thousands, the Camels being always more numerous than the men. Each Camel is loaded in proportion to his strength. At the command of their conductor, they lie down on their belly, with their legs folded under them, and in this pos­ture receive their burden: As soon as they are loaded, they rise of their own accord, and will not suffer any greater weight to be imposed upon them than they can bear with ease; when overloaded, they set up the most piteous cries till part of the burden be taken off. The large Camels generally carry a thousand or twelve hun­dred pounds weight; and the smallest, from six to seven hundred. As the route is often seven or eight hundred leagues, their motions and journies are regulated: They walk only, and in that pace travel ten or twelve leagues each day. Every night they are unloaded, and allowed to pasture upon such herbage as they can find. Thistles, nettles, wormwood, and the other hard and prickly ve­getables which the sandy deserts of Arabia produce, the Camel often prefers to more delicate herbage: But the [Page 121] peculiar and distinguishing characteristic of the Camel is, its faculty of abstaining from water for a greater length of time than any other animal; for which Nature has made a wonderful provision, in giving it, besides the four stomachs which it has in common with other ruminating animals, a fifth bag, serving as a reservoir for water, where it remains without corrupting or mixing with the other aliments. When the animal is pressed with thirst, and has occasion for water to macerate its food while ruminating, he makes part of it pass into his stomach by a simple contraction of certain muscles. By this singular structure, the Camel can take a prodigious quantity of water at one draught; and is enabled to pass several days without drinking: Leo Africanus says fifteen. They can discover water by their smell at half a league's distance; and after a long abstinence, will hasten towards it, long before their drivers perceive where it lies. The feet of the Camel are peculiarly adapted to the sandy soil on which he treads: On moist or slippery ground he cannot well support himself, his hind legs being apt to spread out so wide, as to endanger his being disabled.

Many attempts have been made to introduce this ser­viceable animal into other countries; but as yet none have succeeded: The race seems to be confined to cer­tain districts, where their utility has been known for ages.

Though a native of warm climates, the Camel dreads those which are excessively hot: It can neither subsist in the burning heat of the torrid zone, nor in the milder air of the temperate. It seems to be an original native of Arabia; for in that country, they are not only more nu­merous, but thrive better than in any other part of the world.

[Page 122]There are two varieties of this animal, which have been distinguished previous to all historical record: That which is called the Bactrian Camel, has two hunches on its back, and is found chiefly in Turkey and the coun­tries of the Levant; while



with only one hunch on its back, is common in Arabia and all the northern parts of Africa, from the Mediterra­nean Sea to the river Niger, and is infinitely more nu­merous, and more generally diffused than the Camel: It is also much swifter, and is therefore generally employed on business which requires dispatch.

In Arabia, they are trained for running matches; and in many places, for carrying couriers, who can go above a hundred miles a day on them, and that for nine or ten days together, over burning deserts uninhabitable by any living creature. They require neither whip nor spur to quicken their pace: but go freely, if gently treated; and [Page 123] are much enlivened by singing or the sound of the pipe, which gives them fresh spirits to pursue their journey.

They are mild and gentle creatures at all times, except when they are in heat: At that period, they are seized with a sort of madness; they eat little, and will some­times attempt to bite their masters; so that it is not safe to approach them.

The Camel arrives at its full strength at the age of six years, and lives forty or fifty.—The females are not usu­ally put to labour; but are allowed to pasture and breed at full liberty. Their time of gestation is near twelve months; and they generally bring forth one at a birth.


is the Camel of Peru and Chili; and before the conquest of those countries by the Spaniards, was the only beast of burden known to the Indians.—Its disposition is mild, gentle, and tractable.

Before the introduction of Mules, these animals were used by the natives to plow the land, and now serve to carry burdens. They march slowly, and seldom accom­plish journies of more than four or five leagues a day; but what they want in speed is made up by perseverance and industry. They travel long journies in countries im­passable to most other animals. They are very sure-foot­ed, and are much employed in transporting the rich ores dug out of the mines of Potosi over the rugged hills and narrow paths of the Andes. Bolivar remarks, that in his time three hundred thousand of these animals were con­stantly employed in this work. They lie down to be loaded; and when weary, no blows can excite them to quicken their pace.

[Page 124]They neither defend themselves with their feet nor their teeth: When angry, they have no other method of revenging injuries but by spitting. They can throw out their saliva to the distance of ten paces; and if it fall on the skin, it raises an itching, accompanied with a slight inflammation.—Their flesh is eaten, and said to be as good as mutton.

Like the Camel, they have the faculty of abstaining long from water (sometimes four or five days); and like that animal's, their food is coarse and trifling. They are neither allowed corn nor hay; green herbage, of which they eat very moderately, being sufficient for their nou­rishment.

The wild Lamas, called Guanacos, are stronger and more active than the domestic kind. They live in herds, and inhabit the highest regions of the Cordelieres. They run with great swiftness in places of difficult access, where Dogs cannot easily follow them. The most usual way of killing them is with the gun. They are hunted for the sake of their flesh and their hair: Of the latter the Indians make cloth.

The Lamas vary in colour: Some of them are white, others black, and others of a mixed colour—white, grey, and russet, dispersed in spots. In shape, they resemble the Camel, without the dorsal hunch. This animal has a well-shaped head, rather small, and has some resem­blance to that of the Goat and Sheep; fine black eyes; and a long neck, bending much, and very protuberant near its junction with the body: Its ears are four inches long: Its feet are cloven like those of the Ox; they are armed behind with a spur, by which the animal is ena­bled to support itself on rugged and difficult ground. [Page 125] The height of the Lama is about four feet; and its length, from the neck to the tail, six feet.


very much resembles the Lama in figure, but is much smaller. Its body is covered with very fine long wool, of the colour of dried roses, or a dull purple; the belly is white. They live in vast herds, and inhabit the most elevated parts of the highest mountains, where they en­dure the utmost rigour of frost and snow. They are ex­ceedingly swift; and so timid, that it is very difficult to come near them.

The manner of taking them is singular: The Indians tie cords, with small pieces of wool or cloth hanging from them, across the narrow passes of the mountains, about three or four feet from the ground: They then drive a herd of these animals towards them; and they are so terrified by the flutter of the rags, that they dare not pass; but huddle together, and suffer themselves to be killed in great numbers.—Their wool is a valuable article of commerce; and is made into gloves, stockings, bed-cloaths, carpets, &c.

The Pacos are domesticated; and like the Lamas, are employed in carrying burdens; but cannot bear more than from fifty to seventy-five pounds; and are still more subject to capricious fits of obstinacy. When once they lie down with their load, no blows can provoke them to rise.

The great advantages to be derived from the wool of these creatures, induced the Spaniards to attempt their introduction into Europe: Some of them were brought over to Spain; but by not sufficiently attending to the [Page 126] necessity of placing them in airy situations, to which they had always been accustomed, the experiment proved un­successful.


ANIMALS of the Hog kind seem to possess a middle nature, between those that live upon grass and such as are carnivorous; and unite in themselves most of those distinctions which are peculiar to each class: Like the one, they are rapacious and fond of blood, and do not ruminate; like the other, they are cloven-hoofed, live chiefly on vegetables, and seldom seek after animal food, except when urged by necessity.



WHICH is the original of all the varieties to be found in this creature, is much smaller than those of the domestic kind; and does not, like them, va­ry in colour, but is invariably of a brinded or dark-grey, inclining to black. His snout is longer than that of the tame Hog; and his ears are short, round, and black. He is armed with formidable tusks in each jaw, which serve him for the double purpose of annoying his enemy, or procuring his food, which is chiefly roots and vegeta­bles: Some of their tusks are almost a foot long: Those in the upper jaw bend upwards in a circular form, and are exceedingly sharp at the points; those of the un­der jaw are always most to be dreaded; for with them the animal defends himself, and frequently gives mortal wounds.

Wild Boars are not gregarious; but while young, live together in families, and frequently unite their forces [Page 128] against the wolves, or other beasts of prey. When likely to be attacked, they call to each other with a very loud and fierce note: The strongest face the danger, and form themselves into a ring, the weakest falling into the cen­tre. In this position few beasts dare venture to engage them; but leave them to pursue a less dangerous chase. —When the Wild Boar is arrived at a state of maturity, he walks the forest alone and fearless. At that time he dreads no single foe; nor will he turn out of his way even for man himself. He offends no animal; at the same time he is furnished with arms which render him a terror to the fiercest.

The hunting of the Wild Boar is a dangerous but com­mon amusement of the great in those countries where it is to be found. The Dogs chiefly used for this sport are of a slow and heavy kind. When the Boar is roused, he goes slowly forward, not much afraid, nor very far be­fore his pursuers. He frequently turns round, stops till the hounds come up, and offers to attack them: After keeping each other at bay for a while, the Boar again goes slowly forward, and the Dogs renew the pursuit. In this manner the chase is continued till the Boar is quite tired, and refuses to go any farther: The Dogs then attempt to close in upon him from behind; and in this attack the young ones, being generally the most for­ward, frequently lose their lives: The old seasoned Dogs keep the animal at bay until the hunters come up, who kill him with their spears.



is, of all other domestic quadrupeds, the most filthy and impure: Its form is clumsy and disgusting, and its appe­tite gluttonous and excessive. In no instance has Nature more conspicuously shewn her oeconomy than in this race of animals, whose stomachs are fitted to receive nutri­ment from a variety of things that would be otherwise wasted: The refuse of the field, the garden, the barn, and the kitchen, affords them a luxurious repast.

Useless during life, and only valuable when deprived of it, this animal has sometimes been compared to a mi­ser, whose hoarded treasures are of little value till death has deprived them of their rapacious owner.

The parts of this animal are finely adapted to its mode of living: Nature has given it a form more prone than that of other animals: Its neck is strong and brawny; its snout is long and callous, well calculated for the purpose of turning up the earth for roots of different kinds, on which it principally feeds (especially in its wild state); and it has a quick sense of smelling, by which it is ena­bled [Page 130] to trace out its food. It is naturally stupid, inac­tive, and drowsy; much inclined to increase in fat, which is disposed in a different manner from that of other ani­mals, and forms a thick and regular coat between the flesh and the skin. It is restless at a change of weather; and during certain high winds, is so agitated, as to run violently, screaming horribly at the same time. It ap­pears to foresee the approach of bad weather, as it pre­viously carries straw in its mouth to its sty, prepares a bed, and seems endeavouring to hide itself from the im­pending storm.

Linnaeus observes that the flesh of the Hog is a whole­some food for those that use much exercise, but bad for such as lead a sedentary life. It is of universal use, and makes in various ways a constant article in the elegancies of the table. It is of great importance to this country, as a commercial nation; for it takes salt better than any other kind, and consequently is capable of being preserv­ed longer: It is therefore of great use in ships, and makes a principal part of the provisions of the British navy.

The domestic Sow brings forth twice a year, and pro­duces from ten to twenty at a litter: She goes four months with young, and brings forth in the fifth. At that time she must be carefully watched to prevent her from devouring her young: Still greater attention is ne­cessary to keep off the male, as he would destroy the whole litter.

The most numerous breed of Hogs in this island is that generally known by the name of the Berkshire Pigs, now spread through almost every part of England, and some parts of Scotland. They are in general of a red­dish-brown colour, with black spots upon them; have [Page 131] large ears hanging over their eyes; are short-legged, small-boned, and are readily made fat. Some of these have been fed to an almost incredible size. Mr Culley, in his treatise on live stock, gives an account of one that was killed at Congleton in Cheshire, which mea­sured, from the nose to the end of the tail, three yards eight inches; in height, it was four feet and a half; and weighed, after it was killed, eighty-six stones eleven pounds, avoirdupoise.

The Chinese or black breed are now very common in England. They are smaller, have shorter legs, and their flesh is whiter and sweeter than the common kind.

The Hog species, though very numerous, and diffused over Europe, Asia, and Africa, did not exist in Ame­rica, till transported thither by the Spaniards. In ma­ny places they have multiplied exceedingly, and become wild. They resemble the domestic Hog; but their bo­dies are shorter, and their snout and skin thicker.



lives in a wild, uncultivated state, in the hottest parts of Africa. It is a very vicious animal, and quick in all its motions. It is as dangerous to attack one of them, as a Lion: For, though much smaller, it rushes upon a man as swift as an arrow; and throwing him down before he has time to strike with his javelin, breaks his legs, and at the same instant rips up his belly.

It has four tusks: Two very large ones proceed from the upper jaw, and turn upwards like a horn,—in length nine inches, and full five inches round at the base; the two other tusks, which come from the lower jaw, project but three inches from the mouth. These tusks the ani­mal makes use of as the dreadful instruments of his ven­geance. He will attack a man on horseback, if he should venture to come too near him; and first breaking the Horse's legs, kills both him and his rider.

Sparrman describes it as being of a bright yellow co­lour, like the domestic kind. Its nose is broad, flat, and [Page 133] of a horny hardness; its head is very large in proportion to the size of its body; underneath each eye it has a great lobe or wattle, lying almost horizontally, broad, flat, rounded at the end, and placed so as to intercept the view of any thing immediately beneath the animal; the ears are large and sharp-pointed, lined on the inside with long whitish hairs; its tail is slender and flat; when the animal is pursued, it always holds it quite erect.

They live in holes under ground, the avenues to which are exceedingly narrow. The natives seldom dare attack them in their retreats, as there is always danger of their rushing out unawares. When pursued with their young ones, it is no uncommon thing to see them take them up in their mouths, and run with them in that manner at a great rate.

From the shortness of their necks, they frequently fall on their knees to feed; and change this posture to that of standing with the greatest ease.

The flesh of this animal is good, and very much re­sembles that of the common Hog.



inhabits the hottest parts of South-America, where the species is very numerous: Herds, consisting of two or three hundred, are sometimes to be seen together.—It is a very fierce animal; and will fight stoutly with beasts of prey, when attacked by them. The Jaguar, or Ameri­can Leopard, is its mortal enemy; and frequently loses its life in engaging a number of these animals. They as­sist each other, surround their enemies, and often come off victorious.

They live chiefly in mountainous places; and are not fond of wallowing in the mire, like the common Hog. They feed on fruits, roots, and feeds: They likewise eat serpents, toads, and lizards; and are very dexterous in first taking off the skins with their fore feet and teeth.

The Peccary in appearance resembles the Hog, though somewhat smaller; its body is covered with strong bris­tles, which, when the creature is irritated, rise up like the prickles of a Hedgehog, and are nearly as strong; they are of a dusky colour, with alternate rings of white; [Page 135] across the shoulders to the breast, there is a band of white; its head is short and thick; it has two tusks in each jaw; its ears are small and erect; and instead of a tail, it has a small fleshy protuberance, which does not cover its posteriors. It differs most essentially from the Hog, as well as every other animal, in having a small orifice on the lower part of the back, from whence a thin watery humour, of a most disagreeable smell, flows very copiously. In the Philosophical Transactions, Dr Tyson has described this orifice very minutely, as well as some other peculiarities in the conformation of its sto­mach and intestines.

This animal, like the Hog, is very prolific. The young ones follow the mother till they are able to pro­vide for themselves. If taken at first, they are easily tamed, and soon lose all their natural ferocity; but can never be brought to discover any signs of attachment to those that feed them. They do no mischief, and may be allowed to run about at pleasure. They seldom stray far from home, but return of their own accord.—When an­gry, they grunt like the Hog, but much stronger and harsher; and when suddenly alarmed, make a sharp noise with their breath, and erect their bristles.

The flesh of the Peccary, though drier and leaner than that of our Hog, is by no means disagreeable, and may be greatly improved by castration. When killed, the dorsel gland must be immediately cut off: If this opera­tion be deferred for the space of half an hour, the flesh becomes utterly unfit to be eaten.

Although the European Hog is common in America, and in many parts has become wild, the Peccary has ne­ver been known to breed with it: They frequently go to­gether, [Page 136] and feed in the same woods; but hitherto no in­termediate breed has been known to arise from their in­tercourse.

M. de la Borde describes two kinds of this animal,— one smaller than the other. He relates, that being one day engaged with some others in hunting a drove of Pec­caries, they were surrounded by them, and obliged to take refuge upon a piece of rock; and, notwithstanding they kept up a constant fire among them, the creatures did not retire till a great number of them were slain.



though classed by naturalists with the Hog kind, differs from animals of that species in a variety of particulars: Its legs are longer, and its body more slender; it is co­vered with short hair as soft as wool, and of a dark-grey colour mixed with red; its ears are short and pointed; its tail is long, tufted at the end, and often twisted. Its most distinguishing characteristic consists in four large tusks, the two stoutest of which proceed, like those of the [Page 137] Wild Boar, from the under jaw, pointing upwards, and standing near eight inches out of the sockets; the two others rise up like horns on the outside of the upper jaw, just above the nose, and extend in a curve above the eyes, almost touching the forehead, and are twelve inches in length. These tusks are of the most beautiful ivory, but not so hard as those of the Elephant.

This animal abounds in several of the islands of the East-Indies; particularly Buero, a small isle near Am­boyna.

Though formidable in appearance, it is easily tamed; and its flesh is well tasted. It lives on leaves of trees and other vegetables. Its scent is exquisite; it can disco­ver the approach of Dogs at a distance. When closely pursued, it plunges into the sea, swims and dives with great facility from one island to another, and by that means frequently escapes from its pursuers.

These animals live in herds; and when any number of them are together, their odour is so strong, that the Dogs can scent them at a considerable distance. When attacked, they growl frightfully, and defend themselves with their under tusks; the upper ones are only servicea­ble to them in taking their repose, which they do like the elephant, by hooking them on the branches of trees.



is the Hippopotamus of the new world, and has by some authors been mistaken for that animal. It inhabits the woods and rivers on the eastern side of South-America, from the isthmus of Darien to the river of the Amazons. It is a melancholy animal, sleeps during the day, and goes out in the night in search of food; lives on grass, sugar-canes, and fruits. If disturbed, it takes to the wa­ter; swims with great ease, or plunges to the bottom; and like the Hippopotamus, walks there as on dry ground.

It is about the size of a small Cow; its nose is long and slender, and extends far beyond the lower jaw, form­ing a kind of proboscis, which it can contract or extend at pleasure; each jaw is furnished with ten cutting teeth, and as many grinders; its ears are small and erect; its body formed like that of a Hog; its back arched; legs short; and hoofs, of which it has four upon each foot, small, black, and hollow; its tail is very small; its hair short, and of a dusky-brown colour.

[Page 139]The Tapiir is a mild and timid animal, declines all hostilities, and flies from every appearance of danger. Its skin, of which the Indians make bucklers, is very thick; and when dried, is so hard, as to resist the im­pression of an arrow. The natives eat its flesh, which is said to be very good.



inhabits the same countries with the last-mentioned ani­mal; and in disposition and habits, seems greatly to re­semble it. It lives on the banks of great rivers, swims and dives remarkably well, is very dexterous in catching fish, upon which it chiefly subsists: It likewise eats grain, fruits, and sugar-canes; feeds mostly in the night, and commits great ravages in the gardens. They generally keep in large herds, and make a horrible noise, not much unlike the braying of an Ass. Its flesh is fat and tender; but, like that of the Otter, has an oily and fishy taste.

This animal, which is also called the Capibara, is about the size of a small Hog, and by some naturalists has been classed with that animal. We have already seen, that in disposition and manners it is widely different; in other [Page 140] respects, its affinity to the Hog kind seems to be slight, and the characteristic differences many. The fore hoofs are divided into four, and the hind ones into three; its head is large and thick; and on the nose there are long whiskers; its ears are small and rounded; and its eyes large and black; there are two large cutting teeth, and eight grinders in each jaw; and each of these grinders forms on its surface what appears to be three teeth, flat at their ends; the legs are short; the toes long, and con­nected at the bottom with a small web; the end of each toe is guarded by a small hoof; it has no tail; the hair on the body is short, rough, and of a brown colour.

This animal is gentle and peaceable, easily tamed, and will follow those who feed it and treat it kindly.—As it runs badly, on account of the peculiar construction of its feet, its safety consists not in flight; Nature has provided it with other means of preservation: When in danger, it plunges into the water, dives to a great distance, and by that means evades its pursuers.



We are indebted to the labours of many learned and ingenious naturalists for accurate descriptions of this wonderful creature, which in size is only exceeded by the Elephant, and in strength and power is inferior to no other animal. Bontius says, that in the bulk of its body it equals the Elephant, but is lower only on ac­count of the shortness of its legs.

The length of this animal, from the extremity of the muzzle to the insertion of the tail, is usually twelve feet; and the circumference of its body nearly equal to its length: Its nose is armed with a formidable weapon, pe­culiar to this creature, being a very hard and solid horn, with which it defends itself from every adversary. The Tiger will rather attack the Elephant, whose trunk it can lay hold of, than the Rhinoceros, which it cannot face, without danger of having its bowels torn out. The body and limbs of the Rhinoceros are covered with a skin so hard and impenetrable, that he fears neither the claws of the Tiger, nor the more formidable proboscis of the [Page 142] Elephant; it will turn the edge of a scimitar, and even resist the force of a musket-ball. The skin, which is of a blackish colour, forms itself into large folds at the neck, the shoulders, and the crupper, by which the motion of the head and limbs is facilitated; round the neck, which is very short, are two large folds; there is a fold from the shoulders, which hangs down upon the fore legs; and another from the hind part of the back to the thighs. The body is every-where covered with small tuberosities or knots, which are small on the neck and back, but larger on the sides: The thighs, legs, and even the feet, are full of these incrustations, which have been mistaken for scales by some authors: They are, however, only sim­ple indurations of the skin, without any uniformity in their figure, or regularity in their positions. Between the folds, the skin is penetrable and delicate, as soft to the touch as silk, and of a light-flesh colour; the skin of the belly is nearly of the same colour and consistency. The body of the Rhinoceros is long and thick; its belly is large, and hangs near the ground; its legs short, round, and very strong; and its hoofs are divided into three parts, each pointing forward. The head of this animal is large; its ears long and erect; and its eyes small, sunk, and without vivacity; the upper lip is long, overhangs the lower, and is capable of great extension: It is so pliable, that the Rhinoceros can move it from side to side, twist it round a stick, collect its food, or seize with it any thing it would carry to its mouth.

The Rhinoceros, without being ferocious, carnivorous, or even extremely wild, is, however, totally untractable and rude. It seems to be subject to paroxysms of fury, which nothing can appease. That which Emanuel, king [Page 143] of Portugal, sent to the pope in the year 1513, destroyed the vessel in which they were transporting it.

Like the Hog, this animal is fond of wallowing in the mire. It is a solitary animal, loves moist and marshy grounds, and seldom quits the banks of rivers.—It is found in Bengal, Siam, China, and other countries of Asia; in the isles of Java, Sumatra, Ceylon, &c.; in Ethiopia, and the country as low as the Cape of Good Hope: But in general, the species is not numerous, and is much less diffused than that of the Elephant.

The female produces but one at a time, and at consi­derable intervals. During the first month, the young Rhinoceros exceeds not the size of a large Dog. At the age of two years, the horn is not more than an inch long; at six years old, it is nine or ten inches long; and grows to the length of three feet and a half, and some­times four feet. The horn is much esteemed by the na­tives as an antidote against poison, as well as a remedy for particular diseases.

The Rhinoceros feeds on the grossest herbs, and pre­fers thistles and shrubs to soft or delicate pasturage. It is fond of the sugar-cane, and eats all kinds of grain.

Dr Parsons remarks, that this animal has an acute and very attentive ear: It will listen with a deep and long-continued attention to any kind of noise; and, though it be eating, lying down, or obeying any pressing demands of Nature, it will raise its head, and listen till the noise cease.

From the peculiar construction of his eyes, the Rhi­noceros can only see what is immediately before him. When he pursues any object, he proceeds always in a direct line, overturning every obstruction. With the [Page 144] horn on his nose, he tears up trees, raises stones, and throws them behind him to a considerable distance.—His sense of smelling is so exquisite, that the hunters are obliged to avoid being to windward of him. They fol­low him at a distance, and watch till he lies down to sleep: They then approach with great precaution, and discharge their muskets all at once into the lower part of the belly.

The Rhinoceros is supposed to be the Unicorn of holy writ, and possesses all the properties ascribed to that ani­mal, —rage, untameableness, great swiftness, and immense strength.—It was known to the Romans in very early times, and is handed down to us in some of the works of that celebrated people. Augustus introduced one into the shows, on his triumph over Cleopatra.

Its flesh is eaten, and is much relished by the natives of India and Africa.



We have given the figure of this animal from Mr Sparrman, whose authenticity there is every reason to depend upon, and who has given a most exact anatomi­cal description of this hitherto undescribed animal. Of two that were shot, he only mentions the size of the smaller of them, which was eleven feet and a half long, seven feet high, and twelve in circumference. It was without any folds on the skin, which was of an ash co­lour; excepting about the groin, where it was of a flesh-colour. The surface of the skin was scabrous and knot­ty, of a close texture, and when dry extremely hard. There were no hairs on any part of the body, except the edges of the ears and the tip of the tail, which were furnished with a few dark bristly hairs, about an inch long.

The horns of this animal are placed one behind the other, in a line with the nose: The foremost of them measures about eighteen inches in length, and is always [Page 146] the larger of the two. It is remarkable, that the Rhino­ceros makes use of the shorter horn only for the purpose of digging up roots, which compose great part of its food; it being endued with the power of turning the larger horn on one side out of the way. The shape of the horns is conical, with the tips inclining a little back­wards; the texture of the lower part is rough, and seems as if it consisted of horny fibres; the upper part is smooth and plain, like those of an Ox. The feet are round, and do not spread much: They have three hoofs on each of them, which project but little; the middle one is the longest. The eyes of the Rhinoceros are small, and sunk into its head; in consequence of which it sees indistinct­ly: But its organs of hearing and smelling are very acute. At the least noise, the creature takes the alarm, pricks up its ears, and listens with great attention: If it happen to catch the scent of any person within a small distance, it rushes out with astonishing quickness; and it is diffi­cult to avoid the impetuous attack of this powerful ani­mal.

It has been generally said of the Rhinoceros, that its tongue is so hard and rough as to take away the skin and flesh wherever it licks any person that has unfortunately fallen a victim to its fury: Mr Sparrman says, however, that he thrust his hand into the mouth of one that had just been shot, and found the tongue perfectly soft and smooth.—From the account of its intestines, given us by the same ingenious author, we shall just mention the fol­lowing, which will enable our readers to form a more perfect idea of its enormous bulk:—The stomach was four feet in length, and two in diameter; to which was annexed a tube or canal, twenty-eight feet long, and six [Page 147] inches diameter; the kidnies were a foot and a half in breadth; the heart was a foot and a half long, and nearly the same in breadth; the liver, when measured from right to left, was found to be three feet and a half in breadth, and two feet and a half deep, as it hangs in the animal's body when it is in a standing position; it had no gall-bladder, in which it resembles the Horse. Upon opening the stomach, the contents of it were found to consist of roots and small branches of trees masticated, some of which were as big as the end of a man's finger; in the mass there appeared a great quantity of succulent plants, as well as some that were harsh and prickly: The effluvium arising from this mass was so far from being of­fensive, that it diffused around a very strong and not dis­agreeable aromatic odour. We shall conclude our ac­count of this animal by observing, that the cavity which contained the brains was small, being barely six inches long, and four high, and of an oval shape: Being filled with pease, it was found to contain barely one quart; a human skull, measured at the same time, did not require much less than three pints to fill it.



The great difficulties that have always attended a com­plete investigation of this huge animal, have arisen as well from the remoteness of its situation, as from its pe­culiar habits and disposition.

Though the Hippopotamus has been celebrated from the remotest antiquity; though the sacred writings men­tion him under the name of Behemoth; and though his fi­gure is to be seen engraven on Egyptian obelisks, and on Roman medals; yet his history was very imperfectly known to the ancients. Aristotle says, that he has a mane like a Horse, and hoofs like an Ox; tusks and tail like a Boar; that he is of the size of an Ass, and has the voice of a Horse; with other things equally absurd;—all which Pliny has copied; and, instead of correcting, has added to the number of his errors.—Of the accounts of later writers, it is much to be lamented that suitable deli­neations have not accompanied their accurate descriptions —A general defect, by which the study of nature has [Page 149] been much retarded, the laborious researches of many learned and ingenious naturalists greatly frustrated, and the errors of former times repeatedly copied and multi­plied without number.

The size of the Hippopotamus is nearly equal to that of the Elephant. It inhabits all the larger rivers of Afri­ca, from the Niger to the Cape of Good Hope; but is found in none of the African rivers that run into the Me­diterranean, except the Nile, and in that part of it only which is in the Upper Egypt, and in the fens and lakes of Ethiopia, through which that river passes.

The head of this animal is enormously large; its mouth vastly wide. Ray says, that the upper mandible is move­able, like that of a Crocodile: In each jaw there are four cutting teeth; those in the lower jaw point straight for­ward: It has four large tusks; the largest, which are al­ways in the lower jaw, are sometimes above two feet long: It is said that the canine teeth are so hard, as to emit fire on being struck with steel; they are perfectly white, and preferable to ivory for making artificial teeth: The grinders are square or oblong, like those of a man; and so large, that a single tooth weighs above three pounds: The skin is of a dusky colour, bears a resem­blance to that of the Rhinoceros, but is thicker, and is made into whips: The tail is near a foot long, taper, and flatted at the end, which is thinly furnished with hairs like bristles: Its legs are so short, that its belly almost touches the ground: The hoofs are divided into four parts, unconnected by membranes, although it is an am­phibious animal. When alarmed or pursued, it takes to the water, plunges in, and sinks to the bottom; where it walks at full ease: It often rises to the surface, and re­mains [Page 150] with its head out of the water, making a bellow­ing noise, which may be heard at a great distance. It feeds during night on the banks of the rivers, and some­times does great damage in the adjacent plantations of rice and other grain. It is said likewise, that it feeds upon fish; but Dr Sparrman, in his account of this ani­mal, denies that it seeks any other food than herbs and grass.

The Hippopotamus is naturally a mild and gentle ani­mal, very slow and heavy in its movements upon land, but in the water bold and active; and when provoked or wounded, will rise, and attack boats or canoes with great fury. Dampier says, he has known one of these animals sink a boat full of people, by biting a hole in the bottom with his great tusks.—The method of taking them is by digging pits in the sand, in those parts through which the animal passes in his way to the river after he has been feeding.

Sparrman says, that the flesh of the Hippopotamus is tender and good, that the fat is fine and well tasted, and much in request with the colonists at the Cape, who look upon it as the most wholesome meat that can be eaten. The gelatinous part of the feet in particular is accounted a great delicacy. The dried tongue of this animal is al­so considered at the Cape as a rare and excellent dish.— That author has given an engraving of this animal, taken from a young one which he caught at the Cape, from which ours is copied.—The female brings forth one young at a time.

Scaurus treated the Romans with one of these crea­tures, and five crocodiles, during his aedileship, and ex­hibited them on a temporary lake. Augustus produced one in the celebration of his triumph over Cleopatra.



Of all the creatures that have hitherto been taken into the service of man, the Elephant is pre-eminent in the size and strength of his body, and inferior to none in sa­gacity and obedience. From time immemorial this ani­mal has been employed either for the purposes of labour, of war, or of ostentatious parade; to increase the gran­deur of eastern princes, extend their power, or enlarge their dominions.

The Elephant is a native of Asia and Africa, and is not to be found in its natural state either in Europe or America. From the river Senegal to the Cape of Good Hope, they are met with in great numbers: In this ex­tensive region, as they are more numerous than in any other part of the world, so are they less fearful of man. The savage inhabitants of this dreary country, instead of attempting to subdue this powerful animal, and render it [Page 152] subservient to their necessities, seem desirous only of avoiding its fury.

Sparrman says, that in the country near the Cape they are sometimes seen in large herds, consisting of many hundreds; and thinks it probable, that in the more re­mote and unfrequented parts of that vast country, they are still more numerous.

They are frequently hunted by the colonists at the Cape, who are very expert in shooting them, and make great advantage of their teeth. The largest teeth weigh a hundred and fifty Dutch pounds, and are sold to the governor for as many guilders; so that a man may earn three hundred guilders at one shot. It is not therefore to be wondered, that a traffic so lucrative should tempt the hunters to run great risks. In approaching this ani­mal, great care must be taken to steal upon him unper­ceived: If the Elephant discovers his enemy near him, he rushes out, and endeavours to kill him. One of these hunters being out upon a plain, under the shelter of a few scattered thorn trees, thought he should be able to advance near enough to shoot an Elephant that was at a little distance from him: He was discovered, pursued, and overtaken by the animal, which laid hold of him with his trunk, and beat him instantly to death.

The height of the Elephant at the Cape is from twelve to fifteen feet. The female is less than the male, and her tusks do not grow to such a size.—The ears are pro­digiously large, and marked on the edges with deep inci­sions: They are pendulous, except when the animal is irritated; at which time he draws them up almost in the form of a purse, and points them forward. The ear of an Elephant shot at the Cape, was said to reach from the [Page 153] shoulders of a middle-sized Hottentot to the ground.— There are four grinders in each jaw, closely united toge­ther, forming, with the jaw-bone, one hard and compact body. One of these grinders sometimes measures nine inches broad, and weighs four pounds and a half.—The texture of the skin is uneven, wrinkled, and knotty; full of deep fissures, nearly resembling the bark of an old oak tree, which run in all directions over the surface of it: It is of a tawny colour, inclining to citron. In the fis­sures there are some bristly hairs, which are also thinly scattered over the body.—The legs of this creature re­semble massy columns, of fifteen or eighteen inches dia­meter, and from five to six feet high.—The foot is short, and divided into five toes, covered with the skin, so as not to be visible. To each toe there is affixed a nail or hoof, of a horny substance.

The most remarkable feature of the Elephant is his trunk or proboscis, which is composed of membranes, nerves, and muscles. It is both an organ of feeling and of motion. The animal cannot only move and bend it, but can contract, lengthen, and turn it in every direction. The extremity of the trunk terminates in a protuberance, which stretches out on the upper side in the form of a finger, and possesses in a great degree the niceness and dexterity of that useful member. It is equally flexible, and as capable of laying hold of objects as the fingers of a man. He lifts from the ground the smallest piece of money; he selects herbs and flowers, and picks them up one by one; he unties the knots of ropes, opens and shuts gates, &c. With his trunk he grasps any body which it is applied to, so firmly, that no force can tear it from his gripe.

[Page 154]Of all the instruments which Nature has so liberally bestowed on her most favourite productions, the trunk of the Elephant is perhaps the most complete and the most admirable. Ray says, it is divided into three partitions or chambers, two of which run in spiral directions, and the other in a right line. It is eight feet long in an Ele­phant of fourteen feet high, and five feet in circumfe­rence at the thickest part. The nostrils are situated at the extremity, through which it draws in water by a strong suction, either for the purpose of quenching its thirst, or of washing and cooling itself, which it fre­quently does, by taking up a large quantity, part of which it carries to its mouth, and drinks; and by ele­vating the trunk, allows the remainder to run over every part of its body.

Roots, herbs, leaves, and tender wood, are the ordi­nary food of the Elephant: It likewise eats grains and fruit, but will not eat flesh nor fish. When one of them discovers a plentiful pasture, he calls to the others, and invites them to eat with him. As they require a great quantity of forage, they frequently change their pasture, and do incredible damage whenever they happen to stray on cultivated ground. From the weight of their bodies and the size of their feet, they destroy much more than they use for food. One of them will eat one hundred and fifty pounds of grass in a day; so that a troop of these animals lays a whole country waste in a short time. The Indians and negroes use every artifice to prevent the approach of these unwelcome visitants, making loud noises, and kindling fires round their habitations; but in spite of all their precautions, the Elephants often break through their fences, destroy their whole harvest, and [Page 155] overturn their huts. It is not easy to separate them: They generally act in concert, whether they attack, march, or fly.

The ordinary walk of the Elephant is not quicker than that of a Horse; but when pushed, he assumes a kind of ambling pace, which in fleetness is equal to a gallop. He goes forward with ease and celerity; but it is with great difficulty that he turns himself round, and that not without taking a pretty large circuit. It is generally in narrow and hollow places that the negroes attack him, and cut off his tail, which they value above every other part of his body.—He swims well, and is of great use in carrying great quantities of baggage over large rivers. When swimming, he raises his long trunk above the sur­face of the water for the sake of respiration, every other part of his body being below: In this manner several of these animals swim together, and steer their course with­out danger of running foul of each other.

The Elephant, when tamed, is gentle, obedient, and docile: Patient of labour, it submits to the most toilsome drudgery; and so attentive to the commands of its go­vernor, that a word or a look is sufficient to stimulate it to the most violent exertions. Its attachment to its keeper is so great, that it caresses him with its trunk, and frequently will obey no other master: It knows his voice, and can distinguish the tone of command, of anger, or of approbation, and regulates its actions accordingly: It receives his orders with attention, and executes them with eagerness, but without precipitation. All its mo­tions are orderly, and seem to correspond with the digni­ty of its appearance, being grave, majestic, and cautious. It kneels down for the accommodation of those who [Page 156] would mount upon its back, and with its pliant trunk even assists them to ascend. It suffers itself to be har­nessed, and seems to have a pleasure in the finery of its trappings. It is used in drawing chariots, waggons, and various kinds of machines. One of these animals will perform with ease the work of many Horses.

The conductor of the Elephant is usually mounted on its neck; and makes use of a rod of iron, sharp at the end, and hooked, with which he urges the animal for­ward, by pricking its head, ears, or muzzle; but in ge­neral, a word from the keeper is sufficient to encourage this intelligent creature to proceed on its way, or perform the task assigned to it.—In India, where they were once employed in launching ships, one of them was directed to force a large vessel into the water; which proving su­perior to its strength, the master, in an angry tone, cried out, 'Take away that lazy beast, and bring another in its place.' The poor animal instantly redoubled its efforts, fractured its skull, and died upon the spot.

The Indians, from very early periods, have employed Elephants in their wars: Porus opposed the passage of Alexander over the Hydaspes with eighty-five of these animals. M. de Buffon imagines that it was some of the Elephants taken by that monarch, and afterwards tran­sported into Greece, which were employed by Pyrrhus against the Romans.—Since the invention of fire-arms, the Elephant has been of little use in deciding the con­tests of hostile nations; for, being terrified with the flash of the powder and the report that immediately suc­ceeds, they are soon thrown into confusion, and then become dangerous to their employers.—They are now chiefly used for the purposes of labour or magnificent pa­rade. [Page 157] The Indian princes, in their travels, are attended by hundreds of these animals: Some are employed to convey the ladies which compose the seraglio, in latticed cages made for that purpose, and covered with branches of trees; whilst others transport immense quantities of baggage, with which the sovereigns of the East are al­ways accompanied in their marches from one place to another. They are likewise made use of as the dreadful instruments of executing condemned criminals—a task which they perform with great dexterity. At the word of command, they break the limbs of the criminal with their trunks; they sometimes trample him to death, or impale him on their enormous tusks, just as they are di­rected by their more barbarous keeper.

It is a singular circumstance in the history of this ex­traordinary animal, that, in a state of subjection, it is unalterably barren; and, though it has been reduced un­der the dominion of man for ages, it has never been known to breed,—as if it had a proper sense of its de­graded condition, and obstinately refused to increase the pride and power of its conqueror by propagating a race of slaves. It therefore follows, that of all the numerous bands of these creatures that are trained to service, there is not one that has not been originally wild, nor one that has not been forced into a state of subjection. To recruit, therefore, the numbers that are unavoidably con­sumed by disease, accident, or age, the eastern princes are obliged every year to send into the forests, and to use various methods to procure fresh supplies.

The manner of taking, taming, and rendering these animals submissive, is curious, and well deserves a place in the history of the Elephant:—In the midst of a forest [Page 158] abounding with Elephants, a large piece of ground is marked out, and surrounded with strong palisades, inter­woven with branches of trees: One end of the inclosure is narrow; from which it widens gradually, so as to take in a great extent of country. Several thousand men are employed upon the occasion, who place themselves in such a manner as to prevent the wild Elephants from making their escape: They kindle large fires at certain distances, and make a dreadful noise with drums and various kinds of discordant instruments, calculated for the purpose of stunning and terrifying the poor animals; whilst another party, consisting of some thousands, with the assistance of tame female Elephants, trained for the purpose, drive the wild Elephants slowly towards the great opening of the inclosure, the whole train of hun­ters closing in after them, shouting, and making a great noise, till the Elephants are driven by insensible degrees into the narrow part of the inclosure, through which there is an opening into a smaller space, strongly fenced in, and guarded on all sides. As soon as one of the Ele­phants enters this strait, a strong bar closes the passage from behind, and he finds himself completely environed. On the top of this narrow passage some of the huntsmen stand with goads in their hands, urging the creature for­ward to the end of the passage, where there is an open­ing, just wide enough to let him pass. He is now re­ceived into the custody of two female Elephants, who stand on each side of him, and press him into the service: If he is likely to prove refractory, they begin to disci­pline him with their trunks, till he is reduced to obedi­ence, and suffers himself to be led to a tree, where he is bound by the leg with stout thongs, made of untanned [Page 159] elk or buck skin. The tame Elephants are then led back to the inclosure; and the others are made to submit in the same manner. They are all suffered to remain fast to the trees for several days. Attendants are placed by the side of each animal, who supply him with food by lit­tle and little, till he is brought by degrees to be sensible of kindness and caresses, and allows himself to be led to the stable. In the space of fourteen days, his absolute submission is completed. During that time he is fed dai­ly with cocoa-nut leaves, and led once a day to the water by the tame ones. He becomes accustomed to the voice of his keeper, and at last quietly resigns his prodigious powers to the dominion and service of man.

The time of gestation in this animal is hitherto but im­perfectly known: Aristotle says, it goes two years with young; which is the more likely, as the season of desire in the male returns but once in three years. The female produces one young at a time. The young Elephants are said to suck with their trunk. The breasts of the fe­male are situated between its fore legs.

This animal is thirty years in arriving at its full growth; and is said to live, though in a state of capti­vity, to the age of a hundred and twenty or a hundred and thirty years: In a state of unrestrained freedom, they are supposed to live much longer.

The Elephant will drink wine, and is fond of spiritous liquors. By shewing him a vessel filled with arrack, he is induced to exert the greatest efforts, and perform the most painful tasks, in hopes of receiving it as the reward of his labour. To disappoint him is dangerous, as he seldom fails to be revenged. The following instance is given as a fact, and deserves to be recorded:—An Ele­phant [Page 160] disappointed of its reward, out of revenge killed his cornac or governor. The poor man's wife, who be­held the dreadful scene, took her two infants, and threw them at the feet of the enraged animal, saying, 'Since you have slain my husband, take my life also, as well as that of my children.' The Elephant instantly stopped, relented, and, as if stung with remorse, took the eldest boy in its trunk, placed him on its neck, adopted him for its cornac, and would never allow any other person to mount it.

This animal seems to know when it is mocked, and never fails to retaliate accordingly. A painter wished to draw the animal in an unusual attitude, with its trunk elevated, and its mouth open. In order to induce the Elephant to exhibit to more advantage, a person was em­ployed to throw fruit into its mouth, who sometimes de­ceived it by only making an offer of doing so, and retain­ing at the same time the fruit in his hand. Enraged at this kind of treatment; and, as it should seem, guessing the painter to be the cause, it threw out such a quantity of water from its trunk, as spoiled his paper, and pre­vented him from proceeding in his work.

We might quote many other facts equally curious and interesting: Those we have already recited are sufficient to shew, that the Elephant is possessed of instinctive fa­culties superior to those of any other animal. We must at the same time admire the admirable order of that dispensation, which, to an animal of such unequalled powers, has added a disposition so mild and tractable. What ravages might we not expect from the prodigious strength of the Elephant, combined with the fierceness and rapacity of the Tiger!

[Page 161]We cannot close our account of the Elephant, with­out taking some notice of the teeth of that animal, which have been so frequently found in a fossil state in various parts of the world. Some years ago, two great grinding-teeth, and part of the tusk of an Elephant, were disco­vered, at the depth of forty-two yards, in a lead mine, in Flintshire, lying in a bed of gravel: The grinders were almost as perfect as if they had been just taken from the animal; the tusk was much decayed, and very soft.— Near the banks of many rivers in Siberia, large tusks and teeth have been frequently dug up, which have been at­tributed to a creature called the Mammouth; but they are now universally believed to have belonged to the Ele­phant. The molares or grinders are perfectly the same with those of the present race; but both they and the tusks are much larger: Some of the latter have been known to weigh four hundred pounds; and grinders, of the weight of twenty-four pounds, have not unfrequently been discovered. One of these was taken from a skeleton of the same head in which the tusks were found; and as the ivory of the latter was in every respect the same as that generally known, and made use of for the pur­poses of useful and ornamental works, we cannot deny our assent to the opinion of those who suppose them to have been once parts of the animals we have just de­scribed.—Tusks of a prodigious size, teeth, jaw-bones, thigh-bones, and vertebrae, have likewise been frequently found on the banks of the rivet Ohio, in America, five or six feet beneath the surface. Some of the tusks are near seven feet long, one foot nine inches in circumfe­rence at the base, and one foot near the point. They differ from those of the Elephant in having a larger twist [Page 162] or spiral curve towards the small end. There is a still greater difference in the form of the grinders, which are made like those of a carnivorous animal, not flat and ribbed transversely on their surface, like those of an Ele­phant, but furnished with a double row of high and co­nic projections, as if intended to masticate, not grind, their food.—Specimens of these teeth and bones are de­posited in the British Museum, that of the Royal So­ciety, and in the cabinet of the late ingenious Dr Hun­ter.—These fossil bones are also found in Peru, and in the Brazils.—As yet, the living animal has evaded the search of the curious naturalist. It is not improbable, that it may exist in some of those remote parts of that vast continent, yet impenetrated by Europeans.



WE have hitherto been employed in the pleasing task of describing most of those numerous tribes of animals that are more nearly connected with the inte­rests of mankind; that serve as the instruments of man's happiness, or at least, that do not openly oppose him; that depend upon his care for their subsistence; and in their turn contribute largely to his comfort and support. We have taken an ample range among the wilder inha­bitants of the forest, which, though in a more remote degree dependant upon man, are nevertheless objects of his attention and pursuit. We have followed Nature to her most retired recesses, and have seen and admired her works under a variety of the most beautiful living forms, but our progress has hitherto been unstained with blood.

The attention of our readers will now be engaged in a different pursuit; the scene must be diversified. We come now to a sanguinary and unrelenting tribe,—the bold and intrepid enemies of man, that disdain to own his power, and carry on unceasing hostilities against him.

This numerous and ferocious tribe is chiefly distin­guished by their sharp and formidable claws, which are lodged in a sheath, and are capable of being extended or drawn in at pleasure. They lead a solitary and a raven­ous life, and never unite for mutual defence or support, like those of the herbivorous kinds. They seek their food alone, and are frequently enemies to each other. Though differing greatly in size or in colour, they are nearly allied to each other in form and disposition, being [Page 164] equally fierce, rapacious, and artful.—At the head of this numerous class we shall place



WHICH is eminently distinguished from the rest, as well in size and strength, as by his large and flowing mane.—This animal is produced in every part of Africa, and the hottest parts of Asia. It is found in the greatest numbers in the scorched and desolate regions of the torrid zone, in the deserts of Zaara and Biledul­gerid, and in all the interior parts of the vast continent of Africa.—In these desert regions, from whence man­kind are driven by the rigorous heat of the climate, this animal reigns sole master; its disposition seems to par­take of the ardour of its native soil; inflamed by the in­fluence of a burning sun, its rage is most tremendous, and its courage undaunted. Happily, indeed, the species [Page 165] is not numerous, and is said to be greatly diminished; for, if we may credit the testimony of those who have traversed these vast deserts, the number of Lions is not nearly so great as formerly. Mr Shaw observes, that the Romans carried more Lions from Lybia in one year for their public spectacles, than could be found in all that country at this time. It is likewise remarked, that in Turkey, Persia, and the Indies, Lions are not now so frequently met with as in former times.

It is observed of this animal, that its courage dimi­nishes, and its caution and timidity are greater, in pro­portion as it approaches the habitations of the human race. Being acquainted with man, and the power of his arms, it loses its natural fortitude to such a degree, as to be terrified at the sound of his voice. It has been known to fly even before women and children, who were found sufficient to drive it away from its lurking places in the neighbourhood of their villages.

This alteration in the Lion's disposition sufficiently shews, that it will admit of a certain degree of educa­tion: And it is a well-known fact, that the keepers of wild beasts frequently play with this animal, pull out his tongue, hold him by the teeth, and even chastise him without cause. The animal seems to bear all with a sul­len kind of composure, and rarely retaliates this unme­rited treatment. It is dangerous, however, to provoke him too far, or to depend upon his temper with too great security. Labat tells us of a gentleman who kept a Lion in his chamber, and employed a servant to attend it; who, as is usual, mixed his blows with caresses. This ill-judged association continued for some time. One morning the gentleman was awakened by an unusual [Page 166] noise in his room; and, drawing his curtains, he per­ceived it to proceed from the Lion, which was growling over the body of the unhappy man, whom it had just killed, and had separated his head from his body. The terror and confusion of the gentleman may be easily con­ceived: He flew out of the room, and with the assistance of some people, had the animal secured from doing fur­ther mischief.

As the passions of this animal are strong, and its appe­tites vehement, we ought not to presume that the im­pressions of education will always be sufficiently power­ful. It must be dangerous, therefore, to suffer it to re­main too long without food, or to persist in irritating or abusing it.—However, numberless accounts assure us, that the anger of the Lion is noble, its courage magna­nimous, and its temper susceptible of grateful impressions. It has been often seen to despise weak and contemptible enemies, and even to pardon their insults, when it was in its power to punish them. It has been known to spare the life of an animal that was thrown to be devoured by it, to live in habits of perfect cordiality with it, to share its subsistence, and even to give it a preference where its portion of food was scanty.

The form of the Lion is strikingly bold and majestic: His large and shaggy mane, which he can erect at plea­sure, surrounding his awful front; his huge eye-brows; his round and fiery eye-balls, which, upon the least irri­tation, seem to glow with peculiar lustre; together with the formidable appearance of his teeth, exhibit a picture of terrific grandeur, which no words can describe.—The length of the largest Lion is between eight and nine feet, the tail about four feet, and its height about four feet [Page 167] and a half: The female is about one-fourth part less, and wants the mane.—As the Lion advances in years, its mane grows longer and thicker: The hair on the rest of the body is short and smooth, of a tawny colour, but whitish on the belly.—The roaring of the Lion is loud and dreadful; when heard in the night, it resembles distant thunder; its cry of anger is much louder and shorter.

The Lion seldom attacks any animal openly, except when compelled by extreme hunger: In that case, no danger deters him: But as most animals endeavour to avoid him, he is obliged to have recourse to artifice, and take his prey by surprize. For this purpose, he crouches on his belly in some thicket, where he waits till his prey approaches; and then, with one prodigious spring, he leaps upon it at the distance of fifteen or twenty feet, and generally seizes it at the first bound: If he miss his object, he gives up the pursuit; and, turning back to­wards the place of his ambush, he measures the ground step by step; and again lies in wait for another opportu­nity. The lurking-place of the Lion is generally chosen near a spring, or by the side of a river; where he fre­quently has an opportunity of catching such animals at come to quench their thirst.

There are, however, instances where the Lion deviates from his usual method of taking his prey; of which the following, related by Sparrman, is remarkable:—A Hot­tentot, perceiving that he was followed by a Lion, and concluding that the animal only waited the approach of night to make him his prey, began to consider the best method of providing for his safety, which he at length effected in the following singular manner:—Observing a [Page 168] piece of broken ground, with a precipitate descent on one side, he sat down by the edge of it; and found, to his great joy, that the Lion also made a halt, and kept at the same distance as before. As soon as it grew dark, the Hottentot sliding gently forward, let himself down a lit­tle below the edge of the hill, and held up his cloak and hat upon his stick, making at the same time a gentle mo­tion with it: The Lion, in the mean while, came creep­ing softly towards him, like a Cat; and mistaking the skin cloak for the man himself, made a spring, and fell headlong down the precipice; by which means the poor Hottentot was safely delivered from his insidious enemy.

That the Lion does not always kill whatever animal happens to be in his power, has already been observed; and this peculiarity in the temper of this creature is re­markably obvious, with regard to the human species. Of this there have been many instances. At St Catherine Cree's church, Leadenhall-street, London, provision is made, under the will of Sir John Gager, who was Lord-Mayor in the year 1646, for a sermon to be annually preached on the 16th of November, in commemoration of his happy deliverance from a Lion, which he met in a desert as he was travelling in the Turkish dominions, and suffered him to pass unmolested. The minister is to have 20s. for the sermon, the clerk 2s. 6d. and the sexton 1s.: The sum of 8l. 16s. 6d. is likewise to be distributed among the necessitous inhabitants, pursuant to the will of Sir John.—Sparrman, among several in­stances of the same nature, mentions a person who, though he was thrown down by a Lion, and wounded by it in several places, was after all generously left with his life.

[Page 169]The strength of this animal is great: One of them was observed to seize a heifer, which it carried off in its mouth with ease, and leaped over a ditch with her with­out much apparent difficulty.

At the Cape of Good Hope, the Lion is frequently hunted by the colonists. In the day time, and upon an open plain, twelve or sixteen Dogs will easily get the bet­ter of a large Lion. As the Lion is not remarkably swift, the Dogs soon come pretty near him; when, with a sullen kind of magnanimity, he turns round, and waits for the attack, shaking his mane, and roaring with a short and sharp tone. The hounds surround him; and, rushing upon him all at once, soon tear him to pieces. It is said that he has seldom time to make more than two or three strokes with his paws, each of which is attended with the death of one of his assailants.

The Lioness goes with young five months, and brings forth three or four at a time. The young ones are about the size of a large pug Dog, harmless, pretty, and play­ful. They continue at the teat twelve months, and are above five years in coming to perfection.

The Lion is a long-lived animal, although naturalists have differed greatly as to the precise period of its exis­tence. Buffon limits it to twenty, or twenty-two years at most. It is however certain, that it lives much be­yond that time. The great Lion, called Pompey, which died in the year 1760, was known to have been in the Tower above seventy years; and one, brought from the river Gambia, died there not long ago at the age of six­ty-three.—Several of these animals have been bred in the Tower; so that the time of their gestation, the number they produce, and the time of their arriving at perfec­tion, are all pretty well known.

[Page 170]The attachment of the Lioness to her young is re­markably strong: For their support, she is more fero­cious than the Lion himself, makes her incursions with greater boldness, destroys, without distinction, every ani­mal that falls in her way, and carries it reeking to her cubs. She usually brings forth in the most retired and inaccessible places; and when afraid of her retreat being discovered, endeavours to hide her track, by brushing the ground with her tail. When much disturbed or alarmed, she will sometimes transport her young from one place to another in her mouth; and, if obstructed in her course, will defend them to the last extremity.

The flesh of the Lion is said to have a strong, disagree­able flavour; yet it is frequently eaten by the negroes. The skin, which was formerly a robe of distinction for heroes, is now made use of by those people as a mantle or a bed. They also preserve the grease, which is of a penetrating nature, and is used in medicine.

The representation we have given, was drawn from a remarkably fine one, exhibited at Newcastle in the year 1788. It was then young, exceedingly healthful, active, and in full condition.



is the most rapacious and destructive of all carnivorous animals. Fierce without provocation, and cruel without necessity, its thirst for blood is insatiable: Though glut­ted with slaughter, it continues its carnage, nor ever gives up so long as a single object remains in its sight. Flocks and herds fall indiscriminate victims to its fu­ry: It fears neither the sight nor the opposition of man, whom it frequently makes its prey; and it is even said to prefer human flesh to that of any other animal.

The Tiger is peculiar to Asia; and is found as far North as China and Chinese Tartary: It inhabits Mount Ararat, and Hyrcania of old, famous for its wild beasts. The greatest numbers are met with in India, and its islands: They are the scourge of the country: They lurk among the bushes, by the sides of rivers, and almost de­populate many places.—They seldom pursue their prey; but bound upon it from the place of their ambush, with an elasticity, and from a distance, scarcely credible.—It is highly probable, that, from this circumstance, the Ti­ger [Page 172] may derive its name, which, in the Armenian lan­guage, signifies an arrow; to the flight of which this creature may very properly be compared, in the quick­ness and agility of its bounds.

The strength of this animal is so great, that, when it has killed an animal, whether it be a Horse, a Buffalo, or a Deer, it carries it off with such ease, that it seems no impediment to its flight. If it be undisturbed, it plunges its head into the body of the animal up to its ve­ry eyes, as if to satiate itself with blood.

The Tiger is perhaps the only animal whose ferocity can never be subdued: Neither gentleness nor constraint has any effect in softening its temper. It does not seem sensible of the attention of its keeper; and would equally tear the hand that feeds, with that by which it is chas­tised.

Notwithstanding the cruelty of this creature's disposi­tion, a sudden check has sometimes had a good effect in preventing its meditated attack. Some ladies and gentle­men being on a party of pleasure, under a shade of trees, on the banks of a river in Bengal, were suddenly sur­prized at seeing a Tiger ready to make its fatal spring: One of the ladies, with amazing presence of mind, laid hold of an umbrella, and unfurling it directly in the ani­mal's face, it instantly retired.—Another party had not the same good fortune. A Tiger darted among them whilst they were at dinner, seized on a gentleman, and carried him off in the sight of his disconsolate compani­ons.

They attack all kinds of animals, even the Lion; and furious combats have frequently been maintained be­tween them, in which both have perished. Father Ta­chard [Page 173] gives an account of a battle between a Tiger and two Elephants, at Siam, of which he was an eye-wit­ness. The heads, and part of the trunks of the Ele­phants, were defended from the claws of the Tiger by a covering made for the purpose. They were placed in the midst of a large inclosure. One of them was suf­fered to approach the Tiger, which was confined by cords, and received two or three heavy blows from the trunk of the Elephant upon its back, which beat it to the ground, where it lay for some time as if it were dead: But, though this attack had a good deal abated its fury, it was no sooner untied, than, with a horrible roar, it made a spring at the Elephant's trunk, which that animal dexterously avoided by drawing it up; and, receiving the Tiger on its tusks, threw it up into the air. The two Elephants were then allowed to come up; and, after giving it several heavy blows, would undoubtedly have killed it, if an end had not been put to the combat.— Under such restraints and disadvantages, we cannot won­der that the issue was unfavourable to the Tiger. We may, however, judge of its exceedingly great strength and fierceness,—that, after being disabled by the first attack of the Elephant, whilst it was held by its cords, it would venture to continue such an unequal engagement.

We are happy in being able to present our curious readers with an engraving of this rare animal, drawn from the life, from a Tiger that was exhibited at New­castle, in 1787; and was generally allowed to be one of the finest creatures of its kind ever seen in England. The beautiful bars of black with which every part of its body was streaked, are accurately copied: The colour of the ground was yellow, deeper on the back, and soften­ing [Page 174] by degrees towards the belly, where it was white; as were also the throat and insides of the legs: A white space, spotted with black, surrounded each eye; and on each cheek, a stripe of the same colour extended from the ears to the throat. It was nearly the same height as the Lion; and was of the largest species of the Tiger, which is called the Royal Tiger. The smallest of them is not above two feet high, said to be extremely cunning, and delights in human flesh. The second kind is about three feet high, and is fond of Deer, wild Hogs, &c. which it frequently takes by the sides of rivers, as they come down to quench their thirst.

The skin of this animal is much esteemed all over the East, particularly in China. The Mandarins cover their seats of justice with it; and, during the winter, use it for cushions and pillows.

We have now described the two great heads of this mischievous family, which are eminently distinguished from the rest in size, strength, and colour. The three succeeding species have been frequently confounded with each other; and, although there is some difference in their size and in the disposition of their spots, yet these have been so indiscriminately defined, as to make it diffi­cult to form a true criterion, so as accurately to distin­guish each species. Strikingly similar in the form of their bodies, in the beauty of their skins, as well as in their dispositions and habits, which seem to be equally formed for rapine and cruelty; there is great room to conjecture, that commixture may be one great cause of producing the slight differences observable in these crea­tures. If we regard the figure and diversity of the spots, we shall find many varieties not taken notice of by na­turalists; [Page 175] if we be led to judge by the size, we shall find an almost imperceptible gradation from the Cat to the Tiger. It would be vain, therefore, to make as many varieties in these animals, as we see differences in spots or stature: It will be sufficient to point out the most general distinctions.



is next in size to the Tiger; and has, by many natura­lists, been mistaken for that animal.—Its hair is short and smooth; and, instead of being streaked like the Ti­ger, is beautifully marked on the back, sides, and flanks, with black spots, disposed in circles, from four to five in each, with a single spot in the centre: On the face, breast, and legs, the spots are single: The colour of the body on the back and sides is yellow, deep on the back, and paler towards the belly, which is white; its ears are short and pointed; its eye is restless; and its whole aspect fierce and cruel.—It is an untameable animal; and inha­bits Africa, from Barbary to the remotest parts of Guinea.

[Page 176]Its manner of taking its prey is the same with that of the Tiger, always by surprize, either lurking in thickets, or creeping on its belly till it comes within reach. When pressed with hunger, it attacks every living crea­ture without distinction, but happily prefers the flesh of brutes to that of mankind: It will even climb up trees in pursuit of monkies and lesser animals; so that nothing is secure from its attacks.

The Panther is about the size of a large Mastiff Dog; but its legs are not quite so long. Its voice is strong and hoarse; and it growls continually.

The ancients were well acquainted with these animals. The Romans drew prodigious numbers from the deserts of Africa for their public shews; sufficient, one might suppose, to have entirely exhausted them. Scaurus ex­hibited an hundred and fifty of them at one time; Pom­pey four hundred and ten; and Augustus four hundred and twenty. They probably thinned the coasts of Mau­ritania of these animals; but they still swarm in the southern parts of Guinea.

In China, there is a most beautiful animal of this kind, called Louchu; the skin of which sells for six pounds ster­ling.—An animal of this species is likewise found in Asi­atic Tartary, called there the Babr. It is seven feet long, extremely rapacious, and very destructive of Horses and Camels. Its skin is very fine, and valued in Russia at one pound sterling.



The very trifling difference between this and the last-mentioned animal gives reason to suppose, that it con­sists chiefly in the name. It inhabits the same countries; and in some places goes by the same name, being called the Panther of Senegal, where it is chiefly found. It is mentioned by Ray as the female Panther; is rather smaller than that animal; its length, from nose to tail, is about four feet; the colour of the body is a more lively yellow; and the spots with which it is diversified, are smaller and closer than those of the Panther.

The interior parts of Africa abound with these ani­mals; from whence they come down in great numbers, and make dreadful havock among the numerous herds that cover the plains of the Lower Guinea. When beasts of chase fail, they spare no living creature.

The negroes take them in pitfalls, slightly covered at the top, and baited with flesh. Their chief inducement for pursuing them is their flesh, which they eat, and is said to be white as veal, and well tasted. The negresses [Page 178] make collars of their teeth, and wear them as charms, to which they attribute certain virtues.

The skins of these animals are brought to Europe, where they are greatly esteemed.

In India, there is a species of this animal about the size of a large Greyhound, with a small head, and short ears; its face, chin, and throat, of a pale-brown colour, inclining to yellow; the body is of a light tawny-brown, marked with small round black spots, scattered over the back, sides, head, and legs; the inside of the legs plain; the hair on the top of the neck is longer than the rest; the belly white; the tail very long, marked on the upper side with large black spots, and the hair on the under side is very long.

This is the animal, mentioned in our account of the Antelope, which is made use of in India for hunting that and other beasts of the chase.—It is carried in a small kind of waggon, chained and hoodwinked till it approaches the herd; when it is unchained, and suffered to pursue the game. It begins by creeping along, with its belly close to the ground, stopping and concealing it­self till it get an advantageous situation; it then darts on its prey with great agility, frequently making five or six amazing bounds. If it should not succeed in its first effort, it gives up the point for that time, and readily re­turns to its master.



is smaller than the Leopard, being three feet and a half long from the nose to the tail, very strong, long-backed, and short-legged. The hair is long, and of a light-grey colour, tinged with yellow; lighter on the breast and belly: The head is marked with small round spots: Be­hind each ear there is a large black spot: The back is beautifully varied with a number of oval figures, formed by small spots almost touching each other; the spots on the sides are more irregular; those on the legs and thighs small, and thinly dispersed: The tail is full of hair, irre­gularly marked with large black spots, and upwards of three feet long.

This animal is common in Barbary, Persia, and China; is much more gentle than the Leopard; and, like the Hunting Leopard, is trained to the chase. It is often used in hunting Antelopes, and even Hares. Instead of being conveyed in a waggon, it is carried on the crupper of the Horse, is as much under command as a Setting Dog, returns at a call, and jumps up behind its master.

The scent of the Ounce is not so fine as that of the [Page 180] Dog. It neither follows animals by their foot, nor is it able to overtake them in a continued chase. It hunts solely by the eye, and makes only a few springs at its prey. It is so nimble, as to clear a ditch or a wall of many feet. It often climbs trees to watch animals that are passing, and suddenly darts upon them.

It is supposed to be the Lesser Panther of Oppian, and the Panthera of Pliny.



is the most formidable animal of the new continent, ra­ther larger than the Panther, with hair of a bright-tawny colour. The top of the back is marked with long stripes of black; the sides beautifully variegated with irregular oblong spots, open in the middle; the tail not so long as that of the Ounce, irregularly marked with large black spots.

It is found in the hottest parts of South-America; is a very fierce animal; and, when pressed with hunger, will sometimes venture to seize a man.

[Page 181]The Indians are much afraid of it, and think it prefers them to the white inhabitants, who, perhaps, are better prepared to repel its attacks.—In travelling through the deserts of Guiana, they light great fires in the night, of which these animals are much afraid.

They howl dreadfully. Their cry, which is expressive of the two monosyllables—hou, hou, is somewhat plain­tive, grave, and strong, like that of an Ox.

The Ant-eater, though it has no teeth to defend itself with, is the most cruel enemy the Jaguar has to encoun­ter. As soon as the Jaguar attacks this little animal, it lies down on its back, and, with its long claws, seizes and suffocates him.



inhabits the continent of America, and is called by some the Puma, or American Lion; but differs so much from that noble animal, as not to admit of any degree of com­parison.—Its head is small; it has no mane; its length, from nose to tail, is five feet three inches; the tail two [Page 182] feet long. The predominant colour of this animal is a lively red, mixed with black; especially on the back, where it is darkest: Its chin, throat, and all the inferior parts of its body, are whitish; its legs are long; claws white; the outer claw of the fore feet much longer than the others.

It is found in many parts of North-America, from Ca­nada to Florida: It is also common in Guiana, Brazil, and Mexico.

This animal is fierce and ravenous in the extreme, and will swim rivers to attack cattle even in their inclosures. In North-America, its fury seems to be subdued by the rigour of the climate; for it will fly from a Dog in com­pany with its master, and take shelter by running up a tree.

It is very destructive to domestic animals; particularly to Hogs. It preys also upon the Moose and other Deer; lies lurking upon the branch of a tree till some of these animals pass underneath, when it drops down upon one of them, and never quits its hold till it has drunk its blood. It will even attack beasts of prey. In the Mu­seum of the Royal Society is preserved the skin of one of these animals, which was shot just as it had seized a Wolf.

When it is satisfied with eating, it conceals the rest of the carcase, covering it carefully with leaves.—It purrs like a Cat, and sometimes howls dreadfully.

The fur is soft, and is used by the Indians for a win­ter habit; when dressed, it is made into gloves and shoes. The flesh is white, and, by the natives, reckoned very good.

The Couguar, when brought into captivity, is almost as gentle as the domestic Cat, allows itself to be caressed, [Page 183] and will permit boys to mount on its back.—It is some­times called the Poltron Tiger.



This animal seems to be only a variety of the former, differing chiefly in the colour, which is dusky, some­times spotted with black, but generally plain. The throat, belly, and inside of the legs, are of a pale-ash colour; the upper lip white, covered with long whiskers; above each eye, it has very long hairs; and at the corner of the mouth, a black spot; its paws are white; and its ears sharp and pointed.

This animal grows to the size of a heifer of a year old, and has great strength in its limbs.—It inhabits Brazil and Guiana, is a cruel and fierce animal, much dreaded by the Indians; but fortunately the species is not nume­rous.

M. de la Borde, in his description of these animals, says, that they frequent the sea-shore, and eat the eggs [Page 184] deposited there by the turtles. They likewise eat cai­mans or alligators, lizards, and fishes, and sometimes the buds and tender leaves of the Indian fig. They are excellent swimmers. In order to catch the alligator, they lie down on their belly at the edge of the river, strike the water to make a noise, and as soon as the alli­gator raises its head above the water, dart their claws in­to its eyes, and drag it on shore.



Of all spotted animals, the skin of the male Ocelot is the most beautiful, and the most elegantly variegated. Its general colour is that of a bright-tawny; a black stripe extends along the top of the back, from head to tail; its forehead is spotted with black, as are also its legs; its shoulders, sides, and rump, are beautifully mar­bled with long stripes of black, forming oval figures, filled in the middle with small black spots; its tail is irregularly marked with large spots, and black at the end.

[Page 185]The Ocelot very much resembles the common Cat in the form of its body, although it is a great deal larger. Buffon makes its height two feet and a half, and about four feet in length.

The colours of the female are not so vivid as those of the male, nor the marks so beautifully formed.

The Ocelot is a native of South-America, inhabits Mexico and Brazil, is a very voracious animal, but ti­mid, and seldom attacks men. It is afraid of Dogs; and when pursued, flies to the woods.

This creature lives chiefly in the mountains, where it conceals itself amongst the leaves of trees; from whence it darts upon such animals as come within its reach. It sometimes extends itself along the boughs, as if it were dead, till the monkies, tempted by their natural curiosi­ty, approach within reach of its paws; when it seizes and kills them.—It is said to prefer the blood of animals to their flesh. It must, therefore, destroy great numbers, as, instead of satisfying its hunger by devouring them, it only quenches its thirst by drinking their blood.

The Ocelot is not easy to be tamed, and retains its original wildness in a state of captivity. Nothing can soften the natural ferocity of its disposition, nor calm the restlessness of its motions: For this reason, it is always kept in a cage.—One of these animals, shewn at New­castle in 1788, although extremely old, exhibited great marks of ferocity. It was kept closely confined, and would not admit of being caressed by its keeper in the same manner as the Lion; but growled constantly, and always appeared in motion.—A male and female Ocelot were brought to France some years ago, which had been taken when very young. At the age of three months, [Page 186] they became so strong and fierce, as to kill a bitch that was given them for a nurse. When a live Cat was thrown to them, they sucked its blood, but would not taste its flesh. The male seemed to have a great supe­riority over the female, as he never allowed her to par­take till his own appetite was satisfied.

The female Ocelot, like all the larger animals of the Cat kind, produces a small number at a time. The two above mentioned were the only young ones found with the mother, which was killed at the time they were taken; and makes it probable, that they bring forth only that number.



is another beautiful animal of the spotted kind, and known in many phces by the name of the Tiger Cat.— The ground colour of the body is tawny, the face is striped with black: the body is marked with stripes and large spots of black; the breast, and insides of the legs, are white, spotted with black; the tail is long, marked with alternate spots of black, tawny, and grey.

The Margay is smaller than the Ocelot, and about the [Page 187] size of the Wild Cat, which it resembles in disposition and habit, living on small animals, birds, &c. It is very wild and untameable, and cannot easily be brought under subjection.—Its colours vary, though they are generally such as have been described.

It is common in Guiana, Brazil, and various parts of South-America.—It is called the Cayenne Cat; and is not so frequent in temperate as in warm climates.

In taking a survey of this beautiful race of animals, we are unavoidably led to observe, that much remains for the laborious researches of the natural historian, before a complete account can be made out of the various kinds of which it is composed. Several species are frequently found in the East-Indies, in the woods near the Cape of Good Hope, and in the continent of America; but in general these have been so negligently, or so injudiciously mentioned, as to render it impossible to form a perfect description of them.—A good history of these animals is one of the many desiderata of the naturalist; but when we consider the great distance which most of this fero­cious tribe observe in their separation from mankind, and the dangers that must be encountered in approaching their solitary habitations, we are obliged to lament that this desirable object is not likely to be soon accomplished.



This beautiful animal inhabits the mountainous parts of India; and is called by the natives of Malabar the Marapute.—It is larger than the Wild Cat. Its general colour is a pale-yellow; white on the breast and belly, variegated with round spots, which are equally distri­buted over every part of its body: Its eyes are extremely brilliant, and have a wild, piercing look; its whiskers are long and stiff; its tail short; and its feet are armed with long hooked claws.

This creature is seldom to be seen upon the ground; but lives chiefly in trees, where it makes its nest, and breeds its young. It feeds on young birds, and leaps with great agility from tree to tree. It is extremely fierce; but avoids mankind, unless provoked; when it darts furiously upon the offender, and tears and bites nearly in the same manner as the Panther.

Sparrman mentions an animal of this kind, found at [Page 189] the Cape of Good Hope, which he calls the Tiger Cat, and supposes to be the same with the Serval. The same author mentions another animal of this kind, called at the Cape the Wild Red Cat; the skin of which is sup­posed by the natives to possess great medicinal powers, and give ease to persons afflicted with the gout, lumba­go, and pains in the joints. The hairy side must be worn next the part affected. The fur of this animal is very fine and soft; and probably, there are many other skins, which, if applied with an equal degree of good faith, might have the same salutary effects.

The colour of the upper part of this creature is of a very bright-red; towards the sides it is mixed with white and grey; the belly is white; the upper part of the ears, which have tufts of hair on their tips, is dark-brown, sprinkled with grey. The body of this animal is long, and about two feet in height.



The history of this animal is so intimately connected with that of the common or domestic kind, that we shall [Page 190] include our account of both under one general head, and describe them as constituting the same species.

The domestic Cat, if suffered to escape into the woods, becomes wild, and lives on small birds and such other game as it can find there. It likewise breeds with the wild one. It is no uncommon thing for females of the tame species to quit their houses during the time they are in season, go in quest of male Wild Cats, and return home to the same habitations impregnated by them. It is by this means, that some of our domestic Cats so per­fectly resemble those of the wild breed.

The hair of the Wild Cat is soft and fine, of a pale-yellow colour, mixed with grey; a dusky list runs along the middle of the back, from head to tail; the sides are streaked with grey, pointing from the back downwards; the tail is thick, and marked with alternate bars of black and white. It is larger and stronger than the tame Cat, and its fur much longer.

This animal inhabits the most mountainous and woody parts of this island, living in trees, and hunting for birds and small animals, such as rabbits, hares, rats, mice, moles, &c. It frequently makes great havock among poultry; will even kill young lambs, kids, and fawns; and is the fiercest and most destructive beast of prey in this kingdom.

It is taken either in traps, or by shooting. There is frequently danger in the latter mode; for if it be only slightly wounded, it will attack the person who has in­jured it, and in that case is not easily repelled.

Wild Cats are found, with very little variety, in almost every climate. They existed in America before its disco­very by the Europeans. One of them was brought to [Page 191] Columbus, which was of the ordinary size, of a brown­ish-grey colour, with a long tail.—They are common in many places of Asia and Africa. Sparrman gives a de­scription of one which he shot at the Cape, which was in every respect similar to those of this country. It was of a grey colour; and measured, from the nose to the tail, nearly twenty-two inches. The tail was thirteen inches long. Its height was about a foot and a half. Its intes­tines were full of moles and rats.

Some Wild Cats have been taken in this kingdom of a most enormous size; we recollect one having been killed in the county of Cumberland, which measured, from its nose to the end of its tail, upwards of five feet.

The province of Chorazan, in Persia, is particularly famous for a most beautiful Cat, about the size of the tame one, of a fine grey colour, without any mixture, and as soft and shining as silk. It is darker on the back, softening by degrees towards the breast and belly, where it is almost white. The tail is long, and covered with hair, five or six inches in length. The animal frequent­ly turns it upon its back, like a squirrel; the point of it resembling a plume of feathers.

The Cat of Angora differs greatly from the Wild Cat, in having much longer hair, especially about the neck, where it forms a fine ruff, and gives the creature a Lion-like appearance. Some of these are of a silvery white­ness, and silky texture; others are of a dun colour, mix­ed with yellow.



may be said to be only a variety of the Wild Cat, the principal difference being in its size, which is less; and, instead of being uniformly the same, is distinguished by an infinite variety of shades and colouring.

To describe an animal so well known might seem a superfluous task; we shall only, therefore, select such of its peculiarities as are least obvious, and may have esca­ped the notice of inattentive observers.

It is generally remarked, that Cats can see in the dark; but, though this is not absolutely the case, yet it is cer­tain that they can see with much less light than most other animals, owing to the peculiar structure of their eyes, the pupils of which are capable of being contracted or dilated in proportion to the degree of light by which they are affected. The pupil of the Cat, during the day, is perpetually contracted; and it is with difficulty that it can see by a strong light: But in the twilight, the pupil [Page 193] resumes its natural roundness, the animal enjoys perfect vision, and takes advantage of this superiority to discover and surprize its prey.

The cry of the Cat is loud, piercing, and clamorous; and whether expressive of anger or of love, is equally vi­olent and hideous. Its call may be heard at a great dis­tance; and is so well known to the whole fraternity, that on some occasions several hundred Cats have been brought together from different parts. Invited by the piercing cries of distress from a suffering fellow-creature, they assemble in crowds; and, with loud squalls and yells, express their horrid sympathies. They frequently tear the miserable object to pieces; and, with the most blind and furious rage, fall upon each other, killing and wounding indiscriminately, till there is scarcely one left. These terrible conflicts happen only in the night; and, though very rare, instances of very furious ones are well authenticated.

The Cat is particularly averse to water, cold, and bad smells. It is fond of certain perfumes; but is more particularly attracted by the smell of valerian, marum, and cat-mint. It rubs itself against them; and, if not prevented from coming at them in a garden where they are planted, would infallibly destroy them.

The Cat brings forth twice, and sometimes thrice, a year. The period of her gestation is fifty-five or fifty-six days; and she generally produces five or six at one litter. She conceals her kittens from the male, lest he should devour them, as he is sometimes inclined; and, if appre­hensive of being disturbed, will take them up in her mouth, and remove them one by one to a more secure retreat. Even the female herself, contrary to the esta­blished [Page 194] law of Nature, which binds the parent to its off­spring by an almost indissoluble tie, is sometimes known to eat her own young the moment after she has produced them.

Though extremely useful in destroying the vermin that infest our houses, the Cat seems little attached to the persons of those that afford it protection. It seems to be under no subjection, and acts only for itself: All its news are confined to the place where it has been brought up; if carried elsewhere, it seems lost and bewildered: Neither caresses nor attention can reconcile it to its new situation; and it frequently takes the first opportunity of escaping to its former haunts. Frequent instances are in our recollection, of Cats having returned to the place from whence they had been carried, though at many miles distance, and even across rivers, when they could not possibly have any knowledge of the road or situation that would apparently lead them to it.—This extraordi­nary faculty is, however, possessed in a much greater de­gree by Dogs; yet it is in both animals equally wonder­ful and unaccountable.

In the time of Hoel the Good, king of Wales, who died in the year 948, laws were made as well to pre­serve, as to fix the different prices of animals; among which the Cat was included, as being at that period of great importance, on account of its scarcity and utility. The price of a kitten before it could see was fixed at one penny; till proof could be given of its having caught a mouse, two-pence; after which it was rated at four-pence, which was a great sum in those days, when the value of specie was extremely high. It was likewise re­quired, that it should be perfect in its senses of hearing [Page 195] and seeing, should be a good mouser, have its claws whole, and, if a female, be a careful nurse: If it failed in any of these good qualities, the seller was to forfeit to the buyer the third part of its value.—If any one should steal or kill the Cat that guarded the Prince's granary, he was either to forfeit a milch ewe, her fleece, and lamb, or as much wheat as, when poured on the Cat suspended by its tail, (its head touching the floor) would form a heap high enough to cover the tip of the former.— From hence we may conclude, that Cats were not ori­ginally natives of these islands; and, from the great care taken to improve and preserve the breed of this prolific creature, we may suppose were but little known at that period.—Whatever credit we may allow to the circum­stances of the well-known story of Whittington and his Cat, it is another proof of the great value set upon this animal in former times.



differs greatly from every animal of the Cat kind we have hitherto described. Its ears are long and erect, tufted at the end with long black hairs, by which this species of animals is peculiarly distinguished: The hair on the body is long and soft, of a red-ash colour, marked with dusky spots, which differ according to the age of the creature; sometimes they are scarcely visible: Its legs and feet are very thick and strong; its tail short, and black at the extremity; its eyes are of a pale-yellow colour; and its aspect softer and less ferocious than that of the Panther or the Ounce. The skin of the male is more spotted than that of the female.

The fur of this creature is valuable for its softness and warmth; and is imported in great quantities from Ame­rica and the North of Europe. The farther North they are taken, the whiter they are, and the spots more dis­tinct. The most elegant of those is called the Irbys; and is taken near lake Balkash, in Usbec Tartary. Its skin [Page 197] sells in that country for one pound sterling.—The colour of its hair changes with the climate and the season: The winter furs are richer and more beautiful than those taken in summer.

The Lynx is said to be very long-lived, is a very de­structive animal, lives by hunting, and pursues its prey to the tops of the highest trees. It feeds on Weasels, Ermines, Squirrels, &c. which are unable to escape it. It watches the approach of the Fallow-deer, Hare, and other animals; and darts upon them from the branches of trees, where it lies concealed; seizes the animals by the throat, and drinks their blood; after which, it aban­dons them, and goes in quest of fresh game.—Its sight is remarkably quick; and it sees its prey at a great distance. —It often eats no more of a Sheep or a Goat than the brain, the liver, and the intestines. It will sometimes dig under the doors to gain admission into the sheepfold. —When attacked by a Dog, it lies down on its back, strikes desperately with its claws, and frequently obliges its assailant to retreat.

Although the Lynx has nothing in common with the Wolf, it has been distinguished by the name of Lupus-Cervarius, or the Stag-Wolf. Its manner of howling is similar to that of the Wolf; and when heard at a dis­tance, is not easily distinguished from the cry of that ani­mal. The epithet cervarius has been added, because its skin is variegated with spots like that of a young Stag.

A variety of this animal is found in the inner parts of the province of New York. It is called the Bay Lynx, and is about twice the size of a large Cat. Its hair is short and smooth; its general colour is a bright-bay, ob­scurely marked with dusky spots; on its face there are [Page 198] black stripes, pointing downward towards the nose; on each side of the upper lip it has three rows of small black spots, with long whiskers issuing from them; each cheek is marked with long black stripes, of a circular form, proceeding from the corners of the eyes; the under part of the body, and insides of the legs, are white; the in­side of each fore leg is marked on the upper part with two black bars; its tail, which is short, is marked with bars of a dusky colour, and at the end with one of a deep-black; the tip and under side are white.

The Lynxes of our days must be very different ani­mals from those which have been described by poets as drawing the chariot of Bacchus; for, beside the imprac­ticability of training these animals to the yoke, we find, that the Lynx is not an inhabitant of India, or of any of the warmer countries of Asia conquered by that hero. It prefers cold to even temperate climates; and is com­mon in the forests of the northern parts of Europe, Asia, and America.

The ancients seem to have given the name of Lynx to an animal which existed only in imagination, and may be ranked with their other ideal monsters and prodigies —the Sphynx, the Pegasus, and the Unicorn.—Its sight was said to penetrate the most opaque bodies, and its urine to be converted into a precious stone.



resembles the Lynx in size, figure, and aspect, as well as in having its ears tipt with a pencil of black hairs.—It differs from the last-mentioned animal in not being spot­ted; its hair is rougher, and of a pale reddish-brown; its tail is longer, and of an uniform colour; its face is more lengthened, its look more fierce, and its nature and disposition more savage.

This animal is found only in warm climates; and is common in Persia, India, Barbary, and in all the coun­tries inhabited by the Lion, the Panther, and the Ounce. —It is called in Persia the Syah-Gush; and in the Turk­ish language, the Karrah-Kulak: Both these names sig­nify the Cat with black Ears.—It is said to follow the Lion, and to feed on the remains which that animal leaves of his prey; for which reason it is called among the Arabs the Lion's Guide.

The Caracal is about the size of a Fox; but much [Page 200] stronger, and more ferocious. It has been known to at­tack a Hound, and instantly tear it to pieces.

This animal is extremely difficult to tame; but when taken young, and reared with great caution, it may be trained to the chase.

It is used in pursuing the smaller sort of animals, in which it is very successful; but it is active only in the pursuit of animals that are too feeble for resistance, or too timid to exert their powers. Whenever it meets with one that is superior to it in strength, it loses its courage, and gives up the chase.—It is likewise employ­ed in catching birds; such as cranes, pelicans, peacocks, &c.; which it surprises with singular address. When it has seized its prey, it holds it fast in its mouth, and lies upon it for some time quite motionless.

There are some varieties in this animal. The face of the Nubian Caracal is rounder; the ears black on the outside, interspersed with silver-coloured hairs; on the breast, belly, and insides of the thighs, there are small bright-yellow spots; and it has the mule cross on the withers, like most of the Barbary Caracals.—In Lybia, there are Caracals with white ears, tufted at the end with thin black hairs; they have white tails, the extre­mities of which are surrounded with four black rings; and on the hind part of each leg, there are four black spots. They are smaller than the other Caracals, not exceeding the size of a domestic Cat.

We have now gone through all the principal varieties which constitute this numerous race; in all of which, as has been already observed, from the Lion to the com­mon Cat, we may perceive a striking similitude in dispo­sition, form, and manners. This agreement is likewise [Page 201] observable in their internal conformation, which is still more exact,—in the shortness of their intestines, the sharpness and number of their teeth, and in the structure of their feet and claws. They are all equally carnivo­rous; and tear, rather than chew their meat. They eat slowly; and growl whilst they feed, as if afraid of losing their prey. They are all cowardly, and seldom make an attack but where conquest is certain.

Animals of this race may be considered as the most formidable enemies of mankind. There are others more powerful; but their dispositions are milder; and they sel­dom offend till they find themselves injured: Others are more numerous; but they are weaker, and find their safety not in opposing, but in flying from man. These are the only quadrupeds that in any degree make good their ground against him, and maintain a kind of divided sway over many fair and fertile tracts, that seem, in other respects, formed for the comfort and convenience of social life.



THESE little, active, and enterprizing animals are particularly distinguished from other carnivorous kinds, by the length and slenderness of their bodies, which are admirably adapted to their manner of living, and methods of taking their prey. They are so small and flexible, as to wind like worms into very small cre­vices and openings; whither they easily follow the little animals that serve them for food.

All the animals of this kind are furnished with small glands, placed near the anus, from which an unctuous matter continually exudes: The effluvia of it is ex­tremely offensive in the Polecat, Ferret, Weasel, Badger, but in the Civet Cat, Martin, and Pine Weasel, it is an agreeable perfume. They are all equally marked for rapine and cruelty: They subsist only by theft; and find their chief protection in their minuteness. They are all, from the shortness of their legs, slow in pursuit; and make up that deficiency by patience, assiduity, and cunning.—As their prey is precarious, they can live a long time without food. When they fall in with plenty, they immediately kill every thing within their reach be­fore they begin to satisfy their appetite; and always suck the blood of every animal they kill, before they eat any of its flesh.

These are the principal peculiarities common to this kind; all the species of which have so striking a resem­blance to each other, that having seen one, we may form a very just idea of all the rest.

The most obvious difference consists in their size. We shall therefore begin with the smallest of this numerous class, and proceed gradually upwards to the largest.



THE length of this animal does not exceed seven inches, from the nose to the tail; which is only two inches and a half long, and ends in a point: Its height is not above two inches and a half; so that it is nearly five times as long as it is high.

The most prevailing colour of the Weasel is a pale reddish-brown on the back, sides, and legs; the throat and belly are white; beneath the corners of the mouth, on each jaw, is a spot of brown. It has whiskers like a Cat; its ears are large, and have a fold at the lower part, that gives them the appearance of being double; its eyes are small, round, and black; its teeth are thirty-two in number, and extremely sharp.

The Weasel is very common, and well known in most parts of this country; is very destructive to young birds, poultry, rabbits, &c.; and is a keen devourer of eggs, which it sucks with great avidity. It will follow a Hare, which is terrified into a state of absolute imbecility at the sight of this little animal, and gives itself up to it with­out [Page 204] resistance, making at the same time the most piteous outcries.

The bite of the Weasel is generally fatal. It seizes its prey near the head, and fixes its sharp teeth into a vital part. A Hare, Rabbit, or any other small animal, bit in this manner, is never known to recover; but lingers for some time, and dies. The wound is so small, that the place where the teeth enter can scarcely be perceived. —It is remarkably active; and will run up the sides of a wall with such facility, that no place is secure from it.

This creature is a friend to the farmer, and much en­couraged by him. During winter, it frequents his barns, out-houses, and granaries; which it effectually clears of Rats and Mice. It is, indeed, a more deadly enemy to them than even the Cat itself; for, being more active and slender, it pursues them into their holes, and kills them after a short resistance. It creeps also into pigeon holes, and destroys the young ones; catches sparrows, and all kinds of small birds; and when it has brought forth its young, it hunts with still greater boldness and avidity.—In summer, it ventures at a distance from its usual haunts; is frequently found by the side of waters, near corn-mills; and is almost sure to follow wherever a swarm of Rats has taken possession of any place.

The evening is the time when this animal begins its depredations. Towards the close of the day, it may fre­quently be seen stealing from its hole, and creeping about the farmer's yard in search of its prey. If it enter the place where poultry are kept, it seldom attacks the cocks or the old hens, but always aims at the young ones. It does not eat its prey on the spot where it has killed it; but, where it is not too large, carries it away to its re­treat. [Page 205] It also breaks and sucks all the eggs it can meet with; and, not unfrequently, kills the hen that attempts to defend them.

The Weasel is a wild and untractable little animal: When kept in a cage for the purpose of amusement or inspection, it seems in a continual state of agitation, is terrified at the sight of every person that approaches to look at it, and hides itself in the wool or hay which is given to it for that purpose.

It conveys all its food to its hiding-place; and will not touch it till it begin to putrefy. It passes the greatest part of the day in sleeping; and usually employs the night in exercise and eating.

The female brings forth in the spring, and generally produces four or five at one litter. She prepares a bed for them of straw, leaves, and moss. The young are brought forth blind; but very soon acquire strength enough to follow their dam, and assist in her excursions. They will attack serpents, water-rats, moles, field-mice, &c.: They overrun the meadows; and frequently kill the partridges, and suck their eggs.

The motion of the Weasel consists of unequal and pre­cipitant leaps; and in climbing a tree, it makes a consi­derable spring of some feet from the ground. It jumps in the same manner upon its prey; and being extremely limber, evades the attempts of much stronger animals to seize it.—We are told, that an eagle having seized a Weasel, mounted into the air with it; and was soon af­ter observed to be in great distress. Its little enemy had extricated itself so far, as to be able to bite it severely in the throat; which presently brought the eagle to the ground, and gave the Weasel an opportunity of esca­ping.

[Page 206]Notwithstanding the wildness of this animal's nature, there are not wanting instances to prove, that it is capa­ble of being thoroughly tamed. M. Buffon, who assert­ed the impossibility of bringing the Weasel into any de­gree of subjection, is afterwards corrected by a lady; who assures him, that she had tried the experiment upon a young Weasel taken in her garden; which soon learned to recognize and lick the hand from which it received its food, and became as familiar, caressing, and frolicsome, as a Dog or a Squirrel.—The same author mentions ano­ther experiment made by a gentleman, who trained a young Weasel so completely, that the animal followed him wherever he went.—The method of taming them is to stroke them gently over the back; and to threaten, and even to beat them, when they bite.

These facts may serve to shew the possibility of ren­dering this animal domestic; and hold out a useful hint to us, that its services might be very great in clearing ships, granaries, and other places, from the vermin with which they are frequently infested: For it is very well known, that one of these animals will kill more Rats and Mice than any Cat, being better able to pursue them into their holes and lurking-places.

The odour of the Weasel is very strong, especially in the summer time, or when it is irritated or pursued; it is then intolerable, and may be smelt at some distance.

The following circumstance, related by Buffon, will shew, that this animal has a natural attachment to every thing that is corrupt:—A Weasel was taken in his neigh­bourhood, with three young ones, out of the carcase of a Wolf that had been hung on a tree by the hind feet. The Wolf was almost entirely putrefied; and the Weasel [Page 207] had made a nest of leaves and herbage for her young in the thorax of the putrid carcase.



The difference in shape between this animal and the Weasel is so small, that they have frequently been de­scribed under the same denomination; the small Stoat being sometimes mistaken for a Weasel.—The length of the former is about ten inches; the tail five inches and a half, very hairy; and tipt with black at the end; the edges of the ears, and the ends of the toes, are of a yellowish-white: In other respects, it perfectly resem­bles the Weasel in colour as well as form.

In the most northern parts of Europe, this animal re­gularly changes its colour in winter, and becomes per­fectly white; except the end of the tail, which remains invariably black. It is then called the Ermine; and is much sought after for its valuable fur, which makes a [Page 208] considerable article of commerce in Norway, Lapland, Russia, and other cold countries; where they are found in prodigious numbers. They are also very common in Kamtschatka and Siberia, where they are taken in traps baited with flesh. The skins are sold in the country for from two to three pounds sterling per hundred.—In Nor­way, they are either shot with blunt arrows, or taken in traps made of two flat stones, one being propped up with a stick, to which is fastened a baited string; and as soon as the animal begins to nibble, the stone falls down, and crushes it to death.—The Stoat is likewise found white in the winter time in Great-Britain, and is then erroneously called a White Weasel. Its fur, however, among us, is of little value, having neither the thickness, the closeness, nor the whiteness, of those which come from Siberia.

One of these animals, that we had in our possession, had entirely assumed its winter robe; but with a consi­derable mixture of yellow, especially on the top of the head and back.—They begin to change from brown to white in November, and resume their summer vesture in March.

The natural history of this animal is much the same with that of the Weasel; its food being young birds, rabbits, mice, &c.; its agility the same; and its scent equally fetid.



This animal is only known to us in a kind of domestic state. It is originally a native of Africa; from whence, according to Strabo, it was brought into Spain; and, from its known enmity to the Rabbit, was made use of to reduce the numbers of them with which that kingdom abounded. It has since been employed for the same pur­pose in various parts of Europe; but as it is not able to bear the severity of a cold climate, it cannot subsist with­out great care and shelter. It is usually kept in a box, with wool; of which it makes itself a warm bed. It sleeps a great part of the day, and the moment it a­wakes, seems eager for its food, which is commonly bread and milk.

The Ferret breeds twice a year. The female goes six weeks with young. Some of them devour their offspring as soon as they are brought forth; when they immediate­ly come in season again, and have three litters, which generally consist of five or six, but sometimes seven or eight, and even nine.—It is apt to degenerate in this [Page 210] country, and lose in some degree its ferocity. Warren­ers are therefore obliged to procure an intercourse be­tween the female and the Foumart. The produce is a breed of a much darker colour than the Ferret, partaking more of that of the Foumart.

The length of this animal is about fourteen inches; that of the tail five; its nose is sharper than that of the Weasel or the Foumart; its ears are round; and its eyes red and fiery: The colour of the whole body is a very pale-yellow.

The Ferret is naturally such an enemy to the Rabbit, that if a dead Rabbit be laid before a young Ferret, it instantly seizes upon it, although it has never seen one before. If a living Rabbit be presented to it, the Ferret is still more eager, seizes it by the neck, winds itself round it, and continues to suck its blood till it be sa­tiated.—When employed in the business of the warren, it must be muzzled, that it may not kill the Rabbits in their holes; but only oblige them to come out, that the warrener may catch them in his nets. If the Ferret be suffered to go in without a muzzle, or should disengage itself from it whilst in the hole, there is great danger of losing it; for after satisfying itself with blood, it falls asleep, and it is then almost impossible to come at it.— The most usual methods of recovering the Ferret are, by digging it out, or smoking the hole. If these do not succeed, it continues during the summer among the Rab­bit holes, and lives upon the prey it finds there; but being unable to endure the cold of the winter, is sure to perish.

The Ferret, though easily tamed, is soon irritated.— Its odour is fetid; its nature voracious; it is tame with­out [Page 211] attachment; and such is its appetite for blood, that it has been known to attack and kill children in the cra­dle.—When angry, it is apt to bite; and the wound is difficult to cure.

The Madagascar Weasel, or Vansire of M. Buffon, may be referred to this species; to which its size and form are strikingly similar. It is about fourteen inches in length: The hair is of a dark-brown colour, mixed with black: It differs from the Ferret in the number of its grinding teeth, which amount to twelve; whereas, in the Ferret, there are but eight: The tail is longer than that of the Ferret, and better furnished with hair.

The same author mentions another animal of this spe­cies under the name of the Nems, which is a native of Arabia. It resembles our Ferret in every thing but the colour, which is that of a dark-brown mixed with white; the belly is of a bright-yellow colour, without any mix­ture; the prevailing colour on the head and round the eyes is a clear yellow; on the nose, cheeks, and other parts of the face where the hair is short, a tincture of brown more or less prevails, and terminates gradually above the eyes; the legs are covered with short hair, of a deep-yellow colour; on each foot there are four toes, and a small one behind; the claws are small and black; the tail, which is more than double the length of that of our Ferret, is very thick at its origin, terminates in a point, and is covered with long hair, similar to that on the body.



so called from its offensive smell, as well as to distinguish it from the Martin, to which it bears a strong resem­blance: It is likewise called the Polecat or Fitchet, and is the Putois of M. Buffon, and the Putorius of Ray.

The length of this animal is about seventeen inches, exclusive of the tail, which is six inches long; the ears are short, broad, and tipt with white on their edges; it is white about the mouth; the rest of the body is for the most part of a deep-chocolate colour; the sides are co­vered with hairs of two colours, the ends being dark like the rest of the body, and the middle of a full-tawny co­lour.

The shape of this animal, like all others of this genus, is long and slender, the nose sharp-pointed, and the legs short; the toes are long, and the claws sharp. It is in every respect admirably formed for that peculiar mode of life assigned to it by the all-wise Author of Nature.

It is a very active and nimble little animal, runs very [Page 213] fast, and will creep up the sides of walls with great agi­lity. In running, its belly seems to touch the ground; in preparing to jump, it arches its back, and makes its spring with great force.

It is very destructive to poultry, pigeons, and young game of all kinds: It makes great havock amongst Rab­bits; and its thirst for blood is so great, that it kills ma­ny more than it can eat. One or two of these animals will almost destroy a whole warren.—It generally resides in woods or thick brakes; where it burrows under ground, forming a shallow retreat about two yards in length, which commonly ends among the roots of trees.

In the winter season, this creature frequents houses, barns, &c. feeding on poultry, eggs, and sometimes milk: But it has another mode of procuring subsistence, which has hitherto escaped the observation of the naturalist; and which, though singular, we can vouch for the truth of:—During a severe storm, one of these animals was traced in the snow from the side of a rivulet to its hole, at some distance from it: As it was observed to have made frequent trips, and as other marks were to be seen in the snow which could not easily be accounted for, it was thought a matter worthy of more diligent enquiry: Its hole was accordingly examined, the Foumart taken, and eleven fine eels were discovered to be the fruits of this curious little animal's nocturnal excursions. The marks in the snow were found to have been made by the motion of the eels in the creature's mouth.

From the above curious circumstance, we have given a representation of this animal (which was drawn from the life) in possession of this singular booty.—It may be matter of curious investigation for some future naturalist [Page 214] to enquire by what arts this wily animal finds a booty so apparently difficult to attain: Whether by plunging in, and dragging it from its recesses at the bottoms of rivers; or in the more secure method of taking advantage of the labours of others, and robbing the Otter of its stores.

In attending to the instinctive faculties of animals, there is room for deep and diligent enquiry; and, though our progress is liable to many interruptions, it is a de­lightful task to follow the workings of Nature through all her intricate and curious windings: Every step we gain is a sufficient reward for our trouble, and leads us to admire the wisdom and goodness of that Dispensation which furnishes every creature with sufficient and ample powers to administer to all its wants, necessities, and comforts.

The female Foumart brings forth in the summer, ge­nerally five or six at a time. She suckles them but a short time, and accustoms them early to live upon blood and eggs.

Though the smell of this animal is rank and disagreea­ble even to a proverb, yet the skin is drest with the hair on, and used as other furs, without retaining its offen­sive odour.

The Foumart is a very fierce and bold little creature: When attacked by a Dog, it will defend itself with great spirit, attack in its turn, and fasten upon the nose of its enemy with so keen a bite, as frequently to oblige him to desist.



inhabits the North of Europe, Asia, and America: It is likewise found in Great-Britain, but is not numerous there.—It lives chiefly in large forests; especially where the pine tree abounds, of the tops of which it is very fond.

North-America abounds with these animals. Prodi­gious numbers of their skins are annually imported from thence. Above thirty thousand skins have been brought over from Canada in one year, and from Hudson's Bay nearly fifteen thousand in the same time.

The principal difference between the Pine Weasel and the Martin is in the colour. The breast of the former is yellow; the colour of the body much darker; and the fur, in general, greatly superior in fineness, beauty, and value.


is much more common in this country than the Pine Weasel.—It lives wholly in woods, and breeds in the hollows of trees. It produces from four to six young ones at a time.

This animal is the most beautiful of all the Weasel kind. Its head is small, and elegantly formed; its eyes are lively; and its motions quick and graceful—When taken young, it is easily tamed, extremely playful, and good-humoured. Its attachment, however, is not to be depended upon. It readily takes advantage of the first opportunity to regain its liberty, and retire to the woods, its natural haunts.

The food of the Martin is much the same with other animals of its kind. It makes incessant war with Rats, Mice, and other vermin: Poultry, game, and small birds, are its constant prey: It feeds also on grain, and is ex­tremely fond of honey.

M. Buffon tells us of one of these animals that he had tamed, which, he remarks, drank frequently. It some­times slept two days successively, and at other times would continue awake as long. In preparing itself for sleep, it folded itself up in a round form, and covered its head with its tail. When awake, its motions were so vi­olent, so constant, and so troublesome, that it was ne­cessary to keep it chained. From the flexibility of its body, it easily eluded its fetters; and, after returning once or twice, at last absented itself entirely.

The Martin is about eighteen inches long; the tail is te [...], and full of hair, especially towards the end, which is thick and bushy; the ears are broad, rounded, and [Page 217] open; the body is covered with a thick fur, of a dark-brown colour; the head is brown, mixed with red; the throat and breast are white; the belly is of the same co­lour with the back, but a little paler; the feet are broad, and covered on the under side with a thick fur; the claws white, large, and sharp, well adapted for climbing trees, which in this country are its constant residence.

The skin and excrements of this animal have an agree­able musky scent, and are entirely free from that rank­ness which is so disgusting in other animals of this kind. Its fur is valuable, and in high estimation.



This little animal, so highly esteemed for its skin, is a native of the snowy regions of the North, being found chiefly in Siberia, Kamtschatka, and some of the islands which lie between that country and Japan; and a few are also found in Lapland.

The darkest furs are the most valuable. A single skin, though not above four inches broad, is sometimes va­lued as high as fifteen pounds. The sable differs from all other furs in this, that the hair turns with equal ease to either side.

[Page 218]The Sable resembles the Martin in form, and is about the same size.—It lives in holes in the earth, by the banks of rivers, and under the roots of trees. It makes its nest of moss, small twigs, and grass.—The female brings forth in the spring, and produces from three to five at one time.—Sometimes, like the Martin, it forms its nest in the hollow of a tree.

This animal is very lively and active, and will leap with great agility from tree to tree, in pursuit of small birds, woodcocks, squirrels, &c. It likewise lives upon rats, fishes, pine tops, and wild fruits.

It is affirmed by naturalists, that the Sable is not a­verse to the water; and, from the fineness and closeness of its fur, there is great reason to suppose that it is much accustomed to that element; from which it also derives a part of its subsistence: And as a farther proof that this animal is in some degree amphibious, we are told by tra­vellers *, that it is very numerous in small islands, where the hunters go in quest of them.—It is mentioned by Aristotle as a water animal, and is described by him un­der the name of Satherius.

The hunting of the Sables is chiefly carried on by cri­minals confined to the desert regions of Siberia, or by soldiers sent thither for that purpose, who generally re­main there several years. Both are obliged to furnish a certain quantity of furs. They shoot with a single ball, to injure the skin as little as possible. They frequently take them in traps, or kill them with blunt arrows.—As an encouragement to the hunters, they are allowed to share among themselves whatever skins they take above [Page 219] the allotted number; and this, in a few years, amounts to a considerable premium.—The hunters form them­selves into small troops, each of which is directed by a leader of their own chusing.

The season of hunting is from November to February; for at that time the Sables are in the highest perfection: Those caught at any other time of the year are full of short hairs, and are sold at inferior prices. The best skins are such as have only long hair, which is always black, and of a glossy brightness. Old furs do not re­tain their gloss.—Both the Russians and Chinese have a method of dying their furs; but the dyed sables are easi­ly discovered, having neither the smoothness nor the brightness of the natural hair.

The bellies of Sables, which are sold in pairs, are about two fingers in breadth, and are tied together in bundles of forty pieces, which are sold at from one to two pounds sterling. The tails are sold by the hundred, from four to eight pounds.

There are instances of Sables being found of a snowy whiteness; but they are rare, and bought only as curi­osities.

The hunters of this animal are frequently obliged to endure the utmost extremity of cold and hunger in the pursuit of their booty. They penetrate deep into im­mense woods, where they have no other method of find­ing their way back but by marking the trees as they ad­vance: If this should by any means fail them, they are inevitably lost. They sometimes trace the Sables on the new-fallen snow to their holes, place their nets at the entrance, and wait frequently two or three days before the animal comes out.—It has happened, by the failure [Page 220] of their provisions, that these poor wretches have been reduced to the necessity of tying thin boards tight to their stomachs to prevent the cravings of appetite—Such are the hardships our fellow-creatures undergo to supply the wants of the vain and luxuriant!

An animal, similar to the Sable, is mentioned by Mr Pennant under the name of the Fisher. It is found in North-America; and, by the number of its skins im­ported, must be very numerous there, nearly six hun­dred of them having been brought in one season from New-York and Pensylvania. The hair on the body is mostly black; the sides brown; the ears are broad and round, dusky on their outsides, and edged with white; the face and sides of the neck pale-brown, mixed with black; the feet are very broad, and covered with hair, even on their soles; the tail is full and bushy; the length of the animal, from nose to tail, is twenty-eight inches; the tail seventeen.



This animal, in Egypt, is domestic, like the Cat; and is retained by the natives for the same useful purposes of clearing their houses of Rats and Mice.—With all the [Page 221] strength and agility of the Cat, it has a more general appetite for carnage. It attacks, without dread, the most deadly serpents, and preys on every noxious rep­tile of the torrid zone, which it seizes and kills with great avidity.—It is said, that when this animal is wounded by a serpent, and begins to feel the effect of the poison, it immediately has recourse to a certain root, which the Indians call after its name, and assert that it is an antidote for the bite of any venomous reptile.

The Ichneumon is the most formidable enemy of the crocodile: It destroys its eggs, which it digs out of the sand, where they are laid to hatch by the heat of the sun; and kills great numbers of the young crocodiles soon af­ter their production, before they are able to reach the water. It was for this reason that the ancient Egyptians worshipped this animal, and ranked the Ichneumon a­mongst those deities that were most propitious to them.

These animals, in their domestic state, are perfectly tame and gentle. M. d'Obsonville speaks of one which he reared from a young one. It became tamer than a Cat, was obedient to the call of its master, and followed him wherever he went. One day he brought a small water-serpent alive, being desirous to know how far its instinct would carry it against a being with whom it was hitherto entirely unacquainted. Its first emotion seemed to be astonishment mixed with anger: Its hair became erect: In an instant, it slipped behind the reptile; and, with remarkable swiftness and agility, leaped upon its head, seized it, and crushed it with its teeth. This first essay seemed to have awakened in it its natural appetite for blood, which till then had given way to the gentle­ness of its education: It no longer suffered the poultry, [Page 222] among which it was brought up, to pass unregarded; but took the first opportunity, when it was alone, to strangle them. It eat a part of their flesh, and drank only the blood of others.

These animals are numerous in all the southern regions of Asia, from Egypt to the island of Java: They are also found in Africa, in the country about the Cape of Good Hope. They frequent the banks of rivers, are fond of fish, are said to take the water like an Otter, and will continue in it a considerable time without rising to take breath.

The Ichneumon varies in size. The domestic kind is generally larger than those that are wild, and its colours more variegated. It is in general about the size of a common Cat; somewhat longer in the body, and shorter in the legs. Its fur contains tints of white, brown, fawn-colour, and a dirty silver-grey, which all together form a mixture very agreeable to the eye.—Its form is like that of the Polecat. Its eyes are small, but inflamed, and sparkle with a singular vivacity; its nose is long and slen­der; its ears small, rounded, and almost naked; its tail is very thick at the base, and tapers to a point; under­neath the tail is an orifice, from which a most fetid hu­mour is secreted; its claws are long.—It darts upon its prey like an arrow, and seizes it with inevitable certain­ty.

This creature has a small soft voice, somewhat like a murmur; and, unless struck or irritated, never exerts it. When it sleeps, it folds itself up like a ball, and is not easily awaked. It frequently sits up like a Squirrel, and feeds itself with its fore feet; catches any thing that is thrown to it; and will often feign itself dead till its prey come within its reach.



is rather smaller than the Martin. Its body is slender, and covered with hair of an ash colour mixed with taw­ny; the sides of the face are black; at the hind part of the head there are four black lines, extending from thence toward the back and shoulders; the tail is long, and annulated with black; its eye is full, round, and black, which gives it a wild and mischievous aspect.

This animal inhabits the island of Madagascar, Guinea, Cochinchina, and the Philippine Isles. It feeds on flesh and fruits, but prefers the latter, and is peculiarly fond of bananas. It is a very fierce animal, and not easily tamed.—In Guinea, it is called the Berbe, and by Eu­ropeans the Wine-bibber, being very greedy of palm wine. —When young, its flesh is reckoned very good to eat.



This animal, which is called the Chinche by the na­tives of Brazil, is about the size of a common Cat. Its nose is long and slender, and extends a considerable way beyond the lower jaw; its ears are large, short, and rounded; a white stripe extends from the nose over the forehead and along the back, where it is intersected with a small line of black, commencing at the tail, and ex­tending upwards along the middle of the back; its belly and legs are black; its hair is long, especially on the tail, which is thick and bushy.

This creature inhabits Peru and other parts of South-America, and is remarkable above all the Weasel kind for a most intolerable, suffocating, fetid vapour, which it emits from behind, when attacked, pursued, or frighten­ed. The stench of this effluvia is insupportable, and is the creature's best means of defence.

There are three or four varieties of this animal, men­tioned by M. Buffon under the name of the Stinking Pole­cats; all of which possess this wonderful faculty of an­noying their enemies from the same quarter.

[Page 225]Some turn their tail to their pursuers, and emit a most horrible stench, which keeps both dogs and men at a considerable distance: Others eject their urine to the dis­tance of about eighteen feet; and it is of so virulent a quality, as almost to occasion blindness, if any of it should happen to fall into the eyes. Clothes infected with it, retain the smell for many days: No washing can make them sweet; but they must be even buried in fresh soil before they can be thoroughly cleansed. Dogs that are not properly bred, turn back as soon as they perceive the smell: Those that have been accustomed to it, will kill the animal; but are obliged to relieve themselves by thrusting their noses into the ground.

The Stifling, or Squash, which is the second variety of this animal, is nearly of the same size with the Skunk. Its hair is long, and of a deep-brown colour. It lives in holes and clefts of rocks, where the female brings forth her young. It is a native of Mexico; and feeds on bee­tles, worms, and small birds. It destroys poultry, of which it only eats the brains.—When afraid or irritated, it voids the same offensive kind of odour, which no crea­ture dare venture to approach. Professor Kalm was in danger of being suffocated by one that was pursued into a house where he slept; and it affected the cattle so much, that they bellowed through pain. Another, which was killed by a maid servant in a cellar, so affected her with its stench, that she lay ill for several days; all the pro­visions that were in the place were so tainted by the smell, as to be utterly unfit for use.

Another variety of this animal is called the Conepate; and is, perhaps, no more than the female of the last-mentioned animal It is somewhat smaller, and differs [Page 226] chiefly from the Squash in being marked with five pa­rallel white lines, which run along its back and sides from head to tail. It is a native of North-America.— When attacked, it bristles up its hair, throws itself into a round form, and emits an odour which no creature can support.

The last of this pestiferous family which we shall men­tion is the Zorilla. This animal is a native of New-Spain, where it is called the Mariputa. It is found on the banks of the river Oronoque; and is, perhaps, the most beautiful, and at the same time the most offensive, of all creatures. Its body is beautifully marked with white stripes upon a black ground, running from the head to the middle of the back; from whence they are crossed with other white bands, which cover the lower part of the back and flanks: Its tail is long and bushy, black as far as the middle, and white to its extremity. It is an active and mischievous little animal. Its stench is said to extend to a considerable distance; and is so powerful, as to overcome even the Panther of America, which is one of its greatest enemies.

Notwithstanding this offensive quality in these animals, they are frequently tamed, and will follow their master like domestic animals. They do not emit their odour, unless when beaten or irritated. They are frequently killed by the native Indians, who immediately cut away the noxious glands; thereby preventing the flesh, which is good eating, from being infected. Its taste is said nearly to resemble the flavour of that of a young pig. The savage Indians make purses of their skins, which are held in no estimation by the Europeans.



is as much distinguished for the agreeable perfume which it yields, as those we have just described are for the rankest and most disagreeable odour in nature.

The body of the Genet is longer than that of the Mar­tin; its head is long and slender, with a sharp muzzle; its ears are a little pointed; its hair soft, smooth, and shining, of a tawny-red colour, spotted with black; a­long the ridge of the back there is a kind of mane of long hair, which forms a black line from head to tail; the spots on the sides are round and distinct, those on the back almost close; its tail is long, and marked with seven or eight rings of black. From an orifice beneath its tail, it yields a kind of perfume which smells faintly of musk.

This creature is found in Turkey, Syria, and Spain. We are told by Belon, that he saw Genets in the houses at Constantinople as tame as Cats; and that they were useful to the inhabitants in destroying rats, mice, and other vermin.

It is a most beautiful, cleanly, and industrious animal, and very active in pursuing its prey. Its nature is mild and gentle; its colours beautifully variegated; and its [Page 228] fur valuable. Upon the whole, it seems to be one of those animals that, with proper care and attention, might become a useful addition to our stock of domestic qua­drupeds.



is larger than the Genet, and yields a perfume in much greater quantities, and of a stronger quality.

Though originally a native of the warm climates of Africa or Asia, this creature can live in temperate, and even in cold countries; but it must be fed with nourish­ing diet, and carefully defended against the severities of the weather. Numbers of them are kept in Holland for the purpose of collecting this valuable perfume. The ci­vet procured at Amsterdam is more esteemed than that which comes from the Levant or India, being less adul­terated. To collect this perfume, the animal is put in­to a cage, so narrow that it cannot turn itself: The cage is opened at one end, and the animal drawn backwards by the tail, and securely held by its hind legs: A small spoon is then introduced into the pouch which contains the perfume, with which it is carefully scraped, and the matter put into a vessel properly secured. This operation [Page 229] is performed two or three times a week.—The quantity of odorous humour depends much on the quality of the nourishment, and the appetite of the animal, which al­ways produces more in proportion to the goodness of its food. Boiled flesh, eggs, rice, small animals, birds, and particularly fish, are the kinds of food the Civet mostly delights in; and these ought to be varied, so as to excite its appetite, and preserve its health.—It requires very lit­tle water; and, though it drinks seldom, it discharges its urine frequently. It is somewhat remarkable, that in this operation the male is not to be distinguished from the female.—From this circumstance, it has been sup­posed that this animal was the Hyena of the ancients; and it is certain, that most of the fables related concern­ing that monster are in a certain way applicable to the Civet.—The ancients were well acquainted with the po­matum of the Civet, and ascribed to it certain powers of exciting love; for which purpose it still constitutes one of the luxuries of the East.

What has been fabulously related concerning the un­certainty of sex in the Hyena, applies much more strong­ly to the Civet; for in the male nothing appears exter­nally but three apertures, so perfectly similar to those of the female, that it is impossible to distinguish the sex otherwise than by dissection.

The perfume of this animal is so strong, that it infects every part of its body: The hair and the skin are so tho­roughly penetrated with it, that they retain it long after being taken from the body of the animal. If a person be shut up in the same apartment, it is almost insupport­able; and when heated with rage, it becomes still more pungent.

[Page 230]The Civet is naturally savage, and somewhat fero­cious; yet it is easily tamed, so as to be handled with­out danger.

The teeth of this creature are strong and sharp; but its claws are weak. It is an active and nimble animal. It leaps like a Cat, and runs with great swiftness. It lives by hunting; surprizes small animals and birds; and, like the Weasel, will sometimes steal into the yard, and carry off poultry.—Its eyes shine in the dark; and it is probable, that it can see well enough to pursue its prey during the night, as it is known to be most active at that time.

The Civet is very prolific in its native climate; but, though it lives and produces its perfume in temperate regions, it is never known to breed there.—Its voice is stronger than that of the Cat, and has some resem­blance to the cry of an enraged Dog.



is so similar to the Civet, as to be considered by some authors as only a variety of that animal; and it must be allowed, that they have many essential relations, both in their external and internal structure; but they differ [Page 231] from each other by such distinguishing characteristics, as entitle them to be regarded as two distinct species. The ears of the Zibet are larger and more erect; and its muzzle is thinner and flatter: Its body is longer than that of the Civet; and its tail, which is longer, is mark­ed with annular spots, like that of the Genet: It has no mane or long hair on the neck and spine; and its hair is shorter and softer.

The perfume of the Zibet is peculiarly violent and piercing, beyond that of either the Civet or the Genet. —This odorous liquor is found in a fissure near the or­gans of generation. It is a thick humour, of the con­sistence of pomatum; and, though very strong, it is a­greeable even as it issues from the body of the animal.— This matter of the Zibet must not be confounded with musk, which is a sanguineous humour, derived from a species of the Roe-buck, or Goat without Horns*; and has nothing in common with the Zibet but its strong perfume.



is an active and dexterous little animal. It is rather less than a Rabbit, and pretty much resembles the Ichneu­mon both in size and in the colour of its hair, only it is rougher, and its tail is not quite so long. Its upper jaw is much longer than the lower, and very pliant and moveable. It has only four toes on each foot, in which it differs from all the Weasel kind.

One of these animals, in the possession of M. de Seve, was observed sometimes to walk on its hind legs, and frequently to sit upright, with its fore feet hanging down on its breast.

The Suricate is carnivorous, and preys on small ani­mals. It is fond of fish, and still more so of eggs. Like the Squirrel, it makes use of its fore paws to convey its victuals to its mouth. In drinking, it laps like a Dog; but will not drink water, except when it is warm. The ordinary drink of that kept by De Seve was its own urine, though it had a very strong odour. It frolicked with the Cats, and always innocently. It was extremely playful and familiar, knew its own name, and would re­turn at a call. What was remarkable, it seemed to have an aversion to particular persons, whom it would always [Page 233] bite on their approaching it: Some people were so disa­greeable to it, that even when restrained, it would make use of several artifices to come near enough to bite them; and when it could not lay hold of their legs, would fly at their shoes or petticoats. When discontented, it made a noise like the barking of a whelp; and when pleased or caressed, would utter a sound like the shaking of a rattle.



described by Mr Pennant under the name of the Fizzler, is a native of the Cape of Good Hope.—It lives chiefly upon honey, and is endowed with a wonderful faculty of discovering the secret retreats where the bees deposit their stores. About sun-set, the Ratel is particularly at­tentive in watching the motions of these industrious in­sects; and having observed their route, it follows with great care the direction in which they fly. It is fre­quently assisted in discovering its delicious booty by a bird called the Honey Guide, (cuculus indicator) which is extremely fond both of honey and the eggs of bees; and in the pursuit of its food, excites the attention of the Ratel by a loud grating cry of cherr, cherr, cherr; at [Page 234] the same time flying slowly on towards the place where the swarm of bees have taken up their abode. The Ra­tel follows the sound with great attention; and having plundered the nest, leaves sufficient behind it as a reward for the services of its faithful guide. The Ratel is well adapted to this purpose, as the toughness and thickness of its skin effectually defends it from the stings of the bees: On this account it is extremely difficult to kill this animal; for its skin is so loosely attached to its body, that when seized by a hound it gives way, and the ani­mal has an opportunity of turning round, and biting its affailant, which it frequently does so severely, as to oblige him to desist.

The Ratel, according to Mr Pennant, is two feet long from the nose to the tail, which is eight inches; its legs are short; on each foot it has four toes, armed with long claws; those on the fore feet are above an inch long, and very sharp; its tongue is rough; it has no ear-laps; the orifice of the ear is wide, and surround­ed by a callous rim; a broad stripe, of an ash colour, ex­tends along the back from the forehead to the tail, which is separated from the black hair on the sides and belly by a light grey list running from behind each ear to the tail. —It burrows in holes under ground, is said to be ve­ry fetid, and is called the Stinking Badger by M. de la Caille.



This animal has some resemblance to the Bear, in the length of its hind legs, in the form of its feet, in the bushiness of its hair, and in the structure of its paws; but it is small, and its tail is long, and variegated with different colours. Its upper jaw is much longer than the lower, and very pliant; its ears are rounded; its hair is smooth, soft, and glossy, of a bright-bay colour; and its breast is whitish.

Linnaeus describes one of these animals, which he kept a considerable time, and in vain attempted to bring in­to subjection. It was so obstinate, that it would do no­thing to which it was disinclined. It killed the poul­try, tore off their heads, and sucked their blood. It de­fended itself with great force whenever any person at­tempted to lay hold of it contrary to its inclination; and it stuck fast to the legs of those with whom it was fami­liar, when it wanted to ransack their pockets, and carry off any thing that it found in them. It had an extreme aversion to hog's bristles; and the smallest brush made it desist.—Its mode of living was very singular: It slept [Page 236] from midnight till noon, kept awake the rest of the day, and uniformly walked about from six in the evening till midnight, without the least regard to the weather. This is probably the time assigned by Nature to this species of animals for procuring their food, which consists chiefly of young birds, eggs, and small animals.

This creature inhabits Brazil and Guiana, runs up trees very nimbly, eats like a Dog, and holds its food between its fore legs like the Bear. The Coati stands with ease on its hind feet. It is said to gnaw its own tail, which it generally carries erect, and sweeps it about from side to side.



is very common in the warm regions of America: It is found also in the mountains of Jamaica; from whence great numbers of them frequently descend into the plan­tations, and make great havock among the sugar-canes, of which they are particularly fond. The planters con­sider these animals as their greatest enemies, as they frequently do infinite mischief in one night's excursion. [Page 237] They have contrived various methods of destroying them; yet still they propagate in such numbers, that neither traps nor fire-arms can repel them.

The Racoon is somewhat less than the Badger: Its head resembles that of a Fox; but its ears are round, and much shorter; and its upper jaw very pointed, and lon­ger than the lower: Its eyes, which are large, are sur­rounded with two broad patches of black; its body is thick and short, covered with long hair, black at the points, and grey underneath; its tail is long and bushy, and marked with alternate rings of black and white; its feet and toes are black.

The Racoon is a very active and nimble animal. Its claws, which are extremely sharp, enable it to climb trees with great facility. It moves forward chiefly by bounding; and, though it proceeds in an oblique direc­tion, runs with great swiftness.—When tamed, it is ve­ry good-natured and sportive; but it is almost constantly in motion, and as unlucky and inquisitive as a Monkey, examining every thing with its paws, which it makes use of as hands to lay hold of any thing that is given it, and to carry its meat to its mouth. It sits up to eat, is extremely fond of sweet things and strong liquors, with which it will get excessively drunk. It has all the cunning of the Fox, is very destructive to poultry; but will eat all sorts of fruits, grain, and roots. It has a pe­culiar method of dipping every thing in water it intends to eat, and will seldom taste bread till it be well soaked. It opens oysters with astonishing dexterity, separates the shells, and leaves not a vestige of the fish. It does this without looking at the oyster; but places it under its hind paws, and with its sore feet searches for the weakest [Page 238] part, where it fixes its claws, forces it open, and snatches out the fish. It likewise devours all kinds of insects; delights in hunting spiders; and when at liberty in a garden, will eat grasshoppers, snails, worms, &c. It is a very cleanly animal, and always retires to obey the calls of Nature. It is familiar, and even caressing, leaps upon those it is fond of, plays sportively, and moves about with great agility.

This animal is hunted for its skin, which is next in value to that of the Beaver for making hats.



Although Nature has furnished this animal with for­midable weapons of offence, and has besides given it strength sufficient to use them with great effect, it is, notwithstanding, a harmless and inoffensive creature; and, unless attacked, employs them only for its support and comfort.

This animal retires to the most secret recesses; where it digs its hole, and forms its habitation under ground.— Its food consists chiefly of roots, fruits, grass, insects, and [Page 239] frogs. It is charged with destroying lambs and rabbits; but there seems to be no other reason to consider it as a beast of prey, than the analogy between its teeth and those of carnivorous animals.

Few creatures defend themselves better, or bite with greater keenness, than the Badger. On that account it is frequently baited with Dogs trained for that purpose. This inhuman diversion is chiefly confined to the indo­lent and the vicious, who take a cruel pleasure in seeing this harmless animal surrounded by its enemies, and de­fending itself from their attacks, which it does with asto­nishing agility and success. Its motions are so quick, that a Dog is frequently desperately wounded in the first moment of assault, and obliged to fly. The thickness of the Badger's skin, and the length and coarseness of its hair, are an excellent defence against the bites of the Dogs: Its skin is so loose, as to resist the impressions of their teeth; and give the animal an opportunity of turn­ing itself round, and wounding its adversaries in their tenderest parts. In this manner this singular creature is able to resist repeated attacks both of men and dogs, from all quarters, till, being overpowered with numbers, and enfeebled by many desperate wounds, it is at last obliged to submit.

The Badger is an indolent animal, and sleeps much; it confines itself to its hole during the whole day, and feeds only in the night; it is so cleanly, as never to de­file its habitation with its ordure; it breeds only once in a year, and brings forth four or five at a time.

This animal is not known to exist in warm countries. It is an original native of the temperate climates of Eu­rope; and is found without any variety in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Britain, Poland, and Sweden.

[Page 240]The usual length of the Badger is somewhat above two feet, exclusive of the tail, which is about six inches long; its eyes are small, and are placed in a black stripe, which begins behind the ears, and runs tapering toward the nose; the throat and legs are black; the back, sides, and tail, are of a dirty-grey, mixed with black; the legs and feet are very short, strong, and thick; each foot con­sists of five toes; those on the fore feet are armed with strong claws, well adapted for digging its subterranean habitations.

In walking, the Badger treads on its whole heel, like the Bear; which brings its belly very near the ground.

Immediately below the tail, between that and the anus, there is a narrow transverse orifice, from whence a white substance, of a very fetid smell, constantly ex­udes.

The skin of this creature, when dressed with the hair on, is used for pistol furniture.—Its flesh is eaten; the hind quarters are sometimes made into hams, which, when cured, are not inferior in goodness to the best ba­con.—The hairs are made into brushes, which are used by painters to soften and harmonize their shades. They are called sweetening tools.



We have given the figure of this animal, drawn from one kept in the Tower; of which we have not been able to obtain any further description than its being some­what less than the Badger, almost without hair, extreme­ly sensible of cold, and burrows in the sand. From these circumstances, as well as from the striking similarity of its figure to that of the Badger, we are inclined to think it is a variety of that animal, mentioned by naturalists under the name of the Sow Badger.

The colour of this animal is a yellowish-white; its eyes are small; and its head thicker than that of the common Badger: Its legs are short; and on each foot there are four toes, armed with sharp white claws.

M. Brisson describes a white Badger, from New-York, so similar to this, that we suspect it to be the same ani­mal.



This voracious animal is found in all the countries bordering on the Northern Ocean, both in Europe and Asia: It is likewise common in Canada, the country about Hudson's Bay, and other parts of North-America; where it is known by the name of the Carcajou.

This creature has been variously described by natu­ralists. We have selected the account given by M. Buf­fon, which was taken from a living animal in his pos­session. Its length, from the nose to the insertion of the tail, was two feet two inches; the tail was eight inches long; the length of the fore legs was eleven inches, and the hind one foot; it had five toes on each foot, armed with long sharp claws; the middle claw of the fore foot was one inch and a half long; the muzzle, as far as the eye-brows, was black; its eyes were small and black, and its ears short; its breast and under jaw were spotted with white; the back, legs, belly, and tail, were black.—Dur­ing its confinement, this animal did not discover any symptoms of great ferocity. It eat voraciously; and af­ter a full meal, covered itself in its cage with straw. It eat no bread; but would devour more than four pounds [Page 243] of flesh every day, which it swallowed greedily, almost without chewing.

In a state of liberty, this creature is said to lead a life of continual rapine. It lurks in the branches of trees, in order to surprize Deer and other animals that pass under them. It waits with great patience the arrival of its prey, and darts from its hiding-place with unerring cer­tainty. In this manner it indiscriminately surprizes the Horse, the Elk, the Stag, or the Rein-deer; and fixes itself between their shoulders with its teeth and claws.— The wild Rein-deer, which are numerous both in Lap­land and North-America, frequently fall victims to the Glutton. When seized by this blood-thirsty animal, it is in vain that the wounded Deer endeavours to disen­gage itself from its enemy by rustling among the bran­ches of the trees: No force can oblige it to quit its hold: It maintains its position, and continues to suck the blood of the flying animal till it falls down exhausted with pain and fatigue: It then devours the carcase with insatiable voracity, and gorges itself with the flesh till it is almost in danger of bursting.

The motions of the Glutton are slow. There are few quadrupeds that cannot escape from it, except the Bea­ver, which it frequently pursues and overtakes.—In America, it is called the Beaver-eater.—It sometimes lies in wait, and surprizes those animals coming out of their burrow; or breaks into their habitation, and kills great numbers of them.

The Glutton often defeats the labours of the hunts­men by stealing away the Sables and other animals that have been caught in their traps; and it is sometimes taken in the snares laid for these animals. When attack­ed, [Page 244] it makes a strong resistance: It will tear the stock from the gun, if it should catch hold of it with its teeth; or break the trap in pieces in which it is caught. Not­withstanding its fierceness, it is capable of being tamed, and of learning several entertaining tricks.—It is hunt­ed only for its skin, which is very valuable, of a most beautiful glossy black, which shines with a peculiar lus­tre, and reflects the light like damask silk.—The skins are sold in Siberia at five or six shillings each, at Jakutsk at twelve, and still dearer in Kamtschatka; where the women dress their hair with its white paws, which they esteem a great ornament.—The furs of this animal, from the North of Europe and Asia, are infinitely finer, blacker, and more glossy, than those of the American kind.



THERE are two kinds of this animal,—the Land and the Sea Bear. These are very different, as well in the formation of their bodies, as in their habits and dispositions.

There are two varieties of the land Bear,—the Brown and the Black. The former is found in almost every cli­mate, the black Bear chiefly in the forests of the nor­thern regions of Europe and America.

The brown Bear is sometimes carnivorous, and will destroy cattle, and eat carrion; but its general food is roots, fruits, and vegetables.—It is a savage and solitary animal, lives in desert and unfrequented places, and chuses its den in the most gloomy and retired parts of the forest, or in the most dangerous and inaccessible pre­cipices of unfrequented mountains. It retires alone to its den about the end of autumn, (at which time it is exceedingly fat) and lives for several weeks in a state of total inactivity and abstinence from food.—During this time, the female brings forth her young, and suckles [Page 246] them. She chuses her retreat for that purpose in the most retired places, apart from the male, lest he should devour them. She makes a warm bed for her young, and attends them with unremitting care during four months; and in all that time, she scarcely allows her­self any nourishment. She brings forth two, and some­times three young at a time.—The cubs are round and shapeless, with pointed muzzles; but they are not lick­ed into form by the female, as Pliny and other ancient naturalists supposed. At first they do not exceed eight inches in length; they are blind during the first four weeks, are of a pale-yellow colour, and have scarcely any resemblance of the creature when arrived at matu­rity.—The time of gestation in these animals is about six months; and they bring forth in the beginning of Janu­ary.

In the spring, the old Bears, attended by their young, come out from their retreats, lean, and almost famished by their long confinement. They then ransack every quarter in search of food. They frequently climb trees, and devour the fruit in great quantities; particularly the date-plumb tree, of which they are exceedingly fond. They ascend these trees with surprizing agility, keep themselves firm on the branches with one paw, and with the other collect the fruit.

The Bear is remarkably fond of honey, which it will encounter great difficulties to obtain, and seeks for with great cunning and avidity.

This animal enjoys, in a superior degree, the senses of hearing, smelling, and touching.—Its ears are short and rounded; and its eyes small, but lively and pene­trating, and defended by a nictating membrane: From [Page 247] the peculiar formation of the internal parts of its nose, its sense of smelling is exceedingly exquisite: The legs and thighs are strong and muscular; it has five toes on each foot, and uses its fore foot as a hand, although the toes are not separated as in most animals that do so; the largest finger is on the outside.

The voice of the Bear is a deep and surly kind of growl, which it frequently exerts without the least cause. It is very easily irritated; and at that time its resentment is furious, and often capriciously exerted.—When tamed, it appears mild and obedient to its master; but it is not to be trusted without the utmost caution. It may be taught to walk upright, to dance, to lay hold of a pole with its paws, and perform various tricks to entertain the multitude, who are highly pleased to see the auk­ward measures of this rugged creature, which it seems to suit to the sound of an instrument, or to the voice of its leader. But to give the Bear this kind of education, it must be taken when young, and accustomed early to restraint and discipline: An old Bear will suffer neither, without discovering the most furious resentment; neither the voice nor the menaces of his keeper have any effect upon him; he equally growls at the hand that is held out to feed, as at that which is raised to correct him.

The excessive cruelties practised upon this poor animal in teaching it to walk erect, and regulate its motions to the sound of the flagelet, are such as make sensibility shudder. Its eyes are put out; and an iron ring being put through the cartilage of the nose to lead it by, it is kept from food, and beaten, till it yield obedience to the will of its savage tutors. Some of them are taught to perform by setting their feet upon hot iron plates, and [Page 248] then playing to them whilst in this uneasy situation.— It is truly shocking to every feeling mind to reflect, that such cruelties should be exercised upon any part of the brute creation by our fellow men. That they should be rewarded by numbers of unthinking people, who crowd around them to see the poor animal's rude attempts to imitate human actions, is not to be wondered at; but it is much to be wished, that the timely interference of the magistrate would prevent every exhibition of this kind, that, in England at least, we might not be reproached with tolerating practices so disgraceful to humanity.

One of these animals, presented to the prince of Wales a few years ago, was kept in the Tower. By the care­lessness of the servant, the door of his den was left open; and the keeper's wife happening to go across the court at the same time, the animal flew out, seized the wo­man, threw her down, and fastened upon her neck, which he bit; and, without offering any further vio­lence, lay upon her, sucking the blood out of the wound. Resistance was in vain, as it only served to irritate the creature; and she must inevitably have perished, had not her husband luckily discovered her situation. By a sud­den blow, he obliged the Bear to quit his hold, and re­tire to his den, which he did with great reluctance, and not without making a second attempt to come at the wo­man, who was almost dead through fear and loss of blood. It is somewhat remarkable, that whenever it happened to see her afterwards, it growled, and made most violent struggles to get out to her.—The prince, upon hearing of the circumstance, ordered the Bear to be killed.

The Bears of America are small and black, live entire­ly upon vegetable food, and are particularly fond of [Page 249] maize, potatoes, honey, and milk. Though pressed with extreme hunger, they will not eat animal food.—They lodge in the hollow trunks of large trees, which they ascend and descend with great ease and agility.—The hunters take them by setting fire to their habitations. The old one comes out first, and is generally slain before she reaches the ground; the cubs follow her, and are taken alive.—The flesh of the young Bear is reckoned a great delicacy; and the paws of the old one are esteemed as a most exquisite morsel. The fat is white, and very sweet; and the oil is said to be of great use in softening swellings proceeding from sprains.—Great numbers are killed annually in America for the sake of their skins, which form a considerable article of commerce.

Bears were formerly common in Greece. The Ro­mans brought them from Lybia to be exhibited in their public spectacles. They are likewise found in China, Japan, and as far as the island of Java.

The mountains of Great Tartary produce great num­bers of Bears perfectly white, which do not differ in form from those just mentioned. Some, from the confines of Russia, are of a mixed colour, with black and white hairs.

The Bear was once an inhabitant of this island, and was included in the ancient laws and regulations respect­ing beasts of chase. Long after their extirpation, they were imported for the cruel purpose of baiting them, which at that time was a favourite amusement of our an­cestors. We find it in queen Elizabeth's days among the various entertainments prepared for her majesty on her visit at Kenilworth.



differs greatly from the preceding in the length of its head and neck, and grows to above twice the size. Some of these animals are thirteen feet long. Their limbs are of great size and strength; their hair long, harsh and disagreeable to the touch, and of a yellowish-white colour; their ears are short and rounded; and their teeth large.

This animal inhabits only the coldest parts of the globe. It has been found above latitude 80, as far as navigators have penetrated northwards. These inhospi­table regions seem adapted to its sullen nature.

—There—the shapeless Bear,
With dangling [...]ce all horrid, stalks forlorn;
[...]ow-pac [...]d, and [...]rer as the storms increase,
He [...] his b [...]d [...] th [...] in [...]lement drift:
[Page 251]And, with stern patience, scorning weak complaint,
Hardens his heart against assailing want.

They have been seldom seen farther south than New-foundland; and are chiefly met with on the shores of Hudson's Bay, Greenland, and Spitzbergen, on one side, and those of Nova-Zembla on the other. They have been sometimes found in the intermediate countries of Norway and Iceland; but such as have appeared in those parts have always been driven thither upon floating sheets of ice; so that those countries are only acquainted with them by accident.—They are very numerous on the shores of Kamtschatka; and the following account of the manner of hunting them by the natives of that country is given in Captain Cook's voyage:—

"The natives generally contrive to reach the ground, frequented by the Bears, about sun-set. Their first bu­siness, when they arrive there, is to look out for their tracks, and to attend particularly to the freshest of them, always paying a regard to the situation with respect to concealment, and taking aim at the animal as it passes by, or as it advances or goes from them. These tracks are numerous between the woods and the lakes, and are often found among the long sedgy grass and brakes on the margin of the water. Having determined upon a convenient spot for concealment, the hunters fix their crutches in the ground, on which they rest their [...]ire­locks, pointing them in a proper direction. They after­wards kneel or lie down, as the circumstances of their situation may require; and, having their bear-spears in readiness by their side, wait the arrival of their game. —These precautions are extremely necessary on many accounts, that the hunters may make sure of their mark: [Page 252] For the price of ammunition is so high at Kamtschatka, that the value of a Bear will not purchase more of it than will load a musquet four or five times. It is much more material on another consideration; for, if the first shot should not render the animal incapable of pursuit, fatal consequences too frequently ensue. The enraged beast makes immediately towards the place from whence the sound and smoke issue, and furiously attacks his adver­saries. They have not sufficient time to re-load their pieces, as the Bear is seldom fired at till he comes within the distance of fifteen yards; therefore, if he should not happen to fall, they immediately prepare to receive him upon their spears; their safety depending, in a great measure, on their giving him a mortal stab as he ad­vances towards them. Should he parry the thrust, (which these animals are sometimes enabled to do, by the strength and agility of their paws) and break in upon his opponents, the conflict becomes dreadful, and it is seldom that the loss of a single life will satisfy the beast's revenge.

"The business or diversion of Bear-hunting is parti­cularly dangerous at two seasons of the year: In the spring, when they first issue from their caves, after hav­ing subsisted the whole winter (as it is here positively as­serted) solely on sucking their paws; and especially if the frost should continue to be severe, and the ice in the lakes is not broken up; as they cannot then have recourse to their customary and expected food. Thus becoming exceedingly famished, they grow fierce and savage in proportion; pursuing the inhabitants by the scent; and, pr [...]w [...]ng about at a distance from their usual tracks, dart upon them unawar [...]s. Under these circumstances, as [Page 253] the natives have no idea of shooting flying, or even run­ning, or in any manner without resting their piece, they often fall a sacrifice to their rapacity.—The time of their copulation, which is in autumn, is the other dangerous season to meet with them.

"Many extraordinary and affecting instances of natu­ral affection in these animals are related by the Kamt­schadales; who, from this circumstance, derive consider­able advantage in hunting. They never presume to fire at a young Bear, if the dam is upon the spot; for, if the cub should happen to be killed, she becomes enraged to an immoderate degree; and, if she can only obtain a sight of the offender, she is sure to be revenged of him, or die in the attempt. On the other hand, if the mother should be shot, the cubs continue by her side after she has been a long time dead; exhibiting, by the most af­fecting gestures and motions, the most poignant afflic­tion. The hunters, instead of commiserating their dis­tresses, embrace these opportunities of destroying them.

"If the veracity of the Kamtschadales is to be de­pended on, the sagacity of the Bears is as extraordinary as their natural affection.—Innumerable are the stories which they relate to this effect. One remarkable in­stance, however, we cannot avoid mentioning, as it is admitted among the natives as a well-attested fact. It is the stratagem they put in practice to catch the bareins, which run too swift for them to expect success in pursu­ing them. These animals herd together in great num­bers; and their usual haunts are low grounds, at the foot of rocks and precipices, where they delight in browsing. The Bear pursues them by the scent, till he obtains a view of them; and then advances warily, keeping in a [Page 254] situation above them; at the same time concealing him­self among the rocks as the approaches, till he is almost immediately over them, and near enough to carry his purpose into execution: Then, with his paws, he pushes down large pieces of the rock amongst the herd below. If he perceives that he has succeeded in maiming any of the flock, he immediately pursues them; and according to the injury the poor bareins have received, he either proves successful in overtaking them, or they escape by the rapidity of their flight.

"The Kamtschadales acknowledge infinite obligations to the Bears for all the little progress they have hitherto made, as well in the sciences as the polite arts. They confess themselves indebted wholly to those animals for all their knowledge in physic and surgery; that, by ob­serving what herbs they have applied to the wounds they have received, and what methods they have pursued when they were languid and out of order, they have ac­quired a knowledge of most of those simples which they have now recourse to, either as external or internal ap­plications. But the most singular circumstance of all is, that they admit the Bears to be their dancing-masters; though the evidence of our own senses places this mat­ter beyond all dispute; for, in the bear-dance of the Kamtschadales, every gesture and attitude peculiar to that animal was faithfully exhibited. All their other dances are similar to this in many particulars; and those attitudes are thought to come the nearest to perfection which most resemble the motions of the Bear."

During summer, these animals take up their residence on large islands of ice, and frequently pass from one to another. They swim well, and can go to the distance of [Page 255] six or seven leagues: They likewise dive, but do not con­tinue long under water.—When the pieces of ice are de­tached by strong winds or currents, the Bears allow themselves to be carried along with them; and as they cannot regain the land, or abandon the ice on which they are embarked, they often perish in the open sea. Those which arrive with the ice on the coasts of Iceland or Norway, are almost famished with hunger from the length of their voyage, and are extremely voracious.— As soon as the natives discover one of them, they arm themselves, and presently dispatch him.

The ferocity of the Bear is as remarkable as its at­tachment to its young. A few years since, the crew of a boat belonging to a ship in the whale-fishery shot at a Bear at a short distance, and wounded it: The animal immediately set up the most dreadful yells, and ran along the ice towards the boat. Before it reached it, a second shot was fired at and hit it. This served to increase its fury. It presently swam to the boat; and in attempting to get on board, reached its fore foot upon the gunnel; but one of the crew having a hatchet, cut it off. The animal still, however, continued to swim after them till they arrived at the ship; and several shots were fired at it, which also took effect: But on reaching the ship, it immediately ascended the deck; and the crew having fled into the shrowds, it was pursuing them thither, when a shot from one of them laid it dead upon the deck.

The flesh of these animals is white, and said to taste like mutton. The fat is melted for train-oil; and that of the feet is used in medicine.

The White Bear brings forth two young at a time. Their fondness for their offspring is so great, that they [Page 256] will die rather than desert them. Wounds serve only to make the attachment more violent. They embrace their cubs to the last, and bemoan them with the most piteous cries.

These creatures feed on fish, seals, and the carcases of whales; are fond of human blood; and are so fearless, as to attack companies of armed men, and even to board small vessels. Allured by the scent of seals flesh, they often break into the huts of the Greenlanders. They sometimes attack the Morse; with which they have ter­rible conflicts: But the large teeth of that animal give it a decided superiority over the Bear, which is generally worsted.



ALTHOUGH naturalists, both ancient and mo­dern, have described the Hyena under different denominations, and have ascribed to it properties which it is now known not to possess; yet its characters are so singular, that it is impossible to mistake them, and so pe­culiar, as to distinguish it from every other class of ani­mals. In many respects it resembles those of the Dog kind, has some similitude to the Wolf in form and dispo­sition, and is about the same size.

The Hyena has only four toes on each foot, in which it differs from almost every other quadruped; its head is broad and flat, and its muzzle shorter than that of the Wolf; its fore legs are longer than the hind ones; its ears are long, pointed, and bare; and its eyes are re­markably wild, sullen, and ferocious.

There are two varieties of this animal,—the one stri­ped, and the other spotted. The hair of the former is of [Page 258] an ash colour, marked with long black stripes, disposed in waves, from the back downward; there are others across the legs; the hair, in general, is coarse and rough; its tail is short and bushy, with pretty long hair, some­times plain, and sometimes barred with black; immedi­ately underneath the tail, and above the anus, there is an orifice like that of the Badger, which opens into a kind of pouch, and contains a substance of the consist­ence of civet, but of a rank, disagreeable odour. This opening may probably have given rise to the error of the ancients, who asserted, that the Hyena was every alter­nate year male and female. Its manner of holding its head is somewhat like a Dog pursuing a scent, with its nose near the ground. This position of the head makes the shoulders appear more elevated. A bristly mane runs along the top of the back from head to tail, which gives it an appearance something like a Hog; from whence, probably, it may have derived its name, the word huaina being a Greek word derived from hus, which signifies a Sow.—Such are the most striking dis­tinctions of the Hyena, which has been pictured by ig­norance and timidity under every form that can strike terror into the imagination. Wonderful powers were ascribed to it by the ancients; who believed that it changed its sex; that it imitated the human voice, and by that means attracted unwary travellers, and destroyed them; that it had the power of charming the shepherds, and as it were rivetting them to the place where they stood. Many other things, equally absurd, have been told of this animal; but these are sufficient to shew, that objects of terror and superstition are nearly allied; and when once they have taken possession of the human mind, [Page 259] the most improbable stories are easily received and cre­dited.

This savage and solitary animal resides in the caverns of mountains, in the clefts of rocks, or in holes and dens, which it digs in the earth.—Its disposition is ex­tremely ferocious; and, though taken young, it never can be tamed.—It lives by depredations, like the Wolf; but is stronger, and more daring and rapacious. It will sometimes attack men, and rushes with fury upon all kinds of cattle: It follows the flocks, ravages the sheep­fold, and destroys every thing within its reach with the most insatiable voracity.—Its eyes shine in the dark; and it is asserted, with some appearance of probability, that it can see nearly as well by night as by day.—When de­stitute of other provisions, it ransacks the graves, and de­vours putrid human bodies that have been long buried.

The voice of the Hyena is very peculiar: Its begin­ning seems to be somewhat like the moaning of a human voice, and the ending like one making a violent effort to vomit.

This animal inhabits Asiatic Turkey, Syria, Persia, and Barbary.—The superstitious Arabs, when they kill one of them, carefully bury the head, lest it should be applied to magical purposes.

The courage of the Hyena is equal to its rapacity: It will defend itself with great obstinacy against much larger quadrupeds: It is not afraid of the Lion nor the Panther, will sometimes attack the Ounce, and seldom fails to con­quer.



is called at the Cape of Good Hope the Tiger-Wolf, and is very common in that part of the world.—Sparrman describes it as a cruel, mischievous, and formidable ani­mal. Its horrid yells are to be heard every night, whilst it prowls about for its prey, and lurks near the farm­yards, where cattle are kept: These are well defended by Dogs, of which the Hyena, though larger and stronger, is much afraid; and will not venture an attack, unless pressed by the most urgent necessity: Neither will it dare to seize upon any of the larger animals; such as Oxen, Cows, Horses▪ &c. whilst they make the least appear­ance of defending themselves, or even if they do not be­tray any symptoms of fear. It sometimes endeavours to disperse the cattle by its hideous roaring; after which it selects and pursues one of them, which it soon disables by a deadly bite, and then devours.

These animals were formerly so bold, as to molest the Hottentots in their huts, and sometimes carry off their [Page 261] children; but, since the introduction of fire-arms, those and other wild beasts keep at a greater distance from the habitations of mankind. It is a fact, however, that num­bers of these Wolves are known to attend almost every dark night about the shambles at the Cape; where they meet with bones, skin, and other offals, which are left there by the inhabitants, who suffer the animals to come unmolested, and carry off their refuse; and it is some­what remarkable, that they have seldom been known to do any mischief there, though fed in the very heart of the town.

The howlings of the Hyena are dreadful beyond all conception, and spread a general alarm. They are al­most incessant, and seem to be the natural consequence of its craving appetite. Perhaps it may not be going too far to say, that Nature has kindly impressed this involun­tary disposition to yelling upon this animal, that every living creature might be upon its guard, and secure it­self from the attacks of so cruel an enemy.

The general colour of this animal is a reddish-brown, marked with distinct round black spots, the hind legs with transverse black bars; its head is large and flat; above each eye, as well as on the lips, it has long whis­kers; a short black mane runs along the top of the back; its ears are short and a little pointed; its face and the upper part of its head are black.



WE beg leave to make our acknowledgments to Mr Pennant for the drawing of this animal, which he was so obliging as to favour us with. He as­sures us it was drawn from the living animal; and we doubt not, therefore, its being a faithful representation.

The species of the Jackal is diffused, with some varie­ty, through almost every part of Asia; and is found in Barbary, and other parts of Africa as far as the Cape of Good Hope. Although it is one of the most numerous of all the wild animals of the East, there is scarcely any less known in Europe, or more confusedly described by natural historians.

These creatures differ in size; those of the warmest climates are said to be the largest: They are of a reddish-brown colour. The smaller Jackal is about the size of a Fox; and its colour is a bright-yellow.—In general, this animal may be said to partake of a middle nature, be­tween the Wolf and the Dog; and to the savage fierce­ness of the one, it adds the impudent familiarity of the [Page 263] other.—Its cry is a dismal howl, mixed with barking. It is more noisy in its pursuits than the Dog, and more voracious than the Wolf.

Jackals go in packs of forty or fifty, and hunt like hounds in full cry from evening till morning. They de­stroy the poultry, and attack the flocks: They roam through the villages and gardens, and carry off every thing they can eat: They enter stables, yards, and out­houses; and devour skins, and every thing that is made of leather; such as harnessing, boots, shoes, &c. No­thing can escape their rapacity: They will ransack the repositories of the dead, and greedily devour the most putrid bodies; for which reason, in those countries where they abound, the inhabitants are obliged to make the graves of a great depth, and secure them with spines to prevent the Jackals from raking up the earth with their feet. They are said to attend caravans, and follow armies, in hopes of being furnished with a banquet by disease or battle.—They may be considered as the vulture among quadrupeds; and, like that destructive bird, de­vour every thing indiscriminately that has once had ani­mal life.

These animals hide themselves in holes and dens by day, and seldom appear abroad till the evening; when they fill the air with the most horrid howlings, and be­gin the chase. The Lion, the Panther, and other beasts of prey that do not follow by the scent, take advantage of the general consternation, and follow in silence be­hind till the Jackals have hunted down their prey: They then devour the fruits of their labours, and leave them only the remains of the spoil; from whence the Jackal has been vulgarly called the Lion's Provider, as if those [Page 264] two animals acted in concert, and had formed a plan for their mutual support.

The Jackal frequently pursues the Gazelle; and is so bold, as to follow it even into the midst of a town or village, whither that timid animal frequently flies for protection, and by that means sometimes escapes: For the incessant barking of the Jackal alarms the inhabi­tants; who sa [...]ly out, and drive off the pursuer, in hopes of being able to secure the game.

Sparrman's description of those he saw at the Cape differs materially from the accounts we have been able to collect from other authors. He says they are about three feet in length, and their tails little more than a foot long: The predominant colour is a reddish-yellow; the legs are of a pale-gold colour; under the belly, and on the inside of the legs, the colour inclines to white; the nose and ears are of a brighter red; the head, neck, and back, are grey; the tail is partly grey, and partly of an umber colour, and black at the tip. He says it re­sembles the European Fox in form, manners, and disposi­tion; and is not known to assemble in packs for the pur­pose of hunting; neither is its voracity equal to that ascribed to it by other naruralists.—It is probable it may have been confounded with the Wild Dog, which is common at the Cape, and hunts its prey in packs. It i [...] very fierce and mischievous, and very destructive to the fl [...]cks of Sheep and Goats in those parts. There are two kinds of these Dogs,—the one large, and of a red­dish c [...]our; the other less and browner. They are very bold, and wander about night and day in search of prey. They [...] a [...] s [...]m [...]what like the cry of our common H [...]unds, and hunt with [...], acting perfectly [Page 265] in concert with each other till the game falls a prey to the pack. They are said to be always extremely lean, and are very ugly.

M. Buffon mentions an animal of the Jackal kind by the name of the Adive; of which he gives a drawing, somewhat resembling a small Fox. It is less than the common Jackal, and is sometimes tamed and kept in a domestic state.



THIS lively and crafty animal is common to every part of Great-Britain; and is so well known, as not to require a particular description.

M. Buffon has taken great pains to prove, that the Dog and the Fox will not breed together. For this purpose, he kept two males and a female for a considerable time, and tried to make the males copulate with bitches, which they uniformly refused; and from thence he concludes, that no mixture can take place between the two species. But it should be remembered, that the Foxes were in a state of confinement; and of course, many circumstances might concur to disgust them, and render the experiment [...]. In confirmation of this, we need only observe, that the same Foxes, which, when at liberty, darted on the poultry with their usual eagerness, never attempted to touch a single fowl after they were chained: And we are told further, "that a living hen was generally fixed near them for a whole night; and, though food was kept from them for many hours, yet, in spite of hunger and opportunity, they never forgot that they were chained, and disturbed not the hen." Now if any one should be so h [...]rdy as to assert from this, that Foxes have a natural [...] to poultry, one may easily conceive how little credit would be given to the conclusion, and how much [...]ughter it would [...]. We just mention this to shew, that [...] of this kind, where Nature is thwarted in her [...], or r [...]strained in any of her operations, are [...] upon.—That the Fox and the D [...]g will [...] is a fact, too well known in se­ver [...]l [...] of the North of England to admit of the [Page 267] smallest doubt. It is a common practice in many places to tie up a bitch that is in season, where she may be vi­sited by a Fox, and be impregnated by him: The fruits of the connection are sufficiently obvious; most, if not all the puppies have a strong resemblance to the Fox: The sharp nose, prick ears, long body, and short legs of the Fox, evidently point out their origin.—These Dogs are highly esteemed by farmers and graziers as the most useful kind for driving cattle. They bite keenly; are extremely active and playful; and are very expert at de­stroying weasels, rats, and other vermin.

The Fox sleeps much during the day; but the night is its season of activity, and the time when it roams about in search of prey.—It will eat flesh of any kind; but pre­fers that of hares, rabbits, poultry, and all kinds of birds. Those that reside near the sea coasts will for want of other food eat crabs, shrimps, muscles, and other shell­fish.

In France and Italy, the Fox does great damage a­mong the vineyards by feeding on the grapes, of which it is extremely fond.—It boldly attacks the wild bees, and frequently robs them of their stores; but not with impunity: The whole swarm flies out, and fastens upon the invader; but he retires only for a few minutes, and rids himself of the bees by rolling upon the ground; by which means he crushes such as stick to him, and then returns to his charge, and devours both wax and honey.

The cunning of the Fox in surprizing and securing its prey is equally remarkable: When it has acquired more than it can devour, its first care is to secure what it has killed, which is generally all within its reach. It digs [Page 268] holes in different places, where it conceals its booty by carefully covering it with earth to prevent a discovery. If a flock of poultry have unfortunately fallen victims to its stratagems, it will bring them, one by one, to these hiding-places; where it leaves them till hunger demands fresh supplies.

The chase of the Fox is a very favourite diversion in this kingdom, and is no-where pursued with such ardour and intrepidity. Both our Dogs and Horses are con­fessedly superior to those of any other country.—The in­stant the Fox finds he is pursued, he flies towards his hole; and finding it stopped, which is always carefully done before the chase begins, he has recourse to his speed and his cunning for safety. He does not double and measure his ground back like the Hare; but conti­nues his course straight forward before the Hounds with great strength and perseverance. Both Dogs and Horses, particularly the latter, have frequently fallen victims to the ardour of the pursuit; which has sometimes conti­nued for upwards of fifty miles without the smallest in­termission, and almost at full speed *. As the scent of the Fox is very strong, the Dogs follow with great alacri­ty and eagerness, and have been known to keep up a con­tinued chase for eight or ten hours together; and it is [Page 269] hard to say, whether the spirited eagerness of the Hounds, the ardour of the Horses, or the enthusiasm of the hun­ters, is most to be admired. The Fox is the only one of the party which has the plea of necessity on his side; and it operates so strongly, that he often escapes the utmost efforts of his pursuers, and returns to his hole in safety. The smell of his urine is so offensive to the Dogs, that it sometimes proves the means of his escape from them. When all his shifts have failed him, and he is at last over­taken, he then defends himself with great obstinacy, and fights in silence till he is torn in pieces by the Dogs.

There are three varieties of Foxes in this island, which differ from each other more in form than in colour.



is the largest, and is chiefly found in the mountainous parts of England and Scotland: He is likewise the bold­est, and will attack a well-grown Sheep.—His ears are long and erect, and his aspect wild.


is rather less; but his limbs are more strongly formed.



is the least, but the most common; and approaches nearest to the habitations of mankind. It lurks about the out-houses of the farmer, and carries off all the poul­try within its reach.—It is remarkably playful and fami­l [...]ar when tamed; but, like all wild animals half-reclaim­ed, will, on the least offence, bite those it is most fami­liar with.

The eye of the Fox is of a lively hazel colour, very significant and expressive; and discovers very sensibly the differ [...]nt emotions of love, fear, or anger, by which it may be affected.—It seems greatly to admire its bushy tail, and frequently amuses itself by endeavouring to catch it as it runs round. In cold weather, when it lies down, it f [...]lds it about its head to keep its nose warm.

[Page 271]The Fox sleeps sound; and, like the Dog, lies in a round form. When he is only reposing himself, he stretches out his hind legs, and lies on his belly. In this position, he spies the birds as they alight on the hedges or places near him, and is ready to spring upon such as are within his reach. He rarely lies exposed; but chuses the cover of some thick brake, where he is pretty secure from being surprized.—Crows, magpies, and other birds which consider the Fox as a common enemy, will often give notice of his retreat by the most clamourous notes; and frequently follow him a considerable way from tree to tree, repeating their outcries.

Foxes produce but once a year, from three to six young ones at a time. When the female is pregnant, she re­tires, and seldom goes out of her hole, where she pre­pares a bed for her young. She comes in season in the winter; and young Foxes are found in the month of April. If she perceive that her habitation is discovered, she carries them off, one by one, to a more secure retreat. —The young are brought forth blind, like puppies. They grow eighteen months or two years, and live thir­teen or fourteen years.

The Fox is frequently taken in traps; but great cau­tion must be used to deceive this wily animal. The trap must be placed in the midst of a field, where there is nei­ther hedge nor path near it; and so nicely covered with mould, that not the least vestige can be seen where it lies: About the trap, and at a small distance from it, in different places, a few pieces of cheese, or other strong­ly-scented food, must be carelessly scattered: Then with a Sheep's paunch, or some other animal substance, a trail is made, of about a mile in length, to the diffe­rent [Page 272] places where the bait is laid, and from thence to the trap: The shoes of the person who carries the trail must be likewise well rubbed with the paunch, that the Fox may not discover his scent. He then approaches with more confidence; and if the design be well conducted, seldom fails of being caught.

There are great varieties of this animal apparently pro­duced by the influence of climate. Those of this coun­try are mostly of a tawny-red, mixed with ash colour; the fore part of the legs is black; and the tail tipt with white.—In colder countries, Foxes are of various colours.


is most valuable for its fur, which is esteemed in Russia superior to that of the finest Sable: A single skin will sell for four hundred rubles.


inhabits the coldest parts of Europe, Asia, and North-America.—Its fur is very valuable, being thicker and softer than the common sort. Great numbers of skins are imported from Canada.—It derives its name from a black mark which passes over its back across the shoul­ders, and another along the back to the tail.


is common in the deserts beyond the Yaick river, and seems to be the same animal described by M. Buffon un­der the name of the Isatis.—In summer, it is of a pale-tawny colour, with a white throat; in winter, it is grey. [Page 273] The tip of the tail is black. It is smaller than the com­mon Fox; and its hair is soft and downy.—It lives in holes in the earth, and is caught by the Kirgis-Khaissacs with falcons and greyhounds. Forty or fifty thousand are taken annually, and sold to the Russians at the rate of forty copeics (about twenty-pence) each.—The na­tives, in their traffic, use their skins instead of money. Great numbers are sent into Turkey.



inhabits the countries bordering on the Frozen Sea. It is found in Greenland, Iceland, Spitzbergen, Nova-Zem­bla, and Lapland; in Kamtschatka, and the opposite parts of America.—It burrows in the ground, and makes holes several feet in length, at the end of which it forms a nest with moss. In Greenland and Spitzbergen, it lives in the clefts of rocks, being unable to burrow on account of the frost. Two or three of them inhabit the same hole.

This animal is endowed with all the cunning of the common Fox; preys on young geese, ducks, and other water-fowl, before they are able to fly; likewise, on [Page 274] hares, wild birds, and eggs: And in Greenland, for want of other food, it feeds on berries and shell-fish. In Lap­land and the North of Asia, their principal food is the Leming, or Lapland Marmot; immense shoals of which sometimes cover the face of the country. The Foxes fol­low them, in their migrations, from one place to ano­ther; and as the return of the Marmot is very uncertain, and frequently after great intervals of time, they are sometimes absent three or four years in pursuit of this their favourite prey.

The hair of the Arctic Fox is of an ash colour, but changes to white in the winter, when it is long, soft, and somewhat woolly: Its tail is shorter than that of the common Fox, and more bushy; and its toes are covered with fur on the under part, like those of a Hare: It is smaller and more slender than the European Fox: Its nose is sharp and black; and its ears short, and almost hid in the fur.—It is sometimes taken in traps; but its skin being of little value, it is not hunted with much eagerness.



ALL naturalists agree in placing the Wolf and the Dog in the same class; and, from the slightest in­spection of their outward form only, one would be led to conclude the Wolf was in every respect a Dog in its state of natural freedom. The chief difference consists in the form of its head; its eyes are fixed in a more ob­lique position, and being of a bright-green colour, give it a look of the most savage fierceness; its ears are sharp and erect; its tail long, bushy, and bending inwards be­tween its hind legs; its body is stronger than that of al­most any species of Dogs, its jaws and teeth larger, and its hair coarser and thicker. The internal structure of these animals is, however, very similar. The Wolf cou­ples in the same manner as the Dog; and its immediate separation is prevented from the same cause. The time of gestation is also nearly the same; and, from a variety of successful experiments related by the celebrated Dr Hunter, there is no longer any room to doubt, that the [Page 276] Wolf and the Dog will copulate together, and produce an intermediate species, capable of subsequent propaga­tion.

The appetite of the Wolf, for every kind of animal food, is excessively voracious; and, although Nature has furnished it with every requisite for pursuing and con­quering its prey, it is frequently reduced to the last ex­tremity, and sometimes perishes for want of food: So great is the general detestation of this destructive crea­ture, that all the wild animals endeavour to avoid it, and most commonly escape by their superior swiftness.— When pressed with hunger from repeated disappoint­ments, the Wolf becomes ingenious from want, and courageous from necessity. It then braves every danger, and even attacks those animals that are under the pro­tection of man. Sometimes whole droves of them join in the cruel work of general devastation, roam through the villages, and attack the sheepfolds: They dig the earth under the doors, enter with dreadful ferocity, and put every living creature to death before they depart. The Horse is the only tame animal that can defend itself against them: All the weaker animals become their prey; even man himself, upon these occasions, frequently falls a victim to their rapacity; and it is said, that when once they have tasted human blood, they always give it the preference.—From hence, many superstitious stories have been told of the Wolf: The old Saxons believed that it was possessed by some evil spirit, and called it the Were-Wolf; and the French peasants, from the same reason, call it the L [...]up-gar [...]u.

The language of the poet is beautifully descriptive of this creature's insatiable fury:—

[Page 277]
By wintry famine rous'd, from all the tract
Of horrid mountains, which the shining Alps,
And wavy Appenine, and Pyrences,
Branch out, stupendous, into distant lands,
Cruel as death! and hungry as the grave!
Burning for blood! bony, and ghaunt, and grim!
Assembling Wolves, in raging troops, descend;
And, pouring o'er the country, bear along,
Keen as the north wind sweeps the glossy snow:
All is their prize.

The Wolf has great strength, especially in the muscles of his neck and jaws. He can carry a Sheep in his mouth, and easily run off with it in that manner. His bite is cruel and deadly, and keener as it meets with less resistance; but when opposed, he is cautious and circumspect, and seldom fights but from necessity. He is harder and more robust, but not so sensible as the Dog. He almost incessantly prowls about for prey, and of all animals is the most difficult to conquer in the chase. His sense of smelling is peculiarly strong: He scents the track of animals, and follows it with great perseverance: The odour of carrion strikes him at the distance of near a league.—Wolves are capable of bearing want of food for a long time: To allay their hunger, they will sometimes fill their stomachs with mud. They have been known to follow armies, and assemble in troops upon the field of battle; tear up such bodies as have been carelessly interred, and devour them with insatiable avidity.

In all ages, the Wolf has been considered as the most savage enemy of mankind, and rewards given for its head. Various methods have been taken to rid the world of this rapacious invader: Pit-falls, traps, and poison, have all been employed against him; and, hap­pily [Page 278] for these islands, the whole race has long been ex­tirpated here. King Edgar attempted to effect it in Eng­land by remitting the punishment of certain crimes on producing a number of Wolves' tongues; and in Wales, the tax of gold and silver was commuted for an annual tribute of Wolves' heads.—Some centuries after that, these animals increased to such a degree, as to become an object of royal attention; and great rewards were given for destroying them. Camden informs us, that certain persons held their lands on condition of hunting and destroying the Wolves that infested the country; whence they were called the Wolve-hunt. In the reign of Athelstan, Wolves abounded so much in Yorkshire, that a retreat was built at Flixton to defend passengers from their attacks.—As the ravages of these animals were greatest during winter, particularly in January, when the cold was severest, our Saxon ancestors distinguished that month by the title of Wolf-moneth: They also called an outlaw Wolfshed, as being out of the protection of the law, and as liable to be killed as that destructive beast.— They infested Ireland many centuries after their extinc­tion in England; the last presentment for killing Wolves being made in the county of Cork about the year 1710.

These animals ab [...]und in the immense forests of Ger­many; where the following methods are taken to destroy them:—In some very sequestered part of the forest, they hang up a large piece of carrion to the branch of a tree, having pr [...]viously made a train of some miles long, leav­ing small pieces of putrid flesh here and there to allure the Wolves to the [...]: They then wait till it is dark, and approach the place with great circumspection; where they sometimes find two or three Wolves assembled, leap­ing [Page 279] up, and straining themselves to catch the bait, which is placed just within their reach; and while the animals are busily employed in this way, the hunters being pro­vided with fire-arms, seldom fail to dispatch them.— In a convenient place, at the foot of a declivity, they make a small inclosure of strong pales, so high, that the Wolf having once entered, cannot return again. An opening is left at the top of the bank; and a Sheep that has been long dead, is the bait, to which he is allured by long trains, made from different places where he is known to haunt. As soon as he arrives at the spot, he examines every part of the inclosure; and, finding no other way to come at the booty, he precipitates himself to the bottom; and, having made a plentiful meal, en­deavours in vain to reascend. His disappointment at not being able to get back is productive of the most dreadful howlings, which alarm his enemies; and they either take him alive, or dispatch him with bludgeons.—It is re­markable, that when this animal finds there is no possi­bility of escaping, his courage entirely forsakes him; and he is for some time so stupified with fear, that he may be killed without offering to resist, or taken alive without much danger.—Wolves are sometimes taken in strong nets, into which they are driven by the hunters, who surround a large tract of land, and with drums, horns, and other instruments, accompanied with loud cries from a large company assembled upon the occasion, drive the animals towards the entrance of the nets; where they are entangled, and killed with clubs and hatchets. Great care must be taken to secure them at first: If they reco­ver from their consternation, they easily escape by tear­ing the net to pieces.

[Page 280]Wolves are found, with some variety, in almost every country of the world. Those of Senegal are larger and fiercer than those of Europe.—In North-America, they are small, of a dark colour, and may be easily tamed. Before the introduction of Dogs, the savages made use of them in hunting the wild animals of the country; and they are still employed for the same purpose in the more remote parts of that vast continent. They are said to hunt in packs, and run down the Deer by their scent.— The appearance of these animals near the habitations of the Indians, sometimes indicates that the Bison or the Deer is at no great distance; and when any of those are taken, the Wolves are rewarded with the offal.—Catesby affirms, that the Wolves of that country have mixed with the Dogs carried thither by the Europeans, and pro­duced an intermediate race.—In the northern regions, there are Wolves entirely white, and others of a deep-black.—In Mexico, there is a variety of the Wolf with a very large head, strong jaws, and great teeth: On the upper lip it has strong bristles, not unlike the softer spines of the Porcupine, of a grey and white colour; its ears are large and erect; its body is ash-coloured, spotted with black; on its sides there are black stripes from the back downward; its neck is fat and thick, co­vered with a loose skin, marked with a long tawny stroke; on the breast is another of the same kind; the tail is long, and tinged in the middle with tawny; the legs and feet are striped with black. It inhabits the hot parts of Mexico or New Spain, is equally voracious with the European Wolf, attacks cattle, and sometimes men. —There are no Wolves farther South on the new conti­nent.


THE services of this truly valuable creature have been so eminently useful to the domestic interests of men in all ages, that to give the history of the Dog would be little less than to trace mankind back to their original state of simplicity and freedom, to mark the pro­gress of civilization through the various changes of the world, and to follow attentively the gradual advancement of that order which placed man at the head of the ani­mal world, and gave him a manifest superiority over eve­ry part of the brute creation.

If we consider for a moment the state of man without the aid of this useful domestic;—with what arts shall he oppose the numerous hosts of foes that surround him on all sides, seeking every opportunity to encroach upon his possessions, to destroy his labours, or endanger his per­sonal safety? or how shall he bring into subjection such as are necessary for his well-being? His utmost vigilance will not be sufficient to secure him from the rapacity of the one, nor his greatest exertions enable him to over­come the speed of the other. To maintain his inde­pendence, to insure his safety, and to provide for his support, it was necessary that some one among the ani­mals should be brought over to his assistance, whose zeal and fidelity might be depended on. And where, amidst all the various orders of animated being, could one be sound so entirely adapted to this purpose? where could one be found so bold, so tractable, and so obedient as the Dog? Without its assistance, how could man have conquered, tamed, and reduced other animals into slave­ry? how could he have hunted down and destroyed those [Page 282] noxious animals, from whose rapacity his life was in continual danger?—To confirm the truth of these ob­servations, we need only turn our attention to the pre­sent condition of those nations which are not yet emerged from a state of barbarism, where the uses of the Dog are but little known or attended to, and we will find that they lead a precarious and wretched life of perpetual warfare with the still more savage inhabitants of the fo­rest, with which they are obliged to dispute the posses­sion of their uncultivated fields, and divide with them the fruits of their labours.—From hence we may conclude, that the attention of mankind, in the earliest ages, would be engaged in training and rendering this animal sub­servient to the important purposes of domestic utility; and the result of this art has been the conquest and peaceable possession of the earth.

Of all animals, the Dog seems most susceptible of change, and most easily modified by difference of cli­mate, food, and education; not only the figure of his body, but his faculties, habits, and dispositions, vary in a surprizing manner. In the same country, one Dog dif­fers greatly from another; and in different climates, the very species seems to be changed. Nothing appears con­stant in these animals but their internal conformation, which is alike in all; in every other respect, they are to­tally dissimilar. They vary in size, in figure, in the length of the nose and shape of the head, in the length and direction of the ears and tail, in the colour and quantity of the hair, &c.—To enumerate the different kinds, or mark the discriminations by which each is dis­tinguished, would be a task as fruitless as it would be im­possible; to account for this wonderful variety, or in­vestigate [Page 283] the character of the primitive stock from which they must all have sprung, would be equally vain.—We have seen, in the history of the Cow and the Sheep, that those animals which have been long under the manage­ment of man, never preserve the stamp of Nature in its original purity. In wild animals, which still enjoy their original freedom from restraint, and have the indepen­dent choice of food and climate, this impression is still faithfully preserved; but those which man has subdued, transported from climate to climate, changed their food, habits, and manner of living, must necessarily have suf­fered the greatest alterations in their form; and as the Dog, of all other domestic animals, is most accustomed to this influence, is endowed with dispositions the most docile and obedient, is susceptible of every impression, and submissive to every restraint, we need not wonder that he should be subject to the greatest variety.—To an attentive observer of the canine race, it is truly wonder­ful and curious to observe the rapid changes and singular combinations of forms, arising from promiscuous inter­course, which every-where present themselves: They ap­pear in endless succession, and seem more like the effect of whimsical caprice than the regular and uniform pro­duction of Nature: So that, in whatever light we consi­der the various mixtures which at present abound, and render every idea of a systematic arrangement dubious and problematical, we may fairly presume, that the ser­vices of the Dog would be first required in maintaining and preserving the superiority of man over those animals which were destined for his support.—We shall there­fore begin with



This useful animal, ever faithful to his charge, reigns at the head of the flock; where it is better heard, and more attended to, than even the voice of the shepherd. Safety, order, and discipline, are the fruits of his vigi­lance and activity.

In those large tracts of land which, in many parts of our island, are solely appropriated to the feeding of Sheep and other cattle, this sagacious animal is of the utmost importance. Immense flocks may be seen conti­nually ranging over those extensive wilds, as far as the eye can reach, seemingly without controul: Their only guide is the shepherd, attended by his faithful Dog, the constant companion of his toils: It receives his com­mands, and is always prompt to execute them; it is the watchful guardian of the flock, prevents them from strag­gling, keeps them together, and conducts them from one part of their pasture to another; it will not suffer any strangers to mix with them, but carefully keeps off every intruder. In driving a number of Sheep to any distant part, a well-trained Dog never fails to confine them to [Page 285] the road, watches every avenue that leads from it; where he takes his stand, threatening every delinquent: He pursues the stragglers, if any should escape; and forces them into order, without doing them the least injury. If the herdsman be obliged to leave them, he depends upon his Dog to keep the flock together; and as soon as he hears the well-known signal, this faithful creature conducts them to his master, though at a considerable distance.

There is a very remarkable singularity in the feet of the Shepherd's Dog: All of them have one, and some two toes more than other Dogs, though they seem not to be of much use. They appear to be destitute of mus­cles, and hang dangling at the hind part of the leg more like an unnatural excrescence than a necessary part of the animal. But the adage, that 'Nature has made nothing in vain,' ought to correct our decision on their utility, which probably may exist unknown to us.

This breed of Dogs, at present, appears to be pre­served, in the greatest purity, in the northern parts of Scotland; where its aid is highly necessary in managing the numerous herds of Sheep bred in those extensive wilds.



is a trusty and useful servant to the farmer and grazier; and, although it is not taken notice of by naturalists as a distinct race, yet it is now so generally used, especially in the North of England, and such great attention is paid in breeding it, that we cannot help considering it as a permanent kind. They are chiefly employed in driving cattle; in which way they are extremely useful. They are larger, stronger, and fiercer than the Shepherd's Dog; and their hair is smoother and shorter. They are mostly of a black and white colour. Their ears are half-prick­ed; and many of them are whelped with short tails, which seem as if they had been cut: These are called Self-tailed Dogs. They bite very keenly; and as they al­ways make their attack at the heels, the cattle have no defence against them: In this way, they are more than a match for a Bull, which they quickly compel to run. Their sagacity is uncommonly great: They know their master's fields, and are singularly attentive to the cat­tle [Page 287] that are in them: A good Dog watches, goes his rounds; and, if any strange cattle should happen to ap­pear amongst the herd, although unbidden, he quickly flies at them, and with keen bites obliges them to depart.

Similar to the Cur, is that which is commonly used in driving cattle to the slaughter; and as these Dogs have frequently to go long journies, great strength, as well as swiftness, is required for that purpose: They are there­fore generally of a mixed kind; and unite in them the several qualities of the Shepherd's Dog, the Cur, the Mastiff, and the Greyhound. Thus, by a judicious mix­ture of different kinds, the services of the Dog are ren­dered still more various and extensive, and the great pur­poses of domestic utility are more fully answered.



The savage aspect and disposition of this Dog seem to bear some affinity to the rigours of the climate it inha­bits. [Page 288] The Pomeranian or Wolf Dog of M. Buffon, the Siberian, Lapland, and Iceland Dogs are somewhat simi­lar to it in the sharpness of their muzzles, in their long shaggy hair, and bushy curling tails. The principal dif­ference is in their size. Though much larger, they all of them have some resemblance to the Shepherd's Dog.

Most of the Greenland Dogs are white; but some are spotted, and some black. They may rather be said to howl than bark. The Greenlanders sometimes eat their flesh: They make garments of their skins, and use them in drawing sledges; to which they yoke them, four, five, and sometimes six together*.

The Dogs of Kamschatka are commonly black or white. They are strong, nimble, and active; and are very useful in drawing sledges, the only method of tra­velling in that dreary country during the winter. They travel with great expedition. Captain King relates, that, during his stay there, a courier with dispatches, drawn by them, performed a journey of 270 miles in less than four days. The sledges are usually drawn by five Dogs, four of them yoked two and two abreast: The foremost acts as a leader to the rest. The reins being fastened to a collar round the leading Dog's neck, are of little use in directing the pack; the driver depending chiefly upon their obedience to his voice, with which he animates them to proceed. Great care and attention are consequently used in training up those for leaders, which are more valuable according to their steadiness and do­cility; the sum of forty roubles, or ten pounds, being [Page 289] no unusual price for one of them.—The rider has a crooked stick, answering the purpose both of whip and reins; with which, by striking on the snow, he regulates the speed of the Dogs, or stops them at his pleasure. When they are inattentive to their duty, he often chas­tises them by throwing it at them. He discovers great dexterity in regaining his stick, which is the greatest dif­ficulty attending his situation; for if he should happen to lose his stick, the Dogs immediately discover the circum­stance, and seldom fail to set off at full speed, and con­tinue to run till their strength is exhausted, or till the carriage is overturned, and dashed to pieces, or hurried down a precipice.



is the fiercest of all the Dog kind, and is probably the most courageous creature in the world. It is low in sta­ture, but very strong and well-built. Its nose is short, and the under jaw projects beyond the upper, which gives it a fierce and unpleasing aspect.—Its courage in attacking the Bull is well known: Its fury i [...] seizing, and its invincible obstinacy in maintaining its hold, are truly astonishing. It always aims at the front; and ge­nerally fastens upon the lip, the tongue, the eye, or some part of the face; where it hangs, in spite of every effort of the Bull to disengage himself.

The uncommon ardour of these Dogs in fighting will be best illustrated by the following fact, related by an eye-witness; which at the same time corroborates, in some degree, that wonderful account of the Dogs of Epirus, given by Elian, and quoted by Dr Goldsmith in his history of the Dog. — Some years ago, at a bull­baiting in the North of England, when that barbarous custom was very common, a young man, confident of the courage of his Dog, laid some trifling wagers, that [Page 291] he would, at separate times, cut off all the four feet of his Dog; and that, after every amputation, it would attack the Bull. The cruel experiment was tried, and the Dog continued to seize the Bull as eagerly as if he had been perfectly whole.

Of late years, this inhuman custom of baiting the Bull has been almost entirely laid aside in the North of Eng­land; and, consequently, there are now few of this kind of Dogs to be seen.

As the Bull Dog always makes his attack without barking, it is very dangerous to approach him alone, without the greatest precaution.



is much larger and stronger than the Bull Dog, and seems every way formed for the important trust of guarding and securing the valuable property committed to his care. Houses, gardens, yards, &c. are safe from [Page 292] depredations whilst in his custody. Confined during the day, as soon as the gates are locked, he is left to range at full liberty: He then goes round the premisses, ex­amines every part of them, and by loud barkings gives notice that he is ready to defend his charge.

Dr Caius, in his curious treatise on British Dogs, tells us, that three of these animals were reckoned a match for a Bear, and four for a Lion.

We have a curious account, recorded in Stow's An­nals, of an engagement between three Mastiffs and a Lion, in the presence of James the First. "One of the Dogs being put into the den, was soon disabled by the Lion; which took it by the head and neck, and drag­ged it about: Another Dog was then let loose, and served in the same manner: But the third being put in, immediately seized the Lion by the lip, and held him for a considerable time; till being severely torn by his claws, the Dog was obliged to quit its hold; and the Lion, greatly exhausted in the conflict, refused to renew the engagement; but taking a sudden leap over the Docs, fled into the interior part of his den. Two of the Dogs soon died of their wounds: The last survived, and was taken great care of by the king's son; who said, "he that had fought with the king of beasts, "hould never after fight with any inferior creature."

The Mastiffs of Great-Britain were noted in the time of the Roman emperors; who appointed an officer, whose sole business it was to breed, and send from hence, such as would prove equal to the combats of the amphi­theatre.

The following anecdote will shew, that the Mastiff, conscious of its superior strength, knows kow to chastise [Page 293] the impertinence of an inferior:—A large Dog of this kind, belonging to the late M. Ridley, esq of Heatton, near Newcastle, being frequently molested by a mongrel, and teazed by its continual barking, at last took it up in his mouth by the back, and with great composure drop­ped it over the quay into the river, without doing any farther injury to an enemy so much his inferior.

There are varieties of this animal, some of which are produced by a mixture with the Bull Dog.—The Ban-Dog is lighter, smaller, more active, and less powerful than the Mastiff; its nose is smaller and siner, and its hair rougher. It is, notwithstanding, very fierce, and employed in the same useful purposes as the Mastiff.



has been erroneously called the Danish Dog, and by M. Buffon the Harrier of Bengal, but for what reason it is difficult to ascertain, as its incapacity of scenting is suf­ficient [Page 294] to destroy all affinity to any Dog employed in the pursuit of the Hare.—It is very common in this country at present; and is frequently kept in genteel houses, as an elegant attendant on a carriage, to which its attention seems to be solely directed. We do not, however, admire the cruel practice of depriving the poor animal of its ears, in order to encrease its beauty; a practice so general, that we do not remember ever to have seen one of these Dogs unmutilated in that way.


is the largest of the Dog kind, and its appearance the most beautiful and majestic.—It is only to be found in Ireland, where it was formerly of great use in clear­ing that country from Wolves. It is now extremely rare, and is kept rather for show than use, being equally unserviceable for hunting either the Stag, the Fox, or the Hare.

Some of these Dogs are about four feet high, perfectly white, and are made somewhat like a Greyhound, but more robust; their aspect is mild, and their disposition gentle and peaceable; their strength is so great, that in combat the Mastiff or Bull Dog is far from being equal to them: They always seize their antagonists by the back, and shake them to death, which their great size generally enables them to do with much ease.

M. Buffon supposes the Great Danish Dog to be only a variety of the Irish Greyhound.—Next to this, in size and strength, is


which was formerly used by the chieftains of that coun­try in their grand hunting parties.—One of them, which we saw some years ago, was a large, powerful, fierce-looking Dog: Its ears were pendulous, and its eyes half hid in the hair; its body was strong and muscular, and covered with harsh, wiry, reddish hair, mixt with white.


was somewhat similar to the Greyhound; and, like that animal, hunted only by the eye. It was formerly in great repute, but is now unknown to us. It was used in hunting either the Fox, the Hare, or the Stag. It would select from the rest the fattest deer, pursue it by the eye, and though it should rejoin the herd, would in­fallibly fix upon the same, and pursue it till taken.



M. Buffon supposes to be the Irish Greyhound, rendered thinner and more delicate by the difference of climate and culture: But whatever truth there may be in the fanciful arrangements of that ingenious author, there is an evident similarity of form in all of those just mention­ed; particularly in the depth of the chest, in the length of the legs, and in the smallness of the muzzle.

The Greyhound is the sle [...]test of all Dogs, and can outrun every animal of the chase; but as it wants the faculty of scenting, it only follows by the eye. It was formerly held in such estimation, as to be considered the peculiar companion of gentlemen; and, by the forest laws of king Canute, it was enacted, that no person un­der that degree should presume to keep a Greyhound.

The Small Italian Greyhound is not above half the size, but perfectly similar in form. Its shape is exquisitely beautiful and delicate.—It is not common in this coun­try, the climate being too rigorous for the extreme deli­ [...]y of its constitution.



is somewhat shorter than the Greyhound, and its limbs stronger; its body is covered with a rough coat of hair, most commonly of a pale-yellow colour; its aspect is sul­len; and its habits, from whence it derives its name, are dark and cunning.

As this Dog possesses the advantage of a fine scent, it is often employed in killing Hares and Rabbits in the night time. When taken to the warren, it steals out with the utmost precaution, watches and scents the Rab­bits while they are feeding, and darts upon them without barking or making the least noise. Some of them will make incredible havock in one night; and are often so trained, as to bring their booty to their master, who waits in some convenient place to receive it*.—They are [Page 298] so destructive, and have been so often employed in il­licit practices, that they are now proscribed; and the breed is almost extinct.

Another Dog of this family, formerly in use, but now only known to us by its name, is


which was so called from its cunning manner of taking Rabbits and other game. It did not run directly at them; but, in a careless and inattentive manner, tum­bled itself about till it came within reach of its prey, which it always seized by a sudden spring.



has a most acute smell, is generally an attendant on eve­ry pack of Hounds, and is very expert in for [...]ing Foxes or other ga [...]e out of their coverts. It is the determined enemy of all the vermin kind; such as Weasels, Fou­marts, Badgers, Rats, Mice, &c. It is fierce, keen, and hardy; and, in its encounters with the Badger, some­times [Page 299] meets with very severe treatment, which it sustains with great courage and fortitude; and a well-trained ve­teran Dog frequently proves more than a match for that hard-bitten animal.

There are two kinds of Terriers,—the one rough, short-legged, long-backed, very strong, and most com­monly of a black or yellowish colour, mixed with white; the other is smooth, sleek, and beautifully formed, hav­ing a shorter body, and more sprightly appearance: It is generally of a reddish-brown colour, or black, with tanned legs; and is similar to the rough Terrier in dis­position and faculties, but inferior in size, strength, and fierceness.



Of those Dogs that are kept for the business of the chase, in this country, the Beagle is the smallest, and is only used in hunting the Hare; although far inferior in point of speed to that animal, they follow by the exquisite­ness [Page 300] of their scent, and trace her footsteps through all her various windings with such exactness and perseverance, that they afford most excellent diversion, and generally reward the hunter's toil with the death of the wearied fu­gitive. Their tones are soft and musical, and add greatly to the pleasures of the chase.

The HARRIER is nimble and vigorous, and pursues the Hare with the most impetuous eagerness, gives her no time to breathe nor double; and the most eager sportsmen generally find it sufficient exercise to keep in with their speed. They exert their voices with great chearfulness, and make delightful harmony.

A mixt breed between this and the large Terrier forms a strong, active, and hardy hound, used in hunting the Otter. It is rough, wire-haired, thick-quartered, long-eared, and thin-shouldered.

There is reason to suppose that the Beagle and the Har­rier, which only differs from it in being somewhat larger, must have been introduced into Great Britain after the Romans became masters of the island; as, before that pe­riod, the Britons were occupied in clearing their extensive forests of the various wild beasts, such as Wild-Boars, Bears, Wolves, &c. with which they abounded, and for that pur­pose larger and stronger Dogs than the Harrier or the Bea­gle would be required.



No country in Europe can boast of Fox-hounds equal in swiftness, strength, or agility, to those of Britain, where the utmost attention is paid to their breeding, e­ducation, and maintenance; the climate also seems con­genial to their nature; for it has been said, that when Hounds of the English breed have been sent into France, or other countries, they quickly degenerate, and in some degree lose those qualities for which they were original­ly so admirable. In England, the attachment to the chase is in some measure considered as a trait in the na­tional character; consequently, it is not to be wondered at, that our Dogs and Horses should excel all others in that noble diversion. This propensity appears to be en­creasing in the nation; and no price seems now thought too great for Hounds of known excellence*. The Fox-hounds generally preferred are tall, light-made, but strong, and possessed of great courage, speed, and activity.

[Page 302]The habits and faculties of these Dogs are so generally known, as to render any description unnecessary. Dogs of the same kind are also trained to the hunting of the Stag and other Deer. The following anecdote affords a proof of their wonderful spirit in supporting a con­tinuity of exertion:—

Some years since, a very large Stag was turned out of Whinfield Park, in the county of Westmoreland, and pursued by the hounds of the Right Hon. the Earl of Thanet, till, by fatigue or accident, the whole pack were thrown out, except two staunch and favourite Dogs, which continued the chase the great­est part of the day; the Stag returned to the park from whence he set out, and, as his last effort, leapt the wall, and expired as soon as he had accomplished it. One of the Hounds pursued to the wall, but being unable to get over it, laid down, and almost immediately expired; the other was also found dead at a small distance.

The length of the chase is uncertain; but as they were seen at Red-kirks, near Annan, in Scotland, distant, by the post-road, about forty-six miles, it is conjectured that the circuitous and uneven course they might be supposed to take, would not be less than one hundred and twenty miles. To commemorate this fact, the horns of the Stag, which were the largest ever seen in that part of the country, were placed on a tree of a most enor­mous size, in the park, (afterwards called the Hart-horn tree) accompanied with this inscription:—

Hercules kill'd Hart o'Greece,
And Hart o'Greece kill'd Hercules.

The horns have been since removed, and are now at Juli­a [...] Bower, in the same county.



is described by Whitaker, in his History of Manchester, as the original breed of this island, used by the ancient Bri­tons in the chase of the larger kinds of game, with which their country abounded at that time. This valuable Hound is distinguished by its great size and strength; its body is long, its chest deep, its ears long and sweeping, and the tone of its voice is peculiarly deep and mellow. From the particular formation of its organs, or from the extra­ordinary moisture that always adheres to its nose and lips, or perhaps from some other unknown cause, it is endued with the most exquisite sense of smelling, and can often dis­tinguish the scent an hour after the lighter Beagles have given it up. Their slowness also disposes them to receive the directions of the huntsman; but as they are able to hunt a cold scent, they are too apt to make it so, by their [Page 304] want of speed, and tedious exactness. These Dogs were once common in every part of this island, and were for­merly much larger than at present. The breed, which has been gradually declining, and its size studiously dimi­nished by a mixture of other kinds in order to increase its speed, is now almost extinct. It seems to have been ac­curately described by Shakespere, in the following lines:

My Hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So flewed, so sanded, and their heads are hung
With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
Crook-knee'd and dewlap'd, like Thessalian bulls;
Slow in pursuit; but match'd in mouth like bells,
Each under each.

Besides these, there is a variety called the Kibble Hound, produced by a mixture of the Beagle and the Old English.


was in great request with our ancestors; and as it was remarkable for the fineness of its scent, it was frequently employed in recovering game that had escaped wounded from the hunter. It could follow, with great certainty, the footsteps of a man to a considerable distance; and in barbarous and uncivilized times, when the thief or mur­derer had fled, this useful creature would trace him through the most secret and thickest coverts, nor would it cease its pursuit till it had taken the felon; for this reason there was a law in Scotland, that whoever de­nied entrance to one of these Dogs, in pursuit of stolen goods, should be deemed an accessary. But, as the arm of justice is now extended over every part of the country, and there are no secret recesses where villainy may lay concealed, these services are no longer necessary. In [Page 305] Scotland it was distinguished by the name of the Sleuth Hound.

Some few of these Dogs are still kept in the southern part of the kingdom, and are used in the pursuit of Deer that have been previously wounded by a shot to draw blood, the scent of which enables them to pursue with most unerring steadiness.—They are also employed in dis­covering Deer-stealers; whom they infallibly trace by the blood that issues from the wounds of their victims.

The Blood-hound is taller than the Old English Hound, most beautifully formed, and superior to every other kind in activity, speed, and sagacity. They seldom bark, ex­cept in the chase; and are commonly of a reddish or brown colour.

Somervile thus beautifully describes their mode of pur­suing the nightly spoiler:—

Soon the sagacious brute, his curling tail
Flourish'd in air, low bending plies around
His busy nose, the steaming vapour snuffs
Inquisitive, nor leaves one turf untry'd,
Till, conscious of the recent stains, his heart
Beats quick; his snuffling nose, his active tail,
Attest his joy; then with deep-op'ning mouth,
That makes the welkin tremble, he proclaims
Th' audacious felon: Foot by foot he marks
His winding way, while all the list'ning crowd
Applaud his reas'nings. O'er the wat'ry ford,
Dry sandy heaths, and stony barren hills;
O'er beaten paths, with men and beasts distain'd,
Unerring he pursues, till at the cot
Arriv'd, and seizing by his guilty throat
The catif vile, redeems the captive prey:
So exquisitely delicate his sense!


The drawing of this Dog was taken from a very fine one at Eslington, in the county of Northumberland; its dimensions were as follow:—From its nose to the end of its tail, it measured six feet two inches; the length of its tail one foot ten inches; from one fore-foot right over its shoulders to the other, five feet seven inches; girt behind the shoulder, three feet two inches; round its head over its ears, two feet; round the upper part of its fore-leg, nine inches and a half. It is web-footed, can swim extremely fast, dive with great ease, and bring up any thing from the bottom of the water. It is natural­ly fond of fish, and eats raw trouts, or other small fish, out of the nets.

This breed of Dogs was originally brought from the country of which they bear the name, where their great [Page 307] strength and docility render them extremely useful to the fishers on those coasts, who use them in bringing down wood from the interior parts of the country to the sea­side; three or four of them yoked to a sledge, will draw two or three hundred weight of wood piled upon it, for several miles, with great ease; they are not attended with a driver nor any person to guide them, but after having delivered their loading, they return immediately to the woods, where they are accustomed to be fed with dried fish, &c.

The extraordinary sagacity of these Dogs, and their at­tachment to their masters, render them highly valuable in particular situations. Among the innumerable instances, wherein they have displayed those faculties, the following anecdotes appear to be not unworthy of notice:—

During a severe storm, in the winter of 1789, a ship, belonging to Newcastle, was lost near Yarmouth, and a Newfoundland Dog alone escaped to the shore, bringing in his mouth the captain's pocket-book; he landed amidst a number of people that were assembled, several of whom in vain endeavoured to take it from him. The sagacious animal, as if sensible of the importance of the charge, which in all probability was delivered to him by his per­ishing master, at length leaped fawningly against the breast of a man, who had attracted his notice among the crowd, and delivered the book to him. The Dog im­mediately returned to the place where he had landed, and watched with great attention for every thing that came from the wrecked vessel, seizing them, and endeavouring to bring them to land.

The following is another instance of their great do­cility, and strength of observation:—

[Page 308]A gentleman walking by the side of the river Tyne, and observing, on the opposite side, a child fall into the water, gave notice to his Dog, which immediately jump­ed in, swam over, and, catching hold of the child with its mouth, brought it safe to land.



This Dog, from its great attachment to the water, may be placed at the head of those that frequent that element. It is web-sooted, swims with great ease, and is used in hunting ducks and other aquatic birds. It is frequently kept on board of vessels for the purpose of taking up birds that are shot, and drop into the sea; and, from its aptness to fetch and carry, it is useful in recovering any thing that has fallen overboard.

There is a variety of this kind much smaller.—They are both remarkable for their long and shaggy coat, which frequently incommodes them by growing over their eyes.



This beautiful animal is remarkable for its docile and obedient disposition, as well as its attachment to its mas­ter. It receives instructions with readiness, and obeys with uncommon alacrity.—Its form is elegant, its hair beautifully curled or crisped, its ears long, and its aspect mild and sagacious.—It is fond of the water, and swims well. It is chiefly used in discovering the haunts of wild-ducks and other water fowl; and also in finding birds that have been shot or disabled.—It is probably the Finder, described by Caius.



is similar to the other in form, habits, and disposition; and its capacity for receiving instruction is equally good. With looks of extreme attention and sensibility, it ob­serves the motions of its master, and catches the well-known signal with amazing promptitude.

The various tricks which these Dogs are sometimes taught to perform, seem more like the effect of reason­ing powers, than of undiscerning instinct.



is lively, active, and pleasant; an unwearied pursuer of its game, and very expert in raising woodcocks and snipes from their haunts in woods and marshes, through which it ranges with amazing perseverance.

Of the same kind is that beautiful little Dog, which, in this country, is well known under the appellation of King Charles's Dog; the favourite and constant compa­nion of that monarch, who was generally attended by several of them. It is still preserved as an idle but inno­cent companion.—Its long ears, curled hair, and web-feet, evidently point out its alliance with the more useful and active kind last mentioned.

Similar to this, but smaller, is the Pyrame Dog. It is generally black, with reddish legs; and above each eye is a spot of the same colour.

Still farther removed, we have the Shock Dog; a dimi­nutive creature, almost hid in the great quantity of its hair, which covers it from head to foot.

[Page 312]Another variety is the Lion Dog; so called from the shaggy hair which covers the head and all the fore part of the body; whilst the hinder part is quite smooth, saving a tuft of hair at the end of the tail. This species is become extremely rare.



is a most elegant little animal, and is generally kept by the ladies as an attendant of the toilette or the drawing­room.

From these, and a mixture of others, proceeds a num­berless variety of Messets, Lap-Dogs, Waps, Mongrels, and compounds without end.



is a hardy, active, handsome Dog. Its scent is exqui­site; and it ranges with great speed and wonderful per­severance. Its sagacity in discovering the various kinds of game, and its caution in approaching them, are truly astonishing; but as the uses of this valuable Dog are so well known, we will conclude with the following beau­tiful quotation from Somervile:—

When autumn smiles, all-beauteous in decay,
And paints each chequer'd grove with various hue [...],
My Setter ranges in the new-shorn field [...],
His nose in air erect; from ridge to ridge
Panting he bounds, his quarter'd ground divides
In equal intervals, nor careless leaves
One inch untry'd. At length the tainted gales
His nostrils wide inhale; quick joy elates
His beating heart, which, aw'd by discipline
Severe, he dares not own, but cautious creeps,
Low-cow'ring, step by step; at last attains
His proper distance; there he stops at once,
And points with his instructive nose upon
The trembling prey.—


is of foreign origin, as its name seems to imply; but it is now naturalized in this country, which has long been famous for Dogs of this kind; the greatest attention being paid to preserve the breed in its utmost purity.

This Dog is remarkable for the aptness and facility with which it receives instruction: It may be said to be almost self-taught; whilst the English Pointer requires the greatest care and attention in breaking and training to the sport. The Spanish Pointer, however, is not so durable and hardy, nor so able to undergo the fatigues of an extensive range. It is chiefly employed in finding partridges, pheasants, &c. either for the gun or the net.

It is said, that an English nobleman (Robert Dudley, duke of Northumberland) was the first that broke a Set­ting-Dog to the net.

Many of the Setting-Dogs, now used by sportsmen, are a mixt breed, between the English and Spanish Poin­ter.



is of a very savage nature. It neither barks nor growls; but when vexed, erects the hairs of its whole body like bristles, and appears extremely furious.—It is fond of rabbits and chickens, which it eagerly devours raw; but will not touch dressed meat.—Its great agility gives it much the advantage over other animals superior in size. One of them, sent to this country from Botany-Bay, was so extremely fierce, as to seize on every animal it faw; and, if not restrained, would have run down Deer and Sheep: An Ass had also nearly fallen a victim to its fu­ry.

The height of this species is rather less than two feet; the length two feet and a half. The head is formed much like that of a Fox; the ears short and erect. The general colour is a pale-brown, lighter on the belly; the feet and inside of the legs white. The tail is rather long and bushy, somewhat like that of a Fox.

[Page 316]We have now given a short account of the most con­spicuous figures which compose this numerous group; and have arranged them in such a manner, as to exhibit their several characters with as little confusion as possible. —From these, which may be considered as the root, a numberless and intricate variety of branches shoot out in every direction; such a combination of forms and dispo­sitions, as no art can discriminate. Of these we shall just mention, as being the most useful,


which is generally long-bodied, has short crooked legs, its tail curled upon its back, and is frequently spotted with black upon a blue-grey ground. It is peculiar in the colour of its eyes; the same Dog often having the iris of one eye black, and the other white.

It is a bold, vigilant, and spirited little Dog: At pre­sent, however, its services seem but little attended to; a more certain method of doing the business of the spit having superseded the labours of this industrious animal.


in outward appearance, is every way formed like the Bull-Dog; but much smaller, and its tail curled upon its back.—It was formerly very common in many parts of England; however, at present, it is rarely to be met with. Although it has no longer its admirers here, Mrs Piozzi informs us, that she saw great numbers at Padua, in Italy; and that it still maintains its place in the favour of the fair-ones of that country.

That all these, however divided, compose one general family, is apparent, from the facility with which they intermix, produce, and re-produce. In all of them the same attachment to mankind, the same pliant and hum­ble disposition, submitting with patience to the various indignities to which they are exposed by their dependant situation, is eminently observable: Even those that, by accident or neglect, have been abandoned and become wild, when taken home, are easily reclaimed by kind­ness and attention: They quickly become familiar, and continue faithfully attached to their masters.—Multitudes of these are to be found in South-America, which have sprung from those taken thither by the Europeans. They breed in holes like Rabbits, are formed somewhat like a Greyhound, have erect ears, are very vigilant, and ex­cellent in the chase.—Thus we find, that the attachment of the Dog to mankind is spontaneous; and, when once engaged, it seems beyond the power of ill usage to sub­due those inherent qualities.

To mention some of the more common instances of this creature's sagacity, by way of elucidating its general [Page 318] character, may not be amiss; and amongst these, its care in directing the steps of the blind man is not the least worthy of notice. There are few who have not seen an unfortunate object of this description led by his Dog, through the various passages of a populous town, to the accustomed place where he fits to supplicate the contri­butions of passengers. It may sometimes be seen to stop at particular houses, to receive the morsel from the hand of charity, or pick from the ground the money thrown out to relieve him. When the day is passed, it conducts him home again; and gratefully receives, as the reward of its services, the scanty pittance which poverty and wretchedness can bestow.

Dogs will sometimes imitate the actions of their mas­ters, will open a door that is fastened with a latch, or pull a bell, where they are desirous of gaining admit­tance.—Faber mentions one, belonging to a nobleman of the Medici family, which always attended at its master's table, took from him his plates, and brought him others; and, if he wanted wine, would carry it to him, in a glass placed upon a silver plate, which it held in its mouth, without spilling the smallest drop. The same Dog would also hold the stirrups in its teeth, whilst its master was mounting his horse.

That these animals are capable of mutual attachment, is evident, from the well-known story of the Dog at St Alban's; which, being left by its master at an inn there till he returned from London, and being ill-treated by a large Dog belonging to the house, stole privately off; and returning again with a friend, that was much larger and stronger than itself, they both fell upon the aggres­sor, [Page 319] and punished him severely for his cruelty to a stran­ger.

There are several peculiarities common to all animals of the Dog kind, briefly mentioned by Linnaeus, with which we shall conclude its history; the principal of which are as follow:—The Dog is carnivorous; its sto­mach digests bones; it eats grass for a vomit; voids its urine sideways, and commonly where other Dogs have done so before; smells at a stranger; scarcely ever sweats, but lolls out its tongue when hot; remembers injuries done to it; is subject to the hydrophobia; its sense of hearing very quick; when asleep, is supposed to dream; goes with young sixty-three days, and commonly brings forth from four to eight at one time. It barks at strange Dogs, snaps at a stone thrown at it, howls at certain mu­sical notes: When about to lie down, frequently goes round the place; fawns at the approach of its master, and will not patiently suffer any one to strike him; runs before him on a journey, often going over the same ground; on coming to cross ways, stops, looks back, and waits to observe which of them he takes; sits up and begs; and, when it has committed a theft, slinks away with its tail between its legs; is an enemy to beg­gars and ill-looking people, and attacks them without the least provocation; is also said to be sick at the approach of bad weather.—We cannot, however, agree with the learned naturalist, when he asserts, that the male pup­pies resemble the Dog, and the female the Bitch; or that it is a character common to the whole species, that the tail always bends to the left side. To these we may add, as equally void of foundation, a remark of M. Buf­fon, that a female Hound, covered with a Dog of her [Page 320] own kind, has been known to produce a mixed race, consisting of Hounds and Terriers.—We barely mention these, to shew, that too much caution cannot be used in forming general characters or systematic arrangements; and we leave it to the experience of the most inattentive observer to detect such palpable absurdities.



THIS harmless and inoffensive animal, destitute of every means of defence, and surrounded on all sides by its enemies, would soon be utterly extirpated, if Nature, ever kind and provident, had not endowed it with faculties, by which it is frequently enabled to evade their pursuit.

Fearful of every danger, and attentive to every alarm, the Hare is continually upon the watch; and being pro­vided with very long ears, moveable at pleasure, and easily directed to every quarter, is warned of the most distant approaches of danger. Its eyes are large and prominent, adapted to receive the rays of light on every side, and give notice of more immediate alarms. To these may be added its great swiftness, by which it soon leaves most of its pursuers far behind.—The hind are much longer than the fore legs, and are furnished with strong muscles, which give the Hare a singular advan­tage in running against a hill; and, as if sensible of its [Page 322] powers in this respect, it is always observed to fly to­wards rising ground when first started.

It is curious to observe how admirably every limb and member of this creature is formed for speed.—Thus made for escape, the Hare might be supposed to enjoy a state of tolerable security; but as every rapacious crea­ture is its enemy, it is seldom permitted to live out its natural term. Dogs and Foxes pursue it by instinct; Wild Cats, and Weasels of all kinds, catch and devour it; birds of prey are still more dangerous enemies; whilst man, far more powerful than all, makes use of every artifice to obtain an animal which constitutes one of the numerous delicacies of his table.—If we were to enumerate the various stratagems which ingenuity has suggested to circumvent this persecuted creature, we would willingly omit the notable atchievements and gal­lant exploits of the chase; which, to a cool and dispas­sionate observer, seem to demand a nobler game.

Poor is the triumph o'er the timid Hare.

Another remarkable means of safety to the Hare is its colour, which being similar to the ground where it sits, secures it from the sight of its enemies; and, as a fur­ther instance of the care of Providence in the preserva­tion of its creatures, these, as well as some other ani­mals in more northern regions, are observed to change their colour and become perfectly white during winter, which renders them less conspicuous in the snow.—Some rare instances occur, of white Hares being met with in Great-Britain.

The Hare is a very prolific animal, and breeds three or four times in the year. The females go with young [Page 323] thirty days, and generally bring forth three or four at a litter. The rutting season begins in February.

During the day, Hares sleep or repose in their seats, and seldom remove from them: The night is the season when they go about in search of food; and they are sure to return to their forms or seats by the same paths which they took in leaving them.

'Tis instinct that directs the jealous Hare
To chuse her soft abode. With step revers'd,
She forms the doubling maze; then, ere the morn
Peeps through the clouds, leaps to her close recess.

The fur of the Hare is of great use in making hats; for which purpose many thousands of their skins are an­nually imported from Russia.

The Hare was reckoned a great delicacy among the Romans; but was forbidden to the Jews, and held sa­cred among the ancient Britons, who religiously abstain­ed from eating it.—We are told, that Boadicea, immedi­ately before her last conflict with the Romans, let loose a Hare she had concealed in her bosom; which, taking what was deemed a fortunate course, was looked upon as a good omen.—It is to this day deemed unclean by the Mahometans.

The Hare is found in most parts of the world, with very little variety. Those of North-America are rather less than the European, frequent marshes and meadows, and when pursued take refuge in hollow trees.



is grey in summer, with a slight mixture of black and tawny. Its hair is soft; its ears shorter, and its legs more slender, than the common Hare's.—In winter, the whole body changes to a snowy whiteness, except the tips and edges of the ears, which remain black.

This animal lives on the highest hills in Scotland, Norway, Lapland, Russia, and Siberia; never descends from the mountains, nor mixes with the common Hare, although they abound in the same parts. It does not run fast; and, when pursued, often takes shelter in clefts of rocks. It is easily tamed, is very frolicsome, and fond of honey and other sweets. It changes its colour in Sep­tember, and resumes its grey coat in April.—Troops of five or six hundred are sometimes seen, which migrate towards the South in spring, and return in autumn.



NOTWITHSTANDING the great similarity be­tween the Hare and the Rabbit, Nature has placed an inseparable bar between them, in not allow­ing them to intermix, to which they mutually discover the most extreme aversion: Besides this, there is a wide difference in their habits and propensities: The Rabbit lives in holes in the earth, where it brings forth its young, and retires from the approach of danger; whilst the Hare prefers the open fields, and trusts to its speed for safety.

The fecundity of the Rabbit is truly astonishing: It breeds seven times in the year, and generally produces eight young at a time; from which it is calculated, that one pair may increase, in the course of four years, to the amazing number of 1,274,840: So that, if frequent re­ductions were not made in various ways, there is reason to apprehend they would soon exceed the means of their support, and over-run the face of the country. But as their increase is great, so is the number of their enemies; for, besides those that are taken for the use of man, great [Page 326] numbers are devoured by Foxes, Weasels, Foumarts, and other beasts of prey.—In Spain, they formerly increased to such a degree, as to become obnoxious; and the inha­bitants were obliged to procure Ferrets from Africa to destroy them.

The Rabbit is capable of procreating at the age of five or six months. The female goes with young about thir­ty days. Previous to her bringing forth, she makes a bed with down, that she pulls off her own coat. She ne­ver leaves her young but when pressed with hunger, and returns as soon as that is allayed, which she does with surprizing quickness. During the time she tends and suckles her young, she carefully conceals them from the male, lest he should devour them; and frequently covers up the mouth of the hole, that her retreat may not be discovered.

The Rabbit lives to the age of eight or nine years, and prefers warm and temperate climates.—Pliny and Aris­totle mention it as being anciently known only in Greece and Spain; it is now, however, common in various parts of Europe.—In Sweden and other cold countries, it can only be reared in houses.

This animal abounds in Great-Britain, where its skin forms a very considerable article in the manufacture of hats. Lincolnshire, Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire, are most noted for the production of them.

The f [...]esh of the Rabbit, as well as the Hare, was for­bidden to the Jews and Mahometans.



is of various colours—white, brown, black, and varie­gated. It is somewhat larger than the wild Rabbit; but its flesh is not so good, being softer and more insipid. Its food is generally cabbage leaves, colewort, blades of corn, sour-dock, and other succulent plants; but sweet short hay, with a little clean oats, make the best diet.

The RABBIT OF ANGORA, like the Goat and Sheep of that country, is covered with long hair, which falls down its side in wavy curls, and is of a silky sineness.

In Russia, there is a very remarkable variety of the Rabbit, having a double skin over the back, into which it can withdraw its head: It likewise conceals its fore legs in a part which falls down under the throat. There are small holes in this loose skin on the back, which ad­mit light to the eyes. The colour of the body is cinere­ous; that of the head and ears is brown.—A manuscript account of this animal, with a drawing by Mr G. Ed­wards, is preserved in the British Museum.

The Rabbit is not a native of America. There are great numbers of them in many of the West-India islands, which have originated from a stock carried thi­ther from Europe.



THIS little animal, though a native of Brazil, lives and propagates in temperate, and even in cold cli­mates, when protected from the inclemency of the sea­sons.—Great numbers are kept in a domestic state; but for what purpose can hardly be determined. They have neither beauty nor utility to recommend them; their skins are of little value; and their flesh, though eatable, is far from being good. Their habits and disposition are equally unpleasant and disgusting: Void of attachment even to their own offspring, they suffer them to be de­voured the moment they are brought forth, without making the smallest attempt to defend them. The males frequently destroy their own young; and are so stupid, as to allow themselves to be killed by Cats, without re­sistance. They pass their whole lives in sleeping, eating, and in the propagation of their species. They are by na­ture gentle and tame; they do no mischief, but seem to be equally incapable of good.—Rats are said to avoid the places where they reside.

The Guinea-Pig is considerably less than the Rabbit; its upper lip is only half divided; it has two cutting-teeth in each jaw; large and broad ears; its hair is of [Page 329] different colours—white, varied with orange and black in irregular patches; has no tail; is a restless animal; feeds on bread, grain, and vegetables; and makes a noise like the grunting of a Pig.

This creature is capable of breeding at the age of two months, produces from four to twelve at one time; and the species would be innumerable, if many of them were not taken off by various means: Some are killed by Cats; others by the males; and more, both young and old, perish by the severity of the climate, and want of proper care.



is peculiar to South-America; frequents warm and moist places, chiefly by the banks of rivers; digs holes in the ground, where it secretes itself during the day; at night it goes out in quest of food; is larger than a Hare; its body thick, round, and plump, like a young Pig, and very fat; it is covered with short coarse hair, of a dusky colour, beautifully marked with lines of white spots, dis­posed longitudinally; its head is round and thick, ears broad, and eyes large and prominent; the end of its [Page 330] nose is broad, of a black colour, and divided like that of the Hare; the upper jaw projects beyond the under; in each are two very long cutting-teeth, as yellow as saffron, and strong enough to gnaw wood; its legs are short and clumsy; on each foot are five toes, armed with long sharp claws; its tail very short.

The motions of this animal are heavy and ungraceful. It runs seldom, and with extreme aukwardness; sits fre­quently upon its posteriors; and, in that situation, smooths and dresses itself with its paws, drawing them over its body with the utmost nicety. It is a cleanly animal, and will not bear the smallest degree of dirtiness in its apartment.

In a domestic state, this creature is gentle and tracta­ble, fond of attention, and licks the hand of any one that caresses it. When irritated, it is apt to bite; and disco­vers a strange aversion to children, whom it always pur­sues. Its anger is expressed by chattering its teeth, and is always preceded by a kind of grunting.—It feeds on grain, roots, fruits, and almost every kind of vegetable.

In a wild state, this animal is caught with difficulty: When pursued, it takes to the water, and escapes by di [...]ng; and, if attacked by Dogs, makes a vigorous de­fence.—Its flesh is esteemed a great delicacy by the na­tives of Brazil.

There is reason to suppose, that the species might be [...] naturalized in this country, and added to our stock of u [...]eful animals. It is not much afraid of cold; and, [...] accustomed to burrow in the earth, would by that means defend itself against the rigours of our winter.— One of this species would furnish as much good meat as seven or eight Rabbits.—At Cayenne, there are seve­ral [Page 331] varieties of them, weighing from fourteen to twenty, and even thirty pounds.



is about the size of a hare; its nose is long, upper lip divided, skin sleek and shining, of a brown colour mixed with red, tail short, legs slender and almost naked, has four toes on the fore feet, and three on the hind; grunts like a pig; its appetite is extremely voracious; when sa­tiated with food, it conceals the remainder; sits on its hind legs, and feeds itself with its paws. It eats fruits, roots, nuts, and almost every kind of vegetable; is hunt­ed with Dogs, runs fast, and its motions are like those of a Hare; its flesh, which resembles that of a Rabbit, is eaten by the inhabitants of South-America. Great num­bers of them are found in Guiana and Brazil, where they live in woods, hedges, and hollow trees. The female brings forth at all times of the year, and produces three, four, and sometimes five at a time. If taken when young, the Agouti is easily tamed, and will go out and return of its own accord. It delights in cutting or gnawing every thing with its teeth. When irritated, the hair of its back [Page 332] rises, it strikes the ground with its hind feet, and at the same time makes a noise like the grunting of a Pig.



seems to be a variety of the Agouti, and though some­what less, is nearly of the same form; but its tail is long­er. It inhabits the same countries; is of an olive colour; its flesh is white, delicate, and has the flavour of a young Rabbit; is much esteemed by the natives, who hunt it with Dogs, and reckon it among the finest game of South America.


is likewise found in Brazil, is about twelve inches in length, the colour of the upper part of its body resembles that of the Hare, its belly is white, the upper lip divi­ded, the ears short and rounded like those of a Rat, and has no tail. It moves like the Hare, its fore legs being shorter than the hind. It has four toes on the fore feet, and only three on the hind. Its flesh is like that of the Rabbit, and their manner of living is also very similar.



THIS beautiful little animal is equally admirable for the neatness and elegance of its formation, as for its liveliness and activity. Its disposition is gentle and harmless; though naturally wild, it is soon familiarised to confinement and restraint; and though excessively ti­mid, it is easily taught to receive with freedom the most familiar caresses from the hand that feeds it. It usually lives in woods, and makes its nest of moss or dry leaves in the hollows of trees; it seldom descends upon the ground, but leaps from tree to tree with great agility. Its food consists of fruits, almonds, nuts, acorns, &c. of which it accumulates great stores for winter provisions, and secures them carefully near its nest. In the summer it feeds on buds and young shoots, and is particularly fond of the cones of the fir and pine trees. The spring is the season of love with Squirrels; at that time the males pursue the females, and exhibit wonderful proofs of agility, whilst the latter, as if to make trial of the con­stancy [Page 334] of their lovers, seem to avoid them by a variety of entertaining sallies, and, like true coquets, feign an escape, by way of enhancing the value of the conquest. They bring forth four or five young at a time.

The Squirrel is of a bright-brown colour, inclining to red; the breast and belly are white; the ears are orna­mented with long tufts of hair; the eyes are large, black, and lively; the fore teeth strong and sharp; the fore legs are curiously furnished with long stiff hairs, which pro­ject on each side like whiskers. When it eats it sits erect, and uses its fore paws as hands to convey food to its mouth. The tail of the Squirrel is its greatest orna­ment, and serves as a defence from the cold, being large enough to cover the whole body; it likewise assists it in taking leaps from one tree to another; and we may add a third application of it, which would seem altogether improbable, if we were not assured of it by Linnaeus and other naturalists:—In attempting to cross a lake or river, the Squirrel places itself upon a piece of bark, and, erecting its tail to catch the wind, boldly commits itself to the mercy of the waves. The smallest gust of wind is sufficient to overset a whole navy of these little adventu­rers, and in such perilous voyages many hundreds of them are said to perish.

Of the Squirrel there are several varieties, some of which are to be found in almost every country; but they chiefly abound in northern and temperate climates. The Hudson's-Bay Squirrel is smaller than the European; it is marked along the middle of the back with a dusky line, from head to tail; the belly is of a pale-ash colour, m [...]ttled with black; and the tail, which is dusky and [Page 335] barred with black, is not so long, nor so full of hair, as the common kind.

The GREY SQUIRREL is about the size of a young Rabbit; its ears are short, and not tufted at the ends; its hair is grey, mixed with black; on each side there is a red streak which runs lengthways; its tail is long and bushy, of a grey colour, variegated with black and white. It is common to both continents; in Sweden and other northern countries it changes its colour in the winter. It is very numerous in North-America, and does incredi­ble damage to the plantations; great flocks of them de­scend from the mountains, and lay waste the fields of maize, by eating the young ears. A reward of three-pence per head was given for every one that was killed; and such numbers were destroyed in one year, that Pen­sylvania alone paid in rewards the sum of 8000 l. of its currency.

The Grey Squirrel makes its nest in hollow trees, with moss, straw, wool, &c. It lays up stores of provi­sions in holes made in the ground, which it visits occa­sionally when in want of meat: These are often destroy­ed by Swine; and sometimes so long covered with snow, that the Squirrels perish for want of food. They are not easily shot, but evade the gun with great quickness the moment they see it levelled. They are easily tamed; and their flesh is esteemed very delicate.

The fur of these animals is very valuable, and is im­ported under the name of petit-gris.

The BLACK SQUIRREL is about the same size and form with the last, but its tail is not so long: It is ge­nerally black, with white on the nose, ears, and end of [Page 336] the tail. Its disposition and habits are so similar to the Grey Squirrel, that it might be taken for a variety of that kind; but it is said to associate in separate troops, and is equally numerous.

This creature is found in the northern parts of Asia, North-America, and Mexico. In the latter country, there is a variety with plain round ears; the upper part of the body variegated with black, white, and brown.— It is twice the size of the common Squirrel, lives under ground, where it brings forth its young, and lays in its stock of provisions. It feeds on maize; and is extremely lively, gentle, and docile. It is the Coquallin of M. Buf­fon.



is very numerous in the forests of North-America, as well as the North of Asia.—It burrows in the ground, and makes two entrances to its habitation; that if one should be stopped up, it may have access by the other. Its hole is formed with great skill, having several branches from the principal passage, each of which is terminated [Page 337] by a store-house, in which its winter food is deposited: In one is contained acorns, in another nuts, in a third maize, and in another chesnuts, which are its favourite food.

These animals seldom stir out during winter, or so long as their provisions last; when those fail, they some­times work their way into places where apples are laid up, or into barns where maize is stored, and make great havock. During harvest, they fill their mouths so full with corn, that their cheeks are quite distended, and carry it off to their concealed store. They give great preference to certain kinds of food; and if, after filling their mouths with rye, they chance to meet with wheat, they discharge the former, that they may secure the lat­ter.

The Ground Squirrel is marked with a stripe of black, which runs along the ridge of the back; and on each side a yellow stripe, bordered with black; its head, bo­dy, and tail, are of a reddish-brown; breast and belly white; its nose and feet of a pale-red colour; its eyes full and lively. It is very wild, bites severely, and is tamed with difficulty. Its skin is of little value.



is of an ash colour, inclining to red; each side is beau­tifully marked with two white stripes, running length­ways; its belly is white; its tail bushy, and variegated with regular shades of black, one beneath the other; its eyes are full and black, with white orbits. It is about the size of the common Squirrel.

Similar to this is the PALM SQUIRREL, having a pale-yellow stripe on the middle of the back, and two on each side parallel to it; the belly is of the same co­lour; the rest of the body black and red closely mixed; its tail is long, does not lie on its back like that of the Squirrel, but is carried erect.—Both these Squirrels in­habit Barbary and other hot countries.—They live chiefly in palm-trees, from whence the latter has its name.

[Page 339]The FAT SQUIRREL is found in France and the southern parts of Europe. Its body is covered with soft hair, of an ash colour; its belly whitish; its ears thin and naked. It is about six inches long, and thicker than the common Squirrel. It dwells chiefly in trees, leaps from bough to bough, feeds on fruits and acorns, and lodges in the hollows of trees. It remains in a torpid state during winter, and grows very fat.—It was consi­dered as a great delicacy among the Romans; who had places constructed on purpose to keep and feed them in, which they called gliraria.

The GREATER DORMOUSE, or GARDEN SQUIR­REL, is rather less than the last mentioned. Its eyes are surrounded with a large black spot, which reaches to the ears; its body is of a tawny colour; its throat and belly white, tinged with yellow; its tail is long, and bushy at the end.—It is common in the South of Europe, infests gardens, is particularly fond of peaches, and very destructive to all kinds of fruit. It lodges in holes in the walls, and brings forth five or six young at a time. It has a strong odour, like a Rat; and, like the Fat Squirrel, remains torpid during the winter.



is rather larger than the Mouse, of a tawny red colour, with a white throat, and full black eyes. It lives in woods or thick hedges; makes its nest with grass, dried leaves, or moss, in the hollow of a tree, or the bottom of a thick bush; and brings forth three or four young at a time. It lays up stores of nuts, acorns, and beans; and retires at the approach of cold weather to its retreat, where it rolls itself up in a warm nest, made of soft moss, &c. and remains in a torpid state during the con­tinuance of winter. The warmth of a sunny day, or a temporary change from cold to heat, will sometimes re­vive it; but, after taking a little food, it soon relapses into its former state.



is peculiarly distinguished by a membranous continua­tion of the skin of the sides and belly, which extends from the fore to the hind feet, and assists it greatly in making leaps from one tree to another, frequently at the distance of twenty or thirty yards. Its head is small and round, and its upper lip cloven; its eyes are full, round, and black; and its ears small and naked.

This creature is found in all the northern regions, both of the old and new continents. It is more nu­merous in America than in Europe, is less than the com­mon Squirrel, lives in trees, and sleeps in the day, but is extremely active during the night.

In the act of leaping, the loose skin is stretched out by the feet; whereby the surface of the body is aug­mented, the animal becomes lighter in proportion to its bulk, the acceleration of its fall is retarded, and it ap­pears to sail or fly from one place to another. Where a [Page 342] number of them are seen at a time leaping, they appear like leaves blown off by the wind.

There are several kinds, differing much in size.—In the islands of the East-Indies, there is a variety as large as a Hare, called the TAGUAN, or GREAT FLYING SQUIRREL; which perfectly resembles the other in fi­gure, and in the form of its lateral membrane. The head is smaller in proportion to the size of the body; the colour of the skin is dark-brown, mixed with white; the under part of the body whitish; the tail is brown, and grows gradually deeper towards the end, where it is black; the claws are long, thin, and hooked, like those of a Cat, which enable it to keep hold where it happens to fall; it also catches hold with its tail, which is long and muscular. It is a wild and timid animal. Its bite is so strong, that it can make its escape from a wooden cage with great facility.

A variety is found in Virginia, called by Mr Pennant the HOODED SQUIRREL; the lateral membrane begin­ning at the chin and ears, where it forms a kind of hood; and extending, like that of the former, from the fore to the hind legs: Its body is of a reddish colour ab [...]e, and of a yellowish-ash beneath. It is a rare spe­cies, not much noticed by naturalists.



HAS been placed by naturalists in the same class with the Hare and the Rat kind; and on exa­mining its parts, we find a partial agreement with both these animals. In its nose and lips, as well as in the general form of its head, it resembles the Hare; its ears are like those of the Rat, with which it likewise agrees in the number and form of its teeth and claws. In other respects, it is no way similar to either of those kinds; and it is still farther separated from them by ha­bitudes which seem peculiar to itself, and distinguish it from almost every other species of quadrupeds.

The Marmot inhabits the highest regions of the Alps; it is likewise found in Poland, Ukraine, and Chinese Tartary; is somewhat less than a Hare; its ears are round, and so short, that they are almost hid in the fur; its tail is short and bushy; the hair on the back is of a brownish-ash colour; and that on the belly reddish, soft, and bushy; its voice resembles the murmuring of a young puppy; when irritated or frightened, it makes a whistling noise, very loud and piercing to the ear. It feeds on insects, roots, and vegetables; but when tamed, is remarkably fond of milk and butter. It lives in holes, [Page 344] formed with great art in the side of a mountain: There are two entrances to each; and the chamber to which they lead is deep and spacious; the bottom is lined with moss and hay, of which these provident animals lay in a store during summer; and, at the approach of winter, shut themselves up in their holes by stopping the en­trances with earth, so effectually, that no discovery can be made of the place of their retreat. The chamber in which they lodge is large enough to contain a family of from five to a dozen Marmots: They roll themselves up; and being well covered with hay, remain in a tor­pid state, insensible to the rigours of the season, and per­fectly secure from the storm that rages without; till the chearing influence of the sun again calls them out to re­new their exhausted strength, to propagate their kind, and provide for their future retreat. The torpid state lasts from about Michaelmas till April. They go in ex­tremely fat, but gradually waste; and at the end of their long sleep, they appear lean and extremely emaciated.

The Marmot produces once a year; and the litter ge­nerally consists of three or four.—When a number of them are feeding together, they place one as a centinel, which makes a whistling noise on the least appearance of interruption; and the party immediately betake them­selves to their holes, the centinel driving up the rear.

The Marmot is a very playful animal, and is easily tamed. It learns to hold a stick, to dance, and to exhi­bit various gestures: It will obey the voice of its master; and, like the Cat, has an antipathy to Dogs, which it attacks fiercely upon the least irritation. It is very apt to gnaw linen or woollen stuffs: It often sits upright, or walks with ease on its hind feet: It eats in the manner [Page 345] of a Squirrel, and carries its food to its mouth with its fore paws. Its flesh is sometimes eaten, but is always at­tended with a disagreeable odour.



is found in various parts of North-America, and seems to be the same with the Marmot of Canada, described by M. Buffon.—It is larger than a Rabbit, and in form and colour resembles the Musk Rat; its tail is short and rough; its ribs so flexible, that it can easily pass through a hole of not more than two inches diameter; its eyes are black and prominent; its back is of a deep-brown colour, lighter on the sides and belly; and its feet and legs black.—Like the former, it sleeps during winter in holes under the roots of trees, and lives on fruits and other vegetables. Its flesh is good and well tasted.

An animal of the same kind is found in the Bahama isles; but whether it retires to sleep, in a climate so mild, is not well known.



is rather larger than a Rabbit; its ears are short, and its whole head round; its cheeks are of a grey colour, and its nose black; its back is variegated, each hair being grey at the bottom, black in the middle, and white at the tips; its belly and legs are of an orange colour; its toes black and naked; and its tail short and rather bushy. It inhabits Hudson's Bay and Canada.—One of them, exhibited in London some years ago, was perfectly tame. —Mr Pennant supposes it to be the species called the SIFILEUR by the French of Canada.



Although the qualities of this animal are sufficiently noxious to render it an object of universal detestation, in those countries where it abounds; yet, when considered with regard to those instincts which conduce to its own preservation and support, it well deserves our highest ad­miration. Its habitation is curious, and constructed with great art: It consists of a variety of apartments, adapted to various purposes, and extremely well fitted both for the comfort and convenience of the inhabitants. The first entrance is formed in an oblique direction, at the end of which the male sinks a perpendicular hole, which he reserves for his own use. The female makes several, for the accommodation of herself and family, that her young, during the short time they are allowed to stay with her, may have a free passage to the general stores. One of the holes is lined with straw, and serves as a lodg­ing; the others contain provisions, of which great quan­tities are always accumulated during the time of har­vest. They begin to lay in their stores in August. To facilitate the transportation of their food, nature has fur­nished them with two pouches in each cheek, into which they cram corn, beans, or pease, till they seem ready to [Page 348] burst; and, on their return to their holes, empty them, by pressing their two fore feet against their cheeks. The quantity of provision found in these magazines, depends on the age or sex of the inhabitants. The old Hamsters often amass an hundred pounds weight of grain, but the young and the females are satisfied with much less. At the approach of winter, the Hamsters retire into their subterraneous abodes, the entry to which they shut up with great care. There they remain in perfect tranquil­lity, and feed on their provisions till the frost becomes severe, when they sink into a torpid state, in which they continue till the return of spring. During this period, if any of the holes be opened, the Hamster is always found lying upon a bed of soft straw, with its head turn­ed under its belly, between the two fore legs, whilst the hind ones rest upon the muzzle. Its eyes are shut, every member perfectly stiff, and sensation so totally suspended, that neither respiration nor any other sign of life can be perceived. When dissected in this situation, the heart may be seen alternately contracting and dilating very slowly; the fat appears to be coagulated, and the intes­tines are quite cold; during this operation the animal seems to feel very little, it sometimes opens its mouth as if it wanted to respire, but the lethargy is too strong to admit of its entirely awaking. The Hamsters copulate about the end of April, when the males enter the apart­ments of the females, but remain only a few days. If two males happen to meet in the same hole, a furious combat ensues, which generally terminates in the death of the weaker. The females bring forth twice or thrice every year, each litter consisting of six or eight; in about three weeks the young are driven from their holes, and [Page 349] left to provide for themselves. Their increase is so rapid in some years, as to be almost sufficient to occasion a dearth; but the ferocity with which they upon all occa­sions attack and devour each other is so great, as to be the happy means of preventing the ill effects of their fe­cundity. It is not only its own species to which the fury of the Hamster is directed; he attacks and devours every animal without distinction that he is able to conquer, and frequently opposes himself to enemies much superior to himself in strength. Rather than fly, he allows himself to be beaten to death. If he seize a man's hand, he must be killed before he can be made to quit his hold. A Horse or a Dog are equally objects of his rage; and where-ever he seizes, it is with difficulty he can be dis­engaged.

The Hamster is about the size of a large Water-Rat, has a short tail almost naked; its colour on the head and back a reddish-brown, not unlike that of a Hare; its throat is white, and it has three white spots on each side; its breast and belly are black. It is found in various parts of Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. The Pole-Cat is its greatest enemy; it pursues the Hamster into its hole, and destroys great numbers. Mr Ray observes, that the hair of this animal is so closely united to the skin, that it cannot be pulled off without great difficulty; on which account it is held in high estimation.



is denominated in Russia SOUSLIK, which signifies in that language a beautiful fur. It resembles the Field-Mouse in figure, and in the shortness of its tail; it is about the size of a large Rat, and its skin beautifully marked with small white spots upon a yellowish ground. It is found upon the banks of the Wolga, and in the ad­joining provinces as far as Austria. It burrows in the ground like a Rabbit, and lays in store of provisions, con­sisting of grain, herbs, and roots; it also feeds on young Mice, is very fond of salt, and is frequently taken on board the barges loaden with that commodity.—The fe­males bring forth from two to five at one time.


instead of ears, has only a small orifice on each side of its head, is of a dark-grey colour, its body long and slen­der, and its tail short. It is found in Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, and Siberia. It forms its hole in the ground with a double entrance, and sleeps during the winter in the center of its lodge. It lays in a store of corn, nuts, &c. and sits up like a Squirrel when it eats. It is easily [Page 351] provoked, and bites hard. Its fur is of little value, but its flesh is reckoned good eating.

In Poland and Russia there is an animal of this kind called the ZEMNI, and by Mr Pennant the Podolian Marmot. Its habits are similar to those of the Casan, but it is larger, stronger, and more mischievous. The head is thick, the body slender, and the ears short and round; has two cutting teeth in each jaw, those of the under jaw much longer than the upper; the eyes are small, and concealed in the fur like those of the mole; its tail is short, and of an ash colour.



We are favoured by Mr Pennant with the drawing of this animal, which has hitherto been undescribed. In the form of its body it seems to agree with the descrip­tion given of the Zisel, and probably may be a variety of that animal.



This wonderful animal, small, weak, and contempti­ble in its appearance, is nevertheless truly formidable, from the numbers which sometimes overspread large tracts of country.

Derived from a source which no naturalist has hitherto been able to explore, and attributed by superstitious ig­norance to the generation of the clouds, from whence they have been supposed to be poured down in showers of rain, these animals appear at very uncertain periods, in Norway, Sweden, and Lapland; and like a torrent which nothing can resist, their course is marked with ruin and desolation. Myriads of them march in regular lines, about three feet asunder, in a South-East direction. Neither fire nor water stops their progress: They go straight forward with the most amazing perseverance; they swim across lakes and rivers; no opposition impedes them: If thousands are destroyed, thousands supply their places: The void is quickly filled up; and their number does not appear diminished: They persist in their course in spite of every obstacle; and from the time they set out, never think of retreating; but if prevented from proceeding by any obstacle, they either by assiduity sur­mount [Page 353] it, or die in the attempt. Their march is mostly in the night. They rest during the day, and devour eve­ry root and vegetable they meet with. They infect the very herbage; and cattle are said to perish that feed upon the grass they have touched.

An enemy so numerous and destructive would soon render the countries they pass through utterly uninha­bitable, did it not fortunately happen that the same rapa­city that excites them to lay waste the productions of the earth, at last impels them to destroy each other. Having nothing more to subsist on, they are said to separate into two armies, which engage with the most deadly hatred, and continue fighting and devouring each other till they are all entirely destroyed. Thousands of them have been found dead; and the air infected by their putrid carcases, so as to occasion malignant distempers.

The Leming runs very swiftly, although its legs are short and slender. It is somewhat less than the Rat: Its head is pointed; and in each jaw are two very long cutting teeth, with which it bites keenly; its ears are short, eyes small, fore legs shorter than the hind; the co­lour of the head and body black and tawny, disposed in irregular patches; the belly white, tinged with yellow.— Though perfectly disgusting to every other people, its flesh is said to be eaten by the Laplanders.

Where these emigrants are collected, as was before observed, is not certainly known. Linnaeus says, they are produced among the Norwegian and Lapland Alps; and Pontoppidan supposes, that Kolen's Rock, which di­vides Nordland from Sweden, is their native place. But wherever they come from, none return: Their course is predestined, and they pursue their fate.



THOUGH small, weak, and contemptible in its appearance, possesses properties that render it a more formidable enemy to mankind, and more injurious to the interests of society, than even those animals that are endued with the greatest strength and most rapacious dispositions. To the one we can oppose united powers and superior arts; with regard to the other, experience has convinced us, that no art can counteract the effects of its amazing fecundity, and that force is ineffectually opposed to an enemy possessed of such variety of means to elude it.

There are two kinds known in this country,—the Black Rat, which was formerly universal here, but is now very rarely seen, having been almost extirpated by the large brown kind, generally distinguished by the name of the NORWAY RAT. This formidable invader is now universally diffused through the whole country; from whence every method has been tried in vain to ex­terminate it.—This species is about nine inches long; of a light-brown colour, mixed with tawny and ash; the throat and belly are of a dirty-white, inclining to grey; its feet are naked, and of a pale-flesh colour; the tail is [Page 355] as long as the body, covered with minute dusky scales, thinly interspersed with short hairs.—In summer, it frequents the banks of rivers, ponds, and ditches; where it lives on frogs, fishes, and small animals. But its ra­pacity is not confined entirely to these: It destroys rab­bits, poultry, young pigeons, &c.: It infests the grana­ry, the barn, and the storehouse; does infinite mischief among corn and fruit of all kinds; and, not content with satisfying its hunger, frequently carries off large quanti­ties to its hiding place.—It is a bold and fierce little animal; and, when closely pursued, will turn and fasten on its assailant. Its bite is keen; and the wound it in­flicts is painful and difficult to heal, owing to the form of its teeth, which are long, sharp, and of an irregular form.

The Rat is amazingly prolific, usually producing from twelve to eighteen at one time. Their numbers would soon increase beyond all power of restraint, were it not for an insatiable appetite, that imp [...]ls them to destroy and devour each other. The weaker always fall a prey to the stronger; and the large male Rat, which usually lives by itself, is dreaded by those of its own species as their most formidable enemy.

It is a singular fact, in the history of these animals, that the skins of such of them as have been devoured in their holes have frequently been found, curiously turned inside out; every part being completely inverted, even to the ends of the toes. How the operation is performed, it would be difficult to ascertain; but it appears to be ef­fected in some peculiar mode of eating out the contents.

Besides the numbers that perish in these unnatural con­flicts, they have many fierce and inveterate enemies, that [Page 356] take every occasion to destroy them. Several kinds of Dogs pursue them with great alacrity, and eagerly de­stroy them, though they invariably refuse to eat their flesh: The Cat is also a very formidable enemy, but ge­nerally finds greater difficulty in the contest: The Rat makes a vigorous resistance, and sometimes effects its escape. The Weasel is the most dangerous enemy of the Rat kind: It hunts them with unceasing avidity; pursues them into their holes, where it soon kills them, and sucks their blood. Mankind have likewise contrived various methods of destroying these bold intruders: For that purpose traps are often found ineffectual; such be­ing their extreme sagacity, that when any are drawn in­to the snare, the others by that means learn to avoid the dangerous allurement, notwithstanding the utmost cau­tion may have been used to conceal the design. The surest method of killing them is by poison: Nux vomi­ca ground, and mixed with oatmeal, with a small pro­portion of oil of rhodium and musk, have been found from experience to be very effectual.



is somewhat smaller than the former, its head larger, and its nose thicker; its eyes are small; its ears short, scarce­ly appearing through the hair; its teeth are large, strong, and yellow; the hair on its head and body thicker and longer than that of the common Rat, and chiefly of a dark-brown colour, mixed with red; the belly is grey; the tail five inches long, covered with short black hairs, and the tip with white.

The Water Rat generally frequents the sides of rivers, ponds, and ditches; where it burrows and forms its nest. It feeds on frogs, small fish, and spawn; swims and dives remarkably fast; and can continue a long time under water.



is about the size of a young Rabbit: Its head is thick and short, resembling that of a Water Rat; its hair soft and glossy; beneath the outward hair there is a thick fine down, very useful in the manufacture of hats; it is of a r [...]ddish-brown colour; its breast and belly ash, tinged with red; its tail is long and flat, covered with scales; its eyes are large; its ears short and hairy; it has two strong cutting teeth in each jaw,—those of the under about an inch long, but the upper ones are shorter.

This animal is a native of Canada, where it is called the O [...]d [...]ura.—In many respects it very much resembles the Beaver, both in form and manners. It is fond of the water, and swims well.—At the approach of winter, se­veral families associate together. They build little huts, about two feet in diameter, composed of herbs and rush­es cemented with clay, forming a dome-like covering: From these are several passages, in different directions; by which they go out in quest of roots and other food.— The hunters take them in the spring by opening the holes, and letting in the light suddenly upon them; whereby they are so dazzled, as to suffer themselves to [Page 359] be easily taken. At that time their flesh is tolerably good, and is frequently eaten; but in the summer it ac­quires a scent of musk, so strong, as to render it perfect­ly unpalatable.



is about the size of the common Rat: Its nose is long and slender, like that of the Shrew-Mouse; it has no ex­ternal ears, and its eyes are very small; the tail is com­pressed sideways, and its hind feet are webbed; it is of a dusky colour; the belly of a light ash.—It is a native of Lapland and Russia, frequents the banks of rivers, feeds on small fishes, but is often devoured by pikes and other large fishes; to which it communicates so strong a fla­vour of musk, as renders them very unpleasant to the taste.—From its tail is extracted a kind of musk, very much resembling the genuine sort. Their skins are fre­quently laid amongst cloaths to preserve them from moths.—In Lapland, it is called the Desman.



THIS well-known little animal is diffused in great numbers over almost every part of the world. It seems a constant attendant on man, and is only to be found near his dwelling. Its enemies are numerous and powerful, and its means of resistance weak and inconside­rable; its minuteness seems to be its best security, and it is saved from utter extinction only by its amazing fecun­dity.

The Mouse brings forth several times in the year, and generally from six to ten each litter. The young are pro­duced without hair, and in little more than fifteen days are able to subsist by themselves, so that the increase is prodigi [...]us. Aristotle tells us, that having shut up in a vessel a Mouse big with young, and provided plenty of grain for her and her offspring, in a short time he found 120 Mice, all sprung from the same stock.

The Mouse, when viewed without the disgust and ap­prehension which usually accompany the sight of it, is a beautiful little animal; its skin is sleek and soft, its eyes bright and lively, all its limbs are formed with exquisite delicacy, and its motions are smart and active. Some few of this species are of a pure white colour; but whe­ther [Page 361] they be a permanent kind, or only an accidental va­riety, cannot well be determined. Its appearance is how­ever very beautiful; its fine full eyes, of a red colour, form an agreeable contrast with the snowy whiteness of its fur.



is rather larger than the common Mouse, and very simi­lar to it in form: It is of a yellowish-brown colour, its belly white, and its eyes remarkably large and prominent. It is found only in the fields, woods, and gardens; feeds on nuts, corn, and acorns, and lays up great stores for its support during winter; it burrows in the earth, and ge­nerally forms its nest near the root of a tree, or thick bush. If provisions fail during a storm, they devour each other; are very prolific, and bring nine or ten young at a time.—Mr Pennant mentions a species, found in Hampshire, only two inches and an half long from nose to tail, of a fine rust colour above, and white beneath: It appears in great numbers in harvest-time among the sheaves and ricks of corn: During the winter, it shelters itself under ground, where it makes a warm bed of dry grass and leaves. Its young are brought forth on a nest made between the straws of the standing corn, and are generally about eight in number each time.



differs from the last, in having a thicker head, and short­er tail: Its ears are very short, and almost hid in the hair; its body is about three inches long, and the tail one inch; the upper part of the body is of a reddish-brown, and the belly a deep-ash colour. Like the last, it frequents the fields and woods, but is seldom troublesome in gardens; it also lives on the same kinds of food, which it hides in holes under-ground; it makes its nest in moist meadows, and brings forth seven or eight young at a time.



is smaller than the common Mouse, being only two inches and a half long from the nose to the tail; the nose is long and slender; the ears short; and the eyes, like those of the Mole, almost concealed in the fur: It is of a red­dish-brown [Page 363] colour; the belly white. The two upper fore teeth of this animal are singularly constructed, and deserve particular notice; having a small barb on each side, so fine as to be scarcely visible.

The Shrew-Mouse frequents old walls and heaps of stones; feeds on insects, corn, and putrid substances; and is sometimes seen on dunghills, where it roots with its nose like a Hog. It has so strong and disagreeable a smell, that the Cat, after she has killed, refuses to eat it. It forms its nest, without any visible aperture, of dry grass, moss, &c. on the surface of meadows or pastures, and is said to breed four or five young at a time.

There seems to be an annual mortality of these ani­mals in August; numbers of them being found dead in the fields, highways, &c. about that time.



is larger than the last; the upper part of its body is black; the throat, breast, and belly of a light-ash colour. It is rarely to be seen; frequents the banks of rivulets and marshy places, where it burrows. It is very nume­rous in Lincolnshire, but was never observed there till about twenty years ago. It is called in that country the blind Mouse.



is a native of the Cape of Good Hope, where it was first discovered by Sparrman. It is distinguished from every other species of the genus by four black lines along its back, from the head to the tail. It is supposed to be the most diminutive quadruped in the world, being scarcely two inches in length. In the annexed representation it is drawn the natural size, and forms a striking contrast with those gigantic animals which inhabit that quarter of the world.



THIS animal, destined to seek its food and pro­vide for its subsistence under the surface of the earth, is wonderfully adapted by the all-wise Author of nature to its peculiar mode of living. It enjoys the senses of hearing and smelling in a very eminent degree; the former gives noti [...] of every approach of danger; whilst the latter enables it to find its prey in the midst of darkness, and compensates in a great measure for an al­most [...]otal want of sight. To an animal so circumstanced a larger degree of vision would be attended with manifest inconveniences, as well as liable to continual injuries. We are told by anatomists, that, for their better security, the eyes of the Mole are furnished with muscles, by which it has the power of withdrawing or exerting them at pleasure. Its eyes are extremely small, and perfectly hid in the fur; but it is probable, they are so formed, as to admit distinct images of the diminutive objects of its pursuit. The form of this creature's body, and parti­cularly [Page 366] the construction of its fore feet, are admirably adapted to the purpose of making its way in the earth, which it does with wonderful facility: They are quite naked, very broad, with large palms, almost like a hand; five toes on each, terminated with strong nails, very con­cave on the under side; and in place of a thumb, a strong bone under the skin; the hind feet very small, with five slender toes, and a small thumb on the inside. Whenever it happens to be surprised on the surface of the ground, it disappears in an instant, and every at­tempt to prevent its subterraneous retreat would be vain.

The Mole is mostly found in grounds where the soil is loose and soft, and affords the greatest quantity of worms and insects, on which it feeds. The female brings forth in the spring, and generally produces four or five at a time: It makes its nest a little below the surface of the ground, forming a commodious apartment, where it pre­pares a warm bed of moss and herbage; from this there are several passages in different directions, to which it can retreat with its young ones in case of danger; into these likewise the animal makes excursions in quest of food.—In the act of forming its tracks or runs, it throws up large heaps of mould, which are extremely troublesome and injurious in meadows, grass-lands, and cultivated grounds; its destruction is consequently an ob­ject of importance to farmers, gardeners, &c.

The skin of the Mole is extremely tough; its fur short, close-set, and softer than the finest velvet, or per­haps the fur of any other animal; it is usually black, sometimes spotted with white, and sometimes (though rarely) white. It is about six inches in length, and its tail one inch.



is less than the common Mole, being not quite four inches long; its fur is very close, short, and fine: Its nose is very curiously beset with radiated tendrils. It is a native of North-America, feeds on roots, and forms sub­terraneous passages in different directions. There is a kind found in Siberia with a very short nose, and no tail; it is of a beautiful green and gold colour, variable with the light. There are some other varieties, that dif­fer chiefly in the colour of the hair; such as the Yel­low Mole of North-America, which is larger than the European; its hair is soft, and of a silky gloss. That which is found in Virginia resembles the common Mole; it is of a black colour, mixed with deep purple.—It is said that hats, peculiarly fine and beautiful, have been made of the fur of the Mole.



IS found in great numbers in various parts of North and South-America, and was supposed by Buffon to belong entirely to the new continent: We are now, however, assured, that it exists in many of the Indian islands. Several varieties of the Opossum kind have been seen also in the newly-discovered countries in the South seas.



The SARAGOY, or MOLUCCA OPOSSUM of Mr Pen­nant, is about the size of a Cat: Its head is long; nose sharp and pointed; ears large, thin, and naked; eyes small, black, and lively, having a white spot above each of them; its fur is soft, long, and of a dusky-ash colour; its belly white; its tail is similar to that of a Rat, naked and scaly, except a small part near the body, which is co­vered [Page 369] with hair; its legs are short; and its feet or hands not unlike those of a Monkey, having five toes or fin­gers on each, the thumbs on the hind feet destitute of nails. But the peculiar and distinguishing characteristic of the Opossum is a pouch or false belly, in which the female deposits her young immediately after they are brought forth, and nourishes them in it till they are able to provide for themselves.—The Chevalier d'Aboville, whilst in America during the late war, in order to be satisfied respecting the time of its gestation, manner of bringing forth, and suckling its young, procured a male and female Opossum, which he tamed, and kept in his chamber till they copulated: Ten days after, he observed a considerable alteration in the size and form of the pouch; its aperture being wider than it was before, and its orifice thicker: From that time it gradually grew closer, leaving only a small opening in the middle, simi­lar to a navel: On the fifteenth day he introduced his finger, and found at the bottom of the bag a small round body, about the size of a pea: The twenty-fifth day he could feel a motion under his finger: After the young had been a month in the pouch, they were plainly to be seen on opening it a little: At the end of two months, on examining the pouch, there appeared to be six young ones, all of them attached to the mother by a canal that entered the mouth, which, if withdrawn, could not be replaced; but when six weeks old, the young Opos­sum could resume it by strong suction, the mouth being then large enough to receive the pap, which is about two lines in length, and the size of the second or third string of a violin. The number of the young varies from five to ten or eleven. The paps are not disposed in regular [Page 370] order, as in other animals; but seem as if they were formed in those places where the embryos attach them­selves to the mother.

The Opossum is a slow, helpless animal, when on the ground; but climbs trees with great ease and quickness; sometimes conceals itself among the branches, and sur­prizes the birds that come within its reach: It frequent­ly hangs, suspended by its tail; and, in that situation, watches for its prey, which it darts upon with great agi­lity.—By means of its tail, the Opossum flings itself from one tree to another. It feeds on birds, reptiles, insects, roots, leaves, and the bark of trees. It is easily tamed, is neither mischievous nor ferocious; but its figure is dis­agre [...]able, and the odour that exhales from its skin rank and disgusting.

The MURINE OPOSSUM, or MARMOSE of M. Buf­fon, inhabits the warmest parts of South-America. It resembles the former, but is much less: Its food and manner of living are likewise very similar to it.—It brings f [...]rth from ten to fourteen young at a time; but, instead of a bag, the female has two longitudinal folds under her b [...]lly, within which the young are secured. When first pr [...]uced, they are not larger than beans, and remain closely attached to the teat till they attain sufficient growth and strength to provide for themselves.



differs little from the preceding either in size or form.— It is found in the mountainous parts of New-Spain, lives in trees; its tail is useful in twisting round the branches and securing its hold.—The young attach themselves to their mother by their hands and tails; and, upon the least alarm, embrace her closely, whilst she carries them to the shelter of some neighbouring tree.



is somewhat larger than a Rat: Its nose is thick; ears short and hairy; its fur of a reddish colour, variegated with light-ash and yellow; the under part of the body yellowish-white; it is distinguished from all those of the Opossum kind we have hitherto mentioned, in having the first and second toes of the hind feet closely united; its claws are large; tail long, very broad and thick at its junction with the body, and naked at the end. It inha­bits Surinam, is supposed to be the animal called the Cane-Rat, very destructive to the sugar-canes.



The general colour of this animal is black; the body spotted with irregular roundish patches of white; the ears are large and erect; muzzle long, pointed, and fur­nished with long slender whiskers; both fore and hind legs thinly covered with hair of an ash colour; on the fore feet it has five claws, and on the hind four; length, from nose to tail, about twenty-five inches; tail thick and bushy, like that of a Squirrel, except a part near the body, which is small, and covered with short hairs. The female has six teats, placed circularly within the pouch.


is long-bodied and short-legged; from the nose to the insertion of the tail, measures two feet two inches; tail fifteen inches; upper part of the body grifly, consisting of dusky, reddish, and white hairs; the under parts light-tawny; [Page 374] two-thirds of the tail black; a blackish space round each eye; long black whiskers; five toes on the fore feet, and four on the hind, with a thumb of two joints placed at the base of the inner toe; the toes of the fore feet are long, and answer the purpose of a hand; the ears are about an inch and a half in length; in the upper jaw are six cutting teeth, four grinders, and two canine teeth; in the lower jaw two long cutting teeth, like those of a Squirrel, and four grinders, but no canine teeth.



Its nose is pointed; its ears large and erect; the fur more delicate, and of a finer texture, than that of the Sea-Otter,—is of a beautiful dark colour, and very glossy, mixed with grey; the under parts white; on each hip is [...] tan-coloured spot; the fur is continued to the claws; [Page 375] the sailing membrane is the same as that of the Grey Squirrel, but broader in proportion; on the fore legs it has five toes, with a claw on each; on the hind ones four toes, and a long thumb, which enables the animal to use it as a hand; it is remarkable, that the three outside claws of the hind feet are not separated like the others.



was discovered by Captain Cook in January, 1777; who describes it as about twice the size of a large Rat.—It in­habits Van Diemen's Land, the southern point of New-Holland.


[Page 376]


We are favoured with a drawing of this beautiful ani­mal, taken from a living one in the possession of the re­verend Mr Egerton, prebendary of Durham, by the in­genious Mr Carfrae.—It is a native of New South-Wales; is about eighteen inches long, exclusive of the tail, which is twelve: Its head is broad, and pointed at the muzzle, which is furnished with long whiskers; its eyes are full, exceedingly prominent, and of a fiery red­ness; it has five claws on the fore feet,—three on the hind, and a thumb; two cutting teeth in each jaw, the upper projecting beyond the under. Its manners are si­milar to those of a Squirrel: It sits up, holds its food in its fore paws with great dexterity, and feeds itself: When irritated, it sits still more erect, or throws itself upon its back, making a loud and harsh noise. It feeds on vegetables, small birds, &c.

The fur of this creature is long, soft, and very close; [Page 377] of a mixed brown or greyish colour on the back, the un­der parts of a yellowish-white: Its tail is prehensile, very broad at the base, and tapers to the end; it is remarkable in being naked on the under side.—The female is fur­nished with a pouch.



is a native of New-Holland, where it was first discover­ed by Sir Joseph Banks.—Its head is small and taper, ears large and erect, upper lip divided, the end of the nose black, nostrils wide, lower jaw shorter than the up­per, and there are whiskers on both; it likewise has strong hairs above and below the eyes; its head, neck, and shoulders, are small; the lower parts of the body in­ [...]reasing in thickness to the rump; its tail is long, very [Page 378] thick near the rump, and taper; the construction of its fore feet is singular, being extremely short, and only useful in digging or bringing its food to its mouth; it moves altogether on its hind legs, making successive bounds of ten or twelve feet with such rapidity, as to outstrip the fleetest Greyhound; it springs from rock to rock, and leaps over bushes seven or eight feet high, with great ease; it has five toes on its fore feet,—three on the hind, the middle one very long; the inner claw is divided down the middle into two parts.

The Kanguroo rests on its hind legs, which are hard, black, and naked on the under side. Its fur is short and soft, of a reddish-ash colour, lighter on the lower parts. It is the only quadruped our colonists have yet met with in New South-Wales that supplies them with animal food.—There are two kinds: The largest that had been shot weighed about 140lb. and measured, from the point of the nose to the end of the tail, six feet one inch, the tail two feet one inch, head eight inches, fore legs one foot, hind legs two feet eight inches, circumference of the fore part of the body near the legs one foot one inch, and of the hind part three feet. The smaller kind sel­dom exceeds 60lb.

This animal is furnished with a pouch, similar to that of the Opossum; in which its young are nursed and shel­t [...]ed.



is about the size of a Rabbit, and in shape resembles the Kanguroo, both in respect to the shortness of the fore legs, and the peculiar construction and use of the hind ones; the form of the head is like that of a Rat, and its body nearly of the same colour; in the upper jaw it has two long cutting teeth, with three short ones on each side of them; in the lower jaw two long cutting teeth, and three grinders on each side.

The female, like most of the animals of that country, has a pouch, like the Opossum.—It feeds on vegeta­bles, burrows in the ground, and is very tame and inof­fensive.



THIS animal, remarkable for the singular construc­tion of its legs, is found in Egypt, Barbary, and Palestine.—It is somewhat less than a Rat: Its head has a great resemblance to that of a Rabbit; its eyes are large and full; the fore legs are only one inch in length, and are used as hands to convey victuals to its mouth; the hind legs are naked, and very much resemble those of a bird, having only three toes on each, the middle one longest; its tail is much longer than its body, and terminated with a black tuft, the tip of which is white; its hair is long and soft, of a reddish colour on the back; the under parts of the body are white; across the thighs there is a large black band, in the form of a crescent.

The motions of the Jerboa are similar to those of the Kanguroo: It goes forward very nimbly on its hind feet, taking leaps of five or six feet from the ground.—It is a lively, harmless animal, lives entirely on vegetables, and [...]rrows in the ground like a Rabbit.—It is the Daman [Page 381] Israel of the Arabs, or Lamb of Israel; and is supposed to be the Coney of holy writ, our Rabbit being unknown in Palestine. It is also the Mouse mentioned in Isaiah *; Achbar, in the original, signifying a Jerboa.

There are some varieties of the Jerboa found in Sibe­ria, Tartary, and various parts of Asia.—They differ chiefly in size, the largest being about the size of a Rat: Its ears are large, pointed, and tipped with white; the hair on the back is of a tawny colour, and very soft; the belly and under part of the body are white; the end of the tail is distinguished by a white feathered tuft, an inch long; it has five toes on the fore feet, three on the hind; and about an inch above the last are two long slen­der toes, with nails on each.

This creature makes its nest of the finest and most de­licate herbage; rolls itself up, with its head between its thighs; and sleeps during the winter, without taking any nutriment.—When pursued, it springs so nimbly, that its feet scarcely seem to touch the ground. It does not go straight forward, but turns here and there till it gains a burrow, where it quickly secretes itself. In leaping, it carries its tail stretched out; but in standing or walking, carries it in the form of an S, the lower part touching the ground.

The Jerboa is easily tamed, is fond of warmth, and seems to be sensible of the approach of bad weather by wrapping itself up close in hay.

Among the Mogul Tartars, this animal is called the Alaghtaaga. It is supposed to be the Two-footed Mouse, and the Egyptian Mouse of the ancients, which were said to walk on their hind legs.




THE YELLOW MACAUCO has been classed with the Weasel tribe by Mr Pennant, in his History of Quadrupeds; and it seems to bear some general resem­blance to that species of animals, in the form of its head, which is flat and broad; its ears are short, eyes small, b [...]dy long and slender, legs and thighs short and thick, and it has five straight toes on each foot: Its fur is short, soft, and glossy,—of a black colour, mixed with yellow, on the back; the cheeks, inside of the legs, and belly, yellow; along the back, from head to tail, there is a broad dusky stripe; and another on the belly, half way [Page 383] from the tail, which is nearly as long as its body, of a bright-tawny colour, mixed with black, and has the same prehensile faculty as those of some kinds of Monkeys. Its length, from nose to tail, is nineteen inches.

One of this species was shewn in London some years ago, and was said to have been brought from Jamaica, where it is called a Potto. It was a very good-natured and sportive animal, would catch hold of any thing with its tail, and suspend itself by it.

The RING-TAILED MACAUCO is a very beautiful animal, about the size of a Cat: Its body and limbs are long and slender; its tail very long, and marked with al­ternate bars of black and white: In the conformation of its paws, it seems to approach the Monkey kind; but its nose is long and sharp, like that of a Fox; and its ears are also large and pointed: Its head and throat are white; eyes large, and surrounded with black: Its fur is glossy, soft, and delicate,—of a reddish-ash colour on the back; belly white.

This creature is found in Madagascar and the neigh­bouring isles, is very playful, but not mischievous. When in motion, it makes a sort of galloping progress in an ob­lique direction, and carries its tail almost crect; but when sitting, it is twisted round the body, and brought over its head.—Troops of thirty or forty are sometimes seen together.—It is a cleanly animal; and, when taken young, may be easily tamed.





The TAIL-LESS MACAUCO is found in Ceylon and Bengal, lives in woods, and feeds on fruits; is fond of eggs and small birds, which it devours greedily. It is a very inactive animal, and its motions slow; very tena­cious of its hold, and makes a plaintive noise. Its head is small, and nose pointed; each eye is edged with a circle of white, which is also surrounded with another of black; its body is covered with a short silky fur, of a reddish-ash colour; the toes naked; nails flat, except those on the inner toes of the hind feet, which are sharp [Page 385] and crooked: Its length, from the nose to the rump, is sixteen inches.

The MONGOOZ is nearly of the same size as the Ring-tailed Macauco. Its fur is fine, soft, and woolly, —of a deep brownish-ash colour; the eyes are of a beau­tiful orange colour, surrounded with black; the ears are short; cheeks white; end of the nose black; the tail ve­ry long, and covered with hair of the same sort and co­lour as the body; its hands and feet are naked, and of a dusky colour; its nails, except one upon the inner toe of each hind foot, are flat.—It inhabits Madagascar and the isles adjacent, sleeps in trees, is very playful and good-natured, feeds on fruits, is extremely tender, and cannot bear any change to a less temperate climate.


is a very slender animal, and differs greatly from the preceding, both in form and manners. It is not much larger than a Squirrel, but its limbs are longer; the hind legs greatly exceed the fore in length; the thumbs on each foot are more distinct and separate from the toes than those of other Macaucos; its nose is pointed, like that of a Dog; its forehead high; ears round and thin; its fur is short and delicately soft, of a tawny colour on the back,—whitish below: It has no tail.

The Loris is a native of Ceylon, very active, lives in trees, and feeds on fruit. Seba says, the male climbs the trees, and tastes the fruit before he presents it to his mate.


or VARI of M. Buffon, is larger than the Mongooz. It is a native of Madagascar, is very fierce, and makes a loud noise in the woods; but, when tamed, is gentle and good-natured. Its eyes are of a deep-orange colour; round its head the hair is long, and stands out like a ruff. The general colour of this animal is black; but some are white, spotted with black: The feet are black and naked.


is remarkable for the great length of its hind legs, in which it resembles the Jerboa; has four slender toes and a distinct thumb on each foot: Its visage is pointed; eyes large and prominent; ears erect, broad, and naked: Its hair is soft and woolly, of a deep-ash colour, mixed with tawny: Its length, from the nose to the rump, is nearly six inches; the tail is nine inches long, round, scaly, almost naked, like that of a Rat, and tufted at the end.—It is found in some of the remote islands of India, especially Amboyna.



WE come now to the description of a numerous race of animals; consisting of a greater variety of kinds, and making nearer approaches to the human species, both in form and action, than any other class of quadrupeds.

Monkies are found only in the warmest parts of the world, and chiefly in the torrid zone: They abound in the woods of Africa, from Senegal to the Cape of Good Hope, and from thence to Ethiopia; in all parts of In­dia and its isles; in the South of China; in Japan; and in South-America, from the Isthmus of Darien as far as Paraguay: A species or two are also met with in Ara­bia and the province of Barbary.

On account of the numbers and different appearances of these animals, they have been divided into three classes, and described under the following denominations, viz.—APES, or such as have no tails; BABOONS, or such as have short tails; MONKIES, or such as have long tails.

In the APE kind, we see the whole external machine strongly impressed with the human likeness, and capable of similar exertions: They walk upright, their posteriors are fleshy, their legs are furnished with calves, and their hands and feet are nearly like ours.

In the BABOON, we perceive a more distant resem­blance of the human form: He generally goes upon all four, seldom upright, but when constrained to it in a state of servitude. Some of them are as tall as a man. They have short tails, long faces, sunk eyes, are ex­tremely [Page 388] disgusting, lascivious, and possessed of brutal f [...]ercen [...]ss.

The MONKEY kind are removed still farther, and are much less than the former. Their tails are generally longer than their bodies; and, although they sit upon their posteriors, they always move upon all four.—They are a lively, active race of animals, full of frolic and gri­mace, greatly addicted to thieving, and extremely fond of imitating human actions, but always with a mischiev­ous intention.



is the largest of all the Ape kind, and makes the nearest approach to the human figure. One of this kind, dis­sected by Dr Tyson, has been very accurately described by him. The principal external differences pointed out by that learned physician, consisted in the great length of the arms, and shortness of the thighs; the thumb is also much smaller, and the palm of the hand longer and narrower, than in man; the form of the feet is very dis­similar, the toes being much longer, and the large toe placed at a greater distance from the others; the fore­head is too high, the nose flat, and the eyes much sunk: Beside these, the anatomist has enumerated a variety of essential differences in the internal conformation of the [Page 390] Oran-Outang, all of which sufficiently evince, that, though he has the strongest affinity to the human form of any other quadruped; yet, as Buffon elegantly ob­serves, "the interval which separates the two species is immense; the resemblance in figure and organization, and the movements of imitation which seem to result from these similarities, neither make him approach the nature of man, nor elevate him above that of the brute."

The Oran-Outang is found in the interior parts of Africa, in Madagascar, Borneo, and some parts of the East-Indies. It is a solitary animal, avoids mankind, and lives only in the most desert places. The largest of the kind are said to be about six feet high, very active, strong, and intrepid, capable of overcoming the strongest man: They are likewise exceedingly swift, and cannot easily be taken alive. They live entirely on fruits and nuts, will sometimes attack and kill the negroes who wander in the woods, and drive away the elephants that happen to approach too near the place of their residence: They sometimes surprize the female negroes, and carry them off into the woods, where they compel them to stay with them.—When taken young, however, the Oran-Outang is capable of being tamed, and rendered extremely docile. One of them, shewn in London some years ago, was taught to sit at table, make use of a spoon or fork in eating its victuals, and drink wine or other liquors out of a glass. It was extremely mild, affection­ate, and good-natured; much attached to its keeper, and obedient to his commands. Its aspect was grave, and its disposition melancholy. It was young, and only two feet four inches high. Its body was covered with hair of a black colour, which was much thicker and closer on [Page 391] the back than on the fore part of the body; the hands and soles of the feet were naked, and of a dusky colour.

A variety, called the PIGMY, is found in Guinea, Ethiopia, and other parts of Africa, much smaller than the last, being not more than a foot and a half in length. It is very tractable, good-natured, and easily tamed; is supposed to have been the Pithecos of the ancients. It lives in woods, and feeds on fruits and insects.—Troops of them assemble together, and defend themselves from the attacks of wild beasts in the desert by throwing a cloud of sand behind them, which blinds their pursuers, and facilitates their escape.



is distinguished by the extraordinary length of its arms, which reach to the ground when its body is upright, and give it a disgusting appearance. Its face is flat, and of a tawny colour, surrounded with a circle of grey hair, which adds to the singularity of its aspect; its eyes are large and deep sunk; cars round and naked; body cover­ed on all parts with black rough hair, except its buttocks, which are quite naked.—It is a mild, gentle, and tracta­ble animal; feeds on fruits, leaves, and barks of trees; is a native of the East-Indies, Sumatra, and the Moluc­ca isles; and measures from three to four feet in height.



is wilder and more untractable than the others: His head is large, and his nose prominent: He likewise dif­fers from the last in having cheek pouches, which he frequently fills with food before he begins to eat: The canine teeth are large and strong; ears round, and some­what like those of a man: The body is covered with hair of a brown colour, inclining to green; lighter on the belly. When standing erect upon his hind legs, he is generally two feet and a half or three feet high. He walks oftener on four than on two feet; and, when rest­ing, supports his body on two prominent callosities, situ­ate on his buttocks.

The Magot is a very common species, and is found in most parts of Africa, from Barbary to the Cape of Good Hope.



differs from animals of the Ape kind, not only in ex­ternal appearance, but also in temper and disposition. Fierce, untractable, and libidinous, its disposition seems to partake of the hideous and disgusting deformities of its outward figure. Its body is thick, compact, and ner­vous; and its strength prodigious. Neither art nor ca­resses can render it in any degree docile or obedient: It seems to be continually fretting with rage, and seeking every opportunity of shewing its savage and vicious pro­pensities. In a state of captivity, it must be kept closely confined; and, even in that state, we have seen one shake the bars of its cage so powerfully with its hands, as to excite the utmost terror in the spectators.

This animal, of which we have given a very faithful r [...]presentation from the life, was about four feet high when standing on its hind legs; its head was large, [...] of an amazing strength and thickness, its muz­zle [Page 395] long and thick, eyes small and deep sunk, its canine teeth very large and formidable, and it had pouches in its cheeks; the hair on its head was long, and formed a very elegant toupee from its forehead and each side of its face, which, when angry, it erected; the hair on the body was uniformly of a light reddish-brown; the tail short, and darker at the end; buttocks red and naked.

The Baboon inhabits the hottest parts of Africa; feeds on fruits, roots, and other vegetables.—Numerous troops sometimes make their appearance, plundering gardens and cultivated grounds. They are extremely dexterous in throwing the fruit from one to another, and by this means will do incredible damage in a very short time.

The female brings forth only one young at a time, which she carries in her arms, and suckles at her breast. Notwithstanding its libidinous disposition, it will not breed in temperate climates.



This singular creature is no less remarkable for its great size and strength, than for the variety of beautiful colours on different parts of its body. Its nose is marked with broad ribs on each side of a fine violet-blue colour: A vermilion line begins a little above the eyes; and, running down on each side of the nose, which is some­what similar to that of a Hog, spreads over the tip of it: The insides of the ears are blue, which gradually softens to a purple, and terminates in vermilion; the rump is also of a vermilion colour; and the beautiful colours on the hips are grad [...]tions from red to blue: The hair on the forehead is long, turns back, and forms a kind of [Page 397] pointed crest; its beard is dark at the roots, orange at the middle, and yellow at the end; the back and legs are covered with short hair of a dark-brown colour, mixed with yellow,—the breast and belly with long whitish hair, speckled with small dark spots; its tail is short and hairy, nails flat, feet and hands black and naked.

One of this kind was exhibited about twelve years ago in the North of England. It was five feet high, ex­tremely fierce, libidinous, and strong. At the sight of women, it discovered marks of the most violent passion; and at one time caught hold of a lady, who was so in­cautious as to approach too near it; and she was with some difficulty rescued by the interference of the keeper. Its voice was strong and harsh, not unlike the ordinary growl of the Lion. It generally went upon its four feet, unless obliged by its keeper to stand erect. Its most usual attitude was sitting on its rump, with its arms placed before it.

This creature inhabits the hotter parts of Africa.— Schreber says, it lives on succulent fruits and nuts, is fond of eggs, will put eight at once into its pouches, then take them out one by one, break them at the end, and swallow the contents.

Our representation of this animal is done from a draw­ing in the possession of the Rev. Mr Egerton, taken from the life by an eminent painter.

We suppose the Mandrill of Buffon to be a variety of this species.



seems to agree in every respect with that described by Mr Pennant, in the first volume of his History of Qua­drupeds, under the name of the MANDRILL.

The annexed cut was done from the living animal in the possession of Mr Rayne, surgeon in Newcastle. —It is about fifteen inches in height; its face flat, of a fine blue colour; eyes bright-hazel, exceedingly bril­liant and lively; the cheeks marked with small ribs, bounded with thick bushy hair of a greenish colour, beautifully speckled with black, which falls back on each side; the hair on the forehead is of the same colour, is very long, and runs up to a point on the top of the shoulders; the muzzle is broad, furnished with short hair, thinly scattered on each side,—and on the chin there is a short thin beard, ending in a point, where it is of an orange colour; the hair on the body is dark-brown, mixed with shades of green on the back and fides,—the haunches dusky; the ears are small, naked, and pointed; the tail short and hairy; the buttocks bare, [Page 399] and of a red flesh-colour; hands and feet naked: It has cheek pouches; feeds on fruits, nuts, roots, and other vegetables: It is lively, playful, and full of mischievous frolics; walks commonly on all four, is in continual mo­tion, and leaps with astonishing agility.—This species is said to come from the coast of Guinea.



so termed from its short naked pig-like tail, is the least of all the Baboon kind; a gentle, mild, and tractable animal; very lively and frolicsome; but has none of that impudent petulance so peculiar to most of its species.— Its muzzle is large and thick; face and ears naked, and of a flesh colour; the hair on the head and back is of a deep-olive,—palest on the belly; it has hazel eyes, cheek pouches, callosities on the buttocks, which are naked, and of a red colour.—It is a native of Sumatra and Ja­pan.—One of this kind was shewn in the North in 1788, from which this drawing was made.

[Page 400]It is a curious circumstance, that not only this, but every animal of the Baboon and Monkey kind we have yet seen, have shewn a remarkable greediness for tobac­co, mustard, and even snuff, which they eat without ex­pressing the smallest inconvenience, and always seem ex­tremely desirous for more.



is distinguished by a longer tail than the rest of its kind: In this respect, it seems to bear some affinity to the Mon­key, and has been mentioned under that denomination by several naturalists. We may observe here, that, in tracing the progress of animated Nature, we are led, by the most imperceptible gradations, from one kind to ano­ther: The line of separation seems so faintly drawn, that we are frequently at a loss how to fix the boundaries of one class without encroaching upon that of another; and, [Page 401] notwithstanding the regularity and order which every­where prevail among the numerous families that inhabit the earth, the best and most approved systems of arrange­ment fall infinitely short of precision: They serve, in­deed, to direct us to the general characters which form the distinguishing features of each genus, but are very inadequate to discriminate the intermingled shades and nice touches by which all are diversified.

The drawing of this animal was taken from one shewn in London under the name of the PERSIAN SAVAGE.— Its head was large; muzzle long and thick; eyes small; face naked, and of an olive colour; the hair on its fore­head separated in the middle, and hung down on each side of the face; from thence down its back as far as its waist; it was long and shaggy, of a bluish-grey colour, freckled with dark spots; hair on the lower part of the body short; buttocks bare and red.—That described by Mr Pennant, which seems to agree with this, is repre­sented as very fierce and untractable.—It inhabits the hottest parts of Africa and Asia, lives in troops, and commits great depredations in gardens and cultivated grounds; is above five feet high, exceedingly strong, vi­cious, and impudent.



is not unlike the last, but rather less. Its nose is long; head large; ears short; forehead high and prominent, terminating in a ridge; the body thick and strong, co­vered with long dusky hair, which gives it the appear­ance of a young Bear; its tail half the length of the bo­dy; buttocks red.

This animal is very numerous about the Cape of Good Hope.—Troops of them assemble together, and make ex­peditions for the sake of plunder, in which they observe the utmost precaution: To prevent surprize, they place a centinel, which, upon fight of a man, gives a loud yell; when the whole troop retreats with the greatest precipi­tation. It is highly entertaining to see the females carry­ing off their young ones clinging to their backs; whilst their pouches are crammed so full of fruit, that they seem ready to burst. They sometimes form a line, and throw the fruit from one to another, in order to carry it off the more expeditiously.


is a native of Ceylon and the East-Indies.—Its head is thick and long, and surrounded with a large quantity of white hair, which falls down below the chin, forming a monstrous rough, shaggy beard; the rest of the body is covered with a dark-brown coat, almost black.—Like all animals of this kind, it is wild and vicious; but, when taken young, may easily be tamed; and appears to be more susceptible of education than other Baboons.

There are several varieties of this species. The bodies [Page 403] of some are black, with white beards; in others, the bo­dy is whitish, and the beard black: Some are found en­tirely white; but this species is extremely rare, and is said to be stronger and more mischievous than the others.

These bearded Baboons are much esteemed for the gravity of their appearance; and are used by the Indians in their ceremonies and shows, in which they are said to acquit themselves to the admiration of the spectators.


or HARE-LIPPED MONKEY of Mr Pennant, is placed next to the Baboons, and makes the nearest approach to them in the form of its body, which is short and thick: Its head and muzzle are large; its visage ugly, naked, and wrinkled; and its nostrils divided, like those of a Hare: Its tail, however, is long, like that of a Monkey: The colour of the hair on the upper part of the body is a greenish-ash,—lighter on the breast and belly.—There are several varieties, which differ both in size and colour.

This animal is found in Guinea, Congo, and some of the southern parts of Africa.—They go in troops, and do infinite mischief to plantations of millet, which they car­ry off under their arms and in their mouths. They are extremely nice and delicate in their choice; and, by pul­ling up what does not please them, do more damage than by what they really eat.


is nearly of the same size with the Macaque, and in­habits the same country; its body is, however, rather longer, its face less hideous, and its hair more beautiful. [Page 404] It is remarkable for the brilliancy of its coat, which is of so bright a red, as to have the appearance of being painted.

There are two varieties of this kind: The one is dis­tinguished by a black line above the eyes, extending from ear to ear; in the other, the line is white. Both have long hair under the chin, and round the cheeks; which in the first is yellow, and in the second white: The nose is black; the under part of the body of an ash colour, tinged with yellow.

These Monkies are very numerous on the banks of the river Senegal.—They are so curious, as sometimes to de­scend from the tops of trees to the extremities of the branches, while boats are passing, and seem to observe them with great attention. If not disturbed, their fami­l [...]arity becomes troublesome: They break off branches, throw them at the passengers, and frequently with so sure an aim, as to annoy them not a little; but, upon being shot at, they set up most hideous cries, endeavour to revenge themselves by collecting more offensive mate­rials, such as stones, dirt, &c. which they throw at the enemy, and soon retire.

Travellers relate, that in Guinea Monkies are fre­quently seen together in troops of forty or fifty, plun­dering gardens and fields of corn with great boldness. One of them stands on a tree, listens, and looks about on all sides, while the rest are busy. Upon the least ap­pearance of interruption, he sets up a loud cry to alarm the party; when they immediately fly off with the booty they have collected, leaping from tree to tree with pro­digious agility.


differs little from the last either in disposition or man­ners.—It is a native of Bengal, is fond of fruits, fre­quently steals into plantations of sugar-canes, loads itself with them, and, if pursued, will throw away a part to carry off the remainder with more ease. It escapes the pursuit of Tigers and other wild beasts by climbing trees, and leaping from one to another. Serpents are the most deadly enemies of this and all the Monkey kind: They follow them to the highest branches of the trees, and frequently surprize them whilst they are sleeping.


appears to be only a variety of the Malbrouck; the prin­cipal difference consisting in the former's having the hair on its head disposed in the form of a flat bonnet, from which its name has been derived. It inhabits the same country, and lives in the same manner.

When fruits and succulent plants fail them, these ani­mals are said to eat insects, and sometimes watch by the sea side for crabs and other shell-fish, which they are very dexterous in catching.—They are never thoroughly tamed, and cannot be trusted without a chain. They do not breed when in a state of confinement, even in their own country; but require to be at perfect freedom in their native woods.


is distinguished from all other Monkies by a very re­markable character: Its eye-lids are naked, of a pure white colour, and round each eye there is a prominent ring; the hair on the head and body is of a yellowish-brown colour, that on the belly white. Some of them have a broad collar of white hair surrounding their neck and face.—They are natives of Madagascar.



so called from its beautiful hair, which, on the upper part of the body and tail, is of a fine green colour; the throat, belly, and under side of the limbs, are of a silvery whiteness; the tail is eighteen inches long; length of the body thirteen; height eight and a half.—It is common in the Cape de Verd islands and the East-Indies; and is also found in Mauritania, and in the territories of ancient Carth [...]ge. Hence it is probable, says M. Buffon, that it was known to the Greeks and Romans; and that it was one of those long-tailed Monkies, to which they gave the general name of Callitrix.—It seems to be the same kind [Page 407] as that mentioned by Adanson; who relates, that the woods of Podor along the river Niger are full of Green Apes, which, from their colour, are scarcely discernible among the branches of the trees where they live.

The animal from which the above was taken is a fe­male, in the possession of William Hargrave, esq of Shawdon.


is a beautiful little animal, having a tuft of yellow hair on each cheek, and another on the top of the head, which is long and upright; its face is of a bluish colour, body of a greenish-ash, breast and belly lighter; its length is only one foot, that of the tail eighteen inches. It is a native of Guinea.


is a native of the East-Indies, where it is suffered to multiply without molestation, owing to the religious su­perstition of the brami [...]s, which forbids them to take the life of any kind of animal whatever. They are so tame and familiar, that numbers of them frequently come into their towns, enter the houses, and, if not prevented, help themselves to whatever they meet with that is agreeable to them, such as fruits, sweetmeats, &c.

The Talapoin is about twelve inches long: Its head is round; ears black, and shaped like the human; eyes of a bright-hazel colour, with black pupils; the hair on the back, upper part of the body, and limbs, of a dusky-yel­low, tinged with green,—the belly lighter; its tail very long, slender, and of an olive colour.



is best known of all the Monkey tribe, being more fre­quently brought into Europe than any other.—It is a native of Barbary and other northern parts of Africa, Arabia, and Persia; where it is called the MONA; from which our general term is derived.

This creature's nose is short and thick, of a dark lead colour, and the hair on each side is long; the skin on the inside of the thighs is of a pale-blue colour, thinly cover­ed with whitish hairs; beard of a greenish-yellow; the top of the head bright-yellow, freckled with black; back and sides deep-brown, with small black freckles; outside of the thighs and tail black; on each side of the rump, c [...]se by the tail, is a large white spot. This description is taken from the living animal in the possession of Ro­bert Hedley, esq of Newcastle; from which the drawing was also taken. It was remarkably gentle, tame, and fa­miliar; and seemed to have some attachment to those with whom it was acquainted. Its length was eighteen inches, t [...]il about two feet. It was fed with bread, roast­ed meat, and fruit of all kinds, of which it was particu­larly fond.

[Page 409]All the Baboons and Monkeys we have yet described are furnished with cheek-pouches, capable of containing food sufficient to supply them for a day or two: They also serve as receptacles for whatever they obtain more than supplies their present wants: But we have thought it unnecessary to repeat this circumstance in the account of every animal of those kinds.


differs from other Monkeys in having no callosities on its buttocks, which are entirely covered with hair; it is also much larger, being nearly four feet high when erect. Its face is short and rather flat, furnished on each side with long hairs of a pale-yellow colour; its body is beau­tifully variegated with differently coloured hair; round the neck there is a collar of a bluish-purple colour; the top of the head and body are grey; breast and belly yel­low; arms white below, and black above; tail white; feet black; face and ears red; lips black; and round each eye there is a black ring.—It is found in Cochin-China, and in the island of Madagascar; where it is cal­led the SIFAC.

M. Buffon places the Douc in the last class of those animals of the Monkey kind that belong to the old con­tinent; and describes it as forming a shade between them and the Monkies of America, which he distinguishes by the generic names of SAPAJOUS and SAGOINS.—They both of them differ from Monkies in having neither cheek-pouches nor callosities on their buttocks; and they are distinguished from each other by characters peculiar to each. The Sapajou is furnished with a prehensile tail, [Page 410] the under part of which is generally covered with a smooth naked skin: The animal can coil it up or extend it at pleasure, suspend itself by its extremity on the branches of trees, or use it as a hand to lay hold of any thing it wants. The tails of all the Sagoins, on the con­trary, are longer than those of the Sapajous, straight, flaccid, and entirely covered with hair.—This difference alone is sufficient to distinguish a Sapajou from a Sagoin.

We now proceed to the history and description of the most remarkable of this numerous race.


is the largest of all the American Monkies, being about the size of a large Fox. Its body is covered with long smooth hair of a shining black colour, forming a kind of ruff round the animal's neck: Its tail is long, and always twisted at the end.

Great numbers of these Monkies inhabit the woods of Brazil and Guiana; and, from the noise they make, are called Howling Monkies. Several of them assemble toge­ther; and placing themselves in a kind of regular order, one of them begins first with a loud tone, which may be heard to a great distance; the rest soon join in a ge­neral chorus, the most dissonant and tremendous that can be conceived: On a sudden they all stop, except the first, who finishes singly, and the assembly breaks up.

These Monkies are said to be very fierce, and so wild and mischievous, that they can neither be conquered nor tamed.—They feed on fruits, grain, herbs, and some­times insects; live in trees, and leap from bough to [...]ugh with wonderful agility, catching hold with their [Page 411] hands and tails as they throw themselves from one branch to another, and maintain their hold so firmly, that, even when shot, they remain fixed to the trees where they die.

The flesh of the Ouarine is good; and is not only eaten by the natives, but also by the Europeans who frequent those parts.


is somewhat less than the Ouarine. Its body and limbs are long and slender; hair black and rough; tail long, and naked on the under side.

This animal is found in the neighbourhood of Car­thagena, in Guiana, Brazil, and Peru.—Great numbers associate together.—They seldom appear on the ground; but live mostly in trees, and feed on fruits: When these are not to be had, they are said to eat fishes, worms, and insects; are extremely dexterous in catching their prey, and make great use of their tails in seizing it.

The Coaitas are very lively and active.—In passing from one tree to another, they sometimes form a chain, linked to each other by their tails; and swing in that manner till the lowest catches hold of a branch, and draws up the rest.—When fruits are ripe, they are ge­nerally fat; and their flesh is then said to be excellent.

There are many varieties of the Coaita, which differ chiefly in colour. Some are totally black, others brown, and some have white hair on the under parts of the body. —They are called Spider Monkies by Edwards, on ac­count of the length and slenderness of their legs and tails.

M. Buffon supposes the EXQUIMA to be another va­riety [Page 412] of this species. It is nearly of the same size, but its colour is variegated: The hair on its back is black and yellow, its throat and belly white; its manner of living is the same with that of the Coaita, and it inhabits the same countries.—Both kinds are remarkable in hav­ing only four fingers on each hand, being quite destitute of the thumb.


There are two varieties of this species,—the Brown and the Grey; which, in other respects, are perfectly similar. Their faces are of a flesh colour, thinly covered with down; tails long, full of hair on the upper side, naked below, and prehensile; hands black and naked; length of the body about twelve inches.

These animals inhabit Guiana, are extremely lively and agile, and their constitution seems better adapted to the temperate climates of Europe than most of the Sapa­jou kind. M. Buffon mentions a few instances of their having produced in France.

The Sajous are very capricious in their attachments, being fond of particular persons, and discovering the greatest aversion to others.


inhabits Brazil; is very mild, docile, and timid; of a grave and serious aspect; has an appearance of weep­ing; and, when irritated, makes a plaintive noise. It is about fourteen inches long; the tail longer than the body; hair on the back and sides of a deep-brown colour, [Page 413] mixed with red on the lower parts.—There is a variety with white hair on the throat and breast.

Great numbers of these creatures assemble together, particularly in stormy weather; and make a great chat­tering.—They live much in trees, which bear a pod­ded fruit as large as beans, on which they principally feed.


is a most beautiful animal; but so extremely delicate, that it cannot well bear to be brought from its own cli­mate to one less warm and temperate.—It is about the size of a Squirrel: Its head is round; eyes remarkably lively and brilliant; ears large; hair on the body short and fine, of a shining gold colour; feet orange; its tail is very long: Its prehensile faculty is much weaker than the rest of the Sapajous; and on that account, it may be said to form a shade between them and the Sagoins, which have long tails, entirely covered with hair, but of no use in suspending their bodies from the branches of trees or other objects.


is sometimes called the FOX-TAILED MONKEY; be­cause its tail, like that of the Fox, is covered with long hair. Its body is about seventeen inches in length; hair long,—of a dark-brown colour on the back, lighter on the under side; its face is tawny, and covered with a fine short whitish down; the forehead and sides of the [Page 414] face are white; its hands and feet are black, with claws instead of nails.

The Saki is a native of Guiana, where it is called the Saccawinkee.


is about the size of a Squirrel: Its face is naked, of a swarthy flesh colour; its upper lip somewhat divided; its ears are very large and erect, from whence it is called the GREAT-EARED MONKEY; its hair is soft, shaggy, and of a black colour; hands and feet covered with orange-coloured hair, very fine and smooth; its nails long and crooked; tail black, and twice the length of its body.

The Tamarin inhabits the hotter parts of South-Ame­rica; is a lively, pleasant animal; easily tamed; but so delicate, that it cannot bear a removal to a climate less temperate.



is still smaller than the Tamarin, its head and body not exceeding seven inches in length: Its tail is long, bushy, and, like that of the Macauco, marked with alternate rings of black and ash colour; its face is naked, of a swarthy flesh colour; ears large, and like the human; body beautifully marked with dusky, ash-coloured, and reddish bars; its nails are sharp; and its fingers like those of a Squirrel.

The Ouistiti inhabits Brazil; feeds on fruits, vegeta­bles, insects, and snails, and is fond of fish.

Mr Edwards gives a description of one of these ani­mals, accompanied with an excellent figure.—He says, that, one day being at liberty, it darted upon a small gold-fish that was in a bason, which it killed and devour­ed with avidity; and that afterwards small eels were given to it, of which it seemed at first afraid, from their twisting themselves round its neck; but that it soon over­came and eat them.—He likewise says, that the Oustiti produced young ones in Portugal, which at first were [Page 416] extremely ugly, having hardly any hair on their bodies. They adhered closely to the teats of the mother; and, when grown a little larger, fixed themselves upon her back, from whence she could not easily disengage them, without rubbing them off against a wall: Upon these oc­casions, the male always allowed them to mount upon his back to relieve the female.


is by some called the LION-APE, from the quantity of hair which surrounds its face, falling backwards like a mane; its tail is also somewhat bushy at the end: In other respects, it bears no affinity whatever to the king of beasts. Its face is flat, and of a dull purple colour; its hair long, bright, and silky,—from whence it is like­wise called the SILKY MONKEY; it is of a pale-yellow colour on the body; the hair round the face of a bright-bay, inclining to red; its hands and feet are without hair, and of the same colour as the face; its body is ten inches long, tail thirteen.

This creature is a native of Guiana, is very gentle and lively, and seems to be more hardy than the other Sa­goins.—Buffon says, that one of them lived at Paris several years, with no other precaution than keeping it in a warm room during winter.



is somewhat larger than the Oustiti. It is remarkable in having a great quantity of smooth white hair, which falls down from the top of its head on each side, forming a curious contrast with its face, which is black, thinly co­vered with a fine grey down: Its eyes are black and live­ly; throat black; hair on the back and shoulders of a light reddish-brown colour; breast, belly, and legs, white; the tail is long, of a red colour from the rump to the middle, from thence to the end it is black.

The Pinche inhabits the woods on the banks of the river of Amazons; is a lively, beautiful little animal; has a soft whistling voice, resembling more the chirping of a bird than the cry of a quadruped.—It frequently walks with its long tail over its back.



is the last that we shall describe of this numerous race, and is the most beautiful of them all. Its head is small and round; face and ears of so lively a vermilion colour, as to appear the effect of art; its body is covered with long hair of a bright silvery whiteness and uncommon elegance; tail long, and of a shining dark-chesnut colour.

This creature frequents the banks of the river of Ama­zons, where it was discovered by M. Condamine, who preserved it alive till almost within sight of the French c [...]st; but it died before his arrival.

We have now laid before our readers a few of the most noted varieties of this numerous race: Many others might likewise be added to swell the account; but of these, little more is known than their names and places of habitation. There are, probably, still more, which neither the assiduity of the naturalist, nor the curiosity of the traveller, has been able to draw from their native woods. Indeed, there is great room to conjecture, that [Page 419] the variations of the Monkey kind are somewhat like those of the Dog, continually encreasing; for it is very obvious, that, among the smaller kinds of Monkies, the characteristic differences do not appear to be great, how­ever they may vary in size or in colour; and it is certain, that the modes of living, faculties, and propensities of these animals, are strikingly similar: So that, if we rea­son from analogy on this subject, we may fairly con­clude, that different kinds of Monkies may unite and propagate with the same facility as the Goat and the Sheep, or the almost innumerable kinds of Dogs.

The greater part of the cuts we have given of the Ba­boons, Apes, and Monkies, we were fortunate in pro­curing from living subjects, or drawings which might be depended on: And it is to be lamented, that, amongst the numbers that have been published, so few should pos­sess that peculiar character so observable in the various members of this imitative tribe, which it is wholly im­possible to trace from a stuffed skin, void of every kind of expression; and the muscular parts, which should con­vey the idea of action, generally ill supplied, or entirely wanting.



THIS animal, so formidable in its appearance, would be much more truly so, if it possessed the power erroneously ascribed to it, of darting its quills at its enemies, and killing them at a distance.—Though de­nied the privilege of making offensive war, it is suffi­ciently armed to resist the attacks of animals much more powerful than itself.—The largest of the quills are from ten to fifteen inches in length, thick in the middle, and extremely sharp at the end: They all incline backwards; but on being the least irritated, the animal raises them up, m [...]king at the same time a snorting noise. Between the quills, the hair is thin, black, and bristly: The tail is covered with white quills, which are short and trans­parent: Its legs are short; and it has four toes before, and five behind.

The Porcupine is found in India, Persia, and Pales­tine: It is likewise common in all parts of Africa.—The Indians hunt it for its quills, of which they make a kind of embroidery: They also eat its flesh.

There are Porcupines in a wild state in Spain and [Page 421] Italy, though they are not originally natives of any part of Europe. Their flesh is sometimes exposed in the mar­kets at Rome, where it is eaten. The Italian Porcu­pines have shorter quills and a lesser crest than those of Asia or Africa.

The Porcupine is an inoffensive animal; lives on fruits, roots, and vegetables; sleeps during the day, and feeds by night.—The female goes seven months, and brings forth one young one at a time.—The drawing of this animal was made from the life.



differs so greatly from the last, that it can scarcely be said to bear any relation to it, except in its being cover­ed with spines about three inches in length: They are white, very sharp, and have a bar of black near the points. The breast, belly, and lower part of the legs, [Page 422] are covered with strong bristly hairs of a brown colour. Its tail is long and slender, and almost naked at the end: The animal uses it in descending trees, by twisting it round the branches.

This creature inhabits Mexico and Brazil, lives in woods, and feeds on fruits and small birds. It preys by night, and sleeps in the day. It makes a noise like the grunting of a swine, and grows very fat.—Its flesh is white, and esteemed good to eat.



of M. Buffon, which he likewise calls the BRAZILIAN PORCUPINE, inhabits the same countries with the last, and its habits and mode of living are similar; but, in respect to its figure, it seems to be a very different ani­mal. Its ears are short, and hid in the hair; its head, body, and upper part of its tail, are covered with long soft hair, in which are interspersed a number of strong sharp spines; its tail is shorter than that of the preceding species, and it uses it in the same manner in descending trees, frequently suspending itself from the branches.

[Page 423]An animal similar to this is found in Canada, and various parts of North-America, as high as Hudson's Bay. It is called the URSON, or CANADA PORCUPINE. —Many of the trading Indians, during their long ex­cursions, depend on this creature for a supply of food, which they esteem both wholesome and pleasant: They also make use of the quills to trim the edges of their deer-skin habits, so as to look like fringe; and stick them in their noses and ears to make holes for their ear-rings.



DESTITUTE of every other means of defence, is provided by Nature with a spinous armour, which secures it from the attacks of all the smaller beasts of prey; such as Weasels, Martins, Polecats, &c.— When alarmed, it immediately collects itself into the form of a ball, and presents on all sides a surface covered with sharp points, which few animals are hardy enough to engage. The more it is harrassed, the closer it rolls [Page 424] itself; till its fears become an additional means of safety, by causing it to void its urine, which, running over its whole body, frequently obliges its enemy to desist, dis­gusted by the smell.

There are few Dogs that will venture to attack the Hedge-hog, except such as are trained to the sport, merely to gratify the cruel pleasure of seeing a harmless animal endure, with astonishing patience, the most wan­ton outrages; whilst the Dogs, becoming more enraged at the wounds they receive from its prickles, at last oblige it to unfold itself; and it then soon falls a victim to their fury.

The Hedge-hog generally resides in small thickets and hedges; lives on fruits, worms, beetles, and all kinds of insects; conceals itself in the day, and feeds during the night. It is easily taken, for it neither flies nor attempts to defend itself; but, when touched, shrinks into its cir­cular form, which it will not easily quit, unless thrown into water.

The Hedge-hog, in the winter, wraps itself up in a warm nest, made of moss, dried grass, and leaves; and sleeps out the rigours of that season. It is frequently found so completely encircled with herbage on all sides, that it resembles a ball of dried leaves. When taken out and placed before a fire, it soon recovers from its torpid state.



is about the size of a Rat. The upper part of its body is covered with spines, shorter and smaller than those of the Hedge-hog, which it somewhat resembles, but does not roll itself up like that animal; the rest of the body is covered with a kind of fine hard hair of a whitish colour; about the head and nose it has several long hairs, like whiskers.

An animal of the same kind is mentioned by M. Buf­fon, under the name of


which is larger than the last, and has fewer bristles: They only occupy the top of the head, and along the back, as far as the shoulders; those on the neck are the [Page 426] longest, and stand erect: The rest of the body is covered with a bristly kind of hair of a yellowish colour, among which are intermixed some black hairs, much longer than the other: Its nose is long, and its ears more appa­rent than those of the Tendrac.

Both these animals are natives of India.—They make a grunting noise, and are fond of wallowing in mud, like Hogs: They frequent the banks of rivers, can live a long time in the water, and are frequently caught in small inlets of the sea: They dig holes in the ground, where they continue in a kind of torpid state during se­veral months. They are generally very fat; and the In­dians eat their flesh, though it is reckoned insipid and stringy.



IS the most industrious of all animals. Its labours seem the result of a social compact, formed for mu­tual convenience, preservation, and support; and as, in all well-regulated societies, a due subordination is neces­sary for the well ordering and conducting each indivi­dual effort to the advantage of the whole; so, amongst these curious animals, we find, that, in forming their habitations, all have their proper part of the work as­signed to them, that, by dividing their labours, safety, stability, and expedition, may be the general effect. To this purpose, a community of two or three hundred as­semble together: An overseer is appointed, whose orders are punctually obeyed; and, by striking the water smart­ly with his tail, gives the signal where the united force of numbers is necessary to be applied, in order to strengthen or support the fabric; or, at the approach of an enemy, to apprize the society of their danger.—As soon as a convenient place is chosen for the erection of their building, which is generally a level piece of ground, with a small rivulet running through it, they divide into [Page 428] companies: Some are employed in cutting down trees of great size, which is done by gnawing them with their teeth: These they lay across the dam with surprizing la­bour and perseverance, or form them into piles, which others roll down to the water, make holes at the bottom for receiving the ends, and placing them upright, secure them in that position; whilst another party is engaged in collecting twigs, interweaving and twisting them with the piles, and thereby strengthening the work: Some collect large quantities of earth, stones, clay, and other solid materials, which they dispose of on the upper side of the piles next the stream, forming a mound ten or twelve feet thick at the bottom, tapering gradually up­wards, and capable of sustaining a considerable weight of water: The length of the dam, occasioned by this means, is sometimes not less than one hundred feet.—Having compleated the mole, their next care is to erect their apartments, which are built on piles: They are of a cir­cular form, and generally consist of three stories, about eight feet high above the water: The first lies below the level of the dam, and is generally full of water; the other two are above it. The walls are two feet in thick­ness, neatly plaistered with clay on the inside, which is arched like an oven, and at the top resembles a dome. In each house there are two openings,—one toward the water, to which the animal has always access in case of surprize; the other toward the land, by which it goes out in quest of food.—The number of houses in one of these dams is from ten to twenty-five, some of them large enough to contain a family of twenty or thirty Bea­vers. Each Beaver forms its bed of moss; and each fa­mily lays in its magazine of winter provision, which con­sists [Page 429] of bark and boughs of trees: They pile up the latter with great ingenuity and regularity, and draw it out to their apartments as their wants require.—They are said to be fondest of the sassafras, ash, and sweet gum.—Du­ring summer, they feed on leaves, fruits, and sometimes crabs or cray-fish; but fish is not their favourite food. —Their time of building is early in the summer: In winter, they never go farther than to their provision stores; and, during that season, are very fat.—They breed once a year, and bring forth two or three at a birth.

Beavers are found chiefly in the northern parts of Eu­rope, Asia, and America; particularly the latter, from whence many thousands of their skins are annually brought into Europe. In 1763, the Hudson's Bay com­pany sold 54,670 Beaver skins at one sale.—They vary in colour: The most valuable are black; but the general colour is a chesnut-brown, more or less dark. Some have been found entirely white, others spotted; but both these kinds are very rare.

The Beaver is remarkable for the size and strength of its cutting teeth, which enable it to gnaw down trees of great magnitude with ease. Its ears are short, and almost hid in the fur; its nose blunt; tail broad and flat, nearly of an oval form, and covered with scales—it serves not only as a rudder to direct its motions in the water, but as a most useful instrument for laying on the clay, pres­sing it into the crevices, and smoothing the outward co­vering; its fore feet are small, and not unlike those of a Rat; the hind feet are large and strong, with membranes between each toe; its length, from nose to tail, is about three feet; the tail is eleven inches long, and three broad.

[Page 430]The castor produced from these animals is found in a liquid state in bags near the anus, about the size of an egg: When taken off, the matter dries, and is reducible to a powder, which is oily, of a sharp bitter taste, and a strong disagreeable smell. These bags are found indif­ferently in males and females; and were formerly sup­posed to be the animal's testicles, which, when pursued, it was said to bite off, and by that means escape with its life.



ALTHOUGH the Otter is not considered by naturalists as wholly amphibious, it is neverthe­less enabled to remain a considerable time under water, and can pursue and take its prey in that element with great facility.—The legs are very short, but remarkably strong, broad, and muscular; on each foot are five toes, connected by strong membranes, like those of water fowl; the head is broad, of an oval form, and flat on the upper part; the body is long and round, and the tail ta­pers to a point; the eyes are brilliant, and placed in such a manner, that the animal can see every object that is above it, which gives it a singular aspect, very much re­sembling an eel or an asp; the ears are short, and their orifice narrow. The fur of the Otter is of a deep-brown colour, with two small light spots on each side of the nose, and another under the chin.

[Page 432]This animal makes its nest in some retired spot by the side of a lake or river, under a bank, where it has an easy and secure access to the water, to which it immedi­ately flies upon the least alarm; and, as it swims with great rapidity, generally escapes from its pursuers.—It destroys great quantities of fish; and, in pursuit of its prey, has been observed commonly to swim against the stream.—As soon as the Otter has caught a fish, it im­mediately drags it to the shore; devours a part, as far as the vent; and, unless pressed by extreme hunger, always leaves the remainder, and takes to the water in quest of more.

Otters are generally taken in traps placed near their landing places, where they are carefully concealed in the sand.—When hunted with Dogs, the old ones defend themselves with great obstinacy: They bite severely, and do not readily quit their hold where they have once fas­tened. An old Otter will never give up while it has life; nor make the least complaint, though wounded ever so much by the Dogs, or even when transfixed with a spear.

There are many instances of Otters being tamed; but in those which have come to our knowledge, they were taken when young, and accustomed by degrees to obedi­ence and restraint. They became so far domesticated, as to follow their masters, answer to a name, and employ their excellent talents at fishing in their service.

Some years ago, James Campbell, near Inverness, had a young Otter, which he brought up and tamed. It would follow him wherever he chose; and, if called on by its name, would immediately obey. When apprehen­sive of danger from Dogs, it sought the protection of its [Page 433] master, and would endeavour to fly into his arms for greater security.—It was frequently employed in catching fish, and would sometimes take eight or ten salmon in a day. If not prevented, it always made an attempt to break the fish behind the fin next the tail; and as soon as one was taken away, it immediately dived in pursuit of more. When tired, it would refuse to fish any lon­ger; and was then rewarded with as much fish as it could devour: Being satisfied with eating, it always curled itself round, and fell asleep; in which state it was generally carried home.—The same Otter fished as well in the sea as in a river, and took great numbers of codlings and other fish.—Its food was generally fresh fish, and sometimes milk.

Another person, who kept a tame Otter, suffered it to follow him with his Dogs. It was very useful to him in fishing, by going into the water, and driving trouts and other fish towards the net.—It was remarkable, that the Dogs, though accustomed to the sport, were so far from giving it the smallest molestation, that they would not even hunt an Otter whilst it remained with them; on which account the owner was under the necessity of disposing of it.

Notwithstanding the Otter's avidity for fish, it will not eat it unless it be perfectly fresh: When that cannot be procured, it is fed with milk, or pudding made of oat­meal, &c.

Otters are found in most parts of the world, with no great variation.—They are common in Guiana, and fre­quent the rivers and marshes of that country. They are sometimes seen in great numbers together; and are so [Page 434] fierce, that it is dangerous to come near them. They live in holes, which they make in the banks of the rivers.

The Otters of Cayenne are very large, weighing from ninety to one hundred pounds. They frequent the large rivers of that country. Their cry is loud, and may be heard to a great distance. They are of a dark-brown co­lour. Their fur is shorter than that of the Beaver, and very soft.

The SMALL OTTER, found in Poland and the North of Europe, is much less than the common Otter, and of a dusky-brown colour: Its feet are broad, webbed, and covered with hair; its fur is very valuable, being next in beauty to that of the Sable.

This Otter is found also in North-America, where it is called the MINX; frequents the water, and lives on fish; is fond of poultry; frequently steals into the hen roosts, bites off the heads of the fowls, and sucks their blood; is very fetid; and, when irritated, has a most loathsome smell.—Its length, from nose to tail, is twenty inches; tail four. Its fur is of a dark-brown colour, ve­ry glossy and beautiful.



Vast numbers of these animals inhabit the coast of Kamtschatka, and the numerous islands contiguous to it; as well as the opposite coasts of America, discovered by the Russians: They are also found in some of the larger rivers of South-America.—Their skins are of great value, and have long been considered by the Russians as form­ing a considerable article of their commerce. They dis­pose of them to the Chinese at the rate of seventy or a hundred rubles each, and receive in return some of their most valuable commodities.

The fur of the Sea-Otter is thick and long, of a beau­tiful shining black colour, but sometimes of a silvery hue; the legs are thick and short; toes joined by a web; the hind feet like those of a Seal; length, from nose to tail, four feet two inches; tail thirteen, flat, and point­ed at the end.—The largest of them weigh from seventy to eighty pounds.

The Sea-Otter is remarkably harmless, and most affec­tionately fond of its young: It will pine to death for its loss, and die on the very spot where it has been taken [Page 436] away. Before its young can swim, it will carry it in its paws, and support it in the water, laying upon its back. —It swims in various positions,—on its back, sides, and even in a perpendicular posture; and in the water is very sportive. Two of them are sometimes seen embracing each other. It frequents shallow places, abounding with sea weed; and feeds on lobsters, crabs, and other shell fish.—It breeds but once a year, and produces one young at a time, which it suckles and carefully attends almost a year.

The flesh of a young Otter is reckoned delicate eating, and not easily distinguished from that of lamb.



OF all animals, is the most sluggish and inactive; and, if we were to judge from outward appear­ance, would seem the most helpless and wretched: All its motions seem to be the effect of the most painful ex­ertion, which hunger alone is capable of exciting.—It [Page 437] lives chiefly in trees; and having ascended one with in­finite labour and difficulty, it remains there till it has en­tirely stripped it of all its verdure, sparing neither fruit, blossom, nor leaf; after which it is said to devour even the bark: Being unable to descend, it throws itself on the ground, and continues at the bottom of the tree till hunger again compels it to renew its toils in search of subsistence. Its motions are accompanied with a most piteous and lamentable cry, which is its only defence, and secures it from the attacks of beasts of prey, which are said to quit it with horror upon hearing its cry.

Though slow, aukward, and almost incapable of mo­tion, the Sloth is strong, remarkably tenacious of life, and capable of enduring a long abstinence from food. We are told of one that, having fastened itself by its feet to a pole, remained in that situation forty days without the least sustenance.—The strength in its legs and feet is so great, that, having seized any thing, it is almost im­possible to oblige it to quit its hold. The same animal laid hold of a Dog that was set loose upon it, and held him fast with its feet till he perished with hunger.

There are two kinds of Sloths, which are principally distinguished by the number of their claws. The one, called the A [...], is about the size of a Fox, and has three long claws on each foot: Its legs are clumsy, and auk­wardly placed; and the fore legs being longer than the hind, add greatly to the difficulty of its progressive mo­tion: Its whole body is covered with a rough coat of long hair of a lightish-brown colour, mixed with white, not unlike that of a Badger; and has a black line down the middle of the back: Its face is naked, and of a dirty-white [Page 438] colour; tail short; eyes small, black, and heavy. It is found only in South-America.

The UNAU has only two claws on each foot: Its head is short and round, somewhat like that of a Mon­key; its ears are short; and it has no tail. It is found in South-America, and also in the island of Ceylon.— The flesh of both kinds is eaten.—They have several sto­machs, and are said to belong to the tribe of ruminating animals.



THERE are several animals distinguished by the common name of Ant-eaters, which differ great­ly in form.—They are divided into three classes, viz. the Great, the Middle, and the Lesser Ant-eater.

The GREAT ANT-EATER is nearly four feet in length, exclusive of its tail, which is two and a half. It is remarkable for the great length of its snout, which is of a cylindrical form, and serves as a sheath to its long and slender tongue, which always lies folded double in its mouth, and is the chief instrument by which it finds subsistence.

This creature is a native of Brazil and Guiana, runs slowly, frequently swims over rivers, lives wholly on ants, which it collects by thrusting its tongue into their holes; and, having penetrated every part of the nest, withdraws it into its mouth loaded with prey.—Its legs are so strong, that few animals can extricate themselves [Page 440] from its gripe. It is said to be formidable even to the Panthers of America; and sometimes fixes itself upon them in such a manner, that both of them fall and pe­rish together; for its obstinacy is so great, that it will not extricate itself from its adversary even after he is dead.—The flesh has a strong disagreeable taste, but is eaten by the Indians.

The MIDDLE ANT-EATER is one foot seven inches from nose to tail. It inhabits the same countries, and procures its food in the same manner, as the last. Its tail is ten inches long, with which it secures its hold in climbing trees by twisting it round the branches.—Both these animals have four strong claws on the fore feet, and five on the hind.

The LESSER ANT-EATER has a sharp-pointed nose, inclining a little downward: Its ears are small, and hid in the fur: It has two strong hooked claws on the fore feet, the outward one being much the largest; and four on the hind feet: Its fur is long, soft, and silky,—of a yellowish-brown colour: Its length, from nose to tail, is seven inches and a half; tail above eight, thick at the base, and taper to the end.—It inhabits Guiana, climbs trees in quest of a species of ants which build their nests among the branches.

Animals of this kind are found in Ceylon and the Cape of Good Hope.—Kolben describes the latter as hav­ing long heads and tongues; that they feed on ants; and are so strong, that, if they fasten their claws in the ground, they cannot easily be pulled away.—It is cal­led in Ceylon the Talg [...]i or Ant-Bear.



THIS singular animal is protected from external in­jury by a coat of mail, so strong, as to be suffi­cient to protect it from the attacks of the most powerful animals. All the upper parts of its body are closely co­vered with scales of different sizes, which it can erect at pleasure, opposing to its adversary a formidable row of offensive weapons, which wound while they resist, and thus repel the most rapacious invader. The Tiger, the Panther, or the Leopard, in vain attempt to force it. The moment it perceives the approach of an enemy, it rolls itself up like a Hedge-hog, and by that means se­cures all the weaker parts of its body.

This creature is a native of Formosa and the Indian isles; is likewise found in Guinea, where it feeds on ants, which it takes by laying out its long red tongue, covered with an unctuous slime, across the paths of those insects.—It is slow in its motions; grows to the length of eight feet, including its tail, which is four.—Its flesh is much esteemed for its delicacy; but it is difficult to [Page 442] procure, as the animal avoids mankind, and lives in ob­scure retreats, in woods, and marshy places.


is a variety of this animal, but much less, being not more than a foot long from head to tail. Its body is covered with sharp-pointed scales; its throat and belly with hair: Its legs are short; and each foot has four claws. It is remarkable for the great length of its tail, which in some is above a yard long.—It is a native of Guinea, has been sometimes called the SCALY LIZARD, and may be said to be the connecting link in the chain of Being be­tween quadrupeds and reptiles.


IS found only in South-America, where there are se­veral varieties of them. They are all covered with a strong crust or shell, and are distinguished from each other by the number of the flexible bands of which it is composed.—It is a harmless, inoffensive animal; feeds on roots, fruits, and other vegetables; grows very fat; and is greatly esteemed for the delicacy of its flesh.— The Indians hunt it with small Dogs, trained for that purpose.—When surprized, it runs to its hole, or at­tempts to make a new one, which it does with great expedition, having strong claws on its fore feet, with which it adheres so firmly to the ground, that, if it should be caught by the tail whilst making its way into [Page 443] the earth, its resistance is so great, that it will sometimes leave it in the hands of its pursuers: To avoid this, the hunter has recourse to artifice; and, by tickling it with a stick, it gives up its hold, and suffers itself to be taken alive. If no other means of escape be left, it rolls itself up within its covering by drawing in its head and legs, and bringing its tail round them, as a band to connect them more forcibly together: In this situation it some­times escapes by rolling itself over the edge of a preci­pice, and generally falls to the bottom unhurt.

The most successful method of catching Armadillos is by snares laid for them by the sides of rivers and places where they frequent. They all burrow very deep in the ground, and seldom stir out, except during the night, whilst they are in search of food.

To give a minute description of the shells or coverings of the Armadillos would be extremely difficult, as they are all composed of a number of parts, differing greatly from each other in the order and disposition of the fi­gures with which they are distinguished: But it may be necessary to observe, that in general there are two large pieces that cover the shoulders and the rump, between which lie the bands, which are more or less in number in different kinds. These bands are not unlike those in the tail of a lobster; and, being flexible, give way to the motions of the animal.—The first we shall mention is


Its shell is about twelve inches long, with three bands in the middle: The crust on the head, back, and rump, [Page 444] is divided into a number of elegant raised figures, with five angles or sides: Its tail is not more than two inches long: It has neither cutting nor canine teeth; and has f [...]ve toes on each foot.



is about the size of a young Pig. Between the folds of the bands there are a few scattered hairs: Its tail is long, thick at the base, and tapers to a point.—It is found in Brazil and Guiana.


is furnished with eight bands: Its ears are long and up­right; eyes small and black; it has four toes on the fore feet, and five on the hind; its length, from nose to tail, is about ten inches; the tail nine.—It inhabits Brazil, and is reckoned more delicious eating than the others.



has a tenth band, moveable half way up on each side: The shell on the shoulders and rump is marked with hex­angular figures; the breast and belly are covered with long hairs; its tail is long and taper; and the whole ani­mal three feet in length.

One of this kind was brought to England a few years ago from the Musquito shore, and lived some time. It was fed with raw beef and milk, but refused to eat our fruits and grain.



is furnished with twelve bands; is the largest of all the Armadillos, being almost three feet long from nose to [Page 446] tail: The figures on the shoulders are of an oblong form; those on the rump hexangular. It is seldom eaten.


so called from the form of its head, which is slender, has eighteen bands from its shoulder to its tail: The shell is marked with square figures on the shoulders; those on the legs and thighs are roundish: The body is about fifteen inches long; tail five.

All these animals have the power of drawing them­selves up under their shells, either for the purpose of re­pose or safety. They are furnished with strong lateral muscles, consisting of numberless fibres, crossing each other in the form of an X, with which they contract themselves so powerfully, that the strongest man is scarcely able to force them open. The shells of the larger Armadillos are much stronger than those of the smaller kinds: Their flesh is likewise harder and more unfit for the table.



THERE are several animals whose residence is al­most constantly in the water, and which seem to partake greatly of the nature of fishes, that are neverthe­less classed by naturalists under the denomination of qua­drupeds; and being perfectly amphibious, living with equal ease in the water as on land, may be considered as the last step in the scale of Nature, by which we are conducted from one great division of the animal world to the other. Of these the Walrus is the most considerable for its size, being sometimes found eighteen feet in length, and twelve in circumference at the thick­est part: It is likewise remarkable for two large tusks in the upper jaw, which sometimes exceed two feet in length, and weigh from three to twenty pounds each.

The head of the Walrus is round; its lips very broad, and covered over with thick pellucid bristles; its eyes small and red; instead of ears, it has two small orifices; and above the whiskers, semicircular nostrils, through [Page 448] which it throws out water like the whale, but with much less noise: Its skin is thick and wrinkled, and has a thin covering of short brownish hair; its legs are short; it has five toes on each foot, connected by membranes, and on each toe a small nail; the hind feet are very broad, and extended nearly on a line with the body.

The Walrus is chiefly found in the northern seas. Great herds of them are sometimes seen together on the sea shore, or sleeping on an island of ice. When alarm­ed, they instantly throw themselves into the water with great precipitation: If wounded, they become bold and furious, and unite in the defence of each other; will at­tack a boat, and endeavour to sink it by striking their great teeth into its sides, at the same time bellowing in a most hideous manner.—It is hunted for its teeth, which are equal to those of the Elephant for durability and whiteness.—An ordinary Walrus is said to yield half a ton of oil, equal in goodness to that of the whale.

The female produces one or two young at a time, which she suckles upon land.

In climbing upon the ice, the Walrus makes use of its teeth as hooks to secure its hold, and draw its great unwieldy body after it.—It feeds on sea-weeds and shell-fish, which it is said to disengage from the rocks to which they adhere with its tusks.—The White Bear is its greatest enemy. In the combats between these ani­mals, the Walrus, is said to be generally victorious, on account of the desperate wounds it inflicts with its teeth.



is found, with some variety, in almost every quarter of the globe: In the northern seas of Asia, Europe, and America; as well as the less frequented regions towards the south pole.—Its usual length is from five to six feet: The body is closely covered with short hair of va­rious colours, smooth and shining; its tongue is forked at the end; it has two canine teeth in each jaw, six cut­ting teeth in the upper, and four in the lower; it has five toes on each foot, furnished with strong sharp claws, which enable it to climb the rocks, on which it frequent­ly basks.—It swims with great strength and swiftness, is very playful, and sports without fear about ships and boats. It feeds on various kinds of fish, and is frequent­ly seen near the shore in pursuit of its prey.

Seals are found in great abundance on the coasts of Great-Britain; particularly in the deep recesses and ca­verns in the northern parts of the island, where they re­sort in the breeding time, and continue till the young ones are old enough to go to sea.—The time for taking Seals is in the month of October, or the beginning of November. The hunters, provided with torches and bludgeons, enter the mouths of the caverns about mid­night, [Page 450] and row in as far as they can, where they land; and, being properly stationed, begin by making a great noise, which alarms the Seals, and brings them down from all parts of the cavern in a confused body, making frightful shrieks and cries. In this hazardous employ­ment, great care is necessary on the part of the hunters to avoid the throng, which presses down with great im­petuosity, and bears away every thing that opposes its progress; but when the first crowd is past, they kill great numbers of young ones, which generally straggle behind, by striking them on the nose.

A young Seal yields above eight gallons of oil.—When full grown, their skins are very valuable, and make a beautiful kind of leather, much used in making shoes, &c.

The flesh of the Seal is sometimes eaten; and that it was formerly admitted to the tables of the great, may be seen in the bill-of-fare of a sumptuous entertainment given by Archbishop Nevil in the reign of Edward the Fourth.

The growth of Seals is so amazingly rapid, that, after nine tides from their birth, they are as active as the old ones.—The female brings forth her young on the land, sits on her hind legs while she suckles them, and as soon as they are able carries them to sea, learns them to swim and search for food: When they become fatigued, she places them on her back. The young ones know the voice of their mother, and attend to her call.—The voice of the Seal has been compared to the hoarse barking of a Dog; when young, it is clearer, and resembles the mew­ing of a Cat.

Seals are likewise found in the Mediterranean and Cas­pian [Page 451] seas, in the lake Baikal, and some of the larger lakes. These are smaller than the salt-water Seals; but so fat, that they seem almost shapeless.



is much larger than the common Seal, being eight feet in length, and weighing eight hundred pounds.— These animals are found among the islands which lie between Kamtschatka and America; also on the coasts of New Zealand, Staten Island, New Georgia, and Falk­land's Islands.—They lie in thousands on the shore, in separate families, each consisting of above an hundred. One male will sometimes have fifty females, which he guards with extreme jealousy. They are excessively fat and indolent, sometimes scarcely ever moving from the place where they lie, for the space of three months; during which time the females breed and suckle their [Page 452] young. If another approach their station, they are roused from their supineness: A battle ensues, which fre­quently becomes general, and spreads confusion through the whole shore. These conflicts are extremely violent, and the wounds they receive very deep, resembling a cut with a sabre.

The attachment of the male to the young is very strong: He defends them with great obstinacy, and fre­quently revenges their loss upon the female, whom he beats most cruelly; whilst she crawls to his feet, and seems to deprecate his wrath with the most obsequious g [...]stures.

The female generally brings forth one, seldom two, at a time.—They swim with great ease, at the rate of about seven miles in an hour. When wounded, they will seize on a boat, carry it along with them, and sometimes sink it. They can continue a long time under water. In climbing rocks, they fasten their fore paws, and draw themselves up.

These, and all the Seal kind, will live a long time after receiving the most dreadful wounds; but the most trifling blow on the snout or forehead instantly kills them.

The general colour of these animals is black. They are covered with a coat of long rough hair, under which is a soft down of a bay colour. On the neck of the old ones, the hair is erect, and a little longer than the rest. —The fat and flesh of the old males are very nauseous; but those of the females and the young, when roasted, are said to be as good as the flesh of a sucking pig.




OF which we here give a faithful portrait from a living one lately brought from the interior parts of America, seems to be a different animal from that ge­nerally described under the name of the Elk or Moose-Deer, to which it has very little resemblance. It seems, indeed, to belong to a distinct species; and is probably [Page 454] the Elk or Orignal of Canada and the northern parts of America.—At the age of five years, its length was nine feet from the end of the muzzle to the insertion of the tail, the head and neck being extended in a line with the body; its height at the shoulder four feet six inches, length of the head one foot six inches, breadth over the forehead seven inches, length of the fore legs two feet five inches, length of the neck two feet six, its ears nine inches, and tail three. Its horns, which it had just shed, are not palmated, like those of the Moose: They are large; and, when full grown, measure above six feet from tip to tip. The antlers are round, and pointed at the ends: The lowermost antler forms a curve down­ward over each eye, to which it appears a defence. Its hair was long, of a dark dun colour on the back and sides, on the head and legs dark-brown. Its eyes full and lively; and below each there is a deep slit, about two inches in length, the use of which we are unable to discover.—It was a lively, active animal; of great strength of body and limbs. Its hoofs are much smaller than those of the Rein-Deer, the division between them less; and, when the animal is in motion, do not make a rattling noise. It has no mane; but the hair under its neck is longer than that of any other part of the body.

We are told by the owner of this very rare and beau­tiful animal, that it does not attain its full growth till twenty years old, and that it sheds its horns every third year.


WE have been favoured, by Marmaduke Tunstall, esq of Wycliffe, with the following particulars relative to the Wild Cattle of this island, which, it has been generally supposed, were only to be found at Chil­lingham, in the county of Northumberland:— They are very numerous at Wollaton, in Nottinghamshire, the seat of Lord Middleton. The ears and noses of these are black. When fat, they weigh from sixty to seventy stone. As soon as the calves are dropped, they are al­ways taken away, and put to a tame Cow to be brought up.—At Gisburne in Craven, Yorkshire, the seat of— Lister, esq there are some perfectly white, except the insides of their ears, which are brown; without horns, very strong-boned, but not high. They have little or no fat within; but it is finely interlarded with the flesh. They are said to have been brought originally from Whalley Abbey, in Lancashire, upon its dissolution in the 33d of Henry VIII. Tradition says, they were drawn to Gisburne by the power of music.—Besides these, there are great numbers of Wild Cattle at Lime-Hall, in Cheshire, the seat of — Leigh, esq They are all white, and have red ears.—There were formerly great numbers of Wild Cattle at Chartley, in Stafford­shire, the seat of Earl Ferrers; but their numbers are now much reduced, and the breed almost extinct."

These are all the accounts we have been able to col­lect [Page 456] of this expiring breed, which formerly ranged at large in the wild and extensive forests which overspread this kingdom.


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